The door opens, people return at last.

We re-started residential courses a couple of weeks back, after being closed to visitors for 18 months …. Actual people walking through the gate, unpacking their bags, settling in, walking the hills, breathing mountain air. Welcome back.

We’ve been so geared up for online courses we all had to refresh our minds to what we had to do to be ready to welcome actual humans
rather than virtual humans

No no no….
…..that’s not the kind of ‘virtual’ human I meant…..
I meant real humans but on the other end of a Zoom transmission. Although ……..
this guy does have a certain …. familiarity….

Lisa in the front office actually set off the fire alarms, working so hard, fingers flying across the keyboard, until the computer started to go on fire…..
schedules,
timetables,
bookings,
cancellations,
queries, questions, quibbles…..

Sally, our new cook from Australia, prepares a delicious vegetarian lunch, from…er… plants.

No! sorry,
Sally looks after all the rooms and the housekeeping,
and the cleaning,
and sweeping, and mopping,
sweetly singing the whilst.

James, our new cook, gathers vegetation for some delicious vegetarian meals for our guests during their stay……

Nope… sorry… wrong again,
He is of course the gardener
making the place look super good, soaking up the hot hot sunshine of our lush semi-tropical climate.

Here they are at last!
The cooks!
Sangita, and Sahara
cooking a delicious
vegetarian meal
from vegetables.

finely crafted recipes
from the cuisine
of ashrams worldwide,
with spices from the orient
and delicate…. (contd. page 94)

Our friend here was entrusted
with the job of duplicating the tutors’ course notes
for the entire ten days.
Here he is tearing the ashram apart
in a desperate, and ultimately futile,
attempt to find out
where he might have lost them….

‘Well can’t you just….’?

‘No! just making stuff up is NOT an option!’

Here’s Swami Satyadaya
and Tulsi, ashram manager,
responding to my request for
…….a …… meaningful
role for myself
in the proceedings

I retreat to the creative hub of the ashram, my studio, to write this blog post, and plan my immediate return to Africa.

.

Welcome back everyone. Let’s hope this is a return to some kind of normality. The last two years have allowed us to develop our skills into online teaching, both real-time courses on Zoom, and also recorded course material for self study in your own time. But above all we try to be a centre of excellence in Yoga, Tantra and Advaita, with also the possibility of residential courses.
Please be welcome to enjoy what we have to offer.

Robot photo credit: Yuyeung Lau on Unsplash

Listening to the Sun By Mantra Shakti

This poem was written over two years ago. I had always enjoyed working outside in the Ashram grounds but the spring of 2017 was when I first took the drum outdoors and played with the trees and the birds for company. I did have this sense that nature was encouraging me to let the music out. In 2019 I started writing songs and many of these tracks are celebrations of the natural world.

Prose, Prose, Prose

I cannot write that way to describe life here 

in the wet green hills in northern climes of planet earth

The sun is our nearby star and her light touches us 

as we work among brambles, ash and pine.

Our lungs gorge on oxygen, a precious gas 

which the Italians call ossigeno  

and that sounds like a bony genome.

Light is made of photons and photons are found inside our bodies*

science fact, but little reported and every photon tells a tale.

The sun shines white, the plants blaze green, 

 tree roots explore the soil and the mycelium spreads far and wide.

Here at the Ashram if you walk by the big pond when the sun is out,

our nearby star may call to you and she may say

“Darling little one, my love sweeps over the land 

Do you have eyes to see?

Darling little one, come out and drum and sing, 

sit on a rock and let the songbirds hear you play.

If you do I’ll tell you my stories:

I’ll speak of planets, moons and comets, of spiral galaxies and gassy filaments,

but I’ll also speak of the spinning earth 

and all thereon that responds to my radiant presence.

In my rays your hair glistens, you work and sweat and enjoy being flesh and blood

and my love coaxes out that voice of yours

SING SING SING, get out and do it boy 

SING

By Mantra Shakti

*See the work of Fritz-Albert Popp (his discoveries are mentioned at some length in the book ‘The Field’ by Lynne McTaggart)

 

Life in the Ashram: Raj interviewed.

An interview with Raj Soni, by Narada

The new header picture on the blog (not this post), taken just this morning down the track, shows the Autumnal foggy mornings we get here, up on top of our Welsh hilltop. Quite beautiful, spectrally still with sheep wraiths floating out of the mist; the mist which is really clouds come down around our ears like a damp winter muffler.