crow 2 crow

Since You Asked

After a challenging pose, my yoga teacher used to say “Now close your eyes and feel the effects.” This was, for me, very good advice- for life on and off the mat. I forget to do it almost all the time, but when I do, I’m so grateful to her. I try to keep my teachers’ lessons in mind to guide me when I’m feeling lost or scared- or even jubilant.

And I’ll admit it, I’ve been jubilant (that’s right!) over the Occupy movement, stupidly you may say. But I went to Zuccotti Park and I’ve hung out a little at Occupy Hyannis and Occupy Eastham… and feeling the effects of those experiences has been something special. I mentioned it recently, saying it felt like standing up to the class bully. ‘Cause let’s face it: we’ve always had him outnumbered… it’s just that we forgot.

There’s a big zen teaching (the main one, I think) about non-attachment. It’s a hard one for me, so I work on it a lot. I don’t think I’m really getting any better but I keep practicing, and hey, I need to let go of worrying about improving, right? But still, keep trying- that’s the delicate dance we do here in zen-yoga-now-land. So it’s embarrassing to admit this but, well, I have a confession to make: I can’t detach from Occupy. And actually it’s gone way beyond that. I’m obsessed.

I’ve had a couple of weeks off from work and I spend hours every day reading Twitter tweets and poring over the videos and articles gushing forth from this glorious moment (please just let me thrill to it, please). And damned if my ENTJ brain (even while thrilled) doesn’t keep working its way around to demands. Not results… I’ve learned better- hahaha- but really what would I ask for? You know how some people like to wonder: what would you do if you won the lottery? Well here’s the new one: what would you say if someone asked you to articulate demands, in the name of the 99 percent?

I know, I know, the movement is deliberately and uh brilliantly avoiding coming up with demands. Those adbusters kids (and those #Occupy kids and lots of other kids, young and old) are pretty sharp. If that part of the one percent that wants to keep all the cash is writing these kids off, well they are just plain stupid. But back to the demands: mine, that is. Here’s what I have to say to Barack Obama and my other elected representatives as well as all of our elected reps and also the Supreme Court justices. Since you, er I, asked.

  1. Get out of the wars, quickly. Bring ’em home and take good care of them.
  2. Legalize weed. Let all the people busted for marijuana out of jail. Tax it.
  3. Absolutely place a 1% tax on all financial transactions: robinhoodtax.
  4. Make excellent education accessible to all, including reasonably priced state colleges.
  5. Single payer health care. Everyone is covered. Preventive everything. Say you’re rich and you want the surgeon that worked on Tom Brady? Go ahead and pay for it; nobody’s stopping you. Designer medical can be the new status symbol.
  6. Tax everyone appropriately. No free ride for the corporations or the wealthy. Simply stated by Elizabeth Warren (at 0:55 for the impatient).
  7. Get progressive with personnel policies. Example: start folks off with 2 weeks’ vacation and work up to 6 weeks per year. Roll it into the cost of doing business, for everybody.
  8. Undo that bullshit about corporations being people. They’re not. Make corporate leadership answerable to all stakeholders, not just stockholders. That includes their employees and their communities.
  9. Disconnect politics from big money. Campaign reform. Politicians need to serve the people. Elect them by popular vote, pay them well and let them do their real jobs.
  10. You know that Eckhart Tolle stuff which is really that Ram Dass stuff which is really old Hindu stuff about getting into Now? Put it into elementary school curriculum. Oh, and Media Literacy too. And don’t forget to also fund art and music and earth studies, for all kids.
  11. Get serious about climate change and the environmental holocaust we’re committing. Enforce the Clean Air and Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts for a start. Companies’ expense sheets need to cover doing things right.
  12. Tax luxuries. If you really want four houses, five cars and a Humvee plus a pile of $10k wristwatches, go for it. But it’s gonna be just like Monopoly: luxury tax. And hopefully when you’re bitching about the luxury tax, your children (or grandchildren), who will have mastered Being Here Now at seven, will straighten you out.
  13. Capital gains are income. Period.

Since I began to write this, my good friend Dianna has asked the #occupycapecod people to articulate one demand. You’re probably thinking “Why didn’t she just give us that to begin with?” Well, I didn’t start writing a blog to give you just one small nibble. You’re here, so let’s enjoy the whole meal together. But since you asked (or not), here’s what I came up with:


I’d like to deeply feel the effects of that.