December 2011


I’m in the middle of ten days of holidays. It’s a rainy day, not suitable for walking and I don’t feel well besides. So I decided to watch some inspiring DVDs borrowed from a dear friend, Peter, who is currently overseas teaching yoga in Europe and visiting ashrams in India.

The first movie is called Love and the Art of Giving. It was made by British filmmaker Simon Eugene. It covers a journey he made to India in November 2007 to interview Swami Satchyananda, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga, and his disciple Paramahansa Niranjananda at an ancient annual holy tantric festival during which mostly poor local villagers are given much. It is a beautiful colourful celebration in which boys and girls sing and dance and receive Prasad.

The second documentary, Call off the Search, a film by Jim Lemkin and David Godman, covers a 1993 visit to the ashram of H.W.L. Poonja, endearingly known as Papaji. The filmmakers approached Papaji and said, ‘Papaji, we want to make a film about your teachings.’ His response: ‘Very good. I have always wanted to know what my teachings are. Now you are making a film about them. I can watch it and find out.’ These words epitomize the light-hearted approach of this man who experienced his inner nature as a boy and then became a devotee of Krishna, travelling all over India in search of a teacher who could help him to regain that early inner awakening he so longed for. His search was over when he landed at the ashram of the great Indian Master Sri Ramana Maharshi. After realising his Self in the presence of that master of silence he spent the rest of his life helping others discover that which they sought. I summarize below a few gems gleaned from these films. I trust you are as inspired by them as I have been.

If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.

When we give unconditionally, we open a space in which we can receive.

To ‘fall in love’ is a sensory experience in which mind is involved and we expect to gain something from the other. When we ‘rise in love’ we do so without the interference of the intellect, of the mind. Then true love manifests and we share the joy of that love.

What you are searching for is very close. You should see it in every blade of grass and in the tallest of trees, in all of creation.

To surrender is not so difficult but the part of you which resists this is the part which wants to control.

The time is always right for enlightenment.

If you empty yourself first, then mantra and chanting can lift you to a plane beyond understanding to a place of pure experience. Thus, transformation requires a movement from knowledge to experience.

Without purification there cannot be meditation.

Life is like a flower. The appreciation of life is called love.

In the film on Papaji, Ramana Maharshi reminded Papaji to look beyond the form of Krishna he had devoted himself to for 25 years. He said that whatever appears and disappears is not real. It was in hearing this in the presence of this renowned master that Papaji realised the Self. A few gems from Papaji:

Teaching is preaching.

His advice: Don’t listen to any advice because advice belongs to the past.

His advice: Keep quiet. Stop trying. When asked: ‘Many have tried to keep quiet without success,’ he responded: ‘Then give up the intention of keeping quiet.’

Every being in the world is peace itself.

Look inside for even one second. Don’t seek. Don’t find. You will see you are peace itself.

If you must seek anything at all seek only freedom. Affirm: I Am free. I Am already free.

Keep still and know I Am That.

When anybody laughs he has no thought, there is no mind, and there is no suffering. It is the mind that suffers. Therefore laugh away your problems.

Who is the other? You are not apart from me. You are in my heart. Wake up from the dream and all suffering will end.

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Advertisements

I MC’d our ceili on Saturday night and shared the following story with attendees. I think this modern parable is worth sharing broadly so I’m typing it below; it’s a metaphor for life.

The rich industrialist from the north was horrified to find the southern fisherman lying lazily beside his boat.

‘Why aren’t you out fishing?’ said the industrialist.

‘Because I have caught enough fish for the day,’ said the fisherman.

‘Why don’t you catch some more?’

‘What would I do with them?’

‘You could earn more money’ was the reply. ‘With that you could have a motor fitted to your boat to go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would have enough money to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats . . . maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me.’

‘What would I do then?’

‘Then you could really enjoy life.’

‘What do you think I’m doing right now?’

What are you doing right now? Are you clawing and scratching and scrimping and saving for a better future or are you enjoying life now?

 
CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Acupuncture

I recently interviewed a young woman, Kim Wong, about Chinese Medicine. This Voices From the North interview covers the history of Chinese Medicine and some of the key areas acupuncture and associated treatment methods can greatly assist people. Kim spoke of her success treating sore throats, headaches, muscle pain and injuries and more. She also indicated acupuncture can really reduce the side effects of a person quitting smoking. For the complete interview click below:

Kim’s contact details are as follows:

Mobile Acupuncture
 Ph: 094062195
 kimsum327@gmail.com
  7 Thomas Street, Mangonui, Mangobui
 
  Kim Wong, Acupuncturist

An associated interview can be found below:

Acupuncture Explained

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

The following words recently arrived in my inbox from the co-convenors of the New Zealand Green party.

Mojo Mathers

Mojo Mathers joins six other new Green MPs in Parliament as our newest MP.  Many of you will know Mojo for her outstanding work as the Greens Strategic Policy Advisor for many years, and she was a key member of the Campaign Committee in 2008. As a deaf person who lives and breathes green issues she will be a strong advocate for inclusion for everyone.   You can read Mojo’s full biography here: http://www.greens.org.nz/candidates/mojo-mathers

Our final percentage of the party vote was 11.1%, up from 10.6% on election night, which is an outstanding achievement for our Party after 12 years in Parliament.  While the low turnout is a concern, our level of support represents a critical tipping point, delivering a strong clear Green voice in the new Parliament and a powerful platform on which to build our future support.

In response to strong feedback from members in 2010, our Party set a 10% vote target for this election and we have more than reached it! We can all take pride in what we have achieved together.  Our late co-leader Rod Donald was a strong advocate of aiming at 10% and beyond and he would also be very proud of this year’s Green party vote.

In practice, there is still a 121 seat Parliament and National is still able to form a government with ACT and United Future.  They will however need either (i) both of United Future and ACT, or (ii) the Maori Party, to secure a majority, which may moderate some extremes.  Some of you may wonder about appointing a speaker – in an MMP Parliament that doesn’t affect the balance of votes.

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Amongst Dave Panckhurst’s many qualities, he was visionary. What he envisioned, what he dreamt of, was sometimes ahead of his time.

A couple of months ago Dave shared a dream with me. Now to dream alone is just to dream. To share a dream becomes a reality. Around 2005 Dave put a proposal to people at DOC and other appropriate organizations about the creation of New Zealand’s tenth Great Walk. Great Walks are the Department of Conservation’s premier walks. There are presently nine such walks, only three of which are found on the North Island. You’ve all heard of and perhaps walked some of New Zealand’s other great walks—the Milford Track, the Routeburn, the Heaphy Track etc. We have nothing like that in the Far North.

Dave’s idea was to create such a walk between Spirit’s Bay and Te Paki Stream or station. The tracks are largely in place but the necessary huts are not. Dave, ever the pragmatist, made practical do-able suggests for the placement of two huts. He measured distances appropriate to three days of walking and plotted it all on a map. It would be called Spirit Walk and would be different from any of New Zealand’s other famous walks, featuring stunning beaches and headlands, mangroves and dunes. It would be culturally significant. It would draw more visitors to the north. It would help to put our little part of the world on the map. The idea was turned down but since Dave made his proposal DOC has been steadily upgrading trails and facilities by the Cape and even added a campground where Dave suggested a hut could be.

When Dave shared this idea with me, he made it clear he’d done his best and it hadn’t happened. He was disappointed.  Now will you join with me in envisioning New Zealand’s tenth great walk? Let’s dream together and see this become a reality. Billions get spent on roads. Surely a few hundred thousand dollars can be made available for such a worthy, far-reaching idea. Let’s help make Dave’s vision a reality.

Spirits Bay (Piwhane Bay)

 

 

Cape Maria van DiemenTe Paki Stream and sand dunes

 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Review

 

Yesterday was the memorial service for our dear friend, Dave Panckhurst, who passed away December 3rd. I shared the following words with the large group of people gathered to share their respects for this wonderful, inspiring man:

Is nobility determined by station? Is it endorsed by hereditary means, by the blood of birth? Is it displayed with crown and jewels? Or is nobility established in character, in a willingness to forsake the outer accoutrements of status and station in order to work for and to live for a cause greater than the wants of an individual?

I believe the man we are here to honour today lived a noble life. He wanted for nothing. He and Alison were married for over 53 years. He was and is surrounded by loving family and friends. He lived in an unpretentious but comfortable home in a beautiful part of the world. In the course of his life he walked in some of the most magical and pristine wilderness areas of this magnificent land.

I only knew Dave Panckhurst in the golden years of his life. But I consider it a blessing and a privilege to have come to know this humble, noble man.

We are gathered together to honour this great and gentle man. I encourage you not to be saddened by Dave’s death. Do not yearn for his physical presence. Be glad that you have walked in the shadow of his greatness. Know that his spiritual presence is never further than your next conscious memory of him.

Dave Panckhurst at Ceili. He’s on my right.
I wish to sincerely thank each and every one of you for being here today. And I know Alison and her family are deeply grateful as well. Some of you have travelled far, others not. But we have all gathered together to celebrate a life well-lived; a life that lives on in each us as we sometimes stumble on our individual journeys. And we share this celebration with a number of key people in Dave’s life who,for a number of reasons, cannot be physically here with us now. Many have sent their best wishes and condolences to Alison and family. If time permits we may share some of those words with you later.

I spoke before of nobility. Dave Panckhurst’s life was noble because he lived for causes greater than himself. He was occasionally saddened by the state of world affairs. Why? Because Dave knew that humanity can live with higher ideals than it currently is. He knew this because he personally lived those higher ideals. He knew this because, despite discouragement, he never stopped doing something to make this world a better place—by planting trees, with submissions to councils and letters to prime ministers and presidents, with a helping hand, a kind word, in so many ways we will hear more of today. You’ll see a quote in your programme from Mahatma Gandhi. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Dave was the change he wished to see in the world.

As I said before, I only knew Dave Panckhurst in the golden years of his life. He was my neighbour and my friend, he was my mentor. He was like a father to this man who lost his own father some years before. We shared from each other’s gardens. I walked with Dave, planted trees with Dave, I danced with Dave and prayed with Dave.

I sincerely look forward to the next while as those of you who knew Dave in his earlier years flesh out the life of the silver-haired man I have come to know and to love. May we all be touched and gladdened by the stories shared today. May our hearts open as we celebrate and honour one who walked amongst us, acutely observing, patiently listening, deeply thinking and quietly serving his family, this planet and his fellow man.

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

The Lane Cove walk is so lovely. The water at the hut felt refreshing after the two hour walk in.  Do enjoy the photos.


CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Next Page »