Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yes

Excerpt from "Yes"
by Muriel Rukeyser

Open your eyes
Dream but don't guess
Your biggest surprise
Comes after Yes


Say yes today!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

carnal cakes served here

I had beans and rice for breakfast this morning.

Carnal Cakes

Abstract pancake lover
syrup and honey sweet on the tongue
whet my appetite
with cake-like, crepe thin thinking
pancakes bubbling
over with salty butter
round layers tease my palate
gentle stabbing journey
between my lips
slippery hunger
why stop cravings for
pancakes?

written by LJ Runkle, March 25, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

the meaning of work

I have been thinking a lot about work: why we do it; what rewards we seek from it; the joys of work beyond monetary benefits- because money is not what motivates me to get out of bed and go to work.

Today, March 24, I read Tricycle's Daily Dharma, and now I have another book to add to my "want to read" list about the meaning of work.

Tricycle's Daily Dharma: March 24, 2008
Dharma and the Dollar

Awakening entails economic pursuits that foster self-respect and self-reliance and that serve to integrate, rather than disperse, the energies of the local community. From the perspective of the Dharma, economic goals include not only production and profit, but also their human and environmental impact. The conservation of material resources, their humane use, and their equitable distribution are taken as preeminent concerns.

--Joanna Macy in Mindfulness and Meaningful Work by Claude Whitmyer

I would add that the collective attitude of the people working together is important, as well as the positive energy that we have the ability to create in the world when we strive toward a shared goal we believe will make the planet a better place for other humans, sentient beings and the environment. This is what I call community. This is what I want to be a part of throughout my life.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Inspire: Faces of Social Entrepreneurship - NYT



"You are taught to depend on the councilman, and you are taught to depend on the senator. You pay them with your tax dollars to do things for your community. But sometimes you have to create your own government. . . . The best way to predict the future is to create it."

Divine Bradley, 25, Team Revolution, New York

The New York Times Magazine

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Just an idea on my mind today

Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love:
Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues;
Let every eye negotiate for itself
And trust no agent.

William Shakespeare, "Much Ado about Nothing", Act 2 scene 1


Excerpts from Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body

Louise’s tastes had no place in the late twentieth century where sex is about revealing not concealing. She enjoyed the titillation of suggestion. Her pleasure was in slow certain arousal, a game between equals who might not always choose to be equals. She was not a D.H. Lawrence type; no one could take Louise with animal inevitability. It was necessary to engage her whole person. Her mind, her heart, her soul and her body could only be present as two sets of twins. She would not be divided from herself. She preferred celibacy to tupping.

Note: When tup is used as a verb, it describes copulation by a ram with a ewe (female sheep).

When I say ‘I will be true to you’ I am drawing a quiet space beyond the reach of other desires. No-one can legislate love; it cannot be given orders or cajoled into service. Love belongs to itself, deaf to pleading and unmoved by violence. Love is not something you can negotiate.

Molecular docking is a serious challenge for bio-chemists. There are many ways to fit molecules together but only a few juxtapositions that bring them close enough to bond. On a molecular level success may mean discovering what synthetic structure, what chemical will form a union… But molecules and human beings they are a part of exist in a universe of possibility. We touch one another, bond and break, drift away on force-fields we don’t understand.

The most reliable Securicor, church sanctioned and state approved, is marriage. Swear you’ll cleave only unto him or her and magically that’s what will happen. Adultery is as much about disillusionment as it is about sex. The charm didn’t work. You paid all the money, ate the cake, and it didn’t work. It’s not your fault, is it?

You never give away your heart; you lend it from time to time. If it were not so how could we take it back without asking?



Lori's Note: This is my first experience with Jeanette Winterson’s writing, but I am relishing this book. That passage about Louise was amazing. Has anyone else read her books? What do you think? I want to read “Sexing the Cherry” next.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A New Earth: New Thoughts

I am watching podcasts every Monday night- insert a brief commercial for my iPod because I do love the information it brings to my ears, eyes and consciousness- of Oprah and Eckhart Tolle discussing his book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Although some of the information in the first two podcasts is a review of what I have already read in Buddhist literature, I realize that I need to continually remind myself of the value of living in the present moment. Knowing and actively practicing are two different states of being, and this book acts as a swift kick in the pants, encouraging me to actively practice what I preach.

Here is a condensed spoonful of the bowlful of discussion material from the first two podcasts.

The ego lives in human thought processes and confuses owning and amassing material possessions with a sense of being, the simple essence of life, the formless awareness of positive energy in the world and the recognition of these things inside ourselves. The ego interprets life though comparison and ranking of the individual among other women and men in that individual's path. This continual comparison and ranking process leads to feelings of superiority, inferiority and insecurity- a constant state of imbalance.

We are not the "I" we have invented for ourselves. The definition of "I" is simply a story we tell to create ourselves based on past memories.

There is no life other than now. Make this moment the primary focus of life. Resisting the moment is creating negativity in our lives.

When we no longer feel the life force pumping and surging inside of our bodies and minds, we fill life up with ego. We visit the gas station and fill our minds and bodies with too much food, sex, shopping, noisy stimulus and unproductive thoughts; 98 percent of our thoughts are unhelpful and repetitive and lead us to experience suffering and sadness.

Explore the podcasts at this site.

A New Earth download

Friday, March 07, 2008

Wisdom and Time

[My friend Susan sent this to me, and I want to share it with my female and male friends.]

Women


Girls want to control the man in their life.
Grown women know that if he's truly hers, he doesn't need controlling.
Girls yell at you for not calling them.
Grown women are too busy to realize you hadn't.
Girls are afraid to be alone.
Grown women revel in it-using it as a time for personal growth.
Girls ignore the good guys.
Grown women ignore the bad guys.
Girls make you come home.
Grown women make you want to come home.
Girls leave their schedule wide-open and wait for a guy to call and make plans.
Grown women make their own plans and nicely tell the guy to get in where he fits.
Girls worry about not being pretty and/or good enough for their man.
Grown women know that they are pretty and/or good enough for any man.
Girls try to monopolize all their man's time (i.e., don't want him hanging with his friends).
Grown women realize that a lil' bit of space makes the 'together time' even more special-and go out with their own friends.
Girls think a guy crying is weak.
Grown women offer their shoulder and a tissue.
Girls want to be spoiled and 'tell' their man so.
Grown women 'show' him and make him comfortable enough to reciprocate without fear of losing his 'manhood'.
Girls get hurt by one man and make all men pay for it.
Grown women know that was just one man.
Girls fall in love and chase aimlessly after the object of their affection, ignoring all 'signs'.
Grown women know that sometimes the ones you love, don't always love you back-and move on, without bitterness.
Girls will read this and get an attitude.
Grown women will read this and pass it on to other women and their male friends.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

the butterfly effect

Flapping Wings

I rarely write a blog entry with the singular purpose of recommending a book, but here is such an entry fellow readers; I want you to read The Painter of Battles by Arturo Perez-Reverte.

I have been listening to this book on compact disc while driving long distances in my car, and it has caused me to ponder human cruelty and human-created chaos in the world. The story revolves around conversations between a war photographer and a Croatian soldier whom he photographed during the War in the Balkans. The image of the Croatian soldier appears on the covers of popular news magazines and impacts the life of his family in ways that the photographer would not allow himself to imagine.

One central idea that the reader is directed to consider in the lives of the two men is the butterfly effect. Perhaps it is easier to quote a concise definition of the butterfly effect from Wikipedia than explain it in my own words.

The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or prevent a tornado from appearing). The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

Replace the word "butterfly" with the word "image" or "camera" and you then begin to see where the story takes the reader's mind.

If something as gentle as the flap of a butterfly's wings; as soft as the click of a camera shutter, or as effortless as the pull of a trigger has the potential to release a tornado of chaos into the atmosphere…

The thought seems sensible enough to be plausible.

In the midst of the conversation, the photographer is painting a mural on the wall of a lighthouse. The mural encapsulates his experiences with war. He calls upon his own memory of photographic tragedy as well as artistic images of battles by Goya and Picasso and historical events such as the Trojan War to complete his portrait of human madness.

If you have time, I urge you to consider adding this title to your reading list.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A New Earth

It’s my responsibility to find and address the dysfunction within myself. My negativity contributes to the collective energy field in the world, so it is my job to use self-awareness to positively resolve my anger, jealousy and hatred by not allowing those emotions to control me.

The contents of A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle is so Buddhist. I don’t think its messages are all that new. The ideas in his book have been around for a long time.

I did realize while thinking about the book that I need to return to the Buddhist group to discuss. I miss all of those folks in that group.

How do I shed the years of conditioning, the old thought processes and the habitual reactions that manipulate and control me?

Abstract Image of Cat and Girl in Yellow



This photo reminds me of our unsubdued minds and the Daily Dharma from March 4, 2008.

If we let a wild elephant loose in a populated area it will cause massive destruction, but the uncontrolled wild mind can cause much more harm than such a crazed beast. If the deluded, wild elephant of our mind is not subdued, it will create much suffering for us in this life and will cause us to experience the sufferings of the deepest hell in the future. In fact, if we investigate we can see that the creator of all the sufferings of this and future lives is nothing but our unsubdued mind.

Many benefits follow from taming our mind.

- Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Meaningful to Behold from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

About Me

My photo


What do I do? That’s a question with more depth than the deceiving three-word construction would lead us to believe.

I live on planet earth with other folks, and I’m involved in the field of education and learning. I’m a life-long learner with a passion for knowledge and the process of bending bits of ideas into new constructions of beauty.