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Collapse and Awaken: submission for the Dark Mountain (Final)

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This is the last part of the Dark Mountain piece, which as I read it again after so long, appears rather forced. It reminds me of how much further I need to go in developing my writing skills and I am afraid to say that I am guilty of letting enthusiasm get the better of me at times, with this piece being one of those occasions. It is different from what came before in that it offers a couple of suggestions on experimental practices, so, read on at your own peril. As always, the link to Dark Mountain can be found here and click here for part one and here for part two.

A Possible Response

A clear theme that runs through to this point is the great gap. At the heart of our environmental crisis is the great divide. We are not able to feel our way across boundaries into primal modes of feeling the great other, and feeling with each other, and therefore we are constantly disconnected and alienated from our shared depths. We are confused on how to mate, not through sexual encounters, but through hiving at a level that bridges humans collectively to their environment as equals. The core principles in combating apathy and disengagement are empathic merging, compassion and care. I like to sum these up as a robust intimacy. Intimacy can be anchored onto externals, but it is best found in co-emergence. To be intimate with a process based lifeworld is to move within and through the spaces we inhabit with feeling and perceptual openness and receptivity. It does not imply being lovey-dovey, cosy and cushti, cute and nice. Intimacy is a feature of combat too. Ask any regular aficionado of boxing or MMA and most will speak of how fighting breaks through masks, strips away pretence, connects you at a raw level and sparks bonds.
The alienation spoken of here is painful. Some are born seemingly more sensitive to others and suffer it more, but there is no denying that our enforced detachment from each other into unfulfilling ritualised social practices harms. The wounds are collective and born by all those who switch off to their fellow species’ suffering, or who never come to touch wounds, or the wounded, with care. It is no wonder that we are so unable to feel. To switch onto the immensity of pain and suffering across all the animal and insect species is too much to bear. We must start somewhere though, because the stifling cocoon of self-preservation is really just a dead end. I see this work in very simple terms. It is a matter of maturity. Do we wish to remain infantilised or eternal teens, and avoid responsibility, or do we wish to accept that it is up to us to find relevant social practices in a changing world? As many of the first nation peoples ask, are we capable of being responsible for what happens to the next seven generations? Our governments and leaders certainly are not. Such a question does open a vast terrain of thought regarding duty, commitment and choice.

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La Danza Del Aquila, Italia, 5-8 maggio, 2014

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Per chi segue questo sito, ho un altra vita dove seguo pratiche sciamaniche. Ci sarà un evento annuale molto vicino a Trieste a maggio, aperto  a tutti. Per chi potrebbe essere interessato, qui sotto spiego un po’ come funziona  e aggiungo il link per il sito vero e proprio.

Dopo la Danza del Sole, la Danza dell’Aquila è una delle cerimonie più potenti e significative della tradizione sciamanica dei Twisted Hairs. Danzando per 12 ore sostenuti dal tamburo cerimoniale comunitario e dai canti sacri abbiamo l’opportunità di spegnere il dialogo interiore e ritrovare il nostro sé naturale. Danziamo per la nostra guarigione, per quella della coscienza collettiva e di Nonna Terra, in celebrazione della vita, per essere parte della soluzione e non del problema.

Costruiremo insieme lo spazio della Danza, intorno ad un bellissimo albero di mele, che simboleggia la vita. E faremo questo sia manualmente che grazie alla nostra originalità artistica, in modo che diventi un luogo unico, stupendo e sacro.

Nei giorni precedenti alla Danza vera e propria c’è spazio per cerimonie personali, insegnamenti della Dolce Medicina della Danza del Sole, la creazione del nostro Hokkshideh Bundle (il sacchetto di protezione ed allineamento con il nostro Sé Superiore e i mondi di Nonna Terra). Prima e dopo la Danza parteciperemo alla cerimonia della Capanna di Purificazione per riequilibrare corpo, mente, emozioni e spirito, e per integrare ciò che abbiamo guadagnato.

Per questa avventura saremo ospitati dall’agriturismo “Dujceva Domacija” a Skoflje in Slovenia. Un luogo bellissimo, all’interno di una grande dolina il cui fondo pianeggiante è circondato da un torrente, che forma una grande isola, protetta dagli alberi.

 

Sito: http://www.dolcemedicina.it/archives/eventi-e-gruppi/eagle-dance/

Email: eagledanceitaly@gmail.com

On Reading Hegel as a Corrective for Meditative Malpractice

Some great points raised here for the discerning meditator, whether Hegel’s philosophy entices you or not.

Speculative Non-Buddhism

This summer, I am making a commitment not to meditate.  At least, not to meditate in any way that Western Buddhists would identify as Buddhist meditation.  My meditation practice, I have decided, will be to do a slow and careful rereading of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, attempting to think dialectically about every argument Hegel makes.

In part, this is motivated by having recently read Zizek’s Less Than Nothing, which offers a fascinating and compelling  interpretation of Hegel’s thought.  In part, it is motivated by the enormous increase of attention to Hegel in the English-speaking world, and the numerous stimulating recent books on Hegel, such as Jameson’s The Hegel Variations and Pinkard’s Hegel’s Naturalism: Mind, Nature, and the Final Ends of Life.  In addition, I came across a pdf of Pinkards new translation of the Phenomenology, and realized, thumbing through my yellowed copy, that it has been…

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The Eightfold Path: Right Livelihood (2)

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Looking at our working lives
As most of us do not work in the aforementioned unethical trades, the question of right livelihood will primarily concern the way we work. It can be useful to start by looking at whether our relationship to our job, workplace and colleagues contributes to the creation or maintenance of forms of gross and subtle suffering for ourselves and for others. This may be as simple as recognising that a poor attitude affects not only the approach we take to the events of a working day, but contributes to the establishment of an unpleasant working environment and perhaps even a culture of bad attitude that permeates the working establishment. An ethical approach to work is to honour our agreements (contractually, verbally and interpersonally) and be as impeccable as possible. We dedicate ourselves to excellence as a commitment to ongoing development and we align our use of energy with practice. We use the working environment as a sphere of activity in which we firstly learn to recognise patterns of reactivity, or aversion, and how our preferences, attraction, play out. We let go of frenetic reactivity to stressful circumstances and seek to align with the movements of our working day in a way that allows us to maintain internal balance and presence. It is an ongoing art to do so. It is likely not possible in all working environments and this is the point when a change of circumstances may become necessary. If our working environment demands too many hours, too much stress inducing work, excessive aggressivity, or the giving away of our autonomy and individuality, we may need to consider a different career path if we are dedicated to long-term meditation practice.
As we are all too aware, work takes up a considerable amount of our waking life. That may be good news for some, but for many it is not. Work is a must for a great number of people: an obligation that would be preferably avoided. Even though this attitude is being tested by the global economic crisis we are currently going through, once you step outside of job anxiety, the same dissatisfaction that so many have in relationship to work remains. 
So, what can be done about this? A dichotomy seems to emerge between two basic approaches to an unsatisfactory working life. The first is to accept your lot, view experience as experience and let go of any particular preference. In the light, this is taking a sort of Zen approach of accepting what arises, which is easier said than done, but certainly possible. In the dark it’s resigning yourself to circumstances, because to change would either be impossible, or simply not worth it. These two excuses arise as pretence voices with lots of baggage in tow.
The second approach recognises a genuine necessity for change and engages in the search for more meaningful work, and more rewarding circumstances. Both are important to recognise and develop familiarity with and are certainly not mutually exclusive. The basis for working effectively with either is having a sense of the genuine priority in a given period and a sensitivity to timing.
There have been many books written about finding the job of your dreams. Many of them are very good and have certainly helped many people change their lives and find more rewarding work. For many people this is certainly something to look at, even in challenging economic times like the one we are living in. There is no doubt that when we are enthusiastic about the activity we are investing our energy and time into, we work better and we feel better doing it and it is easier usually to remain present and open to experience. In an ideal world we would all have the job of our dreams and dedicate ourselves to doing the best we can whilst at work.