I have a patch of woodland garden behind my home which is a place I love to be. I’d been swimming in the sea just before so was cold but warming up well enough and thought how lovely it was being outdoors in the wintry sunshine. I decided to go and weed out the little seedlings of all the plats that I didn’t want and which were still growing even though they are supposed to be dormant at this time of year. But it is getting very mild and apart from a few frosts is it still growing season right through winter for some plants. …
We are just coming out of a season of feasting and possibly over eating, with Christmas, New Year and other feasting celebrations occurring. It is part of what makes winter easier to get through, and that is traditionally why we invented these feast days. So what do we or how should we eat to be mindful at the same time.
What I eat, or rather what we eat as a couple matters a great deal to us. We do not want to consume things that are harmful to our bodies or to the lives of other beings. …
Mindfulness is now pretty well accepted as a really positive way of gaining positive mental health and all the knock on effects of that in our lives, better health, better relationships skills. And the emphasis is very much on mental processes and the management of thoughts and emotions.
We can learn to follow our thoughts and find their roots then to challenge those negative underlying paradigms of life which we may hold. We can learn how to disregard thought trains tht would drag us back into old bad habits of relating to the world. …
My mindfulness practice has led me into exploring all aspects of my own life, including our own bodies. This is usually assumed to be just as a relaxation for said body, using body scanning meditations, but I have found it is much deeper than that.
Skin covers all our bodies and keeps all the yukkiest stuff out of sight most of the time. We also use it as a form of identity, based on our mistaken understanding of this material and its structure. We talk about ‘good skin’. ‘aging skin’ and attractiveness as a purely aesthetic perception without recognising the other amazing qualities skin brings to our lives. …
The elasticity of time propels us forwards
flicked from a catapult in the playground of life,
thrown into years that become decades
rich with history and memories, delusions
dreams and the rhetoric of our lives.
Our days become stacked like layers of rock upon
a landscape, carved by our own winds and weather,
moments represented by features standing out proud
‘this was my moment just here’, or not perhaps
it is all just eons slipping by unnoticed.
I don’t know what a decade feels like,
yet have lived through nearly seven.
They are after all just one moment following another
stacking up to create the myth that is our
life story, our chosen narrative, our personal…
Today the slash in the clouds allowed
early sunrise to flood through; it filled me
with rose tinted optimism, the morning lifted,
to face oncoming dark greys of the ensuing day
with gratitude for all the little things.
Another day I am fascinated by the patterns
the clouds make across the horizons,
the interactions between pale blue and grey
with lilac tints, water-colours dispersed across the sky,
bold brush strokes painting the winter’s afternoon
these solid blocks of colour, deep blue, dark grey,
thunder coming or is it just a moody day?
night entering the skyscape, heralding our down times
a nod to our warmer clothes, to snuggle into woolens,
to savour the intimacy of a shared winter storm. …
I have never had the privilege of meeting or listening to this Vietnamese Zen master monk in person or should I say in the flesh and I know now I never will do. I know plenty of people who have and multiple times too. I am happy about this because it was never about the man himself but about what he brought to this world thorough his teachings. They were what I needed to hear most of all. It would be too easy to fall into some kind of cult thing with a person like Thay ( Thay is his name as teacher in Vietnamese and is what he is called by all his followers). …