Laugh and Cry Until You Understand Everything: My Experience with the Ananda Mandala Meditation

I knew Ananda Mandala could be a powerful, life changing experience, but I did not expect to loose control of my body in the way that I did. ‘Ananda Mandala’ means “bliss circle” in Sanskrit, and is an intense breathing meditation that was developed at a university in India. Originally it was a method practiced by yogis to release deep seated emotions and reach a higher level of consciousness. It’s usually done in groups, but I choose to do it sitting across from my partner in the comfort of our room. This turned out to be a good decision when I ended up lying down, crying heavily and with snot dripping out of my nose… not my finest moment.

We chose to do a guided meditation on YouTube through a speaker, and I knew before I began that I would have to really commit to it. It’s physically demanding on the body, in the way that you have to breathe in and out very fast and there are not that many breaks. I had already decided to commit fully this time. I had tried a similar breathing practice before that I found difficult to commit to and so didn’t really experience fully, whereas this time I decided to open myself fully to the Ananda journey.

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How Surfing Helped Me Regain Trust in the Universe

“I am not going to give you a destination. I can only give you a direction- awake, throbbing with life and the unknown, always surprising, unpredictable. I’m not going to give you a map. I can give you only a great passion to discover. Yes, a map is not needed; great passion, great desire to discover is needed.” – Trust, OSHO

I have experienced moments in the last few years where I have struggled to have total faith in the universe. Since then I have come to understand that personal doubt, lack of confidence, anxiety and depression all stem from an underlying lack of trust in the world. Without trusting your path, without trusting the process that is unfolding for you, you can become unbalanced and may begin to feel lost. Many of us have been there, I’ve definitely been there more than once. In the past, I might have referred to ‘anxiety’, but that word is so loaded with negative connotations, I prefer not to use it much anymore. When I came across “lack of trust in the universe” as a description for anxiety in a book which explains the spiritual significance of illness’ it immediately resonated with me, and has since helped me to understand my own limitations.

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Transcending the Material World

When I have sat down to do my daily yoga practice recently, I have immediately felt a strange, yet comforting sensation. I close my eyes, shutting out the outside world and am faced with nothing other than my own consciousness and an occasional thought from the rational mind. What I feel is a sense that this is so much more real than anything else I experience on a daily basis, which is really an illusion, or a game, in which I am a mere player. It is a sense that the relationship I have with my ‘higher self’ is more important than anything in the materialistic world. Sometimes, when the rational mind stops and I look at myself as though looking at my higher self in a mirror, I feel something that is like home.

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Cruising the Caribbean: Finding Waves on Central America’s East Coast

Exploring the Caribbean side of Costa Rica & Panama, and finding waves no one talks about…

It was July, and we were in Pavones: home to the “best waves in Costa Rica”, and the longest left-breaking wave in the world, so legend has it. Our expectations were high, we had arrived in the dark with our surfboards, unprepared for the lack of services but looking forward to the famous wave. Pavones is a cute town on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and a place where talk constantly revolves around the subject of waves (my kind of people).

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Quinoa with Basil Pesto


I was surprised at how easy and amazingly delicious this recipe was. It’s a great, simple and quick meal for anyone following a plant-based diet or anyone who likes quinoa and wants to be healthy. Most of the ingredients are easy to find in most countries, and a lot can be swapped out for others. If you like nuts, feel free to add pine nuts to the pesto, it also works fine without though. Tastes great with a chunky salad on the side (carrots, tomato’s, basil, cucumber, radish etc.) Enjoy!
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Why Bees are the Boss (+ 5 Recommended Health Foods)


Bees play an essential role in our world’s ecosystem. They labour away to keep their hive, queen and their fellow bees alive, and by extracting and consuming their extra honey and other products we can experience amazing health benefits. Flax seeds and chia seeds are vital sources of protein, and play a secret role in vegan baking. The ancient Japanese tea kombucha has been claimed to lift the mood, and papaya is one of the softest foods your body can digest. Read on to find out more about these superfoods.

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Lima’s Flower Display Celebrates Semana Santa and the Beginning of Spring


Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week, is one of the most celebrated festivities in Peru. The country has been Catholic since the 15th century Spanish invasion, but has a much longer history of practicing ritual and tradition. If it were even possible for Peru’s bustling capital to become even busier, Semana Santa is the week when it does. Whilst this can be a problem when you’re trying to buy flowers and the queue is longer than the street you’re on, there are ways Peruvians celebrate this occasion which are delightful and surprising. The flower display in Surco is particularly striking, and represents Lima’s appreciation for the Catholic faith, as well as an ability to organise a social event in style.

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