Shiva statue in the Ganges at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, 2011

Effort and Awakening

Satchitananda “Knowledge of the truth of existence is bliss” Words can be so confusing. In our practice of postural yoga and meditation, terms from Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese or Japanese are often used because they describe more accurately than Western languages the deeper meaning of what one is trying to convey. One of these terms is […]

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The real nature of karma

With so much madness in our world it’s really hard to avoid being drawn into the negativity and dualistic thinking (good/bad, us/them…) that perpetuates it. We say we want peace but we attack others for their opinions, whether it be what food to eat (as in “go vegan to protect animals from violence, or else […]

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Holi Moly – Spring is finally here!

We’ve just passed spring equinox and this week’s full moon (also a lunar exclipse!) highlights big celebrations in nearly every major religion. Despite the superficial differences, all these traditions have so much in common! Holi is the South Asian festival of colours, which I love because – at least for one day – all people […]

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Redefining who we are

Freshly back from a month in India and I must admit I’m reluctant to jump back into the noise of connectivity, but with a very potent solar eclipse happening overnight tonight (Tuesday), I couldn’t stay silent. If ever there was a time to focus on your spiritual journey, this is it! This is a South-Node […]

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Clearing space for something new

We’ve just passed the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, known as a Cross-Quarter Day, and the shift in energy is palpable. Celebrated as Imbolc by old pagan tradition, and Candle Mas by old Christian tradition, this is a time of reckoning – taking stock of what needs to be kept and […]

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Untangling from the stickiness of emotions

As I write this, my neighbour’s house is on fire, on a sunny afternoon, just outside my window, one street away. I saw the dark billows of smoke almost at the same time as I heard the increasingly noisy sirens, and realised I knew this house. Unexpected things happen to us all the time, some […]

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Be your true to your Self

For many years (decades!?) I struggled with the sharp contrast between how I wanted to live and how I actually lived, trying hard to do the things that people around me seemed to enjoy or find important, yet generally feeling inadequate, frustrated and pretty much out of the loop because I wasn’t interested in those […]

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How can we cultivate trust in life?

“We must let go of the life we had planned to live the life we are given.” ~ Joseph Campbell Earlier this week, a student wrote to me with this profound insight: “Sometimes I have the impression I can accept what is, but I still feel fear or moments of panic when I think about […]

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A plea for mindfulness in mindless times

If we are truly mindful, we can see that nothing is at it appears to be. Looking deeply, as all sages have taught, shows us that the root cause of our suffering can be traced back to our thoughts, and acts of violence that promote further suffering can themselves be traced back to earlier suffering […]

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Shedding light on our darkness

Om asatoma sat gamaya | Tamasoma jyotir gamaya | Mrtyor mamritam gamaya || Lead us from untruth to truth (from the unreal to the real), from the darkness of ignorance to the light of awareness, from a fear of death to the knowledge of our immortality ~ Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.3.28) In India, Wednesday’s new moon […]

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