Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cure for attention deficits and hyperactivity

"Might 'genius' be a potential we all share––each of us with our own unique capacity for creativity, requiring only the power of sustained attention to unlock it? (p.3)" 

From a Buddhist perspective, the untrained mind is dysfunctional in the sense of being afflicted with attention deficits and hyperactivity.

"Like a wild elephant, the untamed mind can inflict enormous damage on ourselves and those around us. In addition to oscillating between an attention deficit (when we're passive) and hyperactivity (when we're active), the normal, untrained mind  compulsively disgorges a toxis stream of wandering thoughts, then latches on to them obsessively, carried away by one story after another. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders and obsessive/compulsive  disorders are not confined to those who are diagnosed as mentally ill; the normal mind is prone to such imbalances, and that's why normal people experience so much mental distress! (p. 14)"

Quotes by Alan Wallace, Ph.D. See his book, The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hooked on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume

In terms of psychology, many social thinkers and ethicists have demonstrated convincingly how "the drive to consume" in modern America has displaced the psychic space once filled by religion, family, and community.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Farming is more than growing food to eat

Photograph taken at Wagon Wheel Farm, Durham, NH
"The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings." --Masanobu Fokuoka. 

For more on this visionary,  click here on the Fokuoka Website.

Or check out his book on Amazon: One Straw Revolution

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Myths and Mermaids and the Idea of Progress

I first found her outside a gift shop near Ogunquit Maine
held against her will, just another item for sale:
Turned to stone by the sleight-of-hand of market forces
acting on orders from the patriarchal gods of progress. 

I was able to rescue her, summoning the power of Photoshop:
Capturing her with my magic wand and
gently moving her back home to Her rightful throne
upon an enchanted cliff overlooking the sparkling sea.

Liberated, she now ponders anew the primacy 
of Myth and the true Mystery of the Universe
as the oceans inexorably rise around her
 –a final gift from the the gods of progress– 
drowning human conceits and artifacts,
along with Humankind itself.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Act of Creation

"We see that what moves one thought into another is the exact same energy that moves the stars across the sky. No difference. We are natural phenomenon as full of change as the ocean or the wind, a product of conditions.

"We see that the nature of consciousness works a bit like the hand of God in the famous Sistine Chapel painting which is reaching out to give life to a waiting being, a being about to receive the spark. Moment to moment we're receiving the spark. That spark is consciousness, the knowing faculty, the perception of which arises from the contact of awareness and its object; from sight and the tree seen, from hearing and the music heard, from touch and the earth felt, from taste and the water tasted, from smell and the flower smelled, from thought and the idea imagined. Moment to moment, consciousness arises anew in conjunction with each object of the senses, including, the mind sense of imagination and memory. This is the arising and passing away of all that we know of our life experience. For mindfulness to enter this process is to discover genesis moment to moment, the continual creation of the universe."
Quote from A Gradual Awakening (1979) by Steven Levine, pp. 4-6 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

This is a Ponzi scheme that has to collapse

"We created a way of raising standards of living that we can't possibly pass on to our children," said Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who writes the indispensable blog We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks–water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and  arable land–and not by generating renewable flows.

"You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior," added Romm. "But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, 'This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate...' Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tideline Day Dream

I focused my camera on this clunky rock, sitting by itself along the barren, frozen tide line in Kittery Maine just as the sun started to burn through the sodden, grey overcast. Suddenly, the penetrating sunbeams performed a miracle: turning that dark, dismal stone  into a pink-tinged, surreal masterpiece.

A Day Dream*
"Life  is short. Therefore I say let's live life fully and completely... Ask yourself what makes you come fully alive? Seriously, when was the last time you asked yourself that question? And I hope you realize, this isn't just happy snappy positive thinking. Rather, it is a call to use your waking hours to think deep and dream big.  For this will open you up to new realities, just as Edgar Allen Poe once said, "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." 

* From Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Chris Orwig: 2994

Sunday, March 1, 2009

By any other name...Torture

Branded in our collective brain: An iconic image of our shame
of what was done in our name. A nagging presence 
we can't escape...  No matter where we go, there He is.

The above were my feelings when I made this montage. I also identify with the words of Timothy Donnelly from his poem Clair de Lune:

"We revolt ourselves; we disgust and annoy us.
The way we look at us lately chills us to the core.
We become like those who seek to destroy us..."