It's about getting stuck on the road to enlightenment. In The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment, I set out with a modest aim: ‘to be absurdly happy every day’. But the road has been tough and the eternal optimist, Losada, needs to get herself out of a rather deep hole. It's a real life - life overhaul with humour and, I hope, maybe a little inspiration for you if you are stuck in any areas. It's honest, tougher than 'enlightenment' but light and funny in places too.
I look at five routs to outer and inner change, Feng Shui, Anthony Robbins (my inner giant likes to doze off), Vipassana meditation, Advaita (the discipline that asks 'Who are you anyway?) and finally shamanism.
Well is it, as the Chinese Government believe, no more than medieval superstition? Or are our moods and therefore energy levels influenced by what is around us?
As Tich Nat Hahn says, 'If a lettuce isn't growing well you don't blame the lettuce.' So I look at environment by calling in three qualified Feng Shui consultants. (Not all at the same time) Inevitably perhaps, they agreee on almost nothing. But I learn a lot all the same and the chapter aims to pass on the best of what I learn to you.
Yes I do actually. But Anthony is utterly winning and he takes no hostages. 'You say you're fat because you're 'big boned' he challenges his audience. 'I say you're fat because you eat too much of the wrong food and you don't move your bodies.' 'You say you are cynical? No - you're cowardly. Stop making excuses.' Then he makes 5,000 people walk on fire on the first night. Love him or hate him he knows how to kick ass. He kicks mine and I hope, through him to kick yours a little.
Yes. It's the hardest and most painful meditation course in the UK I've heard. If there is one that is worse then I don't recommend it. It's 10 hours a day for 10 days. Not speaking is the easiest part. You also don't move and don't make eye contact. I loathed it in the book and now I am longing to go back. Not because I like to suffer but because the one thing worse than sitting still is not sitting still. If the thought of sitting still for 10 days fills you with horror then you would probably benefit from going. :-)
This is Mooji who, teaching in the Advaita tradition asks you, 'Who are you?' and isn't asking for your name. In him I experience what we call 'The Divine' just the same way that I experinced it from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In this chapter I attempt to convey his teachings without his presence. 'Who is breathing you?' he asks. Well - we are not doing it are we?
Taking ayahuasca is certainly illegal for some. But for shaman it is a 'sacred medicine' that has been used by tribal people for many centuries. I had the priviledge of staying with the Ashaninka people of Peru and learning from them about co-operation rather than competition, community, and - the mind. It's quite a trip especially for me as a drug virgin as previously I'd never taken anything stronger than coffee.
Everything the same and everything profoundly different. It's all about our relationship to ourselves. Whoever the 'self' is. As you know. Our relationship to others can only flow from that. I hope you'll enjoy my journey and that it will be useful for your own. And that it will make you smile x i
"Engaging, lyrical and courageous, Isabel Losada is an intrepid explorer of human development and spirituality. She dives into weird and fantastic situations like a freefall parachutist and gives us valuable and inspiring insights. Her journey and her honesty will make you laugh and touch your heart. This is rock'n'roll of the soul. I love this book".
"The Battersea Park Road to Paradise is a funny, well written, warm and intelligent book which made this reader smile broadly. Leading us through the labyrinth of new age spirituality, mad-cap Feng Shui consultants, gung-ho American motivation gurus, the wonderful contemporary teacher Mooji, and a brave hallucinogenic excursion to South America, Isabel Losada proves herself a fantastic prose-stylist and the most eloquent of guides. It’s a book which grapples with the big questions with the lightest of touches. If there’s any justice in the world, it’ll give Eat, Pray Love a run for its money because it’s a better book in every way".
Piers Moore Ede
The British Feng Shui Society is here Fengshuisociety.org.uk/
The third practitioner that I found genuinely helpful is here Fengshui-living.com/
The full Anthony Robbins is here (take a deep breath before you go to the site) Anthonyrobbins.com/ He rarely does courses in the UK now. But accept no substitues - others who try to do what he does are not as good. If you love this chapter of my book then there is a reading list at the back and I recommend my favourites of his books.
Vipassana meditation. If you find them impossible to get hold of on the phone that is just the beginning of how annoying they are. But the course is remarkable, potentially life changing, and free. Dhamma.org/
Mooji teaches all over the world but a lot of his teachings are available on You Tube. (Some of his words people have put naff music over - he lets them do as they please)
If you want to consider travelling to the Amazonian Rainforest (read the book first please!) The company with which I travelled Ecotribal.com They only take 4 or 5 people a year.
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