‘If we can focus on the moment – every moment, just as it comes along – then we get the most from every minute of every day, instead of fearing what ‘might’ come next.’ Margaret Cahill Under Cover of Darkness: blogging my way through mantle cell lymphoma (from her book blog).
Wise words from a very wise woman! I’m writing a book on how crystals can help you practise mindfulness. A work in progress as far as I’m concerned. But I am on an accelerated learning cure and the crystals really help. Holding one of those beauties it is easy to be totally in the moment – and equally easy to travel wherever and whenever you will with them. Time and space have no meaning when you’re running on crystal energy. I’m adept at doing both, sometimes simultaneously. Which is just as well as I’m on a tight deadline to deliver. The book will have a very quick turnaround, something rare in the publishing industry. You’ll be able to read it next spring. We’re using the incredible photos that Michael Illas took for The Crystal Wisdom Oracle and Earth Blessings. The energy positive zings out of them, so you won’t even need to have the crystals. You’ll be able to focus on the illustrations and drop into a mindful space in an instant.
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Mindfulness is something the lovely Margaret Cahill has been demonstrating in her blog https://margaretcahill.wordpress.com ever since she was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma awhile ago now. I’ve watched with awe the way she navigated her way through an incredibly challenging time and developed her ability to be mindful at the same time. How she could calmly sit in the middle of something so terrible and be still in that moment, accepting it. Yes I know you didn’t always maintain your serenity my cherished friend, and that from time to time you gave way to fear. But you’d have to be a real master of the art of mindfulness not to do that given such a bleak diagnosis. And you always bounced back, more quickly and serenely each time. It has been a real privilege to watch the development of your inner being and our discussions have been of great assistance to me.
When I see Margaret now, she is positively shining with happiness – as you can see from the photo in the centre of her book’s cover. She radiates a serene joy at the gift of life. I guess that’s what happens when you recover against all the odds. She’s programmed for mindfulness now. Whenever her pinger goes off, she takes a mindful moment. It clearly helps her to cope with the stresses of running a busy publishing house, for which all her authors including me are thankful. She even drinks her tea the way the teacher that inspired her, Thich Nhat Hanh, suggests:
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.”
Being me, I’m mindful of the fact that I’m going to be away on holiday – my first for four years! – and the invaluable Mark, my webmaster, is away for even longer so is scheduling some blogs now that will appear in a few weeks time. So, as so often happens when you’re a footloose Sag, I’m getting ahead of myself again. I wanted to share some of the quotes that have helped me to understand what mindfulness is. They’ve really inspired me and helped me on my way. I won’t have room for them in the book – except the one from Margaret above. I couldn’t leave that one out. So here’s just a sample.
Mind you, not all the images and quotes here are about mindfulness per se, some reflect deep truths in my life, such as this one. Is it just because I’m a Sag with Leo rising and an Aries midheaven? Fire piled on impatient fire. Or does everyone feel like this?
And this one rings so true to me:
As does this one that I have beneath a photo of my great granddaughter joyfully offering me a well-licked ball:
“Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
The secret of serenity?
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” James Baraz
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” Eckhart Tolle
“In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived. How well we have loved. How well we have learned to let go” Jack Kornfield
“Without giving up hope—that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be—we will never relax with where we are or who we are.”
“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”
― Amit Ray
“Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.”
― Allan Lokos, Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living
This one is from a book my mentor Christine Hartley gave me way back in l976, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, which is even older by a couple of thousand years:
Let’s end with one from my favourite Poohlosopher:
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