Sunday 29 March 2009

Room for one more on top

DC and I were out to dinner at the home of friends on Friday. What an intriguing two pairs we are, RB&AK and DR&DC. A by now formulaic comparison of each others partner takes place along the lines of the carer and the cared for (in the medical/social needs model) with the various combinations each taken throughout the evening. 'Oh do you find yours needs...' that sort of thing, as if we all kept each other as a sort of pet. And it came to me that this is sort of like the familiar of myth. Who I asked is who's familiar. Not that I am in any way suggesting witchery. I checked this line out a bit on Wiki and note a reference to Imps, who apparently are so lonely that they will do anything, even be turned to good to have a committed friend. Funny how these resonances or archetypes pop up.

I saw Paul A. yesterday and we prodded at each others plans in an attempt to test for thin ice both in our selves and each other.

We're all bonkers, mad as a box of frogs. DC is, as ever, steady at his helm.

Sub-personalities and co-dependencies having an outing or what? How many are on the sub-personality bus and how are the buses relating out there on the road? Man on a Clapham omnibus indeed. Who does he have on his sub-personality bus?

Thursday 26 March 2009



Brief casual discussion with a couple of the guys from one of the firms of consulting engineers we work with regarding my proposed three day week; first response was a bit incredulous. Then, as the wheels go around the penny starts to drop, but I came away feeling like I was somehow in the wrong! Which upon reflection was a shame, because had I been less in the I am not ok position, (defending my ego) I would have been able to be more compassionate and supportive of those expressing dismay and thus coax them to seeing a wider view. But that's probably to be a bit egotistical too. That said towards the end of the discussion I think a view of getting off the tread mill was gained, who knows.

We went to see Rambert Dance Company in the evening; an excellent evening. First dance together with the music was very moving, a spiritual piece. It came to me early in the performance that my young nephew, who is eight and is interested in dance and theatre could one day be a professional dancer. I was quite moved by that thought. Not because of some kind of pride but because the thought that he might flow smoothly from bud to flower without that constricted tight unopened time that so many of us face, is moving. Nice to see DC moved by the piece too. And our friend also expressing his enjoyment.

Second dance (or was it third? I forget the order) was more playful, a delightful child like quality which resonated gently with the spirituality of the first piece. My own inner child is frustrated at present and I need to take some action to route out the attachments keeping me feeling low.

I enjoyed last night but I became aware that I had drifted off several times; monkey mind, it's so unproductive, but then...

I am not so lustful over the beautiful male dancers as in the past. But it is nice to see them in animation. And I see just what energy there is in that attraction. Even though I some times wonder if I might ever explore some heterosexual side I never find that raw energy with women that is elicited for me by the sight of a beautiful man. However, these days I do see the yin in women and that's nice.

I recall Gregory's Girl; 'keep dancing or you'll fall off the world' one of them said, or something like that.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Sitting where?

Posts have been a bit erratic in both frequency and meaning lately. And this is because I have lost to some extent the voice of ...bough (oh I like that, the voice of ...bough, very Dr Who). Well not lost exactly, it's more that two aspects need to be considered; first how much and in what way should be said, ie how frank, and second behind whatever I might say I need to have seen myself first, ie what is my objectivity. So how frank and where is my objectivity? And (being hopefully objective) they are both out of whack!

So, I could drop back, be reflective, find the still point and observe. Which I do, but not obviously all the time, the rest of the time I am gone; lost in the drama. Which points to the whole question; who exactly is running the show here! And what show out of how many options shall I (add in huge loop back around which I) chose (add in huge loop about choice, nature of the will etc.).

At the physical level I have been feeling a bit rough and my neck, shoulder and back are painful. This will be partly mechanical and substantially a further manifestation of what is being said above. Added to this my perception of physical vulnerability / robustness is also shifted towards the vulnerable end of the spectrum. This is a much more complex symptom and it can't be unpacked here.

So, can I drop out of the thinking (or ruminating) head space and into the emotional body space? Answer; it ain't easy. But yes I can, and that's why the voice is erratic, because the felt meaning in the emotional body space is still churning it around and the head (where the voice is) is babbling it's own tale. The two are probably not yet in harmony.

And no, I can't be specific about the details here; they are too personal.

Thursday 19 March 2009


What am I with just now? Well, I am on a week long health & safety course at work and to be honest five days is a long time to sit through that. Fortunately we are quite a creative and humorous lot. For better or worse I've injected a few loosely Buddhist ideas in.

Still can't find out if they are going to accept me going to 60%. And the longer that goes on the more I get primed to accept a choice of 100% (probably 120% or more) or 0%. So I feel the winds of change may be about to blow. Hope I've got like the willow - pliable- I seem to have settled on a course of action at some level.

Monday 16 March 2009


Choices, choices. Some real some not even available, just fantasies. Always this question: 'is this what I should do for the best or is it just what I would like to do?' And straight away the further questions about the definition of 'for the best' and 'like'. Or to put it an other way how much of this is attachment to unhelpful or unskillful ways? And of course it is just not possible for me to know. I try to feel into the situation; ideas, emotions, sensations, and... , I keep looking, check to avoid rumination, explore, unpack, try out alternative ways of building a picture, what options, where might it go... that sort of thing. I try to keep open but contained.

How much courage have I got to really look at those attachments?

Saturday 14 March 2009


Returning to the koan which inspired the title of this blog (Kyogen's "Man up in a Tree", case 5 Mumonkan) the question how to respond has of course been right in front of me this past few weeks. And starting this post about support, I recalled that picture of a tree providing support as I read the 'Holding no bough' title across the top of the page. And I recall my first post implying that I had realised that letting go was needed because one falls through life whether actively or passively, so it's no use just clinging on choosing not to chose. But I can't of course just let go, no. I am after all interdependent, all forms are empty, emptiness is form. I need support and I need to support. Giving and receiving in symbiosis such that it's all giving and all receiving. The response to life's koan being held at least in part by the supports.

The canvas of life is vast. The play of experience across the clear sky of the mind rich and complex. Even if I was able to see my true nature as clear as those great masters, would I not still need to engage with others and in the realm of form enjoy the interplay of the symbiosis of support?

There is a nice web of support of which I am part. Of course this brings up all sorts of questions about attachment but that's for an other day; to focus there at this point would be to miss the point. A larger frame than is to hand just now would be needed to hold all those issues.

It's good to be part of it.

Wednesday 11 March 2009


I checked:

and found the post

I tried it for Holding no bough.
The biggest word was time.
Try it!

Tuesday 10 March 2009


In the past I've not been good at play. And so I've a sort of play deficit. This is coming around now and even though it causes me difficulties working out the practicalities, the implications, the blah blah, it is going to be / is getting let loose. Time to give more room to inner playful child.

Monday 9 March 2009


It's time to reflect. No, that's not the word. That implies looking. That's what each post might be. This recent time has... has felt inwardly turbulent. Reflective but inwardly active. So, relax, reflect but not review? Time to be patient. Breathe....

Friday 6 March 2009


Progress today with alternative working hours. I am hopeful that a satisfactory arrangement may yet well be reached. This is so important to me.

And, a lunch time catch up with a friend showed thinking not far from my own with similar conclusions reached. That gave just a glimmer of hope for the sort of connection that can seem missing in a lot of life.

I think I must trust or hope that having set my direction the winds will be favorable and not fear an initial period in the doldrums. And 'hope' is something that I need to work with because I can all too easily see the glass as half empty and not in the way of empty as full.

I have scope to grow life in the direction of aliveness but I feel in a period of transition and I am definitely not clear about the various attachments around all this and probably need to feel into it more.

Wednesday 4 March 2009


As hard as I might try to remember 'every day's a good day', to be spacious enough to see through my own drama my own ego, to remember mindful, humble, compassionate, that sky like mind is always there, I obviously fail; the clouds of delusion thicken.

Today I have felt the gap between the various sorts of life I might have widen out and at the same time I've held the thought that I simply do not have the karma to separate out attachments and make progress. And that make progress says it all. But I don't feel confused over polishing the tile. No, it's not that I can't see that there is the danger of confusing spiritual progress and just wanting a more fulfilling life, a day without work is a day without food. But one man's meat is indeed an other man's poison. Should I just try to eat my rice or is part of the eating working out the path?

Ok, so to be blunt I just don't see any benefit in staying in a milieu that I can't integrate with a sense of personal growth. I see the danger of confused attachments but what can I do? By growth I mean authenticity, working to reduce ego shell and greater vitality from being present and with an expansion of consciousness.

A work colleague told me he had been reading my blog and couldn't make sense of it. He made a comment of about drugs. I assured him I don't do drugs and the posts are inspired by or make reference to various Zen texts. I did my best to explain the ideas around samadhi and the Buddhist view of mind. I felt some connection was made but it feels like I am in the wrong water trying to integrate the work milieu and my koan. Yet how can I not try? How can I answer the koan with out integration? Surly I must cut this cat in one.

Tuesday 3 March 2009

And on

I've just found out that Human Resources, the very name says it all really, are not even able to entertain the prospect of part time working. It's all more grist to the mill of looking at the whole koan a fresh. Excuse the mixed metaphors. (Is a koan a metaphor? What ever.)

I am not going to let this stop me. I need more time for me to get more beyond me.

As an aside, DC and I went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Sunday. I placed the exhibition program by my computer to remind me to post about this. Some work by Isamu Noguchi reminded me of thoughts I have had about how certain works point to some... just what is it? Then I read in the notes that he was inspired by visits to Japanese Zen temples. Interesting.

Ooh, there is a definite tetchiness in this post. That will not do. It just needs space, I have a few ideas to overcome the problems. Actually, at least I feel I am moving out of feeling blue, isolated. It all passes.

Sunday 1 March 2009

Up in the air

Still with stuff which is too personal to write for the world to read. And it scares me, and it scares me because I like control, and I have in the past exercised that control over me. With meditation I changed the type of control I suppose but the control element is there, goal of goallessness still some way off. So when I struggle to find the still point when struggling with emotional stuff the whole koan comes up. But that makes it sound like the struggle is just with practice. This is not so, practice is for me in part about containment and spaciousness to hold my life, thought I would not say that is all it is. Life is throwing up plenty for me and my practice to hold right now. Including just where practice sits. Yes the whole koan is thrown up. But it is the personal stuff that holds my attention.

Between writing and posting this, things have started moving and I hope lifting. It seems right to look up, to look to the light.