How can I make you happy?

I am looking at the white question of the screen, as our cat Roshi bows at the scratching post and sharpens his claws, and as the wind runs its fingers through the leaves of the fading magnolia outside. I am wondering how I can make you happy. I have been thinking about offerings. That beautiful […]

Why do we do stuff?

Why do I do the things I do? This is a question that has been marinading in me for weeks, months, years. It goes alongside questions such as, what should I do with the limited time I have? What is the most skilful way of meeting my goals? What ARE my goals? Of course, I […]

How can we help?

There is no love which does not become help. ~ Paul Tillich Sometimes it is exquisitely painful to love. We love those who do not love us back. We love those who are cutting into themselves, and they will not stop, and we cannot stop them bleeding. We love those who are gone from this earth. […]

Raspberry leaves and sweet silence

For this morning’s Buddhist service, rather than sitting in the shrine room we went outside. We spent forty minutes snaking single file around the temple garden, slowly placing one foot in front of the other. The gravel was sharp and woke up my bare soles, and then the dew cooled them. A robin accompanied us with her confident song. We […]

In praise of cheerleading

This weekend my nieces took part in the children’s mini-marathon in Greenwich Park. After a mass warm up with stretches and jumping jacks, we saw them off at the starting line. Luma (5 and a mini-marathon first timer) ran with her mum, and Ramona (7 and a veteran) with my brother. The route looped and snaked around […]

What is your heart’s purpose?

Last night, as a part of the weekly Buddhist practice I offer online, my Dharma talk was about this quote: The big distinction between good art and so-so art lies somewhere in the art’s heart’s purpose, the agenda of the consciousness behind the text. It’s got something to do with love. With having the discipline […]

What do you need but not want?

A lot of the things I offer to the world are a ‘hard sell’. Nobody skips happily to see me for psychotherapy, where they pay money to feel horrible. People are understandably sceptical of our form of Buddhism, which encourages us to acknowledge our foolishness and to open to the Other. My latest book is called […]

What’s your cheese?

I just walked past our old cat Fatty, curled up on the back of the sofa. He opened one eye lazily and, as I neared the fridge, leapt from his comfy blanket and trotted over to me. For several years now we’ve been treating Fatty’s dodgy thyroid with daily lunchtime pills. We discovered that the most […]

Are you a saint or a pickpocket?

“When a pickpocket sees a saint, he sees only his pockets. When a saint sees a pickpocket, he sees only god.” ~ Ramana Maharshi The pickpocket survives by taking money from other people’s pockets. Yes, he could have made different choices. We can always choose differently. But we will never know how it was for the pickpocket […]