In our Summer 2021 issue, our much-loved regular columnist Judith McAdam offered us a heartfelt reflection on how we can transcend difficult times in our close relationships. Enjoy her wise guidance below!
Our resident sustainability and eco-living writer, Davie Philip, wrote a powerful piece on nurturing community connections in our Autumn 2020 issue. Read it below.
Tantric visionary and educator Dawn Cartwright shares her beautiful insights about kindness in the bedroom, and the difference this can make to our intimate lives. This article appeared in our Spring 2019 issue.
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 our Autumn 2018 issue, eight of our readers shared with us what their relationships have meant to them. This season, it’s all about the bonds of love! You can pick up a copy of the magazine at our stockists across the country, or subscribe here to receive a copy direct to your door.
SPIRITUALITY & THE CITY
THE BONDS OF LOVE
Liz Lynch & Ciara O’Neill (couple)
It is hard to put into words how I feel about this wonderful woman. She is full of life, love and laughter. Ciara and I share a quirky sense of humour and I know that with her, I can always be fully myself, no matter how silly that is.
Ciara has great empathy for other people’s worries. I am lucky that she has made it her mission in life to take care of me. Ever since I started dating Ciara, I have felt enveloped by her boundless love and I hope she feels the same from me.
Ciara is very modest and doesn’t seem to know how wonderful she is. Her smile lights up a room and her laughter is infectious. I feel blessed every day knowing she is my wife.
My wedding day was the happiest day of my life. I am so grateful to everybody who campaigned for marriage equality, and of course the wonderful Irish people who voted yes to love on that magical day in May 2015.
What I love most about Liz is her caring and compassionate nature. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for the people she loves.
Liz is the funniest person I have ever met and she makes me laugh every day. Meeting Liz is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She is my best friend and favourite person in the whole world. I know that she believes in me and loves me unconditionally, and that is the best feeling in the world.
Martin & Magda Janik (couple)
Magda is my soulmate. I know it isn’t our first life together: we have loved each other many times before. Her calmness, her beauty, her love and the amazingly multi-dimensional depth of her being makes each life so worth living. I had a dream about Magda after I saw her for the first or second time, and after that dream, I knew she was the one. We were 16 and 17 at that time. This year was our 25th anniversary of being a couple and our 20th wedding anniversary. Magda stands by me during our happiest and most challenging moments and I love her to bits. She is an amazing mum to our daughter Pola, who we both absolutely adore.
I love Martin: my husband and my best friend. Martin is warm, loving, kind and funny. He has a great passion for life and energy that always amazes me. He is intelligent, creative, and always eager to learn and experience new things, which makes our journey together very interesting. We always know what each other is thinking without saying a single word. Martin makes me feel loved every day and I love him for that. He is also a fantastic father to our daughter Pola, who adores him.
This year is very special for us as we are celebrating 25 years together and the 20th anniversary of our wedding. I am grateful for each of those years and excited about all the years to come.
Dave Weakley & Sara Weis (father and daughter)
My dad is a great person: very kind, hilariously funny and super talented as well. He is a wonderful human being. Because we both work in the field of music, we have a lot in common. I’ve learned a huge amount from him. His advice is very valuable to me. Music is such a difficult profession, it’s great to have people around you who understand that and who can be supportive. Both of my parents are hugely supportive – they both work in the arts – and they are wonderful. My dad is my inspiration. We have great craic together, and he’s just the best dad I could ever have asked for. His experience of getting out there and putting himself before an audience taught me how to be brave.
Sara is so talented. From a very early age, she always showed promise and excellence at singing and acting, and this promise has really borne fruit over the last few months. She recently began to put herself out there and start singing … and she is absolutely marvellous. I could go on forever about my tremendous admiration for her!
I’m incredibly proud of her. I know parents are supposed to be the role model for their children, but she is more of a role model for me. I’m a musician myself, and I derive a lot of joy from listening to her and watching her while she is performing.
Livia Devi & Carolyne Marks (friends)
Carolyne and I share a sacred space of beautiful heart-connection, love, joy, respect and appreciation. Her wisdom and life experience always guide me on my path. Her teachings about love, life and relationships have helped me to grow and evolve. We always have so much fun and laugher when we meet, enjoying life to the full!Her presence in my life is a like a warm ocean breeze on a summer day. The stillness, flow and richness of our connection its so cherished!
I am truly honored and grateful to have you as a friend, Carolyne.
My name is Carolyne and I am very fortunate! Why? I have a beautiful friend and her name is Livia. Yes, she is physically beautiful, no doubt about that: however, what I am referring to with the word ‘beautiful’ goes far beyond that superficial perspective. You see, as within, so without. My friend is beautiful in Soul. When we are together, there is simply harmony, peace and so much joy. At times, we have very deep, fulfilling and meaningful conversations and I love to grow with her this way, as well as simply sitting in silence and connecting on a very different level at other times. When out and about, we like similar things, laugh about the same nonsense and appreciate the world and nature with all our hearts. Being able to share this love of life with someone is a great treasure and a special gift.
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
This version of our long-running, ever-popular Spirituality and the City series appeared in the summer 2018 issue. In this instalment, it was all about LOVE. Love appears in many forms in human relationships, and here, we celebrated that wonderful fact. Thank you to everyone who contributed!
Couple: Eva Lennox and Andrew McAvinchy
Eva: The thing I love the most about Andrew is his big heart. He is a beautiful, kind and sensitive man with a wicked sense of adventure. He is full of sweetness and a joy for life and I feel grateful that I get to experience all of the undulations of life with him. He is capable of holding a deep level of intimacy that continues to bring our relationship beyond previous boundaries.
We are different in lots of ways and sometimes that drives me mad, but it offers the possibility to see things from different perspectives. I love that Andrew is my husband, I love that he is my friend, I love that he is in my life. I just love Andrew!
Andrew: Ram Dass said in a Netflix documentary we watched together recently that Rama asked Hanuman, “Who are you?” Hanuman answered, “When I don’t know who I am, I serve you. When I know who I am, I am you.”
Eva and I are always in this dance where sometimes I feel like Forrest Gump waltzing awkwardly with Jenny for the first time, other times we rock and roll like John Travolta and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. What I love about her is that she’s always listening to the music, no matter what is playing, and she’ll always give me a gentle nudge so I can find my rhythm again. Eva is kind, open, fiercely loyal and sexy as hell. What’s not to love?
Mum, Saralee Cassidy, and Sons
As a family we have our ups and downs, however, we are very open and truthful about how and what we feel, our experiences, fears and loves. When we’re having a heightened day things can go a little awry, so on those particular days we like to practice a simple feel good exercise; we affirm what we love about each other! There is only one rule – keep ?it very real! Here’s a little peek into our world!
Rory, who is the youngest, is loved for his kindness to animals, for being smart, nice and so funny. Peter, who is the middle man, is loved for being smart, a leader and cool and good to play games. Jack, who is the eldest, is loved for being super smart, creative and great at the Xbox. Mummy is loved for being different, smart, being in her own world, being kind and hugs.
It’s a very simple exercise but it does create an attitude of gratitude for every person in the family.
Couple: Antoinette and Ben Patton
Ben: There are loads of things I love about Antoinette, but lately what comes to mind is the way conversation flows with her. We both do a lot of thinking out loud, and often my opinions aren’t fully formed and can be controversial, but regardless she is willing to give them a chance. I think we both recognise that conversation with your spouse needn’t be as careful as with everyone else; we can create a sloppy dialogue together. There’s a trust there that I really value, and it has only grown since getting married. I think in the age of digital footprints this type of liberated, unjudged dialogue is a rare and special thing.
Antoinette: I love his curiosity and enthusiasm. I love how open and genuine he is. His positivity is contagious: it’s hard to be around him and not feel happy. He’s also a lot more sensible and practical than I am: he keeps me grounded.
We’ve travelled together, worked together and occupied some pretty tiny apartments together. He’s my constant companion and I feel halved when he’s not by my side.
Mother, Lynn, and daughter, Sienna Hodgins
Lynn: Sienna is the brightest part of my life. From the very second she came into this world, she has made me the happiness and proudest Mum. She’s quick witted, intuitive, thoughtful, fun and such a gentle, loving soul. Guiding her through this life is the best gift and purpose l could have ever wished for. She has been a great teacher to me in many ways. I can’t picture what my life would have looked like without her in it. I’m very grateful. She is my world and l value every second l’m with her.
Sienna: I love my mum so much because she’s different to other mums. She has helped me though everything in my life. If ever l have a problem, she sorts it out. She’s not just my mum, she’s my best friend. It’s just been me and mum for most of my life and I’ve loved every second of it. She’s so much fun, I love her smile and she’s a great chef. My mum is very adventurous and my life has always been very exciting. She works hard to give me a great life. She’s the best Mum in the world and l wouldn’t want any other Mum.
From your hosts with the most, Orla Bass and Paul Congdon, we present to you an evening of speed dating with a special Tantric twist on Friday the 6th of April, from 7.30 to 9.30 p.m. in Yin and Tonic, The Elbow Room’s vibrant new space. This is located at 32 North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
Following our successful speed dating event last November, we are ready to bring it to another level and help singles to connect once again.
Speed dating is a fun, action-packed way to meet a large number of new people in a short period of time. Singles will spend three to five minutes chatting to see if any spark of romance arises. When both people tick the box indicating that they would be interested in meeting again, we will put you in touch with each other. The possibilities are endless! This is an opportunity to meet your soul mate or just have a great evening’s entertainment.
While it would be lovely to secure a date after the event, please be aware that we are coming together to practice the Tantric principle of loving human connection. We will get together, chat, and mingle, all while fully connecting with each human being in front of us with an attitude of deep respect, compassion and integrity. The mind may go into judgement mode – as it so often does – but simply let it drift off and move into your heart space. Aim to see everyone you meet from this compassionate perspective.
Speed Dating with a Tantric Twist will take place from 7.30 to 9.30 p.m. on April 6th in Yin and Tonic, The Elbow Room, 32 North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. The event’s Facebook page is here, while you can book tickets via Eventbrite here.
Join Paul and his special guest Dawn Cartwright for an evening of love and intimacy that is sure to inspire. You’ll be guided through Tantra practices that open the heart: a journey into the far reaches of human sexuality and Tantra. This beautiful evening will take place from 7.30 to 9.30 p.m. on Wednesday April 25th in the Central Hotel, 1-5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.
Where and when did the ritual of dating begin?
Each morning, just before dawn, Tantric adepts in every Tantra temple in the world present five specific offerings to the deity. First, sandalwood powder is smoothed on the deity’s forehead and feet. Then, a mantra is sung while flowers, gathered from the temple gardens, are offered. Fragrant incense is lit, oil lamps illuminate the deity’s face, and sweets, dripping with honey and ghee, touch the deity’s lips. Sandalwood, mantra, incense, lamps and sweets: the Pancha Upacaras, a Sanskrit phrase that means, “five moments of access”. Five offerings purposefully chosen to awaken the five senses, allowing the devotee “five moments of access” to an elevated experience of the world.
Simple rituals such as this compose a twilight language rich in meaning and significance. Esoteric practices are known to reveal the extraordinary within the ordinary through simple means. While it may seem as if the Pancha Upacaras are offered to awaken the deity from her slumber, it is the adept whose senses are awakened, triggering a heightened state of consciousness – revealing the sublime within the mundane. Much the way one would greet an honoured guest in their home, the deity is welcomed into the temple each morning, and the devotee catches a glimpse of the divine within.
Perhaps owing to the romantic nature of the human heart, or the longing each of us has to touch the ineffable quality of love, the Pancha Upacaras, a ritual enacted since the beginning of time, eventually found its way into every corner of the world. These five offerings are the roots of hospitality and compose the traditional elements of successful dating.
In the chilly pre-dawn mist, the Tantric deity becomes more beautiful with each flower-laden moment. Beauty that exists because it is seen. Beauty seen because it is invited and welcomed, because it has already been awakened within the one who extends the invitation. Just as a tree that falls without a witness cannot make a sound, beauty, though it is certainly there, cannot be experienced without the observer. We create the beauty we see in the world and each other through our endeavour: in this case by awakening the five senses to see it. Dating and hospitality were originally meant to deepen our connection with those we revere, without expectation or goal.
Not so very long ago dating meant affection, flowers and chocolates. Candlelight, serenades and perfume. The very same offerings that compose the Pancha Upacaras. Today, dating has been reduced to “hanging out” and online chat rooms. Devotion seems to have gone by the wayside and the transcendent quality we all long for in dating has all but disappeared.
Is it time to bring dating back? YES!
Join Dawn Cartwright at Positive Nights, April 25th, and discover how to create the perfect transcendent date.
This experiential Tantra evening is led by Dawn Cartwright, a Tantric visionary, sacred writer, world traveler, and innovator in bio-energetic Tantra fusion. She discovered the path of Tantra by accident shortly after a period of life-changing mystical experiences in lovemaking more than twenty years ago. We’ve all experienced it at one time or another, the feeling of dissolving that deep sex brings. A feeling that connects us to life in a way that is both powerful and mystical. As modern day lovers we are becoming increasingly aware of the connection between sexuality and the vibrancy with which we illuminate our lives.
You’re invited to join Dawn for The Red Tent Sacred Sexuality for Women, April 26th – 27th, and 2-Nights of Tantric Bliss, April 27th -29th, in Wicklow, Weaving the Beloveds for Couples, May Bank Holiday Weekend on the Wild Atlantic Way and Fragrance of the Lotus Tantra Teacher Training beginning April 19th, 2019. For more information, go to dawncartwright.com.