A Toddler’s Mantra

Wednesday 17 June, 2020

The story I wrote about in Finding Common Ground was influenced by two things: something I tell my three-year-old regularly, and something about the polarity of argument I have learnt from Charles Eisenstein. This post is about the former. It’s a record of how saying the same thing over and over again came to influence my response to anger. My response was not to defend myself, nor to hit back, nor bite the other person as most toddlers do at some point in their development. It was to come from a place of love, because that is what I want for my son.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Richness Of Not-Knowing

Wednesday 29 April, 2020

What if you abandoned everything you thought you knew, relinquished your beliefs, and became more acquainted with not-knowing? It’s not a commonly expressed idea, but every time I hear it, it stands out, offering an enticing alternative to our conditioned way of life. It’s a sanctuary, but we treat it like a taboo because from a very early age we fear being mocked or punished or disadvantaged if we don’t know.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Better World For Everyone

Tuesday 31 March, 2020

The world is increasingly in lockdown and life as we have hitherto known it is breaking down, yet my recurring thought amongst all the fear and uncertainty is that transformation often comes through suffering. The potential for change is always there, awaiting action or awareness, but as long as we’re comfortable nothing is likely to change. The pain wakes us up and motivates us to move. It screams at us that this cannot be the only way.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gravity & The Earth

Thursday 20 February, 2020

I was already tired when I attended Tuesday’s Qi Gong class. I was in more pain than usual, too. I’d toyed with the idea of not going, but then I would still have to do my daily 25-minute exercise routine. The final decision to attend was made easier by the knowledge that I always benefit from the classes (very often in multiple ways). This time was no different. But it wasn’t easy.

Read the rest of this entry »

When Trust Is Present

Thursday 30 January, 2020

Scrolling through the blog archive, I came across an entry called ‘It’s What You Say, Not How You Say It’. It addresses a small element of a much broader experience highlighted by Karaj during an intense day of forensic feedback. I remember the lesson well and the title is correct, but every time I encounter it, I am always left questioning whether the elements of that line should be reversed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Trusting Love & Life

Thursday 2 January, 2020

I began this review of 2019 with the impression that my resolution from last year had not lasted long. The more I reflected, however, the more I saw that its thread ran through the whole year. Let go. Be empty. That had been the commitment. The reason I couldn’t see it was because my original focus lay too deeply in the extreme of that idea; in the ultimate, spiritual conclusion of emptiness and non-attachment. Lofty goals indeed, and needlessly ambitious because, firstly, I’m far from ready for such a state. And secondly, if it happens at all, it comes through doing the small stuff daily.

Read the rest of this entry »

If Space, Then Time (Pt. 3)

Friday 27 December, 2019

This post concludes the series of three pieces, all of which are inspired by the poem below. It was written by my dad, and when I read it for the first time two weeks ago, I cried intensely. I was deeply moved by his words, his love for his wife, and for the desperately sad fact that she cannot read what he has written about her. She died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2011. As a result, there is nowhere for his words to go. Others will read them and surely be moved by them, but the real recipient is not around. The only other person who fully knows what every syllable means, can no longer be touched by his love and his pain. He bears them alone. Except, of course, that love connects across all dimensions of space and time.

Read the rest of this entry »

If Space, Then Time (Pt. 2)

Friday 27 December, 2019

In Part 1, I looked at the pain of a child lost in the reality of human frailties. This part is about how survival strategies allow us to continue to function so that we may heal when we have more of what we need (time, support, distance, wisdom etc.). It is also a reminder that others are in pain, too. The conclusion is that love holds the key to our healing. Sadness and love may seem very different. But they are not. They are allies in our growth, each a reminder of the other. And although we may risk the former through the latter, we must somehow find the courage to continue to love completely. Life is empty without it.

Read the rest of this entry »

If Space, Then Time (Pt. 1)

Friday 27 December, 2019

The previous entry was all about the simplest of gestures influencing the whole world (and beyond). In any given moment our love, generosity and compassion can touch everything. This post (and the next two in the series) take the same idea and apply it to healing our past. If a smile can inhabit the infinity of space, then healing can inhabit the infinity of time.

Read the rest of this entry »

We Change The World

Saturday 21 December, 2019

When I smile my world changes. When I smile at another person, their world changes too. Even if they don’t smile back, there is a difference in the relationship between us. What’s more, the change is permanent. I’m not saying either of us remain uplifted after the smile has gone, but the imprint remains. It becomes a part of us. Integrated into the whole.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »