Contemplation and Meditation


The Bay of St. Tropez from church


William Henry Davies, a Welsh poet who lived from 1871 to 1940 and spent much of his life in the USA, wrote a poem called “Leisure”. In it he asked, ‘What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.’

This poem was written half a century ago yet I feel it may have even more meaning for us in today’s hectic word. How many of us would own up to doing “busyness”.

I am so lucky because I am currently in the South of France, the sun is shining, and I am surrounded by magnificent views of the vineyards and the bay of St. Tropez.

Time is surely the ultimate luxury.  Most of us work hard, play hard and are constantly bombarded by information. We are literally “plugged in” to the world via our devices. Don’t get me wrong this has huge benefits, this blog and my connection to you all being one of them. However contemplation and communing with ourselves is a natural human need.

Do we really know ourselves and are we familiar with our own thoughts and do we notice nature and the world around us.

It is wonderful to take time out to pamper ourselves and our regular beauty routines can be very healing to the soul as well as beneficial to the skin. However what has really helped me is to take time out of my day to do my regular 20 minute meditation practice, which I have been doing for just over two years. I am currently following a “mindfulness meditation” , which I find is more adaptable to our western minds than some traditional practices.

There is growing scientific evidence to suggest that regular meditation physically changes the structure of the brain and helps us to be calmer and more relaxed. Articles in New Scientist and Scientific American.

I use the Headspace meditation App. It guides you through the process and works well for me.

Do you currently meditate or would you like to try a months free trial? I have two promotional codes which I am offering to two of my readers.

If you are interested please leave a comment telling me why you think it will benefit you and I will select two winners and send you the promotional code with instructions on how to use it.




  1. Linda
    10th July 2015 / 13:18

    Hello Josephine. I really related to your piece on taking time out of our ‘busy’ schedules to relax and meditate. I used to use Reiki and also have tried to meditate but am so ‘busy doing nothing’ that I never find the time. I organise a large charity fair for a local hospice and find that that, plus running a house and large garden and a busy social life keeps me constantly on the go. I think an app and a programme to folliw would be all the impetus I need to be more disciplined. Who knows, I may even find the time to complete organising my cupboards!

  2. Jennifer
    10th July 2015 / 15:12

    Great minds DO think alike! I would love to win and try this. I haven’t heard of these and they intrigue me. We have much in common 🙂
    xo~ Jennifer

  3. Elizabeth
    10th July 2015 / 16:20

    I am in total agreement. I have been meditating for many years, and I think the Headspace app is terrific and perfect for beginners. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  4. Rebecca Hively
    10th July 2015 / 17:00

    I don’t have a smart phone with apps so would appreciate it if you could suggest a DVD or CD to the same effect. Thank you!

    • 10th July 2015 / 17:46

      Hi Rebecca
      If you have access to a computer and internet you can do headspace through that. I don’t think that they do a DVD or CD.

  5. Sally
    10th July 2015 / 17:50

    I use the Headspace meditation app also. Love it

  6. Barbara
    10th July 2015 / 21:23

    Both my children have moved abroad so I find myself frantically rushing around trying to fill my time because I miss them so much . Consequently I have lost the knack of how to relax and am exhausted! I really need to able to once more remember how to ‘stand and stare’!

  7. Pam
    11th July 2015 / 00:23

    Both my husband and one of our three adult daughters suffer from severe, debilitating anxiety. Coping with and supporting their needs has in turn increased my own stress and anxiety levels. I am now seeking to manage my own increasingly negative thought patterns and relax so that I am in a better place to support them. I am hoping Headspace will be the support that I need. Thank you.

    • 11th July 2015 / 09:22

      Hi Pam
      I do sympathise. Interesting question does worry/anxiety run in families. I certainly come from a family where my grandmother, my mother and my children tend to be worriers. Is it nature or nurture or a bit of both. I have certainly found that Headspace has helped me get some separation from my thoughts and identify less with them. I like Andy’s analogy of the blue sky always being there just obscured by some clouds.

  8. Kari
    11th July 2015 / 04:01

    I want to win the free trail for the app because I don’t have a lot of time for travel and exploring the world but I do have time to mediate. By opening our conscience we create a bigger world for ourselves. I have also been doing Kunalini Yoga when I can fit it in. I Love It! Sat Nam

  9. Sue
    11th July 2015 / 14:15

    I’d love to win the free trial because I tend to worry and internalise problems, which I know isn’t good for my blood pressure. I have started Tai Chi classes, which seems to help a bit, however they are in Spanish so I guess I’m missing some of the benefits! This would add an extra dimension for me.

    11th July 2015 / 18:32

    I’ve been reading so many of your posts. We think alike in many ways. Meditation has gotten me through breast cancer and the unexpected death of my husband on Christmas Day a few years ago. Since starting my website, 1010ParkPlace, it seems as though I’m joined at the hip to my computer, and I need to get back to meditating. I’d love to begin, again, with the Headspace App! Thanks & see you, again! Brenda

  11. Jan M
    11th July 2015 / 20:23

    One of my sons and his wife are devoted to meditation…they call it “sitting.” They’ve met with a Thai “guru” , who visited Portland, where they live and have gone to Thailand to study with him. Off and on I’ve tried the process…twice in group settings and I KNOW it works. I think the app you mention would be a good structure for me to establish the process on a regular basis. I’d love to have a free trial.

  12. Jan M
    11th July 2015 / 20:26

    It’s me again…if I’m not one of the lucky winners, would you mind describing the app you use. I find more than one “Headspace” in the App Store on my iPhone. Is it the one for $3.99? Thanks so much.

I love to hear from you please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for new posts

And don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at anytime.

Disclaimer: Products featured on Chicatanyage sometimes (but not always) include affiliate links. This means that a small referral commission may be paid to the retailer (at no extra cost to you). This contributes to the cost of maintaining this blog including Hosting fees etc. Chicatanyage could not exist without these small payments so thank you for your contribution.