An open space for global conversation
Well, it's been four years, and this site is still here, just as Occupy Wall Street still echoes and influences our current discourse on income inequality, the excessive power of the financial sector, and the insanity of an economic system built on exponential growth of GDP and debt.
What are you up to now? And how might we offer one another some support in whatever work for change is currently calling to us? Our video conferencing room will be open all day so we can explore those questions together, and there will be special one hour "gift circle" conversations at the following times:
Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/375432488
Or join by phone: +1 415 762 9988 (US Toll) or +1 646 568 7788 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 375 432 488
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=PerRKu66h8o7827kMf1-TGmc_M9ohwO1
This event is being held in partnership with "La Decentrale," a new place of meeting being co-founded by Occupy Cafe member Chris Zumbrunn, and located in the same Swiss town where the anarchist movement first took flight in 1872. Join us to connect with participants on the ground there, as well as comrades around the world.
We are being called to a place of courage. As we contemplate the state of the world at the beginning of 2013, there are so many dimensions that are deeply troubling. Fear is rampant in our country, our communities and our own hearts.
"Courage is fear that has said its prayers." As this aphorism suggests, courage is not the absence of fear, but going beyond it. Chogyam Trungpa talks about this concept in Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior:
In order to experience fearlessness, it is necessary to experience fear. The essence of cowardice is not acknowledging the reality of fear... Going beyond fear begins when we examine our fear: our anxiety, nervousness, concern, and restlessness. If we look into our fear, if we look beneath its veneer, the first thing we find is sadness, beneath the nervousness. Nervousness is cranking up, vibrating, all the time. When we slow down, when we relax with our fear, we find sadness, which is calm and gentle. Sadness hits you in your heart, and your body produces a tear... That is the first tip of fearlessness, and the first sign of real warriorship. (pp.47-9)
Let us encourage one another in our dialogue this week. Let us embrace our fears and go beyond them together. As Meg Wheatley urges us in So Far from Home, let us:
As always, our conversation takes place on the Occupy Cafe forum as well as our three Cafe Calls this Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (times and registration links on the right side of this page). You are invited to start NOW on the forum by sharing a story about a time when you acknowledged and went beyond your fears.
We are in mourning. Shock, grief and anger wash over us in waves. For many, the media (old and new) has become the place we turn in order to deal with such an event. In traditional societies, we would have physically gathered together as a community to process our pain. Closing out the year, Occupy Cafe will attempt this virtually on behalf of its members, including founding steward Ben Roberts, who is a Newtown resident.
How do we respond to this tragedy in ways that serve life?
Please join our online gathering here. Cafe Calls are complete for this year. Here is a link to the podcast of our call from Monday, Dec. 17th.
A lot has been happening recently on the climate front. Hurricane Sandy put the issue front and center after it was virtually ignored during the elections. Echoing the anti-apartheid efforts of the 1980's, 350.org has started the new Go Fossil Free campaign, which calls on students to demand that university endowment funds divest from the coal, oil and gas industries. And the COP18 talks just finished up with another round of failed negotiations, highlighted by a tearful delegate from the storm-ravaged Philippines pleading for action on behalf of the seven billion people on this planet.
Join us this week in the Cafe for a conversation on the varied dimensions of this crisis. What is moving in the world? How might this online community participate? What are the personal challenges this subject brings up for you? Explore these questions together here on our forum, and on each of the three Cafe Calls we will be hosting. Monday's Vital Conversation will start us off with an overview, Connect2012 on Tuesday will focus on what this community might do and Thursday's Occupy Heart will address the inner struggles a crisis like this evokes. See the schedule on the right side of this page for times and registration links.
We will be testing out MaestroConference's new "social webinar" feature this week, which allows you to see who else is in your breakouts with you. Click here to access this feature once you are on a Cafe Call (note: you will need your call-in and PIN handy to sign up).
As we all watched the Occupy Movement erode, and as I witnessed an emotional force there more interested in opposition than support, which is of course the nature of emotional force, I returned my…Continue