Inner light

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“Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th’encircling gloom… And with the morn those angel faces smile.”
– Saint John Henry Newman

I once visited the Solas Bhríde Centre in County Kildare, a place that unfolds the legacy of Saint Brigid, the female patron saint of Ireland. Among the attractions I came across was the ‘perpetual flame’, a candle that has been burning continuously since 1993. While I meditated next to the candle it struck me how mellow and calm the flame appeared. It wasn’t too strong and bright; just right to enable it to keep going throughout day and night. It also struck me that if I am to pursue a PhD I need to maintain my energy and direction like this perpetual flame. Continue reading

Promptings

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The heart works in slow ways, and we need great inner freedom to make real change.

In this time of new resolutions, it is good to say “Yes” to our promptings, our movement within. It is first helpful to get in touch with our inner teacher that quenches desires for riches, honour and pride. Listening to this navigational system points us in the direction of wisdom and wellness. The ‘little flame of love’ comes alive and we develop spiritual poverty (a deeply-felt sense of dependence on our world) and humility (from humus for earth or soil). We respond to the slow ways of the heart. Continue reading

Gently, kindly, lovingly

gently, kindly, lovingly

I have come from another Zen retreat which involved silent sitting meditation and silent walking meditation for three days. It was wonderful to tune into a sensitivity at the level of impulse. I am reminded of Saint Ignatius Loyola who maintained that a positive source “touches the soul gently, lightly, and sweetly, like a drop of water going into a sponge”. This is what it was like for me after a while at the retreat. When I got distracted, I found myself saying “gently, kindly, lovingly” from the core of my being. Then I returned to listening to the breath in my belly. Continue reading

The value of time

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“Have you ever noticed that an answer might arise within your being when you put the phone down for a while – during a moment of doing ‘nothing’? That is because your mind is doing what it’s supposed to do without your conscious effort. It doesn’t always need your help and googling to find the answer. Or you may find great peace and clarity after a long pause that enables you to live in the moment, and the next day you notice that your memory and concentration are better.” – An extract from my book

Inner strength

Inner strength

When I was a trainee psychologist, the belief in the ‘inner strength’ of the client and therapist was very important to me. It made sense. It seemed deep. I wanted to know more. But I was upset because the person’s spiritual and faith dimensions were not mentioned as part of this conceptualisation. Eventually the more congruent thing for me was to withdraw from graduate studies and pay attention to my longings and yearnings. Continue reading

The need for stillness

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“Too many of us learn to ‘love’ distress and anxiety: we say it is the way of work and the world. Just five minutes of silence seems pointless. But we get in touch with the ‘inner teacher’ when we find times to be still in our day, connecting us with deep peace and balance. It is available to be tapped into as we live in the moment: talking to people, working on tasks, walking with a fresh breeze on our faces, even running.” – An extract from my book in The Furrow journal

My first book!

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I am thrilled to share with you the publication of my small book Bursting Out in Praise: Spirituality and Mental Health with Messenger Publications. At €5, it draws on my experience living with bipolar and aims to reach out to the general public and those with an openness to faith. It is divided into 20 reflections covering six steps to better mental health – upsides, downsides, recovery, balance, loving life and spirituality. Continue reading