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Lions Roar : March 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2009 24 sitting on the ground and allowing ourselves to drift into the trees: the taste of eternity. It is this taste that reminds us we will be around longer than however many years we face of anxiety, confusion, and the consequences of our national karma. In fact, once we slip out of mere time and into eternity, fear leaves us entirely. We become aware that we’ve always been, in some form; that we’re not likely to be going anywhere, since the universe, though vast, is probably a closed system. So we might as well re- lax. There may well be catastrophies in our future, but who dies, ultimately? no one. Of course you and I might, and that would be regrettable, but after a million years, even plutonium will be turned into fertilizer and I’ll probably see you out of the eye of an amoeba. Whatever that eye looks like by then. Ingredient number three: I just read a statement from my financial planner, who happens to be a good writer, luckily for me. While dealing out the horrid news of financial loss from the Wall Street meltdown, he mentioned one stock that had not gone down, but, in fact, had gone up: Campbell’s Soup. And that brings me to ingredient number three of Anxiety Soup, which is actual soup. But it is soup you make yourself, from scratch. Soup is an amazing food because, like salads (using only fresh ingredients for those), you can make it out of anything: dead or dying lettuce stalks, shriveled up tomatoes and potatoes, crinkled-up mush- rooms, sour-pussed rutabagas and turnips, dried-out beans. Whatever you have on hand will do. And soup, no matter what’s in it, always tastes good. no old shoes! But this is a part of soup’s magic: you can only go wrong if you have no sense of taste what- soever and put in a cup of cumin when you should add a pinch. Choose your biggest pot, concentrate on cleaning out your en- tire refrigerator. If you don’t have anything in there, go out and shop. Buy lots of different vegetables, even some you’ve never seen before. Spend an hour chopping off heads and splitting things down the middle; this will relieve tension you weren’t aware you had. Put in lots of onion and garlic; you want to have strong breath. let your tears fall into the pot—you’re crying for your country. Put on music as you chop and stir, or use the time to do silent meditation, thanking the vegetables for appearing in your kitchen, ready to sacrifice themselves for you. Invite someone to share the soup with you; ladle it out in big earthy bowls. Add brown rice or quinoa if you have it, nutritional yeast (for your nerves), and if you can, eat it in front of a nice homemade fire. And now, for the last ingredient: snuggling. I have friends who sleep with their dogs who laughed at me because I didn’t under- stand why the band Three dog night called itself that. My dog was always too heavy and hot for me to feel comfortable sleeping with her, but I have enjoyed sleeping with my cat, which is per- No matter what the problem, my opinion is: meditation is the solution. It has saved my life. “We are longing for profound renewal and change in our collective structures and institutions. We have been waiting, consciously or not, all our lives. And now, it seems, a window is beginning to open.” Otto Scharmer, author, Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges (2007) TheALIAInstitute,homeoftheShambhala Summer Institute, offers a uniquely integrative model of leadership development for organizations and communities seeking more inspired and dynamic pathways to a bright and sustainable future. Here you will meet true pioneers of organizational renewal and social innovation — some internationally known and others everyday leaders who dare to try a different way. Here you will also meet more of yourself, as you deepen and refresh your personal and professional leadership journey. “A great experience that opened my mind to new possibilities and helped me understand how to create new realities.” Anil Nayar, Director, Bharti Airtel Ltd., New Delhi Authentic Leadership Programs Leading Profound Innovation Toronto, Ontario April 5-8 A three-day immersion in the U-Process, a framework and set of practices for revealing new solutions to complex social and organizational challenges. Led by Otto Scharmer, Arawana Hayashi, Susan Skjei, Jim Marsden & others. ALIA West Victoria, British Columbia May 19-22 A regional version of the Shambhala Summer Institute, integrating a personal leadership journey with skills and practices for systemic transformation. With Bill Torbert, Wendy Palmer, Sarita Chawla, Peter Block & others. Shambhala Summer Institute Halifax, Nova Scotia June 21-27 A five-day international learning community with 15-hour modules led by Margaret Wheatley, James Flaherty, Thomas J. Hurley, Glenda Eoyang & others. www.aliainstitute.org 902 425 0492 17155 blue logo.indd 1 12/1/08 11:30:31 AM