February 26, 2010
The Sages & the Scientists: Spirit Meets ManifestationThis weekend, the Deepak Chopra, the Sages & Scientists Symposium event kicks off in San Diego, which is focused on the intersection of perennial wisdom with cutting-edge science…......where consciousness makes the impossible possible… where Spirit meets manifestation.
February 21, 2010
Daniel Siegel on Consciousness: Part IIIRigidity versus fluidity versus integration of the mind and what constitutes a healthy mind. What moves us towards consciousness? What can we do? Daniel Siegel continues to talk about what he learned from writing his book Mindsight, which just came out.
Daniel Siegel on Consciousness: Part IIHow do you define the mind? What is a healthy mind? A healthy mind comes from something he refers to as integration. Hear Daniel Siegel's perspective.
Daniel Siegel on Consciousness: Relational Nature of our Minds, our Brains: Part IDr. Daniel Siegel meets with a small group of us for lunch in Santa Monica last week to discuss the relational nature of our minds and our brains.....body/relational and how all of it connects to consciousness. His new book Mindsight explores it in further depth.
Continue to scroll down for part I of the interactive video.
February 01, 2010
Things in our Culture Change Quickly: How is it Affecting our Values?In response to Eve Blossom's post: Love - The Other Sustainable Issue and her posed questions: What is it about our culture that causes us to believe that fresh starts are better than building on a foundation we already have? Things in our culture change over time but should our values? Do we give up too easily? And I'd add, do we move on too quickly and why?
I think it's less what causes us to "believe" and more about the whirlwind we create for ourselves to keep moving and not feel. This is what keeps us locked into the non-present state, and in that non-present state, we create an automatic cycle to move away from our pain and run rather than deal with it head on.
Sit with it. Be it. Absorb it until it passes through us and doesn’t attach itself to us in a way that is controlling us rather than us the other way around. When the latter becomes the norm, we are free. We are proactively “creating” our desired state and making choices about what serves us and those around us. Ah yes, a more noble and joyous way to live.
January 30, 2010
Summit on Climate & Faith Change Brings Global Leaders TogetherEarlier this month, Faith leaders from around the world took part in a Summit without leaving their borders through use of client Zorap’s digital-rich collaborative technology.
One month after the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Summit leaders logged in from London, Washington, Nairobi, Jerusalem, Geneva and the Pacific Island of Palau, using Zorap, to discuss important issues around climate and faith.
Bishops and other faith leaders around the world encouraged people around the world to use Zorap to interact, discuss and collaborate on the topic of climate and faith change, rather than having to get on a plane to fly to London for the event. Zorap enabled countless more important leaders to join in a global discuss in real-time that couldn’t have happened otherwise.
Faith Climate Connect housed the various pieces of technology that were used during the event, including Zorap. Using tools like Zorap to engage on important topic matters such as the climate and faith, encourages leaders and the public to embrace technology to assist in decreasing their environmental impact, such as using virtual video conferences and media-rich chat instead of flying to events to meet with each other.
A facilitated video conference using Zorap was used for an interactive conversation between six significant leaders of the three different Abrahamic faiths located in different countries around the world.
The goal was to learn about, discuss and share their ideas about faith and information contained in the scriptures regarding caring for the environment. The Zorap conversation was projected onto a large screen for the audience in London and was live broadcasted through the Faith Climate Connect website for people to watch around the world.
There was also a question and answer session involving the audience posing questions to the faith leaders around the world. Each of these different elements highlighted how technology, particularly Zorap, can bridge geographical divides, bringing people together to learn from each other and decreasing their carbon footprint.
The Summit is the brainchild of the Bible Society, whose hope is to raise public awareness about the Biblical references and support for caring for the environment.
June 01, 2009
Domestic Terrorist Strike in Kansas
Read Huffington Post's Michelle Kraus on a domestic terrorist strike in the assassination of Dr. George Tiller.
She writes: (be sure to read the entire post)
"The murder of Dr. George Tiller is horrific. It is an act of domestic terrorism at its worst. Gunned down at his peaceful place of worship in Wichita, Kansas, Dr. Tiller was targeted as he served as an usher in church and his wife sang in the choir.
He was an unassuming man who did not choose his destiny. Rather he was drafted to fill the shoes of his father in providing desperately needed health services to the women of Kansas, and those across the nation."
March 14, 2009
Economic Slump: Time to Tap into Nature's Ancient Wisdom
Ever notice that when you stop writing for awhile, writer's block takes over and cripples you? I've known for awhile that I needed to take a couple months off from blogging and from the web in general, but not because I grew tired of writing or new stuff. Disconnect from the web and new media when its your bread-and-butter? You must be mad I can hear you say.
When I was in Africa late last year through early 2009, I had laptop in hand and blogged but not nearly as much as I expected. Nor was I connected as much as I expected I'd be.
I've lived in Africa three times, so its not as if I didn't know what to expect and yet somehow I figured I'd be so inspired since it had been awhile since my last visit, I wouldn't stop writing. Blog posts would be pouring out of me.
But no. Not even close. Notice the break in between my last South African blog post and the most recent ones. The closer I got to nature -- on a regular basis -- the more disconnected I felt from the blog. It was all about immersion.
Think about it: all of the best coaches in the world pitch immersion and language courses based on immersion or living in the country are the best way to go. That's what off-site business retreats are based on and one of the reasons why the Aspen Institute and Renaissance weekends are so insightful and inspiring.
We're human. We need immersion or as the Aussies put it: walkabout time. Frankly, most of us don't get enough of it. I read a Brad Feld tweet recently that updated us on his run in the mountains behind his house and that because of it, he was "completely and totally broken."
Of course he was. Bravo. Nature does that to people, particularly when you're really present with it. It's our roots - all of us regardless of what continent we were born on or connect to.
There was something about being so close to the African earth, particularly in the parts of the continent where humanity began, that begged me to listen to its silence. Over and over again. Listening to its silence calls for a dismissal of machines, at least it was the case for me. As much as I was inspired to write, I couldn't do so on a "machine." It would have disrupted the silence. And so, I took it all in, digested it and secretly hoped it was getting 'baked' into my DNA so I wouldn't ever lose the feeling.
I felt the same way in the Israeli desert, the Arizona desert and when I drove across country a few years back. I thought I'd blog about the whole trip and instead, took notes along the way and blogged after the fact.
The downside of the latter is that the posts ended up reading like a travel log rather than the richness you get from live-blogging. I'm a fan of the latter but when I'm that close to dirt, flowers and trees, its as if the force of Mother Nature herself pulls me away from anything that has a power cord or battery.
Isn't it a great time to reconnect with nature, in an era where you've either been laid off, your contracts are smaller than they've been in years or you have a full time job but most of your budgets have been slashed by ten?
When I was 21, I traveled around the world with my 32 year old British boyfriend, who was at the time a marketing rockstar in the London scene where we were living at the time. He took nearly two years off if I recall correctly, but not without thought. Would he be able to slot back in after being intimately plugged into every thread and conversation twenty four months later? After all, he was a 32, not 22. Unforgiveable? Perhaps, but certainly not traditional. We returned, he got a job and life carried on.
Years later, I did the same thing. I took off for a few years - Africa, Europe, you name it. I'll never forget an experience I had a month or so after my return.
I used to do PR for Computerworld so there were a ton of old copies of the magazine in my grandparents basement where we stored everything at the time. The industry stories hadn't changed all that much and while there were new versions, new companies and new solutions, I couldn't believe how easy it was to slot back into the industry without being connected with anyone for a few years. It took me three long days of reading to get back up to speed.
Today, the story may be a little different. With countless examples of Kurzweil's Singularity coming into play, everything is moving at a much faster pace and jumping out of the game and back in a couple of years later may be tougher. Perhaps true, perhaps not.
This much I know. Despite all the articles and blog posts I've read that traditional media and PR is dead, Jeff Jarvis' WWGD book tells me that the middle men are dead and that the economic recession means marketers will starve for quite awhile, there are always opportunities.
Remember Helen Keller's famous quote, something I remind myself of often: "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one opening before us." Newspapers have been doing this for years, Hollywood too.
Wherever there are threats, there are opportunities; it just may mean taking a step back (for awhile), taking less money (for awhile) and looking at the world a little differently (for awhile). Reinventing oneself or simply a role can be magical and rewarding.
If you're good at what you do and you listen and think strategically, there will be a need for your skills even if they get used in a way you never imagined. And trust me, if you're in marketing or communications, they will.
Ignite the universe, spend a little time with the trees and ask them for ancient wisdom. Ask them what your "real value" is. And then listen. In that silence, you may just learn something very powerful about yourself and about what is happening around us.
Remember that not just the industry is seeing a significant shift, but the world is undergoing a dramatic change as well and if you're not tapping into that energy source too, you're missing the mark (we just elected a black president baby and money is getting pumped into energy at home and countless other things.....)
While it may sound like a flighty "new age" solution to the changes we're undergoing, I'm not suggesting that asking the ancient skies and trees for guidance is all you do. I'm simply suggesting that you do it.
August 27, 2008
On Being Fearless
Fearless seems to be on people's minds. Arianna Huffington wrote a book on Fearless, which I blogged about earlier this year. Diana Palmer and Jack Campbell also wrote books called Fearless, although their books don't fall into the self help and motivational categories.
Books that have Fearless in a broader title weave self-help messages throughout, such as Guy Finley's Essential Laws of Fearless Living: Find the Power to Never Feel Powerless Again.
One of Chandler's key mantras is that "Success is just a mindshift away." There's no question that fear is a key element that holds us back. I'd go so far to say is that it is nearly the only factor. There are some factors that are beyond our control, but those are not the ones that people spend their time feeling paralyzed over.
I've read numerous books that use fear as a way to demonstrate a point. The Secret does this too. I increasingly find people who have issues with the book. Shift your mind, shift your life. Frankly, I think people take this stuff too literally.
Having experienced the mindshift that Chandler talks about, I know this stuff works. When your mind shuts down and your heart takes over, you'll discover blissful magic if you allow yourself to stay there long enough.
Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra and numerous others write about fear and the power of shifting your mind in a second from fear to love, fear to courage, fear to faith, fear to commitment.......in other words, values that oppose fears (or thoughts, because that's all they are), that sabotage your life.
Chandler's approach is extremely simple. Each chapter ranges from one to three pages and they offer valuable "lessons," the kind of lessons you'd hear at a Sunday school, yet none of his references or examples involve religion or even reference spirituality. They do however ask your mind to take a break.
Here he implores us to see and accept that this state, which is based on an erroneous identification with the egoic mind, is one of dangerous insanity. What I'm most looking forward to is his detailed descripton of how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. When our minds are overactive and begin to spin, this my friends is where fear has a field day.
Tolle is complex. While I love his writing, it takes me time to get through his books. Chandler's style is much more informal. Think storyteller around a fire, where you'll leave with a lot of interesting reflections.
Through his short breezy chapters with great names (Death is like the rose, Books have always changed lives, Dance me through the panic, Before birth and after death, No fear like money fear, etc etc), you rediscover witty and important lessons that are so basic, you find yourself thinking - "but of course, this is hardly profound or new."
Yet we still let fear get in the way. He almost makes you feel silly for allowing fear to impact our lives. Once we can reduce a fearful thought to silly, we're on our way to leaving that fear permanently behind us. Quotes from greats like Lao Tzu, Henry James, Rumi, and Leonard Cohen also make their way into his lessons.
Time is never disappearing. He writes, "a lot of fear arises when we think about disappearing time. The sand running out of the hourglass. But while feeling that way, you miss something. You miss the secret truth (and therefore beauty) beneath this gathering storm of unfinished tasks: you have all the time in the world. You have nothing but time."
He continues, "time is what being alive is made of. If you'll slow down, you'll feel it." I love this by Ambrose Redmoon: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
My favorite chapter name has to be this one: Why am I living like a caged animal? Hmmmm, did he ever meet Howard Hughes? You don't have to think like Hughes to be living like a caged animal. He observes parents at a basketball game, who were furious with the referees or the coaches. It's the watchers that have the problems he says. The passive who go crazy with rage.
He asserts that "fearless means you're not just watching. Not just imagining. Not just picturing and attracting. You're actually doing things. You're in the game. Fearless means that you yourself are building the birdhouse."
August 23, 2008
Technology & Leisure Time
One of technology's many promises was that it would increase available leisure time. It has, but it does not feel like it is so, because we choose to spend most of our extra time with technology itself.
Like all peoples, we've chosen our deities, and technology perches higher than time in our pantheon. A jealous and totalitarian God, technology seduces us into its meeting houses, where we congregate to work and play in a strange, shared isolation, for hours and days and longer still.
We invent Gods in part because they console us in our fear of death. When death is suddenly imminent, we make foxhole deals with a God we may have largely ignored most of our lives. In the course of normal days, thoughts of death appear less dramatically, but still unsettle.
In olden days it was enough to be told by preachers and judges and fathers that justice and vengeance were the Lord's (and often theirs, by self-designated proxy). They said there was a reason for everything, that the final accounting will be in Heaven, and if you do as we say, you will be rewarded in the next life.
But we are an inquisitive and acquisitive people, so this paternalism is not sufficient.
We know that time is not our friend. What does an extra two hours of leisure time a day or four more weeks of annual vacation mean when we are dust in 80 or 90 years? But now we are told that immortality may be within reach in our lifetimes.
Fountains of Youth existed long before biotechnology, but our Elixir of Life comes from a source that has proven its power in wonderful and frightening ways. God sent the Flood but we split the atom and we know that our technology can destroy us more completely than the Bible's God ever could. Even a "natural" disaster like an airborne flu becomes a global epidemic only because of transportation technology.
But if technology taketh away, it also giveth. Technology, with disease control, aging reversal and synthetic corporeal reality, can beat time. We are in awe of this and we covet this and so we worship.
The idea that the surfing and work we do online in some way feeds the single maw of a hungry technology deity which returns the favor by granting us prostheses and gene therapy is perhaps a stretch. If you believe in collective energy and unconscious purpose the stretch isn't quite so far. And if you compare our activities with the spiritual give-and-take between pre-industrial mortals and their Gods, the deal-strike seems familiar.
So if you're wondering where all your time goes, why you spend so much time in front of the computer, you can think of it as being in church, with your leisure time as a sacrificial lamb.