I have been thinking about you a lot this week, dear reader.
How best to present and format content here. What order it should appear in? How it relates to articles from the 7 Days to Deep Meditation course, and whether or not cross-over is a good or bad thing!
I’m not yet finished thinking through all of it but, rest assured, I do genuinely mean it when I say, any changes are meant to make my work more compelling, useful, and enjoyable to read.
What is changing:
- The weekly round-up email/article such as the one you are reading now will continue as is. This will always be free and sent once per week on a Sunday. The content will be the same—book recommendations, something to get you thinking or inspire you to think differently, and a roundup of news and links to articles I have written that week.
- Next, I will start a new premium-subscriber series on the writing of my book Meditate or Die. The series will document the entire process of writing the book. I will also share my thoughts as a writer—such as the thinking behind titles, sub-titles, conversations with publishers (as much as I can legally of course), and my thoughts about the traditional route vs. self-publishing. Self-publishing has less status, but more control, and a few big mainstream names have gone this route recently. This made me look at it in a totally new light. I do not have a schedule for these emails/articles. These emails/articles will have the prefix MoD 00X to make it easy for you to follow along.
- I will also begin to publish practical how-to “Deep Meditation” articles here too. Despite the risk of some subscribers receiving these articles twice, you will start to see this content appear in the coming week. And will likely be sent out once per week moving forward.
All this means more content for everyone.
It also gives me a chance to see what people are interested in and at the same time buckets the content off into three areas.
What I’ve Been Thinking
Nobody remembers your mistakes as much as you do.
This phrase got stuck in my head this week. But now it sounds far less prophetic than it did a few days back. But there is something interesting in there that is perhaps worth teasing out.
And while I want to pull on this thread in more detail at some point, and at this point, the first part of the Meditate or Die will be focused on this topic but, for now, here is what I am thinking.
The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves form part of our identity.
These stories are not who we are at a deeper level. Some of these stories are fantasy, some wishful thinking, and yet others are just plain ignorance. But we hold onto them as if they were the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
So when we are forced to face these mistakes, perhaps because they have been pointed out to us by others, or maybe we catch a glimpse of their shadows, the shock is so dissonant the reverberation lasts hours, days, or even weeks.
These moments are priceless because they gift us a chance to see behind the curtain.
The ego does not like this.
What I’ve Been Reading
I found a great little book this week. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
It was, after all, a breakout title for the author with over 11,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. A little book with a big idea. One that some might say is borrowed from Buddhism, but probably not.
That book is Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell.
Blink explores the origins of intuitive knowledge. And I am reading it as part of the research for Meditate or Die.
The interesting thing for me is that as a meditator this is the wisdom that is a natural part of subtle and very subtle consciousness quite naturally.
I remember asking my teacher about this kind of wisdom and also the kind of wisdom we call, “the divine eye” …this sounds all woo-woo and new-age but it really is not. It is just deep wisdom that arises from Deep Meditation.
For the contemplative, there is nothing mystical about mystics – at least not to the mystics themselves.
So his answer to my question was that it all feels very natural and nothing special really. Just another tool to help others. A saintly answer if I ever did hear one.
Gladwell is an interesting writer, and popular, and Blink is a fun read but there is just something light about it. I do not mean in the topic or the content. But the style? Am I wrong?
I don’t feel comfortable saying this as he is a great writer but I worry if he is someone worth using for research. Again, am I wrong?
Either way, it is a great and easy read.
Check it out, Blink – the power of thinking without thinking.
What I’ve Created
This week has been productive.
I published the 6000+ word article on the curious dream the night my teacher passed away. I also recorded the audio post that ends up being just over a 30-minutes if you listen to it at 1x speed.
The production was easy and fun. Although I’m not likely to ever make a career as a voice-over artist. lol.
Here is a little extract from the article:
To this day, what happened next floored me. With the gentleness of pure love and affection, he reached out slowly with both arms and gently held my head and face in his hands. Then pulled me closer so that our foreheads touched. Then he spoke for the first time, with one simple word—Bodhichitta. And he repeated this word again and again and again and again—like a mantra. With every repetition the significance of what he was saying to me began to dawn. And I now knew this was his final teaching. His final message. And his final goodbye. Tears swelled as the mantra continued. Before long I could not hold them back…
You can read and/or listen to the story, When the Darkness Becomes the Light here.
Writing this article brought up a lot of memories. Some nice and some sad.
But what a great exercise it is to go into your past and set them down. Memories are strange things as they do not exist inherently, and therefore with time, they take on a different character.
I will admit, I found it hard to write. I’m not sure if that was because of the material or something else.
I hope to do more of this kind of writing and plan to experiment with the style for Meditate or Die.