Friday, 20 July 2007

Quest & An Update

I know I have not written for a while but I wanted to wait until I had something to say and to not just write for the sake of it.

For a week in the beginning of July me and Mike went on holiday to Devon and we had a fantastic time. Not only did we manage to bag ourselves one whole week of sunshine every day when camping we managed to have some amazing energetic experiences.

From the Thursday until the Monday we camped at Newton Abbot Racecourse where the Quest Natural Health Show was on and it was an absolutely beautiful festival. It normally rains at this festival and everyone was very surprised at the excellent sunshine we had.

I had some lovely experiences but most of all being part of something so high energy and loving was really special. It felt like we were all in a bubble which protected us from outside the racecourse everyone felt really happy there. I have not experienced something like that for so long. ) and as much as I have heard Jonathan Goldman chant I have never heard the harmonics quite like this man. I never realised the human voice could make those sounds.
All day you could hear drumming, didgeridoos and singing. Sitting outside my tent, burning my nag champa incense, reading a book and feeling the beat of many djembe drums travelling through the earth from the main marquee was beautiful.

I enjoyed an amazing shamanic circle where we were guided on a journey and had a powerfully intimate experience with my power animal the clarity in the experience amazed me. Afterward I had to go back to my tent eat lots of chocolate biscuits (don’t need an excuse for that by the way!) and it took me a good 1 ½ hours to ground myself, that is how powerful this circle was.

Another part of my favourite part of Quest was listening to overtone chanting in the stage tent. It was carried out by Nestor Kornblum (check out his site

Michael was shocked to find out after spending an hour lying down in the stage tent receiving this healing energy that the sounds were coming from his voice and not a synthesiser. This made me laugh as I had pointed it out to him earlier but he just did not get it until he got up close to this gentlemen at his exhibition stand and saw it for himself. They also used didgeridoos and other instruments it was such a peaceful powerful experience (how many times can I use the word powerful and beautiful in one blog entry hehe!).

I thoroughly enjoyed getting up each day and going for a morning yoga or morning Tai Chi. I did try something called an Osho Dynamic meditation also which I have to admit was entertaining and highly energetic for an early start after a night in a tent. I prefer five rhythms dancing as leaping up and down with my hands above my head for 10 minutes shouting hoo hoo hoo was… ahem… not really my cup of tea. I am one for the unusual, but this was a bit daft to me. I prefer dancing and moving and if I want to scream and shout (another part of the osho meditation) I can do it when it feels right for me.

Some people their had never experienced screaming or expressing their feelings in this way in the privacy of their own homes never mind with a bunch of strangers, for me it was something of the usual as I’m partial to a bit of screaming like a banshee when I’m pissed off.

Mike did a sweat lodge with a lady called Barbara Meiklejohn-Free which he said was okay but not something he would do again. I did a workshop with her many years ago and had even purchased tickets for 2 of her workshops including a sweat lodge but my instincts said to cancel and get a refund and from what Mike said my instincts were right.

There were nearly 30 people at the lodge in two rows in a circle. To me this goes against everything I feel is perfect for spiritual experiences and releasing. My friend Sharon has been to a sweat lodge with as many people too and she said they were told to pee where they sat and I am sorry but I find this not very pleasant for a loving communion with my inner self. She said she was in the front row and felt a warm liquid going under her ass as the guy behind her peed.

Now come on this is just way too westernised bullshit for me and I’m pretty open-minded as you can see from my blog. Mike said they were also encouraged to do the same, but thankfully nobody did. He also said their was so many their one guy got burnt by the stones, so no safety precautions were put in place. Perhaps the magnetics of the pound sign overran the organisers considerations on this?

The sweat lodge I did a while ago in the Cotswolds (see here ) was small and intimate and an amazing experience I doubt many people could experience this in such a large group, in such a small area.

Mike also did a lot of drumming circles and he was introduced to some people I feel are lovely drumming facilitators – Scott Jasper and Susan Garlick of Dragonfly Moon (their site can be found here Scott is totally devoid of egocentric behaviour, a loving compassionate man who is a perfect teacher. Susan is utterly lovely and caring in her attitude to teaching and communicating too so if you ever get the chance and are interested in drumming these guys are top class!

Each evening at Quest we were entertained by live music my favourite evening was the Friday where Nigel Shaw and Carolyn Hillyer played, the whole marquee exploded into an array of dancing and the atmosphere was electric.

On the final day at Quest probably around 100 people took part in a drumming circle led by Scott and some of us got in the centre and danced our asses off. Not something you get the opportunity to do very often with an array of live drumming and singing which was so much fun!

Overall it was very special. I enjoyed wandering slowly around the food stalls, having pancakes for breakfast, sitting by the tables and chatting to whoever turned up, wandering the new age stalls and generally chilling out a whole lot.

As we left I felt very emotional, it was scary leaving this bubble of love (I know it sounds cheesy but that is what it felt like) and so we spent 4 nights in another campsite on the Devon Coastline at Dawlish to help integrate back into ‘normal’ life. For this I was very very grateful.

At Dawlish we had a fantastic pitch as backing our tent was a row of trees which I felt very supported by and loved. I thoroughly enjoyed such a close connection to the earth on this holiday and really enjoyed the fresh air and absence of solid walls. We visited places during the day, walked along the coast and sat reading outside the tent in the evening. I really got into some of the Shamanic books we had purchased and found an amazing book called Plant Spirit Shamanism by Ross Heaven which totally opened my eyes to the plant kingdom and the earth. I will talk about this more in another blog.

On the Friday we drove back to Gloucester, it was tough for both of us, to go from peaceful tranquillity to a busy motorway traffic jam to being hemmed into four solid walls in our flat it has taken some time to adjust. I would like more connections like this and more vacations in the great outdoors, I know my soul yearns for this more.

And a home in the countryside would be a real pleasure to have.


  1. Haha! The only time I've ever heard of good sweat lodge experiences is with a more intimate group - like no more than 5 - and it's something that's worked up to weeks in advance so you are not strangers when you actually get in the lodge.

    Someone wasn't thinking on that one.

  2. Hiya Latrelle, yeah I just dont get it, to me a sweat lodge is a beautiful sacred experience, I think too many leaders are full of ego and wanting tonnes of money to back in the asses into the lodge. I would be horrified if someone peed behind me, where is the sacredness in that?

  3. I was in the sweat lodge at the same time there was only 22 people, we where told that rather then step out of the lodge and break the sacred space if we needed to go to the bathroom,in an emergancy to allow this to happen, i have been going to barbaras sweatlodges for over 10 years,and it is an amazing experience, she has been working with the native elders for a long time and is a sun dancer, a kinder more loving person i would ever wish to meet, i was the one who burnt my feet it was my fault not barbaras.
    thank you and blessings

  4. Hi David, I am glad the lodge worked for you.

    The thought of sitting in a lodge with 2 circles of people feels totally not right for me. I enjoyed my intimate lodge of around 8 people, we all had an opportunity to drum and sing and make intentions and release when needed. Also the added benefit of being able to lie with my face on the earth at times was an even more wonderful experience, I couldnt imagine their being much room to move in a lodge of 22 or more.

    I forgot to put the link to it on the above thread so will add it now but here it is :,if you are interested. It took place in the Cotwolds.

    While I do not doubt that Barbara may have worked with native elders for some time her workshops did not feel right for me at Quest this year.

    Kelly x



Great to connect.


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