Branching Life

Where will you reach out next?

Where will you reach out next?

All living beings reach out and try to make the best of their situation. From humans to goats to snails to trees to plants to algae. We all grow and try our best.

Trees reach out to get the best sunlight. Sometimes they reach the wrong way and a different tree will have the advantage and grow stronger. Such is life. We must be like a tree, try our best even if we make mistakes, and keep growing.

EU vs UK Law (and zen!)

Mini Jumbo?! Sometimes, things indicate two different realities... which is correct?

Mini Jumbo?! Sometimes, things indicate two different realities… which is correct?

Hello. Today I will talk about a situation that is happening in my life that is quite unusual. Now, I will not get into too many details as I am currently seeking legal advice, but I can talk about the law, as this is public domain knowledge. I will make a long story fairly short…

I am an American citizen living in the UK, married to a UK citizen, with my son being a full UK citizen as well. I am allowed to live and work here forever, with a full, never-expiring, UK residency permit. My job is transferring into a civil service post. I am not allowed to keep my permanent position and, at best, can only have a temporary 5-year position with no room for promotion. That is if I apply for a special exemption and if that application gets approved. This is frustrating. However, the bizarre part is this:

If my wife was currently working and living in EEA (European Economic Area), I would be able to keep my permanent job. (That is, in the EEA but NOT Britain!)

If my wife had worked in the EEA (European Economic Area) for a period of time in the past, I would be able to keep my permanent job.

If my wife was French, or German, or Bulgarian, I would be able to keep my permanent job.

So, for example, if my wife was Bulgarian, and I was North Korean, I would be able to keep my UK job, but my wife is English and I am American, so therefore I cannot.

I have spent the past 3 weeks or so trying to convince those in power above me that this cannot be the correct interpretation of the law.  Simple logic and common sense would indicate this. The nationality rules themselves are written so poorly that they can be interpreted in more than one way.  

So where do I go from here?

Well, I am going to apply to become a UK citizen. It is very expensive (£851) to apply plus an additional fee for the ceremony. If this is done before my job switches to civil service, I will be ok.  I am also currently obtaining legal advice as I believe strongly that I have a solid case of discrimination. I am also considering how to publize this through the media. I think the newspapers could have a good story to write!

I must put a disclaimer here that I am not a law expert and I hope that my employer’s take on the law is incorrect, but these are the facts as they stand now.

So, how does this fit into Zen?

Realizing the inherent transient nature of all things helps me not get too attached to the potential severity of the situation. I do have to say though, I am finding it more stressful than I would like and my eyelid keeps twitching to remind me!

What is reality?

From rotting leaves do butterflies emerge!..True reality is sometimes hidden in plain sight...

From rotting leaves do butterflies emerge!..True reality is sometimes hidden in plain sight…

This old leaf is actually a butterfly…

This is a great teacher of the Way, I feel.

The things we perceive as truth, sometimes are not as they appear… Careful mindfulness and attention will help the picture to become clearer, and the Way illuminates brighter.

Water’s mist

Water flows..

Water flows..

Life comes into this world like the ocean washes onto the shore.

Life leaves this world like morning mist clears in the warming sun.

Life, while here, transforms other life.

Some people help transform and inspire other people into a better person than before.

I say thank you and farewell to a strong, honourable man, who has inspired me. He truly practiced what he preached, but without ever preaching. My close friend’s father has passed on, and I wish him and his family comfort and love and I thank him for the wisdom of his life.


Oh no.. down we go?!

Oh no.. down we go?!

Sometimes we feel we might be sliding backwards in our journey through life. Sometimes there are numerous compounding external factors that affect us in powerfully different and difficult ways. Sometimes, we create intense internal feelings which seem to knock us down. If we remove ‘internal’ vs. ‘external’, however, a different truth spontaneously emerges.

When we are at a point when we feel as though we are backsliding, regressing in our spiritual development, if you will, it is important to focus on what our heart-mind tells us is true: that our ‘goal’ does indeed exist, and, although it may be impossible to see it in our brain-mind, we know our heart-mind cannot lie when it emanates this Truth, its Truth. Here lay our deep faith and this is what gets us back to ‘upsliding’!

Is it not always our brain-mind, our ego-mind, that births a backsliding moment?

Is it not always our heart-mind that rescues us?


Flowers emerge from the darkness below.

Be kind to our hearts, for they bear wisdom and truth. Be kind to ourselves.