Diving for Pearls with Maggie Kay
Deeper and Deeper
As it turned out, I meditated formally at least once every single day for two years, then pretty much daily for the next couple of decades. That is not to say that it was always smooth sailing. Sometimes I didn’t really feel like it, or when I sat down to meditate, I felt uncomfortable and restless. Fortunately, I had been taught well and knew that this was par for the course. I would continue anyway, staying open and curious to whatever resistance or unwillingness was around for me that day. I soon learned that underneath any uncomfortable experience a deeper feeling was hiding. As soon as I allowed myself to experience that deeper feeling (usually something I would rather not feel like anger or insecurity or anxiety), I settled and felt much better for letting it out of the bag.
I was at a point in my life when I could throw myself in to this process of inner discovery. It went very well with my studies and I didn’t have a partner or children or a demanding career or money or health worries or a house to maintain – I was free. Even at that tender age, I recognized how fortunate I was to have stumbled across Buddhism and meditation.
Having found a deep and satisfying spiritual path and to have a sense of such meaning and purpose just as my adult life was getting off the ground, I felt truly blessed. I loved the Triratna Buddhist community I was part of and its vision of creating ‘the new society’ – a refreshing interpretation of how to live, work and practice as a contemporary Buddhist in the Western world. I wanted to experience everything ‘the movement’ (as we called it) had to offer.
Eleventh Hour Anxiety
During my last year at university, I had an attack of ‘eleventh hour anxiety’ before my final exams. I was in good company. Even the Buddha was beset with severe self-doubt on the very brink of enlightenment when an apparition of himself appeared before his eyes and challenged his right to gain enlightenment. In response, the Buddha touched the ground (you often see Buddha figures in the ‘earth touching mudra’ or gesture) and the Earth Goddess rose up to bear testament to his years of practice and preparation for this moment. All at once, his apparitional antagonist twin disappeared, and Siddhartha Gautama broke through, finally becoming the Buddha, the Awakened One.
These days, I tell this story of the Buddha’s enlightenment often as it so beautifully illustrates what often happens when we are on the edge of a breakthrough. Often our very worst doubts and fears play out just as we are about to make a significant change for the better. I am forever reminding my friends, family, clients and myself that if we find ourselves in this sort of last minute panic, it could be that we are on exactly the right path and doing extremely well. If so, take it as an encouraging sign and keep going.
Another way of describing this phenomenon is to say that our fearful ego – a basic survival attack/defend mechanism serving our lower evolutionary needs – gets stirred up when it knows that our big, free, wise self is about to take us beyond what is familiar. Our ego throws a tantrum, taunting us with our worst fears, in the way only our very own ego could, undermining our attempts to break free of its limited parameters.
Fortunately, this time I didn’t succumb to my ego’s frightened pleas. I caught up with my course work, completed my exams and graduated in the summer of 1985. Thanks to my tutor’s encouraging advice, I have a good honors degree to show for my four years of academic dedication.
That September, now aged 21, I set off for a new life in London. The decision to move had come suddenly that summer in the middle of an inspiring puja (sacred ceremony), at the Glasgow Buddhist Centre. Much as I loved the city of Glasgow and living in Scotland, I realized that I wanted to put myself at the heart of the most happening place in Triratna – where there were women Order Members and the best conditions to train for ordination. This meant moving to Triratna’s flagship community in the UK’s capital city of London.
Known as the Inner Wisdom Coach and formerly an ordained Buddhist, Maggie specialises in meditation, mindfulness, law of attraction, metaphysics and spiritual intelligence for life, love and business.
As well as coaching one-to-one, she trains accredited Thrivecraft life coaches and meditation teachers and runs retreats and workshops for soulful entrepreneurs, coaches and well being professionals.
In 2016, with her son Jamie grown up, Maggie established Thrivecraft Home Hub, a riverside country retreat in Cornwall, UK, where she lives with her soul mate husband, Patrick.
Her new book – Diving for Pearls: A Wise Woman's Guide to Finding Love (O Books) – is a highly readable true love and spiritual adventure story laced with tips and teachings on meditation, Buddhism, inner wisdom and relationships relevant to all.
Maggie's vision for the future includes taking Thrivecraft worldwide via a new online academy; continuing to mentor coaches, well-being professionals and meditation teachers to grow and prosper their businesses; producing audios of her full range of guided meditations; and writing further books to inspire and support everyone to create rich, happy and fulfilling lives.
Buy Diving for Pearls on Amazon.
Thrivecraft with Maggie Kay
Wisdom. Inspiration. Self-belief.