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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

No point sitting around, waiting for things to change

Tonight, 2am, misty rain and Efa Supertramp in my ears. Recreate the future, recreate your future.

I walk barefoot. I stopped walking barefoot when I got my motorbike, over two years ago.

Through the feet we root ourselves, contact vayu with prithvī. It’s like things are suddenly real again, and I feel the energy flowing down into the ground, this is what I’ve needed all along.

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He that sows thorns should never go barefoot.

I read in a diary I kept in 2012 of life being so different. There was no need for work. There was optimism. There was so, so much energy, and it was just there. It didn’t need to come from anywhere. It was just there.

Now I live my days by the next day. When it rains, it halts my flow of watching the sunset on the downs. It keeps me inside, and when my mum comes home I’m living the story of years ago when I would feel guilty of not having done anything much in the day. Forgetting all the time that the day begins at night for me here, now. It is when I have energy for everything. I explain that I’m so affected by energies, and it’s only at night when I feel so natural. And it’s true, but partly because I don’t have a backbone yet.

I could be free.

My bank balance went down to my last £35. My phone, which I use for internet and music and as camera, and for work, got water damaged and developed a serious fault. But it’s all repairable. But if it weren’t so repairable, I think I would happily go and live a simple life again, for a while.

The Swamis were keen to urge that I need to focus on what I want in life. I told them I couldn’t be a monk because I see myself having family in the future sometime. They tried to get me to focus on that as immediate, that my life should centre itself around that. But that’s not why I didn’t become a monk. It’s not what I decided. And yet, it seems to be how I’m living my life. I wanted to go to gigs again, and I wanted to get to a place where I could thrive again.

So I now compose this poem to the girl that stays with me mystically through everything. And it’s written in Scandinavian languages, because they’re beautiful, and it needs to be beautiful, which cannot be done in English or German languages. She wants to dance and to thrive in life.

Let’s dance until the morning light
Stand on the streets, stand up for our rights
We’ll paint this city bright tonight
We sing from our hearts and they call this a fight.

Well I don’t believe in your lies
And I don’t believe in your money
And I don’t believe in the way
That you make us work till we can’t smile
And I cannot understand why you do anything for money
And you cannot understand why I do anything to be freeeeeeeeee.

And this makes getting a job very difficult.

Barefoot bloody tree-hugger.

But thaaaat’s liiiiiiiifeeeeeee!!!!

An effigy to energy (or, The Shiner)

I can write you a poem, I can sing you a song, I don’t know if that’s important, might not pay the bills for long.

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Home mountain

Since leaving the mountains, I’ve noticed am incredible receptiveness within me to people, situations, everything. Lots of people call it energy – so I’d be very receptive at this time to the energy.

It’s really fun to make use of it. Everything becomes extremely personal when I’m responding to my internal feelings about the energy. I walk down one path instead of another because the energy in the other path isn’t right for me, at least not now.
But also with people – there are people I don’t want to even catch the eyes of, at particular times. I understand some of the people that keep their eyes to themselves all the time. But that’s way restrictive to do that all the time. People all have divinity within them, but sometimes you will not see that divinity until all the crap covering it up is dispelled for a moment. And, those moments are truly significant.

Last night, I went to Southsea, across the sea from my fair isle, to see one of the bands that made up my teenage years. The King Blues, they first came into my life through Jass playing Under The Fog on his CD hi-fi, their reggae and folky sounds a new side to his music collection. I found them catchy, and saw them more and more. But they split shortly after I last saw them, as inadvertent headliners of Greenbelt Festival 2010.
A few weeks back I had a wonderful experience up on Brading Downs of listening to King Blues and Far From Finished, it being such an energy-filling experience,

like an overflowing waterfall finding its way through the middle of my heart before landing deep into the ground.

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Overflowing

When I got back to the house, I explained my experiences to mum who wasn’t interested as she was ready to go to bed. I looked up on the internet what was happening with King Blues, if anything, and it turned out they’d got back together last year and would be touring this month, first show of which in Southsea. It was like all the Gurus, all the devas and gods, the universe and everything, had combined together to offer me this gift. I felt absolutely ecstatic about it all, the synchronicity and everything.

So I treated myself to a Bangladeshi meal in Southsea, really good vibes. £60 to my name becoming £48. But it was essential.

I get myself to the venue, and there’s this young guy playing solo going on about being 21 years old all through his set. But quite nice. And a guy in the audience marvels over my woollen jumper. It’s the first time I’d really talked to anyone new in a long time. It was my first time let free on a night out in years. I went a bit further forward to enjoy the music more, then got a little bored and got a beer. Several people empathised for me getting ID’d at 27. More interactions that I wasn’t quite used to experiencing, but feeling good.

Then during the second band, an all-female screaming punk band that I didn’t like so much, I went to get myself another drink and met a guy who didn’t want his beer his friend had bought him, saying he only drinks cider. I bought him a cider and drank his beer, and we talked about everything, I said about the mountains and even showed photos of the mountains, we talked about the beauty of the fog, he told me what his kids are doing, that they’re not punks despite him being a punk. He was the friend of the jumper guy.

So King Blues come on, and we start a jumpy pit straight away. It’s easy going, but I’m a little wobbly on my feet after a few pints, but really really enjoying being thrown around, falling a lot and just stretching my arms up waiting for someone to pull me back up. This feeling of unity is getting stronger and stronger on the dancefloor. A lot of people seemed a bit like stones only wanting to move so much to begin with, and seemed quite confused by the conception of a pit. It was my first pit in years, and I realise that I’m now one of the toughest guys in the pit, if not the toughest, as there aren’t any really big guys in there and I have age over everyone else it seems. I remember 10 years ago being always one of the smallest, having to watch myself, but here, partly because of the general feeling, I feel more or less completely free to just flow with the music.

There were one or two guys that I noticed getting a bit feisty – they stick out like a sore thumb at a gig like this. Their energy is one of turbulence, not working towards the same as everyone else. I often patted one of them on his back, and physically said to him a few times about the vibes.

About halfway through the set, I can’t remember which song was playing (possibly one of the new ones they played that haven’t been recorded yet) I was thrown to one side of the pit and must’ve been halfway through turning to fall backwards into the wall of the pit when a fist struck me cleanly to the side of my right eye. I don’t know what kind of a punch it was, but it was deliberate, and probably hard enough to knock some people out. I staggered back, caught by others, and stammered that I’d been hit, face in my hands, and I pointed the direction it had come from. I didn’t know who it was, because there were a few it could’ve been from.

I met the guy a few minutes later – I don’t know what made him bring it up, but he explained something like beer being spilt into his eyes. I can’t remember what my reaction was. But I remember pretty much hugging him, and even jumping up and down singing one of the songs with him soon after.

These things happen. People react with anger to things. But if we’re going to react with anger to anger we’re never going to get anywhere.

I am incredibly blessed to have had my life changed so much in recent years, and now to be carrying this energy of Soma Skanda, and of Lord Shiva. As well as the energy of love in different forms. And so it felt very natural to kind of shrug off the hit, and then work immediately on transcending the energy of that. I didn’t feel even a moment’s upset at what had happened.

You pick yourself up and continue where you left off.

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Continuations

We were working on something awesome in that pit, and the hit just gave me more energy towards that. It kind of made things more lucid, and the power of converting that energy into love…..damn, it was like the most immense of pujas.

I’m not going to say that this is what we should all be doing. Not many people are going to fly themselves around a dance floor, into everyone, as a part of working with the energies, and not many are going to be up for the possibility of what happened to me.

I wore Shirdi Sai around my neck, and am not sure yet of his link with it all, but I’m on the path that Sai asked me to be on now. I go with what feels right, and know that Sai is at the middle of it all. What he’s doing bringing me to punk gigs I’m not quite sure, but I did feel really like a punk veteran now.

Epitaph to Juggling Jim, King’s Lynn Superhero

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Juggling Jim King's Lynn superhero

You were chanting the whole time,
Seeing through all those blank stares.
Love and compassion and endless empathy
Always, through everything.

I saw you come out of the supermarket one time,
It was a momentous occasion
You suddenly appeared slightly mortal
Rather than the demigod
I assumed you were.

But even demigods need food sometimes
And need a bed to sleep in
And need appreciation
And someone to love them.

I imagine your send-off to be full of fireworks
And cheers
And hands raised in unity
Celebrating that you helped us all through
Hard times in our lives
Just by being there
Just by strumming quietly
And murmuring your prayers
And always
Always
Having time.

I hope you know
How much you’ve affected everyone
Who has set foot in the town.

I hope you know
That, whilst you may have been mocked,
Underlying was a deep respect
From the entire community
That you stuck to your principles
To be there no matter what.

May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in.
May angels lead you in.

Three mists and the fire that ignited the sky

Seventy million stars shattering
And a breath creating crystals
And jellyfish inside an octopus
And the most majestic cliffs inside dungeons
And grass blowing out from your eyes
And thoughts about sleep
And letters written on computers
And swimming dressed as the ocean
And sunrises above the cloudline
And fires with rainbows shooting out
And mountain girls
And children playing poker
And staying home on a Saturday night
And badgers living in fox dens
And foxes living in rabbit burrows
And rabbits living in garden hutches
And skies without aeroplanes
And feeling emotions and not giving them names
And going to sleep every night cuddling the girl I love in the form of a teddy bear
And cobbled streets
And walking barefoot in the pissing rain
And loving life without money or friends or a job
And wanting to be a dad
And looking for shooting stars
And thinking and feeling love for one girl every single day for months without questioning it
And feeling happy
And crystal bowl soup
And croutons on toast
And dreaming of stars
And chasing squirrels across trees
And catching your lips in mine
And waking up again
And chanting to Sai Baba
And sleeping in the snow and waking buried in snow but you in my arms and warm
And singing lullabies in folk clubs
And hitching lifts in tractors
And drinking homemade scrumpy made out of rotten apples and water
And leaving the doors unlocked
And driving motorbikes naked
And making a wish upon Mars
And sharing lunch with tramps
And screaming in the streets at nighttime
And keeping the party going constantly
And breathing for the sake of breathing
And worshipping my love with a wildflower garland
And beer hymns
And flying whilst running
And singing on trains
And placing a policeman under citizens arrest
And declaring oneself free
And cuddling foxes
And going where the wind blows
And singing like kingfishers
And wishing for no more wishes
Just to enjoy
What is here.

Do you have no memories to recall your testaments?

It doesn’t matter how much older I get (it won’t sound like much, but I’m 27!! 27!!!! I was thinking about ten years ago doing silly things with friends, just being a little more reckless and wild and stuff… And really, that’s ten years ago. I’m not like that now, it seems).
But it seems I can never be too old to listen to some Boston Street Punk at the loudest possible volume, dancing away to it as every single part of the music makes my heart jig a little, way up high on Brading Down.

I think I can do this forever.

And the pieces of life that I’ve picked up, of that life that I seemed to maybe be living before I moved into my 14½ months of monastic life, they’re almost like postcards from the edge. I’m a torn apart person, in many ways, and it’s really a very good thing.

I’m not pushing myself towards doing anything other than daily walks, and often really long ones. I’m officially looking for a job, but a job will come when the time becomes right for it. This is a sacred Isle. I’ve come pretty much from a sacred mountain to some of the best places in Britain to be by the sea. I now begin my search for lost springs and holy wells, on the island. The local history society have anyway stated their interest in my plans, and said they’d definitely consider publishing it when it’s written up. It’s about living life, not searching for something that doesn’t feel so right. The job search can be a terrible thing, especially having to effectively falsify yourself in order to meet someone you don’t knows ideals. It’s selling out in many ways. I’m an unforgiving prick and I’m just living the bastard’s way.
Swami Narayana said that he thinks I’ll never be the bread-earner. It’s probably true. I think I’d much rather live happily in poverty than unhappily in luxury.

There’s no punk whatsoever on the island. This is quite limiting, especially in that I’ve different at least 6 months craving to stumble around in the middle of the dancehall crashing into everyone with lights everywhere and the beat totally absorbing, a trance of fast words and trembling basses and so so much energy. There’s folk here and everyone dances, though. Which is pretty good too. But the place needs something edgier. Punk, reggae….astro-trance….

And so I’m 27 years old, and living on this crazy island with my mum. I banned myself from leaving until I get some money saved up and a driving license. Mum told me a lot of people ‘need’ me, here. Need my help.

I’ll bring them since punk.