Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Guest Post - Mann Matharu talks about his travels - Blog Tour

“What are the best places you have travelled to on your journey, and what did you learn from them?”

When I was young, I always went to India. For many years, this was the only place I had visited and did not really know anything about the rest of the World.

It was when growing up, in my early twenties with the help of cheap European flghts that I started to venture out with friends to European cities. All of which were eye-openers.

I had ‘forgotten’ about India. My parents kept on going with my younger siblings but myself and one of my brothers always stayed back.

Hong Kong:
In 2003, I had an opportunity to go to Hong Kong. If I’m honest it was a well-needed break and so I set off on my own. I had no idea of what to expect and it was the furthest place I had travelled to on my own.

Hong Kong itself is a very busy city. The contrast between sky-scrapers and pockets of nature introduced by humans to try and make it a ‘greenish’ city was welcomed during my long walks throughout the city.

When I got back to my hotel, the concierge approached me and asked if I’d like to visit Lantau island the next morning. It was going to full day trip starting at 5am. I reluctantly booked myself a space on the bus.

The next morning, myself and a few other guests set off on a fully air-conditioned, luxury coach towards the port. I had been to the port several times during my stay as I would get on the Star Ferry to get across Hong Kong over to Kowloon.

The ferry to Lantau was on time and I set off around 5:40am and reached the Island within an hour. It was another bus journey up into the hills with the peaks still filed with the morning mist where a silhouette started to emerge. At this point it must’ve been a mile or so away and I remember thinking, ‘how big must it be if I can make out its’ outline from here’. Still not knowing what it was, the bus driver grew closer and closer until I could make out the largest Buddha statue I had ever seen. Sitting on the top of the hill in its’ traditional lotus position, it instantly blew my mind.

The main thing I learned from my trip to Hong Kong was expect the unexpected. I did not go with a travel plan, I had never been to the far East, but that journey has shaped my life ever since and is the basis of my story The Monk of Lantau.

It must’ve been atleast 17-18 years since I returned to India. Now fully grown, everyone I had remembered as a child were also grown up, some were married with children.

I was glad my brother who too had not been back since we were younger was with me as we had the opportunity a new India together.

At first, I just could not get over the busy ever so manic streets, filled with hundreds of cars, thousands of people on bicycles, scooters and not to mention some wild animals roaming the streets.

Strangely, I felt a sense of comfort whilst I was. I enjoyed the fact it was so busy and hectic, I rather enjoyed it.

My journey to India, saw me travelling further North, to Punjab which is where most of my parents’ family lives. Travelling by road allowed me to look outside the car window and see various villages and small towns along the way, and vast land filled with the brightest of green grasses and crops being farmed by local farmers.

Punjab is home to the Golden Temple, which is located in a city called Amritsar and is a place where members of the Sikh faith try and visit atleast once in their lifetime. I had the honour of going, having no memory of ever going before and was mesmerised by the peace and tranquillity of this beautifully designed temple, covered with real gold, sitting in the middle of a small lake. Outside the temple premises, there is the hustle and bustle of daily life where market traders capitalising from the tourists, but as soon as step inside, it’s just a feeling of peace.

I used my time in Punjab to reflect on my own spirituality and my faith in the divine. Visiting the Golden Temple allowed me to re-connect to Sikhism in a new way. It also gave me an opportunity to be grateful to the journey and the sacrifices my parents must have made, leaving their families behind in order to start a new life in a country where they did not speak the language.

About the author: 

Living in London, Mann Matharu is a qualified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a Reiki Master Teacher. Through his work, Mann has helped many people overcome mental, physical and emotional barriers and has been widely recognised by various national and international organisations including an invitation to 10 Downing Street to meet the former Prime Minister, David Cameron in 2016. Currently his philanthropic projects include: Sikhs Online which was launched in 2008 with a view of bringing Sikh news and
historical content into the mainstream media and Homeless 100, a self-funded initiative to provide food for the homeless in London.

The search for a meaningful existence is as universal as it is elusive. When obstacles to happiness and personal goals seem to riddle our horizons, where do we turn for answers?
Meet Matthew, an average Londoner, a family man and a husband, intent on the all-too-normal pursuit of making a better life for himself and his family. When an accident threatens to become the proverbial straw that breaks his back in his pursuit of happiness and personal attainment, Matthew finds himself at a crossroad in his life.

In the way the Universe has of placing the right people in our lives at just the right time, Matthew happens upon a tale from an unlikely source, a tale of a man with mystical healing powers, someone Matthew can seek who can restore balance and harmony to his life and heal his daughter who is fighting for her own. As he traipses through Europe, the Middle East, India and Asia in search of the healer, nothing about the beautiful, trying, and challenging outward journey compares to the progress he makes as he travels into the depths of his own being.

Through Matthew’s journey, we are given the keys to finding the healer for ourselves. Most importantly, readers are invited to harness the beauty and prosperity that comes when we seek ways to recognize that we are all connected to each other and we are all marvellous and powerful creators of our own unique, stunning life story.

Follow along with the rest of the blog tour:

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