• Blog

    Perception, proprioception and purpose

    Given the extreme cold of the past few weeks, I am a very reluctant dog walker these days. Living through twenty-four Canadian winters was plenty enough for me; I’m definitely a warm weather gal! Metta has learned to start looking hopeful only once my second cup of masala chai is finished, by which point I have run out of excuses. By the time I head out the door I am wearing about five layers of clothing, which makes it harder to move freely and to gauge my new, temporarily puffier shape.  Muffled into these layers changes the way I perceive my body and how I relate to the world around…

  • Blog

    Mindful relationships, starting with ourselves

    American spiritual teacher and 1960s icon Ram Dass quipped that if you’re arrogant enough to think you’re enlightened, you should spend some time with your family and see how that goes! Our most important relationships are very fertile ground indeed for self-awareness, and many of these close bonds are also our first ones so their roots run deep. Unconscious parenting can lead to unintended negative consequences. I was a very sensitive child and my parents rarely acknowledged my experiences, which were often minimised or dismissed as overly emotional or unimportant because – in retrospect – they were preoccupied with their own thoughts and emotions. The feeling of not being listened…

  • Blog

    Who’s your daddy?

    I recently returned from a very healing month in South India (the adjustment to Brussels has been tough, I’m not gonna lie!). It was great being offline and out of touch for a while because it gave me the chance to focus on myself without distraction, allowing me to get back in touch with my body and what it has been trying to tell me the last couple of years. The past few weeks have also brought me several occasions to reflect on what we collectively and individually give our power to, through things as diverse as gurus and ashrams (more on that in another post), bitcoin, social pressure, business…

  • Blog,  Featured

    Another Big Cycle of Endings and Beginnings

      Following on from its conjunction with Monday’s inspiring new Moon in the last degrees of Sagittarius (December 18th), Saturn moves into a very potent alignment (known as cazimi, the closest possible conjunction) with our Sun in the early hours of Wednesday, December 20th when it enters its home sign of Capricorn, one day before the Sun marks the winter solstice with its own entry into Capricorn on the 21st. Both the Sun and Saturn will be at 0 degrees of Capricorn at the Solstice, which is extremely rare and auspicious as a point of new beginnings. What does any of that mean and why do I care? This is…

  • Blog

    Calm your mind quickly

    3 Steps to Calm your Mind Fast – it’s all in your hands! Most of us are so hyper-stimulated these days it’s hard to stop the compulsive thinking stirred up by the hectic pace of modern life. At times, over-thinking might simply create a minor distraction from what we should be doing, so it’s not such a big deal. But there are other times when the thoughts are endlessly racing and it just feels overwhelming, even leading to anxiety or panic attacks. The thing is, we become less intelligent when we’re stressed – an anxious mind can’t process thoughts clearly and this can lead to making poor choices, or else…

  • Events,  Workshops

    Mindful Living Weekend Retreat

    A chance to (re-)discover the profound simplicity of true mindfulness in a beautiful and natural setting at Radhadesh near Durbuy in the Belgian Ardennes, from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th September. This retreat is open to anyone wanting to explore a deeper understanding of the nature of the mind, compassion and inner peace. Susan’s approach to mindfulness reflects her years of study with Zen Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, putting compassion and deep understanding at the heart of the practice. We will be meeting on Friday in time to enjoy dinner together, with an introductory session afterwards. Saturday and Sunday will both begin with meditation, breathing and postural practice, followed…

  • Blog

    How real is reality, really?

    Several months ago, I suggested it was a good time to embrace uncertainty and let go of everything else. How’s that working for you? A big part of the uncertainty we are challenged to embrace is an allowance for not having things work out as we had wanted. They almost never do, actually, but we notice less when the results are still within a range of things we aspired to. If we look closely, we can see that we often project an outcome or an ideal, then get attached to it, then label it “reality”. But how real is this “reality”? We often confuse our opinions with truth, and this,…

  • Blog

    Equinox and Equilux: finding balance

    Today is the Autumnal Equinox, exact this afternoon (Thursday 22nd, 16:21 in Brussels), at the moment the Sun enters tropical Libra. Technically, this Sunday the 25th – the day of our Open House! – is the day of Equilux, where we have the same amount of light as dark. Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings. ~Jalal ad-Din Rumi (30 September 1207-17 December 1273) Rumi, born with a Libra Sun, is a beautiful embodiment of…

  • Blog

    Turning the corner

    Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace. ~Bhagavad Gita, 12:12 Non-attachment is one of the principal teachings of all ancient wisdom traditions, and allows us to remain in the flow of life where the only constant is change. Called aparigraha in Sanskrit, it is the fifth of the five Yama, or observances, in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. It’s a profound concept, but essentially it means taking only what we need, keeping only what is necessary in the moment, and – most importantly – letting go when the time is right! This is…