John Paul Lederach from The Moral Imagination
Friday, November 30, 2012
What do extreme challenge and discomfort have to do with leadership? Everything, if you ask an Outward Bound instructor. Outward Bound is a non-profit educational organization, which for over 60 years has used extreme wilderness environments and challenges as incubators to cultivate character, leadership, compassion, self-reliance as well as to foster team and international peace building initiatives. The guiding philosophy is a blend of tenacity, physical challenge, courage, and perseverance melded with compassion, self-sacrifice, and tolerance. Leadership is not for the faint hearted; a unifying ethos is feeling a level of comfort with discomfort, and Outward Bound provides conditions for facing and harnessing the power of fear.
The Biology of Belief is a groundbreaking work in the field of new biology. Author Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., is a former medical school professor and research scientist. His experiments, and those of other leading-edge scientists, have examined in great detail the mechanisms by which cells receive and process information.
The implications of this research radically change our understanding of life. It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology; but instead, DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts.
This profoundly hopeful synthesis of the latest and best research in cell biology and quantum physics is being hailed as a major breakthrough, showing that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking.
Using simple language, illustrations, humor, and everyday examples, he demonstrates how the new science of Epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of the link between mind and matter, and the profound effects it has on our personal lives and the collective life of our species.
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized authority in bridging science and spirit and a leading voice in new biology. A cell biologist by training, he taught Cell Biology at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine, and later performed pioneering studies at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.
The Jewish prophets had one foot in Israel and one foot outside and beyond. So must you have one foot in your historical faith community and one foot in the larger world; one foot rooted in a good tradition of accountability and another in your own world of service, volunteerism, and occupation, or what I call “lifestyle Christianity,” moving beyond belief systems to actual practices in giving your life away. How else can we imitate the surrender of Jesus, who did exactly the same in relation to his own Jewish religion? He never left it, and yet in some ways he always left it when it did not heal or help real people.
As the 12th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes, we do not really appropriate things ourselves until we actively hand them on to others. We have to find the Love, and then give the Love away; and it is amazing how the two events do not always happen within the same group. I think they are both training grounds, one for the other. The first is our spring and our well (home base); the other is the channel away from home base that keeps our well from becoming brackish and stagnant water.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,
The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become labor some events of will.
Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.
The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.
You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.
At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.
You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses,open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.
Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.
Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.
John O'Donohue from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
With the trauma paradigm increasingly questioned, this is an appropriate moment to step back and reflect on what are the alternatives. The purpose of this paper is develop an alternative framework for conceptualizing mental health and psychosocial issues in the post-conflict environments in Africa. It begins with an overview of the region and an analysis of the competing conceptual frameworks that have guided mental health and psychosocial interventions within it. Next, it examines critically the concepts of trauma, peacebuilding and development and offers a transformational perspective in which healing is integrally interconnected with collective processes of social mobilization and transformation of institutionalized inequities toward the achievement of social justice and human rights. In place of the dominant trauma idiom, it identifies a holistic conceptualization of psychosocial well-being that centers around risk, resilience, and protective factors and that highlight the importance of community mobilization, culture, social ecologies, and social justice. Third, it examines practice in the region in regard to issues of trauma and more holistic mental health and psychosocial support, with an emphasis on children and youth. It argues that although trauma work is prevalent throughout Africa, a trauma focus is less useful than a more holistic, community-based and culturally grounded approach. It concludes that although this approach is proving useful in the field, a key task for the future is to connect community-based work with larger processes of social transformation for peace with social justice.
Link to the paper >>
Link to the paper >>
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
In the tradition of Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Berry, Judy Cannato invites spiritual seekers to embrace the way in which an understanding of religion and the spiritual path is informed and illumined by cutting-edge science. Cannato's newest book is a must-read for those interested in how the new cosmology and the Christian story can be understood in harmony with one another. She shows how modern scientific discoveries demonstrate that at the most fundamental of levels all life is connected and that humankind participates in the unfolding of the universe. This book's compelling and radical call to transformation will inspire readers to choose collaboration and peace over competition and conflict.
How can we feed the world—today and tomorrow? The biggest players in the food industry—from pesticide pushers to fertilizer makers to food processors and manufacturers—spend billions of dollars every year not selling food, but selling the idea that we need their products to feed the world. But, do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world? Can sustainably grown food deliver the quantity and quality we need—today and in the future? Our first Food MythBusters film takes on these questions in under seven minutes. So next time you hear them, you can too.
For more information: www.foodmyths.org
News AEFJN n°64: November 2012 (Africa Europe Faith Justice Network)