I had journeyed to London to embark on a development journey with an executive team.  They wanted to explore what it truly means to be a high performing multicultural international board.  They have such a breadth and depth of experience, knowledge and diversity of views.   And working with them, it was noticeable how easy it is to get into a state of separateness, fixed opinions and judgements. But also how possible it is to cultivate our ability to hold everything in awareness.  To learn to embrace it all.

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I recently read Herman Hesse’s classic Siddhartha. About a journey of self-discovery. As synchronicity goes, one team member mentioned it was his favourite book.  Perhaps it is a good omen for this team.  For amongst other things the story celebrates curiosity and openness. And the fullness of life to remind us of our wholeness and our interconnectivity with others and our experiences.

Here is Siddhartha’s journey condensed in my own words.


Admired and adored

Yet I felt a little bored

Joy failed to spring from my heart

I felt bounded and apart

Trapped like a caged bird

My soul, oh how it stirred

So I set off with my loyal friend

Not knowing where it would end

I leant towards the emptiness

In the hope of peace and bliss


Joining those of like kind

Going deep into the forest of one’s mind

Renouncing, denying and fasting

Querying, searching and quietening

And when the Master emerged

I recognised how his light surged

But no matter how brightly it shone

My quest urged me on

And so I left my shadow there

I had more learning to bear


A man ferried me from A to B

And I found myself in a pleasure sea

Of thorns and buds in a garden lush

The feelings of a lover’s rush

Skills in love and business traded

Memories of self denial faded

Feasting on luxury and lust

Before long the balance went bust

That which I craved, I now rejected

Bloated in power and pride detected


Disorientated but able to rise

I now saw the man with fresh eyes

And the river, banks on either side

Energy, wisdom and nothing to hide

In the stillness, silence and serenity

Flowed what was, is and what will be

Knowing there was nothing to add or subtract

Everyone and everything circles back

Embracing truth in its fullness

Truly listening, I had found completeness


  • Herman Hesse (2013) Siddhartha, Bridgeford Classics.
  • Albrecht Durer (1471 –1528)”paesaggio con il fiume Peignitz” as posted by I 1000 quadri più belli di tutti i tempi on 13 December 2013.
  • Photo by Tim Swaan on Unsplash


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