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Deeper Understandings

Speaking my truth

When we speak our truth, we embrace all of who we are. Living this practice in our lives, bringing this wisdom and compassion out in the company of others, asks us to be completely ourselves, to bring forward our truth in words and actions... Speaking our truth may open up things that may be a little "ouch-y", but when they appear we can bring our empathy, we can bring our presence. In that way,...
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Unlocking conflict: impact and intention

Have you ever heard a conversation between a couple or friends along these lines? "You're so controlling. Why does everything have to be on your terms?" And the other one replies, "You've violated my boundaries!" How do we support such a conflict? In moments of tension and conflict, it can helpful to introduce a distinction between perceived impact and the intention behind the an action....
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Spaciousness: guided by the elements

Dhanakosa on the shores of Loch Voil I’m just back from a seven-day retreat with 20 women in the Scottish Highlands. I still feel the connection in my body. There's connection to myself, connection with the people around me and connection to wilderness. It feels warm and peaceful in my heart, relaxed and content in my stomach and spacious in my chest. There is also a sense of gratitude to Shan...
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A vision of interconnectedness in a time of climate and ecological emergency

Gesine and I recently returned from our annual NVC Community camp. Sitting outside in the evenings with clear skies and little light pollution, I had a chance to renew my acquaintance with the stars. They reminded of the image of Indra's Net, a traditional Buddhist symbol of the truth of interconnectedness, of how things arise in dependence upon conditions. The Avatamsaka Sutra refers to the image...
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A friend for a reason, a friend for a season, a friend for a lifetime

I have a close friend in Bristol who practises meditation and Buddhism. A year ago, she told me that she had been invited on a 3-month ordination in 2022. She told me that after her return, she planned to move to a women's retreat centre to support the community. Wow, what a life-changing decision! In the first moment there was joy in my heart – I was happy for her to fulfill her dreams and find ...
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Gesine’s dream

I woke up this morning still connected with my dreams and felt happy. I dreamed that I was in a tropical bay. As I walked into the water I could feel the sand under my feet, the wind on my face and the waves against my skin. I loved playing with the waves. I looked out for a large wave. As soon as I saw one, I dived into it. The wave rolled over me and broke onto the sand. For a moment I was ...
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To feel safe or to be safe?

A few days ago, on our NVC Year Training community call we started a discussion about safety – feeling safe in myself and feeling safe to express myself when I notice I’m feeling uncomfortable in the group. The group members had the intention to address the topic as an open dialogue and bring awareness to how difficult it is to be authentic even in a 'safe environment'. The word safe environme...
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Holding the World in Our Hearts

Here at Seed of Peace we feel deep sadness to hear of Russian 'special operations' in Ukraine, which appear to amount to an invasion. We feel tormented to see Ukrainian civilians being shelled and long for their safety. We long for Ukrainians to get the practical and emotional support they need to protect their country and their way of life. Our compassionate instinct encourages us to resonat...
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All you need is love

For Valentine’s Day this year I thought that I’d revisit one of the happiest memories of my childhood: listening to ‘All You Need is Love’ by the Beatles. In fact, I was only 18 months old when it was originally broadcast on 25 June 1967 during the Summer of Love, so I must have heard it later in my childhood, with the sense that I was looking back on a period of impossible idealism and hope. ...
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Memories, Dreams and Reflections

I dreamed that I was leaning forward on a powerful motorbike, making my way down an empty road on a clear night until I came to a little guard house and red/white border barrier. I stopped for a moment as the barrier lifted, crossed over and continued my journey. The weather changed. Fog came up. I didn't know where I was going and what to expect. I felt curious, guarded and a little bit anxious o...
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A Thousand Kisses Deep

As we slide towards the mid-winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, my thoughts have been turning towards the topic of love. In the darkness of the afternoons, a song has come back to haunt me, 'A Thousand Kisses Deep' by Leonard Cohen. Cohen was the ultimate ladies man, a well-spoken gentleman poet, who gave up his career as a lover to become a Zen monk.  The song appears to com...
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Where does a meaningful life come from?

Shantigarbha and I are just back from one week at COP26 in Glasgow. The day after, I joined my friend Cath to meditate in a nearby park. Cath is going there every day during COP26 to meditate for the earth and all beings who are impacted by the climate and ecological emergencies. When I arrived, the first question she asked was “How was it in Glasgow?” My response was “It was meaningful. I...
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