Welcome to my "Kira's Blog"!
I thought that this would be an easy and helpful way of staying in more contact. I get so many emails I don't get to answer them all, or take so long in answering some people wonder if I am still getting their emails! So I thought I could share bits and pieces of interest here, post them as they come along into my life.
International Peace Day, September 21st, 2013
The motto for this year’s International Peace Day is: “Who will you make Peace with?” I take this as an invitation to each of us to be active in the peace building process.
I consider that Peace as something that we all can, and do, contribute to … even when we don’t think we do! How and where we put our attention supports either peace or disharmony and conflict. It may be obvious to consider Peace when contemplating the Syria situation or what has been unfolding in Egypt or many other global conflict zones. Yet, when we consider our everyday life we may also find conflicts – with colleagues, family, partners or even with strangers! Plus, if we look within it is most likely that we will find inner conflict, the inner judge or critic arguing against other aspects of ourselves.
Let us all consider, contemplate and explore "Who can I am make peace with?"
It may create a wider contribution than we realize! In recent scientific studies compassion, and self-compassion, create well-being and happiness. If you wish to find out more about compassion, the benefits of it, the science of it, and how to train it, here is a comprehensive multimedia e-book (free!)created by Dr. Tania Singer, a dear friend and leading scientist in the field of compassion. You may find it helpful in your exploration. www.compassion-training.org <http://www.compassion-training.org/>
On the 21st September I will be joining with others here in Berlin for a silent meditation followed by music and dance to celebrate. Celebration can be helpful. When we allow our enjoyment, gratitude and aliveness it can help us to see our own and others conflicts with more compassion. If you wish to join us, here's the info:
Or perhaps create your own event? This link is to an organization that is dedicated to bringing attention to Peace and being an advocate of World Peace. They are collaborating and collating events to benefit Peace throughout the world, as well as providing inspiring dialog about Peace: http://peaceoneday.org/
Ah … and I wish to finish off with two of my most favourite heart-touching songs of all time on the topic of Peace by John Lennon …
Paci - hasiti - Peace – Frieden – صلح – Paix – shanti - Vrede
Sustainable Banking: it does make a positive difference!
Some 'good news' on value-based banking, contributing to healthy,
sustainable, transparent banking.
Recently I had the pleasure to participate in a conference of the Global Alliance of Sustainable Banks. (http://www.gabv.org)
An uplifting and stimulating experience, it was simply lovely to meet the CEOs of the banks that I bank with (GLS bank in Germany, Bank MECU in Australia, Triodos bank in England) and to have real conversations with them. It was inspiring to hear about innovations the different banks around the world are creating and participating in.
Throughout, it was heart-touching for me to experience the people involved and working within these institutions - putting people first rather than profits. The missions of the banks, although individually varied, all essentially aspire to be community oriented - to provide banking services that support banking members, individuals and businesses and the wider community – and to do so in a way that is sustainable, with awareness of the environment. Any financial profits generated are redistributed back into the banking structure in the form of lower fees, reduced loan rates, and start-up incentives for community-oriented endeavours.
The keynote speakers at the conference gave enlightening talks to broaden views and discussions about how can we be a part of healthy changes in our economy as individuals, businesses and banks. The discussions in-between and the various afternoon workshop panel discussions were stimulating and provided an opportunity to participate more directly with speakers and other participants.
Here are links to some of the keynote speakers and their talks at the conference:
Dr. Tomáš Sedláček: From Economics to Humanomics
Dr. Wendy Luhabe - Drivers of Change
For my German friends, here is a short 'highlights' video of the conference:
For my Aussie friends, a short summary from Damien Walsh, the CEO of Bank MECU, about the Berlin conference. During the conference I had the pleasure to have some exchanges with Damien about Australian banking and it made me even more secure and happy to be banking with Bank MECU!
(The next global alliance of sustainable banking conference will be in Australia in 2014.)
If you are curious or require any further encouragement or perhaps have questions about changing over your banking to healthy banks then this report can be helpful:
My personal passion and interest in sustainable banking practices leads me to write now and again on this theme. ;-)
Here is a link from a previous blog about this: http://www.kirakay.com/newsite/kira-s-blog/80-on-the-occupy-wall-street-protests
I am quite sure I will be continuing to communicate further on this theme of healthy banking! In the meantime I trust that you may feel inspired by my sharing here and look a bit more close!
Happy banking! Kira
Nepal Gifts Me Open Doors To Compassion
Being in Nepal I am consistently deepened and nourished in my spiritual path. My times here are often an eclectic mix of differing experiences, combining the visits to the many projects I am involved with, quiet time on my own, immersion into writings of various spiritual masters, meditative and contemplative time and of course the continuous reflection of 'who am I' in amongst all of it! The deeply spiritual vibe of the country and culture make it easy to have this deepening, plus the circumstances of the practical life frequently bring me back to look at what is truly essential.
As I write this blog entry I am sitting on my bed in our Annapurna Self-Sustaining Children Home ... it is the afternoon, the children are currently watching Bollywood on the TV (it's the first real day of school holidays and the electricity has coincided with movie time!) We have had several richly filled days and a wide range of experiences, inclusive of being with a grandfather who died last night, school exams and results given at school, making toffee and getting all sticky fingers (25 sets of them!), discussions and plans about our longer-term vision.
Being an intrinsic part of this community's co-creating has given me so much. When we started this project of our self-sustaining Annapurna Children Home eight years ago I did not imagine the intensive effect that this project would have on my life – the openings, the heart connections and deepening in truth and spirituality. I have come to realise that the path of service, of giving ... of myself, my time, my money, my inspiration, my heart - has rewards that are priceless. I gain far far more than I could ever give. It has opened within me a deepening of knowledge that has always been there, yet as I have allowed myself to follow the actions my heart dictates, it has led me to depths of understanding/experiencing of myself, of life and truth that are fresh, and wonderfully nourishing.
I have come to understand what compassion means and its natural impact of healing, opening and the power of simple presence. I continue to learn about letting go, and allowing myself to relax into the flow of life, to not have to 'know', to not have to 'do' ... to allow the magic and power of life to carry me into action or stillness as is needed. This is not a passive state ... truly I have been on, and continue on, a path of active self-reflection and contemplation, practicing to gently 'listen' to what is truth and what is simply my own monkey mind and conditioned thoughts/beliefs.
As each year passes I notice that I am experiencing a deeper sense of peace, no matter what is happening on the outside ...ahh so this is happening now, ahh so now this is happening ... Nepal is a wonderful place to have such practice as life is much less routine, more often the movement and chaos brings exactly what one needs to see oneself and life at another level or perspective. I feel deeply gifted by the time and experiences and the heartfelt people I have met, many whom now feel as if they are sisters and brothers to me. Having gained so much from my experiences in Nepal, and whilst sitting in the peaceful mountains this visit, I felt inspired to open the door for others to join me here in Nepal – November 2013 will be the first mediation retreat that I will offer in Nepal – come join with me for a potentially life-changing experience! I will announce details soon ...
With heartfelt love and peace ... Kira
SMILES – a young leaders initiative in Nepal
Here is a short video of one of the young men that I help mentor here in Nepal. Santosh Poudel and his team 'SMILES', have initiated their own project to help rural villages in Nepal. Their project has provided a computer room at the local school, powering it with solar energy which also provides solar lighting for the school, plus they have built public toilets which is helping to bring awareness of sanitation. They involve the whole community in both the decision making and the building process and inspire the children into education too! It's Great work that they are doing!
The reason for the video is Santosh Poudel & Sibjan Chaulagain have won an award, The World Summit Youth Award for Education presented by "Young Digital Planet", in Montréal, Canada, an event designed for innovation in IT. Unfortunately, Santosh & Sibjan were not granted visa's to attend the conference and collect their award (due to them being young, single men of no financial status from a developing country Nepal). Therefore I made this short video so they could have some presence potentially ... now it looks like even this will not be screened ... so I thought perhaps by sharing it with friends more people can get behind and inspire these young men who are being active, despite the fact that they are recent graduates and are presently doing all this work as volunteers!
The Educating Of Women Is For ALL Of Us!
The recent shooting in Pakistan of a young woman, Malala, 14 years old, who was simply attempting to claim her right to education along with her male peers is a reminder that in many parts of the world the educating of women is still not seen as 'natural'.
To me it seems the only way we can truly help change on the planet is through sharing education, knowledge, and communication of options. By educating our girls we allow them to grow up into more educated mothers who can, in turn, better educate both their daughters and their sons! This chain of positive consequences can bring about healthy empowerment, reduce disease, and help with birth control. It can educate boys to be more respectful and balanced in their relationships to women and can support more peaceful options for our communities.
In my involvement in rural communities in Nepal, I have seen firsthand the power of educating girls and women – it is both deeply touching and inspiring.
I encourage all of us - men and women both - to use this shooting of Malala to remind us not to take equal treatment of girls and women for granted. Let it remind us to look around in our lives for balance, and for supportive ways of being together. Let it remind us to raise our voices in support for women (and men) to be educated, to be able to speak out when we see injustice without fear of being shot in the head!
For more depth on the shooting of Malala, you can read this article here:
and sign the petition to bring attention to this situation here:
WHAT IS SATORI?
Satori is your uncovering of you, a direct and real illumination that cannot be described, only experienced.
Next Satori groups:
October 19-25th in England, UK, with Clare Soloway
December 7-13th in Byron Bay, Australia, with Kira Kay
WHAT IS SATORI?
The word Satori originated in Japan and describes that moment of illumination that can only be described as a direct experience of profound truth that accompanied certain Zen practices. The experience of Satori can vary from person to person but the essence of the state is similar – a profound feeling of peace, a knowing, without doubt – truth. For some people the experience may only be a momentary glimpse, for others it may be an extended period – a common aspect, however, is that the knowledge of the experience is lasting.
Once a person experiences a Satori it can often mean that their life fundamentally changes. Their outward aspects may remain the same (e.g. the same job, relationship, house, country) but their experience of life and interactions with other people may deeply evolve. Often there is the experience of empowerment, a foundation within them creating a more relaxed outlook on life and choices. Many people after experiencing a Satori see the futility of the 'seeking' yet they often also realise that without the seeking they would never have come to the state of Satori.
WHAT BENEFIT DO I GAIN BY HAVING A SATORI?
A Satori allows you to experience your whole self, and that is inclusive of your humanness, your spirit – you. For many the experienced depth of acceptance is profoundly freeing. With the acceptance comes the ability to watch the process of the mind without becoming involved, without believing it - giving you back the sense of power and the realisation that YOU can, and do, have conscious choice in each situation, and that you are not a victim of circumstance but the creator of your life.
The more you see the natural flow of life the clearer it is to see your interaction in the relationships in your life from a more neutral perspective. This can support you to participate more deeply from less reaction, supporting understanding in your day-to-day interrelationships. Once you have experienced the freedom of Satori it also gives you the possibility to experience a life without tension or at the very least to realise that when you are in a state of tension, being gentle and caring with yourself relieves this tension.
While the focus of attaining Satori is to have a peak experience, the journey involved frequently provides a microcosmic look at your basic attitudes towards life. It lets you see your behaviours, the way you think, what you think, how your mind works - many of the aspects to which you may have been previously blind to.
WHAT CAN BE THE ONGOING BENEFIT FOR ME?
The depth of understanding and direct experience of Truth that you attain with a Satori continues with you into the rest of your life. As it is your experience and not a concept you have learned, it becomes a real tool and support for how you choose to live your daily life. Greater understanding of yourself and your basic behaviours naturally opens choices and options. What you do with this is entirely up to you and will depend on your actual life circumstances prior to having a Satori.
Satori truly is possible for you if you commit to yourself, if you are willing to invest the time and energy to uncover YOUR full potential. Begin to experiment, to explore and to be the pioneer to find yourself - to determine your own Truth. How much do you want it? Freedom is our natural birthright; a Satori illuminates this Truth clearly within you.
To be a human being is truly a gift. We often do not realise or appreciate the opportunity that we have right here, right now.
Continuing My Inspiring People Dialogue: Paul Lowe
I recently had an important 20th anniversary: the anniversary of when I consciously decided I needed to find out 'who am I?' ... What an amazing journey this question has taken - and is still taking - me upon!
I feel so grateful for the younger 'me' who had the courage to say yes to this deeper inquiry, even though at the time I was really scared, lost and unsure even of where to start. Thankfully, life helped me along... a lot! After sitting on a rock in the Snowy Mountains, Australia, I came to one of the most significant decisions in my life: not to continue with corporate law, and instead to embark on a discovery of who I am and what life is really about, and therefore what is really my purpose.
Two weeks after this epiphany, I met Paul Lowe, a significant and inspiring teacher on my path who remains a mentor, and also my dear friend, to this day. Up until meeting Paul I had never really heard of 'spirituality,' nor even of meditation. So when a friend said 'come along and meet this crazy guy who is teaching meditation this weekend,' I surprised even myself and responded 'yes, why not?!' Meeting Paul was a powerful confirmation of my recent decision. He spoke to what I felt deep inside me, and it was as if I had met someone to whom I could say everything I felt inside.
Over these past 20 years I have lived close enough to Paul's life to know that he really 'walks his talk.' I have experienced him going totally into whatever is arising, until it is no longer relevant or appropriate. This has had a deep impact for me personally as it has given me a living example of someone who simply 'goes for life,' who says everything he needs or wants to say, who goes wherever he wishes to go (I recall being a part of a few of those experiences!), who shares his attractions and sexuality fully, who says his truth in the simplest and most honest of moments – way too many to write about. They all flash before my eyes as examples over and over - especially if I try to get around my own truth! And then one of these moments comes as a reminder and encouragement to open another level within my own life.
I find that Paul's own quality of being total leaves him in a truly remarkable place of being able to connect, relate, and tune in with people – not their behavioral patterns, not their dramas or themes – but who they really are. He is able to connect with simple clarity to where the person really is, so that they can relate, soften, and hear him. I cannot begin to count the number of times I have been a witness to Paul in the depths of compassion through this meeting of another. Be it in a group dedicated to communication or on the street with strangers, or in a practical encounter like at the bank – without exception, he meets the person. Over the years I have known Paul, I have seen this refine and soften in him, and then refine more ... in ways I truly don't have words for. Maybe the nearest analogy would be a musician being in tune with his/her instrument in a way that it comes to the point that it is simply always sweetly singing ...
When I consider an example of an 'awake' person, this is my reference point, this level of 'being with,' which is deeply, intensely personal and yet at the same time not personal at all ... compassionate to a level that includes practically taking care of a person physically or financially, and at the same time being willing to share such an uncompromising level of truth that it may make a close relative or friend disown him. Without compromise or exception – he will 'be with what is'.
I have in the past twenty years met many, many different people, teachers, individuals – and Paul stands out as a light.
Even when I have felt very confronted by what Paul has said to me personally about my own behavior, something else within me has realised and recognised that what he has said has a 'ring of truth.' This has allowed me, in turn, to 'be with' what he has shared, to let it in and thereby help my own evolution. For this I am deeply appreciative and grateful.
If you would like to know more about Paul Lowe his website is:
To listen to recent audio recordings of Paul:
Inspiring People - Matthieu Ricard
I feel very fortunate and grateful to have met people who have inspired my own path in life – therefore I decided to share some of these people here and there on my Blog page to perhaps be of support to those of you reading here...
Matthieu Ricard - http://www.matthieuricard.org/en/
I have met Matthieu Ricard several times over the past few years and each time he has inspired me to greater depths of inner commitment and compassion in action. He has a delightfully light way of being in life, and a simple, humble way of sharing his wisdom, depth and consciousness.
Matthieu is a Tibetan Monk, originally from France, has a PhD in Genetic science, and lives his life moving between worlds of remote cave hermitage in Nepal and monasteries in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. He initiates humanitarian projects around the world, devoting himself as a guinea pig subject for experiments in Neurosocial Science. He engages political and business leaders at Davos world economic forum, and so much more. As an example of compassion in action – yes – he is a personal inspiration and beautiful being. Oh, and he is an exceptional photographer and excellent author of many books on meditation and more ... If you have a chance to meet him or attend a talk, enjoy the uplift of meeting such a beautiful person.
Here is a talk (in four parts) by Matthieu speaking in English in London, November, 2011 – talking on the benefits of cultivating our mental capacity, expressing about the science behind it, some practical question/answers and completing with a mindful meditation ... enjoy!