Strength was the inspirational word on the cover of my manual for the Mastery and Service course I undertook back in 2004. Each of us had a different word on the manual cover and my first reaction was, they have got this wrong because I didn’t see myself as strong or having any real strength. Little did I know what was in store. One of the experiences from the course you can read about in “A New Path” and it was from experiences like these that I gradually came to the realisation that I did have a strength, a strength of mind and will that has kept me safe and sane through a number of trying situations and conditioning.

The course also had an emphasis on meditation throughout the three months of self awareness and discovery exercises. Emphasis is perhaps a little light, more of an insistence on adopting a daily practice of meditation as well as a mandatory meditation in each session of the course. It worked and I still practice meditation every morning. It might sound counter intuitive that a practice of sitting still and simply focussing on the moment for twenty minutes can make you feel strong but it does. It gives me the ability to handle stress and situations better during the day and I now recognise that it certainly, but mysteriously, does.

Meditation and other aspects of the course led me into investigating things like Buddhism and Taoism although I am sure the course organisers would hasten to avoid any suggestion that it was a religious course. It wasn’t but the freedom I gained from old habits and restrictions led my curiosity into more spiritual paths than I had acknowledged previously. From Tibetan Buddhism I came across the Tibetan word for strength or quality of being strong, སྟོབས , and I liked the look of it and it’s symbolism so much that I got it tattooed on my upper arm as a constant reminder. That explains the image above this post. It encapsulated the word strength that I had received at the start of the course and the strength I get from meditation at the end of the course.

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