Monday, 12 December 2011

Link: If You Want To Be a Rebel, Be Kind

The police had declared Monday, November 14th of 2011 as the day of the raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment. It was the first Occupy site to call for a general strike that shut down the fifth largest port in the country; it was also the first Occupy gathering to report a shooting and a murder, as police violence also reached new heights. With tensions mounting amidst political chaos, police escalated their violent crackdowns and the narrative of fear. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent in preparation for the raid, police from around the state were called in, and uncertainty filled the air.

The night before, Pancho Ramos Stierle heard about growing tensions in the community and thought, "If police are stepping up their violence, we need to go and step up our nonviolence." So on that Monday morning at 3:30AM, Pancho and his housemate Adelaja went to the site of the Occupy Oakland raid. With an upright back and half-lotus posture, they started meditating. Many factions of protesters were around but the presence of strong meditators changed the vibe entirely. Around 6:30AM, the police showed up in full force. Full-out riot gear, pepper spray, rubber bullets, tear gas. All media was present, expecting a headline story around this incredibly tense scene. Instead, they found 32 people, all peaceful, with Pancho and Adeleja meditating with their eyes closed in the middle of the Plaza. As the police followed their orders of arresting them, people took photos -- particularly of two smiling meditators surrounded by police looking like they're ready to go to war. Within a day, that photo would spread to millions around the world, as Occupy Oakland raid ended without any reported violence.

Read the full storey here...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Link: Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Link: Are you being had?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Link: Tolerance

Someone who has tolerance won't even say "I have to tolerate," because that implies they are feeling sorrow. Instead, they will say, "It's not a problem. There is something for me to learn in this." Whatever the situation, tolerance enables me to learn. Perhaps I need patience, or humility, or understanding. Tolerance allows me peace and my love to stay constant. That way I stay connected with the Source of all that is good, so that I can help both myself and others.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Link: 29 Lessons From Travelling the World

Eight years.

That’s 416 weeks, or almost 3,000 days.

This is the amount of time that I have not had a fixed home; moving to a new country, culture and language every few months and taking absolutely everything I own with me. It has been a significant percentage of my life, and it’s still long from over.

I had actually done some travelling before - a couple of summers in the states, and an entire month already in Spain. But about this time back in 2003, on the week of my 21st birthday, I left Ireland for good. I had graduated university a few days before, and knew that I’d only be coming back “home” for visits (I’ve never once missed the family Christmas dinner). But it’s not really my home any more. Since then, “wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home”.

After devoting my life to them, university and schools had taught me nothing of any real importance. I had gone through as many books as I could and thought I knew it all, but the fact of the matter is that I have become the person I was meant to be in the last 4/5 of a decade, while on the road. And I certainly still have a lot left to learn.

Since yesterday was my 29th birthday and this week is my 8 year “travelversary”, I thought it fitting to share 29 of these revelations with you of things that I have learned on this journey. Many of them are about life in general, but these are actually my observations after meeting many people from all over the world:

Read the full post here...

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Link: Time banking

Video from KarmaTube

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Link: Breaking Free From Consumerist Chains

We are not consumers. We are people.
We are not living lives meant to earn money in order to support a shopping habit, or a large home and two cars, or lives of luxury eating and entertainment.
We are not living to support the corporations. And yet, if you were to take an objective, outsider look at our society, it would seem that we are.
We spend our childhoods — precious years that are far too fleeting — in schools geared to give us the best chance at getting a job. We then graduate and are highly pressured to go to college (getting into large debt in the process) so we can have the best chance at getting a good paying job. Then we claw at each other for the coveted but limited good paying jobs, and the winners are rewarded with big homes and SUVs and nice clothes (and lots of debt to go with all that). The losers are stuck in menial jobs they hate, envious of others they see on TV with luxury lives, eating cheap fast food and consigned to shopping at bargain outlets.
Either way, we find our path as consumers. And everything is solved by consumption — when we’re stressed, we shop. When we want to be entertained, we buy the entertainment. We buy our food in packages, we fix our failing health by buying exercise clothes and equipment. We fix our debt by buying personal finance books and taking out a second mortgage.
Our lives are beholden to our shopping habits. We are slaves to corporations, doing work we loathe for stuff we don’t need.
What if we could break out of it?

Read the full post here...

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Link: The Businessman and the Forest Gardener

One day a man, let's call him Martin, was pottering around in a beautiful forest garden in the middle of the English countryside, harvesting some autumn olives, medlars, James Grieve apples, walnuts and a whole range of unusual leafs. Martin loved forest gardening - not only was he working in complete harmony with Nature, it required only a fraction of the labour that conventional agriculture took, whilst still producing more than enough food for his family of four. But, truth be known, all he was really doing was enjoying some afternoon sunshine and eating fruits picked straight from the tree!

A businessman just happened to walk past this bountiful garden. He noticed the forest gardener was sitting in a little clearing under a plum tree, and decided to find out why this gardener was lazing around in his one acre forest garden instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.

Read the full storey here...

Friday, 25 March 2011

Link: The Untapped Power Of Smiling

Recently I made an interesting discovery while running – a simple act that made a dramatic difference and helped carry me through the most challenging segments of long distance runs: smiling. This inspired me to embark on a journey that took me through neuroscience, anthropology, sociality and psychology to uncover the untapped powers of the smile.

I started my exploratory journey in California, with an intriguing UC Berkeley 30-year longitudinal study that examined the smiles of students in an old yearbook, and measured their well-being and success throughout their lives. By measuring the smiles in the photographs the researchers were able to predict: how fulfilling and long lasting their marriages would be, how highly they would score on standardized tests of well-being and general happiness, and how inspiring they would be to others. The widest smilers consistently ranked highest in all of the above.

Read the full article here...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Link: Evolutionary Pioneers

If you are trying to do something genuinely new, you have to be a pioneer, you have to be a change-agent. In order to contribute to creating the future, you need to be aligned with the very edge of evolution. Otherwise, you are going to be following the beaten path, living out the patterns that have been formed by countless others. Most human beings are born and die within a preexistent cultural context that we don't necessarily feel is up to us to define. Without even knowing it, we tend to do what everyone else is doing. But at this particular time in history, for new evolutionary stages, structures, and potentials to emerge requires rare and heroic men and women who have awakened to the conviction that this next step needs to happen and that we’re the ones who have to take it.

Andrew Cohen

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Link: John Cleese WCF

Friday, 25 February 2011

Link: Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four

Friday, 18 February 2011

Link: Human Planet - Web exclusive series trailer - BBC One

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Link: Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Link: The Power of Vulnerability

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Link: Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Link: The Wisdom of Old Ted

I placed Ted's ashes in the ocean and watched as they made a rainbow before dissolving into the sea. In my hand was an envelope with my name on it. I reflected on my friendship with Old Ted, over the past two years prior to his death.

It was a sunny mid-day in Tucson. I had been attending a teaching and we were on lunch break. I was the first to arrive at the Furrs restaurant. I was getting out of my car when I saw him. An elderly man in his eighties, thin, tall, and walked with the gait of someone who knew how to put many miles behind them in a day. He came up to me and said, "I'm hungry can you feed me?" "Of course." I said.

Read the full story here...