Tag Archives: Empowerment

The Century of the Daughters.

I have always thought of the present millennium as the century of the daughters. Not so much as a gender separate thing, but as attributes of a holistic, nurturing presence of mind. This is why, when researching my book Trailing Sky Six Feathers, I began my exploration of the Sedona region of Arizona with Oak Creek River – the feminine face of Water. This was one component of the Five Great Elements in Buddhist thought that I was familiar with: Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space. I understood the sequence as the correspondence of all things to each other driven by the feminine vessel of enlightenment. Always, I waded into the water so I could feel with my feet the pulse of the arteries of the entire area. I would lie down on larger, flat, dry rocks in midstream or perch atop rock rills and watch the water swirl around my feet, feeling a great sense of familiarity with the universal feminine through this dramatic and melodious river.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

This connection with the feminine was naturally carried into my peace activism. I have been musing about this, particularly reflecting on the annual Ottawa Friends for Peace Day – now in its 13th year. I realized 15 years ago, when I founded Friends for Peace that I was making a conscious choice to focus my energy and work on the local, my home city of Ottawa.  My focus was on mindfulness in schools, city environment, youth at risk and above all else – on the empowerment of women. I am astonished by the results – more true to say “blown away.” For at the local level there was continuity with great women who helped make things happen.  There is now a two week Peace Festival in Ottawa that precedes the Friends for Peace Day – which has become the final bookend of the Festival.  It has all grown in ever increasing concentric circles. The foundation of mindfulness and the empowerment of women through the 50 organizations we partner with have taken root in our northern city. All use some form of the Friends for Peace mandate – peace, planetary care and social justice.

Each year Friends for Peace presents Peace Awards to Canadian citizens who have devoted their lives to securing peace, planetary care and social justice.  The majority of the Peace Award recipients are women. The funds raised from the day are used to issue Peace Grants to organizations, in Ottawa and internationally, and we make a point of honouring women who run organizations that make a significant difference.  In particular we have supported youth organizations to burst on to the local scene guided by magnificent people – I refer to these friends as Kick Ass women. For instance Orkidstra is led by Tina Fedeski –www.leadingnotefoundation.org  – which she established in September 2007. It gives children from under-served communities the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and sing in a choir. They are creating a quiet social revolution in the city. The Dandelion Dance Company is the creation of Hannah Beach – www.hannahbeach.com/dandelion – this Ottawa based youth dance theatre company explores social issues through movement. Their repertoire is driven by the experiences, reflections and passion of young women who range in age from ages 13 to 19, and include children’s rights, hunger, authenticity, bullying, stereotypes and inclusiveness. Both youth organizations perform regularly at the Friends for Peace Day.

The drive is to foster a strong cadre of people in the locality of Ottawa who make a difference and women are in the forefront of this endeavour.

Dr. Ian Prattis

Ian is an award winning author, scholar, peace and environmental activist.  As a Professor of Anthropology and Religion he taught courses on Ecology, Symbols, Globalisation and Consciousness.  As a meditation teacher he encourages people to find their true nature, so that humanity and the world may be renewed.  Ian is a Zen Teacher, giving talks and retreats round the world.

For Further Intel: http://ianprattis.com/Profile.html

Spiritual Awakening to Ensure Survival

Spiritual awakening is needed to ensure survival, author says in New Press Release

Ian Prattis shares personal journey, advocates about spiritual awakening, empowerment in new book: Trailing Sky Six Feathers: One Man’s Journey with His Muse.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

OTTAWA – Climate change, ecosystem collapse and anarchy are just some of the current issues that propelled author Ian Prattis to widen his advocacy of empowerment and change. “Trailing Sky Six Feathers” (published by Xlibris) is Prattis’ way of shedding light on issues that affect and will continue to affect the generations to come. Sharing his personal challenging journey and personal transformation, Prattis illuminates a path for others to expand their consciousness and chart the course for a future beyond the abyss. “The human race does not need to be stuck with maladaptive options and patterns,” says Prattis, “We can and must transform.”

Prattis further believes that the culture needs to awaken spiritually if humanity wants to ensure survival. For him, “the world has become an unpredictable beast that people fail to work with intelligently; and humanity has to take back control of themselves for this is a spiritual matter.” Insightful and illuminating, this story follows the exciting journey of a hero which is like Indiana Jones meets the Buddha with a dash of Celestine Prophecy. “Trailing Sky Six Feathers” shines light on the darkest elements of the human condition, including the author’s own.

“Trailing Sky Six Feathers”

By Ian Prattis

Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 200 pages | ISBN 9781493196784

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 200 pages | ISBN 9781493196791

E-Book | 200 pages | ISBN 9781493196777

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Order Through http://www.ianprattis.com/TrailingSky.html

About the Author

Ian Prattis is an author, poet, professor emeritus, founder of Friends for Peace, and spiritual warrior for planetary care, peace and social justice. Prattis is also a Zen teacher since 1997, offering public talks and retreats all over the world. He currently lives in Ottawa, Canada and encourages people to find their true nature so that humanity and the planet may be renewed. He mostly stays locally to help turn the tide in his home city for good things to begin happening spontaneously.

Are We Stupid?

Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite plays the best role of his acting career in the film “The Age of Stupid.” The movie fast forwards us to the year 2055. Pete plays the only fictional character in this riveting film. He stars as an old man living alone in a world totally decimated by global warming. His location is the High Arctic. How prophetic this makes James Lovelock’s conclusion from his 2006 book Revenge of Gaia. In an interview about this book, Lovelock provides a dire prediction for humanity: “Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.”

The process that brought this about is one where we allowed the environment to become an extension of human egocentric needs and values – an ego-sphere rather than an eco-sphere. In this ego-sphere we consumed mindlessly in the global economy without regard for ecosystem balance or concern about creating inequality, poverty and ecosystem imbalance. Planetary care is not on this agenda, as the film graphically shows. We see the old man in the High Arctic watching archival video footage, carefully preserved from 2008. His stark question to the viewer is: “Why didn’t we stop climate change in 2008 when there was a chance?”

The character played by Postlethwaite is the curator of The Global Archive – a digital storage laboratory located in the Arctic – the last habitable place for humans on planet Earth. The footage he views shows how global warming reached tipping points and runaway effects while at the same time humanity’s achievements are also saved for posterity. How could the human mind capable of such monumental achievements neglect to take care of the destruction happening to their lived in ecosystem? The old man shakes his head in disbelief looking for an answer. The film gives us an answer – OIL! Our dependence and addiction to it; our refusal to move away from a carbon fueled lifestyle – this is what propelled the downward spiral of devastation.

The director of the film – Fanny Armstrong – creates a montage from live news and documentaries saved from 1950 to 2008. The video record charts the steps taken by humanity into global devastation – devastating that is for human habitation and for all other species. In an artfully created mosaic, six real life characters play out the dramas of their personal stories. Their humanity and their stupidity are extant in this brilliant tapestry of human folly. What is so gripping is that we who view it are made to feel distinctly uncomfortable. Because their shadows and myopia reflect our own shadows and myopia, especially those of our political and corporate leaders. After watching this film we can no longer hide from these shadows. We are forcibly held to account. If we do not act now – this film becomes our story and the evidence is in about the question “Are We Stupid?”

Evidence

In Part Two of Failsafe: Saving The Earth From Ourselves(2008) http://www.failsafebook.ca/ I write about A Failed Genetic Experiment, though I do put a question mark after Experiment. Yet if we continue to turn our beautiful rivers into sewers because of our endless greed and neglectful ignorance, there is no place on Mother Earth to sustain our present civilization. It will join the trash heap collectively created by mindless generations of humanity. If consciousness is too slow to change and make the quantum leap to a culture of sustainability then there are drastic consequences to contemplate, which are starkly portrayed in the film. The ancient ecologist on Mars studying a million years of earth history would surely note a parasitic infestation of Planet Earth that was not very intelligent. An intelligent parasite would ensure the good health of the host that supports it. And so the Martian ecologist would factor in an inevitable elimination date for our species in her star date log and may well view our civilization as a failed genetic experiment.

“The Age of Stupid” is a watershed film. You will not be the same after you have seen it. It is impossible not to be moved, and in a constructive direction of immediate action. For the latter, I refer the reader to Appendix I of Failsafe: Simple Steps To Empowerment, which provides guidelines and an action plan for the global ecological emergency. If only we can get it right – and get it right now! The best case scenario is that we get on with the task of reining in our ego and greed driven mind. This permits a Failsafe in Consciousness to kick in because the conditions and opening have been created by our choice to cultivate different patterns within our minds. Thus consciousness expansion can no longer be held back as the radical internal Climate Change has taken place. Our innate knowledge is manifest. We interconnect with a vast counter culture that is no longer a minority, no longer asleep or disempowered. We become another light shining in the quiet revolution that has over two million organizations world-wide pursuing constructive change.

Our diligent mindfulness has changed our brain structures in the direction that permits new paradigms of behavior to come into form. As cells in the ecosystem of Gaia it is as though humanity has aligned their neuronal networks with principles of ecosystem balance, ethics and responsibility. The critical mass has arrived and it amounts to a collective tipping point for our species. Once the wild, ego driven, greed driven mind is reined in then clarity and compassion are suddenly there to provide the basis for how we can be with the planet and with one another in a totally new way. This is what happens if we “Begin It Now” – the concluding words to Failsafe: Saving The Earth From Ourselves. http://www.failsafebook.ca/

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I finish with Dave Hampton’s passionate thoughts about this film (Resurgence May/June 2009: 66). “The Age of Stupid” is not just a film that could change the course of humanity. I hope it will be the catalyst that gives us a second chance to create a sustainable future. I hope it will promote a mass collective awakening globally such that we are not stupid and that we choose life and reclaim our children’s birthright – the right to expect a future”

I have fourteen grandchildren. In the same vein as this film, I wrote Failsafe: Saving The Earth from Ourselves. Consider this book as archival footage from 2008 that provides hope and an action plan so that my grandchildren can enjoy a habitable planet.