Café Communication

What if…

September 13, 2021

‘What if this is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?’ -Valerie Kaur

The Revolutionary Love Project, founded by civil rights leader and prophetic voice Valarie Kaur, inspires and equips people to build beloved community where they are. We teach core practices of revolutionary love, backed by research and infused with ancestral wisdom. Our team produces educational tools, training courses, artwork, films, music, and mass mobilizations that center the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. In an era of great transition, we believe that we can birth a world where we see no stranger. Each of us has a role. When we lead with love, we labor with joy.

Mr. Grant

August 30, 2021

“Despite a long and varied career, for many of us, the death of Asner on Sunday at age 91 reminded us of the loss of a fictional recreation that, perhaps for the first time in the mass media, reflected the complex reality of our profession.”

-Society of Professional Journalists, formerly Sigma Delta Chi, DePauw University

Why Lou Grant mattered (in memory of Ed Asner)

Lou Grant was shot through with light and dark humor, but underneath it portrayed the nuts-and-bolts process of “the daily miracle.” It acknowledged ethical issues such as plagiarism, checkbook journalism, entrapment of sources, staging news photos and conflicts of interest.  That in itself was unique among most mainstream depictions of journalism. Still, it didn’t take things too seriously: The opening credits tracked the newspaper ending up as the liner in a birdcage.

Between the sardonic observations, the show examined with unusual-for-the-time honesty such topics as nuclear proliferation, mental illness, prostitution, gay rights, domestic violence, capitals punishment, child abuse, rape, and chemical pollution.

[Bill Hirschman]

AXIOS:

Asner then starred for five years on “Lou Grant,” set at “The Trib.”

  • As Screen Actors Guild president, the liberal Asner was caught up in a controversy in 1982, during the Reagan years, when he spoke out against U.S. involvement with repressive governments in Latin America.
  • “Lou Grant” was canceled during the furor. CBS blamed ratings.

P.S. Betty White, 99, who played home-show hostess Sue Ann Nivens, is the lone surviving major cast member of “Mary Tyler Moore.”

[Ed Asner & Gavin MacLeon]

Ed, after his friend and actor Gavin MacLeon died in May:

My heart is broken. Gavin was my brother, my partner in crime (and food) and my comic conspirator,” wrote Asner. ” I will see you in a bit Gavin. Tell the gang I will see them in a bit. Betty! It’s just you and me now.”

[Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.]

Edward Asner died on Sunday, August 29th.

Never missed it. ~dayle

Center for Action & Contemplation

 

New Podcast: 

The Cosmic We Featuring Barbara Holmes and Donny Bryant

The Cosmic We podcast goes beyond race and racism to consider relatedness as the organizing principle of the universe, exploring our shared cosmic origins though a cultural lens that fuses science, mysticism, spirituality, and the creative arts.

Together with prominent cosmologists, shamans, biblical scholars, poets and activists, CAC core teacher Barbara Holmes and co-host Donny Bryant unveil the “we” of us beyond color, continent, country, and kinship to conjure unseen futures in exploration of the mystery of Divine connection.

Listen to The Cosmic We online or subscribe on your favorite podcast player.

~

You can expect regular updates on our progress in Returning to the Center, as well as institutional history, community stories, staff essays, videos, and even opportunities to contribute. You will find the latest posts on our website as well as social media and in the News from New Mexico, the CAC’s monthly newsletter. cac.org

What are we fighting for?

August 20, 2021

Lesleigh Coyer, of Saginaw, Michigan, lies down in front of the grave of her brother, Ryan Coyer, who served with the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, at Arlington National Cemetery [File: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

And it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for
Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam
And it’s five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates
Ain’t no time to wonder why, whoopee we’re all gonna die, hey

-Country Joe and The Fish

Aljazeera English

“The dysfunction we’re seeing in this withdrawal is a continuation of the dysfunction we’ve seen throughout the entire war effort. It’s metaphor for the entire war effort, which is that our predictions are never completely correct. We think we have more control over the situation than we do.”

-Adam Weinstein, a former Marine, coordinated air attacks in 2012 for Australian special forces clearing the Taliban out of remote mountain valleys.

Full piece:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/20/as-us-abandons-afghans-veterans-feel-anger-confusion

~

 

 

 

Full Moon on Sunday

August 19, 2021


Power Path

This is an auspicious time to connect with more inner confidence, clarity, good luck and success. Relationships of all kinds are supported – especially around new adventures, novelty and exploration. It could be an exciting time to launch something new and a good time to receive the support you need from others to move forward with commitment and stability. Be inspired, be creative, be social, be outgoing, reach out, share your wildest dreams and focus on being happy no matter what.

If you are struggling, do some self care with your comfort in mind without going over into self indulgence. It may be a discipline not to dwell on the shift, but this full moon is an opportunity to move beyond what brings your vibration down and launch you into a new sense of self, more connected with your passion and desires. Don’t waste this chance for bringing in more happiness, good fortune, creativity, partnership and success. 

 

 

Tired.

“I am so tired of waiting,

Aren’t you,

For the world to become good

And beautiful and kind?

Let us take a knife

And cut the world in two –

And see what worms are eating

At the rind.”

-Langston Hughes

 

 

[Beinecke Library, rare book library and literary archive of the Yale University Library in New Haven, Connecticut.]

 

 

This month: ‘Loving ourselves…breathe and push.’

August 3, 2021

Valerie Kaur

Breath: A Guided Inquiry

“You don’t have to make yourself suffer in order to serve. You don’t have to grind your bones into the ground. You don’t have to cut your life up into pieces and give yourself away until there is nothing left. You belong to a community and a broader movement. Your life has value. We need you alive. We need you to last. You will not last if you are not breathing.”

Place your hand on your heart and another on your belly. And now let the breath come, feeling your belly fill up. Hold for four. Let it go. What does it feel like to let this deep of a breath into your body?

Take in your surroundings. Let your eyes fall on the most beautiful thing around you. Notice its color and shape. Notice the way the light falls on it. Notice its beauty. No matter what is happening out there in the world right now, no matter how dark, or violent, or cruel, this beautiful thing also exists. The world right here is just as real as the world out there.

Take another deep breath. Notice if it’s a little easier. When we give our attention to wonder, we call it breathtaking. But perhaps we should call it breathgiving. Awe stretches out our capacity to be present and let in even a sense of joy. Notice what you feel in your body.

Is this feeling in your body familiar or is it rare? How have you been breathing? What do you need to be able to breathe like this every day? Get quiet and listen.

What activities invite this breath in? They may be singing, chanting, dancing, drumming, bathing, burning, walking, writing, eating, sleeping, retreating, being in nature. Notice what practices your body wants. What are you longing for? What gives you pleasure? What would it mean to weave just a little bit of this into every day?

Push: A definition
“To push is to choose to enter grief, rage, or trauma as part of a healing process. Pushing requires us to discern the right times to breathe and rest, and the right time to push through painful sensations, emotions, and thoughts to birth new possibilities in ourselves and others.”

Transition: Ways to Practice

“Transition is both a noun and a verb. Transition is the fiery process that is required to move from one reality into another. To transition is to summon the courage to stay in the labors of love and justice, even when we want to give up. It requires us to draw upon collective wisdom to birth something new together.”

Create a wisdom practice. Choose ways to listen to your deepest wisdom, the parts of yourselves that are wise and brave and unfailingly loving. This might mean protecting a few minutes daily to journal, meditate, draw or color or create—whatever gives you the stillness to quiet the noise of the world and listen to the wisest voice within you. If you do not yet hear anything, that is okay. Keep breathing.  Keep listening.

Surround yourself with sources of bravery. Who makes you brave?  These may be people in your life, or they may be ancestors, authors, artists, or activists you have never met. Keep these people and their voices close to you so that you can nourish the root of your own deepest wisdom.

Transition requires endings as well as new beginnings. As individuals we can ask: What stories am I willing to let die in order for new possibilities to be born? As a society we can ask: What stories about our nation have to die for a new America to be born?

Reflect in your wisdom journal. The wise voice in you will tell you what practice you need on the revolutionary love compass — when you need to breathe, push, grieve, rage, fight, and on. What do you need on any given day, in any given moment?  Calling forth our deepest wisdom is not just how we love ourselves. When we lead with our deepest wisdom, not our fear, we can play our role in transitioning the world around us. Imagine a critical mass of people leading from their deepest wisdom: We can transition humanity as a whole.

“Joy is the gift of love. To let in joy is to give our senses over to what is beautiful, delightful, pleasurable, or wondrous in the present moment. Joy returns us to everything good and beautiful and worth fighting for. It gives us energy for the long labor.”

What brings you joy? Choose one thing that is simple and accessible. A person, a place, or an activity that you could go to right now if you wanted to.

Notice what it is about this thing that brings you joy. See it, touch it, taste it. Remember how it felt when you were fully in it. The  sensation could be very strong. Or just a slight feeling. Place more attention on it. Let yourself enjoy it.

What does joy feel like in your body? Notice where you feel sensation, ease, and tingling. Place your attention there and notice what happens. Go back and forth between your source of joy and the sensations in your body.

Notice any blocks to letting yourself feel this joy. Feelings of guilt or shame? Stories about what you deserve? Call upon your deepest wisdom to speak to yourself as you would your own beloved child or best friend. What do you hear?

You can’t force joy. You can only create the conditions to let it come and take you. In the Sikh tradition we call it Chardi Kala — ever rising high spirits, even in darkness; joy even in the midst of labor. Our brother Sonny Singh, Sikh musician, singer and songwriter, captures the essence of Chardi Kala with his uplifting song of the same name.

The Revolutionary Love Project envisions a world where love is a public ethic and shared practice in our lives and politics. We generate stories, tools, and thought leadership to equip people to practice the ethic of love in the fight for social justice.

‘We are but one thread within it.’

August 2, 2021

‘To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee.’

-Emily Dickinson

“I used to think that environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are 

  • selfishness
  • greed
  • apathy

and to deal with these, we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”

-James Gustave Speth, environmental lawyer and advocate

Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

World Resources Institute

Since 1989 David Suzuki has been calling for action and urgency.

“Transformational paradigm shift:

That respect for nature and interdependent with it must be our top priority.”

https://davidsuzuki.org

Nature was our touchstone and our reference pint and dictated the way we interacted with it. But as economics and politics have increasingly come to dominate our decisions and actions, we have lost our sinse of place in the world and our reverence for nature.

-David Suzuki

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

-Chief Seattle, 1854

Love this…had no idea.

August 1, 2021

President Roosevelt’s War Cabinet on Dec. 20, 1941. FDR is wearing a mourning band for his mother, who died 104 days earlier. [Photo: Bettmann Archive via Getty Images]

Ninety years on, descendants of the FDR administration have reconstituted his Cabinet in hopes of summoning a new New Deal from President Biden, Ruby Cramer writes for Politico Magazine:

At 6 p.m., two rows of elderly faces appeared on [a Zoom] screen, staring into the camera: June Hopkins, Henry Scott Wallace, Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall and James Roosevelt Jr. If their names sound vaguely familiar it’s because their relatives — Harry Hopkins, Henry Wallace, Frances Perkins and Franklin Delano Roosevelt — formed the nucleus of one of the most famous and influential Oval Office rosters in American history.

The group, which has been meeting nearly weekly since last June, wants Biden to embrace “activist” government, Cramer writes:

  • “They want him to eliminate the filibuster. They spend hours parsing his words for echoes of the stirring language that helped defeat the Great Depression.”

Henry S. Wallace, 69, grandson of Henry A. Wallace, the second for FDR’s three VPs, said: “The New Deal would have been impossible under today’s filibuster regimen … In FDR, his first 100 days, he got 15 major pieces of legislation passed, every single one was subject to nothing more than the majority.”

[AXIOS & Politico Magazine]

 

The Dissident, Cyber Warfare & Justice

July 30, 2021

#JusticeForJamal

THE DISSIDENT

Briarcliff Entertainment

“From the Academy Award-winning director of Icarus, Bryan Fogel, comes the untold story of the murder that shook the world.”

(You’ll want to see it…twice. #MustSee Bryan and his team, although debuting at Sundance to standing ovations and top 10 lists, could not find a distributor for eight months because, you know, Saudi Arabia. Please purchase the film and support the filmmakers, the distributor, Briarcliff, and Jamal. -Dayle)

Then, watch the podcast with Rich Roll and Bryan Fogel, particularly at the 1:20:00, ‘How cyber warfare has become a major threat…’

From the site: “Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Bryan Fogel joins Rich to discuss his new film ‘The Dissident’ a candid portrait of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the bone chilling events surrounding his murder.”

For more and how to take action:

https://thedissident.com

From the site: “As of 2021, dozens of journalists are currently detained in Saudi Arabia. Journalists, Jamal Khashoggi was one of you. Keep his legacy and story alive by sharing his work widely and exposing the truth about MBS and his regime.”

The Academy Awards this year?🦗’s.

 

Managing the Shi(f)t

Digital 3D visualization of a fractal structure. 

The main theme for August is “Managing the Shi(f)t”.

The first part of the month requires great flexibility, acceptance, compassion, and resilience to deal with unexpected and sudden changes whether in yourself or in others. It may look grim at the beginning but we are moving forward into calmer waters that will provide more stability, inspiration, rational thought and clarity as we anchor ourselves into a brighter landscape.

Old emotional and habitual patterns are still bubbling to the surface for forgiveness and expulsion. We get to see where we have been wasting our energy on worry, regret and blame. Old habits of judgment, feeling powerless, victimized, and limited in what we can create have eroded our motivation and bred despair, anger, resistance and negative attitudes towards life. If you get stuck there, and are unwilling to let the past go and accept where the tide is moving, you will be miserable.

On the other hand, if you are willing to open to more trust in the positive and optimistic view of the big picture, you can completely turn anything negative and limited in your life around. The clearing of old trauma in any and many ways is a very useful practice this month. (There is a good exercise on the monthly support audio to help with the understanding and clearing of trauma or “susto”.)

This will require an open heart and the discipline of trust even though you may not have instant feedback from your prayers and intentions. There may be a lag time that tests you. You may not see or experience results that you are on the right track and you may need to go deep into your own intuition for confidence and confirmation. And, if you continue to come across obstacles and challenges along the way, look to what is not yet cleared in your field or where you are still holding on to something in your past, rather than how the universe may not be supporting you at this time.

Remember that in order to bring your vibration up and move to that next level, you need to make space. Creating space for the abundance available later in the month demands paying attention to your habitual reactions, habits and judgments so you can clear and change them to a better alignment.

The most important thing is to stay out of blame, especially when you are accommodating a change that you did not initiate. Acceptance and neutrality go a long way to ease the discomfort of this experience.

We are definitely in a transition time and a huge shift in consciousness and vibration.

Curiosity, optimism, creativity and humor should be a major part of the management team you build to navigate this month and the months to come. Take responsibility for your own shi(f)t, and stay in your own lane with regards to where others are in their own navigation. Once we get through the potentially cranky new moon on the 8th, we have our work cut out for us. If we do it well, there are many gifts awaiting us as we move into the last part of the month.

What is the “work”?
Courage to tell the truth. Courage to let go. Courage to forgive. Determination to trust. Discipline to stay out of blame. Compassion for yourself and others. Acceptance and cooperation regarding change not initiated by you. Keeping your vibration high no matter what through beauty, inspiration and strong spiritual practices. Staying in your own lane and out of other people’s drama and negativity. Trusting your intuition, your inner guidance, and having the courage to go for what is right for YOU. Taking full responsibility for your own shi(f)t.


How the rest of the month shows up:

August 2021 Monthly Forecast

The Year Earth Changed

July 26, 2021

‘Narrated by David Attenborough, this timely documentary special takes a look at nature’s extraordinary response to a year of global lockdown. This love letter to planet Earth will take you from hearing birdsong in deserted cities for the first time in decades, to witnessing whales communicating in ways never before seen.

Produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, directed by Tom Beard, and executive produced by Mike Gunton and Alice Keens-Soper.’

AppleTV+

“One of the first documentary reflections of our strange times.”

Dayle, here. At once heartbreaking and hopeful. Not hopeful in a passive sense, as in ‘some day,’ but now. Together. Living not in dominance over, but interconnection with our planet, our species, all living beings.

Pause.

Reflect.

Our planet is gorgeous, alive, breathing. Pulsing with birth.

And it is burning. We are destroying it in present tense.

Life is being extinguished. We saw how the earth changed in days, weeks, and months early in global lockdowns WITHOUT the interaction of our destructive beings…humans. Carl Jung: “Man won’t deviate the original pattern of his being.” Is this, then, destruction?

We can give permanent pause, space, quiet, and tender mercies in our practices and consciousness, asking, what can I do in my corner of the sky? (Nod to Valarie Kaur.)

We must.

I had so much hope for our planet, for each other, in the early days of this current pandemic, our isolation. It quickly faded when the pause became political, when health and care became virtue signaling, when science became overridden by misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda, hate, disorder, power, and greed.

As a collective human body the focus became on getting ‘back to normal’ instead of shifting to what’s possible. What’s necessary.

We’re on the edge, balancing destruction with possibility. Let’s choose possibility. All of us.

The food we eat.

The cars we drive.

The Energy we use.

The resources we deplete.

The privilege we strive to achieve at the expense of other.

I want to believe there is still time.

And I want to protect all that thrived when we were silent and away.

Let’s give Gaia a chance to live, heal, and breathe. She’s given us so many.

In the silence, did you hear? Did you hear the birdsong? Did you see the animals congregate and communicate? Did you know the whales could hear again? The Himalayas could be seen again?

The future of the natural world is co-existing. We must do the one thing we can do, interconnected, to shift the planet back to health, as we inadvertently did in our absence, the year earth changed.

#

From Maria Popova, sharing a BBC interview with Carl Jung from 1959:

“…the only danger that exists is man himself — he is the great danger, and we are pitifully unaware of it. We know nothing of man — far too little. We are the origin of all coming evil [30:27].”

John Freeman and his team filmed the interview at Jung’s house at Küsnacht (near Zurich, Switzerland) in march 1959, it was broadcast in Great Britain on october 22, 1959. This film has undouptedly brought Jung to more people than any other piece of journalism and any of Jung’s own writings. Freeman was deputy editor at the “New Statesman” at the time of the interview. They formed a friendship, that continued until Jung’s death. -posted by ‘peacefulness’ on YouTube.

Jung: “We need more psychology, more study of human nature.”

We need Gaia’s nature, she does not need us. -dayle

Stardust & Consciousness

July 25, 2021

Fr Richard Rohr:

Living in a transitional age such as ours is scary: things are falling apart, the future is unknowable, so much doesn’t cohere or make sense. We can’t seem to put order to it. This is the postmodern panic. It lies beneath most of our cynicism, our anxiety, and our aggression.

Chaos often precedes great creativity, and faith precedes great leaps into new knowledge. The pattern of transformation begins in order, but it very quickly yields to disorder and—if we stay with it long enough in love—eventual reordering. Our uncertainty is the doorway into mystery, the doorway into surrender.

Center for Action and Contemplation teacher Barbara Holmes:

The crisis begins without warning, shatters our assumptions about the way the world works, and changes our story and the stories of our neighbors. The reality that was so familiar to us is gone suddenly, and we don’t know what is happening. . . .

If life, as we experience it, is a fragile crystal orb that holds our daily routines and dreams of order and stability, then sudden and catastrophic crises shatter this illusion of normalcy. . . . I am referring to oppression, violence, pandemics, abuses of power, or natural disasters and planetary disturbances. . . .

I consider crisis contemplation to be an aspect of disorder that prepares communities for a leap toward the future. This is a leap toward our beginnings. We are not just organisms functioning on a biological level; our sphere of being also includes stardust  and consciousness. We all have a spark of divinity within, a flicker of Holy Fire that can be diminished, but never extinguished.

Knock Knock,

who’s there?

Mystery and Surrender.

Please, invite me in.

  • Order
  • Disorder
  • Reorder

“Chaos often precedes great creativity.”

K

A

I

R

O

S

 

“People are attracted to that that makes them feel love.”

-Marriane Williamson, A Course in Miracles

 

Try. Intersect great ℒℴve love with great surrender.

 

Inhale.

 

jai

 


A meditation from Megan McKenna on the importance of translation. Scholar and author Neil Douglas-Klotz has worked for decades with the Aramaic language, which Jesus most likely spoke as a first-century Jewish man from Nazareth. Because translation is never an exact science, Dr. Douglas-Klotz offers several possible understandings of Jesus’ teaching “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Blessed are those in emotional turmoil; they shall be united inside by love.

Healthy are those weak and overextended for their purpose; they shall feel their inner flow of strength return.

Healed are those who weep for their frustrated desire; they shall see the face of fulfillment in a new form.

Aligned with the One are the mourners; they shall be comforted.

Turned to the Source are those feeling deeply confused by life; they shall be returned from their wandering.

Dr. Douglas-Klotz continues:

Lawile can mean “mourners” (as translated from the Greek), but in Aramaic it also carries the sense of those who long deeply for something to occur, those troubled or in emotional turmoil, or those who are weak and in want from such longing. Netbayun can mean “comforted,” but also connotes being returned from wandering, united inside by love, feeling an inner continuity, or seeing the arrival of (literally, the face of) what one longs for.

Dr. Douglas-Klotz offers this embodied prayer practice to help readers sense the powerful message of this beatitude.

When in emotional turmoil—or unable to clearly feel any emotion—experiment in this fashion: breathe in while feeling the word lawile (lay-wee-ley) [longing]; breathe out while feeling the word netbayun (net-bah-yoon) [loving]. Embrace all of what you feel and allow all emotions to wash through as though you were standing under a gentle waterfall. Follow this flow back to its source and find there the spring from which all emotion arises. At this source, consider what emotion has meaning for the moment, what action or nonaction is important now.

-Center for Action & Contemplation

Mary of Magdala

July 22, 2021

‘…the first great bough, the fruit of love & compassion, the foundation of all things.’ -Mary Magdalene ღ

Today, the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene.

Today is the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood of all saints.  In this excerpt from A Jesuit Off-Broadway, I relate her (true) tale and how her life intersected with that of the gifted actress who would portray her in the play “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.”

America/The Jesuit Review

Who was Mary of Magdala?

by James Martin, S.J.

One of the note cards from the cathedral gift shop in Los Angeles struck a chord with the actress Yetta Gottesman, because it depicted her character, Mary Magdalene. The delicate tapestry presented a young woman with close-cropped black hair, her head bowed in prayer, her hands clasped to her chin.

Thanks in great part to Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, interest in the historical Mary Magdalene has risen stratospherically during the past few years. As with her fellow disciple, Judas, we know very little about her. Jesus cast seven demons out of her (we don’t know how these demons had manifested themselves in her behavior); she remained at the cross with two other women when the other (male) disciples had all fled; she watched Jesus die; and she was the first one to whom Jesus appeared after the Resurrection. In a touching scene on Easter morning, a grieving Mary initially mistakes the risen Jesus for the local gardener.

Even with these distinguished credentials, Mary Magdalene (the name means “of Magdala,” a town in Galilee) gradually became known as a prostitute, though there is no mention of this in the Gospels. (The word maudlin comes from her name, presumably the result of her grieving for a sinful past.) The most benign explanation for this confusion over Mary’s identity is that there is a veritable crowd of Marys in the Gospel stories (besides Mary, the mother of Jesus, there is Mary of Bethany and Mary, the wife of Clopas). Mary Magdalene was also, oddly, conflated with a woman who had bathed Jesus’ feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and then anointed them with oil. In AD 591, Pope Gregory I preached a sermon in which he proclaimed, “She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be the Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark.”

This inaccurate identification became more or less church teaching for at least a millennium.

A less benign interpretation of this “confusion” is that the early church was threatened, even horrified, by the stunning example of a woman among the early disciples. Strictly based on the evidence in the Gospels, Mary Magdalene enjoyed an exalted standing. She was not only the first one to whom Jesus appeared after the Resurrection, but also the one who proclaimed the news of his resurrection to the other disciples, including those who would be the leaders of the early church communities: Peter, James, Andrew, and the rest.

Thus comes Mary’s traditional title: “Apostle to the Apostles.” Her fidelity to Jesus during the Crucifixion, as well as Jesus’ appearance to her, are marks of distinction that place her, at least in terms of her faith, above the men. Some of the “extracanonical,” or “apocryphal,” gospels (that is, those not included by the early church councils with the traditional four Gospels) picture her as the most favored of all the disciples. “[Christ loved] her more than all the disciples,” says the text known as The Gospel of Philip.

Full read:

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2011/07/22/who-was-mary-magdala

[Image: Thomas Merton]

Cynthia Bourgeault:

“Mary Magdalene belongs to the great worldwide stream of spiritual awakening and has nothing whatsoever to do with organized religion.

If we are serious about activating Mary Magdalene’s wisdom presence within contemporary Christianity, the first step is to increase her visibility within the liturgy, particularly during Holy Week, where her presence is so crucial to understanding the Paschal Mystery as an act of redeeming ℒℴve.

I would like to see the entire Holy Week liturgy reframed around two parallel anointings…at Bethany and in the garden of the resurrection…which so powerfully convey the energy of transformative love.

Early Easter morning ceremonially enacted, rather than merely read, the gospel account of Mary Magdalene’s visit to the tomb. The basic ceremony, the Visitatio Sepulchri, has been around since the tenth century; it merely needs to be returned to active duty.

Mary Magdalene weaves into one whole cloth those strands that have traditionally been kept so stringently separated: conscious ℒℴve, healing, kenotic surrender, the feminine, singleness, transformation. To touch any part of the this hologram is to invoke all the rest.

We do not know for certain what happened to Mary Magdalene after the resurrection. The gospel bearing her name confirms that her spiritual leadership was honored in a least some circles of early Christianity. She may well have sojourned in France. What we do know for certain is that the fragrance of her presence did not disappear from Christianity. In mysticism and allegory, in art and folklore, in esoteric circles…all veiled, but pointing like a finger at the moon…her mysterious alchemical feminine was kept alive. Now at last, in our own times, it comes above ground again, asking us to awaken yet again to the morning of the resurrection and find ourselves in the garden, awaiting the encounter that can change our institutional hearts.

The imaginal realm is real, and through it you will never be separated from any one or anything you have ever loved, for ℒℴve is the ground in which you live and and move and have your being. This is the message that Mary Magdalene has perennially to bring. This is the message we most need to hear.”


‘In 591 Pope Gregory claimed that Mary of Magdala was a prostitute, a misconception that remains to this day. In 2016 she was named by the Vatican as the apostle of the apostles, their equal.’

-Written by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett. Directed by Garth Davis.

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/mary-magdalene-2019

“As someone who watched it twice in 24 hours, ‘Mary Magdalene’ moved me in a way that no previous film about Christianity ever has.

Mary finds a place in the world and a cause in which to place her profound empathy. She was not just any spectator, this telling argues, so much as proof that at the core of Jesus’ teachings is a feminine influence.” -Nick Allen

[Must see.]

Buck Moon

POWER PATH

 

Full moon in Aquarius is Friday, July 23 at 8:36 PM Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).

Also known as the “Buck Moon”, this full moon opens opportunities to challenge beliefs, habits, how we view ourselves, how we see others, what we are putting up with, our thoughts, emotions and actions. Don’t be surprised if you are somewhat triggered during this time and needing to deal with something distasteful that comes to the surface. On the other hand, you could be hugely inspired by some inner momentum to do things differently and make exciting changes in your life. Embrace eccentricity and unique individuality in yourself and others and, whatever else happens, stay out of martyrdom, blame and judgment.

There is freedom being explored and if you can be, think, and act a bit unconventionally, you will harness some of the gift of this moon. Just don’t go overboard and say or do something overly impulsive you will regret later. This is a highly creative time where thinking outside the box and coming up with inspiring innovative ideas and solutions and then sharing them with others will have long lasting effects.

And let’s not forget the fun! Laughter, humor and a bit of wild abandon can help lift you out of feeling less than exuberant about life.

 

thepowerpath.com

 

“The brilliant host of On Being…”

July 20, 2021

Inspired.

“We are apparently swimming in a reality unfolding moment by moment. The truly good news is that we are together. . . all forms of us.” -Pari Center, Italy, participant

Krista Tippett:

“We are living in a post 2020 world…for the rest of our lives.”

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Anand Giridharadas is a journalist and writer. He is a former columnist and foreign correspondent for The New York Timesand a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He is the author of India Calling, The True American, and Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.

From Anand, 7.20.21:

“…got me thinking back to a conversation I once had with Krista Tippett, the brilliant host of On Being. And so today, on Billionaire Space Day No. 2, I share with you this brief reflection about the background ethos of the age…”

July 21, 1969, New York, New York: Rain-soaked New Yorkers watch TV and cheer as they see Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first step on the lunar surface (Getty)

The.Ink

What we do alone and what we do together

On the billionaire space race

This is a story, in some ways, about two rival faiths. A faith in what we do alone versus a faith in what we do together. 

These are two parallel and rival spiritual orientations. They are both very strong parts of our culture.

One tradition inspires the celebration of a heroic soloist, capitalist, pull-yourselves-up-by-the-bootstraps story.

But that’s never been the only story. We’ve also always had this story of movements. It wasn’t individuals who got rid of the King of England. The most important things we’ve done in this culture have been together.

These two tendencies, what we do alone and what we do together, have always vied for primacy in American life. For much of the 20th century, they lived in a certain healthy tension. And right now the relationship between them is very unhealthy. It’s become a relationship of mutual annihilation, instead of a relationship of adversarial cooperation.

I think we need to get back to a place where we understand both and celebrate both the very real heritage we have in this country of doing things alone and of doing things together, and the relationship that those things have.

Because at our best, we do things together in a way that allows people to do things alone. And people do things alone in a way that creates the opportunities to do things together. These things don’t have to be at war with each other, but they are absolutely at war today.

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2018:

“This is a challenging conversation but a generative one: about the implicit moral equations behind a notion like “win-win” — and the moral compromises in a cultural consensus we’ve reached, without reflecting on it, about what and who can save us.’

We Americans revere the creation of wealth. Anand Giridharadas wants us to examine this and how it shapes our life together. This is a challenging conversation but a generative one: about the implicit moral equations behind a notion like “win-win” — and the moral compromises in a cultural consensus we’ve reached, without reflecting on it, about what and who can save us.” -On Being

Anand Giridharadas — When the Market Is Our Only Language

From Krista Tippett on Twitter:

“…a lovely reflection, honored to be cited.”

 

Octopus Garden

Sy Montgomery, book recommendations:

Well, one of them I quoted from earlier. And that is “The Outermost House” by Henry Beston. There’s a quote from that book that is kind of the motto that I use when I write all my books. It says,

‘We need another and a wiser and perhaps more mystical concept of animals, for “the animals shall not be measured by man. … They are not brethren, they are not underlings. They are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the Earth.”’

Ezra Klein

That’s beautiful, by the way.

From NYTimes columnist and podcast host Ezra Klein:

I’ve spent the past few months on an octopus kick. In that, I don’t seem to be alone. Octopuses (it’s incorrect to say “octopi,” to my despair) are having a moment: There are award-winning books, documentaries and even science fiction about them. I suspect it’s the same hunger that leaves many of us yearning to know aliens: How do radically different minds work? What is it like to be a truly different being living in a similar world? The flying objects above remain unidentified. But the incomprehensible objects below do not. We are starting to be smart enough to ask the question: How smart are octopuses? And what are their lives like?

Sy Montgomery is a naturalist and the author of dozens of books on animals. In 2015 she published the dazzling book “The Soul of an Octopus,” which became a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction. It’s an investigation not only into the lives and minds of octopuses but also into the relationships they can and do have with human beings.

This was one of those conversations that are hard to describe, but it was a joy to have. Montgomery writes and speaks with an appropriate sense of wonder about the world around us and the other animals that inhabit it. This is a conversation about octopuses, of course, but it’s also about us: our minds, our relationship with the natural world, what we see and what we’ve learned to stop seeing. It will leave you looking at the water — and maybe at yourself — differently.

Book recommendations: 

The Outermost House by Henry Beston

The Old Way by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

King Solomon’s Ring by Konrad Lorenz

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Podcast link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/13/opinion/ezra-klein-podcast-sy-montgomery.html

This, Ezra first:

And so it’s this idea that, oh, isn’t it interesting, octos have this completely different kind of cognition than we do and maybe think with their tentacles, and not with what we would think of initially as their brain. And we would never do that, but what a fascinating thing. Well, maybe we do do some version — a smaller version, probably — but of that. And then that’s probably true across a lot of these different pieces — that we, in fearing anthropomorphizing, we under-represent or refuse to admit how much we’re also animals, and have more animal forms of cognition than the post- Enlightenment rationalism that we tend to emphasize.

Sy Montgomery:

Bingo, Ezra, you got it. That’s absolutely right. We have been blinded to the genius of not only fellow animals, but fellow people for the longest time, just because we think everything has to be just like us. We didn’t even recognize the symptoms of heart attack in women because we were too busy focusing on men, because the doctors were all men for so long, for example.

So absolutely, I think that is the biggest mistake we are making in the world. And we’re not just making it in underestimating animals, but we underestimate fellow human beings as well.

NETFLIX:

A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world.

AP NEWS:

“My Octopus Teacher,” the tale of an eight-limbed creature and her human companion, has won the Oscar for best documentary.

The lifespan of a female octopus of the kind Foster met extends to only about 18 months. But that was enough time for him and his fellow directors Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed to be profoundly impacted by her.

“This really is a tiny personal story that played out in a sea forest at the very top of Africa. But, on a more universal level, I hope that it provided a glimpse of a different kind of relationship between human beings and the natural world,” Ehrlich said on the telecast.

Foster has said his relationship with the octopus taught him about life’s fragility and our connection with nature, and even helped him become a better father.

Reed thanked Foster at the ceremony, saying: “He kind of showed us if a man can form a friendship with an octopus, it does sort of make you wonder what else is possible.”

I’d like to be
Under the sea
In an octopus’ garden
In the shade
We would shout
And swim about
The coral that lies
Beneath the waves…

Center for Action & Contemplation

July 10, 2021

Praying the Lord’s Prayer

“Perhaps some of the most comforting words Jesus shared in Matthew and Luke’s Gospels are the prayer Christians call the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer.

While the prayer is most often said in community or as part of ritual prayer, this prayer can also be a contemplative practice when prayed slowly and mindfully, perhaps even as lectio divina.

We invite you to pray this modern version of the prayer of Jesus from the Anglican Church of New Zealand, which both honors and reflects indigenous Maori culture.”

-Father Richard Rohr

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples
        of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
        sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
       now and for ever.

Amen.

Om.

Shanti. 

~

Church of the Province of New Zealand, A New Zealand Prayer Book, He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (Collins Liturgical Publications: 1989), 181.

Proust

David Bowie:

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Discovering morning.

Rediscovered with 4 am wake-ups for the Tour de France. ℒℴve. 🚴🏻
~dayle

“In the 1880s, long before he claimed his status as one of the greatest authors of all time, teenage Marcel Proust (July 10, 1871–November 18, 1922) filled out an English-language questionnaire given to him by his friend Antoinette, the daughter of France’s then-president, as part of her “confession album” — a Victorian version of today’s popular personality tests, designed to reveal the answerer’s tastes, aspirations, and sensibility in a series of simple questions. Proust’s original manuscript, titled “by Marcel Proust himself,” wasn’t discovered until 1924, two years after his death. In 1993, Vanity Fair resurrected the tradition and started publishing various public figures’ answers to the Proust Questionnaire on the last page of each issue. In 1998, they asked Bowie.” -Maria Popova

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Reading.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Getting a word in edgewise.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Discovering morning.

What is your greatest fear?
Converting kilometers to miles.

What historical figure do you most identify with?
Santa Claus.

Which living person do you most admire?
Elvis.

Who are your heroes in real life?
The consumer.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
While in New York, tolerance.
Outside New York, intolerance.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Talent.

What is your favorite journey?
The road of artistic excess.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Sympathy and originality.

Which word or phrases do you most overuse?
“Chthonic,” “miasma.”

What is your greatest regret?
That I never wore bellbottoms.

What is your current state of mind?
Pregnant.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
My fear of them (wife and son excluded).

What is your most treasured possession?
A photograph held together by cellophane tape of Little Richard that I bought in 1958, and a pressed and dried chrysanthemum picked on my honeymoon in Kyoto.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Living in fear.

Where would you like to live?
Northeast Bali or south Java.

What is your favorite occupation?
Squishing paint on a senseless canvas.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
The ability to return books.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
The ability to burp on command.

What are your favorite names?
Sears & Roebuck.

What is your motto?
“What” is my motto.

Thanks to Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, for the post.

Gaia & Independence

July 4, 2021

Another beautiful creation from Jennifer Rose.

Happy 4th.

Remembering this Independence Day post 2020 the United States wasn’t united on the foundation of isolationism or nationalism. Leaders and patriots fought and sacrificed for independence with France who provided the money, troops, armament, military leadership, and naval support that tipped the balance of military power in favor of the United States and paved the way for the Continental Army’s ultimate victory. Spain and the Netherlands helped, too.

And now, as the planet burns, Gaia needs our help. She’s trying. We are not. We must reach across borders and metaphorical walls to pave the way for preservation.

 
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