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Democratic Meetings

You can better know what a democratic meeting is. Below are some useful hints.

As you look over these hints you may find it useful to have in mind that all democracy is participatory; That each democratic meeting is a powerful learning experience for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear; that there are, below the surface, rules for effective and just communication being learned by participants.

These rules need not be mysterious. Examples may be: practice dialogue skills, methods, and techniques, learn that your respect and courtesy is good for you and yours, Increase your understanding of the vocabulary of the business.

Okay, on to the hints.


An effective democratic meeting is:

~ of, by, and for it's participants.

~ as free as possible from outside powers.

~ autonomous.

~ held in a safe place. One attribute of a safe place is that it is neutral.

~ designed and redesigned to meet the needs of the participants.

~ as inclusive as possible.

~ better when participants realize that it is an important listening experience.

~ better when leadership roles are kept to a minimum and are of wide participation. Take turns.

~ a 'teach in' and a learning time.

~ most often a time more for understanding and less for decisions.

~ a time for thinking together.

~ a time for all of your comments and communications are best addressed to the group as a whole.

~time to practice good manners and honesty.

~ an opportunity to observe the effectiveness of participatory democracy.


It may be best to see these hints as pointing to useful directions to go rather than as goals to achieve.



by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill                              















Taoist Quotes

I find something attractive about a philosopher who laughs with me. You may too. You may also enjoy some of the later Taoist writers. Much of their writing is witty and accessible. Much is wise and useful.

Here are the English translations of a few of their sayings:

+ Accept the reality of the available freedom.

+ Easy does it.

+ Attend to your energy reserve.

+ No regrets.

+ Set your burden down and enjoy the water.

+ The door is not locked.

+ Peacefully rejoice in reality.

+ Know the joyful security of wandering where there is no path.

+Enjoy your wit and romantic adventures.

+ Is it really so.

+ Great knowledge and long life.

+ Be little moved by praise and blame.

+ Discriminate.

+ Be clear about the the nature of honor and discrace.

+ Small self, little vanity.

+ Know the rule without ruling.

+ know you.

+ Be willing to know the quality of your perception.

+ Let go of the clutter and the trivia.

+Nothing is useless.

+ All is useful.

+ As you smell the roses , hear the music.

+ As you speak, be aware of how little you know.

+ Nothing depends on your point of view.

+ Your opinion is changing this instant.

+ Let them be.

+ How can we understand it all in one day.

+ Clarify your understanding today.

+ Embrace reality.


What do they all mean. Seems that's up to us now. Try reading them again. One might serve you well today.



by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill


Hanuman in Trinidad

Trinidad is a large island about seven miles from Venezuela and near the mouth of the great Orinoco River.

The people of Trinidad are from Black Africa, East India, and everywhere else.

You can learn to bathe in glass there. You can also get a biodegradable coffin made of hallucinogenic nutmeg on this interesting island.

The food is varied. The curried goat satisfying.

There is an 85 foot tall red statue of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman on the island. It's the tallest one out side of India.

The main ridge Forest Reserve is the oldest protected forest in the western hemisphere. The 14 thousand acres of forest were declared a reserve in 1776 while the island was under British rule.

Pitch Lake, a 100 acre La Brea Tar Pit like place, has been mined to pave roadways around the world.

There is a beach where you can better your love life, do sand exfoliation, and listen to Syrian music.

Tobago is is the smaller of the two caribean islands which make up the nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

Tobago has fine, sandy beaches.

The capital of Tobago is the village of Scarborough.

You can kayak through the mangrove swamps of Tobago.

If you are getting the idea that Tobago is the more touristy of the two big islands of this island nation, you are on the right track. I like Trinidad better.

Port of Spain is the big city of the nation and it is on Trinidad.

In Trinidad and Tobago you may begin to feel you are in the real Caribbean and you would be right It is not all of the Caribbean, bit it is a lot of it.

On the two islands there is magic. Some say that, that magic is from Africa and India. I say it comes down the great Orinoco.

Some say there are too many birds on these islands. Many say that you can get wet and dirty there. It does pay to be careful.