Excerpt from new book, Zen Druidry

We are not “away with the faeries” in meditation – we are truly and more aware of what is going on around us than most people at that moment.  We are also aware of our own bodies – any tightness, any pains, where we are relaxed and where we are tense. We can adjust our bodies, again without attachment, releasing tension and the moving on to full awareness of everything. 


This first phase of meditation is exceedingly important.  Once we have attained a modicum of discipline, we can then open ourselves up to what is going on around us without instantly jumping into thoughts about everything we see, hear or smell.  We have already modified our behavioural patterns into something much simpler, much more integrated with the world around us. 


The next phase is to allow the thoughts that arise, releasing the focus on our breath and our environment.  We do not become absorbed in these thoughts, however.  We let them bubble up, notice them, and then without paying any more attention to them let them go.  This is the key – like an angry child with a temper tantrum, the more attention we give to our thoughts, the louder they will become, until they have completely absorbed us into their own little world.  We must realise that their little world doesn’t even exist – we must learn to stop living inside our heads.


Some of the thoughts that arise might be full of emotion, leading us to joyous recollections or into the pits of despair.  Again, we must simply see the thoughts that arise in these first stages of meditation, and later find the space to deal with them should they need to be dealt with.  The idea of mindfulness is not to push aside the feelings, not to suppress them in any way. You truly have to feel them – and with such feelings like rage, it can be difficult. But it is possible to feel these emotions without acting upon them. It’s why I haven’t murdered anyone – and I hope I never will! Because we live in honorable relationship to the world, we know that to act on certain feelings is morally unethical. We can still feel them, acknowledge them – hell, we’re only monkeys with car keys after all. We honor the feelings of our own human nature, dance with them, surrender into their flow for a time, but never ever submit, for to do could quite possibly mean our death, or the death and harm of others.

9 thoughts on “Excerpt from new book, Zen Druidry

  1. By natural default I have always been away with the faeries, a dreamer as a child, adolescent and adult. I have used and explored various meditation techniques for many years and they all have the same goal. Union with the spirit/higher self, non-attachment to ego. Having explored a few paths and techniques in detail and having been out and about of those on different paths, using different techniques I have come full circle.
    My main technique now is Christian contemplation/meditaion and prayer. Christianity I now see is the greatest leveller in human ego terms, there is no striving for perfection, nothing to learn, other than to accept your God given gifts and your limitations and to live life to the best of your ability whilst striving to do your best by others. That’s as much as we can do. I have witnessed much bravery and courage by the very young and those in very testing circumstances just lately and they follow the path of the heart, imo, which is inherent in all human beings. Natural to us all, the small voice of concience, and that glimmer in each of us that is always aware of something else. So good luck everyone, pagan, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Catholic, Muslim. You are where you are for a reason.

  2. It is always “Mom” not “mum” , a class distinction in a very subtle way..it always annoys me when I cannot find a greetings card anywhere with Mom on it. It’s always Mum, I refuse to use that word and refuse to answer to it. Even though I maybe a he and a husband and dad, maybe a grandfather. I will start a march of protest this week against the usage of Mum as a common term as opposed to Mom.. please join me! In exasperation… Al

    • I use Mom merely because that’s how we say and spell it in Canada – I was not aware that there were class distinctions in other countries, or even other spellings!

  3. Being from Canada you wouldn’t be aware of class distinctions, I grant you that, but here in the UK they are forced down your throat. The biggest circus of such being the Diamond Jubilee. A flaunting of wealth and prestige in the face of recession yet again, I vaguely remember The Silver Jubilee. I was a Hula Girl, dressed in cut off pastic room dividers, ie a multi coloured plastic skirt at an odd street party, I was very young at the time, but do not have a particularly positive memory of it.

    And we are told that we have to work ourselves out of debt, created by greedy banks and government mismanagement and abuse of office on the whole. Apparently we have food banks now in the Uk, a basic requirement for life, but hey ho, after you have your food parcels you are free to wave Union Jacks at the Monarchy and admire the thousand pound plus dresses of Kate, the new role model. You would think with all that money they would have better researchers and security that wouldnt allow perverts to be seen within one inch of a thousand pound dress.

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