EGO TRIPS: You can’t be at your own funeral

Speaking personally, the ‘ego’ and everything to do with it was a real turn-off for me previous to this Summer. There was something about the concept about the way it was bandied around by Buddhists that made my mind curdle. “What are they really talking about?”, “Surely, this is just more self-mortification – another form […]

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Talk at the British Museum

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One of the lovely things about being a teacher for a while is that ex-students pop up in unusual places. I was really incredibly flattered to be asked by my ex-student Freddie Matthews, who heads up the events at the British Museum in London, to co-present an evening event at the Museum on the subject […]

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A dark night of the Buddhist Soul

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I was listening to my podcasts on the way home from a weekend in Devon. Daniel and I are both avid podcast consumers and I have a bunch downloaded for long car journeys like that. Since they’re arranged rather randomly on the iphone I never know which is coming next, so I was rather startled […]

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The toad that croaks “No!”

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This was the second of our Mindsprings summer retreats exploring the overlap of marking-marking and meditating. Isobel, my friend and co-facilitator, makes it very clear that there is a distinction between making marks and making Art. So often, the ‘idea’ of Art is one of perfection, of perfect versimilitude, of accurate draughtmanship and photographic realism. […]

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Ryan#5: Dharma Poetics…

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These are the Silence Islands where what outsiders would consider almost imperceptible aural amusements land like coconuts on the crystalline hammers and anvils of the native inhabitants Theirs is a refinement so exquisite that, for example, to rhyme anything with hibiscus is interdicted anytime children or anyone weakened by sickness is expected. The Silence Islands […]

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Start of Term

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It feels like the start of term. After our unseasonably early Summer and hot spells, the year seems to have been teased into running a month ahead of itself. The bushes are full of blackberries, which usually don’t appear until mid-September, the apples in the orchard are ready for picking, there’s definitely a tiny sniff […]

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What Mindsprings Stands For

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A couple of weeks ago I went to a day-long conference in Brighton hosted by the political journalist, Paul Mason. There were a number of interesting speakers but it was Mason’s closing speech that really cut the deepest. Bear in mind this was just a week after Trump had been elected President, a few months […]

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Ten Reasons Why Samadhi is so Necessary Right Now

Samadhi, the forgotten twin sister of mindfulness practice, is a meditation approach that focuses on spaciousness and steadiness. In this world where media memes of fear, xenophobia, paranoia and envy seem to be becoming more and more inescapable, having some sense of the gaps and space in between the barrage of stimuli is life-saving. Samadhi […]

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Samahi and the Sacred

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It’s been a couple of week’s since I left the Island. And the resonance of what we explored there seems to be growing. First off, it was a very powerful group and a lot of powerful magic happened in the 6 days of the retreat – all of it swirling around the central point of […]

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Samadhi Tip #8

Being lost in our storyline is usually boring and fusty-dusty. The ego is characterised by a mirthless and relentless quality. Space is witty and light. When we rest in the fluid and spacious experience of samahdi then the solidity and mirthlessness of the ego often strikes us as intensely funny. Feel free to chuckle at […]

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