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Previous Comments By 'ramospancho'

Welcoming Fear As A Friend, by Gerald G. May

FaceBook  On Nov 1, 2017 Pancho wrote:

 Somehow my reflection about Transcending Fear, didn't go through. Am posting it here again. 

From a comment it became a full post! The title is Stopping Bullets With the Heart.

Undocumented and unafraid,
pancho

 

Welcoming Fear As A Friend, by Gerald G. May

FaceBook  On Nov 1, 2017 Pancho wrote:

Greetings beloveds! _/\_ :-)

Here is the entire reflection about transcending fear. The title of the comment, that became post, is Stopping Bullets With the Heart.

 
Big hugs!  <3
undocumented and unafraid, ;-)
pancho
 
 

10 Principles of The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron

FaceBook  On Dec 10, 2012 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.  Such a beautiful thread of the visible and invisible ripples of Wednesdays! :-)   Thank you all, beloved family, for sharing your heartfelt experiences. They fill my heart with joy to see how we are responding to this critical time in the history of the Earth.   Last Wednesday, I don't think I was able to completely articulate what I wanted to share during the closing gratitude at the Kindness Temple in Santa Clara. So Today, during silent Monday, I'm going to give it another try:   As many of you know, love for Astrobiology --the understanding of the origin and evolution of life in the Universe as we know it and as we don't know it-- has been the seed of my wish for truth and the sense of awe and wonder in front of the vastness of this multiverse and the wholeness and the livingness of reality. Every time I look at the Milky Way it evokes a profound sense of the sacred. Our home in the Universe.   Now think/feel about all the electromagnetic radiation the Earth is receiving constantly. We are showered by this multicolored light, this infinite number of wavelengths that all of a sudden, in a singularity, kisses us in spacetime. And our closest reminder of this all encompassing light is the Sun. Life in the living being of the Earth is a response to the Sun's unconditional love.   Life on Earth could be seen as a response from the Earth to her star-centered universal world. Life on Earth is an expression of love. Millions and millions of species have been created out of this colossal celestial encounter.   In turn, we human beings, are an effect of this astronomical love. As such, we pay forward in any way we can. Wednesdays is one of such expressions. The unconditional love poured from Santa Clara to all beings, could be seen as a mirror of our star. The Mehtas in their star-like home, radiate with lovingkindness ou  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. 

Such a beautiful thread of the visible and invisible ripples of Wednesdays! :-)

 
Thank you all, beloved family, for sharing your heartfelt experiences. They fill my heart with joy to see how we are responding to this critical time in the history of the Earth.
 
Last Wednesday, I don't think I was able to completely articulate what I wanted to share during the closing gratitude at the Kindness Temple in Santa Clara. So Today, during silent Monday, I'm going to give it another try:
 
As many of you know, love for Astrobiology --the understanding of the origin and evolution of life in the Universe as we know it and as we don't know it-- has been the seed of my wish for truth and the sense of awe and wonder in front of the vastness of this multiverse and the wholeness and the livingness of reality. Every time I look at the Milky Way it evokes a profound sense of the sacred. Our home in the Universe.
 
Now think/feel about all the electromagnetic radiation the Earth is receiving constantly. We are showered by this multicolored light, this infinite number of wavelengths that all of a sudden, in a singularity, kisses us in spacetime. And our closest reminder of this all encompassing light is the Sun. Life in the living being of the Earth is a response to the Sun's unconditional love.
 
Life on Earth could be seen as a response from the Earth to her star-centered universal world. Life on Earth is an expression of love. Millions and millions of species have been created out of this colossal celestial encounter.
 
In turn, we human beings, are an effect of this astronomical love. As such, we pay forward in any way we can. Wednesdays is one of such expressions. The unconditional love poured from Santa Clara to all beings, could be seen as a mirror of our star. The Mehtas in their star-like home, radiate with lovingkindness our beings in all senses. The questions are:
 
What is our response? What is our expression of love? What is our "Life on Earth" equivalent? How do we honor what was more profoundly meant by the Sun? 
 
Are gratitude, stillness, generosity, courage, beauty, wisdom seeds planted at "Love on Wednesdays"?
 
Who recognizes we are the living Earth, the Earth herself expressing through us her gratitude to the whole Universe? Who can feel Mother Nature is on "our side", in everyone's side?
 
What is the meaning of the Earth? What is the meaning of life on Earth? What is the meaning of our existence? 
 
How is it that our hearts and minds can be filled with love and wonder so easily? What if every home turns into a "Kindness Temple"? Would this be our expression of a self-fulfilling utopia?
 
Life needs very little and will always serve to balance out what is separate from reality. Ego, for me is always kept in check, always balanced by life.  Life does not support ego, because ego is a separation from the deep reality of life. That's why I come to Wednesdays. To still my mind and serve life with a broken open heart.
 
Smile and be Moved By Love on Wednesdays and every day... :-)

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

In radical love,
Pancho

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Letter to My Grandson, by Daniel Gottlieb

FaceBook  On Dec 12, 2011 Pancho wrote:

 My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but I'd like you to know that I love you all. Last Wednesdays I shared a brief story and a reflection of our true nature. The CF-parents were not at the Kindness Temple since they were spreading loving-kindness and the real (r)evolution in the part of the Planet we call India. This snippet gives you a flavor of the magnitude of an entire family in full service to humanity. Subtle beauty at its best :-) Because Mamá Harshida and Papá Dinesh weren't physically there with us, I'm writing this piece. These were the three points that flowed through me, and while I shared only two that night, here are three ;-): 1. Cultivating Gratitude: Not So Lost Wisdom2. Every Breath, Every Step3. The US% 1. Cultivating Gratitude: Not So Lost WisdomAll Wednesdays and Saturdays, we host a vegan lunch --cooked by one of the anchor volunteers-- for all volunteers at the Free Farm. Last Wednesday, as we were about to hold hands before lunch, a group of students from London showed up to learn about the farm. They only had an hour or so to be with us, so they chose to have a tour instead of having lunch. A kind veteran volunteer offered to give them the tour. Then a dear sister, a woman descendent from Native Americans, approached me and the sweet elder asked me: "I saw you preparing that beautiful plate of food, and then you left it on the center of the table, and it's been sitting there. Are you offering it to the Great Spirit?". It caught me by surprise.  I was not thinking about the Great Spirit or the Creator. I was preparing a plate of food for the tour-guide volunteer. So my answer was: "No" and then I corrected myself and said, "but Yes and No" :-) I explained that my original purpose and then she, very gently, and full of love as if she wanted me to feel without any sort of guilt, she suggeste  See full.

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

 
Last Wednesdays I shared a brief story and a reflection of our true nature. The CF-parents were not at the Kindness Temple since they were spreading loving-kindness and the real (r)evolution in the part of the Planet we call India. This snippet gives you a flavor of the magnitude of an entire family in full service to humanity. Subtle beauty at its best :-)
 
Because Mamá Harshida and Papá Dinesh weren't physically there with us, I'm writing this piece. These were the three points that flowed through me, and while I shared only two that night, here are three ;-):
 
1. Cultivating Gratitude: Not So Lost Wisdom
2. Every Breath, Every Step
3. The US%
 
1. Cultivating Gratitude: Not So Lost Wisdom
All Wednesdays and Saturdays, we host a vegan lunch --cooked by one of the anchor volunteers-- for all volunteers at the Free Farm. Last Wednesday, as we were about to hold hands before lunch, a group of students from London showed up to learn about the farm. They only had an hour or so to be with us, so they chose to have a tour instead of having lunch. A kind veteran volunteer offered to give them the tour. Then a dear sister, a woman descendent from Native Americans, approached me and the sweet elder asked me: "I saw you preparing that beautiful plate of food, and then you left it on the center of the table, and it's been sitting there. Are you offering it to the Great Spirit?".
 
It caught me by surprise. 
 
I was not thinking about the Great Spirit or the Creator. I was preparing a plate of food for the tour-guide volunteer. So my answer was: "No" and then I corrected myself and said, "but Yes and No" :-) I explained that my original purpose and then she, very gently, and full of love as if she wanted me to feel without any sort of guilt, she suggested: "you can always offer a small collard tree leaf with some rice." She succeed. Beaming smiles, she accepted my hug and I accepted the wisdom of gratitude coming from this wise elder. Cultivating gratitude at the farm.
 
Then, I felt an immense joy and, combined with the wisdom of people from the Wednesadays' carpool, this flowed through me:
 
2. Every Breath, Every Step
What if every breath we take on the Earth is an offering to the Universal Love? What if every step we take on the Earth is an offering to the Universal Love? The power of a pure and noble soul is in every person's heart and it will grow as a seed as we breathe in a sacred manner, it will grow as a seed as we walk in a sacred manner. If every breath we take is an offering to the Universal Love, then we will always be breathing in a sacred manner. If every step we take is an offering to the Universal Love, we will always be walking in a sacred manner.
 
3. The US%
As the bus in the passage, the Great Turning is coming. The 1% cannot get physically rich without the consent of the 99%. In this problem, we, the 99%, share most of the responsibility. Stop cooperating. Start facilitating the healing of the 100%.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
 
Pancho

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A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted, by John O'Donohue

FaceBook  On Aug 3, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but I'd like you to know that I love you all. Last Wednesday at the Kindness Temple we have a strong doses of the Feminine Divine. Hermana Pavi hosted the sharing circle with such grace and fluidity as her poems and writings. Then sister Mia opened the circle to anchor us on the soul-force. All the sharing was coming from the soul. A feast hearts' authenticity. Hermana Gurita spoke about the natural philosophy of time and then hermana Pavi, again, had prepared a balm for the spirit when she closed with her embodiment of generosity by referring to the hosts as: my "Mother-in-Love" and "Father-in-Love". Baeutiful. :-)   These were the three points I shared:   1. The Most Important People 2. SOULlar Charger 3. Schedule   1. The Most Important People After a long day at the Free Farm, a group of teens from the local high school showed up as we were about to close the farm. 25 young people excited to know about practicing permaculture in the city. I had an appointment and my tired body made me hesitate for split of a second, but I recovered. As long as the heart is pumping blood, there's no pretext to not be of service. I surrendered to the now, perhaps, welcoming the blessing for one who is exhausted.   And what a blessing! :-)   The kids without personally knowing me, tag me with a beautiful sign with expressions of gratitude, love and inspiration. The best present I got, by far, as later I told them, was their attentive presence.   At the farm, we have two circles of sharing, ala Wednesdays.    The first one at the beginning to introduce ourselves and to share a person, alive or dead, who inspires us and/or we admire. We invoked Gandhi, Malcolm X, Mother Theresa, moms, sisters, brothers, aunts, fathers but the last kid of the circle was about to blow our minds and hearts. With  See full.

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

Last Wednesday at the Kindness Temple we have a strong doses of the Feminine Divine. Hermana Pavi hosted the sharing circle with such grace and fluidity as her poems and writings. Then sister Mia opened the circle to anchor us on the soul-force. All the sharing was coming from the soul. A feast hearts' authenticity. Hermana Gurita spoke about the natural philosophy of time and then hermana Pavi, again, had prepared a balm for the spirit when she closed with her embodiment of generosity by referring to the hosts as: my "Mother-in-Love" and "Father-in-Love". Baeutiful. :-)
 
These were the three points I shared:
 
1. The Most Important People
2. SOULlar Charger
3. Schedule
 
1. The Most Important People
After a long day at the Free Farm, a group of teens from the local high school showed up as we were about to close the farm. 25 young people excited to know about practicing permaculture in the city. I had an appointment and my tired body made me hesitate for split of a second, but I recovered. As long as the heart is pumping blood, there's no pretext to not be of service. I surrendered to the now, perhaps, welcoming the blessing for one who is exhausted.
 
And what a blessing! :-)
 
The kids without personally knowing me, tag me with a beautiful sign with expressions of gratitude, love and inspiration. The best present I got, by far, as later I told them, was their attentive presence.
 
At the farm, we have two circles of sharing, ala Wednesdays. 
 
The first one at the beginning to introduce ourselves and to share a person, alive or dead, who inspires us and/or we admire. We invoked Gandhi, Malcolm X, Mother Theresa, moms, sisters, brothers, aunts, fathers but the last kid of the circle was about to blow our minds and hearts. With a big smile, he looked at the classmate who was sitting by his side and he said: "I admire and feel very inspired by Brandon. I'm new to this school, I didn't know anybody but he made me feel welcomed. He is a very kind person and I'd like to be like him."
 
The second circle of sharing, at the end and after walking in the meditation labyrinth, was to  answer the greeting question: "Look at that Earth Flag during your visit here, and at the end please share with us what does it mean to you? What do you feel and think when you see it flying up and high?"
 
Hard to put into words the feeling and vibrations that came out from that circle. Unity, diversity, tolerance, no borders, citizenship of the World, home is in our hearts, equality, justice, sharing with no string attached, healthy food, healthy entertainment, perspectivism, family... all deep reflections from 14 year olds.
 
One of the big joys of the day, another blessing for one who was exhausted ;-), was to witness the faces of two teens who were eating their first strawberry in their whole life. That is, the first fresh, local organic strawberry in 14 years. What an honor to be able to introduce these city kids to healthy and delicious food.
 
These are the true heroes who reminded me that the most important people on the Planet, are the people you are interacting with now, in the present moment.
 
2. SOULlar Charger
I love to come to Wednesdays to let you all know how important you all are for me. The only holistic way to do it, is by showing up.
 
Now the most important people are you all.
 
Connecting with people in silence, creates a heart coherence, which in turn amplifies a "magnetic feel" and a love that is palpable in the air. Given that we all speak the language of the heart, what comes out from our mouth in the circle, most of the time is in resonance with this love force. It is like a collective field energy that flows through the person who holds the mic at any given moment, even if it is only to share our name. It is that hour, that hour being in receptive silence, plus the collective attentive listening when we hold the mic, plus the nourishing food cooked by mamá Harshida, plus the ripples of random acts of kindness, plus the comments in ijourney -- like sister's Brandi-- plus all that goes beyond the world of metrics that make the grand total of the SOULlar charger. One who was exhausted after 18 hours of service, is now recharged at the spiritual and physical level for another week :-)
 
3. Schedule
That's why I don't put Wednesdays in my schedule, I schedule my activities around Wednesdays ;-)
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
 
Pancho

 

 

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The Mystery of Love, by Kent Nerburn

FaceBook  On Jul 5, 2011 Pancho wrote:

 Metta-morphosisMy heart had a metamorphosis of love and kindnesssince I met you, beloved one. To Be in Receptive Silenceis a translation ofa universal love into human spirit.Did you know that the soul is made out of love? If we don’t lovewe begin to die inside.So love without limits,Be courageous without limits,Be compassionate without limits! Every time that universal loveflowsthrough us,the soulshaped out of itgets stronger. Love is the reality,poetry the drumthat calls us to act.The soul livesin the quiet breath… Somewhere onthe ocean floor of the mindlies the pearl of existence,where stillness becomesawareness and equanimity…currents of attentive presence,the buoyant force of lifeemerges on the surface,as ripples of kindness,as waves of compassion,as Tsunamis of love!Go ahead and shape the shore of humanity,as the Moon of Justice and Servicegently shapes the pearl of our existence! This is the forceof light and gravity.It comes from cosmic courage, ever dynamic,inspired always by this love.And thus, I sink again into darkness,casting the anchor of a secret smile,where photons cannot reach,the eyes cannot seeand yet, with hearts wide open,I feel the sun of your love, beloved one,shaping the space-time of life bykissing the heart of hearts,one wave at a time. Sometimes happiness is the source of my smile;sometimes my smile is the source of happiness.Sometimes fearlessness is the source of my loving eyes;sometimes my loving eyes are the source of fearlessness.Sometimes courage is the source of stillness;sometimes stillness is the source of courage. Can you tell the difference, beloved friend?Can you tell where the ocean kisses the sky?Can you see that spot in the horizon where the Sun turns red?Where your presence turns into red gold?Can you tell that we live in a round borderless country,where the color of our skin, legs and heartare our passport and visa?Can you tell if the moving cloudsare reflect  See full.

 Metta-morphosis

My heart had a metamorphosis of love and kindness
since I met you, beloved one.
 
To Be in Receptive Silence
is a translation of
a universal love into human spirit.
Did you know that the soul is made out of love?
 
If we don’t love
we begin to die inside.
So love without limits,
Be courageous without limits,
Be compassionate without limits!
 
Every time that universal love
flows
through us,
the soul
shaped out of it
gets stronger.
 
Love is the reality,
poetry the drum
that calls us to act.
The soul lives
in the quiet breath…
 
Somewhere on
the ocean floor of the mind
lies the pearl of existence,
where stillness becomes
awareness and equanimity…
currents of attentive presence,
the buoyant force of life
emerges on the surface,
as ripples of kindness,
as waves of compassion,
as Tsunamis of love!
Go ahead and shape the shore of humanity,
as the Moon of Justice and Service
gently shapes the pearl of our existence!
 
This is the force
of light and gravity.
It comes from cosmic courage, ever dynamic,
inspired always by this love.
And thus, I sink again into darkness,
casting the anchor of a secret smile,
where photons cannot reach,
the eyes cannot see
and yet, with hearts wide open,
I feel the sun of your love, beloved one,
shaping the space-time of life by
kissing the heart of hearts,
one wave at a time.
 
Sometimes happiness is the source of my smile;
sometimes my smile is the source of happiness.
Sometimes fearlessness is the source of my loving eyes;
sometimes my loving eyes are the source of fearlessness.
Sometimes courage is the source of stillness;
sometimes stillness is the source of courage.
 
Can you tell the difference, beloved friend?
Can you tell where the ocean kisses the sky?
Can you see that spot in the horizon where the Sun turns red?
Where your presence turns into red gold?
Can you tell that we live in a round borderless country,
where the color of our skin, legs and heart
are our passport and visa?
Can you tell if the moving clouds
are reflected on the still surface of the lake,
or if the still lake
is a reflection of the moving clouds?
 
Is this now the sound of the ocean or the wind in the forest?
Can you feel the sweet water meeting the sea?
Can you see the forest exhaling clouds?
Can you touch the light of the rainbow of your dreams?
Can you smell the joy of a liberated soul?
Can you taste the sweetness of forgiveness?
Can you tell where the microcosmos dissolves the boundaries of the innercosm?
 
Zoom out to outer space
and tell me,
how does the horizon look like?
Zoom out to outer space
and tell me, beloved friend,
what does “country” mean now?
 
Zoom in into your heart
and you will honor diversity.
Zoom in into your heart
and you will find all the answers.
 
Listen beloved friend!
It is the roaring of our collective love
reaching the shores of now.
Feel the motion of the impermanent Earth
melting day into night,
sunsets into sunrises,
playing with our eyesight,
with our heartsight,
and now please tell me, My Dear,
why don’t we meet in the horizon of unity,
were we all become compassionate, courageous and wise?
 
Can you hear the sound made by the wings of a butterfly
during her first flight?
 
Yes beloved one,
Can you tell where and when
my heart had a metamorphosis of love and kindness?
It was when I met you.
 
Now let us praise the subtle beauty
to love without limits.
There’s a horizon beyond divisions, let us meet there.
Oh yes, beloved friend. Reclaim our responsibility to walk on the Planet.
and walk! walk! walk!

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Paradox of Noise, by Gunilla Norris

FaceBook  On May 23, 2011 Pancho wrote:

Hermano Viral asks: "Which of life's paradoxes helps you attune more deeply to reality?"

The first time that really looked deep into the dark sky and scratched the surface of the-beyound-comprenhenshion vastness of the Cosmos, felt insignificant and at the same time very special for humanity is the Universe that took consciousness of itself.

To look for groundedness in this way, brings up the ultimate reality, brings up the importance to live in the present moment. In the vacuum of the intergalactic/interstellar/interplanetary space, there is a silence astronomically beautiful: Love is the breath of the Cosmos... silence is where we come from and our destiny. The meaning of our existence, the unfolding story of life, the blueprint of humanity is embedded in this beginningless note, in this endless symphony... 

If we pay attention, this silence is between inhale and exhale; between exhale and inhale. It's all the time with us. It is the loud music of our attentive presence. This is one of life's paradoxes that fosters oneness at its best: to be in receptive silence to become the harmony of our hearts...

 

The Test for Meditation in Action, by Shinzen Young

FaceBook  On May 2, 2011 Pancho wrote:

Hermano Viral asked us: "What is your own test for meditation in action?"

Putting meditation in action --outer service-- is when  my courage and kindness are aligneed and in great timing with the Universal Love.

 

 

Cultivation of that Dormant Love, by Radhanath Swami

FaceBook  On Apr 11, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but I'd like you to know that I love you all.   During the circle of sharing of "aha moments" many people were moved to share quotes. I followed the momentum and shared some insights from a renown permaculturist. The timing of this passage with the visit of citizen of the World hermano Roberto Pérez Riveiro couldn't have been better. Permaculture is about respecting the Earth, respecting the peoples of the Planet and sharing the surplus. Fueled by creativity and courage, the work of this brother is an inspiring example of the power of community and how they survived peak oil.   Hermano Roberto visited the Free Farm and later he gave a talk in the Secret Garden at the Mission in San Francisco. There, in an outdoor classroom showered by the shadow of a plum tree, he stressed the importance of food sovereignty and shared with us that people in the part of the Planet we call Cuba spend 75% of their income on healthy food; school gardens are maintained by the whole community, which also has access to the school's computers. While they have some of the best doctors on the Planet they don't have medicines because most of the pharmaceutical corporations are still under the influence of the U.S. blockade. This forced doctors to rely more on complementary and alternative medicine, herbal medicine also called "Green Medicine". Now their health care system is producing a population that is as healthy as those of the world's "wealthiest countries" at a fraction of the cost.   Later that week, hermano Roberto visited us at the Sustainable Living Center in Oakland. There, we asked him what were 3 things he would tell to enthusiastic young people and in general to the people of the movement. This were his 3 (paraphrasing) points:   1. Get Together 2. Baby Steps 3. Celebrate   1  See full.

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

 
During the circle of sharing of "aha moments" many people were moved to share quotes. I followed the momentum and shared some insights from a renown permaculturist. The timing of this passage with the visit of citizen of the World hermano Roberto Pérez Riveiro couldn't have been better. Permaculture is about respecting the Earth, respecting the peoples of the Planet and sharing the surplus. Fueled by creativity and courage, the work of this brother is an inspiring example of the power of community and how they survived peak oil.
 
Hermano Roberto visited the Free Farm and later he gave a talk in the Secret Garden at the Mission in San Francisco. There, in an outdoor classroom showered by the shadow of a plum tree, he stressed the importance of food sovereignty and shared with us that people in the part of the Planet we call Cuba spend 75% of their income on healthy food; school gardens are maintained by the whole community, which also has access to the school's computers. While they have some of the best doctors on the Planet they don't have medicines because most of the pharmaceutical corporations are still under the influence of the U.S. blockade. This forced doctors to rely more on complementary and alternative medicine, herbal medicine also called "Green Medicine". Now their health care system is producing a population that is as healthy as those of the world's "wealthiest countries" at a fraction of the cost.
 
Later that week, hermano Roberto visited us at the Sustainable Living Center in Oakland. There, we asked him what were 3 things he would tell to enthusiastic young people and in general to the people of the movement. This were his 3 (paraphrasing) points:
 
1. Get Together
2. Baby Steps
3. Celebrate
 
1. Get Together
It is time to understand the interconnectedness of all our work, he said. Permaculture, social justice, healthy food, independent media, preventive medicine, anti-war campaigns, education... you name it, all is part of th same movement. It doesn't matter in which of these projects we are working, the power of community lies in sharing our gifts and strength with one another. We are not alone. We just need to figure out what's our role in the largest movement humanity has ever seen. 
 
2. Baby Steps
Small is not only beautiful but fundamental. Don't try to "save the World". As overwhelming as it might seem -- with genetically modified organisms invading our ecosystems, nuclear reactors polluting our home for generations, climate change, wars and poverties of all kind-- the radical changes supporting the web of life start small. We are following those steps: one person at a time, one garden at a time. 
 
3. Celebrate
Don't forget that we are in the right side of history. Our joy and small victories need to be celebrated with humility and in community. It is because of people like you that humanity still thriving.
 
In other words, the (r)evolution is fun! It is incredible how the CF ecosystem, in general, embodies all these principles. Loving Wednesdays, in particular, are an ode to the emergence of the new paradigm. Once again, I was touched to the core to witness how in community, focus on the small, we all cultivate the heart each week at the home of this (r)evolutionary family to give birth to more collective wisdom.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
 
Pancho

 

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Storyteller Consciousness, by Charles Eisenstein

FaceBook  On Apr 4, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but I'd like you to know that I love you all.  Anther ONE-derful Wednesday at the Kindness Temple with kindred spirits. These were the 3 things I shared:   1. Kindness 2. Kindness in Silence 3. The Earth CommUNITY    1. Kindness Hermano Rahul shared how important was for him the realization of Rev. Heng Sure's determination to walk 3 step and one bow until he could "straighten his tongue". Then, there is something intrinsically powerful about a person whose thoughts, words and actions are aligned. Ernesto "Che" Guevara once said: "Say what you think, do what you say." and he added:    "...let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality... We must strive every day so that this love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force."   Along these lines then, this (mix)quote came to mind/heart:   Kindness in words creates confidence Kindness in thinking creates profoundness Kindness in giving creates love Therefore, the highest form of wisdom is kindness If you want to be a rebel, be kind Human-kind, be both   2. Kindness in Silence and last Wednesday's night in the middle of our collective silence, I realized that:   Kindness in silence creates unity.   3. The Earth CommUNITY  There is no community without a unifying story.    We are living very exciting times in the history of humanity. The Earth Charter captures this cosmic ephemeral moment:   "We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once  See full.

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

Anther ONE-derful Wednesday at the Kindness Temple with kindred spirits. These were the 3 things I shared:
 
1. Kindness
2. Kindness in Silence
3. The Earth CommUNITY 
 
1. Kindness
Hermano Rahul shared how important was for him the realization of Rev. Heng Sure's determination to walk 3 step and one bow until he could "straighten his tongue". Then, there is something intrinsically powerful about a person whose thoughts, words and actions are aligned. Ernesto "Che" Guevara once said: "Say what you think, do what you say." and he added: 
 
"...let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality... We must strive every day so that this love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force."
 
Along these lines then, this (mix)quote came to mind/heart:
 
Kindness in words creates confidence
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness
Kindness in giving creates love
Therefore, the highest form of wisdom is kindness
If you want to be a rebel, be kind
Human-kind, be both
 
2. Kindness in Silence
and last Wednesday's night in the middle of our collective silence, I realized that:
 
Kindness in silence creates unity.
 
3. The Earth CommUNITY 
There is no community without a unifying story. 
 
We are living very exciting times in the history of humanity. The Earth Charter captures this cosmic ephemeral moment:
 
"We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth Community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations."
 
Our unifying story is the unfolding Great Turning in times of uncertainty, where we find light and amplify it in the midst of darkness; where we tap into courage and compassion to become a Love Amplified Stimulated Emission Radiation, that is: a LASER of love.
 
Let's keep sharing our (r)evolutionary love treating each other as brothers and sisters, as the Grand Human Family that we are. We are all in this together. Let's keep sharing our unifying stories to expand our consciousness to a newer collective and more powerful realm.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
 

Pancho 

 

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A Deep, Uncritical Love, by Bhante Gunaratana

FaceBook  On Mar 28, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but if you could imagine and feel your heart smiling, that's how much I love you all. :-)   This was a very rich passage. I wasn't able to share all that came to the mind/heart at the circle of sharing because we were 60 people! Through the magic of the electron land, I will let flow the information that was resonating with the being last Wednesday. Here are 3 points:   1. Unconditional Loving, Mirror Neurons and True Compassion 2. Enlightened Anarchism or Non-hierarchical Compassionate Organizing 3. The Power of Being in Receptive Silence   1. Unconditional Loving, Mirror Neurons and True Compassion There is something that permeates one's soul when one is at the Kindness Temple. Is there something more powerful than the love felt by a mother towards her children? What if mother and father treat everybody in their home as if they were their family, as if they were their children? What if a whole family, the mother, the father, the brothers and their wives, treat you as their own family? Welcome to Wednesdays! :-)   And once a few human beings perform the outrageous boldness to leave the doors open for anybody to come to their home and love them and serve them with no strings attached, it becomes contagious. The scientific explanation of the beauty of this kind of love can be briefly glimpsed in this TED talk about Mirror Neurons -- or Gandhi Neurons as Vilayanur Ramachandran calls them. This is intimately linked to true compassion.    However, no TED talk, book or post will give us the full experience of love and compassion. We must live it.   On Wednesdays in Santa Clara, we come to train these mirror neurons, our subconscious being and to develop our compassion, so that when the time comes to face physical, emotional or psycological violence from other beings, we are prepared to empathize   See full.

My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but if you could imagine and feel your heart smiling, that's how much I love you all. :-)

 
This was a very rich passage. I wasn't able to share all that came to the mind/heart at the circle of sharing because we were 60 people! Through the magic of the electron land, I will let flow the information that was resonating with the being last Wednesday. Here are 3 points:
 
1. Unconditional Loving, Mirror Neurons and True Compassion
2. Enlightened Anarchism or Non-hierarchical Compassionate Organizing
3. The Power of Being in Receptive Silence
 
1. Unconditional Loving, Mirror Neurons and True Compassion
There is something that permeates one's soul when one is at the Kindness Temple. Is there something more powerful than the love felt by a mother towards her children? What if mother and father treat everybody in their home as if they were their family, as if they were their children? What if a whole family, the mother, the father, the brothers and their wives, treat you as their own family? Welcome to Wednesdays! :-)
 
And once a few human beings perform the outrageous boldness to leave the doors open for anybody to come to their home and love them and serve them with no strings attached, it becomes contagious. The scientific explanation of the beauty of this kind of love can be briefly glimpsed in this TED talk about Mirror Neurons -- or Gandhi Neurons as Vilayanur Ramachandran calls them. This is intimately linked to true compassion
 
However, no TED talk, book or post will give us the full experience of love and compassion. We must live it.
 
On Wednesdays in Santa Clara, we come to train these mirror neurons, our subconscious being and to develop our compassion, so that when the time comes to face physical, emotional or psycological violence from other beings, we are prepared to empathize with them and the feeling but immediately (read subconsciously) "fire back" with _genuine_ equanimous love. This response, not reaction, causes a confusing scenario in the other person(s) who will experience fear/hatred/violence AND fearlessness/love/nonviolence at the same time. This only can be done by purifying the mind. A very hard task the Universe of Love will be glad to hep us with. In this way, we stop the ancient madness of violence and become agents of harmony, happiness and joy.
 
That's why, and most importantly from my point of view, our collective sitting on Wednesdays are about transforming the most difficult of all of them: our inner violence. Through fearlessness, spending countless hours in receptive silence and exercising the muscles of loving speech and compassionate listening this trasnformation can be organically done.
 
2. Enlightened Anarchism or Non-hierarchical Compassionate Organizing
Anarchy doesn't mean chaos, it means without government: the state of a people without any constituted authority. When the author of the passage says:

"You have to see your place in society and your function as a social being. You have to see your duties and obligations to your fellow human beings, and above all, your responsibility to yourself as an individual living with other individuals." 
I thought about Gandhi and how he talked about human responsibilities and enlightened anarchy. Was Gandhi an anarchist?
 
Journalist: Do you prefer English people as governing race to other races?
 
Gandhi: I have no choice to make. I do not want to be governed except by myself.
 
Gandhi’s “nationalism” stood to disband the Congress Party upon independence:
 
“Its task is done. The next task is to move into villages and revitalize life there to build a new socio-economic structure from the bottom upwards.”

He also understood patriotism differently than his contemporaries: 
 
“By patriotism, I mean the welfare of the whole people.”  

“The very right to live is only afforded to us if we fulfill our duty as citizens of the world. Nationalism is not the highest concept. The highest concept is a world community.”–M.K. Gandhi

“Political power, in my opinion, cannot be our ultimate aim. It is one of the means used by men for their all-around advancement. The power to control national life through national representatives is called political power. Representatives will become unnecessary if the national life becomes so perfect as to be self-controlled. It will then be a state of enlightened anarchy in which each person will become his own ruler. He will conduct himself in such a way that his behavior will not hamper the well being of his neighbors. In an ideal State there will be no political institution and therefore no political power.”
 
In other to live in a harmonious community without governments, first we need to develop a self-government, self-rule. In a world where the system is broken we need new forms to relate with the Planet, with animals, with plants, with each other, with our choices. That’s why some of us are not anarchists as defined in the encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. written by the hierarchies and their corporate media. We go beyond labels, we are human beings who are engaged and in love with the voluptuous authority of collective intelligence/wisdom; with her hugs of education, respect and peace; and with her kisses of justice, true democracy and freedom. This is the non-hierarchical way in which compassionate organizing arises.
 
3. The Power of Being in Receptive Silence
How do you talk about the Great Silence and the unmanifested?
 
Not possible. It cannot be spoken, thought, written or imagined only experienced. We are consciousness remembering its origin. Inner connectedness. Our link to the unmanifested is consciousness that emanates as radiation emanates from the stars. Don't cultivate awareness of the inner body, be inner awareness for presence is consciousness lifting our souls to the higher realm of here and now: the inner realm.
 
 
Life could be radically more beautiful than what currently is for everybody in our communities. The beautification starts with us, Today. We don't have to wait. Here is a story of the power of being in receptive silence, also know as meditation. It goes beyond our rational and intellectual understanding. Because Love is the goal. Love is the means. Love is the reason! :-)
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

 

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Freedom Manifests in Action, by Rabindranath Tagore

FaceBook  On Mar 23, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.    It is always a joy to share spacetime at the Kindness Temple. I've noticed that the number of siblings coming to Wednesdays have increased in the last weeks. More souls have been touched and the ripples of the insurrection of love only get stronger and stronger. These were the 3 points I shared that Wednesday:   1. Fearlessness 2. Freedom 3. Gandhi, Tagore and the Ultimate Freedom   1. Fearlessness One could be not afraid of anything but that doesn't mean one is fearless. Because if we are courageous and feel no fear of anything but some people are afraid of us, we have not reached true fearlessness. To be fearless is to be respectful and loving towards all living beings.   2. Freedom One could claim to be free and have no physical chains but that doesn't mean one is free. Because if we are have the ability to pick our choices but we promote economic slavery, we foster war we support oppressive regimes, we have not reached freedom at all. Te be free is to respect and honor the freedom of all living beings.   3. Gandhi, Tagore and the Ultimate Freedom Perhaps Gandhi was one of the most powerful spiritual geniuses of the ages. He was a genius in the art of living. Right before the starting of his most powerful satyagraha, his very close friend Tagore asked him what was the next step he was planing for the independence of the part of the Planet we call India. Gandhi had no idea, he was "waiting for a Divine Call". Gandhi's inner freedom allowed him to wait equanimously while many people were feeling the precious opportunity to overthrown the British was slipping from their hands. Little did they know, the Mahatma --as Tagore, and later most of the World, called him--  was about to birth one of the most spectacular nonviolent direct actions humanity has ever witnessed.   Gandh  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. 
 
It is always a joy to share spacetime at the Kindness Temple. I've noticed that the number of siblings coming to Wednesdays have increased in the last weeks. More souls have been touched and the ripples of the insurrection of love only get stronger and stronger. These were the 3 points I shared that Wednesday:
 
1. Fearlessness
2. Freedom
3. Gandhi, Tagore and the Ultimate Freedom
 
1. Fearlessness
One could be not afraid of anything but that doesn't mean one is fearless. Because if we are courageous and feel no fear of anything but some people are afraid of us, we have not reached true fearlessness. To be fearless is to be respectful and loving towards all living beings.
 
2. Freedom
One could claim to be free and have no physical chains but that doesn't mean one is free. Because if we are have the ability to pick our choices but we promote economic slavery, we foster war we support oppressive regimes, we have not reached freedom at all. Te be free is to respect and honor the freedom of all living beings.
 
3. Gandhi, Tagore and the Ultimate Freedom
Perhaps Gandhi was one of the most powerful spiritual geniuses of the ages. He was a genius in the art of living. Right before the starting of his most powerful satyagraha, his very close friend Tagore asked him what was the next step he was planing for the independence of the part of the Planet we call India. Gandhi had no idea, he was "waiting for a Divine Call". Gandhi's inner freedom allowed him to wait equanimously while many people were feeling the precious opportunity to overthrown the British was slipping from their hands. Little did they know, the Mahatma --as Tagore, and later most of the World, called him--  was about to birth one of the most spectacular nonviolent direct actions humanity has ever witnessed.
 
Gandhi's main message was that there could be no nonviolence without fearlessness. Therefore, the ultimate freedom is the freedom from fear.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho 

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Practically Preposterous, by Pavithra Mehta

FaceBook  On Mar 21, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.   Practically Preposterous! I've been many times to this home, the Kindness Temple, and yet I was nervous. One of the poets of all times who has inspired me the most was right here with us. The author of the passage! The one and only hermana Pavi :-) To make the impossible possible, I tried to bring to the living room --never and adjective was so perfect!-- another of the most influential poets in my life: Rumi. I did my best and recited the poem with the heart. Here is one of the poems that have stirred the soul very deeply.   Like This  by Rumi If anyone asks you how the perfect satisfaction of all our sexual wanting will look, lift your face and say, Like this. When someone mentions the gracefulness of the nightsky, climb up on the roof and dance and say, Like this? If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is, or what "God's fragrance" means, lean your head toward him or her. Keep your face there close. Like this. When someone quotes the old poetic image about clouds gradually uncovering the moon, slowly loosen knot by knot the strings of your robe. Like this? If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead, don't try to explain the miracle. Kiss me on the lips. Like this. Like this. When someone asks what it means to "die for love," point here. If someone asks how tall I am, frown and measure with your fingers the space between the creases on your forehead. This tall. The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns. When someone doesn't believe that, walk back into my house. Like this. When lovers moan, they're telling our story. Like this. I am a sky where spirits live. Stare into this deepening blue, while the breeze says a secret. Like this. When someone asks what there is to do, light the candle in his hand. Like&nb  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.  

Practically Preposterous! I've been many times to this home, the Kindness Temple, and yet I was nervous. One of the poets of all times who has inspired me the most was right here with us. The author of the passage! The one and only hermana Pavi :-) To make the impossible possible, I tried to bring to the living room --never and adjective was so perfect!-- another of the most influential poets in my life: Rumi. I did my best and recited the poem with the heart. Here is one of the poems that have stirred the soul very deeply.
 

Like This 
by Rumi

If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,
Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,
Like this?

If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is,
or what "God's fragrance" means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.
Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.
Like this?

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don't try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like thisLike this.

When someone asks what it means
to "die for love," point
here.

If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.
This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns.
When someone doesn't believe that,
walk back into my house.
Like this.

When lovers moan,
they're telling our story.
Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.
Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.
Like this.

How did Joseph's scent come to Jacob?
Huuuu.

How did Jacob's sight return?
Huuuuu.

A little wind cleans the eyes.
Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he'll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us.
Like this.


So, when someone doesn't believe you 
that there is a family
who has opened their home
for almost 14 years
every single Wednesday
feeding more than 26,000 bodies and souls
with the only purpose to serve with love...
look at him or her 
with loving eyes and your best smile
Like this :-)
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho
 
P.S. "There's prayer, and a step up from that is meditation, and a step up from that is 'sohbet', or conversation. Who is talking to HU! (The pronoun for the breathing Divine Presence.) Lover to beloved, teacher to disciple. The Friendship of Rumi and Shams became a continuous conversation, in silence and words, presence talking to absence, existence to non-existence, periphery to center. Rumi's poetry may be heard as eavesdropping on that exchange."

 

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Help Comes From the Strangest Places, by David Brooks

FaceBook  On Feb 7, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and some of you might think that you don't know me but I'd like you to know that I love you all.  These were the three points I talked about during the sharing circle at the Kindness Temple last Wednesday:   1. Unexpected Birds 2. The Origin of the (R)evolution. 3. Invitation: Filial Insight   1. Unexpected Birds   One never knows who will benefit from our learning experiences and work. During the last weeks the Free Farm in San Francisco, has been hosting incredible guests. Somehow this green patch in the middle of the asphalt jungle has become more than a church without walls. As described by a volunteer: "The workdays feel alive with activity and conversation and when the volunteers leave, it feels like the farm comes alive in a different way. A Red Tail Hawk came and perched up on the tall flagpole...she hunted mice in front of us, eating her kill on the frame of the new hot house.[...] It was a reminder of all the creatures, visible and invisible, and all the relationships that exist on this third of an acre. There are the micro-organisms in the soil that create the nutrients for plants to grow and flower, which brings the bees, who pollinate the flowers that create fruit, which brings the mice and small birds, which brought this hawk. This is the beauty of interdependence.   This hawk symbolizes how the farm is increasing in biodiversity and becoming a sanctuary for many lives, including us humans." Also last Wednesday, three of us were in the lunch area by a little bush we decided not to cut last year. All of a sudden, a beautiful metallic blue and green hummingbird made an incredible ritual: he spent close to 3 seconds in front of each one of us --as if he were saying 'Namaste'-- and then he had a feast with all the flowers that are blooming from the little bush.   We never planned all this. The Un  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and some of you might think that you don't know me but I'd like you to know that I love you all. 
These were the three points I talked about during the sharing circle at the Kindness Temple last Wednesday:
 
1. Unexpected Birds
2. The Origin of the (R)evolution.
3. Invitation: Filial Insight
 
1. Unexpected Birds
 
One never knows who will benefit from our learning experiences and work. During the last weeks the Free Farm in San Francisco, has been hosting incredible guests. Somehow this green patch in the middle of the asphalt jungle has become more than a church without walls. As described by a volunteer:
"The workdays feel alive with activity and conversation and when the volunteers leave, it feels like the farm comes alive in a different way. A Red Tail Hawk came and perched up on the tall flagpole...she hunted mice in front of us, eating her kill on the frame of the new hot house.[...] It was a reminder of all the creatures, visible and invisible, and all the relationships that exist on this third of an acre. There are the micro-organisms in the soil that create the nutrients for plants to grow and flower, which brings the bees, who pollinate the flowers that create fruit, which brings the mice and small birds, which brought this hawk. This is the beauty of interdependence.
 
This hawk symbolizes how the farm is increasing in biodiversity and becoming a sanctuary for many lives, including us humans."
Also last Wednesday, three of us were in the lunch area by a little bush we decided not to cut last year. All of a sudden, a beautiful metallic blue and green hummingbird made an incredible ritual: he spent close to 3 seconds in front of each one of us --as if he were saying 'Namaste'-- and then he had a feast with all the flowers that are blooming from the little bush.
 
We never planned all this. The Universal Love flows in mysterious ways and if we pay attention to the subtle currents, the miracles of life will manifest everywhere.

2. The Origin of the (R)evolution.
 
The (R)evolution started in the wombs of our mothers. That's were the Uprising of Souls was ignited. When I was younger, I could not understand my mother when she said that the intention was the most important part of a gift. My rational and materialistic mind found hard to grasp that wisdom. Nipun's lemon story reminded me of this kind of motherly wisdom: 
"My first time back in India, my friend from kindergarten was taking me around on his newly found motorcycle and he was, of course, speeding and my American stomach was already edgy with all the food. So as he's hitting all the potholes, and pretty soon I start throwing up. 
 
Here we were, these teenagers in a messy situation and none of us know what to do. Just then, an old man on a bicycle stops and takes out something from his bag. It's a lemon. He cuts it in half and he offers it to me. No words. It's just implied-suck on this and you'll be fine. And then he takes off. Just like that. That's generosity. He gives half of what he has in that moment. Maybe he needed it for the evening dinner, but instead he stopped for an unknown person on the street, shared his lemon and walked off without saying a word. That's service."
Receiving raw kindness from a man who didn't know him. It is not how much we give but how much of what we have that we give that determines the level of our commitment to the kindness (R)evolution. 
 
Some of us give some or all the material wealth we have, but what is more precious than devoting our entire lives to serve humanity? How much time of the time left we have on this Planet are we going to devote to practice service?
 
3. Invitation: Filial Insight
 
Deep inside all of us there are the seeds of compassion and unconditional love we received by our mothers when we were in the womb. Our first experience is the gift of a mother's love; without us knowing who or what this person is, we are showered with love. Later, our biological family kept nourishing these seedlings. Kindness to children in their formative years is the key to accelerate the Total (R)evolution of the Human Spirit. For those of us who had the fortune to have a nourishing and loving childhood, it is our responsibility to share this infinite love with all people who interact with us. It is of extreme importance to acknowledge the love we received during our early infant stages --and must pay-it-forward to new generations! 
 
Now I can understand my father too. When I was upset with my mother, he always reminded me: "Without your Mom you would not be on this World, you must be infinitely grateful for her love and who she is. Period."
 
We must continue to facilitate the learning of the hearts of our children if we want to have a harmonious Earth.
 
The invitation is to look within ourselves for all these ONE-derful seeds of compassion and unconditional love that we all have somewhere in our soul and lets keep watering them with kindness for ourselves and our neighbors. The inspiring example of the Mehta family who has been opening not only the door but also their hearts to anybody for more than 13 years, is a reminder of the beauty of the potential we have as the Grand Human Family.
 
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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Making a New Start, by Patty De Llosa

FaceBook  On Jan 31, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.  Once again I felt like sharing space/time in a different way on Wednesdays. Hermano Rahul did a great opening and I had to follow. I did it in silence ;-) but this is what was flowing on my mind and heart at the time the mic was passing through me:  1. Penetrating Insight 2. The New Renaissance of Humanity 3. Healthy Food and Meditation 1. Penetrating Insight   "The courage to penetrate and power to see clearly the meaning of things hidden beyond the situation prevailing around us and to act up to the discovered meaning is what is known as revolutionary insight ... Revolution can take place only where there is this power of penetrating insight." -- Vinoba Bhave   If we are skillful, patient enough and brave enough to penetrate beyond and within our habits, the (R)evolution in our lives will be inevitable. 2. The New Renaissance of Humanity When Galileo discovered the fascinating worlds of Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io orbiting Jupiter, the perspective of Humanity changed forever. In the West, this discovery of the Galilean moons proved that the Earth and humans were not the center of the Universe --the insight and reasoning of Copernicus were correct-- it called into question the oppressive-obscurantist system of the Inquisition and thus opened the road to the Renaissance.   Just a few decades ago, our species ventured into space to look back and see ourselves as one people sharing a common destiny on a living spaceship, the Earth. Nowadays, we are trying to put the Solar System in context by finding planets orbiting other stars. The discovery of these extrasolar planets are opening the door of our collective consciousness. How come?   Imagine that we are building a catalogue of Earth-like planets and Super Earths --a terrestrial planet a few times the mass of the Earth-- and we human beings start to unde  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. 

Once again I felt like sharing space/time in a different way on Wednesdays. Hermano Rahul did a great opening and I had to follow. I did it in silence ;-) but this is what was flowing on my mind and heart at the time the mic was passing through me: 

1. Penetrating Insight
2. The New Renaissance of Humanity
3. Healthy Food and Meditation

1. Penetrating Insight
 
"The courage to penetrate and power to see clearly the meaning of things hidden beyond the situation prevailing around us and to act up to the discovered meaning is what is known as revolutionary insight ... Revolution can take place only where there is this power of penetrating insight." -- Vinoba Bhave
 
If we are skillful, patient enough and brave enough to penetrate beyond and within our habits, the (R)evolution in our lives will be inevitable.

2. The New Renaissance of Humanity
When Galileo discovered the fascinating worlds of Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io orbiting Jupiter, the perspective of Humanity changed forever. In the West, this discovery of the Galilean moons proved that the Earth and humans were not the center of the Universe --the insight and reasoning of Copernicus were correct-- it called into question the oppressive-obscurantist system of the Inquisition and thus opened the road to the Renaissance.
 
Just a few decades ago, our species ventured into space to look back and see ourselves as one people sharing a common destiny on a living spaceship, the Earth. Nowadays, we are trying to put the Solar System in context by finding planets orbiting other stars. The discovery of these extrasolar planets are opening the door of our collective consciousness. How come?
 
Imagine that we are building a catalogue of Earth-like planets and Super Earths --a terrestrial planet a few times the mass of the Earth-- and we human beings start to understand that it does not matter what country, religion or sexual orientation we are but what matters is being a responsible citizen of the World. We are starting to respect the wisdom of all people and the wisdom of all species. Through compassion, interdependence and biomimicry--mimicking the wisdom of the species of the Planet-- we are seeing clearer that the Earth is but one country and all living beings its citizens. 
 
I strongly believe we are living now the New Renaissance of Humanity.
 
Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. were very clear about this of citizenship of the World:
 
"I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak of the -- for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours."--Martin Luther King Jr.
 
"The very right to live is only afforded to us if we fulfill our duty as citizens of the world. Nationalism is not the highest concept. The highest concept is a worldcommunity."-- M.K. Gandhi 

 
3. Healthy Food and Meditation
Six decades ago, people in the part of the planet we call India were part of a nonviolent revolution. Sometimes is overlooked the importance that had Gandhi's constructive program to move towards independence and self-reliance. It was because every person regardless of age, social class or gender had the opportunity to get involved somehow in the chain of cloth production, from sowing the seeds of cotton to wearing the hand-made cloth that boycotting the British colonial rule was a success.
 
Likewise, now at a planetary scale, we must achieve food sovereignty to break the shackles of the transnational corporate rule. Profits for the few and environmental destruction for all of us is not an option anymore. Neither genetically modified crops, chemical fertilizers, toxic pesticides and some stunning combinations of the three. It is a myth that vast single crop plantation sized fields can produce enough food in the long term to feed the entire World.
 
While it is necessary to stand up and resist the tyrants of the World with noncooperation, boycotts and civil disobedience, to co-create the alternatives we would like to see and that will give us full self-sufficiency is of vital importance.
 
“We find that our work to build a better food system in the [part of the Planet we call] United States is inextricably linked to the struggle for workers’ rights, immigrant rights, women’s rights, the fight to dismantle racism in our communities, and the struggle for sovereignty in indigenous communities. We find that in order to create a better food system, we must break up the corporate control of our seeds, land, water, and  natural resources.” -- Statement from the People’s Movement Assembly on Food Sovereignty, US Social Forum 2010, Detroit, Michigan.
 
Food autonomy is the key answer to hunger, economic disparity and climate change. It is a powerful alternative to export-driven industrial agriculture. There are many alternatives to the disastrous current food system that starts with justice for farmers and farm workers and ends with the right and access to local, healthy food.
 
Since our generation is seeking the Total (R)evolution of the Human Spirit, it is necessary to add another dimension, the inner dimension: we all could spend some hours a day in receptive silence. This is a kind of healthy food for the soul and it can be done by everyone.
 
The author mentions food and meditation. 
 
These are the two key factors to Planetize the Movement of the Ahimsa (R)evolution. The center of the galaxy of the independence movement of the Earth Community. We all can participate in one way or another in the chain of healthy food --seed banks, preparing the land to plant, starts and greenhouses, designing water catch systems, watering the crops, dry farming, weeding (or not), harvesting, cleaning the produce, farmer’s market, preparing the food, eating, washing dishes, mulching and composting--  and, at the same time, we all can spend some time to be in receptive silence accessing the blueprints of humanity.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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Instilling Discipline and Responsibility in our Lives, by Angeles Arrien

FaceBook  On Jan 25, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.    As unusual as it is for me to not share some points on Wednesdays, the flow was proper to expand the sharing via the magic of electron land. Here we are able to deepen our interactions and learning from each other. These are the 3 points that were inhabiting my mind and heart that Wednesday.   1. Servant Leaders & the Salt Satyagraha 2. Spiritual Discipline 3. Collective Wisdom   1. Servant Leaders & the Salt Satyagraha One of the best examples of servant leadership and one of the most impressive nonviolent direct actions of all times was the Salt Satyagraha. In happened on March 12th, 1930 on the part of the Planet we call India. It was a civil disobedience campaign to shake the British colonial rule to the core. A spiritual community, characterized by servant not leaders, decided to never come to their Ashram until achieving independence. And they did.   How one can achieve such a gargantuan and courageous task?   2. Spiritual Discipline The foundations of being the change we want to see in the Universe is grounded on spiritual discipline. To cultivate a strong determination to follow love and truth no matter what happen to us, it requires a lot of practice to still our mind and exercise our courage. Who started the Salt Satyagraha campaign? Gandhi and 78 satyagrahis had developed a deep devotion to the pursuit of Truth, nonviolence, fearlessness and humility, and lived on a daily basis the principles of egalitarianism, co-operation, equitable distribution of resources, respect for all faiths and Nature, and simplicity. This is a life time endeavor. They spent 15 years living in community building trust among one another in a joyous form of spiritual discipline. Right before the march he wrote, "When I am Arrested"   "So far as I am  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. 

 
As unusual as it is for me to not share some points on Wednesdays, the flow was proper to expand the sharing via the magic of electron land. Here we are able to deepen our interactions and learning from each other. These are the 3 points that were inhabiting my mind and heart that Wednesday.
 
1. Servant Leaders & the Salt Satyagraha
2. Spiritual Discipline
3. Collective Wisdom
 
1. Servant Leaders & the Salt Satyagraha
One of the best examples of servant leadership and one of the most impressive nonviolent direct actions of all times was the Salt Satyagraha. In happened on March 12th, 1930 on the part of the Planet we call India. It was a civil disobedience campaign to shake the British colonial rule to the core. A spiritual community, characterized by servant not leaders, decided to never come to their Ashram until achieving independence. And they did.
 
How one can achieve such a gargantuan and courageous task?
 
2. Spiritual Discipline
The foundations of being the change we want to see in the Universe is grounded on spiritual discipline. To cultivate a strong determination to follow love and truth no matter what happen to us, it requires a lot of practice to still our mind and exercise our courage. Who started the Salt Satyagraha campaign? Gandhi and 78 satyagrahis had developed a deep devotion to the pursuit of Truth, nonviolence, fearlessness and humility, and lived on a daily basis the principles of egalitarianism, co-operation, equitable distribution of resources, respect for all faiths and Nature, and simplicity. This is a life time endeavor. They spent 15 years living in community building trust among one another in a joyous form of spiritual discipline. Right before the march he wrote, "When I am Arrested"
 
"So far as I am concerned, my intention is to start the movement only through the inmates of the Ashram and those who have submitted to its discipline and assimilated the spirit  of its methods. Those, therefore, who will offer battle at the  very commencement will be unknown to fame. Hitherto the Ashram has been deliberately kept in reserve in order that by a fairly long course of discipline it might acquire stability. I feel, that if the Satyagraha Ashram is to deserve the great confidence that has been reposed in it and the affection lavished upon it by friends, the time has arrived for it to demonstrate the qualities implied in the word satyagraha. I feel that our self-imposed restraints have become subtle indulgences, and the prestige acquired has provided us with privileges and conveniences of which we may be utterly unworthy. These have been thankfully accepted in the hope that some day we would be able to give a good account of ourselves in terms of satyagraha. And if at the end of nearly 15 years of its existence, the Ashram cannot give such a demonstration, it and I should disappear, and it would be  well for the nation, the Ashram and me."
 
3. Collective Wisdom
 
It is impossible for a single man to go to the Moon or achieve Independence or run the Internet because we are interdependent. Our existence is based upon the interbeing of all the subjects in the Universe. We are not isolated. When it comes to celebrate the higher aspirations of humanity we must relay on each other without forgetting that, at the same time, all the answers are within ourselves.It is a fine balance between self-government and vulnerable dependence. 
 
When brother Hari came to Wednesdays he later wrote a insightful remark here. He said: 
 
"A persons Reality is based on their experience,  But have you experienced everything? No." 
 
While I was aware of perspectivism, the way hermano Hari shared this truth served me to acquire a new profound dimension. Take the example of Vinoba Bhave who was celibate since he was 13 years old. The insights one must have during puberty and young adulthood most be quite powerful and grounding when one is in this celibacy framework. At the same time, those who have experienced the magic of making love with a partner can testify about the beauty of connecting with another human being with not only one, or two or three but all six senses. The beauty of appreciating everyone's perspective is that otherwise our reality is incomplete. Vinobaji wasn't able to experience how it feels to wake up surrounded by the arms of your beloved and a new born after a night of compassionate deep making love, and I am not able to ever experience how if feels to harness all that energy of the late twenties to do constructive work to unify humanity the way Vinobaji did. But when we put all our perspectives and experiences together, the Grand Human Family starts to operate as a unity.
 
Think and feel about human cells now. For example, while a red blood cell brings nutrients and oxygen to other cells, a fibroblast maintains the structural integrity of connective tissues (like our pumping heart!). It is impossible for the red cell and the fibroblast to "experience" the same function at the same time (or at any time!) but combined they are part of the ~30 trillion cells that are making possible for me to write this words and for you to read this ideas. The two cells are part of a grand human body operating in heart unity, literally ;-)
 
That said, it is undreamed the potential we have to develop our unique and individual sensitivities to awaken our most profound self in the pursuit of an evolving consciousness. We most support each other, we must learn from each other's perspective and experience. It is easier to have trillions of cells doing small tasks than 1 cell doing trillion tasks. The collective energy of a group is incredibly powerful to support our individual journeys. We must rely on our collective experience, our collective wisdom to let the Universal Love flow through our cells, organs, bodies, families, society and through the entire Earth Community.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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Entertainment Vs. Art, by Lariv Athem

FaceBook  On Jan 17, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.    It is not news to be deeply touched by the love and generosity offered at the Kindness Temple. This time Mamá Harshida embodied what it means to be a selfless servant leader. All week I have been sending her concentrated loving-kindness so that she gets well. She had fever and yet she cooked for us and heat the delicious meal. When I shared the details of the story with my biological parents -- who live in the part of the Planet we call Mexico-- they were equally touched and asked me to send her all our blessings. I hope they have reached her in different ways. When I hugged Mamá Harshida before leaving, I felt her high fever but she was only concerned about feeding me physically and spiritually. She inspired me beyond comprehension and my son's heart, in deep gratitude, only hopes to become a more fervent disciple of hers. These were the 3 points I shared last week:   1. Balance 2. (r)Evolution of Living 3. Recognizing and Celebrating the Art of Living   1. Balance When science and art are in balance the beauty of life blossoms at its best.  Balance between chaos and structure, between mind and heart, between theory and practice, between equanimity and awareness... Indeed, it is an art to find balance in life.   2. (r)Evolution of Living First we understand intellectually the principles of life. Once we comprehend them, we practice the art of applying them in life. And finally, the most challenging stage, we embody those principles and master that art. This is the Total (R)evolution of the Human Spirit.   3. Recognizing and Celebrating the Art of Living A tragedy occurred in Tucson last weekend. But in the midst of all the violence, in the midst of all the hate, if we pay close attention, love, compassion and courage always find their way to shape our souls. We only need to recognize  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. 

 
It is not news to be deeply touched by the love and generosity offered at the Kindness Temple. This time Mamá Harshida embodied what it means to be a selfless servant leader. All week I have been sending her concentrated loving-kindness so that she gets well. She had fever and yet she cooked for us and heat the delicious meal. When I shared the details of the story with my biological parents -- who live in the part of the Planet we call Mexico-- they were equally touched and asked me to send her all our blessings. I hope they have reached her in different ways. When I hugged Mamá Harshida before leaving, I felt her high fever but she was only concerned about feeding me physically and spiritually. She inspired me beyond comprehension and my son's heart, in deep gratitude, only hopes to become a more fervent disciple of hers. These were the 3 points I shared last week:
 
1. Balance
2. (r)Evolution of Living
3. Recognizing and Celebrating the Art of Living
 
1. Balance
When science and art are in balance the beauty of life blossoms at its best. 
Balance between chaos and structure, between mind and heart, between theory and practice, between equanimity and awareness... Indeed, it is an art to find balance in life.
 
2. (r)Evolution of Living
First we understand intellectually the principles of life. Once we comprehend them, we practice the art of applying them in life. And finally, the most challenging stage, we embody those principles and master that art. This is the Total (R)evolution of the Human Spirit.
 
3. Recognizing and Celebrating the Art of Living
A tragedy occurred in Tucson last weekend. But in the midst of all the violence, in the midst of all the hate, if we pay close attention, love, compassion and courage always find their way to shape our souls. We only need to recognize it and celebrate it. While a 22 year old killed 6 people, Daniel Hernández --a 20 year old-- saved the life of Gabrielle Giffords. And when he was called a "hero" he rejected the term --ala CF-- and said:
 
"Any one in my position would have done the same thing... the real heroes are people like Congresswoman Giffords, who have dedicated their lives to public service and helping others." 
 
Later, brother Barack gave a great speech recognizing all this beauty by celebrating the art of life --perhaps he should finished up his next speech with "Why only America? God bless the whole World!"
 
If we look carefully the Wednesdays passage in the mirror, if we savor the subtle details of life, we will recognize us and the author, who is our beloved hermano Viral Mehta. To come up with these kind of insights, it requires a lot of hours to still the mind. Actually, right now he is in the 37th day out of 45 of a meditation retreat, so we are sending him all our love and strength. 
 
And if we pay more attention, we will see the mastery of the art to serve and love others that exudes from this home. For more than 13 years these selfless servers have shaped our souls to be more generous, more kind, more humble. When we come to Wednesdays, we are practicing the best of crafts: the art of living.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

 

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Individual and Social Ethics, by Bertrand Russell

FaceBook  On Jan 5, 2011 Pancho wrote:

Many thanks for your kind message brother Sanjeev. As you will see soon, I'm only a fierce mirror reflecting the light of the universe. What you are seeing/reading is no other thing but you ;-) This is my job: to live in radical joyous shared servanthood, and the way that I do it, is through finding the incredible inspiration inside each one of us. When the time comes, I'd be delighted to attend to the Wednesdays hosted by you so that we can connect further at the SOULlular level. Certainly, I promise to be an attentive guest _listener_ ;-)    As a matter of fact, I got so inspired by hermano Hari's profound messages that poetry flowed through me, two poems out of two messages! I see it as another evidence of being a fierce mirror: depending of the paradigm, a mirror tries to mimic, reflect, copy or collaborate with the image in front of it. So, this is the collaborative poem co-created by this space (astronomical thank yous hermano Hari!):   In an Instant Time is Eternity True Love, Willing Bird, how to know if I will recognize you? A horrible answer, never. Excruciating torture, tomorrow. The worst of all, yesterday. What the soul yearns, Now. May your song fly in-between heartbeats and breath! And then, I see the whole Universe in your eyes, Beloved Angel, in an instant, in all that present greatness, have no choice but to see your sorrow, your beauty, as you see mine in an instant. Reality is based on our experience but have we experienced everything? No our experience is incomplete. Words fall weightless and awe is all there is and wonder. And so we feel the beginningless silence without heartbeats of our still hearts break open and then I feel the whole Universe in your touch, in an instant, in all that tenderness, beyond the mind the hands were cold but our rubbing spirits on fire supported by the smell of stars and reality in your hair my favorite star in the whole Cosmos the star of your love, the Un  See full.

Many thanks for your kind message brother Sanjeev. As you will see soon, I'm only a fierce mirror reflecting the light of the universe. What you are seeing/reading is no other thing but you ;-) This is my job: to live in radical joyous shared servanthood, and the way that I do it, is through finding the incredible inspiration inside each one of us. When the time comes, I'd be delighted to attend to the Wednesdays hosted by you so that we can connect further at the SOULlular level. Certainly, I promise to be an attentive guest _listener_ ;-) 

 
As a matter of fact, I got so inspired by hermano Hari's profound messages that poetry flowed through me, two poems out of two messages! I see it as another evidence of being a fierce mirror: depending of the paradigm, a mirror tries to mimic, reflect, copy or collaborate with the image in front of it. So, this is the collaborative poem co-created by this space (astronomical thank yous hermano Hari!):
 

In an Instant Time is Eternity
True Love, Willing Bird,
how to know if I will recognize you?
A horrible answer, never.
Excruciating torture, tomorrow.
The worst of all, yesterday.
What the soul yearns, Now.
May your song fly in-between heartbeats and breath!

And then, I see the whole Universe in your eyes, Beloved Angel,
in an instant,
in all that present greatness,
have no choice but to see your sorrow, your beauty, as you see mine
in an instant.

Reality is based on our experience
but have we experienced everything?
No
our experience is incomplete.
Words fall weightless
and awe is all there is
and wonder.
And so we feel the beginningless silence
without heartbeats
of our still hearts
break open

and then I feel the whole Universe in your touch,
in an instant,
in all that tenderness,
beyond the mind
the hands were cold
but our rubbing spirits on fire
supported by
the smell of stars and reality
in your hair

my favorite star in the whole Cosmos
the star of your love,
the Universal Love,
because it illuminates my life
stronger than billion suns
it is always within
the sacred heart
evolving the present
level of perception

and when the light of galaxies
will be extinguished
thousands of millions of years from now,
I will keep loving you, Beloved Angel.

An infinite chain of Nows,
present moments
leave us
profoundly different
and exactly the same.
And so we love you, Beloved One,
Now,
in an instant,
time is eternity…

 

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Individual and Social Ethics, by Bertrand Russell

FaceBook  On Dec 24, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.    We had another incredible Wednesday at the Kindness Temple and the presence of a surprise guest. Hermano Somik, once again, has done a great job summarizing many of the highlights --if not all of them! A poem flowed through me on Thursday, right after I read Hari's interview done by hermao Ricardo. Then, I mixed it with these three points.   1. A Harmonious Life. 2. "Yes" and "Thank You" :-) the Guru is Everywhere.  3. Nonviolent Roses   1. A Harmonious Life. Bertrand Russell has been one of the most influential philosophers of my life. His love for humanity and critical thinking helped me to move one step forward in the path of finding truth during my years in the so called "scientific community". The bold Russell-Einstein Manifesto against the atomic bombs, converted him in one of my "gurus". But perhaps what captivated me the most, was his way to connect the heart and the mind:   "A good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge."--Bertrand Russell   It is unbelievable how in the intellectual arena many times we forget about the heart. He had a great secret of Nature to share with the rest of us, so that we can cultivate our citizenship of the World. And I did. Now, that the guru is dead, his quote can be improved by saying:   "A harmonious life is one inspired by love, guided by knowledge and experienced by wisdom."   2. "Yes" and "Thank You" :-) the Guru is Everywhere. It was very touching to witness the great devotion and love that Hari feels for his Guru. He shared with us:   "If you have the fortune of living with a Guru, a true master, at the end of the day, you only have two statements: 'Yes' and 'Thank You'. 'Yes' to his instruction, guidance and mission and 'Thank You' for the opportunity and  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. 

 
We had another incredible Wednesday at the Kindness Temple and the presence of a surprise guest. Hermano Somik, once again, has done a great job summarizing many of the highlights --if not all of them! A poem flowed through me on Thursday, right after I read Hari's interview done by hermao Ricardo. Then, I mixed it with these three points.
 
1. A Harmonious Life.
2. "Yes" and "Thank You" :-) the Guru is Everywhere. 
3. Nonviolent Roses
 
1. A Harmonious Life.
Bertrand Russell has been one of the most influential philosophers of my life. His love for humanity and critical thinking helped me to move one step forward in the path of finding truth during my years in the so called "scientific community". The bold Russell-Einstein Manifesto against the atomic bombs, converted him in one of my "gurus". But perhaps what captivated me the most, was his way to connect the heart and the mind:
 
"A good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge."--Bertrand Russell
 
It is unbelievable how in the intellectual arena many times we forget about the heart. He had a great secret of Nature to share with the rest of us, so that we can cultivate our citizenship of the World. And I did. Now, that the guru is dead, his quote can be improved by saying:
 
"A harmonious life is one inspired by love, guided by knowledge and experienced by wisdom."
 
2. "Yes" and "Thank You" :-) the Guru is Everywhere.
It was very touching to witness the great devotion and love that Hari feels for his Guru. He shared with us:
 

"If you have the fortune of living with a Guru, a true master, at the end of the day, you only have two statements: 'Yes' and 'Thank You'. 'Yes' to his instruction, guidance and mission and 'Thank You' for the opportunity and his infinite blessings."

Someone asked Hari where people with no Guru fit in his philosophy of life. He answered that we all had a Guru at our personal level: our own conscience. At another level, Nature is also our great Guru. In this way we have many layers of Gurus. I found this spiritual translation very useful and it reminded me something I shared in a Wednesday about the principles followed by Mother Nature:
 
"Is organized bottom-up; rewards cooperation; promotes diversity; is about interdependence; is about resiliency. And there is a very important part we cannot forget. It is the part where we say thank you. It is the part in which we remember to be mannerly towards the rest of the natural world, to say thank you for the ideas that they gifted us with."
I tried to ask Hari about these principles adopting a very cool visualization he used but my metaphor didn't seem to work. He said something like "we all are like tiny light particles moving towards a very luminous body as bright as billions of suns. We should feel humbled by the power and beauty of this immense light that is so much powerful and brilliant than a tiny particle with light. That's how we should feel about us and our Gurus." I felt somewhat compelled with this scenario, and I asked what were the "Maxwell Equations" that govern the path of these particles? In other words, there are multiple paths for massless photons and charged particles to move towards or from, let's say, a star. But the speed of light is constant; an accelerated charged particle will create a magnetic field and light; a magnetic field, in turn, will affect the trajectory of fellow charged particles and so on.  The group of particles and photons might disappear from any given moment, but the principles, those are eternal.
 
I made this comparison to bring up that Gurus are powerful and inspiring because they are the embodiment of the principles of life. And still, there is a natural limitation: we all are in these sacks of cells. As I argued in this other Wednesday

"In our awakening phase, first, one might be loyal to a creative-courageous individual, but that loyalty should, in due course, grow into commitment to principles, where the intermediate phase, the bridge, could be a commitment to the community of like-minded/hearted people. That is, for (r)evolutionary purposes, respect for an individual, must be replaced by respect for a group of individuals. If there is no love, respect and commitment for the posse, there would be dissensions and unresolved conflicts within it. Loyalty to an individual should thus advance to commitment to the community of the like-minded/hearted and from that to commitment to the principles. Perhaps this is what the Buddhists mean when they say: 'I take refuge in Buddha. I take refuge in sangha. I take refuge in Dharma.'

Love for an individual or for a group is shaky. There most eventually be a commitment to principles. Then, the fractal of Nature and the Universal Love will take care to spread the principles from the infinitely small to the infinitely great. That's why, from my perspective, we are part of this exciting movement that started ~3 billion years ago on this Planet, where life has learned over billions of years the advantages of cooperative, locally rooted, self-organized enterprise, in which each individual organism is constantly balancing between individual and group interests."

I think/feel that the solution of this Guru(less) paradox comes when we walk the walk. When we embody the principles of life and master the art of practicing them in a moment-to-moment basis. That's why I say that the Guru is everywhere! Take a look at that beautiful heart of (y)ours! ;-)
 
3. Nonviolent Roses

Blooms fostering divine physics and harmony
one pollen grain at a time
kind-fine dust of merits.
True satyagrahis who feel intensively the Universe of Love
and act accordingly in profound positive influence.
Without action, without scent, our supreme beauty is incomplete.
That’s why our roots are ruthless honesty, ruthless courage
to clean the home of our heart-mind flowers
and be ready to host saintly pollinators.

Leaves of internal prosperity, no false thoughts
catching, in stillness, the unconditional gifts of billions of suns.
Our sharp resilient thorns of holly satyagraha
are tributes to challenge injustice
and its greedy hands: ignorance and totalitarianism.

Some might try to harm us
attack our soft colorful petals and even violently crush us
but in the process, as Nonviolent Roses,
How could our sweet indomitable fragrance not be offered?
How could we not be kissing their lungs and minds
with a fearless smell to remind them about our exquisite oneness
and the indestructible flow of the human spirit?

It is our nature not to like them but to love them.
Let’s intoxicate them with pure love and critical inquiry!
The immortal nectar will be absorbed in their blood.
We might become generous molecules in the stream or Service and Truth.
Sooner or later, Beloved Angel, we will reach their heart
and there will be no “they” anymore
only understanding.

We can never be crushed because
the aroma of courage, love and compassion
is our signature, legacy, testament and last breath:
“we love you, we forgive you, we bless you…
we are one.”

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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Ancient Law of Hospitality, by Thomas Berry

FaceBook  On Dec 21, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.    When the Universal Love is flowing through us, are we giving or receiving? As the generosity of life manifests through us, from the sole of our feet to the top of the head, from our hearts to our eyes, how not to be blessed with the ultimate reality of interconnectedness? This blessing flowed through some of us last Wednesday, during the precious dance of giving and receiving. Many of us didn't know if we were giving or receiving at that point... These were the 3 points that flowed through me:   1. Resistance to Civil Government: Thoreau and Gandhi  2. Family 3. Radical Hospitality   1. Resistance to Civil Government: Thoreau and Gandhi  During the circle Gandhi and Thoreau were mentioned and immediately Thoreau's essay on Civil Disobedience came to mind/heart. As a compassionate resident of the Earth, Thoreau was fiercely opposed to the imperial behavior of his government and its endless wars --like the one against the Mexican government in the 1840s where the U.S. government colonized the present day states of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming. When Gandhi read Thoreau's essay he fully understood the importance and similarities between the abolition of slavery movements in the parts of the Planet we call the U.S. and South Africa. On Gandhi's words:   "Thoreau was a great writer, philosopher, poet, and withal a most practical man, that is, he taught nothing he was not prepared to practice in himself. He was one of the greatest and most moral men America has produced. At the time of the abolition of slavery movement, he wrote his famous essay On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. He went to gaol for the sake  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. 

 
When the Universal Love is flowing through us, are we giving or receiving? As the generosity of life manifests through us, from the sole of our feet to the top of the head, from our hearts to our eyes, how not to be blessed with the ultimate reality of interconnectedness? This blessing flowed through some of us last Wednesday, during the precious dance of giving and receiving. Many of us didn't know if we were giving or receiving at that point... These were the 3 points that flowed through me:
 
1. Resistance to Civil Government: Thoreau and Gandhi 
2. Family
3. Radical Hospitality
 
1. Resistance to Civil Government: Thoreau and Gandhi 
During the circle Gandhi and Thoreau were mentioned and immediately Thoreau's essay on Civil Disobedience came to mind/heart. As a compassionate resident of the Earth, Thoreau was fiercely opposed to the imperial behavior of his government and its endless wars --like the one against the Mexican government in the 1840s where the U.S. government colonized the present day states of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming. When Gandhi read Thoreau's essay he fully understood the importance and similarities between the abolition of slavery movements in the parts of the Planet we call the U.S. and South Africa. On Gandhi's words:
 
"Thoreau was a great writer, philosopher, poet, and withal a most practical man, that is, he taught nothing he was not prepared to practice in himself. He was one of the greatest and most moral men America has produced. At the time of the abolition of slavery movement, he wrote his famous essay On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. He went to gaol for the sake of his principles and suffering humanity. His essay has, therefore, been sanctified by suffering. Moreover, it is written for all time. Its incisive logic is unanswerable."
 
For Gandhi this was no other thing but satyagraha: clinging to truth, exercising the soul-force in the face of injustice to touch the hearts of all people involved in the conflict to convert them from opponents into sisters and brothers. Satyagraha was a way to disobey inhumane systems/governments and, at the same time, a way to follow the path of truthful means that creates real harmony.
 
2. Family
Why do I always introduce myself as: "My family calls me Pancho"? It is because pretty much everyone calls me Pancho. I see everybody as my family and when a person calls me "Pancho" she or he --consciously or subconsciously-- are joining the emerging paradigm of unity without borders. There are many brains but there is only one heart.
 
I believe that Thoreau and Gandhi --and so many other great human beings-- are showing us the path towards a way of life where we treat each other as sisters and brothers for real. We always will have enough for everybody's needs but not for anyone's greed. It is a visualization of how the Earth Community would look like if we embrace the Victory of the Commons, the Victory of the Grand Human Family.
 
3. Radical Hospitality
Ancient law of hospitality... what about 9 months of radical hospitality in our mom's womb? 
 
Or what about 13 years of opening the door of your home and cooking dinner with love every single Wednesday where everybody is welcome, so long as the meditative purpose of the silent space, the constraints of the physical space, and a sense of mutual respect is honored?
 
Or what about 3.5 billion years of radical hospitality of Mother Earth who supports the miracle of life in this part of the Universe?
 
Father Thomas Berry puts it beautifully:
 
"Every part of the Earth is a mode of the Earth.
Every being on the Earth, is the Earth.
A tiger is the Earth. A thunderstorm is the Earth. A poem is the Earth.
The Earth expresses herself through the myriad beings. The Planet is embodied in every one of its phenomena."
 
In the same way that we (radically) host in our hearts every single being of the Earth, every phenomena, we will feel the flow of the Universal Love nourishing the soul at all levels confirming that there is no community without a unifying story.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

Pancho 

 

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Building a Creative Temple, by Martin Luther King, Jr.

FaceBook  On Dec 13, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. The Kindness Temple is creative indeed ;-) It is impossible to quantify the impact that this family of the Planet --the Mehta Family-- has done to our communities and souls. It is an honor to be embraced by their unconditional love and their strong self-less service. Home is everywhere we go, but on Wednesdays at Santa Clara, I particularly feel more at home. This is what I had to share last week at the Kindness Temple: 1. Cosmic Companionship 2. (Inner) Compost 3. Why Do We Sit To Be In Receptive Silence? 1. Cosmic Companionship Marting Luther King Jr. is a champion of nonviolence, service and love. He often reminds us that: the Universe is in the side of justice... [as I type these words I can hear his voice reverberating in my soul... papá Dinesh provided us the powerful audio in his comment]. So, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice" he says. We, humans, can always choose to make a right or a left on the path of life but in the final hour, right before we leave this body, the Universe of Love will tap us on the shoulder, give us a warm hug and whisper in our ear: "Did you love enough my child? Did you stand up for justice, love and compassion long enough that your legs are strong enough and ready to become wings? Are you ready to fly?" Human beings are not intrinsically good or evil. We are about choices. In any given circumstance, sometimes we only see one option but in reality we always have many options. That's why we spend time in receptive silence, to be creative and find new choices. We all love to have another chance to live a life aligned with the arc of the Universe that bends towards justice. The act of bending is love:    "Power at its best is LOVE implementing the demands of Justice. Justice at its best is LOVE correcting everythin  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

The Kindness Temple is creative indeed ;-) It is impossible to quantify the impact that this family of the Planet --the Mehta Family-- has done to our communities and souls. It is an honor to be embraced by their unconditional love and their strong self-less service. Home is everywhere we go, but on Wednesdays at Santa Clara, I particularly feel more at home. This is what I had to share last week at the Kindness Temple:

1. Cosmic Companionship
2. (Inner) Compost
3. Why Do We Sit To Be In Receptive Silence?

1. Cosmic Companionship
Marting Luther King Jr. is a champion of nonviolence, service and love. He often reminds us that: the Universe is in the side of justice... [as I type these words I can hear his voice reverberating in my soul... papá Dinesh provided us the powerful audio in his comment].

So, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice" he says. We, humans, can always choose to make a right or a left on the path of life but in the final hour, right before we leave this body, the Universe of Love will tap us on the shoulder, give us a warm hug and whisper in our ear: "Did you love enough my child? Did you stand up for justice, love and compassion long enough that your legs are strong enough and ready to become wings? Are you ready to fly?"

Human beings are not intrinsically good or evil. We are about choices. In any given circumstance, sometimes we only see one option but in reality we always have many options. That's why we spend time in receptive silence, to be creative and find new choices. We all love to have another chance to live a life aligned with the arc of the Universe that bends towards justice. The act of bending is love: 
 
"Power at its best is LOVE implementing the demands of Justice. Justice at its best is LOVE correcting everything that stands against LOVE." --Martin Luther King Jr.
 
That's why in the emerging paradigm we go beyond right and wrong, we go beyond labels. We are human beings who are engaged and IN LOVE with the voluptuous authority of collective intelligence; with her hugs of learning, respect and peace; and with her kisses of justice, true democracy and freedom.
 
How are we pursuing these principles in the face of injustice and violence? Through the means of nonviolence. 
 
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.  In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. 
 
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."-- Martin Luther King Jr.
 
Oh yes! Let's be bright stars in the galaxy of our communities! Our means are ends in the making. Our collective light is shining and it is starting to illuminate the darkest corners of this Planet.
 
"I am convinced that the Universe is under the control of a loving purpose, and that in the struggle for righteousness humans have Cosmic Companionship... the Universe is in the side of justice and each of us must keep faith in the future. Let us not despair. Let us realize that as we struggle for justice and freedom, we have Cosmic Companionship." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
 
Let us not forget that this companionship lives in every small act of courage and kindness we perform. This Cosmic Companionship is always in our hearts.
 
2. (Inner) Compost
Last Wednesday and was turning up the compost at the Free Farm and I was very impressed to see how a big compost pile --debris, food scraps, left overs from harvesting, horse manure,  mushrooms and more-- was auto-cooked at high temperatures and converted into fresh fragrant soil ready to be used for more planting.
 
If we are part of the flow of Nature, how does our inner compost really work?
 
3. Why Do We Sit To Be In Receptive Silence?
Every single human being has both negative and positive seeds. Even the kindest most compassionate human on the Planet has to practice inwardly. Why? Because she or he needs to transform that compost on a daily basis in order to be happy and radiant. In order to cultivate those inner smiles that will inspire others. If everything inside of us, all of a sudden, is positive and beautiful, there would no be need to practice.
 
We always have the choice to cultivate courage, loving kindness or not. Because of this precious characteristic of human life, we must sustain our spiritual practice to avoid walking on the path of self-centered life or burnout. Suffering is needed for compassion and understanding to be born. Suffering is necessary until we know that it is unnecessary. Negative seeds are the inner compost of our farm, our True Self. 
 
Without compost and organic matter there are no veggies, no flowers, no fruits. In the same way, without the inner _awareness_ of violence, greed, anger, untruth and selfishness, there cannot be _embodiment_ of nonviolence, trusteeship, compassion, truth and solidarity.
 
It is because we have all the time seeds of negative energies that we must continue to practice. The process of transformation and healing requires ongoing practice. We produce material for our inner compost bin every day, so we need to practice continuously to take care of the debris in order to make it into healthy food and beautiful fragrant flowers. 
 
Even the great farmers of the world --those who produce large amounts of local, organic and fresh food and flowers, the giant spiritual teachers-- have to deal with their inner compost and must practice continuously. Let us recognize that self-center nature, that desire based life-style and transform it into fresh-local-organic-healthy thoughts, words and actions.
 
It is no easy task, but remember that we have Cosmic Companionship ;-)
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
 
Pancho
 
PS: Dear beloved sister Catherine, I recommend you to read the translation of the Gita by Sri Eknath Easwaran. And Julio Díaz provide us a very inspiring example how to embody nonviolence. Here's one of his stories featured in NPR and the DailyGood: The Man Who Dined With His Mugger. You might want to subscribe to the DailyGood! :-) Love you sister!

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You Carry Your Wound, by Osho

FaceBook  On Dec 7, 2010 Pancho wrote:

 My family calls me Pancho, some of you might think that I don't know you, but I'd like you to know that I love you all. I found myself trying to translate some of the meaning of the passage by removing the judgement. Why it was said a "man of Tao" and not "a woman of Tao"? Do we carry something else other than wounds? Hermano Chris opened Wednesdays and provided a lot of food for thought and feeling (I hope he can share it later!) with an analogy of four flows. These were the 3 points I shared:   1. The Scar During and After the Wound 2. Clad in the Armor of Love 3. The Deepest Flow 1. The Scar During and After the Wound  What else do we carry with us? When we are physically (or emotionally) wounded a miraculous process start to happen. A process that took billions of years to be possible. A concert of cooperation among cells from platelets to neurons. Information and proteins are efficiently shared without asking for "documents". When injured, a healthy human body and soul will begin to heal by themselves: solidarity at its best for the well-being of all. When our being is aware of the wound, the capability to self-heal starts. Inside all of us there is a powerful source of love that is capable to heal us. If we are able to tap into this wisdom, into this incommensurable source of love, we will find the answer to all our questions. In this way, during and after the wound we carry with us the scar of the Universal Love. For me, this scar is a beautiful reminder of this phenomenal demonstration of solidarity, a reminder that we always carry with us this infinite source of compassion and love.    During the circle of sharing, I could not say it better than sister Shanti: on Wednesdays we strive in silence for the Universal Love.Then we listen, share and unite. This process we experience brings an deep sense of happiness and peace.   On Wednesdays we ar  See full.

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

I found myself trying to translate some of the meaning of the passage by removing the judgement. Why it was said a "man of Tao" and not "a woman of Tao"? Do we carry something else other than wounds? Hermano Chris opened Wednesdays and provided a lot of food for thought and feeling (I hope he can share it later!) with an analogy of four flows. These were the 3 points I shared:
 
1. The Scar During and After the Wound
2. Clad in the Armor of Love
3. The Deepest Flow

1. The Scar During and After the Wound 
What else do we carry with us? When we are physically (or emotionally) wounded a miraculous process start to happen. A process that took billions of years to be possible. A concert of cooperation among cells from platelets to neurons. Information and proteins are efficiently shared without asking for "documents". When injured, a healthy human body and soul will begin to heal by themselves: solidarity at its best for the well-being of all. When our being is aware of the wound, the capability to self-heal starts. Inside all of us there is a powerful source of love that is capable to heal us. If we are able to tap into this wisdom, into this incommensurable source of love, we will find the answer to all our questions. In this way, during and after the wound we carry with us the scar of the Universal Love. For me, this scar is a beautiful reminder of this phenomenal demonstration of solidarity, a reminder that we always carry with us this infinite source of compassion and love. 
 
During the circle of sharing, I could not say it better than sister Shanti: on Wednesdays we strive in silence for the Universal Love.Then we listen, share and unite. This process we experience brings an deep sense of happiness and peace.
 
On Wednesdays we are like diverse cells learning from each other how to be part of the body of the Grand Human Family.
 
2. Clad in the Armor of the Universal Love
If everything is within us, then clad in the Armor of the Universal Love human hatred cannot reach you. This was beautifully shared by hermano Nipun with one of Wavy Gravy's stories. For a satyagrahi like Wavy Gravy, there is a point where the human body has its limitations, but the human spirit, that, is unconquerable. It is an indomitable will fueled by love, fearlessness and compassion for other beings. In these times of the Great Turning we all have to find our "inner Wavy Gravy" in order to evolve towards a nonviolent Earth Community.

3. The Deepest Flow
Once we have this armor of the Universal Love, it really doesn't matter if it is our actions or inactions that speak because we are already aligned with the deepest flow of the unity of life. Thus, every choice we make embodies a volition to support our collective well-being, our interbeing. The best way to honor each other is by inviting this flow into our lives.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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Learning to Suffer More Effectively, by Shinzen Young

FaceBook  On Nov 22, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. Last week, I wasn't there --at the Kindness Temple-- to offer my (physical)presence but here are these three points that came through me:   1. Masochism or Conscious Pain? 2. Inner Independence 3. Walking with Dignity   1. Masochism or Conscious Pain? I have to say that I experienced a lot of discomfort when I read the phrase "learning to suffer more effectively" since from my point of view, cultivating a meaningful life is a life lived out of suffering. But then I remember Gandhi, the Jagannathans, Martin Luther King Jr. and many other beings who had sacrificed their lives for us. This is my attempt to break up the old knot ;-) and translate the meaning of their message:   "Nonviolence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering.  It does not mean meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means pitting one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant.  Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save her/his honor, her/his religion, her/his soul, and lay the foundation for that empire’s fall or its regeneration."--M.K. Gandhi "I have come to this fundamental conclusion, that if you want something really important to be done you must not merely satisfy the reason, you must move the heart also.  The appeal to reason is more to the head, but the penetration of the heart comes from suffering.  It opens up the inner understanding in humans." --M.K. Gandhi   In Gandhi's approach to freedom, I would like to change --or translate-- the word suffering for pain. Through the cultivation of awareness we know that there is suffering in the world; there are causes for this suffering; cessation of craving and aversion is possible; and there is a  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

Last week, I wasn't there --at the Kindness Temple-- to offer my (physical)presence but here are these three points that came through me:
 
1. Masochism or Conscious Pain?
2. Inner Independence
3. Walking with Dignity

 
1. Masochism or Conscious Pain?
I have to say that I experienced a lot of discomfort when I read the phrase "learning to suffer more effectively" since from my point of view, cultivating a meaningful life is a life lived out of suffering. But then I remember Gandhi, the Jagannathans, Martin Luther King Jr. and many other beings who had sacrificed their lives for us. This is my attempt to break up the old knot ;-) and translate the meaning of their message:
 
"Nonviolence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering.  It does not mean meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means pitting one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant.  Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save her/his honor, her/his religion, her/his soul, and lay the foundation for that empire’s fall or its regeneration."--M.K. Gandhi

"I have come to this fundamental conclusion, that if you want something really important to be done you must not merely satisfy the reason, you must move the heart also.  The appeal to reason is more to the head, but the penetration of the heart comes from suffering.  It opens up the inner understanding in humans." --M.K. Gandhi
 
In Gandhi's approach to freedom, I would like to change --or translate-- the word suffering for pain. Through the cultivation of awareness we know that there is suffering in the world; there are causes for this suffering; cessation of craving and aversion is possible; and there is a way out of suffering by cultivating the path of love and truth. From my perspective, a satyagrahi knows that "voluntary pain" is not masochism but a way out of _collective_ suffering. It is a display of our collective empathy to honor our oneness in solidarity, not only with thoughts and words but also with actions. In this way voluntary simplicity, voluntary pain, conscious pain is redemptive. 
 
I see Gandhi's example as one of many efforts to walk on the path of liberation. Why do we want to join a "voluntary pain" on the Earth Community? To awaken the hearts and consciousness of humanity.
 
 
2. Inner Independence
Silence and solitude are effective ways to achieve inner independence for they remind us that nobody can humiliate us without our permission; no one can control us without our consent. It is the foundation of the human spirit.
 
"The British were not made to suffer, instead we took suffering upon ourselves.  And in doing so, we ourselves were strengthened and changed, for we experienced an inner independence even before the British granted the outward one.  This is our great inheritance from Gandhi." --S. Jagannathan

"Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening…. As food is necessary for the body, prayer is necessary for the soul…. No act of mine is done without prayer….  I am not a man of learning, but I humbly claim to be a man of prayer.  I am indifferent to the form.  Every man is a law unto himself in that respect…. [But] it is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart." --M.K. Gandhi
 
When we come to Wednesdays to be in receptive silence --some sort of Gandhi's prayer--, we cultivate and celebrate this inner independence. It is such a joyous sensation to be aware of this power that all humans possess. Our hearts without words connect in silence as ONE. That's why I _love_ Wednesdays! :-)
 
 
3. Walking with Dignity
"When I went to Montgomery, Alabama, as a pastor in 1954, I had not the slightest idea that I would later become involved in a crisis in which nonviolent resistance would be applicable.  After I had lived in the community about a year, the bus boycott began.  The Negro people of Montgomery, exhausted by the humiliating experiences that they had constantly faced on the buses, expressed in a massive act of noncooperation their determination to be free.  They came to see that it was ultimately more honorable to walk the streets in dignity than to ride the buses in humiliation."
 
"A fifth basic fact about the method of nonvlolent resistance is that it is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. It is this deep faith in the future that causes a nonviolent resister to accept suffering without retaliation. (S)He knows that in her/his struggle for justice she/he has cosmic companionship."
 
"At the beginning of the protest the people called on me to serve as their spokesman.  In accepting this responsibility my mind, consciously or unconsciously, was driven back to the Sermon of the Mount and the Gandhian method of nonviolent resistance.  This principle became the guiding light of our movement.  Christ furnished the spirit and motivation while Gandhi furnished the method." --Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
The physical pain of walking many kilometers was nothing in comparison with the joy of freedom and dignity. 
 
When we share in voluntary pain our unity, when we join our hearts in silence, when we speak with our kind and courageous actions, we break away from the shackles of all violences to embrace another fearless step towards freedom and harmony on the Earth Community.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

Pancho 

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Trust in the Awareness, by Ajahn Sumedho

FaceBook  On Nov 15, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. I was very happy to see so many known and unknown love warriors at the Kindness Temple. It felt like a concentrated doses of soul force and the circle of sharing evolved accordingly. I felt compelled to share a story about the Awareness of the Love of Our Ancestors.  I chose to commute from Memphis to Atlanta in a Greyhound bus. As I was seated, I start feeling a great sense of appreciation. The gentle kind warm voice of the driver who was giving us all kind of instructions and information to have a nice and safe trip: from the location of the bathroom to WiFi, from security tips to consideration to our fellow passengers.I sensed something genuinely beautiful in the voice of the driver: It was a joyous and secure tone. It wasn't a play-it-again-message but an authentic greeting that facilitated a welcoming atmosphere. The driver was a woman. All of the sudden, I was aware of the thousands of women who have been the backbone of many social movements: the Emma Goldman, the Rosa Parks, the Dolores Huerta, the Krishnammal of the Planet. This is what Gandhi had to say about the Feminine Divine:   "I learnt the lesson of nonviolence from my wife, when I tried to bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will, on the one hand, and her quiet submission to the suffering my stupidity involved, on the other, ultimately made me ashamed of myself and cured me of my stupidity... in the end, she became my teacher in nonviolence."  “Woman is the incarnation of ahimsa. Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering.” “Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?” “A woman’s intuition has often proved truer than man’s arrogant assumption of superior knowledge.” “I have mentally become a woman in order t  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

I was very happy to see so many known and unknown love warriors at the Kindness Temple. It felt like a concentrated doses of soul force and the circle of sharing evolved accordingly. I felt compelled to share a story about the Awareness of the Love of Our Ancestors. 

I chose to commute from Memphis to Atlanta in a Greyhound bus. As I was seated, I start feeling a great sense of appreciation. The gentle kind warm voice of the driver who was giving us all kind of instructions and information to have a nice and safe trip: from the location of the bathroom to WiFi, from security tips to consideration to our fellow passengers.I sensed something genuinely beautiful in the voice of the driver: It was a joyous and secure tone. It wasn't a play-it-again-message but an authentic greeting that facilitated a welcoming atmosphere.

The driver was a woman. All of the sudden, I was aware of the thousands of women who have been the backbone of many social movements: the Emma Goldman, the Rosa Parks, the Dolores Huerta, the Krishnammal of the Planet. This is what Gandhi had to say about the Feminine Divine:
 
"I learnt the lesson of nonviolence from my wife, when I tried to bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will, on the one hand, and her quiet submission to the suffering my stupidity involved, on the other, ultimately made me ashamed of myself and cured me of my stupidity... in the end, she became my teacher in nonviolence." 

“Woman is the incarnation of ahimsa. Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering.”

“Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”

“A woman’s intuition has often proved truer than man’s arrogant assumption of superior knowledge.”

“I have mentally become a woman in order to steal into her heart.”

“To call women the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman… If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior… If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman.” 

As I was connecting deeply with the inner Feminine Divine, a rush of soulforce ran through my veins and my heart couldn't stop to celebrate: the driver who was gently driving the bus was not only a woman, she also had black skin. Something flowed through me in that invaluable moment:
 
from Memphis to Albany to Birmingham to Montgomery to Atlanta... 
the echoes of the South 
soothe and warm the soul 
with the balm of courage 
but still fierce winds, tornadoes and rough roads 
need to be challenged 
the Sun and the Moon 
will continue to shine...

 
How much unconditional love and courage from our ancestors had to flow to reach this awareness? How many centuries for this moment to happen? The satyagrahis in India had to made an ocular demonstration with a nonviolent resistance for decades. What was the impact in a little kid in Atlanta, named Martin or M.L., caused by Gandhi and that peace army when they were leading an independence movement in the other side of the Planet?
 
I was aware of the slow and steady (r)evolution and the infinite love and sacrifice of our ancestors. While we are faraway from living in a post-racial society, we have walked enough to see this woman moving from the back of the bus to the driver seat. 
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

 

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Along the Thread of our Inner Sincerity, by Adyashanti

FaceBook  On Oct 4, 2010 Pancho wrote:

 My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.   Last "Wednesdays" started on San Francisco. As usual, some of us worked at the Free Farm and brother Nathaniel (one of the fierce love warriors of the Berkeley Treesit) shared with Amy:    "Aren't you excited to know that we are going to Wednesdays in a few hours?"    Anyone who has attended to a Wednesday can predict the answer but what happened next say it all: brother Jason came to visit the Bay Area from the part of the Planet we call Australia. A friend told him about the Free Farm so he just showed up. He adores music to the degree that he makes his own guitars and other instruments. He wants to use music as a way to connect deeper with people. After a conversation he had with Amy, he decided to join us for Wednesdays instead of going to a bar in San Francisco. After all, he wanted to have fun on his birthday why not to do it with a bunch of kind "strangers".   The sincerity of Nathaniel and authenticity of Amy were transformed in ripples of harmony and inspiration. Not only brother Jason was deeply moved and had tens of hugs (thanks Nipun!) as he was "faraway from home", but he also was able to listen and feel the authentic music of Wednesdays' kindness. Brother Jason stayed with the posse for another 4 days as he had a gift-economy tour.   How is it possible to have such an authentic embodiment of kindness at mamá Harshida and papá Dinesh home? How is it possible that not only the third but also the fourth and fifth and sixth person spread so sincerely the love of this kind and rebel community? From my point of view, the practice of being in receptive silence is the answer. In the words of the Buddha:   "If you knew how to practice full awareness of breathing and how to meditate, you could experience the happiness of one who walks the path. It is the happi  See full.

 My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

 
Last "Wednesdays" started on San Francisco. As usual, some of us worked at the Free Farm and brother Nathaniel (one of the fierce love warriors of the Berkeley Treesit) shared with Amy: 
 
"Aren't you excited to know that we are going to Wednesdays in a few hours?" 
 
Anyone who has attended to a Wednesday can predict the answer but what happened next say it all: brother Jason came to visit the Bay Area from the part of the Planet we call Australia. A friend told him about the Free Farm so he just showed up. He adores music to the degree that he makes his own guitars and other instruments. He wants to use music as a way to connect deeper with people. After a conversation he had with Amy, he decided to join us for Wednesdays instead of going to a bar in San Francisco. After all, he wanted to have fun on his birthday why not to do it with a bunch of kind "strangers".
 
The sincerity of Nathaniel and authenticity of Amy were transformed in ripples of harmony and inspiration. Not only brother Jason was deeply moved and had tens of hugs (thanks Nipun!) as he was "faraway from home", but he also was able to listen and feel the authentic music of Wednesdays' kindness. Brother Jason stayed with the posse for another 4 days as he had a gift-economy tour.
 
How is it possible to have such an authentic embodiment of kindness at mamá Harshida and papá Dinesh home? How is it possible that not only the third but also the fourth and fifth and sixth person spread so sincerely the love of this kind and rebel community? From my point of view, the practice of being in receptive silence is the answer. In the words of the Buddha:
 
"If you knew how to practice full awareness of breathing and how to meditate, you could experience the happiness of one who walks the path. It is the happiness that meditation brings. Through meditation we can use full awareness of breathing to create joy and happiness that nourishes our mind and body and helps us to make progress on the path of enlightenment. The joy and happiness of meditation permeates mind and body, heals all anxiety, sorrow and despair, and enables the practitioner to experience the wonders of life. With meditation you cut through the ropes of bondage which bind most people --the ropes of greed, hatred, desire, laziness, doubt, false view of self, extreme views, wrong views, and distorted views. Liberation is great happiness and one of the greatest fruits of spiritual practice. This fruit can be attained right here in this life. The fruits of the practitioner's spiritual practice are not for any individual's sole enjoyment and benefit. They are humanity's and the world's inheritance."
 
To be (authentically) in receptive silence is the DNA of the Kindness (R)evolution.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

 

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A Neuron with Imagination, by Francisco Ramos Stierle

FaceBook  On Sep 25, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho I'd like you to know that I love you all.

First of all, I disagree with the "author"... ha!  ;O)

Interconnectedness was a beautiful thing to witness and experience On Wednesday at the Kindness Temple. As usual, I felt connected as each person shared their perspective. I only hope that many people who attended a Wednesdays last night could share some of their profound stories/insights form inner-interconnectedness and nonviolence to collectivism and inter-being.

Hermano Amit had a great idea: to implement pay-it-forward at the end of Wednesdays -- find a small action related to the weekly-reading that everyone can go home and do in their context! A kind of Be-The-Change Wednesdays' Challenge. This week's BTCWC already shared by Nipun here was inspired by this pragmatic idea:

When we generate peace, loving-kindness and understanding in ourselves, we are generating the energy of the Universal Love within us. Once is generated, we can let it flow and synchronize it with other beings. 

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

Pancho

PS: **During circle it was mentioned that the first step in interconnection could be to give something once. The more challenging and nourishing scenarios come when we evolve into a cooperation --> a collaboration --> and finally collectivism (ala Wednesdays ;-)). We invite you to experience the beauty of collective connection. Full effort is full success! :-)

 

Untested Simplicity of the Villages, by Ram Dass

FaceBook  On Sep 17, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and even though some of you don't know me, I'd like you to know that I love you all. Last Wednesday, people shared many beautiful and profound insights during the circle of “aha-moments.” When it was my time to share, anybody could have surfed the wave of collective wisdom that had developed by that point. After listening with attention to my fellow meditators, I saw how intimately related was the interaction I had had earlier that Wednesday with brother Matthews and the insights shared at the Kindness Temple. This time I shared a story about inner simplicity, kindness and wise farmers. Inner simplicity, a place you have not heard of, we are what we eat and happy communities. Also on Wednesdays, some of us volunteer at the Free Farm in San Francisco. At noon all the volunteers have lunch   together preceded by a mini-circle of sharing where we introduce ourselves and give thanks for the meal shared and cooked by volunteers. We were holding hands in this circle formed by close to about thirty people when an energetic man in his thirties with dark black skin and with a huge watermelon (almost as huge as his smile) joined the circle. Everyone had already shared their names, so it was the perfect timing for him to say: "my name is Matthews." When we broke up the circle to start ingesting the food, I felt pulled to his "electric feel" :-). I wanted to welcome him for his presence. But I was not the only one interested. He was already engaged in a conversation with two of the volunteers who have worked in the farm for many months. I noticed that one of my fellow volunteers was approaching Matthews with some sort of a presumptuous tone as if there was nothing we could learn from this man. While it is kind of a miracle that the Free Farm has become, in less than a year, a very productive piece of land, there are so many things we need to learn from Mother Nature in order  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and even though some of you don't know me, I'd like you to know that I love you all.

Last Wednesday, people shared many beautiful and profound insights during the circle of “aha-moments.” When it was my time to share, anybody could have surfed the wave of collective wisdom that had developed by that point. After listening with attention to my fellow meditators, I saw how intimately related was the interaction I had had earlier that Wednesday with brother Matthews and the insights shared at the Kindness Temple. This time I shared a story about inner simplicity, kindness and wise farmers.

Inner simplicity, a place you have not heard of, we are what we eat and happy communities.

Also on Wednesdays, some of us volunteer at the Free Farm in San Francisco. At noon all the volunteers have lunch   together preceded by a mini-circle of sharing where we introduce ourselves and give thanks for the meal shared and cooked by volunteers. We were holding hands in this circle formed by close to about thirty people when an energetic man in his thirties with dark black skin and with a huge watermelon (almost as huge as his smile) joined the circle. Everyone had already shared their names, so it was the perfect timing for him to say: "my name is Matthews."

When we broke up the circle to start ingesting the food, I felt pulled to his "electric feel" :-). I wanted to welcome him for his presence. But I was not the only one interested. He was already engaged in a conversation with two of the volunteers who have worked in the farm for many months. I noticed that one of my fellow volunteers was approaching Matthews with some sort of a presumptuous tone as if there was nothing we could learn from this man. While it is kind of a miracle that the Free Farm has become, in less than a year, a very productive piece of land, there are so many things we need to learn from Mother Nature in order to keep facilitating the grow of flowers, trees and healthy food, let alone how to learn to kindly treat each other!
 
Despite of this not-welcoming, inquisitive tone, brother Matthews remained calm. "Where are you from?" "I never heard of this place, where is that?" asked my beloved "experienced" volunteer brother who already forgot Matthews' name and later referred to him as the "black man." Calm and with a bigger smile, Matthews replied: "I'm from Malawi... you probably have not heard of this country because it is a peaceful place and we are not in wars. The [corporate] media simply doesn't pay attention to us." Then, with superb teacher's skills and an immense kindness, he went on and described the location of Malawi, using his hand as a map to describe the African continent. Matthews said, at the same time as he was pointing to the tip of his fingers: "Do you know where is South Africa?... if you go up, there is a country called Zimbabwe and another on the coast called Mozambique. Malawi is three countries up from South Africa." He continued,  "Are you familiar with Madagascar, the big island? Well, Malawi is right in front of it, passing through Mozambique in the in-lad."

Our volunteer sort of appreciated the geography lecture, but got distracted. Little did he know that when he left, I had with Matthews one of the most enriching talks I ever had at the Free Farm. 
 
Brother Matthews is a nurse and he is currently attending University of California, San Francisco. He is part of a larger crew that is taking a class on sustainability and permaculture, a class where the students will get engaged to volunteer in one of 
the many community/project gardens in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area. He is very interested in organic farming and he wants to share with us not only huge watermelons but the wisdom of his community back in the part of the planet we call Africa.

Always kind, always present, hermano Matthews told me that he felt sad and sorry for the "people in [the part of the Planet we call] the U.S.A. who are in their fifties or older, and yet they don't know how to cook, or anything about healthy food." As a nurse, he deals with a lot of these people. He said: "You know, in my community I don't remember a single time when we held a class about farming or cooking food because that is our way of life. I just took it for granted. I thought this was a common practice in most parts of the World." 
 
Growing up in a community of farmers, Matthews made a statement: "we are what we eat." He has been around some hospitals in California where he had a revelation: "People wonder why they get sick when they have been eating chickens and cows and animals that have been mistreated and finally killed. All that suffering goes to the eaters. Also, some of the [immigrant] cooks are experiencing great pain for the ruptures in their families. All that suffering goes into the food too. It is not the same as if one cooks food full of love, a basic ingredient of any meal."

I mean, this man was talking "Wednesdays' language," and I could hardly contain myself to remain equanimous while letting the magic completely unfold from this being. I decided to keep learning from him. And what a class!

"A lot of people are eating all this junk food, and they are centered in individualistic activities that isolate them even more. That's why depression is so common in the U.S. As a matter of fact, in our language, Chichewa, there is no word to describe a 'depressed' person. We don't have a word for 'depressed.'" 

He saw my surprised, happy, and intrigued face and, as if he had read my mind, he continued: "Yes, we have a word for 'pain,' and a word for 'sad,' but there is no word to describe a _continuous_ state of sadness. That's crazy!" "In our community if a person is sad, we all come together in a circle, prepare and share a meal, share stories and support this person until [s]he comes back to the [natural] happy state." This beautiful story reminded me of the documentary Children Full of Life.

"But we are starting to lose these precious traditions" brother Matthews said. "Now some people in Malawi are migrating to the cities and many of them want to adopt and mimic the Western way of life. Many farmers are buying chemicals for their crops to be more productive [in short term]. A lot of the land now is suffering from the pesticides and fertilizers used on the land. Not only that, due to this agribusiness now some farmers who have been doing this for centuries (if not for millennia!) cannot afford to farm any more." 

When Matthews visits Malawi, he is recollecting some of the ancient wisdom as he asks the elder peasants: "How did you used to farm before all these pesticides and fertilizers?" Then he affirms: "Progressive people in the U.S. are doing these practices. Let's do it again! Let's start again!" :-)

This was the story of brother Matthews who, through inner simplicity, radiated kindness and touched the core of my being. Hermano Somik briefly mentioned in his comment the story of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, a man who formed an army of one hundred thousand satyagrahis—one tenth of one million love warriors. It is my hope to see the many Matthews of the Planet, and the many Khan Abdul Gaffar Khans of the Earth Community, to proliferate in small acts to listen to each other and to act nonviolently, for this is truly the weapon of the brave. I only hope that we all can learn the ancient technology of farming and of sitting in a circle to heal each other and to inspire each other as the "happy man with the big smile" did with me last Wednesday.

 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

 

 

 

 

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Pain, the Price of Freedom, by Michael Singer

FaceBook  On Sep 15, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. On Wednesdays to be at the Kindness Temple is a way to re-member how intimately interconnected we are. There are Wednesdays when the field of love is so generous that we, the human particles in it, only surrender to its gentle force. All of the sudden, diversity is honored and unity at the heart is embraced. We align ourselves with the soul-force and we let the Universe of Love work through us. This is what it flowed through me: 1. Imagine: The New Paradigm 2. The Opposite of Pain 3. Fight or Flight and the Third Choice 1. Imagine: The New Paradigm According to the old paradigm of life, we are a collection of separated objects, life is seen as separated entities where we can focus our attention and dissect a part of the whole without taking into account the visible and (most of the times) invisible connections. One cannot see a relationship, one only sees the effects, the "what". In this old paradigm knowledge comes from analyzing a static Nature. It is a "stuff-based" view of reality. There is no wisdom since reality is not experienced as it is. Power is a thing to be exerted on others (power over) something you can have and measure, it is a top-down notion of power. To be vulnerable is to be seen as weak. That's why to be "invulnerable" means to shatter enemies so that it doesn't happen to me and I create defenses and walls and borders to isolate me from the "danger". A dramatic image for this paradigm could be imagined as a single neuron who tries to build higher and stronger walls to stop communication with the "dangerous" surroundings. In this ill-conceived notion of reality, it is a matter of time for the neuron to get atrophied of isolation to finally die in a premature way.   The New Renaissance of Humanity is about a ne  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

On Wednesdays to be at the Kindness Temple is a way to re-member how intimately interconnected we are. There are Wednesdays when the field of love is so generous that we, the human particles in it, only surrender to its gentle force. All of the sudden, diversity is honored and unity at the heart is embraced. We align ourselves with the soul-force and we let the Universe of Love work through us. This is what it flowed through me:

1. Imagine: The New Paradigm
2. The Opposite of Pain
3. Fight or Flight and the Third Choice

1. Imagine: The New Paradigm
According to the old paradigm of life, we are a collection of separated objects, life is seen as separated entities where we can focus our attention and dissect a part of the whole without taking into account the visible and (most of the times) invisible connections. One cannot see a relationship, one only sees the effects, the "what". In this old paradigm knowledge comes from analyzing a static Nature. It is a "stuff-based" view of reality. There is no wisdom since reality is not experienced as it is. Power is a thing to be exerted on others (power over) something you can have and measure, it is a top-down notion of power. To be vulnerable is to be seen as weak. That's why to be "invulnerable" means to shatter enemies so that it doesn't happen to me and I create defenses and walls and borders to isolate me from the "danger". A dramatic image for this paradigm could be imagined as a single neuron who tries to build higher and stronger walls to stop communication with the "dangerous" surroundings. In this ill-conceived notion of reality, it is a matter of time for the neuron to get atrophied of isolation to finally die in a premature way.
 
The New Renaissance of Humanity is about a new paradigm where the entire Universe is a communion of subjects. It is a science of relationships in all senses and all dimensions. Life is seen as a flow. Organisms are alive and with visible porous boundaries but determined by what flows in them: matter, energy, information, love. This paradigm is process oriented, we are constantly asking not the "what" but the "how". In this philosophy of life knowledge is dynamic like the flame that keeps its shape by constantly burning, it always changes. When we experience this dynamic knowledge, it turns into wisdom and then reality cannot be confined only by the material world. Power is shared in an inclusive and horizontal way. The real power resides in the way an organism serves the community. It is a bottom-up notion of power. I feel interconnected with the whole. I feel identified with every being of the Universe by recognizing our common origin. Instead of looking for perfection, life looks for wholeness. To be vulnerable with courage is my best security because I see my security as the security of all. If we pay close attention to this approach, we will notice that all life is ONE. There are no enemies. The image of a neuron in this new paradigm looks interconnected and functional. While the neuron has clear boundaries of its existence, there is a flow through. When a healthy neuron dies, being loved by the community, its legacy is carried through the plasticity of other connections in the brain.
 
Our brain, the most complex system in the known Universe so far, uses the power of imagination to understand how mater, energy, information and love flow through molecules, society, mind, family and communities.

2. Letting go the Opposite of Pain.
One of the most valuable revelations I had during my first 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat was that craving to joy is a recipe for misery. Because when joy was not around, I was suffering waiting for it. When one meditates and sits 10 hours a day, all kind of pains (physical and emotional) come to the surface. But also all kinds of joy. If life is an open porous system where matter, energy, information and love flows, does it make sense to crave and get attached to joy? Paradoxically, when we let go of pain and joy, this flux of sensations coming and going, is the Universal Love flowing through us. That's why, from my point of view, love has no opposite since it is a continuous whole.
 
Pain, anger and hate are emotions who have forgotten how to breathe. True joy and happiness both lie in the natural flow of life: love.
 
3. Fight or Flight and the Third Choice.
The biggest challenge I have faced is when lack of harmony visits the being. Internal or external violence creates a fight or flight reflex, an old conditioned response linked to our evolutionary presence on this Planet. However, our consciousness has evolved in such a way that we have found a third choice: a combination of fearlessness AND nonviolence. Think of the evolved consciousness as an interface that filters violence and converts it into harmony. Once we purposely access this consciousness (as when we collectively meditate on Wednesday), our being cannot forget the roots of its origin, our real home. Then like the waters of an ancient river, the Universal Love flows through us. Every Wednesday, for almost ~13 years, this house has witnessed this flow in the circles. How lucky we are to be immersed in this flow of generosity, inspiration, information, energy (food!), creativity, kindness and smiles! :-) How lucky we are to be part of this flow of love! 
 
May we successfully filter the pains of the Earth Community.
 
May we live in harmony with the flow of life.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

 

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But It Is There, by Kent Nerburn

FaceBook  On Sep 5, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho some of you might think that I don't know you but I'd like you to know that I love you all. I was very happy to be back at the Kindness Temple. Not that I ever left but to be physically present means a lot to me for it recharges the soul at so many levels. It has been 3 weeks in a raw since I've been attending magic Wednesdays and this time the co-creation of "aha moments" was a little bit more powerful/controversial than usual: it contained the "G" word! As hermano Rahul later pointed out: "People have altars and giant TVs side by side but the temple is were we put our attention". I have chosen long ago to put my attention on Kind Wednesdays and these were the 3 points I shared: 1. Spiritual Translations to Connect at the SOULlular level. 2. Reality as it is. 3. Sister Varsha: an Evidence of the Universal Love. 1. Spiritual Translations to Connect at the SOULlular level. I notice that the passage was a bit unkind on some of the humans who have chosen to have a secular perspective but who have not seen the whole picture yet. I grew in a secular/scientist environment and I can tell how some people could react when they hear the word "God" used in such a strong way. As a secularist, I personally have no problem with the passage, I just think there are better ways to connect with people who might have different perspectives. Recently, I spend some time in jail in very dehumanizing environments and I personally, as a secularist,  have no problem to spend time in solitary confinement dressed with "sheriff's property" signs. Does it mean that all the inmates (and system kidnapped parents) are prepared to find another opportunity to be calm in receptive silence regardless of the constant psychological, emotional and physical abuses? I don't think so. In the same way that took me a while to be ok with my spirit regardless of the physical conditions, it t  See full.

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

I was very happy to be back at the Kindness Temple. Not that I ever left but to be physically present means a lot to me for it recharges the soul at so many levels. It has been 3 weeks in a raw since I've been attending magic Wednesdays and this time the co-creation of "aha moments" was a little bit more powerful/controversial than usual: it contained the "G" word! As hermano Rahul later pointed out: "People have altars and giant TVs side by side but the temple is were we put our attention". I have chosen long ago to put my attention on Kind Wednesdays and these were the 3 points I shared:

1. Spiritual Translations to Connect at the SOULlular level.
2. Reality as it is.
3. Sister Varsha: an Evidence of the Universal Love.


1. Spiritual Translations to Connect at the SOULlular level.
I notice that the passage was a bit unkind on some of the humans who have chosen to have a secular perspective but who have not seen the whole picture yet. I grew in a secular/scientist environment and I can tell how some people could react when they hear the word "God" used in such a strong way. As a secularist, I personally have no problem with the passage, I just think there are better ways to connect with people who might have different perspectives.

Recently, I spend some time in jail in very dehumanizing environments and I personally, as a secularist,  have no problem to spend time in solitary confinement dressed with "sheriff's property" signs. Does it mean that all the inmates (and system kidnapped parents) are prepared to find another opportunity to be calm in receptive silence regardless of the constant psychological, emotional and physical abuses?

I don't think so. In the same way that took me a while to be ok with my spirit regardless of the physical conditions, it took me a while to find spiritual translations to have a productive communication with fellow human beings who have a different perspective than mine.

That said, while we don't need to learn our respective languages because we all speak the language of the heart, I encourage you all to find your own spiritual translations as I did. These are the ones that have been working for me:

When people say “Faith” = I hear “Positive Thinking“

“Prayer””Contemplation“ or “Meditation” -> (the DNA of the Kindness Revolution)

“Spirituality” = “Kindness, Forgiveness, Generosity, Creativity, Happiness, Courage, Respect“

“God or Creator“ = “The Cosmos” “The Unknown“ AND “The True-Self“ (the best human beings we can be).   [Given that from the secular perspective these concepts are not the same, when I talk to religious siblings I found very useful to discern between "The Cosmos + Unknown" and "True-Self". Then suddenly we are talking the same language.]

Now every time I hear the words God, Dios, Krishna, Great Spirit, Feminine Divine & Masculine Divine, Pachamama, Creator, Rama, Yahweh... I made an insternal spiritual translation and think about the Universal Love meaning kindness, generosity, happiness, joy, courage, challenge, compassion, wisdom, the sense of responsibility the sense of harmony that brings happiness not only to me but also to the people around me. Because the wonder of the Cosmos transcends everything that divides us.

2. Reality as it is.

Many people on the Planet have chosen to be secular because of the monstrosities committed in the name of one or another religion. Today we still see how many structures of institutionalized religions keep supporting the exploitation and oppression of human beings.

Even Gandhi (a fervent Hindu) and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (a fervent Muslim) were deeply saddened during the "Independence" day for they could not conceive a divided people: Hindus Vs. non-Hindus. Gandhi and Khan dedicated their lives so that we all can understand that we are all the Grand Human Family regardless our conception of the world. The friendship between the two men was an inspiring example of finding spiritual translations between different believes.

3. A Living Evidence of the Universal Love.
Sister Varsha traveled from the East Coast to start finding a job related closely related with environmental justice. She is seriously exploring the possibility to move to the Bay Area. She volunteered the whole day at the Free Farm and at the end of the day, right before we carpooled to Wednesdays, she shared with us a powerful story:

Her dad's family were in the middle of the independence movement back in the 40's in the part of the Planet we call India and Pakistan. They were living in a province that was about to become part of Pakistan and being a non-Muslim family they have to migrate. As a result of an ill conceived division, millions of families had to move from India to Pakistan and from Pakistan to India because of the fear to be killed in a hostile environment. 

Where is the beauty of this story? While Varsha dad's family had to leave their home land, they were hosted by a Muslim family in India. Because this act of unconditional love and courage from both the host and guest families to stay in India with nothing but love, sister Varsha is here with us today. She is a living evidence of the Universal Love.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
your fervent secularist, Pancho

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A Portrait in Patience, by Pavithra Mehta

FaceBook  On Jul 5, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.   Hermana Pavi has the virtue to amplify inspiration, poetry and magic. This is not the first time I've seen how her work produces an avalanche of love. She is the kind of writer, and human being, who gently whispers into the ear of our inner child: "C'mon, let's play! Compassion, courage and wisdom is fun!"   I surrender every time I hear her (and her family's) spirit way of talk/write/silence. Thank you hermana Pavititita :-)   These images here are beyond powerful: "Patience is a kind of understanding. An understanding that transcends the 'limitations' of the moment. It's a teacher standing at the blackboard repeating A is for Apple. B is for Boy. Day after day to small puzzled faces. Because she believes that one day they will make the leap that connects the sound to the letter the letter to the word the word to the shiny red contours of a classic fruit. Patience is a kind of trust. A trust that does its part and holds the rest lightly in an open palm. It's a farmer sowing seeds in springtime. Hoeing, watering, weeding. Because he believes the earth will do her part when the time comes. And Patience is a kind of acceptance. An acceptance that allows for doubt. It's a friend who holds your hand when you're not sure of the next step. Because no matter which way you go she'll come with you. Patience is a kind of love. A love that is its own explanation in bewildered circumstance. It is an old, old woman placing a wrinkledparchment hand against the cheek of a reckless child. Because her heart is too wise to make room for reproach. Too full to find place for offence." As usual, the muse Pavi have sparked the writer in me... 1. Patience is a kind of compassion. 2. Patience is a kind of courage. 3. Patience is a kind of wisdom. 1. Patience is a kind of compassion. Because all of us are one as if the Grand H  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.
 
Hermana Pavi has the virtue to amplify inspiration, poetry and magic. This is not the first time I've seen how her work produces an avalanche of love. She is the kind of writer, and human being, who gently whispers into the ear of our inner child: "C'mon, let's play! Compassion, courage and wisdom is fun!"
 
I surrender every time I hear her (and her family's) spirit way of talk/write/silence. Thank you hermana Pavititita :-)
 
These images here are beyond powerful:

"Patience is a kind of understanding. An understanding that transcends the 'limitations' of the moment. It's a teacher standing at the blackboard repeating A is for Apple. B is for Boy. Day after day to small puzzled faces. Because she believes that one day they will make the leap that connects the sound to the letter the letter to the word the word to the shiny red contours of a classic fruit. Patience is a kind of trust. A trust that does its part and holds the rest lightly in an open palm. It's a farmer sowing seeds in springtime. Hoeing, watering, weeding. Because he believes the earth will do her part when the time comes. And Patience is a kind of acceptance. An acceptance that allows for doubt. It's a friend who holds your hand when you're not sure of the next step. Because no matter which way you go she'll come with you. Patience is a kind of love. A love that is its own explanation in bewildered circumstance. It is an old, old woman placing a wrinkledparchment hand against the cheek of a reckless child. Because her heart is too wise to make room for reproach. Too full to find place for offence."

As usual, the muse Pavi have sparked the writer in me...

1. Patience is a kind of compassion.
2. Patience is a kind of courage.
3. Patience is a kind of wisdom.


1. Patience is a kind of compassion.
Because all of us are one as if the Grand Human Family were a grand human body with all its trillions of cells. When one inflicts suffering on others, one is bringing suffering on oneself.

2. Patience is a kind of courage.
Feeling and thinking always about the well being of all–including the British people– to achieve independence, Gandhi spent 2,338 days in jail. It seems that Gandhi had an incredible patience to launch serious civil disobedience campaigns every ten years: Satyagraha in South Africa, Non-Cooperation campaign in India, The Dandi Salt March and Quit India!

3. Patience is a kind of wisdom.

The nonviolent soldier of Islam, and one of the closest collaborators of Gandhi, Abdul Ghaffar Khan said: "If I can summarize nonviolence in one word it would be Patience." To say this when he spent about half of his life (~49 years!) in jail or forced exile, requires a sever doses of Vitamin "P": patience. A masterwork of the Universal Love.

Patience is a kind of wisdom that it is everywhere in the Cosmos. Ourselves are the result of a ~14 billion year masterpiece.

Over the years, I've been using references to the Grand Canyon as a way to stress patience and our individual and unique contributions. I read about the canyon, know the scientific facts, saw plenty of pictures, understood the geological process involved in its formation, surfed the internet  but never been physically there. Yesterday, my perspective was reinforced forever when I smelled the the Grand Canyon. I was humbled by the beauty of it and reminded that the love force, the soul force, works in a slow but powerful way. One small step at a time. Another kind molecule of water, another generous photon from a star, another courageous molecule of air, coming and going, kissing the sediments of the blueprint of humanity to expose and rejoice the colors of our moral grandeur and spiritual audacity...

May our lives be devoted to service of the Earth Community Canyon.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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Our Teachers in Nature, by Elisabet Sahtouris

FaceBook  On Jun 28, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. It's been a month since I've been out of the Bay Area, and every Wednesday at 8PM Arizona time, I sit and synchronize with the Kindness Temple in Santa Clara, California. This is a fascinating piece that reminded me my early days in Natural Philosophy. The bottom line is that life has learned over billions of years the advantages of cooperative, locally rooted self-organizing enterprise in which each individual organism is continually balancing individual and group interests. Many ideas came to mind. I will share 3. 1. Love and Life: The Quintessential Symbiosis 2. Something Revolutionary... what about Life? 3. Principles of Life & Biomimicry 1. Love and Life: The Quintessential Symbiosis [Here is where the weaving of ijourneys will be magic... ;-)] It is a poem I shared in the second point of this Wednesday. 2. Something Revolutionary... what about Life? This is an excerpt of an email I wrote some years ago: Life exist only in relationship with other life, that is, COMMUNITY. And the organizing principle of life is partnership, it is its very essence. Life exists only in living communities of diverse and mutually interdependent species. How do we free ourselves from the self-inflected alienation and oppression of the last Empire? We need to _create_ societies that support every person in connecting to life in ways that enhance the creative potential of both self and community so that all may enjoy the joys of the Earth Community. Species that survive and prosper are ultimately those that find a niche in which they meet their own needs in ways that simultaneously serve others. Aggressive competition leads to the threat of extinction, which is then avoided by the formation of cooperative alliances. [...] It is entirely possible to create societies that are at once human, rooted in their place, and modern in their global connections, und  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

It's been a month since I've been out of the Bay Area, and every Wednesday at 8PM Arizona time, I sit and synchronize with the Kindness Temple in Santa Clara, California.

This is a fascinating piece that reminded me my early days in Natural Philosophy. The bottom line is that life has learned over billions of years the advantages of cooperative, locally rooted self-organizing enterprise in which each individual organism is continually balancing individual and group interests. Many ideas came to mind. I will share 3.

1. Love and Life: The Quintessential Symbiosis
2. Something Revolutionary... what about Life?
3. Principles of Life & Biomimicry


1. Love and Life: The Quintessential Symbiosis
[Here is where the weaving of ijourneys will be magic... ;-)] It is a poem I shared in the second point of this Wednesday.

2. Something Revolutionary... what about Life?
This is an excerpt of an email I wrote some years ago:

Life exist only in relationship with other life, that is, COMMUNITY. And the organizing principle of life is partnership, it is its very essence. Life exists only in living communities of diverse and mutually interdependent species.

How do we free ourselves from the self-inflected alienation and oppression of the last Empire? We need to _create_ societies that support every person in connecting to life in ways that enhance the creative potential of both self and community so that all may enjoy the joys of the Earth Community.

Species that survive and prosper are ultimately those that find a niche in which they meet their own needs in ways that simultaneously serve others. Aggressive competition leads to the threat of extinction, which is then avoided by the formation of cooperative alliances.

[...] It is entirely possible to create societies that are at once human, rooted in their place, and modern in their global connections, understanding, and use of technology. How do we apply the organizing principles of partnership to the restructuring of human institutions?

Two key factors:

  • We need a turning from money to life as our defining value and
  • We need a turning from relations of domination to relations of partnership based on organizing principles discerned from the study of healthy living systems.

    Then with family life, work life, and community life more geographically proximate and people in more regular and natural contact, our lives would be less fragmented and more coherent, the bonds of community denser, stronger, and more trusting.

    Breaking up global corporations into human-scale, locally owned enterprises would free still more resources by eliminating the massive burden of inflated executive compensation packages and by removing bureaucratic barriers to innovation.

    We would be working less (on assignments/papers/midterms/finals) and living more. Our lives would be freer and richer. Our environment would be cleaner and healthier. A world no longer divided between the obscenely rich and the desperately poor would know more peace and less violence, more love and less fear, more hope and less hate. There would be little need for dominator structures to impose order. Earth could heal itself and provide a home for our children for generations to come.

    An we can do it because our community is about COOPERATION and  SHARING.

    The (r)evolutionary change is in our hands. It is about getting clear on our values, setting new priorities, redefining progress, and consuming less so that we become more human and in the process experience that abundance of authentic relationships (i.e. intellectual life and scientific inquiry are vibrant, open and dedicated to the development and sharing of knowledge and life-serving technologies that address society’s priority needs). As Lobo Corriendo [a Native American of the Black Foot Nation] said yesterday: "relationships, not money, are the true measure of the well-being." What matters most is our connection to and participation in the life of community.

3. Principles of Life & Biomimicry
The processes by which forests ecosystems evolve offer a potential model for our societal transformation: The earliest, colonizing, stage of forest-system development is dominated by fast growing, aggressively competitive, and transient species that are eventually displaced by the emergence of the more patient, cooperative, settled, energy-efficient species that define the mature phase.

If we were able to do true biomimicry–that is to mimic Nature's functions to solve many of the problems we are grappling with (i.e. clean water, energy, food production, climate change, non-toxic chemistry, transportation, etc.) as well as to mimic Mother Nature's principles– we were on our way to heal the entire Earth Community.

What principles? Mother Nature:
is organized bottom-up
rewards cooperation
promotes diversity
is about interdependence
is about resiliency


And there is a more important part, sister Janine Benyus says. We cannot forget this part. It is the part where we say thank you. It is the part in which we remember to be mannerly towards the rest of the natural world, to say thank you for the ideas that they gifted us with.

And not only that. It is the part where we are grateful to be alive and to be witnessing this ~14 billion year unfolding story of the Cosmic awe and wonder, the Universe' life and its expanding ever compassionate, courageous and wise consciousness.

May we all become proficient students of love and life.

Pancho

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The Fallacy of Togetherness, by Osho

FaceBook  On Jun 24, 2010 Pancho wrote:

It is a pleasure to be joining the circle of sharing from electron land ;-) and yes, I love you all! :-) Why individuals decide to sit together? My reflections: this is the age of collective samadhi... last year, I wrote an email to all the community I know of called BeLOVED CommUNITY. Here is an excerpt that talks about spiritual companionship, and why is important to not only sit together but to eat together, to laugh together, to cry together: 3. The “Right” Companionship. With our own translations in mind [see point 2.], I’d like to conclude with an inspiring pragmatic/idea from the book Conquest of Mind by Sri Eknath Easwaran: [Spiritual friends are what Buddha would have called “right companionship.” Everything we do, he reminds us, either adds or subtracts from our own image as human beings. What we give our time and attention to, what we talk about, what we read about, the people we are close to – all these contribute to either a higher image of the human being or to a lower one. Cultivate time with people whose companionship elevates you. We can seek out goodness in people. We can seek out what is noble in human character. We can look for goodness and nobility in choosing our friends, in choosing to whom to give our attention and our love. It is especially helpful to spend time regularly with others who are basing their lives on the same spiritual values. When you are trying to change your life, you need the support of others with the same goal. If you have friends who are meditating along the lines suggested here, you can get together regularly to share a meal, meditate, and perhaps read and discuss your spiritual reading. Share your times of entertainment too; relaxation is an important part of spiritual living. One of the best forms of spiritual association is to work together for a selfless goal like relieving hunger or protecting the environment. Wherever people work l  See full.

It is a pleasure to be joining the circle of sharing from electron land ;-)

and yes, I love you all! :-)

Why individuals decide to sit together?

My reflections: this is the age of collective samadhi... last year, I wrote an email to all the community I know of called BeLOVED CommUNITY.

Here is an excerpt that talks about spiritual companionship, and why is important to not only sit together but to eat together, to laugh together, to cry together:

3. The “Right” Companionship.
With our own translations in mind [see point 2.], I’d like to conclude with an inspiring pragmatic/idea from the book Conquest of Mind by Sri Eknath Easwaran:

[Spiritual friends are what Buddha would have called “right companionship.” Everything we do, he reminds us, either adds or subtracts from our own image as human beings. What we give our time and attention to, what we talk about, what we read about, the people we are close to – all these contribute to either a higher image of the human being or to a lower one.


Cultivate time with people whose companionship elevates you. We can seek out goodness in people. We can seek out what is noble in human character. We can look for goodness and nobility in choosing our friends, in choosing to whom to give our attention and our love. It is especially helpful to spend time regularly with others who are basing their lives on the same spiritual values.


When you are trying to change your life, you need the support of others with the same goal. If you have friends who are meditating along the lines suggested here, you can get together regularly to share a meal, meditate, and perhaps read and discuss your spiritual reading. Share your times of entertainment too; relaxation is an important part of spiritual living.


One of the best forms of spiritual association is to work together for a selfless goal like relieving hunger or protecting the environment. Wherever people work like this, without expecting any reward or recognition, their individual capacities are augmented and enhanced. They are unleashing an irresistible force which, though we may not see it, is going to change the world.]

This doesn’t mean we are excluding siblings with different philosophies of life than ours, rather we are getting more strength to broaden our circle of compassion so beautifully described by Albert Einstein:

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his 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. 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.”

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We Start Where We Are, by Marianna Cacciatore

FaceBook  On Jun 24, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. As I have said before, all Wednesdays are special. This time hermano Somik's parents were around, and hermana Pavi and hermano Viral (who didn't show up physically at the circle but whose presence we sensed given his strong love field ;-)) were back from India. Last year close to New Year's eve, I remember how Rev. Heng Sure stressed to point to discover our true nature by been exposed to filiality. Somehow this Wednesday I felt it was about kinship and filiality. It was my last Wednesday for many weeks to come and it had a nostalgic touch. People didn't notice, but I had a little sadness in my heart because the Mehta family and the Charity Focus family are that for me, (my) families. I don't know what the Universal Love has prepared for me but I was (and I am!) astronomically grateful to have shared that incredible space/time with you all. As an "undocumented" human being in this part of the Planet, it is my duty to be with (my) people, specially when they are in the face of blatant discrimination; specially when I'm privileged to know that I have enough. I could not think of a better way to leave the Bay Area and to come to Arizona: a loving inspiring Wednesday! :-) The root of virtue is filiality and we need to see it, better if it comes from parents. Hermana Ripa and I were not the exception to be profoundly touched by hermano Somik's parents, and week after week by mamá Harshida and papá Dinesh. A lot of things needed to happen for all of us to be in that gorgeous nourishing circle/moment. Great compassion, hours being in receptive silence and then consciousness goes to wisdom. When I think of Wednesdays, and its infectious positive Gandhi Neurons, I can only think/feel to be open, to listen and to care. That night was specially emanating love. The love of parents permeated the Mehta home. An atmosphere of uplifting inspiration f  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

As I have said before, all Wednesdays are special. This time hermano Somik's parents were around, and hermana Pavi and hermano Viral (who didn't show up physically at the circle but whose presence we sensed given his strong love field ;-)) were back from India. Last year close to New Year's eve, I remember how Rev. Heng Sure stressed to point to discover our true nature by been exposed to filiality. Somehow this Wednesday I felt it was about kinship and filiality.

It was my last Wednesday for many weeks to come and it had a nostalgic touch. People didn't notice, but I had a little sadness in my heart because the Mehta family and the Charity Focus family are that for me, (my) families. I don't know what the Universal Love has prepared for me but I was (and I am!) astronomically grateful to have shared that incredible space/time with you all.

As an "undocumented" human being in this part of the Planet, it is my duty to be with (my) people, specially when they are in the face of blatant discrimination; specially when I'm privileged to know that I have enough. I could not think of a better way to leave the Bay Area and to come to Arizona: a loving inspiring Wednesday! :-)

The root of virtue is filiality and we need to see it, better if it comes from parents. Hermana Ripa and I were not the exception to be profoundly touched by hermano Somik's parents, and week after week by mamá Harshida and papá Dinesh. A lot of things needed to happen for all of us to be in that gorgeous nourishing circle/moment. Great compassion, hours being in receptive silence and then consciousness goes to wisdom.

When I think of Wednesdays, and its infectious positive Gandhi Neurons, I can only think/feel to be open, to listen and to care. That night was specially emanating love. The love of parents permeated the Mehta home. An atmosphere of uplifting inspiration filled the air...

Life is the gift of Nature but beautiful living is the gift of wisdom. I was soaked in radical love and getting more strength before disobeying the laws of men and obeying the supreme law of love.

Thank you all who make possible this paradise on Earth.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

Pancho

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To Know Without Needing To Understand, by Gangaji

FaceBook  On Jun 24, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. Immersed in the context of the recent bill sb1070 passed in Arizona that allows racial profiling, and before the launching of satyagraha in this part of the Planet, I was delighted to participate in another Wednesday's SOULar charger. These were the three points that I shared that night at the Kindness Temple: 1. A deeper understanding 2. Satyagraha (touching the heart of opponents) 3. Depaving the mind 1. A deeper understanding From my point of view, compassion is the deepest form of understanding, because when you look with the eyes of compassion you "wear the shoes" of the other person, only to discover that there is no "other" person. We are one. And when one understands one loves, and when one loves one naturally acts in a way that can relief the suffering of "others". In reality, we are releasing our own suffering to heal as a family. That is why injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. When injustice happens we must act, not to exacerbate the fractures in our communities with more violence but to embrace love and truth. And for that, we require courage. This is collective dignity. To be nonviolent requires way more courage than to resort to physical force but are we brave enough to be nonviolent? 2. Satyagraha (touching the heart of opponents) Satyagraha (or clinging to truth or soulforce) is a matter of the heart. Gandhi invented this term with his people in South Africa to refer the positive and spiritually based form of resistance that starts in the heart of the resister and inevitably produces creative action. A satyagrahi tries to hold to the truth in every situation. Some times rational argumentation between opposite points of view tend to get stale until one of the parts resorts to force (usually the part with more physical power).  That's why one has to go beyond the mind. Gandhi explaine  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

Immersed in the context of the recent bill sb1070 passed in Arizona that allows racial profiling, and before the launching of satyagraha in this part of the Planet, I was delighted to participate in another Wednesday's SOULar charger. These were the three points that I shared that night at the Kindness Temple:

1. A deeper understanding
2. Satyagraha (touching the heart of opponents)
3. Depaving the mind

1. A deeper understanding

From my point of view, compassion is the deepest form of understanding, because when you look with the eyes of compassion you "wear the shoes" of the other person, only to discover that there is no "other" person. We are one. And when one understands one loves, and when one loves one naturally acts in a way that can relief the suffering of "others". In reality, we are releasing our own suffering to heal as a family.

That is why injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

When injustice happens we must act, not to exacerbate the fractures in our communities with more violence but to embrace love and truth. And for that, we require courage. This is collective dignity. To be nonviolent requires way more courage than to resort to physical force but are we brave enough to be nonviolent?

2. Satyagraha (touching the heart of opponents)
Satyagraha (or clinging to truth or soulforce) is a matter of the heart. Gandhi invented this term with his people in South Africa to refer the positive and spiritually based form of resistance that starts in the heart of the resister and inevitably produces creative action. A satyagrahi tries to hold to the truth in every situation.

Some times rational argumentation between opposite points of view tend to get stale until one of the parts resorts to force (usually the part with more physical power).  That's why one has to go beyond the mind. Gandhi explained:

“Things of fundamental importance to the people must be purchased with their suffering. You must be able to appeal not only to reason, but to the heart also.”

He added:

“What Satyagraha in these cases does is not to suppress reason but to free it from inertia and to establish its sovereignty over prejudice, hatred, and other baser passions. In other words, if one may paradoxically put it, it does not enslave, it compels reason to be free.”

During the performance of satyagraha one tries to win the heart of the opponent by liberating his mind, by converting an enemy into a friend, into a brother.

3. Depaving the mind and the heart
A child has a pure mind. A child's innocence has no conditioned thoughts. As we get old, we build up prejudices and rigid ways to process the information surrounding us. The traditional education systems, especially in the so-called West, pave our minds with a thick layer of the concrete of materialism, consumerism, scarcity, competition and isolation. We pave our minds with useless thoughts of having more and more, greed and violence at its best, that impede us to grow fully as human beings. We pave our hearts with apathy and indifference to the suffereing of "others".

To be in receptive silence, especially here on Wednesdays, is a way to depave the mind and the heart to see again, now with the lens of experience, reality as it is. One needs intelligence to convert data into knowledge, but one needs experience to convert knowledge into wisdom.

Let's depave our minds and hearts!

Let's join the learning (r)evolution! The ahimsa (r)evolution!

Let's Planetize the Movement.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

Pancho

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Three Great Forces, by Brother David Steindl-Rast

FaceBook  On Jun 24, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. May 10th, Mother's day. But for me all Wednesdays are Mother's day. Today, wasn't the exception. While I didn't resonate that much with this passage, I enjoyed a lot to learn from the different perspectives offered in the circle. That's the beauty of Wednesdays (and that's why I _love_ Wednesdays! ;-)). We can talk about pretty much anything and the collective intelligence/feeling builds up until the point where I loose myself into the infinite to become one with the tens of people at the Kindness Temple. I didn't resonate with it because I was trying to find the positive counter parts of the "3 great forces" addressed in the piece, but perhaps I was thinking/feeling about greatest forces or the greatest force. I realized then that love has no opposite. And because of that, I shared only one point: 1. The Greatest Force at the Disposal of Humanity: Ahimsa. Ahimsa, nonviolence, is a powerful method to harmonize relationships among people (and all living things) for the establishment of justice and the ultimate well-being of all parties. It draws its power from awareness of the profound truth to which the wisdom traditions of all cultures, science, and common experience bear witness: that all life is one. Ahimsa is not only the absence of violence, it is not simply the negation to cause harm, but it is something infinitely more: it is when one’s heart is so full of love, so full of courage, forgiveness, generosity, kindness and compassion, that there is no room for hatred, resentment and violence. It is not a double negative but a SUPERLATIVE POSITIVE! Nonviolence it is a call to disobey inhumane laws and treaties; it is a call to obey the law of love; it is a call to not control anger (if it arises) but to express it under discipline for maximum effects; it is a positive force; it is love in action; it is the thoughts we have, the  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

May 10th, Mother's day. But for me all Wednesdays are Mother's day. Today, wasn't the exception.

While I didn't resonate that much with this passage, I enjoyed a lot to learn from the different perspectives offered in the circle. That's the beauty of Wednesdays (and that's why I _love_ Wednesdays! ;-)). We can talk about pretty much anything and the collective intelligence/feeling builds up until the point where I loose myself into the infinite to become one with the tens of people at the Kindness Temple.

I didn't resonate with it because I was trying to find the positive counter parts of the "3 great forces" addressed in the piece, but perhaps I was thinking/feeling about greatest forces or the greatest force. I realized then that love has no opposite.

And because of that, I shared only one point:

1. The Greatest Force at the Disposal of Humanity: Ahimsa.

Ahimsa, nonviolence, is a powerful method to harmonize relationships among people (and all living things) for the establishment of justice and the ultimate well-being of all parties. It draws its power from awareness of the profound truth to which the wisdom traditions of all cultures, science, and common experience bear witness: that all life is one.

Ahimsa is not only the absence of violence, it is not simply the negation to cause harm, but it is something infinitely more: it is when one’s heart is so full of love, so full of courage, forgiveness, generosity, kindness and compassion, that there is no room for hatred, resentment and violence. It is not a double negative but a SUPERLATIVE POSITIVE!

Nonviolence it is a call to disobey inhumane laws and treaties; it is a call to obey the law of love; it is a call to not control anger (if it arises) but to express it under discipline for maximum effects; it is a positive force; it is love in action; it is the thoughts we have, the words we use, the things we do, the cloths we wear, the food we eat… it is a way of life!

For Gandhi women were the epitome of nonviolence:


"To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman... If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, ha she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? ... If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman."


To confirm Gandhi's insight, mamá Harshida shared the perfect reflection to close the circle. She said something like: "sitting still is the remedy to any problem." Gandhi was right and Mamá was serving as an instrument to share the Divine Radio. According to the Mahatma (and mama Harshida!):

“When one comes to think of it one cannot help feeling that nearly half the misery of the World would disappear if we, fretting mortals, knew the virtue of silence. Before modern civilization came upon us, at least six to eight hours of silence out of twenty-four were vouchsafed to us. Modern civilization has taught us to convert night into day and golden silence into brazen din and noise. What a great thing it would be if we in our busy lives could retire into ourselves each day for at least a couple of hours and prepare our minds to listen in to the Voice of the Great Silence. The Divine Radio is always singing if we could only make ourselves ready to listen to It, but it’s impossible to listen without silence.”

A powerful Mother's Day where many of the sons and daughters of mamá Harshida and papá Dinesh spent quality time/space together as a family. Indeed, home is everywhere we go.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

Pancho

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Learning to 'Presence', by Peter Senge

FaceBook  On Jun 24, 2010 Pancho wrote:

[this post was supposed to be publish long time ago...] Namaste, my family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all. A few of weeks ago (May 5th) I was very happy to read the sign at the facade of the Kindness temple. For a moment, I read: SOULar Powered Home. While this home is now powered by our star, I would not doubt for a second that it is also ran by soul ;-) The embodiment of this statement is mamá Harshida who had a pretty bad cold and yet she cooked for all of us, joined the circle and handed to us each one of the dinner plates with her usual living-kind smile. That's what I call soular power! What a way to support our journeys! I'm not surprised that each member in the Mehta family has this quality of the soulforce very well developed. These were the three points I shared: 1. Belief and Unbelief 2. Freedom from Fear 3. Vinoba on Virtues 1. Belief and Unbelief Critical thinking is one of the core values I was taught at home and school. Growing up, basically in a secular environment, I developed an inquisitive mind that got rid of most superstitions or blind believes. Then, being high at the science ladder, I discovered that there are questions that humans won't be able to respond ever–get closer to the answer yes, but never fully correct–because, for practical purposes at the human scale, it is an infinite ladder. It humbled my heart and mind. Science is not a fix thing, it is a dynamic process. How beautiful and profound! Blind belief is also called false positive, and blind unbelief is called false negative. In other words, we can believe something not-true or we can not-believe something true. In both cases we are misrepresenting reality as it is. For me, what this means is that blind unbelief should not replace blind belief. It is not as if belief alone can be blind, that it has monopoly of blindness. Unbelief too can be blind. That's why I've been striving for  See full.

[this post was supposed to be publish long time ago...]

Namaste, my family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all.

A few of weeks ago (May 5th) I was very happy to read the sign at the facade of the Kindness temple. For a moment, I read: SOULar Powered Home. While this home is now powered by our star, I would not doubt for a second that it is also ran by soul ;-) The embodiment of this statement is mamá Harshida who had a pretty bad cold and yet she cooked for all of us, joined the circle and handed to us each one of the dinner plates with her usual living-kind smile. That's what I call soular power! What a way to support our journeys!

I'm not surprised that each member in the Mehta family has this quality of the soulforce very well developed.

These were the three points I shared:

1. Belief and Unbelief
2. Freedom from Fear
3. Vinoba on Virtues



1. Belief and Unbelief
Critical thinking is one of the core values I was taught at home and school. Growing up, basically in a secular environment, I developed an inquisitive mind that got rid of most superstitions or blind believes. Then, being high at the science ladder, I discovered that there are questions that humans won't be able to respond ever–get closer to the answer yes, but never fully correct–because, for practical purposes at the human scale, it is an infinite ladder. It humbled my heart and mind. Science is not a fix thing, it is a dynamic process. How beautiful and profound!

Blind belief is also called false positive, and blind unbelief is called false negative. In other words, we can believe something not-true or we can not-believe something true. In both cases we are misrepresenting reality as it is.

For me, what this means is that blind unbelief should not replace blind belief. It is not as if belief alone can be blind, that it has monopoly of blindness. Unbelief too can be blind.

That's why I've been striving for the balance between science and art, the magic spot where the beauty of life blossoms at its best. I might say it is a combination of critical thinking and critical feeling.

2. Freedom from Fear

Without truth positive qualities have no value; but then, for truth, fearlessness is essential. In an atmosphere charged with fear, positive qualities cannot grow. In fact they become themselves negative qualities, and positive efforts and tendencies get weakened. Freedom from fear is the supreme leader of all positive qualities.

Those that have learnt the lesson of fearlessness and selfeffacement need no leader. When fear of jail disappears, repression puts heart into people. I can only be infinitely grateful for the administration of the University of California because through its structural and physical violence it facilitated me to embrace the fearlessness. As a student, I was sent to jail with charges of trespassing on university property and of "disrupting" the peace. When I was arrested I was meditating. Since then, and through the beautiful interaction with inmate brothers in the Berkeley and Santa Rita jails, I don't do fear any more. I had a blind belief that prison was terrifying. Anchored in love and respect, I lost the fear to be imprisoned.

One of the lessons a planetary community yearning for collective intelligence needs to learn is to shed fears of loosing title, wealthy position, fear of imprisonment, of bodily injury and lastly death. What this means, for me, is that when one finally is not identified with the body, then oppression and tyranny, both internal and external, are overcome forever.

3. Vinoba on Virtues
Fearlessness has been given first place in a long list of twenty-six qualities according to Vinoba. This is not an accident. As mentioned before, in a atmosphere charged with fear, positive qualities cannot grow. Vinobaji uses the analogy of an army: "While in front fearlessness stands alert, humility guards the rear. This is an excellent arrangement." If we have first twenty five qualities (like compassion, tenderness, forgiveness, serenity, patience, nonviolence, loyalty, etc.) but no humility, the ego principle will attack the army from the back and destroy it. In the absence of humility, there is no knowing when victory will turn into defeat.

 

So, there is a third way in adition to the “fight or flight”response: the fearless-nonviolent-humble action. I'm learning, on Wednesdays, how to cultivate all these qualities.


May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

Pancho

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Daily Life of Art, by Nina Wise

FaceBook  On Apr 26, 2010 Pancho wrote:

Namaste, the reason why I say: "My family calls me Pancho" is because pretty much everyone calls me Pancho. After all, we are the Grand Human Family. Someone asked me to be more creative about sharing the love in the opening line, so this time I like you to know that even though some of you don't know me, I embrace every single one of you in my heart. Yes, I love you all (all of you, and the totality of you... that is feeding 2 birds with one seed ;-)). To think outside of the box (what box? ;-)) and be a bit creative, today I'm going to share with you 4 points that came to mind/heart during the sharing circle: 1. Where is "away"? 2. The Hardest Thing 3. Creativity of Old Principles 4. The Spark of Life 1. Where is away? When we say: "I'm going to through something away, where is away? Sister Julia Butterfly Hill shares with us (in this 5 minute video clip about Disposability Consciousness) that there is no such a thing as away. It's only called waste if we are not using it properly. If it's "waste" it is because we haven't been creative enough to find a way to use it. Julia spent more than 2 years living in the branches of an ancient redwood to bring awareness about our interconnectedness with all life. In the face of lack of imagination and destruction, she found a creative way to protest and to cling to truth! 2. The Hardest Thing Nothing is harder than conceiving what has not yet been imagined. However, when we come to see that our life is a gift and a contribution bigger than our wildest dreams, we start to experience the miracle that we are and with this miracle, we discover the reason why we are here on this Planet at this important time in history. 3. Creativity within Old Principles Not so long ago, I wrote this in a long inspired Charity Focus email thread: Nonviolence and the gift-economy are as old as the hills. Both of them are principles. The way we adapt these prin  See full.

Namaste, the reason why I say: "My family calls me Pancho" is because pretty much everyone calls me Pancho. After all, we are the Grand Human Family. Someone asked me to be more creative about sharing the love in the opening line, so this time I like you to know that even though some of you don't know me, I embrace every single one of you in my heart. Yes, I love you all (all of you, and the totality of you... that is feeding 2 birds with one seed ;-)).

To think outside of the box (what box? ;-)) and be a bit creative, today I'm going to share with you 4 points that came to mind/heart during the sharing circle:

1. Where is "away"?
2. The Hardest Thing
3. Creativity of Old Principles
4. The Spark of Life


1. Where is away?
When we say: "I'm going to through something away, where is away? Sister Julia Butterfly Hill shares with us (in this 5 minute video clip about Disposability Consciousness) that there is no such a thing as away. It's only called waste if we are not using it properly. If it's "waste" it is because we haven't been creative enough to find a way to use it. Julia spent more than 2 years living in the branches of an ancient redwood to bring awareness about our interconnectedness with all life. In the face of lack of imagination and destruction, she found a creative way to protest and to cling to truth!

2. The Hardest Thing
Nothing is harder than conceiving what has not yet been imagined. However, when we come to see that our life is a gift and a contribution bigger than our wildest dreams, we start to experience the miracle that we are and with this miracle, we discover the reason why we are here on this Planet at this important time in history.

3. Creativity within Old Principles
Not so long ago, I wrote this in a long inspired Charity Focus email thread:

Nonviolence and the gift-economy are as old as the hills. Both of them are principles. The way we adapt these principles to the situations prevailing around us requires courage, imagination and creativity. Sometimes we, as imperfect ever-growing human beings, confuse this creativity with the principles.

What this means is that in our awakening phase, first, one might be loyal to a creative-courageous individual, but that loyalty should, in due course, grow into commitment to principles, where the intermediate phase, the bridge, could be a commitment to the community of like-minded/hearted people. That is, for (r)evolutionary purposes, respect for an individual, must be replaced by respect for a group of individuals. If there is no love, respect and commitment for the posse, there would be dissensions and unresolved conflicts within it. Loyalty to an individual should thus advance to commitment to the community of the like-minded/hearted and from that to commitment to the principles. Perhaps this is what the Buddhists mean when they say:  "I take refuge in Buddha. I take refuge in sangha. I take refuge in Dharma".

Love for an individual or for a group is shaky. There most eventually be a commitment to principles. Then, the fractal of Nature and the Universal Love will take care to spread the principles from the infinitely small to the infinitely great. That's why, from my perspective, we are part of this exciting movement that started ~3 billion years ago on this Planet, where life has learned over billions of years the advantages of cooperative, locally rooted, self-organized enterprise, in which each individual organism is constantly balancing between individual and group interests.

I believe with each one of my ~30 trillion cells and all the spiritual energy contained in this sack of organic matter, that love and life is the quintessential symbiosis. Yes, now you know, I'm the most fervent admirer and follower of the bold organisms that inhabited this part of the Cosmos billions of years ago. And we better start showing some loyalty and respect to the courageous living beings that, in a bold (r)evolutionary move, started symbiotic relationships to evolve from prokaryotes (organisms formed by only one cell) into eukaryotes (multicellular organisms, like plants and animals).

I'm very happy to know that we all are dancing in this billion-year-long progressive consciousness party. The music still playing and I think the name of the current song is Inner and Outer (R)evolutions: The Total (R)evolution of the Human Spirit.

4. The Spark of Life
What better day to honor the daily life of art than today when, many laps around the Sun ago, mamá Harshida was born. A spark of life who met another spark of light (papá Dinesh) and created two more sparks of light (hermanos Nipun and Viral) and now we all are striving for the soul of life.

In an impromptu celebration sparked by the ONE-derful Yi-An (also know as Audrey Lin, another spark of love in our community), a touching-moving video was created, a booklet of Lessons Of Life Learned on Wednesdays with Auntie Harshida, sweets... it was a joyful encounter of many souls or as we say: a connection at the SOULlular level. Here are some snap shots of the delightful shared space/time.

May we all, one star at a time, find the way to contribute with our light and unique skills to spread love, compassion, pragmatism, courage and wisdom to form an entire galaxy of citizens of the World, the Beloved Earth Community.

Pancho

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Neighbors Are Our Practice, by Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Apr 21, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho, some of you don't know me but and I'd like you to know that I love you all... There is no way to describe in the world of words the intensity of last Wednesday and the way we shared our common humanity. As many times I have said, the best present we can give to any one, to any community, is our attentive presence. And if you were there, you would have caught tears of joy in some of the personal stories shared in that river of kindness and life that is the Kindness Temple of the Mehta Family. "How to distinguish between lack of patience and lack of courage?" asked brother Somik, and tapping into the power of nonviolence. Sister Guri just came back from traveling  around some "slow down" cultures and she was tempted to lose some of the equanimity and awareness she cultivated in that last weeks. She, as compassionate as she is, shared the inner process she had to go throw in order to be-the-peace in the middle of the madness back in a U.S. airport. [The test of nonviolence is clearly when people are doing things we don’t like. With all the love we bring to our actions, with all the care for others’ well-being, we still need to know what we want, what it is that we are working towards... and sister Guri, she is the peace ;-)] Dad Dinesh asked: "What if we get rid off all our buttons? Who will push our "buttons" then?" Hermana Ripa brought the tricky question formulated by one of her teachers: "What is the best of all Yogas?" Her answer reminded me of Gandhiji: "A satyagrahi has infinite patience, abundant faith in others, ample hope." Hermano Nipun shared a story of the huge heart of hermano Viral while he engaged with an angry neighbor and how his compassion touched the heart of this member of the community... all this rich spiritual/social material (and much more!) was gifted to me (and all of us!) and it is enabling me to write  See full.

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

There is no way to describe in the world of words the intensity of last Wednesday and the way we shared our common humanity. As many times I have said, the best present we can give to any one, to any community, is our attentive presence. And if you were there, you would have caught tears of joy in some of the personal stories shared in that river of kindness and life that is the Kindness Temple of the Mehta Family.

"How to distinguish between lack of patience and lack of courage?" asked brother Somik, and tapping into the power of nonviolence. Sister Guri just came back from traveling  around some "slow down" cultures and she was tempted to lose some of the equanimity and awareness she cultivated in that last weeks. She, as compassionate as she is, shared the inner process she had to go throw in order to be-the-peace in the middle of the madness back in a U.S. airport. [The test of nonviolence is clearly when people are doing things we don’t like. With all the love we bring to our actions, with all the care for others’ well-being, we still need to know what we want, what it is that we are working towards... and sister Guri, she is the peace ;-)]

Dad Dinesh asked: "What if we get rid off all our buttons? Who will push our "buttons" then?" Hermana Ripa brought the tricky question formulated by one of her teachers: "What is the best of all Yogas?" Her answer reminded me of Gandhiji:

"A satyagrahi has infinite patience, abundant faith in others, ample hope."

Hermano Nipun shared a story of the huge heart of hermano Viral while he engaged with an angry neighbor and how his compassion touched the heart of this member of the community... all this rich spiritual/social material (and much more!) was gifted to me (and all of us!) and it is enabling me to write and to expand the three points I shared last week:

1. The Beloved Community
2. Interconnectedness
3. Satyagraha

1. The Beloved Community

It has taken many years to Wednesdays to become what it is: an open, friendly, comfortable, welcoming space where people feel the river of loving-kindness flowing in their spirits and bodies. To come to Wednesdays is to acknowledge the beauty of true friendship and to be part of the emerging paradigm of generosity in this part of the Planet. Wednesdays is an example of the Beloved Community Martin Luther King Jr. made allusion for many years. It is another facet of his Dream speech.

It takes a thousand years for a redwood to grow strong and tall. It will take many years for us to grow a strong and majestic Beloved Community on the Planet: the Beloved Earth Community.

2. Interconnectedness

We all are interconnected whether we like it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not. We are not separated. That's an illusion. We all are connected to the Earth, to each other, to our choices. And when we lose track of the connections, and we break some of them, we don't know how we are harming ourselves.

That's why injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

But if we don't want to exacerbate the fractures of our communities with more violence (physical, structural, emotional), how do we recognize, as hermano Somik challenged us, between lack of patience and lack of courage?

The answer, from my perspective, is to respect (for starters) the human dignity of all. In the moment that someone attempts to attack our dignity, that's when we know courage, in the form of kindness and compassion, comes into play. Gandhi called it: Satyagraha.

3. Satyagraha

Clinging to truth. Using the soul-force to stand up for what is love and respect.

Satyagraha is the other side of the coin of ahimsa, the state of the heart which has no enemies. We might disagree with the tactics of our opponents (or angry neighbors!), but the more we respect them as human beings, the stronger we become instruments for our principles of unity, empathy, courage, love and respect. The more we respect our ideological adversaries, the stronger we stay with hope committed to action.

“What Satyagraha in these cases does", Gandhi explained, "is not to suppress reason but to free it from inertia and to establish its sovereignty over prejudice, hatred, and other baser passions. In other words, if one may paradoxically put it, it does not enslave, it compels reason to be free.”

Aligned with the same principles of interconnectedness and service, the Prophet Mohamed (P) once was inquired by one disciples (D):

D - You said that we must serve everybody.
P - Yes.
D - That includes even the oppressor.
P - Yes, that includes the oppressor, too.
D - How are we going to serve an oppressor?
P - By preventing him from his oppression.

 In the same frequency, Martin Luther King Jr said: "We must non-cooperate with evil and we must cooperate with good."

It is clear, from my point of view, that noncooperation has its roots not in hatred but in love. We, citizens of the World, will not submit to any injustice – not merely because it is destroying us but because it is destroying the oppressors as well. In that sense I see how divesting from corporations that produce weapons is an act of love. In Archbishop Desmond Tutu's letter to the University of California Berkeley students I can see the pro-Israeli tone and feeling, because the occupation is not only hurting Palestinians but also Israelis. Actually, the occupation is hurting the entire Earth Community.

That's why we must embrace satyagraha. Because it is an all sided sword… it blesses her/him who uses it and her/him against whom it is used.

“I do not seek to harm [the British]. I want to serve them even as I want to serve my own. I believe that I have always served them. I served them up to 1919 blindly. But when my eyes were opened and I conceived non-cooperation, the object still was to serve them.”-- Gandhi

 It is my intention, with the Wednesdays training, to maintain respectful, open, and trusting relationships with everyone. Respectful consideration of our opponents, who are part of the Grand Human Family, and honoring of their humanity and their value, is a key element of nonviolence, not an accidental by-product. Let's respect all human dignity, to see the full humanity of our opponents who are our siblings in this majestic pale blue pearl.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.  Or the shorter version: May all become satyagrahis.

Pancho

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We Have Forgotten Sabbath, by Wayne Muller

FaceBook  On Apr 12, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... The energy brought by the people of Wednesdays after reading the passage was very similar to that brought by those of us who heard the Letter to a Friend in a Hurry last August. Many of us shared the way we relate with time and the wonderful surprises that serendipity has for us when we are tuned to the slow down mode of Mother Nature... never hurries, yet everything gets done (like brother Somik's experience during the last 3 weeks of the PhD program!). Last week, I shared the following three points and I enhanced them a bit by including the powerful story of a sage from the Touareg people, people who live in the Sahara desert: 1. The Active Agenda of a Bodhisattva 2. Slowing Down as a Sage of the Desert 3. Mad Rush. What Kind of Mind? 1. The Active Agenda of a Bodhisattva During a Wednesday, last year, I heard hermano Nipun sharing what has become a very useful mind-trick, from my point of view. As I remember it, Nipun described how during a talk with a monk, both of them were exchanging their excitement about the packed commitments and how full were their agendas. At some point Nipun said something like: "you are pretty busy today" to which the monk replied: "I'm not busy, I'm active." :-) Since I heard the story of this Bodhisattva(s), "busyness" is not an option to describe the space/time of my life. I've noticed the positive (r)evolution from "busy" to "active" in the way I engage with life. It's all about intention. After all, a new paradigm requires new expressions/languages. Every bit counts for moving towards our Beloved Community. 2. Slowing Down as a Sage of the Desert The detailed description of hermano Somik reminded me of how, when we slow down, we attend meticulously to details, giving the very best we are capable of even to the smallest undertaking. This is  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

The energy brought by the people of Wednesdays after reading the passage was very similar to that brought by those of us who heard the Letter to a Friend in a Hurry last August. Many of us shared the way we relate with time and the wonderful surprises that serendipity has for us when we are tuned to the slow down mode of Mother Nature... never hurries, yet everything gets done (like brother Somik's experience during the last 3 weeks of the PhD program!). Last week, I shared the following three points and I enhanced them a bit by including the powerful story of a sage from the Touareg people, people who live in the Sahara desert:

1. The Active Agenda of a Bodhisattva
2. Slowing Down as a Sage of the Desert
3. Mad Rush. What Kind of Mind?


1. The Active Agenda of a Bodhisattva
During a Wednesday, last year, I heard hermano Nipun sharing what has become a very useful mind-trick, from my point of view. As I remember it, Nipun described how during a talk with a monk, both of them were exchanging their excitement about the packed commitments and how full were their agendas. At some point Nipun said something like: "you are pretty busy today" to which the monk replied: "I'm not busy, I'm active." :-)

Since I heard the story of this Bodhisattva(s), "busyness" is not an option to describe the space/time of my life. I've noticed the positive (r)evolution from "busy" to "active" in the way I engage with life. It's all about intention. After all, a new paradigm requires new expressions/languages. Every bit counts for moving towards our Beloved Community.

2. Slowing Down as a Sage of the Desert
The detailed description of hermano Somik reminded me of how, when we slow down, we attend meticulously to details, giving the very best we are capable of even to the smallest undertaking. This is slowliness and not sloth, which breeds procrastination and inefficiency.

We come to Wednesdays to collectively be in receptive silence. To pay attention to every detail: the smell, the incense, the books, the smiles, the shinning eyes, the individual stories. As hermano Viral and hermanas Guri and Pavi have put it in recent emails/blogs: Mindfulness. Awareness. Strong effort. Insight. Gratitude. Using the body as a tool to reach the Self.

This is part of the immense magic and beauty of Wednesdays. As I was writing this comment, the powerful image of a sage from the desert came to mind/heart:
 

- Sage of the Desert: We shepherd camels, goats, sheep, cows and donkeys in an infinite kingdom of silence.

- Interviewer: Is the desert really so silent?

- Sage of the Desert
: If you are on your own, in that silence you hear your heart beat. There is no better place to meet yourself.

 

Here is the full interview. It ends with this spaceless/timeless quote:

"Here [cities] you have watches; there [desert], we have time."


3. Mad Rush. What Kind of Mind?

"The people who are in the mad rush today, increasing their wants senselessly suppose that they are enhancing their importance and real knowledge. A day will come when they will exclaim, “What have we been doing?”  

One after another, many civilizations have risen, flourished, declined and disappeared and in spite of their big boast of human progress, I am inclined to ask; To what end all this? What’s the purpose? Darwin’s contemporary Wallace has said that despite the various discoveries and inventions during the past fifty years, the moral height of man hasn’t increased even an inch. Tolstoy has said the same thing. Jesus, Buddha, Prophet Mohammed all have said the same things." --M.K. Gandhi

 

Well, on Wednesdays, as tens of thousands of brothers and sisters can corroborate, we slow down and we have time too. We have come together to feed the body and, more importantly, the soul. In the middle of the city we Slow Down, Slow Food, Slow Science.

Every Wednesday, we enjoy a delicious-full-of-love _slow_ dinner. But if you look further (Meher Baba's quote), I better say something like: "We enjoy delicious-full-of-love _still_ dinners."  ;-)

Meher Baba spent many years in unrushed silence and yet he could communicate great gems of wisdom for generations to come. Regarding the pace (peace?) of mind he said:

 

A quick mind is sick.
A slow mind is sound.
A still mind in divine.

 

Let stillness direct our words and actions.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

Pancho

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What Eugene Taught Me, by Linda Lantieri

FaceBook  On Apr 6, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... A Wednesday of more embodiment of the Feminine Divine. Sister Meghna's stories were incredibly moving. If I could summarize them in an equation it wold be something like: Female + Power = Fower. I'm going to share two stories of this fower and also an inspiring contemporary example of the emerging paradigm of healing. 1. Gandhi's Teacher of Nonviolence. 2. Tasty Satyagraha: Women Leading Again. 3. The Healing of Forgiveness. 1. Gandhi's Teacher of Nonviolence. "I learnt the lesson of nonviolence from my wife [Kasturba], when I tried to bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will, on the one hand, and her quiet submission to the suffering my stupidity involved, on the other, ultimately made me ashamed of myself and cured me of my stupidity... in the end, she became my teacher in nonviolence." --Mahatma Gandhi. 2. Tasty Satyagraha: Women Leading Again. Sister Meghna also shared a phenomenal story of a group of Indian women who self-organized to provide healthy milk to their communities without the help of the government. It brought to mind the inspiring movement that started in Mexico after the presidential electoral fraud of 2006 (I was there, unbelievable fraud). Big corporations, like one of the largest breadmaker on the World, Grupo Bimbo, was key financier of the fraudulent elections that led to the current Government (which now thinks it is ok to raid _any_ person's home without an order). But little did they know that this lack of integrity only inspired the creative resistance, or satyagraha, to step it up! One of the things that happened was that a pair of brave women organized to bake their own bread. "Pan Mi General" or "My General's Bread." The logo is Emiliano Zapata (on the South) and Pancho Villa (on the North), two of the main figures of the Mexican Revolution holding a stalk of wheat. Th  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

A Wednesday of more embodiment of the Feminine Divine.
Sister Meghna's stories were incredibly moving. If I could summarize them in an equation it wold be something like: Female + Power = Fower. I'm going to share two stories of this fower and also an inspiring contemporary example of the emerging paradigm of healing.

1. Gandhi's Teacher of Nonviolence.
2. Tasty Satyagraha: Women Leading Again.
3. The Healing of Forgiveness.

1. Gandhi's Teacher of Nonviolence.
"I learnt the lesson of nonviolence from my wife [Kasturba], when I tried to bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will, on the one hand, and her quiet submission to the suffering my stupidity involved, on the other, ultimately made me ashamed of myself and cured me of my stupidity... in the end, she became my teacher in nonviolence." --Mahatma Gandhi.

2. Tasty Satyagraha: Women Leading Again.
Sister Meghna also shared a phenomenal story of a group of Indian women who self-organized to provide healthy milk to their communities without the help of the government. It brought to mind the inspiring movement that started in Mexico after the presidential electoral fraud of 2006 (I was there, unbelievable fraud). Big corporations, like one of the largest breadmaker on the World, Grupo Bimbo, was
key financier of the fraudulent elections that led to the current Government (which now thinks it is ok to raid _any_ person's home without an order). But little did they know that this lack of integrity only inspired the creative resistance, or satyagraha, to step it up!

One of the things that happened was that a pair of brave women organized to bake their own bread. "Pan Mi General" or "My General's Bread." The logo is Emiliano Zapata (on the South) and Pancho Villa (on the North), two of the main figures of the Mexican Revolution holding a stalk of wheat. The slogan: "No mas pan con lo mismo...sabroso y resisente" which roughly translates into: "Not the same old bread...tasty and resistant." The word "pan" in Spanish means bread, but it's also the acronym for Calderon's conservative National Action Party or PAN.

Pan Mi General’s bread is organic and made from ingredients produced by local farmers. Soon, the bread was distributed in Mexico City, created many jobs and helped to educate people about local-fresh-organic bread/food. The corporate media, in an attempt to discredit this incredible project, attacked by saying that "Pan Mi General develops mold after 5 days, unlike Pan Bimbo that last 20 days!". An excellent opportunity to teach people about the nasty conservatives used to keep unhealthy food "fresh".

Boycotting Grupo Bimbo and creating a healthy alternative at the same time. A win-win situation: Gandhi's constructive programme at its best.

What a tasty resistance lead all by women!

3. The Healing of Forgiveness.
The passage talks about the power of healing. What Eugene taught us was a big deal of forgiveness, like Azim Khamisa, or Aqeela Sherrills.

Brother Aqeela Sherrills is an inspiring leader who emerged from the bloody gang conflicts of the Watts neighborhood in South Los Angeles, after losing countless friends (and 4 years ago his 18 year old son, Terrell) to violence, and decided to work tirelessly to bring peace, education, housing, jobs and self-respect to L.A. and other U.S. inner cities. In this 29 minute inspired talk, brother Aqeela offers us an alternative of the how the environmental, social justice, human rights and civil rights movements need to find common ground in a spirit of reverence and compassion, an understanding that their primary mission is the restoration of the vitality of the human spirit.


May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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The Lovely State of Observation, by Vimala Thakar

FaceBook  On Mar 29, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... Once again, I have no doubt that we are living the age of collective samadhi. Being in receptive silence with so many satyagrahis, is only conducive to create an inspiring collective intelligence/wisdom. And what better seed than the penetrating insights of Vimala Thankar. This is what I shared in the energized sharing circle: 1. W A L K 2. Fully Living 3. An Invitation 1. W A L K An acronym I heard the first time from one of the living legends of service: Jayesh-bhai: Living Service: Love All, Serve All. But this time I shared it with a Vimala Thakar touch: W itness nature (observe the details) A ccept circumstances (Awake! Arise! Act!) L ove your life K now thyself (you know what you are, you know why you are here) I wasn't surprised when sister Ripa brought Jayesh-bhai to the circle ;-) 2. Fully Living At some point, opposites emerged in my being. My first thought/feeling was about life and death. So, how can we fully live without the awareness of death? This poem that flowed through me, tries to express this opposites insight, always evolving to a higher level of consiousness:   Love and Life: The Quintessential Symbiosis Our star, blind is to the beauty of Earth without sunlight and futile are the attempts of life to survive without these unconditional love rays. …the radiant glorious Full Moon is just a fierce mirror of the source of life; and the humble New Moon loves the right time for action to eclipse your heart… in between thoughts; in between the sighs of the photons of love; your presence, my dear, immersed when exhale becomes inhale… that’s when we know that the best revenge is forgiveness when in the silent-passionate-song of the spirit we understand that the exquisite rhapsody of souls converge in the infinite silence where we are not “we” but ONE. This deep silence  See full.


My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

Once again, I have no doubt that we are living the age of collective samadhi. Being in receptive silence with so many satyagrahis, is only conducive to create an inspiring collective intelligence/wisdom. And what better seed than the penetrating insights of Vimala Thankar. This is what I shared in the energized sharing circle:

1. W A L K
2. Fully Living
3. An Invitation


1. W A L K
An acronym I heard the first time from one of the living legends of service: Jayesh-bhai: Living Service: Love All, Serve All. But this time I shared it with a Vimala Thakar touch:

W itness nature (observe the details)

A ccept circumstances (Awake! Arise! Act!)
L ove your life
K now thyself (you know what you are, you know why you are here)

I wasn't surprised when sister Ripa brought Jayesh-bhai to the circle ;-)

2. Fully Living
At some point, opposites emerged in my being. My first thought/feeling was about life and death. So, how can we fully live without the awareness of death? This poem that flowed through me, tries to express this opposites insight, always evolving to a higher level of consiousness:
 
Love and Life: The Quintessential Symbiosis
Our star, blind is
to the beauty of Earth without sunlight
and futile are the attempts of life
to survive without these unconditional love rays.

…the radiant glorious Full Moon
is just a fierce mirror of the source of life;
and the humble New Moon
loves the right time for action to eclipse your heart…

in between thoughts;
in between the sighs of the photons of love;
your presence, my dear, immersed when exhale becomes inhale…
that’s when we know that the best revenge is forgiveness
when in the silent-passionate-song of the spirit
we understand that the exquisite rhapsody of souls
converge in the infinite silence
where we are not “we” but ONE.

This deep silence, a serenade to the soul,
as shivers tingled down the length
of the essence of my essence
and your music, Beloved One,
transcend senses and generations,
because our uncovered Self is clearly infinite
in the great and in the small.
That’s the everlasting changeless nature of impermanence:
the wellspring of life.

How can I love life so intensely without grasping it at the heart?
How can I make truth real without living it at thought, word and action?
How can I serve all life without feeling inseparable from the Universe?
How can life manifest without your sunlight?
How can life be brought to clear focus without the awareness of death?
How can truth be transmitted without touching one another’s soul?

Who would not welcome us, my angel, when our heart is filled with nothing but love?

Love and Life,
as the non fragmented existence of our collective being,
as a fractal of compassion, courage and wisdom,
is the Quintessential Symbiosis.

3. An Invitation

Please _observe_ the Great Turning all around us. The Planetary movement that embraces life.

It's happening everywhere! In many places we are turning from relations of domination to relations of partnership; from relationships based on oppression to relationships based on cooperation; from fear and violence to love and ahimsa.

Life exist only in relationship with other life, that is, community. And the organizing principle of life is partnership, it is its very essence. Life exists only in living communities of diverse and mutually interdependent species. How do we free ourselves from the self-inflected alienation and oppression of the totalitarianism of corporate capitalism? We need to create communities that support every person in connecting to life in ways that enhance the creative potential of both self and community so that all may enjoy the joys of the Beloved Community.

Please break the silence, break the isolation and share the stories. The stories of a family like the Mehtas, who for 12 years have been giving love, kindness and compassion with no strings attached. Look around and witness the magic that is unfolding, the unnumbered shining eyes, the beauty that is being born from this place... please don't miss a detail, the people traveling many miles, the subtle incense, the openbook shelf, the embodiment of service, the devotion, the love in the food, the (r)evolutionary smiles... :-) then, shine like a star in the galaxy of this movement and never forget to illuminate also the innercosmos...


May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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The Interplay of Awareness, Presence and Compassion, by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

FaceBook  On Mar 22, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... If you have ever attended to a Wednesday, you know it is no cliche when I say that last Wednesday was another incredible one. For me, it was the first time in almost two years, that the six pack (the way we fondly call all the Mehtas), was formed only by mamá Harshida and papá Dinesh. Hermana Gurita is learning about the Latin American cultures; hermano Viral is in a 30 day retreat in India; hermana Pavititita is finishing up the writing of The Infinite Vision book in Madurai; and hermano Nipuni was engaged in some (r)evolution mission. So, there we were, 40-ish people feeling at home with our adoptive parents, all by ourselves. As hermano Somik shared it already, papa Dinesh set the tone of the circle with a warm loving greeting and the magic, as usual, kept flowing facilitated by brothers Somik and Hafeez. Equally loving, grounding and powerful was the closing of the circle when mamá Harshida embodied her loving fully presence and awareness. This were the 3 points that I shared: 1. The Best Present. 2. A Moment of Awareness. 3. The Balance of Spirituality. 1. The Best Present. Attention is alert stillness. So, the best gift that one can give to anyone, is our attentive presence. Have you noticed the wide-open eyes of a child or the shining eyes of a sage that can be distracted with nothing but the connection of the person in front of them? That's what it means to be alert in stillness, to have an alert still presence. Irresistible for the mind and heart. 2. A Moment of Awareness. I had to travel to the other side of the World, to the part of the Planet we call India, to have a dramatic revelation. Due to my almost only secular perspective during my early education, I used to find Religion and Science mutually exclusive. In an explicit way, I was primarily exposed to only the dogmatic aspect of religion: when you  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

If you have ever attended to a Wednesday, you know it is no cliche when I say that last Wednesday was another incredible one. For me, it was the first time in almost two years, that the six pack (the way we fondly call all the Mehtas), was formed only by mamá Harshida and papá Dinesh. Hermana Gurita is learning about the Latin American cultures; hermano Viral is in a 30 day retreat in India; hermana Pavititita is finishing up the writing of The Infinite Vision book in Madurai; and hermano Nipuni was engaged in some (r)evolution mission. So, there we were, 40-ish people feeling at home with our adoptive parents, all by ourselves.

As hermano Somik shared it already, papa Dinesh set the tone of the circle with a warm loving greeting and the magic, as usual, kept flowing facilitated by brothers Somik and Hafeez. Equally loving, grounding and powerful was the closing of the circle when mamá Harshida embodied her loving fully presence and awareness. This were the 3 points that I shared:

1. The Best Present.
2. A Moment of Awareness.
3. The Balance of Spirituality.


1. The Best Present.
Attention is alert stillness. So, the best gift that one can give to anyone, is our attentive presence. Have you noticed the wide-open eyes of a child or the shining eyes of a sage that can be distracted with nothing but the connection of the person in front of them? That's what it means to be alert in stillness, to have an alert still presence. Irresistible for the mind and heart.

2. A Moment of Awareness.


I had to travel to the other side of the World, to the part of the Planet we call India, to have a dramatic revelation. Due to my almost only secular perspective during my early education, I used to find Religion and Science mutually exclusive. In an explicit way, I was primarily exposed to only the dogmatic aspect of religion: when you remove the kernel of truth from any philosophy (for example, the Saint Inquisition). in other words when one doesn't walk the walk.

But implicitly, my heart kept storing and taking care of the seeds of compassion planted by my four interracial grandparents, all spiritual in their unique way. So, when I entered to a temporal temple in Wardha, the Ashram where Vinoba Bhave and his brothers lived, and I noticed the picture of Gandhi, Yagananda, Vinoba, other sages and in the middle... Albert Einstein... something happened to the sprouts of my heart.

It was a profound moment of awareness, as if all the kindness, generosity, love, forgiveness, compassion, the sense of responsibility and the sense of harmony (also known as spirituality) were hibernating, were waiting for me to sprout in that moment.

I looked around and noticed the Science and the Village tent: compost toilets, solar panels, rain water catching systems, organic fertilizers... all smiling at me. But that was not all.

The Ashram was intended to be managed by women. The power of the heart, the power of the Feminine Divine was all around. A profound balance between the mind and the heart. I went to the little bookstore and grab the pamphlet that eventually, helped me to start walking on my path for real: Science and Self-Knowledge by Vinoba.

Then what I found is that in evolutionary time scales, violence and science are mutually exclusive; the two cannot coexist in the long run. Vinoba was quite aware of this: “Violence must be done away with if science is to survive. If both are sought to be retained, (hu)mankind, along with its science also, would be destroyed.” This disastrous combination inhibits the development of critical inquiry, our thinking becomes narrow and circumscribed if we are associated with any organization which will not be fully conductive for the quest of nonviolence.


3. The Balance of Spirituality
That's what happened to me in Wardha. Once for all, I was aware of the balance of spirituality. All of the sudden, everything made sense. Today, I'm convinced that self-control, self-governance, self-reliance, interdependence, mutuality, individuality, an equilibrium between Science and Arts is where the beauty of life manifests at its best. I found that the organic cosmic glue that keeps altogether, for example Anarchy and Nonviolence, is spirituality: a balance between the mind and the heart that brings harmony to the being.
"The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without Authority, there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require the protection of governmental power ... There can be only one permanent revolution – a moral one: the regeneration of the inner man. --Tolstoy
 
After all, we might be living the Great Turning, we might be living in the Cour-Age (the Age of the Heart!). Please surf the web of life and don't forget to use your heart-drive! ;-)

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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Applying Realization to Relationships, by Adyashanti

FaceBook  On Feb 15, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... Last Wednesday was another incredible Wednesday, and yes, very special. Mama Harshida joined the circle (she usually stays in the kitchen) and, of course, the sharing had a special power. We all hope to see the kind couple (she and papa Dinesh) joining the circle like that more often. Please Take a look at brother Somik's comment where he describes some of the magic that happened last week. As he mentioned, brother Neil opened the circle with 3 inspiring points that summarized, from my perspective, the depth and profoundness of the passage. These were the 3 points that he shared with us: 1. The Golden Rule. 2. Mirror Neurons. 3. Reducing ourselves to Zero. 1. The Golden Rule. "Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you." The foundation of all religions and secular humanism, a simple rule that is hard to follow because many times we are violent to ourselves. The main message of Gandhi while touring India to organize the people to achieve a nonviolent Independence was this: the violence of the mind shown in violent thoughts, emotions and feelings is worse than open physical violence. It follows that the most important part in nonviolence is inner nonviolence, and this can only be achieved through fearlessness. I understand the so called Golden Rule in the following way: No one likes to be treated rudely, to be rushed or belittled or ignored. Everyone appreciates patience, kindness, forgiveness and respect.   2. Mirror Neurons. Linked to this pragmatic idea is the scientific explanation of the Golden Rule, or nonviolence for that matter: mirror neurons or as VS Ramachandran calls them: Gandhi Neurons :-) When we attack someone (physically, emotionally or psychologically) we are harming ourselves. Aren't we the ones who say that we are ONE? [When we were coming back to Berkeley that night, in the carpool, sister ShanShan, Kye and I had a pr  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

Last
Wednesday was another incredible Wednesday, and yes, very special. Mama Harshida joined the circle (she usually stays in the kitchen) and, of course, the sharing had a special power. We all hope to see the kind couple (she and papa Dinesh) joining the circle like that more often.

Please Take a look at brother Somik's comment where he describes some of the magic that happened last week. As he mentioned, brother Neil opened the circle with 3 inspiring points that summarized, from my perspective, the depth and profoundness of the passage. These were the 3 points that he shared with us:

1. The Golden Rule.
2. Mirror Neurons.
3. Reducing ourselves to Zero.


1. The Golden Rule.
"Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you." The foundation of all religions and secular humanism, a simple rule that is hard to follow because many times we are violent to ourselves. The main message of Gandhi while touring India to organize the people to achieve a nonviolent Independence was this: the violence of the mind shown in violent thoughts, emotions and feelings is worse than open physical violence. It follows that the most important part in nonviolence is inner nonviolence, and this can only be achieved through fearlessness.

I understand the so called Golden Rule in the following way: No one likes to be treated rudely, to be rushed or belittled or ignored. Everyone appreciates patience, kindness, forgiveness and respect.
 

2. Mirror Neurons.
Linked to this pragmatic idea is the scientific explanation of the Golden Rule, or nonviolence for that matter: mirror neurons or as VS Ramachandran calls them: Gandhi Neurons :-) When we attack someone (physically, emotionally or psychologically) we are harming ourselves. Aren't we the ones who say that we are ONE?

[When we were coming back to Berkeley that night, in the carpool, sister ShanShan, Kye and I had a pretty insightful conversation about this topic. We were (and are!) so inspired that we are thinking about writing a short paper about nonviolent direct action and mirror neurons. Stay tuned, we'll share it soon. The preview is that we can instantaneously affect other people with our attitudes and intentions, it is some sort of magnetic feel... ;-) I _love_ Wednesdays!]

3. Reducing ourselves to Zero.
Brother Neil talked also about how he understood during his examinations that it is not worth to take the feedback from professors an/or colleagues personally.
After all, he said, my thesis is just a (pragmatic) idea. In other words, he felt how useful was to to reduce his ego to Zero. That's also one of Gandhi's (and many other mystics) great teachings. If the aspirants to obtain a PhD had the consciousness level as brother Neil, those titles would really mean something because today we have enough PhDs, what we now need is some PhDos like him!  ;-)

Nipunbhai-ji hasn't post his insightful comment yet, but we love him as he is ;-) Instead we have Albert Einstein to remind us the interconnectedness of all life and service (
beautifully encircling the 3 points):

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his 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. 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.”

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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Forgiveness & Your Life's Unfinished Business, by Stephen Levine

FaceBook  On Feb 8, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... All Wednesdays are unique and very special. Last week was the last Wednesday for our beloved siblings Pavi and Viral who will be in some part of the Planet (Gandhi's, Vinoba's and Vimala Takar's homeland) sharing their light and inspiration with other communities. Until their back, Wednesdays at 7PM Santa Clara Time will be a way to connect in that other dimension. These are the 3 point I shared last Wednesday: 1. The Forgiveness of Mother Nature. 2. Humans learning from Mother Nature. 3. The Best Revenge. 1. The Forgiveness of Mother Nature. The first thoughts and feelings that came thorough me after reading the passage, were a couple of incredible stories about the resilience of Mother Nature and how she "forgive us" when we hold the space for healing, even when we have been abusing of her generosity for centuries. The first story is called Hope in a Changing Climate (a 22 minute video I watched on a recent DailyGood). Once the cradle of civilization, parts of the Loess Plateau in China faced environmental ruin just 15 years ago as hundreds of years of over-farming took its toll on the ecosystem, making this once lush terrain a degraded landscape. This video documents the uplifting story of how ecosystem restoration helps stabilize climate, reduce poverty, and support sustainable agriculture. Proven to work in China, these visionary people didn't stop there and left to Rwanda and Ethiopia, to facilitate the restoration there too. Another extraordinary example of how Mother Nature does her work if we leave her, is the willingness of a man who helped to restore an entire rainforest... that's right, an entire Rain Forest! This titan found a way to facilitate the re-grow clearcut rainforest in Borneo, saving local orangutans- and creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile ecosystems. The 20 minute thrilling TED talk can be seen here. In our own little way i  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

All Wednesdays are unique and very special. Last week was the last Wednesday for
our beloved siblings Pavi and Viral who will be in some part of the Planet (Gandhi's, Vinoba's and Vimala Takar's homeland) sharing their light and inspiration with other communities. Until their back, Wednesdays at 7PM Santa Clara Time will be a way to connect in that other dimension. These are the 3 point I shared last Wednesday:

1. The Forgiveness of Mother Nature.
2. Humans learning from Mother Nature.
3. The Best Revenge.


1. The Forgiveness of Mother Nature.
The first thoughts and feelings that came thorough me after reading the passage, were a couple of incredible stories about the resilience of Mother Nature and how she "forgive us" when we hold the space for healing, even when we have been abusing of her generosity for centuries. The first story is called Hope in a Changing Climate (a 22 minute video I watched on a recent DailyGood). Once the cradle of civilization, parts of the Loess Plateau in China faced environmental ruin just 15 years ago as hundreds of years of over-farming took its toll on the ecosystem, making this once lush terrain a degraded landscape. This video documents the uplifting story of how ecosystem restoration helps stabilize climate, reduce poverty, and support sustainable agriculture. Proven to work in China, these visionary people didn't stop there and left to Rwanda and Ethiopia, to facilitate the restoration there too.

Another extraordinary example of how Mother Nature does her work if we leave her, is the willingness of a man who helped to restore an entire rainforest... that's right, an entire Rain Forest!
This titan found a way to facilitate the re-grow clearcut rainforest in Borneo, saving local orangutans- and creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile ecosystems. The 20 minute thrilling TED talk can be seen here.

In our own little way in San Francisco, we started an urbiculture project and in just a couple of weeks, we have facilitated the "forgiveness" of Mother Nature and from an abandoned empty lot full of needles, syringes and plastic, now I witnessed the first green sprouts coming up from the soil in just 4 days! We are calling it the Free Farm.

2. The Forgiveness of Humans.
As incredible as the forgiveness of Mother Nature is the forgiveness of human beings. One of my favorite examples of the emerging paradigm is the story of Azim Khamiza. Azim Khamisa's only son Tariq was murdered in a gang-related incident while delivering a pizza in San Diego by Tony, a 14 year old. Kids killing kids. Losing his 20 year old child upended Azim's life. Formerly an investment banker, Azim faced questions with no easy answers: why was his son taken away? Why do children join gangs? Why do they act with violence? Why me?

But many times it is not possible to rationalize a problem, the intellectual explanations have been exhausted and our heart is so broken that it is hard to hold any positive emotions. That's when Azim sat in meditation sometimes as many as 5 hours a day, until he connected at the SOULlular level with himself to be embedded in the Universe of Love. Being in receptive silence always helps because it nourishes and awakens the divine nature.

"I saw victims in both sides of the gun"
he said. The physical violence that killed Tariq, and the structural violence of our society who pushed Tony to join a gang. Now Azim treats Tony (his son's killer) as his own son. "The forgiveness wasn't only for Tony, it was for me, I needed to forgive myself." As brother Birju shared in the circle: "this [to forgive oneself] is the hardest thing to do."

In the end, Azim came together with the guardian of Tony and together they founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation. It is dedicated to breaking the cycle of youth violence by empowering kids, saving lives, and teaching peace. Azim is actively advocating for Tony's release and Tony has became an inspiring example in the prison. Here a touching 12 minute video of this story.

3. The Best Revenge.
After all, everybody is a cell who forms part of the body of the Grand Human Family. We are all interconnected. To not forgive someone, is to not forgive ourselves.
We forgive but not forget.

For these reasons and more, the best revenge is forgiveness.


May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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Pale Blue Dot, by Carl Sagan

FaceBook  On Feb 1, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... Last Wednesday was a ONE-derful night to stress that "we are all in this together", no matter distance or time. As usual, the Berkeley posse of satyagrahis was ready to carpool to Santa Clara but this time there were not enough cars to carry all the crew (8 of us), so Chris, Yi-An and I joyously volunteered to give away our spots (so that you know, sister Yi-An has been the first one to RSVP -before the weekly passage is sent!- for the last month!). We've been to so many Wednesdays that we know how powerful is for a "first timer" or for some of us who are re-joining the spiritual companionship of the Charity Focus family. Among the people who joined the adventure of magic Wednesdays for the first time, was brother Fab (who had a visible weapon of love: a guitar!). [I just heard the beautiful song he played at the Kindness Temple that night!]. So, improvisation was the name of the evening and the three of us decided to have a Wednesdays' night meditation/dinner in Berkeley. Yi-An and Chris bought a few veggies, which later became part of a delicious curry, rice and beans, together with a salad with home grown sprouts and mushrooms from Tilden park (kind of a swadeshi salad). We did the dinner prep and sat in receptive silence at Chris' room. [He showed me the incredible site of Rev. Heng Sure where you can set a virtual bell: a meditation timer!] After meditation, we played Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" and it felt as if I was with all of you in Santa Clara, like if those 55 miles didn't exist. Thanks to the magic of the electron land and the prodigious skills of brother Somik, I could read some of your insights and lovely reflections. In a virtual and real circle, and honoring what might be the continuity of Planetary Wednesdays, these are some of the thoughts/feelings that flowed through me: 1. Star Stuff. 2. New Renaissance of Humanity. 3. Astrono  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

Last Wednesday was a ONE-derful night to stress that "we are all in this together", no matter distance or time.

As usual,
the Berkeley posse of satyagrahis was ready to carpool to Santa Clara but this time there were not enough cars to carry all the crew (8 of us), so Chris, Yi-An and I joyously volunteered to give away our spots (so that you know, sister Yi-An has been the first one to RSVP -before the weekly passage is sent!- for the last month!). We've been to so many Wednesdays that we know how powerful is for a "first timer" or for some of us who are re-joining the spiritual companionship of the Charity Focus family. Among the people who joined the adventure of magic Wednesdays for the first time, was brother Fab (who had a visible weapon of love: a guitar!). [I just heard the beautiful song he played at the Kindness Temple that night!]. So, improvisation was the name of the evening and the three of us decided to have a Wednesdays' night meditation/dinner in Berkeley. Yi-An and Chris bought a few veggies, which later became part of a delicious curry, rice and beans, together with a salad with home grown sprouts and mushrooms from Tilden park (kind of a swadeshi salad). We did the dinner prep and sat in receptive silence at Chris' room. [He showed me the incredible site of Rev. Heng Sure where you can set a virtual bell: a meditation timer!]

After meditation, we played Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" and it felt as if I was with all of you in Santa Clara, like if those 55 miles didn't exist. Thanks to the magic of the electron land and the prodigious skills of brother Somik, I could read some of your insights and lovely reflections. In a virtual and real circle, and honoring what might be the continuity of Planetary Wednesdays, these are some of the thoughts/feelings that flowed through me:

1. Star Stuff.
2. New Renaissance of Humanity.
3. Astronomical Gratitude.


1. Star Stuff.
I remember when I was a child the attention and enthusiasm my dad had for the Carl Sagan's TV series: Cosmos. As a 5 year old, I was quite frustrated when the long Carl monologues started because I couldn't read the subtitles, and my English didn't exist at all, so it just didn't appeal to me. However, what I still remember is the excitement of my dad afterwards: he explained to me, in Spanish, the beauty and magic of the Cosmos is his own words. Those were the seeds of critical thinking, those were the seeds of awe and wonder that shaped my profound interest for Astrobiology (the study of life as we know it -and as we don't know it!-, how it originated, how it has evolved and how it has been distributed in the Universe). In other words, thanks to (well-used)technology and the spiritual translation of people like my dad, Carl Sagan's wisdom could travel, almost in real time, to Mexico, Latin America and to the entire Planet, changing the lives of millions of people like me. It always intrigued me how it was that we are made of star stuff... that meant that you, and I and everybody's ancestors "came from stars". This is one of the most profound realizations humans have ever done: the oxygen that we breathe, the calcium in our bones, the carbon in our skin, the water in our cells, the iron in our blood all come from star stuff...


2. New Renaissance of Humanity.
I remember it was in one of my first Wednesdays when I shared my perspective about the New Renaissance of Humanity. That day, I gave to the Mehta family an Earth Flag that symbolizes the citizenship of the World (not that they need any recognition, but is a tradition I'm used to). So, here it is again:

In the middle of the awe and wonder of the Cosmos it is easy, for me, to make the connection that we all are luminous beings. We all have the potential to shine like a star. We are all in this together, radiating together. We live in an organic spaceship, our home, and we must take care of it. How do we share this oneness perspective with the entire Earth Community? Well, it's happening in front of our eyes. These are indeed exiting times!

Just 15 years ago we discovered, as species, the first extrasolar planet, the first planet outside the Solar System. This discovery marked the start of a new age in the study of the origin of life, because finding worlds around other stars is giving context to the Solar System, and also the existence of our home: the Earth and its magnificent biodiversity. Currently, we have found close to 400 exoplanets! and the list of planets outside the Solar System keeps increasing with each month. However, the majority of these extrasolar planets are “gas giants”: a few are like Uranus or Neptune; the grand majority are like Saturn or Jupiter or even bigger. It is very likely that all these places would be impossible to be inhabit for what we today call “living organisms”. We are still looking for the first Earth-like planet orbiting another sun.

We are getting closer. On April 2007, human knowledge made another jump: we discovered the first Super Earth ⎯a terrestrial planet approximately 4 times the mass of the Earth⎯ and it wasn’t around a Sun-like star, rather it was found orbiting a red dwarf star (75 out of 100 stars in our Galaxy are red dwarfs!). When we humans start to take into account the great diversity of the Cosmos, for example, when we look for planets not only around stars like the Sun but around all stars ⎯of course, including the most numerous⎯ we are rewarded. We are getting even closer! This year, 2010, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope
discovered its first five exoplanets! This mission, looking at 100,000 stars at the same time, is the first one that will be able to detect Earth-size planets as the exo-earths eclipse the light of the hosting start.
 
The Universe tells us again and again that to cling to the anthropocentric principle is useless. When Galileo discovered the fascinating worlds of Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io orbiting Jupiter, the perspective of Humanity changed forever. In the West, this discovery of the Galilean moons proved that the Earth and humans were not the center of the Universe—the insight and reasoning of Copernicus were correct—it called into question the oppressive-obscurantist system of the Inquisition and thus opened the road to the Renaissance. Likewise, today we are living in through the New Renaissance of Humanity. We are building a catalogue of Earth-like planets and Super Earths and we human beings start to understand that it does not matter what country, religion or sexual orientation you are but what matters is being a responsible citizen of the World. We are beginning to demonstrate that the Earth is but one country and all the living beings its citizens.

The message is still very clear, as Gandhi said: “The Earth has enough to satisfy everyone’s needs but not everyone’s greed.” There are enough resources for everyone but to cling to neoliberal policies, to the oppressive-imperial system, to the totalitarianism of corporate capitalism is useless. That's why this is the New Renaissance of Humanity, where we honor diversity at the surface level, and unity at the heart level.

3. Astronomical Gratitude.
We are insignificant and yet so special, so small and yet so giant. We are a way of the Universe to know itself. We are the Universe that took conscience of itself. Yes we are a spec of a spec, and our lives are just a blink of an eye in the Cosmic perspective. At the same time, we have the capability to be asking this mind/heart blowing questions. There is little difference genetically speaking among the rest of animal kingdom and us; it is more and more known that orangutans have feelings, psychological problems, responsibilities as a community members, they take care of each other, they are even nonviolent! We are not that special after all, and yet, we have the capability, moment to moment, breath after breath, to stop the what is causing suffering in others, to be more kind with one another. We are capable to imagine this kindness and then to practice it.

I think/feel that if all humans will be able to experience such a ONE-derful gatherings as Wednesdays, we will be in our way to quickly eradicate the imaginary lines humans draw in the dirt, those lines that will never show up in a picture of our pale blue pearl. I feel an astronomical gratitude for you all who have been feeding me in so many ways, physically and more importantly, spiritually. I'm also infinitely grateful that we are able to share the Wednesday's treasure with more and more people. If I have to offer "my spot" every Wednesday to a new sibling to keep Planetizing the Movement of the Kindness (R)evolution one heart at a time, one star at a time, let it be!
It would be my pleasure!

May billions and billions become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Pancho

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When You Don't Choose Love You Choose Fear, by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler

FaceBook  On Jan 25, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that _I'm choosing_ to love you all :-) BAAM! indeed beloved hermano Somik. This passage has so much material to learn from. This is a complementary comment of what I shared in the circle last Wednesday. As usual, the jewels shared by the people before me, inspired me to formulate the three points: 1. The Universal Love, Stillness and Fearlessness. 2. The story of Rea, the dog. 3. A question "?" 1. The Universal Love, Stillness and Fearlessness. I was so inspired when I came back from Wednesday that I wrote a poem. It reflects pretty much what I said that night:   The True Red Pencil** Emerged from the kisses of your eyes was my need to be in love with all life; the kind of love and the will that come when the mind is still. I didn’t know what real love was until I loved all. When my mind is still I see everybody as my own self, as my own blood. At the still center within the heart, same spot where the dagger pierced, is where I found you, Beloved One. Painful if we resist. Joyful if we surrender... to its petals to its divine flow to its detached nature. We can never know what real joy is until the mind is still… a mind at rest and a heart full of love is the true red pencil that panted these verses from above. A sister, right before me, shared how fearless she felt in many ways, physically and morally speaking, and her loving kind nature reminded me the words of Vinoba Bhave: "This is real love and real love is possible only in a state of fearlessness. But how does a person develop this quality so that she/he can shed fear? Such woman/man fears anybody nor makes anyone afraid of her/him. The same is true for a free man/woman. It is characteristic of him/her that he/she neither submits to anyone nor keeps anybody in submission. One who causes fear in others cannot be termed as fearless and one who keeps others in bondage cannot b  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that _I'm choosing_ to love you all :-)

BAAM! indeed beloved hermano Somik. This passage has so much material to learn from. This is a complementary comment of what I shared in the circle last Wednesday. As usual, the jewels shared by the people before me, inspired me to formulate the three points:

1. The Universal Love, Stillness and Fearlessness.
2. The story of Rea, the dog.
3. A question "?"

1. The Universal Love, Stillness and Fearlessness.
I was so inspired when I came back from Wednesday that I wrote a poem. It reflects pretty much what I said that night:
 

The True Red Pencil**
Emerged from the kisses of your eyes
was my need to be in love with all life;
the kind of love and the will
that come when the mind is still.

I didn’t know what real love was
until I loved all.
When my mind is still
I see everybody as my own self,
as my own blood.

At the still center within the heart,
same spot where the dagger pierced,
is where I found you, Beloved One.

Painful if we resist.
Joyful if we surrender...
to its petals
to its divine flow
to its detached nature.

We can never know what real joy is
until the mind is still…
a mind at rest and a heart full of love
is the true red pencil that panted
these verses from above.

A sister, right before me, shared how fearless she felt in many ways, physically and morally speaking, and her loving kind nature reminded me the words of Vinoba Bhave:


"This is real love and real love is possible only in a state of fearlessness. But how does a person develop this quality so that she/he can shed fear? Such woman/man fears anybody nor makes anyone afraid of her/him. The same is true for a free man/woman. It is characteristic of him/her that he/she neither submits to anyone nor keeps anybody in submission. One who causes fear in others cannot be termed as fearless and one who keeps others in bondage cannot be called free."

When it was my turn, I said something like: "Sister, I'm positive of your fearlessness!"


.


2. The story of Rea, the dog.

The beginning of the Wednesday circle was opened by brother Niel. He shared how he conceived fear and love, and made a powerful analogy between ignorance and wisdom. Inevitably, those words evoked in me the early teachings of my dad, a lover of Science, when he used to tell me how the Neanderthal men were, probably, scared to dead when they were in the middle of a thunder storm. Our ancestors needed to invent many human-like gods to explain what they couldn't understand. Then, I knew the perfect story to share.

That Wednesday's afternoon, we had a thunderstorm in Berkeley. In the almost 6 years I have been in the Bay Area this is the second time I hear a thunder, not like Mexico City where thunders occur very frequently. This time it was a thunder storm. Many of the thunders must have been discharged very closely since the ground, homes and buildings were shaking in very powerful way. I was in a positive shock of awe and wonder saying to myself: "

wow Mother Nature, you are phenomenal and powerful, I know this is just a beautiful reminder to tell us how fragile we, humans, are."

As I was enjoying the thunder storm and the fierce winds and seeing the patterns of the pouring water, the officemate who works upstairs was ready to leave the office with her two dogs... and I thought I was radical! ;-)



The big dog, Rea, was the first one trying to leave. She was visibly shaking and with her long tail between the legs. The little one, Kanji, was afraid too. A concerned sister Eve said:

"Rea is very afraid of thunders, she was below the desk shaking and now she just wants to go home. Kanji doesn't like thunders either."

The Metta Center office is warm, so as I did some mimic to attract Kanji's attention, I invented them to come in.

"Why don't you wait a little bit until the storm calms a little bit?"

Eva accepted, carried Rea and brought her by the heater. Suddenly Kanji was happy and jumped up and down in an invitation to play with me. An offer hard to resist. Then all the attention was put into the suffering Rea. Eva told me how the cloth she had tied on Rea's tummy was trying to resemble the love of a hug of a mother when they are puppies. We talk sweet to her, caressed her, but then... another thunder!



"Everything is ok beautiful" "We are here with you Rea"

. Little Kanji hesitated a bit, but he stayed equanimous ;-)



More sweet words, more love, we didn't stop caressing her and even Kanji started kissing Rea! The four of us could feel the warm not only from the heater but from each other. After a few minutes, the calm words of Eve were in the air, she was lying on the comfy carpet, in the middle of the office, I was on the floor too, Kanji was happy and then:



Rea's tail came out from between the legs! And not only that! She lied down and rolled 90 degrees, inviting us to caress her tummy!



Another thunder, she stud up, but it took her a few seconds to recover. It was a beautiful experiment of mirror neurons (mimicking the movements, feelings and emotions of mammals!) and how to spread love among all living beings. Love over fear. Fear dissolves in the presence of love.




3. A question "?"

Yes, anger, fear and hatred are contagious, but so as peace of mind, love and courage. What would we like to spread in this World?



May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

 

** Someone with muse powers, gifted me a red pencil that night at the Mehta kindness temple... therefore the title of the poem ;-)

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Noticing the Gaps, by Eckhart Tolle

FaceBook  On Jan 18, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... Somehow to be surrounded by angels facilitates the flow of inspiration. Particularly last Wednesday, I felt an interesting touch of art and science at the time when the microphone reached me. An emergence of the Beloved One using me as a tool: 1. The Primordial Gap: the Breath Bridge 2. Electric Arcs 3. The Arc of Understanding, we all can be "in the Zone" 1. The Primordial Gap: the Breath Bridge One of the primordial gaps I've been found precious is within us all of the time: our breath. There is a magic moment in our breathing, when inhale becomes exhale, an instant in space/time that goes deep into our being to really explore who we are. I think/feel about it as a bridge connecting the inner and outer Cosmos. There is something universal about this "gap" because there is no Buddhist breath, no Christian breath, no Hindu breath, no Muslim breath, no Jew breath... just human breath. 2. Electric Arcs, a Spark Gap Air and bridges, air and arcs. I remember the emotion and curiosity I felt as a child the first time I witnessed with  awe and wonder an electrical climbing arc that was part of demo in a Science museum. I couldn't understand how it was possible to have some sort of a shining ghost climbing two metal sticks. I spent tens of minutes pushing the button that generated the spark that jumped from one bar to the other, creating a beautiful shining arc. But that wasn't all. Then, the beautiful blazing bridge started to graciously climb up until it disappeared at the tips of the bars. Later, with the same excitement, I learned the rational explanation: two conducting electrodes separated by a gap filled with a gas such as air. When a suitable voltage (difference in electric potential) is supplied, a spark forms (a gap spark!), ionizing the gas and drastically reducing its electrical resistance. Then, electrons can easily flow between the ele  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

Somehow to be surrounded by angels facilitates the flow of inspiration. Particularly last Wednesday, I felt an interesting touch of art and science at the time when the microphone reached me. An emergence of the Beloved One using me as a tool:

1. The Primordial Gap: the Breath Bridge
2. Electric Arcs
3. The Arc of Understanding, we all can be "in the Zone"

1. The Primordial Gap: the Breath Bridge

One of the primordial gaps I've been found precious is within us all of the time: our breath. There is a magic moment in our breathing, when inhale becomes exhale, an instant in space/time that goes deep into our being to really explore who we are. I think/feel about it as a bridge connecting the inner and outer Cosmos. There is something universal about this "gap" because there is no Buddhist breath, no Christian breath, no Hindu breath, no Muslim breath, no Jew breath... just human breath.

2. Electric Arcs, a Spark Gap

Air and bridges, air and arcs. I remember the emotion and curiosity I felt as a child the first time I witnessed with  awe and wonder an electrical climbing arc that was part of demo in a Science museum. I couldn't understand how it was possible to have some sort of a shining ghost climbing two metal sticks. I spent tens of minutes pushing the button that generated the spark that jumped from one bar to the other, creating a beautiful shining arc. But that wasn't all. Then, the beautiful blazing bridge started to graciously climb up until it disappeared at the tips of the bars.

Later, with the same excitement, I learned the rational explanation: two conducting electrodes separated by a gap filled with a gas such as air. When a suitable voltage (difference in electric potential) is supplied, a spark forms (a gap spark!), ionizing the gas and drastically reducing its electrical resistance. Then, electrons can easily flow between the electrodes (generating an electric current) until the path of ionized gas is broken. This occurs when the voltage between poles is reduced, or when the heated gas rises, stretching out and then breaking the filament of ionized gas.



I think the same thing happens with human beings. We are like the two electrodes. When we have the right amount of attention, empathy, patience and care, we generate the spark of life energy that creates an arc between spirits, a connection at the SOULlular level.



It is our full attention, that keeps the "high voltage" between the two persons, so that the blazing beautiful love arc can form.  And not only that, we can have such a strong attention and awareness that we might be generating a "current of air" going down that won't let the "electrical climbing arc" go up.



3. The Arc of Understanding, we all can be "in the Zone"

 

In the sharing circle, brother Niel talked about athletes and doctors being "in the zone", when everything turns slow and spacious to perform close to perfect actions. For that, one needs to train a lot and not all of us will become a Michael Jordan or a Roger Ferderer or a Nadia Comaneci. But I believe that we all have the capacity to be "in the zone" of connecting with each other, we all can be creating these "electric arcs". We only need to be present and attentive.

We all can be great because we all can serve; we all can be great because we all can be attentive and present; we all can eradicate the walls of prejudices among us that block the flow of life energy; we can all reduce the resistance, as the gap spark does; we can ionize the air of a meeting with a smile. Suddenly, these connections, these arcs of understanding will form more often in our lives. And to develop understanding, you need to practice to look at all living beings with the eyes of compassion; and when you have compassion, you understand; and when you understand, you love; and when you love, you naturally act in a way that could relief the suffering of others.

Yes, we all can be "in the zone", and be delighted by the beauty of sparking human relationships, the same beauty that captures a child's attention and nourishes our soul curiosity. 


May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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Law of Least Effort, by Deepak Chopra

FaceBook  On Jan 13, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... As I'm getting ready for another inspiring Wednesday, a lot of feelings of gratitude and joy came to my mind/heart form what happened last Wednesday: an organic fresh local nourishing flow of harmony, the flow of the law of least effort, the flow of the Universal Love. During the circle a few people brought the analogy of water. I could not resist but to follow the curse of the emerging collective intelligence (as a participant in the circle said: "this is my blisscipline ;-)). 1. The shape of the container 2. Emancipate the borders 3. The Grand Canyon of the Earth Community 1. The shape of the container Liquid Water. The precious compound that makes life possible on this Planet. When we are born, 90% of the content of our beautiful bodies is water. On this World, with its gravity, liquid water "finds the way to flow", even when it is in a container. Why "flowing" when you are contained? Because when one takes the form of the container, one is ready to connect at a deep level with the walls of the container. You are in contact with the "inner part" of the container. In the same way, each one of us could "take the shape of the container" and connect with our brothers and sister at the SOULlular level, no matter where we are, or what are our superficial differences. When that happens, when we connect with each other at the understanding level, magic flows.   2. Emancipate the borders Water knows no borders. There is no concept of country or any imaginary lines drawn in the dirt by humans. The rivers flow; the oceans tides are constantly caressing  the coasts; the clouds fly freely above our sacred land. If liquid water can bring such peace to our  minds, imagine how much peace the mind would have if the stream of the Universal Love, devotion and wisdom begins to flow through the valley of the mind... When one  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

As I'm getting ready for another inspiring Wednesday, a lot of feelings of gratitude and joy came to my mind/heart form what happened last Wednesday: an organic fresh local nourishing flow of harmony, the flow of the law of least effort, the flow of the Universal Love.

During the circle a few people brought the analogy of water. I could not resist but to follow the curse of the emerging collective intelligence (as a participant in the circle said: "this is my blisscipline ;-)).

1. The shape of the container
2. Emancipate the borders
3. The Grand Canyon of the Earth Community

1. The shape of the container

Liquid Water. The precious compound that makes life possible on this Planet. When we are born, 90% of the content of our beautiful bodies is water. On this World, with its gravity, liquid water "finds the way to flow", even when it is in a container. Why "flowing" when you are contained? Because when one takes the form of the container, one is ready to connect at a deep level with the walls of the container. You are in contact with the "inner part" of the container. In the same way, each one of us could "take the shape of the container" and connect with our brothers and sister at the SOULlular level, no matter where we are, or what are our superficial differences. When that happens, when we connect with each other at the understanding level, magic flows.

 

2. Emancipate the borders

Water knows no borders. There is no concept of country or any imaginary lines drawn in the dirt by humans. The rivers flow; the oceans tides are constantly caressing  the coasts; the clouds fly freely above our sacred land. If liquid water can bring such peace to our  minds, imagine how much peace the mind would have if the stream of the Universal Love, devotion and wisdom begins to flow through the valley of the mind...

When one find goodness and benevolence all around, the mind automatically will attain peace. We can find a stream that is flowing without break, that has no resting place, a "homeless" flow of love. Then, watching the flow of such a sacred stream concentrates the mind in a moment... then, this stream, only motivates us to create a spring of love and wisdom within ourselves.

 

3. The Grand Canyon of the Earth Community

And who cares what would be the results of "our flowing" on the surface of the Earth today? Every drop of water counts. Just look at the magnificent testimonial of the Grand Canyon and so many other master pieces that Mother Nature has carved with infinite patience, with infinite love, one moment at a time. In the same way, our small contributions of kindness, generosity and courage will create a The Grand Canyon of the Earth Community where no borders are need to share the abundance of this paradise on the Cosmos.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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Receiving Each Day as an Invitation, by John O'Donohue

FaceBook  On Jan 4, 2010 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... What a blessing was to be at the warm house of the Mehtas last Wednesday. I'm always in perpetual gratitude for the service this family provides to the Earth Community. This time we had the gift to be poured by the love and wisdom of Rev. Heng Sure and his music. Any person who shows up on Wednesdays becomes part of a greater pool of "dear people" who share a unique precious happy moment. Added to the pool, for example, were the human being who brought me to this world and my brother who were visiting from Mexico City; fellow hunger strikers and treesiters to transform public education; unstoppable rebel-civil-disobedient grandmas with and without wheelchairs; babies who attended to their very first Wednesday; entire families and the list goes on and on... Being in the presence of so much light (I felt like being in the heart of a globular cluster full of stars), it wasn't surprising that my mind and heart grasped most of Rev. Heng Sure message about light, waves, vows and renewal (or rebirth if you wish ;-)), intimately related with the reading. 1. Light 2. Waves 3. Vows, Renewal and Carpe Noctem! 1. Light A new day, a new light, a new opportunity to improve our awareness of the beauty of the bright Cosmos. And yet, the metaphor shared by Rev. Heng Sure about Nirvana was the extinguishing of light in a chain of candles. The image of blowing the transient flame from the last candle, brought to my mind/heart the beauty of Nature when the artificial light created by urban pollution is gone. The majestic firmament, a combination of darkness and light, emerges to conquer our souls. The darkness is a sort of background in which light, in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves, travels billions of kilometers to nourish the curiosity and creativity in our minds and hearts.  2. Waves So it could be either, a bright new  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

What a blessing was to be at the warm house of the Mehtas last Wednesday. I'm always in perpetual gratitude for the service this family provides to the Earth Community. This time
we had the gift to be poured by the love and wisdom of Rev. Heng Sure and his music. Any person who shows up on Wednesdays becomes part of a greater pool of "dear people" who share a unique precious happy moment. Added to the pool, for example, were the human being who brought me to this world and my brother who were visiting from Mexico City; fellow hunger strikers and treesiters to transform public education; unstoppable rebel-civil-disobedient grandmas with and without wheelchairs; babies who attended to their very first Wednesday; entire families and the list goes on and on...

Being in the presence of so much light (I felt like being in the heart of a globular cluster full of stars), it wasn't surprising that my mind and heart grasped most of Rev. Heng Sure message about light, waves, vows and renewal (or rebirth if you wish ;-)), intimately related with the reading.

1. Light
2. Waves
3. Vows, Renewal and Carpe Noctem!


1. Light

A new day, a new light, a new opportunity to improve our awareness of the beauty of the bright Cosmos. And yet, the metaphor shared by Rev. Heng Sure about Nirvana was the extinguishing of light in a chain of candles. The image of blowing the transient flame from the last candle, brought to my mind/heart the beauty of Nature when the artificial light created by urban pollution is gone. The majestic firmament, a combination of darkness and light, emerges to conquer our souls. The darkness is a sort of background in which light, in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves, travels billions of kilometers to nourish the curiosity and creativity in our minds and hearts. 

2. Waves

So it could be either, a bright new day or a dark inspiring night, but the important point is to be aware of our state of mind and heart to enjoy the transient moment. And from the perspective of a human standing on the Planet, in my pinion, it makes even more sense: while we are in the middle of the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the longest days are enjoyed in the Southern Hemisphere.
So, from the Earth Community's perspective, is it obscure or luminous? Are we experiencing long days or long nights? Is it bright or dark? I like to think of it as a wave. Hills and valleys, maximums and minimums. Impermanence as one of the fundamentals laws in the Universal Love.

And my hope for humanity (violence Vs. courage-compassion-wisdom) is that, when we are outdoors in communion with Nature, we'll see that within the night sky there's light too; there's no such a thing a complete darkness. And within the day there are shadows too; there is no such a things as complete brightness.

When we are meditating to be still, to be in receptive silence, we offset our wave of happiness. We move away from the axis of misery, ignorance and illusion. Then, regardless if it is winter or spring, dark or bright, we will remain in profound awareness and equanimity.

3. Vows, Renewal and Carpe Noctem!

Among many other things shared by Rev. Heng Sure were his harmonious waves in the form of music which propagated through the air to bath our bodies and spirits. He shared two powerful stories (too powerful to be shared by your humble servant in the form of words), one of them was related to vows, the other one with a wave of Bodhisattvas, an ancient and modern army of Bodhisattvas...

It was a Carpe Diem moment, more precisely, it was a Carpe _Noctem_ moment! ;-)

In this new decade, let's bring the best of us, it is the time to bring the natural organic light within each one of us, and at the same time, to be vulnerable with our dark spots to see them as opportunities to grow. Right here, right now.

This is an empty white day, an empty white year, an empty white decade...full with empty dark nights, empty dark moments, empty dark chances... all raw and ready to be filled with our messages, our lives. Let's fill them out with the sparks of life, the power of truth and the beauty of happiness :-)

Actually, today is the first day of the rest of our lives! Let's celebrate it!

Carpe Diem! and Carpe Noctem!

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

Pancho

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Contemplation Vs. Social Change, by Brother David Steindl-Rast

FaceBook  On Oct 4, 2009 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... A few months ago, after a magic Wednesday in Santa Clara, a silent Monday and an inspiring email from hermano Viral, an indescribable feeling flowed through me to provide another piece in the puzzle of sustainable change. I channelled that energy, and with the help of many of my co-workers at the Metta Center, I drafted a document named: "The Earth Swaraj or The Independence of the Earth." This is an excerpt (with some updates) of that document that came to mind after reading this week ijourney's passage: 1. Outer Revolution. 2. Inner Revolution. 3. Total (R)evolution of the Human Spirit. 1. Outer Revolution This approach is primarily outward-looking, seeking to transform the world through social, economic, and political change. In Gandhi's constructive program one works to create positive change in their own community, to change the conditions so that violence cannot take root there. In Satyagraha (what we call 'Obstructive Program') one ceases to cooperate with harmful situations and/or institutions. It is important to note that in the Gandhian sense, Constructive Program and Obstructive Program -- making up outer transformation -- work inextricably and in concert with the personal -- or inner transformation. A. Constructive Program Constructive Program is action taken within the community to build systems or resources that are positive alternatives to oppression. Constructive Program is doing what one can to imaginatively and positively create justice within one’s own community. Approximately 90% of one's energy can be used in creating the relationships one would like to have with other people, with animals, with plants, with the whole Earth Community. Some examples of constructive programs are: Permaculture (e.g. Earth Activists Training),  Selfless Service (e.g. CharityFocus), Restorative Justice (e.g. Ella Baker Center), Green Jobs (e.g. Green F  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

A few months ago, after a magic Wednesday in Santa Clara, a silent Monday and an inspiring email from hermano Viral, an indescribable feeling flowed through me to provide another piece in the puzzle of sustainable change. I channelled that energy, and with the help of many of my co-workers at the Metta Center, I drafted a document named: "The Earth Swaraj or The Independence of the Earth." This is an excerpt (with some updates) of that document that came to mind after reading this week ijourney's passage:

1. Outer Revolution.
2. Inner Revolution.
3. Total (R)evolution of the Human Spirit.

1. Outer Revolution

This approach is primarily outward-looking, seeking to transform the world through social, economic, and political change. In Gandhi's constructive program one works to create positive change in their own community, to change the conditions so that violence cannot take root there. In Satyagraha (what we call 'Obstructive Program') one ceases to cooperate with harmful situations and/or institutions. It is important to note that in the Gandhian sense, Constructive Program and Obstructive Program -- making up outer transformation -- work inextricably and in concert with the personal -- or inner transformation.

A. Constructive Program

Constructive Program is action taken within the community to build systems or resources that are positive alternatives to oppression. Constructive Program is doing what one can to imaginatively and positively create justice within one’s own community. Approximately 90% of one's energy can be used in creating the relationships one would like to have with other people, with animals, with plants, with the whole Earth Community.

Some examples of constructive programs are: Permaculture (e.g. Earth Activists Training),  Selfless Service (e.g. CharityFocus), Restorative Justice (e.g. Ella Baker Center), Green Jobs (e.g. Green For All), Preventive Medicine (an inspiring example), Independent Media (e.g. YES! Magazine , New Internationalist, Democracy Now!, DailyGood), Community Currencies (i.e. Reclaim your Currency!), Educational Initiatives (e.g. YES! for Students and Teachers), etc.

The movement is deeper than a solar panel! We need to install SOULar panels too! Enjoy this inspirational talk by Oakland activist, and former Obama adviser, Van Jones (20 min).

And by the way, we had a creative discussion about Constructive Program at a recent Hope Tank. :)

  • The “inner charkha“, a daily activity that everyone can practice in the planetization of the movement, is “being in receptive silence” (BIRS, see III. Inner Transformation).

B. Obstructive Program (Satyagraha)

Satyagraha can be understood as the vast inner strength required to perform nonviolent acts. Once we understand the problems affecting our communities, we can then understand that violence only exacerbates the fracture of community. It is important to remember that means are ends in the making (one of the 5 Principles of Nonviolence): satyagrahis stop the damage and honor the pain of the world, but always while paying attention to how one does so. Gandhi believed that a dedicated adherent to nonviolent resistance who works to uphold a just cause will inevitably reach the heart of the oppressor by taking authentic action to represent truth. When understood for its strength and courage, Satyagraha—also defined as ‘soul force’—is recognized as a positive and spiritually-based form of resistance that starts in the heart of the resister and inevitably produces creative action. And so one can invest 10% of one's energy in noncooperation: boycotts, civil disobedience, protests and rallies (UC Walk Out!), fasts and hunger strikes, etc.

Some inspiring examples of hardcore satyagrahis in action are: Third Party Nonviolent Intervention or TPNI (e.g. Nonviolent Peacefore, Peace Workers, Peace Brigades International, and Christian Peacemaker Team), Civil Disobedience (Pace e Bene, Gandhi's Salt March is a famous example, and scene of one of the most oft-seen pictures of Gandhi), Conscientious Objectors (e.g. the Schministim in Israel), etc.

2. Inner Revolution

In the past, many advocates of personal transformation have seemingly said "Don't be concerned with the world's problems. Look inwards and focus on changing yourself. The political, the economic, the social problems come after." It is worth noting here that every great nonviolent warrior we can conjure up off the top of our heads has been grounded in some spiritual/religious practice (e.g. Gandhi, King, Vinoba, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, César Chávez...just to name a few!). This is personal to each individual, so we will not presume to advise here -- but it is worthwhile to contemplate how one's spiritual or religious practice, whatever that means to you, relates to a nonviolent life.

Being in Receptive Silence:

“When one comes to think of it one cannot help feeling that nearly half the misery of the World would disappear if we, fretting mortals, knew the virtue of silence. Before modern civilization came upon us, at least six to eight hours of silence out of twenty-four were vouchsafed to us. Modern civilization has taught us to convert night into day and golden silence into brazen din and noise. What a great thing it would be if we in our busy lives could retire into ourselves each day for at least a couple of hours and prepare our minds to listen in to the Voice of the Great Silence. The Divine Radio is always singing if we could only make ourselves ready to listen to It, but it’s impossible to listen without silence.” M.K. Gandhi - Harijan, 24-9-1938, p.267

  • Vipassana. S.N. Goenkha. Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, an art of living.
  • Passage Meditation. Eknath Easwaran. Blue Mountain Center of Meditation. According to Easwaran, the principle of meditation is simple: You are what you think. Recognizing this, he developed his method of passage meditation, which involves meditating on words that embody your highest ideals.
  • Seven Masters One Path. John Selby. 7 Masters One Path is another holistic, non-sectarian approach to meditation. The guided oriented meditation of John can be also reached at his latest website: iUplift
  • Contemplation of Nature. Walking in the woods, staring at the sea, watching the stars, whatever but to do something to foster the nourishment and awakening of the divine nature.

Aside from any religious practice one may or may not have, there are many other practices that directly relate to and support the practice of nonviolence. Here are some other avenues we are familiar with to help in becoming a more grounded nonviolent warrior.

  • Empathic Listening, part of Nonviolent Communication.
  • Healthy Entertainment and reading and reporting on nonviolent events. Some of the organizations reporting positive news around the Earth Community are DailyGoodKarmaTube, Smooth Feather, Free Range Studios and YES! Magazine.
  • Forgiveness. (see the story of Azim Khamisa: From Murder to Forgiveness: The Garden of Life.)
  • Fearlessness. One of Gandhi's main points was that there could be no nonviolence without fearlessness. The violence of the mind, shown in violent attitudes and feelings was, he said, worse than open, physical violence. It follows from that the most important aspect of nonviolence is inner nonviolence, which is not possible without fearlessness.
  • Gratitude. Thank you for reading through this document :-)
  • Compassion is a spontaneous movement of wholeness. It is not a studied decision to help the poor, to be kind to the unfortunate. Compassion has a tremendous momentum that naturally, choicelessly moves us to worthy action. It has the force of intelligence, creativity, and the strength of love. Compassion cannot be contrived; it derives neither from intellectual conviction nor from emotional reaction. It is simply there when the wholeness of life becomes a fact that is truly lived.
  • Random Acts of Kindness. Help Others. :-)
  • Stay Positive! Why? Well, many reasons...but the discovery of mirror neurons begins to scientifically explain why.

3. Total (R)evolution of the Human Spirit.
People have generally followed one or the other of these two conventional approaches: religious groups concerned with inner growth and inner revolution, and social activist groups concerned with social service and outer revolution. Traditionally we have created boundaries, and exploration beyond our home territories has been superficial. The social activists have staked out their territory, the outer life—the socioeconomic, political structures—and the spiritual people have staked out theirs—the inner world of higher dimensions of consciousness, transcendental experiences, and meditation. The two groups, throughout history, have shown contempt for one another. The social activists consider the spiritual inquirers to be self-indulgent, and the inquirers consider the activists to be caught in a race of activity, denying the essence of living. Some spiritual leaders have divided life into worldly and spiritual, and have at times insisted that the world is an illusion.

If we sanction violence in our hearts, we are going to cooperate with whomever is waging war. We are participants because psychologically we sanction violence. If we really want to put an end to warfare, we need to explore deep into the human psyche where the roots of violence have a stronghold. Unless we find the roots of violence, greed, and jealousy, we will not find our way out of chaos. Failure to eliminate their roots will doom us to endless miserable repetitions of the failures of the past. We must see that the inner and the outer are delicately intertwined in a totality and that we cannot deal with the one successfully without the other. The structures and systems condition the inner consciousness, and the conditioning of the consciousness creates the structures and systems. We cannot carve out one part of the relationship, make it bright and beautiful, and ignore the rest. The forces of human societal conditioning are powerfully entrenched; they will not be ignored.

The challenge now is to create an entirely new, vital (r)evolution that takes the whole of life into its sphere. We have never dared to embrace the whole of life in all its awesome beauty. Now is the time to embody a (r)evolution that strives for the soul of life in its totality: a total revolution of the human spirit.


From the progressive standpoint, it is obvious that evolution has been towards higher consciousness and deeper unity. Today there are many regressive forces concealing the inherent good sense and fellow-feeling of human beings everywhere, but those qualities can, and must nonetheless be contacted and brought to life. It would be hard to find a clearer description of the way we understand the world and our role within it than this beautiful statement of Albert Einstein:

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his 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. 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."

As modern science has shown, the capacity for ‘widening our circle of compassion,’ for breaking out of the prison of separateness, is part of our evolutionary heritage. ‘Progressive’ literally means moving us forward, in this case in the direction of evolution from lower to higher consciousness, especially its power to reveal our connection with other persons and all life — with ‘the whole of nature in its beauty.’

 

The things that those who embrace life want to leave behind, then, are the things that drive us apart: injustice, war, prejudice, and so forth. The things that bring us closer together in a creative harmony are, conversely, justice, peace, nonviolence, and what Mahatma Gandhi called “heart unity,” or the ability to wish for another’s happiness even when he or she differs from us in race, gender, intellect, status, or opinion. This is how the Progressive Unity Project was born.

 

Another way to put it is that a real (R)evolution, that is sustainable change, will happen only when activists get spiritual and when spiritual people get active.

 

May all become compassionate courageous and wise.

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If You Really Pay Attention, by Paula Underwood

FaceBook  On Sep 28, 2009 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all... I missed Wednesdays but I was there. It seems that all the kindness, all the care, all the understanding absorbed by each cell of my body, all this truth, all this condensed love is coming out of my soul with no control. Yesterday (Sunday), as I was eating the food (including the most delicious dessert I had in many years!) sent by Mama Harshida, I paid attention to: 1. Food for the Soul and the Body. 2. True Education and Service. 3. Developing Understanding. 1. Food for the Soul and the Body. If you ever come to Wednesdays, and if you really pay attention, you will see that your soul and body are been nourished. The Mehta family (_our_ family!) will pour you with love in action. From a gentle fragrance in the air to an exquisite smell of home-made Indian food; from the subtle silence to an outburst of collective reflections of the force of life; from a serendipitous surprising encounter to constant attentive presence; from a welcoming smile to many pairs of shining eyes. I invite you to pay attention next time you are eating dinner at Santa Clara (or elsewhere! like me ;-)). Please pay attention to the main ingredient of the meal: unconditional love. If you pay attention, all that love in some way will land warmly in your heart. 2. True Education and Service. If you pay attention you won't pay for education. Education is not something that is purchased first with money and then with the demonstration of obedience. True education lies within. True education is about living a life of purpose. Because you can have all the money, you can have all the fame, you can have all the "power", but if you lack purpose, you lack the power to live. It's time to Walk Out. It's time to put principles before profits and titles. If you pay attention you will see that the greatest leaders of humanity were servant leaders. They served and are serving not only their pa  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and I'd like you to know that I love you all...

I missed Wednesdays but I was there. It seems that all the kindness, all the care, all the understanding absorbed by each cell of my body, all this truth, all this condensed love is coming out of my soul with no control. Yesterday (Sunday), as I was eating the food (including the most delicious dessert I had in many years!) sent by Mama Harshida, I paid attention to:

1. Food for the Soul and the Body.
2. True Education and Service.
3. Developing Understanding.

1. Food for the Soul and the Body.
If you ever come to Wednesdays, and if you really pay attention, you will see that your soul and body are been nourished. The Mehta family (_our_ family!) will pour you with love in action. From a gentle fragrance in the air to an exquisite smell of home-made Indian food; from the subtle silence to an outburst of collective reflections of the force of life; from a serendipitous surprising encounter to constant attentive presence; from a welcoming smile to many pairs of shining eyes.

I invite you to pay attention next time you are eating dinner at Santa Clara (or elsewhere! like me ;-)). Please pay attention to the main ingredient of the meal: unconditional love.

If you pay attention, all that love in some way will land warmly in your heart.


2. True Education and Service.
If you pay attention you won't pay for education.
Education is not something that is purchased first with money and then with the demonstration of obedience. True education lies within. True education is about living a life of purpose. Because you can have all the money, you can have all the fame, you can have all the "power", but if you lack purpose, you lack the power to live.

It's time to Walk Out. It's time to put principles before profits and titles.

If you pay attention you will see that the greatest leaders of humanity were servant leaders. They served and are serving not only their partners, not only their families, not only theirs neighborhoods, they were/are also serving the entire Earth Community. And you don't need a degree to serve. That's the genius of the Universal Love:

If you pay attention, we all can serve.


3. Developing Understanding.
The basic conflict in our World today is not between groups or nations --it is between opposing philosophies. The conflict is between those who believe violence (structural, physical or psychological) can be overcome by more violence, and those who believe violence is to be overcome by love, courage, compassion, and respect.

To develop understanding you need to practice to look at all living beings with the eyes of compassion. Because when you have compassion, you understand and when you understand, you love, and when you love, you act in a way that can relief the suffering of others.

If you pay attention, there is always a way to connect with another human being. But first we need to pay attention to our reactions a prejudices. Then we can not react but respond with respect, understanding, kindness and love.

Planetizing the Movement of the Ahimsa (R)evolution from some corner of our round borderless country...


May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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Maintaining Vision, While Focusing, by Ajahn Thanasanti

FaceBook  On Sep 21, 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... As the mic was approaching this Wednesday, I had flashes of the big picture and the local picture, think globally act locally, think locally act globally... and it all merged into think/actglocally/lobally. Is this a part of the same wholeness and oneness of life, only seen from a different perspective? Is this some sort of awareness of our worldwide interconnectedness? I think/feel so. Here are the 3 points I shared with you this week:   1. A Fractal of Courage, Compassion, Love and Wisdom. 2. Gandhi's Fractal. 3. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Fractal. 1. A Fractal of Courage, Compassion, Love and Wisdom. The part is a model of the whole and the whole is reflected in their parts. Fractals are abundant in Nature. If we are surrounded by they beauty of the Cosmos and all those awe inspiring fractals, what if the Grand Human Family embodies a fractal of courage, compassion, love and wisdom for the survival of humanity? 2. Gandhi's Fractal. "The very right to live is only afforded to us if we fulfill our duty as citizens of the World. Nationalism is not the highest concept. The highest concept is a World Community." The Mahatma have a beautiful vision of living in harmony in a World community. Living as citizens of the World. And yet, swadeshi (localism, self-sufficiency) was one of the core values of the movement of his time. Swadeshi is a call to the consumer to be aware of the violence he/she is causing by supporting those industries that result in poverty and harm to workers and to humans and other creatures. It is localism and self-sufficiency but at the same time interdependence and, in Gandhi’s time, finally independence, as British control of India was rooted in control of her indigenous industries. From Gandhi’s perspective, swadeshi was the “center of the solar system” of the independe  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...

As the mic was approaching this Wednesday, I had flashes of the big picture and the local picture, think globally act locally, think locally act globally... and it all merged into think/actglocally/lobally. Is this a part of the same wholeness and oneness of life, only seen from a different perspective? Is this some sort of awareness of our worldwide interconnectedness? I think/feel so. Here are the 3 points I shared with you this week:

 
1. A Fractal of Courage, Compassion, Love and Wisdom.
2. Gandhi's Fractal.
3. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Fractal.


1. A Fractal of Courage, Compassion, Love and Wisdom.
The part is a model of the whole and the whole is reflected in their parts. Fractals are abundant in Nature. If we are surrounded by they beauty of the Cosmos and all those awe inspiring fractals, what if the Grand Human Family embodies a fractal of courage, compassion, love and wisdom for the survival of humanity?


2. Gandhi's Fractal.
"The very right to live is only afforded to us if we fulfill our duty as citizens of the World. Nationalism is not the highest concept. The highest concept is a World Community."

The Mahatma have a beautiful vision of living in harmony in a World community. Living as citizens of the World. And yet, swadeshi (localism, self-sufficiency) was one of the core values of the movement of his time. Swadeshi is a call to the consumer to be aware of the violence he/she is causing by supporting those industries that result in poverty and harm to workers and to humans and other creatures. It is localism and self-sufficiency but at the same time interdependence and, in Gandhi’s time, finally independence, as British control of India was rooted in control of her indigenous industries. From Gandhi’s perspective, swadeshi was the “center of the solar system” of the independence of India.

While he had the vision of creating a harmonious Earth Community, he hold at the same time the principle to focus on that spirit in us which restricts us to the use and service of our immediate surroundings to the exclusion of the more remote (if he only knew about Global Warming and how we ship avocados from the other hemisphere of the Planet when we can get them locally!). Why to focus on the local? Because it is empowerment at its best. No one is responsible for our happiness but ourselves. No one is responsible for the happiness of the community but the community itself. This is the ultimate empowerment.

Another guideline of Gandhi's fractal in both, small and large scale, is: hatred dissolves in the presence of love. He stressed the principle that our means are our ends in the making, knowing that our thoughts, words and deeds will ripple out all over the community. What are those means? Kindness, fearlessness, courage and love.

So, a single be-the-change person ripples out love into her/his family; then the family into the community; then the community into the region; and then the region into the Planet.

These are citizens of the World forming the Beloved Earth Community.


3. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Fractal.
Inspired by Gandhi's teachings, Martin Luther King Jr. followed his steps: "If we are able to have peace on Earth we need to develop a world perspective..."
 
For me, what is most incredible about this idea, is that he made it on December 24th 1967, right after the publication of the first color photograph of the whole Earth ever taken in November of that year, but before the photograph taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts on Christmas Eve of 1968 which had a special resonance in humanity's imagination. The contemporary poet Drew Dillinger explains the magic of the picture taken of that Christmas Eve:

"...perhaps because it was taken by human hands and not a satellite; perhaps because it included the edge of the moon in the foreground, providing the element of Earth as seen from the perspective of another celestial body."

The oneness of Martin Luther King Jr.'s fractal and his prophetic insights can be felt in here:

"As nations and individuals, we are interdependent. It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality... Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

As Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. understood that our means are our ends. He was clear that in order to have a sustainable social change, a personal transformation needs to occur. What I call the inner revolution. Perhaps this is one of the most beautiful quotes I've ever understood from him:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

If we want to bring harmony to our communities, it is indispensably to embody the changes we are advocating for. It is because of this fractal of courage, compassion, love and wisdom reflected all over the structures and reality, that our means must be our ends. To overcome falsehood with truth and hatred with love.


In the 1960's we didn't have the outer technology to spread these messages in a fast efficient way. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged us to Planetize the Movement:

"Although it is obvious that nonviolent movements for social change must internationalize, because of the interlocking nature of the problems they all face, and because otherwise those problems will breed war, we have hardly begun to build the skills and the strategy, or even the commitment, to planetize our movement for social justice."

Now we have the tools to do it. We have the inner technology and the outer technology. In this moment, I'm writing a comment that will be available, at the speed of light, to anyone in the Planet who has access to a computer and/or a mobile device.

The kindness fractal of Wednesdays is spreading all over the World, one Wednesday at a time.

Let's Planetize the Movement of the Ahimsa (R)evolution to all corners of our round borderless country... the Beloved Earth Community. Let's start with our own heart and mind.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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Plan of Life, by Nicole Grasset

FaceBook  On Sep 10, 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... All Wednesdays at the Mehta kindness Temple are beautiful and inspiring. Last night wasn't the exception. After feeling the passage for the second time, some clear ideas came to mind, but some siblings in the circle, before me, invoked first Tolstoy, then Thoreau, then a farm. It was impossible for me to not feel/think about Gandhi and the Tolstoy Farm. These are the three points that I shared with you: 1. A Tolstoy Farm Story: Food and Unity. 2. The Hardest Thing: conceiving without imagination. 3. Vinoba's Aspirations. 1. A Tolstoy Farm Story: Food and Unity. Gandhi's follower and friend Kallenbach handed over his farm of 1100 acres in South Africa for Satyagrahi families to stay over there without any rent on May 1910. Later this farm was known as the Tolstoy Farm. Hindus, Muslims, Parsees, and Christians belonging to Gujurat, Tamilnadu, Andhra and Northern India lived in this farm. As everyone was free to take food of his or her own choice (vegetarian and non vegetarian), there was the need of two kitchens. Side by side, there was need of two types of cooking staff. Some vegetarians asked to "morally" impose the nonviolent diet, yet Gandhi honored choice and respect (as nonviolent means) and said something like: let's have two kitchens. Gandhi's deep love and the solid unified policy of taking food together, influenced Muslims and Christians so much that in a few months (if not weeks!) they all preferred taking vegetarian food in a single group. Now, there was only one kitchen there and that too totally vegetarian. An extraordinary example of non prejudice, trust and love. Not only that, for different castes  and communities living and working unitedly, taking their meals together, it is a unique example of the Soul Force. Here is another example of Gandhi's wisdom regarding food and unity: A pioneer of Human Ri  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...

All Wednesdays at the Mehta kindness Temple are beautiful and inspiring. Last night wasn't the exception. After feeling the passage for the second time, some clear ideas came to mind, but some siblings in the circle, before me, invoked first Tolstoy, then Thoreau, then a farm. It was impossible for me to not feel/think about Gandhi and the Tolstoy Farm. These are the three points that I shared with you:

1. A Tolstoy Farm Story: Food and Unity.
2. The Hardest Thing: conceiving without imagination.
3. Vinoba's Aspirations.



1. A Tolstoy Farm Story: Food and Unity.
Gandhi's follower and friend Kallenbach handed over his farm of 1100 acres in South Africa for Satyagrahi families to stay over there without any rent on May 1910. Later this farm was known as the Tolstoy Farm. Hindus, Muslims, Parsees, and Christians belonging to Gujurat, Tamilnadu, Andhra and Northern India lived in this farm. As everyone was free to take food of his or her own choice (vegetarian and non vegetarian), there was the need of two kitchens. Side by side, there was need of two types of cooking staff. Some vegetarians asked to "morally" impose the nonviolent diet, yet Gandhi honored choice and respect (as nonviolent means) and said something like: let's have two kitchens.

Gandhi's deep love and the solid unified policy of taking food together, influenced Muslims and Christians so much that in a few months (if not weeks!) they all preferred taking vegetarian food in a single group. Now, there was only one kitchen there and that too totally vegetarian. An extraordinary example of non prejudice, trust and love. Not only that, for different castes  and communities living and working unitedly, taking their meals together, it is a unique example of the Soul Force.

Here is another example of Gandhi's wisdom regarding food and unity:

A pioneer of Human Rights, narrates a story about Mahatma Gandhi's Muslim friend's son visiting his Ashram on the day of Bakar Id. Gandhi the vegetarian, ordered for the non vegetarian food to be brought to the Ashram for his Muslim friend's son as it happened to be associated with his festival. It is another matter that the Muslim boy in deference to the rules of Gandhiji's Ashram insisted that he will have no non vegetarian food in Gandhi is ashram. Respecting each others sentiments comes alive in his best form here.

Later in India, around 1917, the situation/experiment of the two kitchens was repeated with the Champaran peasants. But this time it took weeks (for sure) to move from two kitchens to one.

That was the Mahatma's work, that was Gandhiji's Plan of Life: to practice the Science of Nonviolence. To honor diversity at the surface level and unity at the heart level.



2. The Hardest Thing: conceiving without imagination.
Nothing is harder than conceiving what has not yet being imagined.

Once we are capable of imagining our highest ideals of harmony, love and unity, we can move to comprehend them, to conceive them, to practice them, and finally to master them.

For a "plan of life" we need imagination. Then the comprehension of the principles of life. Then the art of applying them in life. And finally, the personification of those principles and the master of that art.

This is the whole Science of Life. The Total Revolution of the Human Spirit.

 

3. Vinoba's Aspirations.

Vinoba shares his Universal Love with us:

When imagination is crippled, we are sure to fail; what else can happen? Therefore, we should always aspire to rise higher. It is aspiration that ensures human's progress in life.

One cannot take a single step forward without higher aspirations. If you have this vision, this aspiration, this exalted spirit, then only the question of appropriate means arises; otherwise everything will reach a dead end.

To defeat the lack of imagination, we need to have divine aspirations, to keep the mind free and wings strong.

This sky where we live

is no place to lose our wings

so love, love, love!

 

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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One Legitimate Use of Power, by Keshavan Nair

FaceBook  On Aug 20, 2009 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I love you all... I'm writing this post from the Kindness Temple. This place has so much love, that at the very least, I want to express my gratitude in this form: sharing the aliveness growing in me thanks to all these Wednesdays of unconditional love. 1. Hermano Sri. 2. Definition of Greatness and the Drum Major Instinct. 3. Invaluable Heritage 1. Hermano Sri. Last night, brother Sri (a young and inspirng Doctor/Poet: Sriram Shamasunder) was the guest speaker at Wednesdays and he shared some truly remarkable stories from his five months of service in one of the poorest regions on the planet. It is hard to describe with words the images he showed us about the extreme poverty in Burundi and equally hard is to describe the shining eyes and beautiful smiles of the healed children. [I hope I can post soon one of the poems he wrote there, specially the one he read yesterday]. This man is the embodiment of service, a citizen of the World bringing the best of him to bring our lives into harmony with divine purpose. El hermano Sri is a leader who serves, a servant leader like many other servant leaders who are striving for the soul of live... 2. Definition of Greatness and the Drum Major Instinct. Another servant leader was Martin Luther King Jr. He said: "We all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. ... And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct. It is a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity." "The definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great,  because everybody can serve.You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to  See full.

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

I'm writing this post from the Kindness Temple. This place has so much love, that at the very least, I want to express my gratitude in this form: sharing the aliveness growing in me thanks to all these Wednesdays of unconditional love.

1. Hermano Sri.
2. Definition of Greatness and the Drum Major Instinct.
3. Invaluable Heritage

1. Hermano Sri.
Last night, brother Sri (a young and inspirng Doctor/Poet: Sriram Shamasunder) was the guest speaker at Wednesdays and he shared some truly remarkable stories from his five months of service in one of the poorest regions on the planet. It is hard to describe with words the images he showed us about the extreme poverty in Burundi and equally hard is to describe the shining eyes and beautiful smiles of the healed children. [I hope I can post soon one of the poems he wrote there, specially the one he read yesterday]. This man is the embodiment of service, a citizen of the World bringing the best of him to bring our lives into harmony with divine purpose. El hermano Sri is a leader who serves, a servant leader like many other servant leaders who are striving for the soul of live...

2. Definition of Greatness and the Drum Major Instinct.
Another servant leader was Martin Luther King Jr. He said:


"We all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. ... And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct. It is a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity."

"The definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great,  because everybody can serve.You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant."

 
3. Invaluable Heritage
"I'd like somebody to mention that day [when I die] that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.
I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum majorfor righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind."
 

For me, it is clear how Gandhi, King and Shamasunder connect betweeneach other through service. This quote from Martin Luther King Jr will disipate any doubts:

"If we are to have peace on Earth…we must develop a World perspective."

The inspiring service of hermano Sri, his committed life and his World perspective, altogether is an example of how a citizen of the World can planetize the Movement of the Ahimsa Revolution one heart at a time.

All these extraordinary human beings have left (and are leaving!) the best heritage we can have: to find the reason why we are on this planet, to find the meaning of life through service.

May all become compassionate courageous and wise.

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Letter to A Friend in A Hurry, by Pierre Pradervand

FaceBook  On Aug 13, 2009 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and I love you all... More than three thoughts/feelings came to mind/heart after reading the passage and listening to some of our siblings at the Mehta Kindness temple, but I'd love to share with you only 3: 1. Slow down, slow food, slow science. 2. A misconception about slowing down. 3. Beyond slowing down... 1. Slow down, slow food, slow science. No one likes to be rushed, to be treated rudely or belittled or ignored or disrespected. Everyone appreciates patience, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, courage and respect. No one likes to be rushed... neither Nature, our food nor true science. Now is the time to slow down, to take a pause, to rethink the purpose of science (Genetically Modified Organisms for profit and the destruction of our magnificent biodiversity? Atomic Bombs?) and education (for the corporatization of our society?) and to cultivate our critical thinking—and our critical feeling. It is time to combine science with the soul: science as the sustainable, collective and critical development of knowledge; soul as the individual (and collective) capacity to make wise use of that knowledge; ultimately, the ability to rejoice in the welfare of all living beings. Bertrand Russell echoed this postulation when he wrote: “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” As a scientist, I am not against science. I am against the unethical applications of science. I represent a new generation that rescues the best of previous generations. Formed by millions of citizens of the World, this generation wants to be part of the mass that weighs on the positive side of the balance of the survival of our species. It’s a generation that cares about our planet; a generation that cares about the future of humankind; a generation that sees the big picture and the interconnectedness of our magnificent cultural and biological diversity; a generation that takes its time; a generation that doesn't h  See full.

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

More than three thoughts/feelings came to mind/heart after reading the passage and listening to some of our siblings at the Mehta Kindness temple, but I'd love to share with you only 3:

1. Slow down, slow food, slow science.
2. A misconception about slowing down.
3. Beyond slowing down...

1. Slow down, slow food, slow science.

No one likes to be rushed, to be treated rudely or belittled or ignored or disrespected. Everyone appreciates patience, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, courage and respect.

No one likes to be rushed... neither Nature, our food nor true science. Now is the time to slow down, to take a pause, to rethink the purpose of science (Genetically Modified Organisms for profit and the destruction of our magnificent biodiversity? Atomic Bombs?) and education (for the corporatization of our society?) and to cultivate our critical thinking—and our critical feeling. It is time to combine science with the soul: science as the sustainable, collective and critical development of knowledge; soul as the individual (and collective) capacity to make wise use of that knowledge; ultimately, the ability to rejoice in the welfare of all living beings. Bertrand Russell echoed this postulation when he wrote:

“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”

As a scientist, I am not against science. I am against the unethical applications of science. I represent a new generation that rescues the best of previous generations. Formed by millions of citizens of the World, this generation wants to be part of the mass that weighs on the positive side of the balance of the survival of our species. It’s a generation that cares about our planet; a generation that cares about the future of humankind; a generation that sees the big picture and the interconnectedness of our magnificent cultural and biological diversity; a generation that takes its time; a generation that doesn't have time to rush.

To move into the next step of (R)evolution, it is imperative to slow down, to nourish our bodies on slow food and our minds on slow science.

Tonight, we will be nourished in body and spirit with this delicious vegetarian Indian dinner cooked with unconditional love by the Mehta family. Mom Harshida has been cooking for almost 12 years, every single Wednesday, feeding close to 20,000 people, with no strings attached, in a superb still flow of love.

2. A misconception about slowing down.
It is essential not to confuse slowing down with sloth, which breeds procrastination and general inefficiency. In slowing down, we attend meticulously to details, giving the very best we are capable of even to the smallest undertaking. We observe every single detail with one point of attention. Eventually, this would be "faster" and more efficient than rushing and not paying attention to the wholeness of life.

3. Beyond slowing down...
Meher Baba maintained silence since he was 31 years old to the end of his life. Among his inspiring remarks are this couple of sentences: "I have come to sow the seed of Love in your hearts. I have come to give a new understanding of spiritual value and truth to everyone."

At some point in his life, he wanted to speak again but he couldn't, his vocal chords were atrophied. So, to communicate he used an alphabet board or unique hand gestures. One of his most profound messages, from my point of view, is:

A quick mind is sick.
A slow mind is sound.
A still mind is divine.

That's what we are doing here on Wednesdays. By Being In Receptive Silence, we are collectively training our minds to keep them in stillness.

Let stillness direct our words and actions.

May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

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Rebel For A Good Cause, by Sharon Salzberg

FaceBook  On Jul 2, 2008 Pancho wrote:
The kindness revolution is on! TOW pulls my soul in a happier mode :-) The Mehta family -or should I say Metta? ;-) - is what we need more of in this world. Muchas gracias for being who you are.
 

Rebel For A Good Cause, by Sharon Salzberg

FaceBook  On Jul 2, 2008 Pancho wrote:
"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thoughts creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Therefore the highest form of wisdom is kindness." - Lao Tzu If you want to be a rebel, be kind. Human-kind, be both. ;-) Pancho