13 October 2014

What are you part of ???

A couple of big milestones. This blog has been running for just on 4 years and has had over half a million pageviews. Ever wonder who else is reading it? This week, interesting details and feedback, one great personal story and then news of the upcoming retreats in New Zealand, Meditation Under the Long White Cloud and Mind, Meditation and Healing, but first

Thought for the day

Helping, fixing, and serving 
Represent three different ways of seeing life. 

When you help, you see life as weak. 
When you fix, you see life as broken. 

When you serve, you see life as whole. 

Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, 
And service the work of the soul. 

Rachel Naomi Remen

The older I become, the more service seems to be what gives life meaning. How fortunate am I then to be able to work in a field of service.

It has often seemed to me that some people have really tough jobs where it is almost as if they need to compromise their ethics and life values at the door on their way in to work; and pick up what is left on the way out.

My work has always demanded the best of me. It is a blessing.

So writing the blog is a regular delight – even when the need to write the one for next Monday comes late on Sunday night. Also, it is a discipline – a writing discipline that has me writing regularly and exercising one of the arts I am passionate about – writing!

Anyway, much gratitude to all of you who made the time and effort to reply to the recent survey. Hundreds of people provided feedback and the general comments were very gratifying. It seems worth persisting to pen something regularly :)

It also seems that of those who responded, over 70% have been reading the blog for more than 6 mths, over half read it weekly, over half would like to receive it weekly in future, but 40% would be happy with fortnightly – so when I am on a personal retreat I may spread it out a little!

Guest bloggers are welcome equally monthly and occasionally, 20% of you share posts regularly, but over 50% have only shared once or twice.

All the current topics on the blog record a good level of interest, with meditation, nutrition, healing and mind training scoring highest. As for age – the older we get the more people who are reading – the 50+ group being the largest, while most have good health and a significant number face major health challenges. Well over half are in full or part time work and about a third are retired – quite a diverse bunch really, but all interested in their own health and wellbeing, and what they can do for others.

The range of suggestions for new blogs was very interesting and great food for thought. Finding peace amidst diversity, simplifying life, why some recover, others not, dealing with legal addictions, mind training, remission as a limiting word, how do you know when your meditation is “working” … and on …

A few of the nice comments
I love the quotes. Sometimes it's great when you are busy to glance at something that can help keep you anchored, it can be like a herb that adds a lot to the soup.

Your Monday blog is always very welcome - solid ground to start the week off and it re-connects me with the world within.

I really appreciate the fact that you take the time to write a weekly blog which is interesting and informative. You bring things to the fore which I otherwise might not notice and you are not afraid to address tricky issues. I also enjoy reading people's comments. There is a community of people who support these ideas and it's good to be able to share that.

It is always a pleasure to open up your blog and have a quick look at the topics. Then I can decide do I have time now to read it all or allow time in the near future to study the information in more detail.

Always of interest and pertinent but the best thing is - it is my reminder.
I am a 6 year cancer survivor with still a primary brain. Your weekly blog is a great source of inspiration and informative material.

They have often prompted me to research a topic in greater depth and this can lead to knowledge which may be helpful to others - as well as to me.

I never feel isolated when I read your blog and see so many of the worthwhile events you hold.

It has taken cancer to teach me to live the life I have always wanted to live. xx

I don't get on my computer very often so I save them for reading later if can't at time. I find them very grounding and refreshes my priority needs in amongst the pressure and bustle of todays life.

Feels like an old friend coming to visit - really nice.

And finally, one very inspiring story from my old profession
Your work Ian remains of immense significance. I have had the very good fortune to attend 4 of the old Inward Bound retreats years ago, and to be taught meditation by you. This came after a nervous breakdown at age 38, while running a vet practice. 

My life has progressively become rather more delightful since then. I remain in fulltime vet practice at age 62, and thanks in part to the broad range of topics which you present, I am able to retain a very wide range of interests, including that of brain plasticity. I am starting to do some mentoring of final year Sydney Vet students, and we take 10-12 students for a month each in the practice. 

I bought Craig Hassed's new book "Mindful Learning" yesterday. One of the benefits of your blog is that it draws my attention to a topic, and I can say to my children .. "I read something interesting the other day ...".

Hell, this has taken longer than doing the survey!

Seriously though, I hope that you retain the energy to keep up your output for a long time yet. Stay well yourself!! 

Very sincerely,

John Dooley BVSc, Wingham NSW


1. Meditation Under the Long White Cloud  -  SOON  -  October 25 - 31
Last meditation retreat Ruth and I will present in 2014 - the first in 2015 is Meditation in the Forest in the Yarra Valley Pre-Easter.

This one is on the glorious Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand and the special focus will be on deepening the experience of meditation and guided imagery.

VENUE: Mana Retreat Centre

BOOKINGS and ENQUIRIES:  Tel +64 7 866 8972

Register with Mana Retreat at the online secure manaretreat.com/users/register.php

Five days for people affected by cancer led by Drs Ian and Ruth Gawler and where the focus will be on accelerated healing

DATES: Arrive 12noon, program commences with lunch together at 1pm Monday 10th Nov.; until 2pm Friday 14th (after lunch) Nov. 2014

VENUE: The Snow Farm Lodge, Cardrona Valley Rd, Wanaka.

BOOKINGS and ENQUIRIEScanlive.org or call Stew Burt 03 443 4168 OR +64 3 443 6234 New Zealand


  1. It is very interesting to read the summary of your survey. Thank you for sharing it. One of the comment you listed really matches what I feel when I read you: I never feel alone when I read you. I look forward to reading about the suggestions people gave you. Thank you­ so much for sharing your work, knowledge on meditation, divine connection, etc....

  2. Ian, I am a new reader to your blog. You are a wonderful, giving person. Thank you for taking the time to communicate with all your followers,