Author Archives: Kaspa

What I learnt from staying in bed

Kaspa writes: 6.00am. One of the cats comes in to the bedroom, meowing like the drawn out glissando of a singing-saw. I roll over in bed. The room is already light; the bedroom curtains are too thin and appear to glow in the dawn.

I try to ignore the wailing cat, who is just looking for attention, or breakfast, and pull the duvet over my head.

Satya slips out of bed and whispers to the cat. I hear her going downstairs and the quicker footsteps of the cat following her.

It’s quiet again. Perhaps I can go back to sleep. But it’s too hot underneath the duvet and too bright in the room. I reach over the bedside table, where I keep an eye mask (like the ones they give you on long haul flights), cover my eyes and return to dream-land.

An hour and a half passes. I begin to wake up again. My awareness wakes up slowly, first into the middle of a strangely fraught dream. Some time passes and the dream drops away like a backdrop falling at the back of a stage, to reveal another scene behind.

Incoherent thoughts wash across my mind. They are a mixture of old memories and fantasies about the future, none of which are grounded in reality. There is a selfish quality to these thoughts. I watch them grasping at superficial ideals, and angrily pushing other things away.
Some more time passes. The curtain of these thoughts falls away too.

I’m conscious of the room, of the bed beneath me and of the day ahead. The thoughts I have now are more grounded in reality, and less selfish. I’m ready to get up.

Sometimes this process takes just a few moments. Sometimes the thin tendrils of the dreams and selfish thoughts hang around throughout the morning, like silver threads of cobweb caught on my jacket.

Becoming aware of this waking up process leads me to be kind towards myself. I feel less guilty about the days when I struggle to bounce out of bed bright eyed. I have learnt to respect my unconscious mind working things out in its own way.

My ‘waking up’ karma will be different to yours. Perhaps like Satya you will wake up early and do an hour of something before anyone else in the house wakes up. This morning Satya spent time gilding whilst I was still emerging from sleep. The standing Buddha I bought last week is almost completely covered in ‘gold-coloured leaf’. Perhaps like me it takes your more enlightened mind longer to wake up than your foolish mind.

Those early morning thoughts and dreams are a window into my unconscious mind and show me what fears and hopes are swirling around in there, affecting the actions I take in my daily life. As I get to know myself more deeply and accept those hidden parts of myself I can begin the process of letting go.

If there is an exhortation in this email it is to become truly intimate with your own processes.

What can you learn from watching your own minds rhythm throughout the day? Can you work with the nature of your own mind, rather than against it? What can you see in the liminal spaces of your own mind as it wakes up or in the twilight moments before falling asleep?

Image: Asleep by Ginney, shared under an attribution share-alike licence.

Why I love “Finding Your Way Home”

pastKaspa writes: A few years ago Satya and I sat down to create an e-course that encapsulated the spirit of writing our way home. Of course that’s true for all of our courses, but this was the first course that we wrote together and we wanted to make something special.

Satya wrote four stories to go alongside the course. In them Joshua slips into the lives of the un-seeing and helps wake them up. He sees small stones all around him and encourages others to do the same. He changes the lives of the people he meets, and although these are fictional characters in a story, we have seen the mindful writing practices we champion making a difference to real people’s lives.

We recorded four videos to go alongside the course too. Watching them now is like looking back into the past. Since then Satya has become ordained, received a new name, and published another novel, I have started a private psychotherapy practice and my hair has grown!

What pleases me when I watch them again is that the ideas we are talking about still hold up. We talk about our relationships with special places and with people and about coming into a new relationship with ourselves. I find myself nodding along and saying, “Yes, that’s right!”

I love this course. It guides you through exploring your whole world using mindful writing, leading to new ways of seeing and to a deeper acceptance of yourself.  It shows us what’s important, what we’ve got left to work on in our lives, and helps us hold what we’ve got left to work on with compassion.

We called the course Finding Your Way Home because it helps you find your home wherever you are, through exploring your place in the world right now.

Sign up now for Finding Your Way Home (Starting Thursday) or for the e-course Satya is running, the wonderful Writing and Spiritual Practice.

 

Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Ian Sane

Day 28: January Mindful Writing Challenge

italySmooth, rounded edges of cobblestone, lime washed walls tinted red ochre. Sun-baked bricks. This sunny, chilly morning, Cefalu village in winter. On Via Duomo old women open up their shutters.

*

Ilona Martonfi

We’re on the twenty-eighth day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge - please post your small stone in the comments below.

If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

 

image:  Some rights reserved by christine zenino

Day 27: January Mindful Writing Challenge

sparrowPuffed up against the cold
But still cheerful
Hopping and chirping
In the cold and the dark
Learning from sparrows

*

Nina Mallozzi

We’re on the twenty-seventh day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge - please post your small stone in the comments below.

If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

 

image: Some rights reserved by barryskeates

Day 26: January Mindful Writing Challenge

rugpray mat flapping
my dusty mind
downswing

*

Ken Sawitri

We’re on the twenty-sixth day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge - please post your small stone in the comments below.

If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

 

image:  Some rights reserved by cordelia_persen

Day 25: January Mindful Writing Challenge

rainkids at the bus stop -
the phenomenology /
of mobile call plans
rain last night again /
the valley saturated /
the same old mistakes

*

Pip Williams

We’re on the twenty-fifth day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge - please post your small stone in the comments below.

If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

 

image:  Some rights reserved by Skley

Day 24: January Mindful Writing Challenge

snowfresh snowfall –
shadows of bare branches
crisscross erased paths

*

Theresa A. Cancro

 

We’re on the fifteenth day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge - please post your small stone in the comments below.

If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

 

image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Colynn

Day 23: January Mindful Writing Challenge

stormknock out punch
trees fall
in a winter storm

*

Nancy May

We’re on the twenty-third day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge - please post your small stone in the comments below.

If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

 

image: Attribution Some rights reserved by blahidontreallycare

Day 22: January Mindful Writing Challenge

treenothing left to say…
the oak’s
bare branches

*

Ben Moeller-Gaa

We’re on the twenty-second day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge - please post your small stone in the comments below.

If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

 

iamge: Attribution Some rights reserved by muffinn

Day 21: January Mindful Writing Challenge

Salty ice-creamedbeach
caramel skin;

a sliver of honey
mingled with sea-sweat

where I peel scorched burls
from your back.

*

Ian Mullins

We’re on the twenty-first day of the January Mindful Writing Challenge - please post your small stone in the comments below.

If you’re not already signed up, our 31 Days of Waking Up daily email package was designed to accompany you during this (or any) month of mindful writing. Keep writing!

 

Image: AttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by papalars