Thursday 23 September 2010

Night out

I've not felt like posting of late. But last night I went out for a drink with some ex work colleagues and then joined them (unexpectedly) for a meal. There was a lot of warmth there, partly on the surface but more at a deeper unspoken level. At the surface some of the interaction was typical of a 'night out' and through all that shone and at times I could see a bright light.

Sunday 15 August 2010


I was just telling my mother about seeing Joanna to return the Ladybird book (see last posting). Joanna had expressed to me how kind she had always found my mother, all those years ago when we lived close by. My mother tonight expressed further warm memories regarding Joanna and told how Joanna had dug up four rose bushes from her garden and brought them down to us one Christmas morning as a gift; one each. I recall them planted in the small front garden in front of the bay window of our rented ground floor flat. In the telling came over a warmth and humanity I have failed to convey above.

Thursday 12 August 2010

Throwing stuff out

Yesterday I did some serious 'life laundry' going through loads of financial paper work stuff; tax, pensions and 'investments'. I say 'investments', note the quotation marks; at the moment it all seems worth slightly less than it cost to buy! I've been putting off a proper sort through a heap of pension statement stuff for years; just shoving each incomprehensible piece of correspondence to the end of a pile in a carrier bag. I hate all that stuff. They all say the same; '...this is what you might get [but it's any ones guess if you will]... markets... up... down...' Basically this correspondence is not worth the paper it's written on except it is required to comply with the rules to 'protect' the industry... Ugh. Eventually I reduced it all down to the latest statements etc and after throwing out all the original bumf the pile comes down to a few sheets. Quite satisfying! Moving on with this in to other papers; redundant instruction manuals, school certificates, old training course notes etc., etc., I have the thought, particularly when looking through stuff that the inland revenue might ask me to reproduce, that a self, a history is at least as real as all this! One can't just bin it all; the tax man will have his way, I do need to keep P11D and P60 forms, he may yet send an other tax return! But also a sense of the redundant; past financial projections, forgotten manuals for equipment which has been thrown away... Life now moved on from then. A mix then between junk, and the 'reality' of earning a living and keeping the tax man happy.

Then on a more human level an old school photo and and old Ladybird book about electricity. I recall how things seemed for me when that photo was taken and I don't think it's just projection that I can see it in the eyes of the little kid; uncertainty. I looked in the book, it used to be my favorite, I loved anything to do with electricity, inside is written 'To David, love from Joanna. 1973' I would have been six years old. Joanna is the mother of a school class mate and she is still alive; I decided to return the book to her so she could reconnect with giving it.

Today I looked at the book, the school picture and the now tidied financial stuff and I could feel little David having traveled that journey from six to forty three; clear inner child connection. What a lovely light in the world and all of us have such light. And I recall this post and having returned once more from Cluny I again find that I miss it or rather the the rhythms of life and the people there.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

What to do?

I've been back in Newcastle for over a week now and I am still missing Cluny. A few potential work leads come up but very little. How do I feel about work? I need to be involved and doing but when I look at the job descriptions and think of what it is likely to be like... my heart sinks. I am seriously drawn to a long term commitment to the Findhorn community. Am I really thinking this? Me!? Can I find a job and build a life here that feels fulfilling? Going to live in community throws away a lot. Separating out fantasy, desire and deep longing is not easy.

Despite all this I am ok. I'll give the work thing here a bit longer and if nothing resolves then the time may yet come to go and live in community for awhile.

Reviewing posts I see a certain flavor over the past year or so coming through. I am not sure if this reflects the full story of my life over that time, more the parts that seemed 'blogable' and even then often the posts are highly condensed, telegraphic in nature. It's often just using the post to see if the words feel true; true enough to stand for the whole web to see.

Sunday 25 July 2010


Just what was it last night that took me to such a dark angry space. One person in the assembled company became the focus of several 'button pressing' areas, a constellation of sore spots, deep wounds. I sat with it able to watch, to acknowledge but all too soon I was becoming; the limit of my containment at that time reached. Going to bed that vile pain of fresh anger scabbing over old wounds, fear lashing out, tender heart fled to perceived safety. And this morning biter the grief. Last night in bed searching for the wounds which are the root of all this and again today staring at the scaring; layers, as the scab gets torn time and again. Pain body feeding. Familiar themes of (perceived?) rejection and isolation.

I'll need to spend time opening out the patterns and looking for the lessons; the wisdom to heal the sore places. What will I need to let go, what will I need to accept?

Stories, stories, mind spun stories...

Thursday 15 July 2010


After a full and somewhat surprising day yesterday I listened to Mahler V before going to sleep. With soft sweet tears of who knows what I felt that same gentle longing to 'go home' in the spiritual sense that The lark ascending also gives rise to in me. I listened to The lark and again the feeling was there. No bitterness or depressive desperation, just a sense of the source, home yet not home. And then I thought of life and all that it affords... It had been a strange day... We come out of the void to be, to know... and it is good.

It rained heavily during the night and this morning the maintenance shed roof was leaking. We adjusted ourselves around the puddles and drips to share and tune-in before work. The bucket was always in the wrong place. I recalled a zen koan and told it;

'As the roof was leaking the master asked two monks to fetch something. One returned with a bucket the other a basket. The first was reprimanded the second praised.'

Klass who has been here for years said 'Yes, just accept it.'

I note my angel for today is acceptance. And today it seems almost easy. I seem to be in the middle of life again, which even if challenging feels so much better than when it or I seemed stuck.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Missing Dave

I am missing Dave! He was here last week and it was great. A bit difficult (to balance all the different aspects of being here) but great.

I am keeping busy, which is also great and tiring. It seems like much longer than five weeks since I left Newcastle to come up here. I am feeling ready for the peace of my own space that home is all about. But I also know that I need to have useful meaningful work...

I've not been posting much and that's because I have not felt the need to do so. That's probably because of the sharing we all do here at the start of each morning and afternoon.

Time to dash - afternoon shift is just about to start...

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Great doing

Well, it's a while since my last post. It is just over two weeks since I traveled up here to Cluny. I was here for four nights and as well as preparing for the next week I helped out in maintenance dept. before traveling (starting at 4-30AM!) to Traigh Bhan the Findhorn Foundation retreat house on Iona. I had a great week on Iona, working with Niels (the custodian of Traigh Bhan) during 'working week', replacing double glazing units and doing other joinery and misc. work. What joy to be in such a wonderful place doing useful work I enjoy with great people! Erica (one of the Iona group) was cooking for us and it was great to get to know her; the three of us were a great team and we all enjoyed a joyous grace filled week together putting back into the beautiful Traigh Bhan. Some of the glazing units are just short of 6 foot by 2 foot and quite a challenge to handle but Niels and I were in a wonderful harmony with each other and so even managed a bit of humorous exchange which naturally eased the tension of working with large, heavy, fragile items in difficult access conditions on a remote island. There were many wonderful times during that week and much was done. The joyous connection we all shared is truly special and extended out to include Dave and Ian (Neils' partner).

I returned here last Saturday and I am now once more with maintenance dept. using my skills and being useful, which is a joy. Dave is due to come up here a week Sunday and will stay for a week at Erica's, which is great. I still have no idea how long to stay here for, but that will become more clear I guess over the next couple of weeks.

Since coming here I've had so much opportunity to express my talents and skills and to connect, which has really made me feel alive again, which is a good way to feel on the eve of my 43rd birthday. A day without work is indeed a day without food.

Monday 3 May 2010

Flowing on

I've not been doing very much at all lately and it's no good for me! I am just not cut out for being idle. And there is no spiritual 'progress' in it for me at present either. Oh, that's not true, the time has been teaching, what I meant was that I've not been able to get in to deep states of inner peace! No, too much uncertainty about where I am headed and too much need to use my talents for that.

Anyway, have a look at this on Jade Mountains. Much teaching in that I think.

As there seems to be no work coming my way I plan to spend the summer working at Findhorn, if I can get things to work out that way. We are not without some power to direct the flow of our life and I can't think of any more favorable way to flow than spending the time working in an environment I like. No need to be clever here about flow, time and all that, just need to be engaging with it; 'a day without work is a day without food' and all that.

Wednesday 21 April 2010


I've not posted much of late; I've felt stuck and without much to say.

But the rose plant featured in this post is looking quite splendid now and the other day when Dave came into my study (where I've moved the rose so as to be by a sunny window) I noted his intake of breath. Then I got the following in an e-mail from him:

'My love - thank you for bringing our rose back to life. It took my breath away, and triggered a memory of these words, which - coincidentally? - also echo with my memories of traigh bhan and the song that Niels loves to dance to. The rose is what pulls it all together. D xxx

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always –
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

T.S. Eliot
Little Gidding'

I went to see Tim Pickles in Keswick on Monday. I am till resisting not knowing what to do, but again, like in February, a shift into accepting that things are as they need to be is sort of there. Spring seems to be here and I need to play!

Saturday 20 March 2010

Life force

As part of the volunteer work I've been doing I helped someone get a tenancy on a flat and thus get out of emergency accommodation. Looking around the flat I recalled similar local authority properties that my grandparents and other relatives lived in. I recalled the 'propellant' for my parents to buy their own house and my 'propellant' to shift from working to middle class life, although I still feel very connected to my roots. Apparently this flat had been occupied by an elderly woman who had lived there since it was built (I think in the 1950's or 60's). Later I looked at the keys; three sets one with a tag attached. On the tag was written 'Mam'. In to my focus came the loss for someone of their mother, clearing her home and returning the keys. I pictured for some reason a daughter and her loss... But I've no idea of the 'real' stories behind that key tag. And now new tenants will soon move into the flat; endings and beginnings...

My brother Mike (Michael) rang this morning; could I help with Ed's home work. Ed(ward) is my nephew, he is about twelve years old and I am one of his godparents, although I have little opportunity to influence his development as we live in separate cities and whilst my brother and I get on, we aren't the closest. The homework turned out to be be about force, levers and turning moments, I was able over the phone to explain the theory and how to workout the figures. Mike said that 'to Ed, force is Star Wars and all that'. The opportunities for learning exploded in my mind... Different concepts of force, power, connection, communication, the meaning of words, myth, science, all sorts. I chuckled and said 'well, you could go the extra mile and explain to him that some times the same word has different meanings...'. I went on to suggest that they got a broom shank and made some simple scales, playing about with the pivot point and the weights needed to get them to balance so Ed could see and feel what all this Moment = Force X Distance stuff is about.

I see Ed has no experience of the environs of his great grand parents, those local authority estates that came to my mind as I looked around that flat, he is separated from and connected to his great grandparents in ways he can't see. I hope that one day he will hold some understanding not just of the mathematical and scientific concepts he is learning now but also of the wisdom teachings which are partly hinted at by the movie he enjoys so much, that one day he will have a rich answer to 'what is force?' and enjoy the chuckle his uncle had on hearing his 'confusion' this morning...

Sunday 14 March 2010


I am feeling a lot brighter, a lot lighter. The life passing through is more agreeable, or there is more agreeableness. It's part the longer, lighter days and part connections with people. And it feels like the balance of Being and doing might become more comfortable; the next crop (see previous postings) might be soon.

Being and doing, awareness and 'who is it that does?' True Self and the various aspects of self are what I take Rev Master Mugo to be pointing to in this post on Jade Mountains. The whole question of what to do with ones life seems to me to remain which ever way one does. Life is expressing, Being is, doing unfolds. Responding to what is creatively and authentically without adding or neglecting. Sounds simple, but I rarely find it that way.

It all passes, how will it be later, how will I feel? What actually changes? Is it actually much different when I feel different? Sun faced Buddha, moon faced Buddha.

Tuesday 9 March 2010


I've just had to re-format my CV and re-send it off to the agency that I am using to find a bit of work. I have always had and still have, a dislike of preparing my CV. The whole thing gives me that wanting it done before I start feeling; I do not want to be doing it. What is all that about? At bottom I guess it's the pulling together from any number of stories and the general pool of information some kind of engrossing, wow look at this synopsis of my working life. This inevitably is not right for every potential employer and in any case I've never been much good at the embroidering seemingly so popular in these things. Ach, I don't want to think about it...

And do I want to be returning to the construction industry? I've mixed views. I love the getting things done, the creativity, but the masks, the games, they are not always worn and played so well. The very worst of capitalism and the Western yang approach seem to be most at home in the construction industry that I've known. That said, I've also known some real care and camaraderie with those I've worked along side.

Well, we'll see what comes long. The break I've had from the industry over the last five months or so has been quite a challenge forcing me to look within. Any return to the industry will be from this place. It's not the first time I've withdrawn, a step back. I notice this on Jade Mountains and I would say:

Going away
returning makes the old new

But I don't think it's just a case of a fresh pair of eyes on old ground that I should pursue work wise. The ground probably should have a tweak too.

We'll see.

Wednesday 24 February 2010

In the head

I get too stuck in my head. I've known this for ages of course and there is no Zen in it! But then the head does have its place. Anyway, I've just come back from a very renewing time in Keswick.

I read on Jade Mountains : 'Why is life special?'. I left a comment and remember this response from DC to my question 'what's that line of Adorno's about the colour amidst the grey?':

As discussed (the second one always
brings a lump to my

‘Grayness could not fill us with despair if our minds did not harbor the concept of different colors, scattered traces of which are not absent from the negative whole.’

(Adorno, Negative

‘Peace is the state of distinctness without domination, with the distinct participating in each other.’
‘Subject and object’, in The
Essential Frankfurt School
Reader, ed.
Andrew Arato and Eike Gebhardt (Oxford:
Blackwell, 1978),
497–511 (p.

D xx

But staying in the head is no good. I've been feeling like a fallow field, desperate to grow some new crop. And I've just pushed it round and round in my head, that and other stuff. I've tried to just sit with it. But there has been resistance. I've been struggling rather than sitting. There is change and growth in this period though. And I've known all along (in the heart) that it is ok.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

How it is

What do I have to say? Nothing much more than in this post.

I feel better than last week, less depressed. I think it helps to accept that I am doing something; I am sitting with what it is I am feeling, what it is that I want, fear etc. And I've booked for DC and I to return to Traigh Bhan at Easter. And I've a day or two in Keswick next week.

I did some citizen advocacy volunteer 'work' today. I have so much to be thankful for and so much to offer. I really do need to find a new creative outlet; some great project.

Saturday 13 February 2010


I feel something has shifted. Don't know what. I've sort of stopped struggling to find what to do, I am being more patient. I was resisting.

The small potted rose which DC bought for me as a valentine gift some years ago has put out some new leaves. Tenacious little thing; it often looks like it might be at the end, then it has an other go. It probably needs more sun as it is next to a North facing window on the sideboard. I know I need more sun! Roll on spring!

Wednesday 3 February 2010

What do I do?

I feel dreadful. I am skirting around the rim of depression. I don't want to write about this and thereby make it more real, but on the other hand it's no good resiting it, denying it.

I have lost my purpose. After the mega stress at work and that awful day in 2003 when I realised I'd got way out of my depth and with potentially deadly consequences and the build up / spiral down to depression in 2004 followed by the saving transition to acceptance gained at Findhorn in 2006, I moved the self work I started to get well again in 2004 in to Buddhism and no-self. And I was doing well but by 2007 it was obvious that work was not nourishing me and I wanted more time to study what might be called Eastern philosophy/spirituality. In practice I found the time and have probably come to a natural plateau in study. But the work situation became less and less satisfactory with the winding-up of core business and the move to schools projects. I felt desperately the need to do something else; a something I still can't find despite leaving work to really sit with what I could do. And there have been other more private issues. And it is so painful, the feeling of isolation is like a huge weight on my chest. In fact it seems like a weight in every cell. I've got to shed this, got to feel each cell whole and happy.

I need to be part of something I feel is of use and uses my talents; something which gives me joy.

Saturday 23 January 2010


I read Jade Mountains, and liked the poem in this post. Together with the Eckhart Tolle I've been listening to, it reminds me of the distinction between I and me; the experiencer and the experienced.

I (or rather me, my ego self) is trying to find what I want to do with my life these days. What do I enjoy, what work should I look for, how do I find a group to connect with in some shared purpose? I feel a strong need to be creative. I can't just sit and watch.

I am about to start some volunteer work. That should help.

Friday 15 January 2010

Mandelbrot set

DC and I watched a program about chaos and fractals last night. Self similar properties and feedback based upon recursion are to be seen everywhere in the natural world; simple feedback generating complex (chaotic) results. The Mandelbrot set, which has apparently been described as the thumbprint of God is a famous fractal. This theory seems to show how land, cells, plants etc evolve into the forms we see. And as I was reading about how we send out signals to life about what we want and so attract the same, or to put it an other way I suppose you could say we find that for which we look, it occurred to me that our world view and life are a feedback loop. Nothing new in that; angry people get in to fights and thus get more angry for example. But consider chaos theory and we see how the feedback loop generates much more complex situations... And is this not our state of consciousness, our life, self similar recursion? The Mandelbrot set might not just be a way of looking at forms in the natural world, it might show how the seeds of our karma generate the world we call our life... Now that puts an even more interesting spin on the thumbprint of God. I suppose I am musing on the expansion of forms out of the void. Not just from a material world view but maybe from a mind only school view.

I am a bit too tried to expand on this, but you get the gist.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Wild Love

DC and I saw the movie 'Sex and drugs and rock and roll' about Ian Dury, last weekend. Fantastic! Dury's 'I am not here to be f***ing remembered I am here to live!' a shout to us all!
Dury did not have an 'easy' life. Rediscovering the music I bought a few tracks over the net for my MP3 player. Such energy.

Walking over the town moor the other day, I noticed a sucking sound and turned to see a whirl pool vortex sucking in air where the lake formed by snow melt water was being drained through a pipe under the path to the other side of the path. This drainage arrangement was put in a few years ago and makes the path much more usable. Anyway, I rolled a snowball and threw it into the vortex. Good shot. The sucking stopped then as the ball rolled out started again. The ball circled the vortex before being sucked in and down... Like Alice in wonderland I thought and looked to the other end of the pipe... would it come out? Pop, there it was. Were we now in wonderland, samsara transformed?... Buurr, too cold for this... enough poetic day dreaming, time to walk on, a warm home beckoned.

Just finished reading Wild Love by Gill Edwards. I enjoyed it. Some parts I found not quite in tune with my thinking/feeling but much of it is. I particularly like her exploration of the difference as she sees it between co-dependant merging v connection with Oneness and separation v individuation. Much along the lines of my own thoughts all that.

And on the subject of merging into the collective verses individuation and the path to awakening, I note the writers of Star Trek Voyager explore this with the Borg. In a repeat episode we watched recently, Seven of Nine is severed from the Borg collective and her human body starts to regenerate but she still thinks as Borg and can't bear the pain of separation and longs to be reconnected. She can only hear her own mind and longs to hear the others again. The Borg assimilate; no room for individuation, no harmony of difference in unity. This is co-dependant merging, but Seven of Nine is 'liberated' and must face the illusion of her isolation. She must take up the challenge of discovering her identity and connection to not just the Borg but to the universe. Quite a challenge that! Time passes, as it appears to, and she settles down to become to use those school report terms, a useful member of the team... Which is to say, assimilated into the American way...

Dealing with our pains and accepting what is while remaining open to the joy of life is no simple challenge. It is unconditional love for each and every aspect of our experience not a stoic knuckling down. It requires an infinite expansion of consciousness, there is always more 'work' to do to see that we are perfect as we are. No wonder it sometimes feels like Alice in Wonderland! Hit me with your rhythm stick!

Which is NOT to say party on without a care but care to and as we party on.

Wednesday 6 January 2010


Frosty the snowman still stands and now wears a new snow coat! This is like proper winter. It is not a 'big freeze' as some would have it; I recall when this was just winter weather.

Although I am still sitting with what the next stage in my life should be, what it is that might make me feel enthused, purposeful and joyful, it is nice to be free to enjoy the weather without the battle to and from work. Yesterday I went to see friends who live 'in the country' and had a lovely time walking in the snow enjoying good company. There was a bit of adventure with the car as well; it nearly got stranded in a ford and then almost had to be abandoned in the snow! But faint heart... and all that... and so car and I did get safely back home.

Just seen a documentary about dogs on TV; it seems they think more like us than chimps. The program asked; what is the special bond between man and dog? And although not described in the following terms, the answer might be said to be that we seem to be able to see into each others Buddha nature; unconditional love. I think it's when two beings have an enough shared form, ie similarities or understanding, that a window opens to make it easier to connect with our (true) nature. Form's need to hold both separation and unity at once drives us to connect, to hold lightly our manifestation of Source. Not separation but individuation. And this holds I think in all our relationships... Interestingly, dogs seem to have been bred by taking from the less aggressive wolves in a pack; those exhibiting more juvenile tendencies. Might this be seen as those with less ego? Most spiritual traditions regard the innocence of childhood as close to Source.

And tomorrow I must go shopping, I forgot get salt, crackers and cheese today. Oh, and I notice a should statement above; that inner critic eh?

Friday 1 January 2010


We made a snowman today!

Patting him...

Oops, I look a bit strange in this one!

Drying out after...
Thankfully we are a bit more permanent than frosty the snowman, even though all passes!
May the new year bring peace and joy!