Aiden Hornaday was just 8 years old when he picked up his brother’s harmonica with no idea how to play it. The next night, waiting for his mother at a restaurant, he took off his cap and started playing, and got 80 unexpected dollars in tips “just for taking his hat off.” That night, he decided to donate the $80 to fight intestinal parasites for African orphans, and has never stopped since. Now 13, Aiden has raised and donated over $60,000.
Aidan Cares Web Site
About 11 years before this story was filmed Andy’s fate was not looking too rosy. He had a series of health issues including serious heart complications and depression. He spent most of his time alone and in severe debilitating pain. He spent most of his money on medicine. Doctor’s did not give Andy more than a few months to live.
One day he asked himself one simple question, “If there was one thing left do do on this earth, what would I want to do?” For him the answer was easy: Give the gift of music. So he made a phone call, asking a school principal for permission to come in and teach a class of children to play the harmonica. He would provide each one of them with a harmonica too. Without giving it a second thought, he took the $750 he would have spent on medication and bought harmoncias for the kids. That fateful day changed his life and the life of so many children. After his session, the principal asked if he would do this for the rest of the school children. The program was so successful that soon Andy approached other schools in the area. Andy gave up his medication full time and started buying Harmonicas in bulk. To his surprise instead of dying he began to truly live.
Andy Mackie died a few years after the filming of this movie, but his work lives on in the gift of music he gave to tens of thousands of children.
Andie Mackie full story
Andie Mackie Foundation
Joy gasped for breath through a persistent cough. When the cough did not go away she visited her naturopathic doctor. She was advised to get chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. Her doctor called her immediately on seeing the x-ray, “You have a collapsed lung. Go straight to ER.”
Asked not to drive and go with the expectation of spending at least the night in the hospital, she struggled to comprehend what was going on as she entered the ER and waited. For more than 10 years Joy had been practicing yoga and ate only healthy vegetarian food. “This should not be happening to me, I am not a smoker!” She thought.
Soon she was admitted to the hospital and a chest tube was inserted. The attending doctor, a surgeon, confirmed that her lung had collapsed and had been for at least two and a half months. There was a jelly covering it and her trachea had shifted. Next day the doctor informed her that a “black spot” was discovered on her lung.
The doctors were surprised and impressed. “No one walks around with a collapsed lung for two months. You sure know how to breathe!”
She was given three choices: 1. Go home with a mini chest tube, 2. Go home, take some time, and return to have chest tube reinserted, or 3. Have surgery to remove the jelly and hope lung inflates.
She opted for surgery, which was scheduled immediately.
A wonderful story unfolded when a cultured and refined western woman met some of the greatest yogis of recent times. The story starts in Florence, Italy in 1908 when Vanda Scaravelli was born. She was born into an artistic, musical and intellectual family. Her father was involved in creating the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino as well the Orchestra Stabile. Her mother was amongst the first women graduates from an Italian university. Many world-class musicians were frequent visitors at the family villa. Her father was also a successful businessman and the family was well off. Vanda herself trained as a concert pianist and was an accomplished musician.
Her father was a friend of the eminent Indian Philosopher J. Krishnamurti and in 1929 when Vanda was a young woman she met Krishnamurti for the first time. She also happened to attend the meeting when Krishnamurti announced that “Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it through any track, religion, or any sect.” After his speech Krishnamurti dissolved the Order of the Star that the Theosophists had founded in his honor. This had a profound impact on Vanda and she would maintain a lifelong friendship with Krishnamurti. Once a year Krishnamurti visited the family and stayed in the villa outside Florence. Nobody expected him to be a guru and he could think and write in peace.
Vanda Scaravelli was married to a professor of philosophy, Luigi Scaravelli, with whom she had two children. She led a busy active social and cultural life. But in May of 1957 Luigi died suddenly. Shortly afterwards she was introduced to the yoga guru BKS Iyengar by the famous violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin. It was Yehudi Menuhin who “disovered” BKS Iyengar in 1951 and introduced him to the West. BKS Iyengar would go on to become world famous Yoga guru and Vanda had the good fortune to learn yoga from him. At this point practicing of yoga postures as done today was relatively unknown. She was almost 50, suffered from severe scoliosis, and was going through a difficult emotional period due to the death of her husband.
SWAT officer Steve Gordon struggled for over 15 years and then he found meditation. Unable to get good sleep and frequented by suicidal thoughts Steve found his life slowly spiral into a nightmare. Now he is on a mission to help others facing the same problems. “Don’t poison yourself with alcohol or drugs” he says. “Do meditation instead”.
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