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.

Learning is uncomfortable

Learning is uncomfortable, growth is uncomfortable. Personal and emotional growth nearly always requires facing an uncomfortable feeling or emotion provoked by a perceived difficult situation. Unfortunately, when such uncomfortable emotions arise, our “autopilot” reaction is “get me out of here”. We might avoid feeling uncomfortable in the moment, but the long-term price or consequence include stunted emotional growth, unhappiness, difficulty in relationships, anxiety, panic attacks and even depression. Over time this instinctive aversion becomes automatic and occurs so quickly that we don’t even know it has happened. It becomes an invisible force driving our actions. We find ourselves repeatedly in an undesirable situation (eg toxic relationship, wrong job, same arguments…

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…

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…

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…

What is meditation for me?

Briefly: Meditation is about reducing suffering and the causes of suffering in my life and the life of others; also increasing happiness and the causes of happiness in my life and the life of others.  In more detail: Meditation for me is the basis of emotional intelligence - also peace, health, happiness and having a meaningful life. A healthy mind means a happy heart. I learned that happiness and peace are always there within me; I just have to learn to get out of my own way to experience it. I experienced a difficult, chaotic, and abusive childhood. I have worked many workshops, therapies; all have been useful but the…