Thoughts and reflections…………

This post, Manda Scott, novelist and shamanic teacher, writes:

In my days as a clinician, I used to practice evidence-based veterinary medicine. Now that I write novels for a living and teach shamanic dreaming courses, I practise – and teach – evidence-based spirituality: we do what we do because it works, and because our lives are enhanced as a result – we don’t need a faith, or a belief system, or a creed. In fact, it’s important that we have none of these; each fosters emotional attachments to words and to head-mind cycles of self-justification that get in the way of the open-hearted, full-hearted, strong-hearted, clear-hearted life that is ours if we work towards it.

Effortless, and yet whole-hearted intent is required to stand in heart-mind and listen to the whispers of the All That Is, and is hardest of all to understand and to teach. Our culture trains us in effortful and often heart-less ways of living and often, simply setting aside the habits of a lifetime is enough as a first step.  The rest is found by practice, and by attention to the people and places that mirror this for us – of which Poulstone, and the space Mel and Steve create and sustain is a perfect, and constant example.  Simply to be here is an act of mindfulness that helps us let go of the tribulations of the week and come back to ourselves. This is evidence-based spirituality in action and we are grateful for it.

Manda Scott has published 10 novels to date, including the internationally best-selling “Boudica: Dreaming” series.  The website for information about her writing is  She also teaches shamanic dreaming courses and more information on these can be found at  Manda will be teaching at Poulstone throughout 2013.  Please contact her directly for information about courses open to the public:

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Rajesh sees Poulstone as a refuge in a fast-moving world and is inspired by guests leaving Poulstone renewed and re-centred. He regards the energy of Poulstone to be perfect for retreats and manages Poulstone to maintain and sustain this energy. Rajesh has been attending retreats for a very long time and occasionally runs meditation retreats. He was introduced into the many different faiths of India including Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Sufism and Buddhism from a very early age. These faiths have formed a large part of his upbringing. He is a barrister by profession specialising in human rights from Chambers in London. He is also a humanitarian and environmentalist and has worked with and founded organisations around the world whose objectives include the rejuvenation of land, communities and promoting human rights. He also founded the first Indian vegetarian restaurant in Worcestershire with his family. His joys include cooking, gardening, playing the sitar, reading Eastern philosophy and loves being with his family and friends.

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