Sunday, 31 August 2014

Doneraile Park Afternoon Walk


                   I love that this tree rises up proudly, wish we
                             humans were so free.

             Donneraile Park is home to a wonderful variety on trees.





                                    A little river

                    All Natural Balm For The Soul

Friday, 29 August 2014



                                     Hold fast to dreams

                                     For if dreams die

                                     Life is a broken-winged bird

                                    That cannot fly.

                                    Hold fast to dreams

                                    For when dreams go

                                    Life is a barren field

                                    Frozen with snow

                                                  Langston Hughes

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Fungal Communication System In Forests

“Mother Trees” Use Fungal Communication Systems to Preserve Forests

Suzanne Simard, forest ecologist at the University of British Columbia, and her colleagues have made the major discovery that trees and plants really do communicate and interact with each other. She discovered an underground web of fungi connecting the trees and plants of an ecosystem. This symbiosis enables the purposeful sharing of resources, consequently helping the whole system of trees and plants to flourish.

Simard was lead to the discovery by the observation of webs of bright white and yellow fungal threads in the forest floor. Many of these fungi were mycorrhizal, meaning they have a beneficial, symbiotic relationship with a a host plant, in this case tree roots. Microscopic experimentation revealed that the fungi actually moves carbon, water and nutrients between trees, depending upon their needs.

“The big trees were subsidizing the young ones through the fungal networks. Without this helping hand, most of the seedlings wouldn’t make it.”

Suzanne Simard     Watch her here  Trees Communicating 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tuesday Evening In The Park

The Bandstand began to change colour as we left the park.

It must happen as the light fades so cooooool !

We had had another great session here in this magical place.

We worked on punch under elbow and repulse the monkey.

trim.0B0968F7-A767-46F3-8529-361F8A946317 from ann on Vimeo.

Still a few more weeks to practice in this magical place.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

T'ai Chi Lessons for Monday's classes

Michael and Sara enjoying T'ai Chi practice in the park .

Turning the ball warm up from ann on Vimeo.
Holding the ball warm up.

Warm up exercises from ann on Vimeo.

Sinking as you transfer your weight and stepping like a cat warm ups.

Beginning Posture of the Mini Form from ann on Vimeo.

First lesson of the Mini Form.

Short form Lessons Brush Left Knee and Push  and Play Guitar

brush left knee play git 017 from ann on Vimeo.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

                            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.

We don't experience that 'Love is Always loving us ' because we get caught up in the 'world' of wanting. Wanting to feel approval, safety, control etc. When we let go of the wanting our mind 'stops ' and we can experience the Love that is ever present. This Love is always Loving us but we fail to notice it when our attention is on something else. Becoming conscious of this Love inside is not difficult, it is just a case of Letting Go in the moment and noticing what is here just beyond our  thinking mind, Recognising that our minds will never be satisfied , can never be satisfied helps us to let go of thinking that fulfilment, peace or love can be found in our minds. These experiential states are 'outside' or beyond our minds, so the only way to experience them is to learn to pay attention to the 'Quiet ' beyond mind.
Words do not convey this experience however they do point us and remind us that it is possible to notice and become more conscious of our true nature.
Releasing moment to moment is a great tool. Lester Levenson gave us a simple yet [profound method to recognising our true nature which is beyond our thinking , beyond our mind.
I am so grateful to him for his method and also to his teachers Hale Dwoskin and Larry Crane for their sharing of this work. A big thanks to all who came along on Friday evening and shared so deeply in our exploration of Letting Go.
 Looking forward to going even deeper and deeper  .   .   .   .        .


Friday, 22 August 2014

Roll Back Press And Push

This is one of the fundamental postures of T'ai Chi . It contains all the the elements of our Art . One can spend many hours ,even years investigating aspects of this posture. Here we are working on connecting , joining, sticking, yielding, and finally responding. Looking forward to many more years of unravelling this posture.

trim.BD0095D2-6261-44C9-AD1D-957A55116145 from ann on Vimeo.

Joan and Steven working on the posture.

Releasing Our Blocks To Being Present To Our True Nature Tonight In Blackrock

We are meeting this evening to share our experience with releasing and explore some more ways to incorporate Lester's teaching into our daily lives.
Letting Go has certainly helped me in my daily life.  It helps me to become more present and conscious of all that is already working well ,this helps me to stop postponing my happiness until some future date when all my 'problems ' are resolved.  I have noticed that we all tend to postpone our  joy , waiting until some time in the future when we have 'everything  sorted out'. This is a real pity because we often look back thinking things were actually fine  back then when we were within for Now. So it is time to wake up and realise that Now is our time to be happy, to recognise all that we already have and let go of our imagined limitations so we can be awaken  to the amazing possibilities already open to us once we are fully present Now.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Short Form Lesson Punch Under Elbow

trim.0CAE4187-26FB-4955-A362-58F3B0948C78 from ann on Vimeo.

Here is the lesson and below is the application and also the process of learning it .

trim.6D4DE461-68BE-4C73-B42F-E639C493DD83 from ann on Vimeo.


trim.337DD503-EE0D-4902-9973-A2E07AAE80A1 from ann on Vimeo.

Try this .

Now that is just great !
It is so much fun working in the park  love every minute of it .

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Lessons For Arc House Beginners and How to find the venue for Friday's Session

Here is the Waving hands In the Clouds warm up we worked on yesterday with the first energy moving aspect of this exercise. It is good to practice with this idea for some time until you can really feel the energy moving down into the ground . Once this is clearly felt we can add the next energetic aspect. This is really powerful movement of your energy and will  awaken you in to your own power to 'generate' energy when you need it.  Practice it enjoy it and grow into your power.

trim.1D40A017-3A51-4E7D-889E-4D8B93A24A8A from ann on Vimeo.

Here are two of the other warn ups we worked on. these warm ups teach body awareness and also tune you into the principles of T'ai Chi movement.

Turning the ball warm up from ann on Vimeo.

Here is the full mini form we just worked on the first lesson.

Full Mini Form from ann on Vimeo.

Friday's session will take place in Blackrock Community Centre
Here is a link to Google maps for the Centre  Blackrock Centre
Here is a link to the pier Head Inn This is where you turn right off the main road into Convent Road . i think if you look at this map and photo of the Pier Head Inn it will help .
Here too are the links to some introductory clips on the releasing methods.

Here is Ken with the Release Technique   Ken

Introduction with Hale Dwoskin    Hale

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Forest Man Of Majuli Island

Inspirational vision of  what a difference a focused mind can make,

Forest Man

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Releasing On The Go

I have been studying the mind and healing for as long as I can remember, always searching for meaning and understanding.
 I have tried positive thinking , affirmations, and many other methods to come to terms with life's challenges.
Letting Go or Releasing appeals to me more than any other method I have learned. I now regard Releasing as T'ai Chi for my mind. Just like T'ai Chi Releasing leaves me feeling lighter and brighter. I can practice it on the go ,  whenever I find myself resisting the present moment I can ask myself  " What is here now ?" and allow myself to notice the sensations in my body, the thoughts and emotions that are present in that moment and just in the allowing them to be fully here seems to bring relief.
This 'practice ' has been a great help to me in these last few weeks since John  (my husband) broke his foot. His incapacitation has meant that I'm walking Susie twice daily and this has brought up lots of feelings of resistance in me. Su is getting very old now( fourteen and a half years ) so she moves along at her own pace, her main interest is in smelling. Her slow pace forces me to slow down so instead of the brisk walk we used to have, our walks now are more of a stroll and I am being made aware of my desire to speed up to ' get somewhere'.
Years of reading and study and training  have taught me that everything has a purpose , there are no accidents, life is always giving me opportunities to awaken, knowing this and knowing how to release has allowed me to stop resisting these walks and to embrace the daily opportunity to release my agendas and let go. And to be honest each time we go out I get a new chance to do just that and go deeper into the present moment.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

How Releasing Helps Us To Cope With Change

Think of your subconscious mind as the storage room of everything that is currently not in your conscious mind.
The subconscious mind stores all of your previous life experiences, your beliefs, your memories, you skills, all situations you've been through and all images you've ever seen.

One way to understand the subconscious mind is to by thinking  of someone  who is  learning  how to drive a car. While still in the learning stage it is impossible to hold a conversation or even think about anything else while driving. This is because one's conscious mind is completely occupied with all the aspects of controlling the car.

Within a few weeks driving can becomes a natural habit that occurs automatically without needing to think about it. Driving  is now operated by your subconscious mind; your Autopilot!

This happened because the driving habit has been transferred to the subconscious mind and so the conscious mind become free.

Your subconscious mind also  has what is called a homeostatic impulse. It keeps your body temperature at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, just as it keeps you breathing regularly and keeps your heart beating at a certain rate..

Your subconscious mind also practices homeostasis in your mental realm, by keeping you thinking and acting in a manner consistent with what you have done and said in the past.

All your habits of thinking and acting are stored in your subconscious mind. It has memorised all your comfort zones and it works to keep you in them.

Your subconscious mind causes you to feel emotionally and physically uncomfortable whenever you attempt to do anything new or different, or to change any of your established patterns of behaviour.

The subconscious mind is responsible for the automatically triggered feelings and emotions that you suddenly experience upon facing a new situation. If you were about to give a presentation then all the fear and anxiety feelings you might experience are in fact launched and controlled by your subconscious mind.

The conscious mind is, on the other hand, responsible for logic, calculations and all actions that are performed while you are conscious.

Without the help of our subconscious mind we would be constantly overwhelmed  ( imagine if you still found driving as complicated as the first time you sat in the drivers seat ).

However the ability of the subconscious mind to run us on automatic has it's draw backs when it comes to changing our habits of thought or action.

 Our subconscious will work against our attempts to change unless we have a method to practice which will open our subconscious to change.

 I have found that learning to Release and Let Go regularly is a great way to retrain the subconscious mind. It is simpler than trying to reprogramme the mind.

Releasing  is a way to free up space for new experiences and allows one to consciously Let Go of the Fears associated with change. It 'Somehow'  reassures the subconscious mind that all is well and it is Safe to change.

We will explore more of the benefits of Releasing in our next Releasing Session next Friday Evening I am really looking forward to the session and to hearing lots more gains people are having due to Releasing.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Just A Few More Weeks Of T'ai Chi In Thr Park

These settings are so congenial to T'ai Chi

The whole atmosphere 

 And the abundance of plants 

Ensures we are already calmed by the time we begin our practise.

Practising in this natural beauty lifts one's spirits

And the mature trees radiate a deep peace

That seeps into our bodies as we ' T'ai Chi ' .

And Connect.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Language Experiment

In her book Counterclockwise Ellen Langer sites studies where people's performances in taking tests were directly affected by priming through language. Since reading her book, I have come across some very interesting research on how we can be influenced without our becoming consciously aware of it happening. This extract from, below, confirms her findings.

External influences
It’s no surprise that we take cues from the environment – they allow us to make assumptions that can usefully guide our behaviour in an uncertain world. We associate suits with professionalism, an unlit shop is a sign that it is closed, a person’s tears betray unhappiness. But cues like these don’t just provide us with predictive information, they also directly affect our behaviour in ways that we’re not conscious of. Consider a study by Aaron Kay and colleagues in which people were asked to participate in a brief financial game. Those who sat at a table with a briefcase strategically placed on it played the game far more competitively and selfishly than did participants who sat near a backpack. Yet afterwards, when asked what factors they felt had influenced their playing style, none of the participants mentioned any aspect of the physical environment (Kay et al. 2004).
Or consider an experiment conducted by John Bargh of Yale University and others, in which participants played a computer-based fishing game requiring them to choose how many fish to return to a lake, so preserving stocks for others. Prior to the game, the participants performed a separate task in which they had to form sentences from randomly arranged words. For half the participants, a fraction of these words pertained to cooperation, and (you guessed it) these participants went on to behave more cooperatively in the fishing game. Once again, post-experimental questioning indicated the participants were unaware of the influence the earlier words had had (Bargh et al., 2001).
Even the simple act of holding a cold or hot drink can exert a powerful effect on your reasoning. In an as yet unpublished study by Lawrence Williams and John Bargh, university students were asked to hold a cup of either hot or iced coffee by Williams while they answered a few questions. Next they had a brief chat with another researcher. He left and the participants were asked whether they would recommend him for a job. The participants who several minutes earlier had held the cold drink said they wouldn’t hire him, whereas those who’d held the warm drink said they would. The potential practical applications are startling (Williams & Bargh, 2007). Read the full article Here

All the evidence of how unconsciously we tend to operate confirms how important it is to develop practices which enhance our conscious awareness. Becoming more attuned to our thoughts, emotions and our environment paying attention and noticing what is new and different affords the possibility of coming off automatic pilot and actually making more conscious choices and decisions in all areas of our lives.
We all have a lot more power when we become conscious participants in our lives rather than puppets controlled by unconscious primes from our environment. To gain this power we need tools to train our minds and bodies , we need to practice conscious living . We are lucky to live in an age where these tools are widely available.  I have found the practice of T'ai Chi  to be a wonderful tool in awakening me to my body and mind. Lester Levenson's releasing really awakens our sense of discrimination so we can make more conscious choices. Even Ellen Langer's advice to notice new things each day can make a huge difference in one's level of consciousness and increase one's quality of life.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

A Short Trip To East Cork

It's been years since I took a trip to Roches Point and it looked beautiful in yesterday's sunshine.

it's quiet beach was almost empty.

Apart  from a few wetsuit clad children jumping off the low rocks.

Someone had made this image Roches Point Lighthouse in the  boathouse wall.

The views were awesome.

In every direction.

All in All a great day out.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Releasing Sample

Here is a link to Ken with the Release Technique I love his introduction to this work .He gives a great method to improve your relationships both with yourself and with all the people in your life. So worth watching. I often watch it when I need to remind myself of how easy and beneficial Lester Levenson's teachings are.
Releasing With Ken

Next Releasing Session In Blackrock Community Centre

I am really looking forward to our next Releasing and T'ai Chi  Session on Friday August 22nd.

We will begin with an hour of T'ai Chi  5-6 pm to warm us up and get into the "Letting Go" energy.
  I find that T'ai Chi and letting  go really compliment each other.  T'ai Chi is actually a form of physical release.
T'ai Chi teaches us how to recognise where energy gets blocked in our bodies and how by yielding we can let go of of this blockage and allow our energy to flow freely again.

Releasing does this too but in releasing we use our minds to release the blocks .
Both methods work and I have found that having more than one approach is very useful, sometimes a T'ai Chi session works a treat and at other times I need to look deeply into my mind and release the thoughts that are holding me back .
The Releasing Session will begin at 6pm.

This promises to be another amazing evening of shared insights , fun , and deep connection.
It is so great to see this community of releasers growing in numbers , experience , and positive gains.
Can't wait to see everyone and share some more great ideas.

If you would like to join our group email me at and I will be delighted to answer any questions you might have.

You can also get an idea of the type of work we do by watching the Letting Go movie Movie

Thursday, 7 August 2014

T'ai Chi Applications With Michael And Rioghnach

Here is an application for White Crane Spreads Wings And the video underneath is the posture itself so you can see how the application is related to the form.

trim.1EFD2B5F-82BD-4B7E-BB4C-772C42BDA82F from ann on Vimeo.

trim.51E2A6A2-9E6E-42FC-A4DC-2200B708C8D8 from ann on Vimeo.

Here is an application foe the first posture that  posture that links Diagonal Single Whip to Punch Under Elbow again I'm showing the posture  from the form just below.

trim.3AACE12F-BC5D-4302-88AC-54B1FADFA6E9 from ann on Vimeo.

trim.5E4972DE-BA0D-41BF-973D-DECB355A8AFD from ann on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Loving these Fitzgerald's Park Sessions.

I just love to relax here and enjoy a coffee before we begin our practice.

Montbretia are flourishing.

Every tree looks soft and full in this  evening's rain.

We have the bandstand to ourselves.

Such a lovely space to practice.

We are not the only ones to ignore the rain.

These Cricketers are still playing as we head home.

A summer evening well spent !

Soft Rain And Evening Birdsong As We 'T'ai Chi' In The Park

Here is this evening's Mini Form Lesson. What a lovely evening of T'ai Chi under the bandstand, soft sounds and scents wafting by as we investigated our postures. The rain kept the sun lovers away so the park was especially quiet and peaceful ,just bird song to accompany our movement.

trim.8EE327A3-8FBA-4623-9B4F-82E2D3AEF994 from ann on Vimeo.

And here is the Short form Lesson with Eliz and Rioghnach .  I just loved working under the new bandstand . It felt awesome ,wonderful and quire magical, something in the way the 'roof ' reflected the light and the energy enhanced our practice.

trim.5E4972DE-BA0D-41BF-973D-DECB355A8AFD from ann on Vimeo.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Jack Kerouac On What He Calls The Golden Eternity

 " I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don't worry. It's all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don't know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. "

This  beautiful letter is one Jack Kerouac sent to his first wife, Edie Kerouac Parker, in late January of 1957, a decade after their marriage had been annulled. Found in The Portable Jack Kerouac .
I read it on Brain Pickings here is the link to the full article which is really well worth reading
Brain Pickings Weekly

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Becoming Mindful Instead Of Mindless

Labelling our negative feelings is often a mindless attempt to keep ourselves separate or  protected from those emotions. I have noticed that I am more inclined to label negative emotions.
When things are getting me down and I label the emotion as depression it often hangs around and I can stay mindlessly stuck in feeling sorry for myself , sometimes this leads to thoughts of blaming those around me for my feelings, or more often in my case blaming my self. Sometimes this leads to analysing why I'm  feeling this particular way , what if questions arise, my mind spins on and on, I am on an automatic spin.
 None of this helps, and eventually I wake up from these futile attempts and STOP.
 I recognise what happening and finally look beyond the labels and wake up.
  I become mindful of the sensations in my body.  Instead of a blanket statement like I'm depressed, I begin to look at more subtle feelings . Maybe I'm frustrated about my work, disappointed about something that has not worked out, upset about  how I handled some issue.  Allowing myself to notice what lies under the label gives me the opportunity to be softer with myself and to release those feelings of disapproval.
 Letting Go of disapproving of myself seems to really shift my 'bodymind' from that low energy state to one of more possibilities. Things no longer seem so dim and I can see  some breaks in the cloud,  I can even begin to see that the 'depression' was actually a wake up call . It was showing me some issues that I had been pushing down and avoiding and without those feelings of depression I wouldn't  have faced those issues.
My point is labels are just labels and unless we are willing to look deeply into what lies under the label we can stay stuck.
  Usually what is here right now is quite fine, often what upsets us is either something from our past that has been triggered, or some fear about our future.
 Looking deeply, mindfully  into what is here now , what is below the label  and letting go opens us to our unlimited potential for growth and wisdom.
  Bringing ourselves back into the present moment  and noticing what is actually here now relaxes our 'bodymind' allowing us to realise that we are actually fine right now and allows our  life opens up again.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Simple Mindfulness Exercise from Ellen Langer

I'm currently reading Ellen Langer's book Counterclockwise . I wrote about her research on how acting younger can reverse changes in hearing, sight , muscle tone etc in last weeks post Epigenetics and Un -Aging the body.
Here below is a link to a fascinating talk she gave some months ago an her research into mindfulness and how a simple change such as, paying attention to new things can improve our bodies and minds , or as she would point out our 'bodymind'. Noticing six new things about people we already ' know' can awaken us to aspects of then we hadn't noticed and renew our interest and curiosity about them,  thus refreshing  our relationship. Similar changes can happen with all aspects of our lives once we open our minds to noticing new things every day.

   Link Ellen Langer