The Power of Here

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– By Bill Plotkin (May 20, 2016)

When we’re young, a virtually universal component of what our ego doesn’t know is our ultimate place, our soul. This knowledge is hidden in the depths of the psyche and in the wilds of the world, and it takes a mature ego to find and comprehend it. In contemporary Western societies, most people never find it.

The journey to self-knowledge that we each must take–the conscious discovery of our ultimate individual place–is the prerequisite to full human consciousness, to the full savoring of the grandeur of this world, to the privilege of fully participating in life, and to the responsibility of contributing something sacred and essential to this world.

Before you discover your ultimate place, you are, in a sense, lost. Before soul initiation, you have a particular destiny but doesn’t know what it is.

Your soul is your true home. In the moment you finally arrive in and occupy this psycho-ecological niche, you feel fully available and present to the world, unlost. This particular place is profoundly familiar to you, more than any geographical location or any mere dwelling has ever been or could be. You know immediately that this is the source, the marrow, of your true belonging. This is the identity no one could ever take from you. Inhabiting this place does not depend on having anyone else’s permission or approval or presence. It does not require having a particular job–or any at all. You can be neither hired for it nor fired from it. Acting from this place aligns you with your surest personal powers (your soul powers), your powers of nurturing, transforming, creating; your powers of presence and wonder.

The first time you consciously inhabit your ultimate place and act from your soul is the first time you can say Here and really know what it means. You’ve arrived, at last, at your own center. As long as you stay Here, everywhere you go, geographically or socially, feels like home. Every place becomes Here.

This is the power of place, the power of Here.

Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and founder of Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute. Excerpt from an essay, “Care of the Soul of the World”, collected in Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth.

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La renovación da valor a las cosas / Renewability Makes Something Valuable

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– por Martin Prechtel (May 13, 2016)

En los pueblos, la gente solía construir sus casas con materiales tradicionales, no usaban hierro o madera o clavos, pero las casas eran magníficas. Muchas se cosían juntas hechas de corteza y fibra. Como con la casa del cuerpo, la casa en la que una persona duerme tiene que ser muy bonita y robusta, pero no tan robusta como para que no se rompa al cabo de un tiempo. Si tu casa no se rompe no hay razón para renovarla. Y es la renovación la que da valor a las cosas. El mantenimiento da sentido.

El secreto de la unidad y la felicidad del pueblo ha sido siempre la generosidad de la gente, pero la clave de esa generosidad es la ineficiencia y el deterioro. Como las cabañas de nuestro pueblo no fueron construidas para durar mucho, tenían que ser renovadas regularmente. Para hacer esto, los habitantes del pueblo se unían, al menos una vez al año, para trabajar en la cabaña de alguien. Cuando tu casa se estaba cayendo invitabas a toda la gente. Los niños pequeños corrían alrededor revolviendo todo lo que los mayores estaban haciendo. Las mujeres jóvenes traían el agua. Los hombres jóvenes llevaban las piedras. Los más mayores les decían a los otros que no lo estaban haciendo bien. Una vez que la casa ya estaba arreglada de nuevo entre todos, comían juntos, elogiaban la casa, reían y lloraban. En unos pocos días, se iban a la siguiente casa. De esta forma, las casas de todas las familias eran rehabilitadas y recordadas. Así es cómo funcionó siempre.

Entonces llegaron los misioneros y los hombres de negocios y los políticos y trajeron casas robustas de hojalata y madera. Ahora las casas duran pero las relaciones no.

De alguna forma, las crisis unen a las comunidades. Incluso hoy en día, si hay una inundación, o si alguien va a construir una autopista en nuestro vecindario, la gente se une para solucionar el problema. Los Mayas no esperaban a que viniera la crisis; ellos creaban la crisis. Su espiritualidad se basaba en desastres coreografiados – conocidos como rituales—en los que todo el mundo tenía que trabajar junto para rehacerse la ropa, o la casa de cada uno, o la comunidad, o el mundo. Es rehacer, renovar, lo que finalmente hace fuertes a las cosas. Eso también pasa con nuestras casas, nuestro lenguaje, nuestras relaciones.

Es un delicado equilibrio, hacer que algo no sea tan endeble que se desmorone pronto, ni tan sólido que sea permanente. Requiere un tipo de habilidad especial. Todos queremos hacer algo que vaya a perdurar después de nosotros, pero esa cosa no debería ser una casa o un objeto físico. Debería ser un pueblo que continúe manteniéndose a si mismo. La constante renovación es la única permanencia que deberíamos desear lograr.

Martin Prechtel Criado en Nuevo Mexico en una reserva de indígenas Pueblo, Martin Prechtel es el autor de “Los Secretos del Jaguar que habla y la Larga Vida”, “Miel en el Corazón”. El extracto de arriba es de una entrevista para “Sun Magazine”. Texto original en inglés en Awakin.org, Traducción cortesía de María Ayala.



Renewability Makes Something Valuable

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.

Martin Prechtel 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. Text from Awakin.org.

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The Great Stories

–by Arundhati Roy (May 6, 2016)

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“…the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.
That is their mystery and their magic.

To the Kathakali Man these stories are his children and his childhood. He has grown up within them. They are the house he was raised in, the meadows he played in. They are his windows and his way of seeing. So when he tells a story, he handles it as he would a child, of his own. He teases it. He punishes it. He sends it up—like a bubble. He wrestles it to the ground and lets it go again. He laughs at it because he loves it. He can fly you across whole worlds in minutes, he can stop for hours to examine a wilting leaf. Or play with a sleeping monkey’s tail. He can turn effortlessly from the carnage of war into the felicity of a woman washing her hair in a mountain stream. From the crafty ebullience of a rakshasa with a new idea into a gossipy Malayali with a scandal to spread. From the sensuousness of a woman with a baby at her breast into the seductive mischief of Krishna’s smile. He can reveal the nugget of sorrow that happiness contains. The hidden fish of shame in a sea of glory.

He tells stories of the gods, but his yarn is spun from the ungodly, human heart.

The Kathakali Man is the most beautiful of men. Because his body is his soul. His only instrument. From the age of three it has been planed and polished, pared down, harnessed wholly to the task of storytelling. He has magic in him, this man within the painted mask and swirling skins.

But these days he has become unviable. Unfeasible. Condemned goods. His children deride him. They long to be everything that he is not. He has watched them grow up to become clerks and bus conductors. Class IV nongazetted officers. With unions of their own.

But he himself, left dangling somewhere between heaven and earth, cannot do what they do. He cannot slide down the aisles of buses, counting change and selling tickets. He cannot answer bells that summon him. He cannot stoop behind trays of tea and Marie biscuits.

In despair, he turns to tourism. He enters the market. He hawks the only thing he owns. The stories that his body can tell.

He becomes a Regional Flavor.”

–Author Arundhati Roy, from The God of Small Things 

[Illustration offered as an anonymous gift. ;)]

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Contrabando / Contraband

image– Por Denise Levertov (Apr 28, 2016)

El árbol del conocimiento era el de la razón.
Por eso es que probar de él
nos arrojó del Paraíso. Lo que había que hacer con ese fruto
era secarlo y molerlo hasta obtener un polvo fino,
para después usarlo de a una pizca por vez, igual que un condimento.
Probablemente Dios tendría planeado mencionarnos más tarde
este nuevo placer.
Nos lo comimos hasta atragantarnos,
llenándonos la boca de pero, cómo y si,
y de pero otra vez, sin saber lo que hacíamos.
Es tóxico, en grandes cantidades: sobre nuestras cabezas
y a nuestro alrededor el humo se arremolinaba,
para formar una compacta nube que se fue endureciendo
hasta hacerse de acero: un muro entre nosotros
y Dios, Que era el Paraíso.
No es que Dios no sea razonable; pasa que la razón
en tal exceso era una tiranía,
y nos aprisionó en sus propios límites, un calabozo de metal pulido
que reflejaba nuestros propios rostros. Dios vive
al otro lado de ese espejo,
pero a través de la rendija en donde el cerco
no llega justo al piso, logra colarse al fin:
como una luz filtrada, como chispas de fuego,
como una música que se oye, cesa de pronto
y, de repente, se hace audible de nuevo.

Denise Levertov (Inglaterra, 1923-1997) Traducido por de Ezequiel Zaindenwer

————

Contraband

The tree of knowledge was the tree of reason.
That’s why the taste of it
drove us from Eden. That fruit
was meant to be dried and milled to a fine powder
for use a pinch at a time, a condiment.
God had probably planned to tell us later
about this new pleasure.
We stuffed our mouths full of it,
gorged on but and if and how and again
but, knowing no better.
It’s toxic in large quantities; fumes
swirled in our heads and around us
to form a dense cloud that hardened to steel,
a wall between us and God, Who was Paradise.
Not that God is unreasonable – but reason
in such excess was tyranny
and locked us into its own limits, a polished cell
reflecting our own faces. God lives
on the other side of that mirror,
but through the slit where the barrier doesn’t
quite touch ground, manages still
to squeeze in – as filtered light,
splinters of fire, a strain of music heard
then lost, then heard again.
Denise Levertov (England, 1923-1997)

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Tantalizing Glimpses of Nature’s Compassion

–by Eknath Easwaran (Apr 22, 2016)

Trunkless_ElephantWhy we couldn’t hear the deer or the elephants? We were all young and in good health, and there was nothing wrong with our ears. Surely those sounds had registered on our eardrums; yet we had heard nothing.

The lack was not in the capacity of our ears but in our minds. People see and hear things they pay attention to, and they pay attention to the things they know and love. Because our jungle guide had lived all his life with those animals and loved them, his attention was naturally drawn to them. Amid the thousands of sounds that surrounded us –the birds calling, the wind blowing, the cicadas chirping, the monkeys chattering, the leaves and branches falling– he could hear the sound of deer’s delicate hoof picking its way through the underbush, or the strange hollow sound of an elephant’s trunk sucking up water.

As I acquired a little more conscious control over my thinking, I began to suspect that most of the industrial era’s problems arise because of where we are fixing our attention. For us, trying to see compassion in the world around us is as difficult as it was for me to hear the sound of the deer. Somehow, we have become so attuned to the sound and sight of profit that we can spot it anywhere, but we find it hard to recognize things like cooperation or compassion –even when they are awakening in our own hearts. Continue reading

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Por Qué Medito / Why I Sit

–por Paul Fleischman (Apr 14, 2016)

DC_Inner-WitnessEsta mañana, lo primero que hice fue meditar por una hora. Lo he hecho diario por veinte años y he pasado muchas noches, días y semanas haciendo lo mismo.

Me gustaría conocerme a mí mismo. Es notable que, si bien normalmente pasamos la mayor parte de nuestras vidas estudiando, contemplando, observando y manipulando el mundo que nos rodea, la mirada estructurada de la mente reflexiva rara vez se torna hacia el interior. Evitar esta introspección debe medir algo de ansiedad, reticencia o miedo.

La mayor parte de nuestras vidas nos las pasamos en funciones orientadas hacia el exterior que nos distraen de la auto-observación. Este motor implacable y obsesivo persiste independientemente de las necesidades de supervivencia como comida y calor e incluso el placer. Segundo a segundo, nos acoplamos a lugares, sabores, palabras, movimientos o estímulos electrónicos, hasta que caemos muertos. Llama la atención ver cómo muchas de las actividades comunes y corrientes, desde fumar hasta ver puestas de sol, van hacia, pero en última instancia evitan, una atención sostenida en la realidad de nuestra propia vida. […]

Meditar me ayuda a superar mis miedos más profundos. Me vuelvo más libre de vivir desde mi corazón y enfrentar las consecuencias, pero también me ayuda a cosechar los frutos de esta autenticidad. Mucho de lo que llamaba dolor era en realidad soledad y miedo. Se pasa, se disuelve, con esa observación. Las vibraciones de mi cuerpo están tarareando la canción que sólo se puede oír cuando el amanecer y el atardecer son simultáneos, instantáneos, continuos. Creo que empezar un esfuerzo con diligencia es un pequeño precio que hay que pagar para poder escuchar esta música interior, música fértil del corazón de la vida misma.

Medito para anclar y organizar mi vida alrededor de mi corazón y de mi mente, y para irradiar a l@s demás lo que encuentro. Aunque me tambalee con vientos fuertes, me vuelvo a esta forma básica de vivir. El bienestar fácil, calmado y la relajación profunda que acompañan estar intensamente consciente en la quietud, pelan mi vida como a una cebolla para alcanzar niveles más profundos de verdad, que a su vez son examinados y tranquilizados hasta que la siguiente capa se abre.

Medito para disciplinar mi vida por lo que es claro, sencillo, autorealizado y universal en mi corazón. No hay final para este trabajo. He fallado en vivir de verdad muchos días de mi vida, pero me sumerjo una y otra vez en la guía sencilla del autocontrol y el recibo amoroso. Medito para encontrar y expresar simple amor humano y decencia común.

 

— Paul Fleischman pasaje escogido del ensayo Por Qué Medito [Lectura escogida de Awakin. Dibujo creativo de Dharma Comics] Continue reading

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Our Awakened Heart

–by Pema Chödrön (Apr 7, 2016)

Awakened-HeartIf we could finally grasp how rich we are, our sense of heavy burden would diminish, and our sense of curiosity would increase.

Our Awakened Heart has three qualities: (1) it is soft and gentle, which is compassion; (2) at the same time, it is clear and sharp; and (3) it is open (emptiness).  Emptiness sounds cold. However, an Awakened Heart isn’t cold at all, because there’s a heart quality–the warmth of compassion–that pervades the space and the clarity.  Compassion and openness and clarity are all one thing, and this thing is called our Awakened Heart, our wounded, softened heart.

Now, if you look for that soft heart that we guard so carefully—if you decide that you’re going to do a scientific exploration under the microscope and try to find that heart—you won’t find it. You can look, but all you’ll find is some kind of tenderness. There isn’t anything that you can cut out and put under the microscope. There isn’t anything that you can dissect or grasp. The more you look, the more you find just a feeling of tenderness tinged with some kind of sadness.

This sadness is not about somebody mistreating us. This is inherent sadness, unconditioned sadness. It is part of our birthright, a family heirloom. It’s been called the genuine heart of sadness. Sometimes we emphasize the compassionate (relative)aspect of our genuine heart; sometimes we emphasize the open, unfindable (absolute)aspect of our heart, this genuine heart that is just waiting to be discovered. […]

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Cómo Llega La Sabiduría / How Wisdom Comes

–por Leila Fisher (Abril 1, 2016) [English below]

Indigenous-Wisdom¿Alguna vez te has preguntado cómo llega la sabiduría?

Había una vez hombre, un cartero aquí en la reservación, que escuchó algun@s de l@s ancian@s hablar sobre el tema de recibir objetos que traen gran poder. Él no sabía mucho acerca de tales cosas, pero pensó que sería algo maravilloso si él pudiera recibir uno de estos objetos, que sólo pueden ser concedidos por el Creador. En particular, él escuchó de l@s ancian@s que el objeto más poderoso que una persona puede recibir, es una pluma de águila. Decidió que ese era el objeto para él. Si tan sólo pudiera recibir una pluma de águila, tendría todo el poder y la sabiduría y el prestigio que él deseaba. Pero él sabía que no podía comprar una y que no podía pedirle a nadie que le diera una. Tenía que venirle a él, de alguna manera, por la mera voluntad del Creador.

Día tras día estuvo en busca de una pluma de águila. Se imaginó que una vendría a su vida si sólo mantenía los ojos abiertos. Con tal obseción que no podía pensar en nada más. Esa pluma de águila ocupaba sus pensamientos de sol a sol. Y pasaron las semanas, los meses, los años. Cada día el cartero hacía sus rondas, siempre en busca de esa pluma de águila, buscándola tanto como podía. No prestó atención ni a su familia ni amig@s. Sólo tenía su mente fijada en esa pluma de águila. Pero nunca parecía llegar. El cartero empezó a envejecer, pero todavía no tenía la pluma. Finalmente se dio cuenta de que no importaba lo mucho que le buscara, él no estaba más cerca de conseguir la pluma de lo que estaba el día que le empezó a buscar.

Un día tomó un descanso al lado de la carretera. Se bajó de su pequeño carro del correo y tuvo una conversación con el Creador. Le dijo: “Estoy tan cansado de buscar esa pluma de águila. Tal vez, no debo tener una. He pasado toda mi vida pensando en esa pluma. Casi nunca he pensado ni en mi familia ni amig@s. Lo único que me importaba era la pluma y ahora la vida se me está a punto de pasar. Me he perdido de muchas cosas buenas. Bien pues, me rindo en mi búsqueda. Voy a dejar de buscar esa pluma y voy a empezar a vivir. A lo mejor voy a tener el tiempo suficiente para recuperarme con mi familia y amig@s. Perdóname por la manera en la que he vivido mi vida “.

Entonces, y sólo entonces, una gran paz entró en él. De pronto, dentro de él, se sintió mejor que en todos esos años. Justo cuando terminó su conversación con el Creador y cuando comenzaba a volver al carro del correo, fue sorprendido por una sombra que pasó por encima de él. Alzó la vista hacia el cielo con las manos sobre los ojos y vio, muy por encima, una gran ave volando sobre él. Casi al instante desapareció.

Y entonces vio algo que flotaba hacia abajo, muy suavemente en la brisa: una pluma hermosa de la cola. ¡Era su pluma de águila!

Se dio cuenta de que la pluma había llegado ni un sólo momento antes de dejarle de buscar y de haber hecho las paces con el Creador. Finalmente entendió que la sabiduría llega sólo cuando dejas de buscarle y cuando empiezas a vivir de verdad la vida que el Creador preparó para tí.

El cartero todavía está vivo y es una persona cambiada. Ahora la gente viene a buscarle para darles consejos de sabiduría y comparte todo lo que sabe. A pesar de que ahora él tiene el poder y el prestigio que había buscado, ya no se preocupa por esas cosas. Se preocupa de l@s demás, no de sí mismo. Así que ahora ya sabes cómo llega la sabiduría.

– Leila Fisher es una anciana Hoh de la Península Olímpica en la Isla de la Tortuga (Abya Yala) [Ilustración ofrecida como un regalo anónimo :-)] Continue reading

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The Oldness of New Things – #AllThePowerToThePeople

–by Ericka Huggins (Mar 24, 2016)

Ericka-HugginsInterviewer (I): How would you want the Black Panther Party to be represented in a national museum dealing with African American history and culture?

Ericka Huggins (EH): By women and children! It was women who ran all of the day-to-day operations and programs of the party. Black men in leather jackets holding guns did not reflect the everyday work of community survival programs. This image was important at first because of community education about the need for self-defense. Then it became a media phenomenon. However, after 1968 women and most party members did not wear the jacket and beret.

I: What programs were important to the Black Panther Party?

EH: The community survival programs were the body and soul of the party. They existed from the very beginning. Women played a central role in each of them, from the early Breakfast for Children programs to the longest standing program of the party, The Oakland Community School. The Ten Point Program was the foundation for meeting the needs of the Black and other marginalized and under-resourced communities—each point is connected to survival programs and community initiatives that the party created.  […]

I: Could you tell me about your community work as an educator?

EH: The school’s approach to teaching history was that anything could be taught. Children can understand everything. This policy was informed by the fact that young Black children were already witnessing violence and they had a right to know about the past. The Oakland Community School believed that all children deserve to know their place in history and feel empowered to serve with compassion. Knowledge is power, a revolutionary power because it can transform our sense of ourselves as teachers and students. […]

I: Did the Black Panthers have any influence beyond Black communities?

EH: The party influenced community organizations in communities of color and financially poor white communities across the part of the Planet we call the United States to create similar programs. The concept of the free health clinic, staffed by volunteer doctors, dentists, and nurses, became a template for free clinics throughout the part of the Earth we call the United States. The Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco and La Clínica de La Raza in the Latino Community (Fruitvale Area) of East Oakland are still thriving. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover included the survival programs in his charge that the Black Panthers were a threat to the part of the Planet we call the U.S.. The FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) committed acts to sabotage and destroy the Black Panther Party Community Survival programs. […]

I: In prison you were organizing, particularly other women inside, and you were also writing your poetry, some of which appeared in a political magazine I worked on in the early 1970s. Did this help save your sanity?

EH: I wrote poetry from the age of 11. My father was an alcoholic, and the quietest and safest place in my house was the bathroom. You could lock the door and nobody would question what you were doing or why you were there. I just wrote to the paper, “Dear Paper.” As I got older, my junior high school teachers encouraged me to keep writing. In high school, I started writing poetry and I also wrote while in prison. There was no time to write anything in the Black Panther Party. We worked 20 hours a day. Teaching myself to meditate [in prison] actually kept me sane.

I: Would you mind reading one of the poems you wrote while you were inside?

EH: Sure. Writing helped me to process the grief from my husband’s death [murdered by the FBI when our daughter was 3 weeks old] and the unbearable loneliness I felt, [as a 20 year old], from not having my [3 month old] daughter with me later when I was arrested. [For 2 years and two months] I could only see her for one hour, once a week, on Saturdays. Since I was writing with my hands, with a pen or pencil, it was a kinesthetic way of healing. I’ll read “The Oldness of New Things”:

the oldness of new things
fascinate me like a new
feeling about love about people
snow, highways that
sparkle at night, talk,
laughter…
that old longing for freedom
that this place constantly
renews—it all makes
me know that humankind
has longed to be free ever forever
since its break from the
whole
maybe the longing for
freedom will soon make
others homesick for our
natural state in/with
earth, air, fire, water
not dead
but living
not asking for freedom—
but free

EH: I believe I wrote that while in solitary confinement.

I: How does it strike you now?

EH: As true.

I: Why did you end up in solitary confinement?

EH: If women talked to me, they were put in the “hole,” a room with nothing but a hole in the floor and a pallet. Women spoke to me anyway and took that risk. Angela Davis was in the house of detention at the same time and was put in solitary confinement. Her lawyers argued before the State of New York that it was cruel and unusual punishment. Our lawyers, with Bobby Seale’s, said to the State of Connecticut that it could not do it either. After a while they let me out. I did learn a lot in solitary. For example, if I did not have a relationship with myself, all my other relationships were not going to be true. If I didn’t understand who I was, how could I understand anything else? Nobody was teaching me. In the quiet of those days, I chose to reflect and was meditating by that time. It was an important time.[…] The key is meditation. Meditation helps me take a pause so I can be strong enough to meet whatever is there. Be equal to. Not less than, not more than, feeling inferior or superior to the moment. I’m equal to that moment.

 

–Ericka Huggins is a meditation and yoga instructor, human rights activist, poet, educator, Black Panther leader and former political prisoner. She was director of the Oakland Community School for 8 years and became the first woman appointed to the Alameda County Board of Education. These excerpts were adapted from a triplet of interviews.

 

 

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La Rica Experiencia De Una Mente Serena / The Rich Experience of A Quiet Mind

–por John Coleman (March 17, 2016) [English below]

FuegaireLos entretenimientos, en cualquier forma que un@ los lleve a cabo, son necesarios y, de hecho, vitales para la felicidad en el sentido común y corriente de la palabra. Tanto el cuerpo como la mente necesitan descansar y las baterías se tienen que recargar de alguna manera. Pero los métodos convencionales para la revitalización de nosotr@s mism@s en medio de los conflictos de la vida, sólo hacen parcialmente el trabajo. Se quedan cortos en poder mostrarnos la verdadera naturaleza de la realidad. […]

¿Entonces, a dónde vamos desde aquí? Para mí la respuesta a esa pregunta está en mi conocimiento obtenido de la rica experiencia de conocer una mente serena. He sido ayudado a adquirir este conocimiento al escuchar y entender a l@s much@s mujeres sabias y hombres sabios que he tenido la suerte de conocer, y también al verles y aprender de su ejemplo.

Ahora sé que no es necesario viajar por todo el Mundo en busca de un líder o un sistema, porque las respuestas están dentro de nosotr@s. De hecho, tal búsqueda es en sí misma es una distracción y sólo sirve para retrasar el momento de la visión. Fue sólo cuando mi búsqueda terminó que, después de ella, la paz llegó.

La clave está en el sufrimiento y el conflicto; es necesario tomar en cuenta el sufrimiento de l@s demás con compasión y, al nuestro, con toleracia y ecuanimidad. Debemos ser conscientes de estos sufrimientos, pero en silencio, sin tratar de invitar forzadamente y de manera consciente a este silencio. Y esta conciencia silenciosa se le debe permitir suceder en su propio tiempo, porque cualquier cosa que hagamos para apresurarla, añadadiremos más trabas.

Un@ debe ser consciente del momento sin ningún intento de cambiarlo; va a cambiar por sí mismo. Un@ debe estar atent@ a un grado extremo, tan a menudo como sea posible. Incluso estar atent@ de que un@ no está atent@ es una forma de atención. Para conocer la realidad un@ no puede estar fuera ella y racionalizarle, hay que entrar en ella, convertirse en ella y vivirla. Entonces la mente se vuelve serena y está en paz consigo misma.

La belleza de la vida y la belleza de la Tierra se desembuelve y nuestras acciones ya no son centradas en un@ mism@, ni son destructivas. Cada acción se vuelve creativa. El fuego del descontento cambia de una fuerza destructiva que consume nuestras vidas, a una luz luminosa brillante que llena nuestras vidas con paz y alegría.

– John Coleman, en “La Mente Serena”

[Lectura escogida de Awakin. Ilustración ofrecida como un regalo anónimo :-)] Continue reading

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