Archive for the ‘Compasation’ Category

Stand Against Suffering: An Unprecedented Call to Action by Buddhist Teachers

April 9, 2017


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Thirteen leading Buddhist teachers, joined by more than 120 additional signatories, call on Buddhists and all people of faith to take a stand against policies of the new administration that will create suffering for the most vulnerable in society. As published in the May 2017 Lion’s Roar magazine.

Myokei Shonin by Jan Louy; Mushim Ikeda by Lauren Rudser; Greg Snyder by MArcia Lieberman; angel williams by Christine Alcino, Jan Willis by Marlies Bosch.
Myokei Shonin by Jan Louy; Mushim Ikeda by Lauren Rudser; Greg Snyder by Marcia Lieberman; angel williams by Christine Alcino; Jan Willis by Marlies Bosch.
As long as a society protects the vulnerable among them, they can be expected to prosper and not decline.

—The Buddha, in the Mahaparinirvana Sutta

Buddhism does not align itself with any party or ideology. But when great suffering is at stake, Buddhists must take a stand against it, with loving-kindness, wisdom, calm minds, and courage.

Committed to compassion, we follow the example of the bodhisattva Kwan Yin, “she who hears the cries of the world.” Like her, we listen to the cries of suffering people and do everything in our power to help and protect them.

In this time of crisis, we hear the cries of millions who will suffer from regressive policies of the new U.S. administration targeting our most vulnerable communities. We hear the cries of a nation whose democracy and social fabric are at risk. We join in solidarity with many others who are also hearing these cries, knowing that together we can be a remarkable force for transformation and liberation.

Religious leaders and practitioners have always played a vital role in movements for justice and social progress, contributing their wisdom, love, courage, and commitment to others. People of all faiths are needed on the front lines now, resisting policies that will cause harm and offering a new and positive vision for our country.

We believe that Buddhist teachers and practitioners should be among them, locking arms with all people of goodwill to protect the vulnerable, counter systemic violence and oppression, and work for a more just and caring society. Buddhism is respected around the world as a religion of compassion and peace. We are wanted and needed in this movement, and we have much to contribute.

Buddhism in the United States brings together people of many different backgrounds, interests, and views. Some Buddhists emphasize meditation practice, while others focus on study, community, or faith. Some are politically liberal and others conservative. Some prefer to keep their Buddhist practice separate from political and social issues, while others are deeply engaged.

Facing the reality of this suffering, we remember that peacefulness does not mean passiveness and nonattachment does not mean nonengagement.

Yet one thing binds us together: our commitment to ease the suffering of all beings. The dharma is not an excuse to turn away from the suffering of the world, nor is it a sedative to get us comfortably through painful times. It is a powerful teaching that frees and strengthens us to work diligently for the liberation of beings from suffering.

What is happening now strikes at the heart of this, our central commitment as Buddhists. It transcends our differences and calls us to action. If the policies of the new administration prevail, millions of people in vulnerable and less privileged communities will suffer. Hopes will be dashed. Undoubtedly, lives will be lost. International conflict will intensify and environmental destruction will worsen.

Facing the reality of this suffering, we remember that peacefulness does not mean passiveness and nonattachment does not mean nonengagement.

Today, we ask ourselves: What does it mean to be Kwan Yin in the modern world? What does it mean to be a bodhisattva-citizen, someone who is willing to engage with society to help protect and awaken others? Examining our deepest values as Buddhists, we discern through wisdom the most skillful ways to live and uphold them.

The wisdom teaching of inter-dependence is the bodhisattva-citizen’s guide to the web of causes and conditions that create suffering. While Buddhism has traditionally emphasized the personal causes of suffering, today we also discern how the three poisons of greed, aggression, and indifference operate through political, economic, and social systems to cause suffering on a vast scale.

While continuing to work with ego and the three poisons in our personal practice, the insight of interdependence calls us to address the societal causes of suffering as well. As we resist the heightened threat of many of the new administration’s policies, we also recognize that underrepresented and oppressed communities in the United States have long suffered from systemic greed, aggression, aversion, and indifference.

While some argue that the principle of nonduality suggests that Buddhists should not engage in or take sides on political or social issues, we believe the opposite is true. It is because we and others are not separate that we must act.

The wisdom of interdependence deepens and inspires our compassion. Understanding that none of us is separate, we know that the suffering of others is our suffering. While some argue that the principle of nonduality suggests that Buddhists should not engage in or take sides on political or social issues, we believe the opposite is true. It is because we and others are not separate that we must act.

Whatever our political perspective, now is the season to stand up for what matters. To stand against hate. To stand for respect. To stand for protection of the vulnerable. To care for the earth.

We can see clearly the work ahead of us. It is the work of love and wisdom in the face of racism, gender- and sexual orientation-based violence, xenophobia, economic injustice, war, and environmental degradation. We have to work together to shift the tide toward what will benefit our children, the natural world, and the future.

As Buddhists, we know that real change begins with ourselves. We must explore and expose our own privilege and areas of ignorance, and address racism, misogyny, class prejudice, and more in our communities. We can set an example for the broader society by creating safe, respectful, and inclusive sanghas.

Our Buddhist communities can become centers of protection and vision. This can take many forms. It can mean providing sanctuary for those in danger or skilfully confronting those whose actions would harm the vulnerable among us. It can be standing up for the environment or becoming an active ally for those targeted by hate and prejudice.

It is true that our numbers are small, yet we can join with others who share our convictions and values. For those who are new to this, please remember that there are many people who have dedicated their lives to the work of social change. They have the useful skills of compassionate organizing and building sustainable movements. Find them, get involved, and learn from them.

More than ever, we have to be compassionate, brave, and engaged bodhisattvas.

While we share a common commitment to ease the suffering of sentient beings, that does not mean all Buddhists should or can respond in the same way. Some will march and engage in direct action. Others will support community well-being through clinics, gardens, criminal justice reform, or youth empowerment. Some will work in the next election, some will meditate more, and others will try to be kinder and more civil in their day-to-day interactions. Some manifestations of Kwan Yin have a thousand arms because there are many ways to serve others.

For now, we prepare to face challenging and stressful times. To prevail, we must hold fast to our timeless ideals of wisdom, love, compassion, and justice. We must maintain our faith that, while ignorance and hatred may at times be dominant, through concerted action patiently pursued we can create a society based on justice, love, and human unity.

More than ever, we have to be compassionate, brave, and engaged bodhisattvas. Like Kwan Yin, we hear the cries of a suffering world and, with wisdom and love, we respond.

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Buddhist Global Relief
Myokei Caine-Barrett, Shonin, Nichiren Order of North America
Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Everyday Zen Foundation
Roshi Joan Halifax, Upaya Zen Center
Mushim Patricia Ikeda, East Bay Meditation Center
Jack Kornfield, Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Ethan Nichtern, Shastri, Shambhala NYC
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Village Zendo
Lama Rod Owens, Natural Dharma Fellowship
Gina Sharpe, New York Insight Meditation Center
Rev. Kosen Gregory Snyder, Brooklyn Zen Center
& Union Theological Seminary
Rev. angel Kyodo williams, newDharma Collective
Jan Willis, Agnes Scott College

Additional Signatories

Bhikkhu Analayo, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
Tenshin Zenki, Reb Anderson, San Francisco Zen Center
Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Zen Center of NYC & Zen Mountain Monastery
John Bailes, One Heart Zen
Kristin Barker, One Earth Sangha
Rev. Josh Jiun Bartok, Greater Boston Zen Center, Boundless Way Zen
Stephen Batchelor, Bodhi College
Jan Chozen Bays, Zen Community of Oregon
Hogen Bays, Zen Community of Oregon
Jenn Biehn, East Bay Meditation Center
Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi, Boundless Way Zen
Harrison Blum, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Emerson College
Layla Smith Bockhorst, San Francisco Zen Center
Sylvia Boorstein
Tara Brach
Edward Espe Brown, Peaceful Sea Sangha
Karl Brunnholzl
Joshin Brian Byrnes, Sensei, Upaya Zen Center
Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell, New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
Konin Cardenas, Ekan Zen Study Center
Gyokuko Carlson, Abbot of Dharma Rain Zen Center, Portland, OR
Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan, San Francisco Zen Center, Marin Interfaith Council
Viveka Chen, Triratna Buddhist Order
Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, Sravasti Abbey
Eijun Linda Cutts, San Francisco Zen Center
Lama Surya Das, Dzogchen Center
Osho Fugan Dineen, Hyannis Zendo
Frank Seisho Diaz (Hoshi), Resident Teacher at Open Mind Zen Bloomington
Rev. Maia Duerr, Upaya Zen Center
Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
Linda Galijan, San Francisco Zen Center
Roshi Bernie Glassman, Founder of Zen Peacemakers
Zenshin Greg Fain, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center
Acharya Gaylon Ferguson, Shambhala
Myocho Tova Green, San Francisco Zen Center
Anushka Fernandopulle
Rev. Chris Fortin, Everyday Zen, Dharma Heart Zen
Rev. Bruce Fortin, Occidental Laguna Sangha
Leora Fridman, Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Rev. James Ishmael Ford, Blue Cliff Zen Sangha & Boundless Way Zen
Gil Fronsdal, Insight Meditation Center
Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin, Abbot, Houston Zen Center
Natalie Goldberg, Upaya Zen Center
Joseph Goldstein, Insight Meditation Society
Guo Gu, Tallahassee Chan Center
Robert Kaku Gunn, Village Zendo
Brother Phap Hai, Plum Village International
Paul Haller, San Francisco Zen Center
Dawn Haney, Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Sensei Jules Shuzen Harris, Soji Zen Center
Rev. Jerry Hirano, Buddhist Churches of America
Funie Hsu, Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Kate Johnson
Art Jolly, East Bay Meditation Center
Pema Khandro Rinpoche, Buddhist Yogis Sangha
Rev. Sumi Loundon Kim, Buddhist Chaplain, Duke University & Buddhist Families of Durham
Ruth King, Mindful Members Insight Community of Charlotte
Bodhin Kjolhede
Rev. Ronald Kobata, Buddhist Church of San Francisco
Josh Korda, DharmaPunx NYC
Jack Lawlor, Lakeside Buddha Sangha
Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate
Yo-on Jeremy Levie, San Francisco Zen Center
Noah Levine, Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society
Peter Levitt, Salt Spring Zen Circle, British Columbia
Rebecca Li, Dharma Drum Chan Community
Narayan Liebenson, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center
Judy Lief
Kaira Jewel Lingo, Dharmacharya, Order of Interbeing
Acharya Adam Lobel, Shambhala
Katie Loncke, Buddhist Peace Fellowship
David Loy, Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center
Arlene Lueck, San Francisco Zen Center
Barry Magid, Ordinary Mind Zendo
Vimalasara (Valerie) Mason-John, Triratna Vancouver Buddhist Center
Acharya Fleet Maull
Myoshin Kate McCandless, Mountain Rain Zen Community
Karen Maezen Miller, Hazy Moon Zen Center
Lama Willa Miller, Natural Dharma Fellowship
Kimi Mojica, East Bay Meditation Center
Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao
Shinmon Michael Newton, resident teacher of Mountain Rain Zen Community, Vancouver BC
Zesho Susan O’Connell, San Francisco Zen Center
Barbara Joshin O’Hara, Sensei, Village Zendo
Sarwang Parikh, East Bay Meditation Center
Lila Parrish, Appamada
Deirdre Eisho Peterson, Village Zendo & Red Rocks Zendo
Mitchell Ratner, Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center
Lodro Rinzler
Betsy Rose, Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Larry Rosenberg, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center
Donald Rothberg, Member, Teachers Council and Guiding Teachers Council, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Teacher, East Bay Meditation Center
Ed Sattizahn, San Francisco Zen Center
Grace Schireson, Central Valley Zen
Sebene Selassie
Hozan Alan Senauke
Rev. Keiryu Liên Shutt, Guiding Teacher of Awake-in-Life Sangha
Koshin Flint Sparks, Appamada
Anka Rick Spencer, Puerto Compasivo
Shodo Spring, Sansuiji and Mountains and Waters Alliance
Peter van der Sterre, 7th Street Zendo, Boise ID
Michael Stone
Kōan Peg Syverson, Appamada
John Tarrant, Pacific Zen Institute
Sensei Myoko Terestman, Village Zendo
Thanissara, Sacred Mountain Sangha
Sensei Shinryu Thomson, Village Zendo & Centro Zen Phajjsi Qollut Jalsu
Robert Thurman
Rev. Allan Jo An Tibbett, Provincetown Zen Center
Lama Tsomo, Namchak Foundation
Karma Lekshe Tsomo
Mark Unno
Laura del Valle, Mar de Jade Center at Chacala, Nayarit
LiZhen Wang, Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Steve Weintraub, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, San Francisco Zen Center
Arinna Weisman
Sojun Mel Weitsman, Berkeley Zen Center
Kate Lila Wheeler, Kilung Foundation & Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Jim Willems, East Bay Meditation Center
Doshin Nathan Woods, Sweetwater Zen Center
Larry Yang, Spirit Rock Meditation Center & East Bay Meditation Center
Pamela Ayo Yetunde
Kanzan David Zimmerman, San Francisco Zen Center

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Bhikkhu Bodhi
Bhikkhu Bodhi is a senior Theravada monk and scholar who has translated and edited several important Pali texts, including most recently The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Community Harmony. He resides at Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York.
Norman Fischer
Norman Fischer is the founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation. His most recent book is Experience: Thinking, Writing, Language and Religion.
Joan Halifax
Joan Halifax is the abbot and head teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Mushim Patricia Ikeda
Mushim Ikeda is a social activist and teacher at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, California. She also works as a diversity and inclusion consultant.
Jack Kornfield
Jack Kornfield is a founding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Center and one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. He is a former Buddhist monk, a clinical psychologist, and a husband and father.
Ethan Nichtern
Ethan Nichtern is a Buddhist teacher and the author of The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path, One City: A Declaration of Interdependence, and the novella/poetry collection, Your Emoticons Won’t Save You.
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’hara
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’hara is abbot of the Village Zendo in New York and a founding teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Family.
Lama Rod Owens
Lama Rod Owens is a resident teacher with Natural Dharma Fellowship in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a graduate student in Buddhism at Harvard Divinity School.
Greg Snyder
Greg Snyder is a Zen Buddhist priest and President of Brooklyn Zen Center.
Gina Sharpe
After retiring from practicing law, Gina Sharpe cofounded New York Insight Meditation Center.
Rev. angel Kyodo williams
Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Sensei, peers at society, change, love, and justice through the lens of dharma. She sees liberation there. She is the author of Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace, and co-author, with Lama Rod Owens and Jasmine Syedullah Ph.D., of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation.
Jan Willis
Jan Willis is professor emerita of religion at Wesleyan University and is currently a visiting professor at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She has studied Buddhism with Tibetan teachers for more than forty years and is the author of the memoir Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist.
Myokei Caine-Barrett
Myokei Caine-Barrett is the head priest and guiding teacher of the Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas in Houston. She has been active in prison ministry, and currently supports two sanghas and assorted individuals throughout the Texas prison system. She is also currently bishop of the Nichiren Shu Order of North America.
TOPICS: Donald Trump, Lion’s Roar – May ’17, Politics, Politics & Society


Neurobiology & Epigenetics Applied to Politics, Policy, Psychopaths & Narcissism

September 18, 2016

Broadcast August 29, 2016

The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast

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Darcia Narvaez is a professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in ethical development and moral education. She is executive editor of the Journal of Moral Education.

And she is Conference Chair “Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous KnowHow for Global Flourishing,” University of Notre Dame, which I hope to attend.

Her most recent book is Neurobiology and the development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, recipient of the 2015 American Psychological Associations William James Award

She is also co-editor of Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution and Evolution, Early Experience and Human development. Her website is

Very Rough Interview Notes: Mostly my questions– provided to motivate you to LISTEN to the podcast

Welcome back. Just a reminder, I call my show the Bottom up radio show. I’m interested in how your model, research and ideas can help add dimension to understanding top down and bottom up.

Rob: I think, coming out of our last interview, that your work suggests that a real revolution is possible if we can change the way parents raise children– that it could create generations who will see the world very differently. A parenting revolution could lead to all kinds of revolutions.

That’s the beginning. We have to return to the way humans are intended to be raised.

Rob: you and your authors suggest that we have to learn from mammals.

mammals need lots of social experience and touch and play– that sense of embededness in the community.

Rob: can you give a summary of your work

my overall big picture, orientation is that humans are mostly epigenetically shaped. There are certain parenting practices that parents provide their young shape us as adults. When we get what we need we turn into a person with well functioning neurobiology”. that kind of adult creates a society that supports that kind of human development and lives sustainably on the earth. Part of that requires that the wise elders help the adults and young children, so there are layers and layers of support and mentoring of wisdom. We’ve turned everything upside down giving power to young people. WE’ve sort of undermined all of that for generations. People don’t fully mature until around 40.

My goal is to focus on a few topics-

1- changing policy to reflect your model.

2- viewing politics through your model’s lens

3-viewing major pathologies, like narcissism, psychopathy and sociopathy through your model’s lens.

model is based on small band hunter gatherers, not tribes.

Rob: What’s the difference between small band hunter gatherers and tribes.

SBHGs are nomadic, don’t have possessions, no hierarchy, don’t domesticate animals or cultivate plants.

Rob: there are still hundreds of millions of people living like that. Is that true?

It’s not clear, because of the war on poverty. If you’re a nomadic forager, you don’t have a lot of money.

Rob: What’s the history of the changes in parenting models? Hospital vs home?

After WWII, hospitals, separated babies from mother. That was quite damaging, a lot of babies separated for even a small time would die or become depressed. Since 2011 have advocated baby friendly hospitals” Last year 12% of hospitals are baby friendly in US, an initiative from WHO at UNin 1990s. . Sweden did it right away. Took US a long time.

evolved developmental niche

Breasteeding occurs frequently for many years, upon demand by baby. Builds immune system. That’s been undermined over the last 150-200 years, with Victorian orientation to modesty and with formula companies moving and the US not thwarting their interference. Other countries don’t advertise formula. The orientation to make money in the USA has dominated our practices, including circumcision. We have a lot of problematic structures.

Soothing birth experience– most children don’t get that.

co-sleeping– people have slept with their children nearby by ever since we’ve been around as humans, that’s the mammal thing to do. American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that people not sleep with their children, based on extreme cases of obesity, drug use and alcoholism where parents rolled over on baby. Babies who die of SID are pretty uniformly on infant formula, which knocks the baby out . That’s been the last few decades.

Rob: has the American Academy of Pediatrics been presented with the ancestral parenting, evolved developmental niche model?


Rob: I would think that the medical would not be that responsive to such a holistic approach.

Other countries are better– Europe

Rob: being touched, touching is a big part of your model.

it goes with responsiveness. The touch of the parent is very calming. Touching is critical for establishing systems within the body. In the traditional societies the baby is carried around most of the time. Prams, stroller, carriers–

Rob: So you would get rid of all of those.

I would avoid those things as much as possible.

alloparenting? multiple adult caregivers. Babies are quite needy in terms of a touch. Having a conversation– that’s building a brain. Mothers are not supposed to do that themselves. IT’s a job of a village.

Rob: When did these change. IN Latin America there’s been a tradition of much more touching. Most of the time in the states you see children in strollers and carriers. I think it’s a status thing.

Rob: so if you see someone walking a child in a stroller, you can assume that that child is more at risk of being impaired.

YOu have to have that eye contact, which is building the right hemisphere.

First, If you could, personally take a position in government where you could maximally influence policy, what jobs would you consider and what policies would you implement– laws, legislation, etc?

Rob: is there an agency that takes care of children?

no. What we need is an agency for flourishing– for child flourishing, family flourishing

Funding instead of going over 50% towards military expenditures to helping families and children flourish, and I’d expand it to include the earth, water and air. That’s maybe the department of the interior.

Rob: so there’s no Federal agency advocating for children or parents.

Rob: you say on P 461 of Evolution, early experience” that Poverty for first six months is particularly deleterious. It’s not poverty per se. Aborigial people have no money but they do well raising children. It’s what poverty does to the parents.

Rob; f

everybody would have two or three years of paid parental leave– every income level.


Rob why would the government invest in that

It makes a strong society. If you don’t invest in that you end up with people who can’t think very well, who don’t have self control. It’s all about those first three years.

Rob: Do any first world countries give three years of paid parental leave.

Sweden. And it has to be for both

Rob: Has there been any economic analysis of this work.

James Heckman has done some work on early childhood education.

What has he found

For every dollar spend you save about $10 on prisons, etc.

Rob: How many people are involved in this field. How much money is funded for research

Not much is f under for early childhood. There’s a bias that children are resilient.

We are still shifting to a society.

Rob: long rant on sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists

You end up with people who don’t have much confidence in their selves. The breast feeding is the beginning of self confidence, and to not punish them when they have the autonomy surge at age two– when you punish them you start twisting them. You started twisting them by leaving them alone to let them cry. Then they have to develop a story that keeps themselves save. They develop a big ego. You’ve already started that in babyhood. to create psychopaths. We have this very narrowed psychology, narrowed relational capacity.

Rob; Talk a bit more about narrowed relational capacity.

In normal hunter gatherer small band society, the adults are there for the child and understand that the child is still growing as a human being, so they are much more patient. So they learn the sense of reciprocity, story rituals back and forth, being reverently loved, beheld, accepted.

Rob: in your opening chapter in Evolution, Early Experience and Human development you suggest that we may be normalizing abnormality.

That’s right. Our baselines have shifted on what we think is normal for child raising, adult well being and capacities– parents are oriented to giving babies and children as little as possible and schools are trying to control them in the model of industrial factories. They forgot that we live on the river and the trees and the creek. They’re so stress reactive because that’s what happens when you undermine baby raising. Black and white dominant submission

That’s trump supporters, because you don’t have the relational capacities and how to get needs.

Rob: How do Trump supporters fit into your model

They are stress responsive. Stress response shifts blood away from h higher thinking. That makes slogans which don’t require much thinking more attractive. We’ve created people w ho don’t think very deeply.

Rob: You’re not talking about morality. You’re talking about ability to think.

Babies develop habits to go into the stress response, shuts down open hearted open mindedness and live your life there. And our media maintains that sense of constant threat and fear. We have people who are in self protectionism mode most of the time, not in the relational mode, note in communal imagination. That’s when you base your ideas on the future on the bigger picture, the sense of the future, of consequences, of communal relationship.

Now we have vicious imagination. Where fear affects what you think about, all about me, me me. Or if you become detached emotionally, make up theories that destroy the planet. . They are not communal they are anti life about protection.

Rob: How does your model cast light on politics and politicians?

POliticians can come out of the grounding where the society is at the moment and they get propelled by the emotions.

There’s a bottom up and top down way that politicians can come out and a top down way where the party”

In the current campaign” I’m oriented to democracy and egalitarianism because that’ s our heritage and how we flourish our system is very much tilted

What we have to do is go local as much as possible who pays attention to our local landscape.

Great movie– The Embrace of the Serpent — about westerners coming to Amazon.

And Elder Brother Warning. people came down from highlands to warn younger brothers (Europeans) And Alluna.

Our relationship has to be as a system, almost as a person. Guarding our rivers and letting them flow is really important for the planet. Honoring indigenous traditions.

Rob: talk about the conference. Sept 11-15 at Notre Dame in Indiana

20 speakers mostly indigenous, also artist, storytellers

DIscussion of how doe we integrate with what the indigenous know. And then how to figure out to bring back humanity to its heritages.

Rob: What can people do to heal

3 steps.

learn to calm the stress reactive self, — meditation, mindfulness

That’s not enough. You need to reach outward. Build the inner relationships, the ability to feel pleasure being with others, playing, in the moment, grow that right hemisphere capacity.

Re-grow your imagination and get in tune with the earth and the whole, what Maslow calls peak experiences, a sense of connection to the greater life on the planet.

As community members

Bring together people who help you do that in community– playing, worship, dancing, that build our sense of connection to the whole group

Rob: What can people do to help you.

Read the material

Moral landscapes blog at Psychology today

Start learning to understand yourself. You are a human being– a social mammal. Follow your body. Get back to your body, get back to the earth, connect to others– feel like you are part of the community. Part of the human problem is we have a species isolationism to the trees

What solutions can you offer for adults who have been raised in ways that are far from the optimal ones you’ve identified?

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer– first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978– Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story– each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people’s consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded— which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up– The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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Rob Kall’s Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the

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Comment: Caring communal life is critical component for growth/nurture/cooperation giving confidence/contemplation/compassion/campanionship/cooperation with all (wholly wholesome way/world).

Fukushima evacuees still in limbo as TEPCO drags its feet

March 6, 2012

Fukushima evacuees still in limbo as TEPCO drags its feet

NATIONAL MAR. 07, 2012 – 06:49AM JST ( 3 )

Fukushima evacuees still in limbo as TEPCO drags its feet
Some of those who fled after the March 11 disaster could be allowed home over the next few yearsAFP


A year after being forced to abandon homes and businesses in the shadow of the Fukushima nuclear plant, tens of thousands of evacuees are still in limbo, unable to return and having to battle for compensation.

Some of those who fled the clouds of radiation that spewed from the plant after it was swamped by last March’s tsunami could be allowed home over the next few years as areas are decontaminated.

But others may be unable to return for decades. Some towns will effectively pass into history, little more than names on a map where no one lives because it is too dangerous.

Twelve months on from the disaster, few have received the compensation payouts they expected from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), an enormous utility whose tentacles reach far into Japan’s political machine.

Pitted against the sometimes fearsome power of the company, evacuees say they feel helpless, with one describing the battle for compensation as akin to “ants trying to tackle an elephant.”

“We are still alive. We are not dead yet,” said a 70-year-old rice farmer, whose now worthless paddies lie four kilometers from the plant.

“Some say we can go home after 30 or 40 years, but what are we going to live on until then?” said the man, who asked not to be named when he met AFP at the evacuation shelter where he still lives.

The government-backed alternative dispute resolution center said that as of late February, only 13 cases out of the 1,000 filed with it since September have been settled.

The center’s head, Hiroshi Noyama, said he thought progress would have been faster.

“TEPCO has been hesitant about negotiating (compensation), much more so than expected,” he said.

Nearly two million people are expected to be in line for some sort of payout from TEPCO, including evacuees from the 20-kilometer no-go zone immediately surrounding the plant.

Outside the zone in Fukushima Prefecture as a whole 1.5 million have been affected, with livelihoods lost as farmland has been polluted and businesses—such as hotels or shops—closed.

Lawyers acting for victims say TEPCO is dragging its feet over paying out for now worthless assets—land and houses—inside the exclusion zone.

The utility has offered nuclear refugees a provisional payment for “mental suffering” amounting to 120,000 yen a month, but now requires claimants to re-apply every three months via a lengthy and sometimes confusing claim form.

Tsutomu Aoki, one of the lawyers assisting people from Futabamachi, home to the crippled plant, said the money was not coming quickly enough.

“These evacuees need cash to live off now,” he said. “Their problem is how long the money will last for their daily life. TEPCO has shown no consideration for their desperate living conditions.”

For the 1.5 million people outside the exclusion zone, TEPCO has offered a lump sum of 400,000 yen for pregnant women and children, plus 200,000 yen for those who voluntarily evacuated, and just 80,000 yen for everyone else.

The money is intended to cover the period from the disaster until December 31 last year.

The company as yet has nothing in place for any time after that, and wants those accepting the payouts to agree that they will not try to seek additional compensation for that same period.

Lawyer Izutaro Managi said it was unfair for TEPCO to try to close down cases in this way because the effects of the radiation might not become apparent for many years.

“The accident is ongoing, and nuclear victims still don’t see a clear picture of how much damage they have suffered,” he said.

A TEPCO spokeswoman said the company was trying to clear the backlog of claims and had increased the number of workers processing paperwork from 3,000 to 10,000.

“We are sorry for taking so long but we are trying to make sure no mistake is made. We will continue working,” she said.

For organic rice farmer Mamoru Narita from Koriyama, some 60 kilometers west of the plant, the 80,000 yen he is entitled to barely scratches the surface of what he believes he has lost from the disaster.

“I cultivated my rice field without using chemical fertilizers or pesticide, so that I could ensure food safety and do good to the environment,” said Narita, 61.

“Now the entire environment has been tainted, and we get that amount of money? Should we farmers remain quiet about this?”

Mia Isogai, 31, who fled with her husband and two-year-old son to Yokohama, said the family was struggling to make ends meet and without more compensation, faced bankruptcy.

“We are paying for food and utility expenses from my part-time job. We can’t even pay rent,” she said, adding her husband is still looking for a new job.

For the household of three, the Isogais are entitled to a total 760,000 yen from TEPCO—the equivalent to approximately three months of the average Japanese salary.

“Out of goodwill, the current landlord says he won’t ask for rent until summer. But that will end soon,” she said. “I don’t know what we will do then.”

© 2012 AFP

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