For a journalist with close to 30 years experience in the trenches, writing features about everything from canoeing the Nahanni River – on the border of the Yukon and Northwest Territories — to Nanasivik, the coldest mine on earth – on Baffin Island; try visiting in winter! — to the Harvard Business School, MIT and many other seats of higher learning. To Jamaica — I interviewed Michael Manley — then at sea with Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd Society saviour of whales), then off to the rain forests of Costa Rica, and dropping by helicopter onto an offshore oil rig after the Ocean Ranger went down…Quebec politics and feminism (special interests), sports (I played hockey on a boy’s team when I was a kid) and delving into the toughest topic of all: child sexual abuse. My book OUR LITTLE SECRET grew out of cases I wrote about for the Toronto Star…..politicians, business leaders, local heroes, the struggles of people, giving a voice to people who felt they had no voice, contributing to the shaping of public opinion….it was a very rich and meaningful life.Continue Reading
The beautiful images on this site are copyright Lynda Murtha PhotoArt. Lynda did not take the pictures of Jill Bolte Taylor or Rick Hanson…just the gorgeous ones of butterflies and landscapes…Her work illuminates mindfulness. She is so powerfully “in the moment” when she take pictures that she seems attuned to nature and reality at an exquisite depth — which is what happens to us when we sit still, fully alive in the present moment, meditating. In other words, there are many ways to be present. Find yours.
This particular photograph of a beach fence on Cape Cod is highly evocative for me — a textured pathway leading to the sea, an image that resonates deep inside, a feeling of opening up, going forward, touching the mystery of life itself. With every fresh moment, we go forward, into the unknown. In my guided practice, we focus on this experience….recognizing that the true goal is to live our lives being open as we move forward, paying attention, relaxing into the present, fully alive.
Here’s what Lynda has to say about her process: “It is simple. I pick up my camera and head outdoors. Within a short time it is as if I take off my shoes as a sign of deep respect and enter, barefoot and humble, into a sacred place. I am enveloped. I am at one with Nature herself.
One day last week, my “home group” met at my house as usual — once a week for the past three years — and we all felt the power of our coming together, our collective concentration in the moment. We spend an hour together; after doing my guided practice, we share our feelings about that day’s session, talking about the different ways we interact with the journey.
Then I had to rush off to the Jewish Family and Child building on Madison Ave. near Bloor and Spadina, where I’d been invited to lead a session for a group of women. We enjoyed lunch — lox and bagels and cream cheese — then settled into our chairs, closed our eyes and….travelled up to the right brain oasis, crossed the rushing river to the right brain forest, rested in the mossy clearing….and after, when we shared our experiences, I was amazed by the women’s ability to see images and colour. The ease with which they “fell” into the space and followed my voice amazed me. They were energized by their journey and wanted to do it again. Me too!
THE NEW YORK TIMES, about The Brain That Changes Itself:
“The power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility. Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff…with implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history.”
Toronto psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge is the author of one of the most important — and best selling — books about brain plasticity. His research for The Brain that Changes Itself took him to “the frontiers of brain science,” to “the revolutionary discovery that the human brain can change itself…” Continue Reading
Three books by brain scientists are at the core of my approach to mindfulness and guided practice: Norman Doidge’s THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF: STORIES OF PERSONAL TRIUMPH FROM THE FRONTIERS OF BRAIN SCIENCE, Jill Bolte Taylor’s, MY STROKE OF INSIGHT, and Rick Hanson’s BUDDHA’S BRAIN: THE PRACTICAL NEUROSCIENCE OF HAPPINESS, LOVE AND WISDOM.