• Cassie Stockamp

To Be or Not to Be...

I met Moses today. At breakfast. He is a handsome young bearded man of Lebanese descent from St. Louis. He was trying to assess whether or not a PhD in physics is the right path. We were joined by Mandana and talked about consciousness, spirituality and living a heart centered life.


Mandana and I have become good friends in a matter of days, and she has quite a story. Born in Iran, married to an Iranian and while raising 2 young boys, they have chosen to live in India after residing many years in Canada and Iran. She shared that living in Iran as an educated woman under the regime was oppressive. She said the only form of self expression the women in Iran seem to have is to put on an excessive amount of makeup... She has a degree in graphic design and helps her husband’s business remotely which is to conduct mindfulness programs in Iran...


She went to live with her grandparents after her parents divorced when she was quite young. It was during the revolutionary war in Iran, and her eyes watered as she talked about the day her grandfather was arrested and ultimately executed. Mandana remembers the day the opposition came and took their house. There was nothing they could do but walk away... with nothing. Her father had wisely put money in a bank in California and they moved there for a few years before taking refuge in Canada where she met her husband. She and her husband backpacked for a year all over India and found that the way of life there was in keeping with the way they wanted to live and raise a family.


She believes that the Indian people don’t care as much about the material world, hence their tolerance for chaos and lack of process. Their minds are focused on living a spiritual life. Now I realize that’s a big generalization, but it feels like it is true - at least here at the ashram. And that’s a good segue into what I witnessed the other night...

I was blow away. Not just kind of blown away, but the kind of blown away that makes one stop and question everything...

I am a bit hesitant to even write about this as some of you are going to find this a bit strange, out of the ordinary, supernatural or maybe something else. I saw it and it affirmed what I’ve known, but had not yet seen before. There is so much more to our physical world than what we know...


I was having dinner with a friend from Romania and one of her friends came over and introduced his wife - Upama. I liked her immediately. She was down to earth, well spoken, driven and she made fun of her left brain dominance. We learned that she was the founder of a program I’d heard about at the Ashram called “Brighter Minds.” It’s a training program that teaches kids how to use ALL of their faculties beyond just the five normal senses by stimulating more of their right brain and tapping what I think Einstein and all of the great thinkers, artists and scientists have learned to connect to.


Her son was helping to make pizzas at a cute Italian restaurant at the ashram, and she called him over to do a demonstration. He got busy, so she called over one of his friends who also one of her students. She pulled out a blindfold and the 14 year old tightened it around his eyes. She asked me to pull something out of my backpack. I pulled out a book, and she handed it to him and asked him the title.


He turned it right side up (that was a 25% chance) and ran his hands over the book, not unlike a blind person would do. But then he did something unexpected. He put the book up to his ear and began to slowly say the title of the book word by word. Exactly right.


My mouth dropped open. What did I just hear and see? Then Upama asked if I had any paper. I pulled out my journal and she had me write something on it (she didn’t look at it) and then handed the journal to him. He felt it, put it to his nose this time and spoke the phrase I had written, “To be or not to be? That is the question.” I was almost in a coma with shock.


Then her son came over and put on the blindfold. I handed him my phone on which I had typed a phrase. He felt with his fingers and very quickly spoke the words, “What is the population of Russia?” Stunned? I was.


Her son shoots archery blindfolded, kids can tell colors of objects while blindfolded and and and.... The mom/founder talked about creating a lifestyle to support this kind of creative awareness through diet, meditation, gratitude, forgiveness, exercise and learning how to relax into the alpha level brain frequency with the knowing that we already possess the power to do these things with the sole purpose to serve humanity. She believes that everyone of us already possess all of these abilities... She did say that children that have been emotionally wounded or overprotected often take longer for their brains to open up to these new ways, but she said that all children - and adults - have additional capacity to tap.

I asked her how she discovered this methodology and she looked at me a bit funny and simply said, “I didn’t create it. It came to me.”

So... you probably know what’s coming next. At that point I had 8 more days at the ashram, and an adult course was 8 days, and she would teach me one on one. I didn’t expect to be able to read a book cover blindfolded, but if I could tap into my right brain and become a more sensory human being which will enhance my abilities to serve in a more creative way, I’m in!! (And yes, the results are I was/am able to sense things I never knew possible........................)

Holy cow. (And btw, now I know where that phrase come from. Cows ARE considered to be holy here.)

Oh India... the frustrations, the awe, the chaos, the wonder, the lessons. You have left an indelible mark on me. Gratitude for all of it.



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