I Am The Lake

This is an adaptation of the Lake Meditation written by Jon Kabat Zinn, founder of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). We are cultivating the qualities and energy of a lake – silent, merely reflecting back what it sees as it is, and returning to stillness whenever the wind, rain and storm pass. Visualizing ourselves as the lake. Like it, we can return to our original being of stillness and silence once unwelcome thoughts and feelings move on.


We end with this poetry There In The Stillness by Show You Love (extract).


There in the stillness, the whisper of angel’s wings

There in the stillness a place for beggars and kings

There in the stillness a fluttering of the soul

There in the stillness someone broken is being made whole


There in the rest a river of life overflows

There in the rest a fruitful garden grows

There in the rest I am anchored and secure

There in the rest is a joy so real and pure


Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 17 mins

Image credit: Redd, Unsplash

Be Like A Mountain

This is an adaptation of the Mountain Meditation, created by Jon Kabat Zinn, founder of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). We are cultivating the qualities and energy of a mountain – solid, strong, dignified, unmovable, and not apologetic for our presence. So like the mountain, we remain grounded despite experiencing strong emotions and intrusive thoughts. 

I am the mountain

Snow falls, gone soon after winter

Spring clouds, drift by not a matter

Summer sunshine, only a fair friend

Autumn leaves, fall with an end

Seasons come and go

Yet I remain unmovable, to know

Thoughts emerge, emotions arise

Winds come

Rain falls

I don’t turn them away

Come what may

Because I am the mountain

Guide: Noelle Lim

Poem written by: Noelle Lim

Duration: 18 mins

Image credit: Justinas Tessalis, Unsplash

Change In Each Moment

Noticing each moment as thoughts and feelings change, noticing how transient our experiences are. One moment we’re upset, shortly after that we’re fine, and the cycle continues. As we learn to embrace change moment-by-moment, it helps us embrace changes and new chapters in our lives that take us out of our comfort zone. Inspired by New Chapter, a poetry written by Denis Martindale (extract).

One chapter ends, another starts –

Just like another game of darts.

New thoughts take hold, new people speak,

Past characters play hide-n-seek.

New meals are made, new shows are seen…

Forget about life’s in-between…

Fade out the memories, let them go…

Move on to greet some pastures new –

The sky above is just as blue…

Transcend the traumas life inflicts

And soothe the wounds with gentle licks…

Patch up the heart that drips life’s blood,

Refuse to wallow in the mud,

Cherish the chapter that’s just begun

And close the book on the previous one…

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 18 mins

Image credit: Julian Ame, Unsplash

Well Wishing

Attention and compassion are twins that keep us in the present moment instead of living in the past and future which is exhausting and distressing. To cultivate compassion, wishing well is the mantra of our Wednesday Pause meditation for #WorldMentalHealthDay.

Wishing well a person whom you have an easy relationship with, someone who is experiencing difficulty, yourself in the midst of a difficult time, and those around you.

It’s possible that wishing yourself well might be the most awkward, even seemingly un-deserving. It could also be triggering, leading to more judgments, what is called a backdraft.

The purpose is to bring to bear an intention rather than to create any special feelings. And so the invitation is to keep wishing yourself well, bit by bit like dipping your toes in a cold pond.

This traditional Irish blessing comes to mind for you.

May the road rise up to meet you. 

May the wind be always at your back. 

May the sun shine warm upon your face

And rain falls soft upon your fields 

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 13 mins

Image credit: Amy Baugess, Unsplash

Welcoming Change

Often what makes it difficult to accept change is the experiences that are triggered such as anxiety, sadness, fear of the unknown. Ruminating on it only compounds the suffering. This practice is about cultivating the capacity to welcome change, even those we don’t like, in order to ease into stepping out of our comfort zone and taking risks. Poetry for today is Change by Kathleen Raine.


Change 

Said the sun to the moon, You cannot stay. 

Change 

Says the moon to the waters, 

All is flowing. 


Change 

Says the fields to the grass, 

Seed-time and harvest, 

Chaff and grain. 


You must change said, 

Said the worm to the bud, 

Though not to a rose.


Petals fade 

That wings may rise 

Borne on the wind. 



Are you ready to change? 

Says the thought to the heart, to let her pass .

You will change, 

says the stars to the sun, 

Says the night to the stars.


Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 19 mins

Image credit: Malek Dridi, Unsplash

Being With Nature

The invitation is to accept our thoughts and feelings as how we would accept what happens in nature around us like the sound of birds, the rise of the sun, the four seasons. Inner experiences are after all the outcomes of the mind and body, and we are in turn the product of nature. Acceptance helps us meditate in peace.

Inspired by Margaret Atwood’s poem The Moment.

The moment when, after many years 
of hard work and a long voyage 
you stand in the centre of your room, 
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country, 
knowing at last how you got there, 
and say, I own this, 

is the same moment when the trees unloose 
their soft arms from around you, 
the birds take back their language,

the cliffs fissure and collapse, 
the air moves back from you like a wave 
and you can’t breathe. 

No, they whisper. You own nothing. 
You were a visitor, time after time 
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming. 
We never belonged to you. 
You never found us. 
It was always the other way round.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 19 mins

Image credit: Keanu K, Unsplash

Self-Love

Today’s Wednesday Pause is a practice of self-love. Cliche as it sounds, its really an invitation to be gentle with ourselves, meaning whatever that is arising, whether we like it or not or find it inadequately stimulating, we gently accept the moment as it is. This reduces the hold unpleasant feelings has over us. And if we find ourselves experiencing strong emotional energy be it grief and anxiety, we respond with gentleness without needing “to do something” to fix it and make it go away. It’s as if you respond with gentle energy instead of brute force, counterintuitive as it may seem.

Inspiration sought from Walt Whitman’s poem Song of Myself (1892, extract).

I celebrate myself and sing myself

And what I assume, you shall assume

For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you.

I exist as I am that is enough

If no other in the world be aware I sit content

And if each and all be aware I sit content.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,

But I shall be good health to you nevertheless

And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged

Missing me one place, search another

I stop somewhere waiting for you.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 22 mins

Image credit: Mathilde Langevin, Unsplash

Not Giving Up

It’s easy to give up on meditating when we lose patience. The benefits may not be immediate and it can feel somewhat unpleasant when you’re just sitting still and not doing anything. Yet there is enough neuroscience evidence to show that mindfulness helps strengthen the brain and allows us to be more at ease in responding to difficulties. It’s probably the cheapest “solution” to mental health woes because you can meditate anywhere, anytime without guidance. This practice is about not giving up by giving yourself permission to be patient.

Inspiration from Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise (extract).


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.


Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.


You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.


Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 18 mins

Image credit: Timothy Meinberg, Unsplash

Directly Experiencing

We practice directly experiencing reality instead of through the filters of the mind which is easily clouded by cravings and fears. Our thoughts often demand that situations have to be in a particular way and we are dissatisfied when they are not. Why not accept life as it is, moment-by-moment, in its ups and downs so that we can respond wisely instead of in a deluded way that only prolongs suffering? There’s more to life than “should be”s, labels and opinions. Inspired by Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching verse 12.

The five colours blind the eye.
The five tones deafen the ear.
The five flavours dull the taste.
Racing and hunting madden the mind.
Precious things lead one astray.

Therefore the sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees.
He lets go of “that” and chooses “this”.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 24 mins

Image credit: Eric Han, Unsplash

Responding To Cravings

The Buddha had said cravings (attachments) is a source of our suffering. Here’s our Wednesday Pause practice of responding mindfully to our never-ending desires so that we are less easily led astray down the path of stress. And the poetry for today is Let These Be Your Desires by Khalil Gibran.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself

But if your love and must needs have desires,

Let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook

That sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart

And give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer

For the beloved in your heart

And a song of praise upon your lips.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Duration: 21 mins

Image credit: Piotr Musiol, Unsplash