You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Just for fun’ category.

Advertisements

It’s the political season. And those happily fooled and comfortably led are routing for their team — are they for the left or the right? Left? Right? Left, right, left, right, left, right. Sounds to me like they’re staying in line and marching in step.

Cheers to the free-thinkers occupying their lives, not distracted by the slight of hand and pretense that all we need are new leaders in Washington. You are the leaders and your everyday choices are your votes. Every choice you made in the past helped create the world we live in today. And every choice from this moment forward will help build the world of tomorrow.

Take personal responsibility — and cast your consumer votes daily as if lives depended on you; because they do. Live your values, change the world.

All one,
🙂

Being aware is painful. Ignorance is bliss. But ignore-ance is living life at half-throttle. Being aware is living a complete life. There is no honor in ignore-ance. There is no strength in not caring. The honor comes in bearing the pain. The strength lies in answering our responsibility to ease the pain of others. So, i’ll absorb the pain and i’ll repackage it as love. The pain of caring is this thing called life.

All one,

🙂 m

Draw a circle. Now, put the names of everyone who matters (people and animals) inside the circle. Those who don’t matter, outside. My life’s work (and yours) is to get everyone inside your circle.

All one,

🙂 m

An inspiring short video about the power of the individual.

🙂 m

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. [We experience ourselves, our] thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of [our] consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us [excluding others, including animals]. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

– Albert Einstein

“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

 

A teacher and friend offered me Eknath Easwaran’s book “Meditation” to read and add to my Nonviolence tool belt some lessons on training the mind for difficult times…

I kept getting distracted by Easwaran’s metaphors when he writes of animals as if they were ours to train and to bring to submission. He used an elephant metaphor saying it was important to train an elephant to carry a staff with her trunk to keep her from doing what would come natural to an elephant — to eat the fruit she passes through the market place.

and

“Untrained horses can break away and run where they will, here and there, perhaps leading us to destruction… But trained horses – horse lovers know the delight of this – respond to even a light touch of the reins.”

I believe he meant no harm by these metaphors, but as I’ve moved along the Nonviolence path, metaphors like these now strike me as hurtful, oppressive, and domineering.

There’s a low budget classic movie from the early 1970s called “Billy Jack.” The opening sequence is of locals rounding up wild horses to haul them off to slaughter to make a few bucks. The wild horses are beautiful and graceful… and the human greed and bravado causing their panic and stampede are in stark violent contrast. The scene seems to go on way too long… uncomfortably long. I would like to think if this movie were shot again today, they wouldn’t be allowed to cause for our “entertainment” this kind of brutality — horses slipping on the rocky surface of the desert high cliffs, stumbling, falling, confused, and in utter terror.

I think of the “horses and elephants” Easwaran invites us to “train.” A metaphor that would be more meaningful to me and less violent to me would be to let the elephant be what an elephant is meant to be — kind, loving, free, peaceful, and strong. And allow the horses to be set free to be elegant, graceful, and wise. It reminds me that our minds are not wild and obstinate by nature, but are actually innately peaceful and creative.

Our challenge then is to FREE the mind, not to train it — to allow it to be in its natural state rather than pushing it to unnatural states.

Of course, we’ve gone so far now — marinating our brains in everything unnatural, violent, and disconnected — that it’s difficult to know which way nature lies. Still, it’s interesting for me to think that “training” the mind is really an act of liberating the mind, setting it free. It’s not confining, it’s freeing. It’s not controlling; it’s reminding. It’s not taking it places it doesn’t want to go; it’s just trying to set it free… to arrive home.

I believe Easwaran and I are talking about the same process and the same goals, but the metaphor changes things for me. It reminds me of when we speak to folks about living A Life Connected. It’s not that we’re asking people to change. Rather, we are offering them the tools to be who they truly are — compassionate, caring, connected individuals.

All one,

🙂 m

Mother Teresa asked us to “find someone who thinks they are alone and let them know that they are not.”

It might be as simple as a smile or a conversation with a homeless person. It might be a “thank you” to the weary cashier. It might be stopping traffic to allow a frightened animal cross the street. It might be more involved volunteer work, or a phone call, or a supportive email to someone working for an organization you admire, or lending an ear to one of your fellow advocates struggling through the pain of awareness.

Being connected takes courage.  Whatever the struggle, we don’t have to go it alone. You might be surprised how this continued practice of being kind and helping others will come full circle. You might find that, in fact, you weren’t holding up your friend, but that you were holding up each other.

Hoooooray!

We’ve updated our website.  We’re excited to finally have a redesigned online space to be so much more than just a brochure.  We’re creating an online meeting place… a “connection” place!  A place where YOU can get to know each other, learn from each other, and help each other along the path.

There are billions of caring people out there just like you working sooooo hard and wanting sooooo much to make the world a better place.  By learning and teaching each other how to live “A Life Connected” we’ll build better lives for ourselves… and a better world for everyone.

So let’s connect!  Start exploring.  Get to know each other.  Get to know us.  Ask questions.  Give advice.  Learn about the power of Active Nonviolence.

Oh, and join us on Facebook — become a fan and join the community conversations.

Please be in touch and let us know how we can make NonviolenceUnited.org even better.

All one,

matt

Archives

Advertisements