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

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Advent Calendar 2011:Christmas Day

Image burrowed from this site. Please let us know if we cannot use it and we will take it down.

During our Advent calendar times here on UCP we often consider the relationship between the Christ child, humans and animals. It always seems to us that this is so much a theme in the Christmas story and ironic then that the festival is celebrated by many by eating animals for lunch and dinner on the day itself and days prior.

Of course over on our sister blog Meady's Musings the human and animal story is very evident as we often tell the Christmas Adventures of the Purple Elephant and the little mouse. But even the original Christmas story so filled with animals. We have explored the relationship with animals and Jesus Christ of Nazareth before during our Easter blog postings. Consider this blog where we asked what about the feelings of the donkey as Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday:

The Holy Week: Palm Sunday

Excerpts from that blog post:

"...What of the donkey? To me as a Hindu all through the stories I hear of Jesus the Christ’s life I wonder about the animals that surround him…to me these stories are filled with animals from cradle to crave! I mean there were camels, sheep, cows and donkeys at his birth, fishing expeditions, snakes (I think?) as he made his way in life and now here he was about to be crucified and he is riding in to it on a donkey. And as a Hindu looking on at this I can’t help wondering about the connection to the animals and how they feel about all of this. You see from my Hindu perspective I see it that all the animals are also with soul and part of the Universal spirit…so to me I keep thinking of how they would have felt to be surrounded by such an enlightened spirit that was embodied in the flesh of Jesus the Christ while he was on planet earth. However I’m sure Christians must see it differently and so it must be noted this is just my point of view being shared with…no malice…no spite…and certainly no disrespect but just plain enquiry from where I stand in the journey!

So for the intent of my story I shall proceed to name this donkey upon which Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. I shall name him Sam…don’t ask me why but it is just what pops into my head as I keep seeing him before me…I don't perceive him as a talking donkey a la 'Donkey' from 'Shrek' but more that his spirit can communicate on a more subtle level with the spirit of Jesus...So as Sam walks into Jerusalem's gate with Jesus on his back he feels it...he knows this is the week it will all end...but at the same time his donkey hairs stand on end to know that is part of something bigger than him...something on a grand scale Universally!:)

In terms of Jesus' interaction with the donkey, Sam as they had traveled to Jerusalem I feel it would have been a very loving one...he would have been gently stroking him and stopping frequently on the journey for Sam to rest, drink and eat...he would have recalled too how another donkey took his mother, the Holy Virgin Mary to the manger for him to be born some more than thirty years before...and at that moment he would have perhaps recalled how he was about to go beyond his earthly maternal ties and make a sacrifice on a bigger Universal scale...although it would no doubt hurt his mother on the material plane very much!

And now as he sat upon Sam the donkey at the gates of Jerusalem he again touched the animal's mane lovingly and in that moment connecting with the animals spirit feeling both his fear and awe...He would have alighted from the donkey Sam and come before his face...caressing his snout in both his arms and explaining to him through divine connection that...Sam, the donkey should fear not for he would one day be liberated from the earthly plane and he would a greater spirit be for accompanying him on this journey!:)..."

So now let's look at all the animals in the Christmas story in more detail. First of all let's list all of them as much as possible:

1. The donkey that Mary and Joseph were riding
2. The camels that the wise men were riding...possibly three
3. Oxen not sure how many
4. There was bound to be sheep in a place like that right? With all the shepherds and everything

There may certainly have been more animals and I understand there may have even been a snake at Herod's court but generally these are the main ones that usually make up the Nativity scene i.e. the creche.

So how so you think these animals felt on this night? The night that the Christ child was born and then when into the dawn many came to see him?

Did they feel his divine presence just like how Sam the donkey in our Palm Sunday story felt it?

And we here at UCP wish you a happy and holy Christmas filled with divine blessings as we leave you to contemplate on this. Merry Christmas everybody! :)

And we leave you with even more to contemplate on as the Cherry tree bends to the Divine will in this which is one of our fav Christmas carols by Joan Baez.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent Calendar 2011:The Christmas Eve Prayer!

All the animals came over from "The Christmas Adventures of the Purple Elephant and the little mouse" over on our sister blog to join Brother Greg in the Christmas Eve prayer! And here is how the prayer was said:

"Gracious and loving God: With hearts filled with gratitude for the endless ways you come to us, and love us, we again remember your greatest journey - being born in humility, as a child among us. Your birth into our world brought us light, love, peace and joy, and they are eternal gifts. This Christmas, may your Son once again be born into the hearts of your people. Make us instruments of your peace, and bring us to a deeper awareness of your unconditonal love this season.

Merry Christmas from UCP and from all the animals over at the Meady's Musings Production House!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Advent Calendar 2011: A Christmas Prayer!

We have been so asunder this year that even on a blog entitled Universal Collective Prayer after already opening the Advent calendar late...we OMG! forgot the Advent calendar opening prayer! We surrender on to the Divine and beg for forgiveness and we didn't even ask Bro Greg to come say the prayer but as a result we shall contact him for our Christmas Eve mass prayer for sure!

Now in our lateness we had to take inspiration from the little mouse who is on his Christmas Adventures next door on our parent blog Meady's Musings. So here is the mouse's Advent calendar Christmas prayer!

"Dear Lord although I may but a little mouse be
You well know that I let little scare me
Apart from those cats of course
And even then I just surrender to you as the divine source
And although the start of this Advent calendar maybe late
It won't affect what will be on any of my guest's Christmas Eve dinner plate

You know better than I great spirit that in the Universal sense of things we are all one
And so please don't let my Christmas plans be undone
You see the owner of the house was late to open the Advent calendar
But she must not be blamed for such a blunder
As her world I'm told was a bit asunder

So let's now work together
To make this Christmas the best one ever
Keep the cats at bay
And let all our house guests enjoy their stay
This dear Lord is my Advent calender opening prayer!"

And speaking of prayer we here at UCP would like to ask you to take a moment and reflect on the year gone by so far and ask you to look within and consider what is your Christmas prayer? For now and for the New Year?

And with that we leave you with this lady singing about her grown up Christmas prayer or wish or list well all the same no?! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advent Calendar 2011: The Opening and Happy St. Nicholas Day!

We at the Meady's Musings Production House have left many a story untold this year and many a blog post unfinished and unposted! You our readers must realize it really was never our intent! However we were just too taken up with travelling to different lands and putting on real live blog displays on UCP this year but mostly too involved in our day job! Yes as you know we must pay the bills and we have just been putting our shoulder to the wheel all year long this year!

But we really have just gone and done it now! As we've started our Advent calendar late now too! The Purple Elephant and Little Mouse were just very cross indeed and so they had to make it out of their imaginary house over into our real world to let us know just how they felt! And it wasn't a good sight I will tell you for many a passerby to see a cartoony looking elephant purple at that with a cartoony looking mouse on this back scolding a real life lady on the street! In fact many of the passersby ended up on the psychiatric chair! And for that we at the production house all yell out an 'Oh dear!' But it must have been worth it for here we are to declare the Advent Calendar 2011 open!

The rules again this year will be that on Meady's Musings we will be telling the story of 'The Christmas Adventures of the Purple Elephant with the little mouse' of course at times we may pause for a little this and that.

And on UCP-Universal Collective Prayer we will be keeping to the reverence and prayer of the season.

However there will be days that the two blogs will collide like today as we join to launch the calendar and celebrate St. Nicholas Day! Yes Happy St. Nicholas Day 2011 folks! So although the Advent calendar is declared open late this year it is not that bad as it is on this very special day that celebrates that old saint of giving whom has forever been Americanised as a fat man in a red and white suit!

As we celebrate the day this year we look back at these times when we asked:

Do you believe in Santa Claus?

and when we said:

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus!

And remind you again this year that if you need to learn more about St. Nicholas the St. Nicholas Center is a pretty good place to start!

And remind you that we do believe in Santa Claus as we also recall the gift giving that was done for the baby Jesus!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Happy Ganesh Utsav 2011!

Copyright of The Meady's Musings Production House 2011.

From the UCP desk to you- Happy Ganesh Utsav 2011!

May the melting of your Ganesh (hopefully clay and so melted) represent another year of you shedding something that needlessly binds you to the trappings of your mortal coil as you find your way back...

Everyone came out for the festival today at the mosquito creek even the Purple Elephant (who kept waving away mosquitoes with his trunk but no really it's just a name there were no mosquitoes!) and the little mouse who both felt so honoured! And they personally thanked Sonu Dubay (yes the nepotism at the UCP desk continues!) for the photos! Of course he signed all the rights over to the two fellow mammals and so all the pics that appear on this blog post today are...

Copyright of The Meady's Musings Production House 2011.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eid Mubarak 2011-A Sojourn in Islam!

The owner of the Meady's Musings Production House had her fifteen year old niece ask her to throw out one of the guys writing at a UCP desk just for today so that she could write today's UCP blog post instead! Of course you know we're kidding as we couldn't have such nepotism and violence...it is just not the UCP way!:) But seriously the niece of the owner of the Meady's Musings Production will be the contributor to our UCP Islamic celebrating blog today. It's not nepotism really she is fully qualified as for the last few months she has been dabbling in the religion of Islam to learn more about it...at times to be honest the owner of the Production House had felt she had converted fully...boy that niece can be such a good actress! :) So the owner of the Production House almost nearly pulled this story before she read it...but once she read it she broke into a wide smile...she was proud to see how well her niece had learnt all on her own (or perhaps by following example) the UCP way! :) So without further delay here is blog post by that other Dubay! :)


Assalamu Alaikum (peace be upon you)

As far as the journey has brought me, I had a very wonderful and pleasurable experience learning and educating myself about Islam. Coming from a strict Hindu background, people would find it a very odd approach to see someone like me engaging in such an activity. From my path however I saw it as a higher pillar of life and beyond. It is much more than a mere eye would see.

Questions came towards me as to why I decided to go on about Islam or simply 'Muslim'. As to how I would see it,. there is only on God but we see Him differently based on the different strengths of our faiths. But as one race, being the human race, it would tak time for us to understand and accept the truth. Conversion can never be the positive step forward though. As that is just a negative divergence. If you trult have faith and love, the only way is the religion of love and compassion. You should not be biased or fanatical though. If you are particular defined religion
and you are a true devotee of God in your faith then you should not judge other fatih as it is the same said God. When you start doing this, ther is no use of using God's name. You become a loser.

Back to the broad topic of Islam. I am not confined to any faith or cult but I believe that there is a supreme being in this world. Atheism isno the way as it does not have solid truth about it. It we use the example of air. We know for a fact that air exists but we cannot see air, same with the Creator.

Learning about Islam and the way of Allah (God) has been quite interesting as I can now tell a muslim what I know about his/her religion. By exploring another faith, you learn to accept your other brother and sistes in life more and you respect them even more.

As Islam will present itself, it is solely based on the principles of the Holy Qur'an, Sunnahs and Prophet Muhammud (PBUH). I will not do into details with the Qur'an. But I will share some benefits of Islam. Islam prohibits alcohol use and the ingestion of toxic substances. It helps you to draw closer to Allah in dua (prayer) and teaches you how to go to Jannat (Heaven). Allah gave men and women equal rights but different responsibilities. He entrusted the men with the duty of working to take care of the household and going to the masjid. The women are to cook and take care of the children. Islam has been stereotyped to things such as terrorism and domestic abuse. But it is not so. There is good and bad in everyone and the innocent should not be accused for anything. Muslim women lead normal lives and are treat very well by their husbands. They are give right to eve work and drive. These things are just stereotypes. Men are to wear clothes up to their knees which are loose and women are to cover their entire body except for the hands (up to wrist bone) and face. Hijab is not just a piece of cloth but a practice and test. Once you are wearing hijab, you wear it for Allah. You are to lower your gaze being Muslim. During Ramadan you are not only forgiven of your sins but you can loose fat and help purify your body while getting closer to God.

Islamic architecture is quite fascinating and so is its song and music. The Qasidas, Qawalis, Nasheeds and prayers are very peaceful. The most peaceful music though is believed to be Sufi music which is associated with Sufism (a sect of Islam).

If you find experincing a new faith interesting to you, you can try learning about Islam, Hinduism, Christianity or others. Trust me, it does pay off in the end, and it helps to clear many misunderstandings and doubts you would have had. This does not mean you are converting however. You are just embracing another reality.

Ramadan is near to a close and I hope that Allah is pleased with everyone's dua and fast. Lailatul-Qadr ( which usually falls within the last ten days of Ramadan)is considered to be the night of power and prayer on this night can be as equivalent strong as doing 83 years of tapas (Sanskrit word used in Hinduism to represent the destruction of accumulated sins by underdoing physical sacrifices that leads to spiritual evolution).

Keep praying, keep smiling and Insha Allah you will be greatly blessed. Hope you enjoyed your Ramadan and Eid Mubarak to you all! Khuda Hafiz! Assalamu Alaikum! (peace be onto you!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

We're Back on a Krishna Janmashtami Again-Happy Krishna Janmashtami 2011!!

Copyright the Meady's Musings Production House.

We started this dance we call UCP-Universal Collective Prayer back in 2008 on Krishna Janmashtami so as we always say Krishna Janmashtami to Krishna Janmashtami we have completed another year of this blog...granted we've been away for most of the year thus far...but we've been taking the blog on the road...and we will let you know more about that soon! But for now we want to say that Krishna Janmashtami to Krishna Janmashtami this blog is now three years old! :)

So as we reflect today on the manifestation of Krishna into the flesh in the Hindu world and the fast of Ramadan continues in the Islamic world...we find fresh energy to announce on our birthday that we share with Krishna himself that we will finally be back to blogging consistently here on the prayers...and getting to the God series as we had promised back on the road in June. So look for it this Wednesday as we start back blogging with the expectation of one or two installations here on UCP every week either on a Wednesday, Friday or on both days. But now on with the birthday celebs...!

To mark our birthday and that of the supreme Godhead of Hinduism-Krishna. We will do two things:

-Reminesce, reflect and re-examine the reason we started this blog and
-Recall some of our favourite Krishna tunes!

Why we started UCP?
We thought this would take a long time to explain and lots of soul searching before we could type this response here. But really a blog is a web log...a diary of sorts in cyberspace...and so the answer really was right there embedded in our first UCP blog ever...when we used to write in the first person...here it is:

"So I go into this evening's proceedings (as it thunders and rains here very much as it did according to the Vedic tale on the day that Baby Krishna came to earth) with this in my heart... this in my prayers. No matter who we are where our ancestors came from or how we choose to worship... Let us all show each other love and compassion. I truly believe this and so this is my truth that if we all focus on this and practice this piece by piece and as we get better at it...the truth will prevail...and we will all of a sudden realise that LOVE IS ALL THERE IS! (and I think I may have just quoted a Beatles song there...no rights infringement intended) Please reflect on my loaner pic from the Bhaktivedanta people and look at the love and beauty in it. A mother lovingly bathing her baby. Don't bother too much bout who was right and who was wrong who came first or who came last. Who was better and who was best or who is right now or wrong now. May God Bless Us All and fill Us with Love and Compassion to All Beings of the Universe!"

And now some of our favourite Krishna tunes:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Holy Week, Hanuman Jayanti and Farewell My Friend

Today is sometimes called Palm Sunday and it heralds the start of the Holy Week during the Lenten season. UCP has remarked on this in the past under these headings:

Palm Sunday 2010!

The Holy Week 2009!

Today and over this weekend Hindus celebrated the festival of Hanuman Jayanti...see these blogs we've written about this festival in the past here:

Hanuman Jayanti 2010!

Hanuman Jayanti 2009!

But this year the UCP desk and the entire Meady's Musings Production House as a whole are a bit dull as we have lost our dear friend and supporter of the Production House Bro. Tim Douglas!

Here are some of the things we and other friends to the Production House have had to say on his transition into the light:

"Here was a man who had reached almost to the point where you only saw in him his true being...love and light...indeed! :) And love and light you will always be...indeed! Farewell Bro Tim into the light you go! :)"

"I guess you all heard about the passing of our dear Bro Tim...may he be one with the eternal love and light! :)"

"My message notifying the Salvation Army* as to what to do with my donation...Please donate the money to your International Emergency Services in Iraq-Canadian hearts glowing in Iraq. In loving memory of the love and light on planet earth that was Tim Douglas!"
*Bro Tim's family suggests that in his memory you donate to the local chapter of your Salvation Army.

As dedicated by Philip Zeuner:
"For Tim:
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

Henry Scott Holland"

As stated by Bro Greg Kirk:

"Just learned of the transition of dear friend Tim Douglas to Eternal life. May the Angels welcome him home and may his family feel God all around them."

As stated by Garima Singh:

"Prayers and love for Tim Douglas and his family and friends. Dear Tim I know you are still watching us all, sending us your love and smiles. All of it back at ya and more!"

Ed Croucher aka our Grandpa Ed:

"Here was a man who glimpsed Heaven and shone that Light to us all. Thank you, Tim, you cheered us all the way and now you are blessed. We'll meet again."

Into the light you go Bro Tim...into the light you go!

And knowing that you engaged in UCP just like us while on the earthly plane we salute you with your own words:

And play for you these forty verses (chalisa) in song written in praise of Hanuman Baba on this occasion of Hanuman Jayanti 2011. May he be your guide on this flight as he is the son of the wind and has a heart filled with light as in the sky he flies! :) And may you enter on your new journey into the light with the same steadfastness and courage as Jesus did when on Palm Sunday he entered Jerusalem! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A UNIVERSAL COLLECTIVE PRAYER! As UCP joins in Paulo Coelho's collective prayer event.

Here's what I the head of the production house prayed for this afternoon at 6 PM in my time zone as we here at UCP joined in with Paulo Coelho's collective prayer event! :)


I pray to you my beloved guru and current ishq devata Baba Shiv!

I pray that you give me the strength to fulfil what I can on earth to do and to provide me with the supporters and necessary support I need to fulfil it. May I also be able to return this support if needed to my supporters and have the grace and wisdom to thank them with heartfelt gratitude when the time is right for the support they lend to me. And I pray in thanks to Paulo Coelho and other leaders and earthly gurus like him who inspire such UCP-Universal Collective Prayer events.

I pray for my nation-Trinidad and Tobago that is filled with a diversity of peoples much like the whole world is today but in our case the diversity exists in a very small space and pool of people. I pray that they learn to respect each other’s points of view that are a product of their conditioning from birth based on their varied cultures, religions and races and always see from a place of love, light and compassion despite their differences. I pray for the strength to continue to pray for this and to myself always see from a place of love, light and compassion!

I pray for Japan...I don't think I need to explain that one!

I pray for Anna Hazare whom I've never heard of before today but having learnt of his personal struggles...I find them incredibly admirable and he seems to be a man who is living out his morals and values walking the walk not just talking the talk...he reminds me of Gandhi...and I pray that he has success in his struggle as he helps to make the land of my ancestors a better place.

I pray for my ancestors...for it is on their strengths that I build and their weaknesses I must overcome!

I pray for my currently earthly bound biological mother for she is the one who has cleaned this space in which I now pray...as she has cleaned it for the festival of Navratri...seva indeed!

I pray to you the Universal Divine Mother-Mata Durga!

I pray for the planet earth! For protection and preservation of its soil, sea and sky! For it is on it I must rely on to survive!

I pray for the Universe to be as it should!

I pray...I pray...I pray...for I simply surrender to you the Divine! May thy way be done!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti! Hari Om!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Navratri, Lent and Prayers with Paulo Coelho

copyright Meady's Musings Production 2010

As the Hindu festival of Vasant Navratri kicks off we here at UCP are thrilled at the number of genuine UCP:Universal Collective Prayer events that seem to be popping up world over. The 'big man' (no not that one LOL!) himself Paulo Coelho of 'The Alchemist' fame and name is having a universal collective prayer event on Wed 6 April 2011 at 6 PM in your time zone! The famous author is doing it to celebrate his crossing 5million fans on Facebook! WOW! Five million fans on Facebook now that IS something! The Brazilian author might just be more famous than Facebook itself with a following like that and speaking of following...he has >1.5M followers on Twitter! Whoa!

But yep the great one is having a prayer event to celebrate his fans and following...it was actually the number one voted suggestion by fans! Coming in second was the idea 'to work together' but the great one couldn't see that realistically working out so he suggested a colloborative contest of sorts instead. Anyway it's all on the link if you go here to his blog. (Not that he needs the traffic! :) )

So of course we here at UCP will be clinking out mangeeras and going in...after all it's universal collective prayer at it's finest! :) And it's already Vasant Navratri and our Christian UCPers are in the time of Lent. Just last week one of our roving reporters had the most marvelous prayer experience...while working the field she came about a man who actually fasts for Lent almost like a Muslim...seriously! He doesn't eat all day and prayers for lunch instead of eating lunch...well we're not sure if exactly like a muslim as he may have water...but our Catholic find certainly did seem divine in his pursuit of Lenten prayers! :) So lovely! :)

So as we join Paulo Coelho in prayer on Wed we're sure the whole world will be prayered out! Because Paulo's prayer event is happening at 6 PM in each time zone so with his following for sure you will have a good 24 hour spread of prayer globe over and as it is Hindus will be prayering and surrendering to the Divine Mother and Christians are in the fasting and prayering period of Lent! :) So pray on! As we take our mangeeras out again and sing and dance to the Divine Mother to our favourite tune! :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

UCP joins the Prayer to Water on Thurs 31 March 2011 at Noon in your time zone

On Thursday, March 31st, at Noon, in each time zone, join Dr. Masuro Emoto's Prayer to Water by chanting the following simple prayer and invocation three times with your hands in the prayer position:

"The water at Fukushima Nuclear Plant,
we are sorry to make you suffer,
please forgive us,
we thank you and we love you."

This prayer event reminds us here at UCP of our participation in the candle4tibet event that inspired the inception of this blog. You will be collectively praying with everyone in your time zone and the prayers will be going with a domino effect as it starts off in Japan the land of the rising sun and spreads westward! Truly Universal Collective Prayer at its best! Please join us in UCP with Dr. Masuro Emoto's Prayer to Water.

For those of you needing some details to focus your prayers...the intent behind the prayers is to use the power of prayer to heal the water that is contaminated as a result of the damage done to nuclear plants in Japan by the impacts of the earthquake and tsunami earlier this month.

If you need to get a little bit more familiar with Mother Water also known as Ganga Mata in Hinduism/Hindi check out these blogs in the UCP archives:

An Ode to the Great Element Water!

Kartik Snaan-The Cleansing!

God as Water!

Attached below is Dr. Masuru Emoto's original call to prayer on YouTube! :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

UCP: Phagwa/Holi 2011 Before and After Shots

As promised just a quick note to show you readers how the guys at the UCP desk looked before and after they stepped onto the maidan at festivities today! :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

UCP: Happy Holi or Playful Phagwa 2011!

Poster done by a friend of UCP from Mexico: Adriana Ochoa. She owns her own Advertising firm there.

Here on UCP things universe wide don't seem so bright and hardly light and/or playful after all with the events in Japan continuing to sadly unfold and civil wars upon civil wars in the Middle East and North Africa continuing and continuing...it can tire you out and bog you down. So today on UCP we felt citing the Hindu festival of Holi or Phagwa might be a bit trite...however we've reconciled that even in the saddest and uncertain of times a bit of play is perhaps still what the Universe points us to conspire to have...don't know if that makes sense to our readers or not but as a result our guys at the UCP desk have decided to turn off their computers and into the maidan (field) step for a bit of frolic and play...

Holi Hai!

We here at UCP have built up quite an archive of things Holi or Phagwa over the years so we review them here:

Happy Holi or Playful Phagwa 2009!

Phagwa/Holi Celebrations 2009!

And check us out tomorrow for some before and after shots of us here at UCP as we are at colourful play!

In terms of music this year we can't help but to re-share the quintessential Amit Bachchan pitch but we also go way back to our roots and share a few bhojpuri tunes out of UP in India from whence our ancestors once upon a time came...enjoy! :)

And as we did for Diwali this year we share with you greetings from the Big B himself who although he often features in his films as a drunk is in reality and vegetarian and teetotaler.

Amitabh Bachchan's official tweet about 8 hours ago:

"T 312 - HOLI greetings to all !! May the colors of the festive season infiltrate your life and make it even better ... love and more !!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

UCP joins in Lenten prayers for Japan

UCP did not open the Lenten season as we normally do on Ash Wednesday...but better late than never...and so we here at UCP would like to join with the Catholic community and wish all a fruitful 40 days of fasting, meditation and prayer. Good luck guys!

However it is indeed a sad time on planet earth and indeed a time for prayer! The things in the Middle East that we here at UCP quite don't understand and then the tear making and heart breaking events that still continue to unfold in Japan.

Therefore in this time of Lent we've asked Deacon Greg Kirk our friend in UCP to share the below prayer:

"Divine One - In this holy season of Lent we remember the path of Your Blessed One, especially His suffering that united Him with Your people everywhere. It is a time to recall that in losing ourselves, we find ourselves, that in dying to our desires, we rise to new life, in You. As we journey through these forty days, help us to remember those who suffer among us, today, especially your children in Japan. Please embrace them with your healing and divine assistance, as we embrace them with our tears and desire to serve and assist them." Amen

And UCP tonight joins with the Global Prayer Project for prayer there at 8 PM EST.

Also UCP and friends have been giving out daily intentions of prayer for the people of Japan over at the Lynne Mc Taggart lady's Intention Experiment over here on Facebook!

Please join us in UCP:Universal Collective Prayer!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Festival of Shiv 2011: Maha Shivratri 2011!

And it's finally here! And with it the festival of Shiv 2011 sadly comes to a close! :( But we here at UCP have come to a realization that we may be wishing to celebrate all the shiv ratris...the ones that come up each month...although they are not Maha ones...or the great big ones! We will keep you readers in the loop on how that goes...but for now here it is: Maha Shivratri 2011!

And we promised a friend to go into the meaning tonight of the rituals that many people Hindu world over perform through out this night and their symbolic meaning in all our quests to become more Shiv like or Shivoham! Shivoham!

Well when we offer water onto Shiv we are surrendering onto him and usually the things we surrender are things of nature...so we are already practising to become more Shiv like as to collect all the things for the poojas etc we have to interact with nature...pick flowers, collect leaves...and then we offer it up to Shiv so we are surrendering onto him as our guru.

Then we sit in meditation and pray...perhaps chanting Om Namah Shivay! As we spend time in quiet reflection...in this time we can perhaps think of all the qualities of Shiv we've been lisiting on UCP over the last few days and ask ourselves where we are and what we need to do to become more Shiv like...Shivoham! Shivoham!

We know we've sort of rushed this along but truth be told the UCP desks are pretty empty tonight as our writers are off to the temples or mandirs Universe over or some are simply sitting with Shiv on their own in a corner of the Production House while some have gone to sit with Shiv with their families!

So from all of us here at UCP....may you and your loved ones make the most of this auspicious night and reach one step further along that road of being Shivoham! Shivoham!

Har Har Mahadev! Om Namah Shivay! Shivoham! Shivoham!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Festival of Shiv 2011: To Be Shiv Like Part III

Murti of Shiv, Rishikesh, INDIA copyright Meady's Musings Production 2008.

Today as we are on our final installation in the three part series on being Shiv Like we will get straight to it and tomorrow we will share with you some of the meaningful aspects of Mahashivratri as it is the big day tomorrow!

So here we go with some more of the things that makes us want to be Shiv Like!:

He Leads a Simple Life: We here at UCP emulate Baba Shiv's lifestyle as he lives in the forest here and there and he is content with just enough clothing to cover him. And he eats simple foods collected in the forest. When he does eat that is...because he seems to never be eating anyway as he is mostly meditating! You can just imagine how low Baba Shiv's carbon footprint must be! :)After all as a friend of UCP reminded us...Shiv is also known as Ashutosh...one who is pleased easily! And indeed he is! And if we could all be as Shiv like as him...well we for sure would be drawing down way less on the earth's limited resources!

He is the Supreme Yogi!: We here at UCP are always ranting about Baba Shiv being the supreme yogi. You can recall our first admittance to this during Maha Shivratri 2009 by clicking on this link. And we are also always talking about how we often visualise Baba Shiv doing yogic stretches along the banks of our favourite Shiv place: The Mosquito Creek in Trinidad. Additionally yogis and yoginis from far and wide travel to Rishikesh to be part of yoga festivals where Baba Shiv is the keynote speaker! (in a metaphorical sense at least) :) Usually the festival coincides with Maha Shivratri infact there is one going on all now as we write just check this link for details. And of course we here at UCP wish we could be a yogi or yogini like Baba Shiv because the benefits of it are multifold when it comes to one's mental, physical and spiritual state! :)

He conquers death or is fearless to it: Baba Shiv is obviously not afraid of things related to death and dying or destruction. After all he destroys the Universe every once in a while and hangs out with bhoots (ghosts) of all forms and fashions. He also tends to hang out at cremation sites and even smears his body in the ash of the dead. Hey we at UCP wish we could all be so comfortable with death...acknowledging that...to everything there is always an end...including our mortal coils and those of our loved ones. To face the fear of death is often man's greatest challenge yet...so we look to Baba Shiv for some tips there!

He transcends time: We at UCP always get the feeling that Baba Shiv is not bounded by time...we get the idea that he could exist in the past, present and future at all times. We don't have any empirical evidence of this nor any relgious scripture can we cite. But we are students of metaphysics here at the Meady's Musings Production House...and somehow everytime we look at murtis of Baba Shiv or read about him in religious scriptures we just get that feeling about him...and of course wouldn't it be cool if you could no longer be bounded by time! Perhaps if one became Shivoham! Shivoham! on that spiritual level...time does not exist?! And so it cannot bind us! :)

And in closing as we talk about Baba Shiv and conquering our fear of death we play the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra...let's have the guys at the UCP desk cue it up now...OK play away! :)

The Festival of Shiv 2011: To Be Shiv Like Part II-Shivoham! Shivoham!

Photo taken of Shiv doing the dance of destruction outside CERN from this site

As we draw nearer to Maha Shivratri on the festival of Shiv we figured we'd stick to the theme of being Shiv like until the Maha Shivratri because we are simply having so much fun with the theme but also because there is so much we like about Shiv that it couldn't fit in just one blog! He inspires us to want to be like him so much that...if like Shiv if we could only be like Shiv we'd be enthused and if we achieved it we'd be filled with bliss even! And we have a sneaking suspicion that not only us on UCP feel like this! After all for centuries and centuries ascetics, scholars, sanyasis, pundits, brahmins, non-brahmins, believers, repenters and just plain ole folks have been searching for Shiv so that they can be more like him! Infact this search is so ancient and well known that it already has it's own term in Sanskrit:

Shivoham, Shivoham!

I am Shiv! I am Shiv!

is the exclamation as we realise that we could indeed be like Shiv and in that realization we become:

Chid ananda rupah i.e. we achieve consciousness and bliss! :)

But as we continue to admire Baba Shiv so that we can be shivoham, shivoham! Let's again today talk about some of the Shiv like things we admire here at UCP.

-His love for animals and nature as a whole:
This no doubt overlaps with what we wrote on yesterday's blog i.e. that we admire his love and compassion. But we just felt we'd be more specific here to say that Baba Shiv doesn't just show love and compassion for human beings he shows it for all of the beings in the Universe...beasts, birds and bees, trees, the ocean, the rivers and everything included! Baba Shiv is like a protector of all animals and the elements for sure! After all he even lets poisonous snakes drape him and he holds the moon and the great river Ganga in his hair! In fact he so loves animals and is such a protector of them that he is often known as Pashupati which in Sanskrit means 'The Lord of Animals'. Baba Shiv sits atop the snowy caps of Mount Kailash in the Himalayas prevading over all of nature and its animals! Jai Bhole Nath!

-His Dancing Skills!: It is often said that Baba Shiv is the dancer and we the dance! UCP so gets this after all we are all just at the whim of the Universe blowing here and blowing there in the wake of its dance! But we at UCP believe through meditation, experimentation, soul searching, studying the universal dance itself we can all understand the dance so well that we can one day even dancers be! Just try it! Chant Shivoham! Shivoham! and meditate and start stripping all the things that keep you from your true nature...feel the freeness as you become one with you...Shivoham! Shivoham! Appreciate the nature around you...switch off this blog...your cell phone and just let it sink in and we say you'll be one step closer to being Shivoham! Shivoham! One step closer to not just being the dance but having the ability to be the dancer because you will be so attuned with the dancer that you will know and not resist his steps!

Om Namah Shivay!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Festival of Shiv 2011: To Be Shiv Like!

Shiv Murti, Rishikesh, INDIA. Copyright Meady's Musings Production 2008

First of all before we go into our topic today we'd just like to apologise for not doing a blog on the festival this last Thursday as we had planned at the start of the festival to at least blog every Monday and Thursday...however to make up for it you should know that now until Maha Shivratri we will be blogging on the festival daily. Also we thought you'd liked to recall what we posted on the festival of Shiv last year to add to the fun and meditative joys!:

The Festival of Shiv 2010!

Now on to today's topic...


It is well known that here at UCP we look up to Shiv as the supreme guru of many things and in many ways. But it is important to realise that in all guru-chela relationships or teacher-disciple relationships that the whole point of the relationship is for the chela to become more like the guru i.e. if the relationship goes well and the teacher teaches well and the student learns well...well the end product should be a student who is at least as good as the teacher or if it goes really well he should be even better. However if your guru is already the supreme guru...the Universal guru that is Shiv well then you cannot out do that...so you can only strive to be like him...like Shiv if I could be like Shiv!:)

Om Namah Shivay!

So here are some of the Shiv Like Things we here at UCP strive for:

-His Meditative Focus: The power to be so focussed on one's meditation that it would take an avalanche...a mudslide...a giant volcano erupting...a 10.0 on the richter scale earthquake in a main city centre....a giant tsunami...an atomic explosion even to wake you unless you chose to be aroused from it!

-His Hippiness:
Don't get us wrong we're not advocating here careless or licenticious lifestyles. But Baba Shiv has never conformed...just recall in the vid below (taken from the 1974 verison of the film 'Har Har Mahadev!') at his very own wedding where he only conformed momentarily out of his love and compassion (in return for her selfless worship) to Parvati to put on fancy wedding clothes. You see what we're admiring here and advocating as a lesson we learnt from Baba Shiv is his ability to not allow society to define who and what he is...he pushes the envelope...he accepts whatever he likes and rejects whatever he dislikes without worrying what the masses think of him...he is his own man...not a man defined by what he perceives society expects of him!

-His Love and Compassion: Well as in the vid above Baba Shiv extends love and compassion to all his true devotees...and if a devotee slips once they come back again to him he forgives them as an extension of his compassion and loves them all the same. We should all be so loving, forgiving and compassionate and we here at UCP cherish this as our ideal to reach for! And Baba Shiv is not just loving and compassionate to some but to all...to all of the Universe's creatures and creations...he does not discriminate. It is why he is sometimes called Bhoot Nath as he is also the God of the ghosts...he hangs out at cremation sites smeared in ashes, lets snakes hang all over him and is never shying away from conversation with any creature even if it might have a few heads! :) Just look at the people who was at his wedding in the vid above. And we should all be so non-judgemental in our Universal...Divine...Love!:) No wonder we think he lives at our own favourite Shiv place at times...pictured below...

Mosquito Creek, Trinidad copyright Meady's Musings Production 2009.

There is so much more we could say in our admiration and desire to be more Shiv like but for today we shall stop here!

Jai Bholenath!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Festival of Shiv 2011: Shiv as the Supreme Meditator

Image taken from Wikipedia Commons

While the owner of the Meady's Musings Production House was out on her day job she met someone who saw the image of Baba Shiv in meditation pose in Rishkesh as above on her desktop. She had been given it by one of the guys from here at our UCP desk!:) And the person asked who Baba Shiv was and if she the owner of the Production House meditated. She explained that while she may not always meditate in the exact position like Baba Shiv did in the image that yes she liked to meditate in her own way often! :)

And over the last week the Production House as much as they don't like the re-tweet couldn't help but to re-tweet this on their twitter account:

"Meditation is a constant, direct relationship with the sum of ourselves in the moment."

It was re-tweeted from Guy Finley.

So we felt it was about time on the Festival of Shiv 2011 to talk yet again about Baba Shiv and his role as the supreme meditator. We don't think anyone can beat him at meditation. It is why he is called yogeshwara...Lord of Yoga. He is the supreme meditator. And whilst we find people are often put off by the number of snakes wrapped around Baba Shiv and he is often associated with them. We don't think it's anything what they think!:) In that well Baba Shiv is such a supreme yogi or meditator that whilst he is engrossed in his meditation anything can come and sit on him...and he is also fearless...so very poisionous snakes even come and wrap themselves around him but he Baba Shiv is not moved by this! He is the supreme one...engaged in the highest and the best form of meditation...unstoppable Shiv...no one can awaken him...except those with divine powers themselves or those who surrender themselves onto the divine such that they themselves become divine and one with Baba Shiv then he awakes to shower his blessings onto them....to show love and compassion for his devotees...who by then are Shiv-like themselves!:)

It is what Parvati was doing when she got him to awaken and marry her...she was finding her own Shiv within....so after many years of penance, prayer and meditation...she was able to go within...fight all her demons until she aroused the Shiv within! :)

Om Namah Shivay! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Festival of Shiv 2011: Kundalini Yoga, the Shiv and Shakti and Shiv as Potential Energy

UCP/Meady's Musings Production does not own the rights for this image.

A friend came over to the Meady's Musings Production House and the Purple Elephant quickly threw his long purple trunk forward to open the door. The friend entered and said hello and then quickly went over to the guys at the UCP desk and asked them if they were interested in a course in kundalini yoga. It was quite an interesting course but seeing as the owner of the Production House hardly ever pays the guys at the UCP desk a single penny even...no one unfortunately could afford the fees! :( But it got the guys at the UCP desk who are currently writing about this Festival of Shiv 2011 to thinking and they went over to the guys who write the Tumultuous Thursdays blog posts on Meady's Musings and well...this joint blog that is both about religion and metaphysics was born and today appears on both UCP's Festival of Shiv and Meady's Musings' Tumultuous Thursdays! :)

Now kundalini yoga and yoga as a whole is often associated with Baba Shiv as he is seen as the mahayogi and in the image at the start of the post you can see where Shiv's iconography itself can be used to describe the elements of Kundalini yoga and as a whole the key body/energy points in yoga. And this website titled Kundalini Awakening appears to be a very good research source for anyone wanting to know more about the theories behind kundalini yoga.

However the rest of the blog post will delve more into the shiv/shakti relationship that comes out of the study of kundalini yoga and more so the concept that shiv is potential energy and shakti kinetic energy.

Let's define the two terms in Physics as defined by the Free Dictionary:

POTENTIAL ENERGY: (noun)The energy of a particle or system of particles derived from position, or condition, rather than motion. A raised weight, coiled spring, or charged battery has potential energy.

KINETIC ENERGY:(noun)The energy possessed by a body because of its motion, equal to one half the mass of the body times the square of its speed.

Now in Hinduism it is not only seen that Shiv is like potential energy and Shakti like kinetic energy...it is also seen that both Shiv and Shakti are one...so really it is one being that is at one point potential energy and then at another point kinetic energy.

So let's see it as if Shiv is sitting there in meditative post and then while in meditation he thinks up Shakti as this moving dancing female being...then after she manifests from his thoughts as dancing kinetic energy before him he eventually is also aroused and starts to dance with her...his potential energy is converted to kinetic energy!

Seen in the dance of Shiv and Shakti it would look something like this:

Seen in the metaphysical sense as it's impact on the creation and/or destruction it would be something like this:

Think about it is all the potential energy is eventually converted to kinetic energy ...it you have a coil of string and it has this potential energy in it as it is all coiled up but then begins to unravel as its potential energy converts to kinetic energy...what happens when all the string is unraveled? Well you no longer have a ball of string?

Hey but this is no doom's day blogpost or anything...after all this is a joint blogpost on Tumultuous Thrusdays and UCP i.e. Universal Collective Prayer...but we are just analysing some of the aspects of Shiv here and realising more so now how he might be seen as the God of destruction and how his cosmic dance of destruction...or the Nataraj dance has become so world famous...as he gets up from his coiled potential energy position and dances uncoiling as kinetic energy flows! But remember that energy is neither created nor destroyed so the kinetic energy again can become potential as another ball of string or the cosmos is reformed....Jai Bholenath! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Festival of Shiv 2011: Somvaar-The Monday Fast with Shiv as Matchmaker on Valentine's Day!

a comic strip!
Cartoon as shown on our Festival of Shiv in 2010

Today is Valentine's day and it falls on the Somvaar or the Monday which many in Shiv worshipping land regard as an auspicious day of fasting to Shiv...you will recall earlier on the festival of Shiv i.e. last Monday from the Grand Opening blog that Shiv is also known as Som Nath based on his forgiveness and compassion towards the moon...shama karo! So Monday is indeed an important day in Shiv worshipping land! :)

But the significance of Shiv worship on a Monday is interestingly very similar to some aspects of Valentine's Day as many unmarried women especially in India tend to worship Baba Shiv on a Monday in the hope of finding the perfect husband and in this regard they are beseiging Baba Shiv to act as the Ultimate Matchmaker! Some (perhaps those ladies more intent in their worship) even take it a step further and ask for a husband that is like Shiv himself! You see for in Hinduism Shiv can be many things but one of these many things is the family guy....yep the family guy Shiv can be! And we explored that on here on our festival of Shiv in 2010. So yep the ladies can also ask for a husband with the Shiv like qualities that are often seen as conducive for a good marriage...well at least when Shiv is being the family guy that is!

Shiv is no easy catch himself by the way though just ask poor Parvati (as shown in our cartoon from the festival of Shiv in 2010 above!)she had quite the time getting his attention and I'll tell you this Baba Shiv had quite the run ins with the Hindu equivalent of Cupid...Kaam Dev....poor guy! But you see Shiv really doesn't like to be bothered when he is in meditation! So now let's take in these videos where Kaam Dev is assisted by his wife Rati and sometimes Vasant i.e. spring (the season of birth and love) so that he can:

1. Arouse Shiv out of his meditation so he can marry Parvati.
2. Arouse Shiv and Sati (Parvati in another lifetime) so they can have a son.

And then you can enjoy:

3. Shiv and Sati on their honeymoon...well sort of...no arousals needed!

Happy Valentine's Day from UCP and all at the Meady's Musings Production House! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Festival of Shiv 2011: Shiv as the Supreme Guru!


Shiv as Dakshinamurti.

Today on the festival of Shiv as it is our first Thursday of the festival or guruvaar i.e. the day of the guru in Hindi we visit Shiv in the form of the supreme guru something we know we have time and time done already on UCP but today we do it with some different slants so don't worry we're not rehashing well not really or for sure not totally! :)

We've never before on UCP considered the whole murti or deity contrived and conceived solely for the purpose of Baba Shiv being the guru...so much so that the form or murti is called Dakshinamurti where Dakshina is the Sanskrit word that describes in Hinduism the payment (in whatever form) that is given to the guru from the student in return for his guidance.

It is believed by many and we have to say also by us here at UCP that one can accept Shiv as their supreme guru and learn directly from him and that perhaps as we his lessons learn...well...one day or perhaps one night he may visit us in dream or vision or form and let us know that our lessons are complete or at least we've reached to one threshold and that at this point we can now give him dakshina in return...usually in the form of accomplishing some task towards the Hindu act of seva i.e. service to mankind...you know something like that.

Some believe he may instead come another way for example send instead an apostle of his will and way...perhaps a human being will come to you on his behalf and convey his message and so forth...

But guess what either which way we here at UCP figure Shiv would be saying seva it is...and it made us recall our friends over at the organisation actually called guess what Seva! Check them out at http://www.seva.org and Shiv willing you might be able to join them in their well...seva!

But here for now on UCP all we can do is on behalf of Shiv salute the people at Seva and note a few other lovely seva like efforts as follows:

1.Seva Cafe: Well some other people that use the seva word literally are the yummy people at Seva cafe...and to be honest us at the Meady's Musings Production House as a whole and in particular at the UCP desk have been pondering the idea of opening up a seva cafe ourselves one day...but for now all we can say is isn't a lovely Shiv like idea? You can learn more about them at their site http://www.sevacafe.org

2. Helping Hands is located on the same island as the Production House and the Production House has joined hands with them before...so we hope you might check them out too and lend perhaps hands or if not a paw! :)To do so click on this link to their Facebook page to learn some more!

3. Seva: And then there are these guys at another kinda Seva...the kind that ensures not a little one is harmed or well eaten! For it is very Shiv like to also protect the animals and so really a more encompassing Seva on behalf of Shiv really would also protect the animals or show compassion for them and what better way than to not eat them and go vege like the people at the Seva restaurant in Ann Arbor Michigan since 1973! So deliciously divine! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Festival of Shiv 2011: Grand Opening!

Today on UCP we again for the 2nd year running open what for sure is one of our favourite blog series...The Festival of Shiv! We open it on a Monday...Somvaar...a day named after the Soma of the Vedas...and as we discussed last year on The Festival of Shiv...Hinduism is a religion of twists and tales and about the big and the small! So at one point in Hinduism the Soma known in the Vedas as this important drink ...like a divine nectar of sorts becomes equivalent to the moon and then in such a form he got into some trouble and then well Baba Shiv being the compassionate kinda guy he is granted him forgiveness (shamaa) and so Baba Shiv is also known as Som Nath or Soma Nath...the Lord/Master of the Moon God.

So we felt it fitting to kick off the series today i.e. on a Monday...Somvaar! Also as is no secret on this UCP blog we at the desks of UCP consider Baba Shiv to be our Supreme guru...Super Shiv if you have it and so we hold particular reverence to Baba Shiv on a Thursday as well...also known as Guruvaar in Hindi. So these days are important to note because the Festival of Shiv will run from today until the day of Maha Shivratri-3/4 March 2011...depending on your location on planet earth! But don't be bogged down by the dates for as we noted last year on our very same Festival of Shiv...we should be allowed to worship Shiv when we so Shiv willing please! But yep we will try to run our festival of Shiv daily but if it doesn't become possible we will for sure have a blog up every Mon and Thurs until Maha Shiv Ratri is upon us! So the Soma and Gura vaar or the Mon and Thurs will be some important dates to mark on UCP's Festival of Shiv 2011! :)

So let the Shiv flow! :)

And to kick of the festival this year....in song...Sonu Nigam sings what has now become one of our favourite Shiv things! Gosh every time we hear it we see Shiv dancing before us and doing yogic stretches at our favourite Shiv place! And we also feel like we ourselves could just get up and dance along with Baba Shiv as well...so it is such a lovely tune and really embodies all that is Shiv so come dance with us here on UCP or as we always say dance forth with us in this thing we call UCP-Universal Collective Prayer! :) As Sonu Nigam sings of all that is Shiv and his attributes as outlined in the Shiv Maha puran (the great story of Shiv)!

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