Category Archives: Social change

Yoga and Mindfulness Tuition in London

Finally the flyers are out…

We offer a wonderful mix of Hatha Yoga, Traditional Thai Yoga Massage and Mindfulness Meditation to help you find peace and relaxation in the present moment and the strength and energy to follow your visions and dreams…

See the flyer for more information.

Find your breath, know your body

Take your time, just to be

In the moment that opens up

So many ways for you to heal

love ॐ

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Gangs and Circles

Gangs are a product and a reflection of social domination structures. Inducing fear, guild and shame by either punishment or ideas like right and wrong are strategies that make people do what their leaders want them to do; it makes people obey and follow. This works only as long as people are ignorant of it, and if they are ignorant of it long enough, their inevitable protest or uprising will in most cases, at least at first, be conducted in a similar spirit, dominated by a similar thinking, a similar mind-frame than that of the oppressor, because that is what the people have learnt, that is what they were brought up with and so that is the behavior they know.

But human beings are able to learn from each other, as well as from their own mistakes. They are able to have insights and expand far over what we would expect of them.

It takes a different thinking, a new mind-frame, an inner revolution to become able to break the structures based on domination, authority and oppression. It takes an inner revolution to invent or rise up to a new culture, a new structure that supports life, that supports freedom, that supports the idea of mutual support and create a lasting change.

When I mention domination structures in gangs I don’t want to stress on street gangs, they play a small part, they are a dim reflection of what is inherent to most of our human connections and relations. Most of us have grown up with it in our families, in our schools – fear, punishment and reward, guild and shame, right and wrong, good and bad, we’re this and we’re that. It’s been there in kingdoms thousands of years ago, in institutionalised religions, in monarchies, in centralised governments with their justice system to now be replaced by corporations, the economic systems and the media creating these hierarchies and casts that put one above the other, and divide people into those who have and those who don’t. It is a part of us, we’ve all grown up in it, we’re all victims of oppression, more concerned about our status and what other people think of us than about our needs, our feelings, our being human.

We’re moving, people are looking for different ways, first emptiness, giving space for the new, they are experimental and are called crazy, mental, dreamers. We’ll find a way though, letting empathy in, letting compassion in.

Thinking of circles I think of groups sitting together in a perfect circle, in a way that each person can see every other person in the circle; each person can look into each other person’s eyes; all have the same point of view, at least on the physical plane. Sitting in circles is something that has been practiced for thousands of years by tribes, families, work groups, decision making groups, in situations of conflict resolution, yes also by governments. When we sit in circles today, do acknowledge the circle? Do we realise its power, do we consciously create that connection?

There is the plane that goes beyond the physical, that plane where we see each other as equal, where rank and status disappears. The spirit of a circle invites everyone to speak out and be listened to, without being judged, without being evaluated and analysed, but as a part of a bigger whole, interdependent, belonging, safe and supported.

Circles in circles and circles around circles, circles linking circles and circles extending circles, a world of circles, is that where we’re heading.

Deep Observation

Observations lead to interaction. We need a deep sense of observation to perform healthy interactions; and more observation to  fuel reflection and further action.

The Buddha talks about penetrating the objects of observation; diving into them and observing the body in the body, the perception in the perception; only so we can know the object. From observation comes insight; from insight comes knowledge. In the end it is deep observation that leads us to an interaction based on understanding. The interaction closes the loop; an interaction based on insight or true understanding creates meaning.

“When you practice deep looking and master yourself, you dwell in peace freedom and safety.”~Thich Nhat Hanh

A safe place …

… is a place where we are welcomed and included in all our being; physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. A safe place is a place where we can fully be ourselves and express, share, give insight to the brightest as well as the darkest places of our soul; here we can portray the pattern as well as every little detail of the landscape that lies within us.

It takes commitment, participation to include ourselves. It takes humility and empathy to be able to include others. It takes contemplation and self-awareness to develop these qualities; they are all essential group ingredients to provide a safe place, a place for peace to develop, a place for us to lay down our weapons, our armour, our shields of protection and fully open ourselves towards change, embracing our whole being.

Painting by Monica Giglio

Emerging World

This is the first time in the history of humanity that we have access to most of the world’s cultures, past and present. It is hard to imagine, that for the thousand of years of generations before us most of the world’s population didn’t have an idea which kind of tribe and societies and civilisations existed on other parts of the world. Today we have research, history records and travel opportunities that facilitate the learning and the transmission of knowledge. It is the first time in history that we’re able to get a vision of the whole; we’re able to get to know and learn from such a diverse range of people, cultures and societies.

Is it in this time that we’re able to unite this diversity into a worldwide vision? Can we integrate all these paths into one path of humanity towards prosperity? Not that we will eradicate differences; we will transcend them and find unity in the abundance of diversity. There are cultures with so much knowledge, can we gather it all to create a more complete, a more whole tomorrow? What will the world of tomorrow look like?

We travel the world in this times in search for healthy intentions of humanity and everywhere along the way we’re able to meet highly evolved beings, we meet people who not only share the vision, people from all over the world who not only dream our dreams, but also people who are taking steps, who start living solutions, who share openly, let others know what they know and meet us with curiosity.

We’ve gone through a time, at least in the west, of rugged individuals, rationalism based on scientific understanding and achievement. We’ve built our cultures, our systems and our economy on this scientific understanding, on what we think are the laws of nature. Most of our western civilisation is still carrying this spirit of our time. We’ve created a world in which every individual has the right to use and manipulate natural resources for his or her own gain, a world that believes in the doctrine of competition and ‘the survival of the fittest’. We’ve built up economical systems and industries that have not only endangered our sacred habitat planet earth but have also split up humanity in people that have and people that don’t have. Materialism replaced relationships of value and even though the population of the world is constantly rising, most of us are lonely, unsatisfied, unhealthy. Many of us are in search for deeper meaning, in search for reconciliation, for reconnection, in search for soul and mystic, understanding that control and rationalism, materialistic individualism are not the values that could ever sustain our planet and her people.

This loneliness, this desire for happiness made us go out again and search, connect to each other, see what the neighbour’s got, what the Earth’s got. Do you see the suffering? Do you see us suffering?

I’m just listening to the emerging spirit; I’m looking for answers but I don’t pretend to have them … There is so much to be learnt from all the generations, so much to take with us into the rebuilt. we’re trying. Can we get over our egos in the effort to rebuild community? What will the emerging world look like and what will the new challenges be, challenges that again push us to the edge of our being? Can we embrace our ancestors, their work, learn from them and build the next day to come?

The neighbours’ hand

Peoplecare is one of the ethical principles of Permaculture. The way we interact with each other and work with our neighbours and surrounding communities is of major importance. In todays world community goes lost very often, and is not a priority anymore as we’ve got everything, from substantial to superficial, from supermarkets, television and the rest of our consumer culture. Only when we see that if we want to live sustainably again or maybe need to live from the land again we realise that our television and the supermarket won’t be of as much help as our neighbours.

People want to engage …

People want to engage with their whole being, head, heart and hands.

If we try to create social and environmental conflict awareness through posters, flyers, web articles, newspapers and movies we engage people in thinking, in using their heads; there is still that element of ‘Me and Them‘, ‘that’s what THEY tell ME‘ or ‘look what THEY do‘. We fail to integrate or engage people’s whole being and make them be a part of what is happening.

This will be important to think of when we want to achieve social change: how can we engage whole people and how can we make them take ownership in the solution, be a part of the solution in progress.

That’s what makes visitors feel at home at the Panya Project so quickly. They are integrated in daily activities from day one; working at the farm, cooking, cleaning, things we all do communally and some things they do at home as well, caring for the most basic needs. At the same time they have the opportunity and the freedom to start something on their own, to bring change and own ideas. They are a part of the community, and they are the community when their whole being is engaged.