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, August 28, 2009

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi 2009-Discovering the Global Ganesh!

Photo copyright of Meady's Musings Production

As you know I'm taking the prayers in a different direction from now on...with no necessary intent to cover all the religious festivals on especially if I covered them in the past...

But as you might recall here good all Ganapati is officially my Ishq Devata and so as the Hindu community globally celebrates the climax of Ganesh Chaturthi this weekend with a bang or should I say a splash I figure hey...you know....

Plus somehow I'm feeling nostalgic this evening on the prayers...looking back at the year gone by...I've played a lot with Ganesh on this blog for sure...Apart from just celebrating his official festival I shared his aarti my fav one and my fav version of it here. And so this evening I'll share it again...cause...it's my favourite! :)

But as I sing my fav aarti in nostalgia I also forge ahead...my sister in UCP, Adriana likes Ganesh too as you can see he featured strongly in her design of the newly launched logo...and I just have to have to share my newest find with everyone here on the prayers! :)

It's a celebration of Ganesh Globally! :)

Just check out this website and play,dance, enjoy! :) And if you can support his lovely project! :) Go on...Discover Ganesh Globally! :) The lady behind it seems to be touched with a bit of UCP for sure! :)

She is an artist- Shana Dressler and here is her official statement on the site-Discovering Ganesh:
Artist's Statement

"Imagine a community so poor its inhabitants live in tents fashioned out of tarps attached to public buildings and city walls. Yet as you walk through you see the residents have somehow scraped together enough money to commission a beautiful, eight-foot sculpture of their beloved elephant-headed god, Ganesh. This phenomenon struck me powerfully when I traveled to India to experience the Ganesh Festival and discovered the nation’s unrelenting love of the Hindu god known as the Remover of Obstacles. For the next four years, I dedicated each September to capturing the essence of this amazing event.

In Discovering Ganesh my aim is to create a museum exhibit that brings photography, video shorts, soundscapes, and artifacts together to communicate what was one of the most palpable experiences of spirituality I have ever felt; the 10-day celebration in India known as the Ganesh Chaturthi. For this festival devotees purchase hand-sculpted representations of Ganesh (some of them over 30 feet tall), and make daily offerings and prayers to Lord Ganesh. At the largest celebration in Mumbai, the festival culminates in an incredible, citywide procession in which tens of thousands of people parade their Ganesh idols around town and ultimately submerge them into the sea to ensure that Ganesh will return the next year.

The exhibit is designed to reflect the 360 degree experience of being in India during the celebration. During the Ganesh Chaturthi, communities and businesses set up mandips, shrine-like public installations, where visitors can see Ganesh often against a colorful background with other Hindu deities, living saints and historical figures. Sometimes these displays include elaborate mechanical shows, or light and audio shows, where at the end of a parable Ganesh emerges from a red curtain as the hero. Individual families also create shrines to Ganesh for display in their homes. I was often invited into people’s homes, offered India tea, or chai, which was followed by, “Where are you from? What is your name? Come see Lord Ganesh.” I have been to many other religious festivals around world, and I have never felt this sense of openness anywhere else.

I was also struck by the simultaneous seriousness and playfulness with which devotees depicted Ganesh. Some of the most poignant tableaux included a scene with Ganesh and scenes illustrating acts of terrorism including September 11th, as well as Ganesh carried on the shoulders of King Kong, a Ganesh statue made of Astroturf, and even a scene with Harry Potter on his magical broom. In the Judeo-Christian tradition representations of God follow certain rules of propriety. You'd never see Jesus on the shoulders of Godzilla or dressed in glittery pants. It was totally refreshing to see so many creative expressions of divinity. At the public level of the festival, there was no sense of wrongdoing or sacrilegious behavior just because you used a material as mundane as spices, dried fruit, or peacock feathers.

My exhibit is conceived to be a kind of guided mandip. A variety of media are used to engage viewers, but with a lot of context to help American viewers understand this kaleidoscope of stimuli. And the show is not just for those interested in Hinduism or even any form of spirituality. Regardless of religious or cultural background, universal questions will present themselves: “What obstacles would you like removed from your life? What would your life look like if you removed all of the everyday obstacles related to money, relationships, career, and health? What would it be like if everyone in your community was connected to something beyond the material world that gave deep meaning and purpose to their lives?” The exhibit simultaneously explores the significance of Ganesh and his place in the Hindu pantheon of deities, while encouraging viewers to ponder these questions whether through a cultural, religious, or personal lens.

My first year in India challenged many of my own preconceptions. When I referred to the Ganesh idols as “sculptures,” worshippers continually corrected me, “That is not a sculpture; that IS Lord Ganesh!” until I started to understand that incredible look of devotion and tenderness I was seeing. I wouldn’t describe it as awe. It’s a kind of deep, deep love. As soon as I realized that the devotees believed they were looking at God, I changed my photographic approach. I told myself, ‘Let me just try photographing this festival from their perspective. How can I get across the feeling of the divine in a photograph?’ Not wanting to rely on digital enhancement, I chose the depth and warmth of traditional film. In order to evoke this otherworldly, spiritually charged space I used slower shutter speeds—giving a sense of motion—indicating engagement between the spiritual and human worlds. Thematically, I sought out pictures where people were relating to the idol as divine.

My experiences in India working on this project have had a profound effect on my life. I see how important community is; how one can do something much greater in a group of likeminded people with a common goal than as an individual. Many people in India live a life of squalor by American standards, but in many of the poor communities that I saw, people are not in despair and isolated. They are not broken the way I’ve seen people in America’s inner cities who fall victim to drug addiction and violence. Whenever I hear people talking about poverty in India, I can’t help but think that psychologically and emotionally Indians are not the ones who are impoverished. They have a connection to the Divine that helps them to make sense of their suffering and to move beyond it so that they see meaning in their lives.

As a culture I think we obsess about what we think are our deficiencies and shortcomings. When I worked at top global advertising firms in my twenties, I saw many of the strategies employed in the most successful advertising and marketing campaigns. The largest profits were being made in the “fix-it” industries – fashion, weight loss, relationships, get rich quick gimmicks, etc. These strategies spoke to the customer's deepest suffering and insecurities and promised a quick remedy.

But truer remedies may appear if we simply ask ourselves “What do I feel called to do? What new life would reveal itself to me if I could see through the perceived mess called my life? – if I could remove all of the obstacles in my way?” I hope this project not only instructs participants about India’s religious and cultural contributions – using Ganesh as the entry point – but also engages them in planting seeds of an interior inquiry. I believe that would be the real discovery in “Discovering Ganesh.”"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dhyana (Gyan) Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga?

The other night as I asked you all if you had just >40 mins to spare you could sit and listen to the Supreme One lecture...I decided to myself...it wasn't the first time I heard/read the talk...and by the way I went on to the next episode and listened to the whole chat...I've conveniently attached the Youtube vid here for you again of the 2nd part of the chat...

So yep...made me wonder about something I've been wondering about since my early teens...dhyana (gyan) yoga, bhakti yoga, karma yoga? Which one...which one is the right way...is it that one way is right for you at one point in time...then another one at another time...or is it depending on your nature (prakriti) one way is best for you as oppose to another...or is it the age we in that matters...you know like how the Hare Krishnas and they say it's Kal Yug (the dark age) now and so Bhakti (love)yoga is the only way...? Plus my understanding is that Jesus's way was Bhakti Yoga mostly no? As for sure was Rumi's...

Well dunno...dunno...and sometimes when you hear the Supreme One teasing on you wonder if he is saying at one point in time all are the best like when he talks about each he does have a good way of making you believe that particular one is THE BEST you know! :) But then that is his prakriti (nature)! :)

I in my lesser prakriti still don't know... is why I've been saying this is my journey...this is my song...so I just keep trying to figure it out all the way long...

I think up to now on the prayers I've been singing and dancing in Bhakti Yoga...the path of love...love of God...love of Universe...love of mankind, animals and nature...so like the Hare Krishnas and Rumi of Sufi fame...I've been a Bhakti Yogi or well for gender correctness Yogini or like the Hare Krishnas like to say I would have been practicing perhaps Bhaktivedanta...

But what of these other paths...Dhyana Yoga or Gyan Yoga...the path of Knowledge...or Karma Yoga...the path of Action...it sounds like when I was hearing the Supreme One...well you can't have proper Karma Yoga without Dhyana Yoga cause you have to practice right action...the Supreme One in his talks saying we have to carry out action...but the best action is well...right action is better than bad action but the best action of all is when it becomes non-action...where we just do it for the sake of doing it...not caring about the outcome...so then it's like non-action...guess the equivalent of the New Age ...Going with the Flow theory...or like Deepak Uncle likes to talk about in his Least Effort theories?

But how do you know what it is your duty is? Like how do we know I mean Arjun knew cause the supreme one was telling him and according to the culture of the time and place in which the talk was being given well Arjun was a warrior so his duty was to fight according to the Vedic civilization's laws of war etc. back then...

So I guess for modern man or woman...in our case we need to find our right calling then go into it and practice it cause we must not caring what happens as a result of it...just do it cause we have to...I guess would be our Karma Yoga?

But for sure for us to find that thing we must do our duty we would need to utilize Dhayana Yoga and/or Bhakti Yoga to find it no? And if while doing this thing we must...we fall in love and dance in Universal Collective Prayer that should be cool too right...to practice Bhakti Yoga in combo with Karma Yoga? Hey why not?

So to me thus far I figure that's what the Supreme One is saying...all the Yogas combined is really the coolest if you can wing it! :)

Of course in Universal Collective Prayer anything can happen I mean...maybe while we are looking for our path...through Dhyana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga...the Supreme One will appear or communicate to us like he did with Moses and say...This is your path! :) Go forth now young man or not so young woman! :) Do it I say! :)

Anyway again this is just my thoughts...my journey...my song...I'm not trying to offend or corrupt any religion here nor to create my own...I'm just trying to learn from all...

Also I would love to hear other people's thoughts on their journeys, their songs...so if you want to share them here please do comment on my blog posts...or if you want to guest blog again...drop me a line at this email:
admin @ meadysmusings.com

Hey Come Join Me in Universal Collective Prayer! :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Krishna Janam ashtami to Krishna Janam ashtami-One Year Into the Prayers!

For sure our time here on the earthly plane does fly! Today is the Hindu festival of Krishna Janam ashtami and last year on this same auspicious festival I launched the prayers! :) It's not exactly 365 calendar days but in terms of Krishna Janam ashtami to Krishna Janam ashtami it is indeed one year! :) Indeed Krishna's birthday has come around again or at least according to staunch Hinduism the time when he appeared through Maya (illusion) to take form in the flesh but didn't really...he just hovered as energy and made all who was not as 'enlightened' enough believe he was of flesh...but aren't we all just energy...and according to him merge into him so there!:)

But even though those who saw him as flesh may not have been as englightened their hearts were filled with love...and on him they showered it in the form of Bhakti Yoga...and he said that was cool too you know! :) So today is really celebrated like that where everyone slips into Maya (enlightened or not) and welcomes a lovely baby boy! :)

And last year on the prayers I spoke about the festival...and celebrated in grand style at my home...but as I said in my welcome back to myself post a few days ago...this year on the prayers I'm not necessarily going to cover festivals especially if I did them previously...so this year I want to dig a bit deeper into the thing...So here it is...

Like all boys and girls he (Krishna)...he came here with a purpose (as we do too)and tonight on the prayers I share one of his grand purposes while here...his long lecture to Arjun...whom he liked to call Parth....this long lecture...also know as the beautiful song divine...The Bhagwat Gita!

I share his discourse in the form I like best...through the body of the actor in the BR Films (TV series)version of the Mahabharat I used to watch growing up...the production is in itself Universal Collective Prayer as Indians of all religions worked together to make it! :)

So it you can find just over 40 mins tonight to be lectured to by the supreme one...enjoy! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

I am Finally Back to Dance in Universal Collective Prayer!

I meant to be back much sooner than this but unfortunately just days after my vacation I got a flu...don't know if it was swine but it was bad none the less...but I'm recovered fully now...and was able to get my things in order..so now I'm back! It will take a while to build and feel the energy and love as strongly on here again but I hope to soon and to have you...dancing, singing, spinning, loving and surrendering in Universal Collective Prayer again in no time on here! :)

As we build the energy back this might be a good time to pause and not dance and seriously let you know a bit more about my thoughts behind the prayers...

You will see I have finally introduced that new banner at the top and a little logo at the bottom of the page. It was designed by my sister in Universal Collective Prayer- Adriana Ochoa and is meant to reflect what the prayers is all about. My idea is that there is a lot of spiritual talk out there on the planet in recent decades...people love to say they are spiritual and not necessarily religious...but all of us came from some religious origin...even if our parents were atheist we had grandparents perhaps who followed some religion...at least religion is out there and it for sure impacts us...yes for decades religion has been misused in so many ways by its leaders and followers...but why we only hear the bad side? I think it is wonderful all the rich and lovely religious heritages that are out there on the planet...and why can't we all just dance and share in it! :) In fact I feel that dancing energy building already! :) Yes there are different things in certain religions that make them different from others...some things cannot be reconciled...but there are also so many commonalities...and I believe it is possible to in essence dance in Universal Collective Prayer.

Here on the prayers I mostly try to embrace the commonalities...but I am just a human being like others visting the prayers and really this is also simply my humble journey into the prayers...I am merely dancing forth myself...this is my journey...this is my song...and sometimes my feet may stumble on a pebble...my toe can be pricked by a thorn! So I can only engage in Universal Collective Prayer in the best way I know how...I am from a hinducentric origin and so I will always be looking at the prayers from those eyes...but I am honestly trying here to find universality...this is not a blog about pushing any religion over another but it is however limited by the abilities of the human who is writing it...and so it will start from my eyes and spread from there...So far I find it easiest to embrace the other South Asian religions in origin that are very similar to Hinduism i.e. Buddhism and Jainism. However I also see and feel the dance in Sufism and to me the ultimate surrender for sure resides in Christianity especially in how it is expressed in Catholicism.

I continue to wish to learn more on the prayers though and comments and feedback are always welcomed. Also if someone wants to guest blog on a specific aspect of Universal Collective Prayer that they feel they would be good at...please contact me by emailing me at admin(@)meadysmusings.com

One more thing I should explain before I leave you tonight is that the reason the prayers...I wanted it to be collective is apart from the need to have universal prayer i.e. prayer across the religions I believe there should be collective prayer too. I write about this at the top (in the blog's description) to some extent...as in 2008 I took part in an event where candles/deeyas were being lit across the world...in the name of freedom...it was an event for something not against anything...it was not a protest but a prayer...and at the little local event I had...I really felt the power of it...I really felt there was indeed universal collective prayer...and so I wanted to continue that on here...the intention experiment is also a bit like that...and I have taken part in it before...

So I will continue with the prayers from now on as I see it on my journey...this is not necessarily a blog to capture all the religious festivals...and I've done quite a bit of that already since the inception of this blog...so you may start to see where I won't re-do a festival I covered before...doesn't mean I won't do festivals either...what I am saying is I will go wherever the universal dance takes me! :) And of course I want this to be collective so if my readers want me to cover something...let me know and I will try as best to show that dance here! :)

I can never only be all straight face and so I leave you tonight with some of the sights of my vacation. It was parts where I went on a journey into Universal Collective Prayer...taking shots of some of the churches in Santa Fe, New Mexico...especially noted here is how the Native Americans started to join in Universal Prayer as they embraced Christianity (I know some will say by force which can never been seen as good but surely some stayed cause they saw light in there too?) and below you will see the first Native American saint. And at the end of the pics you will see when Universal Collective Prayer gets so cheesy and cheeky...I guess only in America but they charge you too see a Miracle and then tell you can only take pictures for your personal use...it maybe a genuine miracle...I believe in 'em...but you will just see the external in the famous case of the Loretto chapel's staircase! :)As I play by the rules and will keep the staircase pics for my personal use only! In particular though I hope you look on in awe as I did at St. Francis and his doggie...aaawww! :)

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis Asisi

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