Tibetan Refugees Paved the way for Syrian Refugees on the Sunshine Coast

The first two Syrian refugee families have completed their first year on the Coast, sponsored by a Gibsons Church. They are doing well and are enjoying being part of this special, supportive community. They have paved the way for the next family, sponsored by the Sechelt Activity Centre, later this year.

Being part of the Syrian folks lives has been an honour and a privilege, and we are happy to call them our friends, as we do the Tibetan family we sponsored several years ago.

The first Tibetan families from remote northeast India, arrived on the Sunshine Coast in December of 2013 and were followed by several more families, for a total of close to 20 here in our community. The private sponsorship project ended at the end of 2016.

All these folks have made a positive difference, enriching our community by their hard work, their deep spirituality and friendly manner. They are willing to help other new refugees, like they were helped. The 1st arrivals  helped the next Tibetans. Now the Tibetans help the Syrians in any way needed, by attending fundraisers and loaning their vehicles.

We get so much back from volunteering, whether in India or at home. As the research has shown, helping releases feel good brain chemicals: dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin.

There’s more, but you can read the article through the link if you’re interested.

I really can’t imagine what my life was like before we began volunteering!

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Light or Darkness, Your Choice

For me this is a time to step back, to simplify, to clarify my personal truth. To pay attention to the guidance that is always within and around me, whether my awareness is focused on it or not. Trusting that things are unfolding as they are meant to, that chaos is leading us to new clarity is a challenge, but this way of being has been slowly developing for many of us over many years.

We have a choice, to go to the light, or to the dark. To make our life about positivity in all ways…in our thoughts, words and actions. For much good is taking place on this planet, despite, or perhaps because of, the darkness.

The searching for the light, is a good thing, because “…We are the ones we have been waiting for!!” as the words of A Hopi Elder Speaks tell us. The poem has been attributed to many people, including Thomas Banyacya Sr., (1910-1999), an Elder of the Hopi Nation. This widely adopted poem was apparently originally meant for the Hopi, however it has felt meaningful and timely since I first came across it a few years ago.

The Grandmothers and their Net of Light  are sending the same message, although wrapped in a different package. The Grandmothers are a council of ascended souls, who teach about the Net of Light, the healing net that surrounds the planet. Their message is a powerful one: they have come to help rectify the imbalance between yin and yang on this earth. They are here for any and all of us, female or male, whoever is drawn to them, folks want to both help the world and be uplifted themselves.

In 2002 Nasa first saw the Net through the Hubble Telescope, and named it the Cosmic Web. This web of invisible dark matter lights up the galaxies, enabling scientists to see them better than before. Here are beautiful Hubble pics.

Since my introduction to the Grandmothers and the Net a few months ago, on the surface my life has remained the same , but internally I am different…more focused, more in touch with spirit. My work with the Grandmothers and the Net  harmonizes with and enhances other aspects of my life.

In this current time of massive dichotomy and changes, we all have a choice – to go to the Light and create a sacred space wherever we are, or wallow in the negativity of Darkness and hopelessness.

Which do you choose?

Ellen

Copyright Ellen Besso 2017

The Grandmothers picture is from a Net of Light newsletter; painted by one of the members.

 

 

Fall Again…new beginnings

The days are warm, the nights cool. I sit on my back deck surrounded by my friends, the giant conifers, soaking in the afternoon sun, squeezing the last drops of heat from the thinning sun before it sinks behind the trees.

The monsoon season is almost over in Dharamsala India. The weather is cooler this fall than usual I’m told. It’s been close to a decade since I discovered McLeod Ganj, Upper Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of Tibetans in exile, but every year at this time, I long to return to the place where a part of my spirit permanently resides.

A prediction was made more than one thousand years ago by Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche: “When the iron bird flies [airplanes]…the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the world, spreading [their culture and Tibetan Buddhism].”

Perhaps next fall, or the next one, we will go back to Dharamsala, before more of our Tibetan friends leave. They truly are spread around the world: France, the US, Australia, one waiting with hope in Toronto for permission to immigrate with his family.

This year my partner is winding down his survey business, preparing to retire at the end of the year. I am returning to my creative and spiritual pursuits, restoring myself after intense immersion in another sponsorship program, this time with Syrian refugees.

As our planet, and we along with it, moves deeper into the vibration of the fifth dimension, I renew my goal to be in connection with spirit continually, participating in activities that feed me and spending time with folks I have deep connections with.

My year’s experience attending the powerful Divine Love prayer circle and the friendships developed there have helped me tremendously with my spiritual pursuits. So has my relationships with the devote Christians on the Working Committee for the Syrian sponsorship, a local church sponsorship, and my time  with our two Christian Syrian families.

Maintaining contact with spirit is simple, if we allow it to be so. I am slowly learning this truth. Angels are around us all the time, and the more we acknowledge this and ask them for assistance, the stronger our connection becomes to spirit.

“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself, [herself], in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”
Albert Einstein

 

Accepting the Intense Energy, External and Internal Change

We all do it. Resist our spiritual, or soul process. Letting our heads run the show.

Lately the energy onslaught has been so intense personally I find myself using extreme phrases I would not normally use, like “energy attacks”, and “being affected by inner and outer demons”.

The combination of outer world chaos like wars, plus major energy events like the current period of eclipses and solstice means that our energy systems are experiencing an onslaught more intense than anything before. (whether we are aware of it or not). It is an opportunity to grow if we can learn to manage all that is happening, both on the external level on this planet, and our internal emotional and psychic wounds.

The Divine Love prayer group calls these wounds soul encrustations, old material that is holding us back from developing into our spiritual fullness.  Our intent to change combined with prayer and meditation, slowly clears this energy

Many of us are now experiencing, in varying degrees, kundalini awakeninsg, as the life force stored in our base chakra begins to rise upward. This process, when completed, frees up a tremendous amount of energy. The energy blocks in various chakras block the kundalini rising, and as our nervous systems are being rewired we often experience many symptoms.

Kundalini awakening is not well understood, apparently. The internet has many long lists of common symptoms but finding information on the less common ones requires more thorough research. I’ve read that it can happen both when someone has learned to “be still”, i.e. meditate etc., and very unexpectedly to people with no knowledge of energy.

Heat is the most common symptom. Some of my symptoms are common, and some not so much. Many originate in the brain stem, where old memories,  of a fight or flight nature are stored, and the head becomes very tight. Some of my other symptoms, including the common and not so common are: Not wanting to mix with people much; Movement of energy around my body; Changeable moods; Energy blocks in hips and legs, Occasional dizziness, (from inner ear rewiring I’ve read); A feeling of collapsing inward through the solar plexus and second chakra; Two very brief feelings of craziness due head energy rewiring.

Some of the things I have found helpful during this time are:

  • Structuring my morning with (brief) meditation and prayer, journalling,  walking, then writing.
  • Learning to ask my angels for help and being mindful of their presence.
  • Considering/embracing the idea of “joining with spirit” rather than surrendering, as that does not work for me at all; it feels very disempowering.
  • Softening the way I treat myself.

Please note that I have chosen not to post any links about kundalini awakening for several reasons: there’s too much out there, your symptoms may be less common, some information may not be reliable and/or may seem flaky. (In the past I believed some of those folks were over the top, yet here I am now myself, experiencing this energy!)

PS: Having said above that I am not recommending any links on kundalini awakening to you, I have just come across one that is the most comprehensive & sensible one I’ve seen:

http://kundaliniandcelltowers.com/energy-shift-symptoms.html

 

An Indian Sojourn by Ellen Besso

My second book, An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering” was truly a labour of love. Three years in the making, it chronicles my journey through many parts of India, and volunteer work in the Tibetan community of Dharamsala, home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

An Indian Sojourn is available through Amazon, (sample pages available there), and locally on the Sunshine Coast, from Ellen (ellenbesso@gmail.com), WOW Art Gallery in Sunnycrest Mall, and at Molly’s Lane Market.

Here are a couple of testimonials about my book:

“I journeyed with you every day. It is travel writing with depth to it.”  Jan Degrass, Coast Reporter

“A factual account, plus an emotional and spiritual journey.” Sara MacDonald

An Indian Sojourn is for women looking for a deeper travel experience and for the arm chair traveller.

Best wishes  

Ellen

 

 

Separation vs. Joining – When the Planet Heals, She’ll Heal Us

“Daesh, i.e. ISIL/ISIS, and Donald Trump are very much on the same side: the side of separation.”    Mark Heley

I recently received an intuitive message: “When the planet heals she will heal us.”

We and our planet are inextricably joined, we can’t talk about one without considering the other. Mother Earth has much to teach us about togetherness, working together, co-creating, helping each other.

My previously random praying has become more regular and refined over the course of the last six months. My involvement in the Divine Love prayer group has sensitized me to many things, including my environment. I usually begin my prayer with  healing for the planet, asking that Divine Love and Light pour down upon her, while visualizing the earth as a globe.

The planet works by natural laws, as a well oiled machine, when not interfered with. We have harmed her, and now we as a society are slowly beginning to feel compassion for her, to notice how out of balance she is and to begin to make amends.

Having compassion for our planet instead of ignoring the damage that’s been inflicted on her changes us. It softens something inside us, something that we may have ignored in our state of denial. This softening enables us to feel more compassion and empathy for all those who live here on the earth, whether they’re in our backyard or many thousands of miles away.

Separation or Joining…we have a choice.

Blessings to you  
Ellen

An interesting article on having empathy, & not just for people we know http://upliftconnect.com/whole-world-needs-healing/   

The ancient practice of marrying the land, Irish folklore & goddesses http://upliftconnect.com/marrying-the-land/

Ayurvedic Exercises given to me: When springtime comes round again, I will remind myself to lie on the grass underneath a large pine tree in my backyard, to soak up the earth energy. Also to walk in the sand at the edge of the water on the beach.

 

Many Roads Lead Home

Many years ago, I had an unusual Grade 13 English teacher at Bathurst Heights Collegiate in Toronto. Her family was very out there it seemed, and her brother hosted a weekly cable tv show about UFO’s and other psychic stuff.

One day, somehow in the context of an English lesson, our teacher  asked us to lay on the floor and facilitated a guided visualization describing the spinning Hindu wheel of Nirvana, the wheel of birth, life and death. Moving through it through lifetimes, one’s goal is to eventually reach nirvana, or liberation. (Nirvana is also a Buddhist concept. Since that time I’ve had a belief in reincarnation.

The daughter of a Welsh immigrant mother and Canadian born father, whose mother was a Welsh war bride, I was raised in a Christian tradition in the Welsh United Church in Toronto. Like many of my generation I found the church lacking, and left it when I was about eighteen years old.

I had my brief  ‘agnostic’ phase during university, then in my early thirties was introduced to “New Age” books, (hate that expression), by early authors like Shakti Gawain and Louise Hay. From that time on, like many boomers, I considered myself  “spiritual but not religious”.

For many years my beliefs have embraced the concept of a Higher Power, (the Light, the Source, the Universe, not necessarily the word God per se, but all having the same meaning ). Also I have a recognition of Ascended Masters, such as Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda, the Hindu and Buddhist goddeses and Gods, (Lakshmi,  Ganesh, The Taras, for example). Tibetan Buddhism plays a small part in my eclectic belief sysem. Both here in my home community and in Dharamsala, India my partner and have attended Tibetan Buddhist teachings, and have many dear Tibetan friends who are practicing Buddhists.

Lately I have been questioning some of my long held beliefs. At times my foundation has felt like it’s cracking, the result of my introduction to the Divine Love Foundation last July, with attendance at prayer circles and a retreat in August.

The mission of the foundation is: To awaken humankind to the wonders of Divine Love and to be channels of love, peace and healing for our planet., a beautiful goal.

The main tenets of a belief in a male or female God figure; choice whether to accept this Higher Power; the power of prayer and the idea that the soul rather than the mind is what connects all fit within my eclectic personal belief system, the one I’ve developed over close to fifty years.

So far so good then.

During the hour of prayer, while a beautiful energy pours around us and into us, a very special, gifted medium channels supportive, encouraging and loving messages from the higher realms. Quite early on I received very personal messages: Confucius told me to keep asking questions, that it was my soul seeking answers.

My second personal message concerned reincarnation. During the retreat, much to my surprise, I discovered that this philosophical, (not religious), group does not believe in reincarnation. Channelling but not reincarnation…hmm…confusing to someone with my beliefs. One night, with only four of us in the room, the First Soul, called Aman, or Adam, came through with a special message for me, for “the sister who believes in reincarnation”. Aman told us that out of  the many thousands of souls he had met, he had never come across one that had reincarnated. I was quite astounded, firstly to hear that information, and secondly that the first soul would come through with a message for me, a relative newcomer to the group.

Since that time I have relaxed into the process, softening my beliefs a little. It does not really matter what my brain decides to believe, it’s all about the energy. We are all travelling in the same direction so to speak, towards the light, and the group folks are happy to have me as part of their circle, as long as I want to be there.

My meditation and prayer enhance each other, each becomes stronger because of the other.  Every few weeks as I change my prayer changes and deepens. Recently I have been visualizing showering the planet in light and Divine Love and praying for her to be healed, for governments to stop mistreating people, and for people all over the world, as well as my community, friends and family.

And so my spiritual life continues, very much a living process.

Gibsons will host its first Syrian Refugee Family

    “Everything that divides us weakens us.”   Source: Associated Press

The idea of being part of an organized group bringing refugees to Canada on an ongoing basis has resonated with me for several years. From late 2013 into 2015 we were part of a group that sponsored a family of Tibetans into our community, as part of Canada’s Tibetan Resettlement project. The group of 1000 Tibetans who have arrived, or hope to come to Canada, if they have private sponsors, are from the remote tribal states of northeast India, specifically the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

We were inspired to participate in this project because of our travels and volunteer work in India, in Dharamsala, the home of His Holiness the Dali Lama. Each  Tibetan we met there, through our work, at Men-Tsee-Khang Medical Clinic or on the street, impressed us with their sincerity, groundedness and spirituality. Our lives have been deeply enriched through both our experiences in India and here in our home community. We will always remain close to our Tibetan friends in both countries.

Now it feels right to branch out, to step up and help with the needs of Syrian refugees. Many are waiting in Jordon, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey to be sponsored, either by governments or private sponsors. Conditions are very difficult. Last winter there were windstorms and flooding in Jordan. Many shelters in camps were destroyed. Urban refugees suffered through bitterly cold nights, sometimes below freezing.

We will be playing a small part in helping Syrian families, by being part of Christian Life Assembly’s church/community partnership that is bringing the first family to Gibsons, through a private sponsorship.

There are many things we can all do to help:

  • Sponsor a refugee family
  • Donate to private sponsorship groups in your community
  • Donate to UNHCR to help refugees waiting to find homes
  • Help sponsorship groups by being a volunteer
  • Attend the CLC Valentine Dance Saturday February 13th (tickets through CLC, Laedli and myself)

Here are some informative articles:

Who are the 25,000 Syrians Coming to Canada?

United Nations High Commission for Refugees – UNHCR

“Whether we like it or not, we have all been born on this earth as part of one great human family…ultimately each of us is just a human being like everyone else: we all desire happiness and do not want suffering. Furthermore, each of us has an equal right to pursue these goals. Today’s world requires that we accept the oneness of humanity.”          

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

PLS NOTE: The picture at the top is of a refugee child holding a picture she drew of her former home. Credit abcnewsgo.com.

A Tibetan Refugee Woman’s Story

I would like to bring in the New Year by offering you the story of Tsering, a woman we met in Dharamsala last year. We met her through another friend and I interviewed her in  February of 2015 in our room at Pema Thang Guesthouse. Of all the Tibetan refugee stories I have edited over a period of six years, Tsering’s is, in many ways, the most moving one. Although she was so young at the time, the events of her early life and escape to India are still very fresh in her mind. She is now 26 years old.

Tsering’s Story

I have no parents; I’m an orphan, from the province of Kham in Tibet. When I was nine years old, in 1999, a kind neighbour and an uncle helped me leave my abusive life in a Tibetan town and escape across the border into Nepal, then on to India.

In my early years I didn’t get a chance to play like other kids because of my difficult situation. In our family I’m the second youngest of five children; I have two brothers and two sisters. Everyone was busy at their own work I was alone in the house.

After I was born my mother was sick and I lived with her for the first year of my life only. Then I was sent to my mother’s eldest sister to live in town, where I worked very hard and never had time to play. By the age of five I was looking after the cows. Even though my aunt was a blood relative, they didn’t treat me like their own child, but like a servant, a maid.

My aunt came from a very poor family of nine girls. She married at an early age, an arranged marriage I think. The family became the richest family in the town. She had money and power, but never gave anything to her family members.

When I was seven I had a chance to meet a Rinpoche and told him everything about my situation and my family. Through his help I was accepted as a day student at a boarding school one hour’s walk from home. I studied there for two or three years. But they would call me back from school to work at my auntie’s house. Her husband drank and he beat me all the time. He never wanted me to spend a single day like other kids. By the time I was nine, he forced me to work for other families, nomadic people who also had farms.

Neighbours noticed how badly I was treated, and said “You don’t have to stay here, you’ll never be happy”. So one of the women took me in the night, and we walked to Lhasa. It took us about fifteen days to get there, journeying during the night and resting in the daytime, so my auntie’s family would not find us. We went to the home of my aunt, a young woman in her twenties. Later my uncle came to see me and tried to send me back home. He said the family promised to treat me well, but I knew they were lying. I told him, “If you send me back I’ll run away.”

My uncle came back again after Losar, the Tibetan New Year, after I had been in Lhasa for two or three months. He took me to the border of Nepal, where he left me in the hands of two Nepalese boys, not much older than me, would be my guides from the border to Kathmandu. I had no Nepalese language, but they knew a little Tibetan. We walked most of the night every night. When I was tired they carried me on their backs. Sometimes we slept on the ground.

One night the boys left me, one going ahead as a lookout to check if Chinese soldiers were in the area. The other boy thought I was following him, but I was asleep under a tree. When that boy caught up with the first boy, he asked him where I was. They came back for me, both crying. In their limited Tibetan they asked, “What are you doing here, why are you sleeping?

We reached the Reception Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal after about fifteen days. The trip was slow because we stayed hidden during the day. I knew no one at the centre. After about a month I was sent to the Delhi Reception Centre, then here to McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, on my own the whole way.

At the Dharamsala centre I was the youngest person, all the other refugees were either families or monks. They treated me well. It was here that I met a young monk who helped me. After a while he went into a monastery, but came to visit me sometimes. I’ve lost touch with him and don’t know his name. I’ve tried to find him, asking many people about him. He was a tall man, that’s all I remember. Maybe he’s in a South India monastery now.

After a time at the Reception Centre I was sent to the Tibetan Children’s Village, or TCV school, where I boarded and studied for almost eight years, until the tenth grade. Because I was good at my studies I skipped a grade and was sent to TCV Gopalpur, a half hour’s distance from Dharamsala. Many of the children there were without parents, they were orphans or their parents had sent them to India from Tibet to have a better life.

“You remember so much”, I said to Tsering. “I have seen so much.” came the reply.

In 2011, when I was in my early twenties, my auntie’s young brother-in-law came to India, to the Kalachakara teachings in Boddhgaya, North India, where the Dalai Lama performs special Buddhist initiations. While I was there some monks told me he was looking for me, to take me back to Tibet. I told them not to say I was there.

 

Tsering survived her difficult early years with her abusive family, and received the best education the Tibetan government in exile could offer her at TCV Schools. She now has a very good job in a large Tibetan NGO in Dharamsala, where she helps other refugees.

When she speaks to her brothers and sisters in Tibet by telephone, this younger sister always tells them, “Don’t ask anyone to help you, you know what they’re [the family] like. You’re healthy, you can do everything yourself.”

I asked Tsering if there was anything else she would like to tell me. She replied that she appreciates westerners who have so much feeling for Tibet causes, who learn about issues like self-immolation, and work hard to help. Some Tibetans have much less feeling about Tibet, she told me. Tsering ended our conversation with: “I thank you for your kind consideration for Tibet and the Tibetan people.”.

 

We’d Better Get Going!

“To be of service to others through your inner gifts, your intuition, your courage, your talents and your creativity is possible for all those who are willing to respond to the needs of others.”       Caroline Myss

A dear friend, an eighty-two year medium, said to me a couple of months ago: “You’ve got a deep purpose. How old are you?…[66]…Well, you’d better get going!”

After fifteen months of processing what was and what might have been in my life, something that felt necessary before moving into the next phase, things suddenly  clicked into place one morning, when the words “There’s a lot to be done” came into my body in a visceral way, somehow intersecting my head and my heart.

Although it’s not clear at this point, I can “see” in a fresh, deeper, knowing way, that my place in the world is significant, that clearing my own stale issues and helping others will contribute to the healing of the planet. When we all do what we can it has a cumulative effect. Awakening each morning and being a positive force in the world, emitting positive, healing energy – that in itself is enough to make a significant difference.

For me there’s something about writing that moves me forward. Recommitting to expressing myself this way, after a couple of years of not writing, gives me impetus. Baby steps, like buying the chair I will use for my newly emerging energy work, and joining others in our community who in a mutual goal tohelp Syrian families are other pieces.

Yes, there is a lot to be done in the world, and more and more of us are now contributing to what will become a critical mass of healing and growth for our planet and everyone living on it.

Ellen Besso is a life coach, counsellor, author & energy worker. Her work combines her newly emerging High Heart Chakra work, EMDR, Reiki & Trager. Ellen’s books, “An Indian Sojourn” and “Surviving Eldercare”, can be purchased through Amazon or from Ellen. contact her through the blog comment section or email her at: ellenbesso@gmail.com.