To all my readers, both casual and regular, because of the success of this blog, I’m now upgrading! From this point on most political content will move to:
Please update your bookmarks and RSS readers accordingly. It’s already up and running, has its own ethos and I’ll be joined by four other admins/writers initially. Submissions will be very welcome in time for regular other contributors.
For the more chatty, less serious content, well that’s already moved to:
And you can update bookmarks/RSS readers for that too. Everything which doesn’t ‘fit’ into Cosmodaddy.com will go over to Lewishamdreamer. I hope to see most of you on both sites, and to have as many comments as you can manage. I will be monitoring continuing comments to this site, and add to them as necessary, but from this point on it’s all change!
Look for tight focus on:
– Pirate Party UK/Liberty/No2ID and civil rights issues in the UK
– Amnesty International and human rights issues worldwide
– Regular film reviews/impacts/countdowns
– Issues affecting Vote for a Change, Hope Not Hate and I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!
There should be a huge number more tools, allowing you to share or clip content easier, not to mention (hopefully) an embedded video player so I can interact with you regularly and more immediately. I hope all my regular readers choose to stick around! I promise the photos of cute boys like Alex Pettyfer won’t be disappearing either…;)
Today I’m heading to Belgium…for the day! In a couple of hours I’ll be taking a whole series of nightbuses from home to St Pancras International, before zooming out along High Speed One from St Pancras International to Brussels. From there I intend to nip up to Antwerp for the first time, for a day’s exploration with the D50 (check my Flickr on Friday), before heading back home later today. It’s the beauty of a week’s holiday – I’ll be shattered, but can sleep in all day tomorrow if need be!
I’m going to liveblog as much as I can (I don’t know how many wireless hotspots I’ll find), and to keep track of my misadventures you should (from 3am BST):
This evening I meditated after work for the first time. Focusing on the soles of my feet I saw the quality of my thoughts. It was tempting to see the thoughtstorm of the day as bad (as I have in the past) and something to be changed, but I didn’t. Instead I noticed my thoughts were all responding to lack – fully in doing mode. They felt tight, constructed, and so did my body. I changed neither, just kept going back to the soles of my feet hitting the ground. And that alone brought change – walking for no goal-orientated reason, just concentrating and going back to the experience of walking for its own sake recast my whole mindstate.
I can feel my stress, make no mistake, but the practice did indeed draw a line under the mostly doing of the day (by feeling what it’s like) with the mostly being, which I’d prefer for my evenings. Today really was a huge step forward in developing a more caring and skilful mind.
“Alistair Meditation Mindboo – 4” by Cosmodaddy on audioboo.fm
Shared via AddThis
I thought the presence of my morning thought factory and the accompanying bad moods on the way into work were a sign that thoughts led to an absence of kindness and compassion. Not so. I hit on a good thought and it changed my mood entirely – it was of a colleague who is extraordinarily kind and compassionate, and my mood immediately flipped in that direction. Interesting how it changed through not trying to change it. It was the same theme this evening in Alistair’s class – further great practice of observing and accepting things as they were. I found myself at the end tired, grumpy and impatient but didn’t try to change how I was. Compared to a lifetime of constantly trying to change my mindstate from where it was to where I thought it should be, it was counter-intuitively relaxing. Alistair describes it as ‘quantum’ that ending up with the mindstate you want through mindfulness comes from doing the opposite to what you might expect. Sometimes not changing a bad mood can make you happy.
Walking meditation seems to be really useful for the mindset I tend to be in in the morning. I noticed yesterday morning when being mindful of my footfalls that I was (as on the way home the previous evening) in the middle of a thoughts and thinking storm. I was in the middle of a huge number of thoughts, from future thinking about work, to thinking about how I felt about myself and all sorts of random nonsense which both belonged at the time and didn’t. What was really helpful about being out and active in the world whilst meditating was that I could tell quite well how I was feeling, and what wasn’t there was kindness or compassion. Very simply by being mindful about my walking I noticed that in the morning when I’m thinking like mad, it’s not accompanied by the qualities I’d like to extend to the world around me.
This morning’s meditation walking from the station to work was an enormous challenge. It was good practice, doing it when I really didn’t want to – I had (and still have) terrible neckache – my first attempt at meditating through considerable pain and discomfort. Keeping my attention on my walking, on my footfalls was incredibly difficult, and it brought the feelings about the pain and the sensation itself into sharp relief. It was an enormous struggle to just observe the pain, to notice how my breathing had changed completely, the mood that arose as a result, without changing things. But as with the feeling of hunger last week I stuck with it, despite the resistence. I’ve a feeling this is going to be a useful practice for days when my mood simply won’t tolerate doing sitting meditation.