Mindfulness short: myth – in mindfulness meditation we are trying to empty our mind

Originally posted on Shaun Lambert:

One of the biggest myths about mindfulness is that in mindfulness meditation you are trying to empty your mind. Ruby Wax who is good at answering questions people are asking answers the question this way in her book Sane New World, ‘With mindfulness the rumour is wrong that the point is to empty your mind; you need your mind to analyse, memorize, create and most importantly exist. It can never be empty while you’re alive, even in a coma your mind is still chattering away.’[1]

Why can she say this so categorically? It is all to do with what we think the mind is and how we define it. Interpersonal neurobiologist Daniel J. Siegel points out there is a lack of awareness and understanding of the mind. He defines the mind to be ‘a process that regulates the flow of energy and information.’[2] The mind is always receiving…

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Photos for Meditation #3

This photo was taken in the Venetian lagoon in February of this year. We had just visited the Armenian monastery on one of the islands and as we came out this was the view. The sea was like liquid gold.


For me, this is not only a stunning photo, but it reminds me of a lovely friend of mine.
The very next morning I learned that she had lost her fight with cancer almost to the minute that I had taken the photo. She was a truly golden lady, and is greatly missed.

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Lighthouse, Sea Surge and Survival in a Strong Tower

Originally posted on Graham Prouty on-line and on-life:

lighthouse.jpgI don’t know about you, but this photo is one of my all time favorites. The photographer Jean Guichard has many spectacular pictures of lighthouses and surf, (google him and check out his other work!) but this one resonates with me because of the man standing on the platform looking out over, and under, waves that would annihilate him if he makes one bad move or a rogue wave decides to get him! Obviously he has done this before, but look at the potential disaster all around him!

There are a couple reasons this picture resonates with me…

I often feel like the world is raging around me so much that at any moment I will be capsized by it. I am sure you have felt the same way; a relentless crashing of wave after wave of commotion that keeps your attention so focused that you are completely drained and…

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#Mindfulness article via Associaton of Christian Counsellors magazine Accord

Sandra Delemare:

A good reply to Christians who are concerned about the supposed Buddhist roots of mindfulness. I love the comment that it’s like saying gravity is British because Isaac Newton discovered it.

Originally posted on Shaun Lambert:

Dear Shaun,

I have been suffering from recurrent depression and my doctor has recommended I try Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Someone in my church has said I shouldn’t touch it with a bargepole because mindfulness has Buddhist roots. Apparently it also involves meditation, and in meditation you are trying to empty your mind, aren’t you? Isn’t that dangerous?

I’m desperate for help – can you offer me any guidance?

Yours ever,

Concerned Christian

Dear Concerned Christian,

You are right! There is some confusion and caution within the church when it comes to mindfulness. It is important to bring some clarity into this area so you can make an informed decision.

Mindfulness is our universal human capacity for awareness and attention. This capacity needs to be distinguished from the mindful awareness or meditative practices that help us develop this innate ability to be mindful. A doctor in the USA called Jon…

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Holywell Retreat, A Place of Spiritual Inspiration on the Sussex Coast

Originally posted on S.C.Skillman Blog:

I’ve written before in this blog about those sacred spaces which are known in Ancient Celtic terms as thin places.

View of Beachy Head from Holywell Retreat - photo credit Abigail Robinson View of Beachy Head from Holywell Retreat – photo credit Abigail Robinson

These are places where you are led to believe that the veil between the visible and the invisible worlds is thin. They don’t have to be obviously religious places. In fact once I read of someone who had a religious experience whilst crossing London Bridge in the rush hour. For that person, London Bridge became a thin place.

A thin place may be any place where you have new or happy or inspirational thoughts. And one of my most popular topics on this blog is places I love.

But quite often, probably because our ability to tune into spiritual inspiration is hindered by stress, anxiety, tension and so on, our thin places are literally places of tranquillity…

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Heaven is Weeping: An Open Letter to the House of Bishops @C_of_E @JustinWelby @JohnSentamu

Sandra Delemare:

This post is very much in line with my own thoughts, but much more eloquently put.

Originally posted on Phil's Boring Blog:


Greetings in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, your Lord and mine in our common journey of faith: to him be the glory for ever and ever!

I am writing this letter hesitantly because, as a member of a clergy household myself, I am aware of the immense pressure that you live under and of the immense burden of responsibility that you shoulder as the Lords Spiritual in our land: may the Lord give each and every one of you the courage, grace, strength and wisdom you need as you carry out your duties in his service.

First of all, I would like to thank you for all the time and effort that you put into so many different and often conflicting areas of life, especially on matters of injustice here in the UK and elsewhere in the world. Thank you, in particular, to those who…

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Meet Spot…

Meet Spot, my latest ‘excuse’ for not posting.

Spot, aka Microchip, is a Lancashire Heeler – a rare British dog breed. We found one wandering in the road over 20 years ago, and I was thrilled to find that he was a proper breed and not some random mutt. Chip was with us for 17 years, and until his last year was still willing to walk as far as we cared to go.

We planned on getting another dog when I retired. Putting on weight since giving up the evil weed gave some urgency to finding one – I feel a bit lost walking in the Forest (the ‘New’ one in Hampshire) without a dog. Having sold Mum’s house, and with Christmas over, we decided it was time to get serious. My husband had been keeping an eye on the Heeler Club website and found ONE puppy available in the whole of England – and he was just the other side of the Forest!

That was a fortnight ago; Spot has been with us a week now and we’re slowly settling into some sort of routine. It will be some time before he’s able to go on proper walks. He’s confined to the garden or being carried until he’s had his second jab, and then only short walks for the next three months or so. Heelers are small cattle dogs, they may be small but they’re all dog – not toys. When full grown, they’ll keep going all day. Thanks to Caroline and Stephen of MadinCrowd Hardy Heelers for such a lovely, well socialised puppy who’s currently using the crook of my arm as a chin rest as he sleeps beside me in an armchair.

In the meantime, I’m continuing with my meditations on Jesus. I’ve started working through Ephesians and this morning had a relook at Ephesians 1:9 ‘…[God] made known to us the mystery…’ which led me to Colossians 1:27 ‘…God has chosen to make known… the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.’

What a phrase to meditate on:

‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’

Sometimes, if we are feeling very low, these words can seem to mock us. And yet… even then, something deep inside says ‘yes and amen’. Deep calls to deep and we know that this vale of tears will pass, the weeping lasts for a night and JOY comes with the morning. We may not be deliriously happy, but deep inside there is an inner contentment that is unshaken by outside events.

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