Sweet surrender

Recently I was away and initially the internet was iffy at best and absent at worst.

My do-aholic mind spent many ingenious hours plotting and scheming where to go to hack into the internet so I could honour commitments and `keep up ` with work etc. 

I had forgotten universal truths… one being that when I am away there are always less texts and emails… the universe knows. The other, just trust. 

Then I was on a boat with no internet. Initial frustration was quickly transformed into a delicious sense of surrender, now I could really release as there was absolutely nothing I could do about it other than hijack a lifeboat and paddle like mad!!

The utter peace and joy of sweet surrender. Five days of silence from this world allowed so much quiet time to hear the inner voice; also, to realise how the ego hangs on tenaciously to distract us from alignment with our soul. The blessing of time to pause, breathe and catch up with myself.

It will be a challenge to be disciplined regarding the internet when I return home, yet what gifts the space in between emails, texts and surfing offers…..

St Francis and the simplicity of Love

In our physically and emotionally complex world there is a place for simplicity. For staying in the moment, being fully present, just being love in every situation.

St Francis, the saint who is often linked to nature, the animals, birds, and stars took simplicity further still. He internalised it to include his will and ego, to then surrender his all to his God.

He is reputed to once have said “Why are we not just in love with love?” Quite a thought to realise how much we objectify love, as a person, an idea, even marmite…

Remember how rich and all-encompassing the feelings of love can be? 

Beyond the ego passion, the ego need to have and hold, to contain or own is a rich and beautiful place, we have all experienced. It may arrive as a wave of golden love suffusing us sometimes for no obvious reason. Imagine if we could tune into that experience of love all the time? 

Maybe we can…..

Beginnings and Endings

Book – endings

Here in the Open Sanctuary, we are deeply aware of the power of ritual, of marking passages of time, seasons, situations and so forth.

On a daily basis we offer a Morning and Evening Office; this is a Sacred Space in which to settle the heart and mind enabling us to hear Divine guidance.

These times in Sacred Space represent setting the Intention for the day in the morning office with the evening office being a time for Reflection on how the day has been through the eyes of the morning Intention.

This is not as scary as it sounds… in the morning office there might be a mantra, a few words or a short reading from which you notice the words that resonate and allow them to percolate through you in meditation for 10 minutes or so. You are invited back from your meditative place and invited to share your Intention for the day in a few words. 

The evening office opens in silence as we enter a Reflective time in which to review the day through the lens of the Intention we set in the morning. 

In this time, we honestly and gently explore all the occasions when we did not live our Intention to the best of our ability.

Then we open to exploring what quality or value might have helped us changed that.

For example, the reading might offer us some guidance about `being more patient`, so in the evening office of Reflection where we step into self –awareness, we bring to mind the times we rushed or were not patient.  From the spiritual qualities we discern the most powerful tools to support our reframing our way of being more patient. This might be to `pause between situations, to breathe and to space our diaries more graciously.

So, at the end of the Reflective time when we re-gather, the words we would share with the group would be “Pause, Breathe, Space” as these are the lessons we opened to this day.

This process ensures maximum engagement with our Intention and all the Reflection offers us allowing us to go to bed with positive thoughts in mind. This helps ensure each day ends quietly, incrementally building upon the previous… a kind of win win really!

Beginnings and Endings and A.G.M.s

The Open Sanctuary have just had their AGM.

The perfect opportunity to experience beginnings and endings.

What has been resisted, learned from and offered to another in the previous year.

 It is a natural point of review, reflection, renewal and growth.

From the previous year what informs the coming year and what can we now offer from that acquired wisdom?

Sometimes it takes courage to step into a new version of ourselves as it is often untried and untested. It takes courage to be willing to put oneself forward in a role that may be new to us. 

Here the generosity of those in the Open Sanctuary mirrors their core beliefs, one of which is:

“Our purpose is healing through union”.

How reassuring it is to have role bearers offering to shadow and support the incoming office bearers as they take up their new roles. 

Such an opportunity to deepen connections with another, all of which is part of the healing dynamic, moving duality into non duality.

Such a gift to see people model their beliefs.

An ending blessing tomorrow.


Today is going to be a slowwwww day.

I travelled from Aviemore to Edinburgh yesterday, the day was perfect, and I wasn’t driving so I could soak up the fabulous views, the truly amazing scenery and be reminded of the wonder of this amazing wee planet.

Edinburgh was its usual busy city, people everywhere, all rushing, vehicle sounds and toots, it was also very hot which always acts as a magnifying glass.

For a couple of hours every sense was assaulted from the sounds, the sights, the rush, the smells, and the taste of city grit. The north bound journey home was as stunning as heading south, yet from a different angle…

Home to utter exhaustion.

It reminded me of the tale of the Native Canadian found sitting on the station at the end of a Canada wide train journey. 

Who, when asked why he was not rushing off to `get somewhere` replied quite serenely, ” I am waiting for my soul to catch up”. 

Perhaps this is a definition of jetlag? 

Yesterday I felt my soul pass itself coming and going at Pitlochry…. 

Today is going to be a slowwwww day.



I had a fascinating conversation with a dear friend recently and we wandered into the topic of expectation…Not only the subtle unconscious childhood expectations but also the ones we have developed in our attempts to palliate the fears that lie beneath.

 An example might be within a relationship. If there is a fear of abandonment, she meets a man and finds him perfect and then changes herself to be whom she thinks he wants her to be to ensure he does not leave her…He, on the other hand, sees her and thinks she is perfect and is saddened as she changes over the years becoming someone else in the process. Someone he was not attracted to. The result remains potential abandonment despite all the efforts to avoid that very thing.

There is a saying “An expectation is a disappointment waiting to happen. It can be worth exploring the relationships that may have a frisson to them and looking for any expectations you may have of the other – what expectations exist and why do you have them?

Expectations are facets of judgment as they are the expression of what we want or need, hence they come from the ego. Expectations reflect the limitations of the love the person can give and receive. Unconditional love is allowing, gracious and receives in gratitude. Expectations limit our ability to receive the love of another no matter how freely it is given.

Many years ago, I knew a woman in her mid-twenties whose boyfriend proposed to her. She said yes but then refused sex for 4 months because “he didn’t propose in the right way”, the way she expected. They married and divorced within three years.

Like all the insights we glean as we head inwards, there is always a flip side. 

Take a relationship, explore your expectations of it in all aspects, visualise how it might be if you allowed it to be just what it is…What freedom lies within.

Releasing expectations leads to peace, calm, stillness, acceptance… (include your own qualities here).

Losing peace, calm, stillness, acceptance… (include your own qualities here) 

indicates an expectation somewhere…. a point of self-awareness helping you access the inner world and explore the expectation and all it teaches you.

Good luck…

Silence is pure, silence is holly…

Recently I have been using the library for studying, it is a residual memory from student days when the library took on temple-like importance. The environment, the quiet, the books (pre computer days), the sight of others equally engaged in focussed learning. 

Seeing them prepare their work `stations`, pens, ink, paper, water, snacks, and piles of books to encircle and comfort in the pursuit of learning. Using the library on and off over the years has evoked the same feelings to a degree. Only in the last few weeks a young man working on his thesis has joined the library. We barely speak but there is a shared connection, an unspoken sharing of intention; to study, a communion of silence.

As Nicholas Sparks wrote “Silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking.” Now it feels like a library.

Rev. Jude

I am never upset for the reason, I think.

A Course in Miracles has a lesson a day for a year, supporting the transition from ego and fear-based thinking to thinking thoughts of and from love.

 I was with a friend recently and going on about a pet peeve and found myself getting quite `energised` about it. I then recalled the lesson for the day. “I am not upset for the reason I think I am”. It was like a needle puncturing a balloon deflating the energy as I realised my upset came from another source, yet I had chosen to vent it through my `peeve`!

It reminded me to keep in closer touch with my inner witness. To regularly tune into where I am to more swiftly spot when I am out of alignment, or, of course, be more aware of when my thoughts are `out` of love.

Self-awareness and staying aware of it keeps the inner witness busy!

Loving thinking rocks!!

Can you read a room?

Recently I was chatting with a friend, and I made a comment about how good she was at reading a room, picking up the sub texts and unconscious nuances etc.

She began to share her observations and how it all affected her. 

After we parted, the conversation stayed with me, can I read a room? 

Do I get the unconscious communication that is going on and, if so, where do I feel it?

It was a fascinating few days for the inner witness pondering over every encounter…I now have an inner witness with deep fatigue!

As with everything I took it to meditation, asked for greater clarity and settled into silence. What emerged slightly side swiped me, and I ended the meditation laughing.

I had been shown a thermostat. What!!!!!

It finally dawned on me, a thermometer can read the energy of the room, a thermostat can change it.

Are you a thermometer or are you a thermostat?

29th June 2023

Prioritising the Divine

Recently I was blessed when two of my offspring, with partners and baby, came home for a visit. They both live in the antipodes, so it has been a while. They are both blessed with my `lark` genes and would join me on the deck very early, a time in which I would usually meditate, so my meditation practice and daily spiritual routine became more erratic as time passed.

The joy of their presence and all the unusual activities that went with their brief return home confused `normal` life for me. After five weeks of this discombobulation the last offspring returned home leaving a `tender-mummy-heart` but also a deep sense of relief as I could now reconnect with my spiritual practice and all its framework.

The deep sense of joy at my first sitting in meditation was palpable in a heartfelt sigh. I felt the day flow more smoothly, the readings and writings, the awareness in, and of, nature blossomed (sorry!). 

With it came the realisation of how far `off piste` I can go when out of spiritual flow. This family time invoked the reminder that our families are our greatest classrooms as they perpetually have their fingers on our buttons and sometimes, we can feel we are being picked like a banjo!

There have been so many epiphanies from this time which I will explore here in time but for today it is to honour the (on-going) surrender of ego and the peace that release brings to the heart, soul, and mind. To be able to hand my life over to the Divine of my Awareness is the greatest gift…. 

The subtly in the change of perception of situations arising, the expansion of connection from purely familial to community and universal, the reminder that to Honour my Divine is, for me, the starting point in life each day from which all flows. This is, once again, my imperative and now I need to find strong anchors to maintaining that daily rhythm and connection, stronger than they were as I see more clearly how easily distraction can lure me away from peace. 

With love, Jude