Signals Even GPS Cannot Detect

by Aylie Baker

Returning to the US was always hard for me, in part because I began to notice how GPS technology was eroding what was left of our wayfinding capabilities. In the spring of 2013, I flew from Palau back to New York City, and I remember walking out of the subway on a starry night and struggling to break free of the shuffling crowd, because everyone was looking down at the maps on their phones. I started to read more about celestial navigation and the maritime history of the Atlantic, wanting to understand how we had come to abandon the stars and choose such a different way of moving through the world. My partner Miano often says that before modern technology, we were all moved by nature. And he’s right. I think we forget that. […]

Technologies themselves did not lead us astray, but our impulse to develop, adopt, and rely on them, mirrors a slow wandering away from the receptive centers of ourselves.

Hundreds of years of observing the planets, of striving to understand our place in the universe, of equations scribbled down and passed on to be elaborated over generations—all of that now gets compressed into the instruments that we use every day without a second thought. And part of what feels so scary to me about witnessing the rise and application of GPS in my lifetime is that all those generations of learning are obscured; they’re hidden in code, recorded on SIM cards and giant hard drives off in the desert. We can drive to the restaurant with the four-star Yelp review or fly thirteen hours across the Pacific Ocean without any appreciation for the incredible majesty behind these gestures.

It would be easier, more efficient, far faster to continue moving through the world along the grids that we’ve created, following the routes we are presented. But what is the impact on us? Recent studies are revealing the effects GPS is having on our brains and on the way we relate to the world. Our daily journeys are now riddled with refrains of Turn right, Turn left, Slow down, Stop. When these directional prompts come from outside of us, we don’t lay down memories in the same way we would navigating through the world without instruments. The mental maps that we construct of the places we inhabit are slowly being shredded, rendered into strip maps that lead to isolated, meandering points. The restaurant, the mountain, the grocery store, even Grandma’s house, begin to float around without any clear interrelationship or tether to the wider landscape. As our dependence on GPS technology increases, we are in danger of no longer integrating our journeys into a larger sense of home.

Even a map of home is a representation, a slice of space captured by the mind at a discrete point in time. It is always a fragment of the fabric of the universe. It doesn’t matter whether this map is updated every few years or every few seconds: it is flat. It will never be fully present or capture the rippling dynamism of the natural world. It will never be truly alive.

It’s scary to think about stepping back from these instruments, scary because stepping back might mean admitting that we never really learned where we are. For most of human history, this question has run like an umbilical cord to the core of who we are—and anyone who has been lost knows the waves of discomfort, fear, shame, guilt, loneliness, and longing that rise up in the face of not knowing.

Wayfinders are always reminding their students that each of us is capable of picking up signals that even the most powerful GPS could never detect. And we do, all of us, moment by passing moment. How ironic that we’ve designed wayfinding instruments and climate-controlled environments that shut out the many forces that are there, waiting to guide us. Humidity, vibration, shadows, birdsong—they reach out to us in every moment, silently imploring us to remember that we are—all of us, always—life responding to life.

Aylie Baker was born in Maine. She has worked on community-driven storytelling projects that address water-related issues in Chile, Vermont, Oregon, and Micronesia. She is committed to supporting the healing of watershed communities. Excerpted from her article, Wave Patterns.

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El amor no construye muros / Love Does Not Create Walls

por Victoria Rustán [English below]

Hoy [9 de Noviembre, 2019] hacen treinta años que se derribó el Muro de Berlín, un ícono de la vergüenza y de las divisiones en todos sus tipos.

Los muros dividen.

Los muros existen, y se siguen fortificado a lo largo y ancho del planeta.

Los muros excluyen, separan. Duelen.

Tras la excusa del peligro, se esconde el miedo; acaso la vergüenza de ser o no ser.

Pero no nos engañemos: los muros se construyen por odio.

No hay noticia de muros construidos por amor.

Los que se aman, los que se toleran o los que se respetan, construyen puentes, pasadizos o dialectos. Inclusive, miradas. Inclusive abrazos. No muros.

Un dato curioso es que el muro hoy homenajeado, situado en Berlín y que contaba con más de 120 km de extensión, fue derribado por un pueblo dividido, que quería libertad y reunificación. Las dos Alemanias reclamaban ser una. Las dos sociedades reivindicaban su voluntad de ser una, plural y germana, pero una. Sin muros, sin etiquetas. Sin metralletas.

Yo era pequeña, y recuerdo el estupor de mis adultos diciendo que «caía el Muro», que los vecinos lo derribaban «de ambas partes». Hoy leo las crónicas de aquellos que de un lado y del otro, con sus manos, horadaban la piedra que otros habían impuesto, y no puedo sino admirarme. Los del «otro lado», desconocidos y opuestos, se esperaban ansiosos, se abrazaban y festejaban el derribo como viejos conocidos que se vuelven a encontrar. Los ricos y los pobres, los de una mano y los de la contraria, hacían historia: unían. Miraban hacia el mismo lado.

Una lección para el mundo, para nuestros egos o nuestros opuestos: los muros se derriban de ambos lados.

Today  [November 9, 2019] the Berlin Wall was demolished thirty years ago, an icon of shame and divisions in all its types.

The walls divide.

The walls exist, and they remain fortified throughout the planet.

The walls exclude, separate. They hurt.

After the excuse of danger, fear is hidden; perhaps the shame of being or not being.

But let’s not fool ourselves: the walls are built out of hate.

There is no news of walls built for love.

Those who love each other, those who tolerate or those who respect each other, build bridges, passages or dialects. Even looks. Even hugs. Not walls.

A curious fact is that the wall today honored, located in Berlin and that had more than 120 km in length, was demolished by a divided people, who wanted freedom and reunification. The two Germanies claimed to be one. The two societies vindicated their willingness to be one, plural and German, but one. No walls, no labels. Without machine guns.

I was little, and I remember the stupor of my adults saying that “the Wall fell”, that the neighbors knocked it down “on both sides.” Today I read the chronicles of those who on one side and the other, with their hands, pierced the stone that others had imposed, and I can only admire myself. Those on the “other side,” unknown and opposed, eagerly awaited, hugged and celebrated demolition as old acquaintances who meet again. The rich and the poor, those of one hand and those of the opposite, made history: they united. They looked the same way.

A lesson for the world, for our egos or our opposites: the walls are torn down from both sides.

Artículo seleccionado en Viviragradecidos.org / Passage selected from Viviragradecidos.org

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Renewability Makes Something Valuable

by Martin Prechtel

In the village, people used to build their houses out of traditional materials, using no iron or lumber or nails, but the houses were magnificent. Many were sewn together out of bark and fiber. Like the house of the body, the house that a person sleeps in must be very beautiful and sturdy, but not so sturdy that it won’t fall apart after a while. If your house doesn’t fall apart, then there will be no reason to renew it. And it is this renewability that makes something valuable. The maintenance gives it meaning.

The secret of village togetherness and happiness has always been the generosity of the people, but the key to that generosity is inefficiency and decay. Because our village huts were not built to last very long, they had to be regularly renewed. To do this, villagers came together, at least once a year, to work on somebody’s hut. When your house was falling down, you invited all the folks over. The little kids ran around messing up what everybody was doing. The young women brought the water. The young men carried the stones. The older men told everybody what to do, and the older women told the older men that they weren’t doing it right. Once the house was back together again, everyone ate together, praised the house, laughed, and cried. In a few days, they moved on to the next house. In this way, each family’s place in the village was reestablished and remembered. This is how it always was.

Then the missionaries and the businessmen and the politicians brought in tin and lumber and sturdy houses. Now the houses last, but the relationships don’t.

In some ways, crises bring communities together. Even nowadays, if there’s a flood, or if somebody is going to put a highway through a neighborhood, people come together to solve the problem. Mayans don’t wait for a crisis to occur; they make a crisis. Their spirituality is based on choreographed disasters — otherwise known as rituals — in which everyone has to work together to remake their clothing, or each other’s houses, or the community, or the world. Everything has to be maintained because it was originally made so delicately that it eventually falls apart. It is the putting back together again, the renewing, that ultimately makes something strong. That is true of our houses, our language, our relationships.

It’s a fine balance, making something that is not so flimsy that it falls apart too soon, yet not so solid that it is permanent. It requires a sort of grace. We all want to make something that’s going to live beyond us, but that thing shouldn’t be a house, or some other physical object. It should be a village that can continue to maintain itself. That sort of constant renewal is the only permanence we should wish to attain.

Raised in New Mexico on a Pueblo Indian reservation, Martin Prechtel is the author of Secrets of the Talking Jaguar and Long Life, Honey in the Heart. The above excerpt is from an interview in Sun Magazine.

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Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee

by James O’Dea

Out of the boundless Love we hold for Creation;

Out of the deepest Grace from which the Universe unfolds;

Out of the sourcing of all Wisdom;

Out of embracing, ceaseless Compassion;

Out of the tender, yet raging fire of Courage;

From the depth of our Heart of Hearts

Let Us

Cherish ourselves

Cherish one another

Cherish all children

Cherish all women, men, elders

Cherish all of every belief persuasion,

Cherish all of humanity, inclusively in such great need.

Let us cherish the two leggeds, the four leggeds,

The winged ones, all creatures great and small,

Let us cherish and treasure our Earthly planetary home.

For we have not yet learned to do this.

To honor all who ever died in war and massacre

To honor all who have ever died in holocaust

To honor all who have been tortured and died; who have been tortured and lived

To honor the Great Wounding of Humanity

We gather to finally heal.

Let us pledge to end massacre

Let us pledge to end genocide

Let us pledge to end racism

Let us pledge to end war

Let us pour forth the power of forgiveness

Let us nest in “brotherly/sisterly love”

Let us learn the depth, breadth and eternal nature of our true power

Let us learn what it is to more deeply Love

Let us sit in healing ministrations,

Let us hold heartfelt deliberations, reconciliation councils,

Let us host workshops, talking circles, gazing sessions,

Let us sing, dance, make music, art singly and together,

Let us listen to our stories, dreams and visions,

Invite inspiration to walk hand in hand

Let communities gather and ignite new life ways

Let us pray, meditate, deepen into Soul

Let restorative justice reign with wisdom and love

We are much more than we have ever known.

Leaders, dawning leaders, gather, bring your own

Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers,

Hermits, orphans, grandparents

We call to one and all

Come with us in person

Or come with us in spirit

Come with us to Wounded Knee

Let our passion and compassion

Bring us here on bended knee

We bow to you Creation

Heal our Hearts at Wounded Knee.

Wakan,

Great Mystery,

Great Spirit,

Divine Grace which creates the galaxies,

the stars,

our earth

and gives us the mystery of life,

be with us,

anoint us,

guide us,

heal us.

Mitakuye Oyasin

[We are all related]

“We can end the transmission of wounding”*

Poem Taken from Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ (All Are Related) is a phrase from the Lakota language. It reflects the world view of interconnectedness held by the Lakota people of North America.[1] This concept and phrase is expressed in many Yankton Sioux prayers,[2] as well as by ceremonial people in other Lakota communities

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El truco está en seguir viendo / The Trick is to Keep Seeing

por Pema Chödrön [English below]

(La palabra tibetana shenpa) se suele traducir como “apego”, pero una traducción más descriptiva podría ser “enganchado”. Cuando shenpa nos engancha, es probable que nos atasquemos. Podríamos decir shenpa “ese sentimiento pegajoso”. Es una experiencia del día a día. Incluso una mancha en nuestro jersey nuevo nos puede llevar allí. En el nivel más sutil, sentimos un endurecimiento, una tensión, algo que se cierra. Luego tenemos un sentimiento de retirada, no queriendo estar donde estamos. Esa es la cualidad de enganchar. Ese sentimiento ajustado tiene el poder de engancharnos en la auto-denigración, la culpa, la ira, los celos y otras emociones que llevan a palabras y acciones que terminan envenenándonos.
[…]
Practicando con el shenpa, primero tratamos de reconocerlo. El mejor lugar para hacer esto es el cojín de meditación. La práctica de estar sentado nos enseña a abrirnos y relajarnos ante todo lo que venga, sin coger ni elegir. Nos enseña a experimentar el desasosiego y la necesidad al completo, y a interrumpir el momento que suele seguirles. Hacemos esto no siguiendo nuestros pensamientos y aprendiendo a volver al momento presente. Aprendemos a estar con la ansiedad, la tirantez, los picores del shenpa. Entrenamos a sentarnos en quietud con nuestro deseo de rascarnos. Así es como aprendemos a detener la cadena de reacciones de patrones habituales que de otra manera guiarán nuestras vidas. Así es como debilitamos los patrones que nos mantienen colgados del malestar que confundimos con comodidad. Etiquetamos el pensamiento derivado y volvemos al momento presente.
[…]
Podríamos pensar en este proceso en estos términos: reconocer el shenpa, abstenerse de rascarse, relajarse en la subyacente necesidad de rascarse y después decidir continuar rompiendo nuestros patrones habituales como este durante el resto de nuestras vidas. ¿Qué haces cuando no haces lo habitual? Te quedas con tu impulso. Así es como llegas a estar más en contacto con tu antojo y las ganas de moverte. Aprendes a relajarte con ello. Entonces decides seguir practicando de este modo.
Trabajar con shenpa te ablanda. Una vez que vemos que estamos colgad@s y cómo somos arrastrad@s por el ímpetu, no hay forma de ser arrogantes. El truco está en seguir viendo. No dejes que el ablandarse y la humildad se conviertan en auto-denigración. Eso es otro enganche. Porque hemos estado fortaleciendo toda la situación habitual durante mucho mucho tiempo, no podemos deshacerlo de la noche a la mañana. No es un asunto que se resuelva en un momento. Necesita bondad amorosa para reconocerlo, necesita práctica para contenerse; necesita voluntad para relajarse; necesita determinación para seguir entrenando de esta forma. Ayuda recordar que tenemos que experimentar dos billones de tipos de picores y siete cuatrillones de tipos de rascados, pero sólo hay una raíz de shenpa—el ego pegajoso.

Sobre la autora: Pema Chödrön es ampliamente conocida por su convincente y “con los pies en la tierra” interpretación del Budismo Tibetano para audiencias occidentales.
Pema estudió con el maestro de meditación Chö​gyam Trungpa Rinpoche y es profesora residente en Gampo Abbey, Nueva Escocia, el primer Monasterio Tibetano para Occidentales.
Pema Chödrön  [Lectura escogida de Awakin. Ilustración ofrecida como un regalo anónimo :-)]

__________________________________________________________________________

(The Tibetan word shenpa) is usually translated “attachment,” but a more descriptive translation might be “hooked.” When shenpa hooks us, we’re likely to get stuck. We could call shenpa “that sticky feeling.” It’s an everyday experience. Even a spot on your new sweater can take you there. At the subtlest level, we feel a tightening, a tensing, a sense of closing down. Then we feel a sense of withdrawing, not wanting to be where we are. That’s the hooked quality. That tight feeling has the power to hook us into self-denigration, blame, anger, jealousy and other emotions which lead to words and actions that end up poisoning us.
[…]
In practicing with shenpa, first we try to recognize it. The best place to do this is on the meditation cushion. Sitting practice teaches us how to open and relax to whatever arises, without picking and choosing. It teaches us to experience the uneasiness and the urge fully, and to interrupt the momentum that usually follows. We do this by not following after the thoughts and learning to come back to the present moment. We learn to stay with the uneasiness, the tightening, the itch of shenpa. We train in sitting still with our desire to scratch. This is how we learn to stop the chain reaction of habitual patterns that otherwise will rule our lives. This is how we weaken the patterns that keep us hooked into discomfort that we mistake as comfort. We label the spinoff “thinking” and return to the present moment.
[…]
We could think of this whole process in terms of four R’s: recognizing the shenpa, refraining from scratching, relaxing into the underlying urge to scratch and then resolving to continue to interrupt our habitual patterns like this for the rest of our lives. What do you do when you don’t do the habitual thing? You’re left with your urge. That’s how you become more in touch with the craving and the wanting to move away. You learn to relax with it. Then you resolve to keep practicing this way.

Working with shenpa softens us up. Once we see how we get hooked and how we get swept along by the momentum, there’s no way to be arrogant. The trick is to keep seeing. Don’t let the softening and humility turn into self-denigration. That’s just another hook. Because we’ve been strengthening the whole habituated situation for a long, long time, we can’t expect to undo it overnight. It’s not a one-shot deal. It takes loving-kindness to recognize; it takes practice to refrain; it takes willingness to relax; it takes determination to keep training this way. It helps to remember that we may experience two billion kinds of itches and seven quadrillion types of scratching, but there is really only one root shenpa — ego-clinging

Pema Chödrön is widely known for her compelling and down-to-earth interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism for Western audiences.
Pema studied under the meditation master Chö
gyam Trungpa Rinpoche and is now the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery for Westerners. The passage selected from Awakin

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When You Love

by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

In one of her books, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross shared a poem written by one of her patients, Richard Allen, about the meaning of life. She wrote of Allen’s poem:

“Here he summed up not his own life but, the life of his father. His father was to him an example of a man who started very negatively and struggled to get rid of his own negativity and his judgmental attitude and who became a being of total and unconditional love, able to pass it on to his children and his children’s children.”

When You Love

When you love, give it everything you have got.
And when you have reached your limit, give it more,
And forget the pain of it.
Because as you face your death
It is only the love that you have given and received which will count,

And all the rest:
The accomplishments, the struggle, the fights Will be forgotten in your reflection.
And if you have loved well
Then it will all have been worth it.
And the joy of it will last you through the end. But if you have not,
Death will always come too soon
And be too terrible to face.

— Richard Allen

Excerpt from: Kubler- Ross, Elisabeth,  The Tunnel and the Light: Essential Insights on Living and Dying. Philadelphia: Perseus Books. p. 76

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La ciudad con sólo un árbol / The City with Only One tree

por Thich Nhat Hanh [English below]

Imagine una ciudad que solo le queda un árbol. Las personas que viven en esta ciudad tienen enfermedades mentales porque se han alejado mucho de la naturaleza. Finalmente, un médico que vive en la ciudad se da cuenta de por qué las personas se enferman y le ofrece esta receta a cada uno de sus pacientes. “Estás enferm@ porque estás separad@ de la Madre Naturaleza. Cada mañana, toma un autobús, ve al árbol en el centro de la ciudad y abrázalo por quince minutos. Mira el hermoso árbol verde y huele su fragante corteza

Después de tres meses de practicar esto, l@s pacientes se sienten mucho mejor. Pero debido a que muchas personas padecen la misma enfermedad y el médico siempre da la misma receta, después de un corto tiempo, la fila de personas que esperan su turno para abrazar el árbol se hace muy larga, más de una milla, y la gente comienza a ser impaciente. Quince minutos ahora es demasiado tiempo para que cada persona abrace el árbol, por lo que el Ayuntamiento legisla un máximo de cinco minutos. Luego tienen que acortarlo a un minuto, y luego solo unos segundos. Finalmente, no hay remedio para todas las enfermedades. 

Si no somos conscientes, pronto podremos estar en esa situación. Tenemos que recordar que nuestros cuerpos no se limitan a lo que se encuentra dentro de los límites de nuestra piel. Nuestros cuerpos son mucho más inmensos. Sabemos que si nuestro corazón deja de latir, el flujo de nuestra vida se detendrá, pero no nos tomamos el tiempo para notar las muchas cosas fuera de nuestros cuerpos que son igualmente esenciales para nuestra supervivencia.

… Puedo darme cuenta de que el corazón adentro de mi cuerpo, no es mi único corazón, tengo muchos otros corazones …

Thich Nhat Hanh adaptado de su libro The World We Have

Imagine a city that has only one tree left. The people who live in this city are mentally ill because they have become so alienated from nature. Finally a doctor who lives in the city realizes why people are getting sick, and he offers each of his patients this prescription. “you are sick because you are cut off from Mother Nature. Every morning, take a bus, go to the tree in the center of the city, and hug it for fifteen minutes. Look at the beautiful green tree and smell its fragrant bark.”


After three months of practicing this, the patients feel much better. But because so many people suffer from the same malady and the doctor always gives the same prescription, after a short time the line of people waiting their turn to embrace the tree gets to be very long, more than a mile, and people begin to get impatient. Fifteen minutes is now too long for each person to hug the tree, so the City Council legislates a five-minute maximum. Then they have to shorten it to one minute, and then only a few seconds. Finally, there is no remedy for all the sickness.

If we are not mindful, we may soon be in that situation. We have to remember that our bodies are not limited to what lies within our boundaries of our skin. Our bodies are much more immense. We know that if our heart stops beating, the flow of our life will stop, but we don’t take the time to notice the many things outside of our bodies that are equally essential for our survival.

… I may realize that the heart inside my body is not my only heart – I have many other hearts…

Thich Nhat Hanh adapted from his book  “The World We Have

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Thanks-Giving and Retribution

by Francisco Herrera

If the “Thanks Giving” story goes – that the original peoples helped the newcomer (“illegal immigrant”) survive, it is only fitting that the newcomer Give Thanks: re-tribute; pay tribute to those who saved them. One way to do it is to re-distribute the wealth the newcomer has amassed thanks to the original peoples. 

Then maybe, each year there should be a project – a political project, laws and budgets, orders of business, that follow the directives of First Nation thought and Practices, which respect each other’s ways of living together in this land mass we call the United States. 

The fact is the “Indian” has given and continues to give. From the Original people, Benjamin Franklin took forms of sovereignty which formed the federal system of government we have today. Maslow, Rogers and so many other architects of modern Psychology learned their craft from careful study of indigenous people’s form of healthy living. Even in modern times, it was the Navajo who enabled “allied” victories over the German-Italian-Japanese aggression, which finally lead to the end of World War II. And as a society around the world, people are turning to the healthy practices of the original peoples because of their proven record that sharing is a good thing. 

And the list goes on. 

But instead of gratitude, what we as a nation have developed has been an abusive, genocidal relationship of taking from First Nation people. Instead of Thanks Giving, we continue to see thievery on the side of the newcomer, who thinks this land belongs to him, simply because he has the ability to kill you. 

And now there are borders dividing original peoples and business ventures that extract the goodness of the land and fracture the earth; all against the advice of the original people. 

So in your towns, counties, states, in the nation – let’s make laws and practice Thanks-Giving by recognizing and following the leadership of the communities we have relegated to the apartheid system called reservations (South African apartheid was based on the U.S. reservation system). Let’s listen, learn and respect their correct place of leadership. 

This year we have the first Original Nations leader(Ben Nighthorse Campbell-Cheyenne) in Congress, who elected in Colorado [1993-2005]. Let’s make that a tradition and elect more indigenous leaders every year until they have a truly representative place in Congress, the Senate, the Presidency of this nation where First Nation people belong. 

Let us re-tribute First Nation peoples from the African Continent who were Kidnapped and forced to labor as part of the largest Human Trafficking Scheme the world has truly ever known. Let us abolish these useless borders that prohibit First Nation people from this continent from the ability to Migrate to and from as we have done for millennia, but now (that we are called “immigrants”) are forbidden to do so. Why not erase these fictitious borders – the European Union has done it and they are flourishing. 

See, the current U.S. capitalist plan simply does not work, but for a few, who “hold-up” in a crack house of leisure, at the expense of the many, whose lands are fractured, waters poisoned and health destroyed by extractive powers or military powers or drug powers – all in control of that leisurely group of crack addicts (or gold addicts). 

It will always be up to the rest of us, who are looking for systems that put people and the earth before profits to continue to organize ways of living practiced by those who saved these newcomers from assured death in the first place (well not really the first place, because this invasion is only 526 years young and whose end time has come). 

Be a little thankful this thanks-giving and do more than eating turkey and having a break with your family and friends (which is a good thing). Recognize we owe the “Indian” our very existence and act accordingly. 

All Respect, Relatives

Taken from Francisco Herrera’s Blog. Francisco is a theologian, cultural worker, singer-songwriter who has produced 7 albums (includes 2 children’s music in Spanish), writes scores for film and theater, working with producers like the late great Saul Landau. He can be found in intimate gatherings of women recovering from domestic violence, day laborers organizing for a universal wage, children becoming bilingual (Spanish/English), Interfaith groups shutting down private prisons; always performing uplifting and energizing songs that move, teach and inspire.

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Arcoíris / Rainbow

Por Matthieu Ricard [English below]

Un arcoíris se forma por el juego de un rayo de sol que cae sobre una nube de lluvia: aparece, visible pero impalpable. Y en cuanto uno de esos factores deja de actuar, el fenómeno desaparece. Así pues, el «arco iris» no tiene naturaleza propia y no se puede hablar de disolución o aniquilamiento de algo que no existe. Ese «algo» sólo debía su apariencia ilusoria a una conjunción transitoria de elementos que, a su vez, tampoco son entidades intrínsecamente existentes…

Esta es la forma en que los seres iluminad@s se relacionan con todo. Su mundo está hecho de arcoíris. Todo aparece brevemente, luego desaparece gradual o repentinamente.

Imagine cómo cambiaría su relación con el mundo si se diera cuenta de que todo está hecho de arcoíris. Estás sentad@ en un arcoíris. Estás sosteniend@ un arcoíris en tus manos. Te vas a dormir en una cama de arcoíris y te cubres con una manta de arcoíris. Comes y bebes el arcoíris. Pones ropa de arcoíris en un cuerpo de arcoíris y haces el amor con un compañer@ de arcoíris. Cuando tu casa de arcoíris desaparece, no es gran cosa, eso es lo que hacen los arcoíris

A rainbow is formed by the play of a shaft of sunlight falling on a cloud of raindrops. It
appears, but it’s intangible. As soon as one of the factors contributing to it is missing, the phenomenon disappears. So, the ‘rainbow’ has no apparent nature of its own, and you can’t speak of the dissolution, or annihilation of something that didn’t exist in the first place.  That ‘something’ only owed its illusory appearance to a transitory coming together of elements which aren’t intrinsically existing entities themselves, either…


This is the way enlightened beings relate to everything. Their world is made of rainbows. Everything briefly appears, then gradually or suddenly disappears.

Imagine how your relationship to the world would change if you realized it is all made of rainbows. You are sitting on a rainbow. You are holding a rainbow in your hands. You go to sleep on a rainbow bed, and cover yourself with a rainbow blanket. You eat and drink rainbows. You put rainbow clothes on a rainbow body, and you make love to a rainbow mate. When your rainbow house disappears it is no big deal, that’s just what rainbows do

—Extraído del El monje y el filósofo / Excerpt from The Monk and the Philosopher

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La mejor lección de la niñez por Pablo Neruda / Pablo Neruda’s Greatest Lesson from Childhood

por Lewis Hyde [English below]

Jugando en el jardín detrás de la casa, un día cuando todavía era un niño pequeño, Neruda descubrió un agujero en la cerca de madera. “Miré a través del agujero y vi un paisaje como el de detrás de nuestra casa, descuidado y salvaje. Di un par de pasos atrás, porque tuve la sensación de que iba a pasar algo. De repente apareció una mano—- la manita de un niño de más o menos mi edad. Para cuando volví a acercarme, la mano se había ido, y en su lugar había una preciosa oveja blanca de juguete.”

“La lana de la oveja estaba desteñida. Sus ruedas habían desaparecido. Todo esto sólo la hacía más auténtica. Nunca había visto una oveja tan maravillosa. Volví a mirar por el agujero, pero el niño había desaparecido. Me metí en casa y saqué algo equivalente que yo tenía: una piña abierta, llena de olor y resina, la adoraba. La coloqué en el mismo lugar y me fui con la oveja.”

“Nunca volví a ver la mano o al chico. Y nunca he visto una oveja como esa, tampoco. El juguete que acabé perdiendo en un fuego. Pero incluso ahora, cuando paso por una tienda de juguetes, miro furtivamente al escaparate. No tiene sentido. Ya no hacen ovejas como esa.”

Neruda ha comentado este incidente varias veces. “Ese intercambio de regalos—-misteriosos— se instaló profundamente en mi como un depósito de sedimentos,” dijo una vez en una entrevista. Y él asocia el intercambio con su poesía. “He sido un hombre afortunado. Sentir la intimidad de los herman@s es algo maravilloso en la vida. Sentir el amor de la gente que amamos es un fuego que alimenta nuestra vida. Pero sentir el afecto que viene de aquell@s que no conocemos, por esos desconocid@s para nosotros, que cuidan nuestro sueño y nuestra soledad, que vigilan nuestros peligros y nuestras debilidades— eso es algo todavía más grande y más bonito porque amplía las fronteras de nuestro ser, y une todas las cosas vivas.

“Ese intercambio me hizo darme cuenta por primera vez de una idea preciosa: Que toda la humanidad está de alguna forma unida…. No te sorprenderá entonces que yo haya intentado dar algo resinoso, terroso, y fragante a cambio de la hermandad humana…..

“Esta es la gran lección que aprendí en mi infancia, en el patio de atrás de una casa solitaria. Puede que no fuese otra cosa que un juego que jugaron dos niños que no se conocían y que querían pasarle al otro alguna de las cosas buenas de la vida. Incluso puede ser que este pequeño y misterioso intercambio de regalos ser quedase dentro de mí también, profundo e indestructible, dando luz a mi poesía.”

–Lewis Hyde, de “El regalo

Pablo Neruda’s Greatest Lesson from Childhood

Playing in the lot behind the house one day when he was still a little boy, Neruda discovered a hole in a fence board. “I looked through the hole and saw a landscape like that behind our house, uncared for, and wild. I moved back a few steps, because I sensed vaguely that something was about to happen. All of a sudden a hand appeared—a tiny hand of a boy about my own age. By the time I came close again, the hand was gone, and in its place there was a marvellous white toy sheep.

“The sheep’s wool was faded. Its wheels had escaped. All of this only made it more authentic. I had never seen such a wonderful sheep. I looked back through the hole but the boy had disappeared. I went in the house and brought out a measure of my own: a pine cone, opened, full of odor and resin, which I adored. I set it down in the same spot and went off with the sheep.

“I never saw either the hand or the boy again. And I have never seen a sheep like that either. The toy I lost finally in a fire. But even now…whenever I pass a toyshop, I look furtively into the window. It’s no use. They don’t make sheep like that anymore.”

Neruda has commented on this incident several times. “This exchange of gifts—mysterious—settled deep inside me like a sedimentary deposit,” he once remarked in an interview. And he associates the exchange with his poetry. “I have been a lucky man. To feel the intimacy of (sisters and) brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that come from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses—that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.

“That exchange brought home to me for the first time a precious idea: that all humanity is somehow together…It won’t surprise you then that I have attempted to give something resiny, earthlike, and fragrant in exchange for human brotherhood…

“This is the great lesson I learned in my childhood, in the backyard of a lonely house. Maybe it was nothing but a game two boys played who didn’t know each other and wanted to pass to the other some good things of life. Yet maybe this small and mysterious exchange of gifts remained inside me also, deep and indestructible, giving my poetry light.”

–Lewis Hyde, from “The Gift”

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