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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Love over Fear | Education over Insulation

Last evening, as it gets dark at 5:15 already, I was bicycling back from the neighboring town where I attended a heart-rhythm mediation group session. From this I have two blogs:

This one over my experience cycling by a family in a town I passed through, and the other having to do with a recognition about health.

Health is Circulation | Letting things Flow | Diarrhetic vs Constipative (made up that word !-)

I had just come from riding through darkness and fog, pretty cool. Then as automobiles are the most dangerous things to avoid, I chose to ride down an ally rather than along the main drag filled with traffic.

Turning into the ally I heard voices and saw some kids and several adults standing near a trailer. Out called a boy of 4 or so in his high-pitched voice. “What’s your name”. Delighted, I called back, “Carol, what’s yours?”. I paused instead of continuing on as if not really caring for the answer. I hadn’t heard his name correctly. I turned around. Then the boy came running to show me his miniature toy soldier in his hand. Pretty sure it was a figure with two rifles, automatic weapons, in its hands! Now the urgency in the tenor of his father’s voice was increasing.

I approached the boy deliberately getting closer to the father’s periphery so that he could see me in full view. “What’s wrong with talking?”, I asked. “I’m just trying to teach my kid a lesson.” he countered. He had cut off the contact that his child initiated and the interaction we could have had. Why?

Disappointed, I started riding away and then I decided to ride back to them. I said, “I just have to say this. I grew up as a child of his age in this town when my parent’s lived here. They taught me to be kind, loving and compassionate. I was always approaching people like your son when I was his age.” It’s a genuine curiosity and joy in interacting with strangers, with someone new. Gathering new information and exchanging information is how a child genuinely learns about the world around them.

education definition - process of imparting or acquiring information

Education is an exchange of information. It is what babies do as they are learning about the world around them. I expressed to the father, “I don’t know what kind of lesson you’re trying to give to your son, but I don’t think that it’s the right one. I bet you have guns too.” I rode away mildly disgusted and he called behind me, “ride safely”, which may or may not have been genuine.

I understand that kids do not have the same capacity to judge, because they haven’t had too much time on earth to learn through observing other peoples’ behavior to understand rationally or intuitively if there’s something amiss or not quite present in that person. But to block off all communication, especially when the parent is right there, seems inappropriate to me. So he’s protecting his family from the so-called enemy, a female bicycling by on her way home from a meditation group who responds to his child’s call.

People often have the same response when they pick me up hitchhiking. “Aren’t you afraid? It’s very dangerous!” Well, if you count yourself, do you find yourself dangerous? I’ve had rides with couples, straight and gay, coaches, teachers, farmers, students…Dangerous? Then wow, what are you thinking when you’re walking down a street populated with people? Are you scanning for danger? Or are you checking out this person’s shoes, noticing this person’s gait, that person’s dress style, the laughter coming from these kids over here, the snippet of conversation between a couple passing by.

My point, we, at least I, am not anticipating and expecting danger. Naturally, I’m not living under the circumstances of growing up in a war zone of 5 generations, or in an area where there’s a great deal of tension between the have’s and the have not’s, where extreme wealth borders shanty towns. I understand that there, one would learn not to trust and be wary of many more incidences of theft and kidnappings.

But generally, when you’re walking down the street, are you feeling that the world is full of dangerous people? Or are you happy to exchange a smile with someone you pass by or to make a passing comment to share in some kind of exchange? That is, if you’re looking up from your phone to notice someone passing by.

Reading some Einstein quotes the other day, this one impressed me.

Einstein Speak to everyone the same

Einstein Speak to everyone the same

This may seem completely off track, but behaviorally, it’s completely congruent. Earlier in the day on my way by bicycle, I went to visit a cat at a barn that I’m familiar with, ‘Goldie’. Goldie had always been quite friendly, launching towards me. Yesterday, for the first time I saw a new kitten there. The kitten appeared immediately. It approached me, full of curiosity and affection. Then Goldie appeared. Came towards me, but then sat down just out of reach. To my sadness, I realized that now Goldie, was ‘Grumpy’ or ‘Grouchy’. I had noticed before that he would hiss at ‘Gordo’, the fat friendly cat, but thought that this was out of competition. Now, when the kitten went up to Grumpy to nudge him, Grumpy hissed. Perhaps Grumpy was maintaining his dominance or leveraging his power, but really, he just was isolating himself. The kitten, I’ll call ’Giddy’ didn’t respond to Grumpy’s hiss. He just meandered away back over to me, where she affectionately jumped onto my legs and arms and purred and played.

I certainly think it’s much more fun to meet new people and explore new things, than sticking to the familiar and tried-out route. I’d rather learn and be exposed to new information than remaining insular and isolated.

Just sayin’.

I told the father that I don’t believe in weapons, nor in assuming that strangers are bad…I mean, get your priorities straight people. Is this anxiety or paranoia an American phenomenon, or is it a modern day one – driven by the news media? Does it reach across the western world, into Asia, Africa? I’m not sure.

I guess for sure there are differences between cities and rural areas. I’d love to hear comments about it. Do families in Russia, Denmark, Finland, England or Italy, freak out if their kids talk to strangers? Are strangers ‘bad’? Geez, it’s just sending a message of fear and distrust. Ouch!

I can remember when I lived in San Francisco and I’d walk to the Marina area – filled with yuppies and wannabes; a wealthier, upwardly mobile part of town. As a young woman I’d greet people walking by, male or female, with a friendly hello. A significant amount would either ignore me or look at me suspiciously. Whereas when I lived in the rural community of Taos, New Mexico, if you’d happen to be walking or bicycling on a dirt road outside of the town, the Spanish, Indian or Caucasian person driving by in their pickup truck (often the case) in the middle of nowhere, would wave. You, a stranger, would be greeted as a friend. I heard that the nomadic people, Ber Ber’s for example, would never ‘not let a stranger into their tent’ as they were passing by. This could be a life or death situation for that person or for oneself, if caught in the same circumstances – of being in a remote area without water or food. By the way, the guy who took the picture of us on Halloween in NYC is Algerian, of Ber Ber descent, he informed me. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berbers Interesting. I’ll have to ask him.

I really want to know if this is an American thing (guns, paranoia), European, Northern European, metropolitan or – in fact – more of a modern thing that is more economically and politically driven? The age of fear? Is it coming more from the media than people’s day to day experiences? Is everyone dangerous? When you’re walking down the street in your town, in a city, are you scanning around for danger? Or are you noticing interactions, laughter, someone’s clothing, what someone is doing, a smile or gentle eyes? I would hope that when you go out to a restaurant, to a game, a concert, an event… you are approaching the people not as ‘strangers’ – the enemy within – but as potential friends.

The image below links to an article about mindfulness 10 Easy Ways You Can Practice Mindfulness Every Day, presented by The Mind Unleashed

Practice Mindfulness

the Mind Unleashed – an article on Mindfulness

New Moon | New Horizons | I had a dream

I almost titled this blog “Now that I blew it, I might as well blow it some more!” which is pretty self defeating itnit?

I’m talking about the last blog that I wrote. Because I just had my expectations raised to a new crescendo, after sending an application for a job as a ‘resident blogger’. They appeared to have perused all around my blogs. However, rather hastily – faster than most German businesses ever contact a person with a followup –  responded with a rejection. Saying, with respect to the FLOOD of people applying for this position, I have not made the cut. It occurred to me, that perhaps proposing a spiritual and economic revolution in the blog I wrote just days prior, might have deterred them.

The other night when i was returning home and perhaps feeling a bit sorry for myself, a young woman was getting off her tricycle with her crutches attached as I arrived at my door. Ahem, so I was quickly reminded to NOT dwell on what I don’t have, but rather on what I do have. A topic I had just written about in a recent blog; sip my own medicine!

The last blog is probably the reason why I was quickly dis missed from this job. A spiritual and particularly economic revolution won’t sit well in the world of internet startups, with a company who wants to crank in money and popularity to sell their product.

That’s what I meant when I said I blew it, might as well blow it some more…I therefore better just concentrate on my book, and go COMPLETELY underground. It might be too late for some of the things that I may have wanted in life, but there’s still time to learn and grow and reap from the benefits of ‘the road less traveled‘.

Below is a description I put together about the dream – two dreams – one while sleeping, one while awake.

dream crowded with robots

dream crowded with robots

The movie I saw years after the earlier ‘waking day dream’ images of virtual reality is “Strange Days“. Reading the headlines a day after posting this, this New York Times article talks about the Google headquarters in Palo Alto, California putting its efforts into producing robots.”Google Puts Money on Robots, Using the Man Behind Android”

So, if Berlin rejects me, I’ll just hone into my own path. Recently one of my sister’s planted the seed of Chopra and Opra’s meditation challenge, on finding one’s real essential self and following this path.

I create my reality

11th meditation Chopra 7 Opra 11/21/2013
I create my reality


The same sister catapulted me into investigating recently the “hippy trail”.

Earlier in the week I posted pictures of a friend’s website that he does with pics from his ultralight back in Taos, New Mexico. His website shows pictures he has taken from his ultralight; Chris Dahl-bredine’s website – pics from the ultralight air craft.

Chris Dahl-bredine flying his ultralight over Taos, New Mexico

Chris Dahl-bredine flying his ultralight over Taos, New Mexico

I had been thinking about Taos a few hours earlier in Berlin, prior to seeing his pics posted on Facebook. These pictures taken by Chris Dahl-bredine are so breathtaking. We knew one another when we both worked for the mountain, Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico. His commitment and years of dedication to learn how to pilot his ultralight, allows him to fly over this gorgeous terrain and make these photographs possible. I walked away from this area and the promise of a lovely, giving person, to now hover in uncertainty, in a quite gritty (at times) part of the world; where I am alone, no dogs, cats, kids, partner…all which i seem to desire now. There are ravenously fabulous aspects of Berlin, that have drawn me back along with thousands of other artists and musicians from all over the globe. Just to be in this cosmopolitan metropolis where one can draw ‘histories’ from the insights of people one crosses paths with is fascinating; lots of stories and history. The choices I have made are what caused me to think about Taos.

desktop Chris Dahl-bredine's photo of El Salto above Taos, New Mexico

desktop Chris Dahl-bredine’s photo of El Salto above Taos, New Mexico

Yet, I would never have discovered Taos, if I hadn’t moved from Pennsylvania, to Washington D.C. and then west to the rockies and high desert and several years later, further west to the chilly Pacific. First stop was San Diego where I better crafted my skateboarding skills and learned to surf, after having skied and snow boarded in the mountains. However, it was later in San Francisco where I gathered momentum to acquire some business acumen and skills towards using the computer as a tool for multimedia. I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco. My heart seems to pull me further along. I don’t know whether Berlin will welcome me or beckon me to take flight to further discoveries. I may have just nudged myself out of the writing job market with the last blog I uploaded, talking about our need for a spiritual and economic revolution. ‘-)o)

I merely need to focus on gratitude, as most of the messages pouring into my inbox on Thanksgiving Day 2013 are emphasizing, rather than being a ‘hater’ or just feeling dis appointed.

There’s so much beauty in this world, and I have a unique ability of traveling alone and approaching ‘strangers’ by listening and conversing. So if Berlin rejects me, there’s always the possibility of starting to hitchhike around the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/23/opinion/sunday/a-stroll-around-the-world.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131124&_r=5& ‘the

By Carol Keiter the blogger below.

singer Skunk Anansie Clitorally Speaking

singer Skunk Anansie Clitorally Speaking

carol the blogger 2013-12-01 desktop adventure planning

carol the blogger 2013-12-01 desktop adventure planning

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

mind closed
eyes wide open

mind open  eyes wide shut

mind open
eyes wide shut

My letter linking to Drunvalo Melchizedek – Maya of Eternal Time

Drunvalo Melchizedek – Maya of eternal time 01 of 13

This is a personal letter I just sent to family and friends to day

i haven’t yet continued with my ‘writing’ work project today. not because yesterday ‘burned me out’, but because last night i was inspired & spiraled towards something totally different!

last evening i broke away from my desk where i was perched for 10 hours, and left the house hurriedly, without eating, missed a frisbee meeting, intentionally, but went to the tail end of a gallery show closer to where i live – i’m on the email list of a gay photographer/performance artist from Singapore, whom i met 2 years ago or so at another gallery opening, and he regularly performs, together with a handful of other people… an Israeli girl who applies and receives grants….to make her way in the performance art world.

at the opening, where i couldn’t afford to by a 2.50 euro beer, i talked to different people/acquaintances. then i walked into the back rooms to look at what i had missed, was captivated by the writeup of one of the artists, returned back to the main room where everyone was gathered, where a guy whom i’d met several times before at this one gallery a year or so ago, said hello, and instead of walking away, i plunked down at the end of the bench where there was space next to him. he said, how are you?…i said fine…and then i said “who is the artist ‘SSMIDD’ ?” where I had just read and was intrigued about this artist, and he said “it’s me”. we talked for the next hour at least, plunged into talking about

• his path of meditation saying that the only thing that is important in life is obtaining ‘wisdom & compassion’
• about the fact that each person has to find their own path that resonates with them
• about seeing the presence of whatever you want to name as God, in everything
¡! and as I’ve lived in Taos, NM, among hippy new agers in this collective in San Francisco, where household conversation was about sacred geometry, manifesting things, and had already started investigating books about dreams and symbols while living in Washington D.C. when i had these synchronistic experiences that were very significant – screaming out at me to pay attention to them
¡ one was about a feeling of lightness and release of fear, tension and worry accompanied by seeing the thin crescent of the moon just after the new moon !
¡ the other, a series of ‘visions’ of the peacock, immediately after Marcelo Castelon’s brother had been murdered, up until the funeral, a number of days later = which made me look into Carl Jung’s “book of symbols” peacock symbolizes resurrection !
¡ and another very poignant dream in which a person pointed to the tail of a sea horse, saying that “all meaning of the universe is within the spiral form” !

….. anyway, this guy and i started first talking about synchronicities, and then it spun….
• i told him i had this hitch-hiking experience in which i had a bunch of synchronicities having to do with Native American Indians… and he asked me if i knew of this one guy, whom amazingly, i had never heard of
• Drunvalo Melchizedek who is this spiritual seeker Western guy, who initially studied Physics and Mathematics, and then went this other way, and has looked into various different religions, has lived in Taos, NM, and has been embraced (respected and acknowledged as someone who could give them a voice) by Native American Indians…
• we talked about this guy and his concepts and now for the last hours I have been watching this, which talks about everything from human consciousness, to the fibonacci sequence found in all of nature (corroborating my seahorse spiral dream), to an imminent magnetic polar shift, and the Mayan interpretation of the end of this great cycle of time occurring around 2012.

Drunvalo Melchizedek – Maya of eternal time01 of 13
http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=vZJdnHP0j6U

http://www.drunvalo.net/index.html

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=224192221381464375#

i’m curious how you all interpret this!