Hummus, swimming and the way to peace: Israel and Palestine revisited

Jaffa beach, Tel Aviv Earlier today I was sitting in Jaffa in the highly rated - and rightly so - hummus cafe, Abu Hassan. It's a lively place with a nice buzz where both Arabic and Hebrew can be overheard aplenty. Getting stuck in to my generous portion of falafel, hummus, raw onion and pita … Continue reading Hummus, swimming and the way to peace: Israel and Palestine revisited

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Writing haikus: an exercise in simplicity and observation

Melissani Cave, Kefalonia A few weeks ago I referred to a recorded talk which I'd found very inspiring. It was by John Paul Lederach who has many years' experience in the area of conflict resolution. It was an easy, although compelling, listen, full of examples and stories that resonated with me deeply. One of these was … Continue reading Writing haikus: an exercise in simplicity and observation

On the Move: the challenges and benefits of letting go

One of the things I was looking forward to about heading out of London for a while was having to clear out some of my stuff. Although I knew I'd keep a fair amount of it, I also knew I'd be forced to sort through, and shed, some bits and pieces. When I did a … Continue reading On the Move: the challenges and benefits of letting go

The Place of Generosity: acts and words of kindness on leaving and arriving

A couple of days ago I left the UK for the beginning of a trip of several weeks. It is a trip that I expect to be filled with new places, sounds and sights as well as with yoga, meditation and voluntary work. Time for a taxi Arriving at Gatwick Airport late on Tuesday evening … Continue reading The Place of Generosity: acts and words of kindness on leaving and arriving

Calais: taking heart in hard times

Calais beach Last week I was in Calais. We were a group of sixteen people who'd come together for three days to learn what was possible about the global refugee crisis and the current situation in the northern tip of France. On two of those days we went to the donations warehouse just outside Calais … Continue reading Calais: taking heart in hard times

A Dash of Etymology & A Poem Not Prose: Al-Jalama checkpoint revisited

The other day I posted a piece about my experience of leaving Palestine through a checkpoint in the north of the country. It was an experience that did not compare with any other in my life that I could think of. I found it utterly dehumanising. Yet it's an experience that many thousands of Palestinians … Continue reading A Dash of Etymology & A Poem Not Prose: Al-Jalama checkpoint revisited

A Difficult Exit: leaving Palestine

Palestine and Israel have been prominent in the news again lately and I've been reflecting on how stories are reported, the language used, and of my last visit. At the end of May I left northern Palestine through a checkpoint that I hadn't been through before. I was with my Scottish friend Jane. We were … Continue reading A Difficult Exit: leaving Palestine

Watching The Bees: on meditation retreat in Dartmoor

Recently I spent a week at the High Heathercombe Centre in Dartmoor. I camped overlooking a tor, alongside huge trees; ate deliciously healthy food, and practised old and new meditation techniques. It was a mainly silent seven days, to allow for stillness and insight to more readily arise. Reading and writing were discouraged. Apart from … Continue reading Watching The Bees: on meditation retreat in Dartmoor

Apricot Light: a new poem on rain, trees and other things

I recently went to Dartmoor National Park in Devon for a one week meditation retreat. It was organised by Freely Given Retreats and took place at The High Heathercombe Centre. The teachers were Nathan Glyde and Zohar Lavie who also run 'meditation in action' work retreats with Sanghaseva. Reading, writing, phoning, browsing, typing, talking were all discouraged … Continue reading Apricot Light: a new poem on rain, trees and other things

A Long Day: waking up in Israel, going to bed in Palestine 

One Friday morning recently I woke up in my friend Tomer's apartment in a town outside Tel Aviv. I had arrived from London the evening before and Tomer, who I had met picking olives the previous autumn in Palestine, had kindly picked me up from the airport. One of the first things he told me … Continue reading A Long Day: waking up in Israel, going to bed in Palestine