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What's your next adventure?



'it is always dangerous to be reasonable with stupid people'


Mario Puzo


Thinking in patterns

As Idries Shah wrote in The Sufis, 'the average person thinks in patterns'. Different cultures have different patterns, travel between cultures and the patterns begin to emerge. Whenever we react without taking a step back, whenever we attempt to think sequentially or !in the correct way' we are usually thinking in some age old pattern, or even a new one. Such patterns reflect no doubt well worn circuits in the brain, rat runs of thought worn in through repetition and rewards, social and material. But the real thing is to evade these thought rails and live intuitively. 

We know that 'masters, such as aikido masters and wine experts use fewer brain cells to perform similar tasks over time. This frees up neural space for greater and greater appreciations of subtlety. At some point a mysterious flipping point is reached when they suddenly 'know' what to do without having to reason it out. You might argue that the patterns have simply become so internalised they aren't noticed anymore, but I think tHat is a side point. As a writer I know the feeling of using my intuition rather than logic as a guide, but it only came after many years of grafting away and relying on rules and reasonable procedures. The point comes when you decide to trust your intuition. It's really as simple as that. Faced by having to navigate a canoe down powerful Rapids I had no time to dither. Instant decisions were required and I was certainly no master of paddling. But I found that necessity forced me to trust myself and the river was descended safely.

Greed, distraction, fear, expectation, all these things cripple intuition. Necessity, meaning situations where only intuition works (and not mere guesswork) is not so easy to engineer in routine life. Get out of the routine then, but also start running less important areas of your life on intuition. Get used to feeling a strange reluctance to do certain things, which can only be sharpened by spending some time doing stuff you hate and comparing strange reluctance with laziness. Often there is no warning bell, just a clean transparent feeling that one course of action is Mildly better Than another. But in the end you have to trust.

Trust your intuition, it's as simple as that. I find it's useful to lose the idea that intuition delivers 'hole in one' results, spot on every time. Well we don't live in a perfect world. Broadbrush success is all you should need or expect. But play enough good golf and you can expect the odd hole in one, a byproduct rather than an aim of the enterprise.


You have to be sly with the river

Joe Vermillion was a Chipewyan Indian I met on the Peace River about twelve years ago. I was engaged, then, in the seemingly impossible task of paddling against the 8mph current of that river- which was over a 1000 miles long. Joe said we could do it, but we had to be sly with the river. We had to use the back channels, the places near the bank where the current was slack, the reverse currents you get behind obstructions; we had to tow the boat when the bank was clear, we had to sail when there was a good tailwind. If we tried to tough it out, battle headlong into the current like heroes we’d last about a week. I saw that when I started. We had to be sly with the river.

I was thinking today it is the best advice for any adventure. And maybe for life, especially for long drawn out and difficult tasks. Use every advantage, every place where the current reverses for whatever reason. Even when things are against you, when you’re battling against everything you can make progress, bit by bit, looking for the easiest route, the openings. You have to be sly with the river.


Half way to enlightenment

"Just leaving one's homeland is to accomplish half of reaching enlightenment."

Tibetan adage



Time has become the ultimate luxury.

Learning how to transcend time is a good way to use that luxury, if you have it.



What we object to in a thing may simply be its unavoidable yang or yin elements. Nothing can be 100% one thing or the other. And for yang and yin read 'outgoing' or 'inward looking' if it makes more sense to you.


Day FOUR of three day fast

Still on 4kg weight loss. I wake up at 5am and sneak downstairs: eat a tiny bit of banana- Ok but nothing special. I then make a soup and add some sauce from a curry- it tastes brilliant- though very strong and salty. I eat some curried carrot- a few slices and that is enough. Back to bed.

At 7.30am I have a tiny bowl of bran flakes and two oat cakes. It is these that really taste marvellous, the fast having sharpened every nuance of their flavour. The instant coffee is great too.

Then- what I have been planning for two days: Canadian pancakes, bacon, maple syrup and cappuccino at a local café. That bacon! Pity they took so long bringing it but perfection is made to be marred.

In conclusion- I want to keep doing a fast day a week- maybe Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon plus a day when I only eat breakfast. It may change but that is the plan.

Aches and pains come back after a few hearty meals…it really does seem as if fasting helps the body deal with these and aids repair of them. It's a great mood booster too. I feel great.


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