Category Archives: Insight

Moments we realize life is about more than us.

Mindfullness in My Community

Recently, I put together an outline for a Mindfulness group. For the first run of this group, I realized the significance of such program, since mindfulness is the last thing we have time for.

On this note, we may recognize that all the prominent poems from our kings of poetry teach us the techniques for awareness and mindfulness. However, mindfulness among our widespread communities has never been taken seriously, maybe only is some soufi groups. For numerous reason, mindfulness has become a luxury, a treasure, a style of life that is not intended for everyone. Considering the hard realities that we Iranians live with, mindfulness is all about keeping our heads above the water. While breathing in the fresh air is almost impossible for people in our home country, those of us who live outside the borders, still have to search hard for some air of any quality.
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Now, what can we do to raise awareness about the importance of mindfulness in our communities?

We start with talking and practicing: We are here and now. We take a deep breath. We observe ourselves, where we are, how we are, and how we breath. Observing is what we do, only way to start being mindful. At least for now.

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Limits To Stupidity

Have you noticed how many times we hear the comment: “Oh, don’t be stupid.” We can be sure that at times we make bad choices and even we make stupid decisions.

However, there is stupidity and stupidity, we will look at the underlying meaning of what can be called a stupid action. I guess we need to notice how the format, shape, and context of our stupid thoughts, actions, and behaviors influencing our every day life.

Each detail can create numerous problems involving people around us. Our problem solving skills sometimes show the level of our stupidity or in another words our reasoning.

Now let’s be clear, we do not want to belittle individuals who make human mistakes. No, I am talking about those individuals who continue acting as if they know everything. These later group of individuals isolate and protect their stupid minds in most rigid ways. They operate based on lack of social interest and lack of care for others.

If we could measure stupidity, we would see that this later group cause most human suffering and environmental hazards. How? Well, we can only contemplate on this topic a bit more.

In my mind, stupidity of rigid and careless people enhance misery for many others. What I am talking about?

We Iranian or for sure many of us, know what stupidity is about. We have seen thousands of examples every day of our past thirty years of life. We hear all those stupid comments about every single thing concerning our human life. We have experienced the bitter result of all those stupid ideas and actions that only cripples us badly. For many of us Iranian, even if we choose, we are unable to skip hearing those stupid words, meanings, stories, and death motivated interactions.

We Iranian who follow the news about our home country, hear everyday all those stupid rules that worsen life in general for everyone. We read and hear news about how women, children, families, and individuals are being harassed because there is no limit to the nonsense and stupid ideas that are being practiced by some stupid people.

I guess most of these stupid people do not know of their invaluable skill in producing stupid comments, rules, action plans, and laws. Why would they know? They are stupid and careless. Why would they care how their stupid concepts hurt people? How would they know that their hold on to a power that is perceived as holy, is stupid? Stupid people do not know that their crisis minded thoughts and actions, do impact individual and environment. Why would they care? They are stupid. However now the question is why those who are logical and know better still let stupid people rule? It is important to emphasize that stupidity is not an excuse. We all should be accountable for our actions, stupid or not.

We Iranian know many of these stupid people who will not let us be in peace, because they are stupid enough to think that we are stupid too. What do i mean by stupid? Well, all the nonsense talks when we have important topics to discuss. Sometimes you wonder what is the limit to stupidity? How much more? How long more?

It is certainly my belief that healthy communication is the main step toward rebuilding what has been destroyed over decades.

Note: This article was originally written and published in EzineArticles February 13, 2009 by this author.

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Listen With Your Heart

What do you do when you feel being hopeless? What goes into your mind in those moments of helplessness? What happens to you when you feel there is no help out there? What do you do?

You may feel that you have no options in front of you, still you try to seek help.

You see this dark place that you are stuck in and it seems that there are no way out, at the same time you know that you can get out if you do not give up.

You have exhausted every avenue and still you find no help. People confuse you because they give you nonsense advises. You do not know where to go for real and true help.

You start thinking that others have much better than you and others get help not you.

These are all true moments for many people who are struggling with finances, relationship, and life in general.

Question is: What is going on in your human body when all these real yet complicated thoughts invade our mind?

Indeed, our thoughts are only reflection of your financial, emotional, psychological, social, and individual reality. If we are unemployed and desperately looking for job because we have to pay our rent, then these thoughts are no hallucination but a glimpse of our life.

With the financial situation that millions of us are finding ourselves in today, with the world’s economy that is going to bankruptcy, how much of a hope do we regular, law obeying, responsible citizens have?

It is hard to believe that our hard work is going unrewarded. It is hard to comprehend that we work harder than ever, still we have less or we are more in-debt.

It is hard to look at those bank statements that have no good news for any one of us regular hard working citizens.

The daily envelops that reaching our doors, are the bills that are only making us more depressed and more hopeless.

What is really going on?

How many people can hold on to the thoughts that “everything will be alright.”

We often hear people saying that life is not fair and it is indeed not fair, for those of us who are doing everything right, still we are doing poorly in many aspects of life.

Listening to the stories of life, people reports of those who are trying to pretend that life is fair and just for all of us. The more these groups try to convince people that life is fair, people are hurt more. We can not deny how economy, politics, relations are hitting world’s citizens harshly.

For helping the sense of helplessness or hopelessness that many people feel in our current life, it is only fair to listen to people, to give them a voice,or at least acknowledge the hurt. Do not block people from telling you what is going on. Listen with your heart, this is the least you can do.

I guess by working harder and by trying to reach out more, we will collectively promote justice and hope. We need plenty of this combination.
Note: This article was originally published in EzineArticles October 29th, 2010 by this author.

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The impact of writing

I have a cousin who lives far away from me.  She lives in Iran.  Six or seven years ago, she was diagnosed with colon cancer and she has gone through all the unimaginable painful treatments available.

Knowing how this woman was a resilient soul, I was sure that she would fight the cancer.  However I could not imagine how.

My cousin is a woman who is funny, strong, positive, and encouraging; however her life was turned upside down due to the cancer, nothing out of the ordinary any ways.

My cousin is in her 50s and she is a a mother of three adult sons.   This woman is truly the focal point for many people when they lose hope.  Fighting cancer was a big task, something that would become an obstacle in the daily interactions with people.

My cousin was however an exception.

She did not like to let go of her abilities to offer others hope, while now she needed it the most.

In her battle with cancer, she started to reach out, to volunteer for senior homes, to raise money for poor school children, and to invite neighbours or friends for tea gatherings on a regular basis.  She was doing all the work to distract herself from what was really bothering her.

It was obvious that my cousin was trying to fill up a gap, the distance between her awareness of cancer and her positive life habits.  She started to spend her days with social activities as much as her decreasing energy would allow.  At some point it seemed that she likes to deny or ignore the cancer and distract her mind from the painful treatments.

Every time I called, she would avoid any talk about cancer and illness, something that would make her sicker in my point of view.   She would answer my questions about how she was doing, yet she managed to change the subject artistically.

In our phone conversations, I started to talk about positive psychology, meditation, relaxation techniques, and more.  I knew she was interested of these subjects and she would listen to every spoken word.   Phone calls were my only way to reach her and in those one hour or more talks, we made sure to be creative and joyful.   At times, I could hear my cousin’s wishful thinking that she would cure herself by not giving the illness any space in her life; still she had a real battle, which required medical attention and hospital visits.

In every conversations, which we have many of them; she always expressed her desire for not conversing about her illness.  I could realize that her choice of not giving the cancer a place in her life was a positive copying mechanism, yet she needed support in doing so.

Having a network of strong women, my cousin was enjoying all the phone calls from family and friends who lived elsewhere in the world.  I could hear how she was proud of people remembering her although the physical distance was a sad story in itself.   I had her in my prayers constantly and I knew all other people calling her or those who lived in her neighbourhood, would do the same.   She was loved and people could express the love to her, this was more than any one can ask for.

During all these years, I have been able to listen to her struggles in getting better; however our physical and geographic distance would not let me to offer my support more than calling her.   I never had any visual observations of her challenges and maybe just because of that at times I helped her to forget and to reject the cancer at least during our phone conversations.

I knew however that the cost for cancer treatment and the cost for all medications in Tehran was more than she could pay for,  a reason why some small amount of financial support from family and friends would at times go a long way.  In all and all the psychological support that these phone conversations was about, meant the whole world to my cousin.

Anyways, during this hard battle and many near to dead experiences, our phone conversations turned to a new direction.   At some point my cousin told me that one of her best ways of dealing with inner stress was to write journals.   This was a simple observation of a woman whose self concept and insight was inspiring.    She told me about her many journals in which she tries to remember the good things in her life.

Since writing journals was one of my favourites, I suggested that she should consider writing a little book about the topics she was interested in.

One of those topics was the life story of her family, her parents, grand parents, and the unknown generations prior to her grandparents.
We had always spoken about how our past generations were interesting considering those stories we had heard about them.

For some reason this little comment came close to her heart as my cousin started reporting of her efforts in writing the life story.

My cousin whose cancer treatment was successfully finished four years ago, started to gather photos, old notes, and stories about her grand parents.  According to my cousin, the journal   would require some interesting evidence as the hand written notes of her father would add to the value of the family history.

At times, I could feel that the fear for cancer was lost in the moments and excitement for the writing of a family history.

I had never seen anyone taking one suggestion this seriously.

Now having passed her fourth year of a cancer free life, my cousin keeps writing and her story has not finished yet.   Our phone conversations continue to be empowering and important, for the two of us as the deep bonds between us have a healing source.

My cousin has managed to depict the life story of a large family.  She reports having filled up her third large note book which sounds like an anthropologic paper.

On this note, I keep thinking of the impact of writing and its psychological healing effect.

Words are about hope and hope cures human life.  We all need plenty amount of hope and help.
Dec 28,2009

www.middlepeace.com

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Millions of Emil Zola in Iran

If Emil Zola (1840-1902) lived today, he would accuse the unholy leader and unelected president for injustice, fraud, and brutality. The spirit of Emil Zola and his famous letter J’accuse is however still alive and applicable today.

Millions of our people came to the streets of Tehran and around the country to say: we accuse this regime for miscarriage of justice due to an election coup.

These millions spirits who peacefully participated in rallies told the world how they will not accept lies, fraud, and injustice. Request for justice, freedom, democracy, open communication, and respect for differences are now more than ever the everyday life necessities in Iran.

These millions of freedom lovers of Iran shout: we accuse Iranian government for misrepresentation of justice, for illegal shut down of media, for illegal use of weapon to peaceful people, for religious prejudice, for disrespect to people’s votes, for false reports about the votes, for deceitful election, and for violation of the laws constituted under the Islamic republic of Iran.

Millions of the peaceful people of Iran accuses the top leader of Iran for biased and deliberate lies into the faces of a bright, brave, and honest nation.

These millions of the young generation of Iran accuse the top leader of Iran for severe damages of people’s peace of mind and spiritual health.

Millions of the Emil Zola of Iran accuses this vicious regime of Iran for the clinical damages inflicted on people’s bodies and mind.

The overt deception, the attacks on people’s bodies, homes, belongings, and integrity are all beyond imagination.

Therefore Emil Zola’s of Iran will accuse this regime for the sever damages on their mental health as well as physical health.

The fear, anger, and frustration of people encapsulated due to the constant horrors are seriously dangerous and clinically damaging.

Therefore we accuse the known managers and directors of this election coup for the attack on our self-determination and individual rights to live a life worth living it.

We Accuse! However question remains what court of law and justice will hear our voices.

Long live Freedom and Long live Iran.

August 18,2009
www.middlepeace.com

Original Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Millions-of-Emil-Zola-in-Iran&id=2556851

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This complex Concept of Aberoo

We Iranian live with a very complicated existential and culturally influenced concept called Aberoo.  Certainly this concept is known in other Persian speaking nations.  The notion of Aberoo impacts our daily life, physical and psychological health as well as our financial situation.   In any case the notion of Aberoo keeps us away of being honest, direct, straight forward, and correct.  For sure we damage our relationship with others because of the behaviors that Aberoo forces us to.   In some aspects this broad concept causes us pain and anxiety because our lives are defined many times by this concept.  We usually say: “If he/she/they know, then my Aberoo is gone.” What do we really refer to?

The word itself involves a vague sense of ambiguity and doubt.  Literally Aberoo can be defined as the water of face.  Keeping our face in all times and with any prise is what Aberoo leads us to.  We do not benefit by living with this fear based and self-destroying concept.  I believe we cannot find one positive element in Aberoo, a self-written script that simply censure us more than any other culturally rooted phenomenon.   In our Iranian families we are many times forbidden to speak up our minds because of Aberoo.   We stay away from seeking help and support because we fear our Aberoo is hurt.  What do we really mean by this way of behaving, thinking, and feeling?  We definitely do not gain anything, but we lose many things.
Our children usually ask us:

“What is Aberoo and why should I care about it?”  We Iranian parents often refer to it when we want our children be silent about family secrets or issues that may influence others perception of us.  We like to keep a facade and defend that picture at all costs.  We refer to Aberoo as a right to be known and viewed in a certain way.  We fear people judging us and knowing about our weaknesses.

It is important to use some tangible, comprehendible, and widespread type examples of Aberoo in order to describe what this concept is about.   Remember our tradition of hosting guests.  Some people will borrow money or use many ways of pretending to be richer than they are, to offer their guests good food that they do not afford.  Some people would buy expensive furniture to proof it to others how wealthy they are.  Some other people lie about their situations to keep up the face that in the first place is self-explanatory.   I believe there are many movies showing how families struggle to keep up the face whether it comes to financial status or social positions.  In any case we do anything to look better, more, larger, stronger, and more powerful.  Aberoo is exactly about letting go of ourselves for the sake of others.

I know one woman who battled breast cancer all by herself because of Aberoo.  This woman did not let anyone in her circle of friends and siblings to find out about her breast cancer, although people around her could see she is undergoing many changes.  There are many families who do not for instance talk about their addicted children or family member because of Aberoo.  We do know many women who suffer in the hands of abusive husbands and do not disclose what is going on due to Aberoo.  We can find numerous examples of how Aberoo limits us and how we let to live with fear because of Aberoo.
Why do we do this? Why do we insist on Aberoo?  This is a lengthy debate and needs time.

Poran Poregbal
March 12, 2009
www.middlepeace.com

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This is What Happend to Iran, Our Iran!

Our home country has been taking as hostage.   This is not a new incident. Thirty years has gone by, without any real acknowledgment of this invasion.  The safety of the world was endangered, just because of this silent invasion of my home country.  No one cared and no one noticed, but us. We had no voice then and we still don’t.  However we will not let go.
Invasion occurred by those who said they were send by god.  They changed the notion of religion forever, at least for us Iranian.  They have been persistent in creating misery.  Our free will is in prison; at least it has been there past thirty years.  Every time we opposed they tighten the ropes of control on our necks.  We got scared of claiming our rights.  We chocked due to the chaos.

Iran as a country has been taken hostage by people who are against happiness and joy.  Millions of us had to relocate, flee, leave, and disconnect due to the level of fear these people created.  Millions of us became victims of this hostile hostage taking inside our home country.   A few circle of applauding supporters have got the best deal in this invasion.  The rest of the nation is on its own.  How about is the psychological damage to these victims?  Well, many books are to be written in addition to few words that has been said by now.  The damage is not known yet.  Generations to come will wonder what happened.

What these hostage takers wanted?  They demanded us to replace our home country for a hallucinated ideology, our culture for illusions, and our life for melancholy.  Partly they have succeeded.  Partly we Iranian, although we are hurt and impacted badly, still we cannot and will not let go.
Hostage taking of our home country did not occur only in a physical format.  The unfolding events during past thirty years resulted to the psychological and political invasion of people’s homes, minds, and beliefs.
They took control over our lives in zero time.  We were disempowered in no time.  Hostage takers got us all in their net, one by one.  This was what they wanted.

Just to refresh our minds. If we do not remember let see how hostage takers operate.  We can look at the Personality traits and character of hostage takers.  They are usually hostile, violent, hateful, inflexible, rigid, dangerous, out of control, and inappropriate.
The hostage takers use variety of methods to get what they want.  Does that ring a bell?

They start with threatening, intimidating, creating crisis, requesting submission, and acting violent, all and all in order to get the power over their victims.

The private logic of hostage takers is that if they get what they want, then they are no longer losers.  They will overcome their own feeling of inferiority.  They will compensate for what they do not have, knowledge, sophistication, and compassion.
Victim rights are never ever the concern of the hostage takers, why should it be?

Some more conscientious hostage takers promise to set victims free, if and when they get the ransoms they are seeking.  However, promises could be only worthless words and gestures.  Gaining power and attention is the main concept when someone or a group of people act as the owner of the victims. This is what we Iranian experience, clearly.

The real illusion is that we start believing our hostage takers.  The real damage is that we start identifying with our hostage takers. We hallucinate that they have the capacity for change or reform.
These wild people would only hurt us more if we believe them.  Promises of the hostage takers of my home country were never real and will not be believed.  Question is when and under what circumstances these hostage takers or better say criminals will give up this crazy act.  The problem is that they have nowhere to go.  We Iranian are doomed to negotiate with our hostage takers, to let them to keep the change of billions they have already received as ransoms, and to ask them to leave us alone.   How would this be done as peaceful as possible? Well, I do not know.

www.middlepeace.com
Dec 1, 08

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Prayers for Peace

 

An Open Letter to God and Prayers for peace

Dear God:

* You know that we Iranian people are working hard to make sense of the unfolding events back home that hurt our souls constantly …….

* You know that we are trying to comprehend the tyranny forced upon us, the bemoaning culture put on our shoulders, and the intricate retrogression……..

* You know that we are fearful about the continuum of the miserable and much complex life back home, about the hardships caused by some rigid, impenetrable, and complicated people who are willing to sacrifice more human life for the sake of ideology……….

* You know that we are suffering as a nation and as individuals who are tired of the embezzlement and wretchedness of those who are careless and those whose actions are harming us excessively……

* You know that our people are in emotional and spiritual pain as our home country is in pain, we pray for peace in Iran, the region back there, and the world…..

* You know that we need to remain hopeful, optimistic, and joyful, happy, and grateful for the things that we have and do not have….

Please God:

* Enlighten those who are precluding joyful life in Iran and around the world….
* Strengthen us to embody humanism and humanity….
* Enforce kindness in those cheerful of power and reinforce trust for those without….
* Let us use reasoning, wisdom, and logic….
* Provide us with love, compassion, and passion for the mother earth….
* Let us appreciate freedom, choice, humility, and pride….
* Allow our children inherit laughter, tears, and healing……
* strengthen us to forgive and be forgiven
* encourage us to learn be happy again
* let us raise above and beyond for those in need
* And eventually let us grow both inside and outside….

Sincerely and always grateful

All of us and the rest of us………

July 23, 2007

www.middlepeace.com

 

 

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Democracy

Democracy, what does it mean? How does it look like? When are we going to attain that?

What do we really know about democracy?

When my daughter was five years old, she attended a kindergarten in Stockholm. One day, in middle of the day, I arrived at the school to take her out to some activity. I noticed that some of her classmates were sitting in a circle and that the teacher was sitting with other classmates within that circle. The topic of the day was Democracy and they were taking turns talking about things that were related to their daily activities and relationships. Once the class was over, I asked the teacher what was going on. She said, “We are just practicing democracy.”

Wow!

I was stunned. I was also excited to know that my daughter was learning about things I’d never, ever heard of in my childhood.

I remember back in Tehran, around age 14 or 15, I was reading a book where the word democracy was used somewhere (I guess by accident or because of translation errors). I took the book to school thinking that my teacher, who was a very educated gentleman, would know about this word, and I expected it to relate to science or biology or math! When I asked my teacher about “democracy,” his face turned red and he advised me to forget about that word!

I could not forget. I went home and asked my father, hoping that he would help. He did not give me the answer either, but he thought that since this word did not relate to our lives in anyway, why learn it?!

Now, looking back on the life changing events that resulted in this Diaspora of Iranians it is fair to say that what is still happening is due to the lack of tolerance and acceptance for various perspectives and world views.

Still, today, we try to raise our voices to get our words heard!

Democracy and love for others goes hand in hand.

Democracy and respect for others is interconnected.

We were never taught how to listen to each other. Our Iranian culture has never even come close to this notion of letting others win! We were never educated about the simplest thing in the world: human relations. Let’s try it now! It is never too late!

What are your experiences with this topic? Share it with others! Share it with us!

May 30, 2007
www.middlepeace.com

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Politic

“Politics are bad”; we have been told this for centuries.

We are not supposed to know or to talk about politics.

What is politic?  Are you political?

I was asked earlier today if my website was political.

I have to clarify this: this website is an independent, individual work by this writer, with no political, religious, or ideological agenda.

I will discuss further this issue of being political or not, and of my hopes for this website!

I am not interested in being political; I do not think there is any politics in the world that would help our Iranian nation more, than the politics of peace!

If I were asked to form a political party, I would create the Peace Development Party, which would focus on individual, family, community, and collective awareness-building around how we as human beings can live beside one another while preserving all of our differences, cultures, religions, and personal ideas.

We need to learn how to keep the peace, to respect each other, to help our human nature, to focus on our positive abilities instead of our weaknesses, and to talk about how to agree to disagree!

Politics is about rules, regulations, and laws by which we can help to create a healthy life together on this planet, within each geographical border, and in our own homes.

I would like to clarify something: politics was not presented to us in a healthy way. It is not what it seems to have become now!

We all live by our own politics, by the ways in which we govern our homes. We are the presidents, kings, and queens of our homes. Our partners and spouses share in the responsibilities and the protective measures in keeping our homes safe, healthy, and happy. The pursuit of happiness is in fact written into the Constitution of the United States of America.

Politics is not a bad thing, not a harmful concept, but it becomes unhealthy when we abuse the power it bestows. Politics becomes harmful when we consider our own rights only and ignore or violate the rights of our neighbors.

Now, I am not a politician but I work for the politics of peace, love, and happiness.

My laws and rules are being governed by my taking responsibility to love my neighbors as I love myself, to respect others as I wish to be respected, and to help my community so that I and everyone has a place to belong to!

Are these bad politics or good?

May 2, 2007

www.middlepeace.com


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