Peace and Comfort

Hello dear friends,

 I wanted to reach out to you on the Solstice, the longest night of the year. This is a turning point, a time to reflect and feel a deeper connection with yourself, with unfolding presence and with others. The practice of Mindfulness, both formal and informal develops a deeper connection to life as it is and through this process, resilience also develops.

How cheery the Christmas lights are, proclaiming our natural need for connection and resilience. They are one of the wonderful things about this time of year.

Mindfully and consciously we develop our sense of connection through many practices. Perhaps you would like to try this one?

When you are in a busy place with lots of people, first notice how you are feeling: your thoughts, your emotions and bodily sensations. You may be feeling under strain, tired, unbearably sad, peaceful, happy or excited, whatever your experience is, and particularly if you feel alone or disconnected from the present moment, acknowledge this with friendliness. Then on purpose, start looking at all the different people that come into view in a completely random manner. Then for a person you see, say inside, 'may you be safe', then the next perosn that comes into sight, 'may you be happy', then for another 'may you be healthy', then another 'may you live with ease'. Do this over and over and over again, making sure that you are being completely random to whom you are wishing. Whilst you are making these wishes notice how and if your inner world changes. Then perhaps you can if you like, start saying may ' we be safe' etc. Notice what happens if you say this.

I developed this one myself out of personal experience. Don't forget that mindfulness is flexible and we can modify any of the practices to suit our need at any time. This practice can be deeply connecting, recognising that everyone, at whatever age wishes these blessings for themselves too, just like us. Bringing to mind our interconnectedness whenever and wherever we are is really very helpful.

I am holding two eight week course in the New Year at Hamblin Hall. These are Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction beginning on January 29th., Mondays 2.30 - 5pm and Mindful Self Compassion beginning on February 1st., Thursdays, timings are (except the first session which is 30 minutes longer)10.45 - 1.15pm. There are still places, so if you would like to join one or the other do please be in touch with me first, so that we can talk. This is to find out your suitability before signing on with Hamblin. It makes sense to do the MBSR course first, although it isn't a requirement. Liz Clark my good friend and colleague will be helping me with the MBSR course and dear Jo Shanahan, ditto, will support me with the MSC course as she has done before. You might consider re-experiencing the MBSR course as a refresher or indeed the MSC, as many find this beneficial. For more details

The monthly drop-ins will continue next year as before. To begin with and for the first session Lisa may hold it and then gradually I will take over.

My thanks to you who sent condolences.

Wishing you all a peaceful and comforting Christmas and that 2018 will be filled with love,


As ever here is some poetry - this compilation really spoke to me

Pure Water: Poetry of Rumi a collection by Coleman Barks


Inside water the water wheel turns

The star circulates with the moon

We live in the night ocean wondering

What are these lights?


This moment, this love, comes to rest in me

Many beings in one being

In one wheat grain, a thousand sheaf stacks

Inside the needle’s eye, a turning night of stars

This moment, this love


I am so small I can barely be seen

How can this great love be inside me?

Look at your eyes they are small

But they see enormous things


Keep walking though there’s no place to get to

Don’t try to see through the distances

That’s not for human beings

Move within but don’t move the way fear makes you move

Move within


Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing

There is a field, I’ll meet you there

When the soul lies down in that grass

The world is too full to talk about

Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’

Doesn’t make any sense.