"I can give you a drop of heavenly tenderness and I can give you rest.
You will be a genius of bright-eyed cleverness.
As your image I am blest."
The story of Ringing Cedars
This page gives the story of the publication of Vladimir Megre's series of books Ringing Cedars of Russia and describes the wide social movement the books gave rise to. The reach of philosophy presented in the books is so universal, and its practical significance is so great, that no attempt is here made to present the ideas of the books. Also, this outline is by no means exhaustive, since the story is still unfolding...
In 1994 a wealthy and well-known entrepreneur Vladimir Megre made a trade expedition to remote areas of Siberia. There he met two elders who told him about Ringing Cedars - trees that accumulate huge amounts of cosmic energy and then distribute it for the benefit of humankind. Even though the old men's story sounded improbable to him, returning from the expedition Vladimir Megre delved into literature on Siberian cedar (also called Siberian pine, Pinus sibirica) and discovered the exceptional nutritional, medicinal, and commercial value of Siberian cedar's pine nuts and pine nut oil. Impressed by pine nut oil's commercial potential, in 1995 he set out on a new expedition, willing to rediscover the lost recipe of pressing virgin pine nut oil. On this second trip he met the elder's granddaughter, Anastasia, who turned out to embody a culture, knowledge and abilities of a civilization so old and so thoroughly forgotten that her way of living and her worldview was almost unfathomable for Vladimir. This encounter so profoundly reformed him, that, returning from taiga, Vladimir Megre neglected his work, let his business go bankrupt and went penniless to Moscow to try and fulfill Anastasia's request.
Anastasia had asked Vladimir to write a book about his experiences with her. She promised him the nine books he would write would become the most significant works in Russian literature, would reform the world and would make him world famous. However improbable was this prospect, Vladimir Megre, reduced to bitter poverty, started writing. People were helping him on his way and less than a year later his first book - Anastasia - was ready. No publisher would take it, but director of one of Moscow's printing businesses published 2,000 copies at his own expense and handed them over to Vladimir for distribution. So it was in 1996 that Vladimir Megre found himself standing by a metro station in downtown Moscow with books in his hands, trying to sell them to passers by.
What followed was as miraculous as his experiences in taiga with Anastasia: the first 2,000 copies were sold out in a matter of days (and one copy of this first printing even made it to the U.S. Library of Congress stacks). New printings of 2,000, then 10,000, then 10,000 more copies were made, but all were sold out in a matter of months. Then, millions more were printed and sold. By 1999 Vladimir Megre was Russia's most read author. His seven books published to date (April 2004) sold over 9 million copies in Russian alone. This impressive figure does not include electronic copies of the books (full texts of all seven books are available for a free download off the Internet).
Translations in 12 languages followed and are a tremendous success in Germany and several East European countries.
Publication of Vladimir Megre's books is bringing about massive changes of Russia's ideological, social, political, and economic landscapes. Ringing Cedars' effect is pronounced both in thought, word and action throughout the country. For example, like Anastasia predicted in the very first volume, millions of people were moved by her words, many thousands write poetry and songs, make paintings, inspired by the book (one would be hardly pressed to find another book in all human history that could inspire that many people in so little time). Readers clubs proliferate throughout Russia and abroad. Numerous readers' conferences took place in Russia and throughout Europe. People start asking questions they never posed before. Hundreds of people leave their well-paid jobs in large cities and despite all difficulties move to ecovillages that sprout all over the country. Russian emigrants to Germany, U.S.A. and Canada charge back to Russia to establish their family estates on their ancestors' land. Readers' web-site www.anastasia.ru popularity rivals that of search engines - it became one of the top-20 most visited web-sites in Russian, and a clearing house of information on environmentally (and spiritually) responsible living. Dr. Viktor Medikov, member of Russian Parliament, published a book Putin, Megre, and Russia's future, stating that Ringing Cedars become the new national idea that will shape the country's future. With only 8 years since the book was published, all these developments are obviously but a beginning.
Vladimir Megre, born in 1950, was a well-known entrepreneur from a Siberian city of Novosibirsk. In 1995 -- after hearing a fascinating account about the power of 'ringing cedars' from a Siberian elder -- he organised a trade expedition into the Siberian taiga to rediscover the lost technique of pressing virgin cedar nut oil containing high curative powers, as well as to find the ringing cedar tree. However, his encounter on this trip with a Siberian woman named Anastasia transformed him so deeply that he abandoned his business and went to Moscow to write a book about the spiritual insights she shared with him. Vladimir Megre now lives near the city of Vladimir, Russia, 240 km (150 miles) east of Moscow, devoting himself to writing and finishing the eighth book in the Ringing Cedars Series. Following the runaway success of his Series, he has spoken at readers' conferences throughout Russia and Europe, as well as established the Anastasia Foundation ( www.anastasia.ru ), a non-profit organisation aimed at promoting the ideas contained in the books and providing support to Russia's nascent eco-village movement.
John Woodsworth, originally from Vancouver (British Columbia), has forty years of experience in Russian-English translation, from classical poetry to modern short stories. For the past twenty-three years he has been associated with the University of Ottawa in Canada as a Russian-language teacher, translator and editor, most recently as a Research Associate and Administrative Assistant with the University's Slavic Research Group. A published Russian-language poet himself, he and his wife -- poet and amateur artist Susan K. Woodsworth -- are directors of the Sasquatch Literary Arts Performance Series in Ottawa. Now a Certified Russian-English Translator, John Woodsworth is in the process of translating the remaining volumes in Vladimir Megre's Ringing Cedars Series. His professional web-site is at jw.deepspace93.com
Leonid Sharashkin, is writing his doctoral dissertation on the spiritual, cultural and economic significance of Siberian cedars and other sacred trees, at the University of Missouri at Columbia. He also travels across America, speaking about The Ringing Cedars Series and its global impact (see Events). After receiving a Master's degree in Natural Resources Management from Indiana University at Bloomington, he worked for two years as Programme Manager at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Russia) in Moscow, where he also served as editor of Russia's largest environmental magazine, The Panda Times. Together with his wife, Irina Sharashkina, he has translated into Russian Small is beautiful and A guide for the perplexed by E.F. Schumacher, The secret life of plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, The continuum concept by Jean Liedloff and Birth without violence by Frederick Leboyer. He and his family currently reside on a small farm in the Ozark Mountains. Enquiries about inviting Leonid Sharashkin to speak may be sent to his attention to: firstname.lastname@example.org
© by Leo Sharashkin, 2004
Books to date:
Anastasia (book 1)
The Ringing Cedars of Russia (book 2)
The Space of Love (book 3)
Co-creation (book 4)
Who are we? (book 5)
The Book of Kin (book 6)
The Energy of Life
The New Civilisation (book 7)
For more information on the book and their availability in English, see Books section of this web-site.