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Showing posts from June 21, 2020

John Welwood: On Spiritual Bypassing & Human Relationship

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"When we are spiritually bypassing, we often use the goal of awakening or liberation to rationalize what I call premature transcendence: trying to rise above the raw and messy side of our humanness before we have fully faced and made peace with it. And then we tend to use absolute truth to disparage or dismiss relative human needs, feelings, psychological problems, relational difficulties, and developmental deficits. I see this as an 'occupational hazard' of the spiritual path." Spiritual bypassing is a term coined by pioneering author, clinical psychologist, and psychotherapist, John Welwood. According to him, "If there's a large gap between our practice and our human side, we remain unripe. Our practice may ripen, but our life doesn't. And there's a certain point when that gap becomes very painful." He shares more in this fascinating interview. Read Article

It’s Hard to Be an Empathy Scientist Today

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Researcher Jamil Zaki is working to build kindness in a fractured world. Jamil Zaki’s parents began splitting up when he was eight years old. As they grew apart, he started to feel like he was going to have to pick a side.  His Peruvian mother had one set priorities, values, and fears, and then he’d head over to his Pakistani father’s house and everything would be turned upside down. So, he was forced to try to understand both of their perspectives and hold two different versions of the world in his mind, a challenge that ended up defining his childhood. To him, it felt like tuning his mental radio to different frequencies, and he got good at it. Later, he would learn to call this empathy. By Kira M. Newman Now, over 30 years later, Zaki says that empathy is the most important skill he has. It’s also been the focus of his research as a Stanford University psychologist for the past decade—work that he brought together in his new book, The War for Kindness: Building Empathy i

Become an Instant Backyard Scientist with iNaturalist!

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What if you could go on a safari and get up close and personal with hundreds of plants animals, no plane ticket, no fancy guide, and no money required? Now, all of us can experience our own backyards with a little more wonder thanks to this amazing app! Have you ever run across a weird bug or maybe a beautiful wildflower and wondered, what is that?! Unless you were with your nature nerd friend or carrying around your collection of guide books of local flora and fauna, those questions went unanswered. Not anymore, though! Thanks to this handy app you’ll be reigniting your sense of curiosity—and improving your health—all at the same time! By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

People Helped You Whether You Knew It Or Not

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In 1964, William "Lynn" Weaver, joined 13 other black students in the integration of an all white high school in Tennessee. From the first day he was told he did not belong and he started to believe it until Mr. Hill, his former seventh grade science teacher, started tutoring him outside of school. Some of his other former teachers joined in this effort. Years later he discovered that Mr. Hill was responsible for applying for a college scholarship on his behalf. Dr. Weaver, who died in May 2019, was Chief of Surgery at a hospital in North Carolina. In this StoryCorps interview, he credits Mr. Hill's unknown act of kindness with saving his life. Listen Audio

Celebrating Culture by Getting Down with the Limbo Queen!

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How low can you go? Many of us associate the limbo with a game played at children’s birthday parties, but do you know where it actually came from? Let’s uncover the history behind the limbo, and watch the world’s reigning limbo champion shimmy her way to the top by scooting down mind-blowingly low! Can you bend over backward and shimmy underneath a car without touching the ground? (No shame, neither can I!) The limbo is a vibrant dance that is rich with culture and meaning that lies hidden for many of us. Let’s expand our horizons and discover some new moves together as we watch the World Limbo Champion show us what it’s all about! By Renee Laroche-Rheaume Read Article

Amisha Harding: The Accidental Activist

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"Amisha Harding was reluctant to join the crowd after seeing how some protesters clashed with police, vandalized property, and left shattered glass and burning cars in their wake opposite Centennial Olympic Park early in the Black Lives Matter protests. She took heed when Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a press conference and said, "If you love our city, go home." It was her love for her hometown that ultimately inspired Harding, a first-generation American with roots in Trinidad and Antigua, to drive downtown two nights later and support the cause." Read on to learn what this accidental activist did next... Read Article

Is Funding Police the Best Way to Keep Everyone Safe?

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The call to “defund the police” may make sense, according to research. But to understand why, we need to go beyond the slogan. In response to George Floyd’s recent killing by police, Minneapolis decided to disband its current police department and invest more in community-led public safety measures. For some, this seems like a radical move. But, for those who’ve seen police reform doing little to prevent police brutality against African Americans, it’s not so far-fetched. By Jill Suttie Read Article

No Victims, No Heroes: We Are Each Other

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By some definitions, Jolanda van den Berg might be dubbed a philanthropist, a social entrepreneur, a life coach, or even a mystic. But Jolanda's expansive life resists reductive titles. Over the past quarter century her work has transformed the lives of thousands of children in Peru, supported by her three highly-rated hotels. She has 80 locals on payroll, and offers 1:1 sessions with people going through significant life challenges. Woven through the fabric of her life is an ethos that deeply acknowledges the fact that there are no distinct givers or receivers. As Jolanda phrases it, "No victims, no heroes. We are each other." These aren't just pretty sentiments to herbut a lived experience that she first stumbled into, utterly unexpectedly, five years ago after an intensely traumatic incident. Read Article

Totto Chan: The Little Girl at the Window

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"This engaging series of childhood recollections tells about an ideal school in Tokyo during World War II that combined learning with fun, freedom, and love. This unusual school had old railroad cars for classrooms, and it was run by an extraordinary man--its founder and headmaster, Sosaku Kobayashi--who was a firm believer in freedom of expression and activity. In real life, the Totto-chan of the book has become one of Japan's most popular television personalities--Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. She attributes her success in life to this wonderful school and its headmaster.The charm of this account has won the hearts of millions of people of all ages and made this book a runaway bestseller in Japan, with sales hitting the 4.5 million mark in its first year." Read her story here. Read Article

Five Ways to Encourage Safe Behavior During the Pandemic

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Research provides some tips on how to get each other to wear masks, wash our hands, and keep distance. Recently, my husband and I went hiking. Two runners came towards us, neither wearing masks. As we put our masks on and turned away to let them pass at a safe distance, one of the runners made fun of our behavior, chiding us for our “theatrics.” By Jill Suttie It’s frustrating to see people not comply with health advisories—and it’s worrying. Health experts report that wearing masks and keeping our distance are clearly effective at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Washing our hands regularly, avoiding crowded spaces, and staying home when we feel ill are also ways of supporting public health goals. How can we encourage people to take these seriously, especially when it’s inconvenient to them? Luckily, science suggests that there are many ways to nudge people in the right direction. Since we so badly need to keep this virus under control—especially once we have more

Now THIS is How You Start a Chain of Kindness

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Not all heroes wear capes; some don a straw cap, grab a can of gas and jump into their car with their dog to do what they can. Meet a hero who has been keeping the chain of small acts of kindness going for 53 years! You may just find yourself inspired, too! What does it mean to be a hero? Do you have to wear a uniform? A cape? Must one leap from building to building in single bounds? How about putting on your straw hat and sunglasses, and heading out on the road for a drive with your dog? Yes, there is an incredible need for these kinds of inspiring heroes, too! By Sam Burns Read Article

The Poet & the Scientist

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"My father has collected the most substantial body of fish-based Index of Biotic Integrity data for a watershed of its size anywhere in the world. This is an accomplishment he can claim. Though there are too many dull, qualifying words inserted between those superlatives -- or at least thats what I think..." So begins this poet's lovely piece on her father's work. Read Article