Saturday 29 August 2009


Last week was the first back at work after our week on Iona staying at the Findhorn retreat house Traigh Bhan. Both DC and I had a peaceful and very enjoyable time. The house is lovely and in a wonderful location and it was good to share it with the other guests and of course to spend time with Niels who I know from his Gay Man's Inner Journey workshop which I did in May. We also visited Tina a friend I made back in February on the essentials of psychosynthesis course. Tina has just had a baby and lives on Erraid. DC and I very much enjoyed our visit and it was good to catch up with Tina and meet her husband Paul, his son and the new baby.

I did a few odd jobs at Traigh Bhan; a bit of plumbing to a water filter, new WC seats (which were bought by Niels during GMIJ) and replacement of a door bolt. It was also fun to clear the path of sheep poo so we would tread in less on our return in the dark from the céilidh on the Monday night. The house is located in a farmer's field and not served by a paved surface once the road from the village to the farm is left. Visitor's luggage is transported on a hand cart which everyone helps pull. There are two carts at the house but one was broken as it had lost the retaining screw and nylon bush to one of the wheels. Unable to resist such a challenge I inspected the wheels; a replacement bush was required to replace the lost one. I brought the one from the other side home and checked on the net. No luck; all the wrong size. Found that the place I was thinking of which sold such things has closed. I went to see my dad; did he still know anyone that could make one and a thrust washer, I asked and gave him the bush I'd brought back. 'Leave it with me'. That was Monday, Tuesday morning he called. 'The lad's just dropped the bush in.' It and the washer were spot on and I posted all the parts back to Neils. Took a call on Thursday from Niels to say that he received them on Iona on Wednesday! The whole thing seems such a delight.

I went out with dad on Wednessday night and met a lad that has had a tough time and been helped by dad and his mates in the pub. Again, so good that caring help has been given just because that is what is required. Buddha nature.

DC enjoyed Iona and I could see the 'Findhorn thing' working on him...

So, having sat with the way things have been and the need to move out of the rut I seem to have fallen into I have decided that I really do want to spend a bit more time at Findhorn in a work department doing something and not just sleep walking through life at my current job. So, I plan to delay starting the foundation year in psychosynthesis and arranging a little sabbatical. It's both scary and exciting but I feel I must do something...

Wednesday 12 August 2009


The truth is that I've not been blogging much of late because my head has been a bit mashed. Yes it is good to put it down in words to clear the thoughts and to have it out in the public realm is a good check on feelings of authenticity. But a lot of the stuff isn't just mine to write about, others form a part (no this is not the time to be clever about oneness) and they must be respected. So have I kept a private journal of this stuff? I did a bit, but in truth I've been lost to the stuff. And separating inner voice that intuitive knowing from the twists and turns of the ego has been oh so hard. It continues but less so; and this too will pass... So, the koan reminds me that it can't be 'solved' by logic.

Last week we went to see the outdoor theatre event Beautiful journey. I really enjoyed it, very creative, very atmospheric. Set in a disused industrial area by the river, a magical world was brought to life as the audience followed the players around the yards and buildings and even to the river. I found my inner critic having a go at me for not being as creative as those involved in the production when I was in my youth. Of course it completely forgets that my creativity was in fact sizable even by its own standards should it remember just what I was doing. All stories, all stories. Just what play am I watching? DC and Paul A' did a bit of a critique afterwards walking back to the car, Bethany and I looked side ways at each other... Yeh, just what play did we each see? But we all had a good time and went back to Paul A's for tea and a bit of nosh. A late night for a 'school night'.

Tonight Bethany came to dinner with DC and I. Playing various music, some of it described as a bit 'New Age', prompted me to consider what the 'shlockiness' that DC describes is all about. I suppose that the question is about the journey from head to heart, the return to more childlike being. The danger, the shlockiness, could be the risk of turning not to playful child but indulged infant; ego not peeled away but pampered. But is it such a terrible thing to take the risk?

Sunday 2 August 2009


Just returned from the cinema having seen Coco before Channel.
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Clearly she was ahead of her time and with a sense of purpose, a need for meaning as well as security. And we see our belief in creativity in the joy we have in watching the movie, with its creativity.

Anyway, time for bed.


One way or an other I keep coming back to what I was thinking when I posted in January on Vitality.

The title of this blog refers to Mumonkan Case 5 Kyogen's "Man up in a Tree"

Kyogen Osho said, "It is like a man up in a tree hanging from a branch with his mouth; his hands grasp no bough, his feet rest on no limb. Someone appears under the tree and asks him. 'What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West?' If he does not answer, he fails to respond to the question. If he does answer, he will lose his life. What would you do in such a situation?"

In his commentary Katsuki Sekida explains that there is no meaning but that this means emptiness, not nihilistic emptiness, but the ancient Way. He goes on to explain 'Bodhidharma came from the West, but he came without being attached to a single purpose'.

This koan spoke to me at a time when I just could not see how to proceed. Recently for different reasons I've struggled to see how to proceed. However, what the situation seems to be showing me is my need for meaning. And I think there is some deep wisdom in all this which his beyond my ken. The answer seems to be in the falling. Acceptance whilst trying to do the 'right' thing. Sounds simple. Why then is it so difficult?