“Each moment is a chance for us to make peace with the world, to make peace possible for the world, to make happiness possible for the world.” Thich Nhat Hanh
New ep/ Quiet time and silent days/ Palestinian, West Bank Garden of Hope Project/ Music and Mindfulness courses and Peace Songs with Godfrey/Wake Up Your Artist Retreat/ Passing of Thich Nhat Hanh
Hello friends, thanks for stopping by.
I began writing this before the Russian invasion of Ukraine as have rewritten this intro to hold this, somehow un-holdable sadness. My thoughts/emotions went like this- confusion and disbelief at the unfolding situation, deep sadness and grief as innocent people were forced to leave their homes and latterly huge inspiration at the resolve of protestors worldwide who bring strength solidarity and a brave peace into the picture.
I also felt to hold equally in my heart the many conflicts that are present in today’s world. Thank you Crisis Group for all you do.
I wrote this prayer to hold this:
May I recognise conflict as sadly inevitable given the violence of human history.
Aware of the delusion of sides, may I watch the tendency in myself to discriminate and stand up for peace, and stand up to aggressors, with a saddened yet compassionate heart.
I wanted to start the post with a few ways to contribute to this conflict I have discovered that may be of interest, many local fundraisers and ways to support are inspiring easy to find – these 3 take a slightly different, peace protest angle.
If you’re unfamiliar Open Democracy is an independent global media platform covering world affairs, ideas and culture which seeks to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world.
I’ve come to trust their writing over the years as understanding, non-sensationalist and compassionate.
One of their current campaigns seeks to support and empower their journalists in Ukraine and Russia, I just donated toward it. It may be something you are interested in too.
They also list a number of other agencies supporting the relief effort in Ukraine.
Write to Your MP
Campaign groups are encouraging UK citizens to send an email to their MP, urging them to support Ukraine and push for more sanctions waive visas. You can find your MPs contact details here. A good time to set a president about refugee arrivals and visas worldwide.
With the recent Police Bill being put through UK Parliament, amended from it’s original form, but still holding some legislation that discourages protest AND with many MPs currently supporting the protests around the Russian Invasion, it feels a good time to protest – pictures of worldwide support is meeting the eyes of those displaced and encouraging the fearful to remind them that they are not forgotten
*2 songs in response: A Thousand Hands/Danny Nedelko (live in St Austell supporting Tom Robinson with the wonderful Sophie Lowendhal on violin) May the power of love overcome the love of power.
In February I released some new songs, an ep that comes ahead of a new album. Thanks all involved click here to find out more.
The ep looks at friendship in the climate crisis, the wisdom of women’s voices, white skin awareness and a celebration of gender identity expression.
There was a listening tea party, thanks to all who came – here it is
Songwriting/music making friends both link support new music – go on send them that new track 🙂
The ep is available here – there’s no pay barrier free if you need it to be – no questions and as with my other releases please share your personal experience of the themes here
Nice to get this open quiet space going some friends on instagram and Zoom.
these are complicated times , maybe this helps, I know it helps me.
I’m planning on doing half an hour quiet time every morning and evening through 2022 and opening it up to anyone who feels they’d like to join (7-7.30am/10.30-11pm) -please join me anytime to share some silence followed by a short quote/reading by a different writers on peace, silence, mindfulness come meditate/relax/chill/downtime/journal/read/drink tea -nothing expected except quiet of course!! more about it in this video
Always on Zoom and often on Instagram simultaneously
In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh:
Silence is essential. We need silence, just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us.
Ive been supporting an, I think, remarkable initiative this year called The Garden Of Hope.
My friends at BAT are working with peace activists to create something remarkable in Palestine, an area that regularly sees untold suffering and violence there.
As part of the Fundraising I have written and recorded a song “The Stars Taught Me To Read” based on the words of Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish (intro above) which for a donation I will send to you via WeTransfer): includes lyrics, photographs liner notes and the full live video.
The new Wake Up Your Artist retreat run by my radically creative Larissa Mazbouh and me takes place in April at the EIAB in Germany, aged 16-35ish with a wish to connect to your creativity, each other and the world in a peace and mindfulness centre living amongst monastics for a week? 🙂 visit here
A regular feature of my months in the last 2 years has been a relationship with Susanne Olbrich a pianist and mindfulness teacher who lives in the beloved Findhorn Community in Scotland.
Together we have been organising Connecting To The Earth, evenings of approaching the grief and courage inside ourselves to look at the Climate Crisis. We are regularly around 20 people a session. We look at poems and readings from different sources, we sing and share and create pieces of music together – you’d be most welcome – musical or not (we believe we all are!)
Props to Godfrey my brave singing friend who stepped up with me to sing at The Horniman Museum last month.
Godfrey is from Kenya – we were representing the wonderful work of The Southwark Day for Asylum Seekers where we are both involved.
You can listen here to our whole set and here to an interview that G and I did for the Day Centre newsletter
Lastly I wish to share a few words about Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh who passed away in January: from my post on the day.
Peace is possible every moment ❤