Archives for posts with tag: Hay
Today at Sarvodaya's Early Morning meditation

Today at Sarvodaya’s Early Morning meditation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’ll remember a few weeks back I wrote a post about my experience during a retreat organised to teach Mindfulness to a cohort of psychiatrists. I’ll add the link at the end of the post, just in case you didn’t see it (or you want to refresh your memory. Not that I’m saying it’s the most memorable post ever written on the subject but…).

I thought that I’d probably be back to talk more about it. As I explained, to be considered a ‘practitioner’ by the College of Mindful Clinicians you had to practice mediation continuously, every day without a fault, for 90 days. So far, I haven’t failed a day. I got a message that I had reached 30 days last week. (As I review this post on the 4th I’ve gone over 40).

How am I finding it? Well, as I said in my first post, I wasn’t sure if it would be for me. I still don’t know. Some days I realise by the end of the meditation that my mind has been wondering all the time (or it feels like it), others, not so much. More recently I’ve been trying some of the guided meditation routines, as I find it easier to try and focus my mind on what the person is saying, and I’ll keep on checking. Interestingly enough, through Insight Timer I got a message of thanks this week (I think it was Tuesday) when somebody thanked me for meditating with her. It was a nice detail.

Life has ways of putting you to test. Today (27th of October, as I write posts in advance and schedule them when I can) was one of those days. I had agreed to do psychiatric assessments out of hours and somebody called me to ask me to do one. I’m going to be leaving my job in the next few months and it was the last thing I wanted to do, but didn’t think I could say no as I had offered and forgot to withdraw the offer. Who else were they going to find on a Sunday? Broadband wasn’t working, so could not let people know what I was doing. I had to go shopping in a hurry because shop would not be open when I came back. The assessment itself proved a bit problematic, but we eventually reached a resolution. In the meantime I had managed to connect via phone and been not very kind to somebody who caught me on a bad moment. I got home, tried to do something I had been working on yesterday (and spent some money on too) and realised it would not work. And then, of course, my printer run out of ink and when I went to change it, I had two cartridges that were the wrong type. I might try to return them, but have no idea where the receipt might be after all this time. Nothing major, but enough to put me in a bad frame of mind.

English: At the Omega Institute, May 2007.

English: At the Omega Institute, May 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I visited Hay-on-Wye (yes, I’ve also written a post about that too), I bought a book by Pema Chödrön, called ‘When Things Fall Apart’. Her works had been recommended at the retreat and I thought maybe this was the time to have a look. I’ve only read a few chapters but she encourages us to look at things and stay with things when they are irritating, collapsing around us, and cause us fear. Not running away from them will make us more aware of ourselves and who we are. Not necessarily happier, but I guess more us, and maybe we’ll learn to be kinder to ourselves, and with that, to others.

She mentions the story one of her teachers used to tell when asked about fear. He explained how his own teacher encouraged him to confront things that made him afraid. One day he was going with two other students to a monastery and there was a huge dog chained by the door. It was pulling at the chain and appeared intent on attacking them. Suddenly the chain broke and the dog leaped forward running towards them. The other two students froze and screamed in fear. Pema’s teacher explained that he started running towards the dog. The dog was so surprised that it turned around, its tail between its legs.

As she writes:

‘We can meet our match with a poodle or with a raging guard dog, but the interesting question is — what happens next?’

In my case, I think I need to learn to say no rather than spend my life feeling aggrieved by things that I don’t need to do. I also need to be realistic with my expectations (of other people, sure, but mostly of myself). And I need to give myself some space and take it a bit easier… And, of course, check the type of cartridges I buy. Let’s hope broadband will be back once the storm is over…Or I can always change providers…

Thank you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it or it has made you think, please comment, share, like…And you don’t even have to click today (unless you want to read my previous posts). (And update as I’m checking this before publishing it… The supermarket took the cartridges back. The broadband thing… seems to be a problem with the phone installation inside of my house, so nothing to do with the provider).

Here links to my previous posts:

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As you will remember I have been thinking about bookshops recently and I wrote a post asking people what their ideal bookshop would be like. Not happy with that, I decided to ask one of the groups in Goodreads (UK group, thanks all) what would their ideal bookshop be like. Apart from fantastic thoughts and ideas, they also told me I had to visit Hay-on-Wye. Hay had been on my list for a long time and with my friend Sumi we had been talking about visiting their literary festival for several years, but we’ve never managed to make our schedules work (or only remembered far too late, as it books in advance, year on year it seems). I didn’t need much convincing and finally booked myself in for a weekend in Hay.

And I can tell you, they were right. Even if you don’t like books, you’d still like Hay. Just over the border in South Wales, it is a beautiful town, with an old market, great shops (evidently over 40 bookshops, but also clothes, crafts, local foods…), great pubs and restaurants…Even the cinema is fabulous, with stone walls and the most comfortable seats I’ve tried in a cinema for ages (and it has a bar…in case that makes a difference).

Granted, the weather wasn’t too great, but it’s October and Wales, so…not too cold either.

I can’t tell you how much I loved it. The sheds/like bookshops, the little ones, the ones like corridors, the thematic ones, the gorgeous/temple like ones, the Penguin one, the pink one…

And I was talking to one of the owners of the Addyman Books shops (they have 3, including one dedicated to crime: ‘Murder and Mayhem’,  the first picture in the post) who was really welcoming, encouraging, talked about how the business had changed, how now you have to be in the internet, how after 30 years in the business the US Library of Congress had ordered a book from them, how it is hard work but if you really love it and have ideas…She told me that all writers wanted to own bookshops and all bookshop owners wanted to be writers, and told me that they were always looking for enthusiastic and intelligent people who could plan events, etc. And yes, getting hands on experience would be good in her opinion.


In case you haven’t worked it out yet, I’m one of those writers who’d like to own a bookshop. At the moment collecting ideas, we shall see.

I share a few of the pictures I took with you. They will probably keep coming…


Thanks for reading, and if you have enjoyed it, please, like, comment, and share!

(Oh, and thanks to the owners of the Rothbury B&B for their hospitality. Lovely house and I’d never before tried a bath with feet!)

Link to my previous post on bookshops:

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