Category Archives: consciousness

Contributing to the Community

I saw a doco about a man who paints on walls.. he painted in Vanuatu and there he contributed to the community. He painted a wall in a very obscure place – far from the tourist walks. He paints big walls in big cities, but this small contribution warmed his heart and here he understood the value of small.

I know a lady her name is Barb – she lives in South Freo.. she is the Queen of her street and she contributes to her community. She welcomes all the newcomers and corrects the spelling on the street signs. She makes a difference.

Sometimes we think we have to do great things – but in fact it is the ‘small things’ that add up to all the community faces joined together in a kaleidoscope of connection.
The street gardens, the soup kitchens, the one who simply refuses the plastic bag and so awakens the check out person to the possibility of a sustainable land. Making a difference.

People say to me.. ‘Oh you are so amazing.. you give up so much to go to India to do your work there.’ And me.. I shrug my shoulders and I am grateful that I am recognised for what I do.. for if I was not .. I would be not telling the truth.. but I know that what I do is no more than what you also do in your own way as you walk in beauty in this world.

For this is what the game is.. what the aim is ..
what the purpose is..
simply to walk in beauty as we do our daily life.

So India.. what is that about for me?
How can I tell you the joys it brings, the difficulty it is to be there sometimes, the special moments – the smile of the old lady where I buy my evening banana – the stares of those who wonder what on earth this old lady is doing in their land.

I often ask myself:  “What am I doing here?”
And the answer is that here is my heart. A split heart I have. One heart – part of it… is embedded deep in my family and my lover and my friends in Fremantle Australia.. but the other part .. somehow an older part – is in India.

I board the plane – leaving from Perth – stop over usually in Kuala Lumpur.. not there yet.. but when the next flight comes – and we are heading to Bangalore – at least half of the passengers are Indian.. and suddenly I am feeling almost home. Home to this place where I don’t even speak the language.. home to this place where I need to change my dress entirely to fit – home to this place – this place of simplicity and complexity and a culture far from my own.

Touch down.. I am back – the smells wash over me, the sound, the chaos, and the knowing that I am home. I haggle with the taxi driver, and I get ripped off anyway because that is par for the course on your first night in India. Ah the over night hotel… fortunately I know this one and it is reasonably clean.. I sleep – I wake to Indian breakfast – spicy dosa and milky tea. And the journey begins.

I will spend the day with my friend in Bangalore -she will feed me delicious food, thinking as she does I must be half starved after being away from proper Indian food for so long.. and tonight board the overnight bus to Hubli.. my place of choice. A dusty and noisy three tier town as they call it.. meaning simply .. ‘not too developed!’ Here are the ‘boys’ I work with .. a very male oriented office.. the NGO .. not for profit – working with farmers .. helping them harvest rainwater to ensure they can remain on their land for another season provided there is some monsoonal rains this year.

It is uncertain times – those who talk of global warming being a myth do not live in rural India. There is no question of it here. Where changing weather patterns are bringing disaster to families – to whole villages left without any water to drink in the long hot dry season. Creating a migration equivalent to those of war torn lands.. a migration to the city in search of elusive jobs.

But that is another story – and yes it is the story I follow with my work – but the day to day of my life in Hubli is that of connection with the young men who are dedicated to this work. The work of the water.

We joke, we laugh, we chatter and we drink chai and in between we write budgets and discuss heatedly how things should or could be done. I try to step back out of my bossy western ways and listen and fit my thoughts together with those of the Indian way.

Sometimes it works, sometimes I help, sometimes the western way tempered with some patience – adds some value and sometimes I have to step right back and re- look at the way I am .. at my impatience and sense of ego! For sometimes that is really what it is.. “I am the one who is working here.. I am the one who can focus and get things done.. you lot simply mess around and don’t really know what you are doing .. and read the paper and talk endlessly on the phone.. but I am the one who is working” … ha ha ha ha…

Yes Shazar .. and they are the ones who started all this.. who know because they are the ones who lived in the village .. who understand what it is to have no water.. who know how it is to be unable to send their children to school for lack of the money for a notebook and pencil. They are the ones who understand the value of community ..
not you..

You who come from the land of more is better – the land where often people will walk past you on the street with their noses down – not a glance for the ‘stranger’. And so once again I step back into my ‘box’ breathe – and thank the forces who have brought me to this land again – for I have been here many lives – but this life it is the time to learn again what is humility – what is gratitude, what is giving, what is true generosity, for this is what India has to share with me.

And finally to understand the value of the small things that are scattered throughout the day stitching this life together to make a difference.

 

The Universe is a Friendly Place

Yes I hear you say.. not always.. and you would be right.  But tonight as I came home to my room in Hubli, this was really true for me.  I had been for my first acupuncture treatment – since my last series back in October.

Dr Anand Varma.. what a gem he is.. I wrote of him before .. when I just found him.. and I am back now after such a great result with my knees.. this time I am offering him my cranky neck to have a go at!!  He can stick all the acupuncture needles he likes into me.. I fully trust his long experience and his steady hands.

Today I walked into the clinic and each and every one of the staff welcomed me with big smiles and open hearts.  I felt like a special guest.. I think everyone who goes there gets the special guest treatment ..

I sat down next to a young girl who seems to have cerebral palsy..there with her mother – she is about 12 years old – can’t walk very well but her smile breaks open the heart.  She is in my group.. that is the ones who are scheduled for the 6pm session.  Then after some time on the hard waiting room bench, we were called upstairs.  She and I shared the same cubicle.  The over head fan was on .. as I climbed up onto the high bench and settled in.. waiting for the needles.  Hari Krishna Hari Rama played – over and over the mesmerising chant.. and I was transported.

Finally Dr Varma arrived – replete with new smart phone and all my details and my charts on it to be consulted there and then.  He proudly told me his son advised him on the best way to get set up .. and its working very well.  I joked.. ha I can’t lie to you any more.. its all there at your fingertips.

And so the needles went in.. Hari Krishna continued to play – and I lay back and relaxed.

Half and hour later the nurse came and freed me and my new friend, the young girl on the bench next to me.  I floated out.  And wandered up the laneway in the gathering dusk to find myself an ‘auto’ (rickshaw) – there he was .. and as I started to tell the driver where I wanted to go he cut me off laughing and with a stream of Kannada that I only guessed at – I realised he was the same man who brought me on Friday for my first appointment.

I relaxed in the back of the auto.. feeling safe, feeling cared for, feeling blessed.  This Universe I am in right now .. feels like such a friendly place.  I am incredibly lucky. And I know so many are not .. but for now I simply feel very grateful that I am surrounded by friendly people – I am cared for and I am loved.

 

The Gemini Full Moon

Its time.. time to begin getting ready to leave for my next sojourn in India.  And tonight the moon is full and my friend the Cosmic Queen in her infinitely precise words for the astrological times advised:   “Call in the vision of your best possible life, situation – outcome – write!” So I did – at first considering it was time to write my vision yet again.. to write my goals, my purpose – my real reason for being.   Oh such a huge task.

But hiding in the back of my mind, just out of sight,  lay some advice I had received earlier today from Alberto Villoldo – and when I looked again there it was:  “The shaman doesn’t look for meaning in life, but brings meaning to every situation.  She stops looking for truth and instead brings truth to every encounter.”

Ah.. and so like the beautiful night cactus the vision unfolds.  What is vision but the ability to see – the depth of the vision – the width – the far seeing vision – all are dependent on the place of quietness in the being.

And when the being is very quiet – the vision reaches far.

So quietly – I allow the pencil to slip over the page of my journal – allow the words to flow as they will.   “What do I do to bring meaning to every situation?”  Does that mean I stop seeking the big ‘why‘? Perhaps that is the ‘why’ – to create the sacred in each act. To bring that which is holy to the smallest thing, being or doing.

So as I go this time to India – it is to meet each person on the way with love and respect.  As it is also here – in this time as each day we have been standing together protecting and protesting against the imminent destruction of our beloved Beeliar wetlands for an unnecessary and ugly highway.

It is about creating miracles with non violence – with forgiveness – calmness and peace.   But first the peace must be within each of us.

I have been worried:  “Will it all work out .. why am I going, why not just stay here – where life appears to be relatively easy.”  And now comes the answer:  Do you think you instigated this?  Do you really think you are in control?  You are not! Let it go.  Control is no where.  Let go and let God.  And yes – plan – let the plan unfold .. vision – allow the words to flow – the information to arrive – but you are not the controller.

You are simply the instrument of the Divine.  Be that. There is no need to be anything else.

So this then is the vision. To let go and  integrate the Divine fully into my Being – so that I can live that which is my purpose.  To create the sacred in each and every moment of this life I am so very privileged to live.

The mind may still become disturbed as it does.. it may ‘worry’ it may become caught in the whirlpools of loneliness – fear, alienation, concern for small things – but I can return now to this that I know – the mind is not me – for I am of the Divine.

Miracles in Pathoda Village

Pathoda Village in Maharasthra India – has experienced miracles.

And while there yesterday I was privileged to witness three of them.

The first and most astounding happens nightly in a small corrugated iron house in this remote village. Here there is an altar dedicated to the late Satya Sai Baba where there are several big photographs of the holy man. When one of Sai Baba’s photographs suddenly began to produce copious amounts of vibhuti (holy ash) each night, the humble home was dedicated to the Master – and the family moved to another small place nearby. From that time, the small house, little more than a shed – became a shrine to Sai Baba and regular Bhajans (sacred singing) are held there.

Yesterday as we visited on our Road Trip for Water I saw for myself the clear evidence of the vibhuti almost covering the photograph of Sai Baba. There was plenty of it in a bowl as well, placed in front of the photo, freely available to any who wished to connect with it. During the lifetime of Satya Sai Baba this grey powdery holy ash used to fall from his hands.

This was the first miracle.

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Drinking Tea at the Sai Baba Miracle House

The second involves water.

Two years ago – Sankalpa Rural Development Society did some work with recharging the dried up bore wells in the village. This work was funded by the Satya Sai Baba Trust, so also carried the blessing of Sai Baba. Sikandar Meeranayak of SRDS carried out the implementation of his technology together with some labourers and villagers.

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The second bore well sprang to life

They worked on an almost dry bore well within the compound of the local Hindu Mandir (temple) and directed the rooftop rainwater run off through piping to channel it into an existing bore well. The village area has little rain, but what did come went directly into the aquifer below the ground through the bore well recharge. Until that time, the villagers relied on erratic water supply and expensive tanker water during the dry hot summer months.
There are 7000 people in this village – and today 1000 of those people are supplied by this now fully flowing bore well and here is the miracle.. just outside the fence – a second totally dried up bore well suddenly sprang to life – recharged by the very same system from the first bore well.

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Village kids checking the fish in the holding pond

Another nearby bore well was also implemented with a recharge system – but until now the people have had no need to use that water – even though it brims close to the top as there is plenty from the first two which are producing well.

Close by, just outside the village of Bharangou a third bore well next to a small river was also recharged. This was done with the help of a check dam on the stream and is a briliant success giving heaps of water and the recharge has even affected the three nearby bore wells which began to produce much more water than before.

A miracle?  I certainly thought so!

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The miracle baby calf.

And now for the third miracle.

This pure white calf just born appeared as a miracle to me – so sweet – so quiet, so clean. Is it not true that all babies born are miracles in their own right?

Pathoda – the village of miracles!

Clicking Like doesn’t change our world

I have been having a meltdown this morning –
With some help from my friends, I came to understand what this ‘meltdown’ has been about and what it has shown me.

Simply – I need to “let go of outcomes” – and do what I do do simply because it is mine to do. And as I move through my life, that which is mine to do gives me great satisfaction and joy. This is the outcome.

However it remains to be said – what I saw this morning is relevant for us to ‘get’. And as I write this I see also that I need to let go of the outcome of wanting everyone to ‘get’ what I am realising.

So it is this: we can spend much time and energy trolling through Facebook, seeing the posts that Facebook has deemed important for us to read, vicariously enjoying the adventures and the ups and downs of our ‘friends’ lives and sometimes re-posting something that touches our heart or our intellectual selves – or even says Hooray for our favourite team.

But in the scheme of things, what does clicking a like
really do?

I have to look at it from my point of view as that is really all I have. “ I did a post – and I got 103 likes .. and 4 comments.  Success.”

What? what success? what is that? a small massage to my ego.. this many people see what I write.. this many people like it .. share it and spread the word. And then…….

and then…..

what changed?

nothing.

This morning as I woke up I saw myself tomorrow heading off on my road trip – this road trip I have been so excited about .. that seemed like an idea born from inspiration – a way to inspire many people to put their hand up.. or rather perhaps in their pocket to support our work here. A way to bring water to our thirsty planet. And I realised that despite the hours I have spent writing, connecting, speaking, organising – creating videos, that in fact the real result so far has been very small in relation to the effort expended.

Ah – but what am I trying to say for this post is not for you dear reader.. but for me. As is all that I do. It may look like I am doing work for Mother Earth and yes I am.. but in fact I am doing this and writing this for me.

But I am going to say it again.

Clicking Like does not change the world. Clicking like does not make a difference. Clicking Like is a form of voyeurism with no effect. Clicking like sends a hollow message that “I stand with you.”

How many likes will we click before we really see what is happening on our planet and get up and take action? Taking action is the crucial key to the creation cycle. Inspiration, ideas – action – result. No action no result.

And interestingly enough, despite all those who advocate the visualisation of the result – and focus on that – the most important aspect is to “yes – see the result but then let go of it”.. let go of the outcome – simply initiate the action and continue to take the steps that are revealed to you as you move forward – but let go in every moment because when I hold on to the result – what comes is not the joy in my life – but the pain of disappointment – the worry of not acheiving the result, the disturbance in the flow of energy and blocking the flow of allowing of the next move in this game to show itself – for it is not me that is in control – if I try to control – all is lost.

And… I want to shout at us all.. stop clicking likes and get on with it.. take action for nothing can happen unless we do.

It’s time to move, it’s time to act, it’s time to get up out of the chair and join the dance of life.