Belief

Nature is itself

Right As Rain

Life is incredibly full. I just have to slow down enough to experience it. When I sit quietly listening to the rain, watching leaves dance in the droplets and noticing the changes in the ebbs and flows of intensity, all the purpose in the world is present and accounted for. Within this space, I hear an invitation to give up my constant pursuit of whatever it is I think I’m looking for and instead just notice what’s already and always present, even as I engage in ‘daily life’. We, humans, are a curious animal. We seek reason for which something

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Conscious Connection

Pre-dawn and daybreak are special times of day for me. There’s a feeling of love, connection and quiet that allows me to more fully resonate with the subtle energies and hear the singing birds. Over the past couple of weeks, out of solidarity and concern, my neighbour and I have taken to waiving and greeting each other, “Bon dia.” During these magical moments, I actively soak in life’s vitality, knowing that it will support me during the coming twenty-four hours. This is especially important during my extended isolation in lockdown. I often think and dream about being in a different

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Real—Unreal

This morning I climbed onto a ledge and sat in the first rays of sunshine to drink tea and read. The chapter, entitled ‘Creation theories and the reality of the world’, contains Sri Ramana’s answers to questions regarding our enigma with the waking and dream worlds, and our difficulty in coming to terms with which world, if either, is real and which is unreal. It’s a subject upon which I’ve never felt I could get any grasp, and not for lack of trying. But this morning’s musings were set on the backdrop of comments made virtually between friends these past

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Portal

What an odd experience it is to be sequestered, to be in lockdown. I’m certain that we all feel some level of frustration, uncertainty, helplessness, and/or inquiry into one, or many, dimensions of our central, global coronavirus motif. Admittedly, my biggest challenge is the same now as always, not to be overly occupied with beliefs on various topics. Perhaps that’s why I keep returning to the theme of holding space for insight and change. Humorously, even this is based on my own viewpoints. Notwithstanding, I step into the enquiry: can this time be a catalyst for a shift in the

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Mouna & Upadeśa

❝ Silence [mouna] is the true teaching [upadeśa].It is the perfect upadeśa.❞—Sri Ramana Maharshi, ‘Be As You Are’ Mother Nature is forcing Homo sapiens into retreats.Perhaps she is inviting us to take a break from our outwardly focused attention. Let us stop being so ‘busy’. Dive within. See what is already there.Let us each learn more about ourselves, our inner workings. There will be resistance.That is how the asanas [mental tendencies] work.But, with practice, those tendencies—that which separates us from our inner peace—will be rooted out. Just as standing on one leg becomes more difficult when the eyes are closed.In

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Types Of Quiet

I entered the hall with our group, filming to capture the moment. Then, I turned towards the statue of Sri Ramana Maharshi and my world flipped upside-down: the power and presence of Maharshi reached in and took hold. I directly experienced Bhagavan and crumbled to my knees crying. Quiet #1: SpiritYears ago, I’d read a few books containing Ramana’s teachings, but I never imagined visiting Sri Ramanashram. It seemed to me that it was a place reserved solely for highly committed devotees. Yet, there I was, unmistakably overwhelmed in my heart and not understanding why. Over the following two weeks,

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Arunachala

I understand now why people return to this mountain. Here’s my experience…. The prose below were written as I sat at the foot of Arunachala Mountain outside the Samadhi Hall at Sri Ramanashram. I had taken  up the habit of listening to early morning chanting at the ashram, walking to a lookout point on Arunachala for sunrise Surya Yoga and meditation, then returning to the ashram to continue looking within. On my last morning before departure as I sat in meditation, the mountain pulled my body into complete stillness, just as it had done the first time I meditated on

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All Is One

In this Santhi Yoga retreat, our teacher Govind is guiding me and affirming a lifetime of experiences and intuitions. He adds clarity and understanding that allow me to see more clearly and more deeply, providing a framework for both the body and (subtle) mind aspects. He is teaching me how to ground to Mother Earth and with all Creation. I see now that when this body breathes the whole of existence breathes. (It’s not just the worldly physics of all beings sharing the oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen on this planet through the breath.) Arunachala Mountain is tuning this “clay

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Moved To Tears

Never did I imagine that I’d visit Arunachala Mountain and the Sri Ramanashram in India. Nor did I expect the intensity of the experience once it happened. Tears came quickly in Ramana Maharshi’s presence. I crumbled to my knees. And now, each time his image comes to mind I’m overwhelmed again. I do not entirely understand what this is about. Perhaps it will be fully revealed. Perhaps not. It does not matter. One morning, during satsang, as I looked at Ramana’s face my attention moved to his eyes. For the first time I saw love—soft, relaxed, and calm. Previously, I only

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Cultural Paradigms

How do I convey the intensity of experiencing a completely new and different cultural paradigm? Thus far, only video recordings and hours of conversation have helped me chronicle and process the myriad of events, heartwarming interactions, fantastic tastes, iconic themes, disturbing sights, unfathomable realities, and personal insights into my own nature. Not even two days pass before the feeling of being overwhelmed begins to arise. I question my ability to survive the rest of the trip. Compassionately, I hold space for managing it all by reassuring myself that it’s OK to spend a day in nature’s quiet, away from the

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2nd Place Overall

Endurance Insights

One of the overarching reflections I have of racing Ultraman Canada 2019 can be summarised as, “Where did that performance output come from?!” In one regard, I wouldn’t have extrapolated my prior data and experience to predict the achieved results. On the other hand, there are clues to be found in the methodology and mindset. I entered the event believing in the possibility of achieving excellence. This is fundamental because without a positive mental attitude a low ceiling is already cemented into place. Removing perceived boundaries provides room for potential to express itself in extraordinary ways. Keep in mind, however,

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Twist of Lime

It was a miserable, miserable day at Ironman Ireland, Cork. Nearing the finish line, I was tremendously grateful that it was over. Yet, a few days later I began to taste a sweet twist of lime that I had missed during the 11+ hours of heavy rain and wind. The pelting downpour, cold temperatures and poor logistics management by the race organisation were challenging, to say the least. However, the continual outpour of well-wishing and support from the spectators was heart-warming; for them, I kept digging deeper. Deluge The Youghal and County Cork residents are perhaps the most wonderful people I’ve

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Clarity

When we’re not clear with ourselves about who we are and what we want it’s impossible to have clear and effective communication with others. We’ll make things up (consciously or unconsciously), and we’ll take things personally because we don’t really know what we feel or believe. Until we get clear about what we feel, and learn to express this with nonviolent diction, we’re only fooling ourselves. Growing up I learned to be a perfectionist because it provided a way for me to feel like I had some control in my life. What I didn’t realise was that the OCD behaviour allowed

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Eternity

When does eternity start? 5 minutes at a stoplight can seem like forever, and 3 hours on a treadmill moves into the realm of hell eventually. But at what point does it go from bearable to endless? As a young child, I remember clearly the time when my mom put me down for a nap. On some level, I was cognizant of my disdain for the forced downtime. Heck, I probably wanted to be out chasing geckos. I must have recently overheard the saying “a watched clock never moves” because, thinking myself clever, I moved the dial on the old-style

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Preservation

Inquisitive. Cautious. Curious. Veiled playfulness, uncertain about the rules of the game, and unnerved by conflicting messages in the ocean of human interaction. …That’s what I see when I look at the picture of my two-year-old self. As that child grew, wariness morphed into self-protection and preservation. I would have preferred that the outward manifestation had become foresight and restraint. Instead, the key theme was vigilant anger. The most insidious criminal is the inner terrorist, the part of your mind that bullies you or accepts bullying by others. An agitator in your psyche attempts to keep you small by encasing

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