Saturday, 29 March 2008


A Zen teacher was interviewing a new student, each time the teacher said something the student interrupted with some comment. After a while the teacher picked up the tea pot and poured tea, the student watched as the cup overflowed. Just like this student our biggest challenge often is to empty ourselves of all our conditioning and dearly held beliefs wihch keep us full and block us from the newness and posobility in each moment.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Crows roosting
dog sniffing
heart singing
soft rain

Sink and Relax

Sometimes hearing these words out loud or in my head is enough and my body lets go.At other times a little more coaxing is needed. When this happens I stop for a minute and really feel my feet on the ground and how the ground supports me.Then,often I'll watch my breath and feel how my lungs 'breath' me, notice my ears listening for me,the kettle boiling water for me etc. All this helps to renew the trust that all is well and everything is in its rightful place.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it.Never let it out of your sight. It will take you there.


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

A student asked Soen Nakagawa during a meditation retreat, 'I am very discouraged. What should I do?' Soen replied. 'Encourage others'.

Monday, 17 March 2008

The Haiku of Philip Whalen

Early Spring
The dog writes on the window
with his nose

Awake a moment
Mind dreams again
Red roses black-edged petals

Where Was I?
New desk, old chair
I look at them, hopelessly
Where's the man who writes

Thanks to Steven

How to Cook Enlightenment

When preparing vegetables or soup, don't worry- just prepare them with sincerity. Most of all, try to avoid getting upset or complaining about the quantity or quality of the food. Practice in such a way that things come and abide in your mind, and your mind returns and abides in things, all through the day and the night.

"love loves love"

From Corinna.
The other day my heart leapt and suddenly my step was lighter and my smile spontaneously bigger, all at the sight of a friend and colleague.
The next morning at 5.30 am lying awake practising my 'heart coherence exercise ' I recalled the previous day's encounter. Then when my heart felt full and open I asked it to reveal to me other occasions when this had happened (the earliest it could recall). I waited and sure enough faces and feelings came back , many surprising and delighting me. People who my head wouldn't have counted my heart revealed. Now, days later when I ask, more appear and fill my heart with gratitude for the unsung heroes of my childhood.

Friday, 14 March 2008

There is a quiet light
that shines in every heart.
Though it is always secretly there,
it draws no attention to itself
It is what illuminates our
minds to see beauty, our desire to seek
possibility and our hearts
to love life. . .
This shy inner light is what enables
us to recognize and receive
our very presence here as blessing.'

From John O Donohue's Benidictus

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Nano Nagle Intensive

Sometimes people (myself included) try to force the openings in ward off by pushing out with the arms and the legs. While this may appear externally bigger, internally
everything has tightened and feels hard. So, as we confirmed Saturday, a better approach is to relax and let the openings happen naturally. The muscles feel full, soft and open and the defences drop internally and externally. We are more open to the ground , the heavens , ourselves and each other.

Many thanks to everybody who attended Saturday. It was great to spend time exploring together the silence and depth of the work.

To view short clips from Saturday check this site:

Monday, 3 March 2008

Ward Off

Washing the dishes today I remembered ward off and opened myself to what was before me. Each cup, plate, knife and fork even the old pizza tin black from many burnings got its due attention, and the indescribable texture of water became new again. I decided to work at keeping this attention for the rest of the day. Reviewing before bedtime it became clear just how much energy it takes to keep this open posture. Another good reason to keep up the practise.