Weather in Wales was predicted heavy rain and wind, the practicality of busking was unlikely. So I found the closest hostel I could – Pantyrathro International Hostel. A place in which I found some new friends and new knowledge.
Turning up to an empty hostel, with just yourself and the receptionist, is weird. I’m used to a wide range of characters lurking about the bunk beds, family’s crossing countries brewing up incredible suppers filling the air with delightful smells or a choir of farting and snoring in the 26 bed dorms (a hostel in London, it was immensely grim) or groups of lads turning every room into a party storming in at 3am flicking all the lights on, rambling about their drunken victories waking the old ladies just coming to Oxford to see its history. But none of that, silence, it was eerie, it was weird and uncomfortable. “is anyone else in tonight?”…”no, just you”. Felt like having my own place, which I’ve never had, it was, nice. I took the chance to practice some new song ideas and like anyone does when they’re home alone, run around naked…
Attempting to busk the next day was a pointless endeavour, I drove up to Carmarthen, completed a to do list; bank, posting CDs, launderette (where I accidentally sliced a wasps face off trying to assist it outside…)
There’s some frustration to not being able to busk, I feel bad for not doing so. But the rain came heavy at unpredictable intervals and the wind was strong throughout the day. I just took that time to work on another project that has been going for a while, one that hopefully you’ll all see in the future!
Returning to the hostel, back to normality it was filling with new faces, new characters, new stories and knowledge to be heard. A German baker, Ben was here hiking Wales for ten days to escape the busyness of Koln. Quiet in the mind on the beauty of Wales countryside, hiking around Snowdonia is good for that. Seeing what the Welsh bakeries were like, learning from them, taking notes and dying to experiment back home at his bakery which changes its menu every couple months! A never ending list of different breads to try out, amazing!
I tried out some songwriting again, hoping not to disturb anyone, it didn’t seem to. People were walking past smiling as they moved from kitchen to dorm to the bar downstairs. The next morning compliments were passed, by a father who’s daughters didn’t need night lights or bed time stories, due to the peaceful sounds the guitars were making. An amazing thing to have heard and been apart of, relaxing music to sleep too! He was a drummer himself, plays in a Christian worship band, loves jamming with musicians who understand time and texture, he enjoys creating soundscape sounds with the drums.
That night of songwriting, 13 Nepalis women arrived, with buckets (actual buckets) full of food, it smelled amazing, they cooked a breakfast at 5am, some kind of potato-curry-esk, I was far asleep to have joined in at 5am. But I met a level 22 Druid (legit) that night who helped me understand what these Nepalis women were doing here. Andy (the Druid) and I sat up till way past midnight talking, he was once a multi millionaire with 7 business, something inside clicked one day “I have it all, but I have nothing, I’m miserable”. Just like that he gave it all up, passed his businesses to those second in command, left his wife and pursued an inner calling to help people across the world. He know runs a gong-bath in Liverpool which helps people meditate relax and discover a new realm “you’re in the room”. He also just bought a mass amount of land here in Carmarthen, to build a centre of healing, a retreat centre for spiritual practice and aiding people to leave negative things and create positive things. The owner of the hostel walked in on the conversation, heard our stories and told us how he’s travelled all across the world in search for higher spiritual understanding, and told us a meditation technique where he reaches higher levels of consciousness, converses with weird creatures and connects with the universe at a deeper level. “look at him, he’s nosy, he’s curious, he’s on the journey man, he’s in the room man!”, Andy the Druid said pointing at me.
The next morning I accepted to follow Andy and his friend Roberto to a hidden temple half hour away. Narrow roads with rows of trees swaying down cutting off the outside world as we entered the grounds of this multi-faith temple on the edge of Carmarthen. My phone disconnected instantly as we entered, strange. Andy’s smile grew as we got there, part of me was concerned if this was actual a temple or a ‘temple’ (perhaps an off road place to take my kidneys?). But it was safe and overly friendly, driving through, many happy faces wandering the grounds, the cafe, the temples, the gardens. Volunteers or visitors, everyone was happy and smiling, nodding at one another ‘namaste’, at one another, strangers of kindness. We walked in on the beginning of a Vishnu Puja Ceremony. The rest of my time here was truly something magical, I can’t explain truly with words, it is something you’d have to experience yourself. So visit it! – https://www.skandavale.org/
This morning was gifted with the sights of incredible animals that you wouldn’t expect to see in Wales (elephants and white peacocks), a small statue of Saraswati (the Hindu Goddess of Knowledge, music, art, wisdom and nature) and a more enlightened mindset to start the day. Since this experience I have spent more time (in the morning especially) meditating and focusing on a more clearer mindset, gratitude walks and my own way of prayer.
Spontaneity truly leads to some incredible experiences, this isn’t the first time something completely new has opened up on this journey, but it’s definitely one of the most memorable ones. I recommend to you to try new things and explore spirituality in your own way. Spark conversations with strangers and hear what they have to say, we can all learn something from one another and we all have so much to teach and share with others. We are all different which is the beauty of being human and existing on this planet, it means that if we are open to it, each day can be a totally new lesson on life and it’s wonder. Obviously have caution and don’t approach every stranger if you have sense they may cause trouble, be weary of who you speak too.
“You’re in the room” – Dave said this a lot. He never explained what he meant by that, but from my understanding, it’s an inner sign that you feel more conscious of the world and understand your inner feelings with more depth. To see the world in a different light, to feel at peace, to feel more connected with nature and the universe. To understand that you have a purpose and you know what that purpose involves. I think once “you’re in the room”, you’ll understand that you are, in actual fact, “in the room”.
Hear the busking set I performed at Tenby on the 11th – the day I went to the temple, here;
All the best!
Thank you for reading my words and follow this journey.
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Have a great day!