“All of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout from the heart-perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example-but authenticity always and absolutely carries a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you.”
Ken Wilber

TheNewIRS & SecondGov

n

A joy to watch this video of Alex Ebert introducing SecondGov and TheNewIRS. His work resonates so closely with a story of Oameni that I’ve been carrying with me for some time. As I listened to Alex’s soft and inviting story telling I could feel my body relaxing into an embrace of a comforting knowledge that someone is actually creating this. Joy 🙂

 

 

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Charles Eisenstein: Great Souls

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“We often think of misfortune as some kind of punishment for past evil, a theme that runs through religious thought both East and West … How else to explain the sweet, innocent babies in the children’s cancer wards? If we are not to resort to blind, pitiless, purposeless chance, we need another explanation for the innocence of our victims. Perhaps they are great souls, meeting the huge necessity for innocent victims that our civilization has wrought. “I will go,” they say. “I am big enough. I am ready for this experience.””

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Evil

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“Evil is not only a response to the perception of separation, it is also its product. How do we deal with this implacable, malevolent Evil? Because force is the only language it understands, we are compelled to join it in force … Human beings have been committing horrors for thousands of years in the name of conquering evil. The identity of evil keeps changing—the Turks! the Infidels! the bankers! the French! the Jews! the bourgeoisie! the terrorists!—but that mindset remains the same. As does the solution: force. As does the result: more evil.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Psychopathy

n

Most of the quotes I have recently posted from Charles Eisenstein have shimmered for me to share with others, this one is more of a bookmark for myself.

“Here is another story from Book IV of the Liezi (translation Thomas Cleary):

Lung Shu said to the physician Wen Chi, “Your art is subtle. I have an ailment; can you cure it?”

The physician said, “I will do as you say, but first tell me about your symptoms.”

Lung Shu said, “I am not honored when the whole village praises me, nor am I ashamed when the whole country criticizes me. I look upon life as like death, and see wealth as like poverty. I view people as like pigs, and see myself as like others. At home I am as though at an inn, and I look upon my native village as like a foreign country. With these afflictions, rewards cannot encourage me, punishments cannot threaten me. I cannot be changed by flourishing or decline, gain or loss; I cannot be moved by sorrow or happiness. Thus I cannot serve the government, associate with friends, run my household, or control my servants. What sickness is this? Is there any way to cure it?”

The physician had Lung Shu stand with his back to the light while he looked into his chest. After a while he said, “Aha! I see your heart; it is empty! You are nearly a sage. Six of the apertures in your heart are open, one of them is closed. This may be why you think the wisdom of a sage is an ailment. It cannot be stopped by my shallow art.””

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

… and I, after many years of wondering about my inability to experience happiness (even when I am “up”) directly (only through others), have recently begun moving not towards an answer but rather towards a wider question … realizing that I don’t seem to experience sadness (even when I way “down”) either …

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Charles Eisenstein: Inner Activisim

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“Wouldn’t it be nice if the problem were indeed the greed and wickedness of the dastardly individuals who hold the reins of power? The solution would be so simple then—simply remove those people from power, scour the world of evil. But that is just more of the same war against evil that has been with us ever since the first agricultural civilizations invented the concept of evil to begin with. More of the same will only bring more of the same. Surely the time has come for a deeper sort of revolution.

… Truly, to be an effective activist requires an equivalent inner activism.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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radio-frequency id-tagged seven-day cows

n

This post was written to bookmark and share an article titled Americas Artificial Heartland

It is almost an important article to read … almost because for me it resonated strongly with Robert Pirsig’s views on Quality (in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) and our blindness to it due to a ancient man-made division between what Pirsig calls classical (favoriting structure, logic, sciences, etc.) and romantic (favoriting integration, hollism, etc.) views. The article gives a stark example of this destructive living division in consciousness as it exists today in American society (and from there is spreading like an infection across the planet).

Ironically, the author himself seems to manifest this division. The article benefits from a substantial subject matter. It could have been more clear, concise and penetrating in more plain-spoken language. Instead it struggles to elegantly-twist in complex sentences, fancy wording and redundant poetics and undermining the power of its message.

As I read it I picked out some quotes but when I viewed them outside the whole context of the article they felt fragmented and lifeless. So no shortcuts on this one, if you want to know what its about it you are going to have to read it from start to end.

this came to me via Arthur

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Charles Eisenstein: The Power of Attention

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“The power of attention is much greater than the force of self-restraint.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: The Fix

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“Our addictions and superficial pleasures aren’t only substitutes for something else – they are also glimpses of that something, promises. Shopping does give many people a fleeting experience of abundance or connection. Sugar does give many people a feeling of loving themselves. Cocaine offers a moment of knowing oneself as a capable, powerful being. Heroin offers a brief surcease from the pain that one had experienced as omnipresent. A soap opera produces the feeling of belonging, which properly comes from being enmeshed in the stories of the people one sees every day … Over time, their palliative efficacy diminishes while their destructive side effects grow. The drug stops working. We up the dose. Eventually that doesn’t work either.

The same dynamic currently afflicts our civilization. We constantly up the dose of technology, of laws and regulations, of social controls, of medical interventions. In the beginning, it seemed, these measures brought great improvements, but now they barely suffice to maintain normality and keep the pain at bay …

In both cases, the personal and collective, the fix masks an underlying malady. In both cases, when the fix stops working, the underlying condition comes to the surface, and there is no choice but to confront it. That is what is happening to our society today.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Yoga On the Mat Practice: Winter 2013/2014

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Shortly after my previous on-the-mat update I asked my teacher to take my practice a step forward. To my understanding, the direction he took was changing from a langhana to a langhana-somewhat-brahmana practice. The previous practice was a healing practice, this practice has been a continuation of that healing togather with a sense of renewed vitality.

After I was given the practice I had a period of ~2 weeks of undisturbed practice. Then almost a month (a two week visit by Annelieke and then recovering from illness) of disturbed practice followd by almost daily practice (there was a 2nd visit by Annelieke with some, though less disturbance to my practice).

ronen-november-2013Followed by the following pranayama sequence – using Anuloma Ujjayi:

8.0.8.0   x8
8.0.12.0 x8
4.0.8.0   x8

and then a short counter-posture sequence.

Some clarifications:

  • asana#1: front & sides
  • asana#2: 3 times with only exhale + 3 times with mild B.K. (hold after the exhale)
  • asana#3: 2 times open + 2 times twist + 2 times open
  • asana#14: 2 times exhale longer than inhale + 2 times with added B.K.

Physical Reflections

#1: I was intrigued to find how subtle variation effected me. I started by practicing alternating front and side (up side, down front, up font, down side, etc.) – and it anoyed me. I changed it to only up side (preferring to raise my arms on the side as a continuation of the movement generated by the breath), down front and I felt much better with it. In recent weeks I changed to 3 times up-side, down-front and then 3 times up-front, down side … which felt like a smoother connection to the 2nd posture.

#2: at first there was stifness, but I quickly found myself returning to (a) past movement range; (b) variety in range depending on my general well-being.

#3: At first the open twist seemed to continue the work I’d been doing in the previous practice in opening and softening the shoulders/shoulder bladed. Similar pains appeared at first … though not for long. I think I have arrived at an unprecedented relationship with trikonasana (both open and twisted).

#4: I was surprised to find physical strength, most of the development has been in the breath.

#6: The part of me that still likes and dislikes, dislikes downward facing dog very much. There is a kind of mini-trauma for me with this asana. My arms don’t straighten fully, which means they never arrive at a place where I can benefit from skeletal support, which means I have to rely heavily on muscles. This demands all of my attention. If I divert any attention away from my arms and shoulders I feel like I am going to collapse. So I have never (in all my years of practice) have  really experienced a sense of settling in the posture. Having said that I started this practice barely holding 4 breaths of ~4.0.4.0 and am now holding 4 breaths of ~8.0.8.0 peacefully.

#8: Surprised to find I still had this range. Experiencing for the first time with such stark clarity an interplay between strength and flexibility.

#9: Again, surprised I had the core strength to contain this asana with quality.

#11: I moved savasana to after the raised leg postures where I needed it  (I did not need it after lying twists). I’ve been needing it less and less as my breath is redeveloping.

#10: Subtle yet clear development – finding consistently more range regardless of general well-being. Previously tight-life directly manifested in this posture and limited my range. Also breath has become more peaceful.

#14: Reconnected with past range of movement. I started with two blocks and am now practicing with just one.

There is an overall sense of improved strength and vitality, though vitality is still very much linked to general well-being. There are few days when my general being is not well and I either do not practice or practice only partially.

Breath

Breath has really developed over this period of practice.

The most challenging postures have been: utkatasana (4), downard facing dog (6) and raised legs  (9). In all three there is much less forcefulness in my breath after the sequence and a much shorter recuperation period.

In recent weeks I have reconnected with a softness that comes from aiming to complete these three postures with a settled breath. I began this journey coarsly by shortening the breath from a typical ~8.0.8.0 to ~6.0.6.0 … and I find the breath is gradually expanding again (though also with sensitivity to my general vitality and well being).

I have re-connected with a softer and more peaceful presence in B.K.

Pranayama

The pranayama practice has been fine though initially the 1.0.2.0 ratio was surprising. Now it is fine and even welcome.

Generally when I began with this pranayama sequence I felt like my energy channels were dead. The only sensation available to me was the flowing air out of my nostrils – it wasn’t connected to anything inside. I would describe the place I am currently at in this relationship as “undead” … not quite dead and not yet alive.

The illness with which I met the new calendar year manifested in my mouth: no eating, no talking, etc. The healing period after the illness had the typical coughing that lasted two+ weeks. However during this healing period I had for a couple of days clear nostrils like I have not experienced in many years. This did not last long. I believe that my nostrils may be slightly clearer then they were a few months ago, though not categorically different.

I’m surprised to find that even though it is a short pranayama sequence that I still experience some discomfort in the raised (nostril controlling) arm.

Mind

There is an overall sense of steadiness though of-course diversion and wonderings are there.

However there has been a noticeable change at the end of the practice. During the previous practice I’d arrived at an ending that felt meditative. This period has brought me to an ending where I, though steady, want to move on to a doing … not escaping, not agitated … more ready to move on … less ready for stillness.

Inclinations

As I’ve been practicing I found my body wanting to go places that are not yet in the practice. Rather then speculating where my teacher will guide me next, I thought to make a note of the wishes that my body has expressed and then see how those wishes align with how my practice will evolve. I have given a little thought to these wishes and I could reflect on their qualities and relationship to my perception of the practice evolution, but I have mostly opted to receive them as direct expression and wisdom of the body.

  • Extend kumbhaka from 2-3 seconds to 3-4 seconds
  • Add stays in the standing twists
  • Continue into shoulder-stand after raised leg sequence
  • Extend stretch in lying twists by extending one (top) leg
  • Add lying back-bends
  • Add mid-range movement/stay into seated forward bends
  • Refine stay in pranayma

Proactive

I usually start my practice with some Shakuhachi. I always go through some series of “technique” practices focused on quality of breath and sound. Sometimes, when I feel an invitation to do so, I venture into playing exploration.

It was at this junction that I first realized something that then seemed to be present on the mat and off it. For me to play something there needs to be an active wanting. The technique practices do not require this. For playing I need to want to express myself, to speak-out … to say something, if there is nothing I want to say, there is nothing for me to play … there is silence.

I think this describes a general change in my quality of energy. I am more alert, more looking for doing, more wanting. It is a delicate place for me given where I am. Though spring is here and physical work is available and inviting my inclinations of doing point in other directions … to places I do not yet have access to.

So on the one hand I welcome the vitality, on the other hand I do not enjoy the unfulfilled temptations it brings with it. For the time being I am able to feed this energy with physical work that is available to me. I have also been able to resume some website work … though it is expressive work … I feel it is not a healthy doing for me.

Stable Instability

During the last few weeks (3 or 4) I have been experiencing a two-day cycle. One day of vitality and then a day that starts well but then crashes by mid-day … the crashes are unpleasant and I basically wait for the day to end.

Over the last week the crashes have been softer and generally coming later in the day. I’ve been able to sometimes softly go through them and rise again … delicately and patiently. I have surrendered to a short nap when it comes on (I used to avoid mid-day napping, because I could never quite resume sharpness afterwards).

When reflecting on this I also realized that is may be associated with another two-day cycle. Ffor a long time (I don’t remember how long) my cleansing cycle – bowel movements – have also been on a steady two-day cycle instead of once a day. This has been disrupted marginally during the last few months … but for the most part has remained a steady pattern.

I should say that this is  noticeable time of change. The days are getting longer (by ~30 minutes every week). Winter is making room for an early spring. The longer days combined with more activity require more food. Very powerful winds. Much is shifting. Spring is a time of change and I seem to be half a beat behind the tune … so somewhat out of tune … in a constant catching up. Hoping, over the coming years, to find more internal resiliency which will manifest as a more stable external connection.

Yet overall this has been a period of very regular practice … I’d say 95% of the days … compared to ~80% during the previous practice period.

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Cory Doctorow on Privacy

n

excellent talk on technology, design and privacy:

via Pietro

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Please!

n

stay at least until you hear “please” for the first time

youtube

update: that one word “please”, every time I hear it moves energy from my head down to my heart space

Joy, joy is the giving
Give to everybody
Joy!
Joy!

War, war is the ego
Of man’s repressed libido
Love!
Love!

Feel, the love
Hear, the love
See the love

Please!
Please!
Please!

Love, love is the mother
God, god is the human
You, the generator
Please!
Please!

Peace, peace is the giving
A piece for everybody
Please
Please

Feel, you love
Hear, you love
See you love
Love

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Charles Eisenstein: Evidence and Logic

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“Evidence and logic are tools we use to justify and flesh out our beliefs, but we are deceiving ourselves to think that they are the source of our beliefs.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Technology

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“At the present juncture, the primary importance of the technologies of interbeing isn’t in what they can do. It is that they puncture the reality bubble in which we have lived, showing us that neither we nor the world is what we thought.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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FairPhone

n

I just discovered FairPhone – a phone that is designed with care for the environment and the people who produce it. Exciting.

It’s a fascinating story of a mixed bag of community effort and business development. 25,000 phones have been sold in the first batch and a 2nd batch is on the way with almost 40,000 more people who have shown an interest in buying a phone. The result is a self-sustaining entity that produces competitive phones to the big destructive players. When 60,000 people take interest in such a phone I can’t help but feel that change is here.

Unfortunately at the core of the phone is a very unfair operating system – the heavily Google leaning Android. However in reading through the site it seems that somewhere down the line the phone may support FirefoxOS and Ubuntu for Phones. When that happens I may finally consider(!) a smartphone for a few little comforts it may offer. And when that happens I will be hugely relieved to know that there is an alternative to the mainstream monstrosities.

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Charles Eisenstein: Receive a Vision

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“We must learn to see the world through the eyes of the gift …

it is not ours to decide what is true or possible. Some teachings ask us to start by creating a vision, but this is mistaken; the proper way to start is to receive a vision … The second step is to heal the wounds and doubts that that vision illuminates … The third step is to bow into service to that which wants to be born …

… A leader is the holder of a story, someone whose experience of its reality is deep enough so that she can hold the belief on behalf of others …

The deeper our service to that which wants to be born, the more it is able to arrange the synchronistic encounters and fortuitous events that allow us to accomplish that which lies beyond our understanding …

This whole process of cocreating change starts not with faith but with honesty… to believe in a true vision that contradicts the consensus view of what is possible or worthwhile … To trust a moment of clarity and carry it forward, to translate it into belief and act from it amid all the voices that say it is crazy or impossible, is no trivial matter.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Obviously, a gift

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“Things have to happen that we don’t know how to make happen. If you don’t ‘make’ it happen, and it happens, then how does it happen? Obviously, it happens as a gift.

How and why does this happen? If we could some how master the technology of being in the right place in the right time, if we could learn to ride the flow of synchronicity, then we would have accessed a power greater than anything the world of force is capable of”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: No Map

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“When we have a map from A to B, we can just follow the directions. Now is not that time. The calculable results are not enough. We need miracles. We have caught a glimpse of our destination, the destination that hope foretells, but we have no idea how to get there. We walk an invisible path with no map and cannot see where any turning will lead.

… It is not going to help you to make choices from the calculating mind, But it will provide a logical framework within which our heart-based choices make a lot more sense.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Our House is on Fire

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“Specifically, when are the methods of ‘practicality’ appropriate? Quite simply, they are appropriate when we know how to do something from within our current understanding of causality. If your stove is on fire and you have a fire extinguisher, then of course you use the fire extinguisher. You don’t ignore it and pray for a miracle.

But by the same token, if your house is a roaring inferno and all you have is a puny fire extinguisher that you know is far insufficient to the task, you shouldn’t just wave it in front of the flames in a posture of heroism.

The latter situation is a good description of our current predicament. Yes, it is true, our house is on fire … But what should we do about it? Or more to the point, what should you do about it? What, according to the conventional notions of causality that nearly everyone in modern society has deeply internalized, can you do that is practical. Nothing. Therefore, we must learn to follow another kind of guidance, one that leads to an expanded realm of what is possible.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Charles Eisenstein: Futility of Control

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“The ideology of control says that if we can only identify the “cause”, we can control climate change. Fine, but what if the cause is everything? Economy, politics, emissions, agriculture, medicine … all the way to religion, psychology, our basic stories through which we apprehend the world? We face then the futility of control and the necessity for transformation.”

Charles EisensteinThe More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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Hover Boards … for real

n

via Nora Kirkpatrick

turns out to be a good hoax 🙂

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