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We are in this body for a limited time. In an instant, the lights go out, and we travel on beyond this body. We become like the angels.

We believe that things are going to last forever. We attach ourselves to this happiness, or this security, this feeling of safety, doing our best to preserve it because life without it is somehow worse, somehow harder, somehow less complete.

We close our eyes at night, and get our 8 hours, wake to our alarm, and move into the routine that we base our lives upon. Shower, breakfast, commute to work. Maybe we will say goodbye to the people that we may never see again. Maybe we will let go of our safety and security when we leave the house. Maybe we will allow things to become a little less complete for some hours.

Our dreams are controlled by our minds. Our minds are controlled by our environment. You see naked women posted to the wall in front of you as expensive advertising in the service station toilets, and think it normal to pee whilst looking at a naked woman. You see on the news people being dragged out of warzones, maybe alive or maybe not, and because the screen is between us and them it makes it not so real. We just take another heavy breath, and accept it all as being a part and parcel of the world we’re living in. It would be too much effort to question what is going on, as it would rock our stability that we try so hard to maintain in life.

It is complicated to even fathom a reality that is not full of distractions in every possible moment. Can you even remember the last time that you didn’t look at your smartphone for a whole hour? Can you remember the last time you had a whole day without being dragged down by what’s going on around you?

I lay in my tiny tent on the Downs, waking again to the snarling of my friend’s dog, who sleeps under the stars. All through the night, barely half an hour goes by without being awoken. It’s amazing situation to be in:- too tired to move, yet woken from any slumber I fall into with this incredible intensity of a dog that is ready to attack and perhaps fight to the death should anyone or anything come in her path. And still, I fall asleep again and again. Eventually, my dreams become a puja, and Lord Shanmukha is there in the centre of it. I am singing ‘Vel Vel Muruga’….come, come, Lord Muruga. It is a battle cry. Soon, an energy swells until it seems to overwhelm everything around, and it seems to transcend the whole feeling of experience. I am transcended into a bliss-like existence. There is no animosity, no aggression, no fear. There is just bliss, anandoham.

My friend and dog go for a walk after dawn, and I’m still laying there craving a bit more than a few minutes in one cycle of sleep. I fall into sleep with another friend singing and playing harmonium. I dream of being in a marquee that is flooded with water, but still walkable through. There is a massive drum, that is about 2 metres high. I can’t tame it, and so can’t play it. I sit at the musicians area, and Owen is there, looking at me with his big wide eyes and a big smile on his face. He’s really there – this is his actual self in this dream, not just a depiction of him that my subconscious has conjured. And I smile, and am so happy to see him.

I understand that it is still possible to see in this world. It is still possible to have illuminations, to have ecstasies, to be with God, and to be enchanted by the infinite beauty of the heart. At some point the dharma will be completely forgotten. All this knowledge and wisdom that we hold dear, it will not exist anymore. But that is not concerning you or I, is it? It is a civilisation that will come to be at some time. We will be in a different form by then. As is the merging of the universe. For total enlightenment to happen, all beings must be free. All beings must be enlightened before this experience of total enlightenment is to happen. And we have a lot of different beings in this world.

We are here to work together. That saying, ‘we’re all just walking each other home’, is as true as ever. We can get nowhere without helping everyone around us. Every step involves a trillion beings stepping too. We all journey this world together, searching everywhere deep inside for the Light that shines like no other.

5G, the Internet of Things, and a dystopian ecological footprint

“We have sleepwalked our way into a 10% increase in electricity consumption.”

– David Hughes, quoted in the Guardian article ”Tsunami of data’ could consume one fifth of global electricity by 2025′
[available here: ]


I’ve been discussing with a lot of people recently about the oncoming of 5G (fifth generation mobile technology). I’ve researched it a fair bit, and, like most that I’ve talked with about it, I’ve felt a little unsure about the benefits of the technology given its hypothetical hazards and implications.

It has all been hypothetical, so far. It has all been based around arguments such as that the frequencies of the radio waves will be distinctively harmful to our health (let alone the health of nature, and of the birds and wildlife, who have all but been disregarded in all communications upto this point), because they will run at such a frequency that our skin and sweat glands become like antennas [see this article by the manager of one of the first mobile phone shops in USA, who speaks of many such implications of next generation, untested technology:

But it’s hard to grasp onto these seemingly hypothetical arguments as being solid, and deeply researched. Sure, the bees might have receptors on their hairs that are sensitive to EMFs that causes them to swarm, etc etc. It’s just hard to fathom such doomsday-like scenarios – and believe me, the arguments against 5G technology are going all-out with the scariest of all doomsday scenarios.

What grips me is the ecological scope that, well, 5G technology is based on the idea that we have infinite resources to power it all. At no point in any of the corporate guides to the technology is it explained how, on Earth, we will be tackling the rising energy demands of such a substantial technological development. In the 2010 Greenpeace ‘Make IT Green’ report, it’s indicated that Cloud Computing in 2007 consumed 623 billion kWh, over 50 billion kWh more energy than consumed by the whole of India. In this report it was projected, referring to the anticipated increases as indicated in the Smart 2020 Report, that energy consumption of Cloud Computing would increase to 1,963.74 billion kWh by 2020. This report was before the reality of the ‘Internet of Things’ and 5G emerged. There are reports that suggest that data centres have become much more energy efficient, but there are other reports that suggest that they’re still consuming unfathomable amounts of electricity and haven’t actually become so much more energy efficient. It’s a bit of a puzzle regarding the information that’s available, and tricky to attain a clear idea of exactly what’s going on.

The most significant. situation is that, if the Internet of Things becomes mainstream, there will be an unparalleled, huge increase in energy consumption from the data centres that will need to be developed as a result. This is not contraindicated in any studies – all have agreed that, no matter how efficient things are getting, there will be huge developments, and as such, very significant increases in energy consumption. The ecological argument seems to be based around ensuring that all such data centres must switch over to green energies, and that somehow the problem will be solved. But a huge facet is missing. Embodied Energy.

Embodied Energy refers to ‘energy consumed in the production of goods.This includes the mining, manufacturing, transporting, and delivery of a product’. A handful of microchips ‘can have as much embodied energy as a car’. I indicated the energy usage associated with the technological revolution above with the Cloud Computing consumption statistics from the Greenpeace report. This does not, however, take into account Embodied Energy consumption, which is potentially much, much more drastic. No study has been found that shows the Embodied Energy consumption of Cloud Computing – but clearly, with the vast anticipated distribution of new technologies, the Embodied Energy footprint will magnify.
[See this article for more about this:

We are living in an exciting time, where we are being pushed more than perhaps ever before to make the right choices in our lives. Be it reducing the amount of plastics we’re using, to growing our foods in order to get the right nutrition and avoid ecological impacts, this is an age in which we are seeing, breathing, and living the differences that we are personally making.
I cannot argue that we should all be taking a certain direction in life. That must come from inside, we all have our own inner-found truths, and it’s so important to follow whatever you find to be true to you. For me, though, I feel so strongly that technology is going in a fatal direction. I feel so strongly that we need to be consuming ever-less, rather than any more. This Internet of Things and 5G development is going to have a tremendous impact on the natural environment, and on the resources of the planet, no matter which way you look at it. Every time I think about it, I always feel very uneasy, and that we should be devoting more of our energies AWAY from technology, and into nature and the communities we live around instead. Sure, here on the Isle of Wight the main arguments in favour of the introduction of 5G technology is that it may help people living in rural parts by enabling them, for instance, to have GP appointments over a video feed. But that’s not the solution in my opinion. Where people are unable to see their GP, that is a problem in the community that either there isn’t a GP near enough to the person to do a home visit, or that the community isn’t resilient enough to be offering to transport such isolated people to the doctor. We should be looking at what doesn’t require any energy resources, and putting our focus on that. 5G and the Internet of Things is a major crisis of the planet, for which we need solutions as soon as possible.

A quick solution that we can all contribute towards is in using less data. Stream less videos. Netflix, YouTube, and any other video streaming site use a lot of data, which all has a trickle-down ecological footprint. Once we have less entertainment in our lives, we will feel naturally more drawn towards spending time outdoors, with nature, or with our families, friends, and communities. This may seem to be boring at first, because we won’t get the same type of stimulation as from technology, but it will have a wonderfully positive effect on our feelings of happiness (as even just being around other people has been shown in plenty of studies to stimulate endorphin, and especially if smiling, laughing, walking barefoot, etc etc). Once it’s shown that, in fact, we don’t need to or want to be more immersed in technology, such data centres and constant developments will decrease, as the demand becomes less. I think that we can do it. We need to just be brave, and embrace all of what this shall involve. It’s never been more important to make a personal difference.

Published on my personal Facebook page and in the ‘Stop 5G’ Facebook group on Saturday 7th April 2018.

[This article didn’t quite make it into my post, but is the bees knees of research into the Embodied Energy of technology (though, the writer, like myself, found it very challenging to find any data on the Embodied Energy): ]

Swami, Jai Jagadisha Hare


Blessings from the sky, the wind, and the rain.

I can’t say things have been easy.

Almost every day, I am getting different realisations, insights into life and how things are, that destroy over and over any set way of anything being in any way. I question what it’s all about, over and over. Where people dedicate their lives to their cars, households, jobs….and there’s a general encouragement from near enough everyone around me to at least try to do the same. And ever since I was a young teenager, I knew that it wasn’t going to be straightforward, at all, where this life would be heading.

I try to tell people that I’ve seen things that are too special to live this normal life whilst carrying. It’s hard to express this to anyone, except who have lived through it too. I saw Swami Durgananda at Skanda Vale last weekend, and with him I share this total understanding and relating of it all. We lived through all of what built the Somaskanda temple. I still get fairly short of breath thinking about when he was separated from the temple on the day that the murthis arrived, and I was put in charge by default for doing something that I hadn’t been instructed about properly. It was the most important day for the temple upto that point, and somehow I was there to organise everything, without speaking the language, and without any drawings showing where each part was due to go. Yet, it was okay. Swami Durga arrived back just after the last delivery had been finished. And that is what we lived through together. He needed me to take some of the weight. It was what I was there to do. I could take the energetic load.

I have been building a website for Bob, whilst he’s maybe in his final days of life in this realm. He’s a kind soul, and saw that I needed to take on this last wish of his in his long life. I’ve only known him a year, yet have been directed into his most significant karmic episode. I’ve taken it all on as it is. I’ve just watched what’s gone through myself with it all. There isn’t sadness inside me about what’s going on. There’s joy where there are breakthroughs. I had a big block with the website, made some breakthroughs yesterday evening, and then spoke to Bob on the phone today and was really happy to speak to him all about it. It’s funny though – it’s a job that I’ve needed to be able to dedicate myself completely to in my spirit, and I wouldn’t be able to do that if I were working a lot, or busy in any way in life. As life has seemingly come to a halt of some kind, it’s opened things up to allow my focus to be much stronger, and more devotional.

My relationship with my shrine has gone in different directions. I’m feeling myself slowly getting more and more into a meditation practice, for the first time in over 4 years. Things are slowing down, and it’s become possible again. It’s always felt important for me, but never been possible. Bhakti has been my sole practice as a result – but deep meditation practice is what I lost. Devotion and meditation should go together, but it’s hard, and seems to need such a deep processing of so much stuff.

I also have started to go for walks again, for the first time in many months. I hadn’t been for any proper walks by myself in about a year. Then, with this snowstorm coming over us last week, it opened up this beautiful, magnificent world to me all around me. I just need to chant all the time. Chant and be happy, so they say. But chant, no matter what, and there’s unlimited protection there all the time. You need to break down in order to refind. I broke down a lot of what has been beneficial to me over recent years, and it’s come back to me gradually, and I notice it’s importance, I notice it’s effects. I became complacent for years. I’ve been divinely blessed with this opportunity to come back to myself. To refind myself. And it hasn’t happened quickly at all. In the spirit of just letting everything happen, because there’s nothing gained from forcing anything (on a deeper sense), I’ve just waited and it’s come.

The world around me, as well as the world inside me, has seemed and felt much more illusory in recent times. All this stuff that’s written in the news, or on social media….there’s this question inside me, that says, ‘and so…?…what is this? what, really, is this?’. There’s so much relative suffering everywhere. And most of it comes out of disconnecting from nature. It comes out of having a huge disconnection from all life all around everywhere. In Brading, we have few birds, or any wildlife for that matter. There are no foxes, or badgers, or deer. I heard the dawn chorus this morning, but only because I hadn’t gone to bed yet. After the dawn chorus, there’s no bird sound till a little around dusk. The energy around these parts is shaky, like lots of not so good stuff has gone down over a long time. But it’s all quite hidden – people just keep to themselves, and you see nothing. It feels safe. But there’s something really missing. There’s a barrier between everyone and everything. I spent one day in Freshwater, seeing Raymond, and everything was the opposite. There were birds everywhere, playfully dancing about in the winds. People talked, and laughed, and eye contact with everyone, everyone noticing everyone. It had a glorious feeling. It felt like something to work towards. No holding back, no inhibitions.

This body cries out for different things. I offer it all up. I needn’t be in puja or meditation to offer everything up. Just offer it all, as it is, in every breath. Today I found a solution that felt right for my long-term problem of not being able to run. I really feel I can definitely run now, and I’d love to run, but my feet have not been good when I’ve been running. I found that there are minimalist shoes that can be bought very cheaply, in the form of water shoes. I’m excited for running to St Helens along the old road. It feels like that’ll be my running route – though I don’t know which way I’d run back. I’d love to run a half marathon again sometime. And maybe I can get to be in good shape for longer runs. 10 years ago, I needed constant exertion. I couldn’t deal with life without it. I would get headaches and anxious if I hadn’t had a proper exercise in a few days. Now I don’t get that, but I feel not quite right most of the time. Running is the way, because I have learnt deep secrets in how to run, to run to commune with all nature and all things.

I still offer, in many moments of every day, this feeling and suggestion of life going in the direction of a monastic commitment. It would just be a confirmation of how I’ve been living anyway, should I make the commitment. But to live in Skanda Vale would give me much more support, which I’ve noticed the importance of since leaving. And recognising my potential place in the community, that I would have a very real role in fulfilling the works of Guru Sri Subramanium. I will continue to offer in every day. But I do pray, also, that I get given much grace to enjoy dimensions of life where I am now that I would not be blessed to experience once rooted into community life.

I’m eternally grateful for all of the clarity and understandings that I have received in recent times.

Springtime thoughts, 2018 (on becoming a monk, my life so far, etc)

This life is to be lived in the purest of ways possible. You carry a sacred energy with this body, an energy that needs to resonate in natural and loving frequencies.


Sunset over the Solent, 22nd February 2018

Yesterday, when I was dropped at Portsmouth Harbour to get my ferry back to Isle of Wight after being at Skanda Vale for full moon weekend, I sat down in the waiting room, and noticed something funny happening with my vision. Whilst at Skanda Vale I used my vision a lot, praying that these images, this sky, these birds, these flames…they all stay and reside in my immediate consciousness.
Everything resonates with such a love and care in the ashram that I have yet to find anywhere else since leaving 14 months ago. I didn’t look for it to begin with, and was rather distracted from the lacking by the need to work anyway, but especially now after being ‘unemployed’ for two months I’m craving so much more than this, more love, deeper and stronger resonances around me.
So I sat there at Portsmouth Harbour, with twenty minutes to wait until boarding the catamaran. I realised that I could barely see. Everything seemed shrouded in a mist. I noticed everyone but one person there were on their smartphones. Could it be that smartphones actually emit a radiation that affects the visual purity of the air?

Then I climbed into the train on the other side. The little train spooks me at times. It’s a rickety, gut-masher of a journey at times. And driving fast through towards Brading, where every slight bump was a big bump, and the corners felt like we were going to derail, I just trusted that all was well. There was a girl with a dog. The dog is called Pebbles, and the girl had a sweet way of talking about Pebbles. She’d been on the train when I was leaving the Isle, on Thursday. The synchronicity of sharing this journey of my pilgrimage was great. I could see fairly well again.

Guru Sri Subramanium taught to be practical in spirituality. He rooted absolutely everything, even his fights with cosmic forces, and his initial battles with Divine Mother. Everything was more real than the hands at the end of my arms. His body now rests in Samadhi halfway to the Shakti Temple at Skanda Vale, in a coffin buried in concrete, and with a massive shaligram to resonate his energy constantly. His enlightenment carries as inspiration and grace for everyone that steps through the gates of Skanda Vale. Literally as soon as you come through those gates, you feel the love, the restfulness, the absolute peace.

I’m just over two months from making my decision. In October, on my last evening at Somaskanda Ashram (which I never thought I’d find my way back to, up high on the Swiss Alps, where I lived for 6 months helping to build and establish the temple in 2016), I was sat in silence at the end of the lovely Christian service on the Sunday evening. A feeling came strongly into my being. A feeling that had never found it’s way there whilst I was living there (or living at Skanda Vale), not even after the amazing inauguration of the temple at Somaskanda. This was a feeling of wanting to devote this life to the selfless service in the temple. To become a monk, totally living in service to maintaining and running the temple. I asked, in my mind, to have things cleared in my life, and for the direction to be made definite, by May this year. This would give time enough to mentally prepare for renouncing the world, and allow me time to discover myself a little more before taking that possible monumental step. Every so often I get a slightest feeling otherwise, but normally every single day I’m waiting for the time to come when I can dedicate all my efforts to the temple.

With the temple, it’s very real that prayers and energy devoted will actually affect the whole world that I’ve been interlaced with. My family will be looked after, my friends too, all my concerns with the world and all my own issues…it all becomes a bliss, a silence, and offering it in the temple interlocks everything that I carry with me into that higher transcendental resonance. There becomes nothing to worry about, becomes I have such unparalleled spiritual foundations in the temple, the foundations that have been all but lost in my life since.

Life at Skanda Vale is very physically challenging. You get up in good time for the 5am puja, have pujas and work throughout the day, and normally crash out quite exhausted into bed at the end of the day. When I was living there, I was craving something more. I was getting more and more sluggishness in my practice. Then I was sent to Switzerland to help build the temple, and things totally changed. But I knew way before I moved into Skanda Vale that if I were to live there then I’d have to live there carrying something that was needed in the ashram. And that time I didn’t carry it. I didn’t know it.

I am just starting to relearn meditation. I knew meditation very well after being at Eco Dharma in the Pyrenees in 2012, and I practised meditation deeply and in a well disciplined way every day after leaving. But after finishing my degree, I lost that discipline, as everything became uprooted, and I pushed it and pushed it, and found that I needed to take another direction. I always felt that I’d probably end up living at Skanda Vale, when the right time came, and that I should bring the dharmic practices of my Buddhist roots with me. When I lived at Skanda Vale two years ago, it was to build two temples. I wasn’t there to become a monk. And the Buddhist dharma lay dormant in me, as I just surrendered into everything.

Guru Sri Subramanium recognised the 17th Karmapa as being the most important spiritual figure in our time. He had a picture of the Karmapa on his shrine (and a certain Swami at Skanda Vale told me, when I was living there, about his feelings about the Karmapa’s importance). I never imagined I would meet the Karmapa. But last May I left the Skanda Vale spring seminar in London early – my last time of seeing Swami B (who left the community in September) – to go to West London to see the Karmapa. I was sat in this massive dimly lit hall, maybe 100m from the stage. When the Karmapa came the stage, with ceremonial trumpets blowing and flags waving and surrounded by High Lamas, I knew that this was perhaps the most important moment in my life. I just sat there, tears constantly flowing, listening and watching, allowing myself to be completely there in His Presence. There’s nothing like it, meeting the Karmapa. His figure was crystal clear, despite being so far away. It was like I was sat right in front of him. The transmissions were strong and direct. He was reinforcing that our generation are incredibly important for the sanctity of the world, and that we have to be getting into the right places soon in order to carry out our work. We all have roles. We carry energy that is needed in all corners of the world. We’re the generation of light, of love, of reconnecting and rebecoming, of total equality of all life, and of deepening the spiritual evolution of all that is. I’ve known since very young that I’m here to transform and evolve everything in and around me. And this last 14 months has given me final proof that this can’t be maintained without the right environment around me. Without the safety and reservoir of energy that the temples provide, I’m finding myself diminished, and hurt a lot.
I have days resting in bed because everything becomes shaky and a darkness clouds my mind. Half of my bedroom is a shrine now, and I do pujas twice a day when I’m in the right state to, and have started daily yoga, and daily meditation. But this all feels like, and has always felt for the past 14 months, like just a way to maintain this energy inside me, rather than to develop and use it at all. I am totally closed and with barriers up, all the time, in that regards. But I go to Skanda Vale for two days, and everything begins to open, and I find myself in Mother’s temple with Maha Kali’s voice in my head saying ‘come on, give be everything, surrender everything, pray for everything!’. The totality of grace is immense.

So that’s where I am. It is the end of February 2018. Sometime in May I will have made my decision. Owen told me ‘you like building temples don’t you? There’s a new temple being built’. He was referring to Lord Dattatreya and the Naag being installed in the Sri Ranganatha Temple in August. I said I wouldn’t miss it for the world. In my mind I was wondering if it coincides with Subramanium Festival, when, if I make the monastic commitment, I would probably be donning robes for the first time. Subramanium Festival starts this year on Sunday 12th August.

This is all as a result of quite an exceptional journey. I was always a bit of an outsider at school, being vegetarian and from Buddhist parents, with my mum as a herbalist. Then when my I fell in love as a teenager things started dissolving. They really dissolved when that relationship dissolved at aged 17, and I turned to this idea of a God being there for salvation, because I was hurting so much. When I found that there was an immediate response, what with getting gut feelings about things that would physically stop me in my paces and make me walk a different direction, seeing a star that would feel like the most loving and warm of hugs whenever I saw it, and a halo that still has not quite left my vision when I close my eyes (and which came about when I was crying so much that lonely weekend), and a dog who would follow me everywhere I went to ensure my safety and care, I started to allow for the impossible to be possible. Then I read Noah Levine’s Dharma Punx, and found meditation quite easy and liberating. I travelled to take on other energies, as Norfolk, as extremely wonderful as it is, didn’t provide me what I needed next. And I soon got into community living, WWOOFing around Britain, hitchhiking lots and meditating lots. I was reluctant to start university when I didn’t know what to do. People tried to force me to start university anyway, because they didn’t like what I was doing (living freely, learning communal living, gardening, basic building/labouring). Then after a year and a half I found a course in Study of Religions at Bath Spa that I got accepted on, that I combined with History to appease those that questioned me. It was a placement-based course. I had to choose my placement in the midst of getting involved with Occupy Bath, sleeping in my lovely 1-man tent in Queens Square most nights in the week for 6 weeks, decamping to go on placement to the funny Hindu community with the elephant. And whilst there, at Skanda Vale, with Tash and Sam, I experienced the most immense culmination of a long journey of seeking. The love radiating out of everything burst everything in me, tears dripped everywhere, and every day it was like I was being cleansed and purified from the deepest roots of this being.

Then after finishing my degree with a good grade and several awards for the work I did as the first religions and beliefs liberation representative, I went searching for where I needed to be next. Balcombe. Château Anand. Brittany. Bath. I got to Fideris after leaving Brittany to head to Skanda Vale for a week, then met Alex in Plymouth and hitched with him to Portugal to share Jass’s birthday with him in Condeixa. I got heatstroke two days later, and that changed everything. Purging. I met Jass in San Sebastian. We hitched to Eco Dharma, where I went just to see Nikki, then we hitched to Switzerland. I felt strongly inside that we needed to go to Fideris, the shrine/seminar house maintained by Skanda Vale that they’d been running for 15 years or so. I contacted the Fideris email, and Monika said we could come to a cleaning weekend there at the end of May. We went, and each puja we had was incredible. It was my first time being in the Alps, and being in that energy was awesome. The love amongst the Swissies was what would maintain us 2 years later when we were building the temple. I had a feeling I’d work a bit more with Marcus in the future, but didn’t expect the connection to be so


strong. Marcus would lead the building of the temple in 2016. I developed an incredible kinship with and respect for him, as that person entrusted by everyone and everything to get this right.

So, anyway, nowhere was quite right for me living in after I finished my degree. Eventually I was almost killed and almost burnt my friends house down when I left my dripping wet motorbike outfit on the Rayburn, which ignited and sent everything around up in flames, after a nighttime drive back to where I was living in Wiltshire in a cottage in a forest (and my friends were in Thailand on holiday, I was looking after the house and the dogs) and I took this as quite a sign that I needed to wake up and get on the right path in life. Start being in the right place in life, and doing the right things. There’s no time to be complacent.

4 months later I was asked to help Swami Narayana with this building job that everyone was considering to be ridiculous and would take him the rest of his life to build. The extension of the Sri Ranganatha Temple. I became his assistant, had my final near-death thing of a flying chisel, a novice error of judgement, that was simply met with so much love and encouragement (and six stitches in my forehead), and moved in to Skanda Vale in October 2015 to commit myself full-time to the temple building work. We completed the temple in May 2016, and the community of Skanda Vale thought it appropriate to send Swami Narayana and myself to Switzerland to build the temple there. When we completed that in October 2016, I needed rest, I had aggravated a back injury that I’d accumulated working in a factory in King’s Lynn in August 2015 (before I moved in to Skanda Vale – when I was helping my mum sell my childhood home). I was asked to become a monk, but I couldn’t think, I had a headache that lasted two weeks, and just wanted everything to be simple. Swami B gave me 2 days to think about it, and in that time I managed to find about half a minute of not having a headache where I had the thought of fathering kids sometime, and this I brought to our meeting. Both Swami B and Swami Narayana were very encouraging, and insisted that I’d have many bambinos, and they said I could indeed stay for the whole 40 days of post-inauguration havans that I felt the Lord had asked me to stay for. So I left Somaskanda Ashram with Swami Narayana and Shakti (his dog) on 20th December 2016, we drove back to Skanda Vale for Christmas, and I left Skanda Vale just over a week later on 30th December 2016. I moved in with my mum. In the year since, Skanda Vale has been through several ‘refinements’. People have left. The regular external community is becoming stronger and more devoted in their offerings of service. People are offering more and more of their lives to the works of Skanda Vale, and of the Hospice. Things are simplified there now. The energy is refreshed, renewed almost. Whereas I couldn’t fathom living there permanently a few years ago, it is now both extremely appealing, and also feeling quite necessary.

I was told when I left yesterday that they’ll see me next month. I don’t know how they know that I’ll be there next month, but it seems that I will be. I’ve never before been told that I’ll be at Skanda Vale, but it feels really good. It’s something I’m really looking forward to. I’m so lucky. I can go to Skanda Vale and suddenly there are no problems in life anymore, I become beaming with love, and really really happy. Of course, I really want to go to Somaskanda Ashram. But that feels like something that I only get to go to if I’ve been very very very good. I have to earn it. So I can wait. I may wait for years to go again. But it’s so special, I’m happy to wait. I feel really really blessed to have had the opportunity to be there last year. And, of course, for my time of living there. I can’t quite believe the luck I’ve had sometimes. I don’t know what’s next, but I just feel really so blessed for all that’s happened so far.

Thanks for reading 😁🙏🙂

Old Dragon Breath

May this be for the benefit of and aid to all beings seeking, consciously or not, and praising in, Earth/Divine Mother, and in the Earth as the Great Guide in this humble journey that we share.

Yesterday I visited the Great Oak of Brighstone Grove. I had been called to visit for days previous. The ancestors had directed all happenings in this past week to be of right sort to allow for such a pilgrimage to be of the deepest sort.

I traversed by motorised scooter to the vicinity of the Sacred Grove. This scooter had rejected starting on Thursday evening, a cold and misty evening in Newport with a lot of uncomfortable energy around that made my long wait for alternative transport out of the town a fairly difficult experience. It had then also not started on Friday night when I moved it to another parking space. Then yesterday, at about 12.30pm, it started first ‘kick’, and drove me without problem to Brighstone. The feeling of pilgrimage was strongly within me.

I had arranged to be at a meeting in Freshwater at 1pm, and contacted the hosts that I would be late, for I needed to pilgrimage first to the Great Oak.

I spent just a few minutes by the Great tree, when my head came in and I realised I had to really make move for Freshwater for this meeting. I left the tree, and returned to the scooter. It failed to start first time, and proceeded to reject every attempt to kick-start. I tried to start it for about 45 minutes, having a few different people coming to offer help and support. It took me 45 minutes to realise that I was supposed to be on pilgrimage here, and that pilgrimage is timeless. Everything else in regards to worldly matters is sorted out so that the pilgrimage is allowed to happen.

And I returned to the Great Oak.


...mangala murthi murya!

I sat for a long time on my knees, in prayer/meditation. Surrendering. I had had a challenging last week, and needed this healing reconnection with my ancestral Guides and Gurus.

I came out of sitting with a completely numb right leg, and extended it and laid down and centralised myself on my breathing. Normally the reconnection of the blood stream is uncomfortable and somewhat painful. But this was not. This was a powerful reconnection, as more and more I sunk into the ground and the magnificent energy of protection in this sacred space.

I went into another world. A world between the dream and lucid worlds. Almost like akin to lucid dreaming. And there were different beings visiting me, and offering guidance and support. Beings that let me know that they had always been with me, and now I could see them as they are, I’d found that stillness in place, I could recognise their presence. Sacred feminine energies. Baba and Saint Francis. The formless Guru. The Earth energies, in all plentifulness. The Ether, the Air, the Cosmos.

All the while, I felt vibrational energy within the body that I carry, laid there on the forest floor, shaking the body subtly and intricately. I felt vibrations becoming stronger and more vibrant in the belly and the heart areas. I felt sufferings I’d been carrying for other entities and souls being lifted and transcended. A magnificent lightness, and softening of all of my experiential consciousness.

I was in deep commune with an Earth Spirit that upheld great wisdom and spiritual magnitude.

I was given the opportunity to ask questions that I craved answers for. I found myself having just two that I truly longed for help with. And both relate to my position in worldly happenings.

Should I pursue a monastic life next year? What of becoming a father?

You are already living by monastic discipline and consciousness. There will be no worldly decision that will affect your living as a monk. But you can decide to keep living as a monk or not.
The moment of fathering a child will be the happiest possible experience in life. There is no greater sense of happiness than that.
But there is no right or wrong answer. You will live your karma/path the same regardless of if you are a monk or not, whether or not you father a child. We (the ancestors/Gurus) will be with you regardless of what your worldly decision will be.

I then offered, should the scooter get started for my departure, that I should drive via St Catherine’s and Ventnor, as this would be good for the energy.

There was a rustle of people coming, and a persistent whistle, as communicating with me. I opened my eyes and tilted my head back, and saw Blair and Maitri standing in loving awareness. They were both wary of my physical well-being, and I guess I must have shown signs of being quite in-between worlds.

I thanked the Blessed Grove for hosting this enlightening gathering of between-worlds, shared in some beautiful time with Blair and Maitri, and we made our way to the scooter, bidding farewell until the next time to the Great Oak.

The scooter started on the first kick-start, which I laughed a lot about and mentioned about the ridiculousness of the situation. The ancestors had granted my leaving. Of course I wasn’t allowed to leave earlier when such great souls had made long journeys to meet with me.

I drove the chilly but highly charged route up to St Catherine’s and around to Ventnor, Shanklin, Sandown and back to my base at Brading. Much of the journey I was feeling nauseous but surrendered into the arms of Lord Shiva. What else. What else.
I sung devotional songs to Lord Shiva for the whole journey, understanding that any lapse in concentration from this would put at threat the world directly all around me. It really is just that – either bless or destroy the world around me. And I must, for the sake of all that I traverse alongside as well as this being that I carry, focus solely on the blessing of all that is around me.

There is nothing else.

Because of modern ‘developments’, what was once possible in our stage of evolution is not anymore, and where once we were capable we are no more.

This is why I haven’t written readily as of late. The blinding of the soul and spirit by the smartphone revolution is so great that I rarely see any of the clarities that once propelled me to and fro.

Now I move by state of either necessity or accident. Actions are so long drawn-out that the sensation of synchronicity is behind me, and I am becoming more of a cog in this machine that I worked for most of my life against being a part of.

I am encapsulated in a seeming endless state of disassociation and not-really-feeling. I am not there. I am not here. I am not, I just am not.

And does this lead me anywhere? Does it help when I remember all these times of past that were so rich with vitality, that seem almost like scenes from a movie that have nothing at all to do with me except for that there’s an emotive response I feel, deep inside me, that overrides everything else and makes these thoughts become worthless?
What is it all worth, if anything at all?

Is this an explosion of the anatma, the true realisation of the non-self? Or is it sensual apathy, nothingness brought on by a society of pseudo-everythingness existence?

Hare Krishna. Hare Rama. There is nothing else.

Invigorated to fight

It may come as a shock to some, but we beings in this ‘Western’ existence are so bloody trapped by the tools of the society that we’re inane, lost, and beaten.

There is no way to freedom except through the Absolute, and even that is depicted as a part of the stream of the mainstream.

Our water is full of poisons. Our food would never naturally be consumed. The air is bloody and bruised. There is a constant hum wherever you go, deep in the background, that controls how our minds work. Our electronic devices give us arthritis (no, really, the radiation chokes the cells in and around the joints). We’re not told, but our diet is actually acidifying and debilitating on our functioning as living beings. I’d estimate that all of the societal controls and constraints lead to us living a life of perhaps 1-2% of our full capacity. And we call this freedom.

We call this freedom, and believe we can imprison or even kill people to prolong it. That there are people that are threatening our extremely limited experience of living. We think we need our water and our meat and our vegetables to keep us living. And we call this freedom. And we’ll kill each other forever and live unsatisfied lives forever.

But maybe we’ll wake up sometime. Maybe we’ll wake and have a particularly lucid moment, or the absolute will give us a message by dreamwork, and then we’ll get a choice (for, we won’t have a choice otherwise) about which direction we go. Do we go in the path of the absolute, which we will get shunned for but we’ll experience life much more fully, or do we keep following the steps of our peers towards this nothingness that we pin a name and construct to?

The sun is praying for all of us, warming us in its springtime hue. Bless us all.

Didj journey with Joe Caudwell, Newport IOW

Experiences from a didgeridoo and ocean drum journey led by Joe Caudwell on the eve of Saturday 11th March 2017, at Newport Unitarian Hall, Isle of Wight.

I’m on a small beach, a sunny day with fairly calm seas, and there’s a very large tree just going up the slope from the beach inland, towards a lightly forested area. It is maybe an oak, or perhaps a banyan (I might be in Indonesia).

There is an opening in the trunk, and I enter in and out a few times. I’m taken back into the sea a few times. Eventually I enter and it’s like a dark walkway for a little way, and then things start going very fast, with lots of blue colours swirling.

I come out by a large crater. There are a few people around, who are all shape-shifting (their faces open up to reveal metal etc). I start falling into the crater, which has a dark slightly bubbling mass covering the entire bottom. I am hovering but falling slightly. I see more faces.

Things trail off from this point – I slowly come back to the room, hearing the Didj and drum, and think I’m not supposed to have come back yet.

I’m soon back at a beach – a different beach though, but very close to the first one, similar energy. I’m not quite so relaxed for a little while, and I’m going quickly from one image to another. At one point I consciously think I should be meeting an animal or something, and a lion comes along, but he doesn’t do anything, he just lies down. I see lots more shape-shifting people. A lot of them are trying to freak me out, like ghosts, but I’m feeling fine, feeling very safe.

One thing leads to another, and I’m at the top of a massive gorge, really high up with sheer faces. I start falling down the side of it, and an absolutely massive bird appears, like a pterodactyl (dinosaur bird). The bird takes me up to the clouds, and then we keep bobbing up above the clouds and then back down into the thick but gentle clouds. We soon start gliding above the clouds, and it’s like a beautiful landscape up there, with high faces and whatnot.

There’s a big old sailing ship, like a pirate ship but not pirates. It’s sailing the clouds.

For a brief instant, Shirdi Sai appears, as he looks on my shrine (like this:)


Sri Shirdi Sai

Then the clouds become an ocean, with massive massive waves, towering so so high, and yet the boat is able to deal with it. We go up massive wave, then an even more massive wave, and so on, until I turn around and we allow the waves to take us where they’re going.

We end up on the beach I first started on. I’m in the woods up the slope from the beach. There’s a big brick elliptical arch, a little bigger that the wooden arch we installed at Somaskanda Ashram in the temple last summer. It’s a beautiful sight, and I’m stood there just staring up at its shape for some time, in this nice familiar wooded setting (the woods are very local at this point, probably the woods on Headon Hill, Totland).
I have a friend come to me, who I heard a few weeks ago came very close to losing her life in a freak accident in the sea. I will get in touch – it’s been a few years since we communicated, and it felt like an important meeting in this journey.

Soon there is the call to come back, I go to my tree and go through the opening, there are a few shape-shifting people trying to stop me, going along a very long walkway, and Joe begins talking before I get to the other side of the walkway (I assume I got back okay – I could see the light…).

I talked to Joe about the shape-shifting, and about the boat in the sky. He says it all sounds like the celestial realms – the shape-shifting people maybe being ghosts. If I weren’t so needing to have a snooze now, I’d take the bus over to Yarmouth, where there’s apparently a big tall boat moored up, which could have a link with the boat in my journey.

Journey to the centre of being

It doesn’t matter so much what you do. The cause and effect will happen. The opposite will always be invoked, no matter how good or bad.

I had quite the internal crisis on Thursday night. I’d been to badminton club in Ryde, and lost every match except for the singles I played at the end of the night. The whole night I was feeling uncomfortable, feeling something odd going on energetically in the hall. It was like as if everyone was asleep in some way and something else was there.
I left feeling internally in pieces, pulled apart from the sense of stability and solidity that normally guides everything for me. I took my shoes and socks off, cranked up some music, and walked slowly through Ryde to some skips, and then to my bus stop. I felt as if everyone around was suddenly against me in some way. I got thoughts of where I could go and live instead. I thought of Bristol, South Wales, Switzerland, the Pyrenees, and Indonesia. All places where I’ve felt a feeling of freedom to be. It felt kind of urgent.


I feel asleep on the couch trying to write about everything. I woke at 5am and went to bed for an hour, before I had to get up for work. I was still in pieces.

It had rained a lot, and was raining a little when I got out. I got my feet soaked when I got off the bus because my shoes don’t resist water. I got to work. I was told a few minutes after starting work that I hadn’t clocked in. I had clocked in, but it hadn’t registered so – normally this means missing morning tea break as a result. The supervisor said I’d clocked out accidentally instead of in, and everything was fine. I went through the first few hours in my own world with my assembling job that I was going for a new time record for. I was going so fast.

At tea break I spoke briefly to Mai, a lovely Thai lady. She pretty much just wished me a really pleasant weekend, we didn’t have much time for talking about anything as she was on the earlier tea break and had to go. The energy was soft, and loving. Everyone on that table was soft and loving.

I went back to work, and started conversation with my neighbour, a new guy, Phil, that started a few weeks back but had been repositioned next to me the day before. We connected strongly. He came to the island from Manchester because he has family here. He’d like maybe to start a business around his cartoons he draws. He doesn’t know where to get started with publishing. He’s a quiet man, and gives the impression of being very reclusive. But his energy is warm, and loving.

After work I needed to go to Newport to pick up a piece of wood for a miniature door carving I agreed to do for a dementia project. Phil got on the same first bus, and there were a couple of other colleagues that we sat upstairs with. The energy was fantastic, like we all shared in this club of living together at the factory.

In Newport I got the wood and went to Independent Arts, to see the project assistant. She was really excited by my enthusiasm to take this on, and said she’d like to put my progress on their website, and have a grand unveiling of the door on the 24th April. I felt feelings of real adequacy. I felt, for the first time since leaving Somaskanda Ashram, that I can call myself a carpenter again. I realised that I do have the skills and ability to do this project.


The good vibes wood

I went looking for tools, and ended up buying some online. An investment – a jigsaw and a rotary tool. The rotary tool would take quite some time to sand it, but I can give the time. I will cut it with the jigsaw, then plane to a decent thickness, then carve patterns in with the rotary grinder. I can do this because I was carving into a meteorite rock with a rotary tool at Somaskanda. I am skilled.

I left home just after 7pm to go back to Newport for an Amnesty International meeting with Lucy. I heard from Tārā who told me all about Somaskanda – the first news I’d heard in quite some time to a place I feel so very much connected to. We met in Newport and talked briefly before getting to the meeting. I’d told Lucy I’d had a hard time and wanted an evening of good vibes.

The meeting was hot, way hot. I took my jumpers off but was still really hot. We were the youngest there by a long way. Most were very much retired. The Isle of Wight Amnesty group was set by Derek Stirman in 1962, 55 years ago. He was in the meeting. We were told he keeps quiet nowadays in the meetings as he feels he can’t contribute anything anymore because of his age, but that it was completely because of him that the group has been going the whole time. I felt like I was meeting a living legend.

They talked about different prisoners that they’re trying to help, and different events they’re putting on. I’d been quiet most of the time but ended up agreeing to promote some of the events, and I wrote a birthday message to a prisoner in Morocco about football (I was told he likes hearing about football and so I told him briefly what’s going on at my club, Newcastle United, with all the good vibes Rafa Benitez has invoked). I marvelled at the stone fireplace, and especially at the beautiful long stone shelf that stuck out of it. As a stoneworker myself, I saw this as something really accomplished and beautiful.
We left, it was raining a lot, and quickly the chair of the meeting picked us up and took us to Brading.

I suggested us going to the Kynges Arms pub on the high street, an Oldy Worldy pub I’d always wanted to go to but hadn’t been in yet.
We went in and immediately a girl came running over to Lucy and gave her a big hug. An old friend she hadn’t seen in a few years, since being her bridesmaid. The universe brought them back together here.

We sat at another table by the window with our drinks. There was an old well in the middle of the table. I was flabbergasted. The universe brought me back to the living waters.

Everything was all good vibes. Lucy asked me if I’ve ever done any building work, I told her about my first ever proper project I’d managed, and completed with David within our time limit, of building the shelter for Nandy. Of course Markus and Swami Narayana didn’t tell us their thoughts on it, they tended to keep their praise to particular planned-out moments. But it was brilliant. And it was David’s first ever building project (he didn’t tell me until after – I’d assumed he had some experience). He absolutely loved the project, and that’s what it’s all about in the end really. Loving what you’re doing. It really shows if you love it.


Nandy Boys

I said about wanting to do face masks sometime. I hadn’t had a face mask since I was 17, but always found them so relaxing. Lucy said she makes face masks, but normally they’re for ‘girly nights’ and realised how much of a gender stereotype that is. We agreed that I would be seen as gay by other men if I spoke of wanting to have a facemask. It’s a desire for relaxation, and for some reason it’s seen as extremely deviant for a man to want that. It brought my mind quickly back to the Amnesty meeting, when a call-out was made as to if anyone would lead up a Pride project to do with Amnesty on the island, and the chair specifically looked at Lucy and myself, and we both stayed quiet. I hadn’t ever considered myself within that grouping, but there are so many things that make me stand out from the ‘man’ stereotype. I feel uncomfortable when other men are sexualising women in any way (and this includes even ‘chatting up’ women at events based on their looks), and don’t actually see myself feeling an attraction to anyone based solely on their looks. I sleep cuddling teddy bears every night. I wear hippy trousers that are only sold in women’s sizes. And for years in the past would be confused for being a lady, because of having long hair and no beard. But then I feel that all people, regardless of sexual leaning and what have you, should have every right to feel ‘pride’ in being whatever feels natural. Whatever feels natural.

We left, Lucy caught her bus, and I had a brilliant puja at my shrine. To bed, and a night of crazy dreams, lots of disturbances throughout. But I’m here now. I need to retreat away sometimes, but will continue to affect things around me even if I have retreated. Sometimes a retreat is the most powerful action, or is the only thing that feels right.

And I feel all vibed up. The crisis of Thursday night brought a lot of things up. I doubted everything I’m doing. Now I’ve been given signs that I’m doing all the right things. And that’s all I need.

Can you save my life? ‘Cause I would save your life.

I go to sleep late, at gone 6am because I have a chest full of something and don’t want to sleep on that. I watch hours of Gayzer Frackman’s videos of getting in the way of Cuadrilla at Preston New Road, somehow feeling a part of it.

I do my puja at 5.30, aware that pujas are now happening at Skanda Vale, Wales, and at Soma Skanda Ashram in the Alps. And I am here.

I get into bed, cuddled up tightly to Mummy Bear, comforting life-force throughout everything. Every night at Soma Skanda was the same, and at Skanda Vale before. A good teddy bear, with the best of energies in, makes a world of difference.

Almost immediately I’m in a room, kind of like a classroom. Angela is there, as well as quite a few others I know, and some I don’t know. She’s dramatising something, and I’m unsure of if she’s mad at me or just making drama. It was often that way at Soma Skanda, but really great to have that. She put her eyes to the back of the head, and feigned fainting, and actually did faint, hitting the ground hard, backwards. Within an instant she shrinks in size to a baby, actually becomes a newly born, or maybe even a yet-to-be-born, baby.

The energy completely takes over. The whole room is transfixed, or reacting in extreme ways. I am suddenly feeling extremely sick and dizzy, find a sink but nothing’s really coming out, but I’m imagining that it is. Then I lose all ability to do anything, and fall sideways hard onto the ground. Someone I know does too. We both shake as our bodies shrink very quickly, us about to become lifeless babies.

I wake before it completes, but everything’s suddenly different. I hug mummy bear tightly, and tell her my dream, and she’s there, hugging me, helping me with my breathing. Distance is nothing.

I’d read Jonathan Livingstone Seagull earlier, at about 2am, and the teachings sowed themselves in me. There’s so much to become, we are not this body and this mind, we are everything.

I hear the train running in the distance, and slowly go back to sleep.

Now it is not raining for the first night in a week. I can see everything when I’m up on the Downs. It feels clear. Like we’ve all been through something really quite intense over this past week, and now it’s cleared.

It’s cold, but things have cleared.