Tag Archives: Fideris

Sleeping angel

[previously unpublished]
Written late October 2016

For a few hours the temple is electrified, the display of the pink-footed geese that land upon the mud flats of The Wash gets reimagined here.

I blow the conch for the harmony of the whole world. That is why I keep going, despite blacking out completely on numerous occasions. It’s like being pulsated to the extreme, things are so so real that they disappear completely before me for short amounts of time.

I keep telling that deeper inside me is something waiting for elsewhere. It is subdued in these moments by the magnificent displays of the Maha Mangala, but it’s there to stop me falling too deeply into the energy of all this.

Five days previous, and I’m starting building a structure to give shelter around the Nandy murthi, the sacred cow that always looks towards Lord Shiva. I have David working with me, who taught me to ski earlier in the year, but who has very limited building experience. Within a couple of hours we have the structure planned out, and he’s following my guidance. I’ve never built a structure from scratch before, and yet it all seems so clear and like as if I’ve done it many times before. We get the first of our beams up on the first day, and we finish the planking at about midnight the next day. The snow falls gently, nestling over the roof, and we talk for an hour on the roof about life, and David tells me stories from the early days at Fideris. We agree to share a beer come the right time to celebrate our completion of the structure. It looks so beautiful, glistening in the snow.

A week before, and I’m on the roof with Swami Govinda and Benoit finishing the planking of the goporum roof. We stop late in the afternoon for a fondu party with everyone else, our last chance to let our hair down before the final push. I keep topping up the glass of Kirsch that I share with Ralph, we dip our bread in it before dipping in the fondu. I go back to the roof at 6pm feeling fairly tipsy, but really happy to be where I am. I make some measurements for the last two planks, and soon Benoit is back, and we get ready to cut. We make certain we have the measurements right, and cut and chisel the slot to fit around the Kalasam block. It looks good, and we put it in, and it’s 3cm short. We both read 9.5cm rather than 6.5cm, and I laugh a lot at the situation. It’s easy to bodge up, isn’t such an important mistake, and I find it very funny how seriously we try to get it right and still get it very wrong.

Now a week has gone by since the inauguration. My body has complained a lot about things in this time. I’ve had headaches, belly aches, and frequent energy crashes. I’m in no way to think straight yet. Things still have to settle. And yet, I’m posed an ultimatum.

I’m told I’ve not got very long to decide what it will be for my life – to begin a life of monasticism, or to leave to the dark depths of the world outside of the ashram. Somehow this big drama arises, despite me feeling so sure for the last year that I have a big role in the world outside of year. Suddenly there are doubts, and visions of being in brown robes and feeling a sense of acceptance. The world outside of the ashram can be so unforgiving, and I would need a lot of support from everyone who can offer it if I would venture back out. Somehow, wearing the outfit seems to be the easiest option. I forget briefly that I am my father’s soon, my father who never took the easy options. And I likewise forget my sisters, that island hill-top where I communicated so clearly with God, mystical Lamas, the sacred springs that I dreamed to rediscover, and all else that has disappeared a fair bit from my life over the past year but have remained in my memory. And something doesn’t feel quite right, despite it feeling like it would be an easy decision to robe it up.
I perform well in my private conversation with Swami B. I agree that it’s really good to give a nudge, and I explain that my head is in a fair bit of a jumble and I could do with his help in sorting it out a little.

Realms of reappearing

[previously unpublished]
Written start of October 2016

Jesus returned after three days outside of his body. Bodhi-Samadhi, rest and respite.

It is eleven days until the inauguration of this mountain Shiva-Shakti temple. I go with the flow, and my mind seems to work good most of the time. Work days that seem long – starting at 9, finishing at 8…. But I’ve worked much longer work days lots before, but somehow these seem somewhat more enduring.

Snow has crusted the distant mountains. The first real snowfall in maybe two months. It’s feeling more autumnal now. Animals readying themselves for the big sleep, after so much activity throughout the warmer months.

I wake up and it feels like I wasn’t asleep at all.

Life inside a nutshell

I see this crop circle, and the adjacent land-scraping board that was used by its artists. And it reminds me of the deeply meaningful search for those earth energies that seem a little missing from these days. I feel this amazing amount of comfort, like feeling God welcoming me back in life after being away a while. Like receiving a hug that would caress each flap of this heaving heart. Like as if everything’s okay anyway. Like showing me what’s next.

I needed this time at Skanda like I needed my thumbs whilst travelling. It’s a part of me, and in this time in life is central to everything that seems to depict my regeneration.

The winds tickles and rolls across my neck, a gently warm early summer salty breeze. The lobby grasses dance to the breasts played by the tree branches. A fox lives on these downs, sliding along in the direction of the end of land. The sea lit up by small and big boats dotted across, and glistening still from the last of the dusk. I’m overjoyed to be here. This evening, these few minutes, this is my holiday for the year. Alone on this hillside, with all of nature for company, I can feel the bliss of the moment easing off the strains on my tired heart, and everything tingles a little. Time stops still.

I’m days from leaving on a 2-day road journey with a monk and a dog to a small temple above the alpine line in Romansch Switzerland. We will work tirelessly for 7 weeks on building this temple, getting it ready for its inauguration in October. I’ve just spent almost all of the last year building the extension to the Sri Ranganatha temple at Skanda Vale, in a heavy, forested valley in heartlands north of Carmarthen, Wales. I almost lost an eye, or stability, but through it all have been gradually feeling more and more stable. The last year has been of growth. When you build a temple, the physical structure is not what you’ve built. That’s what the materials and money and energy built. But you build inside, a structure that Milaripa built and moved over and over, committing himself so fully and then so selflessly to it as he had no other choice. He’d developed unfortunate karma, which led him to his very fortunate karma. I’d almost burnt a house down, with myself and two dogs inside, sleeping to my side. And down went the internal structure that had been built. And it needed to be rebuilt. So it’s absolutely no coincidence that I’ve been building temples for the past year.

But I get these signs of the completion approaching soon. Every so often I get a clear feeling that there’s a world waiting for me somewhere.

Back in the crop circle, I half-dream of interacting with God. It doesn’t matter how long or how many times you’re in a temple, it seems, you’re still going to have your deepest experiences at unpredictable yet clearly intuited times. I’d felt guided up to this field, or something up here, so so strongly, for the whole walk upto this point. I talk with God for a while, and it’s like talking with an ultimate kind of caring force, that will always lead me in the right ways no matter what. I share my anxieties, and desires, and generally just what I’m feeling inside. Then I remember clearly asking about love. How would I find someone to be in love with again, to share life with in one way or another, when it feels so much like I go solo with it all and surely girls would be put off by that, or by my absurdities in general. I grow wild long hair that makes a lot of people think I’m a girl anyway, and surely……. And I’m told to just focus on the love that I’m able to give through and in everything, and that love will always attract the right people. And it’s like the most incredible fireworks display is going of in my heart and I am so full of joy.

We get thousands of people coming to Skanda Vale to be close to God. Sure, we’ve got the monastic discipline pretty much sorted. And sure, there’s energy there, it’s a powerful place. But I’ve never found God outside of myself. I don’t know if it’s possible to do so. And I’ve had continuously intimately close experiences of God ever since receiving the heartbreak of a very lonely relationship breakup over 9 years ago. And I wouldn’t give it up for anything. And this is where it gets complicated with my relationship with the ashram. I’ve found myself getting complacent in the ashram life. The building work is strong, but spiritually I’m feeling somehow more and more disconnected from the possibility of the completely random encounters with God.

And yet, I sit here rushing past middle England on a First Great Western to Swansea. My holiday is over, and it’s time to go back to work. Switzerland is calling, but God is unpredictable. God is between the lines of Streetlight Manifesto songs on their new album The Hands That Thieve. God is inside crop circles. God is in the views of glistening sea, and in my sisters voices, and in precious moments just being with myself. And in going along with things that just feel right.

I was taken through the village of my childhood and adolescence. A village where I felt like I really lost myself, and where I felt like I really found myself. And it felt incredibly surreal to be back, after 8 months away, and yet not even stepping a foot out of the car. We went down the same road that I walked up on dark and wet early evenings in December after being with my first girlfriend, lovestruck at fourteen. And the bench that I sat at whilst listening to Rise Against, Dancing In The Rain, frustrated to the point of emotive anger by my second girlfriend on my seventeenth birthday. I’d walked off by myself, leaving her awkwardly with my mum and brother, as desires for freedom broke me down. And I’m and about a pub in a near village that has been closed down for 5 years after a terrible murder there, and am asked details about it and fed intensely graphic information that I feel hurting something inside me to picture, and say that noone actually knows anything about it because everyone chose to keep out of it as much as possible. And I remember running from sounds in the woods with James when we’d have bonfires in the woods, with good reason, finding out later on that the owner suspected that it was us all along having the fires but never quite catching us. A place where dreams were made, but the sleep perpetuated beyond dreams.

And I walk down the hill of the down, and reach the park of Brading, and realise that this was where I was always meant to be based, this would be where I would live for at least some time. They say it’s a haunted old little town, but maybe it’s actually just the strong presence of God in this place.