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
Brexit and global spiritual consciousness
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
Becoming everything through nothing
“… 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
All in a name
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
All about kundalini
‘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
Running, spiritual experience, and the origins of man
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
What is Kriya Yoga?
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?
Space, energy and the spiritual path
Everything that exists in this world can be described in two basic terms: space and energy, yin and yang, form and content, shiva and shakti… The atoms in your body, the thoughts in your mind: everything is just a dance between these two fundamental elements. Does this sound strangely abstract or theoretical?
If so, meditation and yoga can provide a means for discovering the very real space and energy inside you. Endless space. Pure energy. Continue reading Space, energy and the spiritual path
Drawing each breath in, let us practise acceptance. Again and again, a thousand times a day. My lungs cannot discriminate between good air, bad air — no, it is the mind which labels things ‘clean’ or ‘polluted’. To the lungs and to the heart, it is all air, for better or for worse. Breathe in and let it mingle with your body deep inside.
Acceptance: without it, my soul suffocates.
Giving each breath back to the world, let us practise letting go. Again and again, a thousand times a day. My lungs are infinitely generous — for it is only the mind which fears loss. To the lungs and to the heart, it is all just air, not ‘yours’ and ‘mine’. Breathe out and let it mingle deep inside another’s body, just as the breath of a million other lives mingles now in your own lungs.
Letting go: without it, I can no longer accept.
Each inhale gives birth to new life. Each exhale dies its own little death — and brings us a little closer to our own final breath. Let us practise this again and again, a thousand times a day.
With our first baby breath of life, with all our heart and lungs we drew the breath in.
Let us accept life for what it is, and when it is time for life to end, let us let it go with just another breath…
30 seconds to care
Sometimes I just don’t understand people. I was in the last kilometre of my morning run, heading back home, when I heard the most desperate scream. Not more than 20 metres ahead of me, a woman was walking with her dog on the zebra crossing leading into the park. A car hit the dog, and then just continued, without even stopping. As if nothing had happened. Continue reading 30 seconds to care