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

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Time to Heal...Mumbai, India...Planet Earth!

After yesterday's terror attacks in Mumbai there will come a time of healing...it might take some time and it doesn't mean that the wound might not even be re-opened or hit into something and cause pain etc. As with the human body this happens...but as it always is with the human body, mind and spirit...there comes a time for healing and we do heal whenever the time for it comes and however long it takes us to do so. One more thing with healing is it never comes before the time is right for it and it needs to take as long as it needs...I don't know how long it will take for Mumbai, India and the world as a whole to heal...but I think this video clip below can be an inspiration to the people of Mumbai, India and any nation and perhaps in ideality one day there will only be one nation-Planet Earth.

But for sure hope of this lies in our future generations and here is the inspiration from the Hindi film Ganga Jumna(two of India's and Hinduism's great rivers)...I chose it cause of it's inspiring message to children and this time around it does have the English subtitles (although not word for word but you get the gist)which is the language that this blog is carried out in. Of course like Jesus bids us we could all become like children and then we will be able to enter the kingdom of God so perhaps this can be an inspiration to all of us if we look at it with the eyes and spirit of a child...new, fresh...look at it as if we have never been hurt...

No Traffic in Mumbai-Indeed a Time for Universal Collective Prayer

Above is a murti of Ganesh or Ganapati after I had done worship or pooja to the universe in his form a few months ago for the Hindu festival of Krishna Janamashtami as in Hinduism the way I practise it Ganapati is worshiped at the start of all poojas no matter which form is being worshiped. However tonight I start my blog with this image to use it to symbolize the Indian city of Mumbai as Ganapati is seen as the deity of the state of Maharashtra or I like to call it the patron saint of Mumbai and normally Ganesh Chauth/Chaturthi/Ustaav are the biggest there in all of the Hindu world.

This morning India time there was no traffic in Mumbai ...no traffic! How come you ask? Well if you don’t know as yet it is as a result of the terror attacks (the Mumbai Terror Attacks) that were carried out the night before at one or two of the city's major hotels, a famous cafe and a railway station. It is currently being paraded all over CNN and BBC and they keep talking bout how Brits and Americans may have been singled out as the terrorists asked for passports from people of these nationalities. So it begs one to consider whether the terrorist chose these targets this time and this approach so that CNN and BBC would jump on it...after all say the word Brit or American...show me your green card or your American or British passport and now you are a person and the world will decide if it jumps or if it mourns!? I mean terror attacks go on globally all the time and in India itself on several different occasions this year including Mumbai. What makes this particular attack so highlighted? Aren’t all the people of the earth and the Universe important? Isn't all life important?

As America prepares for it's annual turkey fest I had originally thought I would be putting up a short blog about that here before I continued on my Christmas theme…but then this happens…I was going to post bout how I think Thanksgiving would be and is essentially a lovely festival minus the massacre and praying over the dead turkey bit…I mean why not… a family gathering to give thanks...what could be bad about that?

It makes me reflect that I am also thankful cause I live on a little island that for now with all its other problems is basically terror free although sadly even here we had our own localized version of terror in 1990 and sorry for the religious stereotyping but even that insurrection was by Muslims…I’m not against Islam or Muslims however and this blog is about Universal Collective Prayer …Islam included…but prayer can never take the form of violence…not to a man and not to an animal…

But we are all animals only thing though as George Orwell’s Animal Farm characters remind us… “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. So we can eat turkeys and then be thankful for our happiness and we can give token acknowledgment to India the world’s largest democracy now, but not that we are really only worried bout this one (despite all the terror attacks they have all the time)cause it’s just the Brits and Americans we are really worried bout…then we might mention some of the Australians one or two other important European nationalities you know…then we will talk bout India a bit…well it’s how CNN and BBC does it…don’t know if their people’s hearts are like that though. And I’d like to be hopeful and say no people globally aren't like that by and large especially since on the Intent community I hear/read so many warm stories by mostly Americans…

I can go into how hurt and bothered I can sometimes get in the world …and all of the possible political and this and that reasons why all of this is happening and the possible ramifications of it according to little ole my brain (ego)but as I always say its not why I started Universal Collective Prayer …why not at all…But without getting into it again I will quote myself from a comment I made earlier tonight on Intent when and a lovely lady (I’m assuming American) started a blog called Pray for India!!!:

“Thanks for starting this Blog Lynn I was thinking to send prayers too...might put up a full call to prayer blog on my Universal Collective Prayer blog later tonight...hope others do too and things calm down...it's sad too that the reality is this happens a lot in India but this one is more highlighted as perhaps the terrorist envisioned it...cause a lot of foreigners are involved and tourists etc and so now it's getting a lot of TV coverage...India is really a place that is at the mercy of terrorists much more so than the US and the UK etc...and it made me remember as a person also living in a 'third world country' how sometimes many dead here isnt a concern but a few in a developed place is so highlighted...luckily I dont live in a land of much terror...but feel sorry for those in India that have to live at the mercy of it daily in many parts and in so many other countries too....”- Me on Intent earlier on.

Anyway I can’t say I’m my usual joyous self tonight... dancing like Rumi I’m not…but I have to dig deep and find a way to inspire myself and ask others to join me in Universal Collective Prayer. I don’t know what to say so I will find a way to say it with a song so listen and watch the good ole YouTube vid below and to it I should add that it not only matters if you are Muslim or Hindu etc...but it also doesn't matter if you are born in Iraq, Trinidad, India, Pakistan, Barbados, USA (or got your greencard!) or are a Brit...but don't tell CNN and BBC that! Anyway hope the song brings some prayer, peace, beauty and love for all! And to all fellow intenters and Americans HAPPY THANKSGIVING! And I know the vid clip is in Hindi but if you scroll down in the comments on YouTube you will get the gist of the meaning but it is basically about saying that it doesn't matter if you are Hindu or Muslim just like Michael Jackson once sang "it doesn't matter if you are Black or White".

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Visualizing The Tree of Peace...

I thought I had blogged this on one of my blogs but based on interactions I had in response to comments made about my last post on my Meady's Musings blog I realized I just never got about to doing it. One of the things too is I think this post is applicable to both my Meady's Musings blog and the Universal Collective Prayer one so I'm going to do a dual entry and post it on both. So here is what I want to say...

Last month as part of the Diwali celebrations in work we had a photography competition I was a major driver of the competition and I was a major player in setting up the structure of the competition, developed judging templates, sat as a judge and also had the immense pleasure of presenting the awards too! :)One of the guys on our organizing committee was at loggerheads with me of a severe kind cause he didn't and still does not believe that if one wanted to show the concept of peace or what we called the 'human value of peace' for the competition they could take a serene scenery or a picture of a tree say to show it!I don't know why he couldn't see it but I don't want to go into all of it...I took the higher road I think and felt he should still be a judge cause it was good to have opposing ideas on such a panel. But I stood my ground as also being a judge. He however took that idea to the judging matrix and so as far as I'm concerned all such entries had a major handicap in that judge's eye. Luckily there were three judges and so an almost perfect picture of a water pond/dam in our refinery area surrounded by beautiful Samaan trees was able to cop third prize representing 'Peace'. Had it just been two judges or a third judge who felt differently it may have came first.

The Third Prize winner is at the bottom of the picture:

Now when I was visualizing how the structure of the contest would flow I kept seeing this tree in my head when I thought of peace...I didn't have the picture locked down to location but I had a general idea of it's shape, size and type although in the visualization I never knew what type of tree it was I cleared saw it...and I sometimes visualized me or just an arbitrary human (no identifying features at time) sitting in Yogi position under the tree and usually dressed in white or sometimes just under the tree not necessarily in any Yogi pose. Weeks past and then I had to go to Tobago for the weekend with some friends (it's when I had the Gran Couva chocolate) and that Friday although I was off from work and in Tobago was when the entries for the competition was closing. And so I kept being excited to get back into to work to see how the entries would end up! :) Although I also relished the time for relaxation and the company of friends. And guess what...as I walked into the yard of the home I would be staying in for the weekend...I saw the tree! The said tree...very similar in shape and size...it is only then it occurred to me on the prompting of a friend that the tree was what we call an Almond tree in Trinidad...although it's not the actual almonds that people eats as nuts I think...although the fruit is huge and green and shaped like a big Almond i.e. almond shaped. I don't know much about the details of the fruit of the tree and how it is treated to be honest...but there was the tree! And in saying that it reminds me of something I read when I was 14 or so by J. Krishnamurti bout how man names trees and label things and in doing so gets so caught up in that, we miss the beauty of the thing. So let's not get into the name of the tree and I was glad that in my visualization I never named the tree type as in label it and I myself although come to think of it knew it was 'an Almond tree' never clicked into that until the friend named it...I was just caught up in the tree for being all that it is!

So there was girl and her tree...All weekend long as we sat in the porch looking out...I kept thinking there was the tree! And just as I had visualized it...if someone had told me that could happen or it happened to them I'd think them crazy...even now people can say it is just coincidence and who knows perhaps it is? But it had a huge impact on me! So imagine I did end up spending many hours just lounging with friends looking at this tree! :)Perfect bliss...Satchitananda...Perfect Peace...Harmony...a thing of beauty is a joy forever...and so much more...just me and my tree!

And here is looking at your tree!Pics taken by me and one of friends think was Ian Graham not sure who snapped what...And if it was Ian he knew nothing bout the visualization story as I didn't share that story with him so going to flag him in this writing to let him know now...:

Monday, November 17, 2008

We Three Kings! - The Mystery of the Magi...

One of my favourite Christmas carols growing up is ‘We Three Kings’. I first got into it when I was about 14 and dancing in a my high school Christmas Musical that was an original work written by one of our beloved teachers- The late Mrs. Joy Moore who was an inspiration to myself and many of the students she touched from conversations I’ve since had with fellow students. I know she is still embracing Universal Collective Prayer somewhere out there! The play was about Christmas and adapted totally to be set in Trinidad with the core message being about good versus evil but in one ongoing subplot in the story there was ‘The Three Kings’ getting lost and ending up in Trinidad instead of I guess Bethlehem? But it was where our dance came in…cause when ‘The Three Kings’ said the line...“Boy, I sure miss home…” or something to that effect cause I can’t remember it word for word now…but it was our cue for coming in with the dance. You see I was part of this Indian folk dance group when I was younger and although our dance was actually to a Hindi song about Ram, we had learned to perform to the music by use of scarves. And I guess at the time it was the closest thing to perhaps Belly dancers? We wore kinda Indian village clothes with orhnis and stuff but at the time it didn’t have belly dancing groups in Trinidad or Middle Eastern dancers as there are actually now and plus they had to be students of the school etc. So Indian dancers were sought to make up the act but I think too it was Mrs. Moore’s way or reflecting the diverse cultures of Trinidad in the play. Anyway I always felt that not all of the other girls in the dance act were so into it as I but I was really excited about it…I remember explaining to the girls how I envisioned it when I did the dance so that I wasn’t just a dance act but part of the whole story. Cause in the story when one of the Three Wise men says he misses home…they all fall asleep and we were the dancers in their dreams as they dreamt of their home land. So I guess we were like dancing girls at their palace? I didn’t like the idea of being part of a harem but then it didn’t matter much cause it was an all girl school and actually for starters ‘The Three Wise Men’ were being played by girls! Plus we weren’t really doing very seductive dancing just the same dance we always did which was like Indian village dances that were usually performed as worship to Ram or Krishna. Although I’ve since seen actual belly dancers perform and it’s not as I had then envisioned it as my view of it then would have probably been given to me by Hollywood films. But yep I was all into this idea of what I represented in the play…‘A dream version of The Three Magi’s homeland’. Since then it made we wonder if at least one of these men didn’t come from India or China perhaps? Or somewhere even farther East than is commonly said in the myth. Cause it’s amusing how religions always exist in their corner of the earth…but luckily nowadays and on Universal Collective Prayer the blog…light, love, prayers and devotion comes in all forms and fashion and occurs in every part of well…the Universe!

However, not all people are ready to embrace the universality of prayer and we have to respect this…In fact some might say that the three Magi didn’t even exist as it is not strictly mentioned in ‘The Holy Bible’ but others embrace it for the beauty that it is whether true or not. These three holy men that existed before, coming to welcome a new light, and their points of light being drawn to it’s light…such that they had no choice but to follow that light in the form of the star! And points of light no doubt exist not just westward leading but north, south, east and west and all points in between! :)How sweet and lovely isn’t it? :)

Just last week when I was researching about the Snan/Snaan or Nahan…I learned that in Zoroastrianism they also say Nahan to mean a ritualistic cleansing bath in water…and it made me think indeed that religion although small in members on the earth today must have so much ancient wisdom in it to tell…Just the thought of Magi makes you dream up so many stories in your head! I found an interesting bit of dialogue on the existence of the Three Magi or Three Kings on this site. If interested in delving further you guys are welcome to check it out! (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09527a.htm)

And of course I couldn’t leave you without the music! Cause I always found the song associated with those good men so sweet and fun too! I found this pleasant surprise version of it on Youtube …you have to play it! …and guess who is singing…

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Love's Pure Clear Light!-It's Christmas Time!

Just yesterday I wrote bout the Snaan and that’s the great thing bout this here land and really the universal space we call earth is when one festival of prayer ends yet another begins. The Snaan of Kartik that is ...is more or less the last festival on the Hindu calendar for this year it kinda ends up or overlaps into the Hindu New Year that is heralded in with Diwali and closes off the holy month of Kartik with well a splash! :)But the good thing bout our here land is as I just said well we always have plenty an opportunity to pray. When one religion’s festivities end another one is yet to begin. Cause in this land of multi-ethnicity CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE! I wasn’t quite ready to be going on about all the ring and jing-a-ling-ling in fact some were saying to me Scrooge is back! Cause I’ve not been feeling into the Christmas spirit so far and all of that! But love’s pure clear light prevailed! Cause here is what happened to your blogger kinda author…

I am on Intent as you all for sure by now will know…and well there is a member on there who goes by the name Clear Light…but all day today I’ve been thinking bout Love’s Pure Clear Light! Seriously I know I sound like I’ve just gotten my wings and all but it’s what is been going on…for real! I’ve been only thinking bout surrendering to the universe and stuff and having its way be done…and thinking bout it over and over and more so feeling the feeling of it! And I keep visualizing myself just bowing just like the pic that is up on Intent for Deepak Chopra’s I take the Vow of Non-Violence thingy which by the way I’ve so far not taken…but a fitting image is like how on Intent that man is bowing on the pic for that post except I more see it too with like those bleeding hearts or with those glowing hearts like you see in some angel pics! :) And I keep remember on that community there is a member already called Clear Light and I’m not friends with her…hmm…I should spot her an invite?! But really Love’s Pure Clear Light…and Thy Way Be Done…and me just bowing and surrendering to the Universe!

So I did it ….I searched Love’s Pure Clear Light on the web! And BANG! Christmas spirit is back Scrooge is melted! Guess what I find it seems in that carol or hymn…’It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’ there is some or all of the words- love, pure, clear light in there! :) And I stumbled on this site that plays the music in the background and has the lyrics and who composed it! Here are the lyrics as posted on that site-http://www.cyberhymnal.org! Followed by some cool and different versions and slants of it as found on the YOUTUBE ! ENJOY! And “Peace on the earth, good will to men...well and women and children and animals of course!" :)And the trees! :) And the wind...OK you get the point! After all I just said my ode to water just yesterday!

Words: Edmund H. Sears, in the Christian Register (Boston, Massachusetts: December 29, 1849), volume 28, number 52, page 206. Sears is said to have written these words at the request of his friend, W. P. Lunt, a minister in Quincy, Massachusetts; the hymn was first sung at the 1849 Sunday School Christmas celebration.
Music: Carol, Richard S. Willis, Church Chorals and Choir Studies, 1850 (MIDI, score). Alternate tune: Noel, arranged by Arthur S. Sullivan, 1871 (MIDI, score)

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever over its Babel sounds
The bless├Ęd angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.
And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever circling years
Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kartik Snan, Kartik Snaan or Kartik Nahan? Either Way an Ode to the Great Element Water!

The Temple in the Sea, Waterloo, Trinidad-The temple itself above and a statue in bay in honour of the Goddess Ganga.

Some people transliterate the Hindi to English spelling as Snan some Snaan. I think here in Trinidad and Tobago it is usually transliterated as Snaan. Then some say Nahan...I was speculating it maybe be the Bhojpuri word for the same thing but today I found out that in Zoroastrianism they also refer to a 'Nahan' which is a ritual bath. So all in all what's in a word but they are all talking bout this festival in Hinduism where the great element of Water is worshiped in the Hindu month of Kartik that normally falls between October and November!And I feel 'The Ancient's' concept of elements as Earth, Wind, Fire and Water is as noteworthy as the modern day scientific coining. And really the human body is made up of 80% water some say and anyone who followed my kinda raw journey on one of my other blogs would know just how much you realise you need water and how little you need lots of food when you eat raw or even kinda raw. So I think our need for water when we eat in the purest way is far greater than that of food itself. However this festival kinda makes me scared too...and perhaps rightfully so and I'm not just some scaredy cat. I'm not afraid of the water as much as some I'd think...like I'm a good enough swimmer and I work in an offshore environment. I've been swimming since my early teens and I'm not afraid of being on the sea etc. Nor do I get sea sick. However ever since I was a child there was something bout the sea and perhaps great rivers but I've not experienced those as much as seas since I live and grew up on an island in the sea! There was something bout their enormity...their power...that made me feel so small so alone so powerless...so infinitesimally little compared to their greatness. At times you are in awe at times it is simply fear and at times you are simply unaware and even at other times you play with it and dance with it! Hinduism was first practised in India/Bharat and so there the odes to the great element took the form of the great rivers...Ganga, Jamuna, Saraswati with Ganga earning the most praise. And so she is worshiped on this festival day in some forms of the festival in different parts of the Hindu world and in Trinidad and Tobago and neighbouring Guyana. In different parts other tales are involved with Kartik Snan but there are too numerous for me to go into here. I can say that in Trinidad and Tobago the festival is pretty big and it mostly centers around the worship of the Goddess Ganga. I guess Ganga is never too far from Shiv anyway as in Hindu tales he wrapped her up in his hair but it seems there is a tale too of Shiv conquering a rakshas (Hindu demon) on this day too. Tarkasur I believe...and isn't Ganga a force of Shakti so the whole Shiv Shakti thing is going on there. Interestingly in Trinidad the festival is more celebrated by the seas as there are where our biggest masses of water are...so interesting adaption of the Ganga form...but there is a statue of Ganga at the Temple in the Sea and I caught it today garlanded and all...reminds me of her in the Mahabharat tale taking the babies with her or of a lady about to drown herself...but I know it's meant as a worship to her and I mean no disrespect it is just what honestly runs through my head on seeing it...:

In Guyana on the other hand there are many big rivers and the country is mostly land locked so there in the same tradition as India the rivers are worshiped. A search on the web will easily find you footage of the festival in Trinidad and Tobago and world over. But here I just want to continue to reflect on WATER!

I already stated about how much we need it just as a fluid in our body but we also need it cause everything solid we eat also needs water to survive. We need water for everything! Yet water is also so powerful it can destroy us in one moment...think tsunami...think hurricane...think world sea level rise...think floods...It can be mankind's greatest enemy and it can be our greatest nourishment. You see I was right to be scared! I joked with a guy at a produced water conference (with my hat on as an engineer) that I strongly believe that soon we won't be worried bout finding oil we will be worried bout finding water...and water will be as valuable as oil is today. I know others share this view and I've seen at least one Kevin Costner starer that says as much...and I believe Shekhar Kapur's Paani is along similar lines...

Interestingly Hindu tales see Water in the form of Ganga in very much the same way...cause she was seen as a mother (is there any greater nourishing role?)...Maa Ganga...and at other times Shiv had to harness her in his hair cause she was so powerful she would destroy the earth! And in the Mahabharat what was really going on there...drowning the children and all of that (of course it is explained that she did it to free them from sin) and then sparing Bhishma on his father's begging...Ganga Putra....son of Ganga...making him brother to the other son Kartikeya who is fully celestial as he was not born partly of man as Bhishma. I guess in all of that sub plot upon sub plot the modern interpretation I can extract is she is as we can all see a great nourisher but also very powerful and can sometimes get very hasty! I myself have never took part in the rituals of the festival so far...and really found it hard to reach as to the significance but as part of Universal Collective Prayer the blog I've been striving to embrace and explore all forms of prayer as they occur. I guess it must make sense to worship the sea or the great rivers and sources of water though as they are so essential and also so potentially life threatening. But beyond all that I think deep down you can see the infinity of the divine in it all so vast so powerful and its presence does make you realise how much you are just this small part of a much much bigger whole!
So in closing I give in and I say Om Jai Ganga Mata! And I beg you to be merciful on us all!

Big Bay, Midway between Sans Souci and Balandra, Trinidad

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