Selected Wise Words From Rumi

February 28, 2015

There are many wise sayings from Rumi. Some were posted on the blog: something to tell. I copied a few thoughtful and instructive ones:

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.

When someone is counting out gold for you, don’t look at your hands, or the gold. Look at the giver.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.

You are not just the drop in the ocean. You are the mighty ocean in the drop.

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

See more quotes and images from this blogger at rumi’s wise words.

You may also enjoy Two kinds of knowledge about living and learning.

Here’s another one: Poems by Rumi and Octavio Paz open our minds to a more cosmic perspective. Also see several inspiring poems by Hafiz.

 

Time for some humor and love — WELCOME BACK

February 19, 2015

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

WELCOME BACK

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, and lessons to be learned. :-)

COMING BACK FOR LOVE IN FIVE ROMANTIC FILMS

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 and Kelly McGillis, who meet and fall in love in Heaven. Annie (McGillis) is sent to Earth and Mike (Hutton) makes a deal to be reborn (Elmo) to find her (Ally). But he’s given a time-frame of 30 years in which to do it, otherwise he’ll lose her forever. It’s a magical movie filled with surprises. Rent it, or find out more on Wikipedia.

That year, Wim Wenders came out with his amazing film, Wings of Desire, about an angel who tires of overseeing human beings and wishes to become one himself when he falls in love with a mortal.

City of Angels posterTen years later it was adapted for English audiences as City of Angels (1998). Wenders co-wrote the screenplay. Nicholas Cage plays the angel who falls in love with a doctor, Meg Ryan, because of her beauty and concern for her patients. She doesn’t believe in angels, but when he reveals himself to her she falls in love with him, and has to decide between him or her fiance. One patient, a former angel, tells him how he became human for a woman. He does the same and experiences the joys and sorrows of love and loss.

sit-bdAnother great movie is Somewhere in Time (1980adapted from the 1975 novel Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson who also wrote the screenplay. Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve), a playwright, falls in love with a picture of Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), an actress who had performed at the Grand Hotel. He discovers he was there and finds a way to travel back in time to win her heart. It works, but something unexpected happens that changes everything.

The SAG strike and lack of funds prevented the film from being effectively launched that year. When it was finally shown in New York, critics panned it, squashing plans for a national release. But, with the advent of cable television and late night movies, it soon became a cult classic and went on to win numerous awards.

John Barry composed the beautiful soundtrack including the haunting 18th variation of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Barry had been mourning the death of his parents and was not making himself available for work, but Seymour, a close friend, and the script, persuaded him to get involved. He channeled his emotions into the music, which contributed to the film’s success. Visit the official fan website to find out more: http://www.somewhereintime.tv.

Another beautiful time-travel love story is The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan, a 1979 made-for-television movie based on the much-loved classic novel Second Sight by David Williams.

The Two Worlds of Jennie LoganAfter trying on a dress found in the attic of an old Victorian house her husband purchased to try to save their marriage, Jennie Logan accidentally travels into the past. After several visits there she discovers true love. Returning to the present she investigates who he was and how he may have been killed. She travels between both worlds in an attempt to save her lover’s life and alter history. Find out more at IMDb and the Amazon book description and comments. Watch it on YouTube.

Defending Your LifeOn a lighter note, Albert Brooks wrote, directed and starred, with Meryl Streep, in Defending Your Life (1991), “the first true story of what happens after you die.” The dead are sent to Judgement City, a vacation-style place for the afterlife where representatives using large amounts of their brain potential help you defend your life in front of a court. The opposition also reviews aspects of your life where you showed fear instead of courage, the intent being to learn from past experiences.

Shirley MacLaine has a cameo role inviting people to the Pavilion of Past Lives, which is quite funny. There is also a love interest between the main characters who meet while their lives are undergoing review before they will be sent onto their different destinations. The question is, will he overcome his fears and sacrifice everything to be with this wonderful woman? You’ll have to see the movie to find out. :-)

Blending heaven and earth, the divine and the mortal, the idyllic past with the unfulfilled present, or unresolved issues exposed in the afterlife, each film provides a different perspective on the sacrifice the main character makes for love, giving up one to gain the other. The ways of karma are unfathomable, but true love is eternal, and transformational!

Our Meditation Love Poem for Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2015

I wrote Our Meditation Love Poem, about 4 ½ years ago, and decided to post it now, for Valentine’s Day. I was visiting my sweetheart during the week at her care facility and wrote the poem and story behind it that Saturday, September 4, 2010, almost 4 ½ months after she moved in.

OurMeditationLovePoemForSali

I was remembering the meditation we had this week; my chest area filled up with a great inner warmth and bliss of loving you. Tonight, I was listening to Leonard Cohen singing his songs of love, and started writing this poem from that memory, that feeling, and also remembered the quote in the film, Tristan and Isolde, when he is dying and he says to her, “You were right—life is greater than death, but love is greater than either.” He was referring to what she had said when they first met, about following your heart, and that love in one’s life fills up what would otherwise be an empty shell of duty and honor, quoting John Donne’s The Good Morrow, where he writes:

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares,
And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,
…..
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.

So I came up with this poem, Our Meditation Love Poem. I found myself writing a 17-syllable line, the sum of a haiku in 3 lines. I liked the flow and decided to make each line 17 syllables long, each one having its own internal rhythm and flow. I wanted to write 11 lines for some reason, maybe thinking there were 11 syllables in each line. But now I remember there are 17. But I would then have to write 6 more lines, and right now I can’t see it. I naturally divided them into 2 stanzas of 4 lines each followed by a stanza of 3 at the end. It seems to have worked well.

Related: See this for : i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings. And This Quiet Love, a #LovePoem from Kenny, for Sally on #ValentinesDay. Enjoy reading other beautiful love poems posted on The Uncarved Blog.

This Quiet Love, a #LovePoem from Kenny, for Sally on #ValentinesDay

February 14, 2015

This Quiet Love

This is a quiet love
One of simplicity and easiness
No complications here
It’s too late in life for that sort of thing
Just time to be best friends

© Ken Chawkin
October 22, 2006
Fairfield, Iowa

I wrote this poem around 8 years and 4 months ago at the recognition of a growing friendship I was sharing with someone special. I realized I was enjoying a different kind of love at this stage of my life, and it was good. Earlier attempts at love in relationships had been disappointing—unrequited, romantic, irresponsible, tempestuous, lustful, and in the end, unfulfilled. I didn’t think true love was possible, or if it even existed.

And then it happened, but not all at once. We had met briefly 10 years earlier, then forgot. After we unknowingly reconnected, a story in itself, love took some time to blossom, to be earned. She was UNDECIDED about being COMMITTED. Through each stage, poems would flow forth; she became my muse. All poems listed in the sub-category Sally Peden are about Sali, except the first 3, which were written by her about a visit To Jyotir Math with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Later my love would be tested when An Unwanted Guest came to live with us. Eventually we would have to live apart, which lead to the Dementia Blues. But Sally’s Smile would continue to uplift me and all those around her. Many changes continue to transform our lives, each in our own way. I never would have imagined this kind of development, but This Quiet Love continues to sustain me. As does the love of my family, my children and my siblings, for which I am truly grateful.

See this for : i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings. See Our Meditation Love Poem for Valentine’s Day, and other beautiful love poems posted on The Uncarved Blog.

Listen to Canadian harpist Kristan Toczko perform Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune. Just beautiful!

February 12, 2015

Time now for a peaceful musical interlude. Listen to Canadian harpist, Kristan Toczko, play Claude Debussy’s romantic composition, Clair de Lune. It was recorded live on May 12, 2014 at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, ON, Canada, and later published on her YouTube channel, Kristan Toczko, August 5, 2014. This short classical piece, and her interpretation of it, are just beautiful!! Like a powerful haiku, it leaves you with a deeply peaceful feeling.

I also found this beautiful performance of Claude Debussy “Clair de lune” by Angela Hewitt in a live concert for the Royal Conservatory of Music at Toronto’s Koerner Hall recorded for CBC Music.

This rendition of Claude Debussy – Suite Bergamasque – Clair de Lune by the famous French-American pianist François-Joël Thiollier is sublime! I also found it as Clair de Lune (Moonlight) showing the album cover.

Apparently, Clair de Lune, was a French poem written by Paul Verlaine in 1869, and became the inspiration for the third and most famous movement of Debussy’s 1890 Suite Bergamasque of the same name.

Cameron Diaz tells Bob Roth @LynchFoundation how #TranscendentalMeditation has helped her

February 10, 2015

Watch this Conversation with Cameron Diaz presented by the David Lynch Foundation. Published Feb 7, 2015 on the DavidLynchFoundation channel, actress and author Cameron Diaz was interviewed by DLF Executive Director Bob Roth on her personal practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Cameron is sweet and lively as she shares some amazing stories, practical ways that TM helped her deal with personal relationships, acting under stressful conditions, and more. The event took place in New York City at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen, a DLF sponsor.

Visit the David Lynch Foundation to see how they are helping different sectors of society overcome trauma and transform lives: www.davidlynchfoundation.org.

Denise Levertov’s Primary Wonder is being present to the quiet mystery that sustains us

February 10, 2015

This beautiful profound little poem, Primary Wonder, by Denise Levertov (1923–1997), reminds us what is important when we get overshadowed by life’s little problems. When she became present to the mystery, experienced that joyful cosmic stillness within, she realized her life, and all of creation was sustained by the Creator. Life’s problems receded, became insignificant when presented with such primary wonder.

Primary Wonder

Days pass when I forget the mystery.
Problems insoluble and problems offering
their own ignored solutions
jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber
along with a host of diversions, my courtiers, wearing
their colored clothes; cap and bells.

…………………………………………….And then
once more the quiet mystery
is present to me, the throng’s clamor
recedes: the mystery
that there is anything, anything at all,
let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,
rather than void: and that, O Lord,
Creator, Hallowed One, You still,
hour by hour sustain it.

The Upanishads say a similar thing for those who are awake or self-referral: Brahma bhavati sarathi: Brahman is the charioteer, all actions are conducted for you by the laws of nature. And another quote says: From bliss all these beings are born, in bliss they are sustained, and to bliss they go and merge again. (Taittiriya Upanishad 3.6.1)

Author Philip Goldberg Remembers January 12 as A Double Guru Birthday Fest on HUFFPOST TASTE

February 3, 2015

, HUFFPOST Blogger, Interfaith Minister, and author of ‘American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West’ remembers January 12: A Double Guru Birthday Fest

MMY-HUFFPOST

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

January 12 is celebrated throughout India, and in countries with large Hindu populations, as the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. A national hero, Vivekananda is revered for updating the wisdom of India’s ancient sages and bringing those teachings to the West, in 1893. By coincidence – or astrological design, take your pick – another vital figure in that East-West transmission was also born on that date, and he too deserves to be celebrated.

The man who became known as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born Mahesh Prasad Varma, on January 12, 1917, or perhaps 1918, in Central India. While attending Allahabad University, he heard that a famous saint named Swami Brahmananda Saraswati was in the area, and he went to him “as a thirsty man at a well.” Mahesh asked to become the swami’s disciple. The reply was the same one many future gurus received when they were eager young seekers: first finish school. After graduating with a degree in physics, he was formally accepted as a disciple. By then, the swami had been persuaded to accept the much-esteemed, and long-vacant, seat of Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math–one of four monastic lineages established centuries earlier by the great reformer Shankara. The Shankaracharya would become a legend, and so would the humble disciple who served him primarily as a clerk for thirteen years.

After his guru died, in 1953, Mahesh spent a few years in the Himalayas before traveling to the sacred sites of South India. In Trivandrum, a stranger asked him to give a public talk. He was evidently good at it. Before long, he found himself on what we now call a speaking tour. At a festival in Kerala in 1955, people were impressed enough to call him a “Maharishi”–maha meaning great, rishi meaning sage–and the appellation stuck. When he became world famous a dozen years later, the naïve press treated “Maharishi” as his name, and that’s what he’s been called ever since.

That global fame, as most people know, resulted from his historic encounter with the biggest celebrities of the postwar era. In August, 1967, at the suggestion of George Harrison’s then-wife Patti, the Beatles went to hear Maharishi speak about his Transcendental Meditation at the London Hilton. They became instant enthusiasts and, six months later, went to India for an extended stay at Maharishi’s ashram. In the opening paragraph of American Veda, I refer to that as “the most momentous spiritual retreat since Jesus spent those forty days in the wilderness.” It was as if the earth itself had tilted, allowing the insights of India’s yogis to pour into the West at an accelerated pace.

It was easy at the time for reporters to write off “the Beatles’ guru” as a lucky guy who got rich and famous off the lads’ monumental celebrity. It was easy to label him “the giggling guru” because he had an infectious, high-pitched laugh and he found much of modern life rather amusing. It was easy to mock him as the face of guruhood at a time when yoga and meditation were seen as accessories of flower-power counterculture. All of which belies the fact that Maharishi was a very practical man who took his mission–to spiritually regenerate the world by expanding individual consciousness–very seriously, and he worked longer hours in its service than most CEOs could endure.

He had been planting seeds non-stop for a dozen years when the Beatles sought him out, repeatedly circling the globe and teaching his simple, powerful form of meditation to all comers, and he kept at it for another forty years after the Fab Four made Rishikesh a pilgrimage site for Western yogis. If history is fair, he will be recognized as one of the key figures in the transmission, adaptation and assimilation of Yogic teachings into the mainstream of American life.

Nowadays, everyone from ordinary physicians to giant HMOs recommends meditation to reduce stress and prevent illness. This, to put it mildly, was not the case in 1968. It was Maharishi who convinced scientists to study the practice, and he made sure his systematic TM procedures were compatible with research protocols. He understood that ours is an evidence-driven age, and that Americans would embrace something as exotic as meditation only if science demonstrated its value. The first paper on the physiology of meditation was published in 1970, by one of Maharishi’s students, a UCLA doctoral candidate named Robert Keith Wallace. The collective research juggernaut that followed ushered meditation from the fringes of society to the center, and directly into your armchair, cushion or yoga mat.

So, for whatever stars and planets were aligned on those two January 12s, we can be doubly thankful.

Check out bizHUMM for all things small business

January 24, 2015

New Free Business Resource Website to Help Small Companies Grow

I’d like to introduce you to a brand new business resource website — bizHUMM.com — for all things small business. A lot of care, thought, creativity, valuable knowledge, and pure fun went into producing this website. It was created and directed by my brother-in-law, Laurie Sluser, with help from the Integrated Internet Marketing team at Galaxy Ninja.

I’ve known Laurie for a long time. We taught TM together in Montreal over 40 years ago and he married one of my sisters. So we’ve been together as a family for a long time. Laurie started this website with another longtime mutual friend, Ruby Finkelstein. We all live in Fairfield, Iowa. I asked Laurie about his new company, where the idea came from, and what he hopes to accomplish with it.

bizHUMM homepage

Click image to enlarge details.

Ken Chawkin: What exactly is bizHUMM?

Laurie Sluser: bizHUMM is a content rich website that offers excellent and practical resources for entrepreneurs, owners and managers to help them grow their small businesses. When you visit our site you will see that we are starting with useful written content and in the coming year we’ll be adding engaging video content, webinars and online training programs — all for small businesses.

KC: How did you come up with the idea?

LS: Well, I’ve worked in business most of my life. Most recently, for the past 16 years, I ran a national software engineering staffing company. I have had the joy of working with smart people, close friends and family and we all wore many hats. And one experience repeated itself over and over again. A problem would arise and we wanted a solution now. Google is great but the searches for our needs were often unsatisfactory. It was obvious that there was a gap in the market.

When I went out on my own last summer I got together with Ruby, a lifelong friend of mine, and we were determined to come up with a solution to this market need. There should be one site with practical answers and useful information for every phase and type of small business — software companies and florists, restaurants and online businesses, consultants and manufacturers. You get the idea — one site that helps all types of small businesses to grow. And from that inspiration bizHUMM emerged.

KC: I see you are in Beta (test) mode now. When do you officially launch, and does it cost anything to join?

LS: It’s taken us the better part of one year but we are finally there and ready to launch our small business resource website. We just launched our Beta version for about a 5-week period and are limiting ourselves to 1000 founding members. It’s free and very easy to sign up. Please go to http://bizhumm.com and set up your own account. It would mean a great deal to me for you to join our Beta group. Kindly share bizHUMM.com with your friends who you think would benefit, and we really look forward to any feedback you may have. Thanks so much, I appreciate your support!

KC: How did you come up with the name, bizHUMM? And who or what is Hummy?

bizHUMM beta logo

LS: Ruby asked me what I wanted to call the business, and the name just burst out of me. It just came right out of the clear blue. Biz, because it had something to do with small business, and humm just came before I could even think about it. So I thought bizHUMM. As soon as I said it, Ruby loved it. He asked me, “How do you spell it?” I answered, “b-i-z-h-u-m-m.” He said, “Shouldn’t it be one m?” And I replied, “No, it’s got to be two m’s.” The whole thing happened in two minutes without thinking. We were laughing, we knew we had a name people would relate to. When I mention it to friends, they love the name.

KC: Why do you spell it the way you do?

LS: It’s for small businesses wanting to create a big HUMM. :-)

HUMM of the DAYAs for Hummy, we wanted a smart, lovable spokesperson with a name that played off of bizHUMM. We came up with the name Henry Hummingbird, or Hummy for short. He’s a tiny hummingbird with big dreams. You can read more about Hummy on his bio page.

KC: I notice your website has a HUMM of the day. What is that?

LS: The featured post of the day or Humm of the Day is found at the top of the home page each day. But there is a good deal of useful content in every area of business activity.

KC: What can anyone running their own business, or working in one, gain from your website?

LS: We have a free content website that organizes its posts into 5 main categories of Startups, Sales, Marketing, Technology and Finance. These 5 areas are then broken down into almost 50 subcategories such as Sales Training, SEO, Finance Software and so on. The idea is to have one resource that can introduce you to practical content in any area your small business may need to promote its growth.

KC: How can people get more out of your website? Are there any added fees for these services?

LS: The site is and will always be free. Later this year, we will introduce a Premium membership program. However, we will be adding free webinars and video content for our regular members as well.

KC: Thank you for your time. I wish you a lot of success with this new venture, and success to those fortunate enough to take advantage of your generous time and energy.

LS: Thanks Ken. I appreciate you sharing this. Here’s wishing success to all your readers.

Editor’s note: GETTING STARTED: Discover the 12 most popular bizHUMM features: http://bizhumm.com/getting-started.

Greg Reitman’s film, ROOTED in PEACE, inspires us to change from within to transform the world

January 22, 2015

Rooted in Peace PosterThis Saturday, January 24, 2015, PublicVine will host a private screening of Sundance award-winning director/producer Greg Reitman’s latest film, ROOTED in PEACE. The event will be held at the I-Heart Radio Lounge located in the heart of Sundance on Main Street in Park City, Utah. The film will be presented using PublicVine’s innovative social media platform. There will be a live question and answer after the screening with filmmaker Greg Reitman, PublicVine CEO Nam Mokwunye, and writer/producer Scott Zarakin, followed by an after party for all in attendance.

Greg Reitman says one of the most important issues for filmmakers wanting to get their films out into the marketplace is being able “to reach the widest available audience while retaining as much financial control as possible.” He feels PublicVine’s platform will provide “a perfect balance for releasing our new film, ROOTED in PEACE.” And when it comes to reaching consumers for digital transactions on a world-wide level Reitman adds, “PublicVine’s platform is going to be a game-changer for filmmakers.”

PublicVine CEO Nam Mokwunye points out that Reitman’s screening of ROOTED in PEACE “from his channel on PublicVine could be a first in film history.” He says it will only “give us a glimpse of what is possible with PublicVine and what opportunities lie ahead.”

Read the press release to find out more details about this innovative social video marketplace and how it can benefit filmmakers.

About ROOTED in PEACE

Greg_ReitmanROOTED in PEACE challenges viewers to examine their values as Americans and human beings. Today we are at war within ourselves, with our environment, and with the world. Director and award-winning filmmaker Greg Reitman invites viewers on a film journey to take notice of the world we live in, proactively seek ways to find personal and ecological peace, and stop the cycle of violence.

The film relies not only on memoir, but also interviews with such luminaries and activists as Deepak Chopra, music legends Donovan, Mike Love, and Pete Seeger, film director David Lynch, Noble Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, green architect William McDonough, physician and best-selling author Mark Hyman, neuroscientists Dan Siegel and Fred Travis, sustainability and nutritional experts, and many more.

Reitman learns from all of them, and heeds Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s words, that if the forest is to be green, every tree must be green; if there’s going to be Peace on earth, then everybody needs to experience that quality of Peace within themselves. And so in asking viewers to do the same, Reitman poses the basic question: How do we want to live?

Reitman’s journey is an example of transformation — how one person can learn to make the necessary changes to enjoy a better life — and in so doing inspire others to want to improve their own lives, and society as a whole.

Greg Reitman is the founder of Blue Water Entertainment, Inc., an independent production company focusing on environmentally conscious entertainment. Widely regarded as Hollywood’s “Green Producer,” Greg produced the 2008 SUNDANCE Audience Award-winning feature documentary “FUEL.” He wrote, produced, and directed the feature documentary “HOLLYWOOD’S MAGICAL ISLAND- CATALINA” (PBS) and returns back on the festival circuit with his latest revolutionary feature documentary film, “ROOTED in PEACE.” He’s currently in development on the motion picture film: “The Roni Levi Story.”

Read the rest of this entry »


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