Cathedral Grove

Monday Mindfulness ~ June 25, 2018

Hello again, fellow wanderers in the Cathedral Grove. Monday Mindfulness is back after a brief pause.

Our thought for the week comes from Pema Chödrön, a Buddhist nun and author of several books on mindfulness. Lovely, isn’t it? There is more about the source’s life and works here on her foundation’s page, should you be interested.

Pema Chodron - You are the Sky

‘May you be happy. May you be well.’ A bit of loving-kindness to all.

On Friday, American chef, writer, and TV host Anthony Bourdain passed away at the age of 61, the manner of death reportedly suicide.

Honestly, reports of celebrity deaths do not usually phase me. It isn’t at all that I don’t care – no. Even when unfamiliar with the person, my heart goes out to their family and friends and all the others they may have positively impacted in their life. Any death is a great loss to someone. But this particular news – I must say – hit me a bit harder than usual.

There have been many moving tributes to the man, his words, and his deeds in the days since (such as this one from the network for which Bourdain worked, CNN), so I won’t attempt to summarize and eulogize his life and works here. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed watching his shows, I appreciated his unapologetic honesty about his struggles, and I admired his open-minded acceptance of people from all walks of life around the world.

Unfortunately, suicide as a cause of death is on the rise in the USA. According to a recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention release, the suicide rate has risen by about 30 percent in 25 states over the span of time between 1999 and 2016.

These are heavy things to consider, for sure, but hopefully something positive can come from their discussion. I have noticed, for instance, that in each news report about Bourdain’s passing (as well as that of 55-year-old American designer Kate Spade who also took her own life this past week), the report has ended with a helpline number or link to another important mental health and suicide prevention resource. Good mental health is integral to our overall well-being, so the more ways we know of to help maintain it, the better.

For anyone out there who may be struggling, please know that you are never alone, you are loved. There’s a particular type of meditation called loving-kindness which includes the saying of a mantra I’d like to share with you now so that you might share it with yourself and others in the future during moments of unrest… ‘May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.’

 


 

Please also find below a few resources for yourself or others if needed. I hope they can be of some positive assistance.

For UK residents, the NHS has a comprehensive list of helplines and support groups to do with everything from anxiety to OCD to eating disorders.

For those living in the US, see the CDC for an array of mental health tools and resources. You can also find the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline here.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Mindfulness ~ June 11, 2018

Greetings, fellow explorers of landscapes both external and internal.

Today, our little bit of mindfulness comes from British explorer and most-fancy-name-haver Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes. Most know him more simply as Ranulph Fiennes, however. The former British Army officer, avid adventurer, and author has undertaken a wide ranging variety of expeditions in his 74 years, including crossing Antarctica on foot and climbing Mount Everest at the age of 65.  

I particularly like the way this quote can apply to heading out to do some adventurous activities, but how it can also relate to the sort of mental attitude we take towards all things unexpected or inconvenient.

For further information about the person behind the quote, see here.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes - No Such Thing As Bad Weather

Monday Mindfulness ~ June 4, 2018

I know I said it would be unlikely that I’d share anything whilst visiting home, but – surprise! My Texas wanderings have inspired me, so here’s your Monday Mindfulness post for the week ahead.

This entry comes to us courtesy J.R.R. Tolkien, the writer of classic fantasy epics ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy – some personal favorites of both myself and partner Nick. 

Here’s a bit more on Tolkien’s life and works if you’re interested.

J.R.R. Tolkien - Not All Those Who Wander

Monday Mindfulness ~ May 21, 2018

Hello, lovely people. Monday Mindfulness is back! Here’s hoping you have a week filled with contentment, joy, and fulfillment. 

I’ll be traveling back ‘across the pond’ this Saturday and will be Stateside for about a week and a half while visiting my much loved and much thought of family. As such, it’s unlikely there will be any new posts here on Cathedral Grove until after I get back and have had a bit of time to adjust. 

In the meantime, be well and be happy! 

Chinese Proverb - Relaxation is Who You Are

A Birthday Fundraiser in Support of the Woodland Trust

No Monday Mindfulness post this week. It will return shortly, however – I promise!

I continue to be in awe of this Spring here in West Yorkshire. With only perhaps 2 or 3 days excepted, it has been a Spring of clear skies and bright, soul-warming sunshine, the deepest blues and the most vibrant greens. Today is no exception.

Earlier on this particular beautiful day, I went out to our local park where I enjoyed a nice fresh-baked pastry and began reading a book I’ve treated myself to on account of my upcoming birthday. The book is ‘The Nature Fix’ by Florence Williams, and so far it’s a very interesting read about the ways in which nature helps us to be healthier, happier, and more creative. 

Speaking of my upcoming birthday, I’ve decided to do a small fundraiser for a favorite charity, the UK’s Woodland Trust, in lieu of asking for ‘stuff’. I’ll post the link to my Just Giving page here. If you’re feeling so inclined, please consider a donation of a few pounds. It’s a great cause supporting the protection of ancient British woodland and the growth of new forests for generations to come. 

Here’s the link

Monday Mindfulness ~ May 7, 2018

For this week’s Monday Mindfulness musing, let’s go to naturalist and America’s 26th president, Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt.

For a bit more on his life, visit here.

Theodore Roosevelt - Stars, Ground

Wonky Edibles, A Pledge Against Plastic, and a Sigh of Relief from European Bees

Thankfully, I’ve been feeling much better since last week, the sun continues to shine throughout the valleys and on the hills of West Yorkshire, and it’s been a lovely weekend enjoyed out and about in nature and with kind spirits.

Besides doing a bit of exploring this weekend, I also went to see Marvel’s new blockbuster The Avengers: Infinity War. If you did too, I’ve got a feeling you might want a hug. You know, just a small reminder that there is hopefulness and goodness in the world! Anyway, here are several recent news stories which look at ways in which we are making positive changes that help the environment and future generations. Take that, Thanos!

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Monday Mindfulness ~ April 30, 2018

This week’s quote comes from the famous Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. 

To read a bit more about the artist, visit here.

Vincent Van Gogh - Normality is a Paved Road

Monday Mindfulness ~ April 23, 2018

This week’s quote comes from Bashō, a 17th century Japanese poet and creator of haibun, an intermingling of prose and haiku which describes a physical journey made by its maker. Through haibun, a person describes not only what they actually saw in their travels but also the things experienced within.

For a bit more on Bashō, see here.

Basho - The Journey is Home

Pokemon-Inspired Science, Plastic-Munching Enzymes, and Powering Up Without Coal

Here in West Yorkshire, the sun is out and the sky is clear. After a seemingly longer-than-usual winter, spring has finally sprung. Daffodils still nod their heads in time with the songs of birds and the movement of the gentle breeze, and soon the forested valleys will be blanketed with sweet-scented bluebells. 

Unfortunately, I’m a bit unwell at the moment – a bit of a bummer when all I want to do is go outside and play! I’ve been sure to get out for a short walk in my local park each day since I’ve been poorly, however; time enjoyed in nature is, in my own experience, just as important as staying hydrated and taking a bit of medicine to help sort your insides out.

While I’m resting up and sorting myself out, I thought I’d share a few feel-good news posts I’ve come across whilst I’ve been bundled up on the sofa these past few days, all about the great developments being made and strides forward being taken where protecting this shared world of ours is concerned. There are so many negative, shocking news headlines on TV and across the internet, it can be easy to get a bit down about the state of the world and humanity. But – there are really positive things happening too! So let’s check them out…

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Monday Mindfulness ~ April 16, 2018

Each Monday, Cathedral Grove will feature a ‘thought of the moment’ to consider. This week’s quote comes from the 13th century Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad – known more commonly to English speakers as Rumi.

For a bit more on Rumi, see here.

Rumi - You, the Universe