Monday, 29 December 2008


Are you ready for change and growth? Change is inevitable and growth is enlightening. Are you ready for the new?

Have you made space inside and around you? Have you prepared the emptiness within your being and in your surrounding circumstance, which is an outer reflection of your interiority? Have you created a womb for the birth of new life?

If not, you are perhaps not ready for the wonder of a new day or a new moment. That would be a pity because life is synonymous with newness and you would be missing it.

Perhaps your house is so cluttered that you don’t know where to start to clean it out. Maybe you have become addicted to the lethargy of disorder or the false comfort of too much stuff. Maybe the mess immobilises rather than motivates you.

I am prone to extreme irritation when my inner and outer spaces are disorganised. Cleanliness and clarity become my priority and, albeit often through gritted teeth and with much cussing at first, I get my landscapes swept to mint minimalism. Then inspiration can blow through a fresh flute.

Are you resisting life by hoarding remnants of the past? Are you rejecting joy by holding on to memory? Is your life crying out for a clean?

Readiness is presence, plus the processing and eliminating of anything that is obstructing it.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008


Have you ever become aware of all the voices within you? Most of them speak subconsciously and most of them are not yours.

Because we live mostly in our heads, and because our heads are full of what has been given to us from the outside, we are swamped by the voices of other people. Who we think of as ourselves is just that, who we think. It is not who we are.

The voices in our heads are wall to wall, a thick fabric woven of the things we have heard, going round and round incessantly in our minds. I noticed one just now while watering the garden, the voice of my father about the harmful effects of the sun.

When I was younger, I rejected that voice, now I hear it as if it is my own. In both cases, it was his voice, in fact not even that. It was one he had picked up and repeated. I had to be really conscious to see all this.

We live unconsciously by the voices of others, voices that were not even theirs and not even spoken the way we heard them. Voices of fearful parents and dictatorial teachers and shoot-from-the-hip peers, sometimes decades old, rule our lives. It can be difficult, virtually impossible sometimes, to turn them off.

Deep inside us, though, is our own true voice. It is an inner voice, not spoken and not thought. It is felt, sometimes softly, especially at first. Our relationship with it is one of the most important we can develop. So tune in and listen...

Your inner voice is the only one that is you, the only one that matters.

Monday, 22 December 2008


I am a hypocrite. I cannot help it, no one can. If you are alive and able to speak, you are bound to contradict yourself.

So please accept me for who I am and do not confuse me with the message. One teaches what one needs most to learn and that is how and why I am writing this, to learn what I need to.

I have come to these words by not living them. The experience behind being disposed to putting them down is the soil from which they grow. As I discover the new, as my awareness increases, I reach a little beyond and write the insights out, which takes me that bit closer, too. Equally, as soon as I write something, I violate it.

If someone does what I feel is offensive, it is just a matter of time before I see myself doing it. The more upset I get about them, the more jarring is my realisation about myself. If I try to simply let the perceived injustice be what it is, I feel unresolved, and if I speak out about it, it resolves by being reflected back at me.

All of which encourages me to reserve judgement, be real, and have a sense of humour. It encourages me to be conscious of how life works, of who I am not and, most important, who I am.

Self-acceptance and understanding bring with them a transcendence of the self.

Friday, 19 December 2008


Forget about improving yourself. Forget about learning more, gaining knowledge and getting better. Drop it all.

It’s all more of the same. It’s the same dysfunctional assumption that there is something deficient in you that needs to be fixed or filled. It’s the same insatiable hunger for solutions on the outside. It’s the same turning to so-called experts and renunciation of responsibility for your own being. It is in the interests of others and it is hidden everywhere!

Just be who you are, that is complete. From there you will grow but it will have a totally different feel and quality to it than trying to improve all the time. One is an insatiable inadequacy, a subtle and self-perpetuating self-loathing, and the other is a fullness flourishing.

Part of making the shift is to accept yourself as you are. Fundamental, also, is distinguishing between thinking and presence.

Thinking always wants more. It chews on knowledge, what has been put into it. Your incessant thinking is not you. It occupies itself constantly with trying to gain and improve so that you can remain identified with it and keep it alive and dominant.

Presence is whole. It is made up of awareness, timeless consciousness. It is you, the real you. It has no need to gain or improve yet it is being fed from the infinite. When you are present, you are one with the infinite.

Presence has the innate impulse to progress, which is an inside out evolution that you can experience, watch and enjoy.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


Empathy is a sign of maturity. It is only when you have lived that you can sit with someone and their living.

Happiness flits along on the horizontal plane. Delightful as it is, it has little depth. People who are happy all the time are generally superficial, talking rubbish, drinking and partying all and every day. Which is all very well, but it is not true living.

Anyone with depth is going to encounter the vertical. They are going to experience the great sadness, they are going to question deeply. If they are in search of the truth, they are going to reach the depths of despair. All the constructs are going to betray and forsake them.

In these dark times, they are going to break through to new light. In times of intense grief, they are going to let go of their urge to control, and find themselves. In the extremes they encounter by pushing too far, they are going to realise where their home is.

When they meet someone on the road who is struggling with life, they are going to recognise in the other what they have found in themselves. Not only will this bring resonance and comfort in a place in which they felt they were alone, it will bring presence to the other, too. Empathy will connect them.

This is communion. A person has plunged to their depths and in time sat with someone else in theirs. There is a silent, spiritual union, a healing, a realisation.

To simply sit with someone in empathy is one of the greatest mutual gifts in life.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


Comparing is one of the diseases of humanity, a symptom of mind-based living and part of the collective misery we are slowly finding our way out of.

If I look at myself, I am who I am. It is perfect. I do my thing, I enjoy it and people get something from it. Everything is good and the way it should be.

From this place of centredness and acceptance I look at others and I see them doing the same. They are being themselves and I am benefiting from it. The more they are ‘successful’, the happier I am because their success is all part of mine. We are in this together, each unique. Success breeds more success.

If, however, I compare myself, I immediately feel disconnected, and insecurity is hot on its heels. Others suddenly look better than me and my urge is to copy them to try to measure up. I also feel resentful and envious, clawing at what they have but unable to attain it, like in a dream where something is just beyond my grasp. Awful!

In this space, their success is my enemy. I do not wish it on them at all, and I cannot achieve it myself. I am trying to be someone I am not, which is futile, and I want them to fail so that I can feel better about myself. The world is heading in a negative direction for all of us and my interiority is simply hell.

When I get back to myself, suddenly success is already here. I am me, meant to be, thriving and creating freely. Everyone else is free to do the same with my fervent blessing, and success is all around, unbounded.

Drop comparing and replace competing with celebrating.

Monday, 15 December 2008


There is a red rose on a bush outside my window, long-stemmed and radiant. Consider for a moment that it is not a rose.

Consider it without its name. We are taught the names of things from birth so relentlessly that, at a point in our early development, everything takes solid form under the intoxicating symbolism of the word attributed to it. The mystery coagulates into matter and is, from that moment on, demystified.

The wonder in a child’s eyes disappears when their consciousness surrenders to the limited world view of the adults around them pummeling their presence with names for everything. The marvelous with which they were one is suddenly just a word that is separate from them. The inexpressibly amazing is suddenly a ‘rose’ that is ‘red’, which is ‘beautiful’, and the once conscious human is now stuck in their head.

Have you ever watched a sunset and let it not be a sunset? Have you ever seen an animal in the wild and let it not be beautiful? Have you ever looked at a rose and let it not be red? To do this, you need to not be there. You and the names need not to be there.

Have you ever looked at a person, your lover or your friend or your parent, or your child, and let them not be their name? Have you ever just let someone be who they really are?

The rose outside here is the height of my eyes. I walked up to it and gazed in to its flowering depth. I closed my eyes and sank my nose into its softness and sucked in its scent, which came from and sucked me into eternity. I didn’t stop to smell the rose, I became it.

For a moment, the flower and I were one. I deliberately looked at it without mind, without naming it or thinking. I left the past out of the encounter and the present took over. I had no words for the experience.

If you can see names for what they are and then see past them, you will begin to really see and really be.

Sunday, 14 December 2008


I turned forty last month. Without wanting to be prescriptive, I was aware that, however short my time so far may seem, I may be past half way. I may not, but either way, the insight was deep.

My father died earlier this year at the age of sixty eight. He had been looking unwell, like he had aged suddenly, then he spent a couple of months in hospital and was gone.

There are illnesses that can take us out, quickly and without warning. Being alive is an act of universal grace. Being with my dad as he died, and turning forty have brought this awareness closer. Surrendering to death relives me of tension and fear and lets the graciousness of life reveal itself.

What moved me more, perhaps, than my own birthday was being with close friends for theirs. I could see them clearer, in a way, than I could myself. Here they were, now forty, after us being fifteen and ten and twenty one and thirty together. This is what they looked like, this is what they had done and seen, this is who they had in their lives. This was how I felt about them and about being alive.

This morning I am tired. I had a wonderful evening of dinner and togetherness and just four hours sleep. I do not have excess energy, I am relaxed and still. It feels, in a way, like getting older.

My urge to push is waning. My outer self is increasingly transparent. Gently, it is fading, which is quite magnificent. I am not resisting, I am enjoying it. My inner self is easier to see. The part of me I came to life to discover, the true me, is maturing.

Real power is not in fighting and force, it is in presence. The outer self struggles for strength on the superficial level but as that softens, the real self can shine through.

As my form progresses through the journey of life, it is finding my formlessness and the bliss of being.

Friday, 12 December 2008


When you are being yourself or a living, how can you take holidays?

How can you take a holiday from being yourself? The more you get away from things, the more who you are reveals itself! You can suspend effort and consciously not work but that is simply another kind of work and the insights it brings are all part of the process.

Rest from one kind of work is simply work of another kind. And when you are being yourself for a living, you are always working and never working. The distinction falls away, as does the customary set of assumptions about how life works.

How we see the world is almost entirely how we have been conditioned to see it. Difficult as it may be at first to grasp, we are not being ourselves much at all. We are living in a consciousness created by others, a consciousness that is so deeply entrenched that we consider it our own.

The call to drop that and be ourselves no matter what, is a breakthrough. So is the decision to go for it. On the journey, constructs and falsities tumble away as we realise the truth for ourselves.

Work has been conditioned into us in the interests of others. Holidays are those little treats we are thrown now and then to keep us grateful slaves. Every day is really a holy day and every day we are really free.

Claim your freedom and live the new way.

Thursday, 11 December 2008


Emptiness is the most beautiful thing. Almost the entire universe is empty. It hovers still as it rushes to infinity and back. Emptiness is the stuff of all creation.

Yet most people are terrified of it. The place where it scares us most is inside ourselves. Just as the universe is filled with nothingness, so is our inner world. Yet there is no need to fear it because that emptiness is full.

How can we be afraid of our nature, the essence of all being? Because we do not know it. We think of ourselves in limited terms and cling to these for dear life, which largely and ironically eludes as a result.

It is like a drop of water being afraid of the ocean. It is clutching at being separate, to a disconnected sense of self. If it just surrenders that self, it realises that it is already part of the whole. There is nothing to fear.

Instead, though, to cover up the hollowness we feel inside, we look for ourselves on the outside. We try to fill the perceived hole with stuff, like money, possessions, power, position, respectability, achievement, and even spirituality. What we think of as love is just that, thought, which we use to plug the gap.

Of course, no amount of filling can even touch sides because the emptiness has no sides. Plus, whatever we try to fill it with is empty, too! Eventually, we have to just let go and become one with it.

When you allow yourself to drown into nothingness, it fills you with the eternal.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Intelligence is not intellectual. It is not the ability to score highly on an IQ test. It is not synonymous with thinking capacity.

Intelligence is not political. It is not the ability to discern what behaviours, if adopted strategically, will result in the greatest personal gain. It is not synonymous with popularity.

Intelligence is not cunning. It is not the ability to outsmart others and pre-empt their tactical moves with shrewder offense. It is not synonymous with winning.

Intelligence is not what they teach you. It is not the ability to absorb what other people have already thought, said and done. It is not synonymous with acquisition.

Intelligence is freedom from knowledge, conditioning and the mind.

Intelligence is innocence, simplicity and childlike joy.

Intelligence is honesty and authenticity.

Intelligence is presence and spontaneity.

Intelligence happens when the source of all form, the formless, can manifest through you uninhibited.

Monday, 8 December 2008


There are all kinds of personal identity.

You can identify with something macroscopic, like a continent, and see yourself as African or European. Slightly smaller is the national identity where you feel you are American, English and the like.

Or you can see your identity as transcending borders but linked to your race, religion or social position. You can identify with a culture or you can come from a certain city and be identified with that.

You can identify with a sports team, a family, a social movement, an organisation or a job title. Closer even to home, you can identify with your name, your body, your personality or your sexual orientation. Of course, you can identify yourself as a man or a woman.

All identities, though, are false. Whether collective or individual, identities are all a form of ego. All identities are not really you.

Because we live in a world dominated by mind, we identify with constructs of the mind. We have got entirely lost in them, in the absence of knowing who we really are.

All identities are superficial and limit us to shallow understanding of ourselves and one-dimensional interaction with others, which will ultimately be conflictual. Identifying the self includes identifying the other as separate and different.

If we are identified with anything, we will defend it and be susceptible to challenge by people with other identities. We will then, in extreme cases, kill or die for things that are neither us nor real.

You are simply presence. If you experience yourself as such, you find freedom.

Friday, 5 December 2008


Try a little gentleness. It can be a simple technique, a meditation to keep you present.

Presence is the ultimate in being OK. Everything is perfect in the now. If something needs changing, you change it. If you can’t, you accept it. Either way, you are at peace.

When you are present, you are love. You are alert, calm inspiration. You are not resisting, pushing or pulling. So you are gentle.

Whatever you touch with your presence is touched gently. There is no tension or aggression. You hardly leave a mark, yet something profound happens. The intensity of your presence spreads.

There is so much tension in the body, gathered throughout life and seldom released. It is easy to stay stuck in it, always unsettled, struggling, grinding your jaw. It’s exhausting and destructive.

The moment creates a gap in that, a window of stillness. You can stay in that stillness where everything else is outside you. There may be a storm but you are safely at home.

You move with grace, enjoy the view of the swaying trees and the scent of rain. You feel the thrill of change but inside there is a haven. Your inner room is filled with empty, silent space.

Gentleness can open that gap, bring in the stillness and take you home to yourself.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


Be careful of hope. Be careful of it in yourself and be careful of someone selling it to you.

Hope is for the future, a better one than the present, which takes your attention out of the now. It puts you in an unpleasant place and keeps you there, always hankering for better.

You may feel that life is problematic now and so hope keeps you going, which makes logical sense. But you are missing the depth of the moment.

The moment is always all there is. If you see the now as anything but complete and ideal, you are missing it. Then you will look ahead, but there is nothing there. You will miss that too.

Look at the now. If you are unhappy or afraid, sit with that until it subsides and the eternal beneath it becomes clear to you. Then you will not anticipate.

Someone selling you hope, like a politician or a religious head, is manipulating you for their gain. Their story also seems to make sense on the surface but it is skin deep.

They are capitalising on your discontent, promising something better if you vote for them or support their religious authority over you. A better country, an afterlife... through them.

Both are lies. Hope is a big con. Anyone selling it to you is keeping you weak and in their clutches, sweet and sincere as their presentation may seem.

When you find yourself in the here and now, you do not need hope. You see that it is highly dangerous and simply absurd.

Be happy not hopeful!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


The unconscious self believes that worry is justified. Whatever it is worried about seems a legitimate concern.

The more it worries, the bigger the problems get and the more appropriate the worry seems. What it can’t see is that it, the unconscious self, is also getting bigger.

That is what worry is actually about: building up the false identity. Worry is a form of fear and the ego is fear-based.

The false self is made up of negativity. It feeds on it. It is a parasite that lives on remembering, focusing on and anticipating pain and problems.

It is very cunning, which is one of the reasons we get lost in it and find it so difficult to shake off. One of the ways it continually hooks us is by giving us reasons to live, in the form of problems.

Without worry, we may wonder if we are actually alive. The way we have been raised to live is so interwoven with having troubles to chew on that freedom feels quite disconcerting at first.

Who am I without my worries? Who is left when my problems have disappeared?

The true self! Peaceful and alert. Calm and inspired. Free to create and happy to just be.

Happiness is a merging with the whole, a dissolution of the ‘self’, which takes getting used to. At first it can feel like an absence with strong urges to re-attach to the ego.

The deeper you sink into its presence, though, the more powerful it becomes.