What does lasting peace require?

“There are now almost daily reports of aerial military assaults by Khartoum (which alone among the combatants in Darfur has air assets) on civilian targets, especially in the Jebel Marra region. Every such flight is a violation of Resolution 1591, and yet the Security Council does nothing ….

China must not be allowed to manhandle evidence and intimidate the Security Council and its representatives on Darfur. The Council should vote immediately to publish the findings of its own Panel of Experts on Darfur, and if China vetoes the move, then it is the obligation of other members of the Council to make the document public—and much more importantly, to act forcefully. “

– Eric Reeves, Arming Khartoum: China’s complicity in the Darfur genocide (link)

Hi everyone,

Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price (Saturday, Oct 30 2010)

Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price (Saturday, Oct 30 2010)

We are huge fans of Eric Reeves.  He and many others have been staunch advocates for the Sudanese who’ve suffered terribly for many years now.  Time and time again there have been numerous prescriptions for Sudan.  Omar Bashir needs to be held accountable.  China needs to stop supporting the genocidal government of Sudan.  The United States must do more to aid those who suffer. We know what needs to happen to get to peace.  Yet, rarely do we hear how to go about doing this.  The path seems cloudy and riddled with doubt and skepticism.  Pure intellectual prescriptions are not enough.  At the heart of every successful human endeavor lies a relationship that is based on mutual respect and trust.  Do we have that at the international level?  Does China really trust the United States?  Have our actions and behavior allowed for such trust to develop?

It’s times like these we need to grieve.  Grieving brings us back into the reality of this moment.  The challenges we face are immense, yet our leaders seem extremely ill equipped to deal with them.  We rarely address the root causes of problems.  It’s been 7+ years since the Bashir government launched their genocidal campaign against the people of Darfur.  Yes, they signed a peace deal with the South in 2005.  For a while there was less violence and chaos.  But did this sow the seeds for lasting peace?  Has the Bashir government genuinely changed their ways?  Will they allow the Southern Sudanese to secede?  Is the south capable of standing on its own?

To better answer these questions, we are in the midst of planning a discussion with our Sudanese friends from San Diego.  We’ll be holding it at St. Mark Presbyterian in Newport Beach on Saturday, Nov 13th.  Save the date!  More details coming shortly.

One of our goals in Living Ubuntu has been to explore and address the root causes of conflict and war engulfing our world today.  We need to start by acknowledging that there are significant wounds on both sides of any issue.  Superficial remedies, prescriptions, peace deals on paper do nothing to address these deeply buried wounds and will not help bring about lasting peace and reconciliation.  We hope you will join us next Saturday, October 30th in San Diego for — Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price. Early discounted registration ($40) for this workshop ends this Saturday. Please make our lives easier and register online.  All details are on the website.

Warmly,

Barbara & Anshul
Living Ubuntu
livingubuntu.org | blog

“The willingness to stop and be present leads to seeing and relating to circumstances and events with more clarity and directness.  Out of this directness seems to emerge deeper understanding or insight into the life unfolding within and before us.  Such insight allows us the possibility of choosing responses most called for by the situation rather than those reactively driven by fear, habit, or long-standing training.”

– Saki Santorelli

Finding peace: When security comes at too high a price (Saturday, Oct 30th)

Hi everyone,

The rapes in Congo continue.  Elections in Burma are coming up and they will hardly be free or fair.  The Southern Sudanese will decide early next year whether they want to stay part of a unified Sudan.  Will the genocidal Bashir government allow this?  Meanwhile we continue to spend billions of dollars in our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan.  Israel and Palestine seem no closer to an peaceful agreement.

Why is peace so elusive?

“National security” has been the top priority for us as long as I can remember.  Even in these tough economic times, we continue to increase our defense budget.  Our technology and weapons keep getting better and better.  Yet, have we gotten more safe and secure?  Have we built a more peaceful and cohesive society that allows for us to treat each other with more civility and acceptance?  Why is it easier to vent our anger and rage, but not grieve the innumerable losses we have all faced?

Our challenge in Living Ubuntu has always been to attempt to address some of these underlying questions.  It is our deepest conviction that unless we begin to tackle the emotional wounds beneath such issues, we will not find any lasting solutions. There are no shortcuts in life.  We need to get beyond the myopia of short-term thinking and begin to tackle the root causes of these problems.

On Saturday, October 30th, I hope you will join us for Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price. Our very own Barbara English will be presenting this next workshop in our collaborative series with The Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (SCIBA).  All details are below and on the website.

Thank you.

Anshul Mittal
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org | blog | facebook

Finding Peace
When security comes at too high a price
by
Barbara English

Finding Peace.  Workshop by Barbara English

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, October 30 2010
9:30a – 1:00p

University of San Diego
Manchester Conference Center
5998 Alcala Park I
San Diego, CA 92110

Why is “insecurity” so common in our culture?  Why do we stay in meaningless jobs and settle for unfulfilling relationships?  Does the familiar really provide safety?  How does this play out at the societal level?  Why does “national security” trump everything else?

Join us for this presentation where we tackle the deep-seated reasons behind our quest for “security” that is so pervasive in our society.
This is a not-for-profit event.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Advance registration is required.  Please visit http://livingubuntu.org/events for more information.

* * *

If a person has been subject to repeated attacks, he will erect defenses to their danger in the future.  Nations do the same thing with military establishments.  In time, both on a personal level as well as on the national one, maintaining defenses becomes part of the way of life.  However, the existence of defenses maintains the fear of attack, and so one feels justified in further strengthening the defensive position.  But defenses also close one in, with the end result that an individual becomes imprisoned behind his own defensive structure.  If he makes no effort to get out, he will remain relatively free from anxiety behind his walls.

– Alexander Lowen

Why is saying “I can’t” so difficult?

“Unfortunately, most people do not stop to feel their tiredness. Faced with the pressures of life, they believe that it is a matter of survival to go on as they have been. Feeling tired raises a deep fear that they may not be able to continue the struggle. Many find it difficult to say, ‘I can’t.’ As children, they were taught that where there’s a will, there’s a way. To say, ‘I can’t,’ is to admit failure, which is seen as evidence that they are unworthy of love.”

– Alexander Lowen

Hi everyone,

No time to think, No time to Breathe... Is this Me? (Saturday,  June 5th)

We still have space available for No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me? this coming Saturday, June 5th. I really hope you will join us, and here’s why.

It has become commonplace to joke about our crazy-busy-multi-tasking-non-stop-over-scheduled lives, yet how did we get to this place of taking it so lightly? Are we really willing to collapse into resignation and say, this is just the reality of life in current day society? We accept overwhelm as the new norm?

What is this driven-ness to be super-human, defy all limits, and push beyond our natural reservoir of energy?

We are in trouble when start using our emergency inner resources on a day-to-day basis just to get by. The good news / bad news is we can adapt to ever increasing demands really well, but not without paying the horribly destructive price that we stop feeling what we are really doing to ourselves. Eventually we reach exhaustion . . . of course we might not even notice that. Sometimes we just get numb and stop feeling. Despite the exhaustion we just keep going because we don’t feel much of anything anymore. We fail to recognize the self-cruelty in this, and the result of vicarious traumas we have yet to process.

Our bodies were designed to push and stop, run and rest, exert and recuperate, expand and contract. When we stop abiding by the rhythm of life itself, we lose the ability to know our own inner state, think creatively, and grow in consciousness. We also lose the ability to resonate with one another and the greater world around us. We sacrifice our capacity for that which is ultimately human, to relate, bond, connect, empathize, care and love.

None of us deserves this sort of mistreatment. And we will all pay a hefty price if it persists. We need to push the “pause button” and get re-centered. We all need some help with figuring out how to do this.

I hope you will join us this Saturday. If there is any financial hardship, please do let us know. This workshop series is a service to the community and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Barbara Engilsh
Living Ubuntu
livingubuntu.org | blog | facebook

No time to think, No time to breathe…

Is this me?

by

Tarra Stariell

No time to think, No time to breathe... Is this me?

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, June 5 2010
9:00a – 12:00p

University of San Diego
Manchester Conference Center
5998 Alcala Park I
San Diego, CA 92110

Why is it so hard to keep up? Where is the time for me? Why do I feel so lost in my own life?

Join us for a workshop about our overwhelmed lives and how to find our way back to a healthy balance. This is a not-for-profit event. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Advance registration is required. Please visit http://livingubuntu.org/events for more information.

* * *

Should Scott Gration support the elections in Sudan?

Hi everyone,

Earlier today, United States Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration was blasted by leaders of the opposition parties for supporting the upcoming elections in Sudan. We were surprised by his optimistic support despite the fact that most candidates running against President Omar Al-Bashir do not feel them to be free or fair and have withdrawn from the election.

“So he went to the Election Commission and they assured him that they are fair and unbiased. It is like asking a thief to swear he is honest and then believing him” a 26-years old student in Khartoum by the name of Khalid told Sudan Tribune.

Read the complete article here.

There are quite a few events coming up this weekend. Please see the listing below. We hope you will join us as we keep the people of Sudan caught in the middle of this chaos in our hearts and minds.

Barbara & Anshul
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org


::: EVENTS IN ORANGE COUNTY THIS WEEKEND :::

Friday April 9, Screening of Children of the Congo: From War to Witches
6:30p refreshments, 7-9p screening and discussion. Hosted by Sister’s of St. Joseph of Orange
Address: St. Joseph Center, Mother Louis Room, 480 S. Batavia Street, Orange, CA 92868

Saturday April 10, The 25th Annual Great American Write-In
9:30a. Sponsored by Women For: Orange County
Address: Lakeview Senior Center, Woodbridge Community Park, 20 Lake Road, Irvine, between Alton and Barranca

Saturday April 10, Screening of “Rebuilding Hope” and panel discussion with Sudanese
7:00p screening and discussion. Sponsored by OC for Darfur, IUCC Peace & Justice Advocates and Amnesty International, Irvine chapter.
For additional information and to RSVP, please visit http://livingubuntu.org/events.

Read more of this post

Facing Disappointment… Heartbreak in your life, your community, the world (Saturday, April 24th)

Hi everyone,

“Stand in solidarity with the people of Darfur and keep them in your hearts”
“Write a letter, sign this postcard, and end the genocide”
“Rally, protest, shout… call your congressman and urge him to do more!”

Is all of this really going to make a difference? Can we really stop the genocide? Am I really helping the people of Darfur?

These are not simple questions. And have no easy answers.

One of our goals in Living Ubuntu is to address trauma not only at a global level (genocide), but also at an individual/personal level. To truly live “ubuntu”, requires being open not only to the pain of the people of Darfur, but also our own pain. Pain is pain. And most of us have elaborate ways to not fully ‘feel it’. And ‘act it out’ in various ways.

Are we genuinely open to the pain of the victims?
Or are we frantically acting because we don’t really want to feel that kind of helplessness and vulnerability?
Are we acting out of guilt, obligation or ???
How do we balance our daily struggles of life against the immense suffering of the people of Darfur?
How do we sit with the pain of being witness to the horror of their suffering?

This is why it feels very timely to present a Workshop on Disappointment, Grief and Heartbreak (issues all too common in the non-profit and activist world). We are honored to have Vincentia Schroeter PhD present on such a difficult topic. Vincentia has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years and brings a unique capacity for heartfelt sensitivity, wisdom, and strength to these issues. This workshop is a service to the community and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

All details are on the website. I hope you will be able to join us.

Anshul Mittal
Orange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org

Facing Disappointment

Heartbreak in your life, your community, your world

by
Vincentia Schroeter, PhD

Facing Disappointment, workshop by Vincentia Schroeter

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, April 24 2010
9:00a – 12:00p

4010 Barranca Parkway, Ste. 253
Irvine, CA 92604

What does it mean when it keeps hurting? Why do some people move on more easily than others? How can we deal better with the endless chaos in the world?

Join us for a workshop on healing from loss, grief and heartbreak. This is a not-for-profit event. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Advance registration is required for this event. Please visit http://livingubuntu.org/events for more information.

* * *

When Anxiety Holds You Back (Saturday, January 30th)

Hi everyone,

Mac Eaton Workshop in July 2009

Read about Mac Eaton's workshop in July 2009

Lately it seems uncertainty is everywhere, and for many people that means more anxiety. On the global front, the elections in Sudan are scheduled for April of this year and few of us trust them to be free or fair. In addition, the economy remains shaky, wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East continue, our politicians continue to bicker over health care, and now the earthquake in Haiti… we often get pulled in many different directions all at the same time. Is it any wonder we feel so frenzied?

From time to time we hear people talk about how hard it is for them to feel justified in attending to their own needs when they think about the extreme suffering in Darfur. Perhaps it is human nature to compare, yet when this comparison leads us to feel guilty about taking care of our own needs, it is destructive. It is as if knowing of global horrors is supposed to nullify the hardship we have in our own life. “If others are living in extreme poverty, how can I speak up about my family having trouble in this terrible economy?” Or, “If atrocities are occurring in so many places in the world, what right do I have to tell you about feeling insecure?” Yet, this is a recipe for disaster. The over-givers who inadvertently practice self-neglect are at risk of winding up with less to give others, and hitting burn out sooner.

So, how do we remain caring about others who suffer, and still manage to find room for ourselves? Our pain? Our anxiety? Our daily struggles in life?

In Living Ubuntu, we seek to help people find this balance. As part of this effort, last year we launched a workshop series (in collaboration with Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis) to address such issues. At the end of this month, Mac Eaton PhD, one of the senior members of SCIBA, will be presenting, When Anxiety Holds You Back. Mac offers a wealth of experience and heart as a psychotherapist and we are honored to have him speak to us. As with all our events, if there are any financial concerns, please do get in touch with us. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

All details are on the website. We hope you will join us.

Barbara & AnshulOrange County for Darfur, a project of Living Ubuntu
ocfordarfur.org

“The defenses we erect to protect us create the very condition we are trying to avoid. Thus, when someone builds a castle to protect his liberty, he ends up as a prisoner in his own castle because he dares not leave it… No person is free who is tied to a defensive position.”
– Alexander Lowen

* * *

When Anxiety Holds You Back

by

Mac Eaton, PhD

I Dreamed That Love Would Never Die

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, January 30 2010
9:00a – 12:00p

17100 Gillette
Irvine, CA 92614

Those of us who are anxious often feel compelled to keep what we are afraid of a secret. Join us in this workshop where we explore the nature of anxiety and learn how to overcome this shame.

Advance registration is required for this event. Please visit http://livingubuntu.org/events for more information.

* * *