07 October 2008

economic downturn? yoga can help

What does yoga have to do with money? Two ethical precepts of yoga are do no harm and tell the truth. Both of these come in handy when considering our relationship with money and a consumer-based economy. There's a highly insightful article from Yoga Journal that teaches us how we can apply these and other yogic principles to our financial habits.

A little taste:

Few Americans celebrate the devastation of individual lives, families, and local communities that occurs every time a corporation orders a mass layoff to bump up its stock price. But that didn't stop us from cheering as our 401Ks swelled fabulously in the late 1990s—helped in part, yes, by layoffs. Given a simple choice on a ballot, most people would vote against polluted water, sweatshop labor, and global warming. But all three problems enjoy landslide victories every day at the checkout stand in the form of non-organic food, cheap clothing, leaf blowers, and other ethically questionable but popular products.

Almost everyone, it seems, gets a little crazy about money. Even the wealthy sweat about having enough, notes Brent Kessel, a certified financial planner and president of Abacus Wealth Management, Inc., in Pacific Palisades, California. For instance, some of his richest clients worry that the next market plunge will take their pricey lifestyle down with it, he says. And that's exactly why Kessel, a longtime student of Ashtanga Yoga whose financial counseling is influenced by the Yoga Sutra, thinks money is an underrated spiritual tool. "It can become a bell of awakening in your spiritual practice just by watching how you react to it," he says. "Where am I holding tension in my body as I do this transaction, pay bills, watch my portfolio increasing or decreasing? All of these are just opportunities to be conscious. I think that's my primary passion in my work—to use it that way."

"...We can never be perfect. I'll never know exactly how everything I'm consuming affects everyone along the chain, but I'll do the best I can, without becoming neurotic, to decrease the impact I have on others through consumption."

Topics covered:
• Earning ethically
• Living lightly
• Voting with your dollars
• Investing from the heart
• Giving effectively
• Living in balance

Read the rest.

Read the Yoga Sutras.

carl pope and t. boone

Sierra Club Executive Director, Carl Pope, is urging you to join him tonight after the debate for an energy independence e-rally in support of the Pickens Plan. While we all might not agree with Mr. Pickens' politics and past tactics, his progressive energy plan does deserve some attention.

Join the rally here.

On January 20th, 2009, a new President will take office. We’re organizing behind the Pickens Plan now to ensure our voices will be heard by the next administration. Together we can raise a call for change and set a new course for America’s energy future in the first hundred days of the new presidency — breaking the hammerlock of foreign oil and building a new domestic energy future for America with a focus on sustainability.

You can start changing America's future today by supporting the Pickens Plan. Join now.

happy re-birthday prospect park zoo!

Prospect Park Zoo is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, but its history is pretty rich. It started as a menagerie in the late 1800s, housing various animals, probably not in the most humane way.

[Image: Prospect Park, Menagerie c.1900]

In 1935, following the Central Park Zoo's example, it reopened as a zoo.

Sadly, the Prospect Park Zoo closed in 1987 after a tragic incident.

The zoo reopened in 1993 under the management of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and has been thriving ever since. I'm lucky enough to have the zoo right in my backyard (well, close enough).

So the zoo is celebrating their birthday in some unique ways. Like giving presents to baboons. Maybe it's a bit ridiculous to give baboons gifts, but they seem mildly entertained. (This video is from last year, but the same shenanigans went on this year for the zoo's birthday.)

Read more about the 15th birthday here.

Visit the Prospect Park Zoo.

Become a member of the WCS and enjoy access to all of the city's zoos and aquarium, and more!

silly fun: are you id, ego, or superego?

I'm getting distracted by silly things online. I just found this quiz and thought it would be amusing. Surprise, surprise, I'm superego.

You Are the Superego

While some people may think first and act later... you often don't act at all.

You rather be safe than sorry, and you take ethics pretty seriously.

Like everyone, you have some pretty crazy desires. But unlike everyone, you restrain yourself.

You have high standards for your own behavior. And you happily exceed them.

plastic chicken inspiration

It resembles one of those cheap plastic Hawaiian leis that are handed out by DJs at Bar Mitzvahs and children's birthday parties. But really, what inspired designer Ryan Frank to make this recycled plastic chair was "Inkuku" here:

Read more at Gizmodo.

bloggers, participate!

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.