Mindfulness January 2018

Embracing Winter. Photograph taken by Manny

“The world is ancient but it has not lost its newness” Wasif Ali Wasif

The latter part of 2017 was filled with many joyful moments. The mid December Morning of Mindfulness Practice proved for all to be a time of much needed slowing down, resting and taking care of ourselves. A fire glowed and candles flickered while snow fell gently. At the end of practice we enjoyed warm mulled fruit juice with home made gluten, wheat and dairy free cakes. A couple of days later I was walking the full length of the ancient Sandstone Trail. Every inch of the trail was laden with virgin snow. The sun was radiant and shone so brightly that the snow glistened like scattered diamonds. I felt so alive, invigorated and was brimming with gratitude. Of course the snow melted within days and it was a reminder of how all things change. How quickly I had grasped at wanting the snow to remain for a little bit longer! How quickly I had become attached to it. Lessons were learned from having grasped at and wanting to hold on. How nature so willingly lets go and with such grace adapts to change.

2018 arrived and was greeted with a warm embrace. Thursday meditation classes have resumed and it is wonderful to once more be meditating in the presence of so many kind and warm-hearted people. The collective energy is rejuvenating and supportive. I have recently returned from a 5 day meditation retreat in North Wales, which deepened my practices of loving kindness and self compassion. The landscape at where I was meditating differs from that of Cheshire. It is much more rugged, harsher and changeable. There was sunshine and blue sky and within minutes the mountains were shrouded in mist with hail beating down.Yet, the delicate birds, plants and foliage survive in adversity and the harshest of conditions. Yes, more lessons were taken from observing and connecting with nature.

I am very much looking forward to leading the 4 week Introduction to Mindfulness Practice course. It is always delightful to be sharing mindfulness practice and ways in which we can begin to integrate it into our daily lives so that we can begin to savour the everyday treasures that life has to offer: bird song, spotting a snowdrop in the midst of winter, stems of spring bulbs emerging, wind rustling through tree tops, rain tapping on a window pane, a nourishing cup of tea, clean running water, a bed to sleep in, waking up to what adventures a new day might have to offer. We only have to pause and notice the small treasures that are often closer then we think.