Always Know That You Always Know

Wednesday 24 July, 2019

The first step was the abandonment of our video projects. We’d had big plans: 37 videos for the Instruction Manual, another 20 for Season One of the Tile 9 videos. Unfortunately, I was getting increasingly uncomfortable with the T9 stuff. With respect to my work, I could never be as sure of the Tile 9 material as I am with the first eight, and yet that had become the main focus of our business approach. It was also the greater strain on our time and energy. Significantly, my disillusionment with the direction we were taking extended to all aspects of my work.

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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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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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Tending Your Garden

Tuesday 20 November, 2018

Over the years it became overgrown.
But it was cared for once,
At the beginning.
By others who loved and nurtured it.

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Shut Up & Listen

Thursday 18 October, 2018

A friend read my book and decided to try something out. Whilst reading, he had come across repeated encouragements to be quiet and just listen or observe what happens. He decided to give it a go. In a familiar environment, among friends with whom he would normally engage comfortably and confidently, he decided to shut up and listen. Resisting the pull to get involved, and without the distraction of interaction, he saw others’ behaviour more clearly. They were so wrapped up in their own stories, for example, that no-one even noticed he was quieter than usual.

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A Shift Of Perspective

Tuesday 18 September, 2018

In the previous post, I talked about how it can take years for certain steps to be taken, even when things seem to be in place for progress to occur. Sometimes we are simply not ready. This is due in part to our conviction that the way we see the world is the only way to see it. No other perspectives exist, or if they do they are out of reach and out of sight, too easily dismissed or ignored in favour of the familiar. (A version of this occurs when two people vehemently disagree with each other’s view of the world.)

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Always Where We Need To Be

Wednesday 12 September, 2018

I finally read a book which has been on my bookshelf for more than two decades. I’ve dipped into it every so often over the years, but on each occasion a feeling would surface that the material was out of reach of my understanding. Sufficiently out of reach, in fact, that perseverance never seemed a worthwhile option.

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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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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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Observing From The Is-ness

Saturday 18 August, 2018

Day three began with doubt and ended with laughter. The laughter had a purity to it. It arose in the lottery queue for the evening Satsang, as 900 people stood in 15 lines waiting for lots to be drawn. Those lots determined in which order we would file into the hall. It started at the back of the block and spread in gentle waves throughout the silent crowd. Mooji had referred to someone’s joyful laughter the previous evening, saying, ‘There is no way that this laughter comes from the mind’. So maybe what I was hearing from myself and the pockets of people around me, was the sound of the is-ness. In any case, it was a very different feeling to how the day had begun.

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The Mandala Of Personhood

Friday 17 August, 2018

The first thought when I woke up on day two, was a realisation that I am attached to my identity. Just as with the previous day’s insight – everything is a distraction – this is not a new idea. As the sunrise shone through the open window, I lay in contemplation. It didn’t feel like a big deal. My mind started to wander away from the insight. There hadn’t been the revelatory feel I’d had the day before, so I began to question whether I am indeed attached to who I am.

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Everything Is A Distraction

Thursday 16 August, 2018

What surprised me most about the first few hours, was how distracted I was. Having registered, found my room, and left one final voice message for her, I walked around the castle grounds, doing what I thought people did on a silent retreat. I was quiet. But others were still talking. That was perplexing, but not necessarily distracting. My attention, instead, had been captured by the people themselves.

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The Conclusion Is Emptiness

Monday 30 October, 2017

The content of this blog stretches back over almost 18 years. It began as a search of the truth of human behaviour, prompted by a curiosity about why people behave the way they do. The short answer, I discovered, is conditioning. In whichever direction we look, it’s there; an intense and intrusive force with a seemingly unstoppable momentum behind it. There are the years of societal conditioning for example; generations of familial conditioning; and centuries of cultural conditioning.

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Friendship & The True Self

Saturday 16 September, 2017

The wedding I wrote about in the previous post was more than a wedding for me. I came away from it contemplating the nature of the connections with my friends. I was struck by their solid nature and uplifting effect, regardless of how transient or tenuous the friendships may be. Eventually my thoughts led me to another connection: the one between the worldly self and the true self. This post is about how our long-standing friendships can help us connect more firmly with who we truly are.

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