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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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How to awaken your chakras by Jeanette

26 December 2017

Chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word that means “Wheel of energy” or “Wheel of light”. The ancient Indian cultures believed that the human body carried within it a life force that governed their physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. This life force, or prana, moves inside the body, spinning and rotating in a harmonious pattern that begins in the base of the spine and moves up through the top of the head and beyond. Chakras are the focal points positioned within the body that connects the inner light or true nature of a person to the outer world and thus a closed or imbalanced chakra portends to a part of the self that has been supressed or injured. So, what are the chakras, what do they represent and how can we awaken them in order to live the truest expression of ourselves?   Muladhara- Root Chakra Earth element, Colour: Red Deals with survival and is blocked by fear This chakra refers to your sense of safety and typically translates to financial and emotional security. An imbalance can lead to anxiety and lower back pain. To awaken this chakra, you need to bring your fears into the light. Step into the shadows and acknowledge all the aspects of yourself you haven’t been able to accept. Then with understanding and compassion, release them to the universe.    Svadhishana- Sacral Chakra Water element, Colour: Orange Deals with pleasure and is blocked by guilt This chakra refers to a sense of identity- the sense of “self”. It is the creative source within and an imbalance of this chakra can lead to addictions or depression. To awaken this chakra, you need to release all the blame and guilt you feel inside of you. Forgive yourself for all your perceived “mistakes” with the understanding that the lessons you have learned, have made you wiser and stronger. And that, in itself; is perfection.   Svadhishana- Sacral Chakra Fire element, Colour: Yellow Deals with personal power and is blocked by shame This chakra refers to your level of self-confidence and is the seat of your personal power. An imbalance can lead to a sense of helplessness and a need to control your environment. To awaken this chakra, you need to release all the disappointments you feel inside yourself. Release your regrets and accept all your perceived “flaws” as a part of the tapestry that makes you whole.   Anahata- Heart Chakra Colour: […]

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Walking in the shadows by Jeanette

21 December 2017

“Soul work is not a high road. It is a deep fall into an unforgiving darkness that won’t let you go until you find the song that sings you home”  McCall Erickson   In what seems like an ever-increasing time of confusion and political turmoil we, as a society have come to a crossroads. Do we face with frankness the world we have created? Or do we continue to bury our heads in the sand and hope for a better world. For those that choose the red pill, the journey must begin with ourselves. It is the realisation that we and we alone have created this reality we now must live in. It is the choices that we’ve made that have lead us down this path, and it is the manifestation of our thoughts that this world is shaped upon. So we ask ourselves; how did we let it get this bad? What exists in the dark recesses of our minds that have allowed the creation of wars and famine? Thus, begins the journey into our minds and drawing into light all the shadows we’ve denied for so long. As those of you who have already been on this path will attest to- it is not a pleasant experience. The moment you start to truly see yourself in all its ugliness, is the moment you realise that your life has been built on a lie. We all strive to be perceived as a ‘good person’ and often refuse to admit that we played a hand in someone else’s pain. What excuses did we make up to justify our actions?     “A thousand times we die in one life. We crumble, break and tear apart until the layers of illusion are burned away and all that is left, is the truth of who and what we really are” Teal Scott             As we travel through the labyrinth of our minds, through all the twists and turns, to face the monsters in the dark, we arrive at the dark night of the soul. It is here where we learn the greatest lesson of all; forgiveness. To accept that the world, like ourselves, is full of flaws- is to begin the path to self-love. When we let go of self-judgement do we begin to free our energy for the greater things in life.       “When […]

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What does peace mean to you? by Jeanette

19 December 2017

On the 16th December, 1989- His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel peace prize. It was a momentous occasion and one which brought hope to so many people including the Tibetan community in exile. It’s been 28 years since His Holiness stood up on the podium in Stockholm to receive this award and to express his hopes to the world for a better future. Let’s take this opportunity to remind ourselves of the message that not just he, but also many of the great leaders of the world wished to convey to us all in these times of turmoil and uncertainty.  

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