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
“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
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
“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
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
I have realised lately that to maintain our energy and purpose in life we need to be aware of who we are speaking to. If someone attacks us all of a sudden, addressing our perceived weaknesses and vulnerabilities, it is good to ask ourselves: “How big is the piece of wood in the other’s eye when they are pointing out the piece of wood in our own?” We see things more clearly, for example, when we pick up on any hypocrisy and we can let go of any self-criticism. We can keep our lamps burning brightly and embrace the positive energy of the world.
During meditation this morning I opened my eyes for a moment and saw a small bird perch onto the potted flowers next to the window. It stopped, and looked in the direction of me who was behind the other side of the window in the living room.
I quietened my breathing and remained still so that I wouldn’t frighten it away. After a turn of its head it flew its little body into the window a couple of feet away, and after the collision it flew back in the opposite direction onto the ground below. Continue reading