In Love With the Mystery
AM: Thank you. We love it too. Paul and I listen to it sometimes at night and just go, “Thank you, thank you. To whom it may concern, thank you!” (laughs)
PH: Yah, it's fun to listen to it again. We really enjoy it.
WD: What is it about this particular time of your life that makes this book pertinent for you?
AM: I'm 62, which I cannot believe, and I've had an inner world for as long as I can remember. I think that there comes a place where I feel I'm not embarrassed about how... I'm a very reclusive person by nature, even though I've lived a world outside. I mean we live at the end of a four-wheel dirt road overlooking Desolation Sound. We really live at the end of the world.
I feel that, as a woman, the spirituality that we followed in our culture is often ...how do I say it?... it's almost as if so many of our spiritual traditions have got stuck into being right about how the mystery works. They're not inclusive, they're more exclusive.
I've gone through so many different forms and they've all served me. I've experienced miracles through each and every one of them. Unbelievable, serendipitous experiences when you're talking to Genesh [a Hindu deity] one day, and then the next day you're talking to Mother Mary, and the next day you're talking to an eagle, and then you're talking to a tree, (laughs)...that I just said, “I'm just going to start expressing what I feel.”
I think that if Nancy and Peter hadn't come and said, “We'd like to help,” I would have just let it go. But I feel like I'm being called out to do this, and so I am.
WD: This leads into a question about children today. The first thing that came to mind when I read your book was the new generation of children: with all they are dealing with today, how much they could benefit from this type of message. Can you speak to that: is there any message you'd like to give them?
AM: We had a young couple come to our house who were helping us do some work. We ended up in the most exquisite connection with them. There is a hunger, a deep hunger for inner meaning.
Paul was at Radio City music hall doing a concert last year with Paul McCartney and Ringo and they were raising money for the David Lynch Foundation, which is teaching meditation to kids in school, from kindergarten up. One of the things that one of the kids said that I had never thought about before was, “I never knew I had an inside.”
It was so shocking because I've always had an inside, I've always been wondering what life meant. These kids are brought up with so much outside: so many technological things, and how you look, sex being so available, they're watching movies all the time so you're watching other people's lives.
So many of these kids started to discover they have an inner world and that it's connected to your inner world, and not only to yours but to something far greater than all of us, or all of us connected. We both felt we really wanted to be of service in this area because if we don't remember that we're connected, where do we get our guidance from? I'm kind of excited about it.
PH: It's also been going on for quite a few decades now, in meditation in the west, which was always part of eastern cultures for thousands of years. Starting in the 60s with transcendental mediation, which I was one of the first teachers of, just the idea among young people to meditate: what the heck was that.
The concept is that it has nothing to do with your religious beliefs or your philosophical beliefs. It's a technique: to go inside and then to come out and see, you'll be shocked, that you'll be more creative and life will be better, you'll be happier.
In practical terms, meditation is given a box let's say to put for the western mind, and I think it's been going on now for several generations. That combined with what Ann just said, means that now it's in the public schools. To teach kids about meditation is pretty amazing. In just a few generations to have jumped to this in the west. I think it's an evolution that's happening, on many levels.
WD: I was going to ask how we reach that level of spirituality: where do we start? So meditation is a good place?
AM: I think meditation is a wonderful, wonderful technique and it really doesn't matter which technique you follow. I studied Crea yoga which was a meditation technique through Parama hansa yogananda. Paul studied transcendental meditation.
But whether you're just following your breath or sitting quietly by a stream and just concentrating on the water going by, when the mind goes still you realize what the mind is always telling you. We have so many busy thoughts and, until they calm down a bit, you don't have the stillness to hear.
I've tried to cultivate and set aside a time for myself every day where I just go inward and listen and either follow the breath or follow the reverberating sound in your ears when you close your eyes and listen. It's sort of a high pitched resonance. All of the different techniques.
I think when you do choose to meditate you discover that there is a wealth of wisdom waiting for you internally.
PH: In the past, meditation has been linked to where it's going to interfere with the person's belief system. The way it's presented now and the way it really is, it's just a technique. It's a way to go inside, it's a personal thing, and experience that quiet within yourself.
That's where your potential is and after just sitting quietly and letting the mind just be there without thinking, you'll find in your daily life that things are going better because the mind is being enlivened. You're getting more energy and creativity and the results are in your daily life.
Think about how your life is going by doing this? Not what experiences are you having while you're sitting there, which is a whole other way to look at it, and I think a more sensible and realistic way, especially in the west.
WD: Do you have any plans for a second book?
AM: I worked for a year and so I've got 365 of these little sayings (laughs). I don't know if we'll do another one like that but I've got another project in mind that I'd love to do with Paul. I have a feeling that will come probably in the next year or two. I'm just waiting to see what my instructions are (laughs).
WD: Well, we'll definitely look forward to that. Where can we find your present book?
AM: You can go to Amazon.com. You can also go to InLoveWithTheMystery.com and order it right off our web page, or at the book store Banyon Books. In fact, you should go into your gift store and say, “We want this book. Order this book!” (laughs)
Ann Mortifee's new book and CD with husband Paul Horn is a beautiful piece of art.
Below is more information on events and tickets.
Join Ann and Paul for an evening of readings, stories and improvised music as they launch this deeply moving book and CD. Ticket holders will be entitled to a discount towards the purchase of their signed copy of In Love with the Mystery Book and CD. Light refreshments will be served.
Nov 5th, 7:30 pm, Victoria Truth Centre - 1201 Fort St., Victoria Tickets $10
Nov 6th, 7:30 pm, St. Mark's Church - 1805 Larch Street, Vancouver Tickets $10
Nov 7th, 7 pm, The Gallery @ Artisan Square - 589 Artisan Lane, Bowen Island. Tickets at the Bowen Island Arts Council, 604 947 2454
List Price: $26.95 ISBN-13: 978-09810065-0-5