By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
In this edition of Catalyst, we are celebrating the launch of the Plant Medicine Summit(March 19 to 23), hosted by our good friend, David Crow. Watch and listen here to David’s heartfelt invitation to you to register for this historic summit.
This FREE summit features a global gathering of leading ecological experts, health practitioners, and inspiring educators who will be exploring the intersection of medicine, ecology, and spirituality in the plant kingdom.
What’s clear is that so many of the solutions we need to create a healthy, vibrant, thriving life on this planet are already available to us in the form of medicinal plants. And on a subtler level, shifting our relationship with the plant kingdom to one of respect, honoring, and partnership offers a profound rewiring.
More than 71,000 people have already signed up to receive inspiring, practical plant medicine wisdom and to transform their relationship with the natural world. To register, click here.
Our modern society is only now waking up to what our ancestors knew about the plant kingdom. For millennia, people the world over have used whatever was immediately accessible to heal themselves — botanical treatments, healing tinctures, and medicinal remedies from herbs, flowers, and other flora.
We hope you enjoy this fascinating, information-packed issue. And we’d love to hear your answer to the question, What impresses or inspires you the most about the plant world? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.
Welcome to everyone. I'm David Crow, and this is an invitation to join me for the third annual Plant Medicine Telesummit.
Each year for the last three years, the summit has grown exponentially and is now one of the largest online gatherings of herbalists, naturopaths, clinicians, researchers, educators, and environmentalists working in the field of botanical medicine.
The use of plant-based medicine has exploded in the last few years. This is a natural and expected response to the limitations and side effects of pharmaceutical medicine. It's also a response to the growing interest, need, and demand for medicine that is nourishing, rejuvenative, immune boosting, and vitalizing, as well as medicine that is detoxifying, purifying, and cleansing.
To watch the video and read the rest of the text, click here.
Would you like to explore the step-by-step process to safely awaken the divine power within you? Our newest faculty, Raja Choudhury, will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on awakening your Kundalini on Tuesday, March 13, at Noon Pacific.
Please join Raja to hear the most pressing questions about Kundalini from the Shift community — and ask anything you'd like! Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.
Irma Caisamo was interviewed live at the Indigenous Summit of the Americas (Cumbre de Abya Yala) in Panama City, Panama, in 2015 for the Global Indigenous Wisdom Summit.
An accomplished Emberá healer and mother of 10 from the jungle of Panama, Irma learned about healing from her mother and grandparents. They taught her to talk to the Creator and talk to the plants — and listen to them! In this wonderful 37-minute talk, she shares many details about what it means to be Emberá and about her healing work. She also shares an important message for the world: that we’re all children of the Creator without distinction of race, and that we need to love ourselves and all of nature. Indigenous people, she says, are the ones who will save the rest of the world by teaching people how to live in harmony with nature.
To listen to Irma Caisamo’s interview, click here.
In this exclusive 32-minute video interview for Catalyst, popular Shift faculty Mark Matousek shares insights and lessons about adversity from his book, When You’re Falling, Dive.
This is one of the great blessings of catastrophe, of crisis, is that it reshuffles our values. What ends up coming up on top is never about competition, it's never about status, it's never about making it or outward shows of success, it's always about love. It's always about love in some form or other. That's the beauty of going through crisis — it strips off the unnecessary, it strips off the superficial, and it puts us in touch with our deeper core values.
If you talk to anybody who has been through a situation like that, they'll tell you afterward you have less tolerance for the BS in your life. You're not willing to put up with the same level of aggravation. You focus on reducing the stress in your life rather than holding onto old tense difficult situations. In terms of relationships, you may find yourself unwilling to tolerate the conflict of certain relationships in your life that don't really feed you nor are you good for the other person in, but you weren't willing to give up before the crisis itself happened.
Join The Shift Network, The Gaiafield Project, and people around the world for Global Shift Meditations on the first of each month. On March 1, we featured Sarah McCrum, a coach for leaders and business owners whose topic was “Relax: A Powerful Response in Times of Great Change.” Click here to listen to the free recording and to register to receive future free recordings.
For millennia, mystics and saints have stated that the normal energy in your body is to Kundalini energy what a candle flame is to the sun. It is through Kundalini, the ancient ones said, that your spirit gloriously merges with Spirit, when you become a bridge between Heaven and Earth.
The sheer power of that union is beyond our imagining. The Bhagavad Gita, the holiest of ancient Hindu scriptures, states that experiencing this divine connection is like seeing the explosion of a thousand suns in the sky.
Before you can glimpse the brilliance of those thousand suns, says spiritual teacher Raja Choudhury, the Kundalini energy first needs to awaken the three suns in your own body, which correspond to your seven chakra centers….
In the following 9-minute video, Raja celebrates the sun, literally and figuratively, as it relates to the transformative Kundalini awakening.
Click here for more information about Raja’s brand new 7-week live video training, Awakening Your Kundalini: A Step-by-step Process to Liberate the Divine Power Within, which begins on Tuesday, March 20.
Imagine feeling as vibrant as you did when you were in your twenties… Wouldn’t it be great to feel that strong, healthy, and youthful again, as if the world was yours for the taking?
The good news is — no, make that the great news — you can strengthen your body and rejuvenate your immune system by optimizing your life force energy through the practice of Qigong.
In the following video, Master Mingtong Gu, one of the world’s pre-eminent teachers of Qigong — shows you how to activate your Qi (or chi) energy within every cell to energize, heal, and rejuvenate your entire body.
Click here for more information about Master Gu’s new 7-week live video training, Qigong for Rejuvenating Your Immune System: Sound Healing and Movement for Clearing Disease & Enjoying Radiant Health, which begins on Tuesday, March 13.
Soma From the book, In Search of the Medicine Buddha By David Crow
I am floating, lost among the sky's reflections somewhere on Lake Fewa. Machapuchare's snow-draped peak is close, the fertility goddess watching over us, looking down as my tiny boat glides across the water. Waves of ferns fall from the mountainsides above, reaching the water's edge to brush against my outstretched hand. Dragonflies with fragile wings of painted velvet hang from heart-shaped creepers, and butterflies navigate invisible air currents.
Along the water, herbs are growing in abundance. Climbers and shrubs compete for space, weaving leaves of yellows and greens into layers of living colors, starburst flowers hiding in their shade. Dr. Tiwari would know them all, of course, having documented them here in the Gorkha district. I hear echoes of his voice as he happily recites their Latin, Nepali, and common names.
I am fortunate to have studied with a modern-day sage of Vedic knowledge, my Guru, my grandfather and teacher, Baba Ayodhya Nath, whom I simply refer to as Baba. It is a generic name, spoken affectionately, in the same way that in the West, we might call someone Grandpa. Baba is also the title used all over India to address holy people. Perhaps these mystics, sages, and seers are known as Baba because they are collectively regarded as India’s spiritual elders.
Baba was born in 1900 in northern India, in the family of a renowned Hindu saint, Vedic teacher, and Yogi with an uninterrupted lineage going back untold years. Baba overcame early childhood disease and went on to live 90 remarkably healthy years, impacting his community with his spiritual radiance, charismatic leadership, profound Vedic knowledge, and social service.
The sacred prayers and wisdom of Indigenous peoples who have always known that how we decide to manage water will determine whether our future is peaceful or perilous, are finally being heard and acted upon, as groups under the guidance of Indigenous elders seek to legally protect water across the planet.
Water has been abused for far too long, but now people are starting to treat water like Indigenous custodians have for aeons — as a living being. Around the world, many people are standing up for the rights of bodies of water.
The tsunami is building now. Have you noticed? I am not referring to the geo-political and planetary turmoil happening all around us. I am talking about the grassroots shift in consciousness that is being accelerated by the turmoil (which is its only purpose, by the way).
When I first started meditating in the 70s, I was the weird one in my family and amongst my peers. Now there are meditation rooms in corporate offices and mindfulness classes taught at elementary schools. Really big changes in just 40 years!
A personal invitation from Shift Network founders Stephen Dinan and Devaa Haley Mitchell
We’re excited to be coming to New York this week for the UN Commission on the Status of Women & Girls.
As a special offering to our Shift community, we’re creating an event on Wednesday, March 14, at Deepak HomeBase in ABC Carpet & Home, an incredibly beautiful venue!
It’s called “Reuniting Feminine & Masculine in the Era of #MeToo: Spiritual Pathways to Personal Healing and Cultural Evolution.” As our cultural shadows of sexual predation and oppression keep coming to light, we will look at how we can find our way beyond the wounds to a whole, healthy, and sacred relationship between women and men, as well as feminine and masculine qualities in each of us.
The event will include Shift faculty members Rabbi David Ingber and Mark Matousek, as well as Tony-award winning actress Tonya Pinkins and renaissance songstress Kristin Hoffmann. There will be time to mingle over drinks and socialize with us and other Shift folks.
Click here to get all the details and register (please register in advance as it may sell out).
We’re also helping to sponsor a panel the previous day, on which Devaa will appear, called “Women/Girls and Media: Power, Storytelling, and #MeToo.” Get all the details here. You can attend, no RSVP necessary, from 2:30pm to 4:00pm at 4 West 43rd Street in the Social Hall.
Telling a more feminine story of Easter through sacred rituals, Scholars, and sacred music, featuring Priestess Christy Michaels, Kayleen Asbo, Diane Melchizedek, Rev. Irene Laudeman, Denise Ruelas, Christine Tulis, Dan Craig-Morse and many more, including The Shift Network’s Devaa Haley Mitchell and Stephen Dinan.
For information, call (415) 879-0155 or click here.
This free website allows you to safely and anonymously send loving-kindness blessings and healing thoughts in ever-widening circles: to friends, strangers, and troubled places in today’s news. The suggested universal blessing and its recipient are both randomly selected, with the “sender” seeing only a photo of the recipient’s face and their general location. The recipient receives a notice that they’ve received a kindness blessing, but only the first name of the sender. Click here to visit the website and send a blessing.
Join Dharma Teacher Dawa Tarchin Phillips on a special 30-day pilgrimage around the world to the 7 chakras of our planet. Designed with care and intention, this is the first time in history a pilgrimage around the world and through the 7 chakras of our planet is offered to the public. The intention of this journey is to experience the sacredness of our planet beyond the usual divisions and separateness, and to awaken to the unifying consciousness that connects all life on Earth. Click here for all the details and to discover how you can be a part of this Incredible journey.
For several years, The Shift Network has hosted Indigenous leaders from around the world and invited them to share their sacred knowledge, rituals, and practices to guide us in a way of living that is sustainable, healthy, and just. We’re thus delighted that the Global Indigenous Wisdom Library makes this “virtual council” of leaders and their wisdom available for everyone, everywhere for free. The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a collection of audio and video interviews featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world sharing prayers, sacred songs, prophecies, spiritual teachings, and pathways to healing, as well as concrete examples for birthing a new era — one in which all members of the human family are treated with respect, understanding, compassion, and justice. This sacred wisdom is important medicine for us all.
The production of The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a gift from The Shift Network, designed to inspire, inform, and involve you by highlighting the voices and important messages of Indigenous leaders from around the world. We want to give a heartfelt thanks to Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. (“Brother Phil”) for his partnership in helping create this Indigenous Wisdom collection. And we thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge. To discover more, click here.
Book by Stephen Dinan: Sacred America, Sacred World. Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World is a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World by Phil Bolsta of The Shift Network. Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that shows you how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to bring joy and vitality to your daily life. One reviewer called it “the owner’s manual God should give you when you’re born.” To order your copy, click here. To request a sample chapter from the author, email Phil at GodsEyes@me.com.
World Peace Library. Designed for the layperson and professional peacebuilder alike, the World Peace Library has over 425 audio and video interviews with some of the most remarkable, inspiring peacebuilders in the world available to you at NO COST. You’ll find hundreds of hours of inspirational, peacebuilding, compassion-spreading talks and trainings at your fingertips with this FREE global resource. There’s no way you can’t come away from the World Peace Library deeply inspired, transformed — and part of the solution. Click here to find out how to take peace to the next level — and help co-create a global culture of peace that leaves a legacy of good for our children, our children’s children and all of humanity and life on earth.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
In recognition of Bless the Water Day on March 22, challenge yourself to appreciate the sanctity of water as Indigenous peoples do. Think of water as life itself and as one body, cycling through all animals, plants, rivers, and streams before returning to the ocean and evaporating into rain. Ask yourself how shifting your perspective on water might affect your usage of it.
Awakening Your Kundalini: A Step-by-step Process to Liberate the Divine Power Within — With Filmmaker, Speaker, and Spiritual Teacher Raja Choudhury. Safely activate the evolutionary energy at the base of your spine to access unlimited consciousness to live in your bliss and evolve into a more beautiful, radiant soul while being fully engaged in the world. New 7-week Live Video Training Starts Tuesday, March 20, 2018
• Devaa Haley Mitchell 8-week course
• Grandmother Flordemayo 7-week course
• Jessica Dibb 11-week course
• Arjun Das 12-week course
• Energy Medicine Summit
• Deb Soule 7-week course
• Rabbi David Ingber 7-week course
• Sarah Marshank 7-week course
• José & Lena Stevens 7-week course
• Mirabai Starr 7-week course
• Donna Eden 12-week course
• Robert Thurman 7-week course
• Women's Money Summit
• Robert Moss 9-week course
• Linda Backman 5-month course
We are named after Ella Baker, a brilliant black hero of the civil rights movement. Following in her footsteps, we organize with Black, Brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment, and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong. In a world where resources are invested in growth and support instead of punishment and prisons, we will all be able to reach our full potential. Communities with more opportunity for everyone are safer, healthier, and more just for all.
Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.
By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy, or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a lifelong ambition.
100 percent of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors.
We envision a world where all people hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
Our Mission is to provide innovative health and wellness services to all, with the goal of African American health equity. In 2011 we became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to provide integrated healthcare to patients using Medi-Cal. In 2017 we became a Patient-Centered Medical Home to expand care and services.
MCHWC was founded in 2006 by a grassroots effort to provide culturally sensitive healthcare for residents of Marin City. Every day we see and deal with Social Determinants of Health — the reality that a patient’s zip code has a greater impact on wellbeing than their genetic code. Health and wealth are directly correlated, as are illness and poverty. Our services provide wraparound care to make people well.
Click here to visit the website and to make a donation.
The work of internationally renowned artist A. Andrew Gonzalez can be found in museums, galleries, and collections. He's known for the unique sculptural look of his paintings, as well as for their power to move and inspire the viewer.
The art of painting is usually an additive process, in which layer after layer builds an image. Gonzalez turns this on its head, using a subtractive process developed through years of trial and error. His technique involves a gesso-like surface, transparent paints and, most surprisingly, an array of erasers.
The artist describes his style as "a revival of the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic" and "mystical love poems to the soul." His focus is on the figure as both temple and vessel, sublimed by transformative forces. He captures his subjects suspended in an ecstatic moment; poised on the threshold of a new birth.
Shift Network staffer Phoenix SInger, who recommended that we feature Andrew, wrote, “His work to me is visionary, spiritual, and shamanic, and affects at a deep heart and high-consciousness level. Although he’s a man, a majority of his paintings seem to reflect feminine spirituality.”