Susan Schaller and the Story of a Contemporary Miracle: Photo: R. Whittaker Are there adults living today who have not learned a language, who cannot even conceive of language? They do exist, although, according to Susan Schaller, there's almost nothing written about them. Perhaps that's because, according to the prevailing views of experts, adults who have not acquired language will never be able to do so.      This was not an area to which I'd given a single thought until my unexpected meeting with a stranger one day in a Berkeley restaurant. It's a nice coincidence that the unlikely ... Apr 23, 2009, 87606 reads


To All Artists, Known and Unknown : I remember seeing a threadbare individual sitting in the cafe of the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992. He was very different from the rest of the students and staff personnel. He was old; old in hard years, not with the mellow patina of the well ensconced. He was in the cafe every day I came in, always sitting alone, always smoking and nursing a cup of coffee. Most striking in his appearance was the discrepancy between his physical, and what seemed to be his psychic, circumstances. He was worn, his physical being was worn, his clothes were fragile, almost brittle, garments ... , 30419 reads


Alive in the World: A Conversation with Audrey Lin April 2009, Oakland, California I first met Audrey Lin at the Mehta home in Santa Clara where each Wednesday evening the Mehtas host an hour of meditation followed by a circle of sharing. Afterwards everyone partakes in a vegetarian dinner in silence. It's always a powerful experience and no two Wednesdays are the same since the mix of guests is always changing along with the thoughts and stories that come to life there. At the time of this interview, the Mehtas had been hosting these evenings for eleven years.      Whenever I attended, I would ... Apr 28, 2009, 130737 reads


Night Shift: It had been a long, hot August day. We'd driven over six hundred miles and it was nearing 11 pm as we entered Kingman, Arizona. We pulled off and picked a motel. Much to my surprise, it being mid-week, the deskman informed me they were full. Next place, same story. This time, I asked the clerk for suggestions.      "Try the Hampton Inn."       At the Hampton we were greeted with, "We're booked. Sorry."      "What's going on?" I asked. "Is there some kind of convention in ... Oct 5, 2009, 21376 reads


Demetrio Braceros and the New Trail of Hope : Cayuga Park, S.F. I couldn't resist eavesdropping on the animated conversation at the next table-- something about “a little Asian man” and “this amazing place!”  Judging from the excitement, something had to be really special. A city park was mentioned. Cayuga Street? Once back home, I started searching online.      There is a park on Cayuga Street. So I drove over from the East Bay and there it was, laid out against the high concrete wall of Highway 280. BART trains passed overhead along the park's north side ... Apr 2, 2007, 29493 reads


Interview: James George: If Not Now, When? SF, CA 12/24/04 James George is a retired Canadian ambassador with a long-standing record of service concerning environmental issues. A founder of the Threshold Foundation and president of the Sadat Peace Foundation, he led the international mission to Kuwait and the Persian Gulf to assess post-war environmental damage. He is also the author of Asking for the Earth and The Little Green Book On Awakening. I talked with James George and Barbara Wright in San Francisco at Barbara's apartment a few weeks before their marriage. Richard Whittaker:  Let's start with the here ... Dec 24, 2004, 74242 reads


Tree of the Art of the Mind: --Tom Weidlinger For several months I had been anticipating a meeting with Dorothy, my benefactress, in which I would present a funding proposal for a new project. Dorothy's family foundation had been supporting my work for nine years. I'd made six films with her sole support - a wonderful circumstance, compared to my pre-benefactress decades when I spent as much time raising money for films as I did actually making them. Though I worked hard and did my best to be worthy of this munificence, I sometimes felt guilty about my good fortune. But not so guilty as to prevent me from ... Jun 17, 2010, 39076 reads


Interview: Jacob Needleman: Art & Philosophy, Oakland, CA 11/21/00 I visited Jacob Needleman at his home. We sat out on his deck in the sun and talked...      Richard Whittaker:  Not too long ago I heard Lobsang Rapgay, a psychologist and Tibetan Buddhist from Los Angeles speak. One thing he talked about was "a tremendous fatigue of thinking that prevents us from thinking aesthetically." He said this way of thinking makes it possible "to transform a numinous experience and share it"... To be shared, he said, "it has to be transformed in a way that someone else can understand and learn from." ... Sep 21, 2001, 32448 reads


Awakin Call with Artist Milan Rai: The Butterfly Effect The following conversation took place in Harrow, London as part of a ServiceSpace Awakin Circle. June 28, 2017. The host was Mita Shah and the moderator, Trishna Shah. Trishna Shah:  I thought I’d share a little bit about how we met Milan. A few other friends from the ServiceSpace community were visiting from India and China last month and we’d gone down to the South Bank Festival. I’d read about one particular installation of white butterflies so we wandered down there and walked into this butterfly installation. It took our breath away. There were twenty ... Mar 6, 2018, 10022 reads


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 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." And ... Nov 21, 2010, 25590 reads


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