Good Or Bad, Ignored Or Rejected – Love And Friendship




This little piece of written wisdom was sent to me this morning.  Odd that it was sent today, as if some invisible Messenger was offering me some good advice. Perhaps synchronicity or rather serendipity was at work here, because this piece so fitted the moment. I had just been in a blaming game with someone close to me and I didn’t feel good about it. I don’t know why we play those same old life-games of “blaming” over and over again, knowing full well it benefits no one. Anyway, in posting this on, it provides a poignant reminder that the sun does shine, even when we close our eyes and cannot see the rays that  shine down on us. Eve





 Of course, to live in the world we have to wear clothes and have an identity in order to make our way. But it makes a difference when we can show our heart’s face without any covering. Though we can’t stay this naked, we’re sanctified in such moments to have the ancient air touch our soul. Alex encountered the authority of his own being and the authority of all being on the side of that mountain.

 This inner quality of authority invokes the touchstone of certainty by which we know first-hand that we’re alive. Our inner authority emanates from the nakedness of our soul. Once we remove our masks and opinions, our authority of being resides in whatever point of stillness we can no longer question. Our authority of being resides in the fact of being here, regardless of what circumstance surrounds us, regardless of what we have to put back on to live in the world.

Our awareness of our depth of being is fleeting. Yet just because we close our eyes doesn’t mean the sun has disappeared. And just because we can’t keep the unquestionable fact of being alive in view doesn’t mean that the inherent vitality of life has disappeared. We are more than what happens to us. We are more than what we think or fear. The turbulence we encounter is very real, but underneath what happens to us is the inherent, unwavering fact of life filling us from within.

Under all the tension to belong and fit in, under all the psychological weather, there is a place of stillness that is immune to our submitting and resisting. When we can put down all our reasons and excuses, it’s from this inner plateau of being that we begin to experience life directly again. This sense of utter being doesn’t come from willfulness or determination. It comes when the bottom of our personality nakedly touches the common center of all life. When life-force enters us directly and moves through us completely, our authority of being can’t be denied.

In discovering your own authority of being, you may want to spend time with the great poem SONG OF MYSELF by Walt Whitman. I urge you to read it slowly, and to be in conversation with the places it awakens in you.

And the next time you’re told you’re good or bad, the next time you’re ignored or rejected, I encourage you to practice your inner resolve; not by criticizing yourself or finding yourself wanting, but by climbing to that place in you that is immune to both submitting and resisting, that place of unquestioned certainty about the fact of life, which Walt Whitman confirms in SONG OF MYSELF when he says:


I do not trouble my spirit
to vindicate itself
or be understood;

I see that the elementary
laws never apologize.

I exist as I am—that is enough;

If no other in the world
be aware, I sit content;

And if each and all be aware,
I sit content.

Beyond all vindication and blame, the fundamental truth of our existence—the bare fact of our being—can outlast our doing.

Once we remove our masks
and opinions, our

authority of being resides
in whatever point

of stillness we can no
longer question.

Mark Nepo – From an article in Parabola Mag. issue 41

The Magic of India, Mark Tully – Child of Light

marktully2Sir Mark Tully KBE, (born William Mark Tully in 1935) is the former Bureau Chief of BBC, New Delhi. He worked for BBC for a period of 30 years before resigning in July 1994. He held the position of Chief of Bureau, BBC, Delhi for 20 years.

Born in Calcutta, India, his father was a British businessman who was a partner in one of the leading managing agencies of the British Raj. Tully spent the first decade of his childhood in India, although without being allowed to socialise with Indian people, before going to England for schooling. He was educated at Twyford School, Marlborough College and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he studied Theology.

marktullyAs a guest of the Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue on 7 October 2010, Mr Tully spoke on “How Certain Should We Be? – The Problem of Religious Pluralism”. He described his experiences and the fact that India had historically been home to all the world’s major religions. He said that had taught him that there are many ways to God.

Tully is patron of the British branch of Child In Need India and is equally well versed in English and Hindi.

His report follows.





The Mela

In my long years in India I have seen many spectacles but none so remarkable as the two Maha or Great Kumbh Melas which I attended.

kumbha4I have seen vast crowds assemble but none as big as the millions who flocked to the north Indian city of Allahabad to bathe at the confluence where the cloudy waters of the river Ganges meet the blue waters of the river Yamuna on the most auspicious day of those Melas.

I have never been more forcefully reminded that India’s age old culture still survives than I have been by those two Kumbh Melas.

A Variety of Pagentry

kumbha10Anyone who wants to enjoy the Kumbh Mela to the full must appreciate its many different aspects.

There was no frenzy, just the calm certainty of faith; the knowledge that “what had to be done had been done”

It is, of course, a great religious festival, the world’s largest we are told, but there is much more to it than just the great bathing day, spectacular though that is.

Most spectacular of all are the naked sadhus or holy men, who careen through the crowds dancing to the frenzied beat of drums and leaping in the air as they charge in to the river to bathe.

Then there are the sadhus to be seen on any day performing amazing acts of asceticism.

One sadhu I saw had held his arm up so long that it was withered and his nails curved round like talons, another was standing on one leg, and a third lying on a bed of thorns.


kumbha15At Kumbh Melas there is much religious teaching also, and a multitude of discourses.

They demonstrate the wide variety of Hindu traditions, and Hinduism’s tolerance too. Some of the discourses seemed to me obscure, some profound, and some surprising.

The devotees of the 15th Century saint Kabir told me they condemned images of the deities and maintained that washing under a tap was just as good as bathing in the Ganges. No-one seemed to object to their unorthodox views. Perhaps that’s because Hinduism is so varied that for most Hindus there is no concept of heresy.

Hindu pluralism is also shown by the different creation myths the Mela commemorates.

The Urn

kumbha17The word ‘Kumbh’ means an urn, and one of the several myths is the story of an urn filled with the nectar of immortality which emerged from the primeval waters when they were being churned by gods and demons.

The urn was snatched by demons but the son of the ruler of heaven, the god Indira, recovered it. Drops from the urn fell at the Sangam and other places in India where Kumbh Melas are held.


kumbha6Mela means a fair, and as with all fairs plenty of business is done at Kumbh Melas.

There are stalls selling everything a pilgrim might need including, of course, the accoutrements required for pujas, or worship. Barbers shaving heads do a roaring trade. The traditional priests who keep family records set up their stalls and do good business updating genealogies and performing ceremonies for the souls of the dead.

Both Kumbh Melas I saw were remarkable feats of organisation, occasions when the much-maligned Indian civil servants covered themselves with glory.

They constructed a vast tented city, laying down miles of steel plates for roads and constructing pontoon bridges. The administration also insured there was food for the pilgrims, and water too – sanitation, as well as electricity.

kumbha11The police, not usually renowned for their gentleness, were politeness personified as they shepherded millions of pilgrims down to the river banks, keeping them in orderly queues, and insured their safety while bathing. But in this they were helped by Indians remarkable ability to organise themselves in situations which in most other countries would degenerate into chaos.


Faith is the key to the Kumbh Mela.

It is a wonderful spectacle, a great demonstration of the variety and vigour of Hinduism, an occasion to preach politics and conduct business, but there would be no Kumbh Mela were it not for the faith that draws millions of pilgrims to the Sangam in Allahabad.



Uploaded on Nov 8, 2007

May 1998
For the last time this century the Indian city of Haridwar in the foothills of the Himalayas was the setting for the mother of all holy Festivals