Mappa mundi – a (free) audio meditation

05/05/2020 at 4:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Mappa mundi

 

This week I’m sharing with you a (free) audio meditation called Mappa Mundi. This was a lovely and insightful project created by a group of fellow meditators in my Studio some six years ago, and published later in Kindred Spirit Magazine. Mappa Mundi refers to the old illuminated  maps of medieval times. In those days, landmarks on a map might be actual, or mythical. The size of the landmarks on each map depended on how important they were in the map maker’s eyes.

In the Studio we used these principles to create our own life maps – a way of painting or drawing whatever places, work and interests we felt to be significant in our lives. You can see a detail from my own personal map in the picture above. I found some of the results surprising, and it helped me to  understand what projects were likely to be important in the future.

The truth is, we all hold unconscious knowledge about our future path. Letting the mind relax through meditation is a fantastic way of bringing this to the surface. So listen to this meditation now. Let my words guide you to create your own mappa mundi in your imagination. Afterwards, if you choose, you might like to draw or paint your own map, just as we did in my Studio six years ago. The resulting wisdom of your map will be completely unique to you, and may even be a useful guide to your future path.

Mappa Mundi meditation

 

Haiku – a (free) audio meditation

14/04/2020 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Here is your meditation for this week. I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in this one (although listening to my own voice is always going to be a little odd!)

This one is called ‘Haiku Meditation’. It’s from the Studio seven years back. It was inspired by possibly the world’s most famous haiku, a three-line poem written by the 17th Century Japanese poet Basho. Like all the best haiku, it references nature, and the messages that nature may bring us. The pond succinctly described in the first line can be viewed as the ‘old order’, stagnant and in need of the oxygen of change, which is brought about by frogs jumping in, creating sound and movement. The frogs produce a splash, leading to the widening ripples of change. Here is Basho’s haiku:

Old pond

Frogs jumped in

Sound of water

And here is the meditation. I hope it brings you peace and relaxation,  and perhaps even a serene acceptance of the sudden nature of change. As always, I will join you in listening to this meditation at 1 pm on Thursday, or any time to suit you.

 

Stone Age – a (free) audio meditation

07/04/2020 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Shelter

Here is your (free) audio meditation for this week. Again from the Studio seven years back, it’s a Stone Age visualisation, giving you an opportunity to imagine yourself living a truly simple life, in nature, bathing in refreshing water and breathing the freshest of air. I hope you enjoy it. I will join you listening to it in spirit this Thursday at 1 pm, or any time to suit you. So sit or lie down, relax and enjoy!

With love

Suzanne x

 

Stone Age Meditation

Celebrating ten years with just one word

12/09/2019 at 11:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Ten years ago this month a small group of us sat down in a little country sitting room to meditate. It felt mighty odd to be sharing the experience with others, but I was the facilitator, so I did my best to look as though I knew what I was doing.

Our theme, our subject of focus, was ‘Air’. During discussion and a long period of silence, we found ourselves looking at collective thoughtforms that can settle over an individual and a community and influence decisions, like a cloud in the sky which has the unconscious power to alter the moods of the people who live below it. We asked a basic question: whose thought are you thinking right now? The session was lively and stimulating. There was laughter as well as silence.

Afterwards, as I was clearing away, I reflected on how well the session had gone. Well enough, perhaps, to keep on running groups, just for a little while.,,,

That was ten years ago, and sessions have taken place in that little country sitting room, in an old farm building, ever since. This month, to celebrate our anniversary, we’re going back to those first words: air, and thought forms. Today it’s worth asking, perhaps more than ever before, whose thought are you thinking right now?

How to feel happy with solitude

27/05/2019 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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“Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt in solitude, where we are least alone.” (Byron: Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage)

In June my meditation groups will be focusing on solitude. This is an edgy word: too similar to loneliness for some tastes. Yet, as countless creative people have found, something happens when you face up to silence and emptiness. If there is another way to write a book, a poem or a dissertation, I don’t know it.

I have travelled on my own, a little. At first I found it the loneliest thing. Like an orphan abroad, I kept looking for others who would see me in some role or other in relation to them. I was so used to being a partner, parent, daughter, colleague, friend. But in my travelling I had no role, beyond that of a stranger passing through.

Thank goodness, somewhere along the way there was a tiny ‘click’ in my awareness. I realised that solitude was never to be viewed in relation to absent people. It was a rich, full activity in itself. Then the emptiness of the moment became filled with insights. My mind was energised and I felt happy again.

Meditation, of course, is a way of reaching the infinite through solitude. But so is travelling, gardening, walking, running, swimming, even sitting in a café writing that book or dissertation. When you reach the point of truly inhabiting solitude, that’s when somehow you connect with the universe in its entirety. And that’s when you’re part of the flow.

How to improve your focus in meditation – and life

16/08/2018 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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What is your relationship with Focus? Have you been together a while? Was Focus a first love, or are you and Focus perhaps not even talking?

If I were a life coach, I might suggest that you feed your focus and starve your distractions. Or I might say, “What you focus on is what you get more of.”

However, I am not a life coach. In the spheres of wellbeing in which I move, focus is not an end goal. It’s an invitation to be fully present. All we can ever have is this present moment, but it’s enough, because it’s everything. If we witness this moment fully, it has the magical ability to open up like a fractal. Rather like the owl I met recently, we develop the ability to see, hear and sense in ever more detail.

The state of focusing is a relaxed, alert way of being. We become aware and awake to what’s around us. Importantly, we don’t focus on what we don’t have. We focus on what is. In so doing, we realise how very much is contained within the present moment. We can then make choices based on our expanded awareness, which can help us step into an optimum future.

What is your relationship with Focus? Are you perhaps close friends? Maybe, just maybe, Focus is your life-long guide and companion?

 

This is the perfect time for your self care

12/02/2018 at 6:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Valentine’s Day and the first day of Lent coincide this year. The resulting fusion of love and abstinence from a selected item of food or drink makes this the perfect time to focus on self care.

How might you care for yourself for the 40 or more days of Lent, which begins this Wednesday 14th February?

One year ago, inspired by my friend Sarah Sexton, I gave up refined sugar for Lent. After Lent I continued the practice. I’m happy to say I am now 10 kg lighter, and back within a healthy weight range. Along the way I lost my sugar cravings, and the associated swings between high energy and tiredness.

Lent is a perfect time for self-reflection. On a scale of 1 to 10, how well are you currently caring for your body? What single act of food-abstinence will your body most benefit from?

Whatever your spirituality or lack thereof, approaching Lent as an act of self care is an invitation to thrive.

In the heart of a lonely man

27/11/2017 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Spring tea

Fragrant and nourishing spring tea.

 

I remember travelling to a seaside town in the south west with my family. I remember that we went into a café for lunch. I don’t remember what we ate, but I do remember the salty tang of the sea air, and the sun-burnt faces of fellow diners.

I remember breastfeeding my baby daughter in the café. I remember the bliss that arrived as the milk flowed.  And I remember that I smiled down at my daughter and looked up, still smiling, to gaze directly into the eyes of a man, sitting at a nearby table, who was staring at me. I remember how bereft he looked. His expression was one of absolute loss. It was a naked expression, as though he’d been caught out by his own silent sadness, almost as though he hadn’t even realised it was there.

That man’s expression has stayed with me these past 12 years. It seems to me that he was expressing, so beautifully, the longing of the lonely soul. We all have lonely elements within us – parts of us that went unnourished at a critical time. At its simplest, it seems to me that I could roll back time to see the man returned to his baby form, left to cry for lack of milk and nurturing.

So that’s why I wrote ‘Milk of Kindness’. And that’s why I’m so pleased it’s just been published in The Poetic Bond VII. I’m privileged to be one of 50 poets represented in the book, which was compiled by Trevor Maynard.

There’s no way that I can know what happened to the man in the café all that time ago. But wherever he is, I wish him peace and kindness.

That wonderful feeling when your dream comes true

20/11/2017 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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The Poetic Bond announcement 2

At the beginning of this year I set myself a challenge: get some poetry accepted for publication. Today, that wish has come true. The Poetic Bond VII, an anthology edited by Trevor Maynard, features work by 50 poets from 11 countries. Together, they create a vivid snapshot of now. My three poems are set in England, New Zealand and infinity. They feature love, loneliness and yes, there are dragons. Quite a lot of dragons – the sort that can change lives. They’re worth getting to know!

Do go take a peek at Amazon UK or Amazon.com

Why this is a great time to become more serene

23/08/2017 at 6:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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When I saw this photo I couldn’t resist asking to ‘borrow’ it. It’s an image of my niece, Sophie, canoeing along a tributary to Loch Morlich in Scotland’s Cairngorm National Park.

For me, this image sums up the best of serenity.

To make progress, there’s generally some effort involved. There are always bound to be a few rocks along the route. But the best approach is to cultivate a calm manner – to do your best to remain balanced whatever lies in your path.

It’s good to see distractions for what they are: side shows that are not and never will be your true path. That way we don’t become over-reactive, or allow ourselves to be carried along by events.

At the same time, it’s important to be prepared, yet not overly so. It’s wise to take a few useful items with you for your safety and wellbeing, and to help you move forwards. However, it’s also ok to trust that your needs will be met, and to travel light.

I’ve been meditating on serenity daily since the start of the summer. Through busy times it’s frankly been a life-saver. This regular practice actually appears to make life’s challenges… well, less challenging. Which is why this moment, right now, is a great time for you to focus on being serene. Try it and see what happens.

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