Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mindfulness - A Sunday Sermon

This is Mull from Iona, taken years ago on one of our best holidays. That day has gone into memory as  perfect in every imaginable way, full of fresh and beautiful experiences. Minutes before I took this picture, with a very old battered SLR, hence the scratches, we heard a corncrake in the long grass by Iona Abbey. You rarely see them, but their call is unmistakable. Earlier in the day we had taken a boat to Staffa, glorious island of Fingal's Cave fame, and sat on the grassy cliff top accompanied by puffins, possibly the bird least frightened by humans, watching kittiwakes and skua swirl around. The boatman was the tourist's idea of  'a character'', a charmer who appeared not to have a care in the world, but actually had lost his son in that tragic drowning of three youngsters in the channel between Mull and Iona the previous Hogmanay I think. His manner, gentility and humour were impressive, even if you'd not known his history which we only found out later of course. So, all in all a day that touched many depths of emotion.

If you click on the heading to this blog, you will get to a video of a Sunday Sermon we attended run by The School of Life. It was given by Professor Mark Williams, one of this country's leading research scientists into the benefits of Mindfulness. If you can spend the time to listen right through you may be able to see why we appreciated the talk. And you may wonder what the connection is between our idyll on Mull and his wise words.

On the face of it, they are not linked, but actually one of the reasons that day was so special was that the whole time I was 'in the moment', relishing how I felt, what I could hear and see, the colours, all those qualities which attracted the Scottish Colourists, without for one moment thinking of the past or future. This is Mindfulness - living in that moment entirely. It should be approached openly, lightly, gently, with acceptance and awareness, and then you'll get more than you bargained for.

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