Mindfully calming the restless bees of our mind

Bees feature in Flat Earth Unroofed, a tale of mind lore as well…

the zooomorphic thought beePeter Tyler quotes a phrase from Teresa of Avila describing distracting thoughts as ‘restless bees’ that ‘gad about’ ( Peter Tyler, Teresa of Avila: Doctor of the Soul (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 86).

Thoughts are like restless bees, and like bees they can be calmed. With bees it is the fearless presence of the beekeeper, and the use of calming smoke.

With thoughts it is the fearless calming presence of awareness which holds all thoughts and feelings. Thoughts like bees can sting and swarm, especially when our fear mind is activated. We find the place of calming awareness which is not held by fear through mindful awareness or meditative practices.

Instead of becoming a victim of our thought bees, we become a witness to them. Experiencing them intimately but not becoming them, not becoming the swarm, not stirring them up to sting. In that place of awareness they cease being restless…

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A Folk song from the Land of Ge, smuggled out – Mimne the Seer

As promised here is a recording of a folk song written by Hudor about Mimne, that has been recorded by Glyn Burns who wrote the music:

A Folk Song from the land of Ge

Show Me the Green Lane

And Mimne the Seer and where and when do you sleep?
A word I’ve asked all the birds of the air-borne leap
To show me the green lane that leads to your feet.
For your name in their sky lyric I hear my heart’s cleat.

Show me the green lane that leads to her feet
For her name in their sky lyric I hear so sweet.

And Mimne the Fair is it night felt tears that flow?
I’ve asked all the flowers to seek down below,
For the daisy and cowslip my hopes keep
In their petals hovering I see your face deep.

Show me the green lane that leads to her feet
For her name in their sky lyric I hear so sweet.

And Mimne the Sage do your bitterly words make a sound?
I’ve asked all the seeing winds to whistle me round,
To bring to my shelter your voice, that me greet,
Singing my path to the place where we shall meet.

Show me the green lane that leads to her feet
For her name in their sky lyric I hear so sweet.
For I will not rest until at the last we shall meet.

Show me the green lane that leads to her feet
For her name in their sky lyric I hear so sweet.
For I will not rest until at the last we shall meet.

(a sung version will be posted shortly)

Reading for pleasure on World Book Day

Here is a link to my article via the Instant Apostle website about reading for pleasure, different ways of reading, including mindful reading for World Book Day.

Flat Earth Unroofed – a tale of mind lore chapter 3

Flat Earth Unroofed
It was memorable, his first visit to the cottage. It opened his mind.
‘Most people,’ said Mac, ‘live in a flat-earth mind. They’re just busy doing. What I do in timecraft is to unroof the flat-earth mind, and underneath you discover a little blue planet of awareness that does not think; it knows.’
This made sense to Hudor; he already had an inkling of this.
‘There are ways to do this, to move from one to the other. What you find is that the little blue planet in your mind is attuned to this blue planet around us; it resonates with the natural world.’
Hudor nodded.
‘Some people’s minds are ossified, they have become like a bone. Others are in chaos, falling apart, without a centre. But there is a place of stillness. And in that stillness you can find the stream of time that enables you to move in time and space. This is just one thing you can do with this knowing.’
Hudor was aware that his heart was beating fast, and he had almost stopped breathing.
‘It’s all in the stillness,’ said Mac. ‘Listen if you can. I need to teach you to still your mind, heart, soul and body. In the stillness you become more real and can move through that which is less real. In that way you can get inside the summer house, for you need to meet the girl.’
He knew her name. It had been written in the dust as he lay looking at her and then had been unwritten. Wind blew in his mind. But he could not remember it now, out of the Wood.
‘Come with me into the Wood,’ said Mac. ‘To the mere.’ As they walked, Mac told Hudor to imagine that a butterfly had landed on his stomach. He needed to breathe gently so that the butterfly did not fly away.
When they got to the lake, Mac sat down cross-legged by the shallow stream that flowed into the lake.
‘Put your fingers in the water,’ said Mac. ‘Let the water run over them. This is how you should be – like the water. But you are all entangled. I will teach you the art of disentanglement. We need to disentangle your senses. Allow your senses to expand around you.’
Hudor became aware of the sound of a woodpecker pecking in a tree. He could feel the water running over the nerves of his fingertips. He could see the sunshine dappling the water, and the clouds that were passing overhead reflected in the stream. He could smell the earth, and the dung of the ghost cattle. He could taste the air as he breathed – it was a taste he had never known before.
‘What you are doing,’ said Mac, ‘is observing what you are sensing. You need to disentangle your inner seeing. Then I need to teach you the true names of all things; the names disentangle the things they name. But you’ve got to get beyond knowing in order to disentangle yourself from the shell we grow around us. Once we have done this, we can become fluid in the invisible streams that flow all around us.’ Hudor understood intuitively. He was yet to experience the bigger streams, though.
In the distance a dog barked, and the moment was broken.
‘Your mind is wandering,’ said Mac. ‘Focus on the water until you find the white stillness, the heartbeat of time itself.’
Mac put his hand on Hudor’s back and suddenly he was aware again. At that moment Mac pulled them into the water. There was a moment of fear, a moment of ekstasis, and suddenly they were elsewhere, standing in a pool of water which bubbled in five places. A ruin stood in front of them; it was clear what it had once been.
A man stood on the bank with a dog. It had a thick coat with a slightly yellow, oily sheen.
‘Watcher, I greet you,’ said Mac. Hudor could feel the health of this place in his bones, in his blood. It was as if every particle of his body danced with joy.
‘Do you know the story of the beginning, and how the opening tide of life came about? The watcher asked Hudor.
‘No,’ said Hudor.
They sat on the grass and the man began the story.
‘He will speak in riddles,’ whispered Mac.
‘There was a beginning. And that beginning started at a point, a certain place, and it contained the seeds of the beginning. The island of Ge is that place, and it contains the seeds of the beginning. Some call it a big bang, and others the opening of the tide of life. And that beginning planted other beginnings. The principle lives on. The beginning had seeds that were planted. New things begin. And there are places in Ge where that beginning still lives. We are in one now. The place where you put the white hare is another one. But these places are under threat. They are being hunted and destroyed. Poisoned.’
He looked at Hudor, who was rapt with attention. ‘Listen to the wind, and the wind will reveal more to you. But it is time for you to return.’
In what seemed like less than a heartbeat, Mac and Hudor were back in Bentley Wood. Although they had travelled through water, they were not wet.
‘Go home,’ said Mac.
At home, Hudor hugged his parents spontaneously. They were packing to go on a trip for the Fowler. They looked at him, surprised and pleased.

Flat Earth Unroofed – a tale of mind lore, a Book Review

Here is the link to a review of Flat Earth Unroofed – a tale of mind lore by Simon Walker for the Baptist Times.

The Neglect of Enchantment, The Hobbit and facing our inner dragons #mindfully

The Neglect of Enchantment and The Hobbit via Instant Apostle


just click on the link above!

The Summoner and the Wordseer – from a tale of mind lore II

From a tale of mind lore II

The Summoner and the Wordseer - from a tale of mind lore II

The summoner saw the boy through the leaves. She looked at him until the boy looked at him. She summoned the boy over, moving so slowly it was as though time had no hold on her.

The boy’s eyes suddenly saw the summoner. He too slowed down and stepped out of time. The summoner stepped on to his hand. He felt the tight grip on his thumb and fingers.

In the moment the boy saw that the chameleon was made of many little moving words. He watched transfixed as the words moved into a story. A window opened in his soul and a wordseer was born.

The chameleon stepped back onto the branch and disappeared in an instant among the leaves. She was looking for someone else to summon. The boy began to see pictures as words.

(From a tale of mind lore II, how a gift found Hudor…)

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The magic pen that wrote Flat Earth Unroofed – a tale of mind lore

Magic pen that wrote Flat Earth Unroofed - a tale of mind lore

Magic pen that wrote Flat Earth Unroofed – a tale of mind lore

The magic pen that wrote Flat Earth Unroofed – a tale of mind lore. I found it in a hidden shop that sold only story-making pens.

Flat Earth Unroofed – a tale of mind lore…chapter two ‘The Girl’.

The Girl

Walking in the Wood, following a visible track, a sound made them hide. As they followed a cattle track by the edge of the trees, Mac pulled him into the cover of the leaves.

‘Don’t move!’ whispered Mac. ‘Not a word…’ He passed his hand over them and uttered a word in a strange language. Men dressed in black with the wolf-like dogs who trained in the Wood walked past. Once they had gone Mac relaxed, but he took them back to his hut via a different route.

‘What was that word you used?’ asked Hudor.

‘A tongue,’ said Mac. ‘A word for concealment. The first peregrini who walked among us concealed themselves as men, as watchers and wanderers, and they had a tongue that could hide them. I made it appear to the dog-wolves as if we were just part of the forest.’

‘That’s so strange,’ said Hudor. ‘It’s just reminded me that when I leave Bentley Wood I forget thoughts I’ve had whilst I am there.’

‘That’s the sleepiness out there in the world,’ said Mac. ‘It’s part of what they do,’ he added. ‘But it’s not safe to talk about it yet. Take a pebble with you from the mere, any of them. Then you’ll find you remember out there, and won’t get sleepy again. But don’t let anyone see it.’

Hudor suddenly had the sense that there was one who was going to pull a plug out of the world of the tide of life, that all that was good was going to disappear down the plughole, and that he would be caught up in the whirlpool with nothing to hold on to.

Finding a cattle trail, Mac led them back to one of the entrances nearer Hudor’s home. Hudor was glad he was with Mac: he didn’t want to meet the ghost cattle on his own. They seemed to have the ability to just appear and disappear nearby, although they left real footprints and real cowpats.

‘It’s not the cows you need to worry about,’ said Mac, ‘although the superstitions about them are useful for keeping people out. It’s some of the wolf-like dogs who have bad hearts. Being a dogkeeper’s son will help you, though. If you get into trouble, find water, either in the ponds or the springs bubbling up in the grass. The bad ones won’t come near that.’

‘Why’s that?’ said Hudor.

‘I’ll talk to your dad,’ said Mac, ‘and see if you’re ready for your apprenticeship. Then I’ll tell you. You also need to be wary of the green parakeets. They spy for the Fowler,’ he added.

Mac smelt the air. Lightning. A spear of death. Without a sound he beckoned Hudor to follow him. Hudor knew better than to ask him where they were going. He soon realised they were heading towards the lake. As they drew near to the lake, Mac dropped down and began to crawl quietly to the brow of the hill. Hudor knew that below them was the summer house. This was where the girl came sometimes, the daughter of the Fowler. Mac whispered in his ear.

‘Watch the balcony.’

Soon a girl dressed in a bleached dress appeared on the balcony. She was slight but tall, with amber-coloured hair. Unbidden, a vow came into his heart. I will protect her with all my craft. He lay there, suddenly aware of his breathing, the beating of his heart, the pulse in his neck, the smell of the earth, the face of the girl.

Then the Fowler came out. Hudor had only seen him at a distance. He, too, was slight and tall. His face was hard to make out, but his hair was dark. He was dressed in black and had brought a mirror out with him – it was full length. He left it with her.

She then began to do a series of exercises in front of the mirror. Faces. She pulled different faces until in the end it seemed as though she became someone different. But in the stubbornness of his heart he could see her underface, as he saw the underwriting on the palimpsest.

And then suddenly, she collapsed, like a puppet on a string. The Fowler came out, for he, too, had been watching, and carried her inside. A servant brought the mirror in.

‘It’s time to go,’ whispered Mac. They left as quietly as they had come. Despite the warmth, Hudor felt chilled to the bone. As if the very marrow had been sucked out of him.

When they reached the edge of Bentley Wood, Mac said, ‘Come to my cottage tomorrow. I will tell you more.’