Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace)


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I would not want to live in a world without love. Would a world with peace, but without love, be a better world? Not if the peace was achieved by drugging the love and hate out of us, or by suppression. Would a world with justice and freedom, but without love, be a better world? Not if it was achieved by somehow turning us all into loveless law-abiders with none of the yearnings or envies or hatreds that are wellsprings of injustice and subjugation.

It is hard to consider such hypotheticals, and I doubt if we should trust our first intuitions about them, but, for what it is worth, I surmise that we almost all want a world in which love, justice, freedom, and peace are all present, as much as possible, but if we had to give up one of these, it wouldn't — and shouldn't — be love. But, sad to say, even if it is true that nothing could matter more than love, it wouldn't follow from this that we don't have reason to question the things that we, and others, love.

Love is blind, as they say, and because love is blind, it often leads to tragedy: to conflicts in which one love is pitted against another love, and something has to give, with suffering guaranteed in any resolution. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. There's nothing you can do that can't be done Nothing you can sing that can't be sung Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy.

We all been playing those mind games forever Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil. Doing the mind guerrilla, Some call it magic — the search for the grail. Love is the answer and you know that for sure. Love is a flower, you got to let it — you got to let it grow. We have come by curious ways To the Light that holds the days; We have sought in haunts of fear For that all-enfolding sphere: And lo! Deep in every heart it lies With its untranscended skies; For what heaven should bend above Hearts that own the heaven of love?

If you believe in peace , act peacefully; if you believe in love, acting lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that's perfectly valid — but don't go out trying to sell your beliefs to the system. You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world , change yourself. There are three lessons I would write, — Three words — as with a burning pen, In tracings of eternal light Upon the hearts of men. Have Hope. Though clouds environ now, And gladness hides her face in scorn, Put thou the shadow from thy brow, — No night but hath its morn.

Have Faith. Where'er thy bark is driven, — The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth, — Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven, The habitants of earth. Have Love. Not love alone for one, But men, as man, thy brothers call; And scatter, like the circling sun, Thy charities on all. Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, — Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find Strength when life's surges rudest roll, Light when thou else wert blind.

Before our lives divide for ever, While time is with us and hands are free , Time, swift to fasten and swift to sever Hand from hand, as we stand by the sea I will say no word that a man might say Whose whole life's love goes down in a day; For this could never have been; and never, Though the gods and the years relent, shall be. Is it worth a tear, is it worth an hour, To think of things that are well outworn? Of fruitless husk and fugitive flower, The dream foregone and the deed forborne? Though joy be done with and grief be vain, Time shall not sever us wholly in twain; Earth is not spoilt for a single shower; But the rain has ruined the ungrown corn.

I had grown pure as the dawn and the dew, You had grown strong as the sun or the sea. But none shall triumph a whole life through: For death is one, and the fates are three. At the door of life, by the gate of breath, There are worse things waiting for men than death; Death could not sever my soul and you, As these have severed your soul from me. You have chosen and clung to the chance they sent you, Life sweet as perfume and pure as prayer.

But will it not one day in heaven repent you? Will they solace you wholly, the days that were? Will you lift up your eyes between sadness and bliss, Meet mine, and see where the great love is, And tremble and turn and be changed? Content you; The gate is strait; I shall not be there.

The pulse of war and passion of wonder, The heavens that murmur, the sounds that shine, The stars that sing and the loves that thunder, The music burning at heart like wine, An armed archangel whose hands raise up All senses mixed in the spirit's cup Till flesh and spirit are molten in sunder — These things are over, and no more mine. These were a part of the playing I heard Once, ere my love and my heart were at strife; Love that sings and hath wings as a bird, Balm of the wound and heft of the knife.

Fairer than earth is the sea, and sleep Than overwatching of eyes that weep, Now time has done with his one sweet word, The wine and leaven of lovely life. Sweet is true love though given in vain , in vain; And sweet is death who puts an end to pain: I know not which is sweeter, no, not I. Love, art thou sweet?

Maxwell Fraval, D.O: Finding my Talent — One Subud Member’s Journey

At this point I decided that if Bapak said we should be able to feel what our true talent was that he certainly meant it. So I decided to fast on Mondays and Thursdays as a prayer that I would be able to receive guidance about my talent: how to recognise it and then to develop it. I remember meeting with Cmdr. We sat there in chambers discussing a fairly arcane aspect of the law and Cmdr. Morris really waded in, allowing me to be the observer. As I sat there, suddenly I felt the latihan so powerfully that my thinking completely stopped — very unusual!!

As my ability to think returned I got back into the legal business that I was supposed to be focussed on. Later on after leaving Cmdr. Morris, I started to reflect on the experience back there in chambers — was this some joke I dismissed the whole thing as a momentary aberration. To my amazement the next group latihan the whole crazy notion returned.

Still I hesitated; was this guidance really from God or was it just my imagination. I remember the moment of decision came when there was a regional latihan down in the west country. I knew that Pak Haryono was going to be there. I went back to school and did a bridging course to bring my basic sciences up to speed.

I married Asmaniah in March and started my Osteopathic training in September of that year. I had applied to the County Council for an educational grant but was turned down the first and second times. I went in person to the County Council offices and talked to staff there to try to find out if there was any other avenue of appeal.

They told me that it was possible to appeal in person to the education committee of the County Council. I did this and some months later found myself facing a formidable group of grey haired worthies who were all very skeptical about the sincerity of my commitment. I was delighted when they said that they would fund me for the last one and a half years of my 4 year course.

We lived off savings for the first year during which I applied to the Osteopathic Education Foundation OEF for a grant to help in the 2nd and 3rd years. The OEF turned me down because they had decided 7 years before after funding several students all of whom failed to complete their training that they would only fund capital works for the Osteopathic educational institutions. I reapplied to the OEF at the beginning of the 2nd and they agreed to review my application.

The trustees did not meet until after the start of the second year and so I had to begin the 2nd year without knowing if any money would be available from the OEF. As an additional way of making ends meet, I did property conveyancing compressed in between my busy study schedule. Asmaniah did all the secretarial work in addition to looking after the home with first one and then two babies whilst I was still at Osteopathic school.

Subud members seemed to move for our own benefit rather than theirs! Towards the end of my studies I was invited to meet an osteopath who had been in practice in Amersham Buckinghamshire for 25 years. Margaret Cockbain D. The long and the short of our discussions over several months was that Margaret agreed to sell me her practice and the clinic where she had established it and to lend me the money to buy it, interest free!

This was a real blessing for us after years of barely making ends meet. Erica, born and raised in Florence, was living in Israel when her story began. In my CV there was a brief, youthful stint in journalism, an interest in Art, a passable ability to draw, and a brilliant career in motherhood. Now, theatre was something I was never even interested in. So, testing showed that Theatre — with a big T — was my talent. And it didn't help when, at an international meeting in England, I tested again, with experienced helpers, without telling them of my previous receiving.

I was driven by desperation to such deceits. They received ever more clearly that even the timing was right for me to work in theatre! I was sure that everyone in the profession, my family, and everyone who cared would make fun of me. The safest way to start was with puppetry. I took books home.

I went to see a lot of puppet shows — and I found out that there was, within theatre, a whole area that actually left me spellbound. That is the area which is called "Visual Theatre," which includes the art of performance, puppetry for adults, as well as for children, video art ,mime, installations, working with masks, and different combinations of all those.

And so it did.

Out of some applicants, 15 were chosen and I among them. An elderly Subud sister living in Jerusalem happened to need someone to sleep in, so as not to be alone at night. My two teenage girls who still lived at home were very brave and encouraging, and the puzzle pieces did fall into place. That's how a totally new life began for me. The studies three years were very intensive, interesting, eclectic — and although I was, at 43, the oldest student, I soon started to feel completely in my element.

I would be back home at weekends, cleaning and cooking as much as I could, but feeling a renewed energy and happiness. I can't remember having ever felt tired or discouraged. Virtually unknown in Israel and very foreign to the local culture, the novel is about a dwarf in the service of a prince of the Italian Renaissance. Being born and raised in Florence, I found the story impossible to resist. In the adaptation I made, I acted the dwarf with a kind of body puppet attached to my neck, while the other characters were small puppets which I manipulated from various parts of a table on which the dwarf puppet was sitting.

Teachers, fellow students, and families at the end-of-the-year performance received the piece very well. Among the teachers who expressed a positive reaction was my acting teacher, Yehuda Almagor, a young and very good actor himself. He encouraged me to "do something" with the short fifteen-minute piece, and after consultations, my own hesitation, and discussions, we decided to work together on the same idea, and develop it into a full show for adults with him as the actor, and me doing.

It was an exhilarating time. We worked for some six months, enlarging the adaptation, directing together, and me building new puppets this time, life size , and props. The debut was at a new festival in Tel Aviv called Theatre Netto — quite prestigious — and we received second prize.

subud international cultural organisation - PREFACE

We translated it into German and English. We received a special prize in Germany. Since then, I have worked on many other shows, mainly as designer and puppet builder. Work has been steadily flowing without having to look for it. After a few years of this, maybe as a delayed reaction to death in the family, I felt I needed an interlude, and again, encouraged by positive testing, I traveled to India with the idea of working as a volunteer at Mother Theresa's Home for the Dying. I lived in Calcutta for 8 months, during which time I also worked with children who live at the huge railway station, doing with them "art lessons," and of course, a puppet show.

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I also did a workshop for teachers at a school for the handicapped. These activities put some seed for what was to come later. After one year, I was back in Israel with renewed enthusiasm. I worked on another puppet show for adults with the same actor, and we were invited to participate in the prestigious Jim Henson Puppet Festival in New York; and for another show for children, I won a first prize at an International Festival in Israel.

In I moved from Israel to France, and settled in a small village, far from Festivals and Theater groups. I therefore started to cultivate the seeds I had kept from my visit to India: to see ways in which puppetry could help humanitarian causes. We are invited to all corners of the globe, where we teach educators, health workers, and social workers to make their own puppets and to use them in their work. Isaac Goff, the company's founder tells its story It all began with an acid trip! That's LSD for those who didn't grow up in the 60's.

My own acid experiences allowed me to see that there were planes of existence beyond the one on which I normally spent my days and that drugs could only offer a glimpse into, but could not open those worlds to me permanently. Drugs were like an elevator - they took me up, let me look around, then brought me back down. I realized I needed a spiritual path — a staircase that would allow me to climb steadily up and into those levels.

Understand that this is not about advocating the use of drugs, just the telling of the story of my own life experiences. After some years of poking about and false starts, I discovered Subud. Here was a spiritual path that fit my personality and could lead to an inner guided life. Now, it's more than 46 years later and I have to say, it's worked for me, more or less. But I mention the above only because it led to an epiphany that gave birth to Dharma Trading Co.

In a moment of revelation, I came to see that each of us is born with certain talents - strengths given to us by God. They come to us through no effort of our own - gifts. In my case, it was a feel for business and a knack for organization. I understood that these gifts came with an obligation to use them, and to use them for the betterment of my own life as well as that of mankind.

In that moment, I saw visually that if I used these talents, my life would work - it would be like the "iron filings" demonstration we all saw in school where the magnet causes the iron filings to align themselves in one direction. I saw that in the same way, using my God-given talents correctly would cause all aspects of my life to align themselves and allow the power of God to flow through and guide my life.

Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace) Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace)
Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace) Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace)
Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace) Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace)
Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace) Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace)
Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace) Touch Me (The Awakening of Erica Grace)

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