Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Finally i find myself here at Kalikalos after a wait of almost three months!! and its is everything and more than i dreamed it would be...

My reason for coming was to 'experience' community - and i surely am!! it is wonderful in its vibrancy, its interchanges, its fluidity, its loving members—and its challenging in its grieving on a friday when the 'old faces' disappear and the 'newbies' arrive, that time seems to move so fast, and yet so slowly too.

I am a Community Guest/Staff/Workshop Participant, so i am truly experiencing every aspect of Kalikalos. The freedom of the Community Guest is a great balance between giving of yourself in the work that one undertakes, and also receiving enough space to have 'down time' too. As a staff member of course its more full on, but much more 'vital' i find - as i am here with my youngest son Jackdaw who is 11, i was not sure how he and i would find the work load, but he is as willing and eager as i am myself to fully emerse ourselves in it all. The staff couldnt be friendlier or more welcoming, and we both feel like we are part of a big diverse family here.

Now i am a workshop participant, i am experiencing the flip side of all that, and it is fascinating to me - i have become quite lazy and am allowing myself the luxury of completely focusing on that workshop, although i did have a cleaning frenzy this afternoon and washed out all the bathrooms!!

A word here too on the workshop i am attending - its about NOTHING!!! and is facilitated beautifully by Jeff Foster - Oneness, or non-duality to give it another name is beautiful, fascinating, totally liberating, and we discover was HERE ALL THE TIME RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES!! couldnt possibly describe or explain it, in fact he has a hard time doing that too using only words!! which can only be pointers to what 'it' is - do check out his website if you are intrigued!! it is www.lifewithoutacentre.com I might add here that in searching for a community to try on for size, Kalikalos seems to be 'one of a kind'. Jock, who is its inspiration, truly manages to cater for us all, and i would not hesitate to recommend most highly this inspirational, free and fun-filled centre - and its in Greece too - how good can it get?

So, for now, i shall sign off with a couple of photos of our stay so far...the beautiful yurt, our favourite beach, and snuggling in blankets on a rare cold September evening in Jeff's course

Lusi and Jackdaw, Co Wicklow Ireland

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Aegean Sea

A picture is worth a thousand words, is it not.

Just look at that crystal clear sea water here at our local beach. All I can say, and the photo top left says it far better than any words I might use, is that the sea is spectacular here in Pelion.

There are no jellyfish, the water is clean and clear, no dangerous currents, the temperature from May through October is perfect, soft white sand to lie on. Most of the beaches have shaded spots, and where they don't, I have my beach tent which packs away in 2 min to a tiny backpack. (I am lying there reading about TECHNICAL ANALYSIS IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS in case you are interested.) I'll be getting up in a minute to have an ice cream at one of the tavernas right on the beach.

Amazingly enough, this area is still undiscovered for the most part. Only Greeks know about it, and their holiday season is basically the last week of July and the first 3 weeks of August. The rest of the time, we and a few other intrepid travelers pretty well have these gorgeous beaches to ourselves.

Sun, sea and the spirit of community. It's all here, waiting for you.

It was my dream for 25 years, an alternative holiday—something deeper than a suntan—and I want to share it with you!

Jock Millenson, Forres Scotland and other places

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clowning Around

After 2 weeks of volunteering at Kalikalos I was happy to offer a short clowning improvisation on the terrace after supper one evening. It was so lovely to see so many smiles and beautiful faces! And lovely to experience the generosity with which everyone joined in. What was brilliant was that after I had gone 'off stage' I found Andrea, another volunteer, in the garden and she put on a nose too and was immediately transformed. We crept up from behind the bushes in the garden with a handful of red noses and gradually invited everyone to join in. We hid behind the washing on the lines and one by one got everyone away from the washing up, and eventually everyone at the centre was a clown! We then serenaded Jock from below his balcony, singing his praises and bowing to his all encompassing leadership! He joined in and waved to us all from his place on high. The clown loves to play with these power architectures with kindness and with humour- much laughter and much fun was had by all! It was a good end to a nourishing time for me at Kalikalos.

Sharon Usher, Oxfordshire, England

Friday, September 12, 2008

Expressing the Inexpressible - Nonduality (Advaita) Retreat with Jeff Foster

It's Friday afternoon, and all the retreat guests have gone home (although of course they never left Home, but that's another story ...)

What a lovely week it was. It was a week of laughter and tears, of openness and friendship, of paddling in crystal clear waters, of eating the most delicious and healthy home-made food, of insights and revelations and seeing life unfold right before our very eyes, of meeting each other and realising that we were only ever meeting ourselves.

The retreat was an absolute joy, a gift, a delight.... and yet it was nothing special - it was just THIS - as it is. Totally ordinary, and wonderfully extraordinary.

And as the week went on, and as the questions dissolved, a beautiful presence that was always there (but so often overlooked) became even more palpable. Until in the end, there was only laughter.

I'll always remember the laughter.... that wonderfully spontaneous, contagious, deep laughter.... that cosmic laughter that reminded us (as if any reminder was ever needed!) that all is One, and all is well, and that the Play accepts and loves everything unconditionally, because it IS everything, and nothing is excluded.

Thank you, Jock. Thank you, Kalikalos staff. Thank you, everyone who travelled so far to be here. See you all soon!

With love,

Jeff Foster

P.S. And thanks to the pears, the fish man, and the plastic chairs! ;)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Permaculture weekend in Greece

The first time we held hands to "tune in" it felt awkward.
I thought that this might be a sort of religious ritual.
But Sunday morning was different.
As we formed a circle in Jock's small room,
we could hear the fulfilling rain pouring down.
I closed my eyes and thought about our plants back home.
It was late August and they had suffered a dry summer.
The hands that held mine on each side were no longer strange.
It was as if they were drops of fulfilling rain onto my heart.
I gradually zoomed out of the picture and saw us forming a circle;

a small group scared and brave,
sad and happy,
lonely and in harmony,
on a huge planet.

I thought that the first groups of humans
gathering around the fire at night
might have looked and felt similar.
They might have held hands and told stories to ease their fears.
We opened our eyes.
We were ready for our story; to ease our own fears.
The difference was that this time the beasts were amongst the human race itself.
Thank you for making our lives a bit less dry.

Rolandos from Evia Island, Greece

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's all coming to an end

So I've been "working" here at Kalikalos for the last 3 weeks, and it's been nothing short of a gift. I mean that in the most genuine way. I remember the things that were running through my head the night before I was due to fly from London: What if I don't like it? What if they work me too hard? What if they're all a bunch of crazy New Agers? Well I was wrong on all counts (bar the last one maybe...).
As I sit here typing this blog, I can hear "My Girl" booming out of the cd player in the kitchen, with the occasional chorus contribution by the chefs. Tonight's menu involves the newly re discoverd, traditional stone oven I believe. We're having pizza cooked fresh, courtesy of Craig and Beatrice (with freshly needed dough). And the feeling is great. Like every night here.
I have to say I've eaten like a king since being here. Some of the guests/staff over the weeks have whipped up some really gourmet dishes. Particularly nice was Lotties' Quinoa and Veggie bake during the Tai Chi week. But man, this pizza is smelling good right now.

Since being here I've experienced some of the most beautiful natural scenery on earth, tasted the most lovingly prepared food, picked the freshest figs (alot!) from the trees, withnessed flash floods on a bibical scale, met some of the most inspirational human beings I have ever met, had the most glorious morning runs up into the hills at sunrise and learnt things I cannot put into words. And I write this from my heart.
I intend to write a longer blog when I have longer to write it. But this pizza is smelling too good...

Thankyou Kalikalos (for now.)

Freddie M, London

Permaculture Weekend

For a staff member here at Kalikalos; the introduction to Permaculture was more than eye opening. I'm now thinking of the delicate processes of growth and food production with fresh eyes. Mother nature's a strange one to work out, but she seems to work to our best advantage when we tune ourselves more closely to her subtle demands. Who knew a cow horn full of manure and a cow horn full of quartz could be the route to bigger, fresher, tastier crop yields? Not me. That's for sure. Until now. Thanks to Craig and Beatrice for evolving my way of thinking about nature and about life. And thankyou to everyone that attended the workshop from all over Greece; you were all inspirational characters.
Freddie M, London