Now then Zen…

Hello One and All. How are you? No really, how are you?

It’s all too easy to give a glib reply, like ‘OK’, ‘Fine’, ‘Alright’ or ‘Not too bad’. What do any of those mean?
How about if someone says ‘No I’m not alright’? What then?

I can’t speak for anyone but myself here, but to be honest, and that’s what we are doing here, I have had to look outside of my own resources for some possible ideas and certainly help with all that is going on in the world right now.

We are all going through some of the most challenging times in recent history.
Call it Corona Virus, Covid 19 or ‘The Plague’, it IS affecting all of us in one way or another.

So here I would like to talk about alternative therapies, namely Acupuncture and Meditation.

As I have written before, I have been seeing an acupuncturist/holistic healer for some time now, mainly to try to alleviate the pains of arthritis.

Both Barbara and I have been very fortunate in that we found Kam.

Kam (BSC Hons.) is a fully qualified acupuncturist and much more. She practices in our local area and her list of qualifications are many and varied, so please check out her website.

Acupuncture in Eden.

So, what I’m getting to here… is that whilst having regular Acupuncture with Kam has helped my joints and general physical wellbeing, she has also guided me towards meditation and the possible benefits that that practice can bring about. Namely peace of mind.

Where do you find your inner peace?
Is it Papercraft? Sewing? Painting? Music? Sport? Walking? Or for some, through their own beliefs in a God or higher power? This list is of course endless because we are all different, unique.

For me, it has always been walking or just being out in the woods, somehow connecting with the Earth… not always easy when you work inside or are unable to get outside for whatever reason.

Then I always have music too, another source of deep joy, as I believe that music can take you anywhere!!!

Which brings us round to now… You see like many others my mind is not ‘quiet’, in fact sometimes it’s extremely noisy. Constantly bombarded by neurons, it is no wonder that it seems sometimes somewhat chaotic.

This is where meditation comes in, I think?!?!

Here I have started with simple breathing exercises, by sitting alone with my back fairly straight on a chair with my feet firmly rooted to the floor, hands relaxed resting on the legs and breath.

I try to focus on the breath at this time… breath in slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth… repeat this slowly but not too deliberately. It is a wonder how it all works! Continue to focus on the breaths, in and out… and I have found that I am relaxed.
My mind is (for that space of time) ‘quiet’. If thoughts come in, and they will, I try to treat them as if they were traffic, just passing. I continue, focusing on my connection firstly with the feet, instead of thinking from the outside in, I try to focus from the inside out, on how these points connect with the ground… how much weight is borne by them whilst sitting in this way, how much by my seat, spine and torso… all the while I am still breathing as I started.

I try to maintain this for at least 5 to 10 minutes at the moment.
Not always possible of course… I have work to do! But I can tell you from the heart, it is helping.

Now this I realise is just a minuscule part, and although essential to any meditation, it’s a start, and as I am unable to attend any Qigong classes at the moment, this, I find, is very helpful.

Another therapy I find useful is fire or to be more accurate a flame. Candles…

Barbara and I light a candle every night when we sit for dinner… it seems to have a calming effect. Not a big candlelit dinner type of affair, just a single candle… nice.
No TV in our kitchen.

As fire is one of the Five Elements, I guess that it make sense that it should have some healing properties… and whilst fire can destroy, it can also be seen as a transformational element.
So for the time being, at least, I will focus on it’s calming properties.

Stay calm, stay safe, find your inner peace, however you can. Dave xx

Clarity – The Home of Art, Craft and Well-being.

10 thoughts on “Now then Zen…

  • 28th October 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Dave
    Music is very important to me too – especially listening to Alfie Boe – his voice is just amazing and soothes my soul……..

    Whenever I hear the response “Fine” to the question “How are you?” – I think of 2 other possible meanings:

    FINE = Feeling Insecure Needing Encouragement

    F = Fed up
    I = Insecure
    N = Neurotic
    E = Empty

  • 28th October 2020 at 3:21 pm

    I like a meditation where you walk through rainbow coloured gardens. You sit or lie thinking about the entrance to the red garden and the path and then step out, picturing the red plants as you wander on. What can you smell? Feel? Anything to eat? Pick it up and taste it. What can you hear? Plants moving? Wildlife? It is totally safe and peaceful. Next the orange plot, then yellow garden, etc. The idea is that you will naturally stay in the colour you need most. It is easy because you are constantly inventing and changing your view as you move. I guess you could even hear music – they’re your gardens!

  • 28th October 2020 at 4:30 pm

    I’ve never really had a go at meditation, although many a time I’ve tried to think of nothing which is nigh on impossible. Thanks for the singing bowl video, it’s a beautiful sound and I’ll have a go with that. Tinnitus doesn’t help though…. x

  • 28th October 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Love reading your blogs Dave.
    My main go to’s for relaxation are reading, with or without music, and crafting. I can totally lose myself in a good book or some parchment craft. I thank all that is good in the world for Clarity. But…….as soon as I go to bed my mind starts whirling with thoughts out of control. My solution is to try steady breathing and imagine the swoosh of waves breaking on the shore. Mostly it works.
    We have plenty of gentle relaxing music but lately I find that our Enya CD’s are the best as her music is so calming.
    We are being very careful, no one is allowed into the house, and I just go out once a week – fully protected – to shop for food. If we care about ourselves we are also protecting others.

    Love and virtual hugs to all at Clarity Towers. Stay safe, stay well, keep positive.

  • 28th October 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Dave, I think the reason we give ‘glib’ answers to that question is mainly if we started to ‘honestly’ answer then we might not ‘stop’, as it is very rate that we are feeling ‘great’ ha ha. Like you, I have a problem with a ‘noisy’ mind, and the mind is a powerful thing, I have started doing 5 minutes each day of meditation and it is mainly breathing exercises taught by someone with a lovely soft and calm voice, the voice has a definite influence on how calm you feel when you have completed the meditation. I have breathing problems and use a Himalayan Pink Salt Pipe Inhaler which I think is helping, but the meditation definitely helps with my anxiety and stress levels.
    I do lots of brisk walking, in the Summer that was done outside for an hour in the morning, then I walk briskly on my treadmill every weekday afternoon for an hour (which gets me ‘deep’ breathing) and I always find that I feel tons better after I have finished, or maybe it’s because I’m glad it’s over haha, but I do it religiously every day.
    I hope you find a release for your arthritis pain, and manage to have your acupuncture really soon.
    We are on Tier 3 lockdown restrictions in my area, and I don’t even go shopping anymore, I am too scared, my hubby goes once a week, we are both in the vulnerable group but we are both staying safe thankfully.
    Love, Patricia xx

  • 29th October 2020 at 12:06 am

    Thank you for todays blog, Dave. Thought provoking as ever. I haven’t tried meditation but I do enjoy walking and it does soothe my mind. Staying safe is of the utmost importance for all of us. We have to be mindful of what is happening in our locality and look out for our neighbours. xx

  • 29th October 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you all , for your lovely comments…… trust me, I am no Guru, but I am finding meditation a great help. I think it’s all about getting some balance and perspective.
    Stay safe. x

  • 30th October 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Enjoyed reading your blog, Dave. I always do. How am I? Face to Face, I’d tell you, if appropriate, because we trust each other but I’m as guilty of the next person of saying, I’m ok. I’m not bad! Lol. You are right, though, such phrases are pretty meaningless and are just a glib answer to the question that we seldom believe ever really wants an answer. There was a poem called The Mask I wear which someone gave me years ago but when I googled it, it is not quite the same so I haven’t included it here. If I come across it, I’ll send it to you. Hope you are doing well. Hxx

  • 30th October 2020 at 11:01 pm

    The best thing in the world Dave – meditation. It found me many years ago and has taken me on a journey of self discovery and inner peace. I have gone on to learn lots of Buddhism beliefs and ways, all if which I find I can relate to. It’s all about sentient beings and not thinking one is better than the other ……. fantastic stuff.

  • 2nd November 2020 at 6:45 am

    Thank you Dave for such a great blog again
    You are hungry for finding peace among the chaos
    Which is it self a balance.
    Love Kam x


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