The Value of Service, a poem inspired by my son

October 19, 2014

The Value of Service
(Inspired by a conversation with my son)

Service is a good thing
It frees you from yourself
And that brings happiness
It all comes back to you

All love flows to the Self
It all depends on you

© Ken Chawkin
October 18, 2014
Fairfield, Iowa

And in the end the love you take
Is equal to the love you make
The End, Abbey Road, The Beatles

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi talks about the true nature of love in this 1970 video at Humboldt, California: All Love is Directed Toward the Self

See what self-love looks like in the digital age in this selfie post

Two innovative creative videos remind us how social media can destroy not build relationships

October 16, 2014

Love in the Digital Age

Love in the Digital Age

Our current obsession with social media and mobile devices seems to have improved our connectivity with each other, but it is also changing it for the worse. Here are two innovative creative videos that remind us how social media can destroy, not build, relationships.

Lee Ross’s creatively produced vignette brilliantly demonstrates the breakdown in human interaction; while Prince Ea intelligently raps about the problem, ironically pointing out what we’re missing. They both beg the question: Are we really living life, communicating and developing meaningful relationships?

1. From a comedic perspective, 4gLove, by Lee H. Ross, is a funny but sadly true depiction of cellphone addiction destroying relationships. Originally available on Vimeo, it is also posted on YouTube. Here is a customized link to share: http://bit.ly/4gLove.

2. We are so consumed by our phones and social networks, we sometimes forget how to live. Prince Ea says the obvious in this video: Why I Refuse to Let Technology Control Me: You need not delete your social networks or destroy your cell phones, the message is simple, be balanced, be mindful, be present, be here. :) If you like his message you can download the digital audio Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

Rick Hotton’s Holy Mole´ cartoon amusingly makes the same point. There are other videos out there on this topic. Here are two poems about the problem, Look Up by Gary Turk, and a counter argument, Look Down (‘Look Up’ Parody) by Spencer & Alex. Clever, both of them, with charming British accents.

I cropped and titled the top image by British photographer Adam Gray.

@David_Lynch’s MA in Film program @MaharishiU encourages creativity cultivated by consciousness

October 12, 2014

Des Moines Register’s Kyle Munson profiles the David Lynch MA in Film at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield and Vedic City, Iowa.

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, I hosted The Register’s Iowa journalist Kyle Munson and photographer Mary Willie. Kyle had contacted me during the week because of David Lynch’s announcement to produce 9 new episodes of Twin Peaks for Showtime. This seemed to be the tipping point to finally visit our Masters Program in Film in David Lynch’s name. For information on the David Lynch MA in Film at MUM, visit http://filmschool.mum.edu.

Kyle said his report would appear this weekend. I checked online Saturday night to find Kyle’s video and Mary’s photos about MUM’s DLMA, both in an article: Vedic City film school program enters 2nd year. This is how it appears in the Sunday Register.

The title may appear to be a bit confusing since the David Lynch MA in Film is part of Maharishi University of Management, based in Fairfield, Iowa. But the graduate film department classrooms and offices are located in Headley Hall in neighboring Maharishi Vedic City.

As a result they’ve now retitled the article to read: Munson: David Lynch and the ‘Twin Peaks’ of Iowa. The article starts out referencing one of the most famous lines from David Lynch’s iconic TV series, Twin Peaks.

It’s easier to find a “damn fine cup of coffee” here than in other Iowa towns two or three times the size.

At least a few top-notch coffee shops surround the town square — not to mention a vast array of vegetarian and organic cuisine far beyond the staple pork tenderloin or rural fixture of “Taco Tuesday.”

It’s all part of the familiar plotline about how Fairfield, pop. 9,447, has evolved in the last 40 years into a surprising cosmopolitan oasis on the prairie thanks to the global influx of followers of the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) — at least 20 minutes twice a day — as a means to promote peace and unlock their creativity. They have trekked here since the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) was founded on the former Parsons College campus as a center of “consciousness-based education.”

Kyle interviews Joanna Plafsky, the one who created the program; John Raatz, the new executive director who also brought Jim Carrey to give this year’s commencement address; as well as some of the students who came from far and wide for the graduate film program, including the international scholarship winner, Agnes Baginska, whose film was selected by David Lynch himself. Agnes posted a scan of the full article on her website and her Facebook Timeline Photos. Read the rest of the article here. Click on these titles to see the video and photos.

Kyle Munson’s Iowa: David Lynch starts film school in Iowa

David Lynch starts film school in Iowa

The David Lynch MA in Film at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield and Vedic City began a year ago. The second year of the “Twin Peaks” filmmaker-focused curriculum is underway. Kyle Munson/The Register

16 photos: David Lynch film school in Vedic City, Iowa

16 photos - David Lynch film school in Vedic City, Iowa

Fairfield Iowa is the home of David Lynch’s MA film program which encourages creativity cultivated by consciousness at Maharishi University of Management Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Mary Willie/The Register

I already put some of the photos up on my Pinterest account, which go on Twitter. Also posted the links to the photos and the video on Google+ and Twitter. Even though I officially retired, I could not pass up this PR OP! :-)

Related news: Fairfield Creatives Get Started.

I learned #TMmeditation 47 years ago today

September 30, 2014

On September 30, 1967, I started Transcendental Meditation, 47 years ago today in Montreal, Canada. I would meet TM founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi nine months later on a course at Chateau Lake Louise. The CBC were there making a documentary film, The Guru, for their TV series, Telescope, the first show to broadcast in color the year before. Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise

Richard Day, a friend I would later meet, said he had been working on the hotel staff of Chateau Lake Louise at the time we were there and the film was being made. The staff was given an introductory lecture on Transcendental Meditation and a number of them learned, my friend-to-be included. He said “Maharishi met with those of us who had been instructed. What a great time that was.” He said he remembered bringing his parents downstairs in Toronto that September to watch Telescope’s first program of the new season: The Guru. Same with me and my family in Montreal.

Richard shared a story he had heard many years later about the director of the film who told Maharishi that he wanted to film him saying something that would encapsulate all his teachings. Maharishi said, “I’ll walk by the lake, you walk with me, and I’ll tell you everything about spiritual development!” He did it in one take. That’s the part I had transcribed and posted in Maharishi describes the nature of inner life: bondage and liberation, and gaining bliss consciousness through Transcendental Meditation.

Most of you may not know it but I’ve retired from MUM since the summer and have been enjoying the freedom of not having to work. It’s been a very fulfilling career for me, especially being a part of the Media Team with Bob Roth. We accomplished amazing publicity together, and I continued on my own, globally publicizing our MUM researchers and their TM studies, among other things. Will continue to keep you posted on TM news and other things as they become available. There are some exciting new projects coming up!

Scheherazade Incarnate, poem for Valerie

September 17, 2014

Scheherazade Incarnate
(For Valerie)

Beautiful, Passionate, Sexy,
You want to love her.
But don’t do what Shahryar did,
And most men do — kill the gift —
Eat the fruit and throw away the core,
The essence — and be done with her.

But instead, she’ll go to your head
And heart, with her wondrous stories
Of transformation, keeping you
Transfixed, wanting more —

You’ll never want to leave her
Nor want her to leave
Scheherazade Incarnate
Forever

© Ken Chawkin
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Fairfield, Iowa

Read some of Valerie’s articles at Rebelle Society
And this interview at TMhome.com

See the List of One Thousand and One Nights characters
Listen to Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Gergiev · Vienna Philharmonic · Salzburg Festival 2005

Remembering 9–11, The Merciful Nature of Time

September 11, 2014

Remembering 9–11

When it comes to dealing with adversity, accepting it is not always easy, especially when it involves a devastating sudden loss, like what happened on 9-11, (September 11, 2001), 13 years ago today. Many had to accept it, live with it, and over time, hopefully distance themselves from the painful memories of the loss of their loved ones.

Same thing if it’s an ongoing situation, where you see someone you love disappearing before your eyes due to some incurable disease. Maybe it’s not as devastating. I don’t know. Grief is grief; it’s not easy. But our perspective could change over time. And that can be the merciful nature of time. Here is a haiku about it.

The Merciful Nature of Time

Time is kind to us
It lets us get used to change
Then we can move on

© Ken Chawkin
September 11, 2014

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

They say, Time heals all wounds. But does it? Not according to , a counselor who specializes in end-of-life and bereavement matters. He says it’s what you do with the time that heals. Read his article published  in Psychology Today’s The Journey Ahead.

The David Lynch Foundation

One organization helping people deal with adversity and various forms of traumatic stress and grief is the David Lynch Foundation. Visit their website and see how they are Healing Traumatic Stress and Raising Performance in At-Risk Populations http://davidlynchfoundation.org. See DLF executive director Bob Roth speak at Google Zeitgeist 2014.

 

The Enlightened Heart, a poem by Ken Chawkin

September 7, 2014

I wrote this poem, The Enlightened Heart, in the late 1980s, over 25 years ago. I had begun writing a lot of poetry back then. A few years later, in the early 90’s, I recited it at a World Peace Assembly in Maharishi University’s Golden Dome. I was asked to read two poems that day; the first one was Seeing Is Being. It took a lot of courage to ask to read my poems in front of a few hundred people, but I wanted it to be a birthday present to myself. I was glad to have been invited. The poetry reading produced a wonderful effect within me and the audience.

The Enlightened Heart

There is a sea of love
flowing within my heart;
each drop contains a world,
a wave of feeling,
rolling out to a not-too-distant shore.

You are dwelling there
upon that shore,
warming under the sun above.

When you dive deep inside this sea,
you stir the me,
that’s becoming the we,
and melt the three
into a unity,
that remembers its own eternity;

in the eternally-flowing sea
of love.

Some poems you might like from that earlier era are: Ode To The Artist, and its companion piece Sometimes Poetry Happens. Also see As Above, So Below and a complementary poem, Pine Cone Trees, written several years later while living in Houston, Texas. This poem, Being in Nature, was written after I had returned to Canada to live in Vancouver, British Columbia. After returning to the US, I wrote this poem, Poetry – The Art of the Voice, while living in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, North Carolina. It beautifully expresses the feeling that was created in the dome. You can see more of My poems on The Uncarved Blog.

The David @LynchFoundation @TMmeditation Program Brings Relief to Traumatized Moms Who Lost a Child to City Violence

August 28, 2014

Here is a great article by Erin Meyer, and inspiring interview with DNAinfo Chicago Radio News Director that aired August 22, 2014: Moms Traumatized by City Violence Join David Lynch Meditation Program.

Erin answers Jon’s questions based on what grieving mothers who had lost a child to city violence, and have now started meditating, are telling her. This is the first time they’ve been able to experience any kind of inner peace for 20 minutes twice a day. For these program participants, TM is bringing relief to their stress-filled days and nights.

HUMBOLDT PARK — Eyes closed in meditation, a small group of grieving women sat in a circle on the second floor of a Humboldt Boys & Girls Club one recent Sunday afternoon.

The lights were dimmed. Except for the hum of the air conditioner and the far away sound of basketballs hitting the gym floor below, the room was awash in a deep silence.

The quiet, say the mothers — most of whom have lost children to Chicago violence — was coming from within, a rediscovered inner peace thought to have died with their children.

“For all these years, I’ve been fighting with my brain. I took medication to forget, but you can never forget,” said 49-year-old Beti Guevara, who was just a girl when her brother was slain 38 years ago.

Erin Meyer says the mothers struggle to find peaceful moments after the death of a child:

With Transcendental Meditation, “I can think clearly, I’m calmer, and I can finally sleep,” he said.

Guevara and her friends are learning the trademarked relaxation method, called TM for short, at the invitation of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.

Lynch, an innovator of cinema best known as the director of the TV series “Twin Peaks” and films including “Mulholland Drive” and “Lost Highway,” views TM as a tonic for victims of trauma and a vehicle to world peace.

The New York-based foundation that bears his name teaches TM on American Indian reservations, in prisons and schools, to homeless people, to former soldiers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and to victims of war in Africa, according to the organization’s website.

Recently, the David Lynch Foundation added to that list Chicago mothers living in the wake of a child’s murder.

Among those participating are: An-Janette Albert, mother of 16-year-old Derrion Albert, whose 2009 beating death outside Fenger High School shocked the nation; Myrna Roman, who lost her first-born in an unprovoked 2010 drive-by in Humboldt Park; and Maria Pike, the mother of an aspiring chef, Ricky Pike, who was gunned down in Logan Square in 2012.

The group met multiple times over the course of a week with a husband-wife TM instruction team, adopted their mantras and started meditating twice a day for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Four days into the practice, most of the new students said they have found a surprising measure of peace.

Transcendental Meditation is not an ancient technique, but a method developed by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s. It became wider known when it was adopted by members of The Beatles.

On Sunday, at the Union League Boys & Girls Club, meditation teacher Chris Busch described TM as a nonreligious exercise with myriad mind and body benefits ranging from stress reduction to reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular health.

“It’s a simple thing,” Busch said. “Even children 10 years old, they can do it,” he said, describing improvements that some schools in San Francisco have seen through the implementation of a TM program for students.

Lynch told the New York Times earlier this year that he began TM in 1973.

“The Beatles were over with Maharishi in India and lots of people were getting hip to Transcendental Meditation and different kinds of meditation, and I thought it was real baloney,” Lynch said. “I thought I would become a raisin-and-nut eater, and I just wanted to work.”

Then, he heard the phrase, “True happiness is not out there, true happiness lies within.”

“And this phrase had a ring of truth to it,” Lynch said.

He described TM, which usually costs about $1,000 to learn through TM teachers, as “a key that opens the door.”

After spending time with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, he decided to set up a foundation in 2005 to spread the meditation approach, according to the Times.

“Things like traumatic stress and anxiety and tension and sorrow and depression and hate and bitter, selfish anger and fear start to lift away,” Lynch said. He launched a Women’s Initiative in 2012.

The Chicago mothers, just beginning to see the potential meditation has to bring order to their lives, stumbled into TM.

Maria Pike was telling friends on a recent trip to Washington D.C. about the daily challenges she encounters just trying to live a normal life in the wake of her son’s murder. The friends turned out to be TM practitioners, Pike said.

They made some phone calls, which led to more phone calls. Eventually, supporters of the David Lynch Foundation offered to pay for Pike and her friends to take the TM training.

“I feel like it was meant to be,” Pike said.

Published with permission from the author. See the complete article with photos here.

See executive director Bob Roth speak at Google Zeitgeist 2014 about the work of the David Lynch Foundation offering Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations, as well as Wall Street executives.

For Emily Dickinson the brain is wider than the sky and deeper than the sea — a finite infinity

August 27, 2014

untapped brain potential

The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and You—beside—

The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As Sponges—Buckets—do—

The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—

See Emily Dickinson’s Solitude is Vedic Nivartatwam and Emily Dickinson succinctly describes the eternal nature of Love in this short but powerful poem.

Read how Emily Dickinson wanted her poems to look on the page, described in Rebecca Mead’s Back of the Envelope in The New Yorker: Poesy Dept. | January 27, 2014 Issue.

Read the rest of this entry »

Emily Dickinson succinctly describes the eternal nature of Love in this short but powerful poem

August 26, 2014

Love—is anterior to Life—
Posterior—to Death—
Initial of Creation, and
The Exponent of Breath—

This description of Love reminds me of the nature of the Self described in chapter two of the Gita: It is eternal. It was never born, nor will it ever die. It cannot be destroyed when the body is destroyed.

When it comes to mystical conception and creative inspiration, Love is expressed in a beautiful poem by New York poet laureate Marie Howe. Listen to her read Annunciation to Krista Tippett On Being.

For another Vedic perspective from America’s greatest poet, see Emily Dickinson’s Solitude, where she describes the self-referral process of the self integrating with the Self, finite infinity.

Read how Emily Dickinson wanted her poems to look on the page, described in Rebecca Mead’s Back of the Envelope in The New Yorker: Poesy Dept. | January 27, 2014 Issue.

Here is another cosmic love poem by another one of America’s greatest poets: i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings.

See A Blessing of Solitude by John O’Donohue, from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, which profoundly complements Derek Walcott’s poem Love After Love.


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