Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Even the Best Meditators Have Old Wounds to Heal

This article speaks deeply to my experience.
Blessings ~ Molly

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by Jack Kornfield

For most people meditation practice doesn’t "do it all." At best, it’s one important piece of a complex path of opening and awakening.

In spiritual life I see great importance in bringing attention to our shadow side, those aspects of ourselves and our practice where we have remained unconscious. As a teacher of the Buddhist mindfulness practice known as vipassana, I naturally have a firm belief in the value of meditation. Intensive retreats can help us dissolve our illusion of separateness and can bring about compelling insights and certain kinds of deep healing.

Yet intensive mediation practice has its limitations. In talking about these limitations, I want to speak not theoretically, but directly from my own experience, and from my heart.

Some people have come to meditation after working with traditional psychotherapy. Although they found therapy to be of value, its limitations led them to seek a spiritual practice. For me it was the opposite. While I benefited enormously from the training offered in the Thai and Burmese monasteries where I practised, I noticed two striking things. First, there were major areas of difficulty in my life, such as loneliness, intimate relationships, work, childhood wounds, and patterns of fear, that even very deep meditation didn’t touch. Second, among the several dozen Western monks (and lots of Asian meditators) I met during my time in Asia, with a few notable exceptions, most were not helped by meditation in big areas of their lives. Many were deeply wounded, neurotic, frightened, grieving, and often used spiritual practice to hide and avoid problematic parts of themselves.

When I returned to the West to study clinical psychology and then began to teach meditation, I observed a similar phenomenon. At least half the students who came to three-month retreats couldn’t do the simple "bare attention" practices because they were holding a great deal of unresolved grief, fear, woundedness, and unfinished business from the past. I also had an opportunity to observe the most successful group of meditators - including experienced students of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism - who had developed strong samadhi and deep insight into impermanence and selflessness. Even after many intensive retreats, most of the meditators continued to experience great difficulties and significant areas of attachment and unconsciousness in their lives, including fear, difficulty with work, relationships wounds, and closed hearts. They kept asking how to live the Dharma and kept returning to meditation retreats looking for help and healing. But the sitting practice itself, with its emphasis on concentration and detachment, often provided a way to hide, a way to actually separate the mind from difficult areas of heart and body.

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Joy comes not through possession or ownership
but through a wise and loving heart.
~ Jack Kornfield

Monday, January 25, 2010

Unequal Protection

This is perhaps the best book on corporate personhood.
Peace ~ Molly

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Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate
Dominance and Theft of Human Rights
by Thom Hartmann

Click here to go to the site Click here to buy it from amazon.com
Unequal Protection is a book about how corporations are trying to hijack democracy – and what we can do about it.

In Unequal Protection, author Thom Hartmann tells a compelling, can’t-put-it-down story that tracks the history of the loss of democracy in America. It starts with the birth of the modern corporation with the founding of the East India Company in 1600, through the Boston Tea Party revolt against transnational corporate domination of the early American economy, the rise of corporations during the Civil War, the ultimate theft of human rights before the Supreme Court in 1886, and into the modern-day theft of human rights in the US and worldwide by corporate interests and the politicians they own.

“If you wonder why the corporate world constantly lurches from malaise to oppression to governmental corruption and back, Unequal Protection reveals the untold story. Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies.”-Paul Hawken, author, Natural Capitalism

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You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

All serious daring starts from within.
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

Whoever said anybody has a right to give up?
~ Marian Wright Edelman

Business vs. Business…Corporate Personhood

From Thom Hartmann's blog:

In response to the Supreme Court’s terrible decision giving corporations First Amendment rights “dozens of current and former corporate executives” from corporations including Delta, Playboy Enterprises, Ben & Jerry’s, Seagram’s liquor company, toymaker Hasbro, Delta Airlines Men’s Wearhouse, and Crate & Barrel sent a letter to Congress asking it to immediately pass the Fair Elections Now Act, which would publicly finance all congressional campaigns out of a special fund created by a fee levied on TV broadcasters. They say they are tired of getting fundraising calls from lawmakers and now it will get worse. Actually, these relatively smaller corporations really have nothing to worry about when it comes to getting more fundraising calls from members of Congress. Their smaller contributions will be replaced by billions from Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, Big Retailing, and Big Manufacture in China. What they really have to worry about is that these huge corporations will use their new Supreme Court-granted political power to wipe them out altogether. Robber Baron industries can now drop billions to lobby to simply make illegal smaller companies, or force them to sell to giant conglomerates. Reagan and Clinton brought us “good buy small business” – our malls and downtowns are now totally almost totally national chains. Now you can say “good bye” to medium sized businesses – and even big American corporations – as well, as transnational, German, Japanese, and Chinese corporations can legally buy our politicians and use the power of the state to put their competitors out of business.


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One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
~ Maya Angelou

There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: honest search for understanding, education, organization, action that raises the cost of state violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change -- and the kind of commitment that will persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a brighter future.
~ Noam Chomsky

The best way out is always through.
~ Robert Frost

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Fascism, I Tells Ya!

by Tom Degan

"Fascism should more properly be called 'corporatism' because it is the total merging of corporate and state power."

Benito Mussolini
the Founding Father of the Fascist state

... Ascribing humanity to a corporation, to a company like Exxon or Disney for example, raises too many questions to even list here. But let's at least attempt to ask a few of them, shall we, boys and girls? Here goes....
Are corporations really persons?
Do corporations think?
Do corporations weep?
Do corporations fall in love?
Do corporations grieve when a loved one dies as a result of a lack of adequate health care?
Do corporations have loved ones?
Are corporations even capable of loving?
Do corporations sometimes lose sleep at night worrying about disease, violence, destruction, and the suffering of their fellow human beings?
Do corporations feel your pain?
Can a corporation run for public office?
Is a corporation capable of having a sense of humor? Is it capable of laughing at itself? (EXAMPLE: "So these two corporations walk into a bar....")
If a corporation ever committed an unspeakable crime against the American people, could IT be sent to federal prison? (Note the operative word here: "It")
Has a corporation ever walked into a voting booth and cast a ballot for the candidate of its choice?
We all know that corporations have made a shit-load of cash throughout our history by profiting on the unspeakable tragedy of war. But has a corporation ever given its life for its country?
Is a corporation capable of raising a child?
Does a corporation have a conscience? Does it feel remorse after it has done something really bad?
Has a corporation ever been killed in an accident as the result of a design flaw in the automobile it was driving?
Has a corporation ever written a novel or a dramatic play or a song that inspired millions?

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A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.
~ Edward R. Murrow

Fascism Anyone?

I am moved to share this post by my wise, brave, and loving friend Mary Frances, which is a response to the Supreme Court decision of 1/21/10 to grant corporations the unlimited freedom to fund national candidates for President and Congress:

Hello World, The Supreme Court of the United States of America is holding a sale. What's for sale you ask? The United States of America - to the highest bidder. Oh yeah! It starts with an F and ends with an ascism. Mussolini defined fascism as "t...he merger of corporate and government power." So...welcome to the Fascist States of Amerika y'all. Check out: "Fascism Anyone?" by Laurence Britt...stunning!

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Fascism Anyone?
The 14 characteristics of Fascism
by Dr. Lawrence Britt

Dr. Britt, a political scientist, studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He found the regimes all had 14 things in common, and he calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism -- Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights -- Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to 'look the other way' or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause -- The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military -- Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

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What better way to control a people than
to convince them that they are not being controlled?
~ Brian Murray
(My now 30 year old son talking about
America several years ago.)

If Corporations Were Human

If America were informed that the 1/21/10 Supreme Court Decision has brought out into the open 1984 style that we are now officially a Corporatocracy, we would be out in the streets by the millions demanding democracy rather than a nation of, by, for multinational corporate interests. We must speak out and spread the word! Please join me! Peace ~ Molly

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Published on Friday, January 22, 2010 by CommonDreams.org
by Scott Klinger

Yesterday's Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case removes all limits on large corporations to finance and influence federal elections. In its ruling the Court reverse a decades old ruling barring companies from using their general funds to fund political campaign, and guts pieces of the popular McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation. In so doing the Court implicitly embraces a 125 year-old precedent in the case of Santa Clara v. Santa Fe, where the Court first developed the legal doctrine of corporate personhood, explicitly granting corporations the same political and civil rights granted to human beings. Our nation's founders would be shocked to learn that their revolution had resulted in non-human entities like corporations being endowed with the same hard fought rights secured for citizens.

But what if we accept corporate personhood as the current reality and instead focus on changing the rules such that corporations would also have to be bound by other limitations of humanity? How would corporations be different if they were indeed human-like?

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No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. (about Senator Joseph McCarthy's accusations about Communism in the American government) ~ Edward R. Murrow

We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Supreme Court Rules Corporations Are Free to Dominate Elections -- Citizens' Movement Emerges to Overrule the Court

I heard the moment it was breaking news that corporations have been granted unlimited financing of Presidential and Congressional candidates. This is the most frightening, disturbing, shocking, destructive ruling of my lifetime. The silver lining may be that it wakes more of us up. Please act now and spread the word! Thanks! Peace ~ Molly

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National coordinated campaigns unite to revoke
corporate personhood, corporate "free speech,"
and secure citizens' rights.

Breaking News, Jan 21: Rep. Donna Edwards announces bill to amend the Constitution and overrule the Court. Rep. Leonard Boswell also announces plan. See our home page for Edwards' video announcement.

BOZEMAN, MT - The Supreme Court dropped the pretense of impartially interpreting the Constitution today in favor of unabashed activism on behalf of corporate power, overruling century-old legislative precedent and decades-old precedent of its own.

The Court enshrined corporations -- an entity unmentioned in the U.S. Constitution -- with the political rights of human beings, overturning settled law that distinguishes between corporate and individual expenditures in elections.

In response, two citizen coalitions have emerged with the explicit mission of overruling the Supreme Court via amending the Constitution. ReclaimDemocracy.org is among more than one dozen citizen groups that have joined forces to advance Move to Amend, a call to amend the Constitution to revoke the Court's illegitimate creation of “corporate personhood,” as well as establishing a constitutional Right to Vote and safeguarding local democracy.

More: http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_speech/amendment_campaigns_launch.php

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... the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.
~ Alex Carey, Australian social scientist,
quoted by Noam Chomsky in World Orders Old and New

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Obama Finally Gets His Victory For Bipartisanship

Drew Westen
Psychologist and neuroscientist; Emory University Professor

You can blame a bad candidate, bad organization, bad timing of a vacation -- choose your rationalization. But the reality is that voters in Massachusetts were reacting to the same foul mist coming off Boston Harbor that New Jersey Voters smelled coming off the Hudson and Virginia voters off the Chesapeake.

What they all understood was that the source lay on the shores of the Potomac.

It is a truly remarkable feat, in just one year's time, to turn the fear and anger voters felt in 2006 and 2008 at a Republican Party that had destroyed the economy, redistributed massive amounts of wealth from the middle class to the richest of the rich and the biggest of big businesses, and waged a trillion-dollar war in the wrong country, into populist rage at whatever Democrat voters can cast their ballot against.

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There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil
to one who is striking at the root.
~ Henry David Thoreau