Friday, November 10, 2017

Being Peace

Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh
Berkeley, CA:  Parallax Press, 1987, 1996
ISBN 0-938077-00-7

(6)  A smile makes you master of yourself.

… Therefore, the technique, if we have to speak of a technique, is to be in the present moment, to be aware that we are here and now, and the only moment to be alive is the present moment.

(32)  Happiness is available.  Please help yourself to it.  All of us have the capacity of transforming neutral feelings into pleasant feelings, very pleasant feelings that can last a long time.

…  When we practice sitting or walking, we have the means to do it perfectly.

(36)  I have to take care of myself, knowing that I am responsible for your happiness, and if you do the same, everything will be all right.  This is the Buddha’s teaching about perception, based on the principle of dependent co-arising.  Buddhism is easy to learn!

(40)  If you cannot be compassionate to yourself, you will not be able to be compassionate to others.  When we get angry, we have to produce awareness:  “I am angry.  Anger is in me.  I am anger.”  That is the first thing to do.
NB:  Embodied Peacemaking

(53)  If you practice one hour of sitting a day, that hour should be all twenty-four hours, and not just for that hour.  One smile, one breath should be for the benefit of the whole day, not just for that moment.  We must practice in a way that removes the barrier between practice and non-practice.

(57)  The problem is not to do a lot, but to do it correctly.  If you do it correctly, you become kinder, nicer, more understanding and loving.

(63)  There is a Zen story about a man riding a horse that is galloping very quickly.  Another man, standing alongside the road, yells at him, “Where are you going?” and the man on the horse yells back, “I don’t know.  Ask the horse.”  I think that is our situation.

(68)  If you are a mountain climber or someone who enjoys the countryside, or the green forest, you know that the forests are our lungs outside of our bodies.

(69) Sometimes we had to burn ourselves alive to get the message across, but even then the world could not hear us.  They thought we were supporting a kind of political act.  They didn’t know that it was a purely human action to be heard, to be understood.  We wanted reconciliation, we did not want a victory.

(74)  Our daily lives, the way we drink, what we eat, has to do with the world’s political situation.  Meditation is to see deeply into things, to see how we can change, how we can transform our situation.  To transform our situation is also to transform our minds.  To transform our minds is also to transform our situation, because the situation is mind, and mind is situation.  Awakening is important.  The nature of the bombs, the nature of injustice, the nature of the weapons, and the nature of our own beings are the same.   This is the real meaning of engaged Buddhism.

(75)  [seven practices of reconciliation]
The first practice is Face-to-Face Sitting.  In a convocation of the whole sangha, everyone sits together mindfully, breathing and smiling, with the willingness to help, and not with the willingness to fight.  This is basic….

The second practice is Remembrance.  Both monks try to remember the whole history of the conflict, every detail having to do with the conflict, while the whole assembly just sits patiently and listens…

(76)  The third principle is Non-stubbornness. Everyone in the community expects the two monks not to be stubborn, to try their best for reconciliation.

(77)  The fourth practice is Covering Mud with Straw.  You know when you walk in the countryside after a rain.  It is very muddy.  If you have straw to spread over the mud, you can walk safely.  One respected senior monk is appointed to represent each side of the conflict.  These two monks then address the assembly, trying to say something to de-escalate the feeling in the concerned people…. Putting straw on mud - the mud is the dispute, and the straw is the lovingkindess of the Dharma.

… The next stage is Voluntary Confession.  Each monk reveals his own shortcomings, without waiting for others to say them.  If others say them, you feel differently.  If you yourself say them, it is wonderful.

(78)  The sixth and seventh practices are Decision by Consensus and Accepting the Verdict.  It is agreed in advance that the two monks will accept whatever verdict is pronounced by the whole assembly, or they will have to leave the community.  So, after exploring every detail of the conflict, after realizing the maximum of reconciliation, a committee presents a verdict.

(79)  These seven methods of settling disputes have been adopted by Buddhist monks and nuns in India, China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and many other countries for more than 2,500 years.  I think we can learn something from them to apply in our own households and society.

…The peace movement can write very good protest letters, but they are not yet able to write a love letter.

(86)  We do not practice for the sake of the future, to be reborn in a paradise, but to be peace, to be compassion, to be joy right now.

(88)  The Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing - Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings

(89)  First:  Aware of the suffering created by fanacticism and intolerance we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones.  Buddhists teachings are guiding means to help us learn to look deeply and to deveop our understanding and compassion.  They are not doctrines to fight, kill, or die for.

(90)  Second:  Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views.  We shall learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to others’ insights and experiences.  We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess is not changeless, absolute truth.  Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our lives.

… The Buddha said, “If you cling to something as absolute truth and are caught in it, when truth comes in person and knocks on your door, you will refuse to let it in.”

(91)  The way of nonattchment from views i the basic teaching of Buddhism concerning understanding.

…  We are commited ot finding ways, cinldying personal contact, images, and sounds, to be with those who suffer, so we can udnerstand their situation deeply and help them transform their suffering into compassion, peace, and joy.

(93)  The Eight Realizations of Great Beings Sutra says, “The human mind is always searching for possessions, and never feels fulfilled.  Bodhisattvas move in the opposite directon and follow the principle of self-sufficiency.  They live a simple life in order to practice the Way, and consider the realization of perfect understanding as their only career.”

(94)  “Learn to look at other beings with the eyes of compassion” is a quote from the Lotus Sutra chapter on Avalokiteshvara.  You might like to put this down and put it in your sitting rooom.  The original Chinkese is only five words:  “comapssionate eyes looking living beings.”  The first tme I recited the Lotus Sutra , when I came to these five words, I was silenced.  I knew that these five words are enough to guide my whole life.

Seventh:  Aware that life is available only in the present moment and that it is possile to live happily in the hera and now, we are committed to training ourselves to live deeply each moment of daily life.

(95)  The first seven trainings deal with mind, then two with speech, and five with body.  This mindfulness training is about reconciliation, the effort to make peace, not only in your family, but in society as well.  In order to help reconcile a conflict, we have to be in touch with both sides and understand.  The world needs people like this for the work of reconciliation, people with the capacity of understanding and compassion.

NInth:  Aware that words can create suffering or happiness we are committed to learning to speak truthfully and constructively, using only words that inspire hope and confidence.  We are determined not to say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people, nor to utter words that might cause division or hatred.  We will not spread news hat we do not know to be certain nor criticize or condemn things of which we are not sure.  WE will do our best to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so many threaten our safety.

(96)  There is a gatha that can be recited before picking up the telephone:
Words can travel across thousands of miles.
May my words create mutual understanding and love.
May they be as beautiful as gems,
as lovely as flowers.

(98)  If I lose my direction, I have to look for the North Star, and I go to the north.  That does not mean I expect to arrive at the North Star.  I just want to go in that direction.

(99)  Preventing war is much better than protesting against the war.  Protesting the war is too late.

(100)  In sexual relations, we must be aware of future suffering that may be caused.

(101)  We are aware that loneliness and suffering cannot be alleviated by the coming together of two bodies in a sexual relationship, but by the practice of true understanding and compassion.

… Is our world safe enough to bring in more children?  If you want to bring more children into the world, then do something for the world.

(102)  In the religious and medical traditions of Asia, the human person was said to have three sources of energy:  sexual, breath, and spirit.  Sexual energy is what you spend during sexual intercourse.  Breath energy is the kind of energy you spend when you talk too much and breathe too little.  Spirit energy is energy that you spend when you worry too much and do not sleep well.  If you spend these three sources of energy, your body will not be strong enough to penetrate deeply into reality and realize the Way.  Buddhist monks observed ccelibacy, not because or moral admonition, but to conserve energy.  Someone on a long fast knows how important it is to preserve these three sources of energy.

… To be reborn means first to be reborn in your children.

(103)  If you wish to have children, please do something for the world you will bring them into.  That will make you someone who works for peace, in one way or another.

(111)  The Buddha’s basic Dharma talk concerning meditation, the Satipatthana Sutta, is available in Pali, Chinese, and many other languages, including English and French.  According to this text, to meditate is to be aware of what is going on in your body, in your feelings, in your mind, and in the objects of your mind, which are the world.  If you are aware of what is going on, then you can see problems as they unfold, and you can help prevent many of them.

(114)  A flower is a Buddha.  A flower has Buddha nature.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Background Information for Energy Hackathon

Islands Energy Playbook

D-Lab Off-grid energy checklist

Solar lighting database - D-Lab

RMI Islands Energy Program
https://www.rmi.org/our-work/global-energy-transitions/islands-energy-program/

They are working with Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, Colombia (San AndrĂ©s and Providencia), Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos, and The Seychelles


There have been 9 Caribbean Renewable Energy Forums

Small Island Developing Nations just started a island renewable energy initiative

Daily updates on Puerto Rico















Jigar Shah role of solar in rebuilding after disaster

Solar Lanterns – there are over 1,000,000 of them in inventory that could be air frighted for about $25m. These are crucial because these lanterns reduce how scared people are, charge mobile phones, and provide basic services

Batteries on existing solar installations – there are thousands of solar projects in Puerto Rico and all of them should be retrofitted with battery back-up so they can serve as emergency hubs for the community and commerce.

Microgrids for essential infrastructure – there are many hotels, government buildings, schools and other places that are deemed by FEMA as critical infrastructure so that the relief workers and other essential functions can operate. Instead of using diesel generators that will run out of fuel, we should be putting in place microgrids to run these buildings which will also reduce electricity costs long-term in islands like Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Solar emergency generators – bring those in to power critical infrastructure (water pumps, telecom towers, etc). Azimuth Solar has been promoting this as a long-term solution to help provide power to on-the-ground humanitarian organizations on island communities who have sustained damage from recent hurricanes with their Portable Solar Generator Systems. You can support them here.



Modular Microgrids
individual
family 
institution
neighborhood
town 
city
region

Renewable at all scales from basic - light, phone, radio, battery charging to household, business, and enterprise microgrids (hospitals first). 

Most islands going majority renewable are at the 10 - 15,000 population scale.  Hawaii is planning for 70% renewables by 2030 but Puerto Rico is 3.5 million.  

There are, perhaps, some lessons to be learned from Bangladesh, in relation to renewables deployment and climate change adaptation:  http://hubeventsnotes.blogspot.com/2014/04/green-energy-for-billion-poor.html

Individual and family scale:  Solar Electric Light Fund http://www.SELF.org
crowd funding campaign today on generosity.com.  http://bit.ly/2z3QmTM    
d.light's S300 mobile charger + solar light, LED Rechargeable Lantern distributed through Catholic Charities USA 

Family, institution, and neighborhood scale:  Joseph Mangum of Sunnyside Solar of Brattleboro, VT:
Mangum on the ground in PR

Institution, neighborhood, and town scale:  http://resilientpowerpr.org/resilientpr/
Sunnova is coordinating getting supplies and batteries to Puerto Rico so they can repair close to 10,000 customers' systems in Puerto Rico

Elizabeth Yeampierre, Climate Justice Alliance - Democracy Now! 10/24/17

Greenpeace + Our Power Our Future campaign for Puerto Rico sending a ship of PV panels to protest Johnson Act

Resilience of Dominican Republic grid

Kau'ai's Renewable Energy Projects 

Make a Mini-Grid: Resilience through Massive Small Change in Appropriate Technology - UPDATED 22/12/2015 



April 23, 2015 Zero Net Energy:  Prototype 4x positive energy portable classroom for Hawaii

——————————— 


Design Brief

This mission is time sensitive, as people who are affected by these disasters are in immediate need of solutions. We’ll be closing this mission and implementing the solutions devised November 08th, 2017.

Field Ready has pinpointed eight categories of top-priority challenges that you can help with. We ask that you identify a problem where your unique maker powers could make a difference, then contribute your solutions as projects here. Field Ready can disseminate your instructions to its experts in the field who can get prototypes into production, and into the hands of those who really need it.

Choose a category of challenge from the list below. When creating a project, state in the first line which category you’re solving for so it can be easily forwarded on to the proper channels. All viable entries will be reviewed by experts on site and put into use as needed.

Challenge #1 Desalinated Water
Propose reliable means of obtaining usable water through desalination techniques. 

Challenge #2 Sustainable Means of Cooking
Propose a safe way of converting seawater and non-potable water to cooking fuel.

Challenge #3 Water Storage
Propose techniques to pump water up two stories (10 meters) using found or upcycled materials.

Challenge #4 Sustainable Food & Medicine Storage
Power existing refrigerators, using found/upcycled materials like solar panels, to keep milk, medicines and perishables cold.

Challenge #5 Replacement Parts
Propose a small, portable casting system that can safely melt found metals into replacement parts. Assume the use of recovered wood from fallen trees as a fuel source.

Challenge #6 Telecommunications
Propose a system for connecting neighborhoods with local fire/police departments when the communications infrastructure is damaged.

Challenge #7 Maintaining Cleanliness for the Elderly and Disabled
Propose a method of rapidly drying clothes and other belongings using little or no power when rain storms, high humidity, windy conditions, and lack of space hinder line-drying.

Challenge #8 Traffic Control
Propose a temporary traffic control system when traffic signals are out of commission. Assume a lack of personnel to post at most intersections. Your solution should be easily dropped into any intersection and simple enough to program to direct traffic to specific patterns and include a self-contained power source that could last for up to 6 months at a time.

Field Ready has access to fabrication tools (including woodworking, 3D printers, laser cutters, metal casting) that can be leveraged in the final solutions of projects, though upcycled and easily accessible materials are preferred. If creating an electronic/smart solution, Arduino and Raspberry Pi are preferred as they are both readily available and well known. 

The Make: team will make sure that all makers whose solutions are selected for testing or use by Field Ready teams are kept informed of the impact of their work. The results will be showcased on Maker Share and in Make: Magazine.


Consult the Rules & Instructions for additional details pertaining to each of the categories listed above.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Orwell's War: Quotes in Homage to Catalonia

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
Boston;  The Beacon Press, 1952

(page 16)  We were near the front line now, near enough to smell the characteristic smell of war - in my experience a smell of excrement and decaying food.

(44)  It was the first time that I had been properly speaking under fire, and to my humiliation I found that I was horribly frightened.  You always, I notice, feel the same when you are under heavy fire - not so much afraid of being hit as afraid because you don't know _where_ you will be hit.  You are wondering all the while just where the bullet will nip you, and it gives your whole body a most unpleasant sensitiveness.

(65)  One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

(66)  It is the same in all wars;  the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot  ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours.  Sometimes it is a comfort to me to think that the aeroplane is altering the conditions of war.  Perhaps when the next great war comes we may see that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet-hole in him.

(69)  Since 1914-1918 'war for democracy' has had a sinister sound.

(74)  In stationary warfare there are three things that all soldiers long for:  a battle, more cigarettes, and a week's leave.

(76)  I think the pacifists might find it helpful to illustrate their pamphlets with enlarged photographs of lice.  Glory of war, indeed!  In war _all_ soldiers are lousy, at least when it is warm enough.  The men who fought at Verdun, at Waterloo, at Flodden, at Senlac, at Thermopylae - every one of them had lice crawling over his testicies.

(180)  The fact is that every war suffers a kind of progressive degradation with every month that it continues, because such things as individual liberty and a truthful press are simply not compatible with military efficiency.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Embodied Peacemaking: Body Awareness, Self-Regulation and Conflict Resolution

Embodied Peacemaking:  Body Awareness, Self-Regulation and Conflict Resolution by Paul Linden
Columbus, OH:  CCMS Publications, 2007
ISBN 978-0-9716261-7-1

(1) Peace is a condition in which conflicts are dealt with and resolved in respectful, life-affirming ways.  Peace can be achieved only when people have tools for resolving conflicts in productive ways.

(3)  The body responds to any form of distress by contracting.  When people feel threatened or challenged in any way, they typically contract their breathing, posture, movement, and attention, and this can take six related forms.  It may take the form of tensing and bracing as a preparation for strenth and effort. It may take the similar form of tensing and hardening in anger.  It may show up as stiffening and constricting in fear.  It may take the form of collapsing and becoming limp in defeat.  It may manifest in numbing of specific areas of the body or in an overall state of dissociation (spacing out).  Or elements of these can combine.

(7)  … once you understand feelings as series of physical _actions_, you begin  to realize they don’t just happen to you.  Thry are physical actions that you are doing, eve if you aren’t normally aware of your role in doing them.  And once you realize that you do your emotions, you can do the opposite actions.  You can replace one set of actions with another.  Looking at fear, for example, instead of tensing muscles, you can relax them.  Instead of reducing breathing, you can increase it.   Instead of shrinking, you can open up.  When you do the opposite of fear, you will feel the opposite of fear, and you will become the opposite of afraid.  You will become relaxed, alert, and capable.

… The essence of conflict arousal is physical contraction, and the essence of embodied peacemaking is the deliberate replacement of contraction with expansion.

(8)  I would say that peacefulness is the essence of moral behavior.

… Morality comes from an integrated body state of power and love.  Embodied peacemaking is an expression of the fundamental moral structure of the body.

… However, instead of using an attack/defense model, I broadened it to create a challenge/response model.

(10)  However, if you are pressed for time, the second chapter can stand on its own as a brief but sufficient experience of embodied peacemaking.

(11)  You might consider stopping when the people you’re working with are doing well and having fun.  Then their last experience will be of effective and pleasurable performance.

(12)  An important teaching hint:  instead of telling participants what not to do, help people understand what to do.  Help them understand in detail what their goal is in each movement or exercise.  Then they will know what to attempt.  Simply telling them when they are wrong leaves undefined what they need do to be right.

(13)  It is important to explain to participants that they have the right to adjust the exercises to their readiness.  it is important that they be enlisted as partners in the process of calibration.  And it is important that reducing the intensity of an exercise be framed as positive self-caring rather than as a failure.

(15)  Rather than speaking in mental terms - about feelings, thoughts and emotions - it can be very productive to speak in body-based language.  By paying attention to the physical details of your response, you will begin to see more deeply into the ways you handle conflict.  And learning to notice what you do is the first step in changing and improving what you do.

(16)  It will help to remember that your attack is a gift to your partner.

(17)   … please do this role reversal in every exercise you do with a partner or a group.

…. Bracing is getting ready for getting hit.

(18)  Powerlessness is the hidden message in tension or limpness.  Both ways in which people respond to the tissue attack [throwing tissues at someone] contain a hidden belief that they cannot prevent getting hit.

… The common denominator in responses of tensing or getting limp is the process of getting smaller.  Fear and anger narrow us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Limpness also narrows us.  However, softening the body is the antidote to contraction.  By softening the body, I mean a form of softness that is energized and expansive - the opposite of both tension and collapse.  

… The simplest relaxation technique I know is just to let your tongue relax and hang softly in your mouth.  What does that do?

Most people find that as soon as they relax their tongue, immediately their throat, shoulders and breathing soften as well.

(19)  The tissue throwing exercise is solely for the purpose of teaching people to decrease fight-flight-freeze arousal.

(20)  They feel embarrassed to go out in public looking relaxed and balanced.  For many people it takes a good deal of practice to feel comfortable with being comfortable.

… Tensing and sucking in the belly is part of the fear/startle response.  Isn’t it strange that we are all encouraged to live in a permanent fear/startle pattern?

Holding tension in any area of your body makes your entire body uncomfortable, but the muscles in the belly, anus and genitals are especially important.

… I would prefer to define relaxation as appropriate work, that is, using only the amount of work appropriate to the task at hand.

(21)  Americans have enshrined the fear-startle response as their ideal of beauty and strength.

(25)  The real problem in conflict resolution and peacemaking is overcoming the emotions involved in conflict and violence long enough for rational discourse to evolve.

… The point is that if emotions are physical events, you can control emotions physically.  You can replace the physical events of fear and anger with the physical events of relaxation.

(26)  Peacemaking must be grounded on an integrated state of softness and strength.

(33)  The vertical, centered body state will improve performance in any task.  Since that is so, the various daily-life applications of the centered body state offer wonderful vehicles for practicing that state and thereby improving one’s skills in embodied peacemaking.

(39)  When people conceive of walking as falling down onto their forward foot rather than rising off their back foot, they sag and fall down as they walk.  When they pull themselves forward with the front foot, they compress and shrink.  Feeling the back/down thrust leads to a way of moving that is mechanically more efficient and powerful, and it is also much more psychologically confident and alert.  It is this alert confidence which is important in peacemaking.  With this mindbody state as  foundation, it is much  easier to feel peaceful in the midst of a conflict.

Walking the Gauntlet between two rows of people trying to distract you while keeping belly soft, breathing full, and a relaxed, open posture

(40)  Conflict includes both content and process.

…How can we conduct a dispute without withdrawing from ourselves and the other person, that is, without alienating ourselves from ourselves and the other person?

(40 - 41)  If you stop to think about it, you will probably notice a subtle reduction in your sense of contact with your partner.  That is really a reduction of the sense of his humanness, an alienation from him.

And the shrinking away movement you do is a withdrawal of attention from areas of your body and the space you inhabit.  This loss of contact with your own body is a reduction in your own lived sense of your own humanness, an alienation from your own self.

(41)  I define “power” in two related ways.  Power is the ability to control your environment in ethical ways to achieve your goals.  Or,  power is the ability to move your body in graceful, efficient, effective ways.  The second definition is an internal definition, and the first is an external definition.

Power is an important step in the development of peacefulness, and this is rather surprising to most people.  Power allows you to stay calm, stable and safe, which is a prerequisite for avoiding aggression and for developing the sense that you can afford to treat your enemy as a respected human being.

… I think it is fair to say that powerlessness is a root cause for much of the conflict and violence in the world.  When people feel powerless, they often lash out at the perceived sources of their powerlessness.

(42)  Powerlessness is  state of smallness in the body, whether tensed or collapsed.  Speaking in body terms, how would we define power?  The opposite of the contraction or collapse of powerlessness is expansiveness, softness, and equanimity.  Power is an antidote for the feelings of powerlessness, fear, and anger.

(43)  Bring your legs together.  What happens?  Most people get tipped back immediately.  Why?  Sitting with the legs together rotates the pelvis a bit backward and creates tension and weakness in the breathing and lower back.  Moving your legs apart arches the lower back a bit and makes it easier to position the pelvis properly for strength.
NB:  Man-spreading is about balance and maybe power?

(44)  Sitting with your legs together is weak and uncomfortable and makes you a pushover.  Literally.

… It [chest push] is about resistance in the sense of applying power and not being pushed back.  It is about not resisting in the sense that the physical power and mental focus are not about antagonism or fighting against.

(45)  Powerlessness is constriction of breath, tensing of muscles, shrinking of posture.  Powerlessness involves patterns of body sensation, posture and movement which are small and uneven.  They are constricted or collapsed, and they are lopsided or twisted.

Power has to do with such qualities of body organization as solidity, weight, rootedness, resoluteness and tenacity.  Power is soft, symmetrical, and expansive.  The body organization which gives rise to physical power is also the source of emotional and personal power and the capacity for powerful action in one’s life.  Power is the ability to control the environment in order to maintain one’s safety and secure one’s needs and desires.  The ability to exert control over elements of your environment is an essential aspect of life.  Survival would not be possible without power.

… The brutality and abusiveness that often pass for power are really just fear and weakness manifesting as hurtfulness…. I reserve the use of the word “power” for ethical, life-affirming uses of force and I use the word “brutality” for much of what passes for power in our world.

(48)  I prefer to think of the words “mind” and “body” as being two different languaging systems.  One points at and refers to the experience of being a living human being.  And the other points at and refers to the the physical object which a human being is.

… I have noticed that people generally find it much easier to make their habitual mistakes than to act in a new, better, unfamiliar ways.  Whether I am teaching about upright posture or an effective golf swing, I have found it useful to start by having people study their mistakes.  Understanding in detail what about a mistake does not work well provides clues about what the correct performance must be.

(49)  [Exercise of standing firm against a push and then raising eyebrows] When would a person ordinarily raise her eyebrows?  When she’s startled or afraid.  And what other body actions would she perform when her eyebrows went up?  Most likely she would pull back.  It’s the fear/startle response.

So when you raised your eyebrows, your body figured you must have been startled or afraid, and it fired off the rest of the reflex package.  When your body goes into the fear/startle response pattern, your posture gets weak.  Clearly, fear is physical as well as mental, and fear weakens you.

Pay attention to the details of how you do fear in your body.  How does that emotion compare somatically to anger?

(51)  During a conflict, you can try to remember that a loving feeling is something _you do_.  It is a choice, an action on your part.  It isn’t a response to your attacker, who, after all, may be very unlovable.  But if you can feel and act loving toward your attacker, that is the beginning of breaking through the wall of threat and establishing a peaceful body and a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

….Stephen Levine, Who Dies?  Conscious Living and Conscious Dying (Anchor Books, Garden City, 1982)

(52) Real strength is loving - soft, considerate, and gentle.  Kindness is the key to both peace and strength.

(53)  In other words, it is through cultivating the feeling of “vulnerability” that people can learn to act effectively and reduce their actual vulnerability.  It is being willing to become soft and available in the face of a conflict that truly enables people to handle the threat.

… Power and love, contrary to the model that our culture uses, really are inseparable.  In fact, they are the same.  Love without power is limp and ineffective, and power without love is rigid and harsh.  In either case, love or power is diminished to the point where it becomes just a shadow and not true power or love at all.  Power is the foundation for the ability to love, and love is the foundation for wise use of the body and the self must be soft and receptive as well as integrated and strong in order to function well.

(53-54)  One thing that is confusing to some people is the impersonal nature of the love that we are cultivating here.  This kind of love is really much more like a flashlight than a radio.  This kind of love is something that shines out of you, not something that is a response to a signal sent to you

(54)  Unfortunately, the idea of being grouchy is very familiar, but the idea of getting up on the right side of the bed and feeling love toward whatever you see - that is not something we ordinarily think of.

(56)  Normally we concentrate our awareness in the center of our visual field.  Soft eyes is the skill of balancing central and peripheral vision so that we can overcome our normal tunnel vision and pay attention to more of the environment than we usually do.  Soft eyes is useful more for picking up large movements than fine details, but it is also a way to look at threatening things in a relaxed manner.

Pick a spot to focus your eyes on, some spot that is not too close - perhaps a spot on a wall ten or fifteen feet (three of four meters) away - and keep looking gently at that spot.  Make sure to keep blinking at a normal rate.  Without moving your eyes, pay attention to what is already in the left side of your peripheral visual field.  Now notice the right side.  Now the top, and now the bottom.  Blink occasionally.  Now pay attention to the whole of your visual field, gently, without gripping the world with your eyes.  Most people experience this as a soft, embracing and relaxing way to use their eyes.

…All the lessons in this book share a common structure.  You learn something that helps you bring your body into a state of peace, and then we create a conflict within which you can practice maintaining that peace.  So here comes another conflict.

(59)  Love doesn’t make you weak, and power doesn’t make you brutal.  The replacement for the distress response is the integrated state of love and power.

…I would like to suggest that the somatic experience of an integrated state of power and love is an important element in non-violence and conflict resolution.  And that somatic experience can be embedded in new, enhanced meanings for the words “power” and “love.” 

(62)  As you continue to play with this exercise [basic breathing], you will find that a few full breaths done in the midst of some stressful situation will calm you down and help you react to conflict in new and more perceptive ways.

(63)  Negative feelings such as fear, anger, anxiety, confusion and so on always involve some form of twisting, and constriction or collapse, in muscles, breathing, posture and movement.  Breathing in an open way is the opposite of this constriction and serves to counteract emotional stress.

(64)  This [wanting a pencil] is the process that I call _intentional projection_.

…. What does it mean that you leaned toward the pencil of the pizza?  It means that wanting with your mind immediately engages your muscles for movement.  So watching how your muscles work is a way of looking inside your mind.

(68)  The process of embodied peacemaking is about becoming aware of how we contract when we are threatened and how to open the body instead.  One element in opening the body is softening.  Another element is empowerment.

A third element is expansion.
NB:  like a yawn

…. Your skin, of course, is porous.  So it ought to be possible to inhale into your belly and exhale outward through all of your skin.  You would breathe out a cloud of air all around your body.  What does that feel like?

(70)  As your partner touches you, consciously and deliberately relax your belly.  Relax your tongue and throat, and let your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles around your genitals and anus) relax as well.   In addition, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, focusing your breathing into your belly.  Choose to keep your breathing soft, steady and continuous.  Open your heart.  Feel your legs and feet contacting the floor.
NB:  catalog the exercises

(72)  Always start with the down direction because that is a way of stabilizing the body.  Then exhale up.  After that it isn’t important in what order you do the horizontal pairs, but exhale into the right and left directions and the backward and forward directions.  Then for the seventh breath, exhale in all six directions.  And then start the cycle over.  You can do this exercise for a minute or ten minutes, or for whatever is comfortable and enjoyable for you.

Once you practice this exercise and gain skill with the breathing, you will find it productive to aim your breath farther away.  Experiment with how far you can focus your breath and notice what happens as you aim your breath farther and farther out.  Make sure not to introduce effort or strain as you aim farther out.

You could also experiment with exhaling in lines between the six cardinal directions.  Or you could experiment with exhaling the feeling of love.  If you let the exercise talk to you, it will show you a lot of possibilities.

(73)  It would be well worth putting a few minutes into doing this exercise every day.

…And remember to look at your “enemy” with a warm heart.

(75)  [When people relax] They also realize that much of the pain they experience in their lives is a result of their oppositional way of receiving life’s challenges and not inherently part of the challenge itself.

It will be easiest to learn how to free your breath by first deliberately tightening it.  At the moment that your breath shifts direction, for just a second or two, hold your breath and constrict your throat, chest and belly.  That will serve to amplify the slight gripping you probably had been doing before.

Now let go of the gripping completely.  Let the back of your throat soften and widen, and breathe so gently that your breath no longer halts.  Insted of breathing in a reciprocating line, like a piston going up and down, you will feel that you are breathing more circularly, without any distinct change of direction.  Your breathing will feel seamless, and your body will feel lighter and freer.

… You could combine Seamless Breathing with Six Directions Breathing.  That would mean taking care to exhale and inhale seamlessly in the six directions.

… Can you keep your muscles relaxed and your breathing soft and free while you are under a stream of frigid water?  Can you reach out into the space around you?  If you can, you will find the icy water much more tolerable.

(76)  What is it really that you are learning here?  Something that is rarely taught in our world, and something that is very important:  how to develop and strengthen a sense of the self as distinct from what happens to the self.
NB:  Stoicism, practical stoicism, physiological stoicism

… What would happen if the ordinary linguistic form were “I make myself so angry about you”?  Would that remind us that we, to a great extent, create our own feelings and have a choice about we will think and feel?

(78)  When you speak, do you aim your breath out into the world?  Or do you withhold your breath and your words even as you speak?  Go back to saying something that feels important to you.  Try speaking while aiming your breath, your words, and your message outward.

(80)  The mind and body form an integrated whole, and when one part goes slack and limp, the whole does.  If you don’t speak clearly and confidently your body weakens and so does your communication.

(81)  The voice offers a convenient and effective handle on the processes underlying conflict and peacemaking.  You always have your voice with you.  It expresses what you feel.  And working with your voice is effective in learning how to stay centered during conflicts.

(82)  An important part of the work in this book is learning how to go beyond thinking about peace to developing a body sense of peacefulness.

(83)  … it is imperative to speak your truth and clear the air.

(85)  Asking questions of your body is much like asking questions of another person.  You must put the question into clear verbal form, but once you have done that, there is nothing more you can do except wait.  You have to be patient and calm and simply wait for the other person to respond.  And they may or may not respond.  No application of effort on your part can speak the answer, because the answer has to come from the other person.  When you receive an answer from your body it will feel as if a part of you is speaking that is different from the part that you ordinarily identify as I.  Actually, of course, it is you, just as your kidneys are you, but a part of you which is normally outside conscious awareness.

… Following your body is, in effect, a form of somatic free assocation.  You focus on one sensation in your body, or a group of sensations, and let that naturally give rise to the next sensation, and the let that sensation naturally lead to the next, and so on.  That train of sensations will help you become aware of what you are feeling and what its roots are. 

In following your body, rather than replacing problematic sensations with center, you focus on and amplify the problematic feelings to gain a clearer awareness and understanding of them.  amplifying sensations is done by focusing your attention on the sensations and requesting your body to allow the sensations to grow stronger.

(86)  Your body is designed to feel most comfortable with truth, and it indicates when it touches a lie.  Of course, it isn’t quite that simple.  If you believe a statement is true, you may respond with greater comfort to that statement even if it is false.  Or a deeper part of you may respond with discomfort even though you think you believe it’s true.

Essentially, we’re dealing with a formal procedure for training our intuition.

… How might the awareness of “faint stirring” be used?  You could, for example, make a mental list of some alternatives you have to choose between in some situation and “taste” each alternative to scope out which feels most right to you.  The fact that one alternative feels best may or may not indicate that it is best but knowing what you really prefer gives some added information to the process of choosing.

(87)  I like to make a distinction between accuracy and authenticity.  An accurate statement is one which has objective supporting evidence.  An authentic statement is one which has deep emotional power to it and which makes sense of important life patterns.

(88)  Amplification:  Request of your body that the physical sensation actions become amplified.  For example:  “Body, please increase the actions of clenching the stomach, turning the head, and rocking the weight back.”  Note that this is a request of the non-conscious body self.  It is not a matter of simply the amplication voluntarily.  And like all requests, it may or may not be granted.  Either way is fine and just the right thing.

Following:  Request of your body that some physical sensation or body action which is connected to the prior body sensation reveal itself to you.  It may reveal itself as a new sensation, or a thought or image, or as an awareness of some area of your body.

(91)  Following a Partner - walking backwards and forwards palm to palm
NB:  Tango

(96)  Yielding - It means not wasting power in opposition, but relaxing into the flow of the events surrounding you in order to better manage them.

(97)  However, people are used to oppositional thinking, and what they hear is that they are not supposed to cross the line.  Of course, resisting is one possibility, but it’s hard work and frequently doesn’t work.

The point of this riddle is that it is easy to fall into the trap of oppositional thinking and that yielding and cooperative thinking work better.

(100)  In other words, resisting increases the power of the attack, and yielding reduces the power of the attack.

It is important that yielding and being centered go together.  If they are divorced from each other, you don’t have yielding but rather being defeated.

(101)  Go along with the power of the push just a moment before it actually impacts you.  You could think of this moment as the instant when your partner touches your skin and the instant just before the pressure begins to push on your skin.  If you do this, you will take all the power out of the thrust.  It will not actually deliver any force to your body.

(102)  Yielding is a specific philosophical stance.  It is a way of not opposing power and at the same time not giving in to it.  It is a way of preserving your integrity while dealing with power.  It is a calm acceptance that a problem is what it is, but it is an active relationship to the problem, without any hint of passivity.  Peacefulness and passivity are not at all the same thing.

(105)  This process of dissociation and alienatioin is profoundly dehumanizing.  In a certain sense, it could be said to be the essence of violence.  It is the empathic connection with other people which renders them fully human in our eyes.  We become fully human to our own selves by sensing and noticing our own feelings, just as important, we become fully human to our own selves by sensing other people as conscious beings and being sensed by them as conscious beings.  If we can’t feel ourselves or the other person, instead of a relation of one being to another, we have a relationship of one object to another.   Being taken as an object is profoundly dissatisfying, and can give rise to resistance, anger and violence.  And taking another human being as an object will allow one to perpetrate violence on them.

(107)  An adult’s form of trust gives over their weight to another person but always maintains the ability to carry their own weight if and when that becomes necessary.

(109)  The use of the word “is” tricks  us into seeing stability and permanency.  “He is emotionally over sensitive.”  The is-ness of is suggests that a characterisitic of a person is somehow part of his solid, stable essence.  Imagine if we were used to saying, “He often does emotional over-sensitiveness.”  That would carry a feeling of activity and a sense that different actions could be chosen and performed.

(111)  Thus forgiving an injury or an insult is tied to the idea of giving away, or casting away.  My sense is that it has to do with casting off, or casting out, the internalized effects still being held in the body, that is, the resentment and the anxious expectation of further injury.

…I would suggest that another way to look at forgiveness is that it is a process of letting go of resentment, hardness and constriction in yourself.  It really has very little to do with the person with whom you are in conflict.

(116)  Continuing with this practice sequence [thinking about winning/losing while remaining centered and radiating in all six directions], try doing three things simultaneously.  Create the body state of radiant, spacious power and love;  focus that feeling outward toward your opponent;  and also think of winning. What does that feel like in your body?  Is the sense of winning made different?  If so, in what ways?

When I do this practice, I experience a sense of compassion for my attacker.  Just as much as I don’t myself want to lose, I don’t want to win against my attacker, and I don’t want him to suffer the pain of losing.  I am motivated to find a way in which we can both win.

Instead of being a matter of diminishing an opponent, winning now becomes a process of finding a constructive, productive solution to the conflict.

(120)  Opponents often create and perpetuate conflict through interlocking and antagonistic feelings of each person being in the right.  Giving up those feelings allows people to explore and communicate about the actual content of the conflict.  Sticking with feelings of righteousness means the conflict can be resolved only with difficulty, if at all.
NB:  Right fighting

(121)  In other words, thoughts of worthlessness lead to postural collapse, and postural collapse leads to thoughts of worthlessness.

(122)  Some people will notice that offering an apology puts them into the distress response.

(124)  It is our enemies whom we have to learn how to get along with, and without some enemies to practice with, how could we learn?

(127)  Breathe calmly and openly.  Accepting the attack will prepare you for defending against it.  Anything you cannot accept and tolerate will be very difficult to protect against.

…Hugging your attacker and going along with him is a way of accepting the attack peacefully and rendering it powerless over you.  It’s a really strange way to respond to an intrusion, but it works well!
NB:  The second time I was mugged

(128)  Penguin Walk - avoiding four people who are trying to walk into you
NB:  randori practice - free practice with more than one attacker

(129)  By the way, making judgments and being judgmental are rather different.  Offering well-reasoned, calm and respectful judgments is not harmful.  Judging and analyzing situations are necessary parts of everyday life.

(130)  Strong emotions are contagious.  Part of the human capacity for empathy and communication is an unconscious mirroring in our bodies of what the people we are with are doing in their bodies.

…. Opposition is “No, but…”  Centering is “Yes, and…”

… This process has three steps.  The first step is accepting your opponent’s position.  However, accepting doesn’t mean agreeing with your opponent or giving up your position.  It means truly seeing your opponent and his position and acknowledging it.  The second step is to present your position.  And the third step is to propose a negotiated solution.  Of course, it may take a number of iterations of this process to get to a mutually acceptable solution.

(131)  One way you can help is to call for a centering break.  Try asking the parties to the conflict to relax and breathe.  Of course, you have to be careful about this or both people could focus their anger on you.  If that happens, you will need to employ all your centering skills.

(132)  I would therefore suggest that the essence of ethical behavior lies in your intention and body state - you have to intend to do good and intend to by physically centered.

It is important to realize that what you have control over is your own process, not the outcome.  There are no guarantees of success in the outcome.

… A failure to achieve a particular outcome right away is not a failure of peacefulness as a way of acting and living.

When you are engaged in a conflict with someone, it is helpful to respond in such a way as to lure your opponent into opening their body.

(133)  The first step in helping your attacker feel calmer and more open is simply keeping your own body open.  That way you won’t look lilke an enemy.  That way your voice will be calm and gentle, and you won’t sound like an enemy.

The second step in helping your antagonist feel calmer is choosing words and ideas that will not alienate your attacker but that will make her feel respected and heard.  Keeping your body open will miaximize your ability to conceptualize the conflict in non-oppositional, non-aggressive ways.  You will be able to think about the conflict not as a conflict but as an early stage in the development of cooperation and harmony.

…”Yes, and…” is conceptually open, in much the same way you have learned to open and soften your body.  It will encourage physical softening and conceptual opening in your attacker.  This kind of verbal/conceptual openness is the beginning of the more common verbally-based approach to conflict resolution.

(135)  Body and movement awareness training offers a concrete approach which answers these questions.  From this perspective, morality is not a matter of abstract philosophy.  It is a process of discerning and choosing actions which promote expansiveness in the body.  Looked at in this way, morality is more a matter of physical health than abstract ideals.  Certain ways of behaving are built into us, and behaving in accord with our physiology is the same as behaving morally.

… Such seemingly different problems as interpersonal and international conflict, ethnic, religious, or gender prejudice, drug abuse, family violence and child abuse, and environmental degradation are all very similar in one crucial way.  From my perspective on body and movement awareness education, all these problems are branches on the trees of body alienation.  Whatever else may be involved in these problems, body alienation is a necessary condition for their existence, and body awareness training is a crucial component in their solution.

(136)  It is very important to consider why it is so common for people to adopt a strategy of anesthesia rather than a strategy of effective mobilization as a basis for reacting to threats.  Continuing to plumb the depths of their experience, people usually realize that the self will opt for numbness rather than effective action in the face of a threat when it perceives that it is really unable to take effective action to handle the threat.  Even while it is apparently fighting or escaping, the self that feels itself to be impotent will also be shutting itself down so it won’t have to feel what it believes it cannot handle.  This includes not feeling both the external environment and internal sensations and feelings.

(137)  I have seen estimates that one in four girls and one in six boys have been sexually abused, and that doesn’t include the numbers of children who have been abused in physical but non-sexual ways.  Nor does it include children who are victims of neglect, emotional abuse, poverty, or prejudice.  

(138)  It is interesting to note that the body form our culture prescribes is practically a prescription for the movement pattern involved in the fear/startle reflex.

(139)  It is important to remember, however, that numbness is not in itself evil, and numb people are not evil.  People who choose numbness do so from a place of pain and powerlessness.

(140)  However, in order to risk being fully open (vulnerable) to people, a person must know that he or she has the power to handle anything undesirable that may occur once he lets his shield down.  Once a person is secure in her power, she can afford to take the risk of reaching out to others in a loving, empathetic way.

There is another somewhat paradoxical way in which power is the basis for love.  Power enables people to go beyond power to the experience of ultimate weakness.  Human beings are all ultimately weak in the face of the universe and death itself.  It takes a good deal of power to look squarely into the face of mortality and accept your fundamental weakness in a calm way.  Power gives people the courage to achieve a humble acceptance of their fear and weakness. 

(141)  The key to the process of empowerment is the development of a moment-by-moment habit of self-study.

…. Actions which lead to smallness and twisting in the body are generally harmful and/or unethical, and actions which lead to an expansivenss and symmetry are most likely and comparatively more healthful and ethical.  Smallness and twisting do indicate that there is some difficulty that must be resolved, but there are two kinds of difficulties which may arise.  The simple difficulty is that the thought or action is one which is indeed hurtful and unethical.  The more complicated difficulty has to do with fearful and painful associations.  If in our past experience we have learned to associate pain and punishment with something that otherwise would be life-affirming then our bodies will become small and twisted when we contemplate doing that which actually is good.  Smallness and twisting, therefore, are indicators of a necessity for learning and growth.  Either we are faced with some traumatic experience to be worked out and overcome or we are experiencing an urge to do something wrong and destructive.  In any case, experiencing smallness and twisting in the body indicates that some study of the self is needed before we can make an ethical and healthful choice.

(142)  The nature of the body itself constitutes an ideal which defines right actions in a universal, logically compelling, and testable way.  Body awareness exercises constitute procedures by which people can make specific moral decisions, and they also constitute a training method through which people can learn to live by the general ideal.

(143)  The exercises in this book are essentially about the process of self-remembering.  About learning the skill of noticing the self and being able to choose how you will live.  About being able to devote some attention to yourself even while attending to the world.  Especially while attending to the world, since remembering the self will allow you to think and act with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

… The key to body awareness is learning to use body-based language for describing feelings and actions.  The essence of conflict arousal is physical contraction, and the essence of embodied peacemaking is the deliberate replacement of contraction with expansion.

(146)  It is also important to aim your voice outward.

… Emotions are physical events in the body.  Empathy is what happens when you observe (consciously or unconsciously) the physical changes in someone’s body and “mirror” or “taste” them in your own body.  Empathy is good, but it also has a problematic aspect as well.  If, in a conflict situation, you mirror other people’s emotions without consicous awareness of that process, you can get stuck in their negative emotions.

(147)  Yielding is a way of not opposing power and at the same time not giving in to it.  It is a way of preserving your integrity while dealing with power.  It is a calm acceptance that a problem is what it is, but it is an active relationship to the problem, without any hint of passivity.  Peacefulness and passivity are not at all the same thing.

…. Responding peacefully has three steps.  The first step is accepting your opponent’s position.  However, accepting means truly seeing your opponent and his position and acknowledging it.  The second step is to present your position.  And the third step is to achieve a negotiated solution.  

(149)  Fear and anger are internal body processes and as such can be replaced by the body state of integrated power and love.  Creating the body state of power and love is a way of replacing destructive feelings with life-affirming feelings.  This is a state of embodied integrity.

… If you are working on healing your own fear and anger, you are really working on saving the whole world.  If you are helping others become more peaceful, you are really working on saving not just the people you work with but the entire world.  It’s worth doing.