Manchester - A Pause For Love Over Delusion

There has been a bombing in the city of Manchester last night at at pop concert, and there are many who have been killed and hurt. We have a tendency to see each thing like this in some kind of isolation, and we ask questions like how could 'they' do this? But we know that all actions like this stems, and all the situations where there is loss of life both through terrorism and political action all over the world are rooted in the greatest of ignorances and have never in all our history ever lead to peace. The ignorance is the concept that we are somehow separate from life and each other. The ignorance is that we see ourselves as 'I,' 'We,' or 'They,' and believe that we can somehow win if we destroy the 'other.'

As I write this I have to say that my heart really hurts, Manchester has always been a home to me. I was born near the city and would go there as a teen to escape and be free from my family situation. Then I lived there for many many years, and even now I usually visit the city at least once a week, I run classes there sometimes. I was in the city the day the IRA bomb went off in June 1996, no one was killed then, but over 200 people were hurt, but the love and support the people of the city from all walks of life and all backgrounds showed each other was nothing short of a miracle. 

Presence and love can be found in every situation. But of course it is natural to grieve as a human being, authenticity and sacredness does not make us inhuman, they make us fully human, we feel more, yet we have sight that can see the conditioning that leads to and that also arises from each thing. At this time fascism is on the rise as part of egoic struggle for identity across the world, and this coupled with the loss of life, the psychological pain, and the potential for happenings like this to create further hurt for others, for labels to be applied, and for innocents to be blamed and scapegoated from the compounding of conditioning pushes hard in my heart. 

I sat all night in meditation to be a space in this swirling world, and if anyone knew I did that they might ask, what use is that? How does that help? And the answer is the same as it always is, that in this one heart at least there is space and love and non reaction. Having been in the city at the time of the last bombing, and knowing the people of that city so well gives me hope however that while there will be pushing and pulling in all sorts of ways, especially politically, Mancunians have a tendency towards love. The staunch northern quality of standing by each other will be in more hearts that not. While days like this are so so hard, they are also portals into presence and love, if we can allow ourselves to not pick up the voices of reaction and come into our heart of hearts, to be in our bodies even though we hurt and we don’t know what happens next, that we can grieve without blaming in a way that creates more pain body. We then might see and understand the conditioning and the pain body that always leads to days like these, which is the same in ever situation of such ignorance. If we respond from the heart then we do make a difference. Responding from the heart means that there is a healing in us and in the world. It might just be drops in the ocean, but even one drop is part of the totality of all things. 

Please feel free to pay this piece no heed, I don’t know any answers to anything and do not pretend that I do. I’m only trying to write out of love.

Love and peace
John

The Music Of Life In This Moment

An excerpt from my journal, written after getting up at dawn to go and meditate in the woods... 

Up early, it seems like everyone else in the world might still be asleep… and I go out and into the woods to stand by the river under the trees. I look at the spaces in a moss blanketed tree, and it seems that the tree bows to the heart of me, I humbly bow back. Bluebells, wild garlic. The sound of rain on umbrella, on leaf, on ground, falling into river. The sacred chord that is heard in these intervals that make the music of my life in this moment.

Love
John

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How Poetry Can Help Ease Depression

Here is a short podcast, love-letter, from me on the Royal Literary Fund Podcast, in honour of one of our greatest living poets and a poem of hers that quite literally saved my life in one of my darkest periods, when suffering from crippling depression. 

Depression & Mental Health is something we need to talk more lovingly and vulnerably about. I hope these few minutes of sharing my heart add a little inspiration to your day. Bless the RLF for their astounding openness in giving me this space to discuss this difficult area a little. 

Love
John

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A List

Call it what you will, but the only thing that will bring true and lasting happiness in our lives is spiritual growth, whatever that means for each of us. Any little step that helps move us towards loving self care this way brings happiness. 

Here's a list of things that I have found to truly be helpful. 

Meditate daily and to learn about myself by being in being and bringing any unconscious patterns that are playing out into awareness with love. 

Living in the knowledge that every moment, every breath is sacred.

Relaxing and taking the best care of myself I can, that especially includes sleeping well.

Exercising my body to keep it fit, strong and healthy as best I can.

Eating more wholesome healthy food, especially raw living foods and enzymes.

Communicating kindly, from presence,

Meet everyone from the place of the one life, and with interest, curiosity and a friendly smile.

Reading (books not internet).

Going deeply into the things I love the most and sharing them with others.

Meeting the natural world with genuine wonder and awe.

Not always commenting and judging in my head, but allowing everything to be as it is, so that I am reflected back to the grace that is this life.

Expressing gratitude daily for the abundance of all the things I have in my life.

Accepting that even difficult, painful things are here to teach us. This is when we grow the most.

Connect with others as often as possible, especially other genuinely spiritual friends.

In these days of so much that wants us to live shallowly and divisively we move deeper into life brothers and sisters, beyond the stormy surfaces that keep us alone and apart. 

Love

John