Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise

September 24, 2013

See my earlier post on a segment from this film: Maharishi describes the nature of inner life: bondage and liberation, and gaining bliss consciousness through Transcendental Meditation. Maharishi is seen walking and talking about the nature of life, with the beautiful scene of Lake Louise and the Rocky Mountains behind him. He describes the lake, its surface and depth, and the reflections on it, as a metaphor to explain the spiritual content of life and how it gets lost and overshadowed when we identify with only the surface material objects of life, a state of bondage, at the expense of our own inner unbounded nature, bliss consciousness, which gets unfolded and integrated through the practice of his Transcendental Meditation technique, into a state of liberation. I transcribe Maharishi’s words there, the film’s essential spiritual message.

maharishi signs gita for ken

In the opening scenes of this complete video of the CBC documentary, we were all walking up to Maharishi to give him a flower. At 2:07-2:10, I’m seen coming up to Maharishi asking him to sign a copy of his translation and commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita, Chapters 1-6. The film closes with more of the same footage, which was all actually shot towards the end of the course. That wonderful week was the first time a lot of us got to meet Maharishi. It was an unforgettable divine experience in a most sublime natural setting!

Four years later, my mother, two sisters and I would meet privately with Maharishi at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, where a Symposium on the Science of Creative Intelligence with many of Canada’s intellectual luminaries was taking place. But that’s another amazing story!

Forty years after I started TM, and thirty-nine years after having met Maharishi, I was able to assist an ITN Factual commissioned producer in making the A&E biographical film, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, for the History International Channel (November 2007). Luckily I was able to procure vintage footage taken by Eileen Learoyd, a Victoria, BC journalist, and the first national leader of the Canadian TM Movement. Grania Litwin, her daughter and also a Victoria journalist, was kind enough to send us those home movies transferred to videos taken by her mother. We found one of Maharishi at Catalina Island from 1962 that was still in the original film canister! We had them all digitized and sent selections to the producer for use in the film. She was delighted to have received such historical footage. We also returned the videos with new DVDs to Grania.

I also put the producer in touch with Alan Waite, who had made the award-winning 1968 documentary, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Sage for a New Generation, and she ended up using many segments from that film as well. Also lined up interviews for her when she came to MUM in Fairfield, Iowa, as well as Mike Love in LA and Donovan in London.

Eileen and Hubert with Maharishi

Eileen and Hubert with Maharishi at Emerald Lake, British Columbia

Eileen Learoyd and her brother Hubert Gray organized a seminar for meditators with Maharishi at Emerald Lake, British Columbia in 1964. Elieen would later organize the 1972 SCI Symposium. In June 1968 they arranged for the CBC to film Maharishi at the Lake Louise, Alberta course. Interestingly, after Maharishi signed my copy of the Gita, we both turned it toward the camera. That footage was edited out, but it seemed to be a symbolic gesture for what I would end up doing with a large part of my life in my own small way — helping to teach, promote and publicize Maharishi and his world-transforming Vedic knowledge and TM technique. And for that I am most thankful and fulfilled. Jai Guru Dev, Maharishi. Na Guror Adhikam.

And last year, (2012) a small crew from DFL.TV and I were fortunate to have assisted Oprah’s producers by providing them with more b-roll footage for the OWN program on the meditators of Fairfield, Iowa, referred to as “TM Town” by Oprah. They even gave us a credit! Here’s a post with Video segments of Oprah’s Next Chapter on OWN: Oprah Visits Fairfield, Iowa—”TM Town”—America’s Most Unusual Town.

See a photo of Eileen and Hubert walking with Maharishi into the lobby of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Five-Star Hotel posted here. Here is a group photo of that sublime one-week residence course with Maharishi.

Enlightenment, the Transcendental Meditation Magazine, also published an article on Maharishi at Lake Louise discussing the blissful nature of the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique.

In the summer of 2014 I retired from my position at MUM. A year later I was featured on the TMhome website: PR to poetry – how things sometimes happen to Ken Chawkin. They followed up with The story behind the making of the International History documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (International History Channel documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi). A nice way to go out. I continue to write, blog, and freelance as a publicist for the movement as needed.

On September 30, 2014 I had posted how I learned #TMmeditation 47 years ago today. In there I share more information about the making of the CBC Telescope film, The Guru, of Maharishi at Lake Louise. Richard Day shared a story he had heard many years later about the director of the film who told Maharishi that he wanted to film him saying something that would encapsulate all his teachings. Maharishi said, “I’ll walk by the lake, you walk with me, and I’ll tell you everything about spiritual development.” He did it in one take! That’s the part I had transcribed and posted in the first link above.

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Cheryl Strayed, author of WILD, talks about the unique role of artists and writers in the world

January 10, 2013
Cheryl Strayed

“I think that artists are here, and writers are here, to be the truth-tellers of the human experience, the world we live in. And so, if you’re not going to tell the truth, don’t bother.” — Cheryl Strayed

I love this frank quote from memoirist Cheryl Strayed on the role of artists and writers in society during this CBC interview, Publishing phenom Cheryl Strayed, with Q host Jian Ghomeshi posted on Q Blog Monday, December 31, 2012. Here’s their description.

Cheryl Strayed had a banner year in 2012. Wild, her memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail while working through grief, divorce, and a dalliance with drugs, was a bestseller. Oprah Winfrey even relaunched her book club for it.

Strayed also outed herself as the popular online advice columnist Dear Sugar, and published a collection of columns as Tiny Beautiful Things to rave reviews.  Back in September, she dropped by Studio Q to talk about literary success and what it really means to be a “fearless” writer.

From the Best of Q: Originally aired September 13, 2012

Listen: 16:47

Download and listen to the complete introduction and interview: http://www.cbc.ca/q/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2278707963

Watch the 15:38 edited version minus the formal introduction on YouTube: “Wild” author Cheryl Strayed in Studio Q.

See what other writers have to say about writing on The Uncarved Blog.

Found this interesting article: The Wandering Writer: A Tour through Inner Northeast Portland with Cheryl Strayed.

The friendliness of Canadians, Canadian Patriotism, Vancouver as a destination, and the quality of the Olympic Games

March 28, 2010

THE FRIENDLINESS OF CANADIANS

“Thank you, Canada. For being such good hosts. For your unfailing courtesy. For reminding some of us we used to be a more civilized society. Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.” – Brian Williams, NBC News

“Along the way, there was plenty to like in Vancouver, if not always the weather. The people were generous and spirited, the volunteers cheery. Once, I saw a guy fail to smile; I think he was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor.” – Boston.com

“Before the closing ceremony begins, let me just take the time to thank the people of Vancouver for a wonderful 19 days. The people here couldn’t be nicer, from the volunteers who make sure the buses run on time, to the citizens walking the streets, to the athletes and people from around the world who were here.” – The LA Times

“The Olympics went into overtime Sunday. It was perfect. No one wanted the Warmest Games to end. Warmest weather. Warmest hosts.” – The Miami Herald

“Make no mistake, Canada’s people were the stars of these Games. They jammed the streets of Vancouver, cheered the most obscure sports as long as a Canadian was competing and all but drowned themselves in a sea of red. These are not folks normally given to outbursts of patriotism, but they found their voice here.” – Chicago Sun Times

“Why can’t we be more like Canada? They host the Olympics like they mean it. They smile . and they have the Canadian Mounties. But most of all what they have is a kick-ass national anthem, a tune that says everything about who they are – and about what we, as Americans, are not.” – The Huffington Post

“Graciousness is their default mode here. For the last two weeks, beaming has been a way of life. In a nod to the local vernacular, let me just say this is the nicest city I’ve ever been in.” – The Los Angeles Times

“No question the biggest winners of the 2010 Winter Olympics were the Canadian people, who were unfailingly polite, passionately patriotic, and self-deprecating enough to poke fun at themselves in the Closing Ceremonies.” – The Miami Herald.com

CANADIAN PATRIOTISM

“For Canada, I’d call it a ‘coming of age’ moment. The country, all 35 million of us, were able to bare our patriotic souls in an outburst of unbridled patriotism not seen before.” – The Toronto Star

“…the Games are a remarkable success. Millions of us are watching, and Vancouver is a giant block party. We know Canada is a small country in a big world, and most of us seem thrilled with what our athletes have achieved. Per capita, our medal count is second only to Norway’s.” – The Globe & Mail

“Canadians used to think of themselves as being quiet, modest and unassertive. No longer. After their athletes topped the medals table with 14 golds at the winter Olympic games, some 100,000 flag-waving locals took to the streets of Vancouver and the nearby ski resort of Whistler, deliriously singing the national anthem.” – The Economist

“This quiet city with such beautiful scenery made all of Canada proud. In a nightly transformation, as many as 150,000 people flooded the closed-off downtown streets to savor the Olympic experience. Mostly mild instead of wild, the crowds whooped, hollered, danced and shouted ‘Go Canada Go!’ well into the morning.” – The Houston Chronicle

“The bright-eyed exuberance can be a little overwhelming to someone who has spent many years absorbing cynicism in the Middle East, but the sheer earnestness helps temper what could elsewhere be an aggressive nationalism. Instead, it seems a pure expression of civic boosterism, no more, no less.” – The Jerusalem Post

VANCOUVER AS A DESTINATION

“You’re gorgeous, baby, you’re sophisticated, you live well.Vancouver is Manhattan with mountains. It’s a liquid city, a tomorrow city, equal parts India, China, England, France and the Pacific Northwest. It’s the cool North American sibling.” – The New York Times

“You may have heard that Vancouver is a great city, but it’s better than that. On a good weather day – and we had a spectacular five-day run in the middle of the Games – it is stunningly beautiful, and it is an excellent eating, drinking and shopping city.” – The Boston Globe

“Vancouver looked gorgeous on TV . NBC’s shots of Vancouver’s downtown and waterfront, and aerial views of Whistler ski areas, provided a media boost no marketing campaign could have delivered.” – The Seattle Times

“Vancouver is a city unlike any other. Wherever I look, I see water or mountains — or both. And everyone looks so healthy.” – The Daily Telegraph (UK)

“A remarkable environment. The license plates read ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ for a reason. The Sea-to-Sky Highway carries travelers on a jaw-dropping journey from the serenity of Vancouver’s waterfront to the majesty of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.” – The Buffalo News

“In winter, the heart of downtown [Vancouver] is 30 minutes from the ski slopes. In summer, sun seekers crowd its beaches and seaside promenades. And despite a rain-prone climate, it displays a perpetually sunny disposition. Consider it the supermodel of North American cities.” – USA Today

“Vancouver is one of North America’s most under-rated tourist destinations. It is a modern, travel-friendly city with a unique mix of cultures. The relatively mild Pacific Northwest climate and an energetic restaurant and nightlife scene are other features that make this such an attractive city.” – LowFares.com

“[Visitors] will find the streets of Vancouver, a city of 2 million, so spotless they’ll think Mr. Clean is the mayor.” – The Miami Herald

“By the end of the 17 days that featured unseasonably warm temperatures and more than a week of brilliant sunshine, the cherry blossoms were blooming and a few fans had been spotted wearing shorts in the street while raucously celebrating Team Canada’s dramatic overtime victory over the Americans in the hockey final.” – The Salt Lake Tribune

“Olympics visitors have become a travel marketer’s dream as they bask in the Vancouver sun, flock to competitions and pour into downtown venues. The throngs of Games guests are magnets that should pull even more tourists to B.C. in the coming months and years.” – The Montreal Gazette

“The city of Vancouver and the ski village of Whistler are terrific hosts for these Olympic Games. The air is clean, the public transit is scarily efficient, and the harbors, with snowcapped mountains for a backdrop, are picturesque. Whistler, two hours to the north and home to the skiing, sliding and Nordic events, is a winter wonderland.” – Time

QUALITY OF THE GAMES EXPERIENCE

“These were the best Winter Games ever.” – Salon.com

“The venues here and the streets of Vancouver and Whistler are joyful places to be.” – The Times London (UK)

“So there was no shortage of Olympic spirit in BC and Vancouver became an amazing party town day and night.” – Inside the Games

“.you can’t stage a better Olympics. The city is beautiful. The venues are modern. The transportation is efficient. But this wasn’t about logistics. In the end, it’s the people that power the movement. The Canadian people pushed these games back from the brink of disaster and right off into history.” – Yahoo.com

“The stadiums are full, the seats are full of passionate fans, the streets are busy and there’s a lot going on . Whether it is ice hockey, curling or speedskating, I haven’t seen an empty seat in the house.” – The Guardian

“The sporting venues were built on time and on budget. A new subway line links the airport to the city centre. The athlete’s village, with a view over one of Vancouver’s many picturesque waterways, sets high standards in energy-efficient construction.” – The Financial Times

“Top that if you can. Amid the tragedy, the medals race and the hockey frenzy, the Vancouver Olympics will be remembered above all for the fervor and ebullience of its Canadian hosts.” – The Associated Press

“What Vancouver did show London was how to stage a Games to be enjoyed by everyone, from athletes to spectators to the general public, who embraced the Olympics with hands uniformly clad in red Olympic mittens.” – Reuters

“There comes a time to tip your toque, and our good friends in Canada deserve our respect for hosting, and excelling in, a memorable Winter Olympics.” – Philly.com

“Known better for their hospitality than their military, Canada mustered a small army of volunteers to pull off these Olympic Games with unfailing patience and cheerfulness.” – The Christian Science Monitor

“In the end, these games became a testament to the resilience of both the Canadian and the Olympic spirit.” – The Australian

“The people of Vancouver embraced their Games as no other citizenry has in recent memory, not even Sydney. They packed the stadiums, thronged in the streets, made the cauldron their mecca.” – The Sydney Morning Herald

“But the Games recovered in a spirited, determined and optimistic fashion, and most of the operation visible to me has been difficult to fault. London faces a big challenge to generate the same level of enthusiasm for the Games.” – BBC

“Seoul’s citizens were wonderfully fanatical in 1988 and Sydneysiders were pretty hyped up in 2000 but the Vancouverites who teemed downtown in their maple leafed garb have surely now set the standard for Londoners for 2012.” – The Daily London Telegraph

“And overall, for athletes, fans, the media and the host nation especially, the Games were a triumph.” – The Independent

“Bottle that Vancouver enthusiasm and London 2012 will really hit the spot. The London Olympics can take their cue from Vancouver, its organizers and its volunteers.” – The Guardian

“I think it’s always obvious at the end of any of these global spectacles whether a particular event was a success, or fell short of the mark. I have no doubt that history will recall these Olympic Winter Games falling into the former category.” – The Daily Mail

VIEW FROM THE TOP

“The Games, suggested Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday, have elevated Canada on the world stage. ‘Mark my words, some day historians will look back at Canada’s growing strength in the 21st century and they will say that it all began right here, on the West Coast, with the best Winter Olympic Games the world has ever seen.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper, CBC.ca

“Most importantly, the Olympics have provided a chance for international investors to get to know us and explore business opportunities.” – BC Premier Gordon Campbell, Forbes

“We hosted the biggest event in our country’s history and it was a huge success.’ The mayor also took time to praise everyone involved in the Games, from the athletes to visitors, the police and finally, residents, for their consideration, co-operation and kindness. ‘The people of Vancouver made the whole country proud.” – Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, The Province

“Furlong, in Sunday’s touching farewell speech, may have said it best: ‘I believe we Canadians tonight are stronger, more united, more in love with our country and more connected with each other than ever before. These Olympic Games have lifted us up. If the Canada that came together on opening night was a little mysterious to some, it no longer is. Now you know us, eh.” – VANOC Chief John Furlong, The Vancouver Sun

“Expo 67 was a moment of coming of age for Canada,” said Michele McKenzie, president of the [Canadian Tourism] commission. “One of the things it did in young people was inspire interest in our country. What this Olympics has done is expose younger generations to what Canada is as a country. . . . I think the world has a much deeper understanding of the country after this. It’s magic.” – CTC President Michele McKenzie, The Vancouver Sun

“US Vice-President Joe Biden complimented Canadians Saturday on what he called an ‘incredible’ Olympic opening ceremony. ‘You guys put on one heck of a show,’ Biden said Saturday afternoon, speaking briefly with reporters. ‘Last night was incredible, absolutely incredible,’ he added.” – US Vice-President Joe Biden, Canada.com


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