The Hand

Without the hand the mind has no focus,
Nothing to grip or turn around
No way of learning if these thoughts speak true,
Or just follow their own tail in the dark.



My exploration of Zen and the Martial Arts helps me to understand myself and my place in the universe. I could travel across the world without finding the answers I have found staying in one room, devoted to one punch or kick, one sword cut or koan. These answers do not sit still however, every day I must find them anew. Once I regarded this as a curse that the final answer of enlightenment would one day cure. But now I realize what a gift the endlessly enquiring mind really is, and that the real curse would be having no more questions to answer. My enlightenment has been realizing I have no choice but to continue asking.

Grace to accept it

Peace, that most elusive state
A gift, a state of grace
It cannot be won by right of conquest
We cannot make our world peaceful
Until we have the grace to accept it

Sea of Mind

These examined thoughts
Like shiny pebbles
Thrown in with the sand
By the endlessly rolling
Sea of Mind


Eddy in the flow
Thought strives to overcome thought
Eddy joins current

Self Defence for the Mind!

I have finally published my book: Self Defence for the Mind, in Kindle format on Amazon!

SDFMMy motivation, back in 2011, was to write a Zen philosophy book that would be enjoyable to read and more importantly would make sense to anyone. This is a far cry from many of the mystical, obscurely written, and frankly boring books I have read on the subject!

SDFM  is divided up in 10 chapters.

Chapter 1 discusses Stress and introduces the reader to techniques for managing it and later, learning to use it to grow.

Chapter 2 tackles happiness and how to build a kind that lasts.

Chapter 3 discusses the tricky subject of emotions and how we can influence them for the betterment of life.

Chapter 4 introduces a concept called New Eyes, by which we change our view of the world by changing ourselves, and vice versa.

Chapter 5 talks about Coexistence, and how by understanding others we enrich our view of life, and how by understanding ourselves we can avoid the pitfalls that await the unmindful.

Chapter 6 is the centrepiece of the book, teaching the reader how to be Spontaneous.

Chapter 7 delves into personality and how by understanding ours, we can avoid the problems that come from the dark side of our persona.

Chapter 8 builds on understanding gained in the last chapter to set a map for self growth, personalised to the reader.

Chapter 9 wraps up the book and Chapter 10 contains all the references for continued inspiration and development.

The book is 222 pages long; you can preview it for free (you get all of Chapter 1 and some of Chapter 2), either by using the Amazon ‘Look Inside’ option, or by getting a sample sent to your Kindle or PC here: UK, USA.

You can also find it by typing ‘Self Defence for the Mind’ into the search tab.

I would be most grateful for any feedback, particularly comments on the Amazon page (you need to have bought something, not necessarily my book!).

A holiday from life

Why is it always time to return
When the waves are highest?
There on the tip of the breaker
I feel close to something remarkable
Beyond the reach of sight or light
In a place, a holiday from life
Where mum and dad make a family still
With this childhood mind that has not moved on
Yet challenges me still
In the hours of night


Poetry, a butterfly’s wings
A delicate supposition, neither here nor there
Hinting at more than can be said
Places these words might take you
But look too closely and you’ll fall
To where nothing has any meaning at all

The last few hills to home

Cry for the story buried deep inside
We carry it with us wherever we go
Try to follow the path you saw Atreyu go
Your feet will find the way
Pull the tiller when the waves turn to flame
And find yourself climbing the last few hills to home
The land is familiar here
It’s always the same
See the field beneath your childhood home
Beyond which lay every adventure you ever yearned for

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