A Dance with theDivine

A Dance with theDivine

From UPLIFT

We have to nourish our insight into impermanence every day. If we do, we will live more deeply, suffer less, and enjoy life much more. — Thích Nhất Hạnh

I am sitting in Boulder, Colorado at the end of July. The hum of Summer is everywhere. Nature is asserting her way effortlessly with exponential ease. The encroaching abundance is tapping at the window panes. Self-seeded sunflowers are following the sun and rocking in the breeze. Somewhere a radio plays uplifting tunes and Winter feels like an almost forgotten era, an ice-age ago.

And yet, as a first-time visitor to Colorado, I am curious about the long Winters. How everything will recede into what T.S. Eliot called the deadlands: that dormant peaceful sleep. I can’t help but stare at the enthusiastic, leaping-green foliage and tune in to its amnesia of Winter where I too am seduced and can hear my own being whispering how Winter, this year, will never arrive. How can it? In this very moment, there is no place for Winter… it is impossible. Everything is awake, even in the deep of night. Everything is alive and communing with each other.

The hum of Summer is everywhere.

Sipping ice tea, I close my eyes and imagine the white forgotten wonderland; everything snow-capped and snow deep. Some of this green will hibernate and find its new breath somewhere between April and May. But a lot of this verdant splendour will simply die. And I’m filled with a simultaneous sense of Trust and Acceptance. There is no place for grief in this present moment; no place for conversations about the impermanence of life. Right here nothing is born or dying–it is exquisitely changing molecular shape and endlessly manifesting into countless organic configurations.

My thoughts turn to those I love who have slipped into the deadlands; who have given up the ghost. And I now feel my grief smiling as I think of their old body-vessels molecularly coursing through the icy rivulets into Gold Lake; becoming the indigo of the petals of the blue mist penstemon; the shout of the gold stonecrop moss; the irrepressibly subtle lichen determined to spruce up every rock; the intelligence shaping the deciduous bushes or the ever-green resilient pines; the soft fur of a chipmunk’s tail; or the generous Summer rains and all the wildflowers sign-posting my way HOME as I walk around the lake.

I am grateful that my direct experience with death and grief has evolved into a loving acceptance and a peaceful trust in this alchemy–mystery that we call Life. And I have known all too well the grip of grief who, like a relentless hurricane, told me over and over and over that inner-peace will never, ever return.

But it does. And it will, And it is.

My loved ones are everywhere on this material plane. They have never been anywhere else. Their life-force, their essence, their spirit is having yet more dance lessons with the Divine.

The metamorphasis fills me with trust and acceptance.

I cannot think about the infinite metamorphosis of Existence without calling upon Hafiz…

Deepening The Wonder by Hafiz

Death is a favour to us,

But our scales have lost their balance.

The impermanence of the body

Should give us great clarity,

Deepening the wonder in our senses and eyes

Of this mysterious existence we share

And are surely just traveling through.

If I were in the Tavern tonight,

Hafiz would call for drinks

And as the Master poured, I would be reminded

That all I know of life and myself is that

We are just a mid-air flight of golden wine

Between His Pitcher and His Cup.

If I were in the Tavern tonight,

I would buy freely for everyone in this world

Because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty

Of time and space cannot endure very long.

Death is a favour to us,

But our minds have lost their balance.

The miraculous existence and impermanence of Form

Always makes the illuminated ones

Laugh and Sing.

~

Invest in Your Brain

Invest in Your Brain

Oct 2, 2017: Weekly Curated Thought-Sharing on Digital Disruption, Applied Neuroscience and Other Interesting Related Matters.

By Jeremy Hughes

Curated by Helena M. Herrero Lamuedra

The world’s population is ageing. Improvements in healthcare in the past century have meant people are living longer, but this has also resulted in an increase in the number of people with conditions like dementia. Projections indicate that the number of people with dementia will only continue to grow.

Despite this, global diagnosis rates are low. People are receiving sub-standard or no care and stigma in many communities remains rife.

But dementia is an issue that can no longer be overlooked.

This World Alzheimer’s Day, the Global Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Alliance (GADAA) is urging people to recognize dementia as one of the biggest global health crises of the 21st century. Here’s why…

1. The world’s economy is set to lose a trillion dollars in 2018, rising to $2 trillion by 2030 unless dementia is tackled.

That’s a cost greater than the GDP of all but the 15 richest economies in the world. If global dementia costs were a country, it would be the 16th largest, in-between Indonesia and Mexico.

Dementia already exceeds the market value of the world largest companies such as Apple (US $742 billion) and Google (US $368 billion). Eighty per cent of these costs account for the unpaid and formal care for people living with dementia, two-thirds of which is delivered by women.

2. Dementia affects almost 50 million people worldwide, with a new case of dementia occurring somewhere in the world every 3 seconds.

Worryingly, ageing populations – especially in low to middle income countries (LMICs) – are set to exacerbate prevalence rates. The potential ramifications of this are huge. More than half of people with dementia worldwide (58%) live in LMICs – and the number in some regions is expected to increase fivefold by 2050. The number of people living with dementia in high income countries is also expected to double by 2050.

Despite this, many countries are unprepared for financing long-term care. As social changes in LMICs mean less family members are able to provide care, the urgent need for social care will shift to the formal sector.

3. As few as one in 10 individuals receives a diagnosis for dementia in low and middle income countries, and less than 50% are diagnosed in high income countries.

Globally there is a persistent lack of understanding that dementia is a medical condition and not a normal part of ageing. People living with dementia all over the world desperately need access to a medical practitioner who can provide a diagnosis and help to plan necessary support.

Risk reduction strategies and earlier diagnosis of dementia could save government expenditure by reducing the high cost of emergency and avoidable health interventions, improving care, and by increasing the effectiveness of social, community and other care services.

4. Two out of every three people globally believe there is little or no understanding of dementia in their countries.

People living with dementia and their families frequently face stigma and discrimination – and in some parts of the world can even face violence. Dementia can also have a negative impact on employability – younger people with dementia have reported being made redundant or unable to find work due to discrimination or lack of understanding. This can have an impact on employment rates and social welfare benefits.

5. Dementia is in the top 10 causes of death for women worldwide.

The World Health Organisation lists dementia as one of the top 10 causes of death for women and it is the top cause of death for females in the UK. Research shows that women not only face a greater prevalence of the condition, but also fulfill the majority of care support and face the greatest stigma.

But so far only 12 countries have taken into consideration the needs of women in their commitments and only 29 countries have a national dementia plan. Around the world people remain trapped in a perennial struggle to access the diagnosis, care and support that they desperately need – and for women the challenge is even greater.

Global leaders have a responsibility to meet the targets of the World Health Organization Global Dementia Action Plan. Governments around the world must urgently recognize dementia as a medical condition that needs action, and unite in ensuring better diagnosis, care, research and awareness through the development and implementation of national dementia plans in every country in the world.

International civil society also has a role to play in addressing the stigma and delivering change for people living with dementia. We need as many voices as possible to spread the word that dementia is not a normal part of ageing, but one of the most prevalent and under-supported medical conditions the world over.

World Alzheimer’s Day is an opportunity for organizations around the world to raise awareness, highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia and demonstrate how we can overcome them to help people live well with dementia.

Mindfulness, Meditation and Adequate Sleep are definitely invaluable paths to permit the brain to rest and to rewire, enhancing nervous connections and allowing the brain circuitry to reset and not only maintain but enhance its vitality and plasticity.

thread

thread

 noun
1. a fine cord of flax, cotton, or other fibrous material spun out to considerable length, especially when composed of two or more filaments twisted together.
2. twisted filaments or fibers of any kind used for sewing.
3. one of the lengths of yarn forming the warp or weft of a woven fabric.
verb (used without object)
1. to thread one’s way, as through a passage or between obstacles
2. to move in a threadlike course; wind or twine.
A Hurricane can be a great Mindfulness Teacher… Irma was that for me.
I felt the warm water of my shower and whispered “what a blessing!
I kept power along the fury and realized the privilege.
I knew we were safe and people around the world were praying with us and I felt connected.
Small and daily things that in my customary rush I am oblivious to, were suddenly evident and bold.
I am aware (I had a sort of tracking record on this!) that situations that are wrapped as “bad things to avoid and finish as soon as possible” hide a treasure, a diamond, something to be learned.
Slowing down and being quieter than usual made me more conscious of my feelings, my body, my fear, my blessings, my network of love -at home and spread out there.
And I am grateful, again, for being alive and experiencing at the same time the strength of the storm and the complicity of a gaze.

Breathing in, I am Here. Breathing out, I am Now