Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion
to reach for the stars to change the world.”
Anca Gliga is a 23 year old MA student in Community Development & Advertising, the President of a local NGO, ski instructor, volunteer and avid reader. But most of all Anca Gliga is a full time dreamer! She is the salt and pepper in a strawberry ice cream. It doesn't make sense, but let’s for a moment open our minds and not constrain ourselves to the boundaries of sensibility. Our minds are just like parachutes, they only work when they are open.
Anca Gliga in a peaceful moment at the first Peace Revolution European Fellowship
Hidden Path - Ariyamagga
(Photo courtesy of Andrei Balint)
We first met Anca during the Peace Revolution June 2011 Youth Fellowship on an island in the south of Thailand. Since then she has returned to Romania and has been an active youth leader as President of AEGEE Cluj, Romania, and a Peace Agent for Peace Revolution. Recently we caught up with her again, and asked her some questions about life back home, peace, passion and meditation.
PR: Anca, what is your passion?
My biggest happiness is when I feel I am doing something useful - for myself, for my parents, for friends, for the world. I want to make a difference and not waste time on superficial things. I am always on the move and that keeps me happy. I am inspired most by the beautiful people around me, by their words, their beauty, their ambitions, their smiles. I love books and all the secrets they reveal. I find inspiration in nature, in sports, in skiing in particular. Inspiration comes from beauty, in any shape or color it is revealed to us!
PR: How did you join Peace Revolution, and how did it benefit you?
If you get in contact with Peace Revolution - most of the time it happens by chance - it's a sign that you are ready for change! Peace Revolution was for me, without a shadow of a doubt, the perfect thing at the perfect time. As Luang Phi Somsak would say, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." I now know that I was ready, when I found out about Peace Revolution, to experience inner peace and a much deeper knowledge. The self-development program was a challenge and a gift for me. It was the best thing I could offer myself, and it was worth the challenge - I had never experienced meditation before, so it was beautiful to spend more time with myself, to "do nothing, think of nothing", to experience inner peace and, above everything, to listen to myself ... in silence. It was great because I felt I was doing something valuable for me, from a spiritual perspective.
The great thing about it was that I started with no expectations. I just wanted to see what it was like. Curiosity is a great gift, isn't it? Having no patterns or expectations beforehand made this experience so awe-inspiring. All I wanted was to be true to myself, and if this experience turned out to be helpful for me, I was determined not to fall in the trap of "I'm busy today, I have no time for meditation." Also, I was impressed by all the work that lies behind the website, the Peace Coaches were so involved and active, and this lead to a great respect towards the program.
Your mind is like this water my friend,
when it gets agitated it becomes difficult to see.
But if you allow it to settle the answer becomes clear.
Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda
PR: How would you explain meditation, what is it to you?
Meditation reconnects us with how we truly are. Without it, or without any spiritual guidance whatsoever, we are like boats sailing adrift, with no direction. How can we reach a destination if we don't know where we are going?
Anca meditating at the "Global Peace on the Move V"
Meditation starts with closing your eyes and disconnecting from the world for a while. The question that most people ask in the beginning is - I feel like I am going nowhere, should I feel something, how do I know I am doing it right? You don't. You just go with it. It's like the house that you are building, remember? You cannot see the foundation, because it is still underground. But when the walls of the house will appear, and later on the roof, the doors, the flowers at the windows, etc… You will know. You will know it was all worth it.
PR: Have you ever experienced a very big obstacle in your life, and how did that experience influence you and your search for your true self?
Yes, I have had some challenges - don't we all? I have gone
through different experiences, some very beautiful, others very painful. But I
am grateful for that, as they made me who I am today. They helped me grow.
Each problem has a meaning and it has brought me closer to an understanding of life and of who I am. What matters most, when facing a problem - is your attitude. It's very important to forget about complaining and to try to figure out the lesson in it. It's a time to be proactive and to generate change. After discovering meditation, I have realized that we have all answers to our problems - if only we give ourselves some time to listen to the silence inside.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They some how already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”
- Steve Jobs
PR: It sounds like you had an incredible experience, what happened when you returned home after the June 2011 Fellowship?
After the Youth Fellowship in June, as I came home, I found myself confused. After you see that the life that you've always seen as the right one - and which most people see as an idealistic one, impossible to be accomplished day by day - is actually possible, and there, in Thailand, are people who follow it and prove it works everyday… it becomes difficult to find your place "in the real world."
However, it is possible, and that's where all the positive changes can be noted - being more positive, realizing how absurd the reasons we get upset and stressed on a daily basis are, realizing how beautiful life is when we let go of judgment. When I returned home I discovered that I had changed, and with that realization came the understanding that I still have a long way to go. However, the important thing is that it has been confirmation to me - having a beautiful and simple life is possible. I have found the way to reach that life that I want, and I am happily walking it, every day.
(Picture to the right: Anca meditating at the first European fellowship - Hidden Path: Ariyamagga)
PR: One of the things you did when you returned is organize an online meditation, which is a live guided meditation with peace revolution via Skype video call. What inspired you to do it? And what effect did it have on those around you?
Right after coming back from Thailand, I was a participant at this Leadership Summer School, with participants from all over Europe. There was a LSS Inspire session, a sort of TEDx Event, where any participant or trainer could make an inspiring speech. I felt very empowered at the time, as well as very confused, as I just returned from Thailand. And everyone was talking about how to develop certain skills, trainings, so on. I was wondering - we train and work on all kind of skills, from public speaking, coaching, to Photoshop, cooking, etc. It is much like building a house and making it pretty, but before we do that, don't we need a solid foundation? Don't we all need to realize who we are, where we come from and why we are here? And because of that reason people need to know about Peace Revolution.
An online meditation session with young participants in Romania
organized by Peace Agent Anca
This is how I approached my speech for the LSS Inspire session, which was successful and raised lots of questions. The day after I organized the online meditation so that a monk could answer all the questions that came up. At first we meditated using the guided meditation video from the Peace Revolution website, and afterwards the live meditation guide through Skype video call.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more,
do more and become more,
you are a leader”
John Q Adams
PR: You mentioned before one of your passions is volunteering, and we were very lucky to have you volunteer as a “peace comrade” (mentor) for the Peace Revolution European Youth Fellowship in October in Belgium this year. What was it like? How did it compare to being a participant in the June fellowship?
It was beautiful, as I found myself giving similar advice to the advice I had received in Thailand. - the meditation is perfect the way it is, let go of expectations, lots of encouraging - and this time it was myself giving this to other people, and it made a lot of sense to realize why it is important that Peace Coaches/Comrades say the things they say.
(Picture to the left: Anca volunteering as a Peace Comrade at the first European fellowship - Hidden Path: Ariyamagga)
PR: Would you like to leave any messages for Peace Rebels and potential Peace Agents for the next Global Peace on the Move?
All aboard, get ready for the ride of your lives! :)