Thursday, 26 April 2018

Letter to my Dear One

My dear One
All that we have heard and learnt
over the years
understood and not understood
experienced and known
points to one truth, one knowing.

We cannot find ourselves
in the world of the senses
we have to look inward to
meet ourselves and come home.
So easily, the mind is moved
by the senses
like over-eager puppies pulling
at their leashes, wanting to investigate
every smell, every object, every idea.
The role of the mind is to gently
take control of the leashes
bringing each puppy to heal
until they learn to sit and rest.

The more we practise this the easier
it is to cease doing and just be
letting the world turn by itself
however it will
without our being concerned about it.
We have all been given a great gift
of knowing the importance of being
of stopping and resting.
Yet even so
the senses are very persistent
and after periods of rest they get going
again with seemingly increased
force and vigour.
Due to those moments of rest
we can let the senses play
and not believe we have to do anything
with the information they bring back.

The Buddha said,
“to live in the world, with your heart
undisturbed by the world
is the greatest happiness”.

Swami said,
“come over to my side”.
Now you have been given a great
opportunity to spend much time
resting in being
instead of doing.
The universe has offered you this
invitation in such a way
that you cannot refuse it
unless you fight it
which will only cause
you and your loved ones
much suffering.

Accept the invitation
with a joyful heart and
take this time
to be at home.

Swami said,
“it is such a joy, that whilst
seeking in the world of forms,
I found you sitting
in my own heart”.

So rest, my Dear One
and enjoy the rest.
Be free to pursue
only that which points to
or speaks of truth
and concords with
what your heart already knows -
you are pure joy
you are pure love.

Only you can make the choice
as to whether love and joy
are taken from you.
Indeed
they cannot be taken from you
but you can let them
slip through your fingers
by listening to the senses.
Listen instead to the heart
heed what your heart tells you
and don’t let anything cover it.

You are pure, perfect and
forever free.

© 22 Apr 18

Monday, 23 April 2018

Spring

Spring creeps in through the back door
while we are distracted by
the bluster of wind and rain
and a deep veil of fog over the valley.

Spring gently asserts herself and
of a sudden
daffodils adorn the roadsides and gardens.
Spring has whispered her magic
awakening the trees and
bringing swelling buds to life
and the sun smiles through the mist.

© 14 Apr 18

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Welcome, myself!

What is my narrative?
What is the story I’m telling
myself, about myself, today?
Is it the same as yesterday
before and before?
Will it be the same
tomorrow and tomorrow?

Today is a fresh day
a new day
a day to be alive and
to look with fresh eyes, kind eyes
at myself.

Today is a good day
to lean in to the parts
of myself
I’m trying so hard
to avoid or ignore.

Today is the day to be
my authentic self
my glorious, imperfect self.
Today is the day to let
the light of goodness and truth
shine though the cracks
shine inward and outward.

Today is the day to
let the masks fall away
to let the imposter being
crack open and reveal
my authentic self.

Welcome, myself!

© 12 Apr 18

Monday, 9 April 2018

#plasticfree

I wanted to write a post about going #plasticfree which is below, but actually what I also want to say is that my inspiration for this comes from the 5 Mindfulness Trainings from Thich Nhat Hanh, and a view that in looking after ourselves we need to look after the whole planet, animals, plants and minerals as well. There are many aspects to the 5MTs, and Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) recommends these are read regularly, preferably with a group of people to then discuss how they are relevant to our lives. For me, the most important aspect is this sentence
I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy.
[Note to self, I couldn't find a beautiful image using these words, so I might have to make my own!]

To me this speaks about being aware of my consumption, and recognising and being grateful for the many gifts I have in my life around me - good health, a lovely home, family and friends - the list could go on for a long time!
So, onto the plastic free bit!

I'm really glad to see #plasticfree is on the increase and appreciate how difficult it is at times. Sometimes when I ask for 'no straw' they bring one anyway! But I have also discovered lots of wonderful substitutes. So in my own endeavours to go #plastic free the changes I have made are (and just to say, I'm not being sponsored by anyone for doing this!)
Who Gives a Crap (great name!) toilet paper wrapped in paper delivered to your door. 
And if you want to go a step further Cheeky Wipes are reusable, washable cotton wipes which are so much nicer than toilet paper.
Bamboo toothbrushes. At the moment we use plastic ones where you only replace the head, but nonetheless these still go into landfill, so bamboo toothbrushes, which can be composted once finished with will be used once the plastic ones are done. 
Shampoo soap bars. [updated in Aug 2018 as I wasn't happy with the ones I'd originally mentioned using palm oil]. I had to do quite a bit of market research to find ones that didn't make my eyes sting! Oh, and not only am I seeking to be plastic free, it also has to be organic as well, another challenge! So currently I'm using Friendly for hair, head and body, so my aim (once all the other shower bottles are used up) is to just have one bar of soap in the shower! They are also local, made in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, which I'm very pleased about. I buy them from Alligator in York.
Toothpaste in a glass jar. I discovered Truthpaste, which is made in Brighton. It's quite a strong taste compared to my normal toothpaste but I'm persevering. They also do solid deodorant in a tin that you apply with your fingers, which is very nice.
Cling cloth, a lovely, pretty alternative to clingfilm. This is pieces of cotton covered in bees wax which clings to itself when you apply heat from your hands, so you can shape it around bowls and plates, or individual pieces of fruit or veg. It's washable and compostable at the end of its life cycle.
I always ask for no straw if I'm out having a drink or smoothie, and don't buy pre-wrapped sandwiches or takeaway hot drinks anyway.
I shop from a local Organic farm, The Organic Pantry, who deliver loose fruit and veg in boxes and  in a paper bag if anything.
This weekend I've also been looking further at buying nuts, rice etc. loose rather than in plastic bags, and there are possibilities if I travel to Leeds or York.
I'm going to check out Alligator Foods in York, who are organic.
Whilst these are good measures I'm also aware there is further to go.

It's really good to see lots of articles popping up now about making changes, particularly to avoid single use plastics. My question is who's doing something to change the way we recycle plastic, and make this easier to do? When you hear that much of our plastic is shipped overseas to be recycled that's complete nonsense! Or much that we think is being recycled isn't anyway because it's mixed materials. When you read that every plastic toothbrush made still exists I want to know what can be done to recycle them, locally, by our own council authorities? Is it worth hoarding the plastic we have in the house now until someone comes up with a brilliant idea of recycling it properly? Not too sure I want to hoard old toothbrushes! But at least it won't be going into the oceans.
I don't have the answers to these but I guess the more people keep asking these questions the more likely it is that councils will start to take notice.
Or some genius who's probably about 12 will come up with a splendid answer! I really hope so!

#plasticfree #mindfulconsumption #fivemindfulnesstrainings #zerowaste 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

What is Sangha?

Sometimes, you gather
a group of people around you, and say
‘this is my Sangha.
With these people I can be myself
I can be free’.

But I say,
‘Sangha is not confined
to only a few
that excludes the rest.
Be your own Sangha
trust in your own wisdom.
Let your Sangha be filled by
leaves, flowers, trees.
Create your room to be a Sangha.
Let Sangha be the place
that reminds you
you are free’.

© 30 Mar 18

Monday, 2 April 2018

Clear mind and clean heart

We are mere shadows
that awareness chooses to inhabit.
Shadows dancing on
the backcloth of awareness.
Keep a clear mind and a clean heart.
No need for these to become dusty
covered with the soot of existence.

Awareness is.

All else is a shadow created by
a cloud passing over the sun
rising and falling
here and not here.

Shadows move
and the light remains.
Shadows only present because of
the light.
Keep a clear mind and a clean heart.

© 30 Mar 18