It’s my last night in St Ives. I’ve somewhat fallen in love with the place, and with much of Corwall (all the bits not Newquay). There is a storm coming in, and I’m sat on the headland overlooking Porthmeor beach, where there are thunderous white waves smashing onto the rocks and sand.

This week has been a retreat of a kind. I have had the week entirely to myself, without a face to face conversation of more than a few sentences. And I’ve had a really excellent week. I’ve spent some time thinking about work, writing and life. Buy more importantly I’ve spent time not thinking about much of anything at all.

Through the week I’ve been listening to Jack Kornfield’s Buddhism for Beginners. I’ve developed a system over the years of learning things backwards – starting with advanced texts and working my way backwards to introductory ones. I’m not what I would have made if the aeries of talks in Buddhism for Beginners I I had listened to them in isolation, but hearing them they hav helped to crystalise many ideas I’ve been slowly absorbing.

I’ve been reading about Buddhism for much of the last year, and have had the slowly growing realisation that it’s become more than something I’m examining from a distance. Instead I find many of the ideas are becoming part of my day to day thoughts and practice. Part of my reason for coming away this week was to have space to consider some of those ideas in depth.
I’m not exactly sure what that means yet. I have a good friend who often says I seem to be looking for something. I guess Buddhism and it’s ideas may be a part of that something.

Tommorow I have a two hour bus journey to Newquay, then a flight then another bus journey to get me back to the East Mudlabds in tune for Alt.Fiction on Saturday. Maybe see you there!


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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