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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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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Language #1: Cutting your thinking mind some slack

Mindsprings Blog Post Language Part 1

I’ve been grappling with the issue of language/thinking for many decades, but lately have had a few clarifying insights that I’d like to share here. I’m grateful to the brilliant community of meditators on the Mindsprings Practice Space with whom I explore these issues. And to the work of Phil Mollon, Evan Thompson and Francisco Varela […]

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The Inner Geography of the Spine

This is a transcription from a live teaching session with a question from a student about physical pain and the energy spine. You’re very welcome to join these 3x a week live sessions and participate in the meditation instruction and the discussions afterwards. They’re great… You can try out the re- and discharging the spine […]

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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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