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Final living the way essentials mar 06, 2010 Final living the way essentials mar 06, 2010 Document Transcript

  • LIVING THE WAY OF THE MANGROVE SEED The Essentials dan kapica Copyright ©2010 Mangrove Seed, Inc. 1
  • CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 3 TWO KEY QUESTIONS 10 NINE BALANCING PRINCIPLES 16 PATHWAY OF THE PROCESS 17 S(S)ELF ACCEPTANCE 28 DAILY AFFIRMATIONS 31 2
  • INTRODUCTION This booklet briefly describes the essentials of a new program for harmonious living . . . The Way Of The Mangrove Seed. The crux of this new “way” is the balancing of the intuitive (S) and rational (s) aspects of our mind in daily living. We need to learn to trust one, new balanced S(s)elf. The booklet presents a path to follow based on a unique, holistic model for S(s)elf discovery and authentic expression. The booklet also outlines a possible path for a personally defined “emergent spirituality.” The Way offers a practical opportunity for every person to live as a fully actualized individual, within the dual context of their inner and outer worlds of reality. It offers an integrated way to S(s)elf Realization ! The essentials of The Way Of The Mangrove Seed are • The process . . . a three phase developmental cycle of trusting, releasing, and balancing. • The pathway . . . to develop a balanced S(s)elf incorporates a nine part program of movements for developing a balanced lifestyle. • The plan . . . for maintaining personal balance is applied in six sectors of personal living . . . 3
  • emotional, spiritual, physical, social, mental, and practical. HOW TO USE THIS BOOKLET Welcome. You’ve taken the first step of what could be the most rewarding journey of your life . . . the journey of S(s)elf discovery and authentic expression. This book can be your guide to explore your personal beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. Ultimately, you may discover your True Identity deep within you. Here are some suggestions to get you started. 1. Individually, read the entire book for an overview. Then, focus your re-reading by the following • Attempt to initially define your answers to the two major questions (pages 10-11) • Examine the three strategic action imperatives for personal daily living (pages 11-13) and reflect on their meaning for your daily life • Understand the nine structural principles (pages 16-17) for living an authentic life and grasp the essential attitudes underlying the nine movements (pages 18-26). 2. The use of group discussion (referenced on page 14) is essential to the fullest development of your 4
  • authentic S(s)elf. The following ideas can help you form small (fewer than 10) groups of serious, “like- minded” people. • Send out an invitation to friends or an organization to which you belong announcing the creation of a discussion group. You can decide to conduct a “formal” discussion with specified topics, format and rules or a “casual conversation” in an open-ended, cafe-style dialogue. • Choose a regular time and place to meet weekly. This frequency works well with busy schedules, allowing for adaptive participation within a fixed meeting schedule, yet giving the necessary continuity for group trust and bonding. 3. The “essentials” of The Way Of The Mangrove Seed are grouped as a process, a pathway, and a plan. After you have met several times as a group, take time to focus your group attention on the same three areas as you have done as individuals. Let everyone participate in their own time, and on their own terms. The key to effective group dialogue is empathic and non-judgemental listening, and participating only when you can add clarity (intellectual and emotional) that augments the group discussion. Remember, the group meetings are not designed as therapy, although they may be “therapeutic.” 5
  • 4. Continue the group meetings for as long you may decide, discussing a different section of the booklet each week. As you feel more comfortable and trusting with each other, group dialogue may trigger personal memories and feelings. We suggest that you digress only minimally in order to give others an opportunity to share “their story.” You will never fully complete the topic under discussion at one meeting. Perhaps by consensus, additional time can be devoted to special areas of group interest, as well as the use of additional resources (internet, books, and videos) The website of the Mangrove Seed (www.mangroveseed.org) offers an extensive reading list that can supplement the group discussion. 5. A suggested format for a one hour, general group discussion is 15 Minutes Silent Meditation and Quieting Down 30 Minutes Group Discussion 15 Minutes Sharing Personal Thoughts/Feelings The use of a facilitator is of critical importance for each group discussion. You can select a person to permanently fill this role, or rotate on some schedule. The key skills of the facilitator are the ability to listen empathically to all voices, to non-judgementally nudge the discussion along, and to dampen any group conflict that may arise. 6
  • Remember, it’s all about communicating our deepest thoughts and feelings and learning to trust that others will do the same. ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS This booklet of “essentials” is only a primer. It is further clarified for adults in a more expanded version entitled, THE WAY OF THE MANGROVE SEED - Living A Balanced Lifestyle (ISBN 978 -0-9797158 -2-2). The book reflects the realizations of the founder of The Mangrove Seed, Inc. that were gleaned from his twenty-two year search for personal meaning and identity. Also, for children of all ages, MANGROVE SEED CHRONICLES - Learning To Trust (ISBN 978 -0-9797158 -0-8) was written as a metaphor for the journey of S(s)elf discovery. Through many animal characters visited on the mangrove islands, the CHRONICLES provide essential principles that parents, teachers and grandparents may use for discussion with children. 7
  • The whole is in the seed. The seed is the whole of what we want to know. The seed is the center. The seed is the source. CLARIFYING Express yourself . . . doing so creates meaning! Ask yourself each day . . . what remains unexpressed within me? All that is good and unique in you should be brought out. What is dark inside you, perhaps even evil, must also be expressed in a proper way. EMERGING All growth comes with a shock. When the seedling appears, it carries with it the complete pattern for its growth. RENEWING After completion come new beginnings . . . To gain strength . . . to renew the root. Without a thorough grounding, there is no harmony. Do not forget the root. Deng Ming-Dao 8
  • ∞∞∞ THE MANGROVE SEED WAY OFFERS PERSONAL GROWTH PLANTING A NEW SEED Awakening To The Need For A Balanced S(s)elf ∞ GERMINATING THE SEED Practicing The Nine Principles Of S(s)elf Balancing ∞ SPROUTING THE SEED Demonstrating The Habit Of S(s)elf Acceptance ∞∞∞ 9
  • A NEW HOLISTIC PARADIGM FOR LIVING A BALANCED LIFESTYLE The Way Of The Mangrove Seed proposes the following answers to traditional philosophical inquiry about the meaning of life. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN? 1. Authentic individual expression, unfettered by guilt and shame, is the primary purpose of physical human existence. 2. The pathway to creative individual expression requires a balanced S(s)elf realization that simultaneously respects both the individual and all other persons. 3. Inner peace is demonstrated and maintained through a balanced S(s)elf expression of both the rational and intuitive aspects of our mind in outer peaceful living. 4. Social groupings function to proactively support this expressive S(s)elf realization of their members. 5. Ethical interpersonal relationships among all humans encourage the manifestation of individual expressive potential. 6. The growth of universal harmony, human and otherwise, is essential for planetary survival; and, to 10
  • achieve this, all human behavior is guided by the ethical imperative to “do no harm.” WHAT IS LIFE REALLY ALL ABOUT? Were we born to work? Or, do we work to live? Our obsession for personal existence based on survival through “working” fails to recognize the essential purpose of human life . . . to follow a path of continual S(s)elf development and authentic expression. The Way Of The Mangrvove Seed proposes three strategic action imperatives for personal daily living. 1.   DISCOVERING YOUR PERSONAL TRUTH Many human behavioral lifestyles exist other than the one into which a person is born and raised. Each lifestyle has its own socially prescribed structure of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that reveals its core values. No single lifestyle is inherently better or worse than another; therefore, no lifestyle should be exclusively preferred nor dominate over any other. Personal tolerance of lifestyles other than one’s own is essential to harmonious living. 11
  • Holistic education involves learning about the variety of lifestyle possibilities and selecting one’s personal preferences from among them. The discovery of a personally empowered S(s)elf is the focus of true educational programs. A framework of responsibility and accountability for the consequences of personal choice/expression within a social context must also be articulated and complement S(s)elf inquiry. Pragmatic questioning and experiential testing of differing lifestyles is the primary process for childhood and adult education. 2.   CHOOSING TO LIVE AUTHENTICALLY Authentic daily living is making conscious choices, based on personally chosen lifestyle “truths and core values” about all personal thoughts and actions. Everything changes constantly in life. Birth and death form the universal cycle of change. Eventual physical death is the common reality for all living organisms . . . death is our common bond. When we embrace this reality of our mortality, we can give ourselves permission to live a life without constant fear and anxiety. Then, life can become a unique opportunity to have a special and 12
  • sacred personal experience. We can also better manage our multiple fears of death . . . physical, emotional, spiritual, social, mental, and financial. Personal choices become more authentic when we do not hide behind our fears of loss and death. The “false masks” of thought and behavior that we often present to others in our daily lives are reflections of these conscious and unconscious fears. Hiding behind them, we also become vulnerable to potential manipulation by external purveyors of anxiety, guilt, and fear. There is a critical need to balance rational and intuitive “knowing,” as well as emotional fear and trust, in all personal decision making. 3.   ENGAGING LIFE RESPONSIBLY Personal authentic S(s)elf expression is tolerant and supportive of the attempt at authentic expression by all people, even if it may be different from your own. Personal choices and responses are encouraged to be flexible and adaptive to both the changes of situational contexts in daily life, as well as to possible modifications, over time, of personal “truths and core values.” No personal choice may cause the “diminishment of the existence” (fully defined as physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, social, financial 13
  • existence) of any other person or social group. The sine qua non of personal caring and compassion is to "do no harm!" A cooperative ethic of interpersonal relationships, based on honest “win-win” communication, is essential for any bond of trust to exist in social settings. Interpersonal dialogue is a critical ingredient for the empowerment of personal awareness. This reflective, “mirroring back” process fosters personal awakening and freedom from unconscious social and cultural conditioning. Discovery and healing of the inner S(s)elf is vitally dependent upon the formation of trustful relationships within a group context. Commitment to a specific mutual support group is critical to the personal development of honest S(s)elf expression. 14
  • ∞∞∞ The recovery of inner peace in daily living must manifest first, before outer worldly peace can be recaptured. The journey to planetary peaceful living is the continued attempt by all persons to balance their inner S(s)elves in everyday living. When a person can trust and accept their inner, balanced S(s)elf as the basis for all human interaction, they can eventually learn to trust others. Indeed, all humans have an authentic S(s)elf yearning to express . . . but only if they can trust! dan kapica, founder Mangrove Seed, Inc. ∞∞∞ 15
  • NINE PRINCIPLES FOR S(s)ELF BALANCING 1. CONTROL Accept that my ability to personally control the outcomes in life situations is illusory 2. COURAGE Balance both aspects of my mind to discover my personal Truth 3. COMMIT Persevere in seeking personal Truth in spite of any personal and social limitations 4. CRITIQUE Challenge my resentments and fears that prevent authentic living 5. CLEAR Continue to eliminate these impediments to my search and expression of my Truth 6. COMPASSION Understand that others may react with a dominating, fear-biased, rational mind 16
  • 7. CLARIFY Continually review and repair all non-harmonious relationships 8. CONNECT Maintain my personal strength through special S(s)elf nurturing practices 9. CARING Encourage the S(s)elf development of others by my genuine caring for them PATHWAY OF THE PROCESS The process of S(s)elf balancing and authentic expression continues over a lifetime. The sequence of change tends to follow a linear pattern of development; however, the actual unfoldment is often circular and simultaneously occurring. The general movements of this process, as guidelines for the levels of personal growth, are indicated below. They incorporate and explain each of the previous nine principles. Together, these movements form the structural backbone for a balanced lifestyle. They also provide the necessary touchstones for the continual reflection and personal change required to maintain authentic S(s)elf expression. 17
  • PHASE 1 . . . LEARNING TO TRUST Trusting a balanced inner S(s)elf MOVEMENT 1 DESTROYING THE OLD SEED Admit that my expectation to CONTROL the outcomes in life situations and human relationships is illusory Accept that everything is "as it is,” and represents all that I need to “deal with" in this present moment Embrace the understanding that life is a process of unfolding flow, changing all the time; and, that fear and anxiety are caused by not trusting in this flow of uncertainty 18
  • MOVEMENT 2 CLAIMING A NEW SEED Believe that a conscious connection with an inner source of strength other than my rational, fear- biased aspect of one’s mind is possible Know that this intuitive, trust-biased aspect of one’s mind is as powerful and accurate as the rational aspect Understand that a balanced use of both aspects can provide me with COURAGE to discover my personal Truth, enhance authentic S(s)elf expression, and foster harmonious relationships in my daily life 19
  • MOVEMENT 3 FERTILIZING THE SOIL Persevere in seeking my personal Truth while trusting that my choices can be more truthful when I rely on the conscious use of both ”aspects” of knowing Consciously COMMIT to continually integrate both aspects of my mind in all interpretations and reactions to life situations Trust that my decision to give my S(s)elf recognition, acceptance, and validation will empower me to live my authentic life 20
  • PHASE 2 . . . LEARNING TO RELEASE Releasing dominant fear-biased mind control MOVEMENT 4 PLANTING THE NEW SEED Realize that when my resentments and fears dictate my choices, my ability to trust is blocked CRITIQUE these resentments and fears by challenging their validity and applicability in a current life situation Review my core values periodically to re-affirm their alignment with my path of authentic S(s)elf expression 21
  • MOVEMENT 5 REMOVING THE ROCKS Consciously choose to eliminate impediments to balancing emotion and rationale Continue to CLEAR away, without reservation, any false beliefs, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that are based on fears and resentments Realize that this process of conscious personal examination and release will never be completely finished 22
  • MOVEMENT 6 WATERING AND WEEDING Recognize that others struggle with their own resentments and fears Know that every person’s Truth is unique, relative, and subject to change just like mine Demonstrate COMPASSION for both others and my S(s)elf when resentments and fears enter into our communication 23
  • PHASE 3 . . . LEARNING TO BALANCE Maintaining the new balanced S(s)elf MOVEMENT 7 FEEDING THE ROOTS Know that S(s)elf Balancing and authentic expression are developed over time and at different stages in life Remember that there is no final, full “S(s)elf Realization” because, without proper due diligence, the “wounds” caused by resentments and fears can be reopened Conduct frequent examinations to CLARIFY and repair any non-harmonious relationships in my life 24
  • MOVEMENT 8 ANCHORING TO THE TAP ROOT Take breaks often from fear-biased rational thinking to re-balance my S(s)elf Retreat from all unconscious and fear-based activities that produce stress in my life CONNECT regularly with a balanced interpretation of my outer world through a regular practice of conscious silence, contemplation, and S(s)elf nurturing activities 25
  • MOVEMENT 9 BIRTHING NEW SEEDS Realize that my S(s)elf development is independent, yet organically interconnected with the growth of others and the natural environment Provide a fertile ground of supportive trust for interpersonal collaboration, cooperation, and mutual caring Continue genuine CARING that offers emotional support for everyone and empowers authentic S(s)elf expression ∞∞∞ The Mangrove Seed lifestyle balancing program operates by the dynamic, interactive principle of genuine caring . . . a reciprocal caring for each other. If we are to live harmoniously on this planet, we need to strive for authentic S(s)elf discovery and expression through cooperative empowerment, not competitive dominance. 26
  • ∞∞∞ The Way Of The Mangrove Seed Defines Genuine Caring To Embody Four Essential Ingredients 1. RESPECTFUL RECOGNITION “I acknowledge your unique existence” 2. TOLERANT ACCEPTANCE “I accept you totally as you are, in this moment” 3. NURTURING VALIDATION “I support you fully to become who you want to be” 4. MUTUALLY BENEFITING “I give my kindness to you with only a request that you ”pass it on” to others ∞∞∞ 27
  • FOLLOWING THE WAY CREATES THE HABIT OF S(s)ELF ACCEPTANCE You are both the cause and the effect of your life situations. Your reaction, and its consequences, to this created world are solely your personal responsibility. • Life always flows with uncertainty. Its currents and winds are beyond personal control. Your reaction to this uncertainty is fundamentally prompted by your fears, and created by your rational mind (that wants certainty and predictability for your survival). • Other creatures also live with fears because they also perceive life with uncertainty. • Moreover, others are responsible for both the choice and consequences of their behavior in reaction to uncertainty as you are responsible for your own. • Any person has, within limits, a choice about how to respond to external change and the behavior of others. But, finding these choices is often difficult. • When you feel disturbed, it is because you are imbalanced within your S(s)elf. You may believe that others cause your disturbance, but the cause is really a skewed interpretation of their behavior created by your fear-biased, rational mind. 28
  • • Your deep inner fears may often prompt a projected, imbalanced perception of your world. The rational aspect of your mind can misinterpret the emotional encoding of the intuitive aspect and cause incorrect personal reactions. • When you want to judge and blame others because of your inner imbalanced S(s)elf, examine your own mind first, not that of others. Often, your own un-released fears and resentments are the true cause of your judgment and blame of others. • Acceptance of your S(s)elf (and the same acceptance of all other S(s)elves) is not an easy path to follow in a world of uncertainty. Balancing your fears with trust, and with respectful non-judgment, requires continued practice in every moment. Anyone can learn to develop and maintain a “peaceful coping consciousness” based on inner peace. When we learn to accept life completely, as it unfolds in the present moment, we become able to maintain inner balance and enjoy our personal harmony. Forgivingly, we must acknowledge that the function of the human mind is to induce survival and evolution through competitive interaction, often motivationally biased by fear. Yet, we must accept the challenge to tame this dominant, "well-intentioned beast" by developing our intuitive “knowing” that allows personal fulfillment through cooperative relationships. 29
  • ∞∞∞ The end of personal suffering occurs when we learn to balance our true S(s)elf. Harmony results when we consciously allow both aspects of our mind . . . the rational and intuitive . . . to become balanced in every choice/decision we make in daily living. In time, we can individually accept the unfolding of life situations with less judgement. We can live more from trust than fear . . . from a space of inner peace rather than stress. And, we can each enjoy fulfillment within our S(s)elf, even though other S(s)elves may continue to struggle in a stressful world. ∞∞∞ 30
  • CHECKLIST OF DAILY AFFIRMATIONS FOR FOLLOWING THE WAY I can change my reaction to any life situation when I realize the futility of my desire to control the outcomes. I can establish inner peace when I commit to develop a balanced S(s)elf. I can create harmonious relationships when I trust my balanced S(s)elf as the source of my personal strength. I can acquire peaceful beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors when I question the truth of my resentments and fears. I can consciously choose to alter my perceptions of life situations when I release these blocks to balanced living. I can facilitate outer peace when I do not thoughtlessly react to others when they behave with an unbalanced and fear-biased mind. I can create balanced interpersonal relationships when I objectively review and accept personal accountability for my part in their outcomes. I can maintain both inner and outer peace when I practice activities daily that balance my fear-biased, rational mind with my trust-biased, intuitive mind. I can contribute to harmonious living, within my limitations, when I genuinely care for every person and the planet, with a careful consideration of the future consequences of all my actions. 31
  • NOTES 32