“Where Are We Now”

“Where Are We Now?”

Life, death and everything in between. Loss, gain, triumph, success, failure . What is this journey about and where are we on our own personal evolutionary path towards the growth that everyone speaks about? The growth that is replicated and mirrored to us by nature, the unfolding and continuous seasons, which come and go, as our life has come and will eventually go, as we travel on the trajectory of our karmic determinations, as we sustain loss, grief, as we enjoy life, exuberance, as we may experience excess, stress, sickness. We may give gratitude and appreciation for abundance in spirit and creativity, for family, children, friends, community,  or simply times of prayer, where responsibility is reduced or ended. Times of caring and sharing, times to grieve and times to be joyful. As the well-known biblical passage goes  “there is a time for everything under heaven”
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8).

Green White and Blue  – green – our Mother Earth,
White the sweetest smelling Gardenias, lovingly
cultivated from no growth to yearly yield, blue –
borders – strong boundaries to assist us to safely
navigate throughout our lives.

For anyone who has lost a beloved in their life, timely or untimely, prematurely or exact, be it be a parent, child, a friend, or a fur friend, as I reflect this early pre-dawn morning prayer time, I’m being shown, that with the loss of my beloved Mama just 18 months ago, as I grieve the loss, along with this comes the inevitability and requirement, of relinquishing the past and everything it beheld.

Everything that came with the relationship to that beloved, in physical form, now is no longer. Life as we may have known it to be, during their lifetime, is no longer. Forced to sit in the void, created by that immense loss, realizations and insights, as our awareness deepens, can and do inevitably arise.

Bearing witness to the physicality of how grief manifests in the body, relates primarily to our karmic residue and unresolved issues from our past. Everything that we are right in this moment, is an accumulation of everything that has come before. No real need to travel back or regress into past lives to understand where we are. All the lessons are here right now. Lessons learnt. Past dissolves. Into the Now we come. So the question is, where are we on our current journey in this present moment?

Sky Blue of Heaven and Clear Water

Through this process of grief, comes with it the blessings of creative manifestation, of my “model of mourning”. Whether it be through my music, painting,  writing or teaching, all giving me an ongoing platform to externalize the grief, and continue somewhat, to contribute to the world. At least for the time being.

Equally as important, is the ability to sit still and be quiet. Many of us try to gloss over the traumatic events of our lives, whatever they may be, however deep they cut, however vast the wound. Sometime or other, they will surface through our physical body, attempting to throw off their noxious effects of so many years of suppression.

I am of the firm conviction, that cumulative and incremental suppression, due to a need for survival, as a young child, and as some of us may resonate with this, that the only choices we had, were to suppress in order to be able to survive, those current then events. Eventually all of this undigested emotional material needs to surface, in order to heal and lead a healthy,  “sattvic”  -pure essence-  and precious life.

The body is the barometer of what is going on emotionally and mentally. It is incumbent on each one of us,  if we choose to, to take responsibility for our own healing,  as we sit in the quiet, as we divest ourselves of unnecessary and excessive external involvement with the technological, consumeristic and materialistic patriarchal world, with the manifestations of quick fixes, “want- it- now” type of world attitude, deeper meanings arise, which bring comfort, rest and peace.

Green and white Ayurvedic protocol reducing inner
heat and balancing for excessive pitta+ kapha
constitutions. Not for the faint-hearted

At this juncture, I can only speak personally of course, that the place of what I call the  “fertile void”, however distressing at times, that I have been led to detoxify, not only my body, but my past. What a task this is! I now follow an urgent call to health, to a place which is unknown, and yet promises relief, renewal and deep rest (“depressed” when we split that word = “deep rest”). I sit in occasional quiet joy, in the ramifications of what may be on the “other side of myself”. This New Path is often peppered with spontaneous surprises, serendipitous moments and smidgeons of  joyful expressions!

Jung coined the phrase “the second half of life”, where ego and mind-driven external world activities are dropped, experienced as no longer necessary, the old modes of conditioning and behavioural responses, no longer fit into where we find ourselves, moving thus into the second half of life, where the connection with the Divine, the spiritual takes centre stage.

In conclusion, I survey the natural world in colours : green the colour of the earth – Mother Earth, blue the colour of the sky – Heaven, the colour of God, white the colour of light, the Light of the Spirit, purple the light of Supreme Consciousness. All these colours are perfectly cooling. As we cool down, deep down, our nerves calm down, our kidneys function with greater ease, our adrenal glands no longer over-adrenalize, stress minimizes, the heat in the body starts to diminish, the water that we retain in our physical form, flows out, the excess adipose tissue is released, and not only do we weigh lighter in the physical body, we are lighter on all levels of our being, as we deepen our connection to nature and to the Divine.

Green dragon topiary, cultivated from
and by loving hands in the garden of the Tourné estate.

Cooling is feminine.  As we “feminize” ourselves and our world, we can become lighter and we slowly morph towards our True Nature, experienced as “Universal Consciousness”, Divine Energy and our connection to All That Is.

The Web of Life – All Is Connected

Mohini Chatlani © 14, July 2023

“10 Thousand Years……..(of the Patriarchy)”

“Ten Thousand Years” (…of the patriarchy) ©

This may surprise, shock, stimulate, trigger and more. It is very personal both in art and life. I am sharing this as an potential agent for change and as a vehicle of empowerment for all of us, all genders, who have been, or still find themselves speechless, silenced and dispossessed or disenfranchised by ongoing patriarchal dominance. Those still needing to find their voice. Those whose NO is not yet strong enough. The paintings may not please you, yet if you are curious, the text may. Mohini .

“And They Turned Their Back”, 1st in the series “Ten Thousand Years”(3.2023) 

“These enigmatic, goddess, pantheon-like creatures, gatekeepers of a sacred past, imbibed with spiritual gold, alchemical in their modes of being, able to morph and move through the veils between worlds.They stand on “a treasure trove of jewels and earthly promise” . (Halli Bourne).

This painting begins a strong, determined departure from my earlier years an emerging artist, where I engaged in sketching, water colours, acrylics, oil paintings – landscapes and portraits.  This new work, stems from deep within the feminine psyche, repressed, supressed and silenced since time began by patriarchal dominance and hierarchy.  It will attempt to show who, in all their humility, the feminine spirit and woman is – how and from where she has emerged. How, now, it is time for the matriarchy to rise up valiantly, against all the multifarious institutions, in religions, politics, crime, the witch hunts, wokeism, the abuse of minors by the clergy and  grooming of innocent youth, by predominantly male perpetrators.  It is time thus, also, for those women who have facilitated the ease of the patriarchy to sew their continual oats, in their beds, and who masquerade as “helpers” or “guardians” in order to gather more victims to stand up and find redemption .  It is time.

“And They Stamped Them Out”, 2nd in the series “Ten Thousand Years” (2.4.23)

The  investigation into seeing differently, when observing my paintings, particularly those with “impressionistic qualities”, where certain shapes in the landscapes, become “shapes” of something else, something  meaningful, something emanating from the unconscious. Seeing diffierently. Seeing meaningful.  This series reflects my life’s struggle with the patriarchy, and some evidence of the matriarchy, being also present, in collusion, submission and sublimation of their/our voices.

In the light of this new series, the shapes, based on my deep emotional, mental, physical and spiritual struggle, now rise up in the form of the risen feminine and shows both evidence of the dangers and damage which continue to infiltrate our society, globally, by patriarchal dominance.

“Listen To The Grandmothers”,  3rd in the series “Ten Thousand Years” ( 5.4.2023)
This painting morphed from “shapes seen” in a previous painting, and a pencil “doodle” whilst on the phone to a friend.  It demanded “monochrome”, obviously inspired by my Mama Renée’s Black and White Charcoal Abstract series. It slotted itself quite well into this latest abstract series and the title was intuited on the spot.

When I look at it, I can see and hear the Grandmothers of old, the wise women, advising, counselling both young men and women, those in middle life and those coming into their crone years, and all who had eyes to listen, and eyes to see.

“Deep-She Phoenix”, 4th in the series “Ten Thousand Years” Easter Saturday (8.4.2023)

The phoenix is a symbol of  immortality, transformation,  life after death. In ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, it is associated with the sun god. According to the Greeks, the bird lives in Arabia, near a cool well.  Out of the obscure and partially hidden, hidden in plain sight. emerges what is truly there, present, alert and waiting to be witnessed, acknowledged and released. This painting, as the previous three in this series, has emerged from miniscule shapes seen in a previous painting.  The shapes appeared to me and speak to me as symbols, which represent my current stage in life. I reflect on how my life and others’ lives have been shaped and formed, by the dominance of the patriarchy, over decades.

As I release all deep feelings of scorn, anger, resentment, subjugation, submission, suppression, gagging, silencing within me, and as a way of honouring all those women and men who have been held “hostage” at the hands of the ancestral, and present relentless patriarchy,  I offer this series of paintings, as vehicles and agents for change.

“And She Appeareth”,   5th in  Series “Ten Thousand Years” (11.04.2023)
Knowing that all is not well in the world, she emerges from her abode to offer counsel to those patriarchal destroyers of free speech, free movement, to those who have dominion over women and men of all nations, cultures and religions, those guilty of appropriating and disenfranchising another’s human rights and freedoms as their own, for their own power and dominion, as they continue to instil fear, control and doubt over those who are already vulnerable, unstable, fearful, anxious and manipulated.

She is mighty force, a formidable mystical creature of earth and of air, emanating from another realm.

Monstra Tenebris” (Monsters of the Dark), 6th in the series“Ten Thousand Years”  (2.4.23)

This painting, in my imagination, depicts the deep shadows of patriarchal dominance and all their influences, actions and rules, that have come to bear upon both women and men over ten thousand years. I have seen shapes in my previous paintings (as already mentioned), which, coupled with my dissonance of the patriarchy, have taken the shapes and morphed into the ugliness and sometimes frightening images we see here. Their eyes are open wide, white and devoid of feeling, expressionless. They are relentless in their attempts to control by fear, punishment and emotional, physical, mental and spiritual torture.

“And She Riseth Up”, 7th and Final in the series “Ten Thousand Years.” (3.2023)

And so I come to the intuitive end of this series.  One which has allowed me to express through the shapes, the shadows, the monsters and the meek, the free and the bound, and my subconscious representation of what I have experienced, succumbed to and suffered at the hands of the patriarchy.

And She Riseth brings me, and you, who resonate, and to whose reflection I mirror, to the defiance, power, gentleness and ferocity of woman. The female, the feminine, whose NO is  finally spoken and heard, adhered to and honoured.  The inspiration for this painting is two sky-sized Indonesian statues from Ubud Bali.  I immediately knew they would be the last one in the series.  Of course I have my own impression of them.  See how we, the feminine, grow out of the earth, we are rooted and grounded deep within the earth, we reach sky-bound, we stand in ceremonial garb, with confidence, courage and compassion.  I see that one of these looks remarkably male, androgynous maybe. She/he could represent the repressed and suppressed male, who themselves, have been subjected to patriarchal dominance.




“She Teaches Me” Mama My Infinite Teacher


My Mama – my infinite teacher of art.  Since her passing in October 2021, My brother and I collated all Mama’s artwork, sifted through her various portfolios, and discovered many art works we had never seen before. I  then cleared her home, and most of the paintings come back to my home or to my brother Ram’s home.  Over time, as I navigated the intense grieving process, I was fascinated, and astonished at Renée’s talent, precision, detail, colour palettes, her eclectic portfolio of so many varied subjects.  Yet growing up surrounded by Mama’s art, it became “part of the furnishings”, with no great attention being given to them.  It was only when I began painting seriously in July 2017, that I realized what an amazing talent and gifted artist she was, and how challenging drawing and painting is.

Over the last year, my “model of mourning” has manifested in curating all her artwork into portfolios, then onto my website.  This is still a humungous task – consisting of digitally photographing Renée’s original non-digital photos of all the pieces she had sold – rough count – around 400-450, uploading, cropping, resizing, categorizing, cataloguing, searching for owners of some of her work to get photos, measuring, pricing , and more – and yes the shop is coming!!

One of the sketches we found fascinated me.  Where did these ideas come from?  I was inspired to paint my impression and version of this in oils. This began a journey into my own grieving process, as this first painting morphed into a series of 12, called “The New Path“.

On the left is Renée’s sketch mentioned above .  Here is “Nous Deux” by Mohini

I am now led from within, initially to “copy”  some of Mama’s paintings. I now see from the first attempt that mine is not so much a copy, as my impression or version of hers.
Enter The Teacher : when I look at these two paintings side by side, I see my errors, in visual perception, spacial awareness of the subjects the landscape, colour, perspective, distance, precision and maybe more. This is a very exciting discovery : the teacher comes to me in the presence of my beloved Mama, from the heavenly realms, to instruct me, and to help me move from the internal expression of grief, to the external expression of mourning.  Thank you SO much dearest Mama.

Left/1st – “Workers Break”, by Renée SOLD   Right/2nd Workers Break” by Mohini
©Mohini Chatlani. January, 2023

“It Is Time”

And the earth said, “sit down”,
And the sky said “look up”,
And the sun said “warm yourself”,
And the water said “drink of me”,
And the air said “breathe”,
And Spirit said :
“Be Still And Know That I Am”.

And the birds of the air returned in their numbers,
And the fish of the sea swam back to their waters,
And the animals of the earth came out to play and visit
And all in peace, tranquility, openness and safety.

And those who were troubled,
And made anxious by this crisis, were calmed,
And the air cleared,
And the water flowed freely and clearly,
And the air began to smell again
And the earth began to heal and dance,
As we too, in this silence began to heal,
And to know ourselves more fully,
And to love ourselves more deeply,
Enough to begin to savour the quiet,
To find peace within and cultivate equanimity
In the midst of the outer turmoil,

“Poppies 1”, Renée Chatlani

We pray for ourselves,
We pray and offer our support and blessings
To those who suffer,
And we applaud all the efforts, plans and decisions
To keep us safe, by those who toil for us.

Let us sit down,
Let us look up,
Let us warm ourselves,
Let us drink,
Let us breathe deeply and slowly.

Letting go,
Let us sincerely make intention
To become still,
Deep within,
And begin to know

That we are THAT very Spirit,
Which we can now begin to feel,
Emanating from this entire planetary space,

“Scottish Landscape”, Renée Chatlani

Now freed from external noise, turmoil and toxicity.
And the birds of the air sung their song so sweetly and became tame,
For this is their land.
And the animals came out of their holes,
Boldly crossing paths and keenly arriving.
And the fish and sea creatures returned to the now clarified waters,
To enjoy their paradise.
And the flowers and trees, all vegetation and nature
Sung in their glory for us to see, admire and be grateful.

And we learned to give thanks,
And we learned to Be,
And we learned to love ourselves enough,
To stay present, in ever greater tenderness,
And we did.
And we began to feel again,
And we saw and felt the light within,
And knowledge came in place of ignorance,
And compassion and empathy took the place of selfishness,
And wisdom shone brightly through our eyes,
And a new and softer, more loving way of being was born.
Borne on these waves of disaster, grief, loss and desperation,
Where our old world crumbled before our eyes,
Where our kinsfolk died and were swept away,
Where we birthed ourselves anew, and became fresh
And new ideas came and sprung forth from our newness,
Communities and connections were built on trust, love and forgiveness,

“View from the Villa”, Tuscany, Mohini Chatlani

And a new world order was created,
We rose from the ashes of our shadows,
And all became well.
We lived and thrived in spirit, with joy.

This is the wisdom of the planetary and universal plan.
It Is Time.

©Mohini Chatlani 2020
Written at 0441hrs 24.03.2020
2 days after the official lockdown of the UK
in the wake of Covid 19 the Coronavirus

Benefits of “Yogaflows”™

A Complete Yogic System for Self-Directed 
Healing and Rejuvenation

The practice of yoga is a gateway through which we may pass into a deepening into our own being, into our true and real nature. A return to our childlikeness, a time where energy moves and flows through spontaneous movements, sounds and words. An experience of wholeness, unimpeded, unrestricted, unconditional.

As you sit in meditation – dropping into a place of “listening and watching “, relaxing all the body systems, mind settling on the breath, you begin to move away from thinking and move into feeling yourself, as you really are. Thoughts, feelings, emotions all pass in front of the screen of your awareness, abide for a while, and then dissolve. You watch this process, unfolding. This has a deeply, renewing, cleansing and healing effect upon us at a holistic level. You begin to feel yourself as energy, rather than as fragmented sections of a whole. Through this state of dynamic calm, intuitive awareness is cultivated. You begin to drop the masks you wear relating to who you are in the world, the conditioned patterns of behaviour are relinquished and new paradigms establish themselves.

Through the practice of meditation you ground into you. Through the practice of asana -yoga postures, you strengthen and realign your body and focus your mind. Through the practice of pranayama -breath control, you stimulate the neurological system into equilibrium. Through the practices of the Yamas and Niyamas the personal and universal ethics and guidelines, yoga becomes an effective system of personal biofeedback.

Wherever you begin your yoga practice, whether it is with meditation or yoga postures, you will come full circle. One feeds into the other, and gradually over time, the postures will take on a life of their own, because you are flowing from your natural state, from a place of love and joy. Your practice will be a continuous moment-to-moment meditation, and so will your life. As you begin to feel yourself, through your body, begin to see the nature and quality of your mind states and random thoughts, notice your emotions and moods, you develop the faculty of being able to watch yourself without becoming involved. To promote your spiritual growth you will willingly “get out of your own way”.

This process brings you irrefutably and continuously back to the present moment. Staying present in the now, allows the energy to flow through you, moving you from a previously held or rigid, structure, into one where form becomes free, creative and spontaneous. Your heart begins to open to experience the flow of life and the flow of yoga. You begin to notice the ease and facility you have in yoga and in your life.

Yogaflows is a comprehensive, holistic and self-generating system of self-healing. It originates from this place of deep internal listening and watching. It encompasses the physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, subtle or energetic, and the benefits are felt at all these levels. Initially it is important to practice yoga poses within a flow using conscious, rhythmic breathing. In this way you can harness the attention of your mind, concentration is heightened, and all your senses are drawn inwards, just like in meditation. Getting a feel for the flow, means getting a different flavour of who you can be. Seeing what is real and you, and what is ungiue way to a primal wisdom, already inherent within the body mind spirit complex. This wisdom, riding on the wave of deepened awareness in each moment, is the meditative and moving experience of yoga and of life.

Yoga is a deep centred practice steeped in ancient wisdom and philosophy. Yogaflows has its origins in the deepest teachings and practices, working and benefiting us on all levels at all times. The diligent practice of yoga, the cultivation of alternative and therapeutic mind-states, the practice of consciousness at each breath, will lead you to open your hearts. The flow of energy in the form of love is an offering of the grace received when we let go and let God. This grace and love reaches you and touches another, promoting love, peace and harmony in each moment.

© Mohini Chatlani 2010

The Sound of Self

The Gift – Offering It To The Present

The voice I have been given is a gift. In the beginning I used it as a tool to get me into the world. It was fuelled and driven by my ego. The quality, delivery, artistry and energy were all compromised because of the emotional tension and baggage I carried. Eventually “it” (the voice) gave me up. 10 years on, with yoga, meditation, therapy and deep soul-searching driving a wedge between the ego and my true self to create a space wide enough for me to see myself, I have come full circle.

What I experience now, is myself becoming more and more a clear channel to receive this vocal gift. This ‘Sound of the Self.’ The journey I am now continuing, on with my voice as my guide, is one where I am empowered to transform my consciousness, by how I am affected by its sound, its power and the spontaneity I feel, as the voice moves me. I am exploring the “spiritual” dimension of the voice, and experiencing myself freer than every before, as I am being moved by the energy that is me, that is you, that is all of us.

I now begin to have a deep experience of sound, and it’s healing qualities. It is for others, too, to be touched by this sound, as their own and have equally moving experiences. I am not a concert, nor an opera, nor a rock singer. That has all been done. I am a vocal messenger of consciousness, bringing healing into my life and in to the lives of others, to find their own voice. To express their deepest sadness, grief, joy and love, as a means of transforming personal consciousness, and contributing to the necessary change we want to see on the planet.”

© Mohini Chatlani 2010

The Tao of Flow

– The Philosophy of Non-Doing  –

“Yield and overcome

Bend and be straight
Empty and be full
Wear out and be new
Have little and gain
Have much and be confused”

“The Tao Te Ching”, Lao-Tsu

“Human doings” rather than “human beings” may be a more appropriate description for most of us. The sense of achievement, success or satisfaction one may derive from the task being complete.

Doing perhaps, as if driven by some deep, often karmic or unconscious propulsion or force. Driven inexorably to pursue, achieve, succeed, accumulate at all costs, by those deep reasons, which demand that we be better or braver, more intelligent or capable than who we actually are. No time allotted, allowed, not even a mere pondering upon the possibility to take stock, pleasure or sit back and enjoy what has been achieved. Little or no time to sit and feel and get “inside oneself”

Until something happens, like a tidal wave, a bolt from the blue, a wake-up call, which sweeps us up and away and shakes us out of this behavioural zone. An event, be it a sickness, a death, a redundancy, a relationship break-up, which at the time seems insurmountable, yet perhaps in retrospect or hindsight, appears then to have been a miracle in disguise. This miracle may release us softly and gently from any further need to conquer the world, from “doing” in the old way. The relief that comes in the wake of this visitor, bringing the message that the compulsion, the addiction or the obsession may have gone, the wildness tamed. The spirit then finds itself resting in No-Thing. In ItSelf, a place heretofore, unknown, unfamiliar. No need to try so hard any more, no need to live that way anymore.

Finding the “middle way” between Yang : doing, striving and struggle and Yin : non-doing , yielding and letting-go is an art. The Tao or Way of the spiritual aspirant encourages us to be in a state of subtle internal creative alertness. We can then be open to receive that which waits to be poured into us in the form of truth, indeed a challenge for the “doer”.

When we are identified with ego, our ordinary doing or what we call action, separates us from any receptivity of the conscious creative energy of the universe. The Tao encourages us to move beyond the mind which is governed by desires where we can only perceive the world of appearances. To remove the veil of appearances or illusion and discover what lies beneath : An All encompassing Awareness.

How to get out of our own way and become conduits of this undifferentiated Supreme creative power? All aspects of knowing truth, of feeling good, of accomplishing all that is effective and useful must flow from this place. Any other action moves from a place of struggle or wilful action.

Receptivity within us is required whereby we can open ourselves to the flow of all the constituents and ultimate forces of nature and the universe. It is the movement away from the tyrannical and rational mind and from discursive thinking and dialectic.

To become one with the Tao and feel flow or become natural in our lives is not an innate state. It is something we must work on within ourselves, through deepening awareness and inner consciousness.

“The Tao abides in the non-action
Yet nothing is left undone.”

Flow in any and all of its forms are synonymous with spontaneity, emerging from a place of non-doership. Focus, concentration and undivided wise attention through action, is the reward of itself. It is self-fulfilling, neither needing nor searching for any ego gratification nor outside approval.

If we are then not the doers of our actions, then we are not the benefactors of the results. The consequences simply are. A paradox thus appears co-existentially: the subtlety of being there yet non-doing!

When actions arrive from a place of motive, urge or gain, we are separated from our heart, from innate spontaneous action, from our naturalness. The ego forces the energy to filter concepts through the personal ‘I’. As we let go of the doer, we may feel joy, gratitude, compassion, the dance of life alongside risk, vulnerability, exposure and fear. As the personal filter of the resistive ego gradually dissolves our hearts are cracked open, the light of wisdom can pour in. The flow of life can then pass through us and we participate naturally and spontaneously within it.

As we release the small ‘i’ , what remains is the harmonious flow of life. We become one with the Tao.

© Mohini Chatlani 2010

Credits : quotes from “The Tao Te Ching”, translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane England

“Cante Hondo”

Deep Song – Arising From Within

In 2003 I began to attend a weekly class to formally learn drawing and painting for my pleasure. I noticed how comfortable and relaxed I was with the experience as a whole. I began experimenting with different mediums from charcoal to pencil, oil and dry pastels, to more traditional oils and water-colours. As my interest grew, I was drawn deeper into exploring my own potential for artistic expression. I began to solicit inspiration from different sources : naturally drawn to the physical form being a yoga enthusiast this was my first port of call. My background in movement, dance and the performing arts followed swiftly behind, underpinned by uplifting and inspiring music.

In the Winter of 2004, I spent a 5 week-long spell in North India on an intensive yoga and meditation retreat. Led by a wholly genuine, inspirational and experiential teacher, Clive Sheridan, this was a truly challenging and transformative experience.

One of our group organised a drawing session and a couple of us joined her. She had learned a few techniques at a life drawing class in London which she shared with us. Nicole modelled some yoga poses and sequences. Instantly, squiggly lines of seemingly uninteresting shapes appeared. Each “drawing” lasted up to a maximum of one minute each, some only between ten to forty seconds. Some were drawn with the left hand, some not looking at the paper, others upside down, some with tip of the pencil. I interpreted these techniques as tools to free up the hand and the mind.

The speed at which we “played” each drawing resonated to me as an integral part of the process, to obviously avoid any attachment to form and to any specific outcome. There was no “best” or “perfect” picture. We drew naturally from within and each picture was in and of itself perfect. There was no place for judgement, criticism, discussion or comparison. Simply sighs of surprise, ease and joy filled the room.

One afternoon, the whole group went for a walk in the burning heat. I stayed behind. I was drawn to look at my “drawings”. The shapes on the paper looked insignificant. As I focused more intently on them, suddenly, and magically from out of the page I saw shapes, direction and flow. I was instantly led to “bold” out some of them. I transferred the “bolded” imaged and shapes to paper and painted. The colours “bled” quite naturally into each other. Within one hour or so there were 4 watercolours – Surya Namaskar I-IV (Sun Salutations I-IV). The whole process happened very naturally and organically with no planning or preconceived notions of any end result. The mind had been completely by-passed and momentarily suspended to allow for the spontaneity to emerge. The ease with which the paintings “arrived” carried with them a flavour of real magic where I experienced a synergy within myself of the art techniques, my breath, body and mind. There emanated an innocent sense of delight and wonder. I was fully present.

Since I returned from India I have been painting in the same way. My first book “Yogaflows“™ which contains spontaneous, meditative, flowing and dynamic sequences, now begins to serve as a vehiclefor artistic expression and inspiration.

I have moved onto oils now and using canvas rather than board. The canvas is alive and moves and dances in rhythm with the brush or finger strokes. I begin with a restricted palette of about three to four colours. As a beginner this is recommended to us, to explore use of colour, range of colours obtainable and mixable with say only three original colours. I intuit a rough idea of what colours a painting will be, and am guided by the feeling and the mood of the moment – moved to mixing and eventually I see emerging a whole palette like a bright rainbow blushing before me.

 I bear witness to the places in myself where I have been “folded” slowly unfolding through this creative practice. It is quite amazing. I just don’t know what’s coming next and that’s all part of the inexplicable fun. It feels so innocent and childlike, and is reminder of the essence of who I am at a very deep level. The place that really counts. I stand back from a painting and see myself observing it; instructions and guidance for the next stage comes from within like bubbles rising to the surface around a fish or a pebble in water.

What emerges on the canvas is a representation of my mood, a longing or a feeling. I am also nourished by what I see symbolically appearing before me. Wherein may lie a message to stimulate my spiritual growth, insights or simply a reflection of the present moment. With each stroke I am invited and gently coaxed to take a little more risk leaving behind fear and stepping into trust.

I am now drawn naturally inwards, into this continuous and exciting process of self-discovery. As I move on inside, so the work moves on outside. The outside then reflects back more of the inside! I feel the “leela” or dance of the Divine’s playground. Externally constantly changing, and yet the ground of my being becoming more and more centred, deep, reliable and solid. A great deck upon which to erect my easel, my yoga, my song, my life.

Yogaflows ™ artwork is an expression of the human spirit, the happening when we let go of striving, trying and doing. The creative impulse arises as if from a deep internal well, one which is quiet, dark and open A place from where, when all thought and action is suspended, arrested or momentarily paused, emerges an incredible energy, a flow, a dynamic movement, an outpouring of spontaneity and freedom.

It is, for me, a felt Presence. A deepening of myself into Divine Creativity. A marriage of Shiva – the masculine principle and Shakti – the female.

When I look at the work, be it the book or the art, the treasure I see is a clear unimpeded space. They have come through me. I can bear no claim on them. They are an expression of everything which is good and whole in each one of us. They come from That place where joy and love flows through and are the source of That unstoppable energy. May you get pleasure, joy and inspiration from them also!

© Mohini Chatlani 2010

“Villains Of The Soul”



The Soul is a veiled light, neglect it, and it will dim and die. Fuel it with the sacred oil of love and it will burn with an immortal flame”. (Sung at the Temples of Ammon-Ra). This quote emblazoned on my conscsiousness,found on the LP “White Winds” by Andreas Vollenweider in the early ‘80s.

 Statue of the God Amun-Ra – Temples at Karnak, Eqypt

I have now seen and understood what my work really is in this life. My life is not about giving another back to themselves. That is their task. Their choice. My work is not to illicit, to push or encourage others, to reframe their experience of themselves, nor to rewrite their stories. Even though I may be given the gift of insight, the gift of seeing and feeling into another’s’ pain, joy, misgivings, faults, weaknesses, that gift is for me to see, to feel, to change, to reframe, to rewrite. What I see in another, as we know, is a mirror of ourselves.

The Egyptian God Ra – with Hawk & Sun Disk

My work is opening myself honestly to this pattern, this trait in my behaviour, which has dogged me in my life, stemming from a place of fear, of always wanting or needing to be right, of needing to be in control, of needing to be right (“I know what your problem is” with a sense of authority and self-righteousness), of being heard, having always been made wrong. It is not my work to show the other was I cannot see in myself. As Sri Poonjaji would say “Turn the mirror back to face itself”.

We know that our habitual patterns of behaviour, our conditioning, over decades, lifetimes even, knit themselves so tightly into the ‘sweater of self’. So to begin the process of unpicking, is indeed a very daunting and arduous process, one which we must consciously choose. We first have to find the sweater! However, once the choice is made, and as we begin to pull the thread, the unpicking begins. There is no turning back. Cast the sweater aside, half unpicked, and it becomes a mangled mess, collecting dust and debris. 

We may see the thread of the patterns running through our lives, through the relationships, friendships and bonds that we’ve made. Those that have come and gone. To those we love or have loved, and those we believe(d) love(d) us. Those we’ve shared love with, at any level, is still love, regardless of the dependence and dysfunctionality in that moment. It is the reality of our perception, at any given time.

VIbrant Sunset (courtesy of Simon Wild friend on Facebook) July 2020

Through deep introspection, meditation, spiritual practices, therapy, I have become aware, that even when I started teaching yoga, I remember internally saying, with frustration, “why don’t they get it” (“it” being the teachings, the wisdom). I heard the inner voice say, “Don’t worry about them, you’re the one that needs to get it”. A turning point. However, the pattern was ingrained from very early years. I remember clearly and see the ‘gestalt’, to this day, of a time in Paris, never suspected or knowing I had an issues. It was everyone else!! Came down with a bang, from that one. Eventually.

However, letting go of the wider sphere of folk, in my close relationships the pattern still continued. Of course, we know, it is always within the significant other relationships or the very, very, close family/caregivers of origin, that all of this arises. How challenging, difficult and painful, consciously moving through years of dysfunctional love relationships, friendships and personal triangles for myself and potentially for the other, as I attempted to navigate those rocky waters.

As I have begun to forgive myself and forgive others, without retaliation, I feel a softening within. A glimpse of the feminine. And others too have softened. And yet I consciously tread gently again, avoiding reactive patterns emerging on both sides.

Collusion was also part of the dysfunctionality, to avoid further wounding, pain, to gain favour, and now I know, to protect the other from themselves, to keep the status quo of the uncomfortable familiar.

As a child, an adolescent and as a young woman, my voice was never heard. It was silenced. That’s why I sang. I felt I had a “third arm”. I never told anyone about the abuse that happened. I never knew I could. I would be blamed, found guilty, deemed bad, spoilt, damaged goods. I never knew that I had emotions. I did not know what anger really was, never really naming it until decades later in therapy. I felt this deep, cavernous demon within, sitting there in her cave. She wanted out. No one came when she cried for help. No one. The silent voice holding secrets of the forbidden.

 Figure 4 Broomfield Park, London.

Instead, I excelled at humour, clowning, theatre, singing, hosting numerous parties, events, music weekends. I loved it. And yet deep down, so much terror, sadness, pain, loneliness. So much un-loved-ness.

As I have grown into love with myself, my close ones have also begun to open. I was recently listening to Brené Brown, and also reading her book “Daring Greatly” about vulnerability and risking. When we love we open ourselves out – like a flowering from within. We feel transported, elevated. When we begin to feel love in the place of fear, we inevitably become more vulnerable, as we risk opening our hearts more, our soft underbelly begins to appear. However, that does not mean that the ingrained, instinctual, habitual patterns stuck in that sweater of stuff instantly evaporates.

Through the medium of the love we share with another, through deepening in trust and kindness, we are invited to skilfully negotiate between the two, until such time as we really let go into ourselves and embrace the love that is within us. The love that we are fully, without expectation, demands or conditions from the other.

Today I am grateful. I have learnt a very telling lesson, that my ability to forgive and to take those beings back into my life, into my soul and into my heart, has not necessarily always paid off. Forgiveness does not mean condoning behaviour, nor having contact with those who have hurt us. They were repeats of past lessons unlearned. It was a necessary task and today, the lesson has been learnt well this time. I do not suffer this. I simply state during these early morning hours, that sometimes, when I try to be heard, I am overridden and become embroiled, in those toxic patterns of old-times, the body like a fire ablaze, the voice high in the chest, pitch and tone rising, the reactivity, the inflammation, the heat, the inevitable, uncontrolled anger. All through the mirror of the other. Sound familiar?

So, I now set myself the intention to remember and remember very well, that whatever another says, does, feels or acts, those elements belong to them. They have nothing to do with me, other than reflecting back to me my own deeper, shadow self, when I recognize something which touches me.

The practice is to listen, to feel inside my body, for any reaction which may come up, based in my own experience, my perception of what they say, think and feel. I remember that all interaction is of course relational, all thoughts, words, feelings, actions are perceived through the filters of our own mind, our own experiences, our own perceived reality. It is not a pure direct felt experience at the core of our being of what truly IS.

I listen, I breathe, I feel in my body. I do not react. I simply Be with the other person. That is my resolution, my practice. So through the intermediary of two beings in my life today, I am brought back to myself. Thank you for the trust of our connections. You have trusted enough and shown me your own pains, your own deep fears of love and opening. I have witnessed them. You have seen and witnessed mine. I have been able to open to love, and as I have softened, risked and dared greatly, the other softened. Some have retracted and retreated, fearful of any deep, meaningful, intimate connection. The heart closes again.

We all know this all too familiar comfort place. Yet, the two are not separate. We are invited to look at the fear and mistrust go hand in hand. To look at how our hearts shutdown and how our bodies contract with tension and pain. We are invited to look at how we feel when we are with another.

All of this process needs to be based on an inner trust, a deep knowing, that all is well, within me. And then, yes, there is a space for a voice. A voice to be heard. There is a space for anger. And if there is real love, holding and mutual respect, then all can be shared, discussed openly, the relationship remaining undisturbed, and growing more in safety and truth.

Roses from the South

If we’re stuck in an old pattern that is lived out, not by one person, but several people in parallel relationships, there is a reinforcement of the patterns which branch out further like a web. If we have an eye for intimacy – in-to-me-see -, we then have a light into ourselves. For a lighthouse in the dark shows the way home. If the light goes out, there is no light to bring us back to the heart of ourselves. There is no coming home. Drifting only in the ocean of illusion, delusion or fantasy is our only continuing reality.

It is never too late, whatever age we are, wherever we find ourselves, alone, together, family, hermit, yogi, to find love, truth and harmony. We are here in this body, for this lifetime.

When I am able to resonate with that which is true within me, THIS’is me, this body, this mind, these feelings, these emotions, I can connect with others. And I can also know that the longing, the deep yearning, the deep feelings, that I have, the insights within and without, is that my mind, my heart, my soul, will surrender to ‘THAT’ which is greater than myself. Then, and only then, will I be brought home. To be able to know that ‘THIS’ – the embodied soul – needs attention, requires watering like the plants and trees of the earth, for those unwanted energies to rise to the surface, to be honoured, to be thanked, to be released.

And in the dissolving of the old “arisings” there is a space for feeling who we really are. ‘THAT”

Sacred Lake at Karnak Egypt

Mohini Chatlani

“The Starfish Effect”

BLOG 6  4.8.2020

The Starfish Effect”

So today the first day after the full moon, I have decided to try my hand at blogging! I started a blog in 2016 which I published on my older website, which have now been included on the new website. At that time, I didn’t have any real understanding of what a blogger was, what is its purpose, why I would write one, what my intentions were and outcomes might be, how it could serve myself and others, or indeed, why I would write one in the first place.

So after this revelation this morning, I did a little research into the history of blogging and its subsequent development on the internet and going forward.

I was guided to two very good articles https://www.smamarketing.net/blog/what-is-the-purpose-of-a-blog andhttps://firstsiteguide.com/what-is-blog/   Thank you to these authors.

So I set to and set myself a task of answering some of the questions and comments raised in the two articles, which really focussed me on my intentions for the coming time.

It’s not that I don’t have anything else to do. I have so much! Those of you who know me either as family, friends or friends on social media, know that I actually am, mostly always, creating something, be it a music track, an album, a painting, a garden, looking after my mama. Some of you say “you’re amazing”. The “amazing-ness” is the God-spirit, Universal Energy or Power coursing through me, as a vehicle to illuminate my mind and potentially yours, to light up the fire within, so that we can live as authentically as we can as beings on the planet for a short while. I do not make any claim to the amazing-ness. I see it as a gift, one to be treasured, handled with care, and most importantly, to be shared.

Some of you may also know my seminal work “Yogaflows” published, to great acclaim in 2002. See www.heartspaceyoga.com my first website which has now been retired and remains only as a “static internet site” now included for posterity (!) into www.mohinichatlani.com as a form of reference or archival value.

Over the years of personal yoga and meditation practice, of personal western-style therapy and many more forms of self-inquiry, alternative therapies, trainings in yoga, massage, tai chi, qi gong, long stays in ashrams, yoga communities, sitting with “enlightened” masters, and more lately, online yoga classes and meditation sangha.

These experiences always led me to write. I wrote since very young. You know, for some us, it started with teenage journals. The thread (see a future post of the same name) was always, the need or the desire, or both, to write, to record, to hear my own inner voice through the writing, even if no one else heard it or read it. I needed to express myself, although at the time this was only an unconscious evolutionary impulse or urge. Ironically, I failed my English language ‘O’ Level no less than twice, succeeding on the 3rd time! That time, at secondary school, was heavy with unexpressed grief, inner turmoil, and total loss of identity after the very sudden and early demise of my beloved Daddy at age 11. Life took a most unexpected and painful turn, and it would never look like what I would have wanted it to ever again.

I have been working so hard on the new website recently, that my energy was quite “mangled” up yesterday. I began questioning what, was the purpose of a new website. My hand had been forced, when the platform I previously used for my then two separate websites, was decommissioned. I had to decide, do I want one, or not? Why? What for? I had, for a while, now, as I moved into a more eclectic synergy of my creative talents, that merging the two into one would be more sensible, feel more organic, and bring myself into balance with all the aspects and gifts I have been given to share. It was time. And then wait. Embracing the Pause.

So back to writing. This morning the day when I decided I would take the rest of the week off, the morning after the most wonderful connection with my students out on Chingford Plain last night for our second Tai Chi – Qi Gong, outdoor class. 

The communication between us, mostly silent, yet potent, nature holding us with the protection of trees, walkers with dogs, families with children, teens laughing and rolling around playfully on the grass, the world was a wonder to behold. I felt so different. We were all held in our grass circle. I was shown who I really am, through the mirror of nature, the stillness of the evening, the birthing of the full moon, the touching of the feminine and the groundedness within us all the beneath our feet, I realised and felt my purpose. To Be THAT which nature is, natural, organic, real, flowing, moving and bending with the elements, no resistance, no barriers. I had forgotten, momentarily, crouched behind a computer, on a chair, losing sight of the “pause”, often so pregnant with possibility.

So I feel, I have potentially been given the outlet of blogging, to share with you, whomever you are, my experiences, a little of my life stories, which may throw light on some of yours, to bring my website to life, through the writing, and as I write I feel the flow of creativity coursing through my fingers, that I can hardly keep up. How so? I feel you all out there you are with me now, as I write. What an interesting and rather curious and potent sensation this is. My purpose amongst others, is to inspire, to inform, to educate maybe to engage in an interactive process through comments, discussions, to provide tools for outreach and insight, to whet people’s appetite for more , all of which have their own legs, and to also forge a path to my new books, ready and waiting for publication at some point. The blogs may serve as an introduction to what may come either in hardback, kindle, download, who knows. The writings may take us to different places to explore, to expand, to inform, to enjoy and to live more vibrantly, more joyfully.

I leave you with this little teaching story, which I heard many moons ago, I don’t recall when or where, or who told it. So I call it “The Starfish Effect” and the reason I share this is to remind myself, that it is ok to start at zero, to write and be with as little expectations and conditions as possible, in everything we do and say, create and how we choose to live our lives.

A young boy was on a beach. A crowd of people were in the distance walking along the beach. They saw the boy moving, running on the sand towards the back of the beach, bending down, running rapidly towards the sea, lifting up his arm, making a gesture, then repeating the whole process over and over again. He was tired, wet and covered in sand and seaweed, yet determined, one-pointed, resolute.

As the group of people approached, they saw what the boy was doing and also they saw the beach was scattered with large dark objects. As they got nearer, they saw the objects were beached starfish.

They saw the boy was running to pick up one starfish after another, running back to the sea and throwing them back in so they survived. A man in the group, laughed out loud, and shouted arrogantly over to the boy “forget it boy, there are so many, it won’t make any difference”. And to that the boy replied, standing near the water, all the while holding one starfish high up above his head, as he threw the starfish into the water, retorting, loudly, and boldly “to this one it will”.

Herein lies the moral – for me if my actions, writings, songs, paintings, teaching, books, can inspire, help, make a difference, stir to emotions and more, then my work is done. It is such a wonderful principle to live by. Let us release any expectations, conditions or attachments to the outcome of our thoughts, words and actions. Living in the moment with the compulsion to act when necessary, and to hold back, equally, when the inner voice moves us to.

Blessings to All



Full Moon Feminine

BLOG 5 :2.8.20 It’s Full Moon Tomorrow, August 3rd, 2020

I felt it a propitious moment, day and time of the full moon, to launch my new website. It is a new beginning. It is the amalgamation of 23 years of Heartspace Yoga and 11 years of Mohini Chatlani.  The voice calling me to pull all the strands together to a complete whole. No more fragmentation or separation. At this time of my life, I feel more whole than ever,  I feel love in my life in my heart and being, as a visceral sense, as well as a spiritual, universal, powerful energy. This unprecendented time on the planet, one of global pandemic, one of complete lockdown on all society and humanity has, at the most, for me, on a personal level, been energetically potently charged, instrumentally educative and illuminatingly spiritual.  Many changes have occured, mostly if not wholly within.  Nothing, on the outside has changed very much. Once a yogi, always a yogi. Staying in is familiar to me. An urban hermit you could call me.

So I welcome you all to visit with me here. And thank you for doing so.  Yes I have a ton of experience, I have had several careers, one of which is not even mentioned here – the years spent at Unesco and other large banks and corporate environments, in my 20’s : they gave me great experinence – being a great organiser, a good left brain, and an excellent Office Manager!
And my soul longed for release into the creative arts. And here we are!

The full moon is represented here in this wonderful sculpture which I found at an antiques yard.  She is now in someone’s home no doubt. I’m not sure who she is, so let her be the Goddess and God within in one of us. I felt moved to feature it here as a reminder to both men and women, of our feminine, watery, emotional sides, our innate sensuality, sexuality both earthly, sacred and divine.

The Full Moon occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned and the Moon’s surface is fully illuminated by the reflection of the Sun’s light. The Full Moon marks the completion of the (waxing) cycle and the growth cycle of our intention. The Full Moon’s energy is at its peak and is very powerful.

The full moon has regenerative and restorative properties, particularly of our feminine energy. So be attentive to ‘meet yourself where you are’. You could ask yourself ‘what is it I want to illuminate in my life’? We can use the moon’s brilliant energy to see what is no longer serving our intentions. Maybe something needs releasing, so we can set our intention just after the moon begins to wane. It’s a great time to start a detox, releasing waste and toxins, on any or all levels of our being : emotional, physical, mental or spiritual. It is a great time to communicate anything of importance to a partner, to enhance our level of intimacy, as a path to renewed spiritual growth, expansion and transformation.

picture via Facebook : Full Moon Over Montreux, Switzerland

The full moon represents :
The height of power
The realisation of desires
It is a time to celebrate our growth
To take note of what progress we have made
To reflect on how far we have come
It is time to put the “lunatic” to bed!
It is a time of gratitude for our manifest desires
Those which have been brought to be
It is a time of connecting, nurturing and awakening the Divine Feminine – the moon being the watery aspect of the planets, connected to our emotions, sensuality and sensitivities.
It is a time to release the ego-desired manifestations and give thanks and surrender to the force greater than oneself.
Witnessing that which come to be, under Grace and in Divine and perfect ways, as our connection to Spirit gives birth to something Divine and Sacred to serve one’s greater purpose on Earth.
It is a time to release aspects and elements which no longer serve the grandest vision of our soul.
It is a time to realise and feel one’s highest potential and vision.
It is a time to feel one’s sensuality and creativity, our intimacy and sexuality.
It is time to awaken and connect our consciousness to the Ancient ones who have walked the Earth.
It is time to awaken and connect with our own Ancient Healer Self.
And it is time indeed, to open ourselves, to the field of Infinite Possibilities and Infinite Intelligence which comes through us in human form.
It Is Time!

picture via Facebook : Haven By The Sea B&B Inn

The Heart Of The Matter

BLOG 2 : 31.12.16  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.