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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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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Loving the monkey

Mindsprings Loving the monkey Blogpost

This is a tidied up transcript of an answer I gave in the Live Sessions in December 2020. Chuck, sitting with his dog in front of his Christmas tree, was worried that he was having to visualise and discipline himself to keep on track with the 3 object practice we were exploring… OK, so here’s […]

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The Morning Malistair

Mindsprings Anxiety Malistair Blog

I’ve written before about the dread anxiety that can overcome me when I wake from sleep. Working with anxiety in a number of ways, I have managed to largely calm that morning dread down – but nowadays, what I am discovering is another morning entity: the Malistair. As I surface from the dim waters of […]

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On being ill

Mindsprings On being ill with a chronic complaint

I have a chronic complaint – nothing too serious – that comes back time and time again through my life. When I feel it coming on, I have in the past descended into a depressed state because it feels so unfair. The symptoms are mild. Irritating more than anything else. But they linger and they […]

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The power of the spine/ 3: Feeding the spine

But how do you feed a 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 […]

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

The Spine - Mindsprings

I needed to replenish my beautiful spine from top to bottom if I was going to be meaningful in this world. 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 […]

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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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