Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yoga Mama's Guide to Compassionate Citizenry, Ecstatic Presence Newsletter

In this newsletter: Note from LaSara: Yoga Mama's Guide to Compassionate Citizenry * Empowerment for Presence: There Is No Other * LaSara Recommends...*

As the election nears, there are questions on everyone's lips. Whether it's okay to talk about politics is one of this big ones. My opinion; it's not just alright, it's your responsibility to do so! This is a democracy, and as citizens, we are empowered to participate in the governance of our country.

Yoga Mama's Guide to Compassionate Citizenry:

1. Assume positive intent.

Just because politics tends to get dirty doesn't mean that I should add my own mud to the slinging. It can be a challenge to hold back, but doing so is good form. I want to hear your point of view, and I want you to hear mine. Let's keep it clean as we are able.

2. Generate Bodhicitta.

Bodhcitta means wisdom-consciousness, or awakened-consciousness. Engage in the political conversation from a place of wisdom and compassion. This allows you to recognize your own wounding, while allowing yourself not to react from the wounded place. It also allows you remember that everyone is doing what they think best for the world.

You don't have to agree with their methods (and you won't in many cases), but trust that everyone is doing their best. In addition to contributing to the process of your own potential awakening to the enlightened mind, it makes it easier to have a civilized conversation.

3. Don't take it personally.

While it is easy to get caught in the fervor of fear, hurt, power and probabilities, and while the outcome of election day is very important, remember that comments made about your candidate are not comments made about you. Political disagreements don't need to become personal ones.

As a business person, I know I am taking a risk by being public with my political views. But it is a risk I willingly take on, in order to be the best citizen, of this country and the world as a whole, that I can be. I respect your right and duty to do the same.

The place where politics and spirit meet is addressed in this issue's Empowerment for Presence; There Is No Other. Read on, and have an ecstatic day.




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Empowerment for Presence: There Is No Other

by LaSara Firefox,

I have a lot going on in my life right now, and all of it is the opportunity to achieve a more constant state (or station) of awakening to compassion. One of the largest of my personal challenges to living in my compassionate heart is Sarah Palin.

Why? To begin with, she's the iconic proof that we haven't "come a long way, baby!" at all. Palin represents the dumbing-down of America, but more painfully to me, she is the "answer" to senator Clinton's "ball-busting" demeanor. Palin is hailed by some as the perfect feminine candidate; MILF-esque, down-to-earth (folksy), and seemingly, dumb as a doornail. Ouch.

So here's the practice I am sitting with in accepting Palin as part of the undifferentiated all-that-is: three steps to cultivating compassion.

1. I recognize Palin, and my feelings for her, as my own shadow, my own wounded self seeking the light of acceptance, my own wounded femininity aspiring to recognition in a "patriarchal" world, my own fear and my own failing.

2. I awaken my "witness self", the one who easily sees my own broken parts, and loves me into wholeness, even when I feel unlovable, or unloving.

3. I allow my heart to open and grow, and visualize Palin held securely in my own heart, or enveloped in my heart-energy. I breath into this love, and allow myself to heal in, and through, it.

I undertake this practice for the benefit of all beings, pervading space and time.In the process, I heal my own heart. I address my own shadow, and in moving through the pain of it, I become more awakened to the process of integration.

In the healing of my own heart, and the growth and expansion of it, I come to have more faith in the possibility of healing. Anger is a poisoned blade that harms the one that holds it. I am only capable of healing myself. But, perhaps in healing myself, I heal the world.

Consider yourself empowered.

LaSara Recommends...


Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature

Edited by Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams, Tarcher, 1990

Meeting the Shadow addresses the dark areas of the psyche from many angles and perspectives, and through numerous lenses. It's helpful both as a cautionary measure, and as a doorway to cultivating understanding of the shadow and how it functions and manifests. Even-handed, honest, and engaging, essays from scholars, spiritual seekers and leaders, pundits, parents and more.

TV Show:

Grey's Anatomy is a really, really good show. My husband and I watch it together, and are equally moved by it. Grey's Anatomy deals with epic themes with a light hand. And, as a fan of moral ambivalence that's true to life, the show offers opportunities for viewers to arrive at our own conclusions about right and wrong.

As a comment on women in culture, the show makes up for my heart-ache regarding Palin. (See above!) Grey's posse is sexually empowered, though wounded - like most of us; hard-working, yet sometimes over-extended; invested in image, though often pissed-off when objectified. In other words, I know these women. They're me. And you. And my sisters. And my peers.

So glad to have another year of growing up with this crew.

The Ecstatic Presence Project * 705 N. State St. #205, Ukiah, CA, 95482 * 707-293-5153 * *


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Backpacking Dad said...

Okay. I pretend to be a philosopher during the day, and philosophers enjoy crazy examples and thought experiments to push, prod and promote thought.

So, simplistic as the example sounds, if you are in Germany in the 30s do you assume Hitler is doing his best?

Now, of course you assume he is doing his best, because he's not going to be lazy about his agenda, right? So the question really means: Even on the assumption that he's doing his best, do you refrain from swaying minds with every tool you have just to preserve the process? Do you avoid slinging mud and taking it personally because the democratic process is supreme? Or do you take any and all actions necessary, including writing scathing poetry and manipulative articles in order to guarantee that even though Hitler is doing his best that his agenda never sees the light of day?

It always goes back to Hitler, doesn't it? He has ruined politics and the idealized political system. Because in his example is both the consequence of inaction, and the knowledge that there really are people in the world who can be convinced of insanity with little effort. What do we do about them?

Anonymous said...

Good question. Not exactly sure what to do about them, but I know I reach people about moving through and past their fears, questioning instead of blindly following (whatever it may be, beliefs, conditioning, society, etc), thinking for themselves, sharing that their mind is their own and not swayed to go along with what is not good for people on a whole. No one person cannot be destructive unless other people aid them. It's getting no one to aid those people, that I see as possible, but taking a while to get to. Hope that made sense. I enjoy the newsletter. xo

LaSara FireFox said...

The Hitler example is always interesting, and I have a lot I could say about that - but the most relevant thing I think I can offer in this is that it is the wound within that we project outward that wounds the world.

Very much true in Hitler's sense - and I would say that it's generally true.

So in the healing of the wound within, the healing of the world.

(Sorry it took me so long to get to this answer...)

Julie@Cool Mom Guide said...

I agree with what you're saying about not slinging your own mud. It's admirable to listen to other perspectives, but we shouldn't try to change anyone's beliefs unless those beliefs can cause physical harm (like if you believe you should punch anyone who loves boy bands. While some may agree, it's not a belief to adhere to)