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Subject: "What Are We? Part II" This topic is locked.
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janey
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123120 posts
Wed Aug-30-00 04:14 PM

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"What Are We? Part II"


  

          

In Part I, some of us have been discussing the essential nature of "self" and talking about what each of us ultimately has in common. Important stuff, because we Activists can't go anywhere until we know where we are to begin with. Now I would like to find out from everyone what it is that makes you unique.

Okay, activists (posters and lurkers):

WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
Helping children? The environment? Animals? Political action? Social change? Eliminating racism? To what "cause" have you dedicated your heart?

HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR LIFE?
Part time volunteer? Full time work? Moment to moment awareness? What do you do with your dedication?

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
What's the story behind it? What events or person or book brought it to your attention? What inspired you?

WHAT HELPS YOU?
What qualities of heart and mind serve you best in this work? Who or what, external to you, has helped you to perform this work or dedicate yourself to this goal?

WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
What qualities do you find in yourself that make the dedication more difficult? Who or what, external to you, has put up roadblocks or made the path more difficult?

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
What lessons has this dedication brought you?

WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?
What is the best part of your dedication? What makes you go on, even when it's hard?

WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?
How has your heart been broken in your work? What makes it worthwhile anyway, or is it?

WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
What nourishes you in your dedication? Where do you find your inspiration to continue? What do you do to prevent burnout? How do you nurture yourself?

WHAT'S NEXT?
Is there a natural next step that you see?

Know that by sharing your experiences with us, good and bad, you can make a difference. We are separated by miles and the anonymity of the internet, but we have commonalities and your story will support someone else.

Peace.

~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: What Are We? Part II
velodragon
Aug 30th 2000
1
honestly..
AfricanHerbsman
Aug 31st 2000
2
this is a good post
Isis
Aug 31st 2000
3
RE: What Are We? Part II
Aug 31st 2000
4
RE: What Are We? Part II
Aug 31st 2000
5
RE: What Are We? Part II
Aug 31st 2000
6
RE: What Are We? Part II
Sep 01st 2000
7
here goes...
Sep 02nd 2000
8
I'll give this a try...
Sep 03rd 2000
9
I like this
Sep 05th 2000
10
RE: What Are We? Part II
heptu
Sep 05th 2000
11
RE: What Are We? Part II
Wise_7
Sep 07th 2000
12
RE: What Are We? Part II
Sep 08th 2000
13
RE: What Are We? Part II
Sep 08th 2000
14
me
Sep 08th 2000
15
RE: What Are We? Part II
Sep 13th 2000
16

velodragon

Wed Aug-30-00 05:04 PM

  
1. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


          

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
Being good, fighting the good fight, etc. I know that's pretty general, but I haven't quite found the activist niche. Right now I'm pretty much dedicated to improving myself so that later on I'll have more power to improve the things around me. I'd say that I'm dedicated to becoming the best I can be. Sounds cliche, but I yam what I yam.
In the near future my agendas include bike advocacy, diet/nutrition/health awareness, possibly becoming a Big Brother, and educating folks on the little things that make a difference (as usual), and maybe finding a part-time job during school that has more bearing on the community than making sure Safeway has an ample supply of toilet paper on aisle 12.

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR LIFE?
I constantly keep my eyes and ears open for anything that I can use for personal gain. I try to avoid things that I feel don't make me better like TV, drugs, etc. I don't make excuses, and I try to give everyone an honest chance at showing who they are before I pass judgement. I also make an effort to be as honest as possible, and to share what little I've learned in my 20 years with others while taking in the knowledge that other people have to share.


>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
Inspiration comes from so many places. My parents, my great uncle the 90 yr old cowboy/rancher, my grandparents, family from all over, people I've met from all over N America, so much knowledge from so many people it's amazing once I think about it. Nietzsche is a big influence, as is the Bible (even though I'm not a Christian, much can be learned from it), the Tao Te Ching, Catch-22, Kurt Vonnegut novels, the Lord of the Rings, watching people, long solo bike rides on lonely country rodes, reading something new, staring at random things like a misguided monk lost in a concrete wilderness, family history, okayplayer posts, long lost memories, and a myraid of other sources.

To be honest I have no idea how I got here, it's a mystery to me how a boy born in the Montana plains ended up as an aspiring philosopher and wannabe entrepreneur in the NW.

>WHAT HELPS YOU?
The desire to work hard and the mindset that every job, once started, should be done right or not done at all. Music too, I love to unwind or get up with the right music playing. Family helps too, knowing that I have a group of people spread out over the country that love me and support whatever I do is a tremendous help and a blessing.

>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
This question is kind of tricky because I try as hard as I can not to make excuses for myself, so I suppose the only real answer to that question would be nothing. Nothing seperates me from my goal, I just haven't gotten there yet or found a way around the obstacle yet. Hmmmmmm, like Sarte said, there is always a choice. Even though things may seem like they are in the way, there is always something you can do. So really, the only thing that gets in the way is our (or rather, MY) inability to figure out the right way to approach a problem.


>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
Humans are the at the same time to most wonderful and most awful creature to ever walk the Earth. That's one thing. The most important thing: It's all grey area.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?
Success. Reaching the goal and seeing the planning and hard work of a goal come to fruitation.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?
Reaching a goal and knowing that the journey is over.
Oh yeah, and getting rejected by would-be girlfriends sucks too.

>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
Sometimes nothing. I've been known in the past to simply abandon things that were important to me. That's also where some of the greatest sorrows come from. I hope to never do that again.
Inspiration comes from.... everywhere and anywhere. Books, music, friends, nature, deep thought, disasters, anywhere and everywhere. That's why you've got to always be aware of your surrounding so you don't miss anything. Easier said than done.
Burnout is usually prevented by never taking anything too seriously, which is extremely hard at times, especially with the things most important to me (like grades, relationships, jobs, etc). I've always had a gift for being able to step back, relax for a bit, assess a situation, and figure out how to proceed (sometimes with success, sometimes not, but that's life).

>WHAT'S NEXT?
I have a list, actually. That's my way, I write things down, especially goals. Unlike other times though, I've added a few new elements to my life that I believe will prevent me from giong at them half-speed, and will hopefully prevent the eventual apathy/procrastination that has plagued previous projects.

----------------------------------------
error 404 - signature not found

  

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AfricanHerbsman

Thu Aug-31-00 02:52 AM

  
2. "honestly.."
In response to Reply # 0


          


..I can't really call it because I couldn't call myself an activist by any means. most I'm doing right now is smokingthehellout and taking piano lessons.

commonalities are already borne out though - it's all basically what velodragon (good answer) said, minus the drug-free stance..trying to expand, enhance, advance, and live right.

I mean, at the moment my immediate response to each of your questions would be 'self'. for both selfish (controlled) and selfless (out of my hands) reasons.

>WHAT'S NEXT?
>Is there a natural next step that you see?

the above said though, my motivator/destination is home - uganda. I wanna improve myself and learn what I can so I can, at the very least, improve the country/quality of life there in any way I can.
______________________________________

seize your time! - marley/wailers

blackboogeymanmanicmadmusicianmakerofnoise.. - black thought/roots

  

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Isis

Thu Aug-31-00 05:35 AM

  
3. "this is a good post"
In response to Reply # 0


          

I have been thinking about posting something like this for a while, but I was always forget when I'm on the boards. we should all be sharing our experiences and beliefs so that we can help each other to be activists.


>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?

Fixing up the cities. We need to figure how to help the inner city and create quality places for people of color to live in without pushing them out so that rich whites can move in instead.


>
>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?

I'm still in school so I'm always taking some class on urban issues.
I think its important to volunteer and be involved in my community. I volunteer with tutoring programs in the city I go to school. This is because it is so important to reach out to children and give them hope. I value highly the education I received and want to help other people gain access to these resources.
I'm looking for jobs in non-profit organizations in cities. I want to work at a Community Development Corp., eventually go back to get a masters, create an organization that will provide effective economic suppor in the inner city.


>
>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?

I have always been fascinated by cities. The people that live in them, the culture formed by them, and the politics behind them.
I think it comes from where I grew up. I'm from the Bronx and have never looked down upon the neighborhood I grew up in. But I went boarding school in NH for four years. I was surrounded by rich, ignorant people that assumed I dodged bullets every night at my crib. Being stuck up in the woods for my high school years, I came to value the Bronx, and cities in general because they're just so hype compared to the suburbs and the country. But you know the ghetto is just fucked up and we have to figure out how to help it.

>What events or person or
>book brought it to your
>attention?

I always had ideas from back when I was like 16 that I was "going to save the cities." I felt I sounded kind of stupid cuz how many people you know are going to make an impact like that. But then I read William Julius Wilson's article in the NY Times Magazine called, "When Work Disappears". He talked about how because manufacturing industry left, many blacks were assed out and didn't have jobs. Work is supposed to provide regularity, and sense of worth, and money. Blacks don't have that and shit goes downhill.
His book was my first introduction into urban policy and sociology. Now, I don't agree with any thing dude says but at the time, I was amazed. I began to realize there were solutions out there and I was going to find one.


>
>
>WHAT HELPS YOU?

I'm still young and in school so I haven't been able to make an impact yet. But what helps me continue to learn and help out my community thus far has been my passion. It is important to have a strong drive. When you deeply care about something, you will do it regardless of bullshit that goes on around it. I also have optimism to kep me going because even when bad things happen and I sometimes feel like I'm geting no where, I know that eventually, it'll make a difference


Who or what,
>external to you, has helped
>you to perform this work
>or dedicate yourself to this
>goal?

I don't like thinking that education is the only way to get something but for me, it has made it a whole lot easier. Having access to a prestigious university has made anything else I want in life much easier to get. Because I am in college, my opportunities are that much greater. It has mad eit seem so much more realistic to me that I can make a difference. So I know that next year when I'm looking for a job, people will hire me and I can begin to make changes.

>
>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?

Honestly, part of me is still stuck on the elitism that I grew up sround that tells me I should be out there making money. Many people I know have that mentality that you need to make your scrilla and then go and help your people afterwards. Making money is tempting and I wonder if next year I will take a job at some corporation instead.
But I know what I need to do to make the changes I want so I will try hard to stick with it.

This might sound like a copout but time is always a big roadblock. And school. I sometimes wish I could stay with my kids longer after school, or hang out with them on the weekends but I don't always have the time. So I get mad myself for not doing all that I could be for New Haven.

>
>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
>
Damn. Most of the things I have learned have been negative. That the govt will never allow effective change to take place. That there will always be an inherent battle in trying to fix the ghetto.
I learned this shit will not be easy. I will probably never make a national impact like I once thought.
But, some positive things are that there are people already fixing shit up. There are people that make an impact on our communities daily and receive no recognition. We are doing things to clean shit up in neighborhoods. People will always be there to help out.


>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?

I am still amazed by cities. I don't care what anyone says, this may sound real corny but cities make me happy. There are still hundreds of cities I haven't seen yet so I can always go to one, and try to make sense of it. There is always something you can learn from one versus another.
In my other activities, the reason I chose to work with kids is that you can help so much. I get to see them when they get a good grade. And play double dutch with my girls. They help me so much because when I am with them I am stress free.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?

I haven't had major setbacks yet. What bothers me most is when I try so hard at certain things and shit goes against me. Like working for the past two years on a campaign against police brutality in New Haven only to have it turned down by the city officials. Most of the stuff I see in my neighborhood makes me sad but I also encourages me.

>
>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
The fact that I know that eventually I will make a difference is enough for me right about now.
And I constantly meet people that are dedicated in the same ways I am. When I meet people that are down for the cause like me, it makes me happy. Even when their focus is a little different. Like someone that is down for improving schools, I knwo that person is making an impact on shit I want to change too. And no matter what people say, there is always someone there that is trying to help too.
The burnout is something I will need help with from other okplayers. I haven't had to worry about it yet b/c I haven't been doing this full time or anything. I pray next year I don't stress too much or get overwhlemed.

WHAT'S NEXT?
I'm about to graduate and fuck shit up! I'm still in the developing stages but I always see myself involved in volunteer orgs in my community. And participating in political struggles.
Then, I will take the steps I think are necessary in order to help the most people.


I hope this helps people. Anyone that wants to talk to me can email, and if anyone can help me, email.

************************
This life is temporary but the soul is eternal, separate the real from the lie, let me learn you. --Mos Def

  

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BooDaah
Charter member
32690 posts
Thu Aug-31-00 05:37 AM

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4. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


          

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?

I'm dedicated to living in such a way that when my life is over, the world will have been made a better place WITH me (in whatever small or big way) than it would have been had i not existed. I'm dedicated to following the direction of my God and to doing everything in my power to reflect truth, common sense, and fairness. I'm dedicated to learning and trying to broaden my horizon in such a way that i never allow my circumstances to define my actions or destiny.

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?

Through the seeking of knowledge (i honestly believe you can learn SOMETHING from everything), and outwardly by doing my best to make whatever i feel is the right decision at every given moment.

>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?

in my life i've learned that every moment is a blessing, to me the key is to allow those blessingsto be used to generate blessings for others (letting the blessings flow THROUGH me as opposed to just TO me).

>What's the story behind it?

way too long to go into here.

>WHAT HELPS YOU?

God.

>What qualities of heart and mind
>serve you best in this
>work?

Balance and perspective. Remembering that everything we do (as I stated before) comes from our relative reactions to our perceptions.

>Who or what,
>external to you, has helped
>you to perform this work
>or dedicate yourself to this
>goal?

Way too much to mention (again). Since childhood every experience I've had (as well as the experiences of my ancestors, elders, and peers) has helped shape me into whatever it is that i am today.

>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?

see above. the same thing holds true.

>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?

that there is always more to learn. and that lessons learned in the past oftentimes have to be re-learned.

>What lessons has this dedication brought
>you?

mainly the realization that i don't live in a vaccuum. everything i do has some effect, i want the effect to be postive rather than negative.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?

joy comes from within (as opposed to happiness which relies on external happenings), my source of joy is the knowledge that the future is an open book.

>What is the best part of
>your dedication? What makes
>you go on, even when
>it's hard?

there was once a song by the winans and anita baker which said "ain't no need to worry, what tonight is gonna bring. it'll be all over in the morning." that sums it up. as well as a sentiment expressed by ice cube: "they ain't gona call me a nigga when i get to heaven"

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?

lessons learned the hard way.

>How has your heart been broken
>in your work?

yup. too many times to share here, but ultimately i relize that most of the pain i've suffered is my own fault.

> What
>makes it worthwhile anyway, or
>is it?
>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
>What nourishes you in your dedication?
> Where do you find
>your inspiration to continue?
>What do you do to
>prevent burnout? How do
>you nurture yourself?

i think i already answered these.

>WHAT'S NEXT?

keep doing the best i can with what i have, all the rest will work itself out

>Is there a natural next step
>that you see?

life is short. to me the "natural" next step is to keep progressing forward with due diligence.

>Know that by sharing your experiences
>with us, good and bad,
>you can make a difference.
> We are separated by
>miles and the anonymity of
>the internet, but we have
>commonalities and your story will
>support someone else.
>
>Peace.

that was a pretty good public service announcement. you should have added, a mind is a terrible thing to waste at te end....

------QUOTE STARTS HERE------
BooDaah-OkayActivist Moderator
** PLEASE READ THE POSTING GUIDELINES:
http://www.okayplayer.com/guidelines.html
-----------------------------
Sister SheRise's Activist Stew Recipe:
Step1:inform yourself step/Step2:inform others/Step3:discuss the problem/Step4: DISCUSS SOLUTIONS/Step5:EXECUTE SOLUTIONS/Step6:evaluate the results/Step7:start over at 1 until desired result is accomplished.
-----------------------------

  

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nushooz
Member since Nov 05th 2002
14 posts
Thu Aug-31-00 06:38 AM

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5. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


          

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
>Helping children? The environment?
>Animals? Political action? Social
>change? Eliminating racism?
>To what "cause" have you
>dedicated your heart?
GOD.......and "the least of these"....
Children, Political Action, Social change.....Eradicating Police Brutality....

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?
Local group participation....I've been marching since I could walk....petitioning.....answering calls....making calls....NC Gaudian ad Litem for the Children.....Volunteering.....Meals on Wheels and Battered Woman's Shelter Volunteer

>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
I have been the under-dog for most of my life. We need somebody to champion our causes....
Eyes on the Prize helped.....AND God peirced my heart a long time ago.....

>
>WHAT HELPS YOU?
>What qualities of heart and mind serve you best in this work? Who or what, external to you, has helped you to perform this work
>or dedicate yourself to this goal?
The truth. You gotta operate from the truth. It protects and shields you. And the truth is that in my heart I hurt for a lot of things. And then I'm compelled to ACTION. "All of my help comes from the Lord" Am I too Christian? HECK NO!....another post....
>
>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
>What qualities do you find in
>yourself that make the dedication
>more difficult? Who or
>what, external to you, has
>put up roadblocks or made
>the path more difficult?
My lack of patience. I want stuff to happen NOW! Not always a good thing.

>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
>What lessons has this dedication brought
>you?
All my experiences (from rape to finding Jesus/not because He was lost: I was) have MADE me who I am. God has ordained THIS time for me. These are my truths. The dream of life is truth and then we act and do things accordinlgy. (Zora Neal Hurston)

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?
>What is the best part of your dedication? What makes you go on, even when
>it's hard?
When seeds mature....we plant seeds...some fall on fertile places.....this is my joy. When God confirms me.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?
>How has your heart been broken in your work? What makes it worthwhile anyway, or is it?
People break my heart.

>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
>What nourishes you in your dedication?
> Where do you find your inspiration to continue? What do you do to prevent burnout? How do you nurture yourself?
Faith keeps me going. I tell myself from time to time that "God said so" and that's all that needs to be said. Faith is the substance of things unseen. I'm fed. Man does not live by bread alone but of every word from God.

>WHAT'S NEXT?
>Is there a natural next step that you see?
Keeping this promise that I've made to Him. He needs His people in all places. I wanna be one them - with the aroma of Christ. The biggest compliment that I've ever received was not "Girl you fine" or "Oh, you are a natural....." (these comments had no merit until my own trip to Damascus) but the greatest compliment speaks to my level of Christianity - without me having to say a word. THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO ME - causing my causes and direction and acquisition of my goals to be in line with HIS.


Thanks for the opportunity Janey. peace be unto you!

Live
Nu

I,I, I Can't Wait!

nushooz@blackplanet.com

Live from the Shoe Sto, the Mall and NOW the courtroom


I, I, I Can't Wait?
U've waited long enuff!

  

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Hot_Damali
Charter member
8959 posts
Thu Aug-31-00 07:35 AM

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6. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


          

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
>Helping children? The environment?
>Animals? Political action? Social
>change? Eliminating racism?
>To what "cause" have you
>dedicated your heart?

I belong to an organization called Soka Gakkai International (www.sgi-usa.org)...it's a Buddhist organization whose main goal is world peace...using humanistic education as a vehicle towards that goal...

I'm also in the process of starting a program to help young inner-city (mostly Jersey City) girls (Ages 10-15) empower themselves...learn about womanhood..understand themselves and their environment...just basic enrichment stuff.

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?
>Part time volunteer? Full time work?
> Moment to moment awareness?
> What do you do
>with your dedication?

In the American organization, I am a Group Leader in Jersey City...I help plan Buddhist meetings, visit members' homes to chant with them and encourage them, give people rides to various meetings, and generally just do whatever I can to help out and gain a better understanding of Buddhism and how it relates to my life.

>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
>What's the story behind it?
>What events or person or
>book brought it to your
>attention? What inspired you?

I was dating a guy who chanted...I used to always ask him what he was doing and why...he explained to me that Buddhism is about learning to become unshakably happy and enjoying your life through good times and bad...and also teaching others to do the same. He took me to a meeting at someone's house...the energy inthe room...the sincerity of the people I met...the common sense of the philosphies...all of that contributed to me wanting to practice...

>WHAT HELPS YOU?
>What qualities of heart and mind
>serve you best in this
>work?

Mostly the compassion and fascination that I have for people, my sensitivity, love of learning and understanding other cultures, and the basic desires to see others happy

Who or what,
>external to you, has helped
>you to perform this work
>or dedicate yourself to this
>goal?

The guidance of Daisaku Ikeda, reading the writings of Nichiren Daishonin, and the incredibly strong and wise Buddhist women that help me and encourage me to keep going on a daily basis..

>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
>What qualities do you find in
>yourself that make the dedication
>more difficult?

the main one is my laziness...I'm supposed to chant morning and evening...most of the time I don't get up in the morning in time to chant then leave for work...or I'll not call people back or neglect passing on important info...

I'm working so hard to conquer it...also my arrogance gets in the way sometimes too...

Who or
>what, external to you, has
>put up roadblocks or made
>the path more difficult?

just basically negative forces that exist in the universe...not really anybody trying to stop me directly

>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
>What lessons has this dedication brought
>you?

I've learned that I am in complete control of everything that happens to me, good or bad. That causes (actions) I've made in the past determine what happens to me today..that causes that I make today, will determine my future. Every minute choice is crucial..it sends your life on another path.

I've learned that the true purpose of my human life is to become immeasurably happy before I die...and that true happiness is not material...it's internal.

I've learned tons more but don't have the time to type it all out...


>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
>What nourishes you in your dedication?
> Where do you find
>your inspiration to continue?

Mostly the writings of Nichiren Daishonin (www.gosho.net) and the various writings of Daisaku Ikeda. Both are extremely wise, profound, and inspirational.

Also from other Buddhist members and leaders...

Damali

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janey
Charter member
123120 posts
Fri Sep-01-00 06:29 AM

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7. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?

Compassion as a path to understanding and awareness

>
>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?

I try to be mindful on a moment to moment, day by day basis. I try to keep my heart open.

I'm not doing volunteer work currently, for a variety of reasons, including that I needed some time to get re-grounded and centered. But what works best for me is service, and the form of service that I have found to be the most natural is as a hospice volunteer.

>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?

It started with the unexpected death of the father of a boyfriend. I was floundering around, not knowing what I could do or be that would create an environment for him that would be open to and accepting of all of his emotions, and I ran across a book called "How Can I Help?" by Ram Dass and Paul Gorman. That was the beginning of a period of time in which every door that opened led to a direct path to the next door. It was an extraordinarily blessed time in my life. I was introduced to the work of Stephen Levine, and was able to do some workshops with him before he stopped doing them. That expanded into the actual work of serving the dying, and concomitantly I started to explore spiritual paths that would be most appropriate for me, including exploring the idea of a contemplative order. Ultimately, I settled into a mindfulness practice that is the foundation for my heart and my actions.

>WHAT HELPS YOU?

Remembering that awareness is always available. It's not something that has to be reached for. It's there whenever we allow confusing mindstates to fall away.

Daily meditation practice is essential for me. My teachers in this have been primarily Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield: doing meditation retreats that they've led, reading their books, etc.

>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?

Believing that I am in control. That's the biggest hindrance for me. And it's very tempting.

>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?

It's all part of the path. Hindrances, too. I had a hard time with this one, particularly when I moved out of that period of time in which every door opened in front of me and everything I did seemed to lead me in the right direction. I thought for a while I must be doing something wrong, but now I'm able to keep some awareness that this is part of it, too.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?

The moments of equanimity and balance. They're rare, but they're wonderful.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?

The hardest part for me is letting go of attachment to my own ideas of how things should be. That's the kind of thing that makes being with someone who is dying just really painful. When I remember to let go, as rare as those moments are, things come into balance. Out of balance, I'm always struggling.

At the moment I am struggling a lot with anxiety and a feeling that I'm going nowhere, but I am very lucky in that this time I've been able to see the anxiety and negative feelings with compassion and spaciousness, rather than taking them to heart and believing in them.

>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

Living alone helps a lot. Daily meditation is essential. I find nourishment in quiet.

>WHAT'S NEXT?

It's time to move back into volunteer work. I have a little more "getting it together" that I have to do before I can balance everything, given a 24 hour day, but it's clear to me that I'm out of balance again and need to actively serve others in order to find that harmony.



Peace.

~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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wbgirl
Charter member
5929 posts
Sat Sep-02-00 07:00 PM

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8. "here goes..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
living the life god has in store for me. women's issues. helping children. understanding and eliminating injustices. finding a cure for cancer. trying to walk the walk along with talking the talk.

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?
full-time work at the red cross. volunteering at various fund-raisers in the area (including the first link in my signature). being a member of women employed (http://www.womenemployed.org), which focuses on advocacy and education for women. providing strong shoulders, listening ears and an open mind to folks. constantly talking to & with god about what's happening.

>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
"to whom much is given, much is required." the exact biblical reference escapes me right now. my sis-in-law drummed that in my head...and it's one of the few things that stuck once i turned 18. it may have been that donating cans to the food drive at school or taking part in "jump rope for heart" (does anyone remember that?) was the cool thing to do back in the day. but i think going away to college and being with like-minded folks who wanted to move and change things helped define the activist side of me a little bit.

>WHAT HELPS YOU?
god. coming to the understanding that sometimes, i like helping others. wanting better for myself and everyone else. knowing that the tiny things i do make a difference.

>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
i have a distinct lack of patience. sometimes, i want results RIGHT now...but i'm realizing that good things come to those who wait...and great things come to those who wait and pray.

>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
way too much to even try and list here. seriously. every day brings at least one new lesson learned.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?
knowing that i've done my part. receiving thanks from someone i've helped. knowing that i'm making mommy & daddy (RIP) proud.


>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?
knowing that i can't help everyone and fix everything. having offers of help refused. sometimes, realizing that i could've started a lot earlier, maybe.

>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
i'm huge on having time for myself. time to read a novel. or check e-mail. or catch up on posts i've missed. or listen to music. or take a bubble bath. or take a nap. or listen to the voices in my head and seeing what they're up to.

>WHAT'S NEXT?
i'm not sure...i'm waiting to hear from god on that one. but as long as i'm moving in the right direction, i'll be ok.

great post...thanks janey!

~~wbg~~
AIM: wbgirl218
Chicago 2001...will u be ready?
go here:
http://www.breastcancer3day.org
and here:
http://www.recordkingdom.com

september as ol' school quote month:
"...i get right to the point/my composition's not long or short/it's like a sport/hanging in the middle/and now that you're puzzled lemme kick the whole riddle..." (c) d-nice

~~wbg~~
"I pray sometimes to keep my head together,
because you can use prayer however you want.
There are no rules one way or the other."
--Jami Attenberg

http://helpcde.blogspot.com
http://queeneulalia.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/queeneulalia

  

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murph25
Charter member
733 posts
Sun Sep-03-00 12:39 AM

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9. "I'll give this a try..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I have a ton of issues I care about, and am willing to fight for, so I'll just focus on the most important one in my life right now.

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?

I'm dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities. Children and adults who have autism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Down's Syndrome, etc. I find myself particularly drawn to helping individuals with behavior issues - aggression, self-injury, property destruction. Basically, I want to make a difference in these peoples' lives. Help them be as independent, as integrated into the community, and as fulfilled as they can be. They have a rough life, and anything I can do to empower these folks means a lot.

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?

For the last five years, my professional life has centered around helping those with disabilities in group homes (they pay me in peanuts). I've been in charge of behavior support, coming up with ways to avoid and respond to dangerous behaviors like aggression and self-injury. Another big example of my dedication is the research on autism I conducted for my senior thesis in psychology. This summer, my professor and I finally managed to get the study published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA). Hopefully this article will contribute to the world's understanding of Autism in some small way. After all, research is the first step to finding treatments that work.

>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?

I had a college professor named Marion Underwood, a brilliant developmental psychologist, and one of the best teachers I've ever had. I took a course she taught, and had to do a presentation on Autism. Reading about it inspired me to eventually get a summer job working with autistic kids in a group home. I ended up spending about four years at that program. What really drew me in was interacting with these kids.

>WHAT HELPS YOU?

Patience, and lots of it. Also, empathy, and a decent amount of intelligence. My college background helps, but a lot of it is intuitive as well, and I picked up pretty good parenting advice from my Mom (who is a teacher). Also, I've had some of the best managers and co-workers I could hope for in my career. They always made me feel supported and like I was part of a team that could make a difference. And being in a loving relationship keeps me grounded.

>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?

Apathy on the part of coworkers or other professionals involved in caregiving. My own lack of motivation sometimes. Not having a graduate degree.

>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?

There are too many lessons to sum them up. I've gained the perspective to know that I have it way easier than some folks. I've learned not to take for granted the basic abilities I have like speech, or being able to use the toilet on my own when I need to. I've learned that I can only do so much, but that I should always do it the best I can. And I've learned the names of all the TV anchors on CNN (thanks Andy!)

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?

Getting to know these remarkable young people with disabilities. Knowing that I'm doing good instead of just doing for myself. The feeling of progress (like when a kid who never talks FINALLY manages to point at an empty plate and say "more chicken").

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?

When my best efforts fall short. When the system is so twisted that there's no money or staffing to provide the services we need to to our clients (like going out in the community to do an activity, or just stocking the food they want). When somebody hurts themself or somebody else and I can't prevent it. When the teamwork falls apart.

>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

Being in love helps. Keeping in touch with the residents I used to work with - that gives me a sense of continuity with it all. I prevent burnout by vacationing as often as possible in the most exotic places I can afford, and getting out of town whenever I can. Also by having time with my friends, and by myself. Watching good movies. Not taking work home with me too much.

>WHAT'S NEXT?

I want to get this job in the public schools I just applied for. And, then I want to get into a good grad school - earn a Masters so I can have a bigger impact. Then there's getting married (next May), planning a family, etc. I'll manage to keep myself busy, I think.

peace,
murph


peace,
murph

  

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HotThyng76
Charter member
51232 posts
Tue Sep-05-00 10:10 AM

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10. "I like this"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?

Recently, I've dedicated my working self to stopping the spread of HIV.

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?

Full time employment w/the Chi-town Dept of Public Health
>
>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?

My best cousin (who's 3 mos older than I) has been HIV+ for about a year now. It shook me more than I can say when she caught it. She's str8, loving, gifted, talented and wonderful. I never thought SHE'D end up where she is...poor, single mother, HIV+, w/o a college education. It's amazing. The fact that she caught it means I'm not doing enough to educate ppl. As much info as I have about HIV, I assume everybody knows what I know. I guess I'm wrong. That has to stop.
>
>
>WHAT HELPS YOU?

I'm doing this all for my cousin (see above).
>
>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?

The only thing in my way is my inability to make commitments.
>
>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
>
I haven't started the job yet. But I've already learned the govt is nothing but big rolls of red tape. *sigh*
>
>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?

Knowing that I'll be contributing to our betterment.
>
>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?

The greatest sorrow is that ppl just don't effing get it. Condoms + water-based lubes + communication...it's not that hard.

>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

I don't know. I haven't really started yet.
>
>WHAT'S NEXT?

We shall see.





_______________________

  

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heptu

Tue Sep-05-00 10:39 AM

  
11. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


          

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
>>Helping people..especially in some of the third world countries...making God proud of me....being as positive as I can in the midst of all this evil around me.

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?
In less thatn two weeks i will be taking a trip to Africa so that i can see first hand what real beauty and suffering is like....Prayer.....meditation
>
>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
>My mother is the most caring and sensitive person I've ever known, she taught me to be the same...my heart and spirit are always being touched by things that I see and hear...I have also been through so much in my short time on this earth that I have promised myself that I will do whatever I can to make sure I never have to experience those things again...Finally God sent me an angel and everyday i am reminded of what is really important, this man in just three short years has taught me how to live.

>WHAT HELPS YOU?
Prayer
>
>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
Restlessness
>
>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
>
Who we are will only be judged by who we've touched.

>
>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?
Knowing that as long as I dedicate my life to helping others all of my needs will be taken care of...freedom from worry is the sweetest gift.

>
>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?
So many people just don't get it..Selfishness is so ugly and it eats away at the soul..no matter what you say to people they just don't get it..It breaks my heart.

>
>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
I don't know that there's any one thing that keeps me going..honestly, i often feel like giving up.


>WHAT'S NEXT?
Find the best way to help as many people and educate the ignorant about the joys of charity.




"I slept and dreamed that life was joy, I awoke and saw that life was duty, I acted and behold: duty was joy" - Rabindranath Tagore

"Until you're sure of yourself, you won't be sure of anything" - Gordon Parks

  

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Wise_7

Thu Sep-07-00 08:17 AM

  
12. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


          


>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
I'm dedicated to the elimination of racism, sexism, dogmatic religion(spookism), fear, shyness, ignorance of self, pollution of the environment, unstable families, close-mindedness, and cold-heartedness.

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?
I'm not involved in nowhere near as much stuff that some of these players are in, but I do my part.
I seek knowledge of self. I encourage and nurture myself (because how can you help others if you don't even know who you are?)
Also, I used to be in some community groups while I was in college, but now I'm refocusing that energy now that I've relocated back in NYC.

>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
My eperiences in life.
I feel that my spirit was pre-ordained to be the person that I am.
It's just who I am.

>WHAT HELPS YOU?
I, basically, help myself (like I said before, you can't help others until you have fully gained a definition of who you are).
Music inspires me.
It also helps to be with alike minds (friends, professors, certain family members, etc).
My ex-girlfriend has also helped me.

>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
I, sometimes, am very lazy.
Also, I get discouraged sometimes if I see that my efforts aren't appreciated, but I am strengthening that foundation.

>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
Oh, I'd be here all day.

>What lessons has this dedication brought
>you?
Isn't this the same question up above?
I'm gonna have to send you my thesis paper.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?
Seeing that positivity manifest.
reaping the benefits.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?
To see that there are people who will never get to where I'm trying to get to, no matter how hard I try.

>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
See above. (I'm sorry, I could write more, but I'd be here all day).

>WHAT'S NEXT?
It's an ever-growing (gradual) process.
Some things you just can't "plan."

PEACE


  

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Nettrice
Charter member
61747 posts
Fri Sep-08-00 06:08 AM

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13. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
Using the arts and technology to create environments in which disenfanchised people can empower themselves. Personally, staying true to my goal to be free.

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR LIFE?
I am a Multimedia Center Director in Roxbury, MA. I am starting a nonprofit that will use art and technology to encourage youth and community development.

>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
My 11th grade English teacher gave me "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" and I began to seek out information on Black people who were revolutionaries in their time and study history not being taught in school. In high school, I was gifted and enjoyed using my art to help children in the local hospital. I volunteered almost everyday for three years.

Art and technology was my ticket to college (tuition free). I learned that giving back meant more to me than working just for money. I became a zeitgeist (spirit of the times) by teaching art and technology to youth in community centers over a decade ago. Encouraging people to express themselves through art had a tremendous effect on my life. It allowed me to find a path or direction and create a career for myself.

>WHAT HELPS YOU?
I feel spiritually connected to a higher power. I have experienced miracles in my life that encouraged me to live my dreams. I have learned to be impeccable with my word, not take anything personally, never assume and do my best. By staying focused on my vision to use art/tech to bridge the digital divide, I am able to live a purposeful life.

>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
I am hard-working but often closed to other people. I don't like to be distracted but sometimes that can be good for me. I have a hard time maintaining personal relationships. I am intelligent but often intolerant of people who are not aware of things. I am pioneering but often cautious because I don't want to veer off my path. This society values superficial, materialistic things and not always the positive, empowering efforts. It is hard to co-exist with people who are conditioned to strive for false power or expect that because I am Black and a woman I can't have power or peace.

>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
I have learned that other people's priorities or preferences does not matter. I can have personal power and freedom. I can achieve my goals and fulfill my vision with perseverance, conviction, determination and knowledge of self.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?
When I can see the effects of my work I feel happy. When I know that I have made a difference I am at peace.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?
Despite the domestication or negative conditioning of the planet, I can keep moving forward. I can't seem to find that special guy who is secure enough in himself to not be intimidated by my work. I am just seeing the results of my efforts over the last ten years and I preparing to experience things in new ways. My soon-to-be nonprofit will help hundreds of community centers in the US in 2001-2002. This makes me happy.

>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
I explore my spirituality and value solitude. I meditate, focus on my chakras, and pray. I try to eat healthy and work out three times a week. I feel in tune with my spiritual and non-spiritual guides. These guides help me to see the path. I know that my efforts and sacrifices are worthwhile.

>WHAT'S NEXT?
My next challenge is learning how to become interdependent and perhaps allow someone inside my personal world. I am looking to move beyond my fears and share my life with someone special.

Thank you for this post

Peace!

"No matter who you are or what your age may be, if you want to achieve permanent, sustaining success, the motivation that will drive you toward that goal must come from within." - Ultramagnetic MCs

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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Brownsugar
Charter member
9491 posts
Fri Sep-08-00 08:18 PM

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14. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

This is in reply to your comments and the e-mail that you sent me today. I really don't know how to work the "quotes", I will just put this in my own words....I have read the other replies to your entry, "What Are We? PartII". All of these people seem to be very positive, with a good outlook on life and hope for the future. We definetly need more people like these!!! As I said in My entry, "Why blacks won't participate", I am trying to get parents into the school, which I am affiliated with, to participate in their childrens education. The only way that a change is going to be made, is parents must come into the schools.

The Hispanic people are coming. I typed and printed and passed out flyers in Spanish and English. The Black parents were the non-participants. My sister just joined the local school council, yesterday and we are trying to come up with some incentives to bring in the black parents. If you, or anyone else in your organization, could be of help, it would be highly appreciated. As I said before...a law needs to be passed, making it mandatory for parents to come into the schools, periodically and participate. Some day...I hope that this will be done!!!


I LUV U 2!!!

  

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illosopher
Charter member
596 posts
Fri Sep-08-00 10:23 PM

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15. "me"
In response to Reply # 0


          

WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
Bringing the true of essence of nature back to humanity: sharing.

HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR LIFE?
Spreading positivity to every living thing i meet.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
My observation on how nature works, how we coexist and depend on so many things to live. If it wasn't fot this unlikely set of delicate circumstances life wouldn't be possible.

WHAT HELPS YOU?
Everything in the universe.

WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
Everything in the universe.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
Life is the most prescious thing in the universe.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?
Sharing this exerience of life with others.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?
People rather follow than be the captai of their own ship.

WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
My belief we all can be divine.

WHAT'S NEXT?
The chanting down of Babylon.

  

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junior
Charter member
516 posts
Wed Sep-13-00 08:06 AM

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16. "RE: What Are We? Part II"
In response to Reply # 0


          

>WHAT ARE YOU DEDICATED TO?
Educating others

>HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST IN YOUR
>LIFE?
Life work.

>WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS?
I had a great Sociology professor in undergrad and he must have seen my potential and pushed me to teach as a teaching assistant for two of his courses

>WHAT HELPS YOU?
There isnothing more rewarding to hear from students that geat the point of what your teaching. Or you have students come back or you run into after a few semesters and talk your ear off about the what positive things they are doing. Or that they understand why I was so hard on them and appreciate what I'm trying to do.

>WHAT GETS IN THE WAY?
1,Usually my age. I'm very young compared to my colleages and from walking in the door I have to earn respect as a young man.
2.Being Jamaican. Most of the colleagers are not people of color and sometimes that still draws doubt of my knowledge from others.

>WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?
Man there are so many. It's hard to just pick a few. I learn more lessons on a daily basis and I use each one to improve my profession.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST JOY?
Being able to impact someone's life in a positve way or at least having the opportunity to do that.
Also provoking someone to think about new topics and new ways of anaylzing issues.

>WHAT IS THE GREATEST SORROW?
Not getting my point to someone or loosing someone in the process and they don't ask me for help.

>WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
People telling me what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. My issue with being a perfectionist and always trying to improve myself. Trying out new ideas to stay refresh.

>WHAT'S NEXT?
Finish this PhD and continue to tickle people's mind.

paz
junior
http://members.blackplanet.com/dbcjr/



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