All resilience is good but how is spiritual resilience different?

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Are you armoured up against life or are you able to go with the ups and downs and enjoy the ride?

One of the key indicators of a life well lived is our individual resilience to the knocks and shocks that affect us all at some point. Some have them early in life, others later on , but come it almost certainly will.

Even the Buddha disliked being protected from all unpleasantness by his father and went out into the world to discover what life was like for others, and there he found the poverty and pestilence he had been…

Do cats lie?

Photo by Melanie Andersen on Unsplash

Several years ago now I ran a regular series of workshops in my then home in south London, one of which was working with energy called Inner Calm Outer Glow. During one of these groups, towards the end of the workshop, we were culminating in a group meditation where we stood shoulder to shoulder and generated a white light fountain of love and healing which first cascaded back over us and then went out into the universe.

In those days I had a house full of teenage boys and cats too, so we had the door closed into the workshop…

authors own auriculas — photo taken just after a hailstorm today 1.5.2021

Inspired after rain today

After a long period of meditation

Photo by Idella Maeland on Unsplash

When I met GOD it was a shocking experience and deeply confusing to begin with too. After all I am a non-theist. Nowadays I say tell me what you define God as and I will tell you if I share your idea of GOD

We’d been introduced a few times. Me and God that is. Through glimpses, snatches of gold creeping through the cracks.

God was diffident, reserved, didn’t like to be pushy, waited until I left space for God to show its God nature to me. …

Prompt : This is not the moment to wilt into the underbrush of your insecurities. You’ve earned the right to grow. — Cheryl Strayed.

Photo by Nikita Tikhomirov on Unsplash

Hello trauma, here you are again,
greeting me
as soon as eager morning consciousness
enters the light,
the comfort of sleep suddenly stripped back hard.

How can I grow
with your heavy dark clouds always present?
It is almost
as if you lay in wait for this first morning moment
to pounce,

unannounced, grabbing me before natural joy manifests
for this day,
before I can summon the deepest
that also dwells constantly inside me

Like a bully
you push to the front, seeking to dominate
the coming hours
with you taking precedence, like ivy seeking
to cling and smother.

A much misunderstood spiritual practice

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

“Practice giving things away, not just things you don’t care about, but things you do like. Remember, it is not the size of a gift, it is its quality and the amount of mental attachment you overcome that count. So don’t bankrupt yourself on a momentary positive impulse, only to regret it later. Give thought to giving. Give small things, carefully, and observe the mental processes going along with the act of releasing the little thing you liked. Robert Thurman.

I read this quote the other day during a Quaker (Experiment with Light) online meditation group and felt an immediate…

Four specific poses for gardeners.

Some interesting poses designed to help gardeners reach those complicated places and use mindfulness and yoga whilst still working in the garden.

Recently asked if I had to give everything up in my life, which one activity would I keep and my immediate answer was gardening, as long as I could write about that too.

This set me thinking though. This seems to be the year of giving up things, relinquishing parts of one’s identity.

My life long passion for spiritual seeking and personal spiritual development should have come first. That would have been what I expected to come from…

A story of how the buddha taught practical mindfulness.

Photo by Frank Albrecht on Unsplash

It is well known that the Buddha would sit under a Bodhi tree each day and teach, the hundreds of people who came to him each day, to listen to his wise words. Most of them sat in the hot sun and listened for hours each day.

The woman who drew the water from the nearby well, for the comfort of all the crowds listening to the Buddha speaking each day, was also listening while she worked.

One evening she stopped him, once everyone had left, and asked him how she could possibly manage to do all that he taught…

photo used as prompt for international poetry contribution for exhibition - reproduction allowed

Footprints on the sand, — Anthropocene Lucy.
Someone walked here long ago, evaporated,
marks in sand preparing to become fossil records.
No bottles with messages from afar, to be read
by some excited stranger, a connection across space and time
Imagine, the rest of the world carries on regardless,
fauna must start from the beginning. Humans were here!

The world has stopped on this beach. Tides come and go gently,
marking hours without number, rhythms of eternity.
Trees, blighted by storm, re-establishing their presence.
No plastic discards, broken down, part of the ecosystem.
No turtles lumber here at night to lay their eggs,
No birds plunge their beaks into the watery sands edge
to find molluscs, shellfish, invertebrates.

Life, earth endures, always surviving our
destructive natures, stripped, bleached, naked,
echoes of teeming lives of all those who once walked these shores.
What have we done?

Photo by Rick Medlen on Unsplash

The silence of breath, at dawn, of a lover’s moment, being held.
A silence of familiarity, of deep enduring love and contentment.
The only bliss needed for a whole day ahead, the pulse in your neck,
your life. Just this silence says it all,
a baby sleeping peacefully in your arms.

The silence of a full moon in winter, icy frost in the air,
certain death of those caught out, the harsh cruelty of winters grasp
the loss of breath, frozen vapours subside
as the weary homeless man releases his last gasp.

The silence of a beach empty of people…

Sylvia Clare MSc. Psychol

Mindfulness teacher, poet, author of ‘The Well Mannered Penis’, ‘No Visible Injuries’, ‘Living Well and Loving ADHD’ ‘Julia’ and others.

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