Inspirational Coach

Posts tagged “Buddhism

Diving for Pearls Book Launch Party

book-cover

Maggie Kay invites you to

come and celebrate the

publication of her first book

Diving for Pearls:

The Wise Woman’s Guide to Finding Love 

At

Totnes Natural Health Centre

the Plains, Totnes, Devon

On

Friday 29 September

publication day

From 6pm

 For an evening of

celebration and refreshments

 

Plus

Guided meditation

Reading from Diving for Pearls

Q&A with Maggie

 

 And an opportunity to have

your book personally signed by Maggie Kay

 

Click orange button

For more info and to book tickets

Eventbrite - Diving for Pearls Book Launch Party


Breaking Through Self Doubt

Going well then suddenly stopped in your tracks by an attack of self doubt?  You are not alone!

And it could well be a sign that you are on the point of breaking through to a new level.

Here’s how to find clarity and confidence again…


Diving for Pearls Now Available

Order your advance-publication signed copy NOW!

My new book  Diving for Pearls: The Wise Woman’s Guide to Finding Love

is being published on the 29th September 2017.

There are a limited number of advance-publication signed copies

now available directly from me.

Price (inc post)

UK – £15

Outside UK – £18

Your copy will be posted 1st Class from UK

within 3 days of payment being received.

Buy Now

Buy your copy of Diving for Pearls here

via Paypal (click below)

BUY NOW – UK- £15

BUY NOW – non UK – £18

book-cover

Dive For Your Pearls

This book is part true love story and part how-to guide. In these pages, I take you with me on the spiritual adventure of my life and share how I eventually found what I was longing for – deep trust in my own inner wisdom and a true love, soul mate and life partner that can meet me on all levels. Along with the story, I share the insights and learning that lit the way for me with the hope that this will also help illuminate your path of love and wisdom.

My quest for wisdom began when I was a child, trying to figure out if church had the answers to life’s big questions. Continuing by studying psychology at university, I was profoundly affected by the death of my father and discovered the practice of meditation. For nearly two decades thereafter, I trained for and became an ordained Buddhist.

But wisdom wasn’t enough. Although denying it for many years, deep down I also ached to be properly partnered by a soul mate – a true love that shared every aspect of my life. A series of experiences finally brought me to fulfill that destiny and the ensuing spiritual renaissance resulted in the resigning of my ordination and the founding of Thrivecraft – an inspirational coaching practice providing a universal path of love and wisdom for all.

Echoing my own journey, the first half of Pearls is about inner wisdom. Along with this part of my story, I share tips and teachings on meditation, mindfulness and intuition so that you too can tune in to your own natural inner wisdom.

The second half focuses on finding true love and includes my ‘Get Ready For Love’ step-by-step guide. I also describe how inner wisdom continues to serve a deepening relationship once you’ve met a partner (or, indeed, reveals when it is time to move on).

It is my dear wish that you will be inspired by my story and tips, transported by a special ‘Ask Your Inner Wisdom’ meditation I have created and recapture your natural entitlement to be completely guided and supported in all that you do. Go ahead and find the kind of love and wisdom that you so desire and so deserve. Dive for your pearls – they are right here and they are all yours.

Maggie Kay


Diving for Pearls – new book coming soon

I am delighted to announce that my new book – Diving for Pearls: The Wise Woman’s Guide to Finding Love – will be published on 29th September 2017.

Look out for my special pre-release launch event early in 2017 for an opportunity to buy your own personally signed copies ahead of the official publication date.

And for book signing events in the UK and USA from the autumn – to be announced.

book-cover

Dive For Your Pearls

This book is part true love story and part how-to guide. In these pages, I take you with me on the spiritual adventure of my life and share how I eventually found what I was longing for – deep trust in my own inner wisdom and a true love, soul mate and life partner that can meet me on all levels. Along with the story, I share the insights and learning that lit the way for me with the hope that this will also help illuminate your path of love and wisdom.

My quest for wisdom began when I was a child, trying to figure out if church had the answers to life’s big questions. Continuing by studying psychology at university, I was profoundly affected by the death of my father and discovered the practice of meditation. For nearly two decades thereafter, I trained for and became an ordained Buddhist.

But wisdom wasn’t enough. Although denying it for many years, deep down I also ached to be properly partnered by a soul mate – a true love that shared every aspect of my life. A series of experiences finally brought me to fulfill that destiny and the ensuing spiritual renaissance resulted in the resigning of my ordination and the founding of Thrivecraft – an inspirational coaching practice providing a universal path of love and wisdom for all.

Echoing my own journey, the first half of Pearls is about inner wisdom. Along with this part of my story, I share tips and teachings on meditation, mindfulness and intuition so that you too can tune in to your own natural inner wisdom.

The second half focuses on finding true love and includes my ‘Get Ready For Love’ step-by-step guide. I also describe how inner wisdom continues to serve a deepening relationship once you’ve met a partner (or, indeed, reveals when it is time to move on).

It is my dear wish that you will be inspired by my story and tips, transported by a special ‘Ask Your Inner Wisdom’ meditation I have created and recapture your natural entitlement to be completely guided and supported in all that you do. Go ahead and find the kind of love and wisdom that you so desire and so deserve. Dive for your pearls – they are right here and they are all yours.

Maggie Kay

 

 


Reclaiming Maggie Kay

As I complete writing my forthcoming book – Diving for Pearls: Discovering Inner Wisdom – I am concluding with my account of reclaiming my original name, Maggie Kay, last year.  I’ve been looking at the videos I took at the time to remind myself of the magic of that occasion.  And so, I thought I’d share it with you again and re-post my blog from the summer of 2013…

This summer I changed my name from Srimati to Maggie Kay.

I’ve been known as Srimati for 20 years – a spiritual name given to me when I was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order in 1993.  And although I resigned my ordination 11 years ago and no longer consider myself to be a Buddhist (preferring to embrace all spiritual traditions), I kept my beautiful spiritual name until now.

So why the change?

The idea came out of the blue – well from the heavens to my husband Pat, as it was he who had the sudden insight to make the change after talking with me about some old unconscious beliefs I was letting go of.  But it felt so right!   I knew as soon as Pat suggested it that it was what I would do.

We could see that being called Srimati was keeping me subtly but powerfully linked to aspects of Buddhism that I no longer resonate with.  And it was blocking me from claiming my true spiritual inheritance from my family name, ancestors and magical Scottish homeland.

I gave myself the summer to make the changes.  It has been a profound, rich, intimate inner process (as anyone who has changed their name may tell you) and has also required a bit of practical work including re-branding my business.

In August, Pat and I had a wonderful holiday in Scotland.  On our first night, wanting to honour my ancestors, we visited the birthplace of my Great Grandmother, Mary Kay, whose name has been passed down at least five generations on my mother’s side to me.

Here is a video I took that morning, speaking about my great grandmother, Mary Kay:-

After enjoying a delightful week with my mum on the Isle of Cumbrae, Pat and I spent our last night in Scotland near the Scottish Buddhist retreat centre, Dhanakosa, where I had been ordained and given the name Srimati.

In this video I am standing on the lochside by the retreat centre, reflecting on my ordination as Srimati:-

The following morning, I conducted my own private ceremony to lovingly lay aside my Buddhist name, Srimati, in the very shrine room where I was publicly ordained.

I took the video camera into the shrine room with me to catch this spontaneous but powerful ceremonial moment:-

And so Srimati ‘radiant mind’ has become Maggie Kay ‘pearl fire’.

My friends have been adapting with love and understanding (some of them affectionately calling me Srimaggie for a while to help them with the transition!) and my mum is very happy I’ve chosen to reclaim the beautiful names she gave me at birth.

There have been a few moments when I’ve missed being Srimati and have been feeling strangely ‘naked’ as Maggie Kay, but I know I am embodying more of myself than ever before.

It is good to be back!


Love Your Inner Demons

Who’s in charge here?

I woke up the other morning dreaming that a busy, uncommunicative parking attendant gave me a £416 fine (very specifically, £416!). In protest, I went marching through endless council offices, speaking to person after person, explaining that there had been a mistake – I’d only been there for a moment and was away buying my ticket and hadn’t done anything wrong! But no-one was listening. They just kept repeating their silly rules and insisting that I’d better pay £416 or they’d double the fine. It was so unfair and so frustrating!

Now, its said that all the characters in your dreams represent an aspect of yourself. Hmmn – so I have an inner officious, busy, uncommunicative, petty minded beauracrat, do I?…  Oh yes! I recognise her well!

buddha under tree with moon

Years ago, when I was part of a Buddhist right livelihood team running an ethical gift shop (a job I loved, but that’s another story) I found my inner officious, busy, uncommunicative, petty minded beauracrat alright. I called her Helga. She was a big, loud, tank-like, German bossy boots who liked everything exactly her own way and for no one to get in it. (Excuse the national type-casting. I do actually relish characteristically German directness and two of my very best friends are German.)

Helga would march around her territory – the throws and cushion department – making sure not a fold was out of place. God forbid someone would talk to her, or worse still, ask her to do something else whilst her mind was on the task!  Nowadays, Helga is only usually in evidence at Christmas time when I’m cooking for my guests . “Can I help with ….” “NO!” Helga barks before my poor sister-in-law can finish her sentence. “I’m better on my own!”

Bless her, my mum is similarly self-determining. Her kitchen is her domain and its best to stay clear whilst she’s busy preparing a meal. Like my mum, I love to express my love by providing meals for friends and family and want the kitchen to be all mine as I’m doing so.  Also like my mum, I generally think I know best and want to do things MY way, even if it means exhausting myself because I’m incapable of delegating. You can see how this connects with ‘over-giving’ and it not occurring to me to say no, traits I also share with my remarkably generous and extremely dynamic mother.

Love Your Inner Parking Attendant

So the moral of this tale is that it pays to love your inner parking attendant, or any other het-up inner character who pipes up and misbehaves when you are under duress. Making friends with them (or even giving them a pet name like Helga) is the best way to make sure that you remain in overall command of how you behave, not them. If these guys remain unrecognised and un-named they have a habit of taking over automatically and wreaking havoc with your life.

The tricky time is when you are not even aware that we have a Helga or whoever in operation. Some unconscious part of you has been activated by a situation and off it goes pontificating or whining or bashing other people and your bigger self is powerless to do anything about it. It’s like you are possessed. Eventually, rant over, you come around to yourself again and wonder what happened. But by then it’s too late…

However, spotting your particular tendency to flip out (and the situations that trigger them) is really helpful. Even better, giving this aspect of your personality a pet name allows you to have a humourous, affectionate relationship with it. You can then give this protesting character some recognition, validation and attention without letting it take over inappropriately. It’s exactly like handling a naughty child.

And so I’ve also come to understand the good that Helga stands for.  She has very high standards and is prepared to work hard to achieve excellence. Actually, she is quite talented and makes an exceptionally good job of things. She is proactive and strong and determined. (Part of my previous Buddhist name, Srimati, reflects this positive aspect. Mati can mean determination or strong mindedness).

The down side of Helga is that she is superior and up herself. She doesn’t rate anyone else or trust that they can do anything useful to help.  Superiority is, in fact, a state of defensive fear – you compare yourself with others and set yourself apart in a misguided attempt to protect yourself.  You don’t like what you think you see in someone else (some form of weakness or vulnerability) and don’t want to have anything to do with it because you can’t admit to your own weaknesses.  However, in cutting yourself off from others (and any experience of vulnerability) you also sever your connection with your true nature which is total and absolute BLISS.

To allow yourself to be connected and intimate with others means allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable. It means admitting that you suffer sometimes, that you are fallible, mortal and fragile. It means being HONEST about your human experience and condition – that failure, loss, and pain are an intrinsic part of being alive.

Oh , Jeez, if we could only just surrender to our true feelings and honour the fragility and impermanence of all things, then we would experience incredible tenderness and joy – that we are utterly linked with one another, that there is indescribable, breath-taking beauty in every moment, that we can totally let go and float on an infinite sea of divine care.

shaman woman

Relaxing into the Fragile Mess

In the modern, developed world we live in a culture where fragility, unpleasantness, suffering, illness, pain and death are kept as far out of consciousness as possible. We create great armies of thought-police and institutions and industries to uphold our collective denial. We work and spend ourselves senseless and never pause long enough to breathe properly, never mind smell the coffee! And then when we get to the top of our ambition mountain – the successful husband and kids, the million dollars in our bank account, the huge house overlooking the sea – we wonder why life feels hollow, that we are not truly happy.

Have you ever wondered why ordinary people in poor parts of the undeveloped world seem so happy? Have you noticed the sparkle in their eyes, the bright colours that they wear, the connection they have with one another despite being surrounded by abject suffering? Well, I don’t know for sure, but it’s my guess that these simple people are living in a way which actually allows them to stay in touch with their true humanity in a way that eludes us in the developed world. And I wonder if the key to that humanity is to allow our natural experience of vulnerability and suffering to be a full part of our experience without fear.

Poor old Helga! What a lot she’s missing out on. If she could only realise that it’s okay to get it ‘wrong’, that the world won’t fall apart if a cushion is out of place or a Christmas dinner is late. If only she could relax and laugh and enjoy the great, chaotic play of people and events around her, muddling along, making mistakes, supporting each other, getting there somehow. She might notice that her shoulders are aching or that she’s really hungry, but there would be something so sweet about admitting that she, too, is a delicate human being. She would feel at home in this great fragile mess of perfect imperfection and finally realise that the point of life is not to strive to keep it all in order, but to let go and enjoy it just as it is.


Let Yourself LOVE

Back in 1998, I was a young mum and an ordained Buddhist living and working in a exciting, modern spiritual community in London.

‘Not getting attached’ is a big teaching in Buddhism and it took me a while to really understand what this means, especially as a new parent  – and that

IT IS OKAY TO REALLY LET YOURSELF LOVE!

The following is an article I wrote about these exploration for Dharma Life Magazine.  And at the end of the article, a short video I recorded in 2009 with Inspired Entrepreneur, Nick Williams, on the same topic…

An All Embracing Urge

Published in Dharma Life Magazine – Winter 1998, written by Maggie Kay (Srimati)

Motherhood has opened up a new emotional realm for Srimati. But how to love wholeheartedly and continually let go is the ground of her daily practice.

Against the odds and ahead of hard evidence, I instinctively knew I was pregnant. As I lay in the bath there was something magical in the air. I found myself, hand on belly, making a heartfelt pledge in a tender whisper: “If you’re there, you’re welcome and I’ll do my best for you.” This was the beginning of the greatest love of my life. One week into my relationship with this unknown, unexpected being, I was howling with an ancient grief as I bled, and feared it was over. The pain of that love had also made itself felt.

But all was well, and that feeling of love and pain gathered substance during the months of pregnancy. My body surrendered more and more to its task, and love for my unborn became increasingly tangible with the growth of the life in my belly. So did the fears. Dreams of the coming birth were mostly beautiful, but my heart was full of the fragility of human life. I felt I would do anything to protect this life inside me, and yet there was so little I could do to ensure its wellbeing. That was ultimately out of my hands. Even before my child was born, I was learning that maternal love means letting go.

I spent an unforgettable night bringing my son into the world. In the calm and comfortable aftermath of that struggle, I lay stung awake by wonder, gazing at him. The blacks of his eyes shone in the dark, peacefully apprehending his new world as he lay between us, his parents, the very flesh that had created him. A few days earlier I’d dreamt I was begging a Nazi soldier not to shoot me, to give me one more week so I could see the face of my unborn child. Becoming a mother has shown me that the death of a child is the cruelest loss imaginable.

As a practicing Buddhist, (In 2002 I resigned my ordination to embrace all forms of spirituality and no longer consider myself to be ‘just’ a Buddhist) such strong feelings have raised many questions for me. What gives rise to such powerful and self-sacrificing maternal love? To what extent does this love help or hinder us in living a spiritual life?

Dharma Life Cover

Some Buddhists claim parenthood is unhelpful from a spiritual point of view, partly because it opens you up to such incredible attachment. It is generally true that the more emotionally involved you are with someone, the more you are liable to be caught in attachment. At worst this can mean limiting, insecure ways of relating, and unhealthy dependence. Attachment is difficult to recognize and can be easily rationalized as something less selfish. For a Buddhist, however, identifying and uprooting this clinging is the very heart of practice and for a Buddhist parent it is no different.

Nevertheless certain Buddhist traditions take the image of maternal love as a metaphor to describe metta, universal loving-kindness:

As a mother watches o’er her child, Her only child, so long as she doth breathe, So let one practice unto all that live An all-embracing mind.

Parenting, especially early parenting, can seem incomparably unselfish — but is it really? What enables such incredible resources to be unstintingly roused in the service of another human being? Perhaps it is because there is cellular identity with the child, especially in the mother’s case: My child is me. There is quite a leap between this and the empathetic identification of a Bodhisattva, the embodiment of compassion, with all living beings; but it is a powerful analogy.

I have come to value the power and vitality of maternal love and motherhood has given me a depth of experience that enriches my spiritual life. I have contacted a huge reservoir of passionate love for my son such as I have never experienced before. Most parents speak of this kind of love for their children. I prefer to see parental love as a spiritual opportunity. The answer is not to back away from the strength of that love, but to dwell deeply in it; to penetrate its nature and the nature of that which you love.

As a parent you have almost no choice but to love your child passionately, and this demands that you find the same intensity of wisdom. The more your heart is open, the more you can allow any wise reflections to touch you and let them transform you.

The story of Kisa Gotami is probably my favorite from the Buddha’s life. Kisa Gotami comes to the Buddha cradling her dead child. She is distraught, even a little crazed, and cannot accept that her child is dead. She has heard the Buddha is a great man, a great healer, and begs him to provide medicine for her ‘sick’ child. The Buddha replies that he will help her. She must find a mustard seed as medicine, but there is one condition: it must come from a household that has not known death.

Kisa Gotami sets out on her quest, knocking at doors. Those who greet her are happy to give her a mustard seed, but shake their heads when they hear of the condition. The living are few, but the dead are many. Kisa Gotami cannot find a house in which no one has died, and gradually a new perspective dawns. She sees the universality of death and this allows her to acknowledge what has happened. She buries her child, returns to the Buddha, and commits herself to the spiritual life.

Kisa Gotami “wakes up” during her quest. She sees that death and loss are universal, so she can finally grieve and let go of her child. This is a deeper engagement with life and death that sees it in a spiritual perspective. In accepting the death of her child, Kisa Gotami gains insight into the nature of human life. Obviously this is challenging ground. Kisa Gotami had the Buddha’s help. But it is not that she stopped loving, just that her love was placed in a much vaster context.

Tibetan Buddhist texts dwell on the mother-child relationship in many ways to evoke the intensity of love that human beings are capable of. The difficulty lies in transforming exclusive love into one that includes all beings. The prospect of loving every being like one’s only child is awesome, but life offers glimpses of such an experience. For example, when one grieves the death of a loved one, the combination of feelings arising from a personal loss, with an acknowledgment of the universality of death, can open up an intense love for all humanity.

Compassion comes with realizing that all beings will one day share this moment in their own way. Similarly, dying people sometimes reach a serenity where they accept impending death and are imbued with a sublime love for their family and for life itself — as if only this fullness of love is important, more important and powerful than death itself. Over the years I have thought a great deal about the nature of human love, ordinary human affection and intimacy with all its imperfections. It is this middle ground between the lofty climes of metta and the grip of unconscious attachment that I am interested in — that is where many of us stand for much of our lives.

Srimati with Jamie

When I first became involved in Buddhism I latched on to the notion of non-attachment because I was hurt by loss and death. I was 19 and didn’t know myself well. Although fairly bright and positive on the surface, I was unconsciously on the run from painful experiences. My adolescence had ended abruptly with my father’s illness and death, and I had witnessed the agony my mother suffered in losing him. I felt mature beyond my years, and my world of teenage rebellion became meaningless.

So, too, did my relationship with my first love, who had recently held such passion and promise for me. I had thought he was my soul-mate, the man I’d spend my life with. But my need for him melted away and I felt strangely alone. Suddenly, I found myself telling him it was over and telling my mother that I was leaving home.

Within a few months, my inner searching brought me to the Glasgow Buddhist Center, and I instantly recognized I had found the means to understand life and death that had been invisibly beckoning ever since I can remember. Although my response to the Dharma was largely sincere, I misconstrued some of what I learnt. While I rejoiced in my fortune at having come across the Buddhist path so young and unencumbered, I did not realized how much emotional backlog I had to deal with. It was during this initial phase that I developed a sort of defended pseudo-independence and fooled myself that I was free of attachments.

Fortunately meditation and spiritual friendship sorted me out. I threw myself into the spiritual life, and moved to the London Buddhist Center where I could participate in more intensive situations for practice, and be around more experienced Buddhists. Meditating every day, living in community with other Buddhists and working in a Buddhist Right Livelihood business was like being in a hall of mirrors. Everywhere I looked, my being was reflected back. There was no escape. So the pain of what I had been running from caught up with me. It was a journey into the underworld and I came more deeply into relationship with the love and pain that had been stirred by these losses.

By fully grieving, in opening up my heart to what had happened, the psuedo-independence crumbled. I was heartbroken, and from that broken heart a bigger heart was released. I began to see that non-attachment was not about holding back, being self-contained and trying to limit the inevitable emotional damage that comes through being in relationship with people. Ironically, I’ve found that non-attachment is about loving deeply, letting my love flow, admitting how much friends, family and partner matter. It involves being willing to love them, give myself to them, even though we will one day be parted. There’s nothing we can do to stop death, to end separation. Non-attachment means being prepared to take the pain of losing loved ones because the sheer experience of love is worth it.

My attitude to love began to change as I acknowledged the truth of impermanence, and the inevitability of the suffering implicit in loving. From feeling I made myself vulnerable by loving, I began to experience a greater robustness in my love. What did I really have to lose? I started to see love as giving rather than losing myself. Really to love I must be prepared to give everything and let go of everything. I must learn to release my love, love for its own sake, with no desire for a secure pay-off.

More than a decade later, with a partner and a four-year-old son, those ponderings have a new arena. The issues of attachment are different. I cannot choose whether or not to love my son, whether it is ‘safe’ to invest emotional energy in him. It is absolutely what I must and will do. I am only beginning the journey of loving as a mother, and every time I think I have understood what is involved, it changes.

And yet I sense that the lessons of this decade are the same. Only insight into to my son’s true nature, indeed into human nature in general, can free me from attachment. Every so often a tragic news story rips through the day-to-day illusion that this love is forever, never to be disturbed by accident, illness, separation.

I do not want to have to face what Kisa Gotami experienced in order to wake up to the human situation, but I do want to wake up. I want to feel unbounded love that is passionate, full and wise. Living with the tension of loving fully and letting go is not easy: it involves simultaneously holding two apparent opposites.

But hopefully the tension will allow a larger perspective to emerge. In the meantime I feel it is the only option. Love is not about binding another or oneself to a status quo because of insecurity. That is essentially an impossible task: things change, like it or not. It means taking a stand on a deeper, spiritual knowledge. To love fully is to open oneself to the truth of the human condition.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Talking with Inspired Entrepreneur, Nick Williams, about love and non-attachment – video interview  2009.  Click below: