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Filtering by Category: Consciousness

12 Alternatives to the #IceBucketChallenge

Let's save our debate over the merits of this viral trend and allow me to humbly offer 12 ideas of conscious actions you can take that will absolutely impact the world.

DO IT.

I nominate all of you.

  1. Avoid red meat for a week. Save acres of pasture (like rainforest), thousands of gallons of water and keep our planet from spiraling into sauna oblivion! Seriously, that's from ONE lb of beef. Thousands of gallons and acres of land. Wow. Also, 8 lbs of grain from grain-fed beef. 
  2. Donate that grain and feed a person for an entire week. (See work below.)
  3. Lend a $25 microloan to an agricultural entrepreneur around the world and provide a community with grain for life. 
  4. Take it to the next level. Eat 100% plant-based for a week. Reduce blood cholesterol levels AND your risk of heart disease. That's a win, or 2. AND the suffering of animals AND the earth. (-win-win. Yes, that was 4 wins with 1 week of conscious meal choices.)
  5. Walk or bike to work today >> greenhouse gas emissions reduced = cleaner air to breathe for all + strong, sexy legs for you
  6. Buy a glass water bottle and ever more reduce your use of plastic. Fill said water bottle and research what's in your tap water. Tweet to your city (Chicago: @chipublichealth) and tell them just how you feel about that.
  7. Spend 5 minutes per day educating yourself on something totally new. This is an apt infographic with which to start. 
  8. Watch The Normal Heart. Feel deeply. Then watch Ryan Murphy's Emmy acceptance speech and google something worthwhile afterward. 
  9. Love a little more. Anyone. Anything. (Then everyone, everything.) Start with yourself. 
  10. Be grateful. Express gratitude. Reflect on the abundance of our time. Reflect the emptiness of our time. Spend 10 minutes writing about this or anything else. 
  11. Breathe. Notice your breath. Notice you're alive without ice water being thrown over your head. Be grateful for that. Every day. 
  12. Listen to Leo. 'Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses -- especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.'

You ARE the universe. Act like it.

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I've read everywhere from 7 to 17 lbs of grain necessary for 1 lb of beef production. I'm going to go with 8, because that's a low-end estimate and the math turns out really pretty.

400 lbs of grain per year is recommended for food storage per person

8 lbs of grain saved / 400 lbs of grain per person per year * 365 days per year = 7.3 days

Dimension Musings

Disclosure: more questions than answers. Actually, all questions, no answers. Just some recent thoughts.

——————

We live in 3D. That is, 3 spacial dimensions. Length, width, height. The addition of time gives us spacetime, and a 4th dimension. M-theory, or string theory, posits multiple dimensions, up to 11. 10 spacial and 1 temporal. 

If time is the 4th dimension, and there are multiple spatial dimensions of which we are unaware, could there be multiple times? A sort of cosmic layering of times, but we are only aware of ours?

——————

If my eyes are adjusted to the light of my computer screen, everything around me is black. When I glance up, and my eyes adjust their focus, I can perceive objects in my room. Similarly we see the world in the daytime, and when night falls, we can then see the stars. From our nighttime observation, we infer they are always present, but we cannot see them in the daytime. It is only with the perceptive veil of light removed that they enter our awareness. It’s interesting, that light sometimes illuminates and other times it hides. (Or, perhaps, it's always doing both.) But, of course, we only see the stars because they emit light. What would happen if the stars ceased to shine? If we could remove their veil of light. Would something else remain? Of course this is just light and dark, the two sides to our reality of only one of our senses (albeit one we seem to trust more than others), sight, but what other layers of other senses remain that we have yet to dig deeper within? And moreso, what exists beyond the senses?

——————

It’s consciousness. Reality exists when we bring it into our consciousness. So the world exists as a continuum of each being's consciousness. An intricate web of awareness. 

What would happen if every person in the world were to go to sleep at the same time? Meditated? Focused their consciousness on a single entity? What would be created?

In what dimension?

Quantum Breathing (Do you exist?)

I wrote the words below one rainy afternoon for my site onebreath, as a means to convey my take on the power that can be found in mindful breathing. I wrote them based on experience, an amalgamation of my own mindfulness journey… but they are so much more than that.

 

A conscious breath can be as simple as a breath noticed. 

Noticing our breath brings us into the present moment. 

It allows for depth in the human experience.

It allows this moment to become reality.

 

Quantum mechanics suggest it actually creates reality. That nothing truly exists until it is noticed -- until it is conscious -- and before we noticed it, it ceased to exist as a breath, but was only a probability distribution. 

While that wasn't a whole lot of words, it's a relatively deep rabbit hole into which we've stepped. (Jumped? Did I nudge you?)

Let’s look at the double-slit experiment. A very famous experiment, indeed, that forever changed our understanding of the dual nature of light. Upon further inquiry (i.e. further experiments and an understanding of the photoelectric effect), it was elucidated that the photons of light behaved like waves when measured (and thus consciously noticed) on a screen located a short distance away from the slits and light source; they behaved like particles when detected (and thus consciously noticed) at the slits. The only difference in the experiments was the location (in space and time) of the measurement. Thus, conscious awareness of the light was the key variable. (See this lecture by Dr. Thomas Campbell for more detail on these concepts and experiments.)

In the 1920s, Erwin Schrödinger postulated a further explanation for these interesting observations. He claimed that the light did not exist before measurement except as a probability distribution. (As Dr. Campbell stresses, this does not mean that the photon exists somewhere and we don't know where, but that it does not exist as a particle, only as a probability distribution.) Before it exists, it behaves like a wave with a probability distribution. After is exists, it behaves like a particle with a direct path. Its existence is dependent upon it being measured. This concept became foundational for quantum mechanics.

Let's reiterate in other words one more time: the implications of these experiments show that photons of light do not exist as particles until consciously observed. Before this, they exist only as probability distributions (i.e. they could exist, but do not yet).

So is it possible that never noticing your life -- your breath -- means that you never truly live? Not in the 'live-everyday-to-the-fullest'/carpe diem/YOLO mentality, but in the literal, scientific, quantum mechanic sense. Are you not alive if you fail to notice it? Is a conscious breath the only kind of real breath? Does a reality not exist until you create itI would argue yes. 

Create wisely. Begin by noticing.

A (Normal) Heart Full

It's easy to look back at a time in history and think, 'What the hell was everyone doing back then?'

This past weekend I watched The Normal Heart, Ryan Murphy's HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer's Broadway play, set in the early 80s in NYC during the AIDS crisis. It's hard to put into words the effect the film had on me. I cried, a lot. I was speechless. Then I spoke, mumbled is more like it. Fragments of thoughts. Words strung together, likely not coherently. (A prime example of which you're reading. Now.)

I sat outside that night. I lay in a hammock, the middle of downtown Chicago calm and quiet (my perception at least), and stared at the full, giant, honey, Friday the 13th moon. I breathed. I noticed my breath. And I thought.

So much of the film moved me. I don't even want to go into detail... see it, please, have your own experience, and then let's discuss. But the heart-wrenching, I-am-bigger-than-me, genius art in storytelling of this particular piece of history begets the question that has been on my mind since: what is the crisis of today? Can I play a role in alleviating it? 

I'm not Larry Kramer. I'm not Mother Theresa. Gandhi. Nelson Mandela. I won't win a Nobel Peace Prize. But I also won't be ignorant. I don't want to watch a film in 2047 and think, 'What the hell was I doing back then?'

So, 2014, what is our story?

Unity + Consciousness

Jan 2014

black + white. light + darkness. consonance + dissonance. creation + destruction.

These may seem more like balance, or counterbalance, and maybe they are. But today, for me, in this moment, they are unity.

Everyone is always talking about resolutions and intentions this time of year. What should I give up? What in my life needs to change? This can actually be a very therapeutic practice, and for that I am grateful, but often the hype far outshines the willpower for many. In a yoga class during my recent trip to NYC, the instructor prompted us to set an intention for 2014. What came to mind?  Unity. Why? At the moment, I had no idea.

I suppose I still have no clue as I have sat here for the past 15 minutes staring at my computer screen. But it's been on my mind. A lot. 

 

Today

3 months pass. (Coincidence?) I thought I had deleted this post due to my writer's block, but here it is. And yes, I have goosebumps. I love everything about these videos: science, spirituality, meditation, consciousness.

It's life. At it's amazing, abstract core.

"Everything in the universe has a common source. So if we look at things at the deepest possible level, we ultimately discover one unified universal reality. Of which you're a wave. Of which I'm a wave. We're all just the different vibrational frequencies. The natural reverberant frequencies of this one universal unified field. Our whole universe is just a symphony. The various harmonics and fundamentals and overtones of one universal field, one universal ocean, of consciousness in motion." - John Hagelin, PhD

Check out the videos here and here

So much more to come on this. I just have to (consciously) learn it first.

Background image by Sebastian Glasl.