Tuesday, 22 April 2008


Br.David SeindlRast a Benedictine monk now in his eighties says that as a teenager in Austria during the Nazi occupation he had never expected to reach the age of twenty. Food wes scarce, his family often lived on little more than soup made from weeds and he was sure he'd be drafted and killed in combat.He remained happy despite all the dangers and difficulties, because against the backdrop of impending death,he had seen life as the gift it was. That deep sense of appreciation has never left him. To Br.David greatfulness means experiencing ' great fullness,' feeling full in every moment, appreciating exactly what is. He says 'happiness is not what makes us gratefull; it is gratefullness that makes us happy.' Here is an example of Br. David's exercises for increasing feelings of gratefulness in life. Each day he picks a 'theme for the day' to focus on. If it's water, for example,every time he washes his hands, waters the plants or brushes his teeth, he notices and appreciates the water and uses it as a reminder to be present in the moment in pure gratefulness.

Gratefulness.org is his website.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Sunday, 13 April 2008


Whenever we feel anything should be other than it is, we are resisting or so it seems to me. I've been reflecting on resistance, my own especially for a while now and have noticed how it affects so much of my experience. Whenever I'm aware of thinking things 'should' be different than they are I check my body and sure enough it's tense. If I can relax and let go the 'shoulds ' dissolve. Whenever I'm 'shoulding' on myself it produces a lot of resistance. For example if I'm telling myself I should get up and practice there will be part of me fighting back saying I shouldn't. If I let go and relax at that point instead of forcing a decision one way or the other often a resolution will happen. In either case I will have relaxed into the present moment and become more present here now. Byron Katie says whenever we are fighting with reality we lose 100% of the time. All resisting is fighting with reality, not allowing things to be as they are. Allowing things to be as they are is not opting out. In my experience when we are fighting anything we are not fully open to all the information and possibilities.Through surrendering, the body and mind relaxes and often insights we never could have imagined appear as if by magic.

Friday, 11 April 2008


Yasterday my daughter asked me to explain the chemical bonding in water.Earlier in the afternoon, I'd seen steem rising from the bonnet of my car in the warm sunshine after a hail shower.Looking at the steam the magical qualities of water had struck.'The Chinese say water is the most powerful element because it is perfectly non resistant. It can wear away rock and sweep all before it.' When the next chapter of a book I'm reading began with this quote I was struck by the synchronicity.Ice Water and Steam all change state with no resistance. In our practice we are working to become more water like open to what life brings willing to change form and flow with life's rhythm.
For more magical qualities of water check the images in Dr Masaru Emoto's web site.