Catalyst House

Why We Disagree (September 15 1893) by Swami Vivekananda

In this speech Vivekananda tried to explain the reason of disagreement between each other and different sects and religions. He told a story of a frog. In the story he told, a frog used to live in a well. It was born there and brought up there and it used to think his well was the biggest water land of the world. One day, a frog from a sea came to that well. When the frog from the sea told the frog of the well that sea is much bigger than that well, the frog of the well did not believe it and drove the frog of the sea away from his well. Vivekananda concluded– “That has been the difficulty all the while. I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Muslim sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world.” 

Frog in the Well: Why we fail to live at peace with one another

In a well a little away from the sea, there lived a big black frog. He had been born there and not for a single day been out . He knew Nothing of World outside. He grew fat on the worms that lived in well and also the insects that chanced to fall in.

He was enjoying a nap one day, when a frog from sea fell in with a big splash of high tide. He woke up thinking a big insect had fallen in.

Great was his surprise when he looked again ” ‘O God !’ our frog said to himself, ‘it looks like a frog …though it isn’t black like me “With out showing that he is afraid ,he asked in grave voice ,’Hallo there, Who ‘re you?”

“I am a stranger”, replied the frog from the sea.

“I Know you don’t belong here… tell me your business of being here?”

“Well, friend, I’d no intention of coming here. I fell in by chance. But of course I ‘m happy to meet you.”

Our frog wasn’t satisfied wanted to know more “ok tell me ‘where ‘re you from?”

“I ‘m from the sea.”

“The Sea ? What’s that ….How big is it? Is it this big ? he asked as he took leap from one side to other of the well.

“My friend’, said the other smiling, ‘how do you compare the sea with your little well?”

Then our frog took another leap and asked “Is your sea this big?”

“What nonsense! to compare the sea with your well! It’s thousands and thousands of times bigger than your well”,

“No, there can be nothing bigger than my well. You’re a liar, I don’t believe you.”

“That’s because you’ve never seen the sea. Come with me. I’ll show you the sea and then you’ll know the TRUTH.”

“Indeed, I won’t go with you. You can’t be honest, you go off my well”

The frog from the sea saw there was no use arguing so he left quietly.

Our frog laughed to himself and said “Hahaha! He thought I am a fool”…. he leaped once more from one side of well to other !….”Nothing can be bigger than my well”

You can listen to the speech in Vivekananda’s own words here.

 

Earlier in the week, on September 11, 1893 he delivered his groundbreaking speech at the Chicago World Parliament of Religions in 1893, which introduced the west to the Hindu way of life, yoga and Eastern spirituality. “Brothers and sisters of America!”


Mulford Family Line
Remembering and Honoring

Mulford Family Line

My paternal great-great grandmother, mother of William Clyde Barrett was Susan Mulford. Susan was born November 6, 1839 and died February 12, 1917 at age of 77 years 3 months and 6 days. She died of pneumonia and old age was a contributing factor. She is buried at Lakeside Cemetery in Port Huron on Valentine’s Day. She died at home at the address of 923 Stone Street, 5th Ward, Port Huron, St. Claire County. On her death certificate, it states that her mother is Susan Meeker and father Jacob Mulford.

Susan Mulford, my paternal great-grandmother, wife of George Barrett: children Harvey M. (1860-1913), Frederic, Edwin (died in Pontiac, Michigan age 61), Bert and my great-grandfather William. Susan had twin girls after William (1871) but they died at birth.

Susan Mulford is the daughter of Private Jacob Mulford (17931886). (Ramakrishna died Aug 15, 1886) Her father was born Jan 15, 1793 in New Jersey, USA. He passed on August 5, 1886 in Port Huron, St. Clair County. Confirmed she is the daughter of Susan Meeker who was born in New Jersey.

Jacob’s Father is Jeremiah Mulford my 4th time great-grandfather who is a founding member and initial elected official of Springfield, New Jersey.

There is a book that lists Jeremiah Mulford as the commissioners of appeal of the newly formed Springfield Township. He served alongside with Matthias Meeker whose daughter would marry his son Jacob. (Jacob Mulford and Susan Horton Meeker-Mulford). They had Susan Mulford who married George Barrett, William Barrett’s parents, who are my Grandmother Isabel Barrett-Bylund (“Izzy’s”) grandparents. Grandma “Izzy” named my father Richard Barrett Bylund.  Potter, Meeker, and Mulford all our “great-grandparents maiden names” family lineage, played a part of organizing the township of Springfield April 14, 1794 in Union County.

Jacob is the son of Jeremiah Mulford, of Cheapside. Husband of Susan Meeker. Susan’s father is John Meeker and her mother Sally Potter. (Susan Mulford) Susan was born in the 1796-1798 in Springfield, New Jersey. Susan and Jacob Mulford are the parents of William Rheams Mulford, John Mulford, Susan Mulford and Sarah Mulford. Susan Horton Meeker-Mulford died September 1870 at the age of 72 at home of “Consumption.” Consumption and pneumonia are noted together. Consumption was one of the leading causes of death at this time. She died in Port Huron, Michigan 2nd Ward.

Jacob served in the War of 1812. He served in the New Jersey Militia during the War of 1812; he was at Connecticut guarding the coast against British invasion; he also served with Commodore Perry when he won a victory at Lake Erie. His residence 1850 Huron St. Clair Country, MI USA and 1880 Port Huron, St. Clair County, MI USA. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=32486460. He is buried at the Lakeside Cemetery, Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, USA.

In 1870, Jacob Mulford may have witnessed or experienced political discrimination while living in St. Clair, Michigan after ratification of the 15th Amendment. The 15th Amendment outlawed racial discrimination at the election polls, white leaders in the South ignored the Constitution. The Republican Party gained an African American voting bloc in the North. The South implemented many obstacles making it very difficult for the African American to cast a vote.

Photos below: Private Jacob Mulford (1793-1886)

(Susan Mulford’s father, Isabelle Barrett Bylund’s Great Grandfather)

my 3rd time Great Grandfather.

In 1870 when Jacob was 77 he was living in the household with George Barrett (35), Susan Mulford-Barrett (35), Harvey M. Barrett (9), Frederic (7), and Edward (5). Jacob lived with his wife Susan in Port Huron when the 1860 Census was taken, he was 67 and she was 62. Jacob was working as a shoemaker. They owned their home and valued it at $3,000 and listed $400 in personal values. His wife and Susan’s mother died September 3, 1870 leaving him a widow. Susan’s father is John Meeker.

In the 1880 Census it shows that, Susan’s father Jacob Mulford remarries Cordelia Mulford. He is 87 and she is 53. She stayed home with Jacob as a homemaker. Cordelia was born in Vermont and her father in New York.

Susan Mulford’s brother is William Rheams Mulford (18231902). William was born March 20, 1823 in Springfield Union County, New Jersey, USA. Springfield Township is a township in Union County that was formed as a township on April 14, 1794 (Arun Gandhi’s birthday and Ramana Maharshi’s Maha Samadhi Anniversary), from portions of Elizabeth Township and Newark Township while the area was still part of Essex County the year after his father Jacob was born Jan. 15, 1793 in New Jersey. The township’s name derives from springs and brooks in the area. He passed away March 2, 1902 in Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan.

He married Martha Steadman Smith (1st), Diantha Fidelia Jones, b. New York (2nd) Mary Emily Stevens (3rd) and Mary S. Havens (4th). He married Mary Havens in Vermont October 23, 1883. Son of Jacob Mulford and Susan Meeker. Father of William Jeremiah Mulford and Kate Maud Mulford. In 1850 William was living in Port Huron with Diantha and William J. who was 4 years old at the time. In 1860, William was still living with Diantha, William J. is now 14 and Kate 6 years old. They have a servant and two workers living with them. Diantha was 2 years older than William R. Mulford.

William R. Mulford was a furniture maker and furniture dealer and an undertaker. Undertaker’s during this time became instant millionaires. He expanded his furniture business into other states with the use of the railroads transporting his products from Michigan. He is buried at the Woodland Cemetery in Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan USA. He died of paralyses on March 2, 1902 at age 78 years old. Location of passing 4th ward 715 Howard, Port Huron. In 1860 Census he had $9,000 in assets, a servant Bridget Morrison from Ireland, a cabinet maker James Sloan from Canada and a John Taner atunxxx from Germany and his wife Diantha from Massachusetts. Township 2 W. Port Huron. He also had a furniture store in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In the 1870 Census, he was married to Mary E, he was living in a home worth $10,000 US. His wife was a homemaker with two young children, he was a furniture dealer with $3,000 in personal assets. He has a domestic servant and laborer from Russia living in their home. 1880 Census he was married to Margaret and was still in the furniture business. He added also became an undertaker. During the 1880 Census he was 34 years old and Margaret was 2 years older than he was.

William enlisted into the military as Private in the Marines in Michigan, Infantry, September 8, 1864 and served until May 26, 1886. (Ramakrishna died Aug 15, 1886) Minor Civil Division of the city of Port Huron. Company H. He served one year, 9 months and 18 days.

Photos below: William Rheams Mulford (1823-1902)

(Susan Mulford’s Brother, Isabelle Barrett Bylund’s great Uncle)

My 3rd time great uncle

Lieutenant William Jeremiah Mulford born December 5, 1845 in Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey. He died Feb 27, 1913 Battle Creek, Calhoun County in Michigan. He is the son of William Rheams Mulford and Martha Smith. Husband of Margaret Sleeper. Father of Martha Mulford, Mabel Mulford, Kate M. Mulford, Margaret Mulford and Helen Mulford. Served the union Army in the US Civil War. Company H and Company K of the Third Regiment Michigan Infantry.

His Civil War Service Profile: William J. Mulford: Port Huron, MI: age of enlistment 18: enlistment date: August 26, 1864:

Rank at Enlistment: Private

Enlistment Place: Port Huron

State Served: Michigan

Survived the war? Yes

Service Record:

Promoted to Full Sergeant on Sept 23, 1864

Enlisted in Company H, Michigan 3rd Infantry Regiment on Sept 7 1864

Promoted to Full Color Sergeant on Nov 18 1864

Promoted to Full Sergeant Major on Feb 18 1865

Promoted to Full 2nd Lieutenant on March 12 1865

Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on Nov 28 1865

Mustered out on May 25 1866 at Victoria, Texas

Sources: Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers 1861-65.

He is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan. Plot Section P, Lot 67, Grave 1.

Photo below: of Flag of the 3rd Michigan Infantry carried by Lieutenant William Jeremiah Mulford.

(Susan Mulford’s Nephew, Isabelle Barrett Bylund’s 2nd Cousin)

My First Cousin 3x removed

After the war, per the 1870 Census, William J. Mulford was 24 years old, he is working as a furniture dealer like his father, in his father’s business. His wife Margaret is 26 years old keeping house. His wife is born in New York. Margaret’s sister living with them who is a school teacher, 26 years Ms. Gale Sleeper who was also born in New York. He grew to own his own Furniture store by 1910 and had two daughters and two grandchildren living with he and Margaret at age 64 and 66. Margaret is the elder of the two.

One People, One Heritage, One Direction (Read more…)


Walking Water in California…
… with Dr. Rajendra Singh ‘The Waterman’

On the recent 2016-2017 Gandhi Legacy Tour of India , led by Arun and Tushar Gandhi, we visited Tarun Bharat Sangh Campus to meet Dr. Rajendra Singh and take field tours of a few water bodies Dr. Singh has “resurrected.”  After two amazing days with Dr. Singh and his community, he informed our group about the upcoming Phase 3 of Walking Water in southern California slated for October 14-28, 2017. “More than a Water Walk, it is a movement!”, Singh has exclaimed.  

WALKING WATER is an invitation, an action, an educational journey and a prayer intended to bring together the voices of the many Peoples of the Eastern Sierra and Los Angeles watersheds through the act of walking together, following the waterways — natural and manmade — between Mono Lake and Los Angeles. This video weaves together the stories of how Walking Water came to be and the vision behind the upcoming pilgrimage.”  “Walking Water is about water, people and place – restoring those relations using the most basic of forms – Pilgrimage.” 

From Kate, Gigi and Alan
Core Team Walking Water

Walking Water is a “fervent prayer and pioneering social action” that began 2015 September in eastern California, continued in 2016, and will conclude this year. The “water” the participants are calling attention to is now mostly a memory, for the rivers and creeks of this Eastern Sierra valley were conscripted in the early twentieth century to supply drinking, bathing, and golf-course-greening water for the growing population of Los Angeles. The “walking” part of the name is a pilgrimage that traces the path of those waters.

“Walking Water is not a demonstration, it is not a march against something, instead it is a celebration of the possibilities we have when we come together. Walking Water aims to share stories about water among walkers and those they meet, unite diverse communities around a common concern, and begin exploring ways in which citizens can take a more active role in what happens to their land, water, and air.”

In 2015, we walked water from Mono Lake, near Yosemite National Park, to Owens Lake (180 miles in 22 days)

In 2016, in September and October we trekked water from Owens Lake to the Cascades aqueduct in Sylmar, CA. 

This year in October, Walking Water will complete the journey, from The Sylmar Cascades to Los Angeles.  

To emphasize the inclusiveness of the pilgrimage, organizers have reached out to ranchers, farmers, Native Americans, park administrators, and others, not only asking permission to walk through and camp on their land, but extending invitations for them to join the pilgrimage. Participants may join the walk for an hour or for the duration.

We are walking the path from source to end-user and we enter Los Angeles with stories gathered over the last 2 years – stories of community and tribal resilience as well as severe drought and land appropriation. As we enter a new political time in the USA we are asked to step up in our awareness and action, in our work , our prayer and our dedication with water, the lands and all its peoples. We look forward to walking with you all this year.

We thank you all for your support in any form. May this year be one of solidarity, strengthening of communities and the love and care for water.


Anniversary of Beloved Adi Da’s Passing

“This bodily (human) Form is temporary Means — and, after the Lifetime of This bodily (human) Form, the Reflections of It, the Murti-Forms (and so on), will, like the Leelas Generated by My Appearance in This Form, be forever Instructive and Useful as “Points” of concentration, Means Whereby to enter into Communion with Me.

“I will still be Merely Present then.”

 — His Divine Presence Bhagavan Adi Da Samraj

OM SRI PARAMA-SAPTA-NA ADI DA LOVE-ANANDA HRIDAYAM

(Read more…)


Gandhi’s Footprints

Gandhi's FootprintsM.K. Gandhi’s pursuit of liberation from an era of violence and subjugation was thoroughly documented prior to Prerag Cicovacki’s new look at Gandhi’s actual goals and pragmatic approach for humanity’s liberation.  Not only from government imperialism and racism but from the actual impediments to spiritual liberation did  Gandhi himself struggle against. The central issue and the novelty of this new book is its focus on what Gandhi wanted to liberate us for. The book also provides an assessment of how viable his positive vision of humanity was and is.

Cicovacki writes:

“What is paradoxical in Gandhi’s approach is that he himself was a unique individual. To state it even more bluntly, he was one of the most unique persons in the entire history of the human race.  And he left us his autobiography, which is not just a soul’s search for tuth and striving toward self-realization, but one unique soul’s struggle to achieve moksha.”*

*(State of oneness with God or Supreme Self, with knowledge, peace and bliss.)

Gandhi revolutionized the struggle for Indian liberation from Great Britain by convincing his countrymen that they must turn to nonviolence and that India needed to be liberated from its social ills—poverty, unemployment, opium addiction, institution of child marriage, inequality of women, and Hindu-Muslim frictions—even more than it needed political freedom.

Predrag Cicovacki

Predrag Cicovacki PhD

Gandhi’s legacy though not forgotten, is often distorted. Called “Mahatma” and venerated as a saint, he is often misinterpreted. Cicovacki attempts to de-mythologize Gandhi and take a closer look at his thoughts, aims, and struggles. He invites us to look at the footprints Gandhi left for us, and follow them as carefully and critically as possible. Cicovacki concludes that Gandhi’s spiritual vision of humanity and the importance of adherence to truth (satyagraha) are his lasting legacy.

Gandhi’s 5th grandson, Arun opines –

“Cicovacki’s book is a serious and profound attempt to reach the depths of Gandhi’s vibrant way of life. In this troubled world one can only ignore at one’s own peril this book’s message that Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence should be followed without being imitated.” 

———

Predrag Cicovacki is a professor of philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross. His research interests include Kant, violence and nonviolence, and problems of good and evil. He was a Senior Fulbright-Nehru fellow in India (2012-2013) and, prior to Gandhi’s Footprints, is the author or editor of numerous essays and books, including Destined for Evil?, Albert Schweitzer’s Ethical Vision, and Kant’s Legacy.

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Gandhi’s Teachers

Recently I hosted Tushar Gandhi and his lovely wife Sonal during their brief visit to Las Vegas, and as we dined on fine Indian cuisine at the wonderful Gandhi Cuisine restaurant the discussion turned to the subject of Gandhi’s teachers. For our memorable evening we were joined by the eminent UNLV Gandhi scholar, Satish Sharma, who authored four books on that very subject.  Gandhi had four prominent early teachers that helped shape his perennial philosophy of Peace: Rajchandra Ravjibhai Mehta from India, Leo Tolstoy from Russia, John Ruskin from England, and Henry David Thoreau from America. 

gandhis_teachers

UNLV Social Work Professor Satish Sharma. Aaron Mayes UNLV Photo ServicesDr. Sharma shared that his earliest memories related to the idea of peace and nonviolence went back to childhood days and that “I have always favored pacifist tendencies and orientations, and practiced them.” With that orientation, it was only a matter of time that Dr. Sharma would become interested in the pacifists and peace-makers like Gandhi and others. Dr. Sharma adds that through his works he simply wanted people to think of Gandhi, his teachers, and their peace principles. He says: “You have to pay attention to peace and pacifism, you have to believe that without peace and pacifism your lives are going to be miserable, and nations’ lives are going to be miserable too.”

Dr. Sharma’s works on Gandhi’s teachers certainly add to that discussion. For the world, he says: “Ultimately the world is to be guided not by political leaders, but by visionaries. Ideas are much stronger than policies and planning. Ideas make the world go around. And only if they are peaceful ideas, are they going to work.”

UNLV co-sponsored Dr. Sharma’s research along with his publisher – Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad, India in which we visit on the Gandhi Legacy Tour of India.  His four-book series, published respectively in 2005, 2009, 2011, and 2013.

See:  Gandhi’s Teachers: Henry David Thoreau’ by Satish Sharma

Basic information about the five visionaries, what they were known for, and what were their main lessons that considerably impacted societies all around the world.

[Side note: Dr. Sharma invited Lynnea Bylund to talk to his students about the work of Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute and Gandhi Legacy Tour at UNLV on September 21, 2015 (International Peace Day). His graduate level course is: Issues in Diversity and Developing Multicultural Competence.]


Arun Gandhi – UN Keynote Address
A New Culture of Peace

Arun Gandhi is often asked during his speaking engagements and legacy tours what he says in “high-level” meetings to political leaders and he responds, “the same things I’m saying to you.”  The following webtv video provides a perfect example of this during his recent address at a high-level United Nations forum in New York.

In Arun Gandhi’s opening remarks, he said there is need to stop “exploiting people, religion, to gain our goals and ambitions. That is only the way we can bring peace through non-violence.”  World peace cannot be achieved unless individuals accept non-violence as a way of life, according to Arun Gandhi, grandson of the late Mahatma Gandhi.

Arun Gandhi was invited by UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa to address a high-level UN forum declaring a New Culture of Peace on September 9, 2015 in New York.  

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Bank-Ki Moon sat next to Arun Gandhi during his address.  “Mahatma Gandhi proved that the culture of peace can change the course of history. Let us carry on this legacy until we end the terrible suffering in our world and establish lasting peace,” the UN Secretary General said in his remarks to the General Assembly high-level forum on Culture of Peace.

Ban-Ki Moon recalled his visit to India in January this year, during when he had visited the Sabarmati Ashram. “It was a privilege to tour the ashram…I recalled Gandhi’s stern warning that,There will be no lasting peace on earth unless we learn not merely to tolerate but even to respect the other faiths as our own’,” the UN Chief said.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to share a message of peace with you all today,” said Arun Gandhi

See video and hear Arun Gandhi’s full remarks at:

UN WebTv:  Mahatma Gandhi’s 5th Grandson Arun Gandhi Gives Keynote Speech at India: General Assembly 69th Session High-Level Forum on a Culture of Peace

To find out more click here

 

lynnea2 The Board

Lynnea Bylund is managing director of Gandhi Legacy Tours, Director of Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, founder of Catalyst House and has nearly three decades of experience in administration, marketing and business development. She was a nationally recognized spokeswoman for the emerging alternative video and information delivery industries. She has a degree in holistic health-nutrition from the legendary and controversial health educator and activist Dr. Kurt Donsbach, she is the founder of two not-for-profit small business-based wireless trade associations and has lobbied on Capitol Hill and at the FCC where she has spoken out strongly against the cable TV monopoly, illegal spectrum warehousing and ill-conceived congressional schemes to auction our nation’s precious airwaves to the highest bidder.

Ms. Bylund is a founder and former CEO of a Washington DC telecommunications consulting and management company with holdings in several operating and developmental wireless communications systems and companies. In 1995 Lynnea became the first female in the world to be awarded a Broadband PCS operating permit – she was one of only 17 winners, along with Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon in the biggest cash auction in world history, raising a whopping $8 billion. Lynnea also spear-headed the successful effort to launch the first cable TV network in the South Pacific islands.

…     > Follow Lynnea on:  +LynneaBylund – Twitter – LinkedIn – FaceBook – Pinterest & YouTube 


GWEI Accepted by UN Economic and Social Council

United_Nations_Economic_and_Social_Council_chamber_New_York_City_2

United Nations Economic and Social Council chamber New York City 2

by MusikAnimalOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons.

 Gandhi Worldwide Accepted by United Nations Economic and Social Council
Special Consultative Status Bestowed on 
Gandhi Children’s NGO by UN

 

WACAUNDA, Ill., Aug. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — “The UN Consultative Status for our organization will enable us to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programs, funds and agencies in a number of ways,” stated Arun Gandhi, the organization’s founder and 5th grandson of the Mahatma Gandhi.

In a letter dated July 23, 2015 (World Peace Day, coincidently) the UN ECOSOC acting Chief Alberto Padova wrote: “The new status entitles the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute to designate official representatives to the United Nations Headquarters in New York and the United Nations offices in Geneva and Vienna… and you may designate authorized representatives to sit as observers at public meetings of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, General Assembly, Human Rights Council and other United Nations intergovernmental decision-making bodies.”

“This status will help future fund raising efforts and open up GWEI’s voice at the UN. GWEI will be allowed to host this status at our website and make it part of our grant detail, exec summary, business plan and press release narrative,” said Lynnea Bylund the GWEI director who marshaled the ECOSOC appointment initiative and application process over the past two years.

The ECOSOC Special Consultative Status is reserved for non-profit organizations. GWEI was approved by the United Nations department’s special committee to apply in August 2013. GWEI’s application and work was subsequently scheduled for review by 17 representatives from UN member countries On May 29, 2015, GWEI was officially recommended for Special Consultative Status.

“GWEI now has the option to attend meetings, provided written statements, make oral statements, organize parallel events, and participate in debates, dialogues, panel discussions and informal meetings. Human right issues, peace, security, poverty, status of woman’s issues, trafficking, child rights to education, sustainable development, social development, and technology are some of the issues GWEI will address,” added Lynnea Bylund.

In addition to the ECOSOC appointment Arun Gandhi has been invited by UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa to address a high-level UN forum declaring a New Culture of Peace on September 9, 2015 in New York.

About Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute

The Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, a 501c-3 charitable organization, has embarked on an ambitious multi-pronged program to help eradicate the scourge of poverty and human degradation. “Poverty is the worse form of violence,” Mahatma Gandhi said. The priority of the GWEI is to rescue children from the poorest sections of Indian society, those who are the first to become victims of criminal gangs; the second priority is to build local institutions that serve as shelters and learning centers, where the rescued children will receive essential nutrition and education – nourishment for body, mind, and soul. Visit Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute website and blog at www.gandhiforchildren.org for further information and/or to place a donation.

 

SOURCE: Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute


Arun Gandhi’s Address in Piertermaritzburg June 7, 2015

AGP

Another spot on address by Arun Gandhi in Piertermaritzburg during the Satyagraha Tour of South Africa. He talks about the purpose of the Gandhi Legacy Tour in South Africa.  

He continues on with: “The thing that touches me most about my grandfather, is the statement that he made just a month or so before his assassination, when a journalist asked him, what do you think is going to happen after your passing to your philosophy?  And he made a very prophetic remark when he said, “the people will follow me in life, worship me in death, but not make my cause their cause.”  That unfortunately, is the tragedy with not just my grandfather, but for all the great people.  We elevate them to saint hood, we worship them after death, but we will not make their cause our cause.  Their cause was to ensure that we bring peace in this world and live in harmony and oneness.”

Watch the following YouTube video to hear Arun’s full message.

Arun notes, that he is honored to address the Pietermartizburg community a second year in a row during the Satyagraha Tour of SA, on the anniversary of this significant event in his grandfather Mohandas Gandhi’s life.

Mohandas Gandhi, the evening of 7 June 1893, was thrown off a train at the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station.

“I was afraid for my very life. I entered the dark waiting-room. There was a white man in the room. I was afraid of him. What was my duty? I asked myself. Should I go back to India, or should I go forward with God as my helper, and face whatever was in store for me? I decided to stay and suffer. My active non-violence began from that date”. Gandhi

Gandhi Satyagraha Tour of South Africa 2015

 


Violence Running Rampant!

Originally posted @GWEI 

Violence runs rampant in these austere times. An embodiment of the concept would certainly manifest as the Hydra itself, theSea Monster multi-headed serpent monster from ancient Greek mythology, a monster which Hercules himself had difficulty slaying.

Mimicking the Hydra, violence is manifold and ruthless. In today’s world, where there is mass profit from maintaining perpetual tragedies such as war, obtaining any leverage over this beast is an absolutely Herculean task.

Despite the seemingly infinite difficulties that one who chooses to walk nonviolent a path has before them, many, such as Mohandas Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King and Bell Hooks, have boldly endured innumerable gauntlets and tirelessly worked against powers terrifyingly dedicated to the preservation of global suffering, powers operating in the name of ephemeral trinkets such as money and status.

These people, some of whom can be named by grade-school children, others whose names have faded into the aether, laid the groundwork for future generations to blaze formerly unforeseen trails to a world transformed.

I consider myself one of these freshly hatched trailblazers; I’ve spent the last four of my nineteen years of life coming to political consciousness and obtaining skills that have allowed me to work against violence in its various manifestations in my life, and the world more broadly.

In the past four years, I’ve been apart of various projects dedicated to the eradication of violence and the implementation of justice. From pushing the public school system in my home city, Washington, D.C, to adopt restorative justice in various DC public schools utilizing photography and personal stories, to co-creating a theatre piece about real-life experiences with systems of oppression – and many other experiences and opportunities – these past four years have been integral to the formulation of who I am currently.

And who I am currently is still in a process of growth and discovery despite the spectacular aforementioned experiences I’ve had. Who I am currently yearns to learn, do, and grow indefinitely. Which is exactly why I came to the Gandhi Institute in September to work as a Program Intern. (Read more…)

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Gandhi Tour Grants for Youth!

Originally Posted at GWEI

Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute (“GWEI”) Board of Directors has established the “Essay of Excellence”, a youth “Gandhi Legacy Tour Travel Grant” program.  

Two travel grants will be awarded annually – one for the Gandhi Legacy Tour of India (Dec 29 – Jan 12, 2015-2016) and the other for the Satyagraha Tour of South Africa (May 31 – June 15, 2015.)  Both tours will be led by Arun Gandhi and his son Tushar.

GandhiInstitute Aligning with with United Nations Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC)  Youth Forum, admonition “Giving young people a voice in development”, GWEI partnered with the Rochester, NY-based MK Gandhi Institute of Nonviolence and Gandhi Legacy Tour (“GLT”) to take the next step towards giving youth a voice in international development.  “Being that there are nearly 2 billion young people in the world, their broadened point of view is essential in being, shaping, and developing the sustainable future they envision.” stated Lynnea Bylund, Director GWEI and Gandhi Legacy Tour.

GWEI approved the first Gandhi Legacy Tour Travel Grant for two 19 year old youths, Malik Thompson and Yohada Miller. Both were identified and recommended by Kit Miller, Director of the MK Gandhi Institute of Nonviolence based in Rochester, New York.

The first GWEI Travel Grant is for the upcoming Satyagraha Tour of South Africa and optional excursion will begin at the Cradle of Humankind May 30 through June 15, 2015.  “In partnership GWEI, Gandhi Legacy Tour, and MK Gandhi Institute take this next step forward in order to open up the opportunity for many youths to explore and advocate young people’s sustainable development priorities in the future.” states Arun Gandhi.

Malik Thompson Gandhi tour grant recipient

Malik Thompson

Malik Thompson, a nineteen year-old cis Black queer-romantic grey ace hails from DC, where he recently finished his senior year of high school and is overjoyed to join the Gandhi House and larger Rochester community. His work in DC involved using theater to raise awareness with various social justice issues, by using photography as a storytelling medium to get policy for restorative justice programs implemented in DC public schools; and using videography as a tool to give those most misrepresented in mainstream media the ability to tell their stories. Malik enjoys reading, writing, taking photographs, finding holistic ways to tend to his body, and solitude. (Read more…)


Meet Rajendra Singh – The Waterman of India

Rajendra Singh the Waterman of IndiaA tip of the hat goes to Tushar Gandhi for introducing us to this amazing innovator …

Rajendra Singh is a man on a mission – he wants to stop a Third World War from breaking out because of water shortage. Singh, known as the “waterman of India”, is a celebrated water reclaimationist from the Alwar district of Rajasthan India. Singh won the Stockholm Water Prize, an award known as “the Nobel Prize for water”, in 2015. The prize honors individuals, organizations and institutions whose work contributes to the conservation and protection of water resources, and to the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants.

Previously, Singh won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership in 2001 for his pioneering work in community-based efforts in water harvesting and water management.  He runs an NGO called ‘Tarun Bharat Sangh‘, based in village Kishori-Bhikampura in Thanagazi tehsil, near the Sariska Tiger Reserve, and has helped villagers take charge of water management in their semi-arid area through the use of johad rainwater storage tanks, check dams and other time-tested as well as path-breaking techniques. Starting from a single village in 1985, over the years TBS helped build over 8,600 johads and other water conservation structures to collect rainwater for the dry seasons, has brought water back to over 1,000 villages and revived five rivers in Rajasthan, Arvari, Ruparel, Sarsa, Bhagani and Jahajwali.

The Grand Ancient Science of Aquifers

Singh learned to know the sense of flow and the science of aquifers before adopting water conservation methods, “Know the earth, its curves, and soil and water flow before setting out to conserve water,” Singh says. “The balance between the subsurface, the underground, and deep underground should be maintained.”

“The johad is key to revitalizing the natural remaining aquifers of an otherwise arid area,” says Singh. 

(Read more…)


Loony 911 Theories, When Will They Ever End?

loony 911 theoriesStudents of the historical record are ever mindful that for every significant catastrophe there typically will be at least one, and more often several bizarre conspiracy theories that spring up around it. “The CIA killed Bob Marley“, “The Pope had John Lennon whacked”, “Hitler was half space alien,” etc. The larger the event, the more ridiculous and numerous are the conspiracy rantings which circulate in relation to it.

So it’s not surprising at all that the events of September 11th, 2001 have precipitated their fair share of these ludicrous fairy tales. And as always, there is – sadly – a small but gullible percentage of the population eager to lap up these tall tales, regardless of facts or rational analysis.

wingnut  batshit loony 911 theoriesBut alas, the incessant 9/11 conspiracy theory bleating is slowly and thankfully grinding to a halt. Other than the fundamental incoherence of their loony theories, the downfall of the “9/11 denier” juggernaut was good old-fashioned skepticism at its best, the kind that conjures visions of James Randi challenging psychics and faith healers on their home turfs and winning.

Staking their fortunes almost solely on Internet-based content may have been the 9/11 deniers’ biggest mistake — the Internet is un-edited, without fact-checkers or minimum publishing standards of any kind — also became a perfect place for a rapid-response system of blogs and forums to fight back. Drawing on the freely available technical information from the NIST, FEMA, and academic journals which most colleges let their students access for free.

It is with the above observations in mind we provide this insightful video from the Corbett Report. Enjoy and Wake Up, America!  Stop indulging in loony wingnut batsh*t conspiracy theories.  Case closed!

(Read more…)


Hilarious Big Pharma Exposé

The ineffable John Oliver slammed into the uber corrupt practices of the ‘Big Pharma’ industry in a 15-minute rant last week that really takes the cake!.

It’s a great video exposes just how deeply invested Big Pharma is in luring MDs to prescribe their drugs to millions of people, regardless of the efficacy. In fact, Oliver reveals, that Big Pharma spends much more on marketing to doctors than it does on research, or to marketing to us in television advertising.

Why? Because we trust our doctors.
And if they say here take this pill, we usually will.

Among the really alarming facts in Oliver’s careful dissection of the issue are some pretty hilarious lines. At one point the Oliver compares drug companies to high school boyfriends: “They’re much more interested in getting inside you than in being effective once they are there.”

There have been tiny glimmers of reform in Big Pharma’s dishonest practices: Pharmaceutical reps are not allowed to take doctors out for lavish meals all the time, now. And the Affordable Care Act has helped set up a website which enables you to look up whose money your doctor is taking.

(Read more…)


Finally, Net Neutrality is Within Sight

net 1Today, we celebrated. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has signaled that the Commission is finally making real progress on net neutrality. But the fight isn’t over by a long shot.

Proponents of net neutrality claim that big telecom companies seek to impose a tiered service model in order to control the pipeline and thereby remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and oblige subscribers to buy their otherwise uncompetitive services. Many believe net neutrality to be primarily important as a preservation of current freedoms. Prominent supporters of net neutrality include Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet Protocol, and Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web.

See also: Secret Multi-Billion Dollar Wireless Scam, Reed Hundt’s True Legacy

Until recently “net neutrality” was little more than a buzzword to most Americans, an arcane concept within an equally arcane sector of telecommunications law. But fierce resistance to a plan proposed last spring by Chairman Wheeler that Internet advocates said would have undermined net neutrality — the concept that all data on the Net must be treated equally by Internet service providers (ISPs) — has pushed this once obscure idea into the DC limelight.

Joshua Kopstein at Al Jazeera America

“The plan Wheeler announced last May would have permitted ISPs such as Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner to give faster, priority access to sites and services able to pay for it as long as those deals were deemed commercially reasonable. But in a surprising about-face, he is now proposing rules that ban that practice by treating wired and wireless broadband Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — much like the telephone system.”

But Wheeler has changed his tune for the better –

“The Internet must be fast, fair and open. That is the message I’ve heard from consumers and innovators across this nation,” Wheeler wrote today in an article for Wired. “That is the principle that has enabled the Internet to become an unprecedented platform for innovation and human expression … The proposal I present to the commission will ensure the Internet remains open, now and in the future, for all Americans.”

This sudden turnabout of recent months has shocked the big telecoms and even net neutrality advocates, who until recently had relatively few powerful allies in their corner. (Read more…)


Gandhi For Children EarthDome Development Update

Originally Posted on the Gandhi For Children website:  AVANI Eco-Dome Development Update 2014

We have a composite of images & notes relating to the AVANI Domes progress…

Just in time for the monsoon rains last September, the exterior of the main dome structure at the five acre site was completed. The rains actually assisted in the curing and hardening process of the mud based plaster finish.*

Aruna and Mehndi at Gandhi CenterRegistering for College 
Aruna and Mehndi glance at a copy of the college admissions paperwork for the school of science and math. Aruna will be the first AVANI student to continue with her education past the 10th grade. She is determined to become a doctor.

Super Adobe Dome
The super adobe technique of sustainable construction has been around for hundreds of years. The method has been refined throughout the past 40 years to utilize simplified assembly so non-architects and non-engineers can build their own domes.

(Read more…)


KonectIDY Interviews Arun Gandhi

“We must bring solace to suffering humanity!”

arun braceletKonectIDY sat down with Arun Gandhi to learn more about the motivation behind this extraordinary man’s lifetime of service as an ambassador of peace and non-violence, and why he believes it is important for all people worldwide – to buy, wear and share his “Gandhi For Children” bracelet.

Q – Who was Mahatma Gandhi to you? What did Gandhi mean to you personally? Please share a story or experience in how your grandfather most influenced or inspired your life?

Arun Gandhi – Personally, Gandhi was my Grandfather and a “light” that guides me in my quest for the purpose in my life. He taught me the value of humility and simplicity the two hall marks of his own life. I think the most important lesson he taught me was that we commit violence in two forms — physical and passive. Physical is the kind of violence where physical force is used, examples, fighting, kicking, wars, murders, rapes etc. Passive violence is more insidious since it hurts people emotionally, economically, spiritually, morally etc. Often without any contact. Examples — exploitation of all kinds, racism and prejudice of various kinds, wasting resources, greed, etc. For instance the US alone wastes $120 billion worth of food every year when half the world dies of hunger. This attitude has given rise to a Culture of Violence that dominates all aspects of our lives — sports, entertainment, economics, religion, relationships etc. It is impossible to build peace if we continue to subscribe to the Culture of Violence. Importantly, Peace is not the absence of war. ghandi_worldwide_bracelet AAA

Q – Who was Mahatma Gandhi to you? What did Gandhi mean to you personally? Please share a story or experience in how your grandfather most influenced or inspired your life?

Arun Gandhi – He taught me that the Culture of Violence can be overcome if we recognize and bring forth our inherent compassion, love, respect, understanding and positive aspects of our emotions and suppress the hate, prejudice, anger, frustration, greed etc which seems to dominate us because we prefer the Culture of Violence. Civilization does not mean that we humans be good and compassionate selectively, it should dominate our life.

Q – Children unify us. Tell me a story of when you forgot yourself by virtue of loving or helping a child.

Arun Gandhi – When we are dominated by love, compassion and respect then the self merges into life, all life. Then the important thing is to remove the pain and distress of others and not be obsessed with the self. The agony of children moves us more than the agony of older people because children are helpless. (Read more…)


IonField Toothbrush

Dear Catalyst House Friends,

Let  me introduce the IonField Toothbrush:

As we head into the straightaway towards the Christmas holidays, many of you will be wondering what to give as gifts to family, friends, business associates, and others whom you want to remember in this time of acknowledgement and appreciation. We have a suggestion.

The only qualifiers for the recipients of this gift is that they are still curious about new ideas, and that they still have teeth. If they pass that screening test, it is likely that they will be delighted to receive an IonField Toothbrush on any occasion.

This brush works for all ages, genders, nationalities, and professions (even dentists). And since this is probably one item that most people have never heard of and therefore never considered, we observe that no one seems disappointed when they open the package. They don’t have to think, “Oh no, not another one of these” or “But this isn’t my color” or “I don’t have time to read this” or any of the thousands of other issues which we all have but seldom express. They will just look puzzled.

ionfield tb 1…???

Then you let them read the enclosed Instruction Sheet (see below), and their faces will change. And the next time you see them, they will say, “Wow, that brush really works! THANKS!”

Here are some unedited testimonials from happy recipients:

“My own experience is that after the first brushing my teeth felt so wonderfully smooth and fresh, just like that hygienist-cleaned feeling. Two weeks later at a regular checkup, my dentist thought they were so pristine that I didn’t need any cleaning from him at all. And I normally have quite a bit of plaque.

After trying one himself for a month he ordered two more for his family. He is a particularly well-researched non-amalgam-based dentist. His understanding of the process was that the ionic charge around the toothbrush head changed the ionic charge on the tooth surface so that bacteria found it harder to stick.

D. R., New Zealand

“Holy cow, I am amazed after using the IonField toothbrush for the first time (with no toothpaste). My teeth felt cleaner than after a professional cleaning by the dentist, and I only brushed for about a minute. No more chemically-laden toothpaste or mouthwash for me!

P.S. It’s day three using the IonField Toothbrush once each day. Tea and tobacco staining have already decreased noticeably. The effect is equally apparent on my porcelain crowns as well as my own teeth. Incredible!”

Lee, British Columbia (Read more…)


The REAL Legacy of Columbus

rethinking columbus day and the real first world war

“World War I.” That title should rightly go to the first true global conflict, Europe’s genocidal invasion of other regions that began in the final decade of the 15th century after Columbus landed on Hispaniola in 1492. While European historians have often downplayed the ferocity, extent and significance of that earlier conflict by treating it as a diffuse historical process, but if we accept that view it disables our understanding of everything that has happened since then.

Columbus never set foot in the land that would become the United States of America. In fact, he never even saw it. As few are likely to know much about what really happened, I will recount some salient points…

His four voyages took him to the Caribbean, a small detour to Central America, and a hop to the north-east coast of Venezuela. He had no idea the continent of North America existed, or that he had even stumbled into a “New World”. He thought he had found China, Japan, and the region of King Solomon’s fabled gold mines.

columbus day is terribleWhat he had categorically not done was “discover” anything, as somewhere between 50 to 100 million people already lived there quite happily, just as they had done for tens of thousands of years. On the other hand, what he did was to start a brutal slave trade in American Indians, and usher in four centuries of genocide that culled them to virtual extinction. Within a generation of Columbus landing, perhaps only 5-10 per cent of the entire American Indian population remained.

Ten years after Columbus landed on Hispaniola its indigenous people were extinct. Columbus in correspondance to his royal sponsors in Spain said they were “loving, uncovetous people,” with “good features and beautiful eyes,” who “neither carried weapons nor understood the use of such things.” Yet many were tortured to death in a vain attempt to get them to reveal non-existent hoards of gold and others worked to death or driven to suicide. Such gratuitous violence continued as Europeans extended their domains in the “New World.” (The Real First World War)

Many of the smaller tribes followed the Arawak of Hispaniola into extinction while the populations of larger groups fell by as much as 85 percent, victims not only of indiscriminate violence but of induced famines and new diseases to which they had no immunity. The spread of smallpox through blankets distributed free to Native Americans and the wanton slaughter of the great herds of bison on which the “Plains Indians” depended for food, clothing and shelter were the most outrageous cases of genocide. Estimates of the numbers killed range up to 100 million.

(Read more…)


Happy Birthday, Grandfather!

 Original Post Source by Arun Gandhi:  Gandhi Day Message

 Bapu and Kasturba

Artist Gary Manson from Gatlinburg, Tennessee

 

Gandhi Day Message

Gandhi was born October 2, 1869 

One hundred and forty-five years ago Mohandas K. Gandhi was born in an innocuous town in Western India and no one imagined he would become an Apostle of peace, love and humanity.  He was killed 66 years ago leaving the world a legacy of goodness, compassion and the way to achieve true civilization. 

Instead the world decided to go in the opposite direction, the direction of materialism and militarism, both antithetical to the concept of civilization.  The result is in 1914 the world was embroiled in the first World War which devastated scores of millions of lives.  Now, coincidentally, in 2014 we are tottering on the brink of World War III? 

Materialism and militarism, the twin evils, have led humanity to a life of crime, violence and wars causing the deaths of more than 300 million people in one century.  Yet, we refuse to learn anything from the dehumanizing and devastating way of life and behave as though we are trapped in a downward spiral and can do nothing about it

After a lecture on Nonviolence In The 21st Century a 17 year old high school student asked me: What do you think your grandfather would have done if he was alive today?  It is a difficult question to speculate on  but I do know grandfather had an immense store of compassion and confidence in the goodness of human beings.  If he was alive today he would have started all over again working to change humanity.  He firmly believed that a society will change only when people change.  Which is why he repeatedly reminded us: WE MUST BECOME THE CHANGE WE WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD! 

The philosophy of nonviolence that he left as a legacy is not, I repeat NOT, simply a peaceful way of resolving conflicts.  If understood in depth, it is a means of personal transformation.  So, to paraphrase President John F. Kennedy:  Ask not what the world can do for you, ask what you can do for your world!   

 

 


Zulu Traditional Culture

Original Post Source: Gandhi Legacy Tour

 

Zulu Traditional Dance: Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park Departure back to Durban, South Africa

 

Stunning Zulu’s practicing a traditional dance and chant at a local community center in South Africa close to the Mozambique boarder. We happen to spot the group driving down the road after leaving the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park a Safari Game Reserve on our way back to Durban. David my driver notices them first, backs the car up, and we park on the side of the road to watch. The group of youth spot us as they step it up performing like warriors.

Initially, I could not make out who the leader of the chant was; he then breaks from the group, steps in front so we can clearly see him, his naked chest, and chants as the rest of the boys continue to dance. After he clearly indicates that he is the leader, he takes his place back into the line-up.

What a beautiful sight, I thank them before we pull off with a Namaste gesture.

 

Gandhi Legacy Tour: http://www.gandhitour.info

The South Africa Gandhi Legacy Tour May-June 2015 Itinerary, led by Arun Gandhi (Sign-up deadline March 25, 2015)

Original Gandhi Legacy Tour of India, led by Arun Gandhi (Sign-up deadline 9/2/2014)

 “The Gandhi Legacy Tour, led by Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, and great grandson, Tushar Gandhi, for the past several years is unusual in that it does not focus on places of tourist interest but places of human interest. It is designed to educate …

” … in the essence of Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence and how individuals can apply it to bring about socio-economic change. The tour visits rural India and urban slums to see and compare projects helping to make the change we wish to see in the world. Gandhi believed in creating a “Sarvodaya” society — a society where everyone would enjoy a reasonably good standard of living with attendant rights and privileges.

“Join the tour and … Become the Change You Wish to See in The World!”

 http://www.gandhitour.info/sign-up/ (Read more…)


Cloud Computing, Work-Life Balance and You

Originally post at Cloud9RealTime

paradigm-shift

While the U.S. economy sluggishly climbs back up (fingers crossed), many or most of America’s small business operators are toiling harder than ever. In fact, business owners typically spend so much time managing their companies, there’s scant time left to grow their companies, let alone achieve an optimal work-life balance.

The Challenge of Growth

Growing a small enterprise is a hefty challenge and, sadly speaking, other elements of life often take a backseat; recreation, relationships, even family are left with less attention as the company takes on a most demanding life of its own.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is U.S. females managing small businesses who will create 1/3rd of the 16 million new employment jobs projected by 2018. Yet, women also carry the bulk of weight on their home front. Locating the right balance between work and life can feel overwhelming, even unbearable.

Take heart, there’s good news. Today’s technologies can streamline many aspects of our daily lives, and businesses are not different. Technology can simplify the functions of a business and provide owners the opportunity to recover a big chunk of their private lives by decreasing hours spent on core time-depleting responsibilities, while gaining increased business insight and oversight.

(Read more…)


Arun Gandhi to Receive an Ambassador of Peace Award
in Los Angeles July 10th 2014

An Event Dedicated to World Peace: Join in and Be the Change!

Gandhi_Arun-Photo_HEADSHOT_2011_Photo_Credit_Scott_Kafora_rdax_250x333Dr. Arun Gandhi will be presented an “Ambassador of Peace” award, plus give Keynote Address, July 10th at the “Third International Hispanic-American Poetry Congress” held at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The “Ambassador of Peace” award will be presented by 1985 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (“IPPNW”) participant, Dr. Ernesto Kahan who is a physician and poet. 

Dr. Gandhi’s book, Legacy of Love” is being translated into Spanish, published, presented, and available for sale for the first time at the “Third International Hispanic-American Poetry Congress” July 6 – 12th. The Spanish title, “Legado de Amor,” is being translated by distinguished Venezuelan Poet Carmen Rojas Larrazabal, available online, and in print by: “Editorial Pescar con Redes de Luz.” Dr. Gandhi will receive a certificate from the “North American Academy of the Spanish Language” for his contribution of “Legado de Amor” into the Spanish literary archives.

Dr. Gandhi will also be presented an official diploma of recognition for his leadership role in cultivating World Peace and Nonviolence through Education on Friday, July 11th at the Los Angeles City Hall.

The events mission is to bring international poets and writers together to explore the meaning of the word “Peace” through, literature, arts, and music. The Congress aims at inspiring “reflection into action,” guided by the universal words and wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” The goal of the Congress is to create awareness, understanding, and unity in diversity, activating each other’s consciousness and renewing our profound commitment to “World Peace” through artistic expression and empowering each other as “Positive Change Agents.” 

Highlights for the upcoming program include, participation of the former United States Poet Laureate, Mr. Robert Pinsky, who will present his first Spanish poetry book “Ginza Samba,” followed by a poetry recital accompanied by Jazz music. Also, distinguished French philosopher, Mr. Guy Crequie, a spokesperson for UNESCO, will offer two presentations on World Peace. The event also includes:   

• Art Exhibits 

• Book Presentations  

• Colloquium and Literary Discussion Panels 

 • Concerts 

• Documentaries Presentations  

• Historic and Cultural Tour 

• Literary Lectures 

• Music and Folkloric Dance Performances 

• Poetry Recitals 

• Theatrical Performances  

• Workshops

Participants in the upcoming event: Los Angeles Children’s Choir, Grammy Award winner Pauline Aguirre, Museum of Tolerance, Heal the Bay, Placido Domingo, Dr. Luis Alberto Ambroggio from the American Academy of the Spanish Language, UNESCO and many others.  

The event will be produced by “Arts and Poetry for Peace Foundation,” Artistic Director Mr. Alfie Martin, from Warner Brothers Studios. This event is endorsed by the World Academy of Arts and Culture through UNESCO. See more @ www.sipeaiberoamericana.com.

Dr. Arun Gandhi interview for event publication: Arts and Poetry for Peace Magazine  

(Read more…)


First Satyagraha Tour of South Africa
Led by Arun Gandhi, Embarks This Week

News Announcement Originally Posted at Gandhi Legacy Tour

(PRLEAP.COM) Dana Point, CA May 25, 2014: The inaugural Satyagraha Tour of South Africa enjoys organic synchronicity of critical historical dates of both Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.  Highlights include following the path of Gandhi’s travels, initially arriving in Durban, and ultimately departing from Cape Town for his return to India to begin the next phase of his legacy:

Gandhi first arrived in South Africa as a fledgling lawyer in May 1893.

Our arrival to Gandhi’s first ashram, the Phoenix Settlement, occurs on the 97th anniversary of Gandhi’s family move there.

We will board the sleeper train on the 121st anniversary of Gandhi’s removal from that train, which changed the course of history.

We visit Robben Island, the prison that held Mandela for 18 years, on the 50th anniversary of Mandela’s life sentence for sabotage against the Apartheid government of South Africa.

We depart Cape Town on the eve of Gandhi’s 100th anniversary of his very own departure from Cape Town back to India.

Also scheduled are special meetings with historic figures that played a significant role in the fight for freedom during Apartheid, like Ahmed Kathrada and Ela Gandhi, Gandhi’s granddaughter who spent years under house arrest for her South African activism.

There’s something in all of us that hungers after the good and true, and when we glimpse it in people, we applaud them for it. Through them we let the world’s pain into our hearts, and we find compassion. When things go wrong or have been terribly wrong for some time, their inspiration reminds us of the tenderness for life that we can all feel.”   Archbishop Desmond Tutu

As a part of the first Satyagraha Legacy Tour of South Africa, there are several projects we visit that are aligned to Gandhi’s principals and are geared toward giving back, including: (Read more…)


True Government Transparency, is Bitcoin the Answer?

Bitcoin, that digital ‘crypto’ currency that we have blogged about several times over the years, by default provides an automated public ledger – a techno-currency that provides trading value instantaneously without the added ‘friction’ and third-party (banking) profiteering.   Bitcoin is impossible to counterfeit and promises many amazingly apparent uses, including government openness and transparency.

In principle, such crypto-currency could finally bring transparency to governments.

Bitcoin transactions are ‘anonymous’ because senders and receivers are represented by long sequences of code (Bitcoin wallet addresses) in lieu of personal data, but  its public ledger logs every single transaction to provide the ultimate transparency.

“[But] don’t confuse anonymity with privacy,” writes Eric Blair at Activist Post. “Anonymity means ‘we know what you’re doing but we don’t know who you are’, while privacy means ‘we know who you are but we don’t know what you’re doing’. The U.S. government seems to be increasingly outlawing both anonymity and privacy for citizens while it simultaneously becomes more secretive. This path is truly the antithesis of a free society.  Yet, this lack of transparency for government and privacy for average citizens can be reversed if the government embraced bitcoin technology.”

Adds Blair: “For example, imagine paying at the gas pump and the funds are immediately dispersed to the proper accounts; to the gas station’s wallet, $.20 per gallon to the federal government roads’ wallet, and about $.30 per gallon to your state’s road wallet (exact fuel taxes here). Not only is this far more efficient than current systems, but let’s follow this through a bit more. Now imagine that the government’s wallets are public where anyone can view income and expenditures in real time.”

(Read more…)

Incoming search terms:


Enough IS Enough…!

Originally Posted: When is Enough, Enough?

Enough IS Enough…!


http://www.jcckc.org/The senseless shooting at the Jewish Center in Kansas City yesterday, and the loss of three innocent lives, must not be brushed aside as yet another hate-monger gone mad. Hate is a sickness that is stoked by a society that continuously divides people by religion, nationality, economics, social standings, gender, philosophy, orientation, and every other means we can keep people apart. It is time we wake up to find a cure for this malady rather than brush such incidents under the carpet.

The victims of this horrible crime deserve the sympathy of every human who believes in a civilized society. Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. said Hate can only be overcome with love, not punishment. Remembering all the evil events of history only feeds evil, it does not eliminate it. The salvation for this world lies only in accepting everyone as equal and human and not define people by the labels that divide and keep people apart.

(Read more…)


Grandfather Gandhi’s Life Style by Arun Gandhi

Grandfather Gandhi Illustration © Evan Turk

Grandfather Gandhi Illustration © Evan Turk

Grandfather Gandhi’s Life Style 

By Arun Gandhi, 5th grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

People often wonder why Grandfather Gandhi was mostly half-naked as the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, once described him. He chose this garb because he found that a large number of people in India were so poor that they could not afford to wear any more clothes than was necessary to hide their nakedness. Grandfather was emotionally devastated to see their plight and decided that if he was going to be their leader he should not wear any more clothes than them.

When he became frugal in his attire he, naturally, adopted poverty in life as well. He established ashrams, which is an Indian term for a community living together as one big family. Those who chose to join him had to live simply, so that others could simply live. They were allowed to wear more clothes than he did but the homes were made of mud and bamboo, like the huts of the poor, and the food was simple. The community worked in the fields to produce their own food. It was not just an outward show of sympathy with the poor but a genuine emotional bond which made him a beloved leader of the poor and the rich.

I lived with him in the community called Sevagram — a combination of two Indian words — Seva meaning service and gram meaning village. So the community was serving themselves and the neighboring poor. All the structures were made of bamboo and mud and thatched roofs with mud floors. There was minimum furniture — just beds made of bamboo frame and a web of rope. For everything else we sat on the floor. The reason why we could not sleep on the floor was because the area was famous for the deadly cobra snakes and no one wanted to encourage them to come snuggle at night!

The homes in Sevagram had no toilets or bathrooms. There was a separate block of toilets and bathrooms at the edge of the property because there were no modern water closets as we have now. There were buckets — one to collect the urine and the other for fecal matter. No one wanted the smell to pervade their homes so they were far away which made it difficult for people who had to go at night.

There was no electricity so we had to use oil lanterns. The result was that people retired early at night and got up very early in the morning. Gandhi adopted this life-style not because he was a crank but because he felt that a good leader must identify himself or herself with the poorest among them. This is why he became the most beloved leader of the 20th century!

Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi, Bethany Hegedus Illustrated by Evan Turk

Originally published at Gandhi Legacy Tour here: Grandfather Gandhi’s Life Style


Happy Persian New Year and
International Day of Happiness

Happy Persian Nowruz 

Eideh shoma mobarak!

“Eideh shoma mobarak ” is on everyone’s lips during the
12-day celebration, which is “Happy New Year” in Farsi.

On the Nowruz, Persians set a “haft sin ” table to gather around awaiting for the exact moment of arrival of Spring.  At that time gifts are exchanged with family and loved ones. All dress in gifts of new cloths to start the twelve-day celebration. 

Persian New Year celebration — Haft-Sin

The tradition is in harmony with the rebirth of nature, the Iranian New Year Celebration, or Nowruz, always begins on the first day of Spring.  Nowruz ceremonies are symbolic representations of two ancient concepts – the End and the Rebirth; or Good and Evil. A few weeks before the New Year, Iranians clean and rearrange their homes. 

Persians make new clothes, bake pastries and germinate seeds as sign of renewal. The ceremonial cloth is set up in each household.  Troubadours, referred to as Haji Firuz, disguise themselves with makeup and wear brightly colored outfits of satin. These Haji Firuz, singing and dancing, parade as a carnival through the streets with tambourines, kettle drums, and trumpets to spread good cheer and the news of the coming new year.        

During the Celebration there is a part of the ceremony called Chahar Shanbeh Suri where everyone jump over fire “light” for enlightenment and happiness for the upcoming year. 

Fire (Read more…)


THE COURAGE TO BECOME

Hal EdwardsTHE COURAGE TO BECOME

Here I am

Approaching eighty

And I remain

Perfectly incomplete,

Facing my angels and demons,

Trudging and soaring

Through the uncharted

Times and throes

Of my own existence.

 

What will it take to

Graduate beyond

“looking into the glass darkly?”

What will it take to

Reside consistently

In Nirvana,

“See things face to face”

 and

Be completely at peace

With myself

In all circumstances?

 

Oh, I keep waiting for,

Looking for,

The Golden Ring,

The ring of power

And Wisdom,

And presence,

And perfection.

  (Read more…)


Not-Two Is Peace

Not-Two Is Peace

Not-Two Is Peace  

By Adi Da

         Adi Da presents a uniquely comprehensive address to the global crisis. He points out that we not only face an unprecedented threat to the survival of life on this planet, but that our current methods for addressing global crises simply won’t work. The system is broken, and the endlessly recycled conventional “solutions” are obsolete.                                                               

            For example, our attempts at resolving global conflict, along with a host of inter-related environmental and resource issues, are hamstrung by an outmoded global structure of  “tribalism”, where all “solutions” lie in the hands of separate states and interest groups, which – when not actively engaged in creating these very same problems – come together primarily to advance their own agendas rather than work for the good of humanity as a whole.

             To take us beyond tribalism and the forces that feed it, Adi Da identifies a number of developments that need to occur, three of which, taken together, will enable and reinforce each other. By addressing the root source of our current problems, they constitute our best options for survival.

             The creation of a Global Cooperative Forum that, unlike the United Nations, consists of a body of representatives each of whom represents NOT a state, region, or faction but ONLY the interests of humanity as a whole. The Forum will build the practical communication structures and organizational mechanisms to give collective voice to the people of the world and would approach global matters as one living process, rather than as a multiplicity of competing issues. It will also engage in a wide array of humanitarian, educational, diplomatic, and organizational functions, often in collaboration with other organizations.

             The mobilization of Everybody-All-At-Once to insist that world leaders actually make the changes formulated by the Global Cooperative Forum for the benefit of humanity.   

Using our existing network of global communications, this mobilization will allow individuals worldwide to take a proactive role in addressing issues, rather than settling for the traditional politics of reactivity, where a parental government proposes and its citizens merely respond, either positively or negatively.

             A shift in consciousness that takes us beyond conventional notions of the oneness of humanity. This is in fact the central concept of Not-Two Is Peace – and perhaps the most challenging. It points to a unity that is non-material, but which is the “root-context of existence,” the structure of reality itself, as ancient seers have declared and modern physics has demonstrated. Adi Da calls it “prior” unity to indicate a unity that is, first of all, already the case. And, secondly, that it is realized in our actions only by presuming it to be already the case, rather than seeking for it. 

            Is it naive to expect changes of such magnitude? Adi Da points out that it “is not naive to suggest and expect a profound change in the conducting of global human affairs when those who could make the demand for change number in the billions. Nor is it folly to try to re-orient humankind when the only alternative is universal slavery and the culture of death.”

The complete book is available to be read at http://www.da-peace.org.

Copies can be ordered at http://www.dawnhorsepress.com.

 


Catalyst House