Face of the Guru


It wasn’t for a couple of years before I retrieved my Ramana Maharshi book from John, not until after he had died in fact. This was in 2011 which meant I would have lent him my copy of Talks With Ramana Maharshi in 2008 or something like that. I was in his bungalow in Clayhall, East London, clearing out his bedroom with Leigh, his son and my work colleague in the small company we ran together, first in Walthamstow and then in Ilford, going all the way back to 1989. By 2011 the company was entering its last phase of existence which on a business level meant five years of pain before we finally pulled the plug in 2016. We did this by way of going into voluntary liquidation, after which things changed overnight, seemingly rendering the previous 27 years’ work if not completely redundant then something pretty close. Anyway, all that lay in the future, so back to 2011. Continue reading “Face of the Guru”

Countin’ Out Time

Meditation is the countin’, countin’ out time. By this I mean observing the breath, counting the breath – so that an inhalation and an exhalation is one, an inhalation and an exhalation is two, an inhalation and an exhalation is three and so on.

A full round of inhalations and exhalations would be a count of 108 for me when meditating. Under normal circumstances this takes around 30 – 35 minutes, depending on how fast or how slow I might be breathing; as a ball park figure that is usually the time it takes to do a round of 108. In Buddhism 108 is a scared number, corresponding to the number of beads found on a Buddhist mala or rosary, similarly there are 108 beads on Hindu rudraksha  malas as well. So 108 in breaths and 108 out breaths seems appropriate. Continue reading “Countin’ Out Time”



The shrine of the master Ramana Maharshi was to the back of the ashram main temple whose doors opened to the faithful each and every day at six in the morning. My favourite time to go there was in the evening at around 8 pm when it was still warm, very warm more often than not. I would walk around the shrine as one of the crowd, barefoot, in silence, as an act of meditation. Sounds mainly came in the form of the rows of fans rotating high above, suspended from the temple ceiling. There were odd coughs from those dusty pilgrims who appeared each evening, seemingly out of nowhere from other parts of the ashram and further beyond and there were also the slowly encroaching sounds of the oncoming Indian night, sounds of heat, sounds of mystery. Continue reading “Shrine”

Words on Meditation

So today, after the usual amount of time lying around in the warmth of my bed, half awake, half asleep, I went downstairs to do a light clean of the coffee table in the lounge, the glass top table where we sit to drink our morning coffee. Did a light clean of that with a spray and paper kitchen towel then also brushed the kitchen floor, yes, gave it a quick going over with the dustpan and brush. When that was done it was back upstairs for meditation, no actually, come to think of it, there was no cleaning this morning, there was just the straight walk from bedroom to shrine room in order to sit down and meditate. Shrine room is the little room we have at the end of the landing which would be a small bedroom except that for us it is not, it is our shrine room instead, the place where we go to meditate, contemplate, sitting before the shrine we have with Buddha and other religious objects placed upon it. Continue reading “Words on Meditation”