Projects, not Work

I’m a focused person, but I don’t do “work” anymore, I have “projects”. Some of projects have an end goal, like a choir performance, or posting a finished blog article, but I’m moving towards “Everything has its own time, and there is a specific time for every activity under heaven.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Our time isn’t God/dess’ time. The Universe operates on kairos, or natural time, not kronos, man made linear calendars. The concept of natural rhythms is not on the radar for most people, and those of us who are aware of it still find it hard to live this way in an ongoing way in our functional society.

It’s taken me quite a while to slow down and follow my internal wisdom, to lessen the degree to which I buy into our goal oriented, time dependent culture. Now that I’m internallizing the idea in a heartfelt way, I am beginning to thoroughly enjoy living this way. Feeling into my internal wisdom and my guidance means I do not question or self criticize in the ways of the past.

A theme of energy movement runs through my projects, in keeping with my spiritual motto, or mantra, if you will, of “follow the energy”. The Net of Light Women’s group where we meet to commune with the Grandmothers’ Council to help rebalance the planet, my new Inspirito,  singing from the heart choir, ongoing blog musings and a recommitment to providing a service offering energy balancing sessions to friends and acquaintances, all segue into a more clearly defined spiritual approach to my life.  I am blessed in the life I am living and my awareness of this grows daily.

Love & Light

Ellen

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

 

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Our Spirits in Synchronicity

Path behind the Dalai Lama’s Temple, Photo Don G. Smith
                          “It is our true nature we are trying to realize.” 
                               Tenzin Palma

We live in both the material and spiritual worlds. The spirit world transcends time and space; it does not function on our time, rather in natural, or Kairos time. There is a Oneness between our two worlds and between all of us and nature. When we are connected with others, whether they are in spirit or presently embodied, we are with them always. I am in British Columbia, but part of me lives on in Dharamshala, my other spiritual home, on the pathway to the Dalai Lama’s temple, in the homes of my dear Tibetan and Indian friends.

Synchronicity plays a role in our lives. Everything and everyone intersects – we are One with each other. The Grandmothers are an excellent example of this. There are two sets of Grandmothers councils that I’m presently aware of, although I’m sure there are many more. One group is in spirit and the other in human body.

I have written about The Great Council of Grandmothers before and the Net of Light that protects our earth, and was privileged to attend the group’s annual California Gathering in April.  The Grandmothers are spirits from all walks of life, they appeared to Sharon McErlane over twenty years ago on a bluff in Southern California. This was the beginning of Sharon’s intense shamanic relationship with these spirits, aspects of the Divine, who appear as women at times, and powerful eagles at other times.

The Grandmothers are here to rectify the severe imbalance of yin and yang energy on our earth, and to help imbue the planet and all of us with the powerful, healing Net of Light. Through empowerments given to women (and a few men), and through casting the Net of Light, the planet and every single aspect of nature and humans will be healed.

Twice recently I’ve come across another council, the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, who come together from all over the world for the purpose of sharing their ancestral teachings of prayer, peacemaking and healing, to help us at this time of great need. Tsering Dolma Gyaltong, one of the Tibetan Grandmothers, recently deceased, sponsored a conference in 2006 in Dharamshala, one year before my partner and I first visited this home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in the Himalayan foothills. The ten minute video is heartwarming, and to my surprise, one of my dear Tibetan friends, formerly a Tibetan nomad, is in the video footage. The video is called For the Next 7 Generations, Scenes from Dharamsala.

This international council had been spoken of in prophecy and seen in visions since time immemorial, and it came together after the 9/11 attacks in the US. “From the get go this council originated from the Spirit World ” says Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim. “The Ancient Ones are speaking through our voices…We can help stop spiritual blindness around the world.”

There are many commonalities in various teachings and spiritual philosophies. For instance, Circles of Stones play a prominent role in spiritual healing. Stones have Spirit to most indigenous people, they are the oldest beings on the planet. “It is believed that the simple act of picking up a stone and holding it in silence changes a person in subtle and profound ways.”, says Carol Schaefer, author of Grandmothers Counsel the World, one of the thirteen Grandmothers’ books.

The Great Council of Grandmothers advised Sharon McErlane to form circles of stones to enhance healings. Judith Duerk, who I was privileged to work with in retreat twenty years ago, was guided to write Circle of Stones, Woman’s Journey to Herself, embracing ancient women’s ways in the time before the patriarchal period when the Goddess was worshipped. Judith describes ancient circles of stones with women sitting around fires.

Spiritual synchronicity is everywhere. As we draw closer to the Divine, we may find our attention to it growing. We ourselves will be filled with Spirit and gradually our lives will shift into a gentle, peaceful, flowing stream.

Love & Light

Ellen

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

 

Net of Light Newsletter – Sharon McErlane – Live from THIS Place

From the Great Council of Grandmothers,

through Sharon McErlane

Live From THIS Place

I went to the Grandmothers, although I wasn’t really sure why. What did I want to ask them? But before I could form a question, they spoke. “Why do you think we come to you as the Grandmothers?” they asked. “Why do we show up as women? Older women? Why as a group?” they asked, peering intently into my eyes. “I don’t know, Grandmothers,” I said. “I mean, I have some ideas about these things but I don’t really know.”

“We are wise women,” they said, referring to themselves, ” … older, experienced in living. We’ve learned how to give away, how to love with no strings attached. We listen and because we do, we’ve accrued great understanding. You don’t gain that except through experience,” they laughed, “and we have experience! We also work together,” they smiled, “always together.

“In the world the older woman is overlooked, dismissed, and ignored,” they said, and I found that I agreed with them. “Most people are in a great hurry. Rushing, pushing, worrying, scrambling,” they said, “but not us. No,” they shook their heads. “We know better. We understand that nothing happens before its time. There’s no rushing life,” they said. “It unfolds on its own. You’ve learned that too, haven’t you?” they asked, looking me over. “Uh, yes, Grandmothers,” I agreed, “well, at least I’m continuing to learn.”

“We know, we know!” they crowed. “And we’re here to teach you!” “Oh!” I exclaimed. “Is that what this is about? Is it time for me to learn more patience?” but the Grandmothers only laughed.

“You are growing impatient,” they said, “impatient with the way things are in the world. Eager for goodness, for kindness and peace to reassert themselves on earth. You’re tired of all the darkness. Tired of the anger and meanness that continue to surface. In fact,” they said, “you can hardly bear any more of it.” “Yes, Grandmothers,” I shook my head, “you’re right.”

“Come here!” they suddenly said, and reached their arms to me. “Step into our circle. Come into alignment with us. Don’t hold yourself separate,” they said. “Don’t hold yourself ‘over there,'” they gestured, “but instead, come ‘over here’!” I did as they said. I stepped forward into their embrace and when I did, they aligned my spine with theirs. Now I was part of a long line of women … part of the formation that is the Grandmothers.

“Take a look at life on earth from THIS position,” they said, and I lifted my head and gazed out over the horizon. Everywhere I looked there was beauty. Above and below, near and far. Beauty. Only beauty. Flowing patterns of color and form. It was a visual symphony, magnificent in every way. “Where’s all the darkness? The ugliness?” I asked, squinting to see where it was hiding. But there was no darkness. There was no ugliness. Only beauty. Beauty and then … more beauty.

“Live from this place,” the Grandmothers said. “Look out at the world from here, from the place of alignment with us. We promise that things will look very different to you,” they said.

The Grandmothers had given me a new way of seeing the world. It wasn’t a new world; this world had always been there, but before they adjusted my vision, I hadn’t been able to see it. But now I could because I had the larger view. I turned to the Grandmothers then, so moved by their generosity, I couldn’t speak. All I could do was mutely nod my head in thanks to them for this great gift they’d given me. This gift of the larger vision is for you too.

from Sharon McErlane

Net of Light Gathering, Joshua Tree, CA, April 2018

In mid April, my partner Don and I travelled to Joshua Tree, Southern California, for the Net of Light gathering. I needed time to process the experience before journalling; here is my attempt to put into words this powerful, ephemeral experience.

We arrived early and settled in at Joshua Tree Retreat Center. The Center is the oldest in North America at 77 years of age and was built by Frank Lloyd Wright and Son, after a unique man named Edwin Dingle, who had studied Eastern philosophy in Tibet, was guided to the land.

I felt honoured to be invited to attend the Beacons, or group leaders’ meeting prior to the gathering, as I planned to start a Net of Light group in my home town after this retreat. Beacons from all over the world attended, several from the Netherlands, some of them group leaders for many years.

The highlight of the meeting was meeting Sharon McErlane in a small group setting. Sharon’s Net of Light organization had grown to 250 groups worldwide over the twenty plus years since the Grandmothers appeared to her on a bluff in Southern California. Sharon told me I had definitely been called to this work.

In the early months of 2017 I had come across the Net of Light website while researching, returning to it repeatedly, not knowing why. I subscribed to Sharon’s newsletter, eventually meeting the Canadian Co-ordinator, Laura in Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver, our shared ferry terminal.

That afternoon, under the big, old trees in the park by the water, I received my first empowerment, a gentle introduction to the energy of the Grandmothers, meant to connect us to them and to allow us to bring out our unique gifts in a greater way. Things began to change subtly for me after the empowerment, I received nudges and small messages from the Grandmothers that helped me to live more fully and mindfully with an increased level of trust in myself.  I realized the  Grandmothers  had been around me before I knew who they were.

One hundred people attended the Southern California Gathering, ninety women and close to ten men. I had felt the presence of the Grandmothers strongly for two weeks before the gathering, helping me release powerful old held material from deep within myself. At the retreat they filled the room, and indeed the whole property, with a strong, but light energy.

During our four days together we worked both in the larger group and in ten breakout groups. We drummed and sang, calling in the Grandmothers and the Great Mother, casting and strengthening the Net of Light, the great energetic fishnet that holds and heals the planet and us during these difficult times. Sharon and others took us through guided meditations. In the small groups we debriefed and sometimes did exercises.

For four days we lived in a cocoon of delight and heart felt love. Because we were in an altered state and the experiential nature of the Gathering, I could not explain precisely what we did to friends who questioned me later.

One exercise impacted me powerfully, and remains in my memory banks to this day. We took turns expressing to a partner the qualities of the goddess we saw within ourselves.

When the weekend was over we reluctantly left our spiritual cocoon, spreading out in all directions, Don and I in the direction of Sedona, Arizona.

Since that time I feel I have made slow, but steady progress, beginning our Net of Light women’s group in my home, and building trust withing myself by taking more risks, speaking out more, both in person and in my writing. In these ventures I am supported strongly by the Grandmothers, by my dear women friends and by claiming my Tibetan name more fully, Lhakpa, meaning courageous speech, the name that came to me in a dream several years ago.

Love & light to you.

Ellen / Lhakpa

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

 

Stepping Back – Being, not Doing During Tough Times

Kluane Lake, Yukon – (Betty Owen)
The energies built for two weeks prior to the recent full moon lunar eclipse, peaking on July 28th, another phase in the increased vibrations affecting the planet and everything on it, with both positive and painful results.
“We are in a deep cleanse and preparation stage this summer…being prepared to receive more Light energy anchored through our physical bodies…”, says Judith Onley, a friend who channels a large group of spirits called US, or United Souls of Heaven and Earth, for many years.
Today change is happening on many levels, both internally and externally. Historically things worsened before they improved. People are pushed to their max as societies become imbalanced. Governments often shift radically, to a place of protectivism, the opposite of “We are all One”.
At times it feels like: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs”, (Kipling), only I would replace the word head with heart.
Many of us are experiencing exhaustion and other physical and emotional symptoms. Processing the vibratory energies descending on the planet and grounding ourselves during the chaos and confusion around us takes a lot of energy. Two analogies that may work for you are: recovering from an injury such as a broken leg, or transitioning through the grieving process after losing someone dear to us.
We are being constantly challenged to hold the course, and in order to not simply survive, but to flourish, we need to design individual and communal ways to live.
Giving ourselves permission to care for ourselves deeply will allow us to move into a new place, one of ease. Tracking ourselves – paying attention to our needs, including the needs of our heart will bring us peace.
Communication between the heart and brain is a dynamic, ongoing dialogue, with each organ continuously influencing the other’s function. The heart actually sends more information to the brain than the other way around, scientists have discovered.   The heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways: through the nervous system, hormones, pulse waves and electromagnetic fields.
Stepping back gives us the opportunity to not only rest and strengthen ourselves, but to expand, to make contact with our creativity in new ways…to become inspired again.
Humanity is beginning to move towards a heart centred way of living. We have a choice, to soldier on, supporting a cracking system, or to live in a way that expresses our connection to one another. That may look different for each one of us, but there will be overlaps. It’s a change in our approach to life, an attempt to live in the present moment.
“It is your heart that will lift you,” the Grandmothers tell us. “If you move into your heart and keep your focus there for only a few seconds, it will lift you.”
 “Your thoughts must travel through your heart.”
Medicine Woman Tarot cards
PS: We’re coming in to the third eclipse of this season… the New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse Saturday August 11th, powerful influences energetically.

Ellen

Tibetan Resettlement Project Finale

It was a humbling experience, standing in front of a a hundred plus Tibetan immigrants in a hall in Burnaby on a Saturday evening not long ago. The Vancouver Cultural Society was officially marking the end of Canada’s Tibetan Resettlement Project, an undertaking that resettled 1000 Tibetan Buddists from Arunachal Pradesh in  remote northeast India.

Officially called stateless or displaced persons, the parents and grandparents of these Tibetan folks became isolated in the northeastern Tribal States of India, a place rife with poverty, when they followed the Dalai Lama out of Tibet many years earlier. So remote were the settlements, that even the Dalai Lama’s Government in Exile did not know they existed for the first while. Canada’s five year private sponsorship program officially ended in December of 2017, with the last people arriving in March of 2018.

All sponsors and volunteers in the province of British Columbia were invited to this appreciation dinner, along with the new Tibetan families and other Tibetans  already living in Vancouver. Sadly, the many sponsors and Tibetans from Victoria,  Vancouver Island were not able to attend, and we met only a handful of folks from Vancouver. Don and I were the sole representatives of our sponsorship group on the Sunshine Coast. Our Coordinator, who sponsored three families, was there with her partner.

Our group sponsored a family of four, the Mom, who arrived with almost no English, with her two teenage children in December of 2013, and the Dad, who followed four months later, unable to get his discharge from the Indian Army until then. Another son remained in India, at age 22 too old to be included in the family application.

The Prime Minister at the time, Stephen Harper, to his credit, had agreed to the Dalai Lama’s request to resettle the displaced Tibetans in Canada. Becoming involved in Canada’s somewhat “under the radar” project, (the Canadian government did not want to offend its Chinese trading partner), was a spiritual calling on our part.

There are no accidents. Our many friendships with Tibetans living in exile in Dharamshala, India, developed during five visits spanning ten years, had led us to join the Canada Tibet Committee, and we were notified of the first sponsorship organizational meeting in early 2012. Our application went in during the summer of 2012.

We hit the ground running when our family arrived, the demands were great in the early days. Gradually the family members became more self sufficient and we were needed less.

Despite the small size of our community and scarcity of good jobs, our family and indeed all the families on the Sunshine Coast have done very well, working hard at whatever jobs were available, then gradually moving into more skilled areas.

The appreciation dinner and entertainment evening went quickly. At 10 pm we were readying ourselves for the dash to the last ferry, when we were called up on the stage. We were introduced to the audience and honoured with a khata scarf by the wise Rinpoche from the Vancouver monastery.

Every action we took on behalf of our Tibetan family, and for our Tibetan friends in India, brought us appreciations tenfold over. Each small gesture has been acknowledged many times more than we ever expected or wanted. Their gratefulness was very humbling. Yes, we have helped our family start a new life in Canada, and helped other Tibetans in small ways in India, but I do not think they realize how they have enriched our lives, and the heart opening we have experienced as a result. In the future, I plan to tell  our Tibetan family that they have changed our lives also, and we are blessed to call them our friends.

Ellen

My Romance with India – is it Finished?

In 2012, in a European cafe in Udaipur, we met a Canadian man from the interior of BC. This was his sixth trip to India, although each time when he returned home he said he was never going back. India is like that – it does not resonate with everyone – but if it does, it gets into you and stays there. Into your psyche, your emotions, your spirit and into your very senses.

In many ways we feel done with Mother India, complete. Some things have come full circle. Our closest Tibetan friends are moving to Canada soon, the father is already there, waiting for his family, as I’ve written previously.

India lives in me and always will. I cannot shake her off. In fact part of me is always there. I can call up the memories whenever I wish to, and as the world becomes a smaller place energetically, I have a sense that my two spiritual homes are beginning to segue into each other in a new and deeper way.

Delhi has been our entry point and often our exit point on most of our five trips. Flying in or out of Mumbai and Chennai, Tamil Nadu, the exceptions, were just fine, but Delhi holds a place in my heart. I like Delhi and feel very comfortable there, despite the pollution and chaos. (It rates 11 out of 30 for the world’s most polluted cities, and 6th in India for pollution). We were very fortunate on this trip, to miss particularly bad pollution weeks, both coming in and leaving Delhi.

Walking in the laneways of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, of Udaipur, and in 2007,  the Holy City of Varanasi on the Ganges, the draw of the Dalai Lama’s temple over ten years, the power of our Golden Temple visit, the unsurpassed beauty of Lake Pichola and the Old City of Udaipur, these are the memories I carry within me.

India is not all brightness & light. There is a growing middle class, yet poverty remains rampant. It is not a country for women, although middle and upper class women have more equality these days.

Everything is as One as we delve inward towards our centre…our connections with the presence of the Divine during this special journey, the very act of writing about this trip…all these things join me to my dear Tibetan friends in India: Kelo, Thupden, Tsoknyi, Dekyi and Pema.

This is what I will remember always…

An interesting article for you:

https://qz.com/1218598/why-an-indian-girl-chose-to-become-an-american-woman/

Ellen

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & a Reiki Practitioner. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

The Dalai Lama Blesses Us

After we had been in Dharamshala for two plus weeks we reached the apex of our visit: an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Months earlier our friend, a former minister in the Tibetan Government in Exile, had suggested that we apply for an audience, so we visited the temple to inquire and were given the Dalai Lama’s Secretary’s office contact information. Internet connections were poor, worse even than I remembered, so I tried the wifi at our favourite breakfast restaurant. Oddly my email request for an audience disappeared from the tablet, so Dr. D. sent an email and phoned the Secretary’s office.

On our way back to Dharamshala from the Golden Temple Dr. D. received a phone call from the temple office, asking why she had not returned their email. Apparently she had forgotten her email password! Our presence was required the very next morning at the temple, she was told.

We arrived at the temple office early the next morning, as instructed. We had no hard copy invitation to present, but after a bit of  confusion, the words “We’re from Canada”, alerted the security officer to who we were. We were then sent outside where female and male security guards searched us and instructed us to leave our bags. My body search was thorough, the female guard found a toothpick in my pocket and confiscated it!

We then lined up on the driveway towards the reception building and home of His Holiness, standing in the chilly morning air for about an hour. Most of the sixty or seventy attendees were Tibetans, with about a dozen Westerners. Finally the Tibetans were directed to move up towards the building, where they stood, heads bent and khata prayer scarves in hand. All the Westerners stood a few yards back.

After a short time along came the Dalai Lama, accompanied by several monks. His Holiness took his place in front of the entrance to the building. The audience was tightly orchestrated, with several older monks flanking Him and a long line of Tibetan security guards forming a tunnel visitors walked through. An Indian Army guard with an automatic rifle stood on each side of the doorway, a much smaller army presence than during the Dalai Lama’s teachings, when thousands of folks are present.

Each group or individual was directed through the tunnel of Tibetan security guards, while the rest of us stood back and waited our turn. Four Western women went before us, one of them a nun. When a question was asked by one of them, the Dalai Lama offered them a ten minute mini history lesson. His recall of historical dates was impressive.

Then it was our turn to meet Him. He grasped my hand, then Don’s. I told him that  twenty Tibetans live in our community near Vancouver, (part of Canada’s Tibetan Resettlement Sponsorship Program). He expressed interest, and I had the sense he was about to ask me something, but the staff intervened and told us to line up for  pictures. The monk photographer quickly took eight pictures of the three of us. I then asked His Holiness if he would bless our friend who was very ill at home in Canada. An expression of deep compassion crossed his face, and he gave a brief blessing in Tibetan. We thanked him, bowed, then left, with precious pills and blessed red silk thread in hand.

What remains with me, and, I believe always will, was the gentle peace surrounding His Holiness, indeed around the whole area where we stood. His Holiness gave us a lot that day. We received a powerful healing energy from his presence and his touch.

Afterwards, walking down the driveway of the temple towards the street, I was attacked by a street dog, a first. The dog jumped on me twice, and in my haste to get away from him I fell off the roadway to the ground below, a drop of a foot or more; I remained on my feet and fortunately was not harmed. The dog and his friend continued to follow us after this. Naturally, I was shook up and afraid they would jump again and bite me this time.

No one, including the police, believed the dog was harmful, however, there is still a  threat of rabid dogs in McLeod Ganj.  The vaccination program is improving each year, though. Eventually Don took charge of the situation and, taking me by the arm, suggested we leave the main road and go up the  Kirti Monastery laneway.

After mulling over what happened for a while we concluded that the dog did not mean harm, he was being playful, and was responding to my altered state after meeting His Holiness.

The meeting with the Dalai Lama had a great impact on both of us. Our previous exposure to Tibetan Buddhism, both in India and in Canada, and to Tibetans through our enduring friendships in Dharamshala and our Tibetan family sponsorship in our home community, deepened our experience.  And I would venture to say that past  lifetimes as Tibetan Buddhists also contributed to making the encounter more profound.

In later days we met a beautiful man, a Tibetan Buddhist who manages a catering facility for the government in exile’s cultural department. He told us that he blacks out every time he meets His Holiness and does not remember the experience.

Looking up the term “medical blackout” I found: a transient dulling or loss of vision, consciousness, or memory. While we did not have that experience, the audience had a strong effect on us and we believe we received a powerful healing from the Dalai Lama’s touch and from being in his presence, one that we are still integrating into our energy system.

At our initial chiropractic session within a week of our return from India, our spines were quite integrated, and our doctor sensed that it was from the experience of meeting His Holiness.

Clearly, meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama was our destiny, part of our spiritual path.

Tashe delek,  

Ellen

Copyright Ellen Besso 2018

Next: Celebrating Friendship, Final Weeks in Dharamshala

Drop Into Your Heart – the Grandmothers/Net of Light thru Sharon McErlane

It’s not complicated, the Grandmothers tell us. This is the most recent newsletter from Sharon McErlane, who channels the Council of Grandmothers. I first wrote about the amazing Net of Light last September; see Light or Darkness, Your Choice.

Grandmothers,” I said as I stood before them, “what is the most important thing we can do today to help ourselves and others? There’s so much turmoil, anger and fear in the world right now. What’s the best thing we can do?”

“It is your heart that will lift you,” they said. “If you move into your heart and keep your focus there for only a few seconds, it will lift you.” Fixing their eyes on me they said, “You are looking at this situation the wrong way. You think there is some work for you to do. You think you should lift your heart, should make yourself think differently, should be different in some way, etc. etc.” They shook their heads back and forth, back and forth as they regarded me patiently. “It’s not like that,” they said. “Because your actual nature is love and peace, you don’t have to ‘make yourself’ do anything in order to feel good. If you simply drop into your heart and wait there, you will automatically open to peace and love. It’s the way you’re made. It’s your natural way of being.

“You needn’t struggle and you needn’t be afraid,” they said. “It’s the mind that manufactures all of that; there’s no fear and struggle in the heart because the heart knows better. The heart knows HOME; it is tuned to home. So get to know your heart. It’s time. Haven’t you wasted enough years following after those images in your mind? Aren’t you tired of all that racing, chasing and disappointment? “So,” they shrugged, “give yourself a break. Return to peace.

“Move into your heart and start to live from there. Try it! Think of taking up residence and then throughout the day consciously return to your heart. Like a magnet, let it pull you into peace and safety. Then rest at this quiet center point. You can always venture out again with the mind if and when you want to, but up until now you have allowed that ever-searching, ever dissatisfied mind to control your life. So much so that you’ve lost your affinity for peace, which is your natural state. We are urging you to return to it now. Return to balance.

“Go into your heart and rest there. Start by thinking of the center of your chest and of us calling you home. Then let yourself drop in. It’s like a cave or a nest inside yourself and there we will enfold you and hold you steady while you replenish. You deserve a break, so take it. Take it now.
“Living a heart-centered life will restore and revivify you. It will fill you full. Then you will have something to give to the world.”

To Learn more about the Great Council of the Grandmothers and how to work with the Net of Light, go to www.netoflight.org .

 

Arrival in Dharamshala

McLeod Ganj, Upper Dharamshala

Our morning flight from Delhi to Kangra Airport, fourteen kilometres southwest of Dharamshala, was uneventful, but on arrival in McLeod Ganj I discovered that I’d left one bag on the airport luggage belt, necessitating a speedy, (read racing), return taxi trip down the hill by my steadfast partner.

As we travelled north from Delhi we began to fly over the lower foothills of the Himalayas, landing in the green and luxuriant Kangra Valley, sheltered by the Dhauladhar range, after one and a half hours. The Kangra Airport, at almost 2500 feet in elevation, is about half the elevation of Upper Dharamshala.

The first time we flew into Kangra in 2015, I was quite nervous. It was February, a season of unreliable weather, with plenty of rain and fog. Several years earlier I had read Mick Brown’s Book, The Dance of 17 Lives, about the seventeen  incarnations of the Karmapa, the third highest Tibetan Buddhist incarnation. In the book the author described his flight to Kangra during the month of February in bad weather. His seatmate, a monk who happened to be one of the Dalai Lama’s brothers, was petrified, constantly repeating a scary mantra: “Maybe today we will die”, unnerving all around him. We were fortunate, our weather conditions were fine for both our 2015 and 2017 trips, and we never flew over high mountains, as Brown’s book seemed to imply.

Settling in at Pema Thang Guesthouse came easy, as we had stayed there previously, and the staff really make you feel like you’re home. We had the good fortune of moving into the best room in the guesthouse after our initial two nights, with a discount, as a large party of Danish students had booked all the less expensive rooms.

Our view was superb, and we could observe the activity at the Dalai Lama’s temple any time, day or night. It was an excellent November and barely a drop of rain fell during the entire month we were in McLeod Ganj. Temperatures did not drop significantly at night until mid month.

We wasted no time; knowing we might not return to Dharamshala, we began connecting with our dear friends the day we arrived in town. Dr. D., my “Tibetan sister” came to our room with her young daughter that afternoon, with the usual arrival gift of fruit and khata welcome scarves. The next morning we visited K. and T., an older Tibetan couple who live near the temple.

This trip was memorable due to our deep connections with individuals. We built on already established relationships with very exceptional people, some of whom we have known for ten years over our many visits to the town. Their deep spirituality,  their love and generosity, allowed us to connect heart to heart at a new level. Over the years we have come to know and appreciate each other in many new ways.

Dr. D. administered to our medical needs with her powerful Tibetan medicines, invited us to her home and took a road trip with us. There was a particular reason for visiting Dharamshala this fall. The family is leaving the country, moving to the west, and our time together was especially poignant.

Our dear friends K. and T. a deeply devout couple, have taught me much about love. They and all their children are full of light, what I perceive as pure love. Being in their presence opens my heart. Formerly comfortably off nomads in Tibet, their life both in Tibet and in India has been spent in devotion to Tibetan Buddhism and to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Twice each day they visit Namgyal Monastery, close to their apartment, circumambulating the temple grounds, (ie, moving around a sacred object or idol on foot), during the morning visit, a 45 minute journey, uphill for the last part. At the temple they do multiple prostrations.

We do not shared a language with our friends, but it does not seem to matter. Their son, a monk who disrobed in order to support his family, joined us from Kathmandu on WeChat video during our first visit and interpreted. Dr. D. accompanied us on one visit, but we went alone on our final visit, enjoying ourselves as always, miming what we needed to say to each other, and eating the delicious Tibetan food, K insisted on feeding us.

Our hearts and souls know each other; it is not necessary to speak. Once I asked T., through his son, what he thought our relationship was in the past. His clever reply was “The Buddha knows”.

During the final weeks before we departed Canada to journey to India, many times I felt an urgency to leave, and heard a voice in my head saying, “I have to get to India, I have to get to India”. Having reached Dharamshala and begun reuniting with the town and our friends, I felt content to be home once again.

Ellen

Copyright Ellen Besso 2018

Next: The Dharamsala International Film Festival, (DIFF)