For me, it was a big aha moment when I moved past the position of addiction as disease (helpless and feel sorry for the addict) and addiction as choice (see the addict as weak and/or be angry with the addict) to an understanding of addiction as a human response to unresolved trauma, to pain - a response that works in the short term, but doesn't work in the long term. It made such complete sense for me and I could see clearly how this mechanism plays out in so many of us here in this society - with our many and varied addictions.
This understanding is propounded by and expressed expertly by Gabor Mate.
The same understanding is expressed in the following Ted Talk and article:
A friend told me about thIs research project. It was done on chickens. They divided the chickens into three groups: Group A were traumatised and then soothed. Group B were traumatised and left alone. Group C were not traumatised. All three groups were then subjected to a further trauma. Group A coped the best, group C second, and group B the worst. Just reflect on that. Trauma in itself is not a bad thing - we must accept it, it will happen. What is bad is when the child, person traumatised is not met, soothed.
Here are some articles on addiction from The Guardian newspaper:
I really like this quote. It speaks out against the more and more common view that smoking pot is fine:
"I hate pot. I hate it even more than hard drugs. I’ve taught at high school for 25 years and I hate what marijuana does to my students. It goes beyond missing homework assignments. My students become less curious when they start smoking pot. I’ve seen it time and time again. People say pot makes you more creative, but from what I’ve seen, it narrows my students' minds until they only reference the world in relation to the drug. They’ll say things like: "I went to the beach and got so high," or "I went to a concert and got so high." They start choosing their friends based on the drug. I hate when people say that it’s just experimenting. Because from what I’ve seen, it’s when my students stop experimenting."
This is a wonderful and wide view on addiction and a hint at the way out. It's by Scott Kiloby. The motto of his addiction work is: Rest. Inquire. Enjoy life.
This essay called Addiction and Compulsion by Joan Tollifson is long, but well worth the read. What is addiction really? Is there a separate I that is addicted or trying to stop?
Finally, take a look at DrugRehab's site. The organisation has a lot of good information.
What I tend to say is that we should take the potential impact of environmental pollutants such as electromagnetic radiation seriously and, hence, in our lives do our best to limit our exposure. The below provides some background information on the subject and some tips on how to limit your exposure. We encourage you to go through the information below, but also to do your own research and make up your mind about this important topic.
This is what the Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation says about electromagnetic radiation (EMF): "Everybody is exposed to electromagnetic radiation. There is an urgent need for information and protection – the health of the general public is at risk. The Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation works to protect all living matter against harmful EMF exposure."
There are four types of EMF to measure when it comes to your home:
1. Microwave Radiation (wireless technology like Wi-Fi routers, cell towers, cordless phones and smart meters)
2. Magnetic Fields (these come from power lines, improper home wiring and appliances)
3. Electric Fields (these radiate from unshielded electrical wiring and devices)
4. Dirty Electricity (DE is the frequencies that travel on your home
wiring from things like solar power inverters, florescent lighting,
dimmer switches and wireless smart meters.
Which of these are the most important when it comes to health effects? Here is what has been found:
(Most of the above information is taken from Jeromy Johnson's emfanalysis site.)
With this in mind, here are number of things you can do right now to limit your exposure to EMFs:
Here are some further resources:
Here is a list of inspiring and educational films and documentaries. We only list by name ones that we have seen ourselves:
You Can Heal Your Life - Louise Hay
The Shift - Wayne Dyer
The Truth About Cancer
The Truth About Vaccines
Resonance: Beings of Frequency
The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive
Forks over Knives
What the Health
Awake: The Life of Yogananda
Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Fierce Grace (Ram Dass)
One Track Heart (Krishna Dass)
And, here are some good lists (we haven't seen all of these of course):
Through the years, humans have attempted to describe or map the human condition and beyond, from many and various angles. Here is a list of some of these maps. I am sure there are many that I have missed. And my categorisation might be out. Many overlap. Why are these maps useful? To paraphrase Ken Wilber. If you are going on a journey it can be useful to have a map. The map isn't the journey - but it helps.
Ken Wilber's stages
David Hawkins' map of consciousness
Ramaji's 1000, levels of consciousness and map of awakening
Mary O’Malley's (Michael Beckwith's) six phases of conscious awareness
Theravada Buddhism's four stages of enlightenment
Chinese Buddhism's seven stages of enlightenment
Mahayana Buddhism's 10 Bhumi
Zen ox-herding pictures
Advaita Vedanta stages (from the Varaha Upanishad)
Joseph Campbell's The hero's journey
The valleys of Sufism
The five ranks of Tozan
Major arcana of the Tarot
Jane Loevinger stages of ego development
Chris Cowan and Don Beck's Spiral Dynamics
Sri Aurobindo's work
Seven densities of The Law of One
Law of attraction's low frequency to high frequency
Buddhism's nine levels of consciousnesses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, mind, inner life, where karma resides, pure consciousness)
Advaita Vedanta - thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions experienced by awareness
Anthony Campbell’s seven states of consciousness - based on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s teaching
Ken Wilber's states
Jean Gebser - structures of consciousness
Freud's ego, id, and super ego
Jung's anima and animus
Jung's conscious, individual unconscious, and universal unconscious
Robert Assagioli's psychosynthesis
Adler's will to power
Indian saying. Everyday visit the rooms of Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, Mental
Body, mind, and soul
Body, mind, soul, and spirit
Four brains: Reptilian, Thinking, Emotional, Gut
Four brains: Head, heart, gut, and universal
The triune brain - reptilian complex, the paleomammalian complex (limbic system), and the neomammalian complex (neocortex)
The brain has three main parts:
- Cerebrum fills up most of the skull. It is involved in remembering, problem solving, thinking, and feeling. It also controls movement.
- Cerebellum sits at the back of the head, under the cerebrum. It controls coordination and balance.
- The brain stem sits beneath the cerebrum in front of the cerebellum. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga
Buddha's noble eight fold path
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Kabbalah Tree of Life
Ken Wilber's AQAL Integral Theory
Tim Freke's Soul Story
Paul Hague's work on Cosmic Consciousness
For me, meditation is an antidote to the relentless reactive egoic me-me-me mind. Meditation enables me to go deeper and gives me access to stillness, creativity, wisdom, heart - depending on my start state and which practice I choose. Here is a short list of meditation resources:
Pema Chodron (Buddhist)
Zen Master Genpo Merzel (Zen, but different - Big Mind)
Rupert Spira (Non-duality)
Jeddah Mali (Expensive, but good)
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Mindfullness)
Four or five years ago, I set the intention to find one or more efficient and unbiased sources of news and information. The ones listed below are the ones that I trust at the moment - the last three are courtesy of an American friend of mine.
The Economist (finance focus)
Russell Brand's work (in particular the Trews)
I have heard the Dalai Lama say, and I agree, that when it comes down to it, we all want to be happy. But how to be happy? Here are some practices that I have used or heard about over the years that can help you work towards this happiness - what I would call joy, that is, happiness but without conditions. I call these practices do-one-thing practices. What I mean is pick one and just live with that for a period of time. The advantage of this approach is that it is easier for us to remember to do it as we go through our day. The ego mind is nimble and strong and coalesces quickly - so one needs an intervention that is close at hand. Something we remember. And if we just have one thing, then it is easier to remember. At least for me. With each do-one-thing practice, I have included in brackets where to go for further information.
What would somebody who loved themselves do (Teal Swan)
Surrender to life (Michael Singer)
Present moment awareness (Eckart Tolle)
Question stressful thoughts (Byron Katie)
Prioritise peace of mind (Jerry Jampolsky)
There must be another way (Jerry Jampolsky)
Choose love over fear (Jerry Jampolsky)
Forgiveness (Course in Miracles, Mariannel Williamson, Jerry Jampolsky)
Make feeling good a priority, create good feeling thoughts (Law of Attraction)
Reach for a better thought (Law of Attraction)
Only see the best in people (Law of Attraction)
I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you (Ho'oponopono)
Beginner's mind, know nothing mind (Shunryu Suzuki)
I accept that I don't know how to do this, I invoke the divine to work through me (Matt Kahn)
Hands off (early Bentinho Massaro)
Buddha nature (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nichiren Buddhism)
We are consciousness, we are spiritual beings having a human experience (Rupert Spira)
Love your inner child (Louise Hay)
Mindfullness (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
What do I long for? (Zen Coaching)
We recommend minimizing your use of plastic containers.
In a nutshell, plastic is made from toxic materials. These toxins can leach into whatever they come into contact with. And when the compounds that make up plastic are ingested, they can damage your body on a cellular level and cause health problems.
Plastics are assigned a number, a so-called Resin Identification Code, typically marked on the bottom of container. Basically, you should avoid any plastic designated with code #7, #3, and #6. Plastics that are relatively safe are #1, #2, #4, and #5 - but keep up-to-date on any new findings.
For more information, refer to these articles:
Tantra, for me, is about using the relationship with other to wake up. It is an instrument for expansion. It is about being present and alive with whatever is happening. It is about saying yes to whatever arises. For me, as a man, it is also about devotion to woman, loving woman, serving woman. Being a good man that the woman can trust. It is about using relationship with other to practice total honesty, openness, intimacy, giving, loving. Tantra is often associated with sex, but it is a lot more than that. I recommend the following teachers (some of whom appear in the above collage) and books:
Barry Long, Making Love
David Deida, The Enlightened Sex Manual: Sexual Skills for the Superior Lover and Finding God Through Sex
Ma Ananda Sarita, Divine Sexuality
Charles Muir and Caroline Muir, Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving
Caroline Muir, Tantra Goddess: A Memoir of Sexual Awakening
Barbara Carrellas, Urban Tantra
Mantak Chia, Multi-Orgasmic Man, Multi-Orgasmic Woman
John Maxwell Taylor, Eros Ascending
Margot Anand's work
The Ethical Slut (not really Tantra, but good book about polyamory and related for those interested in polyamory)