Author Archives: Pete Armstrong

Some clues on how to follow the path of emptiness

How can I follow the path of emptiness? If I ride my bike down the cycle path from Bull Beck my aim is to steer into emptiness and avoid any entanglements with the world of form. The cycle path keeps … Continue reading

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A fresh start: moving house

Moving house feels like chaos, loosely organised. Everything shifts. We are moving from the familiar into the unknown. Sitting in the new kitchen with our friends who have helped we are surrounded by boxes and bags casually dumped. In order … Continue reading

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It, you, I: beneath the surface of the pond

It is a shiny dark shape emerging above the surface of the pond. It is a creature of the depths gifting itself to us on this day. It waits, silky, svelte, developed for swimming, looking at us, smiling, happy. You … Continue reading

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That’s the way it is

Every time I open my mouth to speak my mind streams out into the world. That’s just the way it is. When you and I have a conversation our minds hang out together in the space between us swirling, scenting, … Continue reading

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Armistice Day 11.11.11

In Memoriam, John Armstrong 1886 -1959 One of my many births was in the explosion of the shell the impact of the bullets that destroyed your leg. Amongst the suffering and smoke and terror a part of me came into … Continue reading

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Do you think I want your fear?

Do you think I want your fear? No thanks! I have enough of my own. So why do you ignore your fear and let it leak out all over the place affecting me and all these other people? You don’t … Continue reading

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In praise of ruts

I’m never lost when I’m in a rut: I know I’m in a rut. No worries about where to go: I follow the rut. No guilt about the past: I was just following the rut. I can see the blue … Continue reading

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Gift-wrapped

A certain kind of truth, like a certain kind of jewel can never come gift-wrapped. If it comes gift-wrapped it’s theirs, not yours. A certain kind of precious stone, vital in your life can only be found by you, looking … Continue reading

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How to work like a pig

On the farmstead of your being, is there a neglected part: a riot of nettles, and weeds, and tangled roots going back deep into those difficult areas of your life which you have fenced off and ignored for years? You … Continue reading

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Cycling towards perfect understanding

When I was eight I received more freedom for my birthday. My parents gave me love and a bike and with the one in my heart and the other under my bottom I set off to explore. I had already … Continue reading

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Zen mealtime at a retreat

When the bell sounds, I move from choice to choiceless. I stand in line and wait. I move towards the prepared food. I bow, and serve myself what is there, and I am grateful. I walk to the next available … Continue reading

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The gift of infection

O Lord my God you have seen fit to send to me once more an infection in the root of my tooth. I thank you for your gift and for the invasive root canal filling procedure which I face next … Continue reading

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Whoever I have become now

I sit in a clearing in the woods and I hear the birdsong manifest over here, and then over there. I see a bird fly in here, and then there. I move about in the clearing but I am not … Continue reading

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Beyond breast-shaped

  You can suck at her nipple as hard as you like but at a certain point the sweetness runs dry. It’s time to grow up a little and move on. There is a world out there that is beyond … Continue reading

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Quaker meeting for worship for business

The clerk’s pen moves across the page as we sit around her, watching in silence. Our thoughts, our agreement are coalescing in her consciousness and then they are transmitted down through her arm and hand into these tiny complex movements … Continue reading

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An apple tree in autumn

An apple tree in autumn leaves fluttering fruits hanging, falling littering the grass beneath. Pick an apple from the ground and bite juicy, sharp, sweet, perfect pecked by birds, shared with birds pecked and perfect. Get in touch with your … Continue reading

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Ah my beloved, let me sleep

Ah my beloved, let me sleep stop prodding me with your smile. I am trying to hold on to unconsciousness but your quiet ‘wake up, wake up’ is loosening the grip of my drifting comfort. Let me sleepwalk through my … Continue reading

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Illuminated from within and without

On a hot autumn day I had several work meetings and at teatime I had a meeting with Warton Crag wandering through the woods on the limestone pavement. Dragonflies and butterflies were present as were leaves falling in the stillness … Continue reading

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Develop your insertion and pounding skills

Love and compassion will not split this log. A cold chisel inserted in a crack and pounded with a lump hammer will cleave it right open. Then the pieces will fit in the stove and heat will be released. Choose … Continue reading

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And from this blissful meeting

Pilgrims walking the pilgrim route we reach a Holy Well along the way and see the clear water welling up into the pool. ‘We have travelled far to meet you,’ we say. ‘And I have come far to meet you’ … Continue reading

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