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Holistic Health Filmmaker Overcomes Himalayan Difficulties to Bring Rare Yogi Interview to Those Seeking Yoga 'High'
Pickering, Canada. November 14, 2007 -- Two landslides on a road in the Indian Himalayas tested holistic health filmmaker Victor Demko's resolve to get an interview with Yoga Master Swami Sundaranand. Demko encountered this challenge while traveling from Rishikesh to Gangotri, the site of the historic head water of the GangesRiver and longtime home of the 79`year`old Swami Sundaranand, one of the last hardcore Himalayan yogis.
Mr. Demko founding director of www.thecenterforhealingarts.com undertook the trip to ask "Swami-ji" to be the first guest of his new virtual healing arts center. The center provides an intimate in-depth encounter with a carefully selected healing arts practitioner on DVD to members every other month.
"So many people have`time`and financial restrictions but really would like to spend`time`with some of these great meditative/healing beings so my thought was to seek them out and make them available to people in their own homes". Says Mr. Demko.
"When we came up to the first landslide, the road had slid 800 feet down the mountain and a very thin dirt ledge was being cleared to pass on -- we were one of the first cars to risk driving on it. The second land slide closed the road between Uttrakashi and Gangotri for three days and my heart momentarily sank with the thought of not being able to get through. We went ahead anyways and when we arrived at the landslide, a heavy duty army bulldozer was working on clearing rocks and carving a ledge road into the side of the mountain. A whole bunch of people had been waiting to run across the piled debris for a long`time`and when the machine took a break we gingerly climbed across the loose landslide rocks with about a 1200 foot drop off below us."
"There was a bit of pandemonium as people tried to get a ride for the rest of the trip and no one was speaking English. With all that camera equipment equaling over 30 years wages for the average person in that area, packed in our knapsacks, we were a little nervous being stuck in such a remote spot, as we left the safety and protection of our car and driver behind and hoped we'd be able to get a ride on the other side of the slide. We were blessed that someone helped us for a moment and we were lucky enough to get the only jeep there to take us on the rest of the trip.
"Once in Gangotri, we were able to determine quite soon where Swami-ji lived. He's been there since 1948. At that`time`only he, his teacher, and one other Yogi lived there and for 25 years Swami-ji lived in a cave. We knocked on the gate of his modest property with the roaring Ganges just steps away and were received with total graciousness. He really invited us into his life of mediation and spiritual practices. He's extremely knowledgeable about Yoga, good health, and overall well being, as well as being an accomplished photographer of the natural beauty of the Himalayas" says Mr. Demko. "There's such depth and simplicity in his manner that viewers can benefit from. We left Gangotri enriched by our encounter with Swami'ji as well as having his blessing for both the center and to all those that see the film."
"It was worth the difficulties. The difficulties have turned into a sweet perfume that is the first in-depth encounter with a great healing arts practitioner on film for the center's series. I'll always be deeply grateful to Swami-ji for his blessings."
The Center for Healing Arts is a world wide community of healing arts practitioners and those interested in healing and wellness. Members receive six DVD sessions a year, one every two months, that features a personalized, in-depth encounter with an adept practitioner of the healing arts. Guest practitioners are carefully selected for their experience, knowledge, spiritual and heart qualities, and for representing a particular tradition in the vast range of traditions the DVD sessions series will explore. Each is recorded as if speaking to an intimate friend. The focus is on presence rather than on commercialism. Each DVD can stand alone as an independent session or film. Taken together, however, the films will form a voyage of discovery, exploring the many types of healing used across the earth.