Posted in Spiritual Activism
July 29, 2014
Last year, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing, I was facilitating a group of students and faculty at MIT reflecting on the impact and meaning of the bombing. The participants ranged from people who had been at the marathon site to those who witnessed it on TV. All experienced the lock down that occurred in Cambridge and felt the impact of the death of eight-year-old Martin William Richard, and many of them shared something deeper, the trauma of being an unwilling victim and sometimes perpetrator of planned, unexpected, unwarranted or thoughtless violence. From a former Israeli solider, who asked “do I kill these 4 men in my line of sight because of the threat they may pose?” to a woman who survived a brutal rape, the bombing made visible the deep trauma so many people live with from day to day.
But something remarkable happened that evening. As we sat in circle listening to each story a young veteran spoke up about his experience with violence in the streets of LA and the deserts of Iraq. He spoke with a deep passion that disrupted the quiet reflection of the group. “We can’t just sit around and talk about this. If things are going to change we have to shift something fundamental in ourselves in order to stop the massive violence in our world.” He continued, “For me it is the following commitment I have made to myself and that I tell each person I am engaged with I Will Not Harm Your Children.” Then he stopped.
July 16, 2014
I have never observed the Fast of the 17th of Tamuz. Yesterday, I did. I fasted in solidarity with others who were making a stand with our bodies for peace and in mourning lives lost in Palestine/Israel. At a time of horrific violence and avowed enmity between so many Muslims and Jews, it was a comfort to be fasting together, during Ramadan.
March 18, 2014
I am just returning from my very first visit to India. I had the unbelievable privilege of participating in the first “Four Noble Truths Event” hosted by the Sarnath International Nyingma Institute. It was in Sarnath, at the “stupa” pictured here, that the Buddha offered his first sermon – 2500 years ago!
April 19, 2013
May St Francis’ prayer be ours today and always.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
December 17, 2012
The following post has been reblogged from Pinnacle Performance Improvement Worldwide e-newsletter. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
“We need to slow down; stop, look, listen and appreciate the talent around us.” — Sam Zell, Chairman, Equity Group International
“Is there room for our souls in this holy season?” — The Reverend Samuel T. Lloyd III, Priest-In-Charge, Trinity Church in the City of Boston
December 11, 2012
David Peter Stroh hits the nail on the head with his recent post on the relationship between systems thinking and spiritual practice on the Leverage Points Blog. Our ways of seeing and ways of being are profoundly affected by our interior condition. Many aspects of systems thinking are deeply aligned with the wisdom of many spiritual traditions.
November 5, 2012
I don’t usually find listening to public radio overly stressful, but this weekend’s edition of This American Life had me churning. The episode Red State Blue State featured a series of stories of relationships among friends, family members, neighbors and more that were damaged or severed over political affiliations and whom they intended to vote for. In a country where most people live in communities that are largely blue or red, people with minority political views in their community need increasing courage to speak their convictions, or even, sometimes just to live their lives. I found the story of a pair of sisters especially heartbreaking.
October 2, 2012
I recently had the privilege of engaging in a public dialogue with Amy Edelstein, senior teacher of Evolutionary Enlightenment. We were brought together to talk about the relationship between active citizenship and active spirituality.
The very idea of citizenship emerges in the context of a trajectory, a movement from less freedom to more freedom. There is something aspirational in it, it is supposed to help us move towards an unfinished project – an ideal.
September 7, 2012
If you’ve been reading Curtis’ blog posts this week, you might be considering what it means to be an evolutionary. If you live in or near Boston, you should join us as we deepen this conversation.
Our friends at EnlightenNext Boston are hosting a dialogue between Amy Edelstein, senior teacher of Evolutionary Enlightenment and myself this Friday, September 21, 7:15pm – 9:30pm at Samadhi Integral in Newton Centre.
August 27, 2012
The following is a letter by Akaya Windwood, President of the Rockwood Leadership Institute and member of the IISC Board of Directors.
Summer. Hopefully a time to slow down, find a beach or hammock and read all of the trashy books on the list. Time for ice cream and late night walks and sleeping late. Time to wear only comfortable, old at-home clothes.
May 17, 2012
|Photo by Martin Pettitt|http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdpettitt/454595511|
A Cherokee Legend . . .
An old man is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he says to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old man simply replied, “The one you feed.” Read More
July 5, 2011
I first met Kip Tiernan in 1970. Her reputation for no-nonsense, wise-cracking productivity had preceded her. We were all a little bit intimidated. She was older than we were and had already had a successful career as a pianist and an advertising executive. Still, she always treated us with the utmost respect…as if we, too, knew what we were doing.
We were organizing the first political sanctuary to ever have been held in a catholic church. The sanctuary was for our friend Paul Couming who was a conscientious objector and draft resister at the Paulist Center church in Boston. Kippy was handling the press, the FBI was outside the building and we were singing Amazing Grace. It was the beginning of my life-long admiration for Kip Tiernan, who died on Saturday. Kip went on to found the first homeless shelter for women and worked tirelessly with and on behalf of the poor of our city.
In her obituary, her wife Donna Pomponio is quoted as saying:
“The tragedies in the world continued to propel her to fix things and make them better. She knew that as human beings, we could do better for each other. There was a support and strength that came from that woman, and having her by your side and in your life, you knew that you could do it, too.’’