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Archive for January, 2017

Fritjof Capra: We’re All In This Together

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 31, 2017

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Fritjof Capra: We're All In This Together

Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.

– Leonardo da Vinci –

Fritjof Capra: We’re All In This Together

“At the forefront of contemporary science, the universe is no longer seen as a machine composed of elementary building blocks. We have discovered that the material world is a network of inseparable patterns of relationships; that the planet as a whole is a living, self-regulating system.” In this article from Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, Fritjof Capra gives an overview of “systemic thinking,” the scientific view of the world as network, instead of machine. Rather than looking at fixed parts and components, the focus is on the living world’s relationships, patterns, and context. At once, there is stability and change, death and regeneration, in weblike patterns of organization. Cognition is said to be found within all self-perpetuating activities, thereby adding mind into the mix. The way to fix world problems, asserts Capra, is through systemic solutions. Read on for more of this compelling theory. { read more }

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Practice thinking deeply about your actions today. Consider how everything you do will create a chain reaction of events.

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Awakin Weekly: Letting Meaning Flow Into Purpose

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
Letting Meaning Flow Into Purpose
by Brother David Steindl-Rast

[Listen to Audio!]

tow2.jpgThe only point where one can start to talk about anything, including death, is where one finds oneself. And for me this is as a Benedictine monk. In the rule of St. Benedict, the momenta mori has always been important, because one of what St. Benedict calls “the tools of good works” meaning the basic approaches to the daily life of the monastery-is to have death at all times before one’s eyes. When I first came across the Benedictine Rule and tradition, that was one of the key sentences which impressed and attracted me very much. It challenged me to incorporate the awareness of death into my daily living, for that is what it really amounts to. It isn’t primarily a practice of thinking of one’s last hour, or of death as a physical phenomenon; it is a seeing of every moment of life against the horizon of death, and a challenge to incorporate that awareness of dying into every moment so as to become more fully alive.

Death has to be one of the important elements of life, for it is an event that puts the whole meaning of life into question. We may be occupied with purposeful activities, with getting tasks accomplished, works completed, and then along comes the phenomenon of death-whether it is our final death or one of those many deaths through which we go day by day. And death confronts us with the fact that purpose is not enough. We live by meaning. When we come close to death and all-purpose slips out of our hands, when we can no longer manipulate and control things to achieve specific goals, can our life still be meaningful? We tend to equate purpose with meaning, and when purpose is taken away, we stand there without meaning. So there is the challenge: how, when all-purpose comes to an end, can there still be meaning?

This question suggests why in the monastery we are counseled (or challenged) to have death at all times before our eyes. For the monastic life is one way of radically confronting the question of life’s meaning. In it you cannot get stuck in purpose: there are many purposes connected with it, but they are all secondary. As a monk you are totally superfluous, and so you cannot evade the question of meaning.

This distinction that I am making between purpose and meaning isn’t always carefully maintained in our everyday language and thought. In fact, we could avoid a good deal of confusion in our lives if we did pay attention to the distinction. It takes only a minimum of awareness to realize that our inner attitude when striving to achieve a purpose, a concrete task, is clearly different from the attitude we assume when something strikes us as especially meaningful. With purposes, we must be active and in control. We must, as we say, “take the reins,” “take things in hand,” “keep matters under control,” and utilize circumstances like tools that serve our aims. The idiomatic expressions we use are symptomatic of goal-oriented, useful activity, and the whole of modern life tends to be thus purpose-oriented. But matters are different when we deal with meaning. Here it is not a matter of using, but of savoring the world around us. In the idioms we use that relate to meaning, we depict ourselves as more passive than active: “It did something to me”; “it touched me deeply”; “it moved me.” Of course, I do not want to play off purpose against meaning, or activity against passivity. It is merely a matter of trying to adjust the balance in our hyperactive, purpose-ridden society. We distinguish between purpose and meaning not in order to separate the two, but in order to unite them. Our goal is to let meaning flow into our purposeful activities by fusing activity and passivity into genuine responsiveness.

Death puts our responsiveness to the ultimate test.

About the Author: Brother David Steindl Rast is a Bendictine monk. You can learn more about his life in this profile, and on gratefulness.org The excerpt above is from an essay published in 1977 issue of Parabola.

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Letting Meaning Flow Into Purpose
What does letting meaning flow into our purposeful activities mean to you? Can you share a personal story of a time that death put your responsiveness to the ultimate test? How have you been able to use death to reflect on meaning?
david doane wrote: As Steindl-Rast says, purposeful and meaningful are different and can be united. Purposeful means goal-directed, having a goal that I want to accomplish. Meaningful means something has si…
Amy wrote: The big death is actually the beginning of life! Until born to Him, I have yet to live! (We are never bodily apart from those we love) …
Jagdish P Dave wrote: I deeply value such reflective writings. They evoke deep thinking in me and I am very grateful to Awakin for giving such gifts to me and others. Here are my reflections on this reflective writi…
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Awakin Circles:
Many years ago, a couple friends got together to sit in silence for an hour, and share personal aha-moments. That birthed this newsletter, and rippled out as Awakin Circles in 80+ living rooms around the globe. To join in Santa Clara this week, RSVP online.

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Some Good News

Welcome to Terra Sapiens
Good Morning Beautiful Business!
Inner Beauty

Video of the Week

Compassion Is Action

Kindness Stories

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298.jpgJoin us for a conference call this Saturday, with a global group of ServiceSpace friends and our insightful guest speaker. Join the Forest Call >>

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Back in 1997, one person started sending this simple “meditation reminder” to a few friends. Soon after, “Wednesdays” started, ServiceSpace blossomed, and the humble experiments of service took a life of its own. If you’d like to start an Awakin gathering in your area, we’d be happy to help you get started.

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Gandhi 3.0: Bridging the Internet and the Inner-Net

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 30, 2017

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Gandhi 3.0: Bridging the Internet and the Inner-Net

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

– Mahatma Gandhi –

Gandhi 3.0: Bridging the Internet and the Inner-Net

On the 147th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, Service Space founder Nipun Mehta gave a talk at Emory University that weaves stories from Gandhi’s life into an illuminating take on how to live the ideal of ‘change yourself, change the world’ in modern times. His talk explores how our highly interconnected and technologically advanced age has the potential to make the power of love exponentially more accessible. He gives powerful examples of how the internet ignites connections, and allows us to organize online communities that in turn can reach out and transform the world in tangible ways. This fascinating talk will both inform and inspire you. Watch and learn more about how you can use your own voice and presence to be a ripple of love in the world. { read more }

Be The Change

Create your own ripple of love! Utilize the internet today to create connection. Email a loved one, join a community, offer support for those in need.

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Good Morning Beautiful Business!

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January 29, 2017

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Good Morning Beautiful Business!

Entrepreneurs as “soloists” will be replaced by orchestras playing a stronger, more credible tune.

– Steve Case –

Good Morning Beautiful Business!

Judy Wicks is an entrepreneur, activist and author working to build a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable and locally based economy. She notes, “Not long after I opened the White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia in 1983, I hung a sign in my bedroom closet in my home above the business — right where I would see it each morning. “Good morning, beautiful business,” it read, reminding me daily of just how beautiful business can be when we put our creativity, care, and energy into producing a product or service that our community needs. I was just beginning my journey. I didn’t know then what I do now: that when you connect head and heart in business, you can transform not just business as usual, but the economy in general. You can find a way to make economic exchange one of the most satisfying, meaningful, and loving of human interactions.” { read more }

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What can you do to support local business and community? Perhaps you can shop at a Farmer’s Market or from a local artisan.

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Inner Beauty

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 28, 2017

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Inner Beauty

You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

– Roald Dahl –

Inner Beauty

“Inner beauty always reflects on the outside. This is something we have all heard time and again. But then, do we spend less time in front of the mirror? Do we still pay attention to outward appearances and draw a lot of conclusions based on those? … What if one day our inner self and physical self were turned inside out? How would that impact our looks and confidence? Would most of us be able to come to terms with what we see?” Here, avid yoga practitioner, writer, and artist Narendra Kini asks these and other thought-provoking questions to guide us through a contemplation on inner and outer beauty, and life’s interdependence. { read more }

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If the experience of beauty and joy “depends on the quality of thoughts and love we share and spread,” how can you engage with beauty today?

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Quiet Justice & the Mindful Lawyer

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January 27, 2017

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Quiet Justice & the Mindful Lawyer

Let go of your mind and then be mindful. Close your ears and listen!

– Jalaluddin Rumi –

Quiet Justice & the Mindful Lawyer

“When I tell people that I teach a class in law and meditation at UC Berkeleys law school, I often hear snorts of disbelief. “It’s easier to imagine a kindergarten class sitting in silence for half an hour,” a friend said to me, than two lawyers sitting together in silence for five minutes.” But the class is no joke. In fact, it’s part of a ground-breaking movement that has quietly been taking hold in the legal profession over the past two decades: a movement to bring mindfulness– a meditative, moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, relationships, and external circumstances– into the practice of law and legal education.” Charles Halpern a public interest pioneer and an innovator in legal education shares more in this article. { read more }

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Make time for a mindful moment today. For more from Charles Halpern join this Saturday’s Awakin Call with him. More details and RSVP info here. { more }

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Compassion Is Action

This week’s inspiring video: Compassion Is Action
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KarmaTube.org

Video of the Week

Jan 26, 2017
Compassion Is Action

Compassion Is Action

"Environmental conservation must be the essence of our spiritual practice." ~His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. From Ladakh to Bhutan, Buddhist nuns and monks from 60 centers in the Himalayan region work on environmental projection. From cleaning up rivers, to installing solar panels, the nuns and monks approach the environment with a sense of compassion, recognizing the interdependence and inter-connectivity of all things. "…Compassion is a combination of the feeling and the action." ~Khenpo Drugyal, Tilokpur Nunnery Teacher.
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A Deep Dive into the Gift Ecology

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January 26, 2017

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A Deep Dive into the Gift Ecology

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.

– John Wesley –

A Deep Dive into the Gift Ecology

Traditional incubators support entrepreneurs in becoming sustainable through money. Service Space’s “Laddership Circles”, on the other hand, have been flipping that tradition, and exploring how to be sustainable through generosity. In a recent Laddership gathering, a small group of folks from across the globe joined together for a conversation on the “Gift Ecology” — discussing everything from how to sustain gift-based systems and what the “inner gift-ecology” looks like, to how to honor our families’ wishes along the way. The following piece offers an inspiring summary of this group’s heartfelt efforts to navigate the complex currents of today’s world with a mindset of generosity. { read more }

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What is an instance of radical generosity that you have experienced? How did it shape you? Learn more about Laddership Circles here: { more }

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Where Strangers Become Family

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January 25, 2017

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Where Strangers Become Family

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

– Helen Keller –

Where Strangers Become Family

Bridge Meadows is a privately funded nonprofit that has established a multigenerational community in Portland, Oakland. Here, in a cluster of townhomes and apartments, low-income elders and adults have adopted or are in the process of adopting children in foster care through an organization that provides on-site services and creates a support network for all. The elders — the oldest member of the community is 92 — help neighbors in myriad ways, from providing after-school tutoring to teaching cooking classes to playing with the children to child care. And the children they support in turn give them what amounts to an extended family and outlet from isolation. By supporting foster children, who tend to face learning and behavioral challenges, while giving often-single elders connection to others, at Bridge Meadows, folks live in compassion and community, and “the proverbial village cares for everyone.” { read more }

Be The Change

Who is part of your proverbial village that you can show care and compassion towards today? And in what ways does this village in turn raise you?

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Welcome to Terra Sapiens

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January 24, 2017

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Welcome to Terra Sapiens

Responsible global behaviour is ultimately an act of self-preservation of, by, and for the global beast that modern technological humanity has become.

– David Grinspoon –

Welcome to Terra Sapiens

In this article, planetary astrobiogist David Grinspoon, senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and adjunct professor of astrophysical and planetary science at University of Colorado, focuses on our growing knowledge of what we are doing to this world. He says âwe have entered a new epoch of Earth history, one in which the net activity of humans has become an agent of global change as powerful as the great forces of nature that shape continents and propel the evolution of species.â { read more }

Be The Change

There are many ways to join the growing multitude of people who feel responsible for our planet. Find your own practical way to express your care for the ecosystem you live within, whether it be through gardening, refusing plastic bags, or protecting natural resources.

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