More Big News and Workout of the Week #40

“Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind…You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this world. Did you think you were put here for something less? In a Sacred Hoop of Life, there is no beginning and no ending.”

~Chief Arvol Looking Horse [full statement here]

coverChief Looking Horse is the chief of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people and he’s at the forefront of the Standing Rock resistance movement.  His words echo the feelings and thoughts that have been building in my head for the last few months.

This way of thinking — that personal responsibility is essential — has huge philosophical implications.  I’ve been a student of spiritual matters for most of my adult life.  I’ve been a practicing Presbyterian, Mormon, Buddhist, Taoist, Shamanist and Wiccan.  All of those faiths are beautiful in their own way.  But once I had the realization that each of us responsible for the problems and errors — some might call them “sins” — of the world, I knew that my personal mythology had come full circle.

I have applied to enter an online theological seminary to become an ordained Christian priest and interfaith minister.  If I’m accepted I should have my ordination in a year or so.

This won’t interfere or conflict with Cabal Fang — in fact it will only compliment it.  Cabal Fang’s spirituality is non-denominational and Hermetic in nature, and is accessible to all the world’s faiths and non-faiths.

In addition, I have just completed paperwork to incorporate the Cabal Fang Temple, Inc. as a non-profit 501(c)(3).   If you want to have a general idea what I’m envisioning for the future of the temple, check out this pamphlet describing what I’m aiming for.

I am done talking about changing the world, done hesitating, done doubting and done making excuses.  As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry  said,

“Let a man in a garret but burn with enough intensity and he will set fire to the world.”

All profits from the new Cabal Fang book go to the Cabal Fang Temple Fund.  And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #40

  • ZiggHeavy bag ziggurat for form and fitness.  Set timer to beep every 30 seconds. Punch and/or kick heavy bag with perfect form for :30.  Complete as many Burpees as you can for :30.  Then strike the bag for 1:00 and do Burpees for :30, followed by 1:30/:30, 2:00/:30, and the back down again — 1:30/:30, 1:00/:30, :30/:30. Total = 10.5 minutes.  Take as few 12-second breaks as you need to finish standing up.  How good is your form when you’re exhausted?
  • Basic Contemplation.  Set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes.  Assume your chosen posture (I prefer seiza, but crossed legs, in a chair, yoga position are all fine as long as you pick a position and stick with it).  Close eyes and regulate breathing.  Don’t count, but it should take about 8 seconds to fill lungs, 8 seconds to empty them, and there should be about 4 seconds of hesitation when full and empty.  Keep airways open throughout — don’t clamp down on your breath.  Relax.  Don’t make war with your thoughts, just allow them to slowly quiet and dissipate toward stillness, like ripples slowly calming on the surface of a pond, or soap bubbles gently popping in air.  Practice daily and, in time, you’ll be able to quiet your mind during stressful moments.  Eventually you may even an experience of unity with God, the One, or the Tao.

 

Look Mom — It’s Workout of the Week #39!

Betty Mitchell -- August 2nd 1937 ~ January 13th 2016

Betty Mitchell — August 2nd 1937 ~ January 13th 2016

Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of my mother’s passing.  This week’s knowledge lesson comes by way of her.

Mom had a less than perfect childhood.  She wouldn’t want me to share any details, so I won’t.  All you need to know is that those experiences were a weight she carried her entire life.  Sometimes they almost pulled her under, but she always came back to the surface with grace and poise.

And, unlike some unfortunate souls who suffer in childhood, she did not pass down the abuses she suffered onto me.  On the contrary.  Mom instilled in me a lifelong sense of wonder, a love of all things spiritual, and a deep respect for intellectual pursuits.

On my 15th birthday Mom gave me a Bible.  And on the card she suggested that I read Philippians 4:8-9.  I did read it, and I never forgot it.  This passage is great advice for anyone.  But when you consider the weight that she carried, it’s easy to see how important, perhaps even lifesaving, this passage must have been to her.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Thanks Mom.  You were amazing, and I miss you like nobody’s business.

And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #39

10-Minute Grappling Half Pyramid.  Set a timer for 10 mins and complete a half pyramid of Bag Lifts, Splay-n-Punch, and Get-up with 1-2-Punch (1 of each, 2 of each, etc.).  See how high you can climb — with perfect form! — before the timer beeps.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you must.  This sounds ridiculously easy on paper.  It ain’t.  Breathe deep my lovely little snowflakes, and try not to puke.

Meditation on Peace.  The sentiment of Philippians 4:8-9 referenced above is a universal truth.  In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius said, “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”  Where focus goes energy flows.  Set a timer for 10 minutes.  Settle into your chosen meditative posture.  Imagine a specific scene — a place and/or time where/when  you experienced total peace if only for a moment — and visualize it until the timer beeps.

 

Goodbye Mr. President

I have been at times a vocal critic of President Obama.  It still frosts my cookies that Guantanamo isn’t closed, and let’s not even start talking about the state of our civil liberties, the drone strikes, and blah blah blah.

But last night’s speech?  Nothing short of amazing — one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard or read or seen or felt.

If you saw it and you don’t think it was amazing, I’d like to know why.  Please tell me the comments below.  If you didn’t see it, check out some of these quotes or watch it on YouTube.  It’s message of self-reliance, self-reflection and personal responsibility was perfect.

Although he’s a long way from being a out of the public eye, the closer he gets to the hallowed halls of history the better and sharper he looks.  They say it takes many years to fully understand the legacy of a president.  I suspect he may go down in history as one of our greatest.

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“Ultimately, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life. If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere.”

“It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.”

“For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods or college campuses or places of worship or our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions.”

“Change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.”

“Understand, democracy does not require uniformity. Our founders quarreled and compromised, and expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity—the idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.”

 

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The Social Media Web

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Notes on a Used Envelope 

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Nutty News and Workout of the Week #38

A grab bag of random news and information before we get to the Workout of the Week:

Peanuts are awesome for kids of all ages.  According to this article at USA Today, the National Institutes of Health now recommend that parents feed their kids peanut products at as early an age as practical.  The guideline used to be age 3.  Apparently, early exposure cuts the chance of developing peanut allergy by over 80%.  I’m not surprised.  Kids raised on farms suffer less from asthma and hay fever.  It’s all about the exposure.

coverFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is no longer an atheist.  According to his annual announcement he now thinks that “religion is very important.”  I don’t quite know what to make of this.  Still processing. Or maybe I just don’t care? 

Did you know that there’s a “statistically significant” link between eating egg rolls and owning a dog, drinking ice tea and believing that Crash didn’t deserve to win the Oscar for Best Picture, and eating fat-trimmed steaks and being atheist? Don’t believe all the nutrition/health stuff you read. Fun article.

Above you will notice the cover the new Cabal Fang eBook.  If you  haven’t pre-ordered this thing, please go do so now.  You can save $2.00 by pre-ordering now.  Price goes up to $7.99 on release day Feb 1st.

And now for the workout of the Week.

 Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #38

This week is all about self-defense, and it has three components — one each for body, mind and spirit.

 All-in HIIT for Power.  Set timer for 1 min intervals and complete 5 sets of these 3 activities (15 mins total) : 1. AMAYC Burpees (advanced folks add #20 sandbag), 2. AHAYC strikes to heavy bag and 3. Neck bridge.

Self-defense quiz. Sit down with a pad and paper and draw a diagram of the restaurant you visit most often. Mark the location of the following: emergency exit, fire extinguisher, potential barriers to gunfire, and the location of at least one weapon. If your sketch is at least middle-school level and you got 3 out of 4 things marked, you pass.

Visualization of consequences.  Set a timer for 10 minutes. Assume your chosen meditation posture and regulate your breathing. If you passed the quiz above, close your eyes and visualize the aftermath of a self-defense situation that you survive — you and yours make it out but others do not, you have to harm an attacker, there’s a terrible lawsuit, etc. If you failed the quiz, visualize the aftermath of one in which you fail — you perish, you lose a friend or loved one, etc. NEVER visualize scenes from action movies! Self-defense situations are nasty, brutal and messy both during and after, win or lose.

 

Dangerous Liasons

In honor of my 1,001th post: 

How do you react when your blog is followed by someone whose viewpoint isn’t completely aligned with your own?  What if he or she seems to be diametrically opposed? 

What if, for example, you identify as a political moderate, but you have a follower who’s an anarchist, leftist, alt-righter or conspiracy theorist?  Do you follow back and stay friends? 

Before you answer — and I encourage you to do so in the comments below — consider the implications in a google-ized, Facebooky world.  These apps put things in your news feed based on your history of “likes” and whonyour friends are.   Apps contain algorithms that calculate your interests based on how much time you spend looking at certain images.  And your profiles are public.

Which means if you want to be able to influence them you have to be willing to allow them to influence you.  You have to be willing to really share and communicate. 

I’m inclined to take my example from Hermes-Thoth, the interlocutor, ambassador and mediator. I follow an incredible range of blogs, some of which are written my folks whose views are often opposed to mine. I follow them because they follow me. There must be dialogue.

But I confess I’m not immune to concern about what others will say, and I also worry that my incoming news feeds are being filled with negatively influential things.

Are my feelings justified or irrational?