Meditation in the rain

In October, I visited New York for the anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s mahasamadhi. It is quite a meditative occasion.

With less outer distractions and the inspiration of Aspiration Ground, I try to take the opportunity to meditate more than usual.

The first few days it rained almost continuously. When in rains in New York, it can keep going for 24 hours without stopping. I like meditating outside in the rain (so long as you have a waterproof cover to keep dry). The sound of rain pouring down the sides of the canvas cover is quite peaceful.

race rain

On Saturday morning, I had agreed to cycle at a two mile race to honour Sri Chinmoy on the weekend of his mahasamadhi. So I wrapped up and cycled to Flushing Meadow. It was cold and wet, but worth going. Continue Reading →


Worcester College photos


We are currently postering for some upcoming meditation classes for the Sri Chinmoy Centre.

I put up posters in the Oxford colleges, which is a great job, though I often get distracted from pinning posters on poster boards and take a few photos of the College grounds.


This is Worcester College in the heart of Oxford, though in parts you feel you could be in the countryside. Continue Reading →


There’s always someone better than you

The hill climb season is underway. I used to win a lot of races, but this season have had two 3rd places. I still enjoy competing, but these days it is a slightly different focus.


My spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy once said something like “There’s always someone better than you.” The context of this quote was with regard to human pride. No matter what we do, there’s always someone better than us. If we rely on human pride for satisfaction, there will always be something to knock us back.
Continue Reading →


End of summer – Monet’s Haystacks



Wheatstacks at the end of Summer (Claude Monet 1890/91)

In 1890/91 Claude Monet drew a series of 25 paintings of the same scene – haystacks in a field. Monet captured the same subject at different times of the year, and different times of the day. It enabled Monet to paint the ephemeral nature of the changing light. Continue Reading →


Counting at the 24 hour race


I have been counting at the Sri Chinmoy 24 hour race since 1999. Usually, I just come for the first 10 or 11 hours, then drive home and do a cycle race on Sunday. It’s a good shift, but I always feel a little bit like a part-timer compared to those who stay from start to finish.

This year, an injury meant I had no cycle race and was free to attend the whole 24 hours.

The first 11 hours went quite quickly and I enjoyed the experience. The main job of a counter is to concentrate on being ready to mark down the times of the runners – as they come around the 400m circuit, every 2-4 minutes.  It might sound easy, but as the hours go by, it becomes a challenge to keep focused and always on the look out for the next time the runner comes round the track. Continue Reading →


Photos of Waterperry Garden


Some photos from Waterperry Gardens, just outside Oxford, where I visited earlier this summer. It was a grey day, but the wonder of modern technology helped get some decent photos.


The ‘Quiet’ Garden.

There was a sign asking people to be quiet in this garden, so I sat in a corner and meditated after a fashion. It was spitting with rain, and I didn’t get much beyond seeing the shrub in the corner and thinking how it could do with its top half trimming. Not the deepest meditation, but still nice idea to have a quiet garden.

The funny thing is that my five minutes of quiet was interrupted – by a family coming in and talking very loudly about how this was a quiet garden and you couldn’t use your mobile phone.

Continue Reading →


Singing to yourself


I cycle into town through this local Oxford park. It is far from the tourist trail, and is a nice place for locals – popular with dog walkers and people taking a short cut into town.

bedding plants

I was full of the joys of a slightly dull, misty September morning and, as I was cycling slowly through the park, an old man with dog said out loud:

“Shut up”

At first, I thought he was talking to his dog, but then realised his dog wasn’t saying anything, he was talking to me.

I was singing to myself and obviously had strayed into being audible. I hadn’t realised it, which is just slightly disconcerting; I hope it’s not the first signs of madness. He must have very good hearing.

I am trying to learn a few songs of Sri Chinmoy at the moment, and they seem to pop into my head whilst cycling into town.

As irritating habits go, singing aloud is not the worst, but I did admit the old man had a point – I probably would have found it a bit annoying if he was singing to himself.

But, I couldn’t help observe that it’s not very British to actually articulate minor irritations like this. We usually put with worse than someone muttering a half-hearted bit of singing in a public park. Continue Reading →


Parks and Recreation – best of American comedy

Generally, I’m not a fan of American comedy. But, I like Parks and Recreation a lot. It has very good characters and a good mix of gentle satire and sometimes is very funny.

As a vegetarian, yoga practising, socialist, my favourite character is Ron Swanson, the carnivorous, yoga hating, capitalist.

A close second is Andy Dwyer, I haven’t laughed out loud so much, since the first time I watched Fawlty Towers. It’s sometimes reminiscent of Monty Python in terms of being out there.

Continue Reading →


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