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Attention quote



What are these pray tell?

We have a Melia azedarach tree in our front garden and it has grown enormously since we first moved in over 22 years ago. We had it trimmed a few years back and the arborist told me he would refuse to cut it down because it was such a beautiful tree.

In the past year or two I have working hard on being more aware and noticing more and my attention on this tree has increased. Then in the last few months I have been reading Juliet Batten’s blog http://seasonalinspiration.blogspot.com and she too is watching Melia trees and we have shared our observations and findings.

I had, until recently known the tree as the Bead tree and I have just learnt why it is so named, thanks to Juliet. The green seeds that are visible on my tree right now, contain a hard, five sided kernel or bead and these beads are used to make rosary beads.

The word “azedarach” comes from a contraction of the Persian vernacular “azaddhirakt” or noble tree.

I have a new and deeper appreciation for my Melia and the small gifts it gives to spiritual seekers and for its ancient noble status.

Step by step

I found myself feeling hurried this morning with three or more pressing tasks to complete.   My brain was feeling hurried and scattered.  Good awareness on my part I thought.  A hurried brain and body can lead to accidents and feelings of stress……so what to do?   Firstly some big deep breaths.   Then a firm message to my brain that hurry was not needed and that one of the tasks could wait until later, or until another time.  A pause to feel my feet standing squarely on the floor and the strength of my legs holding me up, balanced and firm.

A bit of time management thinking around what is the priority here and that was to finish getting the meal into the slow cooker.

That done I could peg the washing out on the line and enjoy the warm sunshine, the amazingly calm atmosphere and the singing of a Tui.  Nice…..

Next came some self care as I sat down to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a read of my emails…….brain and body going along at a much slower pace again.  It pays for me to take things step by step using awareness and attention to regain my equilibrium and an improved feeling of well being.

What steps do you take to achieve a more balanced and pleasant path through the many tasks of your day?

Seeking refuge

Seeking refuge, finding refuge,taking refuge have all been common experiences for people living on the western borders of the vast Pacific Ocean of late.  There have been floods, cyclones, landslides, tsunamis, many earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and nuclear energy crises.

I have been considering where to go for refuge as these big disasters have happened and also as I work to meet the challenges that more everyday events bring. I read recently of a visualisation technique which I have found very helpful, especially if I am in bed or able to rest quietly.  It is pretty simple and all I have to do is picture myself as a very small “me” wrapped around my heart, a place that is warm, kind and loving.  Then the technique encourages me to feel the love, warmth and kindness wrapping itself around me and with that comes a feeling of safety, security and trust.

Another “place” of refuge for me and others is a more psychological one, using something in nature to focus on when we need some space or some respite from whatever is stirring us.  For me I watch the birds around me, whether from a window or out in the fresh air or garden.   A friend of mine watches the ducks that live in a nearby stream area.  This form of refuge offers us time to switch our awareness and attention to something ordinary, familiar and non-threatening.  There is comfort in that.