There is no fear in love

Julia Chi Taylor

Piccadilly Circus was like Piccadilly Circus!

Boxing Day crowds jostled together on the pavements, shops all brightly lit, cafes and eateries spilling over; sale signs in the windows, some being stickered on as we passed by.

‘There’s a lot to be said for not reading the papers’, my brother had affirmed when we’d spoken on Christmas Day – having learned that I simply do an occasional fly by in a super market and glean a little something of what they are saying (on the front page anyway) 

I don’t tend to watch the television or listen to the radio…

And I find that my experience of life is a joyous one…

As it was today.

Anadi and I walked along the river past the London eye on the Southbank, and then cut through the Aldwych and Kingsway to the edge of Regents park before making our way back home via Piccadilly Circus… 

We met a lot of smiley people as we journeyed; full of the Christmas spirit of joy, of love and peace on earth…

‘There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear’

The message of Jesus

The message of Christmas

The journey to perfect love an inner one… Deeper and deeper into our own places of fear and pain and sorrow; healing them – loving them – freeing ourselves from fear to live here and now

A joyous life unfolds from this place; reflected back to us by all we meet 

I meet smiley people in the gym where I go most days

Smiley people in the cafes I frequent

Smiley people in the streets I walk down each day

On Christmas Day we ran in the parks in the morning and exchanged merry Christmas greetings with other runners and walkers; two horse drawn carriages went by, the occupants waving joyous Christmas cheer to all they passed.

The sound of horses hooves clip clopping along

Spreading love

We saw that Cafe Concerto was open on the Kings road…

And so once showered and dressed we went there for an impromptu Christmas lunch!

While we ate, Anadi and I were remembering Christmases past…

In the jungle of Costa Rica where Anadi proposed to me over cocktails!

On the beach in Thailand, where we could hardly eat a thing because our tummies were recovering from being so terribly ill!

As we travelled the world, we met smiley people in all of the lands

The planet our home

Everyone our friend.

Silent night…

Julia Chi Taylor

I have not celebrated Christmas in a traditional way for many years – about half my lifetime! 

But I like being here, with it all going on around me – the lights in the streets, all the sparkly ness, and huge trees – bright light colour with angels and fairies atop…

Watching it all in the dark Silent night…

And more trees – still naked – waiting to be bought – folk carrying them home in netting which they will soon spring out of and become adorned and bedecked too.

And I like the carols, hearing them in restaurants and in the streets – and I love singing them too!

I love ‘Silent Night’ – and all the songs we all know so well

Anadi and I went to the Royal Albert Hall to bask in a sound bath of the uplifting joyousness of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the National youth Choir – and – we got to sing along too! 

For the first verse of ‘Away in a Manger’ the women were invited to sing alone –

I stood up tall, feeling like I did when I was eight years old in the school nativity, wanting to sing my very best…

There weren’t may women near me and the ones that were sang very quietly!

As I sang my heart out (doing my best to stay in tune!) – I felt like I was singing a solo at the Royal Albert Hall!

When the rest of the audience joined in with verse two, both Anadi on my left and the man on my right leaned towards me – almost simultaneously – and whispered to me… ‘Well sung’!

And I stood silent then for a moment in the beautiful Royal Albert Hall, feeling the Christmas love

The Christmas joy

The sounds of voices heralding the Christmas tide, aliveness

And also silence

A Silent night amidst the noise

Silence Love and Joy always there, within us all

At Christmas time and all the time

Because there is no time at all, when we are here and now feeling that love and joy inside us

And experiencing the Silence

In each Magical moment there is no fear, or disruption

There is only pure presence

And in practicing this

Being fully here, in this very moment

Now, breathing in – all is calm all is bright – in the silence before breathing out again

Feeling the expansive all pervading truth

Without thought

Or narrative

‘All is calm, all is bright’

Within this simple practise

Love and joy are the norm – whether it is Christmas time or not.

And fear and anxiety and upset and distress all ‘leave the building’…

There is no need to run away, to hide – or

To hope for something different

In the moment

Silence

is freedom

The Path we are Walking

Julia Chi Taylor

We walked and walked, all day long.

All along the river Thames, where the rowers rowed and the swans swam – the surface was like grey blue glass at times, and at others choppy rough after the river boats had passed – and then the swans swayed on the wake of the waves they made.

We walked along its Southside edge past all the Bridges – Putney, Hammersmith and on to Barnes.

Where we crossed over, and walked back along the other side…

At times I love to walk instead of run – it has a different rhythm – and it’s where it all began

My love of the journey without end.

Walking our yellow Labrador when I was just ten years old – for hours on the common land I was later to run on.

In the beginning I rode horses there and walked for hours.

The journey the purpose, without purpose is what I loved

Stopping for chocolate and lucozade in the next little town on the edge of the common…

Today it was breakfast and then some hours later – lunch in a pub!

And so a whole day passed from dawn (well 10am!) til dusk – the light fell away as we neared Putney Bridge again, which was lit up bright with the red buses atop.

A London sight

I love 

Anadi and I have walked together all over the planet.

‘It feels the same as when we were nomads’ I commented..

‘When we walked and talked for hours on end…’

Up pitons in St Lucia, along white gold beaches in Costa Rica – other days following the river where the crocodiles basked – and in the jungle and along the beaches of Thailand too

We walked

More walking than running – in those tropical lands 

And we walked for hours too in the Atlas Mountains (once for thirteen hours – we were very lost!) and in the Alpujarras, up high above the little white villages below.

I love the no purpose of walking

The meditation on the move

Each step gone and the next revealing the path we are walking.

We are One

Julia Chi Taylor

During the summer months Anadi and I ran through the streets from Chelsea over to little Italy and onto the Regents canal path – running for miles beside it eventually arriving right by London Bridge.

A magical mystery tour through so many different ‘post codes’ with such different energies and character.

But always we were attracted to a restaurant that is built on a bridge over the canal

We saw diners spilling in and out of it and we were rather sad to be only passing by, rather than sitting and watching the water – whilst taking a coffee and enjoying brunch…

But last weekend the plans all changed, my knee still sore meant that walking felt a better plan than running…

So we walked there, to our mystery cafe over the canal and entered inside the set we had watched as the audience for months

We became the actors in this particular scene rather than watching from our seats. We played our parts and learnt our lines and sat watching those watching us

And so it is, we are all playing a part

And it is so important nt to get so caught up in our part that we forget we are the whole

We are all born of the one consciousness and we are the whole world, we are everything there is and ever has been and who we ‘think we are’ is simply the clothes we have donned for this experience… The colour of our skin, our gender where we were born, what we do, none of this should divide us from one another.

It is but an experience to be here – and when we honour one another’s unique experiences and validate the differences then we are united 

And remember that we are one.

There is so much more than what the five senses can perceive or the mind can conceive…

And when we play with this in our daily lives – witnessing the parts we play, the role we take up at various times, when we are audience or participant  – it can help to shake loose the bonds of ‘so called’ reality 

And remember that we are free. 

To Be Free

Julia Chi Taylor

Well I haven’t been swimming… Yet! 

And this week I haven’t been running either…

But I have spent lots of time larking about in the gym… This has included practising a duet of ‘Shallow’ with PT Tom!

We’re improving…!

This endeavour is providing much hilarity – for us – and others in the gym too, who look on in slight bemusement and amusement – some pretend it’s not happening…!

I’m not sure how it all began, this duet singing amongst the sound of weights clanging! 

But it is fun…

I’ve been in the gym more than usual this week (so more opportunity to practise my singing with Tom too!)  because I hurt my knee whilst doing an exercise to strengthen it…! (nb as I ‘go to press’ – knee much improved!)

The paradox of life – the exercise revealed the weakness rather than healed the pain…

But this is an important thing.

The issue revealed, stripped bare

So that full healing can happen.

Pain is a good mechanism for us – if we didn’t have pain we would physically destroy ourselves very quickly!

It acts as an arrow to direct us to where attention is needed…

This is true physically

And also emotionally

One of the difficulties for humans is facing difficulties, facing problems, for fear of feeling the pain at the root of the issue.

All our problems have something to do with us, and once we are able to become still enough to take responsibility – and to say ‘I am here, so this has something to do with me, and therefore I can do something about it’ – we are on the road heal to ourselves – to clear the blocks within and solve the difficulty that we are seeing reflected in our outer circumstances…

To become whole…

To be free, is to face everything

Every single thing, that is clouding the view of who we truly are

To dare to feel the pain necessary to heal at the core level 

To never turn away

From our true self

Which is always there

Within us all

Swimming with the Swans

Julia Chi Taylor

Anadi and I were walking in Hyde Park today, when I requested we walk past the swimmers in the Serpentine Lido

I wanted to reccy the swimming club…

It looked fun, some brave souls with colourful swimming hats were doing lengths – long ones – the ‘pool stretches 100 metres!

Two men on a bench – one who already had swum, the other not quite begun – encouraged me to join the club! ‘Members get twenty percent percent off in the coffee shop…’

They had me sold…

Almost…!

Mary, a cheery elder, in a bright blue costume emerged from the water

‘You’re an inspiration’ I remarked to the tiny lady.

‘If I can do it anyone can’ she affirmed…

Anadi and I wandered off,  and I laughed… ‘Thats not entirely true…Some people can do things others can’t!’

I was thinking back to becoming nearly hypothermic once in Greece – in quite temperate May waters – and managing approximately a minute of immersion in December seas in Spain before a full freeze occurred… ( Of me! Not the sea!)

This was in winter waters – warmer by far than here…

We are all different – and although being inspired by one another to stretch our own limits is one of the joys of humankind – it is also important that to our own selves we are true.

I can see that I might buy all the kit…

A dry robe, a swimming hat! And then stand shivering on the edge before eventually going for the coffee without the swim!

Or I’ll be a swimmer whose swimming session is a cold plunge pool and out!

Or I will write this blog in December – and my first swim will be in June!

We will see

But I loved my reccy this morning

Watching intrepid winter souls swimming with the swans!

The Flow of Life

Julia Chi Taylor

I love being able to walk to Covent Garden…

On a Saturday afternoon, for a little outing!

Past Harrods we marched, the streets heaving with Chritsmassy people.

And alive with fun

Hats and scarves and big winter coats

I love winter too

The changing seasons each with their magical energy, bringing us different gifts

The wintery cold, bright light and clear today, the sun low in the sky, darkness falling while we had stopped to drink coffee while still out and about… We tumbled out of the cafe into streets lit with sparkly Christmas light…

I remember winter times when I lived in the country – navigating many of my runs by moonlight – when the skies were clear – crunching on frosty grass and circling frozen lakes in the mornings…

Or running along the promenade when I lived by the sea, wind howling and sleety rain driving into me – stinging my eyes…

I recall how one such day, unbidden from within me, came a celebratory energy with a thought following immediately on its tail – ‘I love winter!’

For six years I travelled as a nomad and missed the English winter, mainly staying on sunny shores!

Only occasionally dipping back for a spell ( a few days, not even weeks) to UK terrafirma for a taste of wintery wonderland…

Winter has only just begun, we are a few days in… Autumn was spectacular as she always is, colours tawny orange green and brown, leaves dying gloriously and gracefully under blue grey skies.

After a watery summer, that still delighted in her warmth and flashes of heat and long evenings stretching their way towards bedtime…

Each season to be treasured, lived in, experienced as part of us.

The Shamans recognise that the weather and the seasons and all of nature is a reflection of us all; part of the tapestry, the flow of life.

That is all happening now – the circle of life without beginning or end

Birth death re birth

We are the whole of the tapestry in all of its vibrancy and ever changing stories, character, colours…

And I love being able to walk to Covent Garden from where I live

As we journey through winter to spring with all her vibrant budding new life…

Before I loved being able to walk to a beach

And so it is

Where I am a reflection of where I am – right now…

We are The World

A brand new day

Never have we lived this day

Before

I listen to the sounds around me

I take them inside me and this moment expands into infinity

As I write this blog, I remember it is the birth day of two friends

I have forgotten exactly how many years they have been here in this incarnation!

I have trouble remembering my own years now!

But it doesn’t matter at all, when we stay with the day, the new day

Brand new

It is all there is – and in each moment we are ageless

We are souls on a human journey – yes we are in a body that ages and dies

But our spirit is ageless and eternal

I bought some tickets last week for an exhibition at the Natural History museum, to go to during the Christmas holiday…

I realised that I haven’t been there since I was a child.

I bought two tickets, an adult one for Anadi and a Senior one for me!

I’ve missed out all the adult years… 

The last ticket I had was a child one

In a flash they are gone – those earth years – and this body has changed

A different form entirely to the one of that child

That one has gone!

Bodies change throughout our lifetime – and then they decay and die

As bodies always do

But this moment spreads out into infinity

Spirit never dies

And in each moment when we stop and listen 

When we look around, close our eyes and take the whole room, the whole town or city inside us – the whole of the world and all of humanity with all its pain and joy and feel it all deep within us

We can experience the wholeness – and that we are one…

There is no separation

We feel the essence of us in every other soul – the part that was never born and never dies

And know

We are the world

Namaste  

Be here, now

Julia Chi Taylor

Waking before the alarm is one of the delights of my life! 

To awaken naturally, to lie aware and still, everything quiet, no thoughts in my head at all, body at ease and relaxed, ready to ‘go’, but still enjoying lying prone for now…

The street outside already alive with the sounds like any busy street.

But I am inside, alone…

I love my silent morning world

Watching 

I love my silent bedtime world

Watching

Not knowing

What is being said or done, written about, spoken about anywhere – on the planet. Just hearing the sounds outside…

But inside

All is silence

Watching from the inside out, both from the window of my flat

The street below

And from the window of my Soul

This entity called Julia…

The practise remains once the sounds start, the conversations, the activity, the fun, the joy, the struggle and strain, the grind, the grandeur of living this life.

Always watching

When we witness from the still quietness, awareness our true nature.

We experience who we are.

We are not our thoughts, our feelings or even our body.

We are not who we think ourselves to be, or who others think us to be

We are the source of all thought…

Once we experience ourselves nothing is ever the same.

When we look in the mirror and see a face with our features and our name and know that this is not who we are at all…

When we experience

The emotions – in motion, the mental activity, the sensations in the body, watch as they continue but we know them to be the phenomena of life, all part of the experience, the play out of our own stage in this play called ‘Life’

Then we have truly started the journey inwards to freedom.

From the Samsara of existence.

But there is no journey to go on

We are already there

Being here

Now

Being Together

Choir of Man

Humans like to gather

We always have

Gathered together to be together, to eat and drink together

To laugh and cry – to sing and dance

Together…

London was alive with life and activity on Saturday afternoon, as Anadi and I walked through Green Park and up the Mall to the West End in the bright keen cold autumn light.

We reached our destination early

On our way to see ‘The Choir of Man’ – Thank you Cecilia for the recommend!

We popped into ‘Ole and Steen’ nearby for an open sandwich, and a chance to sit and and gaze at the theatre of life before us – before the real live theatre…

There was drama in the loo, someone impatient to ‘go’ knocked loudly and disturbed the one ‘going’… He wasn’t happy…

A family enjoyed their lunch on one side of us – two young women worked or played on laptops on the other.

A big ‘March for Freedom’ went on outside, streams and streams of people walked by for thirty minutes at least – maybe more – with police quietly walking beside…

We arrived in ‘The Arts Cafe’ where there was already a rowdy feel good vibe, people drinking pints, and jostling and laughing as if we were in a regular pub – waiting for the regular band to start up…

We were soon called to enter the intimate theatre, red velvety and warm – with a pub as the set.

The barman arrived (on stage!) and started to ready the space, bar stools turned the right way up, jacket off, lights on

And then the audience were invited to come and drink a pint or two before the music began…

And so there we all were

In the pub

Our life

With our pub band – who turned out to be very highly skilled and talented in dancers, musicians, poets, singers – telling us the story of their lives;

All of us together in the space of joyous uplifting sound, amazing tap dancing! And ‘the audience, or rather all of us – ‘in the pub’ enjoyed the rising rousing rowdiness of us gathered together

Being together

Loving and living together 

In a public house.