Thursday, 28 February 2013


Silence is palpable
at the centre
of a heart turned inside out,
knowing its fullness instead of its limits,
its generosity instead of its spite,
its enormity instead of its shrinking.

Silence is a depth-charge
into the ever-present space
that words cannot plumb,
dancing on the outskirts
and knocking at the door,
they cannot express the
vastness and completeness.

Silence is
then end of all our longing,
the dropping away of desires and wants,
the dissolving of binary opposites and
the shedding of burdens we have
inadvertently accumulated.

Silence is tangible

at the centre
of a heart turned inside out,
embracing infinity instead of being bound
by invisible walls created in our imagining
and forgetfulness that we are bound to one another,
indistinguishable as the wave and the water.

© 28 Feb 2013
(commissioned by Sue)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Upside down

When your world
gets turned
upside down,
and the firm foundation
you thought lay before you
disappears beneath your feet,
don't let the tears fall for too long,
as they cloud the vision,
and stop you from seeing
what new path lies ahead.
it may be lost in misty shadows,
or so covered by tangled undergrowth
that it is barely perceptible,
but one thing is certain -
it is there.
And it will lead you onward
to new discoveries,
and new beginnings
and move you on from the place
when your world was
turned upside down.

© 22 Feb 2013

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Did you see the berries?

Did you see the berries,
the red berries
a last vestige of winter,
shining through the tangle of
dark-brown, spiky branches?

And did you see the holly hedge
with its one gleaming berry,
a last proclamation of winter,
shining through the dense mass
of green, sharp-pointed leaves?

And did you see the beech hedge,
still wearing its paper-crunching
coat of brittle, last-year's leaves?

Did you see the signs of winter
doing battle with a warming,
summer-convincing sun
and wonder which season will win?

The heavy coat of frost that lay
sparkling and inviting at dawn,
has been banished by an
intense sun and a bright blue sky,
with their promise of warmer days
and lighter evenings.

The snowdrops in their bunches and
clumps are a promise of the
seasons turning to calmer,
milder, being-outside days.

And the berries,
the startling, bright red berries
are a sign winter has not yet
handed on the baton,
and we should enjoy the sun while it lasts,
for tomorrow it may snow!
© 19 Feb 2013

Thursday, 14 February 2013


is a powerful force
that can sweep away
and fear
and in its wake bring
and confidence.

has the power to overturn
and doubt
by demonstrating it is possible to be
and free.

is an energy
that dissipates as soon as it is
or stifled,
yet love can grow to immense
proportions if it is allowed to be
and infinite.

is dancing throughout our lives,
on the periphery if we
dare not let it in
in the centre of our hearts if we
connect with others
dare to be fearless
and love to love.

♥14 Feb 2013

Love audio

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pleasant events diary

As part of an 8-week MBSR course you keep a pleasant events diary, recording the experience, feelings (emotional and bodily), mood and thoughts, and as this has been in mind this week it struck me how many pleasant events there are in a day. The purpose of it is to focus the mind towards positive thoughts, away from negative ones, concentrating as Thay says, on 'what's not wrong' instead of what is wrong.
In the MSR workbook there is a page to record one pleasant event per day, but that doesn't allow for all the experiences that actually take place, even the ones maybe judged as unpleasant initially! Yesterday I had a mock viva with my supervisors in preparation for the real thing next week, and whilst I was very nervous beforehand, once we got into it and I was answering their questions it became very enjoyable. It was a pleasure to talk about the research in detail and reiterate points that Thay makes, demonstrating how they are realistic, viable propositions for daily life and not just theory or idealistic notions that have no relevance to real life.
So my diary for yesterday looks something like this;

Seeing friends again for the first time this year
sharing lunch with another friend
talking about Thay and his teachings
feeling positive about the up-coming viva instead of terrified
attending a meeting about a retreat coming up in March
sitting with my Sangha in the evening
enjoying the drive home along a dark and empty country road
sitting by a log fire with my husband

And that's only a few points in the day, a vast day full of richness and meetings and pleasant events.
Let's notice these to increase the positive and decrease the negative!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The necessity of rain

All morning
I avoided going out into
the damp and rain-filled outside.
The fire was so appealing,
cosy and soothing.
Why venture out into
dank, soggy coldness?
I avoided it until I remembered
to regard the rain
as friend not enemy.

It only took moments
of being
in the rain-dampened woods
to appreciate
the necessity of rain.

The newly-ploughed field
ready to welcome its Spring crop
is a reminder
that nothing will grow
without the nourishing rain.
The greening buds
ready to open
are a reminder
that Spring cannot spring
without the necessity of rain.

And you and I
who chose the fire instead
of the rain
are also a reminder
to be grateful for
the friendly necessity of rain.

©  10 February 2013

Saturday, 9 February 2013


Fragile, tender tendrils of green
peeping out of the earth.
Small, almost insignificant
bulbs of white
barely supported
by slender green stalks.
Yet these tiny white flowers
make a huge announcement,
a proclamation
that Spring is on its way.

The cycle of nature is turning,
the time of hibernation,
of huddling by a warm fire
reluctant to go out
will soon be over.

Delicate drops of white
scattered among decaying leaves
and brown earth,
defying frost and snow
and all the weight of weather
nature has to outpour,
herald a time
of warmth,
longer days,
And make my heart sing.

©  9 February 2013