Monday, February 25, 2008

Global Warming is real because of our dependence on fossil fuels and agriculture

State of Fear = State of Ignorance from Zaadz: ~C4Chaos' Blog

I've read State of Fear a few years ago.... The State of Fear taught me how to be more level-headed on polarizing issues -- to use critical thinking and data over emotional and fear-based arguments. As a result I'm using that same critical thinking to examine whether Crichton's approach was ethical or not. And according to this UCTV symposium, Crichton's book is scientifically unethical and irresponsible...

Don't get lost in the Climate Change debates in the U.S. media and websites. Try looking elsewhere for information (i.e. books [hint: read The Hot Topic], scientific journals, IPCC reports) and you'll see that Al Gore deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. From the perspective of the international scientific community and most industrialized countries, the science has been settled. Global Warming is a real phenomenon and humanity is a big contributor to it because of our dependence on fossil fuels and agriculture.

There are debates alright. But the debates are not whether Global Warming is real or not or whether humanity is a big contributor, but what we can (and should) do about it. The more I look into the issue of Climate Change and Global Warming the more I learn that the state of media and politics in the U.S. is lagging behind its industrialized neighbors (reminds me of the universal health care issue as well, but that's another topic). As one of my readers, Per, had eloquently put it... (Crossposted from www.c4chaos.com)

A fusion of East and West in hopes of realizing the model of human unity in diversity

HOME ARCHIVES THINK JOIN US PRESS KIT Feb 25 Auroville - The Heaven in India
As a student of architecture, I keep searching for new and better things to read, new and hitherto unread abstracts, to find finer solutions for thick problems. In the same endeavor, I came across a name- Auroville.
Heaven is the word which would best describe this place! Situated near the Union Territory of Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry), this area’s stated purpose is to realize human unity in diversity. It is a place devoted to the spirit of humanity. Its diversity can be judged by the fact that even though it is situated in India, out of total 1880 residents of Auroville, 15% are French, 12% are German, 5% each are Dutch and Italian, and just 40% are Indian nationals!
Mirra Alfassa, known as ‘The Mother’, had organized the followers of late Sri Aurobindo into the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, and conceptualized the idea of the universal township. Later on, the Sri Aurobindo Society and the Indian government took up the idea, after which the concept was presented to United Nations. Soon, United Nations gave their acceptance and support to this unique project. The community was founded in February 1968 in order to create an area for a new awareness programme, which was seeking, and to enter in a new world, according to the Sri Aurobindo’s vision. The project’s name is a combination of two French words, aurore for “dawn” and ville for “city”. At present, the Auroville project is governed by the Auroville Foundation, which is fully controlled by Ministry of Human Resource Development through an act of Parliament called the Auroville Foundation Act, 1988.
The shape of the town is fashioned after a spiral galaxy which symbolizes life and humankind’s evolving existence. In the middle of the town, there is a Matrimandir which is the the “Soul” of the city. It symbolizes the birth of a new era where human unity, cognizant living and inter-cultural collaboration will reign. I as a town planner also found Matrimandir as the “cohesive force” of the township. Radiating from this centre, are the four “zones” as indicated by Aurovillians. They are the”Residential Zone”, “Industrial Zone”, “Cultural Zone” and “International Zone”. Around the city area, a Green Belt has been formed through steady rehabilitation of the land. Here, Auroville’s farms, forestry and a large botanical garden-in-the-making can be found. In the future, it will act as a buffer zone and an area for recreation.
The thing that I found and appreciated the most, is that Auroville community is not based upon adherence to any specific religion, but a shared humanitarian goal. Auroville’s aim is to become a sustainable and self-governing township. An important aim of Auroville is to work out class and culture differences in a radical and higher way. This is through a fusion of East and West in hopes of realizing the model of human unity in diversity. Aurovilians are not supposed to engage in any political activities inside or outside the township. It has been seen that creative and pro-active individuals get drawn towards the Auroville project since it is a place where each one can make a difference.
Another major emphasis is harmony with nature and the environment. It is a thriving community in many areas and a site for research and experimentation in architecture (that attracted me to this place!), alternative energy and a site of workshops in various self-growth and cultural realms of activity. The most shocking part of Auroville is that it is a drug-free society, with no internal circulation of money and no institutionalized marriage!
This all was fine enough for me to think of making a dash to this place with my entire luggage. Yet, I am still in Jaipur, because to reside in Auroville, one has to be able to save the substantial amount required – of the order of Rs 15 lakhs upwards – to start a life in Auroville. Furthermore, the residents of Auroville are expected to pay a monthly contribution, and are asked to help the community whenever possible, by work, money or kind. “Guest contribution”, or a daily fee payable by the visitors of Auroville, constitutes a part of Auroville’s budget. There is a system of “maintenance” (salaries), whereby the community supports some Aurovilians.
So definitely, it’s a heaven on Earth, but to go to this heaven, apart from your good deeds, your green deeds are also counted! Therefore, if you want to LIVE life, either first save enough money in your piggy bank or try to get some aided work!
Saurabh Sharma [image by : http://www.flickr.com/photos/18814486@N05/1939038717/] Relevant Articles . . . Inclusive Growth is not a Utopian Concept Multiculturalism - Synonym Of Development Master Plan-2021 Hi or Namaskar? India on SEZ high

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Breema, Feldenkrais, and Yoga in Pitanga

Pitanga picture gallery Pitanga schedule For further information about our activities you may contact: Andrea or Kumar at: pitanga@auroville.org.in
Below are descriptions of some activities:
Asanas - with Helga, for constant groups only.
Asanas – with Abha, based on the Iyengar School of yoga.
Pregnancy yoga – with Appie, for pregnant women.
Pathanjali Yoga – following the Sutras by the Indian yoga master Pathanjali: asanas, breathing and meditation.
Yoga therapy – various traditions to regain strength and agility. Main focus: Five Tibetans, breathing, Chi self massage and Taoist rejuvenation.
Back exercises – simple exercises, focusing on the spine, strengthening abdomen, lower back and thighs.
Tai Chi – Yang Chen-fu style, long forms. Develops basic principles.
Aikido – Auroville has its own branch, Aikikai, developed by students of Tamura Sensei Shihan.
Iado – Martial defense, which forms a part of Aikido practice.
Odissi dance – Indian classical dance for children of 7+ years and adults
Dance / body work – to feel graceful in the body, through a dialogue with yourself and the group. Classical and modern dance.
Schedule - February 2008
Workshops on Breema ® : The Art of Being Present
Based on a profound yet practical understanding of the unifying principle of all life, Breema ® includes Self-Breema ® exercises as well as the dynamic Breema ® bodywork method.
Paola is already offering Breema bodywork sessions at Pitanga.
Christina and David Hamilton are two experienced Breema Instructors and practitioners from Hawaii . They are kindly offering further Breema activities in Dec. and later in Jan. and Feb. again:
Self-Breema ® Classes
Self-Breema exercises are both nurturing and energizing. All the movements are natural and comfortable—no muscular force is involved—so they are enjoyable and appropriate for just about everyone.
Each simple exercise is based on the Nine Principles of Harmony. Practiced in a nonjudgmental atmosphere, they allow us to discover a natural, joyful connection to the body and the benefit of fully participating in life.
The movements of Self-Breema are balanced and in harmony with our essential nature. Practicing Self-Breema invites physical flexibility, emotional balance, and mental clarity.
Time: 10.30 – 11.30 at Pitanga
Dates: In Dec. on 10, 12 and 17. From 21 Jan. onwards
on Mon, Wed until end of Feb.
Breema Bodywork Class
Christina is offering special classes on learning Breema Bodywork:
Time: 10.30 – 12.30 (2hrs.) at Pitanga
Dates: In December on 14 th and 19 th
From 25 Jan. onwards every Friday until end of Feb.
Feldenkrais exercises
We are inviting you to participate in Feldenkrais exercises by Marry Kroon which are now part of our regular program in Pitanga. Exercises are starting from Monday, 11 Dec. onwards. Beginners : Wednesday 17.00 - 18.30 & Saturday 10.30 - 11.30 Medical : Monday 17.00 - 18.00 & Friday 10.30 - 11.30 The medical classes are inviting people who do not move so easily, either because of their age or an accident or an illness. Therefore this class is especially suitable for elderly people.
Iyengar Yoga
Tatiana will be offering five more weekly classes for different levels, starting from 10 Dec. onwards.
Beginners: Monday 10.30 – 12.00, first class: 10 Dec.
Intermediate: Tuesday10.30 – 12.00 , first class: 11 Dec.
Saturday 15.30 – 17.00, , first class: 15 Dec.
Acknowledging the increased demands from guests during the coming months, we will introduce further
Beginners’ classes for guests:
Wednesday 08.00 – 09.30, first class: 13 Dec.
Saturday 08.00 – 09.30, first class: 15 Dec.
3-months-workshop:
Hatha Yoga - Iyengar & Ashtanga style
Alain Sigrist is by profession a Yoga teacher in New Caledonia, where he manages his own centre. He has been visiting Auroville every year since 1985 and is therefore already known to many. During his stay this year he is offering for three months special Hatha Yoga classes: “Hatha Yoga: An inspiration from the style of B.K.S. Iyengar for the precision of the alignment combined with the full control and support of the breath like in Ashtanga Yoga style”. Alain quotes “Yoga is like a necklace on which asanas are the pearls and the breath is the thread that connects the pearls.”
Classes are offered to mixed level students so as to evaluate the level of students first. The aim is to give a special attention to the needs of intermediate students later. Main teaching language will be French, enriched with hints in EnglishJ.
Mixed level:
Thursday & Saturday 15.30 – 17.00, first class: 6 Dec.
Home > Society > Pitanga gallery >Pitanga Schedule of the month

Friday, February 22, 2008

Diversity and universality of earth architecture

EARTHEN ARCHITECTURE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
HALF-DAY PROGRAMME 26th February 2008
Earth as a building material has been used worldwide since millennia. UNCHS and UNESCO report that
- 40 % of the world population lives in earthen dwellings
- 25 % of the world population does not have access to decent housing.
- 17 % of the “world cultural heritage sites” is built with earth
- 25 % of the “world heritage sites in danger” is built with earth
- 14 % of the “hundred most endangered world heritage sites” is built with earth
Auroville has become through the endeavour of the Auroville Earth Institute one of the world leader in earthen architecture and people are coming from all over the world to learn something from us. More than 5,000 people from 53 countries have trained by us since 1989. Join and discover what earth as a building material can offer. This awareness course is organised in the framework of the UNESCO Chair “Earthen Architecture, Constructive Cultures and Sustainable Development”, for which the Auroville Earth Institute is the representative for Asia.

VENUE Auroville Earth Institute training centre / CSR / Auroshilpam ELIGIBILITY People of all ages and all skills REGISTRATION The workshop is free but please register in advance for a smooth organisation of the event. Please contact Satprem, Ayyappan or Colleen: earthinstitute@auroville.org.in – Tel 262 3064 / 262 3330
posted by earth-institute

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This is a must-see for anyone who is interested in Savitri

AV40: "Savitri Walk" exhibition by William Netter
Emerald Forest ::: 10:00 AM

William Netter's exhibition "Savitri Path" An extraordinary journey through a forty years research on Sri Aurobindo's master epic, Savitri. 43 panels are on display in The Emerald Forest, William Netter's house between Samasti and Sharnga.

The exhibit is open in the morning from 10-12 every day except Wednesday - and in the afternoon from 3:30 - 5 every afternoon except Friday. For more information please contact William, telephone, 26222-313 or email williamnetter@auroville.org.in This is a must-see for anyone who is interested in Savitri; some of the most unique, profound and insightful work done on Sri Aurobindo's greatest gift to us. posted by jill

Monday, 25 Feb
Exhibition: ‘South Calcutta Artists’ Academy’ ::: Aurelec Cafeteria & Art Gallery (until 16 March) ::: Mon ::: 8:00 AM
Exhibition: "The Blue Invasion" ::: Pitanga (until 12 March) ::: Mon ::: 8:00 AM
AV40: "Mother and Auroville" - exhibition ::: Savitri Bhavan (until 4 March) ::: Mon ::: 9:30 AM
"Quest "- an art exhibition ::: Creativity Hall ::: Mon ::: 3:00 AM
INFINITE MATTER : Group show by Auroville Artists ::: Gallery Square Circle : Kala Kendra ::: Mon ::: 11:00 AM
AV40: "Savitri Walk" exhibition by William Netter ::: Emerald Forest ::: Mon ::: 10:00 AM
AV40: Janaka House Exhibition (by appointment) ::: Janaka House, Ravena (till 29th) ::: Mon ::: 3:00 PM
Mandala I - A Universal Form of Art: Sand Paintings ::: Tibetan Pavilion ::: Mon ::: 7:00 PM
Tuesday, 26 Feb
Feldenkreis with Marry ::: Verite ILC Studio ::: Tue ::: 5:00 PM
Exhibition: ‘South Calcutta Artists’ Academy’ ::: Aurelec Cafeteria & Art Gallery (until 16 March) ::: Tue ::: 8:00 AM
Exhibition: "The Blue Invasion" ::: Pitanga (until 12 March) ::: Tue ::: 8:00 AM
AV40: "Mother and Auroville" - exhibition ::: Savitri Bhavan (until 4 March) ::: Tue ::: 9:30 AM
"Quest "- an art exhibition ::: Creativity Hall ::: Tue ::: 3:00 AM
INFINITE MATTER : Group show by Auroville Artists ::: Gallery Square Circle : Kala Kendra ::: Tue ::: 11:00 AM
AV40: "Savitri Walk" exhibition by William Netter ::: Emerald Forest ::: Tue ::: 10:00 AM
AV40: Janaka House Exhibition (by appointment) ::: Janaka House, Ravena (till 29th) ::: Tue ::: 3:00 PM
NADAKA in concert: "INVOCATION" ::: Matrimandir Amphitheatre ::: Tue ::: 8:00 PM
Workshop on earthen architecture ::: Earth Institute / CSR / Auroshilpam ::: Tue ::: 9:00 AMPlease login to publish your events.

Everything you always wanted to know about evolution but the mass media wouldn’t tell you

Issue 35 / January–March 2007
The Mystery of Evolution
You’ve heard the debate: Creation vs. Evolution, Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design. But could it really be that simple? Exploring the nature of evolution through perspectives both scientific and spiritual, this issue attempts to do what the mainstream media won’t, offering a complex and nuanced look at one of the greatest mysteries of the modern era. Featuring Robert W. Godwin, Ken Wilber, John F. Haught, Zoltan Torey, John Stewart, and more. Subscribe · Buy this issue · Back issues
The Real Evolution Debate
Everything you always wanted to know about evolution but the mass media wouldn’t tell you
Ranging from the scientific to the spiritual to cutting-edge perspectives that integrate both, this multidimensional overview presents a dozen different theories of what evolution is, how it works, and where it might be headed.
Introduction by Carter Phipps
A Brief History of Evolutionary Spirituality
From Leibniz to Hegel to Teilhard de Chardin, three hundred years of progressive thinkers reveal that evolution has always been a fundamentally spiritual concept.
PLUS: Timeline of Evolutionary Spirituality’s Leading Pioneers
by Tom Huston
The Only Journey There Is
An Exploration of Cosmic and Cultural Evolutionwith Robert W. Godwin
In this provocative interview, spanning cosmic singularities and virgin sacrifices, psychologist Robert Godwin traces the epic—and often barbaric—journey of the evolutionary process in its never-ending quest for higher consciousness.
Interview by Elizabeth Debold
A God-Shaped Hole at the Heart of Our Being
Evolutionary Theology with John F. Haught
Will science and religion ever see eye to eye? With disarming simplicity, theologian John Haught explains how both domains are actually in pursuit of the same eternal mystery.
Interview by Amy Edelstein

Monday, February 18, 2008

Discover the joy of perfect health with Ketan Shah

Seven days residential workshop (April 20-26) by Ketan Shah Workshop - Discover the joy of perfect health Price : Rs. 5,500.00 Location: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Nainitaal Click here for complete schedule Contact UsEmail: workshops@lifepositive.net

Renowned acupressure maestro Ketan Shah, is an extremely amiable and modest gentleman, who was given the maximum rating among all facilitators by the participants of the Life Positive 2007 Expo. More than 70 participants signed up for a full-length workshop with him, so fascinated were they by his knowledge of diseases, and their cure through acupressure.

A master acupressure practitioner who has healed patients suffering from Parkinson’s to cancer, Mr Shah’s passion is to empower each person to take responsibility for his own health. His workshop will give you detailed guidelines on how to use acupressure to heal, and help others heal. He will also give on-the-spot treatments for minor afflictions. An additional bonus during this residential workshop would be the sessions with Sky Yoga experts on all the days. Email to a friend Home Subscribe Art Gallery Daily Inspiration Wallpapers Submission Advertising Policy Practitioners Writers People About Contact Subscribe for Hindi Edition

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Auroville, as we all know, is the Dream of God in the process of materialization on this earth

A Tribute by Kireet Joshi
(Mr. Kireet Joshi is former Chairman of the Auroville Foundation)
My sphere of work was far removed from Auroville, and although I felt a tremendous admiration and intimacy with the developments of the work relating to Auroville, the only time when I got the opportunity to get interwoven with a major programme of Auroville was, when the Mother assigned to Tanmaya and to me the task of organizing the participation of the youths who were to come to Auroville for depositing token soil from their respective countries in the foundational urn of Auroville on the occasion of the inauguration. The inaugural ceremony was to take place on the 28 th February, 1968 . This task had intimate connection with Roger because he was the living spirit behind the numerous activities that were connected with the gigantic inaugural ceremony.
In my own personal life and in my sadhana, this occasion was momentous. All the arrangements of the youths had to be done in Pondicherry , and it was my responsibility to ensure that all the youths assembled at the right time at our Centre of Education so that they could be transported by buses which were to be furnished by the Sri Aurobindo Society. Roger was to receive the youths at Auroville, and the rest of the ceremony was under the charge of Roger. Thus Roger and I had to synchronize very carefully many aspects of this work. But how greatly I was shocked when the Sri Aurobindo Society informed me late in the evening of the 27 th February that the buses, which the society was to arrange for the transportation of the youths, would not be made available to me, and that I should make arrangements on my own. This was a terrible disabling breach of the promise, and it put me in a gravest state of crisis. This is not the occasion to narrate this incident in detail. But as can be imagined, I would have failed miserably to transport the youth from Pondicherry to Auroville and to hand them over to the charge of Roger at the appointed hour.
I almost failed. But I was seeking earnestly some miraculous help from the Mother. I knew no transport agency, and none whom I approached was better in this respect. Something seemed to be helping me to remain very quiet. It was about 1a.m. that I could reach some deep level of being where I heard the Mother telling me, “Go and meet Udar”. I went to the residence of Udar, but it was naturally all closed. It was too late to wake him up at that late hour. At 5a.m. I knocked the door of his residence. Fortunately, Udar, whom the Mother had described as a “man with golden heart”, understood my predicament and promised to help me. The time available to him was so short that it was impossible. And yet, miraculously, he succeeded. At 8a.m. the buses arrived at the gate of the Centre of Education. The time left for me to arrange was extremely short. But I received maximum help from Tanmaya and teachers and students of our Centre of Education. I gave some anxious moments to Roger, since there was considerable delay in transporting the youths to Auroville. Nonetheless, Roger, although extremely anxious, showed no impatience, when he received the youths along with me at the site of the inauguration, and outwardly nobody could detect any external sign of the delay that had occurred. Everything happened punctually, and when the Mother's inaugural message came to be relayed from the Mother's room at Pondicherry, there was perfect calm and serenity and nearly five thousand people who had gathered on that momentous moment of the inauguration got enveloped by vibrant and gentle breeze of ineffable delight of the creative moment.
It was Roger who had designed and created the beautiful urn in which the youths were to deposit the token soil of their respective countries and were thus to gather the entire earth in that unifying vessel of the foundation of Auroville. It was Roger who had beautifully designed the pavilions around that vast ground of the inaugural site for all those who had assembled to witness that great moment of the birth of Auroville. The entire organization of the programme, the sequence and the punctuality of every unfolding moment were meticulously executed, and it was evident that Roger manifested palpably and concretely the Divine Mother's power of perfection, - particularly the genius and skill of Mahasaraswati. I cannot forget the smiling and shining face of Roger as it seemed to me floating over the entire movement and scene of the inauguration. Yes, “the Man of the Project” was spread from that Banyan tree (the Centre of Auroville) in all the spreading circumference of Auroville.

“L'Homme de' Projet!” – These words of the Mother for Roger sum up splendidly and gloriously all that was so beautifully packed in that great artist, visionary, sculptor and architect. Auroville, as we all know, is the Dream of God in the process of materialization on this earth. That Dream of God was articulated and firmly established on that 28 th February, 1968 , when the Mother's Charter for Auroville was declared and relayed so that the Ideals of Auroville could echo and reecho in all the corners of the earth. To live in Auroville, the Mother had said, one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness. She had spoken of Auroville as a place of unending education and of a youth that never ages. Here was a field where one can afford to have only one allegiance, allegiance to the Truth and Truth alone; and here was a field being created for constant progress through material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of a Human Unity.
To symbolize this aspiration preeminently was the privilege of Roger. The task that the Mother had given him for Auroville remained for decades and decades throughout his life the sovereign occupation. He tried to fulfill that task as an instrument of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Like all adventurers who have striven to participate in a new experiment that has universal dimensions, he had to forge ahead through enormous difficulties, internal and external. How often he used to tell me during the seven years, 2000 – 2007, when I came greatly in close touch with him: “The Mother has given me the task; would you not help me?” Indeed, he had sought help from everyone in Auroville and he had received enormous help from the team of architects and engineers of Auroville, from the organizers of Auroville, from the workers of Auroville, and from rare and capable individuals to whom Matrimandir has been the sole breath of their lives... Kireet Joshi, 28/1/2008