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

Friday, January 30, 2009


On this day that marks the day that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi-The Mahatma, Bapu, Father of a Nation = India left the earthly plane via the gun in the hand of Godse. I choose to explore the principles that were honed and practised by the Mahatma during his lifetime. For sure the Mahatma was an explorer of Universal Collective Prayer long before I decided to do the dance. He explored many of the world religions from what I've read about him.

When he was a child he grew up under the care of a staunch Hindu mother and in the midst of a vibrant Gujarati Jain community. Supposedly his mum made him vow before a Jain monk before he made his way to London to study that he would uphold the Hindu and I'm assuming also Jain principles that is best explained like this in this free online book-"MAHATMA GANDHI-His Life In Pictures" :

"The mother's objection to his going abroad was overcome by the son's solemn vow not to touch wine, women and meat." And I assume they meant engaging in sexual things with women other than his wife. Gandhi already being a married man at the time of his departure.

According to the book he was ex-communicated by his caste for as my people would put it crossing the kala paani. Historically I'm told my ancestors came to the Caribbean with the burden that they did like Gandhi and crossed the sea or as they called it the kala paani. So like my people and in the same 19th century as them Gandhi crossed the sea but instead he set sail for London, England.

Here's what the book goes on to say:
"In Bombay, his caste people, who looked upon crossing the ocean as contamination, threatened to excommunicate him if he persisted in going abroad. But Gandhi was adamant and was thus formally excommunicated by his caste. Undeterred, he sailed on September 4, 1888, for Southampton-aged eighteen. A few months earlier Kasturbai had borne him a son.

The first few days in London were miserable. "I would continually think of my home and country. . . Everything was strange-the people, their ways and even their dwellings. I was a complete novice in the matter of English etiquette, and continually had to be on my guard. There was the additional inconvenience of the vegetarian vow. Even the dishes that I could eat were tasteless and insipid."The food difficulty was solved when one day he chanced upon a vegetarian restaurant in Farringdon Street where he also bought a copy of Salt's Plea for Vegetarianism and was greatly impressed by it. Hitherto he had been a vegetarian because of the vow he had taken. From now on he became a vegetarian by choice. He read many more books on vegetarianism and diet and was delighted to discover modern science confirm the practice of his forefathers. To spread vegetarianism became henceforward his mission, as he put it."

So I'm glad he crossed the kala paani because it made him take up a cause dear to my heart and made it his mission to spread it! Thus a great advocate of vegetarianism was born and many a 'little one' possibly saved! :)

Of course that first epiphany was just the beginning of his journey into universal collective prayer! Here is what the book goes on to say:

"Towards the end of his second year in London, he came across two theosophist brothers who introduced him to Sir Edwin Arnold's translation in English verse of the Gita-The Song Celestial priceless worth. He was deeply impressed. "The book struck me as one of priceless worth. This opinion of the Gita has ever since been growing on me, with the result that I regard it today as the supreme book for knowledge of Truth. It has afforded me invaluable help in my moments of gloom."

About the same time a Christian friend whom he had met in a vegetarian boarding house introduced him to the Bible. He found it difficult to wade through the Old Testament which put him to sleep, but he fell in love with the New Testament and specially with the Sermon on the Mount. He also read Sir Edwin Arnold's rendering of Buddha's life-The light of Asia-as well as the chapter on the Prophet of Islam in Carlyle's Heroes and Hero Worship. The attitude of respect for all religions and the desire to understand the best in each one of them were thus planted in his mind early in life."

So there you have it his big jump into the dance of Universal Collective Prayer. It would be the beginning or a wonderful journey into exploring and putting into practice universal collective prayer by honouring and practising the teachings of many of the world's great religions. It was no doubt this dance that made him hone and develop the principles of satyagraha that I am trying to learn more about and perhaps put into action in my own daily life dances. Here is a really great definition of its concepts that I found on this site-
"Basic Concepts of Satyagraha: Gandhian Nonviolence:
from the APT Nonviolence Trainer's Manual.

I. "Sat" --- which implies openness, honesty, and fairness: Truth.

A) Each person's opinions and beliefs represent part of the truth.

B) In order to see more of the truth we must share our truths cooperatively.

C) This implies a desire to communicate and a determination to do so, which in turn requires developing and refining relevant skills of communication.

D) Commitment to seeing as much of the truth as possible means that we can not afford to categorize ourselves or others.

II. "Ahimsa" --- refusal to inflict injury on others.

A) Ahimsa is dictated by our commitment to communication and to sharing of our pieces of the truth. Violence shuts off channels of communication.

B) The concept of ahimsa appears in most major religions, which suggests that while it may not be practiced by most people, it is respected as an ideal.

C) Ahimsa is an expression of our concern that our own and other's humanity be manifested and respected.

D) We must learn to genuinely love our opponents in order to practice ahimsa.

III. "Tapasya" --- willingness for self-sacrifice.

A) A satyagrahi (one who practices satyagraha) must be willing to shoulder any sacrifice which is occasioned by the struggle which they have initiated, rather than pushing such sacrifice or suffering onto their opponent, lest the opponent become alienated and access to their portion of the truth become lost.

B) The satyagrahi must always provide a face-saving "way out" for the opponents. The goal is to discover a wider vista of truth and justice, not to achieve victory over the opponent."

That is quite a bit to taken in as a lesson! But it is amazing how much it rings through in anything in our life! A lot like the Desiderata really but even more challenging in terms of the actions it suggests on the experimenter. Those who follow my blogs would know I work full-time as an engineer and am only a part time blogger. Reading about Satyagraha makes you realise how useful a tool it can even be in finding engineering solutions! For sure an amazing tool for communicating with anyone about anything!

So as I continue on this dance that is Universal Collective Prayer I will continue to keep my readers updated as to how this new experiment of satyagraha progresses! No doubt I must to some extent already embrace or try some of it some of the time...but now I will be consciously following it as a principle and assessing how it goes like how you should do with any true experiment...collecting the data...but it is an experiment in life not in science so don't expect charts and reports just feelings and moods and storytelling after all this is a dance not a laboratory!
Besides I'm sure the Spirit in the Sky or the Akashic recorders are taking note! :)

And I leave you with one of the fav tunes of the great proponer of all this great Satyagraha business...one of the Mahatma's favs- Allah Tero Naam Ishwar Tero Naam Sab Ko Sanmati De Bhagwan/Raghupati Raghav Raja Raam! And whereever you are great one thank you Mahatma Gandhi Ji! Thank for you experimenting with Universal Collective Prayer! Thank you for being an advocate of vegetarianism and saving perhaps the lives of many a little one! Thank you for Satyagraha! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Pundit Parasram School for Hinduism

On Sat(10 Jan 09) last I had the pleasure of attending the opening of The Pundit Parasram School of Hinduism at its new permanent location at the Exchange Shiv Mandir, Exchange, Couva Trinidad. The school has been running out of various make shift locations for sometime now and has finally found its permanent home. The school is named after my grandfather that I speak often about on this blog and whose picture is at the top of my Makar Sankranti post I did before this one. And yes I did have the kichari... and yes perhaps in some cosmic sense he did too. The newly constructed building that will house the school was largely driven by a nephew of my grandfather who also considers him like a father more than just an uncle as he had so much of an impact on his life and contribution to it as he grew up. He on the whole has for over a decade now been working on re-furbishing the old original dirt mandir and the expanding and building on it as seen in photos below. My mum tells me in olden days the original dirt mandir used to have a river or stream of some sort running right next to it and she has very fond memories of visiting there.

The school was founded by my uncle...my grandfather's son. The event's itinerary did not go in exact order but most of the items happened nonetheless with the exception of the 'Greetings from the Pundit Parishad of the S.D.M.S.' since no one showed up from that body.

As I often said at the start up of this blog and I will maintain now, this blog is not about bashing but only about prayers, so I won't go into the affairs of that body that sent no one...but it was and still is the first body that my ancestors formed as Indians and Hindus on the island and my grandfather along with many others like the Pundit I said farewell to in this post, Pundit Basdeo Misir and the business man Bhadase Sagan Maharaj would have been the ones whose blood, sweat and tears the organization was birthed and built on, and as a result of it today there are a plethora of schools for educating our children in secular things but through the Hindu way. Recently on the local parliament station we have here that runs simultaneously on radio and TV I heard of the life story of Chanka Maharaj whom not a practising pundit at the time nor an academic but a self taught man and one of the few Indian voices in parliament at the time championed the cause for many things Indian and non-Indian and Hindu and non-Hindu as well. It was a beautiful story to hear! Anyway so now back to the night's proceedings...

The Indian High Commission to Trinidad and Tobago had a representative-Shri Santosh K. Mishra present who shared some thoughts on Hinduism and pledged support to the school in the form of books needed for the library e.g. Srimad Bhagwat Gita, Ramcharitamanas and others.

It was announced that the library would be set up on the second floor of the building and would be named the Pundit Dr. Samsundar Parasram Library after my late uncle who was the eldest son of my grandfather and a local expert in the area of Jyotish and a well known pundit and also well known in university and scientific research in agriculture in the Caribbean. If a music school fully emerged out of the school it would be named the Surasatee School of Music to honour the memory of my late grandmother whose name was Surasatee and the wife of Pundit Parasram. Her father my great grandfather was Omkar Maharaj and I understand he was very fond of music himself and a musician among other things...I hear he even put on the little village play now and then so perhaps his blood runs strong in my veins and is what inspired me to do Me Eat Manicou? and not just the manicou? But seriously I recall my grandmother telling us stories about how her childhood home was always filled with music and she was always thrilled when we tried to learn different instruments! I can't say I mastered or stuck with any myself though! There is another story that one of the reasons my great grandfather came on the boat all the way to Trinidad from Delhi is because he was a musician in a court there and had fell out of graces with the king...but I dunno for sure...but we do know he was from Delhi and he was into music. He also ran a small shop at some point in the village.

Pundit Dr. Samsundar Parasram

So anyway let me take you back to the school again...The Pundit Parasram School for Hinduism that is. The school hopes to run as follows as I briefly quote some bits from it's prospectus that was also launched that night:

To train students in basic beliefs and practices of Hinduism in Trinidad and Tobago


(i) To establish and maintain a center for the training of students.

(ii) To establish a faculty comprised of persons familiar with the practice of
Hinduism in T&T.

(iii)To maintain a library of relevant Hindu literature.

(iv)To host public lectures, symposia and workshops on Hinduism.

(v)To host a website and publish information on Hinduism.

I understand and this is not nepotism or anything after all I do already hold these prayers here and maintain two other blogs- Meady's Musings and Books and Films Corner and a main website (although I've not done work on it since my Tibet event)so I think I'm well qualified. And so I've been asked to help out with objective (v) above and will keep you informed as to how things go with that. If I see it my way I hope to let that spring into a course on Hinduism in the world of online multimedia and perhaps another course on Hinduism and Theatre.

After the official part of the event was over I was able to meet with the representative from the Indian High Commission- Santosh Mishra and his family. I invited him to the prayers on here and he says if I spot him an email he will check it out. Of course I also told him how I re-blog my posts onto Intent of course I had to use the name Deepak Chopra to get bells ringing! :) Anyway I will be spotting Mr. Mishra an email and I know it is the job of diplomats to well be diplomatic but really he, his wife and daughter seemed really nice and warm and I hope to see him on here on the prayers! :)Nice meeting you and your family Shri Mishra Ji! :)

Also present was the current head of the IRO-Inter Religious Organization of Trinidad and Tobago which for sure have been promoting similar ideals of Universality of Religion long before my Universal Collective Prayer. The current head is also of the Hindu faith and plans to work with the Pundit Parasram School of Hinduism. He is Pundit Brahmdeo Maharaj as seen in pic below:

On a different note I have to say that I did have that kichari on the day of Makar Sankranti and here is a pic of my plate! :) And I will share the recipe soon over on Meady's Musings but will be sure to notify those of you here on the Prayers when I do so! :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blessed Makar Sankranti!

My grandfather sitting as he did on his chair where all came to chat and seek advice. Dressed all in white and sporting his ever famous Gandhi cap that would have had him mistaken for a member of parliament had he been in India! I (in T shirt and black jeans) with a cousin on the other side.Picture taken sometime around 1997 or abouts.

Today the Hindu world celebrates Makar Sankranti in myriads of forms and fashions depending on where in India and the rest of the world it is celebrated. The festival culturally is expressed in different ways from state to state in India and is to mark various things in Hinduism and Vedic Astrology. However here are three of the things that stand out about the festival to me and I don't really celebrate it but if I did I'd like to embrace these three things:

As described on this site-Vedic Mission:

'1. Another well-known reference of this day came when the great grandsire of Mahabharata fame, Bhishma, declared his intent to leave his mortal coil on this day. He had the boon of Ichha-Mrityu from his father, so he kept lying on the bed of arrows till this day and then left his mortal coil on Makar Sankranti day. It is believed that the person, who dies during the period of Uttarayana, becomes free from transmigration. So this day was seen as a sure-shot Good Luck day to start your journey or endeavors to the higher realms beyond. '

'2. Have a special session of Meditation, wherein you bring about the awareness of the self-effulgent subjective divinity. Affirm the greatest importance of your spiritual goal very clearly, and pray to God to bless you with the capacity to constantly revel in your true self. May the graph of your rise like the Uttarayana Sun. May there be greater 'Love & Light' in your life & the world.'

'3. Have the lunch of Khichiri. This stands for inculcating simplicity in your life & habits.'

And of course you might want to know why although some of it might be obvious. Well I think Bhishma was a man or principle and ethics generally speaking. He made his vow and he stuck by it...thick and thin...it would be grand if we could all be so steadfast in pursuit of our goals and be able to set our intents so strongly and follow up on them...perhaps then we too would be able to decide when we should
not only leave this mortal coil but whence we should re-enter it too! :)

Well I think the second one on the list would be pretty obvious for anyone who follows my writing as they will know I'm always quoting Shakespeare's 'To thine ownself be true!' and always wishing that there be light and that we can all find or continue to find love and its pure, clear, light! :)

As for the third one those who follow my writing may know of my journey into the world of raw or semi-raw foods and that I am vegetarian. What they may not know is one of my fav meals ever and I used to in particular love having it together with my Grandfather (see pic above)when he was alive is: Dhal Kichari, Aloo Chokha and Tomato Choka! So I so wish I could have been home tomorrow for lunch to have that...perhaps I can still do it for dinner. And perhaps I will be sharing it in spirit with my gramps. For those who may not know what those dishes are...it is dhal (Usually yellow dhal in my case) mixed with equal amounts of rice and boiled together and then seasoned. Choka is kinda when you boil something or roast it (in the case of eggplant) i.e. you cook the vegetable and then you crush it up and season it. Aloo of course is potato in English. I promise to share my mum's recipe for dhal kichari, aloo chokha and tomato chokha tomorrow! But for now I hope all of you in whatever form or fashion enjoy or make good of the auspicious time of Makar Sankranti! And I leave you with Bhishma from the Mahabharat as he lies on the bed of arrows.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Farewell Pundit Basdeo (Vasudev) Misir!

Tonight Universal Collective Prayer takes a more somber and respectful note as we salute one of the pioneering pundits of Trinidad and Tobago as he leaves the material plane and remains only in spirit for how long we don't ourselves know. Perhaps he will become one with 'the Universe' forever or perhaps only temporarily so, until he again takes a material form to join us on this plane. At 95 years of age he would have lived through many of the milestones that marked the foundation of Hinduism in Trinidad and Tobago. He would have no doubt worked alongside my grandfather, Pundit Parasram (Parsuram)Maharaj who was simply known as 'Baba' by many on the island and would have been 94 years this February if still on the material plane but departed it in 2004. So basically Pundit Misir and he would have experienced many similar times on the island and in the history of Hinduism on it.

Some members of my family attended funeral rites for Pundit Misir today which took place at the Shore of Peace, Mosquito Creek, Trinidad. However I do not have enough details at the tip of my fingers to write more about him just yet. However I wanted to mark this day.

My inability to just google up info. makes me realize how little there is here on the world wide web about my ancestors and so I plan to do some research about the Pundit and write a longer post soon to commemorate his life. I hope to find many stories this Saturday when I attend a function of the Pundit Parasram School for Hinduism that one of my uncles has set up in memory of his father...my grandfather.

My overall intent (I guess what over on Intent.com would be called my primary intent) for Universal Collective Prayer is and always was to 'play' with all people in the universe and bring them together to dance in Universal Collective Prayer. However I've been realizing like today that I also need to at times recall, reflect, remember or take note of the people who if it wasn't for I'd not be able to make this dance in the first place. So I need to at times give them a bit of my bandwidth too! :) Cause if they didn't set the foundations for Hinduism from which my dance started there would be no dance from me on here.

Of course we all have our own paths to take too so my prayers may not be like how they envisioned it back in their day and my intent is not and never was to disrespect these people or others when I mention them or draw from their traditions and mix it with mines here on the prayers.

So I will soon write more about Pundit Misir. Till then I do a send off to the Pundit on his departure from this material plane in keeping with his religious traditions. I did not know him well personally but I know he was well loved by his family and many who will surely miss him here on the material plane. He also had a large following of 'chelas'* to whom he was a beloved guru and so his guidance, compassion and seva* here on the material plane will also be missed by them. So here I choose a track that I requested be played at my grandfather's send off cause I knew he liked the tune and in particular its lyrics so I hope it will also be fitting for the send off by Pradeep-Dekh tere sansar ki halat kya ho gayi bhagwaan kitna badal gaya insaan...Look at what has happened to your world, O god. Man has changed so much:

Here is a link to a picture of the late Pundit as it appears in a local newspaper here in Trinidad. He is receiving an award to commemorate his seva* to the local Hindu community here in Trinidad.

*my Hinglish version as I pluralize the word 'chela' which is used in Hinduism to mean someone who follows Hinduism fervently or who follows one spiritual master or guru
*seva roughly translates to selfless service to man.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Close of My Santa Poll...

Today being the last day of the Advent season also bringS my Santa poll to close. So as we take down the Christmas decorations I thought I'd give you the results of the poll.

I asked the question:

"Do You Believe in Santa Claus?"

to my readers allowing them to choose one response only of the following:


I created the poll on Sat 6 Dec 2008 to compliment my post 'Do You Believe in Santa Claus?- Saint Nicholas Day' which I posted to commemorate Saint Nicholas Day and to join in Universal Collective Prayer with the great Saint who acted out his Universal Collective Prayer by giving gifts to children. I wanted to make his name unsullied from the commercialism that had done so while still embracing the fact that many American traditions that may have gone on to sully his name had also made him into the image he now is and perhaps preserved him so long too. So not all is bad in Americana and commercialism cause perhaps not for that the saint would be dead to our brain's memory although perhaps still in our superconscious hearts or soul...but as the American iconography keeps him so real it also reminds us of him much like iconography in Hinduism and in so doing perhaps opens us up a bit more to his spirit than if he had no form. You see giving him a form keeps him real to us on this material plane as much as an image of Baby Krishna stealing ghee does for opening up the heart of the Bhakti Yogi...one who practises pure love to reach enlightenment. So for this I salute the American Santa Claus! And in so doing I give you the results of the poll:

Out of 11 persons casting their vote here on Universal Collective Prayer...cause others did vote on Intent. Here is the break down:

Yes = 7 votes (63%)
No = 1 vote (9%)
Maybe = 3 votes (27%)

So the 'I s' have it! YES WE BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS! :)

And because we do and it is the last day of the season...as you take down your stockings or tree I give you this tune to hum to one last time:

And this to ponder on...

Happy Epiphany Day!

Will post more later...for now just enjoy for the fifth and final time of the Advent season as we say goodbye...

We Three Kings! They're having such fun!:)

Hi again! I couldn't finish this post off this morning before work but I wanted to have it up early instead of posting on the evening...so I've now come to finish it off...

I had the most fun this Advent season with those Three Kings and for sure the YouTube video I have up today to celebrate them one last time was my fav this season and so it makes its grand 5th appearance on my blog today! Again what fun they are having! :) Maybe because this year as I plan to get my own video equipment and do some of my own vids on Youtube I will do my own praise video thanking Hugh and they for this as my Advent gift to them in 2009! :)

It's sad to say goodbye to the season but as is said in the Holy Bible to everything there is a season...

'To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.'

-ecclesiastes 3:1-8

And as this season closes I look forward to participating in Universal Collective Prayer from all traditions as they come up...I think the next big event for me will be the Hindu time of reflection and inward search through meditation of Maha Shiv Ratri...and then I will be sitting in awe at the feet of my guru-Shiv.

But for now I give it one last dance with the great men three! In Hindu tales there are always three too...so many times in Hinduism we have the three wise men ...the holy trinity... take form as incarnate ones...Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh.. Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer.Who knows maybe it was they who took form and came from the East to see the babe? Cause in the Holy Bible no one knows their details...and like in Greek tales in Hindu ones when the great ones take form it can be in any disguise under that sky...so maybe they just appeared in magic coats saw the babe (in Hinduism this is called 'Dharshan') and then just as magically they disappeared away from Herod's sight!?

But here is what the Bible does say about the Great Men Three....

'The Visit of the Magi- Matthew Chapter 2 verse 2 to 21

2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magia from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christc was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for out of you will come a ruler

who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’d”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the easte went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Egypt

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”a

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,

weeping and great mourning,

Rachel weeping for her children

and refusing to be comforted,

because they are no more.”b

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.” '

So today in humble Universal Collective Prayer I surrender to the Universe and besiege:

As I ask on bended knee
Of these Magi Three
Protect the children
Let them not be harmed
Even though there is now war in the land
Where once a child fled from an evil man
If you must great men three
Appear once more for me
Don again your magic coats so bright
And guide us to that perfect light!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Early Close of My Advent Calendar on My Other Blogs...by My Definition at Least!

This is just a post to let all my readers know that I closed off my Advent Calendar earlier than planned...well by my definition of it at least...cause I had defined it as ending after the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' which would have been on Tue 6 Jan 09. However let's face it in the modern world when people hit New Year's day it's all bout the resolutions for many and really Christmas and Advent ends once people go fully back out to work. And like this year cause Mon is the first Monday in January and clearing New Year's day and the day after (usually a recovery day for some)everyone is going to hit the pavement hard stomping off to conquer the world supposedly? So for all intents and purposes I need to come to the reality that Christmas is through...but here on my Universal Collective Prayer I will continue to speak about the 'Three Wise Men' and trumpet them off on Tue 6 Jan 09 especially since Epiphany celebrations still today is a big event in many cultures and celebrated worldwide in Christianity.

Also I am ending it early cause on a personal level I was all tired out...and really on New Year's Day I was re-borned so was tough for me too to go back! :) However the Three Wise Men followed me into this life and so I will have a longer departure time with them and only say goodbye to them on the 6th of Jan! :)

Best Wishes and hope you all had a lovely Christmas/Advent season and look forward to celebrating it again with you next year and to other festivals and seasons as they come along in this 'Great Big Blue Marble' called Planet Earth!:)

And I leave you with a You Tube clip I've shared in the past that was the introduction to a children's TV show when I was growing up that was aimed at kid's understanding cultures globally. I remember it being on Saturdays here in Trinidad. It was an American TV show but showcased kids from all over the world. You can read more about the show on wikipedia at this link.And I share it in the hope that in this New Year, 2009, me and readers from all over the world will get closer...and perhaps I will even start to hear more from them on here too...comments welcomed! :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Advent Calendar:HAPPY NEW YEAR!-Morning has Broken...

I always associated the song 'Morning Has Broken' with Cat Stevens well before he became known as Yusuf. And only cause it was playing before my heart this morning in song and in the visualization of fresh, white roses blooming did I decide to research and explore it as part of my journey into Universal Collective Prayer...and I have now found out that it is indeed a Christian hymn...so it makes it most appropriate for us to open this New Year's Day with as we take part in Universal Collective Prayer! :)

A bit about the song's origin from Wikipedia:

'"Morning Has Broken" is a favorite and well-known Christian hymn, especially popular in children's services. Pop and folk singer Cat Stevens included an acoustic version on his 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat. It became a signature song for Stevens when it reached number 6 on the US pop chart and #1 on the US adult contemporary chart in 1972.[1]

The hymn originally appeared in the second edition of Songs of Praise (published in 1931), to the tune "Bunessan", arranged by the composer Martin Shaw. In Songs of Praise Discussed, the editor, Percy Dearmer, explains that, as there was need for a hymn to give thanks for each day, English poet and children's author Eleanor Farjeon had been "asked to make a poem to fit the lovely gaelic tune". The original poem can be found in the anthology Children's Bells, under Farjeon's original title, "A Morning Song (For the First Day of Spring)", published by Oxford University Press in 1957.

"Bunessan" had been found in L. McBean's Songs and Hymns of the Gael, published in 1900.[2] Before Farjeon's words, the tune was used as a Christmas carol, which began "Child in the manger, Infant of Mary", translated from the Gaelic lyrics written by Mary MacDonald.[3] The English-language Roman Catholic hymnal also uses the tune for the hymn, "This Day God Gives Me".

Writing credit for "Morning Has Broken" has occasionally been erroneously attributed to Stevens, who popularized the song abroad. The familiar piano arrangement on Stevens' album was performed by Rick Wakeman, a classically trained keyboardist with the English progressive rock band Yes. In 2000, Wakeman released an instrumental version of "Morning Has Broken" on an album of the same title. That same year, he gave an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live in which he said he had agreed to perform on the Cat Stevens track for £10 and was "shattered" to be omitted from the credits, adding that he never received the money either.

The familiar piano intro and general structure of the piece may be attributed to Stevens or to Wakeman. Although some sources report that the song was released on Floyd Cramer's 1961 album Last Date, discographies of the artist demonstrate that the song is not on that album. In fact, Cramer did not record the song until 1972, when he used the arrangement that he attributed to Cat Stevens.[4]

The song has been recorded by numerous other artists, including Judy Collins, Michael Card, Floyd Cramer (twice), Dana, Neil Diamond, Art Garfunkel, Joe Longthorne, Nana Mouskouri, Aaron Neville, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, Sister Janet Mead, Roger Whittaker and Ellen Greene recently on Pushing Daisies.

In November 2008, the Teaser and the Firecat CD was re-issued in a deluxe version which includes the original demo of Morning Has Broken.'

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day

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