serious times

 

 

World Hunger

  • 842 million people – or one in eight people in the world – do not have enough to eat. 2
  • 98% of the world’s undernourished people live in developing countries.2
  • Where is hunger the worst?
    • Asia: 552 million2
    • Sub-Saharan Africa: 223 million2
    • Latin America and the Caribbean: 47 million2

Aiming at the very heart of hunger, The Hunger Project is currently committed to work in BangladeshBeninBurkina FasoEthiopiaIndiaGhana,MalawiMexicoMozambiquePeruSenegal and Uganda.

Women and Children

  • 60 percent of the world’s hungry are women.2
  • 50 percent of pregnant women in developing countries lack proper maternal care, resulting in 240,000 maternal deaths annually from childbirth.3
  • 1 out of 6 infants are born with a low birth weight in developing countries.4
  • Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year. That is 8,500 children per day.6
  • A third of all childhood death in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by hunger.5
  • 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.6
  • Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases.5

The Hunger Project firmly believes that empowering women to be key change agents is an essential element to achieving the end of hunger and poverty. Wherever we work, our programs aim to support women and build their capacity.

HIV/AIDS and other Diseases

  • 35 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.7
  • 52 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are women.7
  • 88 percent of all children and 60 percent of all women living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa.7
  • 6.9 million children died in 2011 each year – 19,000 a day- mostly from preventable health issues such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.5

Launched in 2003, The Hunger Project’s HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Campaign works at the grassroots level to provide education about preventative and treatment measures.

Poverty

  • 1.4 billion people in developing countries live on $1.25 a day or less.8
  • Rural areas account for three out of every four people living on less than $1.25 a day.9
  • 22,000 children die each day due to conditions of poverty.10

Rural Hunger Project partners have access to income-generating workshops, empowering their self-reliance. Our Microfinance Program in Africa provides access to credit, adequate training and instilling in our partners the importance of saving.

Agriculture

  • 75 percent of the world’s poorest people — 1.4 billion women, children, and men — live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihood.11
  • 50 percent of hungry people are farming families.11

In each region in which we work, The Hunger Project provides tools and training to increase farming production at the local level. In Africa, our epicenter partners run community farms where they implement new techniques while producing food for the epicenter food bank.

Water

  • 1.7 billion people lack access to clean water.12
  • 2.3 billion people suffer from water-borne diseases each year.12
  • 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and none of the 12 percent lives in developing countries.13

The Hunger Project works with communities to develop new water resources, ensure clean water and improved sanitation, and implement water conservation techniques

 

Sources:

  1. US Census Bureau, International Data Base
  2. State of Food Security in the World 2013
  3. MDG Report – Goal 5, 2013 (pdf)
  4. World Hunger and Poverty Statistics, 2013
  5. MDG Report – Goal 4, 2013 (pdf)
  6. World Food Programme Hunger Statistics
  7. UN AIDS Report on the Global Epidemic, 2013
  8. IFAD Rural Poverty Report 2011
  9. Human Development Report, 2007/2008
  10. UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2010 (pdf)
  11. FAO Addressing Food Insecurity in Protracted Crises, 2010 (pdf)
  12. WHO Unsafe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (pdf)
  13. Water as Commodity – The Wrong Prescription by Maude Barlow, The Institute for Food and Development Policy
  14. A Life Free From Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition, Save the Children, Feb 2012

 

 

VICTIMS

SHORTLY after the birth of her sixth child, Mathilde went with her baby into the fields to collect the harvest. She saw two men approaching, wearing what she says was the uniform of the FDLR, a Rwandan militia. Fleeing them she ran into another man, who beat her head with a metal bar. She fell to the ground with her baby and lay still. Perhaps thinking he had murdered her, the man went away. The other two came and raped her, then they left her for dead.

Mathilde’s story is all too common. Rape in war is as old as war itself. After the sack of Rome 16 centuries ago Saint Augustine called rape in wartime an “ancient and customary evil”. For soldiers, it has long been considered one of the spoils of war. Antony Beevor, a historian who has written about rape during the Soviet conquest of Germany in 1945, says that rape has occurred in war since ancient times, often perpetrated by indisciplined soldiers. But he argues that there are also examples in history of rape being used strategically, to humiliate and to terrorise, such as the Moroccan regulares in Spain’s civil war.

As the reporting of rape has improved, the scale of the crime has become more horrifyingly apparent (see table). And with the Bosnian war of the 1990s came the widespread recognition that rape has been used systematically as a weapon of war and that it must be punished as an egregious crime. In 2008 the UN Security Council officially acknowledged that rape has been used as a tool of war. With these kinds of resolutions and global campaigns against rape in war, the world has become more sensitive. At least in theory, the Geneva Conventions, governing the treatment of civilians in war, are respected by politicians and generals in most decent states. Generals from rich countries know that their treatment of civilians in the theatre of war comes under ever closer scrutiny. The laws and customs of war are clear. But in many parts of the world, in the Hobbesian anarchy of irregular war, with ill-disciplined private armies or militias, these norms carry little weight.

Take Congo; it highlights both how horribly common rape is, and how hard it is to document and measure, let alone stop. The eastern part of the country has been a seething mess since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. In 2008 the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian group, estimated that 5.4m people had died in “Africa’s world war”. Despite peace deals in 2003 and 2008, the tempest of violence has yet fully to subside. As Congo’s army and myriad militias do battle, the civilians suffer most. Rape has become an ugly and defining feature of the conflict.

Plenty of figures on how many women have been raped are available but none is conclusive. In October Roger Meece, the head of the United Nations in Congo, told the UN Security Council that 15,000 women had been raped throughout the country in 2009 (men suffer too, but most victims are female). The UN Population Fund estimated 17,500 victims for the same period. The IRC says it treated 40,000 survivors in the eastern province of South Kivu alone between 2003 and 2008.

“The data only tell you so much,” says Hillary Margolis, who runs the IRC’s sexual-violence programme in North Kivu. These numbers are the bare minimum; the true figures may be much higher. Sofia Candeias, who co-ordinates the UN Development Programme’s Access to Justice project in Congo, points out that more rapes are reported in places with health services. In the areas where fighting is fiercest, women may have to walk hundreds of miles to find anyone to tell that they have been attacked. Even if they can do so, it may be months or years after the assault. Many victims are killed by their assailants. Others die of injuries. Many do not report rape because of the stigma.

Congo’s horrors are mind-boggling. A recent study by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Oxfam examined rape survivors at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, a town in South Kivu province. Their ages ranged from three to 80. Some were single, some married, some widows. They came from all ethnicities. They were raped in homes, fields and forests. They were raped in front of husbands and children. Almost 60% were gang-raped. Sons were forced to rape mothers, and killed if they refused.

The attention paid to Congo reflects growing concern about rape in war. Historically the taboo surrounding rape has been so strong that few cases were reported; evidence of wartime rape before the 20th century is scarce. With better reporting, the world has woken up to the scale of the crime. The range of sexual violence in war has become apparent: the abduction of women as sex slaves, sexualised torture and mutilation, rape in public or private.

In some wars all parties engage in it. In others it is inflicted mainly by one side. Rape in wars in Africa has had a lot of attention in recent years, but it is not just an African problem. Conflicts with high levels of rape between 1980 and 2009 were most numerous in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Dara Kay Cohen of the University of Minnesota (see chart). But only a third of sub-Saharan Africa’s 28 civil wars saw the worst levels of rape—compared with half of Eastern Europe’s nine. And no part of the world has escaped the scourge.

The anarchy and impunity of war goes some way to explaining the violence. The conditions of war are often conducive to rape. Young, ill-trained men, fighting far from home, are freed from social and religious constraints. The costs of rape are lower, the potential rewards higher. And for ill-fed, underpaid combatants, rape can be a kind of payment.

Full article: http://www.economist.com/node/17900482

 

 

Advertisements

Internal Arts

Nei Jia is a system of work that allows for the cultivation of heath and longevity in a balanced state of peace, attainment, and tranquillity. Nei Jia is an enlightened system that leads to the highest end when fully embodied and understood. The attainment of physical and mental/spiritual health and well being allows for intellectual growth and consciousness expansion. Many who fully embody the physical and mental/spiritual aspects of Nei Jia go beyond in their experience. My friend and brother Shifu Micah David (Hern Heng) has been blessed to learn from great masters of the art. To learn more please visit http://wkfhf.com/neijiakungfu.com/ Ask about training opportunities! Regular seminars are held in various locations in the United States.

The following are relevant lineages of the Nei Jia taught at Three Temples Kung Fu and Tactical Training. Other systems’ lineages are available by request. If you are curious about a system we teach not listed here, just ask!
Contact info: ThreeTemples@gmail.com

 

Hebei Style Xingyiquan (Black Sash, Instructor Ranking) xingyi

Chen Style Taijiquan (Black Sash, Instructor Ranking) chen-lines

 

Yang Style Taijiquan (Black Sash, Instructor Ranking) yang-lines

 

Chen, Pan-Ling Style Taijiquan (Permission to teach)

 

Cheng Style Baguazhang (Permission to teach) bagua

Traditional Northern Celestial Mountain Kung Fu (Black Sash, Instructor Ranking), basis for the Three Temples Internal Kung Fu 18 Forms

calibrations

Just some thoughts…

How much does mental health impact physical health?

If we consider the emotional state of an individual who has just received news that a close loved one has suddenly died, most people would respond in a state of sadness and sorrow. In times of extreme grief, the impact of the mind on the body can be harsh and long lasting. In grief, despair, and sorrow, the mind is “sick.” The body naturally embodies the sickness, as a shadow follows one walking in light.

If that person were able to gain command over his or her mind, he or she would come to make peace with all reality and settle into a balanced and healthy state of mind functioning in good mental and physical health.

Cultivating a more focused mind, harmoniously aligned with the universal laws of morality, will allow greater consciousness expansion and intellectual development.

Overcoming grief requires liberation from false ideas. Letting go of all despair and finding peace is difficult for most people. Many people suffer miserably with bad health, physically and mentally.

Understanding the mysteries of life will enable people to take control of their health and well being. Knowledge is power. The truth removes the barriers of growth and allows an avenue for one to attain total freedom and liberation. Bringing our emotional minds into a harmonious balance will help us transcend all sickness. As in the example of the person receiving news of a loved one’s death, this person may fall into extreme despair and this can lead to destruction. However if one knew that no one really dies, then one would have no need to fall into a state of extreme despair/suffering.

Maintaining regular exercise will help one begin to regulate and balance the bodily system. Focusing on good health and being disciplined will provide an opportunity for positive change. When done in a harmonious manner, exercise will help one rise up from despair and relax. Most people suffer from varying degrees of stress and all the reasons for it. Being aware of this, the way to overcoming it is to focus on regulating all stress through elimination and balancing the mind in equanimity. Relaxing all tension, letting all stress go. Gently and with grace.

Understanding the difference between the body and the mind will allow one to attain a greater command of one’s health if one is disciplined enough to maintain discipline. It requires work, not too much, not too little.

Aligning one’s mind with the living power that sustains all life will allow one to begin to know the creator of reality and this leads to the highest end. It is mighty and powerful, and it is silent and elusive.

educational program: study of genetics

chakra meditation

Understanding the complete nature of the body leads us to an understanding of the nature of matter and energy, duality and oneness, and the visible and invisible realities of consciousness. For purposes of understanding we can liken the body to a machine. This machine, while being composed of matter, requires energy to survive. It inhales oxygen and nitrogen gas and absorbs the energy. It requires energy to function as needed. We eat matter and the body absorbs the energy in the matter and absorbs water and the energy in water. The body produces energy. As long as it is fed properly and taken care of, it will constantly produce energy. The body is here…if you are reading this then you probably are in a body…you can see it and touch it and sense it…the mind however is more mysterious…you can’t see your mind and you can’t touch your thoughts…yet the obvious reality of your mind and its presence remains. Similarly, when we consider the “chakras” we need to understand their nature. We cannot see them with our flesh and blood eyes because they are part of the machine and the machine is limited. Just as we cannot see our mind, we cannot see our chakras. The key to unlocking them lies within. The best way to go within is to close your eyes, quiet your thoughts, and when there is silence, begin…

We will begin with the lowest chakra and work our way up to top…the lowest chakra forces us to address fear. Fear leads to death. Consider all your fears…fear of loss…fear of death…fear of heights…fear of public speaking…confront your fears…with boldness…smash your fears! and arise to the next chakra…

As long as fear remains, the chakra will not open…

The next charka is locked when we harbor guilt within us. Often times when we feel guilt, it’s because we are guilty. If you can feel it, it is probably because you are guilty. This is not always the case though. And sometimes we may be guilty for the wrong reasons…sometimes apologizing can help if necessary. Get past it and ascend to the next chakra…

The next chakra is governed by shame. Perhaps the shame is born out of improper action, such as engaging in “low” activities. Maybe it is born out of society’s perception of you? Maybe you have no shame. Maybe you would do anything without a care? Whatever shame you have, confront it, consider its source, make amends where needed, and through these steps, move past it…

The heart charka is next, it is love that opens it…it is grief that locks it. Here we confront grief in all its forms. We think about grief and what causes it…how to avoid it and how to confront it. Why do we grieve, what causes our pain…how can we end it? It is difficult to overcome grief when there is so much of it. So many people grieve and suffer. When people are being oppressed, as they are all over the world, then this causes suffering and grief then becomes manifest. However, some grief can be overcome through knowledge and understanding. The most difficult grief many people face is losing loved ones. This is hard but when proper understanding is in place, it can lead us back to reality. Everyone will pass through death into the next life. The body is only a machine, it is the person inside that is real. No one ever truly dies, we all return to the power that gives life. It is not by accident or coincidence that every major religious tradition from Judaism to Taoism to Buddhism to Christianity, and every sacred spiritual text from around the world attests to the fact that the body is born of the earth and when our time to go comes, the body will return to the earth and we will go…”we” are not our bodies…we are not of this world, we have been born here to experience this life, but it is temporary…we will all return home soon…so be at peace…trust in the power that commands the universe…for it is glorious and beautiful.

The throat chakra is locked by lies…so don’t lie and it will open. It is governed by truth, thus we seek truth in all its forms and manifestation. We accept the truth wherever and whenever it manifests.

The “third-eye” chakra is governed by insight. We are born in a world of duality. Up and down, left and right, light and dark, good and bad, truth and lies, in and out, here and there…We understand that the yin and yang manifest in the universe, and all duality that exists is limited to it’s time and place in space and that the all-permeating, omnipresent, all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe and all existence is one, and the living life of its presence permeates all existence. While there is up and down, it is only so within the context of creation. The all-permeating creator of life is one and its oneness permeates all. When this is known and felt and understood, then this will lead to the crown chakra on top to the head…

The crown chakra can only be activated when one fully submits to the commander of the universe and all existence. By understanding the nature of the life of this world as well as the nature of the giver of life, the crown can be opened.

light

the garden


Zombie Apocalypse!!!

Zombie Apocalypse!!!

In the spirit of Halloween, my kids wanted me to tell everyone about the zombie apocalypse. These zombies are a little different than the traditional human eating zombies. These zombies don’t eat humans, instead, they eat animals!

About eight years ago I decided to stop eating meat. The reason I decided to stop is because I don’t want to have to kill. As my sons Brior and Elijah have gotten older, they began inquiring about why I don’t eat meat. I explained to them that I don’t want animals to die when there is no good reason for them to have to die. I told them that we have access to plenty of plant-based foods and there is no need to kill. I explained that a vegetarian diet is good for our health when balanced properly and that the animals don’t have to die. I went on to tell them that it was my choice to abstain from eating meat and that they could eat it if they wanted to.

When my sons found out that meat is dead animal muscles, they were disgusted. It all seemed so strange to them. They asked me why people kill animals and eat their dead bodies. I told them that people do it because meat tastes good. But that wasn’t a good enough reason as far as they were concerned. Eating dead animals was a disgusting reality that they found themselves exposed to. I told them that if they had no other food options, such as in a survival situation for example, then it would be okay to eat animals to survive. However, with the grocery stores being full of plant based foods, there is no need to eat meat. I explained to them that most people are brought up eating meat and that most people don’t really think about it too much.

It was after this that the kids started saying that people were like zombies eating the dead. It sounds kind of weird putting it like that, but the reality of it is sadly accurate. Is it really necessary to eat the dead in order to sustain the life of the body? Trillions and trillions of animals are killed every year for consumption. Is it necessary?

I grew up eating meat. Most everyone I know eats meat. I don’t expect everyone to stop eating meat after reading this, but in my opinion, it is completely unnecessary to eat the dead. Eating the muscles of dead animals is not necessary for survival nor is it recommended for longevity. People eat meat because it tastes good, that’s how most of us were raised, and society is set up to cater to meat eaters, so it’s convenient. But it’s time to think and to live in a manner that is free of killing. Even if we are ordering a burger at McDonald’s, we are taking from the supply of meat thereby causing a demand for more. In this way, all people who eat meat play their role in the death of countless animals. It is time for us to transcend this primitive way of life and ascend into a more harmonious state of existence wherein we create a non-violent equilibrium with our environment. When will the killing end?

In my opinion, if you want to eat meat, then you should have to kill the animal yourself. Clean the animal, prepare it, and eat it. Perhaps then more appreciation will be considered for the lives that are being taken. Don’t eat the dead! Zombies aren’t cool. 