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The Beauty Way

Ojai Foundation, California I spent a deeply stirring week at the Ojai Foundation this past October with Joanna Macy, trainers from the Pachamama Alliance and a gang of beautiful, conscious folks who have dedicated their lives to a creating sustainable and just future for all. I’m still in the midst of integrating what I experienced and deciding how I wish share the blessings I received. One bit I can share right now is the Beauty Way.

The Ojai Foundation adopted the practice and shares it with all those who visit. Having the chance to live it for a week had a tacit yet significant influence on me, helping to shift my priorities to include the “how” as well as the “what”. Another way to say it might be a greater emphasis on being in addition to doing. I have since been endeavoring to bring The Beauty Way more fully into my life. Here it is:

The beauty way is the practice of mindfulness.
The beauty way is an awareness of the effect I leave on community, space, people and land.
The beauty way is the freedom to voice choice.
The beauty way is encouraging these practices.
The beauty way is encouraging these relationships.
The beauty way is a feeling of being resolved upon entering and leaving a space.
The beauty way is present in actions.
The beauty way is the effect of space on people.
The beauty way is an awareness of cause and effect.
The beauty way is a holistic, energetic point of view, beyond neat and meticulous placement of objects.
The beauty way is bringing consciousness to details.
The beauty way is awareness.
The beauty way is engaging with, rather than traveling through, space.
The beauty way is modeling, rather than teaching, the beauty way.
Living the beauty way is in some ways equivalent to living Council.
The beauty way is being energetically clean.
The beauty way is being relationally clean.
The beauty way is actively engaging in psychological, emotional and spiritual process.

From the Ojai Foundation

Guh – Lost my Wallet in Toronto

If found, please call Lisa and I’s cell phone: 604-671-6370. Our phone will be off today (Sat. Sept 18th) because we are in a workshop until 4:30. Please leave a message and I’ll call you back.

in gratitude

I love my bike but Amtrak doesn’t

On my handbike leaving BGI Campus

Since the engine of my veggie-powered truck died, I’ve been graced with the opportunity/necessity to ride my bike more. The above pic was snapped as I was leaving the first BGI intensive of the year on Bainbridge Island. I took it down with Amtrak on the train, then ferry hopped and pedaled over to campus from downtown Seattle. The round trip was delightful except that the train didn’t really have surplus space to store my handbike. The baggage folks were not stoked. It turns out the long-haul trains have enormous baggage compartments but commuter trains are more limited in the baggage they can accommodate. They will take normal bikes which can hang in a rack but can’t deal with recumbents.

On the upside, the inside layout is incredibly accessible compared to my multiple cross-country trips with VIA Rail. The hallways are also wide enough for me to pass through in my chair and they even have fully accessible washrooms on board. So other than the handbike constraint, train travel has been by far the most comfortable way to get to school.

Prime Minister Harper – The World Doesn’t Want Canada’s Asbestos

A friend of my family, Jim Murray was recently killed by malignant mesothelioma – a form of cancer caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos. I really had no idea what asbestos was or why it was bad, where it comes from, who sells it, who buys it or what it is used for. I just read a short paper titled: ASBESTOS – CANADA’S POLITICS OF DEATH that was written by a good friend of Jim’s who was helping with his palliative care and addresses some of these questions.

It exposes that Canada is one of the major exporters of asbestos in the world and that the Conservative and formerly Liberal governments have gone to bat at an international level to protect this perverse industry. This is horrendous policy because every medical community on the planet is in agreement that asbestos should never be used. Even the WTO is in agreement and has supported Europe’s ban. Please contact your MP, ask their position on the issue and pressure them to understand the implications of supporting the Canadian asbestos industry.


Bring BGI into the Mainstream

I’m currently working on an MBA in Sustainable Development at Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) in Washington State. BGI is one of the most progressive institutions on the planet that’s focused on creating a socially just and sustainable world. The school is attracting the people who have the intelligence, wisdom, compassion and skills to transform how we do business on this planet – to something that benefits all life – and teaching them the skills to actually do it.

It turns out to be a rather expensive to start a graduate school. BGI is seven years in and doing well but the current economic situation is making it difficult to both deliver the education and grow to a point that the school can make a meaningful and lasting difference in the world. You can see our school founder Gifford below explain why growing BGI is essential. If you think what he has to say is accurate and you want to and can help, visit the following link which includes details on how to donate to BGI.

peace, in action

Green Party is Kicking Ass in Vancouver Centre

There is considerable energy in the strategic voting circles to organize votes against Harper. This (kind of) makes sense (in the short term) because our first past the post electoral system is so antiquated that it will likely elect another minority Conservative government even though most Canadians don’t vote Conservative and a significant number of Canadians do not have anyone in government representing their interests. I’m undecided if it’s a good idea. No one who plots themselves somewhere in the divided centre – left can say it is without its pluses.
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The Crash Course

I just finished watching Chris Martenson’s Crash Course for the second time. Chris has done an absolutely world class job of synthesizing a massive tomb of interrelated societal and economic issues and presented them masterfully in an easy to digest form. No previous experience required! Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a far more interesting future than we have lavishly grown up with.

One question: How’s your garden?

Can Mycelium Save the World?

Since I’ve been growing food in the city I’ve been concerned about soil contamination. One answer, innovated by urban farmers in New York is to lay down a thick layer of tree mulch and build raised beds on top. This is similar to packing lots of condoms and going on a sex holiday in Africa. It might work out but doesn’t do anything for the underlying problem. As a real solution, I’ve been curious about bio-remediation of soils but haven’t delved into it in any meaningful way. Paul Stamets at the TED conference gives an incredibly optimistic and inspiring presentation about the unseen world and work of mycelium. Check it out.

Elect Gregor Robertson for Mayor of Vancouver 2008

Gregor Robertson for Mayor of Vancouver 2008Gregor Robertson has decided to run for Mayor of Vancouver in the 08 civic election. This would be the best thing that could happen to Vancouver. I want to see Vancouver become one of the most sustainable, livable and vibrant cities on the planet. I believe we can develop a local economy that values well being and a society that takes care to make sure all its citizens are given full opportunity to create a better future for themselves. We need a government that is committed to transparency and community engagement. Gregor is all of this and much more. Check out his websites: Gregor for Mayor, Gregor – MLA Vancouver Fairview and join his Facebook Group.

Our Bikes Were Stolen This Morning…

Lisa’s recumbent and my handbike were stolen this morning around 6:00 am from our apartment’s garage. If you see them, please call 911 or Justin’s cell 604-671-6370.

Justin and his bike100_1654.JPG100_1417.JPG