2010 Conversations at The New School at Commonweal
Dr. Kai Lee
Compass and Gyroscope: Integrating Science and Politics for the Environment (Dec 31, 2010)
The Last Threshold: Artists and Mortality - End of Life Conversations Series (Dec 5, 2010)
Scott Eberle, MD, and Rob Feraru
The Final Crossing: Learning to Die in Order to Live - End of Life Conversations Series (Nov 12, 2010)
Mike Witte, MD, and Susan Braun
Fighting 'till the End? (Nov 7, 2010)
History, Readings, and the Beshara School - Ibn 'Arabi Conversations Series (Oct 29, 2010)
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.
The Hip Hop Caucus (Oct 19, 2010)
Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man
A Jewish Perspective - Ibn 'Arabi Conversations Series (Oct 15, 2010)
Michael Lerner (special musical guests Tim Weed and Debbie Daly)
Death and Dying: Lessons from the Commonweal Cancer Help Program (Oct 3, 2010)
Architect Sim Van der Ryn
Ecological Design (Oct 1, 2010)
Sacrifice Zones: Front Lines of Toxic Chemical Exposure in the United States (Sept 19, 2010)
Ted Schettler and Sharyle Patton
The Ecological Paradigm of Health (Sept 13, 2010)
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD
Stories and Poems at the End of Life (Sept 5, 2010)
Leslie Medine, John Esterle, and Ellen Schneider
Democracy Zone: Creating Bi-Cultural Youth-Led Change in Napa, CA (July 10, 2010)
Gumshoe: Sleaze or Existential Hero? (Jun 27, 2010)
The Impeded Stream Is the One That Sings (Jun 25, 2010)
Two Conversations with John Esterle
Dialogue, Critical Thinking and Civic Engagement (Mar 15 and Jun 10, 2010)
John Wick and Peggy Rathmann
Marin Carbon Project (Mar 14, 2010)
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD and Christina Puchalski, MD
Spiritual Dimensions of End of Life - End of Life Conversations Series (Mar 11, 2010)
Sadja Greenwood, MD
A Nutritional Supplement Strategy Based on Human History, Current Science, and Individual Needs (Mar 7, 2010)
The Tao of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Mar 1, 2010)
A Discussion on Spinoza and the World Today (Feb 5, 2010)
Thomas Kirsch, MD
The Red Book: Reflections on Jung and the Jungians (Jan 31, 2010)
Healing Traumatic Stress Disorders with Thought Field Therapy (Jan 7, 2010)
Compass and Gyroscope: Integrating Science and Politics for the Environment
Conversation with Dr. Kai Lee
December 31, 2010
Kai Lee, Ph.D., has written a beautiful book called The Gyroscope and the Compass: Integrating Science and Policy for the Environment about real-world work toward sustainability. "I have come to think of science and democracy as compass and gyroscope—navigation aids in the quest for sustainability," he writes.
Dr. Lee joined the David & Lucile Packard Foundation in June 2007 as program officer with the Conservation and Science program. He previously taught at Williams College, where he directed the Center for Environmental Studies, and at the University of Washington in Seattle. Lee served most recently as vice-chair of the National Academies panel that wrote Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate (2009). If you want an insight into the interface of science, policy and large-scale philanthropy, Lee is a wonderful guide.
Dr. Kai Lee joined the David & Lucile Packard Foundation in June 2007 as program officer with the Conservation and Science program, where he is responsible for the science subprogram. Before joining the foundation, Kai taught at Williams College from 1991 through 2007, and he is now the Rosenburg Professor of Environmental Studies, emeritus. He directed the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams from 1991–1998 and 2001–2002. Lee also taught from 1973 to 1991 at the University of Washington in Seattle. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University and an A.B., magna cum laude, in physics, from Columbia University. He is the author of Compass and Gyroscope (1993) and coauthor of the National Research Council study, Our Common Journey (1999). He is a National Associate of the National Research Council. He is a member of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for a Sustainability Transition, and served most recently as vice-chair of the National Academies panel that wrote Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate (2009). Earlier, Lee had been a White House Fellow and represented the state of Washington as a member of the Northwest Power Planning Council. He was appointed in 2009 to the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Sunday, December 5, 2-4pm
Eric Karpeles—The Last Threshold: Artists and Mortality
TNS End of Life Conversations Series
In the fourth of an ongoing series of New School presentations on the end of life, Bolinas painter and writer Eric Karpeles will talk about the role that artists have played in helping to imaginatively frame and comprehend the idea of how we cease to be.
How is it that artists, engaged in the most willful need to express their very beings, seem to overcome the fear of the loss of self? Focusing on three distinct art forms—painting, poetry and music—and three supreme practitioners—Mark Rothko, Emily Dickinson and Gustav Mahler—Karpeles will attempt to create an awareness of how, in their struggle to give voice, artists make use of their accumulated subjective experience to look and listen and learn with acute attention and focus, navigating between the physical world and the life of the mind. The boundary between what we know and what we cannot know is a minefield of stimulation for artists, who help teach us by example how to meaningfully embrace the end that awaits us all.
Commonweal Board Member Eric Karpeles is a gifted painter, author of Paintings in Proust, and translator of Proust's Overcoat.
The Final Crossing: Learning to Die in Order to Live
Conversation with Scott Eberle, MD, Rob Feraru, and Susan Braun
November 12, 2010
End of Life Conversations Series
Dr. Scott Eberle is a physician specializing in end-of-life care, who helped School of Lost Borders Founder Steven Foster at the end of his life in 2003 - the subject of his latest book: The Final Crossing. As he has written in the book: "So now I am a physician who specializes in supporting life transitions. I am a hospice doctor who sits with the dying in their homes, and I am a rite-of-passage guide who sits with 'the dying' out in the desert."
Scott serves as medical director for Hospice of Petaluma in his hometown of Petaluma, California. Having first learned the science of medicine at U.C. San Francisco medical school, he then learned the art of medicine from countless people living and dying with AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s. He survived this difficult time by regularly seeking sanctuary, either in monasteries or in the natural world, completing over 150 retreats during a 15-year period. He recently ended a 16-year career as an an AIDS specialist so he could focus his energies on hospice work and "The Practice of Living and Dying" work he does with Meredith Little, co-founder of the School of Lost Borders.
Rob Feraru is an 11-year survivor of metastatic kidney cancer. Before taking early retirement in 2004, he worked for 25 years for the State of California, (7 years for the State Senate and 18 for the California Public Utilities Commission). He attended the Commonweal Cancer Help Program (in 2005) and the Practice of Living and Dying at the School of Lost Borders (in 2008). He lives in Berkeley.
Susan Braun is Commonweal executive director and former president and chief executive officer of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. A long time patient advocate, she has spent most of her career helping people with cancer.
Sunday, November 7, 2-4pm
Susan Braun and Mike Witte, MD —Fighting Till the End?
TNS End of Life Conversations Series
People with life-threatening illnesses often face the difficult decision of whether or not to continue active therapy.
For some, the decision is, “Let’s fight till the end,” and they work with their doctors to receive treatment within days, or even hours, of their death. Others decide to put their effort toward the best possible quality of life, minimizing pain and suffering.
But is this always a conscious decision? Without explicit instructions and/or an informed and caring dialog between patient and physician, patient and loved ones, and family and health professionals, the individual’s end-of-life wishes about medical care may go unknown or unheeded.
Susan and Mike will explore this divide, creating a public space where questions of death and dying can be explored in safety and without judgment. Stories from the audience will be welcomed.
Susan Braun is Commonweal executive director and former president and chief executive officer of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. A long time patient advocate, she has spent most of her career helping people with cancer. Mike Witte, MD, has worked at the Coastal Health Alliance (CHA) since its beginnings in 1981, and is now medical director of the three sites in West Marin County. He has proudly watched CHA grow and develop into an exceptional center for family health care in West Marin.
Ibn 'Arabi Conversations
Nick Yiangou: History, Readings, and the Beshara School
October 29, 2010
Nick Yiangou is president of the United States branch of the Ibn Arabi Society, which promotes the teachings and translations of this great spiritual teacher. He has been engaged with the Beshara School of Intensive Esoteric Education in Scotland for over thirty years in the transformative work based on the principles and teachings of the way of oneness and unification, and previously served on the board of the Beshara Foundation in the United States for twenty years. He currently works in the software industry and holds a master's degree in Transpersonal Psychology.
The Beshara School grew out of the timeless wisdom tradition that includes the universal teachings of great visionaries such as Ibn Arabi and Rumi. Its website explains:
An education in self-knowledge, in whatever guise and wherever it takes place, is at the core of a sustainable human presence on this earth. Such an education takes us back to the very root of our search for understanding. It's what urges us to ask the most profound questions such as, "Who am I?" and "...what am I doing here?" Since its establishment in 1973, the school has been providing a dynamic and evolving programme of study, meditation and work, designed to nurture, refine and directly address these kinds of questions. It is open to anyone, regardless of faith, nationality, background, age, culture or physical ability. The school is located in a number of independent centres worldwide.
The Hip Hop Caucus
Conversation with the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.
October 19, 2010
The Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr., is a minister, community activist, and a national leader in Hip Hop social advocacy. He is president of the Hip Hop Caucus in Washington, D.C. The Hip Hop Caucus engages young people in urban communities in elections, policy making and service projects. Rev. Yearwood co-created the 2004 campaign "Vote or Die" with Sean "Diddy" Combs and was the Political and Grassroots Director for Russell Simmons' Hip Hop Summit Action Network in 2003 and 2004. In 2008, he created the "Respect My Vote!" a voter registration and engagement campaign with T.I. and Keyshia Cole. His vision is to forge a more just and sustainable world by engaging more people, particularly young people and people of color in the civic and policy making process.
Lennox Yearwood, Jr., is a minister, community activist, and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life. He currently serves as president of the Hip Hop Caucus in Washington, D.C. The Hip Hop Caucus is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan, organization that engages young people in urban communities in elections, policy making and service projects. Their vision is to create a more just and sustainable world by engaging more people, particularly young people and people of color in the civic and policy making process
Rev. Yearwood has appeared on CNN, BET Tonight, Al Jazeera, PBS, Fox, MTV, BBC, C-Span, and Hardball with Chris Mathews and featured in the Washington Post, The New York Times and VIBE.
Ibn 'Arabi Conversations
Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man: A Jewish Perspective
October 15, 2010
For 26 years Jonathan Omer-Man lived in Israel, where he worked as a farmer, until he contracted polio, and subsequently embarked on a career in publishing. He served as deputy chief editor of the Israel Program for Scientific Translations, revising editor at the Encyclopaedia Judaica, chief editor of Israel Universities Press, and editor of the Shefa Quarterly (the latter in close collaboration with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz). In 1981 he moved to Los Angeles, where he founded Metivta: a center for contemplative Judaism, an academy dedicated to the renewal of the Jewish wisdom tradition and to the deepening of personal religious quest. He also participated in establishing the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and served on its faculty.
He has lectured at universities, colleges, seminaries and monasteries throughout the United States. His publications include numerous essays, some short fiction and verse, though he is more subject of others’ books than author of his own. In 1990 he visited the Dalai Lama in India, a journey that was described in Rodger Kamenetz’ The Jew in the Lotus.
Now retired and living in Berkeley, he is continuing his explorations into Jewish mysticism, in addition to be studying “sober” Sufism, classical Arabic and Akbarian thought.
Ibn 'Arabi Conversations
Professor James Morris: Two Conversations with A Leading Ibn 'Arabi Scholar
October 15, 2010
James Morris is currently professor of Theology at Boston College, and has previously taught Islamic and religious studies at the University of Exeter, Princeton, Oberlin, the Sorbonne (EPHE), and the Institute of Ismaili Studies in Paris and London. His field research and exploration of living spiritual traditions have taken him to Iran, Afghanistan, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, and Southeast Asia. Professor Morris has published widely on many areas of religious thought and practice, including the Islamic humanities (poetry and music), Islamic philosophy, Sufism, the Qur’an, Shiite thought, and the use of cinema in spiritual teaching.
His most recent books include The Master and the Disciple (2001); Orientations: Islamic Thought in a World Civilisation (2004); The Reflective Heart: Discovering Spiritual Intelligence in Ibn ‘Arab?’s ‘Meccan Illuminations’ (2005); Ostad Elahi’s Knowing the Spirit (SUNY, 2007); and Openings: From the Qur’an to the Islamic Humanities (forthcoming).
Sunday, October 3, 2-4pm
Michael Lerner—Death and Dying: Lessons from the Commonweal Cancer Help Program
Special musical guest Tim Weed
TNS End of Life Conversations Series
The New School at Commonweal and the Coastal Health Alliance are pleased to present this next event in our End of Life Conversations series. Over the past 26 years, Commonweal has offered more than 150 week-long retreats for people with cancer though the Commonweal Cancer Help Program. Many participants find the experience transformative. Conversations about death and dying are a core part of the retreats. The basic premise is that talking about death and dying in circles of trust can bring more vitality to living—and improve the likelihood of a better death for all concerned.
Michael has found these conversations and stories to be central to his work and life as the co-leader of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program for the past 26 years. Join us as he shares his insights from the program—an interactive dialogue with him as well as some of the friends, staff and alumni of the program.
Michael Lerner is the president and co-founder of Commonweal and of Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. His principle work at Commonweal is with the Cancer Help Program, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, and The New School at Commonweal. He is author of Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Therapies (MIT Press). His core interest is in the ways of being and doing that make us whole and preserve this beautiful earth that is our inheritance.
Conversation with Architect Sim Van der Ryn
October 1, 2010
Sim Van der Ryn is a visionary pioneer in ecological design. For more than 40 years, Sim has been at the forefront of integrating ecological principles into the built environment, creating multi-scale solutions driven by nature’s intelligence. He has served as California’s first energy-conscious State Architect, authored seven influential books, and won numerous honors and awards for his leadership and innovation in architecture & planning.
Sim’s collaborative approach and meta-disciplinary accomplishments help show the way to an evolving planetary era that values both the integrity of ecological systems and the quality of life. A recent New York Times profile writes, “Long before sustainability became the buzzword du jour, there was Sim Van der Ryn, the intrepid pioneer on the eco-frontier.” The 70-year-old architect is part of a generation of visionaries who are more interested in the long term value of their their work than in self promotion. Sim emphasizes, “We are engaged in an Ecological Revolution , every bit as profound as the preceding Industrial Revolution.” While addressing an assembly of architects, Sim states, “The worst thing you can do is keep making no changes. That’s where the risk lies.”
Sim Van der Ryn is a visionary, author, educator, public leader, and internationally distinguished pioneer in ecological design. For more than 40 years, Sim has been at the forefront of integrating ecological principles into the built environment, creating multi-scale solutions driven by nature’s intelligence. He has served as California’s first energy-conscious State Architect, authored seven influential books, and won numerous honors and awards for his leadership and innovation in architecture and planning. Sim’s collaborative approach and meta-disciplinary accomplishments help show the way to an evolving planetary era that values both the integrity of ecological systems and the quality of life.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
2 - 4 pm
with Steve Lerner
Across the United States, thousands of people, most of them in low-income or minority communities, live next to heavily polluting industrial sites. In Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical Exposure in the United States, Steve Lerner tells the stories of twelve communities, from Brooklyn to Pensacola, that rose up to fight the industries and military bases causing disproportionately high levels of chemical pollution. He calls these low-income neighborhoods "sacrifice zones"—repurposing a Cold War term coined by U.S. government officials to designate areas contaminated with radioactive pollutants during the manufacture of nuclear weapons. And he argues that residents of a new generation of sacrifice zones, tainted with chemical pollutants, need additional regulatory protections.
Steve Lerner is research director of Commonweal, and the author of Diamond: A Struggle for Environmental Justice in Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor; Eco-Pioneers: Practical Visionaries Solving Today’s Environmental Problems; The Earth Summit: Conversations with Architects of an Ecologically Sustainable Future; and Beyond the Earth Summit: Conversations with Advocates of Sustainable Development.
Learn more about Steve Lerner's book, Sacrifice Zones.
The Ecological Paradigm of Health
Conversation with Ted Schettler and Sharyle Patton
September 13, 2010
Ted Schettler, M.D., is unquestionably one of the most eminent science educators in the field of environmental health and justice. Dr. Schettler talked with us about the ecological paradigm of health, a truly "holistic" science-based way of thinking about how the environment affects our health integrating factors including socioeconomic status, nutrition, stress, chemical exposures, and much more. Most studies of these factors isolate them, but the truth is we all swim in a soup of mixtures with unknown biological consequences. Dr. Schettler is Science Director at the Science and Environmental Health Network and at the Collaborative for Health and the Environment.
Ted Schettler, M.D., M.P.H., is an authority on environmental links to reproductive and developmental disorders, neurotoxicity, and other public health problems. He is the science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, and science advisor to Health Care Without Harm, an international campaign in support of environmentally responsible health care. His books Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment (MIT Press, 1999) and In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development (Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, 2000) describe what scientists know and suspect about environmental causes for a host of disorders from learning disabilities to cancer. They also describe the great uncertainties and the limits of science in establishing links between cause and effect.
Sharyle Patton is director of the Commonweal Health and Environment Program and directs the Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center, a program that helps geographical and non-geographical communities learn more about the tool of biomonitoring. She also is director of special projects for the Collaborative on Health and Environment, a Commonweal-sponsored network that seeks to raise the level of awareness about possible linkages between environmental threat and health outcomes.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
2 - 4 pm
Stories and Poems at the End of Life
A Reading and Conversation with Rachel Naomi Remen
First event in the new TNS End of Life Conversations series!
Rachel Naomi Remen is one of the earliest pioneers in the mind/body holistic health movement and the first to recognize the role of the spirit in health and the recovery from illness. She is co-founder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program featured in the Bill Moyers PBS series, Healing and the Mind and has cared for people with cancer and their families for almost 30 years.
She is also a nationally recognized medical reformer and educator who sees the practice of medicine as a spiritual path. In recognition of her work she has received several honorary degrees and has been invited to teach in medical schools and hospitals throughout the country. Her groundbreaking holistic curricula enable physicians at all levels of training to remember their calling and strengthen their commitment to serve life.
Dr. Remen is Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and director of the innovative UCSF course "The Healer's Art," which was featured in US News & World Report. Developed 20 years ago, The Healer's Art has been taken by 30,000 medical students and is taught by medical faculty in more than half of American medical schools and in medical schools in seven other countries. She is also founder and director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness, a 20-year-old professional development program for graduate physicians.
She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal, Riverhead Books, 1996. Her newest book, My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging, Riverhead Books, 2000, is a national bestseller. Her books have been translated into 21 languages.
As a master story-teller and public speaker, she has spoken to thousands of people throughout the country, reminding them of the power of their humanity and the ability to use their lives to make a difference. Dr. Remen has a 57-year personal history of Crohn's disease and her work is a unique blend of the viewpoint of physician and patient.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Creating bi-cultural youth-led social change in Napa, California
A conversation with Leslie Medine, John Esterle and Ellen Schneider
Leslie Medine is one of Northern California's most respected public sector leaders.
She has created youth-led innovative schools and community programs for young people. Now she is organizing the first Democracy Zone in the country located in Napa where Latino and Anglo young people are making decisions and taking action on behalf of 2000 children and youth in their neighborhood.
John Esterle is executive director of The Whitman Institute, a San Francisco
Foundation that supports Leslie's workand is the only foundation in
America with a pure focus on dialogue, critical thinking, and civic engagement.
Ellen Schneider, executive director and founder of Active Voice, has worked at the intersection of film and civic engagement for more than 25 years. She was formerly the executive producer of P.O.V., PBS's longest-running independent documentary series. Schneider created and executive produced the pilot TV series, Right Here, Right Now, which Entertainment Weekly called "a blueprint for what reality television should be all about."
Listen to three thought partners in social change talk about what it takes
to make a difference.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Gumshoe: Slease or Extistential Hero?
A Conversation with Tink Thompson
Bolinas private detective Tink Thompson was a Haverford philosophy professor who taught Nietzsche and Kierkegaard before he became a sleuth.
He has worked on the Kennedy assassination, the Oklahoma bombing, and the Patty Hearskidnapping. His books include "Gumshoe" and "Six Seconds in Dallas."
He is a big fan of Dashell Hammett. He believes you can trace noir detective fiction back to the cultural cataclysm of World War I in Europe and the consequent emergence of European existentialists like Husserl, Sartre and Camus.
June 25, 2010
The Impeded Stream Is the One That Sings
An Interview with Pia Infante
When we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work. And when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. Wendell Berry
I interviewed Pia Infante as part of a quite spontaneous evolution of a whole series of interviews with people involved with The Whitman Institute, a San Francisco-based foundation with a focus on dialogue, critical thinking and civic engagement. It was an especially engaging conversation because Pia proposed it and came with a series of questions about what to do next in her life that she wanted to explore.
Pia works with Executive Director John Esterle on the staff of the Whitman Institute. She is also an organization development consultant and coach whose mission is to support engaged and alive social justice work. She contributes regularly to the Institute’s thought leadership via its blog.
Pia is also a member of the Movement Strategy Center’s Organizational Development Practitioners for Social Change cohort and part of the Kellogg Foundation’s Coach Training Pilot Project. She has a Master’s Degree from The New School for Social Research in Education, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley in Rhetoric, an executive coaching credential from The Academy for Coaching Excellence, and a secondary teaching credential from the State of New York. Pia describes herself as "a cultivator of luminosity who loves her family, the divinity of nature, everyone’s grandmother, and (in true Filipina form) karaoke."
Dialogue, Critical Thinking and Civic Engagement --
Two Conversations with John Esterle,
Executive Director of The Whitman Institute
March 15 and June 10, 2010
The Whitman Institute is a quite unique foundation in San Francisco that focuses its grants on organizations and projects engaged with dialogue, critical thinking and civic engagement. The Institute is a supporter of The New School at Commonweal -- and has also supported a remarkable number of the thought leaders we have interviewed at The New School. John Esterle is the Executive Director who has shaped The Institute since taking over from its founder.
In these two conversations, we explore the thinking that has led John to make The Whitman Institute the only foundation in the country focused solely on these process questions of dialogue, critical thinking and citizen engagement.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Marin Carbon Project
John Wick & Peggy Rathmann
MMOB, Transition West Marin and MALT
John Wick, Marin Carbon Project Director and Steering Committee Member, is co-owner with his wife, Peggy Rathmann, of the Nicasio Native Grass Ranch. His background is in construction project management. As Director of the Marin Carbon Project, Mr. Wick's role is to help launch the Marin Carbon Project and to plan, execute, and finalize projects according to deadlines and within budget. This includes acquiring resources and coordinating the efforts of Steering Committee members, member organizations, volunteers, contractors, and consultants in order to deliver projects according to plan.
Why a Marin Carbon Project?
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not enough to reverse global warming: we must also reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The Marin Carbon Project is investigating the potential for specific land management practices to enhance sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide as organic matter in rangeland and agricultural soils in California.
Soil carbon sequestration is the process of moving carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the soil. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and transfer that carbon below ground via root exudates and sloughing of roots; and to the soil surface when they drop leaves or other plant parts, and when they die. In this way, atmospheric carbon dioxide becomes soil organic matter.
Soil organic matter is approximately fifty percent carbon. Over the past 150 years we may have lost fifty to eighty percent of our topsoil worldwide. It is estimated that more than a third of the carbon dioxide we have added to the atmosphere during that time has come from changes in land use and poor land management. This soil-derived change in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration suggests the potential for improved land management practices to result in sequestration of significant amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the soil as organic matter.
Increasing soil organic matter has innumerable benefits in addition to helping to slow or reverse global warming. Improved soil water holding capacity, improved soil fertility, improved soil tilth, improved water quality, decreased need for petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers, decreased erosion and increased production are all well-documented effects of increasing soil organic matter.
A Conversation with Christina Puchalski,
Rachel Naomi Remen and Michael Lerner
March 11, 2010
Christina Puchalski, MD, MS, is the executive director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, Washington, DC, and a professor of Medicine and Health Sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine, where she has pioneered novel and effective educational and clinical strategies to address the spiritual concerns common in patients facing illness.
Dr. Puchalski is on the editorial board of several Palliative Care
journals and chair or coauthor of several major conferences and initiatives in spirituality and health. She has authored numerous chapters in books and edited and authored a book published by Oxford University Press entitled Time for Listening and Caring: Spirituality and the Care of the Seriously Ill and Dying with a forward by His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. Her work has been featured on numerous print and television media including Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Washington Times.
Dr. Remen is clinical professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, a co-founder of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, and the founder and director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal, a post-graduate and undergraduate program for physicians who wish to reclaim their calling and integrate Hippocratic values into their work. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Kitchen Table Wisdom and the national bestseller My Grandfather's Blessings. Dr. Remen was recently was recognized with the Bravewell Award as one of the earliest Pioneers of Holistic and Integrative Medicine. She has a 56-year personal history of chronic illness and her work is a unique blend of the perspectives of physician and patient.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
A Nutritional Supplement Strategy:
Based on Human History, Current Science, and Individual Needs - A Conversation with Sadja Greenwood, MD
In Collaboration with: Coastal Health Alliance and The Healing Arts Center
Sadja Greenwood is a primary care physician with a special interest in women's health. She has been an activist for women's health throughout her career, in family planning, reproductive rights, self-care, education and services for mid-life women. She is the author of Menopause, Naturally (revised edition, 1996).
Visit Sadja’s blog for more information.
A Conversation with Richard Grossman
This conversation was recorded on March 1, 2010
Richard Grossman is an essayist, psychotherapist, medical educator, and former book publisher. The six books he has written include The Tao of Emerson and A Year with Emerson, which won the Umhoefer Prize for achievement in the humanities, awarded by the Arts and Humanities Foundation. He has read Emerson daily for over 50 years.
Emerson (1803-82) has been called "the George Washington of American Literature". He was a philosopher, essayist, poet, lecturer, and journal-keeper. An enchanted nature lover, he thought nothing of a 40 mile walk. A universal reader, Emerson drew on Plato, the Bhagavad Gita, the ancient Persian poets, the Quakers, Goethe, and Montaigne -- and hundreds of other masters of classical and contemporary thought. His admirers and friends included Carlyle, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller and the Alcotts. He balanced materialism and idealism, science and soul, objectivity and subjectvity, the majestic heights of human achievement and the sacred dignity of every woman and man. He was a leader of the Transcendentalist movement in Boston, an abolitionist long before abolitionism was popular, and an absolute believer in the power of following one's own unique destiny.
Grossman considers Emerson a precursor of contemporary humanistic and transpersonal psychology. In 1970 Michael Murphy of Esalen Institute told Grossman about Roberto Assagioli, the Italian psychologist and founder of the transpersonal psychology called Psychosynthesis. Grossman published Assagioli's books Psychosynthesis and The Act of Will in America. Grossman himself entered Psychosynthesis training to become a psychotherapist. He found deep resonances between Assagioli and Emerson.
Grossman also discovered fundamental resonances between Emerson and Lao Tse, the mysterious Chinese Taoist and author of the Tao Te Ching. In The Tao of Emerson, Grossman places texts from the Sage of Concord and the cryptic Taoist facing each other on every page. Separated by 2500 years and by cultures unimaginably different, both taught, Grossman writes, that one should "live the simple, tranquil life; trust your intuition; find and revere the spiritual grace in the natural world; act without self-assertion; commit no violence against living things or persons; try to harmonize with the ebb and flow of nature and circumstances -- and, above all, assure that there is a place in the world for humility, yielding, gentleness and serenity."
Grossman is a friend of 25 years. As a respected medical educator in "the other medicines," (the title of another of his books), Grossman participated as a guest staff member in one of the early Commonweal Cancer Help Programs in the 1980s. He then started his own Cancer Help Program at Wainwright House in Rye, New York. He now teaches in the Smith Farm Cancer Help Program outside Washington, D.C. Grossman is a preternaturally youthful 88-year-old, married to the novelist Ann Arenberg. They live in Salisbury, Connecticut. Among the sources Grossman recommends are Robert Richardson's Emerson: The Mind on Fire and his slight but powerful meditation on Emerson and the creative process, First We Read , Then We Write and Richard Geldard’s The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The website has Emerson's complete journals and the bulk of his other writings on-line.
This conversation was recorded on February 5, 2010
Colin Greer - A Discussion on Spinoza and the World Today with Michael Lerner
This conversation was recorded on February 5, 2010
Dr. Colin Greer has been the President of The New World Foundation since 1985. Formerly, he was a Professor at Brooklyn College, CUNY.
He is the author (with Herbert Kohl) of The Plain Truth of Things and A Call to Character. Other books include: What Nixon is doing to Us; The Solution is Part of the Problem; After Reagan What?; and The Divided Society. He is best known for The Great School Legend and Choosing Equality: The Case for Democratic Schooling (which won the American Library Association’s Eli M. Oboler Intellectual Freedom Award). He was a founding editor of Change Magazine and Social Policy Magazine. He is a contributing editor to Parade Magazine.
Dr. Greer participated in and directed several studies of US Immigration and urban schooling policy and history (at Columbia University and CUNY). He wrote briefing papers on philanthropy and government for First Lady, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, and on education policy for Senator Paul Wellstone. He chaired the President’s White House Fellows Program (1992-4) and chaired the Funders Committee for Citizen Participation (for 10 years). He currently chairs The LARK Theater Company (NYC), and Culture Project (NYC). He serves on the Boards of the Center for Social Inclusion, The Opportunity Agenda, the Teachers and Writers Collaborative (NYC), New York City Interfaith Center, Tikkun Magazine (California), openDemocracyUSA (US/UK), and the American Institute for Mental Imagery.
Colin Greer also writes poetry, plays and non-fiction, and now also writes a blog on this website.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
THE RED BOOK: Reflections on Jung and the Jungians—
A Conversation with Thomas Kirsch, MD
THE RED BOOK, published in 2009 for the first time, is Carl Jung's richly illustrated record of his descent into his inner world, created in
a period of personal crisis following his break with Sigmund Freud.
A surprise best seller, THE RED BOOK has been reviewed in major periodicals around the world.
THOMAS KIRSCH has a deep knowledge of Jung and the Jungian movement. Born to two first generation Jungian analysts, Kirsch knew Jung as a child. He has served as president of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and the International Association of Analytical Psychology. He taught Jungian psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford Medical Center for many years, and is the author of an acclaimed study of the Jungian movement, The Jungians.
A Conversation with Robert Bray and Michael Lerner This conversation was recorded on January 7, 2010
Bray is also an adjunct faculty member at San Diego State University, School of Social Work. His wife, Diane Takvorian, is Founder and Executive Director of the Environmental Health Coalition, San Diego’s leading environmental health and justice organization. To find out more, contact Bray by email.