Mindfulness

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Rome, April 2015

Rome, April 2015

Some of you may have wondered why I haven’t posted anything in a long time. The truth of the matter is that Fidz is not well and I did I not feel like writing. There’s also the notion that people only want to read about things that are interesting and positive which is probably true. However, everybody’s life has periods of darkness so why do we feel constrained to keep sadness and worry to ourselves? Okay, I’m not about to pour out my worries on this page but in any case, I decided to continue with this blog even if my posts maybe somewhat erratic and not always joyful.

'My Wisteria', Toronto, 2015

‘My Wisteria’, Toronto, 2015

We’re back in Toronto where spring is about a month or more behind what it was in Rome. When we left Rome, a month ago, all the spring flowering trees were in full bloom and the fragrance of jasmine filled the air. I love spring and now, I have the pleasure of seeing the same in Toronto with the scent of lilac filling the air and flowers bursting forth after a long and cold winter. One of my sources of pride is this wisteria on the left. I planted it when it was about 2 feet tall around 10 years ago. Now, it has covered over a pergola and is laden with blossoms. Truly a beautiful sight.

1432488451611Illness and worry are stressful and I have been feeling anxious and drained of energy for the past few weeks so on Friday, when a friend invited me to join her at a meditation session, I decided to go. It was run by a group called ‘True Peace Toronto’ who follow the tradition of Thich Nhat Thanh, a Vietnamese monk who advocates the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. The philosophy is that to be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. We started with just focussing on our breathing, letting our thoughts come and go and always returning to the present moment. I am familiar with this form of meditation and I immediately found it calming. Then a few people spoke about whatever it was they wanted to say. One woman commented that through her practice of meditation, she was coming to enjoy, and be grateful for, the small things in life like a sunny day, or a good cup of coffee, or a smile. How true this is, no matter how difficult things are, one can always find something to appreciate and be grateful for, even if only for a few minutes.

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