Sunday, 9 October 2016

This autumn

I've not been writing of late. It's not that there's been nothing to process, the koan is constantly unfolding, but there's been no urge to draw it out 'on paper'.

We've had some wonderful weather through later summer and autumn and now with the days shortening the leaves are just starting to turn. I often feel uneasy at this time of year. I feel the milder, lighter days slipping away, the low sun, longer nights, colder air... some instinctive or ancestral fear seems to get triggered... And as DC will say 'we live in a suburban, double glazed centrally heated house and both have good jobs!' But that nagging voice in me will always say 'yes, but what's around the corner...? What doom?' And it's the oncoming November gloom which somehow seems to trigger this feeling of doom; right on cue in September / October! I'm almost afraid to even acknowledge it in case it somehow makes it real. There's magical thinking for you! Of course this fear is there in varying degrees all year round but I find it modulated by the seasons and it's fear and associated anger which is at the root of much of the koan - probably for most of us. And how clear is that to see in 'Brexit'.

There's no enlightenment outside of everyday life and living with a long term partner and going to work is without doubt ample training ground along the path yet there is also a need for time and space for reflection and spiritual renewal. Each day's formal meditation is not enough to support the required level of meditation off the cushion. DC and I will take a holiday the first week in November in the lake district. This is something we used to do regularly but in recent years with time spent living away from 'home' and changing work arrangements it ceased. This year conditions are such as to make it possible and needed once more. I intend to use the time to draw inward and tune in to where I need to put my energies. I feel dissipated at present. I think that's perhaps part of the reason for not posting here of late.

Sometimes there are shards of pain so burning hot yet cold and icy revealing aspects of the space of the emotional and physical body. They pass. Anxieties and old wounds or habits shifting shape in response to present conditions. And joyous connections with life too. Thoughts and feelings, sustaining, changing, passing. There's a feeling of a loss of spiritual focus, but that may have its positives too; letting go to know more deeply given time. Perhaps it's good that the seasons have turned and come round to autumn. Whilst spring and summer are times of obvious rebirth there's a creative aspect to autumn. A balm of mists and mellow fruitfulness? In part. But more the inward turning afforded by winter. Like breathing; in and out, in, out, in, out...

I have so many books I want to read or re-read. And I'm drawn to spend more time in formal meditation and in nature and in bodywork. I know there's much that might be unfolded to reveal my experience of life's desire to be in contrast with the ego's desire to have. Yet there's a very deep tiredness and some frustration. But isn't that the case for many of us in these times? Dukkha will always manifest somehow.

Thursday, 5 May 2016


I've been rather busy of late, which is good, and although I've been visited a few times by the blog writing muse I've been too tired to sit down and pull a post together. However, last night DC and I went with two friends to see the movie Demolition and I was so moved I felt I must write a short post. I found this a really moving tale of love and the search for authentic connection in life. What really came across for me is the shear enormity of the human heart and its capacity to expand in the face of the vastness of life's challenge. And what is beautifully portrayed in this movie is the way our connections and loves like life are so complex and yet so simple, the way there's a real warmth in the acceptance of what is and letting go our fantasies of a 'perfect' self, a perfect life. However painful, life is its own perfection whether we like it or not. This is the message that comes out of this at times bizarre tale.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


Last weekend we had some friends round for dinner. A great night was had by all. They brought with them a Christmas present - we've not had the chance to meet up since before the festive period. The present is a framed photo of DC and me and I was quite moved by it. It's a photo from about maybe ten years ago and we're in the kitchen of our friends' house, DC is behind and slightly to the side of me with his arms around me. His face is just beautiful and to me says along with his whole body language just how much he loves me. I'm moved by the way he holds me in love without clinging or possessing; he's just so pleased that we are we. When I saw this photo I felt immediately blessed that we are still together after almost 24 years, and that he remains a brilliant light in my life.

Monday, 4 January 2016

New Year Celebration

DC and I spent new year in Wales with Loving Men. The group was about 90 gay men in number and the warmth and connection just lovely! We both had a wonderful time; a mixture of meeting and connecting, care and consideration, fun and laughter and exercise for body and spirit (I kept my mind reasonably quiet!) all in a great location with lovely vegetarian food. I found the time thoroughly nourishing and a great way to enter 2016! There were moving moments and the wonderful energy of connection and sharing in the depth of human experience both difficult and joyous.