Enlightenment 101

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A blogpost on the inner critic continues this week as I look to its connection with the placater or pleaser role that many of us fulfill at some point in our lives. What is it like, for example, when we say “Thanks” to someone when we want to say “Goodbye”? Or what does it mean when we butter up a crowd to make them love us? Has saying the ‘right’ thing become an epidemic today? Perhaps it has somehow served me in my life up until now, but it is no longer something I am happy to continue with. Continue reading

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Real beauty, real presence

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I experienced an unexpected dip in mood since last week’s Camino journey. As indicated, I released myself from much pain of my critical mind while walking in Spain and the experience of ‘full absorption’ brought great inner freedom. But, I returned to impulsive judgements as I settled into my routine in Dublin. A bad habit distorted my peaceful state and I had to execute a recovery plan to get me back on track. At the same time, I had a desire to let non-judgemental presence become part of my ordinary life, not just confined to a moment or two. I wanted something more. Continue reading

Full absorption

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The bright moon does not shine to guide the night traveller” – Zen saying.

I joined my two brothers for the last leg of the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage in Northern Spain. They had started a few weeks before me and by the time I arrived they had already been named ‘the express train’ for their fast pace along the way. At an intuitive level, I became aware of an invitation to enter into a deeper way of being on the flight over to Spain. That was to let go of the inner voice of judgement, turning instead to a pure observing mind, one with gentleness and simplicity. Continue reading

Joie de vivre

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Maintaining a balanced mood can appear boring and totally uneventful at first glance, but in fact it is the most exciting journey of all. Who wouldn’t want to be connected with their inner flame, their calmness, their joie de vivre? When we are balanced in mind, heart and body, we see the little moments as bursts of loveliness, and we tune in to the resurrection spirit.

Vigilant of total disconnect

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How painful it is when I am with other people but feel totally alone. My mind is scrambled with buzzing images, thoughts that I perceive are voices. And my feelings are everywhere… spiralling out of control. I need help and fast.

I ponder a totally disordered mind; the things I normally take for granted are not working properly. The inner critic is like the owner of a vicious dog who ties him up, starves him and beats him. This evil wants me to be unbalanced so that I can be dominated by mindless attachments. How can I slow down and connect? My heart is stuck in a coma of numbness. I tell myself it is better this way than having to listen to my feelings which appear so complicated. I tell people that I’m in top form, yet I am crumbling inside. How am I supposed to find peace in this chaos of being? How can I step back and see the big picture? How can I listen to the sound of sheer silence? Continue reading

Vigilant of the ultimate gloom

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Oh, the heaviness, the despair, the sad, sad feeling of dread, of defeat. I feel like a dead body washed up on the beach, no good to anyone, no more living. And I feel as though it is all my fault, that I deserve to be dead.

I ponder the destructive state of dread. In terms of the inner critic, the pointed finger is replaced by a vicious dog foaming at the mouth. There is no more momentum. Just looking to my sinfulness and woefulness. My mind is in chaos: spiralling in negativity and fixed on the mud and darkness of the world. How can I be vigilant? My heart is also bruised and battered. It was once alive and well with the optimism of my dreams, but that has now receded leaving me to dwell on my uselessness and lack of productivity. I have no sense of gratitude and I feel far away from ‘God’ who desires to spur me to fullness of life. How can I get back my peace and serenity? Continue reading