Archive for January, 2010

Saturday’s Inspiration – 5 ways to live a more peaceful life

1. Start from the obvious. Surround yourself by beautiful things and people. Did you know that the influence from other people extends to 3 degrees of separation? That means that your life and moods can potentially be affected by your sister’s friends daughter! The same applies to your immediate surroundings where you spend most of your time.
Try to arrange your room/space so that energy can flow freely and undisturbed. Divide your room/space into working/sleeping/relaxation spaces so that each space can be charged with the energy that will help you accomplish different tasks. If you meditate, a sacred space is crucial for a successful and peaceful practice. Even if you feel lazy and tired, sitting in your usual meditation space will uplift your spirit.

2. Do few things but do them well, make your time pass slowly. Wise words from St Francis of Assisi. When rushing and running with endless things to do and stress of not being able to accomplish them all ask yourself if it will matter in 1 year time. 5? 10? Will it matter on your death bed? The quality of life is not related to the amount of things you do, but the depth of your experience – the awareness that you put into it. So relax and sit back – remember we float in the endless Universe and you are just a tiny dust.

3. Love and trust yourself. What is inside, that is also found outside. Wondering why did five relationships in a row end in exact same way or why you cannot achieve your goals and dreams? Love yourself. Surround yourself with love. Remind yourself of importance of this act! You cannot expect the world to love you if you cannot even fill yourself with love. So look at the mirror, say a good old ‘I love you’ and smile to yourself. You are great! Alive, gifted, talented, unique and wonderful being. This is the first day of the rest of your life!

4. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Have vision, intention and meaning – be aware how you are making your steps towards your vision every single day. If you wish something with all your heart, the whole world will help to make your dream come true. Be yourself and always follow your heart – only you know if you are making a progress. After all, we do not have an option but to be ourselves!:)

5. Healthy and simple diet – the best way of feeling…. healthy and simple! (watch this space for more info on alternative diets) There is so much to learn about healthy diet. Unfortunately most of us are raised on refined foods, but it is never to late to make a transition. Be aware how your body’s needs change with the seasons. Swap your refined grains and pasta to wholemeal alternatives – most of the goodness of a grain is in its lobe! Eat more veggies and dark leafy greens (it is the right season!). Cut sugar and coffee – make your deserts at home so at least you know what’s in it. And it is so creative! Make simple meals and chew them well – buono appetito!

Movie of the week: Pan Nalin, Samsara (2001)

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London eclectics: breathwork at a Buddhist centre, movie at a DIY hippy venue

First sunny Sunday in a long while. It is not even February yet, but the sun is shining and the air is filled with modest spring warmth. Today my plans are to visit a North London Buddhist Centre to join my friend’s breathwork group and on the way back watch a Glastonburian film preview at Passing Clouds in Hackney.

The plan is set, a south Londoner in my heart I scribble my bus routes in my notebook and with an A to Z, a blanket, a camera and a bottle of water I set off for a mission.

It is really exciting to see spiritual centres popping up in different locations of London creating an atmosphere of local and accessible alternative lifestyle choices. I have a vision that one soon day everyone in London will have a neighbouring holistic hub and instead of a local fried chicken shop – an access to fresh and healthy local produce made with love. I am visioning this knowing that a Tibetan Buddhist Centre is moving quite literally at the other end of my street (watch this space for a story about it)! We are here to make our reality the way we want it.

You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however (Richard Bach).


But lets get back to North London Buddhist Centre on Holloway Road. As a rule, Buddhist centres in London are hubs for veeeery affordable holistic therapies, yoga, tai chi and meditation classes, chanting evenings, retreats, all sorts of workshops and lectures. For me their activities always guarantee a deeper view on spirituality whether in meditation or yoga class. Whatever your beliefs might be, it is well worth finding your local Buddhist centre and see what they offer – you never know what you might discover!

Truth is, my visit there has nothing to do with their activities or Buddhism itself (at least this time). I am going there for a breathwork session with my friends and am using this opportunity to have a little sneaky peak inside the centre.



As I imagined, the centre is filled with serenity and has a lovely shop selling everything from ritual tools, vast collection of Buddhist and meditation books, statues, Tibetan bowls, malas, oils and candles… you name it. I am literally mesmerized but I remind myself that I am here with a slightly different intention.

The breathwork technique is also known as Conscious Connected Breathing, where there is no pause between the in breath and the out breath. This action naturally moves the breather into so called ‘non-ordinary state’ where the brain drops into Alpha and Theta. These states move us from a logical level into a more lateral place of just being present. It is at this point we are most receptive to shifting improvements in health, mental clarity and emotional well-being. (Taken from Terri George website ).

I cannot write much about breathwork itself as it is a deeply personal experience. All I can say that it is one of the most grounding, immediate, simple and natural therapies of self-healing which works despite your beliefs or prejudices. I feel it is very good for westerners who tend to repress their ‘aliveness’, authenticity, self-expression and pain. In a safe space created by skilful and experienced facilitators you easily return to the states of your core being allowing yourself to be a child again, reborn, regress, explore, vision and express anything that has been left behind. I find it to be a deeply healing process which helps to accelerate personal growth.

The breathwork is done and after the facilitator makes sure that we are all grounded and ‘alright’ to spill out to the streets of London we say our goodbyes and leave. Now I am in a rush for a movie preview at Passing Clouds. The movie, although intended for those ‘hard-core hippies’:) receives quite a bit of interest and I really enjoy the cosy retro DIY atmosphere of the venue.
Passing Clouds 1

Good news is that Passing Clouds organise all sorts of events, concerts and jam sessions for an alternative crowd so it is well worth checking them out!

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There is more to life: Gandhi and Virgin

There is more to life than its speed. Neighbouring advertising. Borough tube, London.

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Love circle – soul food on a cold winter evening in Camden

Tuesday evening yoga class with an uplifting title and a seductive headline:
~~Waves of Love rising silently from the Deep devaOcean//Relentlessly forming with an Effortless Grace into//Rolling Circles of Truth~~
Surely I am up for it!

I don’t know what to expect, actually I do not expect anything. I don’t want to look great or advanced or needy or disappointed. I don’t want to have a great time or time to remember. I am just going to this evening with an excitement of a child. And presence.
Reading Eckhart Tolle on the tube: “Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer and you are the dance.” Present. I feel present. And my goal is to be fully alive as I am.

7pm, Upper Room community hall in Camden uplifted from mundane to sacred by the radiance and creativity of the organisers, Amir and Katie. Candles, subtle fairy lights, a gong, Tibetan bowls, all sort of percussive instruments and a piano – it feels warm, cosy and safe.


We comfortably sit in a circle, the atmosphere is great and I feel at home. I know that’s the right environment and I don’t need to be anyone or act in any way. Time for being. The class starts with a well guided relaxation, deep breath, Tibetan bowls and my body is vibrating with core sounds surrendering to the gravity of the body and the limitless nature of the soul.

We flowingly proceed to name and intention sounding. Wow – what an honour. To sing the name of each person with your soul voice and have your name sang by a bunch of angels. It was empowering: I loved and I was being loved, honesty, intentionally and selflessly.
Love, joy, presence, satisfaction, consolidation, freedom, faith, nothingness and more… these were intensions of the beautiful beings that shared the love with me. All and every single one of you – I really wish it becomes your reality now!

Warm ups – a phrase never encouraging enough. I have been doing intense yoga warm-ups for 4 years and never has it been so fun. Surrender and let your inner child take over. Why not? We played congas that weren’t there, we danced free style, we danced our bodies into circles and we sang and laughed as it felt right letting go of everything that needed letting go. Simplicity of being – joy of a child.

Kundalini yoga kriyas were physically and mentally challenging but liberating, extremely energising and well worth a try. “There are two characters in your mind: a master and a victim – you choose which one you want to be” – Amir reminded us out loud just when I needed it. It is surprising what an enormous shift in experience can our inherent right to choose our own perspective manifest. We make our own reality and it is all about our attitudes.

Chanting, relaxation and a sound bath. Another wow. Food for the soul, every cell vibrating with the mysterious power of a gong, Tibetan bowls, percussions, piano and an angelic voice. I peacefully flow and let my body relax from all the rush and buzz of the day.

And a final wow: what other class is so creatively packed with soul-nourishing food?

This moment is all I have got and maybe in 20 years from now I am not going to remember that I went to this class and how good it was (again, perspective!) Perhaps it will be just a distant dream, but I will remember that I spent time being deeply present. That’s one thing that doesn’t need effort to be remembered and doesn’t fade into an illusion of a distant dream. Mission completed!

Love Circle – every Tuesday, 7.00pm at Upper Room, Camden. More details here

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Prizes to be won

2010 saw the start-up of http://www.spirituallondon.co.uk. We are very keen to see this site flourishing therefore we are launching a prize draw for the first 100 services/business or events listed.

All you need to do is to list your service in our free directory. You can do so by visiting http://www.spirituallondon.co.uk, press -add a listing- and add all relevant details of your company, service or event. We will do the rest.

The first 100 companies will be automatically put in a competition to win the following:
– 3 interviews/reviews and a photo reportage which will be published in the Spiritual London blog and new social media sites.
– 3 banner advertising options on our site worth £50 each.
– 5 featured listings for 3 months, which means that your ad will stand out on top of the page.

Let dive into a community spirit and make Spiritual London happen!

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