Tuesday, 31 December 2013

It's New Year's Eve, We ( John and I ) are off to a wedding early afternoon.  It is bringing up lots of resistance in me.
I would really prefer to be here reviewing last year and setting goals for 2014.
All my work and study tells me to embrace the day and the challenge of being out of my comfort zone.
Maybe this is the best way to spend New Year's Eve, it will give me the opportunity to 'listen empathetically', to let go of my daily practice and relax in a situation that is usually uncomfortable for me.
I can see the benefit of writing about my anxiety as already it seems smaller.
Not quite looking forward to it yet but definitely feel a bit more up beat.
 With anything that puts one out of the regular routine and in an uncomfortable situation my training says embrace the opportunity for growth,  ( I'm being my own coach here ) and it is working !
 I am actually beginning to look forward to the challenge to see how many new people I can chat to,  maybe get to hear some interesting stories.
Were they looking forward to the day or anxious like me ?
 Who knows what  adventure lies ahead if I keep an open mind.
I'm going to take it as a chance to change , to make 2014 the year  to get out of my comfort zone more often.

So there we go I have even discovered a goal for the coming Year.

Whether you are home tonight or out celebrating I hope you find your hearts desire in the year ahead.

I hope you have a Great 2014 full of Adventure and Fun .

I hope you find Inspiration Each Day.

Yes, Let's Aim High This New Year

Monday, 30 December 2013

Empathetic Listening

                                                              Carl Rogers

              Carl Rogers (1902-1987) was a humanistic psychologist who said  that for a person to "grow", they need an environment that provides them with genuineness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance (being seen with unconditional positive regard), and empathy (being listened to and understood).
Without these, relationships and healthy personalities will not develop as they should, much like a tree will not grow without sunlight and water.
Rogers believed that every person can achieve their goals, wishes and desires in life. When, or rather if they did so, self actualization took place.  This was one of Carl Rogers most important contributions to psychology.
He discovered that if you allowed a human being to be fully heard , without judging them or weighing them  down with advice , they would begin to discover the cause of their problem and the solution for themselves.
Rogers maintained that the idea of an 'expert ' in a white coat telling people what to do was disempowering in itself.
He had an optimistic view of human nature, believing that man was intrinsically able to find the answers to his own problems. It only required that the therapist listen to the client with total empathy, putting aside any personal judgement or advice, for the client to come slowly to his own resolution of the problem.

Rogers believed that in order for the world to attain peace , we had to begin by treating ourselves and each other in empathetic and unconditional ways that allowed individuals to be heard and understood.
He like Carl Jung believed that the redemption of the human race would come about by individuals dealing the fractured or damaged parts of their own souls rather than mass movements or crusades.

I empathise so much with Carl Rogers, how inspiring to read his beliefs about our potential to heal ourselves and each other through empathetic listening.


Saturday, 28 December 2013

More of Marquis d'Hervey de-Saint Denys Lucid Dreams

                                   Jim Shaw Dream Drawings

A few weeks ago someone was asking me why I work on OBE's and Lucid dreaming.
Here are a few more reasons which the Marquis dreaming reports confirm.
He used various devices to induce lucidity, he was a pioneer and wanted to understand sleep and dreaming.
After all we spend about one third of our lives sleeping, reflect on that for a moment ( we mostly forget about it ). Consider if you live to be 90 years old you will have spent about 30 of those years asleep ! When it is put this way doesn't it seem a shame not to invest in developing the ability to use this sleeping time. Instead of being lost to us sleep can be a time of adventure, research, personal development. ( just contemplating the possibilities excites me ).
Anyway back to the Marquis . 
In one dream he found himself witnessing a woman being attacked on a deserted street by two masked assassins. With no weapon to defend her, he took a moment to imagine the "yatagan" sword that hung across the fireplace in his home.  As soon a he expressed the desire the "terrible blade" appeared in his hand and he used it most effectively.

Even more interestingly in this dream he found himself pursued by a monster through a labyrinth of interconnecting rooms. Eventually summoning the will to turn and confront it, he saw it "whistling and cavorting in a manner which, once it had ceased to frighten me , appeared comic".The demon eventually faded into a "floating bundle of rags".  In Tibetan Dream Yoga nightmares of this type are considered to be a great training ground for the bardo state (for more information click  bardo  ) . Even if dream yoga doesn't appeal it is clear from that dream that confronting one's fears dissolves them, isn't it easy to see how this can enhance ones confidence in dealing with life's challenges.  

Top of his itinerary was  identifying where dreams came from . He proposed that they were patched together from old recollections . To test this idea he would pause in lucid dreams to note details of his surroundings such as street names and  shop fronts and on waking compare these with his diaries of his daily life. 
  This aspect of his research confirms my theory that lucid dreaming is another way to develop more interest and awareness in our daily life. Dreaming lucidly demands a high degree of self awareness and in paying full attention to all the events and surroundings of our daily life we become more lucid in all aspects of our lives whether we are awake or asleep. 

Could keep going but my other commitments are calling . . . . .  .   .    .      

Friday, 27 December 2013

Lucid Dreams, The Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys and Reconnection

A T'ai Chi friend who came for some ' Christmas' pushing hands brought me  New Scientist because she thought I'd enjoy the article on Lucid Dreaming.
 How right she was and how grateful and happy am I to have this article. It is written by David Robson ( who writes features in his sleep )  and tells about the Marquis de Saint-Denys born in 1822 who became an avid lucid dreamer.

The Marquis started drawing scenes from his dreams and this became a consuming passion, to the point that, after 200 straight nights of observations, he found himself in the peculiar situation of dreaming about recording dreams.  He awoke frustrated : what if he could have gone one step further and gained full awareness of the dream state? " Think of all the interesting details I could have collected " he wrote.
He didn't have to wait long,  a week later the same vision of recording dreams came to him this time, awareness stirred in his sleeping mind. " I had a definite sensation that I was dreaming. " Fifteen months later he was lucid dreaming every night. ( Great encouragement for all of us who want to work on lucid dreaming.)

What has this got to do with reconnection ?
Further on in this article Robson  writes about the current dream research which suggests that lucid awareness is linked to high frequency activity in the brains frontal and parietal lobes. In his research on Reconnection and it's effect on brain activity ( in both therapist and recipient) William Tiller found that Reconnection also  induced high frequency activity in the brain's frontal lobes. Is this coincidence ? Who knows but I wonder if it's also just another happy coincidence that lucid dreaming and OBE's etc have become  real and significant in my life since becoming so involved with Reconnection Work.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Just For A Few Minutes - Let's Feel Into Our Bodies

I love this body exercise from Kevin Flanagan's book Everyday Genius

" You have tiny receptors in your feet that tell you exactly how much space your feet take up at any given moment. You can usually make yourself aware of this by noticing your feet pressing against the inner lining of your shoes or socks.

How big do your feet feel ?

What part of them is resting on the floor?

Just bring your attention gently down towards your feet and see if you can get some definite sensory  feedback or  awareness of how much space they are occupying right now.

When you have decided you have spent enough time on your feet move on to another part of your body.


Using the same approach, try bringing your attention down to your legs.

Focus on the space between your ankles and your hip bone and, using the same receptors , see if you can get a sense of how much space your legs take up in the room right now.

See if you can get a sense of the shape of your lower leg and then your knee joint and upper leg.

How big are your thighs ?

Remember you don't have to get this exercise right it is just to develop awareness and a feeling sense of your body.  "


Now bring your attention to the area between the base of your spine and the top of your stomach.

How much space does this part of your body take up?

Can you get a sense of how cylindrical your stomach is ?

How it presses against your belt or trousers ?

How much space is inside it ? "

Now continue through all these parts of your body
asking  yourself questions about the space that part takes up. This questioning will bring you right into your body .

 Your Chest,

 Shoulders and Neck,

Arms and Hands,

Mouth and Tongue,






Can you sense your body working and informing you right now?

Is your body trying to tell you something ?

If so can you take a minute to rest in silence and listen ?

Does anything come something you might like to write about ?

Take a moment to check how you are feeling right now - all over your body - and inside of it.

Do you feel the same as when you started the exercise ?

If not where is the difference felt.  "

I love to give myself the time to do this exercise. I always feel so different afterwards , and often I will discover new sensations deep in my body . And as with Dr Fehmi's Open Focus exercises, paying attention to space really relaxes the body and the mind.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Charlie Chaplin's As I Began to Love Myself

                                                                  Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in
my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude
a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since
I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING
is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this
connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born.Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

This poem was written when he was seventy.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Interesting Exilarating Experience

Early this morning while in a hypnagogic  state I had this 'rushing'  sound in one ear and then the other ear, then a few seconds later it happened again , and then again , this went on for a while . This ' rushing woshing ' sound was not very loud or really intense as it had been in my first lucid OBE. This was a gentle soft
 ' woshing ' that in retrospect relaxed and in a strange way comforted me. I did think to myself  "This reminds me of my OBE " ,  but there was no expectation or excitement ' Ann ' was calm and peaceful.
Then I became conscious of a woman's presence, she was tall and slim , dressed in black trousers and a polo neck sweater. She began talking to me and I ' knew ' that she 'knew ' about OBE's.
 She said " The most important thing is to have the experience so you 'know ' for certain that they are real. " Then she began to speak in the past tense about the experience I was about to have. She described it as if she was speaking to a third party.
 " She will travel along the motorway and view the countryside and then come to rest ".
 I can't remember any more of what she said.
 Then I felt myself being ' helped out of my body , I was being pushed gently from behind while also being pulled from the front. It was very gentle and I just went with it. Next I was up high above a busy road which widened out to become a motorway. Someone was holding on to my neck as if they were coming along for the ride. It felt as if a child's arms were holding on piggy back style. I asked, " Are you ok ?"
hoping to discover who was there but they didn't answer. We flew along a coastline highway with white marble type rock that the sea had sculpted  into beautiful shapes.
Then I landed high on a cliff above a river , the rock was similar to that along the highway, a creamy white warm colour,  I was sitting in a little crevice almost like a sand dune , the 'child ' was gone , but a lovely golden retriever was sitting next to me. He reminded me of Flint who lived next door and had  died a long while ago.  I felt he had come to say Hi, .I stroked him and  then he wandered off.
 I sat there foe a long time admiring the scenery and watching the people far below on the river bank. I tried to fly but discovered that I couldn't . I thought  "How will I get home ", and relaxed thinking "My body will pull me back when the time is right. " Then I got up and walked along the cliff until I came to a house. The gate was wide open so in I went and met a man who seemed unsurprised to see me . He thanked me ( I didn't consciously know him) for having comforted him after the death of his father.
He had two small children a little boy of about two and a half sitting happily in a little sand play area and a baby of about nine months sitting in a baby seat. I began to play with her trying to get her to smile and laugh.
Next I found myself back in bed awake and feeling awe struck light and very happy.
I have been pondering the experience all morning wondering if it really was an OBE or a dream.
Either way it was a good experience which has left me full of wonder at all the possibilities for night time adventures.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas Gift

This is a really good time of year to look inward.  Day's are short and instead of spending time in front  of a television screen why not use the longer night time to develop your body and your mind.
This has been my habit for years now and the benefits are immense.
You will discover aspects of yourself that otherwise would have atrophied for want of attention.
Even choosing to spend a half hour in silence can be a wonderful balm. When the fuss and festivities, the noise both external and internal get too much  there is nothing like some space and silence to restore peace and balance.
Even now just take a minute to just look at the empty space below and notice any space that arises between your thoughts.

Now notice how your body feels .

Do it again ,notice the spaces that occur between your thoughts as you look at the space below .

Hopefully you already feel a shift in your body and mind , a sense of relaxation arising , it doesn't take long to do this but and the physical and emotional benefits far outweigh the cost in time.

I hope you are feeling how giving yourself the gift of personal time could be the best Christmas Present ever.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Winter Solstice Greetings

Today December 21 is the Winter Solstice and for as long as I can remember has been a really important day.
 Growing up we always celebrated its arrival and looked forward to the the Sun's return.
The Solstice Celebration was an ambiguous one ( in my house anyway it was felt as a digression from the Christian feast on the 25'th .
 I always got the sense that the Solstice was a pagan ritual and almost celebrated in secret. It had an air of mystery and danger as if one was entering forbidden territory. This may be one of the reasons it intrigued me.
It had the appeal of forbidden fruit. Yet another of the ambivalent aspects of Irish Christianity.
 My Uncle Seamus ( the priest ), loved all these old  pre christian tombs and sites, we would visit them and when there listen to marvellous tales of heroes from our ancient past.  Tales of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Cu Culainn and  ' 'Diarmuid agus Grainne' filled  my head and nourished my imagination.  These trips awakened dreams of heroic journeys way beyond the darkness of long winters.

So on this Solstice I want to Celebrate,

 Celebrate The Stories ,

The Rich Heritage In Our Landscape ,

 In Our Bones , Our DNA,

 Celebrate The Return  Of The Sun Our Life Giving Star.

Here below are some News Clips on Newgrange and the Winter Solstice

Art Work On The Stones At Newgrange

Newgrange Inside The Passage Tomb


Friday, 20 December 2013

So Beautiful Love This Man and His Project


Keeping Your Head

         A poem  to keep our perspective when things become a bit hectic.

         Let's  keep our attention on what really counts.

        When the fuss is all over, and the candles have burned out.

         What will we remember?

        The genuine smile , the person who had time to listen, the
        warm glow from true love in a friend's eyes.


               IF you can keep your head when all about you
               Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
               If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
               But make allowance for their doubting too;
               If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
               Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
               Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
               And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

               If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
               If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
               If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
               And treat those two impostors just the same;
               If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
               Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
               Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
               And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

              If you can make one heap of all your winnings
              And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
              And lose, and start again at your beginnings
              And never breathe a word about your loss;
              If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
              To serve your turn long after they are gone,
              And so hold on when there is nothing in you
              Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

              If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
              Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
              If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
              If all men count with you, but none too much;
              If you can fill the unforgiving minute
              With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
              Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
              And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

                                   Rudyard Kipling  

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Sweet Memories of Mercy Sisters, Bee's Wax and Cake

Convent of Mercy Charleville

Warm welcomes into gleaming wax scented parlours, tea in beautiful china cups and of course sweet cake.
These are some of the  ' thought - feelings'  ( I must invent a word  nostalgic doesn't capture the emotion )for the sensations that arose in me yesterday at Sr. Monica's funeral.

Sr Monica was a member of the Charleville convent and I came to know her through my beloved  Uncle Seamus. When he was in his late eighties and becoming more feeble Sr Monica would call to him each day .
Always smiling and and full of care for him and anybody else who might be around. She brought peace with her, a calm serenity that surrounded her no matter what was happening externally. She was already an old sister when she was caring for U Seamus.  In my opinion she epitomised the very best in human nature.

Yesterday as we sat in the church during her funeral Mass, and followed her Coffin to the Convent graveyard I was filled with memories of bygone days. Times when convents were full of nuns both young and old. Convents have had a lot of bad press in recent times but there is another side, there are the stories of many  ' Sister Monica's ' not only in Charleville but throughout the world whose love and dedication to their beliefs, brought peace, education, comfort and help to many needy people who otherwise would have been neglected.

No institution is perfect because we are all imperfect, however there are beacons of light in all societies, people who embody the ideals of their founders. Sr Monica was one such sister, those of us who came in contact with her were enriched by her presence .
 Let's be thankful for the presence of the many people like Sr Monica who enrich our lives.
 Let's also be thankful for the Mercy Sisters and all the great work the have done world wide in service of  humanity.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Why Discipline Is Such A Treasure

“The overman...Who has organized the chaos of his passions, given style to his character, and become creative. Aware of life's terrors, he affirms life without resentment. ”
 Friedrich Nietzsche

“Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one's mind is the essence of the Buddha's teaching.”
 Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

“Always Remember to take your Vitamins: Take your Vitamin A for ACTION, Vitamin B for Belief, Vitamin C for Confidence ,Vitamin D for Discipline, Vitamin E for Enthusiasm!!”

“One painful duty fulfilled makes the next plainer and easier.”
 Helen Keller,

"In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first."
Harry S. Truman

“Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.”
Jim Rohn

“Freedom is born of self-discipline. No individual, no nation, can achieve or maintain liberty without self-control. The undisciplined man (or woman) is a slave to his own weaknesses.”
Alan Valentine

“No steam or gas drives anything until it is confined. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.”
Harry Fosdick

"If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self."
Napoleon Hill

"Right discipline consists, not in external compulsion, but in the habits of mind which lead spontaneously to desirable rather than undesirable activities."
Bertrand Russell

“Discipline - Success doesn't just happen. You have to be intentional about it, and that takes discipline.”
John Maxwell

“Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, whether you like it or not.”
Thomas Henry Huxley

The rewards of discipline are immeasurable, no dream can be achieved without self-discipline. I love to read these quotes because they inspire me to pursue and persist in my work.
When my dreams 'evaporate ' before I can capture them, when my spirits flag and it seems up hill, these quotations lift my spirits and refocus my will.

May they Inspire you too, to persist and achieve your dreams.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Simple Plesasures

                      It had rained heavily all day



          So there was already the evening hush

                    Lights were just coming on

                          And a soft  silence had descended

                         As we strolled familiar paths

                That seem more magical in this soft evening light.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Developing Pathways


Designer Christopher tells this story about an architect who built a cluster of large office buildings that were   set in a central green. When construction was complete, the landscape crew asked him where he wanted     the sidewalks between the buildings.  " Not yet " was the architect's reply, " just plant grass solidly between   the buildings". This was done and by late summer the new lawn was laced with pathways of trodden grass,   connecting building to building. As Williams puts it, " The paths followed the most efficient line between the   points of connection, turned in easy curves rather than right angles, and were sized according to traffic flow. In the fall the architect simply paved the pathways.  Not only did the pathways have design beauty,  they responded directly to user needs. "
- from Roger Von Oech book A Whack on the Side of the Head

I love this story it feels like it could be T'ai Chi story and it reminds me of how we T'ai Chi teachers learn our craft.
We watch how our bodies and  those of our students respond to the work.
We listen with our bodies and engage all our senses to find the pathways of peace and love .
Looking forward to sharing some of these well worn and effective pathways in Dervish later today.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Dervish this Saturday a T'ai Chi Date

Relax Recharge and Rejuvenate. Have more Flow and Ease in your life. Health, Strength , Serenity, Joy and Calm. These are the benefits of practising T'ai Chi's soft subtle exercises that relax your body while building strength and health.

I am so excited to announce that I will be teaching T'ai Chi with Open Focus in Dervish.

The first session is on this Saturday December 14'th at 1.30pm .
This '  Dervish Class ' will be  drop in sessions.

 Saturday is the ' Launch ' of this New approach to teaching with
 a big emphasis on Open Focus training.

The combination of Open Focus with T'ai Chi optimises  the  positive benefits of T'ai Chi.

The Sessions will continue on Monday's at 2 pm starting January 13'th  .

Looking forward to seeing some old friends and making friends with newcomers.

Self Sabotage And A Sense Of Humour

       I'm working to become more lucid in my dreams

 And I need find a way to stop sabotaging my attempts need to brighten up !

           In a few recent attempts I have woken myself up with the
           excitement of realizing I'm dreaming, and this morning was the
           last straw.
           In this mornings dream I was visiting a castle John (my husband )
           was with me and we noticed that there were a lot of police
           around they were on alert with guns out, as if they were waiting
           for an attack. Then I thought to myself this is more like a movie
           ( Irish police never have guns ). I must be dreaming.
           Stupidly I decided to check if I was dreaming by
                    OPENING MY EYES !!!!!
          As soon as they opened I was raging with myself .
          Thank God for having a sense of humour now at least I can
          see the funny side of it.
          I am also grateful for my philosophy of looking for the positive,
         when I reflect in that way I feel that at least some awakening is
          happening and that is encouraging.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Changing Feelings

                Is it because it's 'my' city that I love Cork sooooomuch

             Love the rushing sound of the Lee flowing by

                      Love the mystery of lights across the river

                The  feel of Christmas coming

              And  my spin on the wheel

I didn't always love Christmas I have written about that before, and  from my experience I feel it is possible to change one's feelings on most any topic.

This week I decided to work on my negative feelings towards a friend.

 I used think about all the aspects of this person that irritated me .

Thinking of this person I wrote down every positive thing I could think of about them.

Doing this I realized that I really like the way they dress.

I love their sense of humour.

They are always willing to try new things.  Always up for a laugh.

After a few minutes of this I couldn't wait to meet up and see how we got along .

It was great , having focused on the aspects of them that I really enjoyed that was all I noticed.

Now with Christmas coming again I'm writing all I love about this season and looking forward to enjoying it even more.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Let's Imagine

                                          Love is always Loving you.

                                   Without this Love you cannot breathe,

                                           as without air you cannot live.

                                    Love is Meditation, Meditation is Love.

                                               Heart has no frontiers;

                                                Meditate on This.

                                   You are this Love, You are That.

                                   Simply be Quiet and stay as such.


Just Imagine for a few minutes how this world would be if we all embodied these thoughts.
Let us begin to Imagine for ourselves that LOVE IS ALWAYS LOVING US and allow our love to shine out .

                John Lennon had this dream too IMAGINE


Monday, 9 December 2013

Launching New T'ai Chi Sessions in Dervish next Saturday

Relax Recharge and Rejuvenate. Have more Flow and Ease in your life. Health, Strength , Serenity, Joy and Calm. These are the benefits of practicing T'ai Chi's soft subtle exercises that relax your body while building strength and health.

I am so excited to announce that I will be teaching T'ai Chi with Open Focus in Dervish.

The first session is on this Saturday December 14'th at 1.30pm .
This '  Dervish Class ' will be  drop in sessions.

 Saturday is the ' Launch ' of this New approach to teaching with
 a big emphasis on Open Focus training.

The combination of Open Focus with T'ai Chi optimizes  the  positive benefits of T'ai Chi.

The Sessions will continue on Monday's at 2 pm starting January 13'th  .

Looking forward to seeing some old friends and making friends with newcomers.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Some Benefits of Open Focus Walking

                 A regular

              morning walk

              takes on a new


                     when counting spaces

                     the ordinary

           takes on a new light

                   familiar walks

                     and well known views delight and inspire anew.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Looking for the Good

I just love the sentiments in this video which I posted yesterday  here  for  anybody who hasn't seen it. I have seen so often that I will find evidence for anything that I'm look for consciously .

When sports coaches showed teams replays of videos showing them their mistakes they did improve a little on their performance. however when they changed the strategy and only showed them their best moments their game improved much faster.

Isn't this more confirmation of the positive benefits of paying attention to what is already working well , and we will get more of what is working well.

This has so many implications personally and professionally the mind boggles.

Imagine what it would be like if we all paid attention to the best aspects of our spouses, children friends and most importantly of our imagined enemies.

What if teachers paid more attention to the successes of children than to pointing out what was incorrect.

My heart soars with the thought of a world of people looking for the GOOD.

Let's do it today , let's look for the good all around us and let's CELEBRATE the GOOD.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Open Focus Walk

                              Silver light over the hilltop

                              Space and silence a balm for the soul

    At last weekend's workshop I invited people to take a silent walk. I call it an Open Focus Walk I got great feedback telling how interesting people found it so I thought I'd share it here.

Next time you are out walking count shapes , count until you reach a hundred and then start counting once again . Just keep counting. When your mind wanders off and you notice that it has wandered just bring it back to counting shapes. Now the shapes I like to count are  the shapes created by space. The space in and around and between objects.
For example I love to count shapes between the clouds , shapes like those in the in the sky photos above.
There are endless space shapes all around and counting them brings a great sense of space into our conscious awareness.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Finding Love

This beautiful message from Karma Tube totally expresses a deep belief of mine , one that I too have found to be true. Enjoy and share the sentiments.

Finding Love

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Connections And Interconnections

"Light here is literally the substance and matter of our thought life. Thus, as our thought become attuned to the vibration of Creative Divinity, so the substance of our bodies changes, becomes less dense and reflecting more Light.
We carry our own Light. The greater therefore the selflessness and illumination of our minds and the more positive our response to higher frequency of vibration, the purer and brighter is the Light transmitted by us. "
- from  Helen Greaves Testimony of Light.  The book is based on the communications that Helen received telepathically from her friend Francis which began three weeks after Francis' death.
I am really excited about my mother 'appearing ' to awaken me into a lucid dream state (as in my  blog post stick insects , worms and my mother  ).
It seems to me ( and this may sound strange ) that she is helping me, that I'm getting her help and approval for my work.
In a small way it reminds me of the support and help Helen received from fer friend Francis.
 I have often written about her disapproval for any interest in occult matters and by occult I mean Yoga, T'ai Chi , Astrology , Palmistry anything that was outside her idea of Catholic.
She softened a little towards my work after her Near Death Experience, in her last days she told me  that I had healing in my hands and that I would use them in my work. This was the only time that she referred to my work in a favourable light.
 I interpreted her 'silence ' as disapproval but it may also have been her fear that I would get a 'swollen head'  ( almost as bad as not being fully Catholic).
Anyway , now it seems or feels to me that a change has come about in our relationship.
A huge warmth and gratitude has arisen in me for the help I am receiving.
This fits in with the much of the material I have been reading about how 'spirits' can help us from the other side.  ( funnily enough my mother always  had a big sense of being helped by my father who had died when she was forty five ). This didn't contradict any of her Catholic beliefs.
   Here is a link to a review of Testimony of Light  if you would like to know more.

Stick insects, worms , and my mother

I'm a novice lucid dreamer and have been having a semi frustrating time this last while as I often awaken as soon as I realise that I am dreaming. Sometimes when I awaken and recall the dream I have just had I will remember of  thinking ( in the dream ), " This is odd I must be dreaming " but thinking that during the dream didn't elicit lucidity.
This morning I did manage to become fully lucid even if it was short lived.

Here is the dream.

I'm chatting to a friend downstairs in my house, the conversation is a little awkward I'm wondering if she wants to stay or leave. Next I notice that I'm upstairs on the landing and there is a very large stick insect 'walking ' out of the bathroom towards me .

The stick insect is about two feet long and bright brown in colour.  There is a smaller one coming along behind it.   I don't particularly like the look of the insects and go into my bedroom and shut the door behind me. 
Then I notice the stick coming around through the joint in the door.  About the same time I notice a big white worm burrowing straight up through the carpet. It is definitely a worm but is 

' standing'  upright just like this snake .

I call my mother ( just like I would have done as a child ). I open the bedroom door and she is standing there.  As soon as I see her ( she is looking great and much younger than when she died )  I look straight at her and say " You are dead so this must be a dream ".
Then I think " Wow I'm lucid what will I do now ?" In the dream  remember that Stephen LaBerge says if you want to change your dream start spinning (or that's what I remember ) so I close my eyes and start spinning , only when I open them I can't see,  everything has gone dark. Then I remember that I am usually able to fly in lucid dreams so I decide to fly up out of the house. I begin to rise up and feel myself pushing through the roof. It feels more like burrowing through and this goes on and on until I awaken.

Awake I recall the 'dream' , am delighted that at least I became conscious in a dream.

On reflection today I felt sorry for dismissing my mother , sorry I didn't thank her for 'waking me ' to my dream state.
 I also found it to be an interesting coincidence that my mother, who was so upset at my teenage explorations into yoga etc should be the  ' cause  ' of my awakening in this dream and also in one I had on my return from Portugal.

I have lots of thoughts on that topic too but it is well after midnight and I'm really looking forward to sleeping and dreaming.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Learning To Go With The Flow

Here again  is the one of the Energy exercises from the weekend. I developed this exercise last summer and had put it on the  ' back boiler' . Then when I was planning the workshop it kept coming to mind. Including it was such a good idea . Everyone ' got ' the feel of ' joining ' with each other and keeping the energy flowing , one person giving while the other receives and then reversing each half  cycle of the exercise.
This giving and receiving of energy becomes very clear to people after they have practiced the version below.  

In this version of the exercise we 'meet ' in the centre and it feels a little like a clash of energy. This contrasting feeling really helps us to awaken to the feel of energy, and also how it  feels to  with  or against the flow of energy.

A fairly cool skill to develop as we are always in a floe of energy and being able to 'read ' the direction and the flow makes for a much clearer smoother more fulfilling life .

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

BackTo Energy

I  love when someone challenges me ( be careful what you wish for) or asks a question that expands my point of view.
 Since Eliz asked why I focus on the energetic benefits of T'ai Chi thoughts and experiences have been coming into my mind .
 In effect I have been answering the question over and over in my head since Saturday.
This has been a very powerful question foe me as it has helped to clarify my understanding of just why the energy aspect is so important.
Here are just a few of the insights that have become even clearer over the last few days.
We are more than our physical bodies , our energy body which surrounds and interpenetrates our physical body has a huge impact on our physical body.
" Wherever the mind goes the energy follows " In our practice we move our minds all around and through and beyond our bodies.
 We embody the movements physically and mentally and energetically
 Beginners really have to work very hard to 'get' the postures and this is a great way of focusing their energy.
 I think this helps explain why T'ai Chi can have such a big impact on balance , strength serenity in a relatively short time .
We are not just moving our bodies in a beautiful way , we are moving our minds , our energy and  our spirit.
The integration of all these elements is what makes this practice so special and  unique .
Yes our balance improves , Yes we become more flexible in mind and body, Yes we become more self contained and serene.
Best of all we become captivated by the mystery of this Art which all words fail to express.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Redressing A Balance

Eliz  was berating me at Saturday's workshop for omitting to speak about the physical benefits of T'ai Chi. She correctly pointed out that I'm always referring to the energetic benefits and fail to elaborate on the physical ones.

So I decided to redress the balance and post this article on the benefits of T'ai Chi from the Harvard Medical School.

No pain, big gains

Although tai chi is slow and gentle and doesn't leave you breathless, it addresses the key components of fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning. Here's some of the evidence:

Muscle strength. In a 2006 study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Stanford University researchers reported benefits of tai chi in 39 women and men, average age 66, with below-average fitness and at least one cardiovascular risk factor. After taking 36 tai chi classes in 12 weeks, they showed improvement in both lower-body strength (measured by the number of times they could rise from a chair in 30 seconds) and upper-body strength (measured by their ability to do arm curls).

In a Japanese study using the same strength measures, 113 older adults were assigned to different 12-week exercise programs, including tai chi, brisk walking, and resistance training. People who did tai chi improved more than 30% in lower-body strength and 25% in arm strength — almost as much as those who participated in resistance training, and more than those assigned to brisk walking.

"Although you aren't working with weights or resistance bands, the unsupported arm exercise involved in tai chi strengthens your upper body," says internist Dr. Gloria Yeh, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. "Tai chi strengthens both the lower and upper extremities and also the core muscles of the back and abdomen."

Flexibility. Women in the 2006 Stanford study significantly boosted upper- and lower-body flexibility as well as strength.

Balance. Tai chi improves balance and, according to some studies, reduces falls. Proprioception — the ability to sense the position of one's body in space — declines with age. Tai chi helps train this sense, which is a function of sensory neurons in the inner ear and stretch receptors in the muscles and ligaments. Tai chi also improves muscle strength and flexibility, which makes it easier to recover from a stumble. Fear of falling can make you more likely to fall; some studies have found that tai chi training helps reduce that fear.

Aerobic conditioning. Depending on the speed and size of the movements, tai chi can provide some aerobic benefits. But in the Japanese study, only participants assigned to brisk walking gained much aerobic fitness. If your clinician advises a more intense cardio workout with a higher heart rate than tai chi can offer, you may need something more aerobic as well.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Why I love Working in this way

One of the reasons that I love the T'ai Chi John Kells thought me is his emphasis on connection.
Listening with one's body and one's energy is a cornerstone to his teaching.
I love this approach as it connects ' psyco' and soma . In the beginning stages of T'ai Chi practice this connection is mostly felt on a subconscious level we are not consciously aware that of this energetic connection.
With practice and direction our energy and awareness become more refined,  tuned on more subtle levels then  new worlds open to us.
This is not some abstract effect, it is has very practical applications in everyday life .
By practicing the  partner work  we learn to tune to many different energy rhythms.
We all have our own energy signature  just as we all have our own finger print .
When we are well versed in listening to energy we are well able to tune into other
people's energy and connect in a deeper more meaningful way.

Soft connection, mutual listening through the hands and  body.
Time spent cultivating subtle awareness, sensitivity to ourselves
and each other. This is what our practice is all about.

Saturday, 30 November 2013



                            As the cat
                            climbed over
                            the top of

                            the jamcloset
                            first the right

                           then the hind
                           stepped down

                           into the pit of
                           the empty

            Somehow this William Carlos Williams poem
           seems a perfect prelude to tomorrow's workshop


Friday, 29 November 2013

Lying in bed this morning I remembered Ray from yesterday's video and thought of him saying ,  " I feel so glad to open my eves in the morning , to have another day in this world " And I too felt that gladness to be alive, to have another day to explore. I made a promise to myself that today I would relax and allow.
So I'm relaxing into this blog post allowing the words to just write themselves and allowing my heart to connect out to anyone who might read these words , wishing you too a relaxed , interesting day of fun and wonder.

Now I reminded about tomorrows Workshop in Blackrock. So excited about it as I have some 'new' ideas to investigate.
 New ways to explore our energy awareness that I can't wait to share .
 I surprise myself with this enthusiasm and wonder in finding new insights.
 It confirms my belief that when we ask 'something ' out there hears and answers.

Here is the link to the Google map for the hall which is on Convent Avenue for anyone who haven't been to the Blackrock Centre before.
Convent Avenue 

Wow What An Inspiring Man

Just a  few minutes to watch this wise man.

My Neiighbour Ray

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts

The Dalai Lama  when asked about what surprised him most about humanity answered.  " Man,  because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrificies money in order to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in  the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies never having fully lived. "

 Yesterday I had an email from my dear friend Pat about the importance of  accepting and allowing which was a timely reminder to relax and take things a bit easier.
Then this morning I came across this Quote from the Dalai Lama and thought life is really talking to me .

Maybe the sentiments resonate with you too.  I know that sometimes I ' working ' so hard to become present that i can get lost.

A Special Happy Relaxing Thanksgiving Day to all my fellow searchers and seekers.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Circumstances and Persistence

                                               Thomas Edison

The vast majority of people have enormous potentialities of thinking, far beyond anything ordinarily suspected; but so seldom do the right circumstances by chance surround them to require their actualization that the vast majority die without realizing more than a fraction of their powers.Born millionaires, they live and die in poverty for the lack of favourable circumstances which would have compelled them to convert their credit into cash.  -A.R Orage

Why is thought, being a secretion of the brain, more wonderful than gravity, a property of matter ? - Charles Darwin

Isn't it a shame that we spend years in schools that do not even attempt to teach us about the workings of our minds, that do not provide the circumstances to actualise our potential. So much evidence exists to show that it is often the people who ' fail ' the school system go on to become great inventors.
Take for example Thomas Edison  who was the youngest of seven children,  his teachers said
he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive." As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the lightbulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."
Edison may have had the ' correct' circumstances to actualise his potential or maybe he created the correct circumstances through his persistence.
It would be nice to think that we could improve the educational system to help children actualise more potential and no doubt the system is better now than it was even twenty years ago. However there is always something , some extra spark that needs to to happen either externally or internally to compel us to push beyond our comfort zone and aim for the stars.
We cannot blame our teachers , our parents , or our circumstances , we live in an age when we have all the resources available , we just need decide our goals,  set our compass to the ' star' and just like Thomas Edison keep  inventing and reinventing until we reach our destination.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

  There is something magical about dusk , about the play of light
   that adds mystery and wonder.
  There are magical possibilities as night settles in.
  Just as winter has it's own particular appeal so does the  night,
  that special time for withdrawing from the   external world and turning
  inward whether it is to rest in fireside repose or in night dreams
  it is a special time of renewal.
  I am all the more conscious of this special time since developing my
  interest in OBE's and Lucid Dreaming.
  In fact OBE's  and Lucid Dreams very closely related they could be
  considered to be just like first cousins or so it seems to me.
  Now that I have read OBE descriptions one or two of my  lucid
  dreams seem so similar that it is difficult to be sure which category they
  fall into.  Inducing lucid dreams seem more accessible. I have more      
 experience of them and for this reason working to have more lucid
 dreams seems like the best way  forward  in the hopes of more full OBE's.
 Both OBE's and Lucid Dreams seem to compliment the  new levels of
 awareness that are happening all  over our planet.
 I wonder if I would ever have awakened to these phenomenon without
 T'ai Chi , Open focus and  Reconnection.
 It seems clear to me now that there was a progression happening in
 my level of awareness.
 That each practice is significant in developing some aspect of me
 that was dormant. I think we are so very lucky to be alive in this time
 of awakening.
 A time when secret teachings are available to anyone who wants
  to develop.
 We all have our own particular blocks and areas where our
  light is obscured .
 With the help of teachings and teachers we can all become
 more and more clear and bright .
 We can all have access to our own particular ' Einstein' who
 can help us to unravel our own ' flowchart' and come to fulfilment
of our true potential in this lifetime.

Monday, 25 November 2013

November Workshop

Here is the full Mini Form for Monday and Tuesday's classes.

We are almost finished this form just one more lesson so we will be ready in time for the Workshop in Blackrock on November 30'th.

I'm really looking forward to this workshop. We will work on the Forms, Short Form and Mini Form.
We will pay special attention to Energy Exercises in order to enhance energy awareness and also to strengthen our energy body .

The aim of this Workshop is to optimise  our ability to focus and develop a better understanding of  Energy in T'ai Chi and life.

The Workshop will begin at 10 30 with Short Form work for the first hour .
11 30 - 4   is open to all levels .

 Recharge Your Energy

 Improve Your  Knowledge and Understanding of T'ai Chi.

 Meet fellow T'ai Chi students from other groups.

 Have Fun and Learn.

Amazing Lucid Dreaming

 Those of  us who are lucid dream apprentices need to develop excellent dream recall,we may be having more lucid dreams than we know about , but because of poor dream recall are not aware of these dreams.
Here s one of the best tips I have come across for remembering your dreams. As soon as you awaken stay perfectly still and notice the first thoughts and feelings that come to mind. Thoughts of the day ahead will probably present themselves also but with a bit of practise you will recognise that these thoughts ' feel ' different to the dream fragments which are simultaneously present.  Shortly you will be focusing on the dream fragments  and have much better control.

Here is an inspiring lucid dream story from Robert Waggoner's Lucid Dreaming Gateway To The Inner Self.

Solving an Important Problem

In a lucid dream taken from  Exploring the world of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LeBerge and Howard Rheingold, we find a computer programmer who keeps good company as he works on practical issues of programming while lucidly aware.

" At night I will dream that I am sitting in a parlor  ( an old fashioned one that Sherlock Holmes might use).
I'm sitting with Einstein white bushy - hair in the flesh. He and I are good friends.  We talk about the programme, start to do some flow charts on a blackboard . Once we think we have come up with a good one we laugh. Einstein says, " Well the rest is history ". Einstein excuses himself to go to bed. I sit in his recliner and doodle some code in a notepad. When the code is all done I look at it and say to myself , "I want to remember this flowchart when I wake up".   I concentrate very hard on the blackboard and the notepad. Then I wake up. It is usually about 3 : 30 am . I start writing as fast as I can .I take this to work and it's usually about 99 percent accurate. "

Wow !  Reading Lucid dream stories really inspires me to work and become more Lucid .
 Imagine the help and direction available to us when we can direct our dreams.
 Imagine all the extra time we would have to work, explore and learn.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Stephen LaBerge 's Lucid Dream Lab

Here is Stephen LaBerge a psychophysiologist and a leader in the scientific study of lucid dreaming. He began researching lucid dreaming for his Ph.D. in Psychophysiology at Stanford University, which he received in 1980.. He developed techniques to enable himself and other researchers to enter a lucid dream at will. Here is his account of how he ' proved ' the reality of lucid dreaming.
" From the very beginning, I had been interested in the possibility, first raised by Charles Tart, of
communication from the lucid dream to the outside world, while the dream was happening.
 The problem was, since most of the dreamer's body is paralyzed during REM sleep, how could the dreamer send such a message? What might the lucid dreamer be able to do within the dream that could be
observed or measured by scientists? A plan suggested itself to me. There is one obvious exception to this
muscular paralysis, since eye movements are in no way inhibited during REM sleep. After all, it is the
occurrence of rapid eye movements that gives this stage of sleep its name. Earlier dream studies had shown that there is sometimes a precise correspondence between the direction
of dreamers' observable eye movements and the direction they are looking in their dreams.

 In one remarkable example, a subject was awakened from REM sleep after making a series of about two dozen regular horizontal eye movements. He reported that in his dream he had been watching a Ping-Pong
game, and just before being awakened he had been following a long volley with his dream gaze. I knew that lucid dreamers could freely look in any direction they wished while in a lucid dream,
because I had done this myself. It occurred to me that by moving my (dream) eyes in a recognizable
pattern, I might be able to send a signal to the outside world when I was having a lucid dream. I tried
this out in the first lucid dream that I recorded: I moved my dream gaze up, down, up, down, up, to the
count of five. As far as I knew at the time, this was the first signal deliberately transmitted from the
dream world. The only trouble, of course, is that there was no one in the outside world to record it!
What I needed was a dream lab. I knew Stanford University had an excellent one under the direction of
the sleep and dream research pioneer, Dr. William C. Dement. I made inquiries in the summer of 1977
and found a researcher, Dr. Lynn Nagel, at the Stanford University Sleep Research Center who was very
interested in the prospects of studying lucid dreams in the laboratory.

In September of the same year, I applied to Stanford University, proposing to study lucid dreams as part
of a Ph.D. program in psychophysiology. My proposal was approved, and in the fall of 1977 I started my
work on lucid dreams. Serving on my faculty committee were professors Karl Pribram and Roger
Shepard from psychology, Julian Davidson from physiology, and Vincent Zarcone Jr. and William
Dement from psychiatry. Since Lynn Nagel was not a member of the Stanford faculty, our relationship
was entirely unofficial. However, Lynn was my de facto principal advisor and collaborator on my
dissertation research.
Lynn and I didn't waste any time getting me into the sleep lab. On my first night we had, unfortunately,
decided to see if it would be helpful to awaken me at the beginning of each REM period in order to
remind me to dream lucidly when I went back to sleep. It is clear in hindsight that this was not a good
idea, since the result was very little REM sleep. It was not very helpful being reminded to dream lucidly
when doing so prevented me from dreaming at all!
Worse than that was what happened in my first dream. The Stanford sleep lab has its windows boarded
up to allow for time-isolation studies. I felt a little claustrophobic because of this, and apparently, by
way of compensation, had the following dream. It seemed as if I had awoken at dawn and was
witnessing an exquisitely beautiful sunrise through the picture window next to my bed. But before I had
time to be more than startled by this anomaly, I was awakened by Lynn's voice reminding me to have a
lucid dream.

We decided that next time we would let me have more of a chance—both to sleep and to have lucid 
dreams. We scheduled our next recording night for a month later—the next available opening—which 
happened to be Friday the 13th of January, 1978. 

 Every time I had a lucid dream (at home) while waiting for the fateful date, I would suggest to myself that I would do it again in the lab. Finally the night arrived, and Lynn hooked me up and watched the polygraph recording while I slept. I had been hoping that Friday the 13th would prove to be my lucky night, and that turned out to be the case.
I slept very well indeed, and after seven and a half hours in bed had my first lucid dream in the lab. A 
moment before, I had been dreaming—but then I suddenly realized that I must be asleep because I 
couldn't see, feel, or hear anything. I recalled with delight that I was sleeping in the laboratory. The 
image of what seemed to be the instruction booklet for a vacuum cleaner or some such appliance floated 
by. It struck me as mere flotsam on the stream of consciousness, but as I focused on it and tried to read 
the writing, the image gradually stabilized and I had the sensation of opening my (dream) eyes. Then my 
hands appeared, with the rest of my dream body, and I was looking at the booklet in bed. My dream 
room was a reasonably good copy of the room in which I was actually asleep. Since I now had a dream 
body I decided to do the eye movements that we had agreed upon as a signal. I moved my finger in a 
vertical line in front of me, following it with my eyes. But I had become very excited over being able to 
do this at last, and the thought disrupted my dream so that it faded a few seconds later. 

Afterward, we observed two large eye movements on the polygraph record just before I awakened from 
a thirteen-minute REM period. Here, finally, was objective evidence that at least one lucid dream had 
taken place during what was clearly REM sleep! I sent a note to the 1979 meeting of the APSS in Tokyo 
mentioning this and other evidence suggesting that lucid dreams are associated with REM sleep.

 Of course, I did not expect anyone to be convinced of the reality of lucid dreaming by this brief summary. 
But I wanted to share our results with other dream researchers as quickly as possible.

I found this account in - Stephen LaBerge – Lucid Dreaming - free books reading online . It's a really interesting pdf and well worth reading if you are interested in Lucid Dreaming  it's origins and history.