Less personal, more intimate

I had the luxury of a day to myself yesterday; a chance to bathe in “sabbath” and commit the whole day to my practice. From just after 7am in the morning until 5pm, I alternated between periods of meditation and the fourth of the Ngondro practices: a visualisation and mantra practice called “guru yoga”. As …

Writing down the myth

In the last two weeks of this term’s enneagram for therapists group I have been facilitating, we are turning toward the “path quality” that the enneagram offers. What makes the enneagram so much more than a personality typing system is how it points to both our blocks to wholeness, and how to lever back into …

More Mandala magic

Last week’s post described some of the experiences in the first half of a four day block of mandala practice: the third out of the four practices of Ngondro. You might recall those first two days had me come face to face with a futility and deep questioning of “what an earth am I doing?” On …

Mandala magic

Marking season nearly through, I managed to carve out four days in my week to press on with Ngondro practice. Just in the use of that phrase, “press on” hints at a flavour of something! As I have explained previously on this blog, Ngondro are the four “preliminary practices” a student of Vajrayana does in …

Not the same, not different

I have just returned from a trip to the US. Part “big birthday” celebration; part tour of Buddhist friends old and new; part retreat. Ever since completing my meditation teacher training there 11 years ago, the city of New York has been something of a spiritual home for me. The yearlong immersion in Buddhist study …

Becoming an elder

Acknowledging that I have not written for a while, for all sorts of reasons…and I carry an underlying sense of time moving so quickly. It now strikes me – with some irony – that I chose my upcoming “big birthday” as a writing prompt to get my blogging habit back under way. Time IS passing …

Not knowing is most intimate

As I slowly wind down toward a summer break from client work, the past two weekends have been on retreat – not a geographical move, but still a shift into (another) space. Since the pandemic, my teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, has been conducting Vajrayana Buddhist programmes online. Whilst I miss the element of being-with sangha …

Coming around again

I’ve just returned from holiday, more time spent in my beloved Normandy. Having only been there a month ago, it was quite something to witness how quickly the seasons unfold. It evoked David Hockney’s wonderful book “Spring cannot be cancelled”, written about his painting whilst residing in Normandy for the pandemic. Everywhere, apple, pear, cherry …

alchemical pressure

Now we are cooking

When I re-read my last blog post, I actually feel a little naive…given the experience of “stay-treat” and how I have come to view it in my rearview mirror. I’m reading a lot of Jung right now, and his explanations of individuation as alchemy has relevance for me: the intentions with which I entered my …