Monday, 27 January 2014

Smiling in the dark

Smiling in the dark
no one to see
no one to receive
just practising
‘mouth yoga’
nourishing myself.

Polishing the heart
feeding seeds
of joy and simple delight.

Smiling in the dark
a childlike pleasure
a delicious secret 
to share.

Encouraging laughter cells
and giggle genes
growing and bursting
like soap bubbles
popping into manifestation.

The world needs
more smiles
have one of mine
© 27 Jan 2014

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The sound of the mindfulness bell

The sound of the mindfulness bell
is a beckoning hand
showing the path
straight ahead.
Don’t get lost by the wayside,
don’t let the trees or flowers
distract from your purpose.

The sound of the mindfulness bell
is a heartstring tugged
in recognition of itself.
Sounding within
as a voice of clarity and reason,
“stay here in the present,
don’t let your footsteps
take you backwards,
don’t meander into dreaming or planning,
stay here, you are safe”.

The sound of the mindfulness bell
is a song
that rides the breezes at dawn
waking the soul from slumber,
greeting the day
with a smile of salutation.

The sound of the mindfulness bell
is a new moon
shining in a clear night
dispelling darkness and shadow,
guiding the wanderer home.

© 25 Jan 2014

Friday, 17 January 2014

Mara’s arrows are turned to flowers

The Buddha sits serene and unmoved
by the troubles of the world.
Mara’s arrows are turned to flowers
and lay scattered at his feet.
He is untouched by them.
Why does the Buddha smile?
Does he not see the poverty and depravation,
the hatred, envy and greed that tear the world apart?
He sees all, and knows all
and feels all
and yet smiles.
The pain and suffering of the world
are Mara’s arrows scattered at his feet
and his smile has turned them to flowers.
He sees the pain of the world
rise as a wave,
he hears the cry of anguish.
He watches the wave
rise and fall,
melting back into its own essence,
indistinguishable from the water it manifested from.
He sees it all,
the water, the wave, the water,
as a complete oneness,
not as a birth and a death or
a coming and a going.
He sees the impermanence
and knows the wave will pass,
will return to water.
He smiles
because Mara’s arrows are scattered at his feet
turned to flowers
and he is unmoved by them.

© 15 Jan 2014 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Let's run away!

Let’s run away!
Let’s leave the computer
and this box of a house
and don boots and scarves
to go outside into startling aliveness.
Let’s put on hats and gloves
and wander through the woods
noting the chaos and the order
of nature in its naturalness.
Let’s slip and slide
through muddy fields that
horses in their sure-footedness
have no problems with.
Let’s risk earache
and a runny nose
from this harsh winter wind
and blow the cobwebs
out of our dusty corners.
Let’s run to the river
to slip and slide
on the riverbank,
hoping for a flash of blue
to indicate the kingfisher is fishing.
The emails can wait,
the phone can be left inside.
Let’s run away!

© 8 Jan 2014

Monday, 13 January 2014

A crisp white morning

A crisp white morning
full of clarity and sharp awareness
coating everything
with a brittle freshness.

A crisp white morning
has breathed wakefulness
into my dull brain and
sharpened my senses.

A crisp white morning
drops dews of quietness
painting cold and winter
on all before it.

A crisp white morning
whispers winter is not over,
the beguiling sun
is not yet heralding spring.

A crisp white morning
has scattered magic everywhere
layering everything
with a coat of shining diamonds.

© 13 Jan 2014

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New mindfulness retreats

I'm very pleased to be able to report new Mindfulness &... retreats at a lovely new venue in Gloucestershire. Binley Farm <> is run as a mindful living centre and so it's great to be able to be part of their retreat programme. I am co-facilitating
Mindfulness and Poetry with Pete Armstrong <> in July and
Mindfulness and Drawing with Clare Belbin in September.
If you want to book on the Binley Farm retreats please use the code LB05 to get a 5% discount.
And very soon there will be more retreats advertised on the York MBSR website in a more northern location close to York. It's all part of an endeavour to bring mindfulness into being a fundamental part of daily life, not something that just happens occasionally as part of a course or whilst on retreat. As Thay says, 'practising mindfulness in each moment of our daily lives, we can cultivate our own peace. With clarity, determination, and patience -the fruits of meditation- we can sustain a life of action and be real instruments of peace'.
So let's become ambassadors for peace in 2014 and make the world a happier place to live.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

New year, new MBSR courses

We make many resolutions at New Year, which can be difficult to maintain, so why not be kind to yourself and book onto a Mindfulness based stress reduction course? The 8-week course offers a group setting for learning effective life-skills and meditation exercises that can help counter stress that builds up in our our daily life, bringing us to a more balanced and healthier way of living. From 21st January I will be offering courses in Leeds, Harrogate and Ilkley (UK), so if you or anyone you know would benefit from a course please check out the link below. (Please note the Leeds course is already full!)