Ecology

Butterfly

Ecology is another of the two New Era emerging paradigms.
It is based upon the spiritual principle of Unanimity -

All beings are of One Soul.

Ecology is not only about preserving environments,
but about the connectivity of living systems.

David Bohm has shown that cosmic systems
are ordered by union with a greater whole.

Apparently separate entities share common depths.

We are not merely connected by physicality.
We are interconnected via consciousness.

As I wander through a field of wild grasses,
or travel through a city of diverse people,
I am interacting with other beings -
sentiently as well as mechanically.

Both the pond and the plaza will flourish or perish
depending upon the mutuality of contact
between each living being involved in its life.

The applied practice of Ecology is inclusion.

The interests and concerns of every being impacted
should be a part of any processes of communication.

Contemporary emancipatory revolutions
are driven partly by this principle.

The Ecological Paradigm
has profound implications
for conscious communities.

This is a core idea for agents of change.

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Holism

Chief's Peak

 Holism is one of two emerging paradigms for the New Era.

It is based upon the spiritual principle of Divinity.

All beings are essentially divine.

Holism is not just about eating wholesomely,
but about the dimensionality of living creatures.

Ken Wilber has shown that the human psyche dwells along
a continuum between universality and individuality.

We are body, heart, mind, Soul and Spirit.
All of us have great levels of depth -

Unitive Consciousness – Divine
Witness Consciousness – Transcendent 
Body-Mind Consciousness – Existential

My interactions with other beings require awareness
not only of their physical materiality,
but also of their consciousness and spirituality.

We do not only want human bodies in the seats,
we also want each of their hearts and minds in the work.

The applied practice of Holism is Participation.

The intentions and sensibilities of every being impacted
should be a part of any process of governance.

Contemporary emancipatory revolutions are
driven largely by this principle.

The Holistic Paradigm
has profound implications
for spiritual leadership.

This is a core idea for agents of change.

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Reinforcement

Bloom4 

Reinforcement/Appreciation is the fifth
of the seven Transforming Practices.

Reinforcement is the behavioral aspect
of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Reinforcement is changing patterns of action
by rewarding some and ignoring others.

Whatever actions are rewarded
will tend to grow stronger.

Whatever actions go unrewarded
will tend to fade away.

This phenomenon has been used
by bureaucracies and corporations
to manipulate human beings.
But reinforcement can be spiritualized.

Appreciation, if it is
authentic, genuine, sincere,
is a powerful reinforcement.

Appreciation can be of
greater value than remuneration.

 Human beings will make sacrifices,
and will even face punishment,
in order to gain honor and respect.

Human beings will perform heroically
for the simplest of rewards.

Ex. “I want to thank you for your service.”

 Reinforcement/Appreciation
is a core skill for change agents
in every human field of service.

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Restructuring

Bloom11

Restructuring/Affirmation is the fourth
of the seven Transforming Practices.

Restructuring is the cognitive aspect
of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy –
one of the most successful
methods of modern Psychology.

Restructuring is changing
the patterns of thinking
that drive our actions.

If we change our thoughts,
then our feelings change,
our actions change,
and our lives change.

One must be licensed to practice CBT.
But there is a powerful application
of the principle of restructuring
which can be used by any of us
wishing to bring about changes
in our lives and in our world.

Affirmation is the spiritualization
of the practice of restructuring.

It is especially powerful
at the level of identity.

Whatever phrases or images
we associate with the words

I am…

will serve to reframe
our thoughts about ourselves,
our feelings about our lives,
and our actions in the world.

If we can help shift notions of self
from negative (ex. “I am abnormal.”)
to positive (ex. “I am intuitive.”)
then we can help bring about real changes.

 Restructuring/Affirmation
is a core skill for change agents
in every human field of service.

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Actualization

Bloom13

The third of Seven Transforming Practices

is Actualization.

“What we can be, we must be.”
(Abe Maslow)

“The fully functioning person is self-directed.”
(Carl Rogers)

Both these revolutionary psychologists
identified actualization with Creativity.

Actualization can be applied as a method for
facilitating the unfoldment of human potential.

Helping other people become
what they are meant to be.

Safety, Belonging and Esteem,
are very basic human needs –
prerequisites for actualization.

If we can provide our people with
Safety – security & stability,
Belonging – affectionate relationships,
Esteem – recognition for accomplishments,
then they will tend to become creative.

Punishment and coercion impair creativity.
Encouragement and support enhance creativity.

This has implications for the human fields of
Government, Religion, Education, Business.

If we wish our citizens, our members, our employees
to be dedicated, committed, functional and fulfilled,
then we need to learn to design systems
that actualize the creativity of human beings.

Imagine if parents, teachers, healers, leaders
were trained to create these systems.

That is the reason Actualization
is a core skill for change agents.

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Dialogue

Bloom14

 

The second of Seven Transforming Practices

is Dialogue.

Socrates taught that our soul dwells between
the divine realm of principles
and the natural realm of consequences.

Dialogue is an aperture
between those realms.

Humanity has been gathering
across countless millennia
in circles around fires
to talk with each other.

The practice begins with
sitting quietly and
peacefully together,
speaking honestly and
listening respectfully -

Letting the voices be heard,
letting the vision be seen.

Conscious,
communal,
coherent,
creative,
conversation.

The ageless act of
sitting and sharing
opens a vortex
for groups to learn
what they need to know.

This is why indigenous councils
and anonymous meetings
are so spiritually powerful -

Human consciousness unfolds itself
through the processes of discourse.

The reason Dialogue is a a core skill
in the basic training for agents of change

is

If we can communicate with discipline,
then we can facilitate coherence.

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Mindfulness

Bloom10

The first of Seven Transforming Practices

is mindfulness.

The Buddha says, in the Dhammapada,
“Heedfulness is the path to the deathless.”

The Bible says, in Deuteronomy,
“Watchfulness… at the gates of the heart…”

Mindfulness is simply present moment
awareness, consciousness, attention.

Mindfulness could also
be termed Heartfulness.

The practice begins with the breath -

Breathing in. Breathing out.

Letting things be what they are.
Letting things go as they will.

Focusing upon the senses of the body.
Feeling the feelings of the heart.
Watching the thoughts of the mind.

Witnessing the presence
of our own being,
just as it is
here and now.

Thus deepening our kindness
and brightening our wisdom.

The practice extends beyond meditation –
entering fully into the everyday world.

Being present with ourselves.
Being present with others.

Attending to whatever presents itself.
Responding to the demands of the moment.

Listening. Observing.

Moment by moment by moment.
Being there to meet the need.

The reason mindfulness is a core skill
in the basic training for agents of change

is

If we become more fully present
with the depths of our own being,
then we become a greater presence
in the world we choose to serve.

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Seven Transforming Practices

Bloom18

 

It just struck me, as if I were being asked,
“What if any one of these blogs
was your only chance to share
a gift with the world?”

Well… then each of these pieces of writing
should not so much promote as provide
spiritual counseling for solving problems.

What seems to me to be the most important
offering at this point in my journey
is to present the set of ideas and skills
I have learned for awakening consciousness.

So the next series of postings
will be focused upon
the basic transforming practices
for spiritual professionalism
in the new era:

1. Mindfulness
2. Dialogue
3. Actualization
4. Restructuring
5. Reinforcement
6. Holism 
7. Ecology

These are core skills for agents of change.

The photos were taken with a phone near Ojai.

Yucca

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Nature & Spirit

RoseViewRoseLakeRoseFalls 

One of the great things about my counseling work
is that I get to share the wild beauty of this locale.

PierSet

I meet with clients at
Ventura Pier,
Harbor Estuary,
Botanical Gardens,
Lake Casitas,
Pine Mountain,
Rose Valley,
Matilija Creek,
Chumash Trail,
Lake Shrine,
Sacred Space,
Krotona
and
the Mount…

Vta Eagle

I love not only the nature of the place,
but also the spirit of the time.

Stones

There are legends that the New Era starts here,
amongst valleys sacred for 10,000 years.

Bloom1

Profound wisdom and healing power
are hidden between mountains and ocean.

Bloom2

 Each of the World’s Faiths has a center in this region,
and every kind of human being now lives in this area.

BeachArt

Wondrous things are happening.
It is a blessing to be a part of it.

Vta Swan

http://www.thesacredspace.com/

https://www.theosophical.org/membership/local-groups/1110

http://meditationmount.org/

http://www.mehermount.org/

I need to say a deeply loving thanks to
The Ventura Center for Spiritual Living
for letting me use office space as needed.

http://www.venturacsl.org/

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Wisdom of Kindness

Vta Pond


 

“Kindness is the basic wisdom.”
(Fortune Cookie, circa 2000.)

A deep study of the World’s Great Faiths
will reveal a hidden secret.
There exists an ageless wisdom teaching,
a single core idea, arising
through every period and culture
of humanity upon this planet -

We are not merely our personality –
composed of body, feelings, thoughts.
We are a spiritual consciousness.
We are essentially divine beings.

There comes a point on the Path
where the light touches our mind –
we realize that we are beings,
and must not be treated as things.

There comes a point on the path
when the love touches our hearts –
we realize that others are beings,
and must not be treated as things.

If I am a being, then all these others are too,
and I must treat them as if they were the Self,
because that is what they truly are.

This is the Diamond Rule.

If I search deeply into myself,
and then search deeply into
family, friends, strangers, enemies,
I do not find separated entities,
I find One Soul of love and light.

All beings are of one kind.

This is the basic wisdom of our species.
And it is the reason for kindness.

We are living through the moment
this ancient hidden secret might
finally become common knowledge.

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