A condition of complete simplicity (costing not less than everything)

Non-attachment, sacrifice, surrender, presence. These concepts are at the heart of spiritual development, at least in its more sophisticated forms. What could be more simple? And yet what can possibly be harder? Eventually you have to give your self over to something bigger than yourself. No-one escapes it. We come in to the world naked…

At Blackwater Pond. Mary Oliver.

And so here where I live the weather has just suddenly turned from hot, heavy, laden summer days to  cool, clean freshness in a drenching season change. Last night the rain came, in buckets, streaking lightening, soaking the flowerbeds, keeping us awake to storm-watch (and deeply breathe!) through open windows. What a constant delight the…

Fuelling hallelujahs – a parable about an apple tree.

‘And even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song, with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.‘  (L. Cohen) There is an apple tree in my garden, a lovely old  rambling Bramley. It is gnarled and distinguished, and for a number of years had been having diminishing returns on the apple…

Tolerating the narcissism of teasels…..

My teasels have sprung in to action, taking a huge amount of space in the borders. They are massive, clear, and very present – “Look at meeeee!!” “Here I am!!!!” “Get out of my way, lesser herbaceous cousin-plant…..it is ME!!!! Make room!!!!”  arms aloft, dainty waists, slightly weirdly alienesque eyes. I love them. They have a certain…

‘Not in entire forgetfulness….’

The forget-me-nots take over the garden in early spring, and even though they threaten to squash out some of the burgeoning young plants trying to push their way up, I don’t have the heart to weed them out. They are so profuse, so hopeful, so intricately simple, and so faithfully reliable. They are glorious. I…

Vulnerability and Love

The word vulnerable means to be capable of being wounded. Being human is to live in that capability – we have vulnerable bodies, we are open to being hurt physically and in our hearts (as we reach out for love, attention, affection) all the time. Imagine being on a battlefield without armour, you would be…

What are the implications of stealing the bees’ honey?

This was my original research question (or one of them) when I started wondering about how to take my doctoral studies forward. The photo underneath here shows a section of one of the brood frames from my hive ‘Audrey’. The honey belongs to the bees, they are making it for stores, and they are raising baby…

Seeds of Love

Seed catalogues arrive at this time of year – for keen gardeners this is an exciting and welcome addition to the post Christmas post. A seed catalogue holds the promise of summer in the depth of January – the Eden to come, all in potential. In psychotherapy we work with seeds. The seed quality in…

Hello world!

It is my hope that this blog will let you peek over the garden wall in to the (sometimes paradoxically hellish) Eden of my research. I am exploring how (and why) transpersonal psychotherapists come in to contact with the archetype of the garden. The research explores alchemy, creative imagination, and contemplative experience, and looks at how…