Saturday, November 28, 2009
I didn't have access to the web while I was traveling and since I came back I have been super busy with preparation for final exams.
I have a bunch of entries saved in draft and I promise I will go back to them and post them within the next 2 weeks.
Also stay tuned for more new posts....
Thank you :)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We are back in Lisbon after visiting the campus. It was such a lovely experience to be there. Taking the labs and seeing everyone from around the world, you just can't compare the feeling to anything ...
We had one more day to do touristy stuff before we head back to US and we decided to make the best of it. We head back to square Rossio. There is an observation deck that you can visit near the square and you can see the skyline of the entire city. You have to take this beautiful old-style elevator to get to the deck. (Tip - If you buy an entire day pass for 4.50 Euros, you can use the train & the bus as much as you want. There was a bonus, we found out that we can gain entrance to the elevator using the same pass, for Free !!! )
The elevator itself was quite charming. It was built in Gothic style architecture, complimenting what you are about to see when you go up the elevator.
Once we finished admiring the skyline, we decided to see what is at this level in the city. There is a small bridge from the elevator connecting to a higher elevation of the city. There were some ruins of what seem to be an ancient Gothic Cathedral or something like that and we decided to explore that. I must say, that was one of the best decisions I made during this trip.
The indoor display section also house many, many beautiful artifacts.
Our next stop was to be the Castle you can see across from the Church / Museum. So we walked back to Square Russio. We didn't take the elevator, instead we walked through beautiful narrow roads of Lisbon. Its amazing how narrow the streets are but how people drive cars in both direction and still manage not to knock the pedestrians down.
Back at the Square, it was packed with people. We immediately knew all these people were tourists from Bosnia who were there to see the Portugal vs Bosnia Soccer match. It was like a sea of people wearing Blue and Yellow clothing, drinking beer, singing (I assume) were Bosnian songs. It was quite entertaining actually.
Then we head off to the Castle. You can get entrance to the Castle of S. Jorge for 5.oo Euros if you are a student and I think around 15.00 Euros for others. By the time we arrived there, I was pretty tired so I didn't look around much for the history but I found some details in the internet later. You can read more about the castle here.
We decided to walk down the hill instead of taking the bus down back to Sq. Rossio. On the way back we saw the most oddly shaped, majestic Gothic Church - Church of Santa Maria Maior.
Church of Santa Maria Maior is a must see if you are in Lisbon.!!!
We are leaving Lisbon tomorrow. I'm sad. It's a beautiful city. And I haven't even seen a fraction of it's beauty. But I will be back again, hopefully next year. Until then ... Adeus Querida Lisboa..!!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
IAC being a truly international organization we decided to have volunteers from different countries talk about our responsibilities to our environment in their native languages. It was also appropriate to produce this video at the campus because conservation and sustainability is a big part of the facility.
The video came out pretty cool. Check it out here .
Here is the transcript in case you don't understand all the languages :D
We study what is popularly known as human essence, atman, ego, spirit, or intelligence principle – that which we all are. Our scientific research into extraordinary experiences such as near-death and out-of-body experiences has led us to a new, non-mechanistic paradigm. Rather than seeing ourselves and all living beings as things or machines, we discover that consciousness and life extend beyond the physical dimension and common senses. Our experience shows us that this kind of paradigm shift leads to many positive changes, including greater ecological awareness.
We present IAC’s Phytoenergy Laboratory. It is designed to facilitate the connection between individuals and nature, through the perception of bioenergy. Bioenergy has been part of cultures throughout history and around the world. It is also known as chi, qi, prana, axe, vital energy and dozens of other terms. In the US, for instance, the National Institutes of Healths are researching it as the biofield.
In this laboratory, people are able to perceive their subtle energy field as well as that of the trees and so on. This helps us realize a greater communion with nature and our School of Spiritual Evolution called Earth.
The Projectarium is the world’s first laboratory specifically designed to facilitate the projection of the consciousness, also known as out-of-body experience or OBE. The OBE and allied phenomena can be used to extend scientific investigation beyond the normal physical senses. Similarly, the IAC trains individuals to achieve OBE’s as a way discover that they are more than the physical body through personal experience.
Research shows that people have near-death and out-of-body experiences tend to become more fraternal and universalist with a greater sense of stewartship for the Earth.
Faced with the realization that our life can have real purpose, that our thoughts and energy have a real impact, and that we survive death and will likely return to Earth in future life times, we inevitably have a keep ecological awareness. This is reflected in our sustainable construction and living practices at the IAC Campus.
Our buildings have been constructed with the highest thermal efficiency. All laboratories, including our tree-top laboratory, have been constructed without damaging the local flora. We have an active OASIS Project, which aims to enhance the local flora and fauna at the IAC Campus, which is one of the few no-hunting zones in the area. The campus has an ongoing taxonomy project that catalogs the thousands of species of the ecosystem.
Besides our conservation practices, we are developing a rain water reclamation system to help us deal with the increasing drought in this already arid region. Climate change has a direct impact in the sustainability of this facility and the entire region.
We will continue to promote multidimensional self-awareness and building our campus in a sustainable way…
Raise your voice... raise your awareness on climate change!
… A healthy Earth is vital for the evolution and survival of humankind. !
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It’s 11:45 am; sunny autumn day at the beautiful IAC campus in Evoramonte. I am going to use the Projectarium for the first time and try and have an out-of-body experience (OBE).
Image by Manori Sumanasinghe (C) 2009
The Projectarium is a full spherical structure at the center of the campus. It’s the only projectarium in the world and it’s a laboratory built specifically to experiment with OBEs.
There is a platform extending to the center of the sphere (Like Cerebro in X men) and has a bed at the end with All white bed linen. Temperature and lighting is controlled in the lab. Light is emitting from underneath the platform and I believe the AC / heather is also underneath the platform hidden from the researcher’s view. The Tempurpedic bed can be adjusted to elevate the head & legs at the desired position of the researcher.
Image Credit : IAC
Some myths about OBEs:
1. That you need to take a drug to induce an OBE.
2. If you go out of your body that you will not go back in again.
3. Someone else will posses your body if you project your consciousness and you will not be able to enter.
4. Only selected ones can project and have experiences
Scientfic research and thousands of reported spontaneous cases have reported these are not true. Personal experiences suggest that when you think about your physical body while you are projected that you immediately come back. The silver cord acts as a natural, personalized connection that responds to the physical environmental changes and prevents the psychosoma from completely disconnecting from the physical body. This disconnection happens only once in our life time, that is during out actual desoma or death of the body.
What did I do at the lab?
I have 10 minutes for preparation before the lab session. I selected a technique that I will apply to have an OBE and I selected a goal that I will try to achieve or reach during this projection. Then I set the timer for 1 hour and 10 minutes and lay down on the bed. I adjusted the bed elevations, put small cessions under my elbows and knees and put a light blanket over me so I don’t get cold during the experiment.
Then I thought about my goals and make a mental note of all sensations I felt. I applied a relaxation technique to become calm, serene and focused. Then I started circulation of energy from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet and back up. Gradually I intensified the amount of energy that was moving and increased the speed. I tried to achieve a vibrational state but I was not able to. Once I stopped, I thought about my goal again and started applying the technique.
I was feeling calmer and focused than usual. There is the Annual General Meeting going on at the campus and I came to the lab in the middle of the meeting so I was expecting to be much more anxious but, surprisingly I was calmer than usual.
After the first attempt, I was able to only project my hand. But through out the entire time, I was able to feel energetic movement around me and my psychosoma. I felt my psychosoma nearly fully projected from my soma. There were certain points in time I felt very curious sensations in parts of my body. During the second attempt I was able to partially disconnect from my body momentarily.
After the set time, the timer when off and I connected with the physical body. I felt very calm and I felt energized. I gathered my thoughts and thought about what to document about the experience.
It is important to document the procedure and everything involving the experiment. For this purpose projectors usually keep a pen and paper on the side of the bed. Some prefer personal voice recorders or a laptop.
To learn more about Techniques to project, preparation and setting projective goals, you can read selected chapters from Projectiology by Dr. Waldo Vieira. To read accounts of various types of projections you can check out Projections of the consciousness also written by Dr. Vieira. Robert Monroe has written a few books about OBEs as well.
Monday, November 9, 2009
The bus took us to Estremoz, a small town close to the campus. With a population of around 2000 people its a charming little town you would absolutely fall in love with. We called in for a taxi once we arrived there so we can go to the campus. While we waited, I started checking around the local architecture. The building that is used as the bus station is an old unused train-stop, has truly impressive traditional tile work. I was fascinated with the intricacy of the artwork and the details...
After the first day of the meeting, we went back to Estremoz and checked into a small hotel. Cafe Alentejano is a cute little family run place that was quite affordable. A double room was 35 Euros a night, breakfast included. Cool thing about this place was that they have a cafeteria in the first floor where local old folks hang about all the time, the second floor is a restaurant and take it from a person who loves food, THEY ARE GOOD !!! The third floor are rooms. They only have a very few room and the rooms are small but clean and adequate. You will find fresh bed linen, a TV, heat / Air conditioning and a clean bath room that gets cleaned everyday.
You will notice how even the smallest places have beautiful marble flooring and fixtures. I was so taken back and I thought this was just wonderful.........
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Did I mention that you have to go with a map and dictionary or you will be lost? Well, we kept getting lost like zillion times but accidentally bumped into this mosque. It reminds me of the Great Mosque at Samarra in Iraq.
And don't forget to take the cable car trip when you come out of the Oceanarium. You will love the skyline of the Nation's park and Lisbon....!!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
We arrived in Lisbon on Friday, 6th November. We spent some quality time with our 2 nieces. It must have been amusing to watch the two kids and myself trying to communicate with each other. They don’t speak English and I don’t speak Portuguese… :)
On Saturday, we visited a ship from the 19th century D. Fernando II e Gloria. It’s a permanent display after restoration at the trasportation hub at Cacilhas by the Tagus river (Portuguese name of the river is Tejo). It was not even one of the biggest ships from that time. Its just amazing……!!
** For more pictures of the ship click here
We took the ferry and crossed the river and went to the center of Lisbon. I must warn you, pick a travel guide book and a dictionary. Nelson is native Portuguese but we kept getting lost because different people gave different directions. We eventually arrived at the city center but all the trouble of getting lost and getting wet caught up in the rain was all worth it.
We started at Rossio Square. There are 2 amazing large fountains and a huge monument at the center of the square. All the structures around the square and the square itself dates back a few hundred years.
Square Rossio, Lisbon
(Images by Manori Sumanasinghe (C) 2009)
Every building has such amazing architecture and details its just breathtaking. The contrast to what we are used to here in the USA from what you find in your average European city is just amazing. Very Elaborate doorways / entrances to buildings made out of not just in any-old material but marble ...people ! Real beautiful Marble !!!! Narrow streets with hand-laid asymmetrical tiles and patterns, magnificent arches ..... I can just go on!! Its just so BEAUTIFUL !!!!
Entrance to a transportation hub
Image by Manori Sumanasinghe (C) 2009
The other wonderful thing is the little cafés you find everywhere on little, little streets. And the food is marvelous no matter where you go. Ahh the Olives, chocolates and wines... Can't get enough of all of the wonderful stuff in Lisbon.
Lovely Lisbon street. This one is wider than most..
Image by Manori Sumanasinghe (C) 2009
Stay tuned to read about Portugal, Architecture, IAC Campus and more.....