Entering the Wilderness – Part 1 ~ Tara Brach


Published on Sept 30, 2013

Entering the Wilderness – Part 1

On all spiritual paths, we journey into the inner wilderness to discover the nature of nature – the truth of who we are. The entry is through bringing a kind and full presence to the life of our bodies. These two talks explore the conditioning that leads us to dissociation, and the blessings of full aliveness, open heartedness and wisdom that arise when we come home to embodied presence.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human~ Jonathan Gottschall

Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. It’s easy to say that humans are “wired” for story, but why?

In this delightful and original book, Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life’s complex social problems—just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival.

Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal. Did you know that the more absorbed you are in a story, the more it changes your behavior? That all children act out the same kinds of stories, whether they grow up in a slum or a suburb? That people who read more fiction are more empathetic?

Of course, our story instinct has a darker side. It makes us vulnerable to conspiracy theories, advertisements, and narratives about ourselves that are more “truthy” than true. National myths can also be terribly dangerous: Hitler’s ambitions were partly fueled by a story.

But as Gottschall shows in this remarkable book, stories can also change the world for the better. Most successful stories are moral—they teach us how to live, whether explicitly or implicitly, and bind us together around common values. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.

Biography
I teach English and write books at the intersection of science and art. My work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, Scientific American Mind, New Scientist, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nature, Science, BBC Radio and NPR. I live with my wife and two young daughters in Washington, Pennsylvania.

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Book trailer for Jonathan Gottschall’s book, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall

Humans live in landscapes of make-believe: we spin fantasies, we devour novels, films, and plays and even our sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. It’s easy to say that humans are “wired” for story, but why?

Here, a provocative young scholar shows how storytelling has made our species successful and how it continues to shape us in startling ways.

http://jonathangottschall.com/

Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth – A Spiritual Response to our Present Ecological Crisis ~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee [Updated Oct 2, 2013]

A Collection of Essays: Available Summer 2013
Edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

The Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh was asked
what we need to do to save our world.
“What we most need to do,” he replied,
“is to hear within us the sound of the earth crying.”

Our present ecological crisis is the greatest man-made disaster this planet has ever faced—its accelerating climate change, species depletion, pollution and acidification of the oceans. A central but rarely addressed aspect of this crisis is our forgetfulness of the sacred nature of creation, and how this affects our relationship to the environment. There is a pressing need to articulate a spiritual response to this ecological crisis. This is vital and necessary if we are to help bring the world as a living whole back into balance.

Contributors include: Chief Oren Lyons, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sandra Ingerman, Joanna Macy, Sister Miriam MacGillis, Satish Kumar, Vandana Shiva, Fr. Richard Rohr, Bill Plotkin, Jules Cashford, Wendell Berry, Winona LaDuke, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Brian Swimme, and others.

From the INTRODUCTION

The earth is in distress and is calling to us, sending us signs of the extremity of its imbalance through earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and storms, drought, unprecedented heat. There are now indications that its ecosystem as a whole may even be approaching a “tipping point” or “state shift” of irreversible change with unforeseeable consequences.

This book is a collection of responses to the call of the earth. It is not offered as a solution to a problem because the world is not a problem; it is a living being in distress. The signs of global imbalance, the tsunamis, the destruction of the coral reefs, are not just physical symptoms. As Thich Nhat Hanh writes, these are “bells of mindfulness,” calling us to be attentive, to wake up and listen. The earth needs our attention. It needs us to help heal its body, damaged by our exploitation, and also its soul, wounded by our desecration, our forgetfulness of its sacred nature. Only when we remember what is sacred can we bring any real awareness to our present predicament.

View HERE on Evolution of the Soul and Our Ecological Crisis

The Ecological Crisis is a Spiritual Crisis with Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth Book Trailer

Published on Jun 24, 2013

Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth
A Collection of Essays Edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

NOW AVAILABLE at http://www.spiritualecology.org

Showing the deep connection between our present ecological crisis and our lack of awareness of the sacred nature of creation, this series of essays from spiritual and environmental leaders around the world shows how humanity can transform its relationship with the Earth. Combining the thoughts and beliefs from a diverse range of essayists, this collection highlights the current ecological crisis and articulates a much-needed spiritual response to it. Perspectives from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American beliefs as well as physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, make this a well-rounded contribution.

Contributors: Chief Oren Lyons, Thomas Berry, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chief Tamale Bwoya, John Stanley, David R. Loy, Joanna Macy, Sandra Ingerman, Fr. Richard Rohr, Wendell Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Brian Swimme, Sister Miriam MacGillis, Satish Kumar, Vandana Shiva, Dr. Susan Murphy, Pir Zia Inayat-Kahn, Winona LaDuke, Bill Plotkin, Geneen Marie Haugen, Jules Cashford, and Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.

With special thanks to: Sacred Land Film Project, David Suzuki Foundation, Jim Hoggan, Kirsten Brynelsen, Thich Phap Hai, Sister Thai Nghiem, Sister Dan Nghiem, Pachamama Alliance, Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development, CEM Productions, Adam Loften, Global Oneness Project, Elemental the Film.

Spiritual Ecology : A Quiet Revolution ~ Leslie E. Sponsel

An internet search for “Spiritual Ecology” and related terms like “Religion and Nature” and “Religion and Ecology” reveals tens of millions of websites. Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution offers an intellectual history of this far-reaching movement. Arranged chronologically, it samples major developments in the thoughts and actions of both historic and contemporary pioneers, ranging from the Buddha and St. Francis of Assisi to Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement and James Cameron’s 2010 epic film Avatar.

This foundational book is unique in that it provides a historical, cross-cultural context for understanding and advancing the ongoing spiritual ecology revolution, considering indigenous and Asian religious traditions as well as Western ones. Most chapters focus on a single pioneer, illuminating historical context and his/her legacy, while also connecting that legacy to broader concerns. Coverage includes topics as diverse as Henry David Thoreau and the Green Patriarch Bartholomew’s decades-long promotion of environmentalism as a sacred duty for more than 250 million members of the Orthodox Church worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.spiritualecology.info.

Sacred banyon tree and spirit house in Bangkok, Thailand.


Leslie E. Sponsel earned the BA in Geology from Indiana University (1965), and the MA (1973) and PhD (1981) in Biological and Cultural Anthropology from Cornell University. Over the last four decades he has taught at seven universities in four countries, two as a Fulbright Fellow. In 1981 he was hired to develop and direct the Ecological Anthropology Program at the University of Hawai`i. His courses include Ecological Anthropology, Environmental Anthropology, Anthropology of Religion, Spiritual Ecology, Sacred Places, Anthropology of Buddhism, Ethics in Anthropology, and Anthropology of War and Peace. Although retired since August 2010, usually he still teaches one course each semester and then devotes the rest of his time to research and publications.

From 1974 to 1981 Sponsel conducted several trips to the Venezuelan Amazon to study human ecology with the Yanomami and other indigenous societies. Almost yearly since 1986 Sponsel has made research trips to Thailand to study various aspects of Buddhist ecology and environmentalism together with his wife, Dr. Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel. In recent years their work in northern Thailand has focused on exploring sacred caves.

Among Sponsel’s extensive publications are more than two dozen journal articles, three dozen book chapters, 29 entries in seven different scientific encyclopedias, and two edited and two co-edited books, most peer-reviewed. Henceforth he will focus on publishing other books integrating his previous articles and chapters on several different subjects. Next up is the book Natural Wisdom: Exploring Buddhist Ecology and Environmentalism. He is developing the Research Institute for Spiritual Ecology (RISE) and its website as founding Director:
http://spiritualecology.info.

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