His Holiness the Dalai Lama enlightens a welcoming audience of thousands
Taste the sunshine whatever the weather, with our sumptuous summertime recipes
The economic crisis needs to be addressedâ€Ś but creating solutions is our biggest challenge
The Green Life
Eco-enthusiasts tell all; whatâ€™s it like to live off-grid?
Issue No. 13 Summer 2012
Pg 7 Manchester hosts inspiring speech by HH Dalai Lama...
Unit 19, The Coach House 2 Upper York Street Bristol BS2 8QN 0117 924 0901 www.inspiredtimesmagazine.com
Magazine Coordinator/Editor: Sharon Henshall Sub-Editor: Rebecca Day Production Editor: Sharon Henshall Cover Image: Becky Cooke Artworker: Persephone Coelho
5 The Inspired Journey
email@example.com No part of this magazine can be reproduced without consent. All rights reserved. No responsibility will be accepted for errors or omissions, or comments made by writers or interviewees. © Inspired Times
Kim Taggart speaks of her experience visiting the Dalai Lama in Manchester
8 Yoga for Peace Day
14 Summer Fare
Whatever the weather, taste the sunshine with our delicious summer delicacies
18 The Occupy Movement
Liam Corcoran discusses how creating solutions proves to be one of the largest obstacles facing the Occupy Movement
22 The Green Life
With International Peace Day around the corner, find your inner peace with Devaki and her sensational yoga classes
Eco-enthusiasts, Em Magenta and Nigel Clarke, tell all about what it’s like to take the plunge and live off-grid
REGULARS 2 Welcome
16 Inspiring Getaways
Editor, Sharon Henshall welcomes you to our thirteenth edition of Inspired Times and our first online issue.
3 Have Your Say
Readers send in their musings... from NLP to Japanese haiku verse.
4 Inspiring Tales
Rebecca Day shares the stories behind some beautifully woven rugs and an inspirational global project.
Advertising: Sharon Henshall
Step through time as Inspired Times editor Sharon Henshall shares her journey from print to embracing the digital age
7 Powerful Words
Contributors: Sharon Henshall/Rebecca Day Dr Partap Chauhan/Devaki Cat Ford/Steph Codsi Jake Procter/Kim Taggart Samantha Holman/David Jacobs Jamie Richards/Shane Jordan Anna Middleton/Clare Wener Liam Cocoran/Em Weirdigan Em Magenta/Nigel Clarke
To give you a helping hand on your spiritual journey we review a couple of newly released inspiring books...
Dr Partap Chauhan, a regular contributor in the early days of Inspired Times, returns to give us some advice on our diet during the summer season.
Some bit-sized bits of eco-news from Jake Procter... catch up on all the latest.
24 Inspired Times Goodies Guide
10 Exciting Events 2012
Head into the fields this summer for some uplifting alternative celebrations. Follow up your inspiration by embarking on Schumacher College’s latest MSc course... Holistic Science.
Steph Codsi highlights two great projects working to improve their communities. Local Greens in South London is sharing some lettuce love, whilst Creative Arts inspire young people in their annual International Youth Arts Festival.
Looking to nourish the soul? Clare Wener writes about her yoga retreat experience with Inspired Times’ writer, Lila Conway.
Take your pick from our selection of eco & holistic goodies.
26 Eco Shopping & Classifieds 28 Inspiring Individuals With Peace Day creeping closer (21st September), Cat Ford shares the story of Jeremy Gilley... the man behind this amazing annual affair. She finds his passion contagious and his achievements truly astounding.
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
spreading the spirit of inspired times As we step into the fourth year of Inspired Times magazine – something, which seems amazing in itself – we also step into a new era. It’s time to move with the tide and become a free online e-magazine. The journey so far has been tough but amazing... you can read more about this and our reasons for the shift on page 5. We are looking for help in the transition to digital, so if anyone involved in this world has advice, tips and ideas... we’d love to hear from you. Moving with the flow is sometimes the only option to stay afloat, but change can bring an array of unexpected benefits. I have a passion for print but I’m now eager to become a digital devotee! So, let’s get to our thirteenth issue – I grew up living at number thirteen, so thankfully I’m not superstitious. Our stunning front cover, which brings nature and spirituality together, has been created by Becky Cooke, who will be taking on this task for the coming year. She has been illustrating within our pages for over a year now and has such talent. At this point I may suggest that if you’re in the full screen viewing of Issuu, it’s often easier to use in the ‘drag’ mode. There are symbols at the top that allow you to choose this. You can then easily move your way around our double
page spreads before flicking to the next page. All web addresses are direct links, but this will jump you out of the magazine. As you step inside we have plenty of fabulous articles for you. Kim Taggart enthuses about the speech in Manchester by HH the Dalai Lama, and we have our tasty summertime recipes for you to enjoy by some ‘foodies’, who have contributed to us over the years. Liam Corcoran looks at the Occupy movement and the issues surrounding its cause, whilst Rebecca Day puts some questions to a couple of off-grid enthusiasts. We have our usual festival guide – they’ll be great fun whatever the weather! Please share our link far and wide, as well as liking us on Facebook – we’d love our on-line community to continue with us along our ever-evolving journey.
(Magazine Coordinator/Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
Becky Cooke has been beautifully illustrating layouts for Inspired Times for well over a year. As we step into the fourth year of existence, Becky takes on the challenge of the front cover design – we always choose a new artist for the four issues per year.
Kim Taggart is a freelance writer from Manchester who writes on topics that adhere to positive futurism and spirituality. In addition to Inspired Times she has written for Positive News, The Bury Independent and the Mirror.
The idea behind the front cover of this issue was to bring spirituality and nature together, through Becky’s love and creative flair for geometric shapes. Her profound connection with the magazine’s ethos has allowed Becky to produce inspired designs that truly bring our pages to life. Becky’s illustrations have been so wonderful, that we have recently incorporated some of her drawings into gift cards which we sell online and at events. Her work displays
a great sense of versatility – Becky also designed the page layout for our sister publication, Backpax – a funky free pocket mag for budget travel in Britain. There’s no end to this lady’s talent! When not working in the design world, Becky enjoys baking cakes (we know first hand that they taste delicious!), attending gigs and squeezes in some travel. She lives in Bristol with her boyfriend Kip and Ragdoll cat, Megatron.
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
Her natural altruistic tendencies are what led her to a career in writing. She has spent years being concerned for depleting planetary resources and lost
tribal cultures. Her reverence for nature and love for culture makes her hope that one day, the two will be compatible. Before becoming a mother she worked as an Outdoor Environmental Tutor for a residential centre in Dorset. Here, she learned how to engage city-children with nature and awaken their senses. Kim has also worked in television and is currently a singer in a band. She loves music and has won a ‘Best Social Commentary Award’ for a documentary about Knockengorroch, a world-roots music festival in Scotland. She lives in hope that more and more counter-cultural ideas will be taken up by the mainstream media.
If there is anything you’d like to tell us about; thoughts on life, fun events, hobbies etc., please email us: email@example.com
I have a vision...
It is not news that positivity is infectious - as the saying goes “smile and the world smiles with you.” Here’s the thing that I have learnt by being an NLP Coach (Neuro Linguistic Programming) - negative emotions are four times stronger than positive ones! A scary thought in this time where we are so easily influenced by the media and the stresses of everyday life. Have you ever watched a child switch their emotions on and off? Hungry = frustrated, get fed = happy, lost toy = sad, funny face = happy! At what point did we learn to remember to carry our negative emotions around with us? Being in a positive state not only makes us and others around us feel better, but puts us in a much more resourceful state, so we notice new opportunities and become ‘luckier’ people. I have been in Bristol for a few months now, and I want to let as many people know about the NLP way of thinking as possible, so I have got together with some ladies to compliment the coaching package; looking at nutrition, fitness, image and your thoughts and behaviours at the unconscious level. To get the ball rolling we are having a launch party for the local ladies of the South West in September, starting locally but thinking globally. I know us ladies love to talk so my hope is that it will be a snowball effect! Long term, I’d love to get into schools. I know that some teachers are trained in NLP, which is great; our children are our future - as parents, what do we teach them at the unconscious level? What we think about life and about ourselves will have an impact on them. So I have a vision.... and that vision is to make the world a better place. Are you in? Perhaps you can start with a smile. Samantha Holman, Bristol - www.holsamlifecoaching.com
haiku: sushi-sized verse
I used to produce the occasional haiku when writing mainstream poetry, but never envisaged I would turn to it full-time. Whilst I was published in most of the literary and poetry periodicals over the years plus three slim volumes, the response from haiku journals was more enthusiastic.
The reason might be that I was more enthusiastic writing haiku than other forms of verse. Haiku is difficult to define. It broadly seeks to crystallise an instance in all its fullness and has affinities to Zen. The Haiku Society of America has defined it thus: a poem recording the essence of a moment keenly perceived, in which nature is linked to human nature. Usually a haiku in English is written in three unrhymed lines of seventeen or fewer syllables. Herein is the difficulty. Haiku originated in Japan (Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki the best known) with a strict 5:7:5 syllable count. This format doesn’t necessarily work in English where saying the equivalent takes fewer words and syllables – usually around 12 – 14 (syllables). Some haiku poets make the correspondence with Japanese in stresses rather than syllables, resulting in a 2:3:2 stress count. But most haiku poets have free rein. Haiku poems tend to “show” rather than “tell”, leaving the reader to complete the picture or story – the unsaid. A good haiku may result in what is termed an “aha” moment when the reader gets it – possibly akin to the solving of a koan. The haiku below will be included in my next volume, which should appear later this year or early next and will contain just haiku. Perfecting the form has probably become my life’s work – the rest of it anyway! a day of rain the street cleaner clears one puddle into another
another hook comes off the curtain rail autumn chill
Chrysanthemum 11 (April 2012)
station name at exactly the right place the doors open Blithe Spirit 22(2) (May 2012)
coming ashore at their own pace oarsman’s ripples Paper Wasp 17(4) (Spring 2011) Carving Darkness/Red Moon Anthology of English language haiku 2011
David Jacobs, London
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” Dalai Lama inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
by Rebecca Day
bringing his mother’s love of nature into our homes, Mark Vaughan sells stunning rugs, all woven in Nepal, based on her abstract art. Throughout her life, Pip Benveniste applied her beautiful artistic talent to a lasting career creating exceptional visionary pieces; from paintings and designs, to photography and finally, rugs.
a textile-based design firm called Crysede. In a sense the Land Rugs project was a return to Pip’s creative roots, through encompassing her father’s love for textiles in her final creations.
Pip passed away in 2010, having had a small number of rugs woven in India. Her request to develop her project beyond the initial 14 designs led her son, Mark Vaughan, to embark upon an inspirational journey, expanding her initial rug design portfolio to 46 designs. Land Rugs – www.landrugs.com – was established by Mark in January 2011 as an ethical trade operating from Bristol. He decided to switch to using Nepalese and Tibetan weavers for a number of good reasons – his mother’s affection for the Tibetan culture being one, especially the teachings of the Dalai Lama. The local people of the Kathmandu Valley and Tibetans, who have found refuge here, have carefully and intricately woven yarn gathered from sheep grazing in the Himalayas. They’re creating magnificent rugs that entail wondrous stories, all encapsulated within Pip’s artwork. A personal favourite is the ‘Near and Far’ rug design – an abstract painting which was inspired by Dorset’s rolling hills.
Pip had a profound connectedness to the world, and her earnest love for serene landscapes and invigorating colour is displayed through her inspiring artwork. She experimented with a range of different materials, including oil, acrylic, watercolours and etching, all inspired by the magnificent landscapes of the West and the tranquil spirituality of the East.
Born in Newlyn – a vibrant fishing village in southern Cornwall – Pip was brought up amongst a Bohemian community of influential, modernist artists and writers. Her mother, Kay Earle, was a local artist in Cornwall and her father, Alec Walker, was a designer, who collaborated with Tom Heron to set up
Mark found the weavers through a global not-for-profit organisation called GoodWeave, who ensure that no child labour is used during the manufacturing of the rugs. GoodWeave is also an established pioneering, educational institute in Nepal for those people now out of the factories. “I feel humbled and very pleased by my collaboration with the weavers,” says Mark. “My mother’s designs are woven by skilled craftsmen and women whose ancestors have been doing this important work for over 1,000 years.” He has found the weavers’ enthusiastic response to the rug designs and colours heartwarming. With the idyllic blend of Mark’s connection with Human Rights and Social Justice in education, and his desire to develop and expand his mother’s legacies, Land Rugs donates an additional five percent of all sales towards GoodWeave’s educational work with Children in Nepal. Furthermore, Land Rugs ensures that traditional weavers use environmentally-friendly dye. Mark also has always felt empathy with the Tibetan people, their country and their landscape. “They just seem to be so peaceful,” he says. “There is something deeply and wonderfully haunting about a terrain that is at the top of a mountain.” Around 25 years ago, Mark decided to learn Tibetan overtone chanting. “There’s an extraordinary resonance of the human voice creating two notes at the same time – technically that doesn’t happen very often in humans!” Since Mark’s retirement from education in January 2011, he has primarily focused on establishing the business and selling the beautifully designed rugs. Despite coming from an artistic and creative family, Mark has never used art throughout his professional and personal life to any great degree. But at 67, he feels that he has accessed his own ‘studio’ within himself, by engaging with the wonderful art left to him by his late mother. By combining Pip’s exceptional artistic talent and the Tibetan weavers’ long-established methods of creating rugs, Mark has unveiled his mother’s concealed legacy. The beautiful array of rugs, which reflect Pip’s love of the land, can brighten any room, bringing her vision of nature’s backdrop into the comfort of your own home.
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
a beautiful alphabet of global children... Since meeting in Toronto on International Peace Day in 2010, Filip Cederholm and Ashley Cooper have been practically inseparable. Their passions for travel and photography have led them to create an inspiring project together. Their aim is to visit 26 different countries – one for each letter of the alphabet. On each trip they will gather thousands of local children to form a letter, creating a stunning photo shot from above. Once all 26 letters have been photographed they will be sold to companies and individuals who can buy the letters to form their specific name. All the proceeds from the project will go towards helping charities around the globe. The three-year journey that they have already embarked on will eventually be created into a documentary film called ‘Peace, Love and Photography’. Ashley’s journey began when she completed her degree in Fashion Design. She decided to buy a one-way ticket to Australia. From there, she went on to
live with hill-tribes in South East Asia and also became a Reiki Master. Filip, who is a professional photographer from Stockholm, discovered his passion and love for photography at the age of 17 and started his professional career at 23. “It made sense that we put our skills together and bring everything up to the next level,” says Ashley. The inspirational pair have already visited Blauberg Beach in Cape Town to successfully create the letter A, and have continued on to the spectacular Dunes in Namibia to produce the letter B. By involving children in such a spectacular global project, it provides them with an inspiring day to remember for the rest of their lives. Their destination depends on two different criteria: being a significant location in the world and somewhere they can receive support and assistance from the locals. “We are constantly meeting so many amazing people, from so many different walks of life,” says Ashley. “Meeting Archbishop Desmond
Tutu marked the beginning of a new phase – seeing his face when we showed him the photograph of the letter ‘A’, meant more than words can say.” But with such experiences come challenges. They have to find a balance between earning money and spending it whilst on their trip but one thing that has really resonated with the couple is how many people really want to do good. Ashley and Filip’s sole message that they are trying to convey through their project is that ‘Together we can make a difference’ – a motto that has been echoed amongst the crowds of children they have worked with along the way. www.peaceloveandphotography.tv www.indiegogo.com/peaceloveandphotography
Founder, Sharon Henshall, shares the Inspired Times journey: from print to digital – entering a new online era! I haven’t picked an easy path. Three years ago, in the depths of a recession and without a penny of backing, I launched a positive lifestyles magazine. It was a risky move, but I felt compelled to give it a try. I wanted to be part of a movement for change, fresh hope and new perspectives. In retrospect, I entered the journey with a touch of naivety. I’m a firm believer that ‘if there’s a passion, there’s a way’, and – in this case - a dash of blind faith and a whole heap of determination as well. My vision was to share a variety of articles that covered three main areas; environment, community and personal holistic development... all wrapped up in creative layouts that would be fresh rather than formulaic. Using vegetable inks and printing on 100% recycled paper was also a top priority – something expensive but definitely non-negotiable. The Inspired Times journey began with a core team of part-time staff, and myself burning the midnight oil to get it off the
ground. Others offered their expertise in article form – both to support my new venture and as an avenue for sharing their passions and knowledge. I had been publishing a small UK budget travel mag for a number of years, but Inspired Times pushed me to tap into a deeper sense of connection and creativity. It has been a life-changing experience, full of challenges, trust, awakenings, exhaustion and soul riches. As time went by, the flow of finances remained slow, but I enlisted enthusiastic helpers in return for some empowering work experience. For me, working with such a diverse bunch of people has brought unseen joy; youthful enthusiasts, students and post-graduates, mums looking to return to work and those seeking a career change… everyone brought something unique and many have gone on to get great jobs from their time and experience at Inspired Times. This spring brought the completion of three years in print. Throughout that time, I’ve poured heart and soul, blood, sweat (and a few tears!) into creating Inspired Times. As this issue went to print, my intuition told me that I needed to find a balance before the consequences became too high. Gradually, I began to realise that it was time to embrace the digital realm!
There is hope in my heart that Inspired Times will be a welcomed addition to the on-line community – continuing to provide uplifting news, inspiring stories and spiritual wisdom, as well as share the good work people are doing in their efforts to bring about a better world. The Inspired Times online community has grown since inception and a continued positive response would be wonderful. By becoming a free on-line magazine, it will become more accessible and, naturally, less pressured to run (the print costs of publishing a magazine are huge). Continued efforts to select advertisers offering ethical products or running likeminded courses and events will support our future. Their presence, as well as your affinity with Inspired Times, will help us step into this new era. Personally, I love print, that tangible item which can be flicked through without the aid of a gadget. However, I can also recognise the beauty of new breath-taking technology that creates the more visual, interactive publications of our future. Ideally Inspired Times will still be printed every summer – that way, we have the best of both worlds. For a magazine focusing on balance, this feels a much more sustainable approach. So please do join us as we step into the excitement and unfolding of the unknown.
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
spiritua y t i l a u t i r i p s ality u t i r i p s t u i r i p y s y t t i l i a l u t i r i a p u s t ality spiri a spiritu
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finding wisdom within Whilst ultimately all wisdom is within us, books can definitely give us a helping hand when on our spiritual journey. Sharon Henshall dips into a couple of new releases...
the mystery experience
change your life, change your world
This is a book to be read at a leisurely pace, with plenty of pondering time. Tim Freke is extremely switched on and as a philosopher he shares his profound insights in an exceptionally wellstructured, articulate way. The Mystery Experience takes you step by step through a spiritual inner journey. The further you delve into the pages, the more you feel Tim’s presence – it’s as if he were in the room with you, discussing the topic with both passion and humour. This thought provoking book explores the mystery of life, the deep self within and finally the mystery of love. There are practical exercises, meditations and insightful explanations. I enjoyed the fun conversations he created using quotes from cutting-edge scientists, quantum physicists and spiritual teachers – they help bridge the gap, which is so often introduced to distance science from spirituality. Tim describes his book as one for ‘explorers’ and it certainly is an adventure... with many breathtaking moments. His modern-day take on spiritual awakening shines a fresh light on our Inner Self, connecting with what he refers to as ‘big love’. I’m just about to read it again!
At times we get caught up in the story of life, suffering and feeling stuck. This book is a great reminder of the fundamental connection between spirituality and inner peace - helping you regain clarity with its step-bystep approach. Amoda Maa Jeevan takes the reader through 10 Spiritual Lessons, leading them to a place of deeper understanding. She starts with ‘Responsibility - The Power to Make a Choice’ and ends with ‘Resoluteness - The Power to Take Action’. In between she touches on the many aspects of human nature which can sometimes lead us away from inner calm. It is set out in ‘workbook’ style with each lesson culminating on practical exercises and journal pages. Amoda aims this book at the spiritual seeker and spiritual activist she provides the tools to become an ‘agent of change’. There is a beautiful simplicity to her style which makes it ideal for those at the beginning of their spiritual journey, as well as being a wonderful refresher for those who have progressed further along the path. If you’re struggling with everyday existence and need a helping hand to gently guide you back to equilibrium, this may be the book for you.
Tim Freke has spent his life exploring the ‘mystery experience’ and sharing it with others. He has an honours degree in philosophy and is a respected authority on world spirituality. He is the bestselling author of more than 30 books, each of which have established his reputation as a scholar and free-thinker. He runs ‘mystery experience’ retreats internationally, in which he guides others directly to a spiritually awakened state.
Amoda Maa Jeevan is a powerful female voice in the ‘new consciousness’ movement. An inspirational speaker and author of How to Find God in Everything, she travels throughout the UK, the USA and Europe to give talks, workshops and retreats. Her mission is to bring the illumination of love to the darkness many of us perceive within ourselves and in the world.
Website: www.themysteryexperience.com Film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQEsdFbz4Jw Published by Watkins: www.watkinspublishing.com
Website: www.amodamaajeevan.com Published by Watkins: www.watkinspublishing.com
by Tim Freke
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
by Amoda Maa Jeevan
ality spiritu a
uality s p i r i t u
s p i r i t u a l ity
a l ity sp spiritua irituality lity spirit
s p ir it u a lity
powerful words His Holiness the Dalai Lama recently visited Manchester and shared his wise words with thousands. Kim Taggart was in the crowd. The 14th Dalai Lama was at Manchester’s MEN arena for a weekend of talks and workshops to promote non-violence and of course, the core Buddhist message of compassion. He aimed his message particularly at the UK’s younger audiences in the wake of the 2011 riots. In our search to find meaning behind the riots, some believed that part of the cause was a damaging mix of materialist ideals and social depravity. Whatever the cause, most of us would have concluded that changes needed to be made. In light of this, the title for this event, ‘Real Change Happens in the Heart’ spoke volumes. In the foyer there was all manner and persuasions of people; a gang of teenage lads with satirised cartoon t-shirts, mothers and daughters and young men pouring over an extensive Dalai Lama book fair in the corner.
warming up the room
Inside, his words bounced warmly around the arena. A crowd of tens of thousands were attentive, leaning forward. Despite the enormity of the room he saw no sense in projecting his voice and at first spoke in whispers: “We have some special unique ability, we must utilise that.” He was speaking of humanity’s mental capacities, encouraging us all to develop and strengthen our minds. The sight of his distant figure on the stage, surrounded by such huge numbers seemed completely normal. Before arriving I had wondered how he would connect with people in such a big venue. Although 2 huge 50ft screens helped with a visual, he had such a strong presence and would have been fine without them. Perhaps this is why in Tibet he is known as Kundun meaning ‘Presence’. Gradually, the room seemed to heat up with the warmth of his words. He was offering hope around the current issues of economic and ecological strife: “These crises are our own creations; so logically, we have the ability to overcome these man-made problems.” Although his words were universal and common-sense, they also held a timely poignancy.
undoing crisis of consciousness
He also spoke of the age in which we live. Via the internet there’s lots of new and sometimes terrifying information coming through into our consciousness. The scale of global unrest and ecological damage can be overwhelming and can serve to create more polarities in our minds. As this was something I had been personally grappling with, his words struck a chord, “Think,” he stressed. “Pay attention to humanity.” He was explaining how our mentality had a lot to do with our health, stating succinctly “The ultimate source of good health is peace of mind.” It was clear that the composure and mental capacities of this ‘simple Buddhist monk’ as he refers to himself, were quite healthy. His speech continued for another two hours with a question and answer session at the end. Although he lived up to his title ‘Ocean of Wisdom’, a common translation of his name, he had no problems saying “I don’t know.” One of the questions addressed to him was “What is the most important thing for a mother to teach her child?” To which he instantly replied: “I think you know best,” which met with a ripple of laughter.
Even though he repeated his usual core philosophies of compassion, truth and altruism, it was more effective to hear him speak them out loud, permeable even. His words were simple and universal, leaving religion out of the equation in favour of spirituality and science. He encouraged respect for all beliefs and emphasised: “most importantly, respect the non-believer.” As I left the stadium I noticed that my heart was light and unburdened like a child’s. Ultimately all of his messages left an echo of positivity in me. In bed that night my mind was reeling with his words and intentions: “love more; love is altruism not attachment; compassion is the only way; the importance of mother’s nurturing for self-esteem… think… think!” I had a feeling that his words were alive in me, somehow imprinted. Kim Taggart is a freelance journalist and writer from Manchester. http://epithet.wix.com/kimwrites
“The ultimate source of good health is peace of mind” inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
yoga for peace... To coincide with International Peace Day, Devaki, a yoga teacher in the South West has created a wonderful event. In its 2nd year running, her vision of ‘yoga for peace’ is now stretching all the way from Bristol to Exeter. As a yoga teacher I am blessed to be able to share my passion with others. Through yoga we can all experience inner peace and from that inner peace, the peace spreads outwards.
The event was so well-received that this year we’re doing it all over again! However, this year, we’re bigger, and it’s not just Yoga for Peace Day but Yoga for Peace Weekend!
With this in mind, last year I came up with the idea of a day of yoga to celebrate peace. I decided it would be good for it to coincide with International Peace Day, September 21, and Yoga for Peace Day was born!
Saturday September 22, 2012, we’ll be back at Yogasara in Bristol with another day of yoga classes led by a variety of yoga teachers from different disciplines. Besides chai, charity reps and yoga, we’ll also make origami peace cranes! We’ll have a photographer, the very lovely Shaheen Alam who will be documenting the day for us! And, as we go to press, I am in discussions with another yoga studio who are planning to support us by hosting a kirtan on the evening of Friday September 21 which is International Peace Day, to launch Yoga for Peace 2012!
So, on September 25, 2011 we hosted the inaugural Yoga for Peace Day at Yogasara, a yoga studio in Bristol. It was a day to celebrate peace and to raise money for charities supporting people affected by war. We had six yoga classes of different styles held across the day and in the evening we had kirtan (an evening of devotional singing) where we chanted for World Peace.
On the Sunday, Yoga for Peace goes to Exeter in Devon. Yoga teacher and all round good guy, James Russell approached me earlier in the year asking if he could replicate Yoga for Peace Day in the Exeter and Devon yoga community! I was touched and delighted that my humble idea had inspired someone else & that the idea of Yoga for Peace was spreading! So, Yoga for Peace Day Devon is being celebrated at Derek the Dog Yoga Studio in Exeter on Sunday September 23, 2012. They’re also planning a full day of yoga classes with teachers from different styles of yoga. The peace we celebrate is peace on many levels: our own inner peace; peace within our family; our community; the UK; and, of course, world peace. Yoga, as I have already said, facilitates the journey inwards, towards that inner peace. Indeed, the teachings of my teachers, Swami Sivananda and Swami VishnuDevananda, tell us that the beginning of peace in the world starts right here with us, our own inner peace!
We connected with local organisations such as the Thali Cafe (a well-known Bristol Indian restaurant) who gave us chai, bags were sold and charity reps were on hand to talk about the work they do. We also had a Peace Tree where people were invited to hang their thoughts & prayers. The day was a great success, measured not just by the £350 we raised, which was divided equally between the two charities, Women for Women (www.womenforwomen.org) and Child Victims of War (www.childvictimsofwar.org.uk), but by the positive feedback we received, the enjoyment everyone experienced, the number of people who showed up, the love we shared, the peace we wished for and the connections we made! I was overwhelmed by just how much love there is in Bristol. I believe this exists nationwide! Indeed, my experience tells me that people do care – a lot!
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
So, if you’re in Bristol or Exeter do come along to any or all of the events to celebrate peace, practice yoga, make an origami peace crane, chant for world peace, connect with your local yoga community over a cup of chai and support two wonderful charities! Alternatively, if you would like to hold your own Yoga for Peace Day event please contact me, Devaki, via the Yoga for Peace website and we can work out how you can join in. How amazing would it be if Yoga for Peace Day spread across the UK linking cities, towns, villages and communities... all in the name of peace? Om Namo Narayanaya! Full details will be available at www.yoga4peace.co.uk Devaki is a yoga teacher based in Bristol. www.devakiyoga.com
Schumacher College Joined-up thinking to change the world
Holistic Science Full and part-time Masters and Certiﬁcates Recruiting now for 2012 on www.schumachercollege.org.uk www.gauntshouse.co.uk
Rise Up Singing! $Profoundly transformative%
Voice Camp with
Helen Yeomans Gavin Frank Nick Price Graham Burgess Ruth Jenni Rob Carney Roxane Smith & friends !The singing was amazing" invigorating" heart#stopping!!
Gospel • Blues • Jazz • Polyphony Natural Voice • Songwriting
July (')(*th Dartmoor
A TINY TASTE OF WHAT’S TO COME...
World, hip hop & Reggae
ROOTS MANUVA +VIEUX FARKA TOURE +THE TWINKLE BROTHERS DJ YODA & THE TRANS SIBERIAN MARCHING BAND + THE APPLES THE SELECTER FT. PAULINE BLACK +IMPERIAL TIGER ORCHESTRA
Bass, Breaks & Beats
ED RUSH & OPTICAL + SHACKLETON + TODDLA T FT.DRS LUKE VIBERT + MICKY FINN & APHRODITE THE NEXTMEN FT. MC WREC MUNGO’S HIFI FT. SOOM TK +THE HEATWAVE
Folk, Acoustic & Beyond
BILLY BRAGG +LAU RORY MCLEOD & THE FAMILIAR STRANGERS
GABBY YOUNG & OTHER ANIMALS + SPIRO + LAURA J MARTIN
TONY BENN& RORY BAILEY +JOHN COOPER CLARKE ERIC MADDEN + JOHN HEGELEY + DAVID J - THE VOCAL PUGILIST
ADAM KAMMERLING + ROSY CARRICK + ANNA FREEMAN + JONNY FLUFFY PUNK
Talks, Debates & Workshops
THE IDLER ACADEMY + THE EMPORIUM OF INVALUABLE INSIGHTS THE NEW ECONOMICS FOUNDATION + GUERILLA SCIENCE THE WONKY COCK DEBATING CHAMBER + THEATER UNCUT
Get involved with
AWARD WINNING KIDS AREA + THE HEALING MEADOW VIDEOTOPIA + THE SHAMBOLYMPICS + THE ‘S’ FACTOR and Much, much more for you to discover…
www!riseupsinging!co!uk "#$% $%& '#%(
festivals & events July
HH Gyalma Karmapa, 10th July, Manchester. www.dechen.org Larmer Tree, 11th – 15th July, Wilts/Dorset Border. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk Buddhafield, 11th – 15th July, nr Taunton, Somerset. www.buddhafield.com Quest, 12th – 15th July, Newton Abbot, Devon. www.questuk.co.uk Secret Garden Party, 19th – 22nd July, East Anglia. www.secretgardenparty.com Wild Woods, 20th – 22nd July, Somerset Rise Up Singing, 21st – 29th July, Dartmoor, Devon. www.riseupsinging.co.uk Surya Yoga Camp, 25th – 29th July, Cornwall. www.surya.org.uk Camp Bestival, 26th – 29th July, Dorset WOMAD, 27th – 29th July, Wiltshire
ExperiEssencE, 9th – 12th Aug, Gaunts House, Dorset. www.gauntshouse.com Croissant Neuf, 10th – 12th Aug, nr Usk, Wales. www.croissantneuf.co.uk One World (UK), 14th – 19th & 20th – 25th, Berks. www.oneworldcamp.com Green Man Festival, 17th – 19th Aug, Glanusk Park, Wales. www.greenman.net Sunrise Off-Grid, 18th – 21st, Somerset Shambala Festival, 23rd – 27th Aug, Secret location, Northants Rhythm Festival, 24th – 26th August, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire End of the Road, 31st August – 2nd September, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset
Bestival, 6th – 9th Sept, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight I Can Do It!, 22nd – 23rd Sept, London. www.icandoit.net Festival of Life, 29th Sept, Conway Hall, London
Schumacher Festival, 8th – 9th Oct, Colston Hall, Bristol Evoke Yoga Fair, 16th Oct, Dragon Hall, Norwich WhaleFest & World Whale Conf., 25th – 28th Oct, Brighton Big Green Home Show, 28th – 30th Oct, The Renovation Centre, Swindon The Yoga Show, 28th – 30th Oct, London Olympia. www.omyogashow.com
10 inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
summer 2012: in the fields 14–19 + 20–25 August: One World Camp If you’re on the hunt for a real family friendly fiesta then look no further than One World’s calendar of events! Popping up throughout the year, next to come are their two summer festivals – www.oneworldcamp.com. Easily located in Berkshire’s glorious Leyton Park, it’s teeming with activities to satisfy the whole clan; show up, join in and chill out! From diverse holistic therapies to yoga, these eclectic, summer events represent a really fantastic opportunity to try something new in a friendly and supportive environment. Promising to transform the site into a glittering hippy-topia for ten days throughout August, the One World summer fests will feature a host of workshops, classes and talks, which are fun for all the family. Pick your way through the rainbows of bunting draped languidly between trees and slink into one of the myriad mid-morning workshops. Stretch your intellectual muscle discussing prescient questions with experts dedicated to instigating positive change. Or just sit back and relax with a picnic, watching as the kids explore their newfound freedom in One World’s specifically designed safe haven hangouts. Since the Summer Festival line-ups have been specially adapted to the needs of families, kid’s club volunteers are always on hand to take them off yours! An exciting mixture of trapeze training, fire workshops, bread making and improvisational comedy sessions are sure to keep your little ones entertained for an afternoon. As evening rolls around, children and parents reunite for a catch up and a cuddle followed by a captivating programme of group-style evening events, live music and dancing. You can let your hair down safe in the knowledge that any profit generated by the festivals is redirected into emerging community projects both at home and abroad. With their inclusive outlook and quirky offerings, One World’s funky festivals allow individuals and families to relax – into whatever lifestyle naturally fits.
23-27 August: Shambala... totally unmissable This alternative gem is sure to capture your senses and tantalise your imagination. With diverse music, random acts and other creative ventures, the eco-friendly event is now in its twelfth year – it’s grown from what started out as a small community-inspired venture of like-minded individuals gathered in a field. Pedal-power your way to the site if you want to take the eco-consciousness to new levels! If you love a good grass-roots tale of success, then Shambala – www.shambalafestival.org – is the festival for you. Far from the madding crowd of Glastonbury or any other commercially funded festival, Shambala has managed to stay true to its ethos in sustainability. With craft areas, debates and workshops such as Permaculture, barefoot tango and blacksmithing... the list is endless. The Kids’ Field is second to none, and you can even send your older kids off on an overnight adventure with bushcraft expert and storyteller, Chris Holland. When night falls, sneak into the Enchanted Woods – an area of art and sound installations surrounded by light-spangled trees. Indeed,
a fresh approach... there is no shortage of art: the festival features an open-air gallery and live composition. Get involved in the legendary Fancy Dress Carnival by rocking up in this year’s theme: ‘Celebration’. There are twelve varied music stages to choose from; some of the band highlights this year include Vieux Farka Toure, Roots Manuva, and Shackleton, as well as many DJ acts if that’s more your thing. Don’t miss Ladies’ Night – a poppy disco for the females alone, but fear not, a team of make-up experts are at hand to glitter your guy-friends up. When your feet start to ache you can lounge in The Lost Picture Show, the world’s most luxurious cinema, screening the Golden Age of movies. Alternatively, venture down to the Kamikaze Cabaret for some slapstick circustry, or stumble across randoms, which in previous years have included an upside-down guitarist and man-in-a-juke-box! Described by one of its founders as ‘a haven, a think-tank… all infused with a heart-felt purposeful hedonism’, Shambala, set in a lush and beautiful secret location, promises to be a magical experience for all involved.
23-27 August: Sunrise Off-Grid Can you imagine a festival that has its own currency? Well, that is exactly what Sunrise Off-Grid – www.sunrise-offgrid.co.uk – has created. With the idea of promoting the local economy – that is the traders on site – festivalgoers are encouraged to spend every last Sunrise SOL before they leave. This festival is a chance to gain or improve skills in sustainable living; for five days, you become a committed participant in rethinking how to adapt to the transitional age we are now living in. Built on an ethos that we have to be part of the change that we want to see, Sunrise Off-Grid gives you the chance to get involved in workshops as varied as Bicycle-Powered WashingMachine Making, Eco-Build Skills, Wild-Food Foraging, and many other practical classes from bushcraft to making your own clothes. And picking up skills is not the only thing you can expect at this eco–festival; discussions, debates and talks are aplenty, covering topics such as green economics and establishing land-based projects – one of the more famous speakers is Michael Eavis who will be opening the conference on Saturday. As if all this wasn’t enough, there is music on all evening plus yoga, drumming as well as art and craft classes around the site. Organic food and solar showers are site-wide, contributing, amongst everything else, towards the ethos of healthy and sustainable living. If you want to make a small difference to the way you live, or just learn a bit about your changing environment, this eco-fest – priced at a humble £55 – is not to be missed!
After a summer of mind-expanding alternative festivals, transferring your new outlook into a positive change can be difficult. Tackling questions on humanity’s place in the world and how to live closer to nature is an endless pursuit. Whether it starts with decisions on our diet or sources of energy, it’s never too late for an eco and holistic approach to life. Education is an avenue which can facilitate and create change. One place in tune with new ways of thinking is Schumacher College. Established in 1991, the College was named after the economist and philosopher EF Schumacher, author of ‘Small is Beautiful’ and is based on a vision of education as something not bound to the classroom. Rather, the Schumacher model incorporates a much more progressive and fully rounded take on learning which holds the potential to learn from nature as its central tenet. Situated on the Dartington Hall Estate in Devon’s idyllic countryside, the College promotes an ecological and holistic world view, which inspires a passionate inquiry into the planet we live in. The team are very excited to unveil its latest course; the postgraduate certificate in Holistic Science. If you wanted to study the cutting edge of contemporary eco-science you can now do so in a full MSc, or the new 3 month postgraduate certificate. The course asks questions such as ‘How can we have reliable knowledge?’ and discusses issues like ‘How order emerges from chaos’ with guest lecturers such as Satish Kumar. “Holistic science is a new and emerging science of systems and wholes, qualities and values,” says course leader and author of Animate Earth, Stephan Harding. “It allows us to look at the social, economic and environmental issues of the 21st Century in a new light and come to new understandings and solutions. Students go away from this course with a new way of seeing the world and new ways to live and work within it.” The College and its environment create a long-lasting impression on those who study or visit; “Schumacher is a very special place,” says Bill McKibben, author, activist and founder of 350. org. “As we try and figure out what on earth we are going to do with this unraveling planet, it’s become a think-tank for hope, a battery for positive vision.” Schumacher offers a plethora of other forward thinking courses at a time when new approaches and long term solutions are in such short supply. Options are available in Economics for Transition, Sustainable Horticulture and Food Production, Ecopsychology and Ecological Design. With the lack of alternatives coming out of the red-brick universities, perhaps it is time for a green-brick college to lead the way in ecology, education and science. www.schumachercollege.org.uk
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012 11
ayurveda: knowledge of life by Dr Partap Chauhan, Jiva Institute, India
the ‘eat right’ mantra for summer Summer is the season when, according to Ayurveda, the Pitta Dosha starts accumulating in the body. Pitta is the body energy responsible for fuelling all biochemical activities, including transformation, digestion, metabolism and assimilation. It is also responsible for enzymatic and endocrine activity, regulation of body temperature, pigmentation, vision, intelligence, and vitality. When Pitta starts accumulating in our body, it begins to manifest in the form of various imbalances in digestive, metabolic and endocrinal systems. This is why problems such as hyperacidity, dyspepsia, ulcers, anemia, and skin diseases attack us so easily in this season. But, we fail to recognize that the main reason behind all these problems is the wrong diet choices we make. To keep your Pitta Dosha in check and stay away from diseases this summer, you need to take care of what you eat! Remember, foods that are pungent (spicy and oily), salty and sour in taste will increase Pitta – so stay away from them. On the other hand, bitter, sweet and astringent tastes reduce Pitta; so, focus more on herbs and food that contain these three tastes.
Vegetable soups, boiled/cooked vegetables and salads are highly recommended for dinner. Chapattis or whole wheat bread can be taken. Make sure that your dinner is not very heavy and is easy to digest, and is taken at least two hours before going to bed. You can also take half a cup of skimmed milk with a pinch of turmeric powder mixed in it before going off to sleep. Important Tip: Pitta people should not take food that is too hot or cooked with too much oil, salt or hot spices. Eat fresh foods as they provide the maximum amount of energy; leftovers or processed foods are strongly discouraged. Eat only when you are hungry; eat small meals at regular intervals and never skip a meal. Also, sipping cool (not iced) water throughout the day keeps Pitta fire at bay. Drink 2-3 liters of water daily. During summer one should avoid black tea, coffee, alcohol, smoking, red meat, hot spices, chilies, pickles, fried and acidic foods as they increase heat in the body.
the pitta diet chart
You’re never too old to change your diet habits. Maintaining good health is not that difficult after all! Here’s a simple daily diet routine that will help you ward off Pitta accumulation and also enhance overall wellbeing.
Start your day with a cup of herbal tea (coriander and fennel), preferably without milk. For breakfast, choose from one of these options – oats, porridge, semolina, whole wheat bread, buckwheat or cooked rice. You can also include buttermilk in breakfast. These food items are low in fat content and easy to digest and therefore make the perfect pick to start your day. If you want to have fruits, go for apples, bananas or grapes but do not mix fruits with grains. Eat fruits separately. Soaked nuts and dry fruits (almonds, raisins, dates, figs etc.) can be taken in small quantity.
Eat fresh fruits such as sweet oranges, apples, dates, melons, water melon, and pomegranate. You can also have pumpkin and sunflower seeds in between meals.
Try to have your lunch between 12 noon and 2pm. You can have lentils with boiled rice or chapattis (Indian bread) and cooked vegetables including cabbage, cauliflower, mushroom, peas, potato, squash and zucchini. Also, take a lot of salads including celery and lettuce. Buttermilk is a good drink to be taken with lunch. Chew on fennel seeds after meals to cool down acid in the stomach.
If you feel hungry in the evenings, have roasted chickpeas or a handful of soaked and peeled almonds. You can also have a tea of licorice, coriander and fennel to pacify the heat in your body and improve digestion.
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
how to cook a pitta-pacifying meal
With the right foods, spices and preparation, you can maintain balance in the influence of Pitta on your body. When cooking for Pitta people, use olive, sunflower or coconut oil. Reduce the use of sesame, almond and corn oil as they are a bit heating. Also, make use of cooling spices such as cardamom, coriander, fennel, and turmeric and cumin. Avoid chillies, black pepper, ginger, garlic and hot spices. According to Ayurvedic cooking principles, Pittas should be given properly cooked or boiled vegetables. Cooking makes food easily digestible (as opposed to raw food) and steaming makes it soft and enhances the nutritive value of the vegetable. Ayurveda says one of the most important things that make food nutritious is the amount of love with which it is cooked. So, whenever you cook for someone, do so with love and joy in your heart, and the meal is sure to benefit the health of the consumer.
Dr. Partap Chauhan is an author, public speaker, TV personality and master Ayurvedic physician. Although based in India he travels extensively giving talks and workshops. As the Director of Jiva Ayurveda he spearheads all its medical and pharmaceutical activities. www.jiva.com
We’ve gathered together an array of sumptuous summery delights from our fabulous ‘foodie’ contributors...
Cucumber and pear udon noodles with shredded mint and dandelion leaves in almond and mead cream ‘soup’ by LoveChefs
Ice cream by Jamie Richards 1 cup frozen mango 2 cups freshly squeezed orange or apple juice 1 cup raw cashews 1 cup frozen banana 1/2 cup soft or soaked dates Blend it all in a food thingy then chill it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so, if you can wait that long.
Raw butternut squash soup 3 cups butternut squash peeled, seeded and chopped 1 cubed mango 2 teaspoons curry powder 2 cups orange or apple juice 1/2 cup dates Bung it all in a blender and wiz it until it’s smooth and creamy. Garnish it with a chopped banana, mint and fresh chilli.
Mango: Good source of Vitamin A and alkalizes body. Cashews: Rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium and zinc. Good source of protein. Banana: High amounts of potassium in bananas can lower one’s blood pressure.
Dates: Great energy boosters as they contain natural sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose. They also have high iron content. Butternut Squash: Contains no saturated fats or
This works best as an unbelievably refreshing afternoon snack or as a starter. It takes about 7 minutes. I used some special ingredients because they happened to be lying around, but I’ve put substitutes below which will still work. 1/2 large cucumber 2 pears About 20 mint leaves – shredded About 12 dandelion leaves – shredded (use rocket if you don’t have hedgerow access). 1 cup of almond milk (or the milk of your choice) 1 tablespoon moscatel vinegar (or the juice of one lime and a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup) 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup of soaked buckwheat (or soaked sunflower seeds) 1 tablespoon of honey mead (or sweet wine or sherry – or add a bit more of the lime and honey mix with a dash of cider vinegar) The leftover bits of pear and cucumber that don’t make it through the spiraliser (or if your machine does the whole thing, then keep back a little for the dressing) Spiralise the cucumber and pear on the fastest setting (if you don’t have a spiraliser you can grate them) and toss them in half of the Moscatel vinegar (or sweet lime mix) with the shredded dandelions and mint, then set aside to marinate for a few minutes. Whizz the rest of the ingredients in your blender to make the ‘soup’. Pour over the noodles and serve chilled (if you’re not chilled when you serve it, you will be when you’ve eaten it!).
cholesterol; but is rich source of dietary fiber and phytonutrients.
Jamie Richards trained at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition and has since developed his own health, wellness and sports nutrition clinics in Bristol. He’s a campaigner for real food, writing and lecturing about the pitfalls of modern food processing and produced the recipes for the book ‘Diet for Britain’ by George Cooper. His website can be viewed at www.jamierichards.co.uk
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
The Lovechefs provide delicious raw and whole food catering for weddings and events as well as teaching raw food preparation courses and retreats. For more information, go to http://lovechefs.co.uk
Lemon cookie cakes by Shane Jordan 2 cups/8 oz whole meal flour 2 tsp baking powder Pinch sea salt 2 cups/8 oz butter (diary free butter) 2 cups/8 oz sugar (unrefined brown sugar 2 tbs Maple Syrup 2 tsp lemon extract (plus juice, minus pips) 3 cups/8 oz rolled oats Place in the bowl flour, baking powder, sea salt, maple syrup, lemon and oats and mix with hands. Combine butter and sugar and mix well with hands until all ingredients are combined – making sure the butter is rubbed into the mixture. Add water to the mixture until it’s thick enough to bind together. Put the mixture on a chopping board or worktop that is covered in flour. Roll the mixture out and cut circles using a circular pastry cutter. Coat the circles all over with maple syrup and a dash of unrefined brown sugar on top. Bake 9-12 minutes until golden brown. Let cookie cakes cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Oven temperature 350 degrees.
Wholemeal flour: Wholemeal flour is not refined like white flour, and wholemeal flour retains the husk of the wheat which is where all the nutrients and dietary fibre exist. There is no bleaching and gluten levels are generally lower than in white flour.
Beetroot, carrot & arame salad by Anna Middleton Soak a handful of arame for 5 minutes Grate 2 carrots & 1 beetroot into a bowl Toss with hemp oil, a little apple cider vinegar, a dash of tamari (be careful not to mix too much so that the beetroot doesn’t colour all of the carrot) Stir in arame, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve
Seaweed: Seaweed is one of the most nutritious food groups bursting with minerals essential for our health
Beetroots: Beetroots are a fantastic blood and liver cleanser, carrots are great to cleanse the liver and support healthy eye function
Hemp: Hemp is one of nature’s perfect foods with a perfect balance of omega 3, 6 and 9
Apple cider vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar is an essential natural remedy with numerous health benefits Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are full of essential oils, high in protein and are a good source of minerals including zinc and magnesium.
Sea salt: Sea salt is harvested from evaporated seawater, and is much more natural and less processed than table salt - which comes from underground mines.
Unrefined brown sugar: Unrefined sugar is made
To raise further awareness about the benefits of raw living foods and recipes Anna runs workshops, hosts free pot luck events and caters for numerous retreats. To find out more information, go to www.annamiddleton.com
from the juice from the sugar cane plant and has a trace minerals and nutrients present. Refined white sugar is devoid of all nutrients.
Maple syrup: It’s full of antioxidants, filled with important nutrients and helps with muscle recovery. Shane Jordan is a community chef and health awareness practitioner based within Bristol’s inner-city. He has a passion for creating healthy vegetarian and vegan food, raising awareness on food waste issues and encouraging homemade cooking. firstname.lastname@example.org
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
inspiring getaways Taking time out from our daily lives is crucial for maintaining wellbeing. Clare Wener steps into a yoga retreat which nourishes mind, body and soul.
ot so long ago I found myself sitting crossed-legged on a wooden floor. My eyes were closed and swirling around me were the beautiful tones of a harmonium and the energy of people chanting Sanskrit mantras. As I joined in with the ‘om namah sivayas’, I felt an enormous sense of connectedness with the space and those around me, and most of all with myself. My heart felt truly open.
But where was I? I was on a yoga retreat at the Earthspirit centre in Somerset with Lila Conway and Dory Walker. I first met Lila a few years ago in the Himalayas when we spent a month living in an ashram on the banks of the Ganges and she trained a group of us to teach yoga. But sitting in that room in Somerset, with her playing the harmonium and Dory playing the tabla, I could have been in the Himalayas. The ‘bhakti’ or devotion was the same. And that’s what I like about their retreats. You get much more than a few yoga classes and you leave feeling rejuventated on a deep level. There are normally a few giggles thrown in too, which in my book, always goes down well. We had two yoga classes a day – one in the morning and another late afternoon – and plenty of time in between to spend in the hot tub and sauna, exploring the surrounding countryside, and eating fabulous veggie feasts. One bloke even found the time to run the five miles to and from Glastonbury. Lila and Dory also ran workshops covering aspects of yoga beyond the physical and I’ve described the ‘kirtan’ or chanting workshop above. On this particular retreat, they also brought along their talented friends. We had Liz, a massage and movement therapist and we tried our hand at five rhythms and expressive movement. I felt self-conscious at the start as I was instructed to “discover new ways of walking” and “let my knees interact with another set of knees in the room” but I soon banished my ego and got into it. We also had Nick the Astrologer give us his predictions for the future as we
16 inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
sat around the dinner table one evening. He was available for private readings for those wanting a taste of what was to come in their astrological charts. Lila and Dory have both spent time living in ashrams in India and Canada and you know that you’re being taught by people who live and breathe yoga. They understand the teachings and their breadth of experience shows. The yoga classes were wonderful. Students were at different levels and we were taken through the basic postures and breathing exercises. As the three days progressed, they introduced variations so that those with a more advanced practice were challenged, whilst those with aching bodies were also catered for. In one class, we had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with some very imaginative ‘trikonasana’ or triangle variations, taking us as far as we were comfortable. Our final relaxation was particularly wellreceived after that. I enjoyed getting to meet so many new and interesting people from different walks of life. Good chats were to be had in the hot tub whilst it was also possible to find a quiet corner and read a book. I shared a room with a lovely lady called Theresa and we’ve kept in touch. She’s even been to a few of my yoga classes in London. After our final dinner, we lit paper lanterns around a bonfire and watched as our positive intentions silently disappeared up into a starry sky. For details of their upcoming Braziers Park Yoga Retreat in Chiltern Hills, Rural Oxfordshire (7th – 9th September), visit www.yogaprema.org. Lila is also planning a pilgrimage retreat in India early next year. To keep informed, do sign up to her e-newsletter or like her Yoga Prema Facebook page. Clare Wener is a yoga teacher living and working in London www.shantayoga.co.uk. She also writes a yoga blog which you can follow at www.thediaryofayogi.wordpress.com.
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For further information please contact email@example.com or visit www.rathbonegreenbank.com Alternatively please call 0117 930 3000. The value of investments and income arising from them may fall as well as rise and you might get back less than you originally invested.
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the occupy SO R RY FO R TH E IN CO N V EN IE N CE G TO BU T W E’ R E TRY IN LD CH A N GE TH E WOR
Liam Corcoran explores the obstacles facing the Occupy movement; creating solutions proves to be one issue we are all struggling with. Throughout 2012, the Occupy movement hopes to make a return. The tents may have gone but this doesn’t mean they have stopped believing in a better world. How can they turn a congregation of tents into actual physical change that will benefit the world? Let’s go right back to the beginning and look at how the Occupy movement actually began. The financial crisis that seemingly caused a social and economic meltdown sparked something previously unseen throughout the world. Angered at the minimal percentage that seems to ‘control’ the world, and frustrated at a lack of power to implement change, groups of people began to make their voices heard. What began in Spain, soon spread throughout America and gradually the world, creating an international community of people wanting change. Cornel West, an American philosopher and civil rights activist, called it a “democratic awakening”. Eventually, even the media started to pay attention - it was hard not to. At its peak, the movement was taking place in 951 cities in 82 countries. This was something big.
facing criticism The movement faced a lot of bad press throughout the UK – the way in which they were demonised seemed to detract from the message they were trying to convey. Some would think an ‘occupation’ presents no clear means of a way forward and the protesters had nothing better to do. They were also criticised for being hypocrites – protesting against capitalism but buying Starbucks coffee. However, as with any new campaign, it takes time to materialise and understand what structure works best, as well as address the views that are trying to be put across. Creating change throughout the world is not an easy message to portray – there is no easy solution. The problem with change that is so drastic and far reaching is that it’s hard to implement,
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especially when there are no clear ways forward offered by either side. However, something unique to the movement’s methods is that it isn’t just protests but progression and experimentation, and strives to remain an open channel for participation and discussion.
educating the masses The movement has produced the Occupied Times – a witty, informative and independent publication about the current situation. The Bank of Idea’s also emerged, providing a place for informal discussion about possible and viable changes. But then the government shut this down. While the tents were still in place, a Tent City University sprung up. Since then, it has become Occupy Education, to help educate people about problems that the current system does not. The Occupy movement has also collaborated with UK Uncut to discuss ideas about future improvements. UK Uncut was born out of Twitter – it was simply only a hash-tag – and has provided a medium for people to voice their dissatisfaction about the government’s cuts. Although the evictions were a statement by the government, that they will no longer tolerate the occupation, the movement has persevered in their attempts to try and establish a solution, and perhaps recognising that their previous manifesto had several flaws. Could this return be more successful than the last time, especially with all the negativity it received from the press and governments? The foreseeable future holds many challenges for the movement and the negativity expressed towards them may prove to have a detrimental impact upon their return to centre stage. However, the Occupy movement have highlighted important issues and created debate – although solutions are still yet to materialise – and have provided a community in which people can voice their dissatisfaction.
stop and think... The Occupy movement and what it stands for is an important part of our democracy. When the media fail in their role as a fourth estate and challenger of the power, people and demonstrations such as the Occupy movement are needed to make everyone stop and think. There needs to be a collaboration in society, creating solutions that will have a positive impact on our lives. However, shaking that minimal percentage that have control over us can prove a tricky task. There needs to be more transparency about how our country is being run, but to unveil this fog of falsehood, more dialogue needs to be created. Perhaps the more personal responsibility we take for our actions, the more chance there will be for change. It could be argued that the Government governs rather than co-creates, the Occupy movement occupies rather than cohabits, maybe the answer lies within the spirit of co-operation... something seemingly elusive in large scale society but increasingly prevalent in small scale communities. Where we go from here seems best answered in small mindful steps.
Liam puts some questions to Em Weirdigan, an occupier and Occupied Times contributor. The Occupy movement says it is more than just a protest – that it’s also participation. Can you explain what this means to you? For me, and I think for a lot of people, one thing that directed us towards the Occupy movement is that we felt our voices weren’t being heard in any other way. A minority voted in the government, therefore I believe Politicians don’t represent us. So being part of a movement where everyone’s voice is heard, where you feel you can actually make a difference, is appealing. In a bigger sense, it’s also an experiment with different forms of democracy, decisionmaking and social organisation. The movement doesn’t have a specific leader, does that ever hold the movement back from becoming something more? It irritates many in the media, the establishment and in more mainstream groups because they’re always looking for a spokesperson, someone to negotiate with, someone to blame or laud. Having no leader means we can’t make decisions quickly, but then hasty decisions made by one person are unlikely to be good or representative ones anyway, so that’s not really a drawback. Collective intelligence is a wonderful thing, and that’s what we’re trying to work with. Horizontal, nonhierarchical structures can be far more robust than pyramid-shaped ones with a select few at the top. The manifesto says “We demand” throughout. But should it be “We will help to create” instead as otherwise it sounds like you aren’t willing to help find solutions? In my opinion the ‘Global May Manifesto’ was rushed out to coincide with the anniversary of the Spanish Indignados movement. Consultation was swift and sketchy and for that reason the manifesto was a bit of a damp squib –
we couldn’t all get behind it or feel ownership of it, because many had no chance to contribute to it. Some were aghast that the manifesto fails to mention capitalism or neo-liberalism as the root cause of the current crises. I think ‘we demand’ was the wrong language to use for numerous reasons, as did lots of others in the Occupy movement. I’d have preferred to say – if we were going to have a manifesto at all, which I’m not sure we should have – that it was a collection of ideas and aims and that we’d like feedback on how popular the ideas and aims are with the rest of the 99%, as well as help pushing for and achieving them. We should certainly be creating the reality we want to see rather than demanding it. Demanding it of whom? If we demand of ‘the powers that be’ it legitimises their power and puts us in a position of weakness. How important is it that you work with other organisations, such as UK Uncut, to reach the maximum amount of people and create the most change? At the moment in London this is what we’re trying to do. It’s happening around the world, too. It is vital to reach out, connect, communicate, co-operate and network with other groups, community campaigns, and grassroots organisations. I think this could be one of the best things about the Occupy movement – we’re such a broad, diverse, multi-issue movement that we can ‘join the dots’ between different issues and hopefully help to bring people together to create a really strong force for change. Everything’s connected, from a library closure in a poor London borough to pollution of a water-course by a multinational mining corporation in the Philippines. It’s all about the current global system being screwed up, it’s about the way profit is constantly prioritised over people and planet.
Finally, is the movement not as strong this year due to the Jubilee, Olympics and football when the morale in the country is so strong? It’s possible that the hype around all these ‘proud to be British’ events has distracted some people from the economic crisis, the cuts to public services, the dearth of affordable housing, the disaster that is climate change, the lack of real democracy and so on. It’s also the case that things are not as bad in Britain as in many other parts of the world. Bloodshed in Syria, economic meltdown in Greece, 50% youth unemployment in Spain, an epidemic of home foreclosures in the US... in these countries there are more people out on the streets demanding change because the status quo is untenable. In the UK many are still keeping their heads down and struggling on, just about managing to keep their families afloat. Sadly, it may have to get worse before people are prepared to pull together and effect radical change. Plus, of course, the media has a short attention span and likes to dwell on sensational events like the St Paul’s Occupy camp – journalists are less interested in us when we’re quietly educating ourselves, building up our skills, connecting with campaign and community groups locally and globally. I want to change the world and I know it’s not going to happen overnight. There’ll be peaks and troughs along the way and at the moment we’re levelling out and beginning to find our way again after the loss of our main encampments. (Em wants it to be made clear that these are her own opinions and not the opinions of the whole movement)
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012 19
communities by Steph Codsi
showing some lettuce love Three eco-conscious friends, Therese, Jean and Maria, share a passion for growing and delivering veg as local as possible to their neighbourhood in South East London. Local Greens – www.localgreens.org.uk – is their community venture based in Herne Hill that provides organic greens in the South London region. Lettuce is labour-intensive and perishable, so these ladies had the inspired idea of setting up a new item for sale in their veg bag called South London Salads. And these are not just any lettuces, but the tasty, lesser known ones like baby Cavolo Nero, Wild Rocket, and Radicchio, amongst others. Lettuce has never been so exciting! Healthy eating is one of their principles, which means next-day delivery of harvested salad – low refrigeration and no storage is involved. Minimum transport also ensures maximum vitamins. Often in our busy and frenetic lifestyles, we shop at supermarkets, forgetting the environmental and health costs
incurred. Local growers wishing to contribute to the South London Salad are encouraged to follow the Garden Organic Growing guidelines.
Benefits aplenty have been reaped by the community who are enthusiastically supportive in various ways; schools, groups and individuals profit from getting paid to grow salads, as well as gaining awareness about healthy eating. The fact that Local Greens accept small amounts of lettuce as well as the larger quantities from farms, makes it very inclusive. Such a philosophy is a welcomed break from industrial and impersonal farming. Neighbouring businesses have also been giving a hand by serving as collection points for the bags. “We’ve met many interesting, passionate people and really enjoy being a part of the community,” says Maria. With a lack of gardens and allotments in the inner city, encouraging groups and schools to provide space to grow vegetables is certainly an innovative scheme.
The Horniman primary school in Forest Hill organised an eco-day back in March where they learnt how to grow salad, and were made aware of the environmental impact of food miles. Pupils had the joy of seeing their seeds grow into plants, and last month harvested their salads for the South London Salad bags. This sense of community is so central to the initiative; many locals have become inspired to grow their own – the local area has seen an increase in green fingers! Harvested within a 2.5 mile radius of their packing shed in Herne Hill, and delivered fresh, South London Salad is a step in the right direction towards a sustainable, low carbon future. So, calling all South Londoners... grow or buy? Either way give Local Greens a shout.
creative youth get artsy...
The idea behind Creative Youth was to foster a generation of self-sufficient individuals with pride in developing ambitious and pioneering projects. Working with a range of young people across different backgrounds, participants are offered support and encouragement by established artists. In this way, they receive an insight into the real world – much more engaging than classroombased learning.
www.iyafestival.org.uk – which showcases local talent and international artists who are all young people of average age 16-25 (though some are as young as 5). Now in its 3rd year, the event is running from 29th June – 22nd July, putting on workshops in dance, music, theatre, circus and film. Its globally artistic environment solely for young people is one of a kind. ‘Bodies in Motion’ is an up-to-date act, which uses a collaboration of digital technology, dance and music, all by students of choreography, music-technology and dance. This type of performance reflects the communal aspect of the festival that bridges the gap between undervalued youth and the entrepreneurship of artistic projects. Recognition means that many also go on to the Edinburgh Fringe, making it a launch pad for many young creatives.
From this charity sprang the International Youth Arts Festival,
Participants gain precious experience and skills. Where before many knew
In a time of increasing cuts to the Arts and severe youth unemployment, Creative Youth is a breath of fresh air and a truly welcomed initiative. Set up in 2008 and based in Kingston, London, this community venture provides local youth with training opportunities in performance arts and art-management whilst encouraging engagement with local groups and businesses.
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
next to nothing about the Arts, they now have a whole manner of entrepreneurial and strategic support for employment. Enthusiasm for these initiatives also goes to show how well youth respond to creative participation – the organisers seem to have clocked the idea that art can function as a portal into the tricky world of employment. IYAF Festival Director, Aniela Zaba, is elated at the rising popularity of the festival. There are now 8000 participants, 20% of whom come from abroad. “If you’d have told me those figures when we set up IYAF in 2009,” says Aniela. “I would never have believed it!” Such unforeseen success is based on the value of community engagement in something as captivating as the Arts.
Lucas steps down by Jake Procter
Palm oil: leaving a wake of devastation The surge in demand for bio-diesel is positive, but what do we know about these alternatives? One of the more prevalent sources is palm oil, which comes from pressed fruit of the palm plant. Although it sounds ethical, the realities of farming methods tell a very different tale. Intense deforestation for palm plantations has put the rich biodiversity of countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia under threat. Demand for this cheap oil causes rapid endangering of species and indigenous groups. The United Nations estimates that ‘98 per cent of [Indonesia’s] forest may be destroyed by 2022’. Palm oil needn’t be cut out altogether but it does need to be farmed responsibly. Up-to-date information on the palm oil campaign can be found at www.rspo.org.
Tapping into the green world of blogs Social media has transformed the way we consume news, views, and even the way we communicate with each other. The advent of the blog allows us to read interesting and informative articles on virtually anything, by anyone. I stumbled across www.bestgreenblogs.com, which showcases the burgeoning blogging eco-community. Everything is available from zany green news on www.environmentalgraffiti.com to kids’ favourite www.danthegardener.blogspot.co.uk. Whether you’re passionate about environmental policy, sustainable living, animal rights or a good veggie recipe, blogs are a great way to foster your interests with like-minded people from across the world. The face of media is constantly morphing, but blogging looks set to stick around.
Eco-Schools: 21 years of educating This year sees the coming of age for the eco-school’s programme, by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which is implemented on a national scale within a range of state and independent schools. Since 1994 British schools have committed themselves to an environmentally conscious manifesto. In the 09/10 year, English schools made a 15,300ton carbon saving. In Scotland, schools have received a 3-year government-funding boost to continue their development, and the Welsh branch boasts 16 schools that have received ‘Long Term Awards’ for their ongoing achievements. Engaging our future generations with a greater understanding of the environment is vital for a better future.
Britain’s first and only Green MP, Caroline Lucas has recently announced that she is to step down from her role as the Party’s leader in September 2012. Having held the leadership since the post was created in 2008, Lucas has presided over the meteoric rise of the Party. Her achievements have been nothing short of remarkable. They can now boast an MP (Caroline Lucas), two MEPs (Jean Lambert and Keith Taylor), and control of Brighton and Hove Council. Party memberships have increased during her tenure from 8 to 16 thousand, with donations also on the up. It is the rise to prominence of the Greens that has contributed to Lucas’ decision to step down. Lucas explains how her choice is entirely a tactical one; aiming to use the platform she has established, to catapult fellow Green campaigners into the political limelight. “I want to ensure that we use the leadership of the Green Party in a strategic way, to help us build momentum and build up our electoral presence,” says Lucas. Voting closes on August 31st with the new leader being elected on a two-year term. The race is currently between Wales Green Party Spokeswoman Pippa Bartolotti and Northwest candidate Peter Cranie. Bartolotti has previously stood as the Green parliamentary candidate for Newport West, as well as serving as deputy and leader of the Wales Green Party. She is perhaps best known for her aid work in Gaza. Cranie has forged his political career through his various anti-racism works. He has already announced his intention to stand against BNP leader Nick Griffin in the 2014 MEP seat in the Northwest. In 2002, Cranie also reformed the Liverpool Green Party, which has since gone on to win two local seats. The mainstream media may not be giving this election the coverage that it deserves, but its importance should not be underestimated. At a time when the political landscape of the whole continent is shifting, the Greens are making massive strides and have successfully established themselves as Britain’s alternative Party.
“Sometimes not getting what you think you want is a wonderful stroke of luck”
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012 21
the green life What is it like to step out of society and live a simpler existence? Wanting to dig a little deeper, Rebecca Day questions a couple of eco-pioneers currently living off-grid. name:
40 nights so far www.aforestfamily.wordpress.com
Time spent off-grid: blog:
From down-town dwellers to off-grid enthusiasts, Nigel Clarke and his family have opted for a summer with an ethical difference - a summer that Nigel describes as “living with trees, fires and skies as forest stewards.” Whilst their ‘off-grid’ experience is only temporary, it will most certainly give Nigel and his family a summer to remember, as well as act as a warmhearted offering to the environment.
What influenced you to take the plunge into off-grid living? After 2011, and feeling so sad each time we packed up after camping at festivals. Therefore we chose a six-month experience/experiment to give the kids a summer to remember (and us!); learn some practical lessons (fire cooking, forestry work, constrained water supply, eco-refrigeration and lifestyle changes); learn some lessons about ourselves (connectedness with nature, test some parts of our dreams for the future); and be free of bricks and mortar, double glazing, and house cleaning dreariness.
What are the pros and cons of a self-sufficient lifestyle? We’re not actually aiming to be self-sufficient - we still have to bring in water from a nearby farm and charge our mobiles (iPhones!) in the car or at the farm. The cons are the
neighbours and planning; mice and food storage/smell of mice wee (as I write!); tent seal from weather; our site choice and the impact of the heavy rains throughout May.
How did you find adapting to living ‘off-grid’? Very tough especially starting in May. We expected rough weather, but this year seemed particularly bad! The shift and adaption itself hasn’t been too bad though, as we were keen and thought about it for over six month
How do you go about producing food and drinkable water? Our aims for the future are to produce livestock and more veg/ growing. We also aim to live near a natural spring for water and use Eco filtering techniques.
Which sustainable technologies do you use to generate heat, power and electricity within your home? Wood burner for heating and outdoors open fire for cooking (through forestry management). We intend to bring in a solar panel kit for charging phones, but find that there isn’t much need for electricity anyway.
What was your life like before you went ‘off-grid’? We lived in a four bed semi in a town. There was too much cleaning and tidying - it was way too big a house - and paying ridiculous rent to the letting agents.
How have family and friends responded to your decision? Amusement and disbelief, mainly until they come and visit the woods - now even my mum has said she might be willing to stay over. She’s no camper!
Is there anything you miss about your lifestyle before? Nope. Running hot water perhaps, but you can plan around it and even hook up off grid systems.
Is there anything further you’d like to share with our readers? I’d like to give my great thanks to the many supportive friends, especially those at High Weald Dairy and Ecocamp UK.
22 inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
Em Magenta location: Leckmelm Wood, Scotland Time spent off-grid: 1983-1985 then 1995-present (apart from a few months) web: www.lightride.net name:
Whilst sitting in the sun, on her beautiful cabin balcony with her solar-powered laptop, Em Magenta reveals her experiences with living ‘off-grid’, and how taking the plunge into a self-sufficient lifestyle has really changed her and her family’s lives for the better. Her ‘light-footed’ method of living is an example to us all - by minimising our usage of non-renewable resources, we really can start making those little steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
What influenced you to take the plunge into off-grid living? I have always been happier living simply. When I was 14 or so, my own space was an old Showman’s caravan. For me it’s also about being more responsible for the effects of our energy consumption, and having more control of the costs. I can afford to be off-grid – I reckon I’d be struggling if I had to pay bills. I find the buzz, hum and electrical vibration of a mains (240V) house disturbing. You’re surrounded by a web of electricity pulsing at some frequency quite different to human bodies, or the earth’s. It gives me headaches!
What are the pros and cons of a self-sufficient lifestyle? For me there’s just pros: a sense of responsibility, affordability, adaptability (I have taken my energy system with me wherever I’ve been called to work). If it breaks I (generally) know how to fix it (or can learn). I was given a gift voucher once for a wellknown electrical store. I walked into the shop, looked around and was happy to realise there was virtually nothing I needed or wanted (but if they’d sold 12V kit I’d have been happier). The voucher went towards this laptop.
How did you find adapting to living ‘off-grid’? Stimulating. Although at one point with three young children, I sometimes cried when I couldn’t get the diesel generator to start running the twin tub. I found solace in trampling clothes in the bath. I enjoy finding alternatives to mainstream (usually highly energy consuming) methods and practices – it’s easy now with the internet.
How do you go about producing food and drinkable water? Here, water comes by pipe straight from the burn (a small stream) into a 200 litre tank which holds it briefly. It’s live, fresh and clean – full of vitality! The forest garden yields more and more as fruit trees and bushes mature, vegetables and herbs multiply and the previously poor soil builds up health. The polytunnel gives a green bite all year and I’m about to try making Kimchi (a traditional Koreon dish) with some surplus miner’s lettuce. We buy from a wholefood cooperative and still reluctantly use the supermarket.
Which sustainable technologies do you use to generate heat, power and electricity within your home? Five PV (solar electricity) panels – two at 60W, two at 85W and one 12W – feed two 110 amp hour deep cycle batteries. More batteries will be connected before winter. We have LED lights
that we made at a workshop with LEDfantastic, wind up lights and LED lights that use batteries we recharge with a solar battery charger. The rechargeable batteries run torches, a CD walkman with speakers and one or two of Storm’s (my 11-year-old boy) ‘essential’ gizmo’s – a cool space ship that I like. We also have a ghetto blaster adapted to run direct on 12V, 1500W inverter to run a laptop – I am looking into 12V charging – and rechargeable drill, angle-grinder and hub for the internet. Currently investigating micro-hydro and have a 400W air wind turbine, but probably won’t use it again here as the trees have grown so tall.
What was your life like before you went ‘off-grid’? I have been mostly off-grid since I was 20, but at times I’ve been acutely aware how being on mains encourages a tendency towards more stuff that’s not so good for your health – more work, more consumption, more gadgets...
How have family and friends responded to your decision? They’re really encouraging and some are genuinely inspired, though my grown-up kids like their mains for now. They too live in the forest, but at the ‘other end’.
Is there anything you miss about your lifestyle before? Day to day I miss nothing, but get a real buzz out of, say having a hot deep bath at my mum’s, or putting a load of washing in a machine. These rarer events become special.
Is there anything further you’d like to share with our readers? I’ve only recently come to realise that the way I’ve lived my life has given me skills I take for granted, but which more and more people are craving to learn. So I look forward to a future of sharing. We’re currently developing a venue for training and camps to learn for this life. We’re also WWOOF hosts and let out a yurt and caravan for visitors.
off-grid: a helping hand ‘Landbuddy’ is a free online service that allows people to join up and meet with other like-minded off-gridders and pioneers. This is the brain child of Nick Rosen, founder of off-grid.net, an established author, campaigner and awardwinning documentary-maker. His work purely stems around the importance of living a fulfilled and comfortable off-grid life. The site is ideal for those seeking an off-grid lifestyle, but are not entirely sure about how to go about taking the plunge. Budding off-gridders can seek help from those currently living off-grid and can find other self-sufficient ecoSamaritans in the local area. www.off-grid.net/landbuddy inspired times issue 13 summer 2012 23
Inspired Times Inspired Times Gift Cards – £2.80
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Palace of Stories Subscription – £20
These two gorgeous gift cards, designed by Inspired Times’ very own illustrator Becky Cooke, are a fabulous way to send greetings from the heart. Choose between the foxglove wild flower card emblazoned ‘Have a Wild Birthday’ and elegant ‘Flora Grace’, blank inside and perfect for any occasion. We hope to have some more designs for sale soon. You can purchase them online at www.inspiredtimesmagazine.com
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Want to get children (and grown-ups) enthusiastic about environmental issues? This playful deck of trump cards figures a pictorial set of environmental and sustainable actions. From pedal power to water waste, Eco Action Trumps are a preach-free way to introduce people to the importance of sustainable living through interactive play. For sale at www.onyabags.co.uk.
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inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
Goodies Guide Wild Woodgas Stove MK 11 – £49.95
Matstone 6 in 1 Juicer – £179
Bees on a Budget, The Basic Kit – £210
Milo, by Tristan Titeux – £457
Featherweight, clean burning, easy to use and it packs down into a standard size backpack! This camping stove is a practical pressie for adventurous spirits; a coveted little gizmo which is the answer to stress-free al fresco eating. Go wild with Wild Stoves. www.wildstoves.co.uk
Transform your garden into a hive of activity with this comprehensive beekeeping kit. It includes hive, smoker, hive tool, leather gloves, jacket and veil, bee brush, smoker cartridges, 1 gallon feeder and a mouse guard. For bee novices this is an ideal way to have all the equipment at your fingertips. This kit can be purchased online at www.thorne.co.uk. Beekeeping courses are available countrywide; arm yourself with the knowledge required for such a venture. Just think... homemade honey. Delicious!
Celery and apple, cucumber and basil, coconut and passion fruit – isn’t it about time you joined the juice revolution? This chunky retro juicer is an established all rounder and comes in a range of cool colours. Add it to your wish list today. The Juice Producer sell this and a range of other fabulous juicy machines. www.juiceproducer.com
This timeless, multi-purpose table is part of Tristan’s ReCut series and showcases his skill in creating gorgeously tactile furniture from recycled wooden off-cuts. Every single cubic table is totally unique and beautifully finished; an effortless way to inject some style into your sitting room. Pretty natty eh? We met Tristan recently at the London Green Fair and loved his design. www.ecodesignerhome.com
Pop Up Yurts – £1650+
These domed abodes are synonymous with ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping don’t cha know?) for a reason: large enough to house at least half of Kate Moss’s festival wardrobe, utterly rainproof, and ambient as a emperor sized four poster with the curtains closed; why not blow the budget in super model style with a pop-up yurt? Also great for outdoor weddings, parties or as an alternative to a play-house. Get back to nature without getting too much mud on your skinny jeans! www.hearthworks.co.uk
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
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inspiring individuals With Peace Day coming up on the 21st September, Cat Ford shines the light on the man behind it, Jeremy Gilley. His passion for changing the world still burns brightly 11 years on. Jeremy Gilley is the kind of man who makes things happen. Ambitious, ideological, determined and, above all dedicated to achieving peace one day; when Jeremy recalls the inception of his project it’s with characteristic enthusiasm. “Back in ’99 my idea was to try and make a film about the first ever day of peace,” he effuses. “Then get every government in the world to watch it!” The undertaking was no mean feat. Throughout the nineties new ethnic conflicts emerged in Africa, the Caucuses and the Balkans, whilst signs of any resolution to the tensions in the Middle East remained elusive. ‘‘Watching the news and seeing the wars contributed to my desire to try and make changes,’’ he explains. ‘‘It made me want to ask questions.’’ Brimming with optimism, Jeremy remained unfazed in the face of inhospitable state officials. He held his nerve before a hostile congress of sparring Arab politicians and managed to navigate a path through the perplexing tangle of inefficient bureaucratic protocols he encountered at every turn. Armed with just his camera and a smile, Jeremy succeeded in making his film. Against a backdrop of war he spread a message of peace and, crucially, he made people listen. “I felt the only skills I had were as a film maker,” he shrugs modestly, “so I tried to use my film camera to make a difference.” On September 7th 2001, Jeremy’s ‘peace day’ resolution was unanimously enforced by the United Nations. An announcement ceremony was organised for the morning of September 11th and the peace bell primed and polished. Moments before the procedure was scheduled to begin the first of the Twin Towers was struck by a hijacked plane. As a thick fugue of smoke smirched the New York skyline, Jeremy recognised that there was a great deal more he still had to achieve. September 21st needed to encompass something greater than pacifist tokenism. Jeremy wanted it to be a catalyst; imperative in bringing about tangible, positive change. “If we’re going to move from a culture of war to a culture of peace then we’re going to have to lift the level of consciousness around the type of issues that humanity faces,” he says, full of determination. “A day of unity and cultural cooperation, a day where our world comes together as one is an amazing starting point from which to see real change.” Since 2007, as a direct result of Peace Day agreements in Afghanistan, over 4.5 million children have been immunised against polio. The United Nations Department of Safety and Security have recorded a 70% reduction in violent incidents on the 21st September and, as a consequence, aid convoys have been able to access areas that might otherwise have remained utterly impenetrable. What started out as a crazy idea – as a symbol – has become a triumphant reality. Jeremy, however, is keen to stress that the Peace One Day movement is not merely focused on inhibiting violence
inspired times issue 13 summer 2012
between nations. “This is also about the violence in our homes, communities and in our schools,” he states unequivocally. Now working with organisations such as the Student Coalition, Baroness Scotland and the Eliminate Domestic Violence Global Foundation, Jeremy seeks to establish coalitions around domestic violence against women and children. “All the domestic violence action that we have manifested is really amazing because women’s lives will be saved.” When asked who inspires him, Jeremy instinctively replies that his child does. Acknowledging his family, friends, supporters and each and every organisation which has helped the movement progress; Jeremy reserves special mention for his grandfather. “A Japanese prisoner of war, he saw the bomb go off at Nagasaki and it poisoned his blood. He told me stories and twenty one was his favourite number so that’s why International Peace Day is on the 21st September,’’ he explains. This year Jeremy will be celebrating Peace Day in style. Since its inception, the movement has grown in credibility and prominence; staging increasingly star-studded events in order to raise awareness and much needed funding to finance the many projects his organisation oversees. Despite the campaign’s seemingly heavy costs, his budget has been managed on a shoe string. ‘‘Financially, it’s been very, very difficult,’’ he confirms. But somehow things have managed to just about come together. Having recently become a father, Jeremy is understandably reflective when encouraged to confront all he’s achieved. ‘‘Being a father is the best thing in the world,’’ he says, ‘‘and as for her future, I certainly hope that Peace Day will be institutionalised and that on that day we’ll see our world uniting on a scale we’ve never seen before. If I’ve been a part of making that a reality then I think my life will have been worthwhile.’’ Acting upon the belief that we can make our planet a better place, Jeremy has done what he set out to and established an internationally recognised day of ceasefire and non-violence. Despite sleepless nights, immediate physical danger and, at times, a total absence of funding, Jeremy’s ‘can do’ attitude has prevailed and his project flourished. ‘‘I’m really inspired by the fact that it’s just growing,’’ Jeremy concludes. ‘‘The amount of people who want peace to be possible is just amazing.’’ For more information visit www.peaceoneday.org
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