Conversations with Buddha: 84,000 ways to suffer

As I sat at my desk this morning, hands wrapped around a deliciously strong cup of coffee, I stared in horror at the calendar. Friday. What?! I blinked on Monday morning and suddenly it is Friday already? Geez. Is it the ageing process that suddenly makes time pass faster? Let me rewind a bit and go back to last Sunday because it meant a lot to me. As I sat at my desk this morning, hands wrapped around a deliciously strong cup of coffee, I stared in horror at the calendar. Friday. What?! I blinked on Monday morning and suddenly…

Have I Dared To Pray?

Every morningthe worldis created. Under the orange sticks of the sunthe heapedashes of the nightturn into leaves again and fasten themselves to the high branches —and the ponds appearlike black clothon which are painted islands of summer lilies. If it is your natureto be happyyou will swim away along the soft trails for hours, your imaginationalighting everywhere. And if your spiritcarries within it the thornthat is heavier than lead —if it’s all you can doto keep on trudging — there is stillsomewhere deep within youa beast shouting that the earthis exactly what it wanted — each pond with its blazing liliesis a prayer…

Stop Worrying

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not, how shall I correct it? Was I right, Was I wrong, Will I be forgiven, Can I do better? Will I ever be able to sing, Even the sparrows can do it, and I am, well, hopeless. Is my eyesight fading, Or am I just imagining it, Am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia? Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And gave it up. And took my old body…

Dealing With (Road) Blocks

Writers often experience the infamous writers´block, which is perfectly understandable, and almost expected. I would be very skeptical if an author told me that they had never experience such a thing. That, my dear reader, is impossible. We all experience some sort of blockage due to emotional or psychological stress or trauma. Sometimes it is a case of burn out, doing too much at the same time, preventing you from digging deep into your soul to find the passion and inspiration. One of the best tools I have to avoid writer´s block, though believe me, I am not immune to…

“Until The Bitter Weather Passes… “

This is the time to be slow,Lie low to the wallUntil the bitter weather passes. Try, as best you can, not to letThe wire brush of doubtScrape from your heartAll sense of yourselfAnd your hesitant light. If you remain generous,Time will come good;And you will find your feetAgain on fresh pastures of promise,Where the air will be kindAnd blushed with beginning. ― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings Yesterday was one of those days I wished I could have simply stayed at home. When the heating broke down in the office (it wasn’t just us, but the…

To Find Peace, Plant

This is the lesson I passed on to my daughter the other day, as I sat down in the conservatory to re-pot some seedlings. She knows that I am perfectly at peace with the soil and the plants, but this time I needed her to know first-hand what it was all about. So we sat down, spread some cardboard on the floor, got out the pots and seedlings, and got to the task at hand. I hesitate to call it work, because it is more therapeutic than anything else. The afternoon turned into night and by the time we finished,…

Nibbles of Mindfulness

On my way to the bus stop yesterday I had the ultimate pleasure of enjoying the first frosty morning of the spring equinox. In India I would have been celebrating Holi, the festival of colours that I absolutely adore, not just for the fun, but for very personal reasons. You see, 21 years ago on Holi I lay in the hospital in the midst of excruciating contractions. The surgeons (it was a caesarian birth) decided to have a little fun in the operating theatre, since partying outdoors with the rest of the world was out of the question, they did…