Video:: Jeet Kei Leung – Transformational Festivals – TEDxVancouver

Ulla: This subject is really close to my heart:

The transformational power of music festivals.



Dancing with the news these days

It feels so anticlimactic to check out Google News this morning, after immersing myself in the alternative news of various websites like,, and

An article trying to forecast what President Obama’s second term might entail, brings up a chuckle in me, as at this point I know for sure, that it will not be based on anything dredged up from past experiences. Another article once again looking for reasons why the economy is not picking up yet, feels like a thin layer of ice over a deep alpine lake. Glancing at headlines about the squabbles between various Republic presidential candidates seems like watching children fight in a sandbox, including some down to earth mudslinging.

All of it is taking on a layer of surreal play acting in the face of the epic struggles going on behind the scenes. These attempts at business as usual fail to hold my attention while empires are collapsing, worlds are colliding, and rabbit holes are turning into warrens full of vistas into new worlds, new ways of being, and ancient dreams coming true.



Korea’s Got Talent: Sung-bong Choi

Korea's Sung-bong Choi

What a touching performance by an untrained voice, a life filled with hardship. What an inspiration to never stop dreaming. To not give up on what we feel passionate about. To follow that which feels good to us, brings us comfort and makes us feel alive.

I was feeling very touched, with tears in my eyes and a constricted throat. There is a quality in his voice… hard to describe. See for yourself:

Daring to Dream Again: A Baby Boomer’s Perspective on the Tahrir Square Victory

Tahrir Square on 11FEB2011 by Khaled Elfiqi/EPA

Today on February 11, 2011, we saw Egyptian dictator Mubarak finally step down and make way for the possibility of a democratic government in Egypt after 18 days of full on protests by the young people in Egypt on Tahrir Square. Tahrir mean liberation in Egyptian. And the square is full of people celebrating.

And I am sitting here, feeling tears of relief. Of joy and gratitude. Feeling a hard place in my heart melting. Opening up to trust my dreams again.

As someone who remembers exactly how I felt on the day that John F. Kennedy was shot: listening to it on the radio. Watching my mother being upset. Being 6 years old, not understanding what it was all about, but knowing that it was important. Terribly important.

The days both Martin Luther King and Bobby Kenny were shot: being told by my mother with tears in her eyes when I came into the kitchen for breakfast. Both times. Again not quite comprehending why she cried, but knowing it was important.

All these events have shaped me life, my dreams and my hopes. My generation.

When the Kent State shootings happened on May 4th, 1970. When the squatter movement in Berlin turned violent on May 4, 1987. When the Tiananmen Square Shootings happened in June 4, 1989 and most likely 3000 young people were killed.

I held all these days, all these feelings of defeat, in my heart. A heart heavy with pain and sadness and loss. My hopes shrank. My dreams receded into the safety of the the far future.

Fall of the Berlin Wall 11NOV1989

And then came November 11, 1989, the Fall of the Berlin Wall. I was actually living in Berlin then, but that is another story.

The tide turned. The balance of power started having a new face. I knew then, that political miracles were possible.

In the wildest dreams of the peace movement in the 60s in Germany no one I knew had dared to dream such a peaceful solution to such a monumental problem. A country cut in half. A people cut in two for 28 years.

After months of protest by the young ones of East Germany the wall opened its tightly sealed gates. Without violence. So effortless. So strongly on the side of  what the people wanted. What the young ones dared to dream.

Back to today, another day of victory for the people’s wishes. The wishes of the young ones. The dreamers. The ones full of hope. The bright ones.

Around 50% of the Arab population is under 30 years old. They do not remember all the shootings my generation carries around in our hearts and bellies. Luckily they do not remember. It made them strong in their dreams. Their hopes. In their demands.

Tunisia' s Jasmine Revolution 15JAN2011

Encouraged by their sisters and brothers in Tunesia, who on January 15, 2011 forced Ben Ali to step down after four weeks of daily protests. They call it the Jasmine Revolution.

The youth in Egypt only took 18 days to accomplish the same. Once again, the army sided with the people instead of following the command of the dictators. What a changed world, where even a trained body such as the army is making choices about who they support.

A world where even President Obama congratulates you on ousting a dictator on your terms.

My heart feels so much lighter. So relieved. So much so that I now feel that I too can dare to dream my dreams again. My big dreams.

Not in some far distant future. Not for my children when they are old. But now. Right now and here. Right here.

Thank you, all you young ones. For following your hearts and daring to dream and taking to the streets. For not giving up and thus giving me back my dreams. My dreams about the world I want to live in. My dreams about what is possible. My dreams about who I can be. Thank you all.

Obama’s Speech at the Tuscon Memorial

Times definitely are a-changing …

Listening to Obama speech at the Tuscon Memorial on Jan 12, 2011. It is all over the news today, a day later.

My first response seeing Obama on the podium was “Oh my god… how gray his hair has become in 2 years only…” and it brings tears to my eyes to watch this.

And then listening to him make sense out an emotional super-charged situation. The “new” politician who uses the collective emotions evoked by such a catastrophe as a way to unify this collective, instead of polarizing, blaming, and finger pointing.

The forces that divide us are not as strong as the ones that unite us.” Obama just created his legacy in that sentence.

An interesting piece: Christina Green, the girl killed in this shooting, was born on September 11, 2001, that is on 9/11. What a life of service she offered to come in on a day of a national tragedy/opportunity and to leave on a day of a national tragedy/opportunity… What a large soul.

We are living in new times, for sure…

My “Brilliant Leaves” Poetry on Video

Here is a video of the first “offical” poetry reading of my poems about the luminous side of dying. I have been writing these poems at the beside of someone dying over that last four years.

The occasion for this video was my 55th birthday and goodbye party (I am moving to Santa Cruz) in Ashland on November 19th, 2010. I had the most supportive audience… Thank you all who were there…

My poems are looking for a literary agent and a publisher. Any suggestions?

Leave me a note below on the comment section, if you do…

Btw, aren’t the digital snow flakes fun? 🙂

Sending Light to the Gulf Oil Spill

I am a person who has a great capacity to see the positive in most any situation. Concerning the Gulf oil spill I have so far been able to just focus on the positive out comes of the current Gulf oil spill crisis. As if I was not really affected by it.

An email with a link and a channeled reading sent out by Tom Kenyan have shifted my focus from just standing by to a more active stance into self empowerment. Both pieces of writing suggest that we are facing a much bigger crisis worldwide than what has been reported so far.

Add into that the possible impact of the tropical storm Alex heading for the Gulf area, and things start looking pretty desperate and easily can feel overwhelming.

Photo courtesy of

In my case active means to change my own deeply held beliefs of powerlessness.

It means to keep this crisis in my awareness instead of pushing it away. Instead of thinking that the ones responsible will deal with this, while I can keep myself out of this. Especially thinking that I am powerless to do anything about this anyway.

I have decided to make a commitment to the following actions on a daily basis:

  • I am sending clear light to all responsible for decisions every time I hear or read about the oil spill, so that they may see solutions they have not seen so far.
  • I am making time every day at noon for a few minutes to specifically send clear light to the US Gulf area while imagining being connected with thousands if not millions of others doing the same all over the world, knowing myself not alone anymore in this crisis.
  • Through these daily actions I am affirming that as a collective we have the capacity to heal this possibly cataclysmic event, using the power of our thoughts. We are powerful beyond imagination, when we join our thoughts and focus them on the well being of all.

Photo Curtesy of

I believe this is an opportunity to know ourselves connected all over the world. An opportunity to know ourselves in this together as in a worldwide crisis there is no place to hide. Worldwide means it affects all of us.

It is also an opportunity to step out of a mentality of “us versus them” which keeps “us” powerless” and “them” in power.

Yes, I still see opportunity in this crisis, actually huge opportunity in this huge crisis, but it needs my commitment to change first. To change my thoughts from powerless to powerful and then to focus my thoughts for the good of all.

Will you join me?