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Mark Marijnissen
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Leven in Compassie - Nonviolent Communication
Leven in Compassie - Nonviolent Communication

87 followers
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Windows Washers at New Delhi Airport
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Window Washers, Delhi Airport, June 27, 2012 (4 photos)
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Gotta love Mr. Bat-Cat!
Is this the biggest Batman fan?

Like and share if you're ready for The Dark Knight Rises too! ^.^
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Dharamsala, with photos from munks in Dalai Lama's temple, the nearby villages, the waterfall
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Dharamsala
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Woah! In collaboration with Gyan Nirdosh and Preeti Kothari, we introduced (and invented) MUMBO JUMBO meditation. It is based on the ancient and sacred principles of the HOLY monkey. Nirdosh was our "internationally certified monkey guru" who taught people to be "tense, stupid and insecure" to get escape things like "higher consciousness" and "tantra bullshit".

In a town where everybody is spirtual shopping and lost in mumbo-jumbo, we needed some antidote to bring people down to earth. So that's what we did. Check our the amazing flyer and full story here: http://www.marknis.com/meditation/blog/introducing-mumbo-jumbo-meditation-in-bhagsu-india
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Curious who I am? I just wrote my story!
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Interesting article about the basic goodness of people, fear obscuring that, and how mindfulness helps with that!
Join us on the Social Awakening online retreat at Tricycle.com: http://www.tinyurl.com/cylwqax Here's an exchange from today's conversation:
Question: Thanks for leading this new retreat. You talk brought up many things to consider carefully. I just wanted to focus on one particular phrase that I have always had problems with: realizing "the basic goodness of society". It is used a lot, but almost always is qualified by "it is not about good or bad, but realizing our true good nature". So I am a little confused about what the phrase might mean. Does it mean that under all the suffering, pain, hate, dishonesty and deception there is an "all-rightness" about things? In that case why would one be motivated to change anything? What exactly does "coming to terms" with things as they are really mean (presumably other than a quietist acceptance of the status quo)? I hope these questions are not too far off the mark. If so please feel free to point toward the direction you are headed. Thanks again for this retreat, Glenn
Response: We know from extensive research that human beings who have received enough love, empathy and support as children to have a relatively stable sense of self and a moderate level of self-acceptance or sense of okay-ness, naturally manifest prosocial qualities like empathy, caring and compassion when fear is not in play. We know that our brains produce experiences of pleasure and well being when we perform prosocial or altruistic acts, and that the same occurs even when we witness such an act by someone else. When we are not afraid, when we are not doubting ourselves and fearing others, we are naturally caring and compassionate beings. We are innately social beings living within an interdependent web of mutuality. We need each other. At a recent conference presenting neuroscience research about mindfulness and compassion training, one of the presenters showed a video of a unique experiment. Six-month old infants were shown a series of simple animations depicting prosocial, helping behaviors on the one hand and anti-social blocking behaviors on the other. The data showed a very significant preference among these infants for the prosocial, helping behaviors. Evidently, six-month old infants are predisposed to respond positively to witnessing prosocial behaviors.

On the other hand, we know that when we are fearful, we tend to fall back on fear-based survival (physical and emotional) strategies we developed as children when our basic needs were not being met, when we did not feel loved and supported, when it wasn’t safe to be who were were, or in some cases to be at all. Most of us received some kind of mixed bag of unconditional love and support and the lack thereof as children. Most of us live with a moderate level of insecurity or not-okayness. We overcome this for the most part by developing varying levels of expertise in living, having relationships and working and from that we build a kind of conditional confidence which keeps our worst insecurities at bay. As we all know this is a fairly fragile artifice of confidence, often a kind of whistling in the dark, in the face of our insecurities and fears, our fear of failure or loss, and ultimately our fear of death, or more precisely our fear of nonexistence.

Of course, human beings are very diverse and spread out along a wide spectrum when it comes to levels of insecurity and confidence, but the vast majority of us bunch up in the middle of the bell curve, the normal neurotic human condition. So collectively that’s the situation, and as a society we are then very prone toward allowing doubt about ourselves and fears of all kinds to get in the way of our intrinsically prosocial and caring nature. Of course it is not blocked completely and most of us lead relatively prosocial lives. It seems though that when we form institutions and systems, the fear gets ramped up and we tend to structure things around the lowest common denominator of fear-based, survival behaviors. Many or our institutions and systems appear to structured around the idea that we cannot trust each other, that human beings are somehow innately prone to bad behavior. If we hold such a belief about humanity, how can we really aspire to genuinely positive social transformation. Such a negative view of humanity would unavoidable lead to subtle or not so subtle coercive strategies for social transformation, transformation through aggression. We have seen the results of these approaches, mixed at best.

At the most basic level meditation is about learning to relax and accept ourselves as we are. At the most profound level meditation is about learning to relax and accept ourselves as we are. The question is how deep does our relaxation and acceptance go. Through meditation we can tap into the direct experience of the ground nature of our being, something deeper than the conditioned self or the conditional confidence we have worked so hard to attain. We can tap into, relax into, the most fundamental level our being and based on that develop or awaken unconditional confidence, confidence in our basic or unconditional goodness, in the basic goodness of our beingness and our humanity. Just by synchronizing body and mind through the practice of mindfulness-awareness meditation, we experience a basic wholesomeness or feeling of well being and wholeness that just feels basically good. At the most profound level, we are really talking about the basic goodness of nonself, the innate goodness of who we really are, the beingness beyond our conditioned and limited sense of self or “me.” In the gap between to “me” referenced thoughts, there is still the experience of being. Interestingly enough, when we forget to focus on “me” or check to see if “me” is still existing, the lights don’t go out. We are still very much alive, awake and experiencing the magic of life ... all the more so. As we relax more and more into that gap between thought of “me” and natural confidence is awakened. This unconditional confidence is the antidote to doubt and fear. The more confidence we have in basic goodness, the less subject we are to doubt and fear and the less prone we are toward fear-based reactions of all kinds.

There is the saying, “he or she who hesitates is lost.” Obviously, there are times when the most appropriate or wise thing is to stop, rest or wait. But in this case, hesitation refers to doubt and fear arising. We know that in martial arts, sports, the performing arts and so forth, when doubt and hesitation arise, we lose our seat and lose our body-mind synchronization. Our doubting, fearful mind gets in the way of the natural flow of body-mind synchronized action. For warriors in battle it likely means defeat. This is something we have all experienced. If doubt and fear take over while we are cycling or skiing, we are likely to fall or crash. All golfers have experienced the disastrous results of fear and doubt arising in mid golf swing. The obstacles of fear and doubt are the barrier to the natural expression of our innate qualities of caring and compassion. Accepting things as they are, starting with our experience of ourselves and our life right now, just as it is, is the first step in relaxing into our innate goodness and confidence. I think we can see now that this naturally leads to more caring and more compassionate action, not quietism or detachment which I imagine would be essentially fear-based strategies of some kind. When the artificial barriers between ourselves and others begin to dissolve through the meditative experience of egolessness or non-separateness, we naturally respond to others in the same caring and responsible way we relate to our own needs. If we cut our own hand, we just take care of it, cleaning and bandaging it properly, and we don’t expect a medal for doing so. With the experience of non-separateness, we respond to the needs of others as our own needs. We take care of ourselves and each other. It is all quite natural and ordinary when we are not possessed by the obstacles of doubt and fear.

So for me the question is not, how can we all get to this unconditional confidence in basic goodness one at a time, but how can we do this together? How can we collectively awaken this innate confidence and trust in our own goodness, the goodness of others, the goodness of human society, the goodness of life altogether. And how can we then begin to develop communities, institutions, and even systems that reflect that confidence and trust in basic goodness ... So much so that these institutions and other structures support and reinforce our individual and collective awakening to unconditional goodness?
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Awesome - manage facebook & twitter from google+ with #streamified  :)
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Dear Diary,

Today was special because I found out my shower drain was boobytrapped.... with a scorpion!
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I had a wonderful day, hiking to a nearby waterfall with a friend. I even took a little plunge into the water... ICE COLD! (I could have guessed, with the water being just ice melting from the mountains!)
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