Today, I was saddened to learn the passing of Ravi Shankar. My first Indian music concert was with Ravi Shankar,, hypnotic sitar player, and Allah Rakah http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alla_Rakha, his virtuoso tabla player at Royce Hall at UCLA in 1968.
I went with my best friend at the time, Lois Napi, to support Lois who hoped to see George Harrison there. I was about to have one of the most profound experiences demonstrating the power of music to elevate my life state.
Indian music begins very slowly with no drums (tabla) and usually over an hour later the drums begin. The cycle of harmony and rhythm builds to a crescendo as the performers improvise on a scale designed to effect a particular state of mind and time of day to harmonize you, change you, so you are one with the Universe. At first I thought I would hate it because it sounded so different than anything I had ever heard.
At some point I realized I was outside my body, looking down from the ceiling at the artists, Lois, me, the audience. Then I realized I was everything. I was the chairs, the floor, each person, the music. I was euphoric. The harmony I experienced that evening of feeling one with the Universe continued.
Stay tuned in to learn more of the transformation qualities of Indian music, est, and painting. Next blog!
"Magic", 22"h x 28"w x 1.5"d, acrylic on canvas, $2,000 at Bluestone Fine Art Gallery © Francine Kohn 2009
Array at Bluestone Fine Art Gallery in Philadelphia the month of December
. You're invited to attend a group show of the gallery artists dedicated to helping our colleagues meet their clients' needs. Includes a wide range of style & focus, including Francine Kohn's moving image painting "Magic". First Friday, December 7th 4-9pm
Open House and Artist Receptions
Tuesday, December, 11th 8-10am coffee & muffins
Wednesday, December, 12th 11-1pm lite fare
Thursday, December 13th, 4-7pm spirits & snacks To view available works: http://www.bluestone-gallery.com/portfolio.html
Bluestone Fine Art Gallery | 301 N 3rd St | Philadelphia Inquiries: Pam@bluestone-gallery.com or 856.979.7588
Paint Out at Calistoga Art Show & Art Sale this Saturday, October 14th, 12-4pm.
All are welcome to participate. You have to pre-register at the website above.
Raging Radiance 36"h x 48^wx1.5"d Acrylic on Canvas c Francine Kohn 1991
When your mind starts telling you, "your life is over". Rejoice. When a characteristic you have lived with is time to be retired, your mind will try to convince you, your life is over. The truth is it is and it isn't. In order for the new you to emerge, a part of you that you have learned everything you can from, will die. Congratulations and look forward to new people and new events in your life.
Right there in the hospital while watching my body deteriorate by leaps and bounds daily, I began to have and to show appreciation and gratitude. I knew that I was at a major crossroad. I thanked each and every member of the hospital staff, my visitors. This was my moment. Instead of freaking out and complaining, I realized how very fortunate I was to be at the Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa, California. I was finally receiving the love and care I had craved for. I was reduced to being a baby. I was fed, bathed and moved by others. All the time I felt a web of love, of prayers from all my family and friends from many different relgions. The web kept me afloat.
And there in Intensive Care, with oxygen assisting my breathing, my right hand turned into a claw and in a sling, with the paralysis ending up from the top of the ribs to the feet, the right eye diagnosed as legally blind, my vision began to return.
As you might guess, this isn’t easy. My choice was to change or to die. Hopefully, you won't have such a draconian way to get here. What you think of as issues are also your spiritual gifts, and you can be grateful for those as well. You can transform them with your appreciation and gratitude, and those things that were your issues and obstacles become a source of tremendous energy and power. Your life will flower with a fullness, joy and beauty that bubbles up from deep within.
When I arrived at the Emergency Room in 2010, my legs were wobbly. Every time I tried to walk, I fell down.I could hold the legs up while lying down, Once admitted to the hospital the paralysis increased,
Because of my Buddhist practice I knew that great good followed great evil. So I was excited waiting to get well and to receive the good! That being said, it began to occur to me that I may or could die, so I called my brother who was on vacation, telling him he better get here soon as it didn't look good.
Knowing that energetic causes lay beneath my life-threatenig event, I went inside to discover the hidden causes for what was occurring.. I began to hear from my highest self. I brought in our international president of the SGI, President Ikeda, who showed me how to chant for victory. Each Nam Myoho Renge Kyo deep from my belly. Then I saw us in front of the Gohonzon with a light shining down on us and members from throughout the world joining as we did gongyo (recitation of 2 highest chapters of the Lotus Sutra).
Afterward President Ikeda and I spoke about appreciation and gratitude and that this was the new way to live in the world. Then I spoke with my Highest Self. She told me if I wanted to continue to live, I could only do so if I promised to live in appreciation and gratitude. I became aware I had not valued myself..She informed me I would walk when I was willing to stand on my own 2 feet; and to see when I was willing to see and value who I am and my life. I needed to pay attention to the gifts that were all around me. So which was it to be?
You can transform your thoughts, feelings, even your body. The minute you become aware of the problem or unwanted condition, congratulations you are half way there! How can that be? When you bring your consciousness to it, the act of doing this can begin to transform the condition.
Add chanting and/or visualtization, toning (sounds from the soul) will speed how fasts it shifts.
When I was in the hospital, after I had had 5 blood plasma transfers, I began to feel stronger. I decided to further uncover the energetic causes for my paralysis and blindness. I became aware of an energetic fence from my breasts down to the bottom of my ribs. It went deep to my body's core. As I started imagiing melting this fence, I started to cry into deep grief. I saw all the times I had been betrayed and all of the losses I had suffered as a result.
The nurses rushed into my hospital room. I told them, "Please let me do this. Please don't medicate me. This is a part of why I got sick.." I was shocked to see their respecting my request.
In the morning, a few of my left toes began to wiggle, my eyesite began to retun. This was the first signs of life returning to my body.
It took weeks to get me to be able to sit up and for my vision to improve. I had lost all use of my muscles. Sitting made me nauseous, but I was determined to walk again. Through many mini steps and wiith the help of the medical staff, physical therapists, chanting and spiritual techniques, I became what doctors called "a walking miracle".
More on how I became a walking miracle will appear in this blog. Stay tuned.
Success in recovery or in a cherished dream is envisioning how you would feel, think and act as if you were already there, and then working with what is now. Do your best to stay in the moment, realizing that each step you take will in time lead toward your success. Dance with what it is. What would be one mini step you could take today to lead you to where you want to go?
Success takes time, perseverance, and courage with a mindset that each step including a mistake teaches you how to grow, how to become that person you know you are deep inside. Think of yourself as an organic, living being. Remember it takes a tree years to grow tall, the same is true of us human beings.
I have used this strategy to overcome paralysis from the ribs down, one hand becoming a claw and blindness to being mobile, full use of both hands and return of my eye sight. What is now is. How can you work with it while keeping in mind your larger goal?
Please comment or share your experiences.
Whether you are in bed, have limited mobility, you can move your body. When I was in bed, my physical therapy moved my body for me. As I continued to improve, I was able to work with equipment. I was able to regain strength as well as my overall health. Movement to me at whatever level is possible is worth the effort. You will experience a clearer mind, be more comfortable in your body, and feel better overall from the effort.
I began walking with a walker, terrified of cracks in the sidewalk, maneuvering on uneven surfaces, or having to exert more effort going on an upward trajectory. When I could walk without assistance, walking up and down steps was really hard! As I continued physical therapy, my strength and ability got better and better. While I continue to work out with machines, doing warm water exercise, tai chi, and yoga walking is what I do after the energy toning. It's a great way to start the day and to end it. Need encouragement? Contact me.
Every day I'm attempting to add an activity that supports my recovery. Water is essential to good health. This morning I drank 2 glasses of filtered water upon rising. Water is essential for our body to function. From the Mayo Clinic's website, "
Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired." http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283/main.php
While I have known for years the importance of water, I have a hard time drinking enough water. I'm going to monitor how much water I drink through the day and keep a glass near me as I sip water through the day while taking care for me to be able to move. Movement to me is precious; it is life. I am committed to doing what I can to maintain and to enhance my recovery.