June 2011


The last two days I’ve thoroughly enjoyed a couple of long walks with a dear friend. We were chased inside today by a fierce rain just as we each finished collecting a couple of bags of beautiful peat-like composty stuff from the beach (the part of the beach you see at the top of my website). This friend, a former Thai Buddhist monk and qualified Steiner teacher, is keenly interested in intentional communities. While we waited for the weather to clear he and his lovely partner (and another dear friend) Suzanne showed me links to various communities here in New Zealandand also to Tamera in Portugal.

I was extremely inspired by the vision of the founders of this example of how the world can be, so I share a little on the community below (from http://directory.ic.org/3854/Tamera___Healing_Biotope_I )

Tamera is an international project for a future without war, with a site that comprises 331 acres, 30 kilometers inland from the Atlantic coast. The project sees itself as an international training and experimental site for the development of peace research villages and healing biotopes worldwide.

In the Monte Cerro Peace Education, students learn in theory and practice how to implement Peace Villages in the context of a global healing concept. An important aspect of the education is Tamera’s experience and knowledge about community and building trust, truth, and transparency, including in the area of love and sexuality. Another main aspect is the study of the political theory of Dieter Duhm that shows up the possibility of global changes through local work.

Based on 30 years of peace research and community experience, Tamera was founded in 1995 by the sociologist, psychoanalyst, and author Dieter Duhm, by the free theologist and author Sabine Lichtenfels, and by the physicist Rainer Ehrenpreis.

Tamera´s aim is to build up a pilot model for nonviolent co-existence of people and between people and nature. The main tasks of Tamera are the education of young people in the Monte Cerro Peace Studies, the development of a village model calledSolarVillagewhich produces its own food and solar energy, and the development of a global political network under the name of GRACE. An Animal Sanctuary for horses, sheep, pigs, and others is being created.

For its projects Tamera cooperates with networks and specialists from many areas: permaculture, solar energy, peace work, nonviolence, animal rights, economics, media, and education.

The community ethics is guided by honesty in relationships, truth in love, and transparency in the community, and above all by taking on one’s own responsibility and thus steering free of leadership cults.

Currently about 200 staff members and many students live and work in Tamera in the areas of social design and community building, ecology, alternative technology (the Solar Village project), and international peace work and conflict resolution (mainly in Israel/Palestine, Colombia, and India).

Tamera is looking for support and cooperation with other committed peace workers and future communities world-wide. Our main meeting point for contact and network is the annualSummerUniversityin Tamera.

Do visit their website at http://www.tamera.org/index.php?id=1&L=0

These are true visionaries intent on living the dream and educating others to do the same. I’m impressed and inspired.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

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I post below an article by Richard Black – Environment correspondent, BBC News 20 June 2011

But before I do so, I would like to point out is that we can do something about this. And we don’t have to wait for our governments to make the ‘right’ choices. We know that’s not going to happen soon. At present, the entire Western World’s governments are leaning to the right and support further exploitation of the oceans and the environment in general. Commercial interests and lobbyists exert powerful influences on our elected representatives. No, it’s up to you and me. We make the difference and the choices are ours as individuals to make. Whatever changes you make ultimately reflect on those around you. That may have to be enough for now. You’ll see in the article the recommendations of the scientists involved. I’ve taken their three main recommendations and added a few suggestions for you.

1. Stop exploitive fishing: Consider not eating fish at all, or sourcing only from local, non-exploitive fishermen. Those cans of salmon and tuna have dubious beginnings. Watch the film Sharkwater and you’ll see the horrendous practices involved in feeding the Asian lust for shark fin soup. Support organizations like Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace, who are making a difference.

2. Mapping and then reducing the input of pollutants including plastics, agricultural fertilisers and human waste: There’s much each of us can do here. Buy and grow organic food. Support local growers to reduce the transport pollution associated with the vast distances food is shipped to supermarkets. Take steps to eliminate plastic from your buying. You’ll have to boycott the supermarket to do this. Colin Beavan described how he and his family did this for a year in his book, No Impact Man.

3. Making sharp reductions in greenhouse gas emissions: Get out of your car and onto your bike or your feet. Car pool or take the bus. Eliminate unnecessary trips. Increase the efficiency of heating in your home. The list goes on and on and it starts with each of us.

So here’s what Richard Black wrote.

Fom Sharkwater Documentary

The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists. In a new report, they warn that ocean life is “at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.” They conclude that issues such as over-fishing, pollution and climate change are acting together in ways that have not previously been recognised. The impacts, they say, are already affecting humanity.

The panel was convened by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), and brought together experts from different disciplines, including coral reef ecologists, toxicologists, and fisheries scientists.

Its report will be formally released later this week.

“The findings are shocking,” said Alex Rogers, IPSO’s scientific director and professor of conservation biology atOxfordUniversity. “As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the oceans, the implications became far worse than we had individually realised. We’ve sat in one forum and spoken to each other about what we’re seeing, and we’ve ended up with a picture showing that almost right across the board we’re seeing changes that are happening faster than we’d thought, or in ways that we didn’t expect to see for hundreds of years.” These “accelerated” changes include melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, sea level rise, and release of methane trapped in the sea bed. “The rate of change is vastly exceeding what we were expecting even a couple of years ago,” said Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a coral specialist from theUniversityofQueenslandinAustralia. “So if you look at almost everything, whether it’s fisheries in temperate zones or coral reefs or Arctic sea ice, all of this is undergoing changes, but at a much faster rate than we had thought.”

But more worrying than this, the team noted, are the ways in which different issues act synergistically to increase threats to marine life. Some pollutants, for example, stick to the surfaces of tiny plastic particles that are now found in the ocean bed. This increases the amounts of these pollutants that are consumed by bottom-feeding fish.

Plastic particles also assist the transport of algae from place to place, increasing the occurrence of toxic algal blooms – which are also caused by the influx of nutrient-rich pollution from agricultural land. In a wider sense, ocean acidification, warming, local pollution and over-fishing are acting together to increase the threat to coral reefs – so much so that three-quarters of the world’s reefs are at risk of severe decline.

Life on Earth has gone through five “mass extinction events” caused by events such as asteroid impacts; and it is often said that humanity’s combined impact is causing a sixth such event. The IPSO report concludes that it is too early to say definitively. But the trends are such that it is likely to happen, they say – and far faster than any of the previous five. “What we’re seeing at the moment is unprecedented in the fossil record – the environmental changes are much more rapid,” Professor Rogers told BBC News. “We’ve still got most of the world’s biodiversity, but the actual rate of extinction is much higher [than in past events] – and what we face is certainly a globally significant extinction event.” Some species are already fished way beyond their limits – and may also be affected by other threats.

The report also notes that previous mass extinction events have been associated with trends being observed now – disturbances of the carbon cycle, and acidification and hypoxia (depletion of oxygen) of seawater. Levels of CO2 being absorbed by the oceans are already far greater than during the great extinction of marine species 55 million years ago (during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum), it concludes.

The report’s conclusions will be presented at UN headquarters inNew Yorkthis week, when government delegates begin discussions on reforming governance of the oceans.

IPSO’s immediate recommendations include:

  • stopping exploitative fishing now, with special emphasis on the high seas where currently there is little effective regulation  
  • mapping and then reducing the input of pollutants including plastics, agricultural fertilisers and human waste  
  • making sharp reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

Carbon dioxide levels are now so high, it says, that ways of pulling the gas out of the atmosphere need to be researched urgently – but not using techniques, such as iron fertilisation, that lead to more CO2 entering the oceans. “We have to bring down CO2 emissions to zero within about 20 years,” Professor Hoegh-Guldberg told BBC News. “If we don’t do that, we’re going to see steady acidification of the seas, heat events that are wiping out things like kelp forests and coral reefs, and we’ll see a very different ocean.” In the long run, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut to conserve ocean life, the report concludes.

Another of the report’s authors, Dan Laffoley, marine chair of the World Commission on Protected Areas and an adviser to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), admitted the challenges were vast. “But unlike previous generations, we know what now needs to happen,” he said. “The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now.”

By Richard Black – Environment correspondent, BBC News 20 June 2011

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God. 

A Course in Miracles

The first rule of politics: The only time you get hurt is when you forget it’s all a game. I just finished reading a novel – a political thriller – that finished with that statement. I’d like to change it slightly. The first rule of life: The only time you get hurt is when you forget it’s all a game.

Think about it. The only time you feel hurt by anything is when you take it seriously. As A Course in Miracles says at the beginning: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.

Think about this. Life’s a game. It’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s clouded by our conditioned perceptions. What we think is real is not. It can’t be. Thinking created it. Reality lies behind thought.

Ever wondered why the happiest people are those doing what they love? We’re here to have fun. We went dancing at the Mangonui Céilí last night. The first dance we got all wrong. Everyone did. It was a riot. It was so much fun . . . and it set the tone for the evening. I love Céilís. They’re not about precision or perfection. They’re about playfulness. They’re perfect reminders about what this journey is really about. They’re reminders of why we’re here. We learn when we’re having fun. We have fun while we’re learning.

We only really understand the “bad” things when we can laugh at them. What makes a good comic? They make us laugh at the foibles of life; the things we tend to take seriously—relationships, mistakes, politicians, disasters, death . . . .

The next time you take something seriously pause for a moment. Take a deep breath. Stop thinking and start feeling the reality behind the perception. Do it now. Take a moment. In this instant you are connected with everyone you’ve ever known who has played the game and graduated. They’re rooting for you and laughing. They’re waiting for you to get the joke. Nothing in this world lasts for more than a blink in the eye of eternity. Enjoy the game. Its everything and its nothing. Choose to do the things that make you laugh. Eventually it all does and you graduate summa cum laude—with a smile on your face and joy in your heart. It’s all a game. Don’t take it too seriously.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

This is the second time I’m posting this. I’m not sure where the first post went.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzaZO1lzioU&feature=player_embedded#at=29
 
Then response:
 
http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist/question/?id=14416

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Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

 

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Here’s a link to a movie you can watch for free for the next week only.

http://www.burzynskimovie.com/

Yesterday Lucia and I attended the funeral service for a dear friend, Barbara Guthrey, who died the week before (May 24th) just after finishing her turn (with her long-time dance partner Chris) for Montgomery’s Rant, the last dance of the Kaitaia Scottish Country Dance club’s weekly evening of dancing. It was a surreal experience for us all. I’d just had dinner that evening with Barbara, as I’d had many Tuesdays recently before dancing.

Barbara was in her 80th year. Today is my only day away from the library this week, so I’m reluctant to sit here for long at the computer. I’d rather be outside soaking up some of June’s healing sun. As our friend Dave shared at the service (he was part of the hiking group Barbara co-founded almost twenty years before) Barbara never owned a television, a computer, a cell phone or an answering machine. When asked why she didn’t have a TV, she’d respond: ‘I wouldn’t have time to watch.’ She was active in many clubs and organisations: from embroidery to dance to hiking to Forest and Bird. She was a tremendous inspiration to me; she was a woman of unbounded energy, focus and optimism. She will be missed and yet she will endure in the shining example of living she has provided. I shared a few words at her service, which I’ve copied below.

Barbara Guthrey died the way she lived, doing what she loved, squeezing enjoyment from each moment, finishing the last dance.

I know there are many people here in this room who have known Barbara for longer than me, so I’m going to keep this brief. For the past few months, after work at the library on a Tuesday, I’ve gone to Barbara’s home to share a meal with this lovely lady before going on to dancing together. She always made the supreme effort to provide a multi-course delicious feast for someone like me with my slightly unusual dietary leanings. Last Tuesday night, unbeknownst to me, was to be our last supper; Last Tuesday night, unbeknownst to all of us, was to be our last dance with Barbara.

I got to know Barbara on these Tuesdays together. Quite frankly, she inspired me. When she was recently diagnosed with heart disease, she took the necessary medication, hardly skipped a beat (pun fully intended) and got on with it. It was the only way she knew how to live.

Rangiputa Beach

On the weekend before she died, she could be found at her son’s Rangiputa property, putting in two five hour days, freeing plantings of tobacco weed and wattle seedlings. She even managed a swim in the sea and attended the Mangonui Ceili on the Saturday night. Barbara was known to swim year round and was surprised during a recent walking tour in Italy when no one else on the tour joined her for a dip in a frigid mountain lake.

A friend, inspiration and servant to many, Barbara belonged to Servas, hosting visitors from many nations. There was always space at her table and a bed for the weary in her spare room. I know. I stayed more than once myself. She also hosted Forest and Bird members at her home and visited friends regularly who benefited from her care and her company.

A lover of the environment and the nature of New Zealand, she tended her delightful jungle of a garden, helped organise her walking group, recycled, composted, bandied terms like carbon footprint with élan. She had no television or computer. When she wasn’t walking (at full speed, I might add), dancing or helping someone else, she could be found ensconced in her favourite chair, her feline friend Rollie at her feet or on her lap, the gentle strains of the National concert station wafting through the room.

Barbara Guthrey was one of life’s unforgettable characters, the kind I read about in Readers Digest when growing up. She is and will be missed by many, forgotten by no one who has come to know her.

I wonder what she would say if she could speak from the other side: live each day to the fullest, find ways to serve; fulfil your dreams; don’t miss the last dance.

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews