Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

When my husband and I got together we both agreed we would do anything for each other except go against our inner core value system. I think it was one of the best vows we made to each other. We have both stuck to it and respected it in each other, even though it has probably been a source of the most ferocious fights we have ever had. There have only been about three of those in 24 years but those moments stood out in an otherwise harmonious landscape.

We both have a deep committment to the Dharma, to our…


Photo by Cara Fuller on Unsplash

I suppose I always liked the idea of getting away from it all, camping trips and the like, small cabins in wilder settings, near water. But retreats are also a crucial part of most spiritual journeys because things often happen on retreat that don’t happen in ordinary life. That is what retreat is for, to take you deeper, further, wider and generally push you on in your spiritual openings. It is a form of deep immersion therapy, giving you little else to consider other than your own inner processes. …


Photo by Smit Shah on Unsplash

I first met Avalokiteshvara as the name in the chant of the heart sutra, beautifully worded and put to music by the Plum Village tradition. The chanted melody alone is a haunting, compelling tune, but the words of the sutra being chanted created a great sense of peace in me, which at the time I did not understand.

A few days later I met the same name in a single chant, calling to this name repeated three times. It had a similar effect.

Namovalokiteshvarya. Repeated thrice. Powerful.

This chant is calling the Boddhisatva of compassion to our side, for support…


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Part of my spiritual, or intuitive experience of life are my visions and dreams. I feel strongly they are both part of the same thing, just one comes in awake times and one when the human conscious mind is asleep. But not the brain / unconscious mind / spirit of course, they never sleep.

The ‘otherness’ of these experiences means they are unusual to say the least, often bizarre, unsettling and leave me feeling uncertain about where to go next in my life. They usually herald big changes in adulthood, less so in childhood. …


Photo by Kai Wenzel on Unsplash

I am a small-time hobbyist beekeeper. At present in my back garden apiary, I have five hives of varying sizes, though I am not sure how many I shall have by the end of summer.

I should have five strong colonies by this time of year.

Almost all the beekeepers I know have similar stories to share, poor laying patterns from weakened queens if they are new this year. …


Birds Flock Wings — Free photo on Pixabay

The rooks are calling,
scrawling across the sky
blustering in black drifts
surfing the funnels
the tunnels of air,
the lifts and falls
thermals from cliff,
over forest and field,
house and garden.

The noise deafens,
silences our conversation
for moments at a time
as we stop, watch, listen.

The conversations are many,
call and response, a chorus of agreement,
consensus reached.
They all settle, softly now
into the tall trees surrounding our view.
Black shapes on darkening branches
shadows occasional jostling for position,
among the withered tips of trees,
scorched by late springs freezing winds,

Opposite two crows, larger…

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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