Purusha: Path of Light pt.2 – The Group and the Gap!

The Purusha compound was multi-tiered, with each dormitory-style building separated from one another by stretches of black asphalt that wove between the greenery like a thread sewing the scene together.

Purusha HQ

Walking into the dining hall many a bright eyed, bushy bearded yogi watched us with avid interest. I could feel the local Purushites checking our vibe. Not with any type of weirdness, just trying to assess the groups overall energy.

My eye darted around to the plates of food on the various men’s trays. I  breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the all-familiar Indian dish called kitchari (Check this rice and dahl recipe, and you can always substitute Ghee for Coconut oil.) At least there would be something hot, nourishing and vegan! I also saw fresh chapatis on an occasional tray. Due to a health crisis, and food allergies 6 years ago I’d decided to go gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, and sugar free. The look of these fluffy, lightly dusted wheat discs made me forgo my decision and give them a try.

Chapati Station.jpg

I later found out that the dough was all organic, freshly ground from wheat berries, and packed with goodness.

Then came the rain. A wall of dark clouds had saturated the sky. As soon as we parked it started pouring… It felt like a massive cleanse. The freedom of the downpour was relieving and the smell of the wet asphalt was strikingly nostalgic.

Many of us took the golf carts back to our residence hall. I decided to run for it. The feeling of being rained upon is like Nature bathing you in joyous tears. She’s crying for how beautiful life can be. Soaked to the core, I changed my clothes and made it to our initiatory meeting. When I arrived, everyone was seated, lit with anticipation. The group looked like a royal congregation, a roomful of peaceful princes. As I took my seat, I felt myself sit straighter, steeped in silence, and an inner confidence began to percolate.

We were then given an introduction to the course. I won’t go into specifics much, but this course would be a place to gain maximum rest, rejuvenation and a deeper connection with our TM and TM Sidhi program, as well as plenty of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (MMY) tapes. Maharishi always emphasized how to gain the most from his lectures.

“Just be simple, innocent and listen.”

Having gone to High School at the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment I was familiar with profound knowledge cleansing effects. I had a daily experience of this simplest form of awareness during his many hours of lectures. I often found myself adrift in a state of  lively alertness, in my own body, yet witnessing myself aloft with eyes closed. Even in Maharishi’s own radiant presence, when my entire High School class was invited to go to Vlodrop Holland, I remember my state of physicality both in and outside my body, amidst his massive awareness.

“There will be some level of intellectual understanding for what we experience on this course. When the experience is there, we can enhance and update that with a deeper level of understanding.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

I knew then that we were going to get into depth about the Gap. A place of pure unmanifestion, of totality. A place I also knew to be that transcendental place between thoughts. The place we all (as well as our known universe) emerge from, and what us TM’ers call Transcendental Consciousness (TC.) Excited to go deeper into my experience of  TC I decided to allow the course to do it’s work.

Then were sent to bed and told to sleep in the next morning, and be easy with ourselves. But having been stuck in a car for 8 hours 2 days, I decided to take a short walk instead.

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Next time: Purusha: Path of Light pt.3 – Walkabouts & Wakefulness!

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Purusha: Path of Light pt.1

“I am silence. Silence is all there is… Silence contains dynamism. The cyclic relationship between silence and dynamism where both are one, this is Samhita.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Even with my art career starting to blossom, and reconnecting with a great friend who was gracious enough for me to move my art studio into his home, things were not going as smoothly as I’d hoped. I’d lost sight of my goals, my passion was expressed mostly in sex, and my finances were shaky at best. Despite being deeply in love with a young woman, and making art every day, I wasn’t fulfilled. I eventually realized that my spiritual cord had been somehow unplugged, and only by reconnecting to this would I become revitalized and gain my mojo back.

Two days later, a good friend of mine invited me to join him for 10 days of meditation, and total immersion into myself in the foothills of West Virginia. Organized by the ELI (Enlightened Leadership International,) this would be a taste of the Purusha program. To me, Purusha was associated by a group of elderly white-haired men who dedicated themselves to a very reclusive, celibate (or at least single) lifestyle. Daily practices include studying the Vedic Literature, longer meditations, and eating rice and dahl every day…. Not something I previously had any interest in.

However, when MarQ asked me if I wanted to experience this, I found a quiet, subtle voice that spoke to me in a whisper of confidence and clarity. I found myself saying “Let’s do it.”

If I had known then that my ears would be ringing with a roar of silence, and my heart would be purified by the depth of an inner ocean I would’ve tried Purusha much sooner.

“Intention is a tremendously powerful unifying force. Co-existing with the absolute force of diversity, the organizing power of the Veda is found at the gap.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Now I am no stranger to spiritual experiences. My parents are both TM teachers, and I have been meditating and practicing Yoga since I was 10. I have been fortunate enough to even have a basic understanding of complex cosmic concepts such as Ahimsa, Karma (and Karma Yoga,) Gyana Yoga and Kayakalpa (the art of body transformation, yoga set and secret to immortality.) I’ve always resonated with Hindu philosophy. Reincarnation, nature as sacred, all gods and religions are facets of god’s brilliance, and can lead to total realization (as long as you don’t try to impose your beliefs onto somebody else.)

Kaya Kalpa was a ninety day process performed during an isolated retreat to elicit intense bodily purification and deeply nourishing rejuvenation.

Kayakalpa pranayama

I can honestly say that these 12 days on Purusha has been a rekindling on an profound level, and propelled me into states of mature love, strength and self acceptance.

Once I made the decision to attend the course 2 days prior to the date, I had to make some smart decisions. If I were to finish my art projects, make peace with my relationship, move into a new studio and get a scholarship I’d need all the support of nature I could get. After knocking out the artwork, a flurry of e-mails, moving all my possessions into my friends cozy geode-embedded house, packing my travel gear, some rapid conscious communication with my partner, I was finally ready.

After loading up the trusty 2001 blue Honda Odyssey mini van with bags and wholesome vegan road food, I was feeling ready for anything. After all I’d be heading off to the woods of West Virginia, and spending the next 14 days together with my guy friends. Imagining myself reconnecting with my core, my love for nature, and my spiritual path, I had the thought, “I’ll be a different person coming home.” (If I came home of course.) and the idea made me feel even more alive.20170727_153842

On the road trip, I kept mostly quiet, content to read my books (the secret life of plants, and creative confidence.) We stopped as often as we needed relief, and to rally inside the plethora of gas stations, to marvel at the absurdly artificial apothecary of America, and stretch our legs so my crew could stay limber. I was glad to have packed my healthy vegan snacks, sprouted crackers from Alura Anderson, homemade hummus and fruits.

Hummus & Crackers

After many hours, a sleepless night at a Motel 8, I was feeling pretty run down. I had forgotten my tongue scraper, and could feel the buildup of plaque on my tongue. But we pressed on with a promise of deeper rest, and expanded awareness in our hearts.

Once we reached the mountain range, I perked up. I could feel as though the mountain watched me as we entered it’s habitat. It was a wild, wonderful feeling I’d not felt in years… It felt like we were entering some long-forgotten oasis. A place where wild things still roamed, and ancient energies made themselves visible at dawn and dusk.

Mountain roads

When we finally arrived at the Purusha Headquarters, we were greeted by the all-familiar white buildings, with gold Kalash standing like a cosmic satellite dish aimed at the sky. The backdrop of emerald green hills left me speechless. I felt this was a place  from another age. Created for some kind of royalty. And sure enough as we entered the compound, we were greeted by a few golf carts piloted by casually dressed men with snow-white hair, baseball caps, and flip flops. They might’ve been mistaken for groundskeepers, but I knew better than to judge based on appearances…

Next time: Purusha: Path of Light pt.2 – Power of the Group and Gap!

“Make your relationship with dynamism as intense as it is with silence.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

 

Journey East pt. 2

Travelogue pt. 2

As a child I was  deeply claustrophobic. My family took many car trips every year, but we’d always take advantage of the many rest stops along the way. Airplane trips were even less desirable. Being shoulder to shoulder with someone I never met, and who I knew I’d eventually have to make conversation with wasn’t my idea of a good time. I was that kid who avoided most dances gatherings, and preferred to be alone (even hugging was an issue for me.)

Once I got more into meditation, my claustrophobia vanished. After I’d sink into my mantra, a profound sense of expansion would overcome me. I’d giggle at how small all my issues seemed, and I would forget that I ever despised cramped spaces. I started going to more social events, and even got back into hugging.

The flight was more than equipped for our 13+ hours of airborne travel. As the engines whirred on, I could feel the power surging around me, as if to say “You’re going to be here a while, so might as well enjoy it.”

The stewardess brought us our vegan meals with the a piece of fruit and raw kale salad.  I don’t care much for airplane food, so I opted to fast, and passed my prepackaged plane fare over to Teddy & Felipe.

After about four hours I wandered towards the back of the plane to stretch my legs. Two airline attendants were gabbing, one was cutting a baked potato with a plastic fork and knife.

After we landed at the Beijing Airport, and rounded up our bags at the carousel we went to meet up with Liya, Jennifer’s mom. Liya is an acclaimed author, public speaker, financial consultant, and creator of the WealthLand Game (among many other innovative projects.)

At the airport, I could almost see my face in the polished pink marble floors. Massively arched ceilings with steel girders loomed overhead, and LED screens displayed the latest & greatest Chinese products. This was a marvelous piece of architecture, and I wondered how many workers there were to keep this place clean.

Despite Beijing being the wonderfully modern city it was, we definitely got more looks than the average 老外 lǎowài (foreigner.) And who can blame them, when our crew looks this fine?

beijing-airport-crew-1At the Collab we encourage cultural diversity, collaboration, next-gen educational models and offer progressive trends in spirituality & sustainability.

Last time I was in Beijing it was 2008. I remember the streets were mostly dirt roads. Piles of steaming garbage were everywhere, and the air always smelled like burning plastic. Since then a LOT has changed.

When we got to our hotel, the room, floor and was super clean, modern and I could see how much progress had been implemented in Beijing. Thousands of skyscrapers pierced the heavens, all monoliths of shiny glass, concrete and steel. I now knew why the “Wo Ai Beijing,” song is so popular.

guang-yao-cThough I had meditated for 6 hours, I felt the draw of Jet Lag weighing me down. For our first Beijing meeting, we began planning our PPT for a major meeting with our Chinese peers about development of an Eco Village.

During our meeting there was definitely some friction. We had been experimenting with Flat Management since the Collab’s inception, but it can be challenging when people can’t come to an agreement. Especially for us spiritually minded folk. When unresolved patterns enter the mix, emotions can escalate and we can get distracted from the matter at hand.

My being a pacifist, I’ve suggested conscious communication in the past. I tend to go silent if there is a heated debate. Maybe it’s all the Yoga I’ve done, or maybe I’m scared to voice my opinion, but as our meeting became more heated, I found myself pulling back, and shutting down.

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I wanted to find as many strategies to prevent us from burning out. I opted to start implementing Conscious Communication, Yes Sessions (inspired by one of Pixar’s innovative idea-generating methods) breathing techniques, and make sure we stayed on our meditation game.

After our first draft was ready for the Eastern Eco Village presentation (along with our brand new Logo,) . 2016 was the year of the Fire Monkey, and it was rapidly coming to a head. It was one of the busiest and best years of my life, but as we sat down to clear the air and meditate, I made a silent promise to make sure none of my team would burn out.

Morehead Media Manifesto

Greetings!

If this is your first time setting eyes on this site, then welcome!

If you’re returning to my digital domicile, and wanting to follow my journey again, then welcome back!

Paul-J-Morehead

My name is Paul (保罗, ポール, พอล) James Morehead.

I am a comic artist, animator, storyteller, educator, vegan, poet, blogger, yoga teacher and globe trotter.

Mini Bio: I was raised on cartoons, yoga, transcendental meditation and organic vegetables. I’ve studied spirituality in Iowa, animation in Canada, fine art in Scandinavia, storytelling in Europe, Yoga in India, and Chi Gong in China.

My dream has always been to explore. I took my first solo voyage to Rode Island to visit my cousins in a private jet when I was 12, and have been travelling ever since.

They say no one is an island. I believe that by exploring the world by looking to it’s culture, customs, and people, we can realize that we are all a world family, and not so different after all.

Morehead Media was created as a platform to educate, empower and entertain by sharing these cross-continental experiences. If I can uplift, educate, or inspire others through telling stories about the places I see, then I will have fulfilled my mission.

In this blog I’ll do my best to provide an unbiased view on what makes each place unique and try to give objective views on the current beliefs, ideas, and customs of the people. Any information that is shared is my own angle, and I take full responsibility for the accuracy of my observations. So without further ado, let’s begin this journey together!

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Sharing stories for inspiration, unification and fun.

The Miracle Mystery Mulberry

The Mulberry is well known. Almost everyone can identify the branches laden with purple pods, the shimmering green leaves, and the deep purple carpet of fallen fruit, welcoming us to join in the festivities. Many times I have watched birds take flight from the deciduous trees, their beaks full of bounty. I remember walking down the sidewalk in summer trying to dodge the pattern of purple on the pavement. But as common as these trees are, they contain a mystery. Is the mulberry another tasty pitstop? Or an overlooked super food? Even the nursery rhyme seems to down play this wonder plant. “Here we go ’round the mulberry bush?” Their saplings are kinda scrappy, but make no mistake this is no “bush” that goes the distance in terms of health benefits.
Berry Blessing

There are three types of mulberry tree; The white mulberry native to east/central China. The black mulberry native to west Asia, and the red mulberry native to the eastern USA. They are of the Morus fruit family, which is the main food source for silkworms.

When ripe, these purple pods resemble a dark red gem, and are sweeter the higher you go. When examined closely your bound to find some bugs. But never fear! Bugs are a valuable source of protein, and their caloric content is not to be neglected.

Berry Select

Historically the mulberry has been used to treat weakness, fatigue, anemia, to calm the nerves, balance internal secretions and nourish the yin and blood (commonly used in China as a blood tonic.) The leaves alone contain a wide variety of proteins, polyphenols, flavonoids, steroids, triterpenes, vitamins and minerals (including ascorbic acid and beta carotene.) The leaf can be made into a tea which contains 1-Deoxynojirimycin (or DNJ.) Mulberry leaves are polymorphic, (there can be 3 different shapes on a single branch.) Making a tea from the leaves has a powerful antioxidant effect, lowers cholesterol and reduces inflammation. 

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The berries are sweet when ripe, but actually develop a more robust flavor when dried. They pack a range of photo-nutrients such as polyphenol, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins like Riboflavin (B-2), B-6, niacin, folic acid and vitamin K.) Also they contain potassium, manganese and magnesium and reservatol which protects against stroke, and reduces blood pressure. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and E and protects us from free radicals. Mulberries are also an excellent source of iron, which is rare among berries. Not to mention, healthy carbohydrates which make up 90 of the calorie content. At 2.4 grams of fiber (10% daily dose) 2.6 mg of iron, 1.3 grams of sugar, and 51 grams of Vitamin C these berries are more than meets the eye.

The best way to harvest them is bring a tarp, bowl, or jar, take hold of a branch and begin shaking. “It’s a lot like getting to know your neighbor. The friendlier your handshake, the more they’ll have a good first impression.” –Sascha Kyssa, Creative Director, Founder, Naturewise Academy.

Berry Bowl

So next time you find yourself in the presence of this amazing tree, remember to “go ’round the mulberry tree,” and let your body do what it came to do. Sing, dance and celebrate with a mouthful of miracle mystery mulberries.

© Morehead Media 2015

Princess Kaguya: The film that called back my heart

Princess Kaguya is not another eco-wake-up-call disguised as a film. It’s infinitely more.
Princess Kaguya Woods

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love a punch in the gut epic about the human race’s struggle for survival on a planet that barely supports life. But I’d much prefer a tale about our species yearning to reconnect with a nature that is ready and willing to assist us.

Where “The inconvenient Truth’s” statistical sensibility made me realize the urgency of our ability as humans to be “proactive” about our planet. Mad Max gave me goosebumps with how fetishized our culture has become. Princess Kaguya goes straight to the heart of the matter, through the best way to make an impact. Through our heart. This may be a retelling of a thousand-year-old Japanese folktale, but director Isao Takahata has brought it to life in a way that feels full of freshness.

Princess Kaguya Spring

The film contains many landmarks that are recognizably Ghibli. A young, curious, courageous female protagonist, who as the film develops is more complex than she is cute. I’m a bit bias when it comes to animation (having studied 2D traditional animation,) but the visuals of Princess Kaguya are stunning. Hand painted backgrounds are typical for Ghibli, but every scene here is masterfully subtle. The colored pencil outlines are also a welcome touch. And the colors are sheer genius.

When it comes to the audio, I always prefer subtitles and original voices, over any kind of dubbing. But here I was pleasantly surprised by the top notch voice casting of the dubbed version (especially Kaguya played by Chloë Grace Moretz.)

Conclusion: Princess Kaguya is a landmark of animation that reshapes notions of what’s important in life. It’s the most emotionally rich film I’ve seen in years, and with today’s epic-technology-laden-films it stands out like a bamboo shoot in winter. Sure we can create dystopian worlds, sexy complicated tech, crazy levels of gore, or even recreate a long-extinct species. But after the wow-factor has worn it’s welcome, I emerge from the experience asking, what’s the point? It’s the stories we connect with that we’ll cherish, we’ll remember, and will enrich our lives.

Princess Kaguya Boar Piglets

Princess Kaguya is a masterpiece of visual storytelling that I’ll be thinking about, dreaming about, and re-watching with friends, children, and my children soon. Life ebbs and flows, and the stories we remember are the one’s that bring us together. So next time I find myself gazing at mother moon. I’ll thank her for bringing light to our nights, and solace to our fruitful days.

“Be present, stay still, and keep open.”

© Morehead Media, 2015.

The Free Radicals Revolution

What is a Free Radical? 

Radical comes from the Latin word “radix” meaning “root.”

Free means not under the control of another.

Scientifically speaking  a free radical is an atom that has an unpaired electron. Which makes them reactive to any chemical reaction. Which is great for combustion’s.

Confused? I know I was, until I realized that I was that rogue electron. I was the lonely

That’s why I’m suggesting a revolution. A Free Radicals Revolution. A new frontier for education through methods that are inspiring, uplifting and altogether radical. Using the modern media outlets and the mass movement of online interaction, I propose a project that’s as accessible as it is entertaining. But not just entertaining, empowering.

Teaching techniques for holistic well being masquerading as a  comic. Comic in the sense of sequential storytelling. The same one’s you read at the grocery store check-out while your mom tried to decide between the Soy milk or Almond milk.

I’ve been a “healer” my entire life, yet I would have shot anyone a dirty look for calling me this. The term conjured up a dystopian shaman, living in a mud hut miles away from civilization, wearing a cryptic amulet, chanting and praying for rain. I’ve met many who followed this stereotype to the T. But little did I know “healer,” was a restorer of balance.

And balance was something I’d been searching for my entire life. I was born and raised within the transcendental Meditation movement. Founded in the 70’s by a gregarious guru who invited thousands of spiritual seekers if they would be willing to give up everything and relocate to Iowa. My parents were 2 of those who made the migration.

For reasons I won’t go into here, I am both grateful, and perturbed. Yet despite the endless hours of meditating, keeping a diligent routine, and learning Sansrkit, which I wouldn’t trade for anything I wasn’t compete.

It takes a village to raise a child,” yet my village was so isolated, I often wondered if there was a world beyond the corn fields. If the same routine, jokes, ideas, obsessions, fears and stories of the glory days (The TM Movements uprising) weren’t claustrophobic enough, the education was cabin fever.

I am an artist. Like many artists I fought against the grain of grades, homework, and conflicting sexual identity. Since my teachers considered my art as a side project, I treated their classes extra-curricular at best. My entire primary education was in the margins of my notebooks.  Even my recreation felt like borrowed time from my imagination.

I drew between classes, at sports events and even during dinner. The real question that grew during my creative process was,

What’s the point?

Of my art? Of my life? More than, respect, fame..

Thus began my mission in life. How to make art with purpose.

Over my 10+ years of wellness practices, (Transcendental Meditation & Nishpatti Yoga. Chi-Kung & Chinese Energetics. Kolaimni to the Empowerment Process) I’ve experienced countless transformations and even more realizations that no matter how many techniques I learn, I’m still a storyteller at heart. Through Vedanta philosophy, story structure, an assorted art education and a passion for conscious content, I founded ©Morehead Media, “Enriching lives one breath and line at a time.”

With the founding of Morehead Media I finally realized the purpose of my mission. “Suffering is not necessary to create.” Or in other words “art is a tool to create your incredible life.”

Stories teach. We’ve been doing it since the dawn of humanity. It’s your ability to tell a story that allows you to leave behind your legacy. The old and new worlds can be bridged, friends made, facts remembered, and spirits uplifted by telling stories. If art, science & magic had a baby it would be called a story. History is the Grandmother of this little story, and she can weave a tale that could stop father time in his tracks.

Once I discovered this magical-storytelling-formula, I realized I was never alone. I could invite others along for the ride. I had a story that would grow in length, and as it grew so would my listeners. The story I want to tell you is true. As sure as the hair on my face.

The Free Radicals is a tale about a revolution that has happened before and is happening now. It’s about the triumphs and tragedies of growing up. This story begins with you.

Are you ready to join the Free Radicals Revolution? Click below to find out how!

http://www.freeradicalsrevolution.com/connect/

“Humanity thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.” –Mary Catherine Bateson

Paul James Morehead Jr. –Creative Director, ©Morehead Media (2012)