Shared Experience

Thursday 11 June, 2020

For the first time in 16 years, the three of us sat together and chatted. We hadn’t spoken in this constellation since I left my work with Karaj on New Year’s Eve 2003. I was struck by how much neither of them had changed. It made me think that maybe I hadn’t changed either. Had all the work we did during those intense years been for nothing? It was only a fleeting thought because I know that I am different to how I used to be. I know I have improved in ways I would not have been able to, had I not spent the four years with Karaj and the others.

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Finding Common Ground

Tuesday 9 June, 2020

I am not one for courting controversy (not any more, at least) and have little interest in posting anything political or contentious online. My writings are, in some measure, influenced by a lesson I learnt in my early 20s – that when people judge you, confirmation bias will drag your past behaviour, comments you made, even unrelated factors, into an unfair and unwavering condemnation. And so it is that I have been content to write about the strength of personal development and offer my contribution to a better world that way.

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One Year, Three Retreats

Wednesday 26 December, 2018

When I began to write this review of 2018, I couldn’t see much beyond the two main experiences of the year. The Silent Retreat, and what can perhaps be referred to as the Angry Retreat. Each provided a breakthrough which has the potential to transform my life. They help to emphasise this year as both the culmination of 19 years of work, and the beginning of the rest of my life; a turning point in my development, taking me further away from my conditioning and towards the emptiness which has so informed my writing since the end of last year.

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Courage In The Darkness

Saturday 22 September, 2018

Whenever I see something growing through a crack in the pavement, I remark on life’s incredible ability to flourish in places you might not expect. That thought occurred to me again, the morning after a lunch experience in a pitch-black restaurant and a talk by a man who had gradually lost his sight. In the absolute darkness, after enjoying an unseen meal with a roomful of voice-only strangers, Joost’s own voice rose up above the general chatter.

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It’s A Game Changer

Wednesday 22 August, 2018

There was a definite shift during the retreat. I can’t say it happened in an instant, but it happened early on, and deepened each day. It grew out of the experience of The Invitation. I saw clearly how being able to drop the identity and rest so effortlessly in the is-ness, meant two things. Firstly, I no longer had to be the person I had worked so hard to be (despite my attachment to it). This alone was a liberating insight, and as with every other breakthrough from the retreat, the shift came from experiencing it. It anchors the realsiation in a way not possible through mere cognition. (See also ‘We Are The Sum Total Of Our Experience’.)

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Deep & Profound Gratitude

Wednesday 15 August, 2018

It was a present from her. Five days at a silent retreat with Mooji. I cannot begin to describe how beautiful the whole experience was; how enriching and life-changing. All I can do for now is to record in the next few posts what my experience of those days was. This piece is the briefest of summaries, and subsequent posts will go into more detail about specific insights and aspects. Some background might be useful, so if you wish you can read the post, ‘The Conclusion Is Emptiness’, as well as the more recent one, ‘When Mooji Came To Town’.

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When Mooji Came To Town

Wednesday 8 August, 2018

The sun was shining the day Mooji came to town. Having already signed up for his silent retreat here in the Netherlands (which begins tomorrow), the announcement that he would be giving two Satsangs last Saturday in my home town, was another opportunity not to be missed. I eagerly bought tickets for both sessions, reasoning that even if they were the same, it was worth every minute because he is someone whose wisdom is so inviting. And he was only a sunny bike ride away.

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What Exactly Do I Do?

Thursday 2 August, 2018

Following a training I gave recently, someone asked me to teach them to do what I do. He explained that other trainers he’d observed relied heavily on content or particular techniques (or both), whereas I seemed to do neither. His conclusion was that what makes me so effective is that I rely on myself. I have a belief in my work and I know my stuff intimately, but that was not what he was after because in the job he does, he has those things too.

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Take The Chance To Practise

Sunday 29 July, 2018

Within every one of my professional interactions – whether retreats, workshops, or individual conversations – there comes a time when someone asks exactly how they are supposed to get around the obstacles they encounter so regularly. The answer is always the same; the encouragement too: ‘Practice. And you have plenty of opportunities every day to practise.’

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Deep Sleep & Deep Work

Friday 27 July, 2018

My son lay asleep upstairs, taking his usual morning nap. There is never any way of knowing exactly how long it will last when he sleeps, so as I sat down to write, the clock was already ticking. The aim was to get as much done as possible before the baby went off. Fortunately, I was aided in my work by a new approach, introduced to me by a friend when he gave me the book, Deep Work, by Cal Newport.

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Seeking Daily Gratitude

Thursday 26 July, 2018

This has been long overdue. The benefits of keeping a gratitude journal are obvious and everywhere. For reasons I couldn’t even define, however, I have been avoiding it for years, (even though she and I regularly choose our highlight of the day.) Now the time has come to push myself over the edge of that particular cliff and fly. The idea is to seek one aspect of each day, about which I am grateful, and write about it in detail. The desire for detail comes from an idea I had many years ago: that even the slightest incident, gesture, thought or feeling contains a wealth of information.

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