One Flame Uniting People Worldwide

Week 36. This was a special one because it was in North Wales, where my Dad used to hike in his school days. We left from Coventry (where I was born!) and piled into the rental car and got comfortable for the 2-hour drive. We stopped to play with the sheep… well I did and everyone laughed because the sheep just ran away when I approached them. I felt a little agitated, wondering how I was going to make it through the day, staring at the sun and the mountains in awe yet still a little angry at God or whoever, but mostly just unable to process the amount of gratitude I was feeling. Roshni, Mom, and I sat in the back, crowded and trying to feel comfortable. Dylan sat in the front with lots of room and a big smile on his face. Dad drove, and led us through the hills and valleys, as we entered the place that he had fallen in love with as a child.

We parked close to Mount Snowdon, but we still needed to take a bus to get to the base. We discovered that we didn’t have enough change so Mom ran to a nearby taxi bus and asked him for change for a 10 pound note. She came back and we stood there waiting, then Dylan had the idea that we should just take the taxi instead of waiting for the bus, and so Mom ran back and asked him how much it would be and he said that it would be 2 pounds each (so 10 pounds in total). She came back and we agreed it was a better option (well first my Dad said that the bus would be cheaper, then realized it was just a small difference) and we all piled into the taxi. We enjoyed the smooth ride after being trapped in that small car for so long. It felt like the start of an adventure! Once we got to the base, we stopped to use the restrooms and geared up for our climb.

Base of Mount Snowdon, North Wales

The sun was shining brightly and it was very windy. We decided to take the Miner’s Path, a beautiful hike encircling two lakes, that is perfect for people who want an enjoyable hike without going to the summit. Throughout our hike, my Dad would find hills off the beaten path and him and Dylan would climb up them and almost get blown over by the force of the wind. We stopped at one of the lakes and had a rock-throwing contest – mine didn’t go very far!, Dad won, with Dylan came in a close second.


There were waterfalls and sheep and the views were beyond beautiful. I stopped at a waterfall and started to sing “I Would Die for You” – a flash of inspiration.

On our way home we stopped for lunch at a cute little café – I had a vegetarian breakfast consisting of eggs, veggie sausage, hash browns, mushrooms, and toast – all for just 3.99 pounds! I had to use the bathroom which was a porta-potty type thing, and on my way stumbled upon a beautiful little stream. I paid my 20 pence for the bathroom, got inside and pressed the LOCK button. Then the automated message voice announced “This door will open automatically in 15 minutes” which gave me a heart attack (how was I going to survive in there for 15 whole minutes?!!), immediately followed by “At any time you may press the button to unlock.” Phew!

We drove on and encounted a cute little place that looked like a B&B that turned out to be a yoga/retreat centre. We stopped outside and we were in awe of the World Peace Flame (image above).

The World Peace Flame is a universal symbol of global peace and unity. Peace is the change that you and I can make here and now by the way we think, speak, feel and act to create harmony in our day to day life and relationships.

There were seven flames in 5 continents that were lit across the world. In 1999 they were united in Bangor, North Wales to create the World Peace Flame. Since then the flame has been taken to every country in the world and serves as a representation for the unified desire for world peace. The flame is a call to action, and is associated with many humanitarian projects around the world. The World Peace Flame Foundation runs trauma healing programs in Sudan, Northern Ireland, and Nepal, and most recently programs to help Syrian refugees. In India, there are programs to empower local communities and provide free health care to impoverished areas.

We walked into the main office of the centre and met the owner Sue, who took us through and explained some of the programs related to yoga, meditation, mantras, the power of sound, and retreats. She was so lovely and animated, and made us feel right at home!

Me and Sue, Owner of Dru Yoga Centre, North Wales

In the picture you can see Saraswati in the back and the Bhagavad Gita! I wish I’d taken a picture of the passage it was open to. Sue handed us lots of brochures and guided us through the centre. I saw the book Full Catastrophe Living there, which was written by Jon Kabat Zinn, whose meditation I do on a daily basis. Then I said hi to the sleeping Buddha who was hanging out by the window.


It felt like a long drive home, but thankfully we all slept and were konked out for most of it. We arrived back in Coventry at around 9 PM, where my Foi was waiting for us and had a wonderful dinner prepared.


Making A Life of One’s Own

So I did my 10K walk yesterday but when I got home I was too tired and broken to write. I ended up doing my meditation and falling asleep on my sofa. As usual, it was an event-filled day with many serendipitous moments. I ran into Sarah Hussain, and she was doing mendhi on a client, Kimberley. How gorgeous!!

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Kimberley at Balzac’s, henna by Sarah Hussain

I read from the Underground Girls of Kabul, and I was struck by the response that Jenny gets when she asks a group of Afghan women what they feel the difference between men and women are. Men respond to that same question by saying that women are more nurturing, caring, sensitive, and less physically capable. Women respond by using one word: freedom. As in men have it, and women do not. It made me feel so grateful for what I have, the freedom to do as I wish, even though it doesn’t always feel that way.

On my walk earlier I had walked by the Blu God tattoo store, just as Krishna’s face was being peeled off. I couldn’t believe it!! Krishna always talks about impermanence in the Bhagavad Gita, how nothing stays the same, time swallows everything, and here he was, being peeled away, his flute and smiling face no longer gracing the busy Yonge street traffic.

I also had a chance to sit outside Osgoode Hall and read for a bit. As I was reading and observing the squirrels, I saw a streetcar go by with Lilly Singh’s picture on it (photo above). She is truly one of the most inspirational, authentic people in the entertainment industry, always true to herself and exuding so much light and love. It’s great to see her face around the city as a reminder of how to stay grounded and true, even if you’re famous and life is always exciting.

On the way home I stopped at Chapters. I tried to read from “I’ll give you the sun” for an upcoming book club meeting, since I promised Jasmine that I would give it a shot, but I just couldn’t get into it. I came across this book on comedy writing instead and it inspired me to start working on jokes!! I’ve been coming up with a lot of good ideas lately, since my life is a bit of a disaster at times and it makes for good comedy.

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I also came across an interesting book called “Spinster: Making A Life of One’s Own”, which started off like this:

Whom to marry, and when will it happen – These two questions define every woman’s existence, regardless of where she was raised or what religion she does or doesn’t practice. She may grow up to love women instead of men, or to decide she simply doesn’t believe in marriage. No matter. These dual contingencies govern her until they’re answered, even if the answers are nobody and never.

How very true! Ahhh the quest for love and reciprocity. Never gets old and never ceases to torment.

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Spinster: Making A Life of One’s Own

One more really cool thing happened yesterday. I was at the reference library and came across an Indian soap opera shown on the multi-television screen. The prince says to Queen Joda: “You have many talents Queen Joda. Unfortunately expressing gratitude is not one of them.” To which she replies: “Thank you”. What a nice reminder to always be thankful!

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