Monday 23 July 2012

tick, tock

Feeling uneasy, not sure what to do,
mind is not on the job,
preoccupied and looking for distractions,
one hour to fill.
What do I do?

So much to get through
but can't concentrate,
uneasily looking for a diversion,
anything but this.
What do I do?

Anxious and nervous,
energy surging through the body,
agitation turning the stomach funny,
and the mind restless.
What do I do?

Time is not a commodity to be filled,
or segmented into neat portions.
Is it a friend or an enemy?
it is a man-made creation
to apportion years, seasons, months, days moments
into meaningful divisions.
It is not a rule to beat yourself with.
Or something that will run out
if it is not contained.

So breathe,
do nothing,
and be.
This moment is all the time you need.

© 23 July 2012

Saturday 21 July 2012

Thought for the day

Are you living in the realm of things as they are, or in the world of suffering?

Monday 16 July 2012


Tonight at Sangha we had a chance to go outside into the garden and spend some time deeply looking and investigating something. Noticing the judgements that come up and trying to see afresh without being carried away by perceptions coloured by previous experiences. Here are my reflections

Did you see the poppies
by the path?
Unfurling, becoming
not yet formed into flowerness.
Two poppies
standing straight and
other flower heads
flopping, not yet ready,
resting on
silver-grey-green leaves
with serrated edges
and raindrops
round, iridescent globules
sitting on the leaves.
Hello poppies
by the path
unscented, unfolding
many shades of red, crimson
and pink
with depths of purple
at the base.
Tomorrow you will be in
the full flourish of flowerness
and I will not be there to see.
Tonight I enjoy
two poppies by the path
still sporting green caps of
protective bud
unfurling and becoming.

© 18 July 2012

Tuesday 10 July 2012


Last week I did a week's intensive MBSR teacher training course. It was completely amazing, as well as intense and emotional and tiring. The course leader was superb and she took us through a whole series of guided meditations and mindful exercises, some of them incredibly simple, but just another way into being mindful in one's daily life. And the week away from the Ph.D did me the power of good, so that I felt really refreshed coming back to it this week, and the final bits of writing have gone really well. So from September I will be teaching MBSR courses in Yorkshire and from next year running retreats as well for people who want an extended practice of mindfulness. I can't wait!
Coming back to the course, I think the most interesting bits for me personally were mindful movements,   which were yoga type exercises and watching the reaction in the mind to what was happening in the body. There's a lovely question when you get to the point of feeling you can't continue holding a pose, is it the body or the mind that's saying no? I find that a really useful question because often it is the mind, the body can cope with more than the mind thinks. It reminds me of the analogy the Buddha used of 2 arrows. If one is hit by an arrow it hurts, but if one is hit in the same place by a second arrow the hurt is increased tenfold. The first arrow is pain, which exists as part of the human condition, but the second arrow is suffering, which is the attachments we place on top of the pain, the comments or judgements we make. As Thay says, pain exists but suffering is optional.