John's Book Club - The Inner & The Actual

In this week's book club we look at work by two writers whose pieces seem simple and delightfully easy to read on the surface, but contain great depth when we spend a little time with them. One very much looks towards what it is like to live a closed inner life, while the other looks beyond the stories of the mind to the beauty of reality unfolding itself in the moment.

Check Out The Books:
Jeanette Winterson - The World And Other Places

Poems by Tu Fu


Being Kind In A Difficult World

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Dear reader
This week's excerpt from the book of sacred reflection that I'm working on, is drawn from a much larger section on the need to be an active presence in our world, that the body and the world are not things to be thrown away, we want the real, not the illusion/delusion, and each one of has the great opportunity of awakening in this lifetime and being of true benefit to the world through our awakening. in this section we look at using our political and economic power.
I love you
John Siddique

Being Kind In A Difficult World

It is vitally important to state over and over again that any boycott, divestment, or sanctions come from a place of presence. ‘But you are hurting my right to earn billions by selling weapons of mass destruction around the world,’ says the arms dealer, ‘you are hurting me, where is your love now, you hippy?’ Or, ‘you are hurting me buy not buying my organic teabags anymore,’ says the man who painted himself as a peaceful ‘one world,’ idealist in the yoga magazines and in the media, and then sells his business to a global multinational whose other products promote white supremacy, and continued inequality. Love does not mean appeasing the ego or pain body of another, yet we can meet them in peace, in presence, we can simply say no. Watch then how the ‘fear of death,’ will be used as a tool against you to try to manipulate you.

We are all part of the human body, the body of being of sacred creation, and as we awaken, it is easy to think we want no more to do with politics, with economy, to push them away or insulate ourselves in monkish cave like behaviour. This is spiritual ego of course and does not serve us. To not vote is to vote for the worst. To not use our incomes to support inclusive, helpful projects and businesses is folly, just like buying into matching meditation cushions and perfect social network yoga pictures is folly. It’s actually at the edges, and in the midst of this very confusing and confoundingly painful/beautiful life, that we find the heart of our practice in the moment, and it is in presence that we may choose the vote that does least harm, that has a smidgin of consciousness in it. We can bring our consciousness and presence to demonstrate if we need to, being a space for life and presence that holds everyone, even though presence shows up the egoic position of object consciousness and its impacts, we can still often meet the true being with spacious awareness.  We could even turn up to a demonstration with an Om sign, rather than a position. Presence will always stand against anything that is not human or compassionate. We are not waiting for karma ‘to do its thing man,’ we are going beyond karma by turning up in presence. The fear of death will always be used against you on emotional, mental, and actual physical levels, we don’t get ourselves killed, but we do not conform, there is always a way to be kind in the real sense.

‘Take nothing personally,’ the first of the four agreements says, this is most important, as the fear of death aimed at us will seek the most personal trigger it can find. 

When we are caught in greed, hatred and delusion, we are as adolescents in a hormone storm. We would still love our child in this phase of their life, we would do our best to protect them from harming themselves and others, and we would, as parents, not be afraid of making strong choices sometimes. Where we are at now is a phase of life in the bigger picture of the move towards awakening in the universe. If you are reading this, and it touches the part of you that is genuinely awake, then you know all this already. It is time to be bold with presence, to take part in the life of your town, or country, our world, and be a space of active presence in the here and now. You can tell truth by its spaciousness, and by the quality of open, alive, radiant, stillness, rather than a closed strong emotional tone, though of course there can be strong emotion fired up by presence, we must learn to recognise that difference, and not rationalise our pain body.


The Heart Finds Its Own Way

Dear Reader,
I'm considering sharing a little something from my journal here each week. I'm currently working on a book based on genuine sacred reflection, though I have no idea if there is any need for this book in the 'world.' It has however been gifted to me to work on, and so I attend to this work daily without thought of publication, like old 'John' would have. Let's see how this goes, as things are very busy here, and at this time it is just this being covering all the bases of Authentic Living, and of supporting myself and my family. You do what you can do with love and attention... 
Here is an edit from an entry from this week. Let me know if you would like more like this, and I will try to incorporate some more sharings in to the work.

The Heart Finds Its Own Way

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I have to admit I’ve been thinking like the Buddha did at first, like Christ questioning how he could talk to people, ‘for they just will not listen.’ I’ve been thinking of walking away from doing any kind of public classes. 

The Wednesday meditation class is my bedrock. It is a space held for presence, and it also serves the work by allowing me to say I have a regular class, but every week, I question it’s existence. There is no ‘little me’ running the class, I know that it is only useful if it is a genuine space held in love and presence, and that it works despite me, but the numbers often don’t cover the room hire, and quite honestly I cannot run the class as a hobby, as a ego builder, as another thing just on the spiritual diary of the town. 

But then five new people walk in, then five regulars. Once we have five the room is paid for, once there is ten, it covers a bit of our food bill for the week; usually we get between five and seven people. With this healthier number of people suddenly turning up, presence becomes strong in this container, and the class unfolds itself. I tell them about the children I guided in meditation at a primary school on Monday, how they put their hands on their hearts, and invite them to do the same. To feel their physical life, to know their emotional life - the difference between pain body emotions, and the genuine responsive emotions of being. In the quiet, I point to the sacred heart, the Hridayam, that is in each of us, and that is the love and beauty in each thing, even the space between each other, between things. I invite them to gently open their eyes and look around the room at each other without giving attention to any story of pain, or shame, or story from the voice in the head, to see each other from the Hridayam, from the true heart, from the three hearts of our human life.

John’s Book Club - The Beauty Of The Ordinary

A videoblog reflecting on how some of the very best literature takes us deeper into the beauty of what is right in front of us. We look at two writers with the astonishing ability to touch the depth of life without cliche. This vlog was recorded after my RLF reading group in Bradford, England.

Galway Kinnell Selected Poems:

Mary Oliver Selected Poems:

BIna Shah 'Slum Child'

Supercharging Your Life With Reflection

I'll be one of the speakers at The Mindful Living Show when it visits Manchester in February 2018. In this short video, I introduce how reflection and expression in the form of journaling can help develop your mindfulness practice and I share with you some tools to help with this.

...and if you do use online shopping, if you click through our Amazon link here, and bookmark it so that you do your online shopping via that, some of Amazon's advertising revenue comes to us without costing you a penny more. So you can help support Authentic Living, and people who can't afford to pay for classes etc...