Oneness. Photograph taken by Manny

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” Hermann Hesse

This morning it was raining and a wispy mist hovered over Frodsham hill. This afternoon the sun is shining and the hill is clear and visible.  All things are in flux. All things change! 

A Day of Self Care and Self Appreciation was a wonderful event of nourishing ourselves and of gently inviting loving kindness into our mindfulness practice and of sharing our mindfulness experiences. I’m reminded of Kristen Neff’s words, “Unlike self-criticism, which asks if you’re good enough, self-compassion asks what’s good for you?” The inner critic or inner judge can often get in the way of or brutally quash the caring voice that’s nudging us towards taking time to rest and just be, so it was delightful for us all to have intentionally retreated from the busyness of daily life; doing so enabled us to commit to taking care of and to ask ourselves at intervals of the day, ‘what’s good for me, right now?’ The weather permitted us to enjoy sitting and walking meditations out of doors and we all lunched in the garden while chatting or choosing to be silent in far away corners. Later in the week, I chatted with a friend, who shared that she has a phrase that she says to herself in times of difficulty or when challenges arise. It is simply, "What would love do now?" I have since woven this phrase into many events! 

I am now looking forward to the next 8 week MBSR course that begins on Tuesday 2nd October at 6.15pm.

Thursday evening meditation classes have continued throughout the summer. We have been exploring what I call, ‘fluid shifts of attention’ that is a paradoxical contemplation of being with while letting go! The meditation group has welcomed 4 new people to our weekly class and the newcomers have become regular attendees…lovely!

In July I was at a 5 day Silent Self-Compassion Retreat and it was greatly needed. Moving into silence allowed me to deepen into the heart and into practice. Having left the retreat I have noticed deeper connections with others and all life with whom I co-exist. Being in the presence of and learning from Jack Kornfield proved to be inspiring and moving beyond words. 

Highlights of July and August include, 4 beautiful waterlilies flowering in our new pond (another lesson of what stories the mind can convince us to believe – we were sure the waterlily plant was poorly and would not produce flowers!); huge iridescent dragonflies hovering about the garden; being inches away from a fledgling bird of prey in Wales; witnessing hundreds of baby frogs hopping along a path at Delamere Forest; dappled sunlight during late evenings of walking the sandstone trail; a male blackbird feeding two of his offspring; magnificent and breath taking sunsets that have set the sky alight. Oh to be mindful of the precious and beautiful moments of daily events.

Go slowly. Go softly. Go mindfully.