Breathing with awareness, walking with mindfulness, meditating with heart-fullness and intense silence with loving-kindness.
As if life switched from super-fast to ultraslow. Placing the right bare foot gently on wet grass. Bristly softness tingles. First the heel, then the outer edge of the foot. Some green tips manage to tickle the arch. Then the toes grasp hold of the ground. I am aware of tiny bits of the sole between toes and foot which never come in contact with anything. So cool! The entire sole buzzes like a guitar.
An aeroplane whirrs in the sky. Ears catch the Doppler effect. Fluffy shapes in white, blue and grey traipse the space above. Birds make jest. The wind continues to waltz with trees. Eyes watch life sprouting in seemingly dead places. The Being notices the breath.
The left foot lifts off the ground, preparing itself for the excitement of landing. Toes go first. They rub noses with the green tips before plunging in. The ball of the foot descends and the rest of the foot follows. It feels different. The heel hits the grass abruptly. The ground is uneven, not warm, not cold. It oozes the love of Mother Earth. Dew-drops cushion the impact. The green of the grass is a conglomeration. At least 6 different types of tiny foliage lining the ground, masquerading as one. Yellow flowers standing up on tender green stems dot the lush carpet. Some of them are being visited by bees. This luxurious texture invites the right foot back. It’s moving in slow-motion mid-air, presently at the top of an imaginary semi-circle. I put the breaks on and halt its progress as much as I can without falling over. It follows through the curve and makes contact with the earth one milli-meter at a time.
Flowing eastern movements of ‘Swimming dragons’, ‘Cloud hands’ and ‘Lions playing with a ball’ (Qigong) bring into balance the Yin and Yang. The more I slow down, the deeper I immerse in the ‘Now’. I actively deflect all adjectives. I don’t want to call it good or bad or silly or slow. It’s just walking. The rustle of leaves is just falling into my ears, the cool breeze is just brushing across my face, a few yellowed leaves are just falling off trees like twinkling stars descending from the skies. Everything just is.
Never before have I experienced walking in this way. To think that I have been walking all my life! I feel I could walk all around the world for the rest of my life.
Three years ago, at this time of year Saagar was really ill. For many years before that, autumn was my favourite season. Then it was my least favourite. Now it’s just early autumn. Another roll of the dice of time.
The longest day of the year. The coming together of light and darkness. The summer solstice. Sun standing still. It reaches its highest point, furthest away from the equator in the northern hemisphere and then rests.
For millennia, this day has been celebrated as a symbol of the earth’s bounty and the sun’s potency. There are temples dotted across India, all along the Tropic of cancer, dedicated to the Sun God. This day is similarly honoured in various European and Middle Eastern countries under different names. Our ancestors recognised it as the first harvest of the year, a time to celebrate warmth and abundance, a time for spiritual awakening and the marriage of heaven and earth.
Bonfires are lit to give more power to the sun. This is an auspicious time for weddings as the feminine and masculine powers of nature are fruitfully aligned. The fire is used to drive away evil forces, to bring fertility and prosperity to men, crops and herds, to prevent disease and misfortune, to purify and strengthen.
This is the time to meditate on the light and darkness around us and within us. To welcome and honour them both. To be grateful for both. To acknowledge that one cannot exist without the other. To harmonise ourselves with our environment. To celebrate and be at peace with what is.
May you have beautiful dreams, fulfilling endeavours and may you find the love you search as you dance with your body, heart and soul.
Bluebells are the undisputed spring highlight. At their peak, around this time of year, they form an unearthly blue haze through the woodlands. A winding path in the wood passes through swathes of dainty blue flowers. Here, the air is laden with a delicate perfume and birds sing happily in the background. Tall trunks of ancient trees emerge randomly and the light filtering through the canopy gives a different hue to the blue carpet every few minutes.
The perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends, chatting and taking pictures, desperately trying to capture the image of what it feels like to be there, frustratingly aware that it’s impossible.
Half of the world’s population of bluebells are here in the UK.
Bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other insects feed on the nectar of bluebell. Their flowers provide an important early source of nectar. Field of bluebells are intricately woven with fairy enchantments.
The blueness of the bluebells is nearly purple. It reminds me of this poem by Jenny Joseph and my big purple coat.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Clouds and waves
Mother, the folk who live up in the clouds call out to me-
“We play from the time we wake till the day ends.
We play with the golden dawn, we play with the silver moon.”
I ask, “But how am I to get up to you ?”
They answer, “Come to the edge of the earth, lift up your
hands to the sky, and you will be taken up into the clouds.”
“My mother is waiting for me at home, “I say, “How can I leave
her and come?”
Then they smile and float away.
But I know a nicer game than that, mother.
I shall be the cloud and you the moon.
I shall cover you with both my hands, and our house-top will
be the blue sky.
The folk who live in the waves call out to me-
“We sing from morning till night; on and on we travel and know
not where we pass.”
I ask, “But how am I to join you?”
They tell me, “Come to the edge of the shore and stand with
your eyes tight shut, and you will be carried out upon the waves.”
I say, “My mother always wants me at home in the evening-
how can I leave her and go?”
They smile, dance and pass by.
But I know a better game than that.
I will be the waves and you will be a strange shore.
I shall roll on and on and on, and break upon your lap with
And no one in the world will know where we both are.
Nature has an intelligence of its own.
It knows when what is required.
We are made out of nature and nature is made out of us.
Everything is made up of the same basic 5 elements – air, fire, water, earth and ether.
Silence is healing and so is sound.
Sound energy travels through every cell like a subtle life force. All cultures have been using chanting as a way of uplifting the spirit for thousands of years. It activates energies within that bring peace, oneness and non-duality in the self. Chanting creates harmony and balance between all the elements we are made of.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1
If we replace the word ‘word’ with ‘sound’, we see that it was sound that became manifest. The big bang of the Big Bang Theory is sound.
Birdsongs of dawn, a mother’s lullaby, big fat raindrops hitting the roof and the wind making itself heard through the rustling of leaves – all these vibrations have a particular and distinct effect on each of us.
Each human body has its own unique vibration, which is sacred to that individual. With attention turned inwards I attempt to listen in on my own inner sound. Re-aligning with this sound and the cosmic hum serves to balance my energetic body and brings me closer to re-connecting me with my divine presence. I chant and listen to all sounds with every intention to heal.
How to use sound to heal yourself. : http://www.chopra.com/articles/how-to-use-sound-to-heal-yourself#sm.001vy3alt5atekn11ti160re53l74
Today is Nowruz, Iranian New year.
For hundreds of years it has been celebrated on the Spring equinox to signify new beginnings, seeds and paths.
The earth tips over to allow illumination of the northern hemisphere, a sublime reminder that light always returns. This time when day and night are equal represents our need for balance between male and female energies, between yin and yang.
A time for renewal, growth and glorious blooming of the spirit.
An upward movement of energy, helping us look into the future with hope and positivity.
Meditation on the Equinox
Over our heads, the great wheel of stars shifts,
the autumnal (or spring) equinox manifests itself,
and for one precious instant darkness and light
exist in balanced proportion to one another.
Within our minds the great web of neurons shifts,
new consciousness arises,
and for one precious instant experience and meaning
exist together as revelation and epiphany.
Within our hearts the great rhythm of our lives shifts
a new way of being reveals itself,
and for one precious instant
the nexus of the body and the seat of the soul
truly exist as one.
Let us give thanks for those times in our lives
when all seems in balance.
For those times are rare and precious.
The equinox shall pass, the revelation may be forgotten,
and our actions will not always reflect our true selves.
But through our gratitude
we may remember who we are,
reflect on who we may become,
and restore the balance which brings equanimity to our lives.
Let us be quiet for a moment, together.
By Thomas Rhodes
Left the massive, fire-walled monster of a building, feeling as tired as a rag. Stood on the covered walkway looking at vertical lines of water heavily following gravity, falling like a velvet curtain, making the darkness darker. Couldn’t gather enough courage to step into it. No rush. No one waiting at home. Cold hands in pockets, frozen tips of noses and ear-lobes. Cool, moisture-laden air flooding the balloon-bags in the chest and leaving with a tiny bit of fatigue. Even though the jungle is concrete, it offers some respite.
While I stand at the edge of this temperate downpour, tiny deflected reflected droplets find my face and keep me awake. The noisy business of clanking rain adds to the drama.
Over the next few minutes the drops become grainy. Splat! They shatter on flat surfaces of windscreens and pavements, leaving a little residue, a trace of things to come.
The noise suddenly vanishes, as if the conductor of an orchestra has indicated a pause. The air changes form. Little white flakes completely defy gravity and dance gracefully in all directions, seemingly weightless. The darkness lifts into soundless brilliance. Streetlights exaggerate these elegant movements. I bounce onto the road and walk under this light white flurry. My feet land on softness. The whiteness starts to make little homes on hedges, fences and chimneys. I am transported into a world of lightness and joy.
For a few moments, all is right with the world.