True Self

A note from True Self

It is time to remove the masks, those masks you made over many years.

Not just that one, but the others as well.

It is okay, I know it can feel a little raw,

please take your time, please be kind to yourself.

This is you, the real you, I am here waiting, I have always been here waiting for you.

Look no further, seek no more.

There is nothing else you have to become,

nowhere else you have to go.

Sit, listen, be still.

Watch with curiosity this thing we call life.

I will be revealed in the sunsets, the birds singing, the feeling of your feet touching the earth.  All those simple, beautiful moments.

I will be waiting in those quiet times, those times you go to sit, those times when you practice this awareness.

Waiting with a big smile and open arms,

Don’t be fooled by those masks that you wear,

there is a freedom here, here with me, your true self.

Change – An exploration of life meditation

Change

We hold on tight, push and pull, manipulate and scheme,

anything to avoid losing the familiar, however good or bad the familiar may be.

When change comes along, we build a fortress to protect ourselves and then realise we have locked ourselves in  prison and thrown the keys through the door.

When uncertainty prevails, we follow the familiar paths, the well trodden road.

Closing down the heart, clinging on for dear life.

But what if there was a different way, a different road.

A road with less tension, less pulling and pushing.

A road that allows us to sit back a moment and process the emotions.

A sadness, a joy, a fear, all emotions that just want to be experienced,

Not manipulated but felt for what they are.

Take a long…. slow….deep breath,

this is it, just pause, rest in this very moment, in this reality.

From here, every moment can be seen with new eyes.

The emotions we can feel but not battle with.

 

This is not a case of mind over matter,

the challenges are real, change is inevitable.

but from this space of awareness, this little moment in time, this little pause,

things become a little clearer, our options greater, we see more solutions and realise we can adapt and be creative in the most challenging of times.

Un-clench the fists, let go of the tight grip

Just watch and observe, be curious,

Hold your life gently like a bird resting in the palm of your hand…

 

A new beginning

May you find a peace that no person or situation can alter,

may you find a kindness to accept yourself just as you are,

amazing and unique.

Every moment a new beginning, every step, every breath.

I wish you well for 2018

 

A break in the cloud

A little break in the cloud,

just enough to see the light beyond,

right now, right here, that is enough.

Enough to slow things down,

Enough to open our hearts,

Enough to root us here in the present moment, to make us feel alive.

We can hold it all gently in awareness,

Our thoughts unmasked, seen for what they are, just thoughts.

Like the clouds floating by in the sky, never still, constantly changing,

If only we let them go on their way.

Underneath is a beautiful space, a quiet stillness, a bright light.

A Little break in the cloud

It is enough, it is all we sometimes need.

Roger Hunt

Thank you for reading my words, I wish you a wonderful holiday.
Roger x

 

Time and patience

“Have patience, plant your feet firmly on the ground. Wait for the tide to ebb away and there you will be, where you have always been but you didn’t know it. Right here on the shore, unwavering, happy and more alive than ever “

Journal entry December 2015

This journal entry always makes me smile.  Odd because it was a particularly painful period of my journey into mindfulness but it was as if the answer was calling out to me at the time, wait, be patient, all will be well.

Mindfulness and meditation can be pretty difficult at times. When I first started practicing, I desperately wanted to get rid of pain, anxiety and stress.  I thought that I had the answer to all of this.  I would sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day and all my dreams would come true.  Little did I know.

Around about the time of this journal entry, I was really struggling to meditate, my legs would go stiff, I would get cramp and it was a test of will to carry on with it, my mind completely distracted.

Luckily there was something inside telling me to just be patient, to stick with it, that this is a lesson, there is something to be learnt from sticking with it.  I put my trust into the practice and let it do its work.

It is so beautiful, so vibrant, so vital, I find it hard to put into words at times.   Mindfulness and meditation can turn your world around if you just allow it.

It has taught me that my mind is chaotic at times and that is ok, that’s just how it is.  It also has taught me that my mind also wants the chance to be peaceful and to examine what it is like to just be at peace, to just breathe or to just listen to sounds. Simple and beautiful.

It has taught me that I am stronger than I think I am.  If the proverbial hits the fan, whether it be in meditation or in everyday life, I am much more comfortable now just letting it be, to just stick with  it and be patient and wait for the tide to ebb away.

My initial desire for the practice to rid me of all the aches and pains of life  like some sort of end goal, well the practice turned that all upside down.  It has helped me to see that the aches and pains are all part of life.  Anxiety and stress still come, but my relationship to them has changed.  I am not clinging on to them as much or trying to push them away. There is less of a battle going on, they come and go like clouds rolling by in the sky.

Occasionally they will take over and  I find myself in the old spiral downwards, but the difference is I can can see it happening and can take steps to come back, a kindness and compassion kicks in.  It is the practice at work.

My regular readers will know this, but over time the story gets quieter, my posts have probably got shorter, things get simpler.

In truth I have found it harder to write about this year, there is a simple beauty in this practice that words cannot adequately provide.  It is completely experiential.  Truth and wisdom emerges from the silence. If there is a constant narrative going on, or lots of chatter going on in my mind, I know I need to practice some more.

So the end of a year, I thank the practice for the things it has taught me, the things it allows me to see so clearly.  There is more to come I know, always will be, this is a practice that will stay with me for life.

“If the tide comes back in, you will always know now what is underneath.  Plant your feet firmly on the ground, be patient, what is underneath those waves, beneath the commotion, is something quite beautiful”

Journal entry December 2017

 

 

Self care – meditation

“Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life”

Brian Andreas

Lets rest here for a while and watch the sun rise across the land.

Lets just be here for a while, a little rest, a little bit of self-care.

Feel your feet on the ground

Breathe.

It is okay, you are alive, vital, present.

Open the senses, what can you see, smell and hear.

Lets linger for a while, no rush, no battles, no pushing or pulling.

We can let it all be for now.

Sometimes we just need to come back home, back to our true nature.

The tension in the belly, the closing of the heart, all little signs telling us to return back home, back to the breath, back to just this moment.

Watch the sun rise across the land, the mist rolling across the fields, the day dawning and unfolding.

Listen to the sounds, the birds singing, the distant traffic, the sound of your heart beating. So easy to miss in the busyness of life.

So often it feels like we are being pushed along out of control.

Feel your feet rooted into the earth, grounding you, supporting you.

Feel your breath, the rise, the fall, in and out.

There is a quiet stillness here, we can just observe it all with a gentle curiosity.

A space where we can just pause and rest.

A space between the stimulus and response.

A space where we can dwell deeply in the present moment and feel truly alive.

It is right here, amidst the chaos, it always was and always will be.

Rest in this self-care, soothe your soul and replenish your energy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Underneath the knowledge

To discover anything new, we have to start on a journey.  So often that journey starts with searching for facts, knowledge, belief, anything that tells us this is the right thing to be doing and that we are heading in the right direction.

I remember when I first started out on this journey of meditation and mindfulness, I was eager for knowledge, eager to know more and more, to fill my mind with facts.  It was like this for the first few years of practice.

There was nothing wrong with this, it got me started on a new path but I did start to notice something.  As I started to fill my mind with more and more facts and knowledge, I started to close off from anything new. The accumulated knowledge started to form my experience and started to act as an impediment to anything new forming.

Sometimes, in order to create we have to destroy.  To take down brick by brick the walls we build, seems counter productive. To seek the truth, to see the true reality this is what we have to do sometimes.  What is left is something underneath the accumulated facts and knowledge, something  that depends on non of this stuff, beautiful simplicity.

Maybe this is it, just a continuous building and destroying, a constant cycle. I know less now than when I started and that to me is just beautiful, for underneath all of that stuff is a natural stillness, a peace and happiness that is nothing to do with the accumulation of knowledge.  Ordinary, honest and genuine. A true reality that is underneath the story the mind tells us and the self projection that knowledge can create.

I leave you with this Haiku from Basho, which sums it up. Beautiful simplicity, life in all its vitality, incredible in its ordinariness. I wish you a wonderful week ahead.

“In the dark forest a berry drops, the sound of water.  On a withered branch a crow is perched, in the autumn evening”

Basho

 

 

 

 

Let the battle end

This moment

I look out of the window, across the rooftops.

The sun slowly sinks, setting the sky on fire with its orange hue.

As the week draws to a close, part of me wants to reflect on what has been and what is to come, part of me wants to be right here in this moment.

The past and the future all flicker through my awareness, vying for attention.

I look at my feet. Oh good, they are still there firmly rooted to the spot, I am here.  I look out of the window again, the sun sinking further.

It is okay, it is okay.

I remember we can hold it all lightly.  Just thoughts passing through.

There was a time, I could spend days and days lost in the past. Re-living hours and weeks. Meanwhile the sun sank as it is doing now, without me seeing it.

There was a time, I could spend days and days in the future, worrying, planning, making up scenarios, playing them all out in my mind.  Meanwhile the sun sank as it is doing now without me seeing it.

Something has changed

Backwards and forwards my mind goes.

Like I was talking gently to an old friend I have known for a long time, I address my mind.

“its okay my friend you can look back, you can look forward but let’s try it here for a while, here in this moment.  Rest here in this moment for a while, watch the sun set, look at the colours, take it all in, breathe gently my friend”.  

No matter how mindful we are, our mind will go back and forwards, it will wander, why battle to stop this.

Ending the battle

There was a time, I thought I must not be doing this right. My mind is still wandering.

Haha, who was I to think I could stop the mind from wandering.

I know (I thought), I will put the mind on a tight leash and try to spend every moment in the present.

Did that work, umm no way.   Layer, upon layer of thought would be built, this isn’t working, I am not doing this right, turned into I am useless, turned into lets dwell in the past and so on and so on.

So lets cut the mind some slack, give it a long leash.

Whoosh, of it went, back and forwards, ruminating, thinking.

The middle way

So maybe there is something in the middle, a middle length leash.

We can observe the mind wander, and gently bring it back, wander again and gently bring it back, wander again and gently bring it back, over and over. Just enough slack but not too much.

No battle, just a gentle but firm awareness of what is going on. There is some peace here.

This is the practice, the middle way, gentle but firm.

Forever changing

So here we are. The end of another week, we can look back, we can look forward, it really is okay.

We don’t have to stay in the past or stay in the future.

There is somewhere else, right here, right now.

Gentle but firm, come back.

Plant your feet firmly into the floor, look out take it all in.

Know that there is some peace right here in this moment. Let it be what it is. Know that this moment is forever changing, evolving, moving, like the sun setting on the horizon.

Let the battle end.

 

 

A beautiful place

 

There is a beautiful place, underneath all the judgements and the resistance.  A place of quiet stillness, where we can just observe with a gentle curiosity this thing we call life.

A place where we can hold life as if it was a little bird in the palm of our hand. Lightly held and observed with curiosity.

A place where we can just hold it all in awareness and let it be just what it is, not manufactured but authentic and real.

A place where we can see that everything changes moment by moment.  The simple, the profound, it all changes.  From this place we can end the pushing and pulling and just let it change and evolve as it does and as it always will.

A place where we can greet ourselves like an old friend, with open arms, an open heart and a big smile and drop the judgements, end the fight and say lets rest for a while.

A place where we can hear our inner wisdom, our intuition.  In the stillness it speaks to us, telling us what we need to hear.  A place where we can learn to trust this voice.

A place we can breathe, I mean really breathe, to feel the air going in and out of the lungs and to know we are fully alive in this very moment.

A place we can meet the resistance and just experience what we are feeling, beyond good or bad, not grasping or rejecting, just simple experience.

A place we can just watch our thoughts come and go, like clouds in the sky or ripples in the stream.

A place that is with us all the time even in the chaos, in the busyness, know it is there just quietly waiting, whenever you need it.

Nothing we need to become, nowhere we need to go.

A beautiful place, right here, simply in what is.

 

 

Mindfulness – Listening

Twists and turns in the journey

As I journey into this life with meditation and mindfulness, it becomes harder to put my experience into words.  As the mind becomes quiet, so does the stories, the self and the reasons why.

This is meditation doing its work, unseen, without glory. Creating space, immense and timeless.  A space where the pushing and pulling stops, where the influence of experience and knowledge has no power. Where the motives of the ego mind diminish.

The demands of the mind still come, the fears, the judgments, the attachments, but from this space created by the practice, they can be acknowledged, felt and allowed to move through freely, with ease.

I believe it is from this space we can see change and transformation.

The road is full of twists and turns.  I know less now than I did when I first started out and I am happy to rest with that.  The knowledge that got me here did just that, it got me to sit on the cushion, to search for the space. The practice turns this all upside down.

I came to this practice seeking change, security, happiness and peace.  What I was really seeking was satisfaction and reward, all from the ego mind.  All my efforts were based around this.  My ego mind had played a trick, a self projection, it showed me a little picture of what life would be like in the future, an illusion, totally unreal.

From this place of still mind, free from the known, no true or false, no should be or should not, the illusions fall away.  In this rawness emerges something new, peaceful and still.

Listening

I will often just go and stand in the back garden and listen. Just listening to the birds singing, trying to pick out the different calls (it’s usually Robin, he has such a lovely tune).  Then I listening to the far away sounds, the traffic on the road, the kids playing on the park, the dog barking, the plane passing by overhead.

Just listening can be a meditation in itself, opening up the space in the mind, away from the narrow channels of awareness we build. Just allowing it all in, not wanting it to go away or be different, just listening with curiosity.  There is a great beauty in listening this way, it is quite extraordinary.

Our ears are so often blocked up with projections, opinions and thoughts that we rarely listen at all.

The more we truly listen, the quieter it becomes, the more the space opens up.

Generous Heart

We must keep an open and generous heart in this practice.  There are times when I have closed my heart on this journey, becoming hard and stern with myself.  In that tight-fisted, closed down mode of thinking, the space closes in.  A day or week may go by, little things start to niggle you, you start to push away noise, fear may arise in the belly, be aware of it, this may happen.

Go gently, breathe, soften, sit back, sink in and root our feet to the floor.  Things may go awry, that’s okay, we can always come back, always.

Go to a quiet place, close your eyes and drop into your heart. Just listen, the heart knows what you need, no words are required.

Just listen.