…the joy of being

What is shared in Secret Garden is uncompromising & infinitely tender. All there is is the beauty, the innocence, the wonder of life that cannot be captured, the non-dual that can only be pointed to in words. This resonance is shared energetically in days, retreats. & trainings, there is no agenda to change anyone, all is seen as magnificent!

You are vast, boundless, empty fullness, unconditional love unfolding. What is, is perfection. Including suffering & challenge & delight. When oneness is seen, the ordinary is a miracle. The most mundane thing we can ever do is truly extraordinary. Love is what ‘you’ are. You are light. You are life. You are intelligence. This radiant & absolute joy is immediate & quietly underpins & embraces all pain & separate self.

On top of this joy is ‘you’ in existence, the world, all your circumstances, challenges, mistakes, self-doubts & achievements. The world cannot give us freedom. Your roles are not what you are, your self-judgement is not what you are. This is a human journey as well as non-duality unfolding & all the choices are yours. Life accepts them unconditionally. Somehow this realisation of the mystery that is gives the courage and trust to live ‘your’ natural reality – to find your voice, do the things that you long to do, be bold even when feeling fear. Living essence, living what is infinite, is the jewel of life and being.

“Aloha simply is, empty of belief, story, judgement.

Sunshine sings it,  rain falls through it,

winds breathe it, trees are moved by it,  the earth rolls with it,

children grow with it, the ocean churns it, bodies may love it into beingness.

Aloha is form and formless, the essence of creation.

Aloha is energy, potency, no-thing and every-thing,

the ground of being which is fulfilment and peace, it is

shared and celebrated in love.”   Joy Hicklin-Bailey

True spirituality is not about seeking a future enlightenment, nor about avoiding suffering. In the awakened life it is clear that doing a spiritual practice to attain anything in the future negates the very premise of God or Love or Truth or Being (whatever you like to call the mystery) right now.

We cannot control ourselves, others or the world in order to experience openness on demand, but at any moment we can simply allow a present moment revelation of openness to all there is.

We are not here to transform the world & create love on earth. In truth, ‘we’ aren’t here. Though feelings of being limited may arise, though we apparently exist in the world of duality & paradox, in being there are no questions, no solutions. As ‘we’ fully experience all the wonder & pain of being human, without fight, we are openness, we are love. Investment in a process or path or ‘spiritual journey’ is a denial of the perfection of what is, here, now. The ‘me’ that does this, seeks this, is not only on a hiding to nothing, but inevitably suffers in separation, misses the miracle of being. When the apparent sense of being separate collapses, whether permanently or for a moment or a few weeks, all there is is the extraordinary, ordinary miracle of being. Which simply cannot be spoken of. any story of personal problems becomes meaningless.

And it can be good to be with those who love this! The day circles & retreats give you space, away from the demands & busy-ness of everyday life, time to strengthen, rest, nourish soul, rediscover the perfection here now, let go – for good- of any baggage you might be carrying, embrace change & envision a heartfelt reality for the future, & to connect and get reflection from others. Deep & lasting friendships may happen too. And nobody is doing anything! These circles, whether days or trainings, bring ways of exploring that are compassionate & honest & create spaces where trust, challenge, acceptance & an appreciation of the simple & sacred in life can be experienced. They point to the enough-ness of life, awake & embodied, naturally.

This Secret Garden work enables your deep, grounded integration between body, heart & being. Full presence enables an embrace of insecurity, challenge, death, the darkness, as part of the human of life, as well as the light, the bliss & joy. The less these are resisted, mysteriously the more the magic, love & beauty that we would choose by preference unfolds in our lives!

The art of living happily is a surrendering to what is greater than or beyond our own individual demand or expectation or story. This, & this. Aloha – the recognition of the life & love in another & in existence – sounds simple & is an energetic shift as subtle as a butterfly’s wings, & yet in the worldly realm of cause & effect it can ‘appear’ that such a shift becomes easier as a result of rigorous inner work, total responsibility & self-honesty which brings soul growth. We then may choose to live our lives through power and presence, rather than force and control. We learn to take back our projections, let go of blame, tread lightly on our abundant, generous & strained to the limit planet, to be more intimate with ourselves & others & recognize our ordinariness & our magnificence both. Whenever we focus on living & circumstance, rather than life itself, we are confronted with paradox & yet there is always the miracle of  letting go & dying to all we think we know so that being is released from the apparent opposites, duality, contradiction in the dream of life.

For you if wish it, here in Secret Garden is the art of living happily, whatever one’s apparent personal circumstances. This work is natural & profoundly humane. As a by product, rather than the goal, the rewards are greater freedom, ease, effectiveness, joy & happiness in relationship, work, life. However the message is that there is nowhere to go, nothing to get, nothing to become. And to love what is, love yourself like your own best lover. Love what you feel right now. Let what is, be. Rest in the silence – beyond stories & time – & awaken to endless joy without reason. Give up the fight with yourself, with your responses, with your nature. Working on yourself doesn’t work!

Every experience, every feeling, every circumstance, is an invitation to let go, & be the love, the aliveness now. This awakening, this realisation is always new. Dogma & belief are nothing to do with this. You are not required to give anything up, though things may fall away.

Secret Garden circle work & shamanic work are a profound call to stillness, silence, deep work & self-inquiry for those who are looking for deeper fulfilment in their lives & an awakening of or deeper realisation of the truth of who they are. This is spiritual work that is authentic, sane, potent, grounded, & full of passion for Love and Truth. Gatherings & circles happen in a spirit of not knowing what will be, in openness & willingness to be with the aliveness, the extraordinary. ordinary miracle of life unfolding between us.

Here, you can love & nourish, self-parent, heal, dive deep into your compelling current questions, celebrate yourself on your human journey & find connection & intimacy along the way. You can learn how safe it is to open, & to love to be full-bodied, to breathe, & to feel & to make mistakes. Spirituality is otherwise a tool for the ego to avoid dealing with these wounds, a way to separate from ordinary life & even judge others. Secret Garden is a way to materialize the spiritual, to integrate body & soul. To acknowledge the past & be more and more fully present, here, now, alive in this body, this man, this woman that we are. Life is no longer tragic or a chore, frightening or lonely.

The rewards are joy, true community, authenticity, sanity, spiritual discernment, integrity, love & fulfilment, whatever it is you choose to spend our time doing on the planet (footballer or executive, mother or drama student, healer or artist, father or carpenter).

Your awakeness, your innocence, your joy, your love – come share!

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  • Absolutely amazing, you are such a delight and I am in awe of your ability to facilitate all that virtually on your own!
    Clearly I can’t stop now. The thought of living my life with that sort of sparkle and pleasure is something I did not imagine was possible at my age!!!! Well I had not actually given up all hope, but was beginning to doubt. And then this. You.

    Philip Batchelor, Stroud

  • I want to mark something that feels really important from our session yesterday. The biggest thing that came was that ‘it’s alright to be me’ & that ‘there is nothing wrong with me and how I do life’. I suppose before there was an underlying feeling that what is right for others should be right for me which left me feeling inadequate. But that’s all gone now. It inspires me to be true to my own needs which makes me feel truly liberated.

    Kim Rossi, Notts

Secret Garden gatherings inspire & en-courage you to live this essence in your ordinary life & offer a refuge to which you can bring your deepest questions, your yearning for connection and, if it is there, your pain, where they are received by unconditional life, here now.

The choice to live consciously & with love is a tough one at times and will be challenged in the world every day. Circumstances arrive beyond control & we can only face these and do our best. It takes fire, discipline and courage to accept the full responsibility and maturity of this task. It requires patience, willingness, humility, vigilance, focused self-inquiry, study, self-honesty, & unusual integrity.

Secret Garden offers a direct invitation to let go into the love & aliveness that you are, into the truth of life, the essence , the aloha, the joy, the endless love, in manifest creation. This way of being grows compassion, & at the same time, freedom to be in all the facets of our humanity. Old patterns are seen clearly & dissolve gracefully. Spiritual kinship becomes a delight we wish more of for ourselves. We become love in all its ways of expressing, & let go of trying to get love and joy from outside.

You are all that is, the source & appearance of all that rises & falls in awareness, empty fullness, nothing else is ever happening. Life’s dream is the expression of wholeness, of aloha unfolding, there is nothing to search for.

In the story, for more than 20 years, I have been sharing with others the joy of being, beyond the separate sense of self, & beyond the mind’s ideas of identification with world & cause and effect, in residential retreats, day gatherings, evening meetings, &, most richly, in ongoing groups. Join us & discover the truth of being or deepen that Self-realisation.

Let the circles give you space to explore how to live a spiritually awake life that is also an embodied happy, authentic, earthly, natural one. Enjoy!

I would be delighted to meet & work with you if you are new to these explorations, & to see you again soon if you are an old friend. It’s my privilege & profound pleasure to walk with those who love & value beingness.

In endless gratitude to all my teachers & guides & to all those friends who bring their own particular beauty to our circles and with all love to you who may be drawn for the first time. Aloha!

There is an energetic field that supports freedom, beingness whenever we come together. These circles are without end because there is always more, each time a different colour of one’s being unfolding. New insights, new awarenesses, new shifts, new breakthroughs. New life!

Let the circles give you space to explore how to live a spiritually awake life that is also an embodied happy, authentic, earthly, natural one. Enjoy!

I acknowledge with great love the lineages of teaching to which I belong, & those behind me & those in front of me. I give thanks for all the love received & all the love shared. Whatever your place within the web of Oneness that connects us all, I wish you clarity, wonder & joy.

All love, aloha,

Joy Hicklin-Bailey

‘After the kingfisher’s wing

Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still

At the still point of the turning world’. From Burnt Norton, T.S.Eliot

Take a look at Joy’s posts