Wednesday, 30 March 2011

how do we believe it to be?

Last year I read Spontaneous Evolution by Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman. I found it so compelling that I bought four or five more copies to share around the community. 
The book explores what scientists are saying about where the world is heading.
The future hinges on community; humanity is the next evolutionary step.
Lyttelton has an amazing community, it is so palpable that visitors instantly see and feel it. What we have here, what we are allowing to unfold by being caring and loving is what is being identified by many as the way forward for this planet.
A quote that always inspires me is from the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.

"It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. 
The next Buddha may take the form of a community – 
a community practicing understanding and loving kindness,
 a community practicing mindful living. 
This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth."
I like to play with this idea in my mind. 
What if we dared to think, “What if that community was us?” 
Well it could be: or it couldn’t be. 
But what if we believed it was us and acted as though it was? How would we do things differently? Would we strive to reach the full potential of what is intrinsically already here? Would we become conscious that the world is looking towards us which is indeed what is happening?
It was delightful to be called up by Bruce Lipton and have a long conversation about these matters. 
He pointed out that Buckminster Fuller a well-respected futurist said (paraphrased),
”When the world changes come, New Zealand will be the template by which countries will organize themselves for the future.”
These times that Buckminster Fuller refers to are around us now – see what is happening currently in the Middle East, climate change, peak oil, monetary crashes, pollution of the planet, deaths of species. 
The world is watching us. 
Can we step into a leadership role by simply doing what we are already doing – consciously caring for one another?

by Margaret Jefferies, chair of Project Lyttelton

watching the buildings come down: 1

It rained the day the front of the Bundy building was ripped  away.
Just a light shower.
Enough for us to stop and acknowledge the passing of this historic building in the heart of London St.

We had watched Stephen Mateer, one of Lyttelton Coffee Company's owners,  dismantling the facade during the week, moving from espresso master to construction worker.
On this day we watched him undo the last of the bracing on the verandah and then step back and let the crane do the rest.

"It feels good. 
It doesn't feel like something's broken now.
It now feels like a building site"

by Jacinda, also at

lyttel stitches

In an environment heavy with destruction and grief there are always those things that will blossom and nurture new life.
Here in Lyttelton, the "heart project" has been one of those things  over this last month.

A circle of people gathered together and a simple project; an old woolen blanket cut into the shape of a heart, buttons and wool stitched on with love, a safety pin to attach and given away freely to whomever may pass our way.
Mainly sitting vigil outside the library at what has become "the coffee corner," we sit and do our bit at stitching the community's heart back together. 
People come and go all day. Some appreciate the chance to sit and chat, others stitch their own heart. All of us able to take a breath together, enjoy the chance to focus on a simple project and remember that we do not need to face uncertainty alone.
This is no small thing.

And as we sat among the rubble of our beloved buildings - the places that were integral to our lives here - we discovered a small way to grieve a little for what we had lost. We wanted to make those fences our own somehow and stitch a little beauty where there was lose and collapse and so hearts began to appear on the barricades.

And when the news came that the local schools were to reopen it seemed an obvious place to take the heart project. Creativity heals; it allows one to be alone and yet together with others. It allows the body to relax and the mind to focus on a single thing rather than worry about what is to come.

Families had moved away and children would be without their usual friends. The children  needed their own heart and needed to be part of the larger story of Lyttelton stitching their community back together again

All through this project we have been deeply grateful for those people who brought supplies to us or sent them from other parts of the country. With these gifts we sat each day and stitched and as we gave these gifts to others we reminded ourselves and each other that the perfect way forward is with an open heart. 

by Jacinda, also at

the coffee corner

Thanks Lyttelton Coffee Company.
You were there right after the quake.
You provided a place for people to gather; to sit a while and to catch up.
Your coffee provided way more than the daily dose of caffeine.
When the social hub that we had all known was barred behind fences, you set up outside the library and became the new heart of town.
Restless hands brought baking to give away, rescue workers took a break from their work and the locals came because we knew someone would be there.
The coffee corner was the "normal" in the new chaos.

After the 22nd Feb the streets of Lyttelton remained alive, London St remained inhabited.
We owe you Lyttelton Coffee Corner; you made the difference.

by Jacinda, also at