The Space - Without and Within

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16 January 2017
Dear Friends,

I leave for silent retreat with an optimism, gratitude and trust. Because of last years' events with accidents, illness, darkness, confusion, mother in hospital, and due to the impact on both my physical and energetic health, I was indeed brought to a halt.

Were it not for the amazing singing events I had the priviledge of participating and performing in, 2016 would have been a dark year indeed. Singing for Amma at Alexandra Palance, London and in the Basilica of St Marie-Magdalene in France were the highlights of my year.

Falling , whether it be falling down, falling ill, falling back, falling into, all the fallings, is no accident. For us who are becoming more conscious in each moment. Falling is a lesson. A lesson in deep listening, deep acknowledgement, deep awakening. An awakening to that which resides within, all the time, and yet is hidden behind the masks of our personalities. And yes we know this. Intellectually. Why does life not work out as I want it to? Why does my life not resemble, one iota of what was told it would be, dreamt or believed it to be?

A very short, sharp and true insight came to me this week during my practice :"Life is Karma". We act out, live out, re-peat, re-do, re-act. Until we don't anymore. Then life becomes life itself. Just as it is. No more creation of conditions, thus no more karma. That is why it is so important we set about doing good actions, thinking good thoughts, metta for our "enemies" , speaking kind words. It is important that we learn to love and listen to ourselves deeply. So we can do so to others. This way we no longer create any more karmic attachments. By this paradigm shift, we are releasing that which binds us, thread by thread, until all is dissolved and we edge closer into the circle of re-generation, re-newal and a new way of living.

The falling down for me has been an awakening into seeing the karmic conditions of my life, so much so, that when looking back, I cannot see this was me living this life, that this was really my life, The falling down has been a urgent call to TRUST. A very close friend said to me "you don't trust yourself, you don't trust others, you don't trust life, you don't trust the universe/God". So since this information and the fallings I am feeling and living the internal alchemy of moving from FEAR to LOVE, from CONTROL to TRUST, and witnessing the fruits of this deep trust.


In October 2016 I began work in my garden, dismantling the shed, greenhouse, clearing extensive borders, to clear the space. New fences were erected, and a major change began happening without. And so within I thus discovered. Debate ensued over what I was going to fill the new space with. A yurt, a rotunda, a garden building, a recording studio an office and art room, a summer house. My brother said "leave it alone, and the space will speak to you". What a metaphor for my evolution my garden is. Every day I look at the space, I love what it has become. There is more work to do, like planting and landscaping. That's all do-able. The space is still the space. It silently speaks to me and says: just because you have a space, you do not need to fill it". So watch this space!


I send you all much love and many blessings.

Mohini

The Heart of The Matter

31 December 2016

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THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Mohini Chatlani

It seems fitting that I am moved to write this on the last day of our linearly defined year of 2016. Many of us having witnessed, experienced and moved through both personal and universal suffering, pain, disappointment, sickness and bereavement. Dear Friends when we feel an opening in our lives, a free flow of energy, a lightness or brightness within, this is our heart. We are destined to allow it to open and stay open. Thus we need to move through the myriad of maya, karmic threads, unhealthy attachments, dysfunctions and mental aberrations, steeped in our conditioned behaviour, which impede our "ascension" if you will into the realms of that which is unseen when operating at a lower level of consciousness.

To be moved to sing from an evolutionary urge emanating from within, where I have consented to the presence and action of God within me, is a truly revelatory process. Those who knew Tish our Pilgrimage friend, she who ignited this impulse for me, leading back to myself, also and more importantly, offered me the gift of discovering the Contemplative Prayer Practice - the mystical side of Christianity. She said to me via a text whilst at the end of her life "i am so glad you have found this practice, it is a true joy". I tell you this because it is this practice, which has now settled within me, and not dissimilar to the practice of Atma Vichar of the Vedic tradition, both non-dualistic in nature. It is enabling me to pierce through the veils of the need to control circumstances, activities and life in general, all based in fear, and to move, really move into a place of knowing what it actually feels like to trust.

So recently on my retreat at GAIA HOUSE a place which I call home, I spent a week recovering from a very nasty fall in the garden. Next door to the centre, is a church and cemetery. I have visited this church many many times, and yet this visit was different. (of course!) On the door was this sign :

After our Basilica experience, I was prompted to visit to churches in London and surrounding counties, so I could sing in them. I had began scouring the internet to find out which churches were actually open at all times. What a daunting task this would have been.

The words which struck me on the notice above, ".......open to all". In hindsight, I actually read that as "....open all the time". I passed through the portal feeling Tish's spirit there to my right "Well go on then, sing".

Standing in the centre of the church,the voice arose with the "Ave Maria", of course. Many more songs an spontaneous melodies arose. I visited the church many times during my retreat. Then on the side table were some leaflets, which I looked at later.


To my amazement, this church - West Ogwell , is part of the The Churches Conservation Trust" (CCT), of which there are no less than 340 other churches throughout the whole of the United Kingdom "open at all times". They are old churches , with some great history,which have been saved by the CCT, restored, renovated and open for visitors all year round (check the website if you want to visit).

With many blessings, love and heartfelt wishes, health, joy love and peace, until the next episode.

Mohini

Well Go On Sing Then!

This is the voice of my friend Tish.  She recently passed away. She was a highly intelligent being.In May 2016, we spent a week together with a group of lively and amazing women, on a Pilgrimage to the the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene - Sainte-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, in Southern France, and to the cave where the Saint was said to have lived for many years until the end of her life.

Tish was also a wonderful singer with an inspired voice and soul.  "I sing in churches" she says.  "Empty ones".   I loved singing in churches too.  And the main difference was that I sang "formally" in them.  At appointed times, on schedule, with specific songs, for specific occasions.  Tish sang naturally, spontaneously and liberally.  From her heart, from her soul, Divinely directed, one could say.

Sitting in the Basilica, meditating, praying, reflecting, I feel Tish at my right side.  "You know the 'Ave Maria' don't you?", she enquired. "Yes", I replied. "Well go on sing it then". "What here", I asked.  "Yes, I sing in churches all the time, empty ones". 

What a leap of faith and a paradigm shift.  An energy moved from within me, and I made my way to the choir area of the basilica and began to hear the 'Ave Maria' by Bach/Gounod arise from my being.  I could also hear Tish, singing in a different part of the church. Then another of our group, Grainne, also began singing.  What a joy to behold and to be heard.

Giving our voices back to the praise and glory of God. This is why churches were built.  Their size, their vaulted ceilings, the wonderful stained glass windows depicting stories of all kinds. Built to hold the power of the voices of praise, of thanks and of joy and love. Also of sadness, grief and all the other emotions which encapsulate the human condition.

Thus this journey has started.  I will write more, but for now I am testing this new blog tool, to see how it works.

All that remains, is to say a massive "THANK YOU" to my dear Tish, who is at my right side, when I now sing in churches.




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