Monday, December 5, 2016

What Does Money Mean To You?

What do you think of when you have money? Is it food or fun or security? Is it something that belongs to someone else which keeps you from doing what you want to do? Is it something you need? Is it what keeps you outside of community? Is it power?  Does it reward you with love?

What is the minimum you need for life to be worth living?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Soup is Magic



There is something magical about soup. You just have to get a sauce pan out, fry up a few veggies, add meat or legumes, water, herbs, spices and simmer until ready. You don't need a recipe. Use your favourite things to make soup. Taste it and add whatever you think it needs. It is your soup after all. No-one besides you is an expert on your soup.

You can share it with someone else. Someone who doesn't or cannot make soup. The most effective way to serve soup is to invite them over to your place.  If you cannot do that you can put some in a tub and take it to them.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Emerging Community

Community is not just about organizing people, it is about gathering with others for the greater good of all. Most of the community we experience is unplanned. You might go for a walk and meet a neighbour with her dog coming towards you. You might smile when her dog barks and stop as it runs towards you letting him know it's okay for him to greet you. You might bend down and let the dog smell your hand and talk to it gently, musically. His eyes will look at you and his tail will wag if he's happy to meet you. He may be thinking "Oh dear, there's a person without a dog - she must be lonely all by herself". Or he may be thinking "What's that smell - must investigate". You won't know just what he is thinking but his energy and enthusiasm will greet you and you'll know you have been addressed.

This is mostly how community works - without planning and with some trust.

Community planning is good too, but when we begin to rely on someone else to make the rules we begin to feel powerless.

Friday, December 2, 2016

From the San Franciso Board of Supervisors (Bay Times November 24)

 WHEREAS, On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected to become the 45th President of the United States; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That no matter the threats made by President-elect Trump, San Francisco will remain a Sanctuary City. We will not turn our back on the men and women from other countries who help make this city great, and who represent over one third of our population. This is the Golden Gate—we build bridges, not walls; 
There are ten other resolutions which can be found on the San Francisco Bay Times website here http://sfbaytimes.com/san-franciscos-official-response-to-the-election-of-trump/ regarding women's rights, LGBTQ rights, Religious Freedom, Black Lives Matter, climate change, universal health care, internationalism, will remain a Transit First city, nor bullied by threats to revoke federal funding, and that they condemn all hate crimes and speech.
This is a gift worthy of inclusion in our Mind and Heart Advent Calendar because it is such a resounding confrontation against the fear mongering and hatred that has been broadcast over the last few months. Thank you San Francisco. Your words are truly poetic.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Mind Heart Calendar Begins Today

By some accident or roll of the dice you are here.  Full of soft flesh, muscle and frantic nerves. You may be desperately trying to save the world by caring for others, working for security, researching climate change, fighting for the environment, but no matter how many questions you may have or how many nights you have lost sleep, it seems the bad guys keep winning.

The system is set up to convince you that this is the only way our world can work and no-one can break it. Controlling the world is easy if you have all the weapons. It's a lot easier to brag about the wars you have won than to control the future.

If the system can convince us that we are powerless and there is nothing we can do, we follow others and become robotic servants rather than thinking, skillful, ethical beings.

But we have achieved language, music, science. Hate will only choose who and when to kill. Life is so much more complex and rewarding than the will to control.

The only thing we can do is love life. Life is all we have. This one life to love, to nurture and to care.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

When it's worse than you already think it is

This blog is going to begin a new project - The Mind-Heart Advent Calendar which will operate like the Christmas Advent Calendar but instead of chocolates or gifts, each day will be a gift of life-affirming community to recall our humanity. Rather than the oppressive messages of capitalism which have dominated corporate media.

Says Chris Hedges: "Our capitalist democracy ceased to function more than two decades ago. We underwent a corporate coup carried out by the Democratic and Republican parties. There are no institutions left that can authentically be called democratic."

Hedges points out the "long and ruthless corporate assault on the working class, the legal system, electoral politics, the mass media, social services, the ecosystem, education and civil liberties in the name of neo-liberalism has disemboweled the country."

Noam Chomsky compares this time to late Weimar Germany.  It has left the nation a decayed wreck. We celebrate ignorance. We have replaced political discourse, news, culture and intellectual inquiry with celebrity worship and spectacle.

Chomsky, in the article published in April 2010 predicted the sweep of right wing Republicans: "We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany."

Although I live in Canada - a different nation, we shall be impacted and we are threatened by this movement as much as Europe was threatened by the Nazi's.  The nature of our society with its deniers, thugs, and public activists is still the same.  Those who seek power know how to divide us and I am hoping that this blog might help inspire us to come together to respond.

Every day beginning December 1st this blog will post a new quote, image or aphorism or advice that will link us to our humanity to fight the darkness of hate and ignorance. Not by calling names to people but by calling out our vulnerability to defeat in spirit.  Please sign up to receive these posts as they become available every day. Also if you wish to contribute a piece please contact me via the comment section.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Protect People - Charter for Compassion

How Cities Can Protect People 
From Marilyn Turkovich, Director
Charter for Compassion International

"We should start organizing to make cities powerful bastions of noncooperation, resistance, and protection. Activists and organizations can start demanding in every city that city councils and mayors issue resolutions and statements saying
  • Our city will not assist or cooperate with any raids or detentions or deportations of any immigrants. This includes assistance of local law enforcement or providing data to the federal government.
  • Our city will not cooperate or assist with registration and surveillance programs of Muslims, or any attempts to make our friends, neighbors, and loved ones the enemy.
  • Our city is a safe zone for all immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, and anyone fearing persecution from the Trump regime.
  • Our cities reject any effort to criminalize or attack Black Lives Matter or other organizing for social justice, as Trump has suggested he might do.
This is a time to move to create compassionate communities in our world.  We’ve been hearing from many of our members who are thinking seriously about starting an initiative in their city, town or village
  Let us step forward to bind up what appears to be a very sorry world with our heart, hands and mind.  Register your community and we will be in touch to help you take the first steps"