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Archive for February, 2012

Quote of the Week | Holding Our Seat


Learn More | Books and Audio | The Pema Chödrön Foundation
February 29, 2012


Patience has a quality of honesty and it also has a quality of holding our seat. We don’t automatically react, even though inside we are reacting. We let all the words go and are just there with the rawness of our experience.

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Practicing Peace in Times of War

Practicing Peace in Times of War, page 42

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Teachings by Pema Chödrön, from works published by Shambhala Publications. Photo by ©Andrea Roth.

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Profit vs. Principle: The Neurobiology of Integrity

May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true. May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you. — Bob Dylan

Good News of the Day:
Let your better self rest assured: Dearly held values truly are sacred, and not merely cost-benefit analyses masquerading as nobel intent. Neuroscientist Greg Berns of Emory University and colleagues posed a series of value-based statements to 27 women and 16 men while using an fMRI machine to map their mental activity. Test participants were asked if they’d sign a document stating the opposite of their belief in exchange for a chance at winning up to $100 in cash. If so, they could keep both the money and the document; only their consciences would know. The findings: when people didn’t sell out their principles, it wasn’t because the price wasn’t right. It just seemed wrong. “If it’s a sacred value to you, then you can’t even conceive of it in a cost-benefit framework,” said Berns. This Wired Magazine article shares further.

Be The Change:
“Truth is a quality of the mind that doesn’t depend on figuring things out or being clever.” A short reflection on putting integrity in action.

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Kindness Daily: The Hands We Are Dealt

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The Hands We Are Dealt February 28, 2012 – Posted by fourplusanangel
There is a homeless man who always seems to be perched on his bike somewhere along the main road running through our town. We see him every time we leave the house. He is either bundled up, hunched over his bags and blankets in the winter, or riding up and down the street in the summer when I suspect trying to catch a little breeze in the heat.

Whenever I see him I want to bring him a coffee, or a water, or a blanket, or a fan – but I never do.

His name is Bruce. I only know this because my brother-in-law saw him one freezing day on his way to our house. He asked his name and why he was sleeping in the field. Then he gave Bruce the coat off his back and the hat from his head!

Today I had a notion to venture to the mall with the little ones. As we headed inside we saw the ever-present bell-ringers of the holiday season, collecting money for the Salvation Army.

I echoed Merry Christmas to the freezing volunteer but, with full hands, did not put a dime in his bucket. I told myself I would catch him on the way out but never did.

While driving home from the mall, frazzled from all the get-back-heres, don’t-touch-thats and we-are-leaving-NOWs of our trip, I found myself stuck in the slowing traffic of our two lane road home. I was getting aggravated because it was nap-time for the little ones. They needed it and I needed it.

Then someone decided to cut in front of me. I muttered under my breath that cutting me off wasn’t going to get him anywhere – and where exactly did he think he was going anyway?

I realized he was pulling his car off the road.

The man I was cursing under my breath for disrupting my five minute drive home got out and walked over to Bruce (whom I had not even seen in my world of crabbiness.) He handed Bruce some money.

I looked back, through blurry eyes, and was really ticked off. At myself!

Sometimes I think the bitterness I feel for the hand I have been dealt clouds my view of the fact that there are others who have been dealt a hand with a card or two less. I was reminded today that I need to slow down the carousel, help when I know I should, and give when I know I can.

If you need me I will be rehearsing the art of removing money from my purse with my foot, so I can drop some in that little red bucket next time I pass a bell-ringer when my hands are full.

That is, after I find Bruce and invite him over for dinner!

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The Sweet Spot between Doing and Being

When one foot walks, the other foot rests. — Indian Proverb

Inspiration of the Day:
Activity balanced with rest: it’s the way all of nature works, a beautiful reminder that everything is in ebb and flow. Our own bodies follow natural patterns, recuperating every night and preparing for the next day’s action. With music as well, the structure imposed by notes inherently depends on the unstructured space supporting it. As a culture, though, we give more importance to creating notes and relatively little to the space between them. Sure, our rational minds want to ensure progress — but our intuitive minds need space for the emergent, unknown and unplanned to arise. Within the existing paradigm, the external comes first, the internal takes a backseat, and in deference to measurability, we become more tuned in to doing than to being. The problem isn’t in the doing per se: the secret to more balance lies in how we frame our efforts.

Be The Change:
“Only after a break can you have a breakthrough.” Whitney Johnson shares a similar view on her Harvard Business Review Blog.

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InnerNet Weekly: The Secret of Work

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from
The Secret of Work
by Swami Vivekananda

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Year of Dancing with Life – Week 21

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Dharma Wisdom: An integral approach to practicing the Buddha's teachings in daily life.
Week 21:
The Difference between
Pain and Suffering

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Cat Saves Owner’s Life Hours After Adoption

It always gives me a shiver when I see a cat seeing what I can’t see. — Eleanor Farjeon

Good News of the Day:
Amy Jung and her son Ethan stopped into The Humane Society near their home in Wisconsin to play with the cats, but one feline — a 21-pound cat named Pudding — stood out to the pair. They made an impulsive decision to adopt him and his friend Wimsy. That same night, Jung, who has had diabetes since childhood, started having a diabetic seizure in her sleep. That’s when Pudding sprang into action. The fast-acting feline sat on Jung’s chest in an attempt to wake her up and when that didn’t work, he nudged and nipped her face until she briefly returned to consciousness. In that moment, Jung was able to call out to Ethan, but he couldn’t hear her calls. Luckily, Pudding darted into Ethan’s room and pounced on the bed until he woke up and was able to call for help.

Be The Change:
Tune in consciously today to people’s needs, and do simple things like smiling at someone who might value it.

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Smile Newsletter: A Train Delayed And A Life Saved
Feb 26, 2012
“If you can change your mind, you can change your life.” — William James
Idea of the Week
165.jpg“”I left a smile card, an Andes mint chocolate, and a thank you note on my janitor’s cleaning cart when he went to use the restroom. He works so hard everyday, and I finally got my chance to thank him!” — thiaz

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Stories of the Week
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A Train Delayed And A Life Saved >>
A Spirit Guide To Lean On >>
A Family Tradition Lives On >>
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Knock Knock

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry. — William Shakespeare

Inspiration of the Day:
As an actor, singer, writer, and composer, Daniel Beaty has worked throughout the world in a variety of styles ranging from solo concerts to theatre to one-man plays to a gig at the White House. But here he is at a Def Jam Poetry contest, sharing about a topic near and dear to his heart — the essence of a father-son bond. In this 3-minute video, he delivers nothing short of a riveting, electrifying performance that draws the audience to its feet.

Be The Change:
Today, honor a father you know.

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How to Support Teens in Listening

Never argue with one’s own understanding. The whisper of intelligence is always there, whatever you do. — Vimala Thakar

Inspiration of the Day:
“Teens are quick to connect with each other by telling stories and passing along gossip via texting and social media. But students have lost the art of listening face to face by hiding behind the veil of anonymity. They often talk at each other. So on the first day of class, even before I outline the expectations of the class, students fill out a survey about how they recognize their own listening skills, by describing body language, listening habits, and preferences. They are asked to reflect on different scenarios from talking with peers, adults in authority, their guardians, and even when approaching strangers (fellow students in classes). They also recount the best conversation they have had within that past week, by sharing the finer points of body language, and how they felt afterwards.” High school teacher Ricky Knue shares her experiences in supporting teens in listening.

Be The Change:
Support a teen in your life in listening; start off by modeling an “agendaless presence.” Daniel Goleman explains:

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