Japa Yoga in Wexford
Once again I’m given a real sense of pride by the many options open to the people of Wexford who want to pursue ‘alternative’ health and wellbeing. I’ve just returned from a visit to ‘Spiritual Earth’ in Rocklands, just outside of Wexford, home of Calodagh McCumiskey.
Having worked for many years in Africa and Asia in international aid, Calodagh is now a teacher and facilitator of a group practicing Japa meditation which she also teaches in Waterford. Japa meditation is primarily based on chanting mantras or ancient sacred sounds. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent there as I got to meet and hear some teaching from Dennis Curran, Calodagh’s teacher and the founder and prime mover of the Japa Meditation movement in Ireland. Denis wasn’t exactly what I expected. This jovial, portly man from Athy in Co. Kildare, who’s also a well known psychic healer, introduced Japa meditation to Ireland in 1998 having himself come across it at a time when his own life wasn’t in great shape and learned the techniques for his own spiritual and emotional betterment. Dennis spoke with genuine warmth, humility, humour and insight about the transformative power that the practice of mantra meditation can have. This includes calming the mind, enhancing concentration and focus, easing stress and anxiety, improving relationships and sleep and overcoming addictions. Denis talked about giving yourself the space to connect with your own spirit and becoming your ‘authentic self’ while cultivating compassion for others. Although this is a fundamental of the Buddhist approach I was struck with how Japa is a spiritual path rather than a religion and that its practice would be fully compatible with Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism or, in fact, any Faith.
In the course of the evening we chanted mantras of mother Mary and mantras from the Sufi faith as well as Hindu and Buddhist chants. Each chant has a meaning and can be directed towards self protection, development of compassion, connecting with the Earth or any number of spiritual or emotional goals and it felt truly powerful to be chanting with a roomful of other people, all focused on the same positive goal. I got to talk to a number of people who’d been practicing for anything from six months to many years and everyone assured me of the peace, happiness and personal development that Japa had brought to their lives.
Calodagh also runs her Company called Spiritual Earth which distributes a range of ethically traded giftware and items for spiritual practice, from mala beads and incenses to statuary, books and CDs some of which we’re proud to stock in Only Natural.
Beginners’ sessions happen every Monday in Rocklands from 6.30pm to 8.00pm and Calodagh can be contacted on
087 133 5230.
Meditation has been shown to be a very effective way to deal with the stresses of our modern lives and, from what I’ve seen of Japa, I have a sense of it being a path to personal development and happiness which a great many of us could benefit from.
Medicate or meditate, the choice is yours!