Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

A Whisper Across Time: My Family’s Story of the Holocaust Told Through Art and Poetry, by Olga Campbell

May 1, 2018

I wanted to share something special with you. A friend of mine had been repressing, then actively processing an inherited trauma for most of her life. By educating herself, seeking professional help, writing and creating art, she has been able to make sense of it all. She just published a book about her powerful healing journey. She hopes it will resonate with those going through a trauma-induced grief, deepen our understanding and prevent such future catastrophes. I’ve seen the book. It’s a stunning artistic record of her ongoing transformation. Here’s what she sent me.

A Whisper Across Time book coverA Whisper Across Time is the story of one family’s experiences in the Holocaust. Olga Campbell tells a very personal and moving story through prose, art and poetry, creating a multi-dimensional snapshot of family losses and inter-generational trauma. Campbell’s art and poetry reflect the theme of sorrow and sadness created by this dark period of history. This is a story of remembering and healing. It is also a cautionary tale asking the reader to look at what is happening in the world today. Part memoir, part poetry, and art, A Whisper Across Time will make you stop, feel and reflect.

Seventeen years ago, after listening to a radio program about second generation Holocaust survivors, Olga Campbell experienced feelings she had spent a lifetime repressing. Her experience of grief, sorrow and sadness had their origins in events that happened to her family during the Holocaust. She started to confront these feelings by creating a solo multimedia exhibition in 2005 called Whispers Across Time. 

A year ago she felt compelled to write her family’s story. It felt as if her ancestors were whispering to her, encouraging her to do this. A Whisper Across Time is the result of these whispers.

Olga Campbell is a visual artist living in Vancouver, B. C. Her art work includes photography, sculpture, mixed media painting, and digital photo collage. She is also the author of Graffiti Alphabet. See more of Olga’s work at www.olgacampbell.com and olgacampbellart.

Olga has been practicing Transcendental Meditation since 1967. She became at teacher of Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh, India in 1970 and is a recertified Governor.

In her book she writes: “This personal journey was at times very difficult. However, there were and continue to be experiences in my life which make it easier … This daily practice of meditation for over half a century of time, has been transformational and life-affirming.

Praise for A Whisper Across Time

Olga Campbell’s poignant tribute to family murdered in the Shoa is a personal triumph. With words and art she has created an emotional response to a psychologically wounded mother and her inadvertent legacy of trauma. Her enormous artistic talents and insights provide not only a measure of healing but also of faithfulness to memory — the lives unlived are not forgotten. This is a precious contribution to the literature of the Holocaust and to resolving the consequences of catastrophic trauma. — Dr. Robert Krell, Founding President, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre

A Whisper Across Time is a profoundly moving experience. It is a healing ritual, a Shamanic soul retrieval, a celebration of life, and a gift of gratitude to the family Olga Campbell never really knew. She reminds us that it is never too late to heal the sorrows of the past or to protect the future from the dangers of forgetting.Ann Mortifee, Performing Artist, Writer for theatre, ballet and films

A Whisper Across Time by Olga Campbell is now available in Vancouver, BC, Canada. To order a copy, contact Olga at olgac1@telus.net. The cost is $25 US plus $6 shipping and handling.

Olga’s book launch and art exhibit will take place Thurs, Nov 15, 2018 at the Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery. Art exhibit will continue to Dec 9.

Whisper.jpg

Enlightenment Is Sexy, a memoir by Valerie Gangas, is out today, and it’s not just for women!

July 14, 2015

EIS Book CoverA first book from Valerie Gangas, ENLIGHTENMENT IS SEXY: Every Woman’s Guide To A Magical Life, is out today, and it’s not just for women!

Valerie is a great writer. She’s colorful, direct, and pulls no punches. Her effervescent personality shines through the amazing stories she shares with her readers, awakening them to their own inherent greatness.

The book is divided into short easy-to-read chapters packed with practical insightful wisdom. It’s also an inspirational testimony to the transformational power of TM, and I am enjoying reading every word of it!

Valerie sent us this intro to her story.

Awakening to Me

In 2011, I woke up and realized everything I thought I knew was wrong.

~ Valerie Gangas

For as long as I can remember, I have been running. Waking up in the morning and running to the gym. Running to the hospital to support my mother, who battled cancer for 13 years. Running to my job, managing an extremely busy Chicago restaurant/bar. Running from boyfriend to boyfriend. Running from one social event to another. Running to deal with the pressures modern women face to be perfect, to get the job done right, to be a caretaker, to look good—let’s face it: to be Wonder Woman.

Then one day, I was forced to stop running.

In late 2010, the restaurant I’d managed for 15 years was sold . . . but it turned out to be a weird sort of blessing, in that I got to spend day and night with my beautiful mother who, by Thanksgiving that year only had a couple of months left on the planet.

All of this time, I had been on a steady diet of double espressos, bottles of Cabernet and late nights eating steaks, cooked rare. (Did I mention I don’t eat meat?)

I was losing my mind as I watched her slowly slip away. I’d had a bad case of insomnia for years, my depression was deepening, and the distractions I’d held up like masks were no longer working well . . . make that, at all.

My mom passed away on January 25, 2011. And my world went black.

After she died, I felt like I’d died right along with her. I was out of a job, suicidal and completely unhealthy. My “diet”—mainly fueled by booze and caffeine—had caught up with me. I was the thinnest I’d been since high school, and my nerves were on fire. And it was like Groundhog’s Day—every night was the same scene. Go to bed, wake up at 3 a.m., stare at the ceiling, my thoughts reeling, feeling like complete crap, until I had to get up a couple hours later. Then my “day cycle” would start again. Down some caffeine, make myself workout (I had to fit in my cocktail dresses, duh!) and then never stop throughout the workday, ‘til I collapsed later that night.

Reflecting back, thoughts of suicide regularly arose in my mind. I didn’t feel like I could go on without my mom, who’d been my best friend. Clearly, I was a broken woman. Yes, I had been seeing a therapist and was trying to get my head above water. But nothing seemed to be working. My suicidal thoughts were getting stronger and stronger. I had gone so far as to ask my aunt and uncle to take my dog (I couldn’t bear messing up her little life), and I didn’t get a new car when my lease was up . . . because people who are going to kill themselves don’t need a car. I also wrote out my will.

Yep, I was gearing up to end my life.

One particularly horrible day I was on my knees in the shower, when I just collapsed and screamed out, “God, Mom, anyone, please help me kill myself or please save me!” In that moment, I completely surrendered. I was nothing. I was no one. And I completely gave myself and my fate over to God.

A week later, a friend suggested I learn Transcendental Meditation (TM). My only hope, at the time, was that I would be able to get some sleep. I hadn’t read anything about meditation, hadn’t thought about it or even wondered about it. But I was in such a dark place, one morning I made the call.

Within days, I borrowed that same friend’s car and drove to a Transcendental Meditation center in Chicago. The home which doubled as a TM center had a feeling of calm I couldn’t quite put my finger on—the air seemed lighter, somehow, and the view was all lake. Even upon entering the center’s lobby, I felt a bit calmer. Huh, I thought, these people who work here are super different. They were so chilled and completely filled with love . . . it was immediately clear to me they were there to help me. My next thought was, I’m here, so I might as well learn how to do this.

I sat down with my teacher and after a short, but beautiful ceremony, I was given my “mantra”—a sound she said my awareness would naturally follow, as it subsided into the depths of silence in my mind. When we both closed our eyes, I easily and effortlessly said the mantra to myself less than five times . . . and just like that, I was gone. I dove into a part of my body and mind I never knew existed—boundless, limitless and totally awesome. Yes-sir, something major had just happened . . . but soon I was discovering I’d only glimpsed the tip of the iceberg.

Driving home down Lake Shore Drive, I immediately began noticing how the world seemed so much different to me than it had on my way to the center. The colors all around me were more vivid, the sounds of the birds felt like sweet music to my ears, I seemed to be connected to all of the trees I saw . . . and above all, I felt happy. But, my mind called out to me, Is this really happening?! Do I really feel happy? How? Why? What the hell?

Fortunately, the essence of that experience stuck and stayed, and I came to find it was in fact “real”—that in twenty minutes, my whole life had changed. I woke up and realized everything I thought I knew was wrong. My life was no longer defined by outer circumstances. I was having a direct experience of what I have come to know as my true Self.

I cannot explain what followed . . . you know, the why of it. Within weeks of learning to meditate, I was standing in front of Oprah Winfrey, explaining how her newfound TM practice was going to make her limitless and boundless. Now, one would think standing in front of one of the most powerful women in the world would cause some serious butterflies in the stomach. But this wasn’t my experience. In that moment, when I stood at the front of the room and described my journey to her, I could only “see” her. The fame and the power didn’t exist. I was only concerned with helping the beautiful human in front of me the only way I knew how . . . with honesty, passion and a dash of humor.

I walked out of Harpo Studios that Friday morning and knew I was about to head down a very different life path. My soul and heart were breaking open and I was watching the right words leave my lips before my mind could even think them. I felt the power of the whole universe in my little body. That day, I decided to give everything I had to try to bring peace and goodness to the world. To do my part.

It has actually taken me the past few years to really understand this new way of living: that is, from the inside out. I felt compelled to write in my journal every night. I mean, the realizations I was having were just too profound not to write them down. I turned what I wrote about into a manuscript . . . and today I am proud to say I have just published my first book, Enlightenment Is Sexy: Every Woman’s Guide To A Magical Life. I’ve also started a brand I love and have continued to speak about consciousness, happiness, freedom, and above all, Transcendental Meditation.

Learning to meditate saved my life . . . but it also gave me more than I could have ever dreamt of: awakening to the real me.

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George Foster of Foster Covers, with help from wife Mary, designed the colorful cover! Order the book today at http://amzn.com/0996350209. Nice comments on Amazon.

Related: Read an interview with Valerie Gangas at TM Home, and this poem I wrote for her: Scheherazade Incarnate. TM Home also posted this today: Valerie Gangas reveals her top 5 reasons to learn Transcendental Meditation. And Val posted and sent this out. Transcendental Meditation for Women also posted Awakening to Me.

Valerie Gangas Shows Why Enlightenment Is Sexy on Writers’ Voices.

Spirit Matters Talk Interview with Valerie

Remembering 9–11, The Merciful Nature of Time

September 11, 2014

Remembering 9–11

When it comes to dealing with adversity, accepting it is not always easy, especially when it involves a devastating sudden loss, like what happened on 9-11, (September 11, 2001), 13 years ago today. Many had to accept it, live with it, and over time, hopefully distance themselves from the painful memories of the loss of their loved ones.

Same thing if it’s an ongoing situation, where you see someone you love disappearing before your eyes due to some incurable disease. Maybe it’s not as devastating. I don’t know. Grief is grief; it’s not easy. But our perspective could change over time. And that can be the merciful nature of time. Here is a haiku about it.

The Merciful Nature of Time

Time is kind to us
It lets us get used to change
Then we can move on

© Ken Chawkin
September 11, 2014

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

They say, Time heals all wounds. But does it? Not according to , a counselor who specializes in end-of-life and bereavement matters. He says it’s what you do with the time that heals. Read his article published  in Psychology Today’s The Journey Ahead.

The David Lynch Foundation

One organization helping people deal with adversity and various forms of traumatic stress and grief is the David Lynch Foundation. Visit their website and see how they are Healing Traumatic Stress and Raising Performance in At-Risk Populations http://davidlynchfoundation.org. See DLF executive director Bob Roth speak at Google Zeitgeist 2014.

 

Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

July 28, 2013

Inspiring excerpts from a book by David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re beautiful. Everything, anything that is a thing, comes up from the deepest level. Modern physics calls that level the Unified Field. The more your consciousness – your awareness – is expanded, the deeper you go toward this source, and the bigger fish you can catch.

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity
–David Lynch

David Lynch (b. 1946) – director, visual artist, musician and, most significantly, long-term Transcendental Meditation practitioner – is best known for his surrealist films, having developed his own unique cinematic style, characterized by dream imagery and meticulous sound design. In the course of his career, he has received numerous nominations and awards, including the illustrious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival.

His most popular and critically-acclaimed film projects include Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and INLAND EMPIRE. He has also embraced the internet as a medium, producing several web-based shows, such as the animation, Dumbland, and the surrealist sitcom, Rabbits.

He has also produced a brilliant literary offering, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity. Written in short chapters on themes as diverse as painting, filmmaking, meditation, consciousness, the texture of a dead body and other such profound matters, it is an absolute treat for any aspiring artist who is also keen to dive deep for the so-called bigger fish and is looking for a truly authentic and honest interpretation of life.

Desire
Desire for an idea is like bait. When you’re fishing, you have to have patience. You bait your hook, and you wait. The desire is the bait that pulls those fish in – those ideas.

The beautiful thing is that when you catch one fish that you love, even if it’s a little fish – a fragment of an idea – that fish will draw in another fish, and they’ll hook onto it. Then you’re on your way. Soon there are more and more and more fragments, and the whole thing emerges. But it starts with desire.

Consciousness
Through meditation one realizes the unbounded. That which is unbounded is happy. There is no happiness in the small.
Upanishads

Little fish swim on the surface, but the big ones swim down below. If you can expand the container you’re fishing in – your consciousness – you can catch bigger fish.

Here’s how it works: Inside every human being is an ocean of pure, vibrant consciousness. When you ‘transcend’ in Transcendental Meditation, you dive down into that ocean of pure consciousness. You splash into it. And it’s bliss. You can vibrate with this bliss. Experiencing pure consciousness enlivens it, expands it. It starts to unfold and grow.

Intuition
Know That by knowing which everything is known.
Upanishads

Life is filled with abstractions, and the only way we make heads or tails of it is through intuition. Intuition is seeing the solution – seeing it, knowing it. It’s emotion and intellect going together. That’s essential for the filmmaker.

How do you get something to feel right? Everybody’s got the same tools: the camera and the tapes and the world and the actors. But in putting those parts together, there are differences. That’s where intuition enters.

Personally, I think intuition can be sharpened and expanded through meditation, diving into the Self. There’s an ocean of consciousness inside each of us, and it’s an ocean of solutions. When you dive into that ocean, that consciousness, you enliven it.

You don’t dive for specific solutions; you dive to enlighten that ocean of consciousness. Then your intuition grows and you have a way of solving those problems – knowing when it’s not right and knowing a way to make it feel correct for you. That capacity grows and things go much more smoothly.

Identity
The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.

Sound
Sometimes you hear a piece of music, and it marries to a scene in the script. When I’m shooting, I will often play that piece of music in the headphones whilst listening to the dialogue. Hearing the music is just a verification that things are going the right way – for instance, the right pace or lighting. It’s just another tool to ensure that you’re following that original idea and being true to it.

Ask The Idea
The form which embodies that wish appeared in consciousnesses – that is to be held within consciousness.
Upanishads

The idea is the whole thing. If you stay true to the idea, it tells you everything you need to know, really. You just keep working to make it look like that idea looked, feel like it felt, sound like it sounded, and be the way it was. And it’s weird, because when you veer off, you sort of know it. You know when you’re doing something that is not correct because it feels incorrect. It says, ‘No, no; this isn’t like the idea said it.’ And when you’re getting into it the correct way, it feels correct. It’s an intuition: You feel-think your way through.

You start one place, and as you go, it gets more and more finely tuned. But all along it’s the idea talking. At some point, it feels correct to you. And you hope that it feels somewhat correct to others.

Suffering
It’s good for the artist to understand conflict and stress. Those things can give you ideas. But I guarantee you, if you have enough stress, you won’t be able to create. And if you have enough conflict, it will get in the way of your creativity. You can understand conflict, but you don’t have to live in it.

In stories, in the worlds that we can go into, there’s suffering, confusion, darkness, tension and anger. There are murders; there’s all kinds of stuff. But the filmmaker doesn’t have to be suffering to show suffering. You can show it, show the human condition, show conflicts and contrasts, but you don’t have to go through that yourself. You are the orchestrator of it, but you’re not in it. Let your characters do the suffering.

It’s common sense: The more the artist is suffering, the less creative he is going to be. It’s less likely that he is going to enjoy his work and less likely that he will be able to do really good work.

Light of the Self
He who sees everything as nothing but the Self,
and the Self in everything he sees,
such a seer withdraws from nothing.
For the enlightened, all that exists is nothing but the Self,
so how could any suffering or delusion continue
for those who know Oneness?
Upanishads

Negativity is like darkness. So what is darkness? You look at darkness, and you see that it’s nothing: It’s the absence of something. You turn on the light, and darkness goes.

But sunlight, for instance, doesn’t get rid of negativity. It gets rid of darkness but not negativity. So what light can you turn on that removes negativity the way sunlight removes darkness? It’s the light of pure consciousness, the Self – the light of unity.

Don’t fight the darkness. Don’t even worry about the darkness. Turn on the light and the darkness goes. Turn up that light of pure consciousness: Negativity goes.

The Box and the Key
I don’t have a clue what those are.

Fire
Sitting in front of a fire is mesmerizing. It’s magical. I feel the same way about electricity. And smoke. And flickering lights.

Advice 
The Truth upholds the fragrant Earth and makes the living
water wet. Truth makes fire burn and the air move,
Makes the sun shine and all life grow. A hidden truth
supports everything. Find it and win.
Ramayana

Stay true to yourself. Let your voice ring out, and don’t let anybody fiddle with it. Never turn down a good idea, but never take a bad idea. And meditate. It’s very important to experience the Self, that pure consciousness. It’s really helped me. I think it would help any filmmaker. So start diving within, enlivening that bliss consciousness. Grow in happiness and intuition. Experience the joy of doing. And you’ll glow in this peaceful way. Your friends will be very, very happy with you. Everyone will want to sit next to you. And people will give you money!

Thanks to StillnessSpeaks.com for compiling this list.

See Fishing For Fallen Light: A Tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda with links to videos of David talking about these ideas.

Documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace”

Since the book, David Lynch made a 16-country tour around the world when he spoke to government leaders, film students, and the press. It was made into a documentary film and premiered in NY. Watch the trailer for a new documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace”.

This was later followed by a premier in Los Angeles: Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary. Also see David Lynch, Russell Brand, Bob Roth Q&A after screening Meditation, Creativity, Peace documentary at Hammer Museum. Links to videos and articles are available at the bottom of each post.

The film continues to be shown in major cities around the world. Check your local TM center and the David Lynch Foundation for more information.

The documentary film was made available online, March 3, 2016. You can watch it here on The Uncarved Blog.

Seeing Is Being

January 14, 2011

“The sight occupies the seer, transforms seer into sight.”
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (Life Magazine, November 1990)

Seeing Is Being

Seeing outside the Self
Forgetting the Inner Light
The Seer becomes the Sight
Transforming Day to Night

Living Night for Day
The Seer can’t find The Way
Mistaking Sight for Seer
Becoming what’s on the Mirror
Forsaking what’s truly Dear

When Self is finally Clear
We Remember How we’re Here
It’s the One Becoming the Three
The Way To See Is To Be
Since Seer Sight and Seeing
Are All Three Ways of Being
And Being Is Being Being Being*

© Ken Chawkin

————————————–

*From a Q & A session:
Course participant: Maharishi, What is Being?
Maharishi: (laughs) Being? Being is Being Being Being.
Then Maharishi and everyone laugh.

I read that poem at a World Peace Assembly in Maharishi University’s Golden Dome in the early 90’s. It was followed by The Enlightened Heart, a poem by Ken Chawkin.

Dr. Oz on multitasking, managing people, and TM

September 16, 2010

Become a wizard of multitasking!

Everyone is being asked to do more with less. Here’s what Dr. Mehmet Oz has to say about multitasking in today’s busy workplace.

Daneen Skube
Interpersonal Edge
September 12, 2010

Q. All the managers in my company are being asked to do more with less. Most days I just feel like tearing my hair out! Do you have any suggestions about multitasking especially when you manage people?

A. I approached Dr. Mehmet Oz, heart surgeon, columnist, author and television personality who is a master of multitasking. Plus, surprisingly, he’s a genuine, calm and down-to-earth guy.

I started out by asking Oz how he manages a hundred people on his television set, maintains numerous business partnerships, and supervises his staff at Columbia University. Oz observed, “It is all about getting to know each person you work with well enough to find out what his or her dream is and then helping them realize that dream.”

He noted that in any group he manages he treats his staff like family. “In a family you don’t sugarcoat things,” Oz said. “You look in each other’s eyes and tell the truth. In the workplace, sometimes this means people are in the wrong job and they leave, but they leave for a job that is a better fit.”

He compared the work that goes on in the operating room to the work on any workplace team, “In an operating room, each member of my team has a job and certain strengths. When operating, I need to stay focused on my work and let my team have the freedom to do their jobs.”

I asked him if he ever finds these “workplace as family conversations” difficult. He acknowledged that really getting to know people at work means more conversations about painful emotions. “It is impossible to fix a feeling until you make sure the other person knows you have heard that feeling,” he observed.

I asked him why he thought that, in most workplaces, people end up suffering not because of the work but because of other people. Oz pointed out that everyone on the planet will experience pain, but not everyone needs to experience suffering. “Suffering is the decisions we make and the behaviors we chose when we are busy trying to avoid our pain,” he explained. “When we cannot feel or cope with our pain, we do foolish things with other people and then we suffer.”

Sitting with Oz, I couldn’t help but wonder how he maintains such a calm presence. He shared that he practices Transcendental Meditation. “When I meditate, I go to that place where truth lives,” he said. “I can see what reality really is, and it is so much easier to form good relationships then.”

I asked him how he inspires such loyalty in those that love, know and support his many professional endeavors. Oz’s eyes took on a characteristic twinkle as he suggested, “If you want to change someone, care about them.”

Oz finished our interview by emphasizing how important it is for people in the workplace to realize there is a we in every me. He concluded: “There is a common ground, when we get to know each other, where everyone can win. Find it and let people surprise you as you serve their higher good.”

THE LAST WORD(S)

Q. Do you have any tricks to avoid offending people at work?

A. No, there’s no Jedi mind trick that can control other people’s reactions. There are quite a few tricks for what to do once someone decides they are upset.

(Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel’s “Workplace Guru” each Monday morning. She’s the author of “Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything” (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at www.interpersonaledge.com or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.)

Copyright © 2010, Tribune Media Services


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