22 December 2015

Christmas ups and downs

Christmas should be a happy time. Tricky word that… “should”. Lots of judgement and expectation. Quite a distance from mindfulness.

In my experience, the truth is that for quite a few, Christmas actually is delightful. However, for many others it can be a difficult time. So this week, how to get the best from the ups and downs of Christmas. Then news of sogyal Rinpoche speaking in Melbourne, Adelaide and Myall Lakes, along with a great New Year's Eve treat for people in Melbourne. but first

Thought for the day

For all its dangers, today’s world is also a very exciting one. 

The modern mind is slowly opening to different visions of reality. 

Great teachers like the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa can be seen on television; 
Many masters from the East now visit and teach in the West and books from all the mystical traditions 
Are winning an increasingly large audience. 

The desperate situation of the planet is slowly waking people up to the necessity for transformation on a global scale.

                    Sogyal Rinpoche
                                Public Talks   :    Melbourne January 5th,     Adelaide January 6th 

Christmas… Religious festival? Welcome holiday at the end of the year? Over-eating? Social get togethers? Family gathering? Presents to enjoy? Excesses? Loneliness? Overwhelmed? Inner peace?

Lots of possibilities….

The real celebration of Christmas is based on the birth of Christ who represents pure love, divine love. There is the real possibility to dwell on, to contemplate, love in our own lives. What we have known of love. What love we have received. What love we have given.

Of course, therein lies the difficulty for some. Christmas can be a time that rekindles thoughts and memories of loves lost; of love’s disappointments.

So there comes the opportunity to consider the cyclical nature of love. It is a force that flows through us. If we want to receive more love, to feel more love, then one sure way to do so, is to be more loving. To consider how we can give more love – without depleting our self.

Simplest way to do this may well be to develop more gratitude. So many people I know have benefited from this.

Really focussing on the practice of gratitude. Starting with developing and feeling gratitude for the simple things, like those things that make your day easier. The saucepans, the chair you sit in, the public transport or the car. Simple things we so often take for granted and only complain about when they do not work or are not there.

Like some of the people in our lives. People who we may well take for granted and only complain about when they do not “work” or are not there.

By contrast, be grateful and energy shifts and flows. There is a natural warmth and openness that flows with gratitude. It is easy for this energy to move into becoming more loving. Worth a Christmas experiment, Give it a go…

And a suggestion for the festive season. Moderation in all things!!!!!!

Don’t you just love clich├ęs? Pardon me, could not resist this one.!!!!!!

Happy Christmas and may 2016 be a fulfilling year of peace and happiness and contentment

With love from Ruth and myself, along with gratitude for all those who helped us in our work during 2015.

Keeping to moderation in all things over the festive season, this blog will appear fortnightly for the next little while


It is said, "The greatest gift you can give yourself or another is the gift of meditation"

Experiential Wisdom.

In  January, one of the world’s greatest meditation teachers is coming to Melbourne.

Sogyal Rinpoche, who has been teaching for over 40 years, will be sharing the most profound spiritual wisdom which has helped and continues to help so many. A rare gift for oneself and another.

Date         Tuesday 5th January at 7.00pm (arrive 6.30)

Venue      Collingwood Town Hall,   140 Hoddle St, Abbotsford

Tickets     From $39 (full), $28 (concession)

On line bookings   CLICK HERE

Event Enquiries     Email: Melbourne@rigpa.org.au          Phone: 0402 586 360

Date         Wednesday 6th January at 7.00pm (arrive 6.30)

Venue       PAC, 23 Dequetteville Tce, Kent Town, SA 5065

Tickets      $35 (full), $25 (concession)

On line bookings   CLICK HERE

Event Enquiries     Email: Melbourne@rigpa.org.au  Phone: 0402 586 360

Dates         14th January to 24th January

Venue        Tiona Park, Myall Lakes

On line bookings   CLICK HERE

The Rigpa Melbourne Centre is located in Brunswick at 7/200 Sydney Rd. 
The centre is part of a world wide network of over 140 centres and groups founded by Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the highly acclaimed The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. 
Rigpa Melbourne conducts courses, meditation sessions and other events which connect people with authentic Tibetan Buddhist teachings and meditation practices.  

New Year's Eve Chanting and Meditation

Jarek Czechowicz presents a new year celebration of transformation, inner peace and spiritual awakening. Enjoy universal chant, uplifting and healing music, and a midnight meditation of flowing om chants. Each universal chant is followed by a short but deep period of silence. 

You can sit on chairs, relax on floor cushions, or move to the music. 

This event regularly attracts a full house so it might be a good idea to book early. 

7:30 PM, Thursday 31 Dec 2015. Augustine Centre, Uniting Church, 2 Minona St. Hawthorn


  1. Dear Ian, my gratitude starts right here. Many thanks for another year of inspiring, enlightening, challenging, informative, reassuring blog posts. Having had a second, high-grade breast cancer almost ten years ago, and adopting the Gawler Foundation's recommended lifestyle practices, it makes a tremendous difference to have your regular posts to remind me, to bring me back to the wisdom of what works. In a world where this way of living is far from the norm, its all too easy to start to veer off the path of what best supports my wellbeing (physical, mental, spiritual). Love and blessings to you and Ruth.

    1. Thanks Jane, all the best to you over Christmas and may 2016 be fantastic!!!
      Wonderful to hear from someone like yourself who really does it and is getting such good results. Well done and more power to you...

  2. Thanks Ian that really helped ease some Christmas stress. Simple but effective focus.

  3. Thanks for all the lovely articles you send Ian! Wishing you and your wife a very Happy and Enjoyable Christmas filled with many Blessings.

  4. Thanks Ian that really helped ease some Christmas stress. Simple but effective focus.

  5. Thank you Ian and Ruth for the retreat experience and your encouraging and reminder blogs during the year. Good wishes to you both for this Christmas season. Joy