Excerpt from Tadhg’s Journal: Today, I visited the Festival of Mind, Body & Spirit Festival (aka Wellbeing Festival) – it’s one of my yearly visits I like to make, when in London, and it was great.
This year there were some familiar faces there, and some new ones, too – all cheerful, welcoming, and willing to talk honestly and passionately about what they believe, and engage in conversation.
As I walked around the ‘buzz’ of indistinct conversations could be heard, the familiar and rhythmic sound of drumbeats gave way to bells and chants, and then laughter would fill the air; and then the sound of the occasional ‘boom’ of a ten foot gong being struck would reverberate and ‘cocoon’ my body. One sound giving away to another, and mixing in a delightful, spiritual and uplifting ‘cacophony’ in the process.
The smells were delightful, too. In one aisle primrose and essences of other wild flower predominated as people sprayed essence in a ‘circle’ and others ‘walked’ through it, only to give way to the delightful and mystical smell of frankincense as I turned the corner, then joss-sticks, then scented candles would fill the air with an ancient-future aroma, and then sage from ‘smudging’ would fill ones nostrils as bystanders were cleansed and blessed. Truly a wonderful experience.
Here’s an outline of some of the ‘stands’ – I didn’t have time to attend any of the eclectic and numerous workshops, sadly.
My friend, well more of an acquaintance, whose ‘thing’ is past life regression was there. There were ‘stands’ for healing, for transformation, for physical exercise (with people hanging upside down!), others were advertising spiritual and/or mystical retreats on various northern islands that dot the coast to the north of the UK, and others were selling crystals, candles, tie-died fabric in glaring colours (had I travelled back to the sixties?), and others were selling flutes, ‘singing bowls’, and smellies of all sorts.
There were three Christian ‘stands’: ‘The Jesus Experience’ offering free prayer (which was well-attended, though not so when I took the photo), Dekhomai, and a very colourful and busy ‘Transformed By Light’.
I had a discussion with some of the people staffing those ‘stands’, and did spy one or two familiar faces.
And, then I saw the Orgasmic Meditation ‘stand’! I had wondered, and indeed did ask one guy on that ‘stand’ if the word ‘orgasmic’ was intentionally displayed to ‘arrest’ attention, and did say that if the meditation they were offering was worth anything – and I do believe in the effectiveness and benefits of meditation – but that if it was truly effective they wouldn’t need to use such an ‘interesting’ word to preface it. However, I quickly discovered that is was the word ‘meditation’ that was the misnomer, the ‘red herring’, and the emphasis was on ‘Orgasmic’. This group, and I don’t want to do them an injustice by being too brief, were of the opinion that many people were sexually repressed, and so ran workshops etc in what I would call ‘foreplay’! I found the transition from innocuous-looking ‘stand’ to group sex rather odd, and I’m sure they wouldn’t frame it quite the way I have, but there you go. But I do want to thank the guy I got into conversation with, for his openness, honesty and respect of other peoples views.
The ‘Free’ stage was well used, and when it was time to put my feet up for twenty minutes my soul was ‘quenched’ by delightful flute music – that was relaxing, ethereal, uplifting and entertaining.
One of my favourite places is the Urban Chillout Zone.
This is a kind of open yurt – place of rest and relaxation, and meditation, where one can collect ones thoughts and reflect, and it’s right in the centre of the festival, and full of like-minded seekers. Awesome camaraderie.
And, then there were a myriad of other bright and colourful ‘stands’, and people dressed in white ‘chemist’ coats (healers), others with metallic-gold ‘coat hangers’ on their heads (for inter-dimensional communication), and others in fantastic costumes that wouldn’t look out of place in ‘Merlin’ the tv program.
But I say this not to ridicule them, but to thank them for cheering up the place, for making me smile and feel ‘at home’, for being courageous with their views, and for being so welcoming and inclusive.
An awesome event.