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A wise response to a crisis

wisdom in practice brought to you by Art / Earth / Tech

Newsletter March 2020

In this edition we cover: 

  • The opportunities and lessons to take away from Coronavirus
  • Essay: Outbreak by Charlotte du Cann 
  • Blog: Letting go of being enlightened by Liam Kavanagh
  • Practice
  • Books
  • Events (online) 
  • AET update
  • Prayer

This offering from Art Earth Tech is curated to bring you a selection of wise goods themed differently each time. Recently, Coronavirus has changed everything and so this issue has a blend of our own offerings and material with a selection of writing and events that inspire us. 

Our response to the Coronavirus 

This one minute film Danger, Opportunity, Meaning and Hope distils our thoughts for our call on Saturday – created by member Richard Millington 
– and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos of our salons and events

The Chinese word for crisis is composed of the word “Danger” and “Opportunity”. Right now, there is a lot of the conversation in the public space coming from a place of  “fear” and focused on the danger and disruption. Here, at Art/ Earth / Tech we would like to emphasize more the “opportunity” – without in any way diminishing or denying the suffering arising for people – but focusing more on the lessons and reflection that we may take from it?

Let’s dare to dream together and paint a new world, one where we trust and learn from the lessons the Coronavirus has to offer, come join us in our open Online Community day this Saturday evening 28th March 6-8pm (CET),  5-7pm (UK)
Join via Zoom here https://zoom.us/j/659327540

Continue reading our post here: The opportunities and lessons to take away from Coronavirus

Essay: Outbreak 

by Charlotte du Cann

Charlotte du Cann is a writer, editor and co-director of the Dark Mountain Project. She is involved in our Contemplative Activism Sangha and recently spoke at the Human // Nature // Stories event held in London by member Hannah Close. You can watch her talk, The Kist, which she mentions in the essay below.  

“Having resisted every warning and admonishment to transform and change our ways, we are now, as a collective, being forced into a cocoon ourselves, to do the work we should have done generations ago…I am bereft of access to places and people I once loved. But I know this loss is part of the payback, the great sobriety, what Bendell has termed the second R of Relinquishment, ‘what we need to let go of that is making the crisis worse’.”

To continue reading this moving piece, read on the Dark Mountain Project website

The Oil Slick at the recent action against BP sponsorship at the British Museum Photo: Guy Reece

Blog: Letting go of being enlightened

by Liam Kavanagh

“Is now the time when we start to truly realise that when we declared our enlightenment a few centuries ago, we were a bit premature and to make a course correction?

I don’t know, but I feel certain that our decision making is impaired by massive attachments to these notions: that we can control fate through reason and science, that we are separate individuals living “our own lives”, and dogmatic ideals of equality. In the paper, I discuss how these ideas relate to our inaction in the face of the long-standing threat of climate change.”
Here, Liam discusses how they have affected our coronavirus response. https://artearthtech.com/2020/03/25/letting-go-of-being-enlightened/

Practice

We need our practice more than ever, particularly in the confines of our homes with our loved ones! These regular group meditations are excellent. 

Love Vs Virus

Twice daily meditations from Burgs, The Art of Meditation, at 9am and 6:30pm CET; 10am and 7:30pm UK time.These live group loving kindness meditations and talks offer support, encouragement and advice on how to build a positive response to the unfolding situation we are facing. 

Cup of calm

Daily 15 minute meditations before work at 8:45am from the She Leads Change group https://sheleadschange.org/events/cupofcalm/

Book(s)

Die WiseA Manifesto for Sanity and Soul by Stephen Jenkins, a palliative nurse in Canada and founder of Orphan Wisdom. Stephen describes our uncomfortable relationship to dying through real experiences he has had at the bedside of dying patients, the conversations with their family members and listening to the same fear of death. I refer to this book all the time and it really transformed my relationship to living and dying, and how we humans frame it. From the minute we are born, we are dying. He puts dying in the centre and through his many conversations with the dying, and their loved ones, our greatest fear is being forgotten. That we cling on to life to stay a part of something, to stay important, the last hurrah of our ego. 

As we sit in the pandemic with panic and death edging towards our front doors, we will be called to embrace our relationship with dying and with grief. 
Stephen has written a blog about coronavirus too: 
“Leaving the wishing, the hoping, out of it. That’s how you leave the panic out: By leaving the hope out, too. By being a citizen – not an inmate – of a troubled time. “Window

Our wise booklist 

With the time we have now, you can finally make a start on your ‘aspirational’ bookshelf, which if you are like me is full of the books I should read and haven’t made the time too. This Wise booklist from our community is a good start, indeed I’m not sure many are left off!

Online events

These days, we are gathering online instead of in person. Thankfully, many organisations have transferred their planned events to online. Here are a few happening over the next few weeks: 

25th – 29th March In the Footsteps of Thich Nhat Hanh Online SummitBuddhist Wisdom Summit
Cultivate joy and transform suffering with wisdom from leading teachers in the Plum Village tradition of mindfulness, compassion, and peace.

27th – 29th March In Times of Crisis: A two day course With Pat McCabe & Bayo Akomolafe from our friends Ruby and Christabel Reed at the fantastic Advaya Initiative

“Often the ways we think about times of crisis become part of the crisis itself. At these times, a much deeper type of response is needed.” Book here: 
https://advaya.co/events/2020/03/27/the-climate-crisis-me-you-and-the-more-than-humanOn a similar theme, read our piece on Ritual and The Return to Mystery

Starts 27th MarchGAIA: Global Activation of Intention and Action from the Presencing Institute

“Covid-19, like any disruption, essentially confronts each of us with a choice: (1) to freeze, turn away from others, only care for ourselves, or (2) to turn toward others to support and comfort those who need help.” GAIA offers a 14 week process where you can book slots every day leading up to the Global Forum in July. It looks like a fun experiment to be part of! https://www.presencing.org/news/news/gaia-global-activation-of-intention-and-action

5th April 2-4pm UK; 3-5pm CET: Our next online salon ‘Networks of Socio-Ecological Resilience’ 

Join us for a discussion on the ‘Networks of Socio-Ecological Resiliency in Collaborative Agrarian Communities in the Himalayan Region of Ladakh, India’ from a new friend of Art Earth Tech community Rory Egan Curtin. She is a buzzing community organiser with tonnes of energy and ideas, and we are excited to welcome her!

You are welcome to drop in just for a part or join for the whole session.https://zoom.us/j/599047500
Meeting ID: 599 047 500; Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aVOqa8HoO

Update from Art Earth Tech

We have WhatsApp groups (who doesn’t) in our hotspot locations: UK, France and Germany as well as a worldwide one for our members outside of those places. All of you are welcome to join, please follow the links below. 

If you are based in Berlin, we have our Berlin meet n’greet call: Friday 27th March 1pm CET. We are expanding our hub and community there (a little later than expected) and despite not being there as planned, that doesn’t mean the party stops! We are having a lunchtime call on Friday 27th – please only for those who live in Berlin or who are moving to Berlin. 

Call details: https://zoom.us/j/599047500
Meeting ID: 599 047 500; Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aVOqa8HoO

And don’t forget our global community call on Saturday 28th March 6pm CET (5pm UK) on our response to the Coronavirus as mentioned above. 

Call details: https://zoom.us/j/599047500
Meeting ID: 599 047 500; Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aVOqa8HoO

Recommended reading on CoronaVirus

This is our opportunity to create the future we want to live into, one where our communities flourish and are resilient. What we put in place now will help us in our future. Here is a comprehensive list of Covid 19 Mutual Aid groups set up across Europe and UK. There are places missing, so please do send us links to group you know of and are part of and we can help spread the word. 
https://artearthtech.com/2020/03/25/covid-19-mutual-aid-groups-across-europe-and-uk/

Similarly, this more US oriented website has commons-oriented, P2P-driven, open source initiatives to help combat the outbreak of Covid-19 https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Category:Corona_Solidarity_Initiatives?fbclid=IwAR3rCpnKFBfRkTYjpHscBEvw-SPooZgLk0iHlJuChQOCtcsvuBIipM4zppc

For those of you who are seeking guides on living in community with the virus: this article could help A Guide to Self-Isolation and Social Distancing in Houses of Multiple Occupation

And for all of us, here is a list of guidelines to follow assembled by a friend of AET:
General guidelines COVID-19 (incl. for practically supporting vulnerable or infected people)

This reading list has articles on the political, economic, and social effects of the unfolding crisis: The Politics of COVID-19, Readings #5And finally, for the tech-minded, this crowd sourced CoronaVirus Tech Handbook is being developed with tech tools and data: Personal Protective Equipment

Prayer 

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Mother/Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!

That where there is hatred, I may bring love.

That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.

That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.

That where there is error, I may bring truth.

That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.

That where there is despair, I may bring hope.

That where there are shadows, I may bring light.

That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Mother/Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.

To understand, than to be understood.

To love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

—Saint Francis of Assisi—

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