Tuesday 25 December 2018

Christmas Heart-Beat

Christmas Heart-Beat

I feel my heart beating-
beat for beat – with this child’s heart

Why does my heart beat – beat for beat –
with this child’s heart?

Is it that this beating heart has given to me
by some arcane alchemy of blood –
by some secret magic – a new insight –
a new understanding?

Are not all children like this child –
are not all sleeping children
peaceful as this one?

My eyes would say so, but my heart
Feels otherwise, feels this child’s heart-beat
As its own, yet not its own alone,
But all the world’s.

This child has a secret, sacred heart
Only my sacred soul’s secret ears can here –
A heart encompassing the whole world’s hopes –
Pulsing in all hearts everywhere –

In hearts of men and prayerful women,
In children’s happy hearts, and in the hearts
Of mild-eyed cattle by the mangers side –

And in the heart of the gentle donkey
Marked with the cross upon its shoulders –

Where palms are strewn –
Where ring the loud Hosannas.
                                                  Maitri Mudra (EH)

Monday 24 December 2018


Christmas is celebrated when in the Northern hemisphere it is the time of greatest darkness, and the Son/Sun is re-born to bring light back to the world. Light is a symbol of pure consciousness, pure awareness and of your intelligence, and your lights at Christmas are reminders of your ability to bring your own inner light to bear on your problems. It is a time to think about your New Year resolution and Governing Concept as a guide to the future. It does not have to be complicated, as simply to ‘Love what you are doing’, will help you to develop to your full potential.

It was Heraclitus who saw God as an all devouring fire, and fire as pure spirit was formerly reckoned to be one of the four principle elements out of which all living things were made. The Christmas tree is a Fir Tree or fire tree and the angel’s we place on the top of the tree, spheres of intelligent light. Light is representative of consciousness and at the centre of every being is Imminent Spirit, or pure consciousness, it is essentially joyful and essentially happy. Each time you look toward the angel at the top of your tree, return to centre and become one with the intelligent light within yourself...Happy Christmas Pam and Gordon...

Friday 7 December 2018

Ageless Grace Philosophy

Ageless Grace Philosophy

It took personal injury to bring into realisation that my study into the ancient art of yoga, meditation and relaxation would be invaluable in aiding my own recovery and that it also had the potential to help others. At 86 years of age having suffered a spinal collapse, there was a choice between being passive to all the medics had to offer, or returning positive control back to myself. I was fortunate in that my wife Pam has a lifetimes experience in teaching yoga and health related subjects.

She foresaw that the energy of motion could be used to promote healing by using chair based movement. This could also help the aged and the less able, and help them to return back to the wonder and magic of life. This is where my recovery began. Alongside our yoga and meditation, Pam sought to train in a system which improved function but also brain plasticity, leading to the Ageless Grace® program developed by Denise Medved.

Every living thing has a perfect form and function that enables it to fit within the perfect economy of life. These life forms are a part of the natural order of things and have arisen out of a field of life and intelligence that has manifested from the centre of each being. We are not all destined to be philosophers but can be helped if we discover those things which work. This means for those who are interested, in discovering what we mean by Mind, Feeling and ’Will’, we become more able to manage our affairs and plot a successful course through life.

Pam uses exercises which are chair based, fun, improve circulation, and help to keep the mind alert and reclaim happy memories. We are born into relative innocence and then conditioned by education and life itself by a confusion of ideas. The thoughts uppermost in our minds often leading us away from whom we truly are, this is when meditation can be of help and learning to be still and practising “Watch the Monkey Jump”, that is the tendency of the mind to jump, like the monkey, from one branch of thought to another. This is only one small example of how meditation can help to bring clarity to our thought processes.

Stress can also be an overriding factor in our day to day lives, damaging our health and relationships. Music and movement can provide a refreshing break and return us to normality. For those who would also like to continue the meditational approach there is the important link between the breath and the emotions “Calm the Breath-Calm the Emotions” by practising the many life giving breathing exercises, to aid the return to tranquillity.                                                                                     
Relaxation not only releases tension, but increases energy levels, with the potential to help the healing process. For this to be effective it takes considerable experience on the part of the guide and teacher, as their own understanding is conveyed by the words they use.

Many teachers and guides of the Ageless Grace® program have had a lifetime of experience. When you are young and youthful the more energetic aspects of yoga and exercise may appeal. It is during the mature years with some of the problems this may bring, that a different approach could prove invaluable without losing the benefits of this timeless and age old philosophy. ‘Get fit while you sit,’ Our way of thinking and speaking can empower us or deplete our life giving energies. “Choose Life”, become a positive thinker and speaker. You are what you believe yourself to be. As Dalai Lama says ‘Just be Happy’.

Gordon Smith

Ageless Grace® Brain Health is based on research in neuroscience and the
ability of the brain and central nervous system to change itself, regardless
of our age.  Attempting to learn new physical movements, much like we did
daily as children, particularly activates the 5 primary functions of the
brain (strategic planning, memory and recall, analytical thinking,
creativity and imagination and kinesthetic learning), for improved cognitive
function. The 21 tools or exercises of Ageless Grace are spontaneous,
creative, fun and done seated for ALL ages, in order to cause the brain to
"figure out" how to do the moves from a chair. Learn more about the program
Pam Smith teaches at www.agelessgrace.com

Friday 21 September 2018

The New Dawn

The New Dawn

Each day, refresh and renew; by stepping into stillness
The all comprehending space from which all life Evolves.
Let go the thoughts that darken the mind,
Open each curtain that obscures the light of ‘Self’.
Quieten the breath, until the surface of your mind is still.
Touched by the Lotus Blossoms of Peace

Let each fragrant breath capture the light of Eternity,
That touches time with its healing presence.
Becoming one with the light of your true essence,
Healing Body Mind and the space around.
Do not close the curtains of your mind,
 Let consciousness be your timeless guide 

Friday 14 September 2018

The Living Flame

 The Living Flame provides infinite possibilities for meditation, and the safest and most economical way of doing this is to use a candle. Sitting around a single flame can awaken in us the primordial instincts of the cave dweller, when it was fire that kept wild animals at bay, and was the only source of light and heat. It evokes feelings of comradeship, friendship and security
Some Yogis and Hindus still practise a fire ceremony (Agni Hotra), by meditating on the living flame at Sunset and Sunrise. This flam is produced by burning dried cow dung, as the cow is considered holy. It is said to purify the atmosphere and help the meditator achieve harmony with life. Here we use the lighted candle, which in churches throughout the world is used to represent living spirit. By meditating and participating in its light you will experience warmth and peace
Meditate on the light of a candle flame. Then with Love kindle a small light in your heart.
With each peaceful breath encourage the light to grow,
until it permeates your whole being.
Then place the word LOVE in letters of gold, deep within the light.
Let go of the word LOVE and let it melt into the surrounding light
so that you are surrounded in an aura of golden white light.
Direct the light to friends in need and those you love
Gordon Smith Editor & Custodian Trustee

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga is a heartfelt yoga that leads directly to union with God.  When we love we embrace more than ourselves and God the ‘Absolute Good’, is the Love that embraces the whole of creation. Yoga is not unlike a many faceted jewel that reflects its inner light to the world; the human body is our vehicle of experience which we are here to fashion and develop through time and the many yoga’s with its Gods and Goddesses,  the many functions that constitute the whole.
Within each moment of time there are infinite possibilities and the bhakti trains himself and herself to respond as perfectly as possible as the occasion requires. This means using their yogic training and expertise to still the mind and seek a heartfelt response, rather than weighing the action possibilities to gain some personal advantage.
God is love and it is love that awakens the potentialities that exist in each moment of time.  At the heart of Love is Truth and it is Truth which in its many forms has structured the many life-forms that we see around us. We have been given freedom of choice and karma is the product of private purpose, which ultimately makes us wise.
Bhakti Yoga is devotion to the highest and is guided by love, which moment by moment is linked to the inner sentient power which transcends the limitations of time, refines perception, and awakens us to a better way of doing things. To Will what God Wills for us we have to develop the mind of the heart, learn to still the mind and open to our own channel of intuitive perception. Every thought is a package of energy and carries its own emotional charge, which requires that we are ever watchful and always pure intentioned.
To love what we are doing is the key, whether a simple yoga posture or when meditating. It is a level of feeling which when refined transforms each breath, reaches beyond the limitation of ideas to reveal new perspectives and better ways of doing things. It is a level of feeling which is ever guiding, expanding every horizon and enabling each to fulfil is divine purpose.

Friday 17 August 2018

Yoga for Back Pain

When we use the word Yoga it implies an intelligent and Conscious approach to whatever is being done. Whenever back pain is present there can be diverse reasons as to its cause, from serious trauma requiring immediate medical intervention, to the less serious, whether physical or psychological. At some point decision has to be made whether any form of exercise is appropriate and this is when the realistic approach of Yoga may prove helpful.

It is likely that if the cause of the pain is recent that the injury is at the acute stage, when inflammation, torn tissue and pressure due to swelling affecting nerve endings produces continuous discomfort and the best course of action is rest. It is when healing takes place and when musculature tightens that we enter the chronic phase, when there is undue stiffness and a lack of flexibility. Yoga exercise then becomes part of a Conscious and evolving process in which the spine and associated musculature is allowed to start to express itself through a range of movement, which is extremely gentle at first, as forced movement can be counter-productive. Some basic exercise is described as follows:-

Flexing the Spine as with the forward bending postures, particularly with disc related problems, has to be approached with caution. Paschimottanasana is a seated posture with the legs extended to the front, in which the posterior muscles of the body are given a stretch by bending forward and bringing the body toward the legs. The posture is then held for several seconds without pulling or jerking, but simply allowing the upper weight of the body to contribute toward the stretch. It takes time and patience to stretch tightened muscles; helps are directing the energy and the warmth of the out flowing breath toward the whole of the back.

Hyperextension is the counter pose posture which after spinal flexion is taken up from a lying face down position. Ideally it should be possible to first raise the head and shoulders without assistance from the arms. However, a realistic approach after suffering back trauma is to adopt a Sphinx like pose by resting on the forearms and then raising head and shoulders and holding position for several seconds. With improved flexibility the body can be raised further by adopting the Cobra or Bhujangasana pose with the hands palms down at shoulder level.

Lateral Flexion allows the spine to bend first to one side and then the other. There are a variety of Yoga postures to encourage this, usually from a stable seated position while sitting with the legs crossed or knees bent and at one side and then the other. The arms are then raised and clasped above the head and stability maintained as the body is stretched first to one side and then the other.

Spinal Rotation can be from either standing or sitting and the body rotated first one way and then the other, and holding the twist for several seconds at each turn.

This is a small example of the type of Yoga exercise then can help alleviate back pain. It is important to remember that the body is best supported by a well toned musculature and that there has to be achieved a balance between too relaxed and flaccid, called the hypotonic condition, and the too tense, the hypertonic. The ideal is when muscle tone is such that it is ready for immediate action and referred to as a balanced or tonic condition.

Yoga is very much bringing control back to the individual and assisting in the healing process through an intelligent awareness of the body, whether or not medical intervention has been necessary. The aim of Yogi throughout the ages has been to know one’self at all levels whether physically, mentally or spiritually.