Swiss Bubbles Saving Lives & Livelihoods

Hotels have been advocating the responsible use of towels for years. Hang them up if you’re willing to use them again, or leave them on the floor for a replacement. But what about the complimentary soaps? The ones hotel guests leave behind after checking out even if they’ve hardly been used?

SapoCycle SoapsThanks to the Basel-based SapoCycle Foundation hotel soaps throughout Switzerland are now being recycled in a way that not only benefits the environment, but also saves lives and provides jobs. That’s definitely amazing enough to put a smile on my face!

Dorothee and Rudolf Schiesser set up SapoCycle in 2014, and already more than 40 hotels across Switzerland are contributing solid soap bars to the program on a regular basis. Moreover, 25 Swiss hotels from the AccorHotels Group have just joined the scheme.

Participating hotels are responsible for collecting the used soap bars and sending them on to SapoCycle partner WohnWerk. This organization takes care of the recycling, thereby creating jobs for disabled people in Switzerland.

The recycled soaps are then distributed to countries with high child morbidity and mortality rates caused by acute lower respiratory infection and diarrheal illnesses. Did you know that more than 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die each year from these illnesses, which could be prevented by hand washing?

For full article, click: Swiss Soaps Saving Lives and LivelihoodsSapoCycle in Country.jpg

Article by Sam Red for Newly Swissed Magazine

Photos c/o Idit Kobrin and SapoCycle Foundation

 

Loving without expectation or ownership

Her experiment to discover the spiritual reality behind physical-plane existence had brought with it a growing capacity to love without expectations or neediness. In all her interactions, not only in her intimate relations, Joy endeavoured to radiate positivity and a loving disposition. She felt it was her duty to interact with others in this way. She had learnt to let go. She knew she had no control over what the other person did, said or felt. The only guarantee she had was the relationship she was building with her Self. This was the only constant. It gave meaning to her life.

Love without expectationJoy brought her developing capacity to love without expectations into her relationship with Gino. She knew they would be together for as long as was right. That might be until the end of their lives. It might be sooner. One of them might decide to end the relationship. She no longer feared that and didn’t feel the need to grasp. Joy loved Gino deeply. She smiled whenever she thought of him. They slept lying intertwined. Whenever their relationship ended – through death or separation – the beauty of what they had at that moment would live on as an echo in the “ether”. Only the recourse to hatred, intolerance or grief, which was the reaction of so many divided couples, could take that beauty away.

Extract from my book “My Name is Joy”

Photo c/o Karin Henseler a.k.a sciencefreak on Pixabay http://bit.ly/1rtbCwU

Foundations of Empowerment

If you feel inspired, please check out my latest article in the 35th edition of More to Life Magazine, which is entitled “Foundations of Empowerment”. To give you a taster, it starts as follows:

“The art of living an empowered life is a bit like walking on a razor edge between: having faith that our life circumstances are serving a purpose (surrender) – unmet needs are also learning opportunities; and acknowledging the areas in our lives where we’d like to see improvements and, thereafter, making changes, no matter how small, so that we get the feeling of co-creating the reality we wish to manifest (direct action).“

To read the full article, please see pages 36-38 below or on the following link: “Foundations of Empowerment” – article in More to Life Magazine.

Thanks & love 🙂

Sam 🙂

 

Some thoughts on suffering (part 3 of 3)

In the realms of spiritual authenticity, our worth is not calculated by our monetary Balancefortune, but rather by our actions and the quality of our emotional mind space at any given moment. We are responsible for our perceptions and attitudes i.e. our thoughts and feelings and, therefore, how we experience outer events. We are only partially in control of how those outer events play out. Life on the physical plane is impermanent and relatively random. To resist or deny that reality is madness. The sanest recourse is to accept life as an ever-changing playing field, to find the point of permanence in the inner self and then to live life with a sense of curiosity and playfulness. “A disciplined mind regards all changes as causal and temporary. The balanced does not fluctuate, and does not suffer.”[1] This tantric attitude takes courage and persistent effort, which is why I refer to it as the way of the warrior. Continue reading

Some thoughts on suffering (part 2 of 3)

Light of the soulMy life experiences and contemplations have brought me to the conclusion that without suffering it would be all too easy to remain in mind-dom i.e. in the clutches of the emotional mind. The latter can always keep us entertained with never-ending, theatrical representations of past events or fantasies of potential future happenings. When everything in our lives is going as planned (by the personality), the emotional mind can be a very comfortable place to take refuge. The risk, however, is that we remain stuck there, which means living in the illusion that our rational mind and emotions are our sole identity. Thanks to suffering, we get the gentle push, or even dramatic shove, to move out of contracted mind-dom and discover the fullness of our (divine) identity and consciousness.

Georg Feuerstein provides a Tantric – and I guess also Buddhist – perspective on suffering when he writes: “Many people […] are not in the least aware of their self-perpetuated state of incarceration. But those in whom wisdom has dawned can see that the world, or rather how they experience it, is confining. They also are sensitive to the fact that worldly existence is suffused with suffering (duhkha).[1] Continue reading

Some thoughts on suffering (part 1 of 3)

What is the (“existential”) purpose of suffering? That question has pursued me for many years now. My own personal struggles I’ve found easier to respond to, in relative terms, coming to see them as a learning ground for a deeper existential and spiritual understanding. What’s always been much more difficult for me is witnessing, or simply knowing of, the suffering endured by other humans and animals in incredibly cruel and/or dangerous circumstances e.g. subject to physical and/or psychological violence, hunger, displacement, personal loss, etc. Consequently, I’ve felt an existential imperative to gain some constructive perspectives on the meaning of suffering in order to understand how best to remain in touch with my empathy, whilst at the same time avoiding the pitfall of feeling discouraged.

SunThe spiritual challenge we face is to be joyful no matter what life conditions we are experiencing i.e. whether we are surrounded by love and good fortune, or suffering and injustice. The tantric tradition offers a helpful insight by distinguishing between ananda, which is our innate blissful state of consciousness, and sukha, which is the emotional state of ordinary happiness that is dependent on external conditions. Continue reading

What is love?

What is love? What comes to your mind when I ask that question? Is it romantic love and sex? Is it religious or spiritual love? Is it filial or parental love? I guess most people would choose out of these options. Would any of us refer to self-love? Without an apologetic tone in our voices? Self-love might start with a rational analysis of our worth and achievements, probably in line with prevailing social and cultural norms. However, such contemplations risk remaining purely intellectual in nature and are likely, therefore, to end in self-condemnation and feelings of inferiority or – quite the opposite – egoic pride and a sense of superiority. To counteract this kind of mental cul-de-sac, the good news is that there’s a more authentic and deeper self-love that can be accessed when we step beyond the rational, thinking mind and the pull of the emotions. This self-love might be experienced as an incredibly calming energy that pervades your whole body, giving you a deep sense of presence, acceptance of the moment and connectivity with all that surrounds you. Tantric techniques aim to stimulate more of this kind of self-love. As such, Tantra offers “the greatest empowerment of all: the power to determine your own inner state, regardless of external circumstance.”[1]

Extract from my book “She Who is Unto Herself”

[1] Wallis, C.D. (2013) Tantra Illuminated. Mattamayura Press: San Rafael, CA, p.192.