Dr Jan Goss

Time Out and Sadness

Do You Need Time-Out?

We all need time-out from the challenges of everyday life and the busy-ness of our minds and yet, quite often it is the one thing that we forego in deference to more ‘doing’, more busy-ness. We are often addicted to being busy, in an attempt to distract our self, from our self and of course it works at times and for a while – so that motivates us to continue on that path, to keep filling the diary with this and that.

If you find it difficult to make time for regular meditation practice, or live quite a way from where I hold my weekly classes, you might like to consider coming along to a Retreat Morning, there is one on the first Saturday of each month – next one Sat. 1 July from 10am-1pm. These sessions are ideal if you are feeling a bit off-balance, stressed, or just want time to your self, to connect with your inner calm. It is like a mini retreat! So, the invitation is there, if you feel it might do you good, the deep relaxation alone, is very nourishing – it’s like that bit at the end of a yoga session, but for about 40 minutes!!

Feelings of sadness…


This is the nation’s first fracking site – there are just under 100 of these propsed for the area in which I live. Green-field sites are ear-marked for being concreted like this one and then drilled – there will be about 4000 wells within a 50 mile radius. I can’t help but contrast this with the picture above of the beautiful coastline, just a few minutes drive away.

The gateway to the site on Preston New Road is a place where concerned individuals gather to show their resistance. I go there to meditate. I do mindful walking up and down the road to help me come to terms with the deeply penetrating feelings of sadness that I have. I walk past the gate and less peaceful protestors, and the police, in a bid to bring some calm – it seems to have some positive effect and I feel better.

At the end of August some monastics from Plum Village in France (the community of Thich Nhat Hanh) are coming to the site also. And during the month of July Reclaim the Power, a national organisation who are concerned about environmental issues are also offering their support, planning events and actions in an attempt to slow the progress of the shale gas industry.

For me, living a mindful life means doing my best to protect the environment and of course I want to do that and show my support in as peaceful a way as possible. I am heartened that there are people from all over the world who care enough to come and ‘stand’ with us. On 8 June Friends of the Earth Europe gathered at the site offering support (click here to see the video) and the last Friday of each month is dedicated to ‘No Faith in Fracking’ for people of all and no faith to come together peacefully…of course this is not the image often portrayed by the media.

Walking meditation is a wonderful practice that helps us to work with our body and mind, especially at times when we have extreme emotions that we want to come to terms with – if you haven’t tried it, I recommend that you do:

  • Slow your walking down to a ‘snail’s pace’ and then slow it down some more. Feel each movement of each step, the heel making contact, the ball of the foot, the toes, and the feeling of the other foot leaving the ground and lifting and moving forward. Feel your connection to the Earth and be thankful for the life that it makes possible.

Of course it is a lovely practice on a white sandy beach too. We will be doing plenty of that on the Isle of Muck, Inner Hebrides, on the retreat in September – there are still a couple of spaces available for that if it is of interest to you – and you may be eligible for a discount too, please contact me to ask…that really is time-out!

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