Thursday 24 December 2015

Where does ... come from?

Where does doubt come from?
An over-active imagination
bearing no resemblance to the
truth of a situation.

Where does fear come from?
An unrealistic expectation
of perfection.

Where does anxiety come from?
An over-worked mind
seeing the danger in every situation
instead of the positives.

Where does trust come from?
Meeting the reality of the moment and
seeing doubt, fear, anxiety for the
overweight charlatans they are.

Where does patience come from?
An openness to seeing what is and
allowing it to be.

Where does kindness come from?
An open heart seeing the
interconnectedness of all life and
letting it in.

Where does ... come from? audio

© 25 Nov 15

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Autumnal forget-me-nots

In the unkempt garden
where moss covers the path
because there is not yet time
to tend it
forget-me-nots grow in the pond
flowering in autumnal October
delightfully reckless.

The artist’s garden
is a feast for the eyes.
Metal watering cans waiting for the rain
a shed with no door
heaped high with items
unfamiliar to a glancing eye
clay birds resting on a lichen-strewn wall
holly shining brightly
attractive yet dangerous
stepping stones leading towards
the artist’s lair
bushes of berries
thistles and seed heads inviting nature in
piles of pebbles.

The garden a collection of
things placed and
things yet unsure where their home is.
Amidst the muddle and the creeping moss
my heart delights in
forget-me-nots flowering unseasonably
in the pond.

© 18 Oct 15

Sunday 6 December 2015

Faith in humanity restored

I discover
as I heard this phrase yesterday
that my faith in humanity
did not need restoring
it has never faltered.
I see that for each person inflicting
suffering, pain and injury
on another
there is one willing to give
a helping hand
food to eat, clothes and warmth.
For each child who falls and cries
there is an adult willing
to pick up and comfort.
For every mean or harsh word
there is a kind and generous one.
For every aggressive or dangerous act
there is a calming hand and soothing voice.

These acts may not always meet
or manifest in the same place
yet I perceive they balance
one another out.
With a rise in aggression, violence and conflict
there is equally a rise in compassion and love
willing to meet and embrace the negativity.

If we expect only the negative or the bad
this is all we will find.
Let’s seek out and praise the
generous, kind-hearted and the giving.
Let’s speak of those who
go the extra mile and
care for the stranger.
My faith in humanity
does not need restoring
it never faltered.

© 30 Sep 15

Friday 4 December 2015

Snow bird

I was reminded of a snow bird
a delicate, beautiful formation
created by a delicate, beautiful being.

We met together
this group of girls and two adults
to enjoy a day of meditation and
quiet presence.

Our plans were thrown awry
by the snow that fell
delicately and beautifully
settling, covering, disguising.
We went outside to play.

Whilst many threw snowballs and
messed around noisily
you created a snow bird
delicate and beautiful
to sit atop the fence and
watch our gambolling.

Next day much of the snow
had gone
all that was left lay dirty and sullied.
Yet the snow bird
still sat atop the fence
a gentle, lovely reminder
of our day together
and of its originator
delicate and beautiful.

© 18 Oct 15

Monday 30 November 2015

Shining jewels

Raindrops glisten
hanging from berry, twig
grass blade and seed head.
Indra’s Net may be invisible
yet its jewels shine here
in every hedgerow.

Look near, look far
manifestations of silence
glint all around.

Look within, look without
manifestations of silence
sing in every atom.

The seer can only see
what it knows.

© 27 Oct 15

Monday 16 November 2015

The world has gone awry

The world has gone awry
turning the weather in November
to hotter than July
as if confused, uncertain how to behave.

The world has gone awry.
Humans bombing, killing humans
humans killing innocents
in the name of peace
in the name of sport.

The world has gone awry.
Fear creeps in like a
suffocating blanket
stealing away rationality
replacing it with mistrust
stealing away generosity
replacing it with suspicion.

In the furore of emotion
I can forget I am we.

My bigger self, my better self
is the stranger I have yet
to embrace as friend.
My teacher is the one
who stirs up my uncertainties
questions my firmly held beliefs
pokes me like a hornet's nest
to search my heart and
find out what is there.

In a world gone awry
if I am not to be overtaken
by fear, mistrust and suspicion
I must centre myself
resting in the heartspace and
letting go of separation.

Here, there is no good and bad
no right and wrong.
Here, love abides
here, compassion dwells
straining at the leash
ready to embrace
all the confusion and uncertainty.
Ready to look for
demonstrations of love
in helping hands
shoulders to lean on
arms to carry
sleeves to wipe away tears.

A world gone awry
can be straightened out
by hands of love connecting
smoothing foreheads and
wiping away worry lines.

A world gone awry
can be straightened out
by remembering
I am we.

© 16 Nov 15

Wednesday 4 November 2015

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?
For the mind to be quiet
or to lose its impetus?
You may as well wait for
the sun to stop shining.

For everything to be just so
in order to seek freedom?
You may as well wait for
the ocean’s waves to become motionless.

For happiness to fill
your sense of lack and longing?
You may as well wait for
all the stars to go out.

For oneness to descend
in a shower of rose petals?
You may as well wait for
the earth to stop turning.

What are you waiting for?
Oneness will never appear
once you have fulfilled a
self-made list of Herculean tasks.
Oneness will not wait
for you to transform all your bad habits.
Oneness cannot be the
end of your constant journeying.
Oneness is now
or never.

Oneness is present beyond and
through and sustaining the mind.
Oneness is the freedom you seek and
the space that allows you to see
what you perceive as a lack.
Oneness is in happiness and sadness
beyond and through and sustaining
each emotion, each action, each thought.
Oneness is the step you take and
the path untrod
the thought put into words and
the thought unspoken
the action taken and
the deed undone.

What are you waiting for?
Oneness is not waiting for
the sadness and madness and badness
to dissolve and
for equanimity and evenness
to sweep over you
like a shimmering cloak.
Oneness is beyond and through and sustaining
every breath you breathe.
Oneness is no future event
no end destination
no merit for a life well lived.

Oneness is now
or never.

© 28 Oct 15
What are you waiting for? audio

Wednesday 21 October 2015

I'll meet you here

Laying down the cloak of
an imaginary, individual self,
the one I burden myself with
throughout the day,
laying down the cloak of
an imaginary, individual self,
I am free
I am ready to be myself
with no limits
nothing to bind me
nothing to hold me.
I am willing to walk
into the space that
completely envelopes me and
intertwines with my breath,
being, heart and core
until I cannot tell
what is space and what is me.

My breath is now just breath
my being is now just being
my heart is now just heart
my core is now just core.

I am unfettered by the limits
of ordinariness, of being human.
I bathe, dance and delight
in space, my true nature
in which I can walk
naked and unashamed.
I am willing to forgo
certainty and knowing
for a life of being known.
I am willing to leave behind
fear, insecurity and doubt
for a moment of complete freedom
both scary and utterly safe
as it emerges step by step.

Here the light is so bright
I cannot see the path, yet
my heart senses it.
Letting go,
I can easily find it.
Letting go,
there is no more becoming.
I bathe, dance and delight
in the light shining
from my own heartspace
intermingling with the true light,
no more inside and outside
no more mine and other.
I bathe, dance and delight
in oneness, my true nature.

I’ll meet you here.

© 14 May 15

I'll meet you here audio

Sunday 18 October 2015

The pool of silence

My heart is full
of unformed words
dancing at the edge of
a pool of silence
that has no name.

Dive into the pool
leave behind the clumsy language
that cannot represent
the fullness here.

The silence embraces
bathes, cleanses, empties
washes away any feelings
of otherness.

Becoming silence
I merge with its essence
I forget any separation
I remember my name and
the name of the pool in which
I am completely immersed.

We are one.

The seeking heart and the clumsy words
have found their home
recognised their own being
in the pool of oneness.

We swim together
dance together
delighting in the oneness
of our true name.

© 18 Oct 15

The pool of silence audio

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Slipping away

Mind so easily slips away
from the space of silence
into doing.
A busyness created by
thinking about work
a to-do list;
not getting things done
but thinking about them.
As much energy wasted
as could be expended in
the actual doing.

this is taking place
mind can so easily slip back
into the space of silence.
It may not stay for long
even though the space of silence
is its natural home.

Each time I notice
mind slipping away into doing
into busyness
I can invite it to slip back
into the space of silence
to rest and to enjoy.

© 27 Sep 15

Slipping away audio


Tomorrow morning
as you lie cosy and warm in bed
reluctant to arise
reluctant for the day to begin
the feeling of gratitude
that surged
through every cell of your being today
as you stood on the lawn
with the wind pinking your cheeks and
chilling your hands.

the expression of gratitude
that lightened your thoughts
to joy and contentment instead of
being insular and complaining.

the feeling of gratitude
to be noticing
mushrooms in the grass
a worm playing at your feet
the sparkle of morning dew
the openness of the sky.

the experience of gratitude
that led into meditation
providing calmness and clarity
stability and evenness
to the whole being.

Tomorrow morning
when the habitual feelings arise
of snuggling down and
staying there a bit longer
the awareness of vitality
that accompanied gratitude
the wakefulness that was present
in being outside and
experiencing the wind
the morning sunshine
the freshness of a new day.

© 17 Sep 15

Remember audio

Thursday 24 September 2015

Helmsley Walled Garden Haikus

We had a really lovely day on Saturday at Helmsley Walled Garden with a Creativity and Mindfulness Retreat. The weather was fantastic, food was superb and the garden was beautiful!
Here are my reflections on the day, in the form of Haikus.

Helmsley Walled Garden
peacefulness personified
soothing worn out heart.

Exploring garden
each nook, cranny, corner a
delight and a joy.

Inviting garden
playfulness not busyness
rest in sun awhile.

Transforming garden
slowing down time, opening
space to be, just be.

© 22 Sep 15

HWG Haikus audio

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Poetry booklets now available

I'm really happy to be able to tell you I have now printed the first two (in a series of 8 or more!) poetry booklets.
But don't worry, the poems will still be available here on the blog as well!

1. The unmoving quiet (poems written between 2008-2015)
2. I am elemental (poems written between 2014-2015).
They are A6 booklets (size 15 x 10.5 cm) and are available to buy from me.

This photo shows the 2 front covers.
And the next two photos show the contents of each booklet.

You can pay for these via PayPal or email me for my bank details. 
£5 each or both for £9 including postage and packing
Once the money/cheque is received I will post the booklets out to you.

Please email me any questions you have about the booklets as well. It is through the support and interest of friends, family and people like you reading this blog that these have come about.

Sunday 20 September 2015

The clematis flower

The clematis flower
dances to
the bright autumn sunshine.
The whispering leaves
sing a lullaby
only she can hear.

As I watch
the dancing flower
becomes my movement
the brightness of the morning
reflects my substance
the song of the leaves
echoes the song
in my own heart.
She and I are one.

© 6 Sep 15

The clematis flower audio

Thursday 10 September 2015

Audio recordings of my poems

I am delighted to say that after much encouragement (some could call it pestering!) and investigation I have succeeded in putting an audio link at the bottom of some of the poems here. Aside from a couple of particularly popular posts I am starting with the most recently added and working my way backwards. Any new posts will automatically have an audio version at the bottom. I hope you like them! If you have any specific requests please let me know as I'm happy to oblige.
Older posts that already have an audio attached to them are -
Growing side by side growing side by side audio
When is a good time to meditate? when is a good time to meditate? audio
Are you sure? are you sure? audio
Hello nowness ('no mud no lotus - Thich Nhat Hanh' post) hello nowness

Much love Lauri x

The magic of Heber's Ghyll

I am become an elf
a wood nymph
silently stealing
through the greenery
unseen by human eyes
I blend, I merge, I escape.

My home is under the shelter
of this rock,
in the midst of this trickling waterfall
around this bend
amongst this tall grass
I blend, I merge, I escape.

I play
atop the green canopy
dance with evening sunlight
brush insubstantial clouds
from my hair
lounge on rocks
let the grass tickle my toes.

My breath is the gentle breeze
blowing across the moorland
from far, far away.
My words are silenced by the
eloquent song of water
falling, calling
from rock to rock.
I blend, I merge, I escape.

© 14 Jul 15

The magic of Heber's Ghyll audio

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Dancing together

I was once a leaf and
you were once the tree.

I was once a poppy
waving in your cornfield.

I was once a pebble
worn smooth on your sea-bed.

I was once a river laughing
as I danced along your stones.

I was once a tree growing
sturdily on your mountainside.

I was once a clematis winding myself
gently around your Cotinus branches.

We have always been interconnected.
We have always been together.

When you were the moon
I was the evening star.

When you were a cloud
I was a raindrop.

When you were the rain
I was a rainbow.

Now you are here and
I am here.

We have always been dancing together.

© 1 Sep 15

Dancing together audio

Friday 4 September 2015

I walked slowly

When I woke up and smiled
the world was not yet awake.
My mind was too full to sleep again.
I crept out into the quiet morning air and
slowly walked to settle myself.
The sky was heavy and dark
thick with rain clouds holding off.
The trees whispered quietly to one another.
The birds chirped sleepily
like tired children,
‘is it really time to wake?’
The moon had hidden herself and
the sky was slowly pinking.

I held a cup of hot water
warming my hands.
The rain rained gently
barely making any effort.
The wetness of the grass gradually seeped
through my shoes, waking my toes.

I walked slowly
until the torrent of busyness
washed away by the beauty
of the still morning
and I was quiet enough to
hear myself breathing.

I walked slowly
until I noticed
the vast space of
pale, pale blueness
behind the clouds.

© 27 Aug 15

I walked slowly audio

Have you seen the moon tonight?

Have you seen the moon tonight?
Come look! Come see!
Leave your bed.
It is calling you.
There above the tree
riding brightly a chariot
of soft, billowing clouds.

It is singing to us
a song of peace
a song of love
a song of contentment.

Have you seen the moon tonight?
Shining to us a teaching
of mindfulness.
Come out of your bed
come out of your head
come out of forgetfulness.
Look up!
Everything is there
telling us
everything is here.

© 26 Aug 15

have you seen the moon tonight? audio

Wednesday 2 September 2015

The Miracle of Mindfulness

I have just returned from a fabulous six-day retreat in the UK run by monastics from Plum Village, called The Miracle of Mindfulness. And it was a miracle that it took place at all. It was only settled a few months ago that it would happen at all, and a small team of us came together to help make it happen. Here are my reflections.

There are not adequate words to express
the fullness of my heart.
It is a miracle that we are all here,
practising together
sitting together, being together
breathing, laughing, sharing together.
It is such a joy to be with you
to be moved by beautiful teachings
that come in a word
a smile, a hug, a connection.

My tears are not sadness but
the overspilling of a grateful heart
that cannot contain the
abundance of love.
My smile is the outer expression of
inner happiness in being together.
The miraculous interplay of many
conditions have brought us
to this place
to play and to enjoy
this moment
this inexpressible moment
this miraculous moment.

Wednesday 19 August 2015


The wheat dances to its own rhythm
as it sways, bends, folds and swoops
gently rippling as a calm, calm sea
nudged by a playful breeze
unconcerned by the walkers passing by
or the mournful cattle
bellowing in the adjacent field.

What rhythm am I dancing to
as I feel compelled to do
to achieve, to get?
This is not my rhythm
yet one I self-impose
caught in the busyness of activity.

What rhythm am I dancing to
as my hand casually strokes
the hairs of the wheat
as my face delights in the
soft caresses of a welcome breeze or
the warming touch of a late summer sun?

What rhythm am I dancing to
as I delight in the redness of poppies
the audacious tumble and fold of the
rolling hills and plunging valleys
the blueness of a crop
we cannot name?
This is my rhythm.

© 17 Aug 15

Rhythm audio

Tuesday 11 August 2015

The sea

The sea is a hungry lion
creeping stealthily
pouncing unexpectedly
ready to kill.

The sea is a sated lion
purring gently
rolling softly
bathing in sunshine.

The sea is an impatient lion
growling ferociously
crashing tumultuously
throwing itself against rocks.

The sea is a sleeping lion
rippling gently
rolling majestically
lulling us into a false sense of security.

The sea is a lion
beautiful and dangerous
an ever-present swishing roar
indicating its awesome power.

© 12 Aug 15

The sea audio

Monday 10 August 2015

Creativity and Mindfulness - a great combination!

Two day retreats coming up.
Saturday September 19th in Helmsley Walled Garden -
Sunday October 11th at SNAPArts in Wakefield -

We offer a day’s retreat - 9.30am to 4.30pm -  to encourage and support your creativity through playful drawing and writing, with mindful practice as our foundation.

Mindfulness is simply being aware of our attention in the present moment, with acceptance and without judgement of what we find there.

Practising the qualities of mindfulness - patience, trust, openness - we will enable you to explore your own creativity playfully, but without looking for an end result at this stage.

Our professional guidance in drawing, poetry writing and mindfulness will be offered throughout our day together, and will include a mindful approach to eating a delightful lunch.

Our retreat is devoted to anyone who wishes to explore mindfulness as a fresh approach to creativity, which can be expanded to all areas of life.  We especially encourage those terrified and afraid of drawing or writing as mindfulness offers a gentle and non-judgemental approach to these creative aspects.  Our tuition will include a full range of craft skills and technique so that beginners and more experienced practitioners alike can enjoy the retreat.

Lauri Bower - poet and mindfulness teacher. Clare Belbin - artist.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Out of my comfort zone

It may be a stomach-churning
whole body-revolting
kind of moment or
a quiet voice in the head
gently protesting or
a million points on the spectrum
in between.
Each time
there is a recognition
I do not feel safe
I do not feel comfortable.

And here is my choice
to stay with what I know or
to take a step into
the glorious and seemingly dark

And here is my choice
to stay small
to keep being fearful and anxious or
to go beyond and
see what happens.

All those whispering doubts
the 'what if's and the uncertainties
keep me bound
keep me from meeting
the glorious unknown.

Circumstance is irrelevant
the choice point is what matters
what I do next -
retreat or grow and learn?

I don't have to
believe those voices of doubt
they don't keep me safe
they just keep me small.

Out of my comfort zone
is the tipping point
when I know
I was born to take
giant footsteps
to meet strange and new experiences
to be bold and go forward
to welcome with open arms
the glorious unknown.

Out of my comfort zone
is the tipping point
when I know
it is only unknown and
seemingly dark
when I forget
what I am meeting
is myself.

© 5 Aug 15

Out of my comfort zone audio

Monday 3 August 2015

An elaborate game of hide and seek

This land
full of disguise
illusion and trickery.
Every termite mound
could be a lion.
Every angled tree stump
could be a giraffe.
An elaborate interplay
of light and shadow.
A tangle of trees
an elephant emerges
blending again
Our perceptions are being fooled
by each dark patch
and flickering light.
A nyala darts across our
field of vision and
is gone again
barely before we can notice
before our senses can register.
The long grass shelters lions
revealing only a casual tail-flick
no more.
Revealing only what is ready
to be seen.
An elaborate game
of hide and seek
as trees become animals and
animals trees
in a magic trick of disguise.

© 29 Jul 15

An elaborate game of hide and seek

Friday 31 July 2015

Day to dusk

A muted horizontal rainbow
as we slide backwards
towards the silver orb of night.
The golden globe steals colour
with her
tossing orange, violet and viridian
trailing behind her.
Everything becomes silhouetted
merging into a darkened mass
into which everything hides
Venus quickly shows herself
brightening above
changing colour palette below
calling out sparkling shards
of light
of night.
Silently we slip from day to dusk.
A peaceful hour
a sacred hour.
Silently we slip from day to dusk.

© 28 Jul 15

Thursday 23 July 2015

Heber's Ghyll

This ancient place
where trees and river and
rocks and moss and ferns
sing together
tumbling in a joyful cascade.
Sunlight graces the treetops.
Everything is connected.
Ferns growing on rotting tree-stumps
moss silently spreading over rocks
trees emerging out of the river.
Gentle bridges urge us
onward, upward.
Composting leaves and twigs protect
this place from our footsteps.
The gentle hush calms
mind and heart.
The dancing river lulls a lullaby.
Beauty and chaos in absolute perfection.
The canopy of trees creates
a palace, a temple
of arboreal splendour
and quiet magnificence.
I am enraptured by each leaf,
nettle, grass blade, pebble.
No more bridges to cross.

© 14 Jul 15

Heber's Ghyll audio

Sunday 12 July 2015


What a thing of beauty twilight is!
The dancing interaction of
shifting colours across a vast
pale blue background.
The dancing interplay of
changing cloud forms
feathery, ethereal, across a
background of azure sky.
A descending sun sending
blaze and fire over both sky and clouds.
A rising moon silently
settling into place
a quiet silver orb
gently watching the dance.
And on this night

the added treat of music
plays into the magical mix.
Piano, cello, violin and percussion
set the evening alight
as if conducting the
sun set and moon rise
as if choreographing
the movement and chorus of
swooping swallows
as if commanding our hearts
to beat stronger, louder,
more insistently
to remind us of our own vitality and
interconnectedness with the
glories playing above our heads.

© 5 Jul 15

Twilight audio

Sunday 28 June 2015


In an uncertain, shifting world
what makes us think
we can fix things
hold on to things
create permanence and
stop change?

Is the reality of transition and becoming
so scary
that we prefer to create
make-believe castles where we imagine
we are safe,
it will be better if things do not change?

Change is the aliveness
the vital force that
quickens the blood
sets the heart racing
reminds us we are alive.

It is also a fluid path
where the next step is unclear
the way ahead appears to be
shrouded in darkness
until we arrive in each moment
to discover a place
so full of light
we still cannot see into the future
yet the light embraces our being
in friendliness, in love.

For now, we can let go of
all the holding on,
the grasping that
keeps us fearful
keeps us small
and dance in the light
of the now moment
enjoying the shifting path as
the true nature of our glorious being.

© 28 Jun 15

Change audio


I am delighted by
the glorious audacity of foxgloves
to sow themselves
wherever they choose
with no thought of the
carefully laid plans of humans.

I am delighted by
the glorious audacity of foxgloves
to tower over other plants
in their beauty and
create a feasting haven for bees.

I am delighted by
the glorious audacity of foxgloves
in indicating we need not
control as much as we think and
everything will still be okay.

© 25 Jun 15

Thursday 25 June 2015

Can we hear its call?

Can we hear its call?

A bell of mindfulness
is sounding in all corners of the earth.
Wake up, wake up
can we hear its call?
A rally
not to arms
but to peace, to oneness
to unity and wakefulness.
A call to decommission guns and knives
and decommission the seeds of violence
that taint our minds and
darken our thoughts.

A bell of mindfulness
is sounding throughout the cosmos.
Wake up, wake up
can we hear its call?
An invitation
to lay down notions
of right and wrong and seeking revenge.
An invitation to sit together and
be together and
nourish our interbeingness.

A bell of mindfulness
is sounding in every part of the earth.
Wake up, wake up
can we hear its call?
We are all sisters and brothers,
we are all children of mother Earth.
Can we see the family home is suffering?
Can we hear the cries of pain?

A bell of mindfulness
is sounding.
Wake up, wake up
can we hear its call?

© 23 Jun 15

Sunday 21 June 2015


you meet someone
who is already a friend
who already speaks
from heart to heart
not head to head.
There is no need
to go through the niceties
of getting to know
one another
because we already know.

you meet someone
whose heart dances with yours.
The space between ‘you’ and ‘me’
and there is less to say
because it is already shared
in the heartspace.

I found you
I knew you were such a one.

© 21 June 15

Sometimes audio

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Peony buds

The tight peony buds
reflect as our morning nature
as we arrive
unsure and uncertain
of what the day will bring.

The warmth of good company and
the light of shared knowledge
allows us to relax, let go
as the peony buds
gently open up
petal by petal.

At the close of the day
we are among friends
revelling in a day of
shared experiences and
being together.
We are all blooming gorgeous!

© 14 Jun 15

Thursday 28 May 2015

The scent of freesias

It was the scent of freesias
that released my emotions and
set the tears free.

It was the beloved group of friends
who silently held my sobbing
without question or complaint.

It was the sound of the bell
that gently quietened my emotions and
allowed them to settle.

It was a weekend of loving support
that nourished me enough to
feel free to cry.

It was the memory of my Mum
provoked by the scent of freesias
that set the tears free.

It was the beloved community
who held me with gentleness and
sent me home smiling.

© 11 May 15

‘When she can’t change the world, she changes herself’

‘When she can’t change the world,
she changes herself’, recently heard on
a well-known radio soap
reflecting greater insight than
was intended or even recognised.

When we stop looking out,
stop trying to fix ‘out there’
and look in
we realise
here is the place to begin.

Yet before change
comes accepting,
accepting imperfection
in all its glorious
messy, chaotic beauty,
accepting uncertainty
despite wanting to hold on
to knowing,
accepting mistakes
not as horrible blunders
to be swept under the rug and forgotten
but magnificent chances
to learn something of ourselves and
our ways of operating.

Change comes when we embrace
our rough edges,
inappropriate behaviour
foolishness and
then let go.

Sometimes they let go of us
as if bored by a lack of attention.
Sometimes we let go of them
because the light of embracing
reveals nothing more than
insubstantial dust.
Sometimes we are forced to let go
by immense tragedy
that seems unbearable, insurmountable
yet one day no longer
causes the waves of grief and loss
it once did.

let go
change can organically happen
as we see the little lives
we have forced ourselves into
no longer fit,
the small boxes
we tried to shape ourselves into
are not human shaped
are not shaped for an
immense being willing to change.
© 20 May 15

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Paradox by Gunilla Norris

I have recently been introduced to a meditation teacher from America called Gunilla Norris, and her beautiful book Inviting Silence. It is a really inspiring book that leads one through the aspects of meditation in terms of recognising the need to seek and embrace silence, establishing a regular practice and sitting with others.
Here's one really insightful piece called Paradox.

It is a paradox that we encounter so much internal noise
when we first try to sit in silence.

It is a paradox that experiencing pain releases pain.

It is a paradox that keeping still can lead us
so fully into life and being.

Our minds do not like paradoxes.  We want things
To be clear, so we can maintain our illusions of safety.
Certainty breeds tremendous smugness.

We each possess a deeper level of being, however,
which loves paradox.  It knows that summer is already
growing like a seed in the depth of winter. It knows
that the moment we are born, we begin to die. It knows
that all of life shimmers, in shades of becoming--
that shadow and light are always together,
the visible mingled with the invisible.

When we sit in stillness we are profoundly active.
Keeping silent, we hear the roar of existence.
Through our willingness to be the one we are,
We become one with everything.

Gunilla Norris

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Shifting clouds

A dull heavy greyness
of clouds above
reflects a dull heavy
feeling within
a feeling I am wishing away
not embracing,
injecting energy into
wanting it to be gone.

In the way I cannot
physically move clouds
I cannot shift this feeling
of dissatisfaction
by wishing it away.

I want …
I want …
I want it to be gone.
I don’t want to look
at where it comes from
what gave it birth.
I just want rid!

Penning these emotions
I realise how ridiculous they sound
a sullen toddler
stamping its foot and
making unrealistic demands.

Then the clouds break
large globular raindrops
smash onto my windscreen,
break through the heaviness
provide relief.

On the horizon
a vibrant blue skyline
penetrates the cloudy blanket.
Emotions are the shifting clouds
sometimes dull and heavy
sometimes vibrant and energetic
never permanent.
© 19 May 15

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Climbing Mount Snowdon

At the weekend my family and I climbed up and down Snowdon in North Wales. Some of us were more enthusiastic (and better prepared) than others! None the less, 7 of us set off together glad that it wasn't raining. We didn't always stay together as each had a different walking speed but we did keep meeting together and were glad there is a cafe halfway up as well as at the top. The train was always a fallback option in the back of my mind although it did feel like a bit of a cheat!
We took one of the more gentle routes up the mountain (Llanberis path) and came down a more exciting and steep way initially but with a long, flatter exit (Miners' path).
Here are my reflections on both the ascent and the descent, and some photos to accompany the words.

Ascent to the summit of Snowdon

The others have gone ahead
as I cannot match their pace.
So it is just me,
me and a stick
me and my breath and
the breath of life
gusting strongly around me,
purely elemental.

Just before the top it is steepest,
hardest and
those coming down share
encouraging words to keep going.

As I round the ridge
I am amidst a pilgrimage
long lines of bodies going up and down
to record their achievement of the summit,
long lines of ants
following a sugar trail.
We are part of a pilgrimage
celebrating the beauty and wildness
of nature
celebrating human resilience and endeavour
to keep going despite protesting muscles.

The reward is a biting, buffeting wind
trying to remove us from the summit and
the safety and warmth of the café
where, at last, we can rest and eat and
each mark our own personal achievements
before the descent.
© 17 May 15

Descending from the summit

Our way down is rocky
uneven and hard to find.
we are grateful to be
going down instead of up.
The descent is sharply steep
but its reward is a
beautiful clear green lake
nestling among a collection of mountains.

We can rest here and drink in
its serenity amidst
bare rock, slate and grass
organic monuments to centuries of
slow growth and climate change and
human feats of rearranging boulders
rocks and gravel to forge paths.

Wind and sunlight play with the
surface of the water
creating dancing diamonds,
jewels that sparkle and move
in an ever-changing interplay
of water, air and light.
A magical interplay that cares not
whether we are there to
receive, to record it or not.

The green lake will still be
creating unending patterns of
shifting beauty tomorrow
as we journey home
and tomorrow
and tomorrow
and maybe still when there are
no more human eyes to drink in the
magical interplay of
water, air and light.
© 17 May 15