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SolWest 2012 Keynote Speech by Kathy Bash

SolWest 2012 Keynote Speech by Kathy Bash

Solar Oregon Board President Emeritus Kathy Bash

Thank you for being here. When Jennifer approached me about giving the keynote address, it was one of those times when I had tossed a lot of what I believe up in the air and was waiting and working to see what it would settle into. I agreed to do this because it was several months away. Plenty of time. After all, I am used to teaching classes on a variety of sustainable and building science topics, so how hard could it be to give a keynote, right? Pretty soon, with no direct connection to the notion of a keynote address, people started recommending books to me – as often happens when you are having a salad toss with your ideas. Do you know how dangerous it is to read a dozen new thought-provoking books at the same time as you are supposed to be preparing a keynote?

I have given Jennifer a resource list of the names, books, authors and websites that I will be mentioning. She can post this on the SolWest website, so don’t worry about having to capture all the references as we go along. Some of the books I will mention are available at the SolWest Bookstore.

So here is a snapshot of my thinking on this 28th of July, 2012. I am coming to a new understanding of what is fundamental in creating wellness in our human relationship with earth. This is, after all, why we support renewable energy, isn’t it? To foster wellness in our world and in ourselves?

My thoughts are converging around something I call ‘being in the soup.’ The soup is not something separate from us but instead is something we are a part of. I believe the soup is a field of vibration and that we manifest our reality out of this soup with our consciousness. I believe that when we act in ways that might cause irreversible damage to our environmental life support systems, it is a result of being out of resonance with this field and from acting as if we are separate from it. Because we are, in fact, constantly creating our reality, I believe that we need to be doing so with full understanding of our connectedness with everything in this vibrational field. I am starting to meet and to read about people who live with this awareness, and these people are truly inspiring. I am fascinated with the worlds they are creating themselves, and my quest is to raise my own consciousness and create the kind of world I want to live in.

The first inspiring person I want to tell you about is Jacqueline Freeman. I recently attended her workshop on Natural Beekeeping. She and her husband have a farm near Battle Ground, WA. They make hives, and people call Jacqueline when they see swarms of bees in the spring. She goes out and brings them home to her hives. During the class Jacqueline points out the differences between natural beekeeping and commercial beekeeping, that is, beekeeping with the health and happiness of the bees in mind versus beekeeping to support the pollination needs of mono-cropping and commercial honey production. From the honeybee standpoint, there is a big and important difference. The first supports healthy honeybees, and the second lays the foundation for colony collapse. Because somewhere between one and two thirds of our food supply relies on pollinators, we might want to pay attention to this. Jacqueline can hear messages from the bees, and woven into the wonderful wisdom they share with her, the part I want to focus on is what they describe as their unity consciousness. What one bee knows, the hive knows. Some information is passed physically, as in the waggle dance that a worker bee does to tell other worker bees where the flowers are in bloom, but most of the information seems to be shared telepathically, or perhaps (this is my understanding) it is held in an information field that all the bees tap into. In contrast, Jacqueline points out that other animals on her farm, cows, goats, chickens, turkeys, cats act individually like humans do. But the honeybees act as a unity.

The closest analogy I can find in the human world to the bees’ unity consciousness is beginning to happen with our use of the internet. People are self organizing in ways not possible only a few years ago. Judging from the facility that young children have with computers and especially with communication technology, I personally think our brains might be adapting to the available technology. A concept called crowd sourcing is changing the model for many businesses. The big ideas are that you put out an open call to an undefined group, and a self-organized response shows up. It’s probably not a response that the sender imagined, but somehow the call was heard by just the right people. Information held in a field that many can tap into.

In a book titled ‘The Field,’ Lynne McTaggart describes -for us laypeople- a background energy called the Zero Point Field. When I went to school we were taught that at theoretical temperature of absolute zero (this is the zero of Zero Point Field), all motion stops. Atoms and molecules stop bumping into each other, and that’s why there is no heat. Or the other way around, maybe. Quantum physics tells us that there is still something going on. Maybe when we find that 90% of the universe that is currently unaccounted for, maybe we will find there is just a tad more than a little bit going on in this Zero Point Field. A lot of inventors (the ‘free energy’ people) see this Zero Point Field as the source of unlimited energy if we can find a way of tapping into it and making that energy useful for heating and cooling ourselves and moving things around. Maybe by the time we figure out how to tap the Zero Point Field we will have also given up the idea that we need to use our energy to wage war. Just a hope. At a quantum scale, the whole concept of ‘thing’ breaks down into a pool of vibrational possibility waiting to become manifest reality as consciousness calls it out.

I recently listened to some lectures from The Great Courses, a part of The Teaching Company. These courses are 48 to 96 half hour lectures on just about any subject you can think of. They are taught by prominent professors from universities around the world, and I highly recommend them. Anyway, one set was about the work Albert Einstein and quantum physics, and another about quantum mechanics. I want to share three of the ideas that really stood out to me. The first is what Einstein called ‘spooky action at a distance.’ Now days this phenomenon is referred to as quantum entanglement, but the idea is that when something has been together and is split apart, each piece knows what is going on with all the other pieces no matter how far apart they are -as it is going on. In other words, the communication is instantaneous, not something that travels between the pieces at the speed of light. Kind of like the unity consciousness of a bee hive or information being held in a field. Think for a moment the implication of this if you believe that all matter was compressed in a unity just before the big bang. Quantum physicists are working on encryption technologies based on quantum entanglement. You would be able to tell if information sent over the network had been observed (always important when sending secret messages), because the act of observation would change the information, which you could see because it would no longer match what you sent. Actually I hope we evolve to be more like the honeybees before quantum entanglement is really used for encryption. Imagine how the world would be if we could all access the same information in the field. There would be no secrets. I wonder if we would have less crime?

The second idea is that the results in quantum experiments are influenced by the act of observation of the experimenter. Consciousness is at work, quite literally, in the quantum realm. The book ‘The Field’ has chapter after chapter about this influence (observer/observed) and the measurable macroscopic results of it. Consciousness pulls a measurable reality out of the pool of possibilities, which in turn influences the pool of future possibilities. Be careful what you observe.

The third idea is that when you get into the nitty gritty of quantum math, you have to have some things zipping in and out of the equations for them to work. These some things have to zip faster than the threshold of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which I’ll grant you is pretty fast. Nevertheless, when you need to invent something to make the math work, it is an indication to me that we are just putting a place holder in for something we don’t understand quite yet, and with my lay-person’s understanding. I think this is the actually the activity of the Zero Point Field. So even though this is bleeding edge physics for most of us ordinary mortals, I believe that we need to start paying attention to its implications. I think we need to start understanding ourselves in the context of connectedness instead of always the context of individual-ness if we are to assume functional roles in making the soup of earthly wellness. It’s not just about using less, or just using renewable this or that, although all these things are certainly an essential part of the answer. It’s about being conscious at a fundamental and operative level of our place in this soup and making our choices and our decisions with the understanding that what we do to others we really really do to ourselves, and because of that we really really do need to pay attention to our intentions. One of my favorite wise women Brooke Medicine Eagle says this, “The most important lesson in the entire process is that the method you use to transform yourself must have the energetic quality of the end you seek. In other words, you can’t dash wildly about to create peace in your life, although we’ve all tried that.”

So how do we shift our awareness, our consciousness? To start with, I think we need to have a regular habit of unplugging from media. In fact, let’s start by turning off our cell phones. Don’t just turn them to silence. Really turn them off. Is this hard? Actually you might make a note to yourself about how hard this is for you. That stream of information is so addictive. A few days ago I was taking a walk in the early evening. Two women were walking in my direction, one pushing a stroller. The child in the stroller looked to be about two, small enough to fit in the stroller, but big enough to look like she could walk. As they passed I noticed she was totally engrossed in a handheld electronic device, oblivious to all that was around her. Impressive and scary at the same time. As much as I love being connected to the internet and appreciate the value of it, I think it is important to be able to tune into ourselves in the same way, and really important to find a balance between the two. Think of yourself as a high-end tuner. Pick your station.

In the 1960s Herbert Krugman measured brain wave reaction to watching TV, and in less than a minute, we go into Alpha state. Alpha waves are roughly in the range of 8 to 12 Hz. Beta waves, our waking, focused state, are, in contrast, 12- 30 Hz. In Alpha state, 8-12 Hz, we are highly subject to suggestion. So it really doesn’t matter if there are subliminal messages encoded in TV advertizing. As long as the products are associated with something pleasant, we are sure to want them. It seems not to be the content of TV that puts us in Alpha state but the light from the screen. I haven’t traded all my printed books in for Kindle yet. There is another time when we are in Alpha state, and that is when we are meditating. I find this 8 Hz frequency interesting because it also seems to be the resonance frequency of the earth. In 1899 Nicola Tesla proposed this fundamental frequency. He calculated it from the diameter of the earth. He wanted to use it for wireless delivery of electric energy. Twenty or so years later the concept of an ionosphere was proposed, and a few years after that actually measured. The earth and the ionosphere form a spherical waveguide. And in 1952-1954 two men, Schumann and Konig, attempted to measure the resonant frequency of this spherical waveguide. By the early 1960s analysis techniques were sophisticated enough to extract the resonance frequency from background noise, and today the frequencies that are captured in the earth-ionosphere waveguide are known as Schumann resonances. They are believed to be perpetuated by the energy of lightning. The fundamental frequency is 7.83 Hz. So isn’t it cool, and perhaps more than just coincidental, that our minds can actually physically resonate with the earth in the state of meditation, and that when we are in resonance with earth our minds are in a state of receptivity. So I highly recommend regular meditation with the intention of tuning our brains into resonance with the earth and with a desire to understand what creates wellness in the system. Imagine a world where, at sunrise in each time zone, people sat in meditation with the earth and with the intention of wellness for all. Do you think this would change what we read about in the news?

Continuing on the theme of vibration and wellness, an organization called Heartmath did some experiments measuring the biochemical changes associated with emotions. Our mucosal surfaces, starting with the nose and mouth, are the first line of defense against invading pathogens. The principle molecule of mucosal immune responses is Secretory IgA. It’s usually one of the line items on a blood profile report. So a higher level of Secretory IgA means you have more defenses against pathogens. I am paraphrasing from an interview video, so I suggest if you are interested in all the details you visit the Heartmath website. They took a group of subjects and measured baseline Secretory IgA. Then they asked the subjects to watch something that would induce negative emotions, fear, anger, etc. Five minutes after watching the negative video, SIgA levels went up (more defenses), but an hour later they were 100% below baseline (defenses way suppressed). Over a five hour period, the SIgA went up again, but never in that 5 hours got back to baseline. Then they had the same group of subjects watch a video that would induce positive emotions, love, gratitude. Five minutes after watching the positive video, SIgA levels went up, but an hour later they had dropped to just above baseline. Over the next 5 hours, however, they continued to rise. It isn’t surprising to me that our emotions have a measurable biochemical effect on us, but look at the duration of that effect. The work of Heartmath has to do with training ourselves to stay in a state of positive emotions, and they do so with a device that measures heart rate variability. So if anyone from Heartmath uses the acronym HRV in a conversation with you, they aren’t referring to heat recovery ventilation, but heart rate variability. They aim to smooth out the spaces between heart beats. Did you get that? It’s not the heart beat they are looking at. It is the space between the heart beats. (There’s that background field idea again.) Choosing positive emotions changes our heart rhythm and changes the information that travels from the heart to the brain. The heart has a stronger electromagnetic field than any other part of the body. It has 40,000 neurons through which it can send messages. The heart sends more information to the brain than the brain does to the heart. Changing the information that the heart sends to the brain changes our consciousness, and the feedback loop is set in motion.

Change our hearts and we change our minds. Change our minds in resonance with earth and we change our choices. And in a world where we are literally all connected by a great field of vibration, when we change our choices we influence the field of possibilities for everyone around us, and we change the world.

I want to tell you another set of stories that bring us kind of back to the same place, but from a very different starting point. Let me start from that different point and connect the dots.

The first dot I call the Great Biodiesel Experiment. Back in 2004 or 2005, I was invited to hear a world renowned green guru speak to a crowd of about a thousand people, and at the end of his speech he opened the floor for questions. One man stood up and asked him what kind of car he drove. Remember that the first wave of Prius had been out for several years by then. He candidly said he drove a Volvo and then mumbled something about keeping his children safe. You could just feel that credibility needle dropping. At that time I was the resident greenie for a prominent architecture firm in Portland, and I understood immediately the potential for public humiliation as I was also going about encouraging people to make more sustainable choices. I went home and announced to my husband that we could no longer drive a conventional gas car, and we proceeded to trade our totally reliable Camry in for a Jetta TDI, a vehicle that would run on biodiesel. As the price of a gallon of biodiesel approached $7, we purchased biodiesel making equipment with a couple of friends, and set about collecting barrels full of waste veggie oil. I was so convinced that biodiesel was the solution to all our energy problems that I started setting our house up to run on the combined heat and power of – you guessed it – a biodiesel generator. Electricity and heat all from a waste product, or in the worst case, a renewable (aka – grow-able product). What could be more sustainable than that? And just for the record, I was never a fan of veggie oil from food crops. I did get, even back in 2005, that industrial agriculture was an unsustainable enterprise, and I was sure that we just needed the right technology to make use of the stuff that grows even when we don’t want it to – algae. I believed that we could have all the oil we would ever need from algae. I was not alone in hoping that. Clever and resourceful people that we were, we accumulated about 600 gallons of WVO, all stored in our basement. Imagine carrying 600 gallons of oil into your basement. Imagine carrying 600 gallons of oil out of your basement. We were going to have to do this every year!!! Does anyone see the problem here? Besides finding a different place to store the oil? The custom diesel generator we ordered was a design commonly known as a Lister engine. After 2 years of searching, the best device that was commercially available for combined heat and power at the scale of a single family home was this Lister Engine, and we were going to have to add the generator and the heat collection functions. The Lister was designed 150 years ago, well before the run up of fossil fuel use, and it was disappointing but not surprising, when you think about it, that nothing has been developed during the fossil fuel era that has surpassed it in terms of efficiency. Why would we? As we were making biodiesel for the Jetta, waiting for the Lister, we clearly saw the benefits of having the generator run on straight waste veggie oil, thus bypassing all the chemicals involved in biodiesel conversion. So in addition to paying for this super duper Lister with generator and heat transfer scheme, we added a line item for veggie oil conversion. And of course the manufacturer wanted that paid for in advance since he probably wouldn’t be able to find another buyer for the WVO version. Long story short, the manufacturer defaulted and we didn’t get the Lister or our money, but that’s a different story. The bigger point, and the reason I chalk the loss up to the cost of enlightenment, is that there is no way in the world, in a future of resource scarcity, that we as a society would have 600 gallons of waste veggie oil for every household. In the first place, during a time of resource scarcity, I hope we would not be stupid enough to heat a food to a temperature so high that is no longer a food but a waste product. We will be needing every calorie that we can produce just to feed our bodies. Who knows? Maybe we will be eating oil from algae? I categorize the Great Biodiesel Experiment as a time when we were dashing wildly about trying to create peace in our lives.

And yet, a lot of good came from the Great Biodiesel Experiment. I got to really understand how much energy we were using as a household, where that fell along the spectrum of other households in the US (about right at average) and in the world (a lot more than average), what forms of energy we were using (this is important in finding the most efficient way to get the form of energy we need), and how to convert energy units back and forth between kwh and therms and btus and calories (if you pedal a bicycle you need to put calories in your body instead of putting gas in a tank). I learned how fortunate we have been to have fossil fuels and how the surplus energy has allowed us the luxury of advancing knowledge in so many areas, including developing the internet and being able to work in the realm of quantum physics), and how imprudent it might be for us to be using what is left of our fossil fuels for things like flying around the world at the drop of a hat. Ultimately I learned a lot about how to use less energy. We weatherized our 1923 bungalow up the wazoo (that’s a technical term, up the wazoo), installed solar hot water (love it) and as much PV as we could afford (you installers might remember the good old days when solar installed at about $10/watt), and last year we used 72% less grid energy than we did in 2004. When it was evident that the biodiesel generator was not going to arrive, we installed a very efficient wood stove and in the winter burn scrap wood and sawdust bricks. If we were building a new house I would figure out how to build in a rocket mass heater that would be even more efficient because in a resource scarce world there will be even less scrap wood and perhaps very little sawdust. Using 28% of the energy of the average US household is still a whole lot more than the world average and I’m sure more than could be sustained if every household in the world did the same. I think the ultimate solution to household energy is to have much smaller homes. New construction places a heavy resource demand on the earth, so perhaps we will deconstruct some of our existing buildings and reconstruct them to be more energy efficient at the same time we are making them smaller. Zoning laws make this difficult in many places. At some point we will get past that. Our neighborhood, for instance, has just come under historic designation, so we would not be legally permitted to deconstruct part of our house to make it smaller. In the event that natural forces do some of the deconstructing for us, like a big earthquake might, I think we would do well to reconstruct from what we could salvage and end up with a much smaller space. Not that I wish for that much natural destruction, but it would probably be faster than trying to change zoning laws. Lessons from The Great Biodiesel Experiment are still a work in progress.

Let me jump to the next dot.

Even though we live in a city, our quest for an all-renewable slash net zero energy household raised all kinds of questions about whether it was better to be grid connected or off grid, what net zero water would mean, what would happen to our lives if we had zero fuel for transportation, not just a little less than we have now. I have a small but significant group of doomer friends – you know, the people who think we might actually experience the end of the world as we know it -for a variety of reasons – in our lifetimes. We enrolled in a program called Community Emergency Response Teams, or CERT for short. The big take away from CERT training was there aren’t enough first responders to go around in the event of a large scale disaster, so we’d better prepare ourselves and our communities for the likeliest of the big disasters in our area - a really big and destructive earthquake. Should that happen, Portland is expected to be without grid services for 2.5 years. Based on the number of chicken coops popping up all over the metro area, I’d guess that there are a lot of people taking CERT classes. Anyway, after the CERT I started collecting rice and beans and toilet paper. We learned a lot about oxygen absorbers and mylar storage bags and how to deal safely with human waste without a sewer connection. My neighbor and I voluntarily lived for 48 hours without grid services just to see what came up as being important. This would be high on my list of recommended exercises – living for 48 hours in your house without using any grid connections. Water and waste turned out to be bigger issues for us than electricity and gas, partly because it was not all that cold when we did the experiment. One of the questions I ask my clients now is how well they want their homes to work in the event of no grid services. –Anyway, back to emergency preparedness, I looked at all those Homer buckets accumulating on my basement shelves with emergency supplies in them, and I had this déjà vu moment about collecting waste veggie oil. Hmm….dashing wildly about to create peace in my life. In the bigger scheme, how much difference was having a few months of food going to make? After all, it might be only a few days worth of food depending on the state of preparedness of my neighbors. And 2.5 years is a long time not to be able to go to the grocery store. At that point it would be all about community.

Slowly it dawned on me that the strategies for true emergency preparedness were also the strategies for sustainable living. Those of you who live off grid can have a good chuckle over this, but for a city girl it was a big aha! moment. We really needed to start growing some food. There is so much good information out there about local and small scale food growing that getting started is not very hard at all. But how do you grow a garden without all those nice inputs from the local nursery? One of my favorite books is ‘The Resilient Gardner,’ by Carol Deppe. Carol is so in tune with the earth. In addition to highly detailed information on how to grow food in a way that will take a lot of variables in stride, here is some of what she says about being a gardener, and it illustrates one of the more human aspects of why I think more of us becoming small organic farmers is a good thing for our future earth. Quoting Carol, “Becoming a gardener changes you fundamentally. Before you became a gardener, you might have filled your schedule. Most non-gardeners do. But anything unexpected then results in overload. And most of life is unexpected. So you were always overloaded. You never had time for anything spontaneous or unscheduled. (And when your friend or a family member needs you most, it is likely to be spontaneous or unscheduled.) You also seemed to live from crisis to crisis. You might have even thought your going from crisis to crisis ‘putting out fires everywhere’ was because you were so important. In actuality, being always too busy for anything unscheduled or spontaneous – seemingly always to go from crisis to crisis – these are signs of a life not being lived as well as it could be, a life full of missed opportunities, a life too full of busyness for most of what makes a life worth living.”

There is so much to contemplate in what she says that I put the book down at this point of reading for about a week to soak it in – the life too full of busyness for most of what makes a life worth living. This kind of sounds like what Brooke says - dashing wildly about to create peace, doesn’t it?

About this time, the time of recognizing the imperative of local food, the concepts of permaculture were also coming onto my radar. One of the big ideas of permaculture is that you study what natural ecosystems are doing, and choose plants so that as they do what they want to do, food for humans ends up being a part of the cycle. Care for the earth is a core tenant. I began to understand that caring for the earth is literally caring for the soil. And gardening with the intention of the health of the soil is a subtle but important difference than gardening with the intention of getting big tomatoes. Big tomatoes might be a happy result of gardening for healthy soil, but the intention has changed in an important way. (Does this sound a little bit like natural beekeeping?) I came across one of the books by Paul Stamets, ‘Mycelium Running,’ and began reading about a 2400 acre mycelium mat, possibly the largest organism in the world. Mycelium is important for a lot of reasons, but one of the big ones is that it seems to make bargains with plant roots. The roots secrete substances that make the mycelium happy, and in return the mycelium ferries nutrients over to make the roots happy. This is one way that nutrients move around in the soil. Guess what we did to a 2400 acre sized organism? – We chopped it up while building logging roads. I bet those backhoe drivers didn’t have a clue about the damage they were inflicting. This brought me to the importance of no-till methods of cultivation which leave the relationships of soil organisms in tact. A book by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis titled ‘Teaming with Microbes’ introduced me to the soil food web. I learned a lot about composting and nitrogen-carbon ratios, and that the breaking down part of the cycle is literally half of the story of the cycle of life. It is especially easy for us city folk to see only the building up half of the cycle. For one thing, plumbing and zoning codes discourage us from doing much else. Portland does have curbside composting, but having your scraps carted off and reappear as compost is a bit different than managing your own compost pile. When we established a compost pile as the center piece of what used to be our yard, we became a lot more careful about the quality of our waste. (This was also one of the immediate lessons in the 48 hours without grid experiment.) We use a lot less salt now. Our cleaning products keep getting simpler and easier to pronounce, including those products we use to clean ourselves. Waste management takes on a whole different definition when the land fill is in your back yard and your compost is next year’s garden.

My relationship with microbes changed in kind of a one-two punch. The soil food web was one punch. The prospect of not having refrigeration (remember the earthquake preparedness) got me to looking at pre-refrigeration methods of food preservation. I like fermentation because it is really low energy, and it is so healthy. I think all the solar brewers here would agree with me. Fermented foods support our internal microbes, those organisms we don’t like to think about but without which we would not digest anything and therefore die for lack of. One of my favorite books on the subject is ‘Wild Fermentation’ by Sandor Ellix Katz. I started making kraut and kombucha on a regular basis.

An important idea in this thread – permaculture, soil food web, fermentation – is all the activity going on below our threshold of direct observation. That is, below the threshold of the unaided eye. We know this activity by the manifested macroscopic results. Someone directed me to a book called ‘The Findhorn Garden Story,’ which is the story of an ecovillage in Scotland, and to the work of Machaelle Small Wright, creator of Perelandra, a Center for Nature Research in Virginia and author of a book titled ‘Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered.’ The people at Findhorn and the people at Perelandra describe the work they do as conscious co-creation, in which they ask for and get information from a field of the unseen and use it to create amazingly vibrant gardens. They might call the unseen nature spirits and devas, you can call them what you want, but in any case these people are consciously tapping into to a field of information and working with that in an act of harmony – with spectacular life-enhancing results.

So this is how I came to my current understanding of the importance of this field – this soup of vibration from which our reality emerges– from stories of the bees and from an interest in quantum physics and from wanting to survive in a world without supermarkets or refrigeration and from the inspiration of real people whose daily lives are acts of conscious co-creation with nature. All indicators point, for me at least, to the need to reconnect, to listen, to resonate at a fundamental frequency with the earth. For me this is the new imperative, to make the shift from being individual, alone, to understanding and acting responsibly toward my connection to everything. This is the world I want to create.

In closing, I’d like to share with you a meditation that has come to me from sitting in the garden. I call it ‘Breathing in the Garden.’ It is the method I am using to remember my connections.

Sit comfortably and imagine that we are in a space surrounded by a big bubble of light that protects us. Only that which is beneficial will be here in this bubble of light. Some people find it more pleasant to do this with eyes closed. Imagine that your bare feet are touching a really soft part of the earth, maybe a moss mat, something that feels good to your bare feet. Notice that you are breathing. In, out, breathing in, breathing out. Just follow your breath. Don’t direct it, just be aware of it. Imagine that your breathing follows a figure 8, or the infinity sign with the loops up and down, the up is in the air, the down is in the earth. The crossing point of the infinity sign is your heart. Start breathing through your heart. Inhale into your heart, exhale out of your heart. As you inhale, imagine you are at the very top of the loop in the air. As you breathe in you are sliding down the infinity sign into your heart. Your heart becomes full of the light you are inhaling from the sky. As you begin to exhale you are sliding down the infinity loop into the earth, delivering the gifts of light from the air, with love from your heart, to the earth, to deep in the earth and all that lives there. When you have delivered all the love and light that you were holding in your heart to the earth, when you are at the bottom of the infinity loop in the earth, begin to breathe in the richness of the earth, breathe it into your heart. When your heart is full of the gifts of the earth, exhale as you begin to ascend the infinity loop into the air. Breathe out the gifts of the earth to the sky. When you have exhaled all the gifts of the earth, delivered with the love from your heart to sky, you will be at the top of the infinity loop in the air, and ready to begin again. Breathe in the sky with gratitude, breathe out the sky with love into the earth. Breathe in the richness of earth with gratitude, breathe out the earth with love into the sky. You might find after a while that your breathing becomes deeper, and slower, that your heart can hold more. You might find your breath pausing at the maximum point of each inhale and the maximum point of each exhale. You might sense others around you breathing with you. If something inside you comes up, a fear or a pain, ask that fear or pain to sit beside you and breathe with you. Let it become separate from you. Honor its presence, but let it be separate. Breathe in the sky with gratitude. Breathe sky to earth with love. Breathe in the richness of earth. Breathe earth to sky with love.

Breathe in the sky with gratitude. Breathe sky to earth with love. Breathe in the richness of earth. Breathe earth to sky with love.

Let’s sit in quiet just for a few moments to remember what this feels like, breathing.

As you breathe, thank the sky and the earth for this time. Feel your feet on the soft earth. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Slowly bring your consciousness back to the room. Slowly open your eyes. Remember this and use it in what ever way feels best to strengthen your connection to earth. When you are ready, come back fully to the consciousness of the space here.

Change our hearts and we change our minds. Change our minds in resonance with the earth and we change our choices. And in a world where we are literally all connected by a great field of vibration, when we change our choices we influence the field of possibilities for everyone around us, and we change the world.

Be at peace.

Thank you.


Keynote Resources 7.28.2012

Website Resources

Jacqueline Freeman, Friendly Haven Rise Farm



CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams)


Book Resources

The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe

by Lynne McTaggart © 2008

The Resilient Gardner: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times

by Carol Deppe © 2010

The Last Ghost Dance: A Guide for Earth Mages

by Brooke Medicine Eagle © 2000

The Findhorn Garden Story

by the Findhorn Community, 4th Edition 2008, © 1975

Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered

by Machaelle Small Wright © 1997

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

by Paul Stamets © 2005

Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web

by Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis © 2010

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

by Sandor Ellix Katz © 2003


Other Resources

The Great Courses (from The Teaching Company)

• Einstein’s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution, taught by Prof. Richard

Wolfson, Middlebury College

• Quantum Mechanics: The Physics of the Microscopic World, taught by Prof.

Benjamin Schumacher, Kenyon College



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