AVAAZ has 47 million members…

AVAAZ has 47 million members globally. I posted this to AVAAZ this morning in response to their request which I have copied below;
This is the darkest time since the Second World War. Truth itself has been undermined, exploitation of the many by the few has been normalized, democracy has been reduced to grotesque fakery, and the peoples of many countries are being persecuted and murdered by states who are in effect playing ‘war games’ on them.

However, springtime is visible in the extraordinary efforts of organizations such as AVAAZ and outstanding individuals such as Dr. Gabor Mate and many others.

As in gut health, the battle is battle between the toxicity of bad bacteria and the healing that comes with healthy bacteria, except the bacteria, are the healing ‘kindnesses, the truth, beauty & justice’ that restore health to the body politic as well as to individuals. Dr Gabor Mate’s life’s work is a brilliant model for us all.

As an organization, the Baha’i community has a brilliant model developed over recent decades. The good can prevail if we can find the ways and means of bringing people everywhere into a ‘healthy immune system’ that will transform the toxins that are currently causing so much havoc and suffering.

The Avaaz request included the following;

Dear Avaazers,

Powerful forces are moving in our world. It feels like much is waiting to be born, both great and terrible.

Will the world turn towards fear and darkness, or love and hope this year? And what is Avaaz and each of us meant to do, and be, in rising to these times?

I’ve been listening for the answer to that question, and here’s what I’ve gotten back:

We’ve won beautiful and powerful victories together — important ones that will serve humanity. But we haven’t yet realized the full potential of our greatest power — the magic of human connection. Love.

The nearly 50 million of us receiving this message come from every corner of the world, every walk of life, every part of the human family. But a common spirit of care and service, of light and love, has connected us. In many ways, Avaaz embodies the spirit of humanity, the idea that we are one people, and stewards of each other and all life.

The world needs this spirit more than ever. Because we will only survive the challenges we are facing, together.

So this is what it feels like we in Avaaz are meant to be and do: form a great fellowship of humanity, spread the truth of our connection, and work to build the world that is waiting to be born not from fear and anger at the ‘other’, but from hope and love of us all.

If this calling feels right to you, let the Avaaz team know by clicking below:

Yes, this feels right, I’m in.

This path might lead us to move beyond just emails and campaigns to build spaces online and offline where we can see and hear each other. To campaign not just on policies and the powerful, but on inspiring people to a culture of humanity that knits us together. To add to our defense of what we love with a proactive vision for the way forward for all of us.

If this feels right, let’s begin this new year and new chapter with an act of connection. It might be reaching out to a loved one, or a stranger, or someone we disagree with politically, or any act of love, kindness, or gratitude.

Click below to choose this journey together, and share your story of connection. Let’s begin our fellowship, and our year, by spreading the spirit of humanity, the magic of connection, and the power of love:

Yes, this feels right, I’m in.

With deep gratitude for each and every person in this movement,

Ricken, with the whole Avaaz team.

PS — as a first step to a movement where we hear and see each other, I share the first picture ever of me in the 12 years I’ve been sending you emails :). This is me with my baby son, Ren. I am so moved at how every step of his emergence as a person has been weaved and ushered on by love. Love truly is the force that makes a person. And it can save us too.
Me and my son, Ren
PPS — speaking of being made by love, the Avaaz team shares an incredibly beautiful fellowship that has nurtured me as a person, while also being a kickass crew of save-the-worlders. So, also for the first time in an Avaaz email, here they are! I’m excited for you to meet more of them personally on the journey we are beginning…

The Avaaz team

“The Soul appears to be…

“The Soul appears to be finite because of ignorance. When ignorance is destroyed the Self which does not admit of any multiplicity truly reveals itself by itself: like the Sun when the clouds pass away.”
― Adi Shankaracharya

Ravi Shankar was a devotee of Sri Anandamayi Ma

The YouTube video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifQplLp1Tgg tells us that;

Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar was a devotee of Sri Anandamayi Ma. He used to visit her frequently and performed for her on various occasions.

In Ravi’s own words:

“Varanasi is the eternal abode of Lord Shiva, and one of my favorite temples is that of Lord Hanuman, the monkey god. The city is also where one of the miracles that have happened in my life took place: I met Ma Anandamayi, a great spiritual soul. Seeing the beauty of her face and mind, I became her ardent devotee.

Sitting at home now in Encinitas, in Southern California, at the age of 88, surrounded by the beautiful greens, multi-colored flowers, blue sky, clean air, and the Pacific Ocean, I often reminisce about all the wonderful places I have seen in the world. I cherish the memories of Paris, New York, and a few other places. Bur Varanasi seems to be etched in my heart!”

Source: My Favorite Place on Earth: Celebrated People Share Their Travel Discoveries By Jerry Camarillo Dunn

The quote can be viewed online here: https://books.google.com/books?id=lXE

View on Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravi_Sh…

Photo of Ma holding sitar: http://cliffordshackforum.blogspot.co…

May Ravi’s soul rest in peace, bound in eternal union with his beloved “Ma.”

Music from the album,”Chants of India.”

Prabhuji daya karo. Mana mein an baso.
Tum bina lage suna. Khali ghut may prem bharo.
Tantra Mantra Puja nahi jaanu. Mein to kavel thumko hee manu.
Sare jug may dhundha thumko. Ab to aker banh dharo.

Divine being, have mercy on me. Come, reside in my heart.
Without you, I feel an emptiness. Fill up my hollow entity with love.
I don’t know the rituals, chants, and prayers. I just know that I believe in you.
I searched the whole world for you. Now, please come, take my hand and lead me.

Hi dear


The Hindu teaching ‘atman is Brahman’ consider c.f The Baha’i Hidden Word 13

cropped-image.pngIn relation to the Hindu teaching ‘atman is Brahman’ consider


  1. the personal soul or self; the thinking principle as manifested in consciousness

2. Brahman considered as the Universal Soul, the great Self or Person that dwells in the entire created order

Word origin of ‘atman’ – from Sanskrit ātman breath; compare Old High German ātum breath – Collins dictionary

Brahman – In schools that equate Brahman with Atman,Brahman is the sole, ultimate reality. The predominant teaching in the Upanishads is the spiritual identity of soul within each human being, with the soul of every other human being and living being, as well as with the supreme, ultimate reality Brahman. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman



I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself? Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.   

Rumi’s poem ‘Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing’  plus my preferred definition of ‘namaste’:-  a very simple juxtaposition for a One Garden session

Rumi’s poem Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field. I’ll meet you there.


When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.


mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century poet and spiritual teacher




My preferred definition of ‘namaste’:


“I honor the place in you

in which the entire Universe dwells.

I honor the place in you which is of Love,

of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace.

When you are in that place in you,

and I am in that place in me,

we are One.”


Self-knowledge – as gnosis or ma’rifa’


In Holistic Education I have suggested HERE that the three ways we come to know are Creativity, Criticality, and Caring. These three correspond to Arts, Sciences and Humanities and in our expression to I, WE and IT voices. In each of the three we can reflect the spiritual or not. Each of the three ways can be to the good or it’s opposite. In other words all ways can lead the individual to the spiritual or to the opposite. Each can be a portal to or from the spiritual if we have the sensibility and at-one-ness.

Spiritual knowing is called Gnosis in Christianity or ma’rifa, or irfan, in Sufism.

Gnosis signifies a knowledge or insight into man’s real nature as Divine, leading to the deliverance of the Divine spark within man from the constraints of earthly existence.

This reasonably well sums up the spiritual life, or mysticism, or spirituality in our ‘One Garden: interfaith as interspiritual living’ groups.

IRFAN Definition of Sufism by William C Chittick gnosis

‘One of the terms used in the classical texts to designate what I call “Sufism” is ma’rifa (or irfan), a term that literally means ‘knowledge’ or ‘recognition’.  

However, the term connotes a special, deeper knowledge of things that can only be achieved by personal transformation, and hence it is often translated as ‘gnosis’.  The goal and fruit of this type of knowledge is commonly explained by citing the Prophet’s saying, “He who knows (arifa) himself knows his Lord”

As the hadith suggests this sort of knowledge demands a simultaneous acquisition of both self-knowledge and God-knowledge.  The text tell us repeatedly that it cannot be found in books.  

Rather, it is already present in the heart, but it is hidden deep beneath the dross of ignorance, forgetfulness, outwardly oriented activity, and rational articulation.  Access to this knowledge comes only by following the path that leads to human perfection.’  

p39  ‘Sufism’ William C Chittick.  

To learn more about Chittick and his writings see HERE