Friday, December 31, 2010

Let go

Heart of flames bursting forth from 31-12-2008 bonfire in the garden
*
Tonight I will have my third annual end-of-year bonfire celebration. As always, we will engage in simple, enjoyable symbolic rituals to release the old and receive/embrace the new.

I needed to get wood for the fire. I was planning on driving around and picking up wood from the roadside, as I and my friend Vandana (who was spending Christmas with me) had successfully done last year. However, walking home yesterday from the bank, I noticed a large pile of dry logs and tree branches at the corner of my street. Perfect.
I told a friend about it and her response was "The Universe always provides." This simple phrase is very powerful and true. It struck me that this is the theme of this year's bonfire . . . and the theme of life.

Do not be afraid to let go of who and what is not for you. In this way, you will receive what is truly yours.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Easy living

This morning's rainbow, seen from kitchen steps overlooking back yard
Yesterday a friend was telling me that when he was small his grandmother only ever went to the grocery with a list of three things: sugar, flour, oil. Everything else was grown in the garden, along with chickens for meat and eggs. In those days the neighbours also had their kitchen gardens and the community would trade with each other.  e.g. One gives potatoes and cabbage and one gives excess eggs and tomatoes, etc.

He said his grandmother raised 8 children single-handedly (her husband had died)—they dressed well and got a good education. They had no electricity. She would press their clothes every morning with one of those oldtime irons heated by coals. In those days there was no stress about money and material possessions. What you had was what was necessary. And, I'm sure, the things people wanted were simple.

Why do we live in such excess today? 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sounds of now

Photo: Elspeth Duncan

7:43 a.m.

Birds twittering, whistling and squawking.
A church bell ringing in the distance.
The low murmur of a television voice.
The distant drone of cars on the road.
Rumble of a jet.
Footsteps.
A laugh.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Remembering Christ Mas

We live in an abbreviated world. Txting . . . I mean, texting has diminished many words to a few letters. E.g. C u l8r (See you later). Tweeting has abbreviated potential paragraphs to 140 words. Similarly, the commercial hustle and bustle of this season of Christmas has been abbreviated into Xmas.  After all, who's going to waste valuable tweeting space and time to write out the whole word . . . C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S.

Many people say "Put the Christ back in Christmas." What they mean is, the "X" of Xmas says nothing of the Being after whom Christmas is named—i.e. Jesus Christ. Even though, historically, the 25th of December is not Christ's actual birthday, it is the date on which Christians celebrate His birth worldwide.

Looking around, I don't think Jesus Christ is the focus of Christmas to the general masses. The focus is shopping, gifts, eating, drinking and partying. 

Sometimes when the radio is on in the car, I hear a song I used to like,—e.g Boys of Summer" (Don Henley) or "Feel Like Making Love" (Bad Company) . . . only the version being played is a remake . . . a horrendous remake by one of these new bands that all sound the same. What used to be a musical classic is now blaring through the speakers, sounding cheap and shallow—three chords repeated over and over and a voice wailing in the background. What makes it worse is when someone who has never heard the original thinks that the remake is the original and says "Wow! I love that new song by J-Lo!"

Maybe, similarly, one day in the future, someone will be on a game show like Jeopardy and the question will be "Which historical figure did Christmas celebrate?" The clock will tick slowly and just before the "baaaaarp!" noise that indicates time is up, the person will slam their hand down and shout out "Santa Claus!!"

This Christmas, with all of the traffic and the frenzy of people shopping, the onslaught of advertising all around us, the stressful vibe of people "having" to buy gifts . . . I found myself thinking "I don't like Christmas. I cant wait for it to be over." I didn't mean this in a Scroogish way—just that I don't like the commercialism and craziness.

I'm not a "religious" person. Manmade, organised religion divides rather than unites us. It judges rather than loves us. And in terms of Jesus Christ, I think many Christians don't live up to His name and what He represented—Truth, Love, Forgiveness, Humility, a friend of the downtrodden and marginalised.

I don't naurally feel moved to honour Christ by going to church, because I have often found church to be hypocritical. But I do feel moved to recognise that Jesus was a great Soul who walked this earth and has brought peace and healing to many. I myself have had personal experiences in which Jesus played a major role. This had nothing to do with "manmade church"—it was just me and Jesus on a one-on-one basis. I can't put it into words, other than to say such moments are simple and gentle yet life-changing.

So, on this Christmas Eve, my favourite day of the season (I'm not too fond of Christmas day itself), I say to Jesus—Even if many don't know You or remember You, may we all still be touched and moved by Your Spirit. May the true gifts of love, forgiveness, healing, peace, reconciliation, rebirth find their way to each of us, amidst the glitter, bows and wrapping paper. May those who hide or suffer in dark holes be flushed out and illumined with LIGHT. May those who use Your name in ways that I imagine would not be pleasing to You (i.e. discrimination, judgment and personal financial gain) come to understand that we are all worthy of the greatest Love and that no one is superior.


Thank You for your example. You exist in a form that is beyond description, beyond manmade constructs and labels. May this unlimited power be realised by each of us reading this, regardless of religion, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, social status, police record—and may it ripple out to bless all whom we encounter henceforth.

So be it.















Thursday, December 23, 2010

Protective Light

Video, music, chant: Tek Har Kaur
*
The Mangala Charn Mantra, chanted for protection, surrounds the magnetic field with protective light.
AD GURAY NAMEH, JUGAD GURAY NAMEH,
SAT GURAY NAMEH, SIRI GURU DEVAY NAMEH

(I filmed these candles during sadhana this morning)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rooftop Yoga

What a great way to start the morning and the week. A physiotherapist friend/fellow Kundalini yogini invited me to lead an introductory session for a few other therapists on the rooftop of Carlton Savannah Hotel.


I left home just before 5:00 a.m., driving in the direction of the massive, almost-full moon, and got to Port-of-Spain at 5:15.

I had never been inside the Carlton before, but from the little I saw as we made our way to the elevator, I was very impressed—simple, minimalist, tasteful, avant garde—a blend of Caribbean and European.

The rooftop experience was fantastic . . . cool (almost 'cold' at first) open air, stars and moonlight gradually becoming early-morning sun and blue skies, flying pairs of screaming parakeets, a gliding hawk . . . and a simple but energising intro yoga session.

Any day that starts like today did has to be a great one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Give the Gift of Transformation

The ideal gift for a loved one who wants a positive new start and healthy commitment for 2011 . . . and beyond. 

At only $350TT, the Thou Art Yoga Passport entitles its holder to ten consecutive pre-paid Kundalini Yoga classes, starting Jan 2011 (East & POS). 

Perfect for all levels, including those who have never practised Yoga—but want to. Visit http://yogapassport.blogspot.com for details.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Early morning gift

I was awakened at 2:30 a.m. by a loud, consistent chewing sound right next to my ear. Realising that it was Jasper crouched next to my head, I flew out of bed and turned on the light to see what he had. It was a baby dove and he was busy consuming it—something he rarely does. He usually just brings the animals whole (either alive or dead) with not even a tooth mark on them. Very rarely is there even blood.

Considering the fact that the captured animals are gifts from cat to owner, this morning it was as though Jasper had brought me a box of chocolates and then proceeded to eat them himself.

I took the bird from him and wrapped it in a piece of paper so he would not get to it while I did yoga. Interestingly, the available piece of paper I reached for had a poem on it, which I had come up with as 2009 crossed into 2010.

My heart is open
I receive the Beloved
I embrace the Beloved
I am the Beloved
You are the Beloved
We are the Beloved.

Rest in peace, Dove.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Was that me?

One of my Criminology essays

Someone who is interested in Criminology just wrote and asked me if I have any notes I can lend her. It was quite a while ago that I was at Cambridge (doing a Masters in Criminology), so who knows where the notes are! 

But digging in an old box about half an hour ago revealed some essays . . . all neatly written by hand! How did I do that? Thousands of words, without a scratch or blotch, in neat lines, with handwriting that is quite unlike what it is now.

It's as though I was a whole different person back then. The style of writing, the content, the use of terms, the way I wrote pages upon pages on police, child delinquency, etc. It all seems worlds away. I wouldn't know how to begin approaching these essay topics now (listed below).

1. The Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure suggested these criteria for the law relating to police powers—fairness, openness and practicability. How far are these satisfied by the provisions of Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 relating to the search of persons?


2. How and why do parental child-rearing techniques influence the development of delinquency in children?


3. Does feminist research have to be "on, by and for" women?

That was then. This is now. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

For those who didn't/don't know . . .

This image is an illustration, for those who didn't/don't know what a CD calendar is. It is a calendar (comprised of loose cards—one image per month) in a CD case. The case folds out to form a stand for your desk.

The first batch and extras sold like hotcakes. Orders are already coming in for more to be printed. Please place your order now (accepting orders until Monday).

The new batch of calendars will be printed by Wed/Thurs and delivered.  See calendar order details here http://tinyurl.com/2ef68m8

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sold out and a great ride

SOLD OUT
I sent out the ad for the heart calendar yesterday and it is now sold out. Granted there were only 50 (four of which I am keeping), but still, I think that's pretty good.

Yesterday evening I went riding with a friend and her cousin in Gran Couva, one of my favourite places in TT because of its vibrant greenery, fresh air, peaceful spirit, rolling hills.

We started off from her cousin's house at around 5:00-ish. The ride took us up and down hills, past homes with open doors, windows and no burglar proofing. I always notice when I am in areas with no burglar proofing. In a country where many live in houses that look like jails, windows without bars says a lot about the community's level of safety, values and togetherness.

It was a verdant ride and the late afternoon sun coming from the west was streaming through the bamboo and leaves to our right, reminding me of stained glass in the Church of Nature.

Whizzing down hills, it was great feeling my jersey puffing up in the breeze . . . and riding up hill, pumping our thighs, I thought of yoga and those times when holding a posture seems difficult, but you go through it anyway and come out on the other side. 

Keep up and you will be kept up (Yogi Bhajan)

Maybe a total of about five or six cars, driving slowly (i.e. not speeding as they do up north and in the west), passed us on the road. I felt like I was back in "the good old days" where everything was more laid back and simple. Cool breeze, freedom, relaxation. I noted people lounging in hammocks under their houses, sitting on their steps, enjoying the fresh country air, having drinks, talking. It was perfect.

My body is thanking me for the experience. I had one of the deepest sleeps I've had in ages and woke up feeling like a new person.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Give Love

Sample (2 pages & cover of calendar): 
Please click on the image to see details more clearly.

No more sitting on the fence, wondering at the last minute what gifts to buy. 
Ideal as a Christmas/New Year's gift:

12 of my natural heart images put together in a compact desktop CD calendar.
A reminder that Love is all around us—a reflection of who we are.

Only $70 each.
Special limited edition.

Please place your order(s) early, while stocks last.

Elspeth
786-2539

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Possible

Yesterday evening, as I sat on the sofa in the Moksha Yoga Studio lobby (waiting to go in for the 6:30 POS Kundalini Yoga class), I was reading the book in the above image. A little boy dressed in his capoeira whites came and squashed up next to me.

"You choose all dem book?" he asked me, pointing to the stack of books on the coffee table.

"They're for whoever wants to read them," I said.

He reached forward, took one and started flicking through it, looking at the pictures.

I asked him how long he had been doing capoeira.

"Is too many years for me to count. I born wid it."

I asked him his age. Nine.

We sat in silence, looking at our books . . . or rather, he was looking at mine, even though his was open on his lap. At one point, when the page turned to reveal a particularly pretzel-ish posture, he looked up at me and asked in all seriousness: "Dem ting does be possible?"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Love is All

Love is All

To invest in Love, the ideal gift, please click here http://tinyurl.com/26ctlwt 

Three new images were added today.

Christmas orders close December 15th to allow adequate time for processing of prints and heat sealing.

Please see order details on the Invest in Love album.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Recent artiste portraits: Malik

The artiste Malik recently hired me to do a promo portrait session for him. We did the shoot up at Mount St. Benedict on a hazy evening, with the last rays of the sun pushing momentarily through cloud banks to illuminate my trusty home made reflector. Within an hour we were finished.

Below are a few of the many shots.






Sunday, November 21, 2010

Manifest Miracles Through the Guidance of your Soul

The workshops outlined in the article below are a glimpse into the fullness of what can be expected in the 2011 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training & Self Mastery program. Details on cost of the workshops will be announced in December, in time for a late December/early January registration.
 
 
Manifest Miracles Through the Guidance of your Soul

When you understand who and what you are, your radiance projects into the universal radiance and everything around you becomes creative and full of opportunity. (Yogi Bhajan)

2011 is the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Hard Times will begin to give way to greater peace and prosperity for those who properly prepare themselves.

We all have the natural mechanisms to thrive during intense change, but are you using it—your sensitivity, intuition, meditative mind, seven chakras and protective aura, and the steady guidance of your soul?  We need all the support available to us in these times.  And we can no longer look to others for our answers.

Our pains, problems, and struggles cannot be resolved by looking outside ourselves. The only power that will save us and prevail lies within each of us; it can be accessed by tapping into the full potential of Consciousness.  All outside help is becoming obsolete.

When we experience our exalted Self and feel the powerful presence of the Soul, peace reigns in our lives. Eventually all will know and use the voice of the Soul for guidance and success.  We can begin NOW with the right training.

A proven effective technology for accessing the Soul and manifesting a steady flow of happiness is an ancient system called Kundalini Yoga.

A complete body of powerful practices, Kundalini Yoga produces miracles of healing, and physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Now is the time to immerse yourselves in the teachings of Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) to prepare and fine tune your entire being to transition through these diverse and challenging times.

We invite you to experience deep, lasting self-transformation through a full 200 hr. immersion training in the yogic technique and lifestyle called The Aquarian Teacher. This fully accredited teacher training in Kundalini Yoga, to be held in Trinidad in 2011, is the first of its kind in the Caribbean and includes three week-long coastal retreats. Gain the knowledge and confidence to challenge yourself and venture beyond subconscious limitations to discover your amazing potential, power and purpose. This course is designed for you - whether you want to transform your life and expand your consciousness, become a certified teacher or deepen your experience of Kundalini Yoga. All are welcome.

To launch this invaluable training opportunity, lead trainer Guru Meher Singh Khalsa of Los Angeles will be in Trinidad over the weekend of 21 – 23 January 2011 to offer a series of self-mastery workshops based on the technology of Kundalini Yoga.

SOUL ANSWERS - Learn to quickly and reliably tap into the source of answers.  Be your own personal guru.

EMOTIONAL LIBERATION - learn to harness the intense energy of your feelings for healing and success.  Transform anxiety, anger, and even depression into allies to your progressive well being.

MORE LOVE MORE MONEY - Direct your desires to create satisfaction, contentment, fulfilment of your life purpose.

SELF-HEALING SECRETS OF THE ANCIENTS - In this full day workshop you will use a variety of powerful ancient techniques for relaxation, healing and prosperity. This day will give you tools to continue to enhance your quality of life and show you an open door to your own path of destiny.

For more information on the Aquarian Teacher immersion training and the January courses, please visit: http://kundaliniyogatt/. blogspot.com, email kundaliniyogatt@gmail.com or call Durga Devi at 632-2079 or Tek Har Kaur at 786-2539

****
Guru Meher Singh Khalsa began studying under Yogi Bhajan in 1981, and has been teaching Kundalini Yoga ever since. He is the Director of Teacher Training at Yoga West, Yogi Bhajan's original studio in Los Angeles, travels internationally to train teachers in Level One and Two programs, and works with the Aquarian Academy to train the next generation of teacher trainers. As a professional Life Coach, he helps people identify and transform personal blocks to their happiness and fulfillment, and as a public speaker introduces non-yogic audiences to body-mind-spirit training.
Guru Meher Singh Khalsa

 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Driving Home

In case your internet connection speed is slow, let the video buffer before you watch it—so there won't be any pauses to spoil the effect.

Length: 11 seconds

Monday, November 8, 2010

How high does the poui tree grow?

Poui tree through my window
Every year for the past few years I have been invited to be a judge at the "Facing Life" film and drama competition for secondary schools, organised by Rebirth House Drug Rehab Centre. The founder of this competition, Roger Beckles is someone I had met through a friend. Even after only meeting a few times initially, somehow he believed in, respected and admired me and always called me every year to (a) be a judge and (b) invite me to their Rebirth House Christmas party. A lovely and genuine person, always smiling. 

This year a woman called me and said "It's that time of year again. Will you be a judge for us?"

I said yes.

On the day of the competition, last Thursday, I called Roger's cellular to ask him some details on the competition. His phone kept beeping and cutting off. I eventually I gave up and headed down to the Centre of Excellence (the competition venue).

I got there and, while greeting one of the other judges, looked to the stage. There was a huge mural of a poui tree with symbols of various elements around it, threatening its blossoming and growth: drugs, alcohol, AIDS, etc. Then, to the right, there was an image of Roger smiling. At first I thought "What's that doing there?" Maybe they chose to feature his image as the founder of the event?

But the image had the quality of those often seen in obituaries. I think something leaves an image when someone leaves this life.

I turned to the other judge and said, "Where's Roger?"

The look of shock in his eyes cannot be described. "You didn't know?" he whispered.

Before Roger died unexpectedly in April 2010, he had come up with a theme for this year's Facing Life (Ten) competition:


How high does the poui tree grow?
if you cut it down, you will never know ...



These borrowed sentences from a song mean a lot, particularly if we understand just how we 'cut it down'. We abort our plans, sometimes consciously in the interest of wise decision making, but sometimes plans are aborted, without thinking, by the choices we make in the interest of having a good time.


Some of the saws we use are alcohol and other drugs, compulsive sex, gambling, gluttonous eating, immodesty, violence, other anti-social behaviour or other demonstrations of ill health. We appeal to you to LET THE TREE GROW! Whether poui, mango or sycamore, grow to your full potential and reach your destiny.

(From the competition programme)

Rest in Peace, Roger. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Testimonial from Carole Anne F.

My studio at the time, laid out for Serendipity's Dinner
*
Elspeth's abillty to create a magical event is amazing. This is how it all began. I attended an art exhibition and in looking at Elspeth's work I saw an envelope to take part in a surprise event. This looked intriguing and I was admiring the windows - ( I am a photographer and have a fascination with doors and windows too) so I popped my name in there.

Well a few days later I received a call from Elspeth who invited me to a supper at the studio. This was the most wonderful experience. There were only about 8 of us, I recall, and there were many delightful surprises that only Elspeth could have dreamed up including profound little sayings in small envelopes for each person. I was unaware at the beginning that all this was, in fact, to hand over the one of the windows to its new owners and that this was being videoed as part of the journey of the window.

This, is what each window is, a kind of creative journey from the time it is found and onwards and I just loved that concept and was so happy to be a part of this one which was called "Serendipity" ... and that is why, I am guessing, there was a random element of chance thrown into the occasion. It was a beautiful object d'art and not just a window anymore and I am sure the new owners will now be cherishing that they are part of the Serendipity's journey.

Brilliant.

Carole Anne F.

Carole Anne's Blog
Carole Anne's website (undergoing transformation)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ready for Love?


INVEST IN LOVE: the ideal gift

Please visit this link http://tinyurl.com/27vvzby to see the available selection of natural heart photos—a reminder that Love is everywhere and comes in all forms. The ideal gift for you and/or loved ones . . . for any special occasion or "just because."

Orders have already started coming in. This week, the first batch of requests will be processed. If you already know which hearts you would like to order, please contact me with details by Thursday 4th November to ensure that your images are produced with the current set.

Pricing and other information
4" x 6" - $100TT ($1US - $6.3TT)
8" x 12" - $250TT
Discount of 10% for wholesale orders

Each order:
(a) is printed and heat-sealed on hard board with a hook, for hanging and easy framing.
(b) comes with a special "Love Note"

FOR INFORMATION & TO ORDER:
Email Me
Or call: (868) 786-2539

Average production 3 - 5 days.
50% downpayment on all orders. Balance upon delivery.
Special arrangements (inc shipping & handling) for international orders.

Christmas orders close 15th December.

(Copyright signature on thumbnails not included on prints)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Invest in Love: the ideal gift


The Thou Art Yoga page was set up today on Facebook. Stay connected to receive news of upcoming Thou Art Yoga products and ventures—all designed to spread love, raise awareness and connect you more deeply to yourself and others.

Current venture: Invest In Love: the ideal gift
Pricing, order details and other info on site.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last words for Satya

A few months ago my friend Nicola in Peru sent me an email and cc'd someone (Satya Amrit Singh from Chile) whom she said I may want to be in touch with, as he is also a musician, composes music with Kundalini mantras and practices/teaches Kundalini Yoga.

Satya sent me a link to his music (please listen here), I sent him a link to mine and we exchanged a few emails, mainly about music and Kundalini Yoga. He was happy to know that his name was the same as the name of my laptop. He struck me as a gracious, honourable and friendly person. He had performed in a few places around the world and was saying that one day he would like to come to Trinidad to play.

After the first two or three emails we were not in touch for a long while. Just about two weeks ago I got an email from him saying he was in India at Miri Piri Academy. He asked me if I wanted to Skype. I sent him my Skype name but, being busy, did not get around to connecting immediately.

However, we managed to connect a day or two later. We spoke for a while about Kundalini Yoga, music, life, he told me about Miri Piri and I helped him to set up a Reverbnation account for his music. I couldn't stay long and, as we said goodbye, he told me that he hopes one day we will work on some music together.

Yesterday as I sat at Moksha waiting to go into the Tuesday yoga class, I got a call from my friend R whose son is studying at Miri Piri—to say that Satya was found dead in his room, cause unknown. So sudden, and unexpected to those who are left behind, yet for his soul, it was simply the time to go.

This letter on his Facebook page makes an official announcement of his passing.

Prior to our Tuesday class we chanted Akal (mantra for departed souls) for him. I didn't know him well or for long, but from our brief interactions, I could tell that he loved life, loved people and had no doubt touched many with whom he came into contact.

As I'm writing this and listening to his music, it strikes me—one day we are here, one day we are not. Who are we when we are here? Who are we when we leave and exist in the words and memories of others?

To his blood family, his Kundalini family and his network of loved ones, may you be granted Love, Strength and Peace that transcends the inexplicable suddenness of his passing.

Sat Nam

Try the Water Taxi

Boarding the water taxi
On Monday my friend Patti and I took a trip from POS to San Fernando on the water taxi, to see what it was like.

Sadly, in T&T we encounter a lot of poor customer service, things not working properly, poor time management (i.e. things running late), etc.

However, the water taxi is the exact opposite of this. As Patti kept saying to me in genuine amazement: "Are we still in Trinidad?"

Courteous employees, all smiling, saying good morning, gently guiding us along the plank, telling us to watch our step, telling us to have a good trip, etc. The water taxi was on time, clean, crisply air-conditioned, comfortable (we fell asleep), speedy and super smooth. Those who suffer with motion sickness (as Patti does) need not worry.

I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. $30 return and they leave at different times during the day (on weekdays only). The journey takes 45 minutes.
The name of our water taxi was Paria Bullet, but I was walking along the plank while taking this shot and didn't get the full thing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

We are all healers

Yesterday I attended a Meridian Chakra Healing workshop led by a visiting yogi (Yogi Aftab, who introduced Kundalini Yoga to TT in 1973). He was a student of Yogi Bhajan (the Mahan Tantric who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West in 1969). You can read more about Aftab and the workshop in this article. We learned massage and trigger point simulation to balance the meridians and chakras.

There were 28 of us in all doing the workshop. We partnered up to practice the points/techniques on each other. Simple and powerful. I love doing hands on healing work.

Of course, for any healing technique to be effective, the person has to want to be healed. What Yogi A. told us about relaxing the person to facilitate healing is similar to the premise of SPHE-RE healing (which I learned earlier this year) where the body goes into such a deep state of peace that self-healing occurs. 

One of the points we learned yesterday was one which Yogi A said Yogi Bhajan had indicated was all that was necessary. Touch those two points for as long as you want (e.g. 15 mins) and the healing is done. When he showed us the point it reminded me of one of my earliest and clearest childhood memories:

My sister Vanessa was a baby, so I was four.  Maybe she had recently been born and I was fascinated, because I was standing by her crib in my parents' room watching her cry.  I remember mummy being in the kitchen. After a short while of watching her, I took my finger and touched her third eye (although as a four year old child I would not have known that name for it). The crying stopped instantly and she fell asleep as soon as she felt my finger. It was like pushing a button to turn off something.


We are all healers, whether we realise it or not. We know naturally and instinctively what to do to heal ourselves and others. However, as we "grow up", various things happen—doubts, fears and other inhibitors rise up and block our natural instincts, we become dependent on doctors and medication, we cease to listen to the body and trust its ability to repair itself.

Something as simple as a shift in mindset ... and healing occurs.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Musical Beans

Yesterday I was invited to judge the "Investigative" category at a Girls' High School environmental/science fair. One of the entries I really liked was called "Musical Beans". The girls had grown 4 red bean seeds in similar conditions over a 3 wk period. The only difference was the music played to them 3 hrs/day. 

The Gospel music bean rotted & got maggots, the soft rock bean remained dormant & also got maggots, the dub/reggae bean grew a bit but shriveled up and died, the Hindu bhajan bean was tall and flourishing.

Their basic hypothesis was that sacred/spiritual music has a positive effect on us. 





 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You will love this raw gift

Raw Lasagne
Interested in bringing a little raw eating into your life? 

Over the next few days I will be recreating and documenting measurements of some of the raw dishes I have created since 2008—and packaging these recipes in a compact and attractive form that you will love. The perfect gift—for Christmas or otherwise, for you and/or loved ones.


Stay tuned for more.

The irony of God's love ... as exhibited by some

Early this morning I went to the computer place on the main road to get a document printed. While there, one of the two girls at the counter (perhaps having just read an article in the papers) said loudly: "Anybody who have sex wit an animal deserve to be strike down by God!" She closely followed this, just as loudly, with: "All of dem wit their bestiality and homosexuality! God should strike all a dem dong!"

The hatred, vitriol, venom spewing from her tone was horrible, but not surprising. WWJD? Certainly not exhibit that kind of behaviour.

Normally I would have said something to the girl, but for some reason this morning I continued what I was doing without making a comment, leaving her to enjoy her moment of feeling "better than them".  Poor, misguided girl. What kind of upbringing has she had? Being raised to believe that "God" is as venomous and vengeful as she is.

The self-righteous attitude of many who proclaim to be "Christians" (which I'm sure that girl was) is one of the greatest ironies of this life. Their statement of "Love the sinner, hate the sin" seeks to elevate them above "others" while omitting the fact that they themselves are not perfect . . . in fact, often far from.

There's a lot to be said on this, but for now, just have a look at the below letter, sent to me by a friend. Complete with grammatical imperfections, it speaks of a Christian pastor ("converted from the homosexual lifestyle to heterosexuality") who is supposed to be visiting Trinidad from this weekend (complete with detailed itinerary) ... to spread the word on "sexual health". 


SMART CHOICES FOR PRECIOUS PEOPLE.
SEXUAL HEALTH


Dear Youth Director

Greetings!
Today there are many voices clamoring for our youth’s attention We are sure that you do not want the loudest ,trendiest our most attractive to win. Hence for this reason we wish to partner with you in equipping them to make right choices, and find answers to their many questions .To this end we are hosting an interactive seminar on sexual health. Our primary presenter is Philip Lee.

Pastor Philip Lee of His Way Out Ministries/Exodus International is a born again believer converted from a homosexual lifestyle to heterosexuality. He has piloted the ministry to the Gay community in his homeland and in Guyana through seminars & workshops through local churches He will be with us for 1 week in October.

On Saturday 23rd October He will be addressing our youth (13-35 years) at Naparima Girls High School auditorium. The meeting begins at 4.00 p.m. and will end no later than 7.00 p.m. The extended time is needed to allow all questions asked to be answered. There will also be health professionals present to
assist in the discussion.

Please bring/send your young people to be enlightened and empowered. Give them an opportunity to understand what the Word says about their sexuality, and to have a clear biblical and factual response to those who want to entice them in an alternative lifestyle.

  You may even consider this meeting as your young people’s meeting/ outing for the month

We look forward to engaging with you and your group.



Yours in Christ


______________________________
Kimlin  Philip



 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Love at first sight

Gloxinia
On Friday one of my yoga students  who was unable to make it to last week's Humee Hum Brahm Hum gave me this flowering plant as a gift. She couldn't remember the name of it, so I said I would ask my father (who's a Botanist).

Later, I emailed to let her know that it's a Gloxinia. She emailed back with this site and indicated what the Gloxinia flower stands for: Love at first sight.

Great gift. Better yet when it's mutual.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ask me a question & contribute to Daisy Chain

The fine tuning of Daisy Chain has been an interesting and involved process. Nothing was changed in terms of content, but there were words and phrases which, although not "wrong", are all the better for having passed through my editor, Jeanne Mason. She is currently not based in Trinidad, so for the past while, we have been back and forth via e-mail, tweaking and tightening. We are on the final stretch—and I now understand why people have editors. It's like pruning a tree to produce a stronger, more attractive plant.

The only part of Daisy Chain which I'll change (in terms of content) is the vignette entitled THE AUTHOR, ELSPETH. Much of what I wrote in the introduction for this version of Daisy Chain was originally contained in that vignette. So, rather than be redundant, I've decided to write something new for THE AUTHOR, ELSPETH.

However, for some reason, I am sticking on this vignette, with no idea what to write. In keeping with the involvement of blog readers in aspects of the writing of Daisy Chain (e.g., blog readers suggested three of the female names toward the end of the novel, which helped when I was racing to complete the 50,000 words for the deadline), I am giving you the opportunity to contribute.

HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO DAISY CHAIN
1. Ask me any question you want. Anything you want to know about me—simple or complex. Your questions will be answered in the section of Daisy Chain entitled THE AUTHOR, ELSPETH.
2. I will only answer questions left as comments on this post. (One question per person)
3. Since I don't know how many questions will be asked (and I don't want this vignette to be too long once questions are answered), I will select only some of the questions. This will be done randomly, placing the questions in a hat and choosing 5-10 of them. To be transparent, I'll get someone else to do the random selection.
4. If your question is chosen, you will be credited, so write your name after your question as you would like it to appear in the novel. Questions without names will not be considered.

Final date for submitted questions—Sunday 17 October 2010

Thank you for your contribution.

Elspeth

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How many ...?


How many stars does it take to fill the sky?
How many times have your feet touched the ground since birth?
How many times did you cry as a baby until someone either picked you up and cradled you in loving arms or shouted at you to be quiet?
How many keys are on all of the key chains in the world?
How many words in total exist in all of the sacred texts throughout history?
How many women across the globe are menstruating right now?
How many men shave their beards every morning?
How many species of animals would there be in the world today if extinction did not exist?

(From NAOMI, Daisy Chain. Stay tuned for the print version).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Crystal Received

Just before going into yesterday's yoga class, Claudia appeared with my crystal. The moment of receiving the package and having her explain a few things was like having a birthday all over again.

I haven't taken a photo of the crystal pendant, but it is lovely, finely crafted with sterling silver with an additional small amethyst piece worked into the design. The quartz crystal is from Tibet. (Claudia gets her crystals from all over the world).

The pendant came in a sheer pinkish bag with gold roses and leaves on it. In that bag were also two cards (see bottom of this post). All of this was in a larger white paper bag which contained a rolled piece of paper with information on crystals—what they are, how they can heal and how to cleanse them. Also included in the white bag were two sticks of fantastic-smelling incense (sage and something else) and a tiny ziplock bag containing a little bundle of a scented herb (sage?) wrapped in pink netting and tied with a small pink bow.

The energy with which Claudia gave this gift to me was so loving and out of the blue. All I can say is Wow. It's great when people follow what they feel and give to others as their spirit directs them to give ... without worrying about what the person will think of them or the gift.

As one of my yoga students pointed out, I seem to receive special gifts on Tuesdays. At a recent Tuesday yoga class, I had just collected Lynn's pocket book from the Post Office and was showing it to her before the class.

This is the wording on Claudia's call card, in case anyone is interested in seeing what she has to offer:

Claudia's Crystals
868 473-1408
claudiascrystals (at) yahoo (dot) com 
(N.B. I wrote out her e-mail address like this so robots crawling the web for addresses to use for spamming won't detect it)
Individually hand crafted wearable art made from the finest stones from all over the world, wrapped by hand with sterling silver, creating unique one-of-a-kind pendants for you or that special person in your life ...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gift of a Crystal

The small piece of quartz I found

The other day at the yoga retreat I was walking on the stony road leading to the house and found a small quartz crystal. I kept it in my pocket.

At the beginning of the retreat, because the room was full of participants, I placed my mat outside of the northern verandah door. Inside, near the doorway to the front verandah, there was a woman who had a large crystal in front of her mat. At some point during the session, I automatically got up and moved my mat to the eastern doorway, so that I was next to her. I noticed that she had many more crystals all around and on her mat.

During one of the rest periods, we got to talking. Turns out she is deeply into crystals and makes fantastic jewelry with them (some of which she was wearing). I showed her the little piece of quartz I had found and half-jokingly suggested that maybe the little quartz piece felt drawn to her crystals (its distant cousins) and wanted to be near to them—hence my getting up out of the blue and moving next to her.

Yesterday I got a great email from her with the message that she couldn't stop thinking of me and my crystal and she was compelled to make me a Quartz pendant as a gift. When she laid out her quartz points in front of her with the intention that one is for me, a particular Quartz popped out at her. She says it's the most sacred of all crystals, known as a Record Keeper. (Read more about Record Keepers here)

Amazing gift. Can't wait to receive it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sign up for Tek Har Kaur

Sign up here to the mailing list of Tek Har Kaur and:
(a) receive updates on newly recorded mantras, performances, Thou Art Yoga events, products and more.
(b) enjoy the exclusive fan download of the Humee Hum Brahm Hum mp3

A little side story about this special mp3:
The total length of the song, including the Thou Art Yoga tag, is 1:53 seconds. This was not planned. The recording was made in the flow of the moment. Then one morning I was checking the time of the mantra and realised that the exact length of the Humee Hum Brahm Hum mantra itself (minus tag) is 1:43.

If you have been reading this blog, you will know that 143 is the "code number" for I LOVE YOU (based on the number of letters in each word):
1= I
4 = Love
3 = You

As the saying goes: Nothing is a coincidence.










Friday, October 8, 2010

No better gift

Yesterday was a fantastic birthday from my first conscious breath upon waking to my last conscious breath before sleep. It gets better every year.

Last night's celebration can't be put into adequate words.

When I got home after, and all was quiet, it struck me in a massive wave—the realisation of the magnitude of love I have in this lifetime, within and all around me. There is no better gift.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Today is Birth Day



Thou Art Yoga presents

Humee Hum Brahm Hum
A Celebration of Birth
(on the night of a Super New Moon).
All are welcome.
DATE: Thursday 7 October, 2010,
TIME: 6:00 p.m. sharp – 9:00 p.m.
DRESS: White (as much as possible)

(In Trinidad):  Studio Lounge, 62 Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook (opp. Kid’s World)
(Abroad):  Gather with loved ones, tune in to your heart and chant the mantra.

*
THE EVENING’S PROCEEDINGS

6:00 p.m. OPENING 
Tune in to the Heart.

6:03 p.m. WELCOME MESSAGE

6:08 p.m. CHANT
The Kundalini Yoga mantra Humee Hum Brahm Hum. We are We, We are God (Whatever is to be already is).  Throughout the night, whenever this version of the mantra is played (1.43 minutes), special things will happen. (To be announced at start of event, so please be on time).

6:10 p.m. onward: SURRENDER TO LOVE (an interactive exhibition with a difference)
An exhibition of photographs by Elspeth Duncan, wrapped as gifts—so the images cannot be seen. This is an opportunity for you to surrender to the Unseen and trust the gift/message that is for you. (A total of seventeen images available).
Special price of $44 per image (for 7-10-2010 only). Walk with two $20 bills and four $1 bills.

6:05 p.m. onward: CELEBRATE
Mix, mingle, enjoy great company and the special musical selection.
DJ-for-the-night: Irukandji.
Enjoy the intimate ambience of Studio Lounge as you sip on in-house Lounge drinks or special home-brewed Yogi Tea.

*****
"Thou Art Yoga is a global movement for creative consciousness. THOU = You. ART= Creation. YOGA = our connection with the Divine. Not everyone may come to know Yoga by way of a yoga mat and daily practice. But Yoga (Divine connection) is already in all of us and simply needs to be realised. My intention is for Thou Art Yoga to be a catalyst for the global upliftment of people and awakening of consciousness through Yoga (particularly Kundalini) and the Creations (music, art, workshops, events and more) inspired by it."

(Elspeth Duncan/Tek Har Kaur, October 2010)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Words to live by

This poem by Mastin Kipp was in today's Daily Love email. Spot on truth:

Love everyone as best you can, but only invest in people who invest in you.
 
Your heart and dreams are precious things, they should be in hands of people who will help to guide them, protect them and nurture them.
 
As you embark out into the unknown on the Journey of your Dreams choose wisely your traveling mates. Your team and who you surround yourself with is one of the most important decisions you can make and a great influence on whether you will complete the journey successfully.
 
Treasure your dreams, follow them with trust and surround yourself with only they best.
 
Don't think twice about dropping the rest.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Please keep Thurs 7 October 2010 open

Last year's invitation
Please keep 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday 7th October 2010 open. There will be a special gathering to celebrate my birthday and more. All are invited, wherever you are in the world.

The 7th October 2010, night of a Super New Moon, is a powerful night to be present in yourself, as you are, where you are.

Last year I got married. (Read about the ceremony and the vows here)

This year I give birth.

Details soon.

Sat Nam.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gathering


Somehow referring to Friday evening yoga (or even Tuesday evening yoga) as "a class" doesn't feel right. It feels more like A Gathering ... all of us sitting on our mats, in what always feels like a circle (even if it isn't exactly one geometrically speaking), on the pool terrace, under the moon, stars and the clear sky (which always holds up for us no matter how rainy every other day has been).

Three new (and one semi-new) people joined us yesterday.  We are all committing to a 40 day sadhana, starting on the morning of 7th October 2010.

It is amazing how life unfolds. All that is meant to be already is.

Humee Hum Brahm Hum.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy October!

Libra
With open arms, we October Librans welcome the greatest month of the year ... our birthmonth.  

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuned by the Little Light

The other morning, just before I woke up for yoga, a young woman came to me in my dream. I had met her in real life, in August, when I went to the ashram with a friend. I first saw her when I was sitting on a verandah at the ashram and she (playing the dholak) and a Dutch woman (playing the guitar) were chanting mantras in Sanskrit with some Rumanians.

She was a 30-something year old Rumanian named Luminitza (meaning Little Light) and she reminded me strikingly of a very good friend in Switzerland. When I told her this after Day 1 of a healing course we were both doing at the ashram, she lit up and said: "I'm happy you feel the connection too. I thought I was the only one." She then told me that the first day she saw me, she told her friends after: "I like her. She's very spiritual and she looks like an artist."

Somehow we established a connection that felt very powerful, even though we barely spoke again after that over the two day period. It's hard to explain and perhaps not necessary. The experience of that connection just felt like an intangible extension of the healing course.   

That brief summary helps put into context my dream of two mornings ago. Just before waking up for yoga, I was in an airport in England, preparing to return to Trinidad, but not particularly wanting to. Luminitza appeared. Perhaps because (in 'real life') I have been playing my guitar and chanting a lot lately, I immediately suggested to her that she play the dholak while I play the guitar.

She said: "I've become very good with the dholak."

The next thing I recall is hearing the notes of the guitar strings being tuned ... only the strings were in me (sounding more like a sitar) and I was being tuned by Luminitza (even though she was not physically doing it). Just as the final high E note was tuned and had finished vibrating, Jasper stepped on my chest and woke me up.

Perfect timing!

I had been tuned up by the Little Light and awakened by the Treasure Seeker*

*(Jasper means Treasure Seeker).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The following is not a paid advertisement

This photo, taken with my laptop camera, does no justice to the beautiful fabric pocket book I received in the mail yesterday. It was made by Lynn of Getting My Feet Wet. Go to her blog and you will see more of the pocket books. In fact, have a look at a whole set of them here.

I had ordered one, with a particular intention ... and boy, did Lynn deliver!

Without an ounce of reservation or hesitation, I highly recommend Lynn's pocket books as a one-of-a-kind gift for you or someone else. Unique, original, tailor-made for the giftee. In each pocket (filled with intentions and affirmations) is the essence of whatever the giftee wants ... things that money could never buy.

I went to the Post Office to get my package yesterday. It was neatly encased in a white box with all kinds of stamps and customs tape all over it. I was on my way to the POS/Moksha yoga class and thought I would wait to open the package there.

However, unable to resist, I ripped open the box while stuck in traffic: "WOWWWW!" Simple yet intricate, with amazing detail, multiple textures, expertly put together ... And more than all of that, I could feel the vast wave of love and intention that went into process and product.

Later, while stuck in more traffic, I had time to read some of the many affirmations Lynn had put into the pockets. POWERFUL!

Only when I got home, just before bed, did I have time to really look at the book properly and read all of the affirmations. After yoga this morning, I reached into the book again and pulled out some of the affirmations. More than something I "ordered", this feels like a huge gift I have received. Small and simple, yet hugely empowering, magnetic, transforming and magical in quality.

And I know it is "working" already.

Thank you, Lynn.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dreams coming true x 2

The harvest moon in motion
She never introduced herself—just looked me directly in the eyes and started to speak. The first thing I remember her telling me was: "Have two exhibitions by the end of the year."

"How about one?"I asked her.

"Two," she said. Her expression never changed. She had a constant slight smile. She came across as kind but firm.

Then she said: "Never travel as if you are alone."

"But what if I am?" I asked her.

"You are not."


 ****

The above is an extract from this dream.

I didn't have to think about how the two exhibitions would happen. They are happening. The press release for one of them (written by the organizers) is below. The other will be announced in due course.

PRESS RELEASE
Masman Brian MacFarlane and international photographer Alex Smailes have lent their support to the first-ever traveling exhibition in the country.
MacFarlane, the man behind last year’s opening ceremony of the Fifth Summit of the Americas, has endorsed the exhibition “The Environment is You”, which promises to have a rather disturbing and dramatic effect on viewers as it catalogues the horrific pollution that has become the norm in Trinidad and Tobago. MacFarlane, who is currently in India showcasing two traditional Carnival characters at an international exhibition, says the aims of this photographic display are similar to his 2008 band Earth: Cries of Despair, Wings of Hope in its attempt to wake the people up to what is happening to our planet. “They must see the stark and grave reality of the environment that we live in,” he said.
Smailes has worked as a photojournalist in Haiti, the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, and now calls Trinidad home. His trademark searing images will be featured in the exhibition, which captures the damage done to our islands daily – the burning and clearing of hills for development; the careless disposal of cigarette butts that can cause fires during the dry season; rubbish strewn along highways, waterways, drains and beaches, and so on.
Artist Elspeth Duncan has also contributed her “Side Walk Series”, which shows the effect of poorly maintained manholes on unsuspecting citizens, with often tragic and unfortunate results.
The inspiration of Sandra Allum, director and lead tourism consultant for International Consultancy Limited, “The Environment is You” exhibition follows last year’s open day on San Fernando Hill where the focus was recycling, and the target group schoolchildren. “In essence, this year’s exhibition reflects the message that Nature is an enduring gift from God - treasure it! We hope to inspire our citizens and decision makers to make a serious attempt at preserving our environment,” explained Allum.
The concept of the travelling exhibition is the first of its kind in the country. The twenty large (6ft by 6ft) posters will make their debut on the fence of Queen’s Royal College around the Queen’s Park Savannah on October 3, where they will remain to haunt motorists until October 9. They will then be moved from location to location, taking their message throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Corporate support for the project comes from bptt (British Petroleum), recyclers Piranha International, the Trinidad Hilton, Bella Treats and Green Cyclone Incorporated. Non-profit organisations such as the R4 Initiative, Greenlight Network and Earth Strong Trinidad and Tobago have also pledged their support.
The launch of the exhibition “The Environment is You” will take place on October 3 at the Savannah Terrace, Hilton Trinidad at 5pm.
All media houses are invited to attend. 


Sunday, September 26, 2010

A perfect weekend

On Friday (public holiday) around midday my friend Durga Devi and I went up to Ananda Mahi, the healing space owned by her, her husband and two small children. She uses it as a place for spiritual workshops and retreats. We went up to clean in preparation for the Kundalini Yoga retreat the next day (Saturday). This retreat (which had about 21 people) was led by Hari Sant, through whom I first started learning Kundalini Yoga ten years ago.
 
When we arrived at Ananda Mahi, one of the first things I noticed was ... guess what. It had been raining and all the other water om the lower verandah had dried up, leaving this one wet heart-shaped spot.

After cleaning, came yoga, dinner, bathtime, then bedtime. Prior to going to sleep, we sat on the upper balcony, overlooking Maracas Bay with the huge round orange moon rising above it—and we chanted the mantra Humee Hum Brahm Hum (with me strumming guitar and Durga playing a drum). We got so caught up in chanting that ages passed, our voices growing louder and louder, penetrating the forest around us and most likely drifting down the mountain to the houses below. Increasingly, we began to sound drunk, especially when (for reasons I can't remember now) we stopped singing and began to laugh loudly, unable to stop, howling like wild nocturnal hyenas.

In the morning I woke at 3:30 as usual. Some time after, we went down to the lower balcony and began a yoga session—finishing up by chanting our new favourite, with guitar and drum: Humee Hum Brahm Hum until the sun rose.

The perfect way to start the day of what then turned out to be a lovely Kundalini Yoga retreat.
Sunrise over Maracas Bay: view from the lower verandah