Posts tagged festival of life

Living fully: Where to go and what to do in London (September)

Summer is ending and action is returning to London. There are a number of very exciting (and also free) events taking place this September and October and with this post I want to give a quick overview of what’s happening and where. Follow for more events as we go further into Autumn season.

For those who need a good stretch and re-fresh of the whole system:

Deep tissue holistic bodywork by Maori Healers, 30th of August – 5th of September

Personally, I wouldn’t miss an occasion to have my body re-booted by Maoris. It is not for everyone and it is extremely intense, but it does change you. And your life. Feel adventurous? Give it a try.
Contact: Session: £80.

For the intellectually inclined:

Mind, the Buddha and the Brain
School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)
Tuesday 14 September, 7pm

“Exciting developments are taking place at the intersection between Western sciences and Buddhism. The quest for understanding the human mind and its functions is at the centre of the meeting of psychology, cognitive neuroscience and Buddhist thought. Based on different perspectives and paradigms these three disciplines contribute answers to some of the most intriguing questions: What is the relation between brain and mind? What happens when we meditate and why does it matter? Can the brain be happy? This talk will introduce scientific and Buddhist views on the topic. Guided by the question how this knowledge can benefit our lives, it will cover the commonalities and differences of these different views.”
Details: Teacher: Dr. Peter Malinowski. Free of charge. Pre-booking is not necessary

Buddhism and Philosophy
School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)
Wednesday 15 September, 7pm

“Sometimes Buddhism is described as a religion, sometimes as a philosophy, and sometimes a science of mind. While it is difficult to limit it to any of these individually, it is true that Buddhism contains elements of all three. In particular, Buddhism contains very precise philosophical views about the nature of reality, the universe and beings’ place in it. These views increase in their sophistication depending on the capacities of individual practitioners and, while employing conceptual thought, always aim at the ultimate freedom from all limiting concepts. In this lecture, Karol will discuss the commonalities and differences between classical western and Buddhist philosophical views.”
Details: Teacher: Karol Sleczek. Free of charge. Pre-booking is not necessary

For the culturally inclined and thirsty of different aspects on Tantra:

Revival of Tantric Buddhist Practice in Today’s Tibet
School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)
Thursday 16 September, 7pm

“Following the changes in Beijing’s policies of 1978, Tibetan areas of the People’s Republic of China are experiencing a great ethnic and religious revival. This talk will look into instances of the revitalization of Tantric practice in Eastern Tibet. These demonstrations of the survival of Buddhist culture are statements of its unbroken link with the past vis-à-vis the destruction of the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese colonization and the dramatic modernization process that this foreign presence entailed. Special attention will be drawn to the agency of the leaders of the revival, who not only restore indigenous access to local sources of authority, but most of all, embody the highest Tantric ideals, which empower them to render their tradition as valid for identity construction today.”
Details: Teacher: Maria Przyjemska. Free of charge. Pre-booking is not necessary

For those that want to combine modernity and buddhism:

Lama Ole Nydahl in London
Tuesday 21 September, 8pm
Senate House, University of London

Limitless Freedom and Joy – an introduction to Diamond Way Buddhism

“In this introductory lecture, contemporary Buddhist master Lama Ole Nydahl will outline the basis, way and goal of Diamond Way Buddhism. In particular he will explain how the ancient wisdom of Buddhism, while retaining its essence, has adapted to meet the needs of people in modern Western societies. Lama Ole embodies the limitless freedom, joy and compassion that come from recognising the nature of mind, and in this talk he will teach practical methods leading to this experience. The lecture and Q&A session will be followed by a guided meditation and the chance to take Buddhist Refuge and receive a blessing.”

Details: Price: £15 (£12 concs) per lecture. Pre-booking is not necessary

For those unsatisfied with the Western denial of death and afterlife:

Wednesday 22 September, 8pm
Senate House, University of London

Death and Rebirth
“What happens after death is one of the biggest question we have as humans. While some religions speculate and rely on faith, Buddhism is uniquely explicit. In particular, Tibetan Buddhism contains very precise descriptions of the process of dying, death and the intermediate state between death and rebirth known in Tibetan as the “Bardo”. These teachings are based on the experiences described by the Buddha and generations of realised practitioners who were able to integrate them and directly confirm their validity. The Buddha’s teachings on death and rebirth are practical keys to understanding the true nature of death and a way to live, die and be reborn better. They support anyone who wants to come to terms with impermanence and dissolve all fears.
Lama Ole Nydahl is a master of the profound meditation practice of Phowa, or “transference of consciousness at the moment of death”, a method to consciously use the process of death to liberate one’s consciousness into a state of highest bliss, which he has taught to thousands of people worldwide. He is an authority on the Tibetan teachings on death, the intermediate state and rebirth. Born in Denmark in 1941, as a child he had dreams and memories of his former life as a soldier in Eastern Tibet, where he protected the civilian population during clashes with Chinese troops. In this lecture, Lama Ole will outline how modern scientific research and the Tibetan Buddhist teachings on death closely converge. He will explain the mind’s experiences during the process of death and the intermediary state, and how we can work with our immediate situation to be able to better relate to impermanence, die fearlessly and create positive circumstances for future lives.”

Details: Price: £15 (£12 concs) per lecture. Pre-booking is not necessary

For those hungry of fresh Indian mystery:

Swami Atmachaithanya visiting London 23rd of September

Swami from Kerala, South India, is virtually unknown in UK so here is a little bit of information: “Swami Atmachaithanya was born on 10th April 1964 in the small village of Uppaychal, a poor rural community in southwest India. Throughout his early childhood Swami showed remarkable kindness towards others and a great reverence for the Divine. He kept the image of Lord Shiva constantly in his mind and attained Self-realisation at the age of seven. As he got older many people came to seek his advice and to benefit from his miraculous healing powers. Then, as now, Swami asks for no payment for the help that he gives.”

For those in need of deep transformation:

Short Vipassana retreat in London
Saturday/Sunday 25th/26h of September

Ever wanted to try Vipassana out but didn’t feel ready to take a leap into a full 10 day adventure? This is your chance to get a mild Vipassana taster. “Vipassana, sometimes translated as Insight or Higher Vision, is one of the key meditative styles in Buddhism.  It is designed through developing sustained attentiveness to help meditators become wiser and thus to become more capable of helping themselves and others.  In its more highly developed forms it is designed to give meditators the understanding that brings freedom and full enlightenment.
Details: Facilitator: Ven Antonio Satta. Location: Jamyang Buddhist Centre, Kennington. Suggested donation: £60.

Satsang Intensive with Mooji, 25th/26th of September

It is the last chance to spend time with Mooji in London this year. After spending many years travelling and holding satsangs everywhere around the world Mooji is ‘taking easy’ this year, so if you live in London, use this opportunity to suck-in the wisdom of non-duality. Groups of people travel great distances from around the world to spend couple of days in this man’s presence.

And for everyone:

Festival of Life, 25th of September

It is the most vibrant, action filled community – or, heck, the whole London – festival celebrating health, life, vitality, awareness, sustainability and.. love! Highly recommended for delicious food, community atmosphere, very interesting workshops and an excellent dance party.


Leave a comment »

Spirit-centered conscious UK festivals to keep in your diary (summer 2010)


It’s festival time.
Here is a list of most important conscious-vibe festivals happening this summer – we don’t want to miss out!


Small World Festival 27th-30th of May, Kent. Small World Festival is just round the corner. Famous for their solar powered stage that makes its rounds through main green/conscious festival over summer, it is a perfect family-oriented budget festival. Plenty of dance, music, enterntainment and healing in a more intimate small gathering.


The Great British Kundalini Yoga Festival 1st-6th of June, Osho Leela Centre, Dorset. For Kundalini Yoga lovers and for all those who think that other festivals are too light-hearted:). Every year this intimate festival brings together an exciting programme of Kundalini Yoga and other activities related to the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Although in all spirit-centered festivals days start yearly, here the day starts veeery early with Aquarian Sadhana, two and a half hours of pray, practise of Kundalini Yoga and chanting. There are three workshop slots throughout the day with an ample selection of activities for you to choose from. In the afternoon there is an all camp meditation. This is all fitted round three very tasty vegetarian meals prepared by the wonderful people at the Leela Centre. To cap off the day you can browse the bazaar and take part in the evening event, all with a warming cup of Yogi Tea. Previous workshops included Kundalini Yoga, Shakti Dance, Naad Yoga, Intuitive Massage, Karam Kriya, Bead making and mantra, Breathwalk and many others.

Sunrise Celebration 3rd – 6th of June, Bruton, Somerset. The jewel in the crown of this summer’s green/conscious festivals Sunrise Celebration is big, colorful and creative. Lessons in wild food foraging, organic food, ethical marketplace, pillow fights, circus, crafts, dress-up parties, conscious cabaret, permaculture, green innovations, huge kids and teens area… and lots of dancing.

Midsummer Yoga Festival
18th-20th of June, Osho Leela Centre, Dorset. Child friendly, yoga centered cosy festival celebrating the diversity in yoga through workshops, practice, healing and connections.

Tree of Life Festival 18th-20th of June, Bedfordshire. A workshop centered festival with a lot of great body/mind/spirit speakers, uplifting conscious music, biodanza and 5 rhythms dance. Workshops include raw food, tantra, shamanism, wellness, relationships, personal power and finding your true self.


Buddhafield 14th-18th of July, Taunton, Somerset. I cannot praise the festival enough. Conscious dance parties, endless performances, perfect sauna vibe, never ending drum jams, lovely people, meditation spaces all intermingled with Buddhist rituals, ceremonies, movies, games, and interesting workshops… you name it! All powered with wind and solar energy.

Glastonbury Zodiac Pilgrimage 20th-25th of July, Glastonbury. A very special gathering more than a festival to walk through the 12 signs of the Glastonbury Zodiac star temple. If you are up for 4 days of intense retrospection, connection to land and starts in a likeminded group of people, this is an event to consider. Camping, stars, hiking, nature, campfire, songs and… pure simplicity!

The Secret Garden Party 22nd-25th of July, East Anglia. First of all, check their website – it is very interactive and fun! A good reflection of the idea behind this gathering – creative & very arty, independent, unpredictable and dynamic. Explore your creative potential, share ideas and immerse yourself in a UK version of Burning Man’s critical mass! Theme of this year is REALITY.


One World Festival 9th-15th of August, Worcestershire. Interested in macrobiotics? This festival is definitely the most attractive macrobiotics-centered summer event. Even if you do not care about macrobiotics much, I  promise you will enjoy the most delicious food you could imagine, very intimate friendly vibe shared by all, awesome tai chi, yoga and meditation with top teachers, and will have lots of fun chatting, laughing, drumming, dancing and chilling by the bonfire. The focus of the festival is good quality and very diverse workshops and treatments, macrobiotic course (of course!) and conscious, wild fun (there are as many as 16 workshops happening at any given time!!). The price for a week is very attractive as well considering that you get 3 delicious, healthy, rejuvenating home-made macrobiotic meals a day!

Space of Love Gathering 14th-17th of August, Surrey/Sussex border. Authentic, beautiful, small, cosy gathering sharing many people’s yearning to create a ‘Space of Love’ and carry the vision of Anastasia and the Ringing Cedars series forward in the UK. Focused on pure and natural connection to nature which each of use carries in our hearts it educates and inspires to live simply, naturally and lovingly. Raw, living foods, exciting music (Avalon Roots and Khantara: if you don’t get a chance to see them in the bigger festivals that’s your chance!) and a wonderful line-up of workshops:
– Birthing into the Light body
– Extending the human lifespan and Foundational Nutrition
– Sound healing
– Ecstatic Trance Dance
– Dreamcatcher Radiant Sound
And many many more! The price is very exciting as well! Wild Summer Bargain!

Green Pheonix 19th-22nd August, Gateshead. The Green Pheonix in association with the Big Green Gathering is for people who care about health, the environment, sustainability, our children’s future and life in general. It is a celebration of our natural world and our place within it. As such it is a place for enjoyment, learning and fun. Unhealthy activities are not encouraged. The only things taken in excess should be love, peace, joy, and friendship. The festival is very important in the development of sustainable grassroots movement. Controversially, the Big Green Gathering organizers had troubles with authorities last year which resulted in the festival being canceled. Many say that it was canceled due to it’s authority-challenging message. Don’t miss a chance to participate in this grassroot power celebration!

Sunrise Off-Grid Transition Gathering 20th-23rd August, Somerset. A practical and down two earth sustainable community celebration from the organizers of the Sunrise Celebration. It is all about practical ways of applying new ways of living to every day life. Green and sustainable skills, discussions, questions, collaborations…along with plenty of dance, music and sunshine. Perfect combination to learn and share the know how for success in a post-consumer society!


Wildheart 10th-12th of September (also around 1st of May), East Sussex. It is a beautiful & inspiring gathering held twice a year in one of the most forested part of England. The workshops range from yoga to martial arts, meditation to divine singing, bushcraft to storytelling, enchanting music and during the weekend there is the opportunity to learn wilderness survival skills, such as fire making, shelter building, wild food walks and tracking. Most importantly, there is so much love and connection between people – enough to fill the whole world!

Festival of Life, 25th of September, London. It is a highlight in a one-day London festival calendar celebrating raw food, sustainability and conscious living. A fun, informative and empowering event packed with top speakers, great food stalls, friendly vibes and lots of music. Not to be missed!


Leave a comment »