• 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.


  • Working with our Modern Plagues

    What do we need to look at within ourselves when we consider these modern plagues? We saw the Egyptian plagues had a probable natural cause while these modern plagues are largely self created.

    Consumerism/Debt, Deforestation, Addiction, Poverty, Celebrity, Climate Change, Female Infanticide, Politics, Suicide, Terrorism/War.

    All this has been created by our thoughts of who we are at this point in time. Again I was finding it difficult to begin this post I had some ideas but when I put myself in front of it nothing happened.

    I begin a new job tomorrow. Leaving my current abode and moving to another area about an hours drive away. Living on site taking up the position of Catering Manager for the YMCA Camp at Wainui Park.

    I went for a bike ride through my favourite spots,  a sort of a good-bye. I’m sure I’ll be back but it won’t be the same.

    Its autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere.

    South Hagley Park
    South Hagley Park

    Leaves are fading, falling, carpeting the earth. Along with acorns they crunch under the tyres as I take the path through the park.

    Seems as though we are in autumn (fall) universally. Harvesting those things we’ve created through our thoughts. The good and the bad. Thoughts about who we are individually and globally.

    Is there a coldness entering our universal consciousness? A time of what worked during the summer of our age beginning to become frozen. Do we need collectively to embrace a wintertime? To consciously allow a winter bleakness to enter our psyche that we can better appreciate the springtime that’ll follow. To huddle together, deriving common warmth. Burning away the deadfall, those branches of thought that no long serve our global community, that have outlived their necessity to the tree of humanity.


    What will follow this conscious embrace of winter, this burning away metaphysically the deadfall of “civilization”, the “civilization” through which have emerged these modern plagues. The ideas and and thoughts that serve our concept of a common humanity will be the first shoots pushing through the thawing earth as winter turns to spring.

    And yet throughout a winter there is still greenness to behold, still flowers to spark our imaginations for the unfolding beauty.

    Are there areas of your life that seem to falling away, parts of your psyche going cold to ideas you have about yourself. Can you see the seasons at work within yourself?


  • 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 3

    I sometimes feel the need to make a grand statement about who I am. And this post was going to be one of them. I imagined writing about the Collective Consciousness, Unconsciousness and Conscious Evolution. These are abstract concepts and it is really in the details of our lives that we may find the precious gems of grandness.

    Yesterday I was struggling with what to write here. It has been a fortnight since I last posted and life has been extremely busy. I’ve been working long hours preparing for functions both at AMI Stadium and at the Christchurch Convention Centre.

    Last week we had the Ellerslie Flower Show here and the work was intense. I don’t think there was a day I did less than 12 hours. The most I did was 16. And others worked longer than me.

    The event was held in Hagley Park luckily not too far from the Convention Centre where the food was being prepared and then transported. There was an army of workers providing food from upmarket restaurant and cafe fare, to pizza stands, stands offering steaks, pies, fries, coffee, sandwiches, muffins, scones. Most of the time it felt like a battle to keep the food flowing from the Convention Centre kitchens to the Flower Show.

    Over the first couple of days the queues were huge. It started on Wednesday the 11th and went through ’til Sunday 15th. By the weekend things seemed to have got a little less busy or was it that we had adjusted to what had been chaos the first couple of days? By working through the chaos had order begun to make itself present? There were aspects though that could have been more efficient through better organization.  Attention to communication around the different areas could have averted overruns in production. This was already being discussed for the next one by management.

    Associated with overruns especially around food is waste and the disposal of. In such a tense and busy atmosphere conscious disposal of waste is the last thing on everyone’s mind and mostly whatever has been finished with is thrown in the nearest bin. There are recycling programs and receptacles but this becomes secondary to getting the food to the customer.

    The aspect of waste created by the event was most haunting for me. It is something that needs to be more embedded in consciousness. Systems need to be put in place so it is both user and environmentally friendly.

    9781438905686_cover.inddI am reading an interesting book at present called Who Owns The Future? by an ex-pat Kiwi who in one of the chapters uses the analogy of a caterpillar gorging itself on food before it enters the chrysalis state on its way to becoming a butterfly and likens it to the state we find the world into today – perhaps unconsciously gorging ourselves before entering the pupa stage of a new state of being. Working a large event such as the flower show certainly brings a consciousness to that idea though on a smaller scale.

    Light & Shadow
    Light & Shadow

    And how does the picture to the right figure in all of this? I took the picture on the left only yesterday. The one on the right was taken on Feb 6 for my post Waitangi Day. In it I refer to what I witnessed in the sculpture (image on left) then as a shyness.  And as I look at it now I see an element of fear, of trepidation. Interesting that I experience two different feelings about the same object on different days. I imagine that is engendered by the hauntedness that I’m supposing for this post and the fear that often goes along with the concept of haunted. Am I looking at the future with trepidation?

    Anyway to the light and shadow of the event. What people attending see is the light. The creations, the exhibits, stall holders, food outlets, etc. These are where their eyes are drawn and yet behind the scenes, in the shadow, other elements or persons are working to bring the event, the stall, the exhibit, food outlet into their immediate consciousness. And in some cases deeper in the shadow there are others providing service to those servicing the event.

    Not only that there is also the work done after the gates shut and then open the following day. The tidying of the site, removal of rubbish, replenishment of stock. All create a pleasant atmosphere for the event to unfold.

    Also in the shadow lie the unfortunate happenings – dehydration, cuts, burns, exhaustion – problems the public doesn’t get to see. One of the interesting stories I heard following the event was of one chef who had been rearranging her kitchen and putting items in her oven in her sleep during the proceedings. We laugh it off as an extraordinary circumstance. Had it gone on any longer though I’m guessing it could have turned into a mild form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    Exhaustion of workers was apparent and it was interesting to note the effects of it. For some their coping mechanism was anger and others became funny, laughing sometimes uncontrollably at the smallest of things. Its great when two of the funny get together, not so good when a funny person and an angry person are in the same space especially for the angry one. It brings to mind the amusing drunk and the violent drunk and how what may be going on in their psyche comes to the surface when the liquor takes hold. I’ll side with the funny people as I get that way myself though I do hold concern for what maybe hiding within the person who gets angry or violent when their defences drop away.

    With the onset of exhaustion a person can also become more open if they connect consciously with that space. That funny or comic self, angry or violent self are coping mechanisms and yet as I experienced through VisionQuest exhaustion can be a portal to the whisperings of your heart.


  • 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.