The United Nations has designated the first Monday in October as annual World Habitat Day. World Habitat Day’s purpose is to call attention to the current global state of the human habitat and push toward adequate housing for all.
This ten minute video provides an overview of consciousness, creativity and the latest scientific understanding of mind and matter from quantum physics. It introduces the concept that we live in a holographic universe where the entire whole is constituted within its parts, as in each one of us. Thanks to my friend Jay Kumar for sharing the video.
It seems that creativity is a common theme in both of the courses I am taking this semester.Both courses have a strong focus on understanding the theoretical physics that drive our universe.Yet, we are exploring how the creative forces of the universe apply our own creative evolutionary destiny.We are diving in deep to see how the creativity of our universe is enfolded within us.
Essentially, this video on creativity and spirituality is touching on the same idea of awakening to the creative principles that exist within ourselves.Andrew Cohen mentions how creativity can be a messy process.My classmates and I had a similar discussion last week about how this messiness will be apparent in some of the creative projects we are working on.I think one of the papers that I will write for one of my classes is going to be on exploring the creative process.It has been a fascinating journey for me over the past year to see how my own process of creativity has evolved. I look forward to sharing more on this topic.
The company I work for has a campaign going on encouraging employees to perform a total of 60,000 hours of community service this year (about 6 hours per employee) in honor of the firm's 60th anniversary. Our team, the Intranet Services Group, recently spent a morning at the Alameda County Community Food Bank sorting food and putting it on the shelves.
The ACCFB supplies food for about 300 agencies in Alameda County. Presently 40,000 people in the county are in need of food every week, and these numbers are expected to increase given the declining state of the economy. Many of the people in need of food are the working poor, who have to make choices on whether to pay their bills for housing or food. Donations of higher quality salvage food has declined over the past ten years with computerized inventory control in grocery stores, and the increasing number of discount outlets. There wasn't a huge variety of nutritional packaged foods. For example, we saw a lot of salad dressings, macaroni and cheese, coffee and cake mixes. The ACCFB has increased their attempts to secure fresh produce to account for this deficiency. Still, the food bank distributes only about a half of a bag of groceries per person each week.
Our team of ten sorted and shelved 3,500 pounds of food. In most cases, the food came directly off the shelves as quickly as we were able to put it up. We really enjoyed the work though. It was a nice change of pace from sitting at a computer all day and was a good team building exercise. The team agreed that we will go back again.
A basic description of the Andean term ayni, is sacred reciprocity. It is the common practice of giving and receiving, and then giving more again. In the case of our travel to Peru this summer, one of the ways we practiced ayni was in the donations and service we provided to the people we met. Our group brought about as many donations on the trip as we brought luggage of our own. We began our ayni practice on the first day, when we shared donations of warm clothes with about five Q'ero families who shared their cosmological worldview and spiritual practices with us during the course of our visit.
An unexpected pleasure of the trip was the many interactions that we had with the local children. One day we visited a one room school house in the town of Raqchi. The room an extremely strong volatile organic compound odor upon entering, most likely coming from paint on the walls or perhaps varnish on the school furniture. It was concerning that the kids are expected to remain in this toxic smelling room all day since children's bodies have been found to be more sensitive to environmental toxins than adults. After adjusting to the smell, the group proceeded with the delivery of our donations. Three boys in the class were selected to preform for the group and sing us a song as thanks for the clothes, toys and school supplies that we brought. We had a great time with the kids blowing bubbles and jumping to pop them in the air.
The children we visited at a school house in Urabamba were just as cute as the first group. It was a great feeling to help paint the outside of the school house for them and assist the teacher in purchasing much needed school supplies. The girl in the pink dress immediately stood out to us. Upon our arrival, she greated one of our classmates with a big hug. The boy with the hat on the right side of the photo became my buddy. He leaned on my knees and was hugging me during some of the group photos we took with the kids. The excitement and enthusiasm coming from the children when they looked at the photos we took on our digital cameras was almost overwhelming. It became a mob scene of kids swarming around us to look at each photo we took, followed my many giggles and requests to take more pictures.
While in Cusco, I visited some friends who were staying at the Los Ninos Hotel. After meeting the local children at the schools, I was particularly interested in the story behind the hotel. The founder, a native of the Netherlands, was inspired to move to Cusco after visiting and seeing many of the street children there. She learned that many of them were essentially homeless or had very little parental care and supervision. Thus, she was inspired to establish a foundation for the children. The income generated from two hotels funded the formal adoption and ongoing care for 34 children. Additionally, the foundation provides meals. medical care, warm showers and homework assistance to 500 of Cusco's most in need children. If you are planning a visit to Cusco, I would highly recommend staying at one of these hotels. It supports a good cause.
As a visionary, activist, advocate and artist, Nassiri has been recognized locally, regionally, nationally and internationally for his work spreading the message of peace. Now he's calling on you to design your own original symbol for peace and incorporate it into a poster along with Nassiri's Love Sees No Color logo and the World Peace logo. Be a part of keeping culture alive in today's world and spread the message of peace. Campaign ends October 13, 2008.
To encourage even greater awareness of this important Day, the United Nations is encouraging people around the world to send text messages for peace on or before 21 September. Send a text a message about Peace to world leaders. Your messages will be shared at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September 2008.
After completing my masters degree in Environmental Peace and Security, it became clear that what was needed to address the environmental issues spanning the planet was a shift in human consciousness. Thus, last year I began working on a second masters in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness with a focus on Integral Ecology to learn more about what exactly that meant. Thirteen year old Shannon Leonard is off to a strong start on that same mission. Watching Shannon and his friends speak about the need for a shift in consciousness to begin a life of sustainability is really encouraging. Shannon was awarded first place in the Institute of Noetic Sciences One Minute Shift YouTube video contest for the video below titled "We're Ready." Congratulations.