Q. I realised I have never spoken to you about prayer, and I would like to. That might be a missing part of my practice. A. Prayer is difficult to identify outside of a conventional religious context. But it’s important to gain a deeper understanding because I think prayer belongs alongside meditation and contemplation as a trinity of practice -- mutually dependent, overlapping and inter-twining, but distinct. The terms prayer, meditation and contemplation considered togethe
"Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark...." Thus Dante begins his Divine Comedy and journey through the three realms of existence. It is a recurring metaphor for many at a certain stage of life. Here another finds herself in that forest.... L. I see your dark forest, and suggest that if you visit it again, you look for a fountain, spring or stream which will be there somewhere, although you aren’t seeing it by staying resolutely on your ch
Q. I’ve searched for my ‘core’, as you suggested,* but although I can sense something, I can’t locate anything specific I could call a core. A. The act of searching or directing your attention is both means and resolution. In other words, by searching you are setting co-ordinates which define a space, pinpoint a potency, but there is no ‘hard object’ to find. It is an act of locating the boundless. The core is without dimension, but a defining force none the less. Perhaps th
It’s not uncommon for people who have been dedicated practitioners of meditation or other inner disciplines to reach a stage of feeling that they have reached an impasse, or that their expectations have not been met and they don’t know the way forward any more. Their original motivation has worn out….Here is one such: Re. My whole life feels like it's floating about me--the choices I've made, the decisions, and all that has not worked out as I would have expected. A wise per
Q: What is the role of emotion for growth and understanding? I am often overcome with the emotion of appreciation, and empathy towards situations and others, sometimes too much so! When I see a kindred spirit; feel the resonance of creativity expressing aliveness; or am confronted with the raw humanness of this life.... the emotions often seem an untamed energy. A: The lesson to take from a situation which raises this kind of emotion is to identify what in you is responding.
Q. I would find no other pursuit ultimately satisfying and yet to be honest there is a lingering feeling that I have not ever really fully committed. Maybe I could sit more, study more, be more patient, be more focused throughout the day, give up pleasures and desires in life that I enjoy because they are distracting..... A. Could I suggest less striving, less 'working on'. For dedicated people like yourself, who have committed for so long, who have had the experience of inne
Q. Winter in Canada, fishing with long time friends. Cold, snowing, ever so quiet and still. Learning Spey casting; an art form when done by a master; rhythm, timing and touch; less is more. The masters say it's no longer about catching fish. Now on the cold snowy river there is a quiet stillness, the river majestically and unceremoniously heads ever onward, I don't know the next bend. Beneath the quiet is a deeper quiet, much easier to hear now…. A. Your email describes a l