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Archive for January, 2022

Time Management for Mortals

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 31, 2022

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Time Management for Mortals

I’m aware of no other time management technique that’s half as effective as just facing the way things truly are.

– Oliver Burkeman –

Time Management for Mortals

“Journalist Oliver Burkeman has made a delightful and important philosophical, spiritual, and practical investigation of all that is truly at stake in what we blithely refer to as ‘time management.’ At this time of year, many of us are making plans and resolutions — treating time as part bully, part resource — something we could fit everything we want into if only we had the discipline. This conversation is offered up to release you from that illusion. He invites us into a new relationship with time, our technologies, and the power of limits — and thus with our mortality and with life itself.” { read more }

Be The Change

For more inspiration, check out this lovely post, “I Have Time.” { more }

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Retriever of Souls

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 30, 2022

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Retriever of Souls

Dogs are our link to paradise.

– Milan Kundera –

Retriever of Souls

“At night, only at night, her mind grows timber-thickso dense and brambled there’s no way to find her, let alone bring her back to bed. Gone, then, is the tumbleweed-haired, half-feral kid who rode her goat every morning to the preschool up the hill. The kid who by fourth grade volunteered at the local vet clinic, where she sat with the grieving while their pets died. More than once I’ve been approached at the post office or market by people who say that Ruby has a giftsomething beyond bedside manners. “It was like she could see what was on the other side,” an elderly woman told me after euthanizing a beloved dachshund. “Like she knew exactly where that dog was going.” only at night, her mind grows timber-thickso dense and brambled theres no way to find her, let alone bring her back to bed. Gone, then, is the tumbleweed-haired, half-feral kid who rode her goat every morning to the preschool up the hill. The kid who by fourth grade volunteered at the local vet clinic, where she sat with the grieving while their pets died. More than once Ive been approached at the post office or market by people who say that Ruby has a giftsomething beyond bedside manners. It was like she could see what was on the other side, an elderly woman told me after euthanizing a beloved dachshund. Like she knew exactly where that dog was going.” By going, the woman means going out of the body, going beyond. In Ruby’s case, it means going to bed with nocturnal epilepsy, a condition that causes seizures while she sleeps.” A child and her dog navigate the forest of epilepsy in this powerful piece.

By going, the woman means going out of the body, going beyond. In Rubys case, it means going to bed with nocturnal epilepsy, a condition that causes seizures while she sleeps. { read more }

Be The Change

For more inspiration, check out this piece on India’s First Shelter for Dogs with Disabilities.’ { more }

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Being Simply Beautiful

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January 29, 2022

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Being Simply Beautiful

Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe –

Being Simply Beautiful

We are surrounded by the stuff that we think is so valuable and important, but take it all away and what is left? The real you is left. Or at least the journey to the real you without all the stuff that you think defines you. In this video, Theo Du Plessis of South Africa, had a “Damascus moment” that opened him up to the only question he asks himself now before acquiring possessions or pursuing experiences: is it REAL? If it is real then it is worth having in his life. Theo’s life is one of connection with himself and nature, and a force he calls Goodness which gives him hope and community in the spirit of Ubuntu – I am me because of others. { read more }

Be The Change

Have you had a Damascus moment? A moment when you saw the light and knew you needed to let go of possessions or change something for a new life to begin? Pause and reflect on such a moment and consider how simplifying could allow growth.

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Being Simply Beautiful

This week’s inspiring video: Being Simply Beautiful
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Video of the Week

Jan 27, 2022
Being Simply Beautiful

Being Simply Beautiful

We are surrounded by the stuff that we think is so valuable and important, but take it all away and what is left? The real you is left. Or at least the journey to the real you without all the stuff that you think defines you. In this video, Theo Du Plessis of South Africa, had a "Damascus moment" that opened him up to the only question he asks himself now before acquiring possessions or pursuing experiences: is it REAL? If it is real then it is worth having in his life. Theo’s life is one of connection with himself and nature, and a force he calls Goodness which gives him hope and community in the spirit of Ubuntu – I am me because of others.
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His Back Pocket & Other Poems

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January 27, 2022

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His Back Pocket & Other Poems

For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding: it is the deepest part of autobiography.

– Robert Penn Warren –

His Back Pocket & Other Poems

Mick Cochrane is a professor of English and a longtime teller of stories. His published works include novels, short stories, essays, and poetry. His work is compelling, candid, and cuts straight to the heart of what it means to be human, what it means to experience love, loss, limitation, and transcendence. Here is a selection of three of his poems. { read more }

Be The Change

For more inspiration, join a circle with Mick Cochrane this Saturday. Mick will share more about his work and insights from his writing process. You can RSVP for the circle here. { more }

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Spotlight On Kindness: Look For The Helpers

Jon Stewart once said, “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing,” which is probably more valid today than ever before. When we get swarmed by the endless news and information, it can feel challenging to take steps toward change. It requires a real genuine effort to look for role models who have found solutions and a clear path forward; To look for everyday people like us, doing what is in their power to do. When challenged, this week’s stories remind us to look for the real “helpers” and see if we can glean inspiration from them. –Guri

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“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” –Fred Rogers
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Editor’s Note: Jon Stewart once said, “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing,” which is probably more valid today than ever before. When we get swarmed by the endless news and information, it can feel challenging to take steps toward change. It requires a real genuine effort to look for role models who have found solutions and a clear path forward; To look for everyday people like us, doing what is in their power to do. When challenged, this week’s stories remind us to look for the real “helpers” and see if we can glean inspiration from them. –Guri
Kindness Rocks
Kindness In the News
An 83-Year-Old, John Shackleton buys and delivers ambulances across Europe. He and his team raise money to buy them at auction and then stock them up with medical equipment for impoverished areas.
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Her son’s trombone was stolen from the car, which left them angry and disappointed. As his classmates tried to console him, a student at another school reached out with a radical act of kindness.
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Hugs Sackets Harbor, New York, faces a shortage of EMT’s. And a group of brave, young high school students stepped in, volunteering their time to run EMT services for the city.
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In other news …
“Ants have been seen healing wounded trees in Panama—behavior that is believed to have never been observed before. When holes were drilled into Cecropia tree trunks, the ants emerged from their homes to patch up the wounds, significantly reducing the size of the holes within 2 1/2 hours and leaving them completely healed within 24 hours.” Here’s the full Newsweek article.
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What is Holding it Together?

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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 26, 2022

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What is Holding it Together?

To lock down the delicate filigree of life in explanation is to lose it, but not to see it is disastrous.

– Nora Bateson –

What is Holding it Together?

“Words are delicious, but cannot say much. They often lose the water of meaning before it is delivered. But they can be stirred to form descriptions of the breath, glances, gestures, and pulses between lives. Perhaps writing is finding a scrape in the skin of knowing, where the sting and dirt and blood of the day is let out, and music is let in.” The following excerpt, by Nora Bateson, noted research designer, film-maker, writer, and daughter of Gregory Bateson, is taken from the beginning of her book, “Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing Through Other Patterns.”
{ read more }

Be The Change

Nora Bateson is founder of the International Bateson Institute. Her work asks the question, “How we can improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?” Learn more about the institute’s activities here. { more }

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bell hooks: A Revolutionary Who Led With Love

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January 25, 2022

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bell hooks: A Revolutionary Who Led With Love

Whenever domination is present love is lacking.

– bell hooks –

bell hooks: A Revolutionary Who Led With Love

“I have known radicals and revolutionaries who love ‘the people’ but whose everyday lives are replete with contradictions. The late bell hooks was by no means perfect, but she was impressively consistent. She took seriously the notion that a revolution had to center love and was as much about transforming ourselves as it was about transforming the world. I met hooks when I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s and early 90s. I have many memories of her, but a Chicago activist now in her 60s shared with me a story that captures her essence.” Barbara Ransby shares more. { read more }

Be The Change

Listen to Melanie DeMore singing a song she wrote in 2016, “Gotta put one foot in front of the other, and lead with love.” { more }

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The Simplest Meditation

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The Simplest Meditation
by Melvin McLeodÂ

[Listen to Audio!]

2401.jpgHow can everything be perfect if it’s so screwed up?

That question goes to the heart of the situation we find ourselves in, which Buddhists call samsara. That’s the endless cycle driven by our struggle to try to fix what’s broken—in ourselves, in our lives, in our world.

But what if nothing really is broken? What if our problem is that there is no problem, but we don’t know it? What if all our efforts to solve our problems are what’s creating the problems in the first place?

Who knows when and how this trap was sprung, but we’re in it. How do we get out?

We just stop. We do nothing at all, and see what we see.

That’s what the Buddha did.

First he stopped material struggle, because he realized that wouldn’t fix the problems of birth, old age, sickness, and death. Then he embarked on a long spiritual struggle, but that didn’t work either. Finally, he just sat under a tree and stopped all his struggling.

He sat there and did nothing, and enlightenment revealed itself like the morning star. No longer misled by the drive to achieve something, he realized that all beings are inherently enlightened, just as they are, and the universe is perfect, just as it is. There is nothing to fix. There is nothing we need to do.

This is simple—but not easy. Nothing is the hardest thing for us to do.

Our entire existence is predicated on doing things. We think we need to do things to ensure our well-being, to make spiritual progress, to fix ourselves, to survive.

Most of all, we fear that if we’re not doing anything we’ll discover we don’t exist. That’s called a glimpse of enlightenment.

Of course, this doing nothing is a little different from kicking back and relaxing. It means stopping what we’re doing at every level. It means not trying. It means not trying not to try. It means not philosophizing about not trying, or setting the goal of not trying.

Our minds are so subtle and tricky. We have to step completely outside our funhouse of infinite mental mirrors. We have to sit down and give it all up, like the Buddha did.

Once we stop covering it over, even for a moment, it’s said that what we glimpse is the basic ground of reality—of ourselves, of all beings, of all phenomena.

In Buddhism this is called many names—enlightenment, buddanature, the true nature of mind, the Great Perfection, ordinary mind, or just plain “buddha.”

The description I find most helpful is “emptiness endowed with all the supreme aspects,” from the Vajrayana tradition. This means the basic ground of reality is empty—free of all our mistaken projections—yet replete with all good qualities: wisdom, joy, compassion, peace, enlightenment.

In other words, once we stop screwing everything up, it’s all perfect.

About the Author: First appeared in the Mar 2020 editorial of Lion’s Roar magazine.

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The Simplest Meditation
How do you relate to the notion of arriving at enlightenment when both material and spiritual struggle ceases? Can you share a personal story of a time you experienced great insights after ceasing to do or fix? What helps you reconcile not striving with other dictums of continuous improvement?
susan schaller wrote: Al Anon sums this essay into one suggestion: ” Don’t just do something, sit there.”…
Jagdish P Dave wrote: Accoding to my undersatnding, arriving at enlightenmnt means finding my true nature of mind, the basic ground of reality in progress. True nature of mind is emptiness-empty of craving and clinging, f…
David Doane wrote: Everything isn’t “so screwed up ‘ — everything is being what it’s being. Trade in the approach of endlessly struggling to fix what’s broken for allowing to learn and heal, especially when it comes t…
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On Death and Love

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January 24, 2022

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On Death and Love

All beings, including each one of us, enemy and friend alike, exist in patterns of mutuality, interconnectedness, co-responsibility and ultimately in unity.

– Joan Halifax –

On Death and Love

“I met Death in my early twenties. I had already lost loved ones before this time. A friend at school was taken by leukemia in a breathtaking six weeks one strange, hot summer. My grandfather, Eric, and my uncle, Tim, both died before their time. But none of us truly meets Death until we are ready to understand what it means. My first meeting came while sitting in a recording studio with a Holocaust survivor called Hannah. Hannah had endured the death march from her home in Hungary when she was fifteen years old. In 1944, she and her family were transported by cattle truck to Auschwitz. Out of dozens of family members, only she and her brother came through the war alive.” Melanie Challenger shares more in this gripping essay. { read more }

Be The Change

For more inspiration, check out “Everything is a Present,” featuring Holocaust survivor Alice Herz Sommer at 108. { more }

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