Just What I Need … for now

I decided to incorporate the comments I recently posted accompanying a message asking people to make their voice heard, opposing the ritual in Norway of whale slaughter and any kind of animal abuse in general.

It is time to stop acting as if all of creation is ours to extract, entertain ourselves with, spoil, pollute, damage, mutilate and take from more than we need; simply because the human population has diverted itself down the path of mutually agreeing that profit and consumption are our purpose on this planet. In the process of severely limiting our experience and full capacity, we are accepting that our description of what is of value, and what we are enslaved to with our time and lives, is actually a diversion from reality and a virtual representation, of what this planet’s true grandiosity is worth in terms of its biodiversity. To live in awe of the world that we are briefly passing through, and to ensure that our children have the same wealth of experience and health to live their own lives, is something that 21st century human beings should have in their conscious awareness. To begin to fully become human, as empathetic beings, ‘who do what they love and love what they’re doing’ with the joy and empowerment to extend love towards all of existence, is what we can all strive for, and mutually help one another in the process. However, overpopulation, greed and misconceptions about what is of value, is what we are presently enslaved to. Those at the top of this hierarchy of tyrannical powers wish nothing more than that we remain content, complacent and unaware of how our consent is feeding the destructive actions of those holding the power. People all over the planet are often acting out of fear, which creates a population even more malleable. Talk to one another more in person, instead of through a screen, and share insights into how we can inform one another and lighten up to love.

Prince Ea’s video message Future Generations ‘Sorry’

Prince Ea has a lot of profound things to say.

When I arrived in Santa Fe in August, I had no key, whatsoever. Okay, I believe I had a mini padlock stashed in my suitcase, with its key. I had no transportation vehicle; no bike or lock for it, no automobile. I left Tucson the day I moved out of the apartment there, hitchhiking with two back packs and a small suitcase on wheels August 1st, 2016.

hitching, Tucson, AZ , Santa Fe, NM

hitching route from Tucson, AZ to Santa Fe, NM 567 miles

As I looked like I was wearing a boy scout or brownie uniform, the driver who gave me a ride the entire way, 567 miles to Santa Fe, New Mexico, thought I was a teenage boy with my baseball cap obscuring my face. This was via Albuquerque, a bonus stop to visit my friend living there. I could no longer stay in Tucson after paying the rent for several months in a row with a credit card (having found no paid income), and now could no longer afford the minimum cc payments. I had gone to Arizona specifically to do a WWOOF, rather than being homeless in Pennsylvania.

Just a month prior to arriving at the WWOOF ranch in Arizona, I meditated on discerning the most appropriate path, and happened through a series of synchronicities to connect with a former colleague, which lead me to discovering a group he was involved with participating in the climate talks in Paris, on their own contemporary platform, the Place to B.

Place to B, Climate, COP21

Place to B It’s Time to Talk Differently about the Climate – art and educational forum took place during COP21 Nov-Dec in Paris Nov-Dec 2015

I knew the Paris Climate Talks COP21 were about to take place and somehow felt an inclination to be there among other activists, journalists…I could never have imagined the fantastic voyage I was about to enter into. And I stumbled into it with synchronicities I couldn’t look away from. Their venue of lectures, events, music and art shared among people from 40 countries was extraordinary, a perfect combination of meetings socially and information shared. I could not have imagined it. I’m sure that the presenters were also captivated with what they had created.

I attempted to book a one-way (in my usual poverty mentality thinking that it would be more cost effective to just figure out my way from there, once I was already on the continent). However, the one-way was blocked, providing me the time allowance to ‘sleep on it’ and divine that the coincidences were too marvelous to ignore. This whole excursion and opportunity appeared only after I connected with a former colleague who happened to be involved with the ‘place to b‘.

It turned out to be a spectacular learning experience; attending two weeks of organized lectures, seminars, demonstrations among activists, artists, writers and entrepreneurs. There were people coming from all over the world to discuss the impact of their community from climate change. This event coincided with the COP21 Climate Talks. It was the most exhilarating mix of people and information to meet and participate in which I never could have imagined. I left knowing that I had created the right path and chosen wisely, and now have a great deal to learn.

Now, weeks later, having returned to the US and moved onto a ‘WorkAway’ on a boat in Brooklyn, New York, as had been planned for a month prior to Christmas, I learned following the Christmas holidays which I shared with family in PA, that the boat wasn’t going to work out. I had to drive back to Brooklyn to move all of my stuff out. I was subsequently informed that i was given two weeks to depart from where I was temporarily staying in Pennsylvania. I now had to explore and come up with some quick alternatives and investigate my options. Most of my investigation is online.

At this point, I was learning to take every one of these turns and obstacles, expulsions and disruptions, with calm. I told myself, “Obviously THIS is not what I’m supposed to be doing right now” and allow myself to be open for what it was that was the better option. Instead of feeling panicked or distressed, I let myself flow along with new directions as they arrived. My research was prolific, my ideas extending in all directions like the tentacled hair of medusa. These actions helped things to evolve.

I knew that I wanted to write and to learn from people actively participating in working harmoniously with the land. The idea of a ‘workaway’ or ‘wwoof’ – the latter which my sister reminded me of, now came alive again. I had been investigating these in France and Italy; Sardinia and southern France were inviting. In the meantime I applied for my dream job, creating it and presenting it to an ecoliteracy group in California. I imagined being a liaison for their work, using my language skills to establish their works in France and Germany. I considered pairing my luggage down to the minimum to enable me to begin traveling, now with no excuses, as now I would investigate ways among other travelers to be nomadic and find ways to engage to exchange for shelter and food.

I investigated ‘workaways’ and WWOOFs in France and Italy. I applied for a job (which I created) with an educational institution I wanted to work with. I considered simply reducing my luggage to what I could hitchhike with, traveling to Central and South America The Zika virus in the news thwarted my plans. Ironically, I thought of going to South America to find and interview the man in Brazil who I had just discovered. In the last decades, he dramatically reforested the land around him with his novel agroforestry projects. I just came upon an article about him in the last days. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/man-re-planting-forests-lost-to-cattle-ranching-in-brazil/

Antonio Vicente, reforested, deforested, cattle ranching, Brazil

Antonio Vicente reforested areas for 40 years, deforested from cattle ranching in Brazil

Few stories are as inspirational as this one about Antonio Vicente, a man who has dedicated the past forty years of his life to reforesting the precious natural ecosystems of Brazil.

February was approaching. The only working farm that needed immediate help (as most growing seasons in the country weren’t ready to begin) was a ranch in Arizona which needed help with their recently born baby goats. I isolated only looking at WWOOFs which offered I required internet and food, together with the provision of shelter. I found one and coordinated driving a car that needed to be transported immediately, almost for the price of a tank of gas. I was kicked out of this ranch prematurely, 2 weeks into the 3 month planned stay. I contacted my cousin who I believed was living somewhere in Arizona, and he responded immediately to my email. I landed there and investigated this town for employment, the arts, refugee volunteering, sports. I found the local ultimate frisbee leagues and art centers…and then had to leave, as I had not earned any money for months. I hitched with my two backpacks and now a third small piece of luggage on wheels. The one tremendously long ride with a great vibe that brought me except for the first rides to get to the highway in Tucson, the entire way to my destination.

hitchhiking

Driver Garth on the hitch from Tucson to Santa Fe, New Mexico via Albuquerque

ride through storm from Tucson to Santa Fe, New Mexico via Albuquerque

I then rolled into more work than I could have imagined. I’ve run into more obstacles and challenges too. Each step of the way, as I do all that I can do to work out and resolve problems, I am empowered and delighted with what I’ve accomplished and how appreciative I am.

Sitting in a Starbucks here in Santa Fe a number of days ago

interior_light_reflection in Starbucks

– which I hadn’t known existed until a week ago when I suddenly let their logo form an image in my mind’s eye knowing that they typically have internet, I walked in. This is because suddenly my internet connection at chez moi was not working. I came off the mountain Ski Santa fe where I’m a first year ski instructor.

Ski Santa Fe

Ski Santa Fe

Most of the instructors were pulled into this busy day of teaching 145 high school band students from Austin, Texas, most of whom had never skied. It was a warm spring like day, on the lower part of the mountain. And now I’ve come to step into the other part of my life, the part that loves to explore, do art, take photographs, learn languages and communicate. Wow, what fortune that suddenly i have no internet connection at home. I just met in this cafe two French speaking woman on vacation who live in Sweden, with whom I discussed differences in ‘car culture’ in the United States. They mentioned that in Sweden, many, many more people bicycle and use public transportation. They commented that in some, or many towns in the United States, they are shocked to not see any people walking around. They mentioned that in a number of cities in Sweden cars are interdit ‘not allowed’ in the center of town. Funny thing, right after these women left with their coffees after chatting, a mother and her two kids whom I recognized from the day before in this cafe, joined this same large table. Turns out that they live in Texas, and this woman is also French. They also pointed out that they don’t see people walking around, promenading in many town in the United States. Same thing my Bolivian boyfriend from years ago mentioned when I brought him to the town where I was raised in Pennsylvania. He exclaimed, “Where are all the people?” I retorted, they’re either driving in their cars, at the mall or home watching television…So both of these Europeans noticed that at least in Santa Fe, because it’s a tourist town, and perhaps the Spanish element of the town, there is a square and there are people walking around.

Simply Enough Just What I Need, for now

Okay, so back to what I wanted to write about. The fact that months ago I had no key, and now I have almost 10. Weird. A case of theft lead me to moving to a place very quickly that has locks all over the place, a safety deposit box key…I’ve managed to acquire a loaned bicycle to get to my substitute teaching jobs and town, and hitch to work at the ski area. I have just the pans and pots lent to me that I need to prepare meals, along with my one glass, one nicely rounded bowl, rounded coffee cup to drink my espresso, and a round soup spoon. I like round surfaces in their design. I purchased one lamp and futon, and have just the furniture that I need, just enough, a desk and chair. In fact, the other day was the first time I made a bed, after sleeping in a sleeping bag on my futon for months. I realized I had two sheets, a pillow case and a comforter and another zipped something or other which I’m using as the encasement of the comforter. It all works. I’ve found items I’ve purchased at a used thrift store appropriately called, “Look What the Cat Dragged In. They donate proceeds to the local animal shelter. There I got my coffee cup, small plate, steak knife, 1 spatula…and recently bought a can opener. We’re talking minimalist. I love it. I don’t need more. I accumulated clothing that have become my ski wear that are wind and cold resistant, and happened to have some gloves and other clothes that I then brought along back here, now graduating from two backpacks to an additional large and small suitcase. Bass guitar is always of value to have wherever I go, and I have my fav piano book so that I can stop in at places with piano to play.

I created the cup in the picture (a utensil container) an art class i participated in, joining my students in their class. Great, all the materials provided: clay & glaze and it was fired in their kiln a few weeks later.

cup made in art class in a school with students in Santa Fe
clay formed, glazed and fired

The cup is a utensil container, because it leaks! I use it to hold my one fork, knife and spoon, 1 wooden spoon…

I made a painting in an art class too, along the theme of my book.

February art class Waterfunnel painting

Carol Keiter the blogger, writer, artist, musician, composer, photographer

Carol Keiter the blogger, writer, artist, musician, composer, photographer

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Happiness & Healing Oneself | Your Choice of Mind & Heart

It’s another one of those times when I’ve come across a subject that I feel is of such import that I post it on both blogs simultaneously.

In the last days I read and viewed this information, which is one small extract of many peoples experiences of either making themselves ill or healing themselves, through their own attitude and what they anticipate. If you think that someone is going to react in a certain way or something is going to happen in the way that you expect, good or bad, typically, because this is the window you’re looking through and the way that you approach the situation, it more than likely will.

http://truththeory.com/2014/04/27/is-there-scientific-proof-we-can-heal-ourselves/

Here is the youtube video of Lissa Rankin, MD’s TED talk – a presentation of the results of her research. YES, she researched and found her proof. Rankin addressed in her TED talk a group of health care professionals talking about how much their caring intention influences the health and healing of their patients.

happiness shot holding up arms Lissa Rankin talk

happiness shot holding up arms Lissa Rankin talk

I’ve written plenty of times about the subject of happiness.

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/pursuit-of-happiness-the-happy-movie-my-stroke-of-insight/ The giggling Guru and the insights of the writer’s book, “My Stroke of Happiness”.

the giggling guru Madan_Kataria

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/new-year-resolutions-happiness-through-action-one-mini-habit-at-a-time/ Talking about the satisfaction of accomplishing things through adopting mini habits that are manageable.

https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/the-science-of-happiness-an-experiment-in-gratitude-soulpancake-upworthy-things-that-matter/ about the importance of gratitude.

laughing buddha

laughing buddha

…and a few times about healing…

https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/marijuana-out-of-the-closet-the-cannabis-cure-cbd-tincture/ The Cannabis Cure, by Charlie Bayliss and Amelia Powers “The Powers of the Mind” regarding her ability to overcome a brain tumor not with chemotherapy (which hadn’t been working) but through the decision to employ optimism, dancing and CBD tinctures – extracted from marijuana.

There may be all sorts of incidences that occur throughout the day which may trigger a stress response. Regardless of the source of the stress, our body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. The body responds to stress by producing hormones that are ingrained into the ‘fight or flight’ response which is genetically built-in, from the times when humans actually did have to be prepared to promptly face or flee a threat such as a wild animal or severe weather condition. Yet, it is us who decide how to respond emotionally to interpret a situation as something inducing stress; a perception of monetary, marital, social problems, work conflicts, situational discomforts or environmental hazards etc. Our body doesn’t distinguish between the source of our stress, it simply responds to our emotional response by chemically producing hormones to interpret our emotional reaction.

You basically do have a choice in how you respond to circumstances.

The point is to actively pursue experiences that lead to feeling happier and to alleviate the stress. Making a conscious choice to allow oneself to relax, enjoy one’s environment, to enjoy simple things, engage in activities like meditation and other practices that facilitate a deeper conscious breathing, physical exercise, participating in experiences that engage with nature, eating healthy foods, spending time in the company of positive people and interacting with all sorts of animals; therapy dogs specifically elicit happy hormones because of their unconditionally loving nature. Make a point of acknowledging with gratitude what you appreciate, attune to all of the different wonderful life forms (animals and plants in our world) that are here around you, and recognize that by participating in creative activities and doing tasks that involve achieving little goals, all lead to developing more insights and a sense of accomplishment. All of these different activities that are coming through the heart, instead of through the head, will lead to the release of hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, which the body produces in association with feelings of happiness and contentment and a sense of well-being. Laugh! Go out and play!

Yes, it’s a choice.

The Truth ‘Earthlings’ | Love Letter to the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh | Kumi Naidoo Greenpeace – Saving the Earth from Ourselves | ‘Only After’ Cree Indians

street are by Banksy I Don't Believe in Global Warming

street art by Banksy
I Don’t Believe in Global Warming

My previous blog stated my angry sentiments regarding human greed and how it has affected our earth and all of its creatures. This blog introduces the paradigm shift in consciousness and understanding needed by all of us. Wayne Dyer mentions in his talk, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. We need to change the way we see and interpret our relationship to the earth, the cosmos and to all humans and inhabitants of this earth.

In this blog, I’m bringing together three mediums that compliment the same subject, our relationship to the earth. A film, a book and an interview, each revealing that we are inextricably linked to not only all humans, but all other species and to the earth itself. Just as all of the cells in our bodies are working together to create the whole, the earth itself is also an organism. The parts can’t be separated from the whole, nor can the whole exist without the parts.

• “The Three Stages of Truth” is a short video excerpted from the earth-shattering 95 minute documentary film “Earthlings”, about the fact that ‘We Share this Earth’ with all other creatures who are also, of this Earth.

The Three Stages of Truth

The Three Stages of Truth

Earthlings  Make the Connection

Earthlings
Make the Connection

It was narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, features music by Moby, was directed by Shaun Monson, and co-produced by Maggie QWe need to change the way we see and interpret our relationship to the earth, the cosmos and to all humans and inhabitants of this earth.

Buddha Nature – Our Relationship to Mother Earth is an article reprinted from the book “Love Letter to the Earth“, written by the Zen Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thich Nhat Hanh Zen Buddhist Monk

Thich Nhat Hanh Zen Buddhist Monk

Love Letter to the Earth

Love Letter to the Earth

Saving the Earth from Ourselves, an interview of the Greenpeace International Director Kumi Kaidoo by Bill Moyers  in Moyers & company.

Moyers & company interview September 2013 with Greenpeace International Director Kum Naidoo on Saving the Earth from Ourselves

Moyers & company interview September 2013 with Greenpeace International Director Kum Naidoo on Saving the Earth from Ourselves

Humans, along with every living thing, are inseparable from the earth and the cosmos. From the perspective of both Native American Indians and Buddhists, when we recognize that the Earth is our Mother and the Sun our Father, we see that just as our biological mother and father and ancestors are within us, inside us, so are the earth and the sun. We need not pray to some abstract god or deity, but realize that the gift and miracle of life and all that we require, is available here and now. All living creatures, regardless of gender, race or species, are children of this planet. Each have the right to life, freedom of movement and lack of suffering. We need not merely recognize that our planet is in peril, but realize that we CAN do something about it. It is possible. It is a choice. Yes We Can. We need to reorient how we see ourselves and our relationship to the earth – as if our lives depended on it – because they do. Money is an abstract concept which appears to be scarce, yet it IS available to invest in the renewable energies and technologies that will help to reduce global warming.

Trillions of dollars became available to ‘bail out’ the large bankers who gambled with the investments of millions of people. Money is there to phase out fossil fuel dependence and reinvest in a global economic campaign that would create jobs in renewable energies worldwide. This economic and spiritual revolution CAN happen. As I mentioned in a former blog, https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/notch-up-the-governments-role-with-obamaworks-a-version-of-roosevelts-wpa/ just as Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 orchestrated the “New Deal”, implementing the (WPA) Works Progress Administration in response to the depression following the 1929 stock market crash in the USA, Obama could create an ‘ObamaWorks’ plan. He could join with world leaders to implement a massive global renewable energy investment plan; to introduce jobs utilizing clean, renewable technologies that would grow economies AND ensure a cleaner and sustainable environment. This can be accomplished by making the choice to step outside of the status quo of fossil fuel dependency; which corporate leaders in the industries culpable for environmental destruction, manipulate legislation through their lobbyists to impede. We have this choice. Our lives and those of future generations depend on it.

Each of us are centered in our own worlds, in which we hold certain things and people precious. Sometimes we forget their value, until after an event threatens to take them away; our health, freedom, rights, a child, parent, partner, project, home…When we cultivate mindfulness and recognize the miracle of life, it is clear that we actively create each moment of our lives by how we interpret, think, speak and act. Through gratitude and the recognition of our responsibility, we can harness the power that we have. To do this, it is vital that we are aware. We always have the choice to smile, to accept and to love.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In the film Earthlings,

Earth from a satellite image

Earth from a satellite image

Spiraling weather system by satellite on Earth

Spiraling weather system on Earth viewed by satellite

The point is that all creatures which inhabit the earth are ‘earthlings’. There’s no sexism, racism or speciesism in the term. Humans share this world with hundreds of millions of creatures. This encompasses each and every one of us; warm-blooded, cold-blooded, vertebrate and invertebrate, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mammal and human. Humans share this planet with millions of other creatures, as we all evolve here together.

We all share the desire for food and water, shelter, companionship, freedom of movement and avoidance of pain.

Humans earthlings crowding the street

Humans earthlings crowding the street

fish earthlings crowding their waterway, working in unison

fish earthlings crowding their waterway, working in unison

Chimpanzee caring for child

Chimpanzee caring for child

Cheetah with cub

Cheetah with cub

However, it is the human earthling that tends to dominate the Earth, often times treating other fellow earthlings and living beings as mere objects, which is what is meant by ‘speciesism’. Speciesism, by analogy to sexism and racism

Sexism Suffragettes in Boston, USA in 1920 demanding right as women

Sexism Suffragettes in Boston, USA in 1920 demanding right as women

Sexism

Sexism

Racism Hitler at Rally in Nuremberg, Germany 1929

Racism Hitler at Rally in Nuremberg, Germany 1929

Racism_Ku_Klux_Klan_Georgia_USA_1950

Racism

reveals the domination of one over another who is different, violating the principles of equality and overriding the greater interest of others. In each case the pattern is identical.

Speciesism as demonstrated by the sport of conquest

Speciesism as demonstrated by the sport of conquest

No matter what the nature of the ‘being’, the principle of equality implies that the suffering of one is counted equally with the suffering of any other being. The moral imperative is respect. Humans who have power, tend to exploit those who lack it, including other beings with whom we share this planet.

Like us, animals embody the mystery and wonder of consciousness. Like us, they are not only in the world, they are aware of it. Like us, they are the psychological center of a world which is their own. We have a psychological kinship with them. Nobel prize winner, Isaac Bashevis Singer 1904-1991, expresses this through the character in his novel “Enemies a Love Story”. Herman states “In their behavior towards creatures, all men were Nazi’s. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplify the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.” In comparison to the Holocaust, one group of living beings anguishes beneath the hands of another.

Caged animals in horrific conditions, going to slaughter

Caged animals in horrific conditions, going to slaughter

Baboon within cage

Baboon within cage

In his book “The Outermost HouseHenry Beston writes http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/308220-the-outermost-house-a-year-of-life-on-the-great-beach-of-cape-cod that  “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals.”

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In “Love Letter to the Earth“, Thich Nhat Hanh has a passionate appeal for ecological mindfulness and the strengthening of our relationship to the Earth. He reveals that it is vital that we recognize and respond to the stress we are putting on the Earth if civilization is to survive. UTNE Reader features a reprint of the message of his book in the article “Buddha Nature and Our Relationship With Mother Earth“. Summarizing his points, Hanh writes “At this very moment, the Earth is above you, below you, all around you, and even inside you. The Earth is everywhere. You may be used to thinking of the Earth as only the ground beneath your feet. But the water, the sea, the sky, and everything … outside us and everything inside us comes from the Earth. We often forget that the planet we are living on has given us all the elements that make up our bodies. The water in our flesh, our bones, and all the microscopic cells inside our bodies all come from the Earth and are part of the Earth. The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth and we are always carrying her within us

Realizing this, we can see that the Earth is truly alive. We are a living, breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet. Knowing this, we can begin to transform our relationship to the Earth. That is the relationship each of us must have with the Earth if the Earth is to survive, and if we are to survive as well. In fact, the earth will survive with or without us.

Elephants

Penguins

He identifies one key issue as having the potential to create a tipping point. He believes that we need to move beyond the concept of the “environment,” which leads people to experience themselves and Earth as two separate entities and to see the planet only in terms of what it can do for them. Rejecting the conventional economic approach, Thich Nhat Hanh shows that mindfulness and a spiritual revolution are needed to protect nature and limit climate change.

The Earth Contains the Whole Cosmos

When we look deeply into the Earth, we can see the presence of the whole cosmos. A lot of our fear, hatred, anger, and feelings of separation and alienation come from the idea that we are separate from the planet. We see ourselves as the center of the universe and are concerned primarily with our own personal survival…But we need to do more than use recycled products or donate money to environmental groups. We have to change our whole relationship with the Earth.

When we look deeply at a blade of grass or at a tree, we can see that it’s not mere matter. It has its own kind of intelligence. For example, a seed knows how to grow into a plant with roots, leaves, flowers, and fruit…A dust particle is not just matter; each of its atoms has intelligence and is a living reality.

In the Buddhist tradition, we say there is mind and there are objects of mind, and that they manifest at the same time. We can’t separate them. Objects of mind are created by the mind itself. The way we perceive the world around us depends entirely on our way of looking at it. If we understand the Earth as a living, breathing organism, we can heal ourselves and heal the Earth as well. When our physical body is sick, we need to stop, rest, and pay attention to it. We have to stop our thinking, return to our in-breath and out-breath, and come home to our bodOur mind is the consciousness of the cosmos.

In his book, “The Lives of a Cell”, biologist Lewis Thomas describes our planet as a living organism. His essay focuses on how connected humanity is to nature and how we must make strides to understand our role. He arrives at the insight that the whole planet is like a giant living cell whose parts are all linked in symbiosis. He likens the Earth to an organized, self-contained being, a “live creature, full of information and marvelously skilled in handling the sun.”

We can think of the sun and the earth as our true parents. The Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus Christ and all our wonderful teachers are children of this planet. Just as we carry the DNA of our biological mother and father within us, we carry the sun and the Earth in each of our cells. It’s easy to think that this highly creative force could have a human form. Yet rather than God being an old man with a white beard sitting in the sky, God is not outside of creation. God is inside every living being. What we call “the divine,” is none other than the energy of awakening, of peace, of understanding, and of love, which is to be found not only in every human being, but in every species on Earth.

In Buddhism, we say every sentient being has the ability to be awakened and to understand deeply. We call this Buddha nature. The deer, the dog, the cat, the squirrel, and the bird all have Buddha nature. And what about inanimate species? The Earth herself has Buddha nature, therefore all her children must have Buddha nature, too. Every blade of grass, every tree, every plant, every creature large or small are children of the planet Earth, and therefore have Buddha nature. Everyone has the capacity to live happily and with a sense of responsibility toward our mother, the Earth. Once we have this insight of interbeing, we can have real communication with the Earth. This is the highest possible form of prayer. We don’t need blind faith to see this. We don’t need to address our prayers or express our gratitude to a remote or abstract deity with whom it may be difficult or impossible to be in touch. We can address our prayers and express our gratitude directly to the Earth.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>In Saving the Earth from OurselvesBill Moyers interviews the Kumi Naidoo, the South African human rights activist and International Director of Greenpeace.

Greenpeace International Director Kumi Naidoo

Greenpeace International Director Kumi Naidoo

Greenpeace Kumi Naidoo homepage We Share Our Planet Help us remind those who forget

Greenpeace Kumi Naidoo homepage We Share Our Planet
Help us remind those who forget

They discuss the politics of climate change and the urgency of environmental activism. The recent actions of Greenpeace International environmental activists are mentioned as they attempted to climb an oil platform in the Arctic to protest the drilling for fossil fuels in this fragile ecology. They were confronted by gun carrying soldiers of the Russian Coast guard. The following day, a Russian helicopter landed on the Greenpeace ship ‘the Arctic Sunrise’ and seized it. Some of the Arctic 30 Activists have been released. Greenpeace is posting continual updates on their website. Greenpeace has often confronted governments and corporations head-on with civil disobedience.

In fact, as of December 26, 2013, news headlines claim that 14 of the 30 activists have been given approval to leave Russia.

Born and raised in South Africa, by his teenage years, Kumi Naidoo was such a vocal and prominent opponent of the racist policies in South Africa of apartheid, that he was beaten and jailed many times by the white regime. He finally escaped to Great Britain, where he was awarded a attended a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford. With the end of apartheid,

KumiNaidoo together with Nelson Mandela at the end of Aparthed

KumiNaidoo together with Nelson Mandela at the end of Aparthed

he headed back to South Africa where he became head of Greenpeace International, bringing his negotiation and advocacy skills to lead an organization with 3 million members.

Naidoo mentions that what happens in the arctic affects the globe. Drilling there has not yet started and they are doing everything they can to prevent this. History teaches us, that all of the struggles and injustices, whether slavery, a woman’s right to choose, apartheid move forward, until decent men and women say ‘enough is enough’ and are willing to put their lives on the line. Moyers points out that Greenpeace owes some of its heritage and DNA to the Quakers; a religious society of friends started in 1660. They are witnesses for peace. Quakers share a refusal to participate in war, oppose slavery, encourage prison reform and social justice. Naidoo mentions that the most important thing that we can take from the Quakers is their commitment to peace, justice and a notion their notion called ‘bearing witness’. If there is an injustice in the world, those of us who have the capacity to witness it, document and record it in order to inform the world about it, have the moral responsibility to do so.

There is Incidentally an also a human’s rights watch group called “Witness”, an international nonprofit organization that has been using the power of video and storytelling to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. They empower people to transform their personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change.

Kumi explains that the Arctic serves as the refrigerator and air conditioner of the planet. It helps regulate the temperatures globally by deflecting the harsh rays of the sunlight. Massive melting glaciers cause the sea levels to rise. He mentions that our leaders don’t connect the different issues and challenges that we face, with the reality of what is happening environmentally. The genocide in Darfur, in western Sudan, was reported by the media as an ethnic or quasi religious conflict, when in fact it was the first major resource war brought about by climate impact. Darfur neighbors Lake Chad.

Lake Chad in 1972 within NIger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon

Lake Chad in 1972 within NIger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon

Lake Chad used to be one of the largest inland seas of the world.

Lake Chad in 2007 shrunk to the size of a pond

Lake Chad in 2007 shrunk to the size of a pond

It has now shrunk to the size of a pond. Therefore, water, land and food scarcity as the result of the absence of this lake, were the toxic mix that caused this war to occur.

Obama’s words and slogans during his first election campaign were, “Yes We Can”, “the Fierce Urgency of Now” and  a “Planet in Peril”. Kumi states that we are playing political and commercial poker with the planet. The planet doesn’t need to be saved, the planet will come back. What is at stake, is humanities ability to live in coexistence with the planet for centuries to come. Any leader has the ethical imperative and responsibility to act in a way that does not imperil your children and grand children’s future.

350.org  demonstrates that we must write off 80% of fossil fuel reserves completely, and reinvest  in renewable energy; wind, solar, wave technology, to allow sustainable life on earth.

Naidoo mentioned the The World Economic Forum, an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world through mobilizing business and political leaders and engaging academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The World Bank issued a report: Turn Down the Heat

World Bank study Turn Down the Heat Why a 4 degree waker world MUST be avoided

World Bank study Turn Down the Heat Why a 4 degree waker world MUST be avoided

Kumi’s deceased mother imprinted him with some very compelling ideologies. She often mentioned that “It’s much better to try and fail, than to fail to try”.  As well,   that “We have the option to be part of the problem, or part of the solution”. She said to him that “when you see God in the eyes of every human being that you meet, then you will live your life seeing  humanity in everyone”.

I’ve already blogged about the subject of economic might in the midst of environmental plight, it’s an illusion and paradox comparing the two. I mention in this blog the (GDP) the Gross Domestic Problem compared to Bhutan’s (GNH) Gross National Happiness. http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/gross_domestic_problem_-why-measurement-of-wealth-depends-on-a-healthy-environment/

Kumi mentioned in the interview a prophesy, or rather proverb of the Cree Indians, Native Americans living in various parts of North America. Their territory stretches over the geopolitical borders of the United States and Canada. The Cree Indian Prophecy,

When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,

Cree Indian Proverb Only After

Cree Indian Proverb Only After

when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.

― Cree Indian Prophecy,

To sum up the message of all three, I add, that if you see the gift of creation in all of creation, in every person, every creature and in every form of life and inanimate parts of this planet as the gift of creation, and feel gratitude for every breath that you take, you will recognize that God is everywhere, and we have the responsibility to take care of it.

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I write to follow my bliss. Among various spiritual guides, Deepak Chopra has teamed with Opra Winfrey to bring to you the  21 day meditation challenge. Though it is already underway, there is always time to pause and step out of one’s mind and into one’s heart and breath. Their messages are about connecting within yourself to find out who you are, to discover why you are here on this planet in order to discern your own path.  I’m doing my best to follow mine.

Although my entire post is prompted by my abhorrence of materialism and greed, I nevertheless personally need money. In the process of researching and writing my blogs, to complete my first book, to continue to compose music (that will incorporate various animal sounds) to give these creatures a voice,  I need to pay my rent, to have shelter,  electricity, a desk and food. I make no money doing this and have a very small ecological ‘footprint’. I mostly ride bicycle. Because I’m currently not under ANY umbrella, corporate or otherwise, nor have funding or grants, I’m asking that if you read this far, either to make a donation yourself, or ask a friend with more capital (more disposable income) to make one on your behalf! I’ll take .001% of any billionaires that might happen to be reading this. ha ha! So I’m campaigning for myself and asking you to contribute, if you can !-)) This button leads will feed my PayPal. Any credit card or direct deposit transaction will be secure! thanks. Any feedback is always welcome as well. With love!

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mind closed eyes wide open

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The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude | SoulPancake | Upworthy: Things that Matter

Since I’ve been blogging about happiness a number of times and then had the surprise and delight while living back in the United States to attend these college courses for several semesters at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania – a consortium on the subject of “Happiness” – I’m very happy to share this with all of you. I’m really starting to like upworthy.com the more I receive the postings. This particular video made me cry, bringing tears of gratitude, to realize what is truly important in life. ‘-)

Soul Pancake is, in their words, a brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humor.

SoulPancake is, in their words, a brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humor.

According to this SoulPancake production, scientists have discovered that one of the overwhelming indicators of how happy you are in your life, is how much gratitude you show.

They did an experiment, and encourage you to do the same.

one of the subjects of the experiment

one of the subjects of the experiment

 

another subject in the experiment on gratitude

another subject in the experiment on gratitude

The experiment, conducted by SoulPancake, can be watched in this short video on the ‘Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude’, presented by upworthy.

I’ll have to test it out too! As the saying goes, we can’t choose our family or genetics, but we can choose what kinds of people we associate with and our ‘responses’ to situations. I choose to be around people who have tolerance, respect and gratitude along with sharing humor and joy in life. ‘-) Feeling self worth and recognizing one’s value, can be disfigured, if you hang around people who constantly criticize, or for that matter, completely ignore you. Listening to one’s intuition is very important, in terms of moving towards or staying away from people, in terms of how they respond to you. Ultimately, tuning in to what makes you happy and what you love to do most, reflects those things you do best, and the path that you should be following. Often what is truly worthwhile, what has value in life, are the simple things. It has little to do with material acquisitions or wealth, and everything to do with how much one appreciates the little things and how one navigates through the little decisions and circumstances. As a single female, I recently encountered a scenario in which I began sharing company with someone who I felt did not value my presence or company. Fortunately, the ‘red flags’ went up. I can’t be happier to go in the opposite direction, and enjoy being. Enjoy!

Earlier in the year, before even concretely making the decision to return to Berlin, I was also blogging about the Science of Happiness https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/tools-for-decision-making-freewill-astrology-the-science-of-happiness/

The blog links to the Futurist, featuring two articles having to do with the subject of happiness. One written by two psychologists, David G. Myers and Ed Diener on the “Science of Happiness”. The second is about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of the “flow” theory of happiness, in which he hones into the connection between creativity and happiness.

Following are two poignant quotes by Albert Einstein:

Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Think about it and well, feel and digest what he means!