Despair and the Dreams of Imagination

When the dreams of imagination fall short despair finds its way to the surface of your awareness. Despair is what's left singing its sorrowful song and haunting the corridors of imagination when the is-ness of life has other plans for you. Despair is felt deeply when your life fails to live up to the mind's impossible standards. But despair is also a gift. It gives a clue, an inkling, a map of discovery into where there's still loyalty to expectations and conditions. So make friends with despair, ask it to show you what secrets it hides under its facade. What dreams were lost, what false realities were kept on its pedestal of desire, and what binds it still places on life that are yet to be released. Despair as a yardstick to what we hold as sacred is a true gift. It leaves us with no doubt of where there's still a chasm between our fanciful ideas and the lived reality. So don't demonise and pathologise the emergence of despair, it's there for a reason and that reason is ultimately love. When we find love and acceptance for the deepest depths of our reality, despair is finally laid to rest…

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Some thoughts on World Mental Health Day

There's a tendency to avoid dealing with the subject of mental health in some spiritual traditions and teachings. To poo poo inner work and growth, to try to meditate away 'negative' emotions, reactions, thought patterns and conditioning. But spirituality and spiritual awakening is not a panacea, it is many things and in some ways a lot of the "problems" of the mind do in fact disappear. But in some ways post awakening the work and cleanup becomes intensified and it can become even more important to address and give attention to anything that's still arising. This can be when some of the true work begins, because the strategies that have stopped you from looking beneath the covers of the mind dissolve. It is the embracing not the running away that allows one to look at where the stored traumas, memories, reactions, conditioning and energetic imprints are having an impact on the current moment, your current experience of life. So in some ways it's only then that you can truly move through and on from the issues or patterns that may have plagued your life. We all know someone, or maybe ourselves that have experienced mental health issues, and yet it's…

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The Head or the Heart

There's a constant exploration of life that is immediate. To listen to your body, your physical response to life, your intuitive knowingness. The pull towards yes or no. Not on an intellectual level, but on a physical level  of what's right or wrong for you in that moment. And we are conditioned to override this all the time. There's a bravery and a risk to listening to that intuition. Your heart, your physical response and reaction to life. Often it can go against everything that you think you know. But it's screaming for your attention. Will the head win? Or will the heart? Will you let the conditioning and the head run the show? Or will the naturalness of life win out? This can be a big battle for most. The intuition and the heart eventually will win the war, but it can take time.

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Awakening Is Not Like Baking A Cake

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to do XY&Z in order to realise the Self…. as if it's like a cake that you put all the exact ingredients in the bowl in the right order and put it in the oven and ping, you have yourself a perfect cake. Except it doesn’t work like that, that's the mind’s imaginings of what it is. What I’m talking about is prior to the mind, and therefore can’t be grasped by the mind. Anything the mind thinks it knows or understands about this is just the mind imagining what it thinks. It’s not an adding to, it’s not a changing of, its a realisation of that which you cannot NOT be, that which you already are, that which you always were, that which you always will be whether you realise it or not. It’s like waking up from a dream; before… you were in the dream and you didn’t realise that you were dreaming, but you were. Then you wake up and realise it was a dream. It doesn’t change the dream, the dream is still there, playing out at it was, but you realise you…

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Being Present for Others

I was talking to a dear friend the other day about how to be present for others. Everyone’s had the experience of sitting with someone but not really being present to what they are saying. You are physically there but there’s a sort of ‘half listening’ that’s going on. There’s also the commentary or stream of thoughts going on in your mind.

What’s at the heart of it is to deal with your own stuff. Through the acceptance of what is arising in you there is space created that allows you to be completely present to them. It’s like when your cup is full, there is no space; but if your cup is empty there is space for them. Your emptiness comes from your ability to abide in the present moment and allow what is arising in you to arise. To not be met with any resistance, or to indulging and encouraging whatever is arising. (more…)

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Words That Don’t Stick

My relationship to speech and words has completely changed. I used to believe that what I said was the end result of something rolling around in my head, carefully considered and judge and then spat out into the world. There was a feeling that words were informed my memories and impressions, that there was history and knowledge in the words too.

Now when I speak and I have no idea where it comes from. I have no opinions that I’ve formed that come out in response to someone speaking. I actually listen when someone’s speaking, with open heart and mind, it’s not just an opportunity to figure out what to say next! (more…)

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