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Archive for August, 2021

Building Belonging: Being an Ambassador to the Earth

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August 31, 2021

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Building Belonging: Being an Ambassador to the Earth

The human condition is one about belonging. We simply cannot thrive unless we are in relationship.

– john a. powell –

Building Belonging: Being an Ambassador to the Earth

“john a. powell is the director of the Othering & Belonging Institute and a professor of law, African American studies, and ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He previously directed the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University, and the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He is also the author of Racing to Justice: Transforming Our Conceptions of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with john about how to create a culture of deep belonging. They discuss what it takes to become “belonging activists,” a process that begins with empathetic and compassionate listening. john also explores the large and small ways othering occurs in our society. Finally, Tami and john talk about the spiritual lessons we can learn from suffering.” { read more }

Be The Change

Check out another interview on Othering & Belonging with john powell here. { more }

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Spotlight On Kindness: Six Habits Of Highly Empathic People

Psychologist Daniel Goleman talks about three types of empathy. Cognitive empathy, the ability to understand another’s perspective; Emotional empathy, the ability to feel what another person feels and; Empathic concern, the ability to sense what another person needs from you. Since no man or woman is an island, investigating empathy and consciously honing our emotional intelligence is a much-needed component for good relationships. Whether as a leader, co-worker, parent, student, or friend — it’s an essential predecessor to kindness. –Guri

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Editor’s Note: Psychologist Daniel Goleman talks about three types of empathy. Cognitive empathy, the ability to understand another’s perspective; Emotional empathy, the ability to feel what another person feels and; Empathic concern, the ability to sense what another person needs from you. Since no man or woman is an island, investigating empathy and consciously honing our emotional intelligence is a much-needed component for good relationships. Whether as a leader, co-worker, parent, student, or friend — it’s an essential predecessor to kindness. –Guri
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Roman Krznaric: The Six Habits of Highly Emphathic People
Hugs Author of “Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live” Roman Krznaric reveals how the art of empathy can not only enrich one’s own life but also help to create social change.
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“There is plenty of evidence that empathy can be taught in childhood, but it gets more complicated when it comes to adults, especially when it is forced.” Here’s a genuine reflection on Empathy, compassion, personality, attitudes: can people change?
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We Actually Never Experience ‘It’

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
We Actually Never Experience ‘It’
by Culadasa

[Listen to Audio!]

2371.jpgThe "I" of the narrating mind is nothing more than a fictional but convenient construct used to organize all the separate conscious experiences occurring in the mind-system. Our very concept of Self is none other than this narrative "I", the center of gravity that holds the story together. Likewise the "it" is another imaginary construct of the narrating mind, a convenient fiction imputed to exist in order to link the different parts of the story together. The truth is we never actually experience any entity corresponding to "it". All that was experienced were the image, concept, hedonic feeling, and any emotion that arose in consciousness.

The narrating mind uses this "I-It" or "Self-Other" structure to organize the information coming from the many different sub-minds in a meaningful way. But the discriminating mind assumes the "I" and the "it" are actual entities, concretizing the Self-Other construct so it seems real and substantial. Thus, the narrating mind’s fictional "I" becomes the discriminating mind’s ego-Self, and the "it" is seen as the cause for the hedonic feelings and emotions that arise.

That fundamental mis-perception leads to the generation of intentions rooted in desire and aversion. In the example just given, those intentions might lead to grabbing binoculars to see the bird more clearly — or to pursuing the bird, capturing the bird, buying another bird to keep in a cage, or even killing and stuffing the bird for future enjoyment! The earlier sequence of causally connected episodes gets extended: "I saw& it, I recognized it, I enjoyed it, I wanted it, I pursued it, I obtained it, and I enjoyed it again? Then of course, inevitably, "I lost it, and I grieved."

Drawing on stored information about past experiences and earlier narratives, the discriminating mind also further processes the output of the narrating mind, creating a personal history for the ego-Self, and a description of the world. In the future, perceptions and interpretations based on these complex constructs will trigger desire, aversion, and emotional reactions intended to protect and further enhance the ego-Self’s well-being. The narrating mind then integrates those self-oriented thoughts and emotions into a whole new story. And this cyclical process of reinforcing the ego-Self goes on and on.

In summary, the narrating mind just combines separate conscious events from many different sub-minds into a story, which it projects back into consciousness. But our self-awareness — that ongoing, intuitive sense of being a separate "self" in relationship with a world of objects — comes from how the discriminating mind interprets those stories.

About the Author: Culadasa has been a meditation teacher for decades. The excerpt above is from his book ‘The Mind Illuminated‘.

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We Actually Never Experience ‘It’
How do you relate to ‘I’ and ‘it’ as fictional useful constructs? Can you share a personal story of a time you became aware of the creation of desire and aversion from the misperception of the discriminating mind? What helps you break the cyclical process of reinforcing the ego-Self?
Jagdish P Dave wrote: In all wisdom traditions that I know of, "Who am I" is the fundamentalquestion raised by spiritual seekers. There are two Selves: Ego-self and the Witnessing -self. The ego-self is a conveni…
David Doane wrote: I agree with Culadasa. For me, the ‘I’ and ‘it’ are fictional useful constructs, that is, they are appearances (mirages) that help us get along in the world of apparent separations (a …
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Some Good News

• Be Earth Now
• What Slime Knows
• A Surgeon’s Compassionate Pricing Model

Video of the Week

• This Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl Is Born

Kindness Stories

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Response is Different From an Answer

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August 30, 2021

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Response is Different From an Answer

Character is expressed through our behavior patterns, or natural responses to things.

– Joyce Meyer –

Response is Different From an Answer

“The current moment calls for moral ferocity. We should not sleep well at night when we know others are suffering. Ferocity itself, though, holds danger. Lets not forget that some of the worst perpetrators of evil have often claimed to act in the name of the good, or God, or the national interest, or a future utopia. By claiming the moral high ground, and labeling our opponents misguided, we run the risk of doing great harm in the name of good.” Rabbi Ariel Burger shares more. { read more }

Be The Change

Do something today, however big or small, in response to the suffering you are conscious of in the world.

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Be Earth Now

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August 29, 2021

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Be Earth Now

Our task is to take this earth so deeply and wholly into ourselves that it will resurrect within our being.

– Rainer Maria Rilke –

Be Earth Now

“In Rainer Maria Rilkes seminal collection of poetry, The Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, the great twentieth-century poet explores the nature ofand his relationship toGod through divinely received prayers. Nearly twenty-five years ago, Anita Barrows, an award-winning poet and translator, and Joanna Macy, a Buddhist scholar and eco-philosopher, collaborated to translate this collection. Now, on the new album Be Earth Now, Anita and Joanna recite a selection of these poems. Through their potent recitations, they bring the spirit of Rilkes words fully into our time and remind us of the ever-urgent call to love the world into being.” { read more }

Be The Change

For more inspiration check out, “Live the Questions Now,” another excerpt from Rilke. { more }

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What Slime Knows

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August 28, 2021

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What Slime Knows

Nothing from nothing ever yet was born.

– Lucretius –

What Slime Knows

“Here in this little patch of mulch in my yard is a creature that begins life as a microscopic amoeba and ends it as a vibrant splotch that produces spores, and for all the time in between, it is a single cell that can grow as large as a bath mat, has no brain, no sense of sight or smell, but can solve mazes, learn patterns, keep time, and pass down the wisdom of generations.” Author Lacy M. Johnson delves deep into the curious world of slime mold– and what it might have to teach us. { read more }

Be The Change

Take a few minutes today to walk outside and make an effort to notice all the different forms of life that you are surrounded by. What might they each have to teach you?

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Piplantri: Where 111 Trees Are Planted for Every Girl Child Born

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August 27, 2021

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Piplantri: Where 111 Trees Are Planted for Every Girl Child Born

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

– Chinese Proverb –

Piplantri: Where 111 Trees Are Planted for Every Girl Child Born

Being born a girl can be risky in some parts of the world. In communities where a dowry is expected at the time of marriage, and where education is not offered to girls so that they can earn an equal wage, a baby girl is often seen as a liability rather than as a child to be celebrated. To offset this negative view of being female, the village of Piplantri, India has chosen to overcome the stigma of being born female by planting 111 trees every time a girl is born. The 350,000 trees that have been planted thus far have become a source of beauty and sustenance for this forward thinking village. { read more }

Be The Change

Read about how educating girls can impact a whole community for generations. { more }

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This Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl Is Born

This week’s inspiring video: This Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl Is Born
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Video of the Week

Aug 26, 2021
This Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl Is Born

This Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl Is Born

Being born a girl can be risky in some parts of the world. In communities where a dowry is expected at the time of marriage, and where education is not offered to girls so that they can earn an equal wage, a baby girl is often seen as a liability rather than as a child to be celebrated. To offset this negative view of being female, the village of Piplantri, India has chosen to overcome the stigma of being born female by planting 111 trees every time a girl is born. The 350,000 trees that have been planted thus far have become a source of beauty and sustenance for this forward thinking village.
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Of People, Plants and Place

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August 26, 2021

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Of People, Plants and Place

We can think of place-making as something that happens through movement: significance, memories and relationships are created by patterns of walking, approaching, branching away, visiting, gathering.

– Michael Givens –

Of People, Plants and Place

“Our ancestors knew the places where they lived: every inch of land, every kind of plant, every sign of life. They made use of everything. They were intimately involved with their surroundings, immersed in the ebb and flow of the seasons. Their attention was anchored to the here and now as they watched with anticipation the gradual emergence of shoots and stems, flowers and fruits, waiting patiently for the time to gather and make used of them. Signs indicating the presence of plants, animals, birds, and fish consumed their consciousness. With senses sharpened to the immediacy of instinct they discerned the presence of every animate or inanimate object. In doing so they were themselves powerfully present.” What follows is thoughtful piece by seed researcher and baker Col Gordon that delves into the intricate relationships between people, plants, and place. { read more }

Be The Change

What ways have you found to carry out the tasks of “belonging” and “culture making
that Gordon refers to? Are there specific practices or rituals in your life that help you to truly know your place? Share them with someone today.

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A Surgeon’s Compassionate Pricing Model

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August 25, 2021

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A Surgeon's Compassionate Pricing Model

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

– Dalai Lama –

A Surgeon’s Compassionate Pricing Model

As a surgeon based in eastern Nebraska, Demetrio Aguila, MD, has drawn patients from 34 states, 6 countries, and 4 continents, not only because of his innovative, life-changing surgeries for people suffering with chronic pain, but because of the compassionate payment option he offers: in lieu of dollars, patients can donate community service hours for their procedures. For example, if a patient needs a surgery with an insurance fee of $5,000, a donation of 250 hours of community service can cover the cost. “In my heart of hearts, says Aguila, who served for over 20 years in medical missions for the US Air Force, I had this hope that we would rekindle in our neighbors, and in ourselves, a sense of volunteerism.” { read more }

Be The Change

Join this Saturday’s Awakin Call with Demetrio. More details and RSVP info here. { more }

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