Yesterday I buried a friend. Today I saw a man who was broken, wretched, confused and reeking of insanitary hells and death, who had been thrown out of a car outside the meeting. I feel intensely moved to write about recovery, in the hope that someone somewhere may find some small hope or inspiration in these words. Continue reading On Recovery – Hope and Inspiration
It doesn’t matter what mental state you find yourself in, they change all the time, but I guarantee that if you are able to get out into nature, it will improve. Even if you simply start to take stock of the positive, if you start to see what is around you with gratitude and through the eyes of appreciation, if you can practise seeing the beauty, then uplift will follow .
To simply go for a walk, to see the world, especially nature, cannot help but lift low spirits and confused minds. Looking outward, dropping commentary, dropping into the body. To walk amidst the change of the weathers and the seasons, and see that each is unique and beautiful, this is the path of happiness.
Let me take you on a journey, from the hells of addiction to the peaks of experience. I wish I had heard this when I was younger, so please allow me to give you a gift, a gift I need to give.
We all seek a refuge in life, we all seek happiness and freedom. Drugs and alcohol are an easy way out, a well trod path from pain. Sadly though, they lead to more suffering.
Addiction is very much like a cave system, you leave the world and go into a warm and inviting room. A cosy pub or party, with smiles and beautiful, jolly people. You like it there, and you want to stay. Your social life is now a search for this feeling of cosiness, of security, of confidence, of smiles. Continue reading A Letter to the Addict – A Seed of Hope and a Lamp for the Path
I had an experience of some difficult or painful emotions over the weekend. There is no need to go into the story around the emotions, suffice to say that it led me to seek out ways to change the way I was feeling. I chose to do this through food, having given up anything else I could possibly use!
I know the theories, I understand that food or anything else cant help, or change the feeling. I wanted comfort, I wanted avoidance, from some painful feelings.
So I acted out, and promptly felt even worse, frustrated with myself and sad. So eventually I did what I should have done straight away, I turned towards it. Continue reading Flow, and The Changing of Difficult Emotions
We see our lives in various ways, in diverse lights, and set the way we live against diverse systems of understanding and making sense of this life. We are. We exist. We have a body so we see and hear and smell and taste and touch. We process this, and we think. However we see consciousness, we think, we exist.
Beliefs and frameworks are optional, and can be very comforting. The Buddha exhorted his disciples to question everything, and to accept the validity of diverse paths. Once there, all beliefs, structures, and all rafts across the oceans of samsara fall away. Continue reading How Do Your Beliefs Condition Your Life?
Creating the self. We are essentially a product of what we think about and our beliefs. Believing in enlightenment, or tao, or approaching God, or some way of framing a goal is important to keep us practising. This belief, simply put, changes our consciousness, and involves working with our consciousness in some way. Continue reading Believing in Enlightenment – Existentialism, Doubt, Lemmings, and Hope
Taking and giving. In meditation one visualises breathing in the sufferings of the world, and breathing out relief, or happiness. It is a training in altruism. This meditation will reduce selfish attachment, increase a sense of renunciation, create good karma by giving, and to develop and expand loving-kindness and bodhicitta. All six perfections are involved – giving, ethics, patience, joyous effort, concentration, and wisdom. Continue reading Tonglen – Gently Beheading the Ego
Sometimes in life or in meditation there is suffering.
Loneliness. Feeling trapped. Feeling lost, confused. Unhappiness, feeling unfulfilled, something is not quite right. Continue reading Transformation of Suffering – Re-Wiring Self-Cherishing and Opening Out
Right now, life may seem terribly gloomy, sometimes it does. If there is darkness then embrace it, go into it for you cannot run from it. Sometimes our suffering is like a rite of passage we must pass through on our journey. It can burn gently or wildly, but it is the most powerful catalyst for personal growth that there is.
There may be something you must face, a lesson to learn. Many people go through their whole lives running, avoiding seeing this truth, this groundlessness, whichever aspect of groundlessness that so terrifies.
Sometimes there is anger, resentment over harms done or hearts broken, sometimes there is guilt over harms done or hearts broken. Sometimes there is fear and anxiety about the present, the future. Sometimes there is sickness, old age and death. Sometimes there is change. Continue reading A Letter to the Suffering