Café Communication

Gemini Moon

November 29, 2020

Full Moon in Gemini with a penumbral lunar eclipse is on Monday, November 30 at 2:29AM Mountain Standard Time (MST).

Use this time to honor change and to focus on what you wish to dream up for yourself for the future. Despite what might be happening around you or in the greater collective, you can take some space to feed your own container with the energies that will better support you. Think of infusing your intentions with inspiration, beauty, determination, optimism, progress and anything that brings your experience of life to a higher level.

Make sure you do whatever you can to stay out of fear as fear will take you down into a very negative place where you can easily lose your direction and land in an uncomfortable fog.

Eclipses always potentiate the full and new moon times and give an extra boost of energy to whatever is happening in your life as well as your personal intentions. So engage in something positive and be disciplined about lending your creative optimism to the future.

We are moving into a very active time where you will need to pay close attention to your personal direction, your truth, your trust and your discipline.

Blessings,
Lena

The Power Path Seminars™ & School Of Shamanism

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are imperfectly aligned. When this happens, the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon’s surface and covers all or part of the Moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra.

🌕

The Moon in Gemini person has a light touch socially and has an instinct for putting others at ease. Air sign Moons have a way of relating that’s spacious, with lots of room for fresh ideas.

Born with the Moon in Gemini, you are likely to be a curious individual, with an active, versatile mind. Gemini is an Air sign, governing communication, the exchange of information or ideas, and the protocols with which social organization occurs.

Accordingly, you may find that you have an innate need to know as much as possible about the world around you, and may have a talent for numbers, speech or the written word.

Jesus wasn’t a Christian.

Image credit: Catacombe Di San Gennaro (detail of the fresco of the Catacomb of Saint Gennaro), paleo-Christian burial and worship sites, Naples, Italy.

“If we look at texts in the hundred years preceding Emperor Constantine’s edict, it was unthinkable that a Christian would fight in the army. The army was killing believers. Christians were on the bottom but, by the year 400, the entire army had become Christian, and was now killing the pagans. In a two-hundred-year period, Christians went from being complete outsiders to directing the inside! Once Christians joined the inside group, they had to defend their power.

Before the imperial edict of 313 that pushed Christians to the top and the center of the Roman Empire, values like nonparticipation in war, simple living, and love of enemies were common within the faithful community. The church at that point was still countercultural and non-imperial—a social movement for the reign of God. After 313 we lost that free position. Christianity increasingly accepted, and even defended, the dominant social order, especially concerning war, money, and authority.

Imperial Christianity is always about power. It seldom teaches about nonviolence, forgiveness, inclusion, simplicity, mercy, love, compassion, or understanding in a primary way. Yet Spirit-led movements within Christianity have flourished and continued to emphasize the values that defined the early Church and made it so threatening to the social order.

I believe that any future church will be led by the Spirit back to those foundational values, making it a much flatter and more inclusive community.”

-Fr Richard Rohr

Center for Action & Contemplation

 

Pope Francis

November 28, 2020

Illustration by Najeebah Al-Ghadban; photographs by Getty Images

‘If we are to come out of this crisis less selfish than when we went in, we have to let ourselves be touched by others’ pain.’

‘We need a politics that can integrate and dialogue with the poor, the excluded and the vulnerable, that gives people a say in the decisions that affect their lives.’

‘It is all too easy for some to take an idea—personal freedom—and turn it into an ideology, creating a prism through which they judge everything. | We cannot return to the false securities of the political and economic systems we had before the crisis.’

[Full Piece.]

In this past year of change, my mind and heart have overflowed with people. People I think of and pray for, and sometimes cry with, people with names and faces, people who died without saying goodbye to those they loved, families in difficulty, even going hungry, because there’s no work.

Sometimes, when you think globally, you can be paralyzed: There are so many places of apparently ceaseless conflict; there’s so much suffering and need. I find it helps to focus on concrete situations: You see faces looking for life and love in the reality of each person, of each people. You see hope written in the story of every nation, glorious because it’s a story of daily struggle, of lives broken in self-sacrifice. So rather than overwhelm you, it invites you to ponder and to respond with hope.

These are moments in life that can be ripe for change and conversion. Each of us has had our own “stoppage,” or if we haven’t yet, we will someday: illness, the failure of a marriage or a business, some great disappointment or betrayal. As in the Covid-19 lockdown, those moments generate a tension, a crisis that reveals what is in our hearts.

In every personal “Covid,” so to speak, in every “stoppage,” what is revealed is what needs to change: our lack of internal freedom, the idols we have been serving, the ideologies we have tried to live by, the relationships we have neglected.

When I got really sick at the age of 21, I had my first experience of limit, of pain and loneliness. It changed the way I saw life. For months, I didn’t know who I was or whether I would live or die. The doctors had no idea whether I’d make it either. I remember hugging my mother and saying, “Just tell me if I’m going to die.” I was in the second year of training for the priesthood in the diocesan seminary of Buenos Aires.

I remember the date: Aug. 13, 1957. I got taken to a hospital by a prefect who realized mine was not the kind of flu you treat with aspirin. Straightaway they took a liter and a half of water out of my lungs, and I remained there fighting for my life. The following November they operated to take out the upper right lobe of one of the lungs. I have some sense of how people with Covid-19 feel as they struggle to breathe on a ventilator.

I remember especially two nurses from this time. One was the senior ward matron, a Dominican sister who had been a teacher in Athens before being sent to Buenos Aires. I learned later that following the first examination by the doctor, after he left she told the nurses to double the dose of medication he had prescribed — basically penicillin and streptomycin — because she knew from experience I was dying. Sister Cornelia Caraglio saved my life. Because of her regular contact with sick people, she understood better than the doctor what they needed, and she had the courage to act on her knowledge.

Another nurse, Micaela, did the same when I was in intense pain, secretly prescribing me extra doses of painkillers outside my due times. Cornelia and Micaela are in heaven now, but I’ll always owe them so much. They fought for me to the end, until my eventual recovery. They taught me what it is to use science but also to know when to go beyond it to meet particular needs. And the serious illness I lived through taught me to depend on the goodness and wisdom of others.

This theme of helping others has stayed with me these past months. In lockdown I’ve often gone in prayer to those who sought all means to save the lives of others. So many of the nurses, doctors and caregivers paid that price of love, together with priests, and religious and ordinary people whose vocations were service. We return their love by grieving for them and honoring them.

Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and the bishop of Rome.

Zoomsgiving…for those you love.

November 25, 2020

Merci d’exister.

Creation by Jen Bloomer, Radici Studios

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Don’t get revenge when wronged, but seek reconciliation.

Don’t repay violence with violence, but seek creative and transforming nonviolent alternatives.

Don’t focus on external conformity to moral codes, but on internal transformation in love.

Don’t love insiders and hate or fear outsiders, but welcome outsiders into a new “us,” a new “we,” a new humanity that celebrates diversity in the context of love for all, justice for all, and mutual respect for all.

Don’t have anxiety about money or security or pleasure at the center of your life, but trust yourself to the care of God.

Don’t live for wealth, but for the living God who loves all people, including your enemies.

Don’t hate your enemies or competitors, but love them and do to them not as they have done to you—and not before they do to you—but as you wish they would do for you.

[Center for Action & Contemplation]

In the COVID days ahead,

‘…give us the courage of warriors,
the strength of saints,
the love of new mothers,
the resilience of gravity,
the patience of breath,
the freedom of children.’
[Steven Garnaas-Holmes]

Be safe. Be strong. Love from a distance. Wear you mask. Be kind.

H A P P Y  T H A N K S G I V I N G

Millions of Americans: ‘COVID?’ 🤷‍♀️

AP

Defying warnings, millions in the US travel for Thanksgiving

The CDC and state and local authorities have begged people not to travel and urged them to keep their Thanksgiving celebrations small.
Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.

Those who are flying witnessed a distinctly 2020 landscape at the nation’s airports: plexiglass barriers in front of the ID stations, rapid virus testing sites inside terminals, masks in check-in areas and on board planes, and paperwork asking passengers to quarantine on arrival at their destination.

 

More than 88,000 people in the U.S. — an all-time high — were in the hospital with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, pushing the health care system in many places to the breaking point, and new cases of the virus have been setting records, soaring to an average of over 174,000 per day.

Orlando International Airport

AXIOS

If you are gathering with people outside your household, at the very least:

  • Open windows if you can, or sit outdoors.
  • Wear masks when you aren’t eating.
  • Use separate bathrooms if possible.
  • Don’t share towels.
  • Use HEPA filters.
  • Limit the duration of your visit.

Bruce Springsteen: “Teamed up with some fellow New Jerseyans to encourage everyone this holiday season to wear a friggin’ mask. Let’s all come together and #MaskUpNJ so we can get back to what we do best – singing along and dancing together.”

 

Thanksgiving Harm

November 23, 2020

Reduction Steps for Those Who Will Travel or Gather Anyway

There is no way to eliminate risk, but anything one does to reduce it is better than nothing

by, Zeynep Tufekci, sociologist and writer

Millions of Americans are traveling for Thanksgiving. In doing so,  they’re increasing the chances of catching or spreading Covid-19—not just themselves but to others. A wedding reception in Maine ended up causing 177 cases and seven deaths—but none of the deaths were among people who attended the wedding, but rather, among their contacts.

It’s never too late to decide not to travel or choose not to meet with large groups of people not in one’s household during the holidays. There is excellent news regarding vaccines and therapeutics, and we may be very close to turning the corner on this pandemic. One can always have Thanksgiving in spring and be grateful for having survived a pandemic! As I recently wrote in The Atlantic, it’s time to hunker down!

[…]

I’d especially urge people to consider that hospitals are running out of not just space, but of qualified people. This report is a sobering read from a hospital that was otherwise very-well prepared. We can expand space within facilities and even set up field hospitals. But there is no way to mass manufacture doctors and nurses. With a nationwide surge underway, workers from one region cannot travel to bail out another, as they were able to in spring. Keeping infections down means that hospitals can do a better job taking care of the already overwhelming numbers of people who need care.

[…]

Traditionally, communal eating is the center of Thanksgiving festivities. However, it is also one of the highest risk activities, as one cannot be masked while eating, and people tend to speak loudly around a table. Eating together doesn’t have to be the centerpiece of the day, though. It’s possible to eat separately and make the highlight of the day a different group activity. A gathering outside around a fire pit would be great, for example. It’s fun and, being outdoors, it’s safer, too. Playing a board game where people  keep their masks on is another alternative. Keeping masks on is especially important for multi-generational gatherings, or for groups that include higher-risk people. The minimal set-up could be that the elderly could eat separately from the rest of the group. If they must join the dining table, they can do so while wearing the highest-grade mask they have. Risk reduction is important for everyone, but it’s most important for those at most risk. It’s much better to have a much more festive gathering in spring or summer, even if it makes this Thanksgiving a little more awkward.

Getting tested before or after a group meeting is tricky. On the one hand, of course testing is a good precaution to take, and a positive test result means you absolutely should isolate! However, one can test negative even while having Covid-19, because the disease hasn’t progressed enough—and then be infected and infectious just a day or two later. I wouldn’t consider a negative test a licence to do anything differently. In other words, even if you test negative, take all the precautions that you can: stay home and don’t travel for Thanksgiving, or, if you decide to do so, quarantine and take all the harm-reduction steps you can anyway.

The same precautions apply for the return trip: travel in the least risky way possible, keeping in mind that contact with other people poses the highest risks. When you return, quarantine. The gold-standard period for quarantine is two weeks, but don’t think in binary terms. Don’t think that if you can’t do two weeks, you may as well not quarantine. Two weeks is better than a week, a week is better than nothing. When you return, it’s best to act like you might be infected.

What if you get lucky by exposing yourself to a high-risk situation and emerging untouched by Covid-19? Don’t assume that your luck will hold for the Christmas season. Every encounter is an independent risk. There is no such thing as “a winning streak” with this disease. Getting lucky once is no guarantee of being lucky a second time.The changing winter conditions and the explosion in infections means that any meeting right now is much higher risk than before, when the weather was warmer and case numbers were lower. We now have three vaccine candidates with excellent results and vaccinations will start as early as December. We have effective therapeutics—they are in short supply but manufacturing is ramping up. We will have better weather once we get through this winter season. We are so close to the finish line. The more precautions we take, the better our chances.

[Please share.]

https://zeynep.substack.com/p/thanksgiving-harm-reduction-steps?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo3NzQxODc2LCJwb3N0X2lkIjoxOTY0MTQ2OSwiXyI6ImYzSEdTIiwiaWF0IjoxNjA2MTgyNjA0LCJleHAiOjE2MDYxODYyMDQsImlzcyI6InB1Yi0xMTg0Iiwic3ViIjoicG9zdC1yZWFjdGlvbiJ9.Jv6DKx4TiEC6jBgWM70U-Q2YvSxkJb73Jlz_IX_iRMk


Dr. Tufekci was getting it right back in January before many epidemiologists.

NYTimes:

‘Dr. Tufekci, a computer programmer who became a sociologist, sounded an early alarm on the need for protective masks. It wasn’t the first time she was right about something big.’

by Ben Smith

Credit…Felix Hörhager/Picture Alliance]

Dorothy Day.

With author David Brooks & publisher Robert Ellsberg.

“In anticipation of our upcoming commemoration of the the 40th anniversary of Day’s death on November 29th 2020, we remember the eulogy given by Father Geoffrey B. Gneuhs, O.P. at the funeral of Dorothy Day, Nativity Church, New York City, December 2, 1980:”

In her book The Long Loneliness, Dorothy wrote, “All my life I have been haunted by God.” And where did this haunting God lead her? To a life of simplicity and poverty with the poor, to solidarity with the outcasts—today in this city of New York there are more and more people homeless as mental hospitals close and social services are cut back, while at the same time this country spends $170 billion a year for armaments.

This haunting God led Dorothy to jail because

she spoke and acted for the rights of women and men, of laborers and workers; she was led to jail because she stood with the farm workers, and to prison because she would not tolerate the militarist posture of this country. She was led ultimately to community, to love.

This being haunted by God became for her a stupendous and extraordinary pilgrimage, a pilgrimage of faith. For sure, the Sermon on the Mount sums up the entire life and spirit of Jesus, and it is an invitation which Dorothy with consummate conviction accepted. She realized that love is an exchange of gifts: the gift of faith, and she in turn offered the gift of her life lived in faith, given for us and thousands of others. The Sermon on the Mount, along with the 25th chapter of St. Matthew, the cornerstone of the Catholic Worker movement, is not some general guide or optional outline. It is the very expression of the flesh and blood of Jesus—the Incarnation of Truth.

In our country, those who have so much, too much, are apt to declare “Well, the poor you’ll always have with you”—not realizing or hearing Jesus speak the Truth in the Sermon, not hearing the Truth call out. That is precisely the point. Christ the poor one is always with us!

Dorothy, with dear Peter Maurin, of whom she wrote, “He was my master and I was his disciple, he gave me a way of life,” realized this Truth so well. She said, “What a simplification of life it would be if we saw Christ everywhere we go.” Did you give me clothes? Did you give me food? Did you give me shelter in the empty room in your home, of your rectory or priory?

To love, for her, was not a duty but a privilege. And should it not be for all of us? It begs the question: Do we want to meet Christ? Do we really believe? We do not have to go far to see Christ, to invite Christ, and to be invited by Christ. The invitation is offered for loaves and fishes, more often at our houses, soup and bread and tea. To those of us who doubt, to us Christians who waver, Dorothy showed by her love that, yes, the Gospel is possible. The Gospel is so possible it is now and cannot wait for the future. The moment is ours. Dorothy seized the moment given her. The Truth called her forth and she accepted the invitation—solidarity with those without the arrogance and dominance of wealth, power, and prestige. She lived the Truth with all its starkness and abruptness, with all its freedom and its love.

She wrote, “We cannot love God unless we love each other and to love we must know each other—and we will know Him in the breaking of the bread—and then we are not alone anymore. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet too, even with a crust, where there is companionship.” Love is not meant to be a half measure, nor is it meant to be easy. Dorothy on her pilgrimage knew that violence and war are not the way of Christ, that love is the only measure. Thus Truth again called her forth and she accepted the invitation to speak out against war and the crucifixion of humanity by nuclear armaments.

Wouldn’t it be a tragedy for us to equivocate or to dilute the spirit of her life?

She was utterly convinced of the rightness of pacifism and of nonviolent resistance to statism. And never, even at age 83, did she waver in the clarity of her vision of Truth and in her conviction.

Today the romance of war and power and individualism ignores the capacity of the human imagination imaged in God to see and to live the Gospel of gentle personalism and unconditional love. And Dorothy loved life, believed in life, enjoyed life. It was the very life of a child that welled up in her the invitation to the pilgrimage. In St. John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “I have come to bring life, to bring life more abundantly.”

Remember when Jesus was on trial for his actions of Truth? He said to Pilate, “Mine is not a kingdom of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought…. I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.”

And what was Pilate’s reply? “Truth,” he said, “what is truth?” In a truthless world, some have struggled to listen to His voice and to continue to speak Truth—the Truth of Christ. And one was Dorothy: in her commitment to justice, to freedom and to peace, her resistance to the kingdoms of this world, and her unflinching commitment to the belief that love will redeem the world, Dorothy had a dream of this Truth, the dream became a vision, and the vision became a light for the world. The Truth guided her pilgrimage and she admitted, “We confess to being fools and wish that we were more so.” Oh, thank God for such foolishness!

And so Dorothy, the pilgrimage is over. You’re home now. The Truth invites you to the eternal banquet.


Dorothy Day’s granddaughter sentenced to prison for nuclear base break-in

Martha Hennessy, a granddaughter of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker movement, was sentenced Friday (Nov. 13) to 10 months in prison for breaking into Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia two years ago to protest its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Hennessy’s was the lightest sentence given for the break-in at the Navy base 40 miles south of Brunswick, Georgia, on April 4, 2018, in which Hennessy, 65, was joined by six other Catholic pacifists. Together they are known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, named after the Plowshares anti-war movement founded 40 years ago by Daniel and Philip Berrigan and six others.

On Thursday, Carmen Trotta, of St. Joseph Catholic Worker in New York City, was sentenced to 14 months in prison, while Clare Grady of the Ithaca Catholic Worker was sentenced to 12 months. Both have spent their lives at Catholic Worker houses in New York state, which house and feed the needy. All were also sentenced to probation and will be required to repay the Navy base a total of $33,500 in damages.

Hennessy is the only one of Dorothy Day’s nine grandchildren to dedicate herself to what Catholics call “works of mercy.”

Hennessy — in a statement right before her sentencing — said she regarded the action as a religious exercise, likening it to Jesus’ action of overturning the money-changing tables at the entrance to the Jerusalem Temple, as described in the New Testament gospels.

“I had no criminal intent,” she said. “I wanted to prevent a nuclear holocaust.”

https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/11/16/dorothy-day-granddaughter-sentenced-prison-kings-bay-plowshares-7

:)

Biden should start his inaugural speech by saying, “Well, that was weird.”

-Frank Lesser, Former Emmy-winning writer for The Colbert Report

 

[twitter post]

Practicing ‘Full Presence’

November 20, 2020

Navajo Nation

Learn how cultivating trust and community allowed Health Initiative to be effective partners in the region.

Dr. Sriram Shamasunder and his organization, HEAL Initiative, stood in solidarity with Navajo healthcare workers as they fought a COVID outbreak through the spring and summer.

This past summer, when the Navajo Nation was the site of one of the country’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, Dr. Sriram Shamasunder was at Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility in Arizona, caring for a Navajo elder in the respiratory care unit. When he was young, the patient had worked in the uranium mines on Navajo land, and he had spent decades drinking water contaminated with the radioactive element. He had poor baseline lung function, and now he had COVID-19. His family could not be there to comfort him. He was isolated and scared.

On harried rounds in the overwhelmed medical center, it was very difficult to be fully present. “I was moving fast. I was wearing goggles, a face shield, an N95 mask,” Shamasunder recalls. He couldn’t speak to the miner in his own language, and he wasn’t intimately familiar with the contours of the man’s life on the reservation. There was a gulf between them that Shamasunder, as his doctor, struggled to cross.

But Shamasunder had not come into the room alone. He was accompanied by Navajo nurses from the local community. “They would just lean over in his ear and speak to him in his own language,” Shamasunder says, “‘I won’t let you go.’ ‘I am from your community, and I’m here to stand with you.’ To bridge that gap is just so powerful.”

Signs encourage safety in the Navajo Nation. Photo credit: UCSF

I think there was a question all of us sat with. What does it mean to lead a purposeful, committed life? What does that look like?

What made HEAL so effective? It may have had something to do with the way HEAL responds to the problem Shamasunder has spent his entire career thinking about: How can the best care be delivered across the human boundaries of language, culture, gender, and religion that arise in our global community? After the technical training of medical school, can young health professionals be trained in the ineffable part of the practice, in leadership, advocacy, and justice?

How can they learn to show up in their full presence?

In May, a disheartening thread of stories about COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation was circulating. Per-capita infection rates soared. Congress had approved $8 billion in coronavirus relief for tribes around the country, but the money did not arrive as committed. It was a cruel echo of the disinvestment that had left the Navajo Nation — an area larger than West Virginia — with just 13 grocery stores and only some 20 ICU beds.

In the wake of this progress, UCSF is compiling a report on the efforts of HEAL and the volunteers in Navajo Nation. Shamasunder’s own reflections, unsurprisingly, have so far taken the form of notes and sketches of new poems that address the work of the health professionals in their full presence, affirming their spirit of partnership and solidarity. He wants to make sure the opportunity to explore those elements of the summer’s efforts is not overlooked — by the medical community, or by HEAL.

And the world must change.

This fall has seen COVID-19 case counts rise around the globe, and the Navajo Nation has not been exempt. In late October, with a surge in New Mexico taking hospitals in Albuquerque beyond their bed capacity, the reservation’s command-control structure re-engaged in planning for case management and potential patient transfers to hospitals all over Arizona and New Mexico. Just this week, after announcing that 34 Navajo communities have “uncontrolled spread” of the disease, the nation’s leadership instituted a three-week lockdown restricting nonessential activities. Shamasunder is trying to coordinate another team of nurses to travel down to Arizona and New Mexico to help. If he is needed, there is no question that he would return to the desert.

Full piece:

https://www.emersoncollective.com/articles/2020/11/a-promising-approach-to-community-driven-care-amid-a-pandemic/?utm_source=Instagram&utm_campaign=DialFellows&utm_medium=Organic&utm_content=HEALInitiative

We are still wounding.

November 18, 2020

From the ACLU:

You may have heard “Come and Get Your Love,” but did you know that Redbone’s “We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee” was banned by several radio stations in the ’70s? This Native American Heritage Month, we honor the group.

 #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth

http://aclu.org

Democracy persists.

And just because I played it on the radio so many times, here’s Redbone performing on the Midnight Special in 1974. ‘Come and Get Your Love’ peaked at #5 on The Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent 18 weeks in the Top 40. It landed as the fourth-most popular song on the Hot 100 for 1974.  -dayle :)

 


Debra Anne Haaland (born December 2, 1960) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative from New Mexico’s 1st congressional district. The district includes most of Albuquerque along with most of its suburbs. Haaland is a former leader of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Sharice Davids and Haaland are the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. Congress. Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo people. [wikipedia]

The Hill

by, Rebecca Beitsch

The Biden transition team is in the process of vetting Rep. Haaland for the Interior secretary post.

If tapped by President-elect Joe Biden, Haaland’s nomination would be historic, making her the first Native American Cabinet secretary, overseeing an agency with vast responsibility over tribal issues and public lands. 

More than half of the president-elect’s transition team is comprised of women and nearly half of its members are people of color; Biden has also vowed that his new Cabinet and administration will be very diverse and “look like America.”

Lakshmi & Kamala

November 17, 2020

Lakshmi Yantra

A letter to Kamala Harris from Cathie Caccia in Sun Valley, Idaho, a revered yoga teacher, spiritual leader, and friend. A beautiful discovery, indeed. -dayle

Dear Kamala

I am a long time student and teacher of yoga. I was continuing to study Lakshmi this morning. You most likely know in the shortest summation Lakshmi is considered the goddess of spiritual and material wealth. Lakshmi is the goddess energy who preserves life. When we consider what it means to live sustainably in this world we are contemplating what it means to incarnate Lakshmi. With Lakshmi’s reappearance, love, generosity, sacred practices, wealth, and fertility return to the world. Another name for Lakshmi is Kamala (lotus-like). This really struck me today!!!! I am beyond grateful the Biden/Harris ticket won the election. There is so much work to be done to restore kindness, balance and right action and more. I am buoyed by the timeliness of Kamala rising. May you embody your name fully and help bring the potent, healing energy of Lakshmi to our country and globe.

Deep bow,

Cathie Caccia

Visit Cathie’s website for yoga instruction (virtual classes during COVID), Shiatsu massage, jewelry, and special events.

http://www.cathiecaccia.com

about Cathie…

Cathie Caccia began her yogic studies in 1984 and was immediately captivated by the physical, energetic and philosophical aspects of the practice. Her most influential teachers include Rodney Yee, Rod Stryker, Judith Lasater and more. Cathie has extensive training in Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Shiatsu, Acupressure and Massage and began teaching in 1987. Cathie’s classes combine her love of Yoga, Chinese energetics and Sanskrit chanting to support her students in accessing their most essential nature. Cathie is registered with Yoga Alliance as E-RYT 500, she teaches public and private classes, workshops and yoga teacher training. Cathie is a licensed massage therapist with over 1200 hours of training.

“In the spirit of Ha-tha, we must learn how to have one foot on the Sun, with our day-to-day business of living in the world, and one foot on the Moon, tending to the world of the psyche and the spirit.”—Bhavani Maki, The Yogi’s Roadmap

Show the bags, not the graphs.

November 16, 2020

Don’t show the COVID graphs, show the COVID victim body bags. -dayle

#CovidSyndrome

‘The U.S. news media’s heavy circulation of images of dead soldiers returning home from Vietnam in “body bags” is associated with popular political disaffection with war commonly called “Vietnam Syndrome.”’

[Texas Images: Getty/Rueters]

Restive Peace: Body Bags, Casket Flags, and the Pathologization of Dissent

by William O. Saas and Rachel Hall
Rhetoric and Public Affairs
Vol. 19, No. 2 (Summer 2016), pp. 177-208 (32 pages)
Published By: Michigan State University Press
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321/rhetpublaffa.19.2.0177?seq=1

Abstract

The U.S. news media’s heavy circulation of images of dead soldiers returning home from Vietnam in “body bags” is frequently offered as an explanation for the state of popular political disaffection with war commonly called “Vietnam Syndrome.” We argue that the rhetoric of Vietnam Syndrome misdiagnoses dissent against war as a photo-pathogenic affective disorder, a visually transmitted disease of the popular political mind. In their respective attempts to stave off the syndrome, Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush enacted visual quarantines of deceased U.S. soldiers—first in 1991 and again in 2003. Our analysis suggests that President Obama’s lifting of the ban in 2009 represented not only a more precise grasp of U.S. war history but also a cynical recognition of the limited need for popular assent in executing the war on terror.

Washington Post

“The number of coronavirus cases in the United States passed 11 million on Sunday. It took 100 days for the nation to log its first 1 million cases; it took just six days to get from 10 million to 11 million. The number of people being hospitalized with covid-19 is also higher. Fearing that the worsening crisis will lead to even more preventable deaths.”

CNN

U.S.

11,163,990 Cases

246,953 Deaths

CNBC/11.16.20

‘Dr. Anthony Fauci warns “it’s not going to be a light switch” back to normalcy even when a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available to the public.

In fact, Fauci recommends people still wear masks and practice social distancing even after getting the vaccine, he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union” on Sunday.

Because “even though, for the general population, it might be 90[%] to 95% effective,” said Fauci, “you don’t necessarily know, for you, how effective it is.” Even at those success rates, about 5% to 10% of people immunized may still get the virus.

“In addition, the protective effect of a vaccine may take at least one month, if not slightly longer,” says Dr. David Ho, a virologist working on developing monoclonal antibody therapies for Covid-19 at Columbia University. (So far, Pfizer said early results showed its two-dose vaccine showed 90% effectiveness seven days after the second dose. Early data on Moderna’s two-dose vaccine showed 94.5% efficacy two weeks after the second dose.)

“Therefore, for the foreseeable future, we will need to continue our mitigation measures, including wearing masks,” Ho says, noting that precautionary measures will likely last “for much of 2021.”

Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease specialist at Northwell Health, adds that many people have strong feelings about vaccines and may not take them, which “will impact the general population from being immune to Covid-19 and prolong the threat of the pandemic.”

Fauci predicted to Tapper that most of the country will get vaccinated in the second or third quarter of 2021.

But “we are not going to turn [the pandemic] on and off, going from where we are to completely normal. It’s going to be a gradual accrual of more normality as the weeks and the months go by, as we get well into 2021,” he said.’

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/16/fauci-why-still-need-masks-social-distancing-after-covid-19-vaccine.html

Maitrī

Can you remember a time when you felt uplifted by the kindness of others?

 

Maitrī (Sanskrit; Pali: mettā) means benevolence, lovingkindness, friendliness, amity, good will, and active interest in others.

 

Allysha Lavino/Sacred Mystery

 

“Kindness is often overlooked – we can sometimes forget how PROFOUND and TRANSFORMATIVE it is.

One of the most profound shifts that we undergo as we awaken, is the shift from being told what qualities we should engage, to truly understanding the beauty and magic they embody. 

AWAKENING means transitioning from teachers’, parents’ and society’s lessons about sharing, being kind, and saying “Thank You” … 

… To the expanded consciousness, where we experience the value in truly living these themes.

KINDNESS BRIDGES THE DIVIDES OF RACE, RELIGION, POLITICS, GENDER, AND ZIP CODES – a bridge that can lead us into a beautiful tomorrow.

Be grateful for the Goodness that we feel when we tap into the energy of loving-kindness.” ​

🌱

From Walt Whitman.     

UNFOLDED out of the folds of the woman, man comes unfolded, and is always to come unfolded;
Unfolded only out of the superbest woman of the earth, is to come the superbest man of the earth;
Unfolded out of the friendliest woman, is to come the friendliest man;
Unfolded only out of the perfect body of a woman, can a man be form’d of perfect body;
Unfolded only out of the inimitable poem of the woman, can come the poems of man—(only thence have my poems come;)          5
Unfolded out of the strong and arrogant woman I love, only thence can appear the strong and arrogant man I love;
Unfolded by brawny embraces from the well-muscled woman I love, only thence come the brawny embraces of the man;
Unfolded out of the folds of the woman’s brain, come all the folds of the man’s brain, duly obedient;
Unfolded out of the justice of the woman, all justice is unfolded;
Unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sympathy:   10
A man is a great thing upon the earth, and through eternity—but every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman,
First the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in himself.

Resilience.

Incoming.

November 15, 2020

Seth Godin, author, public speaker, teacher:

“Standing at my desk this summer, it had just turned 10 am, and I realized that I’d already:

Heard from an old friend, engaged with three team members on two continents, read 28 blogs across the spectrum AND found out about the weather and the news around the world.

Half my life ago, in a similar morning spent in a similar office, not one of those things would have been true.

The incoming (and our ability to create more outgoing) is probably the single biggest shift that computers have created in our work lives. Sometimes, we subscribe or go and fetch the information, and sometimes it comes to us, unbidden and unfiltered. But it’s there and it’s compounding.

One option is to simply cope with the deluge, to be a victim of the firehose.

Another is to make the problem worse by adding more noise and spam to the open networks that we depend on.

A third might be, just for an hour, to turn it off. All of it. To sit alone and create the new thing, the thing worth seeking out, the thing that will cause a positive change.”

‘One thought…millions of vibrations.’

Recorded by John Coltrane in 1964.

A Love Supreme: 4th Movement – Psalm – In John Coltrane’s words.

‘Presented here, in his own handwriting, is that Psalm.’

From the Center for Action and Contemplation:

In “Psalm,” John Coltrane plays the “words” of his poem that was included in the original liner notes. He put this handwritten poem/prayer on the music stand in front of him, and “played” it as if it were music. Practicing Lectio Divina with this song may deepen your sense of prayer and add possible ways to pray. If you enjoy the practice with “Psalm,” we encourage you to try praying with other music. That is one of the beauties of Lectio Divina: it encourages us to “pray always.”

 

Before clicking on the following link to listen to John Coltrane’s “Psalm,”settle your body and begin with silence, asking God to be present in your listening. 
 
Listen to “Psalm” and read along with the words from the poem that appear on the screen. Listen more than once. As you listen again, notice if any image, word, emotion, or memory is called forth in you.
 
When you settle on an image, word, emotion, or memory, sit silently with it and bring your attention back to it when your attention strays.
 
Ask God to reveal what this image, word, phrase, or emotion might have to say about your life today.? How is it connected to your spiritual journey?
 
Rest silently with your image, word, phrase, or emotion. Offer it to God. Wait patiently on God.
 
What would you like to express to God about the experience of praying with this piece of music? Take some time to journal about your experience.
Here are the opening lines of “Psalm”:

I will do all I can to be worthy
of Thee O Lord.
It All has to do with it.
Thank You God.
Peace.
There is none other.
God is. It is so beautiful.
Thank You God. God is All.
Help us to resolve our fears &
weaknesses.
In You All things are possible.

‘One thought can produce millions of vibrations.’ Indeed, physicist Dr. David’s Bohm theory of the holoflux, ‘the holistic principle of “undivided wholeness” with the idea that everything is in a state of process or becoming (Dr. Bohm calls it the “universal flux”). In this interpretation of physics wholeness is not considered static, but as a dynamic interconnected process. The concept is presented most fully in Wholeness and the Implicate Order, published in 1980.

Navajo Nation

November 14, 2020

NPR/Kalyani Saxena

‘Hoping to increase young Native American voter turn-out, Allie Young, 30 year-old member of the Navajo Nation, started “Ride to the Polls”—she led groups of voters, ranging from 18-30, 10-miles on horseback to reach polling stations in Kayenta, AZ.’

How The Navajo Nation Helped Flip Arizona For Democrats

According to Vox, 60% to 90% of the Navajo Nation’s roughly 67,000 eligible voters voted for Biden. [AZ was called for Biden this week.]

Members of the Navajo Nation often face high barriers to voting. Many people are not assigned a physical address and are unable to register to vote. Tara Benally, field director for the Rural Utah Project, described to NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly about how the organization managed to register 4,000 Native American voters in Arizona.

The project worked with Google to provide GPS coordinates in lieu of physical addresses. Organizers also left thousands of Ziploc bags with voter registration forms on the doors of Native American voters to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Reflecting on the Navajo people’s unprecedented turnout, he said: “I appreciate meeting with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in Phoenix. … [We had] a dialogue, and I think those types of events really inspired the Native American voters to come out to the polls and cast their votes for change.”

#NativeAmericanHeritageMonth

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) said that she would happily take on the role of President-elect Joe Biden’s secretary of the Interior if the job were offered to her, according to HuffPost. “Oh yes, of course.”  @RepDebHaaland

“God is setting us a big challenge.”

A celebrated moral thinker and renowned Judaic intellect, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks died last week at 72 from cancer.

“The greatest single antidote to violence is conversation, speaking our fears, listening to the fears of other—in that sharing of vulnerabilities, discovering a genesis of hope.”

When Krista Tippett, On Being, spoke with Lord Sacks in 2010, he modeled a life-giving, imagination-opening faithfulness to what some might see as contradictory callings: How to be true to one’s own convictions while also honoring the sacred and civilizational calling to shared life — indeed, to love the stranger?

Krista: You’ve made a statement. I think it’s audacious: “The greatest single antidote to violence is conversation, speaking our fears, listening to the fears of others, and in that sharing of vulnerabilities, discovering a genesis of hope.” Now as someone who conducts conversation for a living, I love that statement. I wonder how you know that to be true — that the antidote to violence is conversation.

Lord Sacks: Listening gives each of the two parties the feeling that they are heard, and once they’re heard, they can then begin to speak what they really feel. And then they can begin to realize that there are things they still care about in common.

Sometimes I think what would happen if we generated real conversations at the grassroots level between the people whose lives are really affected?

The real conflicts arise when our minds are focused on the past.

I think God is setting us a big challenge, a really big challenge. We are living so close to difference with such powers of destruction that he’s really giving us very little choice. You know, to quote that great line from W.H. Auden, “We must love one another or die.”

So I am full of hope as we face the greatest challenge humanity ever has.

Remembering Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The letter Joe will never get.

The Independent.

By, Greg Evans.

It’s been a week since he lost the 2020 U.S. presidential election and Joe Biden surpassed the 270 electoral college votes required to be named president-elect.

Yet, at the time of writing, Trump is yet to concede the election or congratulate Biden on his victory and is now pursuing baseless claims of electoral fraud against the Democrats and attempting to file legal cases.

DT’s lack of grace or humility in defeat probably shouldn’t be a shock to anyone given his overall behaviour in the past four years but it’s still a remarkable thing to behold, especially compared to previous presidents.

This is the letter of congratulations that Barack Obama left for Trump in the Oval Office in 2017 after he was sworn in as president.

Dear Mr. President –
Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.
This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.
First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.
Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.
Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.
And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.
Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.
Good luck and Godspeed,
BO

Thank you for your service.

November 11, 2020

Sacrifice.

Sacrifice.

Sacrifice.

You gave everything. For what? Look at us. Humanity. We’re a mess. We can’t even don a mask because, you know, our rights not to wear one are greater than your right to live. 

Homelessness.

Suicide.

Mental health.

Struggle.

But yeah. Thank you for your service. We truly don’t know what it means, as a 

C O L L E C T I V E

to take care of our own.

We dishonor you with our actions during this global pandemic.

Some continue to try.

operationdignity.org

Yes! Magazine:

“I am just grief stricken by how many Americans are OK with racist dog whistling and white supremacy and cutesy nods to white nationalism. Even if 45 is gone, that all stays. This is who we are.”

A friend, the White mother of a Black child, posted this on Facebook on election night. That last line floored me: This is who we are.”

It is exactly who we are. Since before the birth of this nation.

yesmagazine.org

AXIOS

The pandemic’s toll on veterans

by, Ashley Gold

“A number of recent studies highlight the problems facing veterans as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

  • According to one recent survey of 30,000 veterans wounded after 9/11, 52% said their mental health has gotten worse and 49% said their physical health has become worse since they started social distancing during the pandemic.
  • Sixty-one percent said they felt more disconnected from friends, family and community, according to the survey by the Wounded Warrior Project.
  • Veterans are delaying doctors’ appointments too, with 70% reporting having in-person appointments canceled or postponed. And 40% noted employment difficulties.
  • The Associated Press reported in September that military suicides have gone up as much as 20% this year compared to the same period in 2019.A study by the
  • Bob Woodruff Foundation this spring said emergent trauma, loneliness due to social isolation, and unplanned job losses creates a “perfect storm” threatening the mental health of veterans.

By the numbers: Beyond the stress caused by the pandemic, coronavirus cases are up among veterans, too. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there have been 83,383 cases among VA hospitals with 4,223 known deaths.”

https://www.axios.com/veterans-covid-toll-isolation-2545c385-0dbb-4e35-bf0d-4f9f39842478.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top


Exhausted. On edge. 

Now, as the world heaves a collective sigh of relief (or grief), whatever you’re feeling, wherever this finds you…

Let’s take a moment to remember that the great task of our lifetimes is not to change the world.

Our task is ONLY to transform ourselves …

The world is naturally transformed by our Light.

-Allysha Lavino


 

Courtney Martin.

‘Since the “map show” of last week—all those blues and reds signifying, well, everything and nothing—we’ve been hearing calls for unity. I get it. I really do. I crave more steady common ground rather than the shifting tectonic plates we’ve all been surfing unsteadily these last four years. I want a news network called Truth that everyone, regardless of political party, actually trusts. Let’s spend some time disagreeing about our values and how to get things done, not the facts, for a change. Let’s log off of social media where our most base emotional wiring is being profoundly manipulated. At this point, I’d rather our commander-in-chief communicated via interpretive dance than twitter.

But as much as I honor our collective desire for kindness, this is not the time for congeniality. This is the time for a fiercer form of moral leadership. Our foundational values need to show up in public—calm, sure, if that feels authentic, but more importantly, uncompromising on questions of basic humanity. We have developed some powerful new muscles the year for tolerating uncertainty, for unvarnished truthtelling, for outraged solidarity; now is not the time to get back to compartmentalization and quiet desperation, violent death and violent denial.

It’s not unity we need. It’s a basic agreement that racism, sexism, ableism, etc. will not be tolerated. There are not two sides on this. There are a million shades of gray on how we live and lead, but there are not and should never be two sides on dehumanization.

And, yes, that means that my work is not to dehumanize those who didn’t vote as I did. My work is to get ever more curious about them, about our current ecosystem of information and the way it has distorted all of our perceptions of truth and trust. My work is to disagree with them out loud, on the page, wherever I need to, whenever I need to—boldly and respectfully.

I am especially invested in doing this with White women right now, having seen that half of those with a similar racial and economic status as my own supported Trump; I am baffled and profoundly sad about this. My job now is to transform that bafflement, that disappointment, into fuel. I am tired of looking at the demographic data the day after an election and being ashamed of the way “my people” voted. But I won’t reject those people. I will pick my chin up and get after organizing with them—figuring out what my gifts are and how I can bring them to bear on this conundrum (the conundrum being that even the dehumanized vote for the dehumanizer).

I see that as work of those who have had the privilege of not watching their humanity be debated. I am not going to ask my Black or immigrant or disabled friends to spend their precious energy empathizing with someone who doesn’t believe they are as worthy as I am. If that’s someone’s spiritual practice, so be it, but to publicly call for all Americans to unify is to ask those who have been systematically and interpersonally dehumanized by racists and xenophobes to invest in them. That’s not just insensitive, it’s emotionally violent—particularly within the context of 400 years of this shit. That’s not their sacred duty. It’s ours.’

To those calling for unity, here is my ask: Stop requesting self-annihilation from anyone. Yes, we need to combat the reductive thinking that is only further entrenched by the “map show.” No, we don’t need to capitulate, compromise, or God forbid, normalize the hatred that has always been part of this country, but was surfaced so painfully this year.

And while we’re at it, stop painting fierce moral leadership as wokeism (looking at you, David Brooks). It’s patronizing and inaccurate. Sure, there is a faction of the progressive movement that is more performance than substance. That’s true of any movement at any time. But there are a huge number of people who put a tremendous amount of effort into taking a stand for basic humanity this year; we even risked our own health, the health of our families, to show up at protests and work the polls. We donated money at a time when money was already tight. We talked to our children, however clumsily, about the brokenness of the world. We didn’t do it for woke brownie points. We did it because something intrinsic to our very souls resists the dehumanization of others.

We must not parody that, or call for its politeness. We must nurture and grow and honor that. We must push progressive White America to look at the places where hypocrisy and neglect live in our own lives, not just point the finger at Trump voters. We’re coming to the close of a year of painful unearthing; don’t dishonor that with pavement of politeness.

If you are a White person on this journey to figure out how to organize with other White people, check out my bud Garrett Bucks’ new Barnraisers Project, Showing Up for Racial Justice, and/or Integrated Schools.

@courtwrites

courtney.substack.com

Clean Web Design