About these Articles

In 2005, after producing my book The 5-Minute Meditator, I was asked to write a series of monthly articles for Nova Magazine, which is a nationwide publication based in Perth. Each magazine has a particular theme, which explains the diversity of subject matter in the...

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Awakening: keep it personal

After a climactic night of meditation, the Buddha became fully 'awakened' at the moment of sunrise. This word invariably implies a kind of fresh morning radiance in the soul. We imagine an awakened person as having a continuously serene and joyful state of mind. We...

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A Short History of the Soul

'To thine own self be true', said Shakespeare, quoting a proverb that had its roots in ancient Greece. 'Know yourself' said Socrates, who argued that self-understanding is essential for happiness, wisdom and the pursuit of any knowledge whatsoever. It is little...

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Truth: knowing it or living it

Our need for truth is hard-wired into the psyche. We make distinctions every day between true and false, and try to clarify those situations that are ambiguous. We seek out the certainties and good evidence that make all the difference between success or failure in...

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Music and the Song of the Body

Years ago, I went deep underground with some caving enthusiasts. After two hours of scrambling, crawling, and abseiling, we decided to switch off our lights and listen. A deep dry cave is more profoundly black and silent than anywhere on the surface of the earth. In...

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Wealth: the Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night

Fifty years ago, I lived in a remote seaside village in New Zealand and Harold was my best friend. His parents had abandoned him and he was being raised by an elderly eccentric called Lou Batt. Lou was an old-time socialist and free-thinker, who had bummed round the...

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After the Ecstasy, the Reckoning

Do you want peace or bliss? Tranquility or excitement? Serenity or ecstasy? It is not easy to have both. The fanatics, such as drug addicts and hermits, will strive for the extremes. Most of us will have more moderate aspirations. A harmonious, well-ordered life is...

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A formula for inner peace

Peace comes in many forms from the transient to the eternal, from the trivial to the sublime. 'Peace at last!', says the mother when the kids are finally in bed. Peace in politics means the cessation of hostilities, which would seem like Heaven to the inhabitants of...

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The Hard Facts

We think of wise people as being grounded, down-to-earth, in touch with reality, and willing to call a spade a spade. They disdain hype and spin, and unerringly hone in on the hard facts of any matter. They can't help but see things 'as they really are'. This doesn't...

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What kind of Enlightenment?

Indian philosophy says we pass through three states of mind each day: the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state. Most people are conscious if at all in the waking stage. The average meditator will get occasional glimpses of the dream state. Only a...

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