DurgaMata of London
In August 2021 I started up the face to face workshops again with my half-day Mindfulness-Joy Silk-Painting events. These are held on the last Sunday of the month, in SW London.
The next one is on 31st October.
Please see the page for workshops and retreats for details and book on Eventbrite from this link -
Reduce Stress, Increase Happiness
Wellbeing, Resilience and Empowerment
What is Stress
When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed up your reaction time, and enhance your focus—preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.
This is fine if the danger you are facing is something that needs the fight or flight response, but in our society there are many causes of stress and most of them do not need us to take this kind of action, so your body may come to exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time and that can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, disrupt your sleep, cause anxiety attacks and irritability and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:
Depression and anxiety
Pain of any kind
Skin conditions, such as eczema
Thinking and memory problems
Reduce your Stress - Why Silk-Painting?
It is widely known that many forms of creativity can reduce stress and aid wellbeing. Mindfulness-Meditation silk-painting is a particularly effective medium to use for this.
If you place some paint on paper, the paint stays just where you put it. You are ‘in control’ because you choose the colours and they stay where you place them. Then you look at what you have created with a critical or appreciative eye. Your mind comes forward to judge your work. You either think, ‘ Oh! I’m no good at this, why am I wasting my time?’ and feel disheartened, or if you like the result you think -
‘Oh this is beautiful. I am so great,’ which can cause the ego to grow. (The ego is our sense of self - as separate from others. This tends to want the world to revolve around it and likes to feel important. It tends to be competitive towards others and always want to be the best, ready to put others down to achieve a sense of power and superiority - which is the opposite of spiritual progress.)
But when you paint on silk, in a meditative way, freely (without a medium like wax or gutta to block the threads) as soon as the liquid dye touches the fabric it spreads. You have no control. You play with the silk and it plays with you.
Touch the silk with one colour on your brush - or drip the liquid dye onto the silk from a dropper. The fibres draw the liquid in and it spreads gently, at its own speed. Touch it with another colour and this is drawn gently into the fibres where it blends into the existing colours, creating shades and patterns which you could never dream of - and they are all beautiful. There are no mistakes. There is nothing for your mind to judge or criticise because all the results are so satisfying. There is no competition, no disappointment- only mutual appreciation and a growing feeling of oneness.
Below is a client wearing the silk scarf she has just created.
In normal times I give both my Mindfulness-Joy Silk-Painting Workshops and my Seven Steps to Happiness Two-Day Wellbeing and Empowerment Workshops which include Silk-Painting and Forest Bathing.
In addition to the process of silk-painting being meditative and calming, reducing stress in its own right, the resulting 'wearable art' will bring joy and happiness every time it is warn.
Also, the silk scarf - or painting - is a physical reminder of the Seven Steps to Happiness and all the exercises and strategies that took place during the Workshop. This is an excellent anchor for the learning.
Oneness is the only need.
We can establish oneness
Only when we become
The soulful life of peace
And The fruitful heart of love.
Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, part 15, Agni Press, 1981
I give Silk-Painting Parties for children of seven years or over. There is no upper age-limit. Silk-Painting is a popular Hen-Party event and I often give workshops to groups and individuals in Care homes. I also use Silk-Painting as part of family coaching and counselling. Contact me if you would like to know more.
Below is just one example of a happy family after a Silk-Painting event.
“DurgaMata is a tower of uplifting positivity - a breath of fresh air, fun and freedom.”
Coming from a farming and Quaker background, she married a Bengali and discovered a global identity which embraces balanced thought and wisdom from every corner of the globe.
DurgaMata is a musician, speaker, spiritual artist and wellbeing coach. Known for her Mindfulness-Meditation Silk-Painting Workshops that stand out in their ability to raise consciousness and aid wellbeing, as well as being joyful, these events are truly transformative.
At University, DurgaMata took a two-subject degree: Theology and Religious Studies twinned with Mural Art. As an artist she has always been fascinated with colour, light and energy and she specialised in stained glass.
DurgaMata loves teaching both of her specialist subjects but whenever her exam-students chose silk-painting, she felt drawn to this medium above all others and has been a closet silk-paint artist for years. She feels silk-painting captures the qualities of colour, light and energy which drew her to stained-glass, but in a more fluid and versatile way. With silk you can wear the finished art and the colour and beauty influences and lifts both wearer and observer in a dynamic and positive way.
While teaching DurgaMata sometimes felt a deep sadness that her spiritual life had to be squeezed into a few minutes in the morning and evening. She wished that her meditation could be more central to her day. Now semi-retired from teaching and developing her business DurgaMata of London, she has discovered a way to make this happen. As a spiritual artist, her silk-painting is a real form of meditation and she explains...
“I feel that the peace and positive energy of my meditation is captured in the very fibres of the silk as I paint. This makes my products spiritually powerful as well as beautiful.
I feel that my yearning for a life where spiritual practices and meditation could be more central in my day was like an unspoken prayer which was heard and is now being answered“.
Selling her silk scarves through boutiques and galleries across the country, you can also buy her uniquely beautiful and powerful hand-painted silk scarves. These tend to be made to order. If you would like to know more, contact us using the email linked to the website buttons.
This is one of the Consciousness-River Series, 'Rainbow-River,' created on the first of January to welcome in the New Year.The photos were taken when the silk-dyes had dried but before steaming to fix the colours. A few salt-crystals are still clinging to the silk.
About DurgaMataAs is true in all aspects of life, the important things are not new. They are timeless. But it is not enough just to know about them. What is needed is action, to embed these truths in our lives. And through her inspirational speaking Durga Mata can enable audience members to see their own lives in the light of timeless wisdom and embrace the necessary change.
By profession DurgaMata is an artist and teacher but the most important element in her life is SPIRITUAL ASPIRATION. She believes that if we really want to make a positive difference in the world, we have to begin with our own lives and look within. When we take action to raise our own consciousness, this ripples out into the wider world in a natural way and the change is enduring. This philosophy is not new. Over 2,000 years ago in China, Lao-tse expressed it eloquently.
If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbours.
If there is to be peace between neighbours,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”
DurgaMata of London