The World of Mu


“When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

“Extravagance of desire is the fundamental cause which has led the world into its present predicament. Fast rather than slow, more rather than less–this flashy “development” is linked directly to society’s impending collapse. It has only served to separate man from nature. Humanity must stop indulging the desire for material possessions and personal gain and move instead toward spiritual awareness.

Agriculture must change from large mechanical operations to small farms attached only to life itself. Material life and diet should be given a simple place. If this is done, work becomes pleasant, and spiritual breathing space becomes plentiful.”

“True culture is born within nature, and is simple, humble, and pure. Lacking true culture, humanity will perish.”

“Human life is not sustained by its own power. Nature gives birth to human beings and keeps them alive. This is the relation in which people stand to nature. People do not create food, nature bestows it upon us.”

“Nature is one body. We can say that while human beings and insects are part of nature, they also represent nature as a whole. And if that is so, when we harm plants, microorganisms, and insects through large-scale conventional agriculture, we are harming humanity as well.”

“We have come to the point at which there is no other way than to bring about a “movement” not to bring anything about.”

All quotes by Masanobu Fukuoka

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A Morning Offering


“I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me
Welcomes the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Waves of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.”

Poem by John O’Donohue

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Vedic and Kabbalah Perspectives on Happiness

Thom Knoles_Eitan Yardeni

This discussion is so good. I continue to return to it, year after year. It’s Thom Knoles and Eitan Yardeni, discussing happiness — in the deepest way you can imagine. I wish I could have been there. The event took place at the Rubin Museum of Art, in New York. So grateful we have the ability to listen to an audio recording. Thom and Eitan get right to the heart of the topic, with laser precision. I think you’ll enjoy it.

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A Daily Practice


“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.”

“People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.”

“The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.”

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”

“Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”

“We fear that this moment will end, that we won’t get what we need, that we will lose what we love, or that we will not be safe. Often, our biggest fear is the knowledge that one day our bodies will cease functioning. So even when we are surrounded by all the conditions for happiness, our joy is not complete.”

“Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free.”

“True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There’s no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected.”

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”

“Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice.”

All quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh


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Free of Language


“But then a foreboding thought cast a shadow over the rest, blunt and unadorned, and it was simply this: that for most of my life I had been emulating the thoughts and actions of other people. That so much I had done or said had been a mirror of what was said and done around me. And that if i continued in this manner, whatever glimmers of brilliant life still burned in me would soon go out. When i was very young it had been otherwise, but I could hardly recall that time, it was buried so far below. I was only certain that a period had existed in which i looked at the things of the world without needing to subordinate them to order. I simply saw, with whatever originality I was born with, the whole of things, without needing to give them a human translation. I would never again be able to see like that, I knew that, and yet, lying there, it seemed to me that I’d failed to fulfill the promise of that vision I once had, before i began to slowly learn to look at everything the way others looked, and to copy the things they said and did, and to shape my life after theirs, as if no other range of being had occurred to me.”

“Narrative cannot sustain formlessness any more than light can sustain darkness – it is the antithesis of formlessness, and so it can never truly communicate it. Chaos is the one truth that narrative must always betray, for in the creation of its delicate structures that reveal many truths about life, the portion of truth that has to do with incoherence and disorder must be obscured. More and more, it had felt to me that in the things I wrote, the degree of artifice was greater than the degree of truth, that the cost of administering form to what was essentially formless was akin to the cost of breaking the spirit of an animal that is otherwise too dangerous to live with.”

“That evening I went to a dance class held in an old yellow school whose window frames were painted sky blue. I love to dance, but by the time I came to understand that I ought to have tried to become a dancer instead of a writer, it was too late. More and more it seems to me that dancing is where my true happiness lies, and that when I write, what I am really trying to do is dance, and because it is impossible, because dancing is free of language, I am never satisfied with writing. To write is, in a sense, to seek to understand, and so it is always something that happens after the fact, is always a process of sifting through the past, and the results of this, if one is lucky, are permanent marks on a page. But to dance is to make oneself available (for pleasure, for an explosion, for stillness); it only ever takes place in the present —- the moment after it happens, dance has already vanished. Dance constantly disappears,”

All quotes by Nicole Krauss

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Matthieu Ricard: Being and Transmitting

Matthieu Ricard

I am sharing directly from Matthieu Ricard’s blog. There will be a direct link to it below, that will connect you with books he recommends, if you want to do deeper into this topic, as well as other resources.

Compassion in Action

Our common responsibility has become all the more obvious now that we face major social, economic and environmental disasters. These issues generate disturbance, confusion and seemingly complex interrogations, but it is actually a simple matter of opposition between altruism and institutionalized selfishness. The best way to bring about cultural change and create a more compassionate future is to act together with consideration for other species, for future generations and for the environment.

The end of year celebrations are an opportunity to strengthen our bonds with loved ones, with our friends, but also to extend this love to all beings. We live in a time when showing affection for our children and those we cherish is generally done through excessive consumption, with dire social and ecological consequences. In 2010 alone, over 61 million games and toys where bought in France! The energy cost is estimated at 17 000 tons of CO² for toy delivery worldwide, from the site of production to their future owner. And production is probably much more important in 2021!

With the coming holidays, we can have a direct and simple impact by choosing to buy locally and responsibly made products such as wooden toys for children, giving pre-loved goods or reusing packaging. And we need to reconsider how we behave with our close ones, ours friends and the world at large. Compassion is an essential quality for creating bonds. As my friend Christophe André says: “Recycling love is a beautiful act of transmission”.

As individuals, we may feel powerless and discouraged by the multiplicity and urgency of the challenges we face. A change of culture is possible if we mobilize our capacity to act together, with perseverance and discernment, in the right direction.

Animal Welfare

Year-end celebrations are an opportunity to act together on social, economic and ecological issues. At our level, we can carry out simple and effective actions to make a change of culture happen.

By choosing to buy locally, moderately and responsibly, [see previous blog], but also by avoiding the consumption of animal products produced industrially which, aside from obvious ethical considerations, is a disaster for the environment and our health, and increases global poverty.

According to an organization called L214, the production of foie gras in France requires the killing of 45 million ducks and geese every year and relies on a force-feeding process considered cruel by the international community and prohibited in most European countries In the United States alone, 46 million turkeys are slaughtered annually.

Every year we kill 60 billion terrestrial animals and 1,000 billion aquatic animals. These figures are beyond imagination and pose a serious problem to the coherence of our ethics.

The time has come to move toward more altruism and cooperation, toward an economy of solidarity, toward less inequality, and toward extending our benevolence to the other 8 million animal species that are our fellow citizens in this world.

You want protein? Well, you’ve got it: if we look at the protein content of the 100 most consumed foods in the world, the first meat – pork actually – comes only in 13th position, far behind tofu and even our good lentils, red beans and chickpeas.

Let’s not celebrate Christmas at the cost of the suffering and death of others. How about delicious dishes based on smoked tofu, seitan, beautiful grains and fresh vegetables!

Reducing the consumption of products from intensive animal farming is something we can all commit to right away, at our level to prevent sentient beings from suffering but also, according to the IPCC, to help remain below 2°C of global warming.

As Jane Goodall aptly puts it in her new book, The Book of Hope: “The word hope is often misunderstood. We associate it with passivity, with a form of illusory complacency, “I hope this thing will happen” we say, arms dangling. Such attitude is the opposite of true hope, which requires action and commitment. […] The cumulative effect of thousands of small ethical gestures can save our world, and even make it better for future generations. […] Hope is contagious. Your actions will inspire others.”

Link to Matthieu Ricard’s blog and website

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Welcome to Here

rob bell

“Are you breathing? Are you here? Did you just take a breath? Are you about to take another? Do you have a habit of regularly doing this? Gift. Gift. Gift. Whatever else has happened in your life — failure, pain, heartache, abuse, loss — the first thing that can be said about you is that you have received a gift.”

“Boredom, cynicism, and despair are spiritual diseases because they disconnect us from the most primal truth about ourselves – that we are here. All three distance us from, and deaden us to, the questions that the blinking line asks. How are you going to respond to this life you have been given? What are you going to do with it? What are you going to make here?”

“No one has ever done this before. No one has ever been you before. This exact interrelated web of people and events and places and memories and desire and love that is your life hasn’t ever existed in the history of the Universe. Welcome to a truly unique phenomenon. Welcome to your life. I want you to be here. Welcome to here.”

“Whenever you create anything, you take a risk. And that includes your life. It may work out, it may not. It may be well received, it may not be. . . . It’s always a risk to take action. It might not work, it might blow up in your face, you might lose money, you might fail. No one may get it. But that’s not the only risk. There’s another risk: the risk of not trying it. ”

“Can your story be retold? Can all of the various things that have happened to you and the things you have done you’d prefer to never think about again and the embarrassing parts and the painful parts — can all of it be retold in such a way that the worst parts become the most powerful, poignant parts? And if that is possible for your story, is it possible for the history of the world? Can everything eventually be retold in such a way that the worst parts—wars and disease and oppression and on and on—are included and somehow brought to a unity?”

“It’s not about getting rid of desire. It’s about giving ourselves to bigger and better and more powerful desires. What are you channeling your energies into? If they don’t go into a few, select, disciplined pursuits that you are passionate about and are willing to give your life to, then they’ll dissipate into all sorts of urges and cravings that won’t even begin to bring joy that the “one thing” could.”

“At any moment in the day, you can only do one thing at a time. And the more intentional you are about knowing what your 1 is, the more present you will be.”

“Great artists know that it isn’t just about what you add; sometimes the most important work is knowing what to take away. Removing clutter, excess, all the superfluous elements — and finding out in the process what’s been in there the whole time.”

All quotes by Rob Bell


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To Be Your Own


“The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results.”

“Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.”

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”

“Shrinking away from death is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose.”

“The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.”

“Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own.”

“It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.”

“A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”

“There is no birth of consciousness without pain.”

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.”

“It is not for nothing that our age cries out for the redeemer personality, for the one who can emancipate himself from the grip of the collective [psychosis] and save at least his own soul, who lights a beacon of hope for others, proclaiming that here is at least one man who has succeeded in extricating himself from the fatal identity with the group psyche.”

All quotes by Carl Jung

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