Trying to get great resources under one roof under in my Resources category!
Here are apps, posters, articles, sites.
Here’s my list of recommended books on leadership, relationships, etc.
“A labyrinth is a single path or unicursal tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. Labyrinths are thought to enhance right brain activity.” ~ The Labyrinth Society
The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds its way into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return from the center and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally….There are many ways to describe a labyrinth. It is a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a crucible of change, a watering hole for the spirit and a mirror of the soul. ~ www.veriditas.org
Labyrinths have been found to reduce anxiety and stress, equalise blood pressure and enhance peace, clarity, centeredness, relaxation and increase reflection. For more benefits, see Commonly Reported Effects of Labyrinth Walking . They are especially useful in healthcare settings. See below this article for more resources.
I walked my first labyrinth in New York, with the support of Reverend George Kuhn. And my second walk in Singapore at Lifesprings Spirituality Centre was guided by Edwina Yeow.
At the risk of sounding fanciful, I’d say the labyrinth found me when I was ready to work with it. I first saw a picture of one some 8 years ago and, to be honest, I wasn’t interested enough to even ask what it was. But a year later it came to my attention again, in a different context, and I found myself totally and inexplicably fascinated by it. I wanted to understand what it was about, where I could walk one, etc. I felt a compelling desire to experience the labyrinth for myself and to share it with others, even before I knew very much about its origins or use. Enough for me that the one design I was attracted to had been used for centuries in the Catholic Church for meditative purposes. So I suppose that my response was very instinctive… and remains so as I continue to work with the labyrinth. Each time I walk it myself or facilitate for others who walk it, and all my reading and research confirms for me the richness of the labyrinth as a tool for arriving at greater self-awareness, and spiritual and psychological wholeness.
How has your work with labyrinths impacted how you view and experience life?
My experience with the labyrinth reaffirms for me the connectedness of all life at the inter- and intra-personal levels, across space and time, transcending life and death. The labyrinth reminds me that all is gift and that the Source of all life is benevolent, loving, joyous, and that all creation is being invited into wholeness, regardless of how long, winding, sometimes painful and wearying the process, and in spite of how many times we might need to revisit a place in our lives to remember, to learn, to hold, to forgive, to let go.
The labyrinth teaches me that there are no wrong turns, and that every seeming regression is a progression if I only keep walking with openness to learn. It teaches me that in reality I can understand and control very little in my life. But what I do have is my free will and the deepest, truest desire of my spirit… and that Life honours this and invites me to walk trustingly along this path to its fulfilment.
Please share about your facilitation of labyrinth walks for teachers and students. What has it done for these groups?
The labyrinth walks for teachers and students were set within the context of a retreat or day of reflection for the respective groups. Perhaps because our lives are lived so much on the ‘outside’ as we attend to the needs of daily living: the job, the family, the religious institution, etc., the gift of the labyrinth when experienced in a group is that it allows the individual his/her own space and gives him/her ‘permission’ to be fully attentive to his/her own inner journey, while sharing the labyrinth with others. The fruit of these reflective walks is then shared in a safe, facilitated process which deepens the experience and creates a stronger empathic bond between the participants because they connect at a deeper level than the merely superficial, which is generally the norm.
At the same time, in learning to listen to each other, participants may be challenged or may gain truths and insights they need for their own journey. Above all, they discover that they are not alone, and that if they choose, they can support and encourage each other, and share what has been helpful to them on their own journey.
Who could benefit from a labyrinth walk?
In my experience, anyone could benefit from a labyrinth walk, so long as s/he is able to walk, even with assistance, or be pushed in a wheelchair (provided the labyrinth is large enough to accommodate one). Labyrinths have been enjoyed by persons of all ages, races and creeds, young and old, in good health or suffering from terminal illness, in happy times or in times of grief and loss… any season of life.
Other than individuals, how much potential do you see for organisations to offer this experience to their employees or members? What kind of organisations may be ripe for it?
I would say service-related organisations, especially in health-care and education sectors would benefit by providing the labyrinth experience to their employees/ members as it allows them to self-care and be cared for, where they are so used to caring for others.
It can facilitate among the members deeper understanding, compassion and rapport inter- and intra-personally, and ultimately foster a more empowered, cohesive community within the organization.
Having said that, the labyrinth could also be useful for any organization that desires to promote psychological wellness among its employees.
What is the relevance of labyrinths in today’s world?
Researchers have observed that when we retrace the history of the labyrinth, we see that over the centuries, the labyrinth flourished in different parts of the world, and then died down, only to flourish anew in a different time and place. But the times when and the places in which the labyrinth flourished always coincided with times and places in human history when there were great upheavals politically, economically or socially, and when life was experienced as rapidly changing and uncertain.
Today we are experiencing another such revival of the labyrinth, and the signs of the times lend credence to the observation. Perhaps now more than ever before, we need the clarity and inner strength and security that comes from knowing in the core of our being, who we are and who/what gives life meaning and security… deep truths that the labyrinth can help us arrive at.
Could you share more about finger labyrinths?
The finger labyrinth is a labyrinth design printed on plastic/ paper or etched in wood/ metal that is small enough to be traced with a finger. It is a good alternative for those who are unable to walk the actual labyrinth and can be used anywhere and at any time as it is so portable.
What further suggested resources do you recommend – online and off line?
These are some resources which may be useful…
Artress, L. (2006). Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice. The Berkely Publishing Group, USA.
West, M. G. (2000). Exploring the Labyrinth: A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth.
Broadway books, New York.
Edwina will facilitate the next labyrinth walk in Singapore on 6th April 2013. Please contact her at email@example.com to register or enquire about other group walks (minimum 10 persons, maximum 15 persons).
Edwina also has a canvas labyrinth which is 8 metres by 8 metres and has been used at the beach, in school and church halls, and in hotel and clubhouse function rooms.
I had to unlearn many things I learned in school. And spend lots of time learning things in adulthood that I was never taught in school.
Why is it that we don’t teach the most important life-skills in school? How could we start doing that? How can we look after our teachers’ wellbeing better? They are playing such an important role in our children’s lives. How can we educate the whole person, and not just the mind of our young people?
These questions have brought me to discover people, organisations, ideas and resources that I share here.
Here are some things I think education could play an important role in developing in us:
– to be compassionate, forgiving and empathetic even when others do not reciprocate
– to cultivate inner wisdom and be guided by the greater good
– to be a seeker for Truth in a world that may not reward it
– to develop a contemplative practice
– to learn to resolve and grow through conflicts peacefully
– to be aware that our lives will end and hence how to live consciously
– to discover our Calling and find true joy in work
– to date consciously and develop a joyful life-long relationship with our life partner
– to use relationships to grow
The Inner Life of a Teacher
We need our teachers to be well and happy if we want out students to be well and happy.
Educating the Whole Person
We are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings. And need to grow on all thee levels.
The Gift of Learning video
Quaker Education is not just for Quakers. Very valuable whole person education which cultivates inner wisdom.
Strengths-based Education – video
I interviewed the Danish Ambassador to Singapore on why she thinks Denmark tops many happiness surveys. Part of her response includes info on their education system.
People in Education
Online games that do good
Transformation Game I am certified to run. For those over 16.
Movies that can be used to teach.
Picture Books are delightful ways of getting across meaningful messages.
Card Decks to inspire conversations and meaningful connection
The Virtues Cards are available from Bookaburra, Forum The Shopping Mall. They also have a children’s version. They also have an educator’s guide and other materials for educators.
What’s better than ethical shopping? Buying less. The earth is buckling under our heavy consumption. So before we even consider this list, let’s ask ourselves if we really need new things. What can be mended and re-used? What can we do without? Would the person we are considering a gift for prefer an experience? Perhaps we could donate to a cause?
If we to buy some something, my hope is that we support businesses that are doing their best to do good – whether for the planet, animals or people or all three! Some things are great inspiration for the soul but there’s not much info on how they are made. I have still listed some here. I also don’t have the capacity to check if what companies claim is true although I try to research where possible.
For those responsible for buying corporate gifts or responsible for purchasing supplies for your office, hope this helps you too.
Beautiful picture books for adults and children
Picture books can have have profound messages for people of all ages, yet can be finished in a matter of minutes. They appeal to the child in all of us.
If you are buying books not available in Singapore, check out Better World Books (FREE shipping and they donate to literacy projects around the world).
Things We Forget These post-it pad messages are left anonymously around Singapore.
Virtues Cards – each card describes a virtue. One can pick a card a day as an inspiration. They come in three versions – for adults, for educators/young people and for families. Please call Bookaburra to check if they have them in stock.
An art therapy session with veteran art therapist Joanna Tan.
A labyrinth walk facilitated by Edwina Yeow. (For groups only at this point).
To check if your product is cruelty-free, see
Wide variety of eco-friendly products
Healthfood/home care/personal care/natural medicine
Sebastian Liew Centre – carries St Hildegard Medicine and more.
Vom Fass – quality oils
Skincare, toiletries, vegan shoes, perfume
Organic Soap Nuts for laundry
Eco-friendly detergents, baby things
Playhao – many beautiful wooden toys, often made in Europe. And much more.
Eco-friendly/organic baby things
Saught – Singapore-based company which makes jewellery from landmines and unexploded weapons.
Corn Bags by Olive Green
Environment-friendly disposable tableware and packaging
Journey East – selected pieces, they also look at fair-trade practices.
Star Bamboo – bamboo flooring
Prospec Surfaces (solid timber floors are fsc certified)
Speaker for iPhone
ibam2 – made from bamboo by socially disadvantaged craftsmen. They have a video especially on its suitability as a corporate gift.
Green Printing and Paper
Art by Singaporean artist Paper Girl – a resilient woman I met at Pasar Bella
Sculpture by Victor Tan – awe-inspiring pieces.
Paintings by Jean-Sebastian Choo (30 % of sales go to programmes for autistic individuals)
EXTERNAL LISTS OF MORE PRODUCTS AND GIFT SUGGESTIONS
I deeply appreciate doctors and nurses who have been very kind and gone out of the way to help those I know and myself.
Some time ago, I brought an injured migrant worker to Alexandra Hospital and witnessed extraordinary care from the physician who attended to him. I sent Mr Foo Hee Jug, the CEO of the hospital a thank you note, and a book (Kitchen Table Wisdom By Dr Rachel Remen) to share with the staff. He responded positively and had shared my letter with his staff.
At the same time, my family and I have also experienced challenges with the medical system.
A few years ago, a doctor told my mother,“Your brother is wiping out the blood from the blood bank! And the nurses are being overworked!” My mum’s brother died. And what made the pain worse for her was the lack of humanity she had experienced through the way the doctor had communicated with her.
When my grandma had a heart attack, my mum was asking the doctor some questions. He exclaimed to her: “Why are you fretting?!”
Once when I visited my mum in hospital, her doctor didn’t even look me in the eye. I was the only other person in the room.
Somewhere along the way, I think some in healthcare get disconnected from the heart of medicine, which is healing. Healing is not just physical. We experience healing when someone makes a heart-to-heart connection with us.
Yet this means those in healthcare also need healing and compassion themselves. I can empathise with how difficult it may be to be kind when they are stressed and overworked.
The role of leaders in healthcare is very important. While serving patients, they also need to look at the wellbeing of their staff – which will ultimately affect patients.
Events in the US
Video of the late Dr Richard Teo speaking of how his cancer has changed his view on success and happiness. It’s rare for us to here of such real life testimonies in Singapore. Please watch. Then connect to the resources and thoughts I’ve shared on using death awareness to live well.
Dr Rachel Naomi Remen on Generous Listening in healthcare
Dr Marty Makary’s trailer on his book “Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care”
The Heart Of Medicine – physician-only wellbeing site
Dr Rachel Naomi Remen is both a physician and patient who has Crohn’s disease.
The Institute for the Study of Health and Illness provides “education and support programs for health professionals who practice a medicine of service, human connection and compassionate healing”.
Center for Courage and Renewal has a special healthcare programme.
Whole Health Medicine Institute has a physician training programme.
Key in “doctors” into the search engine of http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/ for various articles.
Key in “healthcare” into the search engine of http://noetic.org for various articles and audio recordings.
Appreciative Medicine by Dr Tel Franklin
Empathy, the Real Measure of a Doctor by Singapore-based Dr Jeremy Lim
Blog by Paul Levy, former CEO of a Boston Hospital on patient-driven care (many links)
Articles by Theresa Brown, RN and author of “Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between”
Healers on Healing by Richard Carlson, Benjamin Shield, Bruce Joy
Mind Over Medicine by Dr Lissa Rankin
Humanizing Health Care – Creating Cultures of Compassion in Health Care with Nonviolent Communication
by Melanie Sears, RN, MBA
Kitchen Table Wisdom – Stories that Heal by Dr Rachel Naomi Remen –
The Wheel of Life by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross – Memoir of an expert in death and dying. The book has examples of how she transformed healthcare systems through how much dignity and compassion she showed patients.
Love, Medicine and Miracles – Lessons learned about self-healing from a surgeon’s experience with exceptional patients by Dr Bernie S. Siegel
Deep Medicine – Harnessing the source of your healing Power by Dr William B.Stewart
My hope is also that the medical system is better integrated with alternative healthcare systems. There’s alot that natural and holistic methods of healing can do. Cooperation between the allopathic and alternative healthcare systems would benefit patients alot.
If I can be of support to help healthcare be more healing for patients, as well as healthcare staff, please contact me at vadivu[at]joyworks.sg. It’s an issue close to my heart. I am looking for kindred spirits to connect with on this issue.
*”The title of this post is borrowed from an online community Dr Rachel Naomi Remen has started for doctors.
Learn about your strengths, as a first step to discovering your Calling.
My article, “Are you being Called?” in Challenge Online, especially for those who may not leave their jobs but still want greater meaning in their work.
Here’s a short video clip of a Singaporean who found his Calling.
Watch this inspiring and short video of someone who expresses who he is even in what we’d call a “mundane’ job: The Simple Truth of Service
Movies to Help You Find Your Calling (Scroll down the page)
Read The North Star by Peter Reynolds online.
Read An Awesome Book by Dallas Clayton online.
Read Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus.
Read Whistle While You Work by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro.
Read Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Levoy
Read autobiographies of people whose Calling inspires you. Here’s one I recommend: The Wheel of Life by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Get up close with people who have found their Calling and ask questions! :)
If you’d like me to run workshops on discovering your Calling for your community or friends, please contact me at vadivu[at]joyworks.sg.
We need courage to move towards greatness in life. And often we are pulled back from stepping forward by our beliefs, fear, others’ expectations of us etc. So if there’s something that’s very important that we want to do for the greater good, we need support to develop courage. Here are some resources to help do that:
Watch Pixar animation, Brave.
Read “The Courage Quotient” by Dr Robert Biswas-Diener
And do get at least a friend or two to support you to take courageous steps forward.
Katherine Woodward Jones’ book, “Calling in the One” is also a programme.
A friend recommends an Imago workshop or therapist for couples who are ready to give up. Details of Singapore-based IMAGO therapist are on the site.