Tai Chi on the Lawn (Apr 2007)

The front cover is a photograph of “a group of committed citizens changing the world.” It was taken during one of the annual Kootenay Lake Tai Chi Camps. Camp founder Eric Eastman stopped hosting this event a few years ago. Harold Hajime Naka, who was part of the Camp for many years, was so disappointed. During my distribution route last spring, he had just finished teaching a class, so I stopped to chat for a few minutes and listened to him lament the loss. We then talked about options and what it would take if he or someone else were to take it over. This winter when we were doing some programming, I mentioned my conversation to Richard, who got really excited and suggested that the Retreat Center host it. He then phoned Eric, who loved the idea. We now have four instructors busy spreading the word with Hajime writing about his Camp experiences so you can decide if this event is for you. The 30th annual Kootenay Lake Tai Chi Camp will take place at Johnson’s Landing, July 13-18. More details on the back page and in Hajime’s report on page 15.

April is Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day. It is great to hear that so many towns, cities and people are concerned about preserving nature and the planet. Since I moved to the mountains four years ago, I keep reading more and more data about the ever-growing list of support groups that are designing themselves to help the overall population understand what changes are needed if we wish to continue living on the planet. Words like Sustainable, Peak Oil, Peak Food, Food Security, Re-Ruralization, Intentional Communities, EcoSystems, Grassroots, etc. are appearing in many newspapers, books and videos as we try to grasp what is happening.

In his recent book, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, author David Korten states, “Hope for the human future rests, therefore, not with institutions of power, but with the millions of individuals all around the world who are awakening.” He points to the possibility of creating a post-corporate, post-capitalist world of living democracies, mindful market economies and authentic cultures.

Korten works closely with the publishers of Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures, who are dedicated to enhancing awareness and facilitating alliance-building in order to transform a world that is dedicated to the love of money into a world that is dedicated to the love of life. Briarpatch, a Canadian magazine from SK, dedicated its entire latest edition to finding a healthy balance between optimism and pessimism. They claim that we are unprepared to deal with the many limits that will soon arise with regards to food, energy and the spectre of scarcity.

Since I believe that “We, the people” do have the power to control our destiny, I love the fact that more people are getting involved and are feeling motivated to help the shift happen. Computers are making a difference and helping us to connect on a global scale. I liked the ad in Ode magazine that shows a chair with an image of the Earth sitting in it and the copy reads, “Your Mother would like a word with you. She would like you to help create a better world for future generations. We’re Global MindShift, a growing online community of people and organizations working together to find new solutions.” Ode is also developing an inter-active website and features articles written for intelligent optimists, like me. I subscribed after reading it online.

I enjoyed the article in Ode entitled “Real Men play Nice,” in which sociologist Riane Eisler outlines the emergence of “female” values. Taking as an example how some northern European countries demonstrate partnership rather than domination tendencies, she writes, “As the status of women rises, so does ‘the evolution of cooperation.’ ” As more people think in terms of equality instead of superiority or inferiority, she believes a high level of mutual benefit and care will develop and that high levels of abuse and violence will decrease. She says, “Once we have cooperation based on support and empowerment instead of hierarchy based on control and fear, we will progress to a much nicer world.”

I am thankful the world keeps changing. So much has happened in the last one hundred years that we all need to keep sorting out within ourselves what to keep and what to get rid of and then… that will be be reflected in the world.

To honour all the work that Findhorn has done to shift the consciousness of the planet, I typed out the words below from a photograph I took while at Findhorn – words on the wall of the work station where Richard’s group met for morning meetings.

A community Like Findhorn is a kind of school
for learning how to live one’s beliefs.
There are no gurus or fully enlightened beings here.
Each of us seeks our own inspiration from within.

The work departments are the main classrooms
The teacher is whatever broom and dustpan or
moody co-worker you find in your path.
And the lessons are in your response.
To any situation in which you find yourself.

You can always choose whether or not
to sweep the path with love.
In this sense, all of life is the teacher and the school.
It is a slow but effective education in Transformation.

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