By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
In many cultures, getting older means entering the most revered part of life. In the longest-lived cultures, it’s common to have people exaggerate their age because the prestige and status given to elders is so high. Age is associated with wisdom and spiritual maturity as elderly people are treated as the centerpieces of families and communities.
In the “modern” mainstream world, we can be so focused on a youth culture that we deny and even try to suppress the aging process, which can lead to people feeling more marginalized or unimportant or just plain lonely as they enter their “golden” years. But, in fact, we need the experience, power, and wisdom of elders to REALLY create a new culture.
This is why we created the Transforming Aging Summit, a groundbreaking free online event March 3–5 to highlight the many opportunities that a truly “conscious aging” has to offer our souls’ journey on Earth, as well as our society. We CAN make our later years our best years as we better understand the psychology, biology, and spiritual dimensions of aging and learn to shift negative beliefs and patterns around it. To register for this free summit, click here.)
We are so grateful for Ron Pevny’s leadership in creating the Transforming Aging Summit. Ron is a new faculty member with The Shift Network and he is the founder of The Center for Conscious Eldering. In addition to pulling together fantastic speakers for the summit, Ron has provided an excellent featured article for this Catalyst about how what we believe shapes how we age. Ron raises ten critical questions for our journey of aging.
Summit speakers Alice and Richard Matzkin provide an exceptional and emotionally moving video and profile about their “art of aging” work. I am especially touched by their artwork depicting people growing older in love together — the images really show how our soul’s love for one another can deepen and ripen through age.
We also have an exceptional piece from our dear friend and faculty member Deborah Rozman of HeartMath about how our heart’s intelligence affects the quality of our aging experience. Summit speaker Dr. Karen Lincoln reminds us of the social and economic realities facing many baby boomers, all the more reason for us to be conscious and politically active throughout our lives.
Dr. Larry Dossey submitted a piece that adds a scientific perspective on the spiritual belief that our souls do in fact reincarnate - VERY fascinating! I find the combination of conscious aging and reincarnation to be a profound opportunity for reflection - yes, we are souls and it is important that we discover, develop and express our deepest essence, wisdom and love, for that is what we will carry from life to life, not the positions, degrees and honors we accumulate.
In other parts of this issue, we feature Growing Together for Shift Philanthropy, a beautiful initiative in Oakland that can be adapted around the world to foster stronger ties in community. Our Featured Artist is Ibeyi, a group with strong afro-cuban influences. Their music video “River” is a beautiful original and mystical piece. It also is a reminder that we have World Water Day coming up on March 22.
I also want to point out that Barbara Marx Hubbard’s wheel of co-creation is the inspiration for an upcoming conference — Building the New World (see Movement News). Barbara will be a featured speaker, along with Dot Maver, our very own Philip Hellmich and numerous luminaries. A big congratulations to Shift community member Laura George and her team for organizing this profound experience! I encourage you to join in person if you can — the conference is located in beautiful rural Virginia in May 2015!
by Alice & Richard Matzkin. A couple, both artists, take a penetrating look at aging through a series of projects that confront their fear and curiosity about growing old. (Alice & Richard are featured in the Transforming Aging Summit and in the Member Profile.)
In recent years, a host of psychological and biological research has been adding its voice to the age-old wisdom of the world's spiritual traditions in emphasizing the importance of belief and attitude in determining how our lives unfold. Let's look at two very different beliefs about aging . . . [read more]
What does ‘transforming’ aging really mean? Is it transforming the treatment of age-related disorders and extending physical life? Is it preventing age-related conditions and improving quality of life?
A lot of people are asking these questions, especially those of us who are baby boomers as well as anyone concerned that the cost of health care will rise tremendously as baby boomers age . . . [read more]
A rising tide lifts all boats. This idiom, typically referring to the economy, suggests that a good outcome will benefit all. There has been much debate about whether economic growth benefits the rich, middle class and poor, equally. But, what if the debate was framed differently? Can policies that benefit the poor also benefit those who are better off?
There are over 6 million seniors who live in poverty in the U.S. and those numbers will rise as boomers age, and the impact of the economic recession and rising health-care costs is realized.
Birthmarks and Reincarnation By Larry Dossey, MD (First published in Explore Journal.)
After your death you will be what you were before your birth.
— Arthur Schopenhauer
Birthmarks are common, occurring in up to 80% of infants. Many fade with time, while others persist. Parents in Western cultures often refer to them as angel kisses, stork bites, or other cute terms that are intended to diminish the concern of the affected child.
The Art of Aging
We are Alice Matzkin, 75, portrait painter, and Richard Matzkin, 72, sculptor.
As we entered our middle age we became disturbed by the increasing signs of aging we were experiencing — wrinkles, bulges, grey hair, etc. Being artists, we began our personal odyssey by using our gift of art (instead of a psychiatrist’s couch) as a vehicle to come to terms with our fear and curiosity about the process of aging, growing old and dying — and ultimately, fulfill our desire to live positive and meaningful lives. Over a period of almost two decades, we produced an impressive body of work — over 60 paintings and sculptures — and wrote a beautiful dual award winning art/inspirational book entitled, The Art of Aging: Celebrating the Authentic Aging Self.
Pema Chödrön – New Course: We all get triggered from time to time, hooked in habitual reactions and emotional spinning. When caught, we can feel so stuck, unsure of where to turn. Receive a free 37-minute video teaching by Pema Chödrön and learn more about The Freedom to Choose Something Different, an 8-part online video course offering effective and practical tools and techniques for working with our triggers and difficult emotions, while cultivating profound levels of peace, compassion, and inner freedom. To learn more, click here.
Off the Grid, Into the Heart– A groundbreaking meditation CD for those on the move, by Sister Jenna. As technology continues to accelerate our lives, sitting still and reflecting on what matters most can be difficult. We bring so much more to our experiences and relationships when we make time to think in a powerful way. Those who are busiest are the ones who are most in need of a break. Off the Grid, Into the Heart offers those moving at a steady pace in life a chance to step inside the heart, even as the busy scenes continue. Off the Grid will magically return us to our inner world, where true power always resides. Off the Grid, Into the Heart is about moving us into meditation while staying on the move. To learn more, click here. (Sister Jenna is an esteemed member of the Summer of Peace Wisdom Council.)
New Film screenings of Awake: The Life of Yogananda are taking place in Theaters across the United States and Canada. To find a showing near you or to arrange for a screening, click here. (The filmmakers were interviewed in the Summer of Peace, the recording is available for free.)
The Alliance for Peacebuilding Update: "The Institute for Economics and Peace has been recognized as one of the top 15 most influential Think Tanks in the world, according to the 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index. We are truly thrilled that a member's crucial work in peace metrics, peace economics, country risk analysis and positive peace is seeing significant uptake by the wider community!"
The Nonviolence Handbook by Michael Nagler is now available on audible.com. If one subscribes with it as her/his first purchase Metta gets a nice "bonus." Wonderful way to learn nonviolence basics and support Metta. My only suggestion is, don't listen to it while you're driving! Life is too precious. To learn more, click here. (Michael Nagler is an esteemed member of the Summer of Peace Wisdom Council.)
The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence commences for the 18th consecutive year on January 30, 2015 in cities across the globe. The annual 64 day campaign, co-founded in 1998 by Dr. Arun Gandhi and The Association for Global New Thought, is an educational, media and grassroots awareness campaign spanning the January 30 and April 4 memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To learn how you, your family, school and/or place of worship can participate, click here.
World Premier: Rooted in Peace – Sedona International Film Festival, Feb. 24 & 27, 2015. Today we are at war within ourselves, with our environment, and with the world. Director and award-winning filmmaker Greg Reitman invites viewers on a film journey to take notice of the world we live in, proactively seek ways to find personal and ecological peace, and stop the cycle of violence. The film relies not only on memoir, but also interviews with such luminaries and activists as Deepak Chopra, music legends Donovan, Mike Love, and Pete Seeger, film director David Lynch, Noble Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, green architect William McDonough, neuroscientist Dan Siegel and many others. For ticket information, click here. To watch the trailer, click here.
The Economics of Happiness – An International Conference – Portland, Oregon February 27 – March 1, 2015 — Join to discuss, discover and devise better systems for now and the future. Get involved in a new project. Find out how to make your work more effective. Link up with local initiatives. Debate the details. Explore new policies. Deconstruct the old. See the connections. Articulate solutions. Get engaged in creating new economy — one that works for people and the planet! To learn more, click here. Praxis Peace Institute: Seminars Abroad – Mondragon, Spain – May 10–16, 2015 — Praxis Peace Institute will bring its 6th group to Mondragón and the Basque Country. If you have not yet experienced this extraordinary movement and culture, and are feeling a bit depressed by all the discordant strife in mainstream culture, come to Mondragón with us and be inspired by what the human spirit is capable of — and, be motivated to make these changes in your own communities. Details on our website: click here.
The Alliance for Peacebuilding – 2015 Annual Conference – Peacebuilding and Democracy in a Turbulent World – May 13 to 15, 2015 – Washington, DC — Issues of governance, legitimacy, fragility, and disenfranchisement underlie many conflicts raging around the world, including ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Ebola in West Africa and with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that ebbs and flows without a clear path to resolution. The peacebuilding and governance/democracy communities recognize the need to work together. The conference will explore the links between these fields, and will help build bridges in both theory and practice to take on today’s most complex global crises. Registration coming soon. Look for updates – click here. For questions or concerns, contact Emily Mallozzi, Membership & Outreach Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Building The New World Conference – Hosted by Radford University in Radford, Virginia May 28–31, 2015. BTNW is based on the “Wheel of Co-Creation” designed by Barbara Marx Hubbard, founder of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. Barbara Marx Hubbard will open the conference and other evolutionary speakers include: Jerome Glenn, Dr. h.c. mult.: Executive director of The Millennium Project, Grandmother Mona Polacca: Member of the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, Charles Eisenstein: Noted author and philosopher, Glen T. Martin Ph. D.: Provisional President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association, Yuval Ron: Internationally renowned “Peace Musician,” Dot Maver, Ph. D.: Project Director with Kosmos Associates, Philip Hellmich: Director of Peace at The Shift Network and many more! To learn more, click here.
Permaculture School: Design Ecology & Living Skills is a year-long ecological learning journey that begins with a 12-week residency and Permaculture Certification in Asheville, NC; May 23–August 14. 30 students will be accepted who want to build their Permaculture projects, pathways, and careers. Gain skills in: systems design; water retention landscapes; generative food sheds and perennial agriculture; natural building; energy efficient design; mapping and modeling; personal leadership and business; botany and herbalism; nature awareness and more. You will be supported to skill up and achieve your personal goals that you craft during your residency, with follow up courses and mentorship calls. Early Bird Discounts, partial work trades & scholarships are available. Details and registration: E-mail - click here. Website: click here.
Nibi Water Gathering– A Gathering of All Nations – June 4 and 5, 2015 - Ogimakamik Lodge of Leadership at Turtle Lodge – On the Shores of Lake Winnipeg – Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba, Canada. We are making an International Call to attend the Nibi Water Gathering at the Turtle lodge, on the Shores of Lake Winnipeg, one of our most endangered lakes, where the four rivers meet. At the Water Ceremony the Original People of Turtle Island (North America) will formally establish their leadership. The Nibi Water Gathering will coincide with the honouring of leaders in Earth stewardship, those who have been spiritually guided in their leadership, and the honouring of Youth completing their rites of passage to adulthood. It is our hope that People of all cultures will attend and make their gifts and offerings to the Water! For More Information, Please Click Here. Watch YouTube video on the Gathering Here.
Campaign Nonviolence National Conference – Santa Fe, New Mexico – August 6–9, 2015. Presentations, nonviolence workshop, and vigils at Los Alamos on the 70th anniversary of the nuclear age. Featured speakers include James Lawson, Erica Chenoweth, Roshi Joan Halifax, John Dear, Kathy Kelly, Lennox Yearwood, Jr, Kit Evans-Ford, Medea Benjamin, and Ken Butigan. To learn more, click here.
Praxis Peace Institute: Cuba — Nov. 29 – Dec. 6, 2015 — Praxis Peace Institute, in conjunction with Cuba Educational Travel has prepared a spectacular program for our travelers. Lecture and Discussions with Cuban economists, historians, and journalists at Havana University and the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy. Visit agricultural cooperatives, organicfarms, and meet locals in their homes, and much more. Details and to Register: click here. Praxis Peace Institute: DVDs & CD — The Economics of Sustainability Conference in 2014 offered some of the best ideas and examples of how we can co-create and live on a sustainable planet. DVDs and Audio CDs of all presentations are available from Praxis Peace Institute, including Gar Alperovitz, Ellen Brown, David Korten, George Lakoff, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Osprey Orielle Lake and many others. A complete list of titles is on the Order form on our website. www.praxispeace.org
World Peace Library – Free Resource — Be sure to take advantage of the World Peace Library, a wide-ranging resource on peace newly compiled by the Shift Network: It contains more than 300 inspiring talks and mini-workshops from individuals such as Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, James O'Dea, Karen Armstrong, Chief Phil Lane and many more. With neuroscientists and lamas, faith-based activists and political leaders, this Library offers something for all in their peacebuilding efforts. The Shift Network has made the World Peace Library a free resource for all and encourages its use to promote peace in your families, schools, and wider community.
1 Billion Acts of Peace — a global community of everyday people performing thoughtful actions that contribute to world peace. The Shift Network is delighted to join Peacejam Foundation, Google, Wells Fargo, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and many others have come together to create the "One Billion Acts of Peace" Campaign — an international global citizens' movement designed to tackle the most important problems facing our planet. To learn more, click here.
Together with a loved one, reflect on Ron Pevny’s Ten Critical Questions for Our Journey of Aging as outlined in his Featured Article – click here.
Applying Body Intelligence: 7 Ways to Transform Your Relationships & Manifestation Powers — A Free Online Event With Bestselling Authors & Body Awareness Pioneers
Katie & Gay Hendricks.
Are you ready to experience more flow, energy and harmony in life, especially in the realms of creating fulfilling relationships and manifesting your most heartfelt dreams? If so, the solution may lie in a new relationship with your body!
February 25, 2015 at 5:30pm Pacific
The Christ Path: A 7-Week Journey to Awaken and Embody Christ Consciousness — An unprecedented opportunity to discover the priceless jewels hidden within the depths of esoteric Christianity and to create the inner transformation that unites heaven and earth.
With Pioneering Contemporary Spiritual Teacher and Internationally Renowned Scholar-Activist Andrew Harvey.
New Session Starts Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015
• Transforming Aging Summit
• HeartMath 7-week course
• Ron Pevny 7-week course
• Mark Matousek 7-week course
• Michael Gelb 7-week course
• Ken Page 10-week course
• Patricia Ellsberg 24-week intensive
• Earth Day Summit
• Shelly Lefkoe 7-week course
• David Crow 7-week course
• Tim Kelley 7-week course
• Gay Hendricks 7-week course
• Miranda Macpherson 14-week course
• Andrew Harvey & Sally Kempton 6-month intensive
• Terry Patten 8-month intensive
• Inspiring Woman Summit
• Politics of Love and Justice Summit
• Oscar Miro-Quesada 7-week course
• Margaret Paul 7-week course
• Robert Moss 7-week course
• Luisah Teish 8-week course
• Rabbi Michael Lerner & Cat Zavis 10-week course
• Andrew Harvey 9-month intensive
Growing Together — The Shift Network is delighted to be a supporter of Growing Together, an organization that facilitates “the growing of food and community through neighbors joining together to plant fruit trees at community centers and in the yards of homes in the San Francisco East Bay.” The Growing Together team sees fruit trees as an instrument of peace and prosperity in their neighborhoods. They provide the fruit trees and necessary education at no cost and help in planting and long term maintenance and the residents care for the trees and share the fruit. It is a wonderful project that can be adapted in many communities around the world. To learn more about Growing Together, click here.
Ibeyi (which means twins in the Yoruba language) are 19 year old french cuban twins, Naomi and Lisa Kainde Diaz. They sing songs of the Yoruba culture, in both English and Yoruba. Naomi plays Cajon and Batas, Afro-Cuban percussion instruments, while LIsa plays piano. Their self titled, debut album is richly spiritual, referencing various orishas (manifestations of God) and paying homage to their late father, famed Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz, and late older sister. "River" is a personal and popular favorite, inviting us to wash our souls clean of pains and complaints, ego and blame. Listen to River by clicking here. To learn more about Ibeyi, click here.