The Incredible Progress of Daily Practice
2 days ago
When I was at American Bounty last Friday, I ordered the skate fish. I had talked generally with our servers about local and sustainable foods but did not ask a specific question about this only fish on the menu. Although I had seen skates on beaches, I had never eaten one nor knew about them as edible (I have since seen the 1980 Julia Child video on cooking skate).When I returned home, I googled Skate and was dismayed to find that:
"In 2010, Greenpeace International has added the barndoor skate, bottlenose skate, spotback skate, and maltese skate to its seafood red list. "The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries." wikipedia
Could you please tell me what kind of skate was served and where and how it was caught? Any other comments about why it was chosen to be on the menu would be appreciated.Will the CIA respond?
The #1 biggest misconception about meditation practice is that it involves clearing the mind of thought, like you sit down and pull some kind of meditation emergency brake. Or at the very least, if you can’t stop thought altogether, you should at least have only peaceful, positive thoughts. Susan PiverThere are many ways to meditate, many schools that teach different techniques, and certainly a history and an association with various spiritual and religious practices. There are also misconceptions about the practice. So many people I have spoken with say, "I could never meditate", "I can't be still", "I can't not think," or "I'm just not calm enough." Defeated before they begin. So, here are some foolproof steps to an easy beginning practice.
To shift the mind from logical, externally oriented thought, there should be a constant stimulus: a sound, word, or phrase repeated silently or aloud; or fixing gazing at an object. Since one of the major difficulties in the elicitation of the Relaxation Response is "mind wandering," the repetition of the word or phrase is a way to help break the train of distracting thoughts. Your eyes are usually closed if you are using a repeated sound or word; of course your eyes are open if you are gazing. Attention to the normal rhythm of breathing is also useful and enhances the repetition of the sound or the word.
When distracting thoughts occur, they are to be disregarded and attention redirected to the repetition or gazing; you should not worry about how well you are performing the technique, because this may well prevent the Relaxation Response from occurring. Adopt a "let it happen" attitude. The passive attitude is perhaps the most important element in eliciting the Relaxation Response. Distracting thoughts will occur. Do not worry about them. When these thoughts do present themselves and you become aware of them, simply return to the repetition of the mental device. These other thoughts do not mean you are performing the technique incorrectly. They are to be expected."
"When I am alone driving in my car I use this as quiet time; I empty out, I pray, I remember what I am grateful for, I am quiet."The silence was good. My mind was still busy within that, but I feel I am more conscious of that busyness now. Meditation has helped give me that moment of awareness about what's going on in my head, and at that moment I have a choice to continue or not. When I fill the quiet with music or news, it distracts me, and I don't notice my thoughts. That moment of awareness doesn't come, or is easily missed. The quiet is important for me. I strive to be aware even in the loud and distracting moments, but Gail reminds me to create quiet in-between time in which to practice bringing greater awareness from the meditation cushion into the rest of my life.
Through a Narrow Window: Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and Her Terezin Students is a beautiful book about a heart-breaking story. Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898-1944) was an artist, facing the usual tribulations of being a female artist in the early 1900s, but she faced a bigger struggle being a Jew in Czechoslovakia when the Germans came to power in the 1940s.
The author, Linney Wix, discusses Friedl Dicker-Brandeis' background as an art student and art teacher and the famous artists who taught and influenced her. The primary focus of the book is on Dicker-Brandeis' time in the Terezin concentration camp, which was created as a "model ghetto" for Nazi propaganda but in reality was a way station to the gas chambers. Friedl Dicker-Brandeis was interred in Terezin at the end of 1942 and was killed at Auschwitz less than two years later.
The fairy tale part of the story concentrates on Dicker-Brandeis' inspired teaching of art to children in the concentration camp and her wherewithal to hide two suitcases full of the artworks before she was transported to her death. This stash was found after the end of WW2.
Through a Narrow Window can serve many audiences. It is a beautiful art book filled with reproductions of work produced by Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and her Terezin students. Wix' essays illuminate Dicker-Brandeis' dynamic theories of art education and art therapy; and, Through a Narrow Window also honors a talented artist and Holocaust heroine.Dr. Linney Wix is an Associate Professor in the Art Education Program. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Thought and Socio-Cultural Studies from the University of New Mexico (2003), her M.Ed. in expressive therapies from Lesley College (1980) and her B.A. in social work and B.F.A. from the University of Montana. Linney's creative work is in painting and ceramics. She is a Registered Art Therapist (A.T.R.) with the American Art Therapy Association and a licensed professional art therapist (L.P.A.T.) in New Mexico.
“We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”~Martin Luther King
"Without the in-breath of self care and reflection we can't sustain our involvement with the suffering of the world, nor do we have the clarity of heart and mind required for the complex challenges we face. On the other hand, without the out-breath of compassionate engagement with society our inner work implodes upon itself leading to the dead end of narcissism and spiritual emptiness." Gail Straub