23 October 2017

Classic-self-help-and-Mind-Body-Medicine-books-you-may-want-to-seek-out-and-read

Remember the good old days when books were books and readers took time to leaf through them. Nothing against electronics; just that many early self-help and Mind-Body Medicine books have been forgotten or neglected, despite being genuine classics. Simple in concepts, easy to apply; well worth reading and learning from.

So this week an extensive list of early classics with brief summaries. Happy hunting as many may only be available second hand, but first

           Thought for the day

                    What you are 
                    Is what you have been,

                   What you will be 
                   Is what you do now.

                                  The Buddha


BOOKS
Great books are nice to have on the shelf and dip into from time to time. And the fact is, books provide a wonderful, ongoing sense of direction, inspiration and support. What is noticeable is the fact that many books that were early in their field set out the key concepts, the most important techniques and being written as if addressing beginners, are easy to comprehend.

Once fields like personal development, self-help and Mind-Body Medicine have been developed, authors seem to think they need to get complicated – both to say something new and perhaps to impress. As a result… harder to comprehend, more complicated techniques, sometimes even miss the key points.

So here is a collection of books from the early days – the 70s and 80s that I value, those marked with an * being favourites. Enjoy!


Meditation

Arya, R.A., Superconscious Meditation, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, Himalayan International Institute of Yoga, Science and Philosophy of the U.S.A., 1977
Meditation manual based on traditional Yoga texts, presenting a good range of specific techniques.

Arya, U., Meditation and the Art of Dying, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the U.S.A., 1979.
Combination of ancient Indian Wisdom and Philosophy and modern Western understandings—examines who we are and what is the meaning of life and death.

Bailey, A., From Intellect to Intuition, New York, Lucis Publishing Company, 1970.
The five stages of concentration, meditation, contemplation, illumination, inspiration explained. A means of seeking a direct spiritual reality. One of a series of valuable esoteric books; not easy to comprehend at first.

Bailey, A., Letters on Occult Meditation, New York, Lucis Publishing Company, 1970.
Explains mental techniques aimed at achieving specific results—either intense mental activity or stillness.

* Benson, H., Beyond the Relaxation Response, London, Collins, 1984.
Dr. Benson is a Harvard cardiologist. He travelled to Nepal to study Buddhist meditators and evaluate the physiological changes they can induce. He introduces the ‘Faith Factor’, as making the greatest difference.



Benson, H., The Relaxation Response, London, Collins, 1975.

A contemporary of Ainslie Meares, the American Benson examines the effects of stress on our bodies, the use of meditation through the ages and scientific validation of its effects.

Focuses on the benefits of meditation for heart patients but highly relevant and interesting for anyone keen on meditation.




Besant, A., Esoteric Christianity, Adyar, Madras, The Theosophical Publishing House, 1901.
A mystical examination of the essence of Christianity.

* Brunton, P., The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga, York Beach, Maine, Weiser, 1941.
One of Paul Brunton’s many excellent books, all worth reading. This one examines the difference between feeling or believing, and knowing, and how to make the transition. Dwells on the great question, Who Am I?

* Cade, C. and Coxhead, N., The Awakened Mind, Hounslow, Middlesex, Wildwood House, 1979.
An excellent pioneering text in biofeedback and the scientific investigation of meditation with EEGs.

Chogyam, Trungpa, Meditation in Action, California, Shambhala, 1969.
An excellent introduction to the practical approach to meditation of the ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition, in a not so easy but modern style. First book on meditation I ever read :)

* Clynes, M., Sentics — The Touch of the Emotions, Garden City, New York, Anchor Press Doubleday, 1978.
A revolution in understanding how we experience and communicate emotion, with a practical meditative method of clearing, stabilising and enhancing emotional responses.

Drury, N. (ed.), Inner Health, Sydney, Harper & Row, 1985.
Health benefits of relaxation, meditation and visualisation, with one chapter by Ian Gawler.

Geshe, R. and Geshe, D., Advice from a Spiritual Friend, London, Wisdom Publications, 1977.
Shows how, by gradually changing our attitudes to ourselves and others, we can quite literally learn to be happy and content in any situation.  Focuses on loving kindness, compassion and wisdom.

* Goldstein, J., The Experience of Insight, U.S.A., Shambhala, 1976.
An excellent guide to Buddhist meditation techniques and philosophies as given at a 30-day retreat. This is the Vipassana style of meditation.



Griffiths, B., Return to the Centre, Collins Paperbacks, 1976.

A series of insightful essays or meditations on the Christian faith from this inspiring Benedictine monk.

Father Bede established and lived in a South Indian ashram that blended Christian and Hindu philosophy and practices.



Humphreys, C., Zen Buddhism, London, Unwin, 1949.
An excellent presentation of Zen by the man who is renowned as probably the West’s greatest early exponent of Buddhism. One of his many worthwhile books.

Le Shan, L., How to Meditate, New York, Bantam, 1974.
A famous psychotherapist’s simple, straightforward approach to the many paths into meditation. Highly recommended.

Long, M.F., Growing Into Light, Marina Del Rey, California, de Vorss,1955.
One of Long’s excellent books on the beliefs of the ancient Huna people of Hawaii. Examines the traditional use of spiritual and mind power.

* McDonald, K., How to Meditate, London, Wisdom Publications, 1984.
Remains as one of the very best introductions to the many useful meditation practices of Tibetan Buddhism by a very lucid, California-born, Buddhist nun.

McKinnon, P., In Stillness Conquer Fear, Blackburn, Victoria, Dove Communications, 1983.
Excellent account from an agrophobic who overcame her fear with meditation under the guidance of the late Dr Ainslie Meares. Pauline has run a centre and taught Stillness Meditation in Melbourne for many years.

Meares, A., Cancer, Another Way, Melbourne, Hill of Content, 1977.
Zen style sharing of a meditative approach to cancer.

Meares, A., From the Quiet Place, Melbourne, Hill of Content, 1976.
Reflections in Zen style, suitable for healing meditation.

* Meares, A., Prayer and Beyond, Melbourne, Hill of Content, 1981.
Marks the steadily deepening spiritual insights that came to Dr Meares through his own practice of meditation and his work with many people gaining from meditation.


* Meares, A., Relief Without Drugs:
The Self-Management of Tension, Anxiety and Pain, London, Collins/Fontana, 1967.

A landmark book; a world first on therapeutic meditation and still highly readable and useful.

A classic on meditation for personal healing.



Meares, A., A Way of Doctoring, Melbourne, Hill of Content, 1981.
A look at doctor/patient relations, silent communication skills, the value of meditation for therapist and patient.

* Meares, A., The Wealth Within, Melbourne, Hill of Content, 1978.
Here Dr Ainslie Meares, psychiatrist, describes in detail his simple yet profound approach to meditation, which he called Mental Ataraxis.

Muktananda, Meditate, Melbourne, Siddha Yoga Foundation.
The guru of Siddha Yogi shares specific introductory techniques to meditation and the philosophy that goes with them.

Ramacharaka, M., Hatha Yoga, London, Fowler, 1960.
A landmark introduction to the basic tenets of Yoga, wonderfully presented by this practical and erudite Indian Yogi. One of an excellent series by this author.

* Ramacharaka, M., The Hindu-Yogi Science of Breath. 23rd Edition, Romford, Essex, L.N. Fowler, 1960.
Looks at the importance of correct breathing in the practice of yoga and how to benefit from it in everyday life and especially in conjunction with meditation. An excellent self-help guide first written around the turn of the 20th century (the 1900s) and here in a new edition.

Rozman, D., Meditation for Children, California, U.S.A, Celestial Arts, 1976.
A simple guide for teaching children to meditate.

Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. London Random House 1992.
Comprehensive introduction to Tibetan philosophy and practices that is both readily accessible and quite profound. International bestseller – has sold over 3.5million copies and transformed many lives.

Steiner, R., Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and lts Attainment, London, Anthroposophic Press, 1947.
Introduction to Esoteric Meditation techniques and beliefs aimed at an understanding of the soul and superconscious for the man who established the Rudolf Steiner schools, Biodynamics and Anthroposophical Medicine.

Suzuki, Dr., Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, John Weatherhill, Japan, 1970.
Puts the basically non-intellectual Zen approach into an approachable form - the art of being here now. A classic on Zen meditation.

* Thick Nhat Hanh., The Miracle of Mindfulness, Boston, Beacon Press, 1976.
Vietnamese Zen master’s masterful presentation on the nature of Zen, complete with many practical suggestions and exercises. Excellent book.


Creative Meditation/Positive Thinking

* Bach, R. , Illusions, London, Pan/Heinemann, 1977.

The adventures of a reluctant Messiah and his contact with a man seeking to understand his own reality—a positive delight!

First published in 1977, the story questions the reader's view of reality, proposing that what we call reality is merely an illusion we create for learning and enjoyment.

Illusions was the author's follow-up to Jonathon Livingstone Seagull – and a much more worthwhile book in this author’s opinion.


Bandler, R. and Grinder, J., Frogs into Princes. Moab, Utah, Real People Press, 1979.
One of the basic texts explaining Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a very effective and simple way of creating a positive experience of life.

* Capra, F., The Tao of Physics, London, Fontana, 1983.
A powerful examination of the similarities between physics and the ancient wisdom of the sages.

Corsini, R. et al., Current Psychotherapies: 3rd Edition, Hasca, Illinois, F.E. Peacock Publishers, 1984.
A comprehensive and readable review of the many psychotherapies available in the 80s – still relevant.

* Cousins, N., Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient, Sydney, Bantam, 1981. .
Personal testimony of the united efforts of a patient and physician to overcome the effects of a crippling condition, mainly through the use of positive attitudes and Vitamin C. Cousins examines the role of the placebo effect and laughter in this excellent, readable book. Cousins went on to become one of the Mind-Body pioneers.

Bono de, E., The Use of Lateral Thinking, Ringwood, Victoria, Penguin, 1971.
One of the author’s best of many books on ways of developing creative thinking.

Dyer, W., Your Erroneous Zones, New York, Avon, 1976.
Good practical advice on how to improve self-esteem and take control of your own life.

Frankl, V., Man’s Search for Meaning, New York, Pocket Books, 1963.
The major book of this psychiatrist, survivor of Auschwitz and originator of Logotherapy or Existential Analysis. Often referred to in our groups.

* Glasser, W., Positive Addiction, Sydney, Harper & Row, 1985.
The author urges readers to gain strength and self-esteem through positive addictions rather than negative ones such as smoking and drugs. He recommends running and meditation to help us achieve a better quality of life.


* Harrison, J ., Love your Disease—-It’s Keeping you Healthy, Angus & Robertson, Sydney and London, 1984.

A fabulous book.

Challenging.

Explores the psychological needs for illness- how illness is often our best way of coping, why we often need to be sick and how we can choose to be healthy.


Hutschnecker, A., The Will to Live. New York, Simon & Schuster, 1951.
Shows how to avoid illness by understanding the emotional disturbances that can cause it. Presents a simple and effective plan for healthier, more secure living.

* Jampolsky, G.G., Love is Letting Go of Fear, Sydney, Bantam, 1981.
This is a book about self-fulfilment through giving. By transforming our own outlook on life, we can change how we perceive the world, the people in it and, finally, ourselves.

Le Shan, L., You Can Fight for Your Life, Wellingborough, England, Thorsons, 1977.
Offers insight into why some individuals get cancer and others do not, and gives examples of those who have been able to fight against the disease.

* Levine, S. , Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying, Garden City, New York, Anchor Press/ Doubleday, 1982.
A very positive book which gives fresh insights into the process of living and dying. This book has been used as a manual to help many families navigate end of life situations. Levine believes that by being fully open to each moment of life we are preparing for death. Includes meditations on pain control and dying.

* Maltz, M., Psycho-Cybernetics, Sydney, Bantam, 1978.
One of the great – and original – books on positive thinking. Psycho-Cybernetics concerns directing our mind to a positive self-image, to fulfilment as a human being. The author guides us in steps to relaxation and self-acceptance.

Moody, R., Life After Life, Sydney, Bantam, 1976.
Stories of those who have been pronounced clinically dead but recovered and reported having experienced startlingly similar experiences.

Murphett, H., Sai Baba: Man of Miracles, Maine, U.S.A., Samuel Weiser Inc., 1973.
Excellent introduction to the Indian Holy man, Satya Sai Baba, who has been compared with Christ and Buddha for his phenomenal powers and spiritual message.

* Persig, R., Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance, London, Corgi,1974.
The journey of a man in search of himself — full of insights into our most complexing contemporary dilemmas.

Sandweiss, S. H., Sai Baba, the Holy Man . . . and the Psychiatrist, San Diego, California, Birth Day Publishing Co., 1975.
Sai Baba is an Indian spiritual leader who, it is claimed, has superhuman powers. Samuel Sandweiss is a psychiatrist who insightfully describes his time in India with Sai Baba and relates his beliefs.

* Shinn, F., The Game of Life and How to Play it, Marina del Rey, California, De Vorss, 1925.
One of the oldest and very best books on positive thinking. If you were to read just one book on that subject, this may well be the book to choose. The author sees success in life coming through positive thinking and trust in God. Good sections on affirmations.

Silva, J., The Silva Mind Control Method, New York, Pocket Books, 1977.
The text that explains the famous Silva Mind Control program and elaborates on principles of creative visualisation.



* Simonton, O.C., Getting Well Again, Sydney, Bantam, 1978.

Emphasises the power of positive thinking and visualisation in contributing to the better health of cancer patients.

Quotes many patients’ experiences and gives advice to families of patients.

A pioneering work highly recommended.



* Simonton, S.M., The Healing Family, Sydney, Bantam, 1985.
Still one of the best books for patient and family. Most positive and practical approach to helping families come to terms with a major illness and to create the most favourable environments for recovery.

Wilber, K., Quantum Questions, Boulder, Colorado, Shambala Publications Inc., 1984.
The mystical writings of the world’s great physicists. What attracted these great scientists to a personal experience of mysticism?

Yogananda, P. , Autobiography of a Yogi, Bombay, Jaico Publishing House, 1983.
Classic autobiography of a great Hindu yogi describing his search for a teacher and his truly extra- ordinary experiences with the many adepts he spent time with.


COMING SOON

IAN'S FINAL SPECIFIC CANCER PROGRAM

CANCER, HEALING and WELLBEING 

Accessing the heart and science of Mind-Body Medicine
Offering genuine hope for all those affected by cancer

20 – 24 November 2017 with Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler

Located amidst the natural beauty of the Yarra Valley


This life-changing program provides the opportunity to experience the food, practise the meditation and to be in a supportive, positive atmosphere. The program is evidence based, highly experiential and practical. The focus is on the therapeutic power of the Healing Diet, the mind and meditation, emotional health and positive psychology. The aim is to provide clarity, understanding and confidence.   LINK HERE


IAN'S FINAL MEDITATION RETREAT

This retreat is now fully booked with a waiting list. 
An extra retreat from February 19 - 23 is being planned 
- full details soon at www.iangawler.com


Mind and Heart - connecting with the essence

7 days of Mindfulness, Meditation and Buddhist based philosophy

 Slow down, reflect, contemplate – regain perspective, clarity, vitality, and balance 

 Learn Imagery techniques that unite heart and mind, and guide personal change






09 October 2017

Convalescence-A-missing-factor-in-chronic-fatigue?

When was the last time you heard the word convalescence? Ever know anyone to do it? Ever hear of someone developing chronic fatigue after a big viral infection? Hear of someone having a significant surgery and being back at work a few days later?

Having recently been hospitalized myself, have received a powerful reminder for the need to convalesce; so this week, how to do just that, but first


          Thought for the day

What is compassion? 
It is not simply a sense of sympathy 
Or caring for the person suffering, 
Not simply a warmth of heart 
Toward the person before you, 
Or a sharp clarity of recognition of their needs and pain; 
It is also a sustained and practical determination 
To do whatever is possible and necessary 
To help alleviate their suffering.

                      Sogyal Rinpoche



It is 7am Friday. I have been vohmiting all night and now have diarrhea that is like brown water and can barely move. Ruth says she has seen nothing like it in all her medical days, likens it to what she has heard of cholera and calls an ambulance. I am in no position to resist; in fact welcome the attention.

The Para-medics do a great job. Hook me up to an I/V drip, get me into the ambulance and off to Mahroondah Hospital.

Sadly we do hear many unhappy stories coming out of hospitals these days, but the team that looks after me is exceptional. Caring, attentive, diligent, competent. Faultless. After 3 litres of I/V fluid I still have not peed, but feel heaps better. Tests reveal I have had a severe viral gastro-enteritis. No idea where it came from; but it goes quite quickly and by the end of Saturday I am close to normal once again.

So what next? With the common expectations, back to work Monday as if nothing had happened. Probably could have done that, but I notice something significant. While I do feel OK when up and active, while I have energy and can do what the day requires of me, when I stop and meditate, when I tune in to my body more closely, all is far from well.

Relaxing more deeply to meditate, it is obvious that energetically my body is far from recovered. It has a very unusual “buzz” flowing through it. Best way to describe it is like some jangled, low level but pent up buzz. Clearly an energetic disturbance of some significance. Clearly my body is still affected by the viral assault and the profound dehydration it suffered.

One can easily imagine how if this was ignored, if this was not given time for regeneration, then some chronic condition could follow. I have heard so many people say how their chronic fatigue seemed to begin after a major viral infection; and it saddens me to hear how often people do have major surgery or bouts of illness and expect to be back at full swing within days. Maybe this issue is linked to how many people do get sick when they take a holiday? Maybe when we give it a rest, this stifled energy has its day and comes out.

In simpler times people did convalesce. Images come to mind of rows of cane lounges spread out
across verdant lawns. Rugs in abundance, cups of tea close by and an all-pervading atmosphere of being cared for and supported amidst a very restful time. Just giving simple, restful time to recovery. It does take time.

So in this busy world we currently live in, seems there is a need to revive the lost art of convalescence.






   What is missing in this photo?



          Maybe that would be you?






First thing to do is to recognize the need. The need to convalesce is great! In my view, essential.


Then to acknowledge it takes time. Families need to recognize this. Employers need to recognize this. Our society generally needs to wake up to this lost art and revive it.

As for me, last week has seen more than usual meditation and rest.

Am now feeling ready for this week’s Meditation Teacher Training at the Foundation – the last I will present so another landmark approaching. Then a couple of weeks to our last New Zealand retreat. Lots of endings in sight; lots of new beginnings approaching.

May we all recognize the need to convalesce when it is there, and make time for it.

BIG LANDMARK
In another landmark, this is actually the 300th Out on a Limb blog. Quite an Anniversary. First was way back on October 28th 2010.


COMING SOON


IAN'S FINAL NZ MEDITATION RETREAT 

Bringing Mind and Heart Together  21 – 27th October 2017 Ruth and Ian Gawler with Liz Stilwell

Amidst the tranquil beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula, 2 hours from Auckland New Zealand

A mind with no heart is cold and empty.      A mind with heart is warm, creative and full of potential.

Ready to learn how to use meditation and Guided Imagery to open your heart and bring balance to your mind?                       

Join us for this very special retreat!   LINK HERE














IAN'S FINAL MEDITATION TEACHER TRAINING


The delight of teaching others one of the most useful things possible ...

This training, led by Ian and Ruth personally, is based on a comprehensive and fully documented manual. You will learn how to teach two 4 week programs - one featuring guided imagery, the other contemplation; both covering the stillness of meditation as well. These training have been booking out, and like all our retreats, it is wise to register early.

 LINK HERE


IAN'S FINAL SPECIFIC CANCER PROGRAM

CANCER, HEALING and WELLBEING 

Accessing the heart and science of Mind-Body Medicine
Offering genuine hope for all those affected by cancer

20 – 24 November 2017 with Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler

Located amidst the natural beauty of the Yarra Valley


This life-changing program provides the opportunity to experience the food, practise the meditation and to be in a supportive, positive atmosphere. The program is evidence based, highly experiential and practical. The focus is on the therapeutic power of the Healing Diet, the mind and meditation, emotional health and positive psychology. The aim is to provide clarity, understanding and confidence.   LINK HERE


IAN'S FINAL MEDITATION RETREAT


Mind and Heart - connecting with the essence

7 days of Mindfulness, Meditation and Buddhist based philosophy

 Slow down, reflect, contemplate – regain perspective, clarity, vitality, and balance 

 Learn Imagery techniques that unite heart and mind, and guide personal change




25 September 2017

Life-changes-Dealing-with-the-inevitable

This week, dealing with the essence of life – the fact that it is changing all the time; and how to flourish amidst unavoidable change.

Just about everything is changing rapidly these days. The pace often seems frenetic. No wonder there is so much stress, depression and anxiety about. Changing my own life in a significant fashion and announcing retirement from leading groups has lead to an almost death-like experience. So many kind words of gratitude – enjoyable but like a premature wake.

And then my dear old friend (in both senses - long term and well aged) Lionel Fifield from the Relaxation Centre in Queensland started a conversation around life changes and the challenges they provoke. So this week insights into change, but first



              Thought for the day

When the mind is at peace,
The world too is at peace.
Nothing real, nothing absent.
Not holding on to reality,
Not getting stuck in the void,
You are neither holy or wise, 
Just an ordinary fellow 
Who has completed his work.

     P'ang Yün – 8th century Zen Master


In my youth, things seemed to move more slowly. Trends changed almost imperceptibly, technology was more rudimentary and stable, people’s attitude more predictable. Change seemed to sneak up on us slowly. These days it is right in our faces.

In Lionel’s words change is happening for all of us and nobody is excluded. The art must be to be present with each little twist and turn and keep our judgements to the minimum. Not easy as the changes always seem focussed in where we are most addicted and comfortable and vulnerable. I am sure these retreats help a lot. (Lionel is commenting on me having just returned from a month of retreat, during which the final decision to retire became very clear)

My comment for Lionel was to observe most of the time we attempt to change without really changing. So often we go along with changes that feel comfortable or convenient while doing our best to retain the status quo, even when our health, relationships, life circumstances and wellbeing are suffering. There seems to be an incredible attraction to familiarity and a deep reluctance for real change.

Meditation seems to facilitate an ease with change that makes more real change possible.

So the value in longer retreats and regular practice.

Then too, major events like retirement, deaths of loved ones, major changes in circumstances have this powerful capacity to create a potential turning point, a nexus.

Or is it they put us into a limbo state, an intermediary where for a while the possibility for significant change is more noticeable?
More possible?

Clearly for many, maybe not at the time but in retrospect, these major life changes turn out to be blessings for all the positive change that comes as a product of the immediate trauma.

Personally I have to say it. I love change - it is a sure sign of life. Something did happen for me during my youth. I developed a love for change. Maybe it was moving schools so often, moving houses. Maybe it was simply recognising the fact that every moment, everything is changing whether we like it or not, and deciding to embrace change rather than make some awkward and probably painful attempt to avoid it.

So advice around this? 

Not too sure really. Maybe to contemplate the fact that life is a process involving constant change. When anything is not changing – then it is dead. Simple as that. Might as well embrace it. Change is going to happen anyway.

Meditation definitely helps.

My own reflection and experience has led to welcoming change; even looking for it actively.

Making it happen.

Not that it is always enjoyable.

But over the years has come the realisation change is inevitable and if we stay present and committed then change has every prospect of leading on to something delightful – eventually.

This attitude has made it so much easier to deal with all the big changes throughout my life, as well as the smaller ones.

And one day the change will be that we stop breathing. Now that has to be a really interesting change. Wonder what that will lead to???

But then, every moment, whatever we have been doing ceases, that moment “dies” – ends – and a new moment begins. Therefore, while there are times in our lives when major transitions are very obvious – like when we retire – it is actually happening moment to moment; we finish with one thing and begin something new.

So we do not necessarily need to wait for the big moments, the big transitions to make change that will be good for us. Every moment life is changing; that is its nature. Every moment there is the opportunity to shape who it is that we really choose to be.

So thank you to all who have sent kind messages and I wish you all well – in this moment - and the next…


COMING SOON


IAN'S FINAL NZ MEDITATION RETREAT 

Bringing Mind and Heart Together  21 – 27th October 2017 Ruth and Ian Gawler with Liz Stilwell

Amidst the tranquil beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula, 2 hours from Auckland New Zealand

A mind with no heart is cold and empty.      A mind with heart is warm, creative and full of potential.

Ready to learn how to use meditation and Guided Imagery to open your heart and bring balance to your mind?                       

Join us for this very special retreat!   LINK HERE














IAN'S FINAL MEDITATION TEACHER TRAINING


The delight of teaching others one of the most useful things possible ...

This training, led by Ian and Ruth personally, is based on a comprehensive and fully documented manual. You will learn how to teach two 4 week programs - one featuring guided imagery, the other contemplation; both covering the stillness of meditation as well. These training have been booking out, and like all our retreats, it is wise to register early.

 LINK HERE


IAN'S FINAL SPECIFIC CANCER PROGRAM

CANCER, HEALING and WELLBEING 

Accessing the heart and science of Mind-Body Medicine
Offering genuine hope for all those affected by cancer

20 – 24 November 2017 with Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler

Located amidst the natural beauty of the Yarra Valley


This life-changing program provides the opportunity to experience the food, practise the meditation and to be in a supportive, positive atmosphere. The program is evidence based, highly experiential and practical. The focus is on the therapeutic power of the Healing Diet, the mind and meditation, emotional health and positive psychology. The aim is to provide clarity, understanding and confidence.   LINK HERE


IAN'S FINAL MEDITATION RETREAT


Mind and Heart - connecting with the essence

7 days of Mindfulness, Meditation and Buddhist based philosophy

 Slow down, reflect, contemplate – regain perspective, clarity, vitality, and balance 

 Learn Imagery techniques that unite heart and mind, and guide personal change

06 September 2017

The season for handing over and retiring

"For everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven". So in contemplating my own recently made decision to retire from leading residential programs, my mind turned to the ancient Indian/Hindu notion of the four stages of human life.

So this week, a glimpse into what for many is a very useful way to consider where they are at in their life; but first

           Thought for the day


To every thing there is a season, 
And a time to every purpose under the heaven: 
A time to be born, and a time to die; 
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 
A time to kill, and a time to heal; 
A time to break down, and a time to build up; 
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
A time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; 
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
A time to get, and a time to lose; 
A time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
A time to rend, and a time to sew; 
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
A time to love, and a time to hate; 
A time of war, and a time of peace.

                                            Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

The Hindu tradition of India has a long history of dividing life into four dramatically different segments or phases.

First comes Bramacharya, the time of being a student and single.

Second is Grihastha, when the focus is to make a family and a living; a time of being engaged with wordly pursuits such as seeking pleasure, wealth and all the material world has to offer. Commonly, Grihastha begins around the age of 20.

Third is Vanaprastha, when we begin to withdraw from the world and begin to attune more to the spiritual life along with adopting an increasingly hermit-like lifestyle.

Vanaprastha commonly begins around 50. It is time for grand children and the time to hand over to the next generation. It is time for community service and spiritual pursuit; time to act more as a mentor and benefactor; a time to share any wisdom gathered so far.


Fourth and finally comes Sannyasa

when renouncing the material world and dedicating life to spiritual realisation becomes the sole focus.

It often begins around 70 to 75.

The intention of sannyasa is to live a simple, peaceful, love-inspired, spiritual life very similar to the monks and nuns of Buddhism, Christianity and other traditions.

Sannyasa is a form of asceticism. A male is known as a sannyasin, a female a sannyasini.

Sannyasa does not necessarily mean abandoning society although in India many did and still do leave their families and homes and become wandering spiritual beggars. They may have a walking stick, a book, a container or vessel for food and drink, often wearing yellow, orange, or soil coloured clothes. They may have long hair and appear dishevelled, and are usually vegetarians.

Alternatively, Sannyasins may simply aim to abandon the conventions of their society and aim instead for a more liberated, content, free and blissful existence.

In the Hindu Karma Yoga tradition, acting without greed or craving for results is considered a form of detachment in daily life similar to Sannyasa. Sharma states that, "the basic principle of Karma yoga is that it is not what one does, but how one does it that counts and if one has the know-how in this sense, one can become liberated by doing whatever it is one does", and "(one must do) whatever one does without attachment to the results, with efficiency and to the best of one's ability.

Bit like mindfulness, or even more-so, pure awareness.

So for me, autumn is definitely present.

The seasons are changing…

My working life has been long and wonderful; not always easy, not without many highs and lows. First as a veterinarian, and of course, for many years since as a health educator who had the possibility and privilege to work with so many people focused upon their health, healing and wellbeing. It now feels the season to step back and hand over to the next generation.

Maybe there is the possibility to be useful in some ongoing way, and yes there was a feeling of wasting so much learning and experience by stopping at this time. Life is always changing. Who knows what the future may really bring. However, Ruth will work on and so many others do this work these days, so it feels like good timing.

There are many people to thank for their personal and professional support, but maybe those details can wait for another time.

Finally, some gentle advice. It will be lovely to get together over these final programs and celebrate what has been a major and extra-ordinary phase of my own life. It seems with only 4 residential programs before I do retire at Easter next year, happily many seem keen to join Ruth and myself one more time. So these programs may well book out and early registration may make sense.

As always, the wish is for you and all those you care for to have long and happy lives…

RESOURCES
For a fabulous story about a senior Indian who becomes a sannyasin, highly recommend reading Rudyard Kipling’s: The Miracle of Purun Bhagat in his Second Jungle Book. I have cried every time I have read it; including all the times I have read it out loud to a group.

COMING SOON


IAN'S FINAL NZ MEDITATION RETREAT 

Bringing Mind and Heart Together  21 – 27th October 2017 Ruth and Ian Gawler with Liz Stilwell

Amidst the tranquil beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula, 2 hours from Auckland New Zealand

A mind with no heart is cold and empty.      A mind with heart is warm, creative and full of potential.

Ready to learn how to use meditation and Guided Imagery to open your heart and bring balance to your mind?                       

Join us for this very special retreat!   LINK HERE














IAN'S FINAL MEDITATION TEACHER TRAINING


The delight of teaching others one of the most useful things possible ...

This training, led by Ian and Ruth personally, is based on a comprehensive and fully documented manual. You will learn how to teach two 4 week programs - one featuring guided imagery, the other contemplation; both covering the stillness of meditation as well. These training have been booking out, and like all our retreats, it is wise to register early.

 LINK HERE


IAN'S FINAL SPECIFIC CANCER PROGRAM

CANCER, HEALING and WELLBEING 

Accessing the heart and science of Mind-Body Medicine
Offering genuine hope for all those affected by cancer

20 – 24 November 2017 with Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler

Located amidst the natural beauty of the Yarra Valley


This life-changing program provides the opportunity to experience the food, practise the meditation and to be in a supportive, positive atmosphere. The program is evidence based, highly experiential and practical. The focus is on the therapeutic power of the Healing Diet, the mind and meditation, emotional health and positive psychology. The aim is to provide clarity, understanding and confidence.   LINK HERE


IAN'S FINAL MEDITATION RETREAT


Mind and Heart - connecting with the essence

7 days of Mindfulness, Meditation and Buddhist based philosophy

 Slow down, reflect, contemplate – regain perspective, clarity, vitality, and balance 

 Learn Imagery techniques that unite heart and mind, and guide personal change

21 August 2017

Pesticide-residue-levels-on-fruit-and-vegetables

With hints of spring on the horizon, maybe it is timely to consider what we get along with our fruit and veg from the commercial green grocer, and decide what to grow at home if space is limited.

The Environmental Working Group is one body that checks pesticide residues and reports on which fruit and vegetables have the least and most. So this week we check out what might be OK to buy in the shops and what is safer to grow at home, but first




         Thought for the day

Any illness that can be treated by diet alone 
Should be treated by no other means.

       Maimonides – Physician around 1200 AD





Let us be clear.

Whenever possible, organic produce is best. Best for you, best for the soil, best for the animals and other critters like worms, best for the environment at large. However, it is not always easy or possible to obtain. Some are limited by finance (how long before organic and commercial produce cost the same???), some by a wide range of issues around availability.

And if you do have a home garden, maybe space is limited; maybe time or other factors limit what
can be grown.

So it may be helpful to know what residues are on common fruit and vegetables.

Then if choices need to be made, they can be well informed.


The Environmental Working Group was founded by Ken Green and is one of America’s foremost environmental protection agencies. It is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment and produces an annual shopper’s guide. The guide lists which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides and which have the fewest.

The worst? Sadly it is the good old apple. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away’? Maybe not if it is commercially grown!

Potatoes have more residue by weight than anything else.

A single grape sample and a capsicum sample contained 15 pesticides, while samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas and strawberries all showed 13 different pesticides.

The good news? Avocados for the second year running have the least residues with only 1% of all samples tested showing any residues. You can see the full list via THIS LINK

Here are the stand outs – good and bad…


The fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides 
- in descending order; worst at the top


1. Apples
2. Peaches
3. Nectarines
4. Strawberries
5. Grapes
6. Celery
7. Spinach
8. Sweet bell peppers (capsicum)
9. Cucumber
10. Cherry tomatoes
11. Snap peas (imported)
12. Potatoes
13.   Hot peppers
14.   Kale / Collard greens



Fruits and vegetables with the least pesticides 
- best at the top...

1. Avocado
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Sweet peas (frozen)
6. Onion
7. Asparagus
8. Mango
9. Papayas (pawpaw)
10. Kiwi
11. Eggplant
12. Grapefruit
13. Cantaloupe (rock melon)
14. Cauliflower
15. Sweet potato

Remember, if at all possible, buy or even better, grow organic; 
but if choices need to be made, maybe these list help inform those choices. 

And get those veggie gardens on the move for Spring...

Happy, healthy eating. Enjoy!


COMING SOON


NEXT MEDITATION RETREAT 

Bringing Mind and Heart Together  21 – 27th October 2017 Ruth and Ian Gawler with Liz Stilwell

Amidst the tranquil beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula, 2 hours from Auckland New Zealand

A mind with no heart is cold and empty.      A mind with heart is warm, creative and full of potential.

Ready to learn how to use meditation and Guided Imagery to open your heart and bring balance to your mind?                       

Join us for this very special retreat!   LINK HERE














MEDITATION TEACHER TRAINING


The delight of teaching others one of the most useful things possible ...

This training, led by Ian and Ruth personally, is based on a comprehensive and fully documented manual. You will learn how to teach two 4 week programs - one featuring guided imagery, the other contemplation; both covering the stillness of meditation as well. These training have been booking out, and like all our retreats, it is wise to register early.

 LINK HERE


NEXT SPECIFIC CANCER PROGRAM

CANCER, HEALING and WELLBEING 

Accessing the heart and science of Mind-Body Medicine
Offering genuine hope for all those affected by cancer

20 – 24 November 2017 with Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler

Located amidst the natural beauty of the Yarra Valley


This life-changing program provides the opportunity to experience the food, practise the meditation and to be in a supportive, positive atmosphere. The program is evidence based, highly experiential and practical. The focus is on the therapeutic power of the Healing Diet, the mind and meditation, emotional health and positive psychology. The aim is to provide clarity, understanding and confidence.   LINK HERE