Friday, December 11, 2009


“Meditation heals, makes you whole: and to be whole is to be holy. Holiness has nothing to do with belonging to any religion…It simply means that inside you, you are entire, complete, nothing is missing, you are fulfilled. You are what existence wanted you to be. You have realized your potential.”

It was great to arrive on Vamizi Island to find a yoga teacher living there, ready to take us through our paces.

Leela had just done her teacher training in Uganda and was looking forward to trying out her newly learnt skills on us.

Every morning we carried the yoga mats to a thatched sala looking out onto a bright sun rising over the beach. Each morning I felt more and more at peace as we headed back for breakfast followed by another swim in the clear, blue water.

Leela was also into Poi which she'd learnt in Goa.

Poi is a performance art employing two balls suspended from a length of flexible material held in the hand and swung in circular patterns. Poi actually originates from the Maori people of New Zealand and was performed primarily by women.

Leela was fantastic at Fire Poi and helped me with a few simple moves. It inspired me enough to take Poi lessons in the park at lunchtime, under the stern stare of Big Ben!

Osho championed active meditation in a quest to calm our busy 21st century minds. Each programme consisted of shaking, humming or dancing followed by a period of relaxation and stillness.

Maybe Poi followed by meditation would be a winning combination?

Leela was open, positive and feather light in her body.

She was an inspiration.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Innocence in Relationship

"Where there's laughter, there's God. Where there's seriousness, there's ego.'

Innocence in relationship is a very rare thing.

It means consciously, moment by moment, resisting the habit of overlaying the world with our own agendas.

Agendas are formed by the mind and take many shapes and sizes, from marrying someone through insecurity or the need to have children, to using a friendship for our own personal gain. Our layers are sometimes so thick and varied that we're often not able to get the to truth of the matter, so adept are we at justifying our actions and covering up the things we don't want to look at.

Accepting responsibility for every single one of our thoughts and feelings offers us a great opportunity to get clean, but even this is a big call. Often it takes another to act as a mirror for us.

Many exchanges between tourists and indigenous people are based on agendas. A friendship may be engineered for financial gain or a photograph. Agendas can be a challenge to avoid, but a starting point is to at least be honest about them.

The children of Ibo have have not been primed to see tourists as a source of revenue. Their innocence disarmed me and gave me the license to open up.

Slowly, in all walks of life, an awareness is being brought into how we relate and the world of tourism is no exception to this. Bit by bit, at what sometimes seems like a snails pace, we are learning from the blundering reactivity of the past.

How often have you made a sarcastic joke to a youngster only to get an open, blank expression back? Children are such valuable mirrors.

How many people have you met who retain the innocence of a child but the awareness of a sage?