Looking for an immersive concert experience with soul and heart? Look no further…
Harmony Gathering is a St Patrick’s Day celebration with a difference, brought to you by the folks behind Conscious Concert Ireland.
Ewelina Wu is a Dublin-based photographer and graphic designer whose pictures contain an unmistakable touch of magic. We interviewed her to find out more about her work and the passion that drives her to produce her wonderful, heartfelt images.
Ewelina Wu’s attitude towards her photography and design work can best be described as an attitude of open-minded curiosity. Like many artists, her work is driven by a desire to access a deeper sense of truth that is not always available to us in our everyday lives. She aims to highlight the true essences of those who appear within her photographs.
‘For me, one of the most rewarding things about my job is when someone sees something in my pictures that they don’t normally see in themselves,’ she explains, ‘like a hidden beauty they had never realised was there.’
Ewelina approaches her work with great care and sensitivity, and she has a gift for illuminating the joy, the complexity and the deep humanity of her subjects. One clear example of this was her work on the Dublin leg of the World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment Day, which took place in Dublin city centre on September 23rd.
This day aimed to answer the question: where has human connection gone? Ewelina explored the profound nuances of this question in many different ways.
Her photographs offer viewers a sense of the heartfelt experiences that participants had during the day. ‘It was such a powerful experience,’ she shares. ‘I was sometimes on the outside of it, taking pictures, and sometimes right in the middle of the group, sharing a moment of connection with somebody. I loved that: I loved playing an active role in the scene I was trying to capture.’
Gentle moments of connection and understanding are honoured in Ewelina’s gorgeous images.
Ewelina’s photographic prowess was also very much in evidence during the recent Vitality Expo in Dublin’s RDS, when she brought the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere of the day to life.
‘Another event I worked on recently was an amazing dance event run by Zouk Retreat,’ she says, ‘and I really enjoyed it. Working on a wide variety of different events helps me to explore life from a lot of different angles.’
In her Zouk Retreat photographs, the simple yet far-reaching joy of human connection was once again to the fore.
The vibrant atmosphere of the retreat is powerfully brought to life in the mind’s eye of the viewer.
The clocks have moved forward, the temperatures are rising, and spring is making its presence felt. If you’re in the mood to try some delicious food or drink, practice the art of conscious dating, or even learn exciting new yoga techniques, this month’s edition of our Positive Vibes newsletter has got you covered. Read on to learn more about the best events, products and fun happenings we’ve picked out for you for this month. If you haven’t seen our Spring issue yet, fear not: it is available at stockists throughout the country. You can also subscribe here to get a copy delivered right to your door.
Holistic Speed Dating: Cultivate Heart-to-Heart Connections
This Friday the 6th of April, we are running a special Positive Nights speed dating event, where the emphasis will be placed on deeply honouring and respecting the person in front of you. At 7.30 p.m., we will gather at Yin and Tonic, the Elbowroom’s vibrant new space located at No. 32 North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7, for an evening of fun, conversation and conscious connection. Click on our Eventbrite link here to learn more and book your tickets.
Experiential Evening with Dawn Cartwight: Bringing Dating Back
We are thrilled to invite the renowned Tantra expert and teacher Dawn Cartwright back to Positive Nights on Wednesday the 25th of April at 7.30 p.m. The venue is to be confirmed. Dawn will discuss the ancient Tantric rituals – the Pancha Upacaras – that form the foundation of modern dating practices, and how we can bring the magic of these sacred rituals into our lives today. The Eventbrite link for this event is here.
Conscious Movement With Kitty Maguire
We highly recommend the work of Kitty Maguire, a yoga, dance and movement teacher with years of experience with instructing clients in modalities such as Pilates, Ballates, Barre, and her own unique style of Yocella: a type of yoga practice that is performed to the accompaniment of soothing cello music. Check out Kitty’s Facebook page to learn more about her regular courses, workshops, retreats and special events!
Warm Your Spirit With Chaga Tea
Chaga Tea is a unique type of tea widely renowned for its health benefits. Its flavour is similar to the earthy taste of coffee, but drinking Chaga Tea does not lead to the energy crash associated with coffee consumption. Chaga Tea Ireland founder Philip credits it for helping him to improve his health. He says: “I discovered Chaga after years of experimenting with different diets due to a Crohn’s condition. My first cup of Chaga had quite an impact. An hour later I felt energised yet calm, with a clarity similar to the effects of coffee, but without the buzz.”
The Planted Bean: An Amazing New Vegan Spot
If you’re looking for a cool spot to try out some delicious plant-based cuisine, look no further than The Planted Bean, located at No. 16 Baggot Road, Ashtown, Dublin 7. This wonderful coffee shop is owned by Kevin Odgers, and specialises in tasty vegan desserts free of refined sugar, as well as savoury vegan food options with an American twist. The picture above shows off their mouth-watering homemade Twix bars – we feel hungry just looking at them!
Open to the Summer Solstice With This Open Floor Retreat
As hints of summer’s arrival begin to creep into the air, what better way to celebrate than attending a heart-expanding dance and movement retreat for the Summer Solstice weekend? Dance teacher Carol McInerney is on hand to provide you with that magical experience with her special event, Solstice – Receiving the Light: an Open Floor residential dance retreat in Slí na Bande, Kilmurry, Co. Wicklow. The retreat will take place from June the 15th to the 17th 2018. For more information, click here or email Carol at email@example.com.
Interested in enjoying some heart-opening movement and dance, while also partaking in a sacred Cacao ceremony? Then you will want to check out The Cacao Sanctuary’s latest event, ‘Sacred Cacao Ceremony: Movement Of Love.’ It will take place in the Lantern Centre, Dublin 8, from 6.00 to 9.00 p.m. this Friday the 16th of February. You can book tickets by sending a payment of €25 to firstname.lastname@example.org via PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, just email email@example.com and Glenn can send you a payment request.
The Cacao Sanctuary has become a strong presence within Ireland’s conscious dance community over the past few years. The Sanctuary was founded by Glenn Sullivan and Bebe Gardner. It offers a unique fusion of amazing dance music events and ceremonial grade Cacao ceremonies in Dublin and Wicklow. Glenn and Bebe’s goal is to inspire a whole new level of heart-to heart relating on the dance floor, aided by the naturally uplifting effects of Cacao.
If this combination of joyous dancing and Cacoa appeals to you, you will be happy to hear the Glenn and Bebe’s next event – ‘Sacred Cacao Ceremony: Movement Of Love’ – is taking place this Friday, the 16th of February, in Dublin.
‘The Ceremony falls just after St Valentine’s day and Lunar Imbolc (the first dark moon following Imbolc) so the invitation is to work with the themes associated with both,’ Glenn and Bebe explain. ‘St Valentine’s Day is predominantly thought of as being about Love and Partnership, but we’ll be asking: how do we experience ourselves as Love? To what extent are we in partnership with our tender Human selves as well as our Divine selves and Life as Love? To what degree are we in partnership with our beloved Planet, She that holds and sustains us? Imbolc marks a time of transition and is also celebrated as Brigit’s Day. She is the Goddess of Maidens and rules over the movement outward from winter to springtime. This time of transformation takes place in all of us as we move from darkness and inner contemplation towards an outer focus of conscious manifestation.’
The ‘Sacred Cacao Ceremony: Movement Of Love’ will take place in the Lantern Centre, Dublin 8, from 6.00 to 9.00 p.m. this Friday the 16th of February. You can book tickets by sending a payment of €25 to firstname.lastname@example.org via PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, just email email@example.com and Glenn can send you a payment request. You can view the event’s Facebook page here. To learn more about The Cacoa Sanctuary, click here.
Jos Galdermans (from The Netherlands) is a professional facilitator in Sacred dance since 1991 and being also a practitioner in natural medicine, he is especially interested in the healing effect these dances can have, not only on the participants, but also on the environment and the wellbeing of all. Most of the choreographies are circle dances on peaceful music and will be fairly simple, somedances will be more complex or more lively, to keep the balance. Special dance qualities or experience are not required.
The combination of spirituality and dance is timeless. In all cultures and through all the ages people have danced to express their relationship with the mysteries of life and death, the gods, the inner source. In temple dances and in some old folkloristic dances this can still be found, but also in more recent, special choreographies. In the Buddha Bag workshop we will experience the effect that these dances can have: they help us to connect to our most inner source, where there is stillness and peace.
Sacred Dance is meditation in movement. And of course, the theme of Easter forms a wonderful centre around we will perform the dances that express the endless cycle of life and death, of being reborn, of resurrection, of transformation of Life constantly changing shape and still remaining the One.
The most important element in all the workshops is: it is all about opening, stimulating, cleansing and refining the energy of the heart!
What to wear!
Please wear the clothes you feel comfortable in. You should be able to move freely. As we sometimes are very still and moving very little and sometime quite active, it is advised to have ‘layers’ of clothes so you can easily adapt to changes in temperature. The assembly rooms have a reputation of not being very warm, so bring enough warm clothes to wear if necessary. Some people like to dance on bare feet, some on special dancing shoes, some on socks, some on normal shoes. In any case: low heels and no anti slip soles (because it makes it almost impossible to do sudden turns on the spot and might cause knee damage). Do not hesitate to bring various options with you, so you can see for yourself what works best for you.
More on Sacred Dance
The combination of spirituality and dance is timeless. In all cultures and through all the ages people have danced to express their relationship with the mysteries of life and death, the gods, the inner source. In temple dances and in some old folkloristic dances this can still be found, but also in more recent, special choreographies. The ‘founding father’ of this contemporary form of dance meditation is Bernhard Wosien (Germany 1908-1986).
More About Jos
Jos was a professional ballet dancer and later in his life later became a dance pedagogue and choreograph. He had a great interest in the relationship between dance and spirituality. He made an intensive study of traditional European (mostly Balkan, Greek and Russian)dance traditions and their background and started to give workshops in various European countries, offering a mix of old folklore dances (sometimes adapted by himself) and new choreographies that he made. Two of his top pupils, after being thoroughly trained by him, set up an institute in Holland, according to Bernhard’s ideas, to train students to become professional sacred dance facilitators. Jos (Dutch: short for Joseph)received his diploma in 1991, after an intensive three year study. Since then, he gives workshops, retreats and dance holidays throughout Europe.
From the participants he often gets back that they love the beautiful music, the gracious movements, the often mandala like patterns danced, the experience of togetherness in the moving circle and of course the joy of dancing, but mostly that they love to practice sacred dancing because it brings them into contact with their deepest layers, where their deepest strings are touched and where they can experience oneness and stillness.
Jos on his first experience of sacred dance, back in 1980, “ It was like being struck by lightning; something resonated deeply in me. It was as if I had always known this, but had somehow forgotten….something ancient and at the same time timeless. It felt like coming home and I knew..I want to have much more of this”.
As any teacher can’t help colouring with his own being and energy the thing he teaches, Jos is mainly triggered by the healing qualities Sacred Dance can have. He focuses especially on body awareness and energy patters to help to transform energy. His ‘goal’ is not so much to become perfect technical ‘performers’ but to become as best we can a moving vessel for healing energies, for ourselves, for others, for the world, for the earth, for all that is…
“I think that in other times I might have become (and probably have been…) a priest, but in this life becoming a therapist in natural medicine and a facilitator in Sacred Dance seemed the proper way to contribute to the healing of body and soul and to help develop our finest and most subtle energies”.
Extra Yogabeats class added!
Monday 2nd December, 8pm-9.30
Vedas, 19 Lower Georges Street, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
Call 0878147248 to book but you might need to be quick, the Sunday class sold out fast!
Even if you don’t go, it’s worth watching the interview with him below.
Yogabeats™ has remained totally free, experimental and spontaneous, just like jazz or any other free form art. It openly encourages you to deeply explore your physical and psychological boundaries and what is understood within this practice will directly impact upon the individual’s perception of life itself. The magic of Yogabeats™ can never be fully understood in any way other than in its participation, because then the lines between the idea and the experience dissolves into a mind blowing feast of all the senses.
It’s more than just Yoga, it is pure fun, a practice driven by music and rhythms. Unapologetically sexy, empowering and provocative, leaving you higher than a kite and flying for the rest of the week!
Find out more about Yogabeats here > yogabeats.com
Approaches to Health as Unique & as Varied as You
Each of us is an organic, biological being. We’re also blessed with the thoughts, spirit and energies that although non-physical, affect how our organic matter reacts and functions. Empowering, holistic approaches to health develop further every day to become as unique and varied as each of our individual needs. We share the insights of some of Ireland’s leading practitioners, on avenues that have brought them and their clients that healing feeling.
Tai Chi: Awareness, Development & Integration, Master Charles Thackaberry
Tai Chi is the balance of opposites. To change, shift and create balance, the first step is to be aware and feel the different aspects we need to work with. This can range from simply coordinating the hands and feet, to balancing practical everyday life with spiritual ideals.
Balanced development is not always about working on our obvious talents. We need the strength and courage to develop our weakest links too. In modern society, we’ve focused on developing the mind and spirit and often leave the body and emotions behind. Tai chi gives the mind and spirit a way to communicate with the body and emotions, and visa versa.
The process of integration needs patience, practice and a non-judgemental approach; learning to listen, trust and allowing ourselves to experience failures as well as successes. A Tai Chi class allows us to experience and integrate different parts of ourselves without external expectations or competition.
Practice and enjoy this mind, body, breath exercise;
1. Lift arms and hands to head, breathing in. Breathe out Mind & Body Stress as hands go down.
2. Lift arms and hands to head, breathing in positive energy. Breathing out, allow this energy to flow into your Mind & Body as hands go down.
Dance: Bringing the Soul Back to Sunday, Carol McInerney
Throughout history, people have used movement to celebrate, pray, connect and heal ourselves and our communities.
Growing up in Ireland, Sunday mornings meant going to church. It was intended as a special day for people to gather in a sacred place and recognise the need to nourish our souls. With the gradual breakdown of religious systems, much of this tradition has been lost.
One of the inspirations to create ‘Soul Sunday’ came from our experiences of dancing on Sunday mornings with communities in other countries. It touches my heart to be part of a room of people moving from the inside out; to experience the magic and vulnerability of getting to know more of ourselves, and each other, through dance.
Eating together releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone that increases trust and bonding. Sitting down to eat together after the dance gives people time to get to know each other, catch up with friends, make new ones and fosters a spirit of openness and togetherness.
Dancing nourishes and heals me. It teaches me self-acceptance, relaxes my mind, opens my heart to community and strengthens my relationship with my body. And its fun! It is all the things I searched for but never experienced in the rituals of Sundays in church. Come as you are and celebrate what is.
Shiatsu: Releasing, Relieving & Moving Forward, Rebecca Allen
I found Shiatsu when grieving the passing of my Father. I had no idea what to expect during my treatment but found myself experiencing profound relaxation and letting go of muscles I hadn’t even realised were tense. As well as the physical release, emotions moved, changed and clarified within me.
Shiatsu helped me to move forward in the complexities of the grieving process. Having supported my Father through setbacks, letting go of the trauma was difficult, even when it was safe to do so. Shiatsu allowed me to progress naturally.
It has continued to be an important and valued aid through my life journey and personal growth. I have turned to it for help with fertility, the loss of my Mother and the break up of my marriage. Over time, Shiatsu has moved me so much that I decided to become a practitioner myself. I wanted to give something back.
Now, I use Shiatsu and guided meditation to help my clients reduce and manage stress. This allows your body to focus its energies on staying healthy, enabling you to overcome illness and maintain constant repair. I have the pleasure of supporting people during illness and towards wellness, in tandem with their medical treatment. Drawing from personal experiences, I also specialise in working with recently separated or bereaved women.
Systematic Kinesiology: Revealing What Your Body Knows, Siobhan Guthrie
The holistic approach to health acknowledges all areas of life – physical, emotional, nutritional, energies and spirituality, they are all interconnected. Two key factors that that we look at are the thoughts, beliefs and interpretations you have of your world, and the daily food choices you make. Muscle testing helps us reveal what your body unconsciously says about it all too.
When it comes to your health, rather than just looking at the thing that needs fixing, we examine what might underlie the root cause. A practitioner will ask you about what you eat, how you think, feel and react. Are you a busy parent? Do you love your job or hate it? How well does your digestive system function? It’s all relevant.
If you are sensitive to wheat, you may know its immediate, physical effects on your body, but did you know it could be affecting your mood? Over 55 health issues have been linked to gluten sensitivities but many people are never diagnosed. With more gluten in wheat today than ever before, it’s worth getting tested or considering avoidance for a few weeks to see how it could be affecting you.
Instinctively, deep inside you already know what is right for you. Don’t ignore the signals your body is giving you, take a moment to listen.
Moynalty Yoga Festival took place last August for the first time, was resoundingly(lots of gongs, bowls, chanting & sound healing) successful and will be run this year over 2 days due to popular demand. Our theme this year is Honouring the Divine Feminine – Reclaiming our Power – We have 3 areas of meditation, yoga and dance classes over the 2 days and a large group ancestral healing ritual and meditation led by Amantha Murphy on saturday evening the 22nd of June.
Moynalty is situated in the heart of Co Meath in the midst of many of our ancient royal sites and we will be tuning into the site building ancestors as part of the ritual. This will be followed by a moon mantra meditation at midnight under the Solstice Full Moon and we begin the next morning at 5am with kundalini yoga and meditation. Fabulous teachers, workshop leaders and speakers. The aim of the festival is to showcase yoga and meditation, demonstrate it’s effectiveness in dealing with the issues which face our society today – stress, anxiety, chronic illness. Also to consciously meditate to bring about positive change in our country, remembering that our sovereignty was always aligned with the goddess & knowing that even if we dont consciously have the answers, our souls do. Knowing, also, that group meditation is a powerful tool to journey deep inside and find those answers and our power so that we can ground them in our present reality.
Many people have said that the energy in Moynalty is special. I have heard it compared to Glastonbury more than once. It’s a completely voluntary event, run by volunteers and the teachers and speakers all volunteer their time freely.
The Chocolate Factory
The Chocolate Factory is a new creative community developing in the old Williams & Woods building on King’s Inn Street in Dublin.
The first concrete building in Dublin city is being rejuvenated to become a creative hub comprised of studio spaces for design, art, music, dance, photography and many other creative areas.
The ethos of the Chocolate Factory is a creative community where community is the centre of focus with everybody helping each other out. We are also focused on reusing and upcycling anything we can as part of the development and building work going on in the CF, and want to be as sustainable as possible in every aspect of the project.
Ireland’s first rooftop Urban Farm is being created on the roof of the building and aims to produce and educate people on various horticultural techniques and how to create their own urban farm.
Already, the Chocolate Factory has artists, designers, bands, photographers, upcyclers, sound designers, Buddhist martial arts and healing experts, horticulturalists, a creative baker, fashion designers, software designers and many more all becoming part of the community and fuelling the diverse creative atmosphere that is developing.
A cafe and restaurant is planned for the ground floor and it is hoped to be open in the next few months, combining a great place to have a coffee or a meeting, with some roof grown food in a creative and industrial atmosphere of the expansive ground floor.
This project is breathing some life back into King’s Inn Street and hopefully it will help to expand the creative sector of Dublin to include this beautiful old building and its resident creatives.
Pick up a copy of Positive Life Magazine’s Spring 2013 issue in your local health food store. Or subscribe online for €15 and have it delivered to your door four times a year.
For more on the Chocolate Factory visit www.chocolatefactory.ie
Other spaces worth a look: wwwblockt.ie and www.fumballyexchange.com