I run a small publishing outfit called Monkey Puzzle Press and we’re stoked to announce the release of our new book - in here by The Synthesis - click the image above to check it out!
Manual for Free Living - click the image above to check it out - it’s free!
The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the world’s ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest mediation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
- Atisha -
"Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world."
- Howard Zinn -
Sell Your Crap. Pay Your Debt. Do What You Love.
After the birth of their first child, Adam Baker and his wife decided to sell everything they own, pay off their consumer debt, and spend a year traveling abroad as a family. They began sharing their journey on their blog Man vs. Debt, now 15000 subscribers strong. In sharing their ups and downs in the areas of personal finance, consumerism, clutter, travel, minimalism, and passionate entrepreneurship, they realized they aren’t alone in a desire to explore and grow.
Random thought while tending the garden…
The winter rye has been planted and began to sprout several weeks ago. When I last checked, the roots were holding firm and I think we’re good until next season. Winter rye is not a harvest crop; I planted it for what is known as “overwintering”, wherein a crop is grown (typically winter wheat or winter rye) to prepare the soil for the following season. When springtime arrives, I will simply till the winter rye into the soil. It will add nutrients to it, acting as an organic fertilizer, and my garden will be healthy and ready to plant harvest crops.
This got me thinking about dirt.
Harvest crops need healthy, nutrient-rich dirt to thrive. Since any fruit or vegetable is only as healthy as the soil in which it is planted, if you want to have a healthy garden and produce healthy, nutritious crops, you have to start with the dirt. You have to think ahead. And plan ahead.
Every garden begins and ends with dirt – one might say that in eating fruits and vegetables, we are in essence eating dirt. However, most people are far removed from dirt. They look at the apple and think of its color. Maybe they think about the tree. But it’s all about the dirt!
It’s where we begin. Many creation stories say that mankind came from dirt – from soil, from clay, from earth. And the very components of dirt (carbon, oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, magnesium, etc.) are the very same components we are made of, as well as the components of the stars and planets in the universe. So in effect, these creation stories are not metaphors at all – we are literally made of dirt (and likewise made of starstuff). From dirt we began, and to dirt we shall return.
And yet, “dirty” is such a bad word. There are “dirty” words, “dirty” behaviors, dirty this and dirty that. Somewhere in human history it became a sin to be dirty. And yet, we are dirty. Our basic human nature is dirty. We can’t escape it, we can’t deny it, and to a certain extent we shouldn’t try to. Because there is nothing wrong with dirt. Dirt represents potential.
This got me thinking about relationships.
If you want healthy relationships, you first have to dig deep into the dirt of yourself. Indeed, your very self - your personality, your ego, your consciousness. You need to identify and know what that dirt is composed of, and nurture it, condition it, take care of it. This is your foundation. This is your soil. Once it is ready, then you are ready to grow healthy relationships. You’ve got to plan ahead. And be patient. If you don’t deal with the dirt of yourself, you will only produce weak relationships and relationships that rot quickly, if you grow any relationships at all. And then you’ll be envious of everyone else’s garden.
And how do we relate to one another? We tend to forget what we’re made of, and conceptualize and judge others on a plethora of superficial levels. I heard Bryan Stevenson say in a TED Talk, “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.” In other words, no one is the sum of their worst mistake. If someone takes something that doesn’t belong to them, he is not forever a thief. If someone has lied, she is not forever a liar. If someone has been drunk, he is not forever a drunkard. Likewise, no one is the sum of their greatest accomplishment. And yet so many of us identify ourselves with these labels. They are roles we play, sometimes unconsciously. So I don’t care whether you’re a convicted felon or a judge, whether you have a GED or a PhD, whether you’re a millionaire or homeless, whether you’re just or a sinner, because such labels negate our common and mutual humanity. Indeed, we are all the same.
“Whether your age, your upbringing, or your education, what you are made of is mostly unused potential.” – George Leonard
Indeed, we are all dirt.
Copyright © 2013 Nate Jordon
Click here to read Dispatch #7
from TED: The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.
From TEDX: Nature’s beauty can be easily missed — but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day.
Learn more about Louie and Moving Art at movingart.com