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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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Purification

from puritanical austerity to gentle cleansing. A picture of flaring light behind the heads of people walking down a street.

Alistair looks at how his view of purification has changed from puritanical austerity to gentle cleansing.

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On Being A Teacher #1: Finding the Thread

So many friends have been discussing what being a meditation teacher actually means This is going to be a blog in live time. I’m pulling out of the station at Kings Cross on my way up to Edinburgh on the east coast train line up the country. There’s green tea in my keep-cup and I […]

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How I became a Buddhist /3

Alistair at Wat Pah Nanachat

This is part 3 of a long essay I wrote back in the Noughties about my discovery of Buddhism. I’ve travelled quite a long way within the Buddhist landscape since then but it’s a lovely snap shot of that bright, excited space of being a new Refugee in the Buddhist community… Part 3: Finding my […]

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How I became a Buddhist / 2

Alistair Appleton on summit of Holy Island

This is Part 2 of an old blog post I’ve exhumed and reposted. It’s probably more than 15 years old – but expresses in detail my early interest in the spiritual. Enjoy! Part 2: The bonfire of the “shoulds” As a child I’d had a very vivid sense of religosity. I’d sung in the village […]

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How I became a Buddhist /1

This is a long essay I wrote back in the Noughties about my path to Buddhism. I think when I wrote it I was still practicing Theravadan Buddhism and had not yet been to Brazil and drunk ayahuasca. Which would explain its rather smug, unruffled tone! But nonetheless it has some interesting stuff. In the […]

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