Monday, 30 January 2012

Unlocking a New Sphere of Reality

Being attentive unlocks a sphere of reality that no one suspects. If, for instance, I walked along a path without being attentive, completely immersed in myself, I did not even know whether trees grew along the way, nor how tall they were, or whether they had leaves. When I awakened my attention, however, every tree immediately came to me. This must be taken quite literally. Every single tree projected its form, its weight, its movement—even if it was almost motionless—in my direction. I could indicate its trunk, and the place where its first branches started, even when several feet away. By and by something else became clear to me, and this can never be found in books. The world exerts pressure on us from the distance.

The seeing commit a strange error. They believe that we know the world only through our eyes. For my part, I discovered that the universe consists of pressure, that every object and every living being reveals itself to us at first by a kind of quiet yet unmistakable pressure that indicates its intention and its form. I even experienced the following wonderful fact: A voice, the voice of a person, permits him to appear in a picture. When the voice of a man reaches me, I immediately perceive his figure, his rhythm, and most of his intentions. Even stones are capable of weighing on us from a distance. So are the outlines of distant mountains, and the sudden depression of a lake at the bottom of a valley.

This correspondence is so exact that when I walked arm in arm with a friend along the paths of the Alps, I knew the landscape and could sometimes describe it with surprising clarity. Sometimes; yes, only sometimes. I could do it when I summoned all my attention. Permit me to say without reservation that if all people were attentive, if they would undertake to be attentive every moment of their lives, they would discover the world anew. They would suddenly see that the world is entirely different from what they had believed it to be.

-Jacques Lusseyran

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Tell yourself you have all the time in the world.

Really feel it, allow yourself to fully relax into this moment.

Now listen to your breath, stop reading and tune in for a few breaths. . .

How does that feel ? Listen to your body's answer.

It feels good to me ! I feel calm and centred and plan to spend today

as if I have all the time in the world.

Why not join me and we can spread some calm together.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

You carry your wound. With the ego, your whole being is a wound. And you carry it around. Nobody is interested in hurting you, nobody is positively waiting to hurt you; everybody is engaged in safeguarding his own wound. Who has got the energy? But still it happens, because you are so ready to be wounded, so ready, just waiting on the brink for anything.

You cannot touch a man of Tao. Why? - because there is no one to be touched. There is no wound. He is healthy, healed, whole. This word whole is beautiful. The word heal comes from the whole, and the word holy also comes from the whole. He is whole, healed, holy.

Be aware of your wound. Don't help it to grow, let it be healed; and it will be healed only when you move to the roots. The less the head, the more the wound will heal; with no head there is no wound. Live a headless life. Move as a total being, and accept things.

Just for twenty-four hours, try it - total acceptance, whatsoever happens. Someone insults you, accept it; don't react, and see what happens. Suddenly you will feel an energy flowing in you that you have not felt before.

- Osho

Friday, 27 January 2012

Short Form lessons 1,2 and 3

Thoughts don't stop coming, the difference is that we stop
following them or believing them. We begin to rest in that
space or awareness that can allow the thoughts to come and
go. If a thought sticks and keeps us from peace we inquire
until it dissolves or until we see that it is just yet
another tiger painted on the wall.

Thursday, 26 January 2012


As you simplify your life,
the laws of the universe will be simpler;
solitude will not be solitude,
poverty will not be poverty,
nor weakness weakness.

- Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ward Off Right (lesson 3)

When we watch a child trying to walk, we see its countless failures; its successes are but few. If we had to limit our observation within a narrow space of time, the sight would be cruel. But we find that in spite of its repeated failures there is an impetus of joy in the child which sustains it in its seemingly impossible task. We see it does not think of its falls so much as of its power to keep its balance though for only a moment.

Like these accidents in a child's attempt to walk, we meet with sufferings in various forms in our life every day, showing the imperfections in our knowledge and our available power, and in the application of our will. But if these only revealed our weakness to us, we would die of utter depression. When we select for observation a limited area of our activities, our individual failures and miseries loom large in our minds; but our life leads us instinctively to take a wider view. It gives us an ideal of perfection which ever carries us beyond our present limitations. Within us we have a hope which always walks in front of our present narrow experience; it is the undying faith in the infinite in us; it will never accept our disabilities as a permanent fact; it sets no limit to its own scope; it dares to assert that man has oneness with God; and its wild dreams become true everyday.

We see truth when we set our mind towards the infinite. The ideal of truth is not in the narrow present, not in our immediate sensations, but in the consciousness of the whole which gives us a taste of what we *should* have in what we *do* have.
-Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, 23 January 2012

T'ai Chi in Mallow Library

Here is the video from Saturday's celebration of the Chinese New Year
(thanks to Marie Daltons great suggestion ).
Thanks to all who attended and made it such success. It is good to have an
opportunity to share this healing practice with a wider audience and allow
people to see and feel T'ai Chi.
No comments:
Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple
thing is the right thing.
- Oscar Wilde

Friday, 20 January 2012

Figure 8 pracitce

Here is a figure 8 exercise developed by John Kells. A great exercise to
improve your coordination and fluidity of movement. It's a great healing
exercise I always feel my body loves to practice these 8's and love to
watch others practice them as even when I watch people making 8's they
seem to circulate inside my body too.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Just by exploring this you really get to understand what [self] is, how you become a personality and also to see that when there is no person there is still awareness. It’s an intelligent awareness; it’s not an unconscious dull stupidity, it’s a bright, clear, intelligent emptiness. When you become a personality through having thoughts like: feeling sorry for yourself, views and opinions, self-criticism and so forth, and then it stops — there is the silence. But still the silence is bright and clear, intelligent. I prefer this silence rather than this endless proliferating nattering that goes on in the mind.

I used to have what I call an ‘inner tyrant’, a bad habit that I picked up of always criticizing myself. It’s a real tyrant — there is nobody in this world that has been more tyrannical, critical or nasty to me than I have. Even the most critical person, however much they have harmed and made me miserable, has never made me relentlessly miserable as much as I have myself, as a result of this inner tyrant. It’s a real wet blanket of a tyrant, no matter what I do it’s never good enough. Even if everybody says, “Ajahn Sumedho, you gave such a wonderful [inspiring talk]”, the inner tyrant says “You shouldn’t have said this, you didn’t say that right.” It goes on, in an endless perpetual tirade of criticism and fault-finding. Yet it’s just habit, I freed my mind from this habit, it does not have any footing anymore. I know exactly what it is, I no longer believe in it, or even try to get rid of it, I just know not to pursue it and just to let it dissolve into the silence.

That’s a way of breaking a lot of these emotional habits we have that plague us and obsess our minds. You can actually train your mind, not through rejection or denial but through understanding and cultivating this silence. So don’t use this silence as a way of annihilating or getting rid of what is arising in experience, but as a way of resolving and liberating your mind from the obsessive thoughts and negative attitudes that can endlessly plague conscious experience.

-- Ajahn Sumedho, from "Intuitive Awareness"

Monday, 16 January 2012

Ward Off Left

Here is lesson 2 of the Short Form.
It is so great to be teaching again.
There is nothing like a holiday to make me conscious of how much I love
teaching Tai Chi. It is great too to feel all your enthusiasm for Tai Chi.
Let's make it the best term ever.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

If You Really Pay Attention

When I was a little bitty kiddy, about five, my Dad began a process … anytime somebody came and said something to us, my dad would say, "You remember what he said, honey girl?” I would tell my father what the person said until I got so good at it that I could repeat verbatim even long presentations of what the person had said.

And he did this all the time.

Finally, one day there was this old gentleman, Richard Thompson. I still remember his name, he lived across the street. And every time my Dad started to mow the lawn, there came Mr. Thompson. And so I would stand out there.

Dad says, “You might come and listen to this man, honey girl. He’s pretty interesting.” And so I listened to him, and then my dad would say, “What did you hear him say?” And I would tell him.

Well, eventually I was repeating all the stories he liked to share with my dad verbatim. I knew them all by heart.

And my Dad says, “You’re getting pretty good at that. But did you hear his heart?" And I thought, what? So I went around for days with my ear to people's chest trying to hear their hearts.

Finally my Dad created another learning situation for me by asking my mother to read an article from the newspaper. He says “Well, I guess if you want to understand that article, you have to read between the lines."

I thought, "Oh, read between the lines. Hear between the words."

So the next time I listened to Mr. Thompson’s stories, I tried to listen between the words. My Dad said, “I know you know his story, but did you hear his heart?” And I said, "Yes. He is very lonely and comes and shares his memories with you again and again because he’s asking you to keep him company in his memories."

It just came out of me. In other words, my heart echoed his heart.

And when you can listen at that level, then you can hear not only the people. If you really pay attention, you can hear what the Universe is saying.

--Paula Underwood, clan mother of the Turtle clan, Iroquois nation

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.
-Phyllis Theroux
Now that you have begun to practice Tai Chi keep the above in mind, and practice
with patience. This is an amazing journey that only YOU can do for YOU.

When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Seekers of Ultimate Mystery

Every seeker of Ultimate Mystery has to pass through interior death and rebirth, perhaps many times over. Our contemporary world desperately needs persons of boundless generosity who dedicate themselves to great ideals and who wish to transform themselves and contribute to the transformation of the world. A great vision is what gives ordinary daily life its direction and invests it with purpose.

Seekers of Ultimate Mystery have to share in the agony of our time. Only trust can make this experience transforming for themselves and for others. As the sense of alienation from Ultimate Mystery, from human values, and from oneself is very deep in our time, so also participation in that experience is bound to be very deep. It may involve an inner poverty so intense and so complete that no word can describe it, except “death.” But this spiritual death leads to an inner resurrection of one’s true self that can move not only oneself, but the whole human family in the direction of transformation. From this perspective, the spiritual journey is the very reverse of selfishness. It is rather the journey to selflessness.

What needs to be emphasized by seekers today is the contemplative dimension of human nature, whether they identify the aim of their search as liberation, transformation, enlightenment, nirvana, divine union or whatever. […] The growth of the contemplative dimension leads to the stable perception of the presence of Ultimate Mystery underlying and accompanying all reality as a kind of fourth dimension to ordinary sense perception. To dispose oneself for this awareness, one needs a discipline that engages all the faculties and a structure appropriate to one’s life circumstances that can sustain it.

To begin with, one needs to cultivate a practical conviction of the primacy of being over doing. Our society values what one can do and this becomes the gauge of who one is. The contemplative dimension of life is an insight into the gift of being human and inspires a profound acceptance and gratitude for that gift. […]

Our culture is at a critical point because so many structures that supported human and religious values have been trampled upon and are disappearing. To find a way to discover Ultimate Mystery in the midst of secular occupations and situations is essential, because for most people today it is the only milieu that they know. Humanity as a whole needs a breakthrough into the contemplative dimension of life. The contemplative dimension of life is the heart of the world. There the human family is already one. If one goes to one’s own heart, one will find oneself in the heart of everyone else, and everyone else, as well as oneself, in the heart of Ultimate Mystery

by Fr. Thomas Keating

Monday, 9 January 2012


It is interesting that just turning up the corners of your mouth (even slightly) into a smile can stimulate the pleasure centres of your brain and help you relax.

One of the reasons is that smiling relaxes most of your facial muscles - the place where tension often concentrates.

We have all been training ourselves since childhood to associate smiling with pleasure and feeling good. So, simply by smiling we bring back those associations.

To intensify the positive effect take a minute to allow your smile to help you recall a time you were happy and smiling from your heart. Go on close your eyes and find the warm memory . . . . .

Know that the love you found just now is always there, always available, that LOVE IS YOU.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Beginners Short Form Class Monday Jan 9'th

I'm looking forward to teaching the Short Form again. The first beginners class of 2012
is next Monday night. What a great practice and discipline to learn and to share. Each time a term begins I usually do an internal review of what this practice has given me.
Some of the benefits include self discipline, patience, increasing awareness, serenity and increased joy. That doesn't even take all the health benefits into account, because one tends to become more healthy as consequence of practicing T'ai Chi it is easy to just take this wellness for granted and forget to give T'ai Chi the due credit.

Monday, 2 January 2012

One evening a Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside people.

He said, " My son the battle is between the two 'wolves' that live inside us all.
One is Unhappiness. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, and inferiority.

The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth, and compassion. "

The grandson thought foe a minute and then asked his grandfather,

" Which wolf wins ? "

The old Cherokee simply replied,

" The one you feed."

Only by love, only by loving
can you maintain the sense of love and peace
Then emotions and fear will not dominate you
because you are in love.
When in love, only love sits in your heart
and so fear has no place.