Archived Blogs

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Buy Them A Pie! :) Posted by Dal Miranda, Jun 17 2019 [I'm so grateful for the weekend retreat at Banyan Grove, on "Being with the Other". I came home and mounted my retreat name tag next to my "Welcome Home" sign. Every morning, I can look in the mirror and say welcome home to myself. Below was my share at the retreat, in case some of you might be able to relate to it as well.] When I was first thought, "Oh, how do I create the 'other' in my life?" I wasn't sure. But then as I'm sitting here, I realized how much I other myself. And then, I thought how much other people make me feel othered. I'm biracial. My mother is Caucasian, my father is Filipino and because of their divorce, I was raised by my mother. When I was sixth grade, at a parent-teacher meeting, I remember my teacher telling me, "That can't be your mother. She's white." I ... Read Full Story

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All Power To The Imagination... Posted by Randall Amster, Jun 17 2019 A few weeks ago, I found this old wheelbarrow abandoned and headed for the landfill, so I brought it home to see if it could find a second life. My 5-year-old daughter and I wound up rehabbing it in the garage with random spare parts, and now it proudly lives next to our chicken coop. It even wheels, and sometimes helps with light work around the yard. Someone recently asked how we fixed it, and before I could answer them my daughter said, "I know! We fixed it with ... imagination!" Which, even after 20 years of teaching college classes, is pretty much the best response I've ever heard to an end-of-semester question... I guess this feels like it should be a metaphor for something larger (feel free to fill in what that might be), but the real story is just that it works!

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Earth Flag Going Up At The Mexico Border Posted by Angela Oh, Jun 17 2019 June 17th PM Update: Pancho is released and now picked up by cousin -- in the part of the planet called “Mexico” — will surely hear more soon~ Thank you for all your love! Here is Pancho at the imaginary border between Mexico and US: June 17 AM Update: No word yet. I’ve been checking the ICE Detainee Locator and nothing. Once I know where he is housed, assuming he's in US custory, we'll go in for an attorney visit ... A bit of Magical Mystery: When we were initially taken in, there was a bird, trapped inside this space where we were sitting. It kept flying across the room between two windows. One was a window facing the “U.S.” the other was a big window facing “Mexico”. We were worried that the bird would crash into the panes on both sides. But it seemed to know not to try and escape that way. It ... Read Full Story

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A Story Of Togetherness - Posted by Mia Tagano, Jun 17 2019 Last week, my partner John and I came to see my grandmother at the nursing home where she lives…as we were walking down the hall towards her room, I saw the elder who wears an orange turban ….I don’t know him exactly and he doesn’t speak anymore but I always stop and say hello when I see him; I put my hand out and usually he will look at me, lift his hand up and we shake hands; he has the most gentle spirit and strong presence even though he is ½ foot here on earth and 1 ½ in the spirit world. I don’t know much about turbans exactly – from the outside it is a very simple thing- fabric wrapped around the head and yet, I know it is so much more, sacred in fact; his is typically always immaculately placed around his head covering his hair; he is ... Read Full Story

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Nuggets From Sunita Puri's Call Posted by Rish Sanghvi, Jun 15 2019 Last Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting Awakin Call with Sunita Puri. Sunita Puri, M.D., is a palliative care physician and writer. She writes about what she has learned while working and practicing medicine “in the borderlands between life and death.” Dr. Puri stands in the tension between medicine’s impulse to preserve life at all costs and a spiritual embrace of life’s temporality. Her memoir, with stories of patients and families, has been called "a stunning meditation on impermanence and the role of medicine in helping us to live and die well, arming readers with information that will transform how we communicate with our doctors about what matters most to us." Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, and the Journal of the American Medical Association, and she has appeared on PBS. A Yale College, Oxford University, and UCSF Medical School graduate, Dr. Puri was born ... Read Full Story

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Giftivism Blossoms In Moss Park Posted by Thu Nguyen, Jun 15 2019 Our Toronto volunteers started today with the best gift of all, a sunny day when rain was forecasted. A year ago on this same weekend, a few of us got together to give this a try, make some banh mi together, bring some paint and gifts, invite a band, and practice making someone's day in Moss Park, giving with no strings attached. Month after month, it's not even the thousands of meals we've offered as gifts, it's not even that we always get enough volunteers and food and gifts to do it again the next month that moves me. It's the shift from a forgotten neighbourhood and isolation...to a community that welcomes each other to a monthly family meal. No matter if the volunteers or guests aren't always the same, no matter what language is spoken, no matter roof or stars over ones head, it's a visible shift into the space ... Read Full Story

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Subtle Satyagraha Of Pancho's Pilgrimage Posted by Dustin Harber, Jun 14 2019 It has been a privilege to have been a small part of Pancho's walking pilgrimage to the Mexico border, that John Malloy says is something that will be remembered for generations to come. Lots of people are responding to his "One Earth Family" vision in person, and also online. Here was a note he received recently: I bow, I bow, I bow to the walkers. Although I am not with you in the physical, I will share the subtle activism I do while doing eft tapping, as a surrogate/advocate for incarcerated children: Even though I have been treated like a criminal and an animal, I deeply and completely love, honor, and respect myself. All this fear and hatred. All this despair and hopelessness. This terror and powerlessness. This nightmare. This grief. (Repeat while continuing to tap as many times as necessary to feel these energies begin to dissipate.) I choose to let go of any and ... Read Full Story

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Remodeling My Inner Home @ Banyan Grove! Posted by Tessa Urbanovich, Jun 14 2019 I arrived at Banyan Grove for the 2019 Animal Activist Meditation Retreat with a few expectations. I knew that for about six days, I would be physically quiet (the most physically quiet I had ever been in my life!). I knew that I would sit down and try to focus on my breath for many minutes every day, and that I would probably experience withdrawal symptoms from mindlessly clicking around on my phone. I also knew that there was a possibility that this retreat could wring out some of the stress and anxiety hanging out in my heart and brain. I was right about a couple of these things. Definitely, I was right about being challenged by the silence. Personally, I identify as a “connector” (euphemistic for “compulsive talker” 😉), and I feared what would happen in my brain if I didn’t tell people what I liked about them, express all ... Read Full Story

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When The Kind Souls Go Posted by Bradley Stoll, Jun 13 2019 I watched this short video at a museum here in San Jose, Costa Rica. This was spoken with peace and clarity at the end: When the kind souls go. From the Earth we are. From the Earth we come. And to the Earth we will return​. When I heard it I immediately thought of many of you. On how we belong to the Earth...the Earth doesn't belong to us. The Indigenous people of Costa Rica seem to understand this better than most others. Maybe it's that way throughout the world. I'm still learning.

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Zilong Coming To Town! Posted by Diana Chen, Jun 13 2019 [I thought all of you might enjoy this post on Instagram. :)] Meet After Mindfulness Urban Retreat Speaker Zilong Wang. Zilong grew up in China, studied in Germany, and attended Hampshire College in USA, where his self-designed major was “Logic of Capital vs. Logic of Nature: Understanding Marx and Darwin”. After graduation, he bicycled solo for over 5,000 kilometers across USA, listening to "Moby Dick, Quran, and Bible" during the day, and knocking on strangers’ doors to stay for the night. ⠀ ⠀ After working for two years at a leading consulting firm focused on environmental sustainability, he answered the calling to go on a bicycling pilgrimage around the world for inner cultivation and for the ecological and spiritual awakening of our time. He ended up cycling for over 10,000 kilometers through a dozen countries, visiting spiritual centers and intentional communities, while keeping up daily Vipassana meditation and practicing small acts of service. More recently, ... Read Full Story

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Sunita Puri: A Palliative Care Doctor's Learnings On Posted by Rish Sanghvi, Jun 12 2019 This week's Awakin Call guest: 'Sunita Puri: A Palliative Care Doctor's Learnings On DeathReflection questions: What have been the sources of some your life's learnings and lessons on impermanence?

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