Search Results for 'spiritual practice'

Basic Relaxation

 For this one lying on the floor is actually best. Please try not to fall asleep though! Put your palms down on the floor by your sides. Your feet should be just a few inches apart.

OK. Now just lie still for a few seconds. Let your thoughts gradually quieten down. Without any force at all let your breathing become naturally deep and regular. Now feel the weight of your body on the floor.

Now we're going to very quickly just 'name' some parts of the body in turn. Centre your consciousness briefly on each of these parts as you name them to yourself. Toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees, thoughs, groin, midriff, chest, shoulders, hands, arms, neck and head. Be aware of any areas where there is particular tension. OK? Now I'll just explain the next bit before we do it.

What we're going to do is spend five seconds making our whole bodies as tense as we possibly can. Then we're going to release all of that tension in one go, pushing it out and up and away from us. But before we do this, on the count of three take a long deep breath in. One, two, three -now tense as many muscles in your body as you possibly can, and when I count three push the air in your lungs out at the same time as you let go of every last little bit of that tension. One, two, three -push away the stress!

Now concentrate on your breathing. Breathing in through the nose and out through the nose is best here, but find some other way if that is uncomfortable for you. Let your breaths be deep, and let your mind be still. Just watch the way you take in the air and how it fills your lungs. Hold the air in your lungs for just for a second or two before you breathe out, and wait for just a second or two before you breathe in again. Just watch your breath for thirty seconds or so. If you get distracted or your mind wanders, then gently bring it back.

Now try and maintain the sense that by letting the body relax, and by allowing the mind to be still, so you are letting all parts of the system become more integrated. By simply being calm, and aware, you are letting bodymind become more balanced. More efficient. More energised. Be calm in this attitude for another minute or so.

Now gradually bring yourself out of the meditation, slowly bringing your attention back to where you are.

by Richard Ebbs

Link: Meditation

Category: Meditations and reflections

Tradition: Buddhism

· meditation · relaxation · daily · spiritual practice · Richard Ebbs

Dzogchen Mindfulness Meditation

 This meditation is taught in a number of traditions in Tibetan Buddhism. Like Zazen, the practise is essentially very simple indeed, but, as you will discover if you do it consistently in the right spirit for some time, this is actually a very powerful meditation technique. It is said that this technique helps develop self-awareness, non-attachment and a feel for what Buddhists call 'Mind'.

Note that after you have done this meditation a few times, you can do it looking directly ahead or you can even do it during every moment when you are active in some activity or activities during the day.

 

Sit in a posture that feels comfortable, with a reasonably straight back. (See Posture.) Your hands should rest on your knees, with your fingers drooping down over your kneecaps. Keep your eyes open, and look at a spot in front of you: your eyes should look downwards at an angle of around 45 degrees.

As a way into the meditation, concentrate on your breathing. Allow it to become naturally deep and regular, feeling each breath as it passes into and out of your body, energising the whole system.

Let your thoughts subside. Let your feelings be calm. You are looking at one spot in particular, but you don't need to analyse what you it is that you are seeing. On the other hand, try not to let your eyes go 'fuzzy': just let them rest on that one place without effort.

When you find yourself thinking, following one thought to the next in the way that we normally do, then don't repress the thought, and don't indulge it. Just gently bring yourself back to being centred somehow in what might be called 'the observer' in you, that part of you that is able to stand back from your thoughts, and watch as they happen.

When you find yourself experiencing feelings, following one feeling to the next in the way that we normally do, then don't repress any of those feelings, and don't indulge them either. Gently bring yourself back to being centred somehow in 'the observer', so that you can stand back from your feelings, and watch them happening.

What we are aiming to do here is reserve certain amounts of the 'energy of our awareness' for different things. So when you find your awareness temporarily taken over by thoughts, or by feelings, or by sensory input from your eyes and so on, then gently 'bring it back' trying not to let more than 25% of your 'awareness-energy' be used up in this way. Reserve 25% of your awareness-energy for 'the observer'. The remaining 50% of the energy of your consciousness should be used to maintain, if possible, a sense of the void that, according to Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, underlies all apparent phenomena: the void from which all apparent phenomena arise, and into which all apparent phenomena subside from moment to moment. All things change in the long term, and all things change even in the short term. Nothing has any real substance. Thoughts, feelings, sense-perceptions and even the sense of 'I' that we all have are illusory. At base, there is sunyata, or voidness.

It's also important to remember at this time that we don't want to get too attached to the idea of 'the observer': 25% is about right: the fact that we reserve 50% of our consciousness for some kind of awareness of sunyata should underline the fact that even the perspective gained from observing ourselves closely can be limited insofar as it may be a limited, or dualistic, perspective.

Be fully present in the moment, here and now.

If a thought arises, you could say 'there is a thought'. If a feeling arises, you could say 'there is a feeling'. If looking arises, you could say 'there is looking'. If hearing arises, you could say 'there is hearing'. And gently bring yourself back.

You are sense-perceptions, thoughts and feelings, and you are the observer. You are also the ground of being, the Buddha-mind in which all these things have their basis. Be aware of the gaps between your thoughts, the gaps between your feelings, the gaps between different sense-perceptions.

Remain in this state of mindfulness.

When you are ready, prepare to come out of the meditation.

Make an 'intention', explicit to yourself, by way of sealing the energy of this meditation in your being, so that it can be used in ways that you feel good about. (See Opening And Closing A Meditation.)

In your own time, come out of the meditation.

by Richard Ebbs

Link: Meditation

Category: Meditations and reflections

Tradition: Buddhism

· meditation · Dzogchen · daily · spiritual practice · Richard Ebbs · mindfulness

Zazen meditation

 Zazen is the classic Zen meditation. (Perhaps deceptively) sometimes described as 'sitting quietly doing nothing'. A common practise among Japanese Zen Buddhist monks and nuns.

 

It's traditional to sit in the lotus or half-lotus posture here, (see Posture) but if this is uncomfortable for you then sit in a straight-backed chair.

Your hands should rest in the lap, with the both hands palm uppermost, and the left hand resting on the right hand. The tips of the thumbs should be lightly touching each other.

Make sure your spine is straight. Push your lower back forward slightly and expand your chest while making sure your head is upright. Gently move from side to side until you find the balance point that is most comfortable.

Keep your eyes open just a tiny bit ('neither open nor closed') and look at the floor a few feet in front of you. Breathe in and out through your nose, keeping your mouth shut and the tongue resting gently against the roof of the mouth.

Take a few deep breaths, exhaling all of the air in your lungs each time, and then let your breathing find it's own natural deep rhythym, without force of any kind.

Watch the breath. When the mind wanders, gently bring it back again to that simple awareness. Be still. Relax. Be easy on yourself. Don't judge yourself harshly. Just keep the attention on your breathing, and when the mind wanders, just gently bring it back again.

Be here now. Engage fully in the moment. Breathe, and be fully, vitally present.

When you choose to come out of the meditation, first come back to a full sense of being engaged in all of your body. Then gently move your your upper body around in small arcs before stretching your legs out. Don't stand up too soon if your legs are stiff!

by Richard Ebbs

Link: Meditation

Category: Meditations and reflections

Tradition: Buddhism

· meditation · relaxation · daily · spiritual practice · Richard Ebbs · Zazen · sitting

How to meditate

 On this website you can learn the basics of Buddhist meditation. A few books are mentioned that will help you to deepen your understanding if you wish to explore further. Anyone can benefit from the meditations given here, Buddhist or not. We hope that you find this website useful and that you learn to enjoy the inner peace that comes from meditation.

Link: How to meditate

Category: Recommended websites

Tradition: Buddhism

· meditation · daily · spiritual practice · Buddhism

Mindfulness

Walk in the woods or any quiet place and focus on noticing everything that is coming to you through all of your senses. Notice the sights, sounds, and smells you encounter as you walk along. Feel the air on your skin and your feet on the ground. When you notice your attention has shifted to something outside of the present moment, gently bring it back. Be present in your daily chores. For example, do the washing up while focusing on nothing but the dishes, the water, the soap and your actions. Do art, such as drawing or painting. Be present to this activity and, if you notice your mind wandering, gently bring your thoughts back to the present moment and what you are doing.

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Buddhism

· meditation · daily · spiritual practice · mindfulness

Haiku writing

The haiku is a Japanese form of poetry which evolved out of the philosophy of Zen Buddhism. Traditional Japanese haiku have 17 syllables, but it has been suggested that English haiku should have more syllables, because English is a more long-winded language than Japanese, and you can pack a lot more concepts into 17 Japanese syllables than you can into 17 English syllables.

However, I tend to stick to the 17 syllable structure, divided into 3 lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. Haiku also traditionally include a kireji, a ‘cutting word’. The cutting word divides the poem into two contrasting sections with imagery that adds a surprising twist or contrast to each other. It’s difficult to find ‘cutting words’ in English, so haiku writers in English use a dash to separate the two sections of the poem.

Haiku are essentially poems about Nature, so Japanese haiku also have a season word, to indicate in what season the action of the poem takes place. The season word does not have to be the name of the season; it can be something that is obviously associated with that season – for example, plum blossom would indicate that the poem was describing spring. The imagery of a haiku is simple and unpretentious, and generally does not use similes to achieve its effects. The natural phenomena described may very well be metaphors for something else, but the haiku may also be enjoyed for the images of natural beauty, and the human response to it, that it conjures up.

Haiku poets would often gather together to compose haiku on the spot. One poet would begin, and then another poet would respond with a haiku of their own, and in this way a series of linked haiku (known as haikai-renga) would be composed by the group.

Sometimes haiku would be combined with travel writing or other prose. The most famous example of this form is The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Basho, which describes Basho’s travels to the far north of Japan. The combined haiku and prose form is known as haibun.

Writing haiku teaches one to strip things back to the bare essentials, to distil experience into its pure form, and to observe Nature closely. It is a very satisfying process, because haiku are so short, and so complete in themselves.

 

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Buddhism

· Buddhist · everyday spirituality · haiku · Matsuo Basho · mindfulness · poetry · spiritual practices · Zen

How does my spiritual practice and daily life serve the earth? How does my spiritual practice and daily life affect the poorest third of humanity? How will my spiritual practice and daily life affect the generations to come in the future?

~ Starhawk

Link: Magic of the Ordinary

Category: Quotations

Tradition: Eclectic Pagan

· spirituality · awareness · spiritual practice · people · Reclaiming · Wicca · Pagan · ecology

Yoga

Provides a comprehensive guide to yoga. Find information related to the ancient art and science of yoga.

Link: Yoga

Category: Recommended websites

Tradition: Hinduism

· yoga · spiritual practices · body · awareness · mindfulness · exercise

Tel Shemesh

 a web resource for those who are attempting to integrate Jewish faith and practice with earth-based beliefs and ways of living. Tel Shemesh provides writings, rituals, songs, prayers, and myths that integrate Jewish texts with earth-based images like the Divine feminine and the sacred earth, in order to promote an inclusive vision of a Judaism entwined with nature and with all life.

by Jill Hammer

Link: Tel Shemesh

Category: Recommended websites

Tradition: Judaism

· Jewish · spirituality · spiritual practices · rituals · songs · prayers · myths · mythology

Ask Grace: What are the symptoms of spiritual burnout and how to avoid psychic burnout?

Ask Grace: What are the symptoms of spiritual burnout and how to avoid psychic burnout

Spiritual burn-out is a real risk for spiritual leaders, counsellors, caregivers, healers and psychics. Grace, a psychic, gives advice on how to avoid it (and she should know because she has suffered from it). I have recently suffered from this myself, and have found in the past that if I was getting nurtured by others, and receiving energy from the universe, it didn't happen, whereas if you fail to do these things, you will get burn-out, and the symptoms can be quite nasty.

She first identifies the symptoms of spiritual burn-out, and then identifies how to avoid it, or how to recover from it if you already have it.

The symptoms of spiritual burnout or psychic burnout can include exhaustion, depression, dread before or after working, feelings of unbearable responsibility, feeling overwhelmed, crying for no reason, crying often, being overtired, insomnia, difficulty getting out of bed, restlessness, procrastination, avoidance, constant illness, problems with the heart, difficulty breathing, anxiety and panic attacks, extreme weight loss or weight gain, hair loss, irritability, and a desire to avoid people.
Grace's advice can be summed up in six key points:
  • Take a break and rest - Grace says "take a sabbatical from everyone and everything, and really nurture yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually".
  • Make sure your needs are met - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Breathe properly.
  • Draw your energy from the universe - don't use up all your personal energy; make sure to be replenished from the source.
  • Charge for your services - either in money or in kind - Grace says "there always has to be an exchange of energy, which is what money is - it is the energy of worth and value given in exchange for the service received."
  • Maintain strong boundaries - visualise yourself surrounded by white light; set aside a special room for your clients; set fixed working hours. If there's an emergency, calm the client down first. Have a website which answers all the obvious questions about what you do.
  • Only work when you can give 100% - don't deplete yourself by working when you are ill, distracted, etc.
It's well worth reading the whole article, which gives more examples and some excellent techniques and advice.

If you think you are suffering spiritual burn-out, get help - don't leave it until you are absolutely exhausted.

by Grace

Link: Ask Grace

Category: Recommended articles

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· ministry · pastoral · practitioners · professional · self-care · spiritual burn-out · spiritual practices

Books by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Women who run with the wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This classic book has inspired many women to discover their inner wild self – the self that instinctively knows how to sense danger, to protect itself, to be nourished by stories and wilderness. The book is structured around several classic folktales, including the story of the Selkie (retold by the author as Sealskin, Soulskin), the Inuit story of Sedna, the story of the girl with the red shoes, the handless girl, and many other stories which teach people how to follow their instincts and listen to their hearts. Following each tale is a section explaining what it means and offering spiritual practices for everyday life. The wolf metaphor runs throughout the book, as the wild instincts of wolves are key to understanding how to be in touch with your own deepest instincts.

The Faithful Gardener – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This is an interwoven collection of stories about life, from the author of Women who run with the wolves. The book begins with the story of the author’s uncle being collected from the railway station in Chicago amidst the arrivals of hundreds of other displaced people arriving in America from war-torn Europe. The heart of the book is the story of that which never dies – the spirit which moves from life to life through various transformations.

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Recommended books

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· books · Clarissa Pinkola Estes · everyday spirituality · spiritual practices

Meditation

Sit quietly and comfortably keeping your back straight if possible. Focus your intention gently on your breathing. Do this for a few minutes a day at first and then keep extending the time. Do not worry when your attention wanders and thoughts intrude. When you notice this, simply draw your attention back to your breathing. This is the basis of meditation practice.

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· meditation · daily · spiritual practice · Buddhism

Twelve Concrete Ways To Live A 'Compassionate Life'

Putting the 12 steps to a compassionate life into practice.

Armstrong admits compassion isn't a very popular virtue. "People often prefer to be right," she says. And though she offers these 12 steps, it's not a get-compassionate-quick scheme. "This is a struggle for a lifetime, because there are aspects in it that militate against compassion."

Armstrong says she struggles with compassion, "all the time, every day." She admits to a sharp tongue, and "like everybody, I feel I've suffered, I feel I've been damaged, I meditate unpleasantly on my enemies and feel this corrosive sense of anger."

But her religious studies kept guiding her back to the theme of compassion. In histories of Jerusalem, God, even fundamentalism, compassion popped up again and again. And that's what frustrates her.

"The religions," she says, "which should be making a major contribution to one of the chief tasks of our generation — which is to build a global community, where people of all opinions and all ethnicities can live together in harmony — are seen as part of the problem, not as part of the solution."

The golden rule, a commonality throughout religion and guiding force for compassion, "asks you to look into your own heart, discover what gives you pain, and then refuse under any circumstance whatsoever to inflict that pain on anyone else." It's tricky, because each situation and individual must be evaluated differently.

But making space for the other "in our minds and our hearts and our policies" is essential to Armstrong. "We are always talking about the importance of democracy. But I think in our perilously divided world, we need global democracy, where all people's voices are heard, not just those of the rich and the powerful."

For example, it's hard to love your enemies. We are driven by our legacy from our reptilian ancestors, Armstrong says. It "makes us put ourselves first, become angry, [and] when we feel threatened in any way, we lash out violently."

Link: NPR books

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Karen Armstrong · philosophy · religion · compassion · spiritual practices

Storytelling

Most spiritual and religious traditions have a corpus of stories which transmit their values and beliefs, and the stories of their saints and heroes. It is also good to create stories. In his essay, On Fairy Stories, JRR Tolkien expressed the view that when we create stories, we are exercising a gift from the Divine, the gift of ‘subcreation’.

One way of creating new stories is to practice storytelling in the round. One person starts off a story, and then when they have run out of ideas, the next person in the circle takes over. You can augment this practice by using cards with images or words to suggest ideas to the participants.

Storytelling is an art which it is very satisfying to learn. To make your story come to life, include details of colour, taste, smell, sound and texture; imagine how the characters in the story feel about their situation. Traditional storytelling does not go into much detail, but it gets across the experience with directness and immediacy. You can also add your own personal twist to well-known stories, such as telling the story from the point of view of another character – how about the story of Little Red Riding Hood from the point of view of the wolf, for instance? Try to find and listen to traditional storytellers and learn from their technique.

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· everyday spirituality · JRR Tolkien · spiritual practices · storytelling

Making a mandala

The idea of the mandala comes from Hindu and Buddhist tradition. In its most developed form, the mandala is a diagram of the inner world. Tibetan Buddhist sand mandalas depict temples and palaces where particular Buddhas dwell, and pathways between them. A sand mandala is carefully and painstakingly constructed by pouring sand through special pointy tubes onto a surface, and after a certain amount of time, the sand is swept up and poured out as a blessing into a river, or given away to pilgrims.

Mandalas can also be drawn or painted. Carl Gustav Jung (the psychoanalyst) drew mandalas representing his inner states, and encouraged his clients to do the same. Other Jungians also did this. Drawing a mandala can be a very satisfying experience  it doesnt have to be great art; its the process of creating a picture of your inner world that is important. You can also make mandalas from seeds, pebbles or shells.

Once you have created your mandala, you can use it as a focus for meditation, following the patterns you have created, or meditating on the meaning of the symbols within the mandala.

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Buddhist · everyday spirituality · Hindu · mandalas · meditation · spiritual practices ·

A nice cup of tea and a sit down

The Japanese tea ceremony is the ultimate form of this spiritual practice; in it each movement is choreographed, and the tea is prepared and served mindfully and gracefully. The ritual has deep meaning and resonance for the participants.

However, the preparation and drinking of tea has a restorative effect on many people. The fragrance of the tea, the effect of drinking it, and the relaxation of sitting and being focused on the pleasure of tea, is all good for you. Its even better if it is accompanied by conversation with a friend.

The title of this article is taken from the excellent website entitled "A nice cup of tea and a sit down" which extols the pleasures of this activity, or should I say inactivity?

Details on the Japanese Tea Ceremony can be viewed here

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· a nice cup of tea and a sit down · Buddhist · everyday spirituality · mindfulness · spiritual practices · tea ceremony · Zen ·

Shared meals

Many religious traditions have shared meals as part of their practice.

Jewish tradition has the Seder or Passover meal, in which specific symbolic foods are eaten, representing different aspects of the Passover story. The youngest person present must ask, "Why is this night more special than all other nights?" and various other symbolic actions are performed, such as leaving the door open for Elijah, and raising a toast to the idea that one's next Seder will take place in Jerusalem.

Christianity has the Eucharist, which commemorates both the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples, and also the meal he is said to have shared with them at Emmaus after his Resurrection. The meal consists of bread and wine consumed in a sacred manner. There has been much conflict throughout Christian history about what the Eucharist means, who is allowed to partake of it, and what its effects are. Nevertheless it is a powerful ritual. Stephen Lingwood, a Unitarian minister, suggests that communion represents Jesus' radical hospitality – his willingness to eat with people marginalised by society, such as prostitutes, tax collectors and publicans.

In Wicca, the shared meal is known as cakes and wine, and is usually consecrated by a woman and a man (or a same-sex couple), and then shared among the participants in the ritual. A portion is kept for offering to the deities as a libation.

In some Hindu traditions, a portion of the food is offered to the deities while it is being cooked, and blessed food is known as prasadam.

The ancient Greeks had a ritual of sharing bread, which is where we get our word symposium, which literally means ‘together bread’. In ancient Rome, there were dining clubs devoted to the god Bacchus (god of wine), which presumably had a ritual or spiritual aspect.

Many religious traditions (including Buddhism, Christianity and Paganism) give thanks for their food before eating. Typically, the meal blessing might include thanks to all the beings and processes that went into creating the food, and a wish that everyone in the world might have enough to eat.

Cooking can also be a spiritual practice. It is in many ways akin to alchemy (the transformation of one thing into another); indeed, a cooking vessel invented by a medieval female alchemist – the bain-marie – founds its way from the laboratory to the kitchen. In Jewish tradition, the preparation of food has special rituals associated with it. The magic of a lovingly prepared meal is powerful stuff, restoring both body and mind.

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· alchemy · ancient paganism · Buddhist · Christian · everyday spirituality · Hindu · Judaism · Pagan · shared meals · spiritual practices · Wicca ·

Making an altar

An altar is a focus for devotion, prayer or meditation. It can be simple or complex, small or large. It can have no images, a single image, or multiple images. It can be themed around a particular idea, deity, holy person or festival. You can have more than one altar or shrine around your home.

If your altar is for meditation or prayer, choose a spot in your home that is quiet and peaceful. Consider how you will use your altar. If you are going to place flowers on it, or use it in ritual, make sure there is space for everything you need, and that the altar is easy to keep clean. Some people like to light a candle or ring a bell before they start their ritual, meditation or prayer.

The typical altar might have a bell or singing bowl, some holy pictures or statues, some natural objects such as pebbles, shells, feathers or wood to make a connection with Nature, a candle, prayer beads, and perhaps a holy book. It may be a shrine to a particular deity, saint, Buddha or bodhisattva, or to multiple sacred foci.

In Orthodox Christianity, the shrine at which the family prays is known as the Beautiful Corner, and is decorated with icons of favourite saints. Icons are seen as windows into Heaven, and depict the transfigured face of the saint. Before praying, people will light a candle and cross themselves.

In some traditions, people build altars or shrines at particular times of year. In Mexico, people build shrines for El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) to commemorate their loved ones who have died. There might be photos of the loved one, together with their favourite foods, and flowers. Many Pagans around the world have borrowed this idea. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her classic book Women who run with the wolves, describes how women built altars to commemorate losses in their lives, and how this helped them to grieve properly and to recover from the trauma. You could also build altars for particular rites of passage, such as the transition from childhood to adulthood, or for marriage or divorce. The altar might include symbols of the phase that is coming to an end, and symbols of the new phase to be embarked on. You could even build one altar for each phase, and then have a ritual progression from one phase to the next.

Another way of making an altar is to find a special tree or rock, and decorate around it with found (but biodegradable) objects arranged in a pattern, such as twigs, leaves, berries and feathers.

There is no right or wrong way to make an altar. Each altar is personal and special. If you are following a particular spiritual tradition, it may have particular ways of making altars, but even within that, there is plenty of scope for creativity.

 

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· altars · Clarissa Pinkola Estes · everyday spirituality · icons · meditation · prayer · spiritual practices

Building a meditation hut

The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids suggest building a meditation hut. The actual process of building the hut could be a mindful and meditative process, using recycled and sustainable materials. The Order’s founder, Ross Nichols, got the idea of his hut from the poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Yeats was inspired to write the poem by Henry David Thoreau’s account of how he retired to a hut beside Walden Pond, there to contemplate the wilderness, be self-sufficient and find himself.

Ross Nichols suggests that one of the benefits of living in a hut is that there are fewer distractions there; no electricity, no running water, only yourself and the wilderness (or your garden) for company. It was important to Nichols that the hut should be a semi-permanent structure, so it felt safe and secluded.

by Yvonne Aburrow

Link: UK Spirituality blog

Category: Spiritual practices

Tradition: Multiple traditions

· Druidry · Henry David Thoreau · hut · meditation · Ross Nichols · spiritual practices · William Butler Yeats

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