Moon looms

Moon looms large over our little lives,
Calling for us to reach beyond our grasp –
And grow the stronger for it

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Sleeps On

Baby in the buggy
Walking, stopping, looking
Chatting in in the park
Sunshine and cloud
On the way back we shelter under boughs
Baby sleeps

Taste it

No one else can taste it
See it
Or hear it for you
To truly know it
You must live it

Calm

To experience calm
We must first experience the storm
Make the storm,  be the storm, accept the storm
And forever be calm

Vivid the dream

We are a dream
Dreamt up by a brain
So vivid is the dream
The brain’s forgotten it’s dreaming!

Bitter-sweet Ache

Old friends, how could I forget them?
Once we were so close
He was cool
She was great in the shower
So what if all we ever did was drink and screw?
I miss those days
I miss the chances I never took
The friendships I let slide
Loves lost in the tumult of careless years
Now I can barely recall their names
Only the sad feeling of the road untrodden
Paths left for the weeds
And the bitter-sweet ache of emotions long buried
Now coming up for air
We were young and stupid and full of life
That life burns in me still

Learn and then let go

No matter how wonderful an insight, how enlightening an idea, repeat it enough and it becomes a dead thing – a platitude which once was poetry, meaningless words shorn of their power, just another memory – useful, but of diminishing relevance to this vital moment. That is why the lessons of the past should be learned and then let go of, lest they distort our view of the present, which after all has never happened before.

One Mind and many minds

Viewed from the perspective of Satori, thoughts continue but are seen in a different light. The mind is settled because thoughts such as ‘I shouldn’t be thinking this, I should be thinking that’ cease to have any weight. The state that is is flawless because whatever is occurring or not occurring is exactly what should be happening or not happening! This is what is meant as ‘One Mind’. The speculations of many minds are seen to for what they are, just the natural background activity of the human mind, they no longer carry the ‘weight of karma’. Everything may go on just as before, yet everything is utterly changed for the better.

My Favourite Christmas Reads

One of my favourite things about Christmas is sitting back and having a good read. What are your favourite fiction books and why did they have such an impact on you? Here’s my top ten:

1. The Hobbit. My dad read this to me as a child and I used to beg him to keep reading when it was time for bed. He just smiled and told me to read it myself. I did of course, but not till much later.

2. The BFG. My dad bribed me with 10p a chapter to read it, but his wallet soon regretted it as I kept my eyes open long past bedtime, fully engrossed in the world of the Big Friendly Giant. This was the last time I had to be bribed to read a book.

3. South Sea Adventure. Willard Price’s Adventure Series had a great deal in common with Enid Blyton’s books but were all based around children’s adventures with real life animals such as killer whales and tigers. Interestingly there is now serious speculation that Price was a American spy during his time in Japan in the 1930s.

4. Rendezvous with Rama. It’s hard to pick the best Arthur C Clarke book; there’s nothing in modern Sci-Fi to match them today. To be honest I was too young to read this when I did, but without Clarke I probably wouldn’t have gone into a career in science.

5. Lord of the Rings. Tolkien had me engrossed again at age 14. I lay on the beach in Lanzarote barely noticing the sun and beautiful sea. Instead I was fleeing the Nazgul up Weathertop hill with Frodo and Strider.

6. Lord Foul’s Bane. Donaldson’s masterpiece trilogy, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, is a worthy successor to Lord of the Rings in my opinion and with its dark undertones and antihero in Covenant, had a big affect on me as a brooding 16 year old.

7. The Dragonlance Legends. I borrowed this Dungeons & Dragons based trilogy from my best friend Ed, and gave it back in tatters. I don’t think he’s forgiven me even now. Rasitlin, the wizard so ambitious he wants to replace the gods, was a perfect outlet for a frustrated teenager still finding his place in the world.

8. Magician. Another fantasy book, another special read. The opening sequence where the unlikely named hero Pug meets his mentor, has yet to be bettered in any fantasy book. After the complex and sometimes disturbing world of Donaldson this was a comforting throwback to traditional fantasy.

9. Dune. Is this best Science Fiction book of all time? The genius of this book was the equal weight Herbert gave to the technical aspects of his invented world and its Zen-like philosophy. This book hit undergraduate me right between the eyes and sparked my later interest in Zen.

10. Dandelion Wine. In this book Ray Bradbury combines his beautiful short stories into the perfect taste of a childhood summer. If I could write like anyone, I would write like Ray.

Okay, it’s only supposed to be a list of 10, but…

11. Neuromancer. Not only did Gibson foretell the internet age but he also made me seriously question the ability of humans to survive it. Made me cry.

Naming the Mind

The part of the mind we are normally aware of, the conscious mind, is merely that part that has been mapped by words; our memories in turn reflect this understanding. Yet the reality of the mind is whole and indivisible and completely independent of the words we might give it.

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