March 2020 Newsletter – The Challenge of Covid-19

Our planet has certainly had a profound ‘wake up’ call, and in this Newsletter I want to mention a few positive and a few negative consequences of this virus and then put forward a few suggestions of my own.

None of us can deny that all of us – whether rich or poor or whatever race, nationality, culture or sexual proclivity we belong to – are in the middle of a big crisis, which in Chinese is translated as ‘dangerous opportunity’.

Yes, my friend, actually I see huge opportunities lying ahead for us as a species, which I’ll talk about in a minute, but at the same time I cannot deny the fact that I also see danger lurking, for while being subject to big shocks can certainly serve to ‘wake us up’, it also follows that if we lack the capacity to process their effect, they can also be destructive for us.

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To Sri Lanka and Back

Have just returned with Martina after our having spent a delightful fortnight healing and rejuvenating ourselves at an Ayurvedic retreat centre in Sri Lanka. A long journey out and a long one back but boy oh boy was it worth it.
Ayurvedic Retreat Centre in Sri Lanka

I previously knew next to nothing about this beautiful cleansing and rejuvenating system, which in a nutshell revolves around taking certain remedies, having many different kinds of massages with healing oils, and eating a healthy diet tailored to your specific body type.

But as with all healing systems, they are only as good as those who administer them and the people who worked in our retreat centre and who cooked for us and massaged us and looked after us generally, were truly extraordinary human beings. They all operated out of a very kind and gracious open heart and despite – or perhaps more because of – having little money, they were completely unmaterialistic.

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Interpersonal Connections

Here is an email I sent to a very intelligent, eccentric and vulnerable client going through a difficult patch. I think it is something we all need or needed to hear at some point in our lives:

I hear you very strongly my dear friend. In a way your non resonation with the normal world is a sign of you being one of the new kind of people being born today to take our planet into new arenas. I often feel the same kind of non connectedness with conventional people, only I can bullshit by pretending to be one of them so they’ll feel comfortable with me. The difference between us is that I’m a better bullshitter than you.
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The Art of Letting Go

The-Art-of-Letting-Go-Serge-Beddington-Behrens

In a lecture I gave recently, someone asked me this question:

“Serge. Could you give me any advice as to how one may best let go? I am making some new year resolutions for myself and I realize that in order to carry them out effectively, there are some things I need to surrender and I am finding this process quite difficult.”

Here was my reply: Continue reading

In Praise of Tolerance

toleracneNovember 16th is the International day of Tolerance and maybe it could be an opportunity for all of us  to examine where we personally stand on this issue. Do we consider ourselves to be  tolerant? Or are we often intolerant?  If so,  what are we intolerant about? Here, we also need to remind ourselves that there can be a tendency in some of us to be pots calling kettles black, that is, to be intolerant of those who possess faults similar to our own, as that enables us to shift the burden of responsibility away from ourselves, and onto them, which results, as it were, in getting ourselves ‘off the hook’! Continue reading

Awakening the Universal Heart – The Book Launch

The second week of September was some crazy London week for me, as I went to two launches for my book, Awakening the Universal Heart, one on the 10th of September and the other the next day.

Awakening the Universal Heart Book Launch

On the 10th of September I invited only my oldest friends – those I’ve known since we were kids – and it was fitting that it took place at the wonderfully eccentric flat of Peter Adler, dripping with tribal art and exotic ethnic jewellery and artefacts. About sixty people came. It is special when you have your oldest friends around you – and we’re all getting pretty ancient now – as you can let your hair down. Nothing to prove. They know all your many idiosyncrasies.

Anyhow, I gave a little talk about my life and said how curious it was that at a time when most of my friends are retiring, I am about to enter the busiest period ever, as I hope to be starting a Centre or Institute for Spiritual Activism, based on my book, and this will require a lot of hard work. I’ve never quite been able to slot myself into those categories that psychologists have formulated for us, which tell us about the ‘seasons’ of a man’s life, and how one ought to feel and what ought to be central to one’s agenda at certain ages! Perhaps, at some level, I’ve never quite grown up!

Be that as it may, the launch for Awakening The Universal Heart on the 11th of September (auspicious day) was a much more formal occasion and while I didn’t wear a tie (my wonderful partner Martina strictly forbade me), I was smartly turned out. Casual chic I think is the term! It took place at the delightful Russell Hotel in Russell Square where we hired a beautiful oak-panelled room which gave an air of dignified solemnity to the occasion. This was for press and also for friends and colleagues and many ex-clients whom I have always kept in touch with; but they were people I hadn’t known as long and so felt I couldn’t quite let my hair down as much. My old friend Sir John Whitmore introduced me and dear Tim Wheater, one of the great flautists of our time, graced the occasion quite beautifully.

A podium was supplied for me and I gave a little talk which was recorded and where, I think, I summed up quite well what the book was about and where I see my future work lying. I am happy that on both evenings, plenty of books were sold and many people bought several to give to friends, which was good as I intend all the money from their sale to go towards the establishing of this Centre or Institute. What I am engaged in now is trying to find people who are also interested in this idea.

Serge Beddington-Behrens Book Launch

Awakening the Universal Heart – Book Launch

The second week of September was some crazy London week for me, as I went to two launches for my book, Awakening the Universal Heart, one on September 10th and the other the next day.

Awakening the Universal Heart Book Launch

On September 10th, I invited only my oldest friends – those I’ve known since we were kids – and it was fitting that it took place at the wonderfully eccentric flat of Peter Adler, Continue reading

Darkness before the Dawn

Night, it has been said, is always at its darkest just before dawn and if we were to apply that image to what is currently happening in our world  ( the dire situation in Syria, the horrendous scenario in Egypt, Iran going nuclear, our global financial problems, the problems of  youth unemployment, the environment – my list can go on for ever), Continue reading

Spiritual Maturity

One of the things we need to remember is that we all have multiple intelligences and that different aspects of ourselves exist at different levels. Thus, we may be pretty evolved in one or two areas,  whereas in other arenas of our lives, we  may be less adept and  in some areas pretty hopeless.  Let us look, for example, at six aspects of life: Continue reading

An Interview on Spiritual Activism

Spiritual Activism

Serge Beddington-Behrens Spiritual ActivismQuestion. Serge, you have just written a book on Spiritual Activism and the emergence of the Global Heart. Let me start by asking you  a few questions. First, what do you mean by the global heart and why is it ‘awakening’ today, and how does it relate to spiritual activism? And secondly, how does spiritual activism differ from other forms of activism? Continue reading