For most of my relatively short life and at the age of nineteen I can truly say without regret that I have felt like I truly belonged nowhere. That is to say up until almost one year ago. I know that I am not the only one who has, does or will feel like this many of us may feel like this our entire life never truly knowing what it means to be a part of a community, family or to have friends who make us feel like we belong. It is more obvious than ever that many people in this society feel a sense of loneliness due to the mass change that is occurring within our societal structures, economic and political structures many have been left with a sense of unknown in these very uncertain times.
When I left School in 2016 I did not understand the way the world was outside of a classroom environment. In a sense our School and educational institutions fail us all in this very exact same way. I left my High School at the age of 15 thrown straight into the working world with almost no qualifications so I decided that if I was to work it would need to be something creative.
Little did I know then only three years later would I leave my hometown to move to the bright lights and big city of London to pursue my chosen career in Hair. I worked and trained with a global brand that more than 50 years ago were the leading hair care brand and still remain till this present day. It all seemed to come too fast and I didn’t understand why this was all happening for a small little me I had done nothing to deserve all of this but yet it seemed to be coming my way.
I showed gratitude for I know gratitude will take us all very far if we allow ourselves to be so humble as to actually say the words ‘Thankyou’ for the life we presently get to live. I worked in the beautiful, vibrant and affluent area of Kensington were the streets were not roamed with gold but the minds of the inhabitants truly were. It was more than a pleasure to care for the needs of such high flying and intellectual men and women who truly were so fascinating not all but most saw no separation between you and them so there was no feeling of inferiority but more of an understanding of ‘You do your job, and I do mine.’ However at the back of my mind always the same words flowed through my head ‘Do you really wish to do this? Is this really what you were born to do?’ Always the answer was the same ‘NO.’
It was not clear to me then that you can change your life in an instant mostly because I had an ego and having a family thinking that I am young and making a life for myself was better than the reality that I was facing which was I was 16, hungry and skint to my knees. I had £17.50 per week for food and just enough for rent but I would not give up.
Questions we all want answered
As a young person we all have questions in our head that worry or frustrate us, for me I wasn’t caring who the Kardashian’s were or what Porsche was more expensive than what Ferrari to say the least I hated the mundane and London was filled with mundane. In my own head which I describe as “that I think too much and feel too much.” I am super sensitive but back then I didn’t understand that sensitivity was not at all a bad thing it just needs to be checked up on and to be taken care of. At the end of the day I got to the point of my working day and I was super exhausted and anxious.
Anxiety is something that in today’s world is more common than any other disease but in reality nobody tells us its real or how to deal with it so here’s my verdict.
its really just our own inability to get out of our own heads and see the truth which is we are creating our reality. It took me a long time actually about 6 months of constant anxiety on train platforms etc to actually understand this. I used to believe people were talking about me and I don’t mean people who I knew but strangers on those train platforms. It was insane but I took the mundane option for 6 months and decided to blast my head with music via headphones. Anxiety becomes too much however if we do not take care of ourselves and so I decided I would meditate each day for 5 minutes increasing 1 minute every week.
After I started to meditate I saw myself become a lot more relaxed and so I started to reconnect with an old interesting topic of mine. Buddhism. I did a quick google search and found that not too far away from me in Kennington was the Diamond Way Buddhist Center created and overlooked by its founder Lama Ole Nydhal, a Danish Lama who in the 1960’s traveled to Nepal in order for an alternative to LSD and found the 16th Karmapa.
When I decided to begin going to the introduction classes every Monday I saw dramatic change. On my first arrival I was amazed at how many young people actually attended. It really opened my mind to see how many people were interested and most importantly just like myself. I had so many questions and I remember one of the ladies who lived there told me that after the meditation I would be welcome for questions to be answered. I always think back at this and laugh because after the meditation I was so calm that I no longer had any questions it was my first present moment experience. It was my first moment of truly being alive and inside my own body and being conscious of this.
The word Satya in Sanskrit means Truth and the only truth by definition means “something that is unchanging” We live in a world of impermanence meaning everything must change form at one point or another so how can there be any truths? Well Buddhist and Yogic Texts lead us to an insight into the only truth. The present moment. The present moment is unchanging and our inability to connect to the present moment results in us never finding Truth thus only finding suffering.
Lama Ole Nydhal
I began attending the Beaufoy institute in the September of 2017 and I went every Monday and within just 3 months I was invited to meet Lama Ole at the community Christmas dinner where he would be holding a course. Unfortunately I did not do the course but I did get to sit and eat lots of vegetarian Christmas dinner and sit at the table surrounded by the community that Lama Ole would speak from. I was blessed to have such a close up view of this man. I must say I did not know that one man could be so famous for meditating after all he did look just perfectly normal but his supernatural ability lay much deeper than the physical body. My young mind was amazed and miffed.
When I saw this man I understood why he had such a following his energy was so calm and so disciplined that words truly fail me he truly walked in presence of the Buddhas teachings and was mindful of every word and action but then again this man was proclaimed as enlightened in the Buddhist world. Although he was a westerner like me and you but there was an edge, an aware edge to this man he had no robes on as he was not a monk and the only words he said to me was “Eat More Vegetables” little did I know then I became a vegetarian just afterwards he clearly imprinted upon me that day for my future.
Feeling the change
The months after meeting Lama Ole I was definitely feeling change within my mind but there was a growing pain which could be described as a “peeling of the layer.” One piece of the ego was being shedded and I was no longer identifying with my work and I know that I became a little less… involved should I say. All I wanted to do was meditate and be with others from the Buddhist Center they always had an insight that was much more interesting than how to cut a bob.
Finding my Mother all too interesting
I knew that my Mum had gone down a similar but all so different path than that of myself as she is a Shamanic Practitioner. When I lived with her I did not take much notice of what shamanism is or that at any point in my life would she successfully get me to try out her style and taste for life. Buddhism for me seemed to be the only way and whilst I do know it to be a truly profound way of life I did not feel very much connected to the world around me but more detached should I say. But that was all about to change and it began with my Mum’s help.
In December 2017 I asked my Mum if I could renounce my worldly life and pursue a life as a monk in Plum Village. The Monastery in South West France and the place where Thich Nhat Hanh was seated as the head of his lineage of Applied Mahayana Buddhism. I was determined to ‘give it all up’ in a search of truth. My Mum however reluctantly got me to see the world in which I lived within and asked if I would consider applying to do the Embracing Shamanism Course at the Anam Cara Center in Inverness. I did apply and by October 2018 I was enrolled on the Shamanism Practitoner course held by a revered and ordained Shaman by the name of Twobirds.
The beginning of a lifetime
As the beginning of 2018 came I was so excited for the October and I could not wait for 10 months to start what I thought would be my new life but this is a common mistake as the “new life” never comes we just live another present moment. Needless to say when October came I felt like I truly had died and I had been rebirthed and that was before the gathering of a one week retreat as I had died from this social conditioning of work for money and earn until death comes knocking on your door. I attended the gathering alongside around 18 others there were people who attended and flew from as far away as Canada. I still to this day after only one year of the first gathering of the course still believe it to be a social experiment of what happens when you bring 18 strangers from the developed world and put them in a room? It has been filled with love and joy and quite funnily the name of the clan is “The Clan Of The Rising Phoenix” and I must say with one year into the course I have died many times and watched others die and be reborn from the ashes.
I would love to go into detail and perhaps on another blog post I most certainly will but be sure to check out the link below if you do feel like this is your calling or you are just perhaps questioning reality or where you sit in the world then this course is certainly for you. As long as you are open to personal healing then I would most definitely recommend having a look at any of the courses Anam Cara offers.
In this present day as noted in a previous post I gave up or almost renounced the world that I once was gifted for a life of truth seeking and finding my own place in the world that I live within or the world I now live within. For the world changes as we change.
Thinking that I only left London a little over 7 months ago truly does feel like another lifetime. I could not have imagined the life I would be living now as compared to the life that I was living then. But that was thanks to my Mum for introducing me to such a life changing experience and showing me how life is truly meant to be lived. In commune with the world not in control of it. And of course thanks to my own self for being open to trying out a new and exciting way of life (Shamanism is a belief of the self… your own truth through direct experience) which would not have been allowed nor was it actually feasible to find a Shamanic Teacher in our developed countries. During my time at Anam Cara I have been in contact with many hidden talents, my own experiential truth a reconnection with Nature, a reconnection with family on a different dimension and a reconnection with myself.
At this present time and just under 3 weeks before the 4th Gathering at Anam Cara I have been immersing myself in the Science of Yoga. I have seen a new dynamic to my spiritual practice through daily yoga and I have been practicing every day almost two times per day and I now see a truth in bringing the physical with the non physical dimensions and how immersed I feel with myself in a spiritual nature.
The meaning of Yoga is simply unity of body and mind through a physical forms called Asanas charging the chakras through bandas opening the practitoner to new streams of energy. Which I definitely have been taking and finding the benefits from. I used to hate physical exercise and I was in no way in commune with my own body but through Yoga I have been able to become more grounded and find sacred space within the body. If you or anyone else feels in the same way then please take action because in reality we are truly having a self experience nobody is responsible for your own learning or the life we get to live and that is down to the choices that we consciously or unconsciously get to decide. But always remember life is but a dream. Dreams become lucid if we have the correct foundations.
“When I know not who I am, I serve you.
When I know who I am, You and I are one.”~Hanuman