The last century model of male, female relationship was fear based, unleashing an epidemic of loneliness upon the planet, where relationships are doomed before they begin. The “I love you if you love me” type of relationship, when the going gets tough, one or both of the protagonists are walking out the door. Going from one failed relationship into another, each relationship ending in heartbreak, anguish, suffering. Not understanding why or what has just happened to destroy their relationship. Where the premise that freedom is the ability to be able to end relationships whenever one chooses, to be able to walk out the door when it all becomes too much. The feeling of being trapped and wanting something different, better, or more. Enduring multiple relationships as history repeats itself. Spending your whole life in search for the one.

The amazing powerful extraordinary relationship you were born to experience can only be found within the paradigm that declares, true freedom is only found in a truly committed relationship. The ultimate symbol of commitment is marriage, not necessarily the old fashioned in a church type.  A personal formal sacred declaration of vows, stating the significance of the ceremony. What each of the participants means to the other, their non negotiable commitment to that union. Till this happens couples are not in a truly committed relationship. Once the vows are taken, the relationship is elevated to a whole new level which has to be experienced to be understood. When you know that your partner will never leave you, will always be there for you, that the grass will never be greener elsewhere, only then can you fully express the power of your love for your partner, your love grows with every day for that rare being who shares all with you through your journey of life.

To ensure the success of the marriage, each person must understand the truth, relationships are hard work. That each day is an opportunity to work on, and recreate their relationship. Understanding the importance of the need to work on their relationship every day, that each day is the first day of the rest of their lives, now is the moment to show, declare, experience love and respect for your partner. It is you, not them, who is responsible for the success of your union, each day you have the choice to choose love or egoistic arguments, there is no longer right and wrong in disagreements,  instead choose kindness and compromise. Strength is gentleness, to never take for granted any aspect of your relationship. To love means to respect, honor, listen and above all to communicate clearly and gently whatever you feel, so your partner knows where you are at, what is happening for you in the relationship. This is true freedom.

Love is exponential, it blossoms and grows in each moment, you are an embodiment of love, born from love, to share love, a spiritual truth which the union of marriage provides the carriage, to experience love beyond understanding. Non negotiable commitment to your relationship gives the assurance, safety and freedom so your partner can love you fully, freely knowing that you will always be there for them, no matter the circumstances. This is the freedom from fear that comes with a formal declaration of love that freedom through commitment espouses. This commitment gives both partners the confidence to fully explore the essence, the pinnacle of human endeavor, love.

Jo Hegerty discovers that nothing is precisely what she needs.

Peacefulness fits well within the budget at Prema Shanti meditation and yoga retreat.

THE FIRST “om” was a little dubious, the sound pushed out through pursed lips, chins disappearing into chests. A collective deep breath and we were more focused, rounding out the sound to an A-U-M that vibrated in the chest, then the throat and finally the head. We were getting there.

If you’ve ever said “Give me a break!” and really meant it, then the Prema Shanti meditation and yoga retreat is for you. Surrounded by the ancient Daintree Rainforest and at the foot of Thornton’s Peak, the B&B-style retreat is relaxed, fulfilling and secluded – mobile phones don’t work this side of the river.

Every morning at the Prema Shanti started with the soft tinkling of bells from the temple above. Filtered blue light outlined the open window and, in noble silence, we each made our way upstairs and sat comfortably in a circle to meditate and welcome the day, starting with 21 resonant oms.

Co-founder of the Prema Shanti Mara Staffieri says it usually takes people a couple of days to settle down: “They come up here stressed out from being on the go, but still feel they’re incapable of relaxing”.

Mara encourages her guests to get out there and spend a day at the Reef, just five kilometres offshore from Cape Tribulation; or to go jungle surfing – crocodile spotting – on a four-wheel-drive adventure. On my first day, I jumped on one of the retreat’s mountain bikes and pedalled hard and fast to the Daintree Discovery Centre, 15 kilometres south. That was enough to put me in a contemplative mood and the return journey took three times as long after I’d stopped off for an ice-cream, a swim and learnt to pedal at a leisurely pace. It didn’t take long for the power of the Daintree Rainforest to melt away the need to constantly be doing.

It’s here that Prema Shanti picks up the thread and teaches you how to focus on just being. The practice takes place at first light and at 6pm, when all come together to meditate. The meditation itself is not always guided, but Mara gives her guests a talk on this difficult process of quietening the mind. She reassures us that she, too, finds herself repeating in her head, “don’t think”, then after a moment of stillness, a gleeful “I didn’t think!”.

“It’s normal,” she says, “your mind is racing away all the time, every day. It’s just that when we slow down we really notice it. Meditation is a slow process; what you’re looking for is gaps in the string of thoughts, then, slowly, the length of those gaps will increase. If your mind wanders, let it, but bring it back when you can.”

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The Magical Treehouse

YOGA RETREATS AREN’T JUST FOR HIPPIES ANYMORE.

NICOLE SANDERSON VISITS A RETREAT DESIGNED FOR ANYONE IN NEED OF A RELAXING ESCAPE.

Its a Saturday morning and my girlfriends and I stop into Port Douglas for our last cafe latte. After a double shot of caffeine, we skip through Mossman, Whyanbeel, Wonga Beach then cross the Daintree river on the ferry. Following a 20-minute drive hugging the pristine coastline, we reach the turnoff, then follow the track to Prema Shanti, a meditation and yoga retreat.

An elephant god called Ganesha (apparently he bestows good fortune and removes obstacles from one’s path) greets us at the entrance and an unsealed driveway draws us into a secluded rainforest garden. Suzanne, our host for the weekend, shows us to our rooms. As I walk past the shared bathroom and up the stairs, the timber pole home reveals itself like a magical tree house.

On the veranda, Tibetan prayer flags ripple in the breeze and the outdoor kitchen welcomes us with a hot cup of chamomile tea. The sweet smell of incense hangs in the air, luring us into the room and onto the polished floor for meditation. We close our eyes, sit in prayer position (supported by a cushion) and launch into a relaxing chant.

Thirty minutes later, we step back out onto the veranda, sit at a low timber table and are served dinner – the most delicious dhal and vegetable soup with fresh bread. Detox heaven.

We chat with Suzanne about spiritual enlightenment and we all reflect on our own lives. We sit around and chat until 9.30pm, when the silent retreat kicks in until morning. Our plans to walk the beach fall to the wayside, as our bodies and minds are so relaxed that we just drift off to our rooms and into one of the deepest sleeps we’ve all had in a very long time.

We wake to a bell chiming, indicating meditation time. Still in silence, we place our cushions on the floor upstairs and fall into meditation again. Silence breaks 30 minutes later, and we chat over yet another tea, then prepare for a relaxing session of yoga. I was feeling stiff at the beginning, but by the end Ifeel as though I’ve just stepped out of an intense massage.

Breakfast is the most delicious muesli mixed with nuts, seeds, cinnamon and dolloped with natural yoghurt and a side of fruit. It’s all so fresh and nourishing.

It’s a divine experience learning how to breathe, clear your head and focus on relaxing. It’s like a fresh new start to life.

Prema Shanti runs 7 days a week all year round, our program runs everyday of the year so if you have specific dates wanting to practice yoga and meditation, you can come from two days up to 2 weeks, choosing dates that work for you,

Revitalize your spirit and invigorate your yoga practice.

Boutique accom – Twin share $90 per person / per night. Boutique accomm – Single $120 per/ night. info@premashanti.com   07 40989006

RETREATS HELD BY VISITING TEACHERS WITH SPECIFIC DATES.

Nikola Ellis –  2nd September

The retreat offers two yoga classes per day which include general level asana, pranayama, meditation and introduction to the 5 koshas (the subtle layers of the body, mind spirit. No prior experience is required, the group is limited in numbers. Contact Prema Shanti Yoga Retreat for further info on 07 40989006

Michele Maselli -19th Sept to 24th

Please contact us for Information on this retreat on 07 40989006

North India Prema Shanti Yoga Tour

Discover North India’s spiritual richness, amazing culture and breathtaking beauty as you practice life-enhancing yoga and meditation throughout this wonder-filled 14-day journey.

Commencing from Delhi 23rd February 2016, take a guided tour of the magnificent Golden Temple, experience the friendly Tibetan culture in the Dalai Lama’s home town of McLeod Ganj. revel in the beauty of Rishikesh – the yoga capital of India, and witness the sunset aarti on the banks of the Ganges at Haridwar and Rishikesh. Other highlights include a guided tour of the incredibly beautiful Taj Mahal, the best of Delhi and so much more. Along the way, you will enjoy authentic experiences, delicious cuisine and revitalizing yoga and meditation classes with Mara and Janardhan from Prema Shanti Yoga Retreat.

In addition to seeing India’s famous sights, this wonderful tour takes you off the tourist path to discover ancient sacred treasures as well as practical spiritual gems to apply to your life. It will inspire and delight you.
$2990 twin share

Itinerary

Day One

On arrival in Delhi, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. Later, we have combined sightseeing of Old and New Delhi. Overnight Delhi

Day Two

After breakfast, we drive to Haridwar, one of the seven holiest Hindu places of pilgrimage in India. Here we visit Mansadevi Temple and various ghats. In the early evening we witness the evening prayer performed at the River Ganges. Overnight Haridwar.

Day Three

Drive a short distance to Rishikesh. After settling into our lovely hotel overlooking the Ganges, we embark on a guided walking tour and in the evening, we will experience an aarti ceremony on the beautiful Ganges. Overnight Rishikesh.

Day Four

This morning we head north to Vasishta Cave and ashram for meditation and an optional dip in the Ganges. The afternoon is free for you to stroll around this amazingly beautiful place. In the evening, we take part in an aarti ceremony at Triveni Ghat.

Day Five

Visit Shivananda Ashram for morning satsang, following by more of Rishikesh’s wonderful sacred sites and some free time

Day Six

Today we depart Rishikesh in the late morning and take a scenic drive to Chandigarh for overnight.

Day Seven

After breakfast, drive to Mcleod Ganj – home of the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetan people living in exile.

Day Eight

Go on a guided tour of Mcleod Ganj and surrounding areas. This is a unique opportunity to experience the vibrant and friendly Tibetan Culture. Experience the peaceful ambience of Norbulingka Institute, established to teach and preserve Tibetan art and culture. While here, enjoy a delicious Tibetan lunch before, visiting the beautiful Tibetan Children’s Village in the afternoon. We also visit the Dalai Lama’s temple.

Day Nine

This morning we enjoy a walking meditation of the outer kora path around the Dalai Lama’s temple. There is free time in the afternoon with many different activity options including: Tibetan cooking classes, walks, trekking, prayer time at the Dalai Lama’s temple, a Tibetan massage or shopping at the many Tibetan stores. You will also have the opportunity to join an English conversation group with Tibetan monks and refugees.

Day Ten

Today we drive to our next destination – Amritsar. A visit to the astonishingly beautiful Golden Temple to witness the prayer book ceremony is scheduled for the evening.

Day Eleven

After breakfast we go for a guided tour the Golden Temple, where priests keep up a continuous chant from the Sikh holy book and welcome all people into this deeply spiritual place. Visit other sites and in the late afternoon we catch an express train back to Delhi.

Day Twelve

Today we have a guided tour of the world-famous Taj Mahal, described as the most extravagant monument ever built in the name of love. We also visit the colourfully decorated ‘Baby Taj’ and Fatehpur Sikri, a magnificent ghost city built in 1571 by the Moguls, before a short drive to Bharatpur for overnight.

Day Thirteen

Experience an early cycle rickshaw ride in the peaceful Keoladeo Ghana National Park, host to approximately 380 bird species from across the globe. We then drive back to Delhi via Vrindavan, a place closely associated with the legends of Krishna. This evening we have a final group dinner.

Day Fourteen

Depart any time today.

Additional Information

Your 14-day experience includes air-conditioned transport, all accommodation, all tours, entrance fees, local guides, guide tips, some meals, satsangs, yoga and meditation classes.

Our special holiday yoga and meditation retreat runs from 28th December-2nd January. The perfect way to bring in the new year and create focus and intention for 2018! .Our program features chanting, pranayama,dharma talks, meditation, asana.You can snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or pamper yourself with spa, massage with a wide variety of activities for leisure and play to choose from. Whatever your desire may be, your Yoga Retreat will be an experience that will empower you and inhance your life. Limited numbers available and bookings essential. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

  • Boutique Accommodation -Twin Share $110 per person p/night
  • Boutique Accommodation -Single $140 p/night
  • Boutique Accommodation – Couple queen room $95 per person p/night

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What is reality? ask this question and you will receive a bewildering array of answers depending on who you ask, a quantum physicist may reply, reality is a 3 dimensional hologram filled with sub-atomic particles moving at 67,000 miles per hour, held in a gravitational force field, moving around a nebulous molten ball of gas we refer to as the sun, a mystic may reply, its all Maya an illusion, you are the dreamer dreaming the dream of life, the atheist will say, its what you can see, feel.and  touch. Perception is reality, Albert Einstein posed this question to a colleague, is the moon there when you are not looking? We have all heard the saying you can not see the woods for the trees, each fashions the world according to his beliefs, experiences, perceptions. Read More

Tomorrow never comes, the now is all there is, so with this realisation, my prevarication ends, my blog is born, It seems I had been dragging my heels for an eternity, mentally committing to writing my blog, but never putting pen to paper. My delusion that I as a man of action, that my word was law, that what I say I do, a feeble pronouncement, so I girded my loins sat down to the computer and started. What I resisted had truly persisted, as the words flowed, a new lightness in my being began, as I merrily expounded to the many students who pass through the hallowed halls of Prema Shanti, the first law of empowerment is to honour your word! What you say is who you are, when ever you do what you say you will do, your will-power strengthens, conversely when you say you will do something and don’t do it, your will-power weakens. When you realise this truth, and make the decision that from this point forward, you are your word, your life changes, your inherent nature as an empowered person dominates all aspects of your life.

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There are two types of people in the world, empowered  and dis-empowered. Dis-empowerment comes in all shapes and forms, it occurs when one feels one has no control over events or circumstances in ones life. Dis-empowered people blame parents, partners ,spouses, society, government for the circumstances and  situations they find themselves in. They perceive themselves as victims of circumstance, not taking ownership or personal responsibility for whatever predicament they find themselves in. Dis empowered persons always blame external forces as the cause for their situation. This lack of accountability is also common in personal relationships, where its always the other person who is at fault.  This applies also in their relationships with others, family, society, governments etc.The exact opposite is true of empowered people, they hold themselves accountable for every single facet of their lives, they are totally responsible for their lives, their relationships, everything in their world is their responsibility. Read More