Friday, 29 February 2008

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'Thank You ' that would suffice.
Meister Eckhart

Thursday, 28 February 2008

The Healing Powers Of T'ai Chi

Yesterday my physiotherapist told me that the improvement in my fingers was in the top three she had treated over the last twenty years. The little finger had the most damage having stitches in a very deep cut close to the break and the joint.This meant that when I would try to work on the exercises Norma had given me the finger would swell throb and hurt a lot! So I began to direct energy into the fingers during my practise and at the end of a session close my eyes and visualise doing the exercises feeling into the muscles tendons bones and ligaments as best I could. I'm so grateful to my accident for showing me yet again the wonders of T'ai Chi

Monday, 25 February 2008


The institute of Heart Math whose work has been verified in studies conducted by Stanford University among others ,has found that our hearts generate an electromagnetic field around us that is several feet in diameter and five thousand times greater then the field generated by the brain.

This is no surprise to me or to you either I'm sure as it just confirms the expansion we've all experienced in the presence of an open warm, loving heart and the contraction felt in an atmosphere of fear.

One measure of your hearts' activity that reflects your emotional state is called heart rate variability, which shows variations in the intervals between heartbeats.In Studies researchers have found that people's heart patterns look different when they're happy then when they are angry,frustrated or sad.
(See graphs below)
Negative emotions cause erratic patterns called heart rhythm incoherence which has a damaging effect on the body. Feeling angry,frustrated or sad leads to the release of stress hormones and cholesterol into the body.Your heart pumps faster and your blood pressure rises. In contrast feelings of appreciation and love create heart rhythm coherence ie smooth even patterns in the heart rhythm's. According to research heart rhythm coherence increases production of good hormones, normalises blood pressure, improves cognitive functions and strengthens the immune system.

Heart Coherence Excersize

Step 1: Heart Focus

Gently focus your attention on your in the area of your heart.It may help to place your hand over your heart. If your mind wanders just keep bringing your attention back to the area of your heart.

Step 2:

Heart Breathing

As you focus on the area of your heart , pretend your breath is flowing in and out through that area. This helps your mind and energy to stay focused and your respiration and hearth rhythms to synchronise. Breath slowly and gently, until your breathing feels smooth and balanced.

Step 3:

Heart Feeling

As you continue to breathe, recall a positive feeling, a time when you ' felt good inside.' Now try
to re experience the feeling. This could be a feeling of appreciation or care toward a special person, a pet, a place you enjoy, or an activity that was fun. Allow yourself to really' feel ' this good feeling of appreciation or care. If you can't feel anything, it's okay, just try to find a sincere attitude of appreciation or care. Once you have found a positive feeling or attitude, you can sustain it by continuing your heart focus, heart breathing, and heart feeling.

Since my accident in January I've found this exercise great while waiting in doctor's surgeries etc. It's made me much more concious too of those occasions in my day when my heart opens spontaneously. It actually feels that it's happening more often or maybe thats's just more evidence that what we pay attention to grows!

I remember Steven telling me about John's practise of recalling all his loved ones as he stands in attention before beginning the session or form. Is it any surprise our practice can be called 'Heartwork'

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Nano Nagle Workshop


Lets Investigate the energy of Ward Off



Nano Nagle Centre March 8th 12-6 60 euros Evening Meal Chez moi

Friday, 22 February 2008


Satsang is the Indian practise of sitting together with a teacher who directs the attention past the mind to pure presence. People ask questions and the teacher keeps pointing their attention from the false identification with the impermanent self, to our true nature beyond thoughts and concepts.

Satsang is much broader though than the group session; any meeting where ones spirit is nourished and encouraged to shine is Satsang. So I consider practising Tai Chi with others to be our 'Satsang'. I love the way this term includes both the silent practise and the dialogue. In our practise both are also important in a session.

For more information on Satsang :

Friday, 15 February 2008

In Praise of Practise

To my mind there is no end to the benefits of solo practise. It's the time when my body teaches me through the form , or is it the form that teaches my body? Either way, an exchange happens that leaves me refreshed , renewed and more in touch with my true nature.

My friend Margaret introduced me to the teachings of Adyashanti , an American Zen teacher. "Allowing everything to be as it is" , is the title of one of his meditation talks in which he guides one to the silence beyond the mind. I love the way he leads this meditation and invites one to notice any remaining tension in the body which he describes as resistance to 'allowing everything to be'. I have found this to be a great help in my daily life and especially my practise. By slowing down I can become aware of any pockets of tension remaining in my body. In the noticing of them , they often dissolve or if not, awaken me to what I'm resisting. This gives me the opportunity to let it go and return to my practise.

Friday, 8 February 2008


Haiku is my favourite form of poetry. Japenese verse , which is traditionally composed of seventeen syllables in three lines - the shortest form of poetry in the world.

Across the summer stream
With such joy
My sandals in my hand


The winter gail
Blows the evening sun
Into the sea


With one who does not speak his every thought
I spend a pleasent evening


Resonance is the response of the body to vibrations of its own natural frequency. This best describes what I feel when I read a Haiku that touches me.

Yesterday, yet again, I was surprised and delighted to feel this response in my body.

I don't usually notice this pulsing in my body as I practise Tai Chi , but whenI stand still at the end of a form , there it is; that deep, rhyhthmic pulsing which I have come to regard as one of the fruits of my practise.

They say everything grows with attention and now, as I write in the gaps beetween the thoughts, there it is again; that resonating presence, mysterious and quiet.

Roll Back

Last night was very interesting investigating roll back. I noticed that when I allowed my partner to hold my arm in a l locked position,( instead of folding my elbow), and then they pressed their palms in on my arm softly in opposite directions a strong energy built, which increased as we both payed attention to it. It was further increased when we engaged the legs (right arm to left foot, left arm to right foot ), and further so when we relaxed and allowed the ward off to fill out naturally. As soon as someone's mind wandered the energy changed and decreased, so it was a great way to work on presence. Yet more evidence of the wonders of 'mindfullness'