Digital storyteller Sharad Kharé speaks with David Lynch Foundation executive director Bob Roth

November 26, 2015

Canadian digital storyteller Sharad Kharé was invited to attend the David Lynch Foundation‘s star-studded Change Begins Within benefit concert in New York City earlier this month. He wrote a wonderful review and also managed to interview the Foundation’s enthusiastic executive director, Bob Roth.

“I usually attend these events for media coverage with my cameras, but earlier in the week I got a chance to get on a quick call with Bob Roth who personally said to come as a guest and enjoy the evening. For that, I am truly honored and grateful.”

Sharad gave us permission to share the lovely video he produced and posted on his HUFFPOST vlog.

Sharad Kharé has a Masters in Communications and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. His background in television and social media production made him a natural choice as the current curator for TEDxVancouver. Find out more about Sharad at

The story behind the making of the International History documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

November 25, 2015

On November 28, 2007, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation technique, was featured in a biographical documentary on the International History Channel. ITN Factual, a UK-based production company, was commissioned by A&E to produce it.

During an interview with the folks at TMhome I had mentioned it, but they wanted to save it for a second article by itself. That article was published this week along with the complete film, which aired 8 years ago this coming weekend. Some of you may have seen it, or heard about it but never got see it. Well, now you can.

Previously unseen historical footage of Maharishi had been located and edited segments were provided to the producer/director Fiona Procter. Some of the people I had arranged to be interviewed for the film were David Lynch, Donovan, Mike Love, Bob Roth, Theresa Olson, Alan Waite, Bevan Morris, and John Hagelin. Jerry Jarvis was included when the producer was in Los Angeles. Sally Peden was also interviewed for the film but did not make final cut. However, she provided additional valuable information for the producer to better understand and appreciate the scope of Maharishi’s contribution to the world.

Read the complete article and watch the film HERE.

William Stafford’s last poem now seemed prophetic—an unintended literary epitaph

November 21, 2015

Below is the last poem William Stafford wrote in his Daily Writings, the morning of the day he died. He was 79 (Jan 17, 1914–Aug 28, 1993).

An unintended prophetic literary epitaph, you wonder if he knew on some deep level that his life was coming to a close?

In a way, the poem beautifully sums up his life as an awake poet, effortlessly creating (It was all easy) from the revelatory moment where, “For that instant, conceiving is knowing; the secret life in language reveals the very self of things.”*

Kim Stafford says a friend told him his father’s “imagination was tuned to the moment when epiphanies were just about to come into being.” Kim continues: At such a moment, ambition could be fatal to what we seek. Take a deep breath and wait. What seeks you may then appear.**

There is a reproduction of this poem in his own handwriting opposite the inside title of his posthumously published book, The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems, William Stafford, Graywolf Press (1999).

There was no title to the handwritten poem, just the date of the entry, 28 August 1993. It appears on page 46, and underneath the date is the title:

“Are you Mr. William Stafford?”

“Are you Mr. William Stafford?”
“Yes, but. . . .”

Well, it was yesterday.
Sunlight used to follow my hand.
And that’s when the strange siren-like sound flooded
over the horizon and rushed through the streets of our town.
That’s when sunlight came from behind
a rock and began to follow my hand.

“It’s for the best,” my mother said—”Nothing can
ever be wrong for anyone truly good.”
So later the sun settled back and the sound
faded and was gone. All along the streets every
house waited, white, blue, gray; trees
were still trying to arch as far as they could.

You can’t tell when strange things with meaning
will happen. I’m [still] here writing it down
just the way it was. “You don’t have to
prove anything,” my mother said. “Just be ready
for what God sends.” I listened and put my hand
out in the sun again. It was all easy.

Well, it was yesterday. And the sun came,
It came.

Listen to a beautiful musical rendition of this poem by Daniel Austin Sperry from his album: Cutting Loose ~ A Tribute To William Stafford. Follow him on for updates and musical videos. Visit Buy the digital album online or email to order the CD

See William Stafford—The Way It Is, also recorded by Daniel Sperry, and other Stafford poems I love posted on The Uncarved Blog.

*Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford, by Kim Stafford, Graywolf Press (2002), page 289, referencing his National Book Award Acceptance Speech.

**Ibid, page 136. “What seeks you may then appear” and in the poem, “Just be ready for what God sends” remind me of the ancient rishis, the Vedic seers who were so awake inside that they heard the Veda humming to itself within their own consciousness; they cognized the richas, the hymns of the Veda that sought them out.

That quality of wakefulness, innocence and readiness—a subtle receptivity to what may be given, or realized, is described in Rk Veda, 5.44.14: Yo jagara tam richa kamayante. He who is awake, the richas seek him out. (Peter Freund’s Favorite Sanskrit Expressions, page 3.)

See Maharishi Mahesh Yogi describe the process of Vedic cognition during a 1976 European symposium on Science and Consciousness: He Who Is Awake the Hymns Seek Him Out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Searching For The Meaning Of Your Life

November 12, 2015

In meditation last morning, a thought came that I was “in search of my own doing.” My life is the result of choices, of things I did and did not do that cannot be undone. Life goes on, and I am still wondering what I should be doing with the rest of my life.

Then I thought of my children and their attempts to make sense of their lives, to fulfill their destiny. So, I wrote this philosophical tanka about being and becoming.

Searching For The Meaning of Your Life

Your destiny is
A search for your own doing
What your life will mean

But doing starts with being
Only then can you become

Yogastah kurukarmani
Established in Being, perform action

I’m reminded of what Krishna said to Arjuna on the battlefield of life — to perform his duty and fight. But he also gave him the technique for skill in action — to first transcend, to Be (Ch 2, V 45); and then, established in Being, to perform action (Ch 2, V 48).

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in his translation and commentary on The Bhagavad-Gita (Chapters 1-6), said this was the essence of the Vedic wisdom of life, and his effortless, natural technique of Transcendental Meditation was the way to accomplish it.

So “meditate and act” is the formula for success in life. Do what comes naturally and brings you bliss. And if life sometimes stretches you in ways you’re not comfortable with, keep meditating and acting, and you will have grown stronger in the process, becoming more of yourself.

Also see: Two kinds of knowledge about living and learning.

And this related poem: Seeing Is Being.

The magic of fireflies is captured in this beautiful short film by @MaharishiU alum Radim Schreiber

October 28, 2015

“I like to capture the magic.” — photographer Radim Schreiber

The little luminary pictured above was photographed in 2010 by award-winning photographer Radim Schreiber, of Fairfield, Iowa. The photo, entitled Amber Firefly, took 1st place out of 56,000 entries in “The Natural World” category at the 8th annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest published in March 2011. 

A designer, photographer and videographer, formerly for the Sky Factory, Radim has won several national and international photography competitions. Also in 2011 he took 1st place in the 41st annual National Wildlife Photo Contest in the “Backyard Habitat” professional category out of 27,000 entries. He won the 2010 Galapagos Conservancy Photography Contest, and the 2008 and 2009 Rainforest Alliance’s “Picture Sustainability” Photo Contest. Awards are listed on his website.

Radim Schreiber had rarely seen fireflies back home and was surprised and thrilled by their abundance here in Iowa. He started taking still photos and then made a movie of them.

“In the Czech Republic where I grew up, I only saw fireflies a couple of times, deep in the forest. When I came to the United States, I was shocked and thrilled to see the abundance of fireflies and their amazing glow. I was happy to encounter this firefly and photograph its magical bioluminescence.”

Read this July 2011 Iowa Source interview with Christine Schrum to find out how Radim braved ditches, swamps, mosquitoes, and chiggers to obtain his fantastic firefly photos: Stalking Fireflies in the Night.

Radim’s award-winning firefly images have been featured at CBS, NPR, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Iowa Public Television (Fireflies In Iowa) The Weather Channel, The National Wildlife Federation, and KEW – Royal Botanical Gardens. Read more in Mo Ellis’s updated profile of Radim on the MUM website.

The Firefly Experience on Film


This summer I saw a magical little film at the first annual Creative Edge Film Fest in Fairfield, Iowa. Made by fellow MUM alum Radim Schreiber, BFA, it was so beautifully put together visually and musically, the audience was spellbound. When it was over, the 2½-minute short elicited an extended exuberant response.

In this film, Radim Schreiber tried to capture his experiences with fireflies in Lamson Woods, a State Preserve and segment of the Jefferson County Trails System near his house in Fairfield, Iowa. He wanted to document not only their beauty and magical glow, but also behavior in their natural environment, the Neff Wetlands section of the Fairfield Loop Trail.

“When I walk through a quiet forest in the middle of the night full of fireflies, I have an experience of a magical forest. When I see fireflies being a mere reflection of stars under the Milky Way, I feel connected to everything in the universe. They are communicating to me. I am listening.”

Radim chose to not do any digital manipulation to the video itself. The footage came straight from the camera. This is not time-lapse photography, but realtime footage of fireflies!

Radim Schreiber’s Firefly Experience is synchronistically edited with a beautiful soundtrack specifically composed and performed for the film by Tiko Lasola. Radim loves the song. “It is a perfect match for my photos. In fact I was shocked that it happened this way.” I agree! After watching the film you can hear Tiko’s full 3½-minute Fireflies piece here.

After the screening, Radim was selling HD and Blu-ray DVDs of his film. I bought the Blu-ray. I never tire of watching and listening to it; it’s beautiful! It produces a calming effect.

For optimal viewing, Radim suggests we watch the video at night in full screen mode with all lights turned off and the sound turned up.

Visit Radim’s website to see more firefly photos and videos at

A Firefly Poem

Have you ever experienced the magic of fireflies? I’ve seen them around Fairfield, but never like what I saw in southern Missouri during a summer Residence Course in the early 1990s. I had driven with three other Maharishi Ayurveda Health Technicians to a movement facility in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri to provide rejuvenation therapies.

The building was located at the edge of the Mark Twain National Forest. The warm night air was thick with nature’s sounds and sights. Hundreds of frogs incessantly called out to each other from a pond behind the building. Swarms of fireflies dazzled me with their exuberant flashing lights as I walked around the grounds. Their colors and bubbly nature reminded me of Champagne! Inspired, I wrote this short four-line poem.



A profound poem from Karen Karns asks us — WHAT COULD BE MORE INTIMATE?

October 25, 2015

Last Friday night, as I was walking into Revelations for some dinner, I saw a sign in the window for a poetry reading by a friend I knew. It also said a birthday cake would be shared afterwards. I bought a big bowl of soup and headed downstairs. The place was packed and I had to stand at the back by a desk having my soup. The birthday poet was Karen Karns. Her husband, Don (aka, Ark-hal) Karns, offered me his seat, but the owner brought me a chair in time. Don, Karen and I used to work together as Maharishi Ayurveda technicians in the late ’80’s & early 90’s.

Karen KarnsKaren Karns has a Masters in Divinity from Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary, and is a Life Counselor. She has twenty years of experience in Fairfield, Iowa offering individual, pre-marital & couples counseling, which she continues to do in the afternoons. As a Sidha, Karen has been on the Invincible America Assembly continuously since its inception in 2006!

I’ve always found Karen to be a very friendly, cheerful, compassionate and gentle person. You’d never know she had reached retirement age. Maybe all that meditation has kept her looking eternally young and beautiful, inside and out!

Now I discover she’s a poet! Karen was shy about reading her poems in front of an audience, but she did well. The last poem took our collective breath away as she shared an intimate experience of a poem coming to her during a deep meditation in the Ladies Golden Dome.

When a poem comes to you and you don’t write it down, you never forgive yourself. That’s what happened to Karen the first time. But, luckily for her, and us, it came back again during her next meditation in the dome and she quickly wrote it down. This happened during Guru Purnima this year, a special gift. I’ll let her words speak for themselves as the poem asks us, tells us, what could be more intimate.

than these shimmering sheets of light
enfolding the features of each face
as we meditate in silence together,
our spines, divining rods for the deepest
currents and reservoirs of peace.

What could be more intimate
than to be held captive by this
moment, its piracy complete
with all the spoils and riches
from past and future laid
immediately at our feet.

What could be more intimate
than this play of hide and seek,
peeking around corners, into doors—
only to find ourselves hidden
in the marrow of every beam
and rafter in our own huge house.

What could be more intimate
than the waking up of sleep
inside itself
spellbound by the sound
of its own sweet voice
humming an ancient lullaby.

What could be more intimate
than the filling and emptying,
the steady pump of liquid love
as it funnels its way into the portals
and pathways of our bodies, joyfully
mothering each tender cell.

What could be more intimate
than the downpour and drench of bliss.
What could be more intimate than this?

Karen Karns
Guru Purnima 2015

I was so blown away I had to post it on my blog. Luckily she agreed, so I could share it with all of you. I also took her photo to go with the poem.

When I asked Karen if she just wrote it down as a scribe or if she had to work at it, she replied, “I scribed and scrubbed both,” with a smiley face.

That’s been my experience too—creative expression is a collaborative process, especially when the muse whispers something to you! You start with a seed idea, words, even lines, if you’re lucky, and you work at it until it’s done, you polish it until it’s right. Karen sure got this one right!

Read the rest of this entry »

Marianne Williamson to visit Fairfield, Iowa and speak on Consciousness, Democracy and Politics

October 22, 2015

Fairfield, Iowa: Internationally-acclaimed author and lecturer Marianne Williamson will visit Fairfield, Iowa to speak on Consciousness, Democracy and Politics (In Support of Bernie Sanders), Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Sondheim Center. Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy will introduce Ms. Williamson.

Landman for WebMarianne Williamson has spoken for years on the significance of spirituality as a moving force in personal and social change. She has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose. Six of her eleven published books have been New York Times Best Sellers, four of them reaching #1.

Marianne’s first book, A Return To Love, is considered a must-read of modern spirituality. A paragraph from that book beginning “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” is considered an anthem by a contemporary generation of seekers.

Williamson put her high-frequency talk about the field of consciousness on the front line last year when she ran for the U.S House of Representatives, California District 33. She said of her campaign, “It was the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done, but also the most brutal. I have great compassion for people who run for office, and I feel more strongly than ever how important it is to support the candidates we believe in, in every way that we can.”

This year, she dove further into the political field in support of US Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

Ms. Williamson has a long history of translating her ideals into action. In 1989, Williamson founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves home-bound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. Today, the program serves over 1,000 people daily. She also co-founded the Peace Alliance, a nonprofit that works on domestic and international peace building. And she serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, working to end the worst ravages of hunger and poverty throughout the world.

Her upcoming talk in Fairfield was forged from 30 years of experience and all the knowledge contained in her bestselling books, translated into front-line, on-the-ground action in the field. For anyone who believes that consciousness can keep good company with politics, no matter who is running or who is elected, Marianne Williamson carries illuminating perspectives into the conversation.

Marianne Williamson said she was “delighted to be traveling to Fairfield, where so many people are aware of the deeper evolution of consciousness and what it can mean for politics and society.”

When asked what trends she has witnessed over the many years working tirelessly to raise consciousness in the political arena, she said: “What used to be considered a fringe movement is now a mainstream impulse in our society. Now you’re considered fringe if you don’t know what we’re talking about!”

A strong believers in miracles, Ms. Williamson was asked what miracle she would most like to see happen. She replied, “A fundamental change of heart. A turning away from economics as the organizing principle for our civilization, and an embrace of humanitarian issues as our organizing principle instead.”

Ms. Williamson will take questions from the audience after her presentation at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

Read the Fairfield Weekly Reader’s Q&A with Marianne Williamson.

Check out the interview Dennis Raimondi and Philip Goldberg did with Marianne Williamson on their new online program, Spirit Matters: Conversations on Contemperary Spirituality. Listen to this Spirit Matters Talk, and others, at

Read and listen to Matt Kelley’s interview with Marianne Williamson on Radio Iowa or click on Self help author visits Iowa to talk about politics.

Read Bob Saar’s interview with Marianne Williamson in The Hawk Eye.

Event organizer Michael Sternfeld wrote a followup piece for the November 12, 2015 issue of the Fairfield Weekly Reader: Marianne Williamson—Force of Nature: A Personal Review, parts one + two.

Sunday, November 20, 2015, 3 p.m., there will be a replay of Marianne Williamson’s talk at the Fairfield Public Library.

Still missed the talk? You can watch it now on YouTube.

Editor’s note: Some of my readers may find this post offensive, depending on their political allegiances, and because they usually expect articles related primarily to Transcendental Meditation. I myself am not a political person, nor do I wish to promote any candidates, especially since I am a Canadian living in the USA. I just volunteered to contact the press to help publicize this event, and since there was no where to link to the press release at the time, I posted it on my blog. I was told Marianne Williamson practices TM and is looking forward to coming to Fairfield where so many meditators are dedicated to uplifting consciousness for themselves and the nation. I am curious to see what she has to say about the topic — how consciousness, democracy and politics may be interrelated.

Business startup expert @AsherFergusson featured among @MaharishU successful alumni

October 22, 2015

Asher Fergusson, a business startup expert with bizHUMM, is featured among Maharishi University of Management’s successful alumni profiles. Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Asher quickly rose to become a leader, who, at 29, graduated Valedictorian from MUM in 2008 with a degree in Maharishi Vedic Science.

Asher Fergusson Sydney 2011

Upon completing his undergraduate degree, Asher became the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Galaxy Ninja, his own startup Internet marketing business, which he successfully ran for 6 years before selling it in 2014. During his tenure as CEO of Galaxy Ninja, Asher earned his second degree from MUM — an MBA in Sustainable Business.

Asher says he appreciates the clarity of mind he’s received from his regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, which was part of the Consciousness-Based Education curriculum at MUM. “It gives me the mental space to find solutions to what otherwise might have been an insurmountable hurdle. The idea for a solution just magically comes out of no-where and this often saves me countless hours of time. It really does make me ‘lucky’ in all kinds of situations, it’s great!”

As an Internet marketer, he specializes in fields such as Search Engine Optimization, viral content creation and Facebook Advertising. He has helped countless small businesses successfully compete with billion dollar companies.

Asher is now the Chief Marketing Officer for a new startup based in Fairfield called bizHUMM. This website is a free resource that teaches people the steps to starting a business and also how to grow existing businesses. “At bizHUMM I’m applying all the knowledge I gained during my MBA at MUM and from running my first startup, Galaxy Ninja. It’s so fulfilling to apply my degree and help businesses all over the world start and grow. We often get emails of praise from far off places like Gambia, Malaysia and of course locally in the US,” Asher said.

asher+lyric-wedding-photoClick here to read the rest of this fascinating MUM alumni profile with photos of Asher surfing, his worldwide travels and recent marriage to 2006 alumna Lyric Benson.

Asher is also helping his wife, Lyric Benson Fergusson, a talented singer-songwriter/poet, launch her first book of poetry. They currently live in Maui, Hawaii.

See an interview I posted in January of this year with bizHUMM founder Laurie Sluser: Check out bizHUMM for all things small business.

Bob Roth explains how Transcendental Meditation works on Fox5NY’s Good Day New York (WNYW)

October 14, 2015

Bob Roth, executive director of the David Lynch Foundation, appeared on this week’s Fox 5 WNYW Good Day New York morning newscast* with Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly to talk about Transcendental Meditation. Rosanna’s friends were telling her about it, and she was interested in learning. So she invited the in-demand TM teacher to the show.


Bob explained how easy and effortless it is to learn and practice TM, and how different it is from other more difficult approaches. He also described some of the many scientific published research studies showing improvements in health, education, and rehabilitation.

He emphasized TM wasn’t just for the needy or wealthy segments of society. Everyone could benefit from it.  People from every walk of life were practicing it — military personnel, Wall Street brokers, educators, physicians, housewives, students, anyone dealing with today’s stressful challenges. More than just relaxation, he said TM gives you more energy, focus and drive to get things done.

Rosanna asked about the work of the Foundation and the upcoming concert. Bob described the various DLF projects helping different at-risk sectors of society, and announced the November 4th Change Begins Within Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall.


This event features performances by Katy Perry, Sting, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim James, Angelique Kidjo, and Sharon Isbin, with musical direction from Rob Mathes and hosted by David Lynch and George Stephanopoulos.


Proceeds from the event will benefit the David Lynch Foundation’s Meditate New York initiative to provide Transcendental Meditation instruction at no cost to 10,000 at-risk New Yorkers, including underserved youth, veterans with post-traumatic stress, and women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

*This morning news show originally aired on Tuesday, Oct. 13th, 2015. You can watch the 10-minute interview in a larger format from the Fox 5 archive HERE and at the TM Blog.

Rosanna Scotto attended the DLF benefit concert and talked with Greg Kelly about it on Good Day New York.

Coming Back For Love In Five Favorite Romantic Films

August 29, 2015

Ken Chawkin:

Formerly posted as: Time for some humor and love — WELCOME BACK

Originally posted on The Uncarved Blog:

Saw this on a friend’s Twitter feed. Too funny to not share. Made my day!


Words are not needed here; it says it all, but I couldn’t resist. Welcome back to the school of life. Seem familiar? Did we learn our lessons well? No? Having to repeat a class? Time for a fresher course, and then some! Maybe we’ll get it right this time around. You think? If not, there’s always the next class, the next life, with more lessons to be learned. :-)


Made in Heaven posterWhen it comes to getting it right for love, I recommend my all-time favorite romantic movie: Made in Heaven(1987), about two souls, played by Timothy Hutton andKelly McGillis, who meet and fall in love in Heaven. Annie (McGillis) is sent to Earth and Mike (Hutton) makes a deal to…

View original 1,178 more words


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