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January 2018

2 Days in a Tibetan nomad camp-Road trip by Jeanette

10 January 2018

The month of July saw me travelling to Ladakh for the first time. Located in northern India, this place has long since topped my bucket list, and I was eager to experience firsthand, the glorious beauty I’d only ever seen in photos. My first glimpse of the land did not disappoint and playing the part of snap-happy tourist was how I made my first impressions in this place. My anticipation for exploring the streets of Leh and soaking up the atmosphere was not to be however, as a last-minute invitation had me repacking my bags for a 2-day sojourn to a Tibetan nomad camp in Samet. Among my travel companions; the Oracle of Nyenchen Tangla (Pachen). The purpose; to perform a day long shamanic puja that would bless the land for the coming year and clear the campground of negative spirits. The drive to Samet took approx. 4 Hours and we had set off in the post-morning sun; our original plans of leaving at daybreak thwarted by a last-minute request for an exorcism performed by Pachen (a prelude to the type of experience this weekend was to be). My time on the road was spent witnessing endless breathtaking views and discovering that spiritual mastery does not exempt a car full of males from making jokes that only men seem to find hilarious and well… typical male shenanigans. Pachen himself was born in a nomadic tribe in Tibet and for him this excursion hit close to home. One of the pit stops we had made was to White lake (called so because of the abundant salt deposits resembling sea foam). As Pachen knelt on the ground and dug his hands deep in the mud to pull out the salt treasures, we received an impromptu salt mining lesson that was laced with nostalgia as he recalled a life, long ago left behind. Playing the part of pilgrims, we stopped by a restaurant to ‘beg’ for food as tradition dictates that charitable offerings received on a pilgrimage are considered good luck for the task ahead. It was here I tasted my first sample of Tsampa- a traditional Tibetan staple made with barley, butter and water. The ‘mix-your-own’ process providing much amusement as my bowl looked more like sludge than dough and ended with Pachen’s yogi assistant taking pity on me and assuming the task. It tastes like cookie dough! This was then washed […]

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3 signs your intuition is trying to tell you something by Jeanette

05 January 2018

Today we are seeing an emergence of a great wave of spiritual seekers and awakened souls who have taken their first tumble into the rabbit hole. The discovery of new information gives rise to a new way of thinking; which gives rise to a new way of thinking; which gives rise to a new way of thinking…And what we often end up with is a confused state of being where nothing makes sense and everything is second guessed. As we navigate the bombardment of spiritual advice from the multitude of gurus and teachers via various platforms over the internet; seemingly simple decisions can become a mammoth task. What road should I take? Did I do the right thing? What we often hear in response to many of these concerns is the long-standing adage of “follow your intuition”. Which sounds great in theory, but for those of us who are just beginning our journey into the abyss and haven’t gotten into a pattern of accepting our intuition as the 6th sense- this undertaking sounds nigh impossible. But there are some simple ways that we can begin this life-long love affair with our higher self, a two-way communication which can be developed and deepened with practice. What starts out as the whisper of a breeze can eventuate into an unquestionable knowing. So here are 3 signs that your intuition is trying to tell you something. What you do with that ‘something’ is entirely up to you Indecision A seemingly redundant concept when it’s often what got you here in the first place. But indecision is often the first warning sign that what your intuition is trying to tell you is at war with your ego. Now the next step is deciding which option originates from your ego and which from your intuition. The theme we all seem to be playing out in the collective consciousness right now is the recognition and releasing of fear. So, a question we can ask ourselves is; if I didn’t have  to worry about money, self-judgement or someone else’s opinion, what would I do? Justifying your decision If you find yourself feeling the need to justify your actions to others and especially to yourself, this can often be a sign that you went against your intuition. Subconsciously you may know you went against your best interests and now you are trying to self-soothe by creating stories to appease […]

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Chod- A Journey Into the Underworld by Jeanette

03 January 2018

It’s a cool winters afternoon set amidst the backdrop of the ancient ruins of Nalanda (acclaimed Buddhist University in modern-day Bihar). As with everything else I have experienced in India, this is a place of polarity where the serenity is in direct contrast to the bustling streets and chaos just outside the walls. The energy of the great masters who studied here is almost tangible as you step through the remains of the small dorms where numerous hours have been spent in mediation. As we sit on the grass in a semi-circle surrounding the yogi- it’s easy to believe that greatness has been achieved here. As yogi Dawa pulls out his drum and bell, a wave of amusement washes over me. Here is a man dressed in the requisite maroon robes with a luscious head of dreadlocks piled high atop his head. Sporting bright orange laces on his sneakers and a pair of Ray Bans to top off the look, the thought that flutters through my mind is “this spiritual master is going to navigate the terrains of the underworld and lead me to my salvation?”. But as the drum starts beating and his voice starts chanting I soon forget everything around me, so that all that remains is the beat of that drum and the rhythm of my heart. The Chod practice is the art of cutting through the ego and ‘slaying the non-existent I’ so that all that remains is the ultimate truth. It’s a spiritual practice of removing self-delusions and embodying the divine Feminine to purify the body, mind and spirit. As the Chod practitioner steps into the underworld and becomes a bridge between the worlds, we are asked to visualise a series of images that comprise delving into sacred geometry and going deeper into the labyrinth. I can’t remember if I visualised any of these things in all honesty. The Chod; which I was told lasted about a half hour, passed in the blink of an eye for me and all that I can remember is the beat of that drum.   Did I travel through the underworld? Did I ‘cut through my ego?’ Did I conquer my fears? I will probably never know. What I do know is that this experience resonated to the very core of me. There is something primal about the use of the drum and the sound of his voice that has […]

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