Every year for a while now I've been blessed and fortunate to journey to Birmingham for their 24 hour kirtan.
This year, I felt some resistance to going, as I often do to on my solo retreats, but knew deep down it would be good for me and decided to go anyhow!
It didn't disappoint! I was blown away. I cannot fully explain what happens at these gatherings. Yes people meet, yes there is great kirtan, chanting, music and prasad (food!) but it is the invisible, the divine force, energy, healing and grace that occurs that can really purify, help and change things for the better.
Such beautiful singers.
I could feel Krishna clearly in the present moment. It was like watching mandalas of light flowing to the music in the space around me. It was present moment awareness in a simple, powerful and pure form. God's grace. Masculine and feminine energy integrated, whole and completely present.
You see, it's not easy to explain with words! But what I can share is that to have the time to sit and lsiten, to hear great music, great singing to be part of a group singing to the soul of the creator is something fantastic and it doesn't matter really what mantra/ religion/ spirituality/ shamaistic approach you take to experience this. Just giving ourselves over to feel, see and be One with this greater force however we do it is divine.
I once heard that for every step you take towards God/ the divine/ Jesus/ Krishna/ Great Mother... it/ they take 100 steps towards you :)
Madhava Naidoo and Sacinandana Swami amongst others held the space beautifully.
On Saturday night I was approached by a person who told me Krishna had sent them to give me healing. I went with it and accepted and am still feelign the gifts of this.
I arrived on Saturday at noon and left on Sunday at 8pm with a sleep during the night. The kirtaneers played for much longer than 24 hours, and what a job they did. One mantra, two days;
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
The invisible becoming visible. The light dancing everywhere! And I'm going to be honest when I say I'm forever changed. I know I love and lots of other people too love going on trips, a journey into the heart of bliss. As I've said before and will say again, this is the most powerful and beautiful way I've yet discovered to journey. I feel more on track and didn't realise I'd wondered a bit off track till I got back on track ~ this is life! Blessings on all who atteneded. Thank you so much. Haribol. You can try kritan at your local kirshna temple, there is one in Dublin and in London, just look on line. You can turn up and leave as you wish and there is no charge. To meditate upon the divine name is to connect and be one with the Divine. It's worth giving a go for sure! What an amazing freely available gift in this time of consumerism and material desires. And it's all okay, you can enjoy your home, job, wealth etc, it's just in my experience much more enjoyable when at the same time your centre is connecting to the most beautiful loving light that permeates the entire universe. Hare Krishna!
Spiritual Change and Transformation in the Now!
When life gets in a funk, what do you do? Many people are going through challenges at present. As we all know when a challenge comes, we can either drown or become a better swimmer. I’m all for growth and so it’s no surprise that I view challenge as an opportunity to outgrow the old self! As I do I become a more expanded version of myself, more harmonious, conscious and integrated. This is the vision! Here are some of my approaches for dealing with these gorgeous growing pains! Please share and feel free to add your own. Ideas are one of the few things that increase in quantity when shared ?
- I feel it. Whatever it is. I just really feel it, and allow myself to express it in words/ actions/ tears/ music etc. Once I feel it fully, ti begins to move, which is the idea. You don’t want to get stuck with an unpleasant feeling for a long time, it’s not good for your health. So number 1 feel and express however feels natural.
- I remember my core vision of life, that is;
‘Life is always working out for me!’
I view all situations that arise this way. Of course things can suck, but after feeling it a while, I also ponder it from this perspective. That leads me to number 3!
- I bring in my favourite prayer,
‘Thank you for this blessing!'
Take that, pow, you unpleasant feeling, bet you weren’t expecting that. This is a go to statement I use regularly. I find it particularly powerful in the face of atrocity ( or anything that leans this direction!)! Repeat this over and over in the face of something that you cannot see a blessing in and I guarantee you within a few days you will shift, and begin to see the blessing. Guarantee you I say- or your money back :)
- Remember if a situation/ experience doesn’t feel good, the story is not over yet! Sure why not spend a minute or 2 visualising a nice ending and then just let it go. Over time things change, become clearer and often change.
- Choose to embrace patience in your time of growth! This is a MAJOR theme. Patience, people want it now, this minute and get upset that ‘it will never happen,’ Patience dude, things are flowing perfectly quite often so give it time. So what can help with patience!? Well there is a Bach Flower remedy that can help, it’s called Impatiens- get yourself a bottle and take a few drop 5 – 10 times a day, more regularly the more intense it is! If you are having a general hissy/ stress attack get yourself some Rescue Remedy while you are at it. B Complex vitamins decrease stress, take 1-2 in the morning. Magnesium at night time also helps, as does good oils such as Udo’s oil, all available from health stores. Also remember to use your power, using your power usually starts with a choice, ‘I choose to be patient.’ Ponder what that feels like and you’ll get the ball rolling in the right direction!
- Who your main relationship in life is with? Is there a God/ Krishna/ creative power/ love that you relate to? Often there is and one forgets this power in times of challenge. Keep your central relationship centre in your life and it will help keep all in balance and give you strength.
- Use a mantra! This can help quiet the mind. You can use anything from ‘One’ to an affirmation to a sanskrit mantra. I often use,
‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Kirishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare Hare.’
Repeat this mantra in your head and out loud. Move your awareness through the body from the crown to the feet repeating your mantra. Then go back and look for where the challenge/ emotions sit on the body. Repeat the mantra in this place and it will take you from the story back into to the present moment.
- Every day do something good for yourself and bring goodness to others. Help yourself and help someone somehow. This brings lots of good energy.
- Remember that life is made up of seasons and cycles. There is rest time, process emotion time, it’s okay to do nothing time, it’s time to get off your ass time, it’s time to put away the childish toys time, time for action, time for celebrating…!
- Remember your passion and give it some time even 10 – 15 minutes. Draw a picture with a pen and paper, make up a melody, sing a song, make something, sew something and if you don’t ‘have a passion, just do something that makes you feel good for even a few minutes. You’ll get pleasure from it and it will get you back into your authentic self and centre! Great!
- Focus on the breath for 3 breaths as often as you can. Use the stomach muscles to take three breaths. Push the muscles in and out peacefully, drawing the breath in and out. Viola!
- Give the delight meditatin a go. If you feel like more than the three breaths, Click here! for a light yet powerful deeper favourite meditaiton of mine!
- What do you appreciate right now!? Shift the focus. Click here for more!
- Not matter how rough tough it feels, remember this too will pass. Whatever it is, wonderful or temporary, if it's in the outer world, it will come and it will go! The question is how smooth do you wish it to be as you move through it!? All the above points will help smoothen the path.
Hope this helps! Just give one a try and drop me a line if you’d like any more info on these approaches. I’d also love to hear what you do, so please share!
Well i't's been a while since I've written something here and what a while it's been!
It started off with a trip to Greece for a kirtan retreat with Kevin James aboard a catamaran.
About a month ago I was questioning should I go, I was feeling a bit nervous, didn't know anyone going on the trip other than Kevin James ever so slightly. I love kirtan, it's one of the most soulful activities I've discovered, that, dance, singing, healing and a few other things mmm just wonderful enrich my life and self beyond words:) So I thought yes let's just do it! This is what I wrote the day of arriving in Kos. I had to overnight prior at Stanstead airport, arriving at 11.15pm and leaving the next morning at 6am...
The trip has been such a blessing so far. I am eternally grateful. The journey to my mum's, the trip to airport early, the movement through security and being early at boarding gate and able to charge laptop...
Arriving at Stanstead I was prepared for cold and the possibility of no chair… to find an arm chair across form a lovely Sweedish woman who has missed her flight and was overstaying too felt like a great blessing! The staff at Costa Coffee were really nice and so busy and the café stayed open 24 hours. Just incredible. I slept 2 hours or so on and off mostly on and I must say it was a euphoric sleep.
Awoke and took off my wooly hat as I washed my hands in the perfectly just cleaned hands after using a perfectly clean loo to find that somehow my hair had calmed and gone like a wavy blowdry from wearing the hat while I slept! A miracle! Any of the community of 200 or so who braced Standstead through the early hours of the morning that I mamanged to talk to were lovely!
The security check to Kos flight had the customes guard help refill a new plastic bag so that it would include all my bottles of liquid, that did not seem to fit since I had added an extra product purchased at Dublin dutyfree. The guy get a new bag, rearranged and moved the bottles around. I apologised saying, 'You probably have much better things to be do'. He kindly replied, 'Not really! 20 years of experience coming into use!' He smiled as he handed it back to me miraculously closed holding all my liquids! Success! Thank you.
The flight was easy, I ahd three seats to myself and Kos, well Kos is just gorgeous. I felt it combined a bit of Thailand, Argentina and Mallorca. The blue colours and breeze superb! I am here only 4 or 5 hours and am feeling like crying from the love I feel on this trip. I feel such appreciation for giving myself this well needed rest, change of scenery and recharge. I am in a lovely hotel run by a lovely family, homely, kind and feeling blessed. My god, a shower awaits, change of clothes and off to find some tasty food. I am just beside the marina and close to Hippocrates tree where he used to give lessons which I look forward to investigate! God life is great right now, thank you thank you thank you. I feel an awakening of energy. Thank you God Thank you Goddess.
So you can imagine mixing this with sailing, a beautiful bunch of people from Australia, Bali, Spain and Germany, great weather mid 20's and visits to various Greek islands and well let's just say, it was bliss. In the simplest way. Sun, wind, sailing, kirtan, good food, conversation, time in silence in beautiful surroundings. My heart opened more and more day by day the more beauty I saw. The beauty was in the islands, sea and sky and in the hearts of those who I spend this time with. I realised and remembered the importance of holidays. The wind blew the unnecessary away. I threw a special something into the sea one afternoon as we sailed on a strong wind to symbolise the release of an aspect of my life I had outgrown. It felt good. Following this trip I headed to Athens for an adventure. I wondered how it could ever follow on from this amazing week. After finding nothing enticing via hotels and airbnb I had contacted a person from couchsurfing.
Miraculously it turned out a treat! An accunpuncturist and artist from Athens with fluent English, greeted me in their lovely spacious home. We shared many a tail of especially of our spiritual journeys, swapped treatments and had enjoyed a great walking tour of Athens. Words can't possibly explain the good energy I received from Greece and Athens, though perhaps a song could. I arrived back in Ireland alight full of good energy and kind of shocked by how good a holiday can be for us and how it is so important to take these kinds of breaks. If you've been thinking about going on holiday and it feels right, I truly encourage you to go!
Within 2 days of returning, I was getting my make up done and working with a team to photograph Sophie Rieu designer Autumn and Winter collection. Sophie Rieu is a French fashion designer who makes high quality clothing for women using ethical and sustainable materials. We are talking silk, satin, cashmere, tweed, organic and just fabulous really. It was a full day and my first time doing something like this. It was was great stepping out of my comfort circle. What a gift to wear such clothing and an honour to be asked by Sophie who was looking for a woman in her power to showcase her new collection and also great to support Sophie's approach to fashion (ethical and sustainable materials, high quality etc..) and really great fun to work with the team. Thank you Sophie! Check out her clothing here Go to Sophie's website
A week later and I am volunteering at the Amma gathering in Dublin. Amma is involved in incredible humanitarian work. She provides 10 million meals a year in India alone, as well as has built over 50,000 homes, countless schools, and so on. Many see Amma as a direct manifestation of God, of the Divine mother. It was a privilege to help the amazing Darshan team with Tracey , Poorima and many others who gave so much. Amma gives hugs as her way of giving service to others. The two days were a combination of meditation, spiritual talks many many hours of thousands of people receiving hugs. Amma was also blessing the family unit so people received a family hug in addition to an individual hug. I particularly loved this. Amma stayed up till 3am the first night and till 7.45am on the 2nd day giving thousands of hugs. I met lovely people, friends, new friends and those who had travelled from afar to be there; Americans, Italian, French, Dutch, Swedish, couple who been married at the Castleruddrey stone circle the previous day and had come here for a blessing and many other wonderful stories. Amma helps millions of people every year in both spiritual and material ways. The label I believe is not that important of what one's wishes to identify Amma as a God or sister or friend or spiritual master or...Allow each to choose, the fact is she is a loving force and this is the gift. Click here for to go to Amma Ireland website for more info
As you can imagine I was exhausted after all this! But with more awaiting onwards we travelled. A few good sleeps and I am back at the Hare Krishna temple in Dublin where kirtan takes place every Tuesday evening. I had the ultimate joy of leading a kirtan session for the first time, playing the harmonium and singing, with other beautiful devotees playing and singing along. Something so small yet that filled me with so much good energy, I am forever grateful for the experience and joy I felt!
As a friend's teacher reminded them the other day, 'The Spiritual journey is everything, all else comes after spiritual presence and being.' Personally, this is how my life works best, is most rewarding, interesting and purposeful. Feed your spiritual journey daily, listen within, serve others and all else with blossom. I see the journey as continually ascending spiral. Each mini journey leads us to the next. Each highlight and pivotal points stays alive forever within and can be built upon on the next journey and the next. It is never ending from here, rising and expanding in good energy continually. Sometimes we might forget, sometimes it seems hard, these are temporary aspects of the spiral, in a way everything in this outer world is temporary the good and the apparent hard times :) With inner awareness and listening a light sparks, the flame thickens and the light expands; our inner treasure. This is the jewel available to us all regardless of what the outer circumstances look like. We can take our highs and beautiful moments and through maintaining awareness of them be this light as we go about life and share it with others through our work or a simplye smile. Watch what happens. More light will be drawn to this light. If someone important leaves your life, don't worry, watch who enters. Look at the people, conversations and events that arise. It can be in the beauty of a quiet solitary moment looking at the sky, a laugh shared with someone you care for or a celebration with family... Our time on this planet is journey after journey, watch the inner light more and see it grow. Meditation, being in nature, exercise, good food, rest and healing are all valid and fabulous ways to grow the inner light. If you are interested in healing work, I work with a small number of select clients ccommitted to their soul path and evolution. If this resonates with you, please get in contact. Healing work and the workshops are a pleasure and fun, producing great results for many. Wishing you peace and happiness! Aho!