Odin is dead RIP Viking!

pic by mark ulyseas

Odin on Trance aka Viking, who appeared in an interview in the February issue of Live Encounters Magazine, passed away in Goa.

What can one say about a man who has lived his life to the fullest.He was a friend to many. I hope you find peace in the next world Viking, away from all those that hurt you and rejected you for being yourself.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Merry Christmas friend bloggers and subscribers:)

St.Francis Xavier, Basilica of Bom Jesus. Pic by Mark Ulyseas

A Merry Christmas to all my friend bloggers and email subscribers.

May love, peace and great happiness be the Christmas gift to you, your family and friends.

Thank you for following my posts.

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Congratulations Ibu Robin Lim – CNN hero of 2011 !

Robin Lim pic by mark ulyseas

Om Swastiastu Ibu Robin,

Congratulations to you and the team in Ubud and Aceh. I still remember the answer you gave me when I asked you if you believed there is a God. If you recall, you said, NO.

God has worked through you to sustain your belief that all life is sacred. May you continue your beautiful work in Indonesia, which has given you a home and many loving friends in Ubud and Aceh.

For the readers of this post here is a link that shines a light on this wonderful woman who I have the pleasure of knowing for many years. www.bumisehatbali.org

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Tina Turner chants a Mantra for Peace!

Here is a videoclip created by us for the mantra “Sarvesham Svastir Bhavatu”, sung by Tina Turner. This is one of the most powerful songs from the new album “Children Beyond”.  We used extracts from the “Children Beyond” documentary directed by Xaver Walser to create the clip.

The mantra means “May well-being, peace, wholeness and tranquility, happiness and prosperity be achieved by all”

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Goodbye Arambol

pic by mark ulyseas

The act is repeated with an after taste of garlic and rumblings in the tummy. Decadence has a charming after effect, it makes one nauseous and giddy in the head; and in a manner of speaking, directionless.

So I have to say good bye and move on, on this auspicious day of Dussehra when good triumphs over evil. It arrives once a year as a reaffirmation of man’s will to change. But in reality nothing changes. Evil permeates everything. Good lurks in the peripheral vision of those that seek the truth.

The beach bakes in the sun and the heat tickles the senses, arousing it to look beyond the horizon. And Time, that trickster, plays dumb charades, while Life careens in its eternal cycle of death and rebirth.

I shall leave you now as you revel in the throes of nubile nymphets and garrulous males.

But before I depart to another world, here are a few words gleaned from a polluted beach –

Evil and good are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other. The balance has to be kept otherwise one can choke to death while regurgitating iniquities, thoughtlessly.

Return to Arambol – interview of two Israelis

Shalom Nir and Emi, be true to your ideals. 

It’s 9.30 am. Just the right time for a cold beer and a cigar. The defecating crowds were here earlier in the morn and have left their offerings to the gods. Communing with Nature has its advantages, no barriers only the cold wind blowing up the nether regions and sand in everything. This is the locals’ comfort zone.

The great unwashed will arrive shortly to shouts and pleadings of hawkers, “Come see my shop”….”yes want something…good price, my friend”….followed closely by gaping men salivating on the scene of white women in their bikinis baking in the sun and attention. The symphony of bodies mingling with sand and surf completes a picture of the destitution of humankind. A pointlessness that transcends real time. The now is omnipresent. It permeates one’s consciousness and shelters the soul.

And as the sun rises higher I am faced with a conundrum – how does a three legged dog lift a leg to pee. Surrealism has an enchanting side to it.

Just then a young man walks up and asks me if the restaurant I am sitting in would cook fish if he brought it there and the price for the service. I beckon Kanca the Nepalese waiter who hears me out and then disappears into the kitchen and returns announcing that the price would be around 200 rupees.

I invite the young man and his girlfriend to join me for a beer.

And soon the pleasantries exchanged reveal they are from Israel, Nir and Emi, a boy and girl touring the Indian sub-continent.  Both students and both have served in the army.

“Nir, did you kill anyone?”

“No, but my friends have shot people. But they had to fire otherwise they would have been killed.”

“Do you have Arabs in the army?”

“Yes, Arab Muslims and Arab Christians. In fact we have a Bedouin recon unit (200/300 soldiers). On memorial day, Yom-Ha-Zikaron, in our Hebrew prayer “Remember” the Bedouins are mentioned as casualties of war.”

“Do you think Palestine should exist as a State?”

“Yes”

“Why?”

“In order to keep our different ways of life i.e. Jews and Muslims; It is a known fact that Muslim families have more children than either Jews or Christians. The rough estimate is: Muslims – 5 children, Jews and Christians approximately 2. A survey carried out recently revealed that in 20 or 30 years the majority in Israel will be Muslim. So in order to continue to maintain a safe haven for Jews we must give Palestinians their own country so all the Muslims can go and settle down there? All politicians know this and yet we seem to be fighting this idea. I don’t know why?”

Another round of chilled beer arrives and as the we sit and watch the frothing sea in the distance, Emi chimes in, “ Arabs have equal rights in practice but there still something more to be done. They are in government – Hadash and Ra’himtal. They are two faced. In Israel they are Left Wing for Israeli causes and Right Wing to Arab causes outside Israel. The problem is that these parties support Arab causes outside Israel instead of Arab Causes inside Israel. Therefore, many Israeli Arabs avoid voting. And these same parties get an operating budget from the Israeli government!”

Nir interrupts, “The older generation is far more accepting. My uncle regularly visits his Arab barber in the Arab area. But the young generation is very suspicious of each other. There is too much violence, too much hatred.”

“Yes”, says Emi brushing her hair back, “In The Hebrew University of Jerusalem where I am studying Business Management the Muslim and Jews sit separately in the classroom. They speak Arabic and us, Hebrew. I got to know an Arab boy in my class when we were forced to team up with them in groups on a project. It opened my eyes. But too much blood has been spilt. To mend ties now is next to impossible. It’s getting worse day by day. And what is very sad is the position of the Arab Christians (about 200,000). They look Arab, they dress Arab and therefore they are stuck between the Muslims and Jews. You understand what I am saying?”

“Yes, I do Emi”

“Here in India we met a young Iranian couple (boyfriend/girlfriend) travelling in the North. We became such good friends and we are now facebook buddies. They were nothing like the Iranians we read about in the papers. This has been a great learning experience for me. I feel that our generation has a responsibility to bring peace. Take for instance my girlfriend in Jerusalem, she is a lesbian and her “girlfriend” is an Arab. Her parents know about her affair, they disapprove but don’t interfere. Can you imagine if the Arab girl’s parents came to know? But it is this relationship that helps in joining communities, bringing people together”, says Emi.

“Emi, if you had three wishes what would you ask for?” I ask.

“I want to start a community of all like minded people. We will all live in one area which is religion free. The first community will be very small but it will grow because people will see us living in peace and will want to emulate our group.

I also want to open a home for children from broken families. To feed, educate and guide these children to help them become responsible citizens.

But for all this I need money. So I have learned Chinese because everyone is doing business with China and it is a language that is now important in business. I will get a job and when I have enough money I shall start my first community”, says Emi with a deep sense of conviction. Her eyes light up as she speaks and there is laughter and joy on her face. She may be a dreamer but then all great ideas come from dreams and it is dreams that make this life.

I turn to Nir and ask him, “What do you think Israel should do to bring peace to the region?”

“Mark, the East Bank is prosperous, modern and growing economically, whereas the Left Bank/Gaza Strip is digressing into the dark ages because Hamas has control here. In the East Bank women can drive, work and dress as they please. In the Gaza strip all this is forbidden. There’s more but what’s the point of talking of these negative aspects?

In the 1990s many Palestinians worked in Israel and this helped their local economy. However, with the constant terrorist attacks this was stopped by Israel and hence poverty came knocking. It is a sad state of affairs for them.  I think Israel should invest heavily in the Palestinian territories – Education, health, business development prior to discussing statehood. This will help in elevating the suffering and bring about a more conducive atmosphere in the people to people contact.

Lastly, the Israeli government must declare/recognize/assist in the creation of a Palestinian State. They too need a homeland so let them have it. And all the Muslims in Israeli territory can move to the new State. This would ease tensions between Muslims and Jews.”

Nir, Emi and I parted company with a promise to keep in contact. But in this world impregnated with hatred, war and genocide one wonders whether such promises can be fulfilled.

“We shall meet you here again tomorrow, my friend,” said Nir.

“I cannot answer that Nir for the world may end tonight. I just live one day at a time. The rest I leave to the Universe,” I replied smiling at both of them.

Shalom my two young friends, Nir and Emi. I hope you realize your dreams.

Peace.

Arambol

The beach is bathed in noonday heat serenaded by the constant yet consoling roar of the sea licking the shore, drowning out the chit chat of those that seek to partake of a comforting concert of decadence.

A quietness descends on his soul. He has been here before; a few decades ago when the full moon, when the subtle nuances of life was spiced by a freedom, a carefree purpose that embraced the longing of circumnavigating social stigmas, to be among those that stood on the periphery of existence, an existence that defied logic. From the chaotic and ever shifting enigmas he rose to become a traveler. Inscribing words on paper, removed from the heckling droves, the great unwashed in their matted tresses and shabby clothes arriving with an urgency, an urgency to be a part of dream that was once lived by the likes of him.

How does he tell them its gone, carried by a tide that unrelentingly and unforgivingly swept clean the supposed iniquities of a generation of seekers? Today they dress and ape those that had come before them in the hope that a fragment of the dream that once was be engraved in the matrix of their souls through osmosis…

The dream that once was is the nightmare of those that have survived this dream.

No one understands this; no one can comprehend what was, only what is and guess what is to come, which is just another dream.

Nothing exists in perpetuity because things change, not people. The same illusions, delusions and hopes reside in the psyche of those that attempt to emulate, to create newer vistas.

Change is the key to another door, another world that entices and entraps like a bitch in heat. Yet this change is never a change it is merely a rerun of the past disguised like a filigreed whore with the trappings of nocturnal eruptions.

He believed that he was a person who could make a change, a person who was an integral part of change. But as the cliché goes, the more things change…the more they remain the same.

Could it be that change is like Kierkegaard’s dream…a snake eating itself…worlds within worlds without the foreskin or reasoning of the constant.

In the end, if ever there is one, everything remains the same.

The song.

The price tag.

Nothing is free.

Not even Life.

He hastens away from the antlike crowds that begin to crawl onto the silver beach as the sun sets on another day of dreams, while Sea Fever rises with the encroaching twilight…

“I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.”

– John Masefield

Humans are dogs – pack animals but without the loyalty of a canine.

Pic by Mark Ulyseas

He has been travelling for nearly seven years now ruminating on and capturing  the  word  and the embedded subtle nuances of a life, a life free of credit cards, bank accounts and the odd financial rigmarole…a  comforting disconnection from the ebb and flow of the daily grind.

Everything seemed and appeared to be in sync until he met a woman who stole his heart, ran away and then ran over it with disinterest. Nothing in his fragile life could deal with such an accident and hence death came knocking with the grim reaper grinning like a Cheshire cat.

What is to be done?

What is to be achieved?

What is to be left for those that thrive on delusion?

Nothing.

But a word, a gesture to be remembered and a sepia print of days gone by.

Goodbye is such a beautiful word…it encompasses everything…

… except a lie.

A message from Mother Mary – Mark Ulyseas

Sini Joy with her statue of Mother Mary

“Mother Mary’s son is coming soon so we should be prepared for that and therefore we must avoid committing sins, She is sad about the state of the world and that is why she is crying”, said Sini Joy, pointing to the statue of the Mother in a glass case that stood on the other side of the room.  The statue began emitting red colored tears, water, honey, milk and the aroma of jasmine within two days of Sini having bought it from a shop in Ernakulam, over 5 years ago.

Sini is a devout follower of the Mother. In fact a number of years ago a small statue of the Mother, which she had at home, began to weep. The local parish priest, Father Solomon, removed it and placed it in St. Joseph’s Church.

Sometime after this incident, Sini had a dream in which Mother Mary instructed her to install a five foot statue at her home. When she told the parish priest, he did not allow her to buy such a large statue but gave her permission to get a smaller one.

The present statue is three feet in height with a price tag of US$150. It was bought from St.Paul’s, a shop in Ernakulam and was paid for by Sini’s aunt. Within a few days the statue began to bleed red tears, honey, milk, water and also to emit an aroma of jasmine.  Father Thampy, from the Bishop’s House, Father Anthony Jacob (parish priest of Loreto), Father Sebastian (parish priest of St.Joseph’s) visited Sini’s home and inspected the statue. They instructed her to shift the statue from the inner part of her house to the front room. They even paid for the renovation of the room. Bishop Stephen Athipuzti of Allepy has set up a group headed by Father James Anaparambil to investigate the matter. They have yet to submit a report.

“Have there been any miracles “, I asked

“Yes. People have been cured of breast cancer, blindness, barren couples have had children and even a person who was paralyzed from the waist down can now walk. These miracles are for change, we must change ourselves, change from this terrible life of anger, hate and violence to one of love and peace. We must confess our sins and redeem ourselves before the Mother, before the Lord. Do you know many people from other faiths come here to pray for forgiveness, for peace, for happiness. We are going through terrible and frightening times. We must learn to love each other and to help each other,” she replied in a low voice.

“So how much money do you collect from the faithful?”

“Nothing! First I do not allow people to leave money either at the foot of Mother Mary nor do I allow them to give me anything. This is NOT about money. It is about my faith, our faith,” said Sini.

‘Are there any prayers conducted here?”

“Every day at 2 p.m. we recite the rosary and every first Saturday of the month people from all over Cochin arrive to recite the rosary one thousand times. It begins at 7p.m. and ends early the following morning at 3 a.m. We prepare food for the faithful. Some people after eating this food have told us that their ailments were cured or wishes granted.

Also, sometimes when we are praying, Mother Mary answers us by crying red tears, emitting honey, water and milk from her body and sending us the sweet smell of jasmine. The experience is beautiful and calms many of us.”

“What does your husband do and do you have any children?”

“My husband, Sebastian Joy, is a carpenter and today is my only child’s birthday. His name is Feyon Anthony and he is nine years old.”

“And what do you do?”

“I am a mother, a wife and co-coordinator of the zonal charismatic groups of sixteen churches. Take this,” she said putting a few small printed cards in my pocket, “Pray to Mother Mary and she will protect and help you. But you must help others around you whoever they maybe. We are one, all of us”.

I said a small prayer and left, humbled by the all-pervasive presence of the Mother and the nagging feeling… the answer to the question I had been searching for so long – Are there miracles, do they happen and why…

And was this the answer?

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om