Alchemical meditation

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Alchemical meditation

‘Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss or tranquility, nor is it attempting to become a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes. We provide space through the simple discipline of doing nothing.’ – Chogyam Trungpa, from The Myth of Freedom Meditation is something we do To change our lives we have to change what we do and how we live. We soon become saturated by the cultures into which we were born. This is true whether we […]

The mystery of meditation

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mystery of meditation

‘Not much to offer you – just a lotus flower floating In a small jar of water.’ – Ryokan, from One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan, translated by John Stevens The paradox of letting go of ‘recipes’ Poetry comes closest to communicate what happens in meditation. The events and landscapes of the soul are as vast and limitless as the galaxies out there. ‘As above so below.’π At moments, perhaps, meditation brings us to truly ‘see’ Ryokan’s lotus flower in the small jar of water. And ‘something happens’. It is as if a vortex opens up and we feel the most incredible […]

Divination and prediction

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Divination

‘The role of the shaman, is to be able to contact the other world, to be in touch with the forces which affect this world. The shaman goes into a trance whereby he or she is able to move between the worlds and to answer questions or seek help.’ – Martin Palmer, from Tao Te Ching Divination and prediction It is unfortunate that in our culture, divination has been ‘bastardised’ into being a tool for prediction. Because, divination in its true form was never meant to be used in this manner. The true purpose of divination is to see the meaning of our existence against […]

‘Seeing’ the world

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Seeing the world

‘Arrogance and habitual patterns are obstacles to experiencing drala.π In order to discover magic in the world, we have to overcome the individual neurosis and self-centered attitudes that prevent us from experiencing the greater vision beyond ourselves.’ – Chogyam Trungpa, from Shambhala, the Sacred Path of the Warrior Description of the world It is striking how people often behave in ways that are contradictory to the truths they proclaim to believe in. Of course, we easily notice this in everyone else, but rarely see how we do it ourselves. But this simply illustrates how much of what we do and say are ripples emanating from […]

Fear – our first teacher

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Opening to fear

‘The importance of fear has been given too little true psychological attention. … The biblical statement that fear is the beginning of wisdom is significant. … Fear is not merely something wrong, to be overcome with courage … but is rather something right, a form of wise counsel. … Love stirs fear. At the deepest level of fear eros appears. … Fear seems an inherent necessity to the eros experience; where it is absent, one might well doubt the full validity of the loving.’ – James Hillman, from The Myth of Analysis Opening to fear Fear is a most common emotion. Yet, few of us […]

The discipline of openness

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The discipline of the path

‘It takes tremendous effort to work one’s way through the difficulties of the path and actually get into the situations of life thoroughly and properly.’ – Chogyam Trungpa, from Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism Openness When we hear the word ‘discipline’ we usually understand it to mean forcing ourselves into doing things against our will and our instinct. We feel we have to hold our breath lest we slip up or make a mistake, until we get to that goal the discipline is supposed to help us achieve. But in fact, this kind of discipline is only an obstruction to cultivating soul and being on the […]

Fundamental uncertainty

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Federica Gionfrida

‘And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow, you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth.’ – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, from The Holy Longing We are going to die. Our continued existence is uncertain in every moment. And if we’re absolutely truthful with ourselves, we have to acknowledge that we really do not know what will happen to us as we die and after we die. Whatever our beliefs. For believing is not knowing. None of us have gone through the passage of death, yet. The more deeply we drop into being truthful with ourselves about […]

The path

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The path

‘Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. My words echo Thus, in your mind.                                                 But to what purpose Disturbing the dust on the bowl of rose-leaves I do not know.                                                 Other echoes Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?’ – T.S. Eliot from […]