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  3. For a number of years in the early 2000s I read hundreds of self-help books. Literally hundreds. I trained as a Stress Consultant, and qualified as an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) practitioner. I even considered training to be a therapist and councillor. But in truth, looking back now, I was completely missing, or unconsciously ignoring, what I needed to do, and that was to go and see a therapist myself. In the end I did and our year together was a gift that helped me to clear the fugue my mind had entered into. My therapist was trained in Transactional Analysis (TA) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), both amazing ways to help an air head like me to understand what might be going on in this lump of meat in my head. It’s amazing the little tricks our minds can play on us, self-talk suggesting how just sitting down and talking to a stranger could possibly help the way I’m feeling, but that self-sabotage can be paralysing, and make a step towards real change take some time. Even when we plant our backsides on the couch and begin to talk there can be some resistance – I felt that too – but I knew something was not right and, over time, I began to feel the difference. It still amazes me, that the simple act of expressing our feelings out loud, in words, can make such a difference. But it does. One of the things I noticed in those self-help books was the idea that happiness is the ultimate quest of life. Nearly two decades later and I’m really not sure that’s the case. It seems to me that the human world, and life in general, is a roller coaster ride of emotion, and that maybe having happiness as the bench mark of how our lives are progressing is actually damaging. Just as looking at Instagram feed photos suggest that everything in the lives of those we follow are simply peachy is a huge distortion of the reality of life (including theirs), so the endless search for continued happiness can be exhausting. Maybe happiness isn’t the aim of life at all. In fact making it the benchmark of the perfect life can make things much worse. Maybe life is about finding meaning. Finding meaning can be much more sustainable than the endless search for happiness. Many of us can find meaning in simple things such as watching the sunrise on a new day, or the flight of a gull, the sound of birdsong right now outside my window announcing the arrival of Spring. The smell of decaying leaves in the Autumn, the way that a song or piece of music makes us feel. The company of friends and the connection with our family. So many things can add meaning to our lives. Obviously another is a spiritual practice like meditation or walking the land on pilgrimage. Making the decision to look after your body by making better choices of food and drink. The list is endless. And guess what – a life lived with meaning can open the doors to that illusive happiness so many seek. Not that happiness should necessarily be the goal of finding meaning. If that happens we can find ourselves back at square one once more, feeling unfulfilled and down. Don’t get me wrong, happiness is great. I love a good laugh, and the feeling that everything is just right, and all is good. The thing I’ve found is that it just doesn’t last. As the great sages say, Shit Happens. Things bring us down, sometimes with a big heavy bump. I’ve heard some people say things like life gets in the way. And this may be another problem. If all of the things that get in the way are seen as life, then all of the things that make us feel good, well, what are they? Isn’t it all just life? So here’s a thought to end with. What are the things that bring meaning into your life? Let’s talk meaning and purpose and see if those things ultimately bring us more balance, perspective, and in the end, happiness. View the full article
  4. When the Pagan community comes together with an open heart amazing things can happen. I have witnessed it at the OBOD Summer and Winter Gatherings in Glastonbury each year, at many Pagan gatherings around the world, and I felt it again this past weekend at the Pagan Federation Devon and Cornwall conference. I have been going to the PF D and C conference since it was in a tiny little pub on the high street of Tintagel in February 2000 and have played my music there at pretty much every one since (apart from the one when I cracked a rib just days before, chasing Oscar around the garden and slipping on some wet decking…). As some of you may know I was born in Cornwall, so a chance to go back each year and spend time with friends in a place I love is a gift to me. This weekend was their 20th Anniversary event with speakers including Julian Vayne, Penny Billington, Marian Green, Suzanne Rance and Professor Ronald Hutton. Most of the speakers’ talks were about Paganism, the changes over the past 20 years, and where it could be going. Absolutely fascinating perspectives on my beloved Path. There was also a panel on which I sat as we answered questions from the audience. A Gemini’s dream quite frankly. The more challenging the question the better, with no time to think. I loved it. There is literally so much to write about but I will focus on just one thing in this article. During the panel the question was asked, “What is one thing or moment that changed Paganism over the past 20 years?” I wasn’t the first to answer so had a little time to consider it, as it wasn’t something I had been asked before. Some answers included the affect the reverence to the Goddess has done for women and feminism, another answer was the influence of the internet, but there, right next to me, was Ronald Hutton. I had my answer. Of course there have been many important changes over the last 20 years, but what I said was that there was one book, that was written by the gentleman sitting next to me that changed almost everything, and that was his book Triumph of the Moon. It seemed to me before that book was published the dominant story was the one written by Margaret Murray, of the surviving Witch cult, and the 6,000,000 Witches put to death during the Burning Times. But here was a book that put all of that into context. It took us through 200 or so years of story that could be traced with some kind of historical accuracy. It looked at the people involved in the birth of Wicca, and it came to pass that what many had said was an ancient surviving religion, was actually something that had taken its inspiration from the past, but was actually about 50 years old. Ok. This did not go down well with some, and the response to the book was, shall we say, not entirely 100% positive. But time moves on, and over the years more books have been written by modern historians looking directly at the path modern Paganism, including Druidry, has taken. Years later that moment, when Triumph of the Moon was published seems to me like a watershed moment. When we were given the permission to take off the burden of trying to find ancient, unbroken, authenticity, and accept that we were here, right at the very beginning of something miraculous and wonderful. Modern Paganism is not the result of unbroken ancient lineage, it is the result of the needs of people to reconnect directly to the Earth, to rediscover their stories, to see the sacred in the falling rain, the sunrise, the river, and hill. A path that speaks directly to the soul with no need for an intermediary clergy. I find that all so exciting. One day, unless we do something particularly stupid, we will be the ancestors. In 3000 years time we will be the ancient ancestors, and the people who were there at the beginning of what will by then be an ancient spirituality. Crikey! We hold it in our hands. It’s fragile, and beautiful. Maybe like an egg that is yet to hatch we hold it, incubating it, to pass on to future generations who will then take it further. Apparently, after Christianity was founded it took at least 200 years of debating, arguing, falling out, making up, exploring, to find any kind of coherence and direction. If modern Paganism is indeed only 60 or so years old, then we are in that same position as those early Christians. What an exciting time to be alive! View the full article
  5. Dice have a very long history as oracles; they were prominent in ancient Greece and Rome, and popular again in medieval Europe. But, when you try a dice oracle for the first time, you will notice a big difference from other forms of divination (such as the tarot). So why use them? Here, Elemental Divination author Stephen Ball illustrates his new dice oracle, exploring its ease of use and breadth of wisdom. View the full article
  6. Earlier
  7. Altar box finally arrived. 

    1. Ellinas


      Ah - things are developing...

  8. Arrived at the Devon and Cornwall Pagan Federation conference in Bude and getting ready for the bar and quiz. I'm rubbish at trivia so am gonna be a handicap rather than an asset. If there are any questions on football or soaps,  I'll be stuffed :o_confused:

    If you're here too, come and say hello. I'm the bloke in the black Harger Vor - Rough Seas Cornwall hoody. :smile:

    1. Veys


      Have a great time MG :o_beer:

    2. Veys


      Hope you are having a good time MG. Any chance of a blog entry on the conference?  I've never been to one but am very nosey! :o_bounce2:

    3. Moorguide


      Hi Veys and Nappadog 

      I've just popped to my chelet for a breather and a quick change, after a wonderful Shamanic ritual from a local moot and a very energetic spiral dance with pipers, around the venue, to end the day. I'll keep the rest for blog Veys. I didnt take any photos, to respect the anonymity of others. :ph34r: some fantastic and motivational speakers, non the less. 

      I've spent shit loads of money, bought two amazing wands (different properties and purposes - think tree ogham) ,several books oh! and I've ordered a cloak from Avalon Cloaks in Glastonbury. 

      You guys would love it. Next year's is on Saturday 9th March. 

      Off for dinner and a good old shin dig. Ta Ta 


  9. Ahhh, rain outside, fire burning away, a glass of red, and a cwtch from a dog..... Blissssss!:coz_magicfingers:

  10. We are thrilled to announce that Loreena is about to release her first recording of original songs since her 2006 recording An Ancient Muse. Her new album, Lost Souls, is set for international release on May 11, 2018. You can hear “A Hundred Wishes” our next instant gratification track NOW on all music services and from our website. [The first single, “Breaking of the Sword” was released for Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) in November of 2017 and can also be heard on all music services and our website.] Over the months of April and May, we will continue to reveal a few more tracks culminating, with a full album experience in early May. International touring plans for 2018/2019 will also be announced in the coming months. As a member of the LM Community you will be the first to be informed of tours and exclusive pre-sale opportunities. This long-awaited and eagerly anticipated album is a rich and eclectic tapestry of songs woven with influences from the Celts to the Bedouins, stitched with the sounds of a diverse and exotic collection of musical voices, including the nyckelharpa, oud, kanoun, flamenco guitar and a Canadian military band. “Although Lost Souls does not follow the next chapter in my pursuit of the history of the Celts, it has been gratifying to complete a selection of songs on which I’ve been working on for some time” says Loreena. “Life has been so full and demanding these past ten years – both personally and professionally it was also gratifying to get back to the creative part of the process.” There are nine songs on the new album. Several were begun by Loreena some time ago, while others have been progressively taking shape in the midst of more recent projects and journeys. A few draw on the poetry of John Keats and W.B. Yeats, while another evokes a distinct Middle Eastern flavour. The album will be available as a CD, 180-gram vinyl record, and through all music services including iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify. Pre-orders and pre-saving (for streaming services) begin Friday March 9th. The CD and vinyl record are bothavailable for pre-order from a number of preferred retailers. The album was recorded from May through October 2017 in Hamilton, Canada at Catherine North Studios and at Peter Gabriel’s Read World Studios near Bath, in South West England. It features Loreena on vocals, piano, keyboard, accordion and harp, accompanied by her core group of fellow musicians, many of whom you know: Brian Hughes on guitars, bazouki and synth, Caroline Lavelle on cello and concertina, Hugh Marsh on violin, and Dudley Phillips on acoustic and electric bass. Engineered by Yossi Shakked, Stuart Bruce and Jeff Wolpert, lost souls was mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios. The album package was designed by Jeri Heiden, of Smog Design, Inc. The album also features such specialty artists as Robert Brian and Tal Bergman (Drums), Hossam Ramsey, Graham Hargrove and Rick Lazar (Percussion), Nigel Eaton (Hurdy Gurdy), Panos Dimitrakopoulos (Kanoun), Sokratis Sinopoulos (Lyra), Haig Yazdjian (Oud), Ana Alcaide (Nyckelharpa), Daniel Casares (Flamenco Guitars) and Miguel Ortiz Ruvira (Flamenco Percussion). The post New Album Set for Release May 11th! appeared first on Loreena McKennitt. View the full article
  11. Withstanding work and very much looking forward to the weekend.  Not only because the wife and I are off for a very rare night out with friends.

    1. Veys


      As a fellow Tufty Club member in infant school, have a great weekend, and look both ways before crossing any roads :biggrin:

    2. NorseNephilim


      I always do... ;)

      Though we are going out to drink whisky and smoke cigars.  So I might not be quite so diligent on the way home. ;)

  12. Bleeding postal service. I want the things for my altar! 

  13. Sacrifice

    Ooh, you, you, you religionist you...! Pardon me while I take a few moments to lie down in a darkened room... Right... Lifestyle as a sacrifice could be an interesting line to take. But, it strikes me that it needs to have a "handle with care" warning, That way, potentially, lies some fairly strict asceticism. And, whilst each to his own, asceticism is something with which I have little personal sympathy. What it could mean (handled with care) is a life that is attuned to one's concept of honouring deity. Arguably, a medical career, or having a good laugh whilst manning the counter in a charity shop, or just buying a coffee for someone in distress, are all examples along the way of a life lived in this way. However, it's hardly the dictionary definition of sacrifice. Anyone got a chicken and a sharp knife?
  14. Sad day today, learnt that a close school friend Jon (AKA Boggy) died  at the weekend from a severe coronary episode. It's a sobering thought,  when one's childhood compadres begin to move off this plane.

    We are lucky down this way, we have several woodland burial sites and Pagan funeral services. Not getting morbid, just refocusing my mind and priorities.

    To Boggy!  :o_beer:

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. anankesong


      Sorry for your loss. If you would like I'll light a candle for them. 

    3. Moorguide


      Many thanks, you lovely people,  for your kind words of support. It is greatly appreciated.

      The funeral will follow ritual that is closely aligned with the Roman Catholic faith, I'm led to believe.  That's going to be interesting. 

      I'm looking forward to the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Pagan conference at the weekend, in Bude. Come and give me a nudge, if you're planning to go. 

      Once again, thanks folks



    4. deebs
  15. I’ve decided to do reviews of books, music, films etc that might be of interest to readers and today is day one. Science and Spiritual Practices by Rupert Sheldrake From the inside cover: Dr Rupert Sheldrake is an internationally acclaimed biologist and author of more than 85 scientific papers and 11 books, including The Science Delusion (Science Set Free in the US). As a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, he was Director of Studies in cell biology and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. He worked in India for five years at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), where he was Principal Plant Physiologist. From 2005 to 2010, he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project for research on unexplained human and animal abilities, and funded by Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Neotic Sciences, Petaluma, California, and a Fellow of Schumacher College in Devon. Quite a resume. I was made aware of this book while listening to Russell Brand interview Sheldrake on his excellent podcast Under the Skin. It’s obvious that, particularly in some areas of the scientific community, Rupert Sheldrake is quite a controversial character. In 2013 he gave a TED talk where he outlined some of his book The Science Delusion. In his talk, Sheldrake stated that modern science rests on ten dogmas which “fall apart” upon examination. This talk obviously didn’t go down well with some members of the scientific community who recommended that the talk “should not be distributed without being framed with caution”. The video of the talk was moved from the TEDx YouTube channel to the TED blog accompanied by the framing language called for by the advisors. The move and framing prompted accusations of censorship, to which TED responded by saying the accusations were “simply not true” and that Sheldrake’s talk was “up on our website”. All very interesting, and puts the relationship between Sheldrake and some areas of the scientific community rather at odds, but this is a book review, so what about the book? Sheldrake makes the point that science helps to validate seven practices upon which all religions are built. These are: Meditation. Gratitude. Connecting with Nature. Relating to plants. Rituals. Singing and chanting. Pilgrimage and Holy places. Now I am obviously going to read this book through my own filters and ask whether these seven practices are not only present in modern Paganism and Druidry, but how they influence Paganism as a whole. I wrote an article about meditation before I even bought the book, and then his chapter on gratitude inspired another post last week. As I read the book I found myself very often nodding in agreement. Let’s look at a some of the points he raises. Meditation – The practice of Meditation is undergoing a huge renaissance right now with the Mindfulness movement, and there can be little disagreement that the practice of meditation can offer huge health benefits, for the body as well as the mind. Gratitude – Yes, people who feel grateful for what they have, sometimes when it is very little indeed, are often more content and happier than those who have an attitude of privilege, or who don’t have a sense of gratitude. Over the years, particularly when I was a Director of my own company, I have seen that people who expect to be treated in a certain way, or feel they are somehow more important/superior than others because of their job or their money, can sometimes be more angry, quick tempered, and generally unpleasant to be around, than those who are grateful for their lot, regardless of what that lot is. Sheldrake backs each of these chapters up with scientific research, but also looks at how some of these practices can be used by capitalism, such as the huge market for Mindfulness right now, and the way that companies can use psychological manipulation with its employees, particularly gratefulness, because a grateful workforce is a happy workforce, and, well, the company will make more money. Reconnecting with Nature – A chapter that obviously speaks directly to the Pagan heart. In a section titled benefits of exposure to more than human nature Sheldrake says: The effects of exposure to the natural world have been studied scientifically. According to a recent summary of this research, nature improves mental health – people are less depressed when they have better access to green spaces. The beneficial effect is not just a matter of physical exercise, although that is part of the picture. There is something about a natural environment that improves peoples’ well-being… Put simply, being in nature feels good. During this chapter he lists evidence, time and time again, that the very act of simply being within a natural environment (ie, not a human city, town or village) brings people peace, healing, health, and vitality. I’m sure this is something every Pagan, actually not just Pagan, everyone reading this can agree with. And that is how I felt about all of this book. All seven of the points he raises not only made sense, but are also backed up with scientific research and evidence. Paganism is obviously another ‘religion’ that utilises all seven of these practices, and it utilises them really well. From the connection with the Natural World it encourages, to the Wheel of the Year and getting out there to conduct that very practice in another of the seven listed in the form of ritual. Singing and chanting around campfires, or at concerts given by Pagan musicians, rituals of initiation and rites of passage are an integral part of group and solitary Pagan practice, and Pilgrimage to sites such as stone circles on lonely moors, to passage graves like Weyland’s Smithy, to towns like Glastonbury, lakes like Llyn Tegid, and mountains such as Dinas Emrys, all call deeply to the Pagan soul, and I’m sure there are countless other sites all around the world, each calling Pagans to their shores and hills. Rupert Sheldrake obviously has an axe to grind against some of the materialist/reductionist/atheist scientists out there, and it seems that axe is equally sharp and pointed back at him from them. At no point does Sheldrake go off on a rant through. He does make points that, for instance, one of the reasons some materialist scientists want to see the back of religions, is all of the wars that have been responsible because of them. But he goes on to says that: The most destructive system of all was the atheist ideology of communism, as in the Soviet union under Stalin, Communist China under Mao and Cambodia under Pol Pot. By Conservative estimates, the death toll in the Soviet Union under Stalin was about 20 million people, with a further 20 million soldiers and civilians killed in the Second World War. In China under Mao there were 40 to 70,000,000 deaths as a result of his policies. In Cambodia and Pol Pot about 2 million people perished, around a quarter of the population. No nation, no religion, no ideology, and no commercial system comes out well from a close examination of its history. All human institutions are fallible. I get that, but I’m pretty sure the total death-toll of so-called religious wars would still be higher. Would getting rid of religion stop that? I’m not so sure. Sadly I feel that us humans would simply find something else to fight about. The book reads in a very balanced, pro science, pro spirituality, way. Which is exactly how I feel. I love science, and I love most of the technological advances humans have made. I also love spirituality and my Paganism. The chapters that deal with Panpsychism really gave me a huge Bill and Ted Whoa! moment. I wrote about that just after hearing the podcast here. This really was a thought-provoking read, backed up by re-inforcing my already held opinion, that Paganism and Druidry is already doing a lot of things well. Highly Recommended. View the full article
  16. Sacrifice

    He he. I might just! Yes I think in many ways sacrifice does work to our own gratification. And virtue often is its own reward. I don't think that really takes away from the effort though. If you do something for the good of others it doesn't necessarily have to mean you have to suffer for it for it to be worth something. i think it's probably worth remembering to check with ourselves the reasons behind doing something. If we are doing something for selfish reasons we should just admit that or that part of it.
  17. Sacrifice

    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/sacrifice Sorry for this ^^^^^^^ but it reflects both definition and common usage. A friend, a wooden flute maker, would only throw his best flute onto a campfire rather than anything that he thought inferior. In terms of time and effort it beats my tune. I have no gauge as to effect.
  18. Sacrifice

    Sacrifice is, ultimately, a form of gift, nothing more or less. A gift generally involves some form of expense to the giver. Expense above the norm? Why? I suppose the level of the expense may be linked to the purpose of the gift - just like you may spend more for someone's golden wedding anniversary than for yet another pair of Christmas socks,
  19. So excited for my altar! 

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. anankesong


      You do indeed 

    3. Ellinas


      Now you are getting me excited as well... :o_bounce3:

    4. anankesong


      I am still waiting for the things to arrive. The post was all messed up because of the snow. 

  20. Sacrifice

    When you think that the word means “to make holy” then it really doesn’t matter whether it costs you anything. However the word has come to mean giving up something that is important to you and that’s the meaning I tend to ascribe to it. So I give up something that is of value: time, money, effort...
  21. Sacrifice

    A thought. I have described my statement of gratitude expressed in a tune but is it a sacrifice? It's something that I do frequently and for pleasure in any case. Its a way that I naturally express myself. Sometimes I focus on gratitude while I'm doing it. Shouldn't sacrifice require an effort above the norm, an expenditure that goes beyond the usually affordable, an emotional or physical effort? Or am I off that particular hook?
  22. In the words of Pink Floyd...." Home, home again,I like to be here when I can, when I get home cold and tired it's good to warm my bones besides the fire..."

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. Moorguide


      How's the arm ND? Hope all is well. 

    3. nappadog


      Yea thanks MG , everything is fine arms still quite bad(think it's goosed and will probably need operating on)but just working stupid hours this last week I'm refurbing a shop and the jobs behind due to a few things out of my control so just trying to reel it in a bit ...... normal service will soon be resumed..... hope all's well with you after your recent loss .... thanks again MG 

    4. Moorguide


      Yeah, all good here. Decided not to attend Boggy’s funeral. His family are very Catholic and not anything like Boggy at all. I would be guaranteed to get into an argument, so best to respect his passing in my own way. 

      Off to the PF Bude conference this weekend so much ale and dancing is on the cards. 

      Sorry to be hear  about the ongoing problems with your arm ND. These things often come back round and bite us in the ass. 

      I'll fill you in on the conference and will try and get round to updating my blog! 

      Pace yourself :o_beer:


  23. Sacrifice

    Something offered to the gods, wights or ancestors. 'A gift for a gift' as we Heathens say. :) If I want something, then I will give something in return. However, I often offer something simply to show appreciation, without asking for anything in return. Me I ask. You know: "do you want a coffee? Or do you prefer tea? or can I get you something else?" sort of thing.
  24. When you get to write about something you love. 

  25. Sacrifice

    I feel gratitude several times a day and simply say "thank you". The simple fact of being able to do some things makes me grateful as can a view or an experience. Where I feel the need to make a special gesture, a sacrifice in the broadest sense of the word, I do so in a tune. The advantage [to me] in that form of statement is that every time I play in free pentatonic mode the tune is new, unique. Veggie, you are suggesting that lifestyle can be a sacrifice. I like the idea that life itself can be, to some extent, a sacrificial dedication. [Don't tell Ellinas or you'll find yourself with a religion ] In parallel to the old saw: virtue is its own reward, does a sacrifice, in part, work to our own gratification?
  26. Sacrifice

    I have made small offerings in a similar way to Fortuna as a simple expression of gratitude. I have left small gifts in places that seem significant, sometimes the urge to do it is mixed up with wanting help or luck with something but I don't tend to ask anyone particular for something just pour some of how I'm feeling and mixed up thoughts into the leaving of the gift. sacrifice in the more modern sense of giving something up I do regularly to try help the environment and live in harmony with the earth (that's the main moral in my personal religion) things like being vegetarian, walking instead of getting a lift, making do and mending rather than buying new, the kinds of cleaning products I use, spending money on vats of bird food. No pesticides: Sacrificing my plants to catapillars and snails because my priority is making a space for wildlife in the garden.
  27. Sacrifice

    Depends on or way of doing things. I suppose. Given I do things pretty informally, I suppose to very little extent.
  28. I’m currently reading Rupert Sheldrake’s Science and Spiritual Practices and one of things I’ll be doing more here on the blog is book and music reviews, so expect a full review in the next couple of weeks. In the mean time the book has inspired me to look at the topics it covers from a modern Druid perspective. There are seven topics covered in the book, the first being meditation, which I recently wrote about here, the next is gratitude. It was many years ago now. I still remember taking part in one of my first interfaith conferences. The talks were interesting, and there had been some very thought-provoking theological discussions, but eventually it became time for lunch. We all queued (as is the divine-given right of all Brits) and eventually sat down together to eat. Everyone immediately tucked in to the jacket potatoes we had chosen. All except for one Christian priest. I watched him pause for just a moment or two, eyes closed, obviously saying Grace in quiet contemplation of the food he was about to receive. It touched me deeply. I looked around and everyone else, all of the Pagans, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, everyone, was all eating and chatting, oblivious to that small moment of gratitude. It was obviously done is a regular practice. It didn’t come across as holier-than-though, and at no point did he look around to see if anyone had been watching. It was a beautiful, honest, moment where a human being acknowledged their gratitude for the life-sustaining food he was about to eat. In the section of Rupert’s book he makes this observation – when we go to a restaurant the consumption of food has become more about a financial exchange. We sit down, chose from a menu, and place our order. When it comes to the table we expect it to be well-cooked, attractive, smell delicious, and to be exactly what we ordered. The food is about enjoyment, and coming up to expectations. If that food happens to be an eight ounce rib-eye it needs to have been cooked to our requirements. The fact that we are paying good money for this meal is one of the over-riding elements. Not the fact that we are eating what was a living being, or that this experience is such a privilege when compared to many areas of this very same planet, where many are starving. No. It’s all about value for money and getting the service we require. Now, there might be many reading this who may be thinking, well, that’s not what I feel or do, but you can’t deny that it’s what seems to be the norm. The western capitalist sense of privilege over-rides the sense of gratitude. I’ll be honest. I’ve done it. And sometimes it takes reading a chapter in a book to remind me how much I can take for granted something so essential, so primal and a part of being alive. I’m making the promise to reset, to remember the actions of that priest all those years ago, and to take a moment each time before I eat, to give thanks for the food that sustains me. I’ll add this to my morning daily practice, and my daily meditations, which are already making such a difference to my life. If you already do this, hats off to you. If you don’t, maybe you’d like to join me? But of course gratitude doesn’t stop with our food. There is our health, family, friends, job, where we live, the music we listen to, our very breath, wild nights out and calm peaceful moments of contemplation. Like meditation, moments of active gratitude can help with our moods, our well-being, our health. When things are so weird in the world it might sound odd to suggest that taking moments of gratitude can help us to be more positive, but it’s probably because of those things that we really need to seek out and remember what we are grateful for right now. From the sun rising every day, to the glass of clean water we drink, there is still plenty to be grateful for. And I am grateful for you for taking the time to read this article. Let’s be grateful together. View the full article
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