I have redefined retirement at age 23. I have a lifestyle where I do the things I like, with the time I have and still get paid for it. I designed my freedom these two decades, traveling to more than 40 countries. I run a successful business doing consulting works as a Corporate Writer, Corporate Emcee, Event Producer and a Workshop Facilitator. I am also a talk-show host on an Internet Radio station with two programs "A Course In Miracles for Work-Life" and "Freedom Speaks". Life is Healthy, Rich & FREE! You can design this lifestyle according to your willingness. I hope mine will inspire you to achieve that freedom too.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Quietly, Hear It All - Assisi, Italy

Winter's sun is always welcome with beaming smiles and wondrous clasp of warmth. Soft glow of shimmering golden brown illumines every path and leads them out of shadow, albeit for the span of a moment in conscious time. It just makes everything seem so sharp and clear, there is not a single detail that escapes its penetration. Like the buds of pansies and violas, that burst out blooming amidst the winter cold. They burst into their glory to become the purple and orange, adding the hope that yes, after all these winter dullness, there are always a mystical charm to look out for miracles in the tiniest works of the Presence. Nothing is by chance.

Winter evening drags a long and wide elongated drape over the facade of the famous Basilica and Convent of St. Francis from the southeast at sunset. It is so quiet, the tranquility sets the tone of heaven, where if you listen intently, you will hear the celestial voices with your senses. The serenity is felt at the level of the heart, where it strides a cord as I recall Dr Wayne Dyer's photo on the cover of his book "There's A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem". He was holding his hands in prayer position, cupping them in front of his mouth, staring out into the realms of all that is. The book is his ingenuity writings based on the famous prayer of St Francis. The thug of the heart string resounded with the chanting of the first verse : Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace....... (Click here to read the entire prayer.)

And there I was, standing at the railing overlooking the Basilica, and felt like Dr Dyer looking out and just felt the openness. I listened to the whispers of the spheres while I took in the golden glimpse of the love emanating from the confluence of a sacred place where a world revered saint spent his life loving what Is.

We just arrived at Assisi, the hometown of St Francis, en route to Venice the next morning. He was born to a wealthy cloth merchant in the 12th century and since then found his "sanity" by forgoing all his wealth and possessions to clear his disillusionment of the world. His renunciation to the Order faced strong family resistance so he was threatened and beaten.  Such stories are similar to Prince Siddharta and even in our times, Sai Baba and our most revered Divine Mother, the famous hugging Amma, all went through such times in their younger days where they were all taken as either disillusioned or insane. Well, whichever it is, the divine plans that have been laid out for all of us showed up eventually.

For me, the Plans had me witnessed the sacred places many times without me having to prepare for them. And every time I will return home feeling awe-struck and more aware of the Presence which has all the answers to the purpose of my life.

As I strolled into the medieval town, walking the cobbled stone walkway up to the Chapter House where some of the relics of St Francis were placed. Unfortunately, because I spent so much time watching the sunset over the Umbria region with all the olive trees doting the landscape, I didn't notice that it had very short visiting hours in winter. By the time I went up to the chapel through the town area, I could only take a peak through its grilled windows. The nuns chanted and moved silently inside the chapel and I was told, they were doing the same devotional practice as what St Francis did 9 centuries ago. 

The experience was captured and encapsulated in eternity. It has open up more opportunities for me to rest in the feet of the omnipresence and know that all is well. It was like my soul needed to be there at all these sacred places to re-live the lives that were meant to be with full and total awareness of what is present.

It was hush and quiet all the time I was there in Assisi. As tourists, somehow, deep in their soul, even though we have been so used to busyness, making loud noice and rushing around in our daily lives, when in Assisi, the atmosphere was calming, soothing and peaceful, everyone just meditatively slowed down, very infectious indeed. But I know, amidst the tranquility, the Words had been spoken and heard - and deeply cherished!

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