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Archive for November 5, 2013

From Ego-System to Eco-System

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November 5, 2013

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From Ego-System to Eco-System

All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.

– Henry David Thoreau –

From Ego-System to Eco-System

“We live in an age of profound disruptions. Global crises in finance, food, fuel, water, resource scarcity and poverty challenge every aspect of our societies. These disruptions also open up the possibilities for personal and societal renewal. To seize these possibilities we need to stop and ask ourselves some basic questions: why do our actions collectively create results that so few people want? What keeps us locked into old ways of operating? And what can we do to transform the root problems that keep us trapped in the patterns of the past?” Read on to hear the thoughts of Otto Scharmer, senior lecturer at MIT and founding chair of the Presencing Institute. { read more }

Be The Change

Write a letter to yourself as if sent from someone in the future. See if this future figure has any advice to offer for what you can do now to be a part of the shift from an ego-system to a new eco-system.

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Awakin Weekly: Reaching Underneath Our Protective Shell

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
Reaching Underneath Our Protective Shell
by Pema Chodron

[Listen to Audio!]

976.jpgThere’s a slogan in the Mahayana teachings that says, "Drive all blames onto oneself." The essence of this slogan is, "When it hurts so bad, it’s because I am hanging on so tight." It’s not saying that you should beat yourself up. It’s not advocating martyrdom. What it implies is that pain comes from holding so tightly to having it our own way, and that one of the main exits we take when we find ourselves uncomfortable, when we find ourselves in an unwanted situation or an unwanted place, is to blame.

We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who’s right and who’s wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don’t like about our associates or our society. It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others. Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.

The slogan is a helpful and interesting suggestion that you could begin to shift that deep-seated ancient habitual tendency to hang on to having it on our own terms. The way to start would be first, when you feel the tendency to blame, to try to get in touch with what it feels like to be holding on to yourself so tightly. What does it feel like to blame? What does it feel to reject? What does it feel like to hate? What does it feel like to be righteously indignant?

In each of us, there’s a lot of softness, a lot of heart. Touching that soft spot has to be the starting place. This is what compassion is all about. When we stop blaming long enough to give ourselves an open space in which to feel our soft spot, it’s as if we’re reaching down to touch a large wound that lies right underneath all that protective shell that blaming builds (…)

Compassionate action starts with seeing yourself when you start to make yourself right and when you start to make yourself wrong. At that point you could just contemplate the fact that there is a larger alternative to either of those, a more tender, shaky kind of place where you could live.

This place, if you can touch it, will help you train yourself throughout your life to open further to whatever you felt, to open further rather than shut down more. You’ll find that as you begin to commit yourself to this practice, as you begin to have a sense of celebrating the parts of yourself that you found so impossible before, something will shift in you. Something will shift permanently in you. Your ancient habitual patterns will begin to soften and you’ll begin to see the faces and hear the words of people who are talking to you.

If you begin to get in touch with whatever you feel with some kind of kindness, your protective shield will melt and you’ll find that more areas of your life are workable. As we learn to have compassion for yourself, the circle of compassion for others – what and who you work with, and how – widens.

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Reaching Underneath Our Protective Shell
What does celebrating those parts of ourselves that we’ve earlier found impossible mean to you? Can you share a personal experience that illustrates such a celebration? How can we connect with our feelings with a sense of kindness?
Conrad P. Pritscher wrote: Wow! I have read Pema Chodron but I did not read this piece before. I was touched by this one. I frequently write about how closed schools and universities are for doing excessi…
Jagdish P Dave wrote: Growing up is not always easy for anybody. The most difficult part of growing up for me when I was going through my young adulthood, a time to be connected with someone romantically and p…
david doane wrote: It means accepting qualities about me and others that I don’t like, rather than hiding them, denying them, repressing them, demonizing them. It means allowing and getting to know those disliked…
Amy wrote: I have read this more than once. In it, I admire your growing wisdom of self. Appreciate, very much! Love yourself as others love You. …
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