Thursday, 30 June 2011
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Monday, 27 June 2011
Maybe I can point you to the great Reality within you.Maybe you will awaken to the direct experience of Self-realization.Maybe you will catch the fire of transmission.But there is one thing that no one can give you:the honesty and integrity that alone will bring you completely tothe other shore.
Saturday, 25 June 2011
“Reason is the shadow cast by God; God is the sun.” - Rumi
love precedes and gives birth or form to reason,reason is limited, the sun, that through us can shine, is not limited.reason is second to lovereason in the civilized person is the servant of right feeling
No love, no light, no intellect.Or sadly twisted intellect.
This film is a glimpse into Elisabeth Tova Bailey's book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating / A Natural History/Memoir
When a virulent flu changes Bailey's life, she is confined to bed. Then a forest snail takes up residence on her nightstand. Intrigued, Bailey observes its midnight wanderings and strange anatomy, and learns of its complex courtship. This is the unusual story of her gastropod companion.
"The best [books] of 2010." —The Huffington Post
John Burroughs Medal Award 2011
National Outdoor Book Award 2010 Natural History/Literature
Finalist, Books for a Better Life Award, Inspirational Memoir
A special thanks to Ken Hotopp at Appalachian Conservation Biology, Tim A. Pearce, Asst. Curator & Head, Section of Mollusks, Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
The sound recording of a snail eating © Lang Elliott and Marla Coppolino
GOT TO THE AUTHOR'S SITE:
Friday, 24 June 2011
This poem by Thich Nhat Hanh embodies the essence of what he calls "interbeing," the innerconnectedness of all things.
Call Me by My True Names
by Thich Nhat Hanh
In Plum Village, where I live in France, we receive many letters from the refugee camps in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, hundreds each week. It is very painful to read them, but we have to do it, we have to be in contact. We try our best to help, but the suffering is enormous, and sometimes we are discouraged. It is said that half the boat people die in the ocean. Only half arrive at the shores in Southeast Asia, and even then they may not be safe.
There are many young girls, boat people, who are raped by sea pirates. Even though the United Nations and many countries try to help the government of Thailand prevent that kind of piracy, sea pirates continue to inflict much suffering on the refugees. One day we received a letter telling us about a young girl on a small boat who was raped by a Thai pirate. She was only twelve, and she jumped into the ocean and drowned herself.
When you first learn of something like that, you get angry at the pirate. You naturally take the side of the girl. As you look more deeply you will see it differently. If you take the side of the little girl, then it is easy. You only have to take a gun and shoot the pirate. But we cannot do that. In my meditation I saw that if I had been born in the village of the pirate and raised in the same conditions as he was, there is a great likelihood that I would become a pirate. I saw that many babies are born along the Gulf of Siam, hundreds every day, and if we educators, social workers, politicians, and others do not do something about the situation, in twenty-five years a number of them will become sea pirates. That is certain. If you or I were born today in those fishing villages, we may become sea pirates in twenty-five years. If you take a gun and shoot the pirate, all of us are to some extent responsible for this state of affairs.
After a long meditation, I wrote this poem. In it, there are three people: the twelve-year-old girl, the pirate, and me. Can we look at each other and recognize ourselves in each other? The tide of the poem is "Please Call Me by My True Names," because I have so many names. When I hear one of the of these names, I have to say, "Yes."
Call Me by My True Names
Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.
Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
NB Click HERE to read the whole poem at the Dhama Writing Workshop
the word, does not have anything to give or add to you, such as new information,
beliefs, or rules of conduct. The only function of such a teacher is to help you
remove that which separates you from the truth of who you already are and what
you already know in the depth of your being. The spiritual teacher is there to
uncover and reveal to you that dimension of the inner depth that is also peace. If you come to a spiritual teacher or this book looking for stimulating ideas,
theories, beliefs, intellectual discussions, then you will be disappointed. In other
words, if you are looking for food for thought, you won't find it. And you will miss
the very essence of the teaching, the essence of this book which is not in the words
but within yourself. It is good to remember that, to feel that, as you listen. The words are no more than signposts. That to which they point is not to be found
within the realm of thought but a dimension within yourself that is deeper, and
infinitely vaster than thought. A vibrantly alive peace is one of the characteristics
of that dimension. So whenever you feel inner peace arising as you listen, the book
is doing it work and fulfilling its function as your teacher. It is reminding you of
who you are and pointing the way back home. This is not a book to be read from cover to cover and then put away. Live with it.
Pick it up frequently. And, more importantly, put it down frequently. Or spend
more time holding it than reading it. Many readers will feel naturally inclined to
stop reading after each entry, to pause, reflect, become still. It is always more
helpful and more important to stop reading than to continue reading. Allow the
book to do its work, to awaken you from the old groves of your repetitive and
conditioned thinking The form of this book can be seen as a revival for the present age of the oldest form
of recorded spiritual teachings, the sutras of ancient India. Sutras are powerful
pointers to the truth in the form of aphorisms or short sayings with little conceptual
elaboration. The Vedas and Upanishads are the early sacred teachings recorded in
the form of sutras, as are the words of the Buddha. The sayings and parables of
Jesus, too, when taken out of their narrative context could be regarded as sutras as
well as the profound teachings contained in the Tao Te Ching, the ancient Chinese
book of wisdom. The advantage of the sutra form lies in its brevity. It does not engage the thinking
mind more than is necessary. What it doesn't say, but only points to, is more
important than what it says. The sutra-like character, of the writings in this book is particularly marked in
chapter 1, Silence and Stillness, which contains only the briefest of entries. This
chapter contains the essence of the entire book and may be all that some readers
require. The other chapters are there for those who need a few more signposts. Just like the ancient sutras, the writings contained within this book are sacred and
have come out of a state of consciousness we may call stillness. Unlike those
sutras, however, they don't belong to any one religion or spiritual tradition, but are
immediately accessible to the whole of humanity. There is also an added sense of urgency here. The transformation of human
consciousness is no longer a luxury, so to speak, available only to a few, isolated
individuals, but a necessity if human kind is not to destroy itself. At the present
time, the dysfunction of the old consciousness and the arising of the new are both
accelerating. Paradoxically, things are getting worse and better at the same time,
although the worse is more apparent because it makes so much noise. This book, of course, uses words that in the act of reading or listening, become
thoughts in your mind. But those are not ordinary thoughts: repetitive, noisy, self-
serving, clamoring for attention. Just like every true spiritual teachers, just like the
ancient sutras, the thoughts within this book don't say “look at me", but “look
beyond me.” Because the thoughts came out of stillness, they have power, the
power to take you back into the same stillness from which they arose. That stillness
is also inner peace. And that stillness and peace is the essence of your being. It is
the stillness that will save and transform the world. Chapter 1
Silence and Stillness When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you
lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world. Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is
the “I Am” that is deeper than name and form. *** Stillness is your essential nature. What is stillness? The inner space or awareness in
which the words on this page are being perceived and become thoughts. Without
that awareness, there would be no perception, no thoughts, no world. You are that awareness, disguised as a person. *** The equivalent of external noise is the inner noise of thinking. The equivalent of
external silence is inner stillness. Whenever there is some silence around you — listen to it. That means just notice it.
Pay attention to it. Listening to silence awakens the dimension of stillness within
yourself, because it is only through stillness that you can be aware of silence. See that in the moment of noticing the silence around you, you are not thinking.
You are aware, but not thinking. *** When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still
alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective
human conditioning. *** Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are,
how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness. *** When you look at a tree and perceive its stillness, you become still yourself. You
connect with it at a very deep level. You feel a oneness with whatever you perceive
in and through stillness. Feeling the oneness of yourself with all things is love. *** Silence is helpful, but you don’t need it in order to find stillness. Even when there
is noise, you can be aware of the stillness underneath the noise, of the space in
which the noise arises. That is the inner space of pure awareness, consciousness
itself. You can become aware of awareness as the background to all your sense
perceptions, all your thinking. Becoming aware of awareness is the arising of inner
stillness. *** Any disturbing noise can be as helpful as silence. How? By dropping your inner
resistance to the noise, by allowing it to be as it is, this acceptance also takes you
into that realm of inner peace that is stillness. Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is — no matter what form it takes
— you are still, you are at peace. *** Pay attention to the gap — the gap between two thoughts, the brief, silent space
between words in a conversation, between the notes of a piano or flute, or the gap
between the in-breath and out-breath. When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of “something” becomes — just
awareness. The formless dimension of pure consciousness arises from within you
and replaces identification with form. *** True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to
problems are found. *** Is stillness just the absence of noise and content? No, it is intelligence itself — the
underlying consciousness out of which every form is born. And how could that be
separate from who you are? The form that you think you are came out of that and is
being sustained by it. It is the essence of all galaxies and blades of grass; of all flowers, trees, birds, and
all other forms. *** Stillness is the only thing in this world that has no form. But then, it is not really a
thing, and it is not of this world. *** When you look at a tree or a human being in stillness, who is looking? Something
deeper than the person. Consciousness is looking at its creation. In the Bible, it says that God created the world and saw that it was good. That is
what you see when you look from stillness without thought. *** Do you need more knowledge? Is more information going to save the world, or
faster computers, more scientific or intellectual analysis? Is it not wisdom that
humanity needs most at this time? But what is wisdom and where is it to be found? Wisdom comes with the ability to
be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and
listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct
your words and actions.
Cathy Beer reports on a unique conference which looked at the care of the elderly from the point of view of their spiritual needs.
Britain, like the rest of Western Europe, has an ageing population, and our free market economy does not find it easy to accommodate those in our society who are apparently ‘non-productive’. One often senses that the old are regarded as a burden on society, and often they are treated as such, if some of the recent media reports on homes for the elderly are to be believed. On top of all this, the debate about euthanasia has come to the forefront.But the elderly are simply the young of a few years ago, brothers and sisters with all the normal needs for love and care that the rest of us have.‘Soul Matters’, a day conference organised by the New Humanity section of the Focolare Movement, brought together a wide variety of people, experts, carers and the elderly themselves, to offer some positive experiences and ideas on this very important subject. ‘A rich tapestry where love was the thread running through it all,’ was how someone described the day on the spiritual care of older people, held on 11 February at the Centre for Unity, Welwyn Garden City. Anne Horsman, a local GP, explained how the idea was born of an experience with her mother who had been suffering from dementia: ‘I was determined to do the things we had always done – meals out, church…. Her short-term memory was short indeed and I thought to myself “Why am I concerned about doing this? She won’t remember”. And then I heard in my mind: “But her soul knows”.’
To read article go to HERE
One of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, poet, and peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh (called Thây by his students) has led an extraordinary life. Born in central Vietnam in 1926 he joined the monkshood at the age of sixteen. The Vietnam War confronted the monasteries with the question of whether to adhere to the contemplative life and remain meditating in the monasteries, or to help the villagers suffering under bombings and other devastation of the war. Nhat Hanh was one of those who chose to do both, helping to found the "engaged Buddhism" movement. His life has since been dedicated to the work of inner transformation for the benefit of individuals and society.
Click on link to read the article on the 'Plum Village' site
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Monday, 20 June 2011
"All that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries about consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to maintain a perspective of empathy for ourselves and others, even under trying conditions."
-- Marshall B. Rosenberg, Phd
Nonviolent Communication contains nothing new. It is based on historical principles of nonviolence-- the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC reminds us what we already instinctively know about how good it feels to authentically connect to another human being.
With NVC we learn to hear our own deeper needs and those of others. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—NVC helps us discover the depth of our own compassion. This language reveals the awareness that all human beings are only trying to honor universal values and needs, every minute, every day.
NVC can be seen as both a spiritual practice that helps us see our common humanity, using our power in a way that honors everyone's needs, and a concrete set of skills which help us create life-serving families and communities.
The form is simple, yet powerfully transformative.
Through the practice of NVC, we can learn to clarify what we are observing, what emotions we are feeling, what values we want to live by, and what we want to ask of ourselves and others. We will no longer need to use the language of blame, judgment or domination. We can experience the deep pleasure of contributing to each others' well being.
NVC creates a path for healing and reconciliation in its many applications, ranging from intimate relationships, work settings, health care, social services, police, prison staff and inmates, to governments, schools and social change organizations.
Saturday, 18 June 2011
About Global Stewards
The goal of Global Stewards, created in 1998, is to provide environmental tips for sustainable living and information about exciting solutions that are speeding the shift toward a sustainable way of life. This site was created and is maintained by Lea Dutton of California.
global stewards defined:
I view a "global steward" as being someone who, in recognizing their kinship with all living beings, chooses a lifestyle that is sustainable for all life, including future generations. This is a form of conscious stewardship over our own lives vs. stewardship over nature.
Click on link
Friday, 17 June 2011
Thursday, 16 June 2011
Take a minute out of the hustle and hassle.
Be still – starting with a few moments.
Light is light for us all.
Let your breath breathe you - now.
Imagine your mind as a movie-theatre.
Witness each thought-feeling that arises
enters on the movie screen, left or right, up or down.
Say to each thought-feeling that arises'
"Hello. Thank-you. Goodbye."
See the thought-feeling exit left, or right, from the movie-theatre.
Breathe the breathing.
Let the breathing breathe you.
Sense the whole to which we all belong.
Invite the quietness.
Breathe your trans-form-ation.
Return to the here-and-now.
On returning we find there are only concepts -
“Concepts are delicious snacks with which
we try to alleviate our amazement.”
(A J Heschel)
We fly with two wings
the nonduality of 'oneness via meditation' and
the duality of 'me and my concepts', 'me and the world'.
Both wings are needed.
When we, meditatively, are in
amazement/awe/wonderment we are
at-one, nondual, ego-less.
When we return to thought as in
'I-me', 'I-IT', 'I-we', 'I-thou', 'I-me' thought-forms - we have
duality, subject and object.
Neither is bad, each is
a wing though which to
Nonduality is where we 'let go, and let
the Universe, the Source, the Whole, Ultimate Reality, God' (choose your preferred term).
Duality is where we chop wood,
do the laundry,
earn a living......................
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Corbett Barr of CorbettBarr.com and ThinkTraffic.net.
For the past three weeks I’ve been standing while I work, instead of my usual sitting. I have some interesting results to share with you in a moment, but first let me tell you why I’ve been doing all this standing.
It all started after a couple of tweets came across my radar in the same day about the negative health effects of sitting. It turns out that sitting all day every day for work might not be good for your health and wellness. Who would have thought?
The studies and experiments I found really caught my attention, partly because I’ve been sitting through 40- to 60-hour work weeks every week for the better part of 15 years. Now that I’m in my mid-30s, I’m starting to really consider my current health and habits and trying to do a better job of giving myself the best shot at living a long and active life.
Here’s the evidence about what sitting can do to you:
Click on link to read the article
Collected Quotes from Albert Einstein
- "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
- "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
- "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."
- "I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
- "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."
- "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
- "The only real valuable thing is intuition."
- "A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."
- "I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."
- "God is subtle but he is not malicious."
- "Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."
- "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."
- "The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."
- "Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."
- "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
- "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
- "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
- "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
- "Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it."
- "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
- "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
- "God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically."
- "The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."
- "Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."
- "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."
- "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."
- "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
- "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."
- "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."
- "Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."
- "Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity."
- "If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
- "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
- "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
- "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
- "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
- "In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep."
- "The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."
- "Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves."
- "Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!"
- "No, this trick won't work...How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?"
- "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
- "Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever."
- "The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."
- "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
- "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
- "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
- "The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."
- "Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
- "You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."
- "One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year."
- "...one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought."
- "He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."
- "A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
- "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." (Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton)
Copyright: Kevin Harris 1995 (may be freely distributed with this acknowledgement)