Big news! Congressman Tim Ryan (OH), author of A Mindful Nation http://www.amindfulnation.org/ just agreed to be MindfulVOTES Ambassador. Thanks, Tim, for making the connection between mindfulness & politics real, and thanks to all of you for getting us here, to make this possible.
(i also got to give him a copy of my book, too ;-)
Through the storm of Issac and the fire of a very quick fundraising effort, we made it on all fronts:
- we surpassed our minimum goal of $5000, raising just under $6500 from 92 donors. Gifts from $5 to $500 carried us over the top. The "extra" funds helped make up the increased airline cost and supplemented one week of two weeks lost wages for chandra's volunteering (she's no longer on staff, but offered to come anyway)
- we touched down in Tampa just as Issac shifted course. We spent our first day getting acclimated to the Huffington Post Oasis, where our partners, Off The Mat, Into the World are offering free yoga, meditation and spa services to RNC attenders to unplug and unwind, connecting body, mind and heart.
- we are a go! This is just the beginning. Getting to the RNC & DNC to staff the Oasis was just the first step in our larger MindfulVOTES campaign. Our website is now up at http://mindfulvotes.org and we invite each and everyone of you to go immediately and Pledge to Vote as a first step to shifting the energy of HOW we engage our political lives.
YOU made all of this happen by donating, sharing and sending love notes of support, and for that we are so moved and deeply grateful. It was a big stretch to move things to do this trip and an even bigger stretch to insist we had to raise $5K in under two weeks. We wanted to make a statement about the importance of everything this campaign stood for, but we NEEDED to know we had the support of our larger community.
So, thank you.
A we kick-off our MindfulVOTES campaign, you can stay up-to-date with our Oasis activities, MindfulVOTES' progress and most importantly, Pledge to VOTE, visit http://mindfulvotes.org More information on MindfulVOTES follows and I'm looking forward to seeing you all to Pledge to Vote, shift HOW we engage our political lives and build a community for Mindfulness That Matters. Are you in?
with humility, love and in solidarity,
p.s., Our prayers for safety go out to those in the Gulf and especially New Orleans on this 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. May the winds settle and carry away darkness & divisiveness from the hearts of everyone.
What is MindfulVOTES?
"It's time to liberate our politics from negativity and closed-Â"heartedness. The widely-Â"held mindfulness values of love, compassion and inclusivity can bring sanity to our process and return us, as Americans, back to our center of goodness." "”angel Kyodo williams
MindfulVOTES is a dynamic campaign to galvanize ALL people that aspire to bring mindfulness into every aspect of their lives"”and the resulting values of love, compassion and inclusivity"”to the fore of American politics. No matter where we stand on the political spectrum, HOW we vote and engage matters. Mindfulness communities across traditions and the nation, comprise 5 million people, many of whom are registered, but like other Americans, are disturbed by and disengaged from the current state of the electoral process. Imagine if this community could be gathered together to bring sanity and heart to how voting happens, allowing once again meaningful engagement, respectful debate and openness to differences?
WHO: MindfulVOTES is a collaborative effort anchored by Transformative Change, in alliance with YogaVotes.org, Dreamed up around a dinner table of yogis, meditators, organizers and thinkers, MindfulVotes piggybacks off the efforts of YogaVotes. Transformative Change bridges the inner and outer lives of social change agents and their allies to support a more effective, more sustainable movement towards justice for all. Advisors and co-Â"organizers include leaders & members of mindfulness communities such as Interdependence Project, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Deer Park Monastery, The Engage Network, Insight Meditation Society, Off The Mat Into the World and more*.
WHEN: Onsite, teleconference, virtual events and small group circles every week through Election Day, November 6th, 2012
IMPACT & REACH
MindfulVOTES expects to capture and engage more than 250,000 self-Âidentified members of the 5-Âmillion person strong mindfulness community. They span traditions, political perspectives, parties and practices. What they have in common is a commitment to bringing greater consciousness through mindfulness in all aspects of their lives. MindfulVOTES will also engage:
350 Leaders: engaged individuals excited to amplify the MindfulVOTES message and bring others on board
75 Centers: places of community and practice activated to create local containers for face-Âto-Âface connection
30 Ambassadors: highly-Ârespected individuals & couples who lift up the message of MindfulVotes, make the case for Mindfulness That Matters and answer the critical question of today: "Why Vote?"
We hold a firm commitment to the belief that our country can only be served by having everyone's voice at the table in respectful dialog with free access to participate in the voting process. Viable solutions to our most entrenched social issues depends upon safe, open, conscientious debate of ideas and issues, connecting what matters most to how we vote. Putting aside vitriol and negativity will restore our faith and empower our potential to discover solutions that work for everyone. Deeply changed by the rediscovery of our hearts and humanity, engaging the values of mindfulness can be transformative for all. (*Organizations listed for identification purposes only.)
Literally, as Tropical Storm Issac forms and makes it's way right towards Tampa, we are headed to the RNC, followed by the DNC, with well over 100 volunteers.
This support is directly because of each of your generous, heartfelt support. Donations, sharing with others and really kind words.
We are at an amazing 95% of our goal, $4,728 raised in just over a week, and we are not done yet.
Meeting our $5K goal covers only the barest minimum expenses. As is the case with many small orgs, we're strapped, but we have A LOT of HEART, so we'd be really appreciative of any additional support. Send folks here: http://www.gofundme.com/11jcn8
In the meantime, check out our new logo and get ready for the unveiling of the MindfulVOTES website very soon.
angel, Muki, chandra & Zochi
(ps, so sorry for the bad email formatting, it's a GoFundMe issue. best to read this online.)
As they say at NASA, "we're a go!" after a few skirmishes with online reservations and needing to split the group on flights, ALL FOUR team members have plane tickets and we have secured most of our housing: we are bringing mindfulness to the RNC and DNC.
This would not be possible without your stalwart support. An additional $965 came in yesterday and this morning, bringing us to within $1000 of our goal. This is especially amazing, given most of it has been since the weekend and we don't have an enormous mailing list, so thank you.
And we're not done yet: logistics call for printing materials locally and while we know we'll do a stellar job sharing an experience and moving hearts, giving people something to walk away with and consider is crucial to moving minds.
- convey hopefulness and inspiration, rather than divisiveness and separation
- lift up the importance of coming together for solutions, regardless of differences
- encourage reconnection to shared mindfulness values of love, compassion and inclusivity
and of course:
- give people simple instructions to continue or deepen the practices they learn with us,
- remind them how practice re-connects us to our deepest values and most authentic selves
- the diverse and wide-ranging mindfulness community CAN make a difference in HOW America's politics happens
Those are the messages, among others, that inspired you. SHARE/POST/TWEET the link: http://www.gofundme.com/11jcn8 and EMAIL our (meaning yours and my) campaign. You know someone that knows someone that wants to connect to this message.
Give someone the opportunity to extend love, compassion and inclusivity amongst their circles today.
Thanks to your support, we've reached over 50% of our goal, raising over $1000 in the last day.
And, it's not quite enough. We need to buy our tickets by end of day pacific time. Right now, we can assure two people coming, myself and Muki, our Practice Leader. We're a great team, but we need the other two: chandra is our first teacher of our signature fearlessMEDITATION and fearlessYOGA, other than myself. She's great at logistics and cooks, too. Zochi comes with decades of teaching experience, leads yoga and tai chi, and is our media guru -- video, photos, & audio -- he captures the stories so we can share them.
Right now, your support -- donations you give and donations you cause to be given -- are valued 10-fold because getting to these conventions means a great launch for the larger MindfulVOTES campaign: credibility and visibility abound.
Please share this link: http://www.gofundme.com/11jcn8
on Facebook, Twitter and especially email. The same letter that moved you to give can be easily forwarded with a note from you. You NEVER know who will be inspired to express their hopefulness by way of a donation. So don't pick and choose -- Share it wide: http://www.gofundme.com/11jcn8
We've been asked to share our message at a march at the DNC and to speak at several places already.
We've had stellar support from the YogaVOTES dream team and Sharon Salzberg, with others coming on board. I won't say much more (for now) but will let the following speak for itself.
"What a great idea! With admiration, and with hope that you'll come to Berkeley and tell our community about this experience"
--Kathi McShane, V.P., Pacific School of Religion
"thanks for going into the belly of the beasts."
--Akaya Windwood, President, Rockwood Leadership Institute
"so great you are doing this!!!"
--Mirabai Bush, Founder Emerita & Fellow, Contemplative Mind in Society
and, for me, most poignantly:
"I have been struggling so much with how to enter into divided struggles with mindfulness and compassion for all. Thank you for your leadership, for holding the lantern on this path."
The Opportunity In just one week, the Republican National Convention will be held, followed by the Democratic National Convention. In an effort to lift up the importance of bringing consciousness to the political process, Arianna Huffington and Huffington Post is sponsoring an "Oasis" at the conventions. It will be a space to unplug and recharge featuring meditation, yoga, spa services and healthy refreshments to give the delegates a rejuvenating place to reconnect to their bodies and minds so they can bring their hearts in a powerful way during the supercharged political conventions.
The Impact The reach of these events will be significant, with 16,000 participants gathering in Charlotte and Tampa. 1000 - 2000 people each day. This effort transcends partisanship and brings a fundamental sanity to a process that has seemed pretty insane lately.
Transformative Change, in an alliance with the team behind YogaVotes, is anchoring MindfulVotes, to galvanize ALL people that aspire to bring mindfulness into every aspect of their lives"”and the resulting values of love, compassion and inclusivity"”to the fore of American politics. No matter where we stand on the political spectrum, HOW we vote and engage matters.
What Is Needed We need to raise $5000 by next week to send a team of four leaders of color to the conventions, to anchor a larger group of locally-based teachers. Each skilled leader can teach meditation, yoga, tai chi and other mindfulness practices.Chip in now to keep airfare costs down.
Why Does This Matter? It's time to liberate our politics from negativity and closed-heartedness. The widely-held mindfulness values of love, compassion and inclusivity can return us, as Americans, back to our center of goodness.
And, by bringing an anchor team of people of color, we will change the way practices mindfulness and embodiment are represented in this important and highly visible venue. The team will coordinate efforts to assure locally-based leaders of color are supported to show up, as well.
What Can You Do?
Give. If 100 people give $50, we'll make our goal. If you give more, we'll reach that goal faster and save money. Give as generously as you can, from $5 to $1000 or more. Private donations are accepted here.
It's always said, but truly, every single dollar counts, just like every vote does. $5000 covers the basics, and more will allow us to supplement transportation & expenses for others to be there.
If you can make a foundation grant, contact us for arrangements.
Rev. angel Kyodo, Muki, chandra, Zochi & the MindfulVotes anchor team
p.s., Remember, the hardest part is already done: the opportunity of the Oasis already exists for us to bring mindfulness to politics in a big way. Your contribution will make it happen for people that wouldn't make it. Let's meet the opportunity together.
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