I'm a freelance writer and yogi living in Tepoztlan, Mexico where I'm running www.casadelcorazon.mx with my girlfriend. You can keep up with my other writing on www.bollocks2thewellingtons.com/
Published May 21st 2018
Find a heart path and improve your life
I sometimes feel that my spiritual path is too scattered. Meditation and yoga, sound healing and energy work, chanting and tai chi, tantra and cacao. Perhaps at some point, I need to dig a well into the heart of something in order to really reach the depth. Or maybe all of these practices are in themselves little openings into my own heart, which, after all, is where I'm really trying to get to. With this in mind, I found myself getting up early and heading across town for another workshop.
A grey Saturday in East London may not normally be the most inspiring location, but for around 50 open-minded folk last weekend, it was ripe for an exploration into relationships.
Led by the team from Path Of Love, a weeklong intensive process designed to open participants to their truest nature by delving deeply into the shadow side of their personalities and opening their hearts, this taster just offered an inkling to what the full workshop entails.
Abigail Peters and Rafia Morgan were our leaders as we experienced dynamic meditation, situational therapy, inquiry exercises and transformational breathwork, leading into ecstatic dancing. Rafia developed these workshops after years living as a follower of controversial Indian Sage Osho Rajneesh, recently featured in the Netflix documentary series "Wild, Wild Country". Abigail is a London based therapist with big, beautiful energy whose beaming smile and laugh brought immediate lightness and joy to the room.
Such a range of diversity in a short day kept things moving in a flow which was tenderly held although you could hardly say the experience itself was gentle.
Touching on some challenging topics such as parents and relationship needs while in a state of openness, seems to lead to an even greater exposition of emotion.
I found the situational exercises we did around our parents very interesting and I've found a greater insight into how my parents behave with me as a result. Recognising the emotion that my mum has and the need for her to be close was felt quite clearly and I understood the sense of grasping or suffocation that I sometimes feel when we interact from the other side.
Then recognising the relationship with my Dad as a dance between worlds, a caring but misunderstanding in many ways. A need for acceptance and a display of pride but the disconnect being there mainly due to differences in the way that we choose to live. I've made a conscious decision to make different life choices but this doesn't need to be a source of separation actually. It's okay to be different.
This exercise went deep for many and there were tears, anger and all kinds of emotion in the room but the overall feeling of catharsis and joy in reflection was clear by the time we finished.
After a short lunch, we came back for small group sharing exercises. "If you were in an intimate relationship with me you would find that I..." and "What I need from an intimate relationship is..." simple enough sentences but once you go around the circle a few times and people begin to open up, real depth begins to emerge and maybe something pops out that you didn't realise you were holding onto or expect to be sharing with complete strangers.
We finished with a breathing exercise, first in connection with others, moving around the space and interacting with people through the breathing in different ways as guided. I felt opening on a physical level as the breath we were doing lowered the co2 levels and brought about a certain altered state and the connections allowed a play with others, feeling less sense of separation, less of an end point of "me" and a beginning point of "other". After some time doing this, we returned to our individual places and continued a guided internal journey through energy centres while still continuing the breathing. As we brought the sexual energy up from the lower centres and were encouraged to stand and then dance the room exploded into an ecstatic party until the music stopped and we were left in a sweaty mess.
Different people will have different experiences from these events. I found it eye-opening, refreshing and ecstatic but I spoke to at least one other participant who had found it touched him more in a cathartic way, lots of tears and clearing. I guess as we peel back layers there are always things that will come up to challenge us and while one day the experience might be unparallelled joy, the next might be deep grief. This work allows one to explore these varied emotional states in a very safe, well held, loving and encouraging environment. There were many participants of the seven day POL journey who could not sing its praises highly enough and for many of the relative newbies (me included), it was encouraging to have people who had gone through the process and were coming back for more, really down to a love of the work.