“Ists” and “Isms”…

Soul mate. Betrothed. Life partner. Wife. She’d be the first one to admit she is not very philosophical, nor is she scientific, nor religious.

As we lay next to each other last night before hypnogogia set in, I was reading an interesting piece on HuffPost relating to the belief scale, from materialist science to fundamentalist religion and all points in between, she was checking what was going on in the “real world” over at Facebook.

As I read on, stroking my everlong beard and grunting in approval to what was being presented by the author, she turned to me and said something quite profound:

“What are you actually looking for? Why do you spend so much time trying to fit yourself into a certain category, why can’t you just be you? I don’t fit into any category and I’m not concerned by that, I live in the here and now and don’t care too much of the past and the future, living in the now is what’s importantly surely?”

Well knock me over with a set of meditation beads. I’ve read a lot recently (mostly of Buddhist orientation) but here was a statement which summed it all up in one breath. She is of course right (as wives always are of course) and living in the now is the most important thing, having supporting Buddhist principles (the Four Noble Truths) can also help in dealing with the now situation so it has not been wasted time by any means.

Living in synchronicity with everyone and everything in the Universe is something “we” should all aspire to (on the basis the “we” are all one anyway).

Snippets from the article in question below:


It’s time to use the power of the Internet to confront the two great strands of the modern world, the “two cultures”: the scientific, and the humanistic. Must these two cultures run on separate tracks? Must they be at war with each other? Or could conflict shift to comprehension?

We are not talking about making science into a religion, or religion into a science. We are talking about finding the unity in diversity that’s basic for a healthy community.

Both religion and science are key factors of life in our communities. There is no question that religion plays a crucial role in how humans make meaning, create community, act politically, and find mandates for how to live a good life. We can say the same thing about science. It, too, plays a crucial role in our life already because of all the science-based technologies we use. They shape how we live, what we consume, and what we want to, and can achieve.

Both religion and science shape the way we see the world, and for that reason they shape how we act in the world. We all carry a view of the world in our head and act in light of it whether we know it or not. The trouble is that religion and science create different, and in some respects opposing, views. The time has come to look at these views and see whether their contrasts really are a chronic, irremediable cause for conflict. Conflict between religion and science is dangerous, for it rends asunder the fabric of society and can degenerate into violence.

Of course, there is not just one science worldview and one religion worldview but as many as there are science-minded and religion-minded people in the world. Yet there are some typical features of the individual worldviews, and these are useful when we try to compare them and seek to understand their agreements and disagreements.

Take, for example, the typical worldviews of the following people:

The Classical Scientist
The world, including all things and all people, is but a collection of bits of matter that move about in space, impacting each other. There is no meaning or intention behind this, it’s just the way things are. If you think differently, you only project your own subjective values and feelings into the objective, and objectively meaningless, world. The worldview of the classical scientist is that of Newtonian physics: the universe is a giant mechanism that runs harmoniously, if meaninglessly, through all eternity. It’s the view of most of the people who consider themselves scientific. The classical scientist is on the science end of the scale. He is in direct opposition to the orthodox religionist, who, particularly if he is a fundamentalist, is on the other end.

The Orthodox Religionist
The world we experience is the work of a divine Creator. It’s not the entire world or even the highest world; it’s only the temporary world below, the precursor of the eternal world above. The earthly world derives its meaning from the will of its Creator, and human beings achieve their personal worth and ultimately gain their salvation by obeying His commands. The worldview of the orthodox religionist is shared by the devout Christian, Jew, and Muslim. The world is the creation of a transcendent God and testifies to His omnipotent will and spirit.

The Mystic
The entire world, with all things in it, is infused with spirit and consciousness. We are who we are, and everything is what it is, because of the divine spark we all embody. The entire cosmos is a whole and is holy in its entirety. The world of the mystic is the world of traditional peoples and Eastern religions. It’s a world infused by spirit and consciousness; all things are alive and everything that happens to them has deeper meaning. The mystic is on the religion side, but he is not at its end, for he is generally less explicit and dogmatic than either the classical scientist or the fundamentalist religionist.

The Atheist
The only things that are real in the world are the kind of things that we see with our own eye and grasp with our own hand. The rest is just talk, illusion or wishful thinking. The atheist’s worldview is clear-cut: only what we can see and touch is real, everything else is imagination or wishful thinking. The modern atheist is dogmatic on what he claims to be the side of science. He is opposed to all views that claim that reality has a higher dimension.

The New Scientist
We can know the world by following the scientific method: codifying and quantifying the data of human experience and applying the laws of reason to them. This gives us a complex world furnished not only by what we can touch and see, but also by quarks, black holes, and quantum fields, things too small, too large, or too subtle to perceive. The new scientist should be open to all ways of thinking about the world but tends to disregard or dismiss ways that don’t measure up to his concept of sound knowledge. The new scientist’s worldview is in principle open to everything we can experience and to everything we can rationally derive from experience, as long as it’s verified by repeatable observation and controlled experiment.

These are the prototypes of the principal kinds of world views people espouse today, even if they don’t espouse them as cleanly and starkly as this. They line up along a scale with science on the one end and religion on the other.

What about you and me, what kind of worldview do we hold? Only you can answer the question regarding your own view. Entering this “worldview café” doesn’t need to make you collapse your differences or become dominated by just one kind of view. Instead, it can create a better appreciation of your differences and a greater willingness to live with them.

After all, we all share the same planet and would best share it without ignoring, dismissing, or denigrating each other. A little more understanding could produce a good deal more tolerance and a greater will to live together in peace. This would be a good thing indeed in a world rent by incomprehension and miscommunication and rocked by occasional violence.


Based on the above, I would say that I was primarily a Mystic with New Scientist tendencies, but perhaps as my wife has said, I should focus on being me…


We are equal. We are One….

When one possesses the wisdom of the Buddha (in part of course, not in whole), it is easier to empathise with others, especially when confronted by aggression and anger.

When one truly understands that aggression and anger in others is merely a by-product of suffering, anxiety and disorder (dukkha), then the path to forgiveness is but a small step.

It is easy to sound self-righteous when when one is in a position of wisdom, so it is wise to choose ones words carefully when suggesting potential paths for others to take to potentially overcome what pains them; sensitively is required (and perhaps explaining to others that your are free from suffering is best kept to oneself).

Boldly sharing our own negative experiences and explaining how we obtained serenity and peace can often help in such situations.

We all learn by our mistakes and there are always solutions to resolve the root causes of such pain, one just needs to open ones eyes and see the reality of the situation and understand that the solution lies within. Nothing external can fix root cause problems; no pill, no drink, no drug, no advice can eradicate the suffering. Understanding our internal landscape is the key to peace and the gateway to a better life.

A situation happened in work yesterday which made me put in practice what I had learned from the Buddha (via the sage words of Steve Hagen). I had scheduled a meeting in a room at work, but when I arrived there were three occupants in the room. I very politely asked them to leave as I had booked the room in advance and the male turned around and started verbally abusing me, followed up by an aggressive confrontation whereby marched right up to be, putting his face in mine, staring deep into my eyes with such venom. I was in shock at first that such a thing had happened in a global corporation such as mine, promptly apologised to my guest (new customer) and advised that his actions were not representative of the attitude or principles of the company.

Initially I was livid, angry that someone had tried to use their authority / loftier position in the organisation to intimidate me and gain advantage (and my meeting room). After a moment of calm, I soon realised that the confrontation was a reflection on him and of his evident dukkha, so forgiveness was instant. Whether I seek out an escalation to make sure he is aware that his behaviour in our organisation is totally unacceptable is yet to be determined.

I could have given him confrontation back (and a previous version of me probably would have done that and then some) but instead chose not to. I am not a better man than him and he is not a better man the I. We are equal. The difference between us is that I am awake, I understand that it is dukkha that creates such situations, I am understand that dukkha exists and I am aware and in control of mine and he is not. Just because someone has received a better education (him being a privately educated attorney (so I found out) and me being comprehensively educated IT geek), just because someone is further up the chain of command (he being several grades above me (so I found out) in the organisation), just because someone is paid a significant amount extra (a + b = c) does not make him a better person. We are equal.

We. Are. All. Equal.

We. Are. All. One…

The Descent of Man…

Reality itself may well be an illusion, be it optical, aural or otherwise. Reality itself may well be a hologram, a projection from or of the singularity, the one true source.

If you (like me) believe in the theory that there is a central existential core that resides beyond the confines of the space-time-continuum, then what we currently experience as individuals and as a collective (both good and bad), continues to evolve the cosmic consciousness.

It seems that “humanity” is fast reaching a point (not in “time” nor in accordance to Arthur Eddington’s “Arrow of Time”) of high entropy; disorder. Each periodical or TV news bulletin displays the shock and horror in glorious Technicolor each and every day. There is a new publication in town and it’s called “The Daily Dukkha”.

On an individual level (another reference to the self I know), I am fortunate enough at the moment to not be suffering any dukkha at all; entropy is currently very low with me; order. One look outwards though and the world is full of dukkha and in particular the refugee crisis in the Middle East. By all accounts, Aleppo has been destroyed, the symbolism of the first ever civilisation on this planet ceasing to exist not lost with me.

Social evolution (in the modern “Ascent of Man” sense) truly began with the Neolithic Revolution (aka the Agricultural Revolution) which saw the development of farming practices, drastically changing “human” lifestyle, permitting far denser populations which in time formed towns and cities. Cities were centres of trade, manufacturing and with it varying degrees of military control and protection. Thus in 10,000 CE, Aleppo, the very first civilisation was born.

Before Aleppo, man lived a largely nomadic hunter-gatherer existence and a much simpler way of life. Before Aleppo, skirmishes were tribal, often over a patch of ground or natural resource. There was no greed, just a simple need for sustenance. As with things, it is desire that leads to greed, to dukkha, and Aleppo really was the origin of human desire, the metaphysical concept of wanting not needing “planted” firmly in the psyche of homo sapiens.

Over the millennium, desire has increased exponentially and as a result so has conflict, and today we see this conflict all too often. For me, the solution lies neither with geopolitics nor within religious doctrines, but within the self; if we all could see this and follow the principles as suggested by Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha), then things would really change (remembering that Buddhism is a philosophy and way of life not a religion). Too often these days do we seem to apply geopolitical band aids to resolve self-perpetuating situations, invariably making matters worse, much worse in fact. The descent of man seems somewhat inevitable.

However, where there is darkness there is also light. Many local projects have started to make a real difference to the lives of those affected by such dukka in Syria, Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq and there has been an outpouring of peace, love and understanding here. Sadly the government here in the U.K only took action once the British public had took matters into their own hands. That my friends will be the answer in the end, it will be the people who will take action for the greater good, not governments nor corporations. Humanity will realise at some point that it is only after the cessation of desire and greed that “things can only get better”.

Whether that is pre or post Apocalypse remains to be seen, but let’s hope that as a collective we can as one wake up before it really is too late.


The path is clear, but no eyes can see…

Each dawn that breaks gives one a renewed chance to wake up. Not from slumber in the literal sense, but metaphysically speaking. Each day that arrives brings about change; a day older (for sure); a day wiser (perhaps) and a day closer to death (depends on how you define death…).

Some people (by choice or otherwise) live in a perpetual state of the un-awakened, happy to continue to live out their existence without feeling the need (or having the capacity) to challenge the true nature of reality. As all human experience is subjective and individualistic, no one can truly say that their approach is right or wrong.

For those who choose to challenge the five senses and Einstein’s cosmological principles, the first steps are the most difficult as there is no set path to follow. What is clear is that something usually sparks a flame for knowledge, knowledge which is hitherto forgotten or as yet unknown.

Science, religion, philosophy and noetics seem to be the most logical places to start looking, and most quests invariably encounter all four. Like countless others, my quest had to start by looking inside myself. What I found wasn’t pleasant. What I found was suffering, anxiety, stress and disorder. What was more difficult to find, but not impossible, was the root cause of such pain. What I found was craving, wanting and desire. What was even more difficult was how and what to change. What I found however was the solution and for the first time in my life I could start to see true nature of reality emerging. This was my spiritual epiphany.

Over the course of just a few months, I came to the conclusion that my suffering, fueled through my own desires, could ease by diminishing this metaphysical concept known as the ego or the self and that sustained focus on my “ikigai“, (in my case the family) would yield a new peace within me. Through yoga, meditation, reiki and complimentary therapies, I would keep this inner light with me at all times, ready to distinguish the darkness should it return.

My path was now clearer, and it was only after reading Buddhism: Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen did I realise (without knowing it) that the path and resolution I had followed related to the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path:

  • The Four Noble Truths
    • The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction).
    • The truth of the origin of dukkha.
    • The truth of the cessation of dukkha.
    • The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha (the Eight Fold Path).
  • The Eight Fold Path

    • Wisdom
      • Right view (viewing reality as it is, not just as it appears to be).
      • Right intention (intention of renunciation, freedom and harmlessness).
    • Ethical conduct
      • Right speech (speaking in a truthful and non-hurtful way).
      • Right action (acting in a non-harmful way).
      • Right livelihood (a non-harmful livelihood).
    • Concentration
      • Right effort (making an effort to improve).
      • Right mindfulness (awareness to see things for what they are with clear consciousness; being aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion).
      • Right concentration (correct meditation or concentration).

Whilst I could concur that the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path were a set of principles that everyone true to themselves (forgive me for the use of the word self, Steve) and others should adhere to, what was missing for me was the true nature of reality. Nietzsche was not entirely complementary of Buddhism (as you would expect) and classified it as a subdivision of nihilism, which to some extent I can agree with.

But what is reality? What is it that our senses experience and translate into pictures, sounds, smells, tastes and feels, is it all an illusion? Does true consciousness reside within the brain? Is the true nature of reality hidden from view for a reason? All these questions puzzled me, so the path I took at the crossroads led me to noetics, and in particular the works of Ervin Laszlo and Anthony Peake (my conclusions detailed in The Noetic Nook).

One thing is for sure, life and human experience is subjective and there appears to be no single path to the truth. The key however is to awaken, awaken to the truth that it is desire that causes suffering and to put a stop to ones ego will yield rewards to ourselves and to those around us. We may never truly experience the true nature of reality until we depart from the physical plain, but what we do each day can reduce our physical (and mental) pain.


The Three Gates

Reading a Guardian article about Robin Williams and some of the opinions floating around made me think about my posting of Tuesday morning, which read:

“Spare a thought too (or donation) for the countless innocents being slaughtered in Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Nigeria and Pakistan as you weep into your cereals for Mork”.

My general thoughts were that the mass grieving of a celebrity (irrespective of their cause of death) was disproportionate next to the mass and unjust suffering and lack of empathy and media coverage in a country like Syria which has already lost 27,000 people this year (interestingly enough Syria has one of the lowest suicide rates in the world).

I did feel a bit guilty about the post as on the face of it, it was rather cold and I guess I was just trying to highlight the fact that there are media outlets who have the ability to help peoples perception of what really goes on in the world but either choose not to, are told not to by the government or get more ratings / money from the docile masses who believe (through either choice or indoctrination) in the tripe they pedal.

I hear that some outlets shared the exact details of how Robin Williams died and left out the important bit of why he died, what his true condition was, how it can be recognised, how the individual can self-realise that they have a similar problem, how it can be addressed and how people can formulate an opinion on it and then chose if it’s in the best interests of the public, friends or family whether you share that opinion either verbally or via social or public media outlets.

What I can say from personal experience is that when someone close to you commits suicide suddenly (both my aunt and uncle took their own lives), there is complete and utter devastation, there are initial feelings of anger and accusations of selfishness and cowardliness, but once one thinks logically about their existing condition and state of mind after those initial dark moments, those feelings quickly fade.

I do think that people with no personal connections to the likes of Robin Williams (especially those in the media themselves) or have no personal experience in having to deal with the suicide death of a loved one through mental health issues, have to be very careful in sharing their own negative opinions in a time when those who do or have known the deceased (in this case Robin Williams) are in genuine mourning.

Let’s remember Robin Williams for what he was, not selfish man or a coward, but an absolute comedy genius, a true game-changer in the world of comedy, as well as a superb actor, when he played the roles of Dr Sayer in Awakenings and Mr Keating in Dead Poets Society.

When sharing opinions about someone (especially someone who has passed away), if it’s not positive or kind or complimentary or sincere, silence is always the better option.

An old friend then put me onto something called The Three Gates, and after some research I found the following:


The old Sufi taught that right speech had to pass through three gates. The first gate asked, “Is it true”? The second gate asked, “Is it necessary”? The third gate asked, “Is it kind”? The old sheik taught him that it would be better to be silent than to utter words that had not passed through the three gates.

For those that do not know, Sufism is the mystical side of Islam. This teaching is very similar to the kind of teachings also uttered by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of the early Christian era. Many basic teachings such as this one can be found in all the major religions. This is a great teaching regardless of what religion or philosophy you follow. Who among us couldn’t do a better job of guarding one’s speech. Try to avoid complaining, gossip, and any kind of hurtful speech. We are human; however, so there are times we do all of these things. We should strive to minimize complaining by focusing on gratitude. Minimizing hurtful speech through age and experience and being aware of ones own weaknesses will teach us to be more patient and tolerant of others. Even though we won’t always remain silent, it is better to be silent than to speak a lot.

 “One should not speak unless your words improve the silence”


Dream Diary: Prelude

Now that I have attained my Reiki Level 2 status, my focus has now shifted for the time being to lucid dreaming. It’s something I’ve been reading about for a while now, but like many things in life, priority dictates the order in which such things are executed.

My brother-in-law came up at the weekend from London and we spent some quality time over the last few days with him and his sprogglings, enjoying the first real blast of Spring heat at the park yesterday. The mammoth two hours game of football served two purposes, to blow away the cobwebs from a few beers to celebrate his imminent thirty-third birthday down at the local pubs and casino and to spend some quality time with my nephews and own kids.

As an aside, a few of us went to the casino and my neighbour “D” gave me some BlackJack tips (in advnace of my trip to Vegas) and let me play with his chips for a while. Ever since joining the casino two years ago, every time I go in I throw twenty pound at the roulette table, almost directly at the croupier I may as well as my tactics are so poor I’m off the table normally within about four minutes. This time my tactic were different. I said to the wife that I was only going to put £10 on tonight, so I got twenty fifty-pence blue chips delivered to my side of the table.

I said to the wife that I was going to use my newly acquired reiki powers to influence the path of the ball, so a little potted, I drew a Cho Ku Rei on my right hand and sent out the power from my hand to the spinning wheel of misfortune. You would not believe what happened next, I certainly can’t. My tactics where to put a single chip on each “chakra point” on the roulette cloth (on the basis that in Hinduism one cycles through each chakra every seven years, until one starts again), so on that very first spin, the spin after I had sent a Cho Ku Rei towards the white ball of marble, five blue chips lay spread across the table, 7, 14, 21,28 and 34 (the beer having an effect on my basic levels of maths). And on the first spin, the spin after I had sent a Cho Ku Rei towards the white ball of marble up came number 7. I could not believe it. If that was shocking, two spins later 7 came up again! And a few spins after that 21 came up! Holy crap, what was going on. Had I really been imbibed the force on the beach two weeks ago. Did I have the same power that Qui-Gon Jinn had by fudging that dice roll with the force on Tattoine in The Phantom Menace?

Before we left for the evening out, my friend “M” came to our house for a beer and a chat to discuss amongst other things his very own progress in lucid dreaming. He shared that he has been doing it on and off for a couple of months now, and that although he is no expert, he has read up on it extensively. He said that he had had two vivid lucid dreams over that time, one in particular where he became self-aware that he was dreaming, and as he stood in the garden of his mums house at twilight shivering from the cold (and knowing that the laws of the physical universe do not apply in the subconscious), he manipulated the dream and turned the twilight vista into a bright and warm summers day.

I told him that I had read the website link he shared with me to give me a base knowledge on what it was I was getting myself into, but as I’m not a big reader, and much prefer to talk to people who have had experiences in certain things, seems to go into my thick noggin all the better.

So the next hour was spent me grilling him about the techniques he uses, and any accompanying software. In terms of the software, I had no luck, those on the iStore being inferior to Android, and looking a little deeper, as I share a bed with the significant other, not really conducive to my own REM (besides – any lucid dreaming app cannot replicate REM just now only bed movements so it’s relevance is limited). That said, I did download the Sleep Talk app, and have already seen (déjà vu?) some interesting things which I’ll go on to later.

Once the topic of software had been concluded, I then asked “M” about his own personal techniques, and last night I re-read the website to develop my own. So this is my plan over the next twenty-one days:

I will meditate for at least twenty minutes every day. I have set my alarm to go off 15 minutes early before my morning meds so I can catalogue sleep related events in my dream journal from the night before, as if I do not catalogue them then, then post-meditation it is very likely that everything will be lost.

Practice my own reality checks at regular intervals during the day. I have settled on my own. They say if you can combine one or more reality checks together, then likelihood of you realising you are in a dream is increased. So my reality check is to look at my right hand, whilst conscious, I can see the lines of my hand. The life lines actually make up the number seven in the palm of my right hand (yet again another reference to the number seven), and being able to see such detail in the subconscious state is limited. Following up on that, I will then count and take two fingers on my left hand and try to push them through the palm of my right hand, understanding that when I do this as the laws of the conscious realm do not apply there, I will be able to manipulate my dreams and interact however I see fit.

Before going to sleep, get into lucid dreaming mode by repeating to myself “I can remember my dreams. I can become aware in my subconscious. I can change my dream. I can commune with my subconscious self”.

Set the Sleep Talk app to record.

Observe my mind and body falling asleep, witness and catalogue any hypnogogic experiences.

Once (I mean if) I become lucid, I have decided that I will at first try to levitate above the ground, and following on from that, float back down to the ground and take off like Neo from The Matrix.

As soon as I wake (whether that be in the middle of the night) I will scribble notes down in my mini-jotter, make sense of them the next day and blog them up at some point when I have the time. I will also bear the following in mind when doing so:

PRIORITY: Write the most vivid recalls first, I one forgets the more boring ones then it doesn’t matter as much.

TITLE: Give the dream experience a title and confirm if the dream was lucid or not.

TENSE: Write in the present tense so that recall puts one back in the dream and increases the accuracy of the logging.

SIGNS: Note and detail dream signs, specific cues or triggers which reveal one is dreaming.

So my preparations are done, now all it will take is practice. And patience. It is said that if one applies their preparations correctly and one is methodical about learning how to lucid dream, and one is patient and not willing to give in, then it is likely to yield results within 21 days. There’s that number again. Three times seven…


Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: FINAL

Awake. More than the opposite of not asleep. Much more. Awake as in awakened. Awakened to the fact I’m now of the opinion that life is more than just existence, more than materialism and physicalism. My journey over the last twenty-one days has given me an all-new direction, one which was there all along, just that I was looking in the wrong place. I had tried the Buddhist Meditation Centre, I had tried yoga through the Samsung suite of applications on my SMART TV, I had tried looking into radical and far out new age theories, longing for a return to the inner peace I had last summer. None of those things did it for me. Granted they were very interesting and are all part of the new me, but reiki really was there all along, waiting for me to remember.

Eventually I did remember and booked myself in for a standard session with “L”. It was only after talking with her for many hours that I decided to go to the next level. She is totally convinced that I am very spiritual, that I have the ability to feel, hone in on and harness the universes’ invisible energy current for my own personal use, and eventually for use on others (when I felt the time was right).

Everything that happened during the day went past in a blur, no real focus or mental notes on what was happening and nothing that was happening had any significance, instead my focus was on the weather report and on the clock. I didn’t really need to consult the Met Office often too often though, as all I needed to do was look out of the window, not a cloud to spoil the aqua marine blueness of the earth’s lid.

I was getting rather excited by late afternoon and it was then that I started to gather up the things on my checklist for the beach. Picnic mat, blanket, hand-warmers, herbal tea, lighter, joysticks, yoga chairs,x-mini speakers, portable Buddha figurine and of course Chupa Chup lollipops. I got a message from “L” around that time saying that she had a surprise in store, and also was it ok for her boyfriend to come down and take some photos of her first beach attunement.

Just as I was closing the lid on my laptop, I noticed something that had been staring me in the face for literally two weeks. I had changed my laptop wallpaper after I had started meditating each morning to that of a solitary meditating figure, silhouetted from a light source in front of him. The realisation was that it was me. It was I that sat on the floor in the half-lotus position (the yellowy hue representing the beach). It was the setting sun behind wispy clouds which would be in the same position, behind the same wispy clouds as predicted by the Met office. It was the dark line at the edge of the horizon that represented the Irish Sea at its lowest ebb.

And so 5:15pm came, time to go. Firing up the Jeep I headed down the bright sun-lit streets and made my way to the lane which leads to the particular stretch of beach scheduled for the session. I got there a little early but I did so on purpose, sitting in the car, looking out to sea, my favourite track on the car CD player, pre-meditated and pre-meditation. It wasn’t too long before “L” and “P” joined me in their respective automobiles, “L” sharing the news that someone had just crashed into her car, leaving only a minor dent in the VW, no injuries acquired.

After gathering all of the things from the boot of the car, we made our way over the beach to a spot I had selected earlier and set up camp for the next two hours. Once everything was set up, she revealed the first surprise of the evening, which was that she was going to start my Reiki Level Three by inscribing on me the reiki master symbol (Dai Ku Myo) and that journey (although longer) would start today, and by doing so, I would attune “P”. When she sent me the text earlier, I had a strange feeling that she was going to say that. Once thing she did say was that of the students that she had brought through the ranks in the past year(s|), the energies she felt in me were really strong, and that my intentions for inner and outer healing (of others) were virtuous and just to do this tonight.

With that, I drew the reiki symbols on the sand so I could show her that I had learned them, which she was happy with. Sat comfortably on the yoga bean-bag chair, I then closed my eyes, “zenned” out, getting lost in the rhythm of the music as she made her way around my various chakras. I was facing the sun, universal energy from the source, and as I did so, I felt the energy coursing, my eyes, nose and lips trembling with kinetics as swirls of ghostly-white mist filled my view. It felt incredible. It felt real. It did not feel like it was the result of some psychosomatic delusion or projected hallucination, it felt like a connection, with another person, with another force.

After the attunement was complete, I sat a while in position still, raising my awareness to where we where and not that other place briefly, and then it was my turn to attune “P”, which I did. The energy was not so intense this time, perhaps because it was the first time that I had done it, but it was a good one nonetheless. When I asked him to bring his awareness back to the here and now, he did so, but almost not as he said he was drifting off to sleep (I do have that effect on people, women mostly)…

We talked a while about the experience and it was at that point that I had a revelation. I had been looking for reiki shares and meditation circles for some time over the last 6 months, all to no avail. And in that brief moment of clarity, sat there on the beach, watching the sun starting to set behind the wave-breaker rocks, and it dawned on me that I should set up my own beach meditation circle/school. If there is nothing out there, the do. Create. Ok I was still a veritable novice when it comes to reiki, yoga and meditation, but by god was I willing to learn and learn fast if it meant setting this thing up. “L” was excited to say the least. So then we set about setting it up:

  • Who would be involved (organisers).
  • What our Facebook page logo look like (and who would create it).
  • How much it wouldn’t cost (nothing – it would be a free to join activity).
  • When would we do it (starting off in May/June when the weather turned).
  • Where would we do it (right here where we currently sat on the beach).
  • Why would we be doing it (because there isn’t such a thing, and the beach is a place of wonder where a group of like-minded individuals can meet up, chill out, learns new techniques and talk about the universe and the ever-after).

So with that all agreed, “L” and “P” started to think about moving to the local Harvester restaurant for a coffee, some food and further food for thought on the beach meds school. I was not done though. I had something left to do. I took my Harry Potter-style wand and before me in the sand, I drew two power symbols either side of the distance symbol. I selected the Anoushka Shankar track on the playlist and assumed the position. I asked “L” to come behind me with one hand in front and one behind my heart chakra, I asked her to support and guide my energy back 22 years to the day my life changed forever, sending the tinnitus frequencies on a journey through time and space to the loser that lay smashed out of his brains, with no purpose in his life.

Instead of intensity, they was an inner peace, a steady flow of energy rather than a bolt of lightning. Serenity over the supersonic. I felt warm. I felt calm. I came out of the trance and brought my attention back to the beach, and opened my eyes. “L” was not there, she was stood way back. I didn’t feel her back away at any point, I felt as if she was still there. Walking over to her I asked her what she had experienced during that, and what she revealed too me back a little. She said that after a while a presence presented itself to my left hand side, and she saw an energy field of a figure standing next to me. Her exact words were “It was a man. The man was stood up very straight and with strength, almost to attention. I got the impression that it was your grandfather from your dads side. It was him that was guiding you in the end, not me”. I did not see anything with my own eyes (neither opened or closed) but I did feel that there was someone close to me, presuming wrongly it was still “L”.

The outline description of a man I had never met was ever so accurate. My grandfather was a Sergeant Major in the British Army who served as a Chindit in Burma during World War II, who died of gangrene years after his return to the UK. For some reason (and I guess that this is reflected in my “primary problem”) my father never ever spoke of him, no matter how many times I asked him, asking me instead to go speak to my uncle who knew a lot more about his war days. And for some reason even though we had never met, I have always felt that I have had some sort of connection to him, as I too am quite strong willed and driven, just like my aunt who passed away two years ago. I only ever recall seeing one photo of him, and as I wrote this (the last Level Two entry), I quickly googled the word Chindit in Wiki and found that there was a picture of the men of the 13th Battalion King’s Liverpool Regiment, which he may well have served in (being from Liverpool), and even sadder is that he may even be in the picture below without me knowing if he is or not.

Smiling, I gathered both my thoughts and my beach-wares and made it back over to the car, a distinct chill in the now air. Thankfully the restaurant was not too far away, and as we entered the beautiful red sun high the water setting it on fire from afar. We all took a hot drink and ate heartily and we swapped notes on all things “new age”, excited that our next journey back to the beach could be with several other friends, chilling out at group meditation sessions on Mother Earth’s golden sands of time.

I am now a fully fledged membe rof the Reiki Two Battalion…


So last night I put a status update on Facebook, asking any friends if they would be keep to join in on a beach meditation circle this summer, and the response I had was very positive and quite voluminous.

I have always been a big fan of Lego, and as such I took the liberty of creating a “Lego Yoga Me” (ok me when I had really long hair) and this morning as I took the pooch for a walk, I lay him down on the beach, sat on his yoga mat and took some snaps. I may take this little figurine with me on my travels and take cool snaps of “Lego Yoga Me” from various locations, could be a bit of fun.

In closing, my Reiki Level Two has been an enlightening experience, and given me a sense of inner peace, direction in life, and some new techniques which will allow further improvements to mind, body and soul. Who knows, one day I may be able to turn around to “L” and legitimately say “When I met you I was the learner, now I am the (reiki) master”…



Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 18

Yesterday felt like the first true day of Spring and as I rose, so did the sun. And as I rose, I thought of one song in particular:

Here comes the sun.
Here comes the sun, and I say.
It’s all right.

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter.
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here.
Here comes the sun.
Here comes the sun, and I say It’s all right.

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces.
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here.
Here comes the sun.
Here comes the sun, and I say It’s all right.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…

Thinking about fellow Liverpudlian George Harrison in particular, who ever after death, has influenced a change in my musical direction beyond compare. For it was watching “A Concert for George” when I first came across Anoushka Shankar, daughter of legendary sitar player and Indian composer Ravi Shankar. As a father and daughter combo, they created a piece called “Arpan”, played exquisitely and expertly, reverberating around the circular walls of the Royal Albert Hall in London. It really was after watching that and taking up yoga that my auditory tastes changed, possibly forever.

George went through his own metamorphosis (coincidentally, perhaps, to be the title of my very own favourite Anoushka Shankar song) during the latter stages of The Beatles and post-split, being influenced by Mr Shankar and the Hare Krishna movement.

Every now and again I dig out my old metal playlists, but those days are few and far between. Morbid Angel, Obituary and Slayer gather much dust these days, mothballed, replaced by the aforementioned Shankars, as well as Russill Paul and various other Eastern based audibles. Not that all rock based tunes have gone the same way, there is still a special place in my resonating heart for Anathema, Liverpool’s own progressive, experimental soundscape merchants whose sound has go through as many changes as I have over the years. Their roots were in death metal, until a point in time where they lost their lead vocalist and took a completely new direction, influenced heavily during those transition-times by Pink Floyd.

Now matured, their last album was as close to perfection as one could get. I was also lucky enough to be in London the week they played the Koko in Camden Town to witness firsthand the best gig they have ever done (so say Classic Rock Magazine who awarded them concert of the year for that very performance).

Do check them out, some of their quieter tunes (look for Falling Deeper on iTunes which is an acoustic album) do make a fine accompaniment to meditation and yoga.

Saturday morning saw a Spring clean. As the sun shone through the windows, bathing everywhere in brilliant white light, the motes of dust danced majestically as we cleaned atop wardrobes. All winter garments where relocated up into the attic space as summer clothes made the reverse journey. It was so warm in the attic, Ra doing his best to heat the felt-under-tile, giving the dimly lit space a divine cosiness. Never one to pass up on an opportunity to relax, I sat in the loft and meditated for five minutes or so, accompanied by friends Anathema on my phone.

When I raised my eyelids, I had a mini-revelation. The space I currently sat in was just a storage dump. A refuse tip for all manner of rubbish, the space currently being underutilised and unloved. In an instant I had a “future echo” of what it could look like, a vision of a large Buddha picture on the wall, surround by wall candles, scatter cushions spread everywhere, me in the dead centre of the “karmadome” meditating on a mat underneath voile type drapings from the ceiling.

I had a new project. Some building work was required first (proper flooring laid down, an access ladder to the space and some plaster boarding) but I could see that I could very well at some point this year have my own private Idaho…

Late afternoon following the tidy up, we took our eldest shopping for a pre-Vegas clobber run, the theme once he headed off to the likes of Superdry and Jack Jones was again the wedding. Instead of rings, this time the focus was on the dress, and as coincidence would have it (just like the ring) it was the very last shop that bore fruit. The most perfect dress presented itself to the current wife and future wife (same person), fitting like a glove, the purchase made immediately.

A huge weight lifted off her shoulders, the dress something she had been looking for, for some time.

The evening was spent drinking 0.0% beer and watching The Voice (a UK singing / talent competition) which is not exactly to my taste, but when you get to spend two hours plus watching Kylie Minogue, then it’s time I’m willing to sacrifice…


Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 11

The weekend starts here. After working rather hard this week, I decided that it was in my best interests to have a lie in and park my morning meds until later in the day, perhaps later on in the weekend. So at 9:00am (which is a monster lie in, in our house), I decided to once again pick up my paint brush, a bold and brave move after last weekend’s debacle. Today’s task was to paint the radiator cover in the dining room which had remained in its original rickety MDF form for the last four and a half years. There’s procrastination and there’s me. Before we moved to Malaysia, I was very handy in the house, rebuilding the kitchen twice, tiling the bathroom, decorating and redecorating the house several times over. After our return, I found it really difficult getting certain connections again, certain friends, the UK in general and sadly our home by the sea. Working away in London every week, home at weekends was a killer and I almost paid the ultimate price for putting the corporatation before my wife.

Still, that’s all well and truly in the past, and instead of extreme obstacle racing or marathons, I now have a new challenge, a difficult challenge. Repaint the whole house by the time we fly to the US in late May. So between now and then, I will be spending one day every weekend doing exactly that. I’ll need / demand a medal at the end as I cross the Dulux finishing line. By 11:00am it was done, just 2 hours to complete a task that took me 40,000 hours to get around to doing. The wife was very happy with the outcome. Nice.

Feeling good about my deed, I jump-started the Jeep and headed over to the inlaws house and loaded up the boot with an old mattress and deposited it at the local tip. Feeling good about my second deed of the day, I was all done by midday, noting that meds and doing things for others really does give you that feel good factor. Buoyed by my mood, we headed off for a spot of retail therapy and a trip to “Ms” and “Ds” house to see how the extension on their house was looking (as well as a long overdue catch up betwixt our little daughters). My word, incredible. They have opened up their living space and kitchen and extended out into the garden, a really great space for parties I added, and when was the first one. Spoke to “D” for a while and asked her about her return to yoga post-delivery of sproggling number two, and she said that she went back after seven weeks, fitting it in when she could. She was loving it and I commented that the open space they now had overlooking the garden was an awesome way of starting the day, Ra beaming down his (or her) UV goodness through the new Velux windows. I told her about my morning ritual and that I was going through my Level Two Reiki at the moment, she said she would be interested in having a session at some point in the future, no doubt when the time is right I’ll do just that.

We also talked about mudras and that for her, meditation was difficult (her mind unable to focus on nothingness, kids and shopping lists invariably nipping in there for a focus meeting), but she has found that if she wakes up in the night and struggles to get back to sleep immediately, she focuses her thoughts on the third eye / anja chakra, zones and resumes her kip pronto.

After bidding our friends a fond farewell we headed back down the motorway to home base, the wife and I talking rather randomly about reincarnation. Our eldest “J” is mature for his age, very mature. I hear stories about others kids his age drinking, getting wasted, loosing focus (just like I did at that age), but our “J” is the polar opposite. Here we have a 17 year old, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, up for Student of the Year award in the first year of his engineering apprenticeship, going for a world title shot at this years Mauy Thai Kickboxing Championships in Italy and now learning how to drive at his earliest convenience. Awesome, two very proud parents. The wife is convinced that he has been here before. Before my mind was opened to such possibilities, I would have probably ripped her for such a ridiculousness, but more recently and with many more reading hours under my belt, I have a different point of view. I commented that maybe he has, in that taking the teachings and preachings of Siddhatha Gautama (Buddha) as an example, the soul is engaged in an eternal return, until such time as the soul reaches true enlightenment and Nirvana, the point at which it no longer has to return to human form. New age guru Anthony Peake also backs this up to some extent by his ITLAD theory, which states that there is a virgin birth (i.e the first time a soul is incarnated into human form) and from then on, at the point at which we die, there is a panoramic life review and we live our lives over and over again, and it is in this state that we have the ability to change decisions of our previous experience (an explanation – albeit a far out one – for phenomenon like déjà vu, synchronicities and breadcrumbs) and evolve spiritually and consciously/sub-consciously/super-consciously.

We also went on to discuss the likes of Peter Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper) and Ian Brady (The Moors Murderer) and agreed that if there is some sort of eternal return, maybe they are at the start of their journey, menaced souls way off the true path to enlightenment, learning what it takes to be a virtuous soul the hard way, experiencing universal rights and wrongs sadly in the most extreme ways possible. If we are all souls that exist in a different place or plane of existence (experiencing ourselves subjectively through human form) then some of us have a long way to go, many future incarnations. On closing I said that the more we approach and try to understand our super-conscious state / higher self, the more we possibly expedite our journey to Nirvana and eternal peace (whether that “human” form is different from a Buddhist perspective, or the same form from an “ITLADian” perspective).

The focus stayed on “J” for the rest of the day, sadly not all positive. After so much discussion about him earlier in the day, I received a phone call from him whilst dining at another friends house many miles away saying that he had left the one and only key in the house (after losing 2 keys earlier in the week) and that him and the dog were outside in the wind and rain. Only half way through our meal, we submitted our sincere apologies to our host and made our way back home to work out how we were going to get in. All windows were closed, but thankfully our backdoor is made of wood with many glass panels (everything else being uPVC and double glazed), so I popped a pane and in we went.

I was quite irate at the time of the phone call and said some “not very Buddhist” things into the mouthpiece, but after I had calmed down a bit and we were in the house and drying off, I told him that these things happen, and the he would have to pay for the repair of the window and replacement keys, giving him a lesson in accountability where it hurts the most, his wallet…

Throughout the day before, I had a strange sensation in my ears, it was a bubbling / popping sound. Every 30 minutes or so, I would hear invisible imps playing the bongos on my eardrums. After 10 hours of it I was getting a little concerned but hoping that all was required was sleep and today I did not experience any reoccurrence which was good.

To top an eventful day off, my wife was convinced that there was a presence in our bedroom. She has experienced things in the past, witnessed things before. She is very spiritual, and her grandmother was as much. She has been to see small mediums, largely over the last 10 years. There is one in particular who has it has to be said, been very accurate in the past and shared things many years before I had even met her (she told my wife that she would live in South East Asia, she would have three children, and she would be married three times [technically twice to me with our up and coming vows renewal]). As I tidied up the shards of glass downstairs, she had retired for the evening, and with closed eyes lying on the bed, she felt a presence right next to her face, thinking it was me sneaking up on her. She opened her eyes and to her surprise saw nothing, but felt that something was not right, something less than nice, almost malign was in the room. She has always said that one should be more afraid of the living than the dead. Turning the lights off we were both hoping she was right…


Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: Day 7

Seven days. One third of the way through the cleansing process. Time to check those vital statistics:

If I’m honest in a state of flux. I’ve started a new phase in my project at work, and as such there are of course work pressures to deliver. There have been work-related thoughts creeping in to my mind where (and more to the point when) they should not creep in. My mood has gone from complete and utter relaxation to tense depending on the day. Not that I’m bi-polar in anyway (but I am a Gemini so maybe from an astrological perspective I’m always going have that split), but no two days are the same just now. I have started a new daily practice though which is already starting to bear fruit.

Overall Rating: Fair.

No alcohol. No caffeine. Spot on my target weight. Plenty of exercising (gym, running, swimming, RipStik-ing). No physical ailments to speak of (besides the minor bruising on my right heel from my calamitous ceiling-painting session at the weekend).

Overall Rating: Excellent.

What happened at the college last week was quite profound, I’ve not had such a spiritual moment like that for some time (perhaps ever). What will happen on the beach in two weeks (weather and tides permitting) will be as spiritual I’m sure, if not more so. I’ve not had any other moments like that since that episode last Thursday, and it’s effect has diminished over the last few days as other things in my brain have begun to take priority.

Overall Rating: Improving.

After what can only be described as a day to forget yesterday (maybe it was because I am alcohol free just now and all of the leprechauns and Irish folks were drinking my quota of the blackstuff), last night going to bed I had a plan. I have two alarms set on my iPhone, as does my wife. Mine are set for 6:30 (to wake my eldest son up) and 7:30 (to wake my two youngest from their deep slumber). Similarly, my wife as set hers to 6:00 and 7:00 for the same reasons.

My new daily ritual is to rise up at the sound of the 7:00 alarm, and go downstairs to our living space, pull out my yoga/meditation/reiki bean bag chair, strategically place two mood candles and a carving of Buddha in front of me, all accompanied by my Spotify playlist.

Getting into the zone, I meditate quietly for a few minutes and then starting pulling the energies in to my heart chakra and sending them off on their merry little way. I have found that the advice given to me by the tutor last week is helping actually. Instead of placing hands on, I hover my hands over the centre of my chest in like a butterfly shape but without hands touching, pulsing in and away from my chest, really seems to work. After about 15 minutes, I get on to my feet and do a few energising yoga moves and I’m ready to start the day. So that is my plan from now on, the rest of the day today was a particularly good one, no doubt placed on track by my settled mind.

Towards the end of my session this morning, my little princess came into the room and asked what I was doing, so I told her. Her little face lit up and she asked if I could do reiki on her (as-was broken) leg. I of course obliged and got her to sit in a lotus position with her index and thumb circled (like the picture below), asked her to close her eyes and think of having a perfect little leg and off we went. After 5 minutes, I stopped and asked her if it was feeling better, she of course replied that it was and that I was magic. Nice.

Just, as I stopped the reiki, I heard an almighty scream coming from upstairs. I ran up to see what the to-do was and my wife was looking startled as the lightbulb in the bedroom had exploded (thankfully we had an uplifter shade which prevented that glass from going all over the room), sending sparks flying everywhere, scaring the be-jesus out of her. Surely my energy wasn’t that powerful…

Had a meeting with some senior managers early morning which went remarkably well due to my positive frame of mind. At lunchtime I took my step-dad (who has dementia) swimming for our regular Tuesday session, and he advised that today he had a pull in his leg so only managed about ten lengths. If there is one person to call me a woo-woo over reiki it would be him, so I didn’t feel the need to extend an invite to him for a session.

Some minor traumas in work in the afternoon (not of my doing but annoying nonetheless) were soon forgotten as my son and I went down to the lamp-lit promenade down on the sea front to commence on our joint journey to be RipStik skaters. I guess this could be seen by many as a mid-life crisis (Forty-One year old dad learns to skateboard for the first time), but we had a blast (quite literally – the wind was strong down on the front so gave us the boost we needed for our first outing).

Late on in the evening, my wife gave me a full body aromatherapy massage as her new oil set had been delivered. Awesome it was too, her techniques improving by the day. As there was some lemon/lavender mix left over, I offered my hand to her and gave her a special blend of aromatherapy and reiki. By all accounts, I was pretty awesome, and she went on to say that when I retire at Fifty-Five, instead of being an IT Consultant when it suited me to work, I should get to reiki master and supplement that with massage.

Sounds like a plan, and a real good one too…