Why does balance matter? and what does it mean to be 'spiritual' these days?
There are so many people talking, writing, tweeting about wellness, soul connections, body and soul, nature wisdom and being person centred as a spiritual way of living, but what does it mean? and why is it important?
Sally Beamish will forever be an inspiration to me. The memory of meeting her very early one morning at Brantwood, to assist in the Biodynamic preparation for the field, will be treasured. Although at the time I was unaware of my future involvement with the Biodynamic Association and why that memory has awaken in me a passion with purpose.
I sometimes wonder why I moved to the Lake District, setting aside moving to be closer to family, the outstanding natural beauty and being closer for exploring Scotland. Then I remember chance meetings, such as meeting Sally and my heart skips a beat with excitement, and I feel in the right place for now.
I've been attending the Step by Step Biodynamic Gardening Course supported by Ruskin Mill Land Trust, led by Sally Beamish and Vivien Griffiths with Brantwood being one of the locations for study. I think I still have midge bites as battle scars from another early morning biodynamic preparation stirring, this time with the group from the course.
After our morning session in the classroom we ventured into the gardens to see the work of Sally and others over the years since she started to reestablish Ruskin's garden.
Visiting Brantwood, walking round the garden and the house, if you are able to allow your mind to empty, to open yourself to sensing the surroundings, there is a beauty that comes to you, with tranquility and grace, softly taking you to another place and firmly rooting you back into yourself. This is what I call my spirituality, that reconnecting to all that I am, mind, body and soul in physical form and spiritually present.
I realise that I have much to learn and nothing else to do but absorb it all at the same time. We need to put ourselves in a place of peace in order to be aware. That can be in the midst of chaos, when there is little chance of gongs, candles and josh sticks yet we can bring those things to mind and be transported. It can work for a short time at least. Or we can venture into sacred spaces in towns and cities, city parks or community buildings.
In my practice I speak a lot about having highly developed ninja skills, being entertaining to get the message across in a grounded fashion. Looking into it further I found these notes...Number 1 Ninja School training...
For a ninja to be effective they were taught to be aware of themselves via
The 7 Elements of Seishin Teki Kyoyo,
the spiritual refinement
, to be in the moment at all times, without anything clouding their mind
Self knowing – Knowing oneself, motivations, needs and understanding Knowledge of nature – This effectively was a knowing and knowledge of reality The calling – Understanding destiny Harmony – To be like still water on a river bank The heart – To be able to understand, to have empathy The eye – To see clearly Love – Love for oneself and others
Biodynamics is most definately ninja, it's got a va va voom universally known by those who have delved into finding out more. Anyone who has savoured the Weleda products I use will have opened themselves to a greater depth of connection to nature and how it can work in harmony for our bodies, our minds and on a soul level, in all that it offers us. In it's bounty through our food, preparations into medicines or in it's entirety in locations.
Sally understood this and recognised in the work of Ruskin, what he was wanting to achieve at Brantwood. Her living legacy are the gardens at Brantwood, the biodynamic section of the pasture overlooking Coniston and in all of us who had the privilege in knowing her.
Even more now do I see the importance of nurturing places for nature to show us all that we can learn from it, to better understand our own natures and all that we can be.