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We are never done.

At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit, or further away from it.” Thich Naht Hahn

Oh, what a satisfied feeling there is when a retreat is complete! New friendships have been made, new ways of experiencing played with, deep discussions had, and more mindfulness practice engaged in.

It is always interesting to see what ‘catches’ during a retreat. One of the quotes referred to many times was from Ram Dass: “I can do nothing for you but work on myself…you can do nothing for me but work on yourself!” 

It was wonderful to see so many ‘repeat retreaters’. Many have been four, five, or even six times. That is testimony to the fact that we are never done.

No one book, no one sentence, no one event will ever complete us. In fact, we are already complete, we have everything within, it is all there, we just have to recognise it. This is part of what a mindfulness retreat offers, the reconnection with self and the ‘re-befriending’ self.

Last month I had two experiences of people who had decided to do mindfulness training every day for a certain period. The first was a friend of my son who had decided to do a minimum of ten minutes a day for a year. He commented that there was now no more drama in his life, that he just feels so contented, calm, and happy. And that it feels a little unfamiliar!
The other person had been part of our Mindfulness@Work program and had been practicing for two and a half months when I saw her again. I commented that she looked different. She said that she had practiced every day since the last session. She also mentioned that her household was very different now, so much calmer and more fun and that she felt much more on top of things workwise.

There had been major change for both of these lovely humans and as a result, there will be less drama in their lives. But they aren’t ‘done’. The eyes through which they see life and therefore the way they experience life have changed so that life becomes a little easier, a little lighter, with fewer experiences of frustration, anxiety, and overwhelm.

“At any moment, we have a choice that either leads us closer to spirit or further away from it.”
What is a day-to-day little habit that will bring you closer to spirit?

Mindfulness practices changes us; it dials down that which takes us away from spirit, away from gentleness and calm. Due to repeated flight cancellations, I had the opportunity while in Bali to observe how many things are different for me compared to some years ago. How easy it now is to dine by myself, how there is an acceptance of the situation and getting the best out of it. How adjusting to the new situation happens more quickly. Also, how there is now much more tender collaboration with the dear body.

The Buddha promised that adherence to Buddhism brings less suffering. Mindfulness, the essential practice of Buddhism, delivers! I am ever so grateful I came upon it and got ‘caught’ fifteen years ago.

Being re-inspired by what is possible, we have decided on three retreats next year, each in a very different location, and each offering up a very different way of coming to mindfulness:

Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Provence, France

Bali, Indonesia

Mindful Leadership – watch this space!

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