Tuesday, 26 June 2012

May I live this day compassionate of heart, clear in word, gracious in awareness, courageous in thought, generous in love. - John O'Donohue -

In his book , " To Bless The Space Between Us " John O Donohue describes an experience he had as a young priest visiting a group of nuns. He was asked by one of the older women to give her a blessing. After he finished, he knelt down in front of her, and similarly asked her for her blessing. She was completely taken aback bu this because no one had ever asked her for such a thing.

I love when I read something that makes me conscious of my unconscious beliefs or views of
the " world ".

Reading John O Donohue's passage above brought up many memories of  ' blessings  ' from my childhood,
the  " first blessing " from my brother after his ordination.  WE had blessings from many priests and it never ever entered our heads to ask for one from a nun. Neither was it expected that a lay person could bless. Thank God for people like John O Donohue who wake us up to our narrow beliefs.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Neuroscience tips on using the body to still the mind, by Prof. Michael Hegarty University of California Davis

Meditation brings the mind to stillness like a quiet pool without ripples.  In our
research at Wellspring Institute, we are looking at which meditations quiet your
“pool” most quickly.  Neuroscience imaging of the brain suggests that no body
part is more important than our EYES, those deep pools that lead directly into
our mind.  This article gives simple exercises – derived from modern research and
from ancient meditations - which you can use to still the mind more quickly and
more deeply.
A surprising and often overlooked insight from neuroscience is that almost one
third of the volume of the brain’s cortex is devoted to vision.  So if we want to
quiet our brains, it makes sense to quiet our eyes. And in fact, recent studies show
remarkable benefits to Quiet Eyes, helping surgeons to focus with less stress, and
helping basketball players to increase their success at freethrows.  Here we describe
 a“Quiet Eye” exercise that can be helpful in different situations:

Quiet eyes in everyday life

.Most of us aren’t aware that we can choose two types of eye
movements in everyday life: Saccades or Smooth Pursuit. 
Saccades are very fast eye movements that jump around a
scene.  They can take in lots of information, but they can
also be tiring and stressful.  Our ancestors used these when
searching for predators or prey – the type of actions that
activate the stress-response sympathetic nervous system
and prepare us for fight or flight.  In contrast, Smooth Pursuit moves the eyes
across a scene more slowly and smoothly, and is naturally activated by scenes
of pleasant landscapes or of loved ones.  Hence it tends to quiet the mind and
regulate emotions.  Click below to watch a video to experience for yourself the big
difference between Saccades and Smooth Pursuit.

Visual artists have long known the power of Smooth Pursuit.  Their skill in
composing a portrait draws the eye smoothly from one object to the next.  Watch
the eyes of romantic leads in popular movies, and you will see Smooth Pursuit
as the star “locks eyes” with his loved one (Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage are
masters at this).  Psychotherapists harness Smooth Pursuit in classical hypnosis
where the eyes follow a shiny watch moving back and forth smoothly, inducing
deep relaxation.  Therapists also harness Smooth Pursuit in Eye Movement
Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), in which the eyes follow the therapist’s
fingertip back and forth (Kapoula et al. 2010).

But you don’t need to wait for a therapist to relax your eyes for you.  You can
quiet your own eye movements from jumpy Saccade to Smooth Pursuit and
consequently relax your mind.  Recent research has shown that doing so reduces
stress and improves performance in everyday life.  Wilson, Vine, and others (2010)
trained surgeons to stop saccades and to rest the eyes quietly on the surgical field,
resulting in lower stress and faster learning.  They also trained elite basketball

players (2011) to rest their eyes quietly on the hoop during free-throws, and
increased free-throw successes by 10%

Friday, 22 June 2012

 A recent Penn State University study confirmed that when we smile we not only appear more likeable and courteous, but we’re actually perceived to be more competent.
So now we know that:
  • When you smile, you look good and feel good.
  • When others see you smile, they smile too.
  • When others smile, they look good and feel good, too.
Perhaps this is why Mother Teresa said: “I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.”

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Festival of Chinese Moving Arts,
Culture and Healing
Featuring Shaolin Dragon Kung Fu Masters, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Chinese Medicine

Saturday 23rd June 2012: University College Cork, College Road Cork, Ireland

Key Note Speakers & Chinese Healing Masters
1pm           Opening and Introductions
Mr. Martin Fitzgerald. Introduction to Health Benefits of Acupuncture

1.30pm      Dr. Zhao Hu.  Herbal Mushroom Chinese Medicine and Cancer Treatment

Talks, Demonstrations & Open Public Participation
2pm           Sifu Nick Costello. Introduction to the Masters and Martial Arts
                   How Chi Gong connects the disciplines of Tai Chi and Kung Fu
                        Importance of The Dragon in the disciplines of Tai Chi, Chi-Gung.

3pm           Master Chiu Wai. Chi Gong

4pm           Master Chiu Awah. Tai Chi & Kung Fu
5pm           CLOSE


Contact: UCC Confucius Institute.      Tel: 0214903086 Email:ucccioffice@gmail.com

Monday, 18 June 2012

Manual for Climbing Mountains --by Paulo Coelho

The Beauty of the Mountain is hidden for all those who try to discover it from the top, supposing that, one way or another, one can reach this place directly. The Beauty of the Mountain reveals only to those who climbed it. --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A] Choose the mountain you want to climb: don’t pay attention to what other people say, such as “that one’s more beautiful” or “this one’s easier”. You’ll be spending lots of energy and enthusiasm to reach your objective, so you’re the only one responsible and you should be sure of what you’re doing

B] Know how to get close to it: mountains are often seen from far off – beautiful, interesting, full of challenges. But what happens when we try to draw closer? Roads run all around them, flowers grow between you and your objective, what seemed so clear on the map is tough in real life. So try all the paths and all the tracks until eventually one day you’re standing in front of the top that you yearn to reach.

C] Learn from someone who has already been up there: no matter how unique you feel, there is always someone who has had the same dream before you and ended up leaving marks that can make your journey easier; places to hang the rope, trails, broken branches to make the walking easier. The climb is yours, so is the responsibility, but don’t forget that the experience of others can help a lot.

D] When seen up close, dangers are controllable: when you begin to climb the mountain of your dreams, pay attention to the surroundings. There are cliffs, of course. There are almost imperceptible cracks in the mountain rock. There are stones so polished by storms that they have become as slippery as ice. But if you know where you are placing each footstep, you will notice the traps and how to get around them.

E] The landscape changes, so enjoy it: of course, you have to have an objective in mind – to reach the top. But as you are going up, more things can be seen, and it’s no bother to stop now and again and enjoy the panorama around you. At every meter conquered, you can see a little further, so use this to discover things that you still had not noticed

.F] Respect your body: you can only climb a mountain if you give your body the attention it deserves. You have all the time that life grants you, as long as you walk without demanding what can’t be granted. If you go too fast you will grow tired and give up half way there. If you go too slow, night will fall and you will be lost. Enjoy the scenery, take delight in the cool spring water and the fruit that nature generously offers you, but keep on walking.
G] Respect your soul: don’t keep repeating “I’m going to make it”. Your soul already knows that, what it needs is to use the long journey to be able to grow, stretch along the horizon, touch the sky. An obsession does not help you at all to reach your objective, and even ends up taking the pleasure out of the climb. But pay attention: also, don’t keep saying “it’s harder than I thought”, because that will make you lose your inner strength.

H] Be prepared to climb one kilometer more: the way up to the top of the mountain is always longer than you think. Don’t fool yourself, the moment will arrive when what seemed so near is still very far. But since you were prepared to go beyond, this is not really a problem.

I] Be happy when you reach the top: cry, clap your hands, shout to the four winds that you did it, let the wind – the wind is always blowing up there – purify your mind, refresh your tired and sweaty feet, open your eyes, clean the dust from your heart. It feels so good, what was just a dream before, a distant vision, is now part of your life, you did it!
J] Make a promise: now that you have discovered a force that you were not even aware of, tell yourself that from now on you will use this force for the rest of your days. Preferably, also promise to discover another mountain, and set off on another adventure.

L] Tell your story: yes, tell your story! Give your example. Tell everyone that it’s possible, and other people will then have the courage to face their own mountains.

Excerpted from “LIKE THE FLOWING RIVER” (Point K, above missing, perhaps intentionally.)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Back to Galway and  '' The Reconnection '' with Elsa.
I had my reconnection two weeks ago ,  so glad I went ahead and did it . It takes two sessions to
 be reconnected and both were equally interesting, again I had intense feelings and responses to the
' Energy' almost as if I was being straightened out !
 I don't want to go in to all the details but it was intense and I feel it has made some big internal shifts in my being. Life seems to be supporting my efforts in everything related to Reconnection. As soon as I decided to work with the energy Joan ( one of my taichi students ) arrived with a fabulous massage table ! It just feels like something bigger than me is helping all the way.
So a big thanks to Elsa  (www.vividheal.com )  for reconnection me and for doing this great work in such a wonderful way.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Sunday, 10 June 2012


It is one thing giving someone a ' treatment ' and getting feedback, but now I really wanted to feel
what it was like to be on the receiving side of the table. So I did  some research, found Elsa Lee
( www.vividheal.com), and made an appointment with her in Galway. Elsa is warm and welcoming
and connects beautifully. I liked her immediately and was so glad I had come to her for my session.
Here are my ' notes ' after my treatment.

My first session with Elsa.

Calm very strong  registers in my eyes.
Very warm energy around my heart.
Later strong registers in my right arm.
Then very strong registers all over my whole body.
Very strong breathing and a sensation that reminded me of giving birth.
Then very calm again.
Later it felt as if Elsa was using electrodes on my body and I heard a crackling sound like static electricity.
There was a bubbling or fizzing sensation all over my body.

I was completely absorbed during the session and sorry when it ended. My body felt  alive and tingling for the rest of the day similar to how it would feel after a really good Shiatsu massage.

What an amazing session! I wanted more and very quickly decided to have ' Reconnection' with Elsa.
Enough writing for today I'll  keep that for my next blog.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Back to Reconnecting, having read Eric Pearl's book I had to try it on somebody, I wanted to see if people really did show bodily registers in response to the energy.  This was one of the aspects of using energy in tai chi I found frustrating, I would be very aware of the energy and really feel it but there was often no conscious or even unconscious response in the other person. With 'Reconnection energy work the recipient usually lies down  to receive a treatment.  This makes it easier to observe registers in their bodies.
John agreed to lie down, relax,  and allow me to give him a ' treatment ', Sure enough with his eyes closed and no physical contact between us his body would respond as my hands worked above it. What was interesting too was that the response was stronger when I worked some areas. John showed the strongest registers when I worked over his stomach and his feet. One of the aspects of this  ' energy ' work that really appeals to me is the fact that we do not need to interpret the responses or registers. We just empty our minds allow the intelligence to pass through us ant treat the person. It is actually not our business to figure anything out. I find this very freeing.
I discovered that I love giving these 'treatments, it feels like a form of meditation in that one has to stop the internal dialogue and tune in to the sensations in ones one body and those happening in the other person. Any attempt to make something happen ' dries ' up the feelings and the registers, so one has to surrender and listen fully and wait. Then the intelligent  ' energy 'does its work.
John found the treatments I gave him relaxing, he felt a ticklish sensation in his stomach and feet. On a few occasions he was so certain that I was touching various parts of his body that he opened his eyes to check.
He also noticed more positive  events at work but is very reluctant to suggest a correlation between the two without a lot more evidence.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

I don't often talk about energy in Tai Chi , I shy away from the topic. Last night I complained to John (my husband of 25 years, anniversary next Sunday ) that I was stuck had nothing to write about. He looked closely and asked
'' Is it  that you have nothing to say or that you are too afraid to write about it ? ''  He was right I am afraid of writing about this energy and my experiences over the last years and the developments over these last weeks.
A few weeks ago I began working again  on some of the ' energy '  work that Steven and John taught me. I always loved this work and also found it very challenging as it is so difficult to put the experience into words.
The sensations in and around my body while doing this work are similar to those when practicing the  form but feel stronger or amplified.  We practiced this work at John Kells and Steven's  intensives I had let it go in my own classes for quite a while. Then a few weeks ago I found myself opening to it once again and once again found myself struggling to explain this work, struggling to answer peoples questions. How could I put into words these feelings and sensations that felt so 'right ' so healing in my body.
As by a miracle I came across Dr Eric Pearl on Youtube and have found his experience to really resonate with our work. Since then I read his book and have begun to give some 'healing ' sessions a la Eric Pearl. Wow is all I can say, it is like finding a missing link in the chain . Now it is so much clearer. Must get ready for my next tai chi class now but will write about my ' Reconnection ' experience  later.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Listening with our whole self, without the internal dialogue, this takes awareness, practice and vigilance.
 A constant returning to the present moment, a letting go of judgements that arise, in fact letting go of everything that arises, and returning to an open awake wholehearted listening. And when it somehow happens even momentarily, you know without a doubt that this is what all your work has been aiming for, it has been leading you home to the quiet heart.