THE SOURCE OF ENERGY

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This exercise reminded me of the festival of the patron saint in my hometown. Barefoot brethren carry a very heavy litter with the statue of Our Lady on their shoulders in procession. It is very heavy, so sometimes it seems to be about to fall down. But the brethren endure the hardship and keep bearing the statue until the end of the procession, risking being crushed by the weight of the litter.

I also recalled the feast of Tarantolate. It takes place in Apulia, an Italian region. Some women who, people say, have been stung by a particular species of spider, jump and dance for several days without ever stopping!
From where do both the brethren in my hometown and those women in Apulia get the energy they need to sustain themselves? Is there a kind of energy from above? If we knew the source of the energy, could we get it whenever we need it?

This is an excerpt from Travels of the Mind by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

STUDYING MUSIC AND VIBRATIONS IN INDIA

 

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“Apparently you could make friends easily, Uncle Salvatore. Listening to you, I sense that you felt in India as comfortable as in your own country.”
“Benedetto, my country is the world. My hometown is the place where I am at the moment. In other words, if I am in New York, my hometown is New York, if I am in Moscow, my hometown is Moscow, if I am in Addis Ababa, my hometown is Addis Ababa, and so on.”
“I think you were lucky to find a piano academy in India. They play other instruments in Indian music such as sitar or harmonium.”
“Yes, I was lucky. But the academy was different from that in Isola. As soon as I entered there, I saw several musical instruments in one room. I couldn’t expect that they gave lessons for the violin, guitar, keyboard, and piano simultaneously. When I went to the academy for my first lesson two days later, two students were playing the violin, one the guitar, two the piano, and one the drums in the adjacent room. All those sounds didn’t annoy me. On the contrary, there was a delightful harmony of noisy sounds.
“The teacher was a young woman called Swara. She was quite fat, with long wavy black hair down to her shoulders. If she had been less fat, she would have been a beautiful woman, but her fatness made her body look like a wine bag. “I sat down at a black upright piano and started playing by reading the score on the piano. Now and then, the teacher came and checked my practice. If my playing was acceptable, she turned the page of the piano book to a new page.
“At that time, I wondered whether this was useless work. I was too old to learn a musical instrument. But I felt that playing the piano was like a kind of meditation that made me a less cerebral person.
“After I finished the piano lesson at the music academy, I went to Ravi’s home. He showed me his favorite musical instrument, the sitar. ‘The sitar is an Indian string musical instrument used in classical music. The sound box is made from a pumpkin. The strings are supported by two ivory bridges. Sometimes in the cheaper sitars, they use bones of a camel as bridges. The number of the strings ranges from eighteen to nineteen. There are two rows of strings, seven on the upper part of the sitar and twelve on the lower part,’ Ravi explained like a teacher.”
“Uncle Salvatore, it seems that the sitar is similar to the viola d’amore. You’ve already talked about this musical instrument when you met the lawyer Bruno.”
“They are not similar, Benedetto. The viola d’amore looks like a violin or a cello. The sitar looks like a guitar. However, the common thing of these musical instruments is that some strings vibrate though they are untouched. It was the first time that I saw a sitar.
“Ravi went on, ‘When two strings are tuned in the same frequency, it doesn’t matter if the string is in the upper part or in the lower part, whenever you pluck one of them, the other string vibrates.’ ‘Some time ago I heard about vibrations from a friend of mine in my hometown. He said that everything vibrates in the universe. Do you agree with him?’ ‘Yes, I do. Everything in the universe has its own frequency. The frequencies are measured in hertz. For instance, if the frequency of the glass I am holding in my hand now is x hertz, when you produce the sound of x hertz, both frequencies are the same and the glass vibrates. Everything vibrates, both organic and inorganic matter, both material and immaterial. That’s why when beautiful music is played, our whole body vibrates. Our bodies are made of many particles that react to the various sounds.’ ‘Do you believe in the existence of the soul, Ravi? If yes, I want to know whether the soul can vibrate as well,’ I asked Ravi.”
“Uncle Salvatore, I want to know whether you believe in the soul or not.”
“I don’t know, Benedetto. I’m not sure about that.
“Ravi said, ‘The world is made of energy. When a musical instrument is played and you feel well, it happens because the sound contains positive energy. On the contrary, when you hear the noise of the cars and horns in the street, you are stressed. There are two kinds of energy. One is good, and the other is bad. The world is ruled by two opposite energies. Everything is energy, and Einstein proved it by the well-known formula, E=mc2. It means that energy can change into matter and matter into energy.’ ‘Is the soul energy?’ I asked.
“Ravi lit a candle. Then he went on. ‘The human body and the soul are similar to a candle. When the human candle is burned out, it can’t contain the soul, which leaves the body. Stones are also energy, for they are not dead. There are souls in the universe when an embryo enters the womb. It attracts a soul with the same frequency. When you work under pressure or have pain, your body loses its natural positive frequency. That’s why you need good music to harmonize your body. The soul can feel vibrations as well. Body and soul are connected, and both vibrate. Words and thoughts have vibrations, too. If we say something or think of something, our words or thoughts create vibrations. Do you know why we met? It happened because we have the same frequencies. We both love music. If we had had different frequencies, our meeting wouldn’t have been possible. People attract one another according to their frequencies. Among millions of people in the world, you can attract your soul mate who has a frequency similar to yours. It is like playing the sitar. The string that vibrates in resonance must have the same frequency as the string you pluck.’ ‘What is the difference between frequency and vibration?’ ‘Frequency is the number of vibrations in a second. It is measured in hertz. Hertz are the number of vibrations. In other words, one hertz is one vibration, two hertz are two vibrations, and so on.’

This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words: second edition by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

WHAT DOES IT MEAN EGREGORE

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“The grand master handed us two booklets with black covers. Then there was a long speech by the grand master and a discussion. He said that his teachings were fundamental for our spiritual growth. At the end of the ceremony, we performed the rite of the chain. Each member held hands with a brother or a sister, making a circle. There was an exchange of energy among us to create egregore, also called egregor, a group feeling or spirit that arose from the sum of wishes, thoughts, ideals, and feelings of the members. To create egregore we had to connect with the deceased grand masters and with one another. While making a chain, we were asked to concentrate and direct our energy into helping a person who was sick or suffering at the moment.

“We should perform a special ritual at home every morning to strengthen egregore. I read the instructions and performed the ritual for a few days. The elements of the morning ritual were salt, water, and prayers. I can’t say how the ritual was performed because I swore on my honor not to divulge the secrets outside the esoteric group. After a few days, I dropped the morning rituals. I decided to follow the Way of Heart, which also aimed to create egregore.”
“What is the Way of Heart, Uncle Salvatore?”
“It is the way of feeling friendship, love, and spiritual communion with all the members. I followed this way for two reasons. First, I couldn’t understand the rituals well, so it was
possible for me to perform them incorrectly. Second, I thought that opening my heart toward the deceased grand masters and all my brethren and sisters was more effective than the ritual to create egregore.

This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words: second edition by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

HOW TO SOLVE INNER PROBLEMS

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A long time ago, I thought that to solve my inner problems I should have a house in the countryside, live in the nature, and breathe fresh air. So, I purchased a plot of land and built a house on it, a big house with many rooms. At the beginning, it seemed that something was about to change in my life. I felt satisfied to have built such a big house. I became very diligent. I improved the soil and planted many young trees and grapevines. Nevertheless, little by little, I became aware that the new house couldn’t calm my inner discomfort. A few years later, I sold the house and moved to a luxurious apartment in town. There, I felt uncomfortable after one or two years. I wanted to spend my life near the sea, but I didn’t feel like moving anymore. Instead, I decided to travel somewhere.
In ancient Rome, there was a similar character who moved from one place to another all over the world. He hoped that a new environment would bring him good luck. Coming across him, the Latin poet Horatio said to him, ‘Caelum, non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt.’ It means, ‘They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea.’ Although the place where we live changes, that is, the sky changes, our mind is the same. Therefore, the way to overcome our trouble comes from inside ourselves. We should rely on our inner strength and inner light without expecting any help from others…

This is an excerpt from Travels of the Mind
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

MARTIAL ARTS AND DAILY LIFE

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In my hometown, I didn’t have the possibility to practice Shikido. The nearest Shikido center was in the north of Italy, almost a thousand kilometers away. But I didn’t want to give up martial arts. So, I went to a Tekkido center, another martial art, different from Shikido, but equally useful and instructive.
Unlike Shikido, Tekkido was based upon precise and rapid movements. Attending the classes, I was under the impression that Tekkido mostly consisted of movements of the wrist. The first principle was to attain the maximum result through the minimum effort. Tekkido was helpful to me. Like Shikido, its purpose is to strengthen the body and mind. There were some exercises that couldn’t be done if one looked at the opponent.
“Never look at the opponent; otherwise, he will eat your soul!” the teacher used to repeat.
I applied this teaching to my daily life. Before, I was conditioned by the public’s eyes on me. Because of that conditioning, I was not natural in front of others. When I went to dance in a public dance hall on Saturday night, I was embarrassed with the thought that others were watching me. After a few Tekkido lessons, I felt freer and more comfortable.
Without caring about others’ eyes, I danced much better. I was relaxed and enjoyed myself! Since then, I have acted and lived in my own way, without looking at others, that is, without caring what others think about me.
Another exercise was to move the body backward swiftly at the very moment when the opponent launched his attack. If you moved back too early or too late, the opponent would succeed in hitting you. That also happens in life, not only in human society, but also in the animal world. Every action, either to defend or to attack, has to be done at the right moment. The hare that wants to escape the attack of an eagle crouches down motionless and waits for the very moment when the eagle is about to clutch it with its claws. Then, all of a sudden, the hare moves sideways. If the hare wants to survive, it has to move at the exact moment when the raptor is very close. Since the eagle dives very fast, it can’t change the direction of its dive at the last moment. The hare owes its salvation to her waiting for the exact time to move aside. Moving too early or too late would be fatal to it.
This principle is also valid in daily life. From then on, I have tried to be not too early or too late in seizing the opportunities that life offers to me. By acting at the right time, I can avoid bad luck and also meet good luck on time.
This is an excerpt from Travels of the Mind
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

 

 

 

THE PINE TREES IN GYEONGJU, THE CAPITAL OF SILLA

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THE PINE TREES IN GYEONGJU, THE CAPITAL OF SILLA

In old times, Korea was divided into three kingdoms: one of them was Silla.
Later, Silla succeeded in unifying the three kingdoms.
When we arrived in Gyeongju, first of all we visited the three Royal Tombs in Bae-dong. They look like big mounds but inside there are wooden rooms framed with a solid stonework. The rooms have the kings’ body, their crowns, jewels and personal things. In the past, many tombs were excavated by graverobbers, but some of them are still intact.

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Almost all the pine trees in the forests surrounding the three Royal Tombs are twisted.
According to a Korean friend of mine, botanists have studied the phenomenon and come to the conclusion that the pine trees of Gyeongju had modified their DNA not to be cut down. At the time, if the trunk was straight pine wood was used to build houses and palaces; being twisted, the trees would be of no use. Is it true? Who knows! Trees are also living beings. It cannot be ruled out that they have psychic processes and survival instinct.
King Gyeongae was the last king of Silla. He was killed by the rebel army of Gyeonhwon while holding a banquet with his court. Apparently, the step from joy of life to death is short and sudden!
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

AVALON, THE LOST ISLAND

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AVALON, THE LOST ISLAND

Glastonbury (UK) has been a holy place since time immemorial. It is said that the area was a marshland, and only the Isle of Avalon stood amid the swampy water.

According to legend, King Arthur and his wife Guinevere were buried on the top of the Isle of Avalon. Later the monks of Glastonbury Abbey found the burial place and moved the bones to the abbey where they still lie.

These days, the Isle of Avalon is called “THE TOR”. On the top of it, the Tower of Saint Michael dominates the vast surrounding plains. From up there the view is breathtaking.

All the area around Glastonbury is believed to be mystic.

It is said that Joseph of Arimathea was the Virgin Mary’s uncle. He used to come to England to trade in metals. In one of his travels he even brought the young Jesus with him.

After Jesus’ crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail – the cup from which Jesus drank during the Last Supper, filled with the blood that dripped from the cross- to Glastonbury.

At the foot of “THE TOR”, there are two springs across from each other: “The White Spring” and “The Red Spring”. Their water is thought to be miraculous.

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The “White Spring” is inside a cave. The water flows into two small pools, one bigger than the other.

As soon as I entered the cave, I felt a strange energy, similar to that I had experienced in a cave in Tanzania ten years ago. Here, there were naked people, both women and men, that bathed in the water. Four women stood in a circle with their hands up holding roses in the middle of the wider pool.

Inside the cave, small altars with bones of animals, ribbons, small stones, and similar objects were placed all around.

One of the women in the cave told me that if I dipped my legs in the water my brain would be purified at once.

Inside the cave it was dark. The burning candles couldn’t light it.

The “Red Spring” stands in the open air. The water seems to be colorless. Walking uphill I arrived at “Chalice Well”. The water looked quite reddish due to the iron that it contains.

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In Glastonbury I have learned something more about legends, history and traditions of England. The rites which people perform in the cave of the White Spring are unique.

Some day, if somebody asks me where to go while he is traveling in England I will answer without any hesitation: “Go visit Glastonbury! You will not be disappointed definitely. It is one of the most amazing, mystic, and magic place in the world.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI

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Saint Francis Of Assisi

The official biography of Saint Francis was written by Saint Bonaventura, who was appointed this task by the Franciscan general chapter in 1260, thirty-four years after Saint Francis’s death.

Saint Francis was born in the city of Assisi on September 26, 1182 and died on October 3, 1226. His father was a prosperous merchant and his mother a noblewoman. He was given the name John by his mother, but when his father returned from France, he changed the name to Francis, in honor of France, the country where he had made his wealth.

Coming from a well-to-do family, Francis had the opportunity to study Latin, poetry, music, Italian, French, the Provencal dialect, and literature. It seemed that Francis was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Around the age of twenty, Francis joined up with the Assisi army and fought against the city of Perugia, but he was taken prisoner and remained in prison for one year. The time he spent in jail was very hard, so much so that he contracted a serious illness when he returned home. His sickness was the turning point in his life. He decided to radically change his lifestyle. To that point he had lived a worldly life, but now he chose to dedicate himself to following Jesus’s model. He began to give money to help the lepers, the poor, and the needy.

Francis’s new life and prodigality were not appreciated by his father, who eventually disinherited him. From then on, Francis lived a life of poverty and absolute simplicity. Soon other young people joined him, giving rise to the monastic Franciscan order. His soul was so pure that he talked with birds, and one day he even tamed a wolf. An example of the pureness of his heart can be found in the “Canticle of the Creatures,” which he composed in 1225.

Saint Francis’s life was short; in fact, he lived only forty four years. After his death, many authors started writing his biography. Some biographies had a hagiographic aim, while others were straightforward accounts, but some data is common to all of them:

Saint Francis was a great traveler. Around the age of thirty he left his hometown to go to Syria. Unfortunately, his journey was interrupted in Dalmatia for an unknown reason, but probably because he couldn’t find a ship to Syria, so he was forced to return to Italy.

In spite of the failure of his first attempted trip to a Muslim country, he set off on another journey to Islamic lands, this time Morocco. To go to Morocco, he crossed France and Spain.

Again he failed to succeed in his plan, because he contracted a serious disease in Spain and once more had to return to Assisi.

His third endeavor to get to an Arab country finally succeeded. He boarded a ship at Ancona in the year 1219, seven years before his death, at the same time the fifth crusade was under way. Once in Egypt, Saint Francis wanted to meet Sultan Malic al-Kamil. Their meeting really happened, and as far as we know, he was treated kindly by the sultan as a guest, and not as an enemy. He received safe conduct and was invited to return to visit Egypt anytime.

From Egypt he travelled to the Holy Land. About two years before his death, he received the stigmata on Mount Verna.

Later, his health worsened and he died in a small church near Assisi called Porziuncola. At his death, his body was taken to Assisi and a basilica was later built in the place where he was buried.

I had the opportunity of going to Assisi three times in my life. The first time was with my parents on a travel to north Italy. It happened many years ago. Even though I was very young and not in a condition to appreciate Saint Francis’s message to humanity, a few things remained etched in my mind. One was the sight of the cilice, which Saint Francis wore to mortify his body.

The cilice was a special garment made of goat hair, which caused considerable suffering to the person who wore it. The flesh was considered a kind of contamination of the soul; therefore, through the mortification of the body, the soul would be purified.

Hearing the story of Saint Francis from my parents, I was struck by the strength of character of this great man who rebelled against his father in order to follow the aspirations of his heart.

The second time I visited Assisi was while I was traveling on a trip organized by the parish priest from the Church of San Cataldo. We visited the basilica, which is divided into three parts: the upstairs basilica, the walls of which are covered with gorgeous frescoes by Giotto; the downstairs basilica, which contains other works of art; and finally the crypt where Saint Francis’s mortal remains are kept. The tomb is placed in a raised position over the altar, and is made without frills of grey square and rectangular stones.

As soon as I knelt to say some prayers and make a wish, I had the sensation that a kind of energy was radiating from his tomb, and then I asked Saint Francis to hear my prayer.

Please, Saint Francis, grant me a gift! You are a very powerful saint and can easily make my wish come true. I love Elisabetta more than life, and I want her to become my wife. There are many hindrances that prevent us from getting married. Please, Saint Francis, remove all the hindrances and help us get married as soon as possible.”

At that time I had fallen in love with a young lady named Elisabetta. She was from Enna as well, and taught Latin and Greek at the high school. I courted her for two years and wanted to get engaged to her. We used to stroll along Via Roma and Belvedere and talk religion. In fact, she was an earnest Catholic, to such an extent that she was once on the verge of quitting her job to become a Carmelite cloistered nun.

One day while we were walking around the Lombardia Castle, she told me of her pilgrimage to Assisi. “I have been struck by Saint Francis’s burial place. I felt a special energy coming from his tomb,” she said.

Now, I don’t know whether or not it was due to autosuggestion because Elisabetta had told me her feelings, but the same strange sensation was now happening to me. While I repeatedly asked San Francis to grant my wish, I felt as if powerful energy was radiating from his tomb and talking to me.

I have spent all my life searching for God,” Saint Francis’s energy seemed to say, “and now you arrive at my tomb and ask me to grant you a trivial wish, Vincenzino!”

I wondered why Saint Francis would consider my wish to get married to my beloved trivial. As time passed, I realized that I had actually requested something really trivial. In fact, human affairs like love, business, careers, and so on are trifles in comparison to the search and love for God, who is the giver of life.

Meanwhile, Elisabetta got married to another man, and I understood that what I had considered a great love was nothing more than an infatuation doomed to dissolve like the fog dispersed by the wind.

True love is not related to a woman or a person. Love is something that you must have inside you. Love comes from your heart and mind, and it stands apart from the appearance and character of the people who you come across and the happenings of life.

Later, I married a lady from Greece, and we now live together in Enna. In the evenings after dinner, my wife and I usually stroll along Via Roma and Saint Francis Square, which is surrounded by old palaces on three sides and by the stately Church of Saint Francis on the fourth. A small green area had recently been attached to the church, with an olive tree and a statue of Saint Francis surrounded by white doves inside it. While my wife and I were going back home and passed by that green, we noticed a fragrance emanating from the area. We turned in all directions but couldn’t spot a flower or a tree from where that subtle scent might be emanating. The following days we passed by the same place again, but we couldn’t smell anything.

A subtle thread was leading me to Assisi for the third time. My Greek wife and I decided to take a car trip across northern and central Italy. We embarked on a ferry in Palermo and landed in Genoa. From there we travelled to Pisa, Florence, and San Gimignano.

While we were admiring the numerous towers of the last town, my wife suddenly cried out, “What about going to Assisi? Is it far from here? Do you remember the fragrance we smelt in Enna near the Church of Saint Francis?”

No, it is not far away. We can go to Perugia first, and Assisi is a stone’s throw from there,” I replied.

We arrived at Saint Francis’s hometown around midday and found lodging in a monastery run by Filipino nuns. We strolled for a while around the medieval city and then arrived at the basilica. My wife was surprised at the sight of the frescoes both upstairs and downstairs.

Even though I am not a Christian,” she said, “and don’t follow any religion, I cannot help being astonished by the religious ardor that was behind these great masterpieces.”

Then we went to the crypt and sat on a pew facing Saint Francis’s tomb. As soon as I sat down, I had the sensation that the same energy that had talked to me many years ago was now speaking again, suggesting the path I should follow to find out who really I was.

Purify your heart, mind, body, and actions, and then you’ll see God inside you!

What was Saint Francis telling me this time? I inferred that he meant that the real kingdom of God is inside every living being, but we cannot find it if our mind is contaminated by too many materialistic desires or our actions are not directed towards the wellbeing of our fellow creatures. I also inferred that prayer and meditation are a good way to purify the mind and get close to God, as long as my actions aim not towards an egoistic goal, but to the love of all creatures.

While I was meditating on what Saint Francis was suggesting to me at that moment, my wife suddenly turned to me. “I have a pain in my heart, and my heart is pounding! I shed tears and I don’t know why. I don’t feel sad and I don’t know why I am crying!”

My wife is not Catholic, and actually doesn’t practice any religion. So we couldn’t understand why such a phenomenon befell her. Maybe the same energy that had talked to me was revealing itself to her in some way.

I left Assisi with a strong devotion to Saint Francis. Every time I had trouble in my life after that, I thought of him and reminded myself that my worldly misfortunes are a mere trifle. What really matters in life is the search and love for God and all His creatures.

Reviewing my encounter with Saint Francis, I reconsidered what my law teacher had taught me a long time ago. She had stressed the importance of the difference between a piece of evidence and a clue. A piece of evidence is a fact that you have seen or heard, or a way that an event can be proved with absolute certainty—evidence that can direct the judge to return his verdict. A clue doesn’t have the strength of evidence, and a mere clue is usually not enough to bring in a judge’s verdict, but if the clues are numerous, unambiguous, precise, and concordant with one another, they can be taken into consideration by the judge in order to pass judgment. In the case of my encounter with Saint Francis, there are five clues that can be admitted as evidence of the existence of another spiritual level that is beyond our ordinary worldly life:

1. The energy that Elisabetta felt while she was praying before the tomb of Saint Francis;

2. The fragrance that my wife and I smelt near his statue while we were strolling in Enna;

3. The energy coming from his tomb that talked to me about the true goals of my life, which were not a mere love of a woman, money, or some other worldly pleasure. Searching for God is the real goal;

4. The energy that I felt when I went to Assisi for the third time. I realized that the kingdom of God is really inside me. I just need purify my mind, my heart, and my actions, and then I can be on the path that leads to the spiritual world;

5. The unusual sensation of pain in my wife’s chest and the tears in her eyes while she was sitting with me in front of Saint Francis’s tomb.

These days, Saint Francis is the master in my daily life. Whenever I am too worried because my business didn’t go well, I remind myself of the teachings he gave me in the crypt in Assisi. The ups and downs of life are mere trifles when compared to meeting God, who stays in the heart of every human.

By minding Saint Francis’s teachings, I live my life in a more relaxed way. I am less anxious. I just juggle the events of life as soccer players do when playing a friendly match.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by ETTORE GRILLO

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

MANDALA

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MANDALA

A mandala is a ritual drawing or painting usually round-shaped. It symbolizes the universe.

In some parts of India, every day housewives draw a colorful mandala in front of their house. To make it they use chalk powder which they drop from their hand very skillfully. Over the day the drawing of mandala fades away because people step on it.

Walking on the beach of Goa, I could find somebody who draws a mandala on the seashore. The work will not last long. Soon the tide will erase it.

While looking at a mandala on the sand, I recalled what once happened in an ancient Zen Monastery. A master gave his disciple the task of heaping dry leaves under the blowing wind. There was a deep meaning in that seemingly absurd task?

A mandala drawn with chalk powder or a mandala on the sand has the same meaning of heaping dry leaves under the wind? I think they symbolize our life. Every day we strive to heap dry leaves that the wind will blow away sooner or later. Every day we draw our mandala which will disappear tomorrow like that on the sand.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

8 MARCH 2028

8 MARCH 2028

When I was an eleven-year-old student, our teacher made us write an essay with this title to stimulate our imagination: “8 March 2028 – describe yourself and the world around you on that date.”

In my essay I made a lot of predictions about my future life, but as far as I can remember, none of them turned out to be real.

I didn’t predict that I would become an author and a traveler.

We can program our life, but very often it goes its way regardless of our plans. Casual happenings drag us here and there beyond our control.

Now I am at Arambol Beach in Goa (India) for my winter holidays.

How did I spend the last day of the year? At dawn I went jogging on the beach, saluted the rising sun, and helped some fishermen that asked me to give them a hand to beach their heavy boat.

At night, I walked along the seaside where thousands of people were waiting for the stroke of midnight.

On the first day of the new year, I went to the beach at daybreak again. There were a few cleaners that were collecting the garbage littered by those who had celebrated Happy New Year all night.

I jogged and then saluted the rising sun as usual. It was the same sun as yesterday. Seeing me, the fishermen waved their hands from a distance. Nothing had changed! We humans divide time into days, months and years, and make wishes whenever a new year comes, but in nature there is only an uninterrupted flow of happenings without beginning or end.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo