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Previous Comments By 'rahul_brown'

Half A Pomegranate, by Brian Conroy

FaceBook  On Nov 13, 2020 rahul wrote:
Though royalty preceded her, only the old woman gave like a true queen. The irony is that it often takes the utter humility of poverty to internalize the truth that whatever we have is a gift of the universe. Those of us with more wealth are often drunk on the wine of our egos which bubble tales of our own talent, smarts, and grit. When you're hungry and cold, you soberly taste the divine with gratitude in every bite. May we give like kings and queens, so we never become beggars with riches.
 

The Game Is To Be Where You Are, by Ram Dass

FaceBook  On Oct 26, 2020 rahul wrote:
The metaphor of the body as the space suit we don for this human experience is soothing one, especially if you follow the data around how we are undermining the capacity the planet to support human society as we've known it. Learning to see our fellow humans like trees-- basically all the same with more in common than not-- is the first small step for man even as its a giant leap for humanity. The next small step is to see all of life as having more in common with us than the rest of the vast universe, which appears mostly inert and lifeless from our present definition of life. Until we can see nature as ourselves and ourselves in nature, the natural world is condemned to be both a source of raw material for our egoic machinations and the dumping ground for the waste of our collective shadow. Anyone without the vigor to seriously get right with Nature and bow their head in reverance had best be prepared to make themselves at ease with losing the privilege to don a human space suit for themselves and their descendants. May we learn the lesson of living a human existence with humility and reverence for that which animates our life!
 

We're Voting With Our Attention, by Leah Pearlman

FaceBook  On Oct 11, 2020 rahul wrote:
Loved this articulation of voting with attention in our era where attention is being ever more deeply mined and manipulated by the most powerful corporations in the world. Training attention to stay where we'd like it is 'concentration'. Aiming concentration at the deeper layer of reality is 'meditation'. Becoming accomplished in meditation is the ultimate rebellion, the final revolution that is beyond any change we seek in the ordinary dysfunction of the world. Until the final revolution has awakened in my own being, besides voting with my attention, I'll vote with my ballot as if my life depended on it even as I attempt to hold any electoral outcome equally lightly.
 

It Is Life That Asks The Questions Of Us, by Viktor Frankl

FaceBook  On Jun 26, 2020 rahul wrote:

Not so long ago, I was struggling with a person who lived near me. Her behavior seemed hostile, selfish, destructive, and obstinate all at once. In the face of directly observable facts-- like those that were recorded on video-- she rejected any notion of an agreed upon reality or set of baseline facts. I was simply flummoxed and at the end of my wits to understand how to deal with this person. Then it just so happened that I became aware of her extreme financial vulnerability. The room spun. Suddenly I understood why she couldn't meet me in 'reality'. My view of her transformed from 'destructive and obstinate' to 'scared and desperate'. I could see both of these views, and knew they were both stories -- two among many that existed simultaneously. This multiplicity of views does not mean that all views are equal, but exposes a nearly universal flaw in our thinking where we simultaneously assume there is only one right view (ours) and also identify with and cling to that view as if the core of our being and the meaning of our life depends upon it. Meaning is a story to respond the question of 'why?'. Why me? Why here? Why now? Why this? At first, we're given the stories of our culture, religion, family, and society to answer those questions. Some of those stories cause us pain or make us uncomfortable, especially if we're not the type to be placated with easy answers. Then a few of us learn the art of spinning our own stories. These stories open a new level of power, as we begin to take agency and responsibility in the face of suffering. From this space of choice and activity, yet a smaller number us still sit uncomfortably with the meaning we ourselves spin. If we're courageous enough, we can sit with what is without seeking or clinging to any meaning. Finally one day we may arrive at something beyond meaning on the other side of all our whys. Before that time, each person sits with a unique river of circumstances, qu  See full.

Not so long ago, I was struggling with a person who lived near me. Her behavior seemed hostile, selfish, destructive, and obstinate all at once. In the face of directly observable facts-- like those that were recorded on video-- she rejected any notion of an agreed upon reality or set of baseline facts. I was simply flummoxed and at the end of my wits to understand how to deal with this person. Then it just so happened that I became aware of her extreme financial vulnerability. The room spun. Suddenly I understood why she couldn't meet me in 'reality'. My view of her transformed from 'destructive and obstinate' to 'scared and desperate'. I could see both of these views, and knew they were both stories -- two among many that existed simultaneously. This multiplicity of views does not mean that all views are equal, but exposes a nearly universal flaw in our thinking where we simultaneously assume there is only one right view (ours) and also identify with and cling to that view as if the core of our being and the meaning of our life depends upon it.

Meaning is a story to respond the question of 'why?'. Why me? Why here? Why now? Why this? At first, we're given the stories of our culture, religion, family, and society to answer those questions. Some of those stories cause us pain or make us uncomfortable, especially if we're not the type to be placated with easy answers. Then a few of us learn the art of spinning our own stories. These stories open a new level of power, as we begin to take agency and responsibility in the face of suffering. From this space of choice and activity, yet a smaller number us still sit uncomfortably with the meaning we ourselves spin. If we're courageous enough, we can sit with what is without seeking or clinging to any meaning. Finally one day we may arrive at something beyond meaning on the other side of all our whys. Before that time, each person sits with a unique river of circumstances, questions, and stories which they navigate on an inevitable journey towards the ocean we must all cross.

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Mass Movement, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Jun 20, 2020 rahul wrote:
The alchemy of transformation may lie in the alternating repetition of observing the outside and the inside on the clarified mirror of our consciousness. We see things in the world we find upsetting, disconcerting, not in alignment with our deepest values-- which themselves are often aspirational rather than truly embodied. In witnessing this, we recoil against it, saying "that's not me". If we have the discipline to take a deep hard look on the inside, we find all the garbage, horror, and ugliness that we revile in the world also hiding in the shadows of our mind and heart. Then we must have the courage to say to all that we abhor "yes, that's me". Like an outgoing breath exhaling "not me, not me" coupled with the inhaling breath of "i am that, that is me", the space of stillness at the crossroads of exhalation and inspiration is where the mind settles into a place beyond knowing-- where we have no choice but to bow if our eyes have opened even a little bit. A place from where we return with the humility of simple recognition that we may be a continuing gesture of an aspiration to know and love all the magnificently horrible beauty nested in a totality that is beyond words.
 

Why We Listen Better To Strangers Than Family, by Kate Murphy

FaceBook  On Apr 17, 2020 Rahul Brown wrote:
I find that "How are you?" is a very poor question to ask someone who is close to you because its such a common question. Its rare for it to be a sincere question that merits a full and proper answer.

Instead, here are five better questions.
1. What moved you today?
2. What were the biggest challenges of the day?
3. What did you learn today?
4. Is there anything you would want to undo or do over from today?
5. What were the strongest emotions you felt today?
 

Stepping Over The Bag Of Gold, by Rachel Naomi Remen

FaceBook  On May 24, 2019 Rahul Brown wrote:
In the most perceptive and grounded viewpoint, its not that Life drops many bags of gold in our path. Its actually that there is nothing but gold on our path. What keeps us from seeing it? We're distracted, imbalanced, and unclear. The irony is that its actually the most difficult situations that are most golden, yet these are the ones that challenge our equanimity and clarity the most such that its all too easy to identify with our strongly reactive self, and totally miss the gold. Its a daily practice, as the ordinary mind is more prone to the wish of "please no more 'gold'" i.e. difficult situations!
 

Green Mountains Are Forever Walking, by Subhana Barzaghi

FaceBook  On Jan 18, 2019 rahul wrote:
The insight in this passage hit home for me powerfully a few weeks ago perhaps a week after New Years. I was driving and listening to the radio. The guest-expert was talking about the basic process of how to keep New Years resolutions, and activating a process of self-understanding during the invariable lapses that occur when we slp back into the behavior we're seeking to dismantle. A caller dialed in with a question about a particular kind of behavior, and the guest-expert responded with advice that was designed to "trick your brain". Right then the insight occurred like lightening. How can you trick your brain if your consciousness is arising in your brain? What and who is getting tricked, and who is perpetrating the trick when "tricking the brain". I clearly experienced that there is no so-called "self" that I can point to. As I examined my mind, there isn't even a single consciousness running the show, but rather a set distinct and sometimes competing consciousnesses. Even the observer of these consciousnesses is not 'myself', as that observing turns off like a light switch in deep sleep, and is often not even fully in the realm of awareness during wakeful times. Suddenly so many conflicts that I were having different people in my life fell away like a ton of bricks. Every fight is an act of defending this so-called self, which is so temporary that even its present form is constantly walking like a green mountain. Just as all that tension, angst, and anger fell away, I was also clear that it doesn't mean that I don't have to or won't fight with people where I was in active conflict. Rather, I understand and experience this conflict without taking on any mental residue from it. Its not personal, and carries no ill will or anger. What a relief to be able to set aside the negativity that was coming from inevitable conflict!
 

Don't Side With Yourself , by Joseph Goldstein

FaceBook  On Jun 15, 2018 rahul wrote:

I have discovered many unkind and even cruel thoughts arising in me in relation to a person in my life who actively seeks to provoke me many times a week.  When I step out of the self-righteousness behind these unkind thoughts, I find myself having some sympathy for the worst people out there (think dictators & tyrants), who take things a step further and act upon their negative emotions.  Moreover, I notice how much of these unwholesome thoughts are followed by a depletion of my energy and a derailing of my focus-- both of which beome the primary motivation to not indulge in these sorts of negative states.  As much as we seek to punish those whom we perceive are doing wrong and misbehaving, a close examination of ourselves reveals that what is true for us must be doubly true for them: the negative state they are in is both its own punishment and the seed of future suffering for themselves and others.  The greatest gift we can give is to cultivate the inner capacity to not be a conduit for spewing negative emotions.

 

Who Do We Choose To Be?, by Margaret Wheatley

FaceBook  On May 3, 2018 rahul wrote:

 A brilliant and powerful question to pose, not just to leaders.  I experienced this through two conflicts that arose: one with a conventionally powerful person, and the other with a tenant in one of my rental properties who occurs for me as a problematic and nasty personality.  The powerful person occurs to me as everything Margaret Wheatley describes above, which is very much in contrast with the publicly projected persona.  And yet in dealing with my nasty tenant, I found all sorts of horrible and mean thoughts about her occurring in my mind.  Suddenly I realized the tremendous gift that I was receiving from having this difficult tenant:  she was showing me my flaws and lack of integrity.  I too project a public persona of being kind, generous, and easy-going but the thoughts in my head were downright mean, selfish, and manipulative / controlling.  Oh how much I need to grow!  How much I am just like that powerful person who is generating conflict with me!  That was enough for me commit to being getting my head and heart in integrity with my persona and treating the tenant differently not despite her nastiness, but because of it.  Truly priceless... and yet powerful people rarely receive genuine feedback from those around them.  This brain death for empathy is the blindpot from which great wounds and re-wounds are inflicted upon everyone around them.  Wonderful that Margaret Wheatley can whisper this question in their ears!

 

Dropping Out, Like The Buddha, by Jane Brunette

FaceBook  On May 1, 2018 rahul wrote:

The most dangerous man is the one with no self doubt.  WIth a little bit of material prosperity in one hand, and enough of a feel of dharma in the other, such a man declares that which he doesn't understand to be either irrelevant, non-existent, or colored wholly with the shade of his own wrong view.  The result is to re-injure the world in the ways one is broken because of the inability to confront the blind spot that self-doubt points toward.  How to wake up such a man before his actions drive past the point of oblivion?  This kind of man is a metaphor for a slightly awakened western civilization as well, possessing prosperity and a little bit of understanding of the subtle, while unconsciously destroying everying it does not understand.

 

Small Graces, by Kent Neburn

FaceBook  On Dec 1, 2017 rahul wrote:

 Enoughness of small graces is a paradox, akin to the concept of human perfection.  Shunryu Suzuki summed it up perfectly when he said, "Each of you is perfect the way you are ... and you can use a little improvement."  When we consider human evolution, paying attention to all the little things that are not quite right is what allowed our ancestors to survive on the savannah, whereas basking in the gratitude and sufficiency of small graces might lead to inattention toward fundamental survival threats.  In the modern world, we must balance the ever-rising tide of hedonic adapation-- where we get so used to every new comfort and advantage that it ceases to bring us joy-- with gratitude for both the blessings and challenges we encounter.  In my personal experience, this is very difficult to do without both a meditation and a gratitude practice.  Meditation is what trains and restrains the momentum of the powerful subconscious mind that operates wildly like our ancestors from the savannah.  Gratitude is the precious food that puts a higher clarity and perspective in charge.

 

With Fullness in Life, Everything is Possible, by Facundo Cabral

FaceBook  On Jul 17, 2016 rahul wrote:

Another way of re-stating this is that life is offering sufficiency at every turn for the task at hand.  Our distractions keeps us unaware of the underlying ebb and flow, and never quite clear enough to know our purpose in the moment because of the momentum of the past or the grasping for the future.  We experience that dissipation and energetic gap as depression.  For all those who face some form of clinical depression, the question I hold is whether depression preceded thought, did thought precede depression, or do they arise together and support one another?  Do we believe what we experience, or do we experience what we believe?  I suspect that getting to the bottom of these questions will create the space and energy to rise from the downward spiral we experience in depression.

 

Staying In Your Own Business, by Byron Katie

FaceBook  On May 16, 2014 rahul wrote:

This reminds me of the classic 'circle of influence' and 'circle of concern' which is always a superset of the first.  Our greatest power is always in our circle of influence, but we often discount the tremendous ripple power of authentically inhabiting that limiting circle.  As the Servicespace ecosystem often says, "Change yourself, change the world."

 

Maybe, Said the Farmer, by Author Unknown

FaceBook  On May 11, 2014 rahul wrote:

I've heard humility defined as, "Suspending judgment to allow what is, to arise."  How natural it is for the farmer to be humble, how difficult for us, with our multiplicity of wants, needs, desires, and views.  Remembering personal history, and how often things which seemed like victories came with barbs and traps, while that which often felt like defeat was actually a gateway to brighter vistas is of great help to me in staying balanced with the present moment.

 

Beyond the Conflict of Inner Forces, by Cherokee Story

FaceBook  On Feb 1, 2013 Rahul wrote:
Loved the extension of this story back to its original roots.  Made me think of whether we can apply the same analogy to the external world i.e.  we have unsavory characters who embody the black wolf more than the white in many parts of our workplaces and official institutions.  Is this a wise choice, mindful of the wisdom of this passage?  Is the black wolf within, and the black wolves without, content not reign supreme and dominate the white wolf?  Personally, I am unsure, but I once heard of people complaining to a well-known saint about mischief done by unsavory characters in her organization.  Her response was that she had to keep them close, or they'd create much more mischief in the outside world.
 

Is the Universe Friendly?, by Albert Einstein

FaceBook  On May 6, 2012 rahul wrote:

A true friend is one who acts for your benefit.  So before you can answer whether the universe is friendly, you must deeply consider both the nature of what benefits you most and the question of who or what "you" are. If your concept of self is individualistic, then achievements, ambitions, dreams, fame, power, possessions, pleasures, successes, etc are the things that seem to benefit you the most.  From this lens, the universe is a decidedly unfriendly place, as all of these things come into your grasp only fleetingly, with circumstance, people, or time ultimately snatching or shattering them all.  Most of us begin our journey's as true believers in an individualistic self, only to be repeatedly crushed or slowly sapped by the universe until we're thoroughly convinced that we've swallowed a flawed or incomplete picture. If you begin with the truth that all you have will be taken from you, then you are forced to re-evaluate your notion of self and self-benefit.  The interconnection and interdependence you witness from acceptance of the inescapable impermanence around you and inside you are a pleasant ways of saying that you will both eat and be eaten in every domain of your existence.  Your first food was your mother's body through nursing, and this eating and being eaten were filled with affection, joy, even pleasure for both.  If you can get past the guilt of eating and the fear of being eaten, you begin to touch the joy of witnessing the flow of life.  And the more you witness that joy, the more it seems to be the only thing that makes sense about who you are and why you're here. The universe manifests you, maintains you for a while, and then mercilessly chews and crushes you until you have no choice but to burst with joy and wonder at every second and every square inch of the humming, buzzing symphony of existence.  And that chewing is probably the most friendly thing that's ever happen  See full.

A true friend is one who acts for your benefit.  So before you can answer whether the universe is friendly, you must deeply consider both the nature of what benefits you most and the question of who or what "you" are.

If your concept of self is individualistic, then achievements, ambitions, dreams, fame, power, possessions, pleasures, successes, etc are the things that seem to benefit you the most.  From this lens, the universe is a decidedly unfriendly place, as all of these things come into your grasp only fleetingly, with circumstance, people, or time ultimately snatching or shattering them all.  Most of us begin our journey's as true believers in an individualistic self, only to be repeatedly crushed or slowly sapped by the universe until we're thoroughly convinced that we've swallowed a flawed or incomplete picture.

If you begin with the truth that all you have will be taken from you, then you are forced to re-evaluate your notion of self and self-benefit.  The interconnection and interdependence you witness from acceptance of the inescapable impermanence around you and inside you are a pleasant ways of saying that you will both eat and be eaten in every domain of your existence.  Your first food was your mother's body through nursing, and this eating and being eaten were filled with affection, joy, even pleasure for both.  If you can get past the guilt of eating and the fear of being eaten, you begin to touch the joy of witnessing the flow of life.  And the more you witness that joy, the more it seems to be the only thing that makes sense about who you are and why you're here.

The universe manifests you, maintains you for a while, and then mercilessly chews and crushes you until you have no choice but to burst with joy and wonder at every second and every square inch of the humming, buzzing symphony of existence.  And that chewing is probably the most friendly thing that's ever happened to you, even if feels like pain in every bite.

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Evolution's Gold Standard, by Diane Ackerman

FaceBook  On Aug 14, 2011 rahul wrote:

The passage reminds me a of a conversation I was having with a friend where I complained about the insidiousness of the media world, continually snagging, distracting, trapping, and dissipating people.  He responded by acknowledging that truth, but pointing out that to get snagged, you have to have hooks.  The lesson for me was that its more important to work on smoothing out those latent tendencies and desires that lead us to our own entrapment than complaining about the systems that are designed to trap people.

Anyone who has bought organic vegetables knows that they spoil much faster than industrial vegetables.  Anyone who has visited a tropical forest knows that there are tons of bugs that want to eat a little piece of your body. It seems that wherever there is some life energy, there is something that is trying to take a little bit of that energy for itself.  In a modern western environment where we have largely eliminated the natural pests that perform this function, we seem to have incorporated the pestilence into our collective nature, where to varying degrees, people live off the energy, attention, and inattention of their fellow man.  To some degree, this is a statement of our interconnectedness, but just beyond that is the realm of our individual intentions in the world.  We must take to live, but we must also give to live.  What is the most skillful way to dance in that reality?

The only answer seems to come from concentrating and deepening our attention so we're conscious of our hooks, and put some space between us and our lures.  The space gives us choice, and choice offers us increasing freedom in outsmarting our evolutionary hooks.

 

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

FaceBook  On Jul 23, 2011 rahul wrote:

In the last few months, I've been feeling like my life exists somewhere at a place in the middle of this poem.  All of the stuff at the end seems too inconcievable for me to understand at the moment, but I can understand the line that reads "travelled too fast over false ground" and "open up, to all the small miracles..."  When I slow down enough, I can see magic in the chaos.  Ironically, meditation alone seems to be kicking up more dust that tends to stick in my eyes and cloud my clarity, while combining it with running (esp in the early a.m.) helps me slow down enough to dance through the dust storm.  And I suppose running may be an apt analogy for wherever someone finds their life to be along the spectrum of this poem.  The destination may not be clear, and the path hazy and narrow, but all we need to understand is the next step and muster the stamina to take it.

 

Two Ways of Learning Relaxation, by Shinzen Young

FaceBook  On Jul 17, 2011 rahul wrote:

An important element in skillfully watching tension is tremendous humility, patience and kindness towards oneself.  I've found that when I'm seriously working on my edges, the challenges I'm confronted with are just beyond the range of my capacity to endure with equanimity.  While it is very true that strength and stability comes from overcoming these obstacles, its also true that I stumble and fall often (and I don't think I'm alone).  When I'm able to forgive myself and bring patience and kindness to my failure to be equanamous, that's the impetus to keep working with these challenges.  Lack of humility, patience and self-kindness is a dead-end that stops all progress.


Anyone has seen a baby learn how to walk can appreciate the idea that if we had to take on such an analogously challenging endeavor in our adult lives, many of us would simply rule it out as impossible.  How many times does a child fall before it can even walk across a room?  The key is to get up and keep trying.  Paramahansa Yogananda said, "A saint is a sinner who never gave up."

 

Giving Within For-Give-Ness, by Michael Bernard Beckwith

FaceBook  On Apr 24, 2011 rahul wrote:

When someone hurts/harms me out of ignorance, I find it much easier to 'turn the other cheek,' than when I'm hurt with intention.  What has helped me when I'm intentionally attacked is 1. to observe my bodily pain  2. recognize that the other person is in pain too, and the pain they're giving me is just a small fraction of their own pain  3. remember the most severe physical pain I've been able to endure calmly so I can muster the strength to keep calmly observing  4. speak only after pain has mostly subsided  5. let first words be those of acknowledgement, followed by apology for the role I played in the other's pain  6. hug or smile as soon as possible, if possible :-)  Marriage has taught me more about forgiveness than anything else in my life because arguments and even silent disagreement spoil the atmosphere more quickly than anything else, laying the basis for continual escalation.  Paraphrasing the wisdom of Sun Tzu as heard from a 4th grader, "Those who win arguments will want to argue more.  Those who lose arguments will want to win arguments and thus argue more."  Forgiveness is the only path to peace and sanity.

 

Before You Know What Kindness Really Is, by Naomi Shihab Nye

FaceBook  On Apr 19, 2011 rahul wrote:

This passage was about attention for me: that to know kindness requires tuning into the constancy of the gifts that sustain us.  The challenge with constancy is that its so easy to take that flow for granted and lose gratitude for the kindness which continually charges us up.  Hence to know kindness, the author says we must go to the extreme end where its flow is nearly choked off such that even the smallest trickle gives rise to an abundant gratitude which ultimately transforms how we live.  There is truth in this, but also think there's a golden middle path that's found in fully accepting the challenges life throws at us.  Many examples of this: if somehow you don't get a meal or two, be with your hunger and watch how it changes all your lenses; if a car or train isn't available, let your muscles strain on the long journey home by foot or bicycle; if you feel ignored, embrace your fundamental aloneness past the point of discomfort; and through all of these things you will taste food, and sip time, and respect space, and honor love like never before.

 

A 9-Year-Old's Hidden Self, by Jacob Needleman

FaceBook  On Apr 15, 2011 rahul wrote:

The first thing this passage brought up for me was presence, and that with a given quality of presence always comes permission to respond in harmony its energy.  The neurological basis of this is what are called ‘mirror neurons’ which essentially pick up on the mental states of those around us and cause us to replicate their inner states within ourselves.  Research has shown that you’re much more likely to be happy if you have happy friends.  Not just that, but if a friend of your friend is happy, your chances of happiness go up.  A different study even showed that having an obese friend increase your probability of being obese. This continual exchange between you and the people around you, puts high importance on the type of people you surround yourself with .  Emerson said, “Show me who a man’s friends are and I will show you the man.”  Yet many of us have mixed communities with different kids of friends that hold a range of sometimes conflicting values.  Maybe there’s someone in your family who clashes with your values, or maybe there’s not a complete alignment at your office, or maybe you have problems structural violence in your society.  How do you impact those energies positively instead of being impacted in a negative way?  We're often seduced towards big:  talking louder, faster, on a larger scale, in more media—and this may have some short term impact, but I suspect it doesn't last.  Who will remember an insensitve, loud politician or media personality after they're gone? Is there another answer?  I think it may be the power of attention towards the subtle that helps us respond to negative influences. Last week something I said triggered an attack-like response from my boss, and I noticed unpleasant feelings starting inside of me.  So I watched those for a second, wondering what I should do and I decided to see if I could disarm the a  See full.

The first thing this passage brought up for me was presence, and that with a given quality of presence always comes permission to respond in harmony its energy.  The neurological basis of this is what are called ‘mirror neurons’ which essentially pick up on the mental states of those around us and cause us to replicate their inner states within ourselves.  Research has shown that you’re much more likely to be happy if you have happy friends.  Not just that, but if a friend of your friend is happy, your chances of happiness go up.  A different study even showed that having an obese friend increase your probability of being obese.

This continual exchange between you and the people around you, puts high importance on the type of people you surround yourself with .  Emerson said, “Show me who a man’s friends are and I will show you the man.”  Yet many of us have mixed communities with different kids of friends that hold a range of sometimes conflicting values.  Maybe there’s someone in your family who clashes with your values, or maybe there’s not a complete alignment at your office, or maybe you have problems structural violence in your society.  How do you impact those energies positively instead of being impacted in a negative way?  We're often seduced towards big:  talking louder, faster, on a larger scale, in more media—and this may have some short term impact, but I suspect it doesn't last.  Who will remember an insensitve, loud politician or media personality after they're gone?

Is there another answer?  I think it may be the power of attention towards the subtle that helps us respond to negative influences.

Last week something I said triggered an attack-like response from my boss, and I noticed unpleasant feelings starting inside of me.  So I watched those for a second, wondering what I should do and I decided to see if I could disarm the attack.  As my boss was proceeding on his annoyed monologue, I cracked a little smile and took a tiny step towards him.  I noticed a little change in his expression, but he kept going on his rant.  So I smiled bigger, and took one more tiny step towards him.  I noticed a little bit of confusion in his face, but he kept going.  So I smiled even bigger, and took another little step toward him.  His rant turned into just talking, and in another few seconds, he just ran out of steam.  I was still smiling and just kind of nodded my head, and he kind of had this flash of ‘what’s going on here?’.  Next minute I said something and he laughed, not knowing what hit him.  The whole experience seemed to feel like loudness wasn’t the answer; that tuning into the things most subtle within ourselves and being able to smile at whatever is happening there gives us the best chance to influence instead of being influenced.  This feels like that quality of attention the author was talking about that mankind is, and is made for.

 

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Do-Nothing Cultivation, by Masanobu Fukuoka

FaceBook  On Nov 22, 2007 rahul wrote:
One Straw Revolution is available on a gift-economy basis at: http://www.soilandhealth.org/copyform.aspx?bookcode=010140.fukuoka The founder of the site, Steve Soloman, has been doing this tirelessly for 8 years at his own expense. If you'd like to send him a note of gratitude, you can write to him at: stsolomo [ {a t} ] soilandhealth [[dot]] org