Drawing meditation

As I explore the art of paying attention I have just become  aware of Mandalas. I tried one today for the first time and here’s my very modest result.

 

Mandalas are rooted in the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Native American spirituality. Modern psychologists also use mandalas to have patients explore their inner sense of self.

 Why not give it a go? It’s very soothing and your inner child will have a ball at the same time!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how to do it.

 

 

Breathing in time with Nature

I’m sitting in Woodchester graveyard in the shade of an arch that once formed part of the old monastery. It is beautifully warm. A blackbird chirps, a lawnmower rumbles, a breeze fans the autumnal trees. I’ve just completed my prep for tomorrow’s Future Self Booster workshop and I’ve even managed to fulfil my commitment to movie-joy! (Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy – atmospheric, well acted, a boy movie).

This morning I walked around the woods by Sapperton with my friend, Fiona. The talk was energetic and inspiring but we didn’t forget to stop and marvel at the beauty around us.

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Nature. When we stop and look, it has so much to tell us about Flow. It’s interesting that this video I took, (through some quirk of my phone’s video recorder), seems to have a heartbeat! If I can breathe in time with nature, it seems to me, then I can experience that sense of belonging – that higher rhythm – that so beautifully demonstrates to us who we truly are.

A treasure box of mellow

I’m feeling mellow. It makes me want to sink down in my chair and just stare, slack-jawed, out of the window for a couple of hours. Instead – in the spirit of this blog – I will seek to intensify and beautify this feeling. I will create a mini treasure box of Mellow!

(By the way, for email subscribers: if any of the videos below don’t show up in your email box you might like to click on the title above which will take you through to my blog -proper).

Here goes…..

What can be more evocative for English people than a fine day in a country meadow?

 

I grew up by the sea in North Norfolk and now we go every October with our friends to Cornwall. Waves – ah waves – I am completely in your thrall!

 

 

Midnight in Italy this year. I recorded this by the light of a full moon.

Click here to here the cicadas sing their wonderful song

 

 

 

Sights, sounds, lovely memories, our unique spiritual connection to things: what wonderful ways to just Be and cherish our Flow.

 

 

 

 

 

Pyjama Day

A rainy Sunday is a great opportunity for a ‘pyjama day’ – thick wooly socks, track pants, fluffy cardigan, slippers.

Other vital requirements for a pyjama day are:

  • a lie-in until 10am (minimum)
  • little to no effort on personal grooming – definitely no make-up
  • minimal underwear
  • close contact with soft furnishings
  • random snoozing
  • Sunday newspaper reading (not the news sections)
  • lots of cups of tea (preferably made by someone else)
  • guilt-free book-reading
  • guilt-free marshmallow eating (really! They’re becoming a bit of a theme aren’t they?!)
  • an afternoon movie
  • a vague feeling that perhaps you should have got more fresh air than the bit you got between the front door, the wheely-bin and back

Ways to improve on a pyjama day? Hmmm – I’ll let you know after I’ve …. after I’ve…

……

Movie meditation

I was going to call today’s blog “Being Naughty” but I’ve now changed it. I wanted to write a commentary on the joys of doing something rebellious because at lunchtime today, on a whim, I decided to go and see a film – Jane Eyre. Delicious!


Having just come out and parked in this country lane, (as I wait the few spare minutes before I pick up the kids), I feel all dreamy and wonderfully fuzzy. It occurs to me that one of the reasons I’m so passionate about movies is that they have a meditative quality – especially when watched solo. I love that. It’s an immersive experience – one that utterly transports you.

The great thing about meditation is that it quietens our chattering mind and allows the good that continually wants to come towards us, to be let in.

A blank, meditative mind is perhaps the closest we get to flow – to entering the same rich stream of well-being to which all of nature belongs.

So right now I will put down my iPhone and continue to cherish this warm communion. I can see no better way  to raise my happiness threshold.

How it can all pivot around spotting a deer

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.
~William Wordsworth

It’s been a lovely day.  We made an abortive attempt at blackberry picking in the rain. The plan is to make jam so we bought a lot of sugar and then set off  to our favourite spot near Tetbury. However, the berries weren’t ready, despite the fact that the meagre bush in our garden is redolent with big juicy black ones. We’ll have to go back in a couple of weeks time.

My experiment is all about taking whatever emotion I am in and bettering it. Today was natural and smooth-flowing  – I even managed to do some research into a cottage for the New Year with my sister and to catch up with Janet, my very dear friend from Canada – but I can’t say I was being very concious about upping the energy.

What raised the day from a good day to a special day, in the end, came from a very unexpected place. On a whim I asked my son, (my football mad daughter was  busy listening to Manchester United .v. Aresenal on the radio with Guy), if he would like to go for a walk. It turned out to be magical as we spotted a doe with her 3 young in a piece of scrub land between two houses. Very unexpected, very welcome and an absolute shoe-in for the title of ‘Uplifter’ for the day.

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