Thursday, 28 January 2010

Beneath anger.... is fear....beneath fear.. is sadness....beneath sadness is love....

Since I started practicing my 20 Min's of Transcendental Meditation in the early evening my attitude to everything late at night has completely transformed. Yesterday I was travelling to London with a colleague for a commitment we both had. When we were planning our journey I had a thought that we were going to be travelling at the time when I usually do my evening meditation. In the past I would have sold out on myself by not doing the meditation so as not to make it awkward for who I was with. Not this time. I realize that this selling out on myself was the five year old child's need for approval. That child is now an adult and doesn't sell out on herself in the way that she used to. Finally my consciousness has shifted from the right brain to the left and with it I have a clarity about people and life that I never knew existed. I gave my friend the option of me either meditating in the same seat as her or going to another seat and joining her after 20 Min's. She opted for the former which was OK with me. We chatted for a little while and then I announced I was going to do my meditation. It felt strange and I felt a little awkward but my friend was great and immediately buried herself in the newspaper she had brought along.

When I started meditating I was conscious but then something must have happened because when I looked at my watch there was only 5 Min's left of the 20 Min's....where had the time gone. Now that I'm not beating myself up about the wandering mind or am concerned with taming the monkey mind allowing it wander back to the source of its bliss I have no idea what goes on. I am aware at some points that I am no longer mentally repeating my mantra but I also have the deepest peace and joy. When I finished the meditation I was a little tired but within 10 Min's had perked up no end and was ready for my evening. At one point in the evening I did something which was irresponsible and it brought forth a fierce anger from a woman towards me. Hand on heart I have never been spoken to so angrily and yet it didn't phase me and I didn't flinch from it. I didn't feel any need to protect or defend myself and when there is no fear and nothing to protect or defend then it is possible to be really with the person and what they are saying. Without fear I could really see her commitment to the situation I was very close to sabotaging. It is only fear that makes us protect and defend.

But...what is it that we are protecting and defending? It is the irrational fear that anger directed towards us is in some way a threat to our survival. Anger is never just the expression of an emotion it is made to mean that our very survival is under threat. When that is the context through which anger is viewed is it any wonder that anger creates such fear in human beings. Beneath anger is fear, beneath fear is sadness, the sadness of not being able to express love, or receive love and beneath sadness is love; ultimately love transforms fear. Where one is the other cannot be. Without any fear for me in the situation last night what was there for me was love. After last night I know that I can be with anything anyone is going to say to me in the future and that for freedom. When my consciousness shifted with the realization that I had made a decision to stop myself growing up, all the fear I had lived with up to that point transformed to love. Did someone say that it is impossible to live a life without fear....I am living proof that it is.

That is not to say that if I was walking along the street and someone produced a knife or a gun that I wouldn't feel fear. I probably would, a health fear for my survival. That kind of fear is not what I am referring. I am speaking about the irrational psychological fears that are a part of what it means to be a human being. I am free of these. Or at least I think I am! But I have travelled this path too long to be definite about anything when it comes to the path of spiritual transformation. I just put one step in front of the other, slowly and mindfully ever vigilant of the chameleon type nature of the ego that is always and ever hiding in the shadows waiting for that one opportunity to sabotage the consciousness from its ultimate goal which is the transformation of self. This is achieved when one realizes that life is inherently empty and meaningless. It is only human beings that give meaning to life. Life itself has no inherent meaning. Really getting this at an experiential as opposed to a conceptual level shifts the consciousness so that the transformation of self as that which is 'not self' is realized.

Whether it is the effect of recently practicing TM but I find it so easy and effortless now to think and write from the aspect of the Transcendent. What I write is not channelled because I am consciously aware but I do feel that now it is coming from a deeper part of me. It's the ease and effortlessness of the practice and yet how effective it is that has completely surprised me. Now my most sacred parts of the day are those 20 Min's in the morning and 20 Min's in the early evening....

Today I had a lovely surprise. One of the tenants who I am renting out my flat to called me to explain that the standing order for the rent had mistakenly been cancelled and re-installed but wouldn't be received by me on the usual day and the tenant was calling me to explain this so that I wouldn't be concerned. I was so moved by this that the tenant would take the trouble to call me and let me know. This is the magic of life....when we allow it be just the way that it is and just the way that it isn't.....

Sunday, 24 January 2010

What a truly amazing weekend....there's always something else to learn...

This weekend I had my re-scheduled Transcendental Meditation training. It was meant to have happened in mid-December but the trainer got swine flu. He told us today that it was the first time in the 25 years he has been teaching that he had to cancel a course. The course happens over three days. I arrived on Saturday morning 10am as requested. Before this course even started there has been some amazing co-incidences (or are they!) I have written in this blog that I have been doing kundalini yoga and am on the mailing list for classes and workshops. Among the list of events I get sent regularly is an early morning mantra session that starts at 5.30am. Every time I receive it I push down an inner desire to go using the reason 'I don't know where the place is'. When I got the details for where the TM course was going to be held I couldn't believe it when I saw that it was at the same place as the mantra early morning sesssions! So now there is no excuse for me not to go to these mantra mornings, that was the first surprise.

The second surprise I got was when I arrived at the course and was shown into a room. There was a picture of Guru Dev. This was amazing because my only knowledge of Guru Dev was that he was the Guru of Yogi Bhajan who is the Guru of the kundalini yoga that I do, so all of these synchronicities were quite amazing. The course began with the trainer doing a ceremony which has always been kept secret and giving me my own mantra which I would be meditating with from that morning. While he was doing the ceremony my inner voice was on the familiar rant it goes on when I find myself in situations like this, a rant that went something like 'what are you doing here at something like this AGAIN...particularly emphasis was laid on 'again' because it was the same thing I felt when I found myself queuing up to kneel at the feet of Mother Meera. There was the exact same inner resistance to this as well. I pushed these thoughts away and gave my full attention to the ceremony and my part in it. Then when I was given my mantra my first thought was 'that's not very sanskrit!', how did he arrive at that one for me' - but for some reason I didn't ask him anything about the mantra I had been given.

He then gave me instructions on how to meditate with the mantra and I was struck by how everything that would happen was perfect and the way it was meant to be...whhhaat....where was the discipline the monkey mind, watch your thoughts, concentrate - there was none of this it was all about letting the mind wander back to its source of bliss using the mantra. He said that he would stay with me for a while to meditate and then would leave me on my own and come back to check in a while. I began meditating, furrowing up my brow in my usual effort to concentrate but instead of concentrating on a candle or my breath I used my mantra. Total disaster as the first thought I had was 'is it x or y', 'did he say it like this or that', then the usual self-derogatory inner voice having its rant at my inability to recall a simple mantra correctly. All of this was exhausting for me so that when he returned and handed me a form to fill in I told him that I had a headache. He asked me had I been trying and putting in effort and I looked at him dumbfounded - of course I had, what else were you supposed to do in meditation! He then explained how there is no force or effort involved in TM. He then said he would leave me to complete the form and would return. When he returned he collected the form, looked briefly through it and confirmed that it was all 'as expected'. I waited expectantly to hear more and he said 'I will speak more about it this evening'. This was my cue to go.

Slightly bemused at everything that had gone on I left. I felt very tired and during the meditation I had felt myself falling off to sleep and then jerking awake. But then suddenly that tiredness lifted and I had an amazing energy. The reason I was attracted to TM is to increase my creativity and productivity so that I can work more under pressure. I left to meet my friend and go to London for my agreement and then later on we were going to a Hungarian classical music concert. My friend is just amazing. She told me the moving story of her great grand aunt who had been a hero in the Vietnam war. I can't recount all of the story but it was just amazing to hear it and I was reminded again about the greatness of the human spirit. It came through so clearly in what she told me about the life of her great grand aunt. We met after my agreement and went to the classical concert which wasn't to either of our tastes. I like music which has some melody. I didn't find any melody in this and whether it was my morning of TM which as finally catching up on me I found myself falling asleep. We left and finished off the evening with Dim Sum in Chinatown then we took the train back to Brighton.

This morning I was awake at 7am and was aware that I was excited. I did my 20 mins meditation with my mantra and was amazed at how quickly the time went by but I still had all of these thoughts which gave me the familiar frustration. I got ready to go to the next part of the course which was going to be with all of the other people who had got their mantra the day before. I arrived early and shortly after other people arrived. In total there were about eight of us. The trainer explained that this session would be 2 hours and he would explain the principles of TM and give us tips for how we would know that we were doing it right. I found the whole thing so fascinating. It was clear, made sense to me and I felt comfortable with it all. Even my inner voice which usually has a continuous rant when I'm at things like this was quiet and absorbed. The session ended with a nine minute video of the Mahariishi and his serenity and humour resonated very strongly with me. The two hours of the course also included a session of meditation and then people saying things about their experiences. I was in a conflict with this system which appears so easy and effortless and the traditional meditation of discipling the mind through concentration and I asked a question about it. He told met that this would be covered in the evening session.

Afterwards I felt so renewed and vigorated and more importantly I had ideas of things that I wanted to do and felt more motivated. Then my phone rang and it was my friend suggesting a couple of hours in the gym. Before I would have felt too tired or it would have been too much to fit in before going back again but instead I found myself really enthusiastic about going to the gym. We met up and I ran for a bit on the treadmill and did some cycling before walking the four miles back to the centre for the evening session. The evening session contained gold for me. One of the main reasons I had stopped meditating was because of what I called 'thought assault'. Everytime I sat down to meditate after a few seconds I would have nothing but thoughts and I made this mean that I wasn't doing it right and therefore it wasn't effective. So rather than face being a failure in meditation, I stopped meditating. I did take on the practice of mindfulness and being mindful at every moment but there was still something missing. Tonight the trainer explained that when the mind relaxes with the mantra, the body also relaxes but then the body begins to release blocks of stress to calm down the nervous system. As mind and body are inextricably linked the mind cannot be inactive when the body is active. So in response to the body being active the mind also must become active and it does this by grabbing hold of thoughts, any and every thought. This was a lightbulb moment for me. I suddenly saw thoughts in meditation not as bad or wrong but as an indication that my body is active in healing itself. This shifted everything for me.

As a result of this understanding when it came to doing some meditation there was absolutely no effort involved and I felt so free and easy. Then the trainer said that he would check the mantra that everyone had been given to ensure that we all had it right. Even though I had had some confusion with mine I was sure that I had it correctly. He took each of us to a room and asked us to repeat the mantra and to my complete astonishment I had it wrong. Initially this was devastating to me because it looked like my identity had said 'I'll remember it my way and make my own of it' but the trainer said that this was a good sign that it meant that the mind was already quite settled with it when it didn't have it perfectly. For a moment I was caught in the dilemma of two conflicting explanations for the same event and I realised in that moment that there is no truth to what happened. I can make either of those stories fit and I chose the explanation that empowered me which was that having to correct my recollection of my mantra was a good thing.

I was so happy leaving the course this evening. I got more than I thought possible from it. Out of it I have got the confidence to begin meditating again. But this wasn't the last surprise I was given. The trainer then spoke about Deepak Chopra and how he has been practicing TM for many years. He talked about how he had met the Maharishi by chance at a TM conference and that they had become good friends and Maharishi had given to him the system of Ayurveda which is so common in the west today. He then said Deepak Chopra was interviewed on an Irish television programme called The Late Late Show by Gay Byrne and I said to myself 'no way'. This programme was sacred television when it was on and Gay Byrne or Gaybo as he was affectionately called the only authority in Ireland for those few hours on a Friday night. I sat there amazed at yet another synchronicity this weekend and then up came the familiar voice and personality of Gay Byrne interviewing Deepak Chopra who was amazing in his knowledge and benefits of TM. He said some startling things among them was that people are responsible for their own illnesses and as they are responsible for creating them they can also cure them. This is so in line with the breakthrough education training and coaching I am doing at the moment. I am so clear that I create everything in my life. I am responsible for everything...

Afterwards I walked home so happy and grateful. I can't believe how much energy I have to write this blog at almost midnight. This is unheard for me because I had it that I don't put myself under pressure and writing this at this time at night would have occurred to me as pressure before I did this weekend and got my mantra and was released from my long held belief that thoughts are in some way detrimental to meditation. What is tragic is that for a couple of years I have been pondering on TM meditation but had dismissed it because I thought it was about yogic flying which I had and still don't have any interest in.

But now....even though I'm not tired I'm going to bed because 6.30am won't be long coming around and now I am adding an extra 20 mins meditation morning and evening to my schedule. Life is so exciting...when you have no idea what's around the next corner...

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

I have been......completely exhausted since the weekend...

Something is definitely happening within me because since Monday I have been laid low with exhaustion. Last night my friend had her evening on mindfulness meditation and even though I was exhausted I went. During both the meditation and the talk by the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh I was drifting in and out of consciousness. And yet when I go to sleep at night I sleep like a baby until an acceptable time to get up the next morning so I have no idea what is happening at the moment but like anything on the spiritual path the way through it is by total trust and surrender and saying 'yes' to the present moment. My present moment is exhaustion and I am saying 'yes' to that. The distinction 'Transformation' has still got me. I am NOTHING but the space from which everything arises. But what is the 'everything'? It is what goes up to make up the identity and to make it appear different from the self. But in transformation that identity falls away and what is unconcealed is the shining diamond of the self expressed however one creates it to be expressed. The identity disappears when it is investigated and found to be empty and meaningless. The only meaning that has been given to it is by our minds and in this way is a story..not the truth. All it takes to be transformed is to recognise the possibility of this. I am not saying that it is the truth of how transformation or seeing into the emptiness of everything sets human being free from their suffering but I invite consideration that it may be.....

I am careful to never make assertions that are not either based on my own experience or my own observation. I thank Manuel everyday for being the example that I now follow. I do this also as a protection that I don't then begin to build up great theories that are not based on my own experiences or observation. It was that moment on Sunday afternoon when I experienced that I was NOTHING and in that moment I knew that I could create anything I wanted for myself and my that moment....I was free.

When I gave the link to the Youtube link in my last post to Paul's kundalini awakening experience when he was 13 I meant to ask for some comments because I found it powerful and inspiring but I wanted to ask readers of this blog how it came across to them. What I found particularly interesting was what he said about the ego or identity when it re-appears having found itself disappeared for the time of the experience how it emerges much bigger. It's like the identity has had a shock and for a moment the game of human being has been exposed but then the ego/identity quickly re-asserts its dominance once again covering the SELF but now becomes bigger and in some cases transforms into a spiritual ego. I am convinced that if I didn't have the vigilance that I had and I thank my childlike quality which meant that when I had this experience I was emotionally only 5 and it is this grace (that is another realization I had over the weekend) that has allowed me not to have it fragment my consciousness in the way I have seen it do to others.

I wanted to begin writing again because I've been too exhausted for the past few days. The spiritual path is all about willingness to go there. In my experience there is always the invitation. On Sunday I was invited to experience Transformation and I said 'yes'. Yet this is not easy and involves purification which I think is what the exhaustion is about. Again if I had a teacher that would understand because he/she is further along the path than me then it wouldn't feel so hard but then again this is my story that it would be easier if I had a teacher or was part of some established spiritual organisation. What is so at this moment in time is that I don't and all there is for me to do is to surrender to each moment just the way that it is and the way that it isn't. Suffering is the result of refusing to accept what is wanting it to be someway different. What there is for me to do is to bring some fun to it. It's only serious and significant if I make it so. It is like this for all of us. We all have a choice about how we interpret the things that happen to us. No interpretation is the truth so why not put an interpretation on an event that empowers us and maybe even inspires.....

I also had another shock over this weekend which has also played a part in the exhaustion I am feeling at the moment. All my life I have hated being pressured. I have a way of being that gives out the message 'push me and I'll kill you' which you can imagine was a lovely thing for me as the enlightened person I consider myself to be to discover! This way of being has been very strong to the point that when it came to putting myself under pressure to get my shorthand exam I engineered a shake in my hand so that I didn't have to put myself under pressure to perform and I won that game hands down when I actually left the shorthand exam. Up to now this way worked for me. When I was working I would always have left the office early, there was no working until late at night for me unless I was going somewhere afterwards and it was too much bother to go home. I always left myself enough time to get places so there was no pressure and I certainly never put myself under pressure for deadlines or did any kind of pressurised job.

I have taken exactly the same attitude to this training I am doing which has been 'I'll do it my way, in my own time the the sub-text of 'push me and I'll kill you' which as you can imagine has meant it has been a brave soul who has dared to challenge me and as a result I have been left to go at my own pace. All of this was no problem until come Saturday I was separated from my group because my performance was not at the same level as the others in the group. This totally shocked me because in my head I had put myself at the same level of performance of at least three if not four of my group so to suddenly see them all leave to go without me really hit me. In that moment doing it my way and in my own time wasn't so appealing when the impact was being left behind. For the rest of the weekend I found it difficult to be present. All kinds of thoughts came into my mind 'you don't belong here, you're different, and then a kind of smugness, 'nobody is doing it like you so don't worry' and while in the past that kind of smug thought would have been comforting there was nothing comforting about it this time. This time I didn't want to know. This experience has created a shift that nothing else could do, not coaching, not endless talking to. The only thing that could shift that and have me realize that there is an urgency in life was the experience of being left behind.

As a result of this and in spite of my exhaustion since Sunday I have caused it so that I am now with all of my group. I've also noticed an aliveness and an alertness and am feeling the energy of velocity which is something I had not allowed myself to feel before because my identity would not let me put myself under pressure to see what I could create and cause out there in the world. This is how subtle our identity works but how powerful it is in sabotaging the inner urge that is within each of us to make a difference to people and the world. Now..more than ever do I need to bring fun and no significance to this major shift that I have had. This is the problem with me. I'm like the pendulum on a grandfather clock - for years I am one way and then weee....over to the other side I go. A result if I'm not careful is that I become unbalanced but I am aware of this and being aware is the key to journeying the spiritual path rock on and bring on what's next......

Monday, 18 January 2010

After a quite incredible weekend.....I took yesterday to let it all sink in...

Wow...where do I start with this blog post. Friday night I stayed with a friend and I met this friend in Calcutta when I was travelling around India. We had actually met in a tea shop in Bodh Gaya but I didn't remember that. We became friends in Calcutta and when I became really ill and didn't want to eat anything she was there by my side. I have never forgotten her for that and for a while she came to live with me. For a little while we lost touch but now we are once again very good friends. With there being no fear for me anymore when I am with people the quality of my communication with people has transformed. What do I mean by transformed? What I mean is that the fear has totally disappeared so that what I am now is pure connection and relatedness. It is not 'me without fear' - my self has transformed. In the moment I realized that there was 'no thing' to protect or defend I touched the presence of love and it is only love that can transform. When we touch love we are transformed. Or said in another way transformation is touching the presence of love. We had a lovely meal and then chatted in front of an open fire. Then we decided to go out and check out the local talent. It was so lovely going into a pub and sitting down with two pints of lager just like we used to do when we lived together.

We came back and started chatting and before I knew it, it was 2am. This completely amazed me because I have never been up just chatting with another adult until 2am. I could have been out at a pub or somewhere but never just me and another adult it would have been way to scary. I can remember thinking when my friends would say that they had been up until the early mornings just chatting feeling quite horrified and wondering how they could do that. The difference for me is now that I could do exactly the same thing and be really happy. This is not change, or improvement - this is transformation - the disappearance of that which is in the way of touching the presence of love.

I had an early start the next morning and was amazed when I woke up feeling so refreshed and awake after having only four hours sleep. This is another thing that I have noticed is that I am never tired. In the past I used to get so tired but once I realized that my tiredness was only an outer symptom of inner resistance and I applied myself to the enquiry of what was I resisting that made me so tired and I realized that what I was resisting was my own power. Then that realization and that seeing transformed being tired and in that transformation tiredness disappeared. When we experience that life is meaningless in terms of the only meaning that events and people have are what we put on them ourselves and return to nothing, in that space of nothing anything and everything is possible. I realized that the only reason I was tired was because I was resisting and what I was resisting was a story that I had made up that being powerful was dangerous. Nobody had put that meaning on power only me. When I saw that the only meaning there was was one I had made up, I was free. Transformation results when we realize that as human beings we are meaning making machines. To see that is to transform.

I had the most amazing weekend and I want to be a leader that embodies the distinctions of integrity, responsibility, transformation and peformance. I want these distinctions to use me to be who I am. I returned back late on Sunday night and on Monday felt so exhausted. This wasn't tiredness, this was exhaustion. On Sunday afternoon I really got what it means to have consciousness transform and in the moment of that realization I knew without any doubt that I am NO THING except my WORD. It was clear to me as the fingers on my hand. For hours afterwards I had nothing in my mind, no views, opinions yet I knew that I am the space within which all of these happen and get created. Even as I struggle to write what this experience was like I can't. But I will never forget the blinding flash of clarity as everything fell away and I experienced being everything and nothing.

Of all of the distinctions that make up a leader it is the distinction Transformation which speaks to me the strongest and loudest. When SELF realizes that in Buddhist terminology that the skandhas which are form, feeling, perception, volition and consciousness when it realizes that all of these are empty and meaningless then in that moment it transforms. But in order to transform it has to arrive at nothing. It has to take all of the 'something' out in order to arrive at 'nothing' and the power of the realization of 'nothing' is what causes the transformation of human consicousness and shifts it to the next level which the universal consciousness is working towards anyway. Behind every face....the eternal goes on...

I recognised my need to stay in bed for most of the day Monday as my incubation time. Something incredibly powerful had happened to me and it needed time to settle down. This morning I have woken up and am so ready to write. I got up for a little while last night to check emails and had the thought once again about the kundalini energy. This was strange because what happened had nothing to do with the kundalini it was a shift in my mental consciousness not the experience of the kundalini energy that rises from the base of the spine. But the urge to go onto Youtube and see what was there was very strong. The moment I did it I saw a trailer for the story of a man who had experienced the movement of this energy when he was 13. I watched this video and what I loved about it was how normal this man is. The video was so inspiring for me and and I sending the link for all my readers to view it. I want to make clear that I am sending this link to inspire others not to be afraid of taking on the spiritual path seriously. I am just so happy to know that there is someone out there who has had this experience and is so grounded with it. Having it so young has meant that he didn't have the fear around it that adults usually do and so was able to integrate it. I am also inspired by the fact that he didn't go off and proclaim himself a guru and get followers and in this video he speaks of this very danger when one experiences a powerful kundalini awakening. He now works as a spiritual counsellor in California

It's called simply 'Paul's Kundalini Awakening and it is just 9 mins long. You can view it at It has also inspired me to make a video about my own watch this space...

So today... aware that I am nothing but the space within which everything happens and creating from that space of nothing I am going to start my day by going to the gym. I may not have felt the energy physically but I trust that the power of what happened is down to this energy and in order for me to continue to remain grounded I must respect its need for release....Later I am on a train to London to be my WORD around a commitment I have made and then returning late this evening. But as I am now only space I have absolute trust that everything that I need to do will be done with freedom, grace and ease.

Thursday, 14 January 2010 my inbox...was a 'flirt'.....

I went to the gym early yesterday because with the snow I haven't wanted to do anything except those things that I gave my word to. The irony is that I gave my word to go to the gym and to re-start my kundalini yoga class and I didn't do either. What I am noticing these days is that when I don't keep my word to myself that it's beginning to have the same impact as when I don't keep my word to others. I get restless, agitated and don't know why. Yesterday I woke up and for the first moring I could see the pavement in the street outside. Experienced the usual thought 'do I really want to go to the gym this morning' but immediately brushed that aside and got myself ready to leave after my call with my morning buddy where we create the kind of day we are going to have and how we are going to be to fulfill on that creation. This is similar to what Neale Donald Walsh speaks about in his amazing book Conversations with God part 1 which I have read seven times and absolutely adore.

In it he speaks about the human tendancy to think that if I do enough, then I will have those things that I want and then I will be happy. Neale turns this on its head and says that it is from who we are being, that we then do the actions that are in agreement with that way of being and from that we will have all the things that we want. So each morning me and my buddy create how we are going to be and then from that what we are going to do and what we will have at the end of the day and then each morning we hold each other to account and see what was missing in the way we were being that had us do or not do the things that we had promised. I have learned that in life there are really only two things that causes results out there in the world and they are performance and action and both come from our way of being.

Went to the gym and really enjoyed it and realized again just how much I need exercise to manage the intensity of the awakened energy within me. I did a great workout on all the machines and had a really hot shower. Tried to wake up my skin with a shot of cold but that wasn't too successful so went back to almost scalding myself. Walked home and walking home I was filled with this intense joy and bliss. It always amazes me when these feelings emerge without there being any reason for them. Yes, I had been my word and gone to the gym but to be rewarded with the intense feeling of joy that welled up from deep within was both unexpected and beautiful. I took a couple of minutes out to acknoweldge and be grateful for this. In my experience it is when we acknowledge these little glimpses of what Maslow termed 'peak experiences' and don't be attached or crave for them to happen again that they get more frequent and this is the way it has been for me.

Returned home and re-started the computer.....and there it was....a flirt from a first thougtht was 'who the hell is this man'...and when I clicked it said 'a secret admirer'...This is completely new to me and I was soo excited. I have never received one of these and so didn't know what the etiquettte was in responding. Should I send a message or return the compliment with another flirt. Before I did anything though....I just had to look at his profile. He had obviously gone to a lot of trouble in writing his profile and out of all of it the bit that resonated with me was his desire for a woman who had done some personal development. Now.....this is different. Granted I haven't read many profiles but none of the ones that I read had ever mentioned this. He also mentioned integrity and honest communication. I read the profile to my friend Lotus and she was really impressed proclaiming that 'this man is gold dust'. One other concern was that he didn't have a picture. When I said this to Lotus she explained that in the profession he said he was in he couldn't upload a picture. I didn't fully understand this but was willing to go with it. All of my investigations completed and validation received from Lotus (how spiritual is that!) I returned his flirt with one of my own! Quite a subtle one because that is my way.

Now comes the nightmare (a bit of an exaggeration) of internet dating waiting for the reply. But what I got from the experience was an overwhelming excitement that I haven't felt for many years. And yet I didn't feel there was anything missing because I was so young emotionally. When you're five you're not thinking about men and relationships so I was quite happy throwing myself into the spiritual. I was going to write that when you're five you're not thinking about the spiritual but that is not quite true because if I go back to the right and left brain. A five year old is very much functioning in the right brain. What has happened to me is that finally my consciousness has shifted from the right brain to the left brain so that finally I am now an adult. Bizarre as this sounds to write and probably it is even more bizarre to my readers, this is the only way I can use to account for what has happened. It is when I am in this kind of an enquiry and don't have a teacher that I really miss Manuel. He would understand in a minute what had happened and be there as a support. But the spiritual path is definitely the path by the alone to the alone and I must journey it alone. The difference now is that while it might be alone, it is no longer the lonely path that it was. This is because of my new found ease, joy, love, connectedness and relatedness to adults.

Last night I went out with a group of people and had such an amazing evening. My friend and I were given a lift home by this man and while we didn't speak together for the entire evening in the car home he asked me a lot of questions about myself and my life. My friend got out first and inspite of my insistence that I would walk the rest of the way because it wasn't far insisted on giving me a lift. In the car I spoke about my unsureness and what was behind it. I ended up telling him about the decision I had made when I was five that the adult world was unsafe and I wasn't going there and the kind of life it had given me and that this was the reason that I was not super confident. It was great being this vulnerable with someone I had only met and as a result he shared something about himself that had him be the way he was. It was a really great conversation and I was so conscious that I felt no fear and there was nothing else in my mind only listening to him as powerfully as I could and being of service and contribution. He was on his way to visit his girlfriend which is why he gave me and my friend a lift home so we gave each other a hug and said bye. I let myself into my house and the first thing I saw was the landlady's cat who has adopted me as her mum. I immediately bent down and picked her up and was so happy.

So today I am going to London. It is the final weeekend of this training course I am doing. I am so grateful to this training. I came into it a five year old child and I am finishing it (it's not officially over until end March) as an adult. This is nothing short of miraculous for me and I now live the distinctions of this training. They are with me in every conversation I have with people and as a result I can be staight and of service and contribution in the way that the Buddhist teachings mean. While fear is present, service and contribution cannot be..... And finally...what I realize now is that all those years ago when I was gripped by the deep desire to be a Boddhisattva what I was really gripped by was the desire for enlightenment. Not as a concept but as an experience that is as real today as it was in the days of the Buddha....

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

I should know.....never to be definite...

No sooner had I declared that this blog would lighten up on the spiritual when in the door popped the details for my re-scheduled course on Transcendental Meditation. It is like I might have one idea but the universe has other ideas and once again the spiritual has come to the forefront. The weekend course was cancelled before Christmas because the tutor had swine flu. It has now been re-scheduled for the weekend after next. Like Pavlov's dog I immediately sought out the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's book on Transcendental Meditation that I had felt on overwhelming compelling urge to buy in Waterstone's and once again began reading it. I was struck by the ease of understanding that I have. And yet with that ease in understanding comes a frustration that I'm not producing anything concrete out there in the world with it.

My good friend Lotus called to my house to collect me when we were going out the other evening and she met my Landlady. Lotus is building up a business in mindfulness meditation and her warmth really touched my landlady and she asked me to email her with her details because she wants to do a meditation course with Lotus. Lotus had never met this woman before and when she was leaving gave her a huge hug. I was gobsmacked as this is something I only ever do with close friends and family. But Lotus is living what I am proclaiming. That I have no fear and yet I wouldn't have done what Lotus had done. So there is still some inauthenticity when it comes to me and the spiritual world and what exactly I want to do within it that is frustrating for me. But I know the way out of this is to accept and not resist the way things are because they are the way they are and all that is required of me is firstly to accept this and then secondly to take action. It is only action that shifts things not thinking. So today I am returning back to my kundalini yoga. I have really missed it and can feel the familiar build up of energy that I have to be so aware of and channel appropriately to ensure that it gets released.

I am off to a meet up event tomorrow night and this morning did a wardrobe scan for what is going to give off the right message. I found a dress which is both comfortable and stylish so that will take me through tomorrow night. It's funny now that I have declared that I am going to find a rewarding satisfying relationship all kinds of invitations are coming my way. I got an invitation to a charity speed dating walk which is four miles long and is in aid of Alzheimers. It sounds like fun in that we change partners every so long along the route. This appeals to the gemini in me that doesn't like to get stuck for too long with one person. Then at each stop you fill in a rating card and hand it in. For some reason I am really attracted to this...

Am looking foward to my kundalini yoga class this evening.....

Monday, 11 January 2010

Earlier I received a the blog post I wrote when my dear friend and teacher Manuel Schoch died...

I was both delighted and saddened to receive it. These days I feel him very close to me. The words that he said to me about 'if I could stop being so aggressive towards myself that there is no limit to what I could achieve' have been echoing around me for the past few days. If only he was still alive I could learn so much now that I have let go of all the aggressiveness I had towards myself. What allowed this letting go of the aggression I had towards myself was recognising that I held a wrong view about what it meant to be an adult. Shifting this view, ended my suffering and has given me the deep connection and relatedness I feel towards everyone no matter who they might be.

Today for the first time I found myself with time on my hands and started to wonder about life post this training course that I am doing. Once again I feel at a crossroads and I don't seem to have any clear indication of the way to go. I know that I am passionate about being a leader for children and young people and I am very close to achieving everything I need to complete the first part of this journey successfully but I don't have any idea how or where the next stage is going to be. I have also decided to play the game of finding a fulfilling and satisfying relationship this year. Up to now because of how stuck I was no man had a chance. Now I understand why relationships didn't work and why if I hadn't had the insight into how I formed a view which limited everything that was going to be possible with men every attempt was doomed to failure. All that is gone now and I just wanna play!

So....last night I joined a dating website....shock..horror as I have never rated this vehicle for finding one's soul mate very highly. I did join once and arranged to meet this guy in Leicester Square. When I reached Leicester Square there was this tall man standing in the middle of the square and all I saw was his black trench coat. As I was looking the wind blew and it lifted up his trench coat so that he looked like Dracula and I just wanted to run. Needless to say after that the evening wasn't the most successful. He had a list of qualities that he wanted a potential partner to have and as he was saying 'I want this and I want that' my inner voice was having a rant saying 'I want the exit'!

Afterwards I got on the tube and vowed to myself 'never again' but one thing I have noticed is that whenever I have said 'never' it's never been never so these days I am very careful not to state anything definite in any area of life because there is nothing definite in life except taxes and death. So back to my story about my new foray into the world of internet dating. I registered on this site and am much better this time in terms of having a photo which I didn't have for the last one. I steeled myself to be disciplined to write something enticing and mysterious in my profile but when I read it I thought it sounded boring. However it had taken me almost an hour to write it so I left it.

In my new mood of action in this area I then sought out the search button and saw all the drop down menus of the kind of man that I want. Shifting my inner moan to inner curiousity I put in some requirements and then hit search. The computer did its thing for a minute or so and then came up a list of eligibles. I quickly scanned the list put my beady eye on two and pinged off two emails. Got up expectantly this morning to find a message inbox that gleefully pronounced 'you have no new messages in your inbox'. Now I'm wondering if dating is an age thing. As you get older it gets more difficult to meet someone. Doesn't the world know that now I am ready. That I have come out of my self-imposed celibacy. Where is everybody......

But all is not lost. There are a group of us singles on the training course I am doing who like me are creating the perfect relationship for this year and we are all going to get together to plan events and hold each other to account for promises we make of things we are going to do to create the relationship. The relationship is only going to come by action not by me sitting in my room and navel gazing!

So my dear readers can't promise that this blog is going to be purely spiritual over the next few months cos I'm about to have some fun out in the world....

Sunday, 10 January 2010

This evening....was a sad evening for me.....

I woke up this morning feeling really excited and happy and for no reason at all. It is my natural state since the veil of fear that I have lived with has gone. I got up and had breakfast and then set off to have coffee with a friend. It is a friend who I used to live with and who was bringing some post for me which I hadn't been able to collect before Christmas. When I lived with her I had always felt vaguely uneasy for no obvious reason but this time when I met her it is like it is with everyone now an ease, lightness, joy and ability to be with whatever is said and to also be straight in terms of me not withholding saying something because of a concern that it will upset. I've also realised that when we withhold something from someone and we rationalise it by saying 'it would only upset them', I assert that this is inauthentic and a pretence. It is hiding the fear that would be triggered for our own safety if we upset another. This is what is really behind 'not being honest for fear of hurting'. In truth it has nothing to do with the other person and is solely about ourselves but this is not a nice thing for human being to recognise never mind to accept. But acceptance is the only way out of the trap.

I came home and opened up all the Christmas cards that I didn't get before Christmas. Among them was a card from the husband of my friend Tracey who died last September. In his handwriting he thanked me for how kind and good I was to Tracey and him through her illness. I couldn't hold back the tears of remorse and regret because the truth was that I wasn't there to support her through her illness. I had moved away and never even given her my new contact details. Sitting holding the card from her husband which he had signed from him and Tracey I felt the most unbearable loneliness for my friend and fresh regret for not having been there. I still really miss her and have found it hard to come to terms with the fact that I am never going to see her again. Another person I often think of who I have written about on this blog is the Swiss mystic, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Manuel Schoch. How much could he teach me now. I am sure that with the fear gone that I would be able to read auras under his teaching. But he too is gone. He went in October 2008 and I still miss him.

Also among the post was a copy of Paradigm Shift and a compliment slip telling me that the issue contained a review of my book 'Journey to Self'. I'm not going to print it here but it is uploaded to both Google books and under reviews. My opinion about the review is that it should stimulate curiosity. So it has been a strange evening going from sadness to a kind of elation. Also among my post were cards from people I had lost touch with giving me their contact details which I am delighted about because I was sad about losing touch. Tracey's death has really made me value my friends and now I can be there for them in ways I could never have been in the past.

I have managed to put a 'subscribe' icon box and I would be grateful if people could submit their email addresses. The idea is to have a newsletter later on in the year which would be fuller and more expanded than what this blog is. I am so lucky in having a good friend who is so web savvy. This has made all the difference...

Saturday, 9 January 2010

These icy conditions are an ideal practice walking mindfully!..

I must confess that in the last couple of days I have practiced the deepest mindfulness walking meditation. The stakes have been high which is why it has been so focused. Those stakes are to do with my own safety and not breaking a limb while walking. I have been so aware of the heel and toe of each boot as it connects with the earth but the fact that I have been primarily doing this to ensure my own safety means that the power of the awareness is not as great as if what I had at stake was the holy grail of enlightenment. The fear for the safety is real which concentrates attention. Enlightenment for most people is simply a word that has been bandied around. We are aware of the consequences if we slip on the ice and break a bone but as humans we are not aware of the consequences of living a life without achieving a state of awakening or enlightenment (I'm not sure that there's much difference between the two).

I remember once reading somewhere that it is only when a person wants enlightenment as much as a drowning man wants air that there is a possibility of it happening. The trouble is that very few today are willing to want something that badly and want it paradoxically without attachment. It is attachment to anything that kills its beauty and freedom. On the spiritual path it is easy to get attached. The consciousness gets a glimpse of something 'other' and immediately seeks for that experience again. I see this in the posts of one man on Facebook who has obviously undergone a profound experience. There is an attachment in his posts to understanding why it happened to him so that (and this is my opinion it hasn't come from him) he can cause it to happen again. But this is something that can never happen with a spiritual/mystical experience and this is both the beauty and the frustration of such peak experiences as called by Abraham Maslow. They shift the consciousness but unfortunately leave a memory which creates craving and attachment. If as human beings we had no memory then I assert that there would be no suffering. It is the memory of a perceived hurt or injustice and then the feelings of resentment that this creates which keeps the state of human being as like the Buddha said 'in a state of suffering'. Yet I am not so naive as to believe that the world can human beings could function without memory.

Memory is necessary to have a world that works but memory is like the tail wagging the dog. It should consist of a memory of an event not a memory of what we decided that event meant and the story we put on it. It is the story that we put on the things that happen to us in life and not the event itself that causes the suffering. Separate what happens from the story we tell ourselves about what it means and the result is freedom from suffering. I do not agree with conventional therapies for the simple reason that in many cases they simply indulge a persons story about an event that happened and this far from liberating the person from the suffering caused by their story just sucks them in deeper. My commitment from this blog and for everyone I meet is through my way of being and not so much from things I say that people will be able to separate the events that happened to them from the story they told themselves about that event.

If I can give an example. If my friend is late meeting me - she is just late meeting me. My story in the past around this would have been 'she doesn't want to meet me, that is why she is late'. The truth is I don't know why she is late. The only thing I know for definite is that we made a definite time to meet and she is late. If every human being could live life with just this distinction then the level of personal happiness in the world would shoot up. All this is going to take is people seeing this for themselves and sharing it with others - this is causing the transformation of human being from a life of suffering to a life without suffering. The Buddha knew this that is why he said 'I teach only two things suffering and how to be free from suffering'.

I'm looking at my window as I write this and to my absolute amazement it is snowing again here. Everywhere looks so white and pristine and I have now accepted that this ice and frost is not going to stop me from doing anything else that I have given my word to do. I have enough experience to know that honouring my word and being responsible to have my word happen when circumstances are going against me is the way to be the bold leader that I have aspired to be since 1988....

Thursday, 7 January 2010

When we take the stop and stare.....

I braved it to come to London yesterday because of a commitment I had given my word to. With my trusty little netbook the train is now a valuable time where I don't get distracted by email and I can dedicate an hour solely to writing. At one point I was writing so intensely but felt an urgent need to look up from the computer and out of the window. The beauty of the site that greeted my eyes took my breath away. My eyes were treated to the beauty of the pristine whiteness of the rolling hills and the snow covered branches of the trees. I was immediately spellbound by the grandeur and awesomeness of nature and it confirmed for me what I have intuited for many years that nature is the form of the Divine. It has to be - what else could be so perfect in its simplicity and also its perceived complexity. The grandeur that I saw humbled me greatly but it also gave me an immense joy and freedom. I often feel these deep feelings of peace, calm, joy and bliss well up from deep within me without there being a concrete reason for them. They just come for no reason.

I arrived in London and went to a cafe where I used to go quite often but haven't been for a while. When I walked in the man there who in the past had never been very friendly had a huge smile for me and asked me where I had been as I hadn't come in for a while. I was both surprised and delighted. I noticed that he had made the cafe bigger and I asked him some questions about how he had done that. Once again I was aware of a complete ease and freedom where before there would have been that nagging unease that I had lived with up to the end of 2009. It is so great to be able to compare and then to appreciate. It reminds me of the necessity of the relative comparable world in order to experience. If everything is happiness then there would be no sadness to contrast it with. If everything is up then there is no down to contrast it with. The relative world is necessary for human beings to experience different states of consciousness. The reason why we resist sadness is because of not knowing how long it is going to last and as the Buddha said human beings are obsessed with obtaining pleasure and avoiding pain but yet pleasure and pain are necessary to experience the richness of life.

I ordered a jacket potato in the cafe and I was so grateful when he brought it to me and I saw how carefully he had done it. I acknowledged this care to him and it brought from him such a wide smile. I must admit to becomming a little alarmed at this stage as to 'why me' for all this care and attention but then I let it go realizing that there is still that element of fear small as it is. I thoroughly enjoyed my jacket and acknowledged him for it and then I left. Just as I was going out through the door he said 'see you again soon'. It is this element of life that makes it so special for me.

I made my way to the commitment I had made which I had been determined to honour and I was speaking to a lady and I said something. She immediately said 'you are not listening to me'. In the past I would have gone into myself beating myself up about being a failure at listening but what it would have been hiding was the fear of the imagined threat that there now was to my safety by her acting in what I would have seen as threatening. With that gone, it was natural for me to lean into her (in the past I would have backed away), apologise authentically and request her to repeat what she had said. I did all this while all the time looking her directly in the eye. Something in the way I did this resonated with her and she gave me a huge smile and repeated what she had said and I said 'right, I understand that now, thank you'. We finished the conversation with freedom and ease and I was left once again so grateful to the forces which act to show me just how far I have come over the last few years.

I walked gingerly back to my hostel where I am staying and even the real fear of falling on a spot of black ice wasn't strong enough to stop the spring in my carefully placed steps.... the great power of nature....

I like many others yesterday was humbled by the great power of nature in terms of not being able to carry out the most carefully laid plans. When we are forced by circumstances beyond our control to change what we had planned to do it can bring up lots of different feelings. It is so useful to examine what came up when we realized that we weren't going to be able to do what we wanted. What was there for you...anger, annoyance, frustration or were you able to accept the circumstances and as the famous saying goes 'turn lemons into lemonade'. I ask these questions not to make any reaction right or wrong but to get an insight into ourselves and how we react when things don't go to plan. This is the what the spiritual path is all about being steady in the face of everything that is thrown at unwavering in not making any situation or event wrong for being the way it is.

I have been incredibly fortunate in all of the weather chaos in that I managed to return from my Christmas holiday without any delays or changes to my schedule. This is just another example of how life is working for me in ways I never dreamed were possible. Another surprising turn of events is that I have always wanted to learn to cook. As I said in another post practical things like being a good housekeeper and learning how to cook were not on my priority list when I was obsessive about the spiritual path and how to make it just as real a dimension as our physical and intellectual, emotional and social dimensions. Practicalities were then to me a waste of valuable time that I could spend reading, studying, writing.

But learning to cook is something that I have committed myself to doing. Where I live at the moment is not ideal and I don't like to do it alone so I couldn't believe when a friend who is on the same training programme as me who has recently bought and moved into her new flat told me that she wanted to set up a cookery course and asked me if I would go around to her flat and we would cook together. This is just amazing. I agreed and last night we cooked a lovely butternut squash soup, scones and fairy cakes. I was so aware when we were doing the scones and fairy cakes of once again being five. But then again I suppose that when we all bake it brings back memories of licking the bowl and the spoon. But for some reason it was very poignant for me last night. I was aware that I didn't have as much interest in the butternut squash soup! even though it was delicious when it was cooked.

So early on in 2010 I am truly creating the life that I love. I have shifted in my way of being and it is so noticeable to me as well as to others. I am now convinced that the default position for human being is fear and that enlightenment is nothing more than the transformation of fear into love. What I don't have yet is the key to that transformation. I am being bold enough to state that up to my profound realization that shifted the ground of my being I was living life from an awakened state now I think that I am pretty close to enlightenment. This is a bold claim but my final thought last night was the insight 'enlightenment is realization of the fundamental fear human beings have of each other' and seeing into the ridiculousness of this. I think Leonardo Da Vinci realized this and this is why Mona Lisa has that enigmatic smile on her face.

And finally I received confirmation from my publisher of the details of the translation of my book 'JourneyToSelf' which I was delighted about. She confirmed: 'You might be interested to know that JOURNEY TO SELF is being translated into both Gujarati and Hindi for sale across India and locally within the UK. The translation is being sponsored by the High Commission of India in London, and being undertaken by Mr. Madhav Bhan at Amita Abbi Prashan'

This is fantastic news because it had all gone very quiet on the translation front. But and this is important to state but I think that readers of this blog will realize the process of getting to where I am now at is like going through the eye of the needle and it takes unwavering courage, trust and above all surrender. It is not a path for everybody but paradoxically it is everyone's virtue of us all being spiritual beings with a human dimension and we think that it is that we are human beings with a spiritual dimension - no, we are spiritual beings with a human dimension and the path of the spiritual is to unconceal the human dimension so that the spiritual can emerge bright..

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Love is...the absence of fear.....

I travelled to London yesterday to do an agreement and on the way back there was train disruption due to what is called 'adverse weather conditions'. What this means in truth is that frost and snow is not allowing train services to run as normal. I have a number of options for getting back to Hove so wasn't unduly worried. I heard a woman ask the estimated time of arrival for a train to Hove and thought to myself, that is the person that I am going to sit beside and get a taxi with when we arrive in Brighton if we can't get directly to Hove.

I made my way to the lady and asked her directly about travelling to Hove. This is amazing for me as it is something that I would never have done. I'm getting astute at reading people and speaking anyway. The difference is that in the past I was astute in reading people in that I could intuit who I would find it easy to make conversation with and who I wouldn't and would limit myself to those people who either spoke to me first or who were overtly friendly. This woman neither spoke to me first or was overtly friendly but for the first time in my life I wasn't stopped by the thought that 'she's not very friendly, she's probably not going to want to speak to me'. I was amazed to find that all of my negative self-talk around fear in situations regarding people has totally disappeared. In it's place is deep love and connection.

I guessed from her aloofness that she does something in the field of self-development. In the course of our conversation it turns out that she does but she didn't tell me straight out and I didn't ask straight out. I know that she started her own business just one year ago and it appears to be very successful. On the train I shared with her the phenomenal results that I am getting from the breakthrough education, training and coaching I am doing at present and she was interested. It was then natural for me to invite her to an evening to hear about it and how it could take her business to the next level. In the past I would never ever have extended an invitation to someone I had firstly met on a train and secondly wasn't the friendliest woman in the world. But without fear it just seemed such a natural thing to do. I invited her, she wasn't sure but gave me an email address for me to contact her. I was elated that I had invited her and it really doesn't matter if she can make it or not on Monday night. I pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of and I finally see that this is what this training is all about - going beyond where we are usually stopped and as a result having a profound realization that the only thing that stops us from going after everything we want is ourselves. Nothing else, there are no forces 'out there'. Everytime I have been stopped from doing something it has been because of a decision I have made in the past that is hidden from my view and is impacting my future. It is impacting my future because that decision that should be in the past, is not in the past, it is sitting out there in my future and comes at me every time I am in a similar situation to a past situation. Bit by bit I am taking all of these decisions and putting them back into the past and this is leaving my future with nothing but a blank canvass on which I can create whatever it is I want.

When we got to Brighton we queued up at the taxi rank and it was bitterly cold. Our taxi pulled up and we got in. The lady explained where we wanted to go and then asked for an estimate of the cost. The taxi man was unneccessarily abrupt to her and I didn't understand why. We were driving along and she then said her address was 'the other way'. This incensed him no end to the point that when she gave me her share of the fare she said 'don't give him a tip'. I was a little bemused about all of this. The lady went saying how nice it was to have met me and shared the journey home and I said the same - not because I had felt particularly comfortable because I hadn't but because I had the experience that I can go up and speak to anybody now and how they are will have no effect on me and that is freedom so from that perspective it was a great journey and meeting her was a vital part.

I continued on with the taxi and he started on a rant about the lady who had just got out and at one point I wanted to establish who he was ranting at so I said straight out' are you having a go at me' and he calmed down slightly and said 'no, not you'. In my training I have learned that no matter how anybody is to me that I leave them satisfied, complete, appreciated and respected, so I didn't rush out of the taxi when we got to my home, I listened, then validated his frustration, then thanked him for bringing me home and gave him a tip. He went off smiling and I felt happy.

I let myself into my house and as it was very late went straight to bed. My final few moments were thoughts and feelings of immense gratitude and in that energy I dropped off to sleep. I woke up this morning to the thickest and deepest snow and the most unimaginable disruption to train services. I am so close to becoming a leader and this week was to be the week where I had planned to do many more assignments to ensure that I earn the right to be a leader. It is looking now like at least the one this evening....I will not be able to make happen.....but it's only early morning....

Monday, 4 January 2010

Living life....without the film of fear....

Today I met with my good friend Lotus who developed another website for me over the Christmas break. Here is the website: It will give me more scope than my other website which was limited. Not only that it was controlled by Google and at any time could have been taken off. This limited me in how controversial I dared to be! I haven't figured out a way of transferring all of my old blog posts to this new one so for now they will have to stay where they are.

I'm beginning to sound like a parrot but today was a really amazing day. I woke up with such a deep feeling of peace, joy and happiness which is so rare for me the morning after returning from spending some time at home. I woke up feeling satisfied that I had done everything I possibly could have to ensure that my elderly parents had a good Christmas. The only downfall was that I am not as good as cook as my mum and so my mum ended up doing a lot of the cooking but this is something that I am working on for my next trip home. After all cooking is nothing but practice. In the past I was way too spiritual to waste time cooking. All of my time was spent reading spiritual books or else sitting on my sofa thinking spiritual thoughts. As a result the practical side of me has been neglected for a long time.

But at the start of this new year I have found so much energy. I am excited and passionate about what this year is going to bring. I know that I can use the power of this blog to link with other similar blogs as well as other social and networking media. A good friend who I stayed with over Christmas and who I lamented to that after I leave a post nobody follows the thread explained to me that my posts have an intensity which makes it difficult for people to carry on a thread. There was a lesson in that for me to lighten up and not to be so serious and significant if I want to open up conversation about the realness of the spiritual path and spiritual awakening.

I am going to take this advice on board and have these blog posts be light and fun in the way that it used to be. I can do that now because I have absolutely no fear about anything I write. I can see this disappearance of fear everywhere. In the airport yesterday I started up a conversation with the man who was stood beside me in a never ending queue to the departures area. At some points there was a lull in the conversation and after a few minutes either he or me would say something else. I was aware at just how comfortable both the talking and the silence was. In the past I would have felt a kind of anxiety to either keep talking or else not speak at all. This time all that was present was freedom and ease whether he or I were speaking or not.

Today waiting for my friend I looked deeply at everyone in the street. I looked without fear and with the eyes of compassion. Up to now I thought I looked at people with the eyes of compassion but I realise now that when fear is present compassion is not possible. In fact nothing is possible when fear is present. The joke is that the fear is totally irrational yet there is nothing irrational or fictional about the power it has. So many people in my home town said to me that there was something different about me. I looked the same but there was something that was very different. That 'something' is the lightness that emerges when fear disappears or is transformed. I'm not sure which. It feels like it has disappeared rather than transformed.

It is fear that is at play every time we feel the need to protect or defend ourselves, the fear of some imaginary threat which in that moment appears very real. To be able to catch the fear before reacting and realizing that it is only fear which is causing the reaction and to be mindful and hold-off will elevate the consciousness to the degree that is required for spiritual awakening.

I have been asked when I share about this realization whether it is possible to have the self-awareness of a behaviour which is limiting but to take the actions and not be stopped by it. I am sure that many have and do and can conquer it but for me I had to have the event where I made the decision that I wasn't safe around adults to come to my consciousness be remembered and experienced and then disappeared. All of my actions up to that point, while well meaning and good intentioned never brought the desired effect because they were put on top of fear and so were inauthentic.

When I shifted everything around me shifted; but I had to shift first.....I now understand those profound words of Ghandi 'be the change you want to see in the world' . I am going to add something to that which is and yearn for the grace that disappears everything that is in the way of being this change...

Sunday, 3 January 2010

My first post of 2010......begins with the deepest gratitude...

I have returned to England after what has been the best Christmas and New Year of my life. Usually I come back feeling bewildered and hurt with a view that I wasn't included by my family. When I look back now it all seems so ridiculous. What was different for me this Christmas was that I had no fear. I had no fear and there was nothing to protect. I believe that it is only when there is no fear that one can truly look at people with the eyes of compassion and see into their souls to the suffering that lies there. I was so aware of this with everyone I met. I listened to them deeply and through that listening was able to connect and relate to everyone in such a way that our house was full of visitors this Christmas.

The highlight for me has to be the acceptance by my family of the training that I am doing and which has given me the breakthroughs that I have written about. I never dreamed that my mum would be speaking about it and interested in its power to transform life for human being. I was so aware of this when I was giving an introduction. It was such a sacred space for me and without any fear present it was a powerful introduction so much so that those people who came to hear me have seeen what is possible for themselves and are thinking and talking about it. They came to tell my mum how brilliant I was! I wasn't brilliant....I am committed that no human being suffers and the training I am doing and what it is giving to me has proven to me that it can make a difference to everyone. In the past I was a bit reluctant to speak and share openly but not anymore. I can't begin to imagine what life would have been like if I wasn't able to unconceal the source of a decision I made when I was young which was giving me a life that I am sure I wouldn't consciously have chosen.

What I saw also is that a strategy decided upon to survive in life while beneficial the first time also acts as a kind of straight jacket as the person gets older. Maybe because I had my insight into how common it is to make a decision about controlling life and then the kind of life that gives that I see control being so strong in most people's lives. The need to control or be in control. When we are young this need for control can drive people to be high achievers and become very successful but the problem is that as the person gets older the control aspect doesn't get weaker and then this causes problems when it comes to trying to control others. When the strategy of needing to 'control' gets adopted and forms part of the identity there is no brake; it develops and deepens in line with the development of the child into adulthood and then old age where it really becomes a problem. The tragedy is that that which serves initially becomes a master at the end and causes so much suffering to human being.

The frustrating thing about it all is how it operates below the level of consciousness. It is only when we put ourselves in some kind of self-development training that these decisions and hence behaviours that were adopted to survive come to the consciousness and can be transformed. It took me being told that 'it was like having a five year old (interesting that, given that was where I stopped mentally and emotionally) in charge of a team' and I was asked to stand down' that I saw how deep my need to control was. It was so strong that at one point I thought that I could be mildly autistic (absolutely barking now I now) but I am trying in my clumsy way to demonstrate a process which I believe that all of us as human beings go through. I saw that my obsessive need for control to the point that I would never consider anothers point of view and I got really upset around change stemmed from a decision I made the first time the universe let me down. At that moment I decided that I had to control life and what came out of that emerged a personality whose life became about being in control of every area of life.

I am so grateful that I had the insight to see this and the act of seeing transformed it to the point that I surrender to life now in every second and every moment. As a result I am very mindful. With mindfulness, comes concentration and with concentration comes insight. The gift I got just before Christmas was the gift of no-fear. While fear is there nothing else is possible. I assert that it is human beings fundamental fear of each other which lies at the heart of why looking good and having to be right are ingrained behaviour patterns of humans. If we didn't fear each other we wouldn't be concerned with looking good or having to be right. The having to be right is a sublte form of control. To admit to not being right is to relinquish control which is to be liberated from human suffering.

I was given a beautiful book for Christmas from my friend Lotus by the Vietnamese Master Thich Nhat Hanh called Peaceful Action, Open Heart which is really beautiful. In it he speaks about looking deeply into everything. This is similar to what I write when I say look beyond the appearance to the essence and in that looking something else emerges. Sometimes I feel so frustrated that I can read all these books and there is no learning for me in them. But what I am always left with is the do I teach others to access this ultimate dimension that is always and ever behind the historical dimension. In the book it says that those who can touch the ultimate dimension for a duty to go and teach but what good is words. All words leave is a frustration for me and those I would attempt to teach to. And yet the book also says 'don't be content to abide in your own peace, joy and bliss' so as I write this I am feeling just a tad stuck.

As I start this new year the two qualities that I assert are essential to live an awakened life are surrender and no-fear. It is an interesting development on my spiritual path. I have written in many blogs about the profound experience I had on a meditation retreat in Southern England in 1999 (or 1998) I honestly can't remember which started me off in earnest on this path. Before that experience it was all theory and concepts. That experience made it all so real to the point that it has now become my life's work - breaking the cycle of suffering and being living proof that the spiritual dimension to all of us as humans is just as important in fact more important than the physical, emotional, mental and intellectual dimension of us as human beings. It is the essence of all of the dimensions though it appears to look differently....