Kumari Ellis

Kumari is a Mullumbimby based author. Her novel about her mystical experiences in India is an absorbing and enlightening tale. Join her on a great adventure into one of the world’s most exotic and intricate spiritual cultures.

“I have always loved to write and it was six years ago that I first sat down to write this story of my time in India. Initially I had two days every week when I was released for a few hours of mothering duty, and in that time I would brew chai, and sit down to write. It was surprisingly easy for me to slip back to the days of India and I found great solace in doing so. It has been a lengthy process and I believe with this first manuscript I have learnt so much about the writing process. Indeed about myself as it took me beyond the edge of comfort at times with revealing more about myself than I ever set out to share. It is a story that wants to be shared and I found that the more I could get out of my own way and simply be present, to show up to the empty page, the more it revealed.”

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I heard on the radio yesterday that loneliness is the new mental health crisis affecting Australians. One in 4 adults will report to feeling lonely. This startling fact led into a program about on-line friendships…and an app called bumble….Bumble apparently is not only for dating, or hooking up for sex alone, but for forging friendships. One antidote to loneliness.

I know the colourful, loud aloneness of single parenting, when the only adult with 2 strong willed, strident adolescents brings a notable absence, the distinct and discordant lack. The imagined wished for other to lean into, gain nourishment, support, perhaps the simple act of making tea. A glance of shared comradery. A load taken on one’s own shoulder can easily become a burden. Where is that village where kids are raised in community?

There is the more factual loneliness of noting how often I am alone. Alone walking on the beach, alone swimming in the river, alone sitting under the spreading river side tree that so generously gives shade, whilst kids swim, disappear to jump off the bridge reappearing for food or their snorkels, or to hop on the paddle board. The paddle board that I have on my own pulled from the garage, hoisted onto the roof of the car, secured tightly so it doesn’t fly off whilst driving. Hauled off the other end, carried to the water’s edge. Assistance of course from my boy, always eager to help.

I am alone right now, except for Lucy, my small, adorable dog.

I walked on the beach for the first time in a while this morning. The heat penetrates and the glare, the hot sand and endless expanse of ocean didn’t entice me. the sun has no bounds on that vast domain. The currents strong, swirling waters in rips and eddies. Waves knock my feet from under me and the whole show feels almost hostile. Aloneness suddenly vulnerable.

the thought of returning to the suburbs, the brick house I now call home, the dull brown grass and parched air did little to enliven me.

Endless chores and lists to attend to, yet I have given myself time out. I have come here, to the river. I swim again and the waters are sleek, cold, smooth and silky. a group of older women sit in the shallows using flotation devices. Grouped in a circle they chat easily between themselves, about the heat and summer traffic causing delays into Byron. I swim out into the wide river and let the current take me, then battle back against the tide. striking out determined. the water is delicious. she is my solace. my own personal goddess to worship and immerse in. Lose my sense of personal self and the endless stories that float close behind me. and let it all go. Floating weightless, the buoyant waters hold me.

tiny fish dart and flit in the shallows. Bigger fish, silver flashes, weave through the flecks of seaweed and shifting light and blue.

three mothers sit in the shade of the tree. 2 babies are cradled on laps and 4 toddles play at the water’s edge. the mothers are young, one with elaborate tattoos. I let their chatter fade and tune more to the swelling distant roar of the ocean. the sudden lapping of water from the wake of a boat that idles up river. a hammock is strung between the eucalyptus trees with peeling bark…..a woman reads a book in a scene that looks to me quite perfect.

I too sit beneath the tree looking out on to the wider expanse of blue. the surface shimmers in a dance with the wind. on the far shore of Christmas beach a flock of birds stand motionless. before me the river melts a liquid blue, a delicate moving alive flowing blue of different hues, subtle and then sudden with deeper shades marking the seaweed clumps that cling to submerged rocks as the tide creeps upward. Blues, then a line of golden sand, greens of the forest and above a paler blue that fills the vast sky. not a cloud.

the birds from Christmas beach takes off and I see now that they are cormorants who wheel and glide then land on the water. The kids on the sand with the tide slowly rising, squabble and one cries. The mother roused into action. i can hear the tiredness in her command, or maybe it is just my own projection.

I’ve retreated within myself lately. I’m tired of my story. of my dissolved life as more and more of me seems taken in the chaos of the unknown. we have to keep blessing God, for all of it. Not just when the waters are blue and smooth, but also the rip tides and eddies that take our feet from under us. who knows the greater plan. how can I know why I am faced with such uncertainty, issues with the kids, with my own self easily eroded.

I can only take responsibility. And practise the subtle but great art, of self-forgiveness.

A gull, startling white against the blue, turns circles in the sky. Joined by another they dip and dive in unison.

It seems as if storm clouds of grief inhabit my soul.

I find solace in aloneness. I find a quiet whisper on the breeze. I notice the language of light and the play of sun and shadow. This tree offering shade around me has heart shaped leaves and the paper bark seems to lean in against her.

The moms are packing up. the toddlers tired. prams are packed and sandy, red faced kids ushered to the shower.

The river beach now empty but the blue canoe moored on the sand. An idyllic scene and it’s all mine. I find deep nourishment from the rising waters, the green tinged blue and the feel of the wind against my skin. The elements and my small place within it all. Thoughts meander and ideas reach down, as gentle as a bird wing to brush against my being. And easy too in the general rush and bother of life for these ideas to fly on by, unless captured by the net of my pen and carefully laid out. Aloneness is a gift. To take the precious time to simply be quiet and recede within oneself.. Allow the waters of our life to gently lap the shore line. Loneliness, like the host of emotions and feelings, comes and visits for a while. Only to shift and change as it all will do.
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2 months ago

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Lovely writing. And yes, single parenting! Such a powerful and sometimes incredibly lonely journey. I’ve come to take deep joy in the perspective that my aloneness has given me, and acknowledge the wisdom behind every wrinkle and stretch mark, and the knowing that the tools I learnt in earlier chapters of life, the deep spiritual searching and practice, have stood me well, so I can remain steady on my path. Onwards, with courage! Kumari, if you ever feel like a walking buddy, or a sunset watching buddy, or some company while watching the kids adventure, please message me. I’d love to spend a little time with you.

such tender deep writing that strikes the soul. Thank you

Thank you for sharing this, beautiful expressions 💓

You are such a beautiful writer Kumari so well said... loneliness has been my path for a very long time and whilst I may not be the easiest being or the most popular the inner journey it’s forced me into has its beauty ... depression was the hardest part for me 🕉🙏

Beautifully expressed.

Well said darling

I know how you feel xx 😬❤️

🙏❤️ received and respected darling Happy to share face to face time whenever it suits! Just across the other shore on the river ... 🙏

Kumar I would love to spend some time with you. We could have tea or beach walk

Exactly where I am at. Thank you.

Beautiful 🌸 love

Called getting in touch with your inner self !

Thank you for giving this all a voice 💕


Many can relate to this story. They turn to facebook for company but its not the same

Artfully expressed dear sister. Im curious why we are all so lonely together here?! I think its mostly our living apart from each other...? Love you 🧡

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Feeling deeply sad by the event in Christchurch. Such horrific violence against a population who have come to New Zealand from war and violence, wanting to make a peaceful life for themselves and their families. And in a city already suffering the trauma of two earthquakes. In Christ’s Church, in a mosque. I have many favourite images, sounds and memories of India but one that invokes such a sense within me of returning home, is the call to prayer at Dawn. Drifting out across the still inky sky it is a sublime way to start the day. Calling me to my own prayer. My prayer today is that we all turn to the religion of kindness. Of compassion. Of knowing we are all one. To all the Muslim friends and community my heart goes out to you all.Adhaan at Fajr by Ahmed Al-Omrany www.AlOmrany.com English: God is Greater, God is Greater God is Greater, God is Greater I testify that there is nothing wor... ... See MoreSee Less

6 months ago

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I especially like "let us return to the religion of kindness" ..beautiful post

U such naive people https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-qgR1K1KVds&feature=youtu.be

Kumari Ellis
January 17 at 10:24 PM ·
I have just returned from a truly amazing few weeks in Tiru, a pilgrimage with my children, who had not been to India for some years. Tiruvannamalai is home to Ramana Ashraam, an oasis of silence amidst the bustle and commotion of India. And watching over it all is the auspicious mountain Arunachala, an embodiment of Shiva, the supreme being. "Arunachala is truly the holy place. Of all holy places it is the most sacred! Know that it is the heart of the world. It is truly Siva himself! It is his heart-abode, a secret kshetra. In that place the Lord ever abides the hill of light named Arunachala."[7]
It has been an epic time and not without its challenges. I feel so blessed to have had this time with my kids in such sacred surrounds. We had many adventures and experiences and I am in awe of them both. The mountain exudes a presence and silence that really has to be experienced and amplifies all aspects of one self. It has been deeply profound. We are home again now and adjusting to the more ordered and empty surrounds. High summer here takes us to the river to swim and delight in the cold turquoise waters, settle back to our home and the absence of sounds leaves a poignant silence and a visceral absence. Early morning call to prayer, soft and subtle there in Tiru as a nearby mosque sings prayers to the dawn. The women in the compound sweeping, cooking, beginning their day before dawn even broke. Some early mornings the raucous and startlingly loud music, a mix of Bollywood pop and bhajan is the wake up. And all under the splendid gaze of Arunachala. Often the mountain shrouded in mists until long after the sun rose, a perfect orange ball as the squirrels played in the palm tree and the birds gave their own calls. The mountain slowly revealed as the form became more definite. Sadhus sit, walk, ride bikes, drink chai, lie on the pavement asleep, play games with stones in groups, or are lost deep in meditation. Orange cloth a vivid reflection of the sun. Others attend the temples and we made ourselves easily at home. Driving altogether on the scooter, singing Arunachala Shiva as we go, visiting a Kali temple where the pujari feeds the langur monkeys every afternoon. Just before sunset they arrive, their antics endlessly entertaining. Sitting in the cave where Ramana spent many years, assailed by a silence so exquisite. And the main temple in town, one of the largest temples in south India. At the shakti shrine a puja is going on, all the commotion and wonder to worship the goddess. I am thrilled. Deeply so. A reverberating hum throughout my body to walk amidst this ancient granite building, the fervour of it all, the eagerness to receive the offerings and reluctance to leave. this ancient building that sings with presence and shakti. All the bustle and commotion of India. The endless colours and contrasts and mass of people. Meeting dear friends and reconnecting with others who I have known for almost half my life. A deep immersion into the heart of all that is sacred within magical mystical India. Out hoe town feels so deserted, empty, and yet a relief too to be back home, the ease of being here, our loving community. Late afternoon I took a slow walk along the shore line as waves rush and churn and the sand soft enough to yield and leave an imprint where my feet have trod. And the long light of summer evenings, spilling gold and glorious all around. Today I returned to work. to be in the vulnerable naked presence of the very elderly is deeply touching. another reminder of the looming end whenever that might be. And who can know when that might be. life is so deeply precious. Deep gratitude for it all. For it all. Hari Om Tat Sat.
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8 months ago

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Enchanting and I so relate what you say about India and coming home.

Sounds, amazing Cate,

Beautifully written dear Sev.

Thank you for sharing.


A truly wonderful adventure 🤩

So beautiful 🙏

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a lovely way to take a break in the day, sit quiet and enjoy."You disregard: it doesn't happen. Every thought, every emotion is a tourist. Ignore! This is the great Mastery of the Sages." http://www.mooji.org "Winding ... ... See MoreSee Less

10 months ago

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an invitation to pause for some moments and listen to satsang" You are sleepwalking in your own Self, sleepwalking in your own story... Grace has called you home." (Mooji) http://www.mooji.org ... See MoreSee Less

11 months ago

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Love Mooji.

I have accepted the invitation lately of deeper listening - the invitation to slow down, and pay more attention. Whether it is making a decision and clarity is obscured, or in the moments when a sudden rush of anxiety sweeps its way in, slowing down provides the platform to catch the breath, settle into the warm arms of myself to listen to what my body wants to say. And the learning is endless, perhaps a lifetime of learning. For all the times that I am not able to pause, to begin the inquiry, then the consequences make themselves known. The borrowed tent for an outback school camp becomes broken in the wild winds of desert landscapes. Dinner with friends stretches the already reluctant energy and the sense of it all unravelling spills into the full pool of an overwhelmed nervous system. Deeper listening requires a cultivated space for intuition to find her voice, a dedicated practise of shifting the attention from the outer to the inner, from the chaos to calm.
There are many privileges in working with the very old. Most of my clients have already celebrated their 90th birthday. I have offered them a deeper listening lately too. Gerry lives alone and always has a bright smile. He grows bonsai trees and ferns. He is profoundly deaf and walks slowly with a stick. He has told me before of snippets of his life, but the other day, after I had attended his wound from a recent fall, I remained listening. He told me of moving at 12 years of age, from deep in the bush with his family to Sydney, and how his mother then died 2 weeks later. His father and brothers returned to the bush but Gerry remained in Sydney living under a bridge in Newtown. He ate one meat pie every evening and sold newspapers to get by. He left school at 13 to work in a factory making carriages for cars. When war broke out he lied about his age and joined the army. He left Sydney on the 10th of October at 10am, setting sail on route for the Middle East. A sapper in the army he lost his hearing in North Africa when a mine blew up close by. I was lucky, he tells me, many mates were blown to pieces. After the war he was introduced to a Miss Hayes from a higher social class than himself. Undeterred he bought her a 5pence box of chocolates and the best seats at the movies. They were happily married for 63 years.
Brenda is 98. Still drives and refuses most help. It’s the depression, she tells me, that’s the worst. I have no one to talk to. Her daughter turned against her and has no contact. That hurts, that one does. What did I do to deserve that? I cannot answer of course but I can listen. And during our conversation her neighbour appears, small and stooped, walking with a frame, slowly, one step at a time, into the living room. She leans on her walking frame close to Brenda and in an almost whisper says ‘I needed to tell you’ then stops. She repeats this several times as the elderly tend to do if their minds are not functioning so well anymore. ‘I need to tell you that a bird is nesting in my plant pot.’ Then she turns and slowly walks back. ‘I’ll come see when this nurse has gone’ Brenda shouts after her. She’s deaf too apparently.
I hear stories of hardship, stories of love, and of husbands long dead, the horrors of war, of husbands who returned when most others perished in the brutal Japanese prison camps. He never talked about it again, I’m often told.
Of childhoods where the stepfather ‘was not a nice man. Had to lock myself in my bedroom as soon as I knew I could. And when I was a mother myself I told him I would kill him if he ever touched my daughter’.
Deeper listening as winter gave way to spring. Subtle transition here in this semi tropical climate. The red cedar tree in the back yard fills its naked braches with buds and before I know it they unfurl to a full display. The air heady with jasmine until the rains come and the westerly blows relentless flurries tugging and pulling and whipping up the vata energy even more. I retreat and stay home at any given opportunity.
In my own journey the more I listen and slow down the more I see how nothing in the outer world will give me peace. Of course there are many moments of peace. Delight. Joy. Wonder. Walking on the beach under skies moody with silver greys, and swathes of light fell in the distance illuminating the crest of a wave or patch of golden sand as if messages from the gods themselves. Whales arced and curved behind the wave break, pods slowly returning south. I walked level with a group for some way as they threaded themselves effortlessly through the water and dolphins leapt right on cue from the waves. The beach empty the further I walked. An eagle flew low beside me, and a rider sets his horse to a gallop along the shore.
Yesterday the sun pierced and alarmed. The long hot summer lurks in spring’s shadow and I could feel the hot breath of dread. But the skies darkened and a storm gathered itself from the south approaching with fuss and frenzy. Lightening stabbed the skies and thunder rumbled. The low bass note thunder that sends a tremor through the earth. As the storm broke the sky split in two and hail stones rained down covering the earth with white. Kids shriek in delight, dancing in the wild craziness of it all.
Life is constantly asking me to step beyond my personal frontier. As the poet David Whyte says: we are called to a deeper context, deeper understanding of ourselves and required to meet life as we find it. As real human beings we always have to deepen and always have to be present to our world at the same time. There is no choice. We already know we have to give every last thing away.
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11 months ago

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Your words found responses in my heart Thank you

Thank you ! I love your story ! 🙏💖

o bahinji! you touch my heart....

Beautiful sir

Beautiful Kumari. You really have a gift with words. I can see an inspiring book of stories of elders... keep listening and noting down. ❤🕉🌻

Beautiful text.Although I learned English as a foreign language,I can notice you could be a good writer in this language.Also,since you're a good listener too,you could be a great psychologist!


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a beautiful video of Papaji......This video compilation put together for Gurupurnima 2018 includes the following interactions: Devotee: Feeling half cooked and leaving soon. Papaji: Cut the ... ... See MoreSee Less

1 years ago

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