Read Our Stories of Learning at the Alice Smith School

Being useless... Being useless...

In his 'Thought for Today' Dan, our Primary School Counsellor encourages us to ...stop, collaborate and listen to the more marginalised parts of yourselves before planning too much more usefulness over the weekend!"I'm reminded today of an old zen koan teaching the value of cultivating uselessness (to balance our 'useful' obsession). In the spirit of being more 'eyebrow',..

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If we cannot make peace within... If we cannot make peace within...

Thought for today... from Dan, our Primary Counsellor.

If we cannot make peace within, how can we hope to bring about peace in the world? (Thich Nhat Hanh)

I’d intended to write a short piece about the spiritual and emotional power of music today - this is still about that - but settled on the quote above even though it points more towards restless minds and the seeking of..

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Covid fatigue is taking a toll on us all... Covid fatigue is taking a toll on us all...

Whatever our situation —good pacing, refreshment, and support will be key to surviving the long road ahead. It’s time to establish a healthier and more human(e) rhythm. Dan, our Primary Counsellor, shares with us an adaptation of an email from Clare Gerada, Medical Lead of Hurley Group.

Here in Malaysia we have been under MCO or CMCO for nine weeks and our personal and..

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Awaken. Do not squander your life Awaken. Do not squander your life

Dan, our Primary Counsellor, shares some more thoughts to help us through the challenging situation we find ourselves in.

Awaken. Do not squander your life. Live with your humble heart wide open…(Unknown nun ‘fire-green eyes’, Convent retreat, Chigwell 1999)

I stumbled across this quote written in an old contemplative notebook I filled some 21 years ago whilst on retreat in..

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Why is it so hard to develop and sustain a contemplative practice? Why is it so hard to develop and sustain a contemplative practice?

If you've been following our 'Thought for the Day' from Dan, our Primary Counsellor, over the past few weeks you may have been trying to develop a contemplative practice. In today's post Dan looks at some of the common questions about why this is so hard to achieve.

If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it? - Eihei Dogen

..

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‘Praise the rain…’ ‘Praise the rain…’

In today's 'Thought for the day', Dan, our Primary Counsellor, reflects on Joy Harjo's poem ‘Praise the Rain’ which invites the reader into a contemplative response to the vicissitudes of human life; To gently witness the visitations of the thoughts, images, synchronicities and tragedies of life in a spirit of profound and simple praise.

Praise the rain… The curl of plant, the..

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Contemplation is the ancient technology of inner change Contemplation is the ancient technology of inner change

Today in his post Dan, our Primary Counsellor, invites you to understand more about contemplation and consider what space you might have for a contemplative practice in your life.

...not very clever, not very proud and therefore all the more warm, curious and sympathetic - Herman Hesse

This quote, from Hesse’s spiritual classic ‘Siddhartha’, describes a subtle but profound..

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Ten contemplative tips and more resources! Ten contemplative tips and more resources!

Dan, our Primary Counsellor, shares ten contemplative tips and some more useful resources to help everyone through the MCO.

"Welcome back to term 3 everyone. I’m heartened that the Alice Smith community is coming together at a time when we all naturally feel a little fragmented, and that parent / child feedback has shaped new online offerings this term. I’m also glad there’s..

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The art of bowing The art of bowing

As social distancing becomes the new norm in our lives we are no longer able to express thanks through a handshake or a hug, so perhaps the simple bow is one solution. In today's blog Dan, our Primary Counsellor, looks at the act of bowing.

If the only prayer you say in your entire life is ‘Thank-you’, that would suffice - Meister Eckhart

These comforting words of the..

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Do you have time... Do you have time...

With the restrictions of the current MCO many of us have found changes in how we use our time. Take some time now to read today's 'Thought for the day', in which Dan, our Primary Counsellor, reflects on time.

This being human is a guest house, every morning a new arrival… - Rumi

The famous opening line of Rumi’s existential poem ‘The Guest House’ , carries a subtle nudge to.. read more

Innocence of mind Innocence of mind

In today´s ¨Thought for the Day´, Dan, our Primary Counsellor, asks us to engage with our earlier innocence and wonder “Who am I?”

There are few writers, philosophers or spiritual teachers in human history as concerned with ‘innocence of mind’, as the late Jiddu Krishnamurti. One might summarise his rich life as an extended meditation on the spiritual importance of..

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‘Our appointment with disappointment need not be miserable…’ ‘Our appointment with disappointment need not be miserable…’

The start of term 3, with the continuation of the MCO, sees us returning not to campus but to the virtual learning environments set up at the end of last term. While we all continue to deal with the uncertainty that the current situation brings Dan, our Primary Counsellor, returns to the blog with his ‘Thought for the day’.

Our appointment with disappointment need not be..
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“Community will be humanity’s salvation’ “Community will be humanity’s salvation’

In today's #KLASSBlog, Dan, our Primary Counsellor, looks at the idea of community.

Community will be humanity’s salvation - Bede Griffiths

Father Bede Griffiths, that true icon of interspiritual thought and interreligious dialogue, lived most of his adult life in monastic communities. The founder of Shantivanam, the Benedictine ashram in Southern India, was perhaps a living..

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“It is no sign of sanity to be well adjusted to a sick society “It is no sign of sanity to be well adjusted to a sick society"

Find a little personal space today. Just breathe. Enjoy today's 'Thought for the day'.

It is no sign of sanity to be well adjusted to a sick society - R D Laing

This famous quote by Ronnie Laing, the much-maligned yet unarguably brilliant founder of the anti-psychiatry movement, speaks directly of the profound and implicit impact of family and social systems upon our..

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“Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you” “Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you”

Thought for the day….

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you - Carl Jung

This wonderfully playful statement, by the truly pioneering psychoanalyst and (prolific) writer, Carl Jung, illustrates something profound at the heart of the Jungian approach; An attitude of oft-deliberate ignorance to what is ‘known’ and a giving up of the need to ‘understand’ everything...

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"There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer"

Today's 'Thought for the day' is a reflection on courage.

There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer - Helena Blavatsky

The nineteenth century co-founder of the esoteric Theosophical society, Madame Blavatsky, lived a highly controversial public life as a figure for some of deep spiritual wisdom and for others of suspicious charlatanism. There is no doubt..

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"Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things"

We start the new week with some reflections on compassion, an important emotion for us all in our current situation.

Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things -Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton, the wonderfully compassionate Trappist monk and contemplative writer, was one of the most spiritually influential figures of the twentieth century. He remains,..

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The Unthought Known…. The Unthought Known….

In this post Dan, our Primary Counsellor, asks us to reflect on two questions; Do I live fully? Am I loving well?

“Did I live fully?” and, more than anything else, “Did I love well?” - Jack Kornfield

The Buddhist teacher, writer and psychologist, Jack Kornfield, one of the modern pioneers in integrating mindfulness and Insight meditation into Western consciousness, speaks here..

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“Meditation is the self doing itself by itself” “Meditation is the self doing itself by itself”

Many in our community find meditation a useful practice and in today's blog Dan explores the topic.

Meditation is the self doing itself by itself - Kosho Uchiyama

Wise, clear and searching in his writing, the iconoclastic Zen teacher Uchiyama Roshi challenges the reader to a discovery of the ultimate rationale for meditation; The cultivation of a sense of self beyond our usual..

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A teacher can never tell where his influence stops A teacher can never tell where his influence stops

In today's "Thought for the Day" Dan reflects on teachers and teaching.

We all know what it’s like to fall. After all, we’ve been doing it since we were small children. And life has a habit of re-minding us that experiences of falling down, falling ill, or falling into bad habits continue throughout our lives. This is a natural consequence of what it is to be human and to have..

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“The highest wisdom is kindness” “The highest wisdom is kindness”

In today's "Thought for the Day" Dan, our Primary Counsellor, considers kindness and it is needed more with the unusual, and unforeseen, situation we find ourselves in.

The highest wisdom is kindness - Berakhot, 17A (from the Babylonian Talmud)

A significant part of enlightenment is the awakening to the simple and profound truth of kindness; there is an implicit bond..

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“The friend is the key and I am the lock” “The friend is the key and I am the lock”

We hope you have been enjoying Dan's "Thought for the Day" over the past week giving you a moment for reflection amidst our current situation. Today Dan considers friendship.

The friend is the key and I am the lock - Rumi

Much of the most ancient discovered literature attests to the vital importance of friendship to human life, given it’s archetypal pull upon our lives. It is..

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"In wilderness is the preservation of the world"

While many of us remain indoors due to the Movement Control Order Dan Lawrence, our Primary School Counsellor, offers a moment to reflect on our connection with nature even if it's just through our windows today!

In wilderness is the preservation of the world - Henry D Thoreau

Henry Thoreau, the poet-philosopher and environmental scientist author of “Walden”, knew a..

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“One film can change a life forever.” “One film can change a life forever.”

This weekend our Primary Counsellor, Dan, reflects on the impact film can have on us and suggests the enforced retreat to our homes is a great opportunity to share our favourite films with our families.

One film can change a life forever.

- Franco Zefferelli

In a documentary about his beautiful and moving 1976 film ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon’, (about the lives of St. Francis..

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“Go placidly amid the noise and haste “Go placidly amid the noise and haste"

As many of us have been learning and working at home this week, Dan, our Primary School Counsellor, reflects on how we can use silence to our benefit.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence

- The Desiderata

Whilst its author remains unknown, the anonymous wisdom of the Desiderata, believed by some to have been found on a..

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“It is always the secure who are humble” “It is always the secure who are humble”

In today's 'Thought for the Day", Dan Lawrence, our Primary School Counsellor, reflects on humility and the quality of being humble.

It is always the secure who are humble - G. K. Chesterton

The security of which the British “prince of paradox” speaks is spiritual and could just as easily be put another way: It is the humble who are secure, precisely because they are humble,..

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“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

In today's 'Thought for the Day", Dan Lawrence, our Primary School Counsellor, looks at how we can approach our fear in these uncertain times.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

This much-repeated quote has perhaps lost something of its context as time passes and since first uttered by President Roosevelt during World War II. And yet I..

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