• “One Easter…I decided to go to church. The bells being rung during that Easter morning service reminded me of my Zen practice of coming back to the breath, smiling and enjoying the present moment. It was so wonderful to have an unexpected reminder of the inter-being-ness of us all and of all world religions. In everyday life we can use many bells of mindfulness to come back to ourselves, to stop, to breathe, and to smile. I call these moments, “mini-meditations”. It could be the sound of the telephone ringing… a breeze crossing our cheek, or a shaft of sunlight touching us. We do not have to stop for long to find peace in life, we can have it right now with our next breath.

    By going back to our breath, or by using prayer or meditation, we can stop our minds from living in regret of the past or fantasizing about the future and learn how to re-appreciate the precious present. After all, it is all any of us really have got in this life!

    If you look after a plant it will become healthy and lush. In the same way, you have to care for your own life by watering yourself daily with compassion and self-care, in order to prevent yourself from becoming hard and shriveled up. You can bloom like a beautiful flower, as long as you nourish your mindfulness daily. By watering the seeds of peace in yourself and those around you, you will become alive and realize peace and compassion in the world.

    When I need to relax or “get away from it all” and calm my mind, I recreate a peaceful place, in my mind, from my childhood. This special place is somewhere I can go daily…it is my special place to sit and stop my monkey-mind from its eternal chatter and find peace, stillness, joy and serenity in the moment. It is one of the ways that I use to show love and compassion to myself. It helps feed my spiritual needs.”