“I realised that the way I had been skiing was a reflection of my life.” This was co-author Robert Kriegel’s epiphany, but they could have just as well have been my words. Inner Skiing is full of anecdotes such as these, making it, the right book for me but more importantly at the right time. It’s been sitting unread on my shelf for a couple of years all the while I have been wrestling with why I just can’t seem to “get” skiing. I have recently come back from Switzerland on a high because for the first time I skied beyond my fear to achieve new limits. And what’s more, I enjoyed the whole experience, not just the fresh Air, fun friends and coffee stops. Until I read Inner Skiing—after the event—I did not know why or how such a transformation had occurred. So with renewed enthusiasm, I grabbed the book off my shelf to see if it had any answers. The timing was impeccable. I know now that had I read this book before I had experienced my own epiphany on a subject that has challenged me for two decades I would not have been [...]
“When the pupil is ready the teacher will come,” is probably my favourite proverb. It took me a very long time to realise that sometimes teachers are friends, or even books. As the Year of the Dragon dawned, my friend with a real dragon tattoo came into mind. I scanned the shelves and found a book she gave me on the eve of my departure to South America in 1999. Jonathan Livingston Seagull had lived in my back pack on those adventures, worn and loved, and yet it is only today that it all really made sense. A small book; a unique lay out; a simple story; and supremely evocative photos, what is there not to love? Reading something when you are lost and reading it again when you have a different filter, however, is quite a powerful experience. It’s like reading a different book. “Don’t forget that the reason you fly is to eat,” said Jonathan’s father early on in the book. Fatherly advice to his son. Yet, how many of us realise that those words of wisdom are given to us by parents who have a particular point of view. As I have found reviewing [...]
For me 2012 is going to be the Year of Yoga, starting with a four hour workshop on 1 January 2012 with Katrina Repka at The Life Centre. I have been studying yoga with Katrina for more than a year now, so I might be a bit biased, but the yoga cocktail she teaches is just perfect for my otherwise frenetic mind. I am already signed up to her private group courses until June and from zero a year ago to an agains the wall headstand 12 months later, I am really looking forward to joining her Saturday morning level two classes at The Life Centre. Katrina, author of Breathing Space: Twelve Lessons for the Modern Woman, teaches a blend of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda, called ISHTA Yoga, which is the creation of yogiraj Alan Finger. Katrina, who has also co-author with Alan of Chakra Yoga: Balancing Energy for Physical, Spiritual, and Mental Well-being, is the second only person to have achieved the yogiraj title in the west in the ISHTA yoga lineage. I started meditating years ago, but after a while I lost the momentum and fell out of love with the dollar amounts attached [...]
The dangers of looking too hard for meaning in signs is that it is easy in this chaotic sense-numbing world to miss the obvious truth. The more I study the tools to interpret the signs, the more I realise that if messages are important they find a way of reaching their destination, irrespective of how good one is at translating them. At its most extreme if one is persistently not listening, a message can be delivered in the form of an accidence or illness. The tale of The Raven started with a tall dark handsome, but married man. Given the lesson I learned with The Biker, even I did not need Divination tools to conclude: “Don’t go there.” Despite this, however, The Raven kept turning up in my life—at a charity event, in a lucid Dream, and even just walking down the street—all making me ever so slightly wonder if, perhaps I was missing some bigger message. By nick-naming him The Raven, I was subconsciously Calling on the raven as a power animal to give me clarity on this recurring situation. “Call on a raven when you need to clarify your Intention about a task, [...]
“Hands up who in this room is a wounded learner? And now hands up which of you are products of amateur parenting?” In a room of some 100 people from all over the world, across all ages and occupations, in February 2006 it would seem that nearly all of us could identify with one or both of these statements. The questions were asked by Ian McDermott, founder of International Teaching Seminars, and teacher of Neuro Linguistic Programming, as an opening line for the first day of the NLP Practitioner Certification Programme. Ian explained that NLP was like a ”how to” to stop blaming the parents and teachers for our current state. These words echoed the sentiment of JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, as she delivered a commencement address at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association in June 2008. In her address, The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination, in which she highlighted her journey to success, she said: “There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” This phrase took me to my [...]
‘I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek Happiness.” This is the opening line of The Art of Happiness that sets the agenda with clear simplicity. When I think back to a year ago at the time I spent three whole days in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama—albeit as part of a conference—I am instantly happy by this memory. So it was always going to be a pleasure reading The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler. Add to the cocktail four solid days of sunshine with nothing planned but to read, relax and recuperate and the effect was like a massive Meditation on the meaning of life. I first came across many of the Buddhist principals—such as the nature of suffering—that underlie The Art of Happiness in Matthieu Ricard’s book Happiness. Matthieu’s book—which led me to the Mind & Life Conference in Zurich in the first place—was a transformational manual that I savoured over a month. The Art of Happiness I have devoured faster than chocolate Easter eggs. The concepts are now a growing part of my psyche, and the way the [...]
The astral body, also known as the emotional body, is the home of emotional energy, which is in charge of love, pain, hope and fear.
Kirtan chanting is performed as part of India’s devotional traditions. Kirtan, which means to repeat in Sanskrit, is a call and response chant that involves chanting hymns or ancient Sanskrit mantras to instruments such as drums and cymbals.
As my mountain of books to read and articles to write for The Life Detective grows higher, the random quote of the day made me stop and smile. Theodore Roosevelt said “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Maybe it is time to stop and take stock. Maybe trying to write the more challenging Casebook features before I have read all the books and done the research is a little ambitious. Maybe until my conference is over the kindest thing I can do to myself is simply rest and relax. Maybe taking a moment to re-cap what have I learned in the last few weeks will help to make things clearer and show me what is important. Just by stopping to reflect on these few questions, I can already feel my body relax and my mind slow down. I have finally understood, and accepted, that the mind rules the roost. Rule the mind, you rule the roost, but that is easier said than done. Every spiritual book worth its salt talks of the dual potential of the mind as a force of magic and miracles, and as a tool of destruction. The ‘how to’ in [...]