Patience As A Virtue

The practice of patience is slowing down by breathing slowly, then noticing our breathing and pausing, Each time an impulse arises to do something, to say something, slow down using the breathe, breath and pause before acting. We’re less likely to be reactive.

Patience, by Jewel

they say its a key
but I don’t need to unlock it
when I’ve seen
what’s behind them

it doesn’t prevent it
but rather demotivates

Yet I sustain
my hope
and wonder.

I push on
until I set off
and I do so 
with as much knowledge
in my head 
as I have power
in my legs.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Tuqa Nabi, Unsplash

She Let Go

On International Women’s Day, we take special care to celebrate women. As women, we celebrate our humanity and let go the need to be perfect, to trust that we do not need to be everything everywhere all at once. This is the essence of today’s practice.

She Let Go, Safire Rose (extract)

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her.

And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Maria Lupan, Unsplash

Watching Boredom

We tend to drop out of meditating when it is perceived to be boring, and question the need for it. This is an opportunity to use boredom as the object of our meditation, to watch it, and practice the skill of being with unwelcome situations while steadying our cravings, reactions and impulses.

Bored Poem, Margaret Atwood (extract)

Why do I remember it as sunnier 
all the time then, although it more often 
rained, and more birdsong? 
I could hardly wait to get 
the hell out of there to 
anywhere else. Perhaps though 
boredom is happier. It is for dogs or 
groundhogs. Now I wouldn’t be bored. 
Now I would know too much. 
Now I would know.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Scott Serhat Duygun, Unsplash

Let Me Be At Ease

This practice is about cultivating easing ourselves into whatever emotions that arise whenever things do not go our way or when something upsets us. Ensuring we are not overly gripped by our feelings and say or do something that will cause us or others harm.

I’ll be okay, by Leeann Rose

A cool breeze , makes me feel free

A cup of coffee or tea , is soothing to me ..

A lit candle burning, puts me at ease ..

A walk around the block, the children laughing makes me smile.

A cruel world, they know nothing about ..

I’m still

Living in the moments,

trying to figure it all out

Some days are harder than most ..

I find strength within..

I know I’ll be okay ..

Never forgetting to breathe.

One day at a time.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Aleksandar Cvetanovic, Unsplash


When we try to practice compassion towards someone who tends to trigger strong negative emotions within us, we may get stuck and end up ruminating and feeling conflicted in the process. This is a practice of compassion without needing to think, justify or force any particular feelings by accepting whatever that arises as they are.

Hope, by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Jacek Poblocki, Unsplash

Not Taking Ourselves Too Seriously

We’re vulnerable to triggers if we take ourselves and whatever experiences that arise too seriously ie when we’re attached to our selves or sense of self. Of course, we have to be discerning about our boundaries. Here is a practice of merely observing, and not taking everything that arises so seriously to learn to let go.

Beautiful World, written by Isabelle Thye

It is sad that sometimes people focus on what is lacking instead of what is thriving. We can never diminish differences, but love, life, and gratitude are living things that could grow bigger and bigger.

Sometimes I fell into this trap and felt miserable too.

It’s okay that not everyone sees what you see, don’t take yourself too seriously. I’ll remind myself when I come back to my senses.

My life means something when I can write like this.

While I am here, the world is too beautiful to not enjoy it.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Uriel Soberanes, Unsplash

Managing Cravings, Desires, Hungers

It is humanly to crave for recognition, praise, love to avoid being abandoned, and that is why there is unhappiness. Even if we get what we want, the mind will be grasping for the next thing. It’s never satisfied!

Cravings manifest in thoughts (“I must do this”), feelings (anxiety, frustration), body sensations (tightness), impulses to do something such as eat, binge on Netflix, smoke or engage in extreme or compulsive behaviour. The invitation is to practice RAIN – Recognize, Anchor, Investigate, Nourish.

Recognize – we start by recognising what thoughts, feelings, body sensations and impulses are here, and not judging ourselves and needing to act on the cravings especially those unhelpful ones as that would only keep us locked in the cycle of unhappiness.

Anchor – Then we tame the wild mind by anchoring or directing the attention to the breath or a body part say the feet.

Investigate – After the meditation, we reflect on four questions about cravings as mentioned in the recording. It is crucial that we achieve some sense of stability before contemplating on these questions.

Nourish – Throughout the practice, we send kindness toward ourselves and others to nourish the being.

Above The Silence, Line Gauthier

i listen for the sound of you
as the sun parades across the sky
i listen for the sound of you
when the moon outshines the stars

i reach out there in the beyond
and crave to hear the velvet of your voice
it soothes me to the core 
and calms the chaos of my mind

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Fuu J, Unsplash

Body Consciousness

This is a practice of bringing awareness to the body to help us stay in the present moment, and step away from rumination. Our toes do not ruminate nor judge. Once a toothache is gone, the body does not feel it but the mind may still bear memory of it.

Feelings: Body Consciousness (extract), Kiran Pillai

I know my policy is for joy and happiness. 
Nothing else matters really for me today. 
No getting stuck in emotions and feelings. 
Live from depth of life. Nothing else matters.

Everything is a feeling in body. 
Nothing more. All emotions just are. 
I got a hint that emotions are feelings. 
You feel in your body. Maybe even mind things. 

Anger. Just a thing in your body. 
Fear. Again something in your body. 
You shrink, clench and constrict. 
Do that for long and sickness appears. 

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Kabo, Unsplash

Letting Go With Stillness

We practice letting go difficulties or unwanted feelings with stillness or staying still instead of needing to “fix” things through this mindfulness meditation.

Expectation Poem, Sue Ellson

To accept or expect 
That is the question 
To live in the moment 
Or demand attention

The weather forecast 
May be right or wrong 
But the seasons keep changing 
To help us stay strong 

We can choose to strive 
To seek and not to yield 
Or we can just be love 
And simply open the field 

For it is in the surrender 
That we lose the addiction
And find ourselves
In a place without friction

The pursuit of happiness
Has too many highs and lows
The peace of contentment
Allows us to enjoy life’s flows

When I think of love
It is often a chase
But it is time right now
To leave that race

For when I feel in my heart
The love is there
From a smile or a touch
Or a show of care

To believe takes faith
And a loss of control
But that is when serendipity
Starts to play its role

And then it happens
When you open your eyes
To see what is already there
And you finally realise

It is there in full view
But not how you expect
So love what you have
And treat it with respect

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: CRZ, Unsplash


As the year comes to an end, we make resolutions. Here’s a practice of remaining steadfast to our new year goals before giving up on them. Happy 2023!

Learning To Stay, Pema Chodron

Stay…stay…just stay.

So whenever we wander off,
we gently encourage ourselves to “stay” and settle down.
Are we experiencing restlessness? Stay!
Discursive mind? Stay!
Aching knees and throbbing back? Stay!
What’s for lunch? Stay!
What am I doing here? Stay!
I can’t stand this another minute! Stay!
That is how we cultivate steadfastness.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Yoonjae Baik, Unsplash

Going Slowly

As we head towards the end of the year, a gentle reminder to slow down and smell the roses. And even if the mind is jumping around, here is an invitation to slow down. Inspired by Walk Slowly by Danna Faulds.

It only takes a reminder to breathe,

a moment to be still, and just like that,

something in me settles, softens, makes

space for imperfection. The harsh voice

of judgment drops to a whisper and I

remember again that life isn’t a relay

race; that we will all cross the finish

line; that waking up to life is what we

were born for. As many times as I forget,

catch myself charging forward

without even knowing where I’m going,

that many times I can make the choice

to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk

slowly into the mystery

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Zane Lee, Unsplash

Open Mind, Open Heart

The mind in its origin is pure before conceptual ideas and assumptions are formed. Our underlying beliefs may be valid and some not, and could be taking us down the path of distress. Here is a practice of returning to an open mind, keeping an open heart to the vagaries of any meditation that tend to arise in life outside the mat too. When the mind merely mirrors reality as it is, we can respond more wisely and calmly to the circumstances.

Inspired by Open, by Elizabeth English

How it is to feel

Entirely open,

Unconcerned and shining,

Like a mirror newly polished

Beneath a clear blue sky.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Jonas Vincent, Unsplash

Cultivating Grace

The practice of cultivating grace—embodying qualities of calmness, graciousness, which requires responding from a place of inner wisdom such as kindness instead of conceptual beliefs, and sitting or softening ourselves toward unpleasant emotions such as fear and the need to control instead of reacting or resisting to make ourselves “feel better”.

Inspired by Grace, by Joy Harjo (extract)

I could say grace was a woman with time on her hands, or a white buffalo escaped from memory. But in that dingy light it was a promise of balance. We once again understood the talk of animals, and spring was lean and hungry with the hope of children and corn.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Ahmet Sali, Unsplash

Recognising Feeling Tone

Referring to Buddhist text, Martine Batchelor describes feeling tone or its Pali word “vedana” as the pleasant, unpleasant and neutral tonality of experience that arises upon contact through the six senses with one’s outer or inner environment. Our distress in part come from our reactive underlying tendencies in connection with experiencing pleasant, unpleasant or neutral vedanas. Investigating the impact of feeling tones could help us identify the neurophysiological blueprints of mental processing, and therefore help us find ways to respond more helpfully to stimulus.

The purpose of this practice is to observe feeling tone, the first or most instinctive feeling or sensation that arises, holding space for it ie not judging them, followed by noticing desires or impulses that arise which are often about ridding or fixing how we feel after the initial feeling tone.

In connection with this theme, we refer to Birdwings, a poem by Rumi

Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you are bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes, and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated 
as birdwings.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Nagara Oyodo, Unsplash

Reference on feeling tone here

Waking Up From Grasping

Obsessively grasping for something or someone leads us down the path to distress or suffering if we’re not mindful. Here’s to becoming aware of it in thoughts and actions, and letting go by simply observing and moving the attention back to the breath, and becoming more discerning of where we should be paying attention. The quality of our lives depends on where our attention is. There’s no need to grasp.

As Basho, the Zen monk says:

Sitting silently,

Doing nothing,

Spring comes and grass grows by itself.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Piotr Musiol, Unsplash


When we feel our life is lacking something, add love to it. When the mind judges and distresses us, add love to those thoughts. Whenever we feel impatient or judge ourselves and others, add love. Even if we don’t feel very loving at that point, we can just bring to bring to bear the intention, perhaps with words of affirmation.

The universe is inside of you, Rupi Kaur

the universe is inside of you

look inwards

and see yourself

for who you really are

we are all made of stardust

and we are all beautiful

when we love ourselves unconditionally

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Elvis Ray, Unsplash


This practice is about not taking ourselves too seriously whenever we find it difficult to sit — a practice of not taking life too seriously when things don’t go our way. Playfulness helps cultivate patience. And when we can sit with that quality, we see things with clarity. What’s clear is clear, what’s veiled is veiled – nothing more.

Haiku by Matsuo Basho

A day of quiet gladness,

Mount Fuji is veiled

In misty rain.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Nina Mercado, Unsplash


Patience is said to be a virtue to help us deal with distress or when things are not going our way. Underlying patience is humility, and so here’s a practice on humility. Humility is not about cancelling out our voice or lowering our self-esteem. Rather it’s the quiet confidence that we can go about our lives without needing overt validation. When we become like the bald eagle that flies towards the storm, only then can we go above it and become more.

surrendering like an eagle, Noelle Lim

if we remind ourselves of our imperfections

tell us we’re not good enough

punishing the fragile ego

life becomes a suffering

but what if we can be for changing

if answering setbacks

means leaving outside the ego

the enemy of courage locking us in a wallow 

instead, why not surrender and accept

on hand, a willing heart

to life’s irregular cracks and weathering

we’ll see the play of her seasons

and witness the glory of her possibilities

let life not beat us down

instead, accept her grand invitation

to climb onto her big, strong wings 

like those of the bald eagle

that flies towards the storm

gliding higher, gathering more strength, more speed

soaring above rain clouds

why let the ego keeps us on our knees

when we can fly above the gust

an eagle 

does not dwell on the size of her claws

nor apologises for her flaws

instead she opens up to the call of life

accepting a lift from the stormy winds

going higher, going further, she becomes more.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Karina Vorozheeva, Unsplash

Conscious Breathing

The breath represents life, it’s the first thing we do when we become a life. Being conscious of the breath also has the benefit of activating the parasympathetic nervous system that restores us to equilibrium and calms us down.

It’s also possible that the breath can be triggering. If you find it difficult to focus on the breath, just do the best you can as an observer, bringing to bear just an intention to observe and nothing else.

Breathing (extract), Thich Nhat Hanh

Breathing in,
I have become space
without boundaries.
I have no plans left.
I have no luggage.

Breathing out,
I am the moon
that is sailing through the sky of utmost emptiness.
I am freedom.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Erik Jan Leusink, Unsplash

Exploring Courage

Exploring courage starts with preparation – how we are starting and then continuing in the practice with a strong back (signalling confidence, conviction), soft front (care) and paying attention moment-by-moment (the little ways).

Courage (extract), Anne Sexton


when you face old age and its natural conclusion

your courage will still be shown in the little ways,

each spring will be a sword you’ll sharpen,

those you love will live in a fever of love,

and you’ll bargain with the calendar

and at the last moment

when death opens the back door

you’ll put on your carpet slippers

and stride out.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Manel Sean Kcl, Unsplash