- Sharing the love that is our essence
- A thought on Equanimity in frightening times
- Frightening fires promote focus on global warming alarms
- Newly Revised “Walking in Wisdom” – E-Book By Tarchin Hearn - An excerpt to guide us in difficult times
- Meditating with loving kindness on our inter-connectedness
- What's the problem? What can I do? What can I realise? How can we help? (a modern Buddhist's response to a Donald Trumpian world) by Tarchin Hearn, Feb. 2017
- Listening deeply for peace in times of conflict
- Inspirational reaction to cancer diagnosis
- How to respond to all these disasters?
- The Spiritual Power of Images
- Some insights from leaving home
- You always have a choice
- India promotes gratitude and appreciation
- The paradox of increasing 'belonging' and loosening attachment
- So many paths to unfolding!
- From time to time, it is useful to see the beautiful in the unbeautiful...(said Buddha)
- Dance of purification and one-ness
- Awakening from my long sleep!
- Narcissism as defence or delusion?
- The greatest gift you can give is your interest!
- Confessions of an ex-Catholic Spiritual Seeker
- Opening the heart to flood victims
- Thoughts from Nepal
- It's all about perception!
- The power of belief
- Attending to relationships more helpful than focus on emptiness!
- Searching out spiritual 'Ripe Bananas'
- Pain Relief Through The Power of Ignoring
- Reflections from the West on Owning Land
- Discovering hidden stream of ill will
- Brightening awareness brings freedom!
- New Year Resolutions
- Meditation and Cancer eBook Launch
- Quakers' Commitment to peace and non-violence
- Letting go into uncertainty brings freedom!
- Taking Responsibility
- Tonglen practice: Compassion in Action
- Listen to Cecilie Kwiat's audio interview!
- Compassion in times of conflict
- Audio interview with H.E. Gyana Vajra Rinpoche
- H.E. Ratna Vajra Rinpoche audio interview
- More on the Great Need for Compassion
- The Dalai Lama on Compassion
- My motorbike and mindfulness training!
- Wisdom - the Sixth Parami
- Meditation - The Fifth Parami
- First Interview Available!
- Energy - the fourth Parami
- Alan gets a go!
- Patience - the third parami
- An exciting day!
- Wholesome action - Second of the Parami
- Generosity - the first of the Parami
- First Blog
American spiritual teacher, Jack Kornfield, has some particularly good advice to give us as we all face the losses and challenges posed by this greedy pandemic. In a longer article published in Lion's Roar Weekly newsletter appearing on my computer today, he shared his wisdom and compassion: This is a time of mystery and uncertainty. […]
In these difficult times as the world is threatened by a new COVID-19 virus pandemic, stimulating drastic protective measures and restrictions, it helps to think carefully about how we can react to the many challenging situations we experience directly and hear about more generally in a continuous stream on our news channels. Judy Lief, courtesy of Lions […]
The September early spring fierce fires in Australia prompt us to think more deeply about what we can do to mitigate global warming. Prompted by several big fires only a few kilometres away from my home on the usually moist, green Sunshine Coast of Queensland, I am moved to share this Lions Roar post offering […]
Today’s world of human experience is increasingly moulded by feelings of insecurity, entrapment conflict, and fear. We feel trapped in situations and circumstances: family obligations, economic constraints, weather, traffic, bureaucratic red tape and so forth. We fight interminable battles with people, creatures, invasive species, weeds, belief systems, expectations and fears. In the name of establishing […]
I have just discovered a great new mantra/prayer to learn and use to remind me of the inter-connectedness of all forms of phenomena, animate and inanimate. This mantra combines reflection on interbeingness and loving kindness and I am sharing it courtesy of Charles Suhor and Lions Roar, March 8, 2017. Connectedness Meditation I am open […]
Living Buddha, Living Dharma, Living Sangha (Words from my teacher, Tarchin Hearn) Late afternoon sun and it's hot. With passing rainless days, everything has been drying out. Browning hills. Drooping foliage. Cicadas and crickets are droning on and on – a hypnotic rhythmic chant punctuated by tuis, and silver eyes and other invisible feathered friends; […]
As we enter the new year of 2017, many of us are scared of the threatened increases in violence, hate and injustice mouthed by international leaders, established and new, and by those who oppose them. And so I am moved to pass on to you the inspiring words of wisdom and compassion of the great […]
Finding refuge in the wonder of the continuous, ever-changing dependent arising and dying of the myriad aspects of our lives and every aspect of the universe is perhaps a novel way to greet a cancer diagnosis. But it makes such good sense. This seems to be the refuge taken and reflected on by my spiritual teacher, […]
This most recent devastating earthquake in Nepal and surrounding areas urges one to think, yet again, what can I do that will help relieve the suffering of the wounded, homeless, hungry and frightened beings effected by such destructive events? Clearly, material aid is the first consideration but can I also harness the power of mind […]
One of the great attractions of Europe is its rich cultural history. The astonishing number of Christian churches, found in villages, towns and cities alike are an integral part of this cultural history. Wandering into these spiritual domains - along with all the other tourists visiting from around the world - I am struck by the […]
In life there is always the tension of reaching for security versus the need for adventure; the comfort of 'womb temperature' versus the stimulation of the new and the challenge of change.
Many is the time, over the years, that I have reflected on the choices to be made and the consequences of the choices made. It is with our choices that we create our world. But how often have I thought deeply about the importance of what I tell myself and recognised that what I tell […]
Here in the mountains of India there is so much to be grateful for. Just the ability to have come here from Australia and to be able to spend nine weeks exploring some of this great country is such a gift from the universe. And each day there is so much to trigger appreciation and […]
One of the wonders of leaving home and going off to see the world - or at least a few new corners of the world - is that the joy of discovering the new is set against the loosening of attachment to the familiar. I'm thinking here of attachment to one's home and the possessions […]
My understanding around the teaching that there is 'no one right way' and that there are numerous paths to awakening, continues to unfold. A week ago, I was deeply moved by the devotional singing and devotional attitudes and mudras of the thousands of people paying their respects to the divinity and guru perceived at the […]
We were all set for our first train journey in India, from Delhi to Amritsar, loaded up with rucksacks and filled with anticipation, when we were hijacked near the entrance to our platform. A man we thought was a ticket inspector insisted we needed a boarding pass to accompany the e-tickets we showed him. He […]
The wonderful, playful, purifying, connecting festival of Songkran has just run its course in Thailand. For three days, between April 13 and 15, the whole nation - and its visitors - perform a ritual dance of purification and connection as they welcome in the new year.
Some of you may have noticed that this site has been dormant for a long time. I have been 'away' on other business and asleep to East West Wisdoms until this morning. Today, a joyous, wisdom-bearing sprite awoke me with her words and pictures. Some might call this sprite my youngest daughter; some a passionate […]
We all have elements of narcissism - otherwise known as self-centred preoccupation and blindness to others - but is this a necessary defence against the hazards of life or is it the prime delusion that causes our suffering?
We all know that Christmas is a time for giving and receiving but, unfortunately, for some this expectation is a burden or a prompt to contemplate the absence of loved ones and the sort of friends you feel drawn to exchange gifts with. Like many of you, I have friends who find Christmas a particularly […]
It never ceases to amaze me how we live our lives shrouded by several layers of veils! We think we know the assumptions that are guiding our actions but, so often, we don't. The veils shield them from our view. And then, one day, a wise being gently prods one of these veils, saying something […]
I am writing to you from Queensland where 70% of the State is severely effected by our recent torrential rains and overflowing rivers and dams. While many thousands of people throughout much of Queensland and northern New South Wales have had to abandon their houses and businesses to the flood waters, I feel so fortunate […]
Just back from Kathmandu and the mountains of Nepal. Soaking up another culture and navigating a drastically different environment is the best mind-opener I know! Sure, one's first reactions to the unfamiliar may be peppered with criticism but the wonder of a whole new battery of sensory input - smells, sounds, tastes, sights and ideas - […]
There are days when it all changes. Suddenly a new view is born! So there I was, basking in the sun and lazily contemplating a bird in the tree a little way from me. As I was enjoying its song and antics as it searched for food, I suddenly realised that the bird's perception of […]
I have recently found myself musing about the amazing power of belief, particularly belief in a religion or guiding philosophy of life. Freud, for example, wondered at how men willingly die to "protect a scrap of cloth" (their country's flag). We are called to sign up to fight for "God, King and Country" and 'God' […]
We may not be solid, separate entities but we sure are moving in an ocean of relationships! We are communities of interbeing, on every level of our experience, inner and outer, and the great delusion is the belief that we are isolated, alone and out-of-place in our world.
Some years ago, an esteemed spiritual teacher advised a distressed student, struggling with lack of self esteem and confidence, to "go and find some ripe bananas" [people with the qualities she wanted to embody] to spend time with. She explained how green bananas ripen faster when put next to ripe bananas and that this is […]
How do you find happiness in a smashed--or disease-filled-- body, wracked with pain? How do you find joy when you're reeling from the pain of losing a loved one?
A common theme of the Dalai Lama these days as he speaks to the world with great compassion is to urge us to take responsibility for our actions. He urges us to reflect deeply on the consequences of all our actions and inaction, the latter in the face of injustice, environmental damage, persecution and the […]
In one's search for the seeds of ill will to weed out, I have often been surprised to discover subtle elements of ill will lurking amongst seemingly innocent reactions to surprise prompts.
This morning I have been struck by three bright experiences that I want to share with you. The first arrived when sitting in meditation, 'trying' to "become like a rainbow!" A rainbow-like experience arises briefly but is quickly followed by sensory observations and fleeting thoughts. I remember the instruction: "Just allow whatever is there to […]
Noticing the strength of habitual self referencing, reflected in the show of excessive apologising during recent hosting of wealthy English family members visiting us for Christmas, I am prompted to make some resolutions for 2010. Clearly, I need further work on developing loving kindness, acceptance, compassion and equanimity - amongst many other qualities!
I have just launched an ebook titled "Meditation and Cancer: It Does help!" For details see under new menu category "Things to Buy". This eBook combines a guide on meditation practices to promote health with true stories of people living with cancer who used meditation as part of their healing strategy. In addition, each […]
The Quakers - or Society of Friends - probably have the Western world's record for their consistent commitment over the centuries to peace and non-violence, in the face of numerous wars and oppression often fought in the name of religion. Listen to my interview with 83 y.o. Ruth Watson, who - as a Quaker - […]
Most of us find periods of explicit uncertainty very difficult to handle with equanimity. Indeed, the urgent desire to 'know' the way forward -- to escape that uncertainty -- or change the scenario, can feel quite overwhelming. It is this desire for it to be different that causes the extreme suffering associated with the times […]
I am moved to share with you my present experience of passing time, waiting the long seven hours at an airport before I can take the late night flight back to my home city, a further five and a half hours away. I am entirely responsible for this inconvenience as I have missed my planned […]
It's all very well to feel a compassionate response to hearing about a friend in trouble or pain, or to be strongly moved by a story on the news or in a documentary, but how can I put this compassion into action? Tonglen is a long established Buddhist practice of taking into one's heart the […]
The audio interview with Cecilie Kwiat, a Canadian dharma teacher, based in Alberta, is now available. Cecilie has been primarily influenced by her, now deceased, root guru, Namgyal Rinpoche, of the Kargyu Tibetan Buddhist school. She has also practiced a wide range of dharma with teachers from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Burma, India, China and Tibet, teaching […]
The Dalai Lama is reported as recently addressing thousands of devotees in Ladakh, where he described the basic principles of Buddhism as a faith that stands for wisdom, compassion, peace and brotherhood. He also underlined the importance of spiritual development of mankind, particularly in the present time.
The interview with His Eminence, Gyana Vajra Rinpoche of the Sakya Tradition, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism is now ready for listening. His Eminence is the youngest son of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin. He lives at the Sakya Centre in India and is currently initiating new and expanded educational opportunities […]
I have just posted an interesting interview with His Eminence Dungsei Ratna Vajra Rinpoche of the Sakya Tradition, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. His Eminence is the eldest son of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin and one of the most important lineage holders in the Sakya Tradition.
Last week I began looking at compassion and the opposite human position: narcissism. I have had several significant experiences since then that I would like to reflect on. One of the fruits of teaching for three days last weekend on compassion and narcissism, followed by two days of excellent professional development training on working with […]
Part one of a 2 part piece on compassion, featuring an excerpt from the Dalai Lama's description of compassion.
Riding my bike to town today I was reminded of how learning to ride a motorbike has been one of my most challenging and rewarding ventures in recent years. I thought I had to get my test before turning 60, so that they didn't decide I was too old to let on the road! Now, several years […]
Today I am looking at Wisdom, the last perfection to be considered in my reflections on the six Buddhist Parami, often translated as the Six Perfections - the shortlist favoured in the Mahayana scriptures. Wisdom, expressed as Prajna in Sanskrit and sometimes translated as 'Knowing Grace', is quite challenging to describe in words as it is […]
Today I am nearing the end of my reflections on the six Buddhist Parami, often translated as the Six Perfections - the shortlist favoured in the Mahayana scriptures. I will consider the larger list of ten Parami - or Paramita - at a later time. In my last entry, I contemplated Viriya, also translated as Energy […]
The interview with HH Sakya Trizin is now available for you to listen to. Listen to the interview Enjoy Alan
Today – and for the next two entries - I am continuing my plan to go through the six Buddhist Parami, often translated as the Six Perfections, that are favoured in the Mahayana scriptures. I will consider the larger list of ten Parami - or Paramita - at a later time. In my last entry, […]
We are back from our six week trip to Sydney for the Lamdre teaching from HH Sakya Trizin. It was a very interesting time. I have decided to make the odd comment on this blog since I am very interested in the content, and as a techie, it has fallen to me to set up […]
Today – and for the next three entries - I am continuing my plan to go through the Buddhist Parami, often translated as the Six Perfections, as favoured in the Mahayana scriptures. I will consider the larger list of ten parami - or paramita - at a later time. In my last entry, I contemplated Right Action, […]
Well, here I am in Sydney. I've been here for just over a week and have another four weeks to go - attending the precious Lam Dre teaching, given by His Holiness Sakya Trizin, at the invitation of the Drogmi Retreat Centre, Sydney. This Lam Dre teaching is rare and this is only the third […]
…wholesome relationship Today – and for the next four entries - I am continuing my plan to go through the Buddhist Parami, often translated as the Six Perfections, as favoured in the Mahayana scriptures. I will consider the larger list of ten parami - or paramita - at a later time. I began, in my last entry, contemplating […]
Since my last entry, my life has been very full. This morning is my first opportunity for some space to reflect and to write. I've been wondering about the impact on my life of setting up this website and blog and I find that I have been thinking about generosity. Just a few minutes ago […]
It is one o'clock in the morning and time for my first blog on the interweaving of spiritual and therapeutic ideas on healing, drawn from both East and West psychologies and philosophies. My hope is to use this site to share, develop and swap ideas on healing and spiritual growth, drawing together the wisdoms developed […]