v/ Esther Sorgenfrei Blom

Constant interruption interrupted

When we enter silence on a daylong of silence, what might come to our attention is the sense of constant interruption.

Silence can be such a foreign mode of being that it might take a while to even make sense of the experience, you are having, sitting there with others and no words, no gazes, no smiles, but simply breathing. Together without the usual form of social contact, together in a new kind of intimacy, that you do not yet know.

Moving out of silence hours later, some share how silence is such a rarity in their lives, not even thought of as a possibility. They talk about the constant interruption of being them, perhaps a life-long mode, which brings both great vitality to their lives, but not many breaks.

Winnicott, a famous child pediatrician and psychiatrist, wrote many years ago about the importance of not interrupting, "impinging on" the little child's experience too often. That the child is taught being from not being constantly interrupted. Allowing an inner spaciousness and, possible, a silence, to dwell in the present moment.

I often think of this piece of wisdom and of, that when we have lived - or live - life with, if not constant, then almost constant interruption, we so long for undisturbed stretches of being. Spending a day in silence might invite that possibility into our lives. 

Silence, if even just for one moment.

Stilhed som mulighed

Når vi begynder at invitere mere stilhed ind i vores liv, kan det føre alt muligt med sig.

At sidde med sig selv og lave ganske få variationer af bevægelse eller væren gennem en hel dag, kan være et nyt og ukendt modus, aldrig før prøvet, og på samme tid bringe vores egen livserfaring med stilhed helt frem to the forefront of our attention. Pludselig bliver det måske klart, at stilhed har været forbundet med ubehag, måske at være holdt ude eller som en del af opdragelsen, en stilhed uden forklaring eller rationale, som fylder een med uro. 

En ven sagde engang, "at stilheden kan larme".

Og når vi omgiver os med ydre stilhed, tilmed guidet af en lærer, som støtter at stilheden favner os, så kommer vi virkelig til at sidde med os selv uden den vanlige afledning og konstante bevægelse, bliver stoppet i at holde os i gang med alt det, vi nu holder os i gang med. Fra et øjeblik til det næste.

Det kan være, at det bliver muligt at træde ind i stilheden på nye måder. At den er en savnet kvalitet, som en ven, du ikke har set længe - eller ikke vidste endnu, at du havde. Stilheden som følgesvend.


Forleden dag på vej til sommerhuset kørte vi gennem Århus. Og som snart mange gange før, besøgte jeg en kær ven og hendes familie.

En følelse af at komme hjem.Komme hjem til hende, komme hjem til mig selv.  Altid ret åbent og uden noget aftalt på forhånd. Åben over for det nuværende øjeblik og hvad det bevæger os til. 

Det starter med et velkomstkram, hvor vi ofte i gensynsglæden træder lidt på hinandens fødder, griner og smiler. Så drikker vi te og finder vej ind til hinanden gennem billeder på det, der er sket siden sidst. Ikke systematisk afrapportering med ønsket om at dække det kronologisk og fyldestgørende, men ud fra hjertet og det, der falder os ind, lige nu og her. Der er ikke noget, vi skal og ingen steder, vi skal hen.

Indtryk og oplevelser kommer fra hjertet og ud og vi mødes igen og igen i sjælens pulserende kryds, hviler i åndedrættet mellem tankerne og de andre strømninger, der bevæger sig. Bare sidder lidt. Sidder sammen.

Shunryu Suzuki skriver: "Although our practice looks very formal, our minds are not formal. Although we practice Zazan every morning (Zen meditation) in the same way, that is no reason  to call it formal practice. It is your discrimination which makes it formal or informal. Inside the practice itself, there is no formal or informal".

Venskab er en smuk og vigtig praksis. At sidde sammen på en bænk ved et træbord under en himmel af blåregn, drikke te, dele liv og stilhed og væren fylder mit hjerte med taknemmelighed og mest af alt en stor, dyb glæde. 

Nothing special

I am the we that is here. The separate self is an illusion and the idea that there is much that we can choose to and not to sometimes makes me exhausted. Why this incessant preoccupation with me, myself and I, this endless chatter in the media - and in the mind (my mind too) of me, me ,me.. it surprises me this ability to center in on ourselves as perhaps the single most important thing in this universe this moment. Why has the mind taken to such preoccupation?

Isn't the we much more interesting and present, if we pay attention to what is here, from one moment to the next? Why bask in degrees of separation and wonder so much about where we belong to? Does it matter? Aren't things just as they are, now in one configuration, changed to the point of non-recognition the next? Why do we try to know?

Honestly, we cannot possibly know what comes next. We just like the illusion that we can. Attachment with capitol A. Why not entertain the idea that we do not know who we are and we might not ever find out? Doesn't that sound like a promise of some worth and freedom? Something signed me up for that class when I was born and I refuse to surrender to the premise that self-forgetting is a bad thing, when it is love for the greatest good of all that moves me.

Can we be here for our own hearts?

This morning, during meditation, great restlessness and the desire to get up and move away from the cushion and the sitting filled me. 30 minutes can feel like a really long time when we suffer and are gripped by strong emotion. Attempting to let go of the storyline and return to the sensations in the body again and again. And again.

The question arose, "can I be here for my own heart, for what is in my heart this moment"? There is no relief, no solving of the situation possible. I must turn toward acceptance and holding what is to the best of my ability.

Sometimes my heart feels so big and my body so small. How can one contain the other?

So I let go into fluidity instead of being fixed, turned into water instead of ice. How uncommon that can feel to us sometimes, unusual. The challenge now, as the morning turns around the axis of my existence, is to stay tender in order to be true to myself, and at the same time carry on my daily chores.

This is what we practice.


"The effects of interpersonal nongreed are beautiful. In even the momentary absence of pulling and holding, relationships are steeped in generosity not only between two people but also within families and in communities. Jealousy and envy do not arise in the mind of nongreed, nor do manipulative behavior. People give to each other freedom to be who they are, unconstrained by selfish desires. As moments of nongreed become more common, ease and generosity become the norm" (Gregory Cramer).

I love when I stumble over something so eloquently written that I have been pondering about for a while. It often happens unexpectedly. Of course, generosity and nongreed is in an intricate mutual relationship. I just hadn't thought about it this way. 

Feeling gratitude for the many great teachers that I have been fortunate to learn about and from.

rørvig retreat

an unexpected rørvig retreat in between seing young refugees lingering in the space between home country and hopefully new country. many different expressions and impressions, in common is that we all share the same breath and love and desire to be free, related to each other and a good person. in the sense of being a loving, kind and compassionate person. 

It strikes me that this is a the forefront of most religions, yet we tend to focus at other things in religions that we believe to be at the forefront.

walking along the beach that used to surround my earliest childhood summers. seing trees, landscapes, beautiful old benches in high grass, seaweed dancing around quiet rocks in the ocean, gradually a darker tint of blue as the sun descends behind me and the forest.

things not seen before.

we tend to forget how amazing and how new each moment and each place can be, even though it feels like we have been there many times previously. the river changes, is not the same after we step out of it and back into it again. neither are we.


Stepping into the fire of being honest and who I am. Allowing the discrepancy that arises when eyes do not see things the same way, let alone hearts do not speak with the same tone of voice. We are all different, and yet, the same. Something throws us into feeling separate and we tie this whole long, arduous story around it and us, believing it to be true. But it is not. Let's give up being special and unique and subjective selves and give into the fact that we are all mostly humans of same sort of bones, skin and breath. 

Sameness brings relief and connection.

Abandon all distinctions.

Leap into the boundless and make it your home (Lao Tzu). 




Pause - Relax - Open - Trust emergence - Listen deeply - Speak the truth

These are the guidelines from Gregory Cramers seminal work, insight dialogue. 

Insight dialogue is about interpersonal mindfulness. I leaped into this work earlier this year, for real. One thing is to talk about it, another is to step into the fire. 

As I see it, allowing an awake quality to arise and take place in our relationships is what mindfulness is really about and where it can truly bring about deep transformation.

To observe what happens, moment by moment, in our relationships and to be awake to that. To pause, relax, open and observe the degree of inner and outer mindfulness (or lack thereof).

To notice where we hold on too tightly and could soften. And perhaps develop a kinder and more compassionate relationship toward ourselves and others.

worrying or being alive, both

this morning, sitting. sitting meditation. jon kabat-zinn recently said, while in copenhagen, why not take the 'meditation' out and just let it be named sitting?

because that is what we do. sit with whatever is, this moment.

this morning it was rain. an almost silent blanket of rain. the earth and plants and flowers receptive. was i receptive to the precious moment of sitting still, perhaps the only moments, minutes today with nothing but quiet observation of the mind, heart and body?


noticing how my thoughts wander to worrying. to the, actually quite few, things in my life that cause insecurity and a low-grade sadness this minute, this small speck of eternity.

thoughts come to mind about how some of us have brains and emotions that through life-experience have been wired towards keeping an eye on our environment, noticing what comes next and where the moment-by-moment observation has had a grain of fear and worrying in its mix.

feeling this morning, this moment as i sit, that i can let it go.

that it is an option to let it go on the next exhale. there is always the next exhale, which offers more spaciousness and freedom, if we choose to. that offers being alive to this moment, allowing the worrying to subside a bit into the background, allows us to live and breathe in the midst of it all.

Mindfulness - en opmærksomhedskvalitet, som kan opdyrkes.

I dag talte jeg med te-manden i Gentofte om unmind. Han fangede ordets betydning  med det samme. Og fortalte om en dokumentar, han havde set, hvor man spurgte tibetanske munke om mindfulness. 

De svarede, at mindfulness ikke er et mål eller en værdi i og for sig selv, men en opmærksomhedskvalitet, som kan opdyrkes. Man kan træne sin evne til at være  mere bevidst nærværende, men den egentlige værdi af denne træning findes i den indvirkning på resten af ens liv, som denne træning kan have.

Den tibetanske munk, som te-manden refererede til, gav eksemplet med en snigskyttes mindfulness. Én betydning af mindfulness er koncentration. I dette eksempel bliver det tydeligt, at den form for opmærksomhed, eller årvågenhed, kan bruges til mere eller mindre noble formål. 

Det er en helt central del af buddhistisk filosofi, at vi bruger det, vi lærer gennem meditationstræning med henblik på at gavne alle levende væsener, herunder også os selv. At vi må leve etisk og med omtanke for de relationer og livssammenhænge, vi indgår i. Det er, som jeg ser det, ét aspekt af det velgørende ved at træne opmærksomhed, træne i væren. Der er mange andre aspekter.

Meditationstræning handler også at leve sit liv med åbne øjne og træne en ærlig indstilling til alt omkring én OG én selv. At se tingene som de er, siger man. Og det er noget af det, man bliver bedre til. Over tid. Og nogle gange mere end andre. Det er ikke en liniær proces, snarere en proces bestående af loops. Der er ikke noget sted, vi skal nå hen, andet end til lige nu og her, hvor du står, går eller sidder. Men der er ønsket om at være mere vågen.

På lørdag den 16. april åbner unmind. Jeg glæder mig! Du også kan tilmelde dig formiddagens mini-workshops.