2012 Conversations at The New School at Commonweal
Chinese Cities: Their Amazing Rise and Possible Futures (December 14, 2012)
Science Set Free: Ten Paths to New Discovery (December 11, 2012)
What Do I Have to Offer before I Leave My Body? (December 10, 2012)
End-of-Life Conversation Series
Entering the Healing Ground: Grief, Ritual, and the Soul of the World (November 30, 2012)
End-of-Life Conversation Series
Walter and Aggie Murch
The Bird that Swallowed its Cage: The Selected Writings of Curzio Malaparte (November 25, 2012)
Spoken Word Poet Bob Holman
Performing and in conversation with Michael Lerner (November 21, 2012)
Wild Earth, Wild Plants, Wild Woman
Interview with Herbalist and Author Julie McIntyre (November 12)
In conversation with Albert Straus and Tom Sargent (October 29, 2012)
Artist Tu Ying-ming and Angela Oh
Insight: Seeing the Inner Self Portraits by Tu-2 (October 16, 2012)
Mark Renneker, MD, and other advocates
Clinical Advocacy Public Forum (October 14, 2012)
The Healing Of Stories Writing Workshop (October 13, 2012)
Jerry Mander in conversation with Michael Lerner
The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System (October 7, 2012)
Penny Livingston-Stark, James Stark, Avis Rappaport Licht
Gardens Healing the Earth (September 23, 2012)
Food: Business, Movement or Both? (September 18, 2012)
Religion in Human Evolution (September 13, 2012)
Learning Through Visual Thinking Strategies (September 9, 2012)
Michael Tilson Thomas
In conversation with Eric Karpeles (July 22, 2012)
Kate Munger and Threshold Choir
Making Kindness Audible through the Gift of Song (July 18, 2012)
Part of the End of Life Conversations Series
Brother David Steindl-Rast in conversation with Michael Lerner
Spiritual Biodgraphy (Feb 4 and June 27, 2012)
Poet David Whyte
The Pilgrimage of Identity (June 24, 2012)
Soprano Christine Brandes and Pianist/Composer Eric Moe
An Afternoon of Classical Music (May 13, 2012)
Terry Tempest Williams
When Women Were Birds: A Reading (May 6, 2012)
Memorial Tribute to Adrienne Rich
with Eric Karpeles (Apr 22, 2012)
Integrative Law: A Healing Approach for Resolving Divorce and Other Conflicts (Apr 4, 2012)
An Uprising: The Global Crisis and Our Response (Mar 25, 2012)
Emilie Conrad in Conversation with Sharon Weil
Moving Medicine: Continuum, Movement, and Enlivening Health (Mar 14, 2012)
Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Conversation and A Little Time to Write Co-presented with the Institute for Art and Healing (Mar 11, 2012)
Stephen Parker, PhD
Jung, Art, and Healing (Feb 19, 2012)
Donald Abrams, MD, and Clint Werner
Marijuana: Is It Medicine Yet? (Feb 3, 2012)
Friday, December 14
Richard T LeGates in Conversation with Michael Lerner
Chinese Cities: Their Amazing Rise and Possible Futures
Since China's "reform and opening up" beginning in the late 1970s, China has had double-digit gross domestic product (GDP) growth almost every year, including close to a 50% increase in GDP since the global economic crisis began in 2007. In addition to its role as the world’s manufacturing center, China is metamorphosing itself into a global financial center, and, increasingly, a center of innovation. Not only does it produce everyday items crowding Walmart and Target shelves, China now produces much of the world's wind and solar energy equipment, much of world's advanced IT hardware and an increasing percentage of software. From an impoverished rural country where more than 80% of the population engaged in near-subsistence farming, half of China’s population now live in cities. In the last 20 years, new cities like Shenzhen and even parts of existing cities like Shanghai have added populations larger than New York, London, or Paris. Hundreds of thousands of "hollowed out" villages are now inhabited by only the elderly, infirm, and children of absent parents as a "floating population" of more than 200 million has poured into employment centers in coastal China.
What are the impacts of China’s urban transformation on the ground? In what ways is China’s urbanization different from urbanization in other countries and at other times? What is urban planning in China like? What are China’s greatest urban planning accomplishments, failures, and challenges for the future? Join us for this discussion of China’s urbanization and China’s urban future.
Richard LeGates is a professor emeritus of Urban Studies and Planning at San Francisco State University and an authority or urbanization and city and regional planning. Earlier in 2012 he was a visiting professor of urban planning at Tongji University in Shanghai and Renmin University in Beijing and a Fulbright scholar at the Technical Institute of Bandung, Indonesia.
December 11, 2012
Science Set Free: Ten Paths to New Discovery
Rupert Sheldrake in conversation with Michael Lerner
In Science Set Free, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake discusses his views on the ways science is being constricted by assumptions that have, over the years, hardened into dogmas. Such dogmas are not only limiting, but dangerous for the future of humanity. According to these principles, all of reality is material or physical; the world is a machine, made up of inanimate matter; nature is purposeless; consciousness is nothing but the physical activity of the brain; free will is an illusion; God exists only as an idea in human minds, imprisoned within our skulls.
But should science be a belief-system, or a method of inquiry? Sheldrake proposes that the materialist ideology is moribund; under its sway, increasingly expensive research is reaping diminishing returns while societies around the world are paying the price. In the skeptical spirit of true science, Sheldrake turns the ten fundamental dogmas of materialism into questions, and suggests how all of them open up new possibilities for discovery.
Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books. A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences and biochemistry at Cambridge University and philosophy and history of science at Harvard University. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he carried out research on the development of plants and the aging of cells in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, near San Francisco, and a Visiting Professor and Academic Director of the Holistic Thinking Program at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut. He has appeared in many TV programs in Britain and overseas, and was one of the participants (along with Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Dennett, Oliver Sacks, Freeman Dyson and Stephen Toulmin) in a TV series called A Glorious Accident, shown on PBS channels throughout the United States. He has written for newspapers and magazines, including New Scientist, Resurgence, the Ecologist and the Spectator.
In addition to Science Set Free, his books include The Sense of Being Stared At, and Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (2003), Trialogues at the Edge of the West (1992), republished as Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness (2001, with Ralph Abraham and Terence McKenna), and The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science and Spirit Meet (1996, written with Matthew Fox).
December 10, 2012
What Do I Have to Offer before I Leave My Body?
Stephanie Sugars in conversation with Michael Lerner
End-of-Life Conversation Series
In this podcast, long-time alumna of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program Stephanie Sugars talks with Michael Lerner about her journey with illness, treatments, and healing--and the insights that come from living on the "edge of life."
Stephanie Sugars is a human being, a friend to life and death, and a passionate participant in the natural and human worlds. She's lived with a serious genetic illness for more than 50 years (Peutz-Jeghers syndrome) and with metastatic breast cancer for more than 20 years. Her healing quest led her to Commonweal's Cancer Help Program in 1992, 2009, and 2012. She seeks to be of use to the world. She explores the intersection of the personal and universal on her blog.
Friday, November 30
Francis Weller in Conversation with Michael Lerner
Entering the Healing Ground: Grief, Ritual, and the Soul of the World
Part of the End-of-Life Conversation Series
Held at Commonweal, Bolinas
Carried privately, sorrow lingers in the soul, slowly pulling us below the surface of life and into the terrain of death. Learning to hold sorrow and loss close to our hearts is a deep spiritual practice, a fierce and unflinching acknowledgement of the way of the world. This spiritual practice is a tempering of the soul, a gradual deepening that moves us closer to the earth, into an intimacy with our surroundings where we lean into those we love. That is the invitation that arises through grief. There is a profound connection between grief and belonging.
In his recent book, Entering the Healing Ground, author and soul activist Francis Weller offers a new vision of grief and sorrow. He reveals the hidden vitality in grief, uncovered when the heart welcomes the sorrows of our life and those of the world. When the deeper rhythms of grief are allowed to emerge, we become aware of the intimate connection we share with all things. We are ripened in times of loss, made more human by the rites of grief. Through story, poetry and insightful reflections, Francis offers a meditation on the healing power of grief.
Francis Weller, MFT, has been working with the emotional, creative, and spiritual life of men and women for thirty years. He is a community builder, writer, teacher, and psychotherapist in Northern California. He draws from an extensive background in depth psychology, mythology, group work, and indigenous traditions. His work embodies his love of soul, the arts, ritual and his devotion to bringing these into living and sustainable community. His writings have appeared in anthologies and magazines such as Sacred Fire. He has taught at many colleges and universities throughout the Bay Area including New College, the Sophia Center, and Sonoma State University. He is the founder/director of WisdomBridge and is currently completing his second book, A Trail on the Ground: Tracking the Ways of Our Indigenous Soul.
Sunday, November 25
The Bird that Swallowed its Cage: The Selected Writings of Curzio Malaparte
A Reading and conversation with Walter and Aggie Murch
Co-presented by KWMR, Point Reyes Books, and The New School at Commonweal.
Join us for a reading and conversation between Walter and Aggie Murch about Walter's recently published book, The Bird that Swallowed its Cage: The Selected Writings of Curzio Malaparte.
In 1969, Walter Murch and his family drove the truck containing American Zoetrope from Los Angeles to San Francisco, where it was unloaded to finish the sound mixing on Francis Coppola's The Rain People. Working within the growing Bay Area film community, Murch settled his family in West Marin in 1972.
Since that time Murch has been honored by both British and American Motion Picture Academies, winning his first BAFTA awards 1975 for the film editing and sound mixing on The Conversation. In 1979 he received his first Oscar for best sound for Apocalypse Now. In 1997, Murch was awarded Oscars for both film editing and sound mixing on The English Patient as well as that year's British Academy BAFTA Award for best editing. Other nominations from both academies include for best film editing for Julia 1978, two nominations for best film editing from the American Academy for the films Ghost and The Godfather Part III in 1991. In 2004, for the film Cold Mountain he received a ninth Academy Nomination for Film Editing, as well as British Academy nominations for Film Editing and Sound Mixing.
Murch directed and co-wrote with Gill Dennis the film Return to Oz, released in 1985.
He co-wrote and was responsible for sound montage and re-recording on THX-1138. He was
also sound effects supervisor for The Godfather, American Graffiti, and The Godfather Part II.
Up to this year, Murch has been a re-recording mixer on all of the films for which he has also been picture editor. Other credits include: picture editing for The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Romeo is Bleeding, The Talented Mr. Ripley, K-19: The Widowmaker, Jarhead, Youth Without Youth, and Tetro. He has also been involved in film restoration, notably Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1998),Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now Redux (2001), and the Edison-Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894).
Over the last thirty-five years Murch has given lectures, presentations and seminars on cinema at film schools and festivals in the US, and throughout the world. In 2012, Murch was invited to serve as the film mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, an international philanthropic program that pairs masters in their disciplines with emerging talents for a year of one-to-one creative exchange.
Murch wrote In the Blink of an Eye (2001), which has been translated into ten languages. His work has been the subject of two other books, The Conversations by Michael Ondaatje (2002), and Behind the Seen by Charles Koppelman (2004). The Bird that Swallowed its Cage (2012) is Murch's selected translation of work by the Italian poet and novelist Curzio Malaparte (1899-1956).
Between films, he pursues interests in the science of human perception, cosmology and the
history of science. Since 1995, he has been working on a reinterpretation of the Titius-Bode Law of planetary spacing, based on data from the Voyager Probe, the Hubble telescope, and recent discoveries of exoplanets orbiting distant stars.
Muriel (Aggie) Murch graduated as a nurse in England in 1964 and obtained a BSN from San Francisco State in 1991. In 1965 she married Walter Scott Murch and from 1972 raised their four children on Blackberry Farm in Bolinas. In the early 1970s, she worked as one of the nurse midwives at the West Marin Medical Center.
Muriel began her radio work in 1989 at KPFA Pacifica in Berkeley, California, under the extraordinary mentorship of
Erik Bauersfeld. She began reading stories and literature before holding conversations with writers and other artists
and producing radio dramas. In 1995 she became one of the founders of KWMR(FM).
Journey in the Middle of the Road, One Woman's Journey through a Mid-Life Education, was published by Sybil Press in 1995. Her short stories and poetry have been included in university press anthologies and medical journals focused on the writings of nurses and women's health. "Between the Heart Beats; Poetry and Prose by Nurses" 1995 and "Intensive Care: More Poetry and Prose by Nurses" 2003 were both edited by Cortney Davis and Judy Schaefer and published by Ohio Press. "Stories of Illness and Healing, Women Write Their Bodies," was edited by Sayantani DasGupta and Marsha Hurst and published by Kent State University press in 2007. "The Story of Christmas; The Muscovy Duck," was published in a limited edition in 2010.
Muriel continues to write stories and poetry while working as an independent radio producer for KWMR. 90.5 and 89.9 FM. When not traveling with Walter Aggie runs the small organic Blackberry Farm, which remains the Murch home.
Wednesday, November 21
Spoken Word Poet Bob Holman
Performing and in conversation with Michael Lerner
Bob Holman is an American poet and poetry activist, most closely identified with the oral tradition, the spoken word, and slam poetry. As a promoter of poetry in many media, Holman has spent the last four decades working variously as an author, editor, publisher, performer, emcee of live events, director of theatrical productions, producer of films and television programs, record label executive, university professor, poet's house proprietor, and archivist. He was described by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in The New Yorker as "the postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafes and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti."
Holman is the founder and proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, which opened to the public in September 2002. Billed as "a Home for Poetry," the Club is currently undergoing extensive renovations and will reopen in early 2013. In an interview with the New York Times shortly after the club's opening, Holman said, "They say no one has ever gone broke running a bar in New York, but we're going to give it a shot."
In 2011, Holman won a Village Award from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The awards are given "to help…recognize the people, places, and businesses that make a significant contribution to the legendary quality of life in Greenwich Village, The East Village, and NoHo."
Holman's most recent work has been devoted to bringing attention to Endangered Languages -- he is the host of "Language Matters!," a PBS documentary shot in Wales, Hawaii, and Australia, that will air in late 2013. His previous work in TV includes, "The United States of Poetry," a critically acclaimed five-part PBS television series, and appearances on "MTV Spoken Word Unplugged" and "HBO Def Poetry Jam." He has taught "Poetry Census" at NYU, where students engage with non-English speaking poetry communities, and "Exploding Text" at Columbia, the only cross-genre course at the School of the Arts. His most recent collection, Sing This One Back to Me, will be released by Coffee House Press in May 2013.
Monday, November 12
Wild Earth, Wild Plants, Wild Woman
Interview with Herbalist and Author Julie McIntyre
Join us for a conversation with Julie McIntyre and The New School's Kyra Epstein exploring Julie's life as an herbalist treating Lyme disease with a successful herbal protocol, an Earth ceremonialist, and the author of a new book: Sex and the Intelligence of the Heart; Nature, Intimacy and Sexual Energy.
Julie McIntyre is an Earth ceremonialist and metis of Norwegian and Mohawk/Blackfeet decent. An ordained practitioner of the Church of Gaia, Julie recently directed a state ceremonial program for Native men in prison and also works with young women with ceremonial rites of transition into womanhood. A double-degree graduate in Political Science and Public Communications Julie has completed postgraduate training in sacred plant medicine, Ayurveda, Reiki, medical herbalism, Huichol shamanism, and wilderness survival.
She has a private holistic health practice working with herbal medicine and chronic illness--she is the leading practicing expert using the herbal lyme protocol developed by her partner, Stephen Harrod Buhner. In her practice, she also works with sacred plant medicine, spiritual mentoring, ecological reclamation of the soul, becoming authentic, and sexuality.
Julie is the director for the Center for Earth Relations and for over a decade has worked with the Sacred Pipe, Medicine Wheel, sweat lodge and Vision Quests in facilitating closer human bonding with the Earth. Devoted to helping people reclaim their ecological identity, Julie mentors adults, young adults, and children on the sacredness of Earth relations, the heart as the organ of perception, the ecstatic path, healing shame, and medical herbology. You can see more of her and her work on her website.
Monday, October 29
in conversation with Albert Straus and Tom Sargent
Co-presented by Point Reyes Books, Marin Organic, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, New Field Foundation, The New School at Commonweal, Straus Family Creamery, and Tara Firma Farm
No recording of this event available.
Patrick Holden is the Founding Director of the Sustainable Food Trust, an evolving global network of individuals and organizations committed to building a consensus around how to transition to more sustainable agricultural and food systems. In his spare time, he runs the longest established organic dairy farm in Wales, with a herd of 75 Ayrshire cows.
For fifteen years, Patrick was the Director of the Soil Association in Britain and became a much sought after speaker and campaigner for organic food and farming. He is an Advisor to the Prince of Wales International Sustainability Unit and traveled to West Marin with Prince Charles in 2005.
He is in the United States to promote awareness of a recently published scientific study regarding the effects of long term exposure to Roundup tolerant Genetically Modified (GMO) corn, and Roundup, the world's best-selling weedkiller. This will be a particularly pertinent topic in the week before the vote on Proposition 37- Mandatory labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods.
Tuesday, October 16
Insight: Seeing the Inner Self
Portraits by Tu-2 (Tu Ying-ming), conversation with Tu-2 and Angela Oh
Join us for a preview of the show "108 Bodhisattvas," as well as a conversation with artist Tu-2 (Tu Ying-ming) and meditation teacher and lawyer Angela E. Oh. The full body of work, 108 Bodhisattvas, will be premiered in fall of 2013 at a workshop and show in Commonweal Gallery.
Tu Ying-ming's portrait of Michael Lerner
Tu-2 (Tu Ying-ming, or English: Ying Ming Tu) is a visual fine artist who focuses on painting, photography, and documentary films. Born to a Hakka family in Taiwan, Tu-2 was infatuated with faces at a young age, influenced by the Taiwanese puppet shows. Tu-2 later made the first portrait of his father, during a near-death experience, awakening in him the idea that art can transcend life. As a martial artist, Tu-2 was chosen to join the corps of personal bodyguards for Chiang Kai-Shek and his family. As a photojournalist, he traveled extensively along the Silk Road. He has also been a documentary filmmaker, art reviewer, and founding director of the first Chinese-American television news unit in Taiwan.
In the early 80's, Tu-2 came to the U.S. to study film and television at UCLA, and became the news director of the major Chinese-American television station broadcasting from Los Angeles, Chicago, and eventually New York. After a period of robust success with his first two series, Tu took a prolonged sabbatical from painting to search his soul, reset his spiritual compass, and examine his increasing calling toward monkhood. A new body of work began to emerge around six years ago: a series of spiritual portraits in silver pencil on blue paper that reveal the interior qualities of their subjects. Depicted in chiaroscuro (a light-dark technique with ancient roots)—but using a silver pencil to draw only the light—the images seem to be floating from darkness to light, mostly in a state of serenity. Learn more about Tu-2 on his website.
Angela E. Oh is the former executive director of the Western Justice Center Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advances peaceful resolution of conflict. She has worked as an attorney, public lecturer, and teacher of Zen meditation. In 1992, Oh gained national prominence as a spokesperson and mediating force for the Asian American community during the Los Angeles riots. Thereafter, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton as one of seven Advisory Board Members to the President's Initiative on Race, which was charged with engaging the nation in a dialogue on race relations in the United States of America. Oh's public lectures and writings reflect the opportunities and challenges that diversity presents. Her lectures have taken her to China, Korea, the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Her teaching appointments have been at UCLA School of Law, UCLA Asian American Studies Department, and UC Irvine School of Social Sciences and Political Science. Oh is also an ordained Priest, Zen Buddhist—Rinzai Sect.
Sunday, October 14
Clinical Advocacy Public Forum
With Mark Renneker, MD, Michael Lerner, and other advocates
PDF slide presentations to go along with the podcast (only three available):
- Dwight McKee, MD, Medical Oncologist, Physician Consultant, Aptos, CA ( download PDF)
- Michael McCulloch, L.Ac., M.P.H., Ph.D., Pine Street Clinic (download PDF). AND, link to to Pine Street Clinic's original studies cited in the presentation.
- Will Kennedy, D.O.,
Hospice and Palliative Medicine Specialist, Portland, OR (download PDF)
As part of the first clinical advocacy conference at Commonweal happening October 11-14, this public forum brought ideas, experiences, and findings of the conference to a discussion with the larger New School and Commonweal community, a special day of presentations and discussions on clinical advocacy -- bringing together clinicians, educators, patients, families, and researchers to share and explore the principles and methods of improving clinical care for patients with cancer, cardiac, vascular, and autoimmune disorders.
Sunday's schedule included:
- Mark Renneker, M.D.: Introduction to Clinical Advocacy
- Dwight McKee, M.D.: Advocating for Patients' Use of Novel Natural Compounds
- Raymond Chang, M.D.: Advocating for Integrative Use of Cancer Immunotherapies
- Penny Block, Ph.D.: Advocating for Psycho-Oncologic Therapies
- Michael McCulloch, L.Ac., M.P.H., Ph.D.: Advocating for Integrative Use of Chinese Medicine
- Gwen Stritter, M.D.: Advocating to Prevent Breast Cancer Recurrence
- Sandee Birdwell, M.D. and Mark Renneker, M.D.: Summary of Findings from the Clinical Advocacy Conference
- Discussion with the Commonweal Community
Saturday, October 13
The Healing Of Stories Writing Workshop
and conversation with Sue Moon
~No podcast available for this event.~
Co-sponsored by Point Reyes Books, the Institute for Art and Healing at Commonweal, and The Mesa Refuge. Both events held at the Point Reyes Presbyterian Church. Find out more and register for the events at Point Reyes Books' website.
Stories can mend what's broken, can find what's lost, can build bridges over chasms, can make us laugh until we cry and cry until we laugh. Everyone has some stories to tell.
In a safe and supportive environment, we'll spend the afternoon chasing our own tales, and catching some of them. We'll find our way to some of the stories within us that want to be told. We'll write, and we'll listen to each other. We already know we need each other to survive; we need each other's stories, too!
Susan Moon is a writer and teacher and for many years was the editor of Turning Wheel, the journal of socially engaged Buddhism. She is the author of The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi, a humor book about an imaginary Zen master, and editor of Not Turning Away: The Practice of Engaged Buddhism. Her short stories and essays have been published widely.
Her most recent book is This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Dignity and Humor (Shambhala 2010).
Sue has been a Zen student since 1976, practicing in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi at Berkeley Zen Center, Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, Green Gulch Farm, and now with Zoketsu Norman Fischer's Everyday Zen sangha. She received "entrustment" as a lay teacher in 2005.
Sunday, October 7
in conversation with Michael Lerner
The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System
Called the the patriarch of the anti-Globalization movement by The New York Times, Jerry Mander was founder and is a distinguished fellow of the International Forum on Globalization. He also spent 15 years in the advertising business as president of Freeman, Mander & Gossage, including producing the famous Sierra Club campaigns of the 1960s that saved the Grand Canyon.
In his new book, The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System, Jerry researches, discusses, and exposes the momentous and unsolvable environmental and social problem of capitalism—in the vein of his bestseller, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. Mander argues that capitalism is no longer a viable system and that capitalism, utterly dependent on never-ending economic growth, is an impossible absurdity on a finite planet with limited resources. Climate change, together with global food, water, and resource shortages, are only the start.
Mander draws attention to capitalism's obsessive need to dominate and undermine democracy, as well as to diminish social and economic equity. Designed to operate free of "morality," the system promotes "permanent war" as a key economic strategy. Worst of all, the problems of capitalism are intrinsic to the form. Many organizations are already anticipating the breakdown of the system and are working to define new hierarchies of democratic values that respect the carrying capacities of the planet.
Sunday, September 23
Gardens Healing the Earth
A Conversation with Penny Livingston-Stark, James Stark, Avis Rappaport Licht, and Michael Lerner
In celebration of the 35th anniversary of Commonweal Garden, founder Avis Rappaport Licht—and Regenerative Design Institute founders Penny Livingston Stark and James Stark—speak with Michael Lerner about their work with the earth and teaching hundreds of programs on permaculture, nature awareness, and leadership. Join them as they honor all those who have contributed to making the Commonweal Garden what it is today.
The event will be held at the Commonweal Main Administrative Building (not Commonweal Garden) at 451 Mesa Ave in Bolinas. Following the event, James and Penny invite you to Commonweal Garden for a reception starting immediately after the New School conversation ends (around 3pm).
Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer and speaker. Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitatdevelopment and watershed restoration for homes, co-housingcommunities, businesses and diverse yield perennialfarms.
James Stark, M.A., F.E.S., is the co-director of the Regenerative Design Institute (RDI). He co-founded and co-directs the Ecology of Leadership program and is a senior trainer in the 3-year, full-time Regenerative Design and Nature Awareness training program, preparing young global community leaders for the "Great Turning" of our era.
Avis Rappaport Licht co-founded Commonweal Garden in 1978. She specializes in edible landscaping, and has been creating sustainable, native plant, and ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL gardens for 35 years. She has a B.S. in Conservation of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and studied with the great horticulturist, Alan Chadwick.
Tuesday, September 18
Food: Business, Movement or Both?
Conversation with William Rosenzweig and Michael Lerner
William Rosenzweig is co-founder and Partner at Physic Ventures, a venture capital firm supporting science-based companies focused on health and sustainability. He leads the firm's venture origination activities and supports portfolio companies in the areas of entrepreneurial leadership, business design, brand strategy and consumer marketing. Will currently works closely with EnergyHub, GoodGuide, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Own, Recyclebank, Revolution Foods, and Yummly.
As an entrepreneur, Will has been involved as a founder and executive of more than a dozen early-stage ventures. Will was founding CEO (and Minister of Progress) of The Republic of Tea, an award-winning specialty tea company that is credited with creating the premium tea category in the United States. He has played key leadership roles at Nakamichi, the TED Conference, Odwalla, Leapfrog Toys, Brand New Brands, Hambrecht Vineyards and Wineries, Kingdom of Herbs, and Winetasting.com.
In 2010, Will was honored with the Oslo Business for Peace Award, presented jointly by the Business for Peace Foundation and International Chamber of Commerce in Oslo, Norway. The award represents "the highest distinction given to a businessperson for outstanding accomplishments in the area of ethical business." Will was the only American selected among seven global honorees by a committee comprised of Nobel Laureates including Professor Muhammad Yunus, Professor Wangari Maathai and Professor Michael Spence.
Will co-authored the bestselling book The Republic of Tea: How an Idea Becomes a Business, which was recently named one of the 100 best business books of all time.
Thursday, September 13
Robert N. Bellah
in conversation with Michael Lerner
Held at Point Reyes Community Presbyterian Church, Point Reyes Station, CA. No reservations required for this free event.
Robert N. Bellah is a renowned author, international speaker, and Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. His latest book, Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age, is a work of extraordinary ambition—a wide-ranging, nuanced probing of our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have most often imagined were worth living. In it Bellah offers what is frequently seen as a forbidden theory of the origin of religion that goes deep into evolution, especially but not exclusively, cultural evolution. Robert's website has more information.
Learning Through Visual Thinking Strategies
A Workshop and Discussion with Oren Slozberg
~No podcast available for this event.~
Held at Commonweal, Bolinas, in collaboration with the Institute for Art and Healing, Panta Rhea Foundation and Meridian University's Transformational Education Institute.
The Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) teaching method and school curriculum centers on open-ended yet highly structured discussions of visual art, significantly increasing students' critical thinking, language, and literacy skills along the way.
This afternoon workshop presents a fascinating learning experience for people of all ages. Participants will be engaged in discussion and reflection—individually and as members of a group—which can lead to new insights about themselves and their understanding of learning environments.
Oren Slozberg joined Visual Thinking Strategies as the executive director in May 2006, bringing more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and the arts. As the leader of several San Francisco Bay Area agencies over the years, he has formed organizations from their start-up phases, raised more than $5 million, and doubled participation in programming. Oren has been the founding executive director for several organizations including the San Francisco LGBT Community Center and the MMG Foundation that delivered VTS in Northern California. Oren is an expert trainer in Visual Thinking Strategies. Oren has trained hundreds of educators in VTS working in a variety of setting ranging from teachers in elementary schools to college faculty. Since 1999, he has been a consultant to nonprofit museums, art organizations, government agencies, and social service institutions in the areas of strategic planning, management development, program development, and fundraising.
Michael Tilson Thomas
in conversation with Eric Karpeles
The New School at Commonweal is very happy to present this conversation between San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Commonweal Board Member Eric Karpeles. Informal and wide-ranging, the conversation will be accessible to music-lovers of all degrees, and in keeping with Commonweal's ongoing commitment to exploring the role of healing and the arts.
Wednesday, July 18
Kate Munger and Threshold Choir
Making Kindness Audible through the Gift of Song
End of Life Conversations Series
and a desire to provide comfort and peace.
Founded in 2000 by Inverness resident Kate Munger, beauty and strength now bloom in the more than 100 choirs worldwide who provide singers at no cost when invited to the the bedsides of folks who are struggling. For singers who are grateful for the joy that singing has brought us in our lives, giving back in this form is elegant and wonderful. During this event, Kate will talk with Susan Braun about Threshold Choir—the practice, the history, and the future. There will be opportunities for the audience to join with choir members to become a spontaneous Threshold Choir: coming together to sing a few of the many songs in their repertoire.
Kate Munger has devoted herself for over 35 years to creating non-hierarchical, collaborative models for spirited and contemplative group singing, joyful community building, creative problem solving, and deep fellowship through rounds and parts singing. In 2000 she founded the first of now more than 100 Threshold Choirs worldwide. This singing ministry has re-imagined what true service can look like: healing the giver as it offers comfort, presence and ease for the receiver. Kate lives, swims, works, and sings along the shores of Tomales Bay in CA where she lives with her husband, son, and daughter-in-law and her precious grandsons Dillon and Rory.
February 4, 2012 and
June 27, 2012
Brother David Steindl-Rast
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Brother David Steindl-Rast is an 86-year-old Benedictine monk who many consider the successor to Thomas Merton at the intersection of Christianity and Buddhism. More than that, Brother David has developed a "common sense spirituality" that touches the heart of all the great spiritual traditions. He is an apostle of the spirit of gratefulness, described on his remarkable website. He says his favorite name for God is "Surprise," because "Surprise" is the only name that does not limit the Nameless One. In this interview with Michael Lerner, the continuation of the conversation in February 2012, Brother David returns to The New School for part two of his spiritual biography.
David Steindl-Rast was born July 12, 1926, in Vienna, Austria, where he studied art, anthropology, and psychology, receiving an MA from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and a PhD from the University of Vienna. In 1952 he followed his family who had emigrated to the United States. In 1953 he joined a newly founded Benedictine community in Elmira, NY, Mount Saviour Monastery, of which he is now a senior member. In 1958/59 Brother David was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Cornell University, where he also became the first Roman Catholic to hold the Thorpe Lectureship, following Bishop J.D.R. Robinson and Paul Tillich.
After twelve years of monastic training and studies in philosophy and theology, Brother David was sent by his abbot to participate in Buddhist-Christian dialogue, for which he received Vatican approval in 1967. His Zen teachers were Hakkuun Yasutani Roshi, Soen Nakagawa Roshi, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, and Eido Shimano Roshi. He co-founded the Center for Spiritual Studies in 1968 and received the 1975 Martin Buber Award for his achievements in building bridges between religious traditions.
Together with Thomas Merton, Brother David helped launch a renewal of religious life. From 1970 on, he became a leading figure in the House of Prayer movement, which affected some 200,000 members of religious orders in the United States and Canada.
Brother David has brought spiritual depth into the lives of countless people whom he touches through his lectures, his workshops, and his writings. He has contributed to a wide range of books and periodicals from the Encyclopedia Americana and The New Catholic Encyclopedia, to the New Age Journal and Parabola Magazine.His books have been translated into many languages.Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer and A Listening Heart have been reprinted and anthologized for more than two decades. Brother David co-authored Belonging to the Universe (winner of the 1992 American Book Award), a dialogue on new paradigm thinking in science and theology with physicist, Fritjof Capra. His dialogue with Buddhists produced The Ground We Share: Buddhist and Christian Practice, co-authored with Robert Aitken Roshi. His most recent books are The Music of Silence, co-written with Sharon Lebell, and Words of Common Sense.
At present, Brother David serves a worldwide Network for Grateful Living, through www.gratefulness.org, an interactive website with several thousand participants daily from more than 240 countries.
June 24, 2012
Poet David Whyte
A Pilgrimage of Identity
Co-presented with the Institute of Art and Healing
A captivating speaker with a compelling blend of profound poetry and insightful commentary, David Whyte is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development. His life as a poet has created a readership and listenership in three normally mutually exclusive areas: the literate world of readings that most poets inhabit; the psychological and theological worlds of philosophical enquiry; and the world of vocation, work, and organizational leadership.
This special event at the David Brower Theater in Berkele is a conversation between poet David Whyte and Michael Lerner, co-presented with the Institute of Art and Healing at Commonweal.
David Whyte grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father's Yorkshire. The author of six books of poetry and three books of prose, David Whyte holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, the Amazon, and the Himalaya. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures and workshops.
Soprano Christine Brandes and Pianist/Composer Eric Moe
The New School at Commonweal is very pleased to announce a rare opportunity to experience live classical music in our community. Soprano Christine Brandes and pianist/composer Eric Moe join forces and offer us a recital of rich music-making.
Two contemporary song cycles by Eric Moe (one set to poems by American poet May Swenson, the other to poems from Rainer Maria Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus cycle) will flank Joseph Haydn's thrilling cantata for soprano and piano, Arianna a Naxos, which Haydn himself was known to sing, a test of any singer's dramatic mettle. May Swenson (1919-1989) was an American poet of rare lyric and dramatic gifts, repeatedly drawn to love and eros as subject, while the Prague-born Rilke (1875-1926) wrestles in these poems with questions of music and our human existence.
Christine Brandes has sung around the world. Her repertoire, ranging from 17th century music to contemporary works, will be perfectly showcased in this program. With a crystalline, dramatic voice, full of life and longing, Brandes will be coming to Commonweal fresh from having sung Despina in Jonathan Miller's production of Cosi fan tutte with the Washington National Opera. She has sung at New York City Opera, with the LA Philharmonic and as part of the Mark Morris Dance Company, has been conducted by Pierre Boulez and Esa-Pekka Salonen, has fashioned fresh interpretations of numerous classic heroines and has also forged strong characters in new operas. She has an impressive discography of recordings.
Eric Moe is active both as a pianist and keyboard player. As a composer, Moe's music is rhythmically rich and varied, propulsive at times, and his style has been called "maximal minimalism" and "music of winning exuberance." The New York Times recently described his compositions as "subversive" in their fusion of classical forms and pop culture; a disc of compositions entitled "Kicking and Screaming" gives us an idea of his animated, irreverent enthusiasm.
Terry Tempest Williams
When Women Were Birds: A Reading
Terry Tempest Williams has been called "a citizen writer," a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. "So here is my question," she asks, "what might a different kind of power look like, feel like, and can power be redistributed equitably even beyond our own species?"
Williams, like her writing, cannot be categorized. She has testified before Congress on women's health issues, been a guest at the White House, camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses, and worked as "a barefoot artist" in Rwanda.
Known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, Terry Tempest Williams is the author of the environmental literature classic, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field; Desert Quartet; Leap; Red: Patience and Passion in the Desert; and The Open Space of Democracy. Her book Finding Beauty in a Broken World, was published in 2008 by Pantheon Books. At this event, she'll be reading from her most recent book, When Women Were Birds. She is a columnist for the magazine The Progressive.
In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and the Wallace Stegner Award given by The Center for the American West. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction. In 2009, Terry Tempest Williams was featured in Ken Burns' PBS series on the national parks (see video clip, below).
Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change.
A Memorial Tribute to Adrienne Rich
Adrienne was hobbled by pain from rheumatoid arthritis for her entire adult life, dying aged 82. She persevered and remained true to vows of integrity and beauty despite her slowly disintegrating capabilities, living the end of her life as elegantly and meaningfully as if it were a poem she was crafting. Her last volume was entitled, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve. Please join us in an informal memorial to Rich's singular accomplishment and her implacable tenacity. Bring some poems along and share them with us.
...I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslateable language in the universe
I am a galactic cloud so deep so invo-
luted that a light wave could take 15
years to travel through me And has
taken I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind.
—Adrienne Rich, from "Planetarium," 1971
Wednesday, April 4
Integrative Law: A Healing Approach for Resolving Divorce and Other Conflicts
A divorce is the fate of about half of all marriages, and is the reason most Americans will encounter the legal system. In addition to the inherent stresses of divorce, many families experience serious and avoidable collateral damage as a consequence of handling complex and personal family systems breakdown in a court system designed to resolve automobile accidents and breaches of contract. Nearly every family, business, and community institution is harmed by outdated ways of providing legal help for people experiencing conflict.
Pauline Tesler, author of two groundbreaking books on the new and revolutionary Collaborative Divorce method that is changing the practice of family law worldwide, joins Michael Lerner to explain Collaborative Law and other dramatic transformations taking place in the legal profession. Pauline will explain how integrative lawyers working in interdisciplinary teams can help people discover deep and durable solutions for legal issues that arise from deeper, more pervasive breaches of trust within human relationships and systems.
Pauline H. Tesler is director of Commonweal's new Integrative Law Institute, a specialist in family law certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization since 1984, and a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. After conducting a vigorous litigation and appellate practice for 20 years, in the mid-1990s she became a pioneer in extending the practice of Collaborative Law and interdisciplinary team Collaborative Divorce worldwide. For her groundbreaking work as a collaborative lawyer, Pauline was recipient of the first "Lawyer as Problem Solver" award from the American Bar Association in 2002. Pauline and a small group of colleagues co-founded the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) and its journal, The Collaborative Review, in the late 1990s. Pauline is author of the critically acclaimed practice manual for lawyers, Collaborative Law: Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce Without Litigation (published in 2001 by the American Bar Association) and Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move On With Your Life. You can find more information and some excerpts on her website.
Sunday, March 25
An Uprising: The Global Crisis and Our Response
Paul is a truly visionary thought and action leader. He is among the great contributors to the global effort to re-imagine our place in nature and how we may live balanced and creative lives together. In this talk, Paul will discuss the interlocking global environmental, financial, and human crises we face and the ways we can respond.
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author who has dedicated his life to sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. He is author of seven books including The Next Economy, The Ecology of Commerce, and Blessed Unrest.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Emile Conrad in Conversation with Sharon Weil
Moving Medicine: Continuum, Movement, and Enlivening Health
Visionary somatics pioneer, Emilie Conrad, shares with us the "medicine" of movement, from the cellular to the global, as it relates to health, thriving and the limitless possibilities of what it means to be human. In this lively conversation, she discusses the work of Continuum as a way to uncover our birthright as part of an ongoing evolutionary process that began millions of years ago, and extends past what can be imagined today. Her life-long investigation into how the fluids of the body resonate with the fluids of the planet and the cosmos contributes vast new ideas and innovative approaches to what is needed for humans to flourish, and therefore what is needed to in order to heal at the deepest levels. Through sound and movements we see in all Nature—undulation, spiral and pulse—the fluids in tissues of the body become activated, more permeable and mutable, to soften form and release the compression that limits the system.
She discusses how closed systems of repetitive movement and thought, the imprint of birth trauma, as well as "tribal consciousness," are inhibitors to the thriving of the whole being. Emilie concludes with the exciting, positive vision that we are on the precipice of extraordinary change as we are called to meet the challenges of the complex times we live in.
Emilie Conrad is a compassionate rebel against the cultural forces that engender lifeless, patterned thinking and movement. She pioneered Continuum more than 45 years ago, and has made a profound impact on the entire field of Somatics. Emilie began as a dancer, and weaves her artistry into all her explorations of what is it to be a body. Emilie continues to evolve Continuum as a way for people to slow down and access the subtle energy that is the source of all creativity and healing. She is considered a visionary, and her work is incorporated by an International audience of professionals from fields such as Rolfing, Zero Balancing, Hellerwork, Osteopathy, Physical Therapy, Dance, CranioSacral, Psychoneuroimmunology, and Physical Fitness. Emilie has been a featured teacher, lecturer, and keynoter at major universities and centers across the USA and Canada, including: Esalen Institute, Kripalu Institute, Omega Institute NY, UCLA, USC, U of Arizona, Rolf Institute, and the Lee Strasberg Institute.
Sharon Weil is an award winning screenwriter, producer and director. She is also a long time student and teacher of Continuum. Sharon and Emilie have been in a 22 year, ongoing collaboration of putting the vastness of Continuum into words.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows: On Creativity
A Conversation and A Little Time to Write
Co-presented with the Institute for Art and Healing
Attention Listeners: You may want to do some writing while you listen along with the participants of this event. If so, have a pen and some paper handy and use the pause or start/stop buttons of your audio player to pause the audio while you reflect and write.
The sources of our writing life – the range of joys and sorrows – are close at hand: What we have seen, heard, smelled, touched and been touched by, what we remember, how we have befriended our life experiences through words.
Whether we are dealing with illness, creating something from scratch, or just going about our business in the wild world, we are always swimming in the stream of the unknown. Transformed through the eyes of curiosity, uncertainty becomes vitality, and the core of our creative life.
Irene will talk with Jaune Evans, director of Commonweal's Institute of Arts and Healing, about her life as a writer, master teacher, and muse. Those who attend will also have the opportunity to write (briefly) with Irene, working with simple exercises that invite discovery, playfulness, and, no less important, a bit of exhalation. No prior experience or talent is required. Please bring pen and paper.
Writer and teacher Irene Borger leads workshops in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and in Washington, D.C., at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. Since 1990 she has developed a special offering of her work, grounded in not-knowing and witnessing, to art makers, and people living under conditions of extremity. The founder of the Writing Program at AIDS Project Los Angeles, the country's second-largest AIDS service agency, and artist-in-residence there for ten years, Irene is the editor of From a Burning House: The AIDS Project Los Angeles Writers Workshop Collection, published by Washington Square Press/Pocket Books. The audiotape version was nominated for a Grammy in the Spoken Word category, and the workshop profiled on the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour.
Irene's writing has appeared in many publications including The Los Angeles Times, Vogue, O, Architectural Digest, and on The Wall Street Journal arts page. Irene is also director of the Alpert Award in the Arts, where she oversees the giving of five annual $75,000 grants to outstanding artists working nationally in dance, film/video, music, theatre, and the visual arts. Her conversations with 19 of these artists are the subject of the book, The Force of Curiosity. She is the writer and curator for a prize-winning website. A Bennington College graduate, with an M.A. in dance ethnology from UCLA, Irene is also a former member of the dance history faculty at University of California, Riverside. A longtime meditation student, she is working on a book on listening.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Stephen Parker, PhD
Jung, Art, and Healing
I have been struggling with this never-ending wound for more than a year, and still it haunts me by the hour.
A heart attack is also a deeply isolating event. Others act as if their lives will go on forever, but how can I participate in this charade, knowing deeply and irrevocably that any moment could be my last one? I identify much more with people who have terminal illness than with those who are caught up in the illusions and routines of everyday life.
In hopes of reducing this isolation and finding a way through this purgatory, I thought I would try to post a daily blog about the experience.
I am fascinated and struck by the story of Chiron, that mythical Centaur who had a permanent wound in his knee that would not heal. In Puget's painting, Achilles is being dragged by his rationality, his head, and it looks like there isn't much he can do about it.
Not particularly wanting to be hunted, I have to somehow find out just where this heart attack is leading me.
With these words written in his blog, Dr. Parker begins an exploration – in words and paintings – of the dreams and meanings around his 2005 soul-changing heart attack.
In The New School conversation with Michael Lerner February 19, Dr. Parker talks about this journey and presents the opening of his show at Commonweal Gallery. His talk will be followed by a gallery reception from 3-5pm.
Dr. Stephen Parker is has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, since 1980, consulting in many of the Alaskan communities as a psychologist and as an expert witness in all of the superior courts of Alaska. In 2005, he experienced a severe heart attack, changing the focus of his life. He now works extensively with people with chronic illness and life-threatening conditions. Stephen is a graduate of Stanford University and the California School of Professional Psychology – San Diego.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Donald Abrams, MD, and Clint Werner
Marijuana: Is it Medicine Yet?
Cannabis for Pain and Palliative Care
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Please join us for a science-based talk and conversation with Donald Abrams and Clint Werner on the medicinal uses of this ancient herbal remedy.
Donald Abrams, MD, is one of the world's foremost experts on the medicinal uses of marijuana, especially for cancer. He is professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and chief of hematology/oncology at San Francisco General Hospital. He provides integrative oncology consultations at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.
Clint Werner is author of Marijuana: Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer's Disease, which Andrew Weil, M.D., says "should be required reading for all medical professionals, elected officials, and everyone interested in health and wellness." He has worked in preventive health for more than 25 years.