Mantra with phonics

Something be mindful with.. whether college educated professional, Laymen Child or impaired:

Today we are bombarded with noises and data, seemingly at a increasing rate..
This can be disorienting for even adults.  Whispering or bellowing mantras has been a practice in various paradigms: Hindi, Buddhist, Yoga , Pacific- & African- practices..

The phonetic Alphabet is excellent choice to meditate to or to chant to.

    what can one discover when being mindful of these sounds?

  •  Do I feel or imagine something on any given letter or sound ?
  •  Do I feel apprehensive or embarrassed about listening to letters and sounds?
  •  Do I sense my awareness drifting away to day dream or something else

Written Language and Phonics is fundamental, to most, in our social consciousnesses and contexts—
from our first words to our parents. Something to be Mindful of.

props to:

additionally on this blog, Breathing and Counting.


Journey of life – education

Nice rendition of a popular lecture of Alan Watts.
journey of purpose TJOP – on youtube.
Video address the relative standards of how one or a group is trained in the present post academic job and career market.
When does one, or a family feel the sense of achievement, satisfaction and purpose in the context of finances, when goals and quotas are more tangible then in the moment rewards.
Another Edit of Alan Watts Lecture- can be found here:

* Alan Watts talks the human game / Universe At Play *

Making Plans for the for future is only Useful to those who are capable of living in the moment,”
-Alan Watts.

K’naan – ABC’s — Album Troubadour 2007

Various Quotes on Education:

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
― Mark Twain

Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.
― Walter Cronkite

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”
― Margaret Mead

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
― Aristotle

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
― C.S. Lewis

Putting it to Bed — elevated gardening

This week I am staring up a journal on home gardening as a keep track of my garden.
Some thing’s I’ll will be tracking are the health of an elevated bed, and irrigating it efficiently.
the following is from a homework assignment for a Class I took in Permaculture Design:

Beginners Permaculture and experimental Raised Bed

This spring and summer, I ventured out on several projects, two of which, interrelated, were small scale work on growing vegetables and fruit. One project was in my back yard, I wanted to,see if I could revitalize a small area of land that did not appear to have much growth. The other project was a Permaculture design workshop on building raised beds. Although my initial work in my backyard project started the previous Summer, I was enthusiastic to apply what I learned in the early summer permaculture Workshop.

Early Experience with Permaculture

I first came across the permaculture design concept 5 years ago… I was looking to find a niche for my future, one that was would be meaningful. I investigated avenues such as college for agricultural engineering programs. I was intrigued by the rather non industrial approach, to growing that I found in Bill Mollison’s “Permaculture: A Designers Manual” . I would follow that reading up with Dave Holmgren’s “ Permaculture: Principles & Pathways beyond Sustainability”. Both books will be cite more in this presentation.

Permaculture design, applied to growing vegetation, aims to achieve two primary goals:

  • revitalization of poor growing conditions
  • long term self sustainable growth and good growing conditions. They are what

Designer–– Ben Faulk alludes to as “resiliency and regeneration” in his designer manual  “The Resilient Farm and Home Stead”. In method, permaculture design contrasts the typical engineering and industrial age thinking. Industrial thinking tends toward reductive and universal process orientation, Permaculture focus on whole systems, each site treated as unique. Permaculture approaches each project from establishment to sustainability as wholly integrated and contextual. Ben Faulk has criticized modern approaches to agriculture for only being concerned with yields of biomass. In his design opinion, yield should include both biomass out of a system and biodiversity within a system.

Approaches like this have been used in other fields. For example, Humanistic psychologist Carl Roger’s created his “client-centered therapy”–– treatment with the intent of focusing on the unique conditions of each client. This contrasts the main stream psychoanalytical theory at the time, which rested on a broad set of universal theories pertaining to clinical psychology. My personal interest in Humanistic psychology’s holistic and contextual insight had also peaked my curiosity in Permaculture Design.

My Back Yard Project

Trench Work

Beginning in early fall, I started to work on revitalizing an area of land between two fences, 60 ft from the house, 5 feet wide, about 80 feet long parallel to the house. I had not taken PDC class yet, so there was some “winging” it and experimentation. The localized approach of permaculture is implicit in Dave Holmgren’s statement “the landscape is the textbook” ––a slogan he relates to “Observe and interact” . Whereas, reductive and industrial thinking is concern with universal processes, Permaculture is concerned with observation of details in a specified system, and of all details as they interact over time. While its understood that growth in soil follows the universal processes stated in Biology and Physics, time was spent by me observing the amount of sunlight, wind and water flow over a period of months; the squirrels who used the system to bury their acorns; the insects; the ground temperature ; the pet cats , rabbits and skunks wandering through the area. I considered what tools, water, fertilizers, and soil.
I would need to establish the area as a food garden, what maintenance I would have to do. Following a few rules of science cannot cover the complexities of a unique system, I needed to know what parts are in the system and what flows in and out of the system. The essential skill to be practised is observation. Another sub-slogan of Holmgren’s principle of “Observe and Interact “is “Top-down thinking, bottom up action”. Observation is a passive action. (more accurately interaction, since the designer is considered part of the system he is designing.) This means patient, prolong, non judgemental study of detail (the metaphorical bottom) while being mindful of the totality of the system (the Top.) Any “thing” or “happening” in the system, including the establishment of the system, and sustainability of the system ; is a component of the system. With this said. It became apparent to me that developing experience is very important in permaculture design.

My backyard project was experimental, non essential and  distant from the house. It is a zone 4 project of the entire property. My hope is that it will become a zone 3: supporting the household with some extra tomatoes, cucumbers, leeks, and anything else I can grow. The extra fence on the perimeter was removed except for vertical 4x4s. Refuse scraped from a barbecue grill, left over potting soil, food waste were scattered over th soil. Red Crimson Maple leaves and twigs that fell and dried during Autumn were used as a mulch. Nature worked the decomposition with snow and rain over the winter.

Elevated Garden

The Elevated Bed Workshop–– Early Summer of 2014, I participated in a gardening workshop on installing intensive raised garden beds… The monetary price was cheap, since we participants paid mostly in labor into building of the beds. In return we gained both experiential know-how and the hands on teaching of experienced certified permaculture designers. This is typical of the holistic and localized permaculture approach in a broad sense, from my observation.. The price of services: whether labor, learning or teaching are decided by what each individual participant thinks its worth. Prices and worth of services are subjective This kind is bartering- of services parallels free markets.

I am also reminded of of a basic ethical question of working together: “What does this person, or land, have to give if I cooperate with them “ postulated by Bill Mollison in his book “Permaculture Designer Manual”. A great ethical consideration for individualists like myself.

The class participants numbered around 20 people who gathered on this property in Pennsylvania –– An ideal location of the beds that we were to work on, had already been decided. This was part of a bigger project that included the dwelling and entire property. we informed that the overall project included the concerns of neighbors, such as their rainwater run-off intake… implicitly the whole system included the bordering neighbors. Grass was already killed off the bedding area by cardboard coverage. I have used this method of grass kill myself in other small projects. After tape is removed from the cardboard, the sheets are layered over the ground in overlapping fashion and is usually covered with mulch. The cardboard itself, eventually breaks down and becomes part of the soil. This method was already completed for us.

The process of building the elevated beds were as followed

  • Marking off three to four foot rows across the soil.
  • Using a 19 inch broad forks, the top soil was loosened. In some projects the broad forks are used to go deeper and break up the clay under the top soil.
  • The 19 inch broadfork, was specially designed by a permaculture designer to replace “double digging”, a method that uses far more manpower.
  • Double digging and the broadfork methods are used instead of tilling. This is because tiling can turn over the clay beneath the top soil. This can disrupt the natural microbes in the soil and make the bed less sustainable over a long period of time.
  • The top soil of every other row, previously marked off, was shoveled carefully on top of the next row. The result are trenches, soon to be made into a walk way, beside and a tall top soil mounds, soon to be molded into elevated bed.
  • The trenches would be filled in with wood chip. We used wheel barrels and raked the whole thing was a teamwork effort. Once the trenches were filled with three inches high of chip, they were stable enough to be the pathways for walking and working around each bed.
  • The mounds of top soil would be shaped into elevated beds by hand by the workshop instructor
  • I would find this part difficult later when I mimicked it in my backyard project.
  • Straw was raked carefully over the beds as mulch.
  • The end result was an ergonomically useful bed to plant a salad garden, mint garden, spinach, mustard cale, peppers, onions, etc., .

Raised beds also useful because it is easier to control water flow through the soil since the pathways are also trenches, waste biomass can be used as fertilizer under the woodchip. The instructor recommended planting plants so that the leaves barely touch to form a canopy. The canopy and the bed design it’ self together are called “intensive gardening”, a method to make the most out of a given space.  The work of about 20 participants over 2500 square feet (that is an estimate) was completed in three and a half hours. That time does not include full transplanting of crops, which was done at a later time. The tools included three broad forks, a dozen or so shovels, a dozen or so mulch rakes, two wheel barrels.

My own raised beds.

Back in my experimental system I installed three raised beds. I simply mimicked what I learned at the workshop. I planted leeks, cherry tomatoes two varieties of larger tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers and green peppers, a hybrid oregano transplant and apple mint. The bed is not terribly self sufficient with the fruit and vegetables I planted and I have to carry water a long distance. The only sustainable transplant was an apple mint that is growing very tall. Since mint self seeds very efficiently I may regret planting it there next year.
Maybe I use the area to grow only mints leeks and onions.

My tomatoes and cucumbers have had a modest yield, this I believe is do to insufficient sunlight. They will be rotated to another location next year. I have no complaints on the quality of the tomatoes or other produce that I grew in these beds.
Ultimately, my first permaculture experiment has had mixed results so far. Do to lack of experience and knowledge, it is not in anyway self sustaining yet. However I was able to yield a lot of produce this year from what was only patchy grass and dry soil two years ago. If there is one thing I have enjoyed learning about gardening, its to expect the unexpected.



On Save A Robin Chick

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Sometimes young healthy baby birds are blown out of their nests by weather before. they have learn how to fly.
Typical of most bird species, the parents will continue to feed the youngster until it can be coached back to the nest —
As long as the parental bird feels safe her/him self.
Stranded on the ground, A young chick is exposed to weather, fatigue, and predators.
He can be safely moved to shelter — a make shift nest – elevated from where the neighbourhood cats play.

  • Simply Spot a bush or a shrub nearby where the grounded youngster is located.
  • Shredded newspapers is surprisingly good insulation for a makeshift shelter.
  • Garden gloves are preferred when handling a young chick, for its safety as well as its own.
  • As long as the baby bird and the parents are healthy, The parents will continue to feed, until the refugeed youngster can coached back to the next.

this rescue had a happy ending. After rest and food he returned to his nest in two days.
I ask for nothing in return for my efforts.

Zone Mapping with Gestalt Perspective

I was on my way to a gardening class this weekend, when I got to thinking about “Zone Maps”.
Zone Mapping is a graphical method in permaculture design that is used to organize and compare systems (most often ecosystems, landscaping, sustainable gardens, and conservatory area regeneration,etc).
After intensive observation of a system, One drafts a zone map with concentric circles. The simplest zone map would start with something like this
Zone 0 – basic necessities of people and dwelling areas.
Zone 1 – areas of ecosystem designated as support of basic necessities
Zone 2 – semi-wild. this is areas with lots of edges.. where system meet (i.e Ecotone)
Zone 3 – the wild. untamed or unknown areas or areas not of use.

Zone maps can be applied to more than just landscape or conservatory projects. A designer can use them to graphically map out communities, business models and just about anythings. This is an application to aid the study and comparison of things and concepts as systems.

Which lead me to thinking about the Gestalt perspective, which includes the study and comparison of “wholes
So I experimented with some zone-mapping with Gestalt:


Gestalt Contact Awareness

o basic necessities basic needs
basic responsibilities
1  support of  basic necessities “nourishment”
cultivation of skills
growth, learning
2  semi-wild
interaction of systems
new interpersonal activity
interacting with environment
3 wild
unused or unknown
expulsion  ideas and activity
that is either “toxic” or
“no longer fits”
letting go


This is what a ‘zone map on gestalt perspective’ might look like:

My zone map is a comparison and between: a simplified organization of a ecological design ;
and an organization of developing awareness from Gestalt therapy perspective. Note these are just my conjectures just for zone mapping practice.
I am starting to learn how to use zone maps, so this one is rough… missing a few components.
I hope to post improved experiments later as I learn.

Burke, Balanced Anarchy and the Internet

A segment of James Burke’s TV show “The Day the Universe Changed“.
Here, from the mid 1980’s Burke predicts the Internet. It is a profound importance of the  Internet that it remains a communication medium where no privileged view should dominate, a communication of heterogeneous voices. – a global pluralistic  intersubjective forum that remains defiant of  the tyranny of any one way of thought.

Starting in my earliest teens,  I love science. My father loved History.  Growing up, together  we watched James Burke’s TV shows like Connections and The Day the Universe Changed  — The former a fun look at the history of science; the latter the history of knowledge.  I am still mad I missed meeting James Burke when we gave a lecture at a near by University.  I was in High School at the time of his visit to my hometown.

  • There are and have been, many ways of thinking and problem solving;
  • politics and culture  coerce world-views;
  • no one paradigm fits all circumstances;
  • systems of thought maybe, at times, means of control, and at other times maybe a means of freedom. freedom that leads to gained autonomy.

This I have learned and I credit James Burke, in part, to this education.

In 1992, On a college mate’s   computer , I saw the World wide Web and Internet for the first time.  I was blown away.  I started by playing a video game.  It was  downloaded to my friends Amiga in Pennsylvania from a server in England… in minutes.  Silly, but the potential was obvious.  I think a few young people take the Internet for granted.  To me, It was of the most important developments I ever witnessed.

What has the the Internet has come to be?  a  means of  communicating disinformation as much as it is  communicating “truth”  from any personal perspective.  But that too is  lesson in freedom and intersubjectivity.  An  individual has a choice what to believe or reject, without being told so by authority. An individual must seek out his own means of verification in   a sea of   data, and his own means of deciding what is meaningful, unimportant or outright bullshit.
I still welcome the chatter of many ideas.  I welcome the freedom  of discovery and ignorance without being told what to think.

The Internet is important.
And so is James Burke  :)

Mood definition… a disorderly description, Reposted

Mood definition … A Disorderly Discription by a Bipolar Disorder Manager..”
was origionally posted on 5-10-2009

You wake up one morning.

  • You feel happy,loving, humorous  optimistic.
  • Your confidence and self worth are high.
  • You are motivated.
  • Your body feels healthy and energetic
  • You are  thinking is clear, focused,  positive.
  • You are not concerned witht bad thoughts.
  • Your impulses are strong and up mind/body feel crisp.
  • You  look outside your window and everything appears crisp , bright and colorful.

You are  in a “good mood”or an up mood.

You don’t need all these attributes to be in a “good” or “up” mood, when you wake up. You may be happy and thinking positive, but not feeling energetic…. You might feel very energetic a little confident and optimistic  and not particularly impulsive.
However, these attributes are loosely tied together… or appear commonly together in feelings … and we describe them as “being in a good mood”.
An Up mood.

You wake up one morning,

  • You feel sad, lonely, or pessimistic.
  • Your confidence and self worth low.
  • Your body feels, detached, achy, and slow. Your  thinking is disinterested and unfocused .
  • Your  thoughts are  self defeating..
  • You feel detached.
  • You look outside you window  and everything looks hazy and dull.

You are feeling down or in a down mood.

Just the same as an up mood, not every trait is necessary to “feeling down” or “feeling low”. You may have mildly self defeating thoughts, your body may feel achy and slow, you may feel extremely detached and disinterested…. and may not feel sad at all.
but your mood  is still described as down.

When  your over- all mood is very up… its referred  manicy and when it is really down your mood is depressed.

The word “mood“, much the same as the word “mind” is an abstract description.. It is an organization (or integration) of traits that are otherwise difficult describe. There exists no exact physical or concrete  thing called “mood”.

Even more difficult to describe is a mood disorder diagnosis. a diagnosis, such as “Bipolar disorder , “is made by matching a person’s intrusive traits with criteria in the DSM- IV . A mood disorder is not something you can see with an x-ray such as a spine injury. However, “mood disorder“is description is as real as description as  “mind”… and it is a diagnosis to be taken as serious as any medical diagnosis that is easier to see wit an X-ray or MRI.

For someone  diagnosed with a mood disorder…
These mood traits and the  behaviors linked to them are pushed to further extremes, until they become extremely intrusive in their life.

  • An extreme up mood or “manic mood” for example may lead an individual to have super- high  self esteem in denial of any consequence and lead to reckless behavior.
  • An extreme down mood or “depressed mood”  may have lost all self worth , have intense self defeating thoughts leading them to suicidal behavior.

These is usually a periodic conditions.. but it requires a life time of management.

The exact cause of Bipolar disorder and other mood disorders is not entirely understood yet. Western medicine and scientific evidence strongly supports that  they are biological, in origin.

From a Holistic point of view… we may say that the body, mind, mood, behavior, interaction with people and environment, all are components that act in an integrated fashion as whole of us.
When I, consumer who  manages Bipolar disorder , has these mood traits that are very intrusive at a given time, the mood distortions can throw all  integrated parts of me  off. In periods when this happen  I am described as being “symptomatic“… the symptoms being the intrusions. Each  consumer who manages a mood disorder has a unique  set of symptoms.

Sound complicated? no real concrete definitions?
Defining “Mood, “mood disorder and Bipolar disorder… just a simple component to be integrated with the whole of “Living with Bipolar Disorder”.

There  is  wisdom to be  gained:. Our perception of reality and our perceived personality  are all determined by all the components of us in an integrated fashion.
Just as my choice words to describe “mood”.

Thanks for re-reading my post and thanks if you are reading it for the first time.
please take a look at the list of posts in “Maslows Toolbox” on the left hand column:
a collection of posts and tags that I hope are helpful for mental health – wellness tool building.