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Showing posts from 2014

Write in the Moment

Now swept away:
our favourite beach,
your final days

A practice common to Druidry and Buddhism is living in the present moment, in each moment as it passes, knowing it will never come again, so it must be savoured… and let go… Just as the seasons come… and go... To live, we must breathe in… and out… and change with each breath.

Writing haiku (a Japanese poetic form which has been greatly influenced by Zen Buddhism) is a practice in mindfulness. The “haiku moment” is a flash of awareness that connects us with what is going on now, which we then put into words. It is a kind of word-picture that tries to express the essence of a moment: poetry distilled. There are a few rules to the form, which are treated more as guidelines by most writers (usually three lines, 5-7-5 syllables, with a “cutting word” that juxtaposes two images or ideas, drawing from the natural world).

Phillip Murrell, a judge in the British Haiku Awards 2013 - the two winners of which were announced in the British Haiku…

Connecting with the spirit of place - a relationship with here and now

How to connect with the spirit of place? Touch the earth with your feet, feel the wind on your skin and hear the song of the land in your heart.

I was lucky enough to have spent all but the first three years of my childhood in a small country town with plenty of countryside. My connection came from long walks with my dog out across fields, whatever the weather: beneath clear skies or in rain, wrapped in fog or sunshine, with thunder rumbling and lightning crackling the sky, or just the drumbeat of my feet on the ground, the twitter of birds and the sound of grass being munched by the cows; sometimes by day, sometimes beneath distant stars...

I never really felt a deep connection with the town itself. Nothing against it: it was a nice town, decent people - it was home. But it was out in the fields that I met my soul. And looking back, 20+ years on, I know this early experience shaped my Druidry today.

In my early adulthood, I moved around a lot, living in Wales (the beautiful Gower pen…

Parenthood and Overcoming Fear

"Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else  is more important than fear" - Ambrose Redmoon
"Courage" and "fear". Big words. I'm sure we can all bring to mind people who have the courage described by Ambrose Redmoon. The obvious ones are the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, doctors and nurses in war zones, aid workers, firefighters... etc. But I'm not going to talk about these people: their courage in the face of tremendous danger and hardship is clear for all to see. Here, I'm more interested in the neurotic fears that we all have to a greater or lesser degree. They are little fears by comparison but not necessarily to the person living with it.
We all show great courage, in our own way, every day. The fear we face may not be the kind faced by the people mentioned above, but it can be debilitating if allowed to rule our lives. At worst fear can drive us insane with worry and make us physically ill; at …

Balance: Are you giving, or taking, too much?

The equinox, when day (very nearly) equals night, seems a good time to ponder the notion of 'balance'.

Firstly, what strikes me from simple observation of the world around us is that balance is not a dull, static, flavourless state, but a dynamic, flowing, colourful process of give and take. It is like a good risotto, which is a harmony of ingredients, each with its own flavour, which, working together, produce a tasty, healthy meal.

Among the questions which, I think, we should ask ourselves from time to time - and the spring and autumn equinoxes seem naturally apt times to do so - are: Am I taking more than I need? And: Am I giving more than I can afford (not just in a financial sense, but in terms of time, energy, emotions, thought, etc)?

Take, take, take is, of course, selfish, but give, give, give can be as self-centred if done for the wrong reasons. For example, do we give out of love and caring for another person, wanting and expecting no reward? Or do we do so to ease …