A never ending conversation…

Julia Chi Taylor

Our dialogues twist and weave in a never ending conversation.

Every word we utter, every thought we think has energy, power, it has its own life…

And so we must be aware of what we think, and what we say – we must be aware of our opinions, our beliefs, our judgemnets and prejudices -they are creations – they have form…

And when we believe they are real, they can take over, and we can lose the truth of who we truly are… Awareness; consciousness….

When we remove any attachment to the words and thoughts, when we bring ourselves back to our centre, to our stillness, then the thoughts collapse… They have no life anymore, the words too – they disappear into the ether…

They die

As we must die to our self, to our identifications – to all we believe ourselves to be, if we are to experience who we truly are.

Every single thing we ‘do’ here is a role, a conditioning that we have learnt, have been taught – and often have come to believe is who ‘we are’…

But we are not our roles or our conditioning.

While we are in this form, it is good that we can remember how to walk and talk and ‘do’ the things we have learnt, like driving a car, riding a bicycle, reading, writing and arithmetic.

But always we must know we are not these things

We are more than all of these things

We are not our thoughts for we are the source of all thought

There is no beginning or end to us

We exist

And it had always been this way….

And when we take time to go within, to drop all the roles, the ideas, the opinions and instead experience our selves, beyond the created self, then we experience true joy, bliss

And we can truly ‘in joy’ this experience called life 

Let go and live

Port de Pollença

Running in the sun again, certainly feels easier to me than running in the chilly, and the wet! 

My preference is warm – the air balmy, only a need for a pair of shorts and singlet –  and then – like this morning, a dip in the ocean immediately afterwards… 

With not a stitch on too…!

But – the secret is to be fully present – wherever we are…

In the sunny climes, or the wet and windy ones, and appreciate that we are alive, experiencing this human journey…

This gift of life on earth….

Anadi and I arrived here in Port de Pollença yesterday afternoon…

After a great night’s sleep in a gigantic bed! – We rose early this morning and set off along the promenade…

The sun a fiery ball of orange over the sea…

The roads were very quiet, except for some cyclists and runners, and there was a group of swimmers, swimming together across the bay, looking like some strange sea creature with many tentacles rising out of the water…

As we approached ‘home’ the sea called out to us… 

‘There’s no one around, you can skinny dip here…’ 

And so we did…!

We whipped off our kit and plunged straight into its welcoming embrace…

What a glorious feeling, the healing balm of the morning mediterranean

Ease and joy is our natural state; it is always there for us if we are willing to stay present and dive through the patterns and programmes that so often create suffering while we are here…

We can rid ourselves of our worldly suffering – right now – in this moment.

In every moment 

It can take lifetimes 

But it happens now, in letting go of our attachment to pain, to identification with the stress of the human journey – the ‘I’ who is attached to forgetting who we truly are…

Who we are cannot be thought, we the source of all thought with no beginning or end…

And as we clear the painful emotions, investigate and let go of the adaptations we have created – we discover that we are free, and that we have always been free…

And that this life is here for us to create our experience now, and now and now… 

In this very moment we can heal our past and create an entirely different future 

We can dive into the balmy sea of joy.

We can let go and live 

Winning is an attitude

julia Chi

I ran in the Sussex Road relay championships at the weekend…

My race was three by two mile legs…I ran leg three and loved every exhausting moment!

I am finding it joyous, and such fun, to still be striving to run fast in my sixties!

Winning is an attitude, and the nineteen year old is alive and well within me, thinking that anything is possible and ‘let’s find out’!

I am loving the Zen of running and accepting what is…

Whilst fully embracing the fun of stretching for excellence… 

Exploring going beyond limitations, without the attachment to outcome that made much of my running in my younger years less enjoyable than it could have been…!

The ‘could, should, ought to do better’, tainted some of my performances in the past, which in retrospect I now think were remarkable!

On Saturday, I ran faster for two miles than I have in awhile! 

14.01 – almost six something mile ing again…! In fact the first mile likely WAS a six something… 🙂 

Yes – winning is an attitude; when we strive and stretch to reach goals, if this is what we want – or we simply commit to do our best each day…

Goals are not for everyone; we are all unique, and over the years, I have discovered it is more joyous when we live free from any external pressure, or measurement of what is good or bad…

Winning is personal – we win our own race when we do our best, apply ourself to the task in hand, and are always encouraging, positive and kind to orselves…

When we pick ourselves up if things don’t quite go to plan…

When we get up one more time than we fall…

The Zen of living is in extending to win our own race, through our actions in the outer world – whilst staying silent within, and paying attention to each step, each moment – and thereby experiencing an inner journey of transcendence and self realisation through the journey….

In my case, this has always been the running path…!

But it is to wherever your own inner compass points you …

You are you, and there is only one you in the whole world…

Winning is an attitude… 

An experience of fun, joy, liberation through each step of your life

The world misses out when you are not expressing yourself freely and fully

Winning your own race…

Life, a meditation on the move…

Presence

In the step

The zone 

In the moment

A meditation on the move

Now

These words and phrases all describe a state of flow when performing an activity – often sport…

But ultimately life….A meditation on the move
When life is a meditation on the move then everything flows…

I listen to some Spanish every day – to keep my ‘ear in’!
I usually listen to a YouTube channel where people are interviewed in the street about a subject… Today, the subject was about ‘stress…’ 

‘What do you find stressful’? The interviewer asked person after person ( in Español!)

Every single person who was interviewed found something – or even everything – in their life stressful…
Their work, relationships, the traffic, noise, children… Something or everything…

It was portrayed as ‘normal’ for life to be stressful…

But the truth is that to be permanently under stress, as many people are, is unnatural…

And it isn’t the situation… Other people, work, relationships… Even traffic – that is actually causing the stress…

It is our response to it.

In the case of noise or traffic jams, or any ‘problem’ or puzzle – just ‘giving permission ‘ for the ‘thing’ to be there, can change our perception of it…

Or changing the narrative…
‘I’ve time to just be and reflect while I sit in this traffic…’
Even when we need to ‘get somewhere’ – the practise of letting go and being where we actually are, is life changing…

Life to be permanently stressful is not our natural state… Our natural state is relaxation, joy, easy movement and presence…

As we move from child to ‘grow up’ – this is what often happens, we just grow ‘up’ and are tall and carrying more weight and years in our being; but the child is still hurt and carrying those wounds – and so  life feels difficult….

We are all creating our own realities from the inside out, we are projecting our subconscious thoughts feelings and patterns onto the screen of life; and we can all change the whole world, by changing our own inner world…

When we ‘look out’ wanting everything around us to change, we stay in an impossible loop…

When we want the other to be different, we disempower ourselves.

We are the change, we have within us everything to transform our lives, and the lives of others by our very presence.

When we shine with our own light, we become beacons of joy

Life becomes a meditation on the move, and we light the way for all we encounter on the path… 

Transcendence

Julia Chi

I like the word transcendence…

I like its form and its sound…

‘Transcendence’ – to go beyond….

The body, the mind, limitations – to go beyond…

To realise our true nature…

Our true nature, which is always there… It can express through the body and the mind and all that we are; but awareness is there between our thoughts.

It is there when we are silent, no words being spoken, no actions occurring

It is always there

We are 

I am 

Each of our journeys of self discovery will be unique, even though the core truths that are revealed are the same…

Transcendence occurs as we dissolve the separate ego… There is no magic formula to experience this, other than presence in each moment; an alert and non judgemental attentiveness to our every thought word and deed…

Through this practise, we experience the centre that is unchanging, still, calm

The still small voice of calm…

I always loved the hymn

‘Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire;
Oh still small voice of calm…’

These words said it all to me as i was growing up, singing the hymn in assembly at school…

And as we discover who we truly are, life takes on a different perspective… We experience the mystery, the learning the fun, the growth, the adventure with no purpose other than to stay in each step, here and now and delight in each moment,,,

All that is…

There is no beginning or end to who we are.

We are

I am

We are the energy that flows

And we become the flow of our expression – we are the run, the dance, the song itself

We are transcendent – we are free of believing there is an end, and that there was a beginning to who we are 

And we know we are 

Always and forever 

Transcendent

The ego dissolves and the adventure begins

The joy of expansive beauty, peace everlasting – a beautiful view – our spirits uplifted during meditation – is the same being who cries and thinks too much and feels pain and frustration

‘I am’ is always there, while the feelings and thoughts rise and fall on the screen of this existence, but ‘we are’, always 

And forever 

We are 

I am

Awareness

Julia Chi Taylor

I ran down the five flights of stairs from my flat as a start to my run!

On reaching the lobby, I poked my nose out of the door – the rain was pouring down…!

(I can’t see rain from my flat!)

Rain jacket needed, I caught the lift back up to the 5th floor! 🙂 

Down the stairs I ran again – and out into the streets to a delightful rainy March morn…

I jogged 300 metres to the King’s road…

I love that road…

I always have

It has an air of happening energy and possibility – creativity in motion

The years of people going by – and by – making their way.

For others it may be a different experience…

We are all living in our own ‘movie’ – but we so often make the mistake of believing others are experiencing the world as we do… 

With awareness and presence to our own ‘now’, it is easier to cross the bridge into the worlds of others 

To be where they are too 

Now

But first and foremost if we are aware of our every breath, our every thought, our every action then life is transformed…

But to do this it means clearing the emotional pain, the psychological dramas that can arise in any moment;

And when we practise living this way, in time we experience that we are the awareness that is aware….

I was first attracted to the King’s road for a shopping trip when I was fourteen – over the years I have returned, again and again – and now I live a short distance away from its hustle and bustle, it’s unique essence.

I jogged past ‘The Duke of York Square’ where the Saturday Food market stall holders were starting to set up, and on to Sloane Square, turning right and making my way down to Chelsea bridge and over it to run about in Battersea Park

All these places so familiar, so many of ‘the stories of my life ’ have happened around here…

I was racing races in Battersea Park when I was still in my 20’s 

And now in my 60’s its like none of it ever happened

Because the now is now

And the now feels better because of the past that never happened

And is also happening

Now

Awareness is everything; when we are aware we will become aware that we are the awareness and we have always been free

Now

Wu Wei

Julia Chi Pafos

Wu Wei, is a term familiar to anyone who has studied Taoism, the Chinese philosophy connected with Lao Tzu… 

It is the principle of non action, but rather than this necessarily meaning ‘doing nothing’, it is more about stillness and presence within action.

It is about being at ease and silent within movement, of not forcing and striving too hard towards an outcome.

It’s ‘enjoying the journey’, staying in the step, knowing the next will take care of itself…

Running has always been my teacher and has lead me back to this principle again and again.

The joy of training and racing is a delight for me,

A meditation on the move.

This doesn’t mean that every run feels amazing!

But it’s accepting – the state of the body, the weather, the ‘not feeling much like it, but going anyway’ – accepting all that is…

But when it feels forced, when there is push and struggle rather than acceptance and authentic flow, then I have always known the time has come for reflection

What am I ‘doing’ when the ‘being’ in the step is lost…

I have been appreciating my body’s return to running form in recent months, and loving running races… 

My enthusiasm lead me to enter a marathon again!

I ran many marathons in the 80’s into the early 90’s and sporadically thereafter … Having not run one for 12 years, the idea appealed, the training appealed – it all felt fun…

Until recently!

When I questioned what I was doing… ! 

Lao Tzu spoke about simplicity, patience and compassion as being the three principles that can allow us to return to the source of being and so know ourselves,

And Wu wei encompasses these three completely

Simplicity, patience, compassion within all our actions and endeavours.

It’s about flow and allowing…

And it came to me recently that showing compassion to myself would be to change my plans;

to keep it more simple…

To have patience with my body’s request for less!

To listen and learn and love

To do unto myself what I would suggest to another if they expressed to me what I felt within…

‘You don’t ‘have’ to do it you know’

We are all on our own journey, and it is only we who know what is truly right for us…

For some the experience of Wu Wei is there whilst running a five day ultra, for some it will be sitting quietly watching the world go by whilst having a coffee in the square …

We’re here to know ourselves…
‘At the centre of your being
You have the answer
You know who you are
and you know what you want’ 
Lao Tzu

Parkrun Pals

Parkrun Pals Julia Chi and Rosy

I love meeting up with my Parkrun Pal, my little sister Rosy.

As is often the way with rituals and rhythms, I am not quite sure how our regular Parkrun journeying began.

But it did!

And it has continued now for well over a year…

‘Where to now’? We say, after the run is done… And so the months have gone by, travelling to a venue, running the laps and then enjoying the aftermath of coffee and brunch.

We’ve extended our sister running rituals to meeting up for 10k’s and half marathons too… 

In truth the ritual began many years ago when Rosy would accompany me to my X country races in the 70’s… 

We would clamber into my car – A Triumph Spitfire! Madness at nineteen years old, but I just went out and bought it one day! – And off we would journey to a remote muddy field, somewhere in the UK, where hundreds of girls and women would gather to race.

She was there when I was selected to represent England in my first international race…

The year was 1979.

A few years later in 1981 – the face of running was to change… The first London marathon brought with it the awareness that we can all run.

Running – so simple and natural – just one foot in front of the other.

Our ancestors ran to survive, to catch food, to run from predators.

We were all born to run

And Chris Brasher’s intention in creating the race was to provide ‘some happiness and sense of achievement in a troubled world’.

There’s no question that the simple act of running has done just that.

It has been incredible to see the sport I have always loved, become a bigger part of life, bringing community spirit, friendship, accomplishment and joy to so many… 

And so it is, that over forty years later, Rosy and I find ourselves meeting in fields and parks all around the UK still…

But the wonderful thing now, is that Rosy is running in the races too…

Circling the Sun

Julia Chi Taylor

Birth days

Come around again and again.

And again

Circles of the sun…

Around and around we go…

I have lost count of how many times I have journeyed around the sun, riding on planet earth!

Circles have no end or beginning…

And so this makes it easy to forget.

To simply live in the now, in this very moment, celebrating life…

Eternal

No end or beginning….

And to keep on running; each step the first one I have ever taken;

Now.

In celebration of life, birthday time again, the never ending running path – anything we can think of the celebrate… I ran around London Town with thousands of others a week or so ago…

We set off from the Mall to run around the City for ten kilometres…

Many have finished the London Marathon on that very stretch…

Including me…!

I have lost count of how many times I’ve done that too!

While standing on the start line, with music and people and joyous energy everywhere – our spirits soaring – I spotted another pair of naked feet!

We chatted for a bit and someone took a photo…

Of our feet! – and my new friend Steve spoke of the times he has run the marathon without shoes on…

One day – perhaps!

And so it is, that the shiny sun, the longer days and running with naked feet again – are heralding my celebrations of the day I was born…

I am about to set off to circle around the sun again…

Travelling who knows where and when 

And for how long 

I will keep on running

Around and around the sun

Now.

In this very step, that when we are fully in it – always takes care of the next one.

And the next.

The step we are in, all there is

This moment

Life.

Expanding into infinity

Now.

Life

Julia Chi Taylor

We journey

Now

No where to get to

Life flowing 

Being

Still

Is all there is

And so it is

Always moving

No where 

Expanding

Bright light

Creating images on a flickering screen

That seem so real

And so it is

Not

Who am I?

Where am I going?

Who is the I that asks these things?

If there is a questioner 

Then who is that?

Who asks

Who am I?

Who is watching? 

This play out of energy

Life

Moving

Dancing 

Flowing…

Go with the flow 

They say

The flow of what? Life…?

You are life

You are the flow

And so it is