On Thurs 7 Aug 08 @9PM I had a deeply moving and spiritual experience when I lit candles and deeyas for Tibet. This was in unison with everyone in my time zone and done globally. I'd like to explore this and share my experiences with you and hear yours as we participate in universal collective prayer events together. I hope to work together with all the universe's beings as we move toward the ideal of Universal Collective Prayer.

Come join me in Universal Collective Prayer!

May God Bless Us All!

UCP-Universal Collective Prayer is produced by Meady's Musings Production . Copyright 2006-2011

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Took Part in the Global Peace Meditation Today!

I took part in the Global Peace Mediation today with Deepak Chopra and Friends. I learnt about it through Intent.I came on to the site early so I heard the prelude music that was on before we joined the live feed. Unfortunately it seems as though the sessions at the retreat itself were behind time. I know how hard it can be to organize things like this and I have no clue why they were behind and why Deepak was trying to fit in a powerpoint presentation for about 15mins before he started the meditation but one can only figure maybe people asked too many questions this and that. And of course I wished they had started on time but we were getting to join a paid workshop for free and Deepak did reach out to the 80,000 people who were supposedly tuned in all over the world! Anyway as a whole I know how hard it is for anyone to keep a workshop running on schedule and it was 15 mins late not 30 or totally messed up! Also although we couldn't see the Powerpoint slides obviously as it was only an audio hook up you did hear some interesting talks on the perception of 'God' and religion.

After the 15 min delay we were welcomed again and went into the meditation...for about 15mins on the heart chakra...I had a hard time hearing Deepak as he at times sounded very soft and seemed tired but I was able to fall in although I felt like I was a slow student as I had never done any of his meditations before...so I just heard let's meditate or something like that and heart chakra but to be honest I didnt realise I was suppose to be focusing on the heart chakra! All the same I did get I was suppose to close my eyes and I guess I meditated within in the best way I knew without realizing I was suppose to focus on the heart chakra. At first what happened was I sort of was feeling my attention focused on my stomach more from center to upper to my heart but after a while it did move to the heart. It was for sure one of the most relaxing 15 mins I've had in a long time...first I heard the cars far off on the main road together with the buzz of insects all over (I'm in the tropics!) but eventually I was able to become more focused and calm. It was very refreshing really although I was a bit lost as to what I was doing like were we going to be like this for the whole hour or what?

But then after 15 mins like that I heard a whisper in and out from Deepak and if I did hear it right...I understood then I was all the time suppose to be focusing on my heart chakra which I think I had done by default in the last 10 mins at least and then we were suppose to be releasing feelings of peace, harmony, laughter and love from that heart chakra like slow ripples that form when you drop a tiny pebble into a pond...I really got into that idea and had fun doing that especially the laughter bit! :)

After that Deepak explained bout what or why we were releasing the four things listed in the last paragraph and from the heart chakra ...the medical stuff he spoke about was very interesting to me. I didn't realize the heart was indeed scientifically even possibly more advanced than the brain in its consciousness?! Although it was delightful news! :) Then the audience there asked some questions bout God again and stuff and Deepak eventually decided to play a sort of musical poetic recitation of the Upanishads by the late Alan Watts that was given to him by Watts' son apparently...it is the first time I've heard of Watts but his voice sounded refreshing...the British accent and all and a trance like kinda talent! The session soon after came to an end and the moderator lady there did say that you can get the Alan Watts think on itunes and this other place! I figured Youtube?! So I googled Alan Watts and interesting to learn more of him and I also found the recitation on Youtube. Attached as below.

This was very different from The Peace Intention Experiment done by Mc Taggart but was very refreshing and relaxing...I dont think I felt connected to the other 80,000 or thought much bout world peace but I did feel relaxed and refreshed inward and learnt more bout myself and my body. In the Mc Taggart experiment I think I felt very connected and part of a universal link up and there with the music you tried to imagine things helping the people in Sri Lanka etc so in that case your mind projected a movie within ...visualized peaceful and good thoughts...in that experiment it was interesting that after I could have gone on a board set up on the Ning network and chat with others who participated and realized some people thought similar thoughts as myself etc. Two different experiences both intended to foster peace and both useful in their own rights! It would be interesting for Deepak and friends to repeat this though and this time set it up for that purpose alone and perhaps as a video link up? Of course I have no idea the resources this would entail?

Anyway until then I leave you with the Alan Watts clip...pretty cool...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A House from Habitat for Diwali! And Human Values!

For those of you who follow my blogs or those of Elspeth Duncan you will be aware that a few weeks ago some of my friends and I volunteered at a Habitat for Humanity project that we learnt about through a film done by Elspeth called Invisible. The project moved incredibly fast and as everyone celebrates Diwali here in Trinidad and Tobago and throughout the Hindu world I am congratulating Habitat for Humanity for giving Veronica what it looks like a house for Diwali! Cause in this pic below courtesy Elspeth Duncan the house was looking like that on Sat 25 Oct 08 so it must be all done by now at that rate! To give you an idea of how quickly work progressed I am re-posting a pic of my friends and I posing after we had broken up a mound of clay and used it to fill that foundation along with a heap of sand. That foundation was cast on Sun 12 Oct 2008 so you can see the progress made by Habitat and its volunteers and supporters in less than two weeks time!

My friends and I posing along with Habitat personnel after the foundation was cast on Sun 12 Oct 08.

Veronica's house just days away from completion just in time for Diwali! Taken on Sat 25 Oct 2008 and courtesy of Elspeth Duncan

I couldn't find a more fitting blog to kick off Diwali day here in Trinidad and Tobago! Here in Trinidad Mother Lakshmi is honoured on Diwali day as the goddess of the home. In Hinduism a form of Lakshmi is seen to be a female living in a home and also Lakshmi is seen as the bestower of several forms of wealth one form of course being a house and land on which one can live.

My company celebrations this year embodied the theme Human Values the Key to Positive Change and we had a photography competition which asked participants to illustrate one of the following human values we listed: love, compassion, peace, non-violence and honesty. We had entries in all categories and sixty four entires in all. Below is a melange of the winning entries on display the one of top illustrating compassion and the winner of the first place,the one in the middle showing love and in second place and the one below holding the third place showing peace.

In Hinduism the embodiment of human values and will to carry it out...a true man of Dharam and Karam...knowing his purpose on earth and then carrying it out in his actions...ladies and gentlemen ...Shri Ram of the great Hindu epic the Ramayan accompanied by his eternal supporters:

And I leave you with a kinda scratchy done vid (it wasnt in the best of light)of my mummy singing his praises in the Kishkinda Kand of the Ramayan (the part of the Ramayan where Ram, Lakshman and Sita meets up that Great and Learned Monkey God-Hanuman Baba!)Job well done mummy!And I promise to put up a clearer vid quality series of Ramayan reading vids soon!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some Video Footage of Diwali 08

The first is a Bharatnatayam Dance at my company's show done by one of the young daughters of an employee. I'm part of the organising committee:

This one is of the kiddies singing at the show from a Hindu school down south:

And here is some footage from a Ram Leela performance inside the folk theatre at the Divali Nagar 08:

My Diwali Adventures Part 3...

OK so I took a lot of footage!:

My Diwali 2008 Adventures Part 2...

And here's even more footage:

My Diwali 2008 Adventures...

And here's some more footage:

It's Diwali Time!

It's Diwali time and from the Piarco International Airport here in Trinidad to central where the heart of Diwali stays as the Diwali Nagar to down south in the heart of the oil industry there are displays and shows galore! I just thought I'd share with you some footage from my adventures so far.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Power of Prayer!

Prayer can take many forms...dance, poetry and in this case music and singing. The idea of universalcollectiveprayer truly rings out in this tune as it is sung by the late great Mohammed Rafi and the music is directed by the late (only recently) and also great Naushad(Ali)and lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni all of the Islamic faith and sung as an ode to Shri Krishen Bhagwan and based on Hindu Ragas like most of the songs in this film. The song featured here is Man Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj (raga Malkauns),the film is Baiju Bawra (1952)and the actor seen portraying the song is the lead of the film Bharat Bhushan. The film also had Meena Kumari as the lead actress. Meena Kumari won the Filmfare award for Best Actress for the film in 1954 and Naushad as Best Music Director for another song 'Tu Ganga Ki Mauj'(raga Bhairavi). But all of these details might fit better on my BooksandFilmsCorner blog. On this blog I really just want you to focus on well the music and the portrayal of it. Also better for the films blog I think Bharat Bhushan did a really good job in this film too and to me perhaps was an overlooked actor in his time? I think I'm going to watch the film again soon and write a review on the films blog soon :)But please look at the beauty and power of prayer and devotion below...how powerful and just lovely really!:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Favourite Ganesh Aarti Just for So!

I'm attaching here one of my fav. aartis...Ganesh Aarti...it sounds so cute! :)

Anyway here are the lyrics transliterated into english script:
Jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh deva
Mata jaki Parvati, pita Mahadeva.

Ek dant dayavant, char bhuja dhari
Mathe par tilak sohe, muse ki savari
Pan chadhe, phul chadhe, aur chadhe meva
Ladduan ka bhog lage, sant kare seva.

Jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh deva,
Mata jaki Parvati, pita Mahadeva...

Andhan ko ankh det, kodhin ko kaya
Banjhan ko putra det, nirdhan ko maya
Surya shaam sharan aye, safal kije seva.

Jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh, jai Ganesh deva,
Mata jaki Parvati, Pita Mahadeva...

Which roughly translates into English as:
Glory to you, O Lord Ganesha!
Born of Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas, and the great Shiva.

O Lord of compassion, you have a single tusk, four arms,
A vermilion mark of on your forehead, and ride on a mouse.
People offer you betel leaves, blossoms, fruits
And sweets(laddoos), while saints and seers worship you.

Glory to you, O Lord Ganesha!
Born of Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas, and the great Shiva.

You bestow vision on the blind, chastened body on the leprous,
Children on the sterile, and wealth on the destitute.
We pray to thee day and night, please bestow success upon us.

Glory to you, O Lord Ganesha!
Born of Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas, and the great Shiva.

And music is universal so hopefully you can all enjoy it even if we don't know the meaning word for word...the gist of being that we are singing praises to the Lord in the form of Ganesh who represents the beginning of things...one who removes obstacles so everything can begin well...and for me I always see him as the first writer in the universe ever! :) Jai Shri Ganesh Aayee Namaha!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sending Out Universal Collective Prayers to H.H. Dalai Lama

I've just become aware that H.H. Dalai Lama has taken ill again I don't know how serious it is but some reports on the web says he may be operated on tomorrow. Please write in and let me know if you have any more news. Whatever it is I say...May the Universe's Way Be Done...and I remember tonight all the joy, love and compassion he has shared with us on earth so far...and ask all of you to join in universal collective prayer so it's way can be done.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mother Earth: Preserving Our Lives...

In 2007 I gave the feature address at my company's Diwali show as follows:

When the (company)Diwali Committee convened this year spurred on by Shami to “Let’s get an early start”. It was suggested again by Shami that this year we do a feature address with something to do with the environment. He had been hearing much talk about it in the global media no doubt and who wouldn’t have? I mean the theme of Global Climate Change was plastered everywhere on BBC and CNN with several documentaries being done with titles something like ‘Global Climate Change- Is it Really Happening?’. But fires really roared when former US Vice President Al Gore released his documentary - ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ which later went on to win an Academy award and more recently was part of the body of work that resulted in his winning the Nobel Peace Prize along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC). In fact people from all over the world shared in this prize as part of the IPCC including two from TnT! This seems to be a big boost for those of us who believe that Global Warming is a serious issue but many still don’t believe or perhaps more choose not to believe that the world is really heating up!

The reason that topics like Global Warming and other environmental issues are usually shrouded in so much controversy is simply this- it involves money, lifestyle choices and ethics- what is right, what is wrong? And who gets what and who doesn’t so things get messy- “You doh want me to drink water while you drinking wine” or “I must take a maxi while you drivin big car”. The haves and the have-nots emerge. How do we share our resources and who manages it? And here is where the politicians come out to play and the lobbyists and the moneymen. An experience of how they, the politicians, handle that is still fresh in our minds coming out of the recently concluded hustings season.

But what does all this have to do with Diwali and with Hinduism? Well the Diwali committee decided on our theme Mother Earth- Preserving Our Lives because we feel that in going back to our roots there are so many treasures to be found. Hinduism is rich with examples of sound lifestyle choices where man co-existed in harmony with the environment and utilised plants and animals effectively without harm. Many of these examples can be found in the Ramayan, which is linked, to Diwali in that it is said Diwali was celebrated when Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya.

However Lord Ram’s time of exile in the forests of ancient India was not really a trying time for him but a time of man existing in complete harmony with nature. And for me personally I’ve so far never read or seen a clearer picture of love, beauty and joy as depicted in the Ramayan when Lord Ram and Mata Seeta together with Ram’s younger brother, his eternal supporter, Lakshman were in Panchavati. The trio existed in perfect bliss, eating whatever simple sustenance the forest could provide and taking care of the birds and animals as if they were their own children. It is said that Seeta Maa herself was the happiest of the three as she had come from the earth itself and can be seen as a representation of Mother Earth in Hinduism.

So what we the (company) Diwali Committee is portraying this year is Diwali and it’s origins around the Ramayan and how the Ramayan is a book that shares with us an ideal way of life that all of us as a society can learn so much from, especially when it comes to how we look at our earth. We can strive to live in harmony with nature, and experience it as the complete bliss that existed if only temporarily, in the story of the Ramayan when Lord Ram lived in Panchavati. Or we can choose to ravage our earth and damage it making it cough and cry at our mercy. The choice is up to us. But, how can we make that ideal choice shown to us in the Ramayan in today’s world? After all this is’ Kal Yug’ according to Hinduism the ‘Dark Age’ and the Ramayan existed in the ‘Sat Yug’ the ‘Age of Truth’ and even in the Ramayan life in Panchavati didn’t last forever as it was followed by war and other ills that existed even in that greater age. I guess the answer to that question is not easy to come up with and the solutions to the world’s ills and environmental problems will not come easily. However I think as a nation we have much to learn from our forefathers who lived simple lives, ate simple foods and toiled the soil, took care of cows. They seemed to be happier, healthier somehow and the so-called developed world status that all of the developing world from China and India to Brasil are chasing after, may be a fool’s paradise. I mean isn’t the developed world just about realising what they have done to the environment with mass industrialization, and to their bodies with land intensive farming practices and fast food? Then why are we rushing head long into this without asking ourselves what went wrong with them? Is it that we are still ruled by the masters of our past? So we follow them to such an extent that we are doomed to repeat their mistakes even after they have realised it themselves? Even though our ancestors before our colonial masters may have already know better? I’m not saying not to embrace change but to do it wisely…responsibly. Pick the good from the bad not just the left overs of the developed world. Don’t simply settle for brand names and tag lines and discard the old unnecessarily.

This Diwali season I ask all of us to reflect on the simple life of our ancestors not just the ones from India but the ones from China, Africa, Syria, Lebanon and all over and wonder as Nappy Mayers if we shouldn’t bring back the old time days, bring back them all time ways.

Another theme that the Diwali Committee has touched on this year is ayurveda – the ancient Hindu system of health care that can be found in the Vedas. This again can be linked to our main theme Mother Earth- Preserving Our Lives. This ancient system again exists in harmony with nature and uses the gifts from mother earth effectively and efficiently to heal and nurture us. Some herbs or plants that are famously used in ayurveda are the neem, tulsi and turmeric and our display this year outlined some of the details about these plants. In addition to this our crossword competition prizes comprise of many products, which utilised these plants to be made. In the case of ayurveda our nation can look at meshing our past with our present to create an amazing future. Many pharmaceutical companies globally have fought to patent the medicinal wonders such as the neem for their own commercial use. Luckily they were unsuccessful due to the efforts of Indian activists like Vandana Shiva. But where are our activists in Trinidad and Tobago? Where are our Vandana Shivas? And when they exist do we listen to them? What are we doing with our wonders of nature? Trinidad and Tobago has a large diversity of insects and plants that might hold the solution to the next deadly disease out there. Maybe this is our chance to look at our old time ways and use the technology of the now time days to develop medicines and patent our own indigenous solutions to health problems. This can come from our ancient Indian herbs that we brought here or from plants that grew here when the Amerindians were widespread or can be from practices our African ancestors would have honed. The point is Trinidad and Tobago is where we live and so it is our piece of the Mother Earth, our Dharti Mata and it is up to us to choose to use it wisely. So this Diwali as we fill our homes with light, love and warmth let us resolve to do what we can to work in tandem with what Mother Earth has gifted us with so we and she can indeed preserve our lives for many generations to come. Shubh Diwali!

Diwali Season!

As we come to the end of Nav Ratri, the Diwali season is in full swing. Lot's of shows and other events all over Trinidad and Tobago and the Hindu world. In Trinidad and Tobago where there are Muslims, Hindus and Christians all in significant amounts the festivals of Eid-Ul-Fitr, Diwali and Christmas are usually celebrated every year in very close proximity to one another and sometimes the festivals are so close in succession nationwide you see something you may not see world over...you see structures erected say at roundabouts where a three armed symbol is shown one arm a deeya, one a moon and star and one a cross. I remember seeing that symbol a few years ago and found it so interesting...the concept of three rolling around in my head...three wise men, the trinity...it is that thought process and the fact that in Trinidad we have a body called the IRO-Inter Religious Organization of Trinidad and Tobago that inspired me to include that body in my Me Eat Manicou? theatre production in 2006. It was in that theatre production that the IRO was asked to decide on the fate of the animals-The Three Attacking Agoutis, Agouti Agnes Notamouse and Manick De Manicou...with the pastor, pundit and imam all mulling it over and then coming to a consensus to give the animals a home in the village and to punish the attacking ones.

When asked later that year to do a short adaptation of Me Eat Manicou? for my company's Diwali function I decided to keep the IRO theme going and show how each religious leader visited the other ones religious functions and in my show both the pastor and imam attended the diwali celebrations...as did the pundit attend the celebrations of the imam and pastor. Unity in diversity indeed! Below I leave you with some scenes from the production carried out on the small, temporary stage. Manick Escapes to (company's name).
Photos by Tyron Waterman 2006 and Theatre Production done by Meady's Musings Production 2006.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Commemorating the Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi!

I selected this clip from youtube to do the job cause it had a lot of quotes from him while what I understand was one of his favourite bhajans plays in the background. Another favourite of his being 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram'

What I admire about him is how in South Africa he was able to have the guts to read the bible and then try to follow it literally and so did the action while quoting... "To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other..." (I'm recollecting this off the top of my head from what I saw in the Richard Attenborough film Gandhi when I was probably not even ten so I hope it is an accurate recollection)

That on the whole he had the guts to to walk the walk literally of things he read in scriptures from all over the world. It is this kind of things that make people great because many people pretend to be religious or know of their religion or attend religious gatherings and can even quote scriptures it by heart but can never really appreciate its essence and then have the guts to carry it out when no one else is doing the same...The Power of One!

And of yesterday I'm thankful to him for (from what I read in the book-'I Have Lived Before-The True Story of the Reincarnation of Shanti Devi by Sture Lonnerstrand) being instrumental in allowing a proper scientific investigation of that case to be carried out so that I could have read it yesterday. Of course also by the grace of the author Sture and Shanti Devi herself but it was the Mahatma who convinced Shanti Devi's parents to let her go to Mathura (Muttra) with an investigative team to test the story. At least according to Sture's book which I read.

What are your favourite things about Gandhi Ji or what are your favourite Gandhian philosophies or quotes?

Copyright Meady's Musings Production 2006-2013