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apologies & new writing space

Hello! Yesterday (January 4, 2018) I posted a blog post here for the first time in a long time, just as a way of getting myself back into writing, which I'm glad I did. However, I regret that I didn't take into account that some of you had subscribed to this blog years ago when I was making an effort to only publish more finished pieces. So, for now I have deleted my post from yesterday and moved it to a new place where for now I simply intend to get back into the habit and practice of writing for an audience. If you're interested in reading relatively raw, unrefined writing from me, you're welcome to check it out here https://karlsrawwriting.blogspot.com/, but I'm intending to only share the address with a small circle of people, since it's not really intended for a wider audience for now. I hope this note finds you well. Feel free to comment. Love, Karl

Vision for Conscious Community

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In considering the ecological, political, economic, and social state of the world, I regularly find myself asking three questions:

How can I, and all people, protect and care for the Earth and its ecosystems?How can I, and we, live in ways that contribute to the well-being, health, and happiness of all people?How can I, and we, experience joy, aliveness, fulfillment and love?Time and again, the response that comes to me is “community.” Even with the challenges of shared living, I find intentional communities to offer one of the most compelling and comprehensive responses to humanity’s urgent need for health, happiness, peace, justice, and sustainability.
With this inspiration, I have spent much of the past 15 years living and working in, visiting and learning from intentional communities and ecovillages around the world – from Findhorn to Auroville, from the Possibility Alliance to Hummingbird Community. Inspired by many aspects of these communities, friends and I h…

Compassionate Justice & Compassionate Communities

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Having been living and teaching in Asia and Europe for the past year and a half, I returned to the United States in January and am currently enjoying a journey across North America. As I travel I am offering trainings and presentations on a range of topics related to conflict resolution, sustainability, and community-building. Particularly exciting for me has been the opportunity to begin working with Restorative Circles, an approach to restorative justice that I find profoundly transformational and inspiring. For more information on this work, check out www.restorativecircles.org.

As I have been traveling, I have also visited some communities that have deeply touched and inspired me. One that stands out is the Possibility Alliance, a small community in northern Missouri founded 3 years ago by some amazing friends, Ethan and Sarah Hughes. The mission of their “experiment” is “to work toward the upliftment of all beings, and awaken to our true nature, which we believe is love.” Inspired…

Emotional Liberation

Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense.
- Rumi


I regularly find myself grateful for the clarity I find in a framework for emotional liberation that Nietzsche wrote about, and then Marshall Rosenberg applied to Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Applying this framework I find myself more able to understand and shift patterns of self-denial and self-isolation, and therefore able to enjoy much richer and more alive connections with people and life. Rosenberg writes about the 3 stages of Emotional Liberation in his book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. In my experience these stages are not "linear", meaning that we dance through all 3 in various directions at various moments, though Nietzsche and Rosenberg both imply that the 3rd stage is the most "evolved&q…

The Transition Movement

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Hello! I am excited to share resources about some of the initiatives and issues that I see as essential at this time on our planet. I'm guessing you may know about many of these, but just in case, I'll mention them anyway.

The top of my list of life-serving initiatives on the planet today includes the Transition movement. In brief, it is a town-by-town positive action approach to shifting society to sustainability and away from oil dependency, consumerism, etc. Transition is gaining a lot of attention recently, with many articles and many ways to get involved. Here are a few:

A New York Times article: The End Is Near! (Yay!) - April 16, 2009

Transition United States: an organization supporting US Transition initiatives

Transition Towns WIKI: a WIKI with information and resources for Transition initiatives worldwide


May we co-create a sustainable future for all!

- karl

Journey in Asia, Part II: January-April 2009

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Below is an overview of the second half of my stay in Asia, from January through April, in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Japan.

I spent most of January through March in southern India engaged in a lively mix of teaching, traveling, and introspection, teaming up with Clayton Barker, a good friend whom I met in Auroville and who has a passion for teaching about peace and sustainability. Highlights of those months included: savoring sweet stillness during a week-long silent meditation retreat at a Buddhist zendo high in the cool, banana-tree covered mountains of Kodaikanal in south-central India; practicing daily morning-to-night yoga, chanting, and meditation for two weeks at a yoga ashram in Kerela (as well as the illicit fun of sneaking out of the ashram with friends to go swimming in a local lake); offering the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium and the first Symposium Facilitator Training in India, to audiences with people from Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, the US, an…

New Year's Greetings from India

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At the start of September I left the San Francisco Bay Area for India. For the past four months I have been living and teaching with a U.S. university program in Auroville – a town in south India "dedicated to human unity." In brief, I loved working with the students this past semester, and I am staying in Asia for at least a couple more months of teaching, meditation, yoga, and travel. I have deep gratitude for the gifts and lessons of India, of Auroville, and of teaching.

Read on for more detail and photos, which you can click on to enlarge (thanks to Katie, Ciara, and Abigail for sharing these photos from our journey – my camera stopped working in October). Enjoy!


Teaching

Until about a week ago, the main focus of my life in India was to serve as faculty for, and live in community with, a group of U.S. college students studying in Auroville for the semester. The program is one of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst accredited, ecovillage-based college education programs…