28th May 2014

Staying sane when marooned on a desert island…and in everyday life

Ed Stafford, adventurer extraordinaire, was interviewed on Radio 4’s Saturday Live about his recent 60 day stay on a deserted island. His top tip for survival was to draw upon advice given to him by an Aboriginal friend; that when feeling overwhelmed he should retreat to a safe place (in Ed’s case he constructed a small circle of stones), and let go of thoughts. This untangling and letting go of the knotted mind has much in common with the meditation practice that is true corner stone of Mindfulness.

Come full circle in society’s pecking order and they don’t come any further removed from Aborigines on a walk-a-bout than the President of the Wold Bank, Jim Kim. When asked last week about the advice he would give himself as a 22 year old one of Jim Kim’s top tips was that he would advise a contemplative practice, such as meditation to help one clear one’s mind and to be more effective and compassionate.

And so it’s proving to be for me too…. that something as simple as sitting and being in the present moment is enhancing my own quality of life. I may not be marooned on a desert island or heading up the Wold Bank but each of us has our own circumstances (for me changing my daughter’s nappies features high on the day-to-day list) that we can enhance through a bit of simple sitting.

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