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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Think Before You Rescue

Monday 24 April, 2017

When we see someone struggling and we think we have the answer to their problem, it seems only natural, logical and humane to want to intervene and help them. But we should think twice before stepping forward. We should be more patient, ask ourselves why we want to help them, and what might be the effect if we don’t. There is a lot to be said for standing aside and allowing someone to go through their process – whatever that process may be. The likelihood is that they will learn so much more from the experience if they are left to live it fully, than if someone were to intervene too early.

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Distracted By The Shiny Stuff

Thursday 15 December, 2016

This year it has become clear to me why we are so easily distracted by the shiny stuff, even when the evidence tells us that consumption does not offer long-term contentment: We think this is all there is. We have no idea that there is an alternative. For so many of us there is only the physical plane. Anything which might exist beyond what we perceive with our immediate senses is too abstract for our rational minds to comprehend. We see only what is there, and we dismiss all notions of what might exist beyond that. Life, therefore, quickly becomes focused on the pursuit of earthly pleasures and the avoidance of any kind of pain.

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TS 17 – Listen To Yourself

Friday 4 November, 2016

The fact that this was one of the best seminars so far was due partly to the variety of subjects we covered: the importance of listening (to the self and others), of writing, and of focusing on our breathing, as well as the role which suffering plays in our happiness. The main reason, however, was the clear demonstration by one participant of the entire point of the seminar. Namely, that we easily dismiss things if they do not fit into our narrow band of relevance, and that when we listen more closely we make life easier for ourselves. (That demonstration appears at 26:34 in the video below.)

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Finding Meaning in Everything We Do

Thursday 17 March, 2011

Today’s post from 11 years ago sounds a little desperate. I read a book recently – Man’s Search for Meaning (Frankl, 1946) – sent to me by a very good friend, in which the author describes how, during his time in the concentration camps, he gained the mental strength to carry on because he found meaning in everything he did. He found meaning in his suffering.

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Don’t Walk Away Now

Tuesday 2 September, 2003

I woke up tired; stiff from sleeping on the floor; and with a number of aches and pains. The muscles on both sides of my lower back are seizing up and I’m still feeling down about everything. There seems no point to it and the thought of spending another 30-odd years in this life does nothing to lift my spirits. I’ve uncovered so much shit over the last few years that I no longer have any idea who I am. Paradox.

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