The Beauty Of Nothingness
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. I was taking the time to think upon my Education degree. As much as I love the classroom and the students, I knew from my 1st year that I would be paved towards research. Educators are doing their best with the resources that they have day - in, and day - out. I noticed flaws, I noticed structures, I noticed thought processes. I felt that there was more to explore.
From the perspective of a Mother / Student I have to say that I am absolutely grateful, and delighted that I decided upon the Bachelor Of Education program. This degree has allowed me to know, and learn subject matter, curriculum expectations etc. It has also helped me to navigate a system for the betterment of my own children's education. I was able to make informed choices, and share knowledge. This is what I have loved the most. To be able to converse and share my learning, As we were talking, daughter asked me a question. She wanted to understand the Ego. What it was, the idea of being humble. Here I share a tiny response to her thoughts:
"When we say to the self 'you are humble' we are still affirming our ego. We are still causing the ego to believe that it is some thing. This is why we must dissolve the ego, and the self into a state of nothingness. When we our self can say 'we are nothing' we can fully experience the self". Of course you are wondering and saying, "I don't want to be nothing, I want to be some thing." Let me provide an example of my thoughts:
When we have attained a certain amount of some thing. A certificate, a medal, wealth, or education. We must be able to hold all of our attainments and still be at a level when we can remain in a state of nothingness, It is easy to let pride (ego) get in the way, when we have attained a thing.
If a person has a certain amount of wealth, or education, (there are many examples that can be thought of here) it is easy to become angered, or uptight when someone is talking to another, or argumentative. He / she will say "she does not know what she is talking about because I have more knowledge. Or I have more money (status) that him / her. It is easy to get lost in any kind of accumulation. To further understand my thoughts I have provided the following visual.
If we can still hold on to our accumulations and remain in a state of nothingness, and carry the self in this way we can truly be much more loving and caring to the self and to all walks of life. We can share what we have in terms of accumulations with the less fortunate, and still remain open to learning with those that differ, and add to our own thoughts. This is the beauty of the state of nothingness. When we become nothing, we really become everything.
"If you suffer it is because of you, if you feel blissful it is because of you. Nobody else is responsible -
only you and you alone.
You are your hell and your heaven too."
Chandra Mohan Jain
"When you love, you have to become nobody. If you remain somebody then love never happens."
Chandra Mohan Jain
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to all beings and to the pregnant homeless woman who I met during one of my walks. I hope that you will listen to my words and seek help. You deserve better. My thoughts to share with love and kindness.
Notes: There thoughts were originally hand written on August 26th and August 28th 2016.
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As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. The truth is when I first started blogging (sharing thoughts), it was simply a mechanism to get my thoughts out. I always write. So I thought why not share through a website. But there was also another reason for writing. During my practicum placements within the High School setting, I observed that teachers were often reluctant to share. There was a sense of "I don't want to share my ideas because I want the best ideas". On the flip side there were teachers who were more than willing to share. I thought about my experiences and realized that there was an invisible sense of power at play. Maybe it was because I was a teacher candidate? I think that in this type of scenario where there are teachers and teacher candidates within a school, teachers who are working for a school board must recognize teacher candidates as co-workers, and partners in learning. Teacher candidates are putting in the same hours, and efforts to support students in learning.
This is why I started my first blog, to share my learning and ideas. A resource based web - site. I later created Our Community Of Learning as well. This website was created for the students. They would have access to the work, information, and learning materials. It also served as a purpose for showcasing student work. I did not have a set classroom, this was a an avenue to display work. Students enjoyed seeing their work on the website.
As I continue to progress through my studies and journey of life learning. I think about my on - line presence. Many educators use this space as a tool for net - working and fostering global connections. Often educators are working beyond hours that they should to find new idea, or improve classroom learning, as well as sharing their own ideas. Although I did try Educator chats when I first started on twitter, I found that my brain had more ideas than it could handle. I was going through brain overload. So I decided to keep within the quiet space of listening, writing to share and learn.
On a deeper level I think that knowledge of the Social Sciences is very powerful. Extremely. I have always equated this knowledge to that of the sacred texts. It is to be treated with respect, and also shared in a way that is beneficial and positive. The human mind / brain is powerful. What we put in, is what we get out. The information we take in, shapes thoughts. What we potentially communicate via an on - line platform can be mis - communicated and send opposing messages. Communication is not happening at a holistic level, because there is no face to face engagement. Although web connections can become face to face connections as well.
At a much more deeper level, the discussion of knowledge of the mind / brain there is more to consider. As scientists begin to learn more about the brain, how it learns and progresses etc. There is the issue of ethics, and morality with the use of how knowledge is used and communicated. Knowledge should be handled in a way that is ethical and used safely.
As educators, students, learners, or any individual who possesses the knowledge of the social sciences, we have to recognize that this knowledge becomes our tool. We must use this to further progressions. However, we have to always carry out endeavors that feel safe, where learning environments are healthy, for teaching and learning. These thoughts could be applied to any organizational culture.
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to all beings. Sometimes miscommunication happens, mistakes happen. It just simply shows we are human, Living and learning. Everyone matters. My thoughts to share, with love and kindness. :)
Notes: Originally hand written on August 22nd 2016.
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Dare To Dream - Shazi :)
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. The truth is that as the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 continue. I have to say I am left in awe. Sometimes speechless, stunned, and absolutely shocked. We are seeing record's that have been broken, and new records that have been set.
I once again have to say I am left in awe. Watching and learning from all of the inspiring stories. I wanted to take the time to reflect upon Simone Biles. As the world in introduced to this athlete, we witness a talented artistic gymnast. I wanted to connect her example to my previous thoughts. In these thoughts I discussed my views upon the topic of Abortion. I also mentioned foster care and adoption. Although I did say that there are social and emotional factors that arrive with these, as they do. The example and the fact that our Simone Biles is an adopted child, and that she was able to attain such grace, skill, and probably overcome the challenges, simply shows the success of adoptive cases. This is the positive, her story will surely inspire many. However, I think that it is very sad on the part of the media who would have to dive into her personal history for the sake of publicity. Yes she is a champ however, she is also a young adult who deserves to win without having to defend her personal self at the global scale.
This success is meaningful and inspiring not just at the athletic level, but also at the level of thinking about the idea that every child matters. No matter where you come from, or how you arrived into this world. Every child matters.
These thoughts can also be extended when we think about Simone Manuel. She is the first African American woman to win a Gold Medal in the Women's 100 meter Freestyle, as well as a Silver Medal in 4 X 100 meter women's freestyle relay. Her win is not just a simple win. It is a historic inspiring win, that breaks the grounds of the invisible racial stereotypes suggesting that swimming is a "white" persons sport. She has shown to the world that a skin colour should never define who you are as a human being, and what you can give, and offer to this world. Everyone has the potential, the desire to dream, and to be.
As we continue to hear of these medals. The Olympic games are showing the world that unity, love, and peace are possible. We can all stand together, regardless of the constructions of "race", or religious belief. There is the possibility of unity. This is exemplified through a medal podium, when Simone Biles, a Christian, Ally Raisman, of the Jewish faith and Aliyah Mustafina a Russian Muslim, who stood together to accept their medals for their countries. If we can stand together on a podium, together united can our leaders use this example to inspire them, to see that we and the generations that will arrive want to live in a peaceful world, where the historic battles should be put to an end? How long will the fighting continue? What is fighting trying to prove? Have you not proved and hurt the world enough, through these battles of proving one religion is better than another? Or a "race" is better than another?
We have also seen and witnessed absolutely beautiful examples of unity through Team USA. Displaying love and care for each other, standing and supporting each other. These examples are true inspirations, showing us that we as a human "race" can do better. We can do better, to love and heal one another at the global level.
Dare To Dream :)
Simone Biles: The World's best Gymnast - The New York Times
Golden Reaction: What Simone Manuel's Historic Moment Looked Like. - The New York Times
Olympic Woman's All - Around Champions: A Christian, A Jew, And A Muslim - The Times Of Israel
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to all the athletes in this post, your stories are truly inspiring. Thy are also dedicated to all the athletes and support systems who help to shape and make these dreams come true. You are all so loved. My thoughts to share with love & kindness :)
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and within this form, is the priceless form.
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. The truth is I was having a conversation with daughter. This was before the summer holidays. She talked about a group of protestors, that were independent from her school. They were protesting against abortion. She asked me what I thought about abortion.
My response, in a simple few words, I don't agree. I believe that once there is a known pregnancy this should be considered a life form. I am in favor of life, and believe that even if there was a deformity found in the Ultrasounds these unborn / new born, should be supported. If there are monies available to finance roads, buildings, or if there are government expenditure's that are not directly related to the investment of people, then ultimately there must be enough money to care for babies who are born with a virus, or illness. All life matters.
I think that there maybe some readers who will find my opinion a little extreme, but I think that our human life experience can shape our opinions. To watch someone deliver a full - term baby knowing the baby is dead upon delivery. To hold this baby in my arm. To hear the cries of mis-carriages, and know those who are not able to conceive. These experiences have truly shaped my thoughts about this topic. Whilst there maybe technologies such as In - vitro Fertilization (IVF) or other reproductive technologies. The success rates are not always 100%. There are free treatments available but these are not effective as those that are paid for privately. Just by reading this we can understand that even to give life to a baby successfully through alternative solutions and technologies is very expensive. There are other ways such as fostering and adoption as well. All of which can be very rewarding and fulfilling. These arrive with the cost of waiting, as well as social and emotional factors.
At the end of the conversation I concluded in saying that if a person does find out she is pregnant and then decides to abort a life, we must be mindful of those who really want to have a baby but cannot. It just seems so ironic to me. These thoughts can also be related to that of assisted suicide. In the news we hear about endless deaths of teenagers or youth. Families have been hurt by these tragedies and losses. Yet, we decide to put people to death. Maybe there are elements of suffering to consider, but what about morals and ethics. Is this killing ethical? What about if we were to think about these issues through a theological sense? Can we as humans put the decision of life and death in the hands of humans? Should doctors be given the power to abort knowing there is life? Or to kill knowing there is still a heart beat? To me it seems non - sensical.
Life is precious
Life is a gift
There is mystery in this giving of life
There is also mystery in a life fulfilled death.
We all have to go through the milestones of life and death. However to put this power in the hands of human beings does not make sense. It de-values the human form. The priceless human form.
But what about teenage pregnancies?
For this question we can think about education and contraceptives. These preventative methods need to be known. There is no excuse in this day and age not to be informed of the consequence of unprotected sex. Prevention is always better.
So is life.
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to the baby that was infected by the Zika virus in Harris County, Texas today. When there are known preventative methods, it makes no sense why these prevention's are not being funded. My thoughts to share with love & kindness.
Notes - These thoughts were originally hand - written on August 9th 2016.
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It was a time of distress as we learned about the Coup in Turkey. Days before daughter walked the bridge that was bombed. She also visited the airport where the suicide attack took place. This time really took a toll and impacted me from the perspective of a mother. It taught me the terror that the people lived with and the fear of loosing loved ones as a day to day normality. I share these following images as a mechanism to be grateful for her. And grateful to hear her stories of travels. I was moved when she told me she gave all her spending money to Syrian Refugees in Turkey who were children. Thank you for taking your niece and grand - daughter to Turkey, we will never forget. My thoughts to share with love & kindness :)
The following song was created as a marker of the Turkish and Pakistani friendship.
Olympian - Mother Earth
and then with these eyes simple awakened, she dives into the depths of the night for a moment. The truth is I wanted to take the time to think and reflect about the 2106 Rio Olympic Games. Watching the Olympic games in The UK whilst growing up was always a tradition. The games would always stay on for most of the day, even when we were busy, we would still take the time to watch. I remember the magical moment when Micheal Johnson won the 200 meter and the 400 meter sprint (running) in the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta. I clearly remember watching this with family. It was such a lovely time.
Fast forward - As nations gather together for the Rio 2016 Olympic games. Watching the opening ceremony was both a time of happiness, but also sadness missing and remembering time with family members. The opening ceremony was full of vibrant colors, music, arts, and a sea of colorful athletes. Watching them carrying flags was a time of honor and pride. I think that just to make it to these Olympic games is an achievement in itself. It takes hard work, dedication, commitment and determination for any achievement. However, what sparks me the most about these athletes is their tremendous sense of overcoming of obstacles. Whether these are health or personally related. The fact that they battled to pursue their goal is a tremendous accomplishment. And the cream of the crop is to actually win a medal, along with the experience of a lifetime. This is truly life changing.
As the ceremonies took place I became interested specifically in the educative aspects of climate change. This was different to previous ceremonies as it contained a specific message to viewers offering facts about the climate. Including topics of pollution, green house gases, global warming, heat waves etc. I found this interesting because, yes we do see these effects through the rising of sea level or the melting of Ice caps. We see this, but what is the causation? As consumers, or individuals we should do our part to take care of the environment. This is true. Everyone should do their share. This could be through recycling, composting, or purchasing sprays that are not damaging the ozone layer. We can all do our share. However, the level each individual will contribute is dependent on their knowledge of these practices, as well as a countries progress.
As I begin to extend my thoughts, I ask can we put a blame on the consumer, or an individual? We must expand our thinking at the level of economic progress or Government structures. Can we have economic progress without impinging the environment. For example: If there was a plan to build a road in the middle of a forest, to access natural resources for importing and exporting industry. Who is deciding about the development of the road? This could be a company who has put forth a plan to Government officials or even a Government making a decision. Throughout history, and to this day we have put a focus upon the growth of the economies, but have not taken the time to really understand the impacts upon the environments. We cannot predict when there will be a shift because of a Carbon Dioxide overload or other harmful chemicals. These are being released at the micro and macro levels. Even if humans were to stop all of these emissions now, these effects and damage to the Ozone layer would continue because these substances are already emitted into the air. So the question is, if these substances are continuously being emitted what should we do?
As we are reminded at the individual level we have these tools available to do our small part. However, at the level of economic growth, should this be the model? We may decide to ask should economic growth continue to be the pre - dominant model, or the highest purpose of human civilization? Although there is progress where industries are recognizing the need to consider, and help Mother earth. We can still ask the question, should this be the way to move forward? If we are asking this of the consumer and the producers. Then we should also take this a step further, at the level of political structure. Governments and political structure continuously use wars, bombings, killings, and firings as solutions to conflicts. How are these contributing to the health of our planet? How are their solutions contributing to air pollutants, and damage to the ozone layer? We only have one planet, only one Earth. As we strive to attain our goals and desires to overcome our personal, social, and emotional battles this topic must be considered at a much more broader level.
As the Olympic games seek and strive to send messages of unity through sportsman / women ship, through music, arts, and sports. We can extend this theme: How can this unity be extended beyond the Olympic games? How can the larger constructs seek solutions other than war pollutants to gain peace, and unity nation to nation?
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to all of the Olympic Athletes. Your stories are truly inspiring. Each and everyone of you are all winners! Unity. My thoughts to share with love & kindness.
These thoughts were originally hand - written August 8th, 2016.
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Be The Hope You Wish To See. Shazi :)
With her eyes awakened, she drifts to a land to simply reflect. To simply take the time to think. The truth is the other day I was walking and as usual along these walks, I saw the same woman sitting on the pavement asking for money. Holding the sign: "Please help, I am homeless". I reached out to hand her whatever I could, but this time I was frustrated. I was upset because I know that this woman could be helped and possibly get off the streets. I decided to have a conversation with her.
After talking with her, I offered her hope and told her about the services that she could access to help her. She smiled and said she would. I know that maybe she will or maybe she wont, because the truth is that poverty does not only affect at the financial level. It affects at the physical and psychological level as well. Metaphorically speaking, the people become at "poverty" in their own thought state. A state of nothingness, even hopelessness. Sometimes it could be a small word of encouragement, or simply starting a conversation to make the person feel once again that their existence matters. This acts as a mechanism for hope.
In the same sense I remember volunteering for a men's homeless shelter. I wanted to have the experience to see what it was like for males who were experiencing homelessness. The truth is that I was left in a state of shock. This experience has left a memory that often shapes my thoughts. After I had questioned the male's in this shelter, often there would be a few that would start to talk about their circumstance. I could see tears in their eyes. As they spoke I could not do anything but to listen and respond with a kind word. Simply to remain professional and recognized boundaries.
This experience revealed to me that as a society, we sometimes forget that men are also vulnerable beings. We discuss women's rights and how girls education should be emphasized. It is true it should be, there is no negation of this point, but I am thinking that in doing so we have somehow forgotten that men's rights, as well as the rights of adolescent boys need to be brought back into focus as well. The high school drop out rate for males in the USA was 12.3% to 7.1 % between 1990 - 2014 with the girls rate of 11. 8 % to 9.9%. The girls rate of drop out then further decreased another 5.9%, leaving the final drop out rate for girls in 2014 to 4%. This is a stark contrast to the boys rate of 7.1%. (Statistics from U.S. Department Of Education). These statistics show that while there may be other factors that do impact the results, we can think about the emphasis that is being placed on girls education. It is really making a positive difference. This should also influence the need to place an emphasis on empowering boys, / adolescent boys to acquire an education or stay in school.
As a society the women as being vulnerable stereotype is very well - known. We also have to remember that males / boys can also be vulnerable beings. Sometimes it is OK to let down a guard and say we need help, or a friendly ear, it is OK to do so. If boys were encouraged to open - up and talk with others such as parents, educators, mentors, or someone who they feel they can talk with. Maybe they could receive support, and interventions early so that they would stay in school and prevent them from falling through the cracks.
Thoughts to ponder
We have already recognized the rights of women and males. Without placing emphasis on ones rights above the others. It is time to recognize and realize that these rights were discovered with hard work and courage from our predecessors. These are recognized so that we as a society can begin to heal back into wholeness. Meaning that everyone needs to work together, whether they are male or female.
You can't just leave out some rights above another rights, because it is the "in" thing. The girls will be the mothers, or whatever they choose to be of tomorrow. The boys will be the fathers, or whatever they choose to be of tomorrow. It only makes sense to place an emphasis on everyone's education, dreams, desires, and goals.
Why should we want to see another woman / girl homeless or on the streets? Why should we want to see another man / boy homeless or on the streets?
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to the homeless, it breaks my heart to see you there in this century, in this civilization. These thoughts are also dedicated to our son. I advocated and made sure you get you through. I am grateful, humbled, and feel very honored to see you graduate this fall. My thoughts to share with love & kindness. :)
These thoughts were originally hand -written August 1st 2016.
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Our thoughts, to invite and inspire. With Love & kindness. :)