Centre for Spirituality Blog

My Hedgehog Teacher

It’s 5.35am. The road is dark. A hedgehog appears in my car headlights a few feet ahead. I slam on the breaks and stop the car. Did I hit it? Single moments can symbolically capture a whole world: the macro (systemic) and the micro (individual) interwoven in one instant. Hedgehogs, once common in the UK, are on the red list of mammals, at risk of extinction. I know this intellectually, just as I know intellectually that the climate is spiralling out of control, ... Read more

Solvitur Ambulando – It is Solved by Walking

Solvitur ambulando – it is solved by walking - the wise counsel from St Augustine in the 5th Century. I heard those words 30 years ago when the ancient practice of labyrinth walking was being reintroduced in San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. But what makes labyrinth walks sacred - portals to the divine? After all, at one level a labyrinth is just a canvas with a few hand-painted lines or a spiral created by a few stones arranged on a beach. The answer ... Read more

The Surprising Delights of Beach Labyrinths

Labyrinth walks have been at the heart of my spiritual practice for 25 years but in all that time I’ve never created a beach labyrinth. For the past 18 months I’ve lived on Shoreham Beach and often as I’ve walked along the beach at low tide, I’ve wondered about building one. I decided to experiment at the time of the Full Moon. It was a surprisingly powerful experience. A few of us came together and built a seven-circuit classical labyrinth using pebbles on the ... Read more

Compassion – the heart of a life lived well

When I first started meditation, I thought the practice was just about developing greater awareness. To be honest, at a certain point I recognised that I was developing a cool (maybe even sometimes a cold) clinical awareness to my life. I had fallen into what I later discovered was a familiar trap - treating meditation as a technique for self-improvement and relating to the practice primarily cognitively rather than wholeheartedly. Slowly, it dawned on me that how we sense ourselves and ... Read more