Tag Archives: Soma Skanda

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.

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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.

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.

The last puja

Tonight is my last night at Soma Skanda Ashram. Shakti and I are the only two that have been here since the very beginning of the building work this year, in early June, and we leave together with Swami Narayana early tomorrow morning.

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I think I would just get madder and madder in love if I didn’t leave here. It’s already totally made. I sent her an email the other day revealing that I’d told the Swamis that I’ll have children and spend the rest of my life with her. But, still no reply. And it really does take over, when living in an isolated mountain chalet with three middle aged/older monks. I can’t quite imagine how my first interaction with ANY younger attractive female will be, but I’ll try and think and act compassionately.

Times have still been absolutely immense here. Here is where it’s at for pujas. Think Shakti full moon puja, but that puja being every single puja we have here. It’s incredible how receptive Lord Shiva is to his praises. You praise him more energetically, and he radiates more energy for everyone to take in. Tonight’s puja, a few months back, I would have said was one of the best pujas ever. But now that that’s a daily occurrence, I can’t say it. Just the pujas are mind-blowing. One more puja and then I’m off.

I’ll be at Skanda Vale for Christmas. I feel like it’s a social visit more than anything. I feel like my spiritual home is now here, but there will be all my Skanda family at Skanda Vale, as well as friends/mum outside of Skanda.
And I leave Skanda Vale to begin my life away from Skanda Vale on the 30th December, the day after I turn 27. They say the spiritual life goes in 9 year cycles, and 27 is the beginning of a new cycle. How extremely perfect timing.

I think I’ve felt quite lonely here recently. I’ve really missed total immersion in communication with those I’ve connected really strongly with. Sure, Swami Narayana is a karmic brother of mine, and we connect on a great level, and we could easily spend lifetimes living around each other. But there’s a difference between the normal connection and that that makes the heart beat a bit stronger, a bit stronger, a bit stronger still. I say I love a girl, but she’s the most recent person to induce the stronger heartbeat. I’ve had it from a number of people before, but really she’s the only one in quite a long time now. And it blinds me when it becomes such a rare experience. I need it much much much more. I get slight doubts about moving to the Isle of Wight because maybe there won’t be those incredible soul connections available there. But it’s there only way at the moment, for now at least.

I’ve been teaching the two new Swamis a number of things for life here. One, I’ve introduced Swami Prema to conch blowing. He was so happy for the opportunity to do the conch in the lunchtime puja, the first and last aarthis, but I realise how much my experience of blowing it every single day for the last 6 months effects the energy of the puja. There’s so much power in what I’m doing – and I’ve learnt to almost completely harmonise, with each conch bow, with the aspect that I’m conching for. This is something that takes a long time to feel the subtleties of. But it’s great that Swami Prema is feeling the devotional aspect of conching.
And I’ve taught Swami Amba the art of garlands making. He’s nervous because he’s never really made a garland before. But I’ve taught him pretty much everything I know, and the rest is for him to learn through experience.

We went for a walk today to the river in the next valley. It’s my old running route, that I ran every day for a month in the summer, but have barely ran since, and haven’t even strolled in over two months because the of snow and ice. It was really good, and felt like I was competing my time here as a result.

I don’t know when I’ll be back. I told Swami Durga (Markus) that I feel like I’ll be here for a seminar sometime next year. It would be to Lord Shiva to sort out really, so I’m detaching from this one, just as I’m detaching from everything else in life. Everything is a product of divine play.

I have quite a clear feeling that I need to set up a proper proper shrine in my new home, and have morning and evening pujas there at the very least. I feel like my time here has taught be so much about worship, especially my time when I’ve been the only devotee. It’s been such a very very incredible opportunity. And it would be impossible for me to stop it having a huge effect on the rest of my life.

Sri Kamala Lakshmi, Vasudevaya

I feel somehow heartbroken.

Walking back up the hill, the moon and Venus ringing their bells, I collapse in a heap against the snowy bank. I cry out the words ‘Sri Kamala Lakshmi, vasudevaya…Sri Kamala Lakshmi, Narayana…’. It’s the only thing that helps. Things lift somewhat when I offer it all as a manifestation of goddess Lakshmi. It’s all it can be, to have this much of an effect. Om Sri Kamala Lakshmi, I bow at thee lotus feet. I surrender all to thee. You send my life in the sweetest of directions.

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So I sit here, momentarily in an empty Swiss mountain Shiva Shakti temple house, listening to the Kamala Stotram…because it’s the only thing that helps. I guess I’m kind of processing all of what’s happened not only over the weekend, but over the last few months. Dozens of shooting stars. And then, just communicating in the most natural sense. Om Sri Kamala Lakshmi. Om Sri Kamala Lakshmi.

It’s partly because of her that it was made impossible to even contemplate a monastic future in my life. We worship Lakshmi in the temples, and Lakshmi tells me that I need to fall in love in the deepest sense possible in this incarnation, and that needs to be shared with a young lady sent by Mother. And very occasionally in this life I’ve got the hint that that is how it shall be, sometime, in life. I’ve done pretty good at keeping the people I’ve felt it with close to me in life, as good friends, and when the time becomes right Sri Kamala Lakshmi shall create the connection. There is nothing I shall do, except for always always offering it, in the temples and at my shrine but also internally and in nature. There’s nothing else I can do. I am an instrument of the divine – I am always doing things how I’m given the messages they should be done. And it pains me a lot now, as this feeling is so strong there, but the time is yet to be quite right.

Whilst the time is not quite right, I am given the inspiration to delve deeper into dancing. I imagine myself becoming a 5 Rhythms dance instructor in the future, and I must dedicate my life immediately after leaving Skanda Vale to the 5 Rhythms. At times it will be all that I have in the world to keep me going. But that doesn’t mean that life will be empty. The rhythms give so much fullness to life – as everything else kind of falls away, and the clutter gets cleared.

And yet, I also have to have a partner in life to do this with. I also get the message that I can’t go through this alone anymore. I need that total bodily and spiritual support that few can possibly offer, but Mother will make the offering..

The mountain temple is empty now. Today we had 15 of us here. The puja was immense. The last few days have been full of incredible pujas. Last night I absolutely sung my heart out to Lord Subrananya, Skanda Kartikeya, and had it not been for the air being so dry I’m sure I’d have been crying away whilst singing. I don’t know what made the connection so strong. And then Anja has been singing mesmerising bhajans to divine mother, and today Andreas sung his Shiva bhajan and I saw somehow all the energy being directed towards the bottom of the road that I will be moving into in Brading, Isle of Wight. Lord Shiva has given himself there already to get things ready for me!!!

Bhajelo Ji Hanuman! Oh Friend! Remember Hanuman!

So I carry on. The hardest is yet to come, I see it right in front of me, and I’ve just got to give absolutely everything up and trust in it all being alright. Because it always has been before.

The only difference now is that there’s a really very pretty girl close to my heart, who I’ll be departing from maybe for a long time when I leave Switzerland in a few weeks.

Bhajelo Ji Hanuman! Bhajelo Ji Hanuman!