Peace Chain-Reaction: A Conversation With Joe Peace (Joe Murphy) There was a little bag on the table. "Okay, everyone reach in and take one," said Nipun, clearly relishing the moment. There were fifteen or sixteen of us at a CharityFocus retreat and Nipun Mehta had come up with a new surprise. Each of us pulled out a little ceramic medallion with the word "peace" in bas relief and a cord for wearing it around the neck. Each one was in a different language. Then Nipun began the story, "These are peace chains. There's this guy...."  It was the first time I'd heard about Joe Peace. Here's his story. He's ... Nov 21, 2010, 14973 reads


A Conversation with Reverend Heng Sure: Cultivation and Practice Beginning in the summer of 1977, two American monks in the Chinese Mahayana Buddhist tradition committed to taking three steps and one bow for 800 miles along California’s Highway 1. A pilgrimage to bring peace within and without, their journey took them through some of the most beautiful and also some of the most dangerous parts of California. Two and a half years later, they completed their pilgrimage at the steps of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, in Ukiah, Californi One of these monks was bestowed the name Rev. Heng Sure, or “Constantly Real.” Born into a ... Sep 16, 2014, 19502 reads


John Malloy Interview: We Are All In This Together I met John Malloy at one of ServiceSpace’s weekly events, an Awakin Circle. It was typical in that there were 60 or 70 people there. And, as usual, there were many I hadn’t met. At one point in the evening, each person has a chance to speak and it’s always fascinating to glimpse the different worlds that come into view this way. There are always some who make deeper impressions. John Malloy was one of those. His presence is palpable and his speaking reminds me of the few Native American elders I've heard.      In the last few years, as ... Nov 9, 2014, 5572 reads


Vaidyagrama and the Punarnava Ayurveda Trust: In Search of Authentic Ayurveda My first trip to India happened for an Ayurvedic panchakarma, a cleanse. How it came about is a long story and now, afterwards—grateful for the good that came to me—I want to share one of the unexpected high points of my three weeks at Vaidyagrama. My relationship with Ayurveda had barely begun and had not taken hold in any serious way, when circumstances lined up in such a way that suddenly India lay ahead of me. This alone was a great surprise. And not only that, but this trip was connected with a word I’d never heard before, panchakarma.      I can ... Feb 13, 2016, 9423 reads


Interview: Gail Needleman: Music Is Something You Do Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. Her work as a writer and teacher addresses the essential role of music in the moral and spiritual development of children. She is the recipient of the Parsons Fellowship from the Library of Congress for research in American folk music, and is the co-creator of the American Folk Song Collection website, a pioneering online resource of American folk songs for teaching music to children. We met at her home to talk about music...   Richard Whittaker:  How did music enter your life? What were the early ... Apr 16, 2012, 179272 reads


Interview: Godfrey Reggio: A Call for Another Way of Living One Friday morning I happened to tune in to KQED’s morning program Forum where an interview with Phillip Glass and Godfrey Reggio was underway. They were in town for a weekend showing at Davies Symphony Hall of Reggio’s Qatsi Trilogy: Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi. Phillip Glass, along with his ensemble, would be performing the music he had composed for the films.          Koyaanisqatsi left a deep impression on me when I’d first seen it in 1983, as did Powaqqatsi, which came out five years later. This full-length, commercial ... Feb 18, 2006, 44321 reads


What Is God?: A Conversation with Jacob Needleman I met with Jacob Needleman at his home in Oakland, California. The day before, one of the Bay Area's infrequent thunderstorms had passed through. In its wake, the day was sunny and warm. On the back deck of Needleman's home where we talked, among the many planters of flowers, herbs and vegetables, hummingbirds and squirrels were a constant presence, along with the frequent sound of the leaf blowers of neighborhood gardeners at work.  I wanted to ask him about his latest book What Is God?   Richard Whittaker:  I wonder how you see this book in the context of the ... Dec 19, 2009, 88950 reads


Manuel Klarmann—Eaternity: One can never predict who might show up at one of the weekly Awakin circles in Santa Clara. Awakin circles, which have spread all over the world, are one of the longest-standing of ServiceSpace’s several projects. There are many rewarding aspects of attending one of these circles; one of these is listening as each person in turn has a chance to share his or her thoughts. The level of sincerity the circle fosters is always touching and frequently afterwards, before heading home, I can’t resist approaching one or two strangers to learn more about them. It’s how I met ... Jan 13, 2016, 7764 reads


On Art and Mindfulness: An Excerpt... For the past several summers, Enrique Martínez Celaya has been teaching a painting workshop at Anderson Ranch in Colorado. Many of his students are unusually moved by the experience. And that’s not surprising.      While nearly everywhere style, entertainment and spectacle take center stage, the deep questions remain—acknowledged or not. For those who feel how little nourishment beguiling surfaces provide, there’s a hunger for contact with the deeper reaches of life—territory that traditionally has been the purview of art, philosophy and ... Feb 7, 2016, 16901 reads


Kitchen Teachings: Conversation with Cherri Farrell Cherri Farrell teaches consumer and family science, a subject that used to be called home economics. She teaches at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, California. Her curriculum is devoted largely to cooking and nutrition and it's also indirectly a support for math, reading and other academic subjects. But what's not an explicit part of the curriculum, and yet perhaps most important in Farrell's eyes is the development of social skills and human relationships that is fostered in her classroom. Farrell is one of those teachers blessed with a love for the students she teaches and a ... Nov 18, 2010, 6701 reads


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 712801 views

The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 130529 views

Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 6311 views

Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy I had the pleasure of getting to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a ... Read More 88203 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 56869 views


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 712801 views

Interview with Bill Douglass—Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected jazz musician Bill ... Read More 359605 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 290661 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 179272 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 149062 views