We are nearing the end of our tour here in Australia. We love the people, the culture and the countryside. The sangha here is deep and true. Many people have reported first being in retreat with Gangaji at her Blue Mountain Retreat fifteen years ago.
A college professor at the Research School of Pacific & Asian Studies of The Australian National University in Canberra was relating to his new wife how he had become radicalized. He mentioned my name, she googled me, and he flew to Sydney for a satsang meeting and dinner. Pete now, Dr. Van Ness then, had been my mentor in charge of my doctoral dissertation at the Graduate School of International Studies in Denver. (Condi Rice was a few years behind me, and he says she was a liberal before she went to the dark side). The last time I saw him in a classroom setting, my name was Elliot Zeldow. I was 23 years old. I walked into the room with a jug of wine and a joint to announce that we were shutting the school down and setting up Woodstock West on the campus lawn. It was spring of 1970, and we were protesting both the trial of Bobby Seal of the Black Panthers and Nixon’s announcement of the illegal bombing of Cambodia. ( The shooting of the students at Kent State happened during these nation-wide protests).
When Gangaji and I first came to Budapest in the 1980s, our first impression was of Border Patrol Soldiers with guns and Red Stars on their hats going through our luggage in our train compartment as we crossed the border. (It felt fifties noir at the moment.) So we were totally amazed when our hosts had a small gathering at their flat and we all sang the old hippy song, The River is Flowing together in a circle in their living room.
The River is flowing,
flowing and flowing.
The river is flowing.
Back to the sea.
Oh, Mother carry me
A child I will always be
Oh, Mother carry me
back to the sea.
When we walked into our first meeting at the communist community center, we saw a sweet man with a pony tail playing ragtime piano. I told him he looked like a California hippie. Since then, Akös has translated all my books into Hungarian and has been leading groups and satsang for many years now.