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Category Archives: India
Have you ever spontaneously flown somewhere, not knowing what to expect but feeling a rare thrill rising in your heart? When my wife first heard that many of our friends were booked to fly to Greece to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light, she took out her smart-phone and booked two seats for us.
I’d never been down to that fabled peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea, but my first impression was similar to that of India, an ancient world that I’ve had the privilege of visiting many times. This initial intuition that began when my wife came home and announced that we would soon be going there, was boosted when we eventually boarded an airliner half full of laughing, singing, childlike Indian women, all of whom had also strongly felt the calling.
My first impressions there were that everything was familiar. It was easy to get around in, like any other Western country. The freeways were almost empty and everyone seemed to drive slowly, which was very relaxing (although it did occur to Brigitte and me that maybe due to the economic hardships the locals are experiencing, not many can afford to speed, or even to drive). Then a massive wall of dark grey-purple cloud rose up and washed the landscape clean with a brief rain. We found it to be a significant welcome for all the pilgrims showing up that weekend, and I was reminded of the ancient demigods who were believed to inhabit this land in prehistory. (Human beings, in particular one or two ‘poets’, long ago wrote perverted interpretations of these titans’ lives on Earth, lowering them to the level of incest and murder, ideas unfortunately still generally accepted today.)
My wife’s favourite thing in life is to wake up early near a beach and go for a long walk and foot-soak there. We were sheltered near the scenic end of a bay, and because it was outside of the busy summer season, there was hardly anyone around. In Greece, even the stray dogs and cats seem at peace as they stretch out beside strangers and give the impression of being completely fulfilled (when actually they’re cleverly making friends to get something to eat!). Every morning our hearts would stretch out to the distant islands and mysterious waters so our souls could consume the vast beauty and deep history around us. We attended colourful Diwali functions, enjoyed ourselves immensely with many new and old friends, and even ascended the ancient inland hills to the Centre of the World, the Navel of Creation! (Weeks later, Brigitte hasn’t lost the inspiring heart-boost that she still rides on daily.)
They say that Zeus, king of the demigods, in order to determine the centre of the world, sent two great eagles flying, one from each extreme, east and west. They met in the place that was later named Delphi. A most magical place! I really felt like I was back in India where everything began thousands of years ago, not in young Europe any more. There’s even a natural free-standing stone in the original centre of the sacred grounds, recognizable as the Hindu child-god, Ganesha, emitting amazing vibrations (light and cool).
All two-hundred-and-fifty of us felt light and joyous, many reminded of the old tours of central India that we used to go on in the nineteen-eighties. In contrast to the great subtle significance of this location, Brigitte pointed out that the manmade history was just full of ego. Pompous conquerers would display statues of their officers there to show the gods and all the world how very important they were. Even down in the so-called civilized nation-state of Athens, such a great, benevolent genius (I would go so far as to say divine messenger) like Socrates was killed by men-on-ego. And here we are, thousands of years later, repeating the same patterns in our heads, hearts and actions.
Descending back down to the twenty-first century at the end of the day, I remembered how, as a twelve-year-old child in Canada in 1970, I had suddenly been overwhelmed to write a long Social Studies essay on the Greek gods, accompanied by a hand-drawn wall mural; and in Art class I passionately attempted to carve a plaster-of-Paris bust of Socrates. I didn’t know what overcame me at that time, but now I guess it was personal insight into a higher realm of existence. Forty-eight years later I’ve breathed those essential airs and walked upon the very roots of legend that send the restless mind up into soothing meditation.
If you’ve never been to Greece, go there soon — with an open mind and heart.
Best wishes (pure desires),
more photos here:
In which Sir Ed Word appears on local television
… and the Party commences!
He started feeling again like he was in some kind of fairy tale, where good was setting out to defeat evil. The furry edges of all the bustling silhouettes started glowing in the increasing light of a fierce bonfire as they neared their destination. The air was filled with the sounds of stomping feet in sand, grunts and panting, powerful ocean waves, the crackling of a huge fire, and the distant cawing of many crow-type birds. All the animal, jungle and beach smells were stunningly wild. The sky was almost dark overhead, where billions of watching stars had begun to twinkle. It was a night that would forever stretch, with its colorful events from the roots of history, up into the minds of the human race throughout all generations to come.
For the period of about a year-and-a-half after I finally found out how to actually meditate in April 1982 (having put in much effort already for eight years, without benefit) and I moved away from the party neighbourhood of my youth, there seem to be no photos of my amazing progress. Now, by chance, I saw THAT Ed, exactly thirty-four birthdays ago, strolling along with a wedding procession in the heart of New Delhi!
I had arrived alone at 2:00 a.m. in humid Bombay two weeks before, after an exhausting series of flights, with an overweight suitcase and a phone number. It was the first international journey in my quarter century of life on Earth. (Little did I guess then that I would return to India more than twenty times!) Someone back home in Vancouver had just bought my ’65 Chevy panel van, enabling me to join my new yogi friends on the India tour. A kindly airport police officer helped me reach the others, already a huge, international group of pilgrims, and that very evening I met Shri Mataji, the founder and teacher of Sahaja Yoga meditation, on the first of many joyful occasions over the coming days, years and decades, in various countries.
Among the many memorable events in Delhi was our viewing of the new Gandhi movie in the cinema that it had world premiered in just nine weeks before. (As a girl, Shri Mataji had spent time with Gandhi at his ashram, where he would sometimes implement Her advice on spiritual issues.) I remember walking out of that air-conditioned building and looking up at the hot, wide blue sky, realizing that those historic happenings had taken place not long ago under this very canopy.
I was lucky to be among those few of us from Canada (at that time there were only a handful of people practicing Sahaja Yoga in North America) that were invited to stay for a few days with Shri Mataji in Her daughter’s house. Several massive public programs were held throughout the city, and I attended my first puja, which celebrated Shivaratri at that time. At the compound where we all met each day, someone organized a cake and candles 🎂, and some new friends sang Happy Birthday to me that third day of February … so long ago, now! I drank lots of yummy chai there, discovering too late that the caffein was brutal on my sensitive liver. We also travelled up to the Himalayan foothills, where I saw some Indian girls enjoy snow for the first time. I spent that wonderful month in India without getting sick, a bit of a miracle (although as soon as I got back to the West I cleared out quite thoroughly!)
I still feel all that as a solid building block in my evolution, and this unexpected window view now brings a fresh breeze to grownup Ed.💨
(And, adding an interesting twist to the perspective: I happen to be turning 59 now, the same age Shri Mataji was when we first met back then!)
Shri Mataji gave each of us a present that afternoon (6 Feb 1983)
They were original Indian artworks. Somehow I managed to hold on to mine (the only thing I have left from my early twenties). It now hangs in my little art-studio in our homestead in the Vienna Woods:
(read more here …)
When I asked the I Ching now about 2015, it answered with hexagram 47, K’un / Oppression (Exhaustion). This, for me, seemed to sum up the situation that most of us are living in today.
There seems to be a very powerful whirlpool sucking all time and money down a fat drainpipe somewhere. Someone may accuse me of leaning towards conspiracy theories, but what I’m referring to is in fact quickly becoming common knowledge (see my recent Facebook post below).
This overwhelming lack of benevolence from the top down (in our society, quite different than the spiritual system inherent inside of us!*) seems to have penetrated our very cells and psyche. Physics shows clearly that everything is energy.
There’s a province here in Austria that was long ruled by the nazi-leaning party, and driving through it always brought on a headache. After they lost control of that area, the atmosphere became much lighter. Benevolence attracts benevolence, malevolence attracts malevolence. Simple law of nature.
I met a woman who spent Her life tirelessly dedicated to uplifting the hearts and minds of generations of human beings. One easily got the impression that She was surrounded by peace-giving angels and soothing light. Another time I worked on the set of a Hollywood production about Hitler here in Vienna. It was a realistic World War II setting, a hall packed with two hundred SS officers, in which I was dressed as one of them (the agency paid me 50 schillings extra for allowing them to shave my blond hair down to a formal military cut). Although I found it all quite amusing, I physically felt like vomiting the whole time. Afterwards, the poor chap portraying Hitler, eyes popping out of his face like one possessed, stabbed his elbow into my chest as he passed me (probably didn’t like my sweetness and light). It didn’t hurt much, although I felt a distinct pang of sympathy for him. This was all make-believe, but the appropriate negative vibrations had been collected for the show. (Not really of much significance here, but when the 200 nazi officers’ voices and right hands rose up violently to salute Der Fuhrer on the podium, I shouted ‘God save the Queen’ instead of ‘Heil Hilter’ … and what’s more, lived to talk about it!)
My wife and I have been creating and selling art for over a quarter century. In that time we’ve witnessed the tragic decline in buying-power of the common person. Most people are more stressed and worried about survival, and less able to enjoy life and many of it’s simple pleasures, like beauty. Even in Harrods in downtown London the other day, the longtime salesperson in the exquisite Italian porcelain department told us that normal people don’t make purchases there anymore (back in the nineties, we used to buy some of those items directly from the manufacturer near Milan, they were lovely people, for our Vienna shop) — the staff have to wait now for the occasional wealthy patron to come through and support this dying craft. Most small, family-owned shops have disappeared in the cities, replaced by mega-stores. Long ago, simple farmers were the wealthiest citizens. Now, with our casino-economy, the sophisticated gamblers and their political minions seem to be the only winners. We can’t even send a large package overseas without it getting sidelined and delayed (or even lost, as in the current case of a Ganesha statue by my wife, supposed to be on it’s way to the USA) because in the machine of corporate miserliness, every cent is being counted and ever-more drastic measures mechanically taken to increase profit at any cost.
An old friend of ours works at an Austrian bank. She tells that everyone there is stressed to the limit due to pressure from the top to bring money in: suck in new clients, sell old clients ‘products‘ they don’t need, anything to keep the company from going belly up. They’re struggling to keep their jobs by offering illusions to gullible people in the form of impressive products. A great writer once said, Try explaining insurance to a child.
Quality is fast fading from daily life in modern society, and dissatisfaction grows everywhere like an inescapable fungus….
Did I say inescapable? Actually, according to my experience, everything happens for a reason. If we are ruled by superficial, antibiotic forces, it’s because we have attracted that tendency in our own attitudes. After a furious world war, there comes international brotherhood, hope and kindness. What will come after we get absolutely fed up with speed and shallow attractions and more, more, more? There’s a growing thirst for deep, nurturing realness. This will come — indeed, is coming — from within, and it’s collective manifestations will be historically breathtaking.
The I Ching explained that times of difficulty force a person of higher integrity to become more cheerful, and in so doing, able to bend and improve to overcome life’s hardest obstacles. Also, that in the spine of each person resides the energy (the same thing that C.G. Jung referred to as ‘kundalini’, and is in fact a completely benevolent, motherly power) that can lift us beyond disturbance, into the state of equilibrium and rejuvenating stillness. It’s the right and duty of each individual on this planet to reach inside and discover the personal empowering treasure waiting there.
I’ve experienced pretty much the worst and best in life (utter despair leading to the cliff of suicide; and simple, shining, healing holiness in children and Mother Nature that uplifts beyond description) and nothing can be more crystal clear than the fact that it’s up to you/me to manifest the unlimited goodness available from our real nature. It’s an easy matter of tapping into that abundant asset. Achieving this individually and together will be the dawn of change that will scatter all the shadows of corruption. It’s already happening.
(*And, after decades of personal introspection and widespread investigation, this would be my personal recommendation for facilitating that: http://www.freemeditation.com/online-meditation/self-realization-workshop-kundalini-awakening/ )
From my Facebook timeline:
Comment from an Indian citizen, about the AAP being voted in by the corruption-weary population of Delhi (even before hearing the facts about the international Swiss banking scandal) :
“These are State Assembly Elections of Delhi, our capital city. I live in Mumbai which is in Maharashtra, so I could not vote here. Actually, our PM Modi made it a personal battle and stooped so low in his rally speeches to make personal attacks on AAP’s leaders , especially on Arvind Kejriwal, that I feel he put the last nail in the coffin of BJP. BJP’s electoral campaign was based on personality attacks and total negativity, whereas AAP’s campaign was positive, issue based, and they had a 70 point agenda and blueprint for the city. Ultimately, people used their discrimination to see through fraud and facade and give their complete mandate to those who had integrity and honesty on their side.”
(This trend is apparent in other parts of the world as well, indicated, for example, by the increase in supporters for the Green Party in various countries, who want to put power over wellbeing back into the hands and voices of the people.)
And here’s an official banking outlook stated already almost a decade ago, showing complete lack of disinterest in benefiting the common man, woman and child:
>Here are some quotations about the strategies of the super rich (in this case, Citibank) already from 2006 and 2007 when they were still a bit more open. There is a most dangerous “revolution” of the arrogant rich threatening the whole world. (The TTIP is a real danger.)
>Oct 16, 2005
– The World is dividing into two blocs – the Plutonomy and the rest. The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies – economies powered by the wealthy. Continental Europe (ex-Italy) and Japan are in the egalitarian bloc.
– Equity risk premium embedded in “global imbalances” are unwarranted. In plutonomies the rich absorb a disproportionate chunk of the economy and have a massive impact on reported aggregate numbers like savings rates, current account deficits, consumption levels, etc.
This imbalance in inequality expresses itself in the standard scary “global imbalances”. We worry less.
– There is no “average consumer” in a Plutonomy.
Indeed, traditional thinking is likely to have issues with most of it. We will posit that:
the world is dividing into two blocs – the plutonomies, where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few, and the rest.
Plutonomies have occurred before in sixteenth century Spain, in seventeenth century Holland, the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties in the U.S.
What are the common drivers of Plutonomy?
Disruptive technology-driven productivity gains,
creative financial innovation,
capitalist-friendly cooperative governments,
an international dimension of immigrants and
overseas conquests invigorating wealth creation,
the rule of law, and
Often these wealth waves involve great complexity, exploited best by the rich and educated of the time.
We project that the plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization.
In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”.
There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie. […] i.e., focus on the “average” consumer are flawed from the start.”
“Citigroup Plutonomy Report Part 2
Mar 5 2006
RISKS — WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Our whole plutonomy thesis is based on the idea that the rich will keep getting richer. This thesis is not without its risks. For example, a policy error leading to asset deflation, would likely damage plutonomy. Furthermore, the rising wealth gap between the rich and poor will probably at some point lead to a political backlash. Whilst the rich are getting a greater share of the wealth, and the poor a lesser share, political enfranchisement remains as was — one person, one vote (in the plutonomies). At some point it is likely that labor will fight back against the rising profit share of the rich and there will be a political backlash against the rising wealth of the rich. This could be felt through higher taxation on the rich (or indirectly though higher corporate taxes/regulation) or through trying to protect indigenous [home-grown] laborers, in a push-back on globalization — either anti-immigration, or protectionism. We don’t see this happening yet, though there are signs of rising political tensions. However we are keeping a close eye on developments.”
By Robert Frank, Wall Street Journal – Jan 8, 2007
It’s well known that the rich have an outsized influence on the economy.
The nation’s top 1% of households own more than half the nation’s stocks, according to the Federal Reserve. They also control more than $16 trillion in wealth — more than the bottom 90%.
Yet a new body of research from Citigroup suggests that the rich have other, more-surprising impacts on the economy.
“The Plutonomy is here, is going to get stronger, its membership swelling” he wrote in one research note. “Toys for the wealthy have pricing power, and staying power.”
Of course, Kapur says there are risks to the Plutonomy, including war, inflation, financial crises, the end of the technological revolution and populist political pressure. Yet he maintains that the “the rich are likely to keep getting even richer, and enjoy an even greater share of the wealth pie over the coming years.”
All of which means that, like it or not, inequality isn’t going away and may become even more pronounced in the coming years. The best way for companies and businesspeople to survive in Plutonomies, Kapur implies, is to disregard the “mass” consumer and focus on the increasingly rich market of the rich.
A tough message — but one worth considering.”
‘Names listed over black money same as AAP had revealed, party stands vindicated: Kejriwal
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that the party stood vindicated as the names it had revealed in connection with black money earlier is present in the HSBC bank’s Geneva branch list naming 60 Indians and entities involved.’
Minnesota’s Governor raised the minimum wage, signed an equal pay act, and raised taxes on the rich to fund K-12 schools and higher education. Minnesota now has the 5th highest job growth in the nation and median income is $8,000 higher than the national average. By contrast, Governor Walker in the neighboring state of Wisconsin did the opposite: he gave the rich $2.1 billion in tax breaks, busted unions, and cut school funding more than any governor. Wisconsin now ranks 37th for job growth, median income is $800 below the national average, and the budget deficit is so large Walker has stopped making payments. Share this for every conservative who says raising taxes on the rich will destroy the economy. Cure them of their ignorance.
You know the scene at the end of Back to the Future when the geeky dad is transformed into a cool dude, and the boxes of his new adventure novel are delivered to their home? … I feel a bit like that today!
stay tuned …
(official public release soon to be announced …)
Thousands of years ago, when cavemen still roamed the rest of the world, kingdoms and advanced technology thrived in the mysterious East. The oldest surviving story on Earth tells of a king who was forced to banish his beloved son to the wilderness. This noble heir to the throne is believed by some to have been a benevolent deity incarnated in human form, who came to teach mankind the highest qualities of selfless love. But our science could find no evidence of the fantastic events of that lost culture, when men and beasts spoke with each other and demons stole flying machines from the gods. There was no proof until a little boy from modern times stumbled back through the thick curtain of time, into the most thrilling period of prehistory, to participate in events that would shape the entire human race. At last, we know the truth….
You’d think that human beings know everything there is to know about themselves already.
~(CLICK in between the blue and the yellow Easter eggs)~
(and be sure to check out the video and the link underneath it at the page bottom)
In a few hours I’ll embark on a journey into deepest (lightest) Indian culture. What once took weeks can now be done in just seven hours. Visit here again in early April for the insights. THANKS! Till then, best wishes, Ed Word (I just finished writing a two hundred page novel about a little boy who journeys back in time to ancient India — now I’ll go work on the drawings, steeped in that magical atmosphere) . .
By touching the mysterious elephant face, you will learn much that has escaped your attention until now …
Here’s my short film on the first annual Culture of the Spirit festival, where East meets West in a beautiful, rural river valley in Italy.
It’s been found that pure, absolute Spirit is in essence joy and love, that brings a rewarding sense of clarity to ones perception. This phenomena was felt by the hundreds of visitors and participants at this event, brought on by the subtle beauty and light of the performances and exhibitions, and intensified by the simultaneous collective experience.
A science presentation revealed that distant cells communicate with one another, and that this process may happen through the medium of light. If we are all ascending into a new, more transparent and joyful state of awareness, this may indicate that we are to be increasingly empowered to communicate by means of the light in and around us.
Could there be anything more beautiful and fulfilling than discovering whole new ways of sharing creative love on unlimited, powerful wavelengths, and perhaps to find our dormant brain functions spring to life with undreamed of comprehension of playful reality? We may have yet to discover what it actually means to be fully functional human beings. Even our genes, which are changed by mundane experiences and passed on to future generations, can now be constructively altered for our optimum spiritual growth by connecting ourselves to the deepest Vibrations, from which all life emerges.
This meditative weekend generated unique inspiration that brings the promise of great things to come.
Meet you next summer in the Borbera Valley, the ‘Ganges of Europe’!
Note: Hold your hands open, palms up, while watching this film, and see what you feel.
(Hint: A cool breeze would be ideal – to actually feel Light!)
(p.s.~ Some of the artworks seen are from my wife! … Ceramic sculptures …)
Sitting beneath a shady coconut grove on an Indian beach, I chatted with a bank manager about the state of modern society. We agreed that it’s ironic that the deep wisdom of the East is now being sought by the West, while the Eastern root-civilization frantically tries to ‘catch up’ with the withering Western boughs. It’s time that both sides learn to imbibe, in balance, the lessons that the other has to offer. Can the East achieve prosperity without losing it’s countless treasures of wisdom; and can the West adopt those wisdoms in order to fortify its foundations for future generations?
At the heart of every ancient culture there pervaded an inkling of unseen Reality. Even modern science (quantum physics) begins to hint towards a wonderful Source that lies just beyond our handicapped awareness. With all the precision mechanics that make up our universe and our own beings, would it be at all surprising that a specific mechanism could be built in to each of us to eventually link us to our Source? It is there, and waits in the sacrum bone at the base of our spine to be awakened. And it’s not surprising to discover that this benevolent ‘mechanism’ can only sprout naturally, without force or concentration – when the heart is ripe.
This knowledge was once a ‘secret’ because we, as a race, were not mature enough to know it. It remains a secret only through our advanced complacency. A child-like curiosity would now be our most valuable asset; a natural interest in our inevitable link to enlightenment. It’s time to emerge from our self-created jungle of stress and disorientation by starting this inner process. Even better than a cooling coconut juice on a tropical seashore!
(public Sahaja Yoga Meditation workshop, Austria, March 2009)
On my way home today from my twenty-first pilgrimage in India, I suddenly became aware of the renewed lightness of my body. Not that I had lost physical weight on the journey, but it was clear that I had left behind heavy, invisible waste which has been replaced with a light, soft breeze of Vibrations. It never fails to amaze me how that country, known by some as the Kundalini of the Earth, emits this subtle, enlightening Force. And it’s not just the refreshing change of pace that a vacation brings. I’ve traveled a great deal and found, as have many others, that this part of our planet, including the Himalayas, is apparently the only place that has this divine quality to this intense degree.
Next time you want to really lighten up, take a trip to this magical, ancient land (avoiding the heavy tourist-ized and religious-ized locations). Spend some time attentively absorbing that which the super-charged natural elements there have to offer. You will learn something new and valuable about your Self.
I’ve just had the great and amazing privilege to attend an unprecedented event in the center of India. On the 2008 spring equinox, just as fellow-human beings all over the world coincidentally enjoyed their annual religious celebrations ~ which happened to fall on the same day this year ~ I found myself surrounded by thousands of joyful faces out in an
ancient, rural landscape, all drawn together for one of mankind’s most universal of celebrations: a birthday party! And this was indeed a very special birthday party, as it marked the eighty-fifth year of a universally benevolent person who has become loved and respected throughout he world for her ongoing efforts to integrate humanity: H. H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.
The rustic living conditions and the atmosphere of mutual affection seemed to bring out the real insides of the countless doctors, students, lawyers, artists, accountants, social-workers, secretaries and all the other international visitors gathered there to honor the highest that we know: the spirit of unconditional love put into practice.
As if called together by Mahatma Gandhi to his ashram (located nearby), we, of all religious backgrounds, came enthusiastically to participate in something that would sincerely unite us above our trivial, mundane concerns. The cooling, dramatic winds, rain and lightning that manifested there, most uncharacteristic for this time of year, inspired awe in the heart of the beholder.
The moving felicitations for Shri Mataji ~ known affectionately the world over as ‘Mother’ ~ featured messages of acknowledgment and honor from many dignitaries, including the U.S. president and his wife, and the prime minister of Canada.
I came away from that timeless moment of joyful music and celebration with the feeling that we are, after all, naught but small children involved in our games ~ and that the house of our Parents has yet to reveal all the glory and wonder in store for us … one family under one roof.