“Knowing was a barrier which prevented learning. For a few moments he allowed himself merely to resonate, making no demands, asking no questions.”
Frank Herbert

Children of Dune

David Graeber on where we are and moving forward

n

Wonderfully rich, diverse yet integrated and cohesive talk with David Graeber (author of Debt the First 5000 Years), much of which is in response to questions from the audience with precious small nuggets of practical advice on how to stay true to a new story while still immersed in an old story:

Posted in AltEco, Intake, Intellect Run Amok, Money, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Yoga On the Mat Practice: Summer 2015

n

It’s been over a year since I wrote about my practice. It has been a period of regular practice but not of regular writing (which I guess reflects on my state of being too).

I made a conscious choice to travel less (than I did in the previous period). That made for less interruptions in the continuity of my practice. There have been short disruptions in practice like when Annelieke arrives for a visit (though that has become less disruptive as we settle into a known rhythm of being together) or when I went away to give a yoga weekend workshop.

During periods of disruption I don’t usually practice. In the past I sometimes tried to but I came to realize that I was pushing myself into a mode of struggling and overcoming myself and that neither works nor is something I want to nourish in myself. They effect of me in a subtle but noticeable way. While the practice itself has been robust, my life feels more fragile. I need to be stable and settled to get on the mat. Disruptions resonate strongly inside me.

My practice was severely disrupted when my spring allergy kicked in at the beginning of June. I was able to resume an irregular practice in July and am just now starting to settle back in to a continuous daily rhythm.

In February I visited Israel for a 4 day home retreat with Paul. I had a one-on-one session with Paul during which he offered me a vinyasa of Pranayama practices (see below or details).

Asana Practice

I have been living with the same asana practice (with slight modifications) for almost two years. I am sometimes surprised that it still engages me.

ronen-november-2013

  • I feel strength and stability in practice.
  • My base breathing throughout most of the practice sequence is either 8.0.8.0 and evolving towards 8.0.10.0 and beyond.
  • The breathing it what engages me most. When my attention lapses my breath is the first thing to be affected. When my attention is stable my breathing is full, consistent and spacious. It is my main avenue of exploration and development in the more stimulating asana like utkatasana, adhomukha svanasana and the raised leg sequence.
  • I have settled into a bhavana of opening / expanding the chest. It is predominantly noticeable in the standing and lying twists. It is present in all the forward bends … both in preparing to go into the bend and in coming out. It is present in adhomukha svanasana and in dandasana.

I have experimented with and introduced a few modifications:

  • The trikonasana sequence has been elaborated. Initially by my teacher who suggested I do 2x regular + 2x twisted + 2x regular. I have also added a stay of 1 breath on each side of the last couple of (regular) movements.
  • When I felt steady and established in utkatasana I experimented with a krama going down stopping for a short pause (with BK) in ardha utkatasana. Though it felt like a good modification it was demanding and I was only able to contain it during stable and continuous and undisturbed periods of at least 2 or 3 weeks of practice. Because of disruptions I decided to set it aside. Instead I have returned to a tried-and-true focus of refining and extending the exhale which, with stable attention, can go to 10 or even 12 seconds (without collapsing at the end of the 6x repeat).
  • I have introduced a breathing ratio in adhomukha svanasana of 2×8.0.10.0 + 2×10.0.10.0. This has been a remarkable evolution. When I started this sequence I was struggling with 4.0.4.0. The evolution of this asana has been all breath. Whenever I tried to focus on physicality I felt effort and tension building up. Whenever I focus on breath I find it leads to physical development (including spaciousness in torso allowing for elaborate directional breathing, hips loosening and lowering of ankles).
  • In urdhva prasrta padasna I raise my legs to 90deg and then with each movement gradually increase the angle to which I lower my legs: ~80, 45, 10 and back down.
  • In jathara parivrtti there are two modifications. I have gone back to the S1/2/3 variation and I have settled into a breathing vinyasa resulting in: S1/_ 6.0.8.0, S2/_ 8.0.8.0, S3/_ 8.0.10.0.
  • I explored for a few days with introducing a mild back-bend sequence. My physical body welcomed it. However it did seem to have a slight but noticeable agitating effect (at the time) which effected my pranayama and my sleep. I’m looking forward to reintroducing this … maybe later this summer when I re-settle into stability.
  • I have changed the dandasana sequence from repeat 4 times to repeat 2 times with stay 1 breath. This brings into focus for me opening of the chest, sustained extension of the spine and spaciousness in my shoulder and shoulder-blades.
  • In janusirsasana I have been gradually able to open up my hip joint more and more. Coming out of the allergy I have been gradually resolving a tension in my lower back and hips (which I believe is also related to the knee-pains I experienced while coming out of the allergy).

There has also been a subtle shift in my relationship with savasana. It is no longer a trap I prefer to avoid, fearing it my capture me and send me into heaviness. It serves me well. Many times a short stay is all that is needed. Sometimes I will stay longer. On rare ocassions, usually in or near illness, it may become the end of a practice session (meaning that I do not complete the practice) but that is not because of a feeling a heaviness but because of a good stay in savasana itself.

Pranayama

My teacher gave me the following practice sequence:

  1. 5.0.10.0 x8br anuloma ujjayi
    10.0.10.0 x12br pratiloma ujjayi
    5.0.10.0 x8br anuloma ujjayi
    5.0.5.0 x4br ujjayi
  2. 8.0.8.0 x8br pratiloma ujjayi
    10.0.10.0 x12br pratiloma ujjayi
    8.0.8.0 x8br pratiloma ujjayi
    5.0.5.0 x4br ujjayi
  3. 8.0.12.0 x8br anuloma ujjayi
    12.0.12.0 x12br pratiloma ujjayi
    6.0.12.0 x8br anuloma ujjayi
    6.0.6.0 x4br ujjayi
  4. 8.0.8.0 x4br pratiloma ujjayi
    10.0.10.0 x4br pratiloma ujjayi
    12.0.12.0 x12br pratiloma ujjayi
    8.0.8.0 x4br pratiloma ujjayi
    4.0.4.0 x4br ujjayi

I stayed with the first sequence for almost 2 months – until ~mid-April. It took time for a stability and quality to manifest in the practice. Then things seemed to move fast. I moved into the 2nd sequence in mid April and then into the 3rd in Mid May. I was thinking of moving into the 4th sequence but then allergy crashed into my practice.

To my surprise (given how compromised my breathing was during the allergy period) to find that I could resume the 3rd sequence which is where I am. I have still not come back to a finesse I experienced before the allergy crash. I am still experiencing some blockage in my nasal passages and some irritation in my chest which are effecting my overall practice and especially the quality of my pranayama practice.

Also, I don’t know for how long this has been going on (it could be from when I recent got back to practice, but I really can’t say): I misread the practice sequence and I have been doing all pratiloma ujjayi instead of combined anuloma ujjayi (in the 3rd sequence that I am currently practicing).

On the Mat and Off the Mat

During the last couple of months I’ve been keeping busy by taking in a bulding project (building a wooden deck with a roof over it to create an outside space for me to be in and a summer kitchen). It filled my days.

Just this year I realized that the recurring allergy comes at exactly the time when gardening peaks and is having an accumulative effect. The allergy not only prevents me from being there at the right time. It also prevents me from going there because by the time I do weeds have taken over. Over the years this has inhibited me from forming a nourishing relationship with gardening. It has also created an avoidance since I do not enjoy “battling” weeds and I am interested in transforming the story of weeds from something I need to battle to something that nourishes and support me. So once, again the garden is mostly out of control … though there is some nice yield from plants that managed to get along without my intervention.

Many days my on-the-mat practice feels like the only substantial thing I do. Many days I feel that I live a purposeless life. I am also practicing living a life of rest and spaciousness. However there is also a part of me that is still looking to engage. If I let that part of me expand I end up hurting emotionally … and I don’t want to shut-off that part of me. Living with feels like a precarious balancing act. When I lose balance, my on-the-mat practice suffers and a negative feedback loop begins. Getting that balance is key to me arriving well at the mat and staying in an neutral loop and an overall feeling of equanimity and balance (=not falling into emotional pain).

In a way, the question of “why practice? what for?” is lurking in the background looking to make an appearance. I don’t feel it is a constructive question that has real substance to it. But I can’t really avoid it … it seems I can only try not falling into it.

Posted in Yoga, Yoga & I | Tagged | You are welcome to add your comment

Greece: Firesale Phase

n

… and so it begins … and though it may seem like I don’t think this the end game … it is the beginning of the end game … a systemically destructive chess game:

“But the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, dismissed that view, supported by a number of northern and eastern European states. “These proposals cannot build the basis for a completely new, three-year [bailout] programme, as requested by Greece,” said a German finance ministry paper. It called for Greece to be expelled from the eurozone for a minimum of five years and demanded that the Greek government transfer €50bn of state assets to an outside agency for sell-off.”

source

For me the greatest irony is that everyone is probably right … the Greek measures are not enough … and any bailout money is going to disappear together with the previous bailouts … there aren’t measures that are enough.

The computer I am typing this on (and the desk it is sitting on) I got second hand from a company in Cluj that closed its doors. They liquidated what they could. This is what the Eurogroup is trying to do with Greece … but Greece isn’t a company, its a country … and whats left behind isn’t an empty space but an empty people.

… and what does “demanded” mean?

Posted in AltEco, Greece, Intake, Intellect Run Amok, Money, outside | Tagged | You are welcome to add your comment

Bernard Lietaer on Greece: Two Currencies?

n

Bernard Lietaer is in a position to offer a refreshing perspective because he is both a mainstream economist who was involved in the creation of the Euro and a thought leader in the world of alternative currencies. In this interview you will hear him bring up interesting points:

  1. That the original design of the Euro did not include a change in the relationships between central banks and governments … that was a last minute addition (I wonder what political machinations brought that development about).
  2. There are examples of countries operating with two currencies. One example is Switzerland with its national currency and an 80 year old business-to-business currency called the WIR. The other example is the UK where businesses can manage their books in both pounds and euros.
  3. Iceland took another approach to the economic crisis: it allowed banks to go under, put bankers in jail and is now operating a government controlled currency (instead of a bank-debt-based currency).
  4. The ubiquity of mobile phones means that a door is open for new alternative currencies based on information technology.

Almost every answer he gives challenges the mainstream conversation and introduces outside-the-box thinking:

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

Greece and (economic) Growth

n

“… a sustainable debt reduction is only feasible if the economy grows …”

source

but what if growth is over or nearly over? even the robust German economy may be showing signs of slowing down … so what can be expected of Greece? could that also explain the position of people like the German finance minister … are they catching a glimpse of the coming storm and heading into their national shelters (and leaving Greece to fend for itself)?

Greek leaders are making an effort to reframe this crisis in a European context (which I believe is a correct effort) however what if you go beyond that and look at a global context that also goes beyond just money and finance? That is what I was hinting at when I wondered if Greek leaders are aware of the depth of the challenge they are facing. I suspect that even a complete, unconditional debt forgiveness will not qualitatively change the situation (though it may buy a delusional period of relief). I suspect that the Greeks are maybe the first to taste the end of growth and its social, political, financial and cultural implications.

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

Nature & Shopping Malls

n

A somewhat ironic realization came to me from my experience of living close to nature. I enjoy having nature around me (much more than an urban environment). However I enjoy it more while being indoors. I don’t feel welcome in nature, I feel discomfort. Sometimes I even feel threatened by nature. Nature is not a familiar environment for me … though I am working on it (I am writing this on a new roofed deck I built where I be somewhere in between outside and inside.

That irony was amplified when I realized something about my relationship with shopping malls. My visits to the city are rare and functional … I only go when I need to do something or bring something from the city. Frequently my visits will include a stop in a shopping mall (though I avoid them if I can) due to the comfort of having several kinds of shops in one place. When I enter a shopping mall my legs become heavy and I move fast so I can leave as soon as possible. Yet at the same time there is something comfortable about it for me. The shopping mall is a familiar environment to me. Even though I don’t like it, I know how it works, I know how to make it work for me … I can get around in it.

In many ways these two realizations frame a transition I am experiencing in life. From something familiar that I dislike and distrust to something in which I feel at home but I don’t know my way around yet.

Posted in Expanding, inside | You are welcome to add your comment

Power of Story: Knee, Knowledge, Faith

n

Over the years I have come to believe that illness moves through my body. It may initially manifest in in place with primary symptoms and then it travels inside my body (with symptoms changing and manifesting in different places) until it leaves (often through my digestive system). I don’t visit doctors and don’t use western medications. I do, when I can, support my body through nutrition and natural products (teas, salves, etc.).

A couple of weeks ago I started feeling relief from my month of allergy (slight symptoms are still with me but reducing every day). The “travels” began when my throat and to of my mouth started feeling agitated, eating and swallowing was uncomfortable. There was a day or two of slight, barely noticeable improvement, but then the next day it was suddenly all better.

That same day something happened to my left knee. It started hurting a lot. I could move around however any movement in my knee caused immediate, sharp breath-taking pains. As long as it was still, in many positions, it was fine, but moving it, even the slightest bit, was extremely painful.

Side note: I lay down to explore the knee with some movement. When lying on my back, folding the knee and bringing it in over my chest was an impossible task. However, lying on my side, I could repeat that movement, with care, with almost no pain.

I managed to get myself through the day and bring myself to rest in the evening. It had gotten worst. When I sat down on the couch I wasn’t sure I would be able to get up again (I could, but had to avoid moving my knee doing it).

Then came night. I was still carrying a certain restlessness from many sleep deprived or disrupted nights due to the allergy. Now I had to be careful not to move … any unconscious movement resultd in immediate pain. I had many waking hours that night. During those hours my mind had to plenty of opportunity to kick in and I witnessed a fascinating dance between two stories that I apparently carry with me.

One story is the western / medical / anatomical / biological view. My Yoga training had given me enough knowledge to appreciate what an elaborate and subtle joint the knee is and what the pains I was experiencing could indicate. My speculative conclusions were frightening. I don’t trust doctors and medicine. I have no medical insurance and it would take a lot of suffering to expose myself to them especially here in Romania. I was scared.

Another story if a spiritual outlook that my body and consciousness are constantly striving towards health and wellness. I have faith in that. Faith is something else that I got from my Yoga training and practice. This story came to the surface as if to meet the first story that was scaring me.

These two stories danced inside me all night. I was fascinated by their power regardless of what was actually happening inside me and manifesting through my knee. The western story was inducing fear, worry and tension. The spiritual story as inducing faith, trust and relaxation … and I went back and forth between them all night.

I also realized that my life settings are more supportive and bringing out the spiritual story. Because I don’t have (easy) access to doctors and medical care I can’t intervene and act … the default doing is therefor caring, giving attention and waiting (instead of running to the doctor, diagnosing and intervening).

I may never know what happened to my knee. I do know that these two stories are inside me and can effect me greatly.

The next day was another day of knee pain. The following day the pains disappeared as suddenly as they came. A softer version of the pain appeared a few days ago and there is still an echo of it in my knee.

Posted in About, Expanding, inside, Myself | Tagged | You are welcome to add your comment

Society and Science through the lens of Climate Change

n

More evidence that the objectivity of science is more elusive then most people want to believe:

“… climate scientists have been so distracted and intimidated by the relentless campaign against them that they tend to avoid any statements that might get them labeled “alarmists”

The problem was that Box was now working for the Danish government, and even though Denmark may be the most progressive nation in the world on climate issues, its leaders still did not take kindly to one of its scientists distressing the populace with visions of global destruction. Convinced his job was in jeopardy only a year after he uprooted his young family and moved to a distant country, Box was summoned before the entire board of directors at his research institute. So now, when he gets an e-mail asking for a phone call to discuss his “recent gloomy statements,” he doesn’t answer it.

… ‘I think most scientists must be burying overt recognition of the awful truths of climate change in a protective layer of denial (not the same kind of denial coming from conservatives, of course)’ …

… and for their pains the scientists themselves—the cruelest blow of all—have been the targets of an unrelenting and well-organized attack that includes death threats, summonses from a hostile Congress, attempts to get them fired, legal harassment, and intrusive discovery demands so severe they had to start their own legal-defense fund, all amplified by a relentless propaganda campaign nakedly financed by the fossil-fuel companies.

… consumption and growth have become so central to our sense of personal identity and the fear of economic loss creates such numbing anxiety, we literally cannot imagine making the necessary changes. Worse, accepting the facts threatens us with a loss of faith in the fundamental order of the universe.

… there’s a growing, ever-stronger antiscience sentiment in the U. S. A. People get really angry and really nasty.”

source

Still, I believe this perspective deserves more depth. According to Robert Pirsig during the 20th century a battle was fought between social morality (superficial politeness, political correctness, etc.) and intellectual morality (acting based on what you think is right instead of based on what others think is right and as a consequence what others will think of you).

“A society that tries to restrain the truth for it’s own purpose is a lower form of evolution than a truth that restrains society for it’s own purpose. Victorians repressed the truth whenever it seemed socially unacceptable …”

Social status was supposed to be replaced by intellectual status but social moral resisted. The opposite happened … intellectual status was dragged down to social status (a PhD became more of an honorary social badge then an indicator of intellectual pursuit) leaving us with both corrupt social morals AND corrupt intellect (the hippie movement rebelled and undermined both!) … and that is where we are stuck. Caught in a corrupted, deluded intellect, feeling nice about ourselves while dangerously misinformed (and acting accordingly).

To me this isn’t just theory. It points to where actions can be best leveraged. It demonstrates that issues such as American racism and climate change have common root-causes. It indicates that we need to reject superficiality and niceties and replace them with depth and purpose. We need to respect that this kind of mental shift is more accessible earlier in life then later. I, in my early forties, who have placed my life into demanding and challenging change, can already sense, even if slight, an inclination to slow down and settle into established patterns. This means that younger generations are key to change. It isn’t political discourse, even amidst undeniable crisis, that is going to create political critical mass for change. It is in conversations over family dinners where a younger generation equipped with depth, knowledge, care and (non-violent) communication skills will replace empty, cynical, repeating political arguments with meaningful, insightful dialogue. As I write this I think of disassociated youth and realize they are a sign of progress – they are no longer buying into empty superficiality. The question is then how to introduce them to meaningful purpose … how to inspire?

However this is a double-edged sword. Intellect needs to be liberated from society, but at the same time it needs to be placed in the service of heart … otherwise intellects runs amok.

 

Posted in AltEco, Intake, Intellect Run Amok, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Successful Customer Support

n

“… Even the most reactive, labor-intensive ticket represents an opportunity to earn goodwill with your customers. When you nail that experience you can create a ripple effect across revenue, social media, and the broader marketplace. That is customer support … Customer support, when done well, is a career. Every conversation, whether it’s reactive or proactive, is an opportunity to learn from your customers. “

Andrew Spittle via Matt Mullenweg

Posted in AltEco, Business, Intake, Open Source, outside, Tech Stuff, Wordpress | You are welcome to add your comment

Debt is Risk

n

It is amazing how this basic truth, that every capitalist knows, about debt is veiled from public consciousness when it suits creditors:

“From the beginning, Merkel and the EU have operated from the position that because Greece took on debt, Greece now needs to pay it back. That position assumed — bizarrely, in hindsight — that debt works only one way: If you lend someone money, that money is repaid.

But that is NOT how free markets work.

Debt is not a guarantee of future payments in full. Rather, it is a risk that creditors take, in hopes of maybe being paid tomorrow.

The key word there is “risk.”

If you’re willing to take the risk, you’ll get a premium — in the form of interest.

But the downside of that risk is that you lose your money. And Greece just called Germany’s bluff.”

source

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

Crisis: Taking a Stance

n

Though its 2 or 3 years old this talk by Maria Scordialos feels even more relevant on this day that Greece is holding its referendum. Two ideas shimmered for me in her talk:

  1. That the word for “crisis” in Greek does not mean something broken or tragic but that it means taking a stance.
  2. That the crisis Greece is experiencing is practically forcing it to become ecological … that relationships and community is being forced upon a society who’s history has nurtured separated individuals.

I discovered her yesterday in a talk with Charles Eisenstein where she raises an interesting point I have wondered about too … how conscious are the current Greek leaders of the shift in story that is manifesting through them?

Offered in respect for the hardships that Greeks have endured on behalf of us all.

Posted in AltEco, Greece, Intake, Money, outside | Tagged , | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

Obama’s Stealth Startup

n

It seems that Obama has launched an interesting information technology experiment: the United States Digital Services program. In large part thanks to the fiasco of the original Healthcare.gov launch after which a small group of Silicon Vally tech experts were hired to get the job re-done. Open-source goes to government?

via Matt Mullenweg

 

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

Euro as “Creative Destruction”

n

Can it be that the Greek (and Portugal and Spain and … ) crisis is inherently built into the design of the Eurozone?

“The euro would really do its work when crises hit … Removing a government’s control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession … It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians … [And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business”

from the Guardian: Robert Mundell, evil genius of the Euro

 

Posted in Greece, Intake, Intellect Run Amok, Money, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

Spring Allergy

n

Since being in Romania I’ve been dealing every year with an almost month-long period of allergy. When nature comes into abundance (and the air is filled with pollen) my body responds with disproportionate self-defense. I use faith, curiosity and loads of patience to deal with it, no medication. I am trying to signal to my body and my consciousness that everything is OK and that there is no need to respond with such intensity. I don’t use any medication. I am hoping that over the years a change will occur.

This year I arrive at my potential allergy season with a few preparations in place:

  1. I was in the midst of a continuous and quality period of practice including advances in my pranayama practices.
  2. I was in a relatively stable emotional state with less potential obstacles to effect me.
  3. I was drinking mallow tea (together with nettles and yarrow) from the day it grew enough for me to harvest, after discovering last year that it eases my breathing quite a bit.
  4. I was starting to introduce into my diet some wild weeds.

It seemed to work … there was no sign of allergy, despite plenty of flowering and pollen in the air, until the end of May. Then at the beginning of June it erupted. Though I can’t definitively correlate the two there seemed to have been a triggering event. I went out one night to a movie screening during the TIFF (Transilvania International Film Festival). It was an outdoor screening, at night (when I am usually already winding down). It was a cold night and I arrived home late at night (and the movie was the disappointing documentary about Kurt Cobain). I woke up the next morning with noticeable allergy symptoms.

It is now the end of June and the symptoms are finally winding down. The main expression of the allergy was in my breathing. My nasal passages seem to be inflamed because there is very little congestion and yet my breathing was blocked. As a result I experienced many sleepless nights. Though I was usually able, with patience and a constant flow of tea, to find some rest, there was an accumlative effect of restlessness during this period.

I quickly lost access to my on-the-mat practice. I tried holding on to it in the first days but my breath could not support a practice. Trying to practice made my breathing worst. About a week ago I started consciously sampling my breath and found that if I took a deep ujjayi breath it collapsed into coughing. Yesterday was the first time I was able to practice since this episode started. It was in the second half of the day (my morning and evening breath is still disrupted) and because of the rain I was indoors (instead of being outside working on the new deck).

My breath did NOT deteriorate into asthmatic symptoms which was a definite improvement over last year. I came close to a bit of asmathic trumpet-wheezing two or three times, but was able to softly care for and contain it so it did not escalate.

I feel there was an improvement. Next year I will try to be more caring and avoid any potential triggering events during this period of the year (which means a further increase in my already monastic tendencies). I hope my diet will continue to evolve and include more wild edibles. And I am curious to see if there is an improvement over the years.

 

Posted in About, Myself, Yoga, Yoga & I | Tagged | You are welcome to read 2 comments and to add yours

Stop Crying

n

and in my dream I was sitting on the floor, unpacking my back pack
my back was to the door but I felt him walking in behind me
in an obvious way he walked past me and into the room
he started singing and I, and others in the room, joined him
I sang fully, not in a whisper as I usually do
when we reached the words “brother, brother …” tears of surrender flowed from my eyes
those tears carried me out of my dream but only half way into waking
in that in between place I felt him come behind mehe put his hand gently on my shoulder
he said to me in his soft, ringing voice “stop crying”
it was a strange kind of soft command, not demanding, but inevitably inviting
his words completed my journey into waking
I lay in bed awake in the early dawn
I was peace

Posted in Fragments, inside | You are welcome to add your comment

Paul Ford – What is Code?

n

An enteraining read (warning: 38,000 words) on what code / software is –  “It’s a comedy of ego, made possible by logic gates”. My interest in the people and culture behind code pulled out this quote:

“Coding is a culture of blurters. This can yield fast decisions, but it penalizes people who need to quietly compose their thoughts, rewarding fast-twitch thinkers who harrumph efficiently. Programmer job interviews, which often include abstract and meaningless questions that must be answered immediately on a whiteboard, typify this culture. Regular meetings can become sniping matches about things that don’t matter.”

via Matt Mullenweg

Posted in Business, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to add your comment

Thanks to Peacemakers

n

Fresh from Charles Eisenstein … read the entire post for the backstory:

“It has taken a journey for us to reach this place, and the future may hold new challenges … To get here, we had to let go of all kinds of victim stories, hurts and resentment, reasons why one is right and another wrong … what feels more true to me is that we are being carried by a wave of change, a wave of transcendence, a wave of peacemaking … Deep thanks to you, peacemakers … “

 

Posted in Expanding, inside | Tagged | You are welcome to add your comment

Greece and Changing the Rules

n

It seems that the standoff between Greece and its creditors is reaching yet another critical point. What shimmered for me in this article is:

“At issue is just a €2bn financing gap between what the Greeks are prepared to offer and what the creditors are demanding, but the problem goes deeper into questions of power and rules.”

I think / hope / feel that everyone involved knows that the rules need to change but that very few can contain the extent of this (relatively simple) truth – that it is getting more and more difficult to hide the fact that debt, no matter how you shuffle it around, cannot be repaid. If the creditors do see this (in their private circles) it would mean a devastation of the world as they know it … making it reasonable for them to prefer the devastation of (just) Greece.

I have a feeling that the Greek government do see the problem. They have a unique, first hand perspective on the future outcomes of the currently dominant policies – they are speaking to the rest of the EU (and the rest of the world) from a future that potentially awaits us all. They also seem to realize that the rules can only be gradually changed for those changes to be embraced within the existing socio-political landscape. This is apparent in this post by the Greek finance-minister.

Interestingly it seems that the realities of (European, if not beyond) inter-being are acting as the cohesive and balancing elements in this situation. Greece is already on the edge of the cliff … leaning over the edge, holding on to a rope held by its creditors. Its creditors may think they are on safe ground and can let Greece fall with no harm to them. But the story of the EU may be tying a rope that binds their feet with falling Greece.

I can’t and am not interested in understanding all the financial minutae, however I noticed that the Greek minister is opting for transparency and doing so on a WordPress website (hosted on WordPress.com) and it reached me via Falco Valkenburg on Twitter. The other players seem to think they can hide within the privacy of their power trappings. That, to me is, a valuable indicator of who is siding with the future and who is siding with the past.

Most amazing to me is that this debate isn’t about changing reality itself (the reality of people living their lives) but about how we view that reality. It is a story that is changing … and that story changing is an inevitability. That is why I am more interested in who is clinging and who is changing. For me Greece, BECAUSE it is economically devastated, is a tired scout returning with valuable information about our shared future.

 

Posted in AltEco, Greece, Intake, Money, outside, Wordpress | Tagged | You are welcome to add your comment

Ambitions and Exhales

n

The Hebrew word for Inhale (she-ifa) also means ambition … and so it is that after ambition comes exhale.

 

Posted in Hebrew, inside | You are welcome to add your comment

Why Efi?

n

Efi, the oldest chicken at Bhudeva, died. I found her unmoving but breathing yesterday and carried her outside to some soft green grass and sunshine, placed her back inside in the evening and found her dead this morning. She had a mixture of grey (her name came from the Hebrew word for gray) and white feathers.

If I remember correctly she was a Bhudeva native … she was first an egg here and then hatched in the first generation of chicks that were born here (though she may be from the initial batch of chicks that Andreea’s aunt gifted us when we moved to Bhudeva). Andreea was still here and she used to spend time with the chickens (more then I did/do). Efi was the chicken that most clearly responded to Andreea’s affections. As a result she, unlike the rest of the chickens, actually came up to people asking for attentions. When I went to give the chickens food in the morning she would come up to me so close that I would have be careful not to step on her. She let me caress her neck (and would lower her head for better access), massage her chest, she would lift her wings for some under-wing touching. More like a dog then a chicken.

Over the last two years I thought about culling her (it wasn’t personal, just flock management) … but didn’t. She hasn’t been productive for a long time. She had to be separated from the main flock because the males would be too hard on her. She had patches of missing feathers and sometimes and raw skin from the males mounting her. She spent the lat couple of months together with an old(ish) male – they became very intimate … like a couple of pensioners. I left the two of them in the barn when I moved the rest of the chickens to pasture. Sometimes I let them out for some sun and grass … but only when I was around to supervise so that they didn’t damage garden plants. He was more active. She would find a comfortable spot to sit … and just sit there. When I was around she sometimes stayed close to me.

P1070270

P1070271

Yesterday I felt she was nearing her end. This morning she was gone. I asked myself what to do with her – compost or bury? An answer came: “bury”. I asked myself where? An answer came “next to the experimental swale”. I asked myself now (I had just come out of my morning practice, I wanted to make breakfast and it was raining) or later? An answer came: “now”. So off I went …

I carried her up the hill to the swale and started digging a hole. It then came to me to plant a tree on top of her. I asked myself which tree? An answer came “the acacia tree on the path next to the house”. I started walking in that direction to dig up the tree … on the way I passed the prune orchard and asked myself “how about a prune tree?” An answer came “no”. I continued to the tree but it was too big and too established to dig out and transport. I was sent to another tree on a path that winds up behind the house. It too was established but it was willing to go. I found myself digging and working hard … the rich clay soil is saturated with water … and the tree has strong roots. I had to bring an axe to cut through some of the roots. I got it out … the root system was large with two large stems growing out of it. I dragged the tree with me to the swale and continued digging a larger hole to accommodate the large roots. It was an elongated hole. I placed Efi’s body gently in on one end, covered it with some soil, then added the tree and covered it all.

I got home tired, wet, sweaty and dirty (I had only planned to step out for a short/soft morning round). I got out of my clothes and had a short shower. I dressed in a random selection of mismatched colors. I then resumed my breakfast plans … centered around an omlette with freshly harvested after-the-rain-mushrooms, wild nettles and spinach leaves from the garden. An abundant experience … an abundance which Efi is now a part of.

During all this I was wondering – why? What was so special about Efi? I am not an animal lover … certainly not an emotional one. Why would I delay my breakfast, go out in the rain and mud, carry a dead chicken and an uprooted tree up a hill? Efi’s behavior was not a result of my caring for her … it was Andreea’s relating to her … and THAT was why. Efi was and continues to be a reminder of a quality of relationship that Andreea nurtured. A vibration I deeply appreciate. I didn’t put Efi in the compost pile (where she would have been recycled into nutrients which would have nourished the Bhudeva ecosystem) because I wanted that vibration to cycle more deeply into the ecology of Bhudeva.

An acacia tree signifies a deeper relationship than a prune tree. The prune tree may have have produced fruits for me, but the acacia tree will nurture the soil it grows on and its surrounding ecology creating longer lasting effects. The location is at an experiment of healing and restoration. The tree has two stems sticking out in a V shape … a shape of expansion that Andreea introduced into our life and Bhudeva.

All those vibrations (and more than I am conscious of) resonated through me, through Efi, through Andreea … and into the earth here at Bhudeva … on this delicate, rainy spring morning.

Posted in Uncategorized | You are welcome to add your comment