Running, spiritual experience, and the origins of man

lung gompa running (scaled)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

Space, energy and the spiritual path

space+energy fractal_framedEverything 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

Season of love and light

the star (200x200framed5pixel)Jan. 5, 2012

Today is the twelfth day of Christmas, traditionally the last day of this season of Love and Light.  It’s more than just coincidence that so many traditions involve festivals of light this time of year.

Druids have gathered at Stonehenge for thousands of years to celebrate the rising of the Winter Solstice sun.  Of course, in simple astronomical terms this constitutes the shortest day of the year.  And as we all know, the druids had to have a practical knowledge of the stars, in order to know when to plant their crops.  But the deeper meaning of their celebration lies on a spiritual level.  Along with so many other ancient monuments, Stonehenge’s alignment with the Winter Solstice sunrise reflects a deeper alignment between outer and inner reality.  On the Winter Solstice, the sun is ‘reborn’ as the days begin to lengthen and grow again.  In the same way, each one of us has the potential to be ‘reborn’ spiritually, to recognise and know that there is more to Life than just the physical world around us.  Just as we are all born physically into this world, the first-hand experience of Spirit is itself a kind of ‘rebirth’ within this human life.  It’s no coincidence that, in celebrating spiritual rebirth, the druids chose to worship the Sun – for inner light (‘enlightenment’) and outer light perfectly reflect each other. Continue reading Season of love and light