La Naturaleza y Nuestra Alegría / Nature and Our Joy

–por Michael McCarthy  (June 14, 2018) [English below]

El mundo natural puede ofrecernos más que, por un lado, los que necesitamos para sobrevivir, o, por el otro lado, los riesgos mortales que hay que evitar: también puede ofrecernos alegría. […]

Puede haber ocasiones en las que repentina e involuntariamente nos encontremos amando al mundo natural con una intensidad sorprendente, en un estallido de emoción que quizás no entendamos del todo, y la única palabra que me parece apropiada para este sentimiento es la alegría.

En este momento [el “Amanecer” del a Tierra visto desde la Luna, capturado por el Apollo 8 en la víspera de navidad de 1968], por primera vez, nos vimos desde la distancia, y la Tierra en su oscuro vacío circundante no solo parecía increíblemente hermosa, sino también increíblemente frágil. Sobre todo, pudimos ver claramente que era finita. Esto no lo podemos ver desde la superficie de la Tierra; la tierra o el mar se extiende por los horizontes, pero siempre hay algo más allá. Sin importar cuántos horizontes crucemos, siempre hay otro esperándonos. Sin embargo, al vislumbrar el Planeta desde el espacio, no solo vimos la verdadera maravilla de su belleza azul brillante, sino también la verdadera naturaleza de sus límites. […]

Ya es hora de manifestar una defensa diferente y formal de la Naturaleza. Deberíamos ofrecer no sólo la noción de ser sensat@s y responsable al respecto, que es el desarrollo sostenible, ni sólo la noción de su inmenso valor utilitario y financiero, que son los servicios ecosistémicos, sino una tercera vía, algo totalmente diferente: debemos ofrecer lo que significa para nuestros espíritus; el amor a ella. Deberíamos ofrecer su alegría. […]

La alegría tiene un componente, si no de moralidad, al menos de seriedad. Significa una felicidad que es un asunto serio. Y me parece que la alegría es el nombre totalmente apropiado para describir la repentina felicidad apasionada que el mundo natural ocasionalmente puede desencadenar en nosotr@s, que bien puede ser el asunto más serio de todos.

El mundo natural no está separado de nosotr@s, es parte de nosotr@s. Es parte de nosotr@s tanto como nuestra capacidad de tener lenguaje; todavía estamos unidos a él, por difícil que sea percibir la unión en el tumulto de la vida urbana moderna. Sin embargo, la unión de nosotr@s mism@s y la Naturaleza se puede encontrar en la alegría que la Naturaleza puede prender y encender en nosotr@s.

–por Michael McCarthy. Extracto del post de Maria Popova La Naturaleza y el asunto serio de la alegría. [El arte de arriba creado por Colleen Choi] Continue reading

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Dis-identifying With The Line: How Much Is Enough?

–by Miki Kashtan  (Mayo 31, 2018)

I introduced the idea of stepping off the line we all live on, where most of us are constantly trying to get ahead, and described the value I see in aiming to step off the line and what we can gain by doing it: reclaiming our freedom to choose for ourselves, from within, aligned with our deepest needs and values, and reconnecting with our place in the vast web of interdependence. […]

In contemplating action, I move beyond the internal reality of my mind and heart and into engaging with the world as it exists now. This means doing the necessary work to be able to face the inevitable consequences of stepping out of line. We need courage to work towards a vision, not just passion.

Depending on where you live, what your age, race, gender, or nationality are, how much money you or your family have, and a host of other factors, taking action beyond your most private thoughts and consciousness carries very different risks. Your actions tell others – in word or in deed – that you dis-identify with the line.[…] Continue reading

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Tener No-Forma / Having No-Form

–por Bruce Lee  (Mayo 31, 2018) [English below]

Déjame empezar con una historia Zen. Puede ser que algun@s de ustedes ya hayan escuchado esta historia, pero la cuento de nuevo porque es idónea. Considera esta historia como un forma de calentar los sentidos, la actitud y la mente de un@ para hacerles flexibles y receptiv@s. Necesitas esto para poder entender este artículo, de lo contrario, mejor no sigas leyendo más.

Un hombre estudioso fue una vez a visitar a un maestro Zen para preguntarle acerca del Zen. Conforme el maestro Zen explicaba algo, el hombre culto con frecuencia lo interrumpía con comentarios como “Oh, sí, nosotros también tenemos eso…” y así sucesivamente. Finalmente, el maestro Zen dejó de hablar y comenzó a servirle té al hombre culto. Le llenó la taza, pero luego siguió vertiendo más té hasta que la taza se desbordó. “¡Basta!”, interrumpió una vez más el hombre estudioso. “¡No puede caberle más en la taza!”. “En efecto, ya veo” respondió el maestro Zen. “Si no vacías tu taza primero, ¿cómo puedes probar de mi té?”

Espero que mis camaradas en las artes marciales lean los siguientes párrafos con una mente abierta, dejando atrás toda la carga de opiniones y conclusiones preconcebidas. Este acto, por cierto, tiene en sí mismo un poder liberador. Después de todo, la utilidad de una taza está en su espacio vacío.

Haz que este artículo se relacione contigo, porque aunque es acerca de “Jeet Kune Do” (JKD), se trata principalmente del florecimiento de un artista marcial, (no de un artista marcial “chino”, o un artista marcial “japonés”, etc.), un artista marcial es un ser humano primero. Así como las nacionalidades no tienen nada que ver con la humanidad de un@ mism@, tampoco tienen nada que ver con las artes marciales. Deja tu caparazón protector de aislamiento y relaciónate directamente con lo que se dice. Vuelve a tus sentidos al cesar todo el ruido intelectual. Recuerda que la vida es un proceso constante de relaciones. Recuerda, también, que no busco tu aprobación ni pienso influirte para que adoptes mi manera de pensar. Estaré más que satisfecho si, como resultado de este artículo, comienzas a investigar todo por tí mism@ y dejas de aceptar, sin pensamiento crítico, las fórmulas prescritas que dictan “esto es esto” y “eso es eso”. […]

Intentar y definir JKD en términos de un estilo peculiar, (ya sea gung-fu, karate, peleas callejeras, arte marcial de Bruce Lee, etc.), es no enterder por completo su significado. Su enseñanza simplemente no puede ser confinada dentro de un sistema. Como JKD es a la vez “esto” y “no esto”, no se opone ni se adhiere a ningún estilo. Para entender esto completamente, un@ debe trascender la dualidad de “a favor” y “en contra”, hacia una unidad orgánica que no tiene distinciones. Comprender JKD es la intuición directa de esta unidad.

Considera la diferencia sutil entre “no tener forma” y tener “no-forma”; lo primero es ignorancia, lo segundo es trascendencia. A través del sentimiento instintivo del cuerpo, cada un@ de nosotr@s sabe de nuestra manera más eficiente y dinámica para lograr apalancamiento efectivo, equilibrio en movimiento, uso económico de energía, etc. Los patrones, las técnicas o las formas sólo tocan el límite de una comprensión genuina. El núcleo de la comprensión reside en la mente individual y, hasta que esto se tocado, todo es incierto y superficial. La verdad no se puede percibir hasta que nos entendamos completamente a nosotr@s mism@s y a nuestro potencial. Después de todo, el conocimiento en las artes marciales significa en última instancia autoconocimiento.

Ahora te podrás estar preguntando: “¿Cómo puedo obtener este conocimiento?” Eso, lo tendrás que descubrir todo por tí mism@. Debes aceptar el hecho de que no hay ayuda, sólo existe autoayuda. Por la misma razón, no puedo decirte cómo “obtener” libertad, ya que la libertad existe dentro de ti. No puedo decirte cómo “obtener” autoconocimiento. Aunque puedo decirte lo que no debes hacer, no puedo decirte lo que debes hacer, ya que eso te limitaría a un enfoque en particular. Las fórmulas solo pueden inhibir la libertad, las recetas dictadas externamente sólo sofocan la creatividad y aseguran la mediocridad. Ten en cuenta que la libertad que se acumula a partir del autoconocimiento no se puede adquirir mediante la adhesión estricta a una fórmula; no nos “volvemos” libres repentinamente, simplemente “somos” libres.

–Bruce Lee. De su artículo ¿Qué es Jeet Kune Do? [Arriba comic creativo de Dharma Comics :-)]

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Forgiveness As A Way To Remember The True Self

–by Ken Wilber  (May 24, 2018)

I always liked the Course’s reliance upon forgiveness as a way to remember the true Self. This is a somewhat unique approach, found in few of the other great wisdom traditions, which usually stress some form of awareness training or devotion. But the theory behind forgiveness is simple: The ego, the separate-self sense, is not just a cognitive construct, but also an affective one. That is, it is propped up not just by concepts but by the emotions. And the primal emotion of the ego, according to this teaching is fear followed by resentment. As the Upanishads put it, “Wherever there is other, there is fear.”

In other words, whenever we split seamless awareness into a subject versus an object, into a self versus an other, then that self feels fear, simply because there are now so many “others” out there that can harm it. Out of this fear grows resentment. If we are going to insist on identifying with just the little self in here, then others are going to bruise it, insult it, injure it. The ego, then, is kept in existence by a collection of emotional insults; it carries its personal bruises as the fabric of its very existence. It actively collects hurts and insults, even while resenting them, because without its bruises, it would be, literally, nothing. Continue reading

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Viajer@ del Tiempo / Time Traveler

–por Lyla June Johnston  (Mayo 17, 2018) [English below]

Viajer@ del tiempo corriendo más rápido.
La guerrera nace.
Batalla para ser ganada.

Trauma del pasado, daño del futuro.
Soy un@ niñ@ de la tierra y
estoy list@ para dar a luz.

Plantando un sueño.
Jadeando, respiro.
Corriendo hacia el futuro
con un puñado de semillas.

Más fuerte que la codicia.
Soy más fuerte que el odio
Estoy parad@ bajo la sombra
de árboles plantados hace mucho tiempo.

Producto de un amor ancestral,
estoy aquí porque mis ancestr@s
bailaron en el Sol.

Ell@s lo dieron todo por nosotr@s
y desde el primer día fue
practicado casi como una religión
para prepararse para l@s
que estaban por venir.

Estamos aquí
para dar todo nuestro amor
a l@s que no han nacido aún.

Pero esto es una locura.
Vivir para la fama.
Vivir para el próximo trimestre,
utilidades y ganancias.

Olvidaste el amor
Olvidaste la verdad
Olvidaste cómo vivir para un tiempo
mas allá de tí.

No se trata de ti.
No se trata de ti.
Se trata de la canción que está
viajando a través.

Viaja a través del tiempo.
L@s cantantes morirán
pero la canción vive
a través de líneas matriarcales.

Estamos aquí
para dar todo nuestro amor
a l@s que no han nacido aún.

Abre tus ojos.
Abre tu corazón.
Drenando acuíferos antes
de que se puedan regenerar.

No estamos a cargo.
La naturaleza es la que está a cargo.
Mira a las estrellas
y recuerda quien eres.

Mantente humilde o cae.
No lo sabemos todo.
Y no estamos exentos de
la ley natural.

Vive egoístamente
y la estructura caerá.
Pero si vivimos por aquell@s por nacer
entonces la canción continuará.

Entonces, antes de tomar un libro de la repisa,
mira dentro de ti.
Las respuestas te llegan a la velocidad de la luz.
Estoy buscando conocimiento
no puedo encontrarlo en un suministro de noticias.
Conocimiento encontrado a través de la intuición.
Conocimiento encontrado a través de ayunar y bailar.
Esto no es superstición.
Es de nuestros acenstros tradición.

Tírame la lanza de sabiduría
agudizada e iluminada por el Sol.
Estoy dando mi vida a la unidad.
Soy un@ guerrer@. Estoy besad@ por el Sol.
Estoy armad@ pero no hago daño.
Protegiendo los ciclos de lluvia y ciclos de nieve.
Luchando por l@s niñ@s cuyos nombres nunca sabré.

Miro hacia arriba y leo los mensajes escritos en todo el cielo.
Mensajes que nos dicen que es hora de evolucionar o morir.
Es hora de vivir este derecho de vida.
Para que cuando nuestr@s hij@s miren hacia atrás,
miren hacia atrás con orgullo.

— Lyla June Johnston. Canción tomada del video que apareció en la revista Emergence Magazine  [Arriba comic creativo de Dharma Comics :-)]

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Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me and Loving Wisdom

por Maya Angelou  (May 10, 2018)

Oprah: You see where you fit in life.

Maya: Yes. And I know that whatever I have is a gift. I accept that, and I’m grateful to those who went before me so that I can do what I’m supposed to do for those who are yet to come. That’s humility.

Oprah: How is it that you came to be this wise? Because you would say you’re wise, wouldn’t you?

Maya: Well, I’m en route. I am certainly on the road.

Oprah: Is it because you’ve paid such close attention in your life?

Maya: I do pay attention. I love wisdom. And you can never be great at anything unless you love it. Not be in love with it, but love the thing, admire the thing. And it seems that if you love the thing, and you don’t just want to possess it, it will find you. But if you’re in love with the thing, it may run like hell away from you.

Oprah: But if you love it, it looks for you as you look for it.

Maya: That’s right.

Oprah: Just listening to you now, I’m thinking, “What is it about Maya?” I think it’s that you know yourself.

Maya: Uh—huh.

Oprah: You know that you are supported by something bigger than yourself. That you are loved. That you have the right to stand up for yourself. And that comes from knowing who you are.

Maya: And I not only have the right to stand up for myself, but I have the responsibility. I can’t ask somebody else to stand up for me if I won’t stand up for myself. And once you stand up for yourself, you’d be surprised that people say, “Can I be of help?”

Oprah: That is true. I love your intolerance of whining. I’ve never forgotten what you told me: “Whining is just unbecoming.”

Maya: It lets the brute know there’s a victim for him in the neighborhood!

Oprah: As you know, my daily quest for the show and this magazine is to help women see who they are. Women tell me over and over, “I feel like I’ve lost myself. I don’t know who I am.” How is it that you know who you are? And have you always known since the first words in Caged Bird?

Maya: When I was 19 or 20, a wonderful thing happened to me—terrifying but wonderful. When I was younger, I thought my grandmother was probably God and she just wouldn’t tell anybody! She was so strong and kind. And when my grandmother died, I realized that even if I had millions of dollars, I couldn’t find her anywhere on earth. And my next thought was that I would die. Oprah, I used to go into my house, see that my son was asleep, and after turning all the locks on the door, I would put a chair under the doorknob. I didn’t realize that I was trying to keep death out. Then I began having trouble breathing. I didn’t have asthma, but my breathing was labored. Finally, I had to come to grips with what was the matter with me. I looked at my life and thought, “I’m afraid to die.” And I concluded that whether I was afraid or not, I would die. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to you about this.

Oprah: No.

Maya: It was one of the most important crossroads in my life, because once I realized that no matter what, I would do this thing, the next step was to think, “If I am going to do the most difficult and frightening thing—dying—is it possible that I could do some difficult and maybe seemingly impossible things that are good?”

Oprah: Was this a conscious thought?

Maya: Yes. I thought, “Just suppose I could choreograph a ballet.” And I did it. Suppose I could teach dance at the theater in Cleveland. And I did it. Suppose I could sing for a living—that I could stop these two jobs as a waitress and a salesperson.

Oprah: Had you thought about doing that before but didn’t have the courage?

Maya: It had never occurred to me. I’m going to die. So why can’t I do everything? And what is this idea that I worked all day yesterday, so I’m tired today? I’ve never believed that.

Oprah: That is why everyone marvels at your stamina—your ability to continue to be out there speaking, teaching and giving, giving, giving. We think, “How does she do it? I need a nap!”

Maya: I think a nap or a rest overnight is great. But who needs three days of rest? Please! The second day, you might die.

Oprah: So I think I’ve got this: You realized you would die—and not just intellectually, because we all know it intellectually.

Maya: Yes, ma’am.

Oprah: I think many people live in complete denial of the fact that they are going to die. They pretend it’s not going to happen. That’s why some people won’t even go to the doctor.

Maya: Yes. Some think, “If I marry this guy who’s two inches taller than I am and who has a nice bank account, I won’t die. If I buy six cars, I won’t die. If I hate Jews, I won’t die. If I hate homosexuals, I won’t die.” They think they will increase their life by shunting misery onto somebody else, but it’s just the opposite.

Oprah: Is there nothing that frightens you? You never seem to be unsure about anything. Were you always that way?

Maya: You’d be surprised what coming to grips with the fact that you will die does for you.

Mother, A Cradle to Hold Me

It is true
I was created in you.
It is also true
That you were created for me.
I owned your voice.
It was shaped and tuned to soothe me.
Your arms were molded
Into a cradle to hold me, to rock me.
The scent of your body was the air
Perfumed for me to breathe.
Mother,
During those early, dearest days
I did not dream that you had
A large life which included me,
For I had a life
Which was only you.

Time passed steadily and drew us apart.
I was unwilling.
I feared if I let you go
You would leave me eternally.
You smiled at my fears, saying
I could not stay in your lap forever.
That one day you would have to stand
And where would I be?
You smiled again.
I did not.
Without warning you left me,
But you returned immediately.
You left again and returned,
I admit, quickly,
But relief did not rest with me easily.
You left again, but again returned.
You left again, but again returned.
Each time you reentered my world
You brought assurance.
Slowly I gained confidence.

You thought you know me,
But I did know you,
You thought you were watching me,
But I did hold you securely in my sight,
Recording every moment,
Memorizing your smiles, tracing your frowns.
In your absence
I rehearsed you,
The way you had of singing
On a breeze,
While a sob lay
At the root of your song.

The way you posed your head
So that the light could caress your face
When you put your fingers on my hand
And your hand on my arm,
I was blessed with a sense of health,
Of strength and very good fortune.

You were always
the heart of happiness to me,
Bringing nougats of glee,
Sweets of open laughter.

I loved you even during the years
When you knew nothing
And I knew everything, I loved you still.
Condescendingly of course,
From my high perch
Of teenage wisdom.
I spoke sharply of you, often
Because you were slow to understand.
I grew older and
Was stunned to find
How much knowledge you had gleaned.
And so quickly.

Mother, I have learned enough now
To know I have learned nearly nothing.
On this day
When mothers are being honored,
Let me thank you
That my selfishness, ignorance, and mockery
Did not bring you to
Discard me like a broken doll
Which had lost its favor.
I thank you that
You still find something in me
To cherish, to admire and to love.

I thank you, Mother.
I love you.”

–Maya Angelou. Except from the interview Oprah Talks to Maya Angelou,  and the poem from the collection of poems Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me.

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Set Our Mind Towards The Infinite

–by Rabindranath Tagore (Apr 12, 2018)

When we watch a girl trying to walk, we see her countless failures; her successes are but few. If we had to limit our observation within a narrow space of time, the sight would be cruel. But we find that in spite of her repeated failures there is an impetus of joy in the child which sustains her in her seemingly impossible task. We see she does not think of her falls so much as of her power to keep her balance though for only a moment.

Like these accidents in a child’s attempts to walk, we meet with sufferings in various forms in our life every day, showing the imperfections in our knowledge and our available power, and in the application of our will. But if these revealed our weakness to us only, we should die of utter depression. When we select for observation a limited area of our activities, our individual failures and miseries loom large in our minds; but our life leads us instinctively to take a wider view. It gives us an ideal of perfection which ever carries us beyond our present limitations. Within us we have a hope which always walks in front of our present narrow experience; it is the undying faith in the infinite in us; it will never accept any of our disabilities as a permanent fact; it sets no limit to its own scope; it dares to assert that a human being has oneness with the Universal Love; and its wild dreams become true every day.

We see the truth when we set our mind towards the infinite. The ideal of truth is not in the narrow present, not in our immediate sensations, but in the consciousness of the whole which give us a taste of what we should have in what we do have. Consciously or unconsciously we have in our life this feeling of Truth which is ever larger than its appearance; for our life is facing the infinite, and it is in movement. Its aspiration is therefore infinitely more than its achievement, and as it goes on it finds that no realisation of truth ever leaves it stranded on the desert of finality, but carries it to a region beyond. Evil cannot altogether arrest the course of life on the highway and rob it of its possessions. For the evil has to pass on, it has to grow into good; it cannot stand and give battle to the All. […] Continue reading

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Don’t Just Resist, Return to Who You Are

–by Taiaiake Alfred (Mar 29, 2018)

When we talk about colonization, we tend to think of brutally stolen land, racism, broken treaties, boarding schools. Those are things that happened. Those are the well-known things that shaped the relationship between Indigenous people and the settler society on this continent. But what was the deeper and lasting impact of those things on nations of Indigenous people? Alienation, separation, disconnection.

Colonization is disconnection from the land, from ourselves, and from our culture. The felt manifestation of this disconnection is the alienation that we feel as a result of being caught between two worlds, not being able to live authentic lives. That is why it’s absolutely necessary to continually remind ourselves: It is all about the land.

To decolonize, we need to reclaim the sacred spaces of our traditional territories.
Rename those spaces to sever the emotional and intellectual ties of colonially imposed names and restore the full histories and ancient significances embedded in Indigenous languages. Reoccupy to create a sense of community and purpose and to regenerate our traditional cultural practices. Find a way to give our younger generations access to the lands and waters that are their birthright. Restoring this connection is the crucial task of our survival. […] Continue reading

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No Hay Revolución Sin Evolución / There Is No Revolution Without Evolution

–por Victoria Santa Cruz (March 22, 2018) [English below]

Entrevistador (E): Quisiera formularle una pregunta de carácter personal, porque creo que en este caso es importante. El hecho de ser mujer, el hecho de ser negra y el hecho de ser latinoamericana, y también completamente de la parte del Planeta que llamamos Perú, ¿estos han sido 3 obstáculos para usted o no?

Victoria Santa Cruz (VSC): Han sido obstáculos porque me di cuenta de que eso me impedían ciertas cosas. Me he dado cuenta que es obstáculo, porque realmente he ido constatándolo. El nombre de esta conferencia que di en el congreso: “El importante rol que cumple el obstáculo”, es importante porque me di cuenta que el obstáculo cumple un rol: ¿quién en mi se molesta? ¿quién en mi reacciona y desde dónde? Y entonces empecé a descubrir, que el enemigo vive en casa.

Y empecé a descubrir (y por eso es que me importa tanto compartir), que el obstáculo es una suerte de, (si un@ empieza a comprender y un@ empieza a ponerse de pie, es decir, a asumir su responsabilidad sin buscar a quien culpar), que empieza un@ a encontrar esa clave que dice:  “Conócete a ti mism@”. Esa es una clave maravillosa que existirá siempre. Porque mientras el ser humano no sepa quién es, tendrá siempre que buscar a quien culpar. [risas]

Es muy cómodo, pero es una trampa, porque todo lo que es cómodo es una trampa.

E: Estas dificultades que usted ha hallado, ¿a qué se deben, a una situación general de discriminación, a factores sociales, de qué orden?

VSC: Bueno, es discriminación. Me encanta que me ponga esa pregunta. Me importa mucho, porque nos empecinamos en decir que me discriminan por eso, me discriminan por el otro, y aquello no es más que consecuencia de otra cosa: que el ser humano, comprendámoslo bien, está dividido. Dice una cosa, piensa otra y hace otra. Y esta división, mientras no tome consciencia de algo, nos va a destruir.

Entonces, el racismo, la discriminación según las razas, la discriminación por religión, la discriminación por apellido, la discriminación por dinero, son consecuencias de una real división. Y entonces aquí hay algo que me encantaría compartir: desde el momento que el enemigo vive en casa, es que, por alguna razón, no estamos en casa. [risas]

Y entonces es empezar a ponerse de pie, a asumir nuestra responsabilidad, sin buscar a quien culpar, porque no hay revolución sin evolución, y esto se gesta al interior de cada un@ de nosotr@s. Y empezar a descubrir lo importante que es algo que se llama presente. Sólo en el presente hay acción, y sólo en la acción hay mutación, transformación.

Esto lo vengo descubriendo desde casi que tengo uso de razón, porque desde una memoria ancestral digo: “heredé aspectos básicos del ritmo, Africa.” Y cuando en la vida, que es la escuela que hemos olvidado, la vida cotidiana, empiezo a tocar fondo, en un momento de mi vida dije: “No obstante africano, esto es cósmico, porque ¿qué cosa tiene el ser humano, si es un aspecto del cosmos?” Entonces es muy fácil decir soy un microcosmos. Ok! Si eres un microcosmos, descubre las leyes dentro de tí y del macrocosmos, ¡y entra al sitio que te corresponde!

E: Aquí me parece que en su planteamiento hay una inversión, porque normalmente se dice que la transformación tendrá primero que ser social y entonces luego, personal. Y usted invierte los términos y dice que la revolución comienza…

VSC: … en casa! Ya lo creo, no hay revolución sin evolución. Además, lo social, ¿qué es eso? Es decir, es preciso que no continuemos nadando en un océano de palabras. ¿Lo social es qué? Y si no estamos conectad@s con nosotr@s mism@s, no podemos conectarnos con el otro, de hecho.

Además hay una cosa que hay que tener en cuenta (hablando de esta división y hablando de estas consecuencias de la división. Cuando existe esta división, que es terrible, en la célula familia… (y esta célula va desapareciendo ¿no es cierto? porque hoy en día trabaja el padre, la madre, l@s hij@s están en la guardería… y la célula familia es fundamental! hay ciertas cosas que no se aprenden si no es en esa célula familia)… cuando estamos conectad@s con nosotr@s, es entonces cuando un@ empieza a comprender lo que es respeto, y la base de todo, incluyendo el amor, es respeto.

Pero eso, cuando se comprende desde cierta edad, es una convicción porque hay una conexión interna. Entonces esto no es racional, esto no es analítico, esto no es una cosa convencional, esto ES, sin adjetivo. Y ahí viene lo que es compromiso, entonces eso se respeta porque está dentro de las fibras nuestras, y esto, entonces, empieza a dar paso a esa calidad de atención que desde adentro a afuera, empieza (porque todo es alimento, todo es vida y la vida necesita sustento) a alimentar algo que vive en nosotr@s, algo que vive en nosotr@s y que se llama dignidad.

 

–Victoria Santa Cruz, segmento de la entrevista en La Función de la Palabra. Victoria fue una gran maestra, compositora, coreógrafa y diseñadora, exponente del arte afroperuano, cuyo amor por la dignidad y el ritmo es evidente en este video/poema poderoso.

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The Organic and Harmonious Inter-Relation of Virtues

–by Nyanaponika Thera  (March 15, 2018)

Unbounded love guards compassion against turning into partiality, prevents it from making discriminations by selecting and excluding and thus protects it from falling into partiality or aversion against the excluded side. Love imparts to equanimity its selflessness, its boundless nature and even its fervour. For fervour, too, transformed and controlled, is part of perfect equanimity, strengthening its power of keen penetration and wise restraint.

Compassion prevents love and joy from forgetting that, while both are enjoying or giving temporary and limited happiness, there still exist at that time most dreadful states of suffering in the world. It reminds them that their happiness coexists with measureless misery, perhaps at the next doorstep. It is a reminder to love and joy that there is more suffering in the world than they are able to mitigate; that, after the effect of such mitigation has vanished, sorrow and pain are sure to arise anew until suffering is uprooted entirely. Compassion does not allow that love and joy to shut themselves up against the wide world by confining themselves to a narrow sector of it. Compassion prevents love and joy from turning into states of self-satisfied complacency within a jealously guarded petty happiness. Compassion stirs and urges love to widen its sphere; it stirs and urges joy to search for fresh nourishment. Thus it helps both of them to grow into truly boundless states. Compassion guards equanimity from falling into a cold indifference, and keeps it from indolent or selfish isolation. Until equanimity has reached perfection, compassion urges it to enter again and again the battle field of the world, in order to be able to stand the test, by hardening and strengthening itself.

Joy holds compassion back from becoming overwhelmed by the sight of the world’s suffering, from being absorbed by it to the exclusion of everything else. Joy relieves the tension of mind, soothes the painful burning of the compassionate heart. It keeps compassion away from melancholic brooding without purpose, from a futile sentimentality that merely weakens and consumes the strength of mind and heart. Joy develops compassion into active sympathy. Joy gives equanimity the mild serenity that softens its stern appearance.

Equanimity rooted in insight is the guiding and restraining power for the other three sublime states. It points out to them the direction they have to take, and sees to it that this direction is followed. Equanimity guards love and compassion from being dissipated in vain quests and from going astray in the labyrinths of uncontrolled emotion. Equanimity, being a vigilant self-control for the sake of the  final goal, does not allow joy to rest content with humble results, forgetting the real aims we have to strive for. Equanimity, which means “even-mindedness”, gives to love an even, unchanging  firmness and loyalty. It endows it with the great virtue of patience. Equanimity furnishes compassion with an even, unwavering courage and fearlessness, enabling it to face the awesome abyss of misery and despair which confront boundless compassion again and again. To the active side of compassion, equanimity is the calm and  firm hand led by wisdom — indispensable to those who want to practice the difficult art of helping others. And here again equanimity means patience, the patient devotion to the work of compassion.

In these and other ways equanimity may be said to be the crown and culmination of the other three sublime states. The  first three, if unconnected with equanimity and insight, may dwindle away due to the lack of a stabilizing factor. Isolated virtues, if unsupported by other qualities which give them either the needed  firmness or pliancy, often deteriorate into their own characteristic defects. For instance, loving-kindness, without energy and insight, may easily decline to a mere sentimental goodness of weak and unreliable nature. Moreover, such isolated virtues may often carry us in a direction contrary to our original aims and contrary to the welfare of others, too. It is the  firm and balanced character of a person that knits isolated virtues into an organic and harmonious whole, within which the single qualities exhibit their best manifestations and avoid the pitfalls of their respective weaknesses. And this is the very function of equanimity, the way it contributes to an ideal relationship between all four sublime states.

Equanimity is a perfect, unshakable balance of mind, rooted in insight. But in its perfection and unshakable nature equanimity is not dull, heartless and frigid. Its perfection is not due to an emotional “emptiness”, but to a “fullness” of understanding, to its being complete in itself. Its unshakable nature is not the immovability of a dead, cold stone, but the manifestation of the highest strength. […]

Love, compassion and joy continue to emanate from the mind and act upon the world, but being guarded by equanimity, they cling nowhere, and return unweakened and unsullied.

Thus within the person who deeply cultivate these virtues nothing is lessened by giving, and she/he does not become poorer by bestowing upon others the riches of her/his heart and mind. This person is like the clear, well-cut crystal which, being without stains, fully absorbs all the rays of light and sends them out again, intensified by its concentrative power. The rays cannot stain the crystal with their various colours. They cannot pierce its hardness, nor disturb its harmonious structure. In its genuine purity and strength, the crystal remains unchanged. “Just as all the streams of the world enter the great ocean, and all the waters of the sky rain into it, but no increase or decrease of the great ocean is to be seen” — even so is the nature of holy equanimity.

 

–Nyanaponika Thera from the booklet, The Four Sublime States: The Practice of Loving-Kindness  [Photo taken from the Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)]

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