Jim Hickman, who’ll facilitate Saturday’s Hack the Brain! Applied Neuroscience and Spiritual Practice webinar, is a man with quite a history.

> His first mediation teacher was Michael Murphy, the co-founder of the Esalen Institute

> He and Murphy were two of the principal founders of the Citizen Diplomacy movement during the heart of the Cold War. He helped create a series of scientific and cultural exchanges between the US and the Soviet Union

> Jim was an assistant to Stanley Krippner, the pioneer researcher into the study of consciousness. Jim worked at the Maimonides Hospital Dream Laboratory with Stan…

About Death, Ritual and Meaning

Have you recently lost a loved one?

I’ve lost several during this past year, including my mother, best friend for much of my life, and one of my favorite uncles.

It’s my sense that I’m not alone here, and that many who have lost someone have lacked the usual rituals that were commonplace during pre-Covid times.

Rituals of closure are important for two reasons:

  • A ritual allows the living to more fully come to terms with the loss
  • It gives the departed one a sense of peace, particularly if the departure was marked by some…

I imagine there are Americans with a spiritual outlook who are wondering how to feel and think about the events of January 6, 2021 at the Capitol Building in Washington DC. For me, it is definitely challenging to come up with a response that is true to my own spiritual worldview and does not simply reflect my clear dislike of the protesters and what they stand for.

Practicing sacred inclusion means to oppose the action, not dehumanize the person; to not feel superior to those with whom we disagree; to see those who upset us as people struggling to evolve…

I imagine there are Americans with a spiritual outlook who are wondering how to feel and think about the events of January 6, 2021 at the Capitol Building in Washington DC. For me, it is definitely challenging to come up with a response that is true to my own spiritual worldview and does not simply reflect my clear dislike of the protesters and what they stand for.

Practicing sacred inclusion means to oppose the action, not dehumanize the person; to not feel superior to those with whom we disagree; to see those who upset us as people struggling to evolve…

As someone who’s been a professional writer for most of my life, I’ve met a lot of aspiring writers.

Many of these folks tell me they’ve always wanted to write a book.

According a survey cited in the New York Times, some 81% of Americans feel that way.

So why do relatively few of us follow through?

There are a lot of reasons, but I think the most basic one is simply getting started.

Helping writers break through that initial difficulty is exactly the point of Diana Goetsch’s Saturday practicum, Writing as a Spiritual Gateway.

Of course, you don’t have…

“Learn how to meditate on paper,” wrote Trappist monk, mystic and social activist Thomas Merton. “Drawing and writing are forms of meditation.”

Poet, Buddhist and writing teacher Diana Goetsch, who’ll facilitate the Sacred Inclusion Network’s November 17 Online Community Exploration, thinks about writing in much the same way as Merton. “In my writing, and also in my teaching, I see no essential difference between the spiritual and the artistic path. For one thing, both are lifelong practices in letting go of ego (if only temporarily),” she says.

A renowned poet and fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, Goetsch…

I asked Sushma Sharma if there’s anything her Indian cultural can teach us about “going with the flow.”

Sharma, the Mumbai-based founder of Resonate Consulting, will facilitate our Saturday online exploration, Dancing with Flow.

Indians, she said, have one principle advantage over Westerners when it comes to embodying this state of flexible resilience.

Until very recently, most Indians lived in joint or extended family arrangements, with many generations living together in the same household

“In a joint family system, it’s really the flow of life,” she explained. “So many people come in as guests without informing (anyone). No one will…

Like a lot of people of my generation, my first exposure to meditation was through Zen.

Following the instructions of the teacher, I sat on a cushion with my spine straight and a downward focus. I following the rhythm of my breathing and returned to the breath whenever thoughts intruded.

Practicing Zen proved OK for awhile, but after awhile I began to crave something more.

It didn’t take me long to learn that there were as many forms of meditation or spiritual exercise as there were physical exercises.

One example involves the manner and direction of breathing.

Focusing downward towards…

How does toxic masculinity manifest during this pandemic moment?

Some men, opines Jessica Valenti in a recent piece in Medium, equate mask-wearing as somehow appearing weak, i.e. not masculine. It’s interesting that three of the worst-hit countries in this pandemic are also afflicted with heads of state preoccupied with meeting the terms of machismo — Bolsanaro, Putin, and Trump, all of whom disdain the wearing of masks.

“Appearing to play it safe contradicts a core principle of masculinity: show no weakness,” said Peter Glick, in a recent article in the Guardian. …

Galvanizing Change in this Pandemic Moment

Most of us progressive-minded folks are members of multiple communities, be they religious, spiritual, environmental or political. What unites us are our values, the foremost of which is an innate sense of our sacred interdependence, or reverence for both the entirety of the interconnected web and all of its connected parts.

Most of us progressive-minded folks are members of multiple communities, be they religious, spiritual, environmental or political. …

Angelo John Lewis

I’m the director of the Sacred Inclusion Network, originator of Sacred Conversations and the author of Notes for a New Age.

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