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!
At the end of January 2018, my father, following a number of years of ill health departed his body. He received great care and passed peacefully with his family at his side. My dad was a gentleman and tried to stand for something good in this world. One of the beautiful things about his passing is that the illness and whatever shortcomings I had imagined, faded, and all that is left is his light.
Even though I consider myself fairly grounded and peaceful I was still affected by this and one week after the funeral I took grief on a plane with me and journeyed to India for 5 weeks. The focus of the trip was meditating and praying, while journeying through chanting in Mayapur, dancing in Goa and yoga and Ayurvedic treatments in Kerala. Sure why not!?
2 Days Goa – some sun and dancing – begin to unwind
1 week Mayapur at World Krtian Gathering at ISKON temple.
Few days Calcutta
3 Days Quiet at Little Cola beach, Goa
5 Days Chapada, Goa, dancing
2 Weeks Varkala – Sun, sea, yoga, ayurvedic massage, treatments and more.
The frist few days dissappeared in now what feels like seconds! Then I found myself in Mayapur, where we had the fortune of staying right by the Ganges and watching her flow morning and night amid people bathing, washing sari’s, boats transporting goods and children playing. To the core of kirtan in Mayapur, West Bengal, home of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda and the Panchat Tatva I wandered. I got to cry, ponder, meditate and dance with devotees and deities. One of the highlights of the trip, was placing red roses in Ganges for my father and what followed, where a monk sitting on the bank annointed my forehead. Although unplanned I felt instantaneously that this was the purpose for the entire trip. In that moment I felt my father's spirit in the heart of the great mother and father. I could let go a bit more. He was in a good place and I chanted and gave thanks.
At Goa I enjoyed quietness and integration time on a paradise beach before travelling to the heart of psychedelic trance! Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to dance. Meditation Dance has long been a love! Through breath awarenss one's inner vision opens up. All sorts of visions come, such as the energy system opening up, clearing, DNA spiralling, connecting to the trees and the stars, flowing sacred geometry, light beings! So much fun and makes me feel alert and clear for days after too. I've got to do more of this in Ireland!
In Varkala, Kerala I sat bathed in the light of the divine. Integration and rest. Can not describe the grace I received. It felt like pure generosity and kindness from the creator. The food was amazing, in fact it was amazing everywhere, the yoga empowering, the atmosphere clear, the treatments divine and the overall experience just wow! I believe I began to experience here, a deeper awareness that is occuring to many people throughout the planet at this time.
The journey had many aspects to it. Here is some of what I experienced. It is what it is. It is long, I warn you! May find something in this to enjoy. There's more too, that I don't mention, but sure enough is enough as my mother would say :) There is a beautiful song I love at the end.
- Trance dance/ meditation dance is good for me. With it, I’m more alert, in tune and happy!
- When I am irritated with someone, be it anger or anything that sparks a conversation in the mind about another, rather than go into the story about someone or myself, instead I choose to pause, breathe, chant a mantra if it helps, and visualise white light everywhere in the present moment. This clears the trigger and lets it slide like water off a ducks back. BE HERE NOW is the way.
- This returns my awareness to ‘I am that I am’. Feeling negative is destructive. Thoughts are distractions! I see a thought or issue but choose not to go with it and see what happens. Instead I choose to be here in the present moment seeing more light, feeling peaceful and warm. Sometimes I just laugh at it all including myself and take 3 breaths! It all helps. It all works!
- Being authentic is everything. In us and those we meet. When we are, we get to see who we really are, the good, bad and ugly! And it’s all okay! If we have the pattern of anger or self-loathing etc we get to see it. Then we can recognise the pattern we are operating with, own it, acknowledge it as our karmic thought patterns and maybe even understand its cause if we wish. E.g. Krishna says that the cause of anger is expectations not being met. A devotee told me this at Mayapur when I had shared that I’d had a rage (against my travelling partner!) and was meditating on why I’d reacted so intensely! The rages had started when my father got quite ill and I could see I was off and acting out some wound/ pain body. This made total sense, it was exactly when my expectations weren’t met that I got fired up like a queen something :D.
The day following my rage, I had a powerful return on karma! I got stuck in an intensely challenging place for a few hours over which I pondered my thoughts, words and actions of late. I pondered over the rage I had expressed the previous night and on a few occasions, 'Quick to anger,' I heard. I realised and acknowledged that quick to anger is not the way. I turned it around and vowed that I would from this moment on be, 'Slow to anger!' I repeated it many times over the following days. The intensity of the challenge helped focus and looking back it was a turning point. Although frustrations continued at moments, it all got much easier and more enjoyable, I felt more present and stronger and I didn't turn into a crazy hyeena again! :)
- This awareness of expectations also helped me greatly. I recognised the expectation had snook up without my awareness! I chose to remember and let go of expectation. A healthy practise! That which happens, regardless of how it looks is for my higher good, and so I let go of expectation and go happily with whatever arises with ease. The focus shifts from others imperfections(!) to being happy and peaceful with oneself(!) I recognised the trigger would need to occur a few more times for me to fully shift the pattern from reacting unconsciously to being conscious and remaining in peace and ease. Things improved and I think it's sorted! We'll see! All good.
Move into Beauty Consciousness if you so wish, everything is here for you. Consciousness brings awareness.
Move into softening.
Move into self-love with each breath,
Slowing down, realising,
I am comfortable here.
Bringing each part of body into being comfortable here.
Move into unconditional love.
Looking each direction and feeling unconditional love with each,
Above and below, people and places.
So it is.
Move into the space and white light in which thoughts come and go.
I am here.
Sitting under the tree
The bodhisattva and tree alight with the in breath and light everywhere fills the surroundings with the outbreath.
Each thought is an entity, an option spinning to the right or left side of the tree. That’s all they are, options to interact with or not, to be distracted by or not. Right now I choose not.
Recognising repeating thoughts as karmic patterns of thinking . Clearing my karma so it does not need to repeat!
When I think something regularly it means I have an attachment to the thought. Seeing the thought clearly as an entity, I instead choose to not engage with it and be in the white light. Quite refreshing! I like this! Magically a more peaceful and present reality arises, which one might expect, but in addition, what might surprise one is the peace this brings into your future nows. Other worldly.
I had the good fortune of meeting good people and encountering good beings along the path. I heard some wise words.
In Mayapur I danced watching Lord Caitanya and the PanchatTattva, slept next the Ganges every night and watched an older man sing to Krishna and Radharani. I saw and felt the flow of divine generosity. In Goa I met Krishna, Shiva, Parvati, Lakshmi, Vishnu and Kali. I came close to Parvati, Lakshmi and Kali who brought me on an adventure! Shiva appeared when I needed him and then I realised he is everywhere. In Varkala I learned more about Hanuman, who saves his devotees from the sea and inspires their friends. I experienced the wonderful mysterious limitless sun and the bodhisattva again. Hare Krishna! One night in Varklala I heard the inner self say, tomorrow I will wake up a new woman. The next morning I awoke and heard, ‘Today I am a new woman.’ And so it was and so it is!
The ego seeks to separate always… It can wreck havoc with a good relationship. To make the most of the moment we must continually bring ourselves back to oneness with the present moment and the other. Travelling with an ex-boyfriend is a really good practise for this! That's the price to really get on well and it's worth every penny!
My desire to recognise patterns of thought as attachments (i.e. thinking the same thought regularly!) and surrender this attachment was strong and encouraged deeper awareness throughout the trip.
Indeed if I didn’t have these tools the trip could have been a serious challenge! But it wasn’t! Even though there were some tears and frustrations, I was after all dealing with grief and inner journeying, it was 1012%+ a truly Divine experience.
I wished to let go of any thoughts of my ex, and of my attachment to these thoughts.
I wished to surrender and let go so that if we ever did meet again or indeed I meet anyone again, I would no longer be experiencing reality through a pattern of karmic thoughts, but as a true and clear moment of being.
Through this all I have learned to respect mirror, respect each and everyone I think of and meet, and respect myself. Everyone and everything has a soul and is to be respected.
A young guy from the Himalayas who worked a food stall in Goa wore a tee-shirt with Respect Mirror written on the back of it. My eyes were drawn to these words and I found myself meditating upon them for a few days.
I realised that everyone was my mirror and especially whomever I was dealing with in any particular moment and that I would consciously respect them fully from now on. First I looked at my travelling partner, and applied it to him; I thought I respected everyone but realised with this, that I did not always respect him, nor at times, his words, ideas and actions! I think most people with a travelling companion or partner/ ex partner can relate to this!?
It is funny to say so now. But with this shift I felt so much better and more present. Judgement subsided and I could hold him in my vision and focus upon the present moment for longer. I softened. I understood and could feel that as a result, my physiology, mind and emotions were more stable and peaceful. Result! It was good for both of us, and great for my relationship with all.
I met an incredible presence of a being in Goa. She told she followed the path of Karma Yoga. I go forth with this feeling in my heart. She said, 'Everything I do, say and think is good, and therefore the opposite is also good!' Worth a ponder or two for sure! I’m still pondering!
Be with someone with a good heart and your world will transform.
I respect all I meet.
I respect mirror.
I am happy with myself and all I do, think and say. Amen.
I surrender all
Money, home, love, mission, purpose et al.
Be clear and see what arises.
Be here now is the motto.
I am in the field of unconditional love.
I recognise I am not the pain, heartbreak or sadness, I am the I am.
I am that I am.
Sometimes it’s important and right to fight.
I separates; No I unifies one with the present moment.
As Sri RamaKrishna says, 'The highest ideal is eternal and entire self-abnegation, where there is no ‘I’, but all is ‘Thou.’'
Give yourself to the present moment because the present moment will give everything to you.
Be the present moment
We are here to die, set yourself up for a good departure!
Attachment takes us out of the now
Clear clear clear and be here now!
Lonely is just when we forget to feel god’s presence…
Every day u wake up is a new life
Every day you are a new person.
Give people options and you will live in abundance
I let go of judgment of others.
I let go of self-judgement too! Feels good! And life more fun!
We have the option to allow the present moment to be and act through us. The pain is just when we have a pattern that is out of harmony with what is being called for in the present moment.
I speak , sing and breathe with light in the face especially the nose and chin. Grin!
We are connected, One with sun.
Remember this connection always for strength greater than any ego!
The sun offers limitless strength and presence.
If I saw everything that happens and occurrs as coming from the sun, I’d be in a continuous place of appreciation for all!
Be free of thought so you are open to experiencing the limitless light flowing here.
The terrorists are everywhere but they are internal. They can only find you if you are negative in action, word or thought. Thinking negatively/ destructively will lose you the opportunity to be and bask in this light. Thinking anything slows one down and is a distraction. Sometimes I just acknowledge a thought as a little football size entity that is hovering to my right. I see it, don't engage and focus on the light which is everywhere and permeates all, and smile.
Being humble is a beautiful feeling and something worth practicing.
There is a game going on. Beliefs create vibration and the reality follows.
Here, I am comfortable with myself.
Life is like a movie and everyone playing a role. What is your role? There are signs of your role, just look. What role would you like to play? Why?
Write your movie, decide what character feels best to you in this movie. Change the story if you wish, and ask God to direct your movie through you! May we always remember that we are here to serve. There also doesn't need to be any story any longer if you rather. You get to decide.
To stay and be on this paradise earth we must realize that this is God’s planet. God is here emanating in everything. Can I see him/ her!? Yes I can! This awareness opens the experience of Paradise Earth. It is a wonderful worthy journey. The heart is good, and you will meet others with good hearts too, you could say god is alive in the hearts of all, or the hearts of all are aware of the divine in all. And this is where we are, and so it is.
All in all I had an amazing trip. I bow in gratitude and service to the great creator, mother India and even my wonderful travelling companion! I am still processing my father's departure and that comes at moments and is blessed. I am peaceful with what is and wish him and all my family love and oneness. I especially wish him with his next journey lots of blessings. I am judging myself less and living each day at a time, loving nature and spending more time outdoors. I am not chasing connection but enjoying it so much when it arises. I mostly am in the now and still enjoying the inner beauty and light that was stimulated over these 5 weeks. I had a little anxiety before I left for this trip, but did it anyway. I am so glad. If you have a callling for a journey, may you go and may it serve you well. I am considering offering a retreat in Varkala India in the next year, so if this resonates for you, please get in contact. May everyone who wishes, get to enjoy long holidays! <3
I had the beautiful pleasure of hearing and meeting the sweetly generous of heart and spirit Ilan Chester at Mayapur. My heart softened and expanded in love as I listened to his pure, gentle and generous kirtan. I knew nothing of him but his sweet sound and when days later I saw him walking the campus I jumped at the opportunity to say hi and find out something about this being! Turns out (not surprisingly!) he is a well recognised world artist. Above is Track 1 from his album Symphony of the Soul. Days later when I put it on for the first time while unable to seep in Calcutta, I wept. The whole album is a beautiful listen, may you too enjoy. <3
Finally, finally, following this trip and the return to Ireland I have one thing to say and that is, 'Thank you.' Thank you to the great creator, thank you to India, thank you to Eiru, thank you family, thank you Dad, thank you light, thank you dear travelling companoin, thank you peace, grace and thank you love.
The Hare Krishna is said to be the mantra of mantra, the mantra that encompasses all other mantras.
For the past 8 years since I was first moved by the mantra it has had varying meanings for I and my journey and I felt compelled after attending the most recent 24 hour kirtan to share some of how this has impacted my life...
When I first heard it walking through Prana New Year’s festival in New Zealand, it was something powerfully sweet and beautiful. I didn’t know what it meant but could feel a sweetness that sounded amazing and I wished to experience more of. I began to observe how some of the people who sang this mantra had a lightness and joy. 9 months later back in Ireland I felt a need to add something to my spiritual practices. I was meditating, healing etc. but realised it was time to introduce something new into my life that would increase the awareness and integration of the connection between voice and heart. As soon as I questioned what that could be, the answer came to try the Hare Krishna chanting that I had heard that beautiful afternoon back in NZ. Within 24 hours I noticed a sign when I was walking down Abbey St in Dublin. I went online and saw there was a weekly kirtan which would be taking place the following day. I went along and have pretty much been going ever since.
At first I felt a million miles away from the sounds I could hear. I desperately wished to be able to sing along and experience the feeling that was calling me. Over time it happened, first a word or two then the whole mantra, sometimes very loud and out of tune! Sometimes I cried from a sadness that arose and sometimes I laughed. Sometimes I cringed at my voice, sometimes I marvelled at others, and found and still find that when I truly listened to all voices and instruements playing together in the one moment, I am truly deeply and powerfully moved! I noticed that whenever I would bump into someone afterwards on my way home, they would often mention that I looked well. The chanting releases an inner fire and energy, it purifies the heart and uplifts the spirit. It nourishes the being beyond what food, drugs, exercise and sex can. It’s a different flavour, one that boosts all areas of life and makes intoxicants seem trivial and playschool toys. Still everything can have its place but nothing I knew could quite compare to what I could feel and experience during a kirtan, not every kirtan but many of them. Sometimes they’d feel painful and to stay was an act of sure discipline, but that’s okay and sometimes I'd stay and sometimes I'd go!
The 24 hour kirtan in Birmingham has been going for many years and I have been fortunate to attend the past 5 years. Each year I marvel at how something beautiful occurs during and after it. At first being able to sing and chant with so many others was such a trip. To listen to 700+ people chanting this mantra at the same time in a sacred environment with amazing musicians and people spontaneously dancing and twirling is the sacred buzz!
Last year I remember a part of my brain opening and all this beautiful energy flowing through. The week that followed visiting my sister and giving healing sessions in London was seriously blessed too.
This year I observed myself on the Saturday wondering if this mantra being repeated so intensely was really beneficial. I observed all thoughts arise. I wondered why I always attended this kirtan, without even needing to think about it. I wondered if maybe I didn’t need to go any longer. But onwards I went watching thoughts arise and disappear as I chanted,
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
I was enjoyably tired and when it came to 1am felt it was a good time to have a sleep on the mat next to kirtan. Most poeple stay in hotels but for I to stay right beside the kirtan and fall asleep to it, sleep with it and wake to it is an important part of the pilgrimage/ journey. I fell asleep quickly and woke 4 hours later to a crescendo and great kirtan with the 10 or so who were still up playing. About 20 stayed on the floor in differing areas of the hall and the rest had returned home and arranged hotels which the event organisers had highly encouraged.
As I awoke I felt such a warmth love, blessings of the great mother, father and holy spirit talking and moving through me. I lay and listened and after 45 minutes or so sat back up and joined back in. Something felt different though. I felt different; lighter, clearer and so much inner love flowing everywhere giving me messages of peace and joy.
I was blessed with having that day to give great thanks to the creator, be it God, Krishna, the holy spirit, love, these are just words I am using to describe a feeling, a state of being, where I felt more in the now than maybe every before. As I chanted the mantra I could feel the energy flowing right through the body and energy field in a pattern I hadn’t previously experienced. Beautifully radical!
I got the opportunity on Sunday to chant for my family, friends, those I went to school with, those I work with and those I am yet to meet. I chanted for Ireland, for Birmingham, for the U.K. for the Earth, solar system and beyond. I chanted for love, compassion, forgiveness, wisdom and truth. My energy field mixed with that of the room and I could feel and see love moving through all.
Although it’s called a 24 hour kirtan it actually went on for 32 hours. At 26 hours it was time for I to leave. I hada train and plane to catch back to Ireland to attend an ole friend’s birthday party. I felt tears of love and gratitude. I felt a flow of oneness with the Divine, feeling the flow in the now and with it a new softness and expanding light. I am forever grateful for the mystery and gifts of this mantra and all who create, partake and make this event possible. It blew me away over 8 years ago and continues to do so. It has continually strengthened me on the spiritual journey and given me greater access to depths of love, far more than any drug, chocolate, synthetic or otherwise! I’m not one for going on about things, but for anyone you meet who is in a good place, there are practices they undertake regularly to create and sustain the good space. I have many, from keeping my spaces clean and clear to good nutrition to alkalising juices to cleansing to meditating to music to art to good association to being in nature… And I think this recent journey and the renewed recognition of this mantra's strength might have just put it into a definite No 1 place in practices of my life. All I say really is, If you feel the calling, give it a go. You can repeat in in your mind as you go about your day, or for a walk, sing it out loud in the car or come to a kirtan. There is a kirtan boom happening around the world right now so you'll probably find one pretty close to where you live if you look on-line. So ahppy to share this treasure!
It’s amazing what you can experience in 24 hours- sometimes!
Peace & Love to all beings everywhere.
Jagannatha, Balabhadra(Balarama) and Subhadra, thank you for your kindness and generosity.
Hare Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
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!
Hi This is yoru invite to a unique opportunity to practise some amazing and feel good chants with Kevin James of Bali.
It's going to be fun and we'd love to see you,
Here's the link to the event https://www.facebook.com/orlaphelanlight/
Please check it out and come join us for the full day or even just half a day- All welcome!
Am here in lovely London, and yes really and honestly it is lovely here!
After a great experience of a 30 hour kirtan in Birmingham (they call it a 24 hour kirtan but I left to get the train after 30 hours so who knows how long it actually went on for!? A big thank you to everyone who helped organised a great festival and gave so freely. Can you believe that was not 1 penny charged to attend this gathering though donations were gratefully received! Still, that makes it pretty inviting for many, and many there were with over 1600 registered and I believe many donations were also received!
What it involved:
30 hours of continuous kirtan, that is singing of the Maha mantra to many different melodies in a call and response manner. The Maha mantra is considered the great mantra, it contains the energy of all mantras within it. Various singers from around the world and UK turned up to lead 30 minute to 2 hour sessions with a large group of wonderful musicians. Over two days people sang and danced and all of us were fed four lovely meals each day too!
I love singing this mantra. It connects one deep into the heart space where a sweet feeling of love arises and permeates my mind and being.
Through kirtan there is a call and response where a 'leader' sings the Maha mantra and everyone responds and sings the mantra with the same melody.
It's a real journey of emotion and depth. While I sing, I find major things moving through my awareness especially my family, friends, past and even future experiences.
People were advised to sleep in a hotel but I decided to brave it and sleep at the hall! I lay down with a blanket and somehow managed to sleep quite comfortably right beside the kirtan players. At this stage the number had gone from about 900 in the busiest moment to 20! I awoke early and sat up immediately and very happily joined back in!
Through the 2nd day I entered deeper into the present moment, the presence of love and the presence and love of the creator.
I am ever grateful for this experience. If you'd like to give it a go, look for a kirtan group near where you live. In Dublin and London there is kirtan weekly at the Hare Krishna Temples as well as in other places.
Personally I love (as you can probably tell!) and highly recommend it. Allow the sound to move through your heart! Give it a try if you feel the calling!
The Maha Mantra:
'Haribol' means chant and be happy as this is what chanting is said to do for you- make you feel happier! A pretty nice outcome!
Meanwhile this week, I am in London checking out opportunities, spending time with my sister and offering one to one healing and soul's goals sessions.
Back to Ireland next Monday evening, with healing sessions taking place Tuesday and Friday at the Harvest Moon Centre, Dublin 2
Irish number: 00 353 872320159
English number: 00 44 7435816809
I welcome you to get in contact whereever you are as in addition to being in Londond nad Dublin am also working with other locations via skype!
Wishing you peace and happiness,
Thank you and Haribol!