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Archive for July, 2021

The Descent to Soul: An Overview of the Terrain

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DailyGood News That Inspires

July 26, 2021

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The Descent to Soul: An Overview of the Terrain

Too many of us lack intimacy with the natural world and with our souls, and consequently we are doing untold damage to both.

– Bill Plotkin –

The Descent to Soul: An Overview of the Terrain

“Our developmental dilemma stems primarily from our disconnection from nature, from both our outer and inner natures: the loss of our experienced belonging to and entanglement within the natural world and the loss of our communion with the very core of our own individual human nature our Soul. What we have lost, in particular, is the journey of soul initiation a psycho-spiritual undertaking that connects us in the most profound way to both the Earth community and the source of our deepest humanity. This journey, if revitalized and reclaimed, can transform everything for us, individually and collectively.” Bill Plotkin is the author of “The Journey of Soul Initiation.” As a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and founder of western Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute, he has led thousands of women and men through nature-based initiatory passages. Here he shares more on the need for soul initiation in our times. { read more }

Be The Change

Learn more about Bill Plotkins and his work and writing here. { more }

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Leverage Points & the Power to Transcend Paradigms

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July 25, 2021

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Leverage Points & the Power to Transcend Paradigms

In the end, it seems that mastery has less to do with pushing leverage points than it does with strategically, profoundly, madly letting go.

– Donella Meadows –

Leverage Points & the Power to Transcend Paradigms

“Folks who do systems analysis have a great belief in ‘leverage points.’ These are places within a complex system (a corporation, an economy, a living body, a city, an ecosystem) where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything. This idea is not unique to systems analysis — it’s embedded in legend. The silver bullet, the trimtab, the miracle cure, the secret passage, the magic password, the single hero who turns the tide of history. The nearly effortless way to cut through or leap over huge obstacles. We not only want to believe that there are leverage points, we want to know where they are and how to get our hands on them. Leverage points are points of power.” In this in-depth piece Donella Meadows, educator, environmental scientist and author of “Limits to Growth,” details her evolving list of “Places to Intervene in a System.” { read more }

Be The Change

What are some of the current paradigms you operate within? What does Donella’s invitation to live into the power to profoundly and madly let go surface for you?

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Spotlight On Kindness: Lived Compassion

All major belief systems agree that “compassion” towards others is generally a good thing. However, in the West, the definition usually involves the words sympathy or even pity. Whereas in the East, daya (compassion) is quite different from kripa (pity). Since all living beings are ultimately seen as a part of one’s own self, ahimsa (compassion-in-action) becomes more than just sympathy or pity. It is actively living in a way that prevents suffering for others. This week we explore the subtle nuances of this word in the video below. –Guri

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Editor’s Note: All major belief systems agree that “compassion” towards others is generally a good thing. However, in the West, the definition usually involves the words sympathy or even pity. Whereas in the East, daya (compassion) is quite different from kripa (pity). Since all living beings are ultimately seen as a part of one’s own self, ahimsa (compassion-in-action) becomes more than just sympathy or pity. It is actively living in a way that prevents suffering for others. This week we explore the subtle nuances of this word in the video below. –Guri
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The Two Driving Forces of Creativity

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July 24, 2021

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The Two Driving Forces of Creativity

The more any of us writes, the more our words will “come to us.” If we trust in the words and their own mysterious relationship with one another, they will help us find things out.

– Naomi Shihab Nye –

The Two Driving Forces of Creativity

“Two helpful words to keep in mind at the beginning of any writing adventure are pleasure and spaciousness. If we connect a sense of joy with our writing, we may be inclined to explore further. What’s there to find out? Perhaps too much stock has been placed in big ideas or even small ones — a myth! but regularity seems like a key. Dont start with a big idea. Start with a phrase, a line, a quote. Questions are very helpful. Begin with a few youre carrying right now.” More on writing and discipline from poet Naomi Shihab Nye…. { read more }

Be The Change

Consider your own relationship to words and writing. If you don’t have a writing practice, consider adopting one for a week and notice what surfaces within and without.

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Rise Up Again

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July 23, 2021

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Rise Up Again

A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living.

– Rudolf Steiner –

Rise Up Again

As we all know but often hesitate to share with others, life can be hard at times. Without community and support, it is even harder. This film highlights the lessons of living with resilience by relying on inner strength held up by the support of community. Mpumelelo Ncwadi from South Africa lives from this wisdom which was passed on by his father who taught him that “You should never live your internal life based on the outward appearances of your neighbors.” Struggle may be part of the journey but when we lean on each other we can not only survive but thrive through the challenges that life brings. { read more }

Be The Change

Recall and share with another person a time in your life that you overcame a challenge with the support of family, friends, nature, and your inner spiritual connection.

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Rise Up Again

This week’s inspiring video: Rise Up Again
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Video of the Week

Jul 22, 2021
Rise Up Again

Rise Up Again

As we all know but often hesitate to share with others, life can be hard at times. Without community and support, it is even harder. This film highlights the lessons of living with resilience by relying on inner strength held up by the support of community. Mpumelelo Ncwadi from South Africa lives from this wisdom which was passed on by his father who taught him that "You should never live your internal life based on the outward appearances of your neighbors." Struggle may be part of the journey but when we lean on each other we can not only survive but thrive through the challenges that life brings.
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Students on Immigration and Unjust Assumptions

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DailyGood News That Inspires

July 22, 2021

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Students on Immigration and Unjust Assumptions

Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me.

– Carlos Fuentes –

Students on Immigration and Unjust Assumptions

The treatment of immigrants and immigration policies in America are hot button topics. These policies, often seen as unlawful and dehumanizing, are catalyzing people across the nation to speak up for change. Prompted by YES! Magazine’s student writing competition and Lornet Turnbull’s article “Two-Thirds of Americans Live in the “Constitution-Free Zone”, eight powerful young voices join this chorus to speak out against immigration practices within the nation. Their raw, personal experiences with racism and fear remind us of the sobering realities that exist in our world. The strength in their words reveals the impact each individual is capable of, and remind us of the power we each have to make a difference. { read more }

Be The Change

For more inspiration, tune into this week’s Awakin Call with immigration lawyer Sheela Murthy, “Serving the Stranger: Extending Hospitality Even Through Inhospitable Times.” More details and RSVP info here. { more }

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Doffing Our Inner Masks: Lessons from Horses

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July 21, 2021

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Doffing Our Inner Masks: Lessons from Horses

No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.

– Herman Melville –

Doffing Our Inner Masks: Lessons from Horses

“In this present time, we are being asked to don masks for everyones physical health. Yet at the same time we are being challenged to doff our internal masks for our mental health both individually and as a collective. The horses can support us to remove that inner facade and emerge into a more peaceful and positive future…Interestingly, someone asked me the other day, how do horses deal in times such as these?. They dont. This crisis means nothing to them in terms of their daily life. They adapt and adjust to their environment every moment of every day. How are they so adaptable? What makes them able to flow from calm to stress and back again so fluently? Three basic characteristics of living make the horses the ideal model for us to learn from at this and any time in our lives: Foundation, Flexibility and Fellowship.” Equestrian coach and author Lynda Watson shares more in this meditative piece. { read more }

Be The Change

How can you expand perspectives about who animals are and who you are in relation to them? To explore this question more deeply with like-hearted others, join the upcoming Animal Connection Pod { more }

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A Counterculture of Commitment

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July 20, 2021

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A Counterculture of Commitment

In the dark of the moon, in flying snow, in the dead of winter, war spreading, families dying, the world in danger, I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.

– Wendell Berry –

A Counterculture of Commitment

“I have come to believe that this is the defining characteristic of our generation: Keeping our options open. There’s this philosopher, Zygmunt Bauman — he called it “liquid modernity” — we never want to commit to any one identity or place or community… so we remain, like liquid, in a state that can adapt to fit any future shape. Liquid modernity is Infinite Browsing Mode…but for everything in our lives.” In this 2018 commencement address, civic advocate Pete Davis makes a case for commitment as a powerful, transformative countercultural force in an age of restlessness and indecision. { read more }

Be The Change

Learn more about Davis’ recent book: “Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing.” { more }

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Awakin Weekly: The River Of Silence

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
The River Of Silence
by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

[Listen to Audio!]

2508.jpgDeath, whether our own or others, can be a powerful gateway to complete tenderness. The confrontation with the impermanence of all things is perhaps the widest gate to liberation from suffering. Facing death or dealing with death, our sight becomes clear. “Priorities and omissions are etched in a merciless light,” as Audre Lorde wrote. Given the sheer quantity of death around us, why not use this merciless light to better see who we are?

When I was thirty-nine years old it was I who received the call that my father had died in the hospital. I had long known with my childhood intuition that it would be I who would tell my mother. That Sunday I drove together with my sisters to the church where our family had worshipped with migrants from Texas and Louisiana for more than forty years. Mom was coming down the long cascading steps when I ran to meet her. She knew by the look on my face that Dad had died. Ten years later my mother would be diagnosed with a brain tumor and take the great leap into death herself. When my parents died I came to learn that despite the fact that everything appeared the same the day after as it did the day before, death, in fact, changed everything and everyone. Death widens the river’s mouth, loosens our relentless grasp on life, and delivers us closer to the ultimate silence on this earth.

I came to see that the great matter of death is not great because it’s scary but because it is profound in its immense capacity to arouse a loving nature within us. It brings our attention to birth as an entrance into belonging. No one should be denied this belonging, regardless of their race, sexuality, or gender. Proximity to death provides an experience by which we can see our profound lives, not as defined by vocations and careers, but as an experience of being awake.

Death seals a formidable interrelationship between all beings and all things. All things arise and cease; all beings are born and die. In death we come to know the spirit within us all. When death arrives it reminds us, like nothing else in life, that we are completely interdependent with each other. When a life is lost, we lose. When, in the wake of catastrophes caused by war or weather, many are found dead in the aftermath, we see ourselves in the dead. We tremble as we connect with each other in the face of such loss.

Perhaps we can be less afraid of our differences when we realize that this merciless light of death shines upon us while we live. Perhaps we can awaken to the flow of “the river of silence” (as prophet Kahlil Gibran called death), as it courses through the vast continuum of life. This doesn’t mean that we won’t tremble in the presence of our fears of one another, but that we will be more present with our trembling, more awake to the truth that underlies our fears.

About the Author: Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is an author, visual artist, drummer, and Zen Buddhist priest. Excerpt above from this essay.

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The River Of Silence
How do you relate to the notion that realizing the merciless light of death shines on us all can make us less afraid of our differences? Can you share a personal story of a time proximity to death connected you to the profundity of life? What helps you be more awake to the truth that underlies your fears?
Jagdish P Dave wrote: No sane person will deny that things and we as sentient human beings are going to die one day. Seeing somebody dying or knowing that someday I will also die makes me realize that we all have a common …
David Doane wrote: Merciless light of death means to me to realize that death of form is inescapable. Death is a common denominator. It is a universal symptom of existence. Realizing we are all alike in that we will all…
aj wrote: Amen! ("What helps me be more awake to the truth that underlies my fears is my faith that human death is death of my body which is a manifestation of God in human form and not death of soul or Go…
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