humanity first

broken leaf

horyu-ji-temple-gate-guardian--nara-japan-daniel-hagerman

“What’s wrong with the world, mama?

People livin like they ain’t got no mamas

I think the whole world addicted to the drama

Only attracted to things that’ll bring you trauma.” – Black Eyed Peas

As human beings we are capable of love, kindness, appreciation, and wonder.  We have these soft elements of our being, as well as strength, intellect, ferocity, and power.  Being fully human is embracing our whole experience, which means being willing to feel the textures of life, bittersweet as they are.  Life is extremely challenging and includes incredible pain and suffering.  Can we meet these challenges and continue to feel our humanity, or do we subvert our feelings and mask our experience with fixed opinions?

Traditionally, it is the role of the mother to nurture, protect, and acknowledge the soft side of our being.  Yet despite good mothers the world over, this part of ourselves has…

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educating the sky

broken leaf

little princeChogyam Trungpa Rinpoche wrote a text on how to educate a prince, someone who would grow up to be a wise, compassionate, skilful, and joyous leader.  The text states that the prince’s education should occur in an environment free of jealousy and competition, and that those who raise the prince should not think in terms of raising a child in a conventional sense.  Rather, they should take the attitude that they are educating the sky.  Then the prince will begin to have inquisitiveness toward the world, developing wonder about the details and processes of things.

Every student is a prince or princess, an heir of the royal family of human dignity, and a potential ruler of future society.  They possess a mind that is vast as the sky, and a heart that is pure, oceanic, and delicate as a drop of rain.  These qualities of mind and heart exist within…

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educating the sky

educating the sky.

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care for a cookie?

broken leaf

img_28903.jpgTeaching is a questionable undertaking.

Most of the teachers I have known have good hearts and and are willing to work hard, often for few tangible rewards, to help their students succeed.  No matter how rewarding, teaching is a challenging endeavour under the best circumstances, which rarely come together. Many teachers work in very difficult systems, and loss of heart is common.

But that’s not what makes it questionable.  It doesn’t matter if it’s difficult or if we’re not sure whether we’re making a difference.  Teachers know that teaching is worthwhile, no matter the challenges.  What is questionable is our assumption that we know what we are teaching.

If we think of teaching as simply passing  knowledge from one person to another, it’s a fairly simple matter, like making a cookie and handing it to someone to eat. We know how to spell, so we teach someone, and then they…

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Truthdig – The Last Letter

A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

Truthdig – The Last Letter.

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«Νὰ ἐπιστραφῇ ὁ Ἥλιος τώρα!!!»

Φιλονόη καὶ φίλοι......

«Νὰ ἐπιστραφῇ ὁ Ἥλιος τώρα!!!»Σχολίαζε ὁ Πλάτων στὴν παραπάνω φωτογραφία τῆς Τατιάνας.
Κι ἐγώ… Θέλω τὸν Ἥλιο μου πίσω, σκέφθηκα μόλις εἶδα τὴν  παραπάνω φωτογραφία.
Κι ὄχι μόνον τὸν θέλω, ἀλλὰ τὸν ἀπαιτῶ!
Θέλω τὸν Ἥλιο μου πίσω, διὰ παντός. Ὄχι περιστασιακῶς, ὅταν οἱ ἄνεμοι σκορπίζουν τὰ νέφη ποὺ κάποιοι μᾶς φορτώνουν. Τὸν θέλω μόνιμα, διαρκῶς, γιὰ πάντα, νὰ μὲ φωτίζῃ καὶ νὰ μοῦ ἀποδεικνύῃ πὼς ἡ ζωὴ εἶναι δικαίωμα… Δὲν γίνεται νὰ περιορίζεται διαρκῶς στὰ τοῦ βίου…

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Τὸ παράπονον.

Φιλονόη καὶ φίλοι......

Τὸ παράπονον.Ἀναρωτιέμαι μερικὲς φορές: εἶμαι ἐγὼ ποὺ σκέφτομαι καθημερινὰ πὼς ἡ ζωή μου εἶναι μία; Ὅλοι οἱ ὑπόλοιποι τὸ ξεχνοῦν; Ἢ πιστεύουν πὼς θὰ ἔχουν κι ἄλλες, πολλὲς ζωές, γιὰ νὰ κερδίσουν τὸν χρόνο ποὺ σπαταλοῦν;

Μοῦτρα. Ν᾿ ἀντικρίζεις τὴ ζωὴ μὲ μοῦτρα. Τὴ μέρα, τὴν κάθε σου μέρα. Νὰ περιμένεις τὴν Παρασκευὴ ποὺ θὰ φέρει τὸ Σάββατο καὶ τὴν Κυριακὴ γιὰ νὰ ζήσεις. Κι ὕστερα νὰ μὴ φτάνει οὔτε κι αὐτό, νὰ χρειάζεται νὰ περιμένεις τὶς διακοπές. Καὶ μετὰ οὔτε κι αὐτὲς νὰ εἶναι ἀρκετές. Νὰ περιμένεις μεγάλες στιγμές. Νὰ μὴν τὶς ἐπιδιώκεις, νὰ τὶς περιμένεις.

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