paradox. humor. change.

(left, life-partners tara cullis and david suzuki)

paradox. humor. change. paradox and change are easy (if ‘knowing oneself and being intuitive enough to know when the universe is pulling you away from something or pushing you towards it’ [dan fabrizio] are easy). but not humor, though we are cautioned to ‘keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. it is a strength beyond all measure.’ (peaceful warrior–dan millman). ‘humor’ refers to ‘divine humor’, writes dan fabrizio, ‘trying not to take life or death, self or world, quite so seriously. Engaging in a sense of humor about oneself and others and about the state of the world means rising above one’s ego and viewing things from a more detached place. It means pulling way back and getting real perspective on things, and understanding what is really important and what is not so important. It’s about asking oneself, “Where does this situation fit in the grand scheme of things?” ‘ a friend says that god/ess doesn’t blast us for getting it wrong. we keep trying, though, to get it right. ‘A’ for effort, even if the results are less than to be desired. jean vanier observes we’re funny that way. what one person finds funny, another may find ho-hum. but when confronted with divine mystery in the form of paradox and change, the best we can do is laugh at ourselves.


on a different note (as is if things weren’t connected) we watched surviving progress.


Training the Mind: Verse 5 & 6
When others, out of jealousy
Treat me wrongly with abuse, slander, and scorn,
May I take upon myself the defeat
And offer to others the victory.

the dalai lama says, ‘The point that is made here is that when others provoke you, perhaps for no reason or unjustly, instead of reacting in a negative way, as a true practitioner of altruism you should be able to be tolerant towards them. You should remain unperturbed by such treatment. In the next verse we learn that not only should we be tolerant of such people, but in fact we should view them as our  spiritual teachers. It reads:’

When someone whom I have helped,
Or in whom I have placed great hopes,
Mistreats me in extremely hurtful ways,
May I regard him still as my precious teacher.


i got the b12. now what about the protein? i became a vegetarian during the age of frances moore lappé and protein complemetarity, which i heard is no longer valid. still, before i go off dairy, what should i do instead for complete protein? basically, ‘It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein, as long as calorie intake is adequate. Strict protein combining is not necessary; it is more important to eat a varied diet throughout the day.’ oh yeah? dietician and phd reed mangels writes, ‘Frances Moore Lappe, in her book Diet for a Small Planet 6 advocated the combining of a food low in one amino acid with another food containing large amounts of that amino acid…. Actually, Lappe was being overly conservative to avoid criticism from the “Nutrition Establishment.” She has since repudiated strict protein combining, saying, “In combating the myth that meat is the only way to get high quality protein, I reinforced another myth. I gave the impression that in order to get enough protein without meat, considerable care was needed in choosing foods. Actually it is much easier than I thought” 7.’ my calorie intake is more than adequate. time to take the plunge?


my heart is pounding

my heart is pounding
it wants out
there’s nothing the hands can do
there’s nothing the head can see
but the heart feels
it feels the deaths of many
as the ink dries on the china takeover
it shouts but to deaf ears in our capitol
my heart pounds
it wants out of this cage of ribs
this trap
i swore i’d be positive
so here it is
the good news
the paradox of being alive,
of being human,
is shown in dualities
like night and day
good and evil
pounding and stillness


paradox. yes. change. yes. humour. gotta dig deep.


must-see sustainable farming 6 minute video


the planet is connected in both an all-life or ecological sense and a primarily human sense which we call globalization. there many aspects to globalization, not just economic ones. many definitions too. but in all of them we must remember the human-non-human connection, or risk collapse. for globalization can be a good thing or a bad thing. it needs to be balanced with concern for the local. for example, used to be you could only do things locally or get things seasonally; fresh strawberries in january was unheard of twenty or thirty years ago, but now it’s taken for granted. is this a good thing or a bad thing? if it’s a bad thing can we do without? i don’t mean to be ascetic, just to live within our means and be happy with that. by living within our means, we can be both global and local. by living beyond our means, we can do neither.


in the US presidential election, in some ways there hardly seems a difference between the democrats and the republicans. sure, there’s a lot in common in the centre–between what in canada we call a red tory or a blue liberal–but, centre or extreme, there seems to be a fundamental difference between democrat and republican–a difference in world outlook. sure, when you’re president, you’re commander-in-chief of the armed forces, but do want to rule the world and use the armed forces to get your way, or just defend your people to let them do what they need to do and consequently let the world do what it needs to do? do you want a small government and few services so you can have a big army, or vice versa? how else do you explain the post-presidential careers of nixon/ford, carter, reagan/bush sr, clinton/gore, and bush jr/cheney? seems the democrats went on the world stage, the republicans went golfing. win butler, frontman for arcade fire, says, ‘”I felt so proud – as an American citizen living in a socially progressive country like Canada – that our president understands that there are global moral imperatives that unite us all.”


from the it’s-good-to-laugh dept: ‘humor exerts its psychological effect by forcing a change of perspective. And, based on the greater efficacy of positive humor, the researchers suggest that positive humor facilitates real reappraisal, while negative humor works by half measures, distancing the subject from the upsetting picture without creating a new mental scenario.’


here is a zen parable from patti:

‘A farmer had a horse but one day, the horse ran away and so the farmer and his son had to plow their fields themselves. Their neighbors said, “Oh, what bad luck that your horse ran away!” But the farmer replied, “Bad luck, good luck, who knows?”

The next week, the horse returned to the farm, bringing a herd of wild horses with him. “What wonderful luck!” cried the neighbors, but the farmer responded, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”

Then, the farmer’s son was thrown as he tried to ride one of the wild horses, and he broke his leg. “Ah, such bad luck,” sympathized the neighbors. Once again, the farmer responded, “Bad luck, good luck, who knows?”

A short time later, the ruler of the country recruited all young men to join his army for battle. The son, with his broken leg, was left at home. “What good luck that your son was not forced into battle!” celebrated the neighbors. And the farmer remarked, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?”

Everything in life holds the elements of both a burden and a blessing.  It is our tendency as humans to judge things as “good” or “bad” that influences our personal life perspective. I try to find a blessing in everything in my life, regardless of the challenge. This is what I can control, not the circumstance…. What do you typically choose; blessing or burden?’

similarly, a meditation teacher told a story of a someone who said to a guru, ‘life is bad; everything’s going wrong.’ the guru replied, ‘that will change.’ a little while later, the person said, ‘life is good; things are going right.’ the guru replied, ‘that will change.’


what is FIPA or FIPPA? it’s the ‘Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act‘, canada’s biggest trade deal since NAFTA, but most canadians haven’t heard about it. like mushrooms, we’re in the dark. harper likes that. so in broad daylight, some of us went down to our local MP’s office, bruce stanton, one of harper’s backbencher’s, and had some fun. serious fun. we put up signs. but cuz it was hallowe’en recently, we renamed ‘the house of commons’ to ‘harper’s house of horrors’. we set up a bench, and put a bunch of pumpkins as backbenchers, except they all looked like harper cuz they’re yes-men-and-women. some of us bowed down before the mighty emperor, harper. it was cold. we froze, so we warmed up with fair trade coffee. that’s fair trade, not free trade.

there’s a difference, you know. (pictures by elliot barker)


fabrizio writes, ‘Much like a lot of the posts on this blog, just writing this brings me a sense of peace and oneness.   They’re lessons I’m still striving and struggling to learn in my day-to-day / moment-to-moment life, but helpful ones for sure.  Hopefully it’s been helpful for you too.’ writing is therapeutic. to help with the therapy, he offers ‘Mark Twain’s 9 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life.’


janine benyus asks, ‘what is biomimicry?’ biomimicry, writes david suzuki, ‘means to copy nature. It’s a science that asks “What does nature do?” instead of “What’s it for?” – the question usually posed by human endeavour.’ benyus elaborates: ‘the core idea is that nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, non-toxic chemistry, transportation, packaging, and a whole lot more.’ genius. suzuki knows we can learn from nature’s genius.


paradox. humour. change. so, what makes me laugh? what makes you laugh? wikipedia says if canadan humour, ‘Various trends can be noted in Canadian comedy. One thread is the portrayal of a “typical” Canadian family in an on-going radio or television series. Examples include La famille Plouffe, with its mix of drama, humour, politics and religion and sitcoms such as King of Kensington and La Petite Vie. Another major thread tends to be political and cultural satire: television shows such as CODCO, Royal Canadian Air Farce, La Fin du monde est à 7 heures and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, monologuists such as Yvon Deschamps and Rick Mercer and writers, including Michel Tremblay, Will Ferguson and Eric Nicol draw their inspiration from Canadian and Québécois society and politics. Another trend revels in absurdity, demonstrated by television series like The Kids in the Hall and The Frantics, and musician-comedians such as The Arrogant Worms, Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie and Bowser and Blue. Satire is arguably the primary characteristic of Canadian humour, evident in each of these threads, and uniting various genres and regional cultural differences.’ yeah, i’m not so big on the first thread, but the second and third i am, esp’ly the rmr, 22, and the worms. looks like i got some culturin’ to do.

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