Out Terror of Stillness

Most of us are compulsive do-ers and actually afraid of being still and silent. Alistair explores the three interlocking states of being-enjoying-doing and how they can help us relax.

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Introverts and Extroverts

In an excerpt from the 2018 Summer retreat on Holy Island, Alistair explores some of the current thinking about introverts ruling the world and how discomfort can often bring wisdom.

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Entering The Realm of Non-Thought

Alistair starts to explore with the retreatants on Holy Island the realm of “non-thought”. If we no longer identify with our thoughts then what is left? What is our true identity?

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Thoughts Are Not Emotions

In this excerpt from the 2018 Retreat ‘Being Still Still Being’, Alistair looks at the experience of thinking as a phenomenon. What is thinking? And how does it feel?

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Beatniks, Blake and the Body in Space

In a second excerpt from the 2018 Summer retreat on Holy Island, Alistair looks at the potent connection between Tibetan Buddhism and poetry. Touching on Trungpa and the Beatniks and Reggie’s strange love of Wordsworth.

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All Your Thoughts Are Garbage

An excerpt from Alistair Appleton’s 2018 Meditation retreat up on Holy Island. Do our precious thoughts actually add up to that much? Can you remember what you were thinking 5 minutes ago?

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The Container of Retreat

  In this talk from the 2018 “Being Still Still Being” retreat on Holy Island, Alistair lays out the fundamental principles of “retreat”. What needs to happen for us to really sink into our experience? How do the constraints of the Container free us up?

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Holy Island #4: The Topsy-Turvey Logic of Tonglen

In the final chunk from the 2017 Holy Island Compassion retreat Alistair introduces the mind-boggling practice of tonglen, one of the classic Buddhist techniques for rousing the compassionate heart. If you’d like to come to Holy Island this October for more compassion training, please look here. If you’re in London and wanted to experience tonglen […]

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Holy Island #3: The Heath Robinson Self

The third excerpt from Mindsprings’ 2017 Compassion Retreat on Holy Island. Here Alistair explains how we don’t need to judge ourselves for having grown up with faulty ways of dealing with the world. It was a jerry-rigged solution which worked but now causes us pain…

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Holy Island #2: The Pro-Social Roots of Compassion

This is the second excerpt from 2017 Holy Island course on Compassion, where Alistair explains that our bodies are actually perfectly tuned to be compassionate and that we are successful as a species because of it.

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