Tuesday, 4 June 2013

London: Is home really where the heart is?

Heading Back to The Big Smoke

We flew into London last Wednesday for a few days of catching up with friends and the kirtan.  It's been a year since I was last in "The Big Smoke”. I travelled in and out of London several times last year completing my studies, and I still tend to experience a wave of nostalgia whenever I am on the train coming in from Gatwick Airport to London Bridge.

Tower Bridge, London

London was home to me from almost eight years of my life and I would consider it far more my home than anywhere else. I am not sure if I would want to still live in London though, after a challenging and amazing eight year relationship with the city, by the end I did feel it was time to move on to some other (possibly calmer) place. However, perhaps it was the familiarity of that train ride, possibly even the people and the sounds of the announcements on the train and drawing up into London Bridge Station that rekindled feelings much like reconnecting with an 'old friend'.  And then walking into the Underground felt like we had just picked up where we had left off almost as if I had never been gone.

What was particularly special about the venue for this particular kirtan, is that it was the first place I ever practiced Kundalini Yoga. Also it was the venue where I did my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training.  I was there regularly for a few years  and it was almost like another home for me. It was super cool to see this on the board when we walked in :)

Alchemy, the Centre where Love Transforms 

Rehearsal time

Harv tuning his tablas

Since my husband and I left London in 2011, we have not really settled anywhere and for a home-loving Cancerian (which is what I am) this was a real opportunity to stretch me out of my comfort zone. Since March 2011 we've been in a sort of limbo, unsure where to go, leaving our belongings in storage with friends in a few different countries. Perhaps that of'times tempestuous relationship (for both of us) with London from 2004 to 2011 cut so deeply that we have become slightly commitment phobic when it comes to deciding on the next place to settle down. Nevertheless, through the experiences from the last couple of years, I have learnt a powerful lesson in non-attachment. I have come to recognise that home really is where the heart is. And I am not talking metaphorically, but rather within the actual body. The tiniest particles (or Kalapas as the Buddha called them) that make up my physical shell, they house me and are my home. So no matter where I may be or what I may be doing, I am always home. What else could I possibly need as a home other than a healthy body that allows me to experience the aching beauty and the sublime suffering of this reality?

Believe it or not, it's a comforting thought for me. In fact, I have enough trouble keeping this home clean and in order, let alone a bigger one with actual furniture in it! (Chuckle)

The kirtan begins!

There is a mantra on my album which was the first mantra I ever began to work with; Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha. This phrase is known as the Heart Sutra and is the mantra to calm all suffering. There are many ways of interpreting this mantra however my personal favourite is: “Gone, gone, gone to the Other Shore, attained the Other Shore having never left” because it really applies to me and my journey over the last several years.

And as I see it, using this mantra has helped me to release my preconceived ideas and belief systems of how life SHOULD be (beliefs that have often kept me chained like a prisoner) so that I may now be free to move closer to my own enlightenment and to really be open to all the wonderful opportunities this life has to offer.

Do you perhaps have some preconceived ideas that no longer serve you?  This is the mantra for you: http://sarabdeva.bandcamp.com/track/gate-gate

Kirtan at Alchemy Centre, Camden, London

Kirtan at Alchemy Centre, Camden, London

A big thank you to the Alchemy Centre for hosting our London kirtan last weekend in their beautiful and peaceful space in Camden: http://www.alchemythecentre.co.uk/

A special thank-you to Harvinder Sidhu for accompanying me on tabla.

Also thank-you to all the participants who gave their energy, devotion and voices to the mantras and thank-you to my new friend Alexander for blogging about this kirtan! 
When you have a moment, please check out what he had to say :http://everybodydies.net/2013/06/03/proof-of-heaven/

With love, Sarab Deva xx

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