I’m not usually in the habit of religiously watching football, but last night I found myself glued to the television for the first time in zonks. First it was Italy versus Spain, and when the players weren’t actually throwing themselves to the ground and writhing around in their usual death-throes, I found it utterly captivating the way that the universe unfolded through each moment of play. Every movement held infinite potential in the way the ball was passed or not passed, received or intercepted, the way that shots on goal were on target or wide of the mark and, ultimately, ended up either in the net or not. Perhaps for the first time in my life I understood the thrill of the gambler about to throw the dice, because literally anything can happen. In the almost infinite number of possible outcomes there lies an almost infinite potential for excitement, as life spontaneously self-creates before you. Continue reading Brexit, hubris and the symbolic language of the universe
Tomorrow Britain votes in what could be the most fundamentally life-changing referendum in the history of the world. Is this mere hyperbole, exaggeration to grab your attention? No, in one sense, the decision will impact not just on the citizens of the UK, but on those of the entire EU and, by broader implication, the entire universe. It sounds like it could be the stuff of a Marvel comic strip. Superheros on either side of the debate… The great and the good pitted against the forces of darkness… Continue reading Brexit and global spiritual consciousness
“… I was twenty. It was a summer spent in Aspen, Colorado, in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Although my official reason for being there was to study at the international music festival, I did my utmost to escape the practice rooms. In my mind they were prison cells, just as they had always been for as long as I could remember. Eight hours a day locked away, running through scales and études, mindlessly repeating various passages of music wasn’t living – it was the meaningless existence of an assembly-line robot, at least in my mind. And so, instead, in the middle of the Rockies, my refuge quickly became the mountains… Continue reading Becoming everything through nothing
I can’t claim to be the world’s first barefoot runner. I’m certainly not the fastest. I can’t offer you decades of personal insight and experience without shoes. I’m more like you. Perhaps the reason you’re here reading this is because something is missing from your life or your running. For me discovering barefoot running not only solved the staleness in my relationship with running, it reconnected me to a much deeper part of my being Continue reading How I fell in love with barefoot running
Well, it happened again today – I was stopped by the cops for running barefoot. The weather gets cold, they see me and think: ‘this guy’s crazy…’ So today, I was just walking the last few metres home, and three of them jumped out of a police van to investigate. After taking my name and D.O.B., and after ascertaining that I’m only harmlessly eccentric, we had a nice little conversation about the health benefits of barefoot running. Continue reading Dream running and dreams of clarity
The Zone: we all know it. We’ve all been there before. It’s the holy grail of running experience, and the reason that some people hit the road in the first place. But how much time do you actually spend there, in that elusive place of weightlessness, timelessness, pure effortlessness and Flow? Whatever figure comes to mind, the answer is surely “not enough”. Continue reading Running as meditation (or how to meditate while running)
Let’s take a look at names and what they mean – and especially how this relates to spirituality, consciousness and being. Everybody has a name, but of course not every name is the same. They sound different. They derive from different cultures: perhaps Latin, Greek or Hebrew. They signify different images or concepts: such as light in the names ‘Lucy’ and ‘Lucian’, or even sloppy/untidy, as in the famous name of ‘Mozart’ (from the German: motzen).
In this article I’d like to focus on the difference between ‘given’ names and ‘spiritual’ names, for these two basic categories reflect on a much deeper level the two basic approaches of spiritual paths. Continue reading All in a name
‘Kundalini’ is one of the most misunderstood words in all of yoga, meditation and the spiritual world in general. As much as it’s also one of the most commonly used and abused words, the confusion surrounding it isn’t surprising, if you take a moment to think about it. Just as no two people are exactly the same, something as intensely personal as kundalini also catalyses an inevitably unique experience. Continue reading All about kundalini
Long distance running and spirituality have always shared a deep connection. The Buddhist marathon monks of Mount Hiei and the Lung Gompa runners of Tibet are perhaps the most famous examples of formalised schools of spiritual training in which running forms a central element. Tribes of the American southwest, most notably the Hopi and Navajo, also traditionally placed an emphasis on ultrarunning, as a test of physical strength and means to connect with spirit.
Speak to any marathoner or ultrarunner today, and chances are you’re dealing with somebody for whom the material aspects of life are just the outer shell of a deeper experience. Continue reading Running, spiritual experience, and the origins of man
The Sanskrit word ‘kriya’ means ‘perfected action’ or ‘something done with soul’ and is used to express a variety of meanings in yoga. Depending on the tradition, it can apply to a single asana (body position) or a strict series of such asanas. When kundalini energy flows through the body, people also sometimes find themselves spontaneously taking up certain positions, again referred to as kriyas.
As a fixed expression, ‘Kriya Yoga’ has an entirely different meaning. Continue reading What is Kriya Yoga?