SAFE G: Empowering Resilient Communities

Mission. To empower local communities to design immediate and effective SAFE G solutions that implement optical fiber wired to the home and office. Local taxpayers and ratepayers are entitled to this alternative to wireless, because they have already paid for it. Please see: Irregulators v. FCC.

5G/AI/Internet of Things Juggernaut presents an imminent threat. The harms to our community’s physical and mental health, the local environment, violations of citizen’s rights to due process, property, and personal privacy are foreseeable and preventable. The threat is especially dangerous to our children, elderly people, those with special sensitivities, disabled persons with chronic illnesses, caregivers, and our economically disadvantaged and minority communities that have no escape in their homes or workplaces.

Remedy: Community Empowerment: An effective remedy begins with widespread education and training in a proven system of wise leadership, community organization, team building, and negotiation. With this purpose we have created a 5G Dojo to support local communities around the world that are facing similar challenges. The key is to share negotiation successes and practical experience, so these lessons can be immediately deployed within the network. Equally essential is to fortify community-wide resilience rapidly and effectively. (See: 5 Minutes toResilience)

Our Funding Goal: $ 100,000

Donations: Please make your check or money order payable to National Institute for Science, Law, and Public Policy, designated for "SAFE G/Community Empowerment Initiative". You can contribute in two ways.

o   Simple donation with full tax deduction.

o   Partial tax deduction (at cost) with benefits. Please see benefit levels below.

Sponsors: Please contact us to discuss any questions or concerns and customized donation options.

Springs of Amethysts - $100

  • Public Recognition as a Community Health Charter Sponsor
  • Signed copy of Julian Gresser, Piloting through Chaos—Wise Leadership/Effective Negotiation for the 21st Century (1995)
  • Free gift of the 5 Minutes to Resilience web app

Rivulets of Moonstones - $500

  • All of the above awards plus:
  • 5 Free Copies of 5 Minutes to Resilience App
  • 5 Free Copies of My Personal Resilience Journey/The Resilient Negotiator/Realizing Your Passion/Advancing Your Cause online courses

Sparkles of Opal - $1K

  • All of the above awards plus:
  • Public Lecture in Your Honor
  • 10 Free Copies of 5 Minutes to Resilience App
  • 10 Free Copies of My Personal Resilience Journey/The Resilient Negotiator/Realizing Your Passion/Advancing Your Cause online courses

Fountains of Pearls - $5K

  • All of the above awards plus:
  • ½ day workshop training and consultation with any organization or company

Jade Eddies - $10K

  • All of the above awards (except memberships) plus:
  • Two ½ day workshop, training and consultation with any organization or company of your choice
  • 20 Free Copies of 5 Minutes to Resilience App
  • 20 Free Copies of My Personal Resilience Journey/The Resilient Negotiator/Realizing Your Passion/Advancing Your Cause online courses

Sapphire Brooks of Laughing Hearts - $25K

  • All of the above awards plus:
  • 1 day of professional consultation and meetings

Ruby Streams of Laughing Hearts - $35K

  • All of the above awards (except memberships) plus:
  • One full day training program with materials for organization of choice to you.
  • 50 Free Copies of 5 Minutes to Resilience App
  • 50 Free Copies of My Personal Resilience Journey/The Resilient Negotiator/Realizing Your Passion/Advancing Your Cause online courses

Emerald Rivers of Laughing Hearts - $50K

  • All of the above awards plus:
  • Two full day training programs with materials for organizations of your choice
  • 100 Free Copies of 5 Minutes to Resilience App
  • 100 Free Copies of My Personal Resilience Journey/The Resilient Negotiator/Realizing Your Passion/Advancing Your Cause online courses

Diamond Rivers of Laughing Hearts - $100K

  • All of the above awards plus:
  • Four full day training programs with materials for organizations of your choice.
  • 200 Free Copies of 5 Minutes to Resilience App
  • 200 Free Copies of My Personal Resilience Journey/The Resilient Negotiator/Realizing Your Passion/Advancing Your Cause online courses

Smiling, Mirror Neurons, and Resilience

Smiling, Mirror Neurons, and Resilience

The simple act of smiling appears to activate neural messaging that promotes health and happiness. When we smile neurotransmitters like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are released. Smiling not only relaxes our body; Recent discoveries suggest it can also lower our heart rate and blood pressure.


Mirror Neurons

There is strong evidence smiling activates mirror neurons in the brain.

One fascinating article in Psychology Today notes:

“Using brain imaging, scientists are exploring the areas of the brain that are activated when we see another person smile. Of course, you’d expect the visual areas of the brain to light up. But other areas of the brain light up too, including the premotor cortex, an area that helps activate our own smiling muscles and the somatosensory and insula cortices, areas that report what it feels like physically and emotionally to smile. Neurons that fire both when we observe and when we take part in an action are called mirror neurons. When we see someone smile, mirror neurons simulate our own smiling.”

The article continues:

“When we see another person smile and then mentally simulate that smile or respond with one of our own, we feel happier. A simple view of another person smiling triggers a whole series of changes in our brain and autonomic nervous system. We can never really know what it feels like to be someone else, but our mirror neuron system and ability to mentally simulate another’s actions may bring us closer to understanding each other.”


Leonardo—Why Does the Mona Lisa Smile?

It is highly likely that Leonardo Da Vinci had deep insight into the neurobiology of smiling many years ahead of other scientific explorers. One fascinating article explains: Why Mona Lisa is Smiling

“The reason we ask why she is smiling is actually because all the other portraits aren’t. Before, during and long after the Renaissance, artists did not paint their subjects smiling. Leonardo made a definite decision, though, even hiring people to come and, wrote Vasari, “make her remain merry, in order to take away that melancholy which painters are often wont to give to the portraits that they paint”.

“What this little gesture did was huge: it brought art to life. In the centuries leading up to the Renaissance, paintings were generally created as idealized images, often religious, to be contemplated and revered. The Mona Lisa was a real woman who with a smile initiated a dialogue with the viewer that had not existed before; it changed the very nature of the relationship between art and audience. With that one smile, Leonardo had imbued a work of art with a conceptual stroke of what’s now called “genius”.”

So, it’s not why she’s smiling that’s important, it’s that she’s smiling.”

Personal Findings

  • Smiling invites us to enter a pure Taoist state: simple, uncontrived, innocent, relaxed, loose, no goals, no results, no past, no tomorrow, only smiling, natural, happy.
  • In this state, busy-ness, hence stress, vanishes.
  • Smiling is a state of flow.
  • It cleanses the Mind and Heart.
  • When I smile into my fears, fears melt. So also, with anger, resentments, impatience, envy, and offense.
  • Smiling opens the spaces between things and happenings where we spend most of our lives. Waiting at a stop light or 40 minutes in a doctor’s office becomes a gift.
  • Smiling appears a powerful means to interrupt negative emotional patterns and scary stories based upon them.
  • Our time sense changes; we have far more time available than we imagined.
  • Our perceptive capacity changes when we slow down and smile. We can notice the beauty of little, “ordinary” things and moments.
  • We are grateful for the gift of life. We can truly experience Brother David Steindl-Rast’s wonderful practice, “Stop/Look/Go.” 
  • Smiling encourages “field independence.” Things good and bad arise in the “external world” or in our own mind, so many bubbles, we need no longer be tossed around by them. Smiling becomes a sanctuary and a place of refuge.
  • Smiling appears to correlate directly with lowering blood pressure. In August my BP was 160/95 in the doctor’s office (so called “white coat hypertension”) With smiling it is now regularly and easily 118/75. And I have found smiling to be more powerful than hand warming measured by a thermistor which is the standard biofeedback protocol. Why? Because hand warming introduces an element of intentionality which appears to affect BP, notwithstanding that you can feel entirely “relaxed.”
  • When we smile, we use far fewer muscles than when we frown. This suggests smiling conserves energy, physical and subtle.
  • Gentle smiling, even in sorrow, offers a glimmer of hope, a sliver a light in the darkness. An attribute of the Goddess of Mercy, Quanyin (Kannon), she who hears the cries of the world.
  • In the field of negotiations:
    • Most importantly Need abates, and with it,
    • Assumptions, biases, and expectations
    • We can more easily peer behind the mask. Some people attempt to manipulate smiling; but as Shakespeare writes“False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” Your heart will tell a false smile from one that is innocent joyful and authentic.
    • Uncertainty becomes our friend, and a ‘no’ an allyOur sense of timing sharpens, and we have space to See the Big Picture.
    • In fact, smiling recalibrates everything.

Some Discovery Questions

  • Smiling is documented to release dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins and other neuro-compounds. What about the Heart which is also known to produce its own hormones? 
  • Does the Heart also have mirror neurons? If so, how come? If not, why not?
  • How does the vagus nerve modulate the function of mirror neurons in its role as an intermediary between the brain, heart, and other parts of our body? (See video below of Professor Dagus Keltner.)
  • If smiling induces production of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins and other neuro-compounds in our bodies, do our mirror neurons produce the same neurochemical effects when we observe other people smiling?
  • What are some of the possible effects across communities when we couple smiling with the act of paying forward in connection with the other 10 Essential Moves?
  • What are the possible potential synergies when combining energetic (‘qi’ and love) neuromechanical, neurochemical, and social network effects as contemplated in the intelligent CHME/IRC platform?
  • What is the relationship of these forms of feedback and serendipity, especially across communities?
  • At what point does the compounding Resilient Multiplier Effect measured by theIntegral Resilience Quotient (IRQ) reach a tipping point? How can we know?



Next: Humor and Resilience

Resilient Retirement Communities

Powerful drivers of the appeal of retirement communities include increasing pollution, the need for sustainable energy and food sources, as well as the mental wellness of people in an increasingly polarized and chaotic planet.

Resilient Retirement Communities

Contributed by Bruce Boyd and Julian Gresser

The development of “wellness communities” is a relatively recent and innovative subset of real estate development in general. The concept that has expanded greatly during the last five years.  The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) issued a report in January, 2018 (the GWI Report) that provides a comprehensive overview, current status and future projections for this sector.  The GWI Report notes that in the last five years the number of wellness projects has grown from just a handful to approximately 740 spread across 34 countries and now constitutes a $134 billion industry.  Wellness real estate, as the Report states, is now truly global with about 372 developments in North America (primarily the US), 293 projects in Asia Pacific (for the most part China, Australia and India, but other countries like Singapore as well), and 61 developments in Europe.

It is important to define more specifically what we mean by “wellness communities” or “wellness real estate” and to make clear why they are important for the current and future lifestyles of individuals both here in the US and around the world. Powerful drivers of the appeal of retirement communities include increasing pollution, the need for sustainable energy and food sources, as well as the mental wellness of people in an increasingly polarized and chaotic planet.  The GWI Report defines wellness homes and communities as those that are “Proactively designed and built to support the holistic health of their residents.”  In addition to incorporating green design and construction into the development of such communities, retirement communities typically encourage and facilitate engagement with nature, offering walking trails, and community gardens that can produce sustainable food for the community.

New kinds of fitness centers support residents’ mental health and outlook with a focus on programs that bring residents together and generate a strong sense of “community.”  Some developments are uniquely positioned to create partnerships with local colleges and universities to offer classes and other programs to residents.  These associations not only provide for intellectual stimulation but, importantly, multi-generational interaction.  This latter feature is often important to seniors who find that dealing exclusively with other seniors can over time become “boring.”  Interfacing with younger students can, for many seniors, be a source of enlightenment due to the combination of diverse experiences and perspectives.  In so doing, wellness communities offer an antidote to the loneliness often experienced by aging individuals.

Wellness communities can be found in urban, suburban and rural locales but central features to all of them include a strong focus on sustainable and healthy design with abundant use of ambient light, renewable energy and resource conservation, lifestyles that encourage fitness and community engagement, a direct relationship and interactive involvement with nature and related features.  In rural and suburban settings, community members also produce their own healthy and sustainable food sources.  Some projects encourage by design and product offerings multi-generational and diverse neighborhoods.  Yet other variations on wellness communities are centered around medical research facilities and hospitals that can provide health services to residents.  Undoubtedly, other variations with evolve over time and in different cultures and countries.  In each case, however, the overriding goal is to enhance the healthy (physical and mental) lifestyles of the members of the community.

Resilient Retirement Communities (RRCs)

RRCs represent the next generation of wellness communities. They share in common a philosophy and attitude toward aging that is life-affirming, hopeful, curious, generous, and compassionate. They are based on three important scientific pillars. The first confirmed by NASA’s and other bodies of research is resilience can be maintained, even enhanced, well into advanced age. The second that communities play an important role in building resilience. RRCs have a specific set of protocols to enhance the resilience of their members and the community as a whole. The third, that “paying forward” the benefits that come our way to increase the joy and lighten the burdens of others is among the most powerful way to “turn the Wheel of Fortune” for the benefit of all.

RRCs offer a new pathway for Imagination, Exploration, Discovery, Creativity, and Innovation by a “Knowledge Multiplier” that:

  • Complements best medical protocols for a wide spectrum of health challenges, including health literacy, obesity, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, hypertension, and pain management, and
  • Provides a measurable antidote to burnout, loneliness, and depression.

The most innovative RRCs incorporate the principles of “Big Heart Intelligence” in their architectural design, management, and operations, as described in the cited article below.

The Integral Resilience Collaborative is designed as an open invitation to RRCs around the world to participate in an ongoing learning process in which the collective data bases, discoveries, and innovations will be available to each contributing RRC whose members can enjoy special benefits including discounts on products, apps, webinars, podcasts, and events.

Bruce Boyd

Bruce has had a distinguished career in private law practice, in-house legal departments and in business. His legal experience has focused in large part on a broad range of real estate development, acquisitions, and finance transactions; international business matters; documentation and negotiation of commercial agreements for technology companies; mergers and acquisitions; asset secured financing transactions; and project finance. As a co-founder of Baywood Capital, a private commercial real estate investment company, Bruce was instrumental in acquisitions and capital formation and acted as the firm’s General Counsel.




Physical Fitness and Resilience

Physical Fitness and Resilience

The clear nexus between physical fitness and resilience was well observed in Chinese, Greek, and Roman civilizations and is extensively reported in scientific literature since the 20th century.

One study observes:

“Physical fitness, achieved through regular exercise and/or spontaneous physical activity, confers resilience by inducing positive psychological and physiological benefits, blunting stress reactivity, protecting against potentially adverse behavioral and metabolic consequences of stressful events and preventing many chronic diseases. Physical fitness appears to buffer against stress-related disease owing to its blunting/optimizing effects on hormonal stress responsive systems, such as the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system. This blunting appears to contribute to reduced emotional, physiological and metabolic reactivity as well as increased positive mood and well-being.

Another mechanism whereby regular exercise and/or physical fitness may confer resilience is through minimizing excessive inflammation. Chronic psychological stress, physical inactivity and abdominal adiposity have been associated with persistent, systemic, low-grade inflammation and exert adverse effects on mental and physical health. The anti-inflammatory effects of regular exercise/activity can promote behavioral and metabolic resilience, and protect against various chronic diseases associated with systemic inflammation. Moreover, exercise may benefit the brain by enhancing growth factor expression and neural plasticity, thereby contributing to improved mood and cognition. In summary, the mechanisms whereby physical fitness promotes increased resilience and well-being and positive psychological and physical health are diverse and complex.”

It continues:

“Scientific data documenting the essentiality of physical activity for health did not emerge until the late 1800s and early 1900s when epidemiological studies clearly demonstrated that physically inactive persons were more likely to have coronary heart disease than those who led active lifestyles. Since those first studies, the literature has become replete with evidence that physical inactivity serves a major role in the rising prevalence of obesity, cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, hyperlipidaemia, breast and colon cancers as well as depression and anxiety. Moreover, physical inactivity is the fourth leading contributor to death worldwide.”

The U.S. military has taken a special interest in the link between physical exercise, stress reduction, and resilience training. A study by the Rand Corporation concludes:

Physical fitness is a key factor that can affect an individual’s resilience and readiness to perform military duties.

  • Physical activity may help an individual to successfully cope with the stress of military duty.
  • Low physical fitness is related to an increased risk of injuries in basic combat training.
  • There is a clear relationship between physical activity and health outcomes.
  • Sedentary living increases the likelihood of many negative outcomes and chronic health conditions, such as breast cancer, depression, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.
  • Objective measures, such as accelerometers, are more reliable tools for measuring physical activity than questionnaires that rely on self-reported levels of physical activity.


From Physical Fitness to Integral Resilience

Physical fitness is a wonderful way to cultivate resilience. It has the virtues of being tangible, enjoyable, and easily amenable to delivering a wide spectrum of beneficial health outcomes, as noted above. And its benefits can be significantly enhanced by introducing Big Heart Intelligence into the practice.

Most physical fitness programs focus entirely on physical exercise which is well and good. But as the Diagram below suggests outcomes can be dramatically increased when other dimensions are brought into play.

In fact, the introduction of Heart changes the entire meaning of “winning” as the interview with qigong grandmaster Li Junfeng suggests. Master Li was the chief coach of the national Chinese women’s wuxu teams, guiding them to over 100 gold medals.

Here is an excerpt from that interview:

LJF: Big Heart, of course, good for anything. For sports, number one, “What’s the purpose of sports? If we understand the main purpose, already we have an advantage. Sports afford an opportunity for exercise and to enhance our health; second, it involves competition; but not only for competition; sports is also for happiness. But now competition has come to dominate. But here, also, Big Heart helps us to understand: what is the purpose of competition?” Competition is actually a game. Competition makes people more interested and engaged. Because people are more interested, they can become happier. Big Heart helps you understand what is the purpose; how can I enjoy the practice; how can I enjoy the competition.

For example, take tennis or basketball. Tennis is played one on one; basketball is a team sport. However, the principle is the same. If you have Big Heart, you can enjoy the practice, enjoy the competition. If the other side skill not so good, you may win but you really don’t enjoy the competition very much. If the other side’s skill is very strong, very high, actually you enjoy the competition much more and you learn more. You play harder; you must be more alert, so you enjoy more. The competition provides the stimulus and incentive to train your skill to a higher level. This is the purpose. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. Even if the other side wins and you lose, you still can enjoy the practice very much. When the competition is intense, you say to yourself, “I really enjoyed this!” Actually, you also win, because you learned so much!”

JG: That’s really interesting.

LJF: We don’t care so much about the result. We pay attention to the development of our skill. The more you think and train this way, the more rapidly you go to a higher level. If you always win, actually it’s not so good; your skill can’t grow up. Even if you win for a long term, you are not winning in the way I am trying to tell you.

JG: I understand what you are saying. There is a famous movie Chariots of Fire which won many Oscars. It is about the Olympic running competition just after WWI. The British team was headed by two star athletes, Eric Liddel and Harold Abrahams. At least as portrayed in the movie, Abrahams was a truly great runner. He became the elder statesman of British sports. But Liddel was even greater. Although he was a fierce competitor he seemed to be guided and driven by a higher destiny, even higher than winning. It was his devotion to the sport itself, and also to his God; he was a devout Christian missionary, and actually later died in China. On the day of the competition Eric Liddel went over a welcomed the American Team which itself was headed by two star athletes, Jackson Sholz and Charles Paddock. He wished them success. He understood the competition would drive the British team to even greater levels of performance. In the movie Jackson Scholz passes him back a note in which he wrote, quoting from the New Testament “He that honors me, I shall honor.” Eric Liddel and Harold Abrahams went on to both winning gold medals.

LJF: If you say, “I must have the gold medal.” you limit yourself. Only one person can receive the gold medal; what about everyone else? Does that mean the happiness of thousands of other people does not matter? If you cannot receive the gold medal, then you can no longer be happy? This makes no sense.  One thousand people watching but only one person can enjoy?  This is not sports; this is opposite from the main purpose of sports. If you have Big Heart you understand the purpose of sports and of competition. Through sports you can make your body healthier. Through sports you can enjoy the process. You practice two hours and you’re very happy. But if you have small heart and practice very hard, you don’t really enjoy the practice; then what if you lose?, you suffer very much. This is not good for the emotions, and, of course, not good for your health.


Next: 10 Essential Moves

Resilience and Longevity


Research examining resilience suggests that older adults are capable of high resilience despite socioeconomic backgrounds, personal experiences, and declining health.

In her memoir “No Rocking Chair for Me” 92-year old Esther Tuttle describes the “3 R’s for Longevity: Resolution, Resourcefulness, and Resilience.

In one study, respondents aged 94–98 years with high resilience were 43.1% more likely to reach 100 years than those with low resilience. In addition, those aged 100 years and over were the most resilient among the older groups after controlling for confounding variables including health status, suggesting that resilience contributes to longevity among the very old.

Another study states: “Resilient older adults are accustomed to having things work out well. They feel optimistic and self-confident when coping with rough situations. They read new realities rapidly, adapt quickly, are psychologically flexible, tolerate ambiguity, use creative problem solving, understand others accurately, trust their intuition, and handle pressure with humor. The stronger their self-esteem and “life smarts,” the less vulnerable they are to cons, threats, criticism, manipulators, and quackery.”

Perhaps most interestingly the NIH not generally given to hyperbole reports “Resilience Significantly Contributes to Exceptional Longevity.” It notes:

“We aim to investigate whether centenarians are significantly more resilient than younger elders and whether resilience significantly contributes to exceptional longevity. Data. We use a unique dataset from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey with the largest sample to date of centenarians, nonagenarians, octogenarians, and a compatible group of young old aged 65–79.  Conclusions. Resilience significantly contributes to longevity at all ages, and it becomes even more profound at very advanced ages. These findings indicate that policies and programs to promote resilience would have long-term and positive effects on the well-being and longevity for senior citizens and their families.”

Roughly 44 million people in the United States are now 65 or older, and by 2050, an estimated 387,000 could reach age 100. This is great news for all of us: There’s never been a better time to age with vitality and success!

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) studied factors that influence longevity and found that Americans age 95 and up have more positive attitudes toward life, are more extroverted (gain energy from being active in the world around them), and have less emotional distress than the general, younger population. They are also more socially active and are resilient; that is, they can adapt to negative circumstances.


Next: Medical Education and Resilience

Resilience and Happiness

Resilience and Happiness

The roots of resilience and happiness join when we take life as it comes to us

In both popular literature and serious scientific studies resilience, we are coming to understand that  positive emotions and an attitude of mind are closely associated with happiness. The cultivation of integral resilience advances this inquiry in several ways.

  • It acknowledges that there is a universe of beneficial wellsprings for happiness and offers a comprehensive framework to bring them together.
  • It appreciates that happiness and resilience often arrive in life’s little “shifts” and tender mercies.
  • It recognizes that the flow of subtle energy (qi, ki) and love has much to do with happiness.
  • It celebrates Heart as a powerful energy field acting as a “step-down” and “step-up” transformer of qi and love.
  • It pays special tribute to selfless tangible actions (paying forward) that soften the sorrows of others by bringing light and joy. In this way we create our own luck and happiness.



Next: Smiling and Mirror Neurons

Resilience in the World’s Great Spiritual and Wisdom Traditions

Resilience in the World’s Great Spiritual and Wisdom Traditions

Resilience is a constitutive theme in all the world’s great spiritual and wisdom traditions. It is recognized as an essential facet of our life’s journey. Resilience may offer an opportunity for a broad ecumenical dialogue engaging the world’s spiritual and wisdom traditions with both an old and new perspective on Mind, Body, Heart, and Spirit.

Even our preliminary survey has uncovered some interesting discoveries:

  • Resilience is a constitutive theme in all the world’s great spiritual and wisdom traditions. It is recognized as an essential facet of our life’s journey.
  • All the traditions understand resilience to be a deep inner power a part of our natural endowment.
  • The traditions vary on how this power can be cultivated and refined. Some urge that resilience is achieved by the grace of God; the practice is to see the mercy and grace of God everywhere. Others spotlight the inner voyage. Some urge austerity, others celebrate play. All pay homage to the collective wisdom of the past and heritage.
  • Curiously all traditions recognize resilience as embodying a subtle energy source, closely related to breath. (Japanese, “ki” Chinese “qi” Sanskrit, prana, Hebrew, ruach, mana in Hawaiian, nilch’I in Navajo.)
  • Qi, breath, and resilience are closely linked.
  • Love elevates them all.
  • Heart is the principal medium of resilience and love.
  • In sum, resilience may offer an opportunity for a broad ecumenical dialogue engaging the world’s spiritual and wisdom traditions with both an old and new perspective on Mind, Body, Heart, and Spirit.

The Old Testament

The Old Testament contains many stories of the resilience of the ancient Jewish people. The best known is the saga of Moses leading his people from the bondage in Egypt to the promised land of Canaan. The verses are written in poetry which engages the Heart and inspires hope.

The Verses.

. “…Weeping may endure for a night. But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.

Joshua 1:9 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 1
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Job 19:25

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.


The New Testament

The New Testament also offers hope and resilience through faith, hope, and charity.

The Verses

Mathew 6:34
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 11:28  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give thee rest.

1 Corinthians 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Galatians 6:9  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Romans 5:1-5  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Philippians 4:12 

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Corinthians 4:8-9 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.




Taoists. The Taoist path to resilience teaches simplicity, non-contrivance, non-reaching and play. The two great teachers are Lao Tzu and Zhaung Tzu. The I-Ching Book of Changes is strongly influenced by Taoist teachings.

Inner Knowledge

  • “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
  • “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
  • “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

Letting Go

  • “By letting go all naturally gets done.” “Therefore the Master acts without doing anything and teaches without saying anything. Things arise and she lets them come; things disappear and she lets them go. She has but doesn’t possess, acts but doesn’t expect. When her work is done, she forgets it. That is why it lasts forever.”
  • “If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial. If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked. If you want to become full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.”
  • “Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?”

On Defining

  • “She who defines herself can’t know who she really is.”
  • “He who has power over others can’t empower herself.”
  • “He who tries to shine dims his own light.”

On Evil

  • “Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.”

On Kindness and Benevolence

  • “Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus, goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus, honesty is attained.”
  • “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
  • “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

On Caring

  • “Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.”
  • “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”

On Humility “The wise man is one who knows what he does not know.”

  • “All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.”

On Change

  • “If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”
  • “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

I Ching

# 39 Hexagram—Obstacle/Resilience

Richard Wilhelm’s commentary

The hexagram pictures a dangerous abyss lying before us and a steep, inaccessible mountain rising behind us. We are surrounded by obstacles; at the same time, since the mountain has the attribute of keeping still, there is implicit a hint as to how we can extricate ourselves. The hexagram represents obstructions that appear in the course of time but that can and should be overcome. Therefore all the instruction given is directed to overcoming them.

The Judgement

The southwest is the region of retreat, the northeast that of advance. Here an individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In such a situation it is wise to pause in view of the danger and to retreat. However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions. One must join forces with friends of like mind and put himself under the leadership of a man equal to the situation: then one will succeed in removing the obstacles. This requires the will to persevere just when one apparently must do something that leads away from his goal. This unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end. An obstruction that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development. This is the value of adversity.

The Image

Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself. While the inferior man seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his fate, the superior man seeks the error within himself, and through this introspection the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and education.



A large number of Zen koans guide us with practice to discover

the inner resilient essential self. There is no need to struggle in “solving” a Zen koan.

You simply hang out and enjoy it. In this way a koan becomes a trusted friend.

Blue Cliff Record Case # 94 —Dongshan is well.

Dongshan was ill. A student asked, “You’re unwell. Is there someone, after all, who isn’t sick?”

Dongshan said, “There is.”

“Does the one who isn’t sick take care of you?”

“I’m actually taking care of that one.”

“What’s it like when you take care of that one?”

“Then I don’t see that there is illness.”

Resilience Question: Who is that one?

Shobogenzo # 225Escaping Hot and Cold.

A monk asked Tozan “How can we escape the cold and heat?”

Tozan replied, “Why not go where there is no cold and heat?”

“Is there such a place?” the monk asked.

Tozan commented, “When cold, be saturated with cold; when hot, be hot through and through.”

Blue Cliff Record # 6–Every day is a good day.

Great master Yunmen addressed the assembly:

“About the fifteen days before [i.e. before enlightenment] I do not ask you. Now that fifteen days have passed, come, say something.” Nobody answered. Unmon himself said, “Every day is a good day.

Blue Cliff Record # 87–The Whole World is Medicine.

Sickness and medicine are in accord with each other. The whole world is medicine. Who am I?  Yunmen

Blue Cliff Record, Case 3—Sun Faced, Moon Faced Buddha

Great Master Ma was unwell. The temple superintendent asked him, “Teacher, how has your venerable health been in recent days?”

The Great Master said, “Sun Face Buddha, Moon Face Buddha.”

Blue Cliff Record # 27–On Aging—The Tree Withers and the Golden Wind

When the tree withers and the leaves fall, what is happening? Body exposed to the Golden Wind. (Yunmen)

Case # 3—Mumonkan– Hsiang-yen: Hanging On

The priest Hsiang-yen said, “It is as though you were up a tree, hanging from a branch with your teeth.  Your hands and feet can’t touch any branch. Someone appears beneath the tree and asks, ‘What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from the West?’ [What is the meaning of Zen?]. If you do not answer, you evade your responsibility [are terribly discourteous].  If you do answer, you lose your life.  What do you do?’

Case # 20–Book of Equanimity -Wandering at Random

Master Dizang asked Fayan, “Where have you come from?”

“From a pilgrimage wandering the world aimlessly,” replied Fayan.

“What is the matter of your pilgrimage?” asked Dizang.

“I don’t know’” replied Fayan.

“Not knowing is most intimate,” remarked Dizang.

And with that Fayan experienced great enlightenment. Changsha Walking in the Mountains

One day Changsha went off to wander in the mountains. When he returned, the temple director met him at the gate and asked, “So, where have you been?”

Changsha replied, “I’ve been strolling about in the hills.”

“Which way did you go?”

“I went out following the scented grasses and came back chasing the falling flowers.”

The director smiled. “That’s exactly the feeling of spring.”

Changsha, agreed, adding, “It’s better than autumn dew falling on lotuses.

Bodhidharma’s Meeting with Emperor Wu of Liang

Emperor Wu had generously supported the monasteries and naturally expected a fine demonstration of gratitude when he met the master the sage of India, Boddhidharma. This is one account of their meeting.

The Emperor asked Bodhidharma, our great master, “What is the first principle of the holy teaching?”

Bodhidharma said, “Vast emptiness, nothing holy.”

“Who are you, standing in front of me?” asked the emperor.

“I don’t know,” said Bodhidharma.

The Emperor failed to understand his meaning.

Samurai Zen and Resilience.

In Japan the samurai class adapted Zen as a highest aesthetic virtue. A samurai had to be prepared at a moment’s notice to surrender his life. My own teacher, Yamada Koun Roshi described the distortions by the Japanese pre-WWII military in misusing Zen principles of universality to justify Japan’s conquest of China and Manchuria as “the great mistake.” It suggests that even resilience can be abused.

Samurai Zen

A Story of Paramount Resilience. The General and the Abbott

When the rebel army swept into a town in Korea, all the monks fled except for the Abbot. The general entered the temple and was annoyed that the Abbot did not receive him with respect.’ Don’t you know, he shouted, you are looking at a man who can run you through without blinking?’

“And you, replied the Abbot strongly, are looking at a man who can be run through without blinking! “The general stared at him, then made a bow and retired. (Recounted by Trevor Leggett, The Tiger’s Cave, 1998)

Koan: With a mane of a million hairs the lion appears; with a mane of a million hairs the lion roars.


Islam offers special guidance to develop a resilient life through faith, reverence, generosity and hospitality, especially to the poor. The hijrah itself is a fundamental practice to cultivate strong resolve, and to demonstrate faith and resilience.


Sufi Wisdom

Resilience and the Quest for the Divine in Sufi Music and Stories.

The Farmer and the Donkey

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway-it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all of his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!” (author unknown)

One of the great contributions of Sufi is the transmission of the generative powers of qi and love through music and dance.

Vedanta, Bhagavad Gita, and Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Bhagavad Gita–“Actions do not cling to me because I am not attached to their results. Those who understand this and practice it live in freedom.”

  • “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”
  • “A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.”

Interpretation of the Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali. “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing? (136-137)”
― Sri S. Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras


First Nation and other Indigenous Peoples

Power and Place

“This is what we believe:

Our Mother is the Earth

Our father is the Sun

Our Grandfather is the Creator who bathed us with his mind and gave life to all things

Brother is the beasts and the trees.

Sister is that with wings.

We are the Children of the Earth and do it no harm in any way.

Nor do we offend the Sun by not greeting it at dawn.
We praise our Grandfather for his creation.

We share the same breath together—beast, trees, bird, and man.

Told with Purpose

Animals, too, have stories to tell us. These stories are often told by our Pueblo people to guide adults and children alike though life’s many journeys.

Through their stories, animals teach us about life, death, joy, and sorrow.”

And of the Hawaiian spirit of birth, continuity, and resilience in the words of a young journalist, Mark Twain:

“No alien land in all the world has any deep strong charm for me but that one (Maui), no other land could so longingly and so beseechingly haunt me, sleeping and waking, through half a lifetime, as that one has done. Other things leave me, but it abides; other things change, but it remains the same. For me the balmy airs are always blowing, its summer seas flashing in the sun; the pulsing of its surfbeat is in my ear; I can see its garlanded crags, its leaping cascades, its plumy palms drowsing by the shore, its remote summits floating like islands above the cloud wrack; I can feel the spirit of its wildland solitudes, I can hear the splash of its brooks; in my nostrils still lives the breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago.” 


Engage with us: Application Opportunities

Depression and Resilience

Depression and Resilience

The jury is out on whether resilience is a trait that can be cultivated with practice to combat clinical depression.  But there is some research that points out it may help.

Why does stress trigger depression in certain people and resilience in others? Scientists have discovered a group of neurons in the front of the brain – in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) – that appear to be strongly linked to depression. Curiously, this area of the brain is also known as the “me-center” of the brain – that is, cells in the area are active when you’re thinking about yourself, worrying about the future, worrying about your life, and day-dreaming. Mindfulness training and other forms of meditation have been shown to significantly reduce activity in the mPFC, as well as reduce the strength of the connection between the mPFC and areas of the brain that govern stress and anxiety.

Why Stress Triggers Depression In Some People, Resilience In Others

This implies weathering adverse life events is a character trait to be cultivated. But neuroscientists are learning the story is not quite so simple, and that some people are likely better equipped from birth to deal with adversity. During the last fifteen years discoveries about why some brains excel at resisting stress have initiated a search for new drugs to treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder by enhancing psychological resilience. One of these compounds has now entered early-stage clinical trials.

Scientific American – Can a Pill That Boosts “Resilience” Treat Depression?

In short, the jury is out on whether resilience is a characterological trait that can be cultivated with practice to combat clinical depression. One study concludes: “There have been growing efforts to investigate the neural basis of susceptibility versus resilience to depression. An accumulating body of evidence is revealing the genetic, epigenetic, and neurophysiological mechanisms that underlie stress susceptibility, as well as the active mechanisms that underlie the resilience phenotype. In this review, we discuss, mainly based on our own work, key pathological mechanisms of susceptibility that are identified as potential therapeutic targets for depression treatment. We also review novel mechanisms that promote natural resilience as an alternative strategy to achieve treatment efficacy. These studies are opening new avenues to develop conceptually novel therapeutic strategies for depression treatment. “

Neural Substrates of Depression and Resilience

Another study in the same line suggests a more nuanced approach recognizing that both neural and psychological and social factors are both at play:

“Neurobiological factors that are discussed and contrasted include serotonin, the 5-HT1A receptor, polymorphisms of the 5-HT transporter gene, norepinephrine, alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, neuropeptide Y, polymorphisms of the alpha-2 adrenergic gene, dopamine, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), cortisol, and CRH receptors. These factors are described in the context of brain regions believed to be involved in stress, depression, and resilience to stress. Psychosocial factors associated with depression and/or stress resilience include positive emotions and optimism, humor, cognitive flexibility, cognitive explanatory style and reappraisal, acceptance, religion/spirituality, altruism, social support, role models, coping style, exercise, capacity to recover from negative events, and stress inoculation. The review concludes with potential psychological, social, spiritual, and neurobiological approaches to enhancing stress resilience, decreasing the likelihood of developing stress-induced depression/anxiety, and treating stress-induced psychopathology.

The psychobiology of depression and resilience to stress: implications for prevention and treatment

And there is also an ongoing search for a magical pharmaceutical bullet:

Neuroscientists are learning the story is not quite so simple, and that some people are likely better equipped from birth to deal with adversity. During the last 15 years discoveries about why some brains excel at resisting stress have initiated a search for new drugs to treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder by enhancing psychological resilience. One of these compounds has now entered early-stage clinical trials.

Resilience to depression within older populations is also a subject of keen scientific interest. One prominent study concludes:

“Resilience was significantly associated with a range of mental health constructs in a sample of older adults with depression. Future clinical trials and dismantling studies may help determine whether interventions targeting grit, active coping, accommodative coping, and spirituality can increase resilience and help prevent and treat depression in older adults.”

Clinical Studies and Other References


Next: Alcohol, Drug and Substance Abuse

Resilience and Peace Making

Resilience and Peace Making

Resilience offers a new paradigm for international peacemaking.  Connecting at the level of the Heart is fundamental to the process of peacemaking.

One study concludes “Amid conflict and war, the people most affected by these circumstances have time and time again, risen from misfortune, because of their capacities to organize and transform conflict into opportunities for peace. Strengthening these already existing local capacities must therefore be a strategic priority to peacebuilding, as it ensures sustainability.”

In 2014, Interpeace launched the Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR) project to explore resilience as a key tool for advancing peacebuilding processes and to develop methods for assessing this. Rather than focusing on obstacles to peace, and the fragility of societies, FAR seeks to identify resilience to conflict by looking for existing strengths, assets, capacities, strategies, processes and structures that allow individuals, communities and societies to overcome the legacy of past violent conflict, address current violence and threats to peace, and ultimately prevent future violent conflict.

Chronic violence and instability in the Horn of Africa have spurred major investments in resilience in the hopes of preventing future humanitarian crises. Here are a few key lessons and recommendations:

Building resilience through peacebuilding efforts can support food security goals. 

Peace is stronger where conflict management skills and systems are institutionalized. 

Not all forms of social capital appear to be equal when it comes to building resilience.Greater links across ethnic boundaries did not appear to improve peace or food security; however stronger bonds within communities did. Such intra-ethnic social cohesion can manifest as a community-level social safety net, for example, where community members help each other out during times of stress.”

UNESCO recognizes the strong link of resilience, peaceful societies, and cultural pluralism. “It is critical to build on this momentum to strengthen our collective capacity to protect culture and promote cultural pluralism as tools for more resilient and peaceful societies.”

Another study cites five essential elements:

    • Psychosocial recovery of individuals and communities. “Although this theme is only slowly becoming part of the mainstream peacebuilding agenda, indigenous mechanisms always integrate some forms of healing, which shows the importance that communities generally ascribe to traumas resulting from violent conflicts.”

    • Shared systems of meaning. “The symbolic, imaginary, and even spiritual dimensions of the transition from war to peace are essential in the adaptations that a community needs to make to become resilient.”

    • Solidarity among community members, and appropriate distribution of resources, services, and rights.

    • Community reintegration and trust. “True resilience requires a redefining of the collective rules, some form of reacceptance of those rules (via a new social contract), and, many times, the peaceful coexistence of former antagonists. This dynamic returns a sense of safety and predictability in what an individual can expect from the community and in what the community can expect from the individual.”

Integral resilience based on the principles of Big Heart Intelligence offers a new and practical way to use mediation for alliance building in communities. Connecting at the level of the Heart is fundamental to the process of peacemaking. (See Julian Gresser, Strategic Alliance Mediation: Creating Value from Difference and Discord in Global Business—European Journal of Law Reform. Vol.2 Issue 4, 2000.

Next: Spiritual Traditions

Resilience, Health Justice, and International Human Rights

Resilience, Health Justice, and International Human Rights

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Health injustice is a cruel and preventable tragedy in the U.S. and around the world. Here are three links that suggest the depth and prevalence of the malady. It is everywhere. All we need do is look.

Cancer is rampant in Crosett Arkansas, a predominantly African American community.

As this video notes in its first lines, “welcome to Reserve, Louisiana, the cancer capital of the United States.”

A small town in Mexico whose water supply was seized by a giant American to produce its sugar saturated beverage and the children are dying young of diabetes.

The development of community-wide resilience will begin to help these communities and thousands of others withstand and cope with calamities for which they have no responsibility or financial means to prevent.

Seven million children die each year from preventable illnesses. In his TEDx presentation Sridhar Venkatapuram, a Senior Lecturer in Global Health and Philosophy, urges that “things” or ”stuff” ($, staff, personnel, etc.) alone will not save most lives or meet the essential challenge. That is the each of these forgotten children has the potential to realize his or her own potential of dynamic resilience. But it is being denied to them by social injustice. This, Sridhar, argues is an infringement of a fundamental human right to be free to cultivate and enjoy a healthy and resilient life.


There is strong support for the proposition that that the widespread injustice in the U.S. and other countries, where the poor, minorities, and most the vulnerable populations are being denied basic and reasonable care and an opportunity to develop resilient and productive lives are also a violation of a basic international human right to health.

Health security is akin to food and water security also included in this evolving definition.

Health injustice is rampant, structural, and correctable in the U.S. if anyone in power really cared to focus and mobilize attention. The leading legal organizations, including the ABA, have largely ignored the tragedy.

The UN Human Rights Commission Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights states:

The right to health is “an inclusive right extending not only to timely and appropriate health care but also to the underlying determinants of health, such as access to safe and potable water and adequate sanitation, an adequate supply of safe food, nutrition and housing, healthy occupational and environmental conditions, and access to health-related education and information… ” –

Concern for the health and resilience of human rights advocates is a related concern.

A close link to environmental justice and sustainability is also recognized.

A recent journal on international health rights and justice is a useful channel for writing in this emerging field.

Next:  Resilience and Peacemaking