The sixth incarnation of Buddhafield Festival was alive and well in Somerset last weekend, five days of music and dance, yoga and meditation, drama and debate, held over a few fields in rolling rural England. There were workshops on everything from circular breathing to founding an eco-village, a Crazy Kids area, and rituals galore.
Set up by members of the Western Buddhist Order, Buddhafield festival is a meeting of the environmental, the loosely spiritual and the specifically Buddhist. It's a meeting of like minds and open hearts; an exploration and an invitation to experiment. This year bigger than ever, the mood was mellow and radical, with inhibitions cast off at the gate. Generosity was in the air and campers responded warmly to neighbours - sharing insights, muesli and essential oils and loads of mud.
By contrast with other festivals Buddhafield has a clean, positive flavour - partly due to its 'No Drink and Drugs' policy It is billed
A heady mix of aromas filled the air: woodsmoke mingled with incense while the sweet scents of lavender and cardamom chai compensated for the odd waft of composting toilets. There were abundant taste sensations with cafés and snack stalls plying wholemeal or wicked fare. It was also a bonanza of touch: hands-on healers plied their trades in shiatsu, Indian head massage, reflexology - not to mention the sensory delights of saunas.
Our cinema was excellent and the audience was engaged as we showed How Cuba survived peak oil, ecovillage pioneers and animations, comedy and undercurrents news videos. But i am getting bored with all the mud, nearly every festival now has been washed out which is becoming tiring.