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The Spirit Within Live AUDIO Broadcast
A Healing Prayer
for the Victims of the Asian Tsunami  

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A Healing Prayer
1/17/04 Live Broadcast
The Collecting Consort
Anne & Gary Wakenhut

"It was as if the sea ripped up a strip of earth like tape from an open wound."  Words of Vince Isner, , director after his first awareness of Sri Lanka’s recent devastation.  We have created this live broadcast as a prayer to heal this wound.

Play List

Introductory Theme:  
Catoctin Daybreak
(R. Aldridge) (This selection is on the Earth Remembers CD)

Melancholy, Sylvia Fellows (on The Midnight Clear recording)

A Brief Introduction to the History and People of Indonesia G. Wakenhut
       Click here for text and photos or scroll below

Eleanor Plunkett, T. Carolan (on The Celtic Portrait recording)

Excerpts from The Big Wave, P. S. Buck
Music: improv. G. Wakenhut, hammered dulcimer)

So Much More, V. Isner, (read by G. Wakenhut
Music: The Shearing's No for You, Brittish Isles, A. Wakenhut, Celtic harp,   (no recording)
        Click here for text and photos or scroll below

The Little Sawah, written and read by G. Wakenhut
Music: improv. A. Wakenhut, Celtic Harp
        Click here for text and photos or scroll below

The Last Journeyread by G. Wakenhut
Lyrics:  John Bell
Melody:  The Last Journey (Scottish folk melody), vocal: A. Wakenhut (no recording)
          Click here for lyrics and photos

Closing Theme:
Lament (T. Patterson)  (no recording)


 A Brief Introduction to the History and People of Indonesia
(Written by G. Wakenhut)

Many of the people affected by the tsunami live a life much different than you or I.   For example, those living in Indonesia find their lives being determined by the basic elements of the earth.  They exist on islands created by our planet’s innards which have been thrust forward.  In some cases, those island creating volcanoes are still active and present in their day’s concerns. 

The elements and the powers of the world’s great oceans surround them.  The equator encircles their land with the presence of the extreme warmth and humidity and creates the tropical jungles that serve as their home.

For centuries, the water has defined their existence.  Water was the means for traveling between the islands.  In addition, the dense jungle foliage prevented inland travel and the planting of crops.  So water and boats defined travel and required the harvesting of the ocean’s resources for livelihood.  

These islands were within the water path from Europe to China.  So their presence became important transition points as the silk trade developed.  Later, their environments provided a source for spices desired in both the west and the east.  Eventually, the Dutch took control of the trade and the area became known as the Dutch East Indies.  They gained their independence in the mid 1940’s.

Photo: C. Hayslip

Even today, most of the residents find their existence is determined by this environment.  Many work as farmers, harvesting the produce of this land made rich by the volcanoes and the decay caused by the extreme weather.  Others seek the abundance of the sea that surrounds them.  Some claim the richness of the minerals and oil that make up their country.  However, there are still others who have managed to grasp the wealth of Indonesia, and live in a comfortable and safe style similar to that that we have in the west. 

They are an interesting mix of the native population that has joined with migrants who have come from, China, India, and the countries that exist between those two great nations.  They make up a country that is the fourth most populated in the world, and while they are made up of Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians, 80% claim beliefs associated with the Muslim faith.  As a result, there are more Muslims in Indonesia than all of the Middle East countries put together.    

Their country is made up of 17, 506 islands containing 230 million people speaking more than three hundred different languages.  Such a diverse composite becomes difficult for us to comprehend. 

Excerpts from
The Big Wave

Pearl S. Buck
Published by Scolastic Book Services, Scolastic Magazines, Inc. New York, NY

Pearl S. Buck’s story, “The Big Wave”, documents the lives of two pre-adolescent boys, Kino and Jiya, who become close in their sharing.  Kino is the son of a farmer living high on the hill side, while his friend, Jiya belongs to a fishing family with their cottage near their boat on the beach. 

The old wise person of the community senses disaster and tells everyone to move to the hills.  Jiya’s father sends Jiya to the safety of Kino’s home high on the hill, but Jiya’s father and mother remain to protect their home and their boat on the beach.  

The big wave comes and destroys Jiya’s home and his parents are not to be found after the wave recedes.    

After hearing of his parents’ disappearance, Jiya becomes unconscious with his grief.  We join the story as Kino morns the loss of his friend, Jiya’s parents. 

Soon Kino’s mother came with hot rice soup and Kino drank it.  He felt warm now, and he could stop crying. But he was still frightened and sad. 

 “What will we say to Jiya when he wakes?”, he asked his father.

“We will not talk,” his father replied.  “We will give him warm food and let him rest.  We will help him to feel he still has a home”.   

Here? Kino asked.

“Yes,” his father replied.  “I have always wanted another son, and Jiya will be that son.  As soon as he knows that this is his home, then we must help him to understand what has happened”. 

So they waited for Jiya to wake. 

“I don’t think Jiya can every be happy again,” Kino said sorrowfully.   

“Yes, he will be happy someday,” his father said, “for life is always stronger than death.  Jiya will feel when he wakes that he can never be happy again.  He will cry and cry and we must let him cry.  But he cannot always cry.  After a few days, he will stop crying all the time.  He will cry only part of the time.  He will sit sad and quiet.  We must allow him to be sad and we must not make him speak.  But we will do our work and live as always we do.  Then one day he will be hungry, and he will eat something that our mother cooks, something special, and he will begin to feel better.  He will not cry any more in the daytime but only at night.  We must let him cry at night.  But all the time his body will be renewing itself.  His blood flowing in his veins, his growing bones, his mind beginning to think again, will make him live” 

“He cannot and he should not forget his parents,” Kino’s father said.  “Just as he lived with them alive, he will live with them dead.  Someday, he will accept their death as part of his life.  He will weep no more.  He will carry them in his memory and his thoughts.  His flesh and blood are part of them.  So long as he is alive, they, too, will live in him.  The big wave came, but it went away. The sun shines again, birds sing, and the earth flowers.  Look out over the sea now”.

 Kino looked out the open door, and saw the ocean sparkling and smooth.  The sky was blue again, a few clouds on the horizon were the only sing of what had passed—except for the empty beach.   

“How cruel it seems for the sky to be so clear and the ocean so calm!” Kino said.

But his father shook his head.  “No, it is wonderful that after the storm the ocean grows calm, and the sky is blue once more.  It was not the ocean or the sky that made the evil storm.”

“Who made it?  Kino asked.  He let tears roll down his cheeks, because there was so much he could not understand.  But only his father saw them and his father understood. 

“Ah, no one knows who makes evil storms,” his father replied.  “We only know that they come.  When they come we must live through them as bravely as we can, and after they are gone, we must feel again how wonderful is life.  Every day of life is more valuable now than it was before the storm.”

Kino asked still another question.  “Father, are we not very unfortunate people to live here?

Why do you think so?”  his father asked in reply. 

“Because the volcano is behind our house and the ocean is in front, and when they work together for evil, to make the earthquake and the big wave, then we are helpless.  Always many of us are lost”. 

To live in the midst of danger is to know how good life is, “ his father replied.   

“But if we are lost in the danger?” Kino asked anxiously. 

“To live in the presence of death makes us brave and strong,” Kino’s father replied.  “That is why our people never fear death. We see it too often and we do not fear it.  To die a little later or a little sooner does not matter.   But to live bravely, to love life, to see how beautiful the trees are and the mountains, yes, and even the sea, to enjoy work because it produces food for life --in these things we are a fortunate people.  We love life because we live in danger.  We do not fear death because we understand that life and earth are necessary to each other. 

“What is death?” Kino asked.   

“Death is the great gateway,” Kino’s father said.  His face was not at all sad.  Instead, it was quiet and happy.   

“The gateway—where?”  Kino asked again.   

Kino’s father smiled.  “Can you remember when you were born?” 

Kino shook his head.  “I was too small.” 

Kino’s father laughed. “I remember very well.  Oh how hard you thought it was to be born?  You cried and you screamed.” 

Didn’t I want to be born?” Kino asked. This was very interesting to him.  

“You did not,” his father told him smiling.  “You wanted to stay just where you were in the warm, dark house of the unborn.  But the time came to be born, and the gate of life opened.” 

“Did I know it was the gate of life?” Kino asked.   

“You did not know anything about it and so you were afraid of it,” his father replied.  “But see how foolish you were!  Here we were waiting for you, your parents, already loving you and eager to welcome you.  And you have been very happy, haven’t you?” 

“Until the big wave came,” Kino replied.  “Now I am afraid again because of the death that the big wave brought.”   

“You are only afraid because you don’t know anything about death,” his father replied.  “But someday you will wonder why you were afraid, even as today you wonder why you feared to be born”.   

So Much More
Written by Vince Isner

A few months ago, we began receiving emails from an organization calling itself  One of those emails contained a link to a blog created by their director, Vince Isner.  It documented his experience in Sri Lanka last week. 

I was deeply moved by Mr. Isner's words and the pictures he shared to document his experience.  Since we have not checked the legitimacy of this organization, we cannot vouch for its creditability.  However, it would appear that they are coming from an appropriate healing motivation.   

Here are Mr. Isner’s words. You might wish to scroll down the page to find a few of the pictures associated with his words.  This and more entries to his blog along with other pictures are available at:


So Much More

January 11, 2005, Galle, Sri Lanka -- There is so much more than meets the eye –- and I am interested in that so much more.  I once heard TV’s Mister Rogers say that, and those words keep rumbling in my brain as I survey the scene that even the most seasoned journalists have not found words to describe.

By now you have seen the pictures and reports of vast destruction. It is as if the sea ripped up a strip of earth like tape from an open wound. Even after two weeks, ocean breezes push away the smell of death, but not completely. It is a presence that seems impossible to rid from the nostrils.

Yet there is so much more than meets the eye, and today I found it in what used to be a small neighborhood just outside the city of Galle, on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. In this tiny collection of families some 100 yards from the ocean, it is remarkable that anyone survived at all. Yet some did, and are living on top of the rubble that used to be their homes. Tents are pitched on what is left of foundations, ropes tied to chunks of concrete, logs, the stump of a tree. All but the heartiest vegetation has been poisoned by the saltwater. Where there are no strewn bricks, broken walls or roof tiles, there is only dark sandy mud. Scattered in between are broken memories –- a child’s doll, a smashed picture frame, a radio.

This is what met my eye today, but I was about to experience so much more. A smiling woman approached us, inviting us to come in –- welcoming us to her neighborhood. Soon more than a dozen people gathered around to greet us and share their stories of the day the waves came. Shanta, my colleague and travel partner from NCC, translated their stories for me.

“I had gone to the market,” the woman told us, “when we heard there was a wall of water coming. I ran back to get my children, but I could not find them. Then the water took me and twisted me and carried me off. I somehow managed to grab onto a palm tree and held on as hard as I could. Somehow I made it, but I feared my children were lost.”

I knew from the smiles of the children around her that this story had a happy ending. All three were safe, having run ahead of the wave to safety. They were reunited at a nearby Buddhist temple, now a shelter.

Her two-year-old son buried his head in his mother’s shoulder, not because of shyness, but because he feared the ocean. Today was the first time he had been brought within sight of the water. He pleaded with his mother to take him back to the safety of their tent. I asked the other children if they were afraid of the ocean. Everyone, young and old, said yes.

Together we walked down twisted railroad tracks to another part of the neighborhood. An old woman stopped, looked at a pile of rubble, and welled up with tears.

We listened as she told how her neighbors, a family of five, were crushed when the wave demolished their house. It all happened in an instant. Everyone around her fell silent.

We walked over to a fresh grave. More neighbors. Two mounds of earth -- one a father, the other, his four-year-old son. Both bodies had been found a few days ago and buried near the railroad tracks where their home had once stood. Again, everyone fell silent.

Americans are often uncomfortable with silence. We make small talk. We clear our throats. We let out a sigh. Yet these wounded and traumatized neighbors knew what only the best of neighbors know about each other. Silence between loved ones can be the holiest of times. I stood, looking into the eyes of the old woman, the two-year-old still frightened by the sea, the mother still scratched and bruised by her experience.

We stood in silence, and I saw the so-much-more. Neighbors -– good neighbors -– love one another. They nourish each other in life, and they comfort each other in death. They give and receive. They laugh and they cry. They grieve and they rebuild. They help each other remember, and when it is needed, they offer each other the holy ground of silence in which to heal.

I looked at the mounds of earth in front of us. I didn’t know the father and son, but I could sense something about them from their neighbors who honored their lives and mourned their deaths.

These neighbors will get on with living and rebuild, but not without remembering their friend the father and his son, now forever four. I thought of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I was in one.

The words of Vince Isner, director of

The Little Sawah
Written by G. Wakenhut

One of the best ways to comprehend the spiritual essence of a people is to study their folk legends.   We found a helpfully healing page of their past in a story that portrays a sharing and coming together as one. 

It is called “The Little Sawah”.  We adapted our version from the book “Indonesian Legends and Folk Tales” by Adele de Leeuw and published by Thomas Nelson and Sons.  This book is apparently out print at present.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term “sawah”, it is a wet rice field. 

He had been a very wise man, and through the years, had accumulated some of the richest land around the village, but after he died, his widow did not realize that in order to continue receiving wealth from the land, she would also have to reinvest in the land.  Instead, her fear of loss (which had grown stronger after her husband’s death), caused her to clutch important things even tighter.  

Where her husband had been quite generous with the sawah spirits and the village spirits, she gave only a token gesture.   The fact that she had never been given children probably added to this inner orientation.  Missing this important maternal experience, the widow had never been required to place anyone before herself in significance.   

Since her husband’s death, she had relied on a small boy by the name of Dongso to care for her sawah.  To her, he was no more than the boy who planted, cultivated and harvested her rice.  

This year’s harvest looked very good.  But she was still deeply frightened by the unknown of her crop.  The stalks were tall and appeared fruitful.  Their golden ears promised a good return.  But when it came time to harvest the rice, these healthy plants became limp with the sun, and when opened by Dongso, their seed ear contained few if any kernels. 

Of course, this caused the widow to become even more frightened and stingy, and she provided even less for the spirits.  So, the second year produced an even poorer harvest.  Then she overheard her neighbors talking about her misfortune and how young Dongso might have been a bad spirit sent by Allah to punish her for her unwillingness to give.   

Comprehending only the “bad spirit” portion of her neighbor’s message, she sent Dongso on his way.  Of course, with a reputation as bad spirit, no one within the village would employ or care for the young boy, and word of his bad influence soon spread to other villages.   

Dongso wandered for many miles from one house to another asking for assistance.  He finally reached the home of an old woman.  Weak from hunger, he managed a very feeble and desperate knock on her door. “Please old woman, I am afraid for my life.  I am starving.  Can you share with me, a handful of rice?” 

The old woman invited him in, and generously shared her meager rations with him.   

After she had filled his hunger needs with her gift of food, she turned to Dongso with a question.  “Young boy, you are such a strong child.  Why do you choose to beg rather than work to fulfill your needs?”.   

With a deeply emotional response, Dongso told her of the misfortune that had befallen him with the widow.   

“I did my best for the widow.  I worked hard.  I tended her sawah well.  It was not my fault that she was unwilling to give to the spirits. The old woman agreed. 

 “Dongso, my name is Randa Derma.  I only have a small sawah, and I have no buffalo with which to plow, but you may stay with me, and I will share one fifth of our next harvest with you … if you, Dongso, will tend for my rice.” 

Dongso replied, “The size of your field does not matter.”, and with a voice showing gratitude, he concluded, “I will certainly do my best for you.” 

And early the next morning, taking only a spade, he quickly opened the earth with the effectiveness one would expect from a team of buffalo.  Then when sowing time occurred, he shared his skills, knowledge and willingness as he invested in the future of the Randa Derma’s sawah.  

After nurturing the plants during the growing season, he felt his desires were coming true.  The stalks of the rice plants were pleasingly tall and true, and the seed ears created a beautiful shade of golden yellow to indicate their ripeness.   

But when he opened an ear to receive pleasure from its contents, deep fears from his past returned.  The ears were again empty.  His mind quickly flashed to the possibility that Randa Derma had also not paid homage to the spirits, or “Am I, Dongso, the one who brings bad luck to this field?” 

He was totally unable to show his failure to Randa Derma.  Sleep would not occur as he fretfully turned from side to side. Thinking about how unhappy she would be, he planned his leaving.  Very early before the sun would rise, he would sneak away from the village.  He would return to begging until he was able to find work.  

And so, like a small frightened animal, Dongso escaped from the cottage before the sun could light his way.  But as he started down the path away from the village, he found himself drawn to return to the little sawah where he had labored so long and hard for Randa Derma.  With tears of great sadness, he walked between the beautifully tall stalks with their empty ears.   

Without thinking, Dongso idly plucked an and opened its husk.  As he knew, there were no rice grains within its chamber.   

Suddenly, with utter amazement, his mouth dropped in disbelief.  There were no grains of rice, but in their place were two grains of glittering gold, radiating like the rising sun.   

Dongso was sure this couldn’t be.  Maybe in one ear, but surely not more than one.   

With great trepidation, he picked another, and then another, and even another, but each ear contained those wonderful gifts of brilliant gold.   

He quickly ran back to the cottage, and woke the woman.  “Randa Derma, today we are going to have a wonderful harvest feast”.  But she responded with a saddened look coming from her wrinkled face. 

No, Dongso, I am sad to say we are unable to have a great feast.  All we will share is a simple meal.  I gave the last of my savings to the spirits of the village and the sawah in order that they might bless our harvest. 

“But they have!, cried Dongso in his excitement.  “Wait until you see how they have given to us”, and in his excitement, he began dragging the old woman toward the sawah and the secret of his wonderful discovery.   

He broke off an ear and instructed her to open it to reveal its contents, which she did.  Her mouth dropped, and with the joy of her happiness, beautiful tears flowed from within her compassionate eyes, and down the warmth of her beautifully giving cheeks.   

But Randa Derma, with the wisdom of her years, quickly composed herself.  “Now Allah be praised.” as she dropped to her knees and lowered her head.  “He has given more than a hundred great sawahs could produce.  Allah be praised!” 

As she had promised, she gladly gave Dongso one fifth of her new fortune.  Being a rich person, Dongso could now purchase as many sawahs as he desired and the buffalo to work them.   

But the young boy bought neither land nor buffalo.  Instead, he remained with the old Randa Derma to care for the spreading sawahs that she purchased with her new wealth.  And there were others that came to help with the tilling, planting and harvesting, and Dongso did with each of these new workers what Randa Derma had done for him.  He, in turn, gave them one fifth of the produce from the sawahs in which they worked.   

And so it has been ever since.  One fifth of the harvest is divided amongst the workers, and it has been said that there has never been want or poverty within that community.  The people of Derma have existed peacefully and comfortably for all these years.   

Yes, the village became known as Derma, after the poor old woman who had given a future to the little boy, Dongso. 

 Today, the Javanese do not believe that the fruitfulness of the land around Derma comes from its soil.  Instead, they believe that its good fortune grows from the lovely little temple that Dongso built in memory of Randa Derma the old woman who took him in.  After she died, he chose the very spot of that first little sawah to create his memorial temple to her memory.    

The Last Journey

Our recent spiritual pilgrimage to Scotland terminated at the Isle of Iona, one of the Hebrides Islands off Scotland’s west coast.  The ancient Celts who first inhabited this land, found value in what they described as “Thin Places”. 

Photo: Sr. Julia Mohr

 These were environmental areas where it was easy to become one with the spiritual world.  Iona was considered to be such a thin place, and it has served as a spiritual haven down through Scotland’s history.  For centuries, the Scots, after the death of their royalty, placed the bodies of their kings and queens in boats and made the long sea journey to the Isle of Iona for the burial. 

The music describes that long journey is entitled, “The Iona Boat song”.  John Bell (a contemporary composer, arranger and lyricist who has done much to document the spiritual importance of Iona) has added his lyrics to this melody to create...

The Last Journey
John Bell
Common Ground, A Song Book for all the Churches
Published St. Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland

From the falter of breath,
through the silence of death,
to the wonder that's breaking beyond;
God has woven a day,
for all those whom heaven is fond.

From frustration and pain,
through hope hard to sustain,
to the wholeness here promised, there known;
Christ has gone where we fear"
and has vowed to be near
on the journey we make on our own

From the dimming of light
through the darkness of night,
to the glory of goodness above:
God the Spirit is sent
to ensure heaven's intent
is embraced and completed in love.

From today till we die,
through all questioning why,
to the place from which time and tide flow;
angels tread on our dreams
and magnificent themes
of heaven's promise are echoed below

Many of the images shown above were reduced in size to help this page load faster. 

V. Isner's (director of original photos (plus others) can be found at
Craig Hayslip's original photos (plus others) can be found at

Original material on this page and the associated audio broadcast are copy written.  Permission is granted to use any of our original material provided it is for non-profit use, you inform us of your application, and credit is given to the Collecting Consort with the following statement and link..

This material has been created by Anne and Gary Wakenhut, the Collecting Consort, 888-227-8679, 7363 W. Edgar Rd., Lakeview, MI 48850.  Information about other creative work including their gently healing music CDs can be found at

It is suggested that the creators of materials not originated by the Collecting Consort be contacted for permission before use.  

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