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.

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 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.

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

Burghild Nina Holzer inspires us to write and discover who we are and what we have to say

August 20, 2014

When it comes to writing and creativity, one book I highly recommend is A Walk Between Heaven and Earth: A Personal Journal on Writing and the Creative Process by Burghild Nina Holzer. It’s all about finding your own voice, your own truth, that’s been building up inside you, waiting to be revealed, to yourself, to others.

I found it in a Women in Print bookstore in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This author and writing facilitator turns her book on the creative process into a journal thereby demonstrating what she is teaching. She shares personal observations about her life, the world around her, and how she encourages her students to write.

Read this book and you’ll be inspired to express yourself in writing. There is a beautiful excerpt on the back cover, edited down from the original, that reads:

Talking to paper is talking to the divine. Paper is infinitely patient. Each time you scratch on it, you trace part of yourself, and thus part of the world, and thus part of the grammar of the universe. It is a huge language, but each of us tracks his or her particular understanding of it.

Here is the full description under the journal entry 4:30 P.M. on page 55.

Talking to paper is like talking to the divine. It is talking to an ear that will understand even the most difficult things. Paper is infinitely patient. It will receive small fragment after fragment of a large network you are working on, without you yourself knowing it. It will wait out decades for you to put together the first faint traces of your own code, a code you might have understood as a small child but which you are now gathering on a new level of understanding. The white paper is waiting. Each time you scratch on it, you trace part of yourself, and thus part of the world, and thus part of the grammar of the universe. It is a huge language, but each of us tracks his or her particular understanding of it.

I’ve posted earlier entries on writing you may also find worthwhile: Writing—a poem on the writing process; INSPIRATION, a poem by Nathanael Chawkin; Elizabeth Gilbert—Some Thoughts On Writing; Writers on Writing–What Writing Means To Writers; and Words of Wisdom on Writing from Literary Lights.

Charles Bukowski sings the life victorious

August 17, 2014

a song with no end

when Whitman wrote, “I sing the body electric”

I know what he
meant
I know what he
wanted:

to be completely alive every moment
in spite of the inevitable.

we can’t cheat death but we can make it
work so hard
that when it does take
us

it will have known a victory just as
perfect as
ours.

“a song with no end” by Charles Bukowski, from The Night Torn with Mad Footsteps. © Black Sparrow Press, 2001.

Emily Dickinson’s Solitude is Vedic Nivartatwam

August 17, 2014

Emily Dickinson beautifully, concisely describes the transcendental self-referral value of true inner solitude by realizing her unbounded Self.

There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea
A solitude of death, these
Society shall be
Compared with that profounder site
That polar privacy
A soul admitted to itself —
Finite infinity.

When Emily admits the self to the Self, she reiterates the Vedic injunction to transcend, retire, Nivartatwam, into that infinitely silent, Shivam, infinitely peaceful, Shantam, undivided, Advaitam, fourth, Chaturtham, state of consciousness, Atma, the Self.

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

Derek Walcott had his own way of describing this return to love, to one’s Self, in Love after Love.

Two famous quotes on courage and commitment by Marianne Williamson and William H. Murray

August 14, 2014

Here are two famous quotes I’ve admired that have to do with overcoming our fears, believing in ourselves, and having the courage to commit to our dreams, which then moves Nature to support us in ways we never would have imagined. They seem to be related in an important way — having the confidence and courage to commit to ourselves and fulfill our life’s purpose.

The first quote, having the courage to overcome our fears to become our true self, is from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return To Love. It’s often been mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela, who used it in his 1994 Inaugural Speech.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” Actually who are you not to be?

YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. And as we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

This second quote, on commitment, was thought to have been written by Goethe, but it is from William H. Murray, author of The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London, 1951).

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

W. H. Murray’s book details the first Scottish expedition in 1950 to the Kumaon range in the Himalayas, between Tibet and western Nepal. The expedition, led by Murray, attempted nine mountains and climbed five, in over 450 miles of mountainous travel. You can read more about this on About.com: German Myth 12: The Famous “Goethe” Quotation.

I just came across a similar post by Joseph Ranseth: 3 of the Greatest Quotes – W.H. Murray, Henry David Thoreau & Marianne Williamson. Ranseth cites the more complete Murray quote in context, where he describes the initial steps he and his party were taking before they actually started the mountain-climbing part of the expedition. Their commitment and follow-through precipitated Providence moving in their favor, which explains how he came to write about the power of commitment and its results. Murray also acknowledged and paraphrased a translation of Goethe’s couplet at the end of his quote.

The article also includes a selection from Thoreau’s Walden, Chapter 18. He also went in the direction of fulfilling his dreams when he chose to live self-sufficiently at Walden Pond. He described his opening up to deeper more universal laws of nature during his two-year seclusion and how that impacted his life. The quote ends with these famous lines: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” But what proceeds them is quite profound. I recommend you read that section of the blog post.

Marianne Williamson’s quote reminds me of Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech he gave at MUM this year where he told students they will only have two choices in life — love or fear. He said, “Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

Watch Videos of MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey and see Some Reports on @JimCarrey’s Commencement Speech at MUM @MaharishiU #mumgraduation.

Wendell Berry’s “No going back” is about the generosity of the evolving self through time

July 29, 2014

No Going Back
(Wendell Berry)

No, no, there is no going back.
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.
More and more you have become
those lives and deaths
that have belonged to you.
You have become a sort of grave
containing much that was
and is no more in time, beloved
then, now, and always.
And so you have become a sort of tree
standing over a grave.
Now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.

Here is a National Endowment For The Humanities interview with Wendell E. Berry, Awards & Honors: 2012 Jefferson Lecturer. These poems by Walcott, O’Donohue, and Hafiz complement Berry’s theme: Love after Love, by Derek Walcott, A Blessing of Solitude by John O’Donohue, and The Root of The Rose by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

For Hafiz the role of an enlightened poet is to connect humanity with the joy of the divine

July 16, 2014

A CRYSTAL RIM
by Hafiz

The
Earth
Lifts its glass to the sun
And light — light
Is poured.

A bird
Comes and sits on a crystal rim
And from my forest cave I
Hear singing.

So I run to the edge of existence
And join my soul in love.

I lift my heart to Beloved
And grace is poured.

An emerald bird rises from inside me
And now sits
Upon the Beloved’s
Glass.

I have left that dark cave forever.
My body has blended with His.

I lay my wing
As a bridge to you

So that you can join us
Singing.

(“The Gift” – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

Canadian poet P.K. Page describes a phantom bird in This Heavy Craft.

A mysterious bird in this Wallace Stevens poem teaches us the wonder of just being our self.

Love after Love, by Derek Walcott, resonates deeply when you first acknowledge yourself.

Another poem by Hafiz via Ladinsky describes the spiritual transformation of loving deeply within himself.

Found this lovely YouTube channel by Enea B, which combines poetry with visuals and music.

A mysterious bird in this Wallace Stevens poem teaches us the wonder of just being our self

July 16, 2014

Of Mere Being

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze distance.

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.

Wallace Stevens

The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play

William Stafford in his poem, Just Thinking, also appreciates the value “of just being there.”

Canadian poet P.K. Page describes a phantom bird in This Heavy Craft.


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