LET THE BEAUTY WE SEE, BE WHAT WE ARE

PEACE CHAMBER COMMUNITY

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Builders/Elders/Keepers: Sonja-Ganga, Chris and David

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www.heartandsoulceremonies.co.uk
www.thehealthoasis.net
sweden-holiday-retreat.com

Wild beauteous land of lichen, mounds of mosses and grasses, wetland bogs, ocean, Highland Coos (Cows), farms, mountains, woolly sheep, peaceful cemeteries, song and sea birds, acres of brown bracken and heather, a diversity of two-leggeds with accents from all over the world!
VIBRANT SPRING ON ISLE OF SKYE, SCOTLAND

 I experienced the Let the Beauty We See, Be the Beauty We Are Peace Chamber community as an intelligent, gentle, diverse people, originating from all over the planet. It was an honor and privilege to engage and enter into 13 Sound Journeys with the beautiful openhearted Sound Journeyers on Skye and guide and initiate the birth of a Women’s Moon Circle. Thank You ALL! Your Life IS my Gift! I REVELED in your gorgeous verbal accents and presence!!!!

For this Sacred Drifter, the Scotland Adventure began with Gus’s Transfer Taxi from Inverness Airport to the Isle of Skye! I was personally escorted by Gus, a native of this land, through the magical landscapes of Scotland, along Loch Ness, where the ruins of Urquhart Castle quietly grace the legendary Loch Ness, and Eilean Donan Castle, where scenes from the engaging film, Outlander, were filmed. In this magical mystical land, I found myself giddy, wide-eyed and reveling in the sounds of Gus’s Scottish accent, one of many accents to come!

At first, the Scottish countryside reminded me of the deciduous forested rolling hills of Pennsylvania. Then, as we drew closer to the Isle of Skye, the landscape drastically changed to soft moss and last spring’s brown bracken and snow-covered mountains, and boggy valleys dotted with Woolly Woolly Black and White Sheep! “Ba Ba Black Sheep”…Yes, they have lots of woolly WOOL!!!

Fifteen minutes after my arrival to the cottage near the Peace Chamber, my Gracious Beautiful Hostess, known to me as Ganga, warmly welcomed me and we heart-connected immediately through an embrace and engaging conversation. The Isle of Skye Sacred Drift was sparked into Be-ing!

The second day of Drifting on Skye I experienced something ExtraOrdinary!!! After seeking permission from the wedding couple, Ganga invited me to bear witness to a sacred marriage, officiated by her, to take place in the spectacular Earth-scape of Loch Coruisk. This was a thrilling experience on many levels. First Ganga and I met up with some lovely locals (including an adorable Old English Sheep Dog), from the Misty Isle Boat Company, who run the sailing vessels to Loch Coruisk. Ganga and I accompanied the wedding couple and world-renowned photographers, Joanna and Dylan Kitchener, on a sailing vessel from Elgol to Loch Corusik.

 

Check out this fabulous Kitchener site: http://thekitcheners.co.uk/

The sight of the sea meeting the varied mountain-scapes, the scent of fresh salty ocean air, the camouflaged seals resting on the rocks, the call of seagulls, the hum of the boat and buzz of the excited wedding couple, were all breath-taking and heartening!!! The betrothed couple appeared absolutely thrilled, and after hiking far into the Wilderness to find the Earth-space that resonated with their hearts, Ganga performed a touching unique marriage ceremony. As the couple leisurely made their way back to the dock, reveling in their union, I, in gratitude for the opportunity to bear witness and take part in their special day, played a Native American flute blessing, ushering the happy couple back to the sailing vessel.

One fine evening, my generous and gracious Hosts, Ganga and Chris, treated me to a traditional British Fish and Chips meal at a historic Pub, overlooking a stunning magnificent sunset over the Isle of Skye Bridge. Heart-felt gratitude for your generosity and genuine friendship!

The remainder of time spent on Skye was dedicated to offering Sound Journeys to this gentle, diverse and heart-centered community, interviewing and connecting with Ganga, facilitating a Fire Ceremony and Women’s Circle, and engaging in several exquisite pre-dawn exploration runs/Earth-touchings along the mossy bogs that lead to the sea, and connect to the snow peaked Highland Mountains. Early morning springtime energies were absorbed as Brother-Sun kissed the fields of grasses and bracken, dazzling the eye and warming the heart in this rural countryside dotted with woolly sheep, gaggles of large geese, joyful daffodils and songs of the wing-eds paired in flight.

Valuable teachings of impermanence were experienced via the ever-changing conditions on Isle of Skye and the rest of Scotland; snow to rain to sun to stars to clouds to wind to rain to sun to rain to sun to rain to rain…all in one day! OOOOOh AAAAAh …If you ever find yourself in Skye, I highly recommend shedding your shoes and walking barefoot upon the spongy mosses…what a feeling!!!


             

The HerStory of a Peace Chamber Elder/Keeper:

Sonja-Ganga’s vocation as an interfaith minister has afforded her the opportunity to marry couples from all over the world in one of the most majestic and wild Earth-scapes in the world. She has facilitated/performed hundreds of weddings over the past 10 years as an interfaith minister/independent celebrant. In addition to weddings, Sonja Ganga has facilitated civil partnerships, deepening of vows ceremonies, funerals, and memorials, blessing ceremonies, healing ceremonies, creative journey-workshops of self-discovery, mandala process workshops, soul-sister retreats in Swedish Lapland, Skye and Scotland, meditations, spiritual counseling, and soul midwifery.

    

Sonja is mother to son, David, and is married to her Life Partner, Chris, a world traveling IT man. Sonja stated in her discourse with me, “My Sangha is my community, where I interact with my family and local community in ordinary situations. Our challenges lie in the beauty of losing and finding ourselves in the other, through our partnerships and for me, being a mother. This is where one really understands what unconditional love is, most forgiving and most loving…”

Born and grown in a little village south of Munich, Bavaria, Sonja spent her first 20 years within a loving, traditional family, climbing the Alps and trekking often with her family through Scandinavia.

From an early age, she felt attracted to people and spent many teenage-Sundays in the little local hospital, nursing the elderly, a place where she had her first realization of “something greater than my own understanding”, and where she made a conscious promise to dedicate her life “to be in service”.

After studying, graduating and working in the field of special education, Sonja went to the States where she worked with challenged children in Los Angeles, and spent a year travelling and soul-searching in the Blue Ridge Mountains. “This was a time of deep letting go and finding trust and comfort at unexpected moments with the gentle guidance of Mother Nature and the people along my path.”

During her early 20s, Sonja was part of a meditation class for many years and learned about different cultures and worldviews. She met her spiritual teacher ShantiMayi, who gave her the spiritual name, ‘Ganga’. ShantiMayi said: “I suggest that you never settle for less than awakening to the Truth, that you are.”

Through her work with troubled children for over 15 years, Sonja-Ganga discovered the importance of the body-mind context and decided to train in Shiatsu and Acupressure, “which was a great teaching of how to look at the human body in its context to life and living.”

When she met her future husband, Chris, in the early 90s, Sonja-Ganga said she was ready for new adventures, which brought them both to the Isle of Skye, West Coast of Scotland. Following a strong call to move to the Island in 1995, they soon started their own family, and gave birth to their beloved son. “We are still finding ourselves in the daily miracle of being a parent.”

In 2000, she opened and continues to operate The Health Oasis, Center for Complementary Therapies, on Isle of Skye, where she works as a shiatsu, acupressure, meridian and EFT therapist, offers spiritual counseling and facilitates soul midwifery in the community.

Before moving to Isle of Skye, Sonja Ganga worked as an Educational Psychologist in Germany for 10 years. When she approached her early forties, Sonja-Ganga felt that she knew herself very well as a therapist and wanted to challenge herself to further learning. Over the span of a year, Sonja-Ganga was called three different times to sit with friends during their dying process. “This has been a gift beyond measure, something that has moved me to my core.” At this time in her life, she heard about ‘interfaith ministers’, which ushered her into a new frontier, “a training which was sound and loving, moving, challenging, liberating and “radical in its freedom”, of which, she “loved every single step”.

Since her ordination into ministry in 2008, Sonja-Ganga has offered numerous sacred ceremonies to people walking varied and diverse paths. She states, “I find it hugely enjoyable and humbling at the same time to be called to assist others in creating the ceremony that reflects their love to one another at a wedding, and also, to honor the life of their loved ones during a memorial service. My ministry in the community is to sit in ‘soul care’ with the dying, a time when the veil between the worlds is very thin.” “Through my service in the community I wish to inspire, improve and re-empower the life of other people in a creative, meaningful, caring and joyful way.” “Interfaith ministry to me means ‘to be wholeheartedly in service of humanity and nature’.” “I vow to be the well of spiritual memory”

I experienced Sonja-Ganga as a deeply gracious Spirit, holding a deep well of gratitude, generosity and loving kindness for her family and community.

Herstory of the Sound/Peace Chamber was one of discovery. Over twenty years ago, Sonja-Ganga met Ocean Graham, an Elder of the Isle of Skye Peace/Sound Chamber in Moray. Sonja-Ganga participated in Sweat Lodges and various ceremonies with Ocean, including a Sacred Elder/Crone-ing ceremony. Around the time she first met Ocean, Sonja ran into track-suit clad, Grandfather Joseph Rael-Beautiful Painted Arrow at Rubha Phoil, a beautiful 16 acre wooded peninsula in South Skye. Thinking that a Native American Mystic would always be in ceremonial attire, she was surprised to see Beautiful Painted Arrow, out of ‘ceremonial garb’ and dressed in jogging attire. Sonja, Chris and their son David built the Peace Chamber originally, to create a healing space for ceremony, and then one day in 2009, Ocean came over and stated that the dwelling they had built was a PEACE/SOUND CHAMBER. In October 2009 Ocean and Elder of the Cave of Clay Sound Chamber, Stella Longland, came to help celebrate the initiation of Let the Beauty We See, Be the Beauty We Are Peace Chamber building, into the Sound/ Peace Chamber network. A sacred bundle was created and ceremoniously buried in the sipapu (the belly-button) of the Chamber. Ceremonies including the Fire Ceremony, healing ceremonies; sessions one on one; divorce ceremony, workshops, medicine-wheel workshops, meditation and more continue to be carried out in the Chamber. http://www.peacechamber.co.uk/chambers/let-the-beauty-we-see-be-what-we-are-isle-of-skye-scotland/

Remerciers:

I would like to offer deep heart-felt gratitude to my Hosts, Ganga and Chris and the Let the Beauty We See, Be the Beauty We ARE Peace Chamber Community. Your Beauty radiates in all directions!!!

To Brandy a.k.a. R Brand Ginsburgh, a most excellent and highly recommend travel agent. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gus at Gus’s Taxis. http://www.skye-taxis.co.uk/ It was lovely having you give me the first impressions of Scotland as you transferred me from Inverness to Isle of Skye. Thank You for the tour of Loch Ness and the Castles!!!