Archive for February, 2012

What Turkish Sufi poet Yunus Emre realized — everything was found within his cosmic body

February 28, 2012

Ever come across a poem that encapsulates what you’ve read lately or thought about in the past? I found one today in a book I was sampling on Amazon, The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems, a collection of poems written by Yunus Emre, (1240-1321), translated by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan.

Yunus Emre was the first in a great tradition of Turkish Sufi troubadours who celebrated the Divine Presence as the intimate Beloved and Friend. Called the greatest folk poet in Islam, the songs of this Sufi dervish are still popular today.

He was a contemporary of Rumi, who lived in the same region of Anatolia. Rumi composed his collection of stories and songs for a well-educated urban circle of Sufis, writing primarily in the literary language of Persian. Yunus Emre, on the other hand, traveled and taught among the rural poor, singing his songs in the Turkish language of the common people.

A story is told of a meeting between the two great souls: Rumi asked Yunus Emre what he thought of his great work the Mathnawi. Yunus Emre said, “Excellent, excellent! But I would have done it differently.” Surprised, Rumi asked how. Yunus replied, “I would have written, ‘I came from the eternal, clothed myself in flesh, and took the name Yunus.'” That story perfectly illustrates Yunus Emre’s simple, direct approach that has made him so beloved.

The poem I’m referring to begins, We entered the house of realization. Inside they find the earth and sky, night and day, the planets, the many veils in the body, what the scriptures say, and more. In that realized state, the poet witnesses everything inside the body; the infinite within the finite, the eternal within the temporal. His body is cosmic, an expression of totality.

It reminded me of the work of Maharaja Adhiraj Rajaraam (Professor Tony Nader, MD, PhD), a neuroscientist and Vedic scholar. Under the guidance of His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Professor Nader showed how the individual is cosmic.

The body, he says, is a manifestation of Natural Law—the Veda and Vedic Literature—the underlying blueprint that creates the individual body and the cosmic body, the Universe, a microcosm of the macrocosm. Yatha pinde tatha brahmande. See link to video at end of this article.

One aspect of the Vedic Literature is Jyotish, Vedic Astrology. Dr. Tony Nader shows a precise one-to-one relationship between the fundamental structures and functions of human physiology (Individual life) and the fundamental structures of Natural Law (Cosmic life). These fundamental structures of Natural Law connect individual intelligence with cosmic intelligence — the basic structures of the human nervous system with their cosmic counterparts. In this chart, the nine Grahas (planets), are shown where they are found in the different aspects of our physiology and their influences.

This first book by Dr. Nader, Human Physiology — Expression of Veda and the Vedic Literature, discusses all 40 aspects of the Vedic Literature and their expressions in the body.

Over a decade in the making, Dr. Nader’s new book, Ramayan in Human Physiology, reveals an understanding of the underlying unity that makes us human — the eternal reality of the Ramayan in the structure and function of the human physiology. Surprisingly, the Ramayan is not just a mythic tale assigned to an ancient culture in a distant past, but a description of the universal transformations continually taking place within our own bodies. Here is a book preview.

Yunus Emre expresses a similar understanding in poem #4, page 20, chapter I, The Dervish Way, in The Drop That Became The Sea.

We entered the house of realization,
we witnessed the body.

The whirling skies, the many-layered earth,
the seventy-thousand veils,
we found in the body.

The night and the day, the planets,
the words inscribed on the Holy Tablets,
the hill that Moses climbed, the Temple,
and Israfil’s trumpet, we observed in the body.

Torah, Psalms, Gospel, Quran—
what these books have to say,
we found in the body.

Everybody says these words of Yunus
are true. Truth is wherever you want it.
We found it all within the body.

A related example was highlighted by Dr. Nader in a press conference when he referenced ‘Abdu’l-Bahá [quoting The Imam Ali], from The Secret of Divine Civilization: “Dost thou think thyself only a puny form, when the universe is folded up within thee?”

Speaking of microcosm-macrocosm, here is an interesting saying from The Conversations (Maqalat) of Shams of Tabriz (Hazret Shams al-Din of Tabriz), Rumi’s master, which gives you a different perspective on the internal life of a saint:

The microcosm is hidden in the creation of man
and the macrocosm is the outer universe.
But for prophets the outer universe is the microcosm
while the inner universe ıs the macrocosm.

These two videos of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi answering questions from the press: As is the cosmic life, so is the individual life, and I am the Self, I am the body, I am the Veda, I am the universe, I am totality, explain the cosmic significance of these Vedic expressions and their practical applications in our daily lives.

See this New Video: Dr. Tony Nader speaks about the Ramayana in Human Physiology, which explains how the whole body is made of Veda, which also structures the cosmic body, the universe, and how the activities described in the Ramayana are a scientific description of the growth and evolution of the human physiology to it’s fully developed enlightened state.

See Sufi poet Hakim Sanai says transcend belief to enter into the mystery.

See Yunus Emre says Wisdom comes from Knowing Oneself — a Singularity that contains the Whole

Sufi poet Hakim Sanai says transcend belief to enter into the mystery

February 27, 2012

Sufi poet, Hakim Sanai, best known for The Walled Garden of Truth, is revered as one of the 3 great Sufi teachers, along with Attar and Rumi. He says a lot in these few choice words:

Belief brings me close to You
but only to the door.
It is only by disappearing into
Your mystery
that I will come in.

See What Turkish Sufi poet Yunus Emre realized — everything was found within his cosmic body and Yunus Emre says Wisdom comes from Knowing Oneself — a Singularity that contains the Whole.

Iowa Outdoors: Fairfield’s Abundance EcoVillage: Harmonious Living With Nature — Off The Grid

February 23, 2012

The March/April 2012 issue of Iowa Outdoors has an 8-page spread (pages 52-59) featuring Fairfield’s Abundance EcoVillage. The article, Harmonious Living With Nature, was written by Mindy Kralicek with photos by Clay Smith.

Iowa Outdoors is a magazine of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Their editorial mission is to strive to open the door to the beauty and uniqueness of Iowa’s natural resources, inspire people to get outside and experience Iowa and to motivate outdoor-minded citizens to understand and care for our natural resources.

This feature article has over 20 colorful photos with text. Some of the topics discussed are Maharishi Sthãpatya Veda Architecture, Permaculture Systems, the use of solar panels, wind turbines, earth air tubes, living off the grid, sustainable communities. Check next month to see if they’ve posted it online. For now, you can download a PDF of this beautiful article here: Off The Grid.

It’s much easier to read the article in the original magazine layout with the photos and additional text (instructions how to order at the end of this article). The next best thing is to download the PDF of it. But for those who can’t, I also copied and pasted the article below without the photos and accompanying text.

(more…)

Dr. Norman Rosenthal gives an engaging talk to medical staff at Northern Westchester Hospital

February 22, 2012

Dr. Norman Rosenthal addresses medical staff at NWH

Dr. Norman Rosenthal recently gave a wonderfully engaging talk on the Transcendental Meditation technique to the medical staff of Northern Westchester Hospital as part of their Health Education program.

Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, a world-renowned psychiatrist and author who described seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and pioneered the use of light therapy to treat it has improved the health of millions of people. His latest book Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation (Tarcher-Penguin, 2011) explores the value of this ancient meditation technique for healing and transformation in today’s modern world.

Dr. Rosenthal began his talk by highlighting the key themes of healing and transformation brought about by TM, and explained how certain parts of the brain are effected by stress and improved by meditation. He humorously described the conflict that exists neurologically in a stressed mind between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala by using the simple analogy of the CEO of a company and the fire marshall. It made a lot of sense. Everyone got it.

Drawing on anecdotes from his best-selling book, Transcendence, Dr. Rosenthal’s relaxed narrative style held the audience’s attention throughout the presentation. He shared personal stories of how TM had improved the lives of those interviewed for the book, like Hollywood filmmaker David Lynch, actress Laura Dern, Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Tim Page, neuropsychologist William Stixrud, as well as patients from his own practice.

A former NIH researcher, Dr. Rosenthal had looked into, and was impressed by, the volume of scientific research studies on TM in the fields of mental and physical health, education and social behavior. He cited some of these studies, including more recent ones.

Dr. Rosenthal also mentioned a published pilot study he had conducted on Veterans with PTSD that showed a 50% reduction in symptoms within two months. He posted an article about it on his blog, along with an emotionally-charged video of one of the Veterans and his mother:  The Case for Using Transcendental Meditation to Treat Combat Related PTSD.

He told the amazing story of Jim Dierke, principal of Visitacion Valley Middle School, and how he had transformed violent, stressed under-achieving, low-attending students to motivated harmonious academically successful ones with the highest attendance ever, after he had introduced the TM/Quiet Time program to his staff and students. The program was implemented and funded by the David Lynch Foundation. Here is a recent article, with a video of principal Dierke, posted on the TM Blog: Breaking the “predictive power of demographics”: SF principal talks about how TM helps his students.

Dr. Rosenthal also shared his own story of how he started TM as a college student in South Africa back in the 70’s. “As they say, if you remember the 70’s you probably weren’t there, but I was there,” he quipped, and giggled. Like most of us he was inspired by the Beatles traveling to India to study Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. But, he says, he was overwhelmed with his medical studies and didn’t take the time to meditate regularly. He dropped the meditation, yet returned to it decades later after one of his patients recommended he do it based on his own experiences. He went to the local TM center to refresh his practice. After looking into some of the research studies, and noticing subtle yet lasting changes in his own life, he was convinced that this simple, natural process could really make a difference in people’s lives.

Dr. Rosenthal swore he would never write another book; it takes too much time and energy, but after seeing how much of a difference TM was making in his life, and in the lives of his patients, he just had to write this one last book. He felt as compelled to write about TM as he had been about his earlier medical discovery. He was also pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable the whole process went, compared to earlier experiences. He felt the joy of being in the flow, of being in the moment, totally engaged in the creative process. He said the whole experience was very rewarding, uplifting and fulfilling.

He concluded his talk with the value of groups, organizations, practicing TM together, and the impact that has. As an example he mentioned Oprah and how she chose to give TM to her whole organization, and the amazing transformations that brought about. She wrote about it in her magazine, What I Know for Sure.

You can enjoy watching Dr. Rosenthal’s entertaining and informative presentation here on the Northern Westchester Hospital website: http://www.nwhc.net/home/about-us/video-suite/health-education.

Credit and appreciation goes to Sally Rosenfeld, a Certified Teacher of the Transcendental Meditation program, in Westchester County, NY, for arranging to have Dr. Rosenthal speak at Northern Westchester Hospital. Sally said it was a great event, with around 100 people attending from both the hospital and community. Several of them later came to the TM Center to learn how to meditate. Considering how progressive NWH is with their alternative offerings, adding the TM program to the mix would seem like a natural outcome of the meeting.

Can meditation save us? Fox News Opinion by Tom McKinley Ball

February 20, 2012

Can meditation save us?

FOX NEWS Opinion by Tom McKinley Ball
Published February 19, 2012 | FoxNews.com

Economic uncertainty, political divisiveness—it seems that our nation and many of us individually are now under more stress than we’re designed to handle.

It’s no surprise that increasing numbers of people are turning to meditation for refuge. And why shouldn’t we? It’s just the natural use of our own minds.

An effective meditation technique allows you to dive deep within and contact reserves of peace, energy and clarity to help you more gracefully accomplish what you wish to achieve in life. It dissolves deep-rooted, accumulated stresses that obstruct your health.

But it’s more than that: meditation can show you who you really are. Not just on the surface but deep within—where reside greater possibilities of creativity and intelligence, untapped potentialities of heart and mind.

Resurgence

“If Transcendental Meditation were a new drug, conferring this many benefits, it would be the biggest, multi-billion dollar blockbuster drug on the market.”—former senior NIH researcher Norman Rosenthal, M.D.

In the 1970s, Transcendental Meditation (“TM”) became a widespread cultural phenomenon. Now there’s a rising new wave of interest in TM, but for different reasons: because there’s so much scientific research verifying its effects.

Doctors and therapists are recommending it in growing numbers.

Business owners offer it as a human resource for employees—such as Oprah Winfrey and her company, Harpo Productions.

Prison systems in the U.S. and abroad are implementing programs for inmates. Hundreds of schools around the world are offering TM-Quiet Time programs for students. But mostly, people are learning it because they notice positive change in someone they know who’s learned.

From a health point of view, meditation can save your life: the deep, restorative rest rejuvenates body and mind and facilitates healing.

Research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health has shown that the TM technique reduces heart attack and stroke by nearly 50%. Clinical trails showed that it reduces cholesterol by 30 milliliters. “If you’re on medication for cholesterol,” says Dr. Mehmet Oz, “we hope you can get 30 milliliters lower. But this happened through Transcendental Meditation alone.”

Besides reducing the major risk factors for heart disease, meditation can also save lives by reducing depression and anxiety, as numerous studies on TM have shown.

“It Saved Me”

I’ve met many people who’ve told me that meditation saved their life. People struggling with high blood pressure who were eventually able to get off their meds after learning TM.

I encountered a Native American woman who said her insulin levels normalized for the first time in years, a few months after learning this meditation. A young woman on the verge of suicide learned the technique, pulled herself out of severe depression and found the wherewithal to return to college for a business degree.

There was the boy with ADHD, who after his first meditation never again needed to wear the Ritalin patch that was stunting his growth.

Hopelessness can be turned into hope when you get to that place within yourself that’s strong enough, resourceful enough to overcome challenges.

Even a person fighting for their life can find solace in meditation: it’s something one can do to help oneself instead of surrendering entirely to the care of others.

Calming the Waters

Here’s the beauty of Transcendental Meditation: it’s a stress-reducing practice that transcends personal opinion, likes and dislikes, beliefs and ideologies. It works on the basis of something deeper and more universal—the mind’s natural tendency.

Our minds naturally seek greater freedom and happiness, greater knowledge. The TM technique allows you to use that natural attraction to happiness in a special way by turning attention inward and finding greater happiness and peace inside you, satisfying the mind’s quest.

But it’s not a selfish thing. Even though you do it for yourself, it’s one of the best things you can do for the people around you.

The flight attendant tells us, in case of emergency, secure your own oxygen mask first. If you don’t, you’ll be useless to help anyone. Meditation allows us to save ourselves from the undertow of stress so we can be sufficiently calm and fully functional to help others.

Bridging the Differences

The TM technique is a secular, non-religious form of meditation involving no beliefs. Many religious people practice it and find that it deepens their spirituality. A physicist friend tells me it refines his appreciation of nature. All the things that define us in the outer world lose their ability to divide us as we familiarize ourselves with that deeper, universal field of order at the basis of the mind—a transcendental level of life that belongs to all of us.

Transcendental Meditation is not a sect. It’s not foreign to our culture because it’s based on natural principles of mind and body that we all share. It’s an effortless technique that anyone can learn, a tool you can use all your life and it gets better with age—it helps you get better with age and stay younger in body, mind and spirit (and yes, there’s research on that).

Tom McKinley Ball is a writer for the David Lynch Foundation. He attended a Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in 1975-76, where he studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and has taught meditation for almost 40 years.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/02/19/can-meditation-save-us

Words—a poem on the nature of words and mind

February 19, 2012

Ever looked at a legal document and wondered what the heck you just read? Depending on the way we use language, communication can obfuscate or elucidate, confuse or clarify.

Words can mean different things to different people. The English language uses different words to mean the same thing, and different things use similar sounding words. It can get confusing, especially if English is not your first language. Apparently only Sanskrit has a direct one-to-one relationship between a word and its meaning, between name and form, nama-rupa.

One way to use words to create clarity of mind is in meditation, where the mind, if allowed, can refer to its own essential nature. In the case of Transcendental Meditation, a technique that automatically transcends its own activity, a different kind of word, or thought, is employed—a mantra—a suitable harmonious meaningless sound. With the appropriate mantra, and instructions how to use it properly, the mind can effortlessly transcend words, thinking, its own activity, and arrive at the source of mind, a state of pure awareness, the meditator’s inner Self.

Hope this introduction helps you to better understand this abstract poem I wrote in the late 1980’s. For lack of a better title, I just called it, Words.

Words

the mind is of two minds
one listens to the sounds of words
the other follows their meanings
words help the mind to know things

names are the words for things
things are the forms of names
sounds and meanings of names and forms
things are contained within words

when words become things in themselves
then words get contained within words
sounds and meanings within names and forms
names and forms within sounds and meanings

layers of communication get built up create complex structures
and break down under the weight of their own words
too many words hinder the mind’s ability to know things
the mind cannot know its own mind

. . . . .

when words use themselves
to lose themselves
they allow the mind
to experience itself

experiencing itself
losing itself
to the Self
left to its Self

alone
the silent home
where things and words are one
all one

© Ken Chawkin

so love tanka

February 18, 2012

so love tanka
“i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)” — e.e. cummings

you quicken our hearts
(and our eyes start to well up)
saying, i LOVE you!

so precious, so mutual,
so open, so deep, so true!

© Ken Chawkin
February 18, 2012
Fairfield, Iowa

i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings

February 14, 2012

For Valentine’s Day: i carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings

“[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” Copyright 1952, © 1980, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust, from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.

Source: Complete Poems: 1904-1962 (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1991)

Listen to E. E. Cummings read this poem here.

This is beautiful: I Carry Your Heart (The Song) – Single, by Julia Smith.

See more love poems, and quotes by e.e. cummings.

This poem, so love tanka, was inspired by e.e. cummings and my muse.

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

Another beautiful poem about love is by Derek Walcott, Love After Love.

John Hagelin — “Only Higher Consciousness Can Transform Our World” — Beyond Awakening Blog

February 13, 2012

“Only Higher Consciousness Can Transform Our World”
John Hagelin is interviewed by Terry Patten for Beyond Awakening Blog

Terry Patten conducted a conversation at the leading edge with John Hagelin, PhD for their Beyond Awakening Series. You can listen to a replay of this enlightening 90-minute interview recorded Sunday, February 12th, 2012 on the Beyond Awakening Blog, on SoundCloud: BeyondAwakening.Hagelin.02.12.2012, or Download the MP3.

Beyond AwakeningHost Terry Patten is a passionate Integral coach, teacher, trainer, consultant, and writer. He is committed to serving the emergence of Integral consciousness—by writing and educating, and by helping conscious individuals and organizations negotiate extraordinary transitions.

Terry describes John Hagelin as a physicist, educator, author, and large-scale activist — a truly remarkable “Renaissance man.”

His work has demonstrated that since our perception and behavior is a direct reflection of our consciousness, any attempt to improve human behavior or transform society can only succeed if it addresses the fundamental issue of consciousness.

And cutting-edge neuroscientific research reveals clear-cut evidence for “higher states of consciousness” with vastly expanded mental capabilities and enhanced powers. Physiologically well-documented higher states include the temporary experience of Samadhi—Pure Consciousness—the unbounded, universal, transcendental Self. They also include the permanently stabilized experience of Samadhi—together with waking, sleeping and dreaming experience—known as Nirvikalpa Samadhi, Liberation, or Nirvana.

He describes how our new understanding of higher states of consciousness—and their ready accessibility—radically changes our understanding of the limits of human potential. It has far-reaching implications for the transformation of society—for solving intractable problems in the field of education; reducing crime, terrorism and war; and promoting social harmony and world peace.

Dr. Hagelin is a leading researcher and educator who has brought the practice of meditation to half a million at-risk children and has helped conduct a body of research that demonstrates the powerful effects of group meditation practice on reducing social violence, crime, war, and terrorism and promoting societal peace.

In our conversation he will bring together cutting-edge discoveries in quantum physics and neuroscience to forge a new understanding of consciousness and the physical universe—mind and matter—revealing a startling connection between our inner and outer realities.

About John Hagelin:

Official photo of John HagelinJohn Hagelin, Ph.D., is a world-renowned quantum physicist, educator, author, and President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace. He has conducted pioneering research at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) and SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). He is responsible for the development of a highly successful grand unified field theory based on the superstring—a theory that was featured in a cover story of Discover magazine.

In addition, Dr. Hagelin has spent much of the past quarter century leading a scientific investigation into the foundations of human consciousness. He is one of the world’s pre-eminent researchers on the effects of meditation on brain development, and the use of collective meditation to defuse societal stress and to reduce crime and social violence.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Dr. Hagelin was named winner of the prestigious Kilby Award, which recognizes scientists who have made “major contributions to society through their applied research in the fields of science and technology.” The award recognized Dr. Hagelin as “a scientist in the tradition of Einstein, Jeans, Bohr and Eddington.”

Dr. Hagelin has appeared many times on ABC’s Nightline, NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s Larry King Live! and many others. He has been regularly featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and most other major metropolitan newspapers.

See IONS interview: The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin.

TV interviews: Conscious TV: John Hagelin – The Core of Nature | John Hagelin, Ph.D., Speaks on the Nature of Consciousness and the Universe | Dr. John Hagelin: Look Within to Understand the Universe.

Special webcast by Dr. John Hagelin: The Origin of the Universe and the Nature of ConsciousnessThis video serves as an introduction to Dr. Hagelin’s online course, “Foundations of Physics and Consciousness.” For more information about the course and to register, please click here: http://www.mum.edu/de/physics.html

Better Read Than Dead, a poem by Ken Chawkin

February 13, 2012

Here is another earlier poem, written sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s, when I was filling in as an extra Maharishi Ayurvedic health technician during an exclusive weekend for special guests at what is now called the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center Lancaster in Massachusetts.

In the staff dining room over lunch, I met a former concert violinist who had recently switched careers to become a Maharishi Ayurveda massage therapist. When I asked her why she stopped playing in the symphony she said her arms had been giving her problems. As a result of encountering Maharishi Ayurveda, she took treatments and then felt it would be more nourishing for her to become a therapist and treat others.

We talked about poetry and music, how reading words or notes on paper didn’t really bring a poem or piece of music to life; it had to be recited or played, and appreciated by an audience. That discussion inspired me, and during a quiet moment there, I wrote Better Read Than Dead.

Better Read Than Dead

Better read than dead, better said than read.
Poems are not meant to be just words left for dead on a page.
They’re meant to be read alive instead to an audience from a stage.

The blue print is not the building,
nor is a picture of it,
nor a vision of it.

When two beams of focused light intersect
through a piece of film
they fill the place before them with a form of light
in three-dimensional space.

When two beams of focused attention intersect
through a poet’s words,
speech going through them, silence receiving them,
they fill the space in the heart with a form of feeling.

From the heart, through the mouth, to the ear, into the heart, in here.

© Ken Chawkin


%d bloggers like this: