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BetterListen! Free Sampler Mix with Thich Nhat Hanh, Shlomo Carlebach, Gloria Steinem, Coleman Barks

Welcome to the First BetterListen! Sampler Mix.

Our sampler mixes offer you a taste of our titles. This Mix features Gloria Steinem, Thich Nhat Hanh, Shlomo Carlebach, Coleman Barks, Beryl Bender Birch and more.

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Women and Wild Animals - Author Notes Part III

Simmssml_3Although I began to put this together in 1983 I  recorded the stories with Steve Gorn in the early 1990's in Boulder, Colorado for NorthWord,My father had died a few years before and the last tale, a true story is about his death and four herons. 
I continue to tell the stories, going deeper hopefully in my capacity to bring them to life without manipulating them  (my attempt).  They feel more relevent today then twenty years ago.  Beside a good story never getting old; they are always fresh when they are brought out, released, and  shared.  But, our need to be reminded of our interdependence with the natural world, our abiding presence as connection - wilderness of our own heart..  is vital to our ability to live on this earth and to lessen the increasing propulsion of violence and greed that are destroying the world.   

One pathway to access that place in ourselves... that is not a place at all, but the open receptivity of direct engagement with our being that is all ready interwoven, part of - is through deep listening to such rich tales. My ever apprecation for your willingness to listen. And for having the good fortune to be a storyteller.  Open your animal eyes and ears..  Tell the stories to someone else.  laura
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Women and Wild Animals - Author Notes Part II

Simmssml_2I have never tired of telling LOK SNOWEDJAS and learning about the story.  My first encounter with it was in Strand Bookstore, where I saw a book  of Moduc
tales printed in 1904, in the wrong area and bought it -  because when I opened it, I read the first line  of a tale, " LOK SNEWEDJAS was a woman during the day but at night she became a bear." it was the final story that I chose at that time.  I  phoned up Ron Evans, a Chippewa-Cree Keeper of the Talking Stick who was living in North Carolina at far from the reservation where he grew up in Saskatchewan. He was building a boat in Barbara Freeman's (a storyteller) driveway far from any water. 

He called me back collect later that day and we spoke for three hours. I told him the story. He listened. I asked about meanings and symbols. He never explained anything to me. But he kept telling me stories, other stories,  anecdotes about his life and being trained to be  a storyteller or being in the bush with old hunters.  I was a bit
frustrated, having always in the back of my mind my seemingly seering questions. 

Finally I asked, "why do you think I chose this story?"   He said, "You did not choose
the story. This story has chosen you."  Getting a bit nervous I said, "Perhaps I should not be telling this Native myth."  He laughed and commanded, "It chose you.
You have to tell it now. Don't be impatient or you will gather a dust storm."

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Women and Wild Animals - Author Notes Part I

Simmssml In 1983 I  began gathering the stories that eventually became this recording.  It was  a process of cutting and pasting, listening and responding, to the fact that I had so many stories, both traditional and personal that were about the relationship between human beings and animals.  So many of them about women. A friend who was a  Jungian analyst said that I was living with animal eyes and ears.   The title WOMEN AND WILD ANIMALS came to mind  one morning and so the series of tales was born. 

The first time that I told these stories was at the Center for World Music that was in a storefront downtown Manhattan at that time.  We were a storyteller and three musicians (Steve Gorn, Julia Haines and Glen Velez).  The Center was packed.  The concert lasted well over three hours and none of us, audience included, seemed worn out at all. In that time the audience became  a traditional tea house audience anywhere in the world, responding, calling out, humming along, lost in deep silence or outrageously laughing together.  These stories seemed to touch a nerve, like an acupuncture needle.

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