July 19, 2012

rays of life

"Our Sun comes home to Leo on Sunday, seconds after 6 am EDT. With ingress to its domain, the Sun will make simultaneous aspects to three of the smaller objects that make up its solar system: Asbolus, Eros and Dionysus. Taken together, those three objects symbolize three ways of looking at your life that are different, yet compatible. Because the Sun is our source of life, and because Leo is where the Sun rules, the day named after the Sun may be an auspicious time to reflect on how your life can be more compatible with all life."

from Len Wallick at Planetwaves.net

July 1, 2012

in search of the miraculous

From the Atlantic's review of the new book, In Search of the Miraculous or One Thing Leads to Another, by designer of icons, Milton Glaser

Although he has written considerably about the nature of design, Glaser says "in this book I've reduced what I've learned to a few hundred words. My sense is that I'm doing less 'showing off' and more 'passing things on'."
The Zen theme of one idea leading to another on a continuum of creative activity derives from Glaser's observation that "there doesn't seem to be such a thing as an unconnected event. Certainly, in my own life and work, the inevitable consequence of one thing influencing another is apparent. Of course, you only have time to realize this retrospectively."
For his exhibition, Glaser created an accordion-folded "Users Guide" to understanding examples on the wall. The book version is more akin Ways of Seeing by John Berger, a critic whom Glaser deeply respects "and who has certainly influenced my thinking." The book uses some of his favorite work as examples of what Glaser believes are the most fundamental issues of design: "intentionality and consequence."
"We're clearly at a point in human history where the idea of unrestrained competition and a 'dog eat dog' atmosphere are no longer beneficial or relevant," he says. "This shift has certainly affected my view of a designer's role in civilization and culture, and made me more concerned about the consequences of my daily activity. My two prevailing beliefs are still: Do no harm. Do good work."

June 25, 2012

prayer in practice

"That higher purpose can, surely, only be attained by a mind attuned to subtlety, and this was the overriding message for me of this short show. We are apt to forget that the great difference between a traditional craft and that which is produced by modern industrial processes is the degree of wisdom it reveals. In traditional crafts the tools never become complicated or sophisticated. For all of the wonders they help us produce, they remain basic and very simple. Our modern, sophisticated machines and computers are quite the reverse. All we do is press a button or click a mouse and, as a consequence, we do not grow.
"Only through the daily practice of a craft do we deepen our experience and gain that perception we call wisdom, a perspective gained purely through practical action and the honing of one’s skill.
"In this way craftsmanship is nothing less than prayer in practice. As we work on the outward material, so we work also on the quality of our heart. The external tools are simple; the sophistication lies within."

- Ian Skelly Resurgence magazine Emerging Networks issue

June 17, 2012

themes for the week

Reading "Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work," a tiny book with a long title by Steven Pressfield. A passage I circled:
"The Gnostics believed that exile was the essential condition of man. Do you agree? I do.

"The artist and the addict both wrestle with this experience of exile. They share an acute, even excruciating sensitivity to the state of separation and isolation, and both actively seek a way to overcome it, to transcend it, or at least to make the pain go away." 
 Bringing to mind Rabbi Rami Shapiro's workshop a few weeks ago on recovery as a path of liberation, on addiction as all the many things and behaviors we give our power away to thinking we'll be able to control reality (and the pain of being human that Pressfield points to) through them. Addiction as a form of idolatry - worshiping something other than the truth.

Also recently read through (need to re-read) "Journey to the Common Good" by Walter Brueggemann, which uses the Exodus story to talk about patriarchy/empire and freedom/wilderness, and the injunction of freedom, which is the covenant of neighborliness (the 10 Words given at Sinai).

 Addiction and art, and exile. 
Liberation and recovery and leaving the narrow places for the wilderness. 
And exile.

June 3, 2012

incarnation and wholeness

Gematria for Nachash (nun chet shin) = 50 + 8 + 300 = 358
Gematria for Meshiach (mem shin yod chet) = 40 + 300 + 10 + 8 = 358

Nachash is Serpent
Meshiach is Messiah

"Nachash is the guide that tempts us to incarnate. Meshiach is the teacher that leads us to wholeness. Two sides of the same door.

"All experience of pain comes from separation. All experience of joy comes from (re)union. In order to have the chance to re-member (-->joy) we need to choose to first forget." - Rabbi Ted

(going through my notebooks for the past more-than-ten years - this is from 2002)
 cross-posting to life cultivating life

June 2, 2012

networks --> rhizomes --> all one life

Dr. King:
“All this is simply to say that all life is interrelated. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality; tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. As long as there is poverty in this world, no man can be totally rich even if he has a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people cannot expect to live more than twenty or thirty years, no man can be totally healthy, even if he just got a clean bill of health from the finest clinic in America. Strangely enough, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way the world is made.”

Eric Francis (Planetwaves June 2012):
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- I suggest you take a bold step beyond considering your image or your appearance and fully immerse yourself into your relationship with the world. By that, I mean the world as you think of it: the constellation of everyone and everything in your life. You may be familiar with the Lakota prayer Mitakuye Oyasin, which translates loosely to "all are related." It is an expression of the idea that all people and all things are interconnected. They may be related by being part of our sphere of consciousness, or looking a bit deeper, by the truth that we are part of something larger than ourselves. This of course violates Western concepts of separateness, division and privacy, ideas that lead to quite a bit of chaos and conflict -- which are all based on a violation of natural law. The extraordinary astrology that is now unfolding is a reminder that you are part of holistic existence. Everything you do, and everything you think, influences the totality of your environment. This isn't a theory but rather a property of existence that may boldly reveal itself to you during the next few weeks. Such an experience would shift how you experience yourself in the midst of your reality. Imagine if you could live that interconnectedness all the time. What would change? What would come into your life? What conflict would disappear into the deeper truth that you are related to everything from earth to sky to all members of the human family? Imagine.

June 1, 2012

power of networks

Ashley says, "A few of my favorite things... From trees to networks. The web of life. Organized complexity and interconnectedness. The need for new ways of thinking... network thinking. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this RSA Animate."

May 28, 2012

there is an "essence of love"

From David Spangler's newsletter:

"...let me offer my definition of love. After all, the quality of light that a bulb gives off is the same however the dimmer switch is set. Dim light is no different from bright light in its “essence of light”; dim and bright light are both comprised of photons in motion.   In an analogous way, there is a quality to love that is the same wherever the expression of it is along this spectrum; there is an “essence of love.” What is that?

            I think this deep quality of love isn’t an emotion; it’s not about attraction, acceptance, approval, or even affection. Rather, I think of it as an act of nourishment, a way of holding another so that that other’s unique character and identity can find its wholeness and an empowering expression of that wholeness in a collaborative connection with creation as a whole. It empowers participation as an individuality in the essential sacredness of creation.

          Love is freeing, not binding, but it is an act that empowers connection: connection with oneself, connection with others, connection with the world, connection with possibility and potential, connection with the Sacred. This connection is one in which each participant can thrive and unfold in safety within themselves, in their relationships, and in what they offer to the world. It is a partnering connection in which each is a gift to the other demanding nothing in return. As such, love reveals and expresses the ultimate Gift through which the Sacred gives itself that the universe may exist and unfold. Each act of love replicates to some degree that primal Gift."


school for the future of learning

That's the catchy title that Gabriel invented for the energy that a number of the "elders and fellows" (this particular group, a configuration which has closed, is experimenting with letting go of the designation of "elder" and playing with just all being "fellows" now and next) have for exploring our learning about learning together. Together and remotely. In a time-bound container (3 years?) and for our whole lives. From the platform of these particular friendships and collegiality and inviting in more friends and strangers. Right now that possibility seems to be pointing to an online community of practice/discussion and an in-person convening on Whidbey next May.

Concurrently I am writing a proposal for a project for the naturopathic profession and our schools, that would take advantage of the learning about distance and remote and multi-media learning tools that's in the field right now, and translate that specifically into ways of sharing information and skills and exploring the wisdom old and new about naturopathic philosophy and principles of practice.

Here are some pieces that I want to keep track of:

* What are we learning about "the flipped classroom" and "hybrid classrooms" now that they've been around for a bit? and the TED-Ed contribution, plus

* The importance of polymaths, (which led to this interview with Maya Angelou from 2003) plus
*"...the eclectisim of influence necessary for the true originality and the idea that creativity is combining and connecting things...", plus
* how generalists are more important in these times than specialists - people who know how all the pieces fit together - how does the artist contribute to the builder contribute to the psychologist contribute to the engineer to translate ideas into action that changes culture (from Milenko's remarks at the Pomegranate Center breakfast a couple of weeks ago), plus

There's this, too: "It All Turns on Affection"

handful of sparks

Here are some of the sparks I'm tending/have started, and want to work on this week (in random order as befits the sparks that spit out from the fire in their own good time):

* harvest of good questions, striking metaphors, red threads, from the third/last elders-and-fellows gathering I participated in a few weeks ago
* and also some thoughts on design and dreaming
* a brief article I want to contribute to the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine textbook project on the orbital resonance of group process arts/participatory social technologies and naturopathic medicine principles of clinical practice (and now most recently, also, the meme-theme-biome of "thriving" per Anne and co - following and opening to and inviting the life force, and the perspectives and models developed by vitalistic medicine traditions throughout history and in the present)

Also wanting to pay more attention again to these connective tissue possibilities:
*mapping what's already happening, across disciplines and domains  
*connecting the myriad notes I've taken/gathered/hoarded over the past 10+ years ((is there a way to search for terms just in the tabs I've got open currently in my browser??))

is the essence usually "not seen"?

More on essence:

"I think of what Doris lessing wrote in The Four-Gated City: 'In any situation anywhere there is always a key fact, the essence. But it is usually every other fact, thousands of facts, that are seen, discussed, dealt with. The central fact is usually ignored, or not seen.' And a sentence of Yukio Mishima's in Spring Snow: 'To live in the midst of an era is to be oblivious to its style.'" - Michael Ventura, in We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse by James Hillman and Michael Ventura.

What I think: even if we don't see the essence of a thing or person or moment or our own self, or understand it well enough to talk about it, we can still feel it, and it sure can still come through us. Maybe devotion and practice help to make way. And for some people, an essence pours into and through them even when there are all kinds of obstacles. I know that for me, the more noise and distraction there is, the harder it is to catch a glimpse or let it through: this makes me suspect that continued practice in listening with every sense, and subtle attunement, would be helpful.
(Something about this lovely stained glass (detail from Laura Fuller's Tree of Life) connects to this - maybe simply because I tumbled across each of them, quote and photo, on the same day as these thoughts came to mind.)

February 25, 2012


Here is the dragon/snake swallowing its own tail - a living archetype carrying many meanings, including the circular dynamism of life and death and rebirth :: swallowing and digestion and metabolism of oppposites :: turning self inside out to find the whole universe ::

:: coming around full circle, lifting up and deepening into the full spiral ::

Welcome back to the webl world, us! xoxo

February 10, 2012