Tag Archives: love

love presence

 love presence

“A person’s identity,” Amin Maalouf wrote as he contemplated what he so poetically called the genes of the soul, “is like a pattern drawn on a tightly stretched parchment. Touch just one part of it, just one allegiance, and the whole person will react, the whole drum will sound.” 

https://www.brainpickings.org/what-makes-a-person?-seven-layers-of-identity-in-literature-and-life 

music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-phggJG2sM

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https://www.visualnews.com/2017/01/30/new-photography-check-helpful-visualization/ 

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A Secret Forest Grew for Millennia in North America Without Anyone Noticing

February 3, 2017 by kristalklear 

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The Psychology of What Makes a Great Story

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/01/20/jerome-bruner-actual-minds-possible-world 

http://www.luminantdesign.com/images/services/identity.jpg 

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The Psychology of Time and the Paradox of How Impulsivity and Self-Control Mediate Our Capacity for Presence 

“Consciousness is tied to corporeality and temporality: I experience myself as existing with a body over time.”

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/04/27/time-felt-marc-wittmann/ 

Lizards don’t plan for the future and learning to wait is central to how children develop self-reliance.

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31 rolls of film from a WW2 soldier are discovered and processed. And the results are breathtaking.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBHwNH7iHsE [10:32]

[Note that, like many of these offerings, these come from a producer with a channel or newsletter subscription process you can explore and embrace.]

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http://www.warrencenter.com/warrencenter/Gallery/WCC08%5F065%2EJPG 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW17SJB8TZ8 

 

It was 42 years ago this week when I drove down out of the country district where I held down my first full-time post-college job to a university educational  conference/retreat center in a small town near where they start the Boston Marathon.  I’d written and produced a college student’s final project in video production for a degree in mass communications in which I enlisted the help of friends, co-workers, and others and spliced together a 30-minute narrative about what a top-quality EMS system was supposed to look like

It was the era of Vietnam in which Army surgeons received patients who’d suffered severe injury burped out of Medevac choppers in which they’d been intubated, given IV access for drug and fluid and plasma push, and perhaps even placed in inflatable rubber shorts for anti-shock treatment. 

In the States — where I’d stayed, having been first introduced to entry-level training as a soldier with hand-to-hand combat skills, some survival training, rudimentary firearms training using an M-1 and blanks, and lots and lots of backwoods through-the-brush-and-swamps marching and bivouacking — I was a probationary firefighter during one of those periods in which I’d dropped out of college, having been dismayed by the quality and nature of teaching, having been told by the dean of the pre-med program that I lacked sufficient excellence in the sciences to even entertain admission let alone complete a program. 

As a full-time paid probationary firefighter in a town where there were rarely any fires, I was given an advanced 40-hour course that was a precursor of the curriculum developed and approved by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons which became THE standard of care for that decade. I could not become a paramedic; there were no paramedic programs nor even medical acceptance of their value; first I had to build the system, and find the physicians and others who did.

I was on the cutting edge of the social engineering scalpel that turned an uncoordinated approach that offered virtually no applied skills to one that was eminently capable of saving someone’s life across a wide swath of accident and illness.  I flunked ladders but excelled at the space-time response parameters in ambulance work. And now I was going to spend a week in this conference center to become part of the state’s second wave of approved instructors for the mandatory 81-hour course for emergency medical technicians. 

I had already become one of the state’s first EMT’s and worked for the premiere private ambulance company in the Western half of the state; every other day, in a 24-on/24-off cycle, I was the operational commander of a fleet of 14 ambulances serving an area that extended from Palmer to Westfield, from Longmeadow to Goshen and Hatfield. 

On an evening that featured a soft snowfall, I parked my 1974 white Fiat X1/9 and walked into the reception area on a Sunday night to meet the faculty and students with whom I would spend a week. I was three-quarters of the way through my first assignment in establishing a local council, assisting towns in the acquisition of new ambulances, organizing EMT associations, winning consensus on memorandum of agreements, etc.  We would hold our first disaster drill later that spring. But here was an adventure, an opportunity to learn and to meet new people. 

As student EMT instructors, we were expected to have already mastered the skills and passed the exams (both paper and skills-based stations where you performed under the watch of stern evaluators). Our instructors were experts in training. And as a student instructor, you were expected to teach a short section of topical material of their choice.  There were probably 35 other students enrolled; some of them were nurses.

By Tuesday, we were becoming more at ease with the process and with the instructors. The chief instructor would eventually become my boss when I was cycled into the state office to help him write the state’s first responder regulations and training guidelines and where I helped his boss write the first statewide EMS plan. But on Tuesday we were focused on finding and building confidence in our ability to present ourselves as knowledgeable experts to a room filled with firefighters needing to learn about the emergent presentation of heart attack, diabetic crises, or people who’d fallen off their roof, or who had had a severe car accident. We were called upon to critique our co-students. After class, we were free to go out and find a bar and grille just as long as we were back in time for lights out. 

On Wednesday, I got put in a group of folks for a second round of student teaching practice assignments;  I had a good deal of confidence.  I worked my way through college, having returned with some focus, by working for a private embulance company. My first call brought me to a car accident, two blocks from HQ and six blocks from the hospital, in which the young woman driver suffered a penetrating skull impalement; the quarter vent window pillar had been driven up through the cheek behind the eyeball, the wound oozing grey matter, the pillar de-impaled on recoil. Luckily my task was bandaging, not neurosurgery. Teaching with a set of pre-approved high-quality slides, a curriculum synched to bright orange textbooks, and equipment paid for by major foundations and the state government was, relatively speaking, going to be a piece of cake. The worst thing that could happen was that a student could ask a question I couldn’t answer in a situation in which I could say ‘I’ll have the answer for you next time we meet’.

One student, however, was obviously nervous about public speaking, despite an even greater level experience. She represented the individual on the team who was the recipient of patients wheeled in on stretchers by brash young firefighter types who grabbed clean sheets and went on their way; she became the organizer and first level of hospital-based care, assessing, calming, overseeing her own team.  This nurse that day had drawn the long straw and had to present on the complexities of diabetic emergencies like insulin shock and diabetic coma. Her nerves stemmed not from her lack of command of the material but from the typical and human fears of public speaking.

I passed her a note that said she needn’t be nervous .. most students would be focused on her beauty.  

The rest, as they say, is history.

We went out together for the first time the next night and parted knowing that “we were an item” that Friday, February 14th, a date we celebrate as our “anniversary”. 

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https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/31/how-to-love-thich-nhat-hanh/ 

Heart Pickings

Heart Pickings

“… In the most nourishing kind of love, the communion of togetherness coexists with an integrity of individuality, the two aspects always in dynamic and fluid dialogue…..”

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/09/27/on-the-secret-to-a-loving-lasting-relationship 

Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

“… Complement this particular portion of the wholly enchanting The Prophet with Virginia Woolf on what makes love last, philosopher Alain Badiou on how we fall and stay in love, Anna Dostoyevsky on the secret to a happy marriage, Mary Oliver on how differences bring couples closer together, and Joseph Campbell on the single most important factor in sustaining romantic relationships, then revisit Gibran on the seeming self vs. the authentic self and the absurdity of our self-righteousness…..”

 

 

“… We tuck our messy real selves behind polished veneers, orchestrate grand gestures, and perform various psychoemotional acrobatics driven by the illusion that love is something we must earn by what we do, rather than something that comes to us unbidden simply for who we are…..”

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/09/26/the-day-i-became-a-bird/ 

 

 

 

reconciliation

reconciliation

At long last, an actual discussion among bloggers and other interested folk:

http://greencrowasthecrowflies.blogspot.com/2016/09/with-trump-landslide-possibilitytruth.html 

I dumped the guts of the previous As The Crow Flies  blog entry [ see http://greencrowasthecrowflies.blogspot.com/2016/09/truth-and-reconciliation.html ] (with links out to it and Carl Herman here at Washington’s Blog) over at the list-serv on Yahoo (long after the “breach”) for members of the 9/11 and State Crimes tele-conference group.

I have for years been an invited member of the monthly conference call meeting and was recently invited to join the list-serv. Both are somewhat closed groups, though the minutes and audio of the meetings are made public and are sometimes posted. The list of participants is a who’s who of 9/11 activists who are a league above me in caliber and output, but the subject interests me and I speak out. I am humbled to be among them.

I find the time spent listening to a lot of people a bit unwieldy and unfocused. [I’m a male; I don’t multi-task well, and I have a neuro-scientific appreciation for how multi-tasking diminishes critical attention.] The online discussion forum works differently, being asynchronous, and one can choose when and where to comment. I use my blog as a vehicle for response, especially its sister site The Sullen Bell, because it allows further time, freer expression, and the opportunity to note what others say to a wider audience.

[See especially http://www.thesullenbell.com/2016/09/01/bypassed-by-reality/:

“… I don’t care if my first responder rescuer brethren and the victims were blown up or down, by thermite or nukes, with Saudi or Israeli help; I want to see the perps walk to the gallows, and everyone who is or was complicit in the cover-up shunned for life….. Does 9/11 justice emanate from political struggle, legal maneuvering, or transformational thinking?… The 9/11 truth movement may well have been “caught responding to situations that have already changed”.]

The rules on what I may “export” from the list-serv where I have jump-started a discussion are murky and not in favor of easy cut-and-paste, though I am at liberty to copy my own comments.

Over there, there is a parallel discussion about the law, and limited legal liability, to which I responded:

Limited legal liability suggests impunity, and we’ve had a lot of that lately. People don’t get impunity and, if a corporation is a person, then a corporation shouldn’t get it either. But we are hanging in the wind with this whole thing, given the specter of the trade legislation that will give corporations global legal supremacy. Talking about the law is talking about politics and organizing political parties and movements that will rewrite (or kill) certain legislation, insure friendly judges, etc., and right now I don’t see any parties or movements (save possibly one, or its extension) that can muster the power (pun intended). Only the victors get to hold the trials and hang the perps. It’s been alluded to here before, and elsewhere with more interest and oomph, but the ability to exercise these kinds of major systemic change is implemented with the masses of people and/or the force of arms.

I’ve asked about (and await the YouTube recording from) the panel of legal experts at the recent conference in NYC. Do world courts have the legal power (and the other power to back up the legal power)?  Isn’t that a form of one world governance?

I posted the blurb about truth and reconciliation because I think the 9/11 truth movement (is that with a T or a t?) needs to have this discussion. Given the forthcoming election and the obvious attempts at bringing to the American people waves of cultural upheaval and violence, the looming possibilities of martial law or some variant thereof, etc., is it even worth having that discussion?

What is the reality on the streets, in the living rooms, on the stock exchanges and currency markets, and in armed state face-off with sovereign people and sovereign states?

Also on that discussion board, in another thread, is reference to the role of Judge Hellerstein’s role in preventing lawsuits relevant to 9/11 from coming to trial (hence no disclosure), and I’ve mentioned the role of Judge Stanley Sporkin in matters pertaining to the company and proprietary software seized from Catherine Austin Fitts, so be careful about going to court.

One of the problems in a cross-blog discussion is that it is sometimes not easy to back-check and read all the comment and responses to comments, a lapse on my part which was pointed out by GC.  I take no umbrage.  It’s simply the nature of asynchronous online discussion; people live in different time zones, and we all have more to our lives that that particular discussion.  Time allows us to knit together the ideas.

At the every end of my “white paper” on disasters, simulations and virtual communities, on the “about the author” page [that contact info is no longer valid], I noted my experience as an association executive, which entailed strategic leadership, lots of Board meetings, et al.  I marveled at but never found the skills exhibited by a Quaker physician I knew and revered who knew how to build consensus toward action. I’ve been a member of a now-defunct Virtual Community Working Group at learningtimes.net, was one of six beta-testers of the inaugural Internet-based “Game of Games”, and attended several online conferences on appreciative inquiry, as well as facilitating in an online world.  I designed a communications engine inside a theoretical simulation trainer that allowed people to take on differing perspectives and roles as a tool for surfacing ideas and difficult-to-find-facts and solutions.

Greencrow mentions the imminent election of Donald Trump. Meaning no disparagement of Greencrow or The Donald, that jury is still out on Donald’s access to the Oval Office, and the prospects of rigged election processes, some form of “October Surprise”, executive fiat, martial law, open warfare (internationally or civil), advancing severe weather/global warfare and even disclosure of the presence of extra-terrestrials remain on the horizon. Perhaps we’ve only been conditioned to think they are valid prospects, but lots of people are thinking they are valid.

Trump is no angel and is seen in some circles as being a “trojan horse” for the same interests who were allegedly behind 9/11, so don’t place faith in a politician the way so many did with Obama.  Obama was supposedly the antidote to the Bush dynasty, and Trump is seen as the only choice given the option of a Clinton/Obama dynasty. Just because Trump once alluded to 9/11 “truth”, be wary.  Allusion is closely related to illusion, and one of Trump’s supporters is Rudy Giuliani, a fellow any 9/11 activist knows is deeply implicated. By now we should have learned that they are all on the same team and, as George Carlin so nicely put it, we are not included. Our challenge is sometimes referred to as “herding cats”. But I do not wish to disagree with Greencrow so much as celebrate her inclusion in the discussion and her support in expanding that discussion.

Finally, GC said: “I appreciate the “Occurrences” Blog very much as it simplifies the daily task of getting an overview of geopolitical events from the alternative blog perspective AND it has an ecumenical approach, inclusive of the lesser known blogs like mine.”

I appreciate the comment very much.  It’s pretty much the nicest thing that’s been said about my labor of love, one of the reasons I climbed down off the hospital bed (and up off the floor) after I’d had a hemiplegic motor stroke. [Luckily, the event turned out to be positive and did not affect either my cognitive brain or my typing skills.]  GC’s comment is also a good summary of the intent of “Occurrences”.

It should be noted, for my general readers, that I am literally on the verge of completing my own personal living-space transformation. For the past two months, I’ve been doing what blogging I’ve been able to do using my wife’s MacAir, digging into her own writing time, because we bought our “forever” house.  The basement/office transformation is almost finished; my own iMac is functional, awaiting perhaps a transition to the new OS Sierra with Siri capacities (but I don’t think I want to import an open mike into my world), but it’s already capable of major blog production and more. Blog renewal time also approaches at the end of October (more about which later). The downstairs work space comes complete with a half-bath, a coffee bar, a pellet stove, safety rails for the stairways, my entire library, all of my logged music (including four days worth of jazz, rock and more), space for the air beds for the grandkids, two tables, lots of chairs, and my new photography tools. The windows look out (and the back stair/bulkhead opens out) onto a patio/garden/koi pond/waterfall complex with an overhead deck off the bedroom; you’ll find my wife in her gardener’s shed, in with the fishes, or in the garden. Tarzan knew where Jane wanted to go. It’s her reward after retiring from a 40-year career as a nurse during which she cared for her ailing mother (and now her nearly-disabled-but-miraculously-recovered black sheep of a husband). Which brings me to two last elements of the discussion about truth and reconciliation: love, and forgiveness.

Does it matter if we are Christian, or Buddhist, or something else?  My wife has taught me a lot about unconditional love. I have read a lot of Davd Ray Griffin, the theologian and expert on the topic of evil… I have read two books by the noted Catholic Worker James Douglass (JFK and the Unspeakable, at the end of which  — in the study guide edition— he talks a lot about evil, and more importantly his earlier book Resistance and Contemplation, the Trappist (Thomas Merton) root of his activism about nuclear weapons in which he talks about needing to be willing to go to jail, or die a horrible death at the hands of those opposed to truth). No one is suggesting that we all rush off to jail, but JFK asked if we believed in redemption just before he rode into the bullets.

One of the concerns that must be on the table is the extent to which our reconciliatory love bleeds over into giving permission for all the death and warfare that resulted, for the people important and minor who participated (does our grace extent to Abu Ghraib?), and becomes a quiet complicit celebration of militaristic ardor because we failed to differentiate or to hold people’s feet to the fire.

One of the more fascinating surprises for me was discovering a 9/11 activist who is also an ardent Constitutionalist who promotes a true understanding of the early legal meaning of the term “militia” at a time when actions aimed at the Second Amendment hang in the balance.

We would like to bring them to justice for treason; they call us “enemies of the state”.

The implications for 9/11 activism seem to be “all or nothing”: find the means to execute the perps mercifully or fugeddaboutit.

Who, in the end, is “the state”?  Our historical roots and documents speak about we the people.  I see little in the formational political literature of this nation in support of elitism, excess wealth, banking fraud, hijacked polity, oligarchy, dual citizenships, or the need for a hyper-security state.

I am still contemplating my own resistance.  My wife works diligently at shining her own little corner of the world, whether through flowers, or fishes, or grandchildren.  It is her maternal outlet, her paradisiacal escape, the creation impulse to which she can retreat when my own thoughts about things like 9/11 burst out into open conversation.

I write, read some more, contemplate, meditate, pray, breathe and write some more.

The Spirit of the Game

photography courtesy of http://reagentx.net/new/tag/astrophotography/

The tenth chapter of the e-book Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind… is actually one of my two most favorite chapters.  (Those two speak to me, and they ended up being assigned the letter E and the letter J.  Funny thing how those things work out, huh?)

It’s entitled The Spirit of the Game and, while it is laden with concepts of spirituality, it doesn’t attempt to proselytize. Parker Palmer (Footnote 111 on page 55) gives as good a defintion of spiritual as I could find.

There are references from within religion’s expressions, but spirit includes them all, allows you to parse and understand them if you desire to do so, and ultimately it transcends them.

The Spirit of the Game ranges across the topics of prayer, intention, attention, life alignment, love, mastery, presence, soul, music, movement, ex-stase, awe, connectedness, the sweet spot in time, gnosis, peak experience, yoga, samadhi, behavior, discipline, intent, will, performance, creativity, energy and grace.

It will bring you to James Neill’s http://www.wilderdom.com.

It will bring you to the web site of a dojo called www.bodymindandmodem.com.

There’s a quote in there from the fellow whose insights were the key that unlocked the door to the creation of this e-book.

It was in the middle of the explosion of the decades of research into the brain through the use of functional MRI studies and Roland Perlmutter, M.D. (neuroradiologist, Duke University Medical Center) is the individual quoted from within the book On The Sweet Spot: Stalking the Effortless Present.

It’s not that quote (footnote #24) that quickened me.

The one that made we sit upright, that confirmed my interest, my work, the value of these concepts beyond sports, and the value of sharing this material shows up near the end of my e-book.

But here’s a better expression of all of that from an old blog of mine (circa August 21st, 2013).  I’d been reading a Sports Illustrated in a medical waiting room and encountered a letter to the editor that was “surely of interest to the father of a professional fast-pitch softball player whose hand was broken by [Jennie] Finch when she stepped on it during a pick-off attempt at first. Was Finch mad at her because she not only did not strike out but managed to draw couple of walks against her and made one of them stand up for a win? The bone was broken above the knuckles, making it impossible to hold or swing a bat, but a visualization process I designed on the basis of my readings [actually, it was an audio tape from Lydia Ievleva; see this] and which she implemented which came to fruition in front of the orthopod ten days later and got her a clearance to return when the doctor said said “I’ve never seen a bone heal so quickly”. The bone and the body that it belonged to went on to earn a Second Team All-American slot in the ASA Majors division.”

Back then in 2013, I referenced the book On The Sweet Spot and my own e-book Summon The Magic and the applicability of what I have come to understand about the human mind/body/spirit as an antidote to the oppressive wars, narcissistic psychopathology of leadership, and the failure of the average human being — especially the dormant American ones — to wake up and effect some change.

From the description found at the Amazon link (but the emphases are mine):

“… as Richard Keefe, the director of the sport psychology program at Duke University, looked deeper into the nature of his experience, he found profound links to the spirit, the brain, perhaps even the soul.

Keefe recognized that the feeling golfers and other athletes have of “being in the zone” is basically the same as a meditative state. And as a researcher with experience in brain chemistry, he went one step further: If we can figure out what’s happening in the brain at such times, he reasons, we can learn how to get into that “zone” instead of just waiting for it to happen. This is the Holy Grail of sport psychology — teaching the mind to get out of the way so the body can do the things it’s capable of doing. Keefe calls it the “effortless present,” when the body is acting of its own accord while the brain has little to do but watch.

All religions describe some kind of heightened awareness in their disciplines; Keefe explores whether such mystical experience is a fundamental aspect of our evolution, an integral part of what makes us human and keeps us from despair. And he brings the discussion back to the applications of such knowledge, reflecting on our ability to use these alternate planes to achieve better relationships, better lives, better moments. Keefe’s true subject is extraordinary experience — being in the zone, in the realm of effortless action. On the Sweet Spot builds from the physical and neurological to the mystical and philosophical, then adds a crucial layer of the practical (how we can capture or recapture these wondrous states)…..”

That’s what summoning the magic is all about.

If a mind can heal its own fractured hand, why can’t many minds heal a fractured world?”

 

And, oh look, that calligraphic expression I mentioned back in healing a sick world shows up on page 75.

(So that’s where I put it..!)

 

Even Caitlyn Jenner makes an appearance in a potent retrospective.

 

But speaking of sports (and there are plenty of sporting references in The Spirit of the Game), last Monday’s news had an example (and there are plenty of them every day) of attempts to “psych out” an opponent — to take them off their game. My exact reference is to the US/Australia women’s 2015 Women’s World Cup opening match in soccer and the re-surrection or re-mindfulness of the US keeper’s legal difficulties. I take no position on the keeper or her history. In fact, I raise the point because, in all my research and other encounters, I have never met a performance psychologist who embraced or helped someone else “hone” the art of dissing.

You see a lot of it in pro sports. Larry Bird and some others have shown that, if you’re going to get into “trash talk”, you’d better be able to back it up.

The entire discipline of sports/performance psychology would suggest that you expend your energy focusing on your own game, that your attention to your opponent’s game in an attempt to create an advantage more often backfires than not. There’s a book listed in my bibliography that comes so dangerously close to taking the wrong approach that I won’t even identify it for you.

Refefence has already been made to bringing the best you can bring to the exchange as an ideal way to respect both the game and one’s opponent. Pre-game, in-game and post-game “trash talk” is trash and doesn’t fall within The Spirit of the Game.

Julia Cameron would understand. On Monday, her book “The Well of Creativity” got packaged with two of her earliest books, The Artist’s Way and The Vein of Gold, and shipped off to a friend.  I had thought “The Well of Creativity” was the one actually I received today (more dementia, or lack of focus) but the recipient is a close friend so it’ll all come out in the wash.

Arriving today was Supplies, which Cameron describes as good, plain water for those thirsty aspiring or working people who are busy making things — “books, musicals, movies, plays. board games, computer programs, sculptures, watercolors, greeting cards, effective aprons, better lives”.

The second page reminds us all of an “extremely effective technique” a lot of us have forgotten, or dismissed, or turned our noses up at beause it seemes so juvenile.

Several more pages in, and I had to put the book down; I was hooked. It’s serious shee-it. (I’ll report back on it in good time, but it’s a workbook and I’ve got to do the work.)

So, here you have it:

Tab J (The Spirit of the Game)

I hope that it will make your performance and creativity soar.

relationships

One of the things that absolutely fascinates me about the value of aikido, the physical practice of which as a practical discipline in martial arts I had to give up when it became apparent that I had some as-yet-undefined-or-unaddressed compromise in aortic function, is in its embodied lessons in understanding and working on relationships with other human beings.

Whether it is the delivery of ukemi across distances of the Internet in the middle of some political discussion with contentious virtual opponents, or the closely interpersonal and psychologically intimate discussions in a dyad, or the multiple grapplings of dinner table randori in a family setting, beginning to understand and embody how we present ourselves, how we perceive, how we move, and how we contend, disarm, charm and take effort not to injure is an important understanding.

This is why I am attracted to and resonate with people like Richard Strozzi-Heckler, this fellow whose blog I subscribe to in Richmond, VA, or the instructional videos of Nick Lowry at windsong dojo in Oklahoma. I am always looking for insight.

My very first sensei, Dave Card, had a piece of calligraphy I grabbed off the Internet and copied (my scanned copy keeps disappearing inside my archives), replicated, and once was made into a painted red/white/black acryclic signpost outside my door at the empty aerie overlooking a river I briefly occupied before my own personal Wacht am Rhein on 12/16/07.

The calligraphy simply was two mirroring curved lines of the circling uke and nage, wary perhaps, co-exsting on the tatami of life and the moment, with a heart in the middle.

The message was simple:

At the heart of the interaction, the discipline, the practice, all those techniques, the ukemi, was love.

Here is a piece I wrote on ma-ai at that time:

Ma-ai

The distance between us waxes and wanes.  Our sensory receptors sometimes strain to detect changes, movements, new positions, new insights, responses.  Sometimes we are in a frenzied interaction, built on moves and techniques learned elsewhere or from our previous dances.  You hear, I say; I talk too much, you feel; I clarify, you add, you subtract; you change the tune, I introduce a new rhythm.

I look ahead to where we might be in a different corner of the dance floor and how we will get there, and you get lost in the detail of hand on hand, or pressure point, or pulse.

You add, and suggest.  I wonder; you add graphics.

I speak in poetic prose; you speak in urls and umms.

Sometimes we tango, and sometimes we salsa.  Oft times we waltz: we enjoy a slower pace for observation and exploration.

You query; I respond.  I query; you respond.

We speak of parallel universes and perpendicular tangents.

You probe; I withdraw.  I move forward; you turn away.

You think of lips and light brushes of skin; I push and pull with firm pressures.

Our antennae re-cycle the data from each moment, linking to our engines of thought and emotion.  One stumbles; the other answers to re-position, to minimize the effects, to stay in touch.

One leads; the other follows.  One takes a break; the other remains, to pick up again from where leaving was.  Where you were, I was.  Where I will be, you have been.

How and why is this so easy and yet so hard?  We have each been here before, perhaps, and yet the dance of the moment is alive with freshness and newness that is like light dew on gardens in the glow of a rising sun.

We reflect and think; we feel and delight in flesh-on-flesh.  We listen to our hearts’ pulsings and poundings; we taste what might be; we hear echoes of music; poetry arises from time to time, matched only by bursts of exclamation, periods of silence, and renewed contact.  We trade laughter and smiles, grins and grimaces.  We step on each other’s toes, and we keep on moving.  We dance in kitchens, and we dance in offices.  We visualize Arthur Murray moves while driving.  We conduct orchestras in training.  Heaven and earth seem at times to move in connected unity.

When we get out of step, we re-orient with a gaze to the other’s eyes, and a gaze within.  And we listen again.  And we dream of dancing.  And then our heart’s eyes lock again from across the floor, and we advance slowly… our ma-ai changing once again.

The Universe moves slowly in its inexorable and mysterious rotations within rotations, and we within them.

****

Here is a piece taken from the newsletter published by my second sensei, Judy Ringer:

Mitsugi Saotome, in Aikido and the Harmony of Nature (Shambhala, Boston, 1993), tells us that ma-ai is the distance in time and space between people, events, or energies. When we are in touch with ma-ai, the larger pattern, we know when to move, when to pause, and when to blend. There are rhythms of ma-ai throughout our daily lives, and in the differences between society and solitude, between action and contemplation, in pacing and momentum, in knowing when enough is enough.

Terry Dobson, in It’s a Lot Like Dancing (Frog Ltd., Berkeley, CA 1993) says, on page 39: “In the martial experience, you learn that it’s very good to be close to your opponent. When I’m close to him, I know exactly where he is, what’s likely to do. I can control, direct, relax, quiet, and restore this person by being close to him.”  Later, on page 149, “The word ma-ai in Japanese means ‘space-time’. Try to keep at least a distance of the length of two arms when dealing with strangers in the street. You take a step towards me, I take a step backwards to maintain this distance. I’ve spent many hours dancing around at this distance just to learn how far that really was.”

****

Essay as part of the requirement for shoudan.

Requested by Alan Higgs Sensei and Peter Cleydon Sensei.

Maai and Metsuke

Metsuke and Maai are two very important aspects of Aikido.

Metsuke is essentially eye-to-eye contact without focusing on a singe point which permits awareness of the total field of vision.

Metsuke is also the idea of focusing the eyes and the mind so as not to be drawn in by the opponent’s attack. It is a perception of everything that is happening around you and the pre-perception which enable us to sense an attack or aggressiveness in the form of impending danger, before it actually occurs. Metsuke can also mean insight into the human soul, which can inhibit an attack by the expression in the eyes or diffuse it with benevolence or compassion.

Metsuke should result in eye contact on the opponent’s centre. Shifting you eyes from one focal point to another (ie from eyes to hand to feet) constantly changes your perception of distance and angles. To develop perception of these aspects it is essential to focus on one point in the attackers centre line, but still having an awareness of the total field of vision.

Maai is the relation of space and position between uke and tori. It literally means “harmony of space”. It mainly consists of keeping the correct distance and maintaining correct body position and direction. Establishing maai is achieving and maintaining a position that puts you at an advantage and your opponent at a disadvantage. Many factors must be considered for correct maai, such as relative size of the people involved, whether there are multiple uke, the environment and the types of weapons. Maai is constantly changing by the actions created by attacks or defence. The moment tori or uke move maai begins to change. To stop your opponent from attacking you, you must be far enough away so the opponent cannot reach you, but this distance must be balanced with an ability to subdue the opponent’s attack when it does come. Through taisabaki, blending and entering, tori can end up quite close to uke at the execution of the technique. When stationary and unarmed, maai for aikido tends to be a distance of two outstretched arms, but because of the fluid character of Aikido and because distances change depending upon the situation, maai is more a sense that has to be developed and practiced.

The principles of maai and metsuke are practiced in all aspects of Aikido. When practicing, eye contact is kept and a correct distance between tori and uke is maintained.

Two exercises which develop maai and metsuke are tegatana awase and seichusen no bogyo.

Tegatana awase is essentially a practice of keeping eye contact and a correct distance. When at a safe distance of two arm spans away, there is nothing that your opponent can do, unless they enter first. Balance and distance must always be maintained as the two partners move around. The body should also always be aligned so that it is facing your opponent. In this way maai is maintained. This exercise can also be done without the hands in front of you. The same distance should be maintained, and this develops and understanding of maai.

Seichusen no bogyo is a timing exercise which also develops an understanding of maai and metsuke. Metsuke is important in this exercise, as focusing on one aspect, such as the right hand, will result in you being attacked from a different quarter. For this reason focusing on the centre line is important, and maintaining a 360 degree peripheral vision is essential. Seichusen no bogyo is important for maai, as the attacker must enter in order to attack. Fast body movement is essential to place you in an advantageous position that puts your partner at a disadvantage. It is essential that your body is facing your partners body. Eye contact is also important in this exercise, as you might get a clue from which direction the next attack is coming from.

Metsuke and Maai are both extremely important aspects of Aikido, and should be practiced in every exercise.

Ewa Rej

****

“To stop your opponent from attacking you, you must be far enough away so the opponent cannot reach you, but this distance must be balanced with an ability to subdue the opponent’s attack when it does come.”

But in a relationship you want to maintain and enrichen, you’ll want your partner to “attack”, to bring an energy of intensity and improvement, and so you’ll have to allow yourself to be thrown. You have to be vulnerable enough and trusting enough that you won’t be hurt. You’ll have to be competent enough to insure that neither you nor your partner get hurt. But you can’t stop dancing just to avoid getting hurt; you’ll get hurt anyway.

This is what the insights on ukemi will tell you.

****

24/8/07

“.. Ukemi is 50% about being able to deliver that type of quality attack that will challenge the nage and force him to continually raise the level of his technique. It is impossible to reach the highest level of skill without having skilled ukes to train with…..”

http://www.bulunganaikido.com/The_Nature_of_Ukemi.html

So too must we bring the utmost of our selves to personal interaction.  Much of our lives are focused on contentiousness, whether it’s while we’re driving in traffic with frenzied and otherwise-distracted peope in too much of a hurry, or talking with a spouse about handling household decisions, or enlisting the support of co-workers into our ideas, our energies, our contributive talents.

While much of the video you can find on the Internet is about “taking out” some tough guy in a combative encounter, try looking at it (and experiencing it) as an art of power and grace in any non-violent daily encounter.

The principles will also come in handy if you need to suddenly take on a tough guy.

****

Aikido Three Ranges of Interaction (!!!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNzmKLDR3K8 

(9:17)

****

Beth Gineris wrotes about verbal aikido.

If you can see that an interaction or dialogue is an exchange of energy and you understand that some dialogue is passive-aggressive, you can use “… core principles to turn and lead, deflect and redirect, another’s critical, negative, manipulative and emotionally aggressive behavior back to the one who is enacting it….”

****

http://izumitherapy.com/blog/2013/10/the_art_of_emotional_aikido_10_skills_to_turn_relationship_conflict_into_connection_ 

****

“A Sincere Attack”

An essay in the marvelous book entitled

“The gift of danger: lessons from aikido”,

Mary Stein, Blue Snake Books, Berkeley California 2009.

I have been brought up to be polite and not hit people, so, when I first tried aikido, my strike would automatically swerve to one side at the last moment to avoid contact with my partner’s body. My partners, more advanced aikido students, had a uniform reaction: they stopped everything and insisted that I aim the side of my hand or my fist directly at their head or belly. “Hit me!”, they said, then stood and walked into my strike connected with their body. The strike didn’t have to be hard, but it did have to connect. When they decided I was getting the idea, they’d step out of the way as the blow approached. If I forgot the lesson and veered off target again, my partner will once again stand in front of me, motioning for me to hit. When I strike with full intention to make a connection, my partner has to be skillful and accurate in responding to my motion.

Gradually I realized why this was important. If my partner moves incorrectly, he or she will be hit. By striking sincerely and precisely, we provide our partners with an essential risk. This demand for sincerity goes to the heart of aikido.

I learned to appreciate this, too, when I was the one being attacked–struck by the side of my partner’s hand, or grabbed by the wrist or shoulder. Because my partner was striking accurately and with determination, I learned to assess the angle of my partners approach, to align myself to that so that I could move skillfully to meet the blow, moving aside perhaps only a fraction of an inch, just enough to allow the meeting, the acceptance of the attack, and a quick redirection that set my partner into a fault or roll. The tiniest miscalculation of the angle and I might be too far away to have any power to move my partner. Too close, and I’d be hit.

… One of our instructors pointed out that this constant assessment of the angle or attack of approach had helped him in dealing with people outside the dojo. Aikido had helped them become much more attuned to body language and tone of voice, to listen to more than just the words people were using. His time on the mat had given him greater sensitivity to another’s intentions or attitude.

When I’m sincere I can see how the slightest tension distorts my movements and throws me off course as an attacker or as a defender. The “mind of contention” seems to be where those tensions originate. As we repeat the movements of aikido, we can become more aware of our own habitual “angles of attack.”

The Japanese word uke doesn’t literally mean “attacker,” though uke plays that role. It actually means “receiver.” Aikido’s sincere and determined attack is absorbed by nage, the “thrower” or defender, redirected, and transformed into an energy that destabilizes at the end of the technique uke, who then “receives” the fall. In a way, all of aikido is ukemi or receiving, for both the attacker and defender must be open to receiving impressions of the situation as it changes from moment to moment. Only in that way will they respond appropriately to each other. They need both to welcome and adopt as to what’s happening to themselves and their partner. They need to welcome the gift of danger that they’re bringing to each other.”

The Gift of Danger is aimed at men and women for whom the question of what is genuine in their lives has taken on fresh urgency.” http://www.aikidojournal.com/bibliography_details?id=332

****

Aikido Five Elements for Delivery of Energy (!!!!)

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjP3ohV8gQU 

(12:24)

****

From the dojo of my second sensei:

Judy Ringer is a conflict and communication skills trainer, black belt in Aikido, and founder of Power & Presence Training and Portsmouth Aikido.

http://www.judyringer.com/resources/articles/fear-of-failure-and-the-art-of-ukemi-3-lessons-from-aikido.php 

http://www.judyringer.com/perch/resources/fear-of-failure-and-art-of-ukemi-2.pdf 

****

“… There are many complex and difficult concepts to learn in martial arts, concepts that are introduced to you in a very elementary way when you start out and then progress in their complexity as you advance through training. One example of this is ‘distance’ and ‘timing‘.

Even a white belt sparring with a partner for the first time may be told to ‘keep your distance’ and ‘move in to punch then move straight out again’. A little further up the grades and you get advice like ‘move in to disrupt a kick’ or ‘move off line’. The more advanced practitioner then starts to actually anticipate what there opponent is about to do before they’ve even made a move (sen no sen) and moves in to attack first or disrupt the opponents attempt. This is advanced stuff! We’re still talking about distance and timing here but this ability is many tiers up – now we’re in the realm of maai.

Truly appreciating and utilising maai requires a unity of mind and body. It is as much a mental skill as it is a physical one. The Japanese word maai translates simply to ‘interval’ and is referring to the space between two combatants during a fight. The wikipedia entry on maai describes it as: “a complex concept, incorporating not just the distance between opponents, but also the time it will take to cross the distance, angle and rhythm of attack.” If one controls the space between then one controls the fight.

An analogy that I like that helps to describe maai comes from a friend of mine, Peter Seth, who is a 5th dan in aikido (maai is big in aikido!). He says, “Imagine music without the ‘spaces’ of silence between the sounds, the gaps between the notes. Without the spaces there would be constant noise, which may vary in pitch and intensity but would be chaotic and unbearable. These spaces set the time/timing, rhythm and beat of the music, which in turn affects/controls the whole composition. So influence in this area of the ‘space/s between’, effectively allows the leading of all these energies. You become the ‘conductor of this orchestra of energy’.

Maai is a fluid thing, constantly changing as a fight progresses. Maai has a temporal element as well as a spatial one. It also pertains to the momentary lapses of awareness that are manifested in the opponent’s mind. Capitalising on these mental intervals (or lapses of concentration in your opponent’s mind) is also a way of controlling the maai. Being constantly aware of both your maai and your opponents as they constantly change and then being able to manipulate this to your advantage so that your opponents techniques are constantly disrupted requires an intuitive understanding of movement and timing. I am in awe of people who have mastered this skill because I am very much still operating in the lower tiers of elementary ‘distance’ and ‘ timing’. ….”

http://kickasssuec.blogspot.com/2010/11/maai-maai-how-difficult-this-one-is-to.html 

****

The Complete Video Series from WindSong Dojo

https://www.youtube.com/user/kazeutabudokai 

[Look for the two-parter on sensitivity] 

****

Here’s one example, shown in slow-motion, of the culmination of the black belt test called the randori in which three people attack simultaneously.  Watch it ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC7g6uFlzx8) and imagine the defender is you and that you are blind, and then think about how mindfulness, awareness and having a sense of who and where you are at any moment can be useful in your life when you can see.

****

Finally, read this short entry:

http://www.searchofpeace.com/blog/2015/05/20/tonglen-and-the-energy-of-compassion/#more-574 

By the way, the featured image at the top of this entry was originally POSTED BY MARGUERITE MANTEAU-RAO AT http://minddeep.blogspot.com/2010/06/aikido-of-mindful-communication.html 

What can we do? (Part Two)

What can we do? (Part Two)

 

http://www.shalinibosbyshell.com/images/frame_empathy.jpg

 

Empathy:  When you are not you, but that which you wish to understand

For historians, empathizing means being able to see the world through other people’s eyes. Biographers “get into the minds of their subjects–their thoughts, emotions and even body feelings”. You’re beginning to understand someone you have come to know when you can accurately predict their next expression.

Kan Is a difficult-to-translate Japanese term meaning something akin to a combination of empathizing and kinesthetic thinking–becoming one with the music and the instrument producing it.  C.P.E. Bach argued that “a musician cannot move others unless he too was moved. He must feel all the emotions that he hopes to rise in his audience.” Dance, music and some athletic maneuvers must simulate an empathy within the bodies of onlookers, creating within them the desire to move. A choreographer must have empathy for his or her dancers, who are the raw material from which the dances made. The choreographer, wrote Doris Humphrey, “must have a high regard for their individuality, remember that they are not like himself, and bring all of his intelligence to bear on the problem of understanding them, physically, emotionally and psychologically. Many choreographic failures are due to an insensitivity to people”. Empathizing is “a key skill for the practice of any helping relationship”.

The entire philosophy of Zen Buddhism is inextricably bound up with the idea that a person must become one with the objects of meditation, to lose his or her sense of self in order to comprehend the otherness of things as if they were not other. Thus all of the arts associated with Zen–the landscapes, rock gardens, paintings, drawings, architecture, tea ceremonies and other rituals–require the ability to empathize with nature. Buck Branneman, the trainer who inspired the novel and movie The Horse Whisperer, uses the horse’s own language of subtle body movements and gestures. “There’s no secret to this”, he says. “I just know what we need to do in order for both of us to speak the same language and dance the dance.” Jane Goodall, who has worked with chimpanzees in the wild, notes that “subtle communication cues denoting slight changes in mood or attitude toward other chimpanzees are more readily detected once empathy has been established.” In A River Runs Through It, the story of 2 sons of a Presbyterian minister, all dedicated fly fisherman, the older son achieves a strong sense of the river, its eddies and currents, the environment in which the fish hides. He says “I’m pretty good with a rod, but I need 3 more years before I can think like a fish.” The younger son, a master fisherman, responds “But you’re the know how to think like a dead stone fly.” Thomas Eisner pioneered the study of the chemical defense and communications systems of insects, and would dream of talking to ants in Spanish. Once he dreamed he was an insect talking to insects and telling them that he had dreamed he was a human. Of the oldest and best preserved tricks in the hunter’s repertoire is to throw the skin of an animal he is caught over his own body in order to blend with his prey. To be successful, you must learn to act and think like that animal. What better way then to take on the role of the hunted, to imagine how the creature will respond? A hunt is a battle of wits, and the avid hunter soon develops a deep sense of respect for his prey.

The eminent philosopher Sir Karl Popper said “you should enter into your problem situation in such a way the almost become part of it.” Charles Ketterling, the long-term director of research at General Motors, would often reprimand engineers who got lost in complex calculation by saying something like “yes, but do you know what it feels like to be a piston in an engine?” Alexander Graham Bell became the systems he studied. While he was working on new ways to educate the deaf and mute, he mentally became deaf and mute, and figuratively vanished from his family. Computer programmers and designers have walked around inside their microchips in programs like characters sucked into the world of electronic micro circuitry (see the movie Tron).

These people not only know their subjects objectively, they know them subjectively. But how can you practice empathizing? Practice inner attention, which centers on things we can see, hear, touch and feel in real and imaginary circumstances. Observe your own responses to the world. Remember physical and emotional memories of your responses. Practice external attention to people and things outside yourself. Observe how they respond and react to particular situations or stimuli. Imagine what the object of your external attention is sensing and feeling. Pretend that its world is your world. How would you respond if you were it? Find connections to sensations and emotions that exist in  yourself. Act out the part of a component within the system.

Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People, Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, Houghton Mifflin, New York. 1999. [The primary tools are observing, imaging, abstracting, recognizing patterns, forming patterns, analogizing, body thinking, empathizing and dimensional thinking; the integrative tools are modeling, playing, transforming and synthesizing.]

 

 

http://valme.io/content/images/user/3/images/business/Emotional%20Empathy%20Cartoon.jpg

 

 

 

 

Be sure to finish reading Zimmerman’s treatise, esp. pages 15ff, as well as Napi in the new age, and then

skip on to The Defense Intelligence Agency and Shamanism

and its embedded story about “The Stick Game”.

 

Ron uses the Wu Wei theme at WordPress. I am beginning to like this man’s sense of cosmic wit. I’ve never met the man in the flesh but I betcha there’s a certain kind of gleam in his eye.  It’s bright, which may be why he’s always wearing those sunglasses: he doesn’t want to blind you at first glance.

 

http://equivalentexchange.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/wu_wei.jpg?w=450&h=337

 

The principle of least action (or stationary action) seen in the previous entry Noether’s Theorem immediately makes me think of the Taoist concept of wu wei – literally no action or effortless action. It consists of knowing when to act and knowing when not to act (or perhaps even not knowing to act). It also means natural action, or the action of natural physical or biological systems. In Western culture, such action is considered bad and “mechanical” because physical systems are thought to be like clockwork, but in Eastern culture, it is sagelike and enlightened, harmonious. Very often intention, or conscious action, gets in the way and impedes our effort.

Another example that comes to mind is the short story “On the Marionette Theatre” by Heinrich von Kleist. In the story, one of the characters comment that marionettes possess a grace humans do not, a view which contradicts ordinary aesthetics. It is claimed that our consciousness and capacity for reflection cause us to doubt ourselves or become self-conscious, and prevent us from acting with the singlemindedness and purity of an animal or a puppet. For example, a bear in the story is able to successfully fence with the narrator, by deflecting every thrust towards him seemingly without effort. And all feints are ignored, as if the bear is reading the narrator’s mind or knowing the future before it happens.

 

http://equivalentexchange.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/wu-wei-or-natural-action/ 

[Does that sound like aikido?]

 

 

Find those who will walk right next to you through the orchards and the grain, someone who won’t give up in the frozen rain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VmZcnWfN6s

 

 

http://www.motivationalquotesabout.com/images/quotes/why-are-you-unhappy-wei-wu-wei.jpg

 

 

 

 

http://daohead.com/images/meditation-full.png

http://daohead.com

 

 

“The truth must penetrate like an arrow — and that is likely to hurt.”

Wei-Wu-Wei

 

The first thing that must be in place in any approach to preparing for the future is to insure that there is sufficient love, laughter, good fun, music, good food, friends and family. No one could be wrong concentrating on those qualities or insuring their presence.

Creativity has not only made the human species unique in Nature; what is more important for the individual, it gives value and purpose to human existence.

Creativity requires more than technical skills and logical thought; it also needs the cultivation and collaboration of the appositional mind. If the constraint of an intellectual ideal can make man a unilateral being, physiologically underdeveloped, a better informed and foresighted community will strive toward a more harmonious development of the organism by assuring an appropriate training and a greater consideration for the other side of the brain.

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~jbogen/text/OSOB_3.html 

 

“FURTHER PRESCRIPTIONS”

My reflections on physicians I have known

Further Prescriptions

 

 

 

 

Is all this an antidote for 

the perfect storm of amnesty of hyperinflation, food riots and race wars?

 

No.  But it’s of value when combined with a totality of effort, including divestiture, self-excision from the system as much as possible, and the development of what Catherine Austin Fitts used to talk about (and probably still does) — the popsicle index, “a map, a plan, and allies”, and mapping your community for money and power.  It probably includes “prepping”, some sound thinking and planning, and more. 

We’re better learn quickly how to find proper leadership who has a thorough understanding of how to get the most out of others. 

 

I’ve been a fan of the role of games and gaming in dialogue for some time: 

“The true value of serious simulation games and the range of other digital learning tools can best be judged by the extent to which they bring people to a higher level of dialogue, discovery, research, learning and collaboration after the game or learning encounter has ended.”

 

See this  (not the first time I’ve encountered mention of the board game Carcassone) and figure out where your people should place their next tile.

 

And after all that work is done, then the love, laughter, good food, good music and good interaction will send the message about what really works. 

 

“… Using children, especially those living in deplorable conditions, for the purpose of a long term destructive agenda has to be considered evil beyond words. Isn’t it? ….

I’m always seeing where folks have good ideas of what must happen to stop the madness. What needs to be done, what doing this, what doing that will accomplish to achieve peace and prosperity and end the rule of the few crazies. What’s missing is the implementation. How we get there? We would like it to be without violence. I’ll have to admit that I don’t know and that is exactly the position that the powers that think they are want us in. Maybe you have some thoughts?”

Posted by kenny at 7:13 PM

Masters of Love is about research into how couples stay together. Failed couples exist in fight-or-flight mode, “prepared to attack and be attacked.” Successful couples create “a climate of trust and intimacy.” They do this by “scanning the social environment for things they can appreciate,” while failed couples are scanning for things to criticize.

I have two more thoughts. First, people who consistently get in bad relationships might enjoy the stimulation of fight-or-flight mode, and seek out partners who make them feel on edge. Second, I think these principles also apply to your relationship with the world, and with yourself. If you’re appreciating little things that go your way, or little things that you do right, you are living better than someone who gets worked up over things that go wrong. Of course it’s still necessary, when things do go wrong, to see them clearly. http://www.ranprieur.com

http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/lack+of+empathy+you+have.+enjoy_cc15d2_4332556.jpg 

http://cultureofempathy.com/References/Experts/Jeremy-Rifkin.htm 

Thus we come back to Jane Addams and Seymour Melman.  Their positive vision of a peaceful nation, caring society, and independently skilled work force is fading in memory by the day.  Unless we stand up and hold these images of a kinder and more sustainable society in a public way they will be lost to the future generations.

Nothing can be more important in our lives.

posted by Bruce K. Gagnon | 11:33 AM | 1 comments

 

“As we can see from simply looking at a flower, nature knows how to organize itself,” Marianne Williamson wrote recently. “And this same force would organize human affairs if we would allow it to. This allowance occurs whenever we place our minds in correct alignment with the laws of the universe — through prayer, meditation, forgiveness and compassion. Until we do this, we will continue to manifest a world that destroys rather than heals itself. Iraq is a perfect example.”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38928.htm [journalistic malfeasance of the highest order]

 

 

Catherine Austin Fiits, at https://solari.com/blog , says:

We are not crazy. We are not black sheep. I declare that the time to serve as sin eaters for our families is over. In fact, the time has come for us to lead.

I have members in my family who have spent a life time sucking up to the rich and famous. They are on a hunt for “pet treats” – small amounts of prestige and money for which they will do mind boggling things.

That is their choice – they make their own choices. Our values take us in different directions. So be it.

We each serve our divine purpose. Be proud of it. If you love your family, allow your courage and your intelligence to support them where their matrix-hugging now puts them at risk.

Love them, but do not permit their embrace of incoherence to pressure you to pretend that it is you who are somehow incoherent.

 

 

 

Keith Jarrett Everything that lives, laments 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C049aW6B0I (10:03)

 

 

“music is simple

 just sing your heart out

it’s over all too soon, as you well know

 and don’t forget to do a little jig !”

— Est

 

Could This Be The End of E-Mail Overload? (3:41)

 

The Jew and the Other: Alain Soral & Gilad Atzmon in Lyon

•Tags: ISRAEL

This lecture appeared on the net 24 hours ago. In spite of its length and depth, it attracted 40.000 viewers in such a short time. The meaning of it is simple:

1. we are a mass movement

2. the future of intellectual exchange is out of the Zionised academia that is suffocated with marginal ‘studies’ that detach humans from questions to do with Being & Time.

 

The late Lynn Margulis

a three-day scientific-philosophical meeting on the Darwinian-evolutionary view of life

The far-more-difficult science-education problem:

The persistent problem is how to wake up public awareness, especially in the global scientifically literate public, of the overwhelming evidence that the three buildings collapsed by controlled demolition. (Much has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, see Ch. 4 of The Mysterious Collapse). We, on the basis of hard evidence, must conclude that the petroleum fires related to the aircraft crashes were irrelevant (except perhaps as a cover story).We citizens of Earth within and beyond the boundaries of the United States who demand detailed evidence for extraordinary claims agree with Griffin: the rapid destruction of New York skyscrapers on September 11, 2001 was planned and executed by people inside the US government.

http://rockcreekfreepress.tumblr.com/post/353434420/two-hit-three-down-the-biggest-lie 

 

JODY PAULSON

I believe it’s up to each and every one of us to contribute our own special talents to make this world a better place for all of us.

 

 

 

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature.  She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

“[Flight attendant Jan] Brown liked everything to be perfect on her flights and lost no opportunity to make it so.  If she was serving passengers in first class, she would write a personal note to each one and tuck it inside the white linen napkin on the service tray. She always called her work “the service”, a nearly religious experience….”

Laurence Gonzales, Page 11, “Flight 232”

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Flight-232/ 

 

Laborare est orare. 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-way-of-working-d-m-dooling/1110887921?ean=9780930407018 

In this enriching collection of eleven interrelated essays, A Way of Working explores the ancient relationship of art, order, and craft. Craft is considered as a “sort of ark” for the transmission of real knowledge about being, and about our deep creative aspirations. The book includes contributions from D. M. Dooling, Joseph Cary, Paul Jordan-Smith, Michael Donner, Harry Remde, Jean Kinkead Martine, Jean Sulzberger, Chanit Roston, and P. L. Travers. This group of authors write not as individuals but as members of a community — a guild effort. As one chapter heading put it: the alchemy of craft.

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Face-to-face communications substantially increases levels of cooperation. Indeed, in experimental work done using games that mimics social dilemmas, no other variable appears to have as consistent and strong effect. Even when passing messages via computer terminals, the levels of cooperation are far below those seen in the game played with face-to-face communication. As Elinor Ahlstrom puts it, “exchanging mutual commitment, increasing trust, creating and reinforcing norms, and developing a group identity appeared to be the most important processes that make communication efficacious.” Why? We are wired that way, culturally, genetically and neurologically. Cooperative behavior promotes survival of the gene pool. Large brains, extended families, and community ties mutually embraced one another.

 

Liars, Lovers and Heroes: What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are, Steven R. Quartz, Ph.D. and Terrence J. Sejnowski, Ph.D., HarperCollins/Wm. Morrow, New York 2002, which notes, in turn:

Marwell and Ames (1979): “experiments on the provision of public goods I:  resources, interest, group size, and the free-rider problem”, American Journal of Sociology 84:1335-60.;

Ledyard, J.  (1995): “Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research”, in Handbook of Experiential Economics, edited by Kagel and Roth, Princeton University Press, pp. 111-94;

Dawes, McTavish and Shaklee (1977): “Behavior, communication and assumptions about other people’s behavior in a common dilemma situation, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 35: 1-11;

Sally, D. (1995):  “Conservation, Cooperation and Social Dilemmas: A meta-analysis  of experiments from 1958 to 1992”, Rationality and Society 7:58-92;

Ostrom, E. (1998): “ a behavioral approach to the rational choice theory of collective action”, presidential address, American Political Science Association, American Political Science Review 92:1-21.

 

 

The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model

of group development 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuckman’s_stages_of_group_development 

 

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Organizational learning: how a team learns to win

 

A learning organization is one in which people continuously expand their capacity to create the results they desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.

Most of us at one time or another been part of a great “team”, a group of people who functioned together in an extraordinary way–who trusted one another, who complemented each other’s strengths and compensated for each other’s limitations, who had common goals that were larger than individual goals, and who produced extraordinary results.

I have met many people who have experienced this sort of profound teamwork–in sports, or in the performing arts, or in business. Many say that they have spent much of their life looking for that experience again. What they experienced was a learning organization. The team that became great didn’t start off great–it learned how to produce extraordinary results.

 

The five disciplines of a learning organization:

 

Systems thinking: Events, however distant in time and space, are connected within the same pattern. Each has an influence on the rest, an influence that is usually hidden from view. We tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system, and wonder why our deepest problems never seem to get solved.

 

Personal mastery: People with a high level of mastery are able to consistently realize the results that matter most deeply to them by becoming committed to their own lifelong learning. Personal mastery is a discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively. As such, it is an essential cornerstone of the learning organization–it is the learning organization’s spiritual foundation.

 

Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. Very often, we are not consciously aware of our mental models or the effects they have on our behavior. Many insights fail to get put into practice because they conflict with powerful, tacit mental models. “The discipline of working with mental models starts with turning the mirror inward; learning to unearth our internal pictures of the world, to bring them to the surface and to hold them rigorously to scrutiny. It also includes the ability to carry on “learningful” conversation that balance inquiry and advocacy, where people expose their own thinking effectively and make their thinking open to the influence of others.

 

Building shared vision: Few organizations have sustained some measure of greatness in the absence of goals, values and missions that had become deeply shared throughout the organization. “When there is a genuine vision (as opposed to the all-too-familiar “vision statement”), people excel and learn, not because they are told to, but because they want to. But many leaders have personal visions that never get translated into shared visions that galvanize an organization. All too often, the team’s vision has revolved around the charisma of a leader, or around a crisis that galvanized everyone temporarily. What has been lacking is a discipline for translating individual vision into shared vision–not a “cookbook” but a set of principles and guiding practices. The practice of shared vision involves the skills of unearthing shared “pictures of the future” that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance. In mastering this discipline, readers learn how counterproductive it is to dictate a vision, no matter how heartfelt.

 

Team learning: The discipline of team learning starts with “dialogue”, the capacity of members of the team system to suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine “thinking together”. To the Greeks, dia-logos meant a free-flowing of meeting throughout a group, allowing the group to discover insights not attainable individually. Dialogue differs from the more common “discussion”, which has its roots with “percussion” and “concussion”, really a heaving of ideas back-and-forth in a winner-takes-all competition. The discipline of dialogue also involves learning how to recognize the patterns of interaction in teams that undermine learning. The patterns of defensiveness are often deeply ingrained in how a team operates. If unrecognized, they undermine learning. If recognized and surfaced creatively, they can actually accelerate learning.

“By discipline”, I do not mean an “enforced order” or “means of punishment”, but a body of theory and technique that must be studied and mastered to be put into practice. A discipline is a developmental path for acquiring skill or competency. Practicing a discipline is different from practicing a discipline is different from emulating “a model”. All too often, innovations are described in terms of the “best practices”. Such descriptions can often do more harm than good, leading to piecemeal copying or playing catch-up. No great team is ever been built trying to emulate another one; individual greatness is not achieved by trying to copy another “great person”.

When you ask people about what it is being like part of a great team, what is most striking is the meaningfulness of the experience. People talk about being part of something larger than themselves, of being connected, of being generative. It becomes quite clear that, for many, their experiences as part of truly great teams stand out as singular periods of life lived to the fullest. Some spent the rest of their lives trying to recapture that spirit.

Learning has become synonymous with “taking in information”, which is only distantly related to real learning. It would be silly to say “I just read a great book about bicycle riding–now I can ride a bike”. Real learning gets to the heart of what it means to be human. Through learning we re-create ourselves. Through learning we become able to do something were never able to do. Through learning we extend our capacity to create, to be part of the generative process of life. There is within each of us a deep hunger for this type of learning.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of a Learning Organization, Peter Senge, Doubleday/Currency, New York, 1990. [This is not a particularly easy book to read or understand but, for the individual involved in leading organizations, it has some powerful and wonderfully unsettling ideas. See also The Fifth Discipline Workbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, Peter Senge et al, Doubleday/Currency, New York. 1994.]

 

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http://img.nauticexpo.com/images_ne/photo-g/rowing-shell-competition-octuple-scull-with-coxswain-22350-320831.jpg 

The coxswain voices perceptions but not judgments. By giving feedback about how the boat feels in a tone that is engaged but neutral, the coxswain hands the rowers a problem and lets them find a solution. The crew will learn at its fastest rate if it can perform its athletic experiments without the emotional noise of criticism. As in any science, the work goes best when the experimenters fix their attention on the lab bench rather than on their opinions of themselves and each other.

Mind Over Water: Lessons on Life from the Art of Rowing, Craig Lambert,
Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1998.

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Mobility and Alignment of Purpose

One’s true capacity for moving, or being moved, can be achieved only when one’s commitment to others is in fact connected to and derives from his primary commitment to himself.

When we find this kind of alignment of purpose, there is a harmony of motivation that can provide the fuel in clarity overcome great obstacles in the pursuit of great challenge.

 

The Inner Game of Work, W. Timothy Gallwey, Random House, 2000. [Aimed at the corporate / management market, its sections on coaching are exceptional for their insights on how to empower others.]

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A leader is best

when people barely know that he exists,

not so good when people obey him and acclaim him,

worst when they despise him.

 

If you fail to honor people, they will fail to honor you.

But of a good leader, who boasts little,

When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,

they will all saywe did this ourselves’.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

 

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kennyJuly 11, 2014 at 6:49 AM

 

“In the sixth century BC, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu identified the world’s biggest problem. Individuals viewed themselves as powerless. The burden of impotence made them resent others and fear life, which, in turn, led them to seek power through controlling others. The quest was not an expression of authority, but one of aggression. Lao Tzu rooted most of social problems in the individual’s sense of paralysis.”

The Power of the Powerlesst

from a comment at the article…

“It is consent, withdrawal of consent that tyrants are afraid of. Our own government see’s peoples withdrawal of their consent as the existential threat to the state, its power, and those running it.

Indeed, the truth sets one free in every myriad way, it is Liberty, it is the utmost in legitimacy of people.

It is upstream of tyranny and tyrants.

The truth reveals the illegitimacy of those in power and their lawlessness.”

[I have problems with strategies and online kibitzers who lobby for giving “The State” a few more shoves down the road toward collapse without a concerted and detailed discussion about how massive amounts of people (locally or globally) will manage to function well enough to survive, let alone thrive, or without any discussion of the types of socio-governmental approaches will prevent further violence and destruction. Sacrificing life, liberty and the pursuit of eudaimonia won’t prevent anything except life, liberty and Eudaimonia.]