Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A fallen flower
Flew back to its perch
A butterfly.

Without a brush
The willow paints the wind.

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

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Becoming aware of space relaxes the body. Feeling the space around my body, the space in front , behind , above , below and at the sides of my body relaxes me. It is also relaxing to pay attention to the space around my body or the spaces in my body for example feeling the space in the joints of my fingers ,wrists, elbows etc. I can also pay attention to the space between my thoughts, my breaths, or to the sounds around me and to the space and the silence in which these sounds arise. With practice I can widen my attention to be aware of all these spaces simultaneously. This is what Dr Fehmi calls attention training, his Open Focus exercises teach us how to pay attention to how we attend in life. I find that the more I practice these exercises the richer my life feels. It seems astonishing to me now that these spaces were always there, i doubt I would have found them without Dr.Fehmi.

Friday, 23 July 2010

To awaken suddenly to the fact
that your own Centre is the Buddha,
that there is nothing to be attained
or a single action to be performed,
that is the Supreme Way.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Let the soft movements of t'ai chi calm the mind relax the body and awaken the spirit.

Friday, 9 July 2010

I have noticed that softening the muscles of my face, just allowing them to relax is a great way relax my whole body. As soon as I let go in my face everything seems to soften and open. My focus widens and my mind calms down. This also works in reverse, when I widen my attention into 'Open Focus' my face, body and mind relax.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

This is my favourite road to run (mostly jog) along. I love it's quietness rarely do I meet anybody apart from the occasional farmer or local resident. The only interruption in my solitude was a loud belligerent black cocker who would bark loudly and chase me snapping at my ankles.

This really annoyed me, I used to get angry (sometimes even bark back ). As I'd approach his house the anger frustration and fear would mount, I took to leaving a stick on the ditch just bellow his place that I used to defend myself passing his place and collect it from the a similar ditch on my return. Lots of 'shoulds ' would run through my head "people should keep their dogs in","it's not fair I should be able to run without this hassle " etc.

On my return home one day, I was complaining to John (my husband) about this dog and he advised me to walk past this house, he told me that 'cross' dogs are aggravated by runners that the actual running makes them worse. So I took this on board and began to walk past his place, I also paid more attention to my thoughts and began to practice letting go of whatever negative feelings were arising as I approached this place. Then one day I noticed that I had forgotten the stick. The dog was still barking but nothing like before. As my anger and fear eased he seemed to ease too.

These days when I jog past he barely pays any attention. Sometimes he gives a low growl or a few halfhearted barks. It is said that when the inside changes the outside responds. I wonder if he has just become accustomed to me and can't be bothered with me any more or is it (as I prefer to think ) that I actually changed his behaviour by Yielding.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Saturday, 3 July 2010

It is said that " With our thoughts we create the world "I am realizing the truth of this more and more. The other day I spent some time with a friend whose whole conversation revolved around how misunderstood and hard done by she was. She seemed to completely believe her story, listening to her I wanted to ask, Is it true ? Can you be absolutely sure that it is true ? and do a Byron Katie enquiry on the beliefs, but there was no opening. And so I listened as she convinced herself more and more of her story reinforcing it with each retelling.
Last night I had a dream about releasing feelings and it was on awakening this morning that I made the connection about how we create our world when we believe our thoughts and feelings. Byron Katie's Work and Lester Levenson's Releasing technique are both great tools to free us from believing completely in our version of reality and thus opening us up to whole new worlds.
In the past few years I have been exploring these methods along with T'ai Chi and Open Focus training. I find that they are all complimentary, sometimes practicing T'ai Chi brings clarity and peace. At other times just releasing and letting go of the feelings brings clarity. When releasing is not enough and the thoughts keep coming back and hounding me, then it is time for a Byron Katie worksheet (can be found on her website 'The Work.com'). And Open Focus will relax me into open space where at times problems dissolve themselves.
Reading the above it might seem like my life is full of problems, but funnily enough having these practices has made my life easier and more fun.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Only when you drink
from the river of silence
will you really sing.
Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Here is Dr Fehmi explaining the workings of his neurofeedback machine, the machine is a great tool for observing and training the brain. I first came across his work about two years ago and began to practice his Open Focus exercises on a daily basis.
The exercises are designed to reduce our common rigid attachment to narrow-objective attention. I have found them to be amazing in the way they helped me to relax and in the way they have enhanced my tai chi practice. You can listen and download one to try from the Open focus website.