Sound the Alarm!

September 29th, 2014

On September 21st, the historic People’s Climate March (PCM) in New York City sounded the alarm on climate change. Just before 1pm, participants paused in silence to reflect for a few minutes on the consequences of climate chaos to those on the frontlines, including indigenous communities and farmers, coastal and island people, desert to forest dwellers, and all those who suffer environmental injustice. At 1pm local time, everyone sounded the alarm, banging pots and pans, blowing whistles, pounding drums, and making as much noise as possible. What a magical way to raise awareness and transform consciousness, sending sound waves of emotional energy and intention rippling around the planet!

Take some time now to reflect on these messages from the PCM marching blocs: It takes everyone to change everything; The debate is over; We know who is responsible; We have solutions; We can build the future; Honor those on the front lines of crisis, the forefront of change. Over 400,000 people marched in NYC, along with over 2500 solidarity events around the world, representing all of us who care about the future. A most inspiring and unifying message was demonstrated so beautifully that it now defines our global climate movement: To change everything, we need everyone. Remember, we are the clue!

Our New Normal

September 19th, 2014

Climate change is upon us. Winter without snow? We know what that feels like now. The hottest August ever recorded? Just happened. Wildfires are bigger than ever, and in California, fire season lasts all year. Droughts, dust, fire, and deluge are becoming part of our new normal.

Scientists have studied the effect of increased carbon in the air for over 100 years. It’s a matter of physics and chemistry. The amount of carbon recorded in the atmosphere every month now exceeds 400 parts per million. Scientists tell us that any amount over 350 ppm is not conducive to life and civilization as we know it. We already see more extreme weather events, ocean warming and acidification, and record-breaking temperatures. To prevent climate chaos, we must promote low-carbon economies with renewable energies like solar, wind, water, geothermal, and others.

At the UN Climate Summit 2014 in NYC, over 125 world leaders met to discuss a more coordinated response to this global crisis. The World Meterological Organization (WMO) displayed imaginary Weather Reports for the Future, depicting likely local impacts of global climate change. According to the WMO, average global temperatures in the year 2050 could rise more than 4°C (7.2°F) if greenhouse gas emissions are not stemmed. Are you ready for a new normal of unbearable heat waves, mega-droughts, massive flooding, super storms, dying coral reefs, less diverse marine life, and the drowning of coasts and islands due to rising sea-levels?

Climate change is a disturbing subject, but it should not be a controversial one. The science is in. We may disagree about how to transition from a fossil fuel economy or which solutions to prioritize, but we must heed scientific warnings about dangerous tipping points. We can and should make changes in our personal lives, choosing sustainable practices such as reducing, reusing, and recycling and making voluntary simplicity a way of life. We must also support social, economic, and political changes to address the costs of climate chaos now and in the future. People with a clue need to promote and protect our Big Four values: clean air and water, healthy food, and renewable energy. For a more livable future, we must reduce carbon emissions now! Make climate action part of your new normal. Be the clue!

Caravanning towards the Future

August 11th, 2014

Every year, we gather together with friends and family to make a pilgrimage to the BurningMan festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. For 2014, the theme of the festival is “Caravansary,” a place where groups of travelers stop to get supplies, exchange information, and interact with people from other cultures. For centuries, people traveled in groups called “caravans” because they were less vulnerable when they combined resources, shared expenses, and protected each other. A caravansary, or gathering of caravans, is an amazing place. Here we can freely exchange ideas and practical applications, expand our awareness of different cultures, and learn from everyone we meet.

The Cleu caravan makes our pilgrimage to the desert where our combined efforts create Black Rock City, a place where there is no trading or bartering, no buying or selling, just gift-giving and human interactions that are free of commerce. This is a temporary autonomous zone, a place where we can choose how to define ourselves, sharing and participating with others who are as free as we are. Sure, there is law enforcement in Black Rock City, reminding us that the world defined by counties, states, and federal government still has some authority. However, our collective creativity brings into being a city where most of us feel safer than anywhere else, where we feel more protected and supported than in any other city in the world.

Black Rock City is made up of many caravans, all converging in a single place, coming together with a shared intention: to give, to celebrate, to release, to enjoy! We follow the 10 principles of BurningMan: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy. We become bigger than ourselves when we join together in our Cleu caravan, and bigger than our own group when our caravan becomes part of Black Rock City. We share, support, and protect each other, and give freely of our time and energy to create a city that we want to live in.

When you contemplate the future, think about the road you are on. If you are traveling alone, look around to see who else is moving in the same direction. Form or join a caravan with others who share Cleu values. Go camping or do other things that require you to share resources and work cooperatively. Give your Cleu circle wheels, and let it roll! Envision all our caravans coming together as one great caravansary to imagine and create the infrastructure of a better world.

The Big Four Values

May 6th, 2013

Make the Cleu vision and values a part of your life. You can do this on your own, but forming a Cleu circle with a few others will give you a greater sense of spiritual community. Use the human rites of music, art, drum, dance, song, and story to bond, the way people have been doing since the beginning of Consciousness. Engage in the spiritual practices that are a vital part of most religious and spiritual traditions, including study, meditation, service, pilgrimage, and mentoring. Read the Cleu Book together. A Cleu circle should be a transformative, participatory occasion that keeps people coming back.

As your circle evolves, begin to focus on the Big Four values: Air, Water, Food, Energy. These are basic survival needs that must be met in order for there to be harmony among people. From world peace to individual health, we are all dependent on our relationship to Air, Water, Food, and Energy. To put it simply: Air is Life; Water is Life; Food is Life; Energy is Life. Use the Big Four to create ceremonial aspects to your circle: Join in a breathing exercise to reflect on Air; use Water in a ceremonial way; host a communion with Food; and light a candle to represent Energy. Try different ways to honor the Big Four.

Providing a structure that leads to more Consciousness about the choices we make as individuals, families, communities, and the world, will increase the spiritual impact of your circle and help guide your decisions about how to use your resources together. By focusing on our most basic needs, you will be better able to set priorities, learn about local issues, and find allies. You are not alone. Spiritual activists, indigenous people, and cultural creatives have been working together to protect our Air, Water, Food, and Energy for over fifty years, and we have learned a lot about the power of the circle.

Now imagine Cleu circles connecting to other Cleu circles in a network that is as flexible, strong, and resilient as linked chainmail. Visualize a shining fabric of circles, healing our communities and our world. We are the clue to our own future.

Signs of a New Paradigm

January 1st, 2013

Happy 2013! I’m looking for signs of a new paradigm, and I have to say, I see them every day. Global consciousness is an unstoppable force, and we know another world is possible.

People everywhere are standing up for universal human rights despite oppression. Global awareness about climate change makes fossil fuels seem so 20th century, and people are rising up in all kinds of ways to defend the planetary atmosphere from excess carbon. More people are choosing organic food and fair trade products, and making healthy choices in daily life. Workers are finding solidarity, and students are fighting debt. Occupy groups all over the country are raising awareness and creating cooperative infrastructure with local churches, providing relief for disaster recovery and ongoing conditions of poverty. Peace is here if we want it.

Social media are giving us ways to connect that were never possible before. We can freely learn and share with people all over the world. Facebook gives us a way of archiving memories and comments with friends and family. Twitter expresses our collective tidbits of conversation and information as a global community. We are learning to think as one people on one planet, but we continually discover that nothing replaces face-to-face communication.

To feel truly connected, we need be in the same place together. Find your spiritual family by looking for people with a clue. Meet in circle often, weekly if possible. Read the Cleu Book and celebrate your human rites of drum, song, and story, music, art, and dance. Share resources to develop your spiritual community, and together, be the clue to a new paradigm.

This End is a new Beginning

December 21st, 2012

As darkness becomes dawn, the longest night gives way to longer days in the return of the light. According to the ancient Mayan calendar and other prophecies, the 2012 winter solstice marks a transition, the end of a cycle, a paradigm shift from the old to the new. We are called to witness the birth of a new world.

We have come a long way, baby. We have freed ourselves from tradition and defined ourselves as individuals. The capitalist culture treats us as consumers, marketing desire and greed, spreading a mass media version of reality, a zombie shopocaplyspe. We live in a world of human-caused wonders and disasters. Global consciousness is awakening. We know that we have changed the climate, collapsing the stable conditions that have supported both civilization and biodiversity for thousands of years. The planet is warming, bees are dying, great cities are flooding, and a young man shoots down children in a massacre-suicide. We are stunned, but we must confront our shadows. We must act on behalf of our existence as a conscious species on a living planet.

Now is the time to reflect on your vision of a world you choose to live in. How will you claim your spiritual identity and live by your values? Remember that you are greater together. Look for people who have a clue. Keep in mind that everyone has a clue, but not everyone wants to know. Find people who are clue-seekers and human rites guides. Get a space where you can gather in circle weekly. Take time to celebrate and grieve, share and serve. Practice our human rites of music, art, drum, dance, song, story, and circle. Build up your community infrastructure so that you can meet the new paradigm with open arms.

Let us join together to preserve Life and affirm Consciousness on the Earth. It’s up to you, fantastic speck of stardust that you are!

You are the Cleu.