A very green Christmas

This year, I am pleased to say that it was the greenest Christmas I’ve ever done.  All the presents were simple and inexpensive or even free, and bought from small shops (as opposed to buying from a large online store which shall remain unnamed!), and wrapped in old paper from previous Christmases or in newspaper (the Guardian does central spreads which are worth using as wrapping paper!).  My cards were all homemade using leftover card, ornaments and paints.  The food was all home cooked as ever. I made my own cranberry sauce this year- it was extraordinarily simple and very tasty.  Finally, my fake Christmas tree and its ornaments – all of which have been going well for the last 16 years!

Repurposed packaging- one of these is a packaging which came with a plant
Home made cards made of leftover cards and paper
Our 16 year old fake Christmas tree
My homemade cranberry sauce was very popular

Amazing benefits of meditation

I had heard a lot about meditation and its benefits, including enhancing creativity and receptivity to ideas.  However, I always used to think that meditation was for people who did not have jobs or children.  Yet after reading ‘Healing power of mind’ by Tulku Thondup, I realised that everyone can incorporate meditation in their lives.  It does not have to be for hours (although I have heard that even many industry leaders meditate for hours- apparently Rupert Murdoch (News Corp); Bill Ford (Ford Motor Company); Rick Goings (Tupperware); and Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com) and others do so.

Meditation is part of many religions, not just Buddhism or Hinduism but also Islam, Christianity and Judaism amongst others.  Reading the holy scriptures of these religions, we find that the founders spent much time, reflecting and meditating alone. So I started doing it for about 5 minutes every night and it has been amazing.  Much of my sleep problems have gone and I feel quite relaxed, even in stressful situations.  On the other hand, I feel alert and able to concentrate through long meetings at work or at conferences- whereas previously my mind used to wander.  Apparently it has ‘beautifying’ effects too, although I have not yet experienced those yet!  But do take a look at these amazing photos-