Friday, March 26, 2010
I've been pondering lately. The question begs for answers. "What can I - who feels like a teeny, tiny grain of sand in a limitless landscape - do to insure a thriving planet for me, for you, for the generations that will come after us?"
And I started thinking about monkeys :)
In particular the hundredth monkey.
During the 60's and 70's, if you were around as I was, there was an explosion of consciousness arising from the combined forces of a personal growth movement, yogis coming to America, the fashionable rise of quantum physics, the new age and New Thought, the self-help and return to Nature movements (not to mention civil rights and more) all converging. Things were lookin' good but the possibility of total planetary annihilation was looking as bad as ever.
By the mid-80's Ken Keyes Jr., author of 15 books including Handbook to Higher Consciousness, was among the number of teachers who went viral with their work - and in particular a concept from his book The Hundredth Monkey.
In his authors dedication Keyes says:
"This book is dedicated to the Dinosaurs, who mutely warn us that a species which cannot adapt to changing conditions will become extinct. This book is not copyrighted. You are asked to reproduce it in whole or in part, to distribute it with or without charge, in as many languages as possible, to as many people as possible."
After seeing recent references popping up again and again in sources as diverse as internet marketing campaigns and Forrest Church's book Love and Death, I decided to take Ken Keyes up on his offer.
It's been 25 years since publication and we are indeed living in Hundredth Monkey times. We have all sorts of technology at our disposal, so what's so important about little Imo, the star of Keyes story - and who does this little monkey represent?
Why it's you of course.
According to Keyes "Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.
But there is a point at which - if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness - a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!
Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind."
So what IS the thought that we can propagate here?
1. individuals matter.
2. you matter.
3. what you think...matters
4. what you think - and further what you DO with what you think... matters
So I created the blog "Are You The Hundredth Monkey?" as a forum to highlight all of you "yous" out there.
(I even started a twitter group called "You Are The Monkey!!" Surely there's been many a person who clicked onto that particular notification and went bonkers (Whaaaat?? Somebody is calling me a monkey??!)
LOL every time I think of it... :)
...but hey, this is where I can link total strangers (who have yet to be friends) so they can see each others' good works among the craziness that such a network can be.
You or I don't need to be members of a special group either so much as we are a gathering of individuals who can feel the wave and see each other. You can be UU or Yogi, spiritual or secular, young or old or anything in between - you can be all of it or none of it...but if you can think and share, then you are "the monkey," and YOU have the potential the be the HUNDREDTH monkey. That's the one who tips the scales toward good through your thoughts, your actions, and your sharing.
Powerful stuff I do say...
So far The Monkey blog has collected soulful stories and supportive comments from everyday people like Nancy Wolf, Jan Guarino and Phil Howard who speak of living the ordinary in extraordinary ways. I've highlighted grandmothers, little kids and Santa Claus. There are additional links to some serious soul food like Rev. Ken Beldon, Joanna Brandi, Dr. Shui Yin Lo and even little Georgie.
There's also a link to download the Ken Keyes book in its entirety - for free.
Each time we see something good...every time we have the courage to be "different" and share it, then we too, like Imo, have the opportunity to change the world.
Check it out.
You can soak it all in or add to the content - here or on the blog. That would really be awesome.
You Are The Monkey Blog
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I've been watching my neighbors lately as they glory - and I mean revel - in the slightest sign that Spring is coming. Maybe it's the big snow we just saw the end of - perhaps it's just me, but I'm seeing folks showing big desire for new beginnings. Tiny green shoots pushing up through the ground...baby crocus heads...specks of color amidst all the brown...each sign speaking of new life in a new season.
I look at the Medicine Wheels that are found in every ancient tradition. Whether they are laid out in sand or in stone or experienced inwardly, sacred circles teach the laws of life. A wheel turns. Though the form may change, what you place at one point you will find again later on.
The Mystic knows that the wheel of life returns what is given, and though it may seem unexpected, like Spring it is not entirely unpredictable. It is just that often by the time the results come in we have long forgotten our own initial output and so its connection to the result may come as a surprise.
The Medicine Wheel invites us to face the four directions of life and relate to what we see. In the East, Spring rises. It brings the energy of the dawn and ushers in hope, renewal and inspiraton. There is a drive to plant whether it is a handful of new seeds or new purposes. The Earth surrounds us and says "if plant you will, then now is the time!"
Pay attention and tend well to the energies that are being called forth from you. As the wheel turns, when the time is right you will see the results of what you have planted. Your labors will bear fruit and that which needs to be put to rest will depart.
May you plant well this season. May you too dance with the joy of new beginnings. May your coming harvest be rich.
Namaste to you.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Could it be that spiritual growth can be likened more to having a baby than some alternate, otherworldly or angelic analogy?
I think so.
Today I'm reading A Year of Daily Wisdom, a simple rotating calendar by Marianne Williamson based on A Course in Miracles (always rich territory fyi.) As is usual for me - and this only gets better with time - I can pick up a book, or put on a song and 'bang!' there is the exact right item to give me solace or put me back on track.
The Course lesson for today is the following:
"Spiritual growth is like childbirth.
You dilate, then you contract.
Then you contract again.
As painful as it all feels, it is the necessary rhythm for reaching the ultimate goal of total openness."
Ohhh, total openness. So that's the goal.
No wonder it feels hard. For me, I'm as open as I want to be and that varies with time...and circumstance. I find sometimes the less intimate I am with a person the easier "open" seems to be. I'm certainly not the first to notice that particular logic. So knowing what the goal is is helpful to me. I can set my sail, head in the direction, clear my mind...intend...yes, intend...
and like all good intentions, may it be blessed and may it be so - for me, and for you too.