10/17 ~ Discovering Tripwires (“News as a Spiritual Opportunity”)

 

What’s Up Next?

Sunday, October 1, 2017  ~ Discovering Tripwires:
News as a Spiritual Opportunity

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Daniel R. Blume via Wikimedia Commons

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“History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.” 
Lord Acton 

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Inquiry:  How do you recognize when you’ve been triggered?  What are you able to do in the moment?  Does a ‘stimulative’ somatic awareness flag an intention to self-connect (SCP/self-connection process), supporting your capacity to become more ‘response-able’?  Or do you customarily revert to flight/fight/freeze reactivity?  How do you build the muscle of detecting your exterior/interior tripwires?  What ‘off-stage’ barre work supports your ‘on stage’ performance capabilities (in other words, what on-the-cushion mindfulness practice might support your off-the-cushion, & out onto the street, lived experience)?

Cache of Inquiries

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“I’m not sure that the benefit – as a writer and as a citizen – that I would get from reading at least the front page of the Times every day or every other day would outweigh the depression.”

~ Sharon Olds

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Tools for working with our external/internal “tripwires” so that by building the muscle of self-awareness — i.e. utilizing the news as an opportunity for a spiritual experience (a.k.a.  a tripwire occasion to embark on a self-connection process that might enlighten, similar to noting when sediment has been stirred up and then distilling the crucial essence through a clarifying process) — hopefully strengthening our somatic attunement and response-ability, both within and without, towards greater efficacy in our day-to-day encounters:

Emotions are action-requiring neurological programs

Self-Connection Process [SCP]

Enemy Image Process [EIP]

News as a Spiritual Opportunity [SCP]

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“For these women, unsentimentality is not a cure or even a palliative to the suffering that consumes our headlines and newsfeeds.  It offers a troubled and troubling encounter with the shared world that produces such suffering.  Facing facts in the terms laid out here does not mean simply knowing them, which is why the aesthetic component of this project is so important.  If facts alone could lead us to the promised land — facts about climate change, gun violence, war, racial prejudice, economic inequality — then we already live in a paradise of facts.  The problem is not that we do not know what is happening but that we cannot bear to be changed by that knowledge.  The women I discuss in the following pages all insist that we should be changed, however much we give up in the process.”

~ Deborah Nelson, author of Tough Enough:  Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag & Weil (from the end of the introduction)

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3Chairs Project for Difficult Conversations That Change Our World

Excerpt (via John Kinyon):

The vision of the 3Chairs Project is a critical mass of people around the world working together to respond to the challenges we face, and creating a peaceful, healthy, and sustainable world.

The mission of the project is people having difficult and important conversations — personal, work, political — using a “3 chairs” structure and process that brings mindful awareness, compassion and collaboration to these conversations. It’s about hearing and understanding each other in our differences and our pain, without needing to agree, and connecting at the level of our shared humanity to contribute to one another’s well being. It’s about having conversations that change us, that create the life and relationships we want, and that move us toward the world we envision… (continues)

The Renewed Importance of Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change

New Yorker’s James Carroll (6/2/17):  “When the President met the Pope at the Vatican, last week, it was as if they were members of different species, so far apart in values and style that the actual content of what separated them proved elusive.  Francis slyly presented Trump with a gift, though, that—as of yesterday—defines their opposition as absolute.  The gift was a copy of his encyclical on climate change, “Laudato Si’.”  Trump politely promised to read it.  Sure…”

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Donald Trump Is Not Going to Sue Pope Francis
Courtesy of DonkeyHotey (via Wikimedia Commons)

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#MediateOnesLife

[PDF] The Three Chair Model – words that work

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Three Chairs From Hampton Court, Hardwick, and Knole

Ike Lasater (at about the 7 minute mark, beneath): “And, of course, you can use these skills in your day to day life…We use mediation as the metaphor, but this is really about mediating your life:  how to go from the conflicts within your head, to conflicts with other people, to supporting — by lending your skills — people who are in conflict.”

“The news should be a spiritual opportunity because we are confronted with images of suffering from all over the world like no other generation.”
~ Karen Armstrong

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James Campbell via Wikimedia Commons

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First Look: Why Karen Armstrong Says We Get “Compassion Fatigue”

News as a kind of ‘flight-simulator’

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Lance Cpl. Austin Hazard via Wikimedia Commons)

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Attending to needs by doing an internal process…

Ike Lasater, “One of the kind of paradoxical things is that I can also meet my need for empathy, I’ve been gotten in a certain way, without the other.  That I can  do an internal process, journaling or kind of going through it in my own mind, that will also create a kind of clarity about what need it is that is important to me at this moment that’s behind all of the thoughts that I’m having, maybe the agitation or the distress, or the happiness and the joy that I’m having and that also can meet my need for empathy.  Those are some differentiations that help me have some clarity.  But even when I say that I realize that for someone brand new to these differentiations it may not be so clear what I mean when I say empathy.  Well, that’s how I can measure that my need for empathy has been met is when I feel a physiological shift in me, when I name what it is that is that my need right now.  When I come in contact with it, when I identify it, there are all sort of ways again to point at a process that doesn’t have good language to refer to it.  But I know it, when I have met my need for empathy, because I feel this internal shift, this physiological shift.”

News as ‘barre work’ (a.k.a. Spiritual Opportunity)

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Dancers at the Barre
Edgar Degas via Wikipedia Commons

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News & Spirit/Psyche ~ Occasion for SCP/Self-Connection Process 

1.  Notice Your Tripwires: As you listen to the media (whether TV/radio/newspaper/blog), notice when you get triggered.  Identify the stimulus as an observation.

2.  Enjoy the Jackal Show: List judgments you have about the person or event in question

a.  _____________________________________

b.  _____________________________________

c.  ______________________________________

3.  Somatic Sensing:  When you entertain these judgments, how does your mind/body/spirit feel? How do these judgments effect the quality of your own experience: sense of hope/hopelessness, outrage/peace-of-mind, etc.? What kind of ripple effect occurs experientially when with others (perhaps with the quality of interaction with fellow citizens on your perimeter, your own civic engagement/disengagement, etc.)?

4.   Shift towards Needs-Consciousness:

a.  When I live in these conditions (#2 & 3), what needs of mine are not getting met?

b.  How are you feeling when you think about these unmet needs?

c.  Take time and connect with the beauty of needs (4-a).

5.  Identify the needs behind the judgments of #2.

a.  ___________________________________

b.  ___________________________________

c.  ____________________________________

6.  Request I have to meet those needs of #5.

a. Request to myself

b. Request to the other person

c. Request to the group

d. One action I can take now from above

 

(Adapted from a self-connection process that was originated by Katherine Singer and can also be found by way of Choose Connection’s resource page)

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NBC Nightly News broadcast
by Jeff Maurone from Seattle, WA, USA
via Wikimedia Commons

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Beneath is an example of my news-related self-connection process…

“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.” 
 ~ John Adams

See also:  Tips for Challenging Times – Intense Anger and Grief or Loss – YouTube

 

Stimulus

E.g. Donald Trump’s UN debut & [over]use of the term “sovereignty”

FYI:

Stimulus Context (read, ‘Equation in my Head’)

Fossil Fuel Guzzling = Climate Breakdown

(Hence:  More Porous Borders, Not Less)

If/when the equator, and portions of the tropical rain belt, become increasingly uninhabitable, nations currently proclaiming “sovereignty” — with enormous, indefensible borders — will necessarily find themselves inundated by refugees.

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Courtesy of Kimdrummer
via Wikimedia Commons

Runaway climate change

Orwell’s Notes on Nationalism (1945)
Via Project Gutenberg

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Morning Class: Adagio coutesy of Angie Chung (via Wikimedia Commons)

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An Example

1. Notice Your Tripwires: As you listen to the media (whether TV/radio/newspaper/blog), notice when you get triggered.  Identify the stimulus as an observation.

Amidst the backdrop of these news reports:

Heat index in Iran hits staggering 163 degrees – USA Today

Stimulus/Observation:  Trump uses the term “Sovereignty” (21 times)

Exactly How Many Times Did Trump Talk About Sovereignty:
UN speech analysis shows concept appeared a staggering 21 times
(see graph/analysis)

See, too:  Jeff Sachs Warns “Nuclear War is a Real Threat”

My stimulation towards Trump’s “unilateralism” (above) amidst the backdrop of the looming, existential threat of climate disruption and its best-case scenario/path, that of “multilateral” mitigation (beneath)

Multilateralist Macron is the anti-Trump at UN

Noted physicist on the connection between politics/policy debate
& salvaging our civilization

CNN:  Neil deGrasse Tyson says it might be ‘too late’ to recover from climate change

Broader Context:  Arctic’s Winter Sea Ice Drops to Its Lowest Recorded Level

2. Enjoy the Jackal Show: List judgments you have about the person or event in question

a.  Hypocrisy – Trump threatens to exterminate 25 million people on the floor of UN

b.  Propaganda – Trump shows ‘America First’ is utterly incoherent – Washington Post

c.  Denial – Sea Level Rise Will Reshape US Population In All 50 States – Yale E360

3. Somatic Sensing:  When you entertain these judgments, how does your mind/body/spirit feel? How do these judgments effect the quality of your own experience: sense of hope/hopelessness, outrage/peace-of-mind, etc.? What kind of ripple effect occurs experientially when with others (perhaps with the quality of interaction with fellow citizens on your perimeter, your own civic engagement/disengagement, etc.)?

Sinking sensation, sense of alarm & shame (towards my country and its leadership, or lack thereof).  A sense of bewilderment, alienation, even pity towards many of my fellow citizens, including family members (those who viewed Trump as viable on the world stage and preferable to all the other candidates).  A kind of learned helplessness born from overwhelm.

4.  Shift towards Needs-Consciousness:

a. When I live in these conditions (#2 & 3), what needs of mine are not getting met?

empowerment, agency, hope

b. How are you feeling when you think about these unmet needs?

saddened, curious

c. Take time and connect with the beauty of needs (4-a).

 

5. Identify the needs behind the judgments of #2.

a.  Congruency, Integrity

b.  Truth

c.  Shared Reality (regarding an imperiled Civilization),
     Care (for Life on Earth)

6. Request-consciousness:  Requests I have to meet those needs of #5.

a. Request to myself – To write

b. Request to the other person – To awaken

c. Request to the group – To resist

d. One action I can take now from above – Read newspaper & Reach out to my mentor

What was useful, to me, in doing the process (above) was illumining that which was most irksome — when I first heard the term “sovereignty” being bandied about — my ‘gut’ reaction was the seeming, utter incongruity of having the very one most diligently, if unconsciously, working against long-term, potential sovereignty now preposterously acting as though he were somehow the guardian of it.  I suspect that being barraged by news items, without taking the opportunity to distill the essence of its unique meaning for our own coherent, interior narratives, is what can make the news so crazy-making (however — counterintuitively — it also may be the reason why it’s an invaluable occasion for self-connection, discovering the obtainable pearl from its initial irritant, grain-of-sand quality).

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Cover to the first edition of The Manchester Guardian.
By Here (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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Extra Credit:  News as an occasion for practicing
“self-in-presence” & “felt sense” awareness (of IRF)

Inner Relationship Focusing with Ann Weiser Cornell

Self Focusing Invitations

(Adapted from the work of Ann Weiser Cornell & Focusing Resources)

Connecting with Self-in-Presence

“I’m connecting with an intention for self-acceptance/compassion/acknowledgement.”
(entering a witnessing-consciousness – a.k.a. self-in-presence in focusing)

Coming In To The Body

“I’m taking time to sense into my body,
just noticing sensations.”

Making Initial Contact The Felt Sense

“I’m asking myself: ‘What wants my awareness right now?’”
(either allowing whatever shows up or regarding a particular issue)
“I’m noticing something that …”

Deepening Contact With the Felt Sense

“I’m taking time to just be with this.”
“I’m sitting with it with interested curiosity.”
“I’m noticing its unique point-of-view.”
“I’m sensing if it has an emotional quality.”
“I’m attuning to the living-energy of needs present.”
“I’m aware of any wishes or requests surfacing.”

Coming Out

“I’m thanking my body and my body’s process.”

Free Resources For Powerful Change, Focusing Resources Free Library

Tips for Challenging Times: 7 Little Words

“You can be the way you are.”

Article mentioned in video clip (above):
‘Victim’, the ‘Critic’ and the Inner Relationship – Focusing Resources

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Stone statue of a Chinese guardian lion at Mount Emei in China
by Chris Feser (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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“The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”

― Rainer Maria RilkeLetters to a Young Poet

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Question Mark Cloud
Courtesy of Micky Aldridge from Finland
(via Wikimedia Commons)
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This entry was posted in Beauty/Living-Energy-of-Needs, Inner Relationship Focusing, IRF Resources, Jackal/Giraffe, Mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) - Resources, Quotes, Self-in-Presence and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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