Friday, February 15, 2013

Charles Eisenstein - Author of Sacred Economics

What does the "story of the people" mean to you.  Do you believe our defining mythology is changing?  What have you seen to support these views?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My New Favorite Speaker

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'd Do it For Free (part 1)

Today, I'm beginning a series of posts on work, fulfillment, and compensation.  I've been thinking of these quite a bit lately and have some thoughts and questions to share.  To get us started, I'd like to refer you to a video clip from the documentary, "Hackers Wanted."  If you have some time, the entire documentary is thought provoking.  Check it out and see what you think.  There'll be more to come from me soon.

At any rate, theYouTube video clip is entitled, "desmond morris @ monkey painting experiment" and is narrated by Kevin Spacey.  Here's the transcript for the clip:
In 1962, Desmond Morris published his book, The Biology of Art, which details his experiments teaching chimpanzees to paint.  The chimps enjoyed painting immensely, and eagerly created works of energetic colors and strokes.  One phase of Morris' experiment involved rewarding the chimps for producing their paintings.  Whenever a chimpanzee painted, he received a peanut.  Surprisingly, very soon the quality of paintings began to degenerate until the chimps produced the bare minimum that would satisfy the experimenter.  Any joy found in the act of painting was lost as the chimps uncaringly slapped paint on their canvases and ran to collect their peanuts.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

McLibel Video

This is a video for anyone who gets discouraged about "the way things are."  It shows 2 people who stood up for what they believed and didn't give up even in the face of well funded opposition.  It's a true answer for the question, "But, what can I do??" 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Teaching v. Learning

Would you rather teach something or learn something?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Corpse Pose: The dying/rebirth cycle of healing

I took a yoga workshop over the weekend and heard something that made me prick up my ears.  The teacher was describing corpse pose, or savasana.  It's the pose that ends the yoga practice and basically entails lying supine in deep relaxation.  She said it was called corpse pose because during the pose, we were honoring all that had "died" during the practice and preparing for the rebirth as we exited the practice and entered the rest of the day.  I've gladly entered savasana many times in my practice, but I'd never thought of it in these terms.  I knew immediately that I would somehow incorporate this new perspective into my practice.

The following day, I was in yoga class, doing a heart opening pose.  My tight biceps was screaming at me and I was wondering how I could modify the pose to make it less intense.  About that time, the instructor came by and gave my upper back some support.  Before I could protest that I did not want to go deeper, a wave of fear washed over me.  I was afraid of the pain and the potential for injury.  As I watched the fear, it instantaneously dissolved and my shoulders relaxed and I softened into the pose.  Next, I felt waves of sorrow and knew that I'd experienced an emotional as well as a physical release.

Today in yoga class, I had a similar experience.  This time, it happened while working toward the splits, or hanumanasana.  We'd been warming and stretching our hips and thighs all class, working toward the splits.  My body is pretty tight in this area, so I don't really get into the splits, but I do set up some blocks and approximate the pose. As I settled into hanumanasana, my psyche used the opportunity of a physical opening to release emotions.  Although I had no specific reason for the feeling, I felt tears welling up.  This time, there were lots of tears and after finishing the pose, I rested on my back with my feet up the wall, allowing the emotions to flow. 

Of course, we're talking yoga class, so that means corpse pose at the end.  As I settled into corpse pose on each of these two days, I remembered the words of my teacher.  I thought about funerals.  At funerals, we give gratitude for the people we knew.  Even if we didn't always get along, we remember them with love.  I brought this attitude to my savasana.  I thought of the physical constrictions and the emotional holdings I'd encountered during my heart and hip openers.  They were now passing out of my body and out of my life and I wanted to honor them as I said goodbye.  Thank you, thank you, oh thank you, I whispered internally to the patterns that had lived in my heart and my pelvis.  I knew they had served me as best as they could and had been there for a reason.  I knew they had been with me for quite some time.  This was my chance to express appreciation before I began again without the old patterns. 

As my time in savasana ended, it was time to roll onto my side into fetal position.  I reminded myself of the true meaning of fetal--birth.  It was time to birth a renewed self.  From the powerful energetic shifts I'd experienced in my body, I knew I had truly undergone transformation.  On an energetic level, I wasn't the same, but I'd also changed physically.  My connective tissue had mechanically changed.  My nervous system had encountered new sensory inputs.  My muscles had reset their level of tension.  I brought conscious awareness of this freshness to my fetal position.  Then I sat up, ready to explore each present moment with mindful awareness.

The notion of death and dying can seem scary.  I know firsthand the difficulties of letting go.  Yet I'm pretty sure none of us want a stagnant life.  We yearn for newness, freshness, and growth.  In addition to birthing new things, the healing process necessitates allowing something to die.  It's about letting go and surrendering.  As I discovered in savasana, it helps to bring a ritual component to this process, to meet what's dying with love and gratitude. 

There's always something emerging from the ashes or from the void.  There's always new growth or experience or sensation.  I intend to keep this awareness in mind and embrace the healing cycle of death and rebirth.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Social Questions

Usually my posts are quite personal, but lately my thoughts are focused on the world around me. I'm thinking of Japan and humanity's use of nuclear power. I'm thinking of Libya and our use of force.  I'm looking around and wondering about the evolution of humanity.

It's not as if there aren't things going on for me personally. My life is a continual thread of spiritual, emotional, or physical development. It just seems trivial these days compared to the macrocosm.

A friend reminded me recently that the external world is a reflection of our collective inner worlds. What we see on the outside that seems destructive is the shadow of humanity. Ya know, I realize this is true, but the thought made me a bit exhausted. I've been actively embracing and integrating my shadow for over a decade. It's a not a pretty endeavor. Ghandi said "be the change you wish to see in the world." I'm trying. Actually, that's me being self-deprecating. (Didn't Yoda say something like, "Do not try. Do."?)  I think I am doing a decent job of being the change I wish to see.  It just doesn't feel enough. 

I'm trusting I will have the wisdom to see me through the waves of it all.  Will I balance inner and outer focus?  Will I balance doing the "work" (both internally and externally) with just relaxing and taking joy in being alive?  Will I be able to embrace humanity with all its darkness as well as myself and my own shadow?  These are the personal questions the events of the outside world bring to me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Inside Job Video

Ok, this video doesn't have an imbed option, so if you're interested, you'll have to follow the link.  It wons tons of critical attention.  I've just started watching it myself for a rainy Sunday matinee.