Nature Awareness Update 25th October & Mental Discipline Weeks 25 – 27

25 10 2013

We’ve had a lot of rain recently so I haven’t been able to get out much. Today I went out mid afternoon and it was cloudy but dry. There were a few blue patches in the sky and it was very windy but mild. There are a lot of leaves on the floor now and the Horse Chestnut trees have almost lost all their leaves. Many White Poplar leaves are yellow now too. There are still some blackberries around but they are very small. I noticed some a small holly plant which was probably hidden by all the growth of other plants that have now died back (although I didn’t notice it in the spring). There are also some new nettles around. I heard a few birds singing and saw seagulls and crows circling as the flew up in the wind. There was also a Magpie. Most of the insects, including the spiders are gone now but there were a few Pondskaters and a bee. In the lake there were only 7 swans – I don’t know where the other two have gone.

Mental Discipline

5th October – 11th October

6th October – I did 10 minutes of the Two Powers Meditation at my altar. It went well but visualisation still needs improving.
9th October – I did 10 minutes of the Two Powers Meditation at my altar. It went ok but I slumped so my back hurt and visualisation was very difficult. I prayed to the kindred giving them an offering of incense as well as lighting a candle and praying to Brighid.

12th October – 18th October

17th October – I did 10 minutes of the  Two Powers Meditation at my altar. It went ok but I slumped a lot again as I don’t think I was sitting correctly and found visualisation difficult.  I gave an offering of incense to the kindred and lit a candle to honour Brighid. I’ve decided to try some Buddhist style meditation again rather than Two Powers for a while.

19th October – 25th October

25th October – I meditated for 20 minutes in my nature spot. The time went fast and I felt calm. I enjoyed the wind blowing around me and against me as I sat there still. I changed my routine a little from chanting 1 up to 10 alone to doing that and then counting back down from 10 – 1. I did slouch a lot which i think was because I wasn’t sitting right and my paper I write notes on flew away half way through so I had to sort that out and begin again. My breath slowed when I was meditating but I sometimes felt more tense when it did. I have done some research on mantra meditation and might try some of that this week too.

For more exciting news – I am going to stay at a Buddhist Monastery next weekend so should hopefully be able to reboot my meditation practice and sort out issues I have.





Nature Awareness Update 4th October & Mental Discipline Week 23 + 24

4 10 2013

I went out to the spot in nature early this afternoon. The sky was cloudy although there were a few blue spots. It was very warm and windy. There are still lots of blackberries out but most flowers have died off now. The floor was covered with leaves, and many leaves on the trees have turned yellow (except the horse chestnuts which turn orange or brown), however there are still many green leaves on the trees. The horse chestnut has some large buds appearing on it and the few chestnuts that are left have turned brown. There are still lots of spider webs around and I also saw a few bees and the red dragon fly again. Pond weed is covering the small pond now and is also in the larger pond however there were still quite a few pond skaters in there. There were very few birds in the nature reserve, however on the lake there were seagulls, a heron, 8 swans, 5 coots, some ducks and 6 moorhens. There were also three different types of mushrooms on the grass nearby. It seemed a lot quieter today with a clear sense that things are winding down. There is a lot less activity than there was a month ago. Next week I want to try an experiment by opening myself up to messages from  the Earth Mother and local spirits.

Mental Discipline

21st September – 27th September

21st September – I did 20 minutes meditation at my normal place in nature. I got interrupted twice and my mind kept wandering. i was also distracted by the birds singing. My legs are still a problem as I’m not sure what to do with them when I’m there. But I found my sense of hearing improved and I became more aware of what was going on around me. I felt calm afterwards. Overall I didn’t think it was too good of a session.

25th September – I did the two powers meditation for 10 minutes at home in front of my altar. It went well and the visualisation was a little easier. I also lit a candle and prayed to Brigid.

28th September – 4th October

4th October – I meditated for 20 minutes in the nature spot. My mind kept wandering a lot but I seem to have solved my leg issue by simply keeping my feet flat on the floor. I also seem to breathe faster when my mind wanders and slower once I return to focusing on my breath again. I felt quite calm after.





Nature Awareness Update 25th September & Mental Discipline Week 22

25 09 2013

I went out to my usual nature spot on Sunday as it was the Autumn Equinox. It was 3pm and it was cloudy, but warm with a little wind. There are still lots of blackberries out and some aren’t yet ripe. There were a few bees and wasps as well as spiders in large webs. I also saw two red dragon fly’s, lots of pond skaters and a butterfly. Many leaves on the trees have changed colour to red, yellows and browns now however on some trees most leaves are still green. There were a pair of small birds in a tree and some magpies and sea gulls around. One of the swans is missing but I saw a young adult moorhen too. I’m not sure what happened to the others.

Mental Discipline

14th September  – 20th September

20th September – I did a 10 minute Two Powers meditation in front of my altar. It went well but I felt a bit tense and visualisation is still difficult.





Nature Awareness Update 13th September & Mental Discipline Weeks 19 – 21

13 09 2013
English: Horse chestnut leaves turning brown

English: Horse chestnut leaves turning brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been very bad and not visited my nature spot since the end of August because I have been very busy. Today I went out at 3pm but it was raining a little. There was some wind and light grey clouds covered the sky. The last few days I have had a sense of things changing in nature. The weather has turned, it has become cold enough that I’ve now had to shut the windows in my flat and the number of leaves covering the ground is now noticeable. The leaves on many trees are changing colour and the blackberries are beginning to go over. Many flowers have died off and the plants are turning brown. The horse chestnuts have few green leaves left and the white poplar leaves are beginning to turn yellow. I saw a few bees, a red dragon fly and some large spider webs but there were very few insects around. There were lots of seagulls and I saw a Dunnock but couldn’t see any others (although I heard a few in the trees). It’s really beginning to feel like the earth is dying off again now.

Mental Discipline

24th – 30th August

25th August – I did the two powers meditation for 10 mins in front of my altar. It went well today and i only slouched once. i found visualisation a little easier too and towards the end (when the currents were mixing) I felt warm and could sense extra light (might have been from the sun though). I lit a candle beforehand and prayed the druids prayer as well as a prayer to Brighid, I also lit some incense as an offering.

26th August – I meditated for 20 minutes in the nature spot outside. My legs wouldn’t get comfortable so I had to try different positions but none felt relaxed. It seemed a lot easier to focus but my mind did wander a few times and I got interrupted by someone too. I also had trouble with my back again. Overall it seemed a good session but I need to deal with the comfort issues when I’m sat outside.

31st August – 6th September

1st September – I did two powers meditation for 10 minutes in front of my altar. It went well and visualisation was slightly easier. I also slouched less. I did feel tense as I was imagining the water coming up into me and could sense brighter light as I imagined sky power going into me.

7th September – 13th September

13th September – I did 20 minutes meditation outside in the nature spot. I felt very calm afterwards. The meditation went ok but I had a lot of tension in my feet and my mind kept wandering after about 10 minutes. I had no issues with my back which was good.





Nature Awareness Update & Mental Discipline Week 18

27 08 2013

I went out to the nature conservation area on Monday evening. It was a lovely sunny hot day, with no wind and not a cloud in the sky. There were sounds of crickets, seagulls and a few small birds singing. I saw many insects including butterflies, a pond skater, a red dragon fly and a blue one. There were also many bees and wasps still collecting nectar. The plants are now taller than I am, most of the blackberries are ripe but there are still many not yet ripe. The horse chestnut seeds are very big now and the leaves on those trees are turning brown.

There weren’t many birds around this week. I saw a robin, a wood pigeon and a large raven. There were no moorhens in the ponds today either.

I picked up a piece of rubbish and took it home as an offering because i’m not allowed to leave anything there for the nature spirits.

Mental Discipline

17th August – 23rd August

The good news this time is that I have managed to meditate a lot this week.

17th August – I did a four minute meditation. It was difficult to focus at the beginning and I was interrupted a few times. Otherwise it went well. My hearing senses felt a lot clearer.

18th August – I did a 20 minute meditation outside in the nature spot. The time seemed to drag and I kept slouching. I lost focus quite often but not as much as a few weeks ago.

20th August – I have decided to go back to doing the Two Powers meditations. I did a meditation for 10 minutes in front of the altar. The visualisations are still very difficult but I found it easier to stay focused. It was a good session. I felt calm after and like I had “filled up on power.”

21st August – I did the Two Powers meditation. I felt very hot and tense so I wasn’t breathing properly during the session and I had some chest pain. The visualisations were difficult but I did feel calm afterwards.

22nd August – I did the Two Powers meditation for 10 minutes. I also prayed to Brighid first. I put an extra cushion on my chair after having asked a meditation expert for advice about slouching and he said a strong foundation is key. It did seem to help with slouching a bit. I’m still struggling with visualisation though.





Nature Awareness Update 18th August

18 08 2013
Red Dragon Fly

Red Dragon Fly (Photo credit: philip1120)

I went out at 1pm on Sunday. It was warm, windy and sunny although there were lots of clouds in the sky, some white and others grey.

There were lots of butterflies out this week, they appear to increase in number each week. I also saw a blue one which is new as previously there had only been white or brown ones. There were quite a few bees collecting nectar. On the pond were two pond skaters, a water boatman and a blue dragon fly. Amazingly, there were also three massive red dragon flies, two of which were mating.

There were very few birds around today. I saw one medium size moorhen chick but not the rest of its family. The swans were in the lake with their seven cygnets and there were many sea gulls overhead. I heard what might have been a woodpecker but I couldn’t see it in the trees.

The horse chestnuts have massive fruits on them now and one has dropped a lot of its leaves, with the other leaves have changed over half their colour to red-brown. Earlier in the week I walked past an Oak tree and there were lots of acorns on it which was lovely to see.





Nature Awareness Update 11th August & Mental Discipline Week 14-16

11 08 2013
English: Blackberries

English: Blackberries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t managed to get out to the nature reserve for a few weeks but did manage it this week. I went out on Thursday at 5pm. It was sunny but also windy and quite a few clouds were in the sky. I saw five little ducklings as well as the swans and all seven cygnets which are almost as big as their parents now. I also saw what I think were black headed gulls but they had white heads at the moment.

There were many insects out including lots of bees and wasps, some butterflies and three dragonflies which surprised me because I thought they only lived a few weeks out of water…although it may have been new ones. I could also hear crickets.

There were lots of new plants I didn’t recognise, and almost every plant in the area is now over 5 ft tall. Blackberries and raspberries have been ripe for the last few weeks.

Seagulls were flying over head and I saw a moorhen with two of her chicks. I don’t think the others have survived :(. The chicks are twice their original size now so I’m feeling optimistic about their survival. A female blackbird came close to the moorhen nest and the adult moorhen chased it away.

I was surprised when I got there to see that one of the benches was broken. A man came during the time I was sat there and mended it. I helped him.

Mental Discipline

Week 14, 15 & 16

This is going to be a long bit to cover the last three weeks.

The good news is that having an app on my phone is working and reminding me to meditate, not every day but more than usual.

28th July – I did a meditation inside. I began by saying the Druids Prayer and then meditated for 20 minutes in front of my altar. I have changed it slightly to make the Buddha statue a more central part. My mind kept wandering and was a little fidgety. I was an ok session and I felt peaceful afterwards.

29th July – I have started using a “learn meditation” app on my phone and it begins with three minutes. I did three minutes of meditation today and it went well.

30th July – I did a three minute meditation this afternoon and it went well. I slouched a little but managed to focus for most of the time.

31st July – I did a three minute meditation as part of my lughnasadh ritual. It went well.

4th August – I did a three minute meditation. I found it very hard to focus for more than a few seconds. I think its because I hadn’t done it for a few days.

7th August – I did a four minute meditation. It was hard to focus but I felt calm afterwards,

8th August – I did a 20 minute meditation outside although I was interrupted after the first 10 minutes so it became two 10 minute meditations. It seemed easier that normal but towards the end I kept losing focus. I did feel some changes in consciousness towards the end of the first 10 minutes though. Overall I felt it was a good session.





Nature Awareness Update 19th July & Mental Discipline Week 13

19 07 2013
English: Raspberries (Rubus Idaeus). Français ...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went out at 4.15 on Friday. It was very hot as we are enjoying a long heatwave in Britain this year. There were a few cirrus clouds high in the sky but little wind. When I first got there, I noticed that there were raspberries already ripe. I tried one and it was lovely and sweet. There was a mixture of ripe and unripe ones which is a huge contrast to last year when nothing was ripening at this point.

There were lots of insects around including quite a few white, brown and even blue butterflies, there were also bees, two dragonflies, pondskaters, water boatmen and a spider. The brown bits of the horse chestnut leaves have got bigger and its clear that they are starting to change colour.

There were some birds singing in the trees, a few seagulls flew over and I saw a couple of wood pigeons. I also saw at least three of the baby moorhens and a parent but i’m not sure about the fourth. The older sibling was helping to feed one of them too. The baby coots are adult size now and the baby cygnets are doing well too.

Mental Discipline

13th July to 19th July

I was outside again for my meditation today. I did a meditation focused on my breath. It didn’t go particularly well although I think I was sitting better as I didn’t feel any pain. I did keep slouching and had a lot of trouble avoiding thinking. I still can’t keep my mind clear even for 10 seconds. I also didn’t manage to do even a single day of short meditation so I have now added an app to my phone with a daily reminder to try and help. Overall, I need to improve and do meditation more often.





Nature Awareness Update 12th June & Mental Discipline Week 11 + 12

12 07 2013

Last week I was on holiday so I’m having to do two weeks worth in one. I didn’t manage to get out to my place in nature last week but I was camping and spent a lot of time outside so I reckon that counts.

On Thursday this week I went out, it was very sunny and we’ve been enjoying a lovely heatwave. The sky was blue and there were a few wispy streaks of cirrus clouds. There was a little wind but not much.

There were many seagulls, a few wood pigeons, a swift and some crows. There were also a few house sparrows and dunnocks (I can finally identify these). The brilliant news is that the two moorhens were in the pond….and they have four new baby chicks! The chicks are so small and cuts but they and able to swim and for the most part feed themselves so they are doing better than the last lot. I did ask the spirits and the earth mother to look after them this time and help them all survive. There was another bird which I couldn’t identify (I’m pretty sure it was their previous chick that survived) and it kept coming close but being chased away by the adults.

There were lots of insects around including three pondskaters, a dragon fly, bees, butterflies and lots of spiders webs. The reeds have grown noticeably large and the meadowsweet and purple loose strife are both flowering now but the yellow iris’ have almost all gone over.

As usual, I greeted the earth mother, nature spirits and spirit of the place and thanked them when I left.

Mental Discipline

 

29th June – 5th July

I was on holiday this week so I decided to do a meditation at camp site. I kept getting distracted but did 20 minutes. It didn’t go that well as my back was in pain a little because I wasn’t sat right.

6th July – 12th July

11th July – I did 20 minutes meditation out in the conservation area. I got distracted a few times by the birds and my mind wandered a few times. However I felt very calm afterwards, and during the meditation I felt some feelings of going within or boundaries disappearing. It was a good session and I’m enjoying doing it out in nature. I do feel I should be further ahead at this point in being able to have a clear mind so have decided to try and make the meditations a daily habit by starting off doing just 3 mins a day and building up slowly, but doing longer on the day when I’m out in nature.





Nature Awareness Update 29th June & Mental Discipline Week 10

29 06 2013

swans29thjuneI went out at 5.20pm. It was sunny and warm, with a small amount of wind. The sky started off with big white fluffy clouds but they gradually cleared leaving a beautiful blue sky. There were lots of insects around, especially bees and butterflies. I also saw three of the dragonflies in the bigger pond. There were also many birds – sea gulls, one moorhen (but no chick), some blackbirds, a pied wagtail, a wood pigeon and a swallow. The swans were on the lake with their seven cygnets who are very big now. The coots had their two chicks with them and I also saw three female mallard ducks which is the first time i’ve seen them this year. There was also a duckling :).  There was a heron again and some different ducks which were mostly black but with white chests. The plants were growing strongly still and there were a few new plants I hadn’t noticed before.

Mental Discipline

22nd June – 28th June

I decided to try something different and do some meditation outside in nature. I did 15 minutes with my eyes closed. I’ve decided to do it as part of my time in nature in future by adding some time on to the end of the normal hour I spend out there. I was sat on a flat surface again so I found my back had some pain but when I sat on the edge of the bench it seemed to get better. It was still hard to concentrate and focus though, especially when other people were nearby. The time did go fast though and I felt very calm after. It was a good first attempt.