“We call in the directions to invoke the energy (the spirit) of the elements to join us in the circle. It is a way to honor Mother nature and her powerful healing abilities.”
Tonight I’ve decided to do something totally out if the ordinary for myself. A Moon Healing Meditation Circle in New York City, hosted by Sarah Eve Cardell, the Culinary Shaman, promised spiritual healing and good vibes through the honoring of the elements, a journey to the heart and a lesson on how to use meditation and shamanism to help with solving everyday challenges and for harnessing power, love and strength. Oh yea, and raw vegan chocolate. Yum!
Sarah Eve Cardell, the Culinary Shaman. Photo courtesy of Sarah Eve Cardell.
The Culinary Shaman And The New Moon
Cardell, who feels she was “completely guided to be on this path,” has studied with a number of esteemed shamanistic practitioners, including Itzhak Beery, Ipupiara the late Makuniman of the Ure-wau-wau tribe, Tom Cowan, The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, crystal energy work and John of God in Brazil. Additionally, she holds yoga instructor certification from Sri Dharma Mittra.
I was smiling, a big grin that made my eyes crinkle into their normal etched laugh lines, then I opened my eyes. I was within inches of George and Charlie – nose to nose – grinning ear to ear. We looked each other in the eyes as we embraced each other smiling. My daily yoga class was complete, and it ended with a group embrace and a smile every day for 6 days. The type A, logical side of me was given permission to get all mushy and yogi like for one hour a day while we stayed at Soma Kerala Palace – and here’s the real surprise – I loved it.
Charlie and I came to Soma Kerala Palace to focus on writing – we had dubbed it our writing retreat. A chance to be stuck on a little island in Kerala where we didn’t have any of the noise and distractions of India or our normal lives. However when they asked me if I was interested in doing a morning yoga class, I decided it might be good for me as in true writing retreat style I would be…
I recently discovered the Lightning in a Bottle Festival
which was originally designed to be a heart and mind expanding oasis. Think creative, spiritual and joyous cradling among other like-minded people amidst uplifting and inspiring music.
While I haven’t been to one of their events yet, from what I gather from a friend who is a speaker and their website, it’s a smaller version of Burning Man, but in a much smaller environment but without the art, the man and the fire. The Lucent Temple, in the center of the festival this year, where people can go to stretch and open their body core with yoga and movement. There are a variety of workshops and traditional and indigenous skills in The Village as well.
You will be able to learn from pioneers and experts teaching a variety of valuable skills and lessons. They will have workshops to allow you to explore a subject you’ve always been interested in, or pick up skills in your established field.
Past workshops and panels at LIB have featured everything from Solar Cooking to Composting, from African dance to Qi Gong, from Sensual Chocolate to Social Networking and Cyber Consciousness,…
Delhi has no dearth of surprises for its admirers and its keeps on presenting with new ones every time. It has so much to offer with so much diversity that the “bucket list”
of its admirers continues to get stretched with each visit.
This time, I had a chance to visit the massive temple complex of the famous Shri Adhya Katyani Shakti Peeth Mandir.
Most of us would get puzzled by the name as it might be unheard but I am very confident that everyone must have heard of “Chattarpur Mandir” (also a metro station on the yellow line).
I have seen the temple complex countless times while going towards Gurgaon from metro and also bowed my head before the almighty from the metro itself (most of the Indians do the same while passing by any holy place).
Outer view of Katyani Temple
Goddess Katyani Temple
However, for a change this time, I moved out of the metro to visit this temple complex in reality and get acquainted with its history. I am well aware that everything pertaining to Chattarpur Mandur is readily available on the…
Recently, my appetite for travelling has brought me closer to one of the most intrinsic community of our country i.e. Muslim or Islamic Community.
My earlier encounters with the community has given birth to the inquisitiveness to acquaint myself more with the notions of the community and find answers to certain question which had been swinging in my mind for a long time.
My quest for fathoming the concepts and beliefs of the community made me sign up for a “Sufi Baithak”
(A discussion on Sufism) organized by “Delhi By Foot”.
first of its kind, unlocked the heavenly doors of rich Sufi culture and traditions to general public (Sufi Baithaks
are usually held in private family gatherings, festivals, and parties in Muslim community) which have evolved over the span of several centuries.
Although, it was a small gathering, but from where I perceive it, it’s a start of new beginning of something good. The Baithak
was led by Syed Ajmal Nizami, who is one of the descendants of relatives of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and also the caretakers of Nizamuddin Auliya’s mausoleum for centuries.
He edified the gathering on the concept of Sufism and the spiritual legacy of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. He was…
The last day of last year found me at the dargah of Sheikh Ahmad Farooqi Sirhindi, a Sufi mystic of the Naqshabandi order. An inexplicable, hard to ignore desire to experience first hand the sights, sounds, and flavors of an Urs (death anniversary)
had played impetus.
Held annually, it attracts Sunni followers (who look upon his dargah as the second Mecca)
in their hundreds from world over, and is a buzzing three-day celebration. Celebration, because the passing of a Sufi saint, in Islamic thought, is looked upon as the long-awaited, longed-for union of a lover with his beloved; God, in this instance. Indeed the Arabic translation of the word Urs is ‘wedding’.
Gloomy chill due day-long drizzle was no deterrent for worshippers, nor the curious.
For the sartorially adventurous.
Access to the inner courtyard and main tomb beyond is through that arch. Many moments of despair when politely informed women were not permitted during the Urs preceded a Eureka moment that comes with discovering the power of a sudden sulk. The management relented; just enough to usher…
I’ve had death on my mind a lot lately. It all started last month, when I commemorated the anniversary of my dog’s passing with writing about the impact her death had on my decision to pursue life full-on.
In the days and weeks that followed, I felt myself constantly reminded of my own mortality, from that incident in New York where a man’s wife got diagnosed with (and, eventually, died of) cancer, to an ad I saw one night, at my friend Kim’s, for the Showtime end-of-life documentary series Time of Death, to fleeting (but frequent) dreams about every single person I love dying.
Last Monday, as I careened 1,000 feet over an Andean canyon, kept alive only by a couple hundred dollars worth of zip-line equipment and the careful work of an engineer who obviously knew his shit, thoughts of the wire snapping, my harness breaking and the brakes at the end of the taut cable failing all crossed my mind. But in my heart of hearts, none of them scared me.
I am dying. Not, so far as I know, in the immediate future. But day by day,…
Translated as the Star Snow Festival, Qoyllur Rit’i
is a spiritual and religious event, held annually in June, in the Sinakara Valley in the Cusco Region of Peru. Every year, more than 10,000 participants attend the festival strengthening their ties to their ancestors, ancient traditions and cultural connections.
Attending the festival is not for the faint of heart. There are no roads or vehicles to transport you to the festival site. Along with thousands of other committed pilgrims, I walked for six hours, in the high Andes altitude. We kept a steady pace, traversing up and down the sides of mountains and walking through the valley passes.
It wasn’t easy. Passing me on the narrow paths were entire families, children, old men and young mothers carrying babies tied in bundles on their backs. Dozens and dozens of horses, laden with contents to construct temporary villages made the trek as well. Dance troupes in full costumes playing instruments and singing effortlessly breezed up the mountain side, elated in spirit.
The festival site is at 4,600 meters or just over 15 thousand feet, & the glacier above, where many of the ceremonies take…
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