Archive for October, 2015

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

October 28, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update Insert: On March 24, 2016 I found out that Radim’s photo, Synchronous Fireflies, won the Altered Images category of the 13th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest. The next day The Des Moines Register wrote: Fairfield photographer’s fireflies win Smithsonian award.

The photo was taken mid-June 2014 at twilight in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. Radim was in almost complete darkness surrounded by fireflies and witnessed one of the most amazing and magical natural phenomena—fireflies that synchronize. He used the latest low-light camera technology and took several long exposures over several minutes and merged them together to preserve detail and clarity. He uploaded it November 2015 and it was selected as Shot Of The Day on December 24, 2015, then Editors’ Pick, Finalist, and now Altered Images Winner. See the other winners and finalists here. Radim had used this photo for the cover of his Firefly Experience film described below.

The Firefly Experience on Film

Schreiber-synchronous-fireflies-elkmont-1058341

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Radim’s website to see more firefly photos and videos at www.FireflyExperience.org.

A Firefly Poem

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

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

FIREFLIES

EFFERVESCENT FIREFLIES
PHOSPHORESCENT HUE
SPARKLING LUMINOSITY
EVENING DROPS OF DEW

See newer photos by Radim Schreiber in his July 2017 newsletter.

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

October 25, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karen Karns
Guru Purnima 2015

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

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

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

The discussion on Vedic cognition at the end of “Are you Mr. William Stafford?” is very relevant to Karen’s experience as a poet!

(more…)

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

October 22, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still missed the talk? You can watch it now on YouTube. Marianne also posted it on her Facebook page.

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

Business startup expert @AsherFergusson featured among @MaharishU successful alumni

October 22, 2015

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

Asher Fergusson Sydney 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 14, 2015

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

Fox5GoodDay

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

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

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

CHANGE BEGINS WITHIN 2015 BENEFIT CONCERT

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

ChangeBeginsWithin2015

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

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

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


%d bloggers like this: