The Well of Light January 2010

In This Issue

Letter from Michael

Upcoming Events
David Whyte, Poet and Author

Moving Meditation News
Important Changes for Moving Meditation
   Classes & Schedule
Safety Guidelines for Moving-Meditation Classes

Movie of the Month
Fierce Light: A Film by Velcrow Ripper

Daido Loori: Seeing with the Whole Body and Mind
State of the World Forum:
   2020 Climate Leadership Campaign
'How Bad For The Environment Can Throwing Away
   One Plastic Bottle Be?' 30 Million People Wonder
U.S. Feeds One Quarter of its Grain to Cars
   While Hunger is on the Rise
Essay: Money and the Turning of the Age


Upcoming Shows On Conversations

Listen 24/7 at
Live Streaming Tuesdays at 1pm PST

Nightline: Great Pacific Garbage Dump is a graveyard
   of toxic plastic
Dalai Lama: Inner Peace, Happiness, God and Money
Women Waking the World

In Memory of Howard Zinn

Thanks to YES! Magazine

A Call To Action
Donate to Conversations
Blog newsletter sign up

Seva Team

Poetry Corner
I Love the Dark Hours — Rainer Maria Rilke

Listen to Podcasts from this issue's newsletter:

Joanna Macy: The Great Turning

James Hoggan: Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming

Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman: Shamanic Journeying

Richard Heinberg: Peak Everything

"The Divine Feminine in Action"

The quality of our lives depends not on whether or not we have conflicts, but on how we respond to them.
— Thomas Crum

There is a strange phenomenon in life. It seems that whenever we make a commitment to take on new behavior in our lives, the universe will test us. I made a conscious commitment to embrace and practice aspects of the Divine Feminine in my daily life as a result of attending a powerful woman’s conference called Passion to Action here in Grass Valley. For me these practices include loving, nurturing, listening, communicating, receiving, collaborating, serving, resolving conflict, having compassion for others, honoring diversity and surrendering to what is...

Speakers at See Jane Do's "Passion Into Action" conference

The very next day I started putting together our Sunday Sweat Your Prayers with the theme of honoring and invoking these qualities in ourselves and seeing them in others. Conscious movement is a powerful form of prayer that can open us up to a flood of emotion, sensation and bring up a cacophony of thoughts from the past as we move into a deeper sense of presence and awareness… The outcome of engaging in this process can be very deep, tender and heart opening, and can leave people feeling very vulnerable, exposed and a bit uncomfortable since it is not our common condition.

Whenever you see darkness, there is extraordinary opportunity for the light to
burn brighter.

– Bono

Read the entire letter from Michael here.

Declaration of Interdependence

We the people of the earth community commit ourselves to the creation of a peaceful, just and sustainable transition of our societies to a form that will ensure the rights of all life and the lives of future generations. We commit ourselves to taking the necessary actions that will bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet. We recognize that we are the world that is awakening to both the fact and the opportunity of our mutual interdependence....

To read and sign our Declaration of Interdependence, click here.
To download the Declaration, click here.

Upcoming Events

David Whyte, Poet, Author
April 17, 2010, 10 am to 4pm
Presented by The Well of Light
    and Insight Lecture Series

Spend a whole day with David, exploring our personal and profound ability to make ourselves large enough, brave enough and generous enough for the triumphs and difficulties needed to live even the most ordinary human life. David is a captivating best-selling, sought-after speaker who brings a unique contribution to our understanding of the nature of individual change. He is the author of six volumes of poetry and three books of prose.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Moving Meditation News

Important Changes for Moving Meditation Classes & Schedule

As of this Sunday, February 7th, we are changing the times for our Sunday Sweat Your Prayers to:

9am – Entry cut off 9:45 am
11am – Entry cut off 11:45 am
Fridays are still 5:15 – 7:15 pm

In the past we’ve had to turn people away from the second Sunday dance because it has been too crowded. We limit attendance to 75 for safety reasons. With the later times, it is our hope that more of you will attend the first Sunday and create a more balanced Sunday showing where no one is turned away.

As of Friday, February 5th we will be going to 90-day discount dance cards to replace our current pre-paid dance cards. A pre-paid dance card for 5 dances is $60. For those of you who have taken advantage of pre-paying for dance credits, we will have your cards ready for you on Friday. You do not have to purchase a card in order to dance and can pay our regular cash price of $15. We ask for your patience during this transition period while signing in. You help us by letting other dancers know of these changes.

PLEASE NOTE: You will be responsible for bringing your cards to each dance so please put them in a convenient place to remember such as a wallet or in your car. We will not be responsible for lost cards, and if you forget your card, the regular cash price for dance is $15. Please remember that these cards have a 90 day expiration and we suggest that you don’t pre-pay for more dances than you can attend in 90 days.

Thank you for your ongoing participation and support...
Michael and Torrie

Safety Guidelines for Moving-Meditation Classes

It is our desire that you can explore your dance as freely and fully as possible. Please help us consider the safety of everyone in the dance field by practicing these guidelines.

Awareness, sensitivity and respect: We share a dance space that is often quite full of bodies dancing close together. By cultivating awareness and sensitivity towards what is going on around you and how your dancing interacts with that of others, we can create a dance space that is safe and fosters deeply moving meditation.

Rolling on the Floor: In our practice, we start from a profound connection with the earth that supports us. However, when the space is crowded, rolling around on the floor with others takes up a lot of space and can endanger others. Please be respectful with the amount of space you are taking up and how you are impacting others. If you are on the floor, be on the edges of the dance floor, not near the center of the space.

Limbs in the air: Please be aware of where your arms and legs are moving and keep your feet on or near the floor. We need your help and partnership in considering the safety of everyone and the whole field, rather than only our own preferences.

Boundaries: When making physical contact with others, please be respectful and careful of their boundaries, and mindful of the fact that many people have a hard time expressing their boundaries clearly. Check out if your touch is welcome and err on the safe side. If someone makes contact with you and you don’t want it, give him or her a clear signal or turn away. If you see something that makes you really uncomfortable, address the dancer or your teacher about it. Overt sexual behavior and unwelcome touch are not welcome during the dance.

5Rhythms is a Practice: Please know that this is an awareness practice. Greater depth is available when you actually surrender the theme that is presented. Turning your resistance into a dance is a way of consciously participating. By surrendering to the practice and following the guidelines and instructions you will find a vast field of awareness to explore which can lead to profound healing and insight.

Thank you for helping us co-create a safe and supportive environment for full self-expression and deepening awareness of our interconnection with each other and all life.

Michael Stone and Maxima Kahn

New Podcasts

Click here to view the Podcasts page, and to listen to the following podcasts:

Richard Heinberg: Peak Everything
Richard Heinberg is one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators. He is the author of eight books, journalist, editor, lecturer, a Core Faculty member of New College of California where he teaches a program on "Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Community," and a Research Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. His latest book is Peak Everything: Waking up to a Century of Decline.

Joanna Macy: The Great Turning
Joanna is a Buddhist Scholar, Systems Theorist, Ecologist, Teacher, and Activist.

Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman: Shamanic Journeying

Sandra Ingerman teaches workshops internationally on shamanic journeying, healing, and reversing environmental pollution using spiritual methods. She has trained and founded an international alliance of Medicine for the Earth Teachers and shamanic teachers. Sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern culture addressing the needs of our times. She is the author of numerous books on Shamanism.

Research paleoanthropologist Hank Wesselman is one of those rare cutting edge scientists who truly walks between the worlds. He has spent much of his life working among traditional tribal peoples, primarily in Africa and Polynesia. For the past 30 years, he has conducted research with an international group of scientists, exploring eastern Africa's Great Rift Valley in search of answers to the mystery of human origins. He is also a shaman in training, now in the 20th year of his apprenticeship. He is the author of many books including his latest, VISIONSEEKER.

Movie of the Month

Fierce Light: A Film by Velcrow Ripper

Review by Michael Stone

If you haven’t seen the movie FIERCE LIGHT by Velcrow Ripper I want to encourage you to get a copy today. It is available on NetFlix and other media outlets including the SYRCL office in Nevada City. Director Velcrow Ripper will be interviewed on Conversations in April.

FIERCE LIGHT continues the quest for a fusion between spirituality and activism previously explored in Velcrow Ripper's award-winning feature documentary ScaredSacred. The 2006 murder of friend and fellow media-activist Brad Will in protest-torn Oaxaca, Mexico, is the impetus for Ripper's journey, which takes him to the flash points of spiritual activism around the world, including Montgomery, Alabama; Robben Island, South Africa; Andrah, India; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and South Central Los Angeles, where a months-long protest against the razing of a vital community garden provides a highly dramatic spine for the wide-ranging film. En route, Ripper encounters a number of eloquent icons, including American Civil Rights legend Congressman John Lewis, actor turned activist Daryl Hannah, Nobel prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Alice Walker, Buddhist peace activist monk Thich Nhat Hahn, famed tree sitter Julia Butterfly Hill, and dharma punk, Noah Levine. For more information go to


Seeing with the Whole Body and Mind

Daido Loori
Upaya Institute and Zen Center

Whole body and mind seeing, as Master Dogen refers to it, is the total merging of subject and object, of seer and seen, of self and other. This is, essentially, the experience of enlightenment. In seeing with the whole body and mind one goes blind. In hearing with the whole body and mind one goes deaf. And there is no way to describe this state of consciousness. The Heart Sutra takes up whole body and mind seeing by saying what it is not: no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; no color, sound, smell, taste, touch, phenomena; no realm of sign, no realm of consciousness. But, as I said before, a person in such a state cannot function. He cannot get across the street without getting hit by a car, since he cannot differentiate between himself and the car.

To read the full article, click here.

State of the World Forum: 2020 Climate Leadership Campaign

Jim Garrison, President
State of the World Forum

Dear Friends,

I want to inform you that we have decided to postpone indefinitely the Washington conference Feb. 28 - Mar. 3. I apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you. There is simply not a critical mass of receptivity at this time for the kind of "Climate Summit" we have designed, which has emphasized an integral approach to climate change and the need for an “urgency coalition” to come together to take immediate and decisive action to resolve the climate crisis.

To read the full letter, click here.

'How Bad For The Environment Can Throwing Away One Plastic Bottle Be?' 30 Million People Wonder

The Onion

WASHINGTON—Wishing to dispose of the empty plastic container, and failing to spot a recycling bin nearby, an estimated 30 million Americans asked themselves Monday how bad throwing away a single bottle of water could really be.

"It's fine, it's fine," thought Maine native Sheila Hodge, echoing the exact sentiments of Chicago-area resident Phillip Ragowski, recent Florida transplant Margaret Lowery, and Kansas City business owner Brian McMillan, as they tossed the polyethylene terephthalate object into an awaiting trash can. "It's just one bottle. And I'm usually pretty good about this sort of thing."

"Not a big deal," continued roughly one-tenth of the nation's population.

To read the full article, click here.

U.S. Feeds One Quarter of its Grain to Cars While Hunger is on the Rise

Earth Policy Institute

The 107 million tons of grain that went to U.S. ethanol distilleries in 2009 was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels. More than a quarter of the total U.S. grain crop was turned into ethanol to fuel cars last year. With 200 ethanol distilleries in the country set up to transform food into fuel, the amount of grain processed has tripled since 2004.

To read the full article, click here.

Essay: Money and the Turning of the Age

Charles Eisenstein
Ode Magazine

As the economic meltdown proceeds to its next phase, we begin to see the unreality of much we thought real. The verities of two generations become uncertain, and despite a lingering hope that a return to normalcy is just around the corner -- in "the third quarter of 2009" or "by the middle of 2010" -- the realization is dawning that normal isn't coming back.

When faced with an abrupt shift in personal reality, whether the death of a loved one, or the Gestapo coming into town, human beings usually react first with denial. My first response when tragedy hits is usually, "I can't believe this is happening!" I was not surprised, then, that our nation's political and corporate leaders spent a long time denying that a crisis was underway. Consider some quotes from 2007: "The country's economic fundamentals are sound," said George W. Bush. "I don't see subprime mortgage market troubles imposing a serious problem. I think it's going to be largely contained," said Treasury Secretary Paulson. "A recession is unlikely." "We are experiencing a correction in the housing sector." "America is not in recession." "It is likely that housing prices won't recover until early 2009."

To read the full article, click here.

Rescuing Failing States

Lester R. Brown
Earth Policy Institute

One of the leading challenges facing the international community is how to rescue failing states, those countries most at risk of collapse due to a combination of weak governance, internal violence, and social upheaval. Continuing with business as usual in international assistance programs is not working, as evidenced by the continuing deterioration of places like Haiti, Somalia, and Yemen. The stakes could not be higher.

If the number of failing states continues to increase, at some point this trend will translate into a failing global civilization. Somehow we must turn the tide of state decline.

To read the full letter, click here.

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Upcoming Shows on Conversations

February 9
David Orr: Down to the Wire

David W. Orr is perhaps best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. He is the author of numerous books and hundreds of articles on ecological design issues including The Last Refuge: The Corruption of Patriotism in the Age of Terror. Dr. Orr serves on the Boards of the Rocky Mountain Institute (CO), Second Nature (MA), the Center for Ecoliteracy (CA), and the Center for Respect of Life and Environment.

February 16
Bill Ryerson, Laurie Mazur & David Poindexter: Population

William Ryerson is the founder and president of Population Media center and has a 37-year history of working in the field of reproductive health using behavior change communications in various cultural settings worldwide. He has also been involved in the design for research of numerous projects to measure their effectiveness.
Laurie Mazur is the editor of A Pivotal Moment: Population, Justice & The Environmental Challenge, is the director of the Population Justice Project, and has worked for years as an independent writer and consultant specializing in population, environment, and sexual and reproductive health and rights issues.
David Poindexter is Population Media Center’s Honorary Chair, has 38 years of experience in designing and implementing reproductive health communications programs in developing countries, using the entertainment-education methodology created by Miguel Sabido.

February 23rd
Conversations with John Fletcher
Topic to be announced

March 2
Paul and Anne Ehrlich: The Dominant Animal

Paul Ehrlich is an biologist and educator who is the Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University and president of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology. He is best known for his warnings about unchecked population growth and limited resources.
Anne Ehrlich is the co-author of several books on overpopulation and ecology with her husband Paul. Since 1987 she has been an associate director of policy coordinator of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.

March 9
Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi, MD: Mindful Eating

Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi, MD. has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism since 1973 and received her Priest's Ordination, in 1979 from Taizan Maezumi. Roshi Chozen is also a pediatrician, mother and wife. She is particularly involved in teaching people how to use meditation to work with eating disorders and grief.

March 23
John Francis, Ph.D: Planet Walk

John Francis, Ph.D. founded Planetwalk in 1982 when he began his walking and sailing pilgrimage around the world. To date, Dr. Francis has walked across the U.S., sailed and walked through the Caribbean, and South America from Venezuela to Argentina and a walk in Cuba. Currently, he is continuing a walk backtracking his first walk from Cape May NJ. to Point Reyes CA. John's stirring memoir, Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking; 17 Years of Silence was published in 2008 by the National Geographic Society and will be available in paperback in April 2009.

March 30
Drew Dillinger and Danielle Drake-Burnette

Drew Dellinger is a spoken word poet, professor, activist and founder of Poets for Global Justice. He has inspired minds and hearts at hundreds of events in many countries, performing poetry and keynoting on justice, ecology, cosmology, activism and human compassion. Dillinger has studied cosmology and ecological thought with Thomas Berry since 1990 and is finishing his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is currently writing his dissertation on Martin Luther King Jr. and the connections between cosmology, ecology and justice.
Danielle Drake-Burnette, previously known on stage as SoulsJourney, is a writer and spoken word poet. She was the 2003 Oakland Poetry Slam Champion. Danielle is the founder and Executive Director of Creation Cocoon for Girls, an Oakland, CA community-based organization serving girls 8-18. Creation Cocoon teaches girls’ empowerment and self esteem through the traditional arts.

Conversations is now broadcast every Tue at 1pm (note new time).
For current shows or more information go to


Nightline: Great Pacific Garbage Dump is a graveyard of toxic plastic

Dalai Lama: Inner Peace, Happiness, God and Money

Women Waking the World

In Memory of Howard Zinn

War itself is the enemy
of the human race.

— Howard Zinn

People’s historian, peace and justice activist Howard Zinn died on January 27th. He was a life long supporter of nonviolent resistance to militarism and injustice. Zinn was a public intellectual of remarkable stature. His epic work Peoples History of the United States exposed myths and restored dignity to people who had been written out of American history.

Click here to view a recent video, “On Human Nature and Aggression.”

Thanks to the folks at YES! Magazine...


Last week we did a special with Joanna Macy and our friends Fran Korten, Sarah Ruth van Gelder and Booke Jarvis from Yes! Magazine which raised nearly $3,000 for KVMR. Thank you all for your contributions and support and a special thanks to our guests who gave their time and offered books and subscription for member pledges...

If you are not currently a subscriber to YES! I want to encourage you to sign up and receive what I consider the most important magazine in print. YES! Magazine is an award-winning, ad-free, nonprofit publication that supports people’s active engagement in building a just and sustainable world. There are no ads and they are brilliant at taking controversial and frightening issues and weave a paradigm of powerful possibilities to create positive futures. You can read their articles on line and subscribe by going to

A Call to Action!

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Well of Light Seva Team

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
— Mohandas K. Gandhi

Seva is selfless service to a cause you believe will benefit others. It is the willingness to perform any task for a greater cause without prospect of recognition or reward.

Well of Light has many opportunities to serve our community. If you would like to participate on the Well of Light Seva Team please call Michael Stone @ 530.477.7757 or email

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
- Albert Schweitzer

Poetry Corner

I Love the Dark Hours

I love the dark hours of my being
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood,

Then the knowing comes: I can open
To another life that’s wide and timeless.

— Rainer Maria Rilke
(Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows translation)


My beloved Divine Mother
   Dance with me
    under the soft moon shining
      in the wide open fields
        far beyond the toil and trouble
          of my busy mind

Dance with me
  before the night grows old
    while the winds of love
      still bow the grasses
        and the coyotes howl for you
          to step their way

Dance with me my beloved
  while the Mystery's Edge
    still flirts in the shadow
      of your radiant light

— EthanWalker III