• Category Archives Creative Mythology
  • UnLearning

    “I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth”.

    Umberto Eco

    Enigma. The losing of a wallet. I was looking forward to finishing work on Friday. The thought of escaping to Akaroa and catching a movie made the afternoon fly along.

    A beer was sitting on the picnic table as I got home. Everything was coming up roses. When my roomie headed back to Christchurch for the weekend I still had time to make it to Akaroa. And then I couldn’t find my wallet. The enigma of losing a wallet.

    Is there an underlying truth to it? What if there isn’t. I know there were things calling to me. A phone call to a friend, a letter to write to another, this post to write. Things I probably wouldn’t have done if I’d taken that escape.

    The title and theme of this post has been sitting with me for a two or three weeks and it all began constellating last weekend as I was cleaning out the laundry in the Wainui Heights building.

    Wainui Heights
    Wainui Heights

    When I first set foot in a kitchen and began a career in cooking I didn’t imagine that cleaning laundries would be part of my full time employment. It was certainly part of my Air Force career but done outside of work hours. Most of what I’d been introduced to in that 20 year career has had to be unlearned over the last few years. Ways of doing things had become habits, habits that weren’t relevant in other kitchens, in other relationships. Habits are the ego keeping me safe.

    Maybe the terrible thing is an ego that wants everything to have a underlying truth for its life. Creating an underlying truth may become a habit leading to complacency. There’s nothing like hitting an animal on the road to erase complacency. Rushing. In a hurry to a meeting. Late. A hare in the headlights as I came round a bend the previous Sunday night, a sickening thump and the feeling of driving over a lump. I was aware during the afternoon that part of me didn’t want to attend the meeting and so I didn’t leave ‘til late. I have to say I was creating an underlying truth for not wanting to attend. A self worth issue. The immediate truth I created was the death of one of our four legged friends. Sadness and soul searching. And at the meeting? That underlying truth I imagined was unfounded.

    If the underlying truth of life is that our thoughts create our reality then I find it hardly surprising that it could seem enigmatic at times. I often wonder at the events that arrive in my life. What are the thoughts that have attracted them to me? Especially the ones that seem detrimental. Have I always been the protagonist in the detrimental or have the other parties in the events played a larger part than my own? (Separations, relationship breakups, job changes etc.) If the power of a single person’s thought creates their reality imagine the power of a thought that engages collective energy.

    Rather than being an underlying truth I imagine that thoughts creating our reality could be an overt truth both collectively and personally. This being true I marvel at my friend Elisabeth’s direction to our group when she was our shamanic teacher to have “exquisite awareness” both when we were in the middle of a shamanic journey and also in any moment we were experiencing physically.

    To do this one must engage the present moment with innocence and humility. These are prerequisites of the unlearned state. When cultivated they provide each moment with its own unique textures allowing it to become an absolutely new experience whatever we may be doing.

    Look to the moments when life has worked you to standstill. I was at a low ebb this afternoon after a busy weekend feeding the masses. As the group left and we continued to clean up I could feel my energy waning. The excitement was over. The doing was done. And as we left the complex and headed back to the house the moment began to take on a new flavour. I was moving into being. In that beingness I was open. In that quiet openness I saw this tree arrayed in light.   I hadn’t seen it that way before and it captivated me.

    Precious Moment
    Precious Moment

    I found VisionQuest to be not only a powerful experience of exquisite awareness but also of unlearning. The power of being in the present moment without preconceptions in a 4 metre diameter circle for 96 hours in nature. You carry with you an awareness that everything that happens in the circle is a teacher. Openness and innocence is required for you to be present to what the circle is offering you as teaching. At some point your focus is drawn to the minutiae of the physical – ants, caterpillars, spiders, trees, rocks, bushes. I hear it said that the devil is in the details, know that the Creator is there also.

    For those entering the VisionQuest circle a sacrifice is being made and for this they are under the protection of the Creator. The energy generated by a questor ripples outward touching the surrounding areas with peace. Spare a thought for those questing at this time. At present there are people around the world – in the US of A, in Germany, in Australia, in South America; and even a couple here in New Zealand questing and creating peace.


    “There is a road that can’t be seen

    No map can guide the way.

    Winding between thought and flesh

    Changing every day.”

    Thanks Isabelle


    P.S. The Wallet is found.

  • Lost the Blogging Mojo……

    Forgive me Father for I have sinned! Sinned against the writers motto. “Never a day without a line”. I fell in love with instant access internet and now it is no more at least for the moment. No longer am I able to retreat to my desk and put together my thoughts, embed youtube and photos to illustrate my experience. Shame on me.

    I had the title for this post in my head for a few days aware of how I’d allowed my blog to take a backseat while I found myself in a new job with limited internet. It wasn’t about the blogging really. It was plain laziness using the challenges of the area as an excuse! It was other habits pulling up chairs round the table that is me and saying we’re still here!!! And of course me, being the person I am said, have a beer, stay for a while. Ok, so they may have overstayed their welcome. It’s time to be getting back to what I enjoy. Writing with the added bonus of putting it in a blog. Complete with the odd photo.

    I’ve continued taking photos when I’ve been moved by the scenery, seeing that in some way these have deepened my thoughts about what I’m creating in that moment. So I’m still being moved by my inner yearning to experience a beautiful world. And yet I find I’m out of the habit of putting words to these feelings because circumstances have changed.

    I still have a computer, I still have the writers paraphenalia – pens, notebooks. I have no excuses. I notice that other habits are filling the space I used to have for blogging – food, nicotine, television. There seems to be something habitual about the way I’m approaching these things at present. Though I am able to remain detached in my thoughts as I see these habits present themselves there is something a little frightening in seeing them become more firmly embedded.

    Is it an oral fixation, a hangover from childhood? Perhaps my being able to articulate my world view through blogging led to a freedom from feeling the pull of addiction. It was certainly there in the background but not as strong as it is now. The feeling of having a positive effect on others through this internet medium seemed to soften the winds of addiction to a gentle breeze rather than the storm that seems to brewing at present.

    I’m also feeling the stress of having to give a presentation later this week and what better way to not only clarify my thoughts but also to give you, my readers some food for thought.

    I’ve been asked to speak at The Forum, outling my book Life’s a Banquet and leading a guided meditation.

    Life’s a Banquet grew out of my career as a chef and an ongoing relationship with personal growth. I took on studies in counselling, psychotherapy, life-coaching and shamanism without seeing any of them through to a diploma. Self directed study in mythology, the soul and motivational tools also added flavour to the mix. One of the elements of the mythological Hero/Heroine’s journey was particularly enlightening and I began to see how it was tied in to what I was doing as a chef. I revisited the elements of my training and saw how I could put together a personalised coaching program through adhering to the precepts of the chef’s training.

    Considering the criteria for marking on our practical exams I found the following would be useful for putting together a coaching program. Skills, Personal Presentation, Workplan, Efficiency, Cleanliness, Wastage, Group Areas.

    Whatever your background you’ll have skills relevant for creating a coaching program for yourself. Your personal presentation, having a workplan, being efficient, adopting an attitude of cleanliness and orderliness, being aware of how you may waste time or resources, being aware of how you work with others; all these are relevant to creating the life that is a fitting extension of who you are at a deeper level.

    From motivational theory we have the concepts of gratitude and appreciation, clarifying vision, being directed from within, passion, action, letting go of attachment to outcomes, and becoming aware of our unconscious recipes. Follow these and adopt an attitude of seeing beauty and good in all. Life will return the gift. Look more deeply into the multiplicity of who and where you are right now, and find your soul being nurtured in ways you never imagined it was.

    road sign at night
    Road Sign at Night

    Blessings, and beware of signs stepping in front of your camera at night.

  • New Position

    Banks Peninsula
    Banks Peninsula

    It has been five weeks now since I began at YMCA Wainui Park in the position of Catering Manager. My son drove me out there the day before I was due to start. As fate would have it we ran into a little difficulty on the way. An accident on the hill to Banks Peninsula meant traffic would be held up for two hours. We decided to take a back road. Though I later discovered the accident had had tragic consequences the choice to take this road less travelled seemed an inspired choice. The day was clear and we had views all round for miles stretching to the south and west.

    Looking South from Southern Bays Road
    Looking South from Southern Bays Road

    Since then it has been full on. With groups requiring catering almost back to back. It has only been the last two or three weekends that I’ve been able to take a some time for myself . There have been moments of grace though. The quiet time first thing in the morning when I’m able to connect with the beauty of nature that surrounds me. The silence punctuated by bird song and the wind through the trees. I had a couple of friends visit yesterday and as I showed them around they commented that everywhere they looked both at Wainui and on their trip from Christchurch seemed picture perfect.

    That is the way of nature. There is perfection as we look not only closely at the plants but also at the panoramas of the bigger picture. What is it within us that seems imperfect? Creation takes time on the physical plane. Each second, each minute, each hour, each day is a step towards a perfect life. And each moment can be perfect within itself if we are both mindful and heartful in whatever it is we are doing.

    Rhythm is important. During those first five weeks the tempo was intense. And now, the season over, I am finding it difficult to find a new step. Last week it felt like a pause between songs. It was like coming away from The Who concert. From the raw power of the music to ordinary life outside the stadium. That inner space that had been moved by the intensity of the music had to rediscover the pace of the everyday. And the concert was only 2 hours long. I’ve been working with that intensity 9+ hours most days for 5 weeks with the odd days respite here and there.

    I’m finding a new rhythm this week. Making to time to work on my blog. Allowing work in the kitchen to develop a new pace. In the past I discovered that coming in to a new environment required time to tune into the tempo of the place then once that happened the work began to flow and more of who I am came to the fore. This change from being super busy has had a similar effect.

    Talk of rhythm and tempo brings to mind the oral traditions in the times before we had written language. I imagine that the bards, the keepers of the histories, had a highly developed sense of the musicality of words which enabled them to commit large amounts of their history to memory. And I’m sure that once they got into the flow of communicating to their fellow men what was simply information in lyric form the rhythm and tempo would take them beyond the mundane to flights of fancy and into a mystical realm where they would begin to add a mythological context to the histories.

    In essence the mystical experience enabled the bards to experience their God-Self. The God within. I acknowledge we all carry the seed of the Divine within us. What is it that brings us closer to experience ourselves as divine? The ancients first attributed divinity to elements of nature, to their external reality. Over time the attributes became internalised governing aspects of themselves that are seen today as forms of intelligence and yet they were seen as being somehow governed by these “god” manifestations.

    Howard Gardner describes seven attributes of multiple intelligence: linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. These can be seen manifest in the characteristics of gods described not only by ancient cultures but also in the important personages of the Common Era – masters, saints, mystics, philosophers. Their inspiration derived from experience in nature, or by seeking the silence within.

    It is this space that I feel close to as I look upon the view from the deck surrounded by nature’s beauty, experiencing the silence early in the morning or late at night and allowing that to nurture my soul. Although this encounter is more immediate in rural and wilderness areas I’ve found a deeper appreciation for those green areas within the city when I’ve visited on different occasions.

    I’d love to share the photos I’ve taken over the past weeks as I’ve explored my surroundings and those I’ve snapped on visits to Christchurch. Unfortunately each time I go to load photos into the post the program closes. Its frustrating and rather than seeing the beauty that I bring to the page I hope you’ll take the time to encounter the divine beauty that is waiting for you wherever you are.


  • Plagued: A Call to Conscious Evolution

    A thought arrived in my consciousness yesterday and started building a home“. With those words I began the post Haunted by the Future. It feels like I’m beginning to move some furniture in.

    The trip to Auckland and the meeting with the sculpted Moses returns me to his story and the plagues that were experienced in Egypt at that time.

    There were 10 plagues according to the Old Testament. The first was the Nile turning to blood followed by frogs, gnats, flies, livestock disease, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and the death of first born children.

    Plagues of Egypt in Wikipedia gives a possible scenario on how these plagues may have occured naturally. It makes for interesting reading.

    It got me considering how history might look back at the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Are there experiences that might be thought of as plague-like by future historians? Will a certain mythology arise from this seemingly transitional time we are going through?

    What are our modern plagues? After I had Googled modern plague I found I needed to first define plague. What was at the top of the list had to do with biological disease. Another definition is… any widespread affliction, calamity, or evil, esp. one regarded as a direct punishment by God: a plague of war and desolation.

    What came to mind for me personally were the following:

    Consumerism/Debt, Deforestation, Addiction, Poverty, Celebrity, Climate Change, Female Infanticide – for each of these I’ve supplied links in the resources below.

    The other plagues that came to mind were:

    • Politics: I haven’t included a link here as politics is such a complex subject suffice it to say that it comes from the Greek word “polis” meaning state or city. “Politikos” concerns anything regarding the state or city affairs. These days we can include any forms of governance within corporate, religious, and academic institutions as having a political base. My personal slant is that I see those in power as being at times held to ransom by people with money. I see an us and them mentality that concerns itself with ideologies the average guy probably has no concept of. International politics seems to be a game of oneupmanship oblivious the needs of the common people and the Earth on which we live. And I’m also sure there are many politicians who have a good heart as well.
    • Suicide: This is very close to my heart at present. One of my cousins has recently lost a son to suicide. I’m not sure whether I’d describe it as an epidemic, though that is the way a friend saw it. It is certainly a tragedy that Adam found it necessary to take away the most precious gift he had, his life. I heard it described as a “coward’s way out” and I’m not sure I believe that either. When I try to imagine what it might be like to reach that point I get the feeling that it is the most courageous act left to the person who feels they need to take that final step. I’m sure they are fully conscious that this is the only way. And finally –
    • War/Terrorism.

    I imagine that the law of attraction is bringing this to us all for a reason. Zero LimitsI’m reminded of the book Zero Limits, a collaboration between Dr. Joe Vitale and his Hawaiian mentor Dr Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. In it Dr Hew Len asks that we consider that it we need to be responsible not only for what physically manifests that we in our lives but anything that enters our consciousness, anything that we become mindful of. Dr Len is the man who cured a ward of the criminally insane without seeing them in a therapeutic setting. By working on himself as he read through their records the environment around him began to change. He used a “mantra” as he encountered the space within triggered by what he was reading. The mantra – “I’m sorry… Please forgive me… Thank you… I love you”. He took responsibility for what was arriving in his consciousness and offered the “mantra” or prayer to the Divine. He acknowledged that to the Divine all was perfect and was taking responsibility for imperfectness of our human experience.

    The way I understand it is to see that there is a perceived imperfection in the human condition and by becoming conscious of the places our imperfection manifests we are able to improve on them. We are only able to change that which we become conscious of.

    I’m not surprised by synchronicities that occur as I continue to make posts on this blog. Only today I received an email from a friend that she’d forwarded on. An answer to the questions posed by these Modern Plagues?  A Call to Conscious Evolution. If what you read resonates there is a link at the bottom of the page where you can pledge your support.

    And another synchronicity finding this quote at the beginning of the Zeitgeist: Addendum Movie…

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”

    J. Krishnamurti



    Lest we forget beauty…..

    Clarendon Building

  • Moses

    I visited Auckland last weekend to see “The Who” in concert. Absolutely Magic! Their last visit was about 40 years ago. Their music is expressive and powerful, laced with a virtuosity that defies description. It needs the raw experience to be fully appreciated.

    Before the concert I had been able to wander the streets in what may have appeared to an observer as an aimless fashion. I feel guided and what seems random to others I know will have a purpose for me.

    In my seven years in Auckland I had never entered Myers Park. When I came to the corner of Mayoral Drive and Queen Street the stairs leading down into ferns grabbed my attention. There’s something soothing about the shadowy places where ferns flourish.

    Myers Park

    The path leads up the hill towards Karangahape Road, between these beautiful old palms. The noise of the city seems to miss this little vale and there is a quietness. Where the trees end stands the statue of Moses, a copy of Michelangelo’s donated to the city by a benefactor early last century.

    It seemed that this was no surprise even though I’d never visited this place before. The figure of Moses has been dogging my steps lately. I pick one of Doreen Virtue’s Ascended Masters cards

    Doreen Virtues Ascended Masters Cards
    Doreen Virtue's Ascended Masters Cards

    most mornings before embarking on my day and the Moses card and its call to “Take Charge of this Situation” is coming up regularly. I was uncertain as to which area of my life this pertained to. And to find this physical manifestation of what had been a simple card seemed to make the message more urgent. I knew I’d have to come back the next morning. I had a concert to attend.

    I got back from the concert around midnight. This allowed me enough hours sleep that I could get up earlyish and revisit the statue. As I sat and allowed impressions to come I was struck by the sternness of his look and the strength he held. Closer observation showed the tablets almost hidden from view as though to Michelangelo important to have included them without making them the most important aspect of Moses.

    Some person who I guess imagined they had a sense of humour had tried to apply lipstick though not very well, and had left kiss marks on his chest and shoulder.

    I allowed the power of the statue to take a hold in my psyche and then walked through the peaceful park and out onto the streets of the city. It’s quite a privilege to watch a city wake up. The city seemed to be at peace with itself in the early morning, the sun, low in the sky, illuminating the faces of buildings and casting shadows. The homeless sleeping rough.

    The city stretching itself as businesses open, people run, breakfasts are served and coffees fuel the populace. Little green carts with rotating brushes spruce up the footpaths, cleaning the teeth of Auckland.


    I order breakfast and my thoughts keep returning to Moses. Red lipstick. The Red Sea and the parting thereof. I vaguely remember hearing something of a natural phenomenon that may have caused this and yet there is still the power required to gather the Israelites and lead them out of an Egypt beset by plagues.

    These ideas lead me back to where I’m at in my life.

    What path do I need to clear in my life to lead me to the promised land?

    What are the things that are plaguing me at present that I must lead myself away from?


  • Haunted by the Future: Part 2

    Bison Skulls, circa 1870s, stock-piled for fertilizer

    I turned on the TV Saturday morning for a little while before going to work and found a program airing on Discovery about the American Indian. In it the image above was used as emphasis for the way the white man had treated the Native American. Once they had forced them into a small tract of land in the middle of the United States, far from their homes, they then proceeded to lay waste to their food supply in the form of the Bison, from which they not only fed themselves, but also clothed and used the skins as shelter.  A haunting image from our past. What is it within the white man, and I include myself in this, that needs to control that which is free, and to feel power over something through the ability to destroy it?

    On the Friday morning before going to work I managed to see a copy of the Christchurch Press and to see on the front page a banner telling of all the interesting news in the other sections. In the world section I was directed to an article on The Vanishing Face of Gaia by James Lovelock.

    According to the article the prognosis for humanity and its co-habitants isn’t that flash. And apparently we’re too late to avert the catastrophe. Not only do we have the future haunting us on a personal level, we also have it haunting us collectively.  And how is this haunting represented?

    • Climate change wiping out most of the life on earth by the end of this century.
    • Population may shrink from 7 billion to 1 billion.
    • Parts of the world turning into desert.
    • Sea levels rising.
    • Crop failure, drought, death.
    • Attempts to cut emissions of greehouse gases probably doomed to failure.
    • Destruction of natural ecosystems for farmland, deforestation, and the rapid growth of the human race is exacerbating the problem.

    Lovelock has a belief that recycling and the use of renewable energy sources (wind and solar power) are now a waste of time and he’s advocating the use of nuclear power. He’s also “struck by the public’s lack of urgency about the problem”. He says that “we have to stop pretending that there is any possible way of returning to that lush comfortable and beautiful Earth we left behind sometime in the 20th century”.

    For me while there are many green spaces in our cities we spend 90% of our time detached from the natural world. We live in contrived surroundings, eat mostly contrived food. We’re not living in a state of connectedness to nature.

    A few pages over in the newspaper was an article by Margot Roosevelt, the environmental journalist with the Los Angeles Times. She follows the story of Katey Walter, an aquatic ecologist and biogeochemist, as she studies the effects of Global warming in Alaska.

    Her studies have brought to light:

    • Warmer temperatures are relaeasing methane from beneath Arctic waters
    • Melting permafrost could accelerate pace of Global Climate Change
    • These releases of methane are a wild card that could lead to abrupt changes that may be irreversible.
    • Polar regions have warmed twice as fast as the rest of the globe.
    • Polar bears and Emperor penguins are threatened with extinction.

    Are we simply oblivious to this information that is becoming more insistent as the days pass? Are we apathetic? Or just pathetic?

    I return to the metaphor of movie making that I alluded to in the last post. The editing process and leaving scenes on the “cutting room floor” seems relevant. And life isn’t at all like that. We live life moment to moment. We can’t pick and choose the scenes we want to include in the movie of our life. We can create intentions and allow them to colour our experience of the moments we live within. Our story flows from one instant to the next and what we are able to choose is how to be within that instant. We can change how we experience them emotionally. We can change fear to love. We can choose to experience emotions that serve us, our sadness, our grief, our frustrations without feeling as though we have to put on a brave face. Or our joy and excitement more deeply without feeling as though we must restrain them.

    Many of the emails that come through my inbox from the so-called Internet Marketing Gurus focus on finding this passion, joy and excitement in life and that money can be made if we follow their advice and their processes. I’m finding these increasingly difficult to read and have taken to unsubscribing from most of them. The feeling I get is that while they may have the best of intentions in assisting people to become wealthy in the different aspects of their lives, PLANET EARTH isn’t considered as part of this equation. What sense will there be in having lots of money if we allow our home in the Solar System to become a desolate waste land. These IM Gurus seem to be perpetuating consumerism through their attention on money. I’ve witnessed the graphs produced regarding Climate Change, National Debt, and Oil production and supply. Each seems to describe a similar arc. A sharp rise before a fall.

    I’m reminded of watching aerobatics when I was a chef in the RNZAF. The plane would fly a similar arc to this until it eventually stalled and then dropped earthward. On its downward arc there was time to start the engine and have it operational again. Is this what is happening to us on a planetary scale? Are we reaching a Terrestial stall? How will we reorganize ourselves during that downward passage? Will the values that drove us to that tipping point be relevant as we are brought back to Earth. Are we able to reach that stall consciously or will we be ambushed by our seeming rampant unconscious or tunnelled vision behaviours?


  • Haunted by the Future

    Haunted by the Future. A thought that arrived in my consciousness yesterday and started building a home. It became a foundation for a few other ideas to start creating a shell on it. I’m not sure what the structure will look like when it is finished but I’m going to enjoy standing back and look at it from time to time as parts become finished.

    Those first ideas were – what am I doing in the present that is serving the future I imagine for myself? What is it about the past that is providing the this thought that I’m being haunted by my future? What have I invested in myself that I’m not reaping in the present? Still those questions that I was talking about in my last post.

    I carried the “Haunted by my Future” concept as an intention with me into my day and I had a few ideas come to me as my experience of the day unfolded. The model of advertising hype presented itself. We see trailers for movies “coming soon to a theatre near you”. How often does the movie not reach the expectations you inferred from watching the trailer? I create an imagining in my mind about how great the movie is going to be and then discover disappointment when it doesn’t live up to the hype. At times the special effects seem to be there for their own sake rather than moving the plot forward.

    Isn’t it wonderful when an intention produces something that you’d never considered when you made it initially. Special Effects. What have been the SFX I have been creating for my life? There’s been the courses, the workshops, the seminars, counseling, psychotherapy, coaching, shamanic studies, mainly experiential with the odd certificate thrown in for good measure. When I have been doing this I guess it is like acting in front of the green screen for a movie. I am able to have a few takes. And a few outakes. Get things wrong, get things funny. Listen to the director guiding me. Polish my performance for the grand opening.

    The dream of the producers and directors haunt the futures of those involved in the movie. What is the dream of my higher self for me? Am I heading toward another box office flop as I again bring these “SFX” to a wider audience. Or is this long process of fine-tuning producing a blockbuster?

    I was chatting with a friend on Facebook the other day and we were talking about our dreams and the future and she said to me that sometimes it felt as if there was a sheet of gauze covering her. It was the sense I got when I pondered that image that led to the whole “Haunted by my Future” concept. Thanks Izmet. What do we need to do to finally lift the gauze away that is obscuring the clear view of our present? Can we ever have a clear view of the future.

    While this was all close to me, before I donned my checks and whites to begin my working day as a chef I had this wonderful opportunity for a photo.dsc00278For so long this fountain was out of commission and the bare metal of the mechanism stood mute in this pool outside of the Christchurch Town Hall perhaps haunted by its future as a thing of beauty. It was the gauzy nature of the fountain’s spray that had me thinking that maybe there is a haunting beauty in a future not yet arrived. As we honour the present the gifts are always within view.

    other-002I took this photo a few years ago while I was living in one of the houses owned by the school where I was working. The photo had come to mind after I’d taken the previous one and it was another example of the beauty evoke by water’s misty nature.

    While waiting at the bus exchange last night after finishing work I happened to be wearing one of the shirts designed by the girls in the Boarding House when I was working at the school. A group of them walking past recognized me. It was wonderful to catch up with them and to still feel appreciated even though I’d left that job about a year and a half ago. The past has a brilliant haunting beauty as well. A perfect end to the day.


  • Questions

    I’ve had a challenging week. I’ve been working and it has meant not attending to my blog. I’ve felt something amiss. Back to working in kitchens. Standing on my feet in one spot for hours. Preparing the same old dishes for the same old rugby games. Feeling the pain in my feet at the end of the day, looking forward to a day off and the pain to recede. Knowing its going to be the same old again when the next shift starts.

    Arriving home last Wednesday and turning my computer on I found the message, “msconfig is missing or corrupted – use recovery disks to reboot your system”. And I knew what that meant. I’d loose everything that was there and I’d have to start anew. Starting anew. And that was the way I saw it a new start. I was back online by later that night. Downloading updates. My laptop is circa 2002. And the speed of cable broadband. A few hiccups and stumbles. Still stumbling even now. A toddler just getting up on his legs for the first time. Finding it interesting with both Firefox and Internet Explorer on my system after the recovery. Downloads not working in Firefox will work in IE.

    Questions arise when things aren’t working properly. How do I make this work. Are the resources I have limiting what I am able to achieve. I was working on a website for a friend just prior to this happening, inspired by the tutorials I found on YouTube, and the templates in HostGator. I can do this I thought. And the more I used the little knowledge I had the worse it got. Am I meant to do this? I’d love to put this together for him. Playing with the templates in Photoshop. Sorting through the code, but not really feeling I know enough about more complex pages. Sure I’d put together a simple page but somehow this was different. I need to honour my limitations and be honest about them and either seek help or pass the project on to someone more knowledgeable.

    The Code. A funny thing happened to me while I was in a bookstore. I found a book. The Code. ByTony Burroughs. It is subtitled 10 Intentions for a Better World. Was my sorting through html code in fact a pointer to a deeper code? A code poses questions. A code delineates an ethical basis for living. And The Code certainly does that. The 10 Intentions are: Support Life, Seek Truth, Set Your Course, Simplify, Stay Positive, Synchronise, Serve Others, Shine Your Light, Share Your Vision, and Synergise. Each of these intentions will beg a personal question or questions from us. How do I? What might I? Who with? Where will I?

    When we set set an intention and walk with trust into our day we are posing a question of Life, of the Universal Intelligence, – “How will my life unfold now I have set this intention”. No doubt there will be wonder and mystery.

    I was inspired by my blogger colleague Marvin D. Wilson from Free Spirit where he poses the question, “Should Christian fiction provide answers or lead us to questions?”

    Maybe that question could be posed for not only Christian fiction but also for fiction of a spiritual nature. And non fiction as well. As Marvin says, “In non-fiction, say the memoirs of a Christian missionary, or a theological discourse, or a texbook for seminary, then yes – of course – you are writing for Christians … present your best Christian ideas and revelations and lay out your premises for leading a good Christian life. Give me your scholarly interpretations if you have exemplary intelligence and enlightenment on the subject of Christianity and are able to explain the path in new and refreshing ways”.

    These can also lead to questions about whether what is interpreted is a truth for me personally or whether I need to walk a different path in order to discover my personal truth. I prefer to exchange the words Christian and Christianity for the words Spiritual and Spirituality. They offer a more universal context.

    Mythology arises from the spirituality of ancient and not so ancient cultures. And as a result we find questions arising as we study different cultures. Though there is a certain disbelief to mythological stories what are the things we can believe? What are the elements that we question? Are there questions we imagine will lead us to an understanding of our spiritual natures.

    Questions create answers. Answers create meaning. To look more deeply into ourselves we need to ask the deeper questions of ourselves. And the more profound the questions the more wisdom becomes rooted in our psyche. I heard the term Coyote Teaching from a VisionQuest protector trained by the Tracker School in New Jersey when he visited Christchurch early last year. It seems this method invites trainees to look more deeply into whatever process is going on for them and to pose more questions based on what they discover.

    Each question we pose of Life opens up more questions for us. There is no doubt that each question posed will open up cracks in the shell of the ego allowing the light of divinity to shine more brightly as time unfolds. Through questioning the Divine Sculptor chips away at the stone of our being carving out the beauty of our soul’s form.

    Nothing is certain when following a path of intention. We’re not sure what the universe will provide. In the unknowing is a darkness and the deeper into darkness I go the closer I feel to the light.


  • Waitangi Day

    Water Lily
    Water Lily

    The day we commemorate the birth of our blended nation, New Zealand.

    On February 6, 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. For more information.

    The words blended nation set off some insights for me as I thought about these times of blended families. When two divorcees come together to create a family each bringing with them their children. The insights were around the dysfunction that can happen under these circumstances. And the birth of the nation was not much different. There was dysfunction. Two cultures coming together and the expectations that each felt had been inherent in the Treaty had different connotations when considered in the language each was written in. There was the Treaty written in English as well as the Treaty written in Maori, the language of the people native to New Zealand before the English arrived.

    What the Maori interpreted from their translation, was different to what the English interpreted in theirs. Much like the difference in values that might be expected in the joining of two families considering each was originally bought up in a different environment. And it has taken time to get past what has been at times an ugly relationship. War, disease and repression have been manifestations of the misinterpretation of the original spirit of the document. We are still working to iron these out and make reparation for the ignorance and misunderstanding that brought injustice and heartache to the Maori.

    Today I came across this beautiful sculpture prepared by a Maori carver, Riki Manuel, to honour the opening of the new Christchurch Women’s Hospital a few years ago.

    Mother and Child
    Mother and Child

    This aspect shows the child open to the world while the other side depicts a beautiful shyness with the child peeking out from behind the mothers legs.

    That shyness, that innocence is a wonderful way of approaching anything new, without staunchness, without an egoic superiority, but with a coy interest in seeing how another is present in their reality and hoping that will be reciprocated as that other views us in a similar fashion. Through that coy interest we hopefully gain an appreciation for the other without having to change them to fit our world view.

    It is a magnificent day here and I’m experiencing the sense of being led rather than leading and the absolute perfection of what I was led to along the way.

    I returned via my beloved Botanic Gardens and was amazed as I walked across the lawns there my mp3 player going, headphones on, taking in some great Kiwi music. Out of the corner of my eye I spot a woman rocking a baby in her arms seemingly moving to the rhythm of the music that was running through my head. There was sense of disbelief, so I had to check in with the music again and I wasn’t mistaken. A wonderful sense of the oneness of all things in that simple moment. Wish I’d had taken video and added the music to it. But perhaps I’d never have gotten that synchronous moment to come together as it did then.

    Botanic Gardens - Rolleston Avenue lawn
    Botanic Gardens - Rolleston Avenue lawn

    Today has been a great example for me of doing what I love and seeing the perfect unfold through doing that. I spent time this morning going through my email, looking at the site I’ve been working on, feeling uninspired until moved to hop on my cycle and get out enjoying the freshness, the peace, the beauty of how life is manifesting away from the house and neighbourhood.

    Inside the canopy
    Inside the canopy

    I guess this picture encapsulates that feeling – although there are times I enjoy being inside at my computer there are other times when it becomes an obstacle to full enjoyment of life. There’s always a ray of sunshine waiting whether literal or figurative.

    Just to round the day off perfectly for a good Kiwi bloke we have the first day of the IRB Rugby Sevens in Wellington and a One-Day International Cricket Match with our traditional rivals across the Tasman, Australia.

    Absolute Blessings for me and for you.

  • Working with Qualities of Soul: Other

    This concept of otherness didn’t seem to be present yesterday. One idea I was pondering was needing to honour this blogging process at the end of the day rather than the beginning. The idea that I’m spending half the day working on the blog of the previous day shortens the time being able to experience the intention of the current day.

    This may require being more conscious of and then journaling my dreams.  Dreams haven’t been embedding themselves in my awareness lately. The ones that are the most vivid I tend to remember. Then there are the smaller dreams that make a sort of cameo performance – I remember them in the morning but have forgotten them by the end of the day. I read somewhere that dreams are the psyche’s way of working with what is unresolved within us. I guess the vivid dreams are the more interesting things not resolved while the ‘cameo’ dreams are perhaps less interesting. Both can be equally important to the unfolding of the soul journey.

    Having said that I do remember a dream from early this morning. I encountered a man, a friend I worked with over 15 years ago. As well as being a chef he also had a great mind too and could quote Shakespeare and many other poets. He was a example for me that though a chef and really focused in the physical, work wise my soul could also be further nurtured through other arts as well. I hadn’t been in contact with him for a few years though I was aware that he had Parkinson’s disease. In early January I was informed that he had passed away late last year a shell of his former self through his struggle with the disease. I experienced him in my dream as being younger than I remember him. Vibrant, brilliant, gentle, smiling. Still with that beard that he seemed to have forever though I only knew him for a few years.

    Beards seem to have become a thread in my life. In the face of the dislike of beards from family and friends I have persisted with my beard. I shave it right back when it begins to look unruly and let it grow right back again. I tell people I’ve just become lazy. Who knows it may be more than that. I know I’m fascinated by the Greek God Oceanus who is depicted with a beautiful beard. I encountered him when I took a shamanic journey, a guided interactive meditation, to meet my daimon. I felt his gentle and playful nature.

    At times thought to be the origin of all things, this is the god of the backward-flowing river Ocean, which bounds the earth and from which all rivers flow and every sea, and all the springs and wells.


    I’m fascinated by the description of the backward-flowing river. Is it about always returning to our source? Acknowledging that at times the soul journey requires a backward step? Is it about feeling the energy of Earth flowing upwards through our bodies, after all Gaia was the mother of Oceanus and so intimately connected to him.

    He always seems to have a troubled, yet gentle air about him in images. That gentle quality is indicated by his refusing to enter the conspiracy of his siblings to destroy his father Uranus. There is compassion in his nature. I feel that gentle but troubledness within myself.

    I mentioned the daimon in The Soul Part 2 in conjunction with this sense of otherness. The deities of any of the pantheons, Greek, Roman, Asiatic, Norse, Celtic are all originally nature deities or have evolved from them. It is when I take time to be in nature and away from my urban existence that I feel the sense of this other that is also me. This other seems totally at peace with himself.

    Thomas Moore mentions something similar in his audio retreat Soul Life. He recounts a story by Mircea Eliade that when he experienced this “otherness that was also himself” there was a sense of profound happiness.

    Moore also mentions W.B. Yeats who felt he’d be fencing with this other back and forth, back and forth, neither one seeming to gain ascendancy. For me that begs the question – Is there a need for any ascendancy or is it the honouring of the process that is unfolding that finally allows this other to be at peace within the psyche?

    I return to not having this feeling of this otherness about me. I’m not sure whether that means that all is right with my world. Am I exactly where I need to be without needing my soul consciousness to fence with me or needing to inform my innerself that I’m essentially happy.

    I noticed when I was at work that there was a difference to the atmosphere of the place. Some of the staff there the previous day weren’t present. The sense of finding my feet was less and a sense of urgency had faded.  I still felt nervous and though there was less assistance at service time I managed ok, finishing earlier than I had on Saturday.

    I enjoyed connecting with these new people and to feel the energy of their personalities. It takes me back to the uniqueness of each person’s experience and how they contact the world. To see how they relate to each other, to listen to the banter that unfolds among them gives a sense that they’re enjoying what they’re doing and being together.



    Thomas Moore
    Soul Life:How to Nourish and Deepen your Everyday World. Available here
    Thomas Moore’s site:Care of the Soul

    Greek Myth: Oceanus