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Waiting…

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Often we find ourself waiting in life. Waiting to finish work, for the weekend, for our holidays, for retirement. Waiting to meet the right partner, the right time to have children, for the baby to stop crying, for the chores to be finished. Waiting for the warmer weather to come, the sun to shine, the flowers to bloom. For the next cigarette, next drink, next caffeine high, next spiritual high. For our ‘flaws’ to be fixed, to be free of all conditioning, for the end of all the discomfort, pain, fear and longing. For grace to come, for the lightening…

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River of Love

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When the tensions build in our relationships, when we find ourselves being offhand and unresponsive, when we finally explode and argue with our loved ones – to prove that it’s their fault and never our own, that they are in the wrong, that we are the victim – is this the beginning of the end or another invitation to go ever deeper? This bunch of thoughts and feelings that have usurped our identity needs to be right. To be wrong is to be utterly humiliated, a kind of a death. But who we really are has nothing to fear, no…

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Beyond Belief

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Within the beautiful grounds of Dartington Hall in Devon sits a spherical stone sculpture, over a metre high, of 12 spirals. Once, whilst walking nearby, I overheard a conversation between a young boy and his mum: “What’s that mum?” asked the boy pointing to the sculpture. “What do you think it is?” she said. After a short pause for thought he replied earnestly, “Is it God’s brain?” A perfectly reasonable reply I thought, if you’ve learnt to believe that God is a big man with a white beard who lives in the sky. As we grow older we may upgrade…

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Fear

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Fear is very useful. That sudden pounding of the heart, tightening of the muscles and quickening of the breath lets us know we’re in physical danger; stops us walking into oncoming traffic or falling off the edge of a cliff. It can even provide us with tremendous amounts of energy to help save ourself, or others, in a life threatening situation. But there is another kind of fear. The fear of the future; the fear of the past; the fear of being caught out; of what other people might think; of being judged, blamed or humiliated; of being the one…

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The Miracle of Love

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There are countless moments in all our lives when the utter conviction that we are a limited, isolated, inside self, separated off from the rest of the world, dissolves away. Laughing with friends; playing together with children; randomly meeting the eyes of a stranger; the gap between two thoughts; being moved by the beauty of a work of art, a piece of music, a film; being out in nature; being ‘in the zone’ when we literally become ‘what’s happening’; making love; watching a beautiful sunset; the satiating of a desire before a new longing takes root; the loss of a…

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Snakes and Ladders

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Out of our deep longing for something more, something better, many of us find ourselves drawn into the bustling market of self-improvement and spirituality. Maybe we try to cultivate positivity and aspire to become a brighter, healthier, more present ‘me’. Or maybe we hear about wonderful transcendental experiences, spiritual fireworks, colourful lights, auras, the paranormal, and we go looking for those mystical delights, go looking for permanent peace, love and happiness. And for a time it seems to work. But, inevitably, we cannot maintain our newly imposed structure of ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’, and whatever big experiences we have fade. Then…

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The Ultimate Healing

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There is an idea that freedom is the grand prize for having healed all psychological wounds, dissolved all conditioning, and worked through all ‘negative’ patterns of behaviour. But is that really what freedom is? Working on oneself in this way can of course be beneficial in bringing more well-being into one’s life. But we can easily become caught in a cycle of longing for some future moment of perfection, and so completely miss the wonder that is shining as this moment. True freedom is always already available, whatever our ‘condition’. When we let go of all of our ideas, beliefs…

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Has Nothing Ever Happened?

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A friend once went to a post Christmas non-duality meeting and was told that Christmas had never happened. This caused him much confusion as he still had the presents to prove that it had! So what on earth is going on here? Statements such as ‘nothing has ever happened’ can be useful in smashing through the conviction that we understand life. They put such a spanner in the works that we are caused to reflect on all of our assumptions. However they can also be downright confusing at the same time! Thought is such a tricky customer that, rather than…

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The Nativity

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The lights are up in the high street, there’s a Santa’s Grotto in town and those familiar pop songs are ringing out. Whatever your Christmas experience looks like – whether it be filled with joy, love and laughter; frustration as the old family dramas play out; sadness at being alone on Christmas day; or an attitude of complete indifference to it all – what exactly is it that we’re supposed to be celebrating here? Is it the nativity story about a literal Jesus being born in a literal manger with literal Kings and wise men standing by? Or could it…

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The Gift of Sadness

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Strong feelings of sadness and misery can overwhelm us, especially in the winter months when the skies darken and the temperatures drop. But can these very feelings be seen as a wonderful opportunity, a gift even, to fall ever more deeply into our present experience? If we look into ‘sadness’ what do we find? A heavy, tight, agitated energy maybe. And does that energy have the word ‘sadness’ written into it? Or is it a thought or a mental image that, out of habit, grabs onto that energy to make it mean something about ‘me’? ‘My’ sadness, ‘my’ pain, ‘my’…

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