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 rise above them. As Meg Wheatley urges us in So Far from Home, let us:

  • discover our right work and be happy to be engaged in it
  • refrain from adding to the aggression, fear and confusion of this time
  • stay present to the world as it is, with open minds and hearts, knowing this nourishes our gentleness, decency and bravery.

As always, our conversation here in Occupy Cafe takes place on this forum as well as our three Cafe Calls (times and registration links on the right side of this page).  Please join us in any way that you wish.  You are invited to start here by sharing a story about a time when you acknowledged and went beyond your fears.

This week on Occupy Heart, we'll explore shifting our body and mind from fear to Love.  Fear is a signal from our environment that a threat is immanent.  What makes our fear mechanism so complex, is that past fear messages are often mixed and mingled with present fears and subconscious fears are tangled with conscious fears.  The key to powerful living is to understand the difference and know how to dance with and transform them.

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So, all this...  percolating

Cainan's story about his young brother's experiences with cancer, complications, and such an amazing and revealing resolve at death.  Their relationship.  The affects of that relationship over a lifetime.  One part of a journey ending... another beginning, then continuing for a while.  

Heather's horrendous early childhood experience that still shapes her life.

Two examples of what we think of as such undesirable experiences.  Yet, they continue to shape lives many years later... even spreading out affecting perhaps thousands of others how they are affecting me right now.  Getting my attention. Reminding me how little I know and how much yet there is to learn.  Teaching me about our connection and latent potential.  Infinite is the word and vague feeling that comes in.

I contemplate the intricate majesty and mystery of humanity and the natural yet unseen world of intelligence.  These are some of my synonyms for God. 

The beautiful song "Pig," by the Dave Matthews Band, has been on my mind over the past two weeks or so.  And our discussion about "concerns" on today's Occupy Heart call has brought it up again...

Isn't it strange 
How we move our lives for another day 
Like skipping a beat 
What if a great wave should wash us all away 
Just thinking out loud 
Don't mean to dwell on this dying thing 
But looking at blood 
It's alive right now 
Deep and sweet within 
Pouring through our veins 
Intoxicate moving wine to tears 
Drinking it deep 
Then an evening spent dancing 
It's you and me 
This love will open our world 
From the dark side we can see a glow of something bright 
There's much more than we see here 
Don't burn the day away 
Is this not enough 
This blessed sip of life 
Is it not enough 
Staring down at the ground 
Oh then complain and pray more from above 
Greedy little pig 
Stop just watch your world trickle away 
Oh it's your problem now 
It'll all be dead and gone in a few short years 
Just love will open our eyes 
Just love will put the hope in our minds 
Much more than we could ever know 
Don't burn the day away 
Come sister my brother 
Shake up your bones shake up your feet 
I'm saying open up 
And let the rain come pouring in 
Wash out this tired notion 
That the best is yet to come 
But while you're dancing on the ground 
Don't think of when you're gone 
Love love what more is there 
We need the light of love in here 
Don't beat your head 
Dry your eyes 
Let the love in there 
There are bad times 
But that's ok 
Just look for love in it 
Don't burn the day away 
Look 
Here are we 
On this starry night staring into space 
And I must say 
I feel as small as dust 
Lying down here 
What point could there be troubling 
Head down wondering what will become of me 
Why concern we cannot see 
But no reason to abandon it 
Time is short but that's all right 
Maybe I'll go in the middle of the night 
Take your hands from your eyes, my love 
Everything must end some time 
Don't burn the day away 
Come sister my brother 
Shake up your bones shake up your feet 
I'm saying open up 
And let the rain come flooding in 
Wash out this tired notion 
That the best is yet to come 
But while you're dancing on the ground 
Don't think of when you're gone 
Love love what more is there 
We need the light of love in here 
Don't beat your head 
Dry your eyes 
Let the love in there 
There are bad times 
But that's ok 
Just look for love in it

Pia's not feeling so well and I'm sensing myself and maybe others are a little down 'with her'...  connected... real health care.

The Heart Call tonight asked me to share this joyous letter #6 to friends during my chemo last year. 

      What is a boat for without water? 
                What am I for without my Lynda...
                        ... and without you and you and you?    
 
You may not notice her drinking-in, replenishing her kindness with raw exquisite beauty all around, invisible to other eyes.  Nor is it obvious, her baby skin, scorched from others' misfortune and pain, or from their violence.  It seems she must suffer her life in order to silently offer her gentle gift.  Dementia doesn't diminish the gift, but does bring her pain of doubt... what a mysterious teacher. 
 
Learning what it is to be, choicelessly, the target of her glance; Watching workings of our maybe perfect symbiosis; Allowing her suffering for me, yet not without cause... perhaps so it is with my friends.  So much to learn.
 
To those who have offered and given help, words, prayers, energy, as well as those who've given even more... you are a sweet elixir.  I accept this deeply, sacredly.  Thank you!  
 
And in classroom 1A-  How not to be afraid of Love  (love, aka: care, help, nourish, connection, prayers, energy, DOBO (dance on behalf of), compassion, kindness, generosity, etc..  Or, it might be disguised as: worry, fear, stress, quietness, tentativeness, doubt, etc..). 
 
Teacher is saying, hands down Dyck, no more questions!  She's saying that to know love I have to surrender to you-- to have no defense, no preconceived idea, no arms, no hidden stash, WAIT A MINUTE! ...no self-image, no protection, no pride, ONE QUESTION! ...no promise, no hold-back.  BUT I DID MY HOMEWORK! ...No compromise or deals.
 
If you feel like it, call me.  Don't over-think it.  It scared me at first to say this to a list of hundreds.  But, if I'm not feeling well I'll let you know or return your call when I am.  I'm getting around some, talk on the phone, email & tweet, doing a little kitchen and bath design for a couple small jobs.  And, I lie on the bed and do nothing except be. 
 
After 4 treatments I begin to feel strained, more worn now.  My lungs ache for a week or so after chemo.  My bones belly ache about being forced (a shot) to produce white cells that are lost in Smoking Out my Pets.  Eyes water & burn, I lose voice, a little trench mouth.  But, I keep most of this at bay, managing in various ways.  A hint of carbonation returns to my Blue Moon sex life.  When I overdo my body sees to it that I take some Guantanamo days of recoup time.
 
I went to a cancer support group last week.  Hearing the stories I see my load is most insignificant compared to others' sufferings- mind and body.  I'm aghast as I listen carefully, trying to feel and 'see' the others.  My heart moves slowly through dark and thick jungle looking for my connection, and finding no way.  I am in difficulty.  What can I give?  I tell my story, but not too much.  I sense I'm alone with my not-so-believable or seemingly foreign, bright side of cancer.  I guess my delicate job is to just be myself, shirt open while the river currents take me.
 
People are asking me about my cancer prognosis.
 
This question surprises me because I didn't think of it myself.  Why haven't I asked my doctor about this?  Because it is of no use at all.  Should I engage in worry or hope... or maybe go back and forth?  Seems like nonsense.  But, pushed as the question does, I am content sharing what I know.  
 
1.  My current address is: stage 4, non-Hodgkin's, large B cell Lymphoma, Cancer, USA 27587.
2.  I'll be dropping my body* (aka die) sometime beyond this moment. 
* 'I' am not my body. But it is a worthy vehicle that 'I' inhabit for now, as incarnate ancient soul.
3.  Either at the end of chemo my pet cancers will be gone... in which case I may live somewhat longer if I don't get hit by a falling piano or otherwise die.
4.  Or, at the end of chemo my pet cancers will not be gone.. in which case I may live shorter than otherwise, or unexpectedly longer, if I don't get hit by a falling piano or otherwise die.
5.  When death comes to my body it will either be expected or surprising,  painful or pain free, horrific, pleasant or ecstatic or something else.
6.  I'll try to live fully as I can until I die... taking ample risks, living my truths, letting others know I love them, and telling those who need it to 'kiss off!" or punching em out.  This will be briefly or forever or something else. 
7. Any of these possibilities could have a lie embedded in it (solely for effect & balance).
 
My Ridiculously Simple Living Web: 
Earth sings her love to me!  Food is like music, created or produced exclusively from the living. All in the living food web like me, must be nourished to live... or die becoming the music.  What is this grace that calls me and all things to be the loving tune that sustains all life?   When is my turn to make love to you?
~    
 
Loveback, Dyck

Courage can mean that we dare to contemplate doing what is necessary no only what seems possible or interesting.

My suggestion of what is necessary, by the principle of First Things First...

is to challenge the established system's unspoken rule for individuals in society: "you have to earn the right to be here!"

Challenge that unspoken rule based on the following premise (if that is the correct term):

# In a post industrial society, a living income is necessary for supporting life;
# The right to life is meaningless if the means needed to support life is denied;
# The right to life has to be unconditional;
# Conclusion: a civilized society has to provide adequate Basic Income unconditionally to its citizens.
# Without this obligation being carried out we are still living in a society founded on a modern form of slavery.

Then press those in power for a dialogue, at least---with the "right to silence" clearly denied as an option.
We can take courage from the fact that financing such a step change in social evolution is the least of the problems that need to be overcome.

Hi Janos,

For me courage is manifested in outward action because that's where the danger is.  It doesn't seem likely it can be found in the act of contemplation as that is so private and 'safe'... although you may find an example to the contrary.

In 'challenging' something like, "you have to earn the right to be here!" it would seem theoretical and empty because there is no real accuser, no law, nor is there an enforcer.

Hello Dyck,

In the context of economics, employment, social security, wealth distribution, etc., the accuser---as any individual or group of individuals---can be quite real.

So can the accused---the group of policy makers---be real, since the economy does not provide enough jobs that pay a living income.

Don't you think so?

Thanks for responding in spite of my long absence from this forum.

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