I am currently engaged daily with writing and editing the sequel to In Search of Simplicity. I present below a little piece about the birth of our first child, Amira in September, 1990:

The pregnancy progressed smoothly. Roughly five weeks before the expected due date, Lucia and I joined several other couples for our first of five weekly birthing classes at Ginny’s house. We had the earliest expectancy date of any of the couples so Lenya and Ginny had delayed the classes a little so as to best suit the majority of the couples.

“You should be able to attend most, if not all of the classes, prior to delivery,” said Lenya at the clinic not long before the first class.

We enjoyed that class, as much for the camaraderie of the other young couples as for the value of the information imparted. Half way through the class we took a break and Lucia hustled, to the extent that her condition allowed, to the toilet. If I recall correctly, the break lasted just long enough for each of the pregnant ladies to relieve their pressured bladders.

Lucia sat in front of me on the floor as Ginny resumed her talk. She was talking about some of the signs that indicate when a birth is imminent. “Not long before the birth, the mucous plug is released.”

Lucia turned to look at me and whispered, “I just passed a plug of mucous in the toilet.”

I thought, Here we go.

After the class, as the couples were making their way out we stopped to talk with Ginny.

“I just passed some mucous, Ginny,” said Lucia, “How long would it be until the birth?”

“That’s hard to say,” replied Ginny, looking a little concerned. “You had better come in for an appointment tomorrow.”

 

At the clinic in Santa Fe the next day Lenya checked Lucia.

“The baby has dropped,” she said, “You’ll have to get off your feet for the next week. This is too early for us to help with a home birth. By law, if the baby is born outside the window that extends from three weeks before the due date to two weeks after, the delivery has to take place in a hospital. There is a greater chance of complications if the baby is born too early or too late. We will be in attendance even if the baby is born in hospital, but then we would have to work with a doctor.”

The following week Lucia followed instructions and stayed off her feet as much as possible. There was no more garden work for her now. There was much discussion and deliberation between us that week. We were in complete agreement about the idea of a hospital birth. We didn’t want one. We had embarked on this journey in order to give our expectant child the most natural start possible. In our eyes that didn’t include the antiseptic atmosphere of a hospital, where statistics showed that something like one third of all births employed caesareans and even more births used drugs of some kind. Billions of pregnancies had come to successful, natural completion in the millennia of human existence. It was only over a few decades that doctors had insisted on hospital deliveries.

Lenya and Ginny were part of a growing group of excellently trained midwives who were returning to the time-honoured methods of the past, infused with the skills and technology of the present. Between them these ladies had delivered over five hundred babies. They had never lost a baby or a mother. We wanted them on our side.

Lucia and I felt a growing sense that this baby was coming soon. I called up the midwives.

“We are really clear that we don’t want this birth to occur in a hospital. We experienced the water birth of friends of ours a few weeks back. I feel confident that we can do this on our own if need be,” I said with what must have sounded like false bravado.

“Birthing is an entirely natural process,” said Ginny. “But complications can arise, and that’s why there are trained professionals.”

“I understand that, but we just don’t want to have a hospital birth,” I continued. “At the birth we attended recently I watched the midwife pin off the cord, and later cut it. Can you tell me at what distance from the baby’s belly would I have to pinch the umbilicus and could I use a clothes pin? And how do I know when it is safe and timely to cut the chord?”

Ginny reluctantly answered my questions and made an appointment for another check-up the following week.

We drove into Santa Fe for our appointment and we were met by Lenya. She gave Lucia a comprehensive check-up in her usual gentle manner.

“Do you mind if I have a word with Ginny for a moment?” she asked.

“No. Go ahead.”

Lenya left to locate Ginny who was engaged in another examination elsewhere in the building. They returned together a few minutes later.

Ginny spoke, “Lenya outlined for me how your examination went. You are healthy and strong, Lucia. So is the baby. It is still three and a half weeks until the due date. We have agreed that we are here to assist with a home birth from now on. We know we are slightly outside the prescribed window, but due dates are almost always difficult to pin down perfectly accurately.” She winked, “This one may have to be adjusted to a few days earlier.”

Lucia and I each gave the ladies big hugs of gratitude and relief. Deep down I don’t think either one of us relished the prospect of delivering a baby without any help. Amira must have been listening. She was born the next day.

 

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then many that I see have the curtains drawn. In a few sad cases the windows are boarded up.

The soul’s innate joy shines through the eyes of every child. Often, a newborn’s eyes are closed. Not so with Amira. The instant she was born she spoke volumes with her eyes. I was totally unprepared for the magnificence, for the depth of Being radiating out from those eyes. I felt as if I was staring into the soul of God.

That baby’s eyes communicated with each of us in the room, individually. To me those heavenly beacons said, “I KNOW YOU. I AM YOUR TEACHER. LOOK AFTER ME.”

I was thrilled. I was devastated. I felt as though I was the recipient of an immense gift and a daunting responsibility. In that briefest of instants my life was turned upside down. No longer was I able to remain a self-centred young man. I was a father now, and I suddenly needed to contend with the needs and wishes of another. And that Other had spoken with immense power and with the eloquence of silence. Never, before or since, have I looked into eyes like that.

I was shattered for weeks.

 

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.

 

 

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suset-walk-full-sizeRelease all meaningless activities. Do you need to read the newspaper and listen to or watch the news every day? Do the things you read, listen to or watch help you create a positive attitude and the realization that through your own efforts and positive thinking anything is possible? So often the negativity of the news drains our optimism and makes us feel helpless in light of seemingly endless wars, calamities and insurmountable problems around the world. If you’re not going to personally get involved with one of these issues, give them little or no attention.

 

Release all unnecessary possessions. You’ll have to determine what is necessary for you. Those in the householder stage with children will have different requirements than empty nesters. Our true wealth is not determined by what we possess, but by what does not possess us. Our true wealth is not determined by what we have, but by what we can live happily without. That which we possess needs to be looked after. This takes time and energy; time and energy that could go elsewhere if we had less stuff.

 

Put your time and energy where your heart is. So often we do things because others expect them of us. Do these activities make us happy? Do they fulfil us? We need to listen to and follow our hearts. Then the whole world supports our every step, we are guided by synchronicity, and we find true peace and happiness.

 

Grow some food of your own, preferably organically. In the supermarket of today we rarely know where our food comes from or how it’s been grown. Some crops are sprayed more than ten times before they are harvested and the chemical residues are absorbed when we eat them. It’s not difficult to create a little vegetable garden and/or plant a few fruit trees. Apartment dwellers can grow micro greens in pots using plants like garlic, onions, buckwheat and lentils. Anyone can sprout seeds such as alfalfa and wheat in jars. Not only will you eat healthier food, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and doing your bit to improve the health of the planet.

 

Get out of your car and onto your feet. How far do you drive to work? Could you find employment closer to home, or even at home? Time now spent in the car could be used getting exercise if you were able to walk or cycle to work. You’d feel better, lose those unwanted pounds and, again, be reducing your carbon footprint.

 

Discover natural ways to stay healthier. Rather than just relying on prescriptions from the doctor, heed the advice of Hippocrates: ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’ So often the side effects of medicines are virtually identical to the symptoms they are prescribed to treat. Read books on natural healing or take courses to upscale your knowledge on how to look after yourself. You’ll save unnecessary trips to the doctor and you’ll feel better mentally, emotionally and physically.

 

A simple life is a balanced life, relying on a careful, dynamic interplay between activity and rest. It’s not for nothing Native Americans sometimes call modern civilization ‘Termite People’ because we are forever scurrying about. Look closely at the word ‘business’—‘busy-ness’. We often wear our ‘busy-ness’ like a badge. When someone asks if we are busy, it is expected that we are. Life is a delicate balance between activity and rest. Find that balance.

 

Put the above ideas in place and your life will be simpler, healthier, richer and more satisfying. This is an organic process, meaning that results come at the right time (which may or may not correspond with your expectations.) Just concentrate on thinking and living more simply and leave the results and timing to God.

 

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

 

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The other day I interviewed members of an immensely talented local band, a sort of reggae/funk ensemble. I asked the drummer what he did when he wasn’t playing music. He gave me a perplexed looked and thought for a moment before replying, “This is what I do…every day.”

 

Years ago while living at our retreat centre in the valley we were regularly graced with the visits of WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), young people from many nations who exchanged about four hours of work per day for a bed, meals and our knowledge of the land and organics. One such visitor was an enthusiastic young lady from Ireland. She was a remarkably balanced and happy person with a clear vision of what she wanted in life. She spoke one evening over a meal of how her father had positively influenced her and her siblings when she was growing up. He used to tell them that his job was simple. All he had to do was to help them each to find what it was that they really loved and then to encourage them to pursue it wholeheartedly. A wise man and wise words.

 

Isn’t this the key to happiness? Find out what you love and then do it wholeheartedly. Like the drummer in the band. Simple, isn’t it?

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My earlier ambitions of wanting to become a vice president with Bell Canada and becoming a millionaire by the time I turned thirty melted away in the three year backpacking life of freedom and few possessions I describe in my book, In Search of Simplicity.

 

A man’s wealth is determined not by what he possesses, but by what does not possess him. Another way of putting it is, ‘A person’s true wealth is determined not by what she has, but by what she can happily live without.’

 

I’d like to share with you an affirmation I made for myself a few years ago. It was inspired by Peace Pilgrim, who was a penniless wanderer for 28 years and who walked across America six times. She said, ‘I refuse to live with more than enough when there are others in this world with less than enough.’ Remember what the Buddha said? ‘The root of all suffering is desire.’ Or the words that deeply influenced me in Chapter 34 of my book, ‘All desire comes from a sense of lack.’

 

Here is the affirmation:

 

I release the need for greed when there are others in this world who don’t have enough. I know when to stop eating, I know when to stop buying. I know when to stop wanting. I know when to stop.

 

Repeat that every morning, preferably while looking in the mirror. I guarantee it will change you and your actions.

 

Amira (our eldest) leaves the house next week. Asha will follow her in a few years. Lucia’s and my ambition is to have a little house and a little garden. If we have more than enough, it’s more that we have to look after. Peace Pilgrim told a story of the lady on her own who was working so hard to support her bigger-than-necessary apartment. When Peace Pilgrim suggested she could do with less she said something like, “But you see, I couldn’t do that. I have furniture for a three bedroom house.” She was overworking to support her furniture!

 

In a world where a few privileged individuals are prepared to pay up to $80 for a bottle of water and others don’t have enough to drink, we need to dramatically alter the balance of wealth. I heard in an interview recently that a consortium, including a well known movie star, was buying up underground water rights around the world. Will the starving underclass in the Third World now turn into the thirsting underclass, so a few rich people can get richer?

 

I have less ‘stuff’ than I once had; but my smile gets bigger every day.

 

You never know the value of water until the well is dry.

 

Ben Franklin

 

 

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I just found out about this film: “Flow: For Love of Water”. http://www.flowthefilm.com/ It details the world water supply and what is happening to it. All this while GE is quietly buying up water rights all over the world.

I have no idea who to credit for the following story. I found it today when cleaning up some files. Enjoy!

 

John

 

If you have difficulty understanding the current world financial situation, the following should help…

Once upon a time in a village in India , a man announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10.
The villagers seeing there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.
The man bought thousands at $10, but, as the supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their efforts.
The man further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.

Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer rate increased to $25 and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now act as buyer, on his behalf.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: ‘ Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when he returns from the city, you can sell them back to him for $50. ‘

The villagers squeezed together their savings and bought all the monkeys.

Then they never saw the man or his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!

Welcome to WALL STREET!

 

 

 

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John Haines    www.InSearchofSimplicity.com  

 

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In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives is an exciting travel adventure beginning in the Middle East and finishing in America. In between I (it is my story) found myself swept along on a synchronistic ride carrying me through every continent but South America.

 

In Search of Simplicity book-cover-targetis a travel adventure with a difference. With no conscious intention, I found myself following in the footsteps of the Masters of old.

 

For two years I lived on the outskirts of Medina, a holy city of Islam, in the shadow of The Prophet’s Mosque. It was from Medina that Muhammad mounted many of his campaigns and it is in Medina that his bones have been laid to rest. This holy city in the desert is a place of annual pilgrimage for millions of Muslims.

 

I stood at Capernaum and felt the presence of a master healer and relived the story of his multiplying the loaves and the fishes. I literally traced the fated and fatal final journey of that healer of the spirit, Jesus, through the streets of Old Jerusalem, another holy city. And I followed what may have been his own steps of discovery and learning in the Indian Subcontinent, accounting for some of the lost 18 years of the New Testament.

 

I sat in wonder under a descendent of the original boddhi tree under which, 2,500 years before, Buddha had sat and attained enlightenment. I wondered then, as I still do now, if others with similar focused intention could find liberation from the suffering of this world.

 

In Search of Simplicity is imbued with, is fired, with magical coincidences and mysterious encounters. Read of a few of these encounters in the Hunza here.

 

It is my wish that in reading this extraordinary true story of an ordinary man, me, that your life too takes on a magical quality; where you know that anything is possible; where your dreams, like mine, come true even before they are known or enunciated; where every moment is an adventure, and where you return to that place of child-like wonder, marvelling at the magic and the mystery of existence.

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In this Voices From the North interview Roselyn DeGaris describes the history of Tarot cards including the place of mystery schools and esoteric initiation. Rose sees the cards as an oracular tool when people are in moments of uncertainty.

 

She speaks of her personal training in the use of Tarot. The cards have helped her work through her own fears and deepen her understanding of life. While training with Imre Vallyon during a three week retreat at Lake Taupo in New Zealand in the mid 80s, Rose had a number of mystical experiences and, as she says, “I looked into the face of God and it was Love.” Part of the training was to spend a day with most of the Major Arcana cards, to meditate on them and their colour and energy. She returned home a changed person.

 

Her intention with Tarot has always been healing—to bring people to a place of peace and understanding and my observations (I’ve known this special woman for twenty years. We met in Dharmsala in Northern India only months after I met Lucia in the same place) would indicate that she has been successful in this regard.

 

The most profound teachings she has been exposed to in the course of her 55 years have been the two years of channelling of Ramas she attended in Adelaide. Over and over it was stressed to Rose that everything comes down to love, peace, harmony and, particularly, forgiveness. Her journey in deepening her understanding of Tarot has been to learn to trust her intuition. She came to find that she always could trust her intuition provided her heart was filled with peace and understanding; in other words, provided her intention was pure.

 

Do enjoy this recommended interview. The music/words are from Tobias as channelled by Geoffrey Hoppe. See the other blog, The Call To Awaken I wrote inspired by Tobias and the related Mythic Call post. Do enjoy.

 

Imre Vallyon was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1940. At the age of 16, he emigrated to New Zealand, where he still lives with his wife and teenage children. Of a keenly religious nature, he immersed himself in Yoga, Zen, Sufism, Catholicism, Eastern Mysticism, Tarot, Astrology, Numerology, and Psychology. He has written numerous books such as The Magical Mind; The Art Of Meditation; Heart To Heart Talks; The Sedona Talks; The Divine Plan; Chants Of Illumination