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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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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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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Another Step Forward

Wednesday 28 November, 2018

The anger turned to sadness, but still there seemed no way out. There was some shame, too, as there always is, because as hard as I work and as long as I have been focused on improvement, such lapses as I describe in the previous post, always make me wonder whether I am actually getting anywhere. This post and the three which follow are meant to record, in case I doubt myself again, that I am getting somewhere. They also detail how written reflection and a well-intentioned, open discussion are key to dispelling the clouds which obscure the purity of who we truly are.

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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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Slow & Steady

Friday 6 July, 2018

I thought I might be able to summarise the essence of our first retreat in one blog post, but I’m not even going to try. Instead, I shall simply begin with this entry, in the hope that the rest will emerge in a manner in keeping with the title of this post. It uses an example from our weekend which made us smile and laugh throughout. It shows how one simple comment can open up into a world of information and learning for all involved; and how returning to the lessons can reinforce a simple yet powerful habit without any effort at all.

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The List

Wednesday 16 August, 2017

What follows is a list of many of the most important pieces from this blog. The list makes it easy for you to understand at a glance what is necessary in this work. It takes you through the process of self-development and self-realisation – from awareness, observation and reflection, and back to awareness – offering you guidance on what to expect along the way and what you can do to help yourself.

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Better Than Yesterday

Wednesday 31 May, 2017

There are a few barriers to personal development, but there is nothing in the external world which can compare with the obstacles we place in our own way. It starts with our expectations: we expect too much. It’s not that our goals are unrealistic, it’s just that we seem to want everything too quickly (not to mention with as little effort as possible). This means that, because we are looking for fireworks, we miss the the incremental steps we make every day. Sometimes those changes are so small as to be indiscernible, and if that happens for too many days or weeks in a row, we tend to give up, and before we know it the show is over.

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Rubbish At Meditation?

Friday 12 May, 2017

Whenever I talk to people about meditation, especially people who are new to it, I tell them I’m rubbish at it. It’s a little exaggerated perhaps, but nevertheless a good reflection of how I often feel. I’ve been doing it at least once a day for over three years, but can’t shake the feeling that I’m not getting very far with it. This blog post looks at the familiar themes behind that feeling – expectation, judgment, comparison, the nature of progress, and the process itself – and concludes that I’m not rubbish at all. It’s all part of the meditation.

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Generational Progress

Saturday 19 November, 2016

I watched a documentary this week: A Family Affair by the Dutch filmmaker, Tom Fassaert. It was the third time I’ve seen it, and each time the film leaves me shaking my head at the ease with which it demonstrates how influenced we are by what has gone before us; how opening our eyes can make such a difference; and the powerful way the human spirit always seems to know how to right itself given the slightest chance. It also offers insight into how quickly we can turn things around, especially when we recognise the progress that can be made from generation to generation.

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Give Yourself Two Years

Friday 26 August, 2016

First comes the relief. Then, as the emotional fog begins to lift and calmness descends, there is clarity. With the clarity comes a renewed sense of purpose, and in the background – feint but nevertheless present – the possibility of success. That’s what happens whenever you give yourself sufficient time and space to achieve whatever it is you want to work on. Two years is usually a good place to start.

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Although this seminar was about the importance of practice in order to make a breakthrough, it also focused on the benefit of understanding the process we go through. As we discussed in the first seminar (‘TS 1 – Behaviour Patterns’), we give ourselves a huge advantage in life when we are able to predict what is likely to happen. Our understanding of the process allows us to relax when things get difficult. During this session, one participant shared his own personal process – the experience he goes through with every creative project he undertakes – which mirrored the general process from practice to breakthrough.

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