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Tuesday, 9 August 2011


There was a village that was surrounded by a big thick defensive wall. All felt safe within and they lived a village life that was lulling and comforting. The baker baked, the cobbler cobbled, and the children played. All was well with the world, all were happy and in peace, until one day a small child realised that he couldn’t go out and play in the woods outside. A shoemaker told him to get the key, but he couldn’t find it anywhere. His wife, wiping her hands on her apron, came out of the kitchen to help the boy find the key. It was nowhere to be found! Panic spread amongst the villagers like fire… “The key, the Key, the KEY!!” they all cried...all stopped what they were doing in a frantic search for the object that could open the big heavy wooden door to the outside world that suddenly seem so very locked shut.

The big old door to the village

For a long time normal village life stopped as each person looked under crook and cranny, under stones, in sewing baskets, in tool boxes, in the toy corners, in the stables…but alas it was not to be found!

Then one day, they heard a small voice quiver over the wall “I have the key!” and clamouring up the wall to see the source of the good news, griping on for dear life, they spotted a small boy. He said “I shall throw you the key” and lo and behold his aim was perfect! The key sailed over the top of the wall and fell into the hands of the villagers. The small boy, excited, waited outside at the door for it to open. He waited and waited and waited. Where were they? What were they doing? What had gone wrong? He waited until sundown, until he realised that the villagers had forgotten about him, and with a heavy heart, head down, went home.

Time passed and the little boy wondered about the villagers: why hadn’t they opened the door? He decided to return to the village. The door was still locked, cobwebs covered it the same as before. So he scaled heroically over the walls to discover what had happened. There in the centre of the village, in a big beautiful temple with gold ornaments to decorate and flowers to scent, they had placed the key on an altar and were bowing to it, chanting to it, praying to it to intercede on their behalf.

They had never used the key.

So, could it be that this is how we all are?  Bowing down to our keys, forgetting to use them? We have the tools to go into the unknown, to come out of our safety zones, to go into the woods of our unconscious…but we don’t. Why not? What tools do we have that we don’t use? What do we venerate which becomes our prison? Why are we afraid to walk through the door?

It’s funny because sometimes something does help, but we make it into such a dogma that it hinders us. Such as smoking, we smoke to relax, and eventually find we cannot relax without smoking. We have placed the packet of cigarettes on the altar and we are bowing down towards it. We have allowed energy to control us, rather than us controlling the energy.

And so, I would like to share with you all my lovely news! I have been given a key, and have had the support and confidence1 to walk through a doorway in my life.

At one point I felt as if I were walking through a door into absolute darkness and became somewhat terrified. My mum bought me a book once called “Feel The Fear But Do It Anyway”…you get the drift: my chest was tight, and though I felt love and happiness I was scared. Until I realised a very simple thing: the sun shines every morning! There is not an eternal blanket of darkness, in the same way there is not an eternal night.  Every day follows night, every night follows day. We may choose to join up the gaps of dark, or join up the gaps of light, and those who are well travelled on their path may even be able to integrate the days and the nights into a beautiful whole.

And so, as I walk through a new gateway, I have faith in the sun, and look forward to the velvety night of unknowing, for it is only the same material as the day without being able to see it, without wisdom1 (as yet - I hope). Nothing is so scary if we remember to step into darkness with confidence2 of the light we all carry within.

So, yes, I have fallen in love!! I choose to leave Barcelona to move to the Island of Paros in Greece. I went there for a fortnight and came back three fortnights later. It is a wonderful place, and I have been so welcomed into a centre called Taos. It feels like home, and those of you (which are most of you!) who are interested in self development and connecting more to our truer selves, to our light and to our darkness, I invite you to check out the work study programme, or to just come for a short break.
Let us celebrate Life! May we all recognise3 our keys/tools/gifts and have the wisdom1 to use them when the time is right, to move with the flow, to surrender4 to a loving, caring power and to have the peace and joy of resting on our laurels in the beauty of everyday living!

Relaxing in the Restaurant of the Taos Centre

This story has been ripped off (I admit it!!) from Uyallah’s Zen Ring Meditation. I thank her for allowing me to share it.

(1) wisdom: wise "to see," hence "to know" but I prefer the Spanish Sabiduria, which comes from being able to saber: to know and to savour.

(2) confidence: with-faith

(3) recognise: to go through our cognition again (as if we were remembering after having gone through Plato’s River Lethe (Oblivion or Forgetting of Being))

(4) surrender: "give up, deliver over". But sur is under and render: "to repeat," "give back, present, yield," could it be that surrender means a form of giving of ourselves that permits our ego to become invisible and therefore leave our present cycle of Samsara? ...just a thought.

Taos Centre

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