“Like the vast majority of men interested in Yoga I had no idea that a system designed to develop the latent possibilities and nobler qualities in man could be fraught with such danger at times to destroy the sanity or crush life out of one by the sheer weight of entirely foreign and uncontrollable conditions of the mind.”
Gopi Krishna

Kundalini – The Evolutionary Energy in Man

What does it mean to be a peasant in Romania?

n

Posted in AltEco, Business, Community, Intake, Money, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Economy for the Common Good

n

Economy for the Common Good … being applued in companies, universities, municipalities … using familiar tools of measuring and accounting but applying them to different indicators and goals that are directly (instead of indirect indicators such as GDP) related to well being:

“GDP is not valued in itself but because it is associated with positive values such as jobs or the fulfilment of basic needs. Upon closer inspection, however, in no single instance is the relationship between rising GDP and the achievement of social goals and values assured. That’s why we propose that social goals should be defined and their achievement measured directly – instead of using the uncertain and unwieldy detour of GDP. The mere fact that a science so very bent on efficiency does not measure the achievement of goals directly but instead proceeds via the detour of monetary indicators, i.e. extreme inefficiency, shows that it is more of a faith community than a serious discipline.”

source

 

Posted in AltEco, Business, Intake, Money, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Ikigai: A Reason for Being (Purpose)

n

The concept of Ikigai:

ikigai

I don’t feel that I’ve been able to live in this convergence. I would also want to see another dimension in it … one that relates to happiness and well-being since I believe it is possible to live in this convergence with negative outcomes and personal sacrifice in well-being and happiness.

I came across Ikigai in this OK, but tedious and not as convincing as I wanted it to be, presentation from Michel Bauwens:

What disappointed me in the Bauwens presentation was that is felt academic and theoretical (which I’ve come to expect from Bauwens) and offered nothing actionable.

The first question that was given to him by the host (Yohai Benkler – which feels like a name I should recognize but don’t) was good but in my opinion faulty. It assumed (and was not challenged) that because past transitions involved war and bloodshed, that the coming / current value transition would also require wars … and asked where those wars would be. The question forced Bauwens into a kind of theoretical prophecy that led to a very high-worded academic but, in my heart, empty response.

The question of violence also touched on the issue of feminine and masculine dominance (which I felt was wrongly framed as men & women) which came up in the presentation and in a followup question.What if these two issues are related. Could it be that if we had more feminine guidance that we could approach transition with softness instead of harshness? Could it be that that transition is already in the making?

During numerous points in the presentation I felt that Alexander’s unfolding wholeness is a key dimension that was missing from it. Unfolding wholeness, in a way, pulls the rug out from the assumption that there is going to be a definitive transition (or that there ever was one). Instead it postulates that we will witness a continuous and gradual development and change (which is hinted at in the presentation). What if we experience “wars” when we resist this kind of natural development and instead try to push systems (natural and human) into forced, mechanistic and usually destructive change that is better aligned with a dominant (and dominating), male and controlling attitude?

Maybe in a more balanced masculine/feminine world Ikigai is a valid diagram. In the male dominates world we live in, it needs a definitive feminine dimension to be complete.

Posted in AltEco, Intake, outside | Tagged | You are welcome to read 2 comments and to add yours

Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See

n

Visual inspiration

Posted in Design, Intake, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Yoga: Tuning & Change On and Off the Mat

n

A recent conversation with Annelieke left me reflecting on the relationship between Yoga on-the-mat and  Yoga off-the-mat. How do life choices off-the-mat resonate with on-the-mat practice to form a continuous tapestry of change?

I was surprised to recall a device I learned about many years ago in high-school when I was studying electronics (surprised because electronics has not been a part of my life except for school). The device is called a phase-locked-loop and was used in FM radios.

fmradio

For those who remember doing this 🙂 … when you wanted to tune into a radio station, say 88FM, you would move a dial and as the indicator neared 88FM the signal would improve. If you shot past it, the signal would fade. There was a sweet spot where the sound came out clearest. What most people don’t know is that there is a finer process of tuning taking place behind the scenes. The dial and indicator are no-where near precise enough to select the actual frequency in which the radio station is broadcasting. The dial only allow you to come close enough for the phase-locked-loop device to kick in and do some automated tuning that locks onto the specific frequency (which is most likely not exactly 88MHZ but a frequency very close to it).

My experience has been that relatively little change takes place on-the-mat. There are fleeting moments of noticeable change, but they are the exceptions to the rule. Most of the time, practice on-the-mat is a repetition. Change is mostly subtle. Change I experience on the mat is like the phase-lock-loop mechanism – subtle tuning improvements to my current channel. It allows me to hear more clearly what the melody of my life is like on this channel.

What about changing channels? Practice on-the-mat does not do that. Changing channels is life changes …  diet, life-style, living conditions, relationships … the practices of yama and niyama. The practice on-the-mat does offer, every time I care to look, a mirror .. an opportunity to see where I am, what my life is like, how I feel. Practice on the mat can help me to refine my listening, to witness better, with more subtlety, with more discernment. But sometimes my conclusion is that I want to change something in my life … I want a different melody … a better melody … I want to change channel.

This also seems to fit with my reflection on the relationship of refinement of ashtanga (the eight-limbs) of Yoga. Pranayama sheds light on the qualities of Asana practices. Asana practices shed light on how I perceive and relate to myself (Niyama). How I relate to myself sheds light on how I perceive the world around me (yama).

A superficial glimpse of Yoga may leave an impression (or carry an expectation) that Yoga is what happens on-the-mat. That logic then begs a question: how does practice on-the-mat effect life off-the-mat? What if that question is inverted? When I get on the mat my entire life comes on with me … every time. There is nothing I can do to prevent it. That logic then begs a different question: how does life meet my practice on the mat?  I do not come to the mat to change. I come to the mat to see where I am and what I see. Discoveries on the mat inform me in making changes in my life.

My ability to see myself with more clarity DOES change on the mat is. That change comes from a long term, continuous, stable, deepening, caring and inspired practice. But ultimately, to experience substantial change, I must take my discoveries on the mat to my life off the mat … and there, I have found, is a life’s worth of demanding practice and potentially unrelenting change.

Getting on the mat opens a door. Change is what awaits me when I walk through that door … and if I don’t … well …

Posted in Models & Metaphors, Yoga, Yoga & I, Yoga & Life | You are welcome to add your comment