‘Mindfulness is either on the cusp of something great, or risks becoming the latest self-help fad to perish from oversimplification. It has, without a doubt, improved my functioning with bipolar disorder‘. So says mindfulness practitioner and teacher George Hoffman in an article published on PsychCentral. Mindfulness comes in many shapes and sizes depending on the form taken. … More Practising Mindfulness: Keep It Simple!
The mystic Khalil Gibran’s majestic prose poetry ‘The Prophet’ is perhaps his best known work. The section dealing with pain is worth reflecting on; his words are a great reminder that pain, whether it be physical, emotional or psychological, offers a unique encounter with the divine. The experience of pain can take us to a … More Transformed by Pain
The Tree Says Nothing? The tree says nothing. It waves gently, dancing in the breeze. Telling a story, for all who care to listen. Years of sun and rain, snow and hail, recorded in rings. Telling a story, for all who care to listen. Diurnal rhythms, season after season, leaves develop, die and … More The Tree Says Nothing?
Today, I climbed Slemish Mountain. It was such a beautiful day. As I ascended I remembered the last time I had visited Slemish – it was in mid-Summer when I was in a hypomanic phase. Such a difference experience. Today, mania seemed like a distant memory. When I got home I penned this short poem … More A Memory of Mania
I love to spend time in the forest; it calms me while hypomanic and uplifts me when I’m depressed. I’ve uploaded a short meditation to youtube containing some of the Cistercian monk, author and poet Thomas Merton’s thoughts on nature together with some pictures I’ve taken recently. I hope you find it restful. God bless, … More Forest Meditation with Thomas Merton
As I struggle with illness, I have found my time spent at Bethlehem Abbey in Portglenone, Co. Antrim, to be enormously therapeutic. Last week, I spent a morning in the library and whilst there wrote a short poem about my experience. Here it is: Immersed A room, empty of people, steeped in holiness. Myriad books … More From a Cistercian Monastery
I have just returned from a short retreat at Bethlehem Abbey in Portglenone, Co. Antrim. Immersed in a Cistercian tranquillity, the troubles that have assailed my mind for so long evaporate; in such a setting, I can embrace solitude and quiet once more – it has been such a long and arduous journey to reach … More A Return to Silence
I love to spend time in the forest. It lifts my spirits when I am depressed and struggling to cope; it calms my mind when I am in a hypomanic state and thoughts come too quickly. I’ve tried to reflect this in a short meditation I’ve put together containing the wise words of Thomas Merton:
Whilst we were out walking today by the Six Mile Water in Antrim, the mist was thick and atmospheric; it reminded me of a wonderful Celtic meditation from Carmina Gadelica that I often turn to when struggling with depression: As the rain hides the stars, As the autumn mist hides the hills, As the clouds … More Through the Autumn Mist…