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May 01, 2020, 7 comments, 33 smiles During The Power of Questions circle we recently held with John, listeners spent a few minutes sharing their responses on a Google doc to the question: What is the weather in your heart at this moment? Later we discovered that with a little bit of rearranging, these state-of-the-heart check-ins create a patchwork quilt of poetry! :) Not a single additional word was added. It's confirmed. We are all poets together.
Jun 30, 2019, 6 smiles Last Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting Awakin Call with Lewis Hyde. Myth, imagination, art, the public domain, tricksters and the gifts of forgetting are just a few of the topics that interest acclaimed poet, writer and cultural thinker Lewis Hyde. Hyde has been writing for more than three decades, with high-profile awards along the way, including a MacArthur “genius grant” in 1991. David Foster Wallace called him “one of our true superstars of nonfiction.” Hyde’s fans — among them Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon and Jonathan Lethem — routinely use words like "transformative" and "life-altering" to describe his books, which they’ve been known to pass hand to hand like spiritual texts. In continuous publication since 1983, his book The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World has been praised as the most subtle, influential study of reciprocity since the French anthropologist Marcel Mauss’s 1924 essay of the same ... Read Full Story
May 20, 2019, 4 smiles Last Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting an Awakin Call with Jeremy Lent. And it was a special joy to have past Awakin guest Terry Patten expertly moderating the call! An author and nonprofit founder, Jeremy Lent investigates how humans' search for meaning throughout history has led to its current crisis of sustainability. His book The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning (2017) draws on nearly 10 years of personal research and was called by The Guardian as "the most profound and far-reaching book I've ever read.” Focusing on questions such as, Is it our true nature to be selfish and competitive, or empathic and community minded?, Lent is on a mission to discover how we can consciously forge our own structures of meaning. Lent's own structures that had given life meaning shattered after the death of his wife and collapse of his company. "But ... Read Full Story
Apr 28, 2019, 6 smiles This week's riveting Awakin Call was beautifully moderated by past Awakin Call guest and co-creator of Buddhas on Death Row, Maria Jain. We'll post the audio of the call soon, but for now we've posted our extended notes that will give you a flavor of the stories and insights. By way of brief intro to James Fox: he is the founder and director of the Prison Yoga Project, an organization dedicated to establishing yoga and mindfulness programs in prisons and rehabilitation centers worldwide. Since 2002, he has been teaching yoga and meditation to prisoners at San Quentin Prison as well as other California State prisons. His book, Yoga: A Path for Healing and Recovery (2010), has been requested by and sent free of charge to over 30,000 prisoners. He has trained more than 2,000 teachers and his program has been replicated in more than 350 jails, prisons and rehabilitation facilities in 28 ... Read Full Story
Apr 06, 2019, 6 smiles Today we had the privilege of hosting an Awakin Call with Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. Laura is the founder and director of the Trauma Stewardship Institute. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of trauma exposure, she is author of Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others and of The Age of Overwhelm. Laura found her calling at age 18, when she regularly spent nights volunteering in a homeless shelter. She went on to work with survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, acute trauma of all kinds, and natural disasters. A decade into her career, Laura experienced what can best be described as a near-psychotic break—which, she came to realize, resulted not necessarily from her own direct trauma, but from years of witnessing and being intimately involved in trauma while lacking insight into how to sustain herself amidst such conditions. The ... Read Full Story
Feb 24, 2019, 5 smiles This past Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting an Awakin Call with Parker Palmer. Parker J. Palmer is an American treasure -- an iconic writer, teacher, and activist who for more than 50 years has deeply addressed subjects from contemplation to community, the inner life to public life, education to social change. He encourages, embodies, and designs processes for a vulnerability and an accessing of our deeper selves in community with others that makes possible the bridging of the "tragic gap" between the inner self and the outer world -- so they merge into a "mobius strip" where the inner becomes the outer and vice versa. Founder and Senior Partner Emeritus of the Center for Courage & Renewal, Palmer in 1998 was named one of the thirty most influential senior leaders in higher education. In 2010, he received the William Rainey Harper Award, whose previous recipients include Margaret Mead and ... Read Full Story
Feb 20, 2019, 7 smiles Last Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting an Awakin Call with Alan Wallace. A call with a record number of RSVPs and truly vibrant engagement from our listeners. After dropping out from university in 1971 and immersing himself for 14 years in Buddhist studies with some of his generation’s greatest lamas, Alan Wallace became a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by H.H. the Dalai Lama, for whom he also served as translator. He began then to integrate the Western perspectives of his first 20 years with his 14 years of Buddhist studies. He graduated summa cum laude in physics from Amherst College and then got a PhD in Religious Studies from Stanford. He is a prominent and important voice in the discussion between Buddhist thinkers and scientists who question the materialist presumptions of 20th-century paradigms. He has written and translated more than 40 books and founded the Centers for Contemplative Research ... Read Full Story
Sep 25, 2018, 2 comments, 14 smiles 47 Years Ago - On May 1, 1969 Fred Rogers Addressed Congress "In 1969, Fred Rogers, host of the (then) recently nationally syndicated children's television series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce Subcommittee on Communications to defend $20 million in federal funding proposed for the newly formed non-profit Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which was at risk of being cut. Subcommittee chairman, Senator John Pastore, unfamiliar with Fred Rogers, is initially abrasive toward him. Over the course of Rogers' 6 minutes of testimony, Pastore's demeanor gradually transitions to one of awe and admiration as Rogers speaks." One of the best televised examples ever of the power of soul-force and a heart that is moved by love.
Sep 22, 2018, 4 comments, 10 smiles This Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting Awakin Call with Phuoc Le. Dr. Phuoc Le is an advocate for equitable healthcare worldwide. He is a physician and co-founder of the HEAL (Health, Equity, Action, and Leadership) Initiative, which trains front-line health professionals to build a community dedicated to serving the underserved. With a name meaning “blessing” or “good fortune” in both Vietnamese and Chinese, Phuoc was born in Vietnam at the end of the war and fled at age 5 with his family by boat -- narrowly escaping death at sea. Now a highly educated and trained physician, Phuoc has worked with Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners in Health to provide healthcare to the world's poor in their homes and communities, including in Africa and post-earthquake Haiti. “For the vast majority of people, it doesn’t turn out the way it did for me,” he says. “As much as I’ve been ... Read Full Story
Jul 16, 2018, 2 comments, 8 smiles Last Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting Awakin Call with Sheryl Davis. Sheryl Evans Davis, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, has provided life-changing public service and advocacy for almost thirty years. In her current public role, she continues her untiring work towards increasing access, opportunity and equity for vulnerable populations. Whether volunteering to teach low-income students when she was a teacher at a more affluent school nearby, or spearheading a collaborative partnership of organizations to address community issues in underserved neighborhoods, Sheryl has acted on her core belief that we all have the power to help...it's about "being a human bridge, making that meaningful connection, and changing someone's life, sometimes just by seeing them." Davis learned early on from her mother that you can't change others; "the only person you have control over is you. So... figure out what you can do that can help ... Read Full Story