Happiness is… a silent retreat

I haven’t practiced yoga and meditation for very long in the grand scheme of things; both in the scheme of my years on the planet to-date and the scheme of comparative experience to others on the path, many of whom have been at it from a very young age. However, I count my blessings daily that not only have I been fortunate enough to encounter these teachings at all in this life, but that the opportunities to study with some incredible teachers have come my way, ensuring that I don’t spend years or even decades, digging down a blind alley in the misguided hope that it will bring me the ultimate cookies – deep inner peace.

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Beautiful Dhamma Vihara

Continue reading “Happiness is… a silent retreat”

This (extra)ordinary life

This week I went to London to hear Jeff Foster speak. Next week I am going to study with Burgs. Today, as I sit in my teacher sandwich, I reflect on, and look forward to, the continual lifting of the veil.  So grateful for these amazing teachers, patiently pointing out that although there appears to be a great lesson and a long journey, all that incredible stuff we want to experience is all here, already. Everything we ever dreamed of; love, acceptance, belonging, peace, joy. All of it is ours for the taking, right now. We just have to pay enough attention to really notice.

Living reality

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Staring at swallows

In my job, I work for 12 days on, and then have two days off and I’ve started taking myself up to a friend’s house in the hills behind the village to treat myself to a couple of days of complete rest. Fasting; long, slow yoga practices that can take all afternoon if I feel like it, with a little nap-break in the middle, formsilver birch skyal meditations, or just sitting watching a bee cleaning itself for 20 minutes. Just giving myself permission to do nothing and seeing what unfolds. Sometimes I read for a bit, then lie and stare at the swallows and wonder when they’re going to migrate north. Continue reading “Staring at swallows”

I am Gaia

Tonight I4. Bhakti lay on my yoga mat and cried. Not that unusual in the grand yoga scheme of things, but unusual for me. Some of my friends from yoga cry in most practices. I rarely cry and if I do, it’s usually because of an intense back-bend or Mari D adjustment and is followed by relieved laughter. But tonight I cried for humanity. Like Leeloo in the film ‘The fifth element’ when she reads the encyclopaedia and sees the history of humanity’s war against itself. And she cries and cries for the waste of life and the pain and the suffering, and she feels it like it were being done to her. Continue reading “I am Gaia”

Am I Bothered?

Most health-conscious individuals will have at some point been asked, about one aspect of their lifestyle choices, “Why bother?” usually followed by “We’re all going to die anyway, might as well enjoy ourselves while we’re here. The more I question myself about why I bother, the more it comes down to one basic premise… that surely prevention is better than cure.

The potential negative consequences of ‘enjoying’ oneself in the context of excessive drinking, smoking, eating processed food etc are too concerning for me to ignore. Although I do agree in principle that life’s too short for regrets, I’m pretty sure that if I were diagnosed with lung cancer I would suddenly regret every cigarette I’ve ever smoked (actually I already do regret that). Continue reading “Am I Bothered?”

Yogic breathing on a snowboard

baden kniftonLearning to snowboard is… very much like making love to beautiful woman.  OK maybe it’s not and I just slipped into a little bit of Swiss Tony for a minute there, but learning to snowboard IS actually like learning to meditate.

Whenever you find a good teacher, they will learn enough about you to find a way to connect your life and your interests to what they are trying to teach you; so that you have a frame of reference that you already understand and can apply this to the new skill you are trying to acquire. Continue reading “Yogic breathing on a snowboard”

Find your Self: A beginner’s first meditation

Grammar matters. What happens if you take a fairly over-used phrase and muck about with the grammar?

Find yourself.
Find your self.
Find your Self.

Let’s give your Self a name, Self. It’s all going to get a bit existential at this point, but not long ago I became aware of the possible difference between me and my Self. Continue reading “Find your Self: A beginner’s first meditation”