December 15, 2022

I only Googled his name on a whim. He was a talented poet, and many years ago I had fallen into a deep connection with him. We had spent precious time together at a poetry retreat and it was like being in another world. I was deeply shocked to see that he had died. He was only 53. I cried at my laptop and then last night the grief pulsed through me again, as if I was being squeezed by... Read more

December 12, 2022

If you’d told to me ten years ago that I’d be living in a community, never mind running one, I’d have said you were crazy. I am not temperamentally suited to living in community. I need plenty of time alone. I’m a teensy bit of a control freak. And, although people often think I’m an extrovert, and although I love hanging out with folk, I am always left with less energy after being with them. Here I am – eight... Read more

December 8, 2022

About a year ago I moved banks. I’d been with the same bank for twenty years and originally chose them because they were ethical. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly – I take my relationships seriously, including those I have with companies! I’d heard lots of good things about a smaller bank which was even more ethical, and so the time was right. The change-over process was mostly smooth but it took a lot of time. I had to... Read more

December 5, 2022

I have a confession to make. As a good Buddhist, I am aware that I should not be attached to anything. I know what the Buddha taught – that attachment leads to suffering. I know that as I release my attachments, I experience more freedom and more happiness. So what is my confession? I am rather fond of money. Okay, very fond indeed. I don’t have a great deal of it compared to many, but I love to go into... Read more

December 1, 2022

A few months ago we took a deep breath and tackled the chaotic boiler room in our flat which had somehow become full to the brim of stuff. There was camping equipment, old art project materials, photograph albums, Christmas decorations and more. I find that once a cupboard is over-full, it becomes easier to walk in with random bags or boxes and think ‘here’s the perfect place to put this…’ After several car journeys to the recycling (and several trips... Read more

November 29, 2022

Do you plan to meditate every day and then struggle to keep going? Do you see meditation as the only way of being a good Buddhist or spiritual practitioner? Read on for a Gentle Buddhism approach to meditation… I have had a regular meditation practice, on and off, for more than twenty years. I began in my early thirties, obeying all the instructions in Suzuki Shunryu’s Beginner’s Mind, even though I struggled to keep my tongue on the roof of... Read more

November 26, 2022

A gang of long-tailed tits are skipping from branch to branch in the magnolia tree. They seem to be feeding on something – insects? – and they dip their heads happily. As they hop around I admire their long narrow stripe of black, their chubby pale breasts, their elegant tails and the splash of bright white on their foreheads. I love how they travel in company. I love their bodies. They are a gift. At the start of our Buddhist... Read more

November 25, 2022

Before I share Ralph’s wisdom with you, there’s something you need to know about him. Our chunky white Shih Tzu is in love with the cardboard tubes inside toilet rolls. When a toilet roll is finished, I shout ‘it’s your lucky day!’ from the bathroom and he comes galumphing in from wherever he was in the house, mouth open, ready to receive his prize. So picture the scene. Ralph is reclining happily on the sofa, his favourite place, on a... Read more

November 24, 2022

This weekend I attended a protest with fellow climate activists in London and since my return I have been swirling with emotion. This has been a mixture of climate grief, re-ignited after spending time with others who are also frightened about the climate crisis, and the usual mess of feelings that accompany activism – frustration, vulnerability, fear, and all the reactions to the hate that activism elicits in members of the public. I am interested in what it means to... Read more

November 22, 2022

Ideally, we would all have space in our diaries to rest, recover and replenish our energy – all those delicious words starting with ‘re’. In real life, many of us are trying not to be crushed by the weight of our schedules and our responsibilities. As a recovering under-rester, let me share some Gentle Buddhism secrets of my own journey towards rest, and give you some advice on how you can start resting today even if your diary is groaning.... Read more

Browse Our Archives