Monday, August 30, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Harriett Tubman ...

The embodiment of the spirit of freedom ...

Marcus Aurelius ...

Always have a clear mind that the "grass is not greener" elsewhere ...
And how everything here is the same as on top of a mountain or on the sea shore ... 
Or wherever you will ...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pablo Picasso ...

We all know that Art is not truth ... 
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth ... 
At least the truth that is given us to understand ... 

The artist must know the manner ...
Whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies ...

Phillip Pulfrey ...

Love is no respecter of age or practicality
Neither morality: unabashed
She enters where she will
Unheeding that her immortal fires
Burn up human hearts ...

Jeff Arch ...

When you're attracted to someone ...
It just means that your subconscious is attracted to their subconscious ...
Subconsciously ... 

So what we know as fate ...
Is two neuroses knowing that they're a perfect match ...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ramadan Travelogue No. 2 ... By Abdal-Hakim Murad

First one enters the world, then one understands it, then one transcends it. And herein lies the problem of modern man. Although he is a materialist, he hasn't yet entered the world – his technology ensures that. Instead, he drifts through life in a comfortable centrally-heated dream. 

As Max Frisch wrote: "Technology is the art of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it" ...

In such a culture of diminished consciousness, pain and loss are always experienced as negatives. The moderns can never find a divine name in a groan. For them, privation, of which fasting is a primordial example, contains nothing.

Khosh dar dam is an ancient axiom of our spirituality. Attentiveness in every breath. That is why the Afterlife is Quranically described as 'al-hayawan' – the abode of real life. 

"Today We have removed your covering, so that your vision today is sharp' (50:22) 

In dunya, however, we love to tune out, to drop out, to space out. 
For us naughty children, paying attention is such an effort.

The fast enables a tunnel vision. Distractions and temptations on either side are blanked out, and we gain a focussed sense that we are moving to a destination. The body, with its blind craving, intuits that this is the time when the fast is to be broken. The spirit within is helped to remember that death and the land beyond are even more certain.

When we fast from the trivia of dunya, death becomes our iftar.

Sick Trick Shot ...

A Creative Take On Non-Creationism ...

There is a way to be good again ...

The Kite Runner ... Hasan ...

One time, 
When I was really little ... 
I climbed a tree and ate these green sour apples ... 
My stomach swelled and became hard like a drum, it hurt a lot ... 
Mother said that if I'd just waited for the apples to ripen 
I wouldn't have become sick ... 

So now, whenever I really want something 
I try to remember what she said about the apples ...

The Kite Runner ...

Children aren't coloring books ...
You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors ...

Keith Olbermann Is Brilliant ...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aristotle ...

Anyone can become angry, that is easy ... 
But to be angry with the right person ... 
To the right degree ... 
At the right time ... 
For the right purpose ... 
And in the right way ... 
This is not easy ...

A Lil Sufi Music ...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rumi ...

Watch for all that beauty reflecting from you ...
And sing a love song to your existence ...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thas Some Love Right There ...

The Tears of Gaza Must Be Our Tears ... By Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges made these remarks Thursday night in New York City at a fundraiser for sponsoring a U.S. boat to break the blockade of Gaza. More information can be found at

When I lived in Jerusalem I had a friend who confided in me that as a college student in the United States she attended events like these, wrote up reports and submitted them to the Israel consulate for money. It would be naive to assume this Israeli practice has ended. So, I want first tonight to address that person, or those persons, who may have come to this event for the purpose of reporting on it to the Israeli government.

I would like to remind them that it is they who hide in darkness. It is we who stand in the light. It is they who deceive. It is we who openly proclaim our compassion and demand justice for those who suffer in Gaza. We are not afraid to name our names. We are not afraid to name our beliefs. And we know something you perhaps sense with a kind of dread. As Martin Luther King said, the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice, and that arc is descending with a righteous fury that is thundering down upon the Israeli government.

You may have the bulldozers, planes and helicopters that smash houses to rubble, the commandos who descend from ropes on ships and kill unarmed civilians on the high seas as well as in Gaza, the vast power of the state behind you. We have only our hands and our hearts and our voices. But note this. Note this well. It is you who are afraid of us. We are not afraid of you. We will keep working and praying, keep protesting and denouncing, keep pushing up against your navy and your army, with nothing but our bodies, until we prove that the force of morality and justice is greater than hate and violence. And then, when there is freedom in Gaza, we will forgive ... you. We will ask you to break bread with us. We will bless your children even if you did not find it in your heart to bless the children of those you occupied. And maybe it is this forgiveness, maybe it is the final, insurmountable power of love, which unsettles you the most.

And so tonight, a night when some seek to name names and others seek to hide names, let me do some naming. Let me call things by their proper names. Let me cut through the jargon, the euphemisms we use to mask human suffering and war crimes. “Closures” mean heavily armed soldiers who ring Palestinian ghettos, deny those trapped inside food or basic amenities—including toys, razors, chocolate, fishing rods and musical instruments—and carry out a brutal policy of collective punishment, which is a crime under international law. “Disputed land” means land stolen from the Palestinians. “Clashes” mean, almost always, the killing or wounding of unarmed Palestinians, including children. “Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank” mean fortress-like compounds that serve as military outposts in the campaign of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. “Targeted assassinations” mean extrajudicial murder. “Air strikes on militant bomb-making posts” mean the dropping of huge iron fragmentation bombs from fighter jets on densely crowded neighborhoods that always leaves scores of dead and wounded, whose only contact with a bomb was the one manufactured in the United States and given to the Israeli Air Force as part of our complicity in the occupation. “The peace process” means the cynical, one-way route to the crushing of the Palestinians as a people.

These are some names. There are others. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish in the late afternoon of Jan. 16, 2009, had a pair of Israeli tank shells rip through a bedroom in his Gaza apartment, killing three of his daughters—Bessan, Mayar and Aya—along with a niece, Noor.

“I have the right to feel angry,” says Abuelaish. “But I ask, ‘Is this the right way?’ So many people were expecting me to hate. My answer to them is I shall not hate.”

“Whom to hate?” asks the 55-year-old gynecologist, who was born a Palestinian refugee and raised in poverty. “My Israeli friends? My Israeli colleagues? The Israeli babies I have delivered?”

The Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali wrote this in his poem “Revenge”:

At times ... I wish

I could meet in a duel

the man who killed my father

and razed our home,

expelling me


a narrow country.

And if he killed me,

I’d rest at last,

and if I were ready—

I would take my revenge!


But if it came to light,

when my rival appeared,

that he had a mother

waiting for him,

or a father who’d put

his right hand over

the heart’s place in his chest

whenever his son was late

even by just a quarter-hour

for a meeting they’d set—

then I would not kill him,

even if I could.


Likewise ... I

would not murder him

if it were soon made clear

that he had a brother or sisters

who loved him and constantly longed to see him.

Or if he had a wife to greet him

and children who

couldn’t bear his absence

and whom his gifts would thrill.

Or if he had

friends or companions,

neighbors he knew

or allies from prison

or a hospital room,

or classmates from his school …

asking about him

and sending him regards.


But if he turned

out to be on his own—

cut off like a branch from a tree—

without a mother or father,

with neither a brother nor sister,

wifeless, without a child,

and without kin or neighbors or friends,

colleagues or companions,

then I’d add not a thing to his pain

within that aloneness—

not the torment of death,

and not the sorrow of passing away.

Instead I’d be content

to ignore him when I passed him by

on the street—as I

convinced myself

that paying him no attention

in itself was a kind of revenge.

And if these words are what it means to be a Muslim, and I believe it does, name me too a Muslim, a follower of the prophet, peace be upon him.

The boat to Gaza will be named “The Audacity of Hope.” But these are not Barack Obama’s words. These are the words of my friend the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. They are borrowed words. And Jerry Wright is not afraid to speak the truth, not afraid to tell us to stop confusing God with America. “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands [killed] in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Rev. Wright said. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

Or the words of Edward Said:

Nothing in my view is more reprehensible than those habits of mind in the intellectual that induce avoidance, that characteristic turning away from a difficult and principled position which you know to be the right one, but which you decide not to take. You do not want to appear too political; you are afraid of seeming controversial; you want to keep a reputation for being balanced, objective, moderate; your hope is to be asked back, to consult, to be on a board or prestigious committee, and so to remain within the responsible mainstream; someday you hope to get an honorary degree, a big prize, perhaps even an ambassadorship.

For an intellectual these habits of mind are corrupting par excellence. If anything can denature, neutralize, and finally kill a passionate intellectual life it is the internalization of such habits. Personally I have encountered them in one of the toughest of all contemporary issues, Palestine, where fear of speaking out about one of the greatest injustices in modern history has hobbled, blinkered, muzzled many who know the truth and are in a position to serve it. For despite the abuse and vilification that any outspoken supporter of Palestinian rights and self-determination earns for him or herself, the truth deserves to be spoken, represented by an unafraid and compassionate intellectual.

And some of the last words of Rachel Corrie to her parents:

I’m witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I looked at Capital Lake and said: “This is the wide world and I’m coming to it.” I did not mean that I was coming into a world where I could live a comfortable life and possibly, with no effort at all, exist in complete unawareness of my participation in genocide. More big explosions somewhere in the distance outside. When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I’ve ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.

And if this is what it means to be a Christian, and I believe it does, to speak in the voice of Jeremiah Wright, Edward Said or Rachel Corrie, to remember and take upon us the pain and injustice of others, then name me a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ.

And what of the long line of Jewish prophets that run from Jeremiah, Isaiah and Amos to Hannah Arendt, who reminded the world when the state of Israel was founded that the injustice meted out to the Jews could not be rectified by an injustice meted out to the Palestinians, what of our own prophets, Noam Chomsky or Norman Finkelstein, outcasts like all prophets, what of Uri Avnery or the Israeli poet Aharon Shabtai, who writes in his poem “Rypin,” the Polish town his father escaped from during the Holocaust, these words:

These creatures in helmets and khakis,

I say to myself, aren’t Jews,

In the truest sense of the word. A Jew

Doesn’t dress himself up with weapons like jewelry,

Doesn’t believe in the barrel of a gun aimed at a target,

But in the thumb of the child who was shot at—

In the house through which he comes and goes,

Not in the charge that blows it apart.

The coarse soul and iron first

He scorns by nature.

He lifts his eyes not to the officer, or the soldier

With his finger on the trigger—but to justice,

And he cries out for compassion.

Therefore, he won’t steal land from its people

And will not starve them in camps.

The voice calling for expulsion

Is heard from the hoarse throat of the oppressor—

A sure sign that the Jew has entered a foreign country

And, like Umberto Saba, gone into hiding within his own city.

Because of voices like these, father

At age sixteen, with your family, you fled Rypin;

Now here Rypin is your son.

And if to be Jew means this, and I believe it does, name me a Jew. Name us all Muslims and Christians and Jews. Name us as human beings who believe that when one of us suffers all of us suffer, that we never have to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for us all, that the tears of the mother in Gaza are our tears, that the wails of the bloodied children in Al Shifa Hospital are the wails of our own children.

Let me close tonight with one last name. Let me name those who send these tanks and fighter jets to bomb the concrete hovels in Gaza with families crouching, helpless, inside, let me name those who deny children the right to a childhood and the sick a right to care, those who torture, those who carry out assassinations in hotel rooms in Dubai and on the streets of Gaza City, those who deny the hungry food, the oppressed justice and foul the truth with official propaganda and state lies. Let me call them, not by their honorific titles and positions of power, but by the name they have earned for themselves by draining the blood of the innocent into the sands of Gaza. Let me name them for who they are: terrorists.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Robin Sharma ...

The 73 Best Lessons I've Learned for Leadership Success in Business and Life

1.You can really Lead Without a Title.

2.Knowing what to do and not doing it is the same as not knowing what to do.

3.Give away what you most wish to receive.

4.The antidote to stagnation is innovation.

5.The conversations you are most resisting are the conversations you most need to be having.

6.Leadership is no longer about position - but passion. It's no longer about image but impact. This is Leadership 2.0.

7.The bigger the dream, the more important to the team.

8.Visionaries see the "impossible" as the inevitable.

9.All great thinkers are initially ridiculed - and eventually revered.

10.The more you worry about being applauded by others and making money, the less you'll focus on doing the great work that will generate applause. And make you money.

11.To double your net worth, double your self-worth. Because you will never exceed the height of your self-image.

12.The more messes you allow into your life, the more messes will become a normal (and acceptable) part of your life.

13.The secret to genius is not genetics but daily practice married with relentless perseverance.

14.The best leaders lift people up versus tear people down.

15.The most precious resource for businesspeople is not their time. It's their energy. Manage it well.

16.The fears you run from run to you.

17.The most dangerous place is in your safety zone.

18.The more you go to your limits, the more your limits will expand.

19.Every moment in front of a customer is a gorgeous opportunity to live your values.

20.Be so good at what you do that no one else in the world can do what you do.

21.You'll never go wrong in doing what is right.

22.It generally takes about 10 years to become an overnight sensation.

23.Never leave the site of a strong idea without doing something to execute around it.

24.A strong foundation at home sets you up for a strong foundation at work.

25.Never miss a moment to encourage someone you work with.

26.Saying "I'll try" really means "I'm not really committed."

27.The secret of passion is purpose.

28.Do a few things at mastery versus many things at mediocrity.

29.To have the rewards that very few have, do the things that very few people are willing to do.

30.Go where no one's gone and leave a trail of excellence behind you.

31.Who you are becoming is more important than what you are accumulating.

32.Accept your teammates for what they are and inspire them to become all they can be.

33.To triple the growth of your organization, triple the growth of your people.

34.The best leaders are the most dedicated learners. Read great books daily. Investing in your self-development is the best investment you will ever make.

35.Other people's opinions of you are none of your business.

36.Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and best at the end.

37.Measure your success by your inner scorecard versus an outer one.

38.Understand the acute difference between the cost of something and the value of something.

39.Nothing fails like success. Because when you are at the top, it's so easy to stop doing the very things that brought you to the top.

40.The best leaders blend courage with compassion.

41.The less you are like others, the less others will like you.

42.You'll never go wrong in doing what's right.

43.Excellence in one area is the beginning of excellence in every area.

44.The real reward for doing your best work is not the money you make but the leader you become.

45.Passion + production = performance.

46.The value of getting to your goals lives not in reaching the goal but what the talents/strengths/capabilities the journey reveals to you.

47.Stand for something. Or else you'll fall for anything.

48.Say "thank you" when you're grateful and "sorry" when you're wrong.

49.Make the work you are doing today better than the work you did yesterday.

50.Small daily - seemingly insignificant - improvements and innovations lead to staggering achievements over time.

51.Peak performers replace depletion with inspiration on a daily basis.

52.Take care of your relationships and the sales/money will take care of itself.

53.You can't be great if you don't feel great. Make exceptional health your #1 priority.

54.Doing the difficult things that you've never done awakens the talents you never knew you had.

55.As we each express our natural genius, we all elevate our world.

56.Your daily schedule reflects your deepest values.

57.People do business with people who make them feel special.

58.All things being equal, the primary competitive advantage of your business will be your ability to grow Leaders Without Titles faster than your industry peers.

59.Treat people well on your way up and they'll treat you well on your way down.
60.Success lies in a masterful consistency around a few fundamentals. It really is simple. Not easy. But simple.

61.The business (and person) who tries to be everything to everyone ends up being nothing to anyone.

62.One of the primary tactics for enduring winning is daily learning.

63.To have everything you want, help as many people as you can possibly find get everything they want.

64.Understand that a problem is only a problem if you choose to view it as a problem (vs. an opportunity).

65.Clarity precedes mastery. Craft clear and precise plans/goals/deliverables. And then block out all else.

66.The best in business spend far more time on learning than in leisure.

67.Lucky is where skill meets persistence.

68.The best Leaders Without a Title use their heads and listen to their hearts.

69.The things that are hardest to do are often the things that are the best to do.

70.Every single person in the world could be a genius at something, if they practiced it daily for at least ten years (as confirmed by the research of Anders Ericsson and others).

71.Daily exercise is an insurance policy against future illness. The best Leaders Without Titles are the fittest.

72.Education is the beginning of transformation. Dedicate yourself to daily learning via books/audios/seminars and coaching.

73.The quickest way to grow the sales of your business is to grow your people.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010