Tag Archives: meditation

Simple and Profound – put it in your back pack

bhoddi leaf jpgI read it in an old  manuscript, some Buddhist stuff, 20 years ago. I gave it a place in my spirit mind and polish it regularly. Let me tell it as I did in prison. Prisoners often said, ‘Give us Buddhism without the bullshit’

…………..One day Bill was wandering in the forest, it’s where he thought about life. He heard these voices and saw some blokes in a clearing all dressed in orange robes, sitting in a circle around this dude also in orange robes. They were yakking  away  with all this high falutin intellectual shit. Yet he was curious, the main guy seemed to have  something going for him.

So Bill steps in and says ‘ guys I cant understand any of this crap, can you give it to me, simple like in one sentence?’ The main guy turns, smiles, says ‘What a great question, my answer is – If you can learn not to hold on to anything, then you will have learnt all I have to teach’

Bill – ‘Sounds profound, give us an example’

Hmm Ok, says the leader – The old hunters in the forest where I come from used to catch monkeys to eat. They would find a coconut, cut a hole in it, just large enough for a monkey to get a closed hand in. Then they would tie the nut to a small shrub and put  a big  piece of dried fruit into the coconut. The hunter would lie down nearby and wait. Soon a curious monkey would inspect the coconut put his hand in and grab the fruit and try to get it out but his  hand was stuck. He would not let go and pulled and pulled, shaking the shrub and screeching. The hunter  woke up, crept up behind  the monkey and hit him over the head with a stick – took him home and ate him.

monkey-trap 01So we are like the monkey, when we suffer in any way we are usually not letting go of something. If we can understand what it is that we are holding and can let it go, we will lessen our suffering. It is a life times work, just letting go. As we let go, it is like  passing through a new door to a new room and after a while we see more things to let go and pass through more doors or gates into new places. Just remember when you die you let go of everything whether you like it or not.

The catch is working out what to let go off at any time of struggle, because it is not always obvious. This is where learning to be still and becoming  more aware comes in, looking for the causes or awaiting an insight to visit informing us of the cause and so maybe things to let go.

nobutada just buddhaMany use meditation for this. Just sitting still, relaxing the body and watching the breath in the stomach or the nose rise and fall, come in go out. Letting the mind be fully aware of all the aspects and qualities of the breath. Being aware of the thoughts and feelings that distract us from the task and letting them go and moving back into the awareness of the breath.

Not only do we become more and more aware of all the thoughts and feelings that inhabit our body/mind but we learn to inhabit a bigger awareness space, like climbing a mountain, we see more.

Its simple process, become aware, let go where necessary –  Not easy but an important item in your backpack.

Soul Food Workshop 2013 Programme and details

Soul Food Mens spirit journey, workshop programmeboiling the billy cave

see Soul Food story post

see invitation to Soul Food workshop. 

Dates:  July  26 -28, Starts Friday evening, 7pm dinner. Finishes Sunday mid-afternoon.All welcome to stay longer from Thursday to Monday nights.

Cost: $230 per person includes all accommodation and meals and facilitation. No Alcohol and cigarettes allowed.

Location: Bundanoon NSW 2 hours south of Sydney on main Sydney Melbourne and Canberra rail line. Train station at Sydney airport

Programme

Friday:

7pm – 8pm Dinner

8am – 10am sitting in circle, welcome, meditation, check in for all. Expectations for the weekend

Saturday:

7am to 8pm Walk to cemetery. Meditation in cemetery connecting with ancestors and our own mortality to aid in dissolving boundaries to the spirit world.

8am – 9am Breakfast

9am – 9.30pm break

9.30pm to 3.30pm. Journey to local forest (Morton National Park). Carry out a range of meditation exercises in forest and caves. Aiming to dissolve barriers between self and the wider world and connect with natures and the universes energies. Discussion experiences in circle, between meditations, by a fire in a cave. Picnic lunch provided.

4pm-6pm break

6pm -7pm dinner

7pm till 10.30pm. Dancing with the angel of death time. Doing a death ritual involving a coffin, to symbolise dying and being reborn. This is a ritual developed by myself and other men over the last six years. It is quite powerful and men ask for more of it not less. Discussion in circle and finishing meditation.

Sunday:

7am – 8am optional morning walk.

8am – 9pm breakfast

9am – 10am sitting in circle, Meditation, check in,  what is arising?

10.15pm to 12. Hands on healing sessions for all who wish to receive one.

12.30pm to 1.30pm lunch

1.30pm – 2.00pm Pairing off and discussing goals and any plans to enhance spiritual journey.

2pm to 3pm. In circle check in, sharing plans, closing rituals and finish.

Men welcome to stay over one or two nights and stay on Thursday night before if that suits.

Use form below to contact me about booking or more information?

Invitation To Soul Food Workshop 2013

‘Getting off the tram to pick the daisies’daisy 01

Come and explore  nurturing the Spirit Body at a workshop on ‘Soul Food Men’s Spirit Journey’ conducted by Paddy at his place in Bundanoon. July 26 to 28.  Workshop Programme and details

Our connectedness to the universe, our sense of meaning in the world our spirit body is an important aspect of our lives, yet we don’t have a lot of opportunity to own it or explore and develop it. As men we know the power of working in circle. This is men working together on exploring and developing our sense of spirit. Soul food is the main dish here not an entrée or side order. See soul food article

The weekend creates a sacred space of men working  exploring spirit in their lives. We will spend time in the nearby forest and caves using meditation and contemplation to dissolve the barriers between  self, nature and each other. Traditional meditation techniques are  explained for use on the journey.

The aim for each of us to own and explore our sense of spirit and to more fully develop that aspect of our life. There is no particular spiritual philosophy being pushed and it is accepted that each mans journey needs to be of his own creation. Good company and good food are all part of workshop. Soul Food – Workshop Programme and details.

Use form below to request information

Soul Food Mens spirit journey

‘Roasted chicken and vege’s with lots of gravy is my favourite food!’

You understand that because you have experienced it.  So what is Soul paddy and eagleFood. Sure, it is still an experience but  subjective , often personal and unique. Let me describe five experiences of Soul Food or spirit  journey work, which reflects my understanding of the concept.

1. Feeling spaced out and a sense of oneness with the blokes in my men’s group. Just done a meditation and called in love and kindness to be present and hold our space. No one feels like breaking the silence. We invite the ancient ones to be present share their wisdom.

2. Sitting in the men’s gathering tent, feeling connected to an awesome of togetherness in a sacred space, with a profound sense of love.

3. On a cliffs edge overlooking vast forested gullies. Birds are singing, the wind is caressing. Feeling a part of it all: on my own yet not alone. Looking up to the clouds picturing the ancients and mates now gone. Saying “g’day, send us some love and wisdom brothers.” An eagle is soaring above and buzzes the sound of his wings as if to say: get on with it.

4. Feeling nervous and vulnerable, sitting among a bunch of Vietnam Vets about to do a meditation. – I called it relaxation, to avoid the reaction to meditation as ‘hippy shit’. After finishing, the men sit in silence with a sense of peace and awe. “What happened?” I thought. “The meditation was not that good. Maybe it was the sense of love and kindness, being nurtured and tapping into something bigger.” It doesn’t really matter why it worked. It just did.

5. After starting a workshop with some meditation, my friend is playing the guitar gently, along with some aum chanting. A man approaches and says “that was gold, can we do that again tomorrow.” The next day a didge player turns up and joins us. The men’s work over that two days was good – we were held.

Men come to men’s groups and gatherings in search of something different. They find that the job, relationships, media frenzy, acquisition of more material things and the general razzmatazz of life are not doing it for them. What am I looking for? Where is my tribe, can I share who I am and be accepted, can I get support and guidance on my journey? Soul Food in men’s groups is part of fulfilling those needs and assists men in becoming softer on the outside yet stronger in the soul’s engine room.

How do we recognise the Soul Food in men’s work?

The Soul Food and spirit journey in men’s work is part of our tradition. It is about shedding the barriers between ourselves and the universal life forces around us. Melting the protective armour built up as a coping mechanism on our journey. It requires leadership, practice and confidence to bring it in and there is often a sense of love and kindness, truth, wisdom and humility when it happens. Having said that, it is not all serious and there is also a great deal of enjoyment and laughter.

A soul food cook or mentor is most likely present. They will have done some walking on their own spirit journey and had experience with facilitating groups, meditation, chanting and other activities that support men’s growth in groups. It’s about doing it: walking the walk.

As a men’s group facilitator, I have seen how the depth and quality of spirit practice can ground our work. Soul Food is essential and we need to be clear and confident, to honour it and invite into our spaces. Like all good nourishing food, we need the cooks and the right ingredients otherwise we might as well order takeaway  Of course, it is often daunting for me invoking the spirit work, amongst a new group of men. In the same way it can be daunting for those participating. Maybe the group will not want to open up and allow the bonding to happen? Maybe they will not like me or even feel I am a wanker? Of course there are always these tricks of the mind but it is taking part in a men’s group that really matters.

I will be running a workshop, ‘Soul food, men’s journey with Spirit’ as a contribution to the development of this work. It will be a practical workshop, involving meditation and chanting, exploring the spiritual energies of the local forests, men’s circle work, poetry and a trip to the underground meditation cave at the local Buddhist forest monastery. It will be on the July weekend of the evening of Friday the 26th to afternoon of Sunday the 28th. Men are invited to come a bit early if they can or stay over for a few days afterwards. I have a 5-bedroom house and a flat and outhouse that can accommodate 12, in all. Email me at padriacmurray@gmail.com for details.

Paddy Murraypaddy tmg

Paddy has a long experience of working with men. From construction sites to shearing sheds, setting up and running a large homeless men’s village, and being a Buddhist prison chaplain in a maximum security prison. He is a trained counsellor and has run a variety of programmes for men both one on one, and in a group. His journey with spirit started with Yoga and Buddhist practice over 30 years ago and he respects the practice and philosophies of all spirit traditions, including the way of the Shaman. He has run workshops at the first three Man Alive Berry gatherings involving meditation and shaman work and recently wrote a resource manual for affinity or tribal groups at men’s gatherings.