Posts filed under ‘My Old Journals’

A Cultivator’s Diary – Part 2 (From my journals 2007)

January 24, 2007

While standing in a semi-horse pose, I realised that once I lost my attention and my mind wandered, that I then felt fatigue or strong tension in my legs and had the inclination to stop. But what came first ? Was it that the stress on my legs led to a feeling of tiredness and this filtered through to my mind, which added its own thoughts of defeat and loss to the mix? Defeat of not being able to keep the posture, loss of muscle power due to old age ?

But trying again to stay present in the pose, I tried to keep my awareness steady, to keep concentrating on my stance, muscles, awareness, trying not to let my mind slip away. What I found when I did this was that I could keep concentration and therefore also keep the pose longer, overriding the stress in the legs. When I finished the pose I saw that I did 9 minutes, the longest one yet. So my conclusion is that the sense of defeat and of loss are there in the background, in the unconscious, waiting to come out whenever there is a suitable physical moment when they can attach to a physiological response.

I know when I get tired I also get depressed. This is the same syndrome. Doing a strong standing pose puts pressure on my muscles, increases tension, and if at that time I lose concentration on the pose, then the first thing which comes into my mind- the first thought that arises- is a negative one that causes me to feel defeated and powerless and to let go of the stance, when in fact I still have energy available to continue, far longer than even today’s 9 minutes.

Perhaps a time to experiment more.

December 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

A Cultivator’s Diary – Part 1- (My Journals 2007)

January 23 2007

Today I took this journal up to the yoga room, so that I could write when the inspiration strikes.

I was ‘standing’ (Chi Gong Standing Pole) in front of the window, trying to see if my arms were hanging down while at the same time my sternum was straight, my head upright and balanced on my neck, my lumbar spine curved and so on, when I had the feeling that I should give up.

This is an unconscious feeling which from time to time comes to me. You could say that it’s a defeatist, pessimistic feeling, and it would be easy just to ignore it, to say just carry on, what you are doing with your body/mind is good – continue with your practise. It’s the right thing to do, it will give you results.

The results I’m talking about are increased suppleness, flexibility and strength, as well as a proper functioning of the organs of the body, full and complete circulation of chi, blood and lymph etc. The aim is to age without pain and disease and to be able to let go of life in the easy manner of the old Zen monks: just to let life go, as you let everything else go. This is something important to strive for. But what that niggling voice is saying is that all your effort is wasted. You will die; you are a diminishing resource, no matter how much effort you put in your practice. Perhaps you’re trying too hard, are getting a bit obsessive about it, which is also not good. Do you feel like a deadline is approaching, time weighing heavy on you, putting pressure on you to release those hamstrings before it’s too late?

This is all bullshit. You have all the time you need. If you can loosen your hamstrings tomorrow or next month they will not tighten up on you again, even if your practice becomes more intermittent through work.

You are an arrow heading in one direction- towards health, suppleness etc, and you can not go in reverse or go back to unhealthy habits or ways of abusing your body.

Why? Because your mind won’t let you. In the end it is the mind that is changed first and this allows the body to change. People who know say get into the position you want and then imagine yourself into it better, without obstructions, tightness or difficulty and your mind will get your body to ease up and get you there.

Paul Brunton says that time is a mental construct, as is space. If you allow time to rule you, then you are letting your own sense of time have dominance over your thoughts and actions. Try to lose that sense of time and instead feel each instant as an eternal time, a now that extends through all of time. Stay in it but don’t be pushed or influenced by it.

How long will you live to? 85/90/100 ? You are 63 – that means you have at least 20 years and possibly 30 or 35 to live out your time. What can you accomplish, even in 20 years, if you want to do something in film or other work? In 30 years, you can be born, grow up, get educated, get married, start a career and a family- in other words you have vast amounts of time available to you. What you don’t have is youth, and energy, hunger and the enthusiasm born of youth. But you have experience and knowledge and it is the knowledge of the body and mind and how they work that you are using to make up for the missing youth factors. There is no doubt that you have more than enough time, and enough energy to do whatever you want to do. Admittedly what I want to do is very little –

This is the idea of Wu Wei – do nothing and everything gets done. Do less and less- do little. It’s so hard to follow the way of Wu Wei, but in fact you are doing it. You may have fallen into it, it wasn’t a deliberate policy or plan to work out how to live through Wu Wei, but in reality I think you are. So don’t feel guilty that you are doing nothing, don’t feel bad that you are becoming increasingly ‘idle’ – i.e. not hustling, not working hard to get movies made or finding new projects. You are doing all of this, but in a much more laidback way. Luckily your Holy Grail has given you the means to do this, and in this you are privileged. It’s an experiment with life, work and yourself, and you are trying to see if it can be self-sustaining. Live easily and openly just waiting to see what the outcome will be. Will Wu Wei succeed? Is it true? Watch this space.

December 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Living Philosophy – from my journal October 2006

Whatever happens is going to happen. Things will play out as they are going to, and nothing you can do will alter that. The more you try to fight or alter the way it is going, the more frustrated you will be, and the more energy you will lose trying to fight against the flow of things. And the flow of things is the Tao. Relax, lay back, play the cards you are dealt in the best way you can, but don’t get too worked up. Try to enjoy the situation and the circumstances rather than getting angry and worked up, which only hurts you, makes you sour and bitter.  Better to laugh at it all, smile, take it easy and enjoy the ride.

This is real philosophy, if only you could live it like this, rather than just writing about, that’s the test, walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

December 18, 2013 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

From a Book I Have Not Yet Written

Title: The Secret Of Long Life (is in this book)

Dedication: For my children and my childrens’ children

Increasing life is called Fortune
Mind controlling energy is called Power

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 55

The physical body is just a moment of thought.
Master Nan Huai-Chin


I offer this book to you as a guide to living a good and long life. Having a good life also means having a good death, and this book has things to say about that, too.
This book is not just about ideas, concepts or theories about longevity but includes numerous practices that lead to health and well-being. The book is actually more about practices to do than ideas to think about, although I hope there will be plenty of those too.

The practices require time, discipline and will power, things that are sometimes in short supply in the busyness of 21st century life. But the practices, besides being beneficial, also help to create the discipline and will power that are needed. In this way the practices create a positive feedback system in which personal development and growth are encouraged. “What you sow, so you reap”. What you put in
– in time, energy and commitment – are repaid many times over. This is perhaps the best investment of a lifetime.

This book is in part a kit- a combination of a book to read, a series of videos to watch and follow, audios to listen to, and a workbook to record your own impressions, history and thoughts. I hope that the entire kit will be comprehensive and easy to understand. If it isn’t I’m sure you will let me know.

First of all, let me describe the intention of this project. It is to help you to attain maximum health so you can live out your complete life span (barring accidents). I do not claim that the ideas and practices on offer will extend your life span, only that they can help you to live out the life span that is allocated to you.

There are many ways to reduce life span, and most of us do things that do take years off our potential life. The most obvious of these are smoking, excessive drinking and taking drugs, and enduring stress. Added to these are not taking enough rest, eating poorly and so on. No surprises there. We can also reduce life span by living dangerously, taking unnecessary risks. We may decide that life would have little fun unless we indulged in all or some of these activities. That’s the trade-off that each of us needs to make. Do we value life by its extent, by how long we have it, or by its quality, how exciting or fulfilling it is. This is also an equation each of us must make for ourselves. No one can tell us how we should live. All that I can do is to tell you what I have learned about life and health. What you do with that information is your concern.

June 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

From My Journal – A Blue Sky Mind (Am I too lazy to write new posts?)

Jan 12, 2004

The state of non-attachment is a difficult one, because to be in that state means that when you look at people you look at their Buddha nature, their true self, their divinity, if you can see that. If you are a man you don’t look at beautiful women in exclusion to ugly ones, or instead of men etc. Lovely bodies are not there to be lusted after. All bodies are seen as the same- impermanent, void. You can’t look at cars, clothes, houses, anything, with a view to desiring and possessing them. In non-attachment you have an eye of equality since everything (in a scientific sense) is ultimately made of atoms and are all similar. To view the world dispassionately, like the stoics, is to gain freedom of mind, once you are able to look at things as they are, without the bias of personal desires. But how many people can do this? How many young people can live like this?

There are still personal needs, such as food, drink, shelter, clothes, but these ideally should be found in simplicity. The Chinese, and more especially the Japanese, took this simplicity of satisfaction of need and turned it into beauty through making simple but elegant objects to eat and drink from, to wear and to sit on. They transformed the basic and essential into the beautiful.

Learn to see properly. To have a clear blue sky mind is to be free of illusions. No, it is to be free of delusions and thus to understand that our ordinary sight is illusionary. Not that our ordinary world is a phantasm or an illusion spun by some god or other, but that our sight itself is illusionary, in that we do not see what is real. The real cannot be seen. It is only when we close our eyes and turn the light around and look inside that we are able to ‘see’ the real. We still can’t ‘see’ anything, but we have the feeling that we are getting into the right neighborhood, are getting closer to it.

The body is made of ‘matter waves’ (Dancing Wu Li Masters) and the chi is energy waves and may be the source of the matter waves.

A few months before I had painful sciatica down my left leg. It coincided with a rare astrological event (November 2003) that all the astrologers were excited about. I tried many treatments to get rid of it, but in the end Osteopathy (by Robert Zagar cracking my back) got rid 0f the pain. I continue to work on my spleen and stomach meridians, am trying to lose the tension in my belt meridian and in the neck and shoulders.  I have definitely freed up these energy waves so that my body feels lighter, more energetic and vital than it has for a very long time.

To have a free and supple body with no tension is the ultimate and such a body should have a mind that is also without stress, tension and worries- a blue sky kind of mind, one in which the spirit naturally and spontaneously arises. This is the ultimate quest, attaining a Blue Sky mind.

April 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

New Year’s Resolution – January 2004- From My Journal

This year (2003) I decided to live with no worries, no concerns, and I have basically done it, so why can’t I live next year the same way- no worries, no anxieties, and even add to that more smiles, more pleasure. I want to have the freedom to work creatively on whatever comes up. Whatever comes to me that I respond to I must accept- no choice- and just get on and do the best  I can with whatever I have, and not feel at all inhibited, not hold myself back, but go on with courage, be open, expose myself, be free- live! This is no dress rehearsal.

We should give thanks to the passing year for its blessings and look to the next one with optimism. I just need to acknowledge that in my 60th year on this earth I have no illnesses, take no medicines, all my organs work as they should, I have bodily strength, a good mind, loving relationships- all these are blessings, son, regard them as such and give thanks that your life is so full of beauty and love. Today is the start of a new year bright with promise. Whatever happens- accept and smile. Life is just too strange to understand or worry about. Lighten up, kid, keep reminding yourself of that.

November 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment

From My Journal – June 2007

When the sun shines, and the air is warm, I close up my office and head out to my local cemetery to do Tai Chi Chuan. There’s a battered green bench where I can rest my things, and in the grass behind I do some warm-ups and then a tai chi form (or two).

“Isn’t that a bit morbid?” is the comment I’ve had more than once, when people hear about this predilection of mine. But I fail to see what’s morbid about it. The trees surrounding me while I do this graceful flowing dance are old and broad, the nearby bushes green and leafy, and the grass underfoot is lovely and soft (except for the odd twig which pricks my sole). There are birds singing, butterflies floating by in summer, and apart from the lone dog walker there is no one to disturb my peace. The dead beneath their paving stones don’t bother me, and what could be better than sharing their tranquillity.

What does ‘morbid’ mean anyway? The dictionary says morbid is either ‘having an unusual interest in death or an unpleasant event; gruesome; and relating to or characterized by disease; pathologic.’ The word Morbid comes from the latin morbidus –sickly, which comes from morbus – illness. Now I’m interested in morbus- illness – because I want to avoid it. But I’m not at all interested in the gruesome and I don’t have an unusual interest in death. The reason why we think that cemeteries are morbid is because we have a fearful and irrational attitude towards death. Our fear of death is our primal fear, from which all other fears stem, and most of us are in varying states of denial about it. It’s my belief that one of the reasons why we get ill when we don’t have to is because this emotional fear lodges deeply in the body, which lowers our resistance to illness. If we had a better and healthier attitude to death, we would have a healthier, better and longer life. To deny or ignore ageing and death means that we won’t be prepared to deal with them when they come, and we won’t be able to put into effect timely measures to prevent the worst effects of ageing.

The way to get beyond the duality of life is to seek a unity that transcends these dualities. This means to experience the feeling of oneness that all spiritual beings (and that means all of us) would like to attain. Why would we like to attain it? Because it satisfies our inmost longing for a feeling of purpose and meaning to our lives. Without it all we sense is the world of appearances, which seems increasingly meaningless the older we get. To spend our lives chasing pleasure, money and status cannot sustain us into maturity. Eventually we want to make more sense of our time on earth, and feel that there is more to life than just materialistic selfish pursuits. We want to know the answers to the big questions: Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? We may never be able to answer these questions, but just to ask and reflect on them expands our view of life and initiates spiritual growth.

November 18, 2009 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

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