|Prudence Bruns (News Herald Photo)|
“It was amazing to me. Meditation for me was a real game-changer,” she said then. “It works directly to build up the strength of the mind. It was exciting and hopeful at a time I felt very bleak about our future.”
Perhaps I could be forgiven for thinking that the wind was low, the birds were singing, and from where we sat on the patio, we could see the sunny skies.
She talked of her time in India, studying under the Maharishi during the same period that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were present. She acknowledged the classic song that resulted, inspired as Lennon tried to coax her from her room to enjoy the beauty of the compound where they were staying.
She since embraced the song, using its title to name her nonprofit organization, the Dear Prudence Foundation, which is dedicated to teaching transcendental meditation.
“Right now, the Foundation consists of a few like-minded individuals who share the same lofty goal of creating a better world by providing enlightened education that expands individual awareness so we can make better choices for ourselves, others and our planet,” according to information on the group’s Kickstarter page.
That Kickstarter project, launched late last year, funded a documentary film about the Kumbh Mela, the largest spiritual pilgrimage on the planet. The focus of the event is the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India, where those who bathe at this specific time every 12 years are said to be blessed and have their past sins and regrets washed away.
This year’s Kumbh Mela marked year 147 in a larger cycle, meaning participants were part of an historic event. More than 100 million people from all over the world trekked to the site for the event in January, which their cameras captured.
“It is the largest human gathering on the planet of saints, yogis and people who are seeking enlightenment or merely the company of the enlightened,” according to the Kickstarter page.
The film crew included Prudence and her husband, Albert Bruns; Jenifer Kuntz, owner of Seaside’s Raw & Juicy organic juice bar; Seagrove artist Arix Zalace; documentary filmmaker Shannon McCoy Cohn’s husband, Pato Cohn; and others.
In March, they previewed footage of the film during a fundraiser event at Hidden Lantern Bookstore and Gallery in Rosemary Beach. A release date has not yet been announced.
Prudence and Albert Bruns settled in Seagrove Beach in the late 1990s, about the same time Zen Garden owners Sandra Pearson and Joe McKenna started meditating and brought her to their “little oasis” by the beach, she said.
“Problems come from a lack of wisdom, a lack of vision,” she said. “Meditation brings peace. Get out of the way and let it work. It is potent. It brings inner peace and a connection a lot of people have been missing.”
This was my Undercurrents column for PanamaCity.com and The News Herald for Sept. 13, 2013.