Keeping Quiet, Resting The Body

During this Eid festive season, the invitation is to allow the mind to quieten and the body to rest and recharge. For those who had or will be receiving their vaccination shots for Covid-19, this mini body scan offers a helpful response to ensuing side effects like fever and body aches. Stay safe and healthy.

Inspired by Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda.

Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Transitioning

Transitions in our external world are also felt inside us, expressed in changing thoughts, emotions and sensations in the body. Sometimes the transitions feel painful, uncertain, worrying or hopeful. We may end up more fixated with the destination and lose the opportunity to learn something new about us in the process of transitioning. To get comfortable with change, we practice getting comfortable with transitions experienced in our inner world. This is done by noticing our experiences moment-by-moment while keeping our awareness on the breath and accepting whatever that is arising with a welcome mat.

Register to join us in future Wednesday Pause mindfulness practices here

For a complete archive of our meditations, visit here


Inspired by the poem I Am A Transition (extract), by Emu Getachew

Transition…I think I am? I am a progression! 

I am the vacancy between the alphabets. 

My feet travel silently.

Back and forth-side to side  with a blazing desire to transit.

Asking who I am? 

I am a transition-I reply, not a completion. 

But a passage, traveling between the alphabets of time  in self-expedition.


Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 22 minutes

Image credit: Astrid Shaffner, Unsplash

Not Living A Half Life

Inspired by Khalil Gibran’s poem, this practice is about showing up for ourselves in the present moment instead of living following other people’s agenda and our to-do list which is often the case. Enjoy!

Not Living Half A Life (extract)

Half a life is a life you didn’t live, 
A word you have not said
A smile you postponed 
A love you have not had
A friendship you did not know
To reach and not arrive
Work and not work
Attend only to be absent
What makes you a stranger to them closest to you
and they strangers to you
The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being
You are a whole that exists to live a life 
not half a life.

Dealing With Distractions

A thought easily produces a chain of ideas, intentions, stories, and next thing we know, time has passed. Life has passed. Sometimes we unwittingly shoot another arrow, for example, chiding ourselves for having certain thoughts.

Another trap is when a negative thought arises, we think “positively” to “neutralize”. That is helpful if the intention is to see a more realistic picture. It is not helpful if we’re adding thoughts that are potentially false and speculative simply to make ourselves feel better or to justify ours or other peoples’ actions. It’s a survival instinct.

An alternative response is to let thoughts be like water flowing in the stream instead of adding more. And if we choose to, mindfully directing our energy to thoughts that really matter and to be kind to ourselves for having thoughts. We look deep down to find what matters and what is true for us.

Inspired by Ryokan’s poem:

Keep your heart clear

And transparent,

And you will

Never be bound.

A single disturbed thought

Creates ten thousand distractions.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 22 minutes

Image credit: Yan Laurichesse, Unsplash

Cultivating Presence

Cultivating presence by firstly paying attention with wholehearted, non-judgemental interest to the present moment, to ourselves or to the people we’re with. Part of this experience is to watch and let be our” baggage” often expressed in the need to react to unpleasant feelings. These reactions could range from avoiding, giving up to aggression. Here’s an invitation to let all that go by simply connecting directly with the present moment instead of living in the head, lost in thoughts.

Inspiration came from a poem by Taigu Ryokan, Zen master.

Yes, I’m truly a dunce

Living among trees and plants.

Please don’t question me about illusion and enlightenment

This old fellow just likes to smile to himself.

I wade across streams with bony legs,

And carry a bag about in fine spring weather.

That’s my life,

And the world owes me nothing.

To attend our meditation sessions live on Wednesday Pause, register according to your timezone here

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 23 mins

Image credit: Chunlea Ju, Unsplash

Sitting With Time

Practicing mindfulness helps us deal with impatience because it seems like it has a relationship with time – needing things now or yesterday. A practice might seem to take forever because our minds constantly need to be stimulated and “satisfied”. It’s this constant shifting attention, always searching, never resting, that keeps us in reactionary mode. So instead of perpetually seeking stimulation and getting lost in our thoughts and stories, the invitation is to engage with the present moment differently, and to be able to just sit with the passage of time.

The inspiration of this practice came from a poetry by Rabindranath Tagore.


The butterfly counts not months but moments,

and has time enough.


Time is a wealth of change,

but the clock in its parody makes it mere change and no wealth.


Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time

like dew on the tip of a leaf.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Time: 22 minutes

Image credit: akifyevasvetlana, 123rf

Steady Mind Warm Heart

A meditation session “Steady Mind, Warm Heart”, essentially mindfulness, inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem If. Seems appropriate in light of Prince Harry and Meghan Markles’ interview with Oprah.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 23 mins

Image credit: Barbel Kobus, Unsplash

If (extract), Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you      

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,   

But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,   

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,   

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,      

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,   

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute   

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,      

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Appreciation

Take time off to appreciate ourselves, our inner experiences—thoughts, emotions and pain that we might be experiencing—and others even if we don’t feel like it. Inspired by Ram Dass’ writing on Trees.

“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees.

And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever.

And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is.

You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way.

And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’

That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees.

Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 23 mins

Image credit: Yerlin Matu, Unsplash

Just This Breath

A common meditation practice is to focus on the breath. In this session, we contemplate what it really means to do so – breathing, opening to life. Breathe away.

Inspired by David Whyte’s poem Enough.

Enough. These few words are enough.

If not these words, this breath.

If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to life

we have refused

again and again

until now.

Until now.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 22 mins

Image credit: Josh Couch, Unsplash

To register for our Wednesday Pause session at 12:30-1pm SGT on Zoom, please visit here

No Expectations

Shaped by evolution, our minds are constantly busy scanning experiences and benchmarking it to some expectation to keep us safe and feeling pleasant. Here is an invitation to drop expectations to free up space in the head in order to truly hear ourselves and access our being.

This practise is inspired by Henri Nouwen, Catholic priest’s writings, “Only An Invitation”.

Duration: 23 mins

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Kim Davies, Unsplash


Only An Invitation, Henri Nouwen

Our world is so full of conditions —

demands, requirements, and obligations

that we often wonder

what is expected of us.

But when we meet a truly free person

there are no expectations,

only an invitationto reach into ourselves

and discover there

our own freedom.