mandag 23. desember 2013

To: You...From: Dan Reed & me (english version)

Dear Friend ...                                                                                             In norwegian here                                      
I didn't think there would be a new blogpost before Christmas, but I want to give you a "gift" that can give you something good. I hope you will appreciate it. The post became quite long, but I hope you'll find time to sit down and read.

 Nathali is always with me when I write. In this post you will also meet and get a personal greeting from another person who means a lot to me ... Dan Reed.

I am one of those people who must redefine reality and learn to live a new life without my daughter, Nathali .
I see that I have changed my priorities in life, and I'm more conscious of my choices. I value family and friends in a different way now, and  the love between us feels much deeper. I don't take them and their lives for granted anymore.
The most important thing in my life now, are the appreciation of small pleasures and moments and I want to take care of those little treasures ..

 In the perspective of Eternity, the Moment is like a Life.. (Piet Hein)

I rarely read old posts, but today I took a little review. It is strange to see the process I go through described by words. Some posts almost seems a little unfamiliar, but I know that the words are mine. When I decided to start writing the blog, I didn't know which direction it would take, but I had a goal, I wanted to write about good experiences and thoughts. Therefore, it was very special for me to see that the first real post "Closer" is actually written after I met Dan .
( I write in Norwegian, but you will find a "Translate-button" under the headline. Sometimes the translation become really weird, but I hope you will understand ;-) )

He has become a good friend and he is an amazing musician.

I don't know anyone else who has lived a life so full of contrasts .

The band Dan Reed Network had great success back in the 80/90's , and was on the Top 40 list with the song "Ritual"
They were support band on the Rolling Stones tour and have also shared the stage with Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and David Bowie. DRN played for ten-thousands people in big stadiums, and Dan lived the "good" Rock & Roll - life. After the tour with the Stones, he took a break from everything and went to India where he got the chance to interview the Holiness of Dalai Lama personally. In this interview Dan tells about the meeting, and why he left the music scene: " I looked in the mirror and found I was part of the problem that I was having issues with"
Back in the U.S. after this journey, it was not well received by the record company that he had shaved  his long hair which was an important part of the image to sell music. He wanted to get in to the film and theatre, and became a writer, creator and actor. After that he started a nightclub in Portland, Oregon wich became a huge success, and he lived a tough life where drugs and alcohol would  kill him if he didn't get away. After his father passed away and taken care of his mother, he returned to India....Now he lives in Prague,and makes music again.

I think it's exciting to hear about this life, but I'm even more fascinated by the journey he embarked, trying to find answers how to focus on life itself.
He lived in monastrey with monks in Tibet, he met His Holiness Dalai Lama, he has interviewed and visited people and religions around the world, to ask questions and find answers.
It is this " journey " and " life wisdom " that has touched me so deeply . I don't know much about his material life, but what I admire and makes me a little jealous, is his " presence in life " and all the warmth and love he gives to other people. I want to feel it too, and I know that money can't buy those values ...I know that my mind and thoughts must do the job.
The reward will be a kind of  inner peace, sense of wholeness, hope and a opportunity to feel that I'm present in my own life.

I am also infected by his fervent community involvement, and have often thought that if everyone had been like him, then we would not have wars ... "We learn to Love, but We love to Fight "
(from  "Brave New World")
He has performed at the Democratic National Convention and  Barack Obama's inauguration party.

I've changed, and I must thank Dan for giving me many thoughts that makes me a person people look up to because of my "strength" in the midst of all the bad things that have happened.

Dan has a unique ability to communicate in an emotional level. The words and the music goes straight into my heart, they makes me think, and I love these " conversations ". (And we don't have to agree on everything ;-)
This is what I want to bring to you who read ... a meeting with Dan in a situation where he shows that it is possible to make something bad to something good ...

August 10th Nathali would have been 12 years. A difficult day, where thoughts about the first time I held her in my arms was joined by thoughts about the last embrace. We have experienced that if we plan something good, it is possible to get through days like this. I knew that Dan should have concerts in Sweden about  that time, but he had also mentioned that he was going to Norway .
We were willing to travel long distance if there was an opportunity to experience him again.
I can still feel the feeling after reading the answer ... He should have a concert in Fredrikstad August 10th On 11 he was free, and if we wanted, he said it would be a great honor  to come to us and perform a Memorial Concert for Nathali ...
We were unsure if we were strong enough to make it , but the clear voice from the deepest of my heart said the words I needed  ... " Of course, you must do it, Mom ! "

I have decided to share a small video clip from the memorial-concert .
The post "Smilet fra Hjertet" /(  The Smile from the Heart ) is written after this experience. I could not write about the concert then, but now is the right time .
It was a wonderful evening where everyone who attended had a unique experience. We didn't want this to be like a second funeral, it was her birthday! We hoped it would be something good and our way of saying "thank you" to family and friends who means so much to us. Nathali's spirit attended in a beautiful way, we felt her presence, and the room was filled with warmness, support and love from the people who love us.
I 'm sure she was smiling and enjoyed everything that happend .

This concert has in many ways became a turning point in sorrow for us and those who were attended.
Dan helped us to feel gratitude for having her in our lives, and it felt so good .

My mother described it this way:
"The Memorial concert with Dan became the " bridge" between the deep sorrow & pain on one side, and joy and gratitude on the other ."

We have balanced on the "slippery rocks" and felt the fear of falling. Family and friends have tried to help us, but they have also been afraid of taking wrong steps.
This evening we all felt that it was built a bridge where we can safely move between the bad and the good. We can walk side by side, or we can walk alone. We can go back and forward as often as we want, but also stop in the middle and take a big breath and a break if it's too hard to focus .

Since the concert evoked many memories and emotions for me and others , I do not show the public . (with the exception of my dear brother in law who looked after the BR recorder ...) I hope you will respect that the video is part of the blog post, and not share in other contexts without contact me first.
Welcome as my  Guest ...

Dan knows about my blog, and I became very proud and happy when he said yes to write some  words especially for you. He is a busy man with many days on the road and concerts, but I know he spent time to think what he wants to say to you ...

For You From Dan Reed

It is a great honor two pen something for the lovely , insightful and inspiring Bente and her most endearing and important Blog. Thank you for the kind invitation to share something with your readers , and can only hope that the experience that I highlight below brings some form of inspiration Thurs those who take the time to read the words below . With love ...

I had the great opportunity two interview the Dalai Lama 's personal physician back in 1992 in Northern India named Dr. Cheduk . He was in his late 80 's at the time , blind in one eye from his harsh treatment by the Chinese military while in occupied Tibet. He was freed from his imprisonment after Receiving help from Amnesty International and was , at the time , back at the side of His Holiness , the Dalai Lama who lived , and still lives , in exile in Dharmsala , India. Dr. Cheduk spoke no English so we had a translator, but what he taught me that day still resonates with me over 20 years later .

He spoke of the ' root ' of illness ... how to cope with loss as a part of life , and extension of the poison we get to experience living in this world , no matter how short or long ... and that through understanding every breath is a blessing , we can heal ourselves , and rise above grief and depression .

Dr. Cheduk said that there are three types of illness ... mental , physical and spiritual ... and all three of these illness are caused by three things ... attachment , hatred and delusions . (As they say ... all things come in three 's) , and it Appeared it was true in Tibetan Buddhism on more than a few subjects . As with anything that comes in three 's it stands two reasonthat two , if joined together , will always overpower the one left out , or not included. The same is true with illness and how we cope with stress, pressure , pain and depression .

First let me explain his view on attachment , hatred and delusions . I asked him why one man can smoke cigarettes for a few months and get lung cancer , while another one can start smoking when he was 12 , smokes a pack a day , and two lives in his 90 's? The good Doctor smiled then explained that the person who get cancer Quickly is most thunderstorms riddled with not only ' attachment' to the smoking habit , but also his two attachment Perceived power in the world , his ego, possibly money, many things that add stress to one 's life ... and may also have a healthy dose of ' hatred ' in his mental diet ... could be self hatred for smoking , hatred towards the neighbor for his dog going to the bathroom in his yard , or two for his boss never Recognizing or praising his accomplishments . And there is ' delusions ' ... where I ' could ' be in life ... where I ' should ' be in life ... imagining I would be truly happy if I had taken this or that turn in life instead of the path I am currently on . Regrets ... Hopes and ... Too many of each , instead of living in the moment .

The old man who never got cancer simply lead a more balanced life in these affairs , According To Dr. Cheduk . The man did not beat himself up for smoking , but rather enjoyed it , field no guilt , or little of it , in all his life decisions , Allowing his mental , physical and spiritual bodies two resonate a more healthy existence , instead of being burdened by the weight of doubt and self consciousness .

When the mental and physical are in balance, but the spiritual not in balance ... It is still two out of three humming in the right space and one can find insight , inspiration , ' light' for lack of a better word ... but if one spender all their time keeping the body in shape, but the mental and spiritual bodies are ill or in despair , then in time the body most thunderstorms will fail . If the mental and spiritual bodies are in a good place, but the body is falling apart , sometimes, and we have heard countlessother stories that attest to this ... the body can heal , and even Thrive again .

If we can mana to look in the mirror and admit our attachments , let go of hatred and dispel the illusions in our life ... then mental , physical and spiritual illness will have a hard time grabbing on to our system . Although this seems to make a lot of sense in the years since , it is often a hard sell in a world where we leave our physical wellness in the hands of a doctor , our mental health in the hands of psychiatrist , and our spiritual health in the hands of a religious leader or some form of religion. Very rarely are we aware , or even taught , that is the person in the mirror that we see every morning that can be in charge of all three if we so choose two . Of course we need guidance , help and modern medicine from time to time to help us on that journey ... but to empower ourselves is two empower our body and our mind .

All good lessons from a man who was in charge of the health of the temporal leader of the Tibetan people. Dr. Cheduk has since passed away but before we finished our conversation the translator leaned over to me and said , " Did you know Dr. Cheduk survived twelve years in prison surviving on nothing but water and gnawing on his leather jacket as a protest two his imprisonment ? " , two wooden I replied ... "You must be kidding ... how is that possible ? " . The translator who was also a doctor in Tibetan Medicine, although much younger , responded , " The Doctor used his mind-to turn the skin of the cow , the jacket , into the nutrients of the meat , and along with water this allowed him to Survive even though his body was quite ill at the end of the 12 years . It was this hunger strike that caught the attention of Amnesty International, and why he lost sight in one eye . "

I have since asked friends in the field of medicine if this was possible ... and all anyone can tell me is , " If that is true ... then it is something very strong mind over matter . "

Amen to that ... and to the depth , and the power , of the mind , body and soul .

If you have had the time to read everything we have written, you've also got the opportunity to know the proximity to your own life and your own thoughts . I hope this will inspire you to think that a good life is not just about money, status and everything you wish you had but can not get .... You have lots of values inside yourself!

I wish with all my heart that you will experience great moments you can keep as Christmas memories ..
Merry Christmas &  Happy New Year

Love from Bente

(Since we write this together, you are welcome to leave a comment for Dan if you want to. Don't be afraid to write in English ... he knows the language ;-) He has taken a few months break from the artist life now, but he will be back! More info on his homepage: and  facebook )

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