The Walk that will change your life

vivecamino v1Source:


It starts around 5am, hearing the silent crickets wake up, around the same time as the rooster…..

Fresh smells of eucalyptus, fresh mint, wild berries, apples, kiwis…..

Dawn has yet to be broken, and already one by one, old and young, people have started their walk, a pilgrim’s walk, with a sea shell hanging off their light or heavy backpacks, armed with a walking stick or none, they are off on a journey ….

A few days in, and I have already thought how much the El Camino is symbolic for so many reasons, for those that are Christians, for those whom want to take time out, for those that want to get fit and those that are just curious.

Starting at Lugo with a group of enthusiasts, working with refugees, in marketing, technology, sports, a mixture of cultures, languages and perspectives but all with a same vision.

It reminded me of the Hero’s journey, introduced to me back at Singularity University.   A cycle of normality, then a crisis and triumpant.  I wondered what brought each and everyone of us here.

We are greeted with ‘Bon Camino’ by strangers, locals, cyclists and even children.  Some offered water, fruit and conversation along the way.

I am walking the Camino to seek clarity and clearing.  Every morning, we set an intention of what we hope to achieve.  The intention aims to motivate that journey of going across hills, highways, footpaths and mountains…….

Each step I take I think of words like, ‘peace’, ‘love’, ‘strength’, ‘power’, ‘hope’, ‘thank you’….and in the guidebooks that I have scanned through many refer to a time for reflection and conversations for a higher power.

With limited internet access if any, the journey is a special one.

I have been part watching ‘El Camino The Way‘, a story of a man whose son passes away on the journey of the El Camino.

As he decides to take the journey, which his son did not manage to take, he discovers the world and changes in his one way.   There are moments where he is challenged by others, struggles with natures and fights for what he believes in, one can see the symbolism in the backpack that we carry.

A friend of mine suggested, ‘travel light and carry little’.  Like life, how often do we burden ourselves with carrying too much stuff, unnecessary stuff – things of the past, our worries, past mistakes, other people’s problem, in life and in work and how by walking the El Camino, we are taught in a very physical way, ‘Are you going to carry that?’  ‘For how long?’  1000km?  2000km?  500km? 40km? 10km?

When we think of our journey of life, what have we held to – things, thoughts, beliefs that no longer serve us?

Do we not feel the weight?

A quick search on the El Camino and you will see all these videos and websites on how to travel light.  Everyone is encouraged to carry the minimal and to take your own pace.

I find the backpack of all our possessions for this journey very meaningful.  In the same way, we are not what we possess, neither it is what we wear on us, our qualifications, or accolades, but it is the present moment when we sit around a table full of strangers, friends and fellow pilgrams.


When we offer water to those that have run out, food for those that are hungry, and conversation to pass time, this is a journey travelled by many.

The incredible thing about the El Camino is that some would say it has shaped the landscape of Europe, from Northern Europe to the North West of Spain, or from Hungary to West; there is the Portugal routes, or routes from France and a way of recognition we take stops at cafes, Auberges and stop for a stamp.

Some take their bicycles and some may even travel by horse to the El Camino.

The landscape is breath taking, parts of Spain I never knew of and how some start so young, and others 90+ can really inspire you.

Everyone has a story on the El Camino.

Some say that miracles happen on the El Camino.

Do you believe in miracles?

It doesn’t matter.

I have heard so many amazing phrases:

‘It’s about stepping through the shit’

‘Take your time, this is not a race’

‘Believe in power and peace’

‘Speak to your higher power’

‘Reflect on your relationship with God’

‘The test is to continue walking despite the pain’

Every step is a gift.  I don’t think of the pain, each pebble is part of the journey.

I went through thinking my emotions, experiencing many many feelings to then focusing on my breathe – making me think how it’s really the smaller things that matter, the details.

How life we are walking a path, with many roads to cross, we turn left, right, up a hill, down a valley, after a while, at each junction we need to make a decision.

How do we make that decision?

Fortunately, we are led by the shell symbol.  However, it gets me thinking of how in the past, people may have really had to make a decision of where to go – no compass, no mobile, zilch.

The pain the muscle for me is like training.

Training to overcome the challenges we face, training to walk through it all.


It is also to appreciate the beauty of living, love of life and celebrating every moment that we have on earth.

After a series of days of walking, meditation and yoga with talented, bright and hardworking individuals – I am impressed and equally amazed at the strength of the indiviuals working with youth, refugees, disabilities and societal problems.

On the second last day I held a short Metta meditation which I knew impacted my life and a good friend of mine.

The four main lessons I learnt from the El Camino:


  1.  Walk through it – what ever life throws at you;
  2.  It is all a gift – the pain and suffering in life, the unexpected illness, the tragedy or surprise – there is a silver lining to it all, the beauty is the processing and finding the gift in it;
  3. Love and passion – to all those around you, but most importantly to one self;
  4. Follow the way – the path is a divine one, from young kids to elderly up to their 90s all walk the path.  Follow it with your heart.





Walking the El Camino




















Thank your body – breathing

thankyou bodySource:


Thank you for being present,

Thank you for breathing;

Thank you for being there,

Thank you for being you.


When you struggle, I see it,

When you fail to hear, I understand;

When you fall, I feel your pain,

When you are in need, I reach out.


Each breathe you take, you do it for us,

Each time you think of oneness, you think of the Universe;

By breathing in you are clearing the path,

To the chaos, clutter and unnecessary waste.


There is nothing more precious on this earth than you,

Nothing more valuable than this breath of life;

Inhaling oxygen, generating calmness, releasing tension,

The world around you, the world in you – all starts with that one breath.


Concentrating your mind on what matters,

Bringing your mind back to your core;

Appreciating the inner struggle,

Understanding there is nothing resisting but you.


Letting go of your past woes,

Letting go of your insecurities and fears;

Letting go of that Ego,

That voice that no longer serves you.


Thank you for this journey,

Thank you for this pain;

Embracing it with love and compassion,

Your enemy, your friend, your foe, your present moment.


Awareness to our conscious mind,

Breathing with kindness, gentleness and humanity;

Being mindful of others,

Calming others as much as ourselves.


Learning to appreciate, the simplier things in life,

Loving the release in tension;

Living, knowing, trusting this present moment.






Mars Futurism 2068

mars futurismsource: NASA /Victor Tangermann


The heat pulsates through her leg,

Rushing leaves dry up as the illusion of water abounds;

time, do I have any time left,

she senses the rays and clashing lights.


Counting, slowly she takes a step back from the lenses,

re-adjusting she looks again;

of crackling fires, mystical beams and balls of coal,

burning bright red against the cool shade.


Humanity of a different kind live there,

they have adapted, applied themselves to the evolution of outerspace;

once fears of radiation and burning, is a thing of the past,

with the power of imminent technologies and natural healing medicines – there is nothing to fear.


They speak a new language, one created once living on the Moon,

years on language and culture has evolved;

even friendships created with other planets,

now there is an ecosystem of planets.


Still in the lab, looking through what appears to be a screen shot,

save that it is what feels like light years away;

They are circling at different times, like jumping different hoops on odd counts,

the family has now expanded -one planet each.


Life on earth exposed us to many different languages and cultures,

this has given us great preparation for what was to come;

evolution has not stopped, only changing with the geography, time and place,

returning home is a massive journey.


New species, new plants, kinds and varieties,

sparking new ideas and blowing the minds of former scientists;

we have odd names to call futurists because they really are teachers,

what they saw, happened, what they believe is real.


The people of Mars are no different from Earth,

save that they are what we knew of in Sci-Fi movies, more sophistocated,

intelligent and changeable.

Their bodies adapt to the environment, in the same way that air can be liquid, as liquid air,

We are no longer shocked or surprised, yet fascinated by their abilities;

We once called them superpowers, however, this is just the norm.


For the Mars people in 2068.


by Helen Tung

August 2018




Overview Effect

overview effect v1Source: Science Direct -Earth Rise


She took a breath of air,

This ….is…just….beautiful……..;

holding onto that breath, she could feel tears rolling down her cheeks,

so beautiful, so peaceful, so moving….


She could not focus on anything else, but that one blue dot,

hanging in there, against the forces, struggling…..

amongst the horizon, how pretty, unprepared, ahhhh what a beautiful shot,

turning, head and tails, floating, ohhhhhh…..


Where am I now?


At the centre of it, she could feel her heart move,

The way it jumps when something connects;

a shift in consciousness.


Listening to answers, to questions racing in her mind,

what is that?

Why now?

Why did I not sense this before?

This power…..


Time frozen, time stolen, beating of the drums……Apollo 8……

Images repeated flash before her eyes,

circling the Moon;

showing the Earth, hanging in space… profound.


Shocking philosophers, shifting our focus, looking at ourselves,

a new kind of self awareness;

We never expected this,

perhaps the greatest reason for going to the Moon….


Rediscovering, reconnecting, a quartet starts….

such overwhelming sense of getting here,

fire, fire, engines cutting off, floating off the seat;

looking down coast of Africa and realising – We are in Space – says Hoffman.


How beautiful it really is, says Scott,

Doing what we always wanted -Kimborough;

Looking down on earth, separating day and night – Garan,

Watching earth coming alive……


A spectacular firework show, dancing curtains of auroras,

The colours, beauty, motion….

Mitchell – starting home, looking out the window, responsibilities….

Moon, Earth, Sun…360….astronomy….cosmology….molecules in our bodies prototyped by generation stars….as stardust….


Reflective, thinking ….awe…..

How do we describe this planet?

Transcend the sense of separation,

At a deeper level understanding the beautiful interconnectedness.


Earth gazing, for hours and hours,

the biosphere, asthetic impact, the beauty of earth….

a wonderful experience – The Overview Effect,

flying across the sky.


Looking down at planet, we always have an overview,

one system, one world, unity and co-herence;

seeing the sun in a black sky, from the cosmic perspective,

from the beginning of evolution, understanding life in space….


Spaceship earth, already in space,

a sudden recognition and all the implications of life on earth;

amazing, fragile, blue skies….

a thin line, barely hugging surface of planet….


Striking, sobering, a paperthin layer,

the only thing protecting it from harshness of space;

no boundaries from space – though not true,

of human impact.


Erosion, pollution, degradation from space,

what was this experience all about?

Turning to humanity for sight,

ancient literature – see them with their lives…..


Unity, oneness – a precise experience,

nothing new, but important to our formation;

great traditions, wisdoms – recognises this,



The self and world are not separated, but one,

Species as a whole is a manifestation of a greater whole;

A contemplative way of living,

More in tune of the natural world.


Such a shift, like meditation,

interpreting this differently;

science, religion – all wonderful, all it takes to build a civilisation,

Earth from space perspective a true symbol.


Communicating this idea, one species, one destiny –

If we wish to survive,

If earth becames sick, we all become sick;

what are the roots of the problem.


A basic world view that is at stake,

a new story, a new way to shift our behaviors;

leading to a sustainable civilisation,

fragile planet, who will look after you if we don’t?


Our one ecosystem – earth, left affects right, East affects West,

We are responsible for ourselves;

if we endanger ourselves, we burn ourselves,

How do we stop self destruction?


For a common goal, how can we work towards it,

with our connection to Earth;

how can we come back and not change?

Collectively a shared memory, the way Earth looks.


Blessed to see,

A beautiful oasis of nothingness, in the milky way and infinity;

an enormous Universe, moving, shifting – to see with our eyes,

The sun takes care of us, we need to take care of it too.


Appreciating life,

Appreciating Earth,

Appreciating Universe.


by Helen Tung

Inspired by Prof. William R Kramer‘s talk

and The Overview Effect film by Planetary Collective

3 August 2018




dreams v1source: EOspirituality



Coming here is about dreaming,

Coming here is believing;

Coming here is about meeting your greatest fears and living through it,

When was the last time I felt this?


They promised little, there were no expectations,

it was all a trial, a test of how we would be;

I felt like I was flying through the mountains,

climbing the highest peaks, only to realise…


The only point of failure, or thing stopping me was….myself,

My mind telling me can or can I not achieve this;

Will or will I not make it,

There were noises from above and below…but….

What really mattered was my will.


Some of us wake up in seconds, others in minutes,

It has taken years to get to this point, where minds meet;

They expected nothing,

They just wanted us to be free.


Free of the chains we put ourselves in,

Free of the burdens that society imposes on us,

Free from the criticial minds of others,

Where is the love?


We are born free from day one,

We have everything the world ever wanted;

We are perfect as we are,

There is nothing missing, including all the imperfections.


How we reflect our innerselves and how is that projected outwards?

If we take a step back and appreciate how beautiful the Universe is,

This mindset, this way of thinking and being, puts us to the test;

of honesty, responsibility and courage.


We seek inner truths,

Inner beauty;

And that is always there,

Our own life force, our very being.



by Helen Tung

Thank you ISU SSP18 especially Humanities Department for giving me perspective in the search of meaning to our Universe and life






Mars Dust Storm – June 26, 2001

Mars Dust Storm- June 26, 2001



They were sitting at the table considering the consequences of their actions,

This is an excellent area for solar production said A,

How about moving it along the mining operation said B,

C paused to think about the dust creation.


Here on the Moon?  No, Mars.

How about suspending it?

What if we are constantly mining?

What about biological contamination?

What process should we have?

An environmental assessment?

What about broad data dissemination?


What is useful?

Participation process?

Would it be a useful assessment?

What about building a library?

To learn from that, to do a better job, commercially and for the environment.


What about preact conditions?

What’s there before we start digging?

For the benefit of a future researcher?


Why can’t we skip that?

Do we want to repeat the mistakes of our history?

Will we make better choices?

Can we make better choices?


How do we take responsibility for our actions?

How can we understanding the responsibility for our dreams?


Let’s think before we act.

Let’s consider the consequences of our actions as we dream.


Unless we consider the responsibilities that accompany our dreams, we will later regret the opportunities lost – William R Kramer



By Helen Tung

In celebration of UNISPACE50+

Inspiration from talk by William R Kramer and Jim Dator

As part of ‘Deep Space and Life’s Energy’ Project, Humanities, ISU SSP18


1 August 2018

Mars image:

[Distance from the Sun] The semi-major axis of Mars’ orbit about the sun is 1.52 Astronomical Units (A.U.) or 142 million miles (228 million km).

Instrument: HST>WFPC2

Exposure dates: June 26, 2001

Filters: F410M (410 nm ), F502N (502 nm), F588N (588 nm), F631N (631 nm), F673N (673 nm), and F1042N (1042 nm)

Image credit:  NASA, ESA, The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Publication date: 2005-11-03 09:00 EST






The Cartwheel Galaxy

Cartwheel galaxy v1source: The Cartwheel Galaxy: A Starry Ring World Born in a Head-On Collision


He is hibernating in the cold,

putting on his coat, and drawing on long socks, he is ready to face the night;

donning a cap and silk navy scarf, he exits the first door,

circling down the steps, each footstep sending the dust across and echoing down the scales, the rats scurry aside.


Stretching his arms, he reaches for the next door,

They had a tape on him since yesterday;

It was such a light touch that he hardly notices, yet he knows the have a record on him,

Something he never planned would happen.


They are interested in him – his muscles, bones and silk,

For some reason he felt this was going to be a long journey;

They are putting him on a mission because they know he can lead the way,

They have not sent anyone else except him.


From growing down the steps, he has now reached the sewers and will be exiting into the fields,

The path is not really important, rather what he will do matters more;

They want to see how far he can go,

They want to know where he will lead them…..


As he picks up space, he sees the tether like a flowering river behind him,

An exciting breathe of fresh air as he sees the landscape changing;

swarms are above him and he feels all the mirrors and shadows above and beyond him,

breaking the rules, he starts to run freely.


They have lost him, now they are searching for him,

He has no boundaries, he is drawn to the magnetic force;

Going somewhere people have never been,

Jumping off the mountainous cliff, floating across the clouds and constantly running through streams.


Historically, this would have been impossible, but not with him,

Time does not stop him, he has a high metabolic rate;

He detects the motions of the stars, wind,

Moving with the source, gliding through the Universe he enters a different realm.


Cross the Universe, the perception of him has disappeared and now he is a different form,

Thinking through what time did he travel through;

He started thinking of the last conversation he had,

The last time he hibernated.


A different perception of where he is now,

Is this real?

Am I feeling cold anymore?

What’s happened?


He no longer senses the cold, the dimensions or heat,

He feels immune and starts using his fingers to feel and sense his new environment;

How long have I been here?

Where will I go?

Challenging his mission,

He started going up and out.


Like invisible carrots drawing a rabbit from his hole,

He started looking around his environment with a new pair of eyes;

Clocks and times no longer count,

Time has been suspended and so has sound.

By cross the Universe, he has entered a new dimension,

seeds are like cells, sensing his presence in multiverse;

almost at the intersection of checkmate, he saw an opening.


Deep in space, he is in a trance,

facing the present and the past at the same time;

The light is coming towards him and leaving him at the same time,

He senses everything, he feels the multiple dimensions and sees light been transferred in and out above him.


Flowing from one dimension to another,

He’s floating sensing others below and above him;

Sensing his third eye, he sees with his sensors and lens,

light, colour , motion, perception….


Each one has a purpose, from where he’s at – this is perfect,

A perfect Galaxy;

Born on a starry night.



by Helen Tung

Founder & Convenor, NewSpace2060 International Moon Pitch Competition

In celebration of UNISPACE50+
As part of ISU-SSP18 Humanities Department ‘Deep Space and Life’s Energy’ Project



About the Image:

[Right] – A rare and spectacular head-on collision between two galaxies appears in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope true-color image of the Cartwheel Galaxy, located 500 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor. The new details of star birth resolved by Hubble provide an opportunity to study how extremely massive stars are born in large fragmented gas clouds.

The striking ring-like feature is a direct result of a smaller intruder galaxy – possibly one of two objects to the right of the ring – that careened through the core of the host galaxy. Like a rock tossed into a lake, the collision sent a ripple of energy into space, plowing gas and dust in front of it. Expanding at 200,000 miles per hour, this cosmic tsunami leaves in its wake a firestorm of new star creation. Hubble resolves bright blue knots that are gigantic clusters of newborn stars and immense loops and bubbles blown into space by exploding stars (supernovae) going off like a string of firecrackers.

The Cartwheel Galaxy presumably was a normal spiral galaxy like our Milky Way before the collision. This spiral structure is beginning to re-emerge, as seen in the faint arms or spokes between the outer ring and bulls-eye shaped nucleus. The ring contains at least several billion new stars that would not normally have been created in such a short time span and is so large (150,000 light-years across) our entire Milky Way Galaxy would fit inside.

Hubble’s new view does not solve the mystery as to which of the two small galaxies might have been the intruder. The blue galaxy is disrupted and has new star formation which strongly suggests it is the interloper. However, the smoother-looking companion has no gas, which is consistent with the idea that gas was stripped out of it during passage through the Cartwheel Galaxy.

[Top Left] – Hubble’s detailed view shows the knot-like structure of the ring, produced by large clusters of new star formation. Hubble also resolves the effects of thousands of supernovae on the ring structure. One flurry of explosions blew a hole in the ring and formed a giant bubble of hot gas. Secondary star formation on the edge of this bubble appears as an arc extending beyond the ring.

[Bottom Left] – Hubble resolves remarkable new detail in the galaxy’s core. The reddish color of this region indicates that it contains a tremendous amount of dust and embedded star formation. Bright pinpoints of light are gigantic young star clusters.

The picture was taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera-2 on October 16, 1994. It is a combination of two images, taken in blue and near-infrared light.






Neptune (full colour)

Neptune v1

Source: Neptune (Full colour) 23 June 2016


She takes the stage by storm,

Then gentle nudges others – can you hear me, her voice so gentle, so soft;

Assuming her audience knows her,

she playfully chuckles in her normal state.


What is it that you need?

Where would you like to go?

Her voice is so enticing?

Like a game, she invites you to name her, to identify with her,

Her body, like yours is made of water.


How do you consider her?

In human form?  How do you perceive her?

How do you sum it up?


Thinking of the masses, the technology to reach her, the way and type of methods to reach her,

Going beyond the blue ocean, trying to cover the bases of the waves;

Closing in on her water based enclosure,

Like something we do everyday.


Speak up shouts the audience,

So you don’t see me?  She asks coyly;

We are drawn to her, her mass, volume, energy and presence,

How do we support her?


Paying attention to each move she makes, each level she transcends,

All the equations are thrown out the window;

All the experts scratch their head, they do not know how to compute her,

They do not consider her a project, they call her Mel.


A world of her, rejecting the complexity of earth,

step by step, engaging with her from smaller molecules, to Co2;

seeing how she breathes, the air she takes in, and how intensive her energy production is,

The light she projects and how much that influences us.


Granted she conceives many stars,

checking that she is functioning well, how water runs by her, through her, like showers to flowers;

blooming with gentle treatment,

such live she gives to others, to other stars and flow paths.


What she products is rarely tested,

They see her as an art, a demonstration;

She is challenging yet gentle, arousing stillness and exploration,

Tearing away our own thought processes, she leads us to many paths.


Our parameters shift, by her very nature,

her uniqueness rejects any pre-planned design;

almost picture perfect, as taken by a NASA astronaut,

what conclusion can we draw from this?


She is a system of her own, a planet interconnected with all the other surrounding molecules,

Stating her own conditions of microgravity;

Appreciating her presence in the line of physical influence,

Nothing technical fazes her.


Welcome Neptune.


by Helen Tung

Founder & Convenor, NewSpace2060 International Moon Pitch Competition

In celebration of UNISPACE50+
As part of ISU-SSP18 Humanities Department ‘Deep Space and Life’s Energy’ Project

Neptune (Full Colour)

The semi-major axis of Neptune’s orbit about the sun is 30.06 astronomical units (roughly 2.8 billion miles or 4.5 billion kilometers).

Neptune has a diameter of roughly 30,800 miles (49,600 kilometers) at the equator.

Data were provided by the HST proposal 14492: M.H. Wong (PI), I. de Pater, J. Tollefson, and K. de Kleer (UC Berkeley), H. Hammel (Space Science Institute), S. Cook (AMNH), R. Hueso and A. Sanchez-Lavega (University of the Basque Country, Spain), A. Simon (NASA/GSFC), M. Delcroix (French Astronomical Society, SAF), L. Sromovsky and P. Fry (University of Wisconsin, Madison), G. Orton (JPL), and C. Baranec (University of Hawaii, Manoa).

Exposure Dates: May 15-16, 2016




Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

Comet 332P Ikeya Murakami v1


Tracing the gases in the thin atmosphere,

As much as understanding how different she is;

As a semi-state to that, we observe her shadows, images,

About 7am you wake up to see how she sleeps.


Finding her on the way,

This is a place, not just a point in the sky;

We’d like to explore her story, not just in 2020,

In 3 dimensions, below, above and beyond.


Trying to find the needle in the haystack,

Trying to get our robotic swarms, constellations, a round trip, eliptic voyages;

Tackling human fragility and vulnerabilities,

Sensing the bubbles of tears and fears.


Committing to her,

Understanding how much she means to us, the sliding scale of dimensions;

In our thinking, what is real, what is not,

Reminiscing Christmas 1969.


Our best guide, as a child,

Understanding 12 years after Sputnik that we had already landed on the surface of the Moon;

As a 7 year old understanding much to be learnt from her,

Our knowledge increasing everyday.


In the gathering of stardust, contributing a little bit to it,

Encouraging, passing on, how we can contribute to the exploration;

Someone will press a button and we will time travel to her,

A crystal clear perspective of her own world.


Her wings flap across the sky,

Lights dazzling from below;

Cycling through the challenges, machines, fake news,

A towering robotic arm reaching for the stars.


Each star travelling through their protected orbs,

Cameras in search of life, life other than ours;

Inspired by rovers, and eyes in the sky,

Telecommunicating our way throught the Universe.


Calling home,

In search of home.


by Helen Tung

31 July 2018



Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

Short-period comet

The position of the comet changes as it and Earth travel on their orbits through the solar system. The comet was approximately 0.68 AU (67 million miles or 100 million kilometers) from Earth at the time of these observations.

Data were provided through HST proposal 14474: D. Jewitt (UCLA), M. Mutchler (STScI), H. Weaver (JHU/APL), J. Agarwal (MPI), M.-T. Hui (UCLA), M. Ishiguro (Seoul National Univ.), J. Li (UCLA), and J. Kleyna, K. Meech, R. Wainscoat, and R. Weryk (Univ. Hawaii).

Filters: January 26, 27, 28, 2016; Exposure Time: 100 minutes total exposure


In celebration of UNISPACE50+

As part of ISU-SSP18 Humanities Department ‘Deep Space and Life’s Energy’ Project