Hello everyone.

It occurs to me that I haven’t written on this blog for a while because I have been going to school on my studies and immersed in my own pursuit of awareness in order to navigate these shoals. For me, when I am in the midst of a lot of things going on at the same time, I become ‘student.’

I’m put in mind of going back to basics. The comfort and simplicity of basics. Knowing that is where you need to go when the noise gets noisy.

I can see myself clearer when I can watch and not judge myself. I can see when I’m coming from my heart or when I’m protecting my heart.

I can watch my body, my posture and find the truth in my feelings in how I hold myself.

I can see my mind wanting to run here…run there, run into circles and little knots of fear…I can watch my body respond.

I can sit apart, while being a part of, and witness the flow and change of sensation in this journey called existence.

I will feel all that I feel, and remember…yes remember to thank those feelings, those sensations which exist to remind me of my consciousness, my knowing-ness.

That is why I am here. To go there. Where? Here.

How quickly the clarity goes, vanishes in a forgotten twist, and I  notice how my mind and the rest of me is negotiating the change.  I am here again.

What about that great % of our mind that we ‘don’t use.’

Maybe we do use it. Maybe we use it when we sleep? Isn’t sleep our most ‘creative’ experience in our existence? Our awakened self exists only to thrive and procreate and goes to sleep when it gets tired. It raises a really interesting question about how we perceive ‘resting.’


What happens to the innermost place of ‘muscle’ and ‘rests.’  Something’s going on…an exchange of some kind, some kind of chemistry, mini explosions that grow into what we measure as ‘energy,’ power, aliveness.

What is the ‘event’ of resting?

Is it like a line of ants forever traipsing for distant concrete horizons while their returning ranks file past with their information of what they’ve encountered?

Do we plug into the source of energy in our sleep and while we dream, our mind, half wakened tries to make sense of sounds, smells, feelings of energies. That is our re-charge.

Then of course, there is our waking state, in which we have evolved to be able to go to that place of re-membering, that place that re-minds us of our connection to everything that is. Our experience of the feeling of one-ness, belonging.

When we choose our awareness, our mind quite efficiently takes care of everything else. We can hang out in awareness as long as we like. Relax…stay awhile. I guess we could call it ‘paradise.’

Our opportunity is to practice seeing our sensations, emotions, thoughts, as experiences that are there to re-mind us of our conscious and aware state. When we can remember that, and we re-member the sensation of being plugged into, a part of the phenomenon of existence.


  • By Sandie, July 14, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    Paul, can you please tell us why some people are barred, yes I mean blocked, from you site for expressing their opinions about an issue? I know for a fact that is why some of the other people are leaving your blog because people cannot be free to express what they desire to. It drives people to other blogs where they discuss your blog and why some are kicked out. There are a LOT of people that are discussing this and it is on a global blog. You share your thoughts, now I am sharing mine……whatever happened to free speech and the right to discuss things instead of being barred.


  • By Nadine, July 14, 2010 @ 10:49 am

    Merci Paul ! merci de nous faire partager encore une fois ” vos pensées ” .
    Notre corps est une “usine” la TÊTE sert à penser , rêver et à commander notre corps ! nos BRAS et nos MAINS servent à travailler et à écrire ! nos JAMBES et nos PIEDS servent à marcher et courrir !
    Ma tête , mon esprit : j’ai vécu beaucoup de choses avec tout ce petit monde :
    ma tête commande mon corps , elle me permet de réagir à toutes les choses qui me sont arrivées , je pleure lorsque la tristesse se permet d ‘ entrer dans ma vie , je ris lorsque la joie et le bonheur ont la bonne idée de s’incruster ! elle me permet aussi de me reposer le sommeil est agréable surtout lorsqu’il est habité par de merveilleux rêves !
    Mes Bras et mes mains : Ils ont beaucoup travailler ces bras ils allaient même au dessus de leur force mais ils m’ont permi de vivre et de gagner ma vie , la choses la plus merveilleuse qu’ils aient fait dans ma vie : ils ont bercés mes enfants quel doux contact merveilleuse chose de la vie grace à mes bras mes deux AMOURS ce sont endormis contre moi !
    mes mains m’ont aidé et m’aident encore à carresser le doux visage de mes parents ce contact aussi est merveilleux ! elles me servent aussi de rester en contact avec vous toutes et tous n’est ce pas merveilleux de pouvoir taper sur ce clavier pour rester en contact tous ensemble !
    Mes Jambes et mes pieds : Courrir j’ai beaucoup courru dans ma vie pour me rendre à mon travail , courrir pour arriver à l’heure à la sortie des écoles , courrir pour entretenir ma santé et mon physique eh oui nous devons l’entretenir ce corps si nous voulons vieillir dignement et en forme ! mes pieds heureusement qu’ils avaient mes jambes je crois qu’ils n’auraient servis à rien à part porter des chaussures qui nous donnent des ” ampoules ” ( lol )
    Tout ça pour vous dire que tout ce petit monde attaché ensemble c’est moi Nadine et vous permet de mieux me connaitre j’ai une chance inouie de vous avoir toutes et tous un peu à moi ! et de m’exprimer ce blog est pour moi une façon de discuter avec des personnes que j’apprécie , je suis fière de vous avoir ! JE VOUS AIME TOUTES ET TOUS !

  • By stonealbatross, July 14, 2010 @ 10:52 am

    What seems to be overlooked here is that this site is a “blog”, it is not a “chatroom” or a “forum”. It is owed and payed for by one person to express his views, we are very lucky to be allowed to comment at all, a lot of bloggers don’t give their readers that opportunity. We do not own this site, we do not contribute anything financially to this site, we have no claim to this site, we are incredibly fortunate to have this site to read let alone participate in.

    I have at times, as part of my job had to monitor various chatrooms, blogs, comments and forums on a number of different subjects. Those that were well managed, with a clear code of conduct and a strong administrator to enforce it were the ones that kept to topic, produced some great conversations and exchange of ideas. Those that were left to run unchecked eventually deteriorated in to a infantile playground squabbles, tight knit cliques that went so far off topic it was impossible to identify what the actual site was originally set up for and in one case things deteriortated to a level of racial hatered that would be illegal even in countries that champion free speech. I’m not suggesting that things would go that far here, but there have been instances on this site that had they be written in my work enviroment would have been considered bullying.

    Of course we will never know how many people have left the site too intimidated for their voices have ever been heard, but if there are people upset by being asked to play by the rules of civility, I personally question their true motives.

  • By stonealbatross, July 14, 2010 @ 10:55 am

    P.S. In the light of what I said above, I feel that I should add I’m here on pleasure not business this time. :)

  • By hilly, July 14, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    Nadine writes:
    Nadine writes :

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us again, Paul.
    Our body is a factory; the HEAD does the thinking; it dreams and it controls our body! Our ARMS and our HANDS work and write! Our LEGS and our FEET walk and run.
    My head, my mind: I’ve gone through a lot with that little crowd: my head controls my body, it makes it possible for me to react to everything that happens to me, I cry when sadness comes into my life, I laugh when happiness and joy decide to set in! it allows me to rest, sleep is great especially when the dreams are good!
    My arms and my hands: my arms have done so much, going beyond their strength, but they have made it possible for me to live and to earn a living; the best things that they have done in my life – they rocked my children (such a gentle contact) and thanks to that wonderful gift my two darlings sleep beside me.
    My hands have made it easy for me to touch my parents’ faces – another wonderful contact. They also keep me in contact with you all, isn’t it great to be able to type and stay in touch.
    My legs and feet: I’ve done a lot of ‘running’ in my life, going to work, getting to the school gates on time, keeping myself healthy and in good condition (yes we need to look after our bodies if we want to be on top form) My feet, lucky for them, they have my legs, I don’t think they would be of much use otherwise except to wear the shoes that give me blisters! (lol)
    All this is to say that this little crowd gets together to make me, Nadine, and makes it possible for me to get to know myself better; I’m lucky to have you all.
    Expressing myself through my allows me to discuss things with people I like and appreciate; I’m proud to have you.
    I love you all.

  • By hilly, July 14, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    I think sleep is a very very creative and valuable resource in our constant striving to continue towards the goals we may have set ourselves (or others have set for us – or again that just exist waiting for us to arrive there and say….hey I did this)
    Sleep is when we dream…our subconscious makes its plans. Isn’t it the Chinese who say that every time someone makes plans (the) god(s) laugh?
    Without trundling out all the old clichés beloved of students who managed to get beyond psychology 101 our drams do reflect our fears, desires and struggles. We are incredibly active when we are asleep and dreaming…a sleeper moves more when dreaming…not to mention REM.
    Our dreams are as important as our nightmares.

    And what about our ‘daydreams’…when our minds take a brief time out form what is going on around us and maybe we take a physical nap too?

    We sleep to regroup our forces…we dream to regroup our thoughts

    “We are such stuff as dreams are made of….”

    “To sleep, perchance to dream….”

  • By Sandie, July 14, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    Stonealbatross – this is my first time here and you are right. I have read the other blog site that is global and decided it was more comfortable to share ideas there. I have lurked for so long and decided that the other site was friendlier. That is a global site, but I am from the USA. I just happened to be a lurker checking on the facts and hoping that Paul would reply.


  • By Christine, July 14, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    Hi Paul, Hey its great to read your thoughts again. I can see myself clearer when I can watch and not judge myself. I can see when I’m coming from my heart or when I’m protecting my heart. by PMG.
    What beautiful words. Protecting your heart? It would be nice to think that you are loved enough not to have to do that, but then again we all get hurt sometimes, by situations or people. (That’s if I have understood your words correctly, my apologies if this is not the case).
    Do we try to protect our hearts?. Maybe it depends just how many times in life a person has been hurt. Some still give all they can, others build invisible barriers so high that no one can get close enough to do any damage. I guess the more you trust in life; the more chance you have of getting hurt.
    Dreams? Sometimes I think we dream what we actually want. Its our minds way of wanting/needing or yearning for someone/thing. Have you ever had a dream where you have woken up and been so disappointed that it was just a dream and not what your heart/mind really wanted?. Problem is sometimes no matter how badly you want something you know in your mind it can never be and the dreams are maybe your minds way of asking why?.
    I will be 45 on Friday, looking back I have learned so much about life, good and bad, happy and heartbreaking yet the learning just goes on and on. I may not have been to university, but the things I have learned in life don’t always come in a text book. Thank you Paul for sharing your thoughts again. You are as ever my inspiration.
    with love as always,
    Christine xx

  • By hilly, July 14, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    Christine and Paul, now I have a song wandering around my brain:it’s by The Eagles
    “I can hold back my tears, I can try to be strong…but what do I do with my heart?”
    I can reason it out with myself…I can see things clearly from a detached position…and then my ‘heart’ kicks in and everything gets blurred again as emotion overtakes reason.
    Detachment helps…but it takes practice.

  • By Christine, July 14, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    Hi Hilly, Beautiful words in that song, I listen to it a lot. I find it almost impossible to be ‘detached’. I wish I could be, it would save a lot of heartache but you are who you are, and you have to be true to yourself!!. Just my honest opinion, but hey what do I know? lol. :) xx

  • By sknash, July 14, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

    Good to see you back Paul. I hope you are having a great summer. Enjoy your post and identify with this one. I too am going back to school to take a writing class and hopefully get even more inspiration to finish my novel. I hope your writing is going well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I tend to stay in the background and avoid all the drama. But I wanted you to know I to read and I do think a lot about what you say. Blessings, love and hugs!! Thanks for being the light in my dark!! Susan

  • By Rachelle, July 14, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    Hi Paul!

    Great to see you back on the board! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I appreciate them.
    I agree with Susan and I hope your having a great summer! :)

    Christine – Happy Birthday on Friday. :)

    Hugs, Rach

  • By Sue, July 14, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

    Hello, back!

    I’m thinking I might be taking this a little too literally. It’s probably because as a nurse, I can’t help it. The quotes around “don’t use” makes me think I’m missing something big here. Probably that whole beautiful forest out there for my few scraggly trees over here.

    Because I keep saying “but we use every part of our brain. We just don’t use it all at once. Just like our bodies don’t use every single muscle at once, but every single muscle is used at one time or another throughout the day (if they are functioning correctly and the brain/body connection hasn’t been severed), different parts of our brain are used when we do different things.

    That part of the brain I’m using now is telling me I’m being much too literal about it all. I’ll have to use a few other parts to cogitate on it awhile.

    Or maybe I’ll just rest. :)


  • By Kay_T., July 14, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

    Hello Paul,

    I need to find that place of clarity. The nurse in me wants to help/fix. I need to learn how to let go and let “be” what will “be”. I don’t know why I am at this place where I can’t fix this……oh gosh there is that word “why” again. So I am praying for clarity. I want to let go of this fear. I want to pick a mountain and climb to clarity, real joy, and peace of mind.

    Much love and blessings,


  • By HILDA LIPRACE, July 14, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    Hola Pablo .estoy muy contenta ,feliz de poder escucharlo nuevamente ,escucharlo dije, es como si mi mente escuchara su voz .Es bueno muy bueno ser alumno .alumno de la vida ,de nuestras propias experiencias .cuando usted dice a lo básico yo imagino lo básico a ser niño nuevamente ,que hermoso sin preocupaciones importantes ,estar de la mano de mama o papa y sentirse protegido tener esa confianza en las manos que nos sostienen ,uno cuando es niño no sabe de rencor de juicio ,uno es niño y punto,vamos creciendo y la vida se encarga de enseñarnos diversas cosas ,dolores ,felicidad .rencor .perdón .y vamos moldeando nuestro carácter ,nuestros sentimientos .lo importante estar libre de rencor y de juicio .en pocas palabras tener buenos sentimientos para el prójimo y para uno mismo .El sueño .guau eso si que es un tema .nuestro cuerpo y mente descansa esta en reposo y los sueños son como descargas emotivas o escape de la realidad ,soñamos lo que nuestro sub- consiente tiene guardado ,podemos soñar cosas bellas o tener la peor pesadilla ,cuando despertamos ya estamos recuperados con energías nuevas ,pero el secreto esta donde utilizamos esa energía ,pensar como un niño tener la pureza de lo que representa la niñez .(pero sin olvidar que somos adultos y tenemos responsabilidades )si, tener los sentimientos puros de un niño .creo que me pongo a delirar un poco ,es que cuando yo leo sus reflexiones mi mente empieza a volar y a imaginar, es inevitable ,gracias señor Glaser por sus reflexiones ,son de edificación ,para pensar y razonar y para volcar nuestros sentimientos .Dar nuestros sentimientos y sensaciones
    Dios lo bendiga grandemente
    ya que en momentos somos como niños ( le convido un rico pastelito )
    Muchos cariños para usted Hilda Liporace (de Argentina )

  • By Softly, July 15, 2010 @ 1:48 am

    Dear mr Glaser,

    I have been a student for as long as I can remember but only recently realized what it actually is that I study.

    I have called it the study of live or the conscious study of consciousness; I have called it Aikido or Shinto. I called it Buddhism or the study of stalking myself. Now I don’t have a name for it that fits or it’s all of the above and then some.

    Witnessing how mind moves body and how body moves mind, learning the holds of holding on and of letting go. Seeing change for what it is and breaking through the wall that kept me from understanding emptiness and gave me clarity. In the last few months, this clarity does not seem to let up; well clouds pass by every now and than, nice fluffy once to dream away on for a bit or dark thundery once that remind me of fear and pain. But the light of clarity remains, like the sun remains when clouds appear.

    Here’s a little tail about it.

    Bramble and Broom
    I have been cutting bramble and broom for days now, trying to clear a piece of land so I could plant berries and cherries.

    When cutting bramble and broom that have had the run of the land for years, I did not find neat bushes with easy access or nice rows of trimmed shrubs, I found chaos. Things have grown over each other, in each other, killing each other, taking each others light and space.

    I started cutting full of energy and good plans, but after a while of snipping away at stalks and stems nothing seemed to happen. The chaos was still intact and only seemed to grow after each snip. Time to take a rake I thought and see if I could get something to shift. So I dug in and after a fierce tug of war I could see something moving. But it moved like a thousand headed monster with thorns and slimy black spaghetti like things and when I let go of the rake the whole thing seems to jump right back to where it was minutes before.

    Now was not the time to give in to frustration and think all my hard work has been wasted, more snipping was needed. After more snipping, yanking and tugging at the dark thorny mass it moved and was ready to be shredded and burned.

    After all that I found that the job had only just begun, the thousand headed monster did not give up the fight that easy and by now I had the scrapes bumps and bruises to proof that. Even more snipping, tugging and raking was needed and after that I was left with a desolate piece of land, dark soil without any live, still filled with snippets of what was there before, but freed of the thousand headed monster made from bramble and broom. For the first time in years the sun touches the earth and the wind freely caresses the soil. It is open and ready for planting, or so I thought.

    If I would leave it now and come back in say a year all the bramble and broom will have come back in force. The bramble and broom would be very grateful for all my hard work and will use all my snipping and raking to rejuvenate in rapid speed.

    So now that I see the promised land and my soul wants to plant, my head needs to take control and seek out the roots that lurk beneath the soil, make decisions on which once to dig up and which once to leave and understand that from old roots new grows will form.

    Now I was ready to plant new things and keep what ever grows from the old roots under check and lead it to where I want them to go.

    This story is not only true for clearing bramble and broom the same goes for clearing my heart, mind and soul.

    With the clarity that I will remain forever learning, I remain, here, body and mind.

  • By hilly, July 15, 2010 @ 3:30 am

    Sue: and isn’t it that same little bit of the brain that is aware that we aren’t using the rest of the brain?

    Paul, Softly and Susan; aren’t we always in a state of learning? We learn by our experiences and we ‘study’ the things that touch our lives. Curiosity is study and without some kind of curiosity we are sterile…those who don’t want to learn don’t enquire and if they don’t enquire, their world stays small and limited. they never go out of the box. There is a current saying: ‘been there seen it felt it smelt it’…and I would add ‘and learned about it enough to accept of reject it’
    Watch a small child (about 18 months – 2 years) with something new. s/he stares at it, fingers it; if s/he can pick it up s/he will shake it and eventually – inevitably- take it to his/her mouth (or lick it where it is). That is the basis of our daily learning. We are perpetual students.
    We are in a constant state of learning – but now and then we take a deliberate step towards someone who can guide us through the labyrinth…a course; a study group, or sometimes just our own awareness that we have understood and are ready to move on to the next subject on the list.

    Off to learn more…bye

  • By Frances, July 15, 2010 @ 5:39 am

    I Loved Paul’s “Thoughts” this Month, it’s been a time were “Watching” and “Learning” and going to that place to get away from all the noise has been very Helpful, these “Thoughts” were an extra help to clear my mind and remind me to get back to basics. It’s nice to read something that replicates just the experience of Knowingness that I am going through at this time.
    Thanks Paul,

    Take Care.

  • By Softly, July 15, 2010 @ 5:40 am


    I wish we were always in a state of learning, but I don’t think we are that aware. All the major things we seem to be aware of and we do learn those, but how many times do we do things without awareness? Driving home and not really remembering the journey. Wondering why our shoulders are acing and can’t remember when they were tensing up. Say things like “thank you” on auto pilot, without looking up to the person we are thanking……

    I’m forever learning to be aware all of the time, but I slack off every now and then and find myself looking in the fridge and not know what I was looking for or look for my glasses because I was unaware when I put them down. All moments that I could have learned to be more aware, practice being in the moment and enjoying the ride.

  • By Frances, July 15, 2010 @ 5:43 am

    Happy Birthday Christine!

  • By hilly, July 15, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    Oh Pammy I just loved this little typo – it brought such wild images into my mind….(my italics BTW)…
    I’m sure you cheered a lot of people.. I know that you did your best to help them because I know what a caring person you are.

    since my very first day as a ‘candy stripper’ when I first started volunteering at my local hospital when I was 12,

  • By rita, July 15, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    Our experience of the feeling of one-ness, belonging.

    that’s not the voice of a migrant speaking who is constantly hovering between groups. being neither one or the other but both at the same time. beloning to many cultures, defining the self by setting it apart from otherness. i am what you are not. you are what i am not. but then we shre certain aspects. which makes us different from third parties.

    i know exactly what you mean by letting your mind drift as a student, observing someone else’s thoughts. currently, i am ploghing my way through post-colonial critical theory. and, boy!, the judging that goes on in there. you wouldn’t believe it. but it’s essential. how else would we know who we are? and who the others are?

  • By hilly, July 15, 2010 @ 11:52 am

    post-colonial critical theory
    my mind is boggling! and fascinated….

  • By Michelle Johnson, July 16, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

    Hi Paul, Pam, and Everyone. Paul, I’ve been a fan for many years, and connect with your writings. Just enjoyed and pondered on “To seek and share the Path..”, and 7/14 blog post. Your ideas take more than one reading and meditation. Transcendent; I browse this site and sense the love for life and people–it’s mentally stimulating and like an emotional tonic.

    I also find the “awareness state” relaxing and rejuvenating–”immersing” oneself in “sensations”. Knowing you can just Be in the universe, which is totally OK.

    Pam, I used to visit the site all the time about 5 years ago. It was great, and the new makeover with “Shared Thoughts” is even better! Happy to rediscover.

  • By Christine, July 16, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    Hi Rach and Frances, Thank you for the birthday wishes. It was kind of you. xx

  • By Brenda, July 16, 2010 @ 3:42 pm


    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

  • By hilly, July 17, 2010 @ 12:33 am

    and vice versa, Brenda…when the teacher is ready – the students appear. Anyone who has had the misfortune to experience a bad teacher – one who is not on top of the subject; or unwilling to allow discussion will know what I mean. When the teacher is ‘there’ the student is ready to learn.

    and aren’t we all our own students and teachers?

  • By Frances, July 17, 2010 @ 4:47 am

    I find it very enjoyable coming to this site and reading about all the experiences and opinions that fellow posters share. I love the wisdom and the fun (along with the occasional squabble!)but “such is life” and long may it continue. As I find Meditation difficult, I use this site as a place to contemplate,…Be….. and try to “centre” myself, collect my thoughts and try to do better next time!. That’s all I can ever promise myself, but I suppose “try harder” is as good an affirmation as any!. (We are at school every day of our lives, and boy have I seen “Could Try Harder” on many a report card!) lol.

    Take Care.

  • By hilly, July 17, 2010 @ 11:37 am

    A wonderful French actor – Bernard Girardot – died of cancer today. In a recent interview he quoted the 16th century french philosopher Michel de Montaigne : “Learning to live is learning to die.”
    So I dived for the bookshelf and dragged out my old well thumbed copy of Montaigne’s essays and found a few of his quotes that seem to run in tandem with so much of what has been discussed over the past months inspired by Paul’s contributions.

    a selection:

    It is a sign of contraction of the mind when it is content, or of weariness. A spirited mind never stops within itself; it is always aspiring and going beyond its strength.

    I study myself more than any other subject. That is my metaphysics, that is my physics.

    A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

    and last but not least – because I had it tacked up on my bulletin board for years!

    In nine lifetimes, you’ll never know as much about your cat as your cat knows about you

  • By carol4spot, July 18, 2010 @ 6:39 am

    I’m put in mind of going back to basics. The comfort and simplicity of basics. Knowing that is where you need to go when the noise gets noisy.” PMG

    It’s so true that the ‘basics’ are really where we find true peace and joy. Just a walk in the woods, just sitting and being ‘one’ with nature and all its beauty. Petting a dog. Talking to all the animals and getting feedback because we are ‘one’. Giving love to everyone you meet in the day. Giving more and taking less. Accepting our existence as it ‘is’. Embracing the bad times as well as the good times. Understanding that the ‘bad’ things are essential in creating who we ‘are’. Rolling with the punches. The natural flow of existence.

    Softly says,

    “So now that I see the promised land and my soul wants to plant, my head needs to take control and seek out the roots that lurk beneath the soil, make decisions on which once to dig up and which once to leave and understand that from old roots new grows will form.”

    Softly, I really enjoyed your analogy. It was really good. Just remember, if you pull out too many roots from, let’s say, a bank, then the bank may wash away. So, you may want to hold on to some of those roots that aren’t too pretty because I believe that there is beauty in some of the ‘weeds’. It gives character. Builds foundation to the ground. xocarol

  • By hilly, July 18, 2010 @ 7:31 am

    Carol – a gardening friend of mine says that ‘weeds are just plants that are growing where you didn’t plant them’. In French there is an expression ‘mon jardin secret’ (my secret garden) – it may be an ideal, a hobby, a special interest, or a “dream”. I believe we need to be respectful of the ecology in our secret gardens – we need to be sure about the balance before we remove a ‘weed’.

  • By stonealbatross, July 18, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

    Sue, the “don’t use” bits bother me as well, especially as the beauty of dreams is that they need no space at all and yet can fill the universe.
    I have had a number of hamsters over the years, these are creatures who need just enough brain power to stay alive long enough to keep the food chain going, and yet even they can imagine and dream of things they have never experienced. I just hope when they growl in their sleep it isn’t me they’re fighting with. :)

    Sandie, welcome. Hopefully you will feel you can share here as well now.

    Got to go the hamster’s chewing the door.

  • By fee, July 19, 2010 @ 2:29 am

    Hmm! Lots to think about here as usual. I tend to agree Paul that as human beings we only use a small percentage of our brain these days.

    The study of the paranormal fascinates me and I do believe that at one time the use of our “sixth” sense was fairly common. Then the religious authorities decided that it was a threat to their power over the general populace and decreed that anyone using those abilities were evil and dangerous. Thus the burnings at the stake of so called “witches” etc.
    Nowadays we live in more enlightened times and more and more people are re activating those abilities that once most of us had, ie telepathy, precognition and empathy to name a few. However there are still those among us who feel threatened by this and deem any one using or even talking about these abilities as evil. They think we are trying to turn folk against God or family which is completely not true. Everyone has the right to believe or not believe in whatever faith they feel happiest with.

    As for dreams, well I hate to think what mine mean as they can be really weird at times! Not nasty or scary dreams but definitely odd.

    Carol & Hilly you were spot on with what you said re “weeds” in the garden. Must admit as a gardener I hadn’t thought of that aspect before but it is very true. I shall look on the many weeds in my garden with new eyes.

    Frances, I hope your friend is feeling a lot better now and that she has managed to sort out her problems. The old saying “You have to be cruel to be kind at times” is certainly a true one. Over 30 years ago whilst I was still living in Scotland I was involved in this sort of situation. I took in to my home a work colleague who had to find somewhere to stay because of a marriage breakup. This lady who was in her early forties became severely depressed and nothing that I or her social worker could say or do had any effect. We had tried to support her all we could but in the end with the support of her social worker I had to make a hard decision and told her she had to get out and find somewhere else to live. As you can imagine it did not go down at all well.
    The upshot was though my friend decided herself that she really needed professional help and after she had sorted out her life she thanked me for doing what I did. It was not something that I had wanted to do but I was at my wit’s end as to how to help her and too young myself to do so properly. I know your friend’s situation is not likely similar but am just using this as an example. Some of you may well disagree with me but I just wanted to show that sometimes “tough” love is what is needed. The person needing help has to realise though they “need” that help though and take the first step.

    Also I come at those views from an older person’s perspective as I am now in my early 60′s so am talking from life’s experiences.

    I may be able to talk “the hind legs off a donkey” at home but do find it very hard to express my views properly in writing. Especially as I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes so to speak, so hope I got that across ok.

    PS Albatross, I loved your comments re your hamsters. They are cute aren’t they.

    Also welcome Sandie, we aren’t really monsters here just human beings from all sorts of different backgrounds and outlooks.

    Of course I exclude our blog owner from that comment as he is kind enough to let us join in with our thoughts.

  • By Frances, July 19, 2010 @ 3:52 am

    Hi Fee,
    Thanks for your concern, yes my friend is fine,and has come through her “dark time” in good shape considering what she’s been through. We met up last Friday and talked. It was good that we did and reassured me that she is back on track, with the help of a great husband. Although I didn’t have to deal with a situation like you did with your friend, I am glad that your friend was good enough to tell you that you did the right thing, and she realised that’s when you discover who your real friends are. my friend gave me a little gift that read,: “Friends are the family we choose ourselves” I know, cheesy but nice! lol.
    Thanks again to everyone who offered advice.

  • By fee, July 19, 2010 @ 4:42 am

    Glad to hear that Frances. Must admit I lost contact with her years ago when I migrated.

    I know of that saying and love it. As a patchworker and quilter we all collect sayings like that to put on our projects
    Another saying is “You can choose your friends but you are stuck with your family”

  • By carol4spot, July 19, 2010 @ 6:59 am

    Christine says,

    “the things I have learned in life don’t always come in a text book. ”

    I believe this to be very true. The most important lessons we learn in life are

    definitely not from books…Don’t sell yourself short just because you didn’t go to

    college.. The smartest people, by far, that I have met in my life were not educated in

    the true sense of the word..or maybe they were educated in the ‘true’ sense of the

    word? Either way, we are all smart and have many things to offer on many different

    levels to eachother. We are all equals. If you feel ‘less than’ by treatment of others

    than it is ‘they’ who need to learn more, not you.

    Hilly, I totally agree on being careful about those ‘weeds’ . It is defintely a delicate

    balance. I personally use the ‘weeds’ alot in my thinking. I remember the ‘weeds’ as

    teachers. I don’t want to forget them. They have done alot for me.

    Fee says , ” I may be able to talk “the hind legs off a donkey” at home but do find it

    very hard to express my views properly in writing. Especially as I don’t want to step

    on anyone’s toes so to speak, so hope I got that across ok.”
    Fee, you express your views just fine!

    Frances, I am glad your friend pulled through!


  • By PamT, July 19, 2010 @ 9:08 am

    Hello Paul

    I appreciate having the opportunity to read and consider more of your shared thoughts. I like the way in which they often seem to come full circle, much as in the natural order of things.

    Your words on finding our real awareness of feelings without engaging in emotional disconnection or self-judgment were very helpful. I think it’s true that much of human suffering lies in the way our inner world ‘receives’ the more negative invasions from the outer one. And, along with death and taxes, the occurrence of such invasions is one of the certainties of life for as long as we’re around. I was particularly struck by the choice you make in ‘thanking those feelings’ for the role they play as reminders of your consciousness. Thank you for planting that seed of awareness – my feeling is that it’s one well worth nurturing through practice.

    The question of what happens when we sleep is a very interesting one. Sleep is certainly crucial for the replenishment and re-energising of both body and mind and we suffer both physically and mentally if we become sleep-deprived. Is there something else going on? If we hold with the presence of mind, body and spirit, then the concept of the spirit also re-energising from its own power source during the period of rest does seem to have a holistic ‘fit’.

    “Is it like a line of ants forever traipsing for distant concrete horizons while their returning ranks file past with their information of what they’ve encountered?”

    Gosh. What a humdinger of an analogy. I lingered a good while on this point and probably will continue to do so. There are more things in heaven and earth …. etc.

    Thanks again.


    PS. Carol: I liked your comment on ‘the basics’. I often find my anchor in many of the same places.

  • By hilly, July 19, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    Please excuse my brain for going off at a tangent but sometimes it takes very little for me to start humming an old song…only this time I started thinking about what I was humming:
    Just what makes that little old ant
    Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
    Anyone knows an ant, can’t
    Move a rubber tree plant
    But he has high hopes…..

    consider the ants for a moment. Watch them ‘traipsing’ back and forth; ‘assiduous’ is not a strong enough word for their determination. I just watched a troop of them (what is the collective for ants?) removing a dead beetle from a spider web. (It’s a good thing the spider was nowhere to be seen because I’d have been out of here! I can ‘do’ snakes and scorpions but not spiders!)
    Anyway – back to those ants. Single-mindedly working to get to where they want to be and take the trophy home with them. They transmit a road map to each other and the line will continue to ‘avoid’ an obstacle even after it has been removed – until the returning scouts tell them to go straight on this time.
    So often we go over and over the same thing…the same hurt, the same argument: that ‘staircase moment’ when we think “I should have said…”; the relentless replay of an argument – an unkind remark, a verbal sparring (aka fight). And until a part of our subconscious (maybe stimulated by a third party who saw the event from a different angle) comes back along the line and signals…’the obstacle to your happiness is gone now’ we can’t focus. We play it out and it gets bigger and takes on a more and more important role in our psyche’s attempt to cut a path through this jungle that is life and emotions. Never mind the woods and the trees – the whole damn forest has taken over; leaving us trapped like Sleeping Beauty in the briar covered castle waiting for the moment when the Prince ‘Enlightenment’ steps forward…
    …and either kisses us and brings us to life to take the next stage in the journey….
    …or turns into a frog!

    Th ants never lose touch with the basics…we humans get too damn complicated for our own good sometimes.

  • By Christine, July 19, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

    Hi Carol, What a lovely way of looking at things. Thanks for that. The problem with not actually going to University or college is that I don’t have the ‘proof’ so to speak that this brain of mine sometimes works!!.
    Although I do still think that life itself is the best form of education. If someone had told me when I left school how much I would learn good and bad, happy/sad I probably would never have believed it. Thank goodness we don’t have a crystal ball eh?. Would we want to put one tiny toe out of bed in the morning if we knew what the future had for us?.
    Take each day as it comes, that’s what I’m learning to do now, because who knows what is around the corner?.
    Best Wishes,

  • By hilly, July 20, 2010 @ 3:48 am

    I think we have to define our ‘basics’. Either our emotional or our physical needs; what would we be willing to leave behind in order to move on to a more comfortable place in our being? How much of my ‘here’ am I willing to leave behind to get ‘there’; and how much of ‘there’ do I understand I can’t have if I continue to yearn for something I have ‘here’.
    I always say to my clients when I am showing the houses that have most (and rarely all) of the features they want for the price they are willing to pay: “in the end you have to decide which things you are willing to make a compromise about and which things are truly essential.”
    We all have our ‘dream house’ (a house where we can dream/a house we dream of/ a home for our dreams/a shelter in our dreams…take your pick) and we all have to decide which features we really can not live without; which features we are ready to ‘pass’ on for the moment knowing that if we take this step they may become available to us later.
    The features are the basics…what we do with them is what our basics are based on…the bases (‘baseez’ as in foundations).
    We build our basic foundation and we move on to create the superstructure of our lives. But if we lave the foundation loose – then everything crumbles

  • By Sammy, July 20, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    Learning is not the ‘certificates’ or ‘diplomas’ or ‘degrees’ we pile up though through acquiring those we do learn a lot.

    Learning starts with birth and ends with death and until we learn all lessons we should learn in a life we will live. Whenever something bad and sad happens or I would try to tell myself that it is yet another lesson that I have learnt and that is one lesson less to learn in this life.

    When I go ‘there’, to a place I think is more conformable, it ultimately becomes ‘here’. So.. if I don’t take anything with me when I started to go ‘there’ I really don’t have anything to call ‘mine’ when I am ‘here’ either…

  • By Softly, July 22, 2010 @ 1:53 am

    A body to remember

    I can watch my body, my posture and find the truth in my feelings in how I hold myself.

    I’m put in mind of going back to basics. The comfort and simplicity of basics. Knowing that is where you need to go when the noise gets noisy.


    Some 25 years ago I worked as a volunteer in a place that you now would call something like a spiritual learning center but then we called it a save haven for misfits. We organized all kinds of lectures and played videos from all kinds of Guru’s. We had workshops ranging from Trance Dance to Rebirthing and the Singing of Chakra’s. We opened the center up to teachers in Zen Meditation, Ikebana and Tai Chi. As a good little volunteer, who happened have a craving for the love and attention from the extremely handsome founder of the place, who I felt, hand picked me to volunteer. I plunged head first in all these meditations and altered states of awareness.

    Every time I surfaced from one of these mind altering, spirit enhancing body checks I could see me drift further away from the handsome founder and could not see then that I was drifting closer and closer to myself. Instead I plunged back it to another rebirth session or bio energetic meditation. It was there that I first sat on a safu and counted my breath and found my first Tai Chi teacher.

    Tai Chi was a course that was not very popular; people rather danced to jungle music with blindfolds on or scream their heads of in cathartic encounter groups. Being the good little volunteer that I was, I offered to “shepherd the course” as we called it. It involved all the hustle and bustle to get a course to run smoothly. So two nights a week I took care of the needs of the teacher, students and center and while I was there I learned some Tai Chi as well.

    My teacher was a woman of not many word, she taught as she had been taught by her Chinese teachers and did not see the point in getting students enthusiastic, they either were or they were not. She saw herself merely as someone pointing at the moon and it was up to the students to gaze up. At a time where, in our western society, we wanted to be entertained, enthralled, persuade and encouraged I saw the group of students waver and slowly fall apart. As a good little shepherd I had no choice but to go to the Tai Chi class and it brought me a lot.

    She taught “the form” and in the middle of “the routine” she would stop and you were supposed to hold that “stands”. She would walk around and “sculpted” her students in the right shape. At first I thought it was all about the esthetics of the stands and as a good little student I tried to hold on to the form she molded me in to, but after a minute standing like a statue I would feel my muscles burn and I’d flop back into a position that felt more comfortable. I could see the other students flop back too and talk amongst their selves about pork chops and the film they saw last night. Something in me knew that was not the way to get what she was teaching and as I had no where to go and the pork chops wavered in and out, I started to focus more on what she was telling my body when she was molding me into position. One evening she again gently straightened out my fingers, touched my shoulders lightly to tell them to relax, tugged my hips back to where they were supposed to be and there it was, total relaxation.

    I could not belief the feeling of energy rushing through me totally free and unobstructed, breathing in and out with every fiber. I felt the power of complete body awareness and I knew that, if I wanted, I could stay in that stands for hours. I did not want to move for fear of losing that sensation, I could hear the talk of pork chops and desperately wanted to share this feeling of total freedom…..but that would mean I had to move and talk and I could not bring myself to do that. Besides I was not the teacher here, I was the student and as the shepherd I knew time was nearly up.

    After class I told my teacher about my experience and she said: “now you have got a reference point, they are like little pearls, slowly but surely you will gather enough of them to string together. I saw the moon, I got the principle and now it was up to me to keep my awareness.

    I use her lesson from then on and the pearls I found along the way in other disciplines like Aikido, sculpting and working with horses, made me aware how a raised shoulder can hold me back from feeling what I feel and how the flaring of my nostril can keep me from knowing what I need to know.

    And when I lose sight of the moon I go back to basics, I plant my feet firmly on the ground and do a move that in Tai Chi is called the preparation. It only takes seconds to see again all the pearls I already have strung together and I smile when I hear all my teachers say: “Zen mind is beginners mind”

    Dear mr Glaser,
    I remain forever learning and as a true beginner string pearls together with a smile.

  • By Rachelle, July 23, 2010 @ 6:17 am

    You’re right Sammy learning is never ending. It seems during the rough patches we learn the most and when the sun shines again it’ll make us that much wiser.
    Living life one day at a time and slowing down to appreciate it is something I work hard at doing.
    Happy Friday and weekend Paul, Pam, and everyone! TGIF! :)

  • By hilly, July 23, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    it’s a cliché but it’s true
    “Every cloud has a silver lining”
    Right now I’m looking up at a clear moonlit sky; almost clear…one little could still escaping from the wind that is blowing away the rain.
    it has a silver lining – moonlit silver.

  • By fee, July 25, 2010 @ 4:04 am

    Nicely put Softly and Sammy. (I really must take up Tai Chi!)

    I think a lot of us need to go back to basics. The basics of living with one another and actually understanding what the other person really means instead of thinking they know what the other person is saying. Sometimes, one can go too far in analysing life and why we are here and how we feel instead of just living it to the full.

    There are times in our lives when it is very hard to think of those basics and one of those that hits everyone male or female sooner or later is the dreaded Menopause. Yes, males get it too though most of them won’t admit to it as they think it is only a female problem. Obviously only the women suffer the physical side of things but we all suffer the emotional side effects as our hormones go haywire. It is a difficult time trying to figure out why one minute we are on top of the world and the next could cheerfully murder anyone who dares to look at us sideways then burst into tears for no apparent reason..
    Most of you posting here still have that delight to come and I am commenting having come out the other side now thank goodness.
    We start wondering where we are going and why and what if anything have we done with our life to date. We tend to misunderstand what is being said to us and sometimes take offence at innocent comments. A whole huge minefield of misunderstanding often occurs. A form of depression is sometimes the worst side effect which can be very hard to deal with and needs a great deal of understanding from one’s family and friends etc. I know my husband & children walked on eggshells around me on my really bad days!! I was NOT nice to know. It’s a horrible feeling as you think you are going nuts!! Thankfully it doesn’t last forever and you get back your sense of humour and love of life. Plus everyone goes through it differently thank goodness.
    I really enjoy reading the posts on this blog as it is a very true saying that we continue learning to the minute we cast off our mortal shell and go to wherever our soul does go once we die.
    I think I know where mine will go and I will be happy to go there when the time comes. But it had better be a long long way off as I have to many quilts to create and people to meet!!

  • By hilly, July 25, 2010 @ 7:34 am

    Most of you posting here still have that delight to come and I am commenting having come out the other side now thank goodness.

    snort! “been there etc”…and took the radical approach – why keep it if it’s broken and you don’t need it anymore. Of course that is not an option the male of the species can take!

    But seriously – you are right Fee; there are moments in our lives (male and female) when the hormones get out of control and lead us into extremes of mood – the euphoria of falling in love or the misery of depression. It is a time where if we can step back and recognise the symptoms we need to be able to focus on ourselves…but at the same time there is a danger (especially if one is prone to depression – raises hand) of ‘contemplating your navel’ so long that you no longer see anything else.

    And finding the happy balance is not easy. Not so much ‘step back and smell the flowers’ as ‘slow down and enjoy the woods instead of just one tree.’

  • By Christine, July 25, 2010 @ 10:06 am

    You know this blog never fails to make me smile. All this week I have basically done nothing but argue. I’m one for keeping the peace, anything just so life goes along calmly and doesn’t upset the apple cart. But push me into a corner so to speak and I will come out fighting. I’m tired of arguing, but once someone knows which buttons to press, to get that reaction, to make you feel like you are in the wrong even though you have tried everything to make things right, keep everyone happy, how come I’m the one feeling so down?. So you take a step back, and suddenly you begin to realize that by keeping everyone else happy, where does that leave you? you got it miserable, because you are living your life for everyone except yourself. Back to basics? maybe at some point we all need to do that. Take stock. Try and work out what is really important and what is just ‘there’ to bug, to hurt etc.
    Or maybe Hilly and Fee its that dreaded ‘phase’ we all go through?
    Best wishes,

  • By hilly, July 25, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    Christine, there are times when you need to argue – to make your case or your point. but it gets tiring doesn’t it when whatever you say or do is not the response the other person wants/expects to hear and so they throw it back and off you go again?
    As a champion arguer (raises mock fists and says ‘Ok so who’s gonna argue with that, huh?’ then trots off giggling) I still prefer an argument than apathy.

    Back in the 70s I remember seeing this on a wall:
    “Apathy rules!” and someone wrote beneath it
    “Well, OK, if you say so….”

  • By Sammy, July 25, 2010 @ 11:47 am

    Arguing means that you still care about something… care enough to talk about how you feel or care enough to give your opinion. When I start agreeing with everything someone says or just nod my head and keep quiet, I realize that I have given up on the person and his/her ideas. I simply don’t care. So.. if someone argues with me (that is IF he or she doesn’t agree genuinely) on something I said, without shrugging it off I know he/she cares.. I would prefer the argument to a silent treatment!

    Hi Christine.. Haven’t heard from you in ages! So this is what has been going on?

    And Fee… This blog certainly is worth everything! I love reading the comments.. Comments on anything.. something.. I wish I knew where my spirit would move into after this life- I know where I want to go – but I don’t know whether I will be able to… I will find out eventually.. Won’t I?

    Rachelle… Monday… (sigh!)

  • By Christine, July 25, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    Hi Hilly, Spot on, there my friend if its not what the other wants/expects its just not accepted huh?. I have to say I hate going to bed on an argument, theres always that ‘fear’ that you may not see that person again, but even that line of thought hasn’t worked this time lol.

    Hi Sammy, I know its been a bit since I was on here. Too much arguing and not enough peace, and meditation, to be honest I would just appreciate a little peace. Meditation? haven’t you got to be calm to do that?……….no chance then.
    Best wishes,

  • By PamT, July 25, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

    Softly: I found the tale of your Tai Chi experiences, pork chops and all, very interesting. Coincidentally, I’m starting classes in a couple of days’ time and will be wearing my brand-new, shiny L-plates.

    Christine: I’m certainly no expert, but my limited experience is that calmness isn’t a pre-requisite for meditation; rather it brings a degree of calmness and more peaceful awareness – helping the twines of the emotions I’m experiencing to unravel themselves (with perhaps some falling away of their own accord) so that they no longer form a twisted and impenetrable and mass. :)


  • By Christine, July 25, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

    Hi PamT, Thank you for that Pam. Sounds great if you can persevere, and get the goodness out of it. I guess its like everything else whatever is good is worth waiting for. Nice to hear from you. :) xx

  • By Christine, July 26, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    Hi Pam M, This meditation sounds so peaceful if you are able to do it the right way. The problem I find is not to get caught up in a thought or thoughts and let them almost float by. It seems it takes some pratice to actually not let thoughts take over; as this will lead no doubt to trigger another memory/thought and off you go again. Its the ‘detaching’ that I find the hardest thing to do, because our mind is constantly telling us we should have, could have, and why didn’t we?. How many times a day do we fire questions at ourselves, always looking for answers. Peace of mind must be a wonderful thing, but just how many of us ever really get to that point?.
    Best wishes,

  • By carol4spot, July 26, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

    “Paul recently shared some good advice with me about this very thing, a common issue for almost everyone..and that is to just let the thought(s) enter…notice them as just
    ‘thought’…without judging and labeling them, and let them ‘pass on through’…It does help when you are able to ‘let yourself’ do this. The calmness that comes with this, along with an awareness of your breathing in and out helps in your sit.” By PamM
    Very good advice. I personally do not meditate in the true sense of meditating.I do wish I could do the sitting type of meditation. Maybe someday.
    A definition of Meditation: Meditation is a
    holistic discipline by which the practitioner attempts to get beyond
    the reflexive, “thinking” mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness.
    I believe that you can meditate while doing anything. Maybe I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about but it’s ‘my truth’. I meditate while running. What better time to focus on your breathing than while running? Ya kind of have no choice. I am a firm believer that ‘thoughts’ are normal whether they’re bad or good. Accepting them is the best way to deal with them. Understand that thoughts are good. We learn more from the ‘bad’ ones. I just let those ‘thoughts’ pass right through while running. I do, however, observe them sometimes in the process and find it really ‘relaxing’ emotionally to accept them, analyze them, let them pass on by…it’s ok that they’re there..thoughts..maybe I just don’t have what it takes to meditate in the true sense of the word and ‘sit’ and empty my mind. I look at my ‘thoughts’ as my friends. It’s all part of my existence.
    PamT says “helping the twines of the emotions I’m experiencing to unravel themselves (with perhaps some falling away of their own accord) so that they no longer form a twisted and impenetrable and mass. :)
    Pam, that’s a good way to put it! Good luck with your class. It’s also interesting to me how we each have different ways to achieve ‘calmness’. I understand the ‘sitting’ type of meditation, I’m just not capable. I find ‘calmness’ in the absolute opposite of ‘sitting’…running. Hey, whatever it takes, right?
    Hi everyone!!! xocarol

  • By hilly, July 26, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

    I always found it hard to do ‘a sitting meditation’ – when I am totally relaxed my mind starts wandering even further off track then usual! But when I’m listening to certain music (even when driving) or when I’m on my morning walk; then I can meditate.It is as if when my body is occupied then my mind has a chance to think for itself. that part of my ‘mind’ that has to think for my body – keep it breathing, moving, aware of what is happening around it for it’s own safety – gets on with its job and the other part of my mind is freed to reflect and meditate.

  • By Softly, July 27, 2010 @ 1:34 am

    When I teach Aikido to kids’ age 6 to 10 we sit in meditation for a couple of minutes at the beginning and at the end of each class. It has become such a normal thing to do that kids that just join the group slot in right from the start. They sit there for minutes perfectly still, eyes closed, breathing in and breathing out. Mothers watch in amazement, their ADHD child sits still; their “miss talk a lot” is quiet.

    Every now and then we talk about meditation and I tell them that thoughts are like clouds. When you watch the sky she is never the same, sometimes there are hardly any clouds, sometimes there are many, sometimes the cloud is nice and fluffy, sometimes the clouds are dark and heavy. All these clouds are perfectly fine as they appear. But like when you look at the sky you can not hold on to any of the clouds, nor can you make them move any faster, they just drift by at their own pace. Telling the cloud that it is a nice cloud or a stupid cloud does not make much different to the clouds but it does make a different to you who is watching. Clouds are just clouds what ever shape or size.

    One day I was telling the story again about watching the clouds and how telling clouds they are stupid makes you feel different one of my kids remarked: “when you say things are stupid, it is like you are blowing smoke out of your mouth, when you blow out smoke all the time, pretty soon you can’t seen anything any more, not even the clouds.

    I bowed to him deeply.

    It has not always been a normal thing to do, to sit still and meditate at the beginning and end of class. When I started, some eight years ago, things were very different. When I had them all neatly lined up and I would sit in front of them in meditation, some would get up and walk around, some would ask me if they could go to the bathroom, some would poke at their neighbor, some would roll their eyes and pretend to faint and some would make funny farting noises and they all would laugh. All the shenanigans kids can think of I’ve seen by now I think.

    I had a hard time understanding what it is I needed to do to get them to at least sit still at the start of class. I tried the nice cop bad cop routine, did my best to ignore it for a while, lost my temper a few times, and let the entire discipline slide completely and joined in the fun. What it took to take them with me in the enjoyment of meditation was the realization that all the shenanigans they pulled, I pulled when I started with meditation.

    The whole song and dance between me and the kids was a blown up version from the whole song and dance I went through with my teacher and I was still going through with the clouds in my own head.

    I could not make them meditate and enjoy it, no more than I could hold on to a cloud; I had been blowing smoke left and right and could not see what I needed to see. So I began with being truthful to myself and see my shenanigans and sit with them, in front of a group of young kids.

    Now we can sit together in silent’s, me, my kids and our shenanigans, enjoying breathing in and breathing out and every now and then we roll around laughing at funny farting noises.

  • By Softly, July 27, 2010 @ 4:04 am

    Sitting meditation is just one way.
    Thich Nhat Hanh talks about being mindful in what ever you do, eating, walking, driving your car, cleaning out the fridge, listening to someone talk, listening to yourself talk, Tai Chi, rocking a baby to sleep, running down the stairs in a rush to catch the bus or watching yourself watching yourself. It does not matter what you do as long as you do it mindfully…..

    Easy…? Well, no, not always, but a lot more fun than staring a blank wall watching zebra’s and artichokes.

  • By Frances, July 27, 2010 @ 5:37 am

    From fee,

    “the dreaded Menopause. Yes, males get it too though most of them won’t admit to it as they think it is only a female problem.”

    Just a question (and NOT being sexist!) : Then why is it called MENopause?


  • By Sarah Levy, July 27, 2010 @ 9:33 am

    Frances. I believe that the word ‘meno’ means ‘monthly’, so I guess that ‘menopause’ means ‘monthly pause’.

  • By hilly, July 27, 2010 @ 11:19 am

    I had to look it up a while ago Frances….here you go:
    1872, from Fr. ménopause, from Gk. men (gen. menos) “month” + pausis “a cessation, a pause,” from pauein “to cause to cease.”

    On the other hand there is that old feminist joke that I think a few of my friends here will really appreciate!

    Have you noticed how
    Woman has Man in it;

    Mrs. Has Mr. In it;

    Female has Male in it;

    She has He in it;

    Madam has Adam in it;

    Okay, Okay, it all makes sense now…

    I never looked at it this way before:

    Ever notice how all of women’s problems start with MEN?

    MENtal illness

    MENstrual cramps

    MENtal breakdown


    GUYnecologist (deliberate spelling error for once!)

    And if that wasn’t off topic…I’m slipping!

  • By hilly, July 27, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    PS….that definition must have been made by a man too; the menopause is rarely that simple!

  • By Frances, July 27, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

    HeHe ,
    Knew I could depend on you lot for a swift and exact answer! Thanks to both Sarah and Hilly, (loved your post hilly, kind of hits the nail on the head, so to speak!)
    thought after I had posted,that my sense of humour wouldn’t be clear but full marks, loved it!!.

    Take Care.

  • By carol4spot, July 27, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

    Softly says, “Easy…? Well, no, not always, but a lot more fun than staring a blank wall watching zebra’s and artichokes.”
    Haha…I agree. Removing yourself from the world to relax is temporary. Learning to relax ‘in the world’ is permanent.

    Hilly, That was funny….I have to ‘recycle’ that one.

    PamM says, “seeing..watching yourself as you do what you do is part of the practice as well…it all leads to a greater awareness of ‘everything’..IMHO”
    Totally agree. We gotta keep a close eye on ourselves. It keeps us in check and helps us be open to learn from everything we experience good or bad. Awareness also gives us more compassion and we treat people better. Understand more. I love people!! And animals :) ! I guess I love all ‘life’….

  • By Frances, July 28, 2010 @ 1:41 am

    Could not agree more Carol, Learning to relax in the world is permanent, and is so rewarding in so many ways. I remember when I started watching myself in the world and started noticing “the little things” that brightened up the day, that brought a smile to my face, like giving a helping hand or just getting a smile from someone I passed in the street and realising that this is what LIVING YOUR LIFE is all about, excepting the “everyday” beauty in the world.

    Take Care.

  • By fee, July 28, 2010 @ 3:16 am

    Heheh!!! Good one Hilly!! Frances, your sense of humour came across loud and clear. You have to be a Brit the same as us.
    Carol and Frances, your last comments are so true.
    Peace, Fee

  • By Christine, July 28, 2010 @ 6:43 am

    Hi Hilly, Very good!! Oh you made me laugh. Ask any woman what her problem is and there will be a man involved some where down the line lol. :) xx

  • By hilly, July 28, 2010 @ 11:25 am

    hahaha there was another one around back in the 70s ‘A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle’….

    hehehe I guess some of use learnt to use our fins to pedal!

  • By Misa Misa, July 28, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    Dear Paul , may I post whatever I want to on your blog ? I’m very dissapointed about the judge striking down the Arizona law. Now more people will come in. If there is no law ,no border and citizenship doesn’t matter then we have no country. GOD BLESS ARIZONA! It doesn’t make sense for Mexicans to fly there flag here when they ran away from their own country. Obama doesn’t know what his country is I think he doesn’t understand.Did he live in Kenya because his wife said it was his homeland. He lived in Indonesia and here. You know what is weird both his fathers were Muslim and the USA is having all the truoble with them now.
    I have no intrest in meditation I heard it was of the devil. I am too young for that. It is not good to overthink things. I know you are a older man so maybe that it why.I hope you mention any of the things I posted in your next blog so I know you read my post.

  • By Christine, July 29, 2010 @ 9:54 am

    I think it was Frances who brought up the subject of noticing the little things in life. I have to agree with you there. Isn’t it the little things that usually mean so much?. A smile can lift you, a good morning from a neighbour can certainly brighten a morning. Because at the end of the day we are all human and most of us like to be friendly. You know a true friend can sit with you for a while, depending on the mood of the other, and they don’t have to say a word. Their company is sometimes all that is needed and it never gets uncomfortable. I tend to take off for a while by myself, when I need just to take stock of things. Sometimes the best favour a friend can give you is to be allowed to be alone. I personally think we all need that sometimes. Although I have to say if my mobile phone is switched off for too long my friends start to panic, how did we ever manage without these devices?. Do we ever wrire a letter anymore? what with the e-mail, the text, etc everything is built around how fast we can communicate, maybe I’m really old fashioned but I used to love writing to people. Are we now too hi tech?
    Our children wouldn’t know how to get through without a cell phone huh?.
    Best wishes,
    Christine xx

  • By hilly, July 29, 2010 @ 11:12 am

    I sometimes miss those simpler times when if I wasn’t in no-one could talk to me on the ‘phone!

    Now I have learnt to juggle e-mail; cell phone and even ride a bicycle without ‘training wheels’ ;) BUT I still haven’t mastered the art of sending an e-mail from my phone and I don’t think I’ll ever bother to try.

    Wanders off to meditate the whole idea of a simpler life.

  • By hilly, July 30, 2010 @ 3:49 am

    But in the process we need to learn to remember clearly. It is very easy to fall into the trap of hindsight or even into believing what we think we remember.
    when I was studying child development in the 70s we were taught that we have no reliable memory of our years before we were 6. A traumatic even will leave a deep memory but we are fuzzy on the details. My father died when I was 6 – my memory if him is fuzzy and probably coloured by what I have been told about the events I think I remember.
    A photograph may ‘skew’ my memory – after all it is taken from a POV that was not mine at the time.
    This is why I have always been very very sceptical about those ‘therapists’ who help their patients (victims?) to ‘remember’ events that may not have been as they are then presented. For every genuine case of abuse (for example) they create many more imagined events that do far greater harm to all the protagonists. (I’m thinking especially of a scandal in Britain about 20= years ago when a psychologist ‘diagnosed’ wide scale abuse of young children and destroyed many lives with her unfounded fantasies.

    We need to remember…and to re-member. To think back and to piece together what we learn.
    Not easy
    Not easy
    …but putting the pieces together may bring peace

  • By Frances, July 30, 2010 @ 3:58 am

    Hi Pam M,

    ”Our opportunity is to practice seeing our sensations, emotions, thoughts, as experiences that are there to re-mind us of our conscious and aware state. When we can remember that, and we re-member the sensation of being plugged into, a part of the phenomenon of existence.”

    agree with every word,
    and WHEN you feel that sensation there is NOTHING like it, its those times that you try to accumulate, store, and strive to repeat !!.
    That’s the basics of life(IMO).
    I feel that life is so fast,that instead of all the Hi-Tec Gadgets making life easier and giving us “Quality Time” they speed life up so much that almost everyone Knows at least one person who suffers from the “S” word, STRESS.

    Hope everyone has a great (stress-free) weekend

    Take Care.

  • By Christine, July 30, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    Hi Hilly, We need to remember…and to re-member. To think back and to piece together what we learn.
    Not easy
    Not easy
    …but putting the pieces together may bring peace

    You have a great way of looking at things my friend.
    Is it though sometimes possible to over think things? I tend to mull over everything to a point where I usually tie myself in knots!. Are there always answers?. Maybe, but what are the chances of finding them? and if we did would the answer then bring us closure or would it lead to more questions being asked?. I think if you can think things through and then let it go, view it as sorted and file it away in the back of our brain some where that’s great. But sometimes a problem can’t be sorted because the person/people are no longer around to ask. You are then left guessing, and second guessing, and the thoughts are all your own. Would the other person involved have thought the way you do? Is this making any sense? goodness knows but there is a real tendency to over think and analyse instead of going with the flow. Having said that I still haven’t learned to do that lol. I always tend to think that there are always more questions than answers. Another point of view is that some things get buried so deep in our memories or should that be sub conscious mind that we would do anything than to go back to those thoughts/feelings again. Looking back we tend to see things all rosy and cosy to a point, because our minds want us to remember the good times. Lets just try to erase the bad, pretend that never happened, and all will be ok.
    Gladys Knight just went through my head there,
    if you take a listen to ‘The way we were’ and ‘Neither one of us’ it proves a point, two of the best love songs ever written in my opinion. Most of us will connect a song to a time/person in our lives. Interesting how our minds do that huh?.
    Best wishes,

  • By hilly, July 30, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

    But sometimes a problem can’t be sorted because the person/people are no longer around to ask. You are then left guessing, and second guessing, and the thoughts are all your own.

    the same happens in the first period after you have lost a loved one…the first year.
    You remember what s/he would have done/said on certain occasions. You wonder what s/he would have said/done in other circumstances. You mark the anniversaries – the birthdays the deathdays as well as any others that you shared in your lives (weddings whatever)and you project that s/he would have loved/hated this/that.
    Are these memories? Are they our interpretation or are they a reliable recollection.
    Paul uses the idea of re-membering I would like to ass another term to the process…that of re-collection. The gathering of those experiences and ‘memories’ that influence our re-membering our piecing together the past and the indications of the future that this will give us.
    If we can re-collect ourselves ‘get our heads/selves together’ then we are better equipped to re-member. We have accumulated the information that makes it possible.
    By meditating; by thinking and considering and exploring the thoughts and experiences that contribute to our being, our state of existence, by ‘collecting’ the ‘remembrances’ we can equip ourselves to filter out that which needs out deeper analysis – our thought – our remembering – and that which has become irrelevant to our well being – our mental and emotional health. We learn what to ‘dwell on’ and what to move on from.
    In the grief of loss if is not always easy to make the distinctions.
    In our journey forward we have to learn what to leave behind and what to carry with us – which memories to hold close to our hearts and which to say ‘that happened; it hurt, I learnt …. from it; it has helped me to become the me I am today and no longer the me I was the day that I lost him/her.
    It would be wrong to reject the memory; it would be impossible not to mark the date the moment in our hearts….
    but each time, after that painful miserable first time; we can move on if we re-member the even and re-collect the lessons.

    I’ve had too much wine…I hope that made sense

  • By hilly, July 30, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

    two glasses to many that should read ‘I would like to ADD’ not ‘ass’!

  • By Christine, July 30, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

    Hi Hilly, Hey I don’t make much sense most of the time but the thing is I don’t even drink lol. I can’t even blame the wine!!. Hope you have a good weekend.

    The same goes to Paul, Pam and fellow bloggers.
    :) xx

  • By carol4spot, July 30, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

    “Our ability to love is our truest power, our greatest power as human beings.” pmg

    I grew up in an environment of anger and hate. Everyday was scary and uncertain for my siblings and I. The safety of our mother, the safety for us kids. It was ugly, enough said. I did, however, find ways to deal. As a kid it was instinctual, the ways I dealt. It taught me love, which I wasn’t feeling from my father. My way to deal was simple. I found a connection to nature. I spent half my childhood in the woods behind our house. In these woods I found ‘friends’. Things and creatures I bonded with. Things I ‘loved’. Things I felt ‘loved’ me back. It was my first ‘connection’ to everything that is. Oneness. I realized from me right on down to the tiniest little bug that we were all connected. As an adult I apply the same principals with human beings.
    Love, yes it is our greatest power. It’s something we are all capable of. It gives back so much when you put love out there. It is very fulfilling. If you have awareness that we are all ‘one’ then love comes easy.
    Not one person or animal or insect on this planet ‘chose’ to be here (unless, ofcourse, there is a choice in the hereafter beyond time and space?) We have to look at it like we are all in the same boat. All going to the same place. We are all one. Not one person is better than another. Money, fame, possessions… all of those things become meaningless when you face death. It’s the ‘basics’ that matter. A connection to earth. As PMG says “plugged into a part of the phenomenon of existence. A part of a cycle. If you feel this ‘oneness’ it takes away alot of fear. We’re all in this together..let’s love one another…it feels real nice..xocarol Hi everyone!

  • By Nadine, July 30, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

    La rose ma Fleur préférée !

    si vous ne trouvez pas les mots…
    si la mémoire vous joue un tour…
    si le cœur
    n’y est pas…
    respirez…fermez les yeux…
    et pensez…a la beauté des roses…
    à la sérénité de la nuit…
    pensez à la profondeur de la mer..
    à l’amour enfuit…
    pensez aux personnes chers..
    et à la pureté de la pluie…
    pensez à la beauté de la terre…
    et à ce que je vous dit !!!!!
    moi mes cher Amis je le fais aussi !!!


    C’est magnifique ! je viens de le découvrir !

    JE VOUS LE DEDIE!!!!! Bisous à toutes et tous ! Je vous aime!!!!!!!


  • By Frances, July 31, 2010 @ 3:19 am

    sending you a “cyber hug!”
    great post.

  • By carol4spot, July 31, 2010 @ 5:08 am

    Cyber hug to you too Frances!!!!!xocarol

  • By Christine, July 31, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    Hi Carol, What an interesting post. I really admire you for turning a negative experience into a posititve one. I agree its much better to try and love one another….its what makes the world go around so they say!.
    A friend and I were discussing the importance of the little things in life; funny this subject keeps coming up but its true. A smile, a hug (even a cyber hug lol) can make all the difference in a day. Its so makes a bad day turn itself around. Remembering just how fortunate we are; yes, we all have our problems but I tend to think there is always someone who is worse off than we are. I guess its working out what is really important, and how the people we love are so important to us.
    Best wishes,
    Christine xx

  • By Christine, July 31, 2010 @ 9:56 am

    Oh and not to forget our pets. You know how loyal they are?. Doesn’t matter if my hair is standing on end first thing in the morning my two cats will always be pleased to see me. The down side? I just had my sitting room decorated and they decide to ‘feel’ the nice shiny wallpaper with their claws……lovely. Two scratch posts in one room and they do that.
    Still love them though. :)

  • By hilly, July 31, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    Carol those times in the woods must have been very tough for you and your capacity to make something positive out of it speaks volumes about your inner strength. Cyber hugs from me too.

    Christine – I know what you mean too. Mishka is there whatever happens; he must have known felt bad last night because he came and slept on the bed instead of outside where it is cool.
    I broke a tooth last night….my mind if clouded by the physical pain of a swollen gum and the ‘emergency patch’ that the duty dentist did this morning. When my dentist returns from her vacation I’ll get it fixed properly.

    For those who didn’t understand Nadine’s post….give ’til tomorrow – translating poetry is never easy and the pain killers are kicking in.

  • By Christine, August 1, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    Hi Paul, You know the word ‘detached’ is a word that is brought up on this blog a lot. As I have said a few times I am not as well educated as some of you are on here. I have real trouble understanding ‘detached’. Looking it up, it says not to get emotionally invoved. Ok so I get that, the thing is just how does one put it into practice?. Is it a conscious thought? or is it that you have to learn to do it?. Is detached the same as uncaring? no, no that can’t be right as we all know that you are a caring guy. Can you please clarify what this term means and just how you actually do it. Me? I tend to get so involved with others problems that at the end of the day I am sometimes totally drained. Ok I can’t always do a lot to help but the thing is I always feel like I should at least try to do some good. So how is it possible to help and to remain detached? help without feeling? you see my point?. From one confused person over here!!!.
    With love as always,
    Christine xx

  • By Christine, August 1, 2010 @ 9:09 am

    Oh I just thought, someone once told me the easiest way to ‘detach’ is to look and say ‘that’s not my problem’ and continue on. Now you see to me that is heartless. If we all had that attitide would anyone care or do anything for another person?. Funnily enough when I said that to him he smiled and said ‘You have just proven you can’t react without the emotions coming into play’ am I too emotional or is he too flippant? you see it just leads onto another question. :) xx

  • By hilly, August 1, 2010 @ 11:30 am

    I think that person gave you a bad definition Christine. Detached (to me) is being able to take that step back – that capacity that Paul has talked about to be able to observe our own emotions and actions.
    Take this example: there are attorneys (barristers) in most countries who will take a case in order to defend a point of law – a right; a principle- even if they do not really approve or defend their client (they may even do it pro bono). I’m thinking of a famous lawyer in France who defended a WW2 war criminal a few years ago when the man was finally dragged out of his monastic hidey-hole. He didn’t defend him because he approved of him – in fact it was pretty obvious that he didn’t really even like his client but he took his defense for 2 reasons. One was a point of law but the other was the most important – that every accused person has the right to a defense lawyer (even if his client denied that right to his victims) That is a form of detachment; to step away from the emotional part of the case and deal with the cold theory…’someone has to present his case in order for him to have a fair trial – so I do it’.
    It is sometimes the role of Devil’s Advocate.

    It is harder still when we have to step back from our own situation.
    If I may, Paul; it seems to me that you have mastered detachment in your advocacy about AIDS. You state the case; you work publicly for a cause that must have an emotional effect on you: your losses; your pride in Jake’s outstanding advocacy; your fears for him too, perhaps? – I’m guessing here but as Christine says “you are a caring guy”.
    And yet when you make a speech/give an interview you manage to appear to stay calm, your emotion is kept in check(you are an actor after all!). You don’t use your personal emotion as a prop in the proceedings; no public weeping and wailing to play the heart-strings; no loss of your personal dignity.

    …..IMHO that is detachment.

    and I wish I could do it too!

  • By Terri, August 1, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    Hi Christine, I also don’t agree with that’s “not my problem”. That is too cold for me. You may have heard the saying “but for the grace of God go I”. But I have been in many situations that someone needed help or thought they wanted my help. What I’ve learned is the only way to continue to help is to take something from each situation and remember(learn). To me it’s almost like higher education. No event, problem will be exactly the same and no result will be the same. I’ve also learned that people, friends, best friends may ask for advice and you may have good advice to give but then later they don’t like what you had to say even if you are correct and they get angry at you. I guess what I’m trying to say is take something, learn something from every situation and possibly that may help later in life if a similiar problem occurs. I still care but I don’t jump in unless asked. I don’t give to much advice but will explain how I resolved a similiar problem if it worked. However, I never hesitate to help if the problem is physical like being near if someone has an accident or needs you to do something they need done if they can’t but that’s a little different. I also enjoy helping children.I agree with Carol. No one asked to be born into a certain life. (I hope. If we do I want to change my choice). I have a dear friend who is experiencing some of what you seem to be . She jumps in to help and has “friends” not speaking to her. I keep telling her to slow down before she chooses to help but like all of us she’s still learning. Hope your having a nice weekend. We are having what I consider perfect weather. Warm with a great warm breeze. Terri

  • By Christine, August 1, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

    Hi Hilly, Thank you my friend, I think I’m on my way to getting it!! (Finally, they sigh lol). Really good examples there Hilly. Probably gets easier the more you can do it. Your comments about Paul and Jake well you have to admire them both huh?.

    Oh one last thing hope you have the toothache under control there, ouch!!. :) xx

  • By Christine, August 1, 2010 @ 1:05 pm

    Hi Terri, Your comment came on just as I answered Hilly. Thank you for the advice. I guess we learn something every day. Just for the record, I don’t usually give advice to friends unless they ask for it; but then again like you said it can sometimes backfire. Oh dear what complicated beings we are at times. I agree totally with you that the ‘its not my problem’ attitude is cold. I think I would sooner be remembered as being maybe a little too caring at times than cold huh?. You see how we all see things differently?. Hope you are having a good weekend too, nice to hear you have good weather.
    Best wishes,
    Christine. :)

  • By carol4spot, August 1, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

    Hi Everyone, thanks for the cyber hug Hilly! Christine, I went to wikipedia because they have tons of info on everything. Found these definitions. There were more for different religions but I thought these might zero in more on what PMG refers to as detachment…

    Definition of detachment: Detachment, also expressed as non-attachment, is a state in which a person overcomes his or her attachment to desire for things, people or concepts of the world and thus attains a heightened perspective.

    Detachment is a central concept in Zen Buddhist philosophy. One of the most important technical Chinese terms for detachment is “wu nian” (無念), which literally means “no thought.” This does not signify the literal absence of thought, but rather the state of being “unstained” (bu ran 不然) by thought. Therefore, “detachment” is being detached from one’s thoughts. It is to separate oneself from one’s own thoughts and opinions in detail as to not be harmed mentally and emotionally by them.
    I think when it comes to other people’s problems you have to remove from your head how YOU would do something or fix something. That’s taking things personally and in effect getting you worked up emotionally. What you need to do is ‘detach’ from your own thoughts and you’ll see their problems or issues with a better perspective because you’re not taking it ‘on’ yourself. You ‘remove’ yourself if you will. As PMG says, “I can sit apart, while being a part of..”
    Ok, I think I am now thoroughly confused. xocarol

  • By hilly, August 1, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

    Thanks for that Carol , non-attachment is what I was groping for in the fuzz that is my brain at the moment.
    I’ve had an exhausting weekend what with a broken tooth a sore mouth an the headache it brought with it via my sinuses and the inflamed nerve so I was taking painkillers all the time. Add to that a 7 year old great-nephew and …..going back to work today will be a ‘rest’.
    when I’ve got it together I promise I’ll translate Nadine’s lovely poem and try to think straight.

    PS to those of you who may not have seen it – on the EGPAF site there is a video of Jake speaking to the CWA. He is an exceptional young man…

  • By Frances, August 2, 2010 @ 3:39 am

    I have just watched the tape that Hilly spoke about.

    I have to say that watching it really showed me how his fathers words are played out in his sons’s life. Watching his sons honest opinion of his Dad, shows me that he (Paul) tries to live his words and thoughts every day. In all honesty how many of us take the time (or even HAVE the time)to REALLY look at our lives and TRY to live well?, (In my own case its teeny tiny steps).

    It really strengthened my resolve to look at what really matters in my life.

    Take Care.

  • By Frances, August 2, 2010 @ 3:54 am

    Hope I am not breaking any Rules, but here is the clip!!

  • By Christine, August 2, 2010 @ 9:27 am

    Hi Carol, Thank you so much for taking the time to find out more, I really appreciate your kindness. Yes, I think a light bulb went on!!. Now lets see how long it stays on lol. You see it just proves that I sometimes struggle to keep up with you guys, wish I was as smart as some of you, but thats life huh?. Your post was so interesting Carol, I think I shall try to look more into it. :)

    Hi Hilly and Frances,
    I’m sure Paul must be so proud of Jake; and vice versa. They are both so positive and have a great way at looking at life. Did you notice in the interview just how much Jake is like his father? same humour, same mannerism’s a truly wonderful young man. A son to be proud of.
    :) xx

  • By hilly, August 2, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    You know Christine Jake once referred to his father as his “lighthouse in a storm” and that phrase stuck in my mind.

  • By Christine, August 3, 2010 @ 12:26 am

    Hi Hilly, Yes, I saw that interview too. You know what is really lovely is the amount of love Jake shows towards his dad. I always get a lump in my throat watching Jake’s interviews as he speaks from the heart. Like father, like son
    huh?. :)
    Oh and by the way Hilly, hope you are feeling better. xx

  • By hilly, August 3, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

    Better late than never; here’s the translation of Nadine’s post:

    The Rose is my favorite flower
    If you can not find the words….
    if memory plays tricks on you….
    if you’re heart
    isn’t in it …
    breathe…close your eyes…
    and think…..of the roses’ beauty…
    of night-time serenity…
    think of the ocean’s depths…
    of buried love….
    think of people dear to you…
    and of the rain’s purity…
    think of the beauty of the Earth…
    and of what I’m saying to you!
    My dear friends,I’m doing the same


    This is wonderful and I’ve just found it. I dedicate it to you all. I send you all my love

  • By Softly, August 4, 2010 @ 1:51 am

    What about that great % of our mind that we ‘don’t use?’

    Blog: Hello everyone.

    I was pondering that question and I wonder what goes on in the brain anyway, is it just thoughts?

    Then I saw a documentary in which a man got his brain scanned, you could see different parts of his brain light up, all depending on the question asked or stimuli given. For instance when he was asked to fabricate a story a different part of his brain was active then when he was asked to remember something and when his feet got tickled a whole new area lit up.

    Recent studies have found the part of the brain that lights up when compassion is experienced, a discovery that happen quite by chances when a man was brought in with a knife stuck in his brain, he was “fine” no brain damages except one part of his brain was no longer active and he lost the ability to be compassionate. After researching this they located that part of the brain that lights up in most humans when compassion is experienced. Just to side step a little…they went further and even found that specific area in dog brains.

    By now we know that different parts of the brain help us see and hear, store memories or solve mathematical problems.
    The labelling of what we see, hear, store or solve is going on in our brain as well. We need labels to make sense of our sensations

    I felt down the stairs a few years back and badly twisted my ankle, a friend of mine found me at the bottom of the stairs screaming in pain. He called the ambulance and sat with me while waiting for it to arrive. This man happened to be a hypnotherapist and we had dabbled with different kinds of awareness for a long time, so it was not strange to me when he ask me to go to a different state of mind, he asked me basically to label the sensation I felt in my ankle not as pain but as a healing and I did. The excruciating pain dissolved in a sensation of warmth and when I arrived in the hospital I could no longer experience the pain. This made it very difficult for the doctor, who had only the labels of pain, to understand the severity of my injury.

    The mind doesn’t feel.
    It thinks.

    Blog: Home

    My mind thought pain so I sensed pain, my mindset changed and the sensation changed.

    What about what we experience with/in our senses?
    Do we feel love in our mind?

    Blog: Put on your other set of glasses.

    For me I feel that the answer lies in the labelling of the chain of events we call experience. When we dissect and label every link in that experience we almost feel that we can take out one link and understand the whole. It is like saying the engine is the car and can function separate from the body work as a car.

    Labelling and dissecting in it self is not a bad thing, when used right it can even help us to experience the whole on a deeper level. But when we get stuck on a label or the need to know the whole while dissecting just one link, we get lost in discussions about right and wrong, left or right, me or you.

    For sure there are parts of the brain we don’t use or don’t have access to when we feel we need it. We all have those moments that you know the title of a book, it’s on the tip of your tong, you can almost feel your mouth form the words, but…nothing …and then when you least expect it a light goes on and you know.

    So no doubt that there are more parts of the brain that are still in the dark.
    Maybe the only way to make full use of our brain is to stop seeing it as separate from the rest of our senses and exercise our ability to be whole. Complete with our experiences of creative and linear chain of events, like an athlete exercising his body or a mathematician exercising his thoughts.

    So to experience the whole we need to lighten up.

    Or as it was so eloquently put by mr Glaser

    As humans, we have the gift of consciousness and the ability to focus our minds on the act of witnessing our existence without judgement or the need to define or know. That’s when we feel God, truth, love…

    Blog: Ruminating on sound.

  • By Christine, August 4, 2010 @ 9:46 am

    Hi Softly, What an interesting post. Makes you wonder doesn’t it?. Remember that old saying ‘mind over matter’? maybe this kind of proves that point to a degree.
    Best wishes,

  • By hilly, August 4, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    the brain cannot feel pain but it can interpret it. Softly, your tale of the twisted ankle is fascinating to me. We speak of a ‘pain threshold’; the point at which each of us feels pain and interprets its intensity.
    When we anticipate pain it is worse. If you close your eyes or turn away when you have an injection (shot) it never hurts as much as if you are watching waiting for the needle to enter your body.
    Our mind dominates the matter.
    here we go again…our mind? it interprets? on its own? with no help from our awareness?
    To pick up Softly’s reference to an athlete – runners know that there is a moment when you ‘go through’ the pain – when you realise that you can keep going despite the fact that your legs ache or your breathing is harder…and then you come through to the other side and running gets easier. but if you don’t will yourself through that barrier you never get beyond the first 100 yards.
    “will yourself”….where’s there’s a will there’s a way…

  • By hilly, August 4, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    ps why has the whole thread gone into italics?

  • By jools, August 4, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

    Not quite sure what has happened – this page is completely blank when accessed through Internet Explorer, but visible now that I’ve come online through Godzilla Firefox… how peculiar???

  • By carol4spot, August 4, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Jools, Do what I did, DELETE Internet Explorer and only use Firefox…Internet Explorer stinks. They caused alot of problems with my computer and ever since I deleted them ALL the problems went away..sorry internet explorer…but hey..good luck..xocarol

  • By fee, August 5, 2010 @ 2:21 am

    Definitely weird. Jools, dear, have you been watching too many horror movies?? “Godzilla” Firefox!!!! Heheh!!!

    Carol, I agree re IE as I use Mozilla all the time now.

    Hope you manage to fix it soon Pam. It will be interesting to see how my post comes up.

    Softly that was an interesting comment re the pain in your ankle. It is amazing what the mind does isn’t it?

  • By hilly, August 5, 2010 @ 3:31 am

    piping up here as another Mozilla Firefox convert… I use Google Chrome at work. Anything to avoid IE!

    And coming back to the thread – sort of but wandering around at the same time.

    I watched Jake’s interview on CNN last night (got two copies now LOL) and I was so impressed (as usual). How nice to hear a young man refer to his father as his ‘Bhudda’ his teacher.
    What a compliment to you Paul.

  • By fee, August 5, 2010 @ 5:35 am

    I will second that comment of Hilly’s Paul. I also watched that interview and was very impressed. Lovely to hear a young man compliment his father like that. Jake is an amazing young man.

  • By jools, August 5, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    Oh good grief, you know how I hate doing grown-up stuff on my computer… if I delete IE, my computer might blow up or something! I’m not madly keen on Firefox, but I have been avoiding IE’s attempts to update to IE8… oh lordy lordy, change what I’m used to, or take the plunge?????
    I do wish these bloomin’ people would make everything consistent, so luddites like what I am wouldn’t get into a flat panic with all the different jargon, facilities and ways to access what you need.
    What I don’t understand is why it’s only this page that’s gone doolally?!

  • By jools, August 5, 2010 @ 11:49 am

    The page still isn’t showing; maybe it is my computer??

  • By Christine, August 5, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    Hi Jools and Hilly, Just to throw a spanner in the works lol I use IE and am having no problems connecting to this blog…………yet!! Hope it keeps up as like you Jools I am not good with computers lol.

    Just to add I too have just seen Jake’s interview doesn’t he just fill you with admiration? Nice to see a young man who is so down to earth. You have done a wonderful job Paul he is a credit to you. xx

  • By Christine, August 5, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    Oh and Jools you made me laugh its so long since I heard the word ‘doolally’. My late mother used to use it years ago. :)

  • By jools, August 6, 2010 @ 12:10 am

    Oy… well, IE isn’t deleted from my computer yet, but it is an ex-Server as far as I’m concerned! I downloaded Google Chrome last night, played with it for a bit and then had to go and lie down in a darkened room. To be fair it was past 11pm, so beddie-byes time anyway.

    This morning, although my computer didn’t exactly have any plosions – ex or im – when I turned it on, it did keep coming up with some of those ‘messages’ that are in geek-speak and tell you they’ve done this or that and you need to sign away your life or dire things will happen if you don’t press the correct button; and do you send error reports or not – do they ever do any good? I doubt it. Then you have to re-boot and start all over again.

    Now – so far so good; damn computers for becoming such an integral part of our lives… says she, while whispering endearments and apologies to this not at all inanimate object at the same time.
    At least this page has lost its invisibility cloak via my new search engine, and I can see what y’all are saying again!

  • By fee, August 6, 2010 @ 12:48 am

    Teeheeheehee!!! Jools, you are the “living end” Lol. I thought I was bad with computers But you are something else again dear!!! Doolally indeed!!! Still giggling here.
    Sorry folks, I have gone off topic again but blame Jools this time!! “giggle”

  • By hilly, August 6, 2010 @ 3:26 am

    Hey Jools, don’t make it bad, get rid of IE, and make it better….(ooops! sorry I was watching documentaries about he Beatles and the 60s last night and my brain has gone into rewind.)

    -No seriously dear; if you want a bit of help you know where to find me. sounds like your comp may need an itsy bitsy spring clean (or whatever)

  • By hilly, August 6, 2010 @ 3:27 am

    topic? oh yes….I saw a great quote about the mind yesterday; if I can remember where I’ll repost it. I remember thinking ‘that’s just what someone was saying on the blog’ but then Eric Burdon and the Animals started singing House of the Rising sun on the TV and my brain went pre-internet

  • By Rachelle, August 6, 2010 @ 6:07 am

    Hello all!
    I’m having the same issue on I.E. the blog is blank and I can only see it on Mozilla Firefox. My family prefers Firefox anyways and always tells me it’s the best and to use it over Explorer.*g*

    Hilly – thanks for translating Nadine’s poem it’s very nice!

    Frances – Thanks for sharing the interview with Jake.

    Happy Friday everyone! :)

  • By Frances, August 6, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    No Problem Rachelle,

    A happy Friday to you all

    Take Care.


  • By hilly, August 6, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    don’t worry Pam. I wonder what happens if I try this….

    if this works this will not be in italics

  • By hilly, August 6, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    obviously not!

    I found the piece about mindfulness BTW…here is part of it. I know my friend Gurudas won’t mind me sharing his ideas with you. Links don’t always work here so Google ‘the dharmadude” and you should find him

    “Mindfulness goes beyond the description of an “ideal”. It becomes, with practice, more than a state of mind. Mindfulness brings one’s attention to the moment — interiorly and exteriorly, until that awareness realises that there is no interior or exterior. Mindfulness notices, without judging, the thoughts that arise at every moment. Mindfulness informs that recognition that these are only thoughts, and thoughts can be changed.

    When we are mindful, we find a loosening of the seeming constrictions of life’s stressors. The stressors certainly continue to arise, but because we are mindful of their true nature, we can allow ourselves to notice: “Ah! There is something that is triggering thoughts of stress, or anger, or frustration.” The stress doesn’t simply vanish, but it loses its perceived power. Mindfulness alerts us to the motives, fears and unwholesome thoughts that contribute directly to suffering in our experiences, so that we can replace those with wholesome, compassionate and balanced thoughts and perceptions.”………….

    To my mind this next bit is the crux of it all:

    ….”Perhaps the greatest reason for mindfulness, however, is that it will always make us aware of the need for compassion, understanding, dialogue, reconciliation, kindness and service. And once we allow our awareness to naturally turn toward these needs, we will eventually train the mind to stay focused on the importance of these things. And where one is mindful and aware of the need for compassion, one will always discover the source of true and lasting peace, calm abiding and unconditional satisfaction.”

    Politicians and preachers take note!

  • By Christine, August 6, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    Hi Hilly, Thank you for posting that. It is a really interesting way to look at things. I will ‘google’ it. Hope you are feeling better have a good weekend. :)

    Hi Paul, Pam and everyone, I hope you all have a good weekend too. xx :)

  • By hilly, August 6, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

    and staying off topic (or on the digression!) I learnt a wile ago that sometimes a site you are using will ‘block’ a toolbar…well while I was posting my last comment my Google toolbar disappeared Now I have to remember what I was told to d to get it back!

  • By Christine, August 7, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

    Isn’t it funny sometimes how our minds work?. We sometimes talk about dreams and their meaning. Just thought I would share this with you. I follow a routine every day to give myself my insulin; twice daily before breakfast and before our evening meal. Three times this week I have overslept, (you know you do the old trick of switching off the alarm, just to snooze for those extra few minutes and wake up maybe 2 hours later!!) Well the last three times I did this, I actually had a dream that I had missed my insulin times, and that in turn woke me up. Is it the sub-conscious waking me up or do we dream sometimes as quite literally a wake up call!!. Another thing about dreams has anyone ever had a dream which has happened a few days later? a premonition? its only happened to me a couple of times but it scared the hell out of me. I think that sometimes we are more tuned in than we think we are to people or situations.
    with love as always,
    Christine xx

  • By hilly, August 8, 2010 @ 12:06 am

    ah Christine I didn’t know you were diabetic – that’s a bummer!
    I believe that our bodies tell us what they need. I have always needed salt. When I have been exercising I often crave something salted afterwards…my mind focuses on a packet of crisps (potato chips)…but quite often just a little salt on my finger does the trick (and I have trouble starting the day without my Marmite fix!). So when you have those dreams maybe it is your body sounding the alarm for you?

    Dreams as premonitions…that and the sensation of déjà vu…where does one end and the other begin? I think we all have a capacity for ‘clairvoyance’ but some develop it consciously, some can not stop it happening, and some do not have the degree of awareness necessary for the ‘vision’ to be clear.

  • By Frances, August 8, 2010 @ 2:58 am

    I don’t really like talking about this kind of thing, but I just wanted to say that these kind of experiences are not always positive. I have had a premonition although I was wide awake at the time!!. I met someone close who told me about some good news, but as they were leaving I just “KNEW” that what they were looking foreword to was not going to work out the way they wanted. I was very uncomfortable about it but didn’t tell anyone as I didn’t want to be seen as at the very least “unstable”!!. I pushed the incident to the back of my mind and put it down to my “imagination”, but a month later my premonition came true and to be honest it scared the living daylights out of me. I have only ever mentioned it to a couple of close family and friends. I don’t like even thinking about it now. I know that the rest of you have had experiences that have helped you in some way, but I have thought about it a lot and can’t think of a reason why, I of all people “KNEW” it was going to happen, as I couldn’t have warned them about it (and chances are they wouldn’t have taken me seriously anyway). It was wasted on me. I know that things like this are supposed to be given to people who are “open” to that kind of thing, but I honestly hope it never happens again.

    I know that every experience is supposed to teach us something about our lives but this one has me stumped!!

    Take Care.

  • By carol4spot, August 8, 2010 @ 5:48 am

    Hi everyone..I may be a little behind here, but I just watched the youtube video (thanks frances for making it a ‘click’ away). I must say that Jake is very inspiring and positive, but let’s not forget that Elisabeth was an AMAZING woman. She is the role model for me and who I want to ‘be when I grow up’ !!! PMG was blessed to have her as a wife and partner in his life and I’m sure she ‘inspired’ in him alot of what he believes in…xocarol

  • By carol4spot, August 8, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    Christine, sorry to hear you are dealing with diabetes. That’s a tough one. I will keep you in my prayers (I don’t know if that is a politically correct term on this blog, but, it’s all good coming from here no matter what). Anyway, in re to your comment..perhaps we are creatures of habit and your biological clock was programmed and nothing can change it, even exhaustion. Our bodies do amazing things. I get up every morning my whole life and have never used an alarm clock..never..my body knows. Perhaps when we are sleeping, recharging, whatever you call it, our minds are completely aware. As PMG says, “What about that great % of our mind that we ‘don’t use.’

    Maybe we do use it. Maybe we use it when we sleep? Isn’t sleep our most ‘creative’ experience in our existence? ”
    So, maybe it’s the part of our brain not used during awake hours but used while we sleep? Hmm, interesting.
    Frances, maybe you were using that part of your brain that’s normally not used while awake? I hope it wasn’t too tragic of a story for your friend though..thanks for sharing..xocarol

  • By Frances, August 8, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    Hi Carol4spot,
    It was a difficult time, but things have moved on now, and no one was traumatised by it.(at least I don’t think so!)
    I often think “was it just coincidence??” maybe, I would like to think that was all it was, but what I can’t forget is how strong and sure I was about the whole thing. Anyway just goes to show how the brain works and not always in the way we expect, how many people in the world experience similar things like deja vu (millions and millions). Just like Christine, I know how scary it can be. It was a one off and sincerely hope it stays that way!.

    Christine, hope you are well,

    Take Care.

  • By Christine, August 8, 2010 @ 11:38 am

    Hi Hilly, Yes, I have been diabetic 35 years now, so long its like second nature to me. I think diabetes in itself isn’t so much the problem as the complications it can cause, that can be a bit of a pain sometimes but hey there are worse things huh?.
    As for dreaming etc, some things we just can’t explain, the minds a funny thing.

    Hi Frances, I’m really sorry if bringing up the topic has brought back any bad memories for you.
    Best wishes to you.

    Hi Carol, Thank you for your kind words. There is so much we need to learn about ourselves and how our minds work huh?. There is much we can research on the internet too. Although I have to say I’m not the worlds greatest on the computer.
    One more point here which is way off topic (sorry!) you know when you type a long comment and then you hit the wrong key and the whole thing vanishes before your eyes? where the heck does it go? I can never find it again. Little things bug the hell out of me…..just thought I’d mention it lol :) xx

  • By Frances, August 9, 2010 @ 2:31 am

    Hi Christine,
    Bringing up the topic didn’t bother me I am fine. It was really the “experience” that frightened me. I had no control over what I “KNEW” (you know the steps we take to reach a conclusion). It’s that fear thing again and not being in control, that’s what shook me, when you sit and try to reason things out and ask yourself “how did I know that, and why?. I suppose it’s us struggling with the logical and the spiritual parts of our minds.
    I would like to be able to take things like that in my stride, but I guess I have a LONG road to go to Spiritual fulfilment!!.lol

    anyway look after yourself,

    Take Care.

  • By Christine, August 10, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    Hi Frances, Oh good, I’m so pleased you aren’t upset. Thank you for the kind words.
    Best wishes,

  • By Christine, August 11, 2010 @ 2:37 am

    You know when you are young, and your parents say you will one day find the ‘perfect’ man/woman?.
    Just sitting thinking about this at 4am this morning; perhaps that’s where the problems start? We are taught to always look for the ideal, the best, Mr perfect? is there really anyone who is perfect?. Maybe in the thoughts that flow through our minds we assume he/she is everything we want/need or yearn for but does it stand up in reality?. No relationship is in my opinion (and what do I know lol) perfect. Sure, we all know couples that appear to have it all, but do they really?.
    Maybe as we get older we become more unrealistic in our efforts to find our soulmate.
    You know they reckon the time you stop looking for love you will find it…..I stopped looking years ago so where is this guy?. You see to me you can’t beat a sense of humour in a man. If he can make you laugh you are half way to happiness. Humour can get you through the tough times.
    My friends have told me since my divorce to go find dare I say it Mr Perfect?. My answer is always the same lol I have enough problems without adding to them with a man!!. They throw the line that ‘not all men are the same’ question is if this is true how come I keep meeting the wrong guy?.
    How many times does your heart get broken before you say no more.
    Incase you haven’t realized, I’m in a blame men for everything mood!!.
    Of course, our blog host? he isn’t included in my man rant. Me biased? just a bit. :) xx

  • By hilly, August 11, 2010 @ 3:27 am

    hahahaha Christine…nobody’s perfect and no body’s perfect either!
    My mum never tried to fool me with that one…she said that just when you think a man is the right one he’ll ask you to wash his socks.
    I have always refused a man who doesn’t know how to use the washing machine (and the iron)!
    Is this why I ended up with a cat instead?

  • By Christine, August 11, 2010 @ 3:32 am

    Hi Hilly, Oh my goodness, I have two cats!! Is this the way forward? lol. No men in our lives just cats to fuss over?…………. lovely! :)

  • By hilly, August 11, 2010 @ 11:11 am

    I hasten to add that mine is a (semi) male cat ;)

    I did find an almost perfect man once (purrfect even – he had 2 cats) ahem…they rejoiced in the names of S*****y and H***h. But all good things came to an end in the end!

    Good grief – where has this thread taken us?

  • By hilly, August 11, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

    coming back to the topic (I think); Frances, do you think we can achieve Spiritual fulfillment. I have a feeling that the journey has no final station. Even after we have shaken off this mortal coil – will we go on to seek that fulfillment in another life?
    A thought.

  • By carol4spot, August 11, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

    uh oh.. what’s with the casino stuff under recent comments? Is this blog under attack?

  • By hilly, August 13, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    odds on someone thinks they are being clever (again)…so lets leave them to play (russian) roulette …..

  • By sstormc, April 3, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    I’ve often wondered about sleep, Paul. “They” say we only use a small part of our brain. I think there is much that goes on when we are sleeping that we do not consciously remember.

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