advance from duplicity to simplicity


"He must increase, but I must decrease."
Demand a yardstick – measure – and you'll always be disappointed.
The declining posture of old age is simply a gradual disappearance into heart.
"It is the human vocation to manifest the spiritual in and through the material."


loved, but not thought


Salvation lies in that ever elusive moment of unconditionality which dies as soon as registered.


brought to perfect silence and unknowing


sans savoir, sans avoir, sans voir


"Lord, I believe: help my unbelief."

Believe me, having a mind above average is no advantage when it comes to heart work. In fact, it's a positive hindrance.
"What is most contrary to salvation is not sin but habit."
The path from mind to heart is a downward one; a penitent path – contrite and humbling.
"There is only one tragedy: to fail to become a saint."
Look back and ponder the innumerable mistakes and you'll see that it wasn't for lack of knowing but for lack of listening. We always know what needs to be done, in the deep deep heart – the gut, and then we ignore it and go instead with the head.


"Learning to actually mean, from ever-deepening regions of the heart, is what makes practice so challenging."
When defensiveness falls away then humility flows in.


a passion for trespassing the horizons of possibility
Meaning is in the feeling, feeling in the meaning – the heart invested in action, in movement, in the passage of time. That's what the work, ultimately, is all about: understanding Time – allowing its passage to bring it on as it draws you out.
The presence of mind to practice.


Paradise, Gan Eden, is, quite simply, peace of mind – the place, the state, yearned for, at heart, at least.


What is Reality but the subtle resonance between me and thee or, rather, I and Thou, which, when right, begins to hum, and, when really right, starts to sing. Reality is We.


It is not unfinished. It is unending.


discipline & attention
in the dark
       I sit

in the light
       I am


"There are many paths, but a single path must be chosen."
At the heart of softness is a yearning for a way of communicating that doesn't involve pitting one opinion against another.
Make a break for It.


Trying to encourage my 8 year old to start reading the Bible since she now reads Hebrew. "It's the greatest book ever written," I explained. "Wow! Even better than Enid Blyton?!"
if real, Spirit informs

"A man thinks about universals while on the job, and the sense that comes thru most is no future worth it if the present diminutive."
The Other is mirror through which, and only through which, I achieve true being – truth – rather than self. And not because they stimulate competitive edge but because they demand a heart.
Guard the heart above all else,
for it is the source of life.


Personal God is simply agent allowing possibility of impossible. In particular, for our purposes, the possibility that seemingly ingrained and recalcitrant patterns can be broken; the possibility of real change. The actual existence of such a God is unnecessary, but love for / belief in certainly is, though it can take a multitude of conceptual forms. The energy for change comes from belief rather than being.
Desire the world – increase daily
Desire the Dao – decrease daily.

There will always come a point where such decrease is difficult, painful, awful, impossible, especially when it demands jettisoning habitual support for body and mind.

Take down the body; give up the ghost.


It doesn't get any better than this.
"Sickness becomes the means through which one is cured and empowered or 'permitted' way beyond what one was before the illness."
The work internalizes strength and thereby makes power.
Spirit has a life of its own. Mind does not.

All contradiction, conflict, bad faith, gainsaying, misunderstanding – paradox even – stem from an inability to distinguish mind and spirit.
immanence implies transcendence; they are not opposed to one another


"Wisdom is the environs to which each man relates because each man reflects the other differentially relating, equally participating."
Relax, feel and engage the natural forces operating both without (gravity etc) and within (drives etc). These will then tighten up just enough to bring you to full power.


the murmuring of an intensity that does not abate
Hardness is putting self before other. Softness is putting other before self. It's as simple as that.
"Does art imitate life, or does life imitate TV?"
The big breakthrough comes when you finally accept that this work is not something you do to make normal life bearable but something that makes normal life so unbearable that you cannot possibly go back to it.
my revolt
is not to give in
What is truth? Whatever we're running from. So, to begin the revolutionary turn towards it, something absolutely fundamental in habitual nature must be reversed. I suggest switching the dominant activity of mind from idle thought (worry) to prayer, where prayer is simply the lifting of heart and mind upward – into the void beyond. No need to mention God, if you find the possibility of absolute authority – absolute otherness – disagreeably beneath (rather than agreeably above) you.


we took the path to the desert
"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular."
Whatever it is, get it off the chest. It doesn't belong there, and the longer it sits the more a heavy heart becomes habitual.
Nothing terrifies more than nothing to worry about.
destitute of reference

"My work alludes to eccentric systems, unseen forces of nature, and processes in operation that we cannot always perceive."
Known, unknown, unknowable. These realms exist in everything, including me. I gaze upon the known with my own known, upon unknowables with my own unknowable, into depths with my own depth. In the world of energy, lines always travel both ways. Vision is no exception.
Eschew appearance/s


"Worry is preposterous. We don't know enough to worry."
To want to be a saint to want to be a saint to want to
to want to be a saint to be the snake-tailed one to want to
be snake-tailed with wings to be a snake-tailed saint with wings to
want to be a saint to want to awaken men wake men from nightmare.

Cor ad cor loquitur (Heart speaks unto Heart).
Presence is not for the self but for the other. Support the other, trust the other, in equal measure. This is Central Equilibrium.
Forgive: from for- "completely" + giefan "give"
What you are, really, deep down, beneath the crap, is far far finer, infinitely richer, than any image you could possible hold, desire or create for yourself. Spirit – your energetic signature – which, whether you like it or not, inevitably colours everything you do, is beautiful and unique and deserves to be honoured as such. So, when we say be here now – in the present – we simply mean dwell in your energy rather than in self image.


Language is our palace and our prison.


genuine repetition is recollected forward
"I was looking at the hyacinth, and as I gazed at the form of its petals and the strength of their curve as they open and curl back to reveal the mysterious flower-centres with their anthers and eyelike hearts, abruptly I found that I was no longer looking at it, but was it; a distinct, indescribable, but in no way vague, still less emotional, shift of consciousness into the plant itself. Or rather I and the plant were one and indistinguishable; as if the plant were a part of my consciousness. I dared scarcely breathe, held in a kind of fine attention in which I could sense the very flow of life in the cells. I was not perceiving the flower but living it. I was aware of the life of the plant as a slow flow of circulation of a vital current of liquid light of the utmost purity. I could apprehend as a simple essence formal structure and dynamic process. This dynamic form was, as it seemed, of a spiritual not a material order; or of a finer matter, or of matter itself perceived as spirit. There was nothing emotional about this experience which was, on the contrary, an almost mathematical apprehension of a complex and organized whole, apprehended as a whole. This whole was living; and as such inspired a sense of immaculate holiness."
The lazy student. The student who, for whatever reason, does not practice; the student who gives nothing back. The longer it goes on the less likely they are to ever start. In a class situation they are tolerable, but privately (and it is strange how it's always the lazy students that demand private lessons – as though that privileged exposure compensates somehow for lack of practice) they are, believe me, far more trouble than they are worth (than the money they pay you).
The primary function of the eye is not to see but to carry an intensely participant spirit. The best way to serve the object is not to ob-serve it but to merge with it in an act of spirit.
"Still there is spiritual progress, further impoverishment, ascesis."


"I feel my body defending itself against me."
The difference between joy and depression, between what my teacher called enheartenment and disheartenment, is that between connexion and disconnexion, touch and separation, freeflow and stagnation, communion and selfhood. It's all in the mind – the heartmind – the mood. A matter of spirit.
a vertical severity


"It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so don't fuss, dear; get on with it."
Gravity: what comes down must go up.
Grace: what goes up must come down.
Or is it the other way round?

Here, the religious obsess on the word of God, and the nonreligious on their own word – opinion. Much better the former.
"The visionary has two sciences, the science of wrath and the science of pity: the former the explosion of energy, the latter its fruit and incorporation."
Gravity bears down through body, and thymos (life) gushes up, distributed by waist (core strength & turning moment), pooling at heart. A trigger of compassion, vulnerability, hope, and heart opens upward in affective (so effective) prayer. Grace, the answer to prayer, then befalls and blesses. At our best, we are simply machines – transducers – converting gravity to grace.


What kills the body? Vision, eventually. What kills the spirit? Lack of vision. Which one do you want to go first?
We make a world to keep reality out.


"The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead."
It is not enough to have a quiet mind – a self-satisfied mind is quiet. The mind must be empty.
The fundamental fact of us all – more fundamental than the air we breathe, the food we eat – is gravity: the fact that we are fashioned from matter, and so are tugged at by heavy objects, in particular the Earth. The gravitational field of the Earth pulls us directly downward upon its surface, and this surface – the ground – kicks up into us, equal and opposite to gravity itself. We call this upward force thymos because, if the spine is strong, healthy and erect, a steady stream of energy flows up through the body to gather naturally in the thymus gland in the upper chest. In its simplest form Taiji is a sequence of movements designed to distribute this thymic energy through the upper body and into the Other, using mainly turning actions from the core (belly/lumber spine).
"Don't stop when you're tired; stop when you're done."
Spirit is intensely awake and internally gathered.
Our vision is not so much in what we see but in how we move.
Quietening the mind is difficult enough, though it comes in time, with practice. But emptying the mind, where on earth does one start on that? Issues have to be worked through so that they can be let go, otherwise they'll keep coming back.