Posts Tagged ‘war’

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

Ken Wilber said meditation can change the world. Jaochim Chissano showed it could – Steve Taylor.

December 19, 2012

Can Meditation Change the World?
The amazing story of the ‘meditating president.’
Published on December 10, 2012 by Steve Taylor in Out of the Darkness

Ken WilburLast week a group of my students were giving a presentation on the spiritual philosopher Ken Wilber. It included a video interview in which Wilber remarked, ‘The best way to stop famine in the world is to meditate.’ Some students were outraged, and my initial thought was that the comment was glib and offensive. Surely the best way to stop famine is to provide food, to donate money, or at least to end conflict or reduce corruption? However, there is a case study which illustrates Wilber’s meaning very clearly. It’s the story of the ‘meditating president’, Joachim Chissano of Mozambique.

In 1992, Mozambique’s civil war came to an end, after 15 years of devastation, and around a million casualties. The country was completely broken, and showing all signs of being trapped in the cycle of conflict and corruption which has afflicted many African countries. But Joachim Chissano – whose forces had won the war – surprised the world by acting sensibly and empathically. Rather than trying to shore up his own power base and enacting revenge, Chissano treated the rebel forces who had been trying to overthrow his government with respect. He made compromises, promised there would be no prosecutions or punishments and offered the rebels half of the places in the Mozambiquan army. He gave them the chance of gaining power through political means. Rather than trying to crush the rebels, he began to work with them.

Two years later, Mozambique’s first ever multi-party elections were held, and Chissano and the former rebel leader came face to face in the polls. Chissano won the election, and set about the task of establishing lasting peace by reducing poverty. Between 1997 and 2003, almost three million people were rescued from extreme poverty, out of a total population of almost 20 million. This lead to a 35% decrease in the number of children dying under the age of five, and an increase of 65% in the number of children going to primary school. Through Chissano’s ability to set aside differences and connect with his former enemies, Mozambique was brought back from the brink of self-destruction and has instead become one of Africa’s most stable and peaceful countries.

What was it that made Chissano so rational and compassionate as a leader?

Joachim Chissano

In 1992, he learned Transcendental Meditation. Quickly becoming aware of the benefits of the practice himself, he taught it to his family, then his cabinet ministers and his wider government. In 1994, it became a requirement for all military and police recruits to meditate twice a day, for 20 minutes.

Chissano himself is in no doubt that this collective meditation was responsible for the peace and increasing prosperity of the country. As he said, ‘The result has been political peace and balance in nature in my country…The culture of war has to be replaced by the culture of peace. For that purpose, something deeper has to be changed in our mind and in our consciousness to prevent the recurrence of war.’

In 2004, Chissano’s second term in office came to end. Rather than pursuing a third term – as he would have been legally able to do under Mozambique law – he stepped aside. Since then he has been an elder statesman, campaigning for peace and working as an envoy and negotiator for the United Nations. In 2007, on his 68th birthday, he was awarded Africa’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the $5 million prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

This is Wilber’s point, of course. In the short term, meditation reduces anger and aggression. In the long term, it increases our capacity for empathy, compassion and rationality. It leads to less self-centred behaviour, and reduces cravings for power and wealth. It generates a sense of well-being which makes us less liable to be affected by slights or prejudices.

Research has confirmed these effects. In 2003, scientists at the University of Wisconsin scanned the brain of people with a long experience of Buddhist meditation. They found that their left pre-frontal lobes – the areas of the brain linked with positive moods and emotions – were unusually active. In other words, they seemed to be happier than normal. In a 2011 study at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness 16 people meditated for an average of 27 minutes each day. MRI scans after 8 weeks showed increased ‘grey matter’ in parts of the brain associated with compassion, introspection and learning.

So Wilber’s seemingly glib comments may well be right. Human social behaviour is a manifestation of our inner state. Discord in the world stems from discord in our minds, and there will only be harmony and peace in the world once there is harmony and peace inside us.

Steve Taylor is a lecturer in psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He is the author of Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of the Human Mind. Eckhart Tolle has called his work ‘an important contribution to the shift in consciousness happening on our planet at this time.’ stevenmtaylor.co.uk | Follow Steve on Facebook and Twitter

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What Steve Taylor says in this Psychology Today article is true. In addition, there have also been hundreds of scientific studies on Transcendental Meditation showing improvements in mental and emotional development as well as health and social behavior. See Hard evidence grows for including meditation in government-sponsored health programs and Excellent article by Tom Jacobs on Meditation: Strong Preventative Medicine for Heart Patients.

But one of the most striking effects is the impact large numbers of people practicing Transcendental Meditation together in large groups in one or more places can have on their environment. This is what happened in Mozambique. The longtime drought also came to an end as balance was restored in nature; the rain came!

Over fifty studies have scientifically documented the profound and measurable benefits of this approach to peace. Many have been published in respected peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Conflict Resolution, 1988, 32: 776–812; Social Indicators Research, 1999, 47: 153-201; Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 2003, 36 (1-4): 283-302; Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 2005, 17(1): 339-373; Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 2005, 17(1): 285-338; and Journal of Scientific Exploration, 2009, 23(2): 139-166.

For a scientific explanation behind the power of large groups collectively practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program including Yogic Flying, read The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin. Also see this Op-Ed peace piece spreading around the world: Reducing Tension in the Middle East

And here is a newly published study on this topic: Can group meditation prevent violent crime? Surprisingly, the data suggests yes: New study (SAGE Open Apr 2016, 6 (2).

One last point, and that is comparing different meditation practices and generalizing their results can be a bit misleading. With the aid of fMRI, EEG, and other methods, we can now see that different parts of the brain are effected by different meditation techniques, which utilize their own approaches, like concentration, open monitoring, or transcending. To better understand these differences and outcomes scientists have created categories of meditation, matching approaches with their scientific measurements. See Are all meditation techniques the same?.

For a current perspective on how TM has been successfully applied in various settings, see this recent video presentation: John Hagelin speaks on meditation as a powerful tool for health, education & post-traumatic stress at TEDxWomen 2012.

Read two reviews of Can meditation change the world? in the January 28, 2013 UK TM News blog, and below in a print copy from the February 2013 issue of UK Transcendental Meditation News. Click twice on the image to read it.

Update: Athens Democracy Award Goes to Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano. This article, published Sept 18, 2018, references President Chissano’s use of TM. “Besides bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy and economic progress to Mozambique, and supporting LGBT rights in Africa, Chissano is said to have introduced Transcendental Meditation techniques to government officials, police and military.”

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Jerry Yellin on Loud Miracles with Meital Dohan: Beating PTSD through Transcendental Meditation

May 17, 2011

Click on the title to listen to the interview.

Jerry Yellin: Beating PTSD Through Transcendental Meditation

Meital Dohan talks to Jerry Yellin. They discuss how TM helped him emerge from his PTSD as well as how TM can help better the mind and body in other ways, given that Meital also practices. They discuss the effects of PTSD and how drugs are not the only answer to the hardships and trauma of War.

More about Jerry Yellin

Jerry Yellin is a World War II Veteran who suffered from PTSD after returning home from the war. For many years he suffered from depression that he could not escape, and fell deeper and deeper with no end in sight despite being surrounded by people he cared about and who cared about him. After his wife began to practice Transcendental Meditation, Jerry also tried it. Through TM, which he continues to practice, he got himself out of his depression and has lived a long and healthy life. He speaks widely about his experience and he has has teamed up with the David Lynch Foundation to create Operation Warrior Wellness to provide TM to veterans of our current wars as a way to help heal from the hardships of battle.
 
Listen to other interviews by Meital Dohan and see other articles on Jerry Yellin posted here on The Uncarved Blog.
 
Meital has moved on but her interviews are posted on SoundCloud.
 

Veteran Dan Burks on Overcoming the Stresses of War with Transcendental Meditation

January 18, 2011

Veteran Dan Burks on Overcoming the Stresses of War with TM

DavidLynchFoundation | December 12, 2010

Transcription: “December 18th 1967 – Newsweek, five days after my birthday. This is a story called ‘The Days Work.’ And this is my unit, we went out and got ambushed, and this is me doing my job. We were attacked at this place called Buddha. That fight went on for two weeks. The first night I killed 14 people. There were 25 hundred of them, 250 of us. The next morning in front of my fighting position there were 18 of our men dead. So this is very, very, very distressing, and it creates huge amounts of distress in your system.”

“Later in the magazine there’s this… this is an article Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and a couple guys in my platoon, one of them got the magazine and came running over and said ‘Burks, you gotta read this!’ So I did. And I said, ‘I’m going to do that….’ Because it talks about stress release, about becoming a whole person.”

“The next part of the story is about getting home. And that’s a whole big deal, because things changed. All of a sudden you’re in a different culture. They don’t understand you. They have no idea. They don’t understand that you’re always still in the rubber plantation in the jungle. You’re always on an adrenalin high. You’re looking to protect your buddies, you’re looking to protect yourself and you’re looking to kill the enemy.”

Help us heal our Veterans – http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org

See two other videos: AFP: Meditation soothes war veterans and 50% reduction in PTSD symptoms within 4 weeks of Veterans practicing Transcendental Meditation.

See AFP’s How Clint Eastwood keeps his cool, Meditation May Ease PTSD for Vets, and watch highlights of the David Lynch Foundation‘s Operation Warrior Wellness press conference and the second annual Change Begins Within benefit gala.

“Heyam Dukham Anagatam” — Avert the danger that has not yet come

March 20, 2010
Click here for India News from Daily India

How transcendental meditation can prevent war and terrorism

From ANI

Washington, March 20: A new research paper has pointed how militaries worldwide could use the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program, founded by Indian spiritual guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, as a non-religious and scientifically verified way to prevent war and terrorism.

When used in a military context, these meditation practices are known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT).

The research paper describes the concept of a “Prevention Wing of the Military,” a group of military personnel that practices the advanced TM-Sidhi program twice daily as a group.

A group that reaches a critical threshold in size has been scientifically shown to reduce collective societal stress.

The paper hypothesizes that war, terrorism, and crime are caused by collective societal stress.

The absence of collective stress translates into the absence of tension between countries, between religious groups, or even within individual terrorists.

The paper proposes that, by applying this non-lethal and non-destructive technology, any military can reduce societal stress and prevent enemies from arising.

If IDT prevents the emergence of enemies, the military has no one to fight, so the nation becomes invincible.

Over 50 scientific studies have found that when 1percent of a given population practices Transcendental Meditation, or when sufficiently large groups practice the TM-Sidhi program together twice daily, measurable positive changes take place throughout society as a whole.

The studies show decreased violence, crime, car accidents, and suicides, and improved quality of life in society.

The paper reviews IDT research, such as a study published in the Yale University-edited Journal of Conflict Resolution showing that an intervention by a civilian group in Israel resulted in a 76 percent reduction in war deaths in neighboring Lebanon.

Seven subsequent, consecutive experiments over a two-year period during the peak of the Lebanon war found that war-related fatalities decreased by 71 percent, war-related injuries fell by 68 percent, the level of conflict dropped by 48 percent, and cooperation among antagonists increased by 66 percent.

A follow-up study published in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality found that the likelihood that these combined results were due to chance is less than one in a quintillion.

A global-scale study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation documented a 72 percent drop in international terrorism when IDT groups were large enough to affect the global population.

According to David R. Leffler, the research paper’s author, “This new approach, derived from the ancient Vedic tradition of India, is supported by over 50 scientific studies. IDT can create victory before war, and can assist in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding.”

Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com

I used the photo of Maharishi from a similar article on IndiaTalkies website posted by Nitesh on Mar 20th, 2010 and filed under Science / Technology.

A Fascinating Approach to Peace

October 19, 2009

NewsBlaze

Published: October 18, 2009

Letter to the Editor

A Fascinating Approach to Peace

Australia Needs a Defence System Beyond “Extended Deterrence”

Dear News Blaze editors:

Thank you for posting this intelligently written Op-Ed piece. Here are my comments for your consideration.

When asked about his new film, EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS, a documentary based on the journals of American poet William Stafford, award-winning producer/director Haydn Reiss suggested it would be very satisfying to think that after viewing the film you would ask yourself, at a deep level, what you really believe about war. And the follow-up question of “How did I come to believe that?”

This Op-Ed, Australia Needs a Defence System Beyond “Extended Deterrence” is a fascinating approach to peace, one that should be seriously considered. I’ve just seen Mr. Reiss’s new film about war and peace, and this deeper solution is something that would resonate with both the poet and the filmmaker.

“I think we have been very successfully indoctrinated into accepting that war is a given, it’s what human beings do. The distinction is, and I think this is what Stafford is saying, is ‘Yes, we do and can make war. But what else can we do?’ The undiscovered possibilities in human behavior are what we should pursue. The die is not cast,” Reiss added; “imagination and creativity are not in short supply. That this is the real, pragmatic work of the world.”

Visit http://everywar.com to see the trailer, and think for yourself, about this question and this more rational scientific solution. At the same time, keep in mind what Einstein said about insanity—doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result; and what Schopenhauer said about the three stages that all truth passes through—”First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

In watching his own struggle with the British Empire, Gandhi echoed a similar sentiment when he observed, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” I’d like to think that this ancient scientific approach founded by the great Vedic Science revivalist, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, would turn out to be a win-win situation for every nation on the planet. We now have the technology in our hands to finally fulfill this ancient hope for humanity—the ability to create and maintain permanent world peace.

Ken Chawkin
Media Relations Director
Maharishi University of Management
The David Lynch Foundation
E:  kchawkin@mum.edu
W: http://www.mum.edu
B: http://theuncarvedblog.com
W: http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org

Also see Every War Has Two Losers, a Haydn Reiss film on poet and conscientious objector William Stafford and PEACEFUL POETS: Filmmaker Haydn Reiss on Rumi and Stafford and the Power of Words.

Every War Has Two Losers, a Haydn Reiss film on poet and conscientious objector William Stafford

October 18, 2009

EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS

A Poet’s Meditation on Peace

A FILM BASED ON THE JOURNALS OF WILLIAM STAFFORD

Haydn Reiss (producer/director) has been making independent films for twenty years that often focus on writers and poets. As a producer for hire his clients include organizations working on the front lines of education, the environment, culture, human rights, politics and health. In 1998, Reiss directed the award-winning RUMI: Poet of the Heart, which was seen on over 100 PBS stations and screened in festivals around the world.

EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS tells the story of how one man, William Stafford (1914-1993), chose to answer the call to war. It is a story of confronting beliefs that swirl around war — Isn’t war inevitable? Even necessary? What about the enemy? Stafford refused to fight in World War Two and served four years in camps for conscientious objectors. Later he was the winner of the National Book Award for poetry.

Other participants appearing in the film include Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, John Gorka, Maxine Hong Kingston, Michael Meade, W.S. Merwin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Kim Stafford, and Alice Walker.

Director Haydn Reiss first met Stafford in 1990 and later produced a one-hour documentary, William Stafford & Robert Bly: A Literary Friendship. That film chronicles the similarities and differences between these two close friends and great poets. Approaches to writing, teaching and the meaning of poetry are all explored in this lively and engaging film. (The film is included as a DVD extra on EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS)

Interview with Haydn Reiss:

Q: What’s the genesis of the film?

HR: In 2006, I read the book the film is based on and that was edited by his son Kim, “Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace & War” (Milkweed Editions 2004). It’s fifty years of excerpts from Bill’s journals related to war and reconciliation. As with all of Stafford’s writings, there is a sense of a deep intelligence at work that stays human and available to the reader. There’s humor, heartbreak and a general sense, or assertion, that we human beings are capable of doing better with each other. I’m a father of young children and I have to believe that’s true. More importantly, I had to try and make a contribution to that effort and that’s what I attempted with the film.

Q: How does the book differ from the film?

HR: Obviously there’s a lot more writing and poems in the book than the film. The challenge was to pull journal entries that could be arranged in some form or fashion and create an overall arc to the film. A beginning, middle and end has not been much improved upon in the world of storytelling. All the material could be endlessly mixed since there was no inherent order to it other than chronological. So mix it we did some untold number of times until the cylinders seemed to line up and my editor and I had something we liked. The film brings in its own ingredients of music, images and a remarkable collection of participants.

Q: What do you hope the film does for the viewer?

HR: It would be very satisfying to think that after viewing the film you would ask yourself, at a deep level, what you really believe about war. And the follow-up question of “How did I come to believe that?” I think we have been very successfully indoctrinated into accepting that war is a given, it’s what human beings do. The distinction is, and I think this is what Stafford is saying, is “Yes, we do and can make war. But what else can we do?” The undiscovered possibilities in human behavior are what we should pursue. The die is not cast; imagination and creativity are not in short supply. That this is the real, pragmatic work of the world.

View trailer, download PBS station airings August-September 2010, bios, and purchase a DVD of Every War Has Two Losers.

Also see PEACEFUL POETS: Filmmaker Haydn Reiss on Rumi and Stafford and the Power of Words and A Fascinating Approach to Peace.


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