Beauty and Urgency Part One


I went on a retreat in November for 10 days at the absolutely amazing and breathtaking Taraloka.  It was a retreat based around the Four Reminders which I have talked about before in this blog;  a retreat called “Beauty and Urgency”.

It was a very special retreat for me… a lot of firsts!  The first retreat which wasn’t led by Order Members (friends) who I know well.  The first retreat where I knew no one.  It was a longer retreat than I had done before – 10 days compared to the 4 done over the Easter weekend.  It was my first retreat for those who are working towards Ordination.  My first women only retreat….  So many firsts.

The retreat was so powerful for me.  A lot of time spent in silence; hours spent in meditation; time spent “just sitting” and reflecting.  I learnt such a lot about me; about my previous (and present) patterns of behaviour.  I learnt more about the Dharma.  And I realised – again – how much I love this Buddhist life.  The women on the retreat – both the Order Members who led it and my fellow retreatants – were so warm and beautiful; their love sustains me still.   The retreat was also a reminder of how far I have to travel.

I had all of these plans, these expectations of how I would be on my return.  How I would be acting, what I would be doing.  Life was going to be calmer yet more full.  I would be living according to the beauty that is this life, and the urgency caused by its very impermanence.  I even had plans for this blog – posts I would write….

Expectations!  Expectations are dangerous things.  They can arrive quickly and easily then laugh in your face.

For a whole host of reasons life has not been as I expected since my return and I have not (until today) implemented many of the plans I had made.  My mind has been all over the place.   I spent some time last week beating myself up about this, feeling the usual guilt arise.  But now – I just accept what it is.  I cannot change what is happening; I cannot change the last few weeks.  However, I can change my reactions to it all and I can resolve to act differently now.

My brain is beginning to function again.  I am starting to go through all of the notes which I made on retreat.  I am beginning to look through my photos.  So this is the first (I hope) of a series of posts about my retreat at Taraloka.




Happy first birthday to Becoming More Tee


Well it has been a year!  A year ago today I wrote my first blog post.  It was about my walk with Pretzel.

I remember that weekend well.  I had been very miserable – lots of things were not going as I thought that they should!  I was in danger of giving in to it all and wallowing in sadness and depression.  But that Saturday morning I woke up and decided that things had to change.  I had to look at things differently.   I had to change what I could change and find a way of accepting what I couldn’t.  I spent most of the weekend setting up this blog.  Things hadn’t changed – the situation was still the same but I made up my mind to think differently about it all.

The mind is everything; what you think you become

Things have changed a bit since then. Everything is impermanent; nothing stays the same.   Some things I have managed to change for the better.  Some situations just got worse and new things are always surfacing.    Life is not perfect – but it never will be.  But I am handling it all better – well, most of the time.

I have just reread the “About Me” blurb for this blog.  I was considering rewriting it.  But – no!  It all still stands.  I am still on this incredibly difficult but exciting journey.  I still wander off my path all too often but get back to it and continue walking.  The man who showed me this path is, sadly, no longer very present in my life.  He reappears briefly now and then.  However, I am still so grateful to him.  I would not be where I am today without him.

I know that I haven’t been posting as much as I used to.  That isn’t because I am losing interest.  It is more that there are lots of things that I am still processing.  My thoughts are often not clear enough to be able to write about them in any coherent way.  But there are things coming up that I know I will want to write about so I am sure that there will be more posts soon.




Why hasn’t the bird stepped out of her cage and flown to freedom (Part 2)


I was talking with a friend – well messaging via Whatsapp actually rather than talking – yesterday and this morning.  This friend is an amazing man and always makes me think more deeply about myself and my life.  He is the one who introduced me to Buddhism in the first place so has witnessed a lot of my growth, frustrations, my journey.  He knows me very well, better than anyone in some ways.  Anyway as we were messaging I began to realise how much fear has played and is still playing in my life.  I knew that it was there (as discussed in Part 1 of this [possibly grandly named] mini series; but I hadn’t fully experienced how deeply seated it is.

In embracing Buddhism I have had to look deeply into myself and face what I am, how I have got to be how I am and accept it; not only accept it but to try to feel compassion and love (Metta) towards myself.  There is a lot in that which I won’t unpack completely here – it would take a book or two!   But what is relevant is this:  Buddhists believe that there is no set self as such.  The self is ever changing.  I might repeat the same behaviours, feel the same things etc over and over again but that is not because I am a set self.  When I studied the Self at University all of those years ago, the idea of a set self seemed prevalent and that is what I believed at the time: I am who I am; I may be able to tweak myself but I cannot fundamentally change. I seem to remember writing a few essays on the subject all with the same conclusion.  But now I see that I am who I am because of conditioning and how I have reacted to situation and events.   This means that I can change. Just saying “that’s who I am; I cannot change” does not cut it any more.

Back to the fear thing!  I think that fear has manifested itself and continues to try to manifest itself in many ways.  Fear of looking deep inside myself and facing what I might find; fear of doing something that is not conventional / not normal; fear of doing something new; fear of being someone new; fear of being alone; fear of doing things alone…..  So many ways in which fear has played a part in my life.  So many times I have moved towards a more authentic life, a life more suited to me – and so many times fear has played a part in pushing me right back on the same old path.

But not this time!  Now is the time when I accept the fears.  Accept that I am afraid.  Now is the time to confront those fears and to question them.  Look them in the eye.  I have made steps this year on my journey down this different path.  And I know that I need to rest here for a little while to do what I need and positively want to do now.  I need to work on myself, learn more about this Buddhist path that I am on and to reflect.  What I don’t need to do is to give in to my fears and go back to the same old well-trodden path to which I have always returned.

I have mentioned the fears involved in facing myself and what I am at the moment.  It means taking a long hard look at my reactions to events and situations over the years.  It can be so extremely uncomfortable to do this!  My past  behaviours, actions and emotions were often so flawed, so unskilful.  And yes – they often still are; I am just slightly better at using the gap between the event and my possible reactions to it.

Yes – fear has definitely helped to keep the bird in its cage.  I may have stepped outside of it a few times in the past but fear has pulled me right back in.  Now is the time to step outside and look around.  Ready for flight.

Tonight I saw more of the beauty of the Sangha


I have been thinking about this evening’s Sangha meeting all of the way home and then when I took Pretzel out for her evening walk.  Trying to process it all – trying to push through the confusion, sense of shock and deep sadness that I felt, feel.  I have no real understanding of how many of the people at the Sangha night were and are feeling.  The shock, confusion and sorrow were plain to see on their faces and in their words but I cannot comprehend the depth.

An Order Member had taken her own life at the weekend.  I had met her only briefly, once and not really to say more than “Hello”.  For some of the people there tonight, she was a beloved friend of many years.  They had been together in study groups,  Going for Refuge groups and in Kula groups.  They had shared so much.

The evening was devoted to her.  A recent picture of her with her beloved dog was placed on the shrine.  Many spoke of their memories of her. She seems to have been a remarkable woman – energetic, determined, so committed to the Dharma.  She appears to have been very creative, imaginative.  A woman with ideas flowing from her, a woman who saw things differently from others.  Apparently she could be outspoken and forthright.  One Order Member described how everyone always knew when she was in the room.  I wish that I had known her – she seems to have been such an inspirational woman.

Those who knew her well looked after each other this evening, as they will continue to do for as long as is needed.  They mostly sat together, sometimes touching each other, holding hands, sharing their memories of her.  As one spoke, others nodded in agreement and, often, they smiled.  One memory would lead to another.

Throughout the evening there was a distinct air of sadness, shock and confusion, as I have already said.  Tears ran down the faces of many. This lovely woman had seemed to be excited about new projects; she had given no indication that this would happen.  If anyone had noticed anything, she would have had their love and support to help her and cherish her.  I know the process of becoming an Order Member is long and intensive.  The would-be Order Member has to look deeply within her or himself; undergo counselling if needed.  I am just at the start of this journey and know that I will have to go through a lot of soul-searching, delve deeply into my own story and resolve issues that I may have once preferred to keep buried.  And those in the Sangha are so caring and supportive of each other.  There are always opportunities to “check in” and say how things are feeling today, at this moment.  It is so rare for an Order Member to take her / his own life – so rare.  Which makes this so much more tragic, so much more confusing and so very sad.

The Sangha evening was filled with Metta.  I could tell that even those people who had never met her were so touched by the memories of her.  The love that  these women and men have for each other shone through this evening.

As I sat this evening, joining in with the meditation, the chanting of the refuges and precepts, the threefold puja, the mantra, I realised a new love for this Sangha, for those people who are in the Sangha with me.  I am in the Sangha.  I feel its warmth and affection.  The Sangha is one of the Three Jewels – one of the three refuges – one of the three “things” that I can trust to be there for me along with the Buddha and the Dharma.  I feel so honoured, so fortunate to be part of this group of men and women.

A very sad yet beautiful evening.  One that has touched me so deeply.  I know that I will remember those couple of hours for a very long time, probably forever.  I hope that, in time, this remarkable woman’s friends and family come to terms with what has happened to her and manage to achieve some peace.

To Karunabala – with metta

With deeds of loving kindness, I purify my body


This precept was the subject for my Dharma Study Group this week.  For me, this precept is the foundation of Buddhism.  Everything else stems from this.

The five precepts, training principles of Buddhism are given in their negative.  The first is “I undertake to refrain from taking life”.  It talks of killing but is really about abstaining from harming any sentient being in any way.  Violence is wrong because it is based on an unskilful mental state – on the state of hatred.  But the precepts also have a stronger, more powerful positive counterpart.  When I think of the precepts, I always think of the positive – what can I do to become a better human being?  Rather than what I should not do.  The counterpart of abstention from violence is the practice of Metta – loving kindness.  It is a loving kindness that is expressed in deeds; it is not enough to feel goodwill and love.  Loving kindness must be expressed in ACTION.

When talking about this precept – the first precept – it is tempting to think about the big things – should I be vegetarian or even vegan? Should I be opposed to abortion in all circumstances however distressing to the woman? But is this what we should be thinking about ? Is this all we should be considering? I could be vegan and anti abortion and be a vengeful uncaring human being. I only need to look in some of the Facebook vegan groups to see the hatred and anger some vegans have for other human beings. The anger and hatred directed at those poor innocent newbies who are simply seeking answers and dare to ask if eating honey can ever be ok…

I believe this precept has to come directly from the heart. It is why the Metta Bhavana meditation is so very important. I can hold as many principles as I like but may not be a person who shows loving kindness to myself, my friend, a neutral person, the person with whom I am having difficulties (sometimes referred to as my enemy) and to all sentient beings – human and non-human. I can be vegan, anti abortion etc etc but may be incapable of feeling and expressing loving kindness to all sentient beings.  Deeds of loving kindness stem from the heart not from sternly held principles and views.

Living from a standpoint of loving kindness has got its dangers. Without self love this way of living can turn someone into a “push over”, a “doormat” … however you want to label a person who never thinks of her / him self. But the precept is about all beings including ourselves. It is not by chance that the first stage of the Metta Bhavana focuses on ourselves. In this stage I wish myself happiness, I want myself to be well and free from suffering. If we do not love and care for ourselves, we cannot truly love and care for others.

We also have to look at wisdom. The threefold path consists of Ethics (the precepts) and meditation – both of which I have already mentioned – but also Wisdom.  Wisdom is crucial.  Sometimes we have to sit back and think – what is the best way to help this person?  What is the most skilful way to show loving kindness in this circumstance?

So, this precept for me, is the backdrop – or more truthfully – should be the backdrop for my entire existence.  That person who pushed in front of me in the queue – I could get angry but do I know what he / she is dealing with at the moment?  That friend who doesn’t respond to messages or phone calls – how do I know what is going on for them?  It might not be about me.  That person who is still eating meat even though they profess to be vegan in public – how do I know what else is going on in their lives, the struggles they have?

Loving kindness /Metta is not a soppy emotion.  It is a strong, all powerful force in our lives.  It should be expressed in action not just feelings.  So we should be actively loving and caring to ourselves, our family and friends, all the people we know, all animals.  Not just the people we like.  Not just the animals we think are cute.  All people.  All animals.  All sentient beings.  We should strive not to do them harm – but more than that – we should strive to do them good.


All being well…


So many thoughts going on in my head today.  I have been realising this week  that there is so much going on in my life, so much that can cause stress and pain.  I know that there is always suffering; that no one’s life is perfect.  I know that there are many people who are suffering way more than me.  But, for me personally, I am becoming aware of just how much is going on with me and people I love and care for.    This means that there is an underlying sense of anxiety every day.  When the phone rings there is the real possibility that there is bad news.  Every day there is the possibility that there is even more suffering in store for the people I love most.  It means that I can never plan anything with certainty (as if anyone ever can!  But that just seems to be more true at the moment). For me it has led to a feeling that there is a lot to bear.  That the worldly winds are battering me and just won’t stop.  That there are different stresses, people, situations pulling at me for my attention, for my time, for my thoughts.

And there is guilt!  Because there are moments when I am happy / content / at peace.  Not everything is going wrong!  A lot seems to be going very well.  I (very selfishly?) went on the retreat I have had booked for months at the weekend.  A weekend of peace and inspiration which meant that I have come back to my world with more calmness and purpose.  I have moments in meditation when all just clears away and I am just me.  I laugh with friends.  I become immersed in a book.  I become utterly involved in the latest episode of “Call the Midwife”.

Her ears looked so funny this morning!

Walking Pretzel this morning was lovely.  I look at all of the stresses from a Buddhist perspective and feel calm – but, because I am not perfect, I feel guilt about not feeling more stressed and anxious about it all in that moment!  Yes – I am weird!  I am not even sure  I have explained that at all well.

I write a lot about what I am learning that is helping me through.  How I am learning to go to refuge to the Three Jewels – the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha.  This is becoming increasingly important to me.  I have also written a lot about changing what I can change.  Choosing a different path which may lead to a better, more fulfilled life.

This week I have been feeling particularly fragile.  But I am standing firm.  Staying calm.  Three “things” are helping.  The first is something that a dear friend said on retreat – when we plan things we cannot be sure that they will happen.  I might want to meet a friend for coffee on Saturday but I may have an emergency trip to Hereford or I might feel ill or a hundred and one other things.  The most we can say is “We will meet on Saturday all being well“.  I was reminded of that phrase again last night and it helps.  It helps keep things in perspective.

The second is individual friendship.  Last night I went to the Sangha night and was immediately enveloped in warmth and love.  It was a beautiful healing, calming atmosphere.  However, the one thing that helped me the most last night was the big hug that I got from a friend. I was leaving at the end of the meeting and he stopped what he was doing and just hugged me.  My friendships are becoming increasingly important to me.  Those people who just text or call me to see how I am.  Those people who never fail to check in with me.  Those hugs, those words of understanding.  These friends cannot change what is going on but I am so comforted by their presence.  Interacting with them, talking with them and listening to their stresses, their happy times, their adventures through life help me greatly.  They make me feel connected to the world.  I feel great love / metta.  There have been times this week where I feel that I have been helpful to others which makes me feel warm and useful – it gives me purpose.

And the third.  This came to me at the retreat.  I have to just let some things be.  I just have to accept what is sometimes.  A particular friendship which feels difficult – I can just let it lie for a while.  See what happens.  Just stop trying so hard.

I will stop here.  There is so much more to explore in everything I have said but enough for now.  If you are one of the people still reading this blog –  thank you xx

I have just had a lovely text from a friend which has warmed my heart and made me smile.

My first retreat


I came back from my first retreat earlier today, a few hours ago.  The world outside of the retreat centre seems loud and busy;  I feel a little disoriented.  It was a life changing weekend in which I fully realised my path.

This morning – just after I got out of bed – I wrote a diary entry.  Here it is:

I am writing this through the period of silence which started last night after the beautiful Puja and is carrying on through this morning’s meditation until breakfast.  My back hurts, my hand can hardly hold the pen but I am deeply content and happy.  Not happy in the euphoric, roller coaster, worldly sense, but in the way of being at peace.

There are so many things I can write about this weekend – the people, the shrine room (which still makes me gasp even though I have spent quite some time in it now), the beauty of Rivendell itself… My deepening sense of belonging in this Buddhist world.  I could talk about how blessed I feel to have been introduced to this community and how joyous it has made me to feel useful to others.  This is an introductory retreat so people are new to Buddhism.  A few people have come up to me, given me a hug and told them how I have helped them over the weekend.  

Three main thoughts:

  1. I have felt a dissonance / disconnection between my need to stay calm and walk / sail my course through the onslaught of the worldly winds which batter and torment me and the need to feel love / compassion – metta.  This weekend I feel the love.  I feel compassion.  I thought that I would spend some time reading but have not opened a book.  I have recommended books to others but have put to one side the strongly intellectual part of me which always seems to take over.  Not deliberately.  It just happened that way.  So instead I have been immersing myself in friendship, meditation, love, discussion,  I can feel my love returning,  It hadn’t gone away it had just got trapped as someone suggested to me.  Saturday morning during a meditation I could feel tears running down my face.  That was the breakthrough.  I have felt a deepening love and friendship with those I already knew and have a connection with.  I have made new friends and feel love for everyone here.  My heart is connecting with the world again.  The importance of Sangha.
  2. I wanted to go on a couple of solitary retreats this year.  May still do so.  But I think that these group retreats will be much more beneficial to me for a while.  I need to develop my connections and love for the Sangha.  I grow through love, friendship and discussion.  Solitary retreats hold a danger for me – that I will just revert solely to my intellectual self.  My intellectual self is  an important part of me but I need to work in my Sangha.
  3. One day I will be ordained.  I have an important role model in a very dear friend who gave a talk last night.  I want to help others through this journey, along this path.  I feel that this is what I am meant to do.  Not yet.  When the conditions are right.

I will need to reflect on this retreat over the coming days and weeks.  I have already booked my next one.

“You have the direction… now to find the steps”


I have found myself in a state of confusion over the past few days.  Not able to reconcile the need to accept the suffering and even the death of a loved one with equanimity with the need not to become cold and unfeeling.  With the need to show others that I do care, I do love whilst still remaining calm and present.

Because of all of the stuff that has been going on, I have been reading and reflecting a lot on how to keep calm, live in the present moment and how to keep sailing a smooth path through loud, swirling winds.  As you can see from my last post, I have read Tolle’s “Power of Now”.  I have also had “Sailing the Worldly Winds” by Vajragupta recommended to me so I am reading that.  I have been bringing to mind the impermanence of everything including life; I have pondered on Dukkha – the general unsatisfactoriness of life.  Somehow I am standing in the middle of it all keeping calm (mostly) and letting things take their course.

But ….  But how do I do this and not turn back to the person I used to be?  How do I manage to keep in the present moment responding rather than reacting to my emotions without returning to the person who used to hide her emotions behind very strong walls?  How do I work my way through the seeming paradox of reacting skillfully, remembering that everything has an ending and caring deeply? How can I be present for those I love in their suffering and not appear to be disinterested and cold?  How do I continue to “become more Tee”?  How do I find this path?  What am I looking for?  A friend said that I “have the direction, now to find the steps”.

Yesterday evening, I went to my Buddhist Meeting as usual.  Every time I attend a Sangha meeting or meet up with friends from the Sangha I am struck by their calm, their sense of peace and the loving kindness / metta which flows from them.  As we meditated, talked over tea and listened to the talks, I realised that metta is the key to this seeming paradox.  I have not yet worked how but know that I am on the right path, taking the correct steps.   This may well be obvious to everyone else – I may just be very slow on the uptake!

I know that I need to reflect more on this.  I definitely need and intend to practise the Metta Bhavana Meditation.  In this practice we cultivate loving kindness beginning with ourselves and eventually spreading it out to all sentient beings.

“The teachings on love by the Buddha are clear, scientific and applicable… Love, compassion, joy and equanimity are the very nature of an enlightened person.  They are the four aspects of true love within ourselves and within everyone and everything”

Thich Nhat Hanh

I am not sure about this post…  I feel that I have not adequately explained what I feel and the dilemma I face.  I am not sure that I have described my small glimmer of light very well.  But I am going to post this anyway.  Things are not always straightforward.  Some things need to be pondered upon and thought through for a while so that they become less twisted and tangled.  In the writing and reflecting I will take a step or two forward.  I am sure that I will come to these reflections.

Becoming a Mitra


I am writing this just as I am getting ready to go to my Mitra Ceremony. I am looking forward to making the public declaration that I am a Buddhist. That I am practising the Dharma. That I want to be a Buddhist within the Triratna community. I look forward to declaring this within the Eastbourne Sangha.

There is one person who I wish could be with me this evening to witness this. The man who introduced me to all of this in the first place. He changed my life. He showed me the path which I now walk. So I would have liked him with me this evening. But he has wished me well and will be thinking of me.

After the ceremony

What an amazing, inspirational, beautiful, magical evening. I felt surrounded by love and support. A lovely friend who has been with me throughout my Buddhist journey surprised me by coming along. People stood up and said such lovely things about me – about my conviction, my energy. They called me a warrior and one praised me for my courage. We did a three stage Metta Bhavana meditation- and the second stage was centred on me. The tears threatened to flow.

I was right to be nervous about the candles ! I ended up putting all of the candles out trying to light mine! Then someone went in search of the lighter .. which somehow didn’t work! Fortunately someone had come armed with a lighter … It was fine – everyone was laughing and it didn’t take away from the occasion. It certainly made for an unique mitra ceremony!  It could only happen to me.

I have so many cards and presents – the cards have such touching thoughtful messages.  I also have the flowers from the shrine.

So I am now a Mitra. It feels such an important step. I feel energised. I have the tools to keep going forward in my life. I have a lovely set of friends who are always there for me and me for them. I am part of a beautiful community.  I still have everything going on in my life.  I have many challenges to face and life is not always satisfactory – there is much suffering.  People who I love dearly are suffering.  The situation I am in hasn’t got any better!  In fact, it has got significantly worse over the last couple of weeks.  But the way that I deal with it and the way in which I approach it has changed.

I asked for a poem to be read at my ceremony which sums it all up wonderfully.  Someone commented that this poem was perfect for me.  That I walked into the Sangha with a mission, a purpose.


One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Looking forward to 2019

Goodbye 2018 / Welcome 2019

I tend to avoid New Year’s Eve parties.  I have never really enjoyed them.  But I see the point of them – saying goodbye to the year that is past and welcoming in the New Year.   Some people don’t like the divide between one year and the next; they see it as a false construct or as a sign that another year has gone and that they are nearer death.   Some see the making of New Year’s resolutions as pointless or as just being something else to worry about.

I have always looked back at the year that has passed and I do make resolutions for the year to come.  I think it is a useful construct especially this year.  It is the opportunity to look at where I am on my journey and consider what I can do better/ differently to travel in the right direction, enjoy the walk, take pleasure in the scenery.  At the same time I am looking at where I am now… there is a lot of happiness in my life and there is sadness.  I need to live in the present – to appreciate the now but in my “now” I can do things which will help my future and aid my happiness.

I have been listening to Tony Robbins podcast with Russell Brand this morning.  They were discussing “Recovery” which I have written about before.  It has been good to refresh my memory and increase my understanding of the Russell’s interpretation of the 12 steps.  One of the most useful ideas is the view that addictions can be anything – any behaviour that I really want to stop, that I feel uncomfortable about doing but somehow keep on with.  This is alcohol but is also attachment to social media, TV, a particular person.  Working through the 12 steps can help with these and any addictions.

Russell and Tony ascribe to the idea that we are entitled to be happy.  We have to look at what we believe happiness to be though. True happiness is not short term pleasure – that is fleeting; impermanent.  According to Tibetan Buddhism, the two main things we need to be happy are mindful awareness and loving compassion.  Compassion / loving kindness / metta for ourselves and for other beings.  These can be built by meditation through which we can overcome negative thoughts and habitual emotional responses – we can start to live from a calmer, more peaceful place.

So, in 2019, I will continue the journey which I started this year.  I believe that I can change myself, change my thinking and that I am responsible for my own happiness.  How I think and how I respond to my emotions will dictate my degree of happiness.  I am walking the Buddhist path as best that I can.  I have practical steps which I have started to take.  I will practise the 5 precepts (see below), meditate and use Russell’s interpretation of the 12 steps to help me rid myself of addictions / negative behaviour and to develop more skillful thinking and behaviours.   Buddhism, the 12 steps see the goal as living a life that is compassionate, serving others.  In the podcast this morning, Russell and Tony both described how helping others takes you outside of yourself and brings happiness.

I cannot expect the journey to be linear – there will be meandering, backward steps. But I shall remember what the words of a friend – “We practise the 5 precepts the best that we can; we are all practising.  None of us is perfect”.  What matters is that we try.

So 2018 has not been a great year in many ways.  BUT it is the year in which I changed my path – started this journey.  It is the year in which I got up off the floor and started moving.  It is the year in which the walls which I had built up came tumbling down.  It is the year in which I started to take control.

In 2019 I will continue my journey to become more Tee…

Happy New Year!

The Five Precepts 

  1. I undertake to abstain from taking life
  2. I undertake to abstain from taking the not-given
  3. I undertake to abstain from sexual misconduct
  4. I undertake to abstain from false speech
  5. I undertake to abstain from taking intoxicants/drink and drugs which cloud the mind
  1. With deeds of loving-kindness, I purify my body
  2. With open-handed generosity, I purify my body
  3. With stillness, simplicity and contentment, I purify my body
  4. With truthful communication, I purify my speech
  5. With mindfulness clear and radiant, I purify my mind