How illness holds within it an opportunity for awakening

Pandemic outbreaks of highly infectious disease like the Plague, Cholera, Influenza and now Coronavirus, sweep through human consciousness like a hurricane. They are like auguries of awakening, not always welcome ones, as the disease and suffering is not welcome, but they have a way to get us to address that from which we have been hithertoo averting our gaze. At the political level they have so often in the past heralded, accompanied or driven major change. At the personal level we might think we can after a while get back to life as normal but so often this is not … Read more

Where the mind goes, the energy flows

The mind is powerfully creative, even when we’re thinking negatively. What we focus on is more likely to happen, even those things we don’t want. Understanding the power of the mind has great potential, not only to help bring about the things we want but also to make less likely the things we don’t want. We simply need to be aware of what we’re giving attention to, and make sure that that is being done with positive intent. On one occasion I was delivering some workshops in London, which involved a short tube journey from my accommodation to the venue. … Read more

Being happy with your lot

How much of your life is taken up by wanting, desire, lack, dissatisfaction and not being happy with your lot? This is about desire and there not “being enough”. Eastern philosophy gives a big role in its analysis of human suffering to desire. They say that being caught up in desire explains much of our inability to find contentment. Swami Muktananda when responding to someone who complained of always feeling dissatisfied, said, “You become dissatisfied with what you have because you are not aware of all you have. If you were aware of all that you have, it would give … Read more

The dark night of the soul comes to test us and teach us

Have you had hard times when things have been such that you’ve hit prolonged periods of pain, depression or illness? Have there been really hard times in your life when all has seemed to be going against you? Sometimes we hit really low points when we despair or feel utterly stuck and constrained. This is when life seems to close in on us and it appears that this is all we’ve got. Some people call this sort of time a dark night of the soul. The phrase “dark night of the soul” derives from the 16th century Spanish mystic, St … Read more

What you appreciate, appreciates

Recently helping someone to get their life back on track got me thinking about how much is possible when we deliberately focus on what we’ve got that we value, that we appreciate. So, when you feel like it isn’t happening, that you haven’t got what you want, that things seem not to be turning out as you intended, try this. Focus your attention on what you do have. Think about all the people in your life that you love, value and respect. Think of the things in your life that you value. Think of your positive attributes, of your skills … Read more