About Bill Bennett

I am an Australian based producer and director of feature films and documentaries.

Caroline Myss on Distractions ~

In this blog I’m re-posting a piece from famed spiritual teacher Caroline Myss, who features in my film PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System.

Caroline is a no-nonsense teacher, speaker and writer. One of the reasons she’s so respected, and so highly regarded, is she cuts through all the follies of the way we live with incisive wisdom.

Here’s what she says – in her current blog – about distractions…

Caroline myss – from her blog / http://www.myss.com

Every person wants to find a way to live in tranquility. Every person is overwhelmed by chaos. We are not creatures who strive for chaotic, confused lives, at least not when we have our heads on straight. Rather, our inner nature thrives when we find the courage to become congruent, when our heart is one with our mind and through that union, we find the key to our soul.

The great mystics of all traditions offer us enlightened teachings that remind us that many pathways to the soul exist – through the Christian tradition, through the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Jewish, the Sufi – all of them wise paths to soul illumination.

Living in a World of Distractions

Revered spiritual teachers tell us that we are consumed and controlled by distractions. Have you ever really noticed how loud your environment is? I know so many people who cannot tolerate silence. They have to have some sort of background noise on at all times, whether it’s the radio or television. This irritating blast of sound bites and commercials and endless horrible television nonsense broadcasts all during their dinners instead of conversation or while attempting to have a conversation. The kids race through dinner so that they can return to their on-line life.

I observe people who are so insecure about being alone that they cannot even do gardening without their cell phone hanging from their side. And if there was ever a place to enjoy the sound of nature itself, it’s your garden. Or what about taking a walk just to reflect upon your own thoughts? Nothing is as irritating to me, however, as dining with someone who places a cell phone on the table. Trying to have a conversation with someone whose eyes are constantly shifting from you to a cell phone has raised the bar on the definition of what it means to be socially rude. I have often excused myself giving the impression that I am headed to the Ladies Room when in fact I am headed right out the restaurant door. I then send a text.

And what is this value we put on “multi-tasking”? I don’t admire that. I always picture someone who claims to be able to multi-task as having a spinning head on his or her shoulders. Since when is not being fully conscious and attentive to what you are doing something to be admired? Why is driving yourself faster and faster and faster and faster the standard of admiration? (Will someone please tell me how we got to this insanity??? ) Is it any wonder then, how, in the midst of a culture that admires speed and doing more and more and more and living in an electronic wonderland, that there is little if any time for self-reflection on a daily basis? Quiet time is something that many people get only when they are on the verge of a breakdown or they have to flee their residence and take off for some cabin in the woods somewhere because they think it’s city life creating the stress – (I don’t think so, folks).

Distractions are a product of attachment to a sensory-driven life without values strong enough to control the choices your senses compel you to make. Your five senses are in charge of your reality. You know you’re alive and in charge of your life because you can see, hear, touch, move, control, pick up a phone, hold on to your lap top as if it were your life preserver, speak to another person, get reports on this and that, sell this, buy that, be with this person or that person – any one, just as long as you are not alone. Consider all the data coming at you nonstop and the noise.

And now – more importantly – consider the content of that data. What is flowing in and out of your mind and heart just on a daily basis? Think of all the choices that you are confronted with each hour of your life, never mind during an entire day. If you were to believe all the nonsense of every television commercial and so-called medical report on what you should or should not consume for your health – every morsel of food that you put into your mouth is now a life-or-death decision, not to mention where you live, walk, and what you wear.

I look all these other countries in the world that do not have advertising companies promoting vitamins and health products and cannot help but notice they have millions living to a ripe old age…and I wonder, “How’d ya do that without all your vitamins and three organic veggies per day and just the right amount of omega fish oil and avoiding certain toxic movies.” Then I realized, they just don’t listen to American pharmaceutical commercials – that’s how they survived – they don’t suffer from American neurosis. For what reason do nations with a population of over a billion people need viagra? Maybe it’s us…duh.

Distractions. Our culture is dripping with the most outrageous distractions that have ever been manufactured – from noise to electronics to advertising propaganda. But then, life is a journey of distractions. And the first one to point that out was the Buddha. He called the world of form and everything in it “illusion”. Few jewels are as liberating to your inner life and soul as understanding the core teachings of the Buddha, beginning with that one. Distractions are illusions – and what is not a distraction?

It took me a long time to understand the Buddhist teaching on illusion (not that I fully understand the anything the Buddha taught). I remember thinking that the rock that just fell on my foot is not an illusion because illusions cannot possibly hurt that much. But I was missing the key ingredient to this mystical truth. I did not yet understand that power was the fundamental ingredient of the human experience. – a topic for another discussion. Briefly, however, Buddha was referring to the danger of developing an illusion with an object, person, place, thought form – anything – in life that causes you to negotiate your inner power and form an attachment to that external object in the belief that you require that attachment for your survival or happiness or security. Any such attachment for Buddha qualifies as an illusion. That illusion, in turn, becomes a distraction of consciousness. We create narratives in our mind about its significance in our life and how our life would crumble without it.

Buddha included relationships as illusions. All of us have close and loving relationships and none of us would refer to those we love as “illusions”. And yet, though we all have suffered terribly at the loss of people we have loved, the truth is life has gone on. We did not evaporate in our pain, though we perhaps thought we would for a while. It was an illusion that we could not go on without that person – because we did.

And people can and will go on without us. Many have already. We were illusions in their lives. Imagine that.

Distractions and illusions are powerful things. But they are clutter, talking mind clutter. Go for a walk and listen to your clutter. Anger, stress, things your worry about – it’s all clutter. You may tell me that a mortgage payment is not an illusion. Fair enough. But the stress around it is. With or without stress, you have to find a way to make that payment. Does stress help you? That is the illusion.

Observe your distractions and illusions and see how many you can detach from just by realizing you are captive to them. Turn off the television. Read a good book instead of sitting at the computer. Change your life habits. Break out of your routines. Stop multi-tasking – give yourself a break.

Slow down and become conscious of your life and the world you live in.

Love,
Caroline

Caroline Myss and the Camino –

I just wanted to share something with you that I read this morning – about the Camino and its symbol – the scallop shell.

Caroline Myss is perhaps the world’s greatest living medicinal intuitive. She is also an extraordinary spiritual teacher and renowned speaker, as well as being a five times New York Times best selling author.

She is also a true mystic.

Caroline Myss features prominently in my film, PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System. 

Aside from teaching and holding seminars and workshops, she also regularly conducts spiritual tours. I’m on her newsletter feed, and this morning I got an update on a tour she’s leading in April next year, to amongst other places, Pamplona.

As most of you reading this blog will know, Pamplona is a city on the Camino, and for many it’s their start to the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Well, Caroline is starting her spiritual tour there next year. Here is what she wrote in her newsletter. It resonated with me because it’s about the two things I’m most interested in – the journey of the soul, and the Camino…

CAROLINE MYSS:

In recent years, I have become devoted to teaching spiritual direction and contemporary mystical spirituality.  It is my deep belief as a teacher, a medical intuitive, and a mystic that most people have been searching for a way to embrace the power of their soul for most of their life. 

Perhaps you have not been conscious of that search, but that is because you are not familiar with the subtle tactics of the way the soul maneuvers in your psyche, your heart and even in your physical biology. 

For all the many ways we can describe this rapidly changing time in which we are living, I see this time as the era in which the consciousness of the soul is emerging as the core power of the human being.  A new understanding of the soul is essential, one that is based upon the truth that the soul is our mystical consciousness, not an object of religion.

I am passionate about teaching mystical consciousness and introducing people to the power of their soul.  To accommodate this workshop theme, CMED and Alternatives UK. have created a workshop experience in Spain that begins in Pamplona, a town on the famous Camino de Santiago, the long walk across Spain (or France or Portugal) to the Church of Saint James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela. 

We chose that town as the start of our workshop because of a legend associated with a Pilgrim. According to the legend, a Pilgrim, exhausted and thirsty from traveling the Camino, met a stranger, also traveling on the road. This stranger happened to be the Devil in disguise. The Devil offered to show the Pilgrim a hidden source of water but only on the condition that he renounce God, the Virgin Mary and Saint James.

The Pilgrim refused even though it meant dying of thirst. At that moment, Saint James, also disguised as a Pilgrim, appeared and led him to that hidden fountain and using a scallop shell, he offered him water to drink. 

Eventually pilgrims walking the Camino began to wear scallop shells around their necks, indicating that they were officially on a pilgrimage.  For centuries, people were honor bound to offer food and shelter to people wearing the pilgrim’s shell out of respect for the holy journey, as hotels did not exist along the roads to Santiago de Compostela.

People have walked these pilgrimages for over 1,000 years.  And those caught wearing the shell under false pretenses as a way of entering homes to steal were put to death. 

The Pilgrim’s shell is still the official icon of the holy journey.  And so, we begin our holy journey at the place where the Pilgrim’s shell came into being.

If you’re interested in doing this tour with Caroline, then I suggest you sign up fast because  it will sell out quickly.

Here’s the link:
https://www.myss.com/workshops/exploring-mystics-path-soul/

A spider and an ant ~

India is truly an incredible place – if not for the sheer spectacle, but for the minutiae.

Jennifer and I were waiting for our car to take us from our ashram at Rishikesh to the airport at nearby Dehradun.

The car pulled up outside, it was raining – monsoons – and the driver hopped out to help us with loading our bags in the back.

The driver was a young man, I guess in his early 20’s, and he went to open the back door. But he noticed that there was a tiny itsy bitsy spider on the door handle. In fact it was dangling just below the door handle, by a thread of its own making.

It was pouring with rain, the driver was getting soaked every second he stood by the car – but even so he tried to flick the spider away from the handle so that he could open the door without in any way harming this tiny insect.

The spider didn’t want to go. It must have been nesting in the handle, because it resolutely refused to be flicked away.

The driver tried again.
Again the spider clung on.

By now the driver was almost soaked to the skin, principally because he didn’t want to hurt this itsy-bitsy spider.  Anyone else most probably would have thwacked the damn thing and squashed it flat, opened the door, slung the luggage in and got out of the rain.

But not this driver.

He persevered until the little creature was safely out of harm’s way, then he opened the door.

In the flurry of leaving the ashram, in very heavy monsoon rain, it was a moment that would have gone unnoticed, except I noticed it. To me it said so much about that young man, and what he values.

At the airport bookstore in Bombay I was drawn to a book by a Yogi Master named Sadhguru. I don’t usually buy book books now, I usually read Kindle books. But this one stepped forward and said Buy Me, Buy Me.

So I did.

It was called INNER ENGINEERING – A YOGI’S GUIDE TO JOY. I started reading it in the terminal waiting for the flight to Sydney, and almost finished it by the time we landed. I know now why it screamed out to me to read it – it’s a very important book for me right at this moment. It’s less about joy and more about what’s important in life.

I highly recommend it.

Anyway, there’s a large section about food. and about how many Indians will, before their meal, take a portion of their food and go outside and give it to the ants. This from the book:

There has been a tradition among many women folk. An ant is the smallest living entity you can see around you, the most inconsequential organism you can think of. So, for that very reason, you feed it first, before you feed yourself. You make an offering not to the Gods, or other celestial creatures, but to the smallest creature you know. 

This planet belongs as much to them as it does to you. You understand that every living creature on this planet has the same right to live as you have. This awareness can help create a conducive atmosphere, mentally and physically, for consciousness to grow. 

So there you have it – feed the ants and don’t smash the itty-bitsy spiders!

Gotta love India!

PGS to screen at India’s International Yoga Festival!

I’m thrilled to announce that my movie PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System has been invited to screen at the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh, India, next year.

His Holiness Pujya Swamiji Chidanand Saraswati, head of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram at Rishikesh, saw the film this past week and said: “It is beautiful. It will help a lot of people. And it will heal a lot of people too.”

Sadhviji Bhagawati Saraswati – also from Parmarth – extended the invitation after watching the film, and said it would screen on the banks of the Ganges in a pavilion right by where they do their famous nightly Aarti ceremony.

The festival is a major event on the international yoga calendar and attracts more than two thousand people from all over the world. It runs from March 1-7, and includes key note addresses from Saints, Yoga Masters, and some of the world’s leading practitioners and teachers of yoga.

http://www.internationalyogafestival.org

We’re honoured to have the film be invited.

His Holiness Pujya Swamiji Chidanand Saraswati watching PGS

Wanderlust

I love to wander too… (Steve McCurry takes the best travel shots!)

Steve McCurry's Blog

My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe,
and my camera is my passport.
– Steve McCurry

Amboseli National Park, Kenya

New York, USA

I’d like to go anywhere.
– John Steinbeck

Ghorepani, Nepal

Look for chances to take the less-traveled roads.
There are no wrong turns.
– Susan Magsamen

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Afghan Border, Afghanistan

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again;
we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
– Jack Kerouac

USA Mexico Border

I was lying to myself when I thought I was lost,
I have never been lost – I just wasn’t ready to be found.

– Nikki Rowe

Russia

… a certain kind of wanderlust can only be assuaged by the acts of the body
itself in motion, not the motion of the car, boat, or plane.
– Rebecca Solnit

Aosta Valley, Italy

Umbria…

View original post 119 more words

PGS the Movie trailer is now up! 

I’m delighted to announce that the trailer for PGS the movie is now online. 

PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System is a 90 minute theatrical film exploring and demystifying intuition. 

It details my global journey to find the source of a voice which saved my life. 

The film will be released in cinemas in Australia through Fan-Force from early October, and in the US through Gathr Films in early January next year. 

Check out the trailer – share it – and come see the movie! 

Intuition could have saved James Dean ~

This story was sent to me by my good friend (and sound designer extraordinaire) Wayne Pashley. Thanks Wayne.

Wayne and Libby Pashley, through their sound post company Big Bang Sound, have been fantastic supporters of my film on intuition PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System.

Back to the story.

You might know that James Dean, iconic actor of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, GIANT, and EAST OF EDEN, died in a car crash in 1955 on Highway 46 in California.

This is an account of a story told to famed British tv interviewer Michael Parkinson by Sir Alec Guinness, possibly best known as Obi Wan Kenobi in the STAR WARS films.

On Sept. 30, 1955, James Dean died after his Porsche 550 Spyder was in a devastating accident while he was cruising along California 46.

The cultural icon was 24. 

In 1977 interview on the BBC’s Parkinson Talk Show, a somber Guinness recalls how he warned the young man that if he drove that car, he would be killed. That conversation took place the evening of Sept. 23, 1955, just one week prior. 

It all happened when Guinness and a friend were turned away from a packed restaurant in Hollywood, so they began to head elsewhere. 

“Then I heard feet running down the street, and it was James Dean,” Guinness began. “He said, ‘I was in that restaurant and you couldn’t get a table. My name is James Dean, would you please come and join me?'”

At the time, Guinness had numerous film credits to his name and an Oscar nomination for The Lavender Hill Mob, so clearly Dean knew he was a big deal. 

Guinness and his friend agreed and started back, but before they went inside, Dean wanted to show off his new car, Guinness recalled. 

“There in the courtyard of this little restaurant was this little silver thing, very smart, all done up in cellophane with a bunch of roses tied to its bonnet,” Guinness told Parkinson, adding that he asked how fast it could go. Dean replied it would do 150 mph. 

“I said, ‘Have you driven it?’ and he said, ‘No. I have never been in it at all,'” Guinness said. “And some strange thing came over me. Some almost different voice and I said, ‘Look, I won’t join your table unless you want me to, but I must say something: Please do not get into that car, because if you do’ — and I looked at my watch — and I said, ‘if you get into that car at all, it’s now Thursday (Friday, actually), 10 o’clock at night and by 10 o’clock at night next Thursday, you’ll be dead if you get into that car.'” 

Dean brushed the warning off and the group proceeded to have a “charming dinner,” Guinness told Parkinson. 

“And he was dead the following Thursday afternoon in that car,” said Guinness. “It was one of those odd things. It was a very, very odd, spooky experience.” 

I have a better Alec Guinness story;

Before the first STAR WARS movie commenced shooting, producer George Lucas approached Guinness and asked if he would reduce his fee and take profit share points in the picture instead.

Guinness, thinking the film would tank, graciously declined.

Clearly his intuitive voice didn’t speak to him that day!