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There won’t be mid-month check-in for my iv/iii/ii/i as I didn’t exercise, couldn’t eat real food [the vegans at BField only seem to eat curry and salad] and was focused on the theme of Abundance/ Awareness instead of whatever I chose at the beginning of this month [capacity] /which I guess I did as I did learn to respect my body’s wishes after a while\.


The Workshops

I’ve had a couple of questions about how I found the festival’s workshops [the main reason I went] and so I thought I’d do a brief review of the things I attended.


Writing Workshop – A good space to share and listen to others; but the exercises I already did or could find in a book [the artist’s way, for example].


Tribal Belly-dance – Really Good. One hour, three moves, one transition, one “cue” and we practised in groups of 4, practising being in all 4 positions. Barbara was an amazing teacher and I went to her showcase a couple of nights later, which was also fab. She teaches in Bath and Bristol: see here for details. Recommend & I’m looking at local classes again.


Shamanic Journeying with Northern Drum – Would have been good if I’d been in the right space. I’m going to grab my drumming music [I’ve a john Richardson CD around somewhere] and try again as the 15 minutes of practical journeying wasn’t enough for me to really connect. Lovely relaxation time though so worth it just for that. Recommend.


Instinctual Body – Really odd workshop for me. The information on the workshops site said this, word for word:

 ‘Embodied Presence’ invite you to rediscover the physical and emotional intelligence and capacity you were born with. To journey close to yourself. To relax into who you really are, and to open into life offering your true gifts out into the world. As you increasingly meet yourself, you may find a capacity to meet nature and each other in a new way. A sense of intimacy with one’s self and our environment begins to arise.

I assumed it would be a bit of relaxing listening to your body, meditation perhaps, then dancing to our own rhythms and maybe some drumming to trance us out a little [drums change the brainwaves from alpha and beta etc.]

What the class actually asked was that you let you pelvis, breastbone, arms and feet guide/lead you.. then work with random other people; dance with them as partners. Then some non contact, contact, hugging while dancing.. then be in the roles of the hunter and the hunted. As someone with issues around personal space, with being in close spaces, with any form of intimate touch with strangers, I actually teared up and had to beg my partner not to do half those things. He was very accommodating and “mirrored” me form about 3 foot away. Then we paired up with a same-sex member of the crowd; a girl I’d done bellydance with, and that bit was much more comfortable. I think it was good to push myself but it brought up a lot of tears and pain and past issues that I am working through and had being trying to leave just for this week. So a mixed class on this front. Details here.


Creative Movement and Music: Part 1, Balancing Yin and Yang – I began this, but it was right after the previous one and the ‘yin’ part was slow and not dance at all [10 minutes worth?], the yang was fast and had good music but lasted barely 2 minutes and then we were back to yin. I was so close to tears I left and called Phil instead. My housemate loved it though; and she recommends it 🙂


TALK: Amarantho – Your Presents Make a Difference – This was a really good talk. It was about how an integrated practise helps us, our relationships & society. Except it wasn’t. It was about begging, schedules, listening to your body, the ego mind, nature, the Buddha’s first teaching session [failed], old habits, shadow work, the News of the World, modern education, energy, our mind’s power & psychology. I wrote 3 pages of notes and I hope some of the other talks will be up on free Buddhist audio soon. He laughed like a school-girl [high pitched, freeing] and swore quite a bit before saying “cut that bit out” of the recording. A really down to earth monk 🙂 Recommend.


In hindsight, I wish I’d done the classes in singing, more dance, and more talks [and more time in the 24/7 meditation dome].

I meant to go to a talk on Discipline, but our “check-out” process ran over on Saturday so I missed it, and had a shower instead. [I also kept remembering the ZenHabits post about motivation vs. discipline and my own posts on how motivation is the main factor of failure.] So not too bothered about that. Similarly, I missed Yin Yoga because I was tired and my body was saying No.


So current actions: looking for Shamanic Journey Talks in Hove/Lewes and Bellydance classes in Brighton. Also downloading pagan podcasts and keeping an eye on FreeBuddhistAudio for the talks I missed.


What kind of workshops do you like to go to? Do any of these interest you?

In light,