2014 in review

SIMG_3450eptember 2014 marked the five year anniversary of this blog and I didn’t even notice. My adventures with ideas haven’t stopped, but unfortunately I’ve been out of the habit of sharing them online.

I went to Istanbul in August to present a paper at the International Peace Research Association (IPRA)’s 50th anniversary conference. My talk was on the Global Ecological Crisis: A “New Story” to Address Structural Violence.

graduationThis was a slice of my MPhil research, which I graduated from in November. You can download this 58,000 word thesis here: sydney.academia.edu/JulietBennett/.

As a result, I finally received a PhD scholarship!!! It was the fifth time I’d applied, each time with a few more points (from publications and presentations), so I was over the moon… This means I can continue my research at an intersection between process philosophy, ecology and peace.

Alongside my research, I’m also continuing to facilitate the awarding of the annual international Sydney Peace Prize. This year was most enjoyable with Julian Burnside AO QC, an Australian barrister and human rights advocate, presented an inspiring speech about why we should care for vulnerable people seeking refuge in Australia. You can watch his City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture online from anywhere in the world: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2014/11/21/4133386.htm

This year I have done trips to Melbourne, Brisbane, Fraser Island and Tasmania. I’ve spent quality time with my partner’s folks, out from England, and have been mulling over and over buying a slice of land in Wisemans Ferry.

jonny bdayIt was a big year for birthdays with members of family and best friends turning the big 18, 30, 40 and 60.

A couple of months ago I was reintroduced to Ryoho Yoga, an incredible way of resetting brain and body and conquering your perceived limitations. I’m excited to continue with this and will tell you more about it when I do.

Next year will be even bigger. For over a year I’ve been anticipating a conference in Claremont California called Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization. It will take place between June 4-7, 2015, and with almost all of the people whose books I’ve been reading in 2014 I’m super excited that the time is so near.

Adventures will abound, and I’ll do my best to share more of them then this year here.


My customary end of year posts summary for 2014:

Thoughts on a morning walk

On my walk this morning: –       I realised that truth, reality, and illusion, are completely relative and self created –       the truth of a religion is truth for that person, it is made real by the stories that are told, and because each moment is in a way timeless, these truths are eternally real –       yet when truths are examined from different layers, from groups, from societies, from species, from planets, different truths, realities and illusions are illuminated. –       Read more […]

Thoughts, actions, habits, destiny

In yoga last week my teacher drew attention to our thoughts. She said something along the lines of “our thoughts become our actions, our actions become our habits, our habits become our character, and our character determines our destiny.” This related to my current research project that is looking at connections between narratives and peace (which I have been madly trying to finish for the last year, hence the lack of blogging…) Our thoughts are made up of narratives. Because we live in Read more […]

The end of a world, and the start of a new one

After four years of reading, writing and scratching my head, and a last min cram, I have submitted a 60,000 word thesis on “Narrative and Peace: a ‘New Story’ to address structural violence”. During those years I have also presented papers in India, Krakow and Sydney, travelled around Europe and had a horrible scooter accident, taught two undergraduate courses at a university in North Carolina and visited Chicago, New York, and Seattle, spent three weeks with friend in Vancouver, taught yogalaties Read more […]

Other people’s shit is other people’s shit

Language warning: there is a lot of “shit” in this post. People are constantly dealing with shit. Sometimes people feel like shit, they treat others like shit, they spread shit all over the place. The arrogant kid on the street, the snickering old lady in a shop, the road rage, people with bad attitudes, negative energies, people who think that dreams are not possible. 99.999999% of the time, other people’s shit is all about that person, and nothing to do with the people that surround them. It Read more […]

The pain of remaining tight – uniting and relaxing through yoga and meditation

“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” —Anais Nin Throughout my yoga class on Wednesday my teacher repeated the quote: “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”… Yoga is not about stretching and fitness, although these are nice side effects. Yoga is about opening the body, the mind and the spirit—but most of all it is about connection. The Sanskrit word yoga Read more […]

Accidentally on Purpose

Stumbled across this poem by Robert Frost and thought I would share. It’s called “Accidentally on Purpose”: The Universe is but the Thing of things, The things but balls all going round in rings. Some mighty huge, some mighty tiny, All of them radiant and mighty shiny. They mean to tell us all was rolling blind Till accidentally it hit on mind In an albino monkey in the jungle, And even then it had to grope and bungle, Till Darwin came to earth upon a year To show the evolution how Read more […]

Listen to Your Younger Self

I recently watched a show where “Elders” were asked what advice they would give to their 20-year old self. I imagined myself in my mid-to-late seventies being ask that question: what advice might my older self give to my present self? “Listen to your younger self”. By this I do not mean to advise one to listen to that insecure or arrogant version of you, in your teenage years or early twenties, but to listen to the optimism and openness of your earliest years of life, and which sometimes can be Read more […]

Clutter to clarity – using mantras Soham and Humsa

Mantra literally translates to mind (man) vehicle (tra) – intended to transport your mind from the busy clutter to stillness and clarity. It is also translated to mind protector. A “mantra” is essentially a saying – a few words or sentences that you say over and over again in your head. Your mantra might be ‘I am stressed’ ‘I am stressed’. Or it might be ‘I am that’… Soham or its inversion Hamsa. Soham means I am everything that exists, and everything is one. This is the essence of spiritual Read more […]
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