Wednesday, 31 December 2008

At the twilight of another year.....

I get pensive and reflective on this day every year. I remember once reading a sentence that talked about 'the skirts of the departing year'. I just love that metaphor. I think it was an essay written by Charles Lamb that I had to study for my leaving certificate in Ireland. I have strong nostalgia for the year that is about to end. It has become familiar and like a dear friend I am always sad to see it going. I imagine the beginning of a new year as being at the top of a snow capped mountain, pristine and white. As the months progress my footprints are going to imprint on the snow. The vision is both exciting and scary which is why I hang so tightly onto the last night of every New Years Eve.

Each New Years Eve I take out my diary and go through every month reliving events and what I felt and learned from them. As I go through my diary I have huge gratitude for everything that I have created by requesting it from the universe, I acknowledge it and then lovingly let it go. This year I have moved so far in my spiritual development. I think that this has also come through in the blog. I promised that this blog would be a record of my spiritual development and transformation and I think that I remain pretty true to its purpose. This is only how it occurs for me however, I do not assert it to be the truth.

What has without any doubt been the highlight of this year has been the publishing of my book and giving up of control and the effects that this has had on not only on my spiritual development but also on my personal communication with people. I am also amazed at how long I am able to meditate now since I gave up this need to control. In the past my need to control what happened when I sat down to meditate meant that my meditations were shallow and short. This need for control showed itself in a bombardment of thoughts, where before I sat down to meditate my mind was generally thought-free. This thought bombardment would be so intense that I would give up meditating after a short period of time and give myself a hard time about how useless I was because I couldn't meditate for any decent length of time.

Since giving up control there is a depth and length to my meditations that is new. In my hour long meditation today I had a vision of Manuel Schoch the Swiss mystic who died suddenly in October this year. This is the first time that anything like this has happened. In the past if someone had said to me that something or someone had appeared to them in meditation I would have been deeply suspicious and so I am with myself. But his face and his words were clear. He reminded me of one consciousness raising training I had been on with him where he had shown how to leave the body in meditation. He reminded me again of how to do this. I did this and immediately felt a strong current of energy that seemed to encircle me. I felt a deepening calm and relaxation. All through this experience I could hear Manuel giving instructions in his gentle soft Swiss accent.

At the end of the meditation I felt so relaxed and connected. Even the thought of all the packing up and organising that I have to do to move to Brighton to do this journalism course didn't cause any stress. I firmly believe that when something feels right that opportunities come easily and without much effort. I was in the gym yesterday morning and was explaining about my plans to a woman and it turns out that her and her boyfriend are looking for a flat to rent. I said that mine would be available from February and gave her my number to call me if she was interested. I got a text later from her confirming that they were interested and would be in touch to arrange to come to view it. When I got this I berrated myself for my loss of faith and letting go the conviction I have of the results that come when I put myself at risk whether this is for a career or when I make myself vulnerable. Life expands or contracts to the same degree as the courage shown. This has been my experience to date. When I play it safe, don't put myself at risk, and limit myself to what I can control, my life is extremely small and limited. When I put myself at risk then experiences and opportunities open up that would not have been possible before.

But having said this I am still apprehensive as I get to the end of this year. It would be inauthentic of me to pretend that I wasn't. Then I think of how well everything has flowed even when I have been in a job that I haven't liked or felt I had any integrity doing. This begs the question of how much greater willl life be when I am in integrity and doing what I love to do which is speaking to people about spiritual awakening and the powerful transformative energy that rests at the base of the spine. By me being true to myself I can inspire others to also be true to themselves and take that leap of faith and courage to do that which their heart is begging them to. I know the price of selling out and no matter what this next year brings at least I won't be selling out'

A very happy New Year to all readers of this blog. Thank you for your support and encouragement and I look forward to a 2009 where I am consistent in writing about my own spiritual journey and through it give inspiration for others to become aware of their own.....

Sunday, 28 December 2008

'Who looks outside...Dreams; who looks inside....Awakens.. CARL JUNG

The title of this blog is taken from a plaque I received as a Christmas present this year from a very good friend. When I unwrapped it and read it I felt a shiver go down my spine as the truth of the words resonated. Since receiving it and over the Christmas holiday I have been pondering on what it means to 'Awaken'. The Buddha said something similar when asked 'who are you' said 'I am Awake' . To be Awake means to have broken free of the bonds of what Buddhists call Maya. This is the world of illusion and delusion. To see reality as it really is not as it appears to be. To realize the unity behind the perceived separation. It really is as clear as Jung said all those years ago, to look outside is never to find the treasure that lies within. To look externally for what can only be found inside is the trap that the human consciousness falls into. Awakening is an inner process. External factors can aid in this process but the ultimate Awakening is an awakening of an inner consciousness that shifts the perception of the world and brings alive, insights, intuition and illumination.

To be Awake means to realize that our thoughts and feelings are not who we are. It means to experience an aspect that has nothing to do with thoughts and feelings. Something that remains constant when thoughts and feelings change, something that remains stable and constant when everything else is shifting and changing. To be Awake is to be in contact with this Something. To stand apart from the drama not because of being detached but because of the realization that it is not real although it can appear to be very real. To be Awake is to be in contact with a higher level of consciousness such that life flows and has a harmony and balance that it didn't have before Awakening. Yet, life continues after Awakening as before, the difference is in the quality of that life and how events in the life are dealt with. A Zen sentence to describe this goes 'before Awakening, chop wood, carry water; after Awakening....chop wood and carry water'. Same actions but the context within which the actions are done has shifted.

I have written in this blog the huge insight I had into how badly I had to control everything in my life. The result of this was that there was no freedom and ease. This realization of having to control everything was not given to me by reading some spiritual literature but by having a painful conversation with a coach I had been doing some training with. By hitting the wall which is what happened I got to see the impact that my controlling way of being was having and I gave it up and created the possibility of freedom. The results have been simply amazing. I had my book published which I had written for 2 years. All of my communications started to flow with an ease and grace I have never known. This Christmas with my family was the best one I have ever had.

My level of relaxation and ability to listen and be with everyone I spoke to was nothing short of magical. I am convinced that the ability to operate from an Awakened state of being is closely linked to the letting go of control. To accept what is and surrender to it. The funny thing is that I have often written about the importance of surrendering when on the spiritual path. I was writing about my own experience of surrendering when on a meditation retreat many years ago so I was authentic when I was writing about the importance of surrendering. But I realise now that after surrendering so powerfully back then I went right back to trying to control everything in my life and my environment. This is because the reason why I had put in place the need to control was hidden from my view. Until it became shown to my consciousness it had power over me.

Now so many years later I understand the full meaning and impact of control. I also see that nobody made me take that decision that I had to control life, it was only me. I would assert that this decision to control life is something most of us as humans have made. At some point our environment failed us in that it didn't do what we expected it to do. In the face of that failure it is natural to say 'I will control things from now on'. So then the child might like me become very bossy and domineering - always having to have their own way. Or it might show itself in other ways but I would assert that being bossy is a classic. I had to smile this Christmas when I heard my 4 year old being quite assertive and bossy. At 4 it is cute but 40 years later it can result in a very small and limited life. However for many it is what drives them to achieve and can be a highly successful and lucrative strategy, however it wasn't for me.

I also found myself more self-expressed at home this Christmas. I had copies of my book home with me and for the first time I declared myself to be a spiritual writer and teacher. I was so encouraged by all the support I had and I noticed that my cousins and family had a different listening for me. I was self-expressed because for the first time I was honest and authentic. There was no pretence of me trying to say the right thing to look good or to show myself as something I wasn't. I was upfront about my desire to have a spiritual magazine based on the contents of the book so now it all feels much more real.

I realize from this just how true what Socrates said 'to thine own self be true, then they canst not be false to any man'......this Christmas I had direct experience of this truism.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

It's almost the end of another year....

I know that I haven't written this blog for a while and I am also aware of the impact on those readers who are loyal to it. I could say that I've been really busy with getting ready to visit my family in Ireland tomorrow for Christmas, but that is not the Truth. The truth is that I've been lazy. It's been late at night when I get in home these days and I've wanted to go to the gym early in the morning so something has had to give and unfortunately it has been regular writing of this blog. The impact on me is that the longer I leave it the harder it is to sit down and write it. The impact on the reader is frustration with my inconsistency. What I will promise going forward is to write the blog 3 times each week and I will put this in a structure of setting a reminder on my phone when it is time to write the blog. I have learned that if I don't give a promise a structure and have some way of keeping it in existence it doesn't happen.

The space I have been in since I gave in my resignation at work has just been amazing. Everything is flowing and has an ease that is nothing short of miraculous. Yesterday for example, I went to the gym, went to get some theatre tickets for my sister-in-law and 2 nieces who are over in London for the weekend, did my 3 hour communication agreement, met with my sister-in-law and neices for a cofee and then went to a friends dinner party. All of this happened with such freedom and ease. I wasn't late for anything. What was even more amazing was that I didn't feel any stress with any of it. Even giving up my job hasn't resulted in any stress or regret. I have moments where the enormity of what I have done in the current climate grips me but then in the next moment I will have another thought about what is going to be possible and also how authentic I now feel.

On Thursday morning of this week when I woke up I felt an inner urge to walk to the park to work instead of getting the bus or the tube. It was a lovely morning and as I set off I felt such deep contentment. Somehow everything seems so much sharper, clearer. I felt my consciousness expand to become one with the trees and the leaves and I realized with complete faith and conviction the connection between everything and everyone. I felt this incredible lightness of being. I had forgotten the peace and inner joy that is present when walking in nature and connecting with that which is bigger than me.

I am also finding that since I gave in my notice that I am much more self-expressed especially in the area of meditation and spiritual development. I am moving myself into the role of meditation and spiritual counsellor and there is no doubt. In the past there were doubts about my own ability to be a spiritual counsellor, doubts about how to give people a direct experience of what consciously taking on the spiritual path can produce, doubts about my own worthiness to assume such a role. All of this has gone and in its place is unwavering faith in the path and the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others. I am so grateful for the distinctions that I have learned from a new model of communication. My faith and commitment together with these tools will be what will create this new direction for me. What has also made a massive difference is my letting go of control. However I am aware that I still have huge emotional control which is my next challenge. My unwillingness to let go of emotional control has cost me dearly in relationships. I am only getting the impact of this now. My reluctance to let it go is that I consider that it has served me well in the past. It has enabled me to pursue relentlessly the spiritual path. When the Buddha said that experiencing the state of enlightenment was possible in one lifetime there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was going to get it. I had no idea what it looked like, but there was a grip on my consciousness for this aspiration that has been lasting and permanent.

In order to do this I had to be single minded, nothing could get in the way. I have spoken about how I took on controlling everything in the same way as I controlled my spiritual efforts. I also though took on emotional control in that I wouldn't allow anything to throw me off track emotionally. This has led to me feeling quite cut off from people and alone. I have spoken about the difference between realizing the connection between everything and being related. I am clear about the former and I struggle with the latter because of the constant tension I experience between the strength of my emotional control and my desire for closeness and to form a loving and intimate relationship. The two are incompatible I understand that but there is still an unwillingness to let go of the emotional control. But it is costing me. It is costing me with the guy from the gym and has done with other relationships. The cost to me is that with such emotional control that my relationships don't last very long. This was another reason I entertained a thought of myself as having a mild form of autism. What I see clearly is that it is the strength of my emotional control that is preventing me from being vulnerable and open instead of defensive and aggressive. And what is keeping that emotional control in place is the same as what was keeping my other control behaviour in place and that is fear. I disappeared the fear once I can do it again. All that is necessary for me to do is to be willing to be in the enquiry and be committed to having a breakthrough. I have to let go of the idea that letting go of emotional control will be detrimental to the spiritual journey. My fear is that if I let go of emotional control that I won't be as committed to the spiritual journey but this is ridiculous.

On an intellectual level I know this but knowing something on an intellectual level and realizing it such that it disappears forever is a different thing. I haven't realized it and therefore it still has power over me. I don't know what it is going to take to transform this but I am committed to transforming it. That transformation can only happen in communication by me sharing myself with others and putting myself at risk for what is possible. Even as I write this I can feel the resistance and thoughts coming up like 'they are going to think that I'm weird, I can't do that' but I know that everytime I feel that resistance and push through it and share myself honestly, that something new is possible. However, it's all too easy though not to go there and just to continue in the same way but to do this is to deny the magic and miracle of transformation. The impulse of every human being whether consciously or unconsciously is towards transformation. Another word for it is advancement. It is the nature of the human consciousness to want to advance and transform otherwise there is no evolution and the universe becomes stagnant. The universe will not allow this to happen because its nature is advancing and expanding and as we are all children of the universe this is what we must do too.

I'm away to Ireland tomorrow and as I will have not have access to the internet to write my blog, I want to wish all of my readers a very happy holiday period. Thank you to everyone who sent in comments and engaged with the blog. I will leave you at the end of 2008 with a possibility I have created for myself which inspires me and I hope it will you also......the possibility of having it all with freedom and ease........

Monday, 15 December 2008

Cultivate the creative.....not the competitive mind..

Everyday there seems to be some new shocking event in the financial world. This morning I woke to the news that a Hedge fund manager has allegedly ripped off lots of banks. This is going to have a huge ripple effect next year. In the midst of all of this I ask myself the question why is all of this just coming to light now. In the UK it's been found that millions of NHS retired staff and service men have been paid far more in pension benefits than they should have been. It is like there is a real clearing out of the old in preparation for the new.

I feel strongly that this clearing out is to enable the shift from the human kingdom which is one based on individuality, materialism, capitalism and from there it is only a short step to greed. The new world that our consciousness is being dragged into is the spiritual world. A world which is based on connectedness and unity. In some ways the effects that are being made by all of the global economies to halt the escalating slide into a deep recession is some evidence of this.

However I have real fears about the way money is being used to prop up businesses and industries whose day has come. The universe has a natural flow and to interfere with this is to cause a much longer and protracted recession. It would take a huge amount of nerve not to interfere with the markets but I assert that this is what should be done. Whenever we interfere with the natural order of things and this interference doesn't have to be monetary it can be interfering by having resistance towards what is happening then the pain continues. The moment we can accept and be with what is happening, just the way it is and the way it isn't then there is freedom and the possibility opens for being creative in what are no doubt challenging times.

I write all this having given up a safe and secure job. I am applying my own theory about the importance of having integrity for having a life that works. Already I have seen that since I am starting to have that integrity that opportunities are opening up. I have secured a work placement experience week for a mind, body spirit magazine for when I begin my journalism course in February. I am not saying that times are not difficult however, they are difficult for the competitive mind not the creative mind. For the creative mind these times provide an abundance of opportunity. For the creative mind there is always abundance, for the competitive mind there is always scarcity.

I am looking to rent out my flat here in London and on Saturday I had a valuation from an estate agent. I asked him what it was like for people who are renting out their property. He told me that the landlords who are suffering the most are those who have been arrogant and greedy and have charged very high rents. Now they are suffering because tenants have the market now and can make demands that wasn't possible when the economy was booming. This immediately showed me the impact of the competitive mind.

The turmoil in the financial sector presents an enormous opportunity for minds to become creative. My fear is however given the nature of human being that it is still going to be competition and covering their backs without taking responsibility that is going to define world workings at least for another while. I don't think the impact is felt strongly enough yet for the consciousness to shift from the competitive to the creative mind....

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Whenever the degree of upset is out of proportion to the event.....look for what is not honest

This weekend I was in a strange space. The guy from the gym was doing the Landmark Forum and I was amazed at how much of my energy was taken up wondering how he was getting on with it. Him doing it brought me back to when I did the weekend in 2005. It totally transformed my view of life and freed up so much energy that was being used to run stories around events that happened in my life. It was interesting that on Saturday I went to a health centre with a copy of my book to see if they would take one on a sale or return basis. The first book I saw when I went into the shop was the new book by Byron Katie called 'who would you be without your story' and I thought what a fantastic title. Life would be unrecognisable if we didn't attach stories to everything. That's what I got from the forum that things in life happen and to let them be without making them mean anything. But the process whereby we make things mean something is very subtle and operates below the level of our consciousness.

The only indicator we have that we have made something mean something is when we react in a manner that is disproportionate to the event. I can illustrate what I mean by a practical example. I speak quite openly and often about what the technology that Landmark offers can produce. I often speak about it with the guy from the gym. He was registered to do the weekend Forum in August and I was very pleased. Then a couple of weeks before the weekend he told me that something had come up and he couldn't do it. I completely lost it when he told me. I felt this incredible anger which I was dimly aware was out of proportion to the simple event of him cancelling. All that happened was that he had cancelled the weekend, it shouldn't have provoked that reaction from me - something else was going on. When I took a good hard honest look I saw that while I pretended I wanted him to do the Forum for him so that he would have the tools for creating the life he wants the truth was that I really wanted it for me so that we would have more in common. This is why my upset and the way I was with him was so out of proportion to him cancelling. Until I took a long hard look I was unaware that this is what I made him doing the Forum mean. When I saw it I could take responsibility for it, and let go that there is anything in it for me from him doing the weekend.

The result of all this is that he is tonight completing the Forum. I have been committed to him doing it and have made a stand for him but all the time I kept checking in with myself that my motives were for him and for his life. This was a great learning for me. It's also quite shocking that given how highly trained I am that so much can still be operating unconsciously..... I spoke to him earlier and to hear him sound so happy and aware now of decisions he made that have limited what's been possible for him up to now is worth more to me than money. It satisfies the most basic yearning of human being.....that of making a difference......

Saturday, 13 December 2008

When I'm true to myself.....nothing is in the way..

I have often heard the words 'to thine own self be true', in fact I have often quoted them either in writing or to people but until I gave in my notice at work I had no idea of just how important it is to be true to one's own self. Since I have shown courage and faced up to the fact that the work I am doing has no integrity given who I am and what I want to do I have a level of self-expression and freedom that is miraculous for me. I am steady amidst all of the turbulence.

After work yesterday I had a real urge to go for a walk along the Thames. It was a beautiful clear night and at one point I stopped and looked at the lights shimmering on the water and Big Ben lit up in all its majesty and the beauty of the moment took my breath away. I felt my consciousness expanding and becoming one with what I was looking at. For a brief moment there was no separation between me, the process of seeing and what I was seeing. There was just ONE and the experience was all encompassing and all absorbing. I felt a strong well of happiness and peace well up from deep within me and was so moved and grateful that I am open to receive profound experiences like these. For me these experiences are spiritual and not psychic. They do not involve any visits from Angels, Guides or Animal Spirits. There is no visual component to them. They are experiences that affect me deeply at a feeling or intuitive level. I struggle to write exactly what they are like. I suppose the closest way I can get to describe how these experiences leave me is that to say that they leave me feeling like I am wrapped in an electric blanket.

When I got home I felt a strong urge to meditate. I lit a candle and kneeled down on my stool. Immediately my mind was quieter and without the need to control in the way that I have in meditation I felt myself drifting. It's so great not to have to control in the way that I did. The letting go of control is the beginning of freedom. I finished the meditation 45 mins later (which is unheard of for me) in such peace and relaxation. I have total faith in where my life is going. I know that I can create the most amazing and abundant life by having faith in the principle of abundance and by always being grateful for the little things, no matter how small. Gratitude is the gateway to happiness and abundance.....

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

What is truly miraculous..

I cannot believe how focussed and clear I am at work these days. Since giving up my need to control everything and anything I seem to see options and ways around things that I have never seen. What I understand is that for most people control works in that it is what makes them effective. It is the opposite way for me. Without my need to control, everything flows and has an ease and a grace which is nothing short of miraculous.

I have been 7 years where I am working and today I saw a way of doing something that was far easier than how I have struggled doing it for all of the time I have been there. I don't think it is just because I am leaving. I really feel that there has been a release of trapped energy that has enabled this new level of ease and freedom. Yesterday I was at a meeting giving a presentation around some aspects of the work I do. This was the 2nd presentation I did to these group of people. The last time I was in my sub-conscious 'I have to control' mode and the result was a self-conscious stilted and nervous presentation. How different it all was yesterday. Firstly there was absolutely no fear. I had done more preparation for this presentation than I had for the last one. I stood up and said everything that I wanted and I was clear, concise and easy to listen to and understand. At one point I looked at the face of one of the men who has heard me speak many times and the expression on his face and his attentiveness to what I was saying was a totally new and exhiliarating experience for me. Afterwards I got complimented on how clear the presentation was and how well it flowed. And all of this was without notes!

Why now, when I have made the choice to leave and am in action around what I really want to do is everything cominig together in a way it never has for the 7 years I have been where I am. Am I to take the lesson that had I made the choice to leave earlier that work wouldn't have been the uphill struggle, where for lots of the time I have been tired and unable to even see how to work at my best never mind to actually work at my best. In the time since I handed in my notice I have been more in action, shifting more stuff calm, confident and dare I say control...but this time with freedom and ease.

When I returned to work I had a conversation with a man I work with. The night before he had told me that he was having some problems in his relationship. I talked with him but felt that he didn't listen to anything I said. I felt this because everything I said he was ready with a counter-answer. I could feel some irritation but then remembered that there is nothing to feel irritated about. Nothing is wrong, everything is whole, complete and perfect and I was able to totally let go any wish or desire to be listened to and connect fully with him. I had the thought to do an exercise which I had done in the past. I turned around to my desk and picked up my mug. Holding it up with the handle side to him, I said, describe what you see. He described a cylindrical shape with a handle. I said 'now I will describe what I see' and I described a cylindrical shape without a handle. I said 'now convince me that there is a handle'. I then said, this is what is happening in your relationship at the moment, you have the side without the handle, while your wife has the side with the handle, both are true from where both of you are at. The only way to resolve this is for you to get into her world and see the cup with the handle. I physically moved over so that now I could see what he was seeing and he could see what I was seeing. After this I was exhausted and he immediately had an answer but I let it go and went home.

When I arrived into work after my presentation. I knew from the man's face that something had shifted. I couldn't believe it when he said 'when I went home I did that exercise with my wife, I told her that I hadn't been in her world, or understood what it was like for her and that I would do this going forward'. I was just looking at him totally dumbstruck. I had no idea he would have taken that on in the way that he did. It proved to me once more the power of straight communication and of what can be achieved. I want to credit the technology of Landmark Education for giving me this exercise and insight that I could then share to cause the result that was caused. This is why I get out of bed in the morning and do what I do. It is for the profound privilege of making a difference......

Monday, 8 December 2008

When you look back for the ladder........there is no ladder

The title of this post is just how it feels in my world at the moment. Over the weekend I had a wobble about the enormity of what I have done given the current climate. I then replayed a version in my mind where I went and asked for my job back.... nothing in my psyche would let me do it. It's like that ladder has gone or at least the rungs below where I am standing now have gone.

The spiritual path takes courage, the courage to take a leap for what I have faith in I can achieve. I believe in my ability to create a magazine that will be meaningful to people and give readers an experience of what it's like being on a spiritual path. Yes, words are important in that they show the Way but it is only experience that delivers the ultimate proof of the truth, presence and reality of the Way. In order for me to be able to do this there can be no gap between who I am and what I do.

I find that now I have made the choice to leave I have more energy at work than I've had over the last 4 months. I'm more focussed and as a result this kind of work is flying. Yet I know that this is only because I am living into a future that is authentically where I should be. If I didn't take the opportunity this course presents to me and had continued to play safe and small then I would bet that as 2009 progressed that events would happen and I would regret not having had the courage to make the move that I am making now.

I called my mum earlier and I was telling her how I felt that this choice feels like it is the first choice I have made willilngly and from a place of being able to see what is possible for the future. I did 3 years nursing with children and adults with special needs because a nun told me that the results of my IQ tests meant that I was functioning at border mental handicap which is what it was called in those days. Before this event nursing had never entered into my head. I then did a psychology degree as a way to get out of the nursing. I got the job as an editorial assistant through being in the temporary recruitment agency at the right time and then I got to where I am now to lick my wounds from the horrible experience I had in the publishing environment. This is the first time that I have made a conscious powerful choice and it feels so good. I'm also a little bemused at how I could have gone through life so directionless. But then again every ounce of my energy up to now was devoted to the spiritual path. Not in the way of an Ashram but in the way that everything else that I did came second to this. So making a conscious choice in this way around anything that wasn't spiritual was something I didn't do.

This is not to say that my spiritual path has ended, in fact it is only really beginning. I feel like I am emerging having spent years doing the preparation, reading, studying and then pulling back so that everything could come together in the creation of something new. This course and what I will learn will be that new creation. I have no idea what it's going to look like. All I know is that in the midst of the deepening economic crisis that I feel such excitement and anticipation. I know that I am alive.......

Thursday, 4 December 2008

When the gap between who I am and what I do.....becomes too big

On Monday I handed in my notice at work after 7 years working in the same organisation. I have realised for a long time the inauthenticity between who I am and what I do. Since I published my book this gap has become wider to the extent that to continue working where I am is not to have any integrity.

Some years ago I worked for a magazine as an editorial assistant where the editor gave me my own column. Then he was promoted and I got another editor who from the first day took a dislike to me. I am not journalism trained and when one of the staff writers on the magazine decided to leave on a 3 month trekking holiday I applied for the position. To have the position of staff writer on my CV would have made a big difference when I didn't have the official NCTJ qualification. I didn't get the job and I knew then that there was nowhere for me to go within that magazine. I am going back many years now and back then my identity had unfettered control . The result was an arrogant and not very nice person. I ended up resigning from this position under the most horrible of circumstances. The experience scarred me so much that I never thought that I would work in an office again. After 3 months I approached a temporary recruitment agency who got me a job in the organisation where I now am. It was a vastly different environment to the publishing environment I had left. It was calm, safe, quiet - a great place for me to lick my wounds and recover and it has been very good to me.

I came in at the lowest level and have progressed to the position that I have today. However, the environment couldn't be less like who I am. The people I work with are absolutely great but the nature of the work is so different and that difference is now no longer tenable given who and what I want to do. One day at work about 2 months ago I was sitting at my computer and I could barely keep my eyes open with tiredness in spite of the fact that it was only 9.30am in the morning. I recognised that this tiredness was me resisting....but what was I resisting? I suddenly remembered how I was when I was working as an editorial assistant putting together my column and the thrill of calling people and I realised that I have missed that environment and the creativity that is possible in that environment. I then remembered my dream of having my own spiritual magazine, one that would touch and move people. It seemed like finally having my book published woke all of my pent up and repressed yearnings to have a magazine that is powerful in providing practical spiritual guidance and practices.

The moment I allowed myself to feel this excitement, all of the tiredness that I had felt completely vanished. I love the sea so I turned to my computer and did a Google search for journalism and up came a fast-track 18 week magazine journalism course that is beginning in February 2009 in Brighton. I downloaded the application form and sent it off. I had an interview on 5 November which was the day before the launch of my book. I did the tests and had the interview and last Friday I was accepted onto the course. On Monday I handed in my resignation notice at work. I am so clear that it is the next step for me. I have had a spiritual book published and yet my being is not out there promoting it by giving talks, workshops etc. I am not out there inspiring people to realise that spiritual development is as real and natural as physical, intellectual, emotional and social development and giving people a direct experience (in as far as their own spiritual development will allow) of the 3 stages of spiritual development.

The night I gave in my notice my whole body shook when I lay down in bed. The energy convulses my body and then appears to jump about. I have experienced this many times but it was unusally violent on Monday night. I have no fear of this process. I surrender to it completely. I notice that when the energy subsides that my body is incredibly calm and relaxed as is my mind and I drift off to sleep like a baby. I see this as some kind of cleansing of the nerves. I don't have any evidence for this it is just what it feels like because of how calm and relaxed I am the next day. I don't have any kind of cosmic explosions or experiences of cosmic-oneness I just feel an incredible closeness and warmth. This is not the same as what I experienced on the meditation retreat in Devon in that it is not the ascending and descending energy that I experienced in Devon but the after-effects in terms of the peace and calm are the same.

If any reader is interested in buying my book it is available from this link:

It's proving much more difficult to get it uploaded to Amazon so I have given the link for Ki_publishing who published the book.....

Monday, 1 December 2008

The challenge spontaneous spiritual emergency

I have not written because I have wanted readers to read the last comment posted by Harry especially his account of what I understand to be a spontaneous spiritual emergency where powerful energy rose from the base of his spine to his head and shattered the consciousness. This fragmentation of the consciousness gives rise to the experience of cosmic unity and one-ness.

I was particularly interested to read that this experience followed closely a shaktipat initiation. I too received a shaktipat initiation when I travelled around India for 4 months in 1997. However the results of it only manifested on a 7 day silent meditation retreat in Devon in 1998. I have written about this experience in detail in my book. I didn't immediately associate the experience of rising energy on this meditation retreat with what this man in India had given to me until I had exhausted every other possibility of a rational explanation. I consider myself to be a spiritual scientist. I am not afraid of finding a rational explanation to account for the kind of experience a spontaneous spiritual emergency is. When I couldn't find one to explain my experience I like Harry believe that it was as a result of a shaktipat initiation. I very much identified with the sense of bewilderment that he felt like 'why me'.

However, for this energy to rise safety and naturally the body and mind must be prepared. This is the tragedy for many of those that experience this kind of experience. The lack of preparedness of the body and mind for this kind of experience fragments the consciousness so afterwards it is hard to integrate it and the experience back into normal everyday life. This is why I do not promote the raising of the kundalini without many years of physical and mental preparation. When I was studying and practicing Mahayana Buddhism there was never a mention of energy that was lying dormant at the base of the spine. The whole philosophy is based on understanding and practicing the 4 noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Pathway. What I see now is that by concentrating on these and being authentic in my desire to understand these that my body and mind were being prepared, so that when this experience came to me in Devon my brain and consciousness could withstand the force that was applied to it. Then by always having the Witness present I have been able to integrate my consciousness back into normal everyday life and find my peace, joy, and calm in the middle of this uncertain turbulent world and not in the lonely life of the mystic.

I see the experience that Harry recounts as being stage 3 in the 3 stages of spiritual development I have written about in blog posts some time ago. The 1st stage is that of 'knowing yourself' which is why I constantly harp on about the identity and separating ourselves from our thoughts and feelings as these being who we are. The 2nd stage is that of 'knowing The SELF' - this is experiencing that which is not our thoughts and feelings, experiencing the unity and connection that underlies the appearance of separation and the final stage is to 'know THE ONE' - I will admit to never having touched this stage in the way that is reported by those who experience similar experiences to Harry. I know that this is where my consciousness is travelling to and I trust that when I am ready both physically and mentally that I will have this kind of experience but for now I am happy to travel gradually through these stages.

In spontaneous spiritual emergency where the body and mind is unprepared for the fire that is unleashed the consciousness goes from stage 1 - stage 3 and then reverts again to stage 1 (I'm sure that this is not the case in every circumstance). This is tragic because having tasted this stage once the consciousness then has to start again from the beginning and this can be very disheartening and demoralising but to Harry and all the other Harry's who have had a similar experience I say don't get demoralized or disheartened, what you have experienced is very special is ultimately the end point that we all as human beings are going to experience at one point or another. Keep the vision of this in mind, be grateful for having had the experience and have faith that it will happen when the consciousness is expanded enough for it to rise and be long-lasting.

The experience I had with this rising energy was not as profound as Harry's but it has resulted in a level of peace, calm, ease and freedom with life that was not there before.... I see this energy as the transformative evolutionary energy that shifts the consciousness from human to spiritual....

Thursday, 27 November 2008

The highs and lows....of the spiritual path

This is going to be one of those blog entries that I don't particularly want to write. However I have given my word to be authentic and write when I'm feeling in a dark tunnel as well as when I am in glorious sunshine.

Last night and today is like this. Last night was the completion of the weekend communication course. For some reason I was feeling restless. On these evenings the Coaches are required to be at the centre for 5.45pm. This put me in a conflict with work as my contracted hours are 9am - 5pm and I hadn't cleared it that I would be leaving early. I left it as late as I could and then experienced rare stress as I waited for the tube. I usually leave myself plenty of time so that I don't experience this rushed feeling. At Euston I had a moment of truth, if I stopped to buy something to eat I would not arrive at the centre for 5.45pm which is what I had given my word to. Torn with the conflict of getting something to eat and being out of integrity - the horror of being out of integrity won and I set off running to the centre.

Admirable you might think, but once inside and sitting down my inner voice went on a vicious rant with thoughts like 'what did you run like that for, there's hardly anyone here', you're not comfortable among these people anyway so what was the big deal about integrity, yada, yada, yada..on and on it went. Then I received a voice mail from a friend who had said she was going to come up and hear what the communication curriculum was about and now wasn't coming. In this training I am learning to be committed without being attached. However I'm afraid in that moment that I learned she wasn't coming what I felt was the sharp thud in the stomach that signals attachment and then the corresponding plunge into thoughts like 'what am I doing here', I don't feel I belong, I'm not related to these people'. It was horrible.

This feeling of being in a dark tunnel persisted throughout the evening. Things came to a head with an incident which was quite minor but which my dark frame of mind made much bigger. The result was a comment about me doing 'my martyr thing'. This made no sense to me but I could feel the anger energy rising very quickly. I left the situation and went back into the room. The participants were just about to start an exercise which was on acknowledgement. I had the greatest desire to leave but then said to myself'no acknowledgement is powerful, stay and do this' It was a gorgeous exercise but my identity was in full and total control so that the full magic of acknowledgment did not move me. The word 'martyr' was ringing in my ears. Here again through the presence and actions of another is a lesson for me. For me this is the journey, taking on what someone else says and sitting with it until an insight breaks through and frees up the energy that is running this way of being that I sometimes have.

Herein lies my dilemma in using this programme as my spiritual training. The dilemma is that the programme is not run as a spiritual programme yet this is what I am using it as. I know that training is essential on this path but I do not want to go to an Ashram, this programme is my Ashram. I am clear that what was running the show last night was my identity, the soul was nowhere in sight. Even though I got angry I don't think I showed it. I just noticed that it was there for myself. There was no defending or hitting back at her for what she said. I didn't defend or hit back because I know that if I can stay with it even though it is painful and confusing that I will have a breakthrough and the energy that is freed up can be used to create. So to some readers it can look martyrish to just take what could be seen as an insult like that on the chin so to speak but this is exactly what is required on the spiritual journey. The spiritual journey is the transformation of identity. This can only happen in complete and total surrender.

Today I was tired as I do the work of getting into a street fight with myself to uncover that which is hidden from my view in relation to this way of being. I don't know how long it is going to take for the relevant insight to emerge from the depths of my unconscious that will free the energy. All I know is that I am committed to doing whatever it takes to have that insight no matter what the cost to my identity. It is this single-mindedness of purpose that is essential for the spiritual path.

This evening on my way home from work I was thinking that I would have a bagel for my tea. I went into my local garage and I couldn't believe it when on the shelf where all the bread is kept there was only 1 bag of bagels. I looked around me to see if I could see another shelf where all the bread was and someone had just taken the bag of bagels and dropped them on the empty shelf - but no there was no more bread to be seen. Bemused I brought the bagels to the counter to pay for them. Walking home I mused to myself.....did I create the bagels being there or did the universe conspire to have them there for me. The more I see the correlation between me freeing up energy that is trapped around different points of views I had, ways of being, and giving it all up the more magic and miracles there seems to be in my life. It feels like I am creating this from the energy that has been freed up. I have no evidence for this, it just feels this way.....

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

To control or opportunity to choose.....

A short post.....because I am leaving early from work to go to the final evening of the communication course I was a coach for over the weekend. Since I have let go of the need to control, everything life has an ease and freedom that is nothing short of miraculous.

This was so obvious to me this this weekend. The last time I was a coach for this programme I was in my 'I have to control all of this' way of being. The result was me feeling stressed with papers flying everywhere and the people I was coaching not having the full benefit and feeling rushed. This weekend it was all so different. I had more people to coach than last time but the ease and freedom that was present was simply magical. I could see options and ways of being with my coachees that I couldn't last time and the whole experience was one of my most rewarding to date.

This morning was my last phone call with my coachees and each of them acknowledged me for how my coaching had made a difference. It is this yearning to 'make a difference' that is at the heart of the human spirit. No amount of money gives me the same high as hearing someone say to me 'what you said made a difference to me'. This is the reason I get out of bed in the morning....for the profound privilege of making a difference. While I was still being run by my need to control, the ability I had to make a difference was limited and dictated by my own 'control' agenda. Since being freed of that I can see just how free I am in being committed without being attached. Control comes with attachment, freedom with creation.

When we see something like a way of being that limits our potential (in my case control) and give it up, the energy that it was taking to maintain this obsession to control is freed up. What is it freed up to do? Wait for's freed up to Create! amazing is that. ...Energy is no longer needed to 'control' so on the other side of control is 'create' and this is what I did with my coachees this week. We created ways of being that resulted in them having huge breakthroughs in communication with people whom they had not been in communication with, in some cases, for many years. Given my assertion that once an insight is seen that the act of 'seeing' frees trapped energy, one has to ask oneself why hang on to perceived wrong-doings either against others or ourselves? To do this is only to trap energy that could be used to create the kind of wonderful magical life that we all dream about but are sceptical is possible. The result of this scepticism and trapped energy are ordinary and not extraordinary lives.

To opt for ordinary when the nature of our being, (if energy was allowed to flow freely and wasn't caught up in nurturing old hurts) is to be extraordinary is to deny what is our natural birthright as human being......

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The spiritual journey is about being powerful in the world.....not isolated from the world

Last Saturday I went up to one of the bookshops where I had left some copies of my book. The manager there had told me a couple of weeks ago that he was going to make it the book of the month in the next edition of the journal the shop publishes. When I went up to leave some more copies, he said that he had read some of the book and that it was 'very honest' and when he said this he looked at me strangely. I didn't know what to make of this and the first thought that came into my head was 'why be a writer if you're not going to be honest'. I didn't say this though. There was one of those silences that can be seen as awkward but I wasn't awkward I just waited patiently to see what he would say next. He then asked me if I would come up the next Saturday and have a coffee to speak in more detail about the book. I agreed and last Saturday was THE day.

When I arrived he greeted me with a warm smile and told me that it would be a few minutes before he could leave. I was in no hurry and so I turned to look at some books on a table. 1 of the books I felt compelled to pick up was called 'blueprints for awakening' and it is a book that asks a number of different Masters the exact same questions that Sri Ramana Maharishi had asked. I quickly went through a couple of pages and was struck by how it is all the one Truth that is said and expressed in so many different ways. I was also struck by the eloquence by which the Masters spoke and had a fleeting thought that my spirituality is so much more practical. I was musing on this when I heard a cheery 'I'm ready now'.

We set off down some back streets to where he knew there was a nice coffee bar. On the way there we chatted amiably about the book shop and how busy it was. Once inside the coffee bar he started to speak to me about one day where he had not been feeling well. He had picked up a book from the shop floor which was about a persons experience of having a stroke. It was written by the same person who is also a neuroscientisit so similar to me, he wrote about having an experience while being totally rational and conscious. He said that after reading this he didn't feel that well. He then went out to the shop and on his way back thought that he would lie down. He entered into the shop and immediately a lady asked him about my book. I didn't really understand the point he was making and so I said 'is it something about the power of reading accounts of direct experiences and the power of suggestion that could have resulted in psychosomatic symptoms? He looked thoughtful but didn't answer and I didn't pursue it.

We collected our coffees and then seats....potential here for lots of awkwardness and tension. But there was none. We stood patiently at the side and waited for a table to come available which it did after a couple of minutes. We sat down and he then said 'I want to congratulate you for how grounded you are given everything you have been through'. I told him my truth that it was taking on the Witness of watching the strange things that were happening like they were happening to someone else that meant the gradual integration of the experience and the altered state of consciousness into the grounded person I am today. He then went on to tell me about his brother who is currently involved with some Buddhist group and as a result has lost all grip on reality. When he first told me this I experienced some irritation as the thought 'what kind of interview is this' came into my mind. I quickly gave that up and became really present to him and to what he was telling me. The more he spoke about the fragile grip his brother has on reality and the impact in terms of him not pulling his weight within the family the sadder I got that the spiritual path would be used in this way.

The spiritual path is not about isolating or cutting oneself from society to engage in solitary meditation trances. It is about being active and powerful in the world, not an outsider to the world. And sadly this man's brother is not alone. The potential of that first psychic experience is the point of greatest danger on the spiritual path. It is at this point that many take the illusion of the glamour and hallucinatory experiences to be the real deal and they are not. It takes great presence and I assert the awareness of the Witness to remain grounded during and after the first of these experiences. Such experiences are a natural result of an expanded consciousness and are an indication that certain areas of the brain that were dormant have now been awakened. To take these experiences as more than this and to then use desire to have these experiences more and more is to shut the door to the spiritual in favour of the psychic. Once this is done the inner peace, joy, ease and freedom that comes with spiritual enlightenment is denied to the psychic. I don't deny the reality of the psychic. The point I want to make is that it shouldn't be taken as either the end point or the real deal.....

Monday, 17 November 2008

To have abundance....have faith in the Truth of unity not the appearance of separation...

I had such an amazing weekend at my 3rd Team Management and Leadership weekend in Amsterdam. This was a global communication weekend so there were teams there from Tel Aviv and Amsterdam. It was the global communication programme for Europe and the Middle East. It is so inspiring what is being caused in communication across Europe and the Middle East. I feel that I am a part of something so huge and transformative. At times the weekend was challenging.

I have written in this blog how in the last quarter I had responsibility for a team of people. The aim was to inspire all of my team members to enroll someone purely through the way they were being into the first of the programmes offered by Landmark Education for transformation - The Forum. Early on into the quarter it was clear that my way of working was not effective. Eventually I was asked to stand down and from that point on in spite of 2 different people stepping up to take it on there was no movement in the game. At the weekend I admitted my part in the non-results for the game. What I saw clearly was that my obsession to have it go a certain way and to control it in the way that I wanted to killed the game. I didn't see this so much as was coached to see it. As you can imagine this experience was not pleasant but I took it on and out of it have become much more powerful. I had known for such a long time that I had only 1 way of doing things, I have written about it many times in this blog. What I didn't take responsibility for was how my obsession with 1 way and controlling was also my way of killing the game. To take responsibility and ownership for that when every cell in my body was crying 'no' and wanting to fight against. To surrender and consider that this might be what I was doing that was hidden from my view was immensely liberating.

This is the value in this kind of programme. But it takes something to get the transformative effects. It takes the courage to look, the humility to consider what is said when it hurts, or is not nice. It takes the faith to accept that what I take as appearance to be the truth is not so. It takes faith to accept that the natural way of the universe is for connection and unity not for separation and division. But I am convinced that if all of this is taken on then the result without fail is abundance in every way.

On a practical level I had the opportunity to change my mortgage from variable to fixed. I didn't do this. The result is that yesterday as a result of lowering interest rates I got a letter explaining that my monthly repayments had gone down and so I am so many more pounds richer each month as a result. This is the delivery of abundance that I assert comes as a direct result of taking on the qualities of courage, humility and faith. Of all of these, the most important is faith in unity and connection in the face of the overwhelming appearance of separation......Maintain this faith at all costs and in all circumstances and what follows is.......abundance.

Another practical example is that a couple of months ago at a conference I was at I was speaking with a lady. From the conversation I had an idea for my work. I passed the idea to my immediate line manager and then promptly forgot about it. On Friday a contract for a substantial amount of money was signed between the company this woman works for and my organisation. What struck me among all the acknowledgements I got for being the lead to bringing this in was one email that said 'it is the ease with which it has all happened that is amazing'. This is the power of what I write about and practice. If what I say in this blog this morning resonates.....then take it on and become alert for ABUNDANCE

Thursday, 13 November 2008

The importance......of staying steady....

Yesterday and today I had a 2 day training course and presentation skills. This couldn't be better timing given the speaking opportunities I will create in 2009 to promote my book. Yet I'm feeling a bit flat and deflated and I don't know what that's about. I am going to Amsterdam to start my 3rd weekend of the Team Management and Leadership programme with Landmark Education tomorrow. The programme is about expanding communication in Europe and the Middle East. I look back on this quarter as the quarter in which I lost my accountability for the customer delight game. Or to be more correct, first it was taken and then I let it go. I have chosen this quarter not to take on an accountability role of any of the games but to be the accountability for love & acknowledgement.

What this involves is having a team of people with me and ensure that all members of Team are acknowledged each week. I find receiving acknowledgement difficult. I love to give acknowledgement because it is a powerful practice for touching and awakening the heart. Also because at the most fundamental level there is no separation between me and another when I acknowledge someone else I am also acknowledging me. What I do for another I get back twice-fold for me but this is not the reason to acknowledge someone.

Acknowledgement that touches and moves the heart has to come from nothing. It is not acknowledging in order to get something or for some reason it is acknowledgement for the beauty of it and if it comes from that place of purity and nothingness it is powerful. Being accountable for love and acknowledgment next quarter will demand that I build up a relationship with the 46 other members of Team. This is something I have not done in this quarter or in my 1st quarter. Yet I know that transformation does not happen without connection and communication.

Such communication and connection does not always have to be through speaking. The power of listening to build up relatedness is often underestimated. I have found that I am most self-expressed and able to communicate effectively when I feel listened to. When I speak and I have the complete attention of the person I am speaking to then the words flow with an ease and grace that is not there when I don't feel I have the listening of another. This shows that how well we are able to communicate does not depend on ourselves but on the quality of the listening that is given to us. I will communicate most effectively with Team members if I listen and am completely and totally present to what is being said that if I speak.

But again listening brings about stillness which as I said in an earlier post the mind will fight against at all costs. It does this by bringing into consciousness judgements and evaluations about what is being said or else by speaking out opinions and judgements. One of the greatest achievements on the spiritual path is the ability to be with silence.......

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The life I am now a rolllercoaster...

Yesterday I went to the shop that had called me to bring in 4 more copies of my book. When I got there the manager told me that he was going to make the book his book of the month next month. As you can imagine I was overjoyed by this. He then looked at me and said 'it is a very honest book, I mean like honest'. I looked at him trying to figure out what it was he was trying to say. I held his gaze and I said 'it is an account of my experiences, it is not the Truth and I'm not claiming it to be the Truth'. At this he smiled and asked me if I would like to go out to have a cup of coffee next week. I agreed because it is better than carying on a conversation on the shop floor and so on Saturday week 22 November I will be returning to to the book shop to have that cup of coffee and a chat.

But it got me thinking. Why write if one is not going to be honest? I thought that was the whole idea of being a writer. Writing for me is like the spiritual path it demands complete and total vulnerability. As a result of the spiritual experiences I have had I am vulnerable. I have nothing to defend or control and the result is an open vulnerability. I think this vulnerability scares the mind because it ultimately results in a space of emptiness or nothingness that the mind cannot be with. We claim to want inner peace and stillness and yet for many of us when this state is about to happen we get scared and immediately fill the space with ideas, thoughts and so we are scared about that which we most crave for.

The spiritual path demands stillness. Without stillness there is not the spiritual transformation that results from the expansion of consciousness. When there is nothing to hide, nothing to control, nothing to fear then and only then is the state of inner peace and calm possible. And there is nothing to hide, or fear or control because ultimately these are empty. They have no power only that which we give to them. I have seen this and have come out on the other side. The result of it is that I have a vulnerability and lack of protection around myself that to others may seem scary. I accept that. It is a very long journey to get to this point. By saying this I am not saying that I am in anyway different to others but I have been on the spiritual path for a very long time. For me spiritual development is just as important as all of the other lines of development i.e. physical, intellectual, emotional, social but it has been neglected for so long. Yet the irony is that it is spiritual development that drives all of the others. This is my assertion and I can't say this enough or too many times. What I have written in my book, what I write in this blog are my own views that I have got from observation or from insights. I do not claim anything of what I write to be the Truth, only ideas to be considered. Each one has to find their own Truth.

What I really liked about Buddhism when I first heard about it in 1998 was its emphasis on testing it to see if it feels right and if it doesn't to look for something else. I really believe this. Listen to what is written and spoken but then go within and see if it fits with your own observations and experiences of life. This is being authentic about the spiritual path. It is how I have journeyed on it. I have listened respectfully to teachings and then have looked to see how it fits with my own observations. This is not to be arrogant but to acknowledge and accept that no two of us have exactly the same path. The end is the same for all but the paths are different.

Tomorrow I leave for my 3rd weekend of the Team Management and Leadership Programme which is in Amsterdam. This quarter has been such a rollercoaster. I have had to confront many things about my life that weren't working. The toughest being how my identity used my obsession with control to keep me down and playing small. This was a phenomenal breakthrough for me and resulted in the publication of a book that I had written for almost 2 years but wouldn't publish. I wouldn't publish it because I couldn't control what would happen to it when it was published. But I wasn't aware of any of this. All I was aware of was a resistance towards publishing the book together with a very rigid way of looking at things. A tough conversation that I could never had had with myself resulted in the breakthrough of seeing the power of a decision I had made when I was 11 around my need to control life. This resulted in me giving up the need to control and then creating a whole new world around freedom and from then on to the end of this quarter, it is freedom that has been showing up.

Now I am about to start my 3rd quarter of this programme, new games, new challenges but I know that transformation doesn't end....what ends are cycles on the spiritual journey from non-Self to Self........

Monday, 10 November 2008

Enlightenment is......the letting go of control....

How life is flowing since I gave up that I was in control of anything. To see that it was my obsession with being in control that stopped the free flow of energy has been so liberating. This has been a huge insight only because it has been so deeply hidden from my view. It had been operating powerfully below the level of my consciousness. It is only when hidden motives like this become exposed and in the process of being exposed, transform that living from an enlightened state is possible.

Yesterday I received a call from the book shop where I had left 2 of my books asking me to bring in another 4 so there will be 5 copies around on tables in the book shop. I was so happy. The happiness that comes from making a difference. It is this yearning that will be so central when the consciousness shifts from the human to the spiritual. I see it happening already and as we move towards 2012 it is going to speed up. Only last night I heard on the radio that the Prime Minister in England Gordon Brown has called on world leaders to form a new one global world (or words to that effect). All of this is shifting from the human that was characterized by separation and individuality to the unity and connection of the next kingdom.

Last night I went back to Alternatives where I had worked as a volunteer for 3 years. I brought a couple of my books to see if they would take them on a 'sale or return' basis. I walked in at the point where the opening circle was being performed. This is where the volunteers come together and hold the space for the speaker of the evening. Last night the speaker was Mantak Chia who has done a lot of work on Taoist sexuality. It was strange for me to be there because this kind of talk is not something I would usually go to. From early on in his talk he spoke about raising the kundalini and using this transformative energy to heal and nourish the internal organs. Given what I have experienced of this energy I was wary about doing the exercises because I have promised that I will never force the energy to rise unnaturally. I watched others doing these exercises and was concerned at the potential dangers. Then I had an insight that this energy has its own intelligence and won't rise in the unprepared body and mind unless it is powerfully forced. I noticed that the chakra which is most powerful in raising this energy was not stimulated much last night. Mantak spoke about the heart chakra being much more powerful than the brain and this makes sense to me. The expansion of spiritual consciousness comes when the heart awakens. It is the experience of unity and connection which happens at heart level and not brain level.....

Alternatives took 2 of my books so slowly but surely my message about the spiritual state being real and achievable is getting out there. The team invited me back anytime which was lovely, It is great to have the freedom to leave and then have the welcome when I return. It is this ease and freedom that makes Alternatives in St James' Church, Piccadilly a very special place for me. It is where I first got to hear different speakers and in that I have been so privileged. From seeing how different speakers were before a talk and how they were after showed me how to look for authenticity. An authentic speaker is the same on the stage as off........

Sunday, 9 November 2008

A very sad but special day.....the Meditation memorial service for Manuel Schoch

This morning I woke up with sadness in my heart as I remembered that it is the day of the memorial service for Manuel Schoch. I showered and dressed quickly. I felt an urgency to leave my flat and be at the hotel early where the service was to be held. It is amazing that it is the same hotel where I launched my book 'Journey to Self' on Thursday night. At the last training session I went to with Manuel he signed a small book that contained some of his insights which had been compiled by one of his students. That little book is now so precious to me.

I arrived early at the hotel and to my surprise saw that the room where the service was to be held is directly next door to where my launch was on Thursday night. Again, I wondered at the synchronicity of it all. I entered and sat down on the 1st seat of the 2nd row. At the centre was a table with a lighted candle and a picture of Manuel and some words of love and acknowledgement. Seeing this brought tears to my eyes as I was forced to face the reality that he was really gone. Gradually the room filled up with people, some I recognised from the training courses, others I didn't.

At 10.30am the man who has studied with Manuel for 25 years welcomed everyone. My heart went out to him because I could see the pain and sadness he was feeling. He explained that the meditation would be similar to the services that were happening in Zurich and in Athens. One of Manuel's favourite songs would be played and then there would be a 45 minute meditation, then another song and another 45 minute meditation and then a 5 minute talk by Manuel on the nature of love. The first song was just like Manuel upbeat and lively, the gist of it was that it was a song about everything passing. Then it was the 45 minute meditation. Manuel believed in the power of stillness for bringing about shifts of consciousness so this was the meditation. I found myself being very still but my consciousness did wander. However each time I became aware of this I gently and lovingly brought it back to focussing on my breath. I didn't experience the boredom and agitation that I have in previous meditations.

The 2nd song was somewhat more reflective and I cried a lot. It was about the spirit taking 'me home'. I cried for the loss of his teaching to me and to the world. The 2nd 45 minute meditation was deeper and more relaxed for me. Finally came the 5 minute talk on love. Hearing his voice broke down what little resistance I had left to not crying and in spite of me the tears flowed freely. Manuel's whole being was love. He said that to love was to give space to things and people. For Manuel, Love was the most powerful force in the universe. I wish I could remember what else was in the 5 minute talk but my consciousness was taking in the essence of the words and not the words themselves.

After the service I felt disorientated and not sure what to do. To ground myself I went for a walk in nearby Hyde Park. I connected with the leaves and the trees and felt such a deep and abiding calm. After the service I bought a DVD of the last talk Manuel gave at Alternatives. I felt this urgency to come home and listen to it. When I saw him speaking on it instead of the tears there was a smile and a deep gratitude that I have been able to meet and learn from what for me has been the most inspirational Avatar I have had the privilege to meet.

My feelings ran the full gamut today - from sadness to love and acceptance for what is so. In the end the only way to live is have an acceptance for what is so in life. To acknowledge life and everything that happens in life as being real and not resisting life or what happens because we want it to be another way. In such acknowledgement and peace.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

What a truly magical day.......

Today I went to some small independent bookshops to see if any of them would take my book 'Journey to Self' on a buy or return basis. I had a strong intuition to go to a small alternative bookshop that is near me. I knew that the bookshop was largely run by volunteers from some spiritual organisation. I packed up 5 books and went on my way. When I reached the shop I saw that it was empty and there was a woman sitting inside by the cash register. Without any fear or apprehension and with the conviction that this book is going to inspire everyone who reads it I explained what the book was about and briefly what it covered.

To my amazement the woman was the manager of the shop. She looked at me keenly while I was speaking and I then gave her a copy. She skimmed a couple of pages and then said 'I will take a copy and I will also arrange for a review to be done of it'. This was more than I could have hoped for. The woman explained that she was going to be away for 6 weeks but would contact me when she returned. I thanked her and I walked out. Money could not buy how I felt walking out of the shop. I took a minute to connect with some leaves on the tree - to drink in their beauty and the beauty of a universe that has always been so kind to me.

The next shop I passed was a natural health food shop. I saw that there were a couple of books in the window and I thought 'what the heck' and walked in. I immediately picked up on the different atmosphere, more tense. The man was dismissive of my request stating that he had taken books before on a sale or return basis and it had caused a lot of problems. I was interested in this from the point of view of me learning what not to do as this is all so new to me. When I pressed him on what I could do not to cause problems like he has experienced he was so cagey and evasive that I simply thanked him for his time I walked out.

Then my ego started 'what are you doing walking around in the rain like this, you are a spiritual person who has written a book, there should be others doing this for you'. But I just laughed it off. I am constantly aware of the spiritual ego which is part and parcel of the spiritual journey. By acknowledging it and being OK about the way I was feeling it had no control or power over me.

I took the train to Covent Garden where I knew there was a branch of the Brahma Kumaris and a bookshop. I had an inkling that it would only stock books by those people who were registered with their organisation but I had been in the shop before and thought I would give it a try. It was as I thought, but I had such a lovely conversation with the lady in the bookshop. I found myself talking to her about the 3 stages of spiritual development that I have distinguished. By far the longest and hardest stage is the 1st - Know Yourself - this is long and difficult solely because of the flexibility and cameleon like behaviour of the ego. I can think that I am doing something for 1 reason when the real truth is that it is for something else which the ego keeps hidden from my view. It is vital for this stage to have some means of training whereby it's possible to distinguish where inauthenticity is covered up by something else. For me that means of training has been the technology offered by Landmark Education, but this is not the only one. The important thing is to do something that is different to a purely spiritual training. I found this out when after I had spent 9 years studying and practicing Mahayana Buddhism I took the weekend Landmark Forum and I learned more about myself and how I have been constructed as a human than I had in my 9 years studying and practicing Buddhism. But after that weekend it was my spiritual insights and intuitions which increased.

I walked from Covent Garden to Leicester Square where I knew there was famous mind, body and spirit bookshop. It is a shop I have been to many times but I have never spoken to the staff there. I walked downstairs and I recognised a man who I have seen there many times over the years. I explained about my book and the benefits I thought there would be and I offered him the same terms of trade on a sale or return basis. He asked me some questions and I was so free and easy with the answers I gave him. Then he surprised me by saying 'do you have another copy, I think I am going to buy one. I said 'yes' and opened my bag and gave it to him. Then he said 'I'm not promising anything but each month I recommend a book of the month and if I really like it I will recommend it as the book of the month next month!' I was completely speechless and didn't know what to say for a minute (no more!) I said how great that would be if he did write a review and he said he would call me on Monday.

I left there feeling that I was going to burst with happiness and I was struck at just how easy it had all been. I was so relaxed and willing to have fun with it all. I understand now that everything in life is a game and this is my game. My game to have this book available so that it can make a difference in peoples' lives......

Thursday, 6 November 2008

This morning I woke up.....and I am a published author...

Last night I launched my book 'Journey to Self' at a hotel in London. It had been quite a tense day as I waited sometimes patiently but more impatiently if I am to be honest for confirmation from the hotel that the books had arrived. At 5.30pm I received the news that 25 copies had been delivered to the hotel. For the first time that day.....I breathed! Yesterday I took the day off from work and went for an interview to apply for a fast-track course in magazine journalism. The interview and aptitude tests were in Brighton. Both went well and I will know whether I have been accepted onto the course which starts in February 2009 at the end of next week. I know that I can write, what I want are the much valued National Council for training of journalists qualification. I want to understand how a magazine is put together and learn the skills necessary so that in time I can produce my own spiritual magazine that will move and inspire others to take on the spiritual path with faith and commitment.

My book looks great. The cover picture of St Pancras Station in London which shows people walking similar to being on a journey captures the imagination which is what I wanted it to do. What has amazed me though is the ease by which the book was published in the end. Once I saw that it was my inability to let go of the need to control where this book went when it was published and created a new world of freedom for myself and the book things moved very rapidly. This is how shifts of consciousness come about. Something is seen, and in that seeing is transformed and the energy that was being taken up in keeping whatever it is in place (in my case it was control) is freed, and then things happen with velocity.

This feeling of not needing to control anything came through in my talk last night. The way I structured the evening was that I started with a short relaxation exercise. Then I launched straight into one of the experiences that is the motivation for the book. I then spoke about what this energy is at the base of the spine and how the experiences I have had are available to everyone if there is unwavering, faith, commitment and determination to achieve what is possible from this path with non-attachment (I recognise how difficult the latter is to achieve). Then I handed over to my good friend Wai who put this experience into the bigger context of esoteric and mystical traditions. Wai had a powerpoint diagram of all the main traditions and the mystical paths within them. He explained his theory of how everyone is God using quotes from different religious traditions and outlined how the prophesies are now. Afterwards we took questions from some people in the audience.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I have given talks before but I have never felt the ease and freedom with words that I felt last night. I understand why this is. Last night I spoke from my heart. I spoke about my own experience and how life was before it and how it is now. It was only at the end that I spoke about what it was and meant. My speech was slower than it had been on other talks and for the first time I felt a real belonging and ownership to what I was saying. I could stand by every word I said authentically and powerfully and that made all the difference.

The entire evening was magical for me but if I had to pick out one highlight it is the woman who introduced herself and said that she had come to hear me speak as a result of reading this blog. That moved me more than anything. Through this post (you will know who you are), I want to thank you for coming last night and for the difference you have made to me.

In my last posts I wrote about the 'Point of View' that we put in place when we are young. I am clear that without that point of view, there is nothing. Without the point from view from which comes thoughts, feelings, experiences there would be nothing only a space from which to create. Last night I created the space to be an evening which would have clarity and be inspirational. From the feedback of those who attended and spoke to me, this is what was created. On the spiritual path.....everything is possible.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The triumph of Barack Obama .....heralds a major shift in world consciousness...

Today, with the presidency of Barack Obama there is a new consciousness in the world. In my last blog I spoke about the power of the future that is created when the consciousness is gripped by something. Today the consciousness of the world was gripped by the events in America and in that grip and unity of thought, I assert there has been a shift in world consciousness. How this shift in consciousness is going to play itself out has yet to be seen. I think that we are moving from the 4th kingdom which is the human into the 5th kingdom which is the spiritual kingdom and this shift of consciousness on a massive scale is the way it is being brought about. The election of the first black African American to the highest office in the land is aimed at uniting and connecting like nothing else. I see the current crisis in the financial world as also being part of this shift because materialism has defined the human kingdom.

Barack Obama stands for unity and already today I sensed a new connection around London . When I was buying a paper this morning, the lady who was black asked me how was my day, I said it was good. She looked at me, I looked at her full in the eyes and she said 'yes it is a great day and we shared a huge smile'. It was a very special moment. I feel that as a result of what happened yesterday that the characteristics of separation and individuality which characterise the 4th kingdom are weakening. Yet the dragon is always at its strongest when it is dying so I am anticipating more upheaval. With each shock, (shift) to the consciousness a state of uncertainty is created. It is in this state of uncertainty that the greatest amount of growth is possible so it is to be welcomed and not feared. As humans we dislike uncertainty and I assert that this is why up to now there hasn't been the massive shift in consciousness that is necessary to shift kingdoms.

Today is a huge day for me as it marks my offering to the wealth of material left by those who have taken on the spiritual path and left a record. My record is my book 'Journey to Self' which will be hot off the press for my talk this evening. On Sunday I became incredibly nervous about this evening. This is ridiculous because every word I have written and will speak is the Truth. It is the Truth as far as the experiences are concerned. The interpretation and what I have made them mean is just my interpretation, this is not the Truth. The Truth of my experiences I will always stand by and will welcome debate about all other aspects......

I was not able to have the researcher who has done a lot of work into identifying what causes the spiritual energy at the base of the spine to rise when the consciousness shifts with me this evening. Instead my good friend Wai who has written a book entitled 'Everyone is God' is sharing the evening. . I am going to speak about one of the experiences which motivated the book and then Wai is going to put it into the context of the mystical and esoteric traditions. What I am keen to get across to those who come is that I am an ordinary person who has had extraordinary experiences. These experiences are open to everyone and are not just for the few. The energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine is not just at the base of my spine, it is at the base of everyone's spine. So spiritual transformation and transcendence is possible for everyone in one lifetime. I firmly believe this.

One sentence which is on my mind these days is the sentence which I think comes from the bible 'many are called, but few are chosen'. I dislike this sentence because I think it puts many off from taking on the spiritual path seriously. I don't believe in 'chosen' I believe in having a burning yearning and aspiration and then doing the work. Putting in place a strong 'Point of View' and then pulling from the world those experiences that will realise it. What is so exciting about Barack Obama being elected as president is the aspiration and yearning it has created in the minds of young black people. For how many young people did time stop with the force of the declaration 'I can do that'. What has more strength is 'I will BE that'. Once declared it has to be nurtured, developed and worked at. The reality and sadness is that for many of those young people through a combination of circumstances and lack of support this declaration will not be strong enough to create the future which the declaration calls for. The shift from the human to the spiritual kingdom is marked by inspiration, connection, having a connected and not separated world President Barack Obama the world has that.....

Monday, 3 November 2008

The point of view in action......look at what Lewis Hamilton has achieved...

I was so excited to learn that Lewis Hamilton has become the youngest Formula One world champion and I had the insight that it was the power of a point of view or a declaration made when he was a young boy that has brought the future to himself that he created and realized when he won the race on Sunday. This is a bold assertion I make but I stick by it based on my own experience.

At some point when he was young he was gripped by something that was bigger than him. It might have been something that was said, that he saw, but something caused his consciousness to shift and in that moment he created from nothing the possibility of being a world champion Formula 1 driver. After that he took the steps necessary to achieve that. I don't disagree that other factors played a part in his success. However, I would argue that it was the strength of the point of view or declaration made the very first time that pulled towards it all of those experiences and qualities that he needed to do to achieve what he did on Sunday.

The power of that aspiration made as a child which comes from a pure and empty consciousness is incredibly powerful. One could argue, given how open and impressionable young children are, why doesn't every child become a child prodigy in some field. I have no answer for that. I know that it is the strength of the declaration that is put in place that brings about the future we then live into. Life is all about a future we are living into. It's not about the past.

For me when I was in boarding school and at the impressionable age of 12 I heard a priest say 'God wants spiritual fruits not religious nuts'. I had the same grip. Spiritual, Religious, the words ricocheted around my brain. I knew dimly that there was a difference. I didn't know what but in that moment I declared 'I will be spiritual'. It is as clear to me now as it was on the morning that I declared it. Now when I look at my life I see that all of my reading, studying experiences have all been taking me into the future that I declared. I am not there yet, I have a very long way to go but now I am conscious of the journey I am taking. I know how my first step began and I know roughly the steps I have to take. I trust that those steps will be available to me because of the power of the declaration I made when I was gripped by the aspiration so many years ago. A declaration like this, coming from nothing in terms of I had nothing to compare it to, there was no past memory. I didn't know what the word meant. The declaration came from a place where there was nothing else and in that lies its power.

I would assert that a similar thing has happened to those who have gone on to inspire us in some field. It has been labelled talent but in this blog (because it is a personal account and I don't claim anything of what I write to be the Truth, it is just my point of view) I think talent is more about making a strong powerful declaration 'X will be' from a clear consciousness and then working hard in that area and taking the opportunities that will come. Failure comes if the point of view or declaration is not strong enough or the opportunities are not taken up. Something else displaces the Declaration or Point of View. To keep declarations or points of view alive takes work. If I hadn't continued to study and read in the way that I have I am clear that I wouldn't have had the experiences and realizations that I have now. And yet, the strength of the declaration I made when I was young meant that I have always been drawn to this field. Even during the very dark times I was still drawn to this world.

Last night I was planning my talk for the launch of my book on Thursday. It's going to be tight to have the books available. The printers have promised the delivery of the books direct to the hotel. This works better for me because otherwise I would have had to pick them up from the publishers. It is events like this which may be seen as trivial to others that give me the reassurance that what is happening is exactly what is meant to be happening. I have complete trust in and surrender to the declaration I made when I was 12. It is as real for me now as it was then........

So today allow the consciousness to be gripped by something. This can only happen when there is an openness and a vulnerability. It is feeling that we need to protect ourselves that stops more of us from experiencing the grip that shifts consciousness to a new level to give us a new future.....

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Getting the launch of my book............

I met with my friend Wai this evening to plan how we are going to present the talk on Thursday evening. It is great sharing the evening with him because we have known each other for many years and I have been to many of the talks he has given around London. We understand each other well and he gave me some great tips on how to prepare my part of the presentation. His aspiration is to be a great world leader and in order to do this he has been working for many years on a brain theory that will explain the mystical concept that 'everyone is God'. It seems impossible to see how this thinking could ever become mainstream but I've learned on this path not to rule anything out.

I have been thinking more and more about what I wrote about the 'point of view' in my last post. How critical the point of view we hold about things is in pulling to ourselves experiences that support that point of view. Now I am wondering because of my 'point of view being 'I am spiritual' whether I pulled those experiences to me, or if I created those experiences to support the point of view that I was going to be spiritual. When I declared this, I had no idea what spiritual meant. But looking back now, all of my experiences I have interpreted as being spiritual to a greater or lesser extent.

I don't know who or how many are going to come on Thursday evening. I want people to leave the evening inspired to deepen their understanding of the spiritual path and committed to do what it takes to release the consciousness from the web of maya. I am clear that at no time during the evening am I going to do any exercises to raise the spiritual kundalini energy. To do this would be irresponsible of me because of the physical and mental preparation that is needed to ensure that the energy rises safely and naturally and is not forced. What I have become more and more convinced of however is the truth that if something is desired deeply enough that it can come about.

However this desire has to be felt once and then forgotten. Paradoxically it is the desire for the state of Enlightenment that ensures that the state is not experienced. The wanting of it ensures that it is not experienced. And yet, without the desire it is not experienced. So it is wished for once with everything one has and then is forgotten. After this what there is to do is to be self-disciplined, live a life where the emphasis is on service and contribution to others not to oneself and have a constant mindfulness, alertness and vigilance over our, thoughts and actions...

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Buddha said....'Hold fast to nothing'.....what could he have meant?

For the past 3 weeks the quote from the Buddha which I have started this post with has been constantly in my mind. 'Hold fast to nothing, or no thing' what could he have meant. For Buddhists the theory of attachment is central to Buddhist philosophy. This is clinging onto things or events that are pleasant and avoiding things or events that are unpleasant. However a thing or an event is not pleasant or unpleasant of itself. It is the interpretation we put on it that determines whether we view it as pleasant or unpleasant. It is the view we have of it that dictates whether or not we pursue and cling to it or avoid it (could be anything). But this view is not real it is only an interpretation. The point of view we have about things, is not real but we treat it like it is real. My point of view is not just my point of view it's the Truth. It's the way life REALLY is.

This clinging onto a view as reality and not simply as a view is what I believe Buddha was speaking about when he said 'hold fast to nothing'. Why 'nothing' because 'no thing is real', everything is based on interpretation. When we cling to something that is not real, we suffer. We suffer because we are making real what is unreal. By not 'holding to anything' we are recognising that what we think of as real is not so and in this realization is freedom.

I would assert that it is this clinging to points of views as Truth and not interpretation that is at the root of the intolerances in the world. What would the world look like if there was a mass giving up that points of view are the Truth- the way things REALLY ARE. For one, there would be more tolerance as people saw the lunacy of clinging to something that is not real. There would be an ease and freedom as the suffering that comes with making something that is unreal, real disappears. Buddhism speak of a concept called Avidya or ignorance, but this is not ignorance in the way that it is normally understood. This is an ignorance that distorts the nature of reality. I assert that the point of view is the source of this ignorance. The source of the ignorance is being convinced that the point of view is real.

The power of the point of view and the importance of 'not holding fast' cannot be underestimated. Our point of view gives us the life that we have. My point of view has given me the life that I have. My point of view is that I am a spiritual teacher and what I have pulled towards me have been spiritual teachings and realizations. But I am clear that this is only what my point of view has pulled for because it supports the point of view that I put in place when I was a young girl. The point of view comes first and then comes the experiences to support it.

Yet I am human and I operate in the world. How is it possible to function in life without having a point of view? The point of view is expressed in opinions, judgements. To be realistic, as humans we will always have a point of view. The important thing is to manage it. What this means for me is to take the responsibility for my point of view as just a point of view. My point of view is no more or less important than anyone elses' it is only a point of view.

This insight is coming at just the right time for me. I am sure at the launch of my book next week that there will be many points of view coming at me. I can remain unattached and free only if I remain vigilant to the notion that everything that is said to me and that I say is.....only a point of view.