Simon Parke  
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Posted by Simon Parke, 23 May 2019


Essence is our innermost psychology and distinct from personality.

Our personality is good at operating in the world and important for this reason. It gets us places and pays the bills along the way.

But essence is our essential nature, our truest identity. The poet Philip Larkin called it our ‘primary self’...

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Beyond 'Nature or Nurture?'

Posted by Simon Parke, 21 May 2019

I’m in favour of awareness because of the hope it brings, but I start with an often-asked question:

‘Are we the result of nature or nurture?’

The answer, of course, is that it is not either/or…

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Holding the Space

Posted by Simon Parke, 14 May 2019

On occasion, we are all called to ‘hold the space’.

We’re called to de-centre a little and hold a space for others.

It might be at work or at home…it could be an online space we host in some way.

And we do it, we hold a space, so others can be safe and thrive…

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A story of outrageous courage

Posted by Simon Parke, 13 May 2019

I contemplate the flower.

Yet more than delighting in its beauty today, I find myself admiring its courage. Truly, here is a story beyond the call of duty.

I remember it when it was a seed, you see; a rather hard, self-contained little object…

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The chains that set us free

Posted by Simon Parke, 13 May 2019

David Brooks, an American writer, has reflected on some of the cultural lies he believes we are told.

One of the lies he names is this: ‘Keep your options open – and everything will be better.’

He writes that in adulthood, everyone is encouraged to go on a personal trip, rack up a multitude of experiences, ‘and whoever has the most experiences wins…

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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.

Cover of Another Bloody Retreat

In the first of my Abbot Peter mysteries, in a prequel to the Abbot’s Stormhaven adventures, Peter takes us back to the monastery of St James-the-Less. There in the shadows of Mt Sinai, Abbot Peter faces a discomforting cocktail of deception, delusion and death.


Julian of Norwich was the most remarkable of the 14th century mystics, whose Revelations of Divine Love has only grown in substance down the centuries. On this retreat, in a contemplative spirit, we sit with Julian in her cell in 14th century England, listening both to the remarkable times in which she lived; and to her life, her words and her soul.

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