OCEAN IN A TEACUP: Neil Selden, Therapist, Meditation Teacher – and Playright

     Neil Selden, who has worked as a therapist/counselor for over fifty and been at IPG for over twenty, is an inspiration to his clients and many of the staff.  As a young man he traveled to India and became the disciple of an Indian holy man called “Thakur.”  When Neil returned to the U.S. and became a therapist, he brought his spiritual outlook and practice into his therapy decades before ‘mindfulness meditation’ was a buzzword in the world of mental health.

But Neil is also an author and playright, and one of his plays, a musical called “Ocean in a Teacup” is derived from his days as Thakur’s devotee.  The play has already been produced in New York to enthusiastic reviews, and Neil and others are trying to raise money to turn it into a Hollywood/Bollywood film.     Here is what Neil says about Thakur and the play:

When people began calling him Thakur (pronounced ‘Tockoor’), or Master, he said he preferred two other possible meanings of the word: knocker (someone who knocks at your complexes) or cook (someone who creates the food that will nurture and heal and fulfill).  Born Anukul Chandra Chakravorty  at the end of the Nineteenth Century, Thakur  left his body in 1969. Today, in India, there are close to four million people who follow his teachings, and a number of different groups in the USA.

About the play, “Ocean in a Teacup”:

 Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, visits to India, and the unpublished autobiography of Ray Hauserman, I wrote the book and lyrics for this musical drama that follows two combat ambulance drivers in World War II through years of drama, romance, comedy and spiritual discoveries with a Hindu doctor serving the poor and homeless in India, never turning anyone away, never kicking anyone out.

The story of the Hindu doctor’s life and work unfolds in flashbacks as the two ambulance drivers are back in the USA, remembering dramatic, funny and romantic moments of the doctor’s life and teachings. One of the Americans drives a cab in Manhattan, supporting a residential setting in which he helps transform the lives of young drug abusers, the other has chosen to live without money or home, as a way of fulfilling the teachings of Jesus he learned from the doctor/teacher known as Thakur.

            Ocean In A Teacup captivated audiences in an Off-Broadway showcase, and later in concert readings at the Mint Theatre in Manhattan, then at the Producer’s Club, each time spurring the authors to reshape and further vitalize the story, music and lyrics.  Here are the lyrics to one of the songs, “Born to Be Beautiful.”

BORN TO BE BEAUTIFUL

WE ARE, BORN TO HEAL

THE HURT IN EVERY HEART,

BORN TO SEE GOD’S FINGER

WRITING ON THE STONES,

BORN TO FEEL THE LAUGHTER

OF JESUS IN YOUR BONES,

BORN TO WALK IN FAITH

WITH ABRAHAM,

BORN TO BE BEAUTIFUL WE ARE,

WE ARE BORN

 

COUNTLESS GENERATIONS

REACHING TOWARD

THE SOURCE OF LIFE

ALL COME TOGETHER

IN JUST ONE MOMENT,

STRIVING FOR PERFECTION

YOU’LL SEE THE TRUTH

IN ALL YOU SEE,

ALL COME TOGETHER

IN JUST ONE MOMENT.

OHHHH– AND YOU’RE BORN

TO BE BEAUTIFUL,

YOU’RE A DIAMOND IN THE SUN

AND YOUR LIFE HAS JUST BEGUN

YOU MAY BECOME WHATEVER,

BUT THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO BE

MAKE IT ALL COME TOGETHER

IN JUST ONE MOMENT

IF YOU CAN SURRENDER

YOU’LL SEE THE TRUTH

IN ALL YOU SEE,

MAKE IT ALL COME TOGETHER

IN JUST ONE MOMENT

 

OHHHH– AND YOU’RE BORN

TO BE BEAUTIFUL

YOU’RE A DIAMOND IN THE SUN

TOUCH THE HEART OF EVERYONE,

LOVE LIVES TODAY AND FOREVER,

FOR WE ARE BORN!

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