Empathic Joy

There is a tendency to resent the good fortune of other and begrudge them their happiness. But we can see this as an opportunity to practice empathic joy.

Does a wave believe it is separate from the sea?

Mindfulness and meditation, for someone who is prepared to do the work, can bring benefits such as stress relief, better concentration, better relationships, better health and help us become more resistant to depression.

Practices for life

Quality sleep, meditation and mindfulness, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness and courage are practices that help you towards happiness.

Ideas for the summer holidays

Holidays are a great time to be with ourselves and to be with others, to practice mindfulness, meditation, gratitude and listening.

Take it with you

Mindfulness, and meditation should be so easy. I mean, what could be easier than intentionally bringing your attention fully to the present moment, without judgement? Being aware of your body, thoughts and feelings and your surroundings cannot be that hard − can it? But it turns out that it’s not that easy. It is not the learning that’s difficult; it’s the unlearning. We are born into this world into a situation we did not choose. We did not choose our parents, our religion, our culture, our nationality, our family nor our environment. In fact, none of the important decisions in your childhood were made by you.  You simply adapted to…

That sweet moment of connection

If you try to bring mindful awareness to your life and if you meditate, you will be familiar with the different states of your mind: how it changes, moment to moment and day to day. Some days your attention rests easily in the present moment; you are aware of thoughts arising and releasing them is easy. There are also days when the mind is more active and to maintain concentration is more difficult as the mind is shouting for attention like a spoilt child throwing a tantrum. In these moments simply sitting still can feel uncomfortable. The practice of mindful meditation is a great teacher of patience and humility. Then…

Compassion is the key

When we practice mindfulness and/or meditation with an attitude of compassion − that is kindness to ourselves − we embark on a life-long voyage of discovery that is rewarding and immensely satisfying. If we don’t adopt this attitude, we run the risk of using meditation like a drug: getting a buzz, an escape from our lives, a way of momentarily feeling better. If this is all we seek, we will soon tire of our practice and find an excuse to stop. Compassion is not feeling sorry for someone; that is called pity. It is not “feeling” for someone; that is called empathy. Compassion is to recognise the suffering of another…

Why meditate, what is the point?

When we ask that question we should ask ourselves the question, what is it that we want in our lives? The answers that pop into your head might include such things as more money, a romantic partner, a better job, greater material security. To my way of thinking, these describe form rather than essence. It is of course, nice to have these things, but they are all external and temporary; they come and go, giving a brief respite from “dukkha”, and can even be the cause of greater dissatisfaction. Dukkha is a Pali word used in Buddhism. In the west we have no direct translation of this word; the expression…

Misunderstandings about meditation and why bother to meditate

When I talk about meditation I am also talking about what is known as mindfulness (which, after all, is a type of meditation). Mindful meditation is simply about intentionally bringing your attention to a single point of focus; something that is occurring in the present moment, such as the breath, bodily sensations or your senses (eg. sounds, sights). It is important that we pay attention in a certain way. Our attitude is always one of open curiosity (that is to say acceptance, without judging anything, without believing that we should be thinking different thoughts or feeling different feelings than the ones that we observe are present). We do this with…