Archive for July, 2007

Art of Hosting as Operating System

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Regular users know that I am involved with The Art of Hosting, be it the art in itself or its community. It is the art of designing and facilitating meaningful conversations in whatever community – school – organisation they ask for it or are willing to engage with each other in ‘a road less travelled’.

Recently Ravi Tangri posted an interesting conversation on YouTube (in three parts) in which Phil Cass and Toke Møller tell the story of how these meaningful conversations came into being in the health care system in Columbus Ohio. It is really an amazing story and a very good example for other places and other areas of life.

In Columbus, Ohio, the question started around how to build an affordable and sustainable health care system in their region. Some time later they were asking themselves: What is a health care system for? and recently they had conversations about What is Health? I am in awe for Phill and all the others who are breaking new ground with something as simple as deep conversations…

Please take a look here. As I mentioned before, the whole story is in three episodes.

And Ravi did more! He looked around all over YouTube and gathered all video’s related to meaningful conversations. If you are interested, here is more!

What is liberation for women today?

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

This is the theme of the last issue (July-September 2007) of What Is Enlightenment?, a magazine published by EnlightenNext, the group of people around Andrew Cohen. Although I’m not really a fan of Andrew, and I certainly don’t agree with a lot of what he is saying around this subject, there is still a lot of value to read in this magazine.

Here is part of an Interview with Tenzin Palmo (author and Tibetan Buddhist nun), in which I find a lot of inspiring quotes. It will definitely influence my – and our – thinking around the next women’s gathering we are preparing for the fall. It will again be called: Women Moving the Edge. When the invitation is ready, you will find it on my website.

Tenzin Palmo: … We have to become strong instead of always exerting this needy sense of wanting. And in order to do that we need to develop the side of ourselves that we normally consider to be male. Not the aggressive side, but the confident side that conceives that if we wish to do something, it is possible for us to do it.

WIE: Are there other challenges that women particularly face in fulfilling the potential we now have?

Tenzin Palmo: One of the most significant problems is that women don’t support other women. This is a very ironical situation, and it has kept women weak throughout time. We support each other in little ways, but when it comes down to it, we will always hand it over to the guys.

WIE: One of the great early feminists in America, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, observed that women will often undermine other women, particularly those who take the lead and stand out.

Tenzin Palmo: Exactly! And if we are really going to be a power and a voice in this world, we have to stand solidly behind each other and not get caught up in factionalism and jealousy. Until we’re aware of that, it won’t change. …. I mean, we don’t respect each other. We don’t trust each other, why should anyone else value us? If women really held hands together, we would be a terrific power.

WIE: You’re implying that we could create a very different kind of society and world.

Tenzin Palmo: Society has to change, doesn’t it? By rights, we should be a tremendous power for good, because look at where we’re headed. But whether or not we will be that force of goodness depends solely on us. Unless we have a radical change in our consciousness, in our understanding of what is genuinely important, and in our way of relating to each other and to ourselves, the whole world is heading for disaster. Women, after all, are half the human race, but when we put each other down snidely, which we so often do, it keeps us weak and disempowered. And we have to deal with it because, unless we all stand together, our fragmentation denies us a real platform to stand on. We aren’t half the human race then. We’re just little groups scattered here and there. For the first time in millennia, women could have a very strong voice. And presumably, it would be a different voice.

WIE: What do you think that voice should say?

Tenzin Palmo: I think it should say that this lifetime is very, very precious and we shouldn’t waste it. Women have this great opportunity, and if we are conscious of it, then we will fulfill that potential. And if we’re not, then we will mess things up, just as men have done throughout history. We have to stand up and take a deep breath and look in our own hearts and ask ourselves what we really think is important and what we really want to do with this lifetime and then do it. The thing is that we can go astray if we’re not very careful, because you never know with women. We have to realize our strengths and our weaknesses and this lack of mutual support.
So we will see what happens in the next fifty or one hundred years as women begin to wake up and start to flex their muscles. And hopefully, we’ll begin to see that, just  as our imprisonment in samsara is caused by our own self-delusion, the problems for women are caused by women. Therefore the solution is in our hands. We don’t have to wait for men to change their attitudes. It’s up to us to change our attitudes, and that’s hopeful because, as with everything, the problem is never out there. It’s always in here.

Signs of the new world coming…

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

I recently came across many, many good links and interesting video’s that make for a good reading and listening in free hours.

First of all I want to make a link to Blessed Unrest, which is also the title of a book written by Paul Hawken. I didn’t read the book, but I find the video, where you hear his introduction inspiring. The subtitle is: How the largest movement in the world came into being and nobody saw it coming. One of the reasons that nobody saw it coming is because it was not planned, but it is the sum of all individuals and local groups that decide to do something and then do it!

That is exactly what you can see in other video’s on the site of Social Edge; a site dedicated to the work of Social Entrepreneurs. Besides the video’s there are also a couple of interesting blog conversations.

Other inspiring video’s – and a great way of harvest a conference! – are the daily video’s made from the Tällberg Forum. It is a yearly conference held in a small town in Sweden, but it seems to me that very important conversations are held there. These video’s are made by a professional company, of course you note the difference.

Finally I want to inform you about the Global Oneness Project. They seem to travel to different areas in the world, and report on the good projects that they come across. I didn’t see everything, but the ones that I can recommend are: the Seva Café, We are servants, not owners – about being guardians of the Earth, and an interview with Tenzin Palmo – author and Tibetan Buddhist nun.

I just like to see good ‘TV’ before going to bed…

Throwing something away…

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

Since many years I am wondering that so many people don’t see the consequences of living with – and producing – such an amount of waste… here is somebody saying it in the good way. Thanks for Joel and Michelle for sending me this!

“When you say you’re going to throw something away, where’s ‘away’? There is no such thing and where ‘away’ actually is – is social justice issues and environmental justice issues.
Every plastic bag, plastic cup, plastic to-go container, that is the petroleum complex in Africa, Ecuador, Columbia, Alaska, you name it. Every paper bag, paper plate, paper napkin, that is a forest.

Every thing that is called waste or disposable is the ways in which we are saying that it is acceptable to throw our planet and its people away.”
Julia Butterfly Hill