Swallowing the Truth on Body Image

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of women talk about how they don’t like their bodies and how it has affected them in so many ways. Invitations to social events become a closet room torture session, sexual intimacy or nudity is revealed under a cloak of darkness and self worth a daily source of frustration and sadness.

I have struggled my whole life with having a low self love regarding my body. I tried hiding my (at times) disgust from my two daughters with the aim of instilling a sense of  respect and love of all peoples natural forms. To some degree I am sure I have succeeded but as they grow older my acting skills don’t match their wisdom.

I am out of time and you know what……I am just sick to death of giving myself a hard time. So much wasted energy, worry, anxiety, missed activities and loving embraces.

You cant make someone eat peas when their taste buds repel the texture and flavor so how can I make myself love something I don’t…….I cant and wont pretend any more.

I thought I had to live the rest of life just trying to accept who I was or what I believed myself to be. I only saw with eyes, not with heart.

Then just last week I had a massage from a beautiful soul sister. It was dark, no lights except a soft fire, due the kids being asleep not far from the massage mat. As the energy moved my tears flowed. Without any mental attempt I became aware of a knowing deep within…….I love my body for what is has given me, what it has done for me, the places it has taken me and the adventures it has taken me on. I’ve been lost and it walked me out, loved for days and risen to love more. My bodies been hit and hurt, raped and teased, nurtured life and cycled over many years. Its has worked hard, real hard and yet still feels soft to touch. My body keeps me afloat and harbors a soul yearning to do more for the world yet. Its incredible.

So like the peas I had watched my brother try to swallow as a child and into his teenage years, my body shape is something I may never like but I can appreciate and choose to like all the other qualities that makes a pea a pea other than its flavor.

All my life I have been looking at my body from the outside in with its dimples and blemishes, scars and increasing silhouette size.  How could I ever get to the good bits on the inside when I stopped my journey towards self love at the very first step, at the very first layer? My quest to value and love what I had been given, a remarkable assemblage of loving vibrational cells that could grow life itself was self sabotaged from the very beginning. Without insight, without the ability to become aware of our many layers, we build up a wall of resistance and self loathing. I now choose to begin my meditations from the inside out.

Now, here in the dark, in the safety of a true friend I met my inner self. I saw past the first layer and found so much more. Like focusing on the positive or choosing to see the brighter side of things I saw into all the crevices, between the folds and even through blood and air. I became aware of how my body has supported me when I believed it was the other way round (me supporting others). I became aware of a flowing energy surging through the gaps of my cells that is connected to all things and how insignificant our body size is too this universal source of truth and its movements and natural place in our physical world………so eat the peas and know their truth, know their true uniqueness and value.

It might take a while longer to get to know myself but from now on I can teach my girls how to really see themselves. I can show them how to value their existence from a place of truth and love…..how to love themselves.

May all beings see themselves for who they really are.

Much metta and much gratitude for my massage in the dark.

 

 

 

Advertisements

We, the Gentle Believers

I realise that our lives are not like most although I am seeing a rise in people leaving behind mortgages and stressful jobs to chase dreams. I see them under shady tress in parks, basking on rocks during full sun and dancing on hilltops while the blue moon swells. We, the movement of gentle returners are going back to a simple way of living, connected to the ebb and flows of natures guidance. We, the movement of gentle believers, ride out the storms of life with a sacred breath and open heart.

We know there is more to life than the infinite cycles of birth and rebirth, more than the daily cycle of wake, work, eat, sleep. Attached to nothing I am free to follow my souls desires and what I chase is freedom….but what is freedom?

Last year, while travelling in Morocco we met some permanent South American gypsies who were filming some of their adventures. At the end of each short clip they ask the same single question to people they have met. “What is freedom”

At the time they filmed us we had just come through customs (8 hours) and was camping with several other crazy western travelers on the concrete compound of boarder control waiting for first light as no-one spoke English,  there was no GPS and we had no idea of what lay ahead.

What is freedom he asked?

Holding up my portable toilet bucket I answered “freedom is being able to shit when I like, where I like.” I guess the gypsy life had me in her grasp because all I could think about was being to free to move, to explore. Now, some 18 months later and freshly off a Satipathana {Vipassana} course I have a new concept of freedom. Freedom for me is being able to follow my souls desires or at least its needs when it arises.

So if you are wanting to feel free and happy I guess you need to find your deepest souls requirements and I doubt that a huge house, new car or plasma TV would make the list.

For people who know me {us} they would understand already our trust in the divine, in having the ability to uproot and leave behind what most cherish and value. For those who don’t then the story is simple – stressed out life turned to 5 years retreat on indigenous forest lands, sold everything, traveled everywhere with family in tow, and returned to Australia not knowing what to do. Now I listen to the wisdom’s that come through meditation and live in love and service to mankind, earth and all beings, finding balance between work, rest, play and family.

So back to this attachment thing. What is attachment? Anything that you feel you cannot lose or live without is attachment. Your watch, excess clothing, emotions, children, house, money, sex, food…….the list is endless really but for now I seek balance and commitment. I commit to letting go of all I can on any given day because the further I go into spirit the less I realise I need and this list includes emotional and non material apsects also.

How much of your life is simple clutter? How much are you willing to sell, give away or return to earth for the sake of happiness? For the sake of freedom.

My top suggestions for happiness.

Do a Vipassana course

Get rid of everything you can part with, downsize, sell off, work less

Help others and be in service once a year

Love and let go that which doesnt bring lightness to your life or the life of others.

With loving metta.

Transparency within the Dream

To live a dream, you first need to know what it is you desire.

How to do it depends entirely on what you dream for.

I only know the path we chose and it was one that lead us to let go of everything we owned and had once worked for……I think this path is easier than trying to acquire more. If you dream of driving a Ferrari and being waited on hand and foot for your retirement then this story is probably not for you.

But if you dare to find happiness in the peace of each days sun rise then read on.

Recently I saw a post by someone who has in the past inspired me to give more openly. He was asked by someone how he survives if he earns no money…….was he on the dole? They wanted transparency in his actions so that they too could live as he does. They were inspired but doubtful they could live in a similar way.

He replied with some offence that his monetary affairs was no-ones business and that he lived with little money or exchanged work for goods. I too am often asked what do we do for money and most times try to avoid it but how can I be promoting a life of freedom and happiness if I don’t tell you how we came to be.

 

 

 

It starts like any other “normal life” school, work, some more schooling and some more work. Family was gifted to me and while I raised our girls, my husband continued to work. A lot. What we earnt, we spent. The holidays were never long enough and our spirits never content. We decided to change our perspectives and our location.

We sold our renovated Sunshine Coast house and bought a farm, hand-built a home and carved out a magical existence relying heavily on the food we grew or animals we butchered. We connected to land and ourselves but the mortgage was still there. Several people who had come to stay with us on the farm as helpers mentioned a meditation course. Vipassana. Both my husband and I sat the course and our lives were changed forever.

We sold without hesitation, everything we had worked for, became vegetarians and left Australia with nothing more than a backpack each. Two adults, two preteen girls.

The money we acquired from the sale of our farm set us on a global journey to help others and in the process help ourselves but it doesn’t take travel to change a person, nor money, but the freedom of enslavement to a system that kills the spirit.

Removing yourself from the habitual working every day, week in, week out to obtain more things is what set us free. While having a new plasma, car or home might give a quick fix….no material object can fill the soul.

Yes…. we still need money. We have not found a community or new world that nurtures or provides a platform of free-living so we work (occasionally) or volunteer at spiritual centres or get the dole (occasionally). At the moment we are finishing a mobile bus café that will hopefully provide a little income to support out gypsy way of life and keep us completely out of the government system. with the ability to still help others. The more I learn and teach our children about the fundamnetal requirements for life the more I hope to remove ourselves from dependancy of any monetary system……food, shelter, land and peoples are our focus.

The world cannot support our increasing population if we continue to live as we do now. I often wonder are people too ignorant to see that our children will suffer if we continue to impart such materialistic beliefs upon them? Or are we just selfish, stubborn and greedy without forsight to imagine a planet and our minds in the next 50, 20, even 10 years if we continue down the current path.

I believe we are born free but have been too wiling to accept the voices of others instead of listening to our own, instead of listening to the voices of our great indigenous ancestors. We have forgotten how to care for ouselves and our families as they age. We have forgotten how to heal and how to connect with the energies of the land.

Lets start changing ourselves so that we can change the world for the lives of those to come.

 

Much metta to you all.

 

 

 

On the Road Again

I love the township I am leaving for now, the sweet sisters and brothers I have met, the children that have shared their laughter with my children. In love I leave and in love I will return but for now I need to listen to the calling of my heart and my land. What I wouldn’t give for a quick coffee with friends from my favourite Spill da Beans though. (I don’t do coffee on the road – can’t afford my addiction).

It’s a hard feeling to describe, ITCHY FEET. He’s a crafty bugger. Creeping around my campsite for weeks now, sneaking into my days. He’s been teasing me with flashes of red earth, forest green and cleansing waters. What is it exactly that creates a yearning to move, to be somewhere not visited before, to discover something unseen, connect with life and self.

I cannot really justify travel right now when I look at our world in chaos but travel makes me stronger. It makes me more available to assist others and makes me more grateful for everything. Travel also stimulates me to teach (natural school) the girls differently. I allow my reinvigorated sense of wonder of our world to flow into my daily teachings and often I come up with more creative ideas.

With travel, comes guilt (justification of time, resources and money) but since completing my first Vipassana course some 4 years ago I know that in service ( helping others) I can tip the balance in my favour………or at least level the karmic playing field.

So here we are, packed and full of excitement. Destination unknown and money dwindling. Time no real concern. The itchy feet are about to be set free to walk on new lands. Australian lands. After 12 months of global travels in 2016 I can honestly say there is no place like Australia. We are so truly blessed. We have an indigenous spiritual culture that surpasses any other for its ability to connect with nature and self, for we are all one, of one energetic source.

Australia and her lands are magnificently harsh and expansive, surrounded by a coastal vegetative strip that seems to nourish, support and soften her wilds. This sets her apart from most other countries. The openness of Australia’s land has shaped my psyche and in line with her expansive quality I too hope to expand my beliefs, my knowledge and my connection with its people.

Travel sets me free to bring me home.

I truly hope to see you on the road and in my home (bus). May we all connect and share our stories, love and food, under the stars, our ancestors, our families.

Metta and safe travels.

 

 

Another Week of Living

Natural learning for my two daughters has become more about living and enjoying life to the fullest as a family than about how much you do or worrying about what level they are at.

I used to feel like I never did enough for my children in regards to their education. Enough maths, enough science or enough history. Now I realise all we need to learn is all around us and within us.

Learning lies within the stories told by elders, the walks you take at first light in new forests or the recipe you follow to prepare a balm with ingredients you grow or collect. Learning lies within life itself and having the ability to bring each moment into an awareness that suits the specific age of the child you hope to awaken. Along the way we often discover that we are the ones slowing down our children’s progress…….they will show you what and when they are ready to learn, we just need to be there to steady the foundations.

The last 2 weeks we have spent in the garden, making balms and lotions, swimming and camping with friends. We had a birthday, shared some worms, listened to the owls at night and created music. We have cried a little, watched parents drift apart and start the journey back towards each again. We have bled and marked the time on the moon and discussed how the cycles of seasons can affect us, the animals and what grows in the garden. We learnt some limitations of our bodies and the effect of too much weight on a rope. We learnt that good food fuels our body better than shit food.

We learnt that true friends are sacred, valuable and something to treasure.

What haven’t we learnt that’s appropriate for the last 2 weeks in our life?

Hope you are all learning as we are and realising that life changes just as quickly as we think we have mastered it.

Much metta.

Today’s Fire

You ask me can I come, an arranged celebration of life some months in advance. I do not know for the fire burns only this morning after we have collected the wood.

You ask will I be ready Monday, but today is Sunday and all the seeds I sowed in the moonlight need watering this day.

You need to know the promise I made 17 years ago to your heart grows stronger the longer we are untied but I barely know my own heart……can we love today in separation…..will that be enough for you.

Can I honour myself in this moment while I watch and feel those around me that do not. I want to love them, sit with them and talk of death.

You ask me how did I come to be this way, this happy, this content and full of time?

I dreamt myself to recognition. I dreamt back to lands once burnt with black love and replenished all that I once thought I could be from the winds, water and songs. I opened all I could….eyes, ears, heart and hands to take in the essence of country.

Today, this day I invite you to share the fire that burns inside us all.

Today I realised I will not be ready for you any time soon for I am ready now. I will not love you any harder for I love you all I can today. I wont be ready next month, or next year for I am waiting in this moment.

I am love.

I am black.

I am white.

I am.

 

 

 

 

Taking Life – 25 years on

Written by a soul well-known.

I think of you often, the life I took with a mind too immature or aware to realise the suffering of all involved.

I did not know that I would feel you in my bones, growing with me in memory. You come to me in dreams, in thoughts when talking to my older daughter, her awakening unfolding fully now. What do I say to her, to you, the sister in circle who asks.

“Yes I have two daughters (but I want to say I have more)”.

three

What we do call it when a women decides to abort a child. A sin, an injustice, a moment of unknowing, a decision or mistake or just life, a nessessary action to maintain a certin quality of life. As always, its different for every being. For me its a guilt that never dies. Back then it was just what happened.

Before I met my current partner, before I had the strength to stand up fully for myself or see the totality of certain actions, I fell pregnant and had a choice to terminate or go it alone (or so I thought). Young and apparently in love I believed I would be cared for, married off and raise a family on a little farm down south.

How naïve and foolish. Yes it can and often happens this way but for me it wasn’t further from the delusional truth I sought. I was hit from all sides. My lover left, I was too  ashamed to go and tell my mother or father and the upstanding soon to be apparent in-laws talked me into making an appointment to see a family counsellor. They had connections. One, a well-known surgeon and the other a local nurse of 30 something years. I was heart-broken, without a home of my own and I valued their opinion. I trusted them as social elders when in fact I should have trusted myself and no-one else.

“Your so young and its a shame our son cannot see the relationship through but you’re welcome to stay in our house while you recover”.

The deed was done. My child was gone. Returned to the darkness of waiting to be reborn.

I talk of this sadness now, not only to release some of the burden I have carried for what feels like an eternity but to let mothers, sisters, friends and all those in a position to educate our children know – respecting and understanding the preciousness of life is something that can be taught……..not all are born with this realisation.

The decisions we make and actions we take flow constantly towards what we will become.  That being said, I don’t hate myself for what I did, I was truly unaware, lost in a world that placed a higher value on social conformity than life. I am not that being any more and have not been for years.

Through the DNA exchange and the energetic processes of a child unborn, I carry a message, a prayer of hope that all parents talk to their young about life, the essence of creation, formation and growth. Talk to them about listening to their own hearts and following the voice inside that desires to be seen, heard and loved.

I send metta to my child, the life I took and give healing metta to myself.

I send metta to any child, any women struggling with the mind, the turmoil of decisions.

I send metta to all the sisters of the world that felt they had no help, no other choice, no nest to birth and went through with a termination.

I send metta to those that judge the action of another for you are unknowing yourself.

pamona 3

 

Goodnight sweet child, I let you sleep for under stars and full moon rains I let you go to live another life. You are not mine to mourn for nothing belongs to me and never will.

 

 

 

 

 

Water to Oil – our bus break down

We had one thing in mind for travel and our year to come – head north to warmer weather, and see what flows.

After leaving The Planting Festival (Woodfordia) about the only thing that flowed was the water into the oil of our bus. We immediately thought the worst. Money and stuck in one place.

Just days before our bus break down we were in a state of confusion about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. The last year aboard although an amazing experience, was also a disappointment for many reasons. Mainly by our own expectations. Social interactions for our children, small community connections, tending a garden and growing food, clean water and pristine environments were all lacking.

Amazing how the synchronicity of life steers you on certain paths and at times stops you in your tracks. I can be pretty stubborn and sometimes it takes massive shifts to make me adjust my mind-set.

Driving back from the festival we headed towards Pomona, needing a couple of days to adjust the solar and gather supplies. We had arranged to camp behind the Vipassana centre, adjacent to a state forest, on land owned by a couple whose address had been given to me while on my last meditation sit. The land is just 10 mins bike ride out of the town of Pomona with loads of firewood. Just perfect. When I had called the owner he had said how strange it was that he had seen our bus go past a week earlier and he knew that we would call and that we would stay. He had mowed an area in preparation.

We drove our massive green bus through the townships watchful eye, past a small school and onto a narrow dirt lane, lined with eucalypts and kangaroos. About 100 meters down the road an alarm sounded inside the bus and our dashboard lit up. Something was wrong with Gypsy Green. Water and oil light on, alarm still shrieking we ambled into a cleared area beside a small dam and  parked her up.

Long story short'(after hours of investigation and dismantling the head) when the bus had its motor reconditioned some 80,000km ago someone had forgotten to tighten some small toppers. These had slid off into the head and clanged around, metal on metal until they wore their way through the side. Not a total rebuild but when your dealing with parts this big its in the thousands. Even if we have the money….its times like these when you have to access what lifestyle (home) you live. We still come out way cheaper.

Its been over 6 weeks now since we arrived here and with the freedom of moving at will forcible removed from us we have settled and found a strange sense of peace. Its feels like a homecoming, a welcoming from the universe to say its OK to stay still.

IMG_7610 (1)

We have met the most amazing people, mingled with the wildlife, started a garden that Adam would be proud of (sorry for that reference) and felt so invited by the community. It’s all we were looking for in our travels overseas that was missing.

I am certain we would have kept heading north, searching for that perfect place, if we hadn’t broken down. Sometimes the searching can be fun but mostly it just blinds us from the real beauty of the moment, the place, heart or face. We simply cannot see what makes us happy let alone live in a manner that allows that joy  to permeate into our daily routines and lives.

We will be on the road again real soon (thanks to Paul our new best diesel mechanic friend) but our adventures will be a little more planned as of now. Perhaps a festival in Townsville, winter over WA next year or weekends (weeks) away exploring new lands. Besides I have invested some decent amount of love into an amazing garden so will be back and forth to keep it evolving.

What ever we choose, we will do it because we have the freedom to choose and not because we are lost in the search, driven by a longing or craving for something. The older I get the more I realise that everything I want is already inside me….I just have to remove all the shit to see it.

There are so many of us on a search for the right community at this time in the world when really I think we need to start with our own self community. The relationship between our own mind, body and spirit.

It’s nice to find myself happy and in one place long enough to be able to share it with others. After 5 years retreat in the forest and one year abroad, we are stationary and we area happy.

I hope you find happiness in your own home, your own heart.

Much metta.

 

 

 

 

Vipassana Express – Sharing in Silence

I recently finished a 10 day silent Vipassana retreat at Pomona and as some doors close, more open, life flows on as some lives recede from mine. All is changing.

DAY ZERO

People start to shuffle in loaded with blankets, cushions, expectant smiles and exuberant voices.  The tea room spills over with greetings and home-baked biscuits as old students run to the quiets of their rooms. It’s an eclectic mix of ages, faces and stories.

Male and female are allowed to mix at this stage but soon we are to be segregated. I size up the competition and wonder who will be the gong ringer, who will sit front row and which of us will break the rules first. I’ve heard of people making midnight runs into town for some quick supplies or a rendezvous in the bush with a lover but for me I am happy to stay put. Time is precious and every second away from family is time I want to spend working on my self. Time free of ALL responsibility except keeping this body alive is extremely rare.

I take a long slow slurp on my tea, watching the resident dragon flies guard their territory around the centres water feature and decide to read the leaves in the bottom of my cup. I focus, swirl and leave to settle.

A definite human skull (tattoo style) – never clearer.

DAY ONE

I wake at 3.45am as I was asked to be the early morning going ringer – no competition and definitely not a task I would be putting my hand up for voluntarily but here I am, stumbling along the path trying to gong with love. Feels impossible. The only being to acknowledge my efforts is a young joey who peers from its mothers pouch and sniffs the cool breeze. I stand frozen in awe of the moment, watching each hairy nostril expand and contract as if teasing my mind about the upcoming day. Breath is an important focus for the first 3 days in Vipassana training.

Meditation begins , breakfast passes and my mind races through a thousand thoughts before the end of the next sitting. The time is only 10am. I have already adjusted my cushions a hundred times as the lady behind me grunts in disapproval, or so I believe.

It’s amazing how much we share in silence and how much is lost in silent transactions. Eyeball rolls and heavy sighs, a sideways glance to scare someone against taking the last passion fruit slice, coughs and snorts, hairs in showers, farts and shuffles and fragrances of sandalwood. The senses become more sensitive the longer we refrain from talking and I realise true silence is something we probably only find within our own dimensions.

Lunch bell rings and 60 something grateful people take respite from the aches of sitting and gorge themselves on the most amazing food. My plate resembles something of the leaning tower of Pisa. I juggle the glorious load towards the back deck finding some familiar backs already warming in the sun. I compare the toes that hang out from the male side of the screen with mine, pondering age, career and lack of visible scars or signs of earthly connection. How we judge.

Today I became full aware of a few things – my guts and my cravings for food. Vipassana food is so tempting and soothing.

Tea leaf reading –  flower

DAY TWO

Alarm sounds. I quickly dress and grab the gong. Its blowing harder today and the temperature has dropped. No kangaroos in the dark and no people. I hope my fellow meditators hear me through the trees conversations.

Somehow the meditation hall fills and people begin readjusting their cushions to form mini lounges. The souls karma is coming out as aches and pains, as is mine.  I long for breakfast, lunch and rest.

Settling the mind after a year of travels is proving difficult and although the people around me look like rocks of Buddha I am determined to make the most of my time. I smell Miss Sandalwood again and listen to the movements of a local roo outside, praying the tape of Goenka’s voice miraculously sparks into play. It has to be an hour, surely?

Food, shower, rest, walk in the woods along the fence……watch some ants gather seeds. I think the rains are coming.

Tea leaf reading – bent person with a pole walking….(it was lemongrass tea and lots of leaves)

DAY THREE

Became aware this morning that I haven’t been the loo for a number two since arriving….more prune juice in the porridge needed.

Gong, early shower, chanting and breakfast. The rain is here in full force as a result of cyclone Debbie. Powers out and as well as the umbrellas. People are walking barefoot to save their shoes and our meditation techniques are being delivered by a battery operated old school tape deck.

Morning chants done – breakfast is on. Goenka’s chants provoke an inspire me this morning and I feel the gratitude for having heard the Vipassana in conversations with friends. Grateful I made the decision to just go.

The people are moving slower now but there is still a fight on at the toast table. I saw someone hit the panic button after they had returned to the toaster beside MINE to find their centre made gluten-free bread had been removed and placed on a plate so that the toaster could be used. Drama and tears….emotions running high. HELP – wheres the manager?

I remembered my first course. A great awakening occurred at the toast table. Someone had touched my shoulder and moved my plate (physically moved MY plate) while I was standing there preparing the peanut butter so they could get better access to the toaster. I was in shock. MY PLATE. MY TOAST. It hit me hard that everything I had attachment too was, in my mind – MINE.

My shoulder, my plate,  my home, my husband, my car, my kids. My entire life was a creation of my mind including my body. I left the toast and sat on the rear deck crying. I understood that most of my worries were about what I thought was mine and what I should be able to control. All my fears and anxieties came about when I compared and lived either in the past or the future. I didn’t know how to live in the NOW even though I thought I had been.

I realised I don’t own anything except my own spiritual path. I choose that. Everything else is borrowed or a gift. EVERYTHING – yes even your kids.

Toast tables are a great place to discover yourself.

Tea leaf reading – star patterns – a map?

DAY FOUR

Still no power, still the discomfort of sitting for hours, still is the intention I have set for my mind.

Concentrating so hard on stillness I forgot to read my tea leaves and forgot that when I approach the teacher that I need to take a long slow breath before allowing my words to escape.

Everything is amplified.

DAY FIVE

Early gong, chant, breakfast, sit and Vipassana starts in enerst today. Both men and women both feel the shift in energy. My determination increases as does the winds of Debbie as the tape deck plays. I glimpse a life before this one wondering if it was mine.

I book in to see the teacher for the first time and decide to ask a few questions I have been longing to ask since my first Vipassana. The result – stay within the confines of the body. More questions arise.

A definite pattern is developing in my day and I understand why monks are partial to forming routines. Remove the second guessing and time-wasting of disorganisation so that all of your time can be spent on your path towards enlightenment.

Lunch, sit, ginger lemon tea followed by reading of peppermint tea.

Tea leaf reading – the number 4 – how appropriate.

DAY FIVE

The calm of the storm is upon us and the kangaroos make the most of the clear skies and new grass shoots.  Half a dozen or so young roos entertain us with a high speed race around the grounds of the centre. One flies like a torpedo towards me and I close my eyes hoping he makes the corner. Skimming its tail against my thigh, I become aware of the adrenalin pumping inside my body. They do 5 laps in total and finish as the gong sounds. Tail skimmer wins.

Sit, eat, shit, shower and sit. I remove all cushions except the original bum one and take a long last glance at the male pinnacle of stillness beside me. He must be over 60 and looks pretty cool in his sarong and loose shirt. I am determined. I am still.

Sit, eat, rest.

I watch the women walking in the bush from my window and note the differences in their gate, their pace and their mannerisms. There is one particular elderly lady who just doesn’t stop. I see her after each sit, before each meal, after each gong. Skinny as, she walks and walks and walks. I wonder is she shaking off some karmic past.

Tea leaf reading – scattered objects (toys?)

DAY SIX

Similar to my teal leaf reading really – just a whole lot of mess. I’ve been up for what feels like most of the night following a massive echidna who ripped up all the blue termite lining near the dorms, kangaroos and an old slow-moving python. I watched the moon, myself and my feet on the earth. Its cold and subtly eerie. I like it.

My morning begins like the tea leaf reading of last night, a mess. I can’t concentrate, I cant sit still. My heart becomes heavy with a sadness I have not yet experienced in life. It crawls its way into my thoughts and remains for days. I try to be mindful and allow the process of healing to flow but I form a hatred to these feelings. All is unravelling and my past Vipassana training  has left me.

I want to leave.

DAY SEVEN

Gong, shower, sit and eat. Gong, sit, eat and no shower. I feel like shit.

No teal leaf reading today

DAY EIGHT

Gong, sit, chant and eat. Shower, sit and I decide to sleep. I decide not to meditate and say sorry to all those that I have ever judged for not attending the hall when they were supposed too. I say sorry to myself for being so driven and stubborn, I say sorry, close my swollen black eyes and sleep.

Gong, eat, sleep some more.

I wake grateful, clearer and ready to drink tea.

Tea leaf reading – heart – corny I know.

DAY NINE

Gong, chant, eat and sit. Gong, sit, sit some more, cells and eat.

I observe a few people moving like they are in slow motion and remember the first time I ever time I really felt awake, alive and in awe of each moment. I too saw the sunlight through trees as a masterpiece of life in action. Colours were painted just for me and the whole of existence sang their songs not with voices or actions but with the energy of their hearts.

I am not in slow motion today but I am clear. I can see how important this moment is for me and how I chose to respond (or not) to the sorrow I have carried for days will determine how my day, my life unravels. Just being aware of sensations is my focus for today. Sadness, pain, sandalwood and vibrations in the ear – all just sensations – linked by an energetic pathway – fuelled by a creative force of undeniable love.

Gong, eat, sit, cells, sleep.

I wake and begin to pack. I want to be ready for when the gates are flung open and my family are waiting in Gypsy Green – our big green bus.

Gong, tea, shower and read the notice board.

What the fuck. I thought I was going home tomorrow, but no – another day and then home. I’m confused and deeply overwhelmed with a tingling sensation on the upper part of my lip. Fluid begins to roll down my right cheek and I observe myself cry for a few seconds. It’s a crazy thing to see yourself. Our feeble mind and even feebler emotions.

I drink tea and focus on the warmth of the cup instead of my feeble heart. We actually stay until the morning of day 11.

Tea leaf reading – definite tea leaves in a cup

DAY TEN

My last day to meditate. I am strong again. Gong, sit, eat, sit, sit again, eat, sleep, cells, sit, and tea.

I am focused. I am observing. I am moving forwards on the path I choose at this moment.

Silence breaks today so that we get a chance to adjust back into normality although I think Id like a world that was silent 50% of the time and silence was normal. I listen to myself talking and decide to escape to the openness of a grassy clearing near the hall to remove myself from the instant rise in energy. My body already feels like it is vibrating 100 times faster than normal. People want to share their stories, their lives, their new insight into how things flow – I just want to be thankful for the ease in which my sadness passed. I send some love and metta out to those that cannot let go of such sorrow and live with it daily. For some – all of their lives.

Tea leaf reading – circle – as clear as the skull.

DAY LEAVE

It’s the last morning I get to ring the morning gong and for that I am so damn happy.  I complete my cleaning chores, sit, eat, tell a few more stories and listen for the sound of Gypsy Greens engine.

I am aware today of my ability to observe emotions, my ability to tell too many stories and my ability to love. I am aware of my inability to control all things and for that I am truly grateful.

I love my family, my life and you.

Last tea leaf reading – dark green tea leaves settling in a white cup. Beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coincidence, Krishna and Aussie Scrub

Farm sit done we hit the road towards southern Queensland to register the bus – I’ve heard its easier there.

Tall, dry barked eucalypts line the highway, one we have driven many, many times before. It all seems so different this time round though. The trees seem greener, water ways clearer and roadkill evidence of a healthy environment. These perceptions a grateful side effect to overseas travel.

Rambling down the highway I laugh to myself in remembrance of how many times a European person avoided my eyes, chuckling each time I mentioned the Aussie bush. Bush in Europe means your vagina so I use ‘scrub’ a bit more now days although it doesn’t seem to do the density of our forests any justice.

Toilet stops, ocean swim, fuel and green grass adventures – we look for our first camp – Northern Rivers just before you enter into Yamba. No toilet (quick wee Ok) but the area is clean, pretty quiet and beside the river. There were about 4 other campers here.

Campsite location

Light rain and warm temps motivated the mosquitos to join us for breakfast which we collected from our immediate surrounds – mangoes, strawberry guavas and waragal greens to which I added some eggs. My daughter is into wild crafting and all things survival so her skills of seeing the edible amongst a bare patch is tested and appreciated often.

Early start (toilet needed) – we headed further north. Brunswick was only a few minuets drive off the main highway and well worth the stop – swim, boat love, people meet and expensive delicious food treats.

The kids made camp on a blanket I had thrown under the shade of a massive Poinciana, slicing open a watermelon with newly gifted knives from their Pop while I made some green mango salad left over from this mornings harvest. My husband and I talked about a dream to live aboard a boat maybe at a later date as we watched a gorgeous little cat sway from side to side in direct view from our bus.

Right at that moment a man dressed in loose shorts, pin striped business shirt and broad rimmed hat approached the girls and began talking. I gave him a min before wandering outside to join the conversation.

“Thought Id introduce myself as you looked like home schoolers too”…..”I’m Peter”

I checked out my two daughters – one was recording specific notes and diagrams about various animals tracks you might find in the grasslands of outback Australia – the other artfully filling a page with dreamscapes and visions.

“yeh we home school, my names Tamika.”

For the next half an hour my husband and I chatted with Peter and found an instant connection. He had natural schooled his kids for ALL of their schooling and when his son turned 15 they had bought a catamaran to live on as they were looking for a challenge. Yes – its was the exact cat we had been eyeing for the last hour. If it wasn’t for the pressure and time restraint of registering the bus (as well as a rotten painful tooth) we all would have jumped aboard his catamaran and become his crew for the next week or two.

We said goodbye to Peter, feeling our paths would cross again sometime, cleaned up the remains of the watermelon and bounced our way towards the highway only to miss the turn some few hundred meters later. Dammn – oh well – the view was all new from this higher bus aspect and the northern rivers area is just so beautiful with its majestic mountains and energetic forest gullies.

A thought came to us once we neared Murwillumbah that just one year ago a friend had taken us to a Hare Krishna joint somewhere in the hills near here. We stopped in town for a couple of quick supplies and decided without a GPS or inside knowledge it was just too much trouble to find directions out the Krishna Centre.

No more than 5 seconds later 2 freshly shaven robed young men rounded a corner and slammed into my husbands shoulder. They hugged, chatted and smiled their way into our souls in a heartbeat. Yep – they were from the centre and would happily escort us out. I love a good energy line up (mainstream coincidence).

Sunday sees the Hare Krishna centre open its door to everyone for a vegetarian feast by donation and music accompanied with various teachings, dance and chanting if you wish.

Situated in the beautiful Tweed Valley in far northern New South Wales, about ten kilometres from Murwillumbah, the Hare Krishna farming community, New Govardhana, embodies this yearning for a gentler, simpler way of life. They have an amazing timetable suited to families, backpackers and spiritual seekers – yoga, WOOFing, camping, day visits, farming, school, festivals and much more.

Hare Krishna Centre Northern Rivers

Goodbyes said to our two new monk friends and butter balls exchanged we made the slow long walk back to the bus. TIP – don’t take a 12 tonne vehicle to the centre – it wont get across the bridge but the river is excellent for a freshen up.

We slept alongside a river this night – not the best camp at all but our minds were not on finding an oasis. The journey home to the Sunshine Coast went uneventful and rather quick.

This week – modifications, teeth pulled, curtains and home schooling.

I believe nothing is by chance and the life we lead is determined by the life we lead.

Love to all