5-Minute-Meditation: Walk

By Anne Harding

At Christmas people usually perch a fairy or an angel on the Christmas tree’s top. But perhaps all trees have an angel in their branches somewhere.

(Roger Deakin)

Yesterday I was walking outside the art room when I began to look at the trees. I noticed that one was labelled “Common Oak” (Quercus Rebur). I began to examine its bark, the patterns, shapes, ruts, holes made by insects, birds and mammals. The branches were still hanging onto their leaves although it was November. There were no acorns to be seen on the ground as they would have already been taken by birds or squirrels.

I looked up in the branches and thought about the piece I was reading the night before. Unfortunately, I was not able to see an angel but I was indignant that the tree had been labelled “common.” I stroked its trunk and said “Take no notice of the label people have given you. You are not common, you are wonderful, be yourself!”

As I walked away from the tree, I felt that an angel called me to go for a walk and remember that I am wonderful myself.

I walk in nature and remember to be

my wonderful self.

© Anne Harding  2016

Walk was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Anne Harding

Anne was a Primary teacher and worked with pupils with English as an Additional Language. Since retirement she has joined a Poetry Society and short story writing group. After attending a Transformative WritingTM course at Woodbrooke in 2009 she has returned for the Alumni Retreats every year since. The Tools of Transformation support her writing development. Anne is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and attends meetings in Telford.

5-Minute-Meditation: Dare

By Denise Ede

Dare to be a Daniel; Dare to stand alone

Dare to have a purpose firm; Dare to make it known.

(Philip P. Bliss)

Standing up for what you believe in. Fighting the good fight. All truths from the past. Indoctrination. To the good or to the bad? Who knows. Maybe it did some good. At least I can say I tried. Joining the World Wildlife Fund and doing nature conservation work. Being in the Red Cross. Caring about things and being prepared to spend time doing something.

Has the world changed so much now that making that effort no longer seems worthwhile? Have I changed so much that I no longer care? Or do I just see that it seems pointless to try? To expend energy on something that may or may not be really important. What is important?

“Truth, dare, kiss, command or promise?” A game we played as children. Nobody usually dared choose “kiss”— that meant kissing a boy! I almost always chose “dare.” I liked a dare. I liked danger and a challenge, though I can’t remember what the dares usually were. If it involved climbing a tree, or climbing anything, I’d be right there and ready. Some dares wouldn’t be done and a forfeit would be made. Can’t remember what we forfeited. Was it sweets? Probably.

What do I forfeit now if I don’t “dare”? I suspect it is something far more important and that it diminishes who I am. A denial of my true being.

I dare to be true to myself.

© Denise Ede 2016

Dare was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Denise Ede

Denise Ede hails from a former mill town in the north-west of England. She was fortunate enough to attend the local grammar school where she gained an enthusiasm for many subjects, including literature and writing. At Sunday School she was introduced to the song “Dare to be a Daniel.” Denise is currently enjoying retirement in the beautiful Vale of Clwyd in the Welsh border country. Her favourite author, at present, is Fernando Pessoa.

5-Minute-Meditation: Peek

By Sallie Cooper

The first fall of snow is not only an event; it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? (J.B. Priestley)

PeekOne sparkling, frosty morning with the bitter bite of winter in the air, I sat up in bed and gazed through the window in utter amazement and wonder. The whole world was white, from the treetops to the housetops and the ground to the sky. I quickly donned my winter layers of warmth and wellies and went for a walk in the deep fresh fallen snow to the village pond, which had been frozen solid.

In front of me was a lamppost of the old-fashioned variety which I had never before noticed. The only footprints in front of me were those of the early morning adventurers of the bird and animal world. My footprints lay behind me, and spread out in front, with the sun rising over the trees, was the pond bejewelled and bedazzled by the sun light and unmarked by footprints of any sort.

As I trudged home, my boots squeaked against the walls of snowdrifts and settled snow. I caught the fluffy, frozen flakes, all feathery in my open mouth, and felt them cold on my warm tongue. I noticed the flakes landing on my bright red fleecy jacket, gradually melting to glistening droplets. As I return home, I remind myself to peek around corners wherever I am, to find magic.

I discover the enchantment that awaits me 

as I enter the natural world.

© Sallie Cooper 2016

Peek was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Sallie Cooper

At 61, Sallie is a proud mother and grandmother and firm believer in lifelong learning. A keen writer and reader, she is also a cellist and trained facilitator of Life Writing for TransformationTM which occupies regular slots of time in the area around her home in North Yorkshire, UK. A lot of Sallie’s work is done in the field of Mental Health, an area which she is passionate about and experienced in.

5-Minute-Meditation: Treat

By Erin Taves

You may think that in life, a lot of things happen to you along the way. The truth is, in life, you happen to a lot of things along the way. (Dr. Shad Helmstetter)

TreatI watched as emergency medical personnel carted the woman on a stretcher down the busy hospital corridor. They walked quickly, yet appeared to be in no particular hurry. I stole a glance at the woman’s motionless form; her mouth was gaping open and red. It reminded me of a gory Halloween mask.

I shouldn’t have stared; it’s not considered polite. But I snuck one more look at her in an attempt to determine the cause of her injury. It was Halloween and the phrase “trick or treat” kept echoing through my mind. I wondered about the woman on the stretcher—if her life was a series of tricks or treats.

I saw, in her motionless form, my own fragility. We will both be causalities of the same ephemeral world in which time calls us to dance. I remembered all the times in which I was left to pick up the broken pieces of my psyche after having fallen apart. I’m sure that when things were not going well that I considered myself a victim of circumstances; but perhaps I was bracing for the tricks instead of asking for treats.

My life is a treat. I accept all the goodness

that life has to offer.

© Erin Taves 2016

Treat was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Erin Taves

Erin Taves plays the role of wife, mother, friend, employee, and spiritual enthusiast. She attended a Transformative WritingTM program in 2004 and continues to enjoy gatherings with “Prism”; an eclectic group of women who provide her with inspiration and wisdom. Erin’s writing is self-reflective, based on her observations of the world and how it imitates her inner psyche. She reads books that promise to reveal some secret that has yet to be revealed.

5-Minute-Meditation: Adapt

By Joanne Klassen

One man’s meat is another’s poison.

(Idiom)

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I heard a neighbour in the condo where I live lament, “They’re ruining the look of our building.” The crumbling 50-year-old cement balcony railings are being replaced with sleek glass and metal railings. I love the new look and the expanded view of the river, treetops, and horizon. We had polar-opposite responses to an identical situation.

A memory creeps in from decades ago when I’d come home from the beauty parlour with a new hair cut, perm or colour. When I asked my husband how he liked it, his response was always the same: “I liked it better before.” Observing my crest-fallen face, my daughter coached my husband to say, “It will take some getting used to.”

As I am faced with changes I need to adapt to—especially those I did not initiate or invite, I want to remember to suspend judgment long enough to adapt to the new reality. I want to be aware of and resist attachment to the comfort of how things used to be, at least until I can get comfortable enough to consider the benefits of something new. Open-mindedness helps me adapt and grow by releasing what was.

I am open to new ways 

of seeing and being.

I adapt easily in the 

changing dance of life.

© Joanne Klassen 2016

Adapt was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Joanne Klassen

Author and Heartspace founder, Joanne began facilitating personal development programs in 1975. Her career and life changed in 1998 when she received a vision for Transformative Life WritingTM which is now offered to teens, adults and seniors around the world. Joanne’s ideal day includes writing, singing to a baby, visiting thrift shops and walking along the river with her husband Ted in Winnipeg, Canada.

5-Minute-Meditation: Trust

By Farrukh Akhtar

A depressing and difficult passage has prefaced

every new page I have turned in life.

(Charlotte Brontë)

I am drowning. My body half decayed, half immortalized in globules of stress. All of me increasingly dead as I struggle to get through another day at work. Another day in which I try to find a way to leave my current job, the interminable commute that sucks the dregs of life out of me. I feel sick at heart. I no longer want to be a part of this profession.

So I write. I hope writing will save my life. I write it all out of my system; cleansing, detoxifying. I am these feelings, but I am more than just these feelings. Through writing I re-connect with an essential me, a me at peace with myself.

I hold the vision of where I need to get to: living, working, breathing harmony. My life is a synthesis of all I hold to be true. There is no incongruence. At some point I will jump, from one cliff over a chasm to another. The writing and running that I do now is building up the momentum for the leap of faith. I trust it will happen.

I trust that every step I take leads me where

I need to go. That is my leap of faith.

© Farrukh Akhtar 2016

Trust was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Farrukh Akhtar

Farrukh, a senior lecturer at a London university, has been involved in the helping profession for over 25 years. As a Transformative Life WritingTM (TLW) facilitator, she runs workshops at the university and in the community. She is the TLW Facilitators’ Co-ordinator for Europe and edited their training manual. Farrukh is founder of an incognito but internationally acclaimed book club. She loves writing, the theatre, communing with vegetables on her allotment, and having friends over for dinner.

5-Minute-Meditation: Give

By Jayelle Bond

No one has ever become poor by giving.

(Anne Frank)

 My closet is stuffed with clothes, shoes, and hats. I have the choice, and the money, to attend a hockey game or symphony concert. In my home I have hot water delivered at the turn of a tap, plus a freezer up-to-the-brim with food. The stores in my neighbourhood are laden with products on shelves for me and others who want and want. Materialism marks our hearts.

The children I sponsor overseas know little of my rich level of living. Their neighbourhood is stuffed with gang activities, drug abuse, prostitution, alcoholism, disease, unemployment, and voodoo rituals. Their parents survive by subsistence farming. To access water, residents walk several kilometres.

Being desperate for the fundamentals of life is not my experience. Seldom have I known lack. Where do my sponsored children and their parents find hope?

About four times a year, mail arrives from my children. The handwritten letters, along with their delightful art work, tell me they buy rice, or cooking oil, or a goat with the funds I give. One child buys a new pair of shoes; she writes that she feels like somebody special. My heart breaks open; my vision blurs.

To give and to receive is an education in blessing.

© Jayelle Bond 2016

Trust was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Jayelle Bond

Jayelle Bond is walking into her prime. She stretched herself by taking the Life Writing for TransformationTM course at Canadian Mennonite University. Poetry is her usual writing; her poems have been published in journals and magazines. A prairie woman who delights in wind-rippled wheat fields and the starry vault of sky, Jayelle engages in watercolour painting, reading, and travelling.