mindfulness Category

Joyful effort in the face of apathy

November to February is my least favourite time of year.  I feel a natural decline in mood and increase in apathy.  It's the best word to describe this kind of personal dissociation that is one of my many afflictions.  I've felt it creeping around for a while and especially this week.  It's that 'I don't care about anything much and couldn't be bothered with or about anything either'. I find myself sucked into unhelpful nothingness of social media scrolling and escapeful TV that demand zero engagement or activity.  I see it. And slowly, this seeing without judging the apathy pokes…

Read More

Slowing down, resting in our true nature.

[caption id="attachment_443" align="alignleft" width="225"] Resting in springtime sun[/caption] Reading Haemin Sunim's 'The things you can see only when you slow down" over the last few days.  Enjoying some slowing down time as springtime sun comes to visit us here.  Resting in resonance with some of his words: " I wish you could see my true nature. Beyond my body and labels, there is a river of tenderness and vulnerability. Beyond stereotypes and assumptions, there is a valley of openness and authenticity. Beyond memory and ego, there is an ocean of awareness and compassion." The body and labels - sometimes it's like the everyday busyness of…

Read More

The mindful invitation: Finding the funnies & deflating difficulties?

Inspired by words of others yet again.  I am reading 'the Book of Joy' - a book of sharing insights from a week they spent in conversation together, the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Tutu.  From lifetimes of living with the full complexities of life.  Their fierce compassion, courage, heart and hope rings out - and in stark contrast to messages from other 'great world leaders' at this point in our histories.  We have a choice.  What do we choose to cultivate? Where do we make our steps from?  A place of compassion and connection?  Or a place of fear and…

Read More

New Year – New Beginnings 2017

Pic: Taken from the Hill of Uisneach, 1 Jan 2017.  Approaching the end of one year, we usually anticipate the beginning of another. Full of possiblity. We may compile our resolutions. We may set new intentions. We may renew old ones. Though the days are lengthening gradually, January can feel grey and dark for me. The process of setting intentions at this time of year offers me a way to create and see light that is also present. Yet every moment, every breath, is an opporunity to begin again. It really is. I love when I remember this mantra! In…

Read More

Antidote to the inner-critic

I heard this poem recently, read by Mark Coleman at Spirit Rock in the states.  Let the words wash over you and through you, an antidote to the those constant judging and comparing thoughts that may swirl about day to day.  Be kind and gentle with ourselves and others today. If you would grow to your best self Be patient, not demanding Accepting, not condemning Nurturing, not withholding Self-marveling, not belittling Gently guiding, not pushing and punishing For you are more sensitive than you know Mankind is as tough as war yet delicate as flowers We can endure agonies but…

Read More

Remembering the power of simply being.

"Draw alongside the silence of stone Until its calmness can claim you. Be excessively gentle with yourself.   Stay clear of those vexed in spirit. Learn to linger around someone of ease Who feels they have all the time in the world.   Gradually you will return to yourself, Having learned a new respect for your heart And the joy that dwells far within slow time."   - John O'Donohue, A Blessing for One who is Exhausted.    These words stopped me in my tracks today.  Sometimes words have that power to bring us back to remember what matters.  To…

Read More

Courage to accept and be with our present experience

  Listening to Tara Brach's inspirational and soothing talk on 'Genuine Acceptance' today.  Acceptance is about being with what is here.  Not our story around it but the embodied present moment experience.  So mindfulness is our pathway, our tool, to be with what is - the bodily experience of the unpleasant: the sensations and emotions. The resistance and how that feels in the body. Mindful awareness helps us to feel the experience of the 'fight-flight-freeze' reactivity.  To sit in that space. To acknowledge and be with what is here. This is how acceptance is not passive and is not about…

Read More

Gladdening the Mind

  Inspired by Tara Brach talk: Happy for No Reason, Part 2.   "When you go to a garden do you look at thorns or flowers? Spend more time with roses and jasmine" -Rumi Awareness is the intention of mindfulness practice. And working with what is there is also part of the moment and the practice. We know now of the 'darkside' of neuroplasticity: our biological negativity bias primes us to pay most attention to threat and danger. Unaware  we allow that bias to become the habit of mind. Awareness invites us to tune into those habitual patterns: we notice the mind's…

Read More

Why retreat?

  Reading Sylvia Boorsteins's: Don't just do something, sit there - I am inspired to remember the value of periodic retreats. Paraphrasing Sylvia and integrating with my own ponderings: So why practice 'in seclusion' rather than 'in the midst of life'? On retreat, we are freed of the usual diversions and distractions.  There is no place to hide.  We open to the possibility of knowing ourselves a bit better. Really we practice seeing how things are rather that how we are. In our day to day lives we complicate our moments, spinning up elaborate productions and the mind becomes confused and fatigued.…

Read More

It’s not working!

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/07/are-you-trying-to-escape/   How often have we cried out this lament about our fledgling mindfulness meditation practice? I know I have. I still get overwhelmed, get sucked back into autopilot habits of reactivity of overworking, overthinking and over critiquing. 'It's not working' - I can hear the whisper of judging mind in the background - and it quickly spirals to inner critic who laments  'I'm no good at this'. When we practice, we learn the intention of mindfulness is simply awareness. Accepting what is here without the need to change it. So today I welcome the 'it's not working' thinking since it may…

Read More

DISCOVER

OUR FREE

MEDITATION