Metta Bhavana ~ Loving Kindness Meditation

I am currently trying to build my mindfulness practice, and today, for a change I tried a loving kindess meditation. There are various stages to go through, that end with you trying to hold yourself in the same loving kindness you have previously, in the same meditation, held someone else in. I used a person, and found it hard. I tried a pet, the cat to be precise and found it…

Well, I can’t really say. Meditation is not about words, so much, as noticing feelings. I noticed a very unexpected feeling, in the heart area, that stayed with me for a while. Meditation is also about accepting what is, without judgement, without attaching a story… that wouldn’t make much of a blog post however… suffice to say that the feeling was also painful. The meditation felt like it moved me from a closed heart state to a more open, but pained one. I am interested in this process, that’s why I’ve written it down. I will go there again, but not today. Will I go with more trepidation next time, based on today’s experience? Hopefully not.

It really is amazing what goes on with our bodies that our busy mind does not often allow us to notice. Yesterday, I decided to notice the soles of my feet as I walked round the corner with the youngest to the orthodontist (another post lies behind those doors). I decided to notice them, and appreciate them for all the hard work they do on my behalf for which I simply NEVER thank them. After only a few minutes of this walking whilst noticing what the sensations were, I can only say that the soles of my feet really appreciated the attention. Try it some time.

No-one need know.

I found a ring in the sand

Only a quarter of the upper edge was showing. For a moment, as I thought to pull it out, I hesitated, wondering if all I would find was the rim of a glass bottle – the shoulders all shattered and deadly, ready to cut me.

It was a ring for a reason, from the inscription. Next to the ubiquitous eBay white metal stamp 925, an Uzbek woman’s name, with love…

I imagined the man. He stood one night, bankrupt, smoking furiously on the deck of the casino. The wooden platform is cantilevered out over the dark waves which slap beneath the soles of his feet. In the grip of some nameless betrayal, he yanked the ring from his finger.

As I pulled it from the sand, I was reminded of the cabin by the lake in Michigan, where I said, if I really was someone, then I too would throw my most treasured possession into its half-frozen waters and walk away without looking back as if none of it had every really happened. Turns out I wasn’t someone.

Don’t most rings turn out to be like broken bottles in the end?

Farewell Stan

Fine Irish Wolfhound, and one of Rudi the Lurcher’s tiny handful of friends. He will be much missed – pictured here on the water meadow with one of those doing most of the missing: his owner.

Buried on the good Suffolk land where the willow lies.



fire leaf

Longer Days

lady sunset

Remembering Sherwin Nuland

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Surgeon, author and speaker Sherwin Nuland died on March 3, 2014, at age 83. The author of a dozen books — including the award-winning How We Die, a clear-eyed look at life’s last chapter — Nuland came to TED in 2001 to tell a story he’d never told before.

The world-renowned surgeon, clinical professor of surgery at Yale and best-selling author began his talk with a history of mental health and mental illness … and gradually began to weave in his own story, of a depression so crippling, so impossible to shift, that in his 40s he was in line for a lobotomy. But his young doctor made a bold suggestion, and then stuck to it in the face of widespread doubt: Nuland would try electric shock therapy.

It’s a stunning talk. TED’s own Tom Rielly, who saw the talk live, remembers:

“Sherwin’s talk took us on a journey into…

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What can it all mean?

Don’t ask me, it’s Sunday.

by Elodie

by Elodie

The blog has become a monolith

And, as I had mentioned before it was nearly full, with only a miniscule 2% remaining, which is partly why I stopped posting quite so much… I just did not want to face the day. Yes, I had a new shiny blog all lined up – it had a title and everything. It sits on the shelf, not quite launched.

My On Wishes and Horses blog is officially too big to navigate, it has started to cost me money, it is random, but I love it. Sometimes people hit on posts I’ve forgotten about, and I am sad enough that I occasionally zip back to have a little read and see what I was whiffling about on that occasion. It’s like a small part of my memory, outsourced and with pictures.

It turns out that I don’t want to let this one go – especially now I realise I have had four readers from Bhutan in the last year or so. This list appears in my stats with lovely little country flags alongside, but I can’t reproduce them here. I have therefore put up the visitors for the last year or so and there are countries on there of which I have never heard. How amazing is that? I think it is. Oh the internet has lots to answer for certainly, but on the whole what with the way it connects people with each other and knowledge and pictures of cats… well how could it be all bad.

For the stats on all the countries people have dropped by from over the last twelve months, along with their lovely colourful flags click the link. In the meantime, I keep on (with a space upgrade).

The amazing flag of Bhutan

Thomas Newman ‘Any Other Name’

from the American Beauty soundtrack: press play and chill

Boat Shard

Boat Shard

Far too much out, and not nearly enough in

I am, I will admit, antisocial.

I used to go out a lot. A lot a lot. But now, thinking back, the main attraction of that was the drink and the company not so much. I can also admit that really I am an antisocial drinker… but I have Cut Back on Account of My Liver. Old habits die hard however, and I tend to start thinking about what I could drink in the evening, in the morning. As I have Cut Back, I now tend to think about whether the day is a dry one or a wet one. If it is dry, I may have to cycle through a few internal reels of dialogue about why it must be dry, or whether I could justifiably take a dram and flout the clear instructions from Public Health himself which is: have a dry day every other day, at least.

All that takes a bit of a while.

Tonight is a dry night, so was last night. Last week was drink on Thursday before Kings of the Dance at the Coliseum on St Martin’s Lane, drink at Henry Burgers before and with food, drink on Saturday because the habit was too hard to break and also on Sunday because it would be a dry Monday the day after. Basically, I fell off the self-imposed 24 hour stage wagon and all the travelling to and fro in the dark made me quite tired from which I may only just be recovering. Long, long gone are the days when I could live hard…

Still, on the basis of overdoing it somewhat last week (there were no hangovers I might add, but it does affect my sleep pattern) I can highly recommend two things to readers, in no particular order: Russian ballet dancer Ivan Vasiliev for his high lepping and Gnarly Head Zinfandel for a sultry berry finish.


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