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About the blog

This blog is about both scientific, societal/political, and yoga-related issues - individually and considered as different aspects of the same problem/solution. A longer description is found in the first blog entry, and all old posts are found in a structured way here. The blog is an extension of my main home pages and Twitter: @gunnarcedersund

Snow!! And more Christmas songs :)

karma yoga: life and work Posted on Dec 06, 2013 18:12

This morning when I woke up, I saw what I have been dreaming of for some time now: SNOW! This above picture is a view of Konsum, which is the nearby and eco-specialized supermarket that I can see from my window. The picture isn’t taken from my window, though, but from my walk down to Babettes, which is my standard coffee house here in Linköping. I sit here usually some 2-3 days a week, to work and to feel uplifted and inspired and relaxed. And what can be more uplifting than my table neighbours this afternoon: two playing and utterly happy little playing children. While working today, I have also added quite a few new songs to “Gunnar’s Christmas List 2013“. I e.g. added some songs from Disney’s Christmas Classics “From all of us”, and of course – to celebrate that my dreams of snow are coming to fruition – the most sold single of all times: Bing Crosby’s “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas“.

// end scene from the most standard TV-programme on Christmas eve here in Sweden. It is watched by approximately 40% of all Swedes every year.

Nelson Mandela dead, now begins our time

from fear to love Posted on Dec 05, 2013 23:23

A few days ago we had a TED-evening here at yoga-link. We listened to and watched many inspirational videos, and I will describe them shortly in a later post (UPDATE: here). Already now, however, I can say that we watched a video we have watched also at an earlier event: a video by Barry Schwartz. He there speaks about the importance of virtue, and of celebrating moral heroes. I think that almost everybody nowadays agrees that Nelson Mandela is one of those moral heroes. He led South Africa, not only from apartheid to democracy, but towards healing and forgiveness. One of the my favorite Swedish politicians, Hans Corell, said that we need more statesmen in the world. Corell, who has worked as a top UN official directly under Kofi Annan for many years, then went on to say that “In my life I have met only a few real Statesmen, people who can lead an entire people through their unshakable integrity, sincerity and charisma. Nelson Mandela was one of them.” As it turns out, he is now dead, since a few hours back. It is therefore up to us to become new Statesmen. New inspirers. To take his cape, and realize that we only live a short time here. That Mandela’s time is over. And that our time has begun.

I therefore end this short post, to Mandela’s honor, by celebrating a quote that often is associated with Mandela, one that has been hanging since many years on a wall directly to the right when you enter yoga-link. A quote that it is often said that he spoke in his inaugural address. This quote is one of my favourite quotes, and the fact that it actually wasn’t said by him, makes it even more appropriate now: because it means that it will be easy for us who remain in our bodies to keep producing quotes like this. And to follow the spirit of them.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that
most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a
child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is
nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel
insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were
born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just
in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are
liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates

A Wikipedia picture of Mandela from 2008, the year that the US finally admitted that he wasn’t a terrorist. That in itself, should tell ús something about our fear of terrorists, and about our blind belief in the governments’ abilities to decide who they are.

First candle is lit, and “Gunnar’s 2013 Christmas list” on Spotify is emerging

karma yoga: life and work Posted on Dec 02, 2013 20:11

“När första ljuset brinner
Står julens dörr på glänt
Och alla människor glädjas
Att fira få, advent”

These are lyrics that you often read here in Sweden when you are lightning the first candle out of four before Christmas. You then lighten one new candle, together with the old ones, each Sunday, and the fourth and last candle is lit the last Sunday before Christmas Eve. I did this tradition as a child, and now while having some wonderful company at home yesterday, I renewed it. It is a bit symbolic that the candle holder is broken, and needs repairing before I can finish this…

In any case, now I just want to say that I have also gone into a new type of celebration, which might become a tradition as well: to create a really awesome Christmas song playlist on Spotify. This is something I started to play with a little bit already last year, but this year I will make it a little bit more ambitious and open it up for the public. The playlist can be found in the link below, and I am adding only songs that in one way or another connects to Christmas celebrations (in a rather wide sense) and that – most importantly – consists of really good arrangements and performances. Performances that are so good that I like to listen to them based on the music alone. There are so many Christmas song recordings, and there is so much light and talent flowing out in many of them, so I am really eager about this project. The list is public and can be listened to by anyone, and if you have suggestions of songs that you think are good, please feel free to suggest them here in the comments. Any musical style and genre is welcome!

Happy listening!

TED evening 3/12, lunch concert 17/12, yoga-weekend in Jan/Feb

events/courses at Posted on Dec 01, 2013 16:41

The below email was sent out a few days ago on my email list. Send me an email (at gunnar.cedersund “at” gmail dot com) if you want to be included in it.

Dear friends, interesting human beings,

as most
of you know already, I have a tradition of arranging occassional
TED-evenings in my yoga and dance-studio. It is now time for another
one, and it will take place on Dec 3, i.e. now on Tuesday. As usual it
is on Rekrytg 4, 3rd floor, and we will start with drop-in of food (if
you want to bring some) and deciding of videos around 18, 18.30 or so,
and then start watching videos around 19. We should be finished by 22
with the last video, and you are free to leave earlier (or come later)
if you want. However, if you haven’t already, please write in
before-hand and check that there still are places left (UPDATE: there are now virtually none left). Either by email or
sms: 0702-512323. Further and more general info regarding TED-evenings
can be found here, including a link to a wave-discussion about what to
watch, here.

from that I also want to say that I will have the next lunch concert on
*Tuesday* Dec 17. It is hence not on a Monday, but otherwise as usual,
i.e. 12.20-12.50 and in Berzelius-salen, HU, Linköping. I will play
Beethoven’s op 2:3, which is the third and last sonata in his first
series of sonatas, written at the age of 25. At this point, he was
equally much about to prove himself as a pianist in Vienna as about
diving into composing, so there are lots of “show off”-places. When you
hear it you can just picture a wildly ambitious and super-talented young
Beethoven showing off in one of the many soirees he attended in those
early years.

Finally, for those of you who are interested in my
yoga-teaching, I hope to have a new intensive yoga-weekend at some point
not too far off, probably in Jan/Feb or so. If you are, and if you
haven’t already, let me know if you are interested.

best wishes,

Final celebration of the autumn. Welcome Christmas feelings :)

karma yoga: life and work Posted on Nov 23, 2013 22:09

As I wrote about in a previous blog, I have this year prepared for and celebrated the autumn a little bit more carefully than earlier years, and it has payed off: I have enjoyed it more than ever, and all the colours on the trees, the increasing number of dark-hours outside and the increasing number of candles inside, etc have all just felt great. That is such a difference, and I am really happy about that. Therefore, since we now are switching over from autumn to winter, and to Christmas preparations, I want to do a new little blog post on this, to commemorate this shift. The video above is one of my favourite autumn songs, with lyrics written by the wonderful comic author Tove Jansson. The video below is another of my favourite autumn and long-night songs: Pugh Rogefeldt’s “Här kommer natten”, in a wonderful performance for him, sung by Miss Li, in a studio in TV4.
With these two songs, I hereby close the autumn celebration….


…and open the winter celebration and allow for the Christmas feelings to start pouring in. Actually, I already started this a bit a few days ago, when I was attending the really nice installation of Linköpings Vinterljus, which is an annual light-exhibition that takes place in various locations in Linköping city.

This was followed by a Christmas market in Trädgårdsföreningen, and when I saw the horse below, and all the nice little things people had constructed, I knew: the weeks leading up to Christmas are really cosy and worthy of enjoyment as well. In fact, we are now entering one of the best parts of the year.

Finally: in other parts of Sweden, even in cities south of Linköping, they yesterday started to talk about sightings of snow ^^

Two pictures from Trädgårdsföreningen earlier today.

Time for two new events: a concert on Monday, and a TED evening early December

events/courses at Posted on Nov 23, 2013 21:40

//’ve got the words to change a nation
but you’re biting your tounge
You’ve spent a life-time in silence
afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it, how’re we gonna learn your song?

So come on, come on
come on, come on“

are the opening lyrics of the song that was played in the audition of
the wonderful shadow performance group Attraction, which I talked about
in the previous post. I really liked these lyrics, and I really do feel
what she talks about: that we all of us, including me, have “the words
to change a nation”, but that we are all somehow holding ourselves back.
Well, enough of that!
Tomorrow, on Sunday afternoon, I am going to
attend a discussion group regarding possible options to introduce a
guaranteed income, and this is a part of my general ambition to dive
into the maturation of our economy.

The day after this, I am going to give a new lunch concert at last. This time I will get back to some of the pieces and inspirations with
which I started the whole series, about three years ago: to Chopin. I
will play some of the pieces I played then, i.e. some of his Preludes op
28, but I will also play some other works. These include e.g.
Fantasie-Impromptu and his wonderful Berceuse. As usual I will also talk
a little about the pieces I am playing.

What: Lunch concert, piano with Gunnar Cedersund
When: Monday 25/11, 12.20-12.50
Where: Berzeliussalen, next to the HU library
Price: Free of charge!

Apart from this, I am also planning for a new TED evening. Preliminary date is December 3, a Tuesday.

Attraction – telling the story of their lives in shadows

music, dancing, creativity Posted on Nov 23, 2013 21:26

I don’t know if you know already, but this
year’s edition of Britain’s got talent was won not by a singer, as has
been the case previous years, but by a…shadow performance group from
Hungary! This illustrates so nicely that it is not the
of expression that decides how good a show is, but only ONLY the
quality of it. Our lives have some basic components – you are born, you
grow up and learn about life, you fall in love, dance, have sex and
kids, until one day you die and your kids take over after you – and
these components can be depicted in any medium you so desire. And when
it is done well, it is touching, because it touches those general core
components that exists within all of us.

The name of this group is “Attraction”, and in the above video you see their audition performance. In the below video you see their second performance, which is equally remarkable.

// discovered this group and these two videos for real only yesterday, and I am really happy that I did so. Not only because the videos are really touching, but because it is so inspirational to see how a group of inspired young adults can put their hearts and minds together into some devoted focused work to create something this remarkable and uplifting. And it doesn’t matter where they come from in the world. The only thing that matters is the quality of your creation, and the intent by which you put it out there to others.

Reply from Carl Bildt

politics Posted on Nov 10, 2013 12:52

As some of you might remember, I posted an
open letter to our Swedish Minister of Foregin Affairs Carl Bildt som 2
months ago or so. I then questioned him on why Sweden as the only country
in the EU
chose to stand aside from a joint statement saying that
international law will be upheld, using the ICC, after the Syria crisis
has been resolved. I promised to publish the answer, if I got one, and
since I did – here it is.

(you almost always get an answer to
these kind of queries, at least if they are well-formulated, and I think
that it is a good way to show the politicians what’s on my mind, and to
increase the public-politician-dialogue)

Hej Gunnar!

Tack för ditt mail. Jag arbetar på Utrikesdepartementets ministerkansli
och utrikesminister Carl Bildt har bett mig att svara dig.

Naturligtvis är regeringen av åsikten att krigsförbrytare ska ställas
till svars och vi arbetar på många fronter för att stärka respekten och
skyddet för mänskliga rättigheter. Sverige har sedan Romstadgans
antagande varit en stark anhängare av dess principer och av ICC.
Domstolen har en viktig roll i att säkerställa att förbrytare av de
allvarligaste internationella brotten mot mänskliga rättigheter och
internationell humanitär rätt lagförs.

Carl Bildt förklarade i januari i år ställningstagandet att inte skriva
på brevet med att det var fel prioritering i det läget, då utsikterna
att få igenom initiativet var ytterst begränsat och att det snarare
kunde riskera den politiska processens framgångsutsikter i och med att
Bashar al-Assad skulle bli låst utan förhandlingsutrymme. Ansvar ska
naturligtvis utkrävas för brott som begåtts, och ICC kommer med all
säkerhet att ha en roll i detta när det blir aktuellt. Vårt första fokus
är dock att få stopp på konflikten och de allvarliga övergreppen av
mänskliga rättigheter och humanitär rätt.

Du kan höra Carl Bildts förklaring i en radiointervju gjord den 15 januari här:

Med vänliga hälsningar

Sara Dennås
Politiskt sakkunnig

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