A 35-Year Round Trip

Sunday 31 March, 2019

The seeds of where I now stand were sown in my mid-teens. All those years ago I talked to people about how we are products of our environment and the parents and teachers who influenced our lives. It followed that if we could take control of the development process, we could be whoever we want to be. People’s sole response was that, ‘You can’t change who you are.’

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Two Thousand Days

Wednesday 20 March, 2019

Halfway to this milestone I wondered what might happen if I exercised my mind as I had exercised my body during those first thousand days. Before I address how that has gone, let me offer a few words about the wholesome value of exercising every day for almost 5½ years.

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Beyond Caring

Thursday 7 March, 2019

I recorded the second episode of the Tile9 podcast this week. In each episode I read from my book, stopping to relate the entries to all 9 Tiles of The Instruction Manual. During the recording, there were a number of lines which reminded me of something Karaj had said to me during a phone call two days earlier.

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The Nine Tiles

Friday 1 March, 2019

The core contents of this blog, distilled from the work I have done over the last 20 years, make up nine areas. Those areas, or Tiles as they are depicted, guide you through what you will encounter, or what you need to be aware of as you write you own instruction manual – which begins as a daily journal of your observations.

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One Instruction: Let Go

Wednesday 27 February, 2019

This post is an intriguing example of what happens when you let go. It reaffirms the old issues of how easily the mind can dominate; how convinced we can be by its stories; how it takes effort and intent to release ourselves from their entanglement; and how life really looks when you see the truth beyond the veneer.

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Patience & Foundations

Monday 25 February, 2019

It has been three months since I lost it with a friend over having to sell myself for the sake of my work. We resolved the issue very effectively and in the intervening period we have moved at a rate which has brought us to a place of abundance. We now have a new website, with another one in development; we are filming videos for both sites; I have begun recording a podcast series; and we have a clear direction, with what feels like formidable momentum.

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Seeing The Gift

Friday 15 February, 2019

It happened because I got drawn into the concept of personhood; identifying with the veneer rather than with the stuff underneath. It’s okay that it happened because I saw it more clearly, and seeing is half the battle. And it’s a sign that I am doing well because my script only fights back when there is something to fight against.

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Floored By Script & Ego

Thursday 7 February, 2019

During lunch in the middle of January, I told her my life has never been better. Every important aspect of it – personal, professional, developmental, health, well-being – feels solid. Grounded. Built on firm foundations. The next day my back went. This has happened often enough that I am prone to using a hushed whisper when declaring how well things are going. This time I thought I’d be okay. Or maybe I didn’t think at all. In any case, it was a slow recovery over the next eight days before things suddenly got even worse.

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Forgetting & Remembering

Tuesday 15 January, 2019

The previous post was all about gathering the most useful prompts to remind me of what I want to be doing every day this year: Letting go and being empty. This post is primarily meant to help, too, because as I have written before, we forget. We are distracted so easily by life and the world, that our focus is often restricted to mere seconds. The distractions are so frequent and persuasive that it might be hours before we eventually remember to return to even the simplest of practices – breathing, for example. When those stretches of time continue for more than a few days, the new habit is forgotten; swallowed up by the swirling familiarity of immediate life.

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Let Go. Be Empty.

Wednesday 9 January, 2019

This collection of quotes from various posts (mostly from last year) are meant to serve as reminders in my daily practice of letting go, remaining in the emptiness, and experiencing all of life in the purity of its momentary essence, without expectation, judgement or attachment. There are also quotes from the days in November when I was too tempted by my mind. They have been included here as a reminder to remain vigilant and not get cocky.

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Mastering The Climb

Thursday 3 January, 2019

The aim of this post is to record what I need to be doing to ensure that the life-changing events of last year do indeed change my life, rather than slip gradually out of sight and become more like obscured signposts. The title comes from a thought I had whilst watching a talk (linked below) by the free solo climber Alex Honnold, who spoke of his meticulous preparation for an ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

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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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The Arena Of Transformation

Monday 17 December, 2018

The previous five posts show how it is possible to transform a difficult experience into a burgeoning source of learning and development. They also provide insight into the idea of punctuated equilibrium: how it can feel as though one is not moving (or even going backwards), before suddenly being thrust forwards onto a new level. This post is the last in this series, and takes a general look at what happened, placing it in the context of a number of different areas:

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A Mental Breakthrough

Tuesday 11 December, 2018

The fourth meeting was the sales pitch we had been working towards for the past few months. It took place at a company in Amsterdam, but had been in jeopardy up until a week before. In light of earlier events, we were not sure whether it should go ahead. I needed to be ready and it looked very much as if I wasn’t. Thankfully, our reflection session opened the door again, and on the day itself, having delivered a good pitch in rehearsal, I made sure I practised it another three or four times to myself. I was ready.

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