Splendid Torch

–by Dan Millman (Jul 2, 2015)

DC_Splendid-TorchSelf-mastery involves recognizing what we are not responsible for — the thoughts that enter our mind and flow out, and the emotions that pass like the weather — and what we are responsible for, which is our behavior. My view of self-mastery focuses on acting with kindness whether or not we’re in the mood, based on three principles: Accept your emotions; know your purpose; and then do what needs to be done — whether or not you happen to feel like it at the time.

You see, we humans are filled with tendencies. We tend to be lazy or to overwork. We tend to let our emotions drive our behavior. We tend to indulge or to deny ourselves. We tend to be passive or aggressive, lackadaisical or obsessive, to act without thinking or to think without acting. We tend to deny or avoid dealing with problems until the eleventh hour or a crisis. We tend to be self-centered, defensive and resentful.

Daily life — spiritual life — tests us, teaches us, challenges us to transcend our tendencies by observing the consequences of our actions; it’s a natural, evolutionary process of living and learning. And self-mastery occurs in those moments when we subordinate our little will — our personal tendencies and preferences — to the dominion of our higher will, higher self, higher integrity or higher ideals. It’s a conscious movement from “What’s in it for me?” to “What will serve the highest good of all involved?” George Bernard Shaw put it well when he said:

Forget about likes and dislikes. They are of no consequence. Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness. […]

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the World will not devote itself to making you happy. […]

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

— Dan Millman

[Passage picked and adapted from Awakin. Creative comic above by Dharma Comics ;-)]

Posted in ahimsa, anarchism, anarchy, astrobiology, Awakin Oakland, education, fearlessness, gift-economy, natural philosophy, noncooperation, nonviolence, Peace Army, satyagraha, science, Shanti Sena, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Graduación / Graduation

–por Nimesh Patel (Jun 26, 2015) [English below]

DC_GraduationTen un ojo en la meta y luego déjala ir
Porque todo cambia, como llegarás a saber
Cada plan que haces y cada semilla que plantas
Es temporal, nada te pertenece nunca.

Una vez que te des cuenta de esto, entonces verás la verdad
Que nunca plantaste tus propias frutas,
Pero acepta estos regalos aunque no sepas de quien vienen
Y amablemente haz lo mismo por l@s que vienen detrás de ti

Porque finalmente, lo que tomamos desaparecerá
Pero lo que damos vivirá por años
Así que sigue dando de lo tuyo y a tí mismo
Hasta que tu ego se haya derretido completamente

Ten cuidado del impacto que quieres causar
y en su lugar asegúrate de ser impactado cada día
Ten un ojo en el cielo, pero sigue viendo las hormigas
Porque las cosas pequeñas son la base de todo lo que perdurará

Nosotr@s seguimos adelante
Mientras el tiempo pasa
Tengamos la esperanza de ir desde
La oscuridad a la luz
Cuando lleguemos a la cima
Y miremos atrás, Yo
Espero que llores,
Con abundantes lágrimas de alegría, satisfech@

Ten cuidado de no acumular demasiadas cosas
Porque puedes acabar lleno de avaricia
Y haciendo cosas de igual manera puede también ser engañoso
Así que les animo a practicar sólo ser

Ten calma, se feliz, se amoros@, se amable
Se humilde, se mágico, se consciente, pero se ciego

No juzgues, ve lo bueno en una y en cada alma
Usa tu mente cuando la necesites, pero sigue tu corazón aún más

Tampoco te olvides de dar gracias a Dios, cada vez que fracases
Porque tu camino desde el fracaso, serán tu legado y tu historia
Recuerda alimentar a los pájaros, abrazar a los árboles y hacer reverencias al Sol
Hasta que tú y la Madre Naturaleza  sean uno

La última cosa, es estar agradecid@ por todos tus dones
Porque la gratitud y el sufrimiento no pueden coexistir
Cuando llegues a este espacio, cada momento será dicha
Y graduarte en esto marcará tu éxito. Continue reading

Posted in ARTivism, astrobiology, Awakin Oakland, education, fearlessness, gift-economy, meditation, natural philosophy, poetry, Shanti Sena, soulforce | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lady Wisdom

–by Hildegard of Bingen  (Jun 18, 2015)

HildegardenI heard a voice speaking to me:

“The young woman whom you see is Love. She has her tent in eternity… it was love which was the source of this creation in the beginning when God said: ‘Let it be!’ And it was. As though in the blinking of an eye, the whole creation was formed through love. The young woman is radiant in such a clear, lightning like brilliance of countenance that you can’t fully look at her… She holds the sun and moon in her right hand and embraces them tenderly… the whole of creation call this maiden ‘Lady.’ For it was from her that all creation proceeded, since Love was the first She made everything… Love was in eternity and brought forth, in the beginning of all holiness, all creatures without any admixture of evil. Adam and Eve, as well were produced by love from the pure nature of the Earth.” 

Continue reading

Posted in anarchy, ARTivism, astrobiology, Awakin Oakland, education, fearlessness, meditation, natural philosophy, noncooperation, nonviolence, Peace Army, poetry, satyagraha, science, Shanti Sena, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Testamento Espiritual / Spiritual Will

–por José de Tapia y Bujalance (Jun 11, 2015)

Maestro_Pepe1Soy un hombre lleno de amor porque así me educaron. Por eso creo en la educación de la niñez a quien he entregado mi larga vida.

Criaturas de hoy que serán los hombres y mujeres del mañana, busquen un mundo lleno de amor, de igualdad, de unidad, de dignidad… en donde el hombre ya no explote al hombre, en donde las riquezas estén bien repartidas, en donde el trabajo dignifique a la mujer y al hombre, en donde las mujeres y los hombre sea completamente libres y responsables de su libertad.

Madres, padres y maestr@s, sean consecuentes entre cuanto dicen y practican. Si creen en algo, háganlo y no sólo pronunciando palabras. Sean auténtic@s consigo mism@s. Dejen hablar a los hechos y guarden la lengua. Pequeñ@s, no se dejen impresionar por cuanto escuchan. Cuestionen. No se fijen tanto en los dichos del hombre como en sus actos. Si las palabras y la conducta no concuerdan, es un charlatán quien les habla. Sean críticos. Por favor no acepten sin cuestionar cuanto aquí les digo.

Maestr@s, madres y padres de familia cultiven en l@s niñ@s personalidades preparadas para el cambio. Sean sencill@s, sincer@s, cariños@s y pacientes con sus discípulos e hijos. A la vez sean enérgicos y exigentes. No llenen a l@s niñ@s de mimos pues los harán fatuos. La amistad y el respeto hacia el niño y la niña engendra respeto y cariño en él y ella; la opresión y el castigo, en cambio, provocan miedo y rencor en l@s pequeñ@s. A ustedes les toca escoger la siembra y levantar la cosecha.

Niñ@s cuiden la escuela. Les pertenece espiritual y materialmente. Ustedes son la razón de su existencia. La escuela se abrió para que gocen intensa y responsablemente, para que trabajen en ella con plena libertad.

Padres, madres y maestr@s, dejen que l@s niñ@s tengan completa libertad para hablar, discutir y escribir todo cuanto quieran. Así se irán haciendo hombres y mujeres responsables.

Chic@s, exprésense libremente. No teman al qué dirán. Suelten su lengua y su lápiz, con respeto y dignidad, digan y escriban siempre la verdad.

Maestr@s, preocúpense por su escuela ¡Escúchenme bien! Para ser maestr@ no basta con cumplir los horarios. Para cumplir bien, a parte del tiempo destinado, se requiere tener corazón, corazón, corazón. Escuchen maestr@s si tienen un chico con problema en el salón es precisamente a ese al que tienen que atender y comprender y darle todo el cariño del mundo.

Madres y padres de familia, no se olviden de la primaria en donde se han forjado sus hij@s. Permanezcan como atentos vigilantes. Si observan que las cosas no marchan bien y hay alguna desviación de nuestro proyecto educativo, no escatimen en dirigirse a las maestras, especialmente a Chela y a Tere ¡Háblenles directo y con toda honestidad!

Tere, Chela, conserven nuestra escuela como algo muy preciado. No escatimen esfuerzos en hacer todo lo necesario para mejorarla. Escuchen siempre a l@s niñ@s, a sus madres , a sus padres y a sus maestros, cuando necesiten decirles algo.

Niñ@s, tengan respeto hacia tod@s y háganse respetar. Usen su voluntad y sean constantes hasta terminar todo cuanto comiencen. Lean, estudien y razonen mucho en la vida. Sus conocimientos y sus vivencias son de las poquísimas cosas que nadie les podrá quitar.

Maestr@s, procuren tratar a todos l@s muchach@s por igual, a pesar de ciertas diferencias, pues seguramente las tendrán. No hagan menos a algún crío. L@s chic@s razonan y sienten las diferencias mucho más de lo que ustedes se pueden imaginar.

Pequeñ@s, sean creativos y muy espontáne@s en el trabajo escolar. No lo olviden, en la vida hay aspectos muy sencillos y profundos a la vez.

Madres y padres de familia, colaboren sinceramente con l@s maestr@s de sus hij@s. A ell@s les han encomendado lo más sagrado de ustedes. Procuren conocer y convivir con l@s maestr@s para lograr un mejor entendimiento entre tod@s. Estén cerca de la escuela.

Niñ@s, padres, madres y maestr@s, prácticamente no tengo nada material que darles. Por eso les dejo este testamento espiritual. Si a lo largo de sus vidas les resulta útil cuanto les encomiendo, no dejen de recordar a este viejo, pero muy viejo maestro Pepe, quien les entrega sinceramente su corazón.

–José de Tapia y Bujalance co-fundador de la Escuela Manuel Bartolomé Cossío. Escrito del libro: Un maestro singular. Vida, pensamiento y obra de José de Tapia y Bujalance. Aquí un par de videos: uno del Maestro Pepe  y otro de la Maestra Chela y la escuela.  Continue reading

Posted in anarchism, anarchy, Awakin Oakland, education, fearlessness, meditation, natural philosophy, science, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Miracle Apples: Join The Ark

–by Takuji Ishikawa  (June 03, 2015)

ringoHe had a leaf in his hand. There was a hole right in the middle of it. It looked as though it may have been eaten by an insect. When I said so, Akinori Kimura smiled, leaning his head to the side.

“Nope. This hole was formed by the leaf itself. I thought it was done by an insect at first. But there’re no insects which would make this kind of hole. For years it struck me as strange. Then I came across a leaf with a hole like this, and beside it a typical, brownish, alternaria blotch diseased leaf. Interesting, I thought. So I decided to watch and see what would happen to the alternaria blotch. The diseased area became parched and brittle. The leaf cut off the supply of moisture to those parts, those parts only, as though it was trying to starve them. The diseased leaf then fell, and it had holes. Not only that. Since the time these holes started appearing, the small leaves next to it gradually got bigger. The tree was making up for those leaves that were lost. I used scales to measure them, and found that the size of the holes that developed, and the amount the other leaf increased in size, were about the same. When many more holes appear, and the tree cannot make up for them, new leaves come out at the tips of the branches. When I fertilized the orchards in the past, these holes never developed, even when they were affected by disease. There are only just enough nutrients in the orchards, so I think that the trees relied on their innate, natural vitality. The more you learn about nature, the more amazing it is.

Helping nature, and sharing its bounty. That’s the essence of farming. How farming should be. Unfortunately, agriculture today has lost its way. The point is, we cannot simply carry on like we have been. In the old days, I was attracted by industrial farming methods, but areas where industrial farming methods are practised are rapidly turning into deserts. All you’ve got to do is look at what’s happening in the Corn Belt in the [part of the Planet we call the] U.S. and to the collective farms in the [part of the Planet we used to called the] Soviet Union. However sophisticated science becomes, human beings cannot live separately from nature.

We’re products of nature too. Being able to ‘help’ nature depends on whether we can feel it from the heart. I believe this is where the future of humanity rests. This is no exaggeration. I simply help apple trees. There’s only so much I can do. But as far as our future is concerned, it can only help. I may be overstating it a little bit, but I’ve come to believe that from the bottom of my heart.” Continue reading

Posted in ahimsa, anarchism, anarchy, ARTivism, astrobiology, Awakin Oakland, education, fearlessness, gift-economy, meditation, natural philosophy, noncooperation, nonviolence, Peace Army, poetry, satyagraha, science, Shanti Sena, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gracias a la Vida / Thanks to Life

–por Violeta Parra (May 29, 2015) [English below]

salavidGracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me dio dos luceros, que cuando los abro,
Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco
Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado
Y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado el oído que en todo su ancho
Graba noche y día, grillos y canarios,
Martillos, turbinas, ladridos, chubascos,
Y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amad@

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario;
Con él las palabras que pienso y declaro:
Madre, amigo, hermano, y luz alumbrando
La ruta del alma del que estoy amando

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados;
Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos,
Playas y desiertos, montañas y llanos,
Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me dio el corazón que agita su marco
Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano,
Cuando miro al bueno tan lejos del malo,
Cuando miro al fondo de tus ojos claros

Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto
Así yo distingo dicha de quebranto,
Los dos materiales que forman mi canto,
Y el canto de ustedes que es mi mismo canto,
Y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

Gracias a la vida, gracias a la vida.

–Violeta Parra.   Puedes oir su voz en este video o interpretada por Mercedes Sosa en este otro video. [Ilustración ofrecida como un regalo anónimo :-)] Continue reading

Posted in ARTivism, astrobiology, Awakin Oakland, meditation, natural philosophy, poetry, science, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Life Is Baeutiful

–by Pavithra Mehta  (May 21, 2015)

estarDo you remember the name of your kindergarden teacher? I do, mine. Her name was Mrs. White. And I remember thinking she must be some older relation of Walt Disney’s Snow White, because she had the same bright blue eyes, short dark hair, red lips and fair skin.

I don’t remember much about what we learned in her class, but my mother once told me that we used to write a lot. And I would bring back what I wrote and she would look at it and see there were so many mistakes. But no red corrections. And always a star. Sometimes even a Good! scrawled in that would make my heart soar with happiness. But it worried my mother, so one day when she went in to meet Mrs. White for one of those Parent-Teacher meetings, she asked her why she never corrected my mistakes. Why she never red-pencilled in the right spellings of words or pointed out grammatical errors.

And my mother says Mrs. White said: “The children are just beginning to get excited about using words, about forming sentences. I don’t want to dampen that enthusiasm with red ink. Spelling and grammar can wait. The wonder of words won’t…” And maybe she didn’t say it _exactly_ like that. It was a long time ago. And what my mother gave me was the gist of what she could remember. The rest I added in. Because I grew up learning to use words with loving confidence like that.

And it occurs to me that if Mrs. White had used her red pen more precisely I probably wouldn’t be telling you about this now. Which is kind of obvious but also kind of not. I look back now and think she must have been a rather extraordinary teacher to exercise such red-pen-restraint. To allow the joy, wonder and excitement of expression flower –however faultily– like that. Because to bloom is better than not to bloom. And a bud once nipped never opens. May we all be so kind…

I used to misspell beautiful a lot. Never could quite remember that the ‘e’ went before the ‘a’. It exasperated my teacher in high school no end. If I was going to employ the word with such lavishness she figured the least I could do was spell it right. Eventually the e’s and a’s settled into their right places of their own accord. Am glad I didn’t wait on them though. Pretty is easier to spell but it doesn’t hold as much as you mean sometimes.

And thanks to Mrs. White I had no qualms about writing what I meant even if couldn’t quite spell it out. Because Life isn’t Pretty. It’s Baeutiful.

About the Author: Pavithra Mehta is a poet, award-winning filmmaker and author, and ServiceSpace visionary. Her film and book “Infinite Vision,” tell the improbable story of a crippled, retired eye surgeon who integrated innovation with empathy, service with business principles, and inner change with outer transformation.

[Illustration offered as an anonymous gift :-)]

Posted in anarchism, anarchy, ARTivism, astrobiology, Awakin Oakland, education, fearlessness, meditation, natural philosophy, nonviolence, poetry, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Canto de Libertad / Chant of Freedom

–por Banira Giri  (Mayo 15, 2015)

Libérame templo
del sonido de la campana y de la concha

Libérame cielo
de la electricidad del rayo

Libérame árbol
de las ramas retorcidas

Libérame palma
De las enredadas líneas del destino

Libérame calle
De la pesada caída de los pasos

Libérame amor
De la necesidad de copular

Libérame río
de la fuerza y los sonidos

Libérame sonido
de la inútil murmuración Continue reading

Posted in ARTivism, Awakin Oakland, poetry, WednesdaysOnFridays | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Poetry not Luxury

–by Audre Lorde (May 8, 2015)

poeta…Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.

Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.

As they become known and accepted to ourselves, our feelings, and the honest exploration of them, become sanctuaries and fortresses and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas, the house of difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action. Right now, I could name at least ten ideas I would have once found intolerable or incomprehensible and frightening, except as they came after dreams and poems. This is not idle fantasy, but the true meaning of “it feels right to me.” We can train ourselves to respect our feelings, and to discipline (transpose) them into a language that matches those feelings so they can be shared. And where that language does not yet exist, it is our poetry which helps to fashion it. Poetry is not only dream or vision, it is the skeleton architecture of our lives…. Continue reading

Posted in ARTivism, Awakin Oakland, poetry, WednesdaysOnFridays | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

El Placer de Servir / The Pleasure of Serving

–por Gabriela Mistral (Mayo 1, 2015)

cielitolimpioToda la naturaleza es un anhelo de servicio:
sirve la nube, sirve el viento, sirve el surco.

Donde haya un árbol que plantar, plántalo tú,
donde haya un error que enmendar, enmiéndalo tú.

Sé el que apartó la piedra del campo,
el odio entre los corazones,
y las dificultades del problema.

Hay la alegría de ser sano y de ser justo,
pero hay, sobre todo, la hermosa,
la inmensa alegría de servir.

Qué triste sería el mundo si todo en él estuviera hecho,
si no hubiera un rosal que plantar,
una empresa que emprender.

Que no te llamen solamente los trabajos fáciles.
Es tan bello hacer lo que otros esquivan.

Pero no caigas en el error de que sólo
se hace mérito con los grandes trabajos.
Hay pequeños servicios que son buenos servicios:
adornar una mesa,
ordenar unos libros,
peinar una niña.
Aquél es el que critica, éste es el que destruye.
Tú, sé el que sirve.

El servir no es faena sólo de seres inferiores.
El Amor Universal, quien da el fruto y la luz, sirve.
Pudiera llamársele así: “El o La que sirve.”

Y tiene sus ojos en nuestras manos
y nos pregunta cada día:
¿Serviste hoy? ¿A quién? ¿Al árbol,
a tu amigo o a tu madre?

–Gabriela Mistral. De la colección de poemas Tala. Premio Nobel de Literatura (1945). Poema de la colección Tala, recitado en enero de 1953 durante el centenario del aniversario del natalicio de José Martí.

Continue reading

Posted in ahimsa, anarchism, anarchy, ARTivism, astrobiology, Awakin Oakland, education, fearlessness, gift-economy, meditation, natural philosophy, poetry, science, Shanti Sena, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays | Tagged , | Leave a comment