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First Workshop!

posted Apr 28, 2015, 3:52 PM by Jesse Dow

Well, we're ready to launch our first weekend workshop! May 15th, 16th and 17th. That's a Friday evening, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. We're offering it as a gift. The gift includes dinner on Friday night. If you're interested, click on connect above and fill out the contact form.

Take a Breath And Consider the Addiction

posted Sep 25, 2014, 9:11 AM by Jesse Dow   [ updated Sep 25, 2014, 9:13 AM ]

 
As I write about this, I recognize that it is extremely difficult for any of us to access much clarity in this conversation. We have layers of relationship to money that sink to the very core of our being. I consider money to be an addiction in our culture. I consider both attraction and aversion-- hunger and hatred to be part of this addiction.

I am noticing, as I write this, that it is difficult for me to remain clear headed. The entire conversation is embroiled in an ancient fog. We likely lost clarity around this thousands of years ago. This fog has invaded our perception for so long that we have been unaware of its existence since ancient times.

In an effort to seek clarity, I'm imagining substituting our cultural money addiction with another-- say alcoholism. What happens when we substitute money for alcohol? I imagine living in a world where everybody is addicted to alcohol. We are all so addicted, in fact, that we have come to believe that we cannot survive without it. There is a general sense in the community that our measure of responsibility is directly connected to our ability to attain and effectively manage our use of alcohol. There are millions of people in the world who's entire job is to employ perfect accuracy to track exactly how much alcohol everybody obtains and consumes. Some people hunger all the time for alcohol, and use it as often as possible. For them, it is nearly their only source of happiness, and they believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that they cannot survive without it. Some people have discovered a balanced use of alcohol, and, on the whole, feel happy when they drink it. These people also still believe, without question, that they cannot survive without it. Some people abhor alcohol. They say that it is the root of all evil, and they seek to minimize their use of it due to deep radical hatred. 'Look at what it makes us do!' they say. Yet they see no way out, and they still believe, without question, that they cannot survive without it.

In fact, in this world, the only people who don't drink alcohol on a daily basis are completely isolated from the larger culture. The largest group of people who don't use alcohol are homeless. There are also people who live in cloistered spiritual communities, but even though the individuals don't drink alcohol, the only way that the communities continue to function is through the donation of alcohol to the larger community.

I am imagining that one day, somebody is sitting having a nice glass of wine, and suddenly has the thought: 'What if we actually don't need alcohol to survive?' This person isn't saying that alcohol is good or bad. She is only saying that it is not necessary.

One day, in passing, she mentions this idea to someone, and is met with a blank stare. Her friend stares at her for a moment, and then says, 'you're living in a fantasy,' and walks away.

What is it about money that has such a grip on us? Why does our breathing constrict the moment we hear the word? Why is it nearly impossible to even consider a world without money?

 We live in an unprecedented time right now. For the first time in history, our use of money is bringing us to the brink of extinction. For the first time in history, we are being forced to consider this possibility:

'What if we don't actually need money to survive?'

Let that door open inside you. It is the first step of a very beautiful journey.


Yin Yang perspective on Currency

posted Jun 12, 2014, 10:01 AM by Jesse Dow


Datti Facebook Page

posted Jun 12, 2014, 7:39 AM by Jesse Dow

 If you haven't already, please take a moment to like our FB page!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Datti/258350144296154?ref_type=bookmark

From Murderous Domination to Fairness to the Gift: Part III

posted Jun 7, 2014, 1:13 PM by Jesse Dow   [ updated Jun 7, 2014, 1:16 PM ]

 Part III: Welcome to the Gift!

(Scroll down to read Parts I and II)

Okay, let's get ourselves on down to a quick recap. Where were we? Fertile Crescent. Beginning of civilization. The introduction of the story 'Kill who you want, take what you want.' The horrible injustice of all that, which eventually gave rise to the the dominant human Story of Fairness. And money, the tool that allowed our primary mythical archetype to transform from 'Me Big Strong Kill You,' to 'Hey, Wait, That Is So Unfair', a story which continues to dominate our culture today.

Dang, don't you wish I'd been that succinct back in those last two posts?

By the way, in the telling of this story, have you noticed that it pretty closely mirrors the basic story of individual human development? You know, we start out as infants, go through all those stages and then die? That one.

Oh, wait, I need to quickly backtrack first, because there was a story before 'Kill it! Take it! Kill it!' It was the pre-civilization human story, and it was primarily defined by this: 'All the people of the world take their proper place in the balanced whole of life.' Now, when they said people, we all tend to assume that they were talking about Human People. They weren't-- That wasn't their story. Their story was that everything was alive, including the rocks and the water and fire, mountains, oceans, everything. Not only were they alive, they were people. And the story, the ideal to which they aspired, was for all people to live in balance together.

So back to the parallel with individual human development. When we're born, we're just about as close as we can possibly be to the oneness of the universe. We have little to no concept of ourselves as individuals. This state, in many ways, reflects the first human story, pre-civilization. We saw ourselves as a part of the whole. We very well may have actually lacked the capacity to identify ourselves as distinct, like a baby.

So that first little step into human civilization was like when a baby first notices that she can control those hands waving around in front of her face. It was the beginning of the realization of identity. It reminds me so much of the terrible twos! I'm a father of three children, and I can tell you, if all the two-year-olds in the world had unlimited power, there would be no survivors. It seems like the process of discovering personal identity is such a monumental task, that we loose, for some amount of time, the ability to recognize the existence of 'The Other'. So killing and taking is a kind of natural activity from that perspective.

And what happens when you grow out of that? As a father of three, I can tell you the phrase uttered most loudly and often in my house:

“NO FAIR!”

My kiddos live the story of Frodo and Luke-- the story of the little guy, the underdog, who saves the world and makes everything okay for all the other little people.

That's a beautiful story, by the way. God, I love that story. It really is just full of love. Especially as it continues to evolve.

Which brings us to the possibility of a fourth human story.

Fantastically, I'm completely off the hook in terms of trying to tell that story, because nobody knows it!

How exciting!

I'll tell you what though, here's what I'm watching. I'm watching the walls just beginning to get torn down. I'm watching a few people, here and there, from all over the world fall in love with each other. Have you noticed that?

Any of y'all know the story of Jetsun Milarepa? For whatever reason, Milarepa is my best guess at the new story:

Once upon a time, there was a wealthy landowner in a prosperous valley of ancient Tibet.

(Isn't that a wonderful beginning?)

This was a time only a century or two after Buddhism had first come to Tibet, and the whole concept of buddha stuff was still pretty new. The wealthy landowner had a wife and a daughter and a son. And he died.

Bummer.

But the worst was yet to come. Before he died, the wealthy landowner put his brother in charge. He said: 'Bro, you're my Steward. Until my boy comes of age, you're in charge of the land.' And after he died, that guy's brother completely screwed the guy's family over, and told them to pack it.

'MY LAND!' he said, 'I BIG STRONG, YOU WEAK!'

Milarepa was the son of the dead wealthy landowner.

So his mom lost it. She was a big time martyr. After doing a whole bunch of stuff to try to get the land back, she eventually basically commanded Milarepa to kill his aunt and uncle, sending him off to be trained in dark magic by a shaman.

Well, Milarepa got the training that he needed, buried himself in a pitch black cave for days, and chanted the name of a mountain spirit 24-7 until the spirit's spirit finally broke and said 'Shut up! What do you want?' And so Milarepa told the spirit to kill his aunt and uncle. Unfortunately, they were having a party, and it killed everybody in the house with giant bugs, except for Milarepa's aunt and uncle.

Wow, that was an even worse bummer.

And so what comes next is the part where Milarepa wanders the Tibetan landscape in destitute dismay. He has killed thirty people, and has failed his mom's last wishes. By the time he gets back to check in with her, he finds out that she died, suffering greatly. Of course.

And you've got to feel for the guy. He was just trying to make it right. He was just trying to make it fair. And things got totally out of hand, and he ended up killing a whole bunch of innocent strangers. He just ended up making things so much worse. It was like he was trying to escape from the early human story of dominance via murder, and just ended up causing more death.

Can you imagine? The poor guy had basically turned into a demon, karmically speaking. He must have been so consumed with guilt and self-loathing that he couldn't even think clearly. He had no idea at that point how to even be a human being.


Have you ever felt that way? I have. I have sometimes felt that way about the whole damn human race.

So the final part of Milarepa's story is beautiful and poignant, and a lot happens to him. If you want to learn it, you should read it. Here's the bottom line: He learns how to be a human being again. He learns how to find peace, how to see himself as something beautiful and not a demon, and that gives him access to an actual experience of reality, probably for the first time in his life. He stops trying to fix something or to get somewhere, and he starts to be alive.

Here's one of the little bits at the very end of the story. Milarepa has been meditating in a cold mountain cave for decades, when his aunt shows up out of nowhere. Remember her? Auntie Evil?

You see, she found out that he was still alive and she freaked out. 'Oh crap!' she thought, 'He's certainly over eighteen now! He can legally reclaim his fortune!' So she loaded a donkey with rice and took it up to his cave and smiled her winningest smile, and she said, 'It's a miracle! You're still alive! How wonderful! I was so worried, my dear sweet nephew!' She offered him all that rice and tried to make a deal. 'You just keep meditating, and don't cause any trouble, and I'll keep giving you as much rice as you want!'

Milarepa's first reaction was Absolute Loathsome Rage. Had his muscles not atrophied from sitting completely still for so long, he probably would have gotten up and strangled her to death. He shook. He fumed. He saw red. All the terror of his life flooded back into his body and mind, and inside of it all, he had room for only one single thought. 'It's all because of you! All of this happened because of you!'

So that's an interesting thing to realize. 'All of this happened because of you.'

Have you ever experienced a slow dawning of realization? There's an interim period where one perspective is replace by another. You can't really see yet what you're learning, but you know it's coming. It's like discovering that you've been looking into a mirror your whole life, and what you thought was reality was actually just the reflection. And it's not really all that different. So it takes time to perceive reality. And then you realize that left is actually right, and that reality is on the other side of the glass.

That's how I imagine this moment was for Milarepa. While he was holding this single, same, unchanging thought in his head, his experience went from unbound rage to an explosion of ecstatic gratitude. He wept. He laughed. Had his muscles not atrophied, he would have lifted and spun her about in a wild embrace.

'All of this happened because of you.'

'The farm is yours,' he said, 'I don't need anything more than this incredible gift that you've already given me.'

So, like I said earlier, I don't know our new story. Nobody does. We're all in the middle of our own little global dawning of realization. I don't even think the new story exists yet. But it's conversations like this that create it.

At best, my own two cents will simply reflect the wisdom of many beautiful people. I think our new story is a story about The Gift. I think that we are starting to see that everything is a gift. The story of domination through mass murder is a beautiful wonderful gift. It is the first baby step of a new being who has just discovered her own existence. The story of fairness is a gift. It saved our lives. Money saved our lives. And it's also a gift because it is now killing us, all of us, and it's driving us to rediscover the original story of connection, of oneness. We are being forced as a matter of survival, to see those mountaintops and those trees and those squirrels and that bacteria and those oceans as people. Living, conscious sentient beings who are a part of us, of whom we are a part, and who deserve to live, just as we do.

Because we are also a gift. The truth is that we ourselves are divine creatures of unfathomable beauty.

One final disclosure: throughout my life, my own mythical journey has mostly been about me. The story always said that there was something special about me. That I was going to overcome my own weakness and save the world. Or that I was a failure, or that I was misunderstood, or that I was a fool, or that I was magnificent. Lot's of variations on stories about me.

It's only very recently that my mythical journey has started to become a story about us. Together we are the authors of our future. We fit together like a puzzle. All of us. All people. If we are to live in The Gift, then it is time for us to accept and embrace the vast cornucopia of gifts that saturate every moment. When we open our eyes, every color that we see is a gift. Every breeze that touches our face is a gift. Every conversation. Every thought. When we live in the gift, then it becomes natural for us to give everything that we've got. It's time for us to weave ourselves together and see what we become.

Imagine that. No, better yet, do it.


From Murderous Domination to Fairness to the Gift: Part II

posted Jun 1, 2014, 9:28 AM by Jesse Dow   [ updated Jun 1, 2014, 9:40 AM ]

(Scroll down to read part I)

 Part II: Hey, No Fair!

Okay, so yes, in the last week or so, I have come to love money. Crazy right?

Now when I say 'I love money,' I don't mean it in the sense of 'Gimme gimme gimme!' I mean it more in the sense of 'I love my children,' or 'I love Gandhi.'

Crazy as it might sound, right now, when I think of money, I am filled with love and gratitude. To give a little bit of a background, I have spent my entire professional career in service to, and as a champion for the poor. I bet you can guess how much that pays.

So Full Disclosure: I have historically despised money to the marrow of my bones. I might have told another story, if you'd asked me-- something more enlightened about how money is a natural part of the world, and everything that is natural is beautiful (gag!). But, at my core, I believed money to be evil!

To give a background, I am no more than maybe two degrees separated from every undocumented Spanish speaking immigrant in Boulder County, where I live and work. I thrive in that community, and I spend as much time there as I can.

And I'll tell you what it's like for them. They have never even asked themselves the question 'What would my life be like if I didn't have to work myself to exhaustion six days a week for minimum wage at McDonalds?' Why not? Because they are the lucky ones. They left families behind in absolute abject, mind-numbing, starvation riddled poverty, and for those who got out, it's not 'I have to work for minimum wage,' it's, 'I get to work for minimum wage.'

The global economy is driving the car. It has opened the passenger door, and shoved the faces of the poor against the passing pavement with it's boot heel. You bet I hated money! Any human who knows and loves the profoundly poor invariably faces, somewhere in her soul, a deep and abiding hatred of money. And that's not even to mention what money has done to all of the beautiful non-human beings of our world-- our beloved brothers and sisters. It has ripped the heads off mountains, brought every living ecosystem to the brink of death. It has filled the air with tar and the oceans with plastic. It has killed countless fish, birds, trees, everything and everybody. The destruction that has been done to life in the name of money is saturated with one grief stricken horror story after another.

So now I turn around and say that I love money? In the matter of maybe a week, I have gone from one extreme to another? What gives?!

Here's why I say that. Here's why, when I now think of money, I breathe a deep sigh of gratitude and relief: It has to do with the shift that has happened to the human story over the last couple thousand years. We have gone from a story of Murderous Domination to something completely new.

Have you ever bought or sold a used car? There's sort of a typical tradition associated with the process. The buyer kicks the tires, looks under the hood-- generally tries to find everything that's wrong with the car. The seller assures the buyer that he religiously changed the oil every three months, just bought new tires, and had the clutch rebuilt. It's as good as new! This is the trade mentality. The buyer tries to get the car for as little money as possible. The seller tries to get as much money for the car as possible. Their interests are at odds, but if the trade is ideal, it will be fair.

That is the new story. The Story of Fairness. We went from kill and take to trade.

And there is actually a tool that was used to accomplish this incredible feat-- to defeat Odysseus and implement a new power structure. The tool was simple, it was easy to understand, and it was mind bogglingly effective. The tool was money.

Obviously money had not successfully achieved its ideal-- the world is wildly unfair. But it did completely and irrevocably alter our most basic fundamental story.

Previous to this latest cascade of insights, I had seen the ideal of fair trade as a barrier to our transformation. And, honestly, I haven't really changed my opinion. I still do see the story of fairness as a barrier to our transformation, but I also now see it as the necessary platform from which to launch ourselves. And far more importantly, I see it as the product of an earlier transformation. We have done this before.

So here's the story of fairness as told in the language of modern mythology:

Once upon a time, a super long time ago, there was a really short guy with an incredibly big heart who saved the world. His name was Frodo Baggins.

(Isn't that a wonderful beginning?)

He was faced with the almost impossible task of destroying The One Ring of Power. This ring gave anybody who possessed it the power to dominate not only all the other rings of power, but pretty much everybody and everything in the world. And you know what? That little guy, who nobody had ever even heard of, stood up, and he shouted, 'HEY, THAT'S JUST NOT FAIR!' And he and his lover Samwise Gamgee ventured forth on an impossible journey, which required them both to transform completely. You see, the ring filled them up with an irresistible passionate need to possess it-- to possess the power to destroy and dominate everything, and in order to destroy the Ring, they had to let it go. They had to give up the desire to destroy and control. And they did it, and they destroyed the ring and Everything Became Fair, and they lived happily ever after, yay!

Or if you prefer, how about this one:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a slightly less short, but still short guy with an incredibly big heart who saved the galaxy. His name was Luke Skywalker. He was faced with the almost impossible task of destroying The Dark Side of the Force. And you know what? That little guy, who nobody had ever even heard of, stood up, and he shouted, 'HEY, THAT'S JUST NOT FAIR!' And he and his lover, Princess Lea ventured forth on an impossible journey, which required them both to transform completely. You see, The Dark Side of The Force filled them up with an irresistible passionate need to possess it-- to possess the power to destroy and dominate everything, and in order to destroy the Ring-- I mean the Dark Side of the Force, they had to let it go. And they did it, and they destroyed the Dark Side of the Force and Everything Became Fair, and they lived happily ever after, yay!

So you could say that the Story of Fairness came into being as a direct response to the Story of Murderous Domination. It was the obvious, natural replacement story. And it has been incredibly successful! Global human violence has been dropping precipitously for a long time (I remember hearing that on NPR). As much as you may hate money, you have to admit that if you had lived in northern China in the 12th century, you would have hated Genghis Khan a whole lot more (if you were still alive, which is unlikely).

Now don't get confused. Just because money hasn't achieved it's ideal of fairness, or fair trade, doesn't mean that that's not its purpose. A dollar is a dollar is a dollar is a dollar. It has the same value everywhere. Think back to all those arguments about how the free market would regulate itself: Supply and demand, competition, prices stay low, product value stays high, blah blah blah... Remember that load of horsesh*t that nobody believes anymore? At least not anybody who is actually thinking? Truth be told, there is an undeniable reality behind it. Money certainly hasn't made anything fair, but it's profoundly curbed the wholesale slaughter that preceded it. War is a totally different thing than it used to be. Now, instead of someone killing everyone and taking everything, we have counterinsurgency and tactical strikes, where we kill a targeted number of innocent civilians and steal their money! Yay, so much better!

Yet if you really examine it, it is so much better! Imagine what it would be like if the US Military decided to use all the force at its disposal to kill anybody if it could get them more power (or who looked at their girl the wrong way). If the human story had not transformed, we would most certainly all be dead.

So, is that it? What if it turns out that money and the story of fairness is actually a beautiful gift that we gave ourselves-- an ideal for which countless people have died fighting? What if it turns out that money actually saved us from annihilation? Does that mean that we should stick with it? Continue on the path toward ever greater fairness? We've made it this far. Doesn't it seem reasonable to think that we could make it the rest of the way? Or does the story of fairness have integrated limitations? Might it be that we need a whole new story?

Tune in next week for our third and final installment! Where those questions and many more will be answered with magnificent flourishnesseses of deft skill and insight!


From Murderous Domination to Fairness to the Gift

posted Jun 1, 2014, 9:16 AM by Jesse Dow

 So I was having this conversation with my dad right before the turn of the new year, and he was sharing with me an insight from the book Ishmael, about a gorilla sage. The conversation initiated a cascade of insight in me for which I'm just profoundly grateful. I'll offer a spoiler: I have come to love money! Anybody who knows me will find that a statement bit odd. If you want to know why, you'll have to read on... and on... and on, considering that I intend to write this little story in three separate parts.

So here goes. Part I: Murderous Domination

(Or, as some folks like to call it: The Odyssey)

The foundation of human civilization is generally agreed upon as the discovery and expansion of agriculture in the the fertile crescent. This expansion, my dad recently told me, was a process, first, of taking sticks and rocks, and killing everything in the earth within a particular area, and then planting in it the food you want. This 'kill and take' strategy turned out to be so successful, that folks doing it decided to expand. They posted a banner over their wattle-and-daub huts: AGRICULTURE: NOW EXPANDING! COME VISIT US AT OUR THREE NEW LOCATIONS! Not only did they kill plants and take their land, they started to kill people and take their land. Enter Civilization, stage right.

It was the birth of the myth of Odysseus. If you've read The Odyssey, you'll recognize the fundamental archetype of early civilization.

'Kill who you want, take what you want.'

If you were too weak to do it, then you were fair game for the strong. The ideal of perfection-- the goal toward which everybody aspired was Strength and Power. Morality didn't factor in, because if you sucked at killing people, then you were a failure and deserved to die. A significant offshoot, by the way, was that simply being born a woman made you a primary target-- not necessarily for death, but certainly for absolute domination (a noble concession on the part of the horny warlords).

The truth of the matter is that there was really no room in this story for women at all, except as a bit part.

For those who haven't read The Odyssey, a little background: Odysseus has fought long and hard in the Trojan War (chronicled in The Iliad), and is now on his way home. The journey turns out to be just absurdly arduous. He's kidnapped for years by a beautiful nymph (I know, right?), attacked and captured by a terrible cyclops, once again attacked by a whole cadre of gargantuan sea monsters. He meets a bunch of people from across the sea and beats them all up. All of this takes so damn long that everybody just ends up figuring he's dead.

The primary offshoot: a virtual army of suitors descend on Penelope (Odysseus' wife), and start killing each other to prove their worth. When Odysseus finally returns home, the story climaxes in an absolutely horrifying, graphic bloodbath. Homer seemed to take genuine, gruesome pleasure in writing this part.

Here's essentially what happens (if I remember correctly): Odysseus leaps through a window and slices and dices his way through every man in the great hall of his home, leaving literally not a single one left alive. He then, of course, sweeps Penelope into his arms, and shows her what it's like to be with a real man.

The story obviously chronicles the typical heroes journey of myth. One could even say that he's the primary model by which the journey is defined. He must face and beat unbeatable odds, a process that causes within him a total transformation. Through doing this, he demonstrates that he is worthy of the transformation. And the measure of his worth? Strength and Power. The transformation? Absolute, omnipotent Strength and Power. He's like the US Armed Forces.

There was something else in there about sheep, but I can't remember what it was.

So my dad gave me this insight into the beginning of civilization. The part about agriculture I knew. But the part about killing people and taking their land right off the bat was new to me. Oh, and, yeah, I have to admit with some embarrassment that I haven't yet read Ishmael. I just bought it, and read the first few pages, and I've been telling everybody I know, man, you've got to read this book! Turns out everybody already has. Oops.

But it got me thinking about those old myths. It got me thinking about Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great, and, you know, those guys. The ones who killed whoever they wanted, and took whatever they wanted.

Life for your average Joe would have sucked back in those days. And for the average Jane, forget about it! We think that we have problems with sexism now! Or, I don't know, avoiding having your head chopped off by any guy who happens to decide that he wants to be great-- considering that that was the measure of greatness back in the day. That would be a bummer. To live there. And stuff.

So, in conclusion (ehem, ehem) I've had a little myth of my own for a while now. Here's the story of my myth (give a shout if you find it familiar): Human beings have been stuck for a long time. We've been riding the same old treadmill for so long that we're now well into the process of killing the planet. Our existing story, our myth, our archetype, if left unchecked, is invariably going to kill us all, and it might not take all that long to do it. We might actually be very near the end of this insane, deadly trajectory. And now the time has come! Our stagnation must end! It is time for us to gather together, to seek out our deepest internal resources, from our heart of hearts, and transform the very nature of human being! If the planet herself, and all of the beautiful living beings here are to survive, then nothing short of absolute and total transformation will do.

Why is this a myth? Well, I'll certainly stand behind the 'Transform or die!' part. Not much debate there. It's the 'We've been stagnant for a long time' part that has been all turned up on it's head for me. As far as I can tell, we've only just tipped the global balance from the previous story of 'Kill! Take! Kill!' to a new modern story back in World War II. That wasn't very long ago.

Why does this distinction matter? Well, I'd much rather be attempting to take on the impossible with my fellow humans if it's actually true that we've done it before.

And here I end. Tune in for next week's exciting installment, in which the following questions will be answered: What is our modern story that has replaced the 'Holly sh*t, that guy has a really big sword!' story? What's up with that Frodo Baggins guy anyway? And, why the hell did Jesse say that he loves money?!


Next Datti Gift Garden Dinner and Circle

posted Jan 16, 2014, 4:37 PM by Jesse Dow

 We're having our next dinner and sharing circle tomorrow night, right here at Nyland Cohousing in Colorado, USA.

Many of us have come to a place where we understand and yearn for the fulfillment of this burgeoning gift economy. We simply have no idea how to create it yet. We recognize that we are facing internal as well as external barriers. We have internalized a trade-based perception so completely we all continue to struggle with concerns of fairness (it's not fair that I continue to give all these gifts, while other people don't), and we fear that we will be unable to care for ourselves if we focus on taking care of others.

And, externally, the simple fact is that most of us spend our days toiling for no better reason than to make money-- to survive. It doesn't nurture us. It doesn't fulfill us. Yet what other choice do we have?

And we get home from work and we glimpse over at a datti that is sitting on our desk or maybe our altar, and we think, 'I'll give that coin with a gift to someone tomorrow. I'm just too tired today.'

So a primary reason that we have initiated these circles is to explore our yearning (why does it feel like a gift economy is more in line with our natural selves), to explore our barriers, and to give each other gifts.

The gift economy movement is young and small. We are only just barely beginning to discover that we have much left to do. The truth is that we have not yet even begun.

So let it begin! Let our hearts soar!

Show the World Your Datti!

posted Dec 25, 2013, 11:14 AM by Jesse Dow   [ updated Dec 25, 2013, 11:15 AM ]

Notice anything different with the website?

The silhouette of the person holding the datti on the right is now my daughter!

If you'd like to see your own silhouette on the website, get someone to take your picture holding up a datti (or a large coin if you don't have a datti). Email the picture to info at datti dot org.

Make sure to hold it up as high as you can, and make sure that there's either a blank wall with no shadow behind you, or empty sky, so that we can get a clean pull of your picture and put it on the website!

If we do get a clean pull, I'll put it up!

Track Your Datti Is Up and Running!

posted Dec 2, 2013, 9:29 AM by Jesse Dow   [ updated Dec 2, 2013, 9:30 AM ]

 Okay! It took me six months to learn PHP and MySQL, but it's done! You can now click the Track Your Datti link and look up a coin! If you have a numbered coin that you have given away, please also take the time to tell your won story! It's easy to do!

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