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Archive for June, 2012

Nine Powerful Life Lessons From Studying with a Monk

 

29th June 2012

By Robert Piper – docakilah.wordpress.com

When I was 18 years old, I suffered from anxiety and stomach problems. A compassionate physician and practicing Buddhist referred me to a Taoist monk who specialized in meditation and martial arts. I ended up healing myself of anxiety and stomach issues by doing meditation, and went on a great journey of self-discovery.

Here are 9 lessons I learned while studying with a monk:

1. Keep trying until you get it right.

The most important life lesson I learned was trying something three times (maybe even four times) before you stop trying and move on. Also, this monk taught me that, even after multiple tries, you should work on different angles to approach things that are difficult.

If you keep trying, you’ll eventually get where you’re going.

 

2. The answer to your question is inside of you.

As part of the original monastery training, a monk didn’t answer direct questions from a student unless it was a well thought-out question. A Chinese proverb says, “Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.”

Some forms of Zen Buddhism use a very similar style of training. An old saying (by Taoist monks) goes like this: “In making a four corner table, the teacher shows the student how to make one corner. It’s the student’s job to figure out how to make the other three.”

They did this because they were preparing a student to deal effectively with problems in the real world.

I traveled to South Korea one time, and I found it fascinating how much you have to rely on your intuition when you don’t speak the native language of a country. I remember one instance, I had trouble explaining to the cab driver where my hotel was, and he didn’t speak English. So I had to get out of the cab and ask several people until I could find someone to tell the cab driver in Korean how to get to my hotel.

In life, whenever we try new things, we have to go into new places with only a small amount of information. The real world doesn’t give us all the answers. The greatest teacher is inside of us.

3. Real wisdom in life comes from doing something and failing.

Prior to starting meditation, I used to get upset when I’d try something and fail.

I’ve been in sales since I was sixteen. I remember going to work and getting so angry with myself because I didn’t get a sale. If I ever got rejected, I’d get upset with myself, and I’d want to quit my job. But I just keep failing over and over—until I became good at it.

I remember, when I first started doing meditation, I ran into several problems. For example, at first it was difficult to calm down; but if you stick with it, its gets easier and easier. I tried for only a few minutes, and then every day, I added more time onto my meditation.

When we struggle, we learn about ourselves and what we need to do to become stronger.

4. When you start to do meditation you recognize the egotistical mind.

Everything in the ego’s world is the result of comparing. I compared myself to other salesmen and would blame myself because I wasn’t making as much money as them.

When I started doing meditation, I began to build separation from this egoistical mind, which is consistently making these comparisons. A lot of us try something and get rejected, so we give up. Even worse, we blame ourselves for a long time and get depressed. When I started to do meditation, I began to identify my ego and was able to build separation from it.

That’s what happens when we meditate: We separate from the part of ourselves that dwells on comparisons, and start learning to live a life that isn’t driven by our egos.

5. We must be both compassionate and resilient.

The monk wouldn’t meet with me to train unless I called him a minimum of three times. I hated this part. I used to call and call and he would never answer. But this is how life is. How many times do you have to call or email someone to get something done in the real world? It’s usually several times.

Most of us blame ourselves when we try once to do something and fail. At the time, I hated this part of the training, but now I think it was the most important life lesson.

There’s a Taoist proverb that says, “Cotton on the outside, steel on the inside.”

It reminds us to be compassionate, but not weak.

6. Patience is a virtue.

The monk always made me wait—and I dreaded this.

For example, when I got to his house to train, he’d make me wait for a minimum of a half-hour, sometimes longer. We’d go out to dinner on Friday nights and he’d show up at the restaurant an hour late.

He’d tell me to meet him at a particular restaurant at 7:00. I’d get there and find out that he wasn’t there. So I’d usually be sitting in the restaurant by myself fumbling with my phone, acting like I was texting someone, while worrying about what everyone at the restaurant was thinking about me.

Keep in mind, it’s not like I could call him; I don’t think the guy ever turned his cell phone on. Then he’d show up at about 8:15 and act like nothing happened.

His first question was always, “How’s your mother and father?” (Of course in my head I’m thinking, “What do you mean, ‘How’s my mother and father?’ I just waited here for an hour and fifteen minutes.”)

But after a few years of this, it never bothered me; and not only that, it spread to every area of my life. Because of this training, I can honestly say that I very rarely get upset about anything. I never get agitated anymore when I have to wait in a long line or when someone cuts me off on the highway.

Patience is the gift of inner calm.

7. Detach from your ego.

At first, it’s hard to sit at a restaurant by yourself. You’re constantly worrying, thinking that people probably think you’re a loser because you’re sitting by yourself. But the reality is, you will never be happy if you care about what people think you!

Prior to starting meditation, I’d get upset over just about anything. Now, nothing really bothers me. Recently, I was in the airport and there was a several hour delay on my flight. I just used that time to do meditation. Ten years ago, I would have become extremely upset. An airplane delay would have ruined my day.

When you let go of your ego needs, it’s easier to accept and even benefit from whatever comes at you.

8. In Taoism, they say, “No self, No enemy.”

It’s the enemy within that causes all of our fears, worries, and insecurities. If you come to terms with this enemy within, it will impact every area of your life. It’s the identification with the “self/ego” that causes all of life’s problems.

How many times do we not go for something because of fear? Think about all the fears that we have conjured up in our minds that stop us from being truly happy. If you can conquer the enemy within yourself, you won’t have an enemy outside yourself.

9. Happiness come from within, and also comes from outside.

I learned this from observing the Buddhist Physician I met. He used to do meditation in his office before he would interact with his patients. He was one of the happiest and most compassionate people I’ve ever met.

By creating happiness inside, he was able to increase that emotional state by spreading it to others.

We must cultivate happiness from within, and work to spread it around to everyone we interact with. The monk used say, “Everyone has a purpose or a mission in life.”

We have to find happiness within, and also find our purpose on the outside.

About the Author

Robert Piper is a meditation instructor & the creator of monkinthecity.com. He studied with a Taoist monk for 9 ½ years & traveled to Asia & Australia in search of other meditation teachers. Robert is currently writing a book on meditation to make it more accessible for stress relief, health & happiness.

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Chuang Tzu’s story of the swimmer

Confucius and his students went on a hike out in the countryside. He was thinking of using the opportunity to engage the students in a discussion about the Tao when one of them approached and asked: “Master, have you ever been to Liu Liang? It is not far from here.”

Confucius said: “I have heard about it but never actually seen it with my own eyes. It is said to be a place of much natural beauty.”

“It is indeed,” the student said. “Liu Liang is known for its majestic waterfalls. It is only about two hours’ trek from here, and the day is still young. Master, if you would like to go there, I would be honored to serve as your guide.”

Confucius thought this was a splendid idea, so the group set off toward Liu Liang. As they were walking and chatting, another student said: “I grew up near a waterfall myself. In summertime, I would always go swimming with the other children from the village.”

The first student explained: “These waterfalls we will see aren’t quite like that. The water comes down from such a great height that it carries tremendous force when it hits the bottom. You definitely would not want to go swimming there.”

Confucius said: “When the water is sufficiently powerful, not even fish and turtles can get near it. This is interesting to ponder, because we are used to thinking of water as their native element.”

After a while, they could see the waterfall coming into view in the hazy distance. Although it was still far away, they could see that it was indeed as majestic as the first student described.

Another hour of walking brought them even closer, and now they could clearly hear the deep, vibrating sound it made.

They topped a rise and were able to see the entire waterfall. Then they gasped collectively, because at the bottom of it, they saw a man in the ferociously churning water, being spun around and whipped this way and that by the terrifying currents.

“Quickly, to the waterfall!” Confucius commanded. “He must have fallen in by accident, or perhaps he is a suicide. Either way, we must save him if we can.”

They ran as fast as they could. “It’s useless, Master,” one the students said. “By the time we get down there, he’ll be too far gone for us to do him any good.”

“You may well be right,” Confucius replied. “Nevertheless, when a man’s life is at stake, we owe it to him to make every effort possible.”

They lost sight of the man as they descended the hillside. Moments later, they broke through the forest to arrive at the river, a short distance downstream from the waterfall. They expected to see the man’s lifeless body in the river. Instead, they saw him swimming casually away from the waterfall, spreading his long hair out and singing loudly, evidently having a great time. They were dumbfounded.

When he got out of the river, Confucius went to speak with him: “Sir, I thought you must be some sort of supernatural being, but on closer inspection I see you are an ordinary person, no different from us. We sought to save you, but now I see it is not necessary.”

The man bowed to Confucius: “I am sorry if I have caused you any grave concerns on my behalf. This is merely a trivial recreational activity I enjoy once in a while.”

Confucius bowed back: “You say it is trivial, but to me it is incredible. How can it be that you were not harmed by the waterfall? Are there some special skills that you possess?”

“No, I have no special skills whatsoever,” the man replied. “I simply follow the nature of the water. That’s how I started with it, developed a habit out of it, and derived lifelong enjoyment from it.”

“This ‘follow the nature of the water’ – can you describe it in greater detail? How exactly does one follow the nature of water?”

“Well… I don’t really think about it very much. If I had to describe it, I would say that when the powerful torrents twist around me, I turn with them. If a strong current drives me down, I dive alongside it. As I do so, I am fully aware that when we get to the riverbed, the current will reverse course and provide a strong lift upward. When this occurs, I am already anticipating it, so I rise together with it.”

“So you are working with the water and not just letting it have its way with you?”

“That’s right. Although the water is extremely forceful, it is also a friend that I have gotten to know over the years, so I can sense what it wants to do, and I leverage its flow without trying to manipulate it or impose my will on it.”

“How long did it take for you to make all this an integrated part of your life?”

“I really can’t say. I was born in this area, so the waterfalls have always been a familiar sight to me. I grew up playing with these powerful currents, so I have always felt comfortable with them. Whatever success I have with water is simply a natural result of my lifelong habit. To be quite frank, I have no idea why this approach works so well. To me, it’s just the way life is.”

Confucius thanked him and turned back to his students. He smiled, because he suddenly knew exactly what they could talk about on their trip home.

The Heart Sends More Information to the Brain Than the Brain Sends to the Heart

By heartmath.org

An Appreciative Heart is Good Medicine

Psychologists once maintained that emotions were purely mental expressions generated by the brain alone. We now know this is not true. Emotions have as much to do with the heart and body as they do with the brain. Of all your body’s organs, it is the heart, a growing number of scientists theorize, that plays perhaps the most important role in our emotional experience. What we experience as an emotion is the result of the brain, heart, and body acting in concert.

Since its founding in 1991, HeartMath has been dedicated to decoding the underlying mechanics of stress. IHM’s Research Center is committed to the study of the heart and the physiology of emotions and has conducted many studies that identified the relationship between emotions and the heart. A number of HeartMath’s studies have contributed new insight to the scientific community’s understanding of how heart activity is linked to our emotions and health, vitality and well-being.

 

Emotions and the Heart

HeartMath studies define a critical link between the heart and brain. The heart is in a constant two-way dialog with the brain. Our emotions change the signals the brain sends to the heart and the heart responds in complex ways. Today we now know the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart, and the brain responds to the heart in many important ways. This research explains how the heart responds to emotional and mental reactions and why certain emotions stress the body and drain our energy. As we experience feelings like anger, frustration, anxiety and insecurity, our heart-rhythm patterns become more erratic. These erratic patterns are sent to the emotional centers in the brain, which recognizes them as negative, or stressful feelings. These signals create the actual feelings we experience in the heart area and elsewhere in the body. Erratic heart rhythms also block our ability to think clearly.

Many studies have found that the risk of developing heart disease is significantly increased for people who frequently experience stressful emotions such as irritation, anger or frustration. These emotions create a chain reaction in the body: stress-hormone levels increase, blood vessels constrict, blood pressure rises and the immune system is weakened. If we consistently experience these emotions, it can put a strain on the heart and other organs and eventually lead to serious health problems.

Conversely, HeartMath’s research shows, when we experience heartfelt emotions such as appreciation, love, care and compassion, the heart produces a very different rhythm – one that has a smooth pattern and looks something like gently rolling hills. Scientists consider harmonious, or smooth heart rhythms, which are indicative of positive emotions, to be indicators of cardiovascular efficiency and nervous-system balance. This lets the brain know the heart feels good; often we experience this as a gentle, warm feeling in the area of the heart. Learning to shift out of stressful emotional reactions to these heartfelt emotions can have profound positive effects on our cardiovascular systems and overall health.

As you begin to understand and appreciate the important link that exists between the heart and emotions, you’ll start to see how it is possible to shift the heart into a more efficient state by actually monitoring heart rhythms.

Being Appreciative Has its Benefits

The feeling of genuine appreciation is one of the most concrete and easiest positive emotions for individuals to self-generate and sustain for long periods. Nearly all of us can find something to genuinely appreciate. By simply recalling a time when you felt sincere appreciation and then re-creating that feeling, you can increase your heart-rhythm coherence, reduce emotional stress and improve your health. (Coherence here refers to a balance or smoothness in heart rhythms.)

Experts recommend that people who initially find it difficult to self-generate a feeling of appreciation in the present moment recall a memory that elicits warm feelings. With practice, most people can self-generate feelings of appreciation in real time and don’t need to recall something from the past. IHM Director of Research Dr. Rollin McCraty explains.

“It’s important to emphasize that it is not a mental image of a memory that creates a shift in our heart rhythms,” McCraty said, “but rather the emotions associated with the memory. Mental images alone usually do not produce the same significant results that we’ve observed when someone focuses on a positive feeling.”

Positive emotion-focused techniques, like those developed by HeartMath, can help individuals effectively replace stressful thoughts and emotional patterns with more positive perceptions and emotions. One of the long-term benefits of practicing these kinds of techniques is increased emotional awareness. This increased awareness can help individuals maintain a more consistent emotional balance, which is a fundamental step in improving cardiovascular health.

Diet and exercise certainly will always be paramount in keeping the heart healthy. There is a growing, awareness, however, that maintaining a healthy emotional state can also play an important role in maintaining a healthy heart, especially for people recovering from heart-related illnesses. Studies show that HeartMath’s positive-emotion-focused techniques reduce stress and anxiety, both of which are safe and effective ways of lowering blood pressure and increasing functional capacity in patients who have suffered heart failure. This is an approach that many hospitals and cardiac rehabilitation programs around the country began utilizing a number of years ago.

The demand for placing greater emphasis on emotional well-being has grown rapidly to include a great many applications, not only across the medical sector, but far beyond as well. Today many corporations, law-enforcement and corrections agencies, preschools and universities, teacher programs, churches, amateur and professional sports teams, U.S. military operations and nonprofit organizations subscribe to science-based programs incorporating emotion self-regulation techniques such as those developed by HeartMath scientists. These and many other entities in the United States and around the world are actively engaged in training, restructuring, policy-making, etc., to ensure that the emotional well-being of staff and management is an integral element in day-to-day operations.

Source – heartmath.org

Creating a Healing Garden – 9 Healing Herbs You Can Grow Yourself

 

Lemon Balm

25th June 2012

By Gaye Levy

Guest writer for Wake Up World

Herbs have been used for centuries to sooth and to heal.  According to Wikipedia:

Herbs have long been used as the basis of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with usage dating as far back as the first century CE and before. Medicinal use of herbs in Western cultures has its roots in the Hippocratic (Greek) elemental healing system, based on a quaternary elemental healing metaphor.

With such a long history of use, herbs most certainly have a place in the survival garden. With that in mind, today I offer a few suggestions to get you started in creating your own healing garden.

 

Healing Herbs for the Healing Garden

Basil:  People don’t usually think of basil as a healing herb and yet traditionally, it is called the “king of herbs”.  It is used medicinally as a natural anti-inflammatory and is thought to have mild antiseptic functions. Some healing uses are for flatulence, lack off appetite, nausea and cuts and scrapes.

It is also superb on spaghetti and in pesto but then you already knew that.  Basil is an annual plant so you will have to start anew each year.

German Chamomile:  Chamomile is one of the most popular herbs in the Western world.  Its flower heads are commonly used for infusions, teas and slaves.  These in turn can be used to treat indigestion, anxiety and skin inflammations.  As a tea, it serves as a mild sedative to help with sleep.

Feverfew:  This perennial is a member of the sunflower family and has been used for centuries in European folk medicine as a remedy for headaches, arthritis, and fevers. The name feverfew comes from a Latin word meaning “fever reducer.”

It’s  many uses include easing headache pains – especially migraines.  This is done by chewing on the leaves.  A tea made from the leaves and flowers is said to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

Lemon Balm:  Lemon balm is a member of the mint family.  Considered a calming herb, it has been used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion.  Even before the Middle Ages, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings.

As with many other herbs in your healing garden, lemon balm promotes relaxation and a sense of calm.

Parsley:  While not one of my favorites, there is nothing like a sprig of parsley to take away bad breath.  It is no wonder that this biennial (meaning it lives for two years) is used to decorate and garnish plates in the fanciest of restaurants.

When brewed as a tea, parsley can help supplement iron in a person’s diet, particularly for those who are anemic. Drinking parsley tea also boosts energy and overall circulation of the body, and helps battle fatigue from lack of iron.  Other uses?  Parsley tea  fights gas and flatulence in the belly, kidney infections, and bladder infections.  It can also be an effective diuretic.

Sage:  Did you know that the genus name for sage is “salvia” which means “to heal”? In the first century C.E. Greek physician Dioscorides reported that sage stopped bleeding of wounds and cleaned ulcers and sores. He also recommended sage juice in warm water for hoarseness and cough.

In modern times, a sage tea is used to sooth mouth, throat and gum inflammations.  This is because sage has excellent antibacterial and astringent properties.

Thyme:  Back during medieval times, thyme was given to knights before going in to battle.  The purpose was to infuse this manly man with vigor and courage.

These days, thyme used to relieve coughs, congestion, indigestion and gas.  This perennial is rich in thymol, a strong antiseptic, making thyme highly desirable in the treatment of wounds and even fungus infections.  Thyme is a perennial that does well, even in cooler, Pacific Northwest climates.

Rosemary:  Long ago, rosemary was known as ‘the herb of remembrance.’ Even today, in places like Australia and New Zealand, it is used as a symbol of remembrance since it is known to help sharpen mental clarity and stimulate brain function. You might recall that many statues of the ancient Greeks and Romans show men wearing sprigs of rosemary on their heads – signifying mental acuity.

The needles of the delightfully fragrant rosemary plant can be used in a tea to treat digestive problems.  The same tea can also be used as an expectorant and as a relaxing beverage that is helpful for headaches.  Other healing uses include improving  memory, relieving muscle pain and spasms, stimulating hair growth, and supporting the circulatory and nervous systems.

Lavender:  I saved my personal favorite for last. Of course it helps that I have an abundant amount of fragrant lavender in my yard.

A tea made from lavender has many uses with one of the foremost being it’s ability to have a calming effect on a person’s mind and body. To that end, lavender can promote a sense of well-being and alleviate stress. It is also useful for dealing with various gastrointestinal issues such as upset stomachs and and flatulence.

Because it is a strong antiseptic, lavender tea, when applied topically, can help heal cuts, wounds and sores. It can also be used to mitigate bad breath.

How to Make an Herbal Tea

The process of making a pot of herbal tea is in itself healing.  Perhaps that has something to do with the proactive effort involved in doing something positive for one’s own self and well-being.  And luckily, brewing an herbal tea is easy.

To make an herbal tea, first bring some cool water to a boil.  While waiting for the water to boil, fetch a non-mental container that will be used to brew the tea.  A quart mason jar works nicely or this purpose.  You do not want to use a metal container since the metal may interfere with the purity and taste of the tea.

Add 2 tablespoons of fresh (or 1 tablespoon of dried herb or crushed seed) to the empty pot or jar for each cup of water.  Then, and this is the important part, add an extra 2 tablespoons of fresh (or 1 tablespoon of dried) herbs “for the pot.”  So, for example, if you are making 2 cups of hot tea, you would use 6 tablespoons of fresh herbs or 3 tablespoons of dried herbs.

Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let them steep, covered, for about 5 minutes give or take.  There is no  exact time since everyone’s strength preference is difference.  When ready, strain the herbs and pour the tea into a cup.  At this point you may want to garnish your heavenly – and healing – cup of tea with honey, citrus fruits or addition herb springs.

For iced tea, increase the quantity of herbs in the basic recipe by 1 1/2 to allow for dilution from the melting ice.

The Final Word

In reading about these herbs, you may have noticed that many are reputed to have the same or similar healing qualities.  Do they work?  I can personally vouch for Rosemary and Lavender which I have used as both a tea and as an essential oil.  I leave it up to you though, to be the final judge.

One thing that is true is that with a little time and for a nominal cost, you can grow the makings for healing teas, infusions and balms in your own garden. Add a dose of sun and some rich pitting soil and you will be set to go.  Just keep in mind that while perennial plants will flourish over the winter and will be there for you the following spring, annual plants must be reseeded or restarted every year.

If you would like to learn more about the healing properties of various herbs, the University of Maryland Medical Center has an excellent web site with a lot of useful information about herbs and other alternative medicine topics.  Click on “herbs” then scroll down the right to the particular herb you would like to learn about.

Also note this disclaimer:  I am not a doctor and anything I write should not be construed as medical advice.  If you have a serious condition, consult a physician or nurse practitioner if one is available.  And if not, consult a reliable reference such as my favorite, The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye

About the Author

Gaye Levy lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through emergency preparation and disaster planning. She does this through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com, an online preparedness blog that provides lifestyle tools, tips, and thoughts to guide you through the back door of life in the 21st century. With an emphasis on prepping and survival, she writes about and shares practical, thoughtful, and inspirational tools for survival in uncertain times.

Backdoor Survival is currently listed on the Survival Top 50. In addition, Gaye is a frequent guest on the Preparedness Radio Network and the soon to be author of a book on 21st century preparedness. Also known as SuvivalWoman, Gaye  speaks her mind and delivers her message with optimism and grace, regardless of mayhem swirling around us.

You can find Gaye through her website at Backdoor Survival, on the Backdoor Survival Page on Facebook, and as Survival Woman on Twitter.

joy, passion, creativity, play, freedom: spirituality

a victory over the darkest corporation on the planet

Five Million Brazilian Farmers Take on Monsanto and Win $2 Billion

14th June 2012
Five million Brazilian farmers have taken on US based biotech company Monsanto through a lawsuit demanding return of about 6.2 billion euros taken as royalties from them. The farmers are claiming that the powerful company has unfairly extracted these royalties from poor farmers because they were using seeds produced from crops grown from Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds, reports Merco Press.
In April this year, a judge in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, ruled in favor of the farmers and ordered Monsanto to return royalties paid since 2004 or a minimum of $2 billion. The ruling said that the business practices of seed multinational Monsanto violate the rules of the Brazilian Cultivars Act (No. 9.456/97). Monsanto has appealed against the order and a federal court ruling on the case is now expected by 2014.
About 85% of Brazil’s massive soyabean crop output is produced from genetically engineered seeds. Brazil exports about $24.1 billion worth of soyabeans annually, more than a quarter of its total agri-exports.
Farmers say that they are using seeds produced many generations after the initial crops from the genetically modified Monsanto seeds were grown. Farmers claim that Monsanto unfairly collects exorbitant profits every year worldwide on royalties from “renewal” seed harvests. Renewal crops are those that have been planted using seed from the previous year’s harvest. Monsanto disagrees, demanding royalties from any crop generation produced from its genetically-engineered seed. Because the engineered seed is patented, Monsanto not only charges an initial royalty on the sale of the crop produced, but a continuing two per cent royalty on every subsequent crop, even if the farmer is using a later generation of seed.
The first transgenic soy seeds were illegally smuggled into Brazil from neighboring Argentina in 1998 and their use was banned and subject to prosecution until the last decade, according to the state-owned Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA).The ban has since been lifted and now 85 percent of the country’s soybean crop (25 million hectares or 62 million acres) is genetically modified, Alexandre Cattelan, an EMBRAPA researcher told Merco Press. Brazil is the world’s second largest producer and exporter of soyabean. China is one of its biggest buyers.
Monsanto gets paid when it sell the seeds. The law gives producers the right to multiply the seeds they buy and nowhere in the world is there a requirement to pay (again). Producers are in effect paying a private tax on production,” Jane Berwanger, lawyer for the farmers told the media agencies.

and so it begins….

A Small Town REVOLUTION! Filettino (Italy) Declares Independence By Printing Its Own Banknotes


The man who would be king? Mayor Luca Sellari displays Filettino’s own bank currency, the “Fiorito,” which features his face, at his office in the town.

By David Willey – BBC News Rome

A small town in central Italy has declared its independence and started to print its own banknotes.
The authorities in Filettino, 100km (70 miles) east of Rome, are protesting against austerity measures.
It has only 550 inhabitants and under new rules aimed at cutting local administration costs it will be forced to merge with neighbouring Trevi.
Town mayor Luca Sellari, who stands to lose his job because of the eurozone crisis, came up with the idea.
He created his own currency, called the Fiorito. Banknotes have his head on the back, and they are already being used in local shops and being bought as souvenirs by tourists who have started to throng the normally quiet streets.
The mayor says there is enormous enthusiasm about declaring the independence of the new principality.
There has been such an outcry by small towns across Italy at the government move to abolish local councils and merge them with larger towns that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition may be forced to backtrack.
In the meantime the new Principality of Filettino – complete with coat of arms and website – is suddenly enjoying international fame.
TV stations from as far afield as Russia have been running news features about Filettino.
After all, the mayor says, Italy was once made up of dozens of principalities and dukedoms. As he says, the landlocked republic of San Marino still manages to survive, so why not Filettino?