Category Archives: spirituality

sharing Self-realization via film production

A few years ago a friend of ours was among the runners-up for a prestigious international short films award. After the viewing ceremony, a celebrity in the audience (Natalie Portman) sent Silvina a note telling that she had never felt such a deep experience from a spiritual film before.

May the Force be with us.

Ed-olution (birthday 1983)

Ed found! (Delhi 1983)

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 anbombay-marine-drive-1983 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 65-chevy-panel-vanhelped 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 Gandhigandhi-movie-poster 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:

Shri Saraswati Goddess of Art and Knowledge

Shri Saraswati
Goddess of Art and Knowledge

(read more here …)

https://edwardsaugstad.com/reaching-the-top-reloaded/

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the world needs more good vibes

ShriMataji billboard NY city-Houston

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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? 

Male

2. How old are You?

Over 40

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?

No

5. How often do You meditate?
I reach thoughtless awareness (meditation) many times a day

6. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation lower Your stress? 

Yes

7. Did Sahaja Yoga meditation reduce some of Your negative personality traits? 

Yes

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? 

Yes

11. Had You ever been addicted (to alcohol, drugs, internet…)? Did it stop when You started practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation? 

Yes

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:
https://edwardsaugstad.com/reaching-the-top/

“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: 

from: https://edwardsaugstad.com/reaching-the-top/

“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 …”

http://www.freemeditation.com

freemeditation.com

sahaja yogi Yoann wins The Voice SEMIFINALS!

http://edsaugstad.com/YoannFreget/TheVoice2013-Semifinals.html

Shri Mataji (Nirmala Srivastava), founder of Sahaja Yoga meditation, once told sahaja yogi Matt Malley, former bass player of the world famous Counting Crows band, that if he puts his attention on the kundalinis of the audience, it’s much better than just focusing on one’s own performance. He often tried it, finding that his eyes would become cool and his heart filled with love, ‘watching’ everyone’s pure spirits. Giving creatively to an audience from your heart can have amazing results. What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.

Van Morrison on alert, creative mental silence:

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Yoann sings his hear out!

paying it forward …

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In memory and celebration of my thirty years learning and growing with the greatest spiritual personage of modern times.
http://shrimataji.org/

Shri Mataji.

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resurrection, Narnian vegetables, the I Ching and 2013

awaken

    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)

 Narnia door

    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.’

    ContemplationThe 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 thetower 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 ‘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,

    Edword

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AWAKENING

(author unknown)

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.”

coolcheck.org

sahajameditation.org

freemeditation.com

shrimataji.org

I feel cool.

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the revolution of our evolution

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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.

Coupole du Printemps de la Mode

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