Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Touching earth, touching sky

Touching earth, touching sky
fingertips dancing with
soft ethereal clouds,
fingertips soaked with
sparkling morning dew,
fingertips caressed by
gentle breeze in between.

Touching earth, touching sky
fingertips mingling with
murky grey mist,
fingertips brushing
heavy morning dew,
fingertips playing with
songs of birds in between.

Touching earth, touching sky
a salutation to the morning.

© 21 Apr 15

Monday, 27 April 2015

Barmoor Reflections III

I woke up
to the cuckoo calling.
I woke up
to the hedgerow blossoming
and the moor-gorse reddening.
I woke up
to the rabbits nibbling
and the clouds pinking themselves
with a fine sunrise.
I woke up
to the daffodils decaying
and fresh molehills across
the garden lawn.
I woke up
to the distant hills blueing
with a secret mist
and unusual trills and shrieks and cries.
I woke up
to the cuckoo calling.

© 24 Apr 15

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Barmoor Reflections II

Deep black of night-time
stars gleaming brightly
orange sliver of moon
floating majestically.

Dancing stars above
silent trees around
feet crunching gravel
all is in a hush
everyone softly sleeping.

© 20 Apr 15

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Barmoor Reflections I

I have just returned from a week of co-leading a Mindfulness based stress reduction Intensive retreat; the 8-week course in 5 days.
We were staying at Barmoor, a beautiful Quaker house on the edge of the North York Moors. The weather was glorious, fine April sunshine and crisp sparkling nights. And we had a lot of learning, laughter and luxuriating in silence.
Barmoor is spacious in setting, being right on the edge of farmland and moorland and we woke each morning to glorious sounds of nature.
I wrote a few poems based on my reflections of being there.
Here is the first one -

Bright evening birdsong
inviting me outside.
Calm evening sunshine
still warming the air.
Rabbit playing freely
grouse silently pecking
lambs calling plaintively
distant humming traffic
clouds drifting airily
blossom slowly unfolding
daffodils nodding cheerily
breeze softly caressing
heart gently melting.

© 20 Apr 15

Thursday, 16 April 2015

No need to be afraid

No need to be afraid
the sun still shines
the moon still shines
even if from behind a cloud.

No need to be afraid
the earth still turns
the seasons come and go
change is always happening.

No need to be afraid
the wind still blows
the rain still rains
to nurture, feed and grow.

No need to be afraid
each present moment
is a new moment
a new chance to be here.

No need to be afraid.

© 25 Mar 15

Monday, 13 April 2015

A meeting

A meeting
any meeting
one chance
to notice
who is there,
not outer meeting outer
but heart meeting heart.

Being prepared to be
open, trusting, vulnerable,
to give something of ourselves
beyond pleasantries and expectation.
Not looking for
what I can get but
what I can give.

Heart meeting heart
consciousness meeting consciousness
one meeting itself
heart meeting heart.

Friday, 10 April 2015


Wow! Today this blog has had over 10,000 views. That's a lot of people! I appreciate it's not necessarily 10,000 people as it could be the same people coming back again, which is even better! And I know people forward particular poems and posts on to their friends, which makes me very happy that what I am saying here resonates with others. The people reading this blog also come from 84 different countries and each continent which means it is being read and shared all over the world. Double wow!
10,000 people coming together and virtually holding hands under an umbrella of mindfulness and being peace. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And here's an interesting stat, there is one post in particular that has had way more views than any other - it's called 'No mud, no lotus - Thich Nhat Hanh' and has had 2,813 views to date. That's an awful lot of views for one post and I'm curious to know what makes it so attractive.
Thich Nhat Hanh expresses his gratitude by putting his hands together and bowing, and as he bows saying to himself 'a lotus for you, a Buddha to be'. The hands together represent the lotus bud and the idea behind this is to recognise the seed of awakening in each of us. We don't have to be 'Buddhist' to be 'a Buddha to be', all that means it we have the ability to waken and notice what is going on around and within us.
Some more poetic thoughts from this writing -

A Buddha to be,
can that mean me?
one day maybe
not today!
Do I have to drop
all my insincere and ignoble thoughts?
Let go of meanness and greed and
become perfect?
No, just notice what happens
when the seed of anger, or jealousy,
or hate rises up,
notice how it makes me feel
and what it does to others.
Notice what happens
when the seed of peace, or love,
or kindness rises up,
notice how it makes me feel
and what it does to others.

Becoming a Buddha is not a career
or something we work towards
as if it is something we lack.
We can only become a Buddha,
an awakened one,
because of the seed of awakening
that is already present.
All we have to do
is recognise it,
stop pretending it's not for us,
own it, and claim it as our own.
A Buddha to be
that can mean me
and me in you and
you in me.

© 10 Apr 15

A lotus for you, a Buddha to be

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

New Mindfulness based stress reduction courses

I'm very happy to announce I will be teaching new 8-week MBSR courses starting at the end of April. These will be in Bradford, Doncaster, Harrogate and Ripon. Ask yourself, in taking care of your emotional health and well-being, how often do you consider a healthy mind? We can spend a lot of time considering whether we are eating in a healthy way. We can spend a lot of time going to the gym or engaging in exercise to look after our body, but what do we do to look after our minds? MBSR courses teach scientifically proven techniques and practices that can help reduce stress and anxiety by changing the way we think about them and offer alternative ways of responding.
As human beings we should consider, not what we are doing but how we are being.
Have a look here for more details and how to book -
Tell all your friends and family! Come and find out what all the fuss is about!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


I grumbled
at the rain and
at the sun but
the rainbow
caught me and
showed me
the foolishness
of my preferences.

No rain,
no rainbow.

© 1 Apr 15