Archive for November 4th, 2007

Leave all your cares behind…

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Leave all your cares behind…Set your spirit free…Fly away…, originally uploaded by neloqua.

Thanks to Picture Post for the link. Here was the original caption under the photo –

“Leave all your cares behind
Set your spirit free
Just say goodbye
Take to the sky
We’ll see what we can find
Come away with me
We can fly
Fly away…
Lookin’ for a dream
See the stars above
And the Earth below us spinning
Come with me my love
And we’ll find
A new beginning…”

“Fly away”
Bread

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William Bloom on spiritual practice

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I’ve been a fan of William Bloom’s ever since I participated in his workshops and courses some years ago. His book, Money, Heart and Mind left a profound influence on me (and helped me get a 1st for some university coursework). Here’s a taste of his profound thinking, lifted from the Cygnus Review, in relation to the world’s spiritual traditions –

We are the first generation ever that is able to look at all the world’s spiritual traditions. This gives us a unique opportunity to see the core practices that they share. Despite all their differences – for example, from meditation to ecstatic dance – there are great similarities. It is like sport. No matter which particular sport you practice – golf, swimming, tennis – you still need to practice certain core skills such as fitness, muscle tone and stamina. Spirituality also has its core skills. Let me ask you three simple questions that illustrate this. The answers to these questions will show whether you have the basis of Spiritual Practice.

(But why, you may ask, would you want to do spiritual practice? Because, like piano or yoga or football, you want to get better at it! To become more awake and conscious. To be more connected. To soak in the beauty and wonder.)

Anyway have a look at these three questions and answer Yes or No:

  • Spiritual Connection: Do you connect with the pure wonder of existence?
  • Reflection: Do you reflect on your development and consciousness – and seek to guide them?
  • Service: Do you try to live a life that is of benefit to others?

If you answer ‘Yes’ to those three questions then, according to most traditions, you already understand and observe the three core skills of Spiritual Practice. Do them regularly and with consciousness and you actually have an ongoing and grounded rhythm.

I myself am a fairly lazy practitioner (William’s wisdom doesn’t go away, though), which is probably why I can be prone to depression. Thank goodness for good friendships. I suspect we need robust spiritual practice to stay grounded, equanimous and compassionate to contend with turbulence, as alerted to in the previous post. It’s time I engaged with spiritual practice more.

Haven Europe (Haven America?) – safe while the world burns

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A total of 46 nations and 2.7 billion people are now at high risk of being overwhelmed by armed conflict and war because of climate change. A further 56 countries face political destabilisation, affecting another 1.2 billion individuals.

– according to the organisation, International Alert, written about in the Observer.

The worst threats involve nations lacking resources and stability to deal with global warming, added the agency’s secretary-general, Dan Smith. ‘Holland will be affected by rising sea levels, but no one expects war or strife,’ he told The Observer. ‘It has the resources and political structure to act effectively. But other countries that suffer loss of land and water and be buffeted by increasingly fierce storms will have no effective government to ensure corrective measures are taken. People will form defensive groups and battles will break out.’

[…]

In Europe, most countries are currently considered stable enough to cope with global warming, apart from the Balkans; wars have left countries such as Serbia and Montenegro politically weakened. As temperatures rise and farmland is reduced, population pressures will trigger violence that authorities will be unable to contain.

Some nations on the risk map, such as Russia, may cause surprise. ‘Moscow’s control of Russia as a whole will not be undermined by global warming,’ said Smith. ‘But loss of farmland in some regions will lead to local rebellions like those already triggered in Chechnya.’

Conflict triggered by climate change is not a vague threat for coming years, he added. ‘It is already upon us.’

What luck for us Europeans. No mention, I note from the article, of North America.

[You may wonder why I’m tagging this post in ‘psychology’, ‘religion’ and other seemingly peripheral categories; well, I think we need all the help we can get, and psychologists and religious folk alike need to lend their helping hands to these problems.]

What should we do next? What would Bush do? (That’s tongue in cheek, by the way. We need some attention and resource to the United Nations, the only international forum around.)