"In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Archive for January, 2018|Monthly archive page

Reality Is Nothing But A Hallucination Says A Neuroscientist

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2018 at 6:55 pm

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Oldspeak: “This is not as absurd as you may suppose at first thought. None other than America’s favorite astrophysicist/shaman/rockstar Neil DeGrasse Tyson rates the probabilty that the universe is a simulation as “very high“. Check out the linked videos and come to your own conclusions. Nisargadatta had some choice thought on this as well:

“It is your own imagination that deceives you. Without imagination there is no world. The world you perceive is made of consciousness. What you call matter is consciousness itself. You are the space (akash) in which it moves, the time in which it it lasts, and the love that gives it life.”

Ashe. -Jevon

Written By Clyde @ Fractal Enlightenment:

“We don’t just passively perceive the world; we actively generate it. The world we experience comes as much from the inside-out as the outside-in.” ~ Anil Seth

What if you were told that your reality is a hallucination? Most people would laugh it off, you can touch and pick up objects you can do everything. I believe my question would resonate better with people more familiar with Eastern philosophy.

Eastern scriptures have put forth the concept that this world is “maya” an illusion where things appear to be present but are not what they seem. Something which basically boils down to our consciousness being tricked into believing what we see, taste or smell is real.

In recent times science has been making rapid progress in understanding what consciousness is. According Anil Seth, a neuroscientist, we’re all hallucinating all the time, but when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it “reality.”

This TED talk divulges into the depths of our human nature and how we as a species use our brains to understand what is outside us like our environment and how we experience our reality by our experiences and perspectives or in other words our conditioning.

I must warn you that this video is a bit heavy as it will make you question your pre-conditioned beliefs.

Research such as this adds support to the fact that we create our reality. If you pay attention to how our brain processes information using the best guess system, it always becomes equally important about the information we feed our head.

A negative environment and information will automatically lead to negative thought patterns. The two experiments in the above video show how easy it is for us to be biased with our perspective and for some reason this also makes me question how easy it is for us to be manipulated 🙂

I believe this quote sums up what I have in mind, “Man is a hostage to the cage of cultural programming and the mass hallucination of the propagandist’s narrative illusion.” ~ James Scott, the Center for Cyber Influence Operations Studies


Related Videos:

Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality | Anil Seth

2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?

 

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Letting Go Of What It All Means

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2018 at 5:13 pm
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Josh Korda. Photo by Gianna Leo Falcon

Oldspeak: “Over reliance and identification with the “figuring it out” impulse leads to a repression of the physical manifestations of our reactions to life, and a delusional belief that every situation or encounter has a simple, hidden message that needs to be uncovered. We’re drawn towards these conclusions and interpretations for the illusion of control and power they represent: If we understand what a painful rejection means, we’ll never have to go through it again. For example “I’ll never ask another redhead out on a date” or “Next time I’ll only invest my money in Apple.” Of course, these beliefs can only promise protection from pain; in real life they fall short, as we’re always subject to rejection, loss, pain and discomfort.” -Josh Korda

“Ooof. This is a biggie. Cultivating non-attachement to what it “means”.  Not being attached to desired outcomes. Not being attached to “knowing why”.  WAHHHHAAATTTT……. For an INFP, cerebral, extraverted thinking, KNOW IT ALL like your humble writer, this is EXCEEDINGLY DIFFICULT. I can’t tell you the amount energy expended, suffering, rejection, loss, pain and discomfort experienced. Trying, maddeningly to “figure it out”. Unfeeling, unpresent in this body, solely focusing attention outside. Unfeeling, grasping at illusory control. Whew. Humbling and ego piercing work, letting that shit go. Was fortunate enough to practice with Josh a few times, he’s THE. SHIT. So much gratitude for the experience.” -Jevon

Written By Josh Korda @ Lion’s Roar:

Searching for hidden messages and significance in life’s encounters provides us with an illusion of control that we need to release if we want to fully feel our experiences.

The mind has a tendency to search for a meaning, an underlying message, in every murky or complex experience. It can feel like we’ve only processed and come to closure with a traumatic experience when we’ve come away with a simple interpretation for the traumatic event, a “moral to the story.”

In practice, we want to be able to report to those around us that we understand what a period of depression or confusion “was all about” and have come away “a new understanding.” After a painful and dramatic conclusion to a relationship, we might report “it was for the best, we were heading in different directions.” When someone dies, many feel the obligation to console their loved ones with “well, he lived a full life, got to a very old age, he traveled and got to see the world, etc.” We see this default wiring at work when we stand before an abstract painting, a challenging film or theater piece: What is it trying to say? What’s the message I should take away?

This search for signification and essence boils down to a preference towards filing away life’s rich experiences in terms of thoughts and messages, rather than pre-verbal feeling states, the physical, somatic sensations that arise and pass—for example the changes in breath and feeling tones in the body that occur with being overwhelmed or frustrated. Rather than getting lost in the stories of our setbacks, we can note how tightness in the jaw or shoulders expresses disappointments, or the mind’s jumpiness and agitation articulates fundamental states of confusion.

Feeling the body’s responses to difficulty is what is demanded in order to grasp life’s most troublesome events.

Over reliance and identification with the “figuring it out” impulse leads to a repression of the physical manifestations of our reactions to life, and a delusional belief that every situation or encounter has a simple, hidden message that needs to be uncovered. We’re drawn towards these conclusions and interpretations for the illusion of control and power they represent: If we understand what a painful rejection means, we’ll never have to go through it again. For example “I’ll never ask another redhead out on a date” or “Next time I’ll only invest my money in Apple.” Of course, these beliefs can only promise protection from pain; in real life they fall short, as we’re always subject to rejection, loss, pain and discomfort.

At this point we might reasonably object, well, sometimes there is an underlying warning or directive to be taken away from life’s challenges. Perhaps we find ourselves jumping too quickly into a romantic relationship, isolating ourselves from friends and losing interest in our spiritual practice, only to find the infatuation dwindle and the romance end. Isn’t it reasonable to conclude that, for the next liaison we’ll take it slower while maintaining a balanced life? Of course. But such edicts shouldn’t stand in place of feeling the loss and disappointment in its entirety; noting, feeling and allowing the hollowness in the chest or trembling lips to unfold fully.

Without truly contacting and witnessing the full articulation of loss, all our best intentions, our “go slow next time” mandates, have no weight to imprint them fully into our deeper memory stores. How many times in life do we find ourselves acting out in spite of our best wisdom and intentions? We do so because ideas don’t ingrain themselves as deeply as felt experience.

With careful practice and attuned awareness, one notes that the body registers every single encounter we have in life; beneath each event there’s a defensive resistance, a sense of attraction, or an overall disengagement; the states of like, dislike or disinterest that The Buddha referred to as Vedana. And while its impossible to notice all of these reactive sensations, we can, with practice, notice the clearest markers.  And once we truly feel life deeply, its then we can start learning from it.

 

How To Transform Your Life, Just By Breathing

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2018 at 4:22 pm

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Oldspeak: “The quality of breath directly effects the quality of our life, our health, our emotions, our mind, and our ability to feel connected…. When we practice breathing exercises, we are relaxing the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing built-up toxins in our lungs, stimulating endorphins, stimulating our pituitary gland which will activate our intuition, cleaning our blood, strengthening our electromagnetic field, expanding our lung capacity, and balancing our brain hemispheres. The benefits are truly endless…Most people breathe short and shallow breaths, which means that our digestive system is not being stimulated correctly…. If the digestive system, eliminatory system, liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands are not being stimulated and balanced, then we are more likely holding onto our ‘shit’ in more ways than one. I always like to let people know, if you breathe deep, you will be able to literally let go of the physical and mental ‘shit’ you’re holding onto in life. So, that includes physical toxins, old stories, and old patterns that are no longer serving you. – Siri Rishi Kaur

Focusing on the bio-resonator of your own breathing causes you to lose all sense of time awareness. It has a pronounced effect on your frontal lobe…. The only way to unlearn your reality is to first decondition your mind of its habitual modes of the normal perception of time. All of our life experience is threaded upon the linear axis of time. It is this axial progression in time that helps us to organize our life experience. It is a rigidly linear and unidirectional flow. Its conditioning is overwhelming. When the ingoing and outgoing breath have been equalized, a resonance is entrained in our brains that powerfully alters our perception of time from an ever onrushing linear flow to an ever expanding “isness” of a never ending now. We slip into a different space-time continuum altogether… focus on the bio-resonators of the sound of breathing is the ultimate deautomatising experience… A focus on the breathing engenders a revolution in our awareness of time, by imposing a uniformity on our experience, by doing away with the novelty and difference between one event and the next. It breaks the chain, of the succession of events which normally orders our time awareness.” –G.D. Bakshi

“Breathing in I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment.” –Thich Nhat Hahn

“YAZZZZZ…. All  Is One. All Is Self. No manuals. No Gurus. No Classes. No Time. No Place. No Space. Just Breath. Decondition, Deprogram, Deautomatize, Decolonize, Disinvest in your stories about yourself and how you see the world. Divest yourself of your shit. Let. That. Shit. Go. And transform your life.  BREATHE… Deeply, slowly and presently. As often as you can. Breath is life. Definitely check out the video in the link below. Siri Rishi is SO THAT. ” -Jevon

Written By Jenna Igneri @ Nylon:

You’re probably pretty used to taking a deep breath whenever you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, so it should make intuitive sense that there’s an entire practice behind using the breath to calm our minds and ease anxiety, amongst a whole slew of other benefits.

I first learned about the magic our breath holds at a wellness retreat earlier this year and instantly became enamored with its therapeutic results. Wanting to learn more, I reached out Siri Rishi Kaur—yogini, meditation facilitator, and KRI Kundalini teacher, who has 26 years of experience in breathing exercises and awareness of the breath under her belt (erm, perfectly flowy jumpsuit)—to show me the ropes.

Despite what you may think, breathwork is a lot more than just taking a few deep breathes to calm your nerves—much more. “The quality of breath directly effects the quality of our life, our health, our emotions, our mind, and our ability to feel connected,” says Rishi. “When we practice breathing exercises, we are relaxing the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing built-up toxins in our lungs, stimulating endorphins, stimulating our pituitary gland which will activate our intuition, cleaning our blood, strengthening our electromagnetic field, expanding our lung capacity, and balancing our brain hemispheres. The benefits are truly endless.”

Breathing exercises, referred to as Pranayam in the yogic tradition (meaning the science of breath, with “prana” standing for our life force or highest quality of energy), dates back to the beginning of civilization. “The oral teachings of yoga were codified and written several thousand years ago by Patanjali. The breath is the foundation of our life and of every yogic practice. No matter what style you’re teaching or practicing, it all begins and ends with the breath,” says Rishi.

According to Rishi, you can easily incorporate breathwork into your day by creating a simple routine of sitting and practicing long, deep breaths first thing in the morning or before going to bed to center your energy. Better yet, you can bring it right to your work or school day. In fact, as Rishi explains, some breathwork exercises are simple enough to do at our desks—or anywhere. “You can work on it by applying your awareness to your breath anywhere and anytime. It can be as simple as taking 10 long deep breathes, three times a day.”

“One thing we can all do is set aside small periods throughout the day where we practice a breathing technique for one to three minutes and observe how much more aware we are and how much easier it is to practice being mindful. The more mindful we are, the more compassionate we will be as a society.” If you’re someone that barely gets up from your desk, think of it as the perfect way to clear your mind in the middle of a hectic day.

Of course, you can aim for a deeper, more intensive practice, such as sitting for an hour and taking only one breath per minute. According to Rishi, there are hundreds of breathing exercises just in Kundalini yoga alone that work to do everything, from cleansing the breath and balancing the glandular nervous system to assisting in meditation.

Breathwork helps us become more present and aware, which, as Rishi explains, allows us to use our “neutral brain,” which makes us less likely to react to stressful scenarios. “Breathing exercises reduce anxiety and fear, which stems from the fight-or-flight part of our brain,” she says.

Why should we try it? “Because it’s the coolest thing on the planet to be centered, mentally stable, mentally flexible, sharp, open-hearted, in touch with our emotions in a balanced way, calm, and aware—in other words, mindful. Breathing exercises can give us an awareness that changes our whole vibrational field, and it’s easy, accessible, and free. It’s your breath!” Well, we can’t argue that.

Another reason to practice breathwork? We’re probably already breathing incorrectly. “Most people breathe short and shallow breaths, which means that our digestive system is not being stimulated correctly,” says Rishi. “If the digestive system, eliminatory system, liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands are not being stimulated and balanced, then we are more likely holding onto our ‘shit’ in more ways than one. I always like to let people know, if you breathe deep, you will be able to literally let go of the physical and mental ‘shit’ you’re holding onto in life. So, that includes physical toxins, old stories, and old patterns that are no longer serving you.”

Above, watch as Rishi takes us through five different breathing exercises to help do everything, from focusing harder to dispelling our “imaginary disabilities.” Whether you make them a part of your at-home morning or before-bed routines or use them as a midday quick fix in the office bathroom (hey, no judgment), treat the above as your intro to the healing world of breathwork. “The most important thing to remember is that your breath is the only element that your mind will obey. If you learn how to control your breath, you will be able to control your mind and your emotions. You’ll be able to stay in your venter in the midst of chaos,” says Rishi. Sounds good to us.

You can find Siri Rishi at RaMa Intitute and Five Pillars Yoga in NYC and Mandala Yoga Center in East Hampton, New York, or check out her free lifelabsrk videos on her website.

Credits:
Camera: Dani Okon and Grace Kenney
Sound: Drew Joy
Editor: Dylan Pailes-Friedman
Producer: Maura Gaughan
Clothes by Dana Foley NYC
Stylist: Ximena Balmori

“Give up any hope of fruition” : Being Genuine In Meditation

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2018 at 7:08 pm
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Illustration by Andre Slob

Great meditators before us have laid out the path, but how can we be sure we’re following it genuinely? There are no guarantees, but Carolyn Rose Gimian has some tips for keeping it real.

Oldspeak: “OOOF. Good stuff on the value of boredom, confusion and cultivating genuineness in meditation practice. Being mindful of the pitfalls of self-deception, goal-orientation and attachment to spiritual credentials/materialism/”progress”.  I surely am a victim of these pitfalls. Feeling a sense of pride and achievement when people respond with amazement when I tell them I meditate for 1 to 2 hours most days. Feeling that sense of progress and feeling the need to label my formal meditation experience as “transformative” & “paridigm shifting”, thereby assigning it positive values, worthy of sharing with others.  Looking for confirmation, signs that something was “happening” in my practice, expectations certainly formed, especially after my vipassana experience. It certainly is a practice; letting go of attachments to form, labeling of experience and just attending to the breath as often as possible. Those things don’t sell in an “attention economy” with culture animated by consumption of positive desirous experience. Where form dominates. Where identifying with and labeling experience is second nature. Where attention has been comodified. Where everything we attend to must be entertaining. Where boredom = the great enemy. Much of the time it feels alot like the author says…

it’s not so easy to relax with that in ourselves. We have a lot of resistance to simply being ourselves, without pretense or adornment, with all our warts and wrinkles. It is quite uncomfortable. So often we put on a little show for ourselves and others, thinking that’s what is required. We try to give the people what they want. We try to give ourselves what we think we want. It’s actually very sad, and in the long run it doesn’t help ourselves or others. But in the short run, it’s a pretty good con.”

Much of the time it feels like everyone is conning each other. Pretending like they’re ok. Putting on a a show for inner and outer selves, documenting the highlight positive experiences via FaceTwiGram. Medicating discomforting negative experience away with aggressively organized forgetting of the violence of this disimagination machine slowly draining our life energies away. Conning ourselves and others into believing that we are this “I” we’ve been conditioned to construct. Conditioned to survive, to not be present, but always looking toward the future, or the past, never present. Conditioned to be in desperate need of a “future”. Obsessed with doing more, building things, progress, goals, productivity, and countless other credentials are accrued. Meditation provides a break from the con. A time to get bored with the stories we tell ourselves; stories like we’re not good enough or complete enough. A time for cultivating self-acceptance, unconditional love, tolerance of discomfort and undesireable experience.  A time to just Be. ” –Jevon

Written By Carolyn Rose Gimian @ Lion’s Roar:

When Lion’s Roar asked me to write an article about how to make meditation practice genuine and real, I wasn’t sure whether to be proud or insulted. Maybe they were asking me because they could see what a fraud I am on the meditation cushion, and they needed someone to write honestly about failure.

Well, guilty as charged. Failure to be peaceful, failure to be mindful, failure to be aware, failure to be kind, failure to think big, failure to be generous (or insert your favorite virtue/ accomplishment I’ve failed at). On the other hand, sitting on the cushion for a lot of years (if I tell you how many, it will be really embarrassing) has yielded some results. I have witnessed a whole circus of bizarre fantasies, emotions, and extreme mental states, starring anger, lust, hatred, delusion, arrogance, pride, depression, anxiety, and a host of other amazing performers. I’ve made friends with Speedy, Distracted, and Lazy, three of the seven dwarfs of meditation for small-minded people. However, I do have one genuine accomplishment: I have gotten completely and totally bored.

“Boredom is my great achievement.”

Boredom is my great achievement. Isn’t that what you aspire to in your meditation practice? To be totally, fully bored with yourself, your practice, your life, your fantasies, etc., etc., etc.? No?

My topic, the actual topic I was asked to write about, is genuineness. Genuine is a term that is bandied about quite a lot these days, and it can mean many things, depending on the context. Through my search engine, I found that a lot of advertising companies use the word genuine in the title of their companies and websites. Suspicious. I also noticed that popular searches with genuine as the first word were mainly for car parts. If you’re going to drive an automobile, you would like it to have genuine parts, I’m sure. But this was not what I associate with genuineness in spiritual practice.

On the other hand, my word processor tells me that synonyms for genuine include real, authentic, indisputable, true, unadulterated, actual, legitimate, and valid. As far as the practice of meditation is concerned, these sound pretty good. I would definitely like my meditation to be real, authentic, indisputable, true, unadulterated, actual, legitimate, and valid.

Okay, so how are we going to achieve that? And what are the pitfalls? Simple. To be genuine, you have to be honest with yourself first, and then with others. Don’t make anything up. Just do it. Just be it. It’s pretty straightforward. But being honest with yourself is not so easy. There’s a little thing called self-deception that gets in the way.

Now that we’ve introduced that scary word, self-deception, we have our work cut out for us. In the realm of overcoming self-deception, it’s probably better to have no goal in your practice, but that’s a very difficult thing. Since meditation actually works, it’s hard not to have a goal. It actually does make you kinder, more aware, less speedy, happier, more mindful, more efficient, more peaceful, more in the moment, and so on. I’m not belittling these. They are important and valid outcomes of meditation. There are many studies and self-reports that support this. I’m a fan, a true believer. But this doesn’t specifically address genuineness.

In fact, when it comes to being genuine, it may be better to have one of those definite but perhaps limited purposes and let genuineness, which is all-pervasive, take care of itself. Indeed, unwittingly, you do manifest genuineness through the practice of meditation. You become more transparent and available to yourself, your thoughts are less fixed, you discover both natural strength and natural gentleness, and you’re able to see through preconceptions.

I presume you’re all waiting for the but, the pitfall. Here it comes, and it’s a big one. Largely, it’s attachment to credentials.

Sometimes experience comes blessedly, with no connection to credentials. If out of nowhere you have an experience of openness, joy, compassion, or awareness, an experience that doesn’t seem causally connected to anything particular in your life, then it is largely free from credentials. It’s a gift. It’s just what it is. Enjoy it for what it is, while it lasts.

But as soon as you become a “meditator,” whether you have been meditating for one hour, one week, one retreat, or twenty years, you may begin to feel the need to label your meditation experiences and to communicate them to others. That’s the beginning of gaining your spiritual credentials. You’ve just done your first meditation retreat. You go home and tell your family and friends about it: “Oh, it was fantastic. I had a really hard time for a few days, and my body hurt and I couldn’t control my thoughts, but then I had the most amazing (or insert other adjective) experience.” Whatever it was. Well, what else are you going to say? “Nothing happened. It was a complete waste of time, but I want to keep doing this.” Huh? We have positive experiences, and we want to share them with others. That’s an ordinary and acceptable thing to do. Pretty benign.

“If we look into our experience, we see that we are very, very confused in some fundamental way. That may be the most authentic realization that comes up over and over in our meditation practice.”

A little less benign is that, internally, we are looking for confirmation, signs that something is happening in our practice. We are looking for results, progress on the path. That also may be natural but it’s a little more dangerous because after a while we may tend to manufacture results or jump on things in our practice. If we have a “good” (that is, peaceful) meditation session, we are pleased and we try to repeat that. Another time we are frustrated when our mind is a roaring freight train of thoughts and emotions. Or we are experiencing huge upheavals in our life, yet nothing is coming up when we’re on the cushion. Shouldn’t they manifest in our meditation? We may try to manufacture emotionality and crisis in our practice. There are many other examples of how our expectations manifest in our meditation practice.

All these concerns about our practice and our various meditation experiences are genuine signs of—wait for it—confusion. Actually, the recognition of confusion is quite helpful. Seeing our confusion is an important and, dare we say, genuine discovery. If we look into our experience, we see that we are very, very confused in some fundamental way. That may be the most authentic realization that comes up over and over in our meditation practice. If we are willing to acknowledge confusion, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, then the path and the teachings are real, even if we may not seem to be getting anywhere.

Give up any hope of fruition. This slogan from the lojong (mind-training) tradition is another way of putting it. This is the idea of our practice being anti-credential, or free from credentials—through and through, start to finish. That is why boredom, our starting point, is so helpful. It’s really not a very good credential. If someone asks what you have achieved after three days, or three years, or three decades of meditating, it’s not that impressive to say, “I’m thoroughly bored.” To prepare for writing this article, I looked at ads for spiritual paths and retreats, and not one of them said, “Come sit with us. We’ll make you completely bored.”

But boredom is actually a great sign, if it is genuine, complete boredom that includes being bored with your confusion, your anger, your arrogance, your everything, your you. I’m probably letting the cat out of the bag a bit, but if you commit yourself fully to your practice and discipline, you eventually wear out a lot of things—they begin to seem quite unnecessary and quite boring.

“I’m probably letting the cat out of the bag a bit, but if you commit yourself fully to your practice and discipline, you eventually wear out a lot of things—they begin to seem quite unnecessary and quite boring.”

Boredom is genuinely helpful in ventilating our minds. The point of meditation is obviously not to encourage or enshrine our confusion, so getting really bored with our storylines, positive and negative, helps us clarify our confusion immensely. Of course, the path of meditation is not designed to deter us from commitment, confidence, and positive achievements in life. Meditation is not a nihilistic enterprise. But the approach of collecting credentials rather than wearing them out is problematic. It is very dangerous to try to con buddha mind, hoping to find a shortcut. It’s not dangerous to buddha mind itself, but it may lead to self-deception, the opposite of being genuine.

This is often a problem the longer you have been practicing, especially if you become an instructor or a spiritual model of some kind for others. Then you really feel that you have to demonstrate some accomplishment, and you may begin to panic if you don’t find anything in yourself that qualifies. People are looking to you for advice. They may be watching your every move, or so you think. They may ask you, “What was it like when you were just a beginner like me?” “How did you become so wise, kind, open, generous, blah blah blah?” And you start to think, “Well, I must have accomplished something. Yes, I am wiser, kinder, more open, more generous, more blah blah blah.” You may try to fulfill people’s expectations because you actually want to help them. But you also want to avoid embarrassment.

“It is very dangerous to try to con buddha mind, hoping to find a shortcut. It’s not dangerous to buddha mind itself, but it may lead to self-deception, the opposite of being genuine.”

The interesting thing is that people actually see right through one another, so really we could relax about the whole thing. It’s an open secret. Or as Leonard Cohen wrote, “Everybody knows.” Everybody really does know their own and others’ little secrets. We know, that is, if we admit to ourselves what we see, what we really know. That perception sees what is truly genuine.

Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to relax with that in ourselves. We have a lot of resistance to simply being ourselves, without pretense or adornment, with all our warts and wrinkles. It is quite uncomfortable. So often we put on a little show for ourselves and others, thinking that’s what is required. We try to give the people what they want. We try to give ourselves what we think we want. It’s actually very sad, and in the long run it doesn’t help ourselves or others. But in the short run, it’s a pretty good con.

But while everybody may know, that’s not a license for telling other people what’s wrong with them or what’s good for them. To do that, you’d have to really know. You’d have to be able to see others not just as schmucks or charlatans, devils or angels, but also as the immaculately genuine human beings they are. That has to start in one’s own practice. Sitting with ourselves without expectation, viewing practice as practice, as life’s work rather than a race to the finish line. In that way, we leave space so that buddha mind, genuine mind, can shine through at the most unexpected moments.

Genuineness is actually that simple. But I have to confess that I fall short most of the time, failure that I am.

A little voice pops up: Give it up. Abandon any hope of fruition.

I yield to the little voice.


Carolyn Rose Gimian is a meditation teacher trained by Chogyam Trungpa. She is the editor of Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery, and other teachings by Chogyam Trungpa, including his collected works.

 

 

 

93% Chance Earth To Be More Than 4c Warmer Than Now By 2100. Sea Level Rise Projections Double, Painting Terrifying Picture For Next Generation

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2018 at 5:36 pm

 

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(Photo: Maria Da Conceição Araujo / EyeEm / Getty Images)

Oldspeak: “Happy New Year Dear Readers, thought I’d start the year off with a state of the world report. At the end of the year, we’ll compare and contrast how much more fuckuppedly feverish our Beloved Mother has become. The current ecological equation is as Mr. Jamail eloquently stated:

There is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere and heat absorbed into the planet’s oceans that even if we stopped emitting carbon completely right now, the planet would continue to experience and display dramatic impacts from anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for thousands of years.

The second part of that equation is this: There is simply nothing to indicate that national governments around the world are willing to take the immediate, radical steps that would be necessary to begin to seriously mitigate these impacts.

Many of the humans being born right now will be alive in 2100. They will live in the conditions we are creating for them today: In a world where it will likely be impossible to feed the majority of the projected 9 billion people on the planet by 2050, water wars will be the new oil wars (the US military has already been practicing for water wars for years), major coastal cities will have long since flooded, and droughts and wildfires will have become year-round events.”

It’s currently warmer in Alaska than in Florida. The jet stream is obviously broken. Earth’s ocean’s are warming 13% faster than thought, and accelerating. Up to 30 percent of the Earth will experience serious drought and desertification by the year 2050. Water is becoming scarcer. Key food-producing regions are now plagued by chronic groundwater overpumping, dried- up rivers, and salt buildup in soils. In addition, an imbalance between growing populations and finite water supplies may shut off the option of food self-sufficiency for a growing number of countries. A biological annihilation of life is underway. And there is nothing to indicate that national governments are interested in taking steps necessary to mitigate impacts from Anthropogenic climate change. So that’s where we’re at in January 2018. Take a gander at Dahr Jamail’s latest dispatches from the climate edge. ” –Jevon

Written By Dahr Jamail @ Truthout:

In a consistent trend, future projections of an increase in the overall global temperature, as well increases in sea level rise, continue to outpace previous worst-case scenarios.

This is due to a simple equation: There is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere and heat absorbed into the planet’s oceans that even if we stopped emitting carbon completely right now, the planet would continue to experience and display dramatic impacts from anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for thousands of years.

The second part of that equation is this: There is simply nothing to indicate that national governments around the world are willing to take the immediate, radical steps that would be necessary to begin to seriously mitigate these impacts.

To see more stories like this, visit “Planet or Profit?”

Many of the humans being born right now will be alive in 2100. They will live in the conditions we are creating for them today: In a world where it will likely be impossible to feed the majority of the projected 9 billion people on the planet by 2050, water wars will be the new oil wars (the US military has already been practicing for water wars for years), major coastal cities will have long since flooded, and droughts and wildfires will have become year-round events.

While reading this month’s climate disruption dispatch, consider how the latest scientific reports and studies might translate into a picture of our collective future.

recent study showed that deforestation has twice the negative impact on ACD as previously believed. Deforestation has two main negative impacts. First, the trees are burned and they immediately release their stored carbon into the atmosphere. Then, farms are created in their place, which go on to release other greenhouse gasses like methane and nitrous oxide. Furthermore, without trees to act as a carbon sink, less carbon dioxide is being removed from the atmosphere.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Oceans Melting Greenland mission has warned that that Greenland ice sheet, which alone contains enough landlocked ice to raise global sea levels 20 feet, is more at risk, due to ACD, than previously believed. Even into late fall of this year, Greenland was experiencing temperatures as high as a stunning 54 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Some of Greenland’s coastal towns were even experiencing rain, while melting was occurring up on the ice sheet well into November.

Meanwhile down in Antarctica, recent evidence shows that even the glaciers in the eastern Antarctic, largely thought to be minimally impacted by ACD, are not nearly as stable as scientists had believed. The study, published in Nature, found that in the area studied there is enough ice to raise global sea levels by as much as 15 feet, enough to submerge most of the coastal cities.

Across the US, warmer temperatures have dominated throughout the late fall season. Even on the last day of November, just 7.6 percent of the country was covered by snow, which is only approximately one-third of the typical area of snow coverage for that time of year over the past 15 years. One seven-day period saw 1,550 record high temperatures around the country, compared to 15 record lows, a 100-to-1 ratio. On November 27, the mile-high city of Denver reached 81 degrees, which was 34 degrees warmer than Los Angeles, Houston or Tampa.

To get a sense of what these numbers mean, pay attention to the climate where you live. Look out the window. Take a walk outside. Compare today’s temperatures and climate to those of 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. Ask friends in other places around the country what they are seeing. Then, consider these monthly climate disruption dispatches in the context of that personal glimpse. Climate disruption doesn’t simply affect “the planet,” in some abstract sense; it affects every one of us, along with every other species on Earth.

Earth

As ACD progresses, increasingly profound impacts across Earth are apparent.

Along with unsustainable farming and fishing practices, ACD has caused a deepening struggle for survival among several kinds of vulnerable animals and crops. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “red list” of endangered species now includes several species of wild rice that are listed as “threatened,” while Australia’s ringtail possum is now listed as “critically endangered.” Three reptile species on Christmas Island have gone extinct in the wild.

Meanwhile across the US west, The National Climate Assessment has already shown how ACD-driven warming trends are changing both the water supply and ecosystems. Some of the impacts include an earlier arrival of spring, more precipitation falling as rain instead of snow (causing a lower winter snowpack), increasing droughts, and longer and more intense wildfire seasons.

On the human front, a recently published report links the growth of a new generation of child brides to ACD. The report showed that girls as young as only 13 years are being forced into marriage in an attempt to stave off poverty brought about by ACD impacts in countries like Mozambique. In fact, a 2015 UN Population Fund report estimated that there were 37,000 child marriages every day, and UNICEF warned that same year that if current trends continued the number of child brides could more than double, reaching 310 million by 2050.

Water

In the watery realms, ACD impacts continue to become increasingly pronounced as well. Longyearbyen, Norway, the most northerly town in the world, is at risk of disappearing. Winter temperatures there have seen a staggering increase of 10 degrees Celsius in the last three decades alone, snow is melting earlier in the spring and glaciers are thinning. Meanwhile, melting permafrost is causing avalanches near the town, closing roads and destroying houses. Between unusable roads from thawing permafrost, the ground no longer being able to support dwelling or town infrastructure, the avalanches, and disruptions to the food chain from melting ice and warmer temperatures, the town’s future looks grim.

Decreasing Arctic sea ice and warming temperatures are placing Arctic dogsledding culture in a very precarious position. Those who rely on dogsleds on a way of life can no longer count on the necessary ice, and hence, the traditional mode of transportation is on its way to becoming a thing of the past, as current melting trends continue apace.

Indeed, warming trends are only speeding up. Arctic permafrost is thawing faster than ever, Arctic seawater is warming up and Arctic sea ice is melting at its fastest pace in 1,500 years.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report showed that the Arctic experienced its second-warmest year on record during 2017, and that the melting sea ice (which reached its lowest point on record), “shows no signs of returning to the reliably frozen state that it was in just a decade ago.”

A recent study published in Science Advances has shown that one section of the Greenland ice sheet began melting 80 percent faster between 2003-2014 compared to the 26-year period beforehand.

Another report shows a dramatic increase in the use of artificial snow across ski areas in the Alps as temperatures warm and ski seasons shrink. The report provides the grim assessment, “The dream of skiing on Alpine snow is going to go away.”

Meanwhile in the Antarctic, the Pine Island Glacier is showing increasing signs of instability as a giant iceberg that broke off of it this September rapidly shattered. The incident underscored concerns among scientists about sea level rise continuing to outpace many worst-case predictions.

Efforts are afoot to figure out what to do to protect coastal cities from sea level rise, though the challenge is formidable. A massive barrier that aims to protect Venice from rising seas and storm surges is on target to become operational next year, but engineering limitations coupled with rapidly increasing sea level rise projections are showing that it will, eventually, all be for naught.

In fact, a recent report published in the journal Earth’s Future shows that the sea level rise many of us will see in our lifetimes may actually be more than double what was previously anticipated.

Lastly in this section, a recent report showed that last summer’s Hurricane Harvey was made 15 percent more intense — and three times more likely to happen — due to ACD.

Fire

The biggest news in the US for ACD-fueled wildfires brings us again to California.

That state’s largest wildfire on record, the Thomas Fire, burned more than a quarter of a million acres across the southern part of the state. At least one firefighter has been killed, and the fire is at least the seventh most destructive ever for California as far as the number of structures lost. Thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has branded the wildfires that have scorched his state over 2017 the “new normal,” and added, “With climate change, some scientists are saying southern California is literally burning up.”

Air

Warmer air temperatures are becoming the new normal as well.

Alaska’s northernmost town of Utqiagvik is now warming so fast that NOAA computers removed their air temperature data because the data was automatically flagged by algorithms as “unreal” and removed from the climate database. As the Anchorage Dispatch News recently reported on the incident, “In the short 17 years since 2000, the average October temperature in Utqiaġvik has climbed 7.8 degrees. The November temperature is up 6.9 degrees. The December average has warmed 4.7 degrees.”

For the first time ever, the American Meteorological Society’s annual report showed that certain extreme high temperature events in 2016 could simply not have happened without the influence of ACD. The same report showed that of 27 extreme weather events that were analyzed in 2016, ACD was found to be a “significant driver” of 21 of them.

Denial and Reality

As usual with the Trump administration, there’s far too much denial to fit in this section, so here are a few lowlights. In the pages of Steve Bannon’s favorite “weapon,” Breitbart “News’ ” James Delingpole has likened people who are concerned about ACD to Nazis.

The Trump administration recently nixed a cross-agency government group that was created to help prepare US cities for inevitable ACD shocks.

The so-called administration also has proposed a federal budget that will slash ACD-related NASA missions, and is instead urging the space agency to prioritize missions to the moon and Mars instead of “Earth-centric research.”

Meanwhile, much of the rest of the world is living in reality and continuing to try to do something to mitigate ACD’s devastating blows.

Recently, a large group of world leaders, energy magnates and investment fund representatives met in Paris for a summit addressing ACD. They did not invite anyone from the Trump administration to the meeting.

In Canada, the Trudeau government will be introducing a new law next year that will make polluters pay for their CO2 emissions.

According to a new survey, nearly one in six new cars on the planet will be electric by 2025.

And despite the Trump administration’s efforts to clamp down on climate science, important research is pushing forward.

A sobering reality check comes in the form of a report showing that ACD may be more severe than expected by 2100, adding that global temperatures could rise 15 percent (.5 degrees Celsius) higher than expected during this century. The study shows that there is a 93 percent chance that Earth will be more than 4 degrees Celsius warmer than it is now by 2100. Previous estimates had given that possibility a 62 percent chance. This report is in alignment with a consistent trend among climate models, which continue to adjust upward projections as ACD intensifies with time.