A Master’s Rules

Thursday 31 October, 2019

The following list comprises Thich Nhat Hanh’s 15 Practical Ways To Find Zen at Work. I came across it a few weeks ago. Each point helps to create a new environment for oneself. An alternative way of being. A calmer, more appreciative, more connected existence. In the time since I first read it, I saw another quote from him which underpins what this list is all about: ‘It’s simple: to really relate to the world, you have to first go back and relate to yourself.

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The Best Thing I Can Do…

Friday 25 October, 2019

Whenever a group of people find themselves working closely together, there will inevitably be friction. Left unaddressed, tempers boil over and people clash in ways they later, when calmness returns, wish they hadn’t. Prior to such explosions of untempered, unacknowledged emotions, moods are likely to be simmering under the surface. Unnoticed they begin emerge in the form of irritable responses, snide comments, complaints or finger pointing. It’s easy to moan about a situation; it’s more difficult to do something about it.

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We Are Wonderful. All Of Us.

Wednesday 7 August, 2019

At the start of this year, in the middle of Winter, I was committed to the realisation of the True Self – that which lies beyond the conditioned, worldly self. It felt as though, after all the self-development work I had done, I had the finish line in my sights and all I had to do was move deeper and deeper into the richness and beauty of spiritual freedom. Spring and Summer, however, brought inescapable insight, and as we approach the out-breath transformation into Autumn, things look very different.

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A Tragic Breakthrough

Thursday 1 August, 2019

We hadn’t spoken for well over 20 years. Not because we’d fallen out. We weren’t close enough for that. We had know each other as kids at school and through football, and we drank in the same pubs growing up. In time, he began travelling the country with work, and eventually I left the country. I hadn’t seen him since. But two years ago he contacted me, having read some of my writing. This was his first message to me:

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A Visceral Body Experience

Thursday 25 July, 2019

I met a friend for coffee at the beginning of June. A few hours later I left thinking that something about the direction I was taking had changed. I can’t recall much of the detail of what we discussed, except that we exchanged stories about families and our respective work. She told me more about the bodywork she does which helps to release stuck emotions, and recommended the book Grounded Spirituality by Jeff Brown. She even read a couple of passages from it. He seemed to be suggesting the opposite of my current focus. I was intrigued.

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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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This Is Not Who You Are

Wednesday 5 December, 2018

The words came when she asked me how I wanted to be in the third meeting. We agreed on open, loving and calm. She wrote them on my hand because it was far from certain whether I could embody them. I was still smouldering on the inside, struggling to extricate my Self from myself. As it turned out, it was a breeze. The reflection session went very well.

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Connecting In The Stillness

Monday 8 October, 2018

I attended another event from Mind Work Productions. (See also, ‘Courage In The Darkness’.) A whole afternoon of workshops and connection. I felt at home, but I also felt reluctance; not only at the invitation to leave my comfort zone, but also the confrontation of having no real choice. It was an almost breathless journey towards familiarity – familiarity with the environment, with the people, and with the self. This blog post focuses on the three main insights I took from two of the workshops I attended.

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Update – One Week On

Thursday 23 August, 2018

Just over a week has gone by since the end of the silent retreat. Initially, I had wondered how long the effects would last. Given the previous post, it’s no surprise to report that the effects are still there. The intensity from the silence and the satsangs has understandably dropped off a little, but there is a fundamental change to how I feel. And it’s building momentum. It is precisely as Mooji had said: The more you are with the is-ness, the more it will draw you in.

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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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The Silence Was Beautiful

Tuesday 21 August, 2018

Before leaving for the retreat, I reasoned that the silence might take a day or two to get used to. How wrong I was. Even in my initial distraction on that first afternoon, I felt as though I had come home. Nobody talking, no eye contact, no communication of any kind. Just silence and an inward focus. I can only imagine the number and depth of insights experienced by people during those days. All made possible by the silence. It was beautiful, and at times it took my breath away.

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Effortless & Empty

Monday 20 August, 2018

After the challenge from the previous day, day four felt more normal as I became increasingly familiar with the state of pure awareness (or is-ness). I was never there for extended periods, and I felt no exultation, but in the calmness there was peace. And some relief. The excitement of the previous days had subsided. What remained was the space to be able to rest in a new way of being and to recognise the mind at work in subtler ways.

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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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Be Kind To Yourself

Saturday 11 August, 2018

I wanted to write a piece on self-compassion, because it’s easy to overlook ourselves as we move through the world. Worse still, many of us are too hard on ourselves, too critical, too demanding. We are more inclined to offer help and support to others than to ourselves, but we must understand that there is much we can do to improve our own lives. It takes practice, and it begins with being kind to yourself. The inspiration for this piece comes from someone who leads by example with her own kindness.

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