By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
Throughout the ages, the relationship between spirituality and creativity has been understood by sages and artists alike.
As we learn to experience our higher Self, we can tap into the creative intelligence that is manifesting the entire universe — a source of unlimited power and innovation. We know when we are in this state of union because every cell of our body is ignited with prana, or life force. Our intuition is heightened and we have insights that go far beyond the limits of our mind and senses.
Being in “the flow” of creativity is a deeply spiritual and enlivening experience. We become instruments of creative intelligence inspiring new ideas, new art forms and new solutions. Creativity and spirituality are the dynamic engine of a universe manifesting itself.
The need for cultivating spirituality and creativity is all the more apparent today with global crisis (such as climate change, violent conflicts...) and everyday challenges (navigating personal relationships...). We need new perspectives to solve these problems. As Einstein said, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."
We are featuring a new film — A Fish Story — about what happens when we die. This truly inspiring film is available through our partners and friends at Spiritual Cinema Circle and Gaiam TV. To learn more, click here. (Also, see Headline Video, Featured Article and Partner Spotlight.)
We also have a deeply insightful article from our friend Guy Finley about accessing our Immortal Self. And, our other member profile and featured artist is Patrick Rawlings, a young musician who has a profound ability to express the spirit of Mother Earth through music. I highly recommend experiencing his I Am Earth Visual Music Meditation – click here.
Our Shift Philanthropy highlights the upcoming World Water Day – March 22. Created by the United Nations in 1993, this global celebration features events around the world. This year, we are partnering with UNIFY, UPLIFT and others in bringing attention to the importance of water in our daily lives — from the spiritual essence to the practical need for water to survive.
We will have an online World Water Day summit on March 22 preceded by a special edition of The Catalyst. You can find out more about World Water Day and how you can participate by going to UNIFY – click here. We’ll have an online Summit with spiritual leaders such as Michael Bernard Beckwith, Swamiji Chidananda Saraswati, and Sequoyah Trueblood, as well as water scientists and activists, as well as Gregg Braden. Also, we are supporting a local initiative in Oakland to bless Lake Merritt. We encourage you to join UNIFY, UPLIFT and us in supporting this grassroots effort by joining this Indiegogo campaign – click here.
Finally, we are also thrilled to shine a light on Marianne Williamson's upcoming event Sister Giant taking place March 28–29 in Los Angeles and via live stream, including Sen. Bernie Saunders Dennis Kucinich, and Thom Hartman this year. (See Headline Video) We truly honor Marianne’s boldness in creatively expressing how each of us can embody deep spiritual wisdom in engaging the political process — a key part of being conscious global citizens. Go Sister!
After his sudden death, a devoted father's search for heaven brings him back to his distraught family and his wilderness fishing camp for a few precious days in the body of a wanted man. (A Fish Story is only available for a limited time. Activate your free trial of Spiritual Cinema Circle and Gaiam TV right now by clicking here. See article below for more information.)
There is no difference between the Creator and creation,
just as there is no difference between the ocean and its waves. —Amma, Indian saint
Throughout history geniuses have expressed their connection to a divine creator.
William Blake writes, "I myself do nothing. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me."
Johannes Brahms credits the source of his creativity: "Straightaway the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God."
Music legend Johnny Cash explains, "Creative people have to be fed from the divine source"
. . . [read more]
Every life is a work of fiction. That's what I tell my memoir students. People come to me wanting to tell their life story, the narrative that sums them up, the myth that captures their essence. They expect to find this story hiding inside them like one of Michelangelo's statues trapped inside the marble, fully formed and waiting to appear.
They're in for a big surprise, of course. Instead of finding the perfect story, they discover a crew of contradictory characters in search of a coherent author. There is no singular self there with a story that is set in stone. Realizing this is watershed moment in the process of self-realization. It is also why expressive writing is an unparalleled spiritual practice . . . [read more]
What happens when we die? What becomes of us when we are "dead?" It's a question every living person asks at some time or another, and the "answer" is central dogma to virtually every faith tradition and religion. But it's not just the faithful who are interested in the answer to this question. Scientists too have studied extensively "near death experiences," also known as NDE's. As might be expected, the conclusions of the researchers vary widely from the NDE experience as nothing but the brain's response to a lack of oxygen to solid proof that an afterlife exists . . [read more]
Attention: The ability to give our attention to something in order to realize — through that relationship — some quality or character within ourselves of which we were unaware only the moment before . . . [read more]
All my life I have been on a quest for a state of being where boundaries dissolve, time stops, and there is a sense of spaciousness, deep peace, and profound well being. My separated, sometimes anxious self seems to disappear into a vast field of light and love.
I have been seeking this experience ever since I lost my beloved mother, who died of breast cancer at the age of thirty-three on the eve of my sixth birthday. Despite having three older siblings and a devoted but depressed father, I felt bereft beyond words and would cry myself to sleep every night for years . . [read more]
Sitting looking at the blank computer screen in front of me, I start to feel things. Not just ordinary things, but things that have no definition in any dictionary. Things that inspire and heal and change the very fabric of who we are down pass the core of ourselves to something that can only be described as Infinitely Beyond — Infinitely Beyond our languages, our cultures and our morals. Infinitely Beyond our moon and sun, out past all the bright lights we see in the night sky, out past even the things we can't see but are surely there. When I feel these things I translate them into songs… Songs filled with notes, chords, rhythms, dynamics, modes and keys… Songs that carry with them that Infinitely Beyond. This music nourishes our planet and all of creation through energy, intention, healing frequencies, and other forces more advanced and loving than we could ever imagine
. . . [read more]
JOIN US on March 22 for World Water Day with a series of free events to #LoveWater. 1:00–5:30pm PST — The Shift Network #LoveWater Telesummit; 5:30–7:00pm PST — UPLIFT #LoveWater Global Webcast; and, 6:00pm PST Unify #LoveWater Moment of Synchronization. To learn more and/or create an event in your city, visit: www.unify.org.
The Gaiafield Project and the Children of the Sun will sponsor two additional synchronized global meditations on water on March 20 and 21 — to learn more, click here.
Join March 18–21 in the upcoming free online Sustainable Small Farm Summit, an exciting gathering of 18 farmers and activists who are coming together to share valuable insights into the often neglected business side of farming. Our goal is to support new farmers and people transitioning into farming to become even more effective at creating financially viable farms. We hope you will join us on March 18–21. How do you envision your dream farm? What makes you prosperous? To learn more, click here.
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.)
Free Video This Week Only — As part of the worldwide release of Guy Finley's new book The Secret of Your Immortal Self: Key Lessons for Realizing the Divinity Within, we've made special arrangements for you to receive five free gifts from Guy, including his groundbreaking new full-length audio album The Golden Rule of Self-Realization. Here is the guiding wisdom and the simple practices you can use to begin living from your authentic Self. Connect with the Divine, open the doors to a new level of self-understanding, and find a guiding light that never fails you! Click here for details.
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.
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, click here
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.
Sit in meditation for an extended period of time, focused on "the witness" — the part of you that can witness thoughts, physical sensations, etc.... After meditation, write freely, allowing words to flow without any filtering. Do this practice on a regular basis and re-read the writings periodically to see what is emerging.
Four Keys To Freeing Your Soul Through Writing — A Free Online Event with Bestselling Author and Teacher Mark Matousek.
One of the world's most respected spiritual authors, journalists and memoir teachers shares his three decades of secrets about how to engage your writing — from memoir to private journals — as a potent daily spiritual practice. Wednesday, March 18, 2015 5:30pm Pacific
Activating Your Heart's Intelligence — Your heart possesses a powerful intelligence with the capacity to heal and energize your body, mind and spirit — and when you learn the methods of heart coherence you can actually harness this power.
With HeartMath Pioneers Howard Martin, Deborah Rozman & Sheva Carr.
New Training Starts Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
• 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
• Enneagram Global Summit
• Summer of Peace
• Stan Grof 7-week course
• Devaa Haley Mitchell 7-week course
• Sheva Carr 7-week course
• Enneagram 10-week course
• Tim Kelley 6-month intensive
World Water Day — The Shift Network is delighted to support the upcoming World Water Day on March 22 in partnership with UPLIFT, UNIFY and many other partners. The Shift Network is both a financial co-sponsor and production partner, as we are producing a special online summit. Water is life. It is vital that we all develop a sacred relationship with water and raise our awareness of how we are with water throughout the day. To create and/or participate in live water blessing events, click here. We also are supporting a local initiative in Oakland to have a blessing of Lake Merritt. We encourage you to join an Indiegogo campaign to support this grassroots effort – click here.
Spiritual Cinema Circle is the home of uplifting stories from independent filmmakers that inspire love and compassion, spiritual films that connect us with the world around us. To learn more, click here.
I first met Patrick Rawlings at an intergenerational meditation retreat. Patrick stood out because of his presence, vibrancy and youthfulness. Patrick recently came to The Shift Network's office and shared with us his video – I Am Earth Visual Music Meditation. The light and presence experienced by watching the video transported me into a profound state of deep peace and connection with the Earth. Patrick is clearly "plugged" into Spiritual Source and through his music he is providing opportunities for all of us to experience our true Self in union with the Spirit of Mother Earth. What I greatly appreciate about Patrick is that he spends considerable time simply "being with the Earth" and then allowing the inspiration to flow through his music. (See Member Profile). Patrick represents a new generation of musicians who are concerned about the world and who are inspiring personal transformation and positive action. His creations have been described as "hip, progressive, intriguing, inspirational, ahead of their time and from the heart." Patrick is clearly an emerging voice for the Earth at a time when we need to live in balance with Her. To experience Patrick's I Am Earth Visual Music Meditation, click here. To learn more about Patrick and his Earth Sound Media, click here.