I expected Buddhafield to be good but I didn’t expect the experience to completely blow my mind and leave me feeling totally and utterly blissed out and in love with fellow man. And that’s not half of the profound effect that it had on me!
When we arrived the site seemed quiet and peaceful and I was pleased to note the many trees surrounding each field. This gives the whole place a really alive and grounded feel and it felt really good. Once we’d pitched our tent, we went to explore and discovered proper thunderbox compost loos. Brilliant! These were clean and didn’t smell (unlike the compost loos which all feed into same pit, and don’t even get me started on portaloos!) and were also kept well stocked with recycled loo roll throughout the festival.
Arriving in the festival field, it’s clear how much love and care has been put into setting up – the ritual space holds a huge gold buddha surrounded by plants and crystals. And so, begins a magical weekend of discovery. Our daughters discovered the saunas first under the guidance of a friend, preferring the cold plunge pool over the heat of the sauna. Then they were off, meeting people, playing with the other children on site and generally turning the whole beautiful space into their playground. As they get older, it becomes more and more possible to give them this freedom and it is a pleasure to watch them fly with it.
So Jez and I found ourselves in the Ecstatic Dance workshop with Jewels Wingfield. A mindblowing way to start the festival – we walked out with hearts and minds wide open and proceeded to have lots of fun! We met loads of people over the weekend who are involved with the magazine, a whole community of readers, writers and contributors. We also met lots of people doing incredible inspiring things who will feature on the pages of The Green Parent in the future.
The food was amazing, lots of organic, wholefood options, the vibe was incredible, the people gorgeous and the selection of workshops fantastic. We sang with Mahasukha, danced with Jewels, played digderidoo, practiced yoga, meditated, listened to poetry and song and much much more. We all had an amazing festival and my eldest said it was the best she had ever been to. When asked why, she explained that “People here are really happy; they aren’t just pretending to be. That’s what happens when people don’t drink.” And I think this was a key factor to such a beautiful heart-wide-open experience, there was no alcohol or drugs so nothing to hide behind. People were who they really are. And on that scale, watching a community in action it was quite something to witness. So, we’ll definitely be booking tickets for next year’s festival. And for those who are looking for something magical and inspirational over the summer, Buddhefield holds various retreats, each with a different focus. I love the sound of the Gandharva Music Retreat in September. Many of the retreats are held at Frog Mill, a wildlife rich space in Devon. Buddhafield are working to raise money to pay for this land to regenerate areas of woodland and enable them to keep holding events here, such as the Family Friendly from 30th July to 6th August.
I have long wanted to sample the delights of Buddhafield festival, having heard so many amazing stories about this family friendly event which takes place from July 13-17th in Somerset. This year we are finally going to get to experience it and I’m so excited!
The theme for 2011 is Abundance, which is cosmically timely, with the incredible heart opening, expansive feel of the spring and summer so far this year. The whole festival is about getting out of the head and into the body. A challenge for many Westerners but one that I am looking forward to fully embracing in a couple of weeks time.
Workshops, talks and demos fill the five day event and festival goers can learn everything from Buddhist chanting to how to make your own digeridoo. I am especially looking forward to the full yoga programme which starts at 6:30 every morning, singing workshops with the legendary Mahasukha and women’s sacred intimacy workshops with Jewels Wingfield. And of course, I won’t be able to resist a few 5 rhythms sessions and shamanic trance dance. Oh and Carolyn Hillyer will be there leading a sacred song workshop and there’s plenty of NVC workshops too. Squeal! Excited? Moi? Yep!
All this, plus there’s music from Undercover Hippy, Seize the Day and a poetry set from the brilliant Paradox, as well as lots of other inspirational sounds and speakers. When it comes to relaxation and eating, Pachamamas will be providing chai and crepes, Buddhafield cafe will be providing the best vegan breakfasts ever known to man and the on site health food shop, Sunseed will be selling everything else you might need.
I’m pleased to note many eco initiatives that Buddhafield are already involved in and look forward to discovering more as we explore the site. From compost loos to liftsharing policy, renewable energy use to a comprehensive recycling programme, the organisers have really thought about every aspect.
So, we’ll keep you posted and let you know how much fun we have, when we get back. And if you are interested in going, there are tickets still available – find out more here.
Welcome to the new blog from the Green Parent office. Here we'll talk about what's going on in the small and quite leafy headquarters of the UK's leading green lifestyle magazine. We'll share news that interests us and talk about green issues and natural parenting. We'll share advice and information from our own experiences of living a green lifestyle. And we'll even tell you what we are reading, eating, drinking and thinking. Hope you get plenty of food for thought here.