Tag Archives: Mindfulness


I confess I woke up at 5 o’clock this morning worrying about bindweed. It was an awful moment last night when I saw it. All spring and early summer I have waged a quiet war against my bindweed foe, and was confident of winning. But then last night I looked out from an upstairs window and realised for the first time the full horror. The shoots and roots I had been patiently defeating were only the small advance guard; over the fence, high above in the hedgerows, it was amassing armies, leaves spreading to the horizon, their first grappling hooks beginning to descend. I swear someone was playing the soundtrack to the shower scene in The Shining as I looked and took it slowly in. I was outnumbered, outflanked, and doomed.

It had even come up in my mindfulness classes: someone had used gardening, and the gardener worrying about weeds but not enjoying the flowers, as a metaphor for living life in a particular way. I nodded sagely: I will enjoy my garden more, I said to myself, taking it rather literally, I will not worry so much about the weeds. But the practical problem is that a small garden in a rural village, with fertile soil and high rainfall, is under permanent assault: if you pay no attention to weeds, you will soon only have weeds to enjoy. After a few years of necessary neglect for other things, my poor garden is run amuck with weeds, and needs some stern attention.

But even I can see that waking at 5 o’clock in the morning is taking it far too far.


I have just started an evening course on mindfulness. This is a contination course: level 2. I took my first course in mindfulnesss two and a half years ago and the impact has been immense, and far-reaching. Returning for this course is partly to refresh what I learnt then, and to travel deeper.

How can I describe the importance of mindfulness in my life? It is hard to remember how it felt before I attended that first course. My daughter was in hospital, my family life was in chaos, I was barely in work. None of this was changed by mindfulness: at the end of that eight week course my daughter was still in hospital, it was still a battle to do something as simple as get to work, or attend a parents evening at school. But I was coping, I was making sense out my predicament, and I was starting to move forwards.

Two and a half years and a huge amount of lived experience later, I still use my mindfulness techniques every single day. I don’t always use them consciously (one reason I wanted to attend this course) but they are woven into my response to life. My family still lurches from crisis to crisis – I can’t alter that – but I don’t forget to breathe.

I can imagine that for a number of people, mindfulness is rather repellant. It can look terribly like a cult. My original course was run by buddhists at the Buddhist Centre and I know that for many people this is too unfamiliar, too alien, too weird. But although the connection to buddhism is not accidental, mindfulness is not a religion, it is not a challenge to religion. There is no need to sign up to a particular world view, to take part in religious services, or to feel reverence for particular things. It is a technique, a skill like swimming. It is as if mosques had a special relationship with swimming pools, and you had to track down an iman if you wanted to learn how to swim.

"A NEW NORMAL" by Celenia Delsol (c) 2021

M.A. Counseling Psychology & Grief Recovery Specialist

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