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#2443 - Monday, April 10, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

All this time
The sun never says to the earth,

"You owe

What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the
Whole Sky.
— Hafiz in The Gift

"A few weeks before he was assassinated, Gandhi the Mahatma
had a conversation with his grandson Arun. He handed Arun a
talisman upon which were engraved "Seven Blunders," out of
which, said Gandhi, grows the violence that plagues the world.
The blunders were:

Wealth without work.

Pleasure without conscience.

Knowledge without character.

Commerce without morality.

Science without humanity.

Worship without sacrifice.

Politics without principles.

Gandhi called these disbalances "passive violence," which
fuels the active violence of crime, rebellion, and war.
He said, "We could work 'til doomsday to achieve peace and
would get nowhere as long as we ignore passive violence in
our world."

To his grandfather's list of seven blunders Arun later added
an eighth:
Rights without responsibilities.

Gandhi gave the list to Arun in 1947. Almost sixty years
later the blunders have been institutionalized, built into
our corporations, our governments, our very culture.
Not only are we no longer embarrassed by them;
we actively practice them. In some of them we even take pride."

The Donella Meadows Archive   -ts- posted to Allspirit

Interview with Director Luc Jacquet, MARCH OF THE

"In my opinion, the best way to protect the planet
is to get people to like it.  One protects what one
loves.  It's obvious that global warming has an impact
on the reproduction of the penguins.  But much of
public opinion appears insensitive to the dangers of
global warming. We have to find other ways to
communicate to people about it, not just lecture them."
- Luc Jacquet, quoted in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
NEWS by Stefan Lovgren, June 24, 2005

"Although denying that we have a special position in
the natural world might seem becomingly modest in
the eye of eternity, it might also be used as an excuse
for evading our responsibilities.  The fact is that no
species has ever had such wholesale control over
everything on earth, living or dead, as we now have.
That lays upon us, whether we like it or not, an
awesome responsibility.  In our hands now lies not
only our own future, but that of all living creatures
with whom we share the earth."
- David Attenborough, LIFE ON EARTH


Before you can truly know what compassion is, you have to develop equanimity towards that which is threatening, disagreeable or fearful. Equanimity and compassion don’t come from transcending these things; they come from moving closer to what scares you, threatens you, causes you to become aggressive and selfish, and so forth....We assume that by moving closer to suffering we would spiral down, but it’s amazing what a source of inspiration it is to face it together. It surprises us that the darkness is a source of inspiration."
- Pema Chodrom

When people start to mediate or to work with any kind of spiritual discipline, the often think that somehow they're going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It's a bit like saying, "If I jog, I'll be a much better person." "If I could only get a nicer house, I'd be a better person." If I could meditate and calm down, I'd be a better person."... But loving-kindness--maitri--toward ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That's the ground, that's what we study, that's what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.

-Pema Chodron, The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness

Roses Underfoot

The sound of salaams rising as waves
diminish down in prayer,
hoping for some trace of the one
whose trace does not appear.

If anyone asks you to say who you are,
say without hesitation, *soul
within soul within soul.*

There's a pearl diver who does not know
how to swim! No matter.
Pearls are handed him on the beach.

We lovers laugh to hear, "This should be
more that and that more this,"
coming from people sitting in a wagon
tilted in a ditch.

Going in search of the heart, I found
a huge rose, and roses under all our feet!

How to say this to someone who denies it?
The robe we wear is the sky's cloth.

Everything is soul and flowering.
'Rumi the Book of Love - poems of ecstasy and longing'
Translations and commentary by Coleman Barks

Harmony Upon... photos by Alan Larus

    Walk in Beauty  

It had been his grandfather that taught him
the words and legends of the Blessing Way;
taught him what the Holy People had told the
Earth Surface People about how to live;
taught him the lessons of the Changing Woman--
that the only goal for man was beauty, and
that beauty was found only in harmony, and that
this harmony of nature was a matter of
dazzling complexity.

"When the dung beetle moves, know that something
has moved it. And know that its movement affects
the flight of the sparrow, and that the raven
deflects the eagle from the sky, and that the
eagle's stiff wing bends the will of the Wind People,
and know that all of this affects you and me,
and the flea on the prairie dog and the
leaf on the cottonwood."
That had always been the point of the lesson.
Interdependency of nature. Every cause has its effect.
Every action has its reaction. A reason for everything.
In all things a pattern, and in this pattern,
the beauty of harmony. Thus one learned
to live with evil, by understanding it,
be reading its cause. And thus one learned, gradually
and methodically, if one was lucky, to always
*go in beauty,* to always look for the pattern,
and to find it.

From "Dance Hall of the Dead"
Tony Hillerman
  Asteroid posted to Allspirit


"How can we know the dancer from the dance?"
~William Butler Yeats

Let everything happen to you because It's really
all OK...right here and right now...
...being Just as It is!!
And remember, the so-called "purpose" of any
dance is not for the dancer's body to end up in some
final, frozen position.
The real "purpose" of any dance is only found in
the actual dancing of the Dance!
So, whatever happens to show up in your drama,
just keep on dancing right where you are!
~Chuck Hillig

The mirror is not you. The mirror is you looking at yourself.
~George Balanchine

When I dance, I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate
myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole, that is why
I dance.
~Hans Bos

So you can't dance? Not at all? Not even one step? . . .
How can you say that you've taken any trouble to live
when you won't even dance?
--Hermann Hesse

If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no
point in dancing it. "No, I can't explain the dance to
you; If I could say it--I wouldn't have to dance it!"
~Isadora Duncan

First comes the sweat. Then comes the beauty if you're
very lucky and have said your prayers.
~George Balanchine

In life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet.
~Alice Abrams

A dancer's life:

1. Beginning dancer. Knows nothing.
2. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners.
3. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone.
4. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners.
~Attributed to Dick Crum, a folk dance teacher

Gill Eardley posted to Allspirit

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