Ananda Mela Yoga Festival Program
The yoga festival program facilitates community, creativity, fun while practicing yoga and developing your meditation practice.
The Mela brings you presenters, facilitators and performers who are at the cutting edge of social transformation and renewal, community building, personal development, music and arts.
This is a unique blending of music, arts, personal development, social transformation, yoga and meditation.
Most people create their reality by unconsciously projecting the past into the future. The Mela provides a safe, fun space where you can create your preferred future and bring it to the present.
Professor Sohail Inayatullah
Professor Sohail Inayatullah, political scientist, received his doctorate from the University of Hawaii in 1990. He is Professor at several universities and a leading academic in the field of Futures Studies. In 2015, he was awarded the first UNESCO Chair in this field. He currently resides in Mooloolaba, Australia.
Sohail’s workshops are divided into two parts:
Saturday 5th – 10am – The Green Economy – Finding the seeds of change.
A look at technology and trends that will transform our lives. Using the s-curve, this session will explore the seeds of change that promise to disrupt the next 10-15 years.
– the rise of automated driverless cars
– the rise of new forms of protein – pure meat and new plant foods
– the rise of homes as energy producers – the home as battery, the roof as the brain
– the rise of platform cooperativism
We will then explore first and and second order consequences of these changes on local and national progressive politics and strategy
Saturday 5th – 10am – A facilitate panel on green futures
With Stanthorpe locals Dylan Groves – (Stanthorpe Permaculture), Dr Sarah Antill – (Author of Affinity & PhD Environmental Science), Ahri Tallon – (Community Campaigning & Deep Ecology) and Wiruunngga Dungiir Aboriginal activist,
Sunday 6th – 10:45am – Leadership and creating the green sadvipra
Using the Sarkar game, we will explore the role of the sadvipra in creating new futures
This interactive game will conclude with a plausible scenario for the next 500 years
Didi Ananda Shamita – Yoga Nun
Didi Ananda Shamita’ has been a yoga nun for 31 years, during which she has taught the philosophy and practices of meditation and yoga; and coordinated social service activities in more than 15 countries. She is currently based in Brisbane.
Workshop: Yoga – The Revolution – Part 1
This is a two part workshop. In part one Didi outlines the some of the foundations of yogic thought. She goes on explain its implications for personal development.
Some of the basic tenets of Yoga philosophy are:
Every human being, an individuated form of infinite consciousness, yearns for infinite happiness
We are all interconnected to one another, to all animals, all plants and everything else via this singular consciousness
As individuated beings, our lives are governed by certain universal laws.
One of these laws is the law of samskaras, i.e. the law of cause and effect. A deeper understanding of this law of cause and effect would drastically change the way we conduct our lives. We explore the law of action and reaction, how it applies in the physical and mental world, as well as its ramifications .
We will have a short discussion followed by role play to develop an appreciation of the concept of cause and effect applied in the physical, emotional and mental realms of human development.
Dada Paramatmananda’s workshop follows on from this by applying these principles into social transformation.
Dr Sarah Antill
Sarah Antill is secretary of Casino Environment Centre. For the last nine years she has worked on environmental issues such as: promoting alternatives to chemical agriculture, preventing destructive coal and gas “developments”, and protecting forests. She is currently finalising a novel, “Affinity”, a fictional exploration of how to address the root causes of environmental destruction, instead of simply the symptoms.
Sarah holds a DPhil in Physical Geography (Oxford-speak for PhD in Environmental Science) from Oxford University
Workshop: In scale and likely consequences, the problem of global environmental degradation is unprecedented in human history. To date, efforts to stop or reverse the damage have proved inadequate. But what if we asked some different questions about the problem? What if instead of asking, “how can we make our current way of living less destructive?”, we asked, “what’s the root cause of environmental degradation, and what do we have to do to change it?”
Sarah takes us through a process of deep ecological response generating believable hope.
Workshop: Deep Shift – Changing culture to save the planet (2 workshops)
Dada Paramatmananda – Yoga Monk
Dada Paramatmananda has been a yoga monk for 29 years. He has worked in many countries in South Asia, South East Asia, Europe and is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, where he runs classes and workshops, teaching the art and practice of meditation and yoga.
Dada uses his engineering background to delve deeply into the esoteric and mystical science behind Yoga to show us yogic secrets hidden in plain sight and how we can apply this knowledge in our life.
Workshop: Yoga – Revolution Part 2
In part 2, we apply the foundation setup by Didi’s workshop to explore futures in the social context.
As individuals we generally create our reality by unconsciously projecting our past into the future; as a society we do the same as well. Are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past or can we choose a different future?
So if we decide to, how do we create the type of society we want ? In this workshop we will look at the application of the above core yogic principles and from these we develop perspectives in the socio-economic, political and justice arenas of human social development.
Francis is a multi-talented artist performing in a variety of genres, from ambient shakuhachi compositions to didjeridu combinations with other unusual Asian wind instruments, playing instruments from Japan, Laos, India, Indonesia, Thailand, North America, the Phillipines and Australia.
He has spent time with the Yolngu people of Arnhem land in learning the correct traditional techniques for the Yidaki (Didjeridu).His extensive experience with Asian Contemporary and Traditional performing Arts has contributed extensively to many Aesthetic and Community projects in Queensland and interstate for the past 25 years.
Workshop: “Stones of Presence”
Francis will take participants through an activity that uses the visual arts practice to encourage a Spiritual connection with the Landscape. This activity will take place onsite in Girraween National Park. Francis will be on hand to support participants in creating their desired image or expression in the visual arts.
Performance: “Calligraphic Resonances”
The Sound Bath is a popular type of event to attend in both urban and rural regions, and usually consists of a facilitator playing sweet resonant sounds on gongs, bowls and bells, with a meditative intention of healing and well being, and the audience can lie down, sit or stand to enjoy a rejuvenating experience of “bathing” in the frequencies released by the facilitator.
Francis will use tibetan singing bowls, indonesian and chinese gongs, as well as resonant long tones played on the japanese shakuhachi bamboo flute, to produce a series of frequencies designed to relax and rejuvenate.
Through this work Ahri has come under the guidance and collaborated with renowned facilitator, environmental activist and deep ecologist John Seed. John has taken Ahri under his wing and by teaching him about deep ecology and empowering him to facilitate powerful despair and empowerment workshops along with a range of other emotionally rejuvenating processes. These workshops can be truly transformative and inspiring experiences for people working to bring about a more just and sustainable world. If you’re interested to find out more information about Deep Ecology you can visit the Rainforest Information Centres website or the website of US deep ecologist, Joanna Macy.
Workshop: The Milling
This is a series of exercises designed to create group bonding, and to focus our whole attention (heart, body & mind) on the subject of the workshop: our relationship with each other and the entirety of the natural world. The workshop will take participants through a series of interactive, sensory, trust building and philosophically intimate processes that will deepen their sense of connection with the present moment, each other and all
Dada Jitendrananda – Yoga Monk
Workshop – Transitioning to Coops
This workshop reveals the amazing benefits of co-operatives – physical, emotional, financial, social – and why we need to embrace them in our future. It also goes through the challenges involved in collective problem solving and decision making. Like Permaculture and Transition Towns, co-operatives are a practical part of thinking globally and acting locally.
Workshop – The Heart Circle
Superconductivity is the ability of a medium to offer little or no resistance to the passage of electricity. Its equivalent in consciousness is bliss. The workshop uses chanting to evoke the bliss field of consciousness and experience the power of this resource for mental and emotional wellbeing.
The project name metaphorically maps the ebb and flow of any great river to our very own existence – at times calm and settling, at others turbulent and unpredictable.
This particular artist could not have been more appropriately named. The music of Old Man River is important and has resonated with people around the world. The messages are clear and strong. The musicality is global and not attached to geographic or cultural boundaries. It is Pop music with Indian and World music influence’s, Sing-a-long rock music, Anthemic Folk, Uplifting Retro music and more. Dig deep in an attempt to uncover the source of Old Man River’s muse and there is a story befitting of a great songwriter just finding his potential.
Chapters from his exposure to early military service, tales of performing for the Dalai Lama, busking for Yoko Ono and returning to a homeland 20 years and a lifetime since departing. Practicing and teaching Yoga, leading regular Kirtan and chanting concerts. Dealing with love and tragedy. Life from New York City to studying sitar with a Guru in Varanasi, India. Big in Japan, Bigger in Italy…Strange days indeed.
Perfomance : Old Man River
Taraka Tori Bail
Performance : Percussions from Africa
Didi Ananda Anuprabha
Didi has managed several schools, children’s homes and other social service projects. She also taught the practices of meditation and yoga to women in colleges and at women’s retreats. She is currently based in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Workshop: The Yogichef
From 29 B.C. to A.D. 641 spice was a major trade for the whole Roman Empire. Kerala, a state in India, was known as the “Spice Garden of India”. At the Ananda Mela Festival 2019, Didi, the Yogichef, explains the benefits of the various spices that Christopher Columbus and Vasco Da Gama searched for and which was traded for over 600 years. She shows you some of her secrets of genuine ethnic cooking.
Learn how to choose and enliven your food. Didi will explain how you use food to support a meditation practice.
The Graniteers are a group of Granite Belters who love to play and share the bright gentle sound of the Ukulele. Their repertoire shows the versatility of the instrument that has found a place in popular music as well as its most permanent home, the Pacific Islands. The Graniteers meet weekly and are always happy to welcome new members with no previous experience.
Wiruungga Dunggiirr – First Nations Activist
Wirruungga Dunggiirr – an inspiring aboriginal elder who has dedicated his life to educating non-indigenous and indigenous people about First Nations’ culture through story-telling, dance, music and other arts and crafts. At the Ananda Mela Festival he will be offering a Smoking Ceremony, Bush art for adults & children & guided bushwalk.
Workshop: The Tree of Knowledge
We are born from a seed, as we grow, we gain knowledge and as we age we acquire wisdom. The dance of life, growing from a seed to wisdom
Alison Gaffney had been dancing Nia for 5 years and has 4 Levels of training
I love connecting to music and moving for greater health and well being not just in the body but in the mind, the emotions and the spirit are also lifted by dancing. My passion developed when I was the full time carer of my Grandmother in Brisbane in 2011. Nia became an hour to be fully in the celebration of being alive connecting to sensation. Meditation in movement became a learned skill that gave me a spiritual awakening that helped me be in my life with grace and passion. As soon as I knew I was moving back to Stanthorpe I knew I needed to train to teach this practice to bring it to those who might also like to move for greater pleasure, awareness and joy through the movement of dance.
Dylan Groves – Permaculture in Everyday Life
Dylan is a Permaculture educator and committed sharer of Permaculture in action through articles, video, blog, presentations, social media, etc. He is motivated to back the Permaculture movement in any way possible. Passionate about the Permaculture, Ethics and Principles and localising Permaculture whenever possible, he is the founder and organiser of Stanthorpe Permaculture Group since 2014.
Dylan will be on the Green Me Locally Open Forum
Yoga Asanas have been developed over thousands of years as an aid to good physical and mental health, well-being and self-realization. Various health problems including hypertension, indigestion, heart disease, arthritis, asthma and cancer can be prevented and often cured through the practice of Asanas combined with meditation and diet.
Meditation time includes singing and chanting, followed by silent mentally active meditation. Yoga classes, taught by experienced teachers, are offered twice a day as a feature of this festival.
The middle day of the Mela is a “Chanting Day” which is 3 hours of continuous, vibrating, chanting. For this the mantra – Baba Nam Kevalam ( Love is all there is) is used. This continuous vibration using a single mantra creates a change in the local environment. This is an ancient practice, used to effect vibrational changes in one’s environment.
Kiirtan is a sacred dance that accompanies the chant and is a great help in meditation. It will be taught at the beginning of the Mela. The continuous chanting creates a blissful, uplifting environment, more conducive to deeper meditation. At the end of the chant everyone joins in, creating a very blissful atmosphere.
Participants can come and go into the chanting space during that time and meditate in the room as the sacred sounds continue. Many people find this day a highlight of the Mela.
There are childcare/youth programs during all the workshop times. These programs are divided into four age groups:
Children 2/3 to 5 Kids 6 to 8 Kids 9 to 12 Teens 13 to 18
Each program has experienced coordinators and has its own meeting place. During the middle day, there is a family outing called “Explore Stanthorpe”. Other outings may be planned. (These require permission slips from parents if a parent is not attending with a teen.)
There is “Meditation Time Childcare” run by one of the festival groups for younger children, so parents can get a chance to meditate.
Young children can have a healthy morning and afternoon snack during their session. Children between 7 and 12 will have workshop choices such as sports and crafts etc. During meditation times, older children usually feel happy to play around the community grounds.
Each evening everyone gathers in the main hall for enjoyable entertainment. This year our programs include:
- Talent Sharing and grand performance evening (please bring your uplifting skits, poetry, prose, songs, music and other performances.)
- Our Grand Performance Night which will include children’s performances, Community Creations and festival group performances.