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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Impatient

I am feeling impatience around the ethical incompetence of bureaucrats in relationship building and community accountability.

Where does the money come from?
Where does the money go?

So much of this feels extraordinarily abysmal and heartbreaking and soul-destroying
at the same time that I cannot blame her and her and him,
nor will I overindulge in that exhausting spiritual gimmick (however relevant) of fixating on my own complicity...

I simply want to remain here
Yelling.
While everybody, including the gentler side of my own conscience,
simply shuts the fuck up
and listens.

Thoughts on Education

Some reflections...

One of the things I love most about moving through this period of my life is about my capacity to educate.

It is not that I necessarily wish to over-identify with the role of "teacher" or even of "educator", though they may be expediently and contextually pleasurable identities to loosely hold; rather, I am interested in how I am called into being a conduit between various schools of knowledge.

There is the Subject (which will be taught), the Teacher (who teaches the subject), and the Student (who is taught).

The Teacher teaches the Subject to the Student.

This, of course, is a conventional approach to education, and one which works perfectly well as a framework under many circumstances.

What I am interested in, in that process of transmission, where the Teacher is taught as much on the Subject as the Student is, through the process of Teaching.

It may be a cliche, but the best way to learn really is to teach!
Students ask provocative questions, questions that the Teacher cannot always answer... In that sense, the role of the Teacher is not necessarily the person who IS the repository of knowledge, but rather, is the conduit between a privileged access to knowledge and the Students who await, search for, or who are indeed, active co-participants in this transmission.

A learning community then.

Friday, July 25, 2014

self-reflections

Self-Reflections
24th July 2014

In polite company, I do not
fail to find the right self to exude;
perfect for the occasion.

Good immigrant boy, so obedient and obliging.

"I want to be accepted," he says to himself,
Not fully seeing that he was also an arbiter of the very terms of his acceptability.

******

One day,
We may find some 
version of ourselves
taped onto virtual walls for eternal surveillance and perusal, 
all our lives 
an endless, 
epic, 
mundane porno
For some poor civilization's descendant 
to stumble upon

Monday, July 21, 2014

Organizations as Communities



"A couple of years ago I suffered a severe attack of nostalgia while listening to the voice of Father Paolo Dall'Oglio on Italian radio, a frontline Catholic priest and peace activist in Syria. Being an expatriate Italian myself, and a lapsed Catholic with a deep connection to the Middle East, I loved the story of Deir Mar Musa, the mixed community he founded in 1984 on the ruins of a 6th century monastery.

Nostalgia aside, what caught my attention - as a specialist in burnout prevention among organizations and individuals that work with conflict - was the priest’s insistence that people with different views can live and work together successfully, instead of getting stuck in a quagmire of dysfunctional relationships and institutions.

So as I think about the challenges I’m facing in my work, it’s telling that the best example that sticks in my mind is not an organization, but a community. Maybe the 21st century is the time to think about all organizations as communities, and to see where this radical change in direction might take us."


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Today

Today, I'm tired. Slept late last night. Woke up early this morning.

Missed the first pre-session of the international AIDS conference. Am feeling too melancholy. Tired. Wanting not to burn out so quickly, right as it is all just beginning.

Friday, July 18, 2014

21 Days

21 days alcohol-free and counting...

Also have been without other mental health medication, except for vitamins, minerals and some herbs.

Feeling very good. Proud of myself.
Keeping it real. Taking it slow.
One day at a time.

My intention is to have a wellness that is sustainable, primarily through a life of contemplative/meditation practice, physical work (exercise), and relational integrity.

One day at a time. I want to be and remain well.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Alcohol

Revisiting writing on here again. Trying again, for daily.

It has been about 20 days since my last alcoholic drink.

I am considering giving up drinking alcohol, entirely.
Not quite there yet... I still sense that I will miss things about it.

But I am also aware, as I get older, that I have less and less need for it. And when I do have it, the great times that I have while drunk seem to pass me by that much more quickly, and the hangovers that much more severe. The net sense of it is loss. What am I chasing?

By choosing to give up alcohol, I am not necessarily trying to say that I prefer to "be in control", although that is certainly a part of my motive. It is more that I am interesting in cultivating a consciousness that is more sensitive about control, more discerning about when to keep my guard up or relax it. I am interested in seeing what it means to live less anxiously, without reliance on substances.

I remember a night, a few years ago, when I was living in Sydney... I went out with some friends to a queer party. I had had a somewhat diligent, regular daily meditation at the time, and I had become a little bit enamoured with my increasing capacity to hold steady concentration (on breath) for extended periods of time. Excited to experiment, I wanted to bring this sensitivity to a dance party, and opt to avoid alcohol to see if I could experience the night with nuance.

My drug of choice that evening was an energy drink of some kind. So just caffeine.

I remember feeling anxious and nervous... My usual flood of fearful thoughts, of being Asian at a predominantly white queer party, of being undesireable, of my own reactionary stand-off-ish-ness, etc.

These thoughts came and went... I found my body electrified by the music.
I danced, and danced, the entire party, I danced, until it ended at around 4am.

I was sweating, tons.

Completely sober.

It was one of the best party nights of my life. The fear left me sometime after I started bobbing my head and swinging my arms...
It was a lesson in humility and release.