Posts in category Peace

“Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization”

After two years of anticipation, in June this year I attended a conference called "Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization", which brought together many of my favourite scholars. I was like a teenager anticipating a music festival with all their favourite bands. Such a geek! Around 2000 people attended the conference from around the world, splitting into 12 sections and 82 groups to workshop different ideas, uncover deeper understandings of the causes of the ecological crisis, Read more [...]

Farming practices as a national security threat

Earlier this year I had the great privilege and honour of having lunch with quantum physicist turned environmental activist and feminist Dr Vandana Shiva. Dr Shiva won the Sydney Peace Prize in 2010, and was returning to Sydney as part of an Australian-New Zealand tour warning about the long-term consequences of globalised farming methods. I attempted to get an article published about some of the things that I learned. After many drafts, three submissions and one rejection (the other two never Read more [...]

I’ve gone organic, and this is why…

I've gone organic, well, where an easy enough choice is available for not a completely unaffordable price. I'm trying to go to the Marrickville farmers markets on Sundays, to buy a box of ethical vegies, fruits, meats, and other products and support more local farmers and small business. Why? It is a stretch to say that buying locally grown organic food can save the world, but from what I can tell it is an important part of moving toward a sustainable society. It saves CO2 emissions involved in Read more [...]

A Wattsian Message of Happiness for 2015

In 1940, as the Second World War began its violence, a 25-year old Alan Watts published a book called The Meaning of Happiness. Its subtitle was the quest for freedom of the spirit in modern psychology and the wisdom of the East. This book shares the same essential message of  countless books, articles and lectures that followed: you are not only what is inside your "bag of skin", you are what is outside of it too. To kick off the new year, let me explain what this means and how it relates to 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 [...]

The pain of remaining tight

"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 [...]

Thinking about Compassion, and signing the Charter

Call it procrastination or maybe even research, I've been spending a bit of time over the past week catching up on YouTube, RSA, TED Talks and general online initiatives connecting with my interests in peace, justice, environmental sustainability, technology and holistic worldviews. Today I stumbled across the Charter for Compassion: I remember author and scholar Karen Armstrong's TED Talk, which won the 2008 TED Prize. Armstrong talks about how the Abrahamic religions -- Islam, Read more [...]

2013 Sydney Peace Prize: Dr Cynthia Maung

Let me introduce Dr Cynthia Maung, recipient of the 2013 Sydney Peace Prize, who is consuming my life right now as (as Executive Officer of the Sydney Peace Foundation) I am organising Dr Cynthia's visit to Sydney and two HUGE events that follow. Since the announcement in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend (“Fragile Sanctuary”), on 17 August, we have been on a mission to sell tickets, stimulate media interest and organise the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture in the Sydney Town Read more [...]

Why write?

I tend not to write when everything is going well. There's little need. Such peace, in a sense, is boring. At least when it comes to content for a blog. I also tend not to write when I'm "too busy". When all my energy is being directed elsewhere: into work, relationships, exercise or otherwise. For a lover of writing this tension can be sickening to their being. But, there are times in life when time must be diverted in this way. The shorter the period of such a diversion the better. A blog Read more [...]

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