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Harmony

Harmony in the web of life.

The nature of the relationship between nature, business and society….

There is no separation between nature, business and society. It is the nature of that relationship that Enchantivist practitioners examine, in particular the interactivity of that relationship between inner and external forms of harmony.

Business is a subset of systems within a social system, which is within a natural system.

As business systems erode social systems, natural systems are eroded.

Erosion of natural systems result in erosion of social systems.

This ultimately will result in the erosion of business systems.

The term harmony derives from the Greek ἁρμονία (harmonía), meaning “joint, agreement, concord”,[4] from the verb ἁρμόζω (harmozo), “to fit together, to join”.[5] The term was often used for the whole field of music, while “music” referred to the arts in general. In Ancient Greece, the term defined the combination of contrasted elements: a higher and lower note.[6] Nevertheless, it is unclear whether the simultaneous sounding of notes was part of ancient Greek musical practice; “harmonía” may have merely provided a system of classification of the relationships between different pitches. In the Middle Ages the term was used to describe two pitches sounding in combination, and in the Renaissance the concept was expanded to denote three pitches sounding together.[6]

Ten Design Lessons from Ikebana

Ten design lessons from Ikebana

  1. Space is as important as positive elements. Learn to see space.
  2. Space allows other elements to “breathe” and connect.
  3. Empty space is a powerful amplifier, helping to create a whole that is more engaging than the mere sum of the individual parts.
  4. Suggestion and subtlety in design engages the viewer, allowing them to complete the uncompleted.
  5. Arrangements (designs) should stimulate the imagination of the viewer.
  6. In formality there exists creativity and freedom of expression. No structure, no freedom.
  7. In simplicity there exists clarity, beauty and meaning.
  8. Asymmetrical balance is natural, dynamic, and engaging.
  9. For the designer (or artist), focus, calm, gentleness and vision are more important qualities than raw enthusiasm. Slow down your busy mind.
  10. Careful arrangement of the elements based on solid principles creates beauty and engagement without decoration.

(From the book: Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations, by Garr Reynolds)

Contemplating the Air Element

trees light air

What’s a tree made of?

When trees are placed in soil with a controlled environment and the soil is later weighed, it’s clear that trees build themselves mostly out of sunlight and air.

Imagine being told that trees are made out of air.

Would you have ever thought to use air as a building material?

Me neither.

But trees do it.
~ Tony Reno

The story of the magical stone

“You see this stone, Siddah?”

The women with red brown hair and hazel eyes looked gently at her young friend. They were having a philosophical conversation about reality and the nature of mind.

Image from article on Steem: The Nature of the Human Mind by Isabella2k18

“Let me tell you a story – one of my favourites from childhood.

Once upon a time, in a land similar to ours, there was a well educated woman. One day she left the rat race in the corporate world to go on a journey to find enlightenment and freedom from stress and anxiety. She travelled with a back pack, and after a few years started looking like some of the homeless people you so often encounter in North America. You know, not too clean, hair a bit of a mess. Clothes showing serious wear and tear.

Having run out of money, she did small jobs here and there in exchange for accommodation and food. Some towns were generous, and she would stay longer, making some friends and sharing some of her stories and practices with them.

One day as she was walking towards a town, she found a shady spot underneath a large oak tree to rest in the morning.

While resting her eyes, she started listening to the people walking past, and heard them arguing with each other. Others were completely absorbed in their smartphones.

Looking out at the town, she saw most people seem to be doing their own thing – in a nicely manicured town – which means she would have little chance of being welcome here, never mind getting some odd-jobs. Her suspicions were confirmed when she noticed the sign up a few hundred meters away saying the Homeless People were not allowed to sleep anywhere, and would be fined a large sum of money if they would linger for more than two hours in one area.

At this stage she was very hungry, having walked for miles from the previous town without any food, as it was the end of autumn and most fruit and vegetables have been harvested.

Meditating on her predicament, she at long last arranged the content of her backpack neatly around her, and proceeded to sit gracefully meditating underneath the oak tree. In front of her on the ground was a beautiful handmade woven cloth that she bought directly from a Quero weaver of wisdom in the Andes. In the middle was placed a white silk cloth, and on top of that a simple stone.

So she sat, motionless. Ignoring people who came past. Her stomach growled from hunger, but she pretended to not hear. She continued to sit in meditative pose.

By the late morning, a woman approached her, curious about what was happening. She opened her eyes, nodded in appreciation of the company, and then continued focusing her attention on the stone. After a while she started whistling softly at the stone while she took out a yellow shaker… and then started humming a song.

Even more curious, the local woman waited until the song finished. She could not contain herself anymore. “What are you singing about? What is so special about that round stone and why it is on the cloth? What is the song you were singing?”

“Ahh… ” the hungry one said. “A long time ago I went to look for a famous magician in Peru. After many difficult travels in high mountains overcoming many dangerous obstacles, I found her.

After I studied with her for a while, she gave me this magical stone. This stone will always take care of my nourishment wherever I go. All I need to do is put it inside a pot with boiling water, sing to it properly, and then it will produce a nutritious meal.

…, but it is a pity that I do not have a big pot with a big fire here to cook it and for you to taste it. There is such lovely fresh and clean water in the stream below, it would be easy to make a big delicious pot of hearty soup to feast on using this magical stone. Pity, pity…..tsk tsk”

No problem!” Explained the local woman. “I live close by, and can quickly get you a big pot and help you make a fire.

“Wow,  That would be marvelous”, the hungry nomad said.

And so the woman returned with a mighty big pot and firewood. Together they collected water from the stream, made a big fire. and the nomad put the magical stone inside the pot.

In the meantime some more curious locals have gathered around to witness this strange event.

The traveler  took a spoon from her backpack, started stirring the water and singing to it. After a while she leant forward, and carefully tasted the content of the pot…’Aahhh” she muttered… “Splendid. Splendid….. now I wonder…..?”

…mmmm getting ready…”

One onlooker could not handle the tension anymore… “How does the magical soup taste like?”

The traveler closed her eyes to reflect on the taste of the soup. “It tastes like heaven….. But I think some potatoes, salt and pepper will make it even nicer . mmm..”

“We’re on it!!” and a few people run off to their houses to fetch the ingredients. Shortly they returned and added it to the magical soup.

Still the traveler continued to stir and singing songs to the soup.

After a while she tasted the magical soup again. “Beautiful, Beautiful. Yes, this is the best soup the magical stone has made in a while…now only if.. ahh…. I know that carrots and lentils always enhance the flavour.”

A few more people jumped up, ran home and soon returned with baskets filled with carrots and lentils. Some brought onions in case, and others fresh parsley.

Lokina carefully puts the new ingredients into the pot.

“You know, I think it will be a more potent soup if you can sing along with me. The magic will be stronger then.”

And so one, then two, then three and then most of the people sitting around the special pot where the magical soup is being made from the magical stone from Peru started  to sing along the curious little songs that, although they have never heard them  before, became so familiar to them. Their voices became joyful and even the birds in the trees started to sing along. Eventually they started singing songs they could remember from their mothers and grandmothers and uncles and aunts…

“After a while the nomad tasted the soup again. She smacked her lips, and told everyone that this is incredibly good tasting soup….. if just….?””

By now most of the local people have figured out how the magical stone works.

They all went to their homes, and collected all sorts of food and spices, and freshly baked bread and beautiful sweet tasting fruit from their orchards. Others brought nuts and others brought home made icecream and gingerbeer and lemonade or fresh chocolate. Many brought along plates and cutlery and even picnic baskets and blankets; chairs for the elders to make them comfortable.

That day the town had the best feast in years. Neighbours who had not spoken to each other were sharing news and finding out how much in common they had. The children were running and playing in the wood, their mobile phones forgotten. The sun was shining, the wind was perfect. It was not too warm, and it was not too cold. Butterflies visited and the earth smelled like the most comforting smell you can think of. The water in the river was clear and if you looked carefully, you could see the water goddess shining luminously in the bright reflection.

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown: First published in 1947, this classic picture book has remained one of Marcia Brown’s most popular and enduring books. The story, about three hungry soldiers who outwit the greedy inhabitants of a village into providing them with a feast, is based on an old French tale.

You see Siddha. .. the generosity was already  there. The willingness to share food and community. The beauty of nature around them.

The stone is magical – it showed to all what was already present in them and the others and around them, even their enemies…the natural perfection of mind, spontaneously, in the moment.

This siddha, is how one can think about the nature of mind.”

Enchantivism

Iggdrasil by Leila Brown, 2002

What does action in the world by non-heroes look like? What if we replaced arguing, shaming, and moralizing with storytelling, empathizing, and inspiring?

“In its own quiet way, Enchantivism.  draws on the power of imaginative vision through telling and retelling of old myths, fairy tales, reborn legends, surfacing fantasies, and personal accounts.”

“Enchantivism describes the many ways we make lasting change by telling reenchanting stories about our relations with ourselves, each other, or our ailing but still-beautiful planet; sharing our reflections and inviting others’ on the relevance of these stories; and then letting the stories impel creative and thoughtful responses to how things are. The stories can be narratives, displays of imagery, humor, even dance and ritual.”

Image PinInterest

We do this not with direct political action, but by awakening people through inspiration and hope. Enchantivism is analogous to the advice given by organic farmers: tend the soil, and the plants look after themselves.

Being an enchantivist requires no shouting or preaching. The quiet can use it so long as they possess a lively imagination, a deep care for life on Earth, and a willingness to plant stories in the space of fertile soil between real and ideal.

In its own quiet way, enchantivism draws on the power of imaginative vision through telling and retelling of old myths, fairy tales, reborn legends, surfacing fantasies, and personal accounts. Unlike lecturing or debating, storytelling invites us into a shared imaginal landscape, leaving its interpretation, if any, to the listener. It seeks common ground by collecting visions of times and places that can delight us. In story, the activist and corporatist, rebel and cop, artist and financier come together in a commons of image and language as fellow humans dwelling in more-than-human terrain.

The enchantivist approach recognizes the importance of stating facts but sees clearly that this will not suffice to change actions or worldviews, especially when the facts bounce off an entrenched story tenaciously held. Only a better story movingly told can meet that. Not louder words or cleverer arguments.

Whether telling stories, linking myths to current events, changing consciousness through photography, dance, or art, saving forests with poetry, or finding other ways to build relationships and knowledge through creative endeavors that inspire and delight, enchantivism aims in the long run to mobilize energies needed to bring about abiding change, change both personal and collective.”

Craig S. Chalquist, PhD, founder of Worldrede Academy and its imprint World Soul Booksand founding executive editor of Immanence Journal.

The Science of Happiness and Vitality

All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth, or towards the actualization. Abraham Maslow

“Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.” (The Positive Psychology Centre)

Applied positive psychology is the practical application of evidence based positive psychology interventions. This includes positive health interventions, focusing on promoting people’s health assets – strengths that can  promote health and living longer.

The science of happiness includes positive neurosciences, positive health as well as environmental health. Maslow called his work positive psychology, and developed a list of “being” values that are generated through near-peak experiences where we experience “awe”.

Happiness is a unique burst of positive emotions that is also experienced as a sense of being “whole” in body, mind, soul and heart.

We are wired for happiness… This is why

Positive neurosciences and the research on the value of positive emotions show us that positive emotions broaden and build our cognitive and creative capacity.

Our search for Happiness causes us to search for pleasure, joy and for that which relieves suffering…which we gain through self-care and care of others. In the search for the good life millions of people transform themselves, their lives, communities and their environment as they deepen their understanding of the inter-connectedness of their happiness and that of the world around them. Happiness is at its’ optimum when it is shared.

“ Confucius taught a new way of finding the meaningful life through the cultivation of jen. A person of jen, Confucius observes, ‘wishing to establish her own character, also establishes the character of others’. A person of jen ‘brings the good things of others to completion and does not bring the bad things of others to completion’. Jen is felt in that deeply satisfying moment when you bring out the goodness in others.” Dacher Keltner

The state of awe, which is when we have an experience that is beyond what our best positive self could have imagined, has been demonstrated to provide enormous benefits for creativity as well as the desire and motivation to spread good feelings to others – spontaneously. During “a state of feeling awe where we experience ourselves as powerful, charismatic humans, our experiences in nature – are all founded on the sense of vastness and transcendence of the world” such “vastness becomes awe-inspiring when it requires accommodation – the process by which we update and change our core beliefs.” (Dacher Keltner)

The search for happiness is a natural and healthy state and pursuit for the mind, body, heart and soul, and essential for vitality and change agility. We are at long last be able to let go of outdated mental models that that humans are inherently flawed,  and that the search for happiness for ourselves, for our loved ones, at work, our teams and communities is  “inappropriate” or  idealistic, best left to those with rose-tinted glasses.