“Less ‘daunting’ than the cage of the ‘known’, the opportunity to show up to your life unfolds,”
- Dr Andrea Philp-Seidel
My journey to understand and reduce the turbulent winds in my life began when I recognised and acknowledged I could no longer continue to function as I was - simply just coping. Finding myself at the foot of the mountain of life and acknowledging the journey would involve digging in, holding on, learning to trust myself and letting go of previous self-sabotaging thoughts and habits, was frightening.
By walking over 2 100 km across Spain and France on three separate Caminos, led me along an inner and outer journey where the process of understanding my turmoil began. A seed had been planted. The seed for personal acceptance and transformation was emerging. I had discovered a new journey, the path of awareness for the potential for deep and continued healing.
And I found myself thinking:
“Is it in a moment, a day, or after a week or a season, that we find ourselves incapable of perpetuating our being in a particular situation, context, place or space? There is guidance when we stop. Stop whatever it may be that we are doing.
Listen carefully to the whispers of intuition. The comfort in the ‘discomfort’ is no more.
And the emptiness of potential and possibility abides."
PLUM VILLAGE MONASTERY, Village des Pruiniers, Dordogne, Southern France.
THICH NHAT HANH
"Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment."
- Thich Nhat Hanh,
During this emotionally challenging process of self-examination, I came across the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. Thay is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, peace activist, poet, author and the founder of the Plum Village mindfulness meditation practice in France. It was during the time I spent at Plum Village that I gratefully received my 5 Mindfulness-based trainings certificate, and my new name, 'Sacred Pathway To The Heart.'
With every word and paragraph I read of Thay's teachings I became keenly aware of the non-judgemental practice of loving-kindness, self-compassion, forgiveness, peace and sympathetic joy which Thay’s teachings so generously offered. During the time I spent on retreat at Plum Village my seeds of inner enquiry developed purposeful direction and growth.
OPENING SENTAR IN SOUTH AFRICA
"Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that. "
- Jon Kabat Zinn
Upon my return from Plum Village, I introduced the method of embracing our suffering whilst looking compassionately and deeply within, into my coaching practice. My clients and I noticed a strong shift in the upliftment of self, and we noticed that with the introduction of a loving-kindness meditation, they were able to experience an improved personal self-speak and offer more compassionate awareness to their mental, physical and emotional sufferings.
Having personally experienced a mega shift in emotional and physical upliftment, I believe Sentar offers a supportive space where clients can safely experience a shift from self-limiting past experiences and begin to develop the capacity for living with clarity and positively focused intention.
"Every time you take in good you build a new little bit of neural structure. Doing this a few times a day - for months and even years - will gradually change your brain, and how you feel and act, in far-reaching ways."
Rick Hanson, Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom.