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Open Centre newsletter

About dreaming, sleeping and waking up and trees.

When a number of people are asleep, each dreams his own dream. Only on awakening the question of many different dreams arises and dissolves when they are all seen as dreams, as something imagined.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


Dear friends,

In this newsletter you can find the following contributions from some Sangha members.
First Derrek and his fundraising experiences with his son Aiden.
Secondly a poem which kailash has sent in and thirdly a writing from Augusta about shared roots and fundraising.
Yes, wonderful trees again!!!

Also three web links.
The first is a set of rough moving snapshots of the deep rest retreat in Spain at the end of August. http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=-FZ3Ntk5euQ
The second is related to Augusta’s inspiring fundraising project which is connected to Shared Roots.  http://www.shared-roots.org

And last but not least a global movement “you tube” clip. Which seem a bit depressing at the beginning but persevere and it becomes heart-warming.
One of the comments to give a taste:
 “Making the world a better place, making a change is not only your responsibility it is your joy, it is your blessing, it is your gift, it is you opportunity to make your life mean something. So take it!!!!”
This is quoted from Derrick N Ashong a young peace activist in the USA Who tends to leave people with the words; Don’t sleep!!!!



Bindhi fundraising at buddha field

Aiden and I have been raising money for the centre through the summer, especially when we went to “Buddha field” which, if you don't know, is a festival held every rain splashed U.K. summer in Devon.
Christopher Titmus goes and gets involved with dharma discussions along with lots of the sangha. Especially the usual suspects from Brighton and Totnes. They’re great.
Aiden and I spent the festival spreading the news and raising Dana for the Open Centre with bindhis (oh and the t-shirts Bekka-ji did). People gave and took what ever they wanted. Basically in the Dana tradition with an open heart. I have to give credit to Aiden who was very patient and understanding, bless him. And also credit to all the lovely people especially the Sangha who bought bindhis and let the message pass through their hearts. It was very inspirational and so many people were supportive of the vision and of the heart felt expression, which is just great to be part of.
A common question was "how much are the bindhis? Well, just give what you feel like! This would freak some people out like what? Give like what ever you feel like giving...... treat it as a gift and if you feel like giving, it's going to a great cause. Sometimes we would explain it like (I dread to use the word) donation. Coz some people just couldn't get it. People where giving money... and getting the taste of the message, yes give what you feel like and take what you feel like.
Some of the seasoned dharma India Walla’s got it straight away and would give a little wry look, a sweet twist of tongue and a “good luck” and there's some barjans going on here.......or we'll be over here if you fancy a chai and a chat all in the best festival humour and spirit...the true heart of the festival. I'm not sure how much we have raised well I should rephrase. I am aware it's immeasurable, the coins and the peaces of paper are just part of that expression and a welcome one for sure but the true essence.......phew..... And I'm sure Aiden feels honoured to be a part of it all too. I don't think I/we are going to stop, we so much enjoyed making chai for people and giving out cake and sharing with the Sangha. And extending to others by telling them about the open centre and about all the lovely people who are giving and receiving and benefiting from this again and again and again.
It's immeasurable and it's definitely the centre, the true centre that is opening and if it then manifests itself in land with buildings then all the better. But if not the centre is opening.
And to be part of that is............it's difficult for me to describe in words so I won't bother there's no need to. So we'll buy more Bindhis and offer them like the shinning jewels that adhorn all the cherubs....like Mirabai as she awaits Krishna the true opening. I/we are happy to sit and wait with her. The jewels are the people who express this life so well...let it shine.....let them shine Krishna's true heart.....let it rain and nourish.......a true expression of life. Thank you to all the beautiful hearts keep flowering...Thanks to all the Brighton “Dharma Facilitator Program” people, who also gave and received with a warm heart.... Oh and the guys at the end of the French Yatra. We were a bit slow with that one coz I was on the site crew on the last day. And I lost sight of a good opportunity to spread the word... So sorry but thanks to those who again gave and received with an open heart......it's very very catchy. If you hadn't noticed???? Ha!!


Hawks Surely, you too have longed for this --
to pour yourself out
on the rising circles of the air
to ride, unthinking,
on the flesh of emptiness. Can you claim, in your civilized life,
that you have never leaned toward
the headlong dive, the snap of bones,
the chance to be so terrible,
so free from evil, beyond choice?

The air that they are riding
is the same breath as your own.
How could you not remember?
That same swift stillness binds
your cells in balance, rushes
through the pulsing circles of your blood.

Each breath proclaims it --
the flash of feathers, the chance to rest
on such a muscled quietness,
to be in that fierce presence,
wholly wind, wholly wild.

~ BY Lynn Ungar ~  (Blessing the Bread)


Shared Roots

Two years ago at the annual Dharma gathering in Sarnath a small group of us were trying to think of innovative ways to raise money to allow the birth of the Open Centre. I suggested to Jaya and Gemma that perhaps we could set up a project through which we would support tree planting in India and raise money for the Open Centre at the same time.

I have always felt in the presence of sensitive benevolent beings when surrounded by trees. They provide food, medicine, fresh air, protection to the soil, and a place for small creatures to live. Travelling across India it is clear to see with each year that passes, vast areas of treeless land are becoming parched and barren.

Jaya suggested that I meet her old friend Govinda in Tiruvannamlai that she has known since her time with Papaji. Govinda’s project, the Mountain of Medicine, began when he planted a tree on Arunachala to celebrate the birth of his first child. But he didn’t stop at one tree.  Since then, tens of thousands of trees have been planted. An extensive nursery of indigenous trees has been created and the project has created full-time employment for around fourteen local people. The project is offering a place where local children can come and spend time in nature. At present a beautiful environmental interpretation centre is being built.

When Govinda and I met some months later to discuss the project, we were both surprised. We recognised each other immediately. Around seventeen years before, we had both been students at the same small secondary school in a rural town in West Wales. He is a few years older, but we had shared at least three-years confined in those large concrete block buildings. His little brother had been in many of my classes.
I can only think that such a random meeting must be an auspicious sign for the forest project and the Open Centre.

Shared Roots will offer the opportunity to have a tree planted on the mountain where Sri Ramama Maharishi lived and meditated for many years.
A tree can be planted as a gesture of love for the whole, for the welfare of all life-forms of the present and of the future. It can be part of our practice of deepening our intrinsic knowing of the interconnectedness of all life-forms.
A tree can be planted as a beautiful gift for a loved one, the celebration of a new child, to mark a union between two people or to commemorate the life of someone who has passed. When someone sponsors a tree for $14 they will receive a certificate of appreciation and can subscribe to a twice yearly newsletter about the growth of the young forest.
There will also be an online shop selling Himachal shawls, scarves Tibetan incense and handmade recycled notebooks. The profit will go equally towards reforestation of Arunachala and the Open Centre.

Shared Roots website is currently under construction, but will soon be available at http://www.shared-roots.org

Also, if anyone has any nice poems about trees, nature or silence, email them to me and I’ll see if I can get a few onto the website. augusta_lewis(AT)hotmail.co.uk

Love and light,



Thank you all for your attention again and keep sending in all those great inspirational story’s, poems and experiences.

Stay awake!
On behalf of the newsletter team.



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