Posts in : Compassion
Hat Tip To Photographer Richard RenaldiVisit Richard’s Site Really amazing work! Sunny X
By Julian Wash
Today I wish to return to your awareness an aspect of the Human condition that is as fundamental as the air we breathe and the water we drink. It’s the basic necessity for food, and more specifically, our proclivity for eating meat.
Not so long ago Humankind shared a sacred bond with the animals. Scarcity of resources and the specter of starvation necessitated a cooperative, mutually-beneficial relationship that fostered close ties. Those who kept livestock were not detached from their animals. They knew their habits and ways, and some were given names. Even the bow hunter, who revered the natural world, would bond with their kill in a way not seen in our time.
The butchering was surely difficult for some, mechanical for others. It was clearly impractical to develop ties or fondness for a certain goat, calf, chicken or rabbit. Survival instinct would trump such affections. Even so, sometimes the slaughter was done by a neighbor or friend in exchange for the return favor. In the end, the meal was greatly appreciated and there were prayers of thankfulness.
In modern times we know little or nothing about the animal that was corralled, killed and rendered for our pleasure. We simply see bright red meat wrapped in cellophane cooling in a store refrigerator. And so it’s clear there’s a major disconnect between the actual animal and the cooked muscle tissue sitting on our plate. To most it’s just a faceless hotdog, burger or steak. If one can get a hotdog wrapped in bacon—we’ll that’s even better. There’s little or no thought about the animals that were sacrificed along the way. Fast food epitomizes this disconnection. Here we find conveniently cooked meat in a bag at a takeout window. Sure, I’ll take fries with that. (more…)
by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa
Dakini is the wisdom or emptiness aspect of enlightenment. It does not refer only to the feminine forms. It is the wisdom that eliminates he five poisons caused by the ego, such as desires, anger, ignorance, pride and doubt. Everyone, male and female has this aspect of enlightenment. The skilful method is represented by the male energy, which is the other aspect of enlightenment. Wisdom or emptiness and compassion or skilful methods are the two aspects of enlightenment.
Rather than looking at the enlightened female practitioners as female in forms, we need to appreciate them in the more profound sense. They represent the fully developed state of wisdom.
From the cultural or traditional point of view, in the past and today in remote parts of the world the external conditions have been very difficult for female practitioners to practice and to attain enlightenment. Therefore, it is very important to highlight the importance of female through the spiritual expression.
None the less, it should never be misunderstood that Dakini only refers to female population and completely excludes the male population. The principle of Dakini cannot be fully developed with the support of Daka or Yidam, sometimes understood as masculine energy. Similarly the masculine energy or the Daka, cannot be fully activated without the support of Dakini or feminine energy.
In conclusion, it is a great mistake to treat Dakini as a female in human form, as Dakini truly refers to the wisdom or emptiness aspect of enlightenment. Therefore in instances where the female population is not or less respected, the principle of Dakini needs to be highlighted, otherwise one is advised not to fanatically differentiate the male and female energies, as both are needed badly to be developed in order to attain perfect enlightenment.
by Sunny Lyons
When we start waking up to the wicked ways of the world, while it’s quite understandable that thoughts or feelings of fear, anger or violence become exaggerated within us, they can sometimes get the better of us if we chose to ignore them.
It has become quite clear that; our governments simply don’t care about us, the ruling elite don’t even want us around, our doctors are incapable of caring for us and our food corporations care only about profit – it feels a lot like our foundations have cracked and the ground is shaking under our feet. Our old perceptions are crumbling away so rapidly now that we need to anchor ourselves or we risk getting completely lost in a mind of negative emotions. We have a choice to either grow new roots through understanding and introspection or to stick our heads back in the sand and try and forget that we glimpsed the truth at all.
Ignorance Is Bliss
Ignorance is bliss in in a way. It is a sort of hazy, drug-like veil or blanket. The cost of ignorance is high though. It’s hard to breathe with your head in the sand and of course you can not accept change if you are unaware of it, so the gap between illusion and truth is constantly widening. The longer you ignore the truth, the harder it is to wake up. This is why the gap between the super-wealthy and us is getting wider and wider. We are becoming more real in the way we live our lives while the billionaires are becoming more and more fantastical.
Lovers of ignorance everywhere keep the governments, the ruling class and the big food and pharmaceutical companies alive. Most of the population put their well-being into the hands of these profit-oriented, corporate leeches because it’s easy. To take responsibility for yourself, to seek out and accept the truth takes courage and for the sheeple – it seems much easier to remain asleep. If this sounds harsh to you – you maybe one of the flock! Make no bones about it – EVERYONE knows the truth deep down, but it requires a certain inner strength and a deep connectivity to reveal it and not become trapped in one vicious circle or another.
It is easy to be compassionate towards the sleeping mass if you remember what it was like as a victim of the systems encompassing perception control techniques. They’re very good at their jobs. When you are disempowered and desensitised from being locked into believing that you need governing and then subjected to constant propaganda, it can be extremely difficult to realise the truth. Add a diet of processed food and some toxic pharmaceuticals and the average human gets so unconsciously trapped in their mind that constant distraction seems like the only way to prevent themselves from going mad.
There is a worse kind of ignorance. If you have realised what’s going on but choose to reject the painful or disagreeable truth to save experiencing the subsequent thoughts, emotions or impulses you are repressing yourself and repression is an insurmountable obstacle on the path of personal growth and of no use to the world.
Taking Responsibility For Your Fear, Anger & Violence
It is important to admit, acknowledge and accept that you have these attributes within you. Many people do not like to even admit that they are fearful, angry or violent. In our society it is frowned upon and yet, not only is it natural, it is and always has been essential to our survival. Anger drives us to stand up for ourselves and others and challenge those imposing themselves or their ideas upon us. Without anger, the greedy run amok. Violence allows us to save ourselves against the violence of others and fear is the gatekeeper against danger, it protects us, it is our early warning system – it keeps us safe.
But we would be wise to heed Dr. King’s warning;
“Normal fear protects us; abnormal fear paralyses us.” Martin Luther King Jr
“Normal fear protects us; abnormal fear paralyses us.”
So it is with anger and violence too, but while abnormal fear tends to be mostly self-debilitating, abnormal anger and violence is likely to cause harm to others too and so for us to successfully change the world for the good of everyone, heightened levels of anger and violence must be avoided – even within the most tricky situations – even if they are understandable or justifiable.
Q. I really want to punch Tony Blair in the face. What should I do?
A. You should suppress your impulse to put Tony’s lights out, full stop! You must only suppress the action though, not repress the violent thoughts or emotions. Suppress means to interrupt and divert the energy of an impulse to a more acceptable use. There’s no point knocking poor old Tony out even though it’s entirely justifiable – he’s just a dick and it won’t change anything, in fact it would be turned to his advantage somehow, but more importantly, you might hurt your hand!
You’d be well advised redirecting this impulsive energy towards investigating the phenomena of anger and violence within you. This way you will sublimate the sensations, discover their origins, experience the formation and understand the processes of both anger and violence and when the inquisitive mind is finished its investigation, forgiveness and true non-violence is revealed. It is the same with fear. Consciously observing all aspects of fear within you will reveal true fearlessness.
I use the word true here, to avoid misunderstanding. In this context, an act of bravery or heroism does not mean fearlessness. Fearlessness means the total absence of fearful thoughts or emotions. Rather than “feeling the fear and doing it anyway”, fear is simply not present.
It is the same with violence. A conscious decision to avoid violence is not the same as true non-violence. If violence continues in the form of thought or emotion inside of you what has really changed by merely suppressing the impulse? All that’s happened is you’ve saved Mr Blair from getting a black eye!
Inside, you are still over working the adrenals, still causing excess heat in the body and tension in the mind, still producing too much acid in the body and ruining your food, you are still depriving your vital organs of essential oxygen and nutrients as the body withdraws them to boost the muscles in preparation for a fight and most importantly, outwardly – you are still sending out dissonant signals rather than emanating the magical and transformational power of a compassionate and peaceable being.
Transforming Fear, Anger & Violence
Although the cost of ignorance is high, the cost of truth is much higher. If you’re a seer, you know this to be true and if you have realised the dream as a dream, you now carry the responsibility for any negativity that this knowledge stirs up in you. Your thoughts, intentions, emotions and actions are more powerful with some awareness and these projections now have an even greater impact on the world in which we all live. Although fear, anger or violent thoughts towards our oppressors maybe a predictable and understandable initial response following an awakening from the dream world mind programming, it is your responsibility alone to convert these unhealthy conditions within you rather than perpetuate them.
Inner observation, investigation and understanding is the key to revealing the higher versions of all our innate attributes.
MUCH LOVE EVERYONE, SUNNY X
Written for WearTheChange
drop me a line at; firstname.lastname@example.org
by Stephanie Van Hook
Anger is reasonable and justified in the face of abuse and exploitation. What matters is what we do with it.
As Leymah Gbowee stood in front of a crowd of women at her church in Monrovia, praying for an end to the civil war that was raging in Liberia, she had no idea of the consequences that were about to unfold.
A specialist in healing from trauma, Gbowee and her allies had spent months visiting mosques, markets and churches in order to mobilize a nascent peace movement. By the late summer of 2002, she had become recognized as the leader of Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which held daily non-violent demonstrations and sit-ins in defiance of orders from Charles Taylor, the Liberian President at the time.
Eighteen months later, in August 2003, the war was brought to an end. Gbowee’s efforts, along with those of newly-elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, were recognized by the award of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. I heard Gbowee speak at an interfaith conference in North Carolina in 2012, where she emphasized that the main challenge she had faced was not apathy. Liberians were already angry. (more…)
by V.Susan Ferguson
The other day I had to go to a local drug store on one of the endless strip malls here in the good old USA – one of those chain stores that are built of disposable toxic materials and litter our country. Inside the lights are cheap, a glaring florescence, the isles are filled and crammed with products incased in EDC (endocrine disrupting chemical) plastic. Everything is ugly and harsh, and the smell is overwhelming, non-human.
There is jive-weird-invasive rock music blaring on speakers that should be destroyed – music that jars your psyche, body and soul. Everywhere you look there is something more ugly, more garish, more neon, more plastic, more toxic and these days all made in China.
I picked up a plastic-packaged pencil sharpener, an electric-green color for kids, and read: Made in China. I wondered if it was manufactured in a prison, or how many people, mothers and children, were poisoned by the poisonous fumes of the melting plastic, the endocrine disrupting chemical waste running off dissolving into the village streams, the aquifers, their earth.
Dizzy, I head for the check-out-counter with two boxes of tissues (white, thanks to the EDC chlorine) and a role of Kodak film to take pictures of landscapes.
At the cash register is a young woman so totally depressed and numb, and beyond that – very angry. She hates the drugstore and her job; she hates her life, and me. I offer her a weak smile. She snarls at me, as I am unable to work the credit card machine.
“They are all different,” I say obsequiously as I try to find the correct buttons in vain. She shrugs her shoulders as if to say – you stupid old idiot. I sign the receipt and leave feeling sad, empty. This is a part of my country I assiduously endeavor to avoid. (more…)
When Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter agreed to adopt a friend’s recently purchased “minipig,” they brought the tiny animal into the Toronto home they shared with two dogs.
They named her Esther and cared for her as she grew. And grew. Into a 375-pound hog.
But Esther had even more surprises in store for them.
The pig was curious, playful and intelligent — not so unlike their canine companions, who often cuddled up to Esther.
Esther was also a bit of a troublemaker. She could turn door handles, open cabinets and even crack open the freezer, so Jenkins and Walter eventually had to “pig-proof” their house.
When she wasn’t initiating games of tag or playing tug-of-war, Esther would wander through the house looking for a dog or a human to snuggle with. Her size doesn’t prevent her from crawling onto the couch or climbing into bed.
Esther won over both men — and the dogs — and became a permanent addition to the family. When Jenkins and Walter learned that she’d been born on a commercial farm to be raised for meat, they were shocked.
Tossed aside because she was a “runt,” Esther just barely escaped a fate that would’ve landed her on a dinner plate.
Esther the wonder pig with one of her owners and family dogThe emotional connection they felt with Esther led Jenkins and Walter to make another connection: The animals they ate as food were no different from the animals they loved as pets.
It didn’t take long for both men to become vegans.
Coming together in Ceremony