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Ruth’s article in March Diary February 28, 2021

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
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March has come and with it the memories of that sudden lockdown last year when we had no idea that the pandemic and crisis would last so long. Inevitably we look back at the highs and lows, the joys and sorrows, and all the changes to our ways of living and working.
We worry about our physical and mental health, the emotional development of our children and the economic wellbeing of many who are facing considerable loss of income.
We look back to the past and we worry about the future. The practice of Mindfulness, much written about and widely practised, encourages us to ‘be’ in the present moment. It is about allowing our minds to be fully present, aware of our surroundings and our actions and yet not be overwhelmed by what is happening around us.
The practice of this comes through meditation. Mindfulness allows us to live in the moment, acknowledge the circumstances and demands of our lives but not to overly react or be overwhelmed by them. Increasingly, mindfulness and meditation are used in our schools to enable children and young people to centre themselves and find calm. There is a strong link with Buddhism but many are unaware of the practice of mindfulness and meditation within the Christian tradition. Stillness and silence, reflecting on the best of the day as well as the worst and being present to the moment are all part of Christian prayer. No words – just being.
Lent, which began in mid February, is an opportunity for some mindfulness and meditation – whether your tradition is of faith or none. A few minutes each day, allowing ourselves to stop and to breathe deeply. Listening to what is happening around us, hearing the birds sing, the traffic noises, the crackling of a fire – bringing into our conscious the best things around us, and the difficult things, can bring a sense of peace into our lives.
Psalm 46 encourages this practice of stillness with the words, ‘Be still and know that I am God’.

Ruth

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