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Archive for January, 2019

Citizen Scientists: In Search of Bats

This week’s inspiring video: Citizen Scientists: In Search of Bats
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Video of the Week

Jan 31, 2019
Citizen Scientists: In Search of Bats

Citizen Scientists: In Search of Bats

“Sometimes, in order to find a bat, you have to get into some rather tight squeezes in a cave.” Indeed! Speaking from experience, Merlin Tuttle shares the story of his life passion for bat research and nature conservation, which eventually led to the founding of Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation, an organization that continues to invite curious volunteers of all paths of life on the journey of discovery of this commonly, historically misunderstood creature. Through this short escapade into the hollows of trees and nocturnal nesting grounds, we learn about the hidden world of a life form that has much to teach us yet about our ecosystem and our own perceptions.
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The Universe as an Infinite Storm of Beauty

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January 31, 2019

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The Universe as an Infinite Storm of Beauty

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

– John Muir –

The Universe as an Infinite Storm of Beauty

Taking a walk in a quiet woods, gazing up into the night sky, or even walking in a crowd in a large city somewhere in the world, we may find ourselves having transcendent moments along with John Muir. These moments awaken us to our place within the universe at the same time that they disorient us as we realize how small we are. In this piece, writer Maria Popova helps us to see through John Muir’s eyes that our smallness is what connects us so universally to everything else that is. In being humbled, no longer do we get lost in the illusion that humans dominate creation. With Muir as our guide, we can realize that we are joined to everything else in creation. { read more }

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As a meditation, ponder an object and follow the trail back to see how it is connected to everything else that is.

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Matthew Sanford Transforms Loss

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January 30, 2019

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Matthew Sanford Transforms Loss

Life is full of losses and disappointments, and the art of living is to make of them something that can nourish others.

– Rachel Naomi Remen- –

Matthew Sanford Transforms Loss

In 1978 Matthew Sanford was paralyzed in a car accident that took the lives of his father and sister. He was thirteen years old. He shares his story of transformation through loss in this insightful interview. Through the teachings of yoga and building a relationship to his body he became in touch with the “more” we all know ourselves to be. Our bodies make the intangible, tangible; integrating body with spirit, even if you can’t flex a muscle. { read more }

Be The Change

What one thing could you do today, to deepen your relationship and awareness of your body? Learn more about Sanford’s work here. { more }

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Spotlight On Kindness: Kindness To Strangers

Albert Einstein spoke about widening our circles of compassion to include not just those nearest to us, but the whole of humanity. He felt by restricting our affection to those nearest to us, we imprison ourselves and succumb to a delusion that we are separate from each other. Our task is to free ourselves from this delusion and to love and embrace everyone, including strangers. – Ameeta

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Editor’s Note: Albert Einstein spoke about widening our circles of compassion to include not just those nearest to us, but the whole of humanity. He felt by restricting our affection to those nearest to us, we imprison ourselves and succumb to a delusion that we are separate from each other. Our task is to free ourselves from this delusion and to love and embrace everyone, including strangers. – Ameeta
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We Teach Who We Area

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January 29, 2019

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We Teach Who We Area

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

– Albert Schweitzer –

We Teach Who We Area

If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up the answer is never “loved” or “happy” or “peaceful.” We put a lot of weight on success, on setting goals and reaching them. And we quantify those accomplishments. How much did you get done today? What is your salary? How big is your house? Even our connections today are quantifiable. You have 500 friends on social media. You scroll through their posts, briefly acknowledging some with a click. How often do we consider the impact of the singular things in our life? It takes more than a moment to truly appreciate the special people around us. { read more }

Be The Change

Take some time today to appreciate the blessings in your life and enjoy the many benefits of gratitude. { more }

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Awakin Weekly: Generosity Helps Us Accept Change

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Generosity Helps Us Accept Change
by Sharon Salzberg

[Listen to Audio!]

2355.jpgThe aim of practicing generosity is twofold, or else it’s an incomplete experience.

The first aim is to free our minds from the conditioned forces that bind and limit us. Craving, clinging and attachment bring confinement and lack of self-esteem. If we’re always looking for some person or thing to complete us, we miss the degree to which we are complete in every moment. It’s a bit like leaning on a mirage only to find that it can’t hold us; there’s nothing there.

When we are continually moved by looking for the next experience and the next pleasure, it’s like going from one mirage to another. We have no security. Nothing is holding us up. We practice generosity to free the mind from that delusion, to weaken the forces of craving and clinging so we can find essential happiness.

We also practice generosity to free others, to extend welfare and happiness to all beings, to somehow, as much as each one of us can, lessen the suffering in this world. When our practice of generosity is genuine, when it’s complete, we realize inner spaciousness and peace, and we also learn to extend boundless caring to all living beings.

The movement of the heart in practicing generosity mirrors the movement of the heart that lets go inside. So the external training of giving deeply influences the internal feeling-tone of the meditation practice, and vice versa. If we cultivate a generous heart, then more and more we can unconditionally allow things to be the way they are. We can accept the truth of the present moment, rather than continually impose conditions on what’s going on: it must be this way or that way or you can’t be happy. Your sitting must be perfect or you won’t be happy. You must have no restlessness or you won’t feel good about yourself. Reality moves along outside of our control, and yet we impose all of these conditions on it. Generosity allows that whole project to start to fall away.

The strength of our generosity is a primary factor in our ability to accept change.

About the Author: Sharon Salzberg is a long-time meditation teacher; excerpt above from this article.

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Generosity Helps Us Accept Change
How do you relate to the notion that the strength of our generosity is a primary factor in our ability to accept change? Can you share a personal story of a time when you could see the movement of your heart in practicing generosity mirroring the movement of your heart letting go inside? What helps you cultivate a generous heart?
David Doane wrote: Only true generosity frees the mind Generosity that is goal-directed, such as generosity done in order to complete me or done to make me feel good about myself or done to please the other or get what …
Jagdish P Dave wrote: True or genuine generosity is unconditional with no expectation in return. It is pure and not contiminated by my agenda such as what am I goung to get by my generous act. In this sense it is free from…
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War No More: David Swanson

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January 28, 2019

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War No More: David Swanson

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

– Benjamin Franklin –

War No More: David Swanson

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is the director of WorldBeyondWar.org, a campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org, a prolific writer, and the most recent recipient of the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation’s 2018 Peace Prize. The values he lives by are “be courageous but generous; try to make the world a better place; pack up and start over as needed — physically or ideologically; try to make sense of the most important matters; stay cheerful, and put love for your children ahead of other things.” In this interview, he shares more about his own personal focus: ending each and every war and the idea of ever starting another one. { read more }

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Visit Worldbeyondwar.org and discover what you can do to create a peaceful world. { more }

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Eight Inspiring Moments from 2018

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January 27, 2019

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Eight Inspiring Moments from 2018

When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

– Paulo Coelho –

Eight Inspiring Moments from 2018

As the year 2018 slowly fades into the rearview mirror, may we take one look back to see what greater good can be learned from this last year. Though we may remember the difficult or even awful things that happened, there was good that came out of some of the painful events that occurred. In these inspiring stories, one can see the bigger lessons to be learned: that we are not alone when we reach out to help each other through our hard times and we won’t lose hope as long as we keep love in our hearts. { read more }

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As you read one of these stories, what lesson can you carry into 2019 to keep you inspired?

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Why It’s Worth Listening to People You Disagree With

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January 26, 2019

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Why It's Worth Listening to People You Disagree With

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

– Martin Luther King, Jr. –

Why It’s Worth Listening to People You Disagree With

Zachary R. Wood invites controversy into his life. Raised by a schizophrenic mother, he learned that people are complicated and challenging, but they can bring us into a deeper understanding. In this Ted talk, he describes growing up in a difficult home that was also supportive. He attended an elite, predominantly white, private school where as a black student, he felt the sting of being stereotyped and the joy of a education. He joined a group that brought controversial speakers to campus in order to prepare himself for controversy. He was not always successful in overcoming student bias, but he was able to engage in conversations with those who held different opinions and to understand their views. He believes “that to achieve progress in the face of adversity, we need a genuine commitment to gaining a deeper understanding of humanity.” { read more }

Be The Change

Seek out those with whom you disagree. Read their books, blogs or listen to their speeches. Try to understand their point of view and find 1 idea you share.

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On Compassion, Equanimity and Impermanence

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January 25, 2019

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On Compassion, Equanimity and Impermanence

Suffering = Pain x Resistance

– Shinzen Young –

On Compassion, Equanimity and Impermanence

“Compassion is practiced in two ways: subtly and overtly. You can subtly serve any person with whom you interact by allowing their pain to resonate deeply within you, and experiencing it completely so that it does not turn into suffering within you. This is the healthy alternative to both callous indifference and enervating enmeshment.” Author and mindfulness teacher Shinzen Young shares more in this collection of thought-provoking reflections. { read more }

Be The Change

For more inspiration join this Saturday’s Awakin Call with Shinzen: The Role of Compassion on the Spiritual Path. RSVP info and more details here. { more }

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