This will seem like a very odd blog to anyone who does not know that there is and has almost always been a ladybird theme running through my life. I even once had a red Ford KA on which I put black spots, an unofficial Ford Ladybird. But on closer inspection it seems that ladybirds are quite a powerful Symbol. For me, it has nearly always been a sign of change when a very large number of images or actual ladybirds appear in my life at any one time. So when one landed on my pillow at the end of July I started to think a blog on the subject was due. But when a ladybird landed on my desk the other day it triggered me to add one to the masthead. Afterall there are ladybirds everywhere else in my life–on towels, mugs, stationary, my hoover is a large ladybird, and I even have a stain glass window–so why not on my blog? Aside from my life long fascination with all things ladybird, red strategically placed one third of the way down and one third of the way across in any corner of an image is a photographic trick to enhance a [...]
I spent the day with Hermann Hesse. I had always intended to re-read Siddhartha, but as with all things these days I am letting life guide me in terms of timing. So when a friend mentioned en passant last night that he has just finished reading Siddhartha, I knew what I was going to do this morning. I first read Siddhartha in 1993. I was 24 and running away from my family. I took four books on my six month trip to India among them my mother’s copy of Siddhartha. I cannot recall the details of the book but I can remember knowing that there was something about this novel. Reading again today with the knowledge I now have, it was like reading a totally different book. The first time I read Siddhartha it was just a story. Donald McCrory, who has written Hermann’s biography this new edition, says that the message of Siddhartha will vary from reader to reader. Because of this, I would recommend that all first timers just read the story first to see if resonates and if it does read the full introduction, biography and interpretation. It changes the flavour of the book completely. [...]
I have dipped in and out of many spiritual concepts over the years and have found that the basic principles are few and wonderfully straight forward. So why do so many of the books and teachers trying to describe how to live a life based on these principles want to make things more complicated than they need to be? So imagine my surprise when someone I then hardly knew suggested I read The Four Agreements and found that it was a book with four simple beliefs that were common sense and resonated with me. I cannot pretend to understand much about the Toltec traditions that underpin the Four Agreements, but I have since devoured nearly all the books written by don Miguel Angel Ruiz in a bid to see how his take on awareness, transformation, and living from a place of love not fear compared to other teachers. Miguel, the youngest of 13 children born into a family of healers and raised in rural Mexico by a healer mother and shaman grandfather, learned from an early age that everything is possible, if we really want it. However, like many of us he wanted to make his own mark in [...]
Overindulging in anything even if it is “good” for you, can quite quickly give rise to a headache. Or at least that has been my experience with dark chocolate, red wine, and Deepak Chopra’s scientific assault course that he uses to explain whatever is in his latest book. Deepak, an endocrinologist by training, loves to blind his audience with science and is partial to using quantum physics as the explanation for consciousness, god, or the universe depending on one’s personal spiritual orientation. The new book, Self Power: The spiritual solutions to life’s greatest challenges, is not yet out, but he was in London today giving a five hour workshop on self mastery. I was having a dilemma about whether or not to go. Self mastery is my subject du jour, so I always like to see what Deepak has to say on a subject I am into. But the prospect of five hours of mind boggling science on a Saturday made think twice. I have now been to three of Deepak Chopra’s book tour lectures and own 12 of his books. Operative word being own; I have only read six of them from cover to cover, including Power, [...]
Purple and I have always been friends: the smell of lovely lavender, amazing amethysts jewels, and fields of lavender or woods of bluebells that infuse me with a sense of tranquillity. In the garden, purple irises were always my favourite flower and bunches of purple freesias are a luxury I indulge in if I get up early enough to head to Covent Garden flower market or on a Sunday Columbia Road. Ten years ago, I adopted a newsletter with a purple masthead and prior to that had worked on the university paper called Palatinate; the name of a colour derived from the shade of purple used in County of Durham. After a recent Feng Shui weekend workshop, a few amethysts, my lavender scented candles and a purple glass bottle found themselves re-housed in my bathroom. The North East corner of my flat is the area of wisdom and personal development and it needed to have the colour purple as well as images reflecting the nature of spiritual development. It was after this particular weekend that the colour purple, whose name is derived from the Latin purpura or porphyra in Greek, came to have a meaning to me that stretched beyond [...]
The crown chakra is the seventh chakra, which is called the Sahasrara chakra, and for some is associated with the colour violet but for many white.
Guru, which means teacher or spiritual master in Sanskrit, is a person who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others.
Buddhism is not defined a religion as such because there is no God at the centre of it, but it is often seen as more of a philosophy of life.
The Four Noble Truths are a summary of Buddha’s understanding of life.