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#3641 - Monday, August 31, 2009 - Editor: Gloria Lee

Nonduality Highlights

      And everything comes to One,

As we dance on, dance on, dance on.

                               - Theodore Roethke

posted to Along The Way  

Compassion's Juice

What is the experience of true compassion? While recognizing mind essence, there's some sense of being wide awake and free. At the same time, there's some tenderness that arises without any cause or condition. There is a deep-felt sense of being tender. Not sad in a depressed way, but tender, and somewhat delighted at the same time. There's a mixture. There's no sadness for oneself. Nor is there sadness for anyone in particular, either. It's like being saturated with juice, just like an apple is full of juice.

–Tsoknyi Rinpoche, from "Dissolving the Confusion," Tricycle, Spring 1999


Progressive and Direct-Path Teachings - Greg Goode  

Discusses how direct-path teachings differ from progressive-path teachings, and characterizes nondual realization as "seeing the cover come off" and recognizing what was underneath as having been present all along.Truth with non-dual teacher, Greg Goode. -- Filmed by Roger Ingraham  

the September issue

The Sincerest Form Of Flattery:
Janine Benyus On The Virtues Of Imitating Nature

“I don’t think that new technologies alone will save us. What will get us through the evolutionary bottleneck is a change of heart, which will come about when we begin to see nature not as a resource but as a sentient master.” 
Interview by David Kupfer

Biologist and science writer Janine Benyus helped chart a new path for industrial designers in 1997 with her book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (Harper Perennial). Since then, she says, her job has been to teach engineers, scientists, and inventors how to “consult life’s genius to create sustainable designs.” She coined the term “biomimicry” from the Greek bios, meaning “life,” and mimesis, meaning “to imitate.” The first step she advises in solving a problem is to look at the solutions that can be found in nature. Time magazine named her one of its “Heroes of the Environment,” and physicist Amory Lovins wrote in Time that her work “will change your life. It has already changed mine. And it may save the world.”

Kupfer: What is biomimicry?

Benyus: Biomimicry is the practice of borrowing nature’s design principles to create more-sustainable products and processes. When designers, engineers, architects, chemists, city planners, and so on have a problem to solve, I encourage them to ask, “What part of the natural world has already done what I’m trying to do?” With biomimicry we look to design principles in nature as examples for good behavior. I think of it as becoming nature’s apprentice.

Kupfer: How did you discover this idea?

Benyus: I had written five books — natural histories, wildlife guides, ecosystem guides, animal-behavior studies — and I’d been watching how nature knits itself together. In 1990 I asked myself, Are any designers and inventors trying to mimic the designs of the natural world?

Once I’d asked the question, a blizzard of examples arrived at my door: people studying photosynthesis to create better solar cells; engineers examining how spiders make their webs; pharmacologists researching how organisms self-medicate. I learned about such burgeoning fields as industrial ecology, which looks at ecosystems as models for new economic patterns. In agriculture I heard about how Wes Jackson, founder of the Land Institute, says we could replace our monoculture crops of annuals with a mix of perennials based on the natural ecology of prairies.

I started collecting these examples in a file I labeled “Biomimicry.” Then there were two files, then a whole drawer, and then a whole filing cabinet. Finally I wrote a book about this new field, never imagining it would catch on the way it has. The architecture community picked up on it first, and then the industrial-design community. Suddenly all these groups wanted a biologist at their tables.

Dayna Baumeister, who was working on a PhD in coevolution biology at the University of Montana, called me up and said that as soon as she’d read my book, she knew: This is what I want to do. We became partners, teaching workshops for designers, architects, and engineers and doing consulting for companies. For instance, if a company wanted to invent a new glue, we would tell them how geckos adhere to walls and how mussels glue themselves to rocks underwater — examples of nature’s nontoxic ways of adhering. The plywood used to build most houses is stuck together with an adhesive that emits formaldehyde. But with the help of scientists who study nature’s adhesives, Columbia Forest Products, the largest plywood manufacturer in the country, switched to a glue that mimics the adhesive mussels use. They make it out of soy flour.

Today we have twelve full-time biologists on staff. We create “Amoeba through Zebra” reports, in which a designer, inventor, or architect asks us a question — like “How does nature reduce vibration?” — and we answer it. Biomimicry is not about harvesting nature’s resources but about sitting at her feet as students.

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Do not
Want to step so quickly
Over a beautiful line on God's palm
As I move through the earth's

I do not want to touch any object in this world
Without my eyes testifying to the truth
That everything is
My Beloved.

Something has happened
To my understanding of existence
That now makes my heart always full of wonder
And kindness.

I do not
Want to step so quickly
Over this sacred place on God's body
That is right beneath your
Own foot

As I 
Dance with
Precious life

~ Hafiz ~
(The Gift - versions of Haifiz by Daniel Ladinsky)  

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