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May 07
Friday

Touching the Earth Collective: May Newsletter

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Mind Blindness
By John Rockwell

A while back, I read an article about “plant blindness.” When shown a picture that shows a pair of elephants in a clearing and asked what they see, virtually everyone says, “Two elephants.” Even when the question is repeated, “What do you see?” people persist in saying “Elephants,” as if the questioner were stupid or blind. No one says that they see grass and trees, much less describes the type of plants. The biologists lament this lack of appreciation for the greenery that is our constant background. They point out that plants are just as important and in fact make up the base of the food chain that supports our existence. This lack of connection and community with the plant world can ultimately support a life style and work ethic that is destructive to our environment. What we don’t perceive, we have no feeling for. What we have no feeling for, we don’t care about. What we don’t care about, we can destroy and feel nothing amiss. Of course, by destroying the plant world, we are undermining our own existence.

When I told this story to my wife, she said, “What about the air and oxygen that support the plants?” At first, I felt irritated that she was making a simple example too complicated and missing the point. Then I realized the wisdom in her words. When we look at the picture, the elephants are in the foreground. We generally focus on the foreground as the most interesting event and ignore the background. If we expand our awareness, we can include all the green plants, bushes, trees, and the like. If we look further, we can see the sky and clouds in the background and the earth as the literal ground out of which the plants grow and on which the elephants walk. We can infer from the clouds the presence of water vapor and rain that water the plants and nurture and bathe the elephants. If we contemplate the picture even further, we can intuit the presence of space that accommodates everything in this picture. Space blindness is just as prevalent. Continue…

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Staying Sane In Isolation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Staying Sane In Isolation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo by Natalia Figueredo on Unsplash By “Jackie Writing Jackie” The number of Covid-19 cases around the world has surpassed 872,000, leading governments to effect nationwide lockdowns to reduce the level of contagion. During this time, many people are surrounded by family. One of the hardest-hit groups, however, is ... continue
Posted April 2, 2020 by archives-staff
Letter from the Druk Sakyong Wangmo

Letter from the Druk Sakyong Wangmo – HIGHLIGHT

Office of the Druk Sakyong Wangmo Dearest Community Members, During this unprecedented time of difficulty, I have been thinking about all of you and wanted to reach out. I know that we are all struggling, in many different ways. Within my own family, I see that everyone has ... continue
Posted March 30, 2020 by archives-staff
Meditation and Connection in a Time of Isolation

Meditation and Connection in a Time of Isolation – HIGHLIGHT

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash by Gayle Van Gils I have been feeling more than a bit ungrounded and lonely…..  Being forced to stay home and away from other people seems so wrong.  Yet, here we are – in this together – feeling our way towards a ... continue
Posted March 28, 2020 by archives-staff
What Role Can Exercise Play In Shambhala Practice?

What Role Can Exercise Play In Shambhala Practice? – HIGHLIGHT

Photo by Form on Unsplash By “Jackie Writing Jackie” Meditation has a key role to pay in Shambhala practice, but Buddhist belief does see a vital link between mental and physical well-being, and the Eightfold Path clearly envisions both. In a more symbolic sense, the path of Perfect Livelihood ... continue
Posted March 24, 2020 by archives-staff
How to Stay Calm in the Face of Fear

How to Stay Calm in the Face of Fear – HIGHLIGHT

This article was originally posted by Sarah Lipton here. Tea with a T-Rex T-Rex is roaming the earth again. Wreaking havoc, causing disruption, up-ending the status quo. This time, it’s crowned in the form of COVID-19. A global pandemic. A local disaster. From my vantage point, the greater harm is ... continue
Posted March 15, 2020 by archives-staff
Being You is a Practice

Being You is a Practice – HIGHLIGHT

by Kelsey Blackwell This article was originally posted here at The Marvelous Crumb Happy Lunar New Year! Year of the Rat — known for industriousness, thriftiness, diligence and positivity. That feels about right. I’m burrowing into my studies at the Strozzi Institute and gnawing on bits of wisdom that are ... continue
Posted March 10, 2020 by archives-staff
Ubuntu: "I had nothing but I believed in the power of my people."

Ubuntu: “I had nothing but I believed in the power of my people.” – HIGHLIGHT

Photo Credit NaomiW25 on Wikimedia Commons By Hans Kaufmann Este artículo ha sido traducido al español aqui. When I worked with children in the Shambhala Center in Vienna, stories were always an important and requested part of our meetings. During the last years they were around 10 and they manifested ... continue
Posted February 17, 2020 by archives-staff
Fostering Indoor Air Quality, with Shambhala Teachings and Practice

Fostering Indoor Air Quality, with Shambhala Teachings and Practice – HIGHLIGHT

By Vinicius Amano on Unsplash By “Jackie Writing Jackie” The Dalai Lama once stated that there are two major reasons leading to the current environmental crisis: ignorance, and a lack of courage to take action to solve problems. The human connection to nature is a vital part of Shambhala Buddhism ... continue
Posted February 2, 2020 by archives-staff
Celebrating Your Wedding Anniversary with Shambhala Ideas and Practice

Celebrating Your Wedding Anniversary with Shambhala Ideas and Practice – HIGHLIGHT

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash By “Jackie Writing Jackie” The idea of loving one’s romantic partner and celebrating their individuality can be an important component of a Shambhala life, and connected to what Yale Professor Dr. Nicholas Christakis calls the ‘social suite’. These two considerations work well together, ... continue
Posted January 7, 2020 by archives-staff
Love from Auschwitz: A Bearing-Witness Retreat with the Zen Peacemakers

Love from Auschwitz: A Bearing-Witness Retreat with the Zen Peacemakers – HIGHLIGHT

By Sophie Leger What an amazing experience this Bearing-Witness Retreat with the Zen Peacemakers turned out to be: Ninety participants from many different countries and religious backgrounds, speaking different languages – people from Sweden, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Canada, US, Israel, Brazil, Columbia, Belgium, England. Some ... continue
Posted December 30, 2019 by archives-staff
Translating For Burma

Translating For Burma

Alinsek IR working in exile “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” — The Buddha “There is no religion higher than the Truth.” — H Hahn Blavatsky “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness” — Chinese Proverb by Larry Steele I have a ... continue
Posted December 14, 2019 by archives-staff
Outer, Inner and Secret Levels Of Shambhala Center Design

Outer, Inner and Secret Levels Of Shambhala Center Design – HIGHLIGHT

Community Room in the Los Angeles Shambhala Center By Shastri Russell Rodgers A few years ago, the Kootenay Shambhala Centre in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, purchased a building. Because we had to acquire the services of a non-sangha architect for the renovations, it seemed like a good idea ... continue
Posted December 6, 2019 by archives-staff
Creating A Safe And Serene Home Environment For Children

Creating A Safe And Serene Home Environment For Children – HIGHLIGHT

By “Jackie Writing Jackie” Every year in the United States, over three and a half million children experience injuries that commonly occur in homes. The teachings of Shambhala inspire compassionate care, and we all want to create a space for our children where they are safe to grow ... continue
Posted November 29, 2019 by archives-staff
Good Society Part II: Feeling the Goodness

Good Society Part II: Feeling the Goodness – HIGHLIGHT

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash The second part of a two-part series by Shastri Russell Rodgers. For part one, click here. In Part I of this two-part essay, we looked at the genetics behind the universal human impulse to create good society. The logic was this: everywhere ... continue
Posted November 15, 2019 by archives-staff
Good Society: Science, Basic Goodness, Laws and Joy

Good Society: Science, Basic Goodness, Laws and Joy – HIGHLIGHT

Photo by Robert V. Ruggiero on Unsplash The first part of a two-part series by Shastri Russell Rodgers   All over the world, wherever there are humans, there are societies. We have evolved different languages, customs, and even skin colors, but always, there is society. Society has enabled us ... continue
Posted November 8, 2019 by archives-staff

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