A Priceless Gift to Yourself – and Others!

by Sue on February 20, 2017

Happy New Year!

Having relished a Christmas of gifts, happiness and goodwill to all, and I do hope this was your experience, we now move into that time of resolution-making for the coming year. Have you made yours yet?

I have a suggestion for your resolution which is based on the gifts you give to others when you start a conversation, enter a room, go to work, walk into a shop – any day-to-day encounter in fact. What gift do you bring to others through your presence? Is it a sense of calm, kindness and curiosity? Or might it be an irritation or worry that permeates the atmosphere like a dark cloud – those matters that sit on the mind and affect the sort of day you are having? Everyone knows how it is when someone is frustrated and furious, even though they might not be openly admitting to these corrosive feelings, still they leak out and cloud the atmosphere. Is that you sometimes?

Resolve this New Year to be the one who brings balance, calm and kindness to each encounter. Make it your resolution to be the one who brings balance and calm to situations. This would be a priceless gift to yourself and all those you meet this coming year. Through mindfulness training you can learn uncomplicated ways to access ease and balance, especially when the going gets tough. Or as a previous participant on a mindfulness course said:

My temper, my patience levels, my sleep and my general well being improved very quickly. I can’t believe what a difference the straightforward techniques that you have taught me have made.

To find out more about the what, when and how of a mindfulness training course you are invited to any of the free mindfulness taster sessions that are held from time to time. Details can be found here. Or speak to mindfulness facilitator Sue Weston on 07962 798 779.

Happy New Year!

Participants on the Qigong & Meditation Retreat Week are a mix of differing ages, abilities, nationalities and backgrounds: they include absolute beginners, experienced practitioners and some who return year after year for their annual Holy Isle top-up. Most arrive tired yet exhilarated from the journey to Holy Isle which includes two ferries, the big Cal Mac boat and the little ferry making the short crossing from Lamlash to Holy Isle itself. So during the first part of the week practising relaxation and we all gather together in the beautiful Peace Hall for what has become known as ‘duvet’ time! We also explore our intentions for the weekHolyIsleTaiJiSueWeston

When I arrived on Holy Isle in September 1999 Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, the Retreat Master, gave two instructions to guide me during my year of retreat.  One was to not do anything unless I could rejoice. This was not what I had expected to hear and I can remember leaving his presence with a sense of joyful anticipation. A subtle instruction, if ever there was. And yes, some days it is easier to rejoice than on others.

I have been leading Qigong & Meditation Retreats on Holy Isle since the Centre opened in 2003 and Lama’s instruction hovers around my heart as I meet and teach the participants on these courses. Many are coping with changes in their lives that diminish their ability to rejoice. Coming to Holy Isle offers respite from the pressures of every-day life. Over the week (or a weekend) the healing movements of Wild Goose Medical Qigong alongside the simple loving kindness and peaceful mind meditations we practice together enable deep relaxation to arise. The releasing movements of Wild Goose recharge the qi, the life force, and the peace of the sitting meditation sessions allows the mind to have a holiday in peace.  The ethos of Holy Isle is friendship. As well as the Qigong and meditation we practice together the island itself is restorative: I have seen participants choose to climb the mountain when their greatest fear is of heights – and come back filled with glowing confidence! On every course that I have run on Holy Isle, be it a week or a weekend, I have witnessed transformations that are truly healing.  Participants arrive as strangers and rapidly and naturally they weave friendships based on mutual support and kindness. One of the requests made of participants is to help in the kitchen with the cleaning and washing up and I always hear laughter from the group joyfully working together. Holy Isle is an excellent place to rediscover our ability to rejoice.

As well as their own insights, participants take back home with them tools to sustain their own personal practices. This feedback says it all:

“What a wonderful, magical and transformative week. I arrived tired and depleted and I now have fully restored and with so much more than I ever imagined.”

And the other instruction given to me at the start of my year retreat by Lama Yeshe? I’ll tell you when next we meet on Holy Isle!

Review of “Sleep” developed and spoken by Sue Weston

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