Posts Tagged ‘love’

What do you devote your life to?

Posted on: March 6th, 2020 by rachana

In the world we live, money – and everything it represents – is the greatest value. Isn’t it interesting that the dollar bill shows the saying “In God we trust“? Nobody asks people why they spend all their life energy on image and work, even “giving their souls” to serve the interests of a company. Our value is defined by what we do and how successful we are in our achievements. Most human beings devote their lives to the values defined by the mainstream, without questioning or reflecting on the harmful consequences for their own lives and their surroundings.


The word devotion is not frequently used in the western world, and it is very poorly understood. In my experience, being a devotee means putting your love, your life energy, at the service of something. One day my mother told me that she found it strange that I devote my life to my Master and always prioritize being in retreats with him; she thought it was too much. Without reacting, I managed to stop and think before answering: “yes mother, it is true that I devote my life to this, but if you think about it, everyone devotes their lives to something; to work, to a company, to a career, to family, to success, to money. I devote my life to find out who I am in the essence, to discover love, to live in awareness, in peace, and that is what my master represents to me; he teaches me how to live what I seek the most, that’s why I made this choice to devote my life to this path ”.


In 2018, I spent two months in Ladakh, northern India, and I had numerous opportunities to observe devotion as an intrinsic part of the culture and the way people from that area live. They are simple and extremely intelligent, fully connected with nature and its religious principles. I had an incredible chance to go to a meeting with the Dalai Lama and his 40,000 devotees. Entire families, from grandparents to babies, monks from different schools, and people who fled Tibet to be able to be there, in their master’s enlightened presence. It was impressive to feel the silence and harmony present in that intense atmosphere of love and devotion.


Throughout history, there have always been people who “chose” to follow their own path, devoting their lives to something untouchable, but very real – the most genuine longing of their hearts. In the east, these drop outs, in the sense of living “outside” of the values of the society, are known as sannyasins, or simply disciples, those who want to learn. They are highly respected in the society, as they leave the worldly values to devote themselves to the path of spiritual awakening. Contrarily to what many people think, this choice to follow the path of awakening is extremely challenging, since it is a narrow and often obscure journey. That’s why the master is necessary; he is like a lighthouse in the dark night. He points the way, the direction, and more than that, he is the real proof that this human existence is a gift and that it is possible to live as an “awakened being”. For me, devoting my life to this realization is in itself a grace.


And you, what do you devote your existence to?



Sana_blogSana is a devotee of Vasant Swaha, enjoying and exploring the way back to her true nature. She loves to share herself through Integration Craniossacral sessions and workshops of meditations. Living closer to nature is her biggest joy.





Now or Never – Biodanza New Year 2019

Posted on: January 18th, 2019 by rachana

Seeing my old friends gave me a high
With the new ones, I’ve been a bit shy

With “Tunnel of Love” I felt a shift
In the evening, I received a gift

I broke down, so my room mates held me
They are the sweetest souls that can be

In the first days, I had so much pain
But then I chose to not use my cane

I just knew, I had to go “all in”
Leave the pain, and feel what was within

I have some stuff I have to let go
“It’s Now or Never” to let things flow

The teachers encouraged me to strive
With dances that made me feel alive

My shaking started and set me free
Freeleasing some of that energy

Energy of what I mostly fear
It fades away when I have you near

Seeing kindness in all your faces
I thank you for all your embraces

With seeing Orion up above
I got the vision to “rise in love”

And on my journey in the new year
The memories from this, I’ll keep dear


Poem by Kikki Sommerfelt

Photo: Biodanza with Unni Heim, Mukti Gathering 2014


In Dharma Mountain we started the New Year 2019 with our traditional Biodanza New Years Retreat that Unni Heim facilitated for the 8th time! The dancing and the rituals created a loving atmosphere and a great frame to let go, to heal and to start afresh into the New. Like the journey of these things began for our participant Kikki who wrote this beautiful poem on New Year’s Eve, and shared it with us on the last morning of the retreat.




Hot summer curry: Khadai Paneer + how to make your own paneer

Posted on: August 17th, 2018 by leena


In Dharma mountain we have just experienced a beautiful summer retreat with the Beloved Master Swaha. Participants from many countries have come to sit with the master, to come back to nature outside and inside. We have had the warmest summer anyone can remember in Norway, and enjoyed the sun, the river – and of course the tasty fresh food from our kitchen. One of our favourite retreat lunches is the Khadai Paneer – a spicy indian curry with the soft indian cheese paneer.


In Dharma kitchen we make our own paneer – with  fresh milk from a local farmer. Dhipani & Ashika made the paneer this summer. and Dhipani shares some secrets of how to do it so it really becomes soft and juicy:



Homemade paneer:

Makes +/- 750 g paneer

5 liters whole milk (preferably fresh, ecological and non-pasteurized)

100 ml white vinegar



How to do it:

Measure the vinegar. Heat up the milk in a thick-bottomed vessel. Bring the milk to almost boiling, but just before the bubbles come up, add the vinegar and turn off the heat.

This will give the cheese a softer consistency than if you wait until it boils. Stir in the vinegar with a wooden spoon, in a gentle way so you don’t break the curd.


Drain in a colander covered with a cheese cloth. (You can use any clean, loosely woven white fabric. ) Spread the curd evenly. Cover with a plate, and a weight (a stone for example) on top. Leave for 10 minutes with the weight (if you leave it longer, the cheese will become harder), then put in the fridge until it’s completely cold and firm. Cut in pieces, and keep in the fridge.


171124_BR_Raahi_101Khadai Paneer

Don’t be stingy with the spices on this one.

4 persons

500 g paneer cheese

15 g garlic, finely chopped

20 g ginger, finely chopped

200 g onion, chopped

400 g canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, if using fresh tomatoes blend them or cut in small cubes

7 g salt

7,5 g turmeric

13 g ground coriander

3 g ground cumin or whole seeds

2 g chili powder or cayenne

3 g garam masala

1 g fenugreek leaves

40 g fresh coriander, pluck the leaves

45 ml cream

150 ml water

65 g red paprika, cut in cubes

65 g green paprika, cut in cubes



Cut the paneer and paprika in 2,5 cm cubes.

Fry onion until golden, or even better, if you have the time, until the onion is caramelized. Add garlic and ginger – and fry some more.

Add cumin seeds or powder and stir around a bit before you add the other spices (except for garam masala) and then the tomatoes.

Let simmer for a little while. Meanwhile you fry the paneer in a frying pan with ghee or butter until golden on each side. Quickly fry the paprika too, just so it loses the raw feeling, but it should still be crispy.

Add the garam masala and cream to the sauce and taste for salt. You might need to add a little sugar to balance it out. Add more spices if you feel it’s needed.

Mix the paneer and the paprika into the sauce. Serve with basmati rice, brown rice, green salad and chutneys.

With love from Satori kitchen

 Photos by Ram and Raahi




Dynamic saves my life.

Posted on: August 8th, 2018 by rachana

A glimpse into the Summer Retreat 2018




“When I first came to the retreats with Swaha, I hated Dynamic Meditation. Swaha asked me if I was doing Dynamic Meditation and I said no! Because – what the f** are we doing here? All the jumping was so much effort. So it was a struggle to attend. But then I found out and experienced myself the difference that Dynamic makes in my life and I totally learned to like it.”





“After 10 or 11 days of doing Dynamic in the retreat, something crazy happened. I was going into my childhood and a strong and painful feeling of missing the love and affection from my mother came up. After the Dynamic had finished that morning, maybe 5 minutes later, the ice broke inside me. I questioned myself: what is this past experience? And I understood: That past is not here. It is only in my imagination. I can let go off it. Then, after 21 days of Dynamic, there was really nothing left of that past, I had washed it out.”




“When you start the process of self-investigation, of getting to know yourself, you need tools to empty out and unburden yourself from all the ideas and illusions. How else do you get rid of your mind, the old emotions and pains? Then you desperately long for active meditations like Dynamic.”






“This summer I surprisingly enjoyed the third stage of Dynamic, when you jump and say the mantra ‘Hoo’. Each time I landed on my feet, I felt I really was present at that moment. There was no past, no future. Just this one jump existed. And in this jump was everything, the whole world. Because, you know, when jumping with eyes closed, I spin and turn, so I felt like Planet Earth rotating. That was so nice!”





“Normally when you stop, in the fourth stage, and everybody is still, you listen to something outside, like the water of the fountain or the birds singing. But one day while doing Dynamic this summer retreat I suddenly found a silent place inside myself, a hollow space more or less in the belly, where I have never been before. An awareness, an energy inside me, and I stayed there throughout the whole fourth stage. My god, it was very beautiful.”





“I feel that Dynamic saves my life. Again and again. I did the 21 day process already many times and it is such a great meditation. Only with the help of Dynamic can I be open and able to receive the beauty and love that Swaha has to give.”




~ ~ ~

The summer retreat just ended and we had Dynamic Meditation every morning at 7 a.m. for 21 days. Although it was not mandatory, the number of participants increased steadily and by the end the room was packed with wild and sweaty people. The energy was contagious and buzzing, a lot of old tensions could be released and many happy smiles left the room after 1 hour of maybe the most powerful meditation to be found in this world.


For those who joined the 21-Day Process, getting out of bed early every single morning was hard at times, for sure. You have to be very alert because the mind easily finds excuses. “However”, as one participant puts it, “it was me who made the clear decision before the retreat to go for 21 Days, so there was nowhere to escape.”


(Quotes by Janani, Nasheema, Tukaram, Wadi, Yogendra; Images from


Dynamic Meditation in a Nutshell:

Dynamic Meditation is an active 60-minute meditation created by Osho. The first stage: breathing; the second stage: catharsis; the third stage: jumping and the mantra Hoo; the fourth stage: stillness; the last stage: celebration.


There is no excuse – you can do Dynamic Meditation everywhere, even at home with kids – as Leena shares in this post about her Dynamic experience.

Curious to experience the magic of Dynamic Meditation yourself? You are welcome to join one of Swaha’s retreats.





A morning of love

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by leena

text and photo by Savini Aspholt


“What I have understood as love my whole life,
is merely the grasping for another, the clinging to another.”


It is Monday morning. My grandmother’s old coffee cup, with golden edges and hand-painted flowers, is warm between my hands. I sit by the table in front of the window, with my pen and notebook. Breathing in the morning. Breathing in the freshly brewed coffee. Some lazy, low clouds are resting on the snowy mountain sides.

In this moment, I suddenly realize, I don´t know what love is.

What I have understood as love my whole life, is merely the grasping for another, the clinging to another. This empty space, this vacuum inside of me, which make me believe that I need someone else to fulfill me.

The «need» for a boyfriend. The clinging to my children. The fear of losing someone. The need for some recognition from others; for acceptance, being liked, being «loved».

The fear of not being loved.

The very idea that love needs something outside of me to fulfill itself.

I don´t know what happened on this monday morning of freshly brewed coffee and lazy clouds.

I closed my eyes. I rested, inside myself. Felt the stillness under my own eyelids. The soft embrace of my own skin. The warm, cozy fire of my heart. The forest, whispering inside of me; «come, Savini, come».

I realized how many times I have «in the name of love» escaped from this space of self trust and self love. How many times I have grasped for someone on the outside, thinking it is love, while it in reality has been nothing but an avoidance of being alone, of being naked – with me.

How I have searched for someone else to fulfill me, or support me, because I haven´t really trusted, and rested in, my own presence and my own two feet.

I sat down by the mirror, tears running down. «Forgive me», I said.

She smiled at me, as she has smiled since before time began.
She laughed at me, so freely, so untouched by my tears and guilt.

«Welcome», she said, «I am happy you see me again».

 untitled_027Savini has been involved in the work around Swaha’s retreats for many years. She enjoys writing and photography, and loves to dive into the depths of her own soul and of the forest.



From Hønefoss with love

Posted on: February 10th, 2017 by leena

by Prasad Johannesen

Driving towards the city centre of Hønefoss, one will see on the right hand side, the local wiener factory, Leiv Vidar. There one can see their factory slogan, “From Hønefoss with love”.

Although one might wonder what sausages has to do with love, especially all the poor pigs and horses that has to be sacrificed to create this strangely enough, tasty food, love has somehow entered the mind and heart of the local processed meat factory.

sufi02For people attending the countless Satsangs that has been given each summer and many a winter at Dharma Mountain, the mystery is less enigmatic.

Love is the climate at this mountain pearl of consciousness and love. Grateful seekers receive what they in their hearts never dreamed of receiving. Insights into reality of the mundane and the reality of the divine is given effortlessly, and the ambience can be felt even when there are not Satsangs there.

Group meditations has proven to reduce crime when they have happened in areas prone to such behavious. This was scientifically proven in a study in Washington, where trancendental meditation was performed during the summer of 1993, and crime dropped by 23.3%.

In Russia, an experiment was done with letting inmates spending time in pyramids, resulting in very few of them returning to a life of crime after they had served their sentence.

This brings us to a tentative conclusion that human beings are not just flesh and blood.

We are humans (flesh) and beings (spirit). If we only focus on the human part and forget about the spirit, something within us will be repressed and misaligned. One needs to water the soul as much as the body. More and more people in the West are starting to realize this, taking up ancient practises like yoga, and a rebranded version of Buddha’s teachings about awareness, called Mindfulness. Curiously enough, stores selling various knickknakk are now offering Buddha statues to their customers. It is nice with a little counter balance to the pokemon madness.

Humanity have in the last 100 years shown a complete disregard for Nature. We are treating our Mother, Gaia, as a simpe street girl. But even though we have lost our way, she still loves us and cares for us. Since we have forgotten our own inner nature, it is not surprising that we forgot the outer nature too.

Dharma Mountain is a healing resort where our own connection to Mother Gaia can be restored.


prasadPrasad Johannesen is a cook, songwriter and poet, living in Hedalen. 


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