“WHAT IF THERE WAS SUDDENLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GANESHA ONLINE SHOP?!”
by Brigitte Saugstad: https://goldenganeshart.com
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“Go beyond time”
Edward Saugstad on homestead upgrades Don Saugstad on homestead upgrades Linda Saugstad on “Happy Springtime 2019!… Don Saugstad on “Happy Springtime 2019!… Edward Saugstad on 40 Year Challenge Linda Saugstad on 40 Year Challenge Doina Mira Dascalu on 40 Year Challenge Don Saugstad on I Left My Heart In the Centre… Don Saugstad on 2019: the year of Inner P… Diana Rothenberg on Neil Young, Van Morrison, thou…
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Me at Twitter …
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no ghosts in my brain, thanks anyway!
Category Archives: joy
Two weeks before May 5, 1982, I learned how to meditate (really meditate, in thoughtless awareness, feeling the benevolent effects of my very own kundalini energy in me). Now Sahaja Yoga is celebrating 50 years of establishing global transformation, from a time when meditation was viewed as an esoteric hobby, to the present when it’s recommended worldwide by health experts for its universal balancing and integrative effects.
How time flies. Today it’s been half-a-century since that crucial sprouting that’s since risen into this majestic tree. Then, for me, it was still a 12-year-old sapling that has gradually lifted me into reality.
It’s so peaceful and fulfilling up here. Thank You, Shri Mataji, and everyone that has dedicated their lives to establishing this essential metamorphosis. 🦋🌳
MEDITATE TO REGENERATE ☺️
We’re about to enter the decade that history books will remember as the one that ushered in the END OF KALI YUGA, the Age of Darkness.
As we find ourselves moving more and more beyond duality we will soon discover all the precious treasures in ourselves and others.
So, HO-HO-HO! HOLD on to your hat and enjoy the sleigh ride 🛷
HAPPY NEW AGE! 😁 (Optimism is contagious 😉)
Lots of love💗
Edward and Brigitte
Year 2020 will be the last one of the age of materialism…
✨“The biggest and grandest alignment comes on December 21, 2020 when Jupiter joins Saturn in what’s referred to as the great conjunction. “✨
✨“These grand conjunctions come every 20 years, but this meeting has extra gravitas. It marks the end of a 200-year cycle of unions in earth signs that’s brought the age of materialism, banking, capitalism and corporations.”✨
✨“December 2020 kicks off a new 200-year cycle of unions in air signs. What that will bring isn’t entirely clear yet, but early indications are that thought, philosophy and truth will prevail. This is going to be a big shift.”✨
Here in the twenty-first century, moving amongst us are personages of past renown marked now not by outstanding appearance or popular appreciation, but by the inner treasures they radiate: universal benevolence and the germinating power of enlightenment.
A Sunrise approaches that will reveal all the sublime glory of life — not on any media display, but in the hearts of human beings.
Look within. That precious hour is upon us.
“We are indeed larvae, eating our way through Earth’s resources in a mindless, caterpillar fashion, but I believe that the imago is already beginning to stir within. When the ‘climate’ is right, it will break out not as some sort of super computer but as an organic being [collective consciousness] that will embody all of the Supernature and look back on technology as a childhood toy.”
Behind every single resurrection there smiles the same power: Love
— may all your inner-upgrades be subtle and everlasting!
“Happy New Year!”
(meditate to regenerate)
Like millions of dew drops, each perfectly reflecting the morning sun, may every cell inside me naturally reflect the Heart of God.
I will no longer be divided from Her by my two arbitrary balloons of ego and conditionings.
Her promise to me is healing equilibrium and eternal Union.
Unconditionally do I accept my destiny divine.
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:
(… almost 37 years now)
I met an elderly woman some years ago who told me this story. It reminded me of a similar experience that I once had. Here I share her memory with you:
“For several years following my divorce in the 1980’s I had fallen into a state of total exhaustion and acute mental and physical anguish, but one morning I woke with a strange premonition that something good would happen. I had an immense desire to go to Chartres Cathedral to see the Virgin Mary there.
In the cathedral I prayed before the statue of the Virgin. Immediately I smelled a very strong rose perfume. It was so intense that I turned around to see where it was coming from. I walked around the cathedral and the scent followed me around the whole building. As I left and stood in the open air in the square by the entrance, the scent was still there. A few yards away from where I was standing I could see an Indian lady wearing a white sari getting out of a car. She looked at me and smiled, and I felt attracted to Her. Suddenly my head emptied of all thought and I could only see this lady, as though nothing else was there. She was still smiling at me. I approached and felt an explosion of joy within myself, since I already knew somehow that this lady was very great, and this was what I had been waiting for. I could not move away now.
‘Why don’t you join us?’ someone suggested. I followed the little party into the cathedral. As we walked, I felt a pleasant tingling sensation rising from my feet, through my legs and throughout my body. I had a feeling in my heart which I can only describe as expansion or fulfilment. The rest of that day was spent in joy and bliss and, from then on, my sickness and depression simply disappeared.”
21 March 1923 ~ 23 February 2011
… In Sahaja meditation, there is no deliberate effort to “concentrate,” and certainly, you do not need to focus your attention on a specific object. In fact, the goal is to avoid concentration or mental activity altogether. There’s no need to be mindful of or engage with your thoughts and feelings while meditating.
In fact, you won’t want to. Engaging your mind in such mental noise will only drag your attention back down to the first floor — that mental plane — rather than remaining in the state of thoughtless awareness. Thoughtless awareness is not simply a thought vacuum or state of thoughtless emptiness on the mental plane. It is a whole new dimension of awareness, higher awareness that is difficult to describe to someone who has not yet experienced it. We cannot fully conceive of its depth or describe it with language we’re accustomed to using on the ordinary mental plane.
“Happy Diwali 2017!”
may collective consciousness rise and shine
(and don’t fear ogres — they may turn out to be your friends or relations!)
Time is an illusion
There is always enough of it for us to rise up
and enjoy the big picture
whenever we choose
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 …)
Here’s a dear Canadian friend of ours, Rachelle, putting the P (POWER) into the meaning of PERFORMANCE!
My dear blog has fallen into the shadows of neglect. Let’s see if we can remedy this.
My first beam of light here in … 2017 already!? … has to do with our current world sit-u-eh-shun.
Keeping it really simple: There are only two wrong turns in life: one is left, the other is right.
Psychologists used to believe that everything was piled up on top of each other inside of us — that we had to pass through the subconscious and all kinds of other gobbledygook in order to rise up to our higher, ideal selves. Well, as it turns out, we’ve got the past (conditionings) and emotions running in our left sympathetic nervous system, all our future projections (ego) in our right sympathetic nervous system, and a beautiful ascending waterfall of evolution smack-dab in the middle: the once mysterious parasympathetic/autonomous system.
If you look around (and in the mirror) you’ll find that most everyone — with the exception of most babies, maybe — is being led around by those carrots-on-strings that are our thoughts streaming from one extreme and/or the other. Very rarely do we encounter peaceful souls who know exactly who and why they are, and are satisfied with that. The whole jumble in most of us is now becoming increasingly transparent in world affairs. Unless and until we can naturally zoom into central focus mode, that mega-mess is not going to fade away. It will only continue to get worse until we click and fine-tune into the center of ourselves. That’ll reveal that reality is not noisy after all, unlike most of our previous identifications.
I put a helpful link at the end of this post (a technique I can sincerely vouch for after almost thirty-five years of daily use) but first I’d like to share this insight from the I Ching about our collective 2017.
In this new (very, very temporary!) Trumpish age, people, lost in their own self-mistrust and misleading ideas, tend to mistrust others more and more. The big picture changes then to Innocence, a quality, by the way, that never actually leaves a human being, but simply becomes buried and ignored deep inside. Every one of us is empowered with the instrument and all the natural means to reawaken this universal quality. It’s not a manmade procedure, but something builtin, ready and waiting for our desire and attention to trigger it.
Be alert and quiet, and you will discover that the present moment is bigger and more abundant with amazing possibilities than you have ever imagined.
FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN in the open.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
The perseverance of the superior man furthers.
True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern
that is universal. It is not the private interests of the individual
that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals
of humanity. That is why it is said that fellowship with men
in the open succeeds. If unity of this kind prevails, even
difficult and dangerous tasks, such as crossing the great water,
can be accomplished. But in order to bring about this sort of
fellowship, a persevering and enlightened leader is needed
— a man with clear, convincing, and inspiring aims and the
strength to carry them out. (The inner trigram means clarity;
the outer, strength.)
Heaven together with fire:
The image of FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN.
Thus the superior man organizes the clans
And makes distinctions between things.
Heaven has the same direction of movement as fire, yet it is
different from fire. Just as the luminaries in the sky serve for
the systematic division and arrangement of time, so human
society and all things that really belong together must be
organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere
mingling of individuals or of things — that would be chaos, not
fellowship. If fellowship is to lead to order, there must be
organization within diversity.
Nine in the third place means:
He hides weapons in the thicket;
He climbs the high hill in front of it.
For three years he does not rise up.
Here fellowship has changed about to mistrust. Each man
distrusts the other, plans a secret ambush, and seeks to spy on
his fellow from afar.We are dealing with an obstinate
opponent whom we cannot come at by this method. Obstacles
standing in the way of fellowship with others are shown here.
One has mental reservations for one’s own part and seeks to
take his opponent by surprise. This very fact makes one
mistrustful, suspecting the same wiles in his opponent and trying
to ferret them out. The result is that one departs further and
further from true fellowship. The longer this goes on, the
more alienated one becomes.
(then changing to …)
Ch’ien, heaven, is above; Chên, movement, is below. The
lower trigram Chên is under the influence of the strong line it
has received from above, from heaven. When, in accord with
this, movement follows the law of heaven, man is innocent
and without guile. His mind is natural and true, unshadowed
by reflection or ulterior designs. For wherever conscious
purpose is to be seen, there the truth and innocence of nature have
been lost. Nature that is not directed by the spirit is not true
but degenerate nature. Starting out with the idea of the
natural, the train of thought in part goes somewhat further and
thus the hexagram includes also the idea of the unintentional
INNOCENCE. Supreme success.
If someone is not as he should be,
He has misfortune,
And it does not further him
To undertake anything.
Man has received from heaven a nature innately good, to
guide him in all his movements. By devotion to this divine
spirit within himself, he attains an unsullied innocence that
leads him to do right with instinctive sureness and without any
ulterior thought of reward and personal advantage. This
instinctive certainty brings about supreme success and
“furthers through perseverance.” However, not everything
instinctive is nature in this higher sense of the word, but only
that which is right and in accord with the will of heaven.
Without this quality of rightness, an unreflecting, instinctive way
of acting brings only misfortune. Confucius says about this:
“He who departs from innocence, what does he come to?
Heaven’s will and blessing do not go with his deeds.”
Under heaven thunder rolls:
All things attain the natural state of innocence.
Thus the kings of old,
Rich in virtue, and in harmony with the time,
Fostered and nourished all beings.
In springtime when thunder, life energy, begins to move
again under the heavens, everything sprouts and grows, and
all beings receive from the creative activity of nature the
childlike innocence of their original state. So it is with the
good rulers of mankind: drawing on the spiritual wealth at
their command, they take care of all forms of life and all forms
of culture and do everything to further them, and at the proper
(I ‘performed’ in an old primary school here in Vienna for over a hundred children recently, reading from my books, meditating a bit and partying with my Roland Handsonic. We had lots of fun communicating, dancing and playing music together. My friend, who’s a teacher there, told me a few weeks later that the mood and vibrations of the school had been surprisingly improved by that event. Many children were more cheerful afterwards — the mother of an autistic child was amazed to find her child so balanced and happy — and my friend felt light and cool entering the school each day! Click on the following link to enjoy more experiences about Sahaja Yoga meditation …)
In a suburb of Vancouver thirty-four years ago, when people would look at you like you just flew in from Mars if you mentioned meditation or yoga, I was very lucky to find an authentic technique for attaining thoughtless awareness — that natural state that has now been proven to bring on essential equilibrium. My daily experiences with all that are still improving, with no end to all the delightful surprises in sight.
Here’s a little taste. Hope you can also enjoy that.
This is a survey that I recently filled out for a Czech university student:
Hello, this survey was created to collect some information for my final work at school. Thank You for Your time and help. Anna
1. Are You male or female?
2. How old are You?
3. How long have You been practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation?
Almost 34 years (every day)
4. Were You born into a family practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation?
5. How often do You meditate?
I reach thoughtless awareness (meditation) many times a day
6. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation lower Your stress?
7. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation reduce some of Your negative personality traits?
8. Are collective Sahaja Yoga meditation activities important for You?
Yes, a lot
9. How do You participate in Sahaja Yoga meditation? (more answers possible)
I meditate alone at home
I attend seminars in my country
I attend seminars abroad
I attend programs
10. If You used to be a smoker, did You stop smoking with Sahaja Yoga meditation?
11. Had You ever been addicted (to alcohol, drugs, internet…)? Did it stop when You started practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation?
12. Is there a difference during Your day, when You were able to get into thoughtless awareness from the days You did not manage?
Yes. If I don’t attain thoughtless awareness often the stress and noisy thoughts build up in me. These dissolve very quickly in the thoughtless awareness state.
13. How did You get into Sahaja Yoga meditation?
A friend found it then told me. (I was one of the first regular 15 or 16 Sahaja Yoga meditation practitioners in North America in 1982)
14. How did meditation help You?
It has improved my life completely and improves it daily, in every way.
15. Try to describe how big importance Sahaja Yoga meditation has in Your life.
It is the most important happening in modern times, not just for me but for everyone, worldwide. Here is the last paragraph of my online testimonial, read already by hundreds of thousands of people:
“In these few years I have met countless individuals from all walks of life — from London to Calcutta and from Moscow to Los Angeles — who have lived this miraculous metamorphosis and are using this natural power to transform themselves and others. It is my sincerest desire that anyone who reads these words will not judge the message mentally, but will make an honest, scientific investigation into the historic subject which now faces them. If their desire is pure and their determination for revealing the truth is undaunted, I have no doubt that they will also achieve this magnificent inner-awakening which is dawning to the human race.”
16. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation help You with some psychological disorder? What disorder did You have? How did meditation help You?
I was completely damaged by heavy recreational drugs (taken from age 14 to 24) and from a traumatic childhood. I was anti-social, unhealthy and miserably lost in life. Now I am a dynamic, popular global writer, artist and musician, loved and respected by those who come to know me.
17. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation or something related to it cause something negative to You?
It’s impossible for Sahaja Yoga meditation to harm a person. It is a completely natural, gentle and benevolent inner process. Only human beings can harm themselves and each other.
18. Did You feel any new sensation after You received self-realization?
My whole perception changed: clearer, more focused, more peaceful, lighter, more loving — and I am able, on my newly enlightened nervous-system, to feel the flowing divine Vibrations, like a cool breeze, that is only felt emitting from something or someone auspicious, constructive, beautiful, innocent and eternal. (The key to collective consciousness.)
19. Why do You meditate?
Meditation is not a hobby or pastime. It (thoughtless awareness) is a unique, essential state like waking, dream-sleep and deep-sleep. Anyone who does not attain meditation is living a fractured, unfulfilled life.
20. How is Sahaja Yoga meditation different, according to You, compared to any other meditations/religions/spiritual paths?
Sahaja Yoga meditation awakens the natural energy inside us whose only purpose is to connect us to reality, the pure, beautiful all-pervading Spirit. That is meant to be the very most basic and essential process of all spiritual paths.
21. Is there anything more You would like to say? Here is Your opportunity:
“Just over three decades ago, on Tuesday, April 20th, 1982 to be exact, I stumbled up out of a dark place and found myself filled with a permanent light and focus. I still can’t believe my luck. . . . I was born into a large family in a city in Canada. My parents were then chronic alcoholics and most of my memories, which reach back as far as my third year, are dark and fearful. I and two younger brothers were raised mostly by our older sisters. Our parents often fought. When my father left the family he was replaced by a man who I deeply feared as he treated us harshly and sometimes beat my mother. Twice, as a small child, I badly broke my right elbow. The second break was so severe that I almost lost my arm. My mother was not there that time to comfort me as she was being kept in a mental hospital, withdrawing from alcohol addiction. Throughout my early school years …”
Can we really finally do it?
Are we ready?
Let’s try love for a change!
29 years ago today
on a tropical beach
there was a wedding….
This is how we entertain the world over here in Vienna …
Love you! Make the best of your year 😀
(more than 50 million viewers in over 90 countries every 1st of January!)
(i’ve posted almost a hundred videos in my seven years on YouTube, and this is the first time this has happened! …)
“May the whole world soon enjoy the soothing state of alert thoughtless awareness, when everything flows with equilibrium, and there is no pressure of ego and conditionings on the shining heart. When this time comes, and it will, unnatural corruption and suffering will fade away in the natural light of wisdom and benevolence. Let it come!”
As mentioned in the last two posts, a dear friend of ours from France has been poised to triumph in the national TV singing contest there. Well …
The actual events and interviews speak for themselves.
WHAT A GREAT FEELING!
Permanent link to all translated videos of The Voice 2013, France:
(here, the Finals — allow a few minutes for video streaming)
Here’s an article in “Le Parisien” (major French newspaper):
Vincennes’ mayor put posters “Vote Yoann” on the walls of the town, on the walls of the schools, and organized a support evening! (before the contest finals)
~click on Yoann~
In another newspaper interview (before the finals) Yoann explained that he’s not sure why he won over his old friend and teacher, Emmanuel Djob, but that the people voted that way, and maybe because he (Yoann) gave love from his heart, and maybe because coaches Jenifer and Florent Pagny were also supporting him; and that he does not get stressed or nervous because he practices meditation regularly, and music is an extension of his self, making no difference if he sings alone or in front of thousands, and seeking to perfect, not just the skills, but to go deeper to reach the true self; and this approach to singing is not restricted to one culture or religion, but can express all aspects of spirituality; and he will continue to sing, and someday hopefully create a music school in Paris. (In one more article, it’s mentioned that he meditated with other contestants, helping to calm their stress.)
a few months later,
Yoann’s first single:
A short video-compilation, ‘Love/Courage/Innocence’:
It’s been ages since I wrote anything besides quick smileys in emails and Facebook comments. A dark and distressing winter lies back between me and the completion of my novel last year. This blog has faded with neglect in those internal snowdrifts. Even the beginning of spring brought no respite from the penetrating cold. But now, as if by some secret orchestration, the first beams of 2013’s warmth and a new inner sunniness are suddenly arriving simultaneously.
It began last night with a dream.
I dreamt we were living in a future post-greed era in which powerful corporations and religious and political organizations had become curious matters of history. People lived in harmony with grassroots means. The world was not however primitive, as many practical tools were developed through advanced technology, but these were devices of the highest quality of craftsmanship produced for decades of daily use, not solely to turn over a profit. Unlimited energy and communication were free and universally available. Individuals could feel the fulfilling beauty of their own selves, and the same in others, so there was no more violence based on ideologies or standards of living.
When I woke up, that life seemed so sensible and easily, naturally attainable, that I felt like a child on a holiday morning who wants to quickly go wake up all its friends to play. Then I remembered the present state of our world. Surprisingly, I was not discouraged. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in this life, it’s that for every plunge into hopeless darkness there is an equally intense spring up into light. Or, to put it as literally as possible, at the same time that human beings swing to the furthest left and right extremes on the pendulum of indulgence and suffering, the more our deepest, sincerest collective desire to know absolute goodness opens the central spiral of enlightenment. Of course, there’s much more to it than that, including a specific, built in mechanism that propels us into that higher state of understanding, as I’ve experienced daily in moments of meditation most of my life, but that basic principle is constantly at work. We reap what we sow, but pain often causes us to take firm hold of the helm of our ship to deliberately, through our renewed desire and focus, steer our life in a better direction. And that’s usually when a person discovers that wonderful link to reality within.
I’m not so naive as to expect everyone to get this, certainly not all those tyrannosaurs reincarnated as humans, bent only on a thrill and a kill, but most people surely can. Maybe the world’s human population will reduce some day when the animals go back to incarnating only as animals (replenishing all those dwindling species?) allowing those of us remaining to advance in more subtle ways.
So, now before I ramble off onto even more unpredictable trails of evolutionary speculation, allow me to bid you a very good day or night. May your trials be deep, and your achievements high.
I’ve just returned from three-and-a-half months in the shadow lands. (Sorry for the lack of blog posts, but my literary lights were dimmed.) At the beginning of September, after weeks of amazing emotional revelations ranging from euphoria to utter despair, I got physically sick and didn’t really recover until now, four days before Christmas 2012, and the very day that the Mayan calendar runs out — whatever that historic milestone may prove to imply. There were three or four days (and intensely dark, suffocating nights) in which I was convinced that my time on Earth was almost over, and that I had reached a humiliating and unexpectedly sudden demise. After three decades of daily yoga meditation I never get sick any more, but it seems I still had some deeper, traumatic issues to work out before the unprecedented personal and collective events of 2013.
In the ancient language of Sanskrit, Maya means illusion. Not only has mankind marched steadily into the most morally confused time of our evolution, but the point of highest spiritual opportunity as well. Somewhere behind all the mumbo-jumbo about cosmic cataclysm and last chances, there lies the simple truth that we have all been on a very long journey, and it’s high time to harvest the fruits of that struggle.
Not long ago there were two buddies who used to get together in a Cambridge pub once a week to discuss life and literature. One was a booming evangelist, the other a more soft-spoken Christian. It seems that they both had a subtle, inner connection to reality that expressed itself very differently through each. J.R.R. Tolkien considered the bible the greatest epic tale ever told, but chose to only hint at the image of Jesus Christ — archetype of the greatest of kings who fell and rose again in supreme benevolence — in his now classic novel series, The Lord of the Rings. C.S. Lewis on the other hand (often to Tolkien’s displeasure) would shout his admiration for the Son of God from the rooftops, especially after his kundalini suddenly rose up his spine while he rode a Cambridge public bus to work one morning, causing him to write Surprised by Joy. He also praised the Divine, albeit without naming names, in his (also now classic) children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia.
The other morning I woke up after hearing myself say, in a dream, “I wonder how well Narnian vegetables would sell in our local market”. (This was a few days after I woke up to a Voice that softly reassured me that, “His love for you is unlimited. It just flows,” which I understood to refer to Jesus … or Aslan?) C.S. Lewis had an uncanny knack of being able to accurately describe the attributes and effects of divinity and the shadowy lack of it, which we sometimes call evil. Bearing that in mind, I’ve come to pay special interest to the end of the adventures in Narnia, when paradise is overrun by destructive shadow, and a magical door appears in the midst of danger and chaos, leading to a new, somehow better, more colorful, wider, higher Narnia.
It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed and then cried:
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Come farther up, come farther in!”
… “The farther up and the farther in you go, the bigger everything gets. The inside is larger than the outside.”
Lucy looked hard at the garden and saw that it was not really a garden at all but a whole world, with its own rivers and woods and sea and mountains. But they were not strange: she knew them all.
“I see,” she said. “This is still Narnia, and, more real and more beautiful than the Narnia down below, just as it was more real and more beautiful than the Narnia outside the Stable door! I see … world within world, Narnia within Narnia …”
“Yes,” said Mr. Tumnus, “like an onion: except that as you go in and in, each circle is larger than the last.”
And Lucy looked this way and that and soon found that a new and beautiful thing had happened to her. Whatever she looked at, however far away it might be, once she had fixed her eyes steadily on it, became quite clear and close as if she were looking through a telescope. She could see the whole southern desert and beyond it the great city of Tashbaan: to eastward she could see castle Cair Paravel on the edge of the sea and the very window of the room that had once been her own. And far out to sea she could discover the islands, island after island to the end of the world, and, beyond the end, the huge mountain which they had called Aslan’s country. But now she saw that it was part of a great chain of mountains which ringed round the whole world. In front of her it seemed to come quite close. Then she looked to her left and saw what she took to be a great bank of brightly-colored cloud, cut off from them by a gap. But she looked harder and saw that it was not a cloud at all but a real land. And when she had fixed her eyes on one particular spot of it, she at once cried out, “Peter! Edmund! Come and look! Come quickly.” And they came and looked, for their eyes also had become like hers.
“Why!” exclaimed Peter. “It’s England. And that’s the house itself — Professor Kirk’s old home in the country where all our adventures began!”
“I thought that house had been destroyed,” said Edmund.
“So it was,” said Tumnus the Faun. “But you are now looking at the England within England, the real England just as this is the real Narnia. And in that inner England no good thing is destroyed.” (The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis)
It has now been clinically proven that the state of alert mental silence produces an ideal equilibrium throughout the human organism. This state is so powerful that it can naturally correct any healable ailment in us, and remove causes such as anxiety. The effects on society are not yet documented, but it’s easy to foresee a harmonious collective environment free from the violence and suffering that has come to be synonymous with so-called civilization. Anyone who has clearly experienced this state may have noticed the light, soothing flow of energy (kundalini) that passes up the spine and out through the limbic area of the brain, referred to long ago in Sanskrit as the Sahasrara Chakra, or the thousand-petal portal to the Kingdom of Heaven. This integrating connection was called yoga, meaning union.
There’s a lot of talk at the moment about divine councils and portals and what-not, that tend to turn most of us off to the possibility that each of us is able to reach a transcendent state of deep peace and understanding about our existence. Actually, meditation is the least complicated of all things we can reach and benefit from, needing no explanation and thought-producing concepts. I would just like to express my feeling here that our jolly old Cambridge professor may have unconsciously been describing the transformation of human consciousness with his magical door to a better world — a liberating passageway that allows us to see and feel life as it really is: beautiful and fulfilling. A very real state that enables us to perpetually improve ourselves and our planet, instead of destroying them.
I took the liberty this morning of consulting the I Ching about the spiritual state of mankind in 2013. It said that examples should be set by those who are wise and brave, revealing the deepest spiritual connection (meditation) that can be shared by all:
‘Thus a hidden spiritual power emanates from them, influencing others without their being aware of how it happens.’
The hexagram Kuan represents an observation tower. Those who sit on top of it can see far and be seen by all. Amazingly, the individual line that was selected for detailed reference was the top one — that very position of highest perception:
‘Contemplation of his life. The superior man is without blame. Here in the highest place everything that is personal, related to the ego, is excluded. The picture is that of a sage who stands outside the affairs of the world. Liberated from his ego, he contemplates the laws of life and so realizes that knowing how to become free of blame is the highest good.’ ‘He has not yet forgotten the world and is therefore still concerned with its affairs.’
(It has been said that the ultimate time of Judgement is when every human being will have the clear inner perception to look within and judge — understand and correct — themselves.)
The I Ching then pointed out, with hexagram Pi / Holding Together, that just as water will always flow to a collective meeting place, human beings will gather with like human beings.
‘Holding together calls for a central figure around whom other persons may unite. To become a center of influence holding people together is a grave matter and fraught with great responsibility. It requires greatness of spirit, consistency and strength. Therefore let one who wishes to gather others together ask whether he/she is equal to the undertaking, for anyone attempting the task without a real calling for it only makes confusion worse than if no union at all had taken place. But when there is a real rallying point, those who at first are hesitant or uncertain gradually come in of their own accord. Late-comers must suffer the consequences, for in holding together the question of the right time is also important. Relationships are formed and firmly established according to definite inner laws. Common experience strengthen these ties, and one who comes too late to share in these basic (inner) experiences must suffer for it if, as a straggler, he/she finds the door locked. If one has recognized the necessity for union and does not feel strong enough to function as the center, it is one’s duty to become a member of some other organic fellowship.’ (I Ching ~ The Book of Changes, translated by Richard Wilhelm and Cary F. Baynes)
This may sound quite black-and-white, but the inner evolution of each of us is determined simply by our desires. It’s not unimaginable that the nature of that stream of wishes will ultimately carry us toward the opportunity to attain a higher, lighter state of wellbeing; or into a meaningless dead-end. We’ve been blessed with freedom to choose our way and our destination. No one can be forced to strive for liberating collective consciousness.
May the delicious, enlightening vegetables and fruits of the new Narnia nourish us in the upcoming Harvest.
Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas and joyous New (kind of) Year,
In a mother’s belly there were two babies. One asks the other:
“Do you believe in life after birth?”
“Of course! Something must exist after birth. Maybe we are here because we need to prepare for what we will become later.”
“Ridiculous! There is no life after birth! How do you think this life would be?”
“I don’t know, but surely there will be more light than there is here. Maybe we will walk on our own two feet and we can feed ourselves through our mouths!”
“That is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat through our mouths? How ridiculous! The umbilical chord is how we are fed. Let me tell you something: There can’t be life after birth. The umbilical chord is too short.”
“Well I believe there must be something. And it could be just a little bit different than what we are used to here.”
“But nobody has ever returned from the other side after birth. Birth is the end of life. All in all, life is nothing more than a stressful existence in the dark that does not lead to anything.”
“Well, I don’t know how it will exactly be after birth, but surely we will see Mother and she will take care of us.”
“Mother? You believe in Mother? And where do you think she is?”
“Where? All around us! We live inside her and through her. Without her this whole world would not exist!”
“Well I don’t believe it! I have never seen Mother so, logically, she does not exist.”
“Yes but sometimes when we are very silent, we can hear her singing or feel how she caresses our world. You know, I think there is a real life waiting for us, and that right now we are just preparing ourselves for it.”
Here was an evening of outstanding creativity and inspiration,
a moment of surprising light
in dark times …
Every age has its greatest discovery.
The greatest of all is inside of us.
Over here in Vienna there was once a star shining with the intensity of the Fred Astairs, Gene Kellys and Danny Kayes on the other side of the Atlantic. What does it take for one human being to inspire and elevate millions of hearts? We can only watch and wonder as their mirthful light passes through our lives.
As our inner evolution opens up all that timeless potential which has till now been closed to most of us, let’s hope our world will see countless more Peter Alexanders setting new ingenious levels of simple en-JOY-ment in the coming decades.
June 30, 1926 – February 12, 2011
Peter Alexander, Austrian actor, singer and entertainer who was revered both at home and in neighboring Germany, has died, his spokeswoman said Sunday. He was 84. The star who symbolized the return of laughter, lightheartedness and the economic upswing after World War II (similar to the popular trend in Hollywood) passed away Saturday. Since the 1950s, Alexander appeared in some 50 film comedies and recorded more than 120 records. He was also a regular on TV for decades. Known as “Peter the Great” by his fans, his name was synonymous with Austrian charm and wit.
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann lauded Alexander as a ‘great Austrian.’ “As an artist, Peter Alexander made generations of people happy — both at home and abroad”. Culture Minister Claudia Schmied stated that Alexander was a pioneer of German language TV entertainment.
“Austria (and the world) is losing a great entertainer”.
Along life’s long road I’ve often philosophized about the significance of birthday celebrations. Rationally they sometimes seemed to be funny, superficial rituals done out of habit. After all, what’s so special about a particular day just because it marks a certain amount of time after the date of one’s birth?
It wasn’t until quite recently that I was able to see that, whatever else to the contrary we seem to be, human beings are vessels designed to hold and share tremendous amounts of the potent elixir known as love; and that, in an adult’s busy life (unlike that of most small children), we often need a special focus point in order to exude that pent up reservoir so that it, and our well-being, can be renewed.
A birth day is the celebration of a loved one’s very existence on Earth — the miracle of a unique being developing into that friend in your life. The urge to celebrate this moment is universally inherent; a natural, inbuilt spark that ignites the combustible element of love (at least once a year!)
Besides being a special moment for others, it suddenly brings to light our own living value. Just as the sun can’t know itself unless it sees its light gratefully received by all the flowers on Earth, we can’t know the reason for existing without the joyful kaleidoscope of reflected love in the hearts of those around us.
I would like to thank the many friends all over the planet who thought of me with a smile today, including the hundreds who sent a few precious words of encouragement. I am once again reminded why I’m here.
Our world is in a rapid state of becoming, affected by each step and breath we take. What can we do to ensure that it evolves into something wonderful for generations to come?
As we enter a new year full of disappointments and encouraging surprises, here’s something important to bear in mind — and heart.
Here’s a friend, Yoann Freget, who’s presently touring in North America.
If you have something important to say, and you can’t find a way to say it, try singing it.
Despite all the depressing, money-making headlines, you can easily find inspiring things happening between people the world over. Here are two distant examples of people giving joy to people. The first took place recently on the edge of the wild Canadian West Coast rain forest, where my youngest brother kept a secret from his beloved for years (that he was planning to propose to her when they finished their new house), and suddenly sprung it on her at the house-warming party in their new waterfront homestead. The second comes from China, where some old friends, forming an international group of musicians, did a free concert tour for the love of simply sharing joy with fellow human beings. In both cases, we discover that our eyes can also leak when the heart is overflowing (not just when it’s empty) …
You have a nice day, okay?
I couldn’t resist posting this video of a good friend over here in Vienna, recently sharing the experience of YOGA (inner connection) on TV with the studio audience, and thousands of people at home.
Try it, and see if you can also feel that ancient ‘cool breeze’ which is becoming familiar and life changing to millions in modern times.
… and here’s dear old Reinhold after sharing self-realization (yoga) with the Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah.
(ANYONE can give and receive this essential, natural inner-awakening!)
… and – while I’m at it – here are some friends (more sahaja yogis) with the newly re-elected President of Austria, last Sunday …
(HEY! There’s my sister-in-law, Eveline)
Have you ever been to London, that pulsating, international heart on the fabled Anglo-Saxon island?
My wife and I just returned from a memorable excursion there, and life will never be the same for us again. It wasn’t just the historic art treasures that lifted our awareness into a new level of creative enthusiasm. There’s something in the air and earth there that the residents probably aren’t even aware of – a kind of universal sweetness that penetrates the mind and heart of the innocent visitor. A childlike royalty and the feeling of ascending the steps of an ancient tower to view a breathtaking landscape. Simple, humorous melodies and lyrics that make you want to smile at everyone. The rhythm of the loving Earth-heart.
We came away with an inner lightness and optimism that we look forward to expressing in our daily artistic work.
It probably depends upon what you look for when you go there. Look for inspiration, and you’re bound to find it.
Go ahead and call me a sentimental sap, but my eyes leak every time I come across these simple images of collective human spirit …
… and here:
What would you do if you were two,
(You couldn’t even tie your shoe)
And you woke up that Christmas day
To find yourself in piles of hay?
Then, looking all around, you see
That you are not where you should be;
Not home in bed, so clean and warm,
But in a little cow/sheep barn.
Still in your pyjamas, you
Jump up when you hear moo-oo.
Then you see a mouse run by,
Rushing so, you wonder why.
Then you see the animals are
Gathering near a shining star
And you wonder how a star
Came so far into this barn.
So you walk so quietly
Through the hay so you can see
What they all are looking at,
Cow and lamb and mouse and cat.
When you get there, you push through,
Past the silent animals, who
Let you pass to see that Thing
That makes you want to laugh and sing!
“Oh, so sweet!” you sigh, as grace,
Glowing from the sunny Face
Of that Baby lying there,
Fills your heart with cool, fresh air.
In His giggle, you feel joy,
Enough for every girl and boy.
And when He kicks His tiny Feet,
You feel that love is now complete.
Just when you feel you’ve had your fill
The whole, wide world gets brighter still
As two soft and graceful Arms
Hold you – keep you safe from harm.
You look up and see the Smile
That seems to stretch for mile upon mile;
That Smile that lights the moon and sun,
And gives life to everyone.
And there in Mother’s lap you sleep
And know the promise She will keep,
That Her Son spoke clear and true,
To come as Comforter to you.
~Edward Saugstad 1999
“Still crazy, after all these years.”
There lies, in the heart of every person, a seed of youthful enthusiasm. I experienced this at our mega-1970s neighbourhood reunion last weekend, where a couple hundred old friends all got together for the first time in over three decades. No matter how much time seems to glide by under the bridge, or how stiff and ‘mature’ we seem to become, all the heartfelt fun and optimism of our youth linger on inside us, camouflaged like a wide-eyed, baby doe on the edge of a shady forest.
The setting up of this event (and the ongoing Facebook reunion) has been a labour of love for the past eight months. More than an excellent hobby, it has proven to impact my life and those of life-long friends in a way that only reawakened friendships can. The human heart is a mysterious place, full of unexplored depths and heights. It is my belief, after almost thirty years of daily meditation and introspection, that, when enlightened, the heart can take us to our superhuman potential and the indescribable joy that inevitably accompanies that.
Getting together with old friends to reminisce and laugh may seem like a mundane function, but the relatively small waves of love that surface in our hearts are just the peaks of an infinite ocean – and if That can be awakened inside us, then the world will rapidly rise to a whole new level of enjoyment and harmony. There is a specific something in us that, when triggered, links our limited attention to the unlimited field of our spirit. It’s my intention to help beloved old friends, who were as dear to me as family long ago, to come within reach of this inner connection. I sincerely hope that many can feel that now, and will gradually discover all their buried treasure within.
On May 9, 2009, an enthusiastic gesture for peace was made in Nicosia, Cyprus, as hundreds of artists and children worldwide had their ambassadors for peace – handmade elephants – displayed on both sides of the dividing-line checkpoint.
The two mayors of the world’s last divided capital embraced in friendship, a gesture showing hope for a future of peace. History was also made by three ‘enemy’ passport holders – students helping with the exhibition – being allowed to cross the island’s severely guarded, temporary internal border! It may not have been the joyful civic tidal wave that eradicated the dreaded Berlin Wall in 1989, but every drop counts when it’s to help quench the thirst for freedom of the innocent generations to come.
Another highlight of the day came as a local shopkeeper near the checkpoint gave the artist organizers access to his wireless Internet service, allowing us, via web-cam, to broadcast live to the international Schengen Peace Foundation conference taking place simultaneously in Luxembourg – from one end of Europe to the other on Europe Day! All the delegates in attendance applauded after seeing and hearing about the efforts being made, by adults and children alike, for the important cause of lasting peace over in Cyprus.
The following day, Mother’s Day, the peace-exhibition was invited to Jerusalem by an Israeli university professor. The elephants-without-borders are on the march!
With a little mutual forgiveness, and respect for the innocent generations to come, this world can become a beautiful home for everyone.
Here’s my video-collage of the event (music courtesy of Matt Malley, former Counting Crows bass player)
With the world sliding full speed into the gravest scenario since a meteor walloped it, wiping out all manner of species, we thank heaven for comedians (especially the Canadian variety). Only a highly evolved race can laugh at itself as it teeters on the edge of extinction. If we’ve taken ourselves too seriously at times, it’s only because we forgot to listen to the tiny Jim Carrey or Dan Aykroyd jesting inside. I mean, come on, did we really think we could defy all constructive perimeters of existence and get away with it indefinitely? We are indeed a laughable lot! Well, hopefully some eleventh-hour humble introspection and meditation will bring out the very best in each of us, and bring a rosy hue to the prospects for the coming generations.
My wife and I find ourselves constantly playing funny role improvisation (it’s probably out of survival instinct – the only way to survive if you both live and work under one roof!) We are living proof that only the body ages … the soul keeps getting younger and sillier. After I’ve had a particularly good morning meditation, I feel like a small kid in a universal Disney land, with creativity and mirth springing out of my every pore. We may think it would be highly irresponsible to let children run the world, but what about the children inside us, with the important advantage of all our years of practical experience and knowledge. Just add the wisdom, common-sense and benevolence of a child (okay, my two-year-old was also definitely not ‘benevolent’, but you know what I mean), and we could steer the ship of humanity into more peaceful waters.
As the desperate, tearful child said in a CNN interview this morning, after he and his mom lost their home to the Recession: “PEOPLE HAVE GOT TO START HELPING EACH OTHER!”
Where there’s the capacity and a heartfelt will, there’s a way.