This website and my works central theme is warriorship and human bravery. “The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything” said Chögyam Trungpa, the great Tibetan spiritual teacher that I like to study and often use as a source of inspiration. When I looked through the pics below I was reminded to his words. There is so much beauty and sadness in the pictures and at the same time so much love and bravery that it reminds us of our humanity, our diversity and our obligation to ourselves and others to not give up on opening our hearts and taking care of each other.
We fear judgment by others, loss of social status, failure and and the feeling of being inadequate. Also we fear intimacy and vulnerability. Imagine endorsing all the work of somebody close to you. What do you say next time you see him? You are afraid it will be awkward, right? Perhaps he will start thinking you look up to him, or that your are kissing his ass. We don’t want to give up our position: preferably a superior position but at least somewhat horizontally. Of course this all changes when our friend becomes officially famous. Now our relationship boosts our social status so it is safe to endorse him.
Many people think that meditation is just a bunch of relaxation techniques. You might even look forward to a course where you can chill out on a black cushion on Sunday mornings, surrounded by nice and calm people. After your session you walk out and enjoy the autumn sun. But it gets a bit more difficult when you realize that you need to apply the principles of spiritual practice unconditionally. And when you turn the light inwards you might see that you are not living the harmonious life you thought you were living.
We need to manage our feelings of powerlessness, of being overwhelmed by despair. We do have power, and we should know how to use it to effect change. We have to organize ourselves. Openness and loving speech can work miracles. Every parent, teacher, businessperson, and artist can always do something to encourage collective awakening. Everyone is responsible.
The 100 Day Warrior is not just about becoming beach-proof and receiving a couple of tools that will make it easier for you to function in a competitive work environment. The vision is to help you appreciate your body and mind so that you begin to contact the fundamental notion of basic goodness in yourself thus providing the ground for helping yourself and others.
The only way to break through the dominant paradigm of selfishness and greed is by opening up yourself to yourself.
The effects of the chemical campaign against the people, the land and the animals of Vietnam are still lasting. You can see many disfigured people crawling over the markets or children lying drooling in the back of a shop. Dioxins are made to last, if poison that is used against people and nature would be biodegradable it would be useless, wouldn’t it. Luckily companies like Dow Chemicals and Monsanto have understood such things and made sure they delivered poison of the highest quality.
I saw a letter on the wall of the exhibition and I found it in the internet too. I want you to read that letter. It is written in 2009 by a Vietnamese women of 23 back then, 27 today. I feel she deserves it that we read her letter.
In January I caused some commotion on the The Good Men Project by defending and explaining the Psycho Bitch From Hell phenomenon. As a consequence we came up with the idea to organize workshops for both men and women. So the plan is to not only teach guys how to become more mature and complete men but also to facilitate a unique full day experience to empower women. Now we need to get the word out. So girls, how do you feel about this:
Would you like to learn how to better balance all your different roles in your hectic life?
Would you like to learn how to be more confident and authentic?
Would you like to understand human emotions (like anger and fear and many others) better and learn how to be less ‘irrational’ but more sensitive?
Would you like to be more accepting of yourself and others?
There is nothing outside of us. We don’t posses only a certain amount of human features, we all posses all of them. But are expected to cultivate some and suppress others. We are not supposed to express the complete spectrum of our humanity. So we create a survival mechanism that serves us best: our identity or our ego. With this mechanism we try to control our lives as good as we can. We hide vulnerability, anger, fear, desire and many other aspects according to our individual personality structure. We are all looking for love, security and approval. As men we can choose to blatantly pursue power and money to hopefully make us feel safe and loved. Most women don’t have that option.
This morning I did a session with Gretchen, the mom of Sam; the baby boy that left us so soon. And sometimes when I work with people something magical happens. This time was certainly one of the most magical experiences I have had this year, perhaps even in my life.
What happened that it seemed that we connected with Sam’s energy. And I say ‘seemed’ because it still sounds weird to me when I say these things out loud. How can I connect with the energy of a little boy that is not with us any more? But deep down I totally trust my experience. Even though my rational mind can’t understand it and wants to tell me it is impossible I have no doubt in my heart.
We met in Carmel. Carmel is also the place where my high school friend lives. It was my intention to meet with him but he caught a last minute flight to Maui. He will take some time off to be with his wife and mourn the loss of their son. So I find myself in his hometown, in his favorite bar, talking about him, shedding a few tears and having a beer with his friends without him being there. Strangely enough it felt good for both parties. I liked to hear the stories that I heard from his American friends. It made me realize he had made really good friends here and that everybody cares. Similarly I got the feeling that the American friends of the couple appreciated that an old friend of their buddy showed up in their pub.