Relocating - please follow the link for new content

This archive will stay here - but you can find new posts (as well as this archive) at my new website which is at It's the new home for Stuart Eglin Online - including the blog, musings, and details of the publications and services which I have available. Take a look - it's worth a visit!

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Buddhism: part 1 - introduction

I have begun to write a series of posts for this blog about my interest in Buddhism. The posts will cover my early experiences of religion and spirituality growing up in the 60s and 70s through to my growing interest in recent years. I will look at Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism - describing my experiences with these two strands of the religion and philosophy.

Buddhism is followed by some 350 million people in the world today. Being brought up as a Christian it has taken me a long time to feel comfortable with the idea of describing myself as a Buddhist. In recent months I realised that I had reached that point. And I came to the understanding that being a Buddhist doesn't require formal practise at a shrine a daily routines. That just isn't me anyway!

So, now I have the acceptance it is time to trace the journey. Further episodes follow over the coming weeks. You can track the whole series by clicking on the 'Buddhism' label in the right-hand column of the blog.

Friday, 29 June 2007

World Cafe - a great way to get everyone involved

Welcome to The World Cafe

A couple of years ago, I took part in a knowledge cafe, run by David Gurteen. I wrote about it on my now deceased blog called 'Things I found'. The technique, which is openly available in a truly open source way, is a brilliant way to get true participation. I used it myself for an event which I facilitated at the start of this year.

The technique is taken from the work of the World Cafe, which can be found at their website. The Principles of the World Café are:

* Clarify the Context
* Create Hospitable Space
* Explore Questions That Matter
* Connect Diverse Perspectives
* Encourage Each Person's Contribution
* Listen Together for Patterns, Insights and Deeper Questions
* Share Collective Discoveries

They work well because:

* The future is born in webs of human conversation
* Compelling questions encourage collective learning
* Networks are the underlying pattern of living systems
* Human systems--organizations, families, communities--are living systems
* Intelligence emerges as the system connects to itself in diverse and creative ways
* Collectively, we have access to all the wisdom and resources we need

I particularly like the fact each table is covered in paper sheets and everyone is encouraged to write or draw on them. This gives the quieter members of a group an alternative way to contribute. I also like the 'consensus' approach which encourages everyone to build on others' ideas rather than to critique them.

(From the 'Things I found' archive)

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

When the muse strikes, rather than being on strike

After a long poetic silence, words are beginning to appear in my head again.

Some new poetry fragments – towards a 2007 sequence…


The sound of the helicopter blades reminded me that
The first time I had stood on this rocky outcrop I had
Wondered what I was doing next
Then the pieces of the jigsaw all fitted

Because the steam-like mist rose from the valleys below
As if it was time to be going
Growing like an adolescent in the kitchen raiding the fridge
Watching everything like it’s the first time.


Pictures on the wall were all taken with this new camera
Living in a world where every second can be captured as a
Perfect digital image. Still or moving images

Everything caught as a series of digital code
So that every trace of every life can be saved for future viewing
If only we had the time to review everything

At least then we might learn something from the mistakes of history.


Be here, be now
Somehow holding on
To everything that we thought was
Precious and spoken


Tangled spindrift
Winged fragments of encapsulation
Such as bones and carcasses
Pieces becoming new things, new essences
As though the earth were starting all over again
Washed and bleached inside the sea-bed
Where once waited creatures now extinct
Flapped and furrowed, waxed and winnowed
Embraced in water, pictured on the stones
Each one scraped against the soul.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Elephant Talk, a King Crimson website - now it's a Wiki

ETWiki Home - ETWiki

Elephant Talk was a regular newsletter for some 15 years which updated the fan / fanatic about the activities of King Crimson, all of its members through the years and their own solo activities. It took the form of a discussion list, so there were many diverse views in each edition. At times Robert Fripp himself posted entries to it.

Anyway it ceased publication as a newsletter recently, and has now entered the world of Web 2.0 by converting itself into a Wiki using the same technology as Wikipedia itself. It's worth a look if you are curious about any of this branch of music. There's probably the answer to pretty much anything you might want to know in the pages of the wiki.

Now, I've been thinking for a while that there must be some really useful applications of wiki technology. I have started to experiment again with WikidPad which is really easy to use and has moved on a lot since I last used it. Of course, it is always important to avoid the trap of finding a useful piece of technology and then hunting desperately for something to use it on. It should be the other way round! That said, I will be experimenting with the whole wiki approach because I really like the intuitive and flexible approach.