#Buddhism, #Buddhists, #Tibet and Patheos: Get your #Interfaith Dialogue On!

This is a great year to be a #Buddhist, especially in the USA. President Barack Obama met publically with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the first time any USA president has done so in public since 1959 (when China invaded and illegally began to occupy Tibet, causing the Dalai Lama and millions of Tibetans to flee across the mountains into other countries), which bodes well for work towards liberating Tibet. http://goo.gl/EiP9bj

Tibetans in exile now live in dozens of countries worldwide, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama continuing to serve as their spiritual leader and Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay as their recently elected political leader.

LobsangSangay1 and HH

Educated in the West and filled with optimism, Dr. Sangay recently expressed his heartfelt belief that Tibet will be reclaimed by Tibetans: “Success is right in our hands!” http://thetibetpost.com/en/news/international/4497-qsuccess-is-right-in-our-handsq-tibetan-political-leader-sikyong

Chinese government policies are still to imprison, torture, rape, steal from and otherwise oppress millions of Tibetans, taking over more and more land and controlling the government in occupied Tibet. It is a horrible situation which the USA has done little to alleviate, probably because no one has yet found oil in Tibet. However, a glimmer of hope for change appears in some USA 2015 policy statements, such as this one: “…the Chinese government’s failure to address problems in Tibet ‘will continue to be a stumbling block to fuller political and economic engagement with the United States.’” https://www.savetibet.org/us-government-believes-resumption-of-dialogue-on-tibet-is-critical/#sthash.2iIypjg2.dpuf

The two sources, above, http://SaveTibet.org and http://theTibetpost.com, are excellent ways to keep up with the news of Tibet and Tibetans.

For “all about Buddhism,” especially in the USA, I turn to “PATHEOS: Hosting the Conversation on Faith”

ABOUT Patheos:

Founded in 2008, Patheos.com is the premier online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world’s beliefs. Patheos is the website of choice for the millions of people looking for credible and balanced information about religion. Patheos brings together faith communities, academics, and the broader public into a single environment, and is the place where many people turn on a regular basis for insight, inspiration, and stimulating discussion. Patheos is unlike any other religious and spiritual site on the Web today.

As evidenced by the company founders’ story, religion and spirituality continue to be an important part of American life, with more Americans today than ever before identifying themselves as spiritual. In fact, according to the Pew Internet Project, more than 82 million Americans (and 64 percent of all Internet users) utilize the Web for faith-related matters. The importance of religion and spirituality, coupled with the growing use of the Internet for religious matters, point to the ongoing need for an online resource for religious and spiritual engagement and dialogue. Patheos fills this need.

Patheos is a place to:

Find accurate, balanced information on the world’s religions in our extensive library.
View religious history and facts through unique interactive tools that allow visitors to compare, contrast, and explore religions and belief systems in new and innovative ways.
Participate in the global dialogue on religion and spirituality through responsible, moderated discussions on critical issues across religious traditions.
Read commentary on current events from a wide range of viewpoints.
Follow your favorite bloggers and columnists.
Engage with others from various faith traditions.
Get a glimpse into the beliefs and traditions of other faith groups in a safe and welcoming environment.

I subscribe to the “Buddhist Channel,” but receive a variety of faiths’ updates as well.
“American Buddhist Perspectives” mostly gathered/written by Justin Whitaker, which has this tagline in its logo:
Buddhism, Philosophy, Ecology, Life, Teaching, Politics: May All Beings be Happy
http://www.patheos.com/

Patheos logo AmericanBuddhist_P30_bh

I get reports via Patheos on small and large “engaged Buddhism” projects, endeavors of individual practitioners and groups of Buddhists to improve life for all sentient beings. These include: raising awareness of climate change; preventing/ending sex trafficking/slavery; reducing extinctions of species; and, many other ecological and political causes.

I also find out: there are fake Buddhist monks panhandling for fake charities in many large USA cities; the revered and much-loved Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, is recovering from his stroke; Buddhism now dominates among world religions, second only to Christianity, in western USA states; what the latest Buddhist publications (books, magazines, online journals) are and what they contain; how feminist Buddhists are awakening interest among other Buddhists for intersectionality (addressing the overlapping oppressions, such as racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism) and discussing homosexuality more frankly and openly than ever before; what other Buddhist blogs exist and what they are posting about lately; global news relevant to Buddhists.

Where else would I read about a rally in India for Tibetan Freedom that resulted in 100 Tibetans’ being detained for protesting outside the Chinese Embassy on the 56th anniversary of Chinese occupation of Tibet?

How about a great response to Christian TV evangelist, Pat Robertson‘s, absurd claim that Buddhism is “contagious” and that a Christian could “get infected by” Buddhism (I WISH!), posted by Justin Whitaker?

My all-time favorite move by the Chinese government has been repeatedly to “order” H.H. the Dalai Lama to reincarnate according to their dictates. I loved reading about his refusal to agree to this absurd demand: “China Orders Dalai Lama to Reincarnate After Death,” by Michael Stone http://goo.gl/R75Akl
“The government of China is ordering the Dalai Lama to reincarnate after his death, and accusing the Tibetan spiritual leader of blasphemy for saying he might not be reincarnated after he dies….the Dalai Lama declared that he would not be reincarnated so long as Tibet is under Chinese rule, and that no one, including China, has the right to choose his successor.”

reject buddha Dalai Lama

Next, I could read an interview with an up-and-coming “Dharampunx” teacher/leader, Josh Korda; or, watch the beloved actor, Bill Murray, talk about being himself and a Buddhist in a videoed “dharma talk”; then, I could sample USA Buddhist leaders’ blogs and articles featuring stories from their lives, activism, journeys and teachings.

If you have interest in interfaith dialogues, other religions, or more about your own spiritual practices and how they intersect with others’, please subscribe to Patheos: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/subscribe/

If you can afford to, please donate to support Patheos‘ work. It offers ten different religions’ “Channels” and one for general “Spirituality” as well as news, blogs, a publication department, a comparative religions library, internships, newsletters and a “Public Square,” which

…brings people together at the intersection of ‘current concern’ and ‘ultimate concern.’ Beneath the surface of ever-changing news headlines are the big, perennial questions about life, meaning, the divine, ultimate purpose — questions that human societies have always wrestled with. In the Public Square, we connect the timely and the timeless and host conversations about some of the most important questions in life.

What else is coming up? Oh, just a small event…
“On May 14, Buddhist leaders, including the scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, will join together to present the first-ever White House-US Buddhist Leadership Conference. Sessions for the conference will be held at George Washington University, moving then to to the White House—specifically, in the Treaty Room of the Old Executive Office Building, overlooking the West Wing, in the afternoon.”
http://goo.gl/lNbrcQ

Brilliant Words You Didn’t Know You Needed

So fun! Please add my inventions: *nrtml*, which is an acronym of “not relevant to my life,” which is used as an adjective, especially when dumping unwanted items, people, mail, email. Also, *anticipitacious,” which is also an adjective, describing that delicious state of anticipation mixed with eagerness and anxiety in equal parts, such as what one feels when one is awaiting the arrival of a blind date.

I used to teach writing/Freshman Comp to undergraduates and used lexicalization for extra credit as a monthly fun romp. My favorite student-created word: “cinegoo,” which perfectly captures the noun form of the gunk that we step on and through when walking through a movie theatre after a show has just ended.

Great post from Nicholas Rossis!

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Photo: Daniel Dalton / BuzzFeed / unsplash.com / Via urbandictionary.com

Continuing on the subject of words, you may have heard me say now and again how I marvel at the beauty and flexibility of the English language.

So why aren’t these beauties found on BuzzFeed part of our everyday conversations already?

Errorist
(n) Someone who repeatedly makes mistakes, or is always wrong

Carcolepsy
(n) A condition where a passenger falls asleep as soon as the car starts moving

Textpectation
(n) The anticipation felt when waiting for a response to a text

Bedgasm
(n) The feeling of euphoria experienced when climbing into bed at the end of a very long day

Nonversation
(n) A completely worthless conversation

Destinasia
(n) When by the time you have reached your destination, you have forgotten why you were going there in the first place

Cellfish
(n) An individual so caught up on their cell phone that…

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2015 GLORIA AWARDS (in honor of Gloria Steinem) from the Ms. Foundation for Women

Can’t say enough good things to and about these #feminist leaders, innovators, advocates and authors. read about and support this year’s group of honorees!

There is a great GALA on May 11 at 6 PM in New York City, USA, and an “after party” from 9 – 11 PM at the same location. Both cost money.

See below for more info, but mostly, I’m posting about the Honorees, who ROCK!

2015 GLORIA AWARDS
Ceremony is on May 11, 2015, in New York City, Pierre Hotel, 6 PM, 2 E 61st St, 10065
Contact: events@ms.foundation.org or 212.709.4436
Purchase tickets, get more info here:
http://www.forwomen.org/gala

the Ms. Foundation for Women

msfoundation logo
to celebrate and honor
ACT FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS
Ms. Foundation Grantees
2015 Woman of Vision Award Winners

****CENTRO DE LOS DERECHOS DEL MIGRANTE
Ms. Foundation Grantee
Woman of Vision Award

CDM logo
http://www.cdmigrante.org/

CDM supports Mexico-based migrant workers to defend and protect their rights as they move between their home communities in Mexico and their workplaces in the United States. Founded in 2005, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM) is the first transnational migrant workers’ rights organization based in Mexico.”

****SUZANNE LERNER
Co-Founder and President, Michael Stars, Inc.
Woman of Vision Award

Suzanne Lerner
http://www.michaelstars.com/

Suzanne Lerner is an entrepreneur, political activist and philanthropist. She is currently the president of Michael Stars and owner of Lerner Et Cie. Suzanne Lerner boasts decades of experience in business, as well as a background in dozens of causes, primarily centered around female empowerment. In 1983, Lerner founded Lerner et Cie, a wholesale fashion showroom, currently with four locations nationwide. Lerner co-founded and currently serves as President of retail clothing company, Michael Stars. Lerner primarily oversaw sales and marketing until 2015, when she was appointed President. Lerner’s second career is philanthropy – both personal and with the Michael Stars Foundation. Lerner serves on the board of Women Thrive Worldwide, ACLU Foundation of Southern California, Prosperity Catalyst and Children Mending Hearts. She is also a member of Women Donors Network and Women Moving Millions. Lerner funds a number of NGO’s that focus on women’s empowerment, economic stability, gender reconciliation and gender-based violence. She resides in Los Angeles.”

****GOLDIEBLOX: Construction Toys for Girls
Corporate Innovation Award

gb_about_goldie
http://www.goldieblox.com/

“Debbie Sterling is the founder and CEO of GoldieBlox. She never knew what engineering was until her high school math teacher suggested she pursue it as a college major. Debbie couldn’t figure out why her math teacher thought she should be a train conductor! Nevertheless, she gave engineering a try during her freshman year at Stanford. Four years later, she graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering / Product Design. Bothered by how few women there were in her program, Debbie became obsessed with the notion of “disrupting the pink aisle” with a toy that would introduce girls to the joy of engineering at a young age.”

****JANET MOCK, Author and Advocate
Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award

janet-mock-redefining-realness-available-now
http://janetmock.com/

“JANET MOCK is the New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. She considers herself a Beyoncé scholar but is widely known as a sought-after speaker and prominent advocate for trans women’s rights. A native of Honolulu, Janet attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, earned her MA in journalism from New York University, and worked as a Staff Editor for People.com (People magazine’s website) for five years. In 2012, Janet launched #GirlsLikeUs, a social movement that empowers trans women and celebrates the diversity of womanhood. In 2013, Janet joined the board of directors at the Arcus Foundation, a leading global organization advancing social justice and conservation issues. She lives and writes in New York City with her boyfriend, photographer and filmmaker, Aaron Tredwell and their cockapoo, Cleo. Currently, she hosts the weekly culture show “So POPular!” on MSNBC’s Shift network and serves as Contributing Editor for Marie Claire.”

And, a special award:
The Free to Be Foundation gives its first-ever
Peggy Charren/Free to Be You and Me Award to
JOAN GANZ COONEY, Co-Founder, Children’s Television Workshop

Joan GanzCooney

Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder in 1968 of Children’s Television Workshop (renamed Sesame Workshop in June 2000) and originator of the preschool educational series, Sesame Street, served as President and Chief Executive Officer until 1990. She is currently Chair of the Executive Committee of Sesame Workshop‘s Board of Trustees and in November 2007 introduced the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, dedicated to investigating the potential of digital media to help children learn and collaborating with educators, media producers, policymakers and investors to put this research into action.

Sesame Street, which began as an experiment, is the first preschool program to integrate education and entertainment as well as feature a multi-cultural cast. It has been broadcast daily since 1969 in the U.S. on the more than 300 stations of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and is seen by millions of children in more than 150 countries. Indigenous co-productions of Sesame Street reflecting local languages, customs and educational needs are produced for audiences all over the world.

“Following the successful launch of Sesame Street, Ms. Cooney and her colleagues created other award-winning children’s series on network and public TV including The Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact, Square One TV, Ghostwriter, CRO, Big Bag, Dragon Tales, Sagwa the Chinese Cat and Pinky Dinky Doo, each offering educational opportunities around science, mathematics, reading and bringing new experiences to life.

Sesame Workshop programs have been awarded over 150 Emmys and have received scores of other honors presented here and around the world. The Workshop’s activities also include publishing, digital media, product licensing and community engagement efforts such as the award winning program — Talk, Listen, Connect — launched in 2006 to help military families with young children between the ages of two and five build a sense of stability and resiliency during times of separation and change.

“Ms. Cooney is presently a Director at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and a Lifetime Trustee of the Paley Center for Media, The New York Presbyterian Hospital, WNET Channel 13/Educational Broadcasting Corporation and of the National Child Labor Committee and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.”

In 1968, children’s television programming was revolutionized with the creation [by of the Children’s Television Workshop – the force behind Sesame Street, The Electric Company and many other award-winning educational programs.”
Peggy Charren was the founder of Action for Children’s Television, which lobbied broadcasters, advertisers and legislators to create quality educational programming and TV commercials that promote healthy eating and positive child development.

Also being honored:
ACT for Women and Girls as Women of Vision
http://www.actforwomenandgirls.org/

ACT Logo

“Based in Visalia, California, ACT for Women and Girls works to transform women of all ages into leaders for reproductive rights and health care. Through the Female Leadership Academy, ACT engages women from the community to take active roles in eradicating the oppression that lies deep in the roots of California’s Central Valley region – addressing poverty, teen pregnancy, unemployment and environmental issues.

“The Ms. Foundation for Women is proud to be a longtime supporter of ACT for Women and Girls, and honors them as Women of Vision for their innovative efforts to promote and protect reproductive rights.”

ACT is located in Visalia, California, the epicenter and largest metropolitan area of Tulare County. Led by Erin Garner-Ford, ACT‘s mission is to engage women of all ages in leadership opportunities to promote social and personal change. ACTwas founded in 2005 with the creation of the Female Leadership Academy (FLA) program. From the inception of FLA, it was evident that reproductive justice issues demanded to be addressed, as participants were often misinformed about reproductive health, justice, and access.

“Unlike Southern California and the Bay Area, Tulare County has few resources and is the most adversely impacted region in California regarding social issues, such as poverty, unemployment, teen pregnancy, and environmental degradation. ACTtakes an active role in eradicating the oppression that lies deep in the roots of the Central Valley. Through one young woman at a time, ACT makes an impact.

ACT engages young people ages 14-24 through three program areas: The signature eight month leadership program, FLA, which develops young women leaders to actively engage in the reproductive health and justice movement; ACTion Teams for young women and men to educate their peers on sexual health information in the community through events, street outreach and education; and Teen Success, a support group for pregnant and parenting teen moms. ACT’s program participants come from every rural community in Tulare County.

“Through ACT’s programs, young women are prepared and energized to actively participate in shaping the future of their communities (both locally and globally). ACT focuses on reproductive justice leadership, developing young women leaders to engage in civic participation projects and partners with state and national groups for policy advocacy work. The overarching vision of ACT’s reproductive justice work is to INCREASE ACCESS to reproductive health education, contraception, abortion, and protection against sexually transmitted infections. ACT strives to promote services that are comprehensive and culturally competent, influence legislation, and provide a voice from the Central Valley on important bills that impact women and their health.

“Each of ACT’s program participants contribute to ACT’s grassroots campaigns to increase awareness of reproductive health and justice. One of the cornerstones to developing young women’s leadership is through direct action and organizing opportunities. Participants help shape and implement three signature reproductive justice campaigns annually: Pharmacy Access; Comprehensive Sexual Health and Education Initiative; and ‘Don’t Let a Hot Date Turn Into a Due Date.'”


Ms Afterparty eVite 42215
Link to purchase tickets for the “after-party”: http://forwomen.org/afterparty
($75 in advance; $100 at the door).

“What We Bring to the Table”: Guest Post by Colette Black

I am delighted to welcome dance-, art- and music-lover, author, and previous guest on CHANGES conversations between authors (Episode 16; see below for more info and URL), Colette Black, as a guest blogger today! Please enjoy her post as much as I did, comment, visit her sites, check out her series.

“What We Bring to the Table”
by Colette Black

piano-pinkies
Piano Pinkies: by Deanna Roberts

Art, like most information, is diverse and subject to interpretation. I grew up listening to my oldest brother’s piano skills. He could play almost anything by ear, read and juxtapose most pieces of music, and composed according to his fingers’ whims. My brother never seemed to get rattled, always even keel, but his music told a different story. Sometimes, it told me he was happy, contemplative, angry, annoyed, or a myriad of different emotions. When he was going through a divorce, it spoke of profound loss, confusion, anger, and pain. That is what art does: it speaks to us in a deeper language.

I started to understand art’s language when I saw my first ballet performance, in lower elementary school, on the small stage of our cafeteria/rec center.

1024px-Ballet-Ballerina-1853
Ballerina: Wikimedia Loadmaster (David R. Tribble)

I was amazed, entranced, dumbfounded. And I began to seek. Dancing was out of the question. My sister had told me I had the coordination of a clown from the time I could walk. As a side note, I now love to dance and my coordination is much improved. Unsure what this inner yearning meant, I attended plays, participated in plays, failed at orchestra, did pretty well in high school choir, developed a love for Shakespeare and poetry, melted in bliss as I walked the halls of the Louvre, and even dabbled in cake decorating. I learned a few things. One, is that I never want a career as a cake decorator; too much stress. The other, that art’s language is broad and powerful.

For example, the Mona Lisa. I’d seen replicas and art prints of the Mona Lisa more than once. Eh; no big deal. What’s all the fuss? Then I saw the real deal in the Louvre. Wow. It touched me on a deep and profound level: the “mystery,” the “humanity”: all of the adjectives I’d heard to describe her finally came together. Other paintings and sculptures within that gorgeous museum had similar effects, but some didn’t. Some expressed an appreciation for the human body while others seemed to only suggest lust and base emotions.

Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouched

Some brought a smile to my face while others brought only darkness and discomfort. Now, I’m not making a judgment on the value of art, but I made a personal decision.

Whatever I bring to the table, I want it to make a positive difference in people’s lives, even if subtly. So, when I started to write with hopes of publication, I tried to come up with nice, Christian stories….and failed.

As a devout Christian, this was difficult for me to accept. Was I not good enough? Was my faith lacking? It took time to realize that my muse just didn’t roll in that direction. I wanted to observe and recreate human nature from the viewpoint of alternate worlds, realities and circumstances. We all live in the real world, but it’s when we put ourselves in another world, with other possibilities, that I feel we are able to look at our biases and our beliefs with the most clarity: there are fewer preconceptions to stand in our way. And so, after seeking for decades, I found my medium and I knew exactly how I wanted to use it.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00038]
Desolation: Cover art by Suzanne Helmigh

Words placed in the strategic organization of sentence structure, as an art, is both limiting and unlimited. Like other media, there are rules, but just as the rules of dimension, line, and color can be dabbled with by an artist, the rules of grammar and vocabulary are the author’s palette. Many have at least painted a room or a piece of furniture, taken pictures with their cell phone, or at least watched one episode of Dancing with the Stars or The Voice? But some people haven’t. Words, whether spoken, signed, or read, are something that resonates with everyone, regardless of race, socioeconomic class, or age. As authors, we arrange that familiar-to-all medium so it evokes the same deep message that comes from other forms of art. Each sentence and each page are asking our reader to look at life from another angle, under different lighting and with a different knowledge set. When readers are done, we hope they can set the book down and see their own world, even themselves, from another perspective, under different lighting and with more knowledge.

That is what I hope to bring to the table. In the end, I hope it makes for a brighter, better world.
#Art #cmbvyawrite #Words


Colette

Colette Black lives in the far outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, USA, with her family, 2 dogs, a mischievous cat and the occasional unwanted scorpion. She loves learning new things, vacations, and the color purple. She writes New Adult and Young Adult sci-fi and fantasy novels with kick-butt characters, lots of action, and always a touch of romance. You can find her at: http://www.coletteblack.net/ or http://www.fictorians.com/

You can find her series, Mankind’s Redemption, in ebook and paperback formats:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Noble-Ark-Mankinds-Redemption-1/dp/1497456207
Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Colette-Black?store=allproducts&keyword=Colette+Black
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Mankind%27s+Redemption
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Mankind%27s+Redemption
and other major retailers.


Colette Black was my guest on Episode 16 of CHANGES conversations between authors. Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES guests any time:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPbfKicwk4dFdeVSAY1tfhtjaEY_clmfq

Learn more about and get yourself or recommend someone to be scheduled as a guest:    https://sallyember.com/changes-videocasts-by-sally-ember-ed-d/


Want to be a guest blogger on my site? Visit my “Guest Bloggers Hall of Fame” to review other guest posts, read my guidelines and then contact me if you’re interested: http://www.sallyember.com/guest-bloggers-hall-of-fame/

PETA: Just. Stop.

Excellent analysis, great examples, and well-formulated objections to truly objectionable advertising and promotion tactics by PETA. I was unaware of most of them (blissfully, I might add), so, thanks for raising awareness that having a “good cause” but approaching it with malice, bias and arrogance kind of ruins the “goodness” of the cause.

Of Means and Ends

peta

If I had a nickel for every time I shook my fist and cursed to the heavens because PETA did something that made me angry, I’d have a lot of nickels.

Think Progress recently covered what they call a “new low” for PETA: teaming up with notorious Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to promote serving vegetarian meals in prison. The piece reminds us about just what kind of character PETA is heaping praise on: 

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“Kindness Chronicle” and “Elephant Journal”: Humans Sometimes Do Good

I grow weary of bad news, humans’ behaving atrociously and other direct hits to my ever-decreasing optimism. To counter the effects of the inevitable daily doses of ugly, I subscribe to two great sources of “humans sometimes do good”: The Kindness Chronicle at http://kindnesschronicle.com and
The Elephant Journal at http://elephantjournal.com

Unfortunately, my life is somewhat fast-paced and my priorities are often elsewhere, so instead of actually reading these daily posts and clicking on their links, I stockpile them in a folder. Just knowing they are there gives me comfort, and since I also subscribe/ LIKE their public pages on Facebook, I often see some of the individual link posts, anyway.

However, I mostly had no idea what actual uplifting stories are in this folder…until this week. So glad that I scheduled time to go through them to prepare this post.

From this stuffed inbox of good news (not the Christian “Good News” kind), I share some of these inspiring anecdotes with you all.

Enjoy! Subscribe! Do some good yourselves!

From The Kindness Chronicle:

KC-Logo-150px-Blue-Yellow

Most of the posts are stories describing individuals or organizations who have made considerable (but not necessarily extraordinary, given how many of them there are, now) efforts to demonstrate gratitude, kindness, helpfulness, volunteerism, respect, support, encouragement and other forms of caring to humans, animals and the environment. So many of them are similar, with the main distinction being location rather than activity, I decided not to list them here.

Please visit the above link, or the link below, for plenty of ideas, examples and even some research results on outcomes for “Paying it Forward,” teaching empathy and compassion, and other actions taken in the name of Kindness.

The Write Place: Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness site http://goo.gl/mWZ5nk recommends, among other sites: http://randomactsofkindness.org

Below is one of hundreds of images that heralds this excellent “movement”:

InspireKindnessQuote
image from http://www.cbizschool.com


From The Elephant Journal:

EJ logo

The Elephant Journal is an online ‘zine and site that provides updates, information and opinion articles (warning: most of these are junk science, “New Age” garbage, and “affirmations” that aren’t worth reading) on a variety of topics related to living “a more mindful life.” This open-ended mandate allows The Elephant Journal to surprise me often with their choices of topics, perspectives and data.

TEJ‘s pieces include multimedia formats that can feature humor, health, relationships, nutrition info/recipes, politics and edgy/radical points of view (with the aforementioned exceptions), pulled from a diverse group of commentators. I don’t always agree with or even like what is posted, but I appreciate the range of opinions, which can veer way over to “totally ‘woo-woo,’ New-Age junk science” to well-researched, documented, data-filled info pieces.

I appreciate this compilation enormously and respect the people who work there and write/ create/ collate/ curate for TEJ a lot. TEJ also posts excellent images (photographs, logos, infographics, memes) that are inspiring, beautiful and informative separately or to accompany an article.

Here are some of my favorite recent examples of their offerings, which arrive in emails entitled: “A Daily Gap in the Inbox of Your Mind,” steered by Waylon Lewis, editor-in-chief, host of Walk the Talk Show.

Evan Silverman opens his heart and explores how we can do the same in “Blow The Roof off Your Heart” (a piece that originally appeared in the Shambhala Times) http://goo.gl/ppT30e

—Great resources for businesspeople who wish to incorporate more mindfulness into their work lives are in “Waylon & Blake’s Best Mindful Business Books & Resources for Entrepreneurs,” in which Waylon Lewis wrote:

“This is a list that would have saved me years of my life, made me hundreds of thousands of dollars and spared me (and my team) hundreds of mistakes.” http://goo.gl/z9wbo9

—What about something eminently practical? Shoes that grow! Awesome! http://goo.gl/v5BJst

Waylon Lewis (the editor of TEJ) also bares his soul (sensing a theme, here, of my faves?), in “Thank You for Helping to Break My Heart,” that richly moved and helped me: http://goo.gl/Lj928K

Most tellingly, he starts with this subtitle: “I am sorry I loved you so badly.” I have a list of people I should say this to….Sigh.

The ending is also worth quoting in its entirety, in case you don’t click through:

May our relationships teach us. May we improve, instead of merely defending our confusion. May our intention be to be of benefit, and not merely to “get what we want.”

Life is hard, sometimes. Sometimes it’s rich and dear. If we want to take it easy, we should instead wish to be stronger, and more vulnerable.

May our love life be as full of grace as our spiritual path, our right livelihood, and our friendships and family relationships.

True love is defined by correct intention.

Thank you, Waylon.


My email program just informed me: “Your ‘Kindness and Good Deeds’ folder is now empty.” I’m glad to know it will surely be filling up again.