Taking several timeouts each day, says Elizabeth McFarlane, helps to get the creative juices flowing and encourages her to be more aware of the moment (RT @BH_Retreats: Mindfulness: it's good to be busy doing nothing
Mindfulness is increasingly important. Slowing down and being present in work and relationships is more challenging than ever. Teachers could use mindfulness and its practices to help in their work and in their relationships with students.
Loving ourselves is a journey of accepting more and more deeply until it is transformed into joy as we realize we are all lovable and we’re all held in love.
Ivon Prefontaine's insight:
Identity often overrides the subjective person we meditate over. The two work together. Identity is the many roles we play, the names we carry and subjectivity is how we make sense of who we are in those roles. It takes care and compassion in meditative moments.
John Florez: Technology disrupts cultural values Deseret News Fifty-eight years later, our society continues to struggle with the same challenges now brought about by technology that has created today's digital revolution.
I read Wendell Berry's work and he asks many of the same questions. Values are what give us strength and courage (the French valoir). They ground us in our working and living giving us a sense of purpose and trueness. Trueness is the moral compass we seek in making sound ethical choices in daily life.
For many people, change can be hard to come by. Here are a few tips to help get unstuck and create the life of your dreams!
Ivon Prefontaine's insight:
We start with the heart. Parker Palmer and Thomas Merton wrote about voice coming from vocation. When we speak from the heart, change is possible.
Today, I played with the words transform and reform in School. Transform comes from a word meaning metamorphosis suggesting the change is obvious between one thing and something else, but still retaining features from the previous form. Reform means to take the existing parts and shuffle them around until the change meets particular need. Transforming is something that happens from within and reforming is something done to something or someone. Transforming comes from the heart. Reforming comes from the intellect.
Mindfulness improves your capacity to be reflective and receptive. Being reflective gives you access to information in your unconscious that's hidden from your conscious mind. It lets you receive subtle communications to help you live with more happi...
You may have heard about the buzz around meditation and mindfulness as of late. Everyone from celebrities to entrepreneurs to big-time techies are looking for a little stillness amidst the rush of everyday life. Workshops and retreats are ...
Mindfulness is an important part of human growth and forming. The backlash might more accurately be seen as against making mindfulness into a commodity. This diminishes its value which is intrinsic to the practices involved and not something which adds to corporate bottom lines which is often what it is being used for.
When is Eid? And what is the celebration about? Here's a guide to the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan
Muslims across the world will greet each other by saying "Eid Mubarak" today, as the month-long fast of Ramadan comes to a close.
Because the timing of Eid al-Fitr is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, it can be difficult to predict when the festival will take place.
But when the new moon appears over Saudi Arabia, the Islamic community break into colourful celebrations, throwing food festivals, performing music and spending time with friends and family.
Here's a guide to Eid al-Fitr, and how to know when it takes place. What is Eid al-Fitr?
The arabic name Eid al-Fitr translates to 'festival of the breaking of the fast' in English.
It marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal. What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and marks the month in which the Quran was first revealed.
Muslims spend the month fasting from dawn until sunset. When is Eid al-Fitr observed?
The end of Ramadan is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, so it can be difficult to predict.
Eid al-Fitr is observed when the first new moon is sighted.
This can lead to the festival being celebrated on different days in different parts of the world.
While some Muslims wait to be able to see the moon themselves, many either use the calculated time of the new moon, or base it on the declaration made in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that Eid al-Fitr would begin on July 28th - so most UK Muslims will begin their celebrations today.
How is Eid al-Fitr celebrated?
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather at mosques in the morning to perform the Eid prayer, before holding family gatherings and visiting friends.
Muslims share feasts and sweets to mark the end of the fasting period, and greet each other by saying "Eid Mubarak" - which roughly translates as "happy Eid" or "blessed Eid."
The celebrations last for three days, and are seen as a time of forgiveness and of giving thanks to Allah for helping people to complete their spiritual fasting.
Many Muslims display this thanksgiving by giving donations and food to those less fortunate than themselves.
In most Muslim countries, the three days of Eid are observed as public and school holiday. This is not the case in the UK, but many employers and schools allow time off for Muslim workers and children - particularly in areas with a high Muslim population.
Last year, where I was living I was invited, along with others in the house, to join our Islamic friends there in celebrating Eid. It was incredible to experience what this meant to the Islamic friends who were our hosts.
Mindfulness does not improve bottom lines unless it improves the person practicing the practice and make for a better world. Mindfulness is compassionate and is directed towards a better world. Thinking about meditation is a key component; the opposite is premeditation. What does that bring up. For example, in School we calculate what is important in advance and write curricula. That calculation is premeditated and does not require being mindful and attentive to this particular child's needs. Chogyam Trungpa suggested the practice on the mat prepares us for the real practice in life.
At our core, we are Nature, yet traditionally we've been strangled by judgment, rules and limitation. It's time to end left-brain-domination, and surrender to
Ivon Prefontaine's insight:
Even in School, there is a desire to separate learning from teaching, the planned curricula from the living curricula. We begin with predetermined, pre-meditated outcomes as if they are stable and fixed. Even the language we use is about naming the place i.e. it is a site rather than working which is a verb and gerund. A gerund is a noun wanting to be a verb.
There is a hermeneutic quality when we say we don't need to know our purpose. It does not mean our life does not have purpose, but it gets us away from the rat race concept where bosses, self-help gurus, professional development experts, etc. get to order you have to passion. I think of the best people and things in my life and they found me. I had to be awake, present, and reading the lay of the land (hermeneutics) and be open to the possibilities in front of me. I could not plan for that.
Humanitarian relief and development work takes place in an often stressful and frequently traumatic environment, which can create an enormous psychological burden for the workers – and result in a similarly negative impact on the organizations that employ them and on the beneficiary populations they seek to serve.
“I just can’t do it.” The excuses for not engaging in mindfulness are endless — you either don’t know how or worse, you don’t have time. You may think that being mindful on a daily basis is something that’s more of a pipe dream than a reality, but don’t count yourself out so quickly. Mindfulness is simply about being fully present in the moment, whether it’s through meditating or just in conversation. The truth is, some of your everyday habits are mindful at their core — you just didn’t know it. Below are six mindfulness habits you’re probably practicing already.
Mindfulness is about being in the moment and becoming a new person in a better world. It does not help corporate bottom lines directly, but might indirectly. I found students appreciated me more when they felt I was listening and attentive.
"I go back about 35 years in the do-good PR and communications field and have spent much of the last decade working to build awareness of specific ways contemplative practice can facilitate deep social and environmental change. So I’m heartened by the surge of mainstream media coverage of mindfulness"
A leading neuroscientist says Kurzweil’s Singularity isn’t going to happen. Instead, humans will assimilate machines.
Miguel Nicolelis, a top neuroscientist at Duke University, says computers will never replicate the human brain and that the technological Singularity is “a bunch of hot air.”
“The brain is not computable and no engineering can reproduce it,” says Nicolelis, author of several pioneering papers on brain-machine interfaces.
The Singularity, of course, is that moment when a computer super-intelligence emerges and changes the world in ways beyond our comprehension.
Among the idea’s promoters are futurist Ray Kurzweil, recently hired on at Google as a director of engineering, who has been predicting that not only will machine intelligence exceed our own, but people will be able to download their thoughts and memories into computers (see “Ray Kurzweil Plans to Create a Mind at Google—and Have It Serve You”).
Nicolelis calls that idea sheer bunk. “Downloads will never happen,” he said during remarks made at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston on Sunday. “There are a lot of people selling the idea that you can mimic the brain with a computer.”
The debate over whether the brain is a kind of computer has been running for decades. Many scientists think it’s possible, in theory, for a computer to equal the brain given sufficient computer power and an understanding of how the brain works.
Kurzweil delves into the idea of “reverse-engineering” the brain in his latest book, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, in which he says even though the brain may be immensely complex, “the fact that it contains many billions of cells and trillions of connections does not necessarily make its primary method complex.”
But Nicolelis is in a camp that thinks that human consciousness (and if you believe in it, the soul) simply can’t be replicated in silicon. That’s because its most important features are the result of unpredictable, nonlinear interactions among billions of cells, Nicolelis says.
“You can’t predict whether the stock market will go up or down because you can’t compute it,” he says. “You could have all the computer chips ever in the world and you won’t create a consciousness.”
The neuroscientist, originally from Brazil, instead thinks that humans will increasingly subsume machines (an idea, incidentally, that’s also part of Kurzweil’s predictions).
In a study published last week, for instance, Nicolelis’s group at Duke used brain implants to allow mice to sense infrared light, something mammals can’t normally perceive. They did it by wiring a head-mounted infrared sensor to electrodes implanted into a part of the brain called the somatosensory cortex.
The experiment, in which several mice were able to follow sensory cues from the infrared detector to obtain a reward, was the first ever to use a neural implant to add a new sense to an animal, Nicolelis says.
Quantum theory and physics provides us with considerable new insights about what is possible. Karen Barad writes about the entanglement of phenomena. This is an important subject in teaching and forming human subjectivity. We are not disconnected, but rather connected in ways that we are not always aware of. This is important in teaching from an ethical consideration. We are not outside the world and ourselves, but in both the world and our lives as teachers.