Showing posts from May 3, 2020

Diana Beresford-Kroeger: The Call of the Trees

Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a world-recognized botanist, medical biochemist and author (and now filmmaker). She is known for her extraordinary ability to translate scientific complexities of nature for the general public with both precision and poetry. "If you speak for the trees, you speak for all of nature", says Beresford-Kroeger, one of the world's leading expert on trees. She has studied the environmental, medicinal, and even spiritual aspects of trees, has written about them in leading books, and maintains gardens on her property that burst with flora. From a very young age, she understood she was the last voice to bring Celtic knowledge to the New World. Orphaned at age 11 in Ireland, she lived with elders who taught her the ways of the Celtic triad of mind, body and soul, all rooted in a vision of nature that saw trees and forests as fundamental to human survival and spirituality.

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These Questions Can Help You Connect (Even When You’re Apart)

Researchers designed conversation prompts to help people feel closer. Will it work for 10-year-olds Zuri and Greer?

By Jane Park

Learning Life’s Gentle Lessons with the Seahorse Whisperer!

Can observing the gentle ways of a graceful sea creature actually make you a better person? Rog Hanson is known as the Seahorse Whisperer, and you don’t end up with a title like that for no reason! We’re diving in with him to discover how we can all grow as humans from one of nature’s most elusive miracles.

Resting beneath the ocean’s surface lives a tiny, slender creature spending its days just hanging out, mystifying the human race with its long tail, fluttery balletic movements, and peculiar habits. But could they be more than that? If we spent a little time with them, could this strange little fish actually teach us something about ourselves? This thought leader brings us down into his underwater kingdoms to tell us all that he’s learned from seahorses!

By Renee Laroche-Rheaume

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Going Into the Hospital: COVID 19 (Poem)

--by Sriram Shamasunder

When I walk out the door these days
For a shift in the hospital

Two small people cry at the door

My daughter and son.

4 and 1 1/2

Tears fall

big drops against their full brown cheeks

My first inclination is to dismiss their dramatics

I will be back soon

They are on one side of the door

And I am on the other

And they would much rather be on the same side of the door

Rumpling through the leaves on the Oakland sidewalk

Taking a long walk around the neighborhood

To visit a Japanese oak,

Or a fennel bush

Or a neighbor who may unexpectedly peak out their window.

It is their immediate acknowledgment that they would rather be with their father

Wherever he may be going and whatever that might bring

When I head into the hospital

I am aware that any missteps of face to mouth or

by poor luck or chance could pull me away from

seeing my two lovelies grow up

I can picture myself as one of my patients

trying to catch their breath like trying to catch a bus that’s too far ahead

Breathing like you spri…

COVID Era Shows Gandhi's Ideal of Practical Idealism is Possible

A new society can be developed from the inspiring ways people around the world are responding to this unprecedented disaster, and this is what we should be planning right now in the spirit of Gandhi's 'practical idealism.' Read more from Gandhian scholar Michael Nagler.

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How Our Brains Can Find Peace in a Crisis

Psychologist Rick Hanson discusses how to strengthen our capacity for wisdom, peace, and enlightenment.

During this stressful time, it can be hard to manage the emotional challenges of sheltering in place and facing an uncertain future. We can’t rely on some of our usual ways of coping, like going out on the town with friends or getting hugs from a sibling. That means many of us are falling back on the (healthy or not-so-healthy) mental habits that we’ve been building up for years.

By Jill Suttie

Psychologist and neuroscience expert Rick Hanson studies the mental resources that promote resilience, from calm and gratitude to confidence and courage. According to Hanson, the coronavirus crisis is exposing some of our psychological vulnerabilities, and reminding us how important it is to nurture our social and emotional strengths.

In his new book, Neurodharma, Hanson writes about how we can cultivate more equanimity, wisdom, and moral action using meditation and other practices. As he illustr…

Enjoy the World’s Greatest Museums in Your PJs!

What if you could meet the world’s rarest animals, get up close to some of the most famous paintings, and dive into the wonders of science without leaving your couch? Museums and zoos are giving us a new way to explore the world through virtual experiences!

What if you could explore all of the world’s greatest museums without the lines or summer heat, and take all the time you wanted exploring your curiosity? Whether you’re already a museum lover or new to the experience, there’s never been a better time to explore these cultural treasures! How? Well, through the power of virtual tours!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

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Life Itself May Be A Koan

"Consider the Zen practice of the koan, the question or problem proposed by Zen masters to each other or by masters to students. The koan is a dilemma, a mystery which the rational mind cannot solve. The key to the resolution of a koan is a shift in the being of the student which allows for a new understanding of the question itself.

by Rachel Naomi Remen

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All I Want for Mother’s Day Is an Equitable Division of Labor

Here's how to renegotiate the unfair burdens created by the coronavirus lockdown.

This Mother’s Day is going to be a doozy for a lotta moms out there.

By Christine Carter

I have been flooded with requests from working moms for strategies to sustain their own well-being while trying to keep their children from slipping into depression and their careers afloat.

“I’m grateful to be working from home, but I’ve taken on way more of the housework and homeschooling than my husband has,” a client recently complained to me. “And I’m the one my kids come to to have their meltdowns. I’ve never been so exhausted. Or angry with my husband.” I know she is not alone; I imagine the resentment is reaching record highs this year.

I know from personal experience that resentment can show up on Mother’s Day as an expectation that our motherly sacrifice and hard work will be acknowledged and celebrated in a way that makes up for the unfairness of those sacrifices.

But this, of course, is an impossible fantas…

The Little Priestess: Listen with the Ear of the Heart

Noirin Ni Riain is an Irish spiritual singer, theologian, teacher, author and Interfaith minister. Known as the High Priestess of Gregorian Chan, Noirin has released sixteen albums since 1978, including three with her sons Eoin and Micheal O' Suilleabhain. Her voice has rung out for peace on many continents, from United Nations conferences to gatherings with the Dalai Lama. In this short excerpt, titled "Little Priestess", she describes her early sense of vocation, and the abrupt way in which an early dream was shattered. Eventually leading her to a new and expanded one.

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Even Hungry Babies Want to Share

A new study suggests that babies will give food to someone in need—even if they are hungry themselves.

Why do we humans engage in altruistic behavior, from helping neighbors to donating money to people across the globe?

By Jill Suttie

This is a question that has confounded many scientists. It seems that, if our goal in life is self-preservation and passing on our genes to our children—as evolutionary biologists will tell you—then we should always make selfish choices to help ourselves first, rather than sacrificing for the benefit of others.

In response, some argue that helping others in need is only a way of feeling good ourselves. After all, we can get a quick hit of the “helper’s high”—a warm feeling activated by giving—and enjoy the gratitude of others, as well as their admiration. This view makes altruism seem, well, not so altruistic.

But a new study suggests that altruism may run deeper than that. Children as young as 19 months old gave to others, even when it cost them and they re…

The Secret Power of Checklists

The fastest way to start reducing your stress and increasing productivity doesn’t require any expensive new planners or apps. All you need to start working with the accuracy skill of a doctor or an astronaut is a piece of paper and a pen!

What if there was a free tool that could bring you the same success as astronauts, surgeons, and engineers? And that could help reduce stress and anxiety? Wouldn’t you want to use it? Well, grab a pen and some paper! In the next 10 minutes, you’re going to discover the almost-too-easy-to-be-true way these folks are able to increase their productivity and decrease their stress in some seriously stressful situations!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

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How to Grow Your Own Bowls, Lamps, and Baskets!

Can we seriously grow everything we need in our backyard? To explore this question, on this edition of Saturday’s Around the World we’re traveling to an enchanting land to meet a woman who can transform plants into almost any object you desire!

What if you could grow your own bowls, baskets, and lamps right in your backyard? In the vine-covered, magical world we’re traveling to today, that question becomes a reality. With bobbles of potential in all shapes in sizes hanging above our heads, you’re never going to want to leave Gourdlandia!

By Sam Burns

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Together Apart: Letters from Isolation

Together Apart is a new Orion web series of letters from isolation. Every week under lockdown, they eavesdrop on curious pairs of authors, scientists, and artists, listening in on their emails, texts, and phone calls as they redefine their relationships from afar. The exchange that follows is between Krista Tippett, author and CEO of the On Being Project, and the poet and theologian Padraig O' Tuama.

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A Geometry of the Heart

At 16 she lay down in the middle of a busy two-way street. Then she heard an inner voice say, "Do you want to be a drunk, or do you want to be an artist?" She got up and never forgot the clarity of that decision. High school was a humiliation. She was deemed slow and unteachable. When she asked her dean about how to put together a portfolio for art school he asked her if she'd considered selling shoes instead. She was rejected by 10 schools, gained provisional admission to one. She put herself through a punishing study schedule graduated with two degrees a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts. The day she received her diplomas she immediately went to her studio, took out a match and burned them.

"I knew that the paper meant nothing. Only a lifetime of making art will determine whether I'm an artist. What pulled me out of the road that night and the anchor of my life was and is art. It's how I make sense of the world, a world that threw every …

From Emergency to Emergence

"Discussions now underway in many community, national, and global forums suggest a significant widening of what is known as the Overton Window: the range of public policies that the mainstream population is prepared to consider at a given time.While there is an almost universal desire to move rapidly beyond the COVID emergency, the spectrum of what we want post-pandemic is broadening. Many are articulating that they do not want to simply return to business as usual." David Korten shares more.

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