How you can contribute to Live Encounters Magazine

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Live Encounters is a not-for-profit free online magazine that was started in 2009 in Bali, Indonesia. It showcases some of the best writing from around the world.Civil and human rights activists, animal rights activists, poets, writers, journalists, social workers and more have contributed their time and knowledge for the benefit of the readers of the magazine.

We are appealing for donations to pay for the administrative and technical aspects of the publication. Please help spread the free distribution of knowledge with any amount that you feel you want to give for this just cause.

Every donor will have his/her name published (if they so desire) in following issues. Also, we will email you every issue.

Peace and God Bless

Mark Ulyseas
Live Encounters Magazine

Breaking News -Treasure worth over US$20 Billion found in a Kerala temple

News Report

Kerala’s Padmanabha Swami Temple richest; overtakes Tirupati

4 Jul, 2011, 01.22PM IST

By: S Sanandakumar,ET Bureau

Till a week ago, the Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple in Thiruvananthapuram was just one among the popular Vaishnavite temples dotting the state’s spiritual landscape. But halfway through an inventory assessment done by a team of observers following a Supreme Court directive, it has emerged as probably the richest temple in the country.

The story unfolding in the state capital has all the elements of an Amar Chitra Katha – an ancient temple, cellars lying unopened for centuries, a forgotten treasure worth thousands of crores (one crore is 10 million)  etc.

Mounds of precious gems, lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of gold coins, diamond studded crowns, idols in gold, long gold chains, gold rings and bars, gold barrels etc., were discovered when the metal doors of the secret cellar were opened.

Several bags of coins from the erstwhile Travancore Royal Family rule, coins from the Napoleonic era and the East India Company period were also discovered from the secret cellars of the temple.

Rough estimate of the value of the treasure so far unearthed is around US$ 20 Billion. The figure is almost double the wealth of the Tirupati temple. The actual valuation could be much more if the antique value of the articles is taken into account and could well be enough to wipe out the country’s fiscal deficit.

The value is bound to go up as two more cellars are to be opened by the team of observers…

End of The Times of India Report



So how will all this treasure be used?
Apparently it will remain locked up in the cellars.
It will not be used for getting rid of poverty, education or for any other social cause. 😦

Paradox in Paradise – Watch this Video

Beauty cannot exist without ugliness
Therefore paradise cannot be free of paradoxes
The truth is that wherever we may be
Paradise will always be somewhere else
Regret the sound quality 🙂
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om Presentation by Mark Ulyseas of his photographs on Pecha Kucha Nite for Haiti at Gaya Art Gallery, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. Part of 200 cities worldwide – live streaming of event. 2010. Soundtrack Copyright Saavn LLC

BREAKING NEWS: Daring Direct Action Turns Up the Heat on Chevron!

Amazon Watch

Dear Mark,

Less than 48 hours before oil giant Chevron’s shareholder meeting, activists from Amazon Watch and our allies at Rainforest Action Network (RAN) have rappelled from the deck of the Richmond Bridge over the San Francisco Bay to hang a 1500-square foot banner proclaiming
“Chevron Guilty: Clean Up the Amazon!”

Video - Daring action on the Richmond bridge in solidarity with the communities in Ecuador

Activists from RAN and Amazon Watch are dangling from the massive banner – which is anchored to the bridge deck – creating a spectacular sight adjacent to Chevron’s polluting refinery in Richmond, CA.

As Chevron escalates its abusive tactics to evade accountability in Ecuador, supporters of the communities in the Amazon are escalating their efforts in solidarity with the men, women, and children who continue to suffer the toxic legacy of the oil giant in their rainforest lands.

“I’ve seen with my own eyes the devastation Chevron caused in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and it’s long past time for the company to clean up its toxic legacy there,” said Thomas Cavanagh of Amazon Watch. “And until Chevron does the right thing, we will stand with the Ecuadorian communities fighting for justice.”

You can help support the delegation, too. Please join our Facebook Cause today!

Han Shan

Han Shan
Coordinator, Clean Up Ecuador Campaign

God’s La Petite Mort

Is the earthquake and Tsunami God’s La Petite Mort ?

From the moment we are born we begin dying
And in death, we have eternal life

So why grieve for the dead
When life is but a celestial thought
Fleeting moments in cosmic time
Then forgotten for eternity?

Let us rejoice while God uses us for his pleasure.


(La petite mort, French for “the little death”, is a metaphor for orgasm)

US Govt. Spends US$ 2b a week on wars but cuts funding for museums!

The US Government spends US$ 2 billion per week on wars in foreign countries while its citizens struggle to keep open the doors of museums and cultural centers due to government cuts.

The Industry of War gets priority over preservation of the Arts. This is shameful. Republican Senator Michael Baumgartner are you listening?

This is an online interview with Karen Mobley, a museum trustee, a long time volunteer for the art committee of the museum, an artist whose work has been in the art auction and in the museum’s sales and rental program. She is a donor, member of the museum’s Legacy Society, which means she has promised a portion of her estate to the museum. A special thanks to Candess M.Campbell for arranging this interview.

Can you share with the readers a short history of The Mac?

MAC stands for Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.
Eastern Washington is a unique region of the country. In 1918, state government recognized this distinction designating a second historical society—the Eastern Washington State Historical Society—to compliment the mandate of Washington State Historical Society established in 1891 and ensure a full representation of Washington’s diverse heritage.  MAC’s collecting encompasses generational diversity of Washington citizens amplifying voices of those who are not always heard.  The informal exploration, discovery, and connections with ideas and people that occur within programs unique to museums is empowering and equalizing for Washington citizens.

Founded in 1916, is the largest cultural organization in the Inland Northwest with 5 underground galleries, the historic 1898 Campbell House, Joel E. Ferris Library & Archives, an orientation gallery, café, store, education center, community room and the Center for Plateau Cultural Studies.

The MAC campus (expanded in 2001 with a $30 million renovation) also includes an auditorium and outdoor amphitheater.  The exhibits and programs focus on three major disciplines: American Indian and other cultures, regional history and visual art.

Our collection, with over 39,000 American Indian, 22,000 regional history, and 1,500 art objects including the 252,109 records archive is nationally renowned.

Attracts over 100,000 visitors annually including nearly 4,000 K-12 students.

The Kirkland Cutter designed Campbell House, one of the most popular museum attractions, is our largest artifact, with student and public tours staffed by trained volunteer docents, consistently our most popular attraction.

The MAC’s educational programs include vibrant student and family learning experiences such as Living History Day, the Plateau tribes Living Legacy tour and learning laboratory, Campbell House exploration and hands-on art activities in the art studio.

The MAC is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and one of the first museums in the United States to be accredited by the American Association of Museums.

What is the importance of the MAC ?

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is the largest cultural organization in the Inland Northwest.  The MAC is a repository of the artifacts from all of the Northwest Plateau tribes, many objects from the history of Spokane and a huge archive of photos from the region, the MAC has one of the few collections of art by Eastern Washington artists and is a gathering place for arts and history aficiandos from all around the west.  The exhibitions at the MAC change.  Right now the museum is gearing up for a travelling exhibition of inventions and reproductions of works by Leonardo DaVinci which opens in June of this year.  The exhibitions are listed on

MAC is an important contributor to the region’s economy.  Cultural travelers stay longer and spend more than other visitors. Event-related spending pumps revenue into restaurants, hotels and retail businesses. The MAC is the first non-metro market to land the international blockbuster Leonardo da Vinci: Man, Inventor, Genius exhibit opening June 3, 2011.The exhibit is expected to attract 40,000 new visitors to the region. The MAC helps recruit and maintain businesses, serving as a barometer of the region’s quality of life. The MAC contributes an estimated $10 million to our region’s economy.  The American Indian objects and sacred room will be unavailable to tribal members, which will cause significant cultural turmoil.  The building will closed  to the public, its collections inaccessible.   An unoccupied facility creates the potential for vandalism and theft and will subject the neighborhood to unwarranted blight.

Why is it in danger of being shut down?

The MAC is basically a state agency – about 60% of its budget comes from the state of Washington and about 40% comes from local sources such a grants, contributions, sponsorship and from the endowment.   The whole state is having big budget challenges.  The museum is not uniquely being targeted. There are also cuts to education, support to indigent people through health care and other services.  It is a difficult time.  The elimination of the state portion of the budget is way too much for the local community to absorb.

Karen Mobley is the Arts Director City of Spokane (Leonardo da Vinci: Man, Inventor, Genius) since June 1997.  Prior to this she was the Director of the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, WY and Gallery Director for University Art Gallery at New Mexico State University.  She is a board member for the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, a member of the Spokane Public Radio Steering Committee, a Deacon for Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ and active in the Washington State Arts Alliance and Rotary 21.   Karen is a working artist and poet. Her art work is represented in Spokane by Art@Work (the sales and rental program of the MAC).. She reads and performs poetry at events through the region.

She likes cats and is currently working to make the longest cat hair rope in the world.

If you want to help keep the Arts alive, please contact
Karen R. Mobley, Arts Director, City of Spokane,
Spokane Arts Commission, 808 W. Spokane Falls Boulevard
Spokane, WA 99201-3333 (509) 625-6079

Frontier Gandhi – Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan

Today as the tidal wave of rebellion to decades of injustice raises its head Medusa-like from Afghanistan to North Africa, one recalls the life and times of a great Pashtun (Afghan) pacifist whose sole weapon was that of non-violence to fight the British Colonial Power.

In the vitiating atmosphere of feuding clans and the endless ebb and flow of  ‘badla’ (revenge) was born, in the late 19th century, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in Pashtunistan, the legend of the North West Frontier Province (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). He is also known as Badshah Khan, Fakhr-e-Afghan (pride of Afghans) and Sarhaddi Gandhi (Frontier Gandhi). Khan Sahib followed Gandhi’s path of non-violence as a means to an end – freedom for Pashtus  from the British.

Around 1928 he founded  the Khudai Khidmatagars (Servants of God), popularly referred to as the “Red Shirts” (Surk Posh). The main objective was to achieve independence for the Pashtus through a sustained program of non-violent protests and also to carry out charity work in the community – setting up  schools across the Province and upholding women’s rights. Khan Sahib admitted that this was based on the Gandhian Principle of satyagraha and it was the only path for the Pashtus. Incidentally, he viewed non-violence as being “compatible” with the tenets of Islam.

The sustained crackdown on the Red Shirts by the British forced him to seek help from the Indian National Congress and in turn for their support, joined Mahatma Gandhi’s movement of non-violence/non-cooperation in United India. It was during this time that he met Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, Sardar Patel and other  ‘national’ leaders.

The Mahatma and Khan Sahib became close friends and often the Frontier Gandhi chided Mahatma Gandhi on policies that were detrimental to United India. He believed that the partition would bring much bloodshed and divide the family of United India. Moreover, the Pashtus had supported the independence movement  in the belief that their homeland, Pashtunistan, already dissected by the raggedy Durand Line (Peshawar in the East and Kabul in the West), would  be lost forever in the new state of Pakistan.
Unfortunately, this is what happened and Khan Sahib felt betrayed not only by the Indian National Congress but by the Muslim League which was hellbent on a state for Muslims. The ensuing events unfolded into a bloody communal upheaval that witnessed the horrible slaughter of Muslims and Hindus. The Pashtus were immediately seen as “India lovers” and thus followed another bloody crackdown.

The sad truth is that the Pashtus and their homeland Pashtunistan was carved up by the British and then by Pakistan and topped by the betrayal of the Indians to their cause. Yet in spite of the  years of ruthless crackdown and incarceration by Britain and Pakistan of his followers and in particular Khan Sahib himself, he never abandoned the belief that non-violence, education and women’s emancipation was the only way to fight oppression.

He died in 1988 while under house arrest in Peshawar. Khan Sahib’s dying wish was to be buried in Jalalabad (Afghanistan). This was to show the world that he didn’t recognize the Durand Line and that his country was still Pashtunistan. (see map). Russia and its adversaries declared a cease fire so that the funeral could be conducted (even though a bomb exploded in the crowd of mourners, killing 15 people).

1920s – Founded the Khudai Khitmagars (Servants of God).
1930 – Participated in the Salt Satyagraha. In Peshawar’s Kissa Khwani (Storytellers) Bazaar a number of Red Shirt protesters gathered only to be gunned down by British troops who killed a few hundred unarmed people. Some troops from Garhwal Regiment refused to fire on the Red Shirts and were immediately arrested and jailed for life by the British.
1931 – Indian National Congress offered the post of President of the INC to Khan Sahib who refused, saying, <strong>“I am a simple soldier and Khudai Khitmatgar and I only want to serve”.
1948-56 – Arrested and incarcerated many times by the Pakistan Government. Beaten by mullahs and their followers for they viewed him as being un-Islamic.
1960s/70s – Either in Pakistani jails or exile.
1962 – Named Amnesty International “Prisoner of the Year”. Amnesty said that his example symbolized the suffering of upward of a million people all over the world who were prisoners of conscience.
1967 –Awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
1985 – Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
1987 – Awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award even though he was not a citizen of that country.

Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan

Much has been written of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan by those with political agendas and by scribes from different countries, each projecting a distorted view of this man of Islam who professed non-violence as the sole means to end oppression.

In the words of the Frontier Gandhi to the Khudai Khitmatgars (Servants of God)
“I am going to give you such a weapon that the police and the army will not be able to stand against it. It is the weapon of the Prophet, but you are not aware of it. That weapon is patience and righteousness. No power on earth can stand against it”

Note: Pashtuns and their indigenous culture, Pashtunwali, with its pre-Islamic (mainly Hindu) identity continues to be an integral aspect of everyday life. One hopes this will continue to keep alive the dream of an undivided and independent Pashtunistan.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Stillborn in Life

Photograph by Mark Ulyseas

I am dead
The wheel warbles
The flowers fade
And rivers carry all to seed

I am dead

Lifeless in a used condom
Like a mindless still day
A muted Thrush
A featherless bird of paradise

I am dead

Yet they speak to me
Formless in a Petri dish
Of God and surrender
And hope
And love

I live in death

For it has no desires
I feel not the pain
I dream not in death
For I am stillborn in life

February 01, 2011

Goodbye to all that, and more

Fruits of the earth, shared and eaten, seeds strewn carelessly. Saplings sprout into trees only to be cut down senselessly by incontinence of spirit. Words imprison and images seduce the dream of wanting, feeling, longing to be apart from the menagerie of people each jostling for space on a planet hurtling in time. And as one imaginary year ends, another begins to creep slowly upon an aging life, engaging the sullen spirit of selfishness.

New Year expectations are like dumb charades, we keep guessing and attempting to interpret what is the obvious staring us in the face. The inebriated soul often finds solace in plastic reality that is soulless in spirit and purpose. The fragile membrane of existence quivers to the intrusive effect of remembrances.

Why does the past continue to nag and the future play truant with one and all? Is this  a senile Divine Being playing tic tac toe to amuse the Self?

Sages suck on the nectar of la dolce vita whilst mendacity mangles our memories.
Where does it begin and end? And is there a beginning and an end?
Or, is this a freak of nature in the Universal womb?

Days, months, years and millennium are man made for in the grand scheme of things Time is not relative…it is love.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Russian roulette for one

Why survive on the cusp of desperation
When one can walk away into the darkeness
The great sleep will bring with it
Consciousness that soothes the soul

The rat race
Th minute waltz
The fandango in a trance
Regrets, pain, laughter…reverberate
But no one is listening
Just the pigeons huddled on ledges
Overlooking deserted streets

I waited to be
I waited to love
I wanted to leave an inheritance in the void
But fate played a trick
As the trigger clicked
Russian roulette for one