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A Blue Fire Part II with James Hillman

James Hillman -- one of the most creative thinkers in the field of psychology -- talks about the necessity of grieving, and the repercussions when it is sidestepped in this part II transcribed excerpt from his fascinating weekend seminar based on his book A Blue Fire. 

Now, if that passive aggressive is not… if the aggressive part is not given something valuable -- which is what I think goes on in the men’s work, something valuable – true, some sort of images of poetry, spirit, body, and language -- I think that passive aggressive part of our nature will become ideological and fascistic and revert to its old forms. Well, not all together. Not all together. You haven’t yet seen. You know, we’re not lynching and we’re not marching. We vote for Reagan but that’s as far as it got. It’s gotten further than that. [talking in background: “You get gay bashing.  You get racial slurs.” Etc.] It can get much worse. [talking in background] Well, it’s that absence of grieving. First the absence of grieving and mourning for the loss in Vietnam, and the fact that so many American males went through an initiation experience without the initiation mythology that goes with it. So they were deserted and they are the base of change in the country, but they are considered outsiders and put through psychotherapy. But no one who is responsible for Vietnam is put through psychotherapy!

Well, anyway… So this lack of mourning and grieving keep one out of touch with something much more profound that is a potential in the man. If you can’t grieve, you are not in touch with your real depths, and there’s more to it than that, but anyway. [talking in background] Yeah, but it’s a particular feeling. And as long as therapy band-aids, or tries to, as you say “get on with your life” or teaches coping -- and I don’t want to make it trivial -- it is complying with the entire political system. So my vision of therapy now is changing and I see that therapy could be a cell where revolution is prepared.

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Planting Seeds with Thich Nhat Hanh

Today we bring to you Planting Seeds featuring songs from Thich Nhat Hanh.  A beautiful collection for any adult wishing to plant seeds of peace, relaxation, and awareness in children.  It is full of wisdom on how to simply be with children and nourish their compassion for themselves and others.

You will be enchanted with Planting Seeds, Practicing Mindfulness with Children featuring Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village Community.  The CD has inspiring recordings of all the songs in the book, Planting Seeds, as well as a guided pebble meditation, total relaxation, and children's touching the earth.


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Pema Chodron: Smile at Fear Part One

Today we are pleased to bring to you this excerpt from Smile at Fear: A Retreat with Pema Chodron.  We all have fears, but when we look closely at them, we discover that behind each fear resides a basic fear of ourselves.  Take the journey with Pema Chodron and discover what is inside of your fear.

I think it’s really wonderful that so many of us are going to spend this time together.  Despite its inconveniences and quite a few people expressed their dismay, at there being 3,000 people. They sort of thought they were going to have an intimate time with me and I actually was pretty amazed myself at this turn out. In fact, dumbfounded, but that this large group of people can gather together and mediate together and contemplate teachings that come from the intention of wanting to help the world at this time or any time.

The Shambhala teachings presented in the last ten years or so of his life and he died in 1987 were based on the fact that we could take our wish to be sane and open hearted people.  That we could take that wish that most of us have to be more sane and more kind and more open hearted, open minded but that we could do it in a very large global context of wanting to wake up, to wanting to be kinder, more sane, more open hearted and open minded so that we could help other people. So that we could reach out to the people that come into our lives, our family members and neighbors and coworkers or perhaps we feel inspired to enter a profession where we spend all of our time and energy trying to help in a more global or national level.

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Real Life Spirituality with Mark Matousek

Today we have an excerpt from Real Life Spirituality with Mark Matousek.  He will focus on what it means to be a practicing spiritual person in the world, how we bring sacred values into our daily lives and how it challenges us.

I came up against this challenge first when I came back from India, after having spent time over there in ashrams and monasteries and my head was, you know, sort of full of all these spiritual ideas.  It wasn’t long after I came back that I realized I needed to learn to incorporate these ideas into the real world. I would talk to people about enlightenment and Satori and Nirvana and all these grand ideas.  They would look at me, not quite believing me, not quite understanding what I was talking about, until a friend finally said to me, “Do you mean kindness?” And when he said that, it was like a light went off, and I realized how diluted I was to think that spirituality was this grand thing, separate from the world. I was actually angry, feeling like nobody was understanding what I was trying to say until I got that, the truth is that I was misinterpreting what spirituality was about and separating it from everyday life.

So I realized that until I could understand that kindness was the essence of everything I had learned and leave behind all of this mystical language and these grand ideas, I wasn’t actually going to be able to live an integrated and balanced life as a spiritual person in the world. I didn’t really know what that would look like and what I came to realize is that being a householder is actually much harder than being a monastic, when it comes to bringing your spiritual values into day to day living. You know, it’s easy to have love for humanity when you’re sitting on a cushion in an ashram or in a monastery, but when you come out into the world and you start dealing with things like money and relationships and sex and career and ambition, all of a sudden it gets a lot more complicated, it gets a lot more challenging.

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