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Catastrophes, Attention and Compassion

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Some thoughts about the recent violence and a correspondence with Sri Kumar.

Last Friday morning when I went down to pick up the daily newspaper a thought flashed through my mind: Is there something in the news about a terror attack? The thought quickly passed by and the newspaper didn’t report anything out of the ordinary. Next morning I read about the attacks in Paris. It was only then that I thought again of this “fiery messenger” in my mind: There was something in the air before it manifested “on ground”.

Later I saw the news-wave rising in the few online portals I visited. The following days, the newspapers were full with background stories and analyses.  The politicians and other opinion makers got busy, governments demonstrated determination to counteract. Many showed their sympathy and solidarity: On Facebook, many faces of “friends” appeared in the blue, white and red of the French tricolore…

When I thought of the victims whose lives brutally ended, I felt something in the atmosphere beyond the uproar of indignation and confusion – like cries of other victims not in the limelights of attention fuelling – be it in the middle East, in parts of Africa and elsewhere. Later, I read in the local newspaper about people in Lebanon asking, Why no attention to our victims? And about the many victims of attacks in Nigeria and elsewhere. Rising the attention is one of the prime goals of the terror attacks and if we just focus on their acts, their perverse strategy works out: “mission accomplished”.

Attention is a precious good and often disproportionately distributed. Though sympathy and compassion are important, we need to open up our hearts to all where we feel the suffering. It is an attitude and not a doing. An attitude of inclusion and very much needed now.

Some friends from Spain asked me if Dr. Kumar, our teacher, did say anything about the terror in Paris. I wrote to him and he replied:

“I prefer not to get into the activity of opinionating upon events that have political relevance. I only see the whole violence at that level is but reaction to the past action of Europe in Middle East. We the humanity do not learn the basics. ‘Love thy neighbour’ remains an ideal. We fight with neighbours everywhere on the planet. We say we are developed but not in its true sense.”

And a little later: “Hundreds of thousands are killed in Middle East for believed political ideology, for which no concern is shown. Just a hundred and twenty draw global attention. Don’t you see the fallacy?”

From various sides I received calls for synchronised meditation to help spreading light and peace. One mail reminded that by building powerful thought forms the path of humanity will be energised towards a positive future – bringing Love and Light to counter-balance the fear and shadows, to create an international wall for protection. Meditative invocations are certainly important contributions.

I was reminded of the invocation for European unity given by Dr. Kumar some years ago, which I regularly use. Some friends just asked me about it, and so I share it here. The “East in us” refers to the Ajna centre on the front, the seat of soul consciousness, and the “West in us” to the base centre, the physical anchoring:

We the citizens of Europe strive to stand united.
We endeavour to unite the east and the west in us and in Europe.
We aspire to stand in the fusion of the East and West of Europe
and provide a field for fusion for easterners and westerners of Europe.
May we fulfil the Hierarchical plan of discipleship
standing in the Light, Love, Power and Synthesis of Hierarchical energy.

Having finished the above lines, I thought about the word “catastrophes” used in the title. Terror attacks are not “natural disasters” but purposefully planned atrocities. However, I decided to use this expression to hint at the larger avalanche of destruction caused by the pathological distortions of fanatic ideologies, political or religious.

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Impressions from the May Call Group Living in Baerenthal, France

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Last week I was in Baerenthal, in the Northern Vosges, France for the May Call Day celebration. I have been following these celebrations since 1998, and they are always inspiring highlights. The last years the celebrations in the West were no longer directed by Sri Kumar, and so various groups started organising May Call meetings. The meeting in Baerenthal was an international group living with about 40 members from Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The organizing committee already met last Tuesday for the last preparations. We had a look at the location and coordinated the activities of the next days. For the group living we had a beautiful gym with a huge window front to a meadow and the forest. And a second hall for slide shows etc. For me, it was also a beautiful occasion for presenting a number of my paintings along the wall of the gym. Preparing the hall demanded some creativity – the goals and the basketball baskets were transformed into parts of the decoration.

Wednesday afternoon I sat in the sun waiting for the group members to arrive and to distribute the room keys. There was a hearty welcome. Later we assembled in the garden of a friend’s house for a small garden party reception, before we started the meeting with the evening meditation.

As the opening of the group living I did an exercise with the group, “Visualisation of the Directions and the Planets” (: PDF) followed by a guided meditative journey in honour of the great teachers of humanity, which I accompanied by the sound of a singing bowl.

In the next days there was a rich program of QiGong sessions, group readings, lectures on spiritual astrology and the energies of time, healing work with the human aura, a sound ritual, musical presentations and slide-shows…, and, of course, beautiful group meditations. 29 May, the May Call Day, started with a fire ritual. Later we did a cake and candlelight ceremony. In the afternoon we saw a video about the energies of synthesis and a new DVD from a lecture of Master Kumar from last year’s conference in Paris, “A Meeting of Solar and Spiritual Astrology of East and West“.

There was a special highlight at the end of the seminar Sunday morning:  We went to the European Parliament in Strasbourg and did a meditation on European Unity in the very centre of the inner court of the Parliament building, speaking the invocation “We the citizens of Europe strive to stand united” and the Great Invocation. It was a very sublime moment, and then sunlight reflected from the windows into the court. As a close of the group meeting we had lunch outside a restaurant in the old town of Strasbourg.

Here you find some impressions of the meeting.

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Technology and Good Will – “Not Impossible”

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

I came across a Facebook page of “Not Impossible Now“, a “global web-based community of people who pool knowledge and resources to create technology for the sake of humanity” – a fascinating combination of good will and technology.

In their mission statement “About” they say: “We at Not Impossible Now believe in technology for the sake of humanity. While nobody can do everything, everybody can do something, so we crowdsource our solutions to real-world problems. Suddenly, yesterday’s pipe dreams are Not Impossible Now! By helping one person we can all inspire others to do the same – it’s our “Help One Help Many” philosophy and it breaks down barriers, enabling greater access to all in need.”

The name “Not Impossible Now” is exactly expressing what they are doing. They show some incredible uses of technology which they make accessible to handicapped people or other people in need.

There is for example the viral story of a blind women who can see her new-born son for the first time with the help of eSight, electronic glasses that enable the legally blind to actually see: “With eSight, I get to see and do things just like any other normally-sighted person. I can see my children’s faces while I do all the things moms do, I can see as I work as an artist, I can see as I work on my computer and watch TV, I can see as I raise money for other blind people, I can see as I travel independently on subways, buses, trains and airplanes, I can see a hockey game, I can see as I play golf.”

With the help of fundraising, they are now striving to make this high-tech solution accessible for other blind people.

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Picture from the video (c)

Another success story is helping to spread the benefits of 3D printing to the developing world. Like 3D printed prosthetics – arms, legs, robohands… They allow hospitals to provide custom-fit prosthetics to amputees at a much lower cost. They have started providing 3D printed prosthetic arms for children of war in Sudan which are just around 350 dollars – much cheaper and better than conventional prosthetics. There is now a new project to bring inexpensive prosthetics to the masses with a 3D printing farm. Read here an article by HP about the use of 3D printed prosthetics.

Here you can see a touching video of a 7 years old boy receiving a 3D printed “bionic” arm from “Iron ManRobert Downey Jr.

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Picture from the video (c)

You find many more compelling stories or tools on the Not Impossible website. Like the one of a menstrual cup by a Finnish woman, Lunette, which is now on sale in over 40 countries.  Or about many other innovative technical solutions made available to reach people in need.

As their slogan says: “Inspiration from Innovation? It’s Not Impossible Now!” See also the other Facebook page of the Not Impossible Foundation.

In the Wake of the Hudhud Cyclone

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

A short time after the landfall of the very severe cyclonic storm Hudhud around Visakhapatnam the first e-mails about its damages arrived via a Spanish friend. Visakhapatnam (or Vizag, as it is popularly called – though I prefer the long version) is the centre of the WTT movement and I have posted quite a lot about my journeys – I went there every year since 2000 for the annual seminars of Dr Kumar each January. So of course I was interested in the news.

But the first thought was, don’t overreact: I was reminded of the Tsunami 10 years ago – when the media reported the whole coast of India from the South up to Kolkata was destroyed but when 10 days later I arrived in Visakhapatnam I could hardly see any damage along the coast.

However, soon images arrived, and I saw some videos on Facebook showing the trace of destruction of the cyclone. The power of the images changed my impression. I forwarded the mails to the WTT mailing list, and the next day members sent mails expressing their sympathies with the victims and their prayers.

Further mails arrived via my Spanish friend, which I forwarded again: “In Visakhapatnam, they have no electricity nor water. ATM’s don’t work so they’re not able to retrieve money; convenience stores are closed anyway so they cannot buy food. Public and private transportation is very perturbed because of streets’ damage and fallen trees… There is some sacking. People are considering to leave the city and go to their home towns in order to be able to get water supplies and food…” I thought, oh, how severe is the situation?

Some friends called for action, how they can help with money, if we would do a collection. I was reminded of my time at the Swiss Red Cross where over years I published the disaster news and collection calls. I knew very well that for the emergency assistance  there needs to be an evaluation and an infrastructure, besides partners. So I sent an e-mail to Dr. Kumar, and he answered: “As such, we better wait and watch brother!” I thought, yes, that’s what I had expected. Later I got an update from him via a friend: “All are fine. But the city is destroyed substantially. Almost all trees are fallen. Except SMS no communications are possible. No electricity.”

More details about devastations at the different locations of the WTT arrived: Retreat Center: few glass window doors broke, prayer hall filled with water. School run in Ramadri premises needs some repair… What it meant I better understood when I saw some of the images Jayadev, a member had taken at this very beautiful temple site with a free school for the poor:

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The school buildings at the temple site in Ramadri

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School buildings and part of the temple compound

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A little destroyed shrine with a statue of the divine Mother (Photos: Jayadev Pappu)

After the pictures I yesterday received an update from Jayadev writing: “I did visit the healing centre but I could not go inside because the path was completely blocked by trees. From what I could from a distance, the building is fine, some glasses might have broken, but almost all the trees around are down. That is the sad part.

The electricity in Vizag city has been restored in certain areas and in a week’s time almost the whole city will have electricity. All other basic amenities like water, fuel, milk, food, etc. are now available without much difficulty.”

It is quite different whether you hear about far away severe weathers in the news or when friends tell you from their first-hand experience. I know and love these places like the Healing Centre or Ramadri – sites with a sublime and serene spiritual ambiance. I will go there again in January, and I wonder how much of these devastations will still be visible – and how much restoration work will have been done – there is so much loving volunteer work behind these and other spiritual centres, silently carried out over the years.

Update: I just saw on Facebook a series of photos of Vamsi Chintalapati (“our school”) about the devastations the cyclone has done to the Bala Bhanu School – a beautiful school of the WTT at the outskirts of Visakhapatnam. May the sanctity of the place be soon restored!

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A little shrine of Master CVV inside the schoolyard with the uprooted Ficus Religiosa tree

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The schoolyard

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The broken table with the picture of Master EK at the entrance of the school. Photos by Vamsi Chintalapati

Making my Paintings Available for Free

Monday, August 18th, 2014

After pondering on it for a while, I decided to make the original files of my paintings available for free. As I wrote on the website of my images, “All the pictures are expressions of spiritual principles / realities. I receive them and I give them for free.” This way, the images might better find the way to serve their purpose.

So if you would like to print a picture yourself, there is now a page where you can download the files of the “Images of Synthesis” in medium and high resolution format.

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The United Power of Good Will

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

I’m quite reserved as per political activism and campaigning for social change ideas, believing in the fact that the change I want to see outside has to grow within me first.

However, the last months I have changed a bit my position when I came across an inspiring movement called “Sum of us” (sumofus.org). )I know other such campaigning movements fighting against social and environmental atrocities and violence, and I’m also a bit active with the well-known Avaaz.)

When reading about SumOfUs, I had to think of what I read many years ago in the book Esoteric Psychology Vol. II, p. 742 from 1942 by Alice A. Bailey / The Tibetan Master:

“Their united good will (at present latent, unused and unorganised) can become a world force and through sheer weight of numbers, these people can make their presence effectively felt.  It will be a force which can mould public opinion through the expression of intelligent love (with the emphasis upon the word intelligent) but which will employ no separative devices, no armed force, no coercion and no political scheming and manipulation.  Is it not possible so to evoke the spirit of good will, present but oft inactive in the hearts of all men, that there will be such a vast number of men and women of good will in the world—consciously in touch with each other throughout the planet—that their voice will not be negligible, nor their expressed desires impotent?”

Many initiatives carry this spirit of good will. I have reported about some in this blog. SumOfUs is clearly in this spirit -here are their last campaigns:

  • A campaign against Nestlé patenting the fennel flower.
  • A campaign against Nestlé going into poor countries like Pakistan and buying up whatever clean water is available.
  • A campaign against corporate agribusiness wanting the Canadian parliament to give them long-term patent rights over seeds.
  • A campaign against Google not paying taxes to governments around the world.
  • A campaign against bee killing poisons.
  • A campaign for Sumatran orangutans – giant food corporations drive them to the brink of extinction by massive palm oil plantations.
  • A campaign for calling on European leaders to make sure the Robin Hood tax passes (to make bankers pay and benefit the poorest in the world).
  • A campaign against Nike firing workers for forming a union.
  • A campaign for the State of Vermont against Monsanto who is fighting hard to kill GMO labelling in Vermont.

See what they write on their website:

“Here’s what we stand for:

  • Governments that answer to citizens – not corporations
  • Fair treatment of workers and the right of every human being to make a living, safely and ethically, for themselves and their family;
  • The right of ordinary consumers to products that are produced and marketed ethically, sustainably and transparently;
  • The right of communities to manage and protect their own environment and natural resources;
  • Business models that put people and the planet first instead of being driven by shortsighted greed.

Yeah, take that deep breath, close your eyes and imagine what kind of a world that could be – and then crash back to this one.

We’ve witnessed again and again what happens when powerful corporations get their way:

  • Environmental and health catastrophes like Fukushima and the BP oil disaster;
  • A global financial crisis that destroys entire economies;
  • Rising food prices and starving children;
  • Families from Kalamazoo to Timbuktu losing their houses and land;
  • Poisons pouring into our air and water.

You name it, corporations are behind it. But rather than being held accountable – their CEOs are often walking away with bonuses. And these injustices are largely left to continue unabated.
But the world doesn’t have to be this way. And here’s the secret: We own the corporations that are causing all these problems. They rely on us to buy their products. They count on us to buy their stock. They need us to work for them. They need us to continue to elect governments that let them get away with murder.
We are SumOfUs.org, and we’re not going to take it anymore.

So these are forces of Good-Will which counter-balance destructive trends.

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A Generation Workshop – A Breeze of Aquarian Wind

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The children born in the last decades are much more electric and have a faster reaction time -through the influence of Uranus their bodies are becoming lighter and more refined.

Last Saturday I was invited to a “Generation Workshop” (GenerActions) at a regional trade fair in Grenchen. A friend working at Infocklick.ch, the Swiss child and youth promotion, had invited me for this encounter of different generations: Young persons who have ideas and projects meet experienced people of the elder generation and can tap on their knowledge and experience. A fascinating approach.

The stand of the workshop was in the huge hall of the Swiss Velodrome. Members of three projects and some  experienced adults were there. One project was a magazine called “und” (and), of young and old working together in a “generation tandem” magazine. Another project was about launching a youth parliament in a Swiss canton. And a third one was a web radio.

I joined the two 14 years old boys who are running since 2 years the web radio “WRS1” (Web Radio Switzerland 1) – youngsters for youngsters. With their team of 4 boys Dominic and Noah realise two broadcasts of two hours per week. I was fascinated by their technical knowledge and cleverness. Beside the broadcasting they are actively using different communication channels: website, YouTube, Facebook

I went with them through their website and gave them hints how to optimize the site and the way they are communicating. They were very attentive, taking notes, asking. And while the other workshops were already over we were still sitting together and intensely discussing. There was a breeze of Aquarian wind in the air – I’m sure these young people will bring fresh innovations in the near future. Thank you Dominic and Noah for allowing me to use the photos of you.

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The two members of the web radio team

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In action

 

“Giving is the Best Communication”

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Some days ago I got a very well done commercial for a Thai telecom company about true giving. It says somewhere that the spot is made after a true story of Dr Prajak Arunthong. It is a message that though you might forget, acts of good will are not done in vain. Enjoy

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A screenshot from the video (c)

An “Unsung Hero”

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

A touching commercial as a viral video about an “Unsung Hero” (more than 6.6 million views). The “Good Story” by Thai Life Insurance is about good will and selfless sharing without seeking to get attention. Well done!

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A pic from the video (c)

End Ecocide by 2020 – A Global Citizens Initiative

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

I today got an e-mail informing about a global initiative to eradicate ecocide. For me this is very timely and urgent.

On their website they write: “Ecocide law is known as a ‘law for life’ – a law that puts people and planet first, a law that says ‘enough, no more mass damage and destruction.’ When we do that, humanity places the health and well-being of all beings both now and in the future at the forefront of our decision-making. It is a law that affirms humanity’s right to life, nature’s right to life and future generations right to life.”

The initiative was launched by Polly Higgins, an Ecocide law expert: “I am someone who cares deeply about the Earth. I’m also a lawyer who loves the Earth. It’s not often lawyers talk about love – and it can feel strange to do so. However, I believe love and law can be brought together and when the two meet, the potential to create new laws that put people and planet first is born. I’m rethinking law; my vision is a world that works from one simple overriding principle: ‘first do no harm.’ That is a world where people are thriving in harmony with nature. I believe in well-being for all beings.”

“Today large scale habitat destruction, massive soil depletion, extensive deforestation lead to worldwide disruption of natural cycles and the irreversibility of extinction. Today instances of mass extinction occur with greater frequency, greater rapidity and greater impact than at any other time. This destruction, damage and loss comes at an enormous cost.” There is a map showing the global ecocide hotspots but also a map for the growing global support to create a law against ecocide, which, according to Polly, is the missing 5th International Crime Against Peace. In April 2010 a fully drafted proposal was submitted into the United Nations. Already in 1972, after the Vietnam war, there had been UN attempts to make ecocide a crime against peace. For years, there had been fruitless debates, and it needs more public and political pressure.

In 2011 a “Mock Trial” was held in the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Two fictional Chief Executive Officers were put on trial for causing ecocide due to their destructive practices in the Athabasca tar sands and found guilty. This demonstrated that a law of Ecocide can work in practice, and garnered international media coverage.

Here are some proposals what you can do to promote the Ecocide law. First of all you can sign an Avaaz-petition to make Ecocide an international crime against peace and like it on Facebook. There are a number of information tools, also translated into other languages.

You find an interview with Polly in “Positive News“.

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