What nourishes us?

Wilson't prom beach

Another year draws to a close, and chances are most of us are feeling pretty exhausted by now. Once we’ve survived Christmas, we might be looking to the year ahead, and perhaps start forming some New Year’s resolutions – to lose weight, exercise more, learn Spanish, de-clutter the spare room. All these are no doubt worthy aims, but there is another question which doesn’t tend to make our list – how can I nourish myself better in 2014? Continue reading “What nourishes us?” »

Courage

Fern on tree branch 2

‘I had given up my seat before, but this day, I was especially tired.’
Rosa Parks

 

When Rosa Park refused to give up her bus seat to a white man on 1 December 1955, in downtown Montgomery, she didn’t know her simple act of defiance would lead to the Montgomery bus boycott, and become one of the defining moments in the American civil rights movement. She did, however, know she was taking a tremendous personal risk. Continue reading “Courage” »

The body-mind connection

butterfly

Today, let’s try a little experiment – as you’re sitting here, clench your fists very tightly. Really experience what that feels like – in your body, but also in your mind. Hold it for about 30 seconds.

Next, open your hands palms up and have them resting on your lap. Again, take a few moments to tune into the sensations this gesture evokes in you.

Then, bring the palms together in front of your chest, in the gesture of prayer or greeting. Maybe do a little bow. How does this feel?

It’s likely that the three hand positions led to quite different responses in your body and mind. Continue reading “The body-mind connection” »

Gratitude

Pansies

‘Among us, in our own daily lives, who is not reverently grateful for the protections of life – food, drink and clothing.’

From ‘Torei Zenji’s Bodhisattva’s Vow’

Who indeed? I suspect most of us spend very little time being reverently grateful for the drink of water in the morning, the biscuit eaten with a cup of tea, the jumper we put on when the sun goes down. Sometimes in winter I’m glad of a thick pair of socks to pull on, but I can hardly claim to be wearing them with reverent gratitude. We take just about everything for granted, and it’s easy to feel deprived in the midst of plenty. Continue reading “Gratitude” »