Understanding the weather of emotions: Candace Pert’s “Molecules of Emotion”

Mindsprings blog post Molecules

This is a ‘re-run’ of a blog I wrote more than 10 years ago but still seems relevant – especially to the 5th Being of the Beingfulness practice: Being Emotional.  I’ve been filming down in Herefordshire and Dorset for ‘Escape’, which means I’ve also been out in the cold a lot in this chilly Northwind. […]

Read More


Mindsprings blog post Freud

This is a tidied up transcript of an answer I gave in the Live Sessions in February 2021. Tamsyn mentioned her dislike of reading Freud during her therapy training, and I jumped to his defence… The thing about Freud is, he is a stylist. Freud is a Viennese writer of the 1900s. He’s an amazing […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More


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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

The Asymmetric Self

Alistair Appleton Mindsprings The Asymmetric Self

There’s a question that comes up often in the Mindsprings meditation sessions: “When I am sitting or lying doing these body-based practices, I often notice that one side of my body is completely off-line or dull compared to the other one. Is this normal?”Judging by the number of times the asymmetric self arises, I would say […]

Read More