Tuesday, March 31, 2009


No one has asked my opinion about the current recession...which is a crying shame actually, because I have a somewhat different perspective to most and one that might actually be more constructive than the all-too pervasive doom and gloom that most people get hooked into.

This whole notion we've operated on, that our economy has to continue growing and growing year by year is a total fallacy. In our capitalist-driven western society we're indoctrinated into the 'more, more, MORE' modus operandi and rarely question it....but let me tell you, life isn't like that! Life is about cycles - you only need to look to the natural world to see that. Everything in life operates in cycles of activity and rest, growth and decay, birth and death. The problem begins the moment we impose value judgements on these cycles: "this is good, but that is bad". We strive to manipulate circumstances to keep producing more of what we think is "good" (say, growth or activity) and do everything in our power to stave off what we deem to be "bad" (in this case, decay or decrease). But it's an artificial system and it doesn't reflect the natural order of life. And there's a word for it: cancer. The cancer cells keep multiplying and multiplying, growing and growing and ultimately prove potentially deadly to the organism. That's what happens when balance is loss and the same is as true for our society (and yes, economy!) as it is for our bodies.

We've lost balance. The very basis of our economy has been rooted in greed and unashamed self-interest at the cost of any concern for the whole. The evidence for this? The fact that millions of people on the planet don't even have clean drinking water, while most people in our society are simply concerned with getting more and more 'things', more money, bigger houses, better cars, fancier gadgets, more exotic holidays....we've become a cancer: a single cell completely out of balance, obsessed with multiplying, with creating more and more and more utterly regardless of the good of the whole.

You can only climb a mountain so far before you reach the top...and then the only way is back down. I actually see this recession as a good thing: hopefully balance will be restored. Hopefully the old systems and modes of being, which were corrupt, hideously self-serving and blatantly unjust will be uprooted and replaced with a system of greater integrity. Our rampant, flagrantly out-of-control materialism hasn't brought us happiness: in fact, a recent study documented that British children are the unhappiest in the world (a shocking statistic when you realise that this includes children in third world countries suffering dire poverty).

Soooo....what's the prognosis then? We need a new way of doing things. One that incorporates not just our own good, but the best interests of the whole. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the wretched suffering being endured by millions of our fellow men while continuing to pursue what has been the One True Religion of the past century: the worship and pursuit of materialism. It's time for a new way. How will this come about? I don't know. In the words of Lennon, 'I'm a dreamer....but I'm not the only one.' I have no doubt that change will happen if enough people start WAKING UP....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

One powerful question

Tibetan nun and teacher Pema Chodron is a true inspiration to me; in particular I love listening to her audio presentations. One of the most striking things she ever said was this; a very pertinent and powerful question and one that touched me on a deep level:

"Since death is certain and time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing?"

Just take a moment to contemplate that. Most of us like to shy away from our mortality and pretend that we're never going to die, and the result is that most of us never really begin to least not fully. We just tend to pass the time in a hazy dream-like state, going from one distraction to the next. No real urgency or purpose. Contemplating your death, far from being morbid, is actually tremendously invigorating and liberating. You realise that time is not finite; and, with that in mind, you can really focus on determining what is most important to you in life.

Make it a habit to stop yourself every so often and remind yourself that your stay on this planet is but a short one and then focus on the big question: what is the most important thing for you, right now? This powerful question has an uncanny way of burning through all the layers of superficiality and things you might have thought were massively important but which really aren't (the petty annoyances, grudges and the various mental-emotional states that, though transient, have a way of completely sucking you in and making you identify with them completely).

So just pause right now....remind yourself that you ain't gonna be here forever, and bearing that in mind, ask yourself what is REALLY important.........

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Make a difference everyday...all it takes is a click of your mouse!

I tried pasting the link to this but it seems that copying and pasting is beyond blogger at the moment (or THIS blogger, at least). But I recommend this to everyone who doesn't already do it. At the Hungersite and its sister pages, including the Animal Rescue site, the Rainforest site and the Breast Cancer site, all you need to do is click a button and money will be donated to that particular cause (it is generated from the advertising). It's a fantastic idea and a superb way to actually make a difference and raise money for important causes - just by sitting on your butt and clicking a button!! So why not actually make the time you spend online MATTER rather than just being wasted 'zone out' time.

At the top of the page are the different tabs for each of the sister sites. It only takes SECONDS to click each of them, so I make a point of doing that every single day and I really plead that you do the same. Thank you!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why on earth would anyone in their right mind want to write a blog?

I ask myself that frequently and have yet to come up with a definitive answer! Why splatter your innermost thoughts and feelings onto an online repository for complete strangers to peruse? Why not? Like the various social networking sites, I guess they can be used positively or negatively depending upon the person using them. No doubt some blogs are merely vessels to prop up the ego or illusory sense of self and no doubt you've come across some of them along your cyber travels, the kind of 'oh this is me, this is my story, isn't it great/awful, don't I matter' schtick. I guess there's a place for that if that's what you're into. I'm not really.

Time and time again I ask myself why I continue to persevere with blogging when in fact I'm actually quite reserved when it comes to sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings. I have a journal I use to regurgitate all that kind of crap and I keep that journal as far from straying eyes as I can - and frankly that's the best thing for everyone concerned. I guess what differentiates me from a lot of other people (and indeed from myself just a few years ago) is that I don't take the mindcrap that spills out of my head and into my journal very seriously. It doesn't warrant that kind of seriousness, though most people fail to realise that. One of the greatest achievements of my life has been the ability to stop taking my thoughts so goddamn seriously. They are just thoughts, just movements of the mind, like clouds passing across the sky....we tend to take them so seriously and invest so much attention and emotion in them, letting those thoughts dictate our interactions, our beliefs, our whole lives...when in fact they are intangible, transient and ultimately wholly insubstantial and illusory. They change. They lack solidity. To base our interpretation and interaction with the world through the screen of thoughts, movements of the mind is actually a core human dysfunction. As the Talmund stated 'we do not see the world as it is; we see it as we are.' It's not until we get out of our mind a little bit that we truly become alive and start to fully engage with life as it is outside of our narrow screen of conceptualisations.

My point? Well, I'm not going to use this blog to post mindcrap, to further pollute this world with inane negativity. By God there's enough of that out there. Nope, there won't be any melodramas or neuroses or salaciousness going down here...I'll keep that for my personal journal! My real purpose in blogging, I believe, is to share the insights, to share the truths that I experience. Sometimes the posts may be quirky or silly...but mostly I will try to share my experience of truth, of getting to the CORE of life, of learning to move beyond suffering, of growing, learning, healing, of learning to more fully express our true spiritual natures, our core essence of beingness...I don't really care if what I have to say confuses or perplexes some people (or everyone!). Life is too damn short for superficiality. If you want superficiality then you're in luck, because the internet is chock full of it. Just not here (I hope!)

Did any of that make sense? My brain is turning a bit mushy. It could be the glass of wine I've been sipping as I write!!

Anyway - I guess this is just a prelude to what's to come as I gear up to take this blog a bit more seriously and write with more regularity. I guess the main reason I'm continuing to write it is that at heart I'm a writer - I love writing and I haven't been doing nearly enough of it. In spite of my shyness (and fear?) at expressing my innermost thoughts for all to see, I have to develop that courage because it's part and parcel of being a writer. It hurts far more when I don't write than when I do, like a little part of me withers and dies when I go too long without stringing some words together for the world to read. At the moment I'm not doing it for the world even, I'm doing it because I feel I have to...I feel most alive when I write. It's who I am.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You have not known what you are

Loving these lines from Walt Whitman. Perhaps if more people really did know who and what they were....instead of being enmeshed in who they think they are (in case you haven't twigged yet - you are not who you think you are; never have been, never will be. If you were merely what you thought you were, that would imply you were only a thought!). You, we, are so much more. I don't know about you but I'm tired of sleep-walking through life on auto-pilot with my eyes closed. It's time to wake up. Wake up now...

For, in the words of Whitman:

O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you!
You have not known what you are,
you have slumber'd upon yourself all your life,
Your eyelids have been the same as closed most of the time...

Whoever you are! Claim your own at any hazard!
These shows of the East and West are tame compared to you,
These immense meadows, these interminable rivers, you are
Immense and immeasurable as they...