5-Minute-Meditation: Reflect

By Joanne Klassen

Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you:

But when the leaves hang trembling,

The wind is passing through. (Christina Rossetti)

The heat is fierce at the cottage I’ve rented for our family vacation. It’s too warm this afternoon to even walk across the scorching sand at a nearby beach. The temperature has climbed so high that even the birds have stopped singing. I have taken shelter on the screened porch, nestled in tall pine and poplar trees.

As I pause to reflect, I notice the whisper of the wind. Tall white poplars sway gently as if bending into subtle yoga postures. Their heart-shaped leaves flutter, like tiny queenly gloved hands, waving to subjects below. Suddenly the movement stops, then after a what seems like a brief reflective pause, the wind is back, playing hide and seek, chiding, “Catch me if you can,” as it flits from tree to tree.

My life is like this day. I need refreshment, shelter, and time to reflect. Getting ready for vacation has been a whirlwind of activity, a pace neither the wind nor I can sustain. Pausing, I catch my breath and dwell briefly in an inner stillness. I drink deeply this spacious moment in nature with all my senses. Brief moments of reflection like this feel spacious, primal, and even blissful. I am rejuvenated as I bask in the wind’s gifts.

In precious moments of reflection

I see and hear, taste, touch, 

smell, and feel nature’s wonders.

© Joanne Klassen 2016

Reflect 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: Watch

By Anne Harding

I am a watcher; and the things I watch

are birds and love.

(U.A. Fanthorpe)

I too love to watch. I watch the goldfinches in my garden. They sit each side of the niger seed feeder for five minutes or so, daintily picking out the tasty seeds and throwing the tasteless ones onto the lawn. I watch the buzzard as it spirals above the house until it disappears in the clouds. At Woodbrooke, I watch and wait for the kingfisher. I have only seen it twice, but it is worth it when I catch a flash of turquoise and orange.

This week I have been watching love. The niece of a friend brought her toddler to see me. He is fifteen months old. The love between mother and son was wonderful. It shone from their eyes and faces as she dangled him on her knee.

The very next day, my niece and her partner arrived with their fourteen-month-old toddler. The three of them were smiling at each other with love and happiness and he giggled each time one of them swung him up in the air and down again. These are the precious moments in life for which to watch.

I give time for watching and waiting.

© Anne Harding 2016

Watch 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: Await

By Erin Taves

After a while, that’s how we relate with hope and fear in our daily lives. Out of nowhere, we stop struggling and relax. We see our story line, drop it, and come back to the freshness of the present moment. (Pema Chodron)

His gums pull back to reveal sharp white teeth, his jaw pressing up against the passenger seat window leaves a trail of drool on the glass. He snarls at anyone who comes near. I try to determine his breed; he is white with a strong muscular build. A Boxer, or a Pit Bull perhaps. The word “bull” suits him; he looks like a bully, one that would show no mercy if he could burst through the truck’s window pane.

In strange contrast, a large black Labrador sits silently in the driver’s seat gazing calmly ahead. Both dogs wait for their master to return to the vehicle; one is crazed, the other still.

My own mind sometimes feels as mad as that Pit Bull, with unchecked thoughts leaving a wake of dirty spume in my aura. I can learn from the black Labrador, who quietly informs me to sit evenly in the driver’s seat knowing that joy and innocence await me upon the return of my awareness.

I sit poised and still knowing that peace is assured.

© Erin Taves 2016

Await 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: Swim

By Brian Hay

Faith allows you to keep going in the absence of information. (David Sloan Wilson)

Every summer at the cottage I swim out half a kilometre to the middle of the lake to the “table top rock.” That’s a large house-sized flat rock, submerged about two feet under water, surrounded all around by very deep water. Each summer someone at the lake goes out to mark that rock with a buoy, so that the boats can go around it without wrecking their propellers.

For my first swim this year there was no buoy. There was no way to know with certainty where the rock was. I’m a strong swimmer for distance, but in previous years the thought of swimming out there and searching for the rock, not finding it and growing too tired to make it all the way back has always deterred me from trying.

Except this year, on a warm evening, the water warm and smooth as glass, I felt willing to take the risk. I would swim in the direction of where I remembered the rock to be and I would trust that I’d find it. And so I began: strong strokes, rhythmic breathing, sun setting, it will be there. Part way out I had doubts, insecurities, and worries.

But I swam on and soon saw something just under the surface of the water. It was the old buoy, from last year, submerged but visible from up close. I had faith that the rock would be there, that it would support my feet to stand and rest, to turn around and swim back. And it did. (BHH)

I have faith that the solid rock will be there beneath my feet to stand and rest when I need it.

© Brian Hay 2016

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

Biography –Brian Hay

Brian Hay is a retired lawyer and a writer. He completed Transformative WritingTM studies at Canadian Mennonite University and received facilitator certification at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center, European Centre for Life Writing for TransformationTM, in Birmingham, England. Brian took motorcycle lessons after he turned 60, consistent with Michelangelo’s motto: “I’m always learn-ing …” He loves reading books about writing and daily personal/spiritual reflection. Since 2012, he has envisioned and helped guide this book to completion.

5-Minute-Meditation: Zing

By Eleanor Chornoboy

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.

(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Seed after seed, the perky chickadees, sparrows, brilliant American finches, and Common Redpolls peck sunflower seeds I’ve left for them in the bird feeder. They are a generous lot, spraying seed onto the ground, to ensure the chipmunks and bunnies below have plenty to eat.

Their chirps and songs sing of their zest for life, savouring every moment, worry-free, knowing nature and the neighbours will provide food and fresh water in the bird bath. They only need to be. For a song, supper is served.

At the end of my garden, Tibetan prayer flags breathe zest, reminding me that beauty is in the moment, giving joy that sinks into my soul.

I glimpse the apple tree blazing with mature fruit. Its boughs have room to spare, holding a red and a green hula hoop, tempting the child in me to “have a go.”

My purple benches, rescued from auction sales by my father and painted a bright purple to zing the white winter landscape with colour, sizzle with happiness throughout the year. In winter, they beckon shy deer to rest beside them, finishing the silent landscape—breathing deeply and fully, in and out—beauty and a zest for life abound.

I take my happiness from nature’s creation.

Beauty + calm + breathing = 

Zest for the moment, for life.

© Eleanor Chornoboy 2016

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

Biography –Eleanor Chornoboy

Author of Faspa and Faspa with Jast, Eleanor writes to capture moments in history. Through co-facilitating Life Writing for TransformationTM classes, she has had the joy of joining writers on their journey as they put their stories on the page. To delight the child in her, she has authored Snow Angels and Pajama Tears. Eleanor and her husband Larry live in Winnipeg, Canada.

5-Minute-Meditation: Attune

By Bertha Fontaine

In each of us, there lies a divine connection to a power… Today is the day to attune to that power and use it… (Marianne Williamson)

Upon awakening this morning, I felt a slight difference in myself. I wasn’t sure what was happening but I fatefully left for work.

I had to give a short presentation later to a group of people at a meeting. I found it difficult to keep my emotions in check. I stopped a couple of times in the middle of a sentence to contain myself. I shed a few tears before completing my talk, all the while asking myself, “What is wrong with me?”

Later in the day, I realized that it was my deceased father’s birthday. He would have been 96 years old. All day long, without realizing it, I had felt his presence in my mind, my body, and my spirit.

I reflected on how important he was to me, and yes, the world, even after being gone to the spirit world over eighteen year ago.

I take time to listen to my body, 

my mind, and my spirit today.

© Bertha Fontaine 2016

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

Biography –Bertha Fontaine

Bertha Fontaine is currently a manager and counsellor at an addiction treatment centre in Winnipeg, Canada. She attended a Transformative WritingTM program at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) and other writing classes led by Joanne Klassen. This helped Bertha realize the healing power of writing. Bertha loves being with family, especially her two sons, daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. She believes and practices the Ojibway and Cree traditional ways of her ancestors.

5-Minute-Meditation: Sense

By Ray Ede

In awareness is healing; in awareness is truth;

in awareness is salvation; in awareness is spirituality;

in awareness is growth; in awareness is love;

in awareness is awakening.

(Anthony De Mello)

To be aware, to know the power of awareness, I have to use all my senses. But how can I truly see, hear, smell, taste, feel? Unless I look, listen, scent, savour, and touch, I will sense little. So when I actively do these sensing activities, the sights and sounds, tastes, odours, and tactile experiences are revealed anew. I become more aware of my surroundings and its wonders, and I grow. Others, encouraged to do likewise, can share with me their own insights from their own awareness experiences. They aid my growth.

Can I do more? Of course. Having opened myself to the world outside, shall I also open my inner world? As an introvert, I spend a lot of time here, much of it in imaginings of fictional worlds and sometimes these find expression to be shared with others. What else is in here? Truth?

Might this be hard to look at or to sense in all the ways I applied to the world outside? Yes, and it can lead to dark nights of the soul. But by persevering, I become more aware of who I truly am, what my inner voice is saying and what it —my soul—wants the world to know.

Creatively looking, listening, savouring, scenting, touching, I move towards awareness of all around and all within; towards wholeness.

© Ray Ede 2016

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

Biography –Ray Ede

Encouragement from a supportive English teacher was Ray’s original impetus to write. He discovered Trans-formative Life WritingTM on a course at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham, UK. Joanne Klassen and Eleanor Chornoboy later trained him as a facilitator. Ray’s eclectic interests include Jungian Psychology, horticulture, detective novels, and the links between creativity and spirituality. He is married to Denise and is savouring their retirement together in North Wales.