Monday, October 20, 2008

Back on "Raw"

Today is a very exciting day because it is my first day of being back on a raw food diet, something that I have been wanting to do for quite awhile.

Thanks to my dear friend Sarah's suggestion, and some inspiration from our "raw" friends Puki and Schuylar, we are doing a "30 day raw food challenge" to see how great we feel, and hopefully keep going after the 30 days are over!

I have done raw food diets before - once for about 9 months when I lived in NYC, and once for 6 weeks when I lived in New Mexico. I had really wonderful experiences both times, although it was sometimes challenging to find the balance.

When I was in NYC, I was a "raw food fundamentalist" and was constantly evangelizing, because I truly believed that everyone should be a raw foodist for optimal health! I was even in a "raw food cult" of sorts! Once I realized what I had been doing, at first I was angry and ashamed that I could have been so gullible to have believed that this is the only beneficial diet for every human being on the planet. But now I look back on it and grin. I had a great time, ate amazing food, and learned a lot about myself! And best of all, I will hopefully never be a fundamentalist about anything ever again! And I can empathize with people who do have fundamental beliefs about various things - certain diets, ways of life, and spiritual paths, like Transcendental Meditation and Christianity.

So...a new chapter begins today in the life of Erin. I am eating mostly raw, even though it means that I have to buy a lot of my own food while I am on a $1600 a semester meal plan at MUM. I am investing in my health. I am finding the balance - eating cooked foods when it seems appropriate when in certain social situations, and listening to my most inner Self to find out what is the most nourishing for ME!

Life is SO good!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Funniest Blog

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting…

These 82 year old women are writing some very funny, smart political commentary.


Kneel and Kiss the Ground

"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."


Fairfield, Iowa

"So, Erin, how is Fairfield?"

Good question!

Most things that I care to describe are so incredibly challenging to put into words, and so it is with Fairfield....and God, and Love, and Grace, and lots of other amazing wonders of life. Thus is the Tao.

So I will paint a picture for you, of my experience in Fairfield so a finger pointing at the moon.

I arrive to town in mid-August...Move into the ladies dorms at Maharishi University of Management...Share a bathroom with all these other women? Really? OK, I guess so...At least my room is huge and has lots of closet space...200 new friends in the first week...Networking heaven...Exchanging ideas...So much inspiration and love...Let's change the world together...But don't drink the Kool-Aid...Definitely not...Sing, sing, sing, sing, sing...Dance...By my third day in Fairfield I was on stage in a long glittery blue evening gown with spaghetti straps, singing "At Last" and some other songs before the masses...The stage is my favorite place to be...Also bonfires amidst the cornfields...Firedancers...Dancing and drumming under the full moon...Yoga...Dorm life...Eating in the dining hall...Overcooked organic vegetables are Ayurvedic...So is tumeric...But luckily there are salads at every meal...Yum.

I learned the Transcendental Meditation technique, and I learned about its many benefits...And I watched four weeks of Maharishi tapes in a class called The Science of Creative Intelligence...Intense...All of the students here are required to meditate for 20 minutes, twice a day...Attendance is required and graded...It's called "Researching Consciousness" and it goes on our university transcript...This is consciousness-based education.

Live music...And I mean GOOD live music...Yummy food...A visit from Dad...So much fun and an all expenses paid trip to Target in Ottumwa - Hooray! Thanks, Dad...A visit from Mom...More fun and lots of long walks...I feel so grateful, and so loved.

Michael Beckwith came to visit...You know, the guy from the movie "The Secret"...he received the Maharishi Award for all of the beautiful work he's doing in the world...Krishna Das was just here, too...And future president Barack Obama.

I thought I was moving back to New York City, when I set out in my car from New Mexico...I never dreamed I would "end up" in Iowa...I mean, really, come on, of all places...Iowa??? Well, here I am and I guess New York City is coming to me now...Even better.

Two weeks of working in the one-acre MUM greenhouse...Vedic organic means no chemicals and lots of beautiful classical Indian music...24 hours a day, in fact...Caring for the plants was so sweet...Nurturing them and loving them and picking cherry tomatoes and spinach and rasperries for hours on end...It seemed like just a few minutes...Pulling weeds, realizing that death is everywhere...I love it here...Hands and feet in the dirt...Grounding me.

But Fairfield is like a cosmic washing machine...One minute I am floating blissfully in the soapy waters, and the next moment I am in the spin cycle.

Lots of tears, anger, fury, frustration, sadness, grief, apathy...multiple existential crises...They call it "unstressing" here...I don't know if it's stressing or unstressing, but it's painful...I think all of my unprocessed emotions from my whole life are coming up all at once...And all of my issues...Transformation by fire...WHOA.

Some people say it's because there are over 2,000 people meditating in the domes for an hour and a half or more, twice a day...These are the people practicing the TM-Siddhi Program...People come from all over the world to meditate in the domes...Some of them are part of the Invincible America Course...Some people are in there 8 hours a day or more...They have an intention to create World Peace.

Going to school at night after working all day is stressful...Why am I back in school anyway? Is this really the right path for me right now? Well, I guess I'll give it a try since I'm already here...So I quit my job and switched programs...Communications and Media is so much better for me than the MBA program...My Digital Arts professor, Gurdy Leete, is one of the most enthusiastic, brilliant, helpful people I have ever met in my life, and he writes some of the "___ for Dummies" books.

Students from 70 different countries at this university makes life interesting...And there are so many more holidays to celebrate, like the Ethiopian New Year, which means more parties and more yummy food...Everyday I learn so much about the world, just sitting in the dining hall.

Genuises...Everywhere I look, geniuses...with shiny clear eyes and beautiful, open, pure hearts...Many spiritual paths converge here, and high intentions abound.

Days of joy and bliss and inspiration...Celebration...First Friday Artwalks out in the square and in the 25 art galleries that surround it...Singing and dancing barefoot on the sidewalk with friends...Beautiful, happy people...Film screenings...Yoga classes...Capoiera...Jyotish charts...Human Design...I am a manifesting generator I found out...Big plans...Visionaries all around...Sweet, small town charm...International diversity and flavor...Amazing restaurants...More per capita than San Francisco...So many incredible musicians...And did I mention the beautiful, happy people?

Lots of lakes and fields and open spaces...A river runs through it...And 17 miles of bike trails around the town...The woods smells so good in the fall...Crispy, crunchy fallen orange and yellow leaves...Almost everyone rides their bikes here, even the professors in their beige suits...Apparently Maharishi suggested wearing beige because it is very close to the color gold...Don't ask me, I just got here.

Tonight after yoga class I drove out to see my yoga teacher's sculptures under the full moon...We got there and found out that her sculptures were three giant hay bales that she had somehow formed into the shape of stars...We ran through the farm fields like children, as fast as our legs could carry us, screaming and howling and shrieking with joy at the tops of our lungs...And dancing...Bowing to the moon, singing songs of gratitude and love to her, thanking her for her endless beauty and grace.

Abundance Ecovillage, which is totally off-the-grid, Cutting edge technology and research on how we can continue to live on this beautiful planet together...The Sustainable Living Department here is absolutely amazing...Everyone here is talking about sustainability, and more importantly, they are walking their talk...And did I mention all the beautiful, happy people?

I love Fairfield...Is it too soon to buy a house here? Maybe I should wait awhile and see if I still love it this much in a year...Go around the sun one full time to see all the seasons, before I make any hasty decisions.

But I think I want to put down roots here...Make this place my home base and travel the world from here...In a town where so many people are seeking Truth and all of my friends are becoming the change they wish to see in the world.

I feel happy here.

And did I mention all the beautiful, happy people?

So...when are you coming to visit?

Love is the New Religion

On the surface of the world right now there is war and violence and things seem dark
But calmly and quietly, at the same time, something else is happening underground
An inner revolution is taking place and certain individuals are being called to a higher light
It is a silent revolution
From the inside out
From the ground up

It is time for me to reveal myself
I am an embedded agent of a secret, undercover
Clandestine Global operation
A spiritual conspiracy
We have sleeper cells in every nation on the planet

You won't see us on the T.V.
You won't read about us in the newspaper
You won't hear about us on the radio

We don't seek any glory
We don't wear any uniform
We come in all shapes and sizes
Colors and styles

Most of us work anonymously
We are quietly working behind the scenes in every country and culture of the world
Cities big and small, mountains and valleys, in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands

You could pass by one of us on the street and not even notice
We go undercover
We remain behind the scenes
It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit
But simply that the work gets done

Occasionally we spot each other in the street
We give a quiet nod and continue on our way so no one will notice

During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs
But behind the false storefront at night is where the real work takes a place

Some call us the 'Conscious Army'
We are slowly creating a new world with the power of our minds and hearts
We follow, with passion and joy
Our orders from the Central Command
The Spiritual Intelligence Agency

We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no ones is looking
Kind words
Meditation and prayer
Social activism
Random acts of kindness

We each express ourselves in our own unique ways with our own unique gifts and talents

'Be the change you want to see in the world'
That is the motto that fills our hearts
We know it is the only way real transformation takes place
We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the oceans combined

Our work is slow and meticulous
Like the formation of mountains
It is not even visible at first glance
And yet with it entire tectonic plates shall be moved in the centuries to come

Love is the new religion of the 21st century

You don't have to be a highly educated person
Or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it

It comes from the intelligence of the heart
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings

Be the change you want to see in the world
Nobody else can do it for you

We are now recruiting
Perhaps you will join us
Or already have....
All are welcome...
The door is open

-Brian Piergrossi
(From the book 'The Big Glow')