A Wesak Conversation


Wesak? Celebrating Buddha’s birthday right?

Sure – it is the Festival of the Buddha for a week on the Taurus Full Moon. The 29th/30th of April this year.

So what’s it got to do with me?

Personally? Not much. As part of the human collective – everything.

How’s that?

Well – if you want to stop talking reform and actually participate in a revolution then Wesak is the time…

Hold on. I have kids and a job and….

… by using your brain – your mind actually. Wesak is the time to shift, deliberately and intentionally, into a deeper use of mind. It doesn’t matter what your jumping off place is. This is for every creed, every race of man, every philosophy. Take your mind off the selfie soaked material culture. Switch to collective thinking, relationship thinking.


This week, all over the globe, everyday people link up together in their minds. They do that to collectively enlighten. For everyone. Not just for themselves. They focus on Buddha as representing a stream of wisdom we can relate to. They focus on love and its wisdom as a powerful force for change. Maybe you want to call that prayer, or meditation, or holding the rate. Whatever. It’s like plugging into the main grid. We can choose to plug in and switch to group action – or we can carry on complaining…

Ouch. Is there more?

Yes. It’s about the most fundamental stream of all. That’s really what Wesak is about. It’s about the heart centre. The heart at the centre. So yes on the grand scale it’s about love and wisdom, about Christ consciousness and Buddhic consciousness. On the level of physics it is about electromagnetism. On the level of individuals, in a form or not, it is about love. Union. To understand love and union we take those experiences of believing in alone and separate and turn them over. On the other side of alone and separate is unity. All. Right there. By means of mind.

Causation is in the subtle spheres of the heart’s wisdom. It’s not out there. So at Wesak we give up striving to fit the society.  We seek to align society with love- and we are doing so. Usually we only see a tiny piece. At Wesak we get a glimpse of a broader view. It’s inevitable, intended. That’s the Plan.

By collective action society will fit itself to Truth. Ready to join in?



Creating Images with Power



One of the teachers who visits us here at Homestead, Joseph, is a specialist in aspects of mind. Recently he sat with a student who has been practising meditation for some time. This student asked for positive ways of managing repetitive, fearful and critical thoughts while endeavouring to build a stronger sense of unity with others.

Many of us experience this uncomfortable situation where our aspirations are not yet reflected in our daily experience. In this session we heard many practical suggestions. We share some excerpts here and hope that you find them useful.

Joseph’s terminology may be unfamiliar to some readers. ‘Form’ lives here are lives of matter, elemental in nature, who provide the dense structures of all we see and touch with our physical eyes, and more besides. Our body is considered a community of these conscious lives, alert and aware. The patterns of their activity are according to the beliefs of the indwelling entity.
This indwelling entity is referred to as a soul aspect, being a member of a community of soul aspects forming collectively a soul group.
The mental coordinator is one the key elemental lives coordinating the expression manifesting as ‘a person’ and part of the ‘management team’ sometimes referred to colloquially  as ‘the personality’.

Joseph suggests how useful envisioning may be in bringing about the conditions we aspire to:

The mechanism of moving from everyday consciousness to that finer vibration of mental matter is practised every day in a meditational approach. This is one of the key reasons for learning that practice, but it has more applications to an aligned student than reaching the passive receptivity of the meditational stance.
One may use that stance to invoke from life a set of envisioned conditions as easily as one may use the stance to invoke guidance from your soul group. Really you are contacting the same energies. You are, if you like, operating in the same spheres but you are utilising the sounds and vibratory qualities in different ways.
By the creation of image pictures – in other words by the construction of sound and vibration into image- you are utilising your electrical nature. You are shaping and moulding the lives of form into a nascent structure. By invoking the presence of your soul group teachers as you do so they are able to supply the magnetic qualities required. The process of thought form creation is thus enhanced and the living-ness and resonance of that constructed form is thus insured.

May we make recommendation for an exercise to be done playfully without force or effort?
Let us invite in particular the Mental Coordinator, and his associated elemental lives, to assist in an intended and formally conducted move to the higher aspect of mind, to the finer vibration of mind, to what is termed a ‘lifting’- to the centre which hovers above the fontanelle on the head. Let us make a deliberate connection now to that centre between the eyebrows and to the heart completing a triangle of force. From there envision, lightly and playfully, the expression of the life as it would be when connected, when perceiving comfortably the group connection.

…These exercises are to be done playfully, without forcing. They may be repeated often to good effect. A dour or serious attitude is unlikely to solicit the assistance of any elemental life. It is of little use in any case, serving only to ‘lower’ the rate. Life is a light, loving and vibrant business, despite any beliefs to the contrary.

For your daily life… the stance of connecting the solar plexus with the heart and with the centre of the head is one we would consider as essential to your well being as the brushing of teeth or the eating of a sound breakfast… your elemental community, particularly those concerned with the mental planes of your being, are, as planned and intended, strong energetic lives well suited to their purpose. We must ensure their role is grounded and centred in the present moment of your activity in the time/space framework. Connection in this way eliminates a great deal of the management issues concerning the seeking forwards and backwards through time as apparent memory or foresight.

On becoming aware of self-criticism
…be aware that regardless of what polarisation is manifest by any life the whole is present and inferred. The tendency of the Western mind to judge and criticise certain life presentations as ideal or otherwise is to be avoided by all seeking full expression. Life simply is and That is That.
This assertion may be swiftly followed by the mantra ‘I Am That I Am’- cementing again your celestial unity.

Joseph was asked to explain this famous mantra. He suggested:
The mantra is said from the centre of the head.
‘I Am’ signifies an awareness of one’s individualised life as a divine aspect.
‘I Am That’ signifies one’s full comprehension and immersion in group life, realising we are One with all seen and unseen life as divinity.
‘I Am That I Am’ resounds the sacred phrase of recognition that in one’s individualised aspect one is in fact the Great Life.

…the endeavour to lift, to be consciously utilising our mental fields at their highest possible rate is always advised. If in the course of the day our rate ‘slips’ and the mental chatter begins again we may be assured that the attention has been drawn into ‘slower’ rates of energy on that plane.

…So the good management of the in-dweller, realising that hygiene is of the essence in any plane of being, looks to the care of the astral and mental fields in the same way one would look to the care of the etheric/physical fields.
We make sure all is clean, tidy and in order so that we may express in comfort. The assistance of the in-dweller is required to encourage other ‘residents’ of the form community to set these good habits of tidiness and orderliness in their environment also. This is something you may wish to consider.

…Consider also that we all dwell in a mental environment as potent in its effects as the physical/etheric environment you perceive with your eyes. We may take our attention away from those mental patterns we perceive undesirable. There are more choice points than most individuals are aware of. Consideration of one’s associates, entertainments and so forth may be of value here. One may enquire: does this activity, this way of being, draw us into closer alignment with our envisioned reality?

Having created our vision we may hold to it as our chosen pattern of activity -as an aligned life. From there we may leap into the stream with great alacrity, understanding that All is an expression of life, love and life force. Thus we may sit more comfortably with our individuality, understanding it is a collective expression of life, unfurling gradually, inherently equipped with all required for value fulfilment. Free of criticism of self or other, alert and aligned with our soul group, we grow naturally and by degrees into our envisioned flowering.

Freedom of Speech


In a teaching session the question was asked: Why do most religious systems warn us to guard our speech? Does keeping our mouth shut really help?

Today we share an excerpt from Joshua’s reply.

The nature of the universe is sound, vibration, electro-magnetic ‘fire’ operating as the mechanism of the Mind of the Great Life. Hence the hermetic statement: All is Mind.
Idea forms and moves into matter by means of sound.
Energetically speaking you are most intimately connected with all of life. You are, with all else, a patterning of energy expressing individuality within a greater field…

Thus you are interconnected with all life although you express in what appears to be a rigid format. The dense body is an accumulation of myriad lives attracted and held in their pattern by a vibration, a Sound emanating from your Source. We could say then ‘you’ are an Expression of an Idea Sounding in time/space. The timbre of that sound is coloured by the characteristic ways in which you employ energy. It is your Thought- your use of mental energy- which creates your reality.

The sounds you make are the means by which you make beliefs tangible. You are the Creator of your experience on the most mundane levels of daily life. You are also a co-creator in the greater Mind in which you live and move and have your being…

… Our speech creates, makes tangible, our thinking patterns. Those thought patterns are based on our beliefs. We are each colouring our experience by the sounds we make. Let us look at some examples.

When you question, as now, you create opportunity for a new thought form to be created and sent in your direction. You allow for a transmission to occur, for a wave to reach you.
When you speak yourself you create a condition. You bring it into form. You transmit your thought, directed by your intention, weighted by your desire, by means of your inner or outer speech.
Now if these words are sounded internally only they cannot express as manifest physical/etheric form. They can only stay within your field. They cannot be sent forth from you as vibrant creations.

By refraining from criticising our friend out loud we have at least refrained from creating a spiteful entity in form. It is this restraint which is often recommended. Yet we ask you to explore further. The thought exists. It is a form, a pattern of energy. If these thought are unexpressed what happens?

What they do is accumulate, particularly in the astral and mental fields of the creator. They accumulate until they can be expressed. Inherent in their nature, common to all life, is the imperative to express. In this situation, for example, they may manifest in constant derisory self-talk such as self-criticism.
Note we are dealing with energy. Suppression only creates an accumulation of force- which may then release in an uncontrolled or explosive display.
So – there is more to this question of guarding speech than first appears.

We recommend a Creative Approach here. If you intend to examine your belief patterns and to guard your speech well and good – but devise some alternative avenue of expression for your thought activity in order to maintain balance. Let each student find their natural avenue – some may write down thoughts to express them, others may paint or draw, some may use music, dance or martial arts. Playfully explore as many alternative avenues of expression as possible. Do so without judgement. Realise their merit is in allowing a means by which thought energy may be harmlessly expressed. Harmless in our terms here is not powerless. Harmlessness is the most efficacious use of energy, free of undue impact or restraint. It is that enlightened energetic stance we seek to cultivate.

What to Do,what to do…


Navigating daily life and decision making can be tricky can’t they? Many stepping on to the path of developing a spiritual focus can find themselves ‘over-thinking’ issues with a resulting pattern of confusion, fear, anger and depression. Realising this is both a sign of growth and a common experience really doesn’t help us much in practical terms.

In a channelled session recently a student asked some questions about navigation. We share here an extract from the recording, adding emphasis to the key points. Joseph is one of the senior teachers active in the Homestead Project.

Guest: how do we discriminate between an impulse guided by our soul group and one arising from a personality fear or desire? Is it possible to discern whether any regimen recommended by others is appropriate for us?

Discernment comes with practice and presence of mind.

First check the feeling which comes with the apparent impulse.

Any transmission or suggestion from soul will come with sense of lightness, peace and optimism. It feels fine. We mean ‘fine’ in terms of quality. A continued sense of well-being is experienced as one steps towards the activity suggested.

Any recommendation from ‘personality’ (so called) is generally insistent or directive and produces tension. We may feel a sense of entitlement, of wanting to grab or grasp at something. We are aware of thoughts characterised by ‘I want’, ‘I must’, ‘I should’, ‘I ought’.

Next look to the quality of mental activity around this suggestion. Is it anxiety producing, directive or demanding? Is it peaceful, supportive, with a sense of well-being and unconditional love?

…Some students have the ability to be aware of activity in the ‘higher mind’ or spiritual field. You may have experienced this sense of ‘knowing’. From a peaceful centre one is able to discern a pool of calm around the idea. We say to ourselves ‘Yes. This is fit, this is meet, this is right’. Alternatively there will be a sense, a smell if you like, that something is not quite right with the notion. These are sense perceptions difficult to express in language.
Above all steady yourself in a place of peace, both within and without. Discern your position on any matter from there. With practice we are able to clearly distinguish between these two aspects of energy moving through us. 

Mental Health- or is it?


I note with some bewildered amusement the World Health Organisation document for research ICD 10 is bad news for any spiritually inclined person. It is particularly so for anyone practising in traditional or indigenous frameworks, for anyone who meditates, heals by touch, acts as a medium, prays or connects spiritually to their environment.

The diagnosis for ‘SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDERS’- which I reproduce below- would certainly have seen St Francis of Assissi, Patanjali and Socrates begin intensive programmes of ‘treatment’ on the basis of their surviving writings alone.

That these diagnoses are made on the basis of value judgements is made clear by the wording ‘culturally inappropriate and completely impossible‘. I commend the work of Oxford’s Professor Bill Fulford, Fellow of St Catherine’s College for bringing attention to that fact. Nonetheless there is no getting around it. These protocols represent a rigid enforcement of the dominant cultural beliefs and cultural values. They also represent accepted best practice for psychologists and other medical professionals. That’s a worry.

Does the white coat of the medical practitioner denote the garb of a priestly class able to discern ‘health’ or its absence by the degree of conformity to dogma?

Let us acknowledge we have no threat of ‘mental health’ reaching plague proportions. We have a deliberate suppression of our spirits, of our faith and of our own direct experience – which is causing us all extreme dis-ease and driving many to despair.

Mind is not an object or form we can lose or break. Nor is it subject to ‘illness’. It is an interconnected field of mutual existence. The words Light-Spirit-Mind-Love-Life Force are synonymous terms used in various traditions to approach a useful label for The All – the Great Mind.

As the hermetic teaching so rightly says: All Is Mind.

I take the liberty of recommending some self-medication here. Retreat into your own inner quiet space. It is there – despite what you have been taught to believe. Go there just a few moments at the start of each day and take heart. Know that peace you sense there is real. The All is in All.


Here is the document extract:

Extract from: The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders Diagnostic criteria for research. World Health Organisation. Own emphasis added. The document is available at   this address

F25 SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDERS Note: This diagnosis depends upon an approximate “balance” between the number, severity and duration of the schizophrenic and affective symptoms.

G1. The disorder meets the criteria of one of the affective disorders of moderate or severe degree, as specified for each sub-type.

G2. Symptoms from at least one of the symptom groups listed below, clearly present for most of the time during a period of at least two weeks (these groups are almost the same as for schizophrenia (F20.0 – F20.3)):

(1) Thought echo, thought insertion or withdrawal, thought broadcasting (F20 G1.1a)

(2) Delusions of control, influence or passivity, clearly referred to body or limb movements or specific thoughts, actions or sensations (F20 G1.1b)

(3) Hallucinatory voices giving a running commentary on the patient’s behaviour, or discussing him between themselves; or other types of hallucinatory voices coming from some part of the body (F20 G1.1c)

(4) Persistent delusions of other kinds that are culturally inappropriate and completely impossible, but not merely grandiose or persecutory (F20 G1.1d), e.g. has visited other worlds; can control the clouds by breathing in and out; can communicate with plants or animals without speaking, etc.

(5) Grossly irrelevant or incoherent speech, or frequent use of neologisms (a marked form of F20 G1.2f)

(6) The intermittent but frequent appearance of some forms of catatonic behaviour, such as posturing, waxy flexibility and negativism (F20 G1.2g) G3.

Criteria G1 and G2 must be met within the same episode of the disorder, and concurrently for at least some time of the episode. Symptoms from both criteria G1 and G2 must be prominent in the clinical picture. G4. Most commonly used exclusion criteria: the disorder is not attributable to organic brain disease (in the sense of F0), or to psychoactive substance-related intoxication, dependence or withdrawal (F1)



Counter Culture


A scarier topic came up today. Many of us worry that our world is spiralling ever faster into race and gender hatred, even into another world war. We all know cutting ourselves off from life does nothing to ease our concern. Our troubles seem very real- but are they?

In a departure from his usual style the teacher Simeon answered this question with a strident analogy. We are left in no doubt about his views that’s for sure. Here is the transcript from the channelled session: 


Homestead, Beauty and the number Four


Today’s post is written by Simeon, one of the senior teachers active in the Homestead Project. This material, channelled earlier this year, is particularly appropriate for New Moon. He encourages us to take our attention away from what seems to ‘wrong’ with our society and focus our energy on creating Beauty in our own lives. This way each of us contributes to building the world we wish to see. In this excerpt he explains how this is achieved:


Take Ten – What A Blessing


It is the Wesak Full Moon at present – a time of particular resonance for the Buddhist community. It is also a unifying energetic for all life – for all schools of spiritual practice. What better time to take a few moments to connect with others and with ourselves?

So I am sending you a hug today – a little sister who doesn’t see what separates us. Look at the awesome creatures we are, sharing this spectacular reality which we all perceive in our own unique way.

Will you pass on the hug please? If you get a 10 minute break in the day would you join a strand into the web? Here is a chance to share and to connect,  or to be quiet inside and recall our forebears and those to come. Our point of power is right now. In this present moment. Let’s use it.

Bless you xx

Dynamic Design

wallflower EmmaB

I am reading Emma Bridgewater’s book “Pattern” (Saltyard Books 2016). Have you enjoyed it too?

At the outset I must confess (sorry Emma!) I am reading it because I am interested in design, rather than covetous of the pottery. The book has a delicious scone-scented tone -of confidences exchanged over tea at the kitchen table. It is approachable, biographical and full of wise observations.

The drivers of great design ideas may seem to be prosaic, encapsulating intriguing solutions to the everyday and mundane. Yet their roots are elsewhere in the subjective realms, in our sensibilities, tendencies and tastes. I love Emma’s words, cast into a discussion of potting sheds
All my life I have been in thrall to romance; I long to conjure that fragile magic which inspires dreams, breeds creativity, flashes beauty in new places and makes an ordinary day suddenly wonderful.’

Emma is not referring to a saccharine approach to relationships here. She is directing us straight to the dynamic energy exchange which provides the driving force for designing Life. In the juxtaposition of any polarity that magic which she refers to arises.

It may be rough with smooth, natural with synthetic, man with woman, spirit with matter. Beauty arises from the unity of the two, no matter what polarity you think of. Somehow, in the tension at the balance point between them, another Thought Form bursts through that fiery electromagnetic interchange. Another bright idea is born. Lovely.

As a shaman I would say that the union of our Sun and Moon aspects is characterised by the same magic – pure soul activity in the marriage of our creature self with our celestial self. In all respects good design rests on that balance of instinct and intuition – both polarities married in an open mind.

Image source: http://www.emmabridgewater.co.uk/en/uk/pottery/icat/pot

New Year Preserving -Bottled Beetroot

Happy New Year. Hope you are safe and snug today.

There is a weather event going on here in Northland. Big Storm time. Actually it has come just in time.

NZ MetService Image

A few days ago we finished bottling the last of the summer beetroot, which somehow made it through two months of drought. Now the water tanks are filling up again we can relax. Preserving our own food gives us peace of mind too. We know where the food came from. We know who processed it. Better still, on a day like today, when a storm comes, our food supplies are just fine if the power supply cuts out.

Maybe today you are thinking about a food project too. I hope there is something here to help you get started.

First Grow your Beets-

Soak the seed in water before you sow them in early spring into well hoed ground. Remember beet seeds are really little capsules of seed. You will see triplets and more emerging from each hole. As soon as they are big enough to handle you can thin them out and share your surplus seedlings. A happy thought. We eat our little ones fresh- pink golf ball size. Bigger ones get bottled for year round use.

Now Preserve your Beets-

Prepare the Produce-
Chop the tops off your beetroot. Leave stalks and roots on. If you are using young beets, set the tops aside to use as leafy greens in another dish. Place beets in a saucepan big enough to cover them with water and have room to spare. Simmer until the vegetables can just be pierced with a knife. When the beets are cool, chop off their tops and bottoms. Slip off the skins. Chop any big ones into bite size pieces.

Prepare the Gear-
Scrupulously clean some preserving jars. Check you have seals and screw tops at the ready. You will need a table knife too. These need to be sterilized. Place the seals and knife blade in boiling water. Place the jars in the oven. Heat the oven to 110C while you do the next part.

Prepare the syrup-
Clean your saucepan and put it back on the stove. Place in it 1 cup white vinegar, or white wine vinegar. Add ½ cup of water, ½ cup of sugar, 1 tspn salt, a bay leaf and 4 whole cloves. This syrup recipe may be doubled or tripled depending on how much you have to process. Bring this mixture to the boil. Add the prepared beetroot. Bring everything back to the boil. Cook until the vegetables are tender and heated through.

Bottle and Seal
Take out a jar from the oven. Place it on a wooden board in the kitchen sink, or on a metal rack which stands steady in the sink. Arrange some beets in the jar, packing up so they are snug but not squashed. Pour in syrup to half way. Poke the sterilized knife down the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles. Pour on more syrup until the jar overflows. Quickly place on a seal and screw it down firmly. Use a cloth to move the jar to another wooden board. Repeat the process until you are done. If you have some beets left over but not enough to fill up a jar that’s ok. Use them to make something else, like Hot Beetroot Salad. (see below)

Clean and Cellar-
After 24 hours you can safely remove the screw tops. Wash your jars carefully, especially where the screw top was. Check the seals have dipped down in the middle. Dry and label your produce with the date they were cooked. If a seal is flat and comes away easily the jar is not air tight. No problem. Put those ones in the fridge to be eaten within three days.

Hot Beetroot Salad:
Wash 4 small beetroot by simmering them in salted water until you can pierce them with a knife but they are still firm. Rinse with cold water. Leave them to cool enough to be handled.
Meanwhile peel and chop a clove or two of garlic. Put about a tablespoon of oil in a fry pan. Cook the garlic gently, add a peeled, chopped onion and some summer vegetables such as beans, and courgettes. Peel and chop the beetroot and add them to the fry pan now too. A cored and chopped apple goes in next. Season with about a dozen leaves of mint or lemon balm, salt and pepper. Blanch some greens – such as spinach, kale, silver beet or mesculin. If the beets were organically grown you could use their leaves too. Squeeze excess water from the greens. Stir them through the vegetables in the pan. Sprinkle with the zest of a lemon. Serve with bread or grains.