The power of the spine/ 3: Feeding the spine

When I noticed with horror – and not a little bit of shame –  that my spine was so chronically starved of energetic food. I was fortunate enough to be at the beginning of a wonderful Buddhist retreat with the teacher Rob Preece and his wife Anna.  They are extremely good at exploring the somatic and embodied aspects […]

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The power of the spine/ 2: The desiccated spine.

The Spine - Mindsprings

We can look to the line of the spine for a more realistic report of our aliveness. But it doesn’t mean we won’t be shocked by what we find. I’ve just been on a retreat in the East Sussex countryside and one of the most startling discoveries on Day One was how absolutely knackered my […]

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The power of the spine/ 1: Hide-and-seek with the self.

Mindsprings The Spine 1

For a couple of weeks at the end of November 2020, I’ve been looking with the on-line community at the exhaustion and depletion many of us are feeling along the line of the spine. This is the energetic core of the self and it’s frightening to see how under-resourced it can be. The following are […]

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Coniston Water: On there being no Pure.

illustrates blog

I’m back filming for Escape to the Country and away from Daniel and the dog for the first time in  months. The first time filming in a year.  And after a day shooting in the Lake District, I leave the crew and head down on foot to Coniston Water.  Like a piece of wrap-around sound […]

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Altogether elsewhere

The final two quatrains of W.H. Auden’s Fall of Rome have been circling in my mind during this extraordinary time. Especially as I think of my friends in New York. I had to search hard to find this photo I took from the top of the Empire State in the summer of 2005. But it […]

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“This is The Hour…”

My friend Jane posted this from a shut-down Manhattan. It’s a quote from an elder of the Hopi Nation. And it sends shivers down my spine. “You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.And there are things to […]

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Sitting Steady in the Storm

Sitting steady - somatic practice

Every news story, every conversation has the potential to knock us off centre. We’re living in very wobbly times. Even turning on the TV or the radio for a minute sends an unsettling surge of cortisol through the system. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can launch tsunamis of unsteadiness into us. Corona virus, the US elections, […]

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On Being a Teacher #3: Emptiness and Bodhicitta

Impermanence and the awakened heart

Impermanence and the awakened heart I’m half way through my Edinburgh weekend and sitting back in the Salisbury Centre guest room, resting after dinner, before I sleep. But I wanted to revisit the theme of being a teacher one more time. There are two further – rather more Buddhisty – aspects which occur to me. […]

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On Being a Teacher #2: Finding New Circles

On Being a Teacher - what it is to be a meditation teacher and how it differs from school

[If you want to read #1 first you can find it here] Starting with what a meditation teacher is not Now I’m in Edinburgh, sitting in a cafe waiting for my toasted goat’s cheese sandwich to appear. I spent the last night with my lovely friend Jenny continuing my discussion about what it is to […]

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