Writing, literature, life and love intersect in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

August 17, 2018

I saw The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) on Netflix, based on the #1 best-selling book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It’s a period piece that takes place shortly after WWII. The war’s emotional aftermath still weighs heavily on the lives of these isolated islanders. Juliet Ashton, a London journalist and author, visits this small book club to explore the idea of an article about how they survived the war, and forms an unexpected bond with them. Writing, literature, life and love intersect in surprising ways. 

These lines from the trailer resonated deeply. “Do you suppose it’s possible for us to already belong to someone before we’ve met them? I feel keenly how the arc of her life has changed the arc of mine forever. If books do have the power to bring people together, this one may work its magic.” It did, as does the film.

shares some revealing research on the writing of the book and the making of the movie in her review for the Los Angeles Times. Definitely worth reading and watching.

You might enjoy some of my other favorite romantic films, including this 2009 Korea-China co-production, A Good Rain Knows when to come, (a.k.a. Season of Good Rain). See The spring rains renew life and the promise of love in this film inspired by the poetry of Du Fu. Most of these films reveal the power of love to transform individuals challenged by some kind of adversity.

The spring rains renew life and the promise of love in this film inspired by the poetry of Du Fu

August 17, 2018

The good rain knows its season,
When spring arrives, it brings life.

I appreciate believable romantic movies. For some reason this one deeply moved me. I’ve watched A Good Rain Knows (when to come) (2009) several times. Also titled, Season of Good Rain, the film’s theme was inspired by a poem from Du Fu (Tu Fu). Love, like the right season, can come around again and potentially renew one’s life.

HUR Jin-ho directs this Korean-Chinese co-production. The love story stars South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung (Dong-ha) and Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan (Mei).

Season of Good Rain (A Good Rain Knows)

Synopsis: Timely like the spring rain, so has he come back into my life… Dong-ha is a thirty-something Korean man on a business trip to Chengdu, China where his company is carrying out construction projects to rebuild the city after the earthquake of 2008. There, totally by chance, he meets an old friend from his school days in the U.S.. Mei (May) is originally from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. She returned home after graduation and now works as a tour guide. Dong-ha and Mei were perhaps more than friends and had feelings for each other back then, but they parted ways before they had a chance to define or declare them. Now that their paths have crossed again, they find the old feelings remained, and new ones are forming that may resemble love.

This Du Fu poem inspired the film: Welcome Rain on a Spring Night.

The good rain knows its season,
When spring arrives, it brings life.
It follows the wind secretly into the night,
And moistens all things softly, without sound.
On the country road, the clouds are all black,
On a riverboat, a single fire bright.
At dawn one sees this place now red and wet,
The flowers are heavy in the brocade city.

The brocade city is Chengdu, in south-west China, where the story takes place. The park where Mei works contains a statue of Du Fu and a replica of the hut that he lived in, along with the kind of flowering trees he had planted. Dong-ha was also a poet, but got caught up in his work instead. He is later seen reading a poem by Du Fu titled, A Spring View.

Though a country be sundered, hills and rivers endure;
And spring comes green again to trees and grasses
Where petals have been shed like tears
And lonely birds have sung their grief.
…After the war-fires of three months,
One message from home is worth a ton of gold.
…I stroke my white hair. It has grown too thin
To hold the hairpins any more.

The subject matter about the destruction of war from the past resonates with the physical and emotional losses in the city after a recent earthquake. Mei’s life was also affected, as we find out later in the film.

This romantic film carries feelings of loss and longing, uncertainty and hopeful renewal brought about symbolically by the spring rains arriving in time. The theme song, with scenes from the film in the trailer, emotionally conveys those feelings: A Good Rain Knows When to Come – Falling Down / Song by Sungbin Cho / Sondtrack by Jaejin Lee.

The rain and silence in the song, like the ones described in the poems, seem to carry a mystical quality about them, similar to the mysterious ways of love. The English translation leaves the listener wondering if there will be a more committed reunion. Here it is sung in English: Falling down – (A good rain knows when to come).

Maybe sometime
It could be here again.
Trying to find out.
We don’t know yet.

Maybe it’s something
To make us come around.
The rain will be something
To let me calm down.

There is silence
Flowing around me
In the air
When you approach.

Maybe it’s something
To make you turn around
The raining is something
Just holding me now.

(Musical bridge)

I know that you wonder
Where we stay around.
Maybe I found you
Always here in my mind.

It’s falling around me
I’m feeling like lost in time.
I’m waiting behind you.
Just don’t let me down.

You’re running away now.
You’re sinking in flowing time.
The raining reminds me of your smile.
Don’t bring me down.

This love song, sensitively and beautifully performed, captures the uncertainty of their situation after meeting again years later by chance. The attraction between them is still there, but it never had a chance to develop into a serious relationship. Will it now? The song plays at the end of the film and as the credits roll.

Two different endings?

For some reason the ending seems slightly different in this version, which has better picture and sound quality on YouTube. At this last moment of the film, we see Dong-ha pacing back and forth, hoping that Mei will come out of the park entrance, but she doesn’t appear. It leaves the viewer hoping and waiting, with him. Did he return after much soul-searching ready to commit to her? Was she ready to commit to him? Will he wait in vain?

In this similar version, with English subtitles, at that last scene, as he turns away, we see someone pushing a yellow bicycle with a basket out of the park entrance, but can’t quite make out if it’s Mei as it cuts to black and the credits roll. Maybe they did that to keep us in suspense. You get the feeling they will see each other, but we’re left to wonder what will happen next.

The reason why I think it’s Mei is because he had mailed a bicycle to her as a gift. She had sold the first one he had given her when they were students, since she didn’t ride a bike. When they meet again, and it comes up in conversation, he gets upset. Now, at the end of the film, her co-workers assemble the new yellow bike with basket. We see her awkwardly riding it at first, then with more confidence, and finally smiling with the wind blowing in her hair. Fade to black, then wait for who I think might be her. I found another copy on YouTube where you see clearly the same bike and someone like her. Click on this 3-second clip to see for yourself.

For some reason it was left out in the other version. Maybe they decided to make it purposefully ambiguous to keep viewers guessing? Or it might have something to do with which version was shown in which country — Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, or elsewhere. If you watch the film with both endings, post a comment; I’d like to know your take on it. Assuming those links will still be active. Here’s a BluRay 720p version.

You might enjoy some of my other favorite romantic films. They reveal the transforming power of love triumphing over adversity through time. Here is a new one I share in this post: Writing, literature, life and love intersect in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

@Willwrights interviews Director @DAVID_LYNCH on #TranscendentalMeditation for @LOfficielUSA

July 29, 2018

This interview between L’Officiel USA journalist William Defebaugh and Director David Lynch on Transcendental Meditation is one of the best on the subject! Visit their website to see the article with photos published July 23, 2018. (Photo: Matthias Nareyek/French Select/Getty Images)

David Lynch in L'OfficielUSA by Matthias Nareyek:French Select:Getty Images

While David Lynch may be most revered as the man behind mind-melding cinema masterpieces like Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, and Twin Peaks, his work with the human psyche extends far beyond the small and silver screens.

Since he discovered its potency in the 1970s, the artist and auteur has been an avid practitioner and preacher of Transcendental Meditation. In 2005, he started the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, which actively teaches TM to adults and children — including war veterans and victims of violence and assault — in countries all over the world. Why? Because it works.

When and how did you first discover Transcendental Meditation?

I heard about Transcendental Meditation from my sister in 1973. I’d been looking into many different types of meditation; before that, I was not interested one bit. But suddenly it hit me, this phrase I heard, “True happiness is not out there. True happiness lies within.”

Then I thought, “Maybe meditation is the way to go within.” So, I started looking into different forms of meditation.

Nothing seemed right for me. My sister called. She said she started Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. She told me about it, and I liked what she told me. More than that, though, I heard a change in her voice. More self-assuredness. More happiness. I said I want this. So, I went and got it.

Do you recall preliminary breakthrough moments in your early days of practicing or did it have more of a gradual effect?

You know, everyone is different. Me, it hit me with my first meditation. It was as if I was in an elevator and someone cut the cables and I just went within. So blissful, so powerful. I had this anger in me that I took out on my first wife. And after I’d been meditating two weeks, she comes to me and says, “What’s going on?” And I said, “What are you talking about?” And she said, “This anger, where did it go?” And it just lifted. That negativity starts leaving and positivity starts coming in when you truly transcend. That’s the key. Transcending is the thing that we human beings want. We want to experience the deepest level of life. For some reason, we’ve all lost contact with that level.

Transcendental Meditation is a mental technique, an ancient form of meditation. Ancient: Maharishi revived it, he didn’t make it up; it truly brings the experience of transcendence. Now with brain research, they know that’s true.

Whatever size ball of consciousness they had to begin with truly starts to expand, little by little. You expand consciousness. Every human being has consciousness, but not every human being has the same amount. But the potential for every human being is unbounded consciousness. Infinite consciousness. Enlightenment. It just needs unfolding.

Do you consider meditation to be more of a mental practice or a spiritual one? Or is that an irrelevant distinction?

It’s strange. This bliss, it can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual all at the same time. You can vibrate in happiness. And we human beings are supposed to enjoy life. Right from the beginning, when you start transcending, huge pressure goes out. Negativity starts lifting away. They say negativity is just like darkness. And then you say, “Wait a minute. Darkness isn’t really anything. It’s the absence of something.”

What separates TM from other forms of meditation?

In Transcendental Meditation, you’re given a mantra—a very specific sound, vibration, thought. And the mantra you’re given is like a law of nature, designed for a specific purpose. And that purpose is to turn the awareness from out, out, out, 180 degrees to within, within, within.

Once you’re pointed within, you will naturally start to dive through deeper levels of mind, and deeper levels of intellect. And at the border of intellect, you’ll transcend. You’ll wish you could stay there, but you’ll come out with thoughts. And you’ll go again. You just stay regular in your meditation day by day and watch things get better and better.

And how do you go about finding a mantra for someone?

It takes about four days to learn, about an hour and a half a day. You need a legitimate teacher of Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It’s so important that the technique stays pure. And the teacher knows what mantra is correct for you.

At the end of the four days, you’ve been taught how to meditate, and your questions have been answered. This is the way, I feel, that our almighty merciful father has built into this game to get real peace. You enliven that deepest level and affect collective consciousness.

With Transcendental Meditation, you’re given the technique and it’s up to you to do it. When you learn this technique, it’s like you’re placed in the middle of the river, in the fastest current and you go. It’s a very profoundly beautiful cosmic thing to get on the path to enlightenment. To get a technique that works, where you truly transcend and experience this level of life, which is eternal. Always there.

Everything in the field of relativity has a lifespan. Some super long some very short—but a lifespan. Beneath the whole field of relativity is a non-relative absolute and that’s what you want to experience. That’s the key to everything good in life.

If you could capture the entire world’s attention for two minutes, what would you tell them?

I’d say, “Do yourself a giant favor, learn Transcendental Meditation from a legitimate teacher and practice this technique regularly. Be a light unto yourself.”

WTNH New Haven 8 Weekly Wellness reports on the health benefits of Transcendental Meditation

July 19, 2018

Yesterday, July 18, 2018, TV news station, WTNH in New Haven, CN, reported on the health benefits of Transcendental Meditation. News 8 Medical reporter Jocelyn Maminta filed this report for their Weekly Wellness section: Meditation can do more than ease your stress.

Seeking inner peace and wellness in life can start with the simple, natural and effortless Transcendental Meditation. Longtime TM teachers Richard and Gail Dalby are seen teaching and meditating with their students in this wonderful medical news segment.

Richard Dalby explains how TM works for WTNH 8

Explaining how effortless it is to practice TM, Dalby says, “There’s no control of the mind, we’re not concentrating or reflecting on anything. In fact if someone is meditating, you wouldn’t even know they were meditating.”

Some of the meditators interviewed share how TM helped improve certain medical conditions and their overall wellness.

Maminta concludes: “There are numerous studies validating the health benefits of Transcendental Meditation – including research that it lowers the risk of high blood pressure, reduces anxiety, and optimizes brain function. It is acknowledged by the American Heart Association and is part of a clinical program to minimize hypertension.”

The other story was from WXYZ Detroit 7, July 17, of people in southeast Michigan Turning to Transcendental Meditation for Peace and Wellness.

WXYZ Detroit 7 reports major stress problem, also a viable solution: Transcendental Meditation

July 17, 2018

Just saw these separate news reports today, Tue, July 17, 2018, on Twitter by WXYZ-TV Detroit, Channel 7. They compliment each other. One describes a problem — Detroit is 2018’s most stressed city in America, according to study; the other suggests a solution — Stressed out? Anxious? Looking for peace? Why some are turning to Transcendental Meditation.

Turning to Transcendental Meditation for Peace and Wellness

WXYZ’s Alicia Smith produced and presented today’s Living a Better Life segment, Turning to Transcendental Meditation for Peace and Wellness.

Intro: Dozens of celebrities have touted the benefits of Transcendental Meditation…from Katy Perry to Paul McCartney, Nicole Kidman to Hugh Jackman, and even billionaires Rupert Murdoch and Oprah Winfrey. Regular folks here in southeast Michigan are among TM’s fans, too.

James Cahaney, longtime TM teacher and Regional Director of the Transcendental Meditation Center in Metro Detroit, is interviewed along with local practitioners. The Troy TM Center looks very professional. This positive news story is impressive, one of the best I’ve seen!

WXYZ 7 Action News is Detroit’s breaking news and weather leader in SE Michigan. That study also named Fresno, California, as the least stressed city in America.

A day later, July 18, WTNH New Haven 8 Weekly Wellness reports on the health benefits of Transcendental Meditation.

US News and World Report recently featured Fairfield, Iowa and Maharishi University of Management as one of their Healthiest Communities. See Transcending Together, also reported as Iowan City Transcends a Divide.

Artist Ananda Kesler is featured in The Hawk Eye: Abstract art as meditation in action, by Bob Saar

July 11, 2018

Last week I received an invitation from Ananda Kesler to the official opening of her art exhibit, “Longing for Another Realm,” at the Art Center of Burlington. I passed it on to my friend Bob Saar who writes for The Hawk Eye, and introduced them via email.

Intrigued, Bob went to the Art Center to interview Ananda as she was putting up her paintings for the show. They shared a deep conversation and he wrote an amazing piece for the newspaper. Titled “Abstract art as meditation in action,” it made the cover of the WEEKEND Section C1, Thursday, July 5, 2018. Bob was kind enough to put it together in a PDF for us to share. I know the print is small, but if you can expand your page (command and shift +), the text will become easier to read.

The opening sentence really captures the essence of Ananda and her work. It is the essential message, the seed containing the whole tree: “Ananda Kesler pursues her art in search of the one realm within which all things are connected.”

Bob discovers Ananda’s eclectic upbringing, starting in Israel and immigrating with her family to Fairfield, Iowa when she was 12 years old. She told him about her education. Ananda attended MSAE, started college at MUM, then switched to U of I where she graduated with a BFA. She continued her studies in art and textiles at various art schools in California, Thailand, and Italy. Her work has been featured in many shows and articles.

Bob mentions the meditating Fairfield community and MUM and writes, “Her unconventional education — rooted in eastern philosophy, spirituality and metaphysics — led her to search for the intersection of form, beauty, and the mysteries of the esoteric and unknown. Her abstract paintings have been described as invoking feelings that have yet to emerge as language.”

I like how Bob set up the topic of control in life and in painting, and how Ananda’s approach is the opposite. This idea illuminates her practice. Towards the end of the article she explains: “I practice painting as a kind of meditation in action,” from which he derived the title for the article.

She then describes what the process does for her: “I let the process of mark-making take me on a journey into the unknown.” This next part surprised me: “The marks teach me patience, teach me self-forgiveness; they are a constant reminder of how to abdicate control.”

Enjoy this brilliantly written and insightful article.

Ananda Kesler THE July 2018

KBUR also interviewed Ananda Kesler. See Dive into Another Realm.

Ananda’s description of her process, and the difference between feelings expressed in art, which are pre-verbal, and words, remind me of an experience I had during an intuitive art class I had taken years ago in Vancouver, Canada. See ArtWords—poem about a creative awakening.

A related topic, on the difference between words and art, is played out in the movie, Words and Pictures. The story, set in a New England prep school, was actually shot at St. George’s School, an independent boarding and day university-preparatory school for boys in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a.k.a., Hollywood North. A poem, Who Are You?, is central to the film. I posted it, with the movie trailer, and a magical coincidence told by an English teacher from that school on a radio talk show I had heard while living there. See A poem in a movie inviting you to be who you are, to find out the connection, and what famous actor he meets while walking in the woods during a lunch break.

Found this beautiful piece of harp music online

July 11, 2018

I don’t know who this harpist is or the name of the piece he is playing, but it is beautiful! Other examples of beautiful music across genres I love are listed here:

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

Bill Evans’s Peace Piece is musical onomatopoeia

Bobby Hutcherson’s Bouquet with Ron Carter & Herbie Hancock

The hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane played on uilleann pipes and low whistle

The hauntingly beautiful voice of Eva Cassidy

US News and World Report selects Fairfield, Iowa with Maharishi University of Management as one of their Healthiest Communities

June 22, 2018
USN&WR-Transcending Together

Ashia Freeden of Canada journals on campus at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. (Rachel Mummey for USN&WR)

Fairfield, Iowa — Of the dozens of Iowa cities with populations hovering around 10,000, only one can tout repeated visits from A-list celebrities and Transcendental Meditation practitioners from across the globe.

For more than 40 years, the city of Fairfield, Iowa, has been coming to terms with its dual role as the county seat of largely rural Jefferson County and the host city to the Maharishi University of Management, the institution founded in the 1970s by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his followers.

The city of approximately 10,400 residents has the familiar mix of fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and big-box retailers seen in other similarly sized enclaves throughout the state. But it also boasts a retail area filled with yoga studios, wellness centers, high-end coffeehouses and the largest organic and natural foods store in southeast Iowa.

Over the past half-century, most of Iowa’s rural counties have seen a population and economic decline. Fairfield, however, earned the nickname Silicorn Valley during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, highlighting the presence of dozens of tech and programming companies within its small confines. It’s been touted as the Most Entrepreneurial City in Iowa and the Most Entrepreneurial City in America of its size.

“It’s kind of a side attraction of Fairfield that every once in a while there’s Oprah, or there’s David Lynch or there’s Jim Carrey,” says Dick DeAngelis, a New Jersey native who first came to Fairfield to study in the 1970s and returned a few years after graduation to raise his family. “But it’s also this small, Midwestern hometown steeped in family values and apple pie, which I love.”

City and county leaders say the health and overall success of their community comes through the effective bridging of the small-town experience and the university’s broader draw. The school incorporates Transcendental Meditation alongside more traditional academic offerings, such as majors in computer science, business or art.

“It’s really gratifying to see the culture change so now we don’t talk as much about the difference anymore,” says Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, who was first elected to the office in 2001. “I’m always tickled when I hear a local person refer to one of our strengths as diversity. I think everybody is on board now. They understand that good values and good things come out of our diversity.”

Read the rest of this excellent US News and World Report, Iowan City Transcends a Divide, written by Jeff Charis-Carlson with photos by Rachel Mummey posted June 20, 2018 on Healthiest Communities: Transcending Together. Fairfield, Iowa, has found success as a home for townies and meditators alike. (Much to my surprise I’m in the third photo towards the end of the article walking under the movie theater marquee.)

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Earlier related news: Fairfield, Iowa, TM and MUM make national news | “Moving America Forward,” a national TV show hosted by William Shatner, to feature Fairfield | @DMRegister’s Rox Laird Features Fairfield, Iowa’s Civic Collaboration and @MaharishiU’s Sustainable Living Center

Listen to this fabulous Rich Roll podcast with Bob Roth on the power of #TranscendentalMeditation

June 12, 2018

June 10, 2018: Listen to this fabulous Rich Roll 372 Podcast: Strength in Stillness: Bob Roth On The Power of Transcendental Meditation & Bringing Calm To The Center of Life’s Storm. Also scroll down to see Rich’s comprehensive SHOW NOTES.

Excellent interview with @meditationbob by @Caitlinscarlson for @Furthermore from @Equinox on #TranscendentalMeditation

June 12, 2018
bob_roth_ph_alexander_berg_0276_crop

Bob Roth, TM Teacher and CEO of the David Lynch Foundation

Can Meditation Cure Stress?

The David Lynch Foundation CEO on the benefits of a regular practice

With Transcendental Meditation, through the use of a mantra—which is a word or a sound that has no meaning—you’re trained to effortlessly dive within and access deeper, quieter, more subtle levels of the mind beneath the waves, beneath the thoughts. And when we do that, there’s a completely different style of the way the brain functions. During TM, there’s what’s called alpha 1 brain waves and that’s the state of deep inner reflection and calm. During mindfulness, it’s called theta brain waves and that is sort of a dream onset.

Why were you excited to collaborate on a mindfulness-based meditation with Equinox to benefit Move for Minds?

I’m always happy to call attention to anything that’s scientifically proven to work. It’s like Vitamin A is different than Vitamin C is different than Vitamin D. And so mindfulness can be a good coping tool for someone and TM is completely different—you use them for different purposes.

You can have multiple tools in your toolbox.

That’s exactly right.

And when you say it’s scientifically proven to work—there’s research that shows how meditation can benefit brain health, right?

Yes. Stress and anxiety either cause or exacerbate 80 percent—if not more—of all illnesses and disorders. There’s a lot of talk these days that stress and anxiety may be an actual causal factor in Alzheimer’s or accelerating the symptoms. High levels of cortisol fuel anxiety, compromise the immune system, and actually undermine memory, the hippocampus. When you get a good night’s sleep, cortisol levels drop about 10 percent. In 20 minutes of TM, cortisol levels drop 30 to 40 percent and remain low afterwards. So this is why we encourage people to meditate at any time during their life. We’re also encouraging research so we can document quite clearly the impact of TM on pre-onset Alzheimer’s and for the symptoms of that.

Any time in life because what researchers are discovering now is Alzheimer’s begins as early as 30 years old.

Even what happens at 30 has been building up probably since you were a kid. It’s like high blood pressure, which doesn’t just come on suddenly. That’s been building for decades.

And you think this is the same thing?

I think any of these things that manifest later in life have been building since the 30s, if not earlier.

So, start meditating in your teens if you can. I know The David Lynch Foundation teaches in schools.

That’s right. It’s an effective preventive modality with enormous side benefits: increased energy, increased happiness, reduced anxiety, increased focus, all those things.

Speaking of energy, can meditation help your athletic performance?

Oh yeah. I teach professional and Olympic athletes and a lot of them will tell you, at the peak levels, it’s not a physical game, it’s a mental game. I teach an Olympian who is in the best imaginable physical shape and they can’t sleep at night and they’re anxious. For health, it’s not just attending to the neck down. And so you could look at TM as an effortless exercise to bring the whole brain into peak performance. And then you’ve got more energy because we deplete so much of our energy in anxiety and worry and insomnia. I like to say, if you’re really on a healthy regime, you exercise, you eat properly, you transcend.

Your book, Strength in Stillness, came out a few months ago. What were the three most surprising things you learned while writing it?

Number one, new research documenting the holistic or global impact that TM has on healthy brain functioning. The second thing I was very surprised or inspired by was to see that, whether you’re the CEO of a huge company or a single mom with two kids, when you look into the eyes of both of them you can see anxiety. Worry is universal. Anxiety is universal. Insomnia is universal. That was shocking to me. And the third was, I’ve been teaching TM for 45 years. It was a wonderful experience for me to just basically have it all flow out. I took the time to write the essential pieces of information that a person would like to know about meditation in general and about my area of expertise, Transcendental Meditation. I didn’t want to try and convince anybody of anything. I just wanted to give them the information and let them be able to make an informed choice for themselves.

The David Lynch Foundation hosted a recent Festival of Disruption. What was the inspiration behind that?

Life itself is perpetual change. We’re changing spouses, we’re changing relationships, we’re changing jobs. There’s so much political upheaval, disruption in the world. And through meditation, we can have the clarity, the energy, really the resilience to make life less of a nightmare and more of a festival. Because it’s happening anyway and we can either be destroyed by it or we can become a master of our life. We can become in control of our life. And we can even enjoy our lives. So the Festival of Disruption means let’s celebrate the creative people who are, in the spite of everything that’s going on in the world today, managing to be creative and inspiring and innovative and forward-looking.

Meditation can help you to do that.

It gives us the resilience, the creativity, the energy, the power to do just that. To enable us. Otherwise, we get overwhelmed by stress, we get overwhelmed by anxiety, and then we start self-medicating. And then life becomes a hell.

What do you think about the evolution of meditation and how it’s now the cool thing to do?

It was really cool and trendy when the Beatles were doing it back in 1968 and 1969 when I started meditating, a billion years ago. And then it sort of disappeared. It’s come back in the last few years and I think there are three reasons why it’s on the one hand trendy, but, on the other hand, being taken very seriously by educators, by medical doctors, by researchers. Number one, we live in an epidemic of stress, and that’s killing us. Number two, modern medicine has no magic pill to cure or prevent this epidemic. We mask it with alcohol and tobacco and drugs and coffee. We mask it or we manage it with sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medication. But stress is like a tumor. Even though on the surface we’re masking it, it’s still metastasizing. So that’s the second reason, to be free. And number three, there’s been so much research on meditation in general that it’s given a legitimacy to the whole field.

What’s ahead in the next three years, I think, is that there’s going to be a clearing out because a lot of it is just junk. A lot of it is trendy stuff to make a buck. But, as the problems of stress become greater, society is going to look more carefully, like we would with medicine, at what’s really working.


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