NonViolent Consciousness for ME!




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Current Blog

Archived Blog Postings from 2010:

New Year which began on the solstice, Dec. 2010

"Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean?
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down?
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life"
the summer day – mary oliver – 1992

Five Mindfullness Trainings by Wake Up (Aug. 2010)

Engaged Buddhism
I really like this version of the mindfullness trainings from the website Wake Up
"Young Buddhists and non-Buddhists for a Healthy and Compassionate Society is a world-wide network of young people practising the living art of mindfulness. We share a determination to live in an awakened way, taking a 21st Century version of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings as our path and guiding light."
Link to their 5 mindfulness trainings

transformation (June 2010)

This is a quote from a book called Twelve by Twelve, by William Powers.

"We imagine that the caterpillar, knowing that it is time, goes to sleep in its womblike cocoon and wakes up a smiley, happy butterfly. That's not what happens. As biologist Elisabet Sahtouris explains, the caterpillar devotes its life to hyper-consuption, greedily eating up nature's bounty. Then it attaches itself to a twig, and encases itself in chrysalis. Once inside, crisis strikes: its body partially liquefies into broth.

"Yet, perhaps guided by an inner wisdom, what Sahtouris calls ‘organizer cells’ go around rounding up their fellow cells to form ‘imaginal buds.’ These multicellular buds begin to bloom into an entirely new organism but not without resistnace. The caterpillar's immune system still functions and thinks that the imaginal buds are a virus and attacks them.

"But the imaginal buds resist – and ultimately prevail – because they link together, cooperatively, to become a beautiful butterfly, which lives lightly, regenerates life through pollinating flowers, and migrates over vast distances, exploring life in ways that would have been incomprehensible to the caterpillar.

". . . people I was meeting were undergoing this transformation, not alone but in a network of hundreds of thousands of other ‘imaginal buds’ throughout . . . the United States and the world. By allowing themselves the space to change, instead of clinging out of fear to what they knew, they were embarking on this transformative journey."

What felt so encouraging to me in reading this was the concept that the transformation is attacked from within by its own former self. Which is what seems so often to describe what I perceive inside myself. And yet the "imaginal buds" ( I LOVE that image) prevail. So much hope and optimism in those thoughts and encouragement to keep forming and feeding those "imaginal buds."


Musings on the hemorrhage in the Gulf of Mexico and my own personal baby steps (May 2010)

"Kids get it. They ask: Why would we want to stay dependent on an energy source that could destroy so many birds, fish, beaches and ecosystems before the next generation has a chance to enjoy them? Why aren't we doing more to create clean power and energy efficiency?" (from 1,000,000 against offshore drilling.)

So can we look at this oil addiction through our children's and grandchildren's eyes and decide to individually and collectively do something real about it?

I gave up my car in December of last year. Admittedly, the timing was due to the car failing inspection. But I decided I would try to see if I could live without a car. I also decided to dedicate the $30/month I was paying for car insurance to causes that were working to create a better future for all of us here on Planet Earth. Some of the organizations this former insurance money is going to are in the links at the right.

It's almost June now, and I am more committed than ever to NOT getting another car. I have been working on a small sailboat that has been beached in Provincetown since the fall of 2007; I finally have a little bit of energy to devote to it.

I have actually been sleeping onboard for about a month now, and I've got a small galley set up. It remains to be seen if I will succeed in getting it back in the water and making it sail-able. Even more in doubt is whether I can survive on it in the winter.

Even now, I frequently use my daughter's office as respite for myself and my dog, from the heat and the crowds of people and dogs on the beach. What will happen when it gets cold and dark for so much of the day? I am viewing all this from a point of curiosity most days, although admittedly there have been a few days of discouragement.

I have taken baby steps also towards growing food: 2 tiny garden patches, really almost symbolic more than practical. But it's a start.

My requests to readers:
Read No Impact Man and think about what you can do in your own life to help us make this planetary paradigm shift, which touches literally every single facet of our lives.
Make comments here about your own efforts, ideas, questions, experiments. I would love to share in your hopes, visions, and personal changes.

There were 2 Comments, but they seem to have been lost when the wordpress this blog was on went down.

How are we blocking the flow of our energy? (April 2010)

What things are we doing, individually and collectively, that block our natural flow of enthusiastic enjoyment of life?

I think one of the ways that we block our flow is by inwardly pushing and criticizing ourselves rather than connecting with our own deep values and intentions and then acting from there. Here's a self-connection exercise that addresses this question. It will probably take about 20-30 minutes to do, but I'm guessing it will be time that surprises you.

  1. Take 5 minutes and write down every "should" and "have-to" that comes into your mind, ones you tell yourself, as well as ones you hear others tell you or imagine that others are thinking about you.
  2. Now read through them and pick the one that has the most emotional charge for you. (You can go back later and do this process on each of them one by one, if you care to)
  3. Read the one you picked over to yourself a couple of times, and then just write all your stream of consciousness thoughts that come up around this issue for about 5 minutes or so until you feel the "steam" subside.
  4. Now take the feelings cards, go through the deck, and pick out all the feelings cards that name feelings that fit this situation for you.
  5. Next, go through the needs cards and pick out all the needs cards that fit this situation.
  6. Spend a few minutes just reading these cards and feeling whatever comes up for you.
  7. Now look at the original statement you started with, the "should" or "have-to" statement. See if you can now make a new statement of intent that starts with "I choose to", related to this situation. You might be surprised what statement comes up at this point.

No matter WHAT comes up while doing this exercise, practice just looking at it, being with the thoughts and feelings, letting everything have space to present itself into your consciousness without pushing anything away.

What percentage of your life is pleasure-able? (April 2010)

Poppa Neutrino asked me this question the other day: "What percentage of your life is pleasurable?"

What I realized in checking myself out before answering was that almost ALL of my life is pleasure-able, meaning it is something that contains pleasure for me, if I pay attention to that.

There are actually only a few things, such as fighting with my dog over how we walk together, or how much she barks, which are not pleasurable.

So then I have to wonder, if I am not FEELING this pleasure sensation most of the time, what is standing in the way? In my case, just old habits of having a lens that sees what needs to be done or what I wish were different, and I can easily shift (now, after years of work) my focus and voila! I am suddenly noticing AND FEELING joy and beauty. It's always there, and just a small shift of focus can change everything.

So how does this relate to NonViolent Consciousness? I realize that when I am using my mind to focus on thoughts or ideas that prevent me from seeing and feeling the beauty and wonder all around me and within me, I am actually doing violence to my spirit.

Caveat: in no way am I proposing an attitude of repressing or ignoring the difficulties and sadnesses, the sufferings going on all around us all the time, nor am I suggesting avoiding action on these situations when possible and warranted. What I AM saying is, you can see all this AND at the same time, be aware of the other side of the coin, the beauty and optimism inherent in being alive.