Dominica will be at Watkins Bookshop, talking about her book Pearls of Consciousness: An Invitation to Meet Remarkable Beings on February 19 at 6.30pm. Dominica’s work is a remarkable collection of black and white portraits of 52 sages and spiritual teachers she took over the years from 1992 to 2012, together with powerful quotations and a short biography and bibliography of each. Click here to read her full biography and for more information about the event. Read here Dominica’s answers to our questions.
W: Which books have influenced your life the most?
D: Fantomette when I was a kid (adventures of a young woman heroe)
From my study of ancient Greek, two words ‘Know thyself’
Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet
Krishnamurti: Freedom from the known
Irian Tweedie: The Chasm of Fire
Joseph Campbell’s: The Power of Myth
The Gnostic Gospel’s by Elaine Pagels
Ramesh Balsekar’s books ; Ramana Maharshi’s teachings, and his disciple Sri Pounja’s books
Eric Baret’s books
And most recently Christel Petitcolin : « Je Pense Trop : comment canaliser ce mental envahissant » in French, which talks about hyperesthesic people (limit autistic) who have an over efficient mind (think too much) and an hypersensitivity of all senses. I realised this is my case and that my quest to go beyond the mind into the Heart saved my life.
W: Do you have a daily spiritual practice?
D: Yoga comes naturally every morning : meditation, work on the breath and, with time, postures. Just listening to the silence and feeling the vibrations.
The tai chi short yang form twice a week with my students.
I enjoy chanting too, it comes naturally. In the summer, swimming like fish in the wild river Drôme near my house (or the ocean) in the evening when most people have gone home – ideal time to commune with nature in silence.
W: What is your idea of happiness?
D: To remember I AM THAT. To be free to just be and to fly away when it is time. To be in silence, away from noise and unatural perfumes, in a nest, by a fire when it is cold, free to explore the sensations of the body and free to be creative. To light the fire in the morning. To sing with a friend. To feel love for others and let them know it. To feel gratitude. To clean the floor. To enjoy what each moment brings and when not enjoying it, to find out why and try and remedy the situation. To make love with the beloved when he is given. To swim in the cool Drôme after a hot day. To look into the gaze of a lizard and lose myself in it. Being in Tiruvannamamai in India where peole smile so much and judge little. Caress a cat. Help others as I can. Make use of the keen intellect I have been endowed with in order to perfom my work. To care for my son with love. To take photos of the beauty that I see in a face or in Nature. Just Here and Now as it is and watch as it enfolds into the day.
W: What empowers you in your daily work and life?
D: My yoga practice in silence. The thought of Arunachala Siva and the Divine Mother – feeling both are within. The smile of the sage on the portrait on my desk. To act as a warrior and live as a poet. The thought : I am Your servant O Lord. Guide me always towards that end, as a moth to the fire.
W: An advice to give to Watkins Magazine readers…
D: Practice mindfulness. Remember your Divinity at all times. Watch the breath coming in.. enjoy… going out… enjoy…
Be respectful of all forms of Life since That You Are. There is only One.
Remember what we call « garbage » is only a concept : all that really exists are the air, the earth and the oceans. So consume with mindfulness in order to pollute little.
Have the courage to see your dark side and not only the good side of you. Be willing to apologize when you’ve hurt or lacked due respect to another: you may lose face in the moment but you gain in light and thus empower yourself beyond imagination.
When pain is there, go deep into it. Don’t try and escape it, that’s a waste of time as it will eventually return until you’ve gone deep enough inside.
Realise that Truth and Joy go hand in hand. Watch the short video: The Happy Muslim on U Tube.
To conclude I will quote Sri H.W.L. Pounja, one of my beloved teachers: ‘Be as a lion! WAKE UP AND ROAR!’
Today Dominica lives in France where she teaches yoga and tai chi chuan and offers week end workshops around Pearls of Consciousness and her yoga practice. For more information visit her website : http://dominicah.free.fr
Pearls of Consciousness: An Invitation to Meet Remarkable Beings