Stillness Within

Living in a land where few speak my mother tongue, most of the language around me is simply sound – there are many children here and none of them are silent – so it is often a cacaphony of big sound. But the sound is sound … laughter, play – as of the birds, or even of the highway – or the city noise. It has no verbal meaning to me.. it is noise – sometimes harmonious and sometimes not.

At times it is simply too much and is difficult for me to just allow it to ‘be’ in the background especially if joined by the intensity of the dog barking close to my door or the Shelter cat yowling to be fed.

But I have found that social chatter – ‘what happened when’, talk of things we cannot do anything about – politics, ‘who is doing what’ -‘ who did what to whom and when’ – creates  a clatter in the mind that is far more disturbing than the bark of the dog!

Yes being on the outside of conversations, having no idea of the meaning – is difficult and frustrating at times – but the gaps – the space – the place to allow the flow of the quiet to just be – this has become deeply significant to me.


Let me not become a recluse,
or one who cannot tolerate the chatter of the world –
but gift to me the silence of the spirit and the heart.

And when I find not that space within myself –
allow me to hear the wisdom of those around me
who will remind me where I shall seek that space again
to heal the mind and the spirit of the noise of our world
that keeps us from the depth of understanding.

Stillness within
the quiet of the heart
freedom of being
to soar above sound
to dive deep
the blessing of silence
deep inside
a gift
a present
a now
a breath


Intentions Awry in India

All good intentions to blog yesterday went completely awry-  two subjects arose in my meditation in the morning – Finding My Inner Voice and The Qualities of Patience.  Great topics for a blog.  But all good intentions can come to naught in the face of 123 children and the demands of the day.  Including a visit from a Facebook friend who was travelling India and dropped in.

With an epidemic of conjunctivitis sweeping the Shelter just now..  the cries of ‘drops – dora’ – (eyes) are a part of the daily routine until we get it done.

And yesterday also was Dussera Day – a day of celebration and socialising.  So my quiet time disaapeared and by last night I was somewhat stretched to say the least.

In these times it only takes a small trigger to push my emotions over the edge.  And this  evening as most times, was a simple one.. I went to light some incense – only to find that my favourite new pack of sandalwood incense had been all used for the many blessings of Dussera Day  .. and the real trigger – nobody asked me before they whisked it away.

Waaaaahhhhh !

I feel sometimes like such a drama queen.  In Australia tears come rarely – life is obviously more even and calm in many ways.. here.. the chaos and noise and constant demands – even if just a simple one.. like hello Mam!

And now as I allow myself space – sit at my computer – looking out the window at the green fields and the swallows swoop by – and I listen to Riley Lee and the Shakuhachi – I can breathe and remember that this I have chosen – this is my life and my learning – the seeking of balance within the chaos, the quest to discover that place within myself that is of the harmony between the love, the wisdom and the power.

As Barry Brailsford counsels me this morning:

When obstacles beset your way
Overcome rather than conquer

Walk above instead of under
Step around rather than through

Embrace love, wisdom and power
To walk to path of truth



Rainy Season Stir Crazy!!

The rainy season is so beautiful.  True.  The waterfalls are barrelling down the hillsides, the valley is an intense green – the frogs call – the crickets are in a competition with them to make the loudest sounds.

But then there is the other side of this time of renewal and soaking rains.  The dampness that never leaves.  Clothes that take days to dry and when they are finally in a semblance of ‘dryness’ the distinct smell of mold is a constant companion.


And the emotions that rise – not being able to easily move around without getting wet – brings a sense of frustration with it.. a sense of “will I ever be able to get anything done again?” – “Am I really here for this.. to sit and mark time – to do nothing day in day out?” – this for one such as me who is a great ‘doer’ is a big lesson in patience, in being able to wait for the sun to come out!  Completely out of control.  For how do you control the weather?!

So I resort to all the small things I can control in this world – such as keeping the bathroom floor relatively dry – using the ‘wiper’ which keeps disappearing in the hands of small children who love to ‘wipe’ the concrete floors – that are continually flooded with rain.

Making a cup of Earl Grey tea carefully brought from Australia – folding my clothes and checking that they are not developing that grey film that spells mold in my cupboard. Uh oh – my favourite leather jacket has just gone grey!

And the past days thanking my Kindle and the fact that it has an unread copy of the volumes of Game of Thrones – my Kindle that can be read in the dark – even when the electricity is cut and all else is plunged into darkness.

Patience – that seems to be the most powerful need at this time – and a sense that this too will pass.  The emotions, the frustrations, and the seemingly never ending rains!

See you on the other side!

The time to move…

small bird waiting to move When it is time to move on in your life, it is not always an easy thing to do.  Ties are there, connections are there – a feeling of leaving family behind – especially when the life has been intense and committed and full of heart.  But even in that circumstance there are occasions when it is known that it is the time to move.

And even the time to move may not have a clear destination in front of it.. it may not have a shape yet – a place even – it is at this time just a feeling – a knowing that movement is needed.

picture of skyline in Cambodia

I have done just that and left my dearly beloved Indian family behind me – and flown to Cambodia – a new city – new country, different food, strange sounds, smells and places.  To wait and watch and do just what is arising under my nose for now.

Today I have been here a week – and today I was fortunate to be sent some words from my spiritual Master Osho that resonated so beautifully for me to assist me to simply appreciate where I am and the waiting and watching time:

Osho is talking to his friend Shambhu Babu who asks him:

“What are you going to do? – because I don’t think that you can remain in the university as a professor for long.”

Osho said, “Shambhu Babu, I never plan. If I drop out of this work I hope some other work will be there waiting for me. If God can find work for all kinds of people, animals, trees, I think He will be able to find some kind of work for me too. And if he cannot find any it is his problem, not mine.”

He laughed and said, “Yes, that is perfectly right. Yes, it is His problem if He is there, but the point is: if He is not there, then what?”

Osho said, “I don’t see any problem for me then either. If there is no work I can take a deep breath and say goodbye to existence. It is enough proof that I am not needed. And if I am not needed then I am not going to impose myself on this poor existence.”

I was delighted to read this – my mind had been nagging at me to create goals – to make a plan – to visualise myself in my next place – to do all of the things that my old world of ‘business management’ and ‘creating my own reality’ had taught me.

No – stop – don’t plan – do what is under your nose – the Universe has its own plan for you Shazar – it is simply the time to be available and to watch the signs.  Thank you again Osho for your timely assistance!!

Mother Earth, Water, Life and Death

Last week two trees lost their lives in service to our Mother Earth.

I felt the pain of the trees as they were chopped and hacked to the ground.  I was so angry with the wood cutter – and everyone here yelled at him and told him to stop.  But it was too late for those two trees – their lives finished by the chop of the blunt axe – digging deep into their core – they won’t die today – but they will die – and will no doubt be helped along the path to falling by the bite of another axe when we are not looking.  To be dragged down the hillside and used in the cooking fires of the villagers.

Picture of a hacked tree dying

I wanted to cry – but suddenly there was no point to the tears – only a point to action.  If those trees died and I cried .. what changes?  But if I am spurred to action – then meaning comes from their loss.

In my move to action first I thought to complain to the forestry department – but my Indian friends just laughed at that idea – after all what was our forestry department really going to do?  In their opinion simply nothing as they seem to do all along.

So my next action was to seek out others who were looking to help our land and I found something very interesting.

Picture of the method of recharging borewellBore well recharging.  The lights started to go on.

Water – the life blood of our Mother Earth – water so scarce here in this dry season.. that we have to truck it in every few days to keep our children supplied for all our many needs.
We have two bore wells.. one totally dry and the other produces only a little water each day.  But imagine if we can channel some of the tremendous water run off from the rainy season – if we can recharge or refill the underground aquifer – using nature’s place to store our water – then we can have a plentiful supply all year round.

From that moment things moved very fast and today less than a week later, Sikandar Meeranayak of the Sankalpa Rural Development Society came to speak with us.  We quickly gathered some of the local farmers together and he explained the simple methods they have perfected to make this happen.

Borewell recharge talk

And now as I sat in his talk, I began to see the reason why the trees died.  They had not died in vain – for their lives had triggered a chain of events that will lead to our children being able to grow their garden and to have quality food.  And the chain will not stop there as the farmers in our valley see the difference it makes to our water supply – they too may find the way to recharge the water deep in the earth.

We are going to store our water not in a big tank, but deep in the ground where Mother Earth already has the ‘tanks’ in a perfect place – cool, filtered, clean and bigger than any tank that we can build above ground – no evaporation from the sunshine, just waiting there for us to bring it to the surface – and to replenish it every time the huge and powerful rainy season monsoonal deluge comes.

Picture of Shazar and Sikander looking at the bore
What a simple an beautiful solution.

How grateful am I to the death of the two trees who gave their lives to trigger this discovery.

And in awe of the symmetry that surrounds me when I open my eyes to see.