Thursday, 25 October 2018

Interview with Dh. Subhuti

Dh. Subhuti
Dh. Subhuti is a senior member of the Triratna Buddhist Order and the President of the London Buddhist Centre.  Here, he talks to me about the importance of nonviolence.

One incident he describes reminds me so much of some of the incidents I have noted here.  

Go here to listen.  You can listen now or download it for later. 

Please leave your comments below and please share this with your networks.  Thanks. 

Go here for more blogs from the Blogging Carnival for Nonviolence 2018.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Miki Kashtan: "Financial Co-Responsibility"

In this second part of her blog series, Miki Kashtan continues to explore how we can share resources in ways that encourage connection and are based on needs.  She describes practical ways to implement "financial co-responsibility". 
In the last few years, I’ve been experimenting with one particular process that approximates the gift economy on a small scale: an alternative to how money usually functions now in workshops or other public events. Here’s what I said about this process in a recent blog post:

“Financial Co-responsibility” [was] created by Dominic Barter as part of his pioneering efforts to support system building within communities…I consider [it] a quantum leap in creating a collective capacity for challenging the hidden assumptions that surround money and resources more generally and approximating ever better the matching of resources to needs. This process involves two interconnected circle dynamics, one in which resources are pooled and another in which they are distributed.

What we are familiar with is “charging” money for workshops or other public events, which is then distributed among the event producers and those who train or facilitate based on the familiar logic of exchange: a % of gross or net income; a fixed rate per hour worked; or some permutation of the above.

Instead of charging, I invite people to give the lower of two amounts: what they can based on their resources, and what they are willing based on their connection with the sustainability needs of the event team. And those are estimated by each member of the team based, primarily, on the impact on their sustainability of having participated in the event.

Instead of distributing whatever money is generated within the logic of exchange, based either on “value” or “merit,” I have been experimenting, more and more, with the second dynamic in the Financial Co-Responsibility process, which Dominic calls the “Money Pile.”

I’ve found this part of the process quite demanding of courage, truth, and love, the trio that is the foundation of nonviolence as I understand it. It invites honesty, vulnerability, and care. I’ve seen astounding results happen which have taken whole groups outside the logic of exchange, if only briefly. Here’s the general explanation of how it works, taken from the same blog post

The basic format of the money pile is that all those who are requesting to receive money collected at an event gather together and dynamically decide how to divide the money. Initially, the entire amount is in the center. Then individuals either “push” money towards someone else or “pull” money towards themselves, either from the pile at the center (which is what gives this form its name), or from what is already in front of someone. The money pile ends when no new movements are made…

… each person pulling or pushing provides the reasons for their choice, for everyone towitness. Each naming of reasons influences everyone. Mutual influencing, one of the core aspects of community and of interdependence, becomes an explicitly integral part of the process.

My colleagues and I continue to experiment with asking for and distributing money in this way, learning from our experiences and from conversations with Dominic and others about their experience and ours, putting this learning into practice, and iteratively integrating this process – developed in particular contexts in Brazil over the last 15 years - with the contexts in which we use it, while acknowledging and seeking to nurture the context from which it came. One thing that has come from these conversations is an understanding of the importance of including, when we use this process, a flow of resources back to the place where the work originated. I intend to make this part of our future experiments, and encourage others who try it to do so as well.

Go here for Part 1 and the other blogs from The Blogging Carnival for Nonviolence 2018. 

Please leave your comments below, and please share this with your networks.  Thanks.  

Monday, 15 October 2018

Domestic Violence: 50 Shades of Blue Baltimore

Arlene Major is the founder of 50 Shades of Blue Baltimore, an organisation which supports people all year round who are experiencing domesting violence. They hold an annual event in Baltimore, MD, and support everyone regardless of gender, race or any other difference. I caught up with Arlene recently.

When, where and how did you get involved with your organisation?

My organization, 50 Shades of Blue Baltimore, is my brainchild that I created in 2014. I wanted to give back in a way that would make a difference.

Why did you start 50 Shades of Blue Baltimore? 

I started to think of all that I had been through in my life before turning 50 and having survived domestic violence ( 4x) and attempted sexual assault (1x) I knew I had to do it. I turned 50 and my favorite color is blue. My friends came up with the rest.

How do you define domestic violence?

Well, we all know the standard definition of domestic violence or IPV as it is now labeled.  I define it as a silent epidemic.

As you read that last statement, you may have thought of someone you know who is experiencing some level of domestic violence in their relationship. In 2017, when we’ve come so far as a society, domestic violence is still a taboo subject. 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner (as reported by the NCADV). In 2015, Baltimore City and County Uniform Crimes reported 11,267 domestic related crimes.

If those numbers aren’t frightening enough, our current administration is looking to cut 10.5 trillion dollars over the next decade from the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA), which currently funds programs that are established to help save victims lives and hold their attackers accountable. If this happens, where does that leave our mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins and best friends. We must stand up, unite and act now!

What has been your involvement with domestic violence, either at work or in your private life?

I have experienced domestic violence personally.  I have never experienced it in the work place. I have had instances where I put myself in harms way to stop a potential fight and other times where I have attempted to help someone to no avail.  I am always available to provide resources and connect people with others in their area that may be able to help them here or abroad.

What are the most common causes of domestic violence?

Usually, what I see is control.  I am the man and you are the woman type things.  I also see in same sex relationships one who believes they are the dominant in the relationship.  Money issues, trauma in childhood or even adulthood and family issues can contribute to the violence.  With all the statistics that are out there, how can we ignore something that is so multilayered as this?

Do you think domestic violence is increasing? Why or why not?

I do think it is increasing in that we have a judicial system that is still stuck in the “old days”.  We also have many citizens that see domestic violence as a private matter and say nothing when they see it out in public.  A blind eye is turned if men are victims. Too many women who don’t get their way will use domestic violence like a get out of jail free card and the sports world is to lienient with its players and violations. We need better laws, better gun laws and stronger violation stipulations and more ways to keep victims free of their abusers.

What services does your organisation offer?

Our event is yearly.  Throughout the year, we can offer resources.  We are working to put in workshops, classes and other sessions geared toward not only the victim but the survivor and the survivor's family as well.

How do people get in touch with you and access your services?

I am all over social media.  I encourage others if they are willing to share their story, with anonymity or not, I put those on my survival story page of my website. I also have a forum where anyone can post a question or email me to ask a question.

(See below for links.)

What outcomes do you achieve? Give us a couple of examples.

What happens when others attend my event is that they feel comfortable and open up and feel empowered to share their story with me or with one of my speakers.  One of my speakers who has been with me for the last two conferences was very shy but wanted to participate. She brought her children because they witnessed what mommy went through.  Each time she shares her story, she feels a level of release or what I call healing. She tells me everytime that she is grateful for this event and wished more people really understood what domestic violence really is.

What are your plans for the future?

My plan so far for 2019 is to take this conference to the DC/VA area.  My ultimate goal is to become a global entity that partners with other agencies and provides a safe place for others to share their stories, get information, get pampered and leave feeling that they are equipped to face the world.

Any other comments?

I am a published author.  I have my story in a few books, including my own, called Lady BluePrint.  I currently have a workbook that is being finalized called Outlasted, Walking thru Your Pain and Purpose.  I plan to begin healing workshops with this workbook and also include, therapy yoga, vision boards, sip and paints and talk sessions as well. I would like to This is great, Arlene.  I do healing workshops as well.  Your work is so important.  There's a great deal of need for what you do.  
To contact Arlene and 50 Shades of Blue Baltimore, go to:
IG:  @50shadesofbluebmore (direct message)
Twitter:  50shadesofblue3
FB: (Best way to reach her via messenger)
Telephone:  443-579-5401 (google. If I don’t answer, leave a message and I will return your call)

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Miki Kashtan: Recovering the Flow of Resources Part 1

Miki Kashtan
The way we distribute and accumulate resources affects all of our lives, from the personal and interpersonal to the global.  

In the first part of this blog series, Miki Kashtan explores how we can share resources in ways that encourage connection and are based on needs. 

When I was about five, I asked my mother why it was that we needed to pay to get our groceries. Why wouldn’t everyone just come and get what they need? My mother had no response for me, and no one has since. I still believe that money is entirely unnecessary. I still see it as entirely feasible and practical for each of us to receive what we need using available resources created by the generosity or willingness of others. I still see, easily, how this can be orchestrated through community relationships expanded to include the entire global human population. The result can simply be a globally coordinated and locally managed gift economy running entirely without money.

I believe that children often have intense experiences upon discovering the role of money precisely because of its difficult interaction with relationships. When my sister Inbal’s son was still quite young, he learned that some of the people he only knew as his adult friends were receiving money, and he became quite distressed. He recognized, I believe, that exchange undermines relationships. When Inbal was able to explain to him that if they didn’t give them money, they would need to go elsewhere and then have less time with him, he settled, because this explanation was an exit from the logic of exchange, and the relationships were restored for him.

I was well into my 30s when I understood, in a flash, why economics never made sense to me even though I was always very facile with numbers and managed to ace a macroeconomics exam. Economics, has never made sense to me because it is “the study of the allocation of scarce resources” to satisfy “infinite desires and wants.”1

Money has been a key instrument of supporting separation and scarcity, both of which are fertile grounds for both the everyday and intense forms of violence. Here’s how. Money facilitates exchange which reinforces separation: I give to you not because of my heart’s generosity or willingness; I give to you because I want something back. We are separate, and we “use” each other to satisfy our own desires. Similarly, money facilitates accumulation which reinforces scarcity: when I take more than I need to accumulate, I remove resources from circulation, and there is less available to others.

The logical conclusion for me has been to seek and experiment with as many ways as I know to subvert the logic of exchange and accumulation and to transform my relationship with money for the foreseeable future in which it’s here to stay. 

Stay tuned for this blog series.  

Miki Kashtan is a CNVC Certified Trainer, co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and Lead Collaboration Consultant at the Center for Efficient Collaboration. Go here for her blog, The Fearless Heart.  

Please share this blog post with  your networks and please leave your comments below.  Thanks. 

Friday, 5 October 2018

How to Relax and Reduce Stress

Relaxation and Stress Relief
Did you know that there is a link between stress and the disease process? In order to be healthy, we need to reduce stress. 

EFT can help us to relax and reduce stress.  It can even help us to recover from major trauma.

Listen to this audio on how to reduce stress

Click here to contact me for a FREE Consultation