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Previous Comments By 'pancho'

Underneath All Victories and Defeats, by Gangaji

FaceBook  On Sep 3, 2009 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... including hermanas Gurita and Pavititita who are today more present in our hearts. The passage and the insights shared in the circle brought to my heart/mind a conversation I had recently with and inspiring teacher. It could be told as a single "story-telling" but I'd like to split it in 3 points: 1. Keeping an Open Mind/Heart. 2. Humbled by the Purity of Silence. 3. The Ultimate Perfection: Wholeness. 1. Keeping an Open Mind/Heart. Everything serendipitously started at a place where the motto reads: "growing in generosity". The Karma Kitchen. Indeed, you'll never know how our hearts will be touched by the ripples of kindness. Our dear brother Richard Witthaker, who runs the gift-economy magazine Works & Conversations, has a special skill to connect with people at the SOULlular level. So he did it once again. This time he connected with sister Susan Schaller.  If you, beloved reader, would be willing to be touched beyond the world of words (literally, pun intended ;-)), I invite you to read the whole conversation between siblings Richard and Susan. It is called: Leap of Faith, the Story of a Contemporary Miracle. Take your time to read it. I predict that, in some degree, it will enrich your spirit. Sister Susan was told by academics that if you haven't learned language by three or four years old, you can't really learn it the same way. Some people say you can learn it up to about the age ten. But sister Susan kept an open mind/heart, she cultivated her critical thinking/feeling and when she met a 27 year old deaf languageless man, Ildefonso, her truly scientific spirit was rewarded: "He did not know sound existed! And he was never exposed to a visual language, and he's a visual person. When I met this man he was twenty-seven years old. Because he didn't know there was sound, because he didn't know he was deaf, he didn't know there was hearing a  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... including hermanas Gurita and Pavititita who are today more present in our hearts.

The passage and the insights shared in the circle brought to my heart/mind a conversation I had recently with and inspiring teacher. It could be told as a single "story-telling" but I'd like to split it in 3 points:

1. Keeping an Open Mind/Heart.
2. Humbled by the Purity of Silence.
3. The Ultimate Perfection: Wholeness.


1. Keeping an Open Mind/Heart.
Everything serendipitously started at a place where the motto reads: "growing in generosity". The Karma Kitchen. Indeed, you'll never know how our hearts will be touched by the ripples of kindness. Our dear brother Richard Witthaker, who runs the gift-economy magazine Works & Conversations, has a special skill to connect with people at the SOULlular level. So he did it once again. This time he connected with sister Susan Schaller. 

If you, beloved reader, would be willing to be touched beyond the world of words (literally, pun intended ;-)), I invite you to read the whole conversation between siblings Richard and Susan. It is called: Leap of Faith, the Story of a Contemporary Miracle. Take your time to read it. I predict that, in some degree, it will enrich your spirit.

Sister Susan was told by academics that if you haven't learned language by three or four years old, you can't really learn it the same way. Some people say you can learn it up to about the age ten.

But sister Susan kept an open mind/heart, she cultivated her critical thinking/feeling and when she met a 27 year old deaf languageless man, Ildefonso, her truly scientific spirit was rewarded:

"He did not know sound existed! And he was never exposed to a visual language, and he's a visual person. When I met this man he was twenty-seven years old. Because he didn't know there was sound, because he didn't know he was deaf, he didn't know there was hearing and deafness. He studied lips and mouths. He knew something was happening. He's a very smart man. He'd be staring at lips. He'd stare at your mouth and he'd stare at this person's lips and he thought he was stupid. He thought he was stupid because he thought we had figured this mouth movement stuff out visually. Why can't I get it? He thought he was stupid. He had no idea we were making sounds... He didn't know what language was. All of his life he had survived by copying people (by miming)."

If you read the whole interview you will have a glance of the magic of sister Susan to communicate with hermano Ildefonso. After 27 years, she and her open mind/heart facilitated the learning of Ildefonso's first language.

In the Bay Area inspiring stories spread fast, so I was aware of this part of Susan's story when she decided to show up at the Metta Center's Hope Tank.

 

2. Humbled by the Purity of Silence.
Once brother Ildenfonso started learning sign language we wanted to learn the sings for everything!

What follows is one of the most touching stories I've heard in my 34 laps around the Sun. It is a story of hope; a story of a celebration of the human spirit; a living evidence of the Grand Human family.

At the Hope Tank, I asked sister Susan how she explained to him history and the non-sense borders humans draw in the dirt. She said:

"He couldn't understand the concept of 'country' though. One day, he was excited and very confused, so he rolled his sleeves and mine to show the contrast of the color of our skins, and he signed: why in 'dark skin land' I starve but in 'light skin land' I don't?

I was humbled by the wisdom of this migrant brother. I am humbled by the purity of silence. What a blissful state to be shielded from prejudices and divisions! No need to go to church or to live in an ashram or to write a best seller book or to live the revolution or to meditate for hours or to live in a tree or to protest with a hunger strike or to win a historic presidential election... he didn't need anything of that, he was already there. Since day one.

27 years in silence kept intact the soul of this man, and his oneness nature flooded my eyes with tears of joy.

Many of us, not as lucky as brother Ildefonso, need to Be in Receptive Silence a few hours a day to connect with this oneness source. That's what we're doing in these magic Wednesdays.

 

3. The Ultimate Perfection: Wholeness.
This story of hermano Ildefonso humbled my spirit and reminded me to strive for the soul of life in perfection, in ultimate perfection. Ultimate perfection has a way of protecting itself by always showing us there are a few more details to finish.

Are we capable to educate the hearts of our children with the music heard by hermano Ildefonso?

The Earth is but ONE country and the biodiversity its citizens.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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Deciding What You Want to Keep, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

FaceBook  On Aug 27, 2009 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and you might think that I don't know you, but I'd like you to know that I love you all... Yesterday's sharing circle was very powerful. All started with a profound collective meditation. Stillness is the mother of all intuitions. These were the 3 "intuition points" that flowed through me: 1. The Sufi Filters of Speech. 2. Being not Nice but Kind. 3. Vinoba and the Illuminated Inner Firmament. 1. The Sufi Filters of Speech. I've been finding very challenging to pass through the 3 filters of speech advised by the Sufis. They advise us to speak only after our words have managed to issue through three filters: I) Is it true? If so, II) Is it necessary? Our words must serve some meaningful purpose. Do they clarify the situation or help someone? Or do they strike a discordant or irrelevant note? III) Is it kind? In my experience, if it is true and necessary, many times the biggest challenge is to find the kind way to say it. When I don't place myself in the shoes of the other person, it has been very difficult to tune into harmony, into Truth. The self-centered isolated behavior, aka ego, says: "It is true and it is necessary! It's time to learn the hard way! What are you waiting for my righteous fellow?" If we still feel we must speak out after this third filter, we need to choose words that will be supportive and loving, not words that embarrass or wound another person. And for that we need to be creative. What I have found is that most of the times, in this final kindness gate, actions speak more than words. That is, I try to apply the 3 filters of speech to action. Or as the Mehtas say: Walk the Walk ;-) 2. Being not Nice but Kind. "Niceness is often filled with falseness—it is a way to not tell the truth, or to obscure it. “Be nice!” is something many of us heard as children as a way of avoiding upsetting someone. While niceness might be a strategy that gets us through  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and you might think that I don't know you, but I'd like you to know that I love you all...

Yesterday's sharing circle was very powerful. All started with a profound collective meditation. Stillness is the mother of all intuitions. These were the 3 "intuition points" that flowed through me:

1. The Sufi Filters of Speech.
2. Being not Nice but Kind.
3. Vinoba and the Illuminated Inner Firmament.


1. The Sufi Filters of Speech.
I've been finding very challenging to pass through the 3 filters of speech advised by the Sufis. They advise us to speak only after our words have managed to issue through three filters:

I) Is it true? If so,
II) Is it necessary? Our words must serve some meaningful purpose. Do they clarify the situation or help someone? Or do they strike a discordant or irrelevant note?
III) Is it kind?
In my experience, if it is true and necessary, many times the biggest challenge is to find the kind way to say it. When I don't place myself in the shoes of the other person, it has been very difficult to tune into harmony, into Truth. The self-centered isolated behavior, aka ego, says: "It is true and it is necessary! It's time to learn the hard way! What are you waiting for my righteous fellow?" If we still feel we must speak out after this third filter, we need to choose words that will be supportive and loving, not words that embarrass or wound another person. And for that we need to be creative.

What I have found is that most of the times, in this final kindness gate, actions speak more than words. That is, I try to apply the 3 filters of speech to action. Or as the Mehtas say: Walk the Walk ;-)

2. Being not Nice but Kind.

"Niceness is often filled with falseness—it is a way to not tell the truth, or to obscure it. “Be nice!” is something many of us heard as children as a way of avoiding upsetting someone. While niceness might be a strategy that gets us through an immediate situation, it is not effective in the long run as a way to come together to solve the myriad difficulties facing our communities, both local and global."

Form my point of view, this is an excelent article: Don't Be Nice Be Kind

"It is crucial that we hold ourselves and each other accountable, and we can do this with hearts of kindness. This often takes a lot of courage. Kindness allows us to say the hardest of things while preserving the dignity of those around us. It allows us to take the big risk of letting people know what is on our minds in a way that is unclouded and respectful. It is an action of the heart."

That's what we are doing here on Wednesdays. We are training our minds in stillness to be kind, to respect all living beings and to offer dignity to each other.

3. Vinoba and the Illuminated Inner Firmament.
Hermano Viral encouraged us to share something we had let go. I'm letting go of the rushing mind. One of my heroes who walked this planet, citizen of the World Vinoba Bhave, has been one of my guides:

"Calm the mind a bit. See the World with a more positive and friendly eye. An infinite number of springs will begin to flow within your heart. Then your inner firmament will be illuminated with the stars of noble ideas and feelings."

Meditation gives us more choices. Choices to be truthful, pertinent and kind.

If you want to be a rebel, be kind. Human-kind, be both.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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What You Have Given Your Mind to Do, by Michael Singer

FaceBook  On Aug 10, 2009 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I love you all... After reading the passage and listening to some of our siblings in the sharing circle, these thoughts/feelings came through me. I'd love to share with you 3 points: 1. A recycled radical thought. 2. A message from the Buddha. 3. A personal story about the importance to not focus on the "what", but in the process, the "how". 1. A recycled radical thought. Being In Receptive Silence (BIRS) is a radical political move for it involves a deliberate change in the human heart. There are many ways one can practice BIRS. The one that has worked better for me is meditation (particularly, the Vipassana technique) but one can also practice silent prayers or contemplation of Nature.   2. A message from the Buddha. Once the Buddha said: "More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind does a greater harm. More than your mother, more than your father, more than all your family, a well disciplined mind does greater good." That is, there is nothing worse than an uncontrolled mind and there is nothing better than a disciplined, well trained mind. And that's what we are doing here on Wednesdays [and hopefully the rest of the week!], we are training our minds. 3. A story about the "how" not the "what". Lately, I've been very excited about the idea to start a Shanti Sena (a Peace Army) in the Bay Area. So, I contacted a brother who has being a key witness, for many years, in many of the shanti sena-like stories in East Los Angeles in the 1990s and other parts of the World. I called him to learn more about these inspiring actions. I introduce myself and he greeted me with wonderful news: he just became a father the previous week and he wanted to give full attention to his newborn for the next couple of months. That meant no Shanti Sena talk for today, or any time soon. I was very happy to know that a new soul was brought to this World  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I love you all...

After reading the passage and listening to some of our siblings in the sharing circle, these thoughts/feelings came through me. I'd love to share with you 3 points:

1. A recycled radical thought.
2. A message from the Buddha.
3. A personal story about the importance to not focus on the "what", but in the process, the "how"
.


1. A recycled radical thought.

Being In Receptive Silence (BIRS) is a radical political move for it involves a deliberate change in the human heart. There are many ways one can practice BIRS. The one that has worked better for me is meditation (particularly, the Vipassana technique) but one can also practice silent prayers or contemplation of Nature.
 

2. A message from the Buddha.

Once the Buddha said: "More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind does a greater harm. More than your mother, more than your father, more than all your family, a well disciplined mind does greater good." That is, there is nothing worse than an uncontrolled mind and there is nothing better than a disciplined, well trained mind. And that's what we are doing here on Wednesdays [and hopefully the rest of the week!], we are training our minds.

3. A story about the "how" not the "what".

Lately, I've been very excited about the idea to start a Shanti Sena (a Peace Army) in the Bay Area. So, I contacted a brother who has being a key witness, for many years, in many of the shanti sena-like stories in East Los Angeles in the 1990s and other parts of the World. I called him to learn more about these inspiring actions. I introduce myself and he greeted me with wonderful news: he just became a father the previous week and he wanted to give full attention to his newborn for the next couple of months. That meant no Shanti Sena talk for today, or any time soon. I was very happy to know that a new soul was brought to this World in such a peaceful environment, and for a fraction of a second, my learning-in-process mind jumped and said: "but what about the stories?". I swiftly recovered from that self-centered idea, and I decided to drop the purpose of the call and to focus on connecting with the new dad. That is, I remembered that our means are our ends, and that the "how" is more important than the "what".

Not only we spoke for 30 minutes or so, not only he shared the beautiful name of his daughter Leah Toyomi -sp?- (that means "full of beauty" in Japaneese), not only he shared intimate painful chapters of his wife's mother story (a Hibakusha = a Hiroshima/Nagasaki survivor), not only this kind brother asked me about my story, not only he shared 3 touching moving stories of brave women stepping up for their communities, not only he asked me to send him an email with the first/fresh ideas of the peace team, not only that... he was totally present with me, and without letting me know, he paused his dinner (fro 30 minutes!) to talk with me. That's right, this man pushed his compassion button for me and gave me one of the best gifts a father (or any human being!) can give: "attentive presence" (another name for "alert stillness").

That connection we made at the SOULlular level was only possible because we focused not in the "what" but in the "how". Hopefully, with a bit of more training, that is more BIRS, my mind won't have that fraction-of-a-second distraction and next time I'll be more sensitive to ask my siblings if it is meal time. I know Ken is on his way to become a remarkable father.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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Radiating Photons of Goodwill, by Marc Ian Barasch

FaceBook  On Jul 22, 2009 Pancho Ramos-Stierle wrote:

A poem that flowed through me on Friday... and the Universe of Love conspiring with us! The Generous Photon How do you thank the persistent photon whose 150-million-kilometer pilgrimage, in the middle of the winter, ended up in your skin with a warm kiss? Or the historic ones who traveled 5 times that distance and more, during the obscurantism show, to illuminate those glorious moons that brought Humanity's Renaissance four centuries ago?   Have you ever welcomed, with the windows of your soul, those pieces of light who have bounced off from the rings of Saturn? What did you say? What did you feel? What is your almighty role?   Have you assimilated, my angel, that letter of love from the Universe describing a brave photon from Andromeda, who left his home in a poetic verse, 2.5 million years ago, and traveled for trillions of dark miles with the only purpose to greet your fascinating eyes immersed in astonishment with the Magnificent Divine? Thus, Beloved One, your millions of tenacious photons of love and courage permeate every corner of this planet. It is their unstoppable loadstone task, to reach your charming beating magnet, and more sooner than later, those photons of The Great Turning will merge with your servant heart, my darling. Even if it is just one, wouldn't you be grateful? The existence of a photon satyagrahi,   dispel darkness and brings light. She says to my ear: "Light is my nature... what else but light could there be in me?" For she to be, means to shine. Giving light is natural for a star. So what's your star my dear? Then is when I realized that a photon lives in community too. Individual photons, from the same source, become ONE wave, not we, not two. A quantum mystery for your continuous divine path. It is our collective co-creation of magical light, a chain of generous photons moving in stillness at the speed of love producing smiles.  See full.

A poem that flowed through me on Friday... and the Universe of Love conspiring with us!

The Generous Photon
How do you thank the persistent photon whose 150-million-kilometer pilgrimage,
in the middle of the winter,
ended up in your skin with a warm kiss?

Or the historic ones who traveled 5 times that distance and more,
during the obscurantism show,
to illuminate those glorious moons
that brought Humanity's Renaissance four centuries ago?
 
Have you ever welcomed, with the windows of your soul,
those pieces of light who have bounced off from the rings of Saturn?
What did you say? What did you feel? What is your almighty role?
 
Have you assimilated, my angel,
that letter of love from the Universe
describing a brave photon from Andromeda,
who left his home in a poetic verse,
2.5 million years ago,
and traveled for trillions of dark miles
with the only purpose
to greet your fascinating eyes
immersed in astonishment with the Magnificent Divine?

Thus, Beloved One, your millions of tenacious photons of love and courage
permeate every corner of this planet.
It is their unstoppable loadstone task,
to reach your charming beating magnet,
and more sooner than later, those photons of The Great Turning
will merge with your servant heart, my darling.

Even if it is just one, wouldn't you be grateful?

The existence of a photon satyagrahi,  
dispel darkness and brings light.
She says to my ear:
"Light is my nature... what else but light could there be in me?"
For she to be, means to shine.
Giving light is natural for a star. So what's your star my dear?

Then is when I realized that a photon lives in community too.
Individual photons, from the same source, become ONE wave, not we, not two.
A quantum mystery for your continuous divine path.

It is our collective co-creation of magical light,
a chain of generous photons
moving in stillness at the speed of love
producing smiles.

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