Mögu & My Problem with Teachers

Holy Island Mindsprings Winter Retreat Blog

The need to be a ‘know-it-all’ I have a problem with teachers.  When I was little  – for various reasons I won’t bore you with – I always felt that I had to know the answer before the question was asked. The possibility of being wrong or not being ‘perfect’ was a big problem for […]

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From Retreat 2019: Winter on the Island

Friends whispered that Winter on the Island was the most magical  I’ve been going to Holy Island for almost two decades – sometimes twice or three times a year. But until this January I had never been there in the Winter.  Most of the Mindsprings retreats take place in the Summer and Autumn when vivid-green […]

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Ben the Protector Dog

the sweetest, fondest, brightest dog I’ve ever had Ok, so we have a dog. A puppy. A 40kg puppy.  My husband promised that our Spanish rescue was a small boy, the little one of the litter and probably wouldn’t be any bigger than 35kg full grown.  When he hopped out of the transport van that […]

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Happy Year of the Earth Sow!

Sitting in the winter garden with a head cold I am planning to write a set of blog posts about my 2 week retreat on Holy Island this winter, but I thought I’d ease myself back into writing and using my left-brain with something more embodied and immediate. My husband and I both have terrific […]

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Leaving the Toddler Mind at the Porch of the Church

An art historian with a spooky and potentially kinky relationship I was just reading a lovely article by the New York composer Nico Muhly in the London Review of Books. He was describing his method of composition – which seems to involve a dizzying array of folders and layers and copies and projects which he […]

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The Morning Dread: Shaking Hands with Anxiety

A horrible year of anxiety  completely ruined my sleep cycle. I used to sleep like a log. Like my father in fact, who falls asleep instantly and wakes early each morning. I used to sleep like that. A satisfying black-out with no consequences that I can remember. I simply got up and started my day.  […]

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After a lifetime of searching Alistair finds himself

I have spend four decades (probably more) looking to find myself There’s a great cartoon I saw recently which shows a man looking under a bed at his double  – same shirt, same trousers, same hair – who’s lying there, hiding. The caption runs: “After a lifetime of searching, Leonard finds himself.” The more I […]

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Working with emotions using meditation

The evolutionary background of working with emotions using meditation. We are emotional creatures.  From an evolutionary perspective, we’ve been emotional about 54x longer than we’ve been rational. And this is reflected in our bodies and brains.  Evolution doesn’t work by clean starts. It’s always working with what  was there before. So when our hominid forebears […]

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My Teacher Reggie

Some basic facts about my teacher Reggie Ray I’m about to head off across the Atlantic and spend three weeks in the Rockies with my teacher Reggie.  So I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts and feelings about him – since I’m constantly referring, at least obliquely, to him in so many of my […]

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“Are you sitting uncomfortably…?” – The perils of being comfortable

A failure to empty the dishwasher correctly amounts to a War Crime There’s a great Milan Kundera quote: “The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order.” This is something that I have – in a slightly more buoyant fashion – been contemplating […]

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