Sunday 31 December 2017

Shake off the old

End of the old year
into the unknown.
Shake off the old
welcome the new,
unknown gifts
unfolding surprises.

Be the light
breaking through darkness,
be the glorious light
shining, connecting.
Shake off darkness,
doubt, uncertainty.
Be the light,
be glorious!

© 31 Dec 17

Saturday 30 December 2017

Words unspoken

Where do all the beautiful
unspoken words go
if pencil is not put to paper
if they remain unsaid?
Are they swirling in the air
an over-heavy cloud
unable to release its droplets?
Are they dancing in the ether
just out of reach?

What happens to words unspoken?
We do not hear their resonance and beauty.
Do they remain in the ether
searching for a voice?
Or do they die from neglect?
Is there a space, a void somewhere
unintentionally filling
with words unvoiced?
Heavy with potential
heavy with potent ideas yet
to be realised.
They do not get chance to fly
to shine
to light a spark in another.

Release, release
set them free
free as birds winging through the air.
Let them be sung, chanted
Give them life
give them voice
let they fly!

© 30 Dec 17

Thursday 21 December 2017

At this time of year

At this time of year
as dark and light duel
for supremacy and
light overcomes,
at this time of year
where is my focus?
What is the reality I wish to share?

I am but one droplet
in a stream of consciousness
yet, connected
I am the stream in one droplet.

At this time of celebration
this droplet offers
a deep wish of love.

May all find rest in a time
of peace and quiet.
May all find true nourishment.
May all have a safe haven.
May all know they are loved.
May all know the light
as their own light.

© 17 Dec 17

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Let's not miss this moment

It’s been too long and
now it feels awkward.
Where to begin?
Here I am and here you are
what can we say to one another?
Let’s acknowledge the time lapse and
quickly move on.
Our friendship is too important
to be taken down at the first fence.
Recognise instead, we are here now.
Celebrate, we are here now.
Whatever kept us apart in the past
is over.
Let’s not taint this moment
with replaying old conversations
or inventing new ones.

Right now, the most dazzling
Flame bush dances outside my window
made ever more glorious
by a sharp winter sun.
Let’s not miss this moment of beauty
by being caught with thoughts.

Look always for the outrageous
blast of colour
when all else is muted and dying.
Celebrate the optimist, the
brave and daring.
Let’s not miss this moment
by being caught with thoughts.

© 30 Nov 17

Monday 18 December 2017

Bell to bell

Bell to bell
space to space
how many moments?
How many lifetimes?
Thoughts dance off
into the ether
surrendering to space.
Leaves dance on the wind.
A dusty orange sun proclaims
yet bell to bell
there is no change.

© 16 Oct 17

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Mind moves like a child

Mind moves like a child
in a shop full of
shiny, attractive jewels
picking up one after another
examining each one
yet all the while knowing
this is not it
this is not satisfactory.

Mind longs for a location
yet never finds it
a kind of white hole
to say
‘here, here in oneness’
yet this is not satisfactory.

Oneness has no home
no location
cannot be found in a particular place
elusive and mysterious
it is yet the bedrock
of all movement and play.

Mind cannot find a place
to say
‘here oneness is not’.
Oneness is the rest
out of which
all movement comes.
The space before and beyond
each movement, each thought.

It is home of all
location of all
source of all.

© 16 Oct 17

Sunday 5 November 2017

Moon, dancers and wind

Moon, dancers and wind
moving together.
Which is the conductor and
which is conducted?
Breath is the meeting point
bringing the dance together.
Sustaining, allowing.
Breath breathes life
into each being
originating from space.
Given particular conditions
elements form together
meet and join as one.

© 15 Oct 17

Friday 3 November 2017

Analogy for the body

Water pebbles
on paint on paper
a fascinating process.
Rest patiently to see
the magic happen.
Water droplets
holding themselves
as spheres
seemingly solid.
An optical illusion.
How our perception is fooled
into seeing
apparent permanence
where there is none.

Analogy for the body.
Solidity lent to it
by true presence of oneness.

© 14 Oct 17

Wednesday 1 November 2017

The ego took a holiday!

Yesterday ego took a holiday.
What a delightful rest for both of us!
Today ego returned
with a vengeance
accompanied by boredom and ‘same old’.
Yet boredom played its part
on both sides.
Ego was bored and I
was bored with ego.
There was the choice
not to go with ‘same old’
but alive playfulness.
Space enough to notice
instead of being beguiled.

© 13 Oct 17

Monday 30 October 2017

This autumn leaf

See the beauty of this
autumn leaf
glorious colours proclaiming
the essence of nature
impermanence and flow.

See the beauty of this
autumn leaf
hold it in your hand
to touch its essence.
Grasp it
to keep the essence
of its beauty fixed forever
forever an image in mind’s eye.

It is already broken
already gone.
Grasping has crushed its fragility.

See the beauty of this
autumn leaf
glorious colours proclaiming
its essence
of impermanence and flow.

It shines in being seen.

© 11 Oct 17

Friday 13 October 2017

Don't be a container!

Stop being me in a body
be the creative force
that burns away ego and
yearns to be expressed.
Wait till the me voice
has settled down and is silent
then the creative force will speak.
It wants to be met
wants to be heard and expressed.
It isn’t hiding
it is only covered over with the noise of me-ness.

Welcome it in
the creative force  that will
shatter all your dreams, hopes and fears
these belong to me
to the imagination, they are not real.
Let it burn away the dross
tear down the walls you have struggled
for so long to build
sweep away all notions of otherness
of me and them.

When your me life lies in tatters
in pieces at your feet
let in the cooling, calming breeze
breath of life, to build a life of space
space for the creative force to move and play.

Your me life is too small
too tight, too much of a container
for the creative force to play.
It needs space.
Put down the belief of embodiment
of this little life in this small shape.
No need to take up anything
new in its place.

Don’t be a container
be the space.

© 12 Oct 17

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Poetry booklet reviews

People have recently started buying my poetry booklets via this blog (through PayPal). 
See the original post here 

Here are a few wonderful reviews I have received!

"Your poetry moves me so much & I want to share your poetry with others"

"I read some of your poetry last night at our sangha meeting and would love to buy some for a friend's birthday"

"Thanks for all the great poetry, it is wonderful when I open my email and there is a new poem from you"

"I keep meaning to tell you how much your poetry books mean to me. I read one every day, usually just opening one of the books and seeing where it takes me. It always takes me to what I need. I also read them in our little meditation group, and they are much appreciated. So thank you very much"

These comments make me very happy, and it is such a joy to be able to share the poems with so many people!

Tuesday 10 October 2017

How to define the silence that descends

How to define
the silence that descends
needing new words.
The calming peace
of dusk and the settling day.
The companionable quiet
of eating together, enjoying the food.
The comfortable silence
of alone time after a day in company.
The welcoming silence
of being at home in meditation.
The reassuring peace
as night draws in
curtains closed, fire licking logs
collected by my husband.

How to define
the silence that descends?
Calming, companionable,  comfortable
closing, collected quiet.
These words are enough.

© 8 Oct 17

Sunday 8 October 2017

A new insight

A new insight
garden as Sangha.
Each not only caring for
its own growth but
mutual support.
This tree becomes the trellis
for the burgeoning sweet peas.
This composting flower becomes the nourishment
for plants growing nearby.

A new insight
garden as a living, alive entity
not an art exhibition
to be visited occasionally and
viewed briefly
for its aesthetic beauty.

I am no longer an on-looker
but part of this living entity.
Giving life, supporting life
mutual support.
A symphony of cascade, colour, shape
growing together.

© 5 Oct 17

Monday 2 October 2017

'Yes' and 'love'

I search the whole universe
for words to describe this
precious connection of Oneness.
I ask all the realised teachers
for the right words.
Each of their words is a confirmation
of what is already in my heart.
Not unfamiliar or strange
they are simply
‘yes’ and ‘love’.

an acknowledgement
an acceptance of life as it is
this passing show
a shifting impermanent shadow play.
to awareness
watching and delighting in
the passing play
without being pushed or pulled
by any of it.
to connectedness that binds us together.
to love itself
an infinite thread creating the fabric
 on which the universe is woven.

a grain of sand
being all earth, all solidity.
a droplet of water
being all streams, rivers and oceans.
a flame in the fire
being all warmth, all light.
an out-breath
being all breath of life.
The wind that carries the song of love
to all corners of the cosmos.
the present moment
being all moments
filling all space.
all words, all languages
all communication and connection.
a means of heart meeting heart.
the yes in me
meeting the yes in you
the smile passed from eye to eye
the clear confirmation of Oneness.

© 1 Oct 17

Tuesday 26 September 2017

The violence of the storm

Don’t be afraid of the violence
of turbulent emotions
they are one means of cleansing
cleaning out the debris
making space for new.

The violence of the storm
may shake all the leaves
from the tree
stripping it of beauty.
Yet the bareness of clear branches
is a beauty in itself
a different kind of beauty.

Don’t be afraid of the violence
of the storm.
Afterwards, see how the sky shimmers
with pink and orange clouds.
The fresh sunset proclaiming
an unfolding delight

© 22 Sep 17

Sunday 24 September 2017

Insight into myself

Still painful feelings and associations
an uncontainable coiled spring released
insight, stop fighting with myself
body, mind, heart meet non-violently.

© 22 Sep 17

Monday 11 September 2017

Miracles or mayhem?

See how this magnificent universe
unfolds before our eyes
moment by moment
producing miracles of awe and wonder.

See how this crazy universe
is hurtling towards mayhem and
moment by moment
edging closer to the abyss.

See how this universe
is created in our own image
formed by our own desires
and perceptions.

© 24 Aug 17

Saturday 9 September 2017

It was all a dream

And so it turns out
it was all a dream.
All a dream as to how
this week would unfold.
What activities I would engage in
who I would meet
what conversations would take place.
It was all a dream.
And now reality kicks in
with hobnail boots
not that but this.
The beautiful images and daydreams
disappear like wisps of smoke
ethereal and intangible.
Here is the reality
a sick body on its way home
too ill to partake in the lovely dream.
When will I learn?
There is only now.
We can plan and arrange and then
wait to see what unfolds.
And stop trying to force dusky
into our reality.

© 24 Aug 17

Thursday 7 September 2017

Enjoying creative practice

Enjoying creative practice
workshops full of
beauty and colour
exploring the edge
my larger self
who often gets ignored
or left out.
Words and phrases
are my connection
not knowing
allowing myself to be

© 13 Aug 17

Just now I notice 

Just now I notice
the world is a delight
and is so because of forces at play
allowing us to be together.
You are here and I am here
surrounded by and partaking in
great beauty, great joy.
A jubilant celebration of
nature, words and mark-making.
Just now I notice
deep contentment.
© 13 Aug 17

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Waiting for Perseids

Going to bed
summoned outside
a diamond bright sky
tree branches creating
dramatic silhouettes
heavy raindrops
dripping from leaves
an iridium flare
a second flash
the space station
a distant hooting owl
the soft rustle of
a possible hedgehog
a gorgeous canopy
pin-pricked with light
a momentary flash
one Perseid, then four
the stars laugh at
our childlike wonder
standing in the garden
hear the church clock strike
cosmic forces
playing overhead
the sound of raindrops
dripping from leaves.

© 12 Aug 17

Sunday 3 September 2017

Secluded walled garden

Secluded walled garden
whispering grasses
rustling leaves
playing in the wind.
Peace broken by
nearby amplified music.
With it irritation arises.
I am affronted.

This seemingly idyllic space is spoiled.
Or is it?
The peacefulness of the place
is a perception
conjured by a state of mind.

My idyll is your boring dullness.
Your idyll is my chaotic busyness.
Both different
equally different
to seeing what is.
Secluded walled garden
full of life and birdsong

© 29 Jul 17

Friday 1 September 2017

Today my world was heavy

Today my world was heavy
weighted down with
more to do than anticipated.
Hunched for hours over a computer
my shoulders ached and creaked.
And so I took myself
to lie down on the sun-soaked grass
still damp from last night’s rain
to let the strong dependable earth
melt away my sorrows.
I saw a bee drunkenly
absorbing yellow pollen from
Japanese anemones
until its legs were heavy
with yellow dust.
I saw the Cotinus leaves have
spots in them that diffuses light
like the beauty of stained glass windows
seen from the inside.
I felt a tickle of an unknown bug
across my arm, perhaps
also wondering what I was.
I lay down on the sun-soaked grass
the body itself knowing
what was needed without
intervention from the mind.
Even as the rain came
I did not hurry back inside
enjoying its freshness
needing its nourishment.

© 17 Aug 17

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Gently encouraging

Gently encouraging
You allowed us to be ourselves
without any sense of push or force
gently encouraging.

You nurtured our bodies
minds and hearts
in a naturally caring way
holding our hearts whilst
letting us fly.

Your beauty, grace and poise
are transmitted to us.
This hand could not write
without your presence.
This heart could not beat
without your love.
Your innate creativity
allowed us to freely explore
our own sense of self.

You were a constant
in the background.
Gently encouraging.

I feel your presence more keenly now
gently encouraging.

© 17 Jul 17

Monday 28 August 2017

A dear and loving friend

This body
which is not me
has needs to be attended to
as a dear and loving friend.

This mind
which is not me
has thoughts to be noted and
quickly discern whether they
can be heeded or left.

This breath
which is not me
breathes apparent life into
this ‘dull earth’ providing animation
as a dear and loving friend.

This awareness
which is the real me
holds body, mind and breath
with a gentle, kind attention
as a dear and loving friend.

© 11 Jun 17

Thursday 17 August 2017

How big is your cup?

I heard the voice of Shams*
‘how big is your cup?’
and heart responds with a
resounding smile of recognition
before tricksy mind has a chance
to form its inevitable objection.
Head would shy away
bowing and scraping
in a show of unworthiness.
Heart instinctively moves forward
drawn by a growing flame and
all the while
knowing it will burn.

Burning away dead wood
cauterising and discarding
to reveal fresh tender shoots
vulnerable yet sturdy
containing within all knowledge
to become a vast, wide-spreading tree.

The question reveals
a willing heart, open
embracing wholeness
freedom, completeness
stepping whole-heartedly
into the flame
knowing it will burn
welcoming the burn.

© 15 Aug 17

*Shams of Tabriz was the dervish who inspired Rumi to become a poet

Tuesday 15 August 2017

I can be

I can be generous as the sky
or closed as a tight flower bud.
I can be unhurried as an unfurling leaf
or full of push and bluster.
I can rest in a non-personal knowing
or believe I have to make things happen.
I can peacefully perform actions
or exhaust myself having to do and create.
I can meet you as you are
or block the flow of love at every step.
I can allow kindness to infuse my actions
or see myself as an unconnected individual.
I can be a free being
responding to the universe.

© 12 Aug 17

Sunday 13 August 2017

Here is what I want to say!

Here is what I want to say!
Oh contrary mind
be still!
Never satisfied
always perceiving what is lacking
unappreciative of here and now.
Contentment and abundance
both present
and many other gifts.
Stop looking out
stop grasping
be with what gently
presents itself.

Life is a flower
softly unfolding
petal by petal
a delicious centre
hidden from view
revealed only in it own time.

Oh contrary mind
be quiet!
Hush your relentless prattling
notice the flower
softly unfolding.

© 12 Aug 17

Friday 11 August 2017

Sing to the moon

What can I sing to the moon
whose strong magnetic pull
orchestrates all the ebbs and flows?
globe-like in a vast
wide greying sky
magnificent and awe-inspiring.
Your light cannot be hid
by the clouds tonight
though they connive to throw
their velvety blackness
across your face.

What can I sing to the moon
whose loveliness
floods every corner of the vast
wide greying spread?
Following me as I journey home.
A golden pearl swimming in the ocean
of wide greying vastness.

© 11 Aug 17

Friday 4 August 2017

Rough edges

Rough edges
being full of awe
stepping stones
into a magical world
of resonance
the heart says yes.

Rough edges
stepping stones
open my eyes
to a world of
true delights
always present
always here
always available.

 © 30 Jul 17

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Close the eyes, I am there

Close the eyes, I am there*
Close the eyes to all physical limitations
all information produced by the senses.
Open the eyes to a world of
boundless heartfulness
pure love
being, not becoming.

Turn away from the information
of the mind
turn towards all knowledge
pure awareness
already present
already proclaiming.

There – not a physical location
there is presence
There is who I am
where I am
when I put down
the unending claims
limitations of the mind.
There is aware, spacious, free.

© 9 Jul 17
* Swamiji

Sunday 16 July 2017

If you read these words

I am a leaf blowing in the wind and
I am the wind, playing with the leaf.
Where does the wind begin?
What is its source?
You cannot say ‘here it is’ or
‘over there’.
So it is true with what I call me
a boundless being with
no beginning and no end.
My so-called life as precious and
meaningful as the wind.

I am the song that set
the turning earth in motion.
You will never find my source or
the silence
from which the song originated
except within the song itself
hearing deeply
the spaces between the notes.

I am the heartbeat of all hearts
the rhythm that sustains and
contains all life.
No life is separate from
this consistent sound
this unending sound.

I am a drop of water that knows
she is the vast ocean,
stretching beyond
vision or sight.
Do not look for the droplet
seek only the ocean.

Seek my face in the
blooming of the flower
the fading petals and
the nurturing compost.
Hear my voice in the
chirruping of the crickets and
the call of the birds
one to another.
Seek my face in the fruit
the generous trees yield forth.

If you read these words
read them, hear them, receive them
as your words.
These words are not mine.
I have not devised or created them.
I am only the scribe
who sets them down on paper
the conduit
who hears the voice of the cosmos and
responds to its call.
I have no knowledge to call mine
all is received as a gift from the cosmos and duly passed on.
I am only the scribe.

I am a leaf blowing in the wind.

© 13 Jul 17

Friday 14 July 2017

Our journey of life as a map

What does the journey of your life
look like as a map?
Gentle, meandering curves and softly undulating hills?
Roman straight lines heading in a determinedly particular direction?
Many ups and downs, steep inclines and descents not of your choosing?
What of the dead-ends, the no entries, the sharp U-turns and missed turnings?

Where are the resting places, the breathing spaces, the overnight stops?

What of the forks in the road,
when it is not clear which direction to head?
How many wrong turns and heading in the opposite direction are there?
How many circuitous paths that
take time and energy but ultimately lead nowhere?

What does the journey of your life
look like as a map?
What of the intersections,
the 3- and 4-lane highways
when we journeyed together?
Did we foresee, could we foresee
the blind bends, the hidden dips and hairpin turns?
What of the times we ended up
on a different road from that
which was planned?
How many roads ran parallel to ours,
seemingly heading in the same direction
yet never quite connecting?

The journey of my life as a map
is a jumble of seemingly random roads and paths
which fortuitously connected with yours
and continued as a wonderful adventure
once we interconnected
no longer minding where the road took us,
but enjoying the scenery
step by step
along the way.

© 14 Jul 17
(27th wedding anniversary)

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Joy and love and honouring

In the deepest silence of the heart
I heard you call my name.
I felt your presence
I knew it to be mine.
As familiar as my own heartbeat
a sound of joy and love and honouring.

Your voice, your words
answered my unrecognised need,
immediately familiar and comfortable.
I let go of any longing.
Your ease and gentleness
drew out of my experiences
simultaneously new and known.
Experiences of joy and love and honouring.

Awareness called my name
reminded me of a world of truth
beyond my immediate sense of
cognition or perception,
yet familiar as my own heartbeat.
A world of joy and love and honouring.

© 5 Jul 17

Sunday 25 June 2017

What did you hear?

What did you hear?

I heard the bell resonating
singing from oneness to oneness
reminding me I am already free.

What did you hear?

I heard the leaves dance
their final autumnal crackle.
I heard the moon slide into place
above the trees.
I heard the earth drinking in
the refreshing rain, nourishing.
I heard the season slowly turning
and coldness in the air.

What did you hear?

I met the silence
holding, creating
giving birth to all sounds.
I heard it call my name.
I heard the silence sing
a song of love
a song of freedom
a song of nowness
a song of being.

I heard the silence call my name
eternal light

© 27 Oct 15

Saturday 17 June 2017

Peace in motion

The knower is peace and
peace in motion
no difference between.
sitting, walking, being
dancing, interacting
all take place
within the realms of peace.
Nothing else exists.

Thoughts arise, seemingly unbidden
and are already having an effect
impelling action.
Stay with the space
in which thoughts arise.
Here is choice
believe or watch
act or witness
suffer or enjoy.
The knower is peace and
peace in motion
nothing else exists.

© 12 Jun 17

Friday 16 June 2017

What do you know?

Words gently whispered on the wind
“what do you know?”
I know the All
for All is within me.
I know the sun and moon
gently rotate following
the curves of my heart.
I know the stars dance
on each fingernail and toenail.
I know the rhythm of life
pulsates through my veins.
I know the contours and creases
of the body follow the undulating
curves of hills and mountains.
I know the colours of my hair,
eyes and skin echo the arcing
rainbow in the sky.
I know earth, water, fire, air
and space vibrate through my being.
I know this body
a microcosm of the cosmos
echoes the cyclical patterns
of seasons and weather.
I know earth, water, fire, air
and space dance and cascade through this being.
I know the All
for All is within me.

© 12 Jun 17

Thursday 15 June 2017

The true dance

We cannot know the true dance
until we know existence as one.
We cannot hear the words of
the true song
until we silence the cacophony
of noise in the mind.
Always, we are being danced
until we know we are the dance
we are the words, the singer and
the song.
The tune is written on the heart.
To hear it we have to let go
of all internal noise
and rest
in the infinite abundance of Oneness.
The words of the true song
are woven into the very fabric
of our being.
The rhythm of the true dance
is tapped out with
our own heartbeat.
Are we being sung, or are we singing?
Are we being danced, or are we dancing?
© 10 Jun 17

Wednesday 14 June 2017

The view of the universe

The view of the universe
from within the universe
spinning plates
always one too many
the fear they will all
crash to the ground.
The fabric of the universe
will rend apart and
I will tumble into a void
of nothingness.
Keep the plates spinning
they justify my existence.

The view of the universe
from the space
beautiful, limitless Oneness
spreading out in all directions.
Let the plates fall
see what happens.
They cannot disturb Oneness.
Let the fabric of the universe
split asunder
I am not become nothing.
I am I, I am Oneness.
Space knows itself
Awareness knows itself.
I am I, I am Oneness.

© 9 Jun 17

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Listen to me

Anxiety rises like a tidal wave
sweeping through my mind
stealing away clarity.
Convincing, believable.
Take note of me!
Listen to me!
Don't heed the voice of reason.
Listen to me!
Panic, panic, PANIC!
All rationality swept away
instead comes indecision
doubt, fear, mistrust, caution.
I am flooded to the nerve ends
with debilitating, paralysing fear.
Brain on high alert
every person to be mistrusted
every situation a danger.
Best to stay at home, stay in bed
the only place of safety!

Calm breathes like a gentle breeze
blowing through my mind
inducing clarity and peace.
Convincing, believable.
Take note of me!
Listen to me!
Stop, breathe, calm.
Listen to me!
Rationality returns
with it comes decisiveness
confidence, steadiness, trust, daring.
I am flooded to the nerve ends
with soothing, reassuring calm.
Brain on low alert
people can be trusted
every situation an opportunity.
Best to go out and live life, enjoy!
Breath provides a safe space.

© 7 Jun 17

Sunday 4 June 2017

Elements playing

Causes and conditions arise to
create and dissolve.
Energy and matter meet and form
coming together and moving apart
this is all that is happening
this is all.
Anything else we perceive or experience
is tainted or coloured by
thoughts, feeling and emotions.

Elements playing.
An intricate dance of
attraction and repelling
just like magnets.
All we perceive
all we know and experience
is simply elements playing
dancing together.

© 4 Jun 17

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Mindfulness and creativity: more curiosity than fear

Lots of this happening at the moment, 
and I'm so pleased to discover these free fonts to help get the message across. 
Over the summer my colleague Clare (artist-in-residence at Helmsley Walled Garden) and I are offering three
in beautiful settings throughout Yorkshire;

Helmsley Walled Garden on Sat 17th - Sun 18th June

Scampston Walled Garden on Sat 29th & Sun 30th July

Brunswick Organic Nursery, York on Sat 12th & Sun 13th August

All the details and booking can be found on our Eventbrite page 

In September we will be offering a
again in Helmsley Walled Garden.
Plus a further course in York Art Gallery in January 2018!
More details to follow on Eventbrite soon!

And there is also the possibility of 
2 1/2 hour workshops coming to Leeds.
More details to follow!

This is a very exciting development for me, 
combining my two loves of mindfulness and creativity together. 
It's great to be collaborating on these projects with Clare
I look forward to seeing some of you at one or more of these events. :)

Sunday 23 April 2017

It is only I

Do not be afraid of
the rustling in the bushes or
the shadow moving silently
just outside your field of vision.
Do not be afraid
it is only I.

Do not be startled or concerned by
the stranger lurking uneasily
apparently up to no good.
It is only I
waiting to become acquainted
waiting to be recognised.

Do not be alarmed by
that which appears to be different
unknown and unfamiliar.
It is only I
wanting to be known
wanting to be recognised as I.

Heart of your heart
love of your love
eye of your eye
thought of your thought
closer than your heartbeat
it is only I.

© 20 Apr 17

Thursday 20 April 2017

Walking the labyrinth

Walking the labyrinth
step by measured step
leaving behind
what can be left
moving towards the centre.

Walking with you -
that comes as a surprise
who are ‘you’?
Buddha? Jesus? Thay?
Yes to all and many more
spiritual friends walk beside me
with me
within me.
Swamiji is here
and you, and you.
I feel and know your presence.
I am not alone.

The centre is not the end destination
just a part of the journey.
Take the centre with you and
continue walking.
“Walking but taking no footsteps”
I am with you always
united with you always.
I am not alone.

© 15 Apr 17

Thursday 6 April 2017

The hum and buzz of every thing

The hum and buzz
of every thing
speaks of its aliveness.
The bird sings itself into existence.
The blossom and flowers are born
to manifest beauty.
The trees announce their beingness
with grace and stature.
People chatter and converse
like twittering birds
unable to find peace and solitude
in silence
unable to find the space it offers.

Be like the breeze
rustling through the dried and browned
autumn leaves
speaking only of the space
it originates from.
Let the mind be quiet enough
to appreciate
the hum and buzz
of every thing
that speaks of its quiet aliveness.

© 1 Apr 17

Monday 3 April 2017


One solitary bubble
slowly rises from the depths of the ocean and
at the surface
sending forth a shower of light
beauty and resonance
accompanied by a song as
clear and distinct as the voices of angels.
Light scatters in all directions
drops of pure gold
seeds of Oneness
spreading themselves liberally all over the earth.

Some are seen as they flash by
momentarily awakening from slumber
the ones who see, who then
fall asleep again
content with a beautiful dream.

Some pass by unnoticed
even though they spread light and goodness
into the darkest corners
those they pass by are looking
in the wrong direction.

Some land, taking seed and growing
but are not recognised.
In that lack of recognition they
wither, they cannot thrive.

You and I received a seed of Oneness
when we were fresh enough
to hear its sound and
know its voice.
Then we could not name it
but knew enough
to listen and to follow it
pulled by its insistent tugging
as it led hither and thither
often unclear as to where it was leading.
Sometimes soft and distant
we held onto the sound
the voice calling us home.

As we followed the sound
we knew we were not alone
we walked the path with many others
strange yet familiar faces
friendly and welcoming.

At last
the sound led us here.
Here we rest
here we stay
no more wandering
no more following.

Here we sit
sometimes alone
often among a sea of faces and bodies.
Here we rest
knowing that all along
we were being led here.
No more uncertainty
no more fear.

A heart full of gladness and peace.
Here is where we are meant to be.
Here is where we always were.
Here is home.
No more wandering.

© 2 Apr 17

Friday 24 March 2017

The largest boulders

Even the largest boulder
can be moved with some creative thinking.
Employing levers, cranes, water
can allow the most immovable object
to be shifted.
The rage and tumult that seems to be
the instinctive reaction to such blocks
may not be the most effective response.
The fury and hail accompanying
an impending storm may
rattle the windows and sting the face
yet may not remove
my seemingly stubborn blockages.

Admit allowing, accepting
waiting patiently for the sun to shine again.
Take a watery approach!
Drop by drop inviting kindness
to gently dissolve the obstacles.
Drop by kindly drop
moment by friendly moment
day by patient day
until the realisation dawns
the boulder is no longer there.

© 22 Mar 17

Thursday 23 March 2017

How many times?

How many times have I judged you?
Met you from my perception
instead of your presentation?

How many times do I see you as a
reflection of my own ideas
instead of as you are?

How many times do I imprint
my ideas of you onto you
and not appreciate you as an
individual and unique being?

How many times do I reduce you
to the limits of my understanding
instead of acknowledging your own greatness?

How many times do I meet you as you
as you are right now?

How many times do I see you as you
and not an appendage of my thoughts?

How many times do I meet you as you?

© 22 Mar 17

Sunday 19 March 2017

Enigmatic, elusive butterflies

Words are enigmatic, elusive butterflies
dancing, flitting on the air
waiting to be heard
tasted, touched, seen, smelt.
When mind is still and quiet
they congregate together
wanting to be recognised
to be admitted.
Waiting for the spark of recognition
a sign of being most interested.
Willing to receive
a beautiful collection
of words and phrases
arranging themselves into
a fine necklace or bracelet
becoming a poem.
Here is magic working
being still enough to hear and receive
allowing them to dance and settle
onto the paper
in their own formation.
Be open, be alive
to this creation
forming itself right now.
I am a conduit, a channel
allowing themselves to appear and
be true to themselves.

© 18 Mar 17

Saturday 18 March 2017

Here I sit

Here I sit
ready to listen
putting aside
all I think I know.
Merging with Oneness
familiar as my own hand.

Here I sit
here and now
nowhere else to be
fall in step with being
fall in step with Oneness.
Embracing life
as a free being
not tied down by human convention
a free being
flowing with the breath of the ether.

Here I sit
embracing Oneness
seeing through the many disguises

I heed the call.

© 15 Mar 17

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Be as free

Be as free as a leaf
tumbling in the wind
be as free as raindrops
showering from the sky
be as free as the stars
sparkling for their own sake
be as free as the wind
blowing where it will
be as free as a feather
floating on the breath of love
be as free as space
enjoying its own freedom.

© 7 Mar 17

Wednesday 8 March 2017

We held a petal in our hands

We held a petal in our hands
and it held us.
Today, a momentous event took place
and nothing happened.
We received the news with
tenderness and great love.
We received the message
loud and clear
'never grieve!'

We held a petal in our hands
and it held us.
A symbol of pure beauty
pure love
transcending mind and body
birth and death
dwelling in pure space.

We held a petal in our hands
and it held us to truth and reality
infinitely stronger than
grief and thoughts of loss.

I have never moved.
I am with you always.
The petal held us.

© 5 Mar 17

Wednesday 1 March 2017

You tore down the walls of my heart

You tore down the walls
of my heart
broke down all my defences
let all my vulnerabilities show.
Though I am melting
in a veil of tears
I welcome your intrusion.
I know it as pure love.

You tore down the walls
of my heart
with gentleness and persistence
showed me the defences exist
only in my imagination.
I am washed clean
by a shower of tears
happy to reveal my fragility
and strength.
I embrace your teaching.
I know it as pure love.

© 16 Feb 17

Tuesday 28 February 2017

Loving kindness for Donald Trump

The Loving kindness meditation (also called metta) is 
'a practice of cultivating understanding, love, and compassion by looking deeply, first for ourselves and then for others' Thich Nhat Hanh - No Mud, No Lotus: 104.
I have resolved to practice this beautiful meditation every day throughout March, choosing Donald Trump as the 'difficult person'. 

This is my motivation - 

'To love is, first of all, to accept ourselves as we actually are ... in this Love meditation, "know thyself" is the first practice of love' Thich Nhat Hanh - No Mud, No Lotus: 104.

The practice begins with offering words of loving kindness to ourselves, then to others.
The steps I will follow will be
someone I love
someone I have difficulties with (Donald Trump)
the whole world.

These are the words I will use - 

May I be peaceful, happy and light and body and spirit.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be free from attachment and aversion but not be indifferent.
May I be able to live fresh, solid and free.
(adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh - Chanting from the Heart: 42).

Having first said these words towards myself, I then offer them to someone I love
(may you be ... etc.), then DT, then the whole world (may we all be ... etc.)

I will practice this meditation every morning (UK time about 7am). 
Feel free to join me at any time for one day or many days.
We can manifest drops of love that can join together to create an ocean of love.
I am also motivated by Robert F Kennedy's speech in 1966, sending forth tiny ripples of hope to build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation ... It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a <person> stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he/she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
June 1966 from South Africa against apartheid.

I hope you are inspired!

Monday 27 February 2017

Sit quietly and wait

Sit quietly and wait.
Listen to the heart.
Wait patiently for its whisperings.
Forms arise in mind
as shadows flickering and dancing.
Scenarios are played out
movements take place
words and actions.
Shadows settle
as if nothing happened.
The earth still revolves.
The sun and moon give heat and light
appearing to move and change
it is we who are moving.
And finally, a rest
a great rest.
Sit quietly and wait.

© 16 Feb 17

Sunday 26 February 2017

To be free

What is right and
what is wrong?
What to do or not do?
There is no right and wrong.
There is nothing to do, or not do
except to be free.
in and from freedom.

© 15 Feb 17

Saturday 25 February 2017

More space than solid

Vibrations release
the sense of solidity.
Energy dancing
to create this form and that.
Swirling patterns of light
cells and atoms flowing together.
More space than solidity.
A dance of divine imagination.
A dance of divine energy.
We are more space than solid.

© 15 Feb 17

Friday 24 February 2017


undisturbed by anything
untouched by movement
closer than my heartbeat
vast as infinite galaxies
how to describe this
unending beauty, goodness and grace?
untouched by movement
undisturbed by anything

© 14 Feb 17

No other reason

All we have heard
all that has been said
gives us true knowledge of Oneness.
There is no other reason
to be here.

All we have done
every movement made
every step taken
gives us true knowledge of Oneness.
There is no other reason
to be here.

All the moments of meditation
all the times of stepping into silence
is to meet Oneness.
There is no other reason to be here.

All the songs we have sung
all the words shared
invite us to know Oneness.
There is no other reason to be here.

© 15 Feb 17

Wednesday 22 February 2017

I spotted a tendency

I spotted a tendency
a habit I have formed
that keeps me believing in me
as reality.
And that is only one!
What else is carried in the bag of me-ness?
What else supports belief in me?
A whole collection of
tendencies and habits
that having been seen
can be unpicked
can be set free
to disappear into the ether.
They are not real
no more is me.

A dance of divine imagination
of coming and going
rising and falling.
And what remains?
Not an emptiness
devoid of feeling or emotion.
What remains is
vibrating energy
causes and conditions
rising and falling.
A dance of divine energy.

 © 13 Feb 17

Thursday 9 February 2017

We talk about stress

We talk about stress
slowly acknowledge the feelings
and its impact
slowly start to unwind
to disentangle from being stressed.
In the sharing
I am free
I am not only stress.

We inject humour and
shared humanity.

Facing our fears
addressing our failings
they lose their vice-like grip.
I learn from you
you learn from me.
We are one
in our stumblings
our falterings.
We are gracious in acceptance
in our laughter.

We are one in our
shared humanity.

© 6 Feb 17

Tuesday 7 February 2017

A lovely review!

A wonderful review of my book In the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh on the new and beautiful Community of Interbeing website

"With the publication of her book, based on her research thesis, Dr Lauri Bower positions herself as a leading scholar of the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh".

Monday 30 January 2017

What does the universe say?

What does the universe say?
What messages are being flagged
before my eyes that
in dullness and sadness
I do not notice?
I have to go outside to listen
to breathe the fresh calming air.

The universe says,
be strong like the trees
ready to withstand this
“world’s storm-troubled sphere”.
Be gentle as the evening breeze
smiling with generosity and kindness
on all, not a favoured few.
Be truthful as the songbird
singing “where is the love?”
it has to begin here.
Be playful as the redbreast
hopping from branch to branch
and don’t take life too seriously.
Be fearless as the still heart
unmoved by shadowy figures
playing across its surface.
Be courageous as the roaring ocean
don’t let words lie unsaid
festering in the heart.

The universe says
we are all bound together
in oneness
a connection so fine it
can easily be overlooked
yet we are “more united than divided”.
We all live together
in oneness
an unbreakable truth
that words of hate or condemnation
cannot dissolve.
My name is True mountain of non-fear
and sometimes I forget.
Happily, the universe does not!

© 30 Jan 17

Friday 27 January 2017

Planting seeds of peace

We walk across an empty playground
planting seeds of peace
liberally scattering our understanding
our practice on the concrete.
When you return on Monday
will you notice
will you feel a slight shift
in the atmosphere
a different energy?
I know one of you
maybe some of you
will notice
will thrill at the feel of the mystery
and connection
that maybe you can’t explain
but feel and know.
You don’t need words to feel
what the heart knows.
One of you
maybe some of you
will notice our seeds of peace
and gain in understanding.
That’s why we walk
planting seeds of peace.

© 21 Jan 17

Sunday 22 January 2017

The mystery

The mystery that does not need to be solved
but longs to be explored
tried and tested.
The mystery that calls you out of bed
in a morning and
sometimes at midnight
when the moonlit stars shine brightest.
The mystery that knows
everything is not dead
in the depths of winter
but resting secretly
waiting for its time to shine.
The mystery that delights afresh
at each rainbow and
is never dulled or complacent.
The mystery that keeps calling
keeps tugging at the heart-strings
wanting you to see
to notice
to recognise.
One huge game of hide and seek.
The mystery once found
once solved
needs finding again and again as if
there is more than one answer.
The mystery once found
often forgotten in sleep
needs rediscovering anew
each day.
The mystery without end
without boundaries and limits.
The mystery once discovered is
as recognisable as my own face or hand
close as my own heartbeat and
equally distant as other galaxies
unreachable as the earth’s core
or so it seems.
Familiar as my beloved’s footsteps or
sound of their voice.
The mystery as vital as life itself.

At the end of this life
will I feel the mystery is finally answered
the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle
slotting into place?
Or will I smile at
the next great adventure?

© 22 Jan 17

Thursday 19 January 2017

A gratitude list

An unending list of things
to be grateful for.
How can I reach the end and
say, no more?
Big and small
so many things to write.
Qualities within me.
External experiences
people, situations, circumstances.
Is it possible to be grateful
for them all, as teachings?
The mean or harsh word
the refusal, the no
the failure
the unexpected
the uncertain.
I am grateful to you all.

This great cosmos and
every tiny atom within.
This magnificent rolling earth
each fleck of stardust and
everything in between.
All known and unknown
I welcome you all
I thank you all
for creating me as I am
for bringing me to this moment
for teaching me to be grateful.

The list becomes a circle
of infinity
an unending list, unceasing
lover’s knot of entanglement
meetings and recognition
with edges blurred and shapes indistinct.
where do I begin and you end?
I’m grateful for your beauty
sadness, anger, compassion.
Grateful that your presence
brings me to presence.

© 19 Jan 17

Tuesday 17 January 2017

A question becomes a thank you!

Focussing inward
feeling sorry for myself
I question sorrowfully
‘why me?’
Focussing outward
noticing many favourable conditions
seeing I have a choice
my question becomes a thank you.
Focussing outward
I become grateful
recognising I have enough
and often more than enough.
My pitiful question
becomes an appreciative thank you.

The question ‘why me?’
no longer relevant as
me becomes we.
On this dank January day
that the sun
seems to have forsaken
green shoots are emerging
with the promise of vitality and spring.
My selfish question
becomes a contented thank you.

© 16 Jan 17

Monday 16 January 2017

Another opportunity

Here is another opportunity
to believe and look positively
at how reality and expectations
appear to differ.
Put down expectations and
meet what reality is presenting.
Consider carefully!
If a space unexpectedly opens up
how to fill it
how to engage with it
how to meet it as a wonderful opportunity.
Can we only be happy
with the gifts we asked for
looked for, or expected?
Are these even gifts or
just fulfillments of our desires?
The true gift is the unexpected
the uncertainty
the not knowing how things will turn out.
Meeting these moments
with a faithful heart and
trust that things are
exactly as they should be.
© 7 Jan 17

Sunday 15 January 2017

Oneness knows itself

Meditation is not a battle of wills
to be lost or won
not a war of wills
between thoughts and ‘me’.
Who is ‘me’ anyway?

I am the thoughts
embrace, embrace,
don’t push them away.
Yet I am not only thoughts.

I am 51 mental formations
seed-like, waiting to grow
waiting for nourishment.
Yet I am not only mental formations.

I am a body of six senses
6 gates receiving sense objects.
Yet I am not only senses.

I am consciousness
aware of thoughts, feelings,
mental formations, bodily sensations.
Yet I am not only this physical shape.

I am oneness
taking the shape of many bodies
many forms
many ideas, feelings, thoughts.
Mind cannot grasp the extent of oneness
its reach or its depth.
Oneness knows itself.

© 3 Jan 17

Wednesday 11 January 2017

The wind and I

The wind and I
have been playing games.
It is gusting wildly and
rattling the door knockers
calling me outside.
We played a game
to see who would win my hat.
And as I walked
as a secondary game
it searched for bins to knock over
or hide from their owners.

Through the woods it
shook the branches menacingly
threatening to tip them
onto my head.
In the open field
it did its best to bowl me over
hurl me into the mud.
It called my bluff by
getting behind me as I
stepped up the hill and aided me.
On the lane it blew
full force in my face.
Eventually I had to hold
onto my hat to save
rescuing it from wherever
the playful wind would take it.
I arrived home with
rosy cheeks, a runny nose
ears singing with the cold and
heart alive with playfulness.

© 11 Jan 17

Tuesday 10 January 2017

True colours

A frosty coating on everything.
This morning
the stars have reached down
from the heavens
to decorate earth
in awe and beauty.
We see and appreciate it
by virtue of our own beauty
from a vision of interbeing.
The rising sun’s rays
light each frosted dewdrop
to gleam as the evening stars.
Heaven has come to earth and
we see it decorated in true colours
not subdued or muted by
thoughts of other.

I am the shining stars
I am the frosted leaves and grass
I am the sun of mindfulness
melting away any doubt or fears.
I am constantly changing beauty
awe and wonder.
I am born afresh each morning.

© 3 Jan 17

Sunday 8 January 2017

A conversation between two different parts of the brain

1. Let’s adventure to nourish contentment!
2. Surely we can stay at home to find that?
1. Let’s not be lazy, there’s a whole world out there.
2. There’s a whole world here too, let’s stay at home.
1. We have to journey into the unknown to meet our awakening.
2. I’d rather stay at home and meet the known.
1. Don’t be so small! There’s so much to see!
2. Plenty to see here as well!
1. What are you afraid of? Danger? Uncertainty? Failure? Death?
2. All that and more! Here is familiar, cosy and warm, let’s stay here!
1. You have to trust, my friend. There is more to life than this.
2. And despite my reservations I am won over. And so we journey through cold and heat, hunger and feast, mistrust and friendliness, disagreement and benevolence.
1. After many days and many adventures we arrive at our resting place.
2. Wait a minute! I recognise this! We have come full circle and are back home.
1. Yes, but not as we left it because we see it with new eyes and a new heart.
2. You were right, my friend! We did need this adventure.
1. But you were also right, my friend. Everything we need is right here. We needed to venture out and ‘hold as t’were a mirror up to nature’ to see and appreciate what was already here.
1 & 2. To see it with new eyes and a new heart.

© 31 Dec 16