Change? Yes, we probably can

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Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have ~ Maragret Mead

Although there is a growing awareness in humanity today that freedom, compassion and power are inherent parts of our humaneness, many people still believe they are victims of their conditions: the external circumstances in which they live and the character they carry with them. They feel that those things have been imposed on them and that they cannot be changed – which justifies the selfishness, the competitiveness and the mercilessness of their own life.

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I am what I am because of who we all are. *

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“The one who comes to question himself has cared for mankind” ~ Anonymous

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Although we do have an independent existence as original ‘beings’, what we have become today is the product of a long lineage of causes and we are dependent on the net of life within which we evolve and to which we contribute.

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Be yourself but do not live for yourself

“Everybody can be great – because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve … You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When they hear about self-awareness, most people initially react saying that it sounds a bit selfish to spend so much time looking for or at your ‘self’ and exploring, understanding and caring for its needs. I do understand that: the world is already so full of selfish individuals that we definitely do not want to add more names on the list!

But there is one thing that anyone who has travelled the journey knows: when you ‘find’ yourself and become aware of who you truly are, two things happen:

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Dispelling the shadow

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…………“To attain knowledge, …………..add things every day.

…………..To attain wisdom, …………..remove things every day”. ………………………………………….Lao-Tzu

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The world view that has shaped the psyche of the ‘developed’ world for the past three centuries relies on the premise that the world, nature, lower species or even kinsfolk are a ‘resource’ we are entitled to exploit for the fulfilment of our own needs or pleasure – as long as we are strong enough to do so of course. This kind of thinking is very empowering until it dawns on us that, if everything around us is a resource, then it also implies that … we equally are … !!!

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Challenging the Selfishness Paradigm

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There is enough for everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s greed.

Gandhi.

All human societies are built on a number of basic assumptions that determine the choices their people make and the systems they rely on to organise their life.

A fundamental of our scientific, profit driven, materialistic worldview says that we are selfish creatures randomly evolved from chaos through a competitive process of selection, struggling for survival and intrinsically concerned by self-interest. All our educational, social, economical, political, cultural as well as mental and emotional makeup are built on this assumption. What if it was flawed? What if it was wrong – dreadfully wrong?

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Cultivating Generosity

A heart warming talk by our great friend Nipun Metha: Designing for Generosity

From the TED blurb:

“What would the world look like if we designed for generosity? Instead of assuming that people want to simply maximize self-interest, what if our institutions and organizations catered to our deeper motivations?”

A compelling TEDx talk explores this question and introduces the concept of Giftivism: the practice of radically generous acts that change the world.

The video is charged with stories of such acts, ranging from:

  • the largest peaceful transfer of land in human history, to
  • a pay-it-forward restaurant, to
  • a 10-year-old’s unconventional birthday celebration, and
  • the stunning interaction between a victim and his teenage mugger.

With clarity and insight, it details the common threads that runs through all these gift manifestations, and invites us to participate through everyday acts of kindness — in an uplifting global movement.”

And if you liked the video, also take a few moments to read Nipun’s graduation speech


Venus is saluting the sun

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.I have not studied astrology but I read that today’s passage of Venus in front of the sun is a very auspicious event. It forecasts, I heard, the end of 26+ centuries of patriarchy and heralds the beginning of an era of another 26+ centuries where the feminine, and with it, healing, brightness, sensitivity, beauty, togetherness and oneness will become the dominant force on our planet.

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Are you giving yourself the freedom to be who you are meant to be?

          One’s own dharma, though imperfect, is better than the dharma of another well discharged.

                                                                                           Bhagavat Gita.

One of the greatest obstacles that stops us from being in harmony with ourselves and release our true potential is the attempt to fit in a predetermined mould that society has taught us to believe is ‘the’ set of beliefs, attitudes, tastes and behaviours we need to adopt in order to belong.

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Silence

You don’t have a life. You ARE life.

                                                              Eckart Tolle

The mountain top, not far from where I live. Where the Earth meets the Sky.

The place is magical but it is seldom like that nowadays – often crowded with noisy tourists. Yet, sometimes you can get it for yourself, a few friends, the sound of the wind and, when you are really lucky, eagles circling in the sky.

Presence

Be mindful of the silent voice of ‘I’ness inside and recognise its tune.

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Mindfulness is a sense of Presence in Space leading to a centre of Awareness that is ‘I’: a core of warm radiance, a light force that has the power to move the worlds.

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You Are

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If you have not found that which is timeless or formless in yourself, then nothing that you manifest will satisfy yourself. ~ Eckhart Tolle

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Sit still and do nothing for a few moments.

Temporarily let go of responsibilities, interests and concerns … relax into being.

Ask … who am I?

Watch the answers changing … let go

Let go

Answers are non important – your question is.

Ask … who is the questioner?

The self that we are is something complex, deep, mysterious and … confusing at times. There are so many thought forms living inside our head; so many people sharing the space of our heart; so many reflections of past and future glories or dreads agitating the substance of our minds; so many possibilities to our soul.

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Goodness

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“What would we be without an ego, a self? Perhaps we would be divine” ~ Vimala Thakar

Have you ever tried to look ‘inside’ yourself? If you have, you probably came across a mixture of positive traits of character and unproductive habits mingling with truly praiseworthy aspirations, a crowd of valid insights about the nature and relativity of reality, and a fair amount of junk.

But as you persevered and worked to disentangle the threads, you probably ended up meeting with a genuine inner goodness of being or spontaneous aspiration for being good, feeling good and wanting to do good. Everyone has it although not everyone shares the same idea of what ‘good’ means to them.

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Beating the fortune teller

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You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past. ~ Richard Bach

My first spiritual teacher was a Chilean filmmaker, writer, healer and expert in Tarot, a Western equivalent to the Chinese book of wisdom under the appearance of a cards pack that people use to predict the future. I was 21 and would attend his weekly talks – the ‘mystic cabaret’ – in Paris. They were a delightful blend of inspired improvisations, thought provoking and reality-altering insights on applied spirituality, free dive explorations of the nature of consciousness and its relationship with life, body, matter and other dimensions of being – above all, it was great fun.

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Goodness, Inner Power and Personal Effectiveness

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The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good. ~ Ann Landers

Character is a blend of acquired habits and original patterns of behaviour originating from a core of identity or ‘seed’ that contains the blueprint of our life. It is the program that initiates the spontaneous unfolding of your life – whether that unfolding is a harmonious spiral of growth or an ungracious struggle.

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Self Mastery

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“There is a gap or a space between stimulus and response, and the key to both our growth and happiness is how we use that space.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

We all know the contrast that exists between what we are and what we aspire to become; between the self we know when we are alone and connected with our own soul and the self we manage to express in our daily interactions with an unruly and challenging world. All the problems we experience at a personal level, from stress to interpersonal conflict, arise from that difference.

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