Harmony Gathering is a St Patrick’s Day celebration with a difference, brought to you by the folks behind Conscious Concert Ireland.
World-renowned meditation and spiritual teacher davidji is returning to Dublin this month to offer an amazing weekend retreat called ‘Saoirse 2019 – Power, Presence and Grace.’ It’s all about helping you to step into your truth as a spiritual warrior … and Positive Life readers are offered a special discount on the ticket price! Intrigued? Read on to learn more.
Before Christmas, we published a sneak peek of Sandy Newbigging’s article – ‘The Love Lesson’ – from our Winter 2018/19 issue, and today we are pleased to share it in full. Sandy has many words of advice to share on how we can learn how to give love without limits.
Fabulous February: Hello, Positive Lifers! As spring begins to dawn on the horizon, it’s that time of the month again: time to sit back and enjoy this collection of inspirational events, products and holistic news we have put together for you.
We love these words of wisdom by the renowned meditation coach and author Sandy Newbigging. In this sneak peek from our Winter 2018/19 issue, he shares his advice on how to generate a greater sense of love in our lives.
November‘s News: It’s official. Winter is here, and it’s time for the gloves and scarves to come out. Our summer heatwave is a distant memory … but there are many things to look forward to about this time of year. What could be better, for instance, than sitting beside a roaring fire, dressed in cosy pyjamas and enjoying some delicious hot chocolate, while the cold rages on outside? We have picked out a number of treats for you to check out this month, ranging from our very own Positive Nights events (look out for our extra-special speed dating event or Heartsongs with John Bowker) to an in-depth look at the gorgeous Calm Rooms of Monkstown, Co. Dublin.
Positive Nights: Some of Our Best Picks to Enjoy!
Following our successful speed dating events last November and April, we are ready to bring it to another level and help singles to connect once again. From your hosts with the most, Orla Bass and Paul Congdon, we present to you an evening of Speed Dating From the Heart on Thursday the 22nd of November, from 7.15 to 10.00 p.m. in Bewley’s Café, 78/79 Grafton Street, Dublin 2. Doors open at 6.45 p.m. Click here to learn more and get your tickets.
Also make sure you keep an eye out for our Heartsongs with John Bowker on December 6th, and our event with Andrea Hayes on December 13th. Details will be announced soon – watch this space!
The Organic Trust: Excellence Assured
The Organic Trust is the organic certification body of choice for professional organic producers in Ireland. The Trust describes their mission as, quite simply, “upholding the integrity of organic food.” The organic food sector in Ireland is in a continuous state of development, and the Organic Trust are proud to certify a huge range of organic products on retail shelves in Ireland (with the bulk of Irish-produced organic food being marketed under the Organic Trust logo). If you are an organic producer who wants to learn more, make sure you check out their website!
The Calm Rooms of Monkstown: An Oasis of Wellness
The Calm Rooms is a brand-new wellness hub in Monkstown Village, specialising in therapeutic treatments, meditation, yoga and pilates. This new business is hoping to establish themselves as a premium centre for wellness and relaxation in the city. We can’t wait until they announce their full range of treatments! Check out their website or Facebook page to learn more. You can also watch our recent Facebook live video that we did with them to get a sense of what they’re all about.
Our Exciting New Visualisation Track With Judith McAdam
We are pleased to introduce a meditation track we have always wanted to do for you: a 20-minute visualisation in which you get to actively enhance your resonance with health, love, abundance and your personal purpose. This track was co-created by the Positive Life team and Judith McAdam. Judith is a renowned theologian, kinesiologist, holistic life coach and author of the beautiful book The Source, and we are thrilled to have launched this new collaboration with her. To learn more and download the track, just click here.
In this extract from our Summer 2018 issue, our meditation writer Sandy Newbigging discusses the perils of becoming overly attached to a particular outcome – and how we can break the trap.
The Attach Catch
Break the trap of attachment
By Sandy Newbigging
Attachment happens whenever you believe that being, doing or having x, y or z will make you happier, peaceful, loved, successful or some other desirable state. Being attached makes you move away from wanting certain things to believing that you need them to be OK.
Growing up, you probably learned what a good life looks like: how much money you should earn, the kind of house you should live in, the type of person you should end up with, the shape of body you should have, even the make and model of car you should drive.
Highly motivated to achieve this good life, we take our rulebook of requirements and set about doing everything we possibly can to make it all happen.
Temporary highs at best
I remember getting into a convertible I’d just bought with the advance from one of my earlier book deals. Before leaving the showroom, I sat for a few moments looking around at my new purchase. I felt great! Then I looked to my right and noticed a little scratch on the side panel and thought: Oh well, I’ll be happy when I get that fixed!
Sitting in my expensive convertible, which I’d spent years working to get, my mind gave me about five seconds of pure joy before it found something to judge negatively and resist. Can you relate to this? Without realising it at the time, I had immediately become attached to the scratch being removed before I could fully enjoy the car again. This is just one example of the many times when I inadvertently fell into what I refer to as the ‘Attach Catch’.
Left unseen, the mind can postpone your peace and happiness and be busy forever.
Attachment and the compulsion to overthink
There is a direct relationship between being attached to things being a certain way and the compulsion to overthink. Whenever your mind believes that it needs something to be OK, it becomes very active in trying to figure out how to get away from where you are now and into a more appealing time in the future.
Attachment dulls your experience. It stops the present moment from ever being good enough, leading to discontentment. Attachment leads to a very limited life in which you need to control and manipulate things to fit your rulebook of requirements. As a result, the mind is given good cause to start producing copious amounts of thoughts about how to improve your circumstances.
Quick cure: Let go of things needing to be different
Ever catch yourself thinking this classic attachment thought? I’ll be happy when…
Take a moment to consider all the things that you think you need to change, fix or improve before you can be truly happy: whether it is your job, relationship, finances, the healing of a physical condition or something else.
Then consider this simple statement in the context of your attachment: I can want this without needing it. When I invite my coaching clients and course or retreat participants to do this exercise, I see the same transformations happen time and time again. Common responses are ‘I feel relief’, ‘I feel calm’, ‘I feel free’, along with a range of other really lovely experiences. What happens for you when you are courageously contented?
Judith McAdam and Kathy Scott are leading a one-day urban retreat called Igniting Your Personal Purpose on Sunday August 26th, from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00. p.m. in the Fumbally Stables, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8. This retreat aims to help you connect with your passion, align with your values and ignite your personal purpose so that you can create your best life from the inside out. Click here to learn more.
Igniting Your Personal Purpose is a one-day urban retreat with Judith McAdam and Kathy Scott. It aims to help you connect with your passion, align with your values and ignite your personal purpose so that you can create your best life from the inside out. This is a special invitation to experience practices that include Meditation, Energy Alignment and Healing, Powerful Visualisation Techniques, Kundalini Yoga, Journaling and other gifts from the wisdom traditions.
Judith McAdam, author of the acclaimed self-development book, The Source, is a mother, theologian, kinesiologist, life coach, course facilitator and inspirational speaker. During her recent Positive Night visit with us, she had many gems to share!
Throughout her career, Judith has inspired people to tap into their unique creative intelligence and step into their true potential, realising their personal and higher purpose in this life. Judith weaves together the ancient and the new, by drawing on mystical theological traditions and connecting this information to contemporary psychology and science in an accessible and impactful way.
Judith marries theory and twenty first century human experience specialising on issues around health, relationships, infertility, finance and career. She synthesises her knowledge to reveal the universal principles that unite us all, with the over-riding message that our greatest power lies within us – and if we harness that power we can deliberately create our own reality.
Kathy Scott, meanwhile, is a creative producer, curator and strategist in the cultural arena. She is the Creative Director of The Trailblazery, the Ireland : Iceland project and Wonderlust at Body&Soul Festival, and is currently artist-in-residence at Trinity College Dublin.
Kathy is passionate about creating and curating experiences that celebrate the human spirit. She has worked and played with a host of artists, collectives, activists and pioneers around the world to make cultural projects that animate the times we live in. She is dedicated to creating work that orients around our shared heart-centred qualities of courage, compassion and care.
This retreat is open to all levels – no previous experience is necessary. Prepare to embark on an experiential adventure to a more awakened empowered self. During this journey, you will:
- Discover how to deliberately create your own reality
- Identify and release the fears that are holding you back
- Explore what makes you feel really alive
- Embody the power of intention
- Experience and integrate your personal purpose on a mind, body and spirit level
It certainly sounds like this workshop will be an incredible experience. To learn more and reserve your place, click here. The price is €125, with early bird prices available until August 20th. Just a reminder: it is taking place on Sunday August 26th, from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. in the Fumbally Stables, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8.
To celebrate Adyashanti’s upcoming visit to Dublin on August 19th, we are thrilled to share our interview with him from our Summer 2018 issue. Visit adyashanti.org to learn more about his work!
The Wisdom of Adya: Opening up and embracing what is
by Aisling Cronin
Interviewers: Daizan Kaarlenkaski and Paul Congdon
Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher who is devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. He promotes non-dual teachings, based on recognising both the infinite spiritual possibilities and the everyday simplicity of our lives. He is the author of a number of successful spiritual titles, including The Way of Liberation, Resurrecting Jesus and Falling into Grace. We were thrilled to interview him recently and hear about his thoughts on the student-teacher relationship, his relationship with his wife Mukti, working with his father, and what Ireland means to him.
Could you tell us about the way you share your dharma teachings? For example, you never answer questions directly, but instead offer questions for people to ask themselves.
When I am dialoguing with somebody, my goal is to help them discover an answer or a resolution inside themselves, for themselves. All true realisations come from within the individual. In my style of teaching, I put a lot of responsibility on the students because I think that in the spiritual community, the students are far too often infantilised and treated like children. It is often encouraged for students to relate to the teacher as a child would, rather than interacting as two adults in a state of mutual trust. Grown-ups make their own decisions.
Do you think there can come a point when the student-teacher relationship needs to evolve for the student to gain true autonomy?
Yes, I think if a student has too much projection around the teacher – if they’re projecting all of their own holiness and light onto them – then the teacher does become a barrier. People put these projections onto the teacher because they hope that the teacher is going to be able to ‘save’ them. To the extent that we allow ourselves to become involved in that projection, the projection is what becomes a barrier. I was with my teacher for about fourteen years before she asked me to teach, and I noticed then that our relationship changed. I was still open to what she had to say, and open to her direction and guidance, but I related to her as an adult and not as a child. Teachers are best regarded as mentors, rather than as ‘gods.’
How do your teachings translate into your day-to-day life, in terms of your relationships?
Mukti and I have one of the most harmonious relationships that I know. I’m not saying it’s the most harmonious relationship in the world or anything, but it’s always been something that comes relatively naturally to both of us, which is really lucky. It has felt so natural for us to be together and part of that may be because we never imagined that it was the other person’s responsibility to ‘make me happy’. It has certainly matured over time. It had a lot of those effortless qualities from the very beginning, but nothing stays static – you are either maturing or regressing, one or the other. For twenty-two years, I have kept thinking to myself, ‘it can’t get any more profound than this’ and the next year, I find myself thinking, ‘wow, it did!’ Relationships can be one of the greatest areas of growth there is. To have a successful relationship, you’ve got to be a clear, adult, mature human being. That applies to relationships of all kinds: lovers, friends, family, even strangers.
It is amazing how different our relationships can be with different people: for example, you can be in a bad mood with your partner one moment, and the next, you can be chatting with your friends and you just light up – as though you are a totally different person.
That is an interesting observation, because I believe that we often reserve our worst behaviour for the people we love the most! There are a whole lot of subtle things going on in your most intimate relationships that can make them more charged, and I think one of the most predominant reasons for that is that we think when someone says ‘I love you’, they are somehow responsible for our well-being. When you go to your friends, you don’t have that pressure. You might love your friends, and be happy when you are with them – but you don’t think, ‘this person is responsible for making me happy or validating me in some way’. That expectation can creep into a lot of our most profound relationships, whether that be lovers, children or parents. With deep attachments can often come deep expectations.
How has that teaching come into play in your family relationships?
In the early years of my teaching, I actually worked with my father. He was a machinist and he had his own business. I would go to work, and I was his son and he would be my boss, and then he would come on retreats with me, and then he would be my student and I would be his teacher … It changed our roles. It was a great teaching for me, too. I saw that whatever role I play in life, it’s just a role. It’s something I can slip into and out of, like clothing. ‘Spiritual teacher’ is a role I play – it’s not who I am.
You have previously talked about awakening on different levels: the mind, the heart and the gut. Can you talk about that?
Awakening on the level of mind occurs when our identity is no longer enclosed in the level of thought. Awakening of the heart occurs when we have the intuitive capacity to perceive and experience unity and interconnectedness. The gut is much harder to describe – when I say ‘the gut’, I am talking metaphorically about the ground of all being and the ground of all experience. This is where we encounter the most existential point of our self. We can awaken at mind and heart, yet still not awaken at this very existential level.
In one of your books, you talk about how you experienced a sense of peace that lies beyond everything else, while you were grieving for your dog.
That moment I had over my dog when I was younger was really what precipitated a deeper experience of complete willingness to experience my own grief. As soon as that happened – as soon as I gave way to the experience I was having – a pinprick of peace and wellbeing started to grow inside me, until it was almost without edges. I had a sense of complete wellbeing, even while my grief simultaneously existed in the same space. There is a phrase I used to hear all the time during my Zen training that I didn’t understand – but I do now – which is: ‘always being, always becoming.’
Adya’s Thoughts on Ireland
I am really looking forward to coming to Ireland, which is unusual for me. I travel a lot and I don’t usually get really excited about going somewhere new, but I have very deep ties with Ireland. I have a lot of Irish in me – as well as a lot of Scottish and a lot of English, all mixed together – so it’s a deep part of my life. My wife Mukti’s father emigrated from Ireland and my mother’s father emigrated from Ireland, so there is a lot of Irish blood in the family. I had two of my most significant insights on St. Patricks’ Day – one year apart – so there is something about Ireland. I am looking forward to finally being in Ireland. I love Irish people’s great sense of humour. There is a lightness and a profoundness mixed into the psyche of the Irish, and as a teacher I really appreciate that because there is not as much of a facade in the Irish make-up as there is in America, for sure.
Adyashanti and Mukti will be visiting Dublin this August for a Special Intensive teaching event. This will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday August 19th, in the Gibson Hotel, Point Square, North Dock, Dublin 1. For details, go to: www.adyashanti.org