5-Minute-Meditation: Bless

By Bertha Fontaine

Blessed are the peacemakers, for

they shall be called children of God.

(Matthew, The Bible)

One day during my annual vacation down south, I sat on the shore, admiring the ocean. I noted how everything in nature around me seemed to function in total harmony. The palm trees swayed in the soft breeze, while ocean waves ebbed and flowed rhythmically. The sun’s warm rays embraced everything and everyone on the beach.

I became aware that peace is present when all elements are working together. Nature perfectly projected peace into my life, here in paradise, when I allowed the peaceful surroundings to become part of me. I felt the peacefulness of nature penetrate every cell of my being, holistically—felt the peace engulf me, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I want to remember to recapture this peace with my family and in my workplace when I return home.

I am blessed by peace.

 

© Bertha Fontaine 2016

Bless 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.

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5-Minute-Meditation: Click

By Joanne Klassen

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

(Mary Oliver)

I recall my mom chiding my dad to, “Turn off the T.V. before our guests arrive.” He didn’t see the need, but he’d grumble and click it off.

“It’s not polite to have it on when we have company. We should be paying attention to them,” Mom added.

Dad even liked the sound of the T.V. while he was napping in his big brown recliner in the living room.

When I asked, “Why do you keep the T.V. on all the time, even when you’re not watching it?” He replied that it “kept him company.”

Today I see lots of people, including myself sometimes, staring at hand-held screens, even when we’re with other people. It’s as if we’ve grown so accustomed to the company of the electronic world that, like Dad, we don’t consider it impolite to give our attention to a screen instead of the living, breathing, feeling human being we’re with.

I tune in to the people I’m with. 

As I click off distractions 

I seize the gift of time with others.

© Joanne Klassen 2016

Click 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: Cherish

By Astrid Schuhmann

A thing of beauty is joy for ever.

(John Keats)

There are places that from the very first glance seem familiar and make me feel inexplicably at ease. The Alsterarkaden mall in the Northern-German city of Hamburg, where I grew up, is such a place. Tourist guides might simply call it an open-air shopping mall, but its cafés and restaurants, its boutiques, and its white colonnades with their view of a serene canal always invited me to slow down and linger rather than hastily consume. In my mind I can still hear buskers playing their music that would drift through the 170-year-old arches and make strolling visitors feel as if they were travelling back in time or away to somewhere Mediterranean—Venice, maybe.

When I saw a photograph of the building in a newspaper, I instantly wanted to draw it. This was strange, because I cannot draw. Undeterred, I resolved to cheat a bit by employing a grid, copying the photo square by tiny square. My little “work-of-art that could” has found a home on a wall in every place I have lived since.

Reflecting on this experience reminds me to look at the world with an inspired eye and to heed creative impulses for their own sake, using the best of my abilities. I’m not discouraged by projects that refuse to gel, knowing that sometimes something meaningful is meant to come into being quite unexpectedly.

I notice beauty and surrender to its inspiration.

© Astrid Schuhmann 2016

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

Biography –Astrid Schuhmann

Astrid’s adventuresome spirit led her from her native Germany to Winnipeg, where she has applied her passion for organizational systems in several settings. After completing a Transformative WritingTM program, she was trained as a facilitator and has led groups for seniors. Astrid has coordinated two training manuals and three books, including this one. Her passion for language led her to transcribe her father-in-law’s journals and translate them from their original German into English.

5-Minute-Meditation: Purge

By Brian Hay

It’s hard to imagine the freedom we find, from the things we leave behind.

(Michael Card)

Yesterday was the garage sale for our downsizing move from a house to a condo. I’m a bit of a hoarder, having clung to old possessions like my electric frying pan, my electric vegetable slicer, and my shiny old metal toaster. They all worked, but we hadn’t used any of them in the ten years since I moved into the house. I dragged those gadgets along with me from my old house, my half of the divorce split, even though I had no use for them, not being a cook, and having acquired new appliances anyway.

This year I was asked about them, one by one. Each time I admitted to no need for them, they were put on display for sale. Then as the bargain shoppers walked through, some with shrieks of joy (“A toaster, just what I need!”), I still felt pangs of sadness. My past life possessions given away, never to be seen again.

Yet at the same time I felt freedom from things that I no longer carried with me. I imagined how those electronic gadgets had been tied to my garments by their electrical cords, me dragging them along with me as I walked around the house, the toaster and frying pan banging and clanging against the walls and floors, memories of my old life. And then, as the new owners carried those gadgets away, the cords were cut, one by one. My clothes were lighter. I walked free and light.

I gain freedom from the things I leave behind,

clearing away the unneeded relics of my past.

© Brian Hay 2016

Purge 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: Redo

By Beverley Johnston

Change the fabric of your own soul and your visions,

and you change all. (Vachel Lindsay)

I am aware that beyond this space the weather is unsettled. The dark foreboding clouds in the north are contrasted by the bright, setting sun in the west. The wind is whipping the trees and rain drops are bright splashes on the window. But I am inside. I am settled.

As I begin to write, a seam “picker-outer” from amongst an array of sewing notions nearby draws my attention. It guides my awareness, becoming a metaphor for my life.

How very easy life would be if it was possible to unpick all the wrong stitches made in a lifetime. Things incorrectly bonded could be quickly parted, and sewn again with surer stitches, stronger stitches.

Do-overs! It is hard for me to remember all the do-overs I would like to have redone. But they remain, stitches of the past, clumsily attached or loosely basted.

I choose to concentrate on seams that are sure and tightly bound.

Life mirrors my every thought. As I keep my thoughts positive, life brings me more good experiences.

© Beverley Johnston 2016

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

Biography –Beverley Johnston

Beverley Johnston taught school in four provinces and has travelled extensively in Canada and abroad. Her most prized accomplishments involve her family, having been honoured as Unicef Canada’s Volunteer of the Year (1999) in Toronto, being awarded first prize in the Writers’ Collective of Manitoba/Free Press contest (2009) at Winnipeg’s Millennium Library, and first prize for a children’s story in Helen Isobel Sissons/P.A.C.E. Award in Toronto (2013). She writes to feed her soul.

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.