Inhale, exhale: sometimes that’s hard to do, because dodgy lungs run in my family; on both sides. So that this thing breathing, is something some of us struggle to do. Soon after my father died when I was seven, my own asthma arrived. So that I start waking around 2am in the morning, with a full blown asthma attack. And every night, my mother would sit there with me, soothing me with her voice and letting me know that no matter how long it took – and this I understood not from the words that she said, but from the feeling that I got from her body and the way that she sat there steady and soft – that she would be there for me, for as long as it took, until I could breathe again and fall asleep.
And in doing so, my mother gave to me that thing we all crave, whether we’re child or adult: presence. And yet I think we get confused sometimes and think oh maybe we’re not enough, so off we go and buy someone something, thinking yes it’s a present they want, not me, yes it’s the present they want, or maybe two or three.
Years later, when I was around 27 years old, to the question: what would you like for your birthday? I said I’d love for my mother and brother to accompany me on a Vipassana course, in 6 months in their UK centre in Wales. The lead in was so that they had time to prepare themselves and if need be pull out, or dive in. Thankfully, they chose the later. Read More
Firstly, may I wish you all the most magical and precious Winter Solstice. Today is a precious day. May it cause all our hearts to open courageously.
Secondly... I am so grateful that you subscribe to this blog. Your support means so much to me! THANK YOU!
And so, here's my latest story, if you like it, please do share with friends and family.
Here's to a joyful Christmas for everyone. And may 2016 be our bravest most kindest year yet.
I once lived in an apartment, on Ladbroke Grove in London.
There were 3 rooms, 4 if you counted the small loo by the front door, the seat of which was permanently broken. It was cosy. It was warm; it was a good home. I slept some of my deepest sleeps there, meditated with friends there, danced alone in the sitting room there and set up a company that lasted a year there.
It was also the place that Monday Meditations were born, which meant that every Sunday, I’d send out an email to anyone I knew, who either already meditated, had definitely mentioned an interest in it, or was perhaps, potentially thinking about it saying tomorrow: my door’s open, please come. Lets meditate. Read More
I’m sitting here, at my desk, on a dark cloudy November afternoon. Little Human is asleep and the dogs are sprawled out, wherever sprawling has lead them. The house, is otherwise empty. To the left of my computer, is a glass of vegetable broth and to my right, a tumbler of red wine. Read More
However, despite the initial persuasiveness of the wine, (it’ll be such fun! Drink!), it was a promise with a tepid life span. In fact, it collapsed quite soon after first emerging. In other words, when faced with wine or broth, I’m going with the broth...
Playing with Little Human the other day. A puzzle. 10 pieces. Not many, but enough.
Here’s the thing with puzzles. You spread all the pieces on the floor. They’re all there. You find the first piece, look for the second. So far: every things going well. The second piece and the first piece look made for each other. What could go wrong?
And so with an exuberant confidence, you glide the second piece to the first, you see how they’re going to fit and you feel that glee of joy at the inevitableness of that fit. And then it happens. The fit doesn’t happen. You try again, because hey, it’s so clear right? This piece and that piece, they’re made for each other. I mean the first even has the number ‘1’ on it, and the second ‘2.’ And this one has holes and this one has prongs and the prongs so clearly, go into these holes.
Except they don’t. Read More
Little Human, dog and I have started visiting churches. Partly because generally wherever we go there are 3 of us and our options as a trio are limited...And given the UK’s mono climate of rain, churches offer us a place to be: where the imagination of Little Human can run wild, where dog can stretch out and sleep and where I can sit in a pew and write. And yes we could leave dog alone in the house but personally that doesn’t seem entirely fair, so it's churches.
Luckily they’re wonderful places to hang out in. Read More
"May my mind come alive today to the invisible geography that invites me to new frontiers, to break the dead shell of yesterdays, to risk being disturbed and changed. May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love, to postpone my dream no longer but do at last what I came here for and waste my heart on fear no more." John O`Donahue
There are those of us who are connected to our bodies and those of us who are not. If you, like me, are one of the ones who have to fight to be in our bodies, then this latest story is for you. Because life is precious and the more we drift and spiral out to join the cosmos, the more we miss of the moments happening now.
And now is where it's really happening... This is my latest story: Read More
Recently Little Human and I moved to the country.
Don’t you get lonely? Friends ask.
Yes and no.
Yes in that we’re still finding our feet and we’re exploring the lay of the land, and oh women oh women where art thou?
But also no...
This is my latest story...
n 2010 I went to meditate for 3 months in northern India. As enlightenment seemed an awfully long away, I started visiting the library at the centre where I was staying for inspiration. One of the books I picked up told a story of a monk who took himself away from everyone to meditate. And the others mentioned this to Buddha and Buddha invited the monk to come and see him. Of course the monk went (imagine Buddha requesting you to come and see him!) and their conversation went something like this:
you’ve taken yourself away?
meditation is easier now?
there is another way.
And Buddha explains how meditation is not about sitting in a quiet, dark room and shushing at anyone who might sneeze or blow their nose, nor taking ourselves far away so that we can concentrate instead it has the potential to happen wherever we are, with whatever is going on. As a friend said to me: it’s not only something we do on our cushions.
This is my latest story...
A while ago I went through a period of intense introspection and at the end of it was a question: could I be a nun?
In the end during a trip to northern India to meditate for 3 months, it turned out that it was more a romantic notion of mine. It's not just that the hills are alive, but that those mountains in the Himalayas are damn cold....
During that trip I was so immersed in this question: will I be a nun? Can I be a nun? That I went to India to explore. In the end I got sick, sick, I want my mummy sick, and so instead of extending my stay as I had been wanting to do to continue meditating over the Christmas period I came home 2 weeks early, got on the antibiotics and watched as my dreams of being a nun seemed to dissolve and life moved in an another direction.
Until… Read More
When my daughter was born I was fascinated to see for myself if it was true: are babies love? But as I sat with and watched and observed Little Human I felt her to be something else and it was very different to the feelings that I had come to think of as love. This is my latest post.
In 2010 I went to India to meditate and whilst there I met a man who became a friend and who I really enjoyed chatting with him about meditation and life and so on. And I remember on one walk he said Laura what is thing love you talk about. And I was kind of stumped because it became immediately obvious in the way I answered him that I had absolutely no idea. Love is… everything? Read More