Pivot 53: Focus on what tickles you

Basking in the feeling of loving others – or FOLO as I have been calling it these last two days – is so good. It’s a natural state of ease, of physical relief, of positive attention. When we are basking in FOLO, there’s not really much else ‘to do’ – our actions becomes secondary to the flowing, connected, in touch feeling state. It’s so much easier to forget about ourselves, and drop masks when  our attention is on that other being, in a state of loving.

If only…

Go on. Get it off your chest. 

If only some people…

We hear you. ‘…weren’t so unlovable’?


Think about it. The people you felt were acting in such unlovable ways: were they people you knew well or didn’t know well? 

They were people I didn’t know well. Acquaintances. Or ‘strangers’.

Excellent. So let’s ask you something. Is it just a coincidence that you only know (and know well) the lovable people? Or..? 

Or is it that it’s easier to love people when you know them? Yes.

In other words, when we are strangers to each other, our behaviours can seem alienating, jarring, unprincipled. Right? 

Partly, I feel it’s that some people are in a very wired state at the moment. Others are very, hm, neurotypical-acting and maybe I’m becoming less capable of vibing in that state as I spend more time in my own space. People can be really shocking in work communications… But maybe I’ve re-developed some sensitivity. What do you think?

Maybe you are being tested on the old skill of keeping focus on what lights you up, what interests you, what tickles you, what feels fun. 

But with work – and weirdly, it’s week 3 and we’ve all just normalised working from home, and the ‘special consideration for each other’ factor has diminished… possibly because some people are crawling up the walls trying to parent and work simultaneously – you have to give attention to whatever arises.

Maybe you are being tested on the old skill of keeping focus on what lights you up, what interests you, what tickles you, what feels fun. 

Haha. It tickles me when you do that. Ok. So, open my eyes fully to the ticklers, and give somewhat fleeting attention to the less-tickling? THAT would be a good skill. That would be a 180 degree reversal on some of my old ways. I like it. As my beloved Mum taught me, shrug your shoulders at the ones giving you trouble.

Shall we read?


Ha! It’s uncanny. Another chapter which speaks directly to the themes I’m running for the day! Here, we look at how it’s ok that ‘we love flowers, and we do not care for weeds.’ The problems arise when we ‘point out anything in particular’ – when we try and draw attention to that which we don’t like or, I guess, make special/exclusive something we do. Being open and accepting to all that is – aka being non-attached – including that which we love and that which we hate, is to recognise that ‘in essence they are the same’.

ATTACHMENT, NON-ATTACHMENT: Dogen-zenji said, “Although everything has Buddha nature, we love flowers, and we do not care for weeds.” This is true of human nature. But that we are attached to some beauty is itself Buddha’s activity. That we do not care for weeds is also Buddha’s activity. We should know that. If you know that, it is all right to attach to something. If it is Buddha’s attachment, that is non-attachment. So in love there should be hate, or non-attachment. And in hate there should be love, or acceptance. Love and hate are one thing. We should not attach to love alone. We should accept hate. We should accept weeds, despite how we feel about them. If you do not care for them, do not love them; if you love them, then love them. … Nevertheless, as Dogen said, “A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.” Even though it is so, this is our life.  … Emotionally we have many problems, but these problems are not actual problems; they are something created; they are problems pointed out by our self-centered ideas or views. Because we point out something, there are problems. But actually it is not possible to point out anything in particular. Happiness is sorrow; sorrow is happiness. There is happiness in difficulty; difficulty in happiness. Even though the ways we feel are different, they are not really different, in essence they are the same. This is the true understanding transmitted from Buddha to us. Zen Mind p118-121

May I soften my inner state so that I am less dualistic.

May I be tickled by that which tickles me, and accepting of that which I don’t care for.

May I have that breadth, that expansiveness of vision to be unruffled by the things that trouble me.

May I have the self-assurance not to have to centre-stage my likes and dislikes, but to be able softly to put my arms round all that I experience. Like the archetypal teacher who roots for all the children in her class, the studious ones and the naughty ones. May I bring that kind of ‘rooting for them’ acceptance to all the things I think I like and don’t like. And, crucially, the people too.

May I know that all, in its infinite variety, is a part of the blessed whole.

And yet, may I magnify that which I love, in my own mind, for the sheer bliss of it. I feel sure that our capacity for love is important. If you love flowers and don’t care for the weeds, while loving all… you still do your gardening! You still pull out the weeds, and gaze in appreciation at your flowers. Right?

Exactly so. It is simply that you are less perturbed – or offended – by the weeds. That which troubled you about the acquaintances yesterday was simply that which lies unresolved in you. 

The ‘Poor me’ story? I thought I’d worked on that shadow!!

If you had cleared ‘Poor me’ in you, it wouldn’t have troubled or offended you when you saw it in another person. (You wouldn’t have run and told G about it.)

Yes. That is true. So…

So at this precious time in human history, admit that you like flowers. Admit that you love tending flowers in your garden. Admit that you don’t like weeds. Admit that you clear weeds from your garden. 

I’m guessing we’re speaking metaphorically here. I guess you’re asking me to admit to the things I really like, and to be truthful about what I don’t like. To be coherent and authentic, in other words.

Well, that takes some presence of mind: a) to be honestly aware of what that is and b) to be able to articulate it.

What a great exercise, eh?!

Haha. Yes.

What are your flowers? What are your weeds? If you know that we don’t vilify weeds – we just lovingly remove them from the garden – it’s easier to be honest about what we consider weeds. It’s about honest appraisal. The painter who uses all the colours on her palate so that none ‘feel left out’ doesn’t necessarily get the painting she was actually after. Look at your garden, or your painting, with the eyes of a creator. You love all plants and all colours, but what is the most pleasing combination in your eyes in the scene in front of you? In your eyes, dear friend, not any one else’s. What is your perfect flower garden, your stirring watercolour? What tickles you? What pleases you? 

You are the Creative Source in action. Use your discernment as an artist would. Create beauty, create darkness, create shock, create peace. Create whatever is in you to create. You will know, because it will light you up. 

Choose what tickles you, what pleases you, what lights you up.

Focus on what tickles you



Pivot 52: Bask in that feeling of loving others

Yesterday was a day of two ‘episodes in the time of coronavirus’.

Episode One – 12 noon: my Government permitted daily walk

A beautiful walk in the sunny woods, working that idea of ‘seeing the solution on the horizon’, playing the actor who knows the Good iOS is downloading, relishing the perfect beauty of the sun bouncing through the leaf-budding branches. I listened to a superb talk by Abraham-Hicks on seeing yourself through the eyes of your inner being. (“Your Inner Being says ‘I like to love.’) It made me want to ask my Inner Being, holder of all my inmost desires, what it knew about my true wishes. Oh wow, when the voice started to come through (“You wish …xyz, abc, rst…”) it so made me laugh – talk about having your secret hopes brought forth to the glaring light of day. So revealing. And clearly, some of the things I’m currently diligently ‘working on’ are not even actually what I really want…!

I won’t share those telling Inmost Desires here – except to add how very much I clearly cherish this space, and how important the theme of dialogue is to me. And a little about how I’d love to travel. But, I do want to note that dialoguing with the part of you that knows your Inmost Desires is an excellent exercise in self-knowing! Once you get your Inmost Desires out on the table, you can start to chew them over, play with them, dance with them, be tickled by them. There’s no need for resistance, or… duty. It’s about trusting that our happiest Inmost Desires are expressions of our soul’s mission, and therefore not to be bottled up or denied or repressed. This is information I would really, really like to absorb.

Episode Two – 4pm: Sobbing in the supermarket.

We were getting low on some food items. I hadn’t been to the shops since way before lockdown and all the accompanying televised scenes of supermarket panic-buying of loo rolls and hand sanitiser. A couple of weeks at least. G suggested maybe I’d like to get out, and maybe go to the bigger supermarket to get a few things we all like. We had actually, between the three of us at home, compiled quite a list of things we’d like from the next shopping trip.

Inside, I was sayingNO! We don’t need these things. Let’s do without and run down our supplies further. It’s risky out there! Or at least, let’s do a dash in to a small shop for a couple of essentials, but otherwise use up stuff in the freezer for meals. And also, why don’t you want to go? Is it dangerous, and you’re sending my into the lion’s den for your own protection?! I don’t want to go out there. I’ve diligently kept myself free of this virus thing – I don’t want to put myself at risk now. I don’t want to die of this thing…!” As you can see, there was a lot arising in me. So much for seeing the Good iOS on the horizon! Anyway, I didn’t say this out loud. G sensed my trepidation and offered to drive us and wait for me in the carpark.

Again, part of me was wondering, how could he just drop me off in the infection zone and stay safely in the car?!  But then, maybe it was my turn to run the gauntlet, I acknowledged solemnly to myself. In the car, to try and clear myself of this fear, I turned off the radio programme (on the dangers of not social distancing), and I asked G why he didn’t want to come in with me. He explained it was simply because he understood we needed to limit the number of people in the supermarket – that’s why he wasn’t suggesting we went in together. Ah, ok, that figures.

We arrived at Sainsbury’s car park. There were barriers to channel what must have been queues earlier in the day. Posters plastered on the windows insisted ‘only 1 adult per shopping trip’. Ah, ok, I admitted to myself, they really do want to limit people in there. And it’s my turn. I gathered the shopping bags and some clinical wipes for the trolley handle and headed in, leaving G in the car.

I can’t describe how weird and dystopian it was in Sainsbury’s. On the one hand, there was the familiarity of being greeted by the voguing mannequins and ‘seasonal gifts’. On the other hand, a warmly-voiced announcement echoed overhead, soothly requesting that customers “stay 2 metres apart from each other, for the safety of everyone”. We customers all wove about the aisles to avoid each other, like polite, trolley-wielding dancers at a Regency ball. Except of course, the large man who breathily leant across my face to pick himself something from the shelf I was looking at. I recoiled and held my breath. Maybe it was just better not to breathe deeply until I got out, but I had this huge shopping list, and G and A were anticipating all this good stuff… It was going to take a while. I clutched the damp hand sanitiser cloth harder and rubbed it into my palms.

Maybe some 5 minutes in, I reached out for some coriander – coriander for heavens’ sake – and felt my head start to spin. It was clearly too much. The weirdness, the alienation from fellow humans, the shrinking from each other, the sense of the invisible threat, the complete normality melded with futuresque sci-fi horror film. The tears started to well up. ‘Let them through’, I thought. I’ve plenty of practice crying my way through sensory overload in public places. I think it was spotting the young shop worker, quietly restocking the salad shelf, that finished me. Here I was, reeling with the imagined risk of being in this strange public space for half an hour, and there was this young man just immersed in it all day long, taking the risk for his own economic security and for our collective ability to feed ourselves. Tears poured down my face and I felt close to fainting.

I pulled my trolley to one side and slumped over it. I hoped this would all pass. But it didn’t. It dawned on me that, while I might not mind people seeing me in an emotional meltdown, people might think I was rapidly coming down with ‘something’, and that wasn’t fair on them. Reluctantly, I called G and asked him to accompany me. Bless him, he whizzed right in, took the trolley and gave me the keys to go and sit in the car. Which I did. And where I wailed. And wailed.

I think I had become protected from the reality of it all by staying at home so diligently, and this was my first venture out. The strangeness of the outside world was shocking – the roads so empty too, and driving passed the shops and restaurants all dark and shut up like a Sunday in the eighties.  It is not the world we lived in two weeks ago – and why? Because of a pandemic. It’s mind-boggling. A dam of concern, grief, shock and bewilderment burst in my venturing out. I am in awe of our key workers. I am humbled to the ground by our hospital workers saving the lives of people with the disease – working 12 hour shifts with inadequate PPE (personal protective clothing).

Help me sit with this today, please. Help me make meaning of this, please. What am I to learn, to do, to absorb? How can I make my participation in this historic event more than just diligently ‘staying inside’?

There was a word which spoke deeply to you in a tweet you read the other day. What was it? 


Hang on. Let me find it.

Hm… the word ‘dedication’ is not written here, but exemplified…

Or possible, it was this one <3:


Heck, man. It just drains you of life force to contemplate the nobility of what these doctors and nurses are doing. Handing over their lives for the sake of others. For the sake of strangers.

Yesterday, I started reading a book (yes, reading an actual book! Poetry speed is coming back,..) I’ve had on the shelf for over a year:

What is it about the startling dedication of these doctors?

The Inner Being says, “I like to love. I love to feel love flowing through me. That’s what I do best. That’s what I enjoy more than anything.” There is no greater act of love than to relieve suffering. Do you see? 

Yes. I believe I do. And that explains why I enjoy training less than I do mediating!! Because my training is ‘in-theory’ learning for participants so that they might relieve the hypothetical suffering of hypothetical others, maybe, in the hypothetical future. In mediating, you are actively relieving suffering on the spot from the moment you say ‘tell me about what’s happened so far’ – which, I now gather, is what the Inner Being loves to do.

And the word ‘dedication’?

dedication noun (TIME/ENERGY)

the willingness to give a lot of time and energy to something because it is important:

Willingness to give time and energy…

Interesting. Like, if the Inner Being loves to relieve suffering, why wouldn’t you be willing to give time and energy? It feels good to flow with your IB, right?

Time to read…


BELIEVING IN NOTHING: Usually thinking is rather self-centered. In our everyday life our thinking is ninety-nine percent self-centered: ‘ ‘Why do I have suffering? Why do I have trouble?” This kind of thinking is ninety-nine percent of our thinking. For example, when we start to study science or read a difficult sutra, we very soon become sleepy or drowsy. But we are always wide awake and very much interested in our self-centered thinking ! But if enlightenment comes first, before thinking, before practice, your thinking and your practice will not be self-centered. By enlightenment I mean believing in nothing, believing in something which has no form or no color, which is ready to take form or color. This enlightenment is the immutable truth. It is on this original truth that our activity, our thinking, and our practice should be based. Zen Mind p113.

Ooh. Spot on. Here am I in this historic crisis, thinking About Me. And I have heard clearly today that non-self-centred thinking/action is a blessed relief to the Inner Being, which was designed to LOVE others….

To love others and SEE them as WELL, PERFECT and HEALED. 

Ah yes. So, be careful not to drum up ‘suffering’ in others so that you can get the rush of relieving it. Tricky stuff, this.

The point is that when we are free enough to think of others, and can see them as fellow sparks of Source in our psychological solar system, we start to rejoice. 


Rejoice. A good word, and much looser for you than the word ‘dedication’ which brings about a touch of inner strain in you, no? 

‘Rejoice in the perfect wellbeing of others.’ Now there’s a pass-time to get your head round. 

Ok, but isn’t ‘perfect wellbeing’ a bit triggery itself? I see my Dad on a family video call and I’m glad-ragging to myself about his ‘perfect wellbeing’, and then I’m reminded… he can’t see the screen, and he’s afraid in isolation, and he’s stressed about the fact he was due to move house next month, and he’s conscious his income is running out now the interest rates have dropped to 0.1%…

Isn’t that the perfect time to hold your vision of his perfect wellbeing? What’s the worst that can happen to him? 

He croaks..?

Exactly! And what is croaking..? 

Stepping out of physical form.

And who suffers most when someone croaks? 

Those left behind.

So can you dedicate your time and energy to seeing the perfection in what is? Can you? Can you put on your rose tinted spectacles and re-view the world? 

Your shopping trip yesterday. Let’s reframe it: a bountiful warehouse of nourishment was open, and was well-organised so everyone should have a good experience. Meanwhile, across the planet, people are resting; the planet is replenishing itself; key workers are experiencing the opportunity to overcome their deepest fears and bask in the delight their Inner Being feels in being of selfless service to others; children are released from school and adults from offices, and they can fall into rhythms at home together; some people are walking on out of this physical form in accordance with their original soul’s plan; bereaved loved ones, with hearts burst open, are learning the truest meaning of love. 

Seeing the perfection of all things, at all times, especially now, is the gift we can give this planet now. Go back to A Course In Miracles. Can you live by its teaching now? Can you? There is no error. There are no mistakes. There is no wrong. There is no sin. There is only glistening perfection in each moment. Sweet soul, truly, if you can hold that knowledge now, you are offering up a service. Rejoice in the perfection of this day. And, believe in nothing. Bring no story of salvation. If you can watch the ‘apocalypse’ at close range and know simply that it is not as it seems, then you will be gifting good energy to this time. Feel your feelings. Let them flood through. Heal and release old fears and sadnesses. Wail as you did yesterday. All is of value. All of it. Your waking attentions, and your releasing naps. Let it all be as it is, without your making right/wrong or good/bad of any of it. Rejoice in your equanimity, that perfect balance of “maybe – maybe not” which allows you not to flee from: attending (showing up for) reality in a state of perfect calm. Rejoice in your certitude in the perfection of all, which permits you to remain right here right now, moment after moment. Rejoice in your capacity to love – and in the delight of your Inner Being when it feels love flowing through it. Can you just marvel at that? What a system you have in there! Awesome. No wonder the human species has survived. It fuels itself on loving others. Bask is that feeling of loving others. Bask in it today. 

Wow, what a rampage of wisdom and wonder. Thank you!

Bask in that feeling of loving others


Pivot 51: See the solution on the horizon

Hello, dear Special Interest. You know, I realised this morning that it’s been nearly 4 weeks of social distancing for me. I got a cold on the 3rd March (today is the 28th March) and, out of respect for concerns about the incoming coronavirus, I cancelled my in-person meetings for a few days. Then my bookings gradually started to get picked off – one by one, from the 12th March. Between 3rd and 28th March I’ve left home (but not the village, where I’ve taken walks daily) as follows:

  • 8th – an evening class (4 hours out)
  • 11th – 1 hour training session and visit to a small shop (3 hours out)
  • 13th – to see my parents (3 hours out)
  • 15th – birthday lunch out and evening class (7 hours out)
  • 18th – urgent 9 hour round trip to collect DD from uni (12 hours out)

= 28 hours away from home/village in the last 576h (24h x 24 days – 3rd and 28th March)

=548 hours at home/village since 3rd March

My car is gathering dust in the drive. What days. What mercies, really: to be here, safe for now. Holding the fort with two of my loved ones, with enough supplies (G has been out for shopping twice since restrictions came into play), and endless access to video calls with family, friends and colleagues. Outside, where the sun has been shining for days, woods and fields roll out endlessly, so our  government-permitted ‘daily walks’ are exquisite.

Beyond the boundaries of our sweet village, things are very different for many. Am I volunteering to help at the front lines? Alas, no. But I am trying to turn my business round and remain financially self-sustaining… I’m starting to feel a bit conflicted.

You have all been asked to stay at home. Be at home for now. 

It’s been nearly four weeks!

Feeling the stir..?

I am enjoying the new routines, and not being so physically exhausted. But yes, maybe I am starting to miss the stimulation? Time to dig in?

Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it right…

Sorry. I think that was me, not you….Can’t concentrate today because I’m in company…

Let’s read. 

Wait. I have one more thing to say. THE WHEELS ARE COMING OFF THIS WORLD. COMING OFF, I TELL YOU. And within this all, the battle of STO vs STS (service to others/self) is raging at full pace. The STO-minded people are excelling themselves: NHS staff, key workers, NZ govt, community volunteers. The spirit of love, selflessness and mutual care is extraordinary. A network has sprung up in the village here and partnered with a local shop: vulnerable people in the village can order shopping from the shop and village volunteers will collect it and take it to their doorstep.

On the other hand, the STS-minded people are going wild: NHS staff are being assaulted or having their NHS id stolen; people are going into hospitals to steal supplies; the UK government just handed billions of public money to corporations; the US president has insisted he wants people to pack the churches on Easter Sunday (12th April); angry people are coughing at strangers in the street; East Asian people, including nurses, are receiving abuse – as if personally responsible for this (while data is starting to show that CV19 may have started in the US, which didn’t stop Trump calling it the “Chinese virus” and fuelling xenophobia); our PM, Health Secretary and Chief Medical Officer all have coronavirus and are claiming they can just carry on running the country from home (“It’s just a flesh wound..”); a 17 year old with acute Covid-19 symptoms is turned away from a US hospital for lack of insurance and dies on the way to the public hospital; UK doctors were instructed (before a govt u-turn) not to consider learning disabled or autistic people with CV19 for priority care in ITU; fake news is rife; the UK government has offered financial support but it won’t be accessible in time to protect people, and it entirely favours large corporates; the UK govt lied that it ‘missed the email’ from the Europe Commission about participating in the mass procurement of ventilators (the UK was actually party to all the meetings in which this was discussed)… And yesterday, 900 people died in Italy! We’re turning the Excel Centre in to a literal f-ing hospital for 4000 people – 2 rooms, each 1km long, are to be filled with beds. A warehouse in Birmingham airport is being prepared as a morgue for up to 12000 bodies.

Hey. Hey, you. Softly. We hear you. Softly with yourself. We know. And there is so very much more.

We are seeing a ‘reset’ of sorts. We say ‘of sorts’ because it is still not clear where it is heading. 

What we do know though, is that it is really important at this time for you, for everyone, to keep looking up and over – to the other side of the stream. This ‘other side of the stream’ exercise (of earlier in the week) is not just about you manifesting your dreams, sweet one. Though you are always welcome to. Always. This is about you all ‘landing’ a system upgrade, as you have collectively been working on and anticipating for years. Remember 2012? 

A system upgrade.

A system upgrade. So set your thoughts on the incoming iOS, and not on the outgoing one. Ok?

This is the ‘sensing the delicacy of heaven on Earth’ stuff too, right?

Exactly. If you can think of it more neutrally, as a system upgrade seeking to download, you will be in a different space. You are invited to hold a state of ‘anticipation’. 

Anticipation of…?

The Good. 

Ok. Nice. Tell me more.

Imagine: The Good iOS is seeking to download itself into The Matrix of human existence. If you were an actor (in this ‘film’) who could see that this was happening, how would you act? 

Emboldened. Hopeful. Rock-steady. Alert. Poised…

That’s it. That’s exactly it. Be that actor. 

Now shall we read?

Yes. Ty.


Brilliant. I love this writing/reading/writing process. The chapter’s theme is akin to ‘anticipation’: readiness.

READINESS, MINDFULNESS: The important thing in our understanding is to have a smooth, free-thinking way of observation. We have to think and to observe things without stagnation. We should accept things as they are without difficulty. Our mind should be soft and open enough to understand things as they are. When our thinking is soft, it is called imperturbable thinking. This kind of thinking is always stable. It is called mindfulness. Thinking which is divided in many ways is not true thinking. Concentration should be present in our thinking. This is mindfulness. Whether you have an object or not, your mind should be stable and your mind should not be divided. This is zazen. … Wisdom is not something to learn. Wisdom is something which will come out of your mindfulness. So the point is to be ready for observing things, and to be ready for thinking. This is called emptiness of your mind. Emptiness is nothing but the practice of zazen. Zen Mind p115

So, essentially, mindfulness is about remaining in a soft, smooth, free-thinking frame of mind, to be ready for observing and to be ready for thinking. It’s a kind of pre-thought, empty, ready state – stable and not divided.

You could almost call it: ‘Emboldened. Hopeful. Rock-steady. Alert. Poised…’

Ha! You could. Abraham talks about ‘being ready to be ready to be ready’. If I’m 100% honest, I need to admit I’ve never fully felt it or got it…

Think of that actor who knows the Good iOS is coming. Look how poised she is. Do you know the Good iOS is coming? Do you live your days by that knowledge?

That’s a really good point. And the answer is… I’ve spent some 26 years with full knowledge that we are definitively evolving. Bringing up my children showed me that we are evolving fast. I know this to be true. Do I live by this? Do I share this perspective? Not truly. A little bit. But often, I just keep quiet. It doesn’t seem to be a popular perspective. People can be quite judgmental when I speak from this knowing. So I learnt not to. And also, life humbled me enough to teach me to allow people to be where they are without my ‘interventions’. Also, I tired of what I called my Cassandra syndrome: predicting something, being dismissed out of hand as an idiot and then after the event, people coming back and saying, “Oh yeah, that’s funny, I remember you saying…” (I’ve noticed others online starting to talk about feeling like Cassandra. I guess those of us who are intuitive/HSP/autistic are receiving a lot of data these days.)

Also, to be frank, there’s not much comfort in kicking back and saying, “Hey, I can see the future. Man, it’s golden!” when the old system is cracking and crumbling and it’s causing shock, suffering and dismay. And it’s not like it’s merely a case of ‘the old system falling away and a new one being born’. The old system has gone rogue, man! Rogue, I tell you. It’s gone full psychopath at an institutional level in this country. And I KNOW this from what I saw when I was unwell and on state benefits. The degree of establishment cruelty towards our vulnerable people is insane. Maybe one good thing to come out of this situation is the number of people who will suddenly become reliant on the state system and finally find out how punitive it is and have enough energy/astonishment in them to raise awareness. As people, to their horror and chagrin, turn to the benefits system for help in the CV19 turmoil, they will find out that the so-called ‘benefit scroungers’ are systematically forced into penury by a system designed to put a throttle hold round the necks of the poor and vulnerable and disabled – and people will be shocked. I hope.

We hear you. And so. And so. And so… Instead of ‘kicking back’ and letting the good times roll in, what does feel coherent to you?

I guess it’s that readiness. It’s easy to be ready to welcome and usher in new systems in the mild times. But how about maintaining that steady, stable, anticipatory mindset … as the Titanic sinks? No, as the final battles are waged?

There’s no need to name what’s ‘happening’ as it’s hard to get full sight of that. The role is..?

Anticipation. Readiness. Emboldened. Hopeful. Rock-steady. Alert. Poised…

Like you are expecting better days.

Like you can see the cavalry coming in for the rescue.

The main learning today is this: remain mindful; don’t get swept up in divided thinking (good/bad – heaven/hell); hold readiness, poise, anticipation – as a practice. Just practise this. Trust us. Just play the actor who knows the Good iOS is downloading. Play that actor. See the solution on the horizon. See it with your eyes and heart, even when and if others can’t. Play that scene, again and again and again. 

See the solution on the horizon

Pivot 50: Make your own true way

I sensed that delicacy of heaven on Earth all morning and into the afternoon. And then I went way off that path and undertook an afternoon of hustle, masking and living by a different characterisation of myself, denying the knowledge I hold and spinning tales of fitting in to the NT world… and I reached the evening feeling melancholy and, oh goodness, craving a drink.

A note on drinking: Last year, I did my second year of Dry January all the way up to my end of November birthday, for what I jovially call a ‘Damp December’. This year, I did Dry Jan again and then decided to experiment with ‘drinking at weekends’. This has worked ok for these couple of months so far, but in this staying-at-home era, it’s harder to get a sense of weekday/weekend, and my home companions both drink… and I find I’m getting a bit cravey again. So tedious, because if I can’t get on top of it, then that has to mean no drinking at all. In fact, can we explore this craviness abit now?

Yes! Good morning! It’s wonderful to meet you here. It’s another beautiful morning, and you were here before 6am – without looking at your phone either, so you arrived with a clear mind. Excellent. 

Ha, I get cravey for my phone too, don’t I? Phone and drink are both a bit mind-fogging. Why do I want to mind-fog or check-out?

Do you want to check-out now? 

No, I love this space. I love nothing better than to be here, exploring themes, connecting to what matters and what is, hearing myself think, hearing you, connecting to creation… Except, I could do without that dripping tap. Excuse me. Brb.

How does it feel now you have turned off the dripping tap in the kitchen sink?

Ah, like peace! Bliss.

So, your cravings are about seeking to block out an equivalent ‘dripping tap’. 

And what is that dripping tap?

It would be the voice of your inmost heart, of which we spoke yesterday. In fact, more specifically, the craving is to cover and block out the sense of disappointment felt by the heart after a session of blocking it out in your masking, chameleon, jazz hands, non-sincere state. 

You know the feeling when you are agreeing to doing something, and it gives you a sinking feeling, and you carry on agreeing to it anyway? That’s what we’re talking about. 

Yes. I can think of several interactions yesterday afternoon when I thought: Why am I doing this? or I’m agreeing to this, but it’s not going to turn out so well. ‘

Well, when you’ve spent even an hour or two pressing forward with something you sense to be ‘out’ or ‘icky’ or ‘not quite right’ (clue: often your justification for pressing on regardless will be financial), you will get that disconnected, disappointed-heart sensation. And all the more so, if you have spent the morning in a soft, flexible mind state, ‘sensing the delicacy of heaven on Earth.’

Why do ‘people’ have to be so rigid minded?!

Softly, softly. We hear your frustration, but remember your frustration is with you, not anyone else. Each person’s role is simply to be who they are. When you are true to you, others’ ‘peculiarities’ become just that, and don’t affect or upset or frustrate you. This is so important to understand and remember. 

And again, we would say: focus not on this side of the stream, but on the other side of the stream, and on the stepping stones across the stream. 

In actual truth, it is enough to focus on the other side of the stream (the target slide) for it to come in to being, but for those of you that are a little resistant to goodness flowing to you ‘without hard work’, we say, enjoy the journey, plot it out, take the steps, watch the other side of the stream come closer. Enjoy that. But, like Orpheus in the underworld, stop looking back!

In truth, even looking at your current reality is ‘looking back’, because it was borne out of a past vibrational state. So, secure your present state to the high-flying disc as Abraham calls it, and look forward to the other side of the stream! Oh isn’t that fun, to see it coming closer towards you? Can’t you catch glimpses of little aspects of that new reality, and smile? Can you recognise how you are creating a new time spot for yourself, and give yourself credit for your wonderful imagination, for your gifted day-dreaming, for your ability to out-manifest your heart’s voice? Isn’t that the most wonderful thing? Would you want to keep your mind clear, vivid and awake to see this dream becoming reality? Isn’t this all you knew you wanted, coming to fruition right here, right now? Aren’t you delighted by your mind and the way it dances with your heart and soul? Aren’t you thrilled to be co-creating with all of consciousness right here, right now? And are you seeing, and foreseeing, and co-creating new details of that new reality with each moment, like a painter adding fresh new flowers to a painting? 

Yes, I am! I am seeing days of simplicity and regularity and routine, and yes, ritual. I am seeing time to sit and time to stand. I am seeing the flowing of feelings across the day. I am seeing a timetable with allotted times for all the important activities that please my heart and soul. I am seeing a pattern which arises from a soft and flexible mind. I am seeing a mind that has grown beyond ‘fear of boredom’ and ‘fleeing from under-stimulation’, and that now basks in space to be, quietude to contemplate, openness to dialogue with the greater What-Is. I see a mind that is settled enough genuinely to be able to offer help through the service we provide, at scale – bit by bit, drop by drop. I see a framework for living which is so wholesome and enriching to me, that I can lift it and take it with me (us) on travels, without missing a beat of service or connectivity. I see my mind resting in Big Mind state day after day, and I know that here my beautiful Stim Mind is nourished and tended to.

Ooh, that’s new. My Stim Mind. What is that? I guess it’s like Big Mind but Aspie/Autie style. It’s the gentle state I used to fall in to in childhood, when the world felt so peaceful. I never really recovered from the shock of the rest of the world not being so…! But, I can recover my own delight in Stim Mind, and create conditions for it to thrive: like taking a seedling out of the chilly garden and putting it in the greenhouse.

This has been so good. Let’s read today’s chapter, ‘Emptiness’.


This perfect extract points to how essential it is us for us to do our own thing, to ‘make our own way’ – and not copy others:

EMPTINESS: There is no way set up for us. Moment after moment we have to find our own way. Some idea of perfection, or some perfect way which is set up by someone else, is not the true way for us. Each one of us must make his own true way, and when we do, that way will express the universal way. This is the mystery. When you understand one thing through and through, you understand everything. When you try to understand everything, you will not understand anything. The best way is to understand yourself, and then you will understand everything. So when you try hard to make your own way, you will help others, and you will be helped by others. Before you make your own way you cannot help anyone, and no one can help you. To be independent in this true sense, we have to forget everything which we have in our mind and discover something quite new and different moment after moment. This is how we live in this world. Zen Mind p111

This extract is a simple reminder of ‘how to’ do zazen (Zen meditation):

Concentration is not to try hard to watch something. In zazen if you try to look at one spot you will be tired in about five minutes. This is not concentration. Concentration means freedom. So your effort should be directed at nothing. You should be concentrated on nothing. In zazen practice we say your mind should be concentrated on your breathing, but the way to keep your mind on your breathing is to forget all about yourself and just to sit and feel your breathing. If you are concentrated on your breathing you will forget yourself, and if you forget yourself you will be concentrated on your breathing. I do not know which is first. So actually there is no need to try too hard to be concentrated on your breathing. Just do as much as you can. If you continue this practice, eventually you will experience the true existence which comes from emptiness. Zen Mind p113

Time for me to do my zazen practice. 20 mins on the timer. ‘Sit and feel your breathing.’


Ah, G came in after 13mins. Sometimes I think my starting a meditation elsewhere in the house actually wakes him up! 🙂

What’s to take away from this lovely dialogue today?

Keep your gaze on the destination, and be emotionally moved by it. Dress it up and adjust its hat to the jaunty angle of your pleasing. Admire it from all angles, with softness and love, like a mother for her baby. Sense the other side of the stream, and watch it start to create itself within your present moment. And when you hesitate, recall Suzuki-roshi’s words: Moment after moment we have to find our own true way…to find the universal way. This is the mystery. Bring awareness to yourself of the bodily feeling associated with being on the path of your own true way: aligned, uplifted, relaxed, at peace. And when you feel otherwise, give yourself that nudge to speak your truth and, if necessary, reverse out of cul de sacs. Find your own true way across the stream to the riverbank of your own new reality. Go the direct route: your route.

Make your own true way.

Thank you. I will do that. And with… certitude, gratitude and… full confidence in the mystery.

Make your own true way.



G said of the lockdown period:

“If we all carry on unwinding at this rate, in 10 days time people will start reading poetry again!”

Then, when to my dismay I got an ‘urgent’ email from a colleague, G reminded me,

We are running at poetry speed my friend.”

Spot on.

LATER LATER: I came across another pertinent quote from RT… I’d forgotten about the notions of ‘other people’s pendulums’ – which of course, take you off your own true way.

“This is one of the most paradoxical aspects of the freedom of choice. People really can choose happiness and success for themselves and yet at the same time remain restricted by pendulums that lead them away from the wave of fortune. Here we return to a theme we discussed earlier; to claim freedom of choice you must be independent. You have the right to be free of the influence of other people’s pendulums. ”
― Vadim Zeland, Reality Transurfing Steps I-V

Two days ago, I had my ‘every three year’ video call with my extraordinary friend, SM, whom I have know since school. She speaks truths. She pointed out how I had been ‘seduced‘ by a certain situation a few backs. Again, spot on.

Part of my making my own true way is simply about not being ‘seduced’ by other people’s pendulums. Being aware of this old pattern is really all I need to work with for now. Let’s keep it gentle.

Ooh, look at the 15th century definition of the word ‘seduced’:

Seduce: late 15th century (originally in the sense ‘persuade (someone) to abandon their duty’): from Latin seducere, from se- ‘away, apart’ + ducere ‘to lead’.

So a sense of ‘duty’ is an antidote to seduction…?

Keep it gentle for now, dear friend. Jog gently along now. xx

🙂 Jogging off. Ty for today.



Pivot 49: Sense the delicacy of heaven on Earth 

I am finding my ’10’. It is beautiful. It is like living ‘heaven on earth’. This time we are in… Oh, how do I explain this, while still acknowledging that the suffering occurring at the hotspots of this virus is completely unimaginable…

Speak from where you are. 

Ok. I’ll speak from where I am. It is Heaven on Earth… The most beautiful sunshine, day after day. I know where all my loved ones are. Some of them I get to see day after day, and commune with, peacefully and simply. The fields and woods are open to me. The birds are tweeting louder than ever. Buzzards soar overhead. People wander by in the countryside, all of us absorbing nature and sunshine. There is no…

Speak from where you are.

Ah yes! Our commute is up/down the stairs. There is so much peace. I can hear myself think. I can rest and unwind. I am starting to feel human and alive again… I have an opportunity here.

Speak from where you are.

Ah, yes, present moment reality.. I am living and working gently. I am working to a routine that not only is manageable, but is nurturing. It puts my body and mind first, and it also centre-stages the work I want to be doing. I am moving away from ought/should/must/hurry/hustle, and towards ‘following my bliss’.

So, what do you want to discuss today? 

Keeping it like this.

Are you following the 10 Stepping Stone approach of yesterday? 

Getting there.

Do that exercise now. 



I have got as far as I can for today, maybe? I’m calling it Project One Jam.  One jam refers to the story G told me about: a woman sells a huge range of jams on her stall, and they are not shifting. She is advised to sell just one flavour of jam. This jam then just flies off the stall. Maybe the success is because it’s an easier decision for the consumer: “Buy or not buy?”  Vs “Maybe buy, but oh goodness, how do I decide which flavour to buy?”.

My long-held desire is to offer just one service,for one client a day, at one set time of day, online.

It’s bringing up a lot of deep feeling along the lines of “Am I restricting sales? Will people think me inflexible? Is it really ok to ask for what I want?! Is it really ok to assert my own terms – what if it backfires in my face… and then the consequences are financially serious. Is it lazy or hubristic to think that one session a day will pay the bills?”

As I result, I can’t even ‘see’ the 10 Stepping Stones. What do I need to work through to be able calmly to see the 10 Stepping Stones to get me from one side of the stream to the other?

It would be a good time to read now. 



Oh my word… This was the PERFECT chapter. Thank you. Here are my extracts:

NATURALNESS: If you want to study Zen, you should forget all your previous ideas and just practice zazen and see what kind of experience you have in your practice. That is naturalness. Whatever you do, this attitude is necessary. Sometimes we say nyu nan shin, “soft or flexible mind.” Nyu is “soft feeling”; nan is something which is not hard” ; shin is “mind.” Nyu nan shin means a smooth, natural mind. When you have that mind, you have the joy of life. When you lose it, you lose everything. You have nothing. Although you think you have something, you have nothing; But when all you do comes out of nothingness, then you have everything. Do you understand? That is what we mean by naturalness. Zen Mind p110

YES, this! I have been working, under a chameleon mask to fit into the working world, without a ‘smooth natural mind’! And in so doing I have become exhausted and lost the ‘joy of life’. My work has made me taut, tense, stressed and afraid. The Project One Jam framework arises when I see my life, on the other side of the stream, through the lens of the smooth, natural mind.

And check this out:

It is rather difficult to explain, but naturalness is, I think, some feeling of being independent from everything,or some activity which is based on nothingness. Something which comes out of nothingness is naturalness, like a seed or plant coming out of the ground. The seed has no idea of being some particular plant, but it has its own form and is in perfect harmony with the ground, with its surroundings. As it grows, in the course of time it expresses its nature. Nothing exists without form and color. Whatever it is, it has some form and color, and that form and color are in perfect harmony with other beings. And there is no trouble. That is what we mean by naturalness. For a plant or stone to be natural is no problem. But for us there is some problem, indeed a big problem. To be natural is something which we must work on. When what you do just comes out from nothingness, you have quite a new feeling. For instance, when you are hungry, to take some food is naturalness. You feel natural. But when you are expecting too much, to have some food is not natural. You have no new feeling. You have no appreciation for it. The true practice of zazen is to sit as if drinking water when you are thirsty. There you have naturalness. …  This naturalness is very difficult to explain. But if you can just sit and experience the actuality of nothingness in your practice, there is no need to explain. If it comes out of nothingness, whatever you do is natural, and that is true activity. You have the true joy of practice, the true joy of life in it.Everyone comes out from nothingness moment after moment. Moment after moment we have true joy of life. So we say shin ku myo u, “from true emptiness, the wondrous being appears.” Shin is “true” ; ku is “emptiness”; myo is “wondrous”; u is “being” : from true emptiness, wondrous being. Without nothingness, there is no naturalness—no true being. True being comes out of nothingness, moment after moment. Nothingness is always there, and from it everything appears. But usually, forgetting all about nothingness, you behave as if you have something. What you do is based on some possessive idea or some concrete idea, and that is not natural. Zen Mind p108-9

So, ‘naturalness’ arises from a soft, flexible mind, and appears out of emptiness, and brings a ‘new feeling’ of vivid appreciation akin to drinking water when you are thirsty.

When I go about my life in my own way, observing my own little rituals and enjoyments, I feel vivid appreciation.

But much of the time I am mimicking or copying to fit in – because I have believed that this is the only way to surf the wave of financial wellbeing which everyone else seems to ride without question. But that copying hurts me. It really hurts me. And every few years, to be fair, I have a breakdown and collapse again…

Maybe, this time of quarantine, with the neurotypical working world held at bay, is inviting me to enter my own naturalness, and build my economic wellbeing there. Once and for all.

When I mentioned Project One Jam above, I didn’t actually share a large chunk of the vision, because it seemed too quirky too mention. It’s a day of routine, based on Switch120, in which every two hours, one switches state from ‘Sit’ to ‘Stand’. ‘Sit’ is Big Mind state, and Stand is Busy Mind, or movement (mindful or not), or home-caring, or social connectivity.

  • 6am: SIT – Quiet Time and writing here.
  • 8am: STAND – Qigong, Shower, Dress, Clear the Decks, Emails
  • 10am: SIT – Writing / Digital Marketing / Blogs
  • 12pm: STAND – Lunch, Walk, Home, Emails, Calls
  • 2pm: SIT – Client Session
  • 4pm: SIT/STAND – Buffer Session, finish the working day, cooking, cleaning
  • 7pm: SIT – Dinner, Rest, Music
  • 9pm: STAND – Qigong, PJs, Bed without screens by 10pm, sleep…

I feel like I have strong monastic tendencies coming through at the moment. But this is my naturalness. This is me in soft, flexible mind. In this routine, I have so much space to be present. Without routine I am swimming in decisions and executive functioning overload, and I am stuck in Busy Mind… And Big Mind vanishes. So. This is my truth arising independently from my emptiness. And I feel that’s maybe ok.

What do you say?

It looks like you are speaking from your heart. Remember how in Reality Transurfing it is taught that your heart will teach you all you need to know about yourself? 

I’d forgotten that…

Oh lordy, I just googled ‘Reality Transurfing Heart Quote’. Wow, so beautiful and perfect:

“The mind is constantly generating thoughts and the voice of the heart is literally drowned out by the ‘thought-churn’ making it difficult to access intuitive knowledge. If you stop the train of thoughts and simply contemplate the emptiness, you will hear the rustle of the morning stars, the inner voice that has no words. The heart could provide answers to many of our questions if only we could hear its voice.”
― Vadim Zeland, Reality Transurfing Steps I-V

And then this – with respect to my thoughts above on dropping mimicking and living by my own sweet ways…..!”

“The hardest role to play is the one where you play yourself and allow yourself to remove the mask and be yourself.”
― Vadim Zeland, Reality Transurfing Steps I-V

“Do not watch how other people walk their path to success or try to keep up with them. Do not give in to the herd instinct. You have your own calling. The majority take the roads well-trodden but true success is achieved by the few who refuse to follow the rule “do as I do” and independently tread their own path.”
― Vadim Zeland, Reality Transurfing Steps I-V

This is all so beautiful. What shall I take with me today?

It seems that today you are softening. You are sensing the delicacy of ‘heaven on Earth’ which is the hidden and explicit prerogative of every human on the planet. Be with this today. Be with the soft, natural delicacy  of heaven on Earth. Today is a very good day to do this. The sun is bright and the light is strong. The light is strong on Earth today. Lay your attention upon the lightness on Earth today, and magnify it with the gaze of your attention. 

I will. Today I will sense the delicacy of heaven on Earth. Be with me, oh Source of my Being. Accompany me today. Delicately, as you do. May we all, today, magnify the lightness upon the Earth. Blessed be all humans today. Blessed may we be, in the naturalness of our soul state. Amen.

Sense the delicacy of heaven on Earth 


Pivot 48: Recognise your creative power

Recognise your creative power

I learned yesterday that you cannot ‘continue being loving’ and simultaneously be self-conscious, self-serving or even afraid. So, the good news: to ‘continue being loving’ is a practical antidote to our fearful impulses. That should make life more fun. I am delivering my first online training session today: may I approach it with the simple intention to ‘continue being loving’.

Yesterday, I had my second therapy session with the lovely P. It was beautiful. We worked with this part of me that eventually revealed it wanted ‘recognition‘ – though ‘not for egotistical reasons’. This is so helpful. I think, for many reasons, I have taken self-recognition out of my equation. I can all too often hurry on without recognising my:

  • achievements
  • skills
  • difficulties
  • needs
  • feelings

And so, I tire myself. I make of myself a leaking cup that doesn’t fill. I keep pouring water in and watching it flow straight out. And I don’t give myself credit for things so I don’t necessary benefit from a sense of ‘accumulation’.

How can I apply recognition in this extraordinary time in history?

Let’s read and meditate…

THE QUALITY OF BEING ”When you do something, if you fix your mind on the activity with some confidence, the quality of your state of mind is the activity itself. When you are concentrated on the quality of your being, you are prepared for the activity. … When you dip your brush into the ink you already know the result of your drawing, or else you cannot paint. So before you do something, “being” is there, the result is there.” Zen Mind p104/6


The opportunity is available to you all to bring recognition of your creative power. Each of you, in this moment of human history, will find yourselves at times flick-flacking between the senses of power and powerlessness. Can you embrace both willingly? Can you understand that in your powerlessness you are equally still ‘Creator Source’ itself? 

Explain this dichotomy. How can we be powerless and Creator Source itself?

Feeling powerless is not the same as being powerless. Your dipping into powerlessness is your route back to experiencing your creative power anew. It’s hard to recognise light without occasional darkness, isn’t it? 

And so how do we use the powerlessness correctly?

Within the sense of powerlessness you get to practise your trust. This is immense! Trust is a super power in itself. If you can trust that you are held, supported and even adored despite your sensations of powerlessness, then you really are lifted into the fresh uplands of faith. 

‘Faith’ is a complex idea is this day’n’age, eh?

That’s because you were all doin’ it wrong!! You all thought faith was a pact between you and an invisible super hero. The deal was: ‘I close my eyes and jump, and the super hero will catch me.’ My goodness, how disappointed you all became when you fell flat on your noses. But also, how confused you became when, on occasion, and unpredictably, sometimes you didn’t fall but you flew! The problem arose in that you interpreted the flight as being due to ‘God’s mercy’ or ‘Divine power’. So when you fell again on your nose, you lamented that God had withdrawn ‘His’ mercy and power. 

If only you had known this: the determinant behind whether you fell or flew was not some external super power! It was you! It was all down to the spirit (or frequency, or intent, or vibrational state) in which you jumped. This may sound rather ‘new agey’ to some of you, but it’s no different to classic Zen wisdom. See above…

When you dip your brush into the ink you already know the result of your drawing, or else you cannot paint. So before you do something, “being” is there, the result is there.

So ‘faith’ is the quality of trusting that pre-paving your own road is what it takes to travel the distance. 

So, help me pre-pave today.

With pleasure. You may know that you have a list of things to do. Do them, and then start to rest. 


Your ‘lack of faith’ state says: It’ll never be done. The work is never done!

Your ‘faith’ state then would be: I’ll do the things and then they will be done. 

Interesting take..!

When you believe you can never make progress, your quality of rest is always only moderate.

When you believe you can make progress, you set the stepping stones on a timeline, and walk them, one at a time, according to your timeline. Otherwise, your stepping stones are just a bucket of pebbles pouring into a bag. 

You can trust: 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1=10.

What is your ’10’? Work back from there. 

You humans have extraordinary access to TIME in this period. USE it. With wisdom, with trust, with faith, with power, with creativity. 

You wanted to know about recognition? Today is about the recognition of creative power. Start at your 10 and work out the 10 individual component stepping stones. Put them on a timeline. And walk forward. 

Recognise your creative power, and you will be responding to the invitation of this moment. More on this another day. Just practice the 10 stepping stone approach. Ok? 

Ok. Thank you… xxx

Recognise your creative power

Recognise your creative power
Recognise your creative power
10 stepping stones to cross the stream

voroo Snodets g0-

Pivot 47: Continue being loving

Yesterday (Monday), I felt sick to my stomach on waking up to recall the world’s situation. But I threw myself into ‘uncomplicating’ the day, and my goodness, that helped. I gave myself the timetable I’ve been working on, but tweaked in recognition that we have to limit desk work carefully or we’ll be subsumed by it. I gave myself two ‘Big Mind’ sessions – 10am-12pm and 2-4pm, with a big break in the middle. And I did Busy Mind stuff around that across the day. And it was good.

And then, yesterday afternoon, the news came that the PM’s daily CV19 briefing was being moved from 5.15pm to 8.30pm… Something was afoot. Sure enough, ‘new restrictions’ aka lockdown was at last announced. What a profound moment in human history we are living in.

By this stage, I must admit, I just feel relieved that we’re responding. We’ve had plenty of time to look at Italy and Spain and see that lockdown was on the horizon. Over the past weekend, the main places of leisure having been shut (pubs, cinemas, restaurants, gyms etc), people instead flooded out into the parks and beaches. Yesterday morning, with trains on restricted service, each train was packed with commuters.  The supermarkets have been heaving. So, the social distancing thing wasn’t taking care of itself and the government was being acutely criticised for being too vague about what was being asked of people. So now the set up is as follows:

Lockdown rules in the UK

It’s amazing to think that a mere 7 days earlier (Mon 16th Mar), it was me who had to make the call to cancel a training day I was due to deliver (on Tues 17th), despite the major UK charity and the head of staff wellbeing at a massive local employer thinking that gathering 24 staff together for completely non-essential training was not in the least bit problematic…

A mere few days ago, most of the UK was living in a dream that we didn’t have to change our behaviours. It took so long to shake off the idea of people ‘not minding if they get it’ and so carrying on with business as usual. It took so long for people to accept that everyone has to adapt, not merely for themselves, but to protect the NHS staff and vulnerable people (old and young). We can be very self-centred people…

But what is astonishing is that it really was the government that pushed the BAU policy – touting the ‘herd immunity‘ dream while at the same time making some vague comments about ‘flattening the curve’. Why? To protect the economy. If it cost a few thousand lives, well heck, what of it… Amazing… a) to put economy before lives and b) the brave idea that by letting the whole population get infected you wouldn’t break the economy anyway through having hospitals and homes overwhelmed by… people dying passim.

I truly wish blessings and wisdom upon this government. I wish us all humility, nobility, the strength to overcome our lower natures, and the ability to evolve as communities, nations and as a species. Amen.


Let’s read….

Oh, this is so good for today and for this time:

TRANSIENCY: When we realize the everlasting truth of “everything changes” and find our composure in it, we find ourselves in Nirvana. Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transiency, we suffer. So the cause of suffering is our non-acceptance of this truth. The teaching of the cause of suffering and the teaching that everything changes are thus two sides of one coin. Zen Mind p102-3

So of course, this is big news for an Aspie like me: Everything changes. But equally, I do see here an invitation to settle into my most uncomplicated, unchanging routine, so that I can flow with the changes with ease. It’s about taking out unnecessary change so that you can flow with universal changes. Here we are all working from home. How powerful it is not to be getting in the car each day to go here, there and everywhere… In the past, I have burned up so much precious fuel on shimmying, hustling, popping up like Where’s Wally leftrightandcentre. Am I here to burn fuel? No. We are here for STO, right?

In truth you are here to enjoy the unfurling, to surf the waves of vibrational tuning, to revel in flying in the frequency updrafts. 

Right. That’s a little less heavy, less worthy… less resistant than ‘STO’. I like that. And how would you suggest we apply this today, in these days?


G just came along and we had a really important and beautiful conversation about managing in these times, when other in our lives act in difficult ways, or are triggered or mean or dismissive or disdainful or appear uncaring. Very softly, he talked about how nevertheless we ‘continue being loving’. It was so helpful. And it resonated. So, while ‘everything changes’, we ‘continue being loving’.

I’ll take that. Your thoughts on ‘continue being loving’..?

***Out of time for today. I’ll come back to this tomorrow! Ty***

Continue being loving


Pivot 46: Uncomplicate

Yesterday was a Saturday and our first day in moderate lockdown – as in, all the pubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms and leisure centres are now closed, except for those that can operate as takeaways. On Friday, the schools closed their doors to all but the children of keyworkers. All school GCSEs and A-Levels have now been cancelled, and most universities have given up on end of year exams too. Already, the UK healthcare staff are posting truly shocking, heart-rending videos reporting full intensive treatment units, a shortage of ventilators, and an overwhelming lack of protective (PPE) clothing – and we are only at the beginning of the crisis. The key workers are begging us others to stay at home. They are saying, ‘We are staying at work to look after you, we ask you to stay at home to stop the spread of the virus.’

Italy had an unspeakable day yesterday, losing some 800 souls in one day. Army trucks rumble through Lombardy transporting the bodies of dear beings who will have no funeral, and whose loved ones may not have been able to say goodbye, let alone be with them in their last hours. And so, bit by bit, the world has put itself in quarantine. Countries have asked their people to go inside and stay inside. For the first time in industrial history, we have reduced our activity to the absolute minimum. And my goodness, for those of us lucky enough to be at home, something extraordinary is happening: we are stopping, resting, unwinding, hearing ourselves think. It’s not necessarily comfortable to hear your inner voice if you have been ardently drowning it out for years, but really, in these circumstances we have little choice but to… stop, collaborate and listen to ourselves?

Yesterday, I felt myself unwinding like a child on a swing which had been wound up taut and was just starting to unwind, gathering speed. I had to lie in bed with my eyes rolling about in my head til about 2pm. Eventually, I got dressed, and G and I went for a walk in the woods in the spring sunshine – how lucky we are to live in the countryside. How amazing it is that with no social centres open, for so many, our only activity available outside the house will be going into nature with the people with whom we are self-isolating. My goodness, the air felt so fresh, and the light and scents so vivid. The chatter of the birds was scintillating. Quietude is bringing my awareness back to life. How dulled I have become by my busy mind and my constant self-propelled human urgency.

In the evening, G, A (DD2) and I ‘went to the pub’ at the end of the kitchen, and had cocktails. Then we had dinner in front of the tv and set out to choose our shared boxset for this indoors season together. Tonight, for Mothers’ Day, we will gather five family households together on Zoom. These are extraordinary days. In houses families are resting and gathering in peace – some nursing the mildly affected, others simply nursing their anxieties about the pandemic, others nursing their boredom or frustration, many nursing the startling fact that they have lost their livelihoods in one fell swoop. In the evenings, especially in Italy and Spain, people are coming to their balconies to sing together, or to applaud the healthcare workers’ heroism.

Meanwhile, in our hospitals, a battle of unthinkable, unspeakable proportions is being waged by an army of cleaners, cooks, HCAs, nurses and doctors. Hosts of warehouse staff, grocery shop workers, delivery drivers, teachers and social care staff meanwhile risk their health too, in keeping the country’s show on the road. I cannot describe how much nobility and selflessness we are seeing – and also, sadly, how much self-serving cowardice, like in those major businesses who really could have stepped up to support but instead have, for example, simply sacked their entire workforce from one moment to the next.

Look at this beautiful film…

For my part, I woke up today, with an unfamiliar voice in my head. I can call it the Wise Director-Judge. I like it. I guess it was there all along, but drowned out by Busy Mind. I thought about how, as leader of the massive peaceful movements against the British, Gandhi would meditate all morning before making any decisions about the day’s next steps. All morning. And my goodness, the decisions he made were wise. well-directed, well-judged. This is what is available to us if we bring this Big Mind (expansive, meditative, connected, tuned in, parasympathetic state, non-reactive mind) to the fore. Right? What does it take to really give oneself over to trusting that, as it were, a morning’s meditation is more sensible than a morning’s busy activity?

It helps to think of the ‘morning’s meditation’ as a mental workout rather than a break/rest/chill out. This is how to access the Big Mind and bring it in to the day.

Imagine you are holding a tray, and the tray holds 3 glasses, each filled with water almost to the brim. You are asked to the take the tray of glasses up to the village, a mile away, on foot. We can guarantee that by the time you arrive at the village, having set your whole bodily attention so avidly on one (cognitively non-complex) task, you will have accessed Big Mind. 

The same cannot be said for 15 mins sitting in half-thought. 

Yes, that’s a helpful distinction. I guess that’s why the actual Zen position (lotus – which I am actually not using in my ‘zazen’) is mind-clarifying. Cos it ain’t comfy… I’m starting to get a sense of the edges of this Zen approach. It seems to offer such rich gifts.

How can I better access my Big Mind in these days. and be guided by the Wise Director-Judge?

Also, speak to me of prayerfulness.

Let’s read.

We are in Part 3 of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: ‘Right Understanding’.

TRADITIONAL ZEN SPIRIT:  We should understand why our physical posture and breathing exercise are so important. Instead of having a deep understanding of the teaching, we need a strong confidence in our teaching, which says that originally we have Buddha nature. Our practice is based on this faith.  … Whether you practice zazen or not, you have Buddha nature. Because you have it, there is enlightenment in your practice. The points we emphasize are not the stage we attain, but the strong confidence we have in our original nature and the sincerity of our practice. We should practice Zen with the same sincerity as Buddha. If originally we have Buddha nature, the reason we practice zazen is that we must behave like Buddha. To transmit our way is to transmit our spirit from Buddha. So we have to harmonize our spirit, our physical posture, and our activity with the traditional way. You may attain some particular stage, of course, but the spirit of your practice should not be based on an egoistic idea. According to the traditional Buddhist understanding, our human nature is without ego. When we have no idea of ego, we have Buddha’s view of life. Our egoistic ideas are delusion, covering our Buddha nature. We are always creating and following them, and in repeating this process over and over again, our life becomes completely occupied by egocentered ideas. This is called karmic life, or karma. The Buddhist life should not be karmic life. The purpose of our practice is to cut off the karmic spinning mind. Zen Mind p99ff

I love this. I read here a similarity between the Wise Director-Judge and acting from our Buddha Nature. Like they are similar concepts to me. And they are about developing practices which get us back into our original non-ego-driven state. ‘The purpose of our practice is to cut off the karmic spinning mind.’ As I read this chapter I kept hearing the work, ‘Uncomplicate’. Yes. It’s different to the elusive idea of ‘simplifying’.

Could I find the ways in which I complicate my life, and life itself?

Could I acknowledge that in complicating my life, I make myself less available to my truer nature?

Could I see that, if I uncomplicate things for myself, I can participate more effectively and honestly in this extraordinary moment in humans’ history?

Can I admit that, my life is too complicated for me to offer service?

Can I own that, I think that ‘complicated’ is clever, and I’ve been putting complexity out there to impress people – and effectively have ground myself to a halt that way?

Softly. Softly. Do not chastise yourself. 

Wise mind. Inner self. Wise Director-Judge. Help me uncomplicate myself and my life. Give me this clarity of mind, I pray.

There we are. You have answered all your own questions. Take yourself out in to your day with this word and see how it flows through you… 



Pivot 45: Invite Big Mind out to play

So yesterday I did my What One Thing (backdated) and visited my elderly neighbour – at a distance from her doorstep – to check she was managing ok in isolation. She was delighted to have been thought of.

And my first online case was successful. And we had a Zoom dinner with the family.

And while I’m not sure I fully settled into Big Mind, I sensed the beginning of a massive internal unwinding, as it sinks in that the prospect of ‘gathering myself up to face the NT world’ is simply not on the horizon for a brief while. Last night I slept 7h57m – bloody extraordinary.

Good. So now it’s time to… ?

Be helpful, right?

You are certainly being helpful simply by unwinding and taking some energetic noise out of the human ecosystem. But yes, this is a time for all to stand up and offer what they’ve got. 

I’m acutely aware of the key workers, especially NHS staff, stepping up at risk to their own lives. It cannot be overstated the sacrifices they are making, and about to make. While most of the country is asked to stay at home and put their feet up (and stay safe), the key workers are asked to walk straight on to the battlefield, without virus testing and with barely any protective clothing. On top of risking catching this potentially fatal virus themselves, in consequence many may have to self-isolate from their spouses, elderly parents and their children, for goodness knows how long.

We are finding in this time that the underlying qualities of individuals, countries, business-owners, employers, governments, landlords and even our friends… are being revealed and magnified. It’s like the ‘true colours’ show writ large. May I discover my true colours to be ones I can be proud of… or at least, not ashamed of. 

Let’s read….

Oh my word, this chapter is beautiful. It’s on life and death…

NIRVANA , THE WATERFALL: Before we were born we had no feeling; we were one with the universe. This is called “mind-only,” or “essence of mind,” or “big mind.” After we are separated by birth from this oneness, as the water falling from the waterfall is separated by the wind and rocks, then we have feeling. You have difficulty because you have feeling. You attach to the feeling you have without knowing just how this kind of feeling is created. When you do not realize that you are one with the river, or one with the universe, you have fear. Whether it is separated into drops or not, water is water. Our life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact we have no fear of death anymore, and we have no actual difficulty in our life.When the water returns to its original oneness with the river, it no longer has any individual feeling to it; it resumes its own nature, and finds composure. How very glad the water must be to come back to the original river! … We will have composure then, perfect composure. It may be too perfect for us, just now, because we are so much attached to our own feeling, to our individual existence. For us, just now, we have some fear of death, but after we resume our true original nature, there is Nirvana. That is why we say, “To attain Nirvana is to pass away,” “To pass away” is not a very adequate expression. Perhaps “to pass on,” or “to go on,” or “to join” would be better. Will you try to find some better expression for death ? When you find it, you will have quite a new interpretation of your life.          Zen Mind p93-4

Thank you for this. So beautiful.

A week ago I was breaking down crying about what was on the horizon – and how our government was in denial and gaslighting the country. (‘Herd immunity’, fhs.) Now, at this stage, still a week before it ramps up, I am feeling something different.


Yes. We are all being summoned to take our places, wherever they may be.

Time to stand up, step up. 

Yes. Help me to remain extremely relaxed, measured and calm about this, please. Not to freeze with self-imposed self-consciousness or ‘performance anxiety’, God help me… And not to start excitedly slapping the waters with my hands, or wheel-spinning, or heaven forbid at this time of times, jazzhanding. 

Let’s meditate.


In today’s practice I really had a sense of having two minds:

Mind 1: I’ll call this one ‘Busy Mind’ – you can ‘keep it occupied’ by giving it the ‘important’ job (it likes to have important jobs) of watching the breaths go in and out. Busy Mind can be persuaded to become very attentive to the task you give it. This, I believe, is the feeling, sensing, processing, fearing, projecting mind that is referenced by Suzuki-roshi in the quote above.

Mind 2: This is Big Mind. Big Mind gets drowned out by Busy Mind most of the time. (Good thing too, because Busy Mind also is excellent at spotting dangers. It stops us wandering out in to busy roads.) When Busy Mind is occupied with some ‘busy work’, we get to benefit from the awareness and experience of Big Mind. But you’ve got to ease in to it, because if you say, “Ooh delicious, I’m in a Big Mind state!” that is the Busy Mind speaking and you’ve instantly popped out of the Big Mind state! You need to slide into awareness of Big Mind. And it really is a gorgeous, dreamy, relieving experience… Being in Big Mind for even a few seconds is enough to remind you that Busy Mind is simply not ‘reality’. Busy Mind is one reality, and it’s one that can be trained to be less dominantly present to us.

What would it look like if you organised your days via the agenda of Big Mind rather than Busy Mind? 

Oof…Stop it! What a thought! …. Yes, what a lovely thought…

I might find myself suddenly living in the spirit of a monastic!

And how would that be? 

Beautiful. Freeing. Liberating. Connected. Connecting.

What is a monastic anyway, in this discussion?

A monastic is one who dedicates their life to remaining ‘connected’ on a moment to moment basis. 

Connected to…

To their Big Mind. Which is their portal to the Source field. 

oh my…

The monastic knows about the Busy Mind, and creates a life in which the Busy Mind is well-occupied by routine and by occupational tasks like cleaning and gardening. The monastic knows that, when the Busy Mind is well-tended to – like a class of children whose teacher has given them an absorbing, creative task which they are all happily getting on with, the Big Mind ‘comes out to play’. The monastic knows that activating Big Mind is where it is at. The monastic knows that via activating Big Mind we get to play with Source, with infinite intelligence, with our deepest insights, with connectivity to the unseen world. The monastic knows that in the Big Mind state we get to set our vibrational frequency to the high-flying disc. 

If you were to Do One Thing today, we suggest it is to look at how you use Busy Mind. Do you get driven and commanded by it? Or do you tend to your Busy Mind by giving it ‘important jobs’ to do, so that you can invite Big Mind out to play.

Ty. Will do.

Invite Big Mind out to play

PS. For today, I think I might just think of Big Mind as ‘Relaxed Mind’. I know that that means in me. My Aspie mind really has two distinct modes:

Mind 1 – Busy – can be like a rocket, or a racing car. It’s cool. It gets stuff done really fast. But it’s exhausting. It’s basically on turbo charge and uses fuel at pace.

Mind 2 – Big – is super dreamy. It’s my stim mind… And it’s one I haven’t let myself play with so much over past years. A) because of shame – ‘stop daydreaming’ and b) bacasue of seeking to care and provide for my children via activating Busy Mind. Time to relax again safe in the knowledge that my relaxed, day dreamer mind is not only wise, but my key to better insights and a more sustainable life balance. Better for my health too….

(I’m thinking of a hippie saying ‘cool man’… that kind of relaxed. Sounds good for me. ‘Far out’ without the drugs is surely what they were all after with the consciousness raising…?)

Far Out Man (Fortnite?)
Far Out Man (Fortnite?!)


PPS: Just to clarify… it’s not so much a drug-upped state as… Imagine if you undertook to walk around quietly – as if endeavouring not to wake someone. Think about it for a second. You would need to bring delicacy to your step, and enough awareness to your actions that you wouldn’t be at risk of bumping, clattering or droppings things. It’s a state of gentle, conscious awareness. A presence to what is, within which the Busy Mind can be kept occupied and the Big Mind can be in the environment without having to dive back into its hole. Yes, think of Big Mind as a wild animal. An otter, say. You are the naturalist or camera operator. It is in your interest to be aware of self and surroundings, because you are keen to see the otter. That sort of state: relaxed yet focussed, aware, still. Got it? 

Yes. Excellent. I think we talked about being a Twitcher a year or so ago…

 We did. 

So, think ‘wildlife camera operator’ to invite Big Mind out to play…

Wildlife camera operator
Wildlife camera operator


Pivot 44: Settle into Big Mind 

Now you have done that epic trip to bring your wee girl home, it is your time to batten down the hatches, both physically and in terms of ‘thinking’. Do you remember the notion of the Calm Interiorised Mind? Now is the time. Now is the time to take that deep breath you have been longing to take for months, and to settle in to your mind, your knowing, your intuitive states. There will be rest, and in rest there is always greater insight. 

It feels like, in the window created by this devastating pandemic, I have the much-yearned-for opportunity to be like one of those writers with their rigid daily routines, and cut-off-edness from the outside world – and their ability to access their inside state and be creative and productive. What bliss. What BLISS.

And I don’t mean to cut off from people. No. I have a case online today – my first. Perfect! I can go about my work without picking up exhaustion from travel and all the interpersonal-presence shocks to my body… I will be more helpful this way. I am blessed by this. I am finding that in this crisis there is light – and so must we all, to maintain our highest frequency in service to the situation at hand.

Let’s read…

NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE: Whatever you do, even including not-doing, that is our practice. That is an expression of big mind. So, big mind is something to express, but it is not something to figure out. Big mind is something you have, not something to seek for. Big mind is something to talk about, or to express by our activity, or something to enjoy. Zen Mind p92

Ok! Excellent. So ‘big mind‘ is akin to this Calm Interiorised Mind. This is the state, friends. This is the natural Aspie state, where all is peaceful, blissful, coherent. This is the state that ‘being out in the noisy NT world’ rips me out of. I know this… And it’s not just about Aspieness, it’s about the HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), the empath, the introvert… As we go into social distancing and self-isolation mode, I’ve been loving the memes from introverts and Aspies about us being ‘way ahead’ with this etc.

It’s such a gentle, tender thing, but this situation is reminding me that I’ve been trying to mask and act as a NT to my absolute detriment. And I don’t need to.

Look at my G, and my DD1 – living (richly social) lives online. There’s no need to go into NT burnout. Ok?? Ever again? Ok?

It’s more than just a case of ‘it’s ok to stay at home’. It’s also a case of this: the work you do when you are in Big Mind state is precisely what is needed in the world. You are not needed out there frazzled. We want you to find ways to get deep into Big Mind – and stay there – because that is when you are tuned in to the frequency required to do your work well. 

Yesterday, I realised that ‘sensing the love in your heart’ is about tuning, tuning, tuning and modifying… until you can tune into the love that is always there. It’s not about looking and hoping to find. It’s about tuning.

And tuning into Big Mind – and spending the day there – is what this time invites you to do. This is the breakthrough you have been looking for in terms of collecting yourself and being true to yourself. You know when you are in Big Mind state. You know when you are in the Calm Interiorised Mind state. Bask in this pool of connectedness, dear soul. It’s inviting you in. 

Settle into Big Mind today. Big Mind is dreamy, it’s focussed, it’s spontaneous. It’s the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s light. It’s aware. It’s calm. It’s micro and macro all at once. It’s the artist at the canvas. It’s the surgeon with scalpel in hand. It’s awareness with lightness. It’s peace inside, peace outside. Hold the vibration of Big Mind today and you will truly start to reconnect with yourself. 

1 thing?

Complete the previous one.. 

Ah… Sure. Visit J. next door… Ok.

Can I say, I’m so glad to have this beautiful home? And I’m so relieved my Girlita is home. And please look after my beautiful Girlimus Maximus. And all of us. Blessings upon this planet today. Blessings, light, love and peace upon this planet today and each and every day. Amen.

Settle into Big Mind