The Battersea Park Road to Paradise
What's it about?
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.
Why Feng Shui?
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.
Anthony Robbins? Don't you hate all that American positive thinking stuff?
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?
And you've been breaking the law again? Taking class A drugs?
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.
So where did you end up?
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