Here I go, continuing my new tradition of posting my email letter list updates from five weeks ago here on the blog. I know you'll enjoy what's below. But if you want the hot and fresh stuff, you best sign up right here, right now:
Hello, great wonder!
Today I'm sending out 3 gems that have been helping me to stay sane and buoyant this week while there's so much change and excitement in the air.
Byron Katie is a transformational teacher. She lived, miserable and anxious, for 46 years before having a massive spiritual awakening in which she lost the ability to believe her own stressful thoughts and thereby became enormously happy. She offers a process called The Work. The Work is a stunningly effective inquiry meditation which she developped to share her experience of awakening. It completely altered my relationship to my mental stories and taught me to be much more open-minded and gentle with myself. You can learn all about The Work at Katie's official website. And you can also listen to hours upon hours of her going through the process with people at everypathis.org, a fan's free collection of her audio recordings which she sanctioned. I like to listen to the recordings on everypathis.org while I do things like wash the dishes and / or play tetris. Katie's utterly kind, utterly clear, grandmotherly love and radical wisdom have an effect of grounding me like nothing else.
I was thrilled to see a link to The Awesome Foundation in a friend's facebook feed. Their motto is "Forwarding the interests of Awesome in the universe, $1000 at a time." Clearly, this foundation and I share similar great taste. It turns out that The Awesome Foundation is devoted to funding-- you guessed it-- awesome projects of all sorts. In the past they've funded everything from public murals to re-creations of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
You just fill out a super-easy application form (it's the shortest and friendliest grant application I've ever seen!) and they consider your project for a grant. There are multiple chapters of The Awesome Foundation in cities around the world. Each city chapter awards one $1000 grant per month, so it's something you could keep applying for if for some reason you happen to get passed over the first time. What really rad and far-out thing could you accomplish for your community if someone handed you $1000? Time to tell them about it! The deadline for the next round of applications is November 15th.
Ivory Weeds (aka John Chriest) is a soft-spoken young man from the forrests outside Pittsburgh who blushes easily and has improbably long brown eyelashes. I have the joy of working with him at YOU=LOVE, a non-profit devoted to making everyone aware of the fact that they are, at their essence, pure love. Native is the first album Ivory Weeds put out, and it certainly reminds me of the love at the core of everything. Its shimmering, aching sound meets the grey-clouded sky of late autumn in the Pennsylvania countryside with perfect frankness and tenderness. I recommend listening to it while drinking your morning coffee on dark mornings -- the music has a magic way of bringing out the mystery and glory in what otherwise feels only drab and cold and making one want to live to bring warmth into the winter.
I've written a post which seems to be resonating and catching on with a lot of folks, much more so than my previous work. You might check it out if you haven't already: The poetics of occupation: pressing reasons we need to occupy our own cities.
Also, the online gift circle forum is starting to get exciting, with participation from the wondrous Rhina, Abigail, Toni and Tabitha. I invite you to come check it out-- all you need to do is write a post wherein you offer a gift of your own, express something you'd like to receive, and go ahead and even lay claim to something someone has offered so far (nurturing skype conversation, access to an amazing image library, writing services, graphic design services have all been offered-- don't you want this great stuff? come ask for it!).
Please feel free to write to me to let you know how these resources have served you or how I might serve you better in the future.