Kumari is a Mullumbimby based author. Her novel about her mystical experiences in India is an absorbing and enlightening tale. Join her on a great adventure into one of the world’s most exotic and intricate spiritual cultures.
“I have always loved to write and it was six years ago that I first sat down to write this story of my time in India. Initially I had two days every week when I was released for a few hours of mothering duty, and in that time I would brew chai, and sit down to write. It was surprisingly easy for me to slip back to the days of India and I found great solace in doing so. It has been a lengthy process and I believe with this first manuscript I have learnt so much about the writing process. Indeed about myself as it took me beyond the edge of comfort at times with revealing more about myself than I ever set out to share. It is a story that wants to be shared and I found that the more I could get out of my own way and simply be present, to show up to the empty page, the more it revealed.”
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Tracing the Moon
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the recent floods swept through leaving wide spread devastation and heartbreak. the Buddha in the garden witnessed it all, silent observer, unmoving, as he weeps silent tears. and out of the mud blooms the lotus....as Thich Nich Hanh's famous words remind...no mud no lotus. in these times of great uncertainty may we all seek refuge in the teaching and wisdom of our Gurus. heartfelt thoughts to all who have lost so much in the recent floods here on the east coast of Australia.....
🕉🕉🕉🕉🕉🕉🕉 ... Read MoreSee Less
1 years ago
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Beauty seen in every place and moment!!!
Stay safe everyone
BUDDHA CHARANAM GAACHAMI
How did you fare at house level?
Place Name pls?
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A CALL TO ACTION
Given the ongoing tragic situation in India, we asked the staff to tell us what the situation is like in the villages. Here are some reports:
Suman - teacher
Namaste W and G.
Thank you so much for being so caring to us. Thank you to the donors too. Four people in our village are C19 positive. One of them passed away. We are safe in our house. We go out only for urgent things and use mask. My grandfather passed away due to Covid. I cannot visit my parents as it would not be safe. We stay indoors as covid is spreading rapidly. We maintain 1m distance when we go out too.
Ashok - Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) staff
Namaste G and W. Corona is widespread here In every village. Five of my relatives have passed away. Two of my brothers were sick and are recovering now. I am also covid positive, slowly recovering at home. There are a lot of cases around our house.
Sunita - RCH
There are no facilities in the villages for doctors, medicine or food. Even vaccinated people are falling sick. People are afraid and not getting themselves vaccinated. There are no facilities at the local government Primary Health Centre in Guaru town. Patients are kept in a room in the school. There is no management of timely food or medicine for them. People are dying there. People are scared. Some died due to heart attack. The government has failed us. Influential people go to Patna or Delhi, but even they are dying. For the poor it is even worse. It is a very difficult time.
Sarika - RCH
I have recovered from Corona but I am very weak, feeling so dizzy when I get up from the bed. My son and my husband are Corona positive and have fever. Now so many people have weakness, it is difficult to walk. The condition of the village is very bad. Many people in my village are Corona positive and a woman has died from Corona. She was 40 years old, her daughter and husband are also Corona positive. The number of people who are having tests in Guraru Block has exceeded 700 and many more. There are people who are not getting the tests done, but they are suffering from fever in their home. When someone is very sick they go to the Guraru PHC and then are taken to Gaya hospital. I have heard there is a shortage of oxygen there too.
Anil - RCH
Four people are showing signs of Covid in my village and 2 people have died 1 km from here. Some of the people in our WEIV groups also have Covid with fever and cough. I feel that my family and I and all the WEIV staff need help at this time because the system is crumbling everywhere and even the Bihar government is failing to support the people.
Shobha - teacher
Thank you for the salary. I am Covid positive. I am not getting any taste in food except salty. My husband is fine. But I am not keeping well. My son is also sick. This is a photo of the medicines that we have taken. They cost Rs.1500 ($30AU)
From Ritu who helps with translation and is at present in Patna, the capital of Bihar state:
"Every day we hear of more friends and family who are sick or have died. People run around trying to find oxygen for those who are really sick. In the rural areas there are only 20 to 30 ventilators per District. There are 10 Blocks to a District. Guraru block has about 240,000 families. Oxygen cylinders are in such short supply. One cylinder used to cost 7,000 rupees and now they are 70 to 80,000 rupees.
The scene here is truly apocalyptic."
Quite a few of our donors have been asking whether they can help in any way. We have started a Covid Relief Fund. We will initially send $100 to each staff member to cover the cost of medicines, doctors and funeral costs. There are 21 staff. Therefore we need to raise $2,100.
We will suggest that they spend it on their families and impoverished neighbours. We know it will be gratefully received.
We are exploring other options as well, such as the possibility of helping to support an oxygen facility at the Guraru Primary Health Centre. We will let you know more as information comes to light.
PLEASE DONATE WHAT YOU CAN TO OUR COVID RELIEF FUND
Academy of Root Development Australia Inc
Please ensure you write on the Reference: Covid Relief Fund
Thank you in advance
Wendy and Graeme ... Read MoreSee Less
2 years ago
I had the great joy of being part of a global 24 hour chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa....with friends from the house of Blis...Caroline and Dinesh..sending a prayer for our world....108 challisa's from all over the world. Jai Hanuman, Jai Sri Ram🙏 take the time to listen, sing and pray.....sending a prayer for our world....especially Mother India....🙏❤🙏 ... Read MoreSee Less
2 years ago
Really honored to be part of this global 24 hour Kirtan, singing the Hanuman Chalisa....sending a prayer for our world....Hari Om Tat Sat. Jai Hanuman 🕉🕉🕉🕉🕉🕉🕉🕉 ... Read MoreSee Less
2 years ago
this is stunning documentary and well worth to watch.... ... Read MoreSee Less
3 years ago
an offering from the recent Global days of Unity. a conversation exploring presence.....with two profound and wise beings....may we all find the deeper truth of our connection. i hope you enjoy and can take the time to listen. Hari Om ... Read MoreSee Less
Coming to Presence: A fireside chat with Darpan & Bharat MitraHeartist Darpan & Spiritual Entrepreneur Bharat Mitra share a fire side chat delving into the nature of presence. #globaldaysofunity July 2020
3 years ago
The long weeks of staying home have inspired a practice of gratitude.
The initial fear, the threat of the virus taking hold in our midst, the incredible good outcome for us that it has not, and what an understatement that is, has brought a deep appreciation for my life.
Suffering, trauma, wars, famine, neglect, abuse, climate change, floods, fires, have all been part of our collective world for as long as I can remember. It is suffice to say that there has been untold suffering in this world for as long as history has been recorded.
The onslaught of media attention of this global pandemic sometimes has flavours of: before this everything was fine, now it is not. However, regardless of any personal opinion Covid19 has certainly brought to our attention many aspects of society, our lives, our world, that are greatly out of balance. And possibly never before has there been the same cause of such widespread suffering.
This time of lockdown has highlighted that my tendency is to see life through the lens of ‘glass half empty’. What I lack, what could be better, comparisons to others, what is wrong. somewhat melancholic this view point has informed the narrative, to greater or lesser extent, that my mind creates as life unfolds. A commentary that dictates Ok, not Ok. welcome, not welcome, like dislike, yes, no, good bad. You and me.
The Sanskrit word Samsara can be interpreted as ‘to measure’. To weigh up our experience. The first noble truth of the Buddha is that life is suffering. Samsara.
The more I shift my gaze to appreciation I note how this influences my perception. That there is a possibility, just for now, that all is ok. Gratitude replaces grumblings. Eases us into the present, when peace can prevail.
I love to walk. Recently a friend and I discovered a path neither had walked before. The path led steeply downhill, through old forest. Eucalyptus mostly, dried curls of bark strewn in copper and bronze across the path. The forest was silent. Peppered with birds, a rustle in the tree tops as a breeze blew through. As the path levelled out a body of water appeared like a mirage before us. The surprise to find it there and the utter beauty of it anyway, reminded me of a sacred lake, a place where waters are blessed and worshiped, and the loudness of the crickets chirping their praise amplified the delight.
The path wound up through the trees, elaborate art works disfiguring the trunks in knots and burls. And I walked for all who cannot walk at this time. For my friend in lockdown in India who cannot leave her small apartment, who is grateful to have a terrace and a place to be outside. Who is grateful that the hot season has been kind this year and the power cuts have been less too. I walk for the man who lives down the street who has Parkinsons. I see him most days out with a carer, being pushed in his wheelchair or walking himself, holding onto the wheelchair, his gait unsteady. An effort to take each step. Then there is John. John is 94 and has no next of kin. His daily dawn walk to the war memorial near where he lives was the highlight of his day. His balance has become tricky and the strength in his legs seems to diminish every time I visit him. He walks with a wheelie walker now. Even around his flat, scared to fall like he has done several times of late.
My mother has always loved to walk. In her older age she joined a walking group in the Roman town where she now lives. As time wore on so did her joints. Crippling Arthritis leaving chronic pain that nothing seems to help with. Walking became more of a struggle, yet she would push on, leaning heavily on her walker frame. A swollen knee, pain in her lower back. it was painful to witness her daily struggle along the corridor to the lift, to the foyer downstairs of the care home she moved to late last year.
Nowadays she can’t even walk along the corridor. There is a case of Covid19 in her care home now. I find it so sad to consider not only my mom but all the residents isolated even more, unable to leave their rooms.
Care homes have been so much in the limelight of late. Why is it that we have allowed our elders to be cared for by staff who are underpaid? There are no easy answers of course. A myriad of reasons why family structure is as it is. But in this time of pandemic perhaps we can question how we can do things a little differently. Maybe a return to the ways of old will be the solution as the economy no longer allows for the great privileges we have become accustomed to. Have come to expect as our right. I’m often reminded of rural Indian villages. The old woman tending to a young baby on the steps of a mud brick house. Old men playing cards, smoking beedis, drinking chai, whilst kids play close by. I cannot idealize any tradition but shutting our elders away seems deeply informative of so much that is amiss in our society. Families need to pull together. Share resources. Ease the burden on our earth. If only it were that simple.
'Ours is a society of denial that conditions us to protect ourselves from any direct difficulty and discomfort. We expend enormous energy denying our insecurity, fighting pain, death and loss and hiding from the basic truths of the natural world and of our own nature'. – Jack Kornfield
More so than ever I feel immense gratitude for my life. I am acutely aware that I have great privilege to sit on the step of my home, on a late autumn afternoon. Birds sing in harmony, hot ginger tea steams in the cold air. Warm clothes and a wood burning stove ready to light. The vivid beauty of low light spilling through vibrant green all lit up in glory, suddenly fades as clouds stretch like wings across the sky. Its constantly shifting. Changing. Poetry in motion.
The teaching of impermanence rests by my side.
All things arise, suffer change, And pass away.
This is their nature.
When you know this Nothing perturbs you,
Nothing hurts you.
You become still. It is easy.
God made all things.
There is only God.
When you know this, Desire melts away. Clinging to nothing, You become still.
A verse from the Ashtavakra Gita:
And tonight the most incredible sunset. A collage of unsurpassed beauty. The river reflecting swathes of golden glory. A solitary pelican. Stillness. A deep hush as the skies shift to blood red. Time slows for the passing day, a gentle pause, the in- between. Neti Neti. Not this. Not that.
The words of the Buddha: Be a light unto yourself.
May your light shine brightly.
Hari Om Tat Sat. ... Read MoreSee Less
3 years ago
WOW🙏♥️🙏 You speak my heart.
How are you doing in these strange and turbulent times?
The weeks of staying home now take tentative steps toward opening doors. I feel the shift in energy as a loosening, a lifting unseen shroud. The fear and anxiety that was easy to be caught in as the unknown tsunami threatened to break against our shores, has rippled and smoothed.
Here in Australia we have been deeply fortunate. Perhaps the tragedy of the bush fires were enough for us to bear.
Returning home, staying home. It took a while for the edges to smooth with 2 teenagers isolating from their friends when socialisation is a high priority. We have slowed softened and blended together in a soup that will bring lasting memories. initially in the early days of our forced retreat I felt confronted to see certain dynamics, dysfunction, traits within this little family with none of the usual distraction and escape. The time has given us all rest, the chance to unwind and shake off the outside world to the degree we can allow. And time to re-bond, deepen connection, become woven together into a fabric of softer ease.
My mother is in a care home in the UK. My fierce grief that she might die during this time, alone, struggling to breath, without a loved one by her side, softened to acceptance. Acceptance that for sure she will die at some time in the next years given she turns 86 next month. I live on the other side of the world. To be removed from my mother at this time of her life, regardless of covid and the restrictions of travel, brings its own process. All the more appreciation for her being here now at the end of a telephone…and the opportunities to tell her that I love her. That she is doing so well. She too has come to appreciate the small things and has befriended a pigeon who she feeds on the window sill outside her window. Life has become simple and easy she tells me. How wonderful, I reply. How wonderful.
As we all begin to emerge from the collective cocoon of hibernation I wonder what we will bring with us from this time of self-retreat. Over these weeks I have become adept at The long lost art of contemplation, of doing very little other than appreciate the slant of light through the blue fig tree and the way a curious king parrot clings to a branch of the bougainvillea, his bright red and green colouring so exotic, his brief presence so pleasing.
I had to let go. Befriend the voice that nags in my ear…surely you should be doing something? Write a new book, sing a new song. I have been playing the piano, loosing myself to the keys that seem to produce such lovely sound. Re-evaluate the deeper sense of identity, of what does it mean if I have no agenda. What pressures have I put on myself to achieve something, be somebody, measured by a world system that as we see now, all around us, has run a rampant race that no one feels like a winner within. And all this with 2 teenagers at home navigating zoom classes and online learning, and still working part time. The privilege of working with the very elderly who anyway tend to spend long hours alone. With social connections greatly reduced their porous loneliness soaks me up like a sponge.
Rest is restorative for the nervous system. We are all tired. Deeply so. Tired of our relentless pursuit of unachievable goals, tired of our critics our nagging complaining minds, the general dis ease of a mind that rarely is truly quiet. Rest harbours the tranquil waters of presence. Present to the small miracles occurring all around.
But the undercurrent is there. And when my attention lags, or maybe for no reason at all, a downward pull shrinks me towards clouds of uncertainty, a gnarly fear at what lurks around the darkened corner.
“The future we face is utterly unprecedented, an impenetrable obscurity, a vast and dismal cloud of unknowing.”
Yet the future has always been unknown. We have been living with unrealistic dreams of an illusive utopia, entirely of our making, whilst all around mother earth weeps. The edge, the tipping point has never been sharper. It is for my kids that I fear the most. What will they encounter, endure?
Yet the sun keeps rising. Painting colours on the dawning horizon. Then departs again with a fanfare in the west. The ocean continues to surge against the sand, rising, falling, providing a carpet for the moon to scatter her pearls as she rises so huge and luminous on her night of fullness. How miraculous nature is.
There is a scripture called the Hsin Hsin Ming that I have been reading often lately. Here are a few verses:
‘The Great Way is not difficult
For those who have no preferences..
If you wish to see the truth
Then hold no opinions for or against anything.
Do not search for the truth
Only cease to cherish opinions.
One thing, all things;
Move among and intermingle,
To live in this realization
Is to be without anxiety about non perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,
Because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.
After endless warm days with the skies so blue and a gracious divinity splashing light all around, the first chill of autumn reaches us. Leaves spiral in the winds and evening gathers early, bringing her quiet invitation to turn again towards home. Rest. We have had practice now for a beckoning winter of hibernation. And as life demands more from us the opportunity comes to sift through what is essential, and what can be left on the back burner, for now at least. How to remain steadfast in this world of samsara? It is the essence of all spiritual practise.
As Roshi Joan Sutherland writes:
Every moment, every circumstance, is another chance to experience things as they are, rather than as we wish or fear them to be.
Blessings to you all. Hari Om Tat Sat. ... Read MoreSee Less
3 years ago
Buddha Purnima....a super moon...gracing the heavens with light..... 'Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment' ... Read MoreSee Less
3 years ago
'Messenger' by Mary Oliver
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever. ... Read MoreSee Less
3 years ago
beloved Mooji........ ... Read MoreSee Less
Remaining True in a Time of CrisisIn this touching talk, Mooji addresses the growing concerns we face as a human race in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. He offers great encourag...
3 years ago
“The Peace of Wild Things”
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. ... Read MoreSee Less
3 years ago
This is beautiful thanks for posting Cx
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