Archive | November, 2018

Picture of tree and thought for the day

autumn-iffley-tree

This is a tree in Iffley Village – part of my extended commute into town. It’s a beautiful time of the year.

I am currently reading a book on the “Alexander Technique” I like it because it encourages a moment of reflection before doing anything – trying to avoid bad habits we get into. In terms, of my understanding, it reminds me of Sri Chinmoy’s encouragement to meditate before doing anything. Continue Reading →

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The meaning of remembrance and a better future

In the UK, Remembrance Sunday is a significant event to honour those who died during the world wars. This year is of special significance because it marks 100 years since the armistice ending the First World War.

poppies

When I was young, our school went on a trip to Belgium to visit former battlefields and cemeteries. The most striking thing was the realisation that easily I could have been born 100 years earlier and faced the prospect of going to war. I have always been grateful for being born in a time of peace and not have to face the challenges of that generation.

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Once, I watched a long documentary about the First World War. One striking thing was in the first episode. They interviewed Bertrand Russell (a famous pacifist who was later sent to jail for later campaigning against the war) Russell noted that when war was declared he couldn’t help but notice and feel a wave of enthusiasm for the war sweep the whole nation – like an external force. He was shocked to be aware of and feel this enthusiasm in the air, even though his whole nature was personally against war. Perhaps the war was the unstoppable culmination from many years of inner aggression and striving for supremacy amongst the powerful nations.

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Often I have thought – how would I respond if I was a young male in 1914? The over-riding feeling is gratitude I don’t have to make a choice. I am not a pacifist – there are times when it is necessary to fight – but also I do not believe you should fight simply out of patriotism or because your government tells you to. Continue Reading →

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Spiritual significance of running

I wrote an article for Sri Chinmoy Races ‘The spiritual significance of running.’

I feel slightly embarrassed in the sense that my personal experiences of running are pretty lame.

tejvan-uphill-running

Running uphill.

I once did the Menston four-mile fun run. I would have won the under seven category except for half-way around; I stopped to take my number off my front and put it on my back (so it wouldn’t flap in my face). I got pipped on the line and finished 2nd. It was an early lesson in marginal gains. Put your number on properly.

tejvan

Me on the left

Aged 14, I ran for my school – Bradford Grammar School. In those days, I doubt very much I was meditating on the spiritual significance of running – rather cross-country seemed a less bad choice than having to play rugby. Once I came last in a race, so I used this as an excuse to give up cross-country running and take up being a teenager instead.

When I joined Sri Chinmoy’s Path, I took up running for a short while. It was great for a few months, but then I got a knee injury for a few years, so I took up cycling instead. Continue Reading →

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