Thich Nhat Hanh: Please call me by my true name

 

 

Please Call Me by my True Name
Do not say that I will depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive
Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch
to be a tiny bird, with wings still so fragile
learning to sing in my new nest
to be a caterpillar in the heart of flower
to be a jewel hiding itself in stone
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope,
the rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time to eat the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily in the clear water of the pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who,
approaching in silence, feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the 12 year old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving
I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people,
dying slowly in a forced labour camp.
My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills up the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

By: Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

An autumn walk

 

Walk slowly,

by Danna Faulds

 

It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still and just like that,
something in me settles, softens,
makes space for imperfection. The harsh
voice of judgment drops to a whisper
and I remember again that life isn’t a relay race;
that we will all cross the finish line;
that waking up to life is what we were born for.
As many times as I forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I am going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, to be and walk
slowly into the mystery.

From : Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga

Go among trees…

Go Among Trees and Sit Still

by Wendell Berry

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I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
Around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
Where I left them, asleep like cattle…
Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
And the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

By Wendell Berry from Sabbaths, 1987, North Point Press

Conscious Cooking, Mindful Eating and other Mindfulness Practices

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A silent residential mindfulness retreat, from Friday 9 December to Sunday 11 December,  in Ballyhoura Mountain Lodges, at the foot of the Ballyhoura Mountains, guided by Marjó Oosterhoff and I.

Mindfulness is not only practised in meditation but can also be applied in something we do every day, like choosing, preparing and eating food.

In the weeks before Christmas, anxiety and stress can build up around food and meals: what to cook that is not too complicated or expensive, not too time-consuming; how to cater for the vegetarian or vegan , or for the person who is allergic to certain foods.

We’ll prepare the food together, in a way that may be quite new for many of us, then we will all sit around the table and eat mindfully and in silence.

Marjó has been teaching meditation for over 20 years, and you can find more about her and Passaddhi here.

Paola has been cooking for mindfulness retreats for many years, and is always asked about her recipes. This weekend is a unique opportunity to learn from her directly and experientially.

There will also be sitting meditation sessions, and slow, mindful walking meditation, reflections around the food we eat, and time to go for longer walks as well as rest.

Cost: €160, including a deposit of €60.

The guidance and teachings by Paola and Marjó are offered on a donation basis.

There are only 8 places available, in twin rooms, in two lodges. The spacious kitchen and dining area of one of the lodges will be used for the preparing and cooking practices.

This weekend will be suitable for beginners and non-beginners.

Bookings with Paola: telephone 087-2453292 or 028-48089.

Email: mindfulness.westcork@me.com

It will be possible to stay on in the lodges until Monday morning 10 am, but you’ll need to organise your own evening meal and breakfast.

Breathworks course in Cork city

For the first time in Cork City , the Breathworks Mindfulness for Health 8 week course starts on the 14th of October, in Bru Columbanus, Wilton.

Contact me if you want to know more.

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Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed the Mindfulness Based Stress reduction course, says : “The Breathworks approach to Mindfulness-Based Pain Management (MBPM) is the most comprehensive, in-depth, scientifically up-to-date and user-friendly approach to learning the how of living with chronic pain and reclaiming one’s life that I know of”.

 

More about the Breathworks approach:

http://www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk/PDF/Breathworks_mindfulness_article_Jan_2010.pdf