Standing on the Side of Life
November 29, 2016 Kosmos Community News

Standing Rock | Being in a Living Prayer and the Art of Collective Resistance

By Thanissara, on standing prayerfully at the ‘front line’, wherever that may be.

“At the heart of this resistance is commitment to break the cycles of violence born of a colonial mindset, which feels entitled to extract for self-benefit regardless of the impact. This mindset is now the front line everywhere, within and around us all. Increasingly, our choices will be influenced either by a colonizing, psychopathic corporate agenda servicing extortionate amounts of wealth for a minuscule percent of the global population, or they’ll contribute to a necessary resistance upon which our survival now depends.”

Renewal from the Ground of Our Being

By Michael N. Nagler, on rebuilding not just our systems, but our image of ourselves

“The spectacularly successful freedom struggle Gandhi conducted in India had three phases: (1) personal empowerment (shedding fear, for starters), (2) Constructive Programme (CP), where you break your dependence on the oppressive regime, and then (3) direct nonviolent resistance (satyagraha) where still needed. It was a program for the complete renewal of Indian society, and so it could be for ours. While most contemporary movements begin and end with satyagraha (think of Occupy), satyagraha must be built on the other two phases if it is to result in lasting beneficial change. If you think you will renew Indian society simply by gaining independence, Gandhi said, ‘you are dreaming.'”

Philoxenia: The Art of Expressing Love and Friendship to Strangers

By Bruna Kadletz, on the profound power of hospitality – published in the Fall | Winter 2016 edition of Kosmos Journal

“Disguised as poor travellers, Zeus and Hermes visited many villages in search of refuge for the night. Residents repeatedly turned the gods away. Everyone regarded them as uninvited guests except a poor elderly couple—Baucis and Philemon. The couple welcomed them as guests in their home and generously served them food and wine. After refilling her guests’ cups many times over, Baucis noticed that the wine jug was still full. “

Enclaves of Firelight

By Evangeline Elmendorf Greene, on the struggle to teach immigrants in a US culture out-of-balance with Nature.

“Two years ago, one of my students turned in an assignment splattered with blood. I held the paper by one edge and extended it back to him, explaining that I could not accept it in this condition. His eyes remained cast down; in his culture, it is considered disrespectful to look directly into the eyes of anyone in authority. “It’s just pig’s blood, Miss,” he replied.”

Sowing Seeds into the Whirlwind

Story, photos and flowers by Betsey Crawford, on why no act of goodwill is too small

“Recent political events have reinforced for me once again that not only is progress non-linear, the way is often bewilderingly and heartbreakingly tortuous with far too many backward strides. I am reminded of Wendell Berry’s poem, February 2, 1968. He wrote it three days into the disastrous Tet Offensive of the Vietnam war, in a year that was to include two deeply tragic assassinations, worldwide rebellion, and a bitter election.

In the dark of the moon, in flying snow, in the dead of winter,
war spreading, families dying, the world in danger,
I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.”

No Wonder the Buddha

By Marybeth Holleman, on the wisdom of the trees.

“When we bought our home fifteen years ago, we hired an arborist to walk our mostly wooded acre and advise us about the health of our trees. He stopped at a willow in our back yard. “Nice burl,” he said, pointing to the gnarled base. “If you cut this down, I’d love to have it. I could carve a pretty nice bowl from it.” But we weren’t planning on cutting down any trees if we could help it; to the contrary, we were interested in keeping them living, and standing, our own garden of trees.”