Thursday, March 31, 2016

Organic Terrace Gardening weekend workshops in Pune (various places) over April 2016

Pls see attached poster for full details.

Facilitated by Hemal Patel, who was among the organizers of the recent
Sustainable Living Pune Convergence last Sunday.

Contribution: Rs.1000/person, 50% discount for kids/students.

Contact number: 9011355709 (Hemal)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Please don't give up on love

A prayer for an anonymous friend..

Please don't give up on love yet. Let time pass, let the wounds heal.

Don't be so hard on yourself; don't go too much into the concept of
what happens on outside being reflection of inner defects only.. it's
all nice n spiritual n all but I think there can be times we take that
too far. We're only human, babaa, there's no need to witch-hunt each
and everything about ourselves. Heck, what characteristic has manifested
as a negative in your experience in relationship, might even have a
positive manifestation in another sphere of your life. By trying to eliminate
one, what if you end up degrading even what's good about you? We
might be better off seeking structures, being in environments that better
accommodate those characteristics of ours, that channel them
constructively.

You may have to analyze your patterns till now and change the way
you look for love. Girls with great looks do attract the worst-fitting
of the males around at first tries :P

Consider these..
  • Simplify your tastes (especially when it comes to consumerism),
  • Raise some bare-minimum ethical / health standards that had earlier been lowered in the interest of being progressive, non-judgemental, unconditional etc,
  • Introduce some grounding parameters, like alignment with causes you're passionate about, or integrity etc in worldly life too (yes, it does matter, our worldly and personal lives aren't completely separated. Extent u decide.),
  • Involve community in the search, let your close friends / folks whom you gel with, find and recommend someone, or ask them to help you evaluate someone you're considering.

But please don't give up on love. There will come a time when you'll be
ready for it again, and if you make room for it in your life, it will
be wonderful, something that will make all those trials and
tribulations worth it.

Let it slumber, but please, please don't give up on it. You deserve this. It
will happen, please let it when the time comes.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sustainable Living Convergence - March 27th 2016, Pune

Just writing in to say that this event was AWESOME. Attached are some
newspaper clips and a graphic, thought I'll put it up on the blog once
for posterity.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Event : Sustainable Living Convergence, Sunday 27th March, full day @ Gandhi Bhavan, Kothrud, Pune

Inviting you to the Sustainable Living Convergence, Pune!

Mark your calendar & be there on Sunday, 27th March @ Gandhi Bhavan, Kothrud, Pune with your friends & families from 10am to 8pm

Registration is mandatory in case you are having healthy lunch with us else entire event is having Free Entry.

For Registration Contact on below numbers :-

Neeta Agarwal - 9175905462
Sharad Bhojane - 9850223494
Priya Phulambrikar - 9766623409
Hemal Patel - 9011355709
Bhushan Patil - 9850000313

OR log in to our website:
http://sustainablelivingpune.org/Registration

This convergence is a place of gathering for Sustainable Living Members to know more about challenges & resolutions related to Food, Air, Water, Energy, healthy lifestyle. These natural resources of Mother Earth once in abundance & available in purest form are scarce & highly polluted in today's times. At convergence you will be interecting & listening to our Sustainable Champions working in synchronization with Mother Earth where how we can turn around from this point.

The future generations are relying on us to hand them over a better,cleaner & healthier planet. Come be part of this full day event on 27th March at Gandhi Bhavan, Kothrud, Pune

Press coverage on 22nd March's Pune Mirror. See the clipping attached, or see link: http://www.punemirror.in/pune/civic/Selfless-quest-for-sustainability/articleshow/51502131.cms


(on behalf of Hemal Patel and the organizing team)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Education as the Domestication of Inner Space - by Layla Abdel Rahim

Forwarding an article from one of my first mentors who led me to the unschooling world, Jinan:

have you come accross Layla Abdel Rahim?  Worth exploring her explorations.

Education as the Domestication of Inner Space
http://www.fifthestate.org/archive/391-springsummer-2014/education-domestication-inner-space/

How Ivan the Fool Defeats Civilized Pedagogies
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTYHgXEwlG4

Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: An Interview with Layla AbdelRahim


"Schools teach children the principles of death and of suffering. They
do not teach them the principles of life, which is diversity, which is
being out there in the world. They teach them within closed systems,
within closed buildings and walls, separated from the rest of the
world. They teach them that violence is legitimate when it is applied
from the top to the bottom and that it is illegitimate when it is
practised in resistance or defence of diversity and life.
http://layla.miltsov.org/wild-children-domesticated-dreams-an-interview-with-layla-abdelrahim/


Layla AbdelRahim is an interdisciplinary author who uses a variety of
research methods and disciplines to understand civilization,
wilderness, and our place in the world. Her recent book, Wild
Children–Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education
(Fernwood, 2013), examines the connections between civilization,
domestication, and education relying on her journal entries as well as
on anthropological and ethological research.

For more on her critique of education, civilization, literature, and
culture visit her website: www.layla.miltsov.org

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Web-mapping Pune's Development Plans for better citizen engagement

Open invitation for Pune citizens: All the latest development plan (DP) maps (as released by PMC website.. ) have been pinned on to web map. Please go to this page:
..and use the dropdown or previous/next buttons just above the map to cycle through the development plans. Note that when you zoom in, the DP map will take time to load (use slider on right side to fade in or out the overlaid DP map), but it will load properly in about 10 seconds.

Here's something you can do that might help in bringing more transparency to this matter. At any point on the map, if you click, you get the exact latitude-longitude of the point. You can select and copy that (press Ctrl+C).

So, the wrong places, misallocations, deletions etc that were mentioned recent petitions.. please identify them, copy their exact lat-long points, and then write it out in the comments section at the bottom of the page, with lat-long (this is key!), so that it's publicly available, and then other people seeing the page can go to that location and check it out and give futher inputs. Also it would be great to just zoom in to your own neighbourhood, check out the DP map for your area and explore the various allocations etc.

Happy mapping!

Tip: You can post comments anonymously also, by checking on the "I'd rather post as a guest" option when you are typing your comment.

Addendum : What if instead of treating the DP as a black box and approving / rejecting the whole thing, we as citizens went about this a little more smartly? What if we could pin-point precisely what is wrong/suspect while also appreciating the work done by the DP creation team and pointing out what are good examples of wise planning? And what if we took it to the next level : what if citizens can make constructive suggestions to not just reject but fix the planning process? I don't know where this might lead, but hey, it's worth a shot :)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Simple is more mature

We attended a wonderful session on Sacred Capital last week, led by
Siddharth Sthalekar.

He shared how as he got to know more and more about how the money
system really works, his advice (as a reputed financial advisor) got
simpler and simpler. He offered this simple talisman-type thing:
If he/she seems like a nice person,
you like what they're doing,
and the world needs more of them,
then invest in them.

I felt myself connecting with this. I couldn't help but feel that this
applies to even other realms.

Over the past few years, in multiple interest fields, I'm converging
on similar thoughts : that keeping things simple is actually a sign of
wisdom and maturity, whereas making things overly complicated implies
immaturity, and is another example of the tricks the mind plays to
maintain its hegemony. Could it be that going complex only serves to
deviate us from the simplicity of reality?

So that brings me to one focus topic...

Ladies!

He's a nice guy.

You like what he does.

And the world needs more people like him.

Please. Forget all the other complications.
Just say yes!
:D :P

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trip for students by Academy for Earth Sustainability

From my friend Aditya:

Last month, 40 of our students spent a week with the Academy for Earth
Sustainability <http://www.aeslife.in/>, for their Eco-Embark program.
Located on a farm in Karjat, Maharashtra, the program introduced children
to sustainable living, diving into critical issues around and solutions for
food, water, waste, and energy.

I am an educator and a difficult one. I am a thorough planner and i always
expect that from people who work with children. I am writing to all of you,
because that's what I found extraordinary about the program of AES. They
were heartful and soulful and skillful in their way of dealing with
children and their understanding about sustainability!

They were wonderfully communicative about the program design and it was so
beautifully custom made for us! :D It was not just do-do-do-do but it was
about reflecting emotionally and intellectually! :)

If any of you parents, educators are looking for something heartful and
valuable for your children, I recommend this. You can get in touch with me
to know my experience on <comment below>. I work in Hyderabad and I took
children all the way from here and it was worth all the effort :).

If someone wants to know more they can directly contact Chandan Mulherkar
at [..] chandan [at] aeslife.in .

This is NOT an advertisement. This is an honest sharing for I want more
children / adults to meet these inspiring people, who care so much about
the Earth and are doing something about it :)
Love,
Aditya

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Great-boxing

Heres a thought thats coming up for me this morning. Its a bit controversial, so apologies if offense caused :

If there is a wonderful person in my life whom i respect highly for some wonderful traits in their personality, if i put him/her up on a pedestal and praise and idolize them, then i don't really have an inclination to implement those good practices in my own life. Because thats only something that "great people" can do.

But on the other hand if I see that person as another person who's not very different from me, then it becomes my responsibility to also implement those good traits in my own life. I cannot excuse myself saying that only great people can do that.

I wonder if that is one reason why we make mahatmas and bhagwans out of our best humans : so that we can escape from the responsibility of emulating those good traits? I know there are other reasons also, but I want to provoke these questions:

What are good traits in my idols that i am refusing to inculcate by boxing them into the great-box and saying i can't be like that?

Is my refusal to do so, then leading to problems in my life that those idols don't have?

Am I then claiming that I have too many problems so I cannot be great like those people? Isn't that then an implicit accusation that those people I respect have it easy and aren't really so great after all? So doesn't this policy (of great-boxing people) become self-contradictory and self-defeating?

Breaking out of that cycle, would my respect for that great person be higher and more authentic if I considered him/her as another human being like myself?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

An India who loves the World

Saw this in a comment on a youtube page.. it's a new phrase I'm seeing and I'm liking it... How about working towards making...

An India who loves the World


(saw on https://www.youtube.com/user/satyamevajayateshow/discussion)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Interesting Links for February 2016

Interesting Links for February 2016

Story: the 99 Club

Story: (shared over whatsapp)

Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was not happy at all.
One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King; Why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy?

The King asked the servant, 'Why are you so happy?'

The man replied, 'Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don't need too much - just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies.'

The king sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the story, the advisor said, 'Your Majesty, the servant has not yet joined "The 99 Club".'

'The 99 Club? And what is that?' the King inquired.

The advisor replied, 'To truly know what The 99 Club is, just place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant's doorstep.'

When the servant saw the bag, he let out a great shout of joy... so many gold coins. He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were only 99 coins.

He wondered, 'What could've happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!'

He looked everywhere, but that final coin was elusive. Finally he decided that he was going to work harder than ever to earn that 100th gold coin.

From that day, the servant was a changed man. He was overworked, grumpy, and blamed his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin.

And he had stopped singing while he worked.

Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. The advisor said, 'Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.'
He continued, 'The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never content, because they're always wanting that extra 1, saying to themselves:
"Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life."

We can be happy with very little in our lives, but the minute we're given something bigger and better, we want more ...and even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, as the price for our growing needs and desires.

That's "The 99 Club"...
Zero Membership fee to enter, but you pay for it with your entire life! ☺

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Beauty of the Mosaic by Rosalina Chai

I loved listening to this at last week's Awakin Circle:

http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=2138

Beauty of the Mosaic
-by Rosalina Chai

For as long as I recall having memory, I've found mosaic incredibly
mesmerising. Alongside the increasing presence of grey hair on my head
grew my awareness of how aptly the mosaic can serve as a metaphor for
perceiving and understanding the human condition.

Mosaic is at once intricate yet majestic. And it is precisely its
brokeness that lends mosaic its perception of fragile beauty - the
space between the tiles is as much an intricate part of its language
of beauty as the mosaic tile itself. And isn't this true too of our
humanity?

Whilst there are numerous titles out there extolling the necessity,
power and beauty of our essential brokenness, more often that not, our
daily interactions with our fellow human beings appears to be
motivated by unconscious "should-ism" that demands perfection of one
another. What is it about brokenness that we find so offensive?

What would happen when we accept and embrace that being broken is an
essential part of humanity's be-ing? What would happen when we cease
to label brokenness as bad? What would it take for us to cease
labelling brokenness as bad? I can imagine one certainty ... more
peace.

Accepting and embracing brokenness is not the same as using another's
brokenness to feel better about ourselves. Rather, it is an
acknowledgment of our common humanity. When I accept my own
brokenness, and do not judge myself harshly because of it, I find
myself capable of more compassion towards others regardless of whether
I am aware of the form of brokenness they've experienced.

Finally, it is the coming together of many many many mosaic tiles that
the meaning of its language of beauty is expressed. We were not meant
to be alone in our brokenness. We were meant to come together, so that
another form of beauty may be birthed through the collective.

I would like to leave you with this story.

At the beginning and end of time, Truth was a beautiful glowing orb.
One day, the orb was shattered into shards that outnumbered the stars
in the universe by one to infinity. These shards became souls. Thus it
is that each soul represented one part of Truth. But Life intervened,
and many souls believed that they were Truth, and so Hatred was bred.
But some souls held onto the memory, and attempted to remind the souls
who've forgotten.

I do not know the end of the story as it is yet to be written. But I
do know that when all the souls are reunited, the space between the
shards would be where the light shines through. And that Truth's
beauty would then take another form.
Roslina Chai is an author, mother, and "seeker of beauty, curator of
experiences, and holder of space." She lives in Singapore, and the
excerpt was originally taken from her blog.
(http://www.mosaik.sg/writing)

- See more at: http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=2138#sthash.TZWNQ5Fh.dpuf

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Article on a teenager murdered and then accused

You need to read this. Hopefully with some empathy and without rhetorical explaining away.
http://thewire.in/2016/03/02/the-second-killing-of-ishrat-jahan-23407/

And try to understand the consequences of continuing the hatred that makes things like these happen. We can't keep on chalking up everything to the Mughals, at some point we need to take responsibility and start behaving better than the Mughals did.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Psychological chilling effect of using "negative", "dark" words in physics

I think there's been a subconscious teaching of negativity surrounding the electron. There was really no reason for physics to assign "negative" and "positive" charges on protons, electrons, etc. They're simply opposites of each other like magnetic dipoles. Electrical flow is mostly electrons; the exchange agents in chemical reactions are mostly electrons. The protons don't move around. So we should have seen them as a manifestation of energy instead of just "negative" charges.

To top it off, what are "positive" charges? They're a LACK of electrons! So we're conferring an aura of positivity / approval to an entity that's lacking something. You can't have positive charges moving anywhere. It's actually electrons moving in the opposite direction. This had made the study of physics syllabus so god damn complicated post-10th grade, in the education I got. It got very confusing as most of us students were looking at it from a maths +/- perspective only for most of the time.

Current flows from positive to negative, they said. But it was electrons jumping in the other direction! And they created this whole imaginary entity that was simultaneously mysteriously present at the same place, going in the opposite direction, just to justify the positive-negative metaphor. In all our formulas and equations, we had current. I suspect that it was made up this way for the simple and banal reason to avoid telling the kids that something NEGATIVE is travelling from here to there and bringing energy. And after imbibing that all though our syllabus, we then come to the idea that there might not actually be any real physical movement happening, that it might be just energy waves. And I'm still confused about it.

That made even the understanding of AC (Alternating Current) totally confusing.. actually I'm quite sure most of my classmates are still confused about it; even I am.
Because we had the direction of current from positive to negative, we keep getting stumped by the idea that 100 times a second (if 50Hz frequency), this current is changing directions, going backwards, then forwards. And then they tell us the AC is being transported from the generator over transmission lines to the home. But what the heck : you just told me it's going back and forth 100 times a second. Then how can one be transporting it? Shouldn't the whole thing be just vibrating or buzzing?

But instead of saying that it goes positive-negative, if we had simply tilted our heads by 90 degrees and seen AC as constantly swinging left and right while still moving forward like some drunk driver, then think how much easier the concept of Alternative Current would have been to explain!

If you're thinking this is taking it way too far, let me ask you this:
We have already fixated the capitalism-socialism (or communism) divide with right-left analogy. It's the same bi-polar situation as in case of electrons-protons or north-south magnetic poles. Two things, mutually opposite to each other. With the obvious difference from physics in that they don't attract each other, thought I'll re-interpret to posit that they do attract.. attacks and criticism.. from each other, and in many ways one needs the other in order to justify their own existence :P

Now consider what would have happened if instead of the terms "right" or "left", capitalism and socialism would have been assigned, "positive" or "negative". Imagine asking a politician to describe whether his views veer towards the positive or towards the negative.

Do you get what I'm saying now?

It's the same bi-poles. Yet look at the difference when you change the terminology.

Even with the right-left analogy, we have a serious problem : the monopolization of possibilities. A political worldview has evolved that says that things can only be right or left; or they can have bits and pieces of both and be center; that anything that is remarkably different from the traditional right or left cannot possibly exist. That's a very blinders-on view of the world and extremely dangerous in my opinion, precisely because it locks us into a duopoly, and one who controls the top-level decision makers in both left and right bastions, hence can control all of politics and attain monopoly.

North-south (magnetism). Positive-negative (electricity). Left-right (politics). All examples of binary / bipolar entites, and in varying degrees, negativity and positivity has been accorded to all. Creating a false divide between the bi-poles while ignoring that they're actually all complimentary; one needs the other and both work together.

So let's apply things in reverse. Consider how would things be if we taught the concept of electrics without ever saying that electrons are negative and protons are positive. Replace the whole framework with a more friendly pair of opposites. Sita-Gita? Ram-Shyam? (I'll avoid left-right because that's kinf of monopolized presently by politics). Kanju-Panju? Or maybe just ditching it all and saying simply that electrons flow and that is current; it's not going in the opposite direction. Which means flipping all circuit diagrams backwards.. or should I say, forwards!

Could we see physics textbooks, lesson plans, learning materials in the future that represent electricity without saying that the electron is negative?

=======

That also brings us to Dark Energy / Dark Matter.
And here we're going into not-adequately-explored grounds, mind. So, controversies alert.

It's been accepted by now that a large portion of the universe is composed of something that isn't being detected directly by western technological / instruments, yet its effect is being felt.

They termed it as Dark energy, Dark matter. Because their instruments couldn't detect it.

"It turns out that roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the Universe."
--http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/

And for some reason, there's been an externalization of the whole dark matter/energy thing : there seems to be a tacit unwritten assumption that even if 95% of all reality is acknowledged to be this "dark" stuff, it's probbably non-existent here on Earth. It's likely only out there, in distant constellations and galaxies. We don't have any of that stuff around us, no! Somehow there's an assumption that Earth is an exception from the rest of the universe : that 95% of its composition might be this "dark" stuff we can't detect, but here on planet Earth, and maybe even this solar system, there's 0% dark stuff, and 100% of whatever's there is completely detectable by our instruments, "non-dark" stuff. There 95%. But here, 0%! Where's the boundary zone? No mention of that.


Well, there's other things the instruments haven't been able to detect. And their technology's failings has been used by them (the scientific mainstream) as an excuse to refute the existence of what they're failing to detect.
The ability of water to hold properties after extreme dilution. The 4th state of water.
Qi / Chi energy used by Chinese monks for healing, but there's at least one video I've seen convincingly showing it capable of setting things on fire, passing currents through the body that can be felt but that don't register on a standard electric measurement device.
Pranic energy, pranic healing here in India.
Orgone energy, crystals.
Pyramid power.
Cold electricity, being reported by people experimenting with zero-point energy or free energy, which while capable of lighting up electic lights or running motors, is extremely different from regular "hot" electricity. Because it doesn't heat up the wires it's passing through, and people are being able to grab live wires carrying it with their hands without getting electrocuted.
[crossing over]
Belief and trust induced healing, growing of plants.
People's movements where without any real central structure or source material that everyone would have looked that, the same ideas spontaneously spring up in many minds at once.
Different colors of sunlight stored in water leading to different medicinal properties of the water.
The fourth state of water (look up the tedx talk on it!)

So on the one hand there's an admission that our instruments can't measure 95% of reality, while at the same time, there is a vehement opposition to acknowledging even the possibility of existence of the stuff I mentioned above. And mind, they don't even try to follow the scientific method of honest replication attempts with full communication with the original inventors first. "If our physics formulas and our technology based on those formulas doesn't account for it, then it doesn't exist." Even many of the parameters of standard-issue testing are incompatible with the core nature of some of these, making them impossible to prove in a lab full of skeptics. (like, for example, the need for love and trust between people when connecting telepathically, and the nature of it manifesting only in real circumstances when the situation calls for it, and not in artificially created controlled experiments)

Anyways, I don't want to go into whether these things are there or not. There's something before that, that is affecting the way we treat it.

The word "dark".

In one fell swoop, everything that's surprising, dazzling and amazing about reality, which breaks all known conventions and limitations, is now branded as "dark".
When they say 95% of reality is composed of dark energy or matter, we subconsciously get scared of it. Dark energy sounds like it is something to be afraid of. Oh no, now the science guys are going to have to defend us against yet another dark foe. Dark things : if we look for them, we're going to be looking out for dark effects. Negative effects. It's going to cause some problem in some way. Maybe that's what's causing so much pollution and taking us to disaster. All that dark stuff that our heroic science cannot detect. We're basically implying that 95% of the stuff out there is evil and wants to kill us.

I'm very inclined to think now, after having seen various inputs, that a lot of the "miracle" things we're observing which aren't being explained by orthodox materialistic scientific paradigm, are in some way coming from this "Dark" energy/matter complex that supposedly makes up majority of all reality.

What if what we're alluding to as "Dark" is actually "Light", or positive, good, lovely, nice stuff?

What if pranic/orgone energy that is being used to heal and purify and transformed harmful into beneficial, is coming from that "dark energy" that, as per the scientific status quo, encompasses our universe?

Now one knee-jerk response is : "But dark energy is supposed to be undetectable! How can you say alternative energy based healing is a manifestation of it?"
>> Great, thank you for acknowledging that alternative energy based healing exists and works (Gotcha!). The definition you quoted is YOUR definition, not mine. I do not agree with the western orthodox materialistic paradigm's assumption that dark energy shall forever and forever remain undetectable only. I think it makes more sense in noticing that these people are not wanting to acknowledge the existence of many things that do exist, so what they say is undetectable might logically reside in what they're deliberately overlooking. Elementary, my dear Watson. You can't find it because you're deliberately avoiding it.

Ok, back to...
What if (sorry for the sacrilege my materialistic friends) dark energy / dark matter actually has an inherent positive bias or positive nature to it?

Assigning a negatively biased "Dark" term severely limits most from even starting to ponder in this direction.
It has a chilling effect.
It prevents people from exploring further.

So screw these people who first claim neutrality and then deliberately assign negative terms to things they don't want explored any further. Let's destroy their motives by doing what they do not want us to do : explore the as-yet unexplained further.

A video for further explorations : Rupert Sheldrake's extended Science Set Free talk (2.5 hrs) where he gives a fantastic critique of the assumptions that led to the theories of dark energy/matter.

Interesting article on Russia's radio-jamming technology

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Is planning ahead being logical or being caring?

Soundbite!

I'm really appreciating the ability of mothers to extend their emotion of caring across the 4th dimension of time. If guys try to do that then they get accused of being too logical.

Gift Economy

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