Mindful Practice


Still not smoking, but I got some strange pangs yesterday for ‘ol nic-o-teen. I met an amazing person called Maurice a few years ago, who might have been holding the reason for these desires. I was standing outside my sisters shop, smoking a ciggie. When Maurice came up to me and started talking. He was an elderly gentleman, and started talking about everything, from the power of violet to nicotine. He produced a drawing of a nicotine worm or snake entwined through someone’s body. It had quite a strong effect on me, and I reckon it’s not too far from the truth. I am finding it a useful device now too, when I remember it. I must not forget that I am not out of the woods yet with regards to smoking.

Guru Violet

I have not seen Maurice since this first meeting – which lasted about 2 hours, but he was an amazing character. I don’t think I have ever met anyone with such a complete education. He actually inspired the idea for Guru Violet too, (which I still haven’t finished) Thank you Maurice!

Tai Chi Practice

I got up today at 6:30 and had a cup of hot water with lemon. Then got down to my Tai Chi. I had to work at it today, some-days I can just sort of let go and I am in the flow. Today, I had to gently keep reminding myself to not get distracted by work. I probably did too much work yesterday. Up at 5-am and still working at 10pm – that would explain my lack of focus today. I dug in with my practice though and had at least a few moments of bliss, and I know that even bad practice is good. It all counts, it all works together in the long run, like listening to “Stages of Meditation” by HH The Dalai Lama, which is now on constant play on my iPod. I find it hard to understand with my mind sometimes, but I know at least in some part of my soul, little seeds of good change are being planted. It’s all good.

By Rich Senior

Meditator, Yogi, Tai Chi practitioner, Guitar player, Music maker, Writer and Web developer.


  1. i wonder if the “Stages Of Meditation” was part of this project, Richie.Digitise The Dalai Lamais that something you’d recommend for a complete novice? A friend has just read the Howard Cutler/Dalai Lama book and was asking if I knew a book on meditation by the Dalai Lama – I thought a CD of Him speaking instructions or lessons might be a simpler way to start?


  2. I don’t know if “Stages of Meditation” was part of the project Stu, but many thanks for reminding me of that link!.I like the Stages of Meditation audiobook it is narrated by Ken McLeod. I bought it from the iTMS. I would love some audio from HH but it would appear that he doesn’t have much confidence in his English language, so often will use translators so that the message gets across exactly as he wishes.I was lucky enough to see the Dalai Lama in Glasgow in 2004, and the root text of his teachings is available to download, audio recordings are also available to buy, but some of it is being shared online. I found it very hard work to follow as a novice Buddhist. But your friend may have a brighter mind, so this may be perfect.After Glasgow, I signed up and paid for tickets for last years Geneva talks (8 days), unfortunately at the time I couldn’t afford the time off to go – I really do wish I had made the time….I have recently read Patrick French’s “Tibet, Tibet” which is an enlightening journey into modern day Tibet. He states that “More than a hundred books have been published under the Dalai Lama’s name…. Many of these books are loosely edited versions of his public talks; some cherry picked aphorisms from his earlier publications; others were scarcely by the Dalai Lama at all;but had his face on the cover to boost sales.” It would seem that the production is only lightly regulated, with the Dalai Lama only receiving 1 per cent of the cover price.Patrick French talked to one of his aides about it. “What would you advise us to do” he said. “Stop taking advice from me. Get an independent lawyer…” Patrick replied. When he spoke to the Dalai Lama about it “he was totally surprised and baffled to learn about some of the book deals, but did not share my indignation at the confidence men who were jumping on the Tibet Bandwagon”So. with this in mind… erm… “The Dalai Lama’s Book of Daily Meditations – The Path to Tranquility” features 365 meditations picked from his works. Here is today’s meditation as an example:”The human level of mental development is not complete. Even in the ordinary sense, within our inner state there are still many things to explore. This has nothing to do with religious ideology, this is spiritual. Some part of the brain’s capability may be fully utilised only through deep meditation. But in the meantime, things can be explored in the ordinary way. So from that viewpoint, the human being is unfinished”I will endeavour to find some actual audio of HH The Dalai Lama, I recorded some from Glasgow on my ipod, but the quality was poor. I might pay for the QED recordings at some point, HH would often speak in Tibetan, then his brilliant translator would translate into English. I like listening to HH in Tibetan anyway – he is just so full of warmth, and compassion that for me this is enough – and the words are unnecessary, his kindness and joyous outlook i found very inspiring. Having said all the above I do like the Stages of Meditation audio book, so maybe go with that?


  3. that is a good link to the Glasgow Intro talk. I’ll pass that on. I tried listening all the way through but had to get up and make dinner. Very nice to have His Highness chatting away in the next room while at work in the kitchen!I must have heard some somewhere before because His voice is so familiar, but I can’t fathom where or when. Weird. thanks for digging out that link – if you come across anything else let me know, and I’ll check out the preview of “Stages”.


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