Published in local paper.

There is a risk, and I took it. I held a random telephone conversation with one of the local newspapers’ journalists and now I have just read the published article. And, wow, is what I have to say. If this is the level of journalism that passes muster for a local rag, then maybe my dedicated retirement from the ‘regular workforce’ is misplaced. I will be warier next time.

So, please read it (copied to the article page) in the knowledge that I had nothing to do with the penmanship – though the quotes are quite accurate.

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Hitchhiking – in the snow.

Very topical these days . . . with UK and much of Europe gripped in the whiteness . . . on my way back from India, 1974. It was December 22nd I guess, and me wearing nothing warmer than simple, Indian, cotton clothing . . .

Austria and Germany whizzed past, though I had another of those funny, and rather fabled hitchhiker tales before I was out of there. I was sleeping close to the autobahn near Ulm, in Bavaria. Late night, it was freezing and again I was huddled up against something or other, nestled underneath some cardboard if I remember right, with snow all around. A young couple spied me. The girl, a nurse at the local hospital and a Christian, was almost weepy catching sight of me. I was totally forbidden from doing anything other than letting them drag me into their car and being taken home for the night – a bit like a lost kitten!!

I was practically pushed into the shower, and given a warm bed for the night, and in the morning, she buttered my toast and made me a packed lunch for the next stretch of the way. They were doing their good deed for Christmas, they declared gleefully. So, when we did say farewell, we both thanked each other for the moment we shared and the gifts we exchanged. Seeing their joy for having accomplished their Christmas deed, as I waived farewell, gave me the clear feeling that I had given them something also. So, we all smiled a little brighter that morning as we got on with our doings.

. . . so remember that folks. There is a gift in giving, we not going to change the world by what we do – but to share a little of our wealth or privilege gives a lift too!! And you could buy my book help the world go round a little faster (joke!)

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Really, a book tour?

I was there, lying in my bed, thinking about how to give due honour to the release of my book . . . and thought, “Why not retrace my steps. Visit the places I have lived, folk I have known, and in a rather ritualistic way, give thanks for the life I have lived”. What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Sport – is it the new opium of the people?

We grew up with Religion being downplayed as a human foible. An addiction, that was to many a sign of weakness – whereas in other countries, not to go into names, Religion still held the higher ground. So, what is it that turns us into herd animals, chasing wildly around the park?

I was in Liverpool in the early seventies, a time when their footie team was creaming everyone in sight. It didn’t touch me then, and it certainly doesn’t do it now . . . but there are large sways of folk for whom the winter traipse to the terraces is the highlight of their week. And that is those that frothed themselves over the football; when I was younger there was the other element too: the guys who went for the booze and a chance to attack the other team’s supporters. Maybe not always physical, but the insults hurled, the excessive gesturing and the heady intoxication when their team scored or put their opposition to fright.

My story, my book, tells of an aspiration, the search for a condition that quickly had nothing in common with the intoxicated highs of my youth and surely a revulsion for this crowd madness. The original attraction to the ‘underground’ drug culture was diversion, a rebellious exploration of something different. And, after a few years of this and that, it became a distraction only. The spectator cults, the booze culture, craving an identity manoeuvres – I grew away from them and can now feel only estrangement from all this.

Sport, religion, sub-culture groupings, they all seem to be society’s way of undermining the individual’s ability to achieve that delightful state of inner unity, humility and personal joy. John Lennon’s song comes back to me –“ . . a working class hero is something to be . . “ and l can’t help feeling that he short changed himself a tad. Maybe he was winding down at the time.

Ok, enough chatter. When I met Sri Ram Chandra ji of Shahjahanpur, and felt his presence, his light and warmth, there was no going back. No synthetic stimulants, no hysterical groupism, no socialized contentment, no place to be except on the road towards a type of freedom that does seem to be a bit out of favour in this day and age. The predictable patterns, the stereotyped behaviours, repetition, repetition, repetition. If we don’t move forwards, we die. We blow ourselves up, or we destroy the planet, overpopulate and denude its resources. We have to as the colloquial saying goes: “we have to grow a pair” and step forwards towards the light.

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SEO for dummies

Yes, that is what I need. I get the idea with the concept of getting your ranking up so that more traffic finds you and so on .  . . but this is all jargonated gibberish to a guy like me. My old website, for the optical business I once had, had all sorts of metadata, keywords hidden somewhere – but they never got me into google without me searching on the URL in its entirety. Yawn. So, now a new day, I have some hours, let’s see if I can crack this one again.

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Press interview

On the phone, to a guy who has only the press release to go on – quizzing me on the why’s and wherefor’s of my book, my life. Strange game. Do we speak to the guy, and help him sort out his life’s trials, or do we make PR for the book. I have a feeling I erred on the side of the former.

In conversation we reveal ourselves to the other, and in so doing offer up our foibles to inspection. That was OK, but from the questioning out come all sorts of messages. He sees this, but not that. He presumes this, while I am working on that. Eventually it gets down to discussing what makes him tick, rather than what I hope to achieve by publishing all this personal, pseudo private stuff about me and my life.

It is hard not to be drawn into the topics of the day, Trump and Brexit being somehow the top of the list. In the words of my Guide in life matters: “What you cannot cure, you must endure”. And, the level of chitter chatter that is generated by these topics, where none can cure them, is astounding.

Meanwhile, as I scribble these words, I am resonating with another event happening on the other side of the world. the body of my dear friend and fellow traveller is being cremated. Dear brother Tom Hansen is no more of this world; just yesterday I saw him in one of our videos. So, as he moves on and all our brothers and sisters in Denmark and Canada [and everywhere I am sure] give him their prayers . . . promoting the book makes me feel a bit  indulgent!

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The world wide web – it sure is.

Since setting up this web/blog site I have had more than a dozen invites from businesses wishing to help me RE-design my website. And, checking on the phone numbers they really do all come from all over the world.  One of the last, a sweet sounding lady from the Philippines, could barely speak english and yet she was all ready to give me quotes for this and that improvements.

Lovely to find out that it is reaching far and wide, but not really sure whether it is being read. So, if you do, please leave a comment, let me know what you have found out and maybe even what you would like to see me add.

M. xx

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Learning the ropes

One of my articles came back yesterday, needing a total rework. It’s a tough road this one, trying to get into print. This time it is a web-based magazine, and they wanted something different. It has echoes of my book itself: the trials of learning humility while aiming to be effective in our endeavours. It is an essential attribute to perfect while ascending the spiritual path. We have as our goal, pealing away the affectations or personality machinations that surround our pure centre – and they damn well fight back. The ego fights back. We are like this, we decide stuff and swear blind that our intentions are honourable, we have accrued a certain status or self esteem; and one of the first ones to dissolve is our arrogant self-pride.

Purity has no colour. A divine personality has no cultural characteristics save his nimbleness in serving as best he/she can, and for that, we must clean away the driftwood that clouds our outer appearance. I have this recurring challenge, and we all do: of how to let slip the reflex behaviours and remain real to the situation we find ourselves. The rebellious me would reject the publisher’s demands – but how could that serve anyone? The present me buckles down and looks at the opportunity that their demand offers. What the Divine me would do in such a situation, time will tell. Onward and upwards, having this aspiration in front of me is a true friend, to be REAL.

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Evolving . . or is it playing catch-up?

Had a long chat with a fellow author yesterday, about using Twitter, public readings and other forms of promo activity. It brought with it a lot of information, but it also evoked that crazy demon that so many of us carry; you know, the one that says so much progress seems to be regress in camouflage.

Watching as we do, how everyone is locked into their telephones on the tube here in London, or walking blind in the shopping malls eyes glued to the mini-screen in their hands. What chance a man such as me, making headway in social media? I have used Facebook for a few years now, but only as a glorified email alternative, with pictures. Have you noticed how it has become degraded, like US television, as a purveyor of one advertisement after another, interspaced by atitillating TV clip, or catastrophic event?

But, the biggest conundrum that I face is that having lost such egoistic ambitions that I might still have had, now I am asked to PUSH myself and my book like a fevered beast, to break through into public visibility.  The words that have been carefully placed on the pages, they justify themselves. Now, the task at hand is to find magazines, newspapers, radio or tv stations to pick it up and help it reach an audience . . . and for that, we either need some Divine intervention, aggressive marketing or some serious good luck to kick in.

If you read this and feel inclined . . . please help out. Post my book title, the blog site or what ever you find supportive to you social media platform. M. xx

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