Simon Parke  
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Leaders - how powerful are they?

Posted by Simon Parke, 25 Nov 2020

Leaders are not as powerful as people imagine; because things happen. Or as the Tory Prime Minister Harold Macmillan put it, ‘Events, dear boy, events.’

(This was probably not Johnson’s vision of his prime ministerial reign.)

You may be a competent skipper of a boat. But when the storm comes, there’s only so much you can do. And sometimes there’s nothing at all – but hope.

This is how leadership is sometimes.

And the healthy leader will acknowledge this lack of control…

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The Good Therapist

Posted by Simon Parke, 25 Nov 2020

When the good therapist sits down with their client, they will know there is no simple answer.

They will be aware of the deep wilderness in which our lives must be lived; what Yalom calls ‘existence pain’ - the harsh facts of life.

Harsh facts like the inevitability of death for each of us and those we love…

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Stress - the friendly and unfriendly sort

Posted by Simon Parke, 17 Nov 2020

Stress can help or hinder when we are faced with a challenge.

If stress helps us to focus on a challenge, whatever it is, then it is our friend.

If stress brings our attention to something that needs facing – like an exam or a difficult conversation or some big event - then wonderful. Attention brings energy, sensible preparation, it brings clarity and calm…

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For those who carry the world on their shoulders

Posted by Simon Parke, 16 Nov 2020

And so we prise the world from our shoulders, a slow peeling

The weight of the world has weighed heavy, sometimes impossibly so

So heavy, we begin actually to stoop; like Atlas, we bend beneath the load which won’t go away…

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The contemplative in binary times

Posted by Simon Parke, 11 Nov 2020

In binary times, when everyone is either this or that – and very determinedly so - only one thing is necessary, only one thing required of the contemplative.

It is necessary, just once a day, to give up everything we know.

We may do it twice a day, declare our assumed knowledge to be nothing, a worthless string of beads.

This practice opens such doors…

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Cover of Solitude

In Solitude: Recovering the power of alone, Simon describes solitude as the active path to inner silence and takes us on an enthralling journey there. In a world of haste and distraction, he commends the way of stillness and withdrawal where we can ‘recover the power of alone’.

Cover of The Secret Testament of Julian

Julian of Norwich, contemporary of both Chaucer and Langland, was the first woman to write a book in English. Yet remarkably, she disappeared from view for 600 years, before her rediscovery in the 20th century. My new novel is Julian’s own telling of her life.


An audio version of my quiet day at the Medatio Centre in London. Sit back, self-isolate and enjoy... and pause when necessary. The truth may be in the pause...


Listen to songs by Simon for the journey