Here is another extract taken from the “Mind” website in which the basics of Mindfulness Practice are outlined. For more details go to their website https://www.mind.org.uk/

Mindfulness helps us put some space between ourselves and our reactions, breaking down our conditioned responses. Here’s how to tune into mindfulness throughout the day:

  1. Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion or bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skills—but you do need to set aside some time and space.

  2. Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgment. Easier said than done, we know.

  3. Let your judgments roll by. When we notice judgments arise during our practice, we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass.

  4. Return to observing the present moment as it is. Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.

  5. Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.

These are the basics of Mindfulness practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.

CRUSH Photography©

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Acknowledgements: Extracts taken from the Charity "Mind"

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The spectacular Peacock Butterfly is a familiar sight in gardens in the UK and is unmistakable, with quite spectacular eyes on the upperside of the hindwings that give the Peacock butterfly its name. These eyes must appear very threatening to predators, such as mice, when confronting it head-on.

Peacock Butterfly‘ (Image by CRUSH Photography)

The underside is a different matter altogether, being almost black, providing perfect camouflage when the Peacock Butterfly is at rest on a tree trunk, or when hibernating.

Peacock Butterfly‘ (Image by CRUSH Photography)

In addition to camouflage and large eyes, it is able to make a hissing sound by rubbing its wings together that is audible to human ears. All in all, it must appear very threatening to any predator that might come across it. This is a highly mobile insect and occurs throughout the British Isles, although it is not found in parts of northern Scotland. However, its range does seem to be increasing, with sightings from new areas being recorded every year.

CRUSH Photography© 

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from "UK Butterflies"

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Buddhism is a faith that was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”) more than 2,500 years ago in India. With about 470 million followers, scholars consider Buddhism one of the major world religions. Its practice has historically been most prominent in East and Southeast Asia, but its influence is growing in the West. Many Buddhist ideas and philosophies overlap with those of other faiths.

Some key Buddhism beliefs include:

  • Followers of Buddhism don’t acknowledge a supreme god or deity. They instead focus on achieving enlightenment—a state of inner peace and wisdom. When followers reach this spiritual echelon, they’re said to have experienced nirvana.
  • The religion’s founder, Buddha, is considered an extraordinary man, but not a god. The word Buddha means “enlightened.”
  • The path to enlightenment is attained by utilizing morality, meditation and wisdom. Buddhists often meditate because they believe it helps awaken truth.
  • There are many philosophies and interpretations within Buddhism, making it a tolerant and evolving religion.
  • Some scholars don’t recognize Buddhism as an organized religion, but rather, a “way of life” or a “spiritual tradition.”
  • Buddhism encourages its people to avoid self-indulgence but also self-denial.
  • Buddha’s most important teachings, known as The Four Noble Truths, are essential to understanding the religion.
  • Buddhists embrace the concepts of karma (the law of cause and effect) and reincarnation (the continuous cycle of rebirth).
  • Followers of Buddhism can worship in temples or in their own homes.
  • Buddhist monks, or bhikkhus, follow a strict code of conduct, which includes celibacy.
  • There is no single Buddhist symbol, but a number of images have evolved that represent Buddhist beliefs, including the lotus flower, the eight-spoked dharma wheel and the Bodhi tree.

Extract taken from history.com

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