Presence and the Dream Analogy

dreamYou are dreaming that you are chased by a werewolf in a dark forest, you feel fear, you try to find a shelter or a weapon, it is all very real for you, but is it? What are the components of that experience? We have the chased, the chaser, the forest, all the emotions and thoughts that arise and…the dreamer, the witness.

If we dig a little bit in the nature of the dream experience we realise that the substance of the dream is not to be found in its drama and content but in the essence of the witness. Many movies can be projected on a screen but the screen always stays the screen, it is not affected by the movie. The chaser, the chased, the emotions and thoughts present in the situation and the forest are one in essence, they all arise in and from the consciousness of the witness.

If, while dreaming, you realise that you are essentially the witness experiencing a dream then you are having what is called lucid dreaming. You realise that you created the chased, the chaser and the dark forest. You were identified for a time with the chased but now you might, if you want, become the chaser or the bat in the tree or you might even…try another dream ūüôā

The analogy of the dream can be used to approach the nature of our daily experience as a defined individual, a mind, in a body, in a world. Are we dreaming? Who is the witness? Could awakening be a form of lucid dreaming ?

The analogy of the dream can be used as a seed of meditation to approach the reality of Presence which is essentially witness and witnessed, the One reality behind appearances.

Calwen

See, Love and Shine

Words are just words, they are just pointers, they are nothing per se, all there is is energy and awareness and even those words are just pointers. The following article must be read as an attempt to convey an informal experience, it is just a painting that will dissolve over time. It is only a projection and must be treated as such. The quintessence of this article must be found in the words See, Love and Shine.

The Opening of The Eye – See

The vision of a “me” separated from the rest of the world is real from a mind perspective. The mind is just a response mechanism, it processes pieces of information and deducts. The mind is not creative, it only deals with what is already there, it manipulates already existing thoughts, it does not generate new seeds. If you let the mind rules You it will define hat you see.Fantasy_Eye_robot_android_096785_

When we realise that the mind is just another object within Presence, the mental activity comes to a peaceful standstill, what is left is pure Awareness, Presence, creative thinking can start now.

There is a lot of speculation about the nature of pure consciousness, pure awareness, what I call Presence. There is no need to speculate as it doesn’t serve any purpose, we can only say that it is made of “pure consciousness”, Presence is made of presence.

Also, I don’t think it is particularly wise to insist Presence is pure nothingness or emptiness. The mind, who has a tendency to function in term of good and bad, will invariably generate negative thoughts around that concept. I would instead say Presence is the source of everything, it is formless but is the seed of all forms. Presence is the boundless and permanent container of all forms, may it be a thought, an emotion or a physical form.

The correct vision emerges from Presence. The world is finally seen as One. Other human beings are just seen as another expression of the One Life. The essence of the word “fraternity” is finally embraced. The planet is seen as a living entity floating in an infinite universe of possibilities. The true concept of eternity also become a living reality, all that is experienced is Now.

The “Eye” is finally opened, we can call it awakening but it is just the beginning.

The Opening of the Heart – Love

I always insist that awakening does not turn anyone into a Buddha or a Christ, it only unlocks a capacity to see from a new broader angle, ‚Äúthings‚ÄĚ are seen from beyond the mind but the old egoic patterns are not transmuted in a blink of an eye.Divinelove-320x315

The opening of the “Eye” is, in essence, a change of vibration of consciousness and¬†as the seeing expands so does the heart. After seeing with our head we start seeing with our heart.

As we witness the activity of the One Life in all and everything, true compassion starts to be deeply felt and it manifest more and more through our words or non-words, actions or non-actions. At that stage, it can be hit-and-miss but the pain is not of the same nature that the one which is felt by the isolated ego, the balm of Love is never far away and the healing is fast.

At that stage the peace of true forgiveness is also experienced, we understand that ‚ÄúLove is the place where everything is already forgiven‚ÄĚ and peace keeps settling in. True Love as nothing to do with sensitivity, it is the true feeling that is born from true vision. Love and wisdom are essentially connected as true wisdom can only be born from¬†an opened Eye that sees through an experienced heart.

Many individuals start teaching immediately after the opening of the ‚ÄúEye‚ÄĚ. Their experience is often genuine but they lack the experience of the heart, they are in touch with the destructive aspect of the supramental that sees but out of touch with the universal heart that unite. They are very skilled at destroying the old but their capacity to prepare the ground for the new is limited. Nevertheless, their work is useful to some extent.

Rebirth –¬†Shine

If the opening of the eye and opening of the heart are often felt as a “taking off” from the world of forms, the last stage can be seen as a¬†coming back in. The old “obsolete” ego has now pretty much completely dissolved, life is ready to manifest again concretely through¬†new vehicles in the world of forms.reborn

The term “ego” is often seen as a negative term in spirituality. In essence the ego is neutral, it is only a centralized operating center for the manifestation of forces and energies and an integrating principle. This concept can be immediately verified if we look at stars. Radiance and heat can only manifest through an intense focusing of energy. The same apply to consciousness, the more intense and focused, the more impact it will have in the world of forces and energies.

In that final stage of Rebirth, the infinite is consciously manifesting as finite, the unlimited embraces the unlimited, the born and the unborn are now consciously One. The impermanent “self” can now see his “radiant visage” and walk the earth again fully aware that it is One with the eternal Presence, with Life.

The personality hasn’t changed essentially, it is now a finely tuned instrument essentially manifesting the spontaneity of life, with intelligence, compassion, and wisdom. The light of Presence can now shine through unfiltered by the limitations imposed upon the vision and the heart by the mind. The self is now an agent of beauty and harmony, it is one with life, human and divine, mortal and immortal, nothing and something, it is reborn and complete.

Calwen

Your Ego is a Sleeping Sun

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Much wisdom, care, and humility are needed while trying to convey the essence of a living experience.¬†Concepts and ideas are just containers, temporary objects, they don’t reveal they just “point to”.¬†We can’t project more than what we are experiencing and what we are experiencing is never a final destination when it comes to spiritual awakening.¬†

Keeping the above in mind let’s explore a subject which is at the essence of spiritual development: The Ego.

Essentially a newborn is free of identification, there is no “sense of I”, it is pure Presence.

The identification process starts with the name. Presence starts identifying itself to the sound of that name, it associates “its presence” to that sound, it is the initial seed of the impermanent self, the ego appears on the stage.

We now have a name. Our family has its own particularities. We are part of a nation that has a history.

Later we have a job status and the layers keep stacking, identification over more identification, more stories being added to our already existing stories.

What has been happening is that unlimited Presence has been limiting itself through identification. All that remains is a crystalized “sense of I”, a drop of self-awareness adapted to a particular specific environment but essentially disconnected from the ocean its coming from, Presence.

Identification per se is not a problem as long there is an awareness that it is an impermanent state of affair. The big drama is that Presence is “lost” in the process of identification but only “lost” from the point of view of the ego. Presence is essentially never lost. That mystery is described¬†by the famous Hindu quote:

Having impregnated the Universe with a portion of myself, yet I remain.

We can say that the ego is a reflection of Presence through the imperfection of the substance. The essential rays of light of What IS travel through the layers of substance from the mental to the physical levels and the manifestation of the ego is the visible manifestation of what remains from Presence. The ego, although unrefined,  is Presence nevertheless. The light of what IS has reached the dark pit of crystallized matter and impregnated it, yet, what IS remains and the process of purification can carry on.

You probably heard that the ego must be destroyed, that it is an illusion, that “there is nothing in there”, that the ego is evil, that you can’t awaken if you still have an ego, that everything is happening and that there is no need to try to control anything, …etc. well, it is only one part of the story.

rebirth_by_virus69-d3g8a2u_smallContemplated from Presence, the ego is just a vortex, it is neither good or bad, it is just a natural principle. It will absorb the forces and energies you throw at it and focus them through a specific personality, it’s all there is to it, it is a neutral process but a powerful one, once you are functioning from Presence.

Presence cannot manifest itself without creating, focusing and concentrating forces and energies through a vortex, a radiant point “inside consciousness”, very much like you can create fire with a magnifying glass by concentrating the light into a tiny point, stars do it, so do we. Manifestation cannot occur without such a focus of energy, those who are claiming the opposite are fooling you and themselves in the process (see my article on pseudo-Advaita).

Before being able to function from Presence through that vortex, your consciousness needs to be established in Presence and a “little death” might be necessary. Feel free to have a look at my article on the dark night of the soul on that particular subject. The dissolution of the ego does not affect the lines of least resistance of the personality that will be used by Presence in the post-awakening stage. The core characteristics of the boat don’t change, just the captain.

So, to simplify things, in stage 1 we have John Doe and the world,  which is Presence functioning in complete identification to John Doe, life is seen from a dual perspective, unity is not yet intuitively perceived behind the diversity.

As life is experienced, joys and sorrows, successes and failure, peace and dramas, John Doe starts aspiring for more. One day, through spiritual practise or not,  John Doe realises that John Doe was just a mental construct and the ego starts to dissolve, this is stage 2, the dark night of the soul.

Stage 2 can last for a long time. Consciousness is left between what is to come and what was. Light and darkness are very close from each other. Presence and unity is perceived, flashes of brilliance are occurring regularly but there is no stable vortex through which Presence can operate yet.

In stage 3, the ego has largely dissolved, the identity is fairly established in Presence, the illusion has faded for the most part. Presence can come back into manifestation again, through the lines of least resistance available in John’s Does personality. There is a big difference this time, compared to stage 1, Presence is not “lost”, Awareness is established at a personal and transpersonal level, John Doe¬†is aware of Presence, Presence is aware of John Doe. It is obviously just a way to say it as they are essentially one.

Humanity is swift to jump from one extreme to the other one. After embracing the destructive aspects of the ego without limit, it is no surprise that, as consciousness starts expanding, it goes to the opposite extreme of dismissing it entirely.

The principle behind the formation of the ego is neither good¬†or bad, it is just a natural principle which can be compared to a vortex, a lens through which Presence can operate. Once it is understood it can be used to create living “Suns”, radiating conscious centres of living power.

Your Ego is a Sleeping Sun.

Calwen

The Dark Night of The Soul

Dark Night Of The Soul - IsolationThe subject of the “dark night of the soul” is not an easy one to approach.

Psychological disorders are the results of mental and/or emotional malfunctions, it can be understood and treated. The dark night of the soul is not a psychological disorder it is a state of consciousness resulting from the collapse of the psychological structures that define the “sense of I” in an individual.

The concept of the dissolution of the ego is not new, it has, and is considered as a sine qua non condition for the spiritual awakening to happen. In that regard, many spiritual traditions consider the dissolution of the ego as a positive indication that the student is walking the path in the right direction.

Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

The quote above, attributed to the Christ,¬†is interesting to understand the potential causes that lead an individual to experience¬†the dark night of the soul. ¬†The Christ indicates that the “vibration” of our earthly personality must be raised before we can experience a new influx of life and consciousness. The old you must die, for the new You to live.

He also mentions that the wineskins could be ruined. It is said that “god is a devouring fire” and if you foolishly try to approach its radiance too early it might burn your wings. You will find many horror stories of early Kundalini awakening in individuals not ready to deal with the energies unleashed in the process. It is important to understand that beyond words we are dealing with energy, everything is energy and consciousness. The energy can be controlled or untamed, it can participate in harmony or cause destruction.

Our “sense of I”, the way we see ourself, ¬†is a focus point, a contraction of ¬†Presence¬†that came into existence¬†¬†through what we have been told by our parents, teachers, our close¬†environment and finally through our cultural heritage.¬†We are what we think we are, the key to the great mystery of awakening is in the deep understanding of that key concept.

It comes to a point, in the evolution of a human being, where nothing seems to make sense or attract anymore. The fruits of life have been experienced. The gradients of love and hate have assimilated.  The world is seen as a senseless and agitated arena and the individual intuitively feel that there must be more to life.

Eventually, the individual embarks on a spiritual path and adhere (or not) to an existing spiritual strategy. It can take a long time for an individual to come to the realization that the “sense of I” is just a made up blob of energy floating in Presence¬†and that his physical, emotional and mental substance are an impermanent manifestation of Presence. When it happens, a sudden collapse of the psychological structure might precipitate the now dying ego in the dark night of the soul.

Dark Night Of The Soul - Rebirth

Notice that I said that the dying ego “might” experience¬†“the dark night of the soul”. I do think that individuals with personal spiritual strategies who are walking the path alone (not guided by an already awakened being) are more prone to find the experience of the dissolution of their identity difficult and frightening.

How does it feel like in the dark night of the soul? That is a very subjective question because every individual will describe that state of consciousness¬†using different terms and as I said it is a very intimate and subjective experience which is not easy to put into words. We don’t realize that our sense of identity is a protective energetic shield, when that shield breaks what it was protecting is exposed and in direct contact with the forces that emanates from all directions in a daily basis. In the dark night of the soul, you can become the witness of your own life for some time, in that regard, it is a form of derealization or depersonalization. It can also take the form of a total lack of drive or desire to accomplish anything and a desire to be alone. Many will need to spend a lot of time in Nature in a contemplative state. Some will even end up on the sofa of a psychiatrist, which is, as you can imagine, far from an inspired solution.

Above all the dark night of the soul is an initiation, a test of strength for the heart and the will. Will you be able to stand in total emptiness and darkness, surrounded by your doubts. Will you be able to face the monsters you created and embrace them through the power of Love and acceptance of What IS.

If you are reading me and think you are going through the dark night of the soul, remember that you are essentially an eternal flame of Presence and that you have the power to bring light to any corner of the known and unknown, visible and invisible universe. You are a powerful light carrier, walk the darker parts of the path with confidence. You hold a scepter of power in your right hand and a lantern in your left hand, you open the path for the rest of humanity.

Finally, from the bottom of the pit, laugh triumphantly because you are an eternal and indestructible flame of Presence.

Calwen

Neo-Advaita and Nihilism

NihilismIf you have been walking the spiritual path for some times you have surely heard about Advaita Vedanta which is a school of Hindu philosophy and one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization.

Neo-Advaita can be seen as a westernised version of Advaita Vedanta that emphasizes the direct recognition of the non-existence of the “I” or “ego,”.¬†The basic practice of neo-Advaita is “self-enquiry”, via the question “Who am I?

The problem with Neo-Advaita is not the essence of the teaching, it is the “teachers”. Most of them are rightfully recognising that their “sense of I” is an illusion, but they consider that the dissolution of their ego is the destination, while it is only a temporary station.

The dissolution of the ego is a necessary temporary step but it is not the ultimate destination. Presence cannot manifest without focusing itself through the lens of the personality. Realisation is the sublimation of the energies and forces available in that particular personality and not, like most of the instant gurus claim, the destruction of the lens.

The “sense of I”¬†is a contraction of Presence, but it is not a problem per se when “standing in Presence”. Presence can only manifest through a contraction of Itself. What is important, is to be aware, at all time, ¬†that it is just a contraction. The actor must always remember he is just an actor on the stage. it’s all there is to it.

Most Neo-Advaita “teachers?” are generally self-obsessed with the annihilation of the concept of “I”. They will go to great length to convince you that it is unnecessary and that they¬†don’t have one anymore. That obsession is based on that¬†incorrect understanding of the processes involved in the manifestation of Presence. They are also insisting¬†that nothing matters anyway because everything is already perfect. That erroneous conclusion comes from the¬†wrong interpretation of the¬†correct concept of “nothing/everything”, I will talk about it in great length in another article.

The unfortunate consequence of the incomplete realisation of those “teachers?” is that an aura of nihilism radiates around Neo-Advaita. Their incorrect interpretations of real energetic¬†processes is misleading many students and they will continue to do so until they enter the next stage of their awakening. By claiming that nothing is real and that everything is already perfect, they are confusing their followers and disconnecting the heart from¬†the head. A flower does not need unpractical metaphysical concepts to grow, it needs water.

Those new self-appointed YouTube gurus are hammering their disciples with the fact that “everything is just happening”. You don’t really need to go through any form of spiritual awakening to realise that everything is happening. What they indirectly point at is that it is not necessary to interfere or control “what is happening” around you, that there is no need to achieve anything. In some regards, their views¬†are actually very close from the views of Objectivism. Objectivism considers¬†that there is nothing wrong in letting the weakest perish at the hands of the strongest as it is the natural order of things. The current Neo-Advaita concepts will indirectly take you to the same conclusion that there is no need to try to control what is happening around you. I am demonstrating on this blog that true realisation will direct you to the opposite conclusion. Presence can only manifest through¬†the shaping of forces and energies. Presence is the source of “what is happening”, it is immanent and transcendent, the eternal witness as well as the eternal actor. Realisation is not about just establishing yourself as the nothing/everything witnessing Presence, it is about embracing your humanity and accepting to function through all levels of reality.

Neo-Advaita has disconnected the heart from the head and, in that regard, it became an incomplete and misguided spiritual strategy. Their rushed approach to awakening appeals to those who are looking for a quick and easy fix to their craving for enlightenment. Neo-Advaita is spiritual bypassing¬†and, although the new YouTube instant gurus will claim otherwise, the core of their nature is essentially driven by a “spiritualized ego”, elevated to the supramental but still deeply disconnected from the heart of what IS, the heart of Presence.

What YOU ARE¬†always loved and cherished¬†what you think you are. Presence and your “sense of I” are one. Realisation is an embrace of Love between Presence and your temporary personality. Your personality is a tool, it is not about destroying it but about subliming it through Love, joy and enthusiasm.

Calwen

Awakening and Leadership

LeadershipThis planet has known very few leaders, sufficiently awake, to make a real difference, and contribute to a significant shift in human consciousness. Most current leaders are ruled by their minds and emotions, which makes them spiritually immature and unfit to be in a position of power. The ego does not understand the implication of power, nor does he measure the responsibilities that come with it.

An awakened leader can see that All is One, he stands before an ocean of energy and consciousness and realises he has the power to shape it, to make life easier on earth for All.

A leader with compassion treats All as himself because he sees himself in All.

An awakened leader has the courage to follow his conscience, not the politically correct trends of his time, he sees, he speaks and he acts accordingly even if that means making enemies, there is no possible evolution without conflicts.

An awakened leader serves Presence, beauty and harmony. He is entirely impersonal, he serves because he knows he is just an agent, an instrument of Presence. He understands that the power he is given is a sacred gift, that must be used for the benefit of All and not for self-serving or private agendas.

An awakened leader is a divine catalyst, like a magnet he can bring the best out of everyone. He does not exclude but includes wisely.

A leader is a torch carrier, a guide. He is loved because he loves, he is respected because he respects. He is followed because he is a living example.

Without vision, compassion, courage and absolute impersonality there is only a dysfunctional form of leadership, and it will continue to be so until incompetent leaders are removed from powers and replace by awakened individuals.

Calwen

Presence is the True Self

PresencePresence can be seen as the boundless and permanent container of impermanence. Objects fall and rise in Presence which has no beginning nor an end, it is eternal and infinite.

Presence is not an object but it is the source of all objects, the essential nature of objects, the essential true self.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have a self but it is really the wrong way around, the self, Presence, has you.

Presence is the essential nature of all objects, of all forms, it has no boundaries or limits, it permeates everything, from the atom to the galaxies, it is immanent and transcendent at the same time. “Having impregnated the universe from a portion of myself, yet I remain” say an old Hindu scripture.

Presence is sometimes referred as “nothing” being the source of “everything” this can be a source of confusion. Presence appears as nothing if we try to define it from an object oriented point of view because it has no identifiable attributes or limits like objects have. Nevertheless, Presence is made of Presence so in that sense, it is not nothing. Also, the approach nothing/everything is dualistic in essence and doesn’t convey properly the essential unity of all that IS.

Presence is the reality behind the “I am”, Presence is the true self.

Calwen

Presence and the Hidden Object Analogy

Presence

If approached correctly from an intuitive level, as an analogy,  the little experiment I am describing here can act as a powerful doorway to PRESENCE.

Ask a friend or your partner to hide a little object under a box in front of you without telling you what it is.

In order to label an object, the mind needs to be able to frame a couple of attributes for that particular object, for example, its colour, its weight, its size, its shape. Because it is hidden under the box all the attributes of the object are unavailable and obviously the mind can’t label it. But does it really prevent you to acknowledge the reality of the presence of the object? if you pause for a little while and look at the box it will become very obvious to you that the presence of the object cannot be hidden from you, only its attributes. Although the mind cannot label the object, you can feel that the object is present. It does not need to be perceived by the senses to be present, its presence is just self-evident.

This analogy can be applied to Presence. It does not need to be labelled or ‚Äúfound‚ÄĚ to be present.

WHAT IS does not need to be acknowledged, found, recognized or approved to BE THAT WHICH IS.

Calwen

Into Presence

Searching for TruthI started my spiritual quest when I was a teenager. I remember devouring mountains of books on religions and spiritualities, I was very enthusiastic about it all. I could intuitively feel that there was more to life than what I had been told or shown. I had to find what it was.

I quickly realized that most sincere spiritual approaches were pointing to the same direction, the words were different but I could feel that there could only be one thing behind the multiple appearances, and I would find what it was.

Nature has always been the source of my inspirations, the subject of my meditations and contemplations. The sky, the trees, the rain, everything was a symbol pointing to a¬†living¬†reality, Nature was a gateway. ¬†I eventually came to¬†realize that there was nothing like “me and Nature” but there was just Nature, there was just¬†Nature contemplating itself, it was my¬†first glimpse into¬†Oneness.

One day, as I was watching myself meditating, it suddenly became very clear that there was no need to make any effort to find reality. That reality was directly accessible to me through the realization that there was only What IS and it was just about surrendering to that obvious IS-ness, The Presence of What IS

Another major¬†way point was reached when I realized that it wasn’t me who was experiencing the world, it was Presence experiencing it all, my mind, my body and the world.

That awakening was nevertheless a temporary illusion, a consciousness switch from the form to the formless, from being something to being nothing/everything. A necessary awakening from the ego had happened but it was just a temporary station, there was more to it.

The path to realization goes through the complete integration of the form with the formless, of the born with the unborn, of your human impermanence with What IS, with Presence… and it is¬†an embrace of Love.

This blog offers insights into a spiritual experience, there is no final destination and we all are eternal students, I have nothing to teach, I am only projecting my experience. It might resonate with you, it might not, I am just singing my song in the universal choir ūüôā

Calwen

The Spiritual Teaching Syndrome

Crazy Guru

Awakening does not turn you into a Buddha, it only does unlock the capacity to “see life” from a new “point of view”. Awakening does not change the nature of your mental, emotional and physical “substance”, the colours and vibrations of the forces and energies that constitute your personality.

The ego does not dissipate magically after awakening, awakening is just the beginning, the post-awakening integration can take a long time.

The post-awakening impulse to share often morph into a desire to teach, it can be a natural move but it can also be a choice driven by the remains of an ego which haven’t fully dissipated more than a real spontaneous impulse coming from Presence.

Awakening does not turn a bad teacher into a good teacher. An ill-equipped mind won’t be able to choose its words very carefully, and they might be misinterpreted. A non-transparent emotional body might radiate a misguiding aura of nihilism, a lack of integration might reveal a poor capacity to adapt to the current vision of the students and to adjust the teaching accordingly, we can all share, not all of us are equipped to teach.

A quick tour of YouTube will reveal a growing number of individuals, mostly coming from “neo” or “pseudo” Advaita, presenting themselves as teachers. Some of them had genuine “experiences”, but most of them are mistaking awakening for realization.

They are offering a takeaway version of spirituality, finely tuned to our world of consumerism, to a crowd of young souls stuck in their egoic loop searching for a quick fix to their craving for an “awakening-lite”.

Those “self-appointed” teachers can¬†be easily detected through their obsessive claims that they have annihilated their ego and that there is nothing left. They are particularly fond of sentences like “there is no one talking here”, “there is no me”, etc. Of course, what they say is not false but their OCB attitude is an indication that they have a poor comprehension of what the “ego” is and no comprehension at all of the process of integration into Presence.

A student that suddenly understand the principles of trigonometry might be very excited about it but it doesn’t suddenly make him a fully-fledged maths teacher, obvious to many not so much for the fans who are gathering in their YouTube video channel or Facebook page.

A growing number of those individuals have started to organize “teaching sessions” in their lounge or bedrooms, often the “teaching” manifest itself as an outpour of spontaneous ‚Äúbeingness‚ÄĚ from a consciousness lost in wholeness, often funny, mostly harmless, excessively untamed.

A good spiritual teacher is not necessarily a man of good character and an enlightened man of good character is not necessarily a good teacher, but I do personally give more credits to a good teacher who is a living example of what he teaches.

Until real group consciousness starts kicking in, the compulsive spiritual teaching syndrome is well on its way, soon to a town near you, brace yourself and keep your eyes opened ūüôā

Calwen