At some point on our cosmic journey, we began to experience more deeply than we ever had before. We gained the capability of sharing more complex ideas and expressions of sensations. Archaic shrieks and calls became a complex arrangement of tones which came to represent both the outer and inner worlds of this thing. This thing which since the dawn of its coming into being, has been at the centre of human fascination. Today it is largely referred to as consciousness. In the past, it was better known as spirit.
As we developed this spirit, we began to wonder. We began to wonder where it came from. Where we came from. What are we? Where are we going? And what do we do in the meantime? These eternal questions dominate the human condition. It is the dilemma of free will and life in this dimension. What do we do on this mystical journey through the cosmos we are all on? …
Today, I would like to draw our attention — not to an ancient Zen master who lived in a far off Temple separated from society — but to a man who rose to great stature within our modern world. A man who, upon achieving his wildest dreams, discovered that they were not the path to salvation he thought them to be. This sent him on an arduous internal quest, one from which we can all learn a great deal.
For the uninitiated, Jonny Wilkinson is a former English professional Rugby player, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. With a career spanning 13 years, Jonny is a rugby Hall of Famer, a world record holder for total points scored in tournaments, winner of the 2003 world cup, holder of two Heineken cups, and one top 14 championship. …
As of late, I have been working for myself. After a long spell of working for others, I’m in the process of figuring out how to be my own boss. How can I hit my weekly writing target on Medium? How can I make sure I’m making ample progress with my YouTube channel and start-up creative production company? How do I even know what good progress looks like without ‘the man’ breathing down my neck?
I’m sure a lot of you out there face the same questions each and every day, be it a fintech startup, online Etsy store or even a simple hobby like learning to sew or felt. There is an ocean of incredible people out there, working for themselves and creating amazing things. Personally, I hope to never be stuck in a 9 to 5 ever again, at least not one dictated by someone else. …
So very often, we speak of happiness as our primary concern in life. We ask others if they are happy, what happiness means to them and how to attain it in our own lives. This often sends us on wild goose chases, seeking out that silver bullet; that ultimate fix to end suffering and render us whole.
Today, I would like to attempt to write about something much more important than happiness, of which our fixation seems to me like sirens calling us to shipwreck: Be wary ye who seek salvation on the rough seas of truth!
Something I have come to realise on my own voyage, is that when people speak of happiness, what they are usually referring to is balance. …
Since recently leaving my full-time job and allowing myself more time for self-inquiry, I have refocused my attention on, well… the self. My self to be precise!
In the midst of this inquiry, I have been considering the role which gratitude plays in my life, which until recently, was something like ‘Janitor №2’.
After some careful consideration, I have re-cast gratitude as the wise old sage who helps the protagonist in their hour of need, giving them the wisdom required to overcome their enemies.
But my enemies aren’t nazi zombies or Russian mafia drug lords. My enemies are laziness, anxiety and fear. I can’t exactly blow their heads off or escape via helicopter whilst simultaneously saving the beautiful Annika (who is also the wife of Igor the Mob boss). …
It may seem like a distant memory at this point, but before all of this virus business, people went to these things called ‘raves’. We would dance, become intoxicated and participate in some good old fashioned upward self-transcendence as Huxley would say!
At events such as these, the real magic sometimes lies in the chance encounters one may make in the hazy shadows of the pulsating venue: revealing hidden wisdom in the most unlikely of characters.
… or more often than not: a shady dealer.
However! On this faithful pre-covid night, I was granted what is perhaps still to this day the briefest and most hilarious encounter I have ever had. …
I don’t usually like to make my personal life the focus of my writing, but I need to get this one off of my chest.
Two days ago I left my steady nine to five job, a job which I was very fortunate to keep during these times of global unrest and recession. Yet, it is precisely these strange times which awoke me to one simple fact:
The nine to five life isn’t for me, and I’m beginning to think it isn’t for anyone.
In fact, to be entirely honest… I felt like a slave.
The job I had was great, the people I worked with were great, and I was working in the highly competitive industry of film production which is the domain I studied at university. Most would consider me very lucky, and I was. …
In the Zen Buddhist tradition, there is a fundamental principle which at first seems like it belongs to the Nihilists. But our hopeless interpretation of this ancient wisdom reveals much more about ourselves than it does about the idea itself:
“Form is no other than emptiness; emptiness no other than form. Form is exactly emptiness; emptiness exactly form. Sensation, conception, discrimination, and consciousness are also like this..”
Buddha, The Heart Sutra
Simply put: Reality, including ourselves and everything we know, is essentially empty; there is nothing.
What does this mean?
Well, it certainly is not fuel for the rampant suicide jokes of Millenials and Gen Z. …
Meditation. Everyone seems to have their own take on what it is and how it should be done.
How has something so simple seemingly caused so much confusion?
I have been meditating daily for almost two years now, and I believe I have recently realised the primary issue that most people have with meditation, especially in the west:
It’s too simple.
Perhaps it is best to start with what meditation isn’t before we begin to speak about what it is.
Whether that be a rejection of thoughts, your sense of self, or your body. It is often assumed that meditation is about stopping thoughts, or about destroying the ego as if it were an enemy of reality. …