Blog

Understanding the weather of emotions: Candace Pert’s “Molecules of Emotion”

Mindsprings blog post Molecules

This is a ‘re-run’ of a blog I wrote more than 10 years ago but still seems relevant – especially to the 5th Being of the Beingfulness practice: Being Emotional.  I’ve been filming down in Herefordshire and Dorset for ‘Escape’, which means I’ve also been out in the cold a lot in this chilly Northwind. […]

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Freud

Mindsprings blog post Freud

This is a tidied up transcript of an answer I gave in the Live Sessions in February 2021. Tamsyn mentioned her dislike of reading Freud during her therapy training, and I jumped to his defence… The thing about Freud is, he is a stylist. Freud is a Viennese writer of the 1900s. He’s an amazing […]

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Mother Nature doesn’t care about suffering. Buddha does.

Mindsprings blog post Mother Nature, Buddha and Suffering

I have been really deeply inspired by the experience of leading the Dharma Days for Mindsprings.  After my initial introduction to the bells and whistles of Tibetan Buddhism up at Samye Ling and on Holy Island twenty years ago, I found myself hankering after something simpler and more austere. And so I really immersed myself […]

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Dynamiting the prison of the present

Mindsprings blog post

Karen spoke about feeling trapped in the present. As meditators, we’re always encouraged to stay in the present and “be here now”, but what if I feel claustrophobic and stuck in a present that seems to be full of stress and worry and demands? That sounds like a very productive place to be. I think […]

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Not a Buddhist boarding school

Mindsprings blogs post Not a Buddhist boarding school

This is a transcript from this recent recorded lesson at The Mindsprings Practice Space  Alistair: You were saying that you were feeling a bit poorly and you’re not feeling top-notch. And – rather provocatively – I was saying it doesn’t matter what you’re feeling! I think this is really super important and I can’t emphasise […]

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Comedy

Mindsprings blog post Comedy

When I was growing up, the mother of the family across the road, Marilyn Chapman was a teacher at a local school . I remember talking to her at some party at their house when I was 17 or so. I was talking about my French ‘A’ level set texts and was moaning about how […]

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Imbolc

Mindspring Frosty Euphorbia

It’s over here in Newhaven.  The zero winter, when everything is hard-frozen like stone and the rain, when it comes, is cold and steely. It’s already been and gone.  The pagans say that Imbolc (Feb 1-2) is the beginning of spring Today, the first day after Imbolc, the rain comes down like spring-water. Clear, sensuous, […]

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Beating ourselves into happiness

Mindsprings blog post Beating ourselves into submission

This is a transcript from a recent lesson at The Mindsprings Practice Space There’s a lovely teaching, by Pema Chodron about not mistaking control for love. If you want to control somebody or something or control your experience, we might think of that as being meditation or- even worse – we might think of it […]

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Language #3: Thinking and Language as the Bridge of Love

Mindsprings blog post Language Part 3

NOTE: I think in this last blog I am in some sense arguing myself OUT of a position that I have thoughtlessly held for many years. That is, the idea that liberation is a wordless affair, best done in the silence of the heart. What is dawning on me that this is only half of […]

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Language #2: The Real, the Imaginary and the Symbolic

Mindsprings blog post Language 2

In the first part of this blog on language and thinking, I argued that the human experience  of thinking  is fundamentally grounded in what is not and that it is inherently anxiety-evoking. And this second blog is going to suggest  – counter to what you might instinctively think as a meditator – that this is a price well-worth paying.  Deliciously, […]

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