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Archive for December, 2019

Wild Borders

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DailyGood News That Inspires

December 31, 2019

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Wild Borders

Interaction with self, with other human beings, and with Nature, all should lead to harmony and peace. That is the purpose of life.

– Anand Damani –

Wild Borders

When human cultures rub up against each other, we talk of melting pots and borderlands. When geographic cultures meet up and create a free-flowing arrangement of habitats and life forms, the term used is Biogeographic transition zone. Russ Mcspadden shares the surprises such a vortex presents in this piece from Orion. { read more }

Be The Change

Learn about the animal and plant life that calls your region home and consider how you can better co-exist in your local web of life. { more }

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Awakin Weekly: Meditation: A Process Of Retraining The Mind

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Meditation: A Process Of Retraining The Mind
by Bhante Gunaratna

[Listen to Audio!]

tow4.jpgGently, but firmly, without getting upset or judging yourself for straying, simply return to the simple physical sensation of the breath. Then do it again the next time, and again, and again, and again.

Somewhere in this process, you will come face to face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of control and hopeless. No problem. You are not crazier than you were yesterday. It has always been this way, and you just never noticed. […] So don’t let this realization unsettle you. It is a milestone actually, a sign of real progress. The very fact that you have looked at the problem straight in the eye means that you are on your way up and out of it.

In the wordless observation of the breath, there are two states to be avoided: thinking and sinking. The thinking mind manifests most clearly as the monkey mind phenomenon we have just been discussing. The sinking mind is almost the reverse. As a general term, sinking mind denotes any dimming of awareness. at its best it is sort of a mental vacuum in which there is no thought, no observation of the breath, no awareness of anything. It is a gap, a formless mental gray area rather like a dreamless sleep. Sinking mind is a void. Avoid it.

When you find you have fallen into the state of sinking mind, just note the fact and return your attention to the sensation of breathing. Observe the tactile sensation of the in-breath. Feel the touch sensation of the out-breath. Breathe in, breathe out and watch what happens.

Don’t set goals for yourself that are too high to reach. Be gentle with yourself. You are trying to follow your own breathing continuously and without a break. That sounds easy enough, so you will have a tendency at the outset to push yourself to be scrupulous and exacting. This is unrealistic. Take time in small units instead. At the beginning of an inhalation, make the resolve to follow the breath just for the period of that one inhalation. Even this is not so easy, but at least it can be done. Then, at the start of the exhalation, resolve to follow the breath just for that one exhalation, all the way through. You will still fail repeatedly, but keep at it.

Every time you stumble, start over. Take it one breath at a time. […]

This meditation is a process of retraining the mind. The state you are aiming for is one in which you are totally aware of everything that is happening in your own perceptual universe, exactly the way it happens, exactly when it is happening; total, unbroken awareness in present time. This is an incredibly high goal, and not to be reached all at once. It takes practice, so we start small.

About the Author: Excerpted from this article by Bhante Gunaratna.

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Meditation: A Process Of Retraining The Mind
How do you relate to the notion that our mind is a ‘shrieking, gibbering madhouse’? Can you share a personal story of a time you were able to get beyond thinking and sinking, and into total awareness? What helps you deepen your awareness?
Jagdish P Dave wrote: Our untrained mind is a"shrieking, gibbering madhouse". It happens in our waking state as well as in our sleep sate. Our mind hardly rests.Our mind is like a monkey mind, jumping from one th…
Vinod wrote: The fact that after an out-breath, if there is no in-breath, it means death, can heighten one’s awareness. There’s birth and death with every In-breath andin every out breath. …
David Doane wrote: I easily relate to and identify with having a mind that can be a shrieking, gibbering madhouse. I think of times when I’m into my shrieking, gibbering mind as driving myself crazy, which is a bad …
Prasad Kaipa wrote: When I read the passage this week, I was in Costa Rica Sarapiqui region. After I read it, I took a walk consciously paying attention to my breathing and walked to the window and looked outside. The mi…
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Some Good News

Night Shift at the Marriott
Be Love Now
Kintsugi: The Golden Joinery of Love

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Kindness Stories

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Leading Above the Line

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DailyGood News That Inspires

December 30, 2019

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Leading Above the Line

The first and most important choice a leader makes is the choice to serve, without which one’s capacity to lead is severely limited.

– Robert Greenleaf –

Leading Above the Line

“In this Farnam Street interview, Jim Dethmer, founder of The Conscious Leadership Group shares practical advice about becoming more self-aware, ditching the victim mindset, and connecting more fully with the people in our lives. This episode is a masterclass in understanding and regulating your thoughts and emotions. Dethmer covers how to operate from a place of love rather than fear and anger, the three ways you can increase your self-awareness, and the transformative power of ‘the line.'”

{ read more }

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For more inspiration read “How Conscious Leadership Can Unlock a Better Workplace.” { more }

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METAdrasi: Escorting Children to Freedom and Hope

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December 29, 2019

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METAdrasi: Escorting Children to Freedom and Hope

Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.

– Nelson Mandela –

METAdrasi: Escorting Children to Freedom and Hope

“3,788 unaccompanied refugee children are currently located in Greece, having been violently separated from their families. For these children there are only 1,635 places in proper accommodation facilities, while the rest remain in Reception and Identification Centers, police stations, camps, even in the street. The National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA) places unaccompanied children in accommodation facilities, depending on availability and on the vulnerability of the children. For many years, even before the refugee crisis, unaccompanied children would remain for long time in detention centers, even if a place in an accommodation facility in Greece had been found for them, as there was no one to escort them there. METAdrasi covers this gap since 2011, and, to date, has escorted with safety more than 11,100 children, during 4,000 missions. Such a mission for the escorting of unaccompanied children begun one day in May 2019…” { read more }

Be The Change

Learn more about METAdrasi’s remarkable work here. { more }

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Love and Philosophy Between Prison Walls and Ivory Towers

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DailyGood News That Inspires

December 28, 2019

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Love and Philosophy Between Prison Walls and Ivory Towers

What is this moment teaching me about myself and others, and how is it contributing to my ability to love?

– Lee Perlman –

Love and Philosophy Between Prison Walls and Ivory Towers

In 1987, while teaching a class at MIT [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] on nonviolence, philosophy lecturer Lee Perlman had a novel idea: “Why not take the students to a prison, to talk with men who had committed extreme forms of violence?” Now, 30 years later, through the MIT Prison Initiative that he founded, Perlman teaches classes to a mixed cohort of both MIT students and prisoners at two medium- to maximum-security Massachusetts Correctional Institutions in Norfolk and Framingham. Dr. Perlman considers himself to be primarily an educator, and has designed and taught a number of courses at MIT which offer students an integrated view of the humanities and sciences in the western tradition. More in this in-depth interview. { read more }

Be The Change

How might you take your philosophy of life off the page and into the world? Maybe you can start by engaging with someone on the other side of a principle you care deeply with an open curiosity.

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Night Shift at the Marriott

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DailyGood News That Inspires

December 27, 2019

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Night Shift at the Marriott

A market exchange has an equilibrium or stasis: you pay to balance the scale. But when you give a gift there is momentum, and the weight shifts from body to body.

– Lewis Hyde –

Night Shift at the Marriott

Picture this: It’s almost 11pm on a hot August day. You’re exhausted, having just driven over 600 miles, and you arrive at the newly opened Marriott, your last hope for a place to lay your tired body down for the night. You are third in line at the front desk, where there is a single young woman on duty, doing everything she can to keep things under control. When you finally arrive at room 309, you find it completely untouched by maid service. Read this incredible story about who’s got the night shift at the Marriott. { read more }

Be The Change

Maybe a situation has popped up in your own life where a service you expected hasn’t been done, the documents haven’t been copied, the boxes haven’t been moved, a call hasn’t been made – the possibilities are endless. Have you ever stepped forward in such a moment and rolled up your own sleeves– not out of anger or frustration, but just to move ahead? If so, what did you discover in the process? If not, what’s stopping you from giving it a whirl at the next opportunity?

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Human Kindness Recording

This week’s inspiring video: Human Kindness Recording
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Video of the Week

Dec 26, 2019
Human Kindness Recording

Human Kindness Recording

In a place beyond the thinking mind, there is truth, revelation, liberation and purpose. The films of Nic Askew capture these moments in Soul Biographies. It was at one of these events that he filmed Carrie Tree. “Sometime after being stripped bare by the camera she shared this song, penned after time spent in the Migrant Camp at Calais known as the Jungle.” For maximum heart impact, switch off the world. Play full screen. Use headphones. Do not attempt if distracted. Full and undivided attention is your greatest gift.
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Kintsugi: The Golden Joinery of Love

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DailyGood News That Inspires

December 26, 2019

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Kintsugi: The Golden Joinery of Love

The true life of the bowl began the moment it was dropped.

– Ancient Kintsugi quote –

Kintsugi: The Golden Joinery of Love

Sue Cochrane is a former family court judge who sought to bring more love into the practice of law. The forces she battled were not confined to the court room — among them, poverty, violence, addiction, abuse, a terminal diagnosis and more. In this powerful piece, she explores kintsugi — a stunning Japanese art form in which broken pottery is repaired by filling the cracks with gold. Kingtsugi, poems, quotes, and books inspire this remarkable individual, “to find healing in a life that for a long time, was not only cracked, but broken apart — and, in a few places completely shattered.” Cochrane tells her story here as a reminder of our shared humanity, our vulnerability, and the capacity we have to heal our brokenness in beautiful ways. { read more }

Be The Change

What aspects of your life have you felt were imperfect? Can you look at them with unconditional love so these “precious scars” can honor your “whole life, leaving nothing out?” For more inspiration, join this Saturday’s Awakin Call with Sue Cochrane: Embracing Imperfections. More details and RSVP info here. { more }

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Spotlight On Kindness: Kindness Traditions

Holidays are important times for family traditions but can also be a good spur for new family kindness traditions. Simple activities done as a family, such as helping at local schools or kitchens, can create increased opportunities to connect with both loved ones and our communities. Think of your own traditions. Is there space to reach out in love and kindness to a wider circle of people? – Jane

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Editor’s Note: Holidays are important times for family traditions but can also be a good spur for new family kindness traditions. Simple activities done as a family, such as helping at local schools or kitchens, can create increased opportunities to connect with both loved ones and our communities. Think of your own traditions. Is there space to reach out in love and kindness to a wider circle of people? – Jane
Kindness Rocks
Kindness In the News
These sisters and a local mall have their own Black Friday tradition involving random acts of kindness.
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Kindness is Contagious.
From Our Members
A KindSpringer teacher who asked her students to forgo giving her gifts and instead do random acts of kindness for others was moved by a student’s story of kindness.
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Inspiring Video of the Week
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At This Table
Hugs Idina Menzel reminds us in song that during this holiday season everyone is welcome at this table to “come as you are…and that the perfect gift is your heart.”
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Spread cheer throughout the year by using this monthly kindness calendar.
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Be Love Now

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DailyGood News That Inspires

December 24, 2019

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Be Love Now

I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion–and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.

– Ram Dass –

Be Love Now

“Imagine feeling more love from someone than you have ever known. You’re being loved even more than your mother loved you when you were an infant, more than you were ever loved by your father, your child, or your most intimate lover–anyone…This love is actually part of you; it is always flowing through you. It’s like the subatomic texture of the universe, the dark matter that connects everything. When you tune in to that flow, you will feel it in your own heart–not your physical heart or your emotional heart, but your spiritual heart, the place you point to in your chest when you say, ‘I am.'” More in this beautiful passage by Ram Dass. { read more }

Be The Change

Where does your work lie? Ram Dass, the spiritual teacher and acclaimed author of ‘Be Here Now’ passed away on December 22nd. You can read more of his writings here. { more }

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