Compassion and Wisdom


Compassion. Can you feel it? Wisdom. Do you cultivate it?

When I practise yoga and use my breath, I am in a moving meditation. When I sit on my yoga mat with an upright spine, allowing energy to flow and I use the breath as a tool to still my mind, I am meditating.

Today, I was given a gift. I was guided to the Tibetan Buddhist Society in Melbourne for their New Year Meditation Festival 2019.

I welcomed this opportunity to immerse myself in learning about Buddhism, having previous only dipped in to our local Buddhist’s centre at home in the UK and dipped out again. Today however, I took part in meditation sessions and workshops offered by the Tibetan Buddhist Society, including a delightful garden tour where I learnt how their garden reflects  the Buddhist’s principle of do no harm, where planting schemes are designed so plant-life and wildlife live in harmony.

In my life, I try to cultivate compassion — for myself, for other human beings, for all nature and for the universe. I feel drawn to Buddhism as a philosophy and a guide for living. I strive for wisdom — not wisdom as a result of learning, but wisdom gained through seeing the true nature of things.

In Buddhism, compassion and wisdom go together. I have learnt today if I practice meditation regularly, I will be able to cultivate more space in my mind, and distance myself from suffering. I have learnt compassion is an aspiration, a state of mind (or consciousness), a wanting of others to be free from suffering. It’s not passive — it’s not empathy alone — but rather an empathetic altruism that actively strives to free others from suffering. I have learnt genuine compassion must have both wisdom and loving kindness. I have learnt in order to have compassion for others, I have to feel compassion for myself. I have to develop self care and nurturing of myself.


How can I relate my experiences of today at the Tibetan Buddhist Society in Melbourne to my writing?

When I write from emotional depth, I feel a connection to myself. It is one of the reasons I write. Writing from a deep sense of myself, I feel compassion and I cultivate wisdom. Wisdom is to see and understand for myself, to keep an open mind rather than being closed-minded.

Compassion and wisdom are two strands in my life I am weaving together as I write and practice yoga (on and off the mat).





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Making it My Own


I attend two yoga classes a week, have my own daily practice and once a month I go along to a full morning’s yoga which includes teachings from Panjali’s Sutras, BKS Iyengar, Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the concepts of the Chakras. Sound intense? Well not really. I make my yoga practice my own, take what I need, when I need it. I listen to my intuition. Yoga is a philosophy, a wisdom which grows with practice. It is more than a single life’s learning.

I began practicing yoga in 2009 when, after suffering severe discomfort in my right hip, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and advised by my consultant to “stop running or I would need a hip replacement within 2-5 years.” I sought a second opinion from a consultant who said, “don’t stop running, just listen to your body.” It was the best advice I ever received. Up until then, I had never listened to my body, nor my mind, nor my emotional intelligence (I wasn’t even aware I had one!) nor my spirit. I didn’t stop running, but what I did do, was take up yoga. My first weekly class, I still attend ten years on. In 2013 I picked up my second weekly class, a year later my monthly class and in 2016, I began my own daily practice.

Have I needed a hip replacement? No.

Yoga for me is a spiritual path. I practice daily because it’s who I am, it’s become part of me. Like my breath, I can’t live without it.

Yoga is not what I do on the mat. Yoga is a philosophy I practice. The word yoga  is derived from the Sanskrit root word “yuj”.  The most commonly understood meaning of yoga is union, oneness, bliss, with a simple basic premise that mind, body and spirit are all one and cannot be separated.

Ultimately, yoga is stilling the mind, the asanas (the ‘doing’ yoga on the mat) only a small part.

As the years have passed, I have discovered how to make yoga my own. Yoga is about a personal journey. It’s not about hitting the pose, the shape. It’s about listening to YOU.



Now to the writing:

I am applying the principle of ‘making it my own’ to my writing. I am slowly developing my own authentic voice. I have been writing creatively since 2014 and much like yoga, writing has become for me who I am. I cannot not write.

I discovered creative writing at a time when I needed it, as with when I found yoga.

Making yoga my own and making writing my own help me discover who I am.


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Managing Time



One second, one minute, one hour, one day, one week one month, one year, one decade. We all have time. What we choose to do with it, how we relate to it, who we choose to spend it with, where we spend it, what happens within us when we become aware it is finite and why we reflect on it, is unique to each of us.

I became aware my time is running out when my mother died in 2007. A significant event, many people share, but not everyone will respond to losing their mother, their father, or anyone else in their life, in the same way.

For me, losing my mother signified a watershed moment and time took on a different meaning. I began to change, to alter my life in significant ways. I recognised repeating  patterns that were no longer serving me and set about changing them. Of course, these changes didn’t happen over night. It is only now, twelve years on, I can say I use my time wisely, am aware of it passing and make decisions about my time to ensure my wellbeing always comes first.

How do you manage your time?

I manage mine so I can keep heathy in mind, body and spirit. I do this by attending to:

  • My connections with others; I nurture my friendships and all relationships, including my relationship with myself and with the natural world
  • Keeping active, taking exercise, moving my body; yoga, walking, cycling, power walking
  • Learning, developing, experiencing new things
  • Giving; by helping others I can help myself, as being kind, taking care of others, giving my time to others freely brings a sense of being valued, increases self esteem and generally make me feel good about myself
  • Noticing. I try always to enjoy the present moment and take notice, moment by moment. Although I find pleasure in reflecting on the past, sometimes it can bring pain. Similarly, looking to the future can bring an anticipation of excitement, but also can ignite fears, worries, concerns. Staying in the present, being mindful brings me peace and a sense of wellness
  • Making time for pleasures, things that bring me joy, like my writing


Managing my time to ensure I find time to write is essential for my wellbeing. It can be difficult, but little and often works best for me. I have discovered my optimum writing time is mid morning with a coffee by my side and usually is in a cafe. Finding time to think about my writing is as important as the physical task. I find this happens naturally, in quiet moments, usually when I am out walking, but often in the moments before sleep or on waking.

Pay attention to your time, manage your time, make the most of your time. It will soon run out.


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