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Archive for January, 2018

Koan: A Conversation with Vaea Marx

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 31, 2018

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Koan: A Conversation with Vaea Marx

Life is an adventure, it’s not a package tour.

– Eckhart Tolle –

Koan: A Conversation with Vaea Marx

Born in Tahiti, Vaea Marxs family moved to France where, as a child in the resistance during WWII, he was captured for blowing up a building the Germans were using. After the war, he became a pastry chef, then a cowboy in the Outback in Australia. He then went to Japan and met Kawai Kanjiro, one Japans greatest potters, who became his teacher. There he met Hamada, Yanagi, Bernard Leach and even Kurosawa. He also lived in a Zen monastery. “Every morning I’d get up at four a.m., work in the garden, take a cold bath and do Zazen.” He knew fencing and learned Japanese sword fighting. Coming to the U.S. in the 60s, he became one of Peter Voulkos’ closest friends, and found recognition for his own ceramic art. Here’s more of Vaea’s story { read more }

Be The Change

Even in day-to-day life, there are plenty of chances to have an adventure. Think about it. How many ways could you do ordinary things in a new way?

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Spotlight On Kindness: Growth In Every Opportunity

We all face difficult situations. Every experience and interaction can be an opportunity for spiritual growth. We can either resist the lesson placed before us and have that lesson repeated over and over for us until we learn it, or we can face every experience courageously and embrace healing. The truth is that “we alone determine the rate of which turmoil passes”. — Mish Rosen

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Editor’s Note: We all face difficult situations. Every experience and interaction can be an opportunity for spiritual growth. We can either resist the lesson placed before us and have that lesson repeated over and over for us until we learn it, or we can face every experience courageously and embrace healing. The truth is that “we alone determine the rate of which turmoil passes”. — Mish Rosen
Kindness Rocks
Kindness In the News
A woman came home to a heartbreaking note from her neighbor. The 90-year-old from down the street wrote to her to let her know she was lonely. She asked if the two of them could be friends.
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Kindness is Contagious.
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A minor car accident allowed her to practice kindness, and to come from a balanced space of mind, to help the other driver process the difficult situation.
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I Love, Therefore I Am
Hugs “Then, and only then, when I feel your ache inside me, can I really see you.” This beautiful short film captures love’s profound joy, and its inevitable ache.
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A stranger, passing through Chicago, gives the boots off his feet to a freezing homeless man with bloody feet on the subway.
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The Heartbeat of a Drum

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January 30, 2018

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The Heartbeat of a Drum

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.

– -Joseph Campbell- –

The Heartbeat of a Drum

“One time, I was walking along Main Street with my son, Adam, who at that time was about 12 or 13 years old. He was just beginning to get interested in drums. He said, ‘Dad, I want to show you one of my drum teachers.’ I said, ‘Sure.’ So he takes me under the bridge, where Ken is. And he said, ‘I’m learning drumming from Ken.’ I said, ‘What?! You’re learning drumming from this homeless guy who lives under the bridge?’ What follows is a beautifully told real-life story that compels us to drop our assumptions, and examine our lives through the profound simplicity of a heartbeat. { read more }

Be The Change

Find out who the homeless are in your community and get to know them. You may find they are like Ken, a teacher who can still positively influence our youth. { more }

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Awakin Weekly: Spiritual Activism

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Spiritual Activism
by Michael Singer

[Listen to Audio!]

2280.jpgI’m an environmentalist and I’m very much into cars that get high mileage and don’t pollute, and I see that somebody’s driving a Hummer. It’s a classic example, somebody’s driving a Hummer, and I’m radicalized and I blow it up. Well, you have just caused more damage to the environment blowing up that Hummer than any pollution it will ever cause by its burning gas. Do you understand that? What you did is you reacted to your own anger, your own inability to handle a situation.

What do you mean? There are people who don’t care about the environment. There are people who don’t care about the gas mileage they get. There are people who don’t care about a lot of different things that you care about, all right? When it came in, when that event came into you, it hit your stuff. And what came up was not clarity, was not a constructive reaction. What came up was anger, what came up was fear, what came up was hatred, right? What came up inside of you is hate and you expressed it, right?

That is not proper activism. Proper activism altogether, which is spiritual activism, is you first let go of your own reaction; you let go of the personal part of your being that is reacting because of the personal part of another person’s being, because all that creates is war. So you let it go. Now, you are faced with clarity that I care about—I didn’t stop caring about the environment. I just stopped reacting in a way that was destructive, in a way that was not constructive and was just a personal reaction that made me feel—why (don’t) you blow up that Hummer? It made me feel better. Well, that’s not what this is about, making you feel better. This is about purifying and helping the environment.

So you start letting go of this part of you, the same part we’ve talked about in the entire conversation. You let it go. Don’t justify this righteous anger. There’s no such thing. You let it go. Now you’re clear. The one who’s clear will see solutions. They may be small steps, but at least they’re steps in the right direction. Maybe there’s nothing you can do about the fact that something’s happening on the other side of the world that is not right and not comfortable, right? But there is something you can do within your family. There is something you can do within your workplace to bring love and bring caring, and that spreads and maybe that’s all you can do right now.

About the Author: Excerpted from here.

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Spiritual Activism
What does spiritual activism mean to you? Can you share a personal story of a time you let go of the personal part of your being that was reacting to the personal part of another person’s being? What helps you stay connected to what you care about without falling into destructive reactive patterns?
david doane wrote: Michael Singer sure likes talking in extremes. In relation to his essay, spiritual activism means staying centered, knowing that I can control (at least to some degree) no one but myself….
Jagdish P Dave wrote: I love the phrase ” Spiritual activism.” It reminds me of the Bodhisattva way of living and relating to others. It is like returning from the mountain to the market. To me active spiritualism i…
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Some Good News

Love Liberates: Maya Angelou’s Words to Live By
Spiritual Practices for Times of Crisis
Joan Halifax: Buoyancy Rather than Burnout

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Kindness Stories

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Spiritual Practices for Times of Crisis

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January 29, 2018

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Spiritual Practices for Times of Crisis

Mind says, “How?” Heart says, “Now!”

– Mooji –

Spiritual Practices for Times of Crisis

We live in stressful times. Even when things are going our way, the smallest speed bumps can wreak havoc on our inner and outer worlds, causing us to freeze or panic. In those moments, our greatest intentions of acting with love and kindness can go out the window. Gently preparing ourselves for setbacks and stress can be the best thing not just for ourselves but for others. “The greatest gift we can give our world is our presence, awake and attentive.” In this practical piece with big-picture perspective, Joanna Macy draws from ancient religions and Earth wisdom traditions to offer five ways to keep a cool head and warm heart in times of crisis. { read more }

Be The Change

Today, use your heart to deal with a sticky situation, no matter how challenging it may be.

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The Powerful Stories that Shaped Africa

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January 28, 2018

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The Powerful Stories that Shaped Africa

Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.

– Sue Monk Kidd –

The Powerful Stories that Shaped Africa

Speaking of Africa, Gus Casely-Hayford, in his 2017 TED talk, maintains that “no other continent has nurtured, has fought for, has celebrated its history more concertedly. The struggles endured and the sacrifices made to hold onto narrative in the face of enslavement, colonialism, racism, wars and so much else has been the underpinning narrative of our history.” He tells us about the Mali Empire, probably the greatest empire that West Africa has ever seen, and Timbuktu, whose 700,000 medieval documents are a great body of historical material produced by African scholars. { read more }

Be The Change

African folklore and legends are passed down through generations. Learn more about African stories, and find out more about your own family’s story. Write down what you remember parents and grandparents telling you about their history.

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Walking as Creative Fuel

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 27, 2018

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Walking as Creative Fuel

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.

– Friedrich Nietzsche –

Walking as Creative Fuel

Over one hundred years ago, Scottish writer Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows, penned an essay entitled, “The Fellow that Goes Alone” about the simplest of activities that can yield the most creative thoughts: walking. In this ode to ambulating, Maria Popova weaves together quotes and excerpts from literature’s big proponents of the timeless exercise, creating a piece that celebrates a walk’s ability to awaken mind and spirit: “Here and now, the mind has shaken off its harness, is snorting and kicking up heels like a colt in a meadow.” Imagination comes alive while walking alone. With no one to talk to, no one to share, it can run wild in the “country of the mind.” Enjoy this tribute to a simple pastime with many benefits that most people can enjoy. { read more }

Be The Change

Walk solo after lunch today and see what ideas spring forth.

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Frank Ostaseski; Lessons to the Living from the Dying

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 26, 2018

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Frank Ostaseski; Lessons to the Living from the Dying

When we recognize the precariousness of life, we understand that we are in the boat together…The willingness to contemplate death is not just about preparing for some moment at the end of a long road.

– Frank Ostaseski –

Frank Ostaseski; Lessons to the Living from the Dying

Frank Ostaseski is a teacher, international lecturer and a leading voice in contemplative end-of-life care. He is also author of “The Five Invitations: What the Living Can Learn From the Dying”. What follows is an-depth interview with him on the five invitations and more. { read more }

Be The Change

The Five Invitations begins with the suggestion that we “welcome everything, push away nothing.” According to Ostaseski, “to welcome everything means to be willing to be open to the experience.” Can you find the way to open to the experience of the death of a friend or family member, no matter how recent or long ago? What can facing this truth teach you? How can you meet the challenges of daily life with the same openness to reality?

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Faces of Joy – Syria

This week’s inspiring video: Faces of Joy – Syria
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Video of the Week

Jan 25, 2018
Faces of Joy - Syria

Faces of Joy – Syria

Often, the stories we hear about the United States (US) and the Middle East are full of tension. However, students and teachers in the US are working to change this narrative. Through the Memory Project, art teachers in the US receive photos of children from around the world who have faced substantial challenges. The teachers work with their students to create portraits of the youth, either through painting, drawing, or other forms of media. The portraits are then hand-delivered when finished. The joy that is expressed by the recipients is priceless. In 2017, 3,000 students in the US created portraits for Syrian children living in a refugee camp.
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The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 25, 2018

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The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

– Dalai Lama –

The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters

“Something interesting has been happening in recent years. Meaning has regained a foothold in our universities, and especially in an unexpected place the sciences. Many of the “meaning” researchers are working in a field called positive psychology — a discipline that grounds its findings in empirical studies, but also draws on the rich tradition of the humanities. Positive psychology was founded by the University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman, who, after decades of working as a research psychologist, had come to believe that his field was in crisis. He and his colleagues had made great progress with depression, helplessness, and anxiety, but, he realized, helping people overcome their demons is not the same thing as helping them live well.” { read more }

Be The Change

What is one thing you can do this week to help you live a more meaningful life?

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