“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world …”

“I remember thinking that if we were rioting in 120 countries for sure you’d see us on CNN.  It’s a sad reality in today’s world that good news doesn’t travel well or far.” Jamie Dedes, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice & Sustainability, YOPP Voice



Thanks to Kella Hanna-Wayne, Creator of YOPP!, social justice blog dedicated to civil rights education, elevating voices of marginalized people, and reducing oppression, for helping to further our goals for a better world by publishing a feature I wrote on 100TPC.

Shelly famously wrote and is frequently quoted for saying, “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”  Activist poetry in the service of making change, of protesting war and injustice and in giving voice to the oppressed has a long and honorable recorded-history and probably started before written language. It didn’t come to me as something approaching a way of life until I was benched by a disability and forced into medical retirement.

Ruderal species of plants are the first to colonize lands disturbed by natural events or human activities. Typically, they dominate the disturbed area for a time, gradually losing ground to the competition. In extraordinary circumstances, the ruderals may become permanently established.

In 2011 poet Michael Rothenberg posed a question on Facebook: “Would you be willing to organize a day of poetry to celebrate change in your community?” That question went out into the social networking sphere like ruderal seeds in the wind.  Poets and even other artists responded enthusiastically.  READ the rest at YOPP!



ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Global 100,000 Poets and Others for Change: Get Ready, Get Set …

“…we continue to encourage and support participation in the 100TPC global event, with the hopes that we can encourage poets, musicians and artists to stay vocal and engaged in these difficult times. It is so easy to feel hopeless and lose heart when it seems the world is coming apart around us. 100TPC hopes to counter despair and disillusionment, encourage and support celebration through the arts of peace, justice and sustainability. This is the good fight for us and we will continue to provide a global platform and venue.” 100TPC Cofounder Michael Rothenberg in a recent email to me.



There’s a lot going on around Global 100,000 Poets and Others for Change (100TPC.org) and this is the point each year when I like to share special updates along with a sampling of the posters for the event.

  • Yesterday Michael Rothenberg announced that there were 500 events registered for Global 100TPC (September 28) and Read a Poem To A Child Week (September 23-28).  Yes!  We’re jazzed about that news.
  • At The BeZine Michael Dickel and I are collaborating on the September 15 issue, themed social justice in honor of 100TPC. 100TPC concerns itself with Peace (our March issue theme), SustainABILITY (our June issue theme), and Social Justice (our September issue theme).
  • Over the past year and especially the past month or so, we’ve had some changes to The BeZine activities and publishing policy. Modified guidelines will be available soon … would have been sooner if I hadn’t been in-and-out of the hospital so much.  Our Mission remains the same and you can see from it why we are so partial to 100TPC. Please always read our Mission Statement, an issue of the Zine, and the guidelines before submitting work to bardogroup@gmail.com
  • Meanwhile, my feature How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice and Sustainability was shared today by Kella Hanna-Wayne on her social justice site: YoppVoice!

  • Meanwhile …

copyright Rick Frausto

The BeZine blog is hosting a month long series in solidarity with the climate action events that are taking place around the world,  These events include Greta Thunberg’s and also the U.N. Climate Change Summit 2019.

(Please note the first post on the Zine blog is always a copy of the front page of the most recent published issue of the Zine. If you scroll down, you’ll access the rest of the blog posts.)

  • And …

The BeZine 100,000 Poets and Others Banner, 2019 is by our resident artist, Corina Ravenscraft

On September 28, we’ll host our annual 24 hour Virtual The BeZine 100TPC. Everyone is invited to come read, listen, and contribute. If you want to contribute work the post that day will provide instruction for doing so. It’s easy. We encourage the sharing of art, photography, poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and music videos. Michael Dickel will moderate and I’ll be present for back-up.

Here’s a sample of the banners from events around the world.  Enjoy! 

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BECOME INVOLVED

Register your event for 100TPC and Read a Poem to a Child Week at 100tpc.org

100,000 Poets for Change Facebook CommunicationHub

The BeZine

The BeZine 100TPC Facebook Discussion Group

READ A POEM TO A CHILD WEEK

September 23rd – September 28th 2019

Download the Poetry Compilation for Readers.pdf

Download the curriculum Simple ways to make poetry engaging 2.0  and the poetry workbook.

Freely accessible Sound Cloud playlist of 100TPC Read a Poem to a Child Initiative


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

 

 

 

100TPC Read a Poem to a Child Compilation & Curriculum; U.S. Library of Congress Literacy Awards

POETRY IS GOOD FOR DEVELOPMENTAL LEARNING In child education, children’s verbal and written skills are somewhat underdeveloped. Poetry helps by teaching in rhythm, stringing words together with a beat helps cognitive understanding of words and where they fit. Additionally, it teaches children the art of creative expression, which most found highly lacking in the new-age educational landscape. In essence, poetry gives them a great tool for developing one’s self.” MORE Robert Lee Brewer, Senior Editor of Writers’ Digest



READ A POEM TO A CHILD WEEK

September 23rd – September 28th 2019

The compilation and curriculum are the result of a collaboration among 100,000 Poets for Change, Florida State University, and Reading Is Fundamental with selections from The John MacKay Shaw Childhood in Poetry Collection of Florida State University Libraries Special Collections and Archives.

Download the Poetry Compilation for Readers.pdf

Download the curriculum Simple ways to make poetry engaging 2.0  and the poetry workbook.

Freely accessible Sound Cloud playlist of 100TPC Read a Poem to a Child Initiative



“As centuries of dictators have known, an illiterate crowd is the easiest to rule; since the craft of reading cannot be untaught once it has been acquired, the second-best recourse is to limit its scope.”  Alberto Manguel, A History of Reading



Three organizations working to expand literacy and promote reading in the United States and worldwide will be awarded the 2019 Library of Congress Literacy Awards at the National Book Festival gala, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced yesterday.

Hayden and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein will award the top prizes to: ProLiteracy Worldwide of Syracuse, New York; American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults of Baltimore; and ConTextos of Chicago.

David M. Rubenstein

The Literacy Awards, originated by Rubenstein in 2013, honor organizations doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work. They spotlight the need for communities worldwide to unite in working for universal literacy.

“Literacy is the ticket to learning, opportunity and empowerment on a global scale,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, the Library of Congress is proud to honor and celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary organizations in their efforts to advance reading levels and give people the foundation for a better life.”

Prizes and Recipients

David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000): ProLiteracy Worldwide, Syracuse, New York
ProLiteracy Worldwide advances and supports programs to help adults acquire literacy skills needed to function more effectively in their daily lives. It has 1,000 member programs across 50 states and works with 30 partners in 25 countries to provide a wide range of adult literacy and basic education services to vulnerable populations. ProLiteracy builds capacity among frontline literacy providers by modeling proven instructional approaches, developing affordable, evidence-based learning resources, and providing professional development and technical assistance. ProLiteracy was formed by the 2002 merger of Laubach Literacy International (founded in 1955) and Literacy Volunteers of America (founded in 1962). For more than 60 years, ProLiteracy has scaled successful practices and driven advocacy efforts by activating its grassroots network, resulting in a broad and sustained effort to improve and advance adult literacy at the community level.

American Prize ($50,000): American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, Baltimore
Established in 1919, the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults is a service agency that assists blind and deaf-blind persons in securing reading matter, educates the public about blindness, provides specialized aids and appliances to the blind, gives consultation to governmental and private agencies serving the blind, offers assistance to those losing vision in their later years, offers services to blind children and their parents, and works toward improving the quality of life for the blind and deaf-blind. This includes services such as free braille books, free braille calendars and free white canes. Central to the organization’s work has been a commitment to braille literacy and the knowledge that braille is the only true means for literacy for the blind.

International Prize ($50,000): ConTextos, Chicago
ConTextos brings literacy to schools, prisons and communities in El Salvador via two programs: Soy Lector (I’m a Reader) and Soy Autor (I’m an author). The Soy Lector Program trains local community members and teachers to develop libraries to encourage reading and the discussion of ideas in the community and schools. The Soy Autor Program encourages youth affected by violence to write their memoirs. Through this writing exercise, they work through the effect that violence has had on their life, either as a victim or perpetrator. In the process, participants develop critical literacy skills. The program has been replicated in Guatemala and Honduras and continues to grow. To date, ConTextos has created 84 libraries across El Salvador; 11,092 students have access to high-quality books; and 853 young authors have published their memoirs.

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program is also honoring 15 organizations for their implementation of best practices in literacy promotion. These best practice honorees are:

  • Bring Me a Book, Redwood City, California
  • The Conscious Connect, Springfield, Ohio
  • Friends of Matènwa, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Hartford Public Library, Hartford, Connecticut
  • The Jane Stern Dorado Community Library, Dorado, Puerto Rico
  • Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, New York City
  • LitWorld International Inc., New York City
  • Meridian Library District, Meridian, Idaho
  • Nal’ibali Trust, Cape Town, South Africa
  • One World Education, Washington, D.C.
  • The PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Razia’s Ray of Hope, Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • Ready for Reading, Dorset, Vermont
  • Riecken Community Libraries, Washington, D.C.
  • Western Massachusetts Writing Project, Amherst, Massachusetts

David M. Rubenstein is the co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group. He is a major benefactor of the Library of Congress and the chairman of the Library’s lead donor group, the James Madison Council. More information on the awards is available at read.gov/literacyawards.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.



ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN ATTENDING A 100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE WORLD CONFERENCE IN SALERNO, ITALY?

“Would you be interested in going to Salerno, Italy for a 100 Thousand Poets for Change World Conference if we held another gathering at the end of May in 2020? 4 days, workshops, party, reception, tours, poetry readings, tour Pompeii, Amalfi boat cruise…” Michael Rothenberg, 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC) cofounder



In June of 2015, poets and other artists from all over the globe gathered in Salerno, Italy for their first 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC) World Conference organized by 100TPC Cofounders Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrión.  Michael is putting out feelers to see how much interest there would be in a another gathering to be held in 2020.  If this appeals to you, you can connect with Michael Rothenberg on Facebook HERE. Honestly, if I were able to travel, I’d be there faster than that fabled New York minute.

In 2015, I asked Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play) who attended the first conference to pull together a report for The BeZine, which he graciously and gracefully did and has also given his permission for it to be republished here today.  I think it might help you get a better idea of what to expect. His report is below the following info on Michael Rothenberg, Terri Carrión, and 100TPC.

Photo courtesy of Giaros under CC BY-SA 3.0 license.


c Michael Rothenberg, Big Bridge Publishing

Michael Rothenberg is an American poet, songwriter, editor, and active environmentalist. Born inMiami Beach, Florida, Rothenberg received his Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Afterward, he moved to California in 1976, where he began “Shelldance Orchid Gardens”, an orchid and bromeliad nursery. In 2016, Rothenberg moved to Tallahassee, Florida. In 1993 he received his MA in Poetics at New College of California. In 1989, Rothenberg and artist Nancy Davis began Big Bridge Press, a fine print literary press, publishing works by Jim Harrison, Joanne Kyger, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Whalen and others. Rothenberg is editor of Big Bridge, a webzine of poetry. Rothenberg is also co-editor and co-founder of Jack Magazine.

Terri Carrion, Big Bridge Publishing

Terri Carrión earned her MFA at Florida International University in Miami, where she taught Freshman English and Creative Writing, edited and designed the graduate literary magazine Gulfstream, taught poetry to High School docents at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and started a reading series at the local Luna Star Café. In her final semester at FIU, she was Program Director for the Study Abroad Program, Creative Writing in Dublin, Ireland.poetry, fiction, non-fiction and photography has been published in many print magazines as well as online, including The Cream City Review, Hanging Loose, Pearl, Penumbra, Exquisite Corpse, Mangrove, Kick Ass Review, Exquisite Corpse, Jack, Mipoesia, Dead Drunk Dublin, and Physik Garden among others, including the recent anthology, Continent of Light. Her chapbook “Lazy Tongue” was published by D Press in the summer of 2007. A collaborative poem with Michael Rothenberg, “Cartographic Anomaly” was published in the anthology, Saints of Hysteria, A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry. Her most recent project is a collaboration with F.R Lavandeira and Loreto Riveiro on a trilingual Galician Anthology, (from Galician to Spanish to English)

“100 Thousand Poets for Change, or 100TPC, is an international grassroots educational organization focusing on the arts, especially poetry, music, and the literary arts. It was founded in 2011 by Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, and focuses on a worldwide event each September.” Wikipedia MORE


MICHAEL DICKEL’S REPORT ON THE 2015 CONFERENCE

Salerno, il mio amore

100TPC World Conference Banner

100TPC World Conference Banner

Santa Sofia Complex, Salerno, Italy

Santa Sofia Complex, Salerno, Italy

Inside the Santa Sofia Complex

Inside the Santa Sofia Complex

June 3, 2015, the afternoon after I arrived in Salerno, Italy, I found my way up to the Santa Sofia Complex, an old church on a square with a fountain.The first 100-Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC) World Conference would begin with an opening reception in the evening. In the complex, I met Terri Carrion, one of the co-founders of 100TPC and co-organizer of the conference. She told me that her partner, Michael Rothenberg, was around the corner at a cafe meeting one of the writers who had just arrived from Macedonia.

Poets gathered at tables in a cafe, Salerno, Italy, 100TPC World Conference

Poets gathered at tables in a cafe, Salerno, Italy, 100TPC World Conference

After helping Terri and Valeriano Forté, a Salerno poet and 100TPC organizer, assemble some tables in our meeting room, I wandered down to the cafe. Several poets gathered at tables in excited conversation. Michael was with Mitko Gogov, the poet from Macedonia. Others were from the U.S., Mexico, Hungary, Germany (via the U.S. and Rome), Greece, Malaysia, and France. And this was just the beginning. All of the people at the cafe then I now count among new-found friends, along with many more that I met during the following week.

Aqueduct Salerno, Italy

Aqueduct
Salerno, Italy

Imagine, if you can, more than 80 poets from all over the world—every continent, 33 countries. Imagine poets from every generation, spoken-word artists, poets with books or no book, all come together to share the spirit of poet-activists, as 100TPC organizers. Now imagine us all talking about poetry, about arts and activism, women’s issues, oral versus print traditions, and organizing—with interpreters translating into Italian and English. That’s how our four conference days were (mostly) spent.

Alfonso Gatto Poem Detail from mural in Salerno

Alfonso Gatto Poem
Detail from mural in Salerno

Those were scheduled topics. Another one came up—artists’ international mobility. Several poets had their visa requests turned down by their home countries or Italy. So we rejoiced when three poets from Egypt finally received their visas at the last minute and arrived during the conference. Some who could not make it joined us virtually by posting to social media. For the next conference, we plan to be more prepared for this issue, and to have both advice and, if we can raise them, funds to assist people.

View of Salerno

View of Salerno

The days tended to serious dialogue on sustainability, peace and justice. The evenings (and a couple of afternoons) overflowed with poetry. Each evening, several poets read as “scheduled” readers, usually after dinner. Then came the open mic—which ranged from raucous readings to a quiet “campfire” around candles to a poetry walk from the complex to the sea. The open mic that I co-hosted with a poet living in Malaysia and a Ghanian poet was in a restaurant, the last reading of the conference.

Light and Shadow Along a Salerno Street

Light and Shadow
Along a Salerno Street

Street Art, Salerno

Street Art, Salerno

And what of Salerno? Salerno won our hearts—an old city with a castle overlooking it that once was ruled by a warrior-princess; the home of Alfonso Gatto, an Italian poet whose poetry appears in murals by contemporary artists all over the town via the Alfonso Gatto Foundation (a sponsor of the conference); a town nestled between mountains of alleyways, stone walls, beautiful squares and the sea; a song of bells, sea gulls, swallows; a haven for street artists and poets.

Arch and Tree Salerno, Italy

Arch and Tree
Salerno, Italy

The night following the end of the conference, many of us still in Salerno took over most of a small restaurant around the corner from the Santa Sofia Complex. Not wanting to let go of our transformative week of amazing global poetry, we began an impromptu reading, some reading from books of others, some reading our own work. A couple from the town, not part of our conference, sat at one of the tables listening, and then the man asked if he might read some of his work in Neapolitan. He recited his work, then line by line he read the Italian with someone translating into English. Poets attract poets.

So, in two years, we plan to return. Writer-artist-activists reading this, perhaps you’d like to join us?

Looking out the door Santa Sofia Complex

Looking out the door
Santa Sofia Complex

– Michael Dickel

© 2015, article and photographs, Michael Dickel, All rights reserved


Michael Dickel (c) 2018, Photo credit Zaki Qutteineh

MICHAEL DICKEL a poet, fiction writer, and photographer, has taught at various colleges and universities in Israel and the United States. Dickel’s writing, art, and photographs appear in print and online. His poetry has won international awards and been translated into several languages. His chapbook, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism came out from Locofo Chaps in 2017. Is a Rose Press released his most recent full-length book (flash fiction), The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden, in 2016. Previous books: War Surrounds Us, Midwest / Mid-East, and The World Behind It, Chaos… He co-edited Voices Israel Volume 36(2010). He was managing editor for arc-23 and arc-24. With producer / director David Fisher, he received an NEH grant to write a film script about Yiddish theatre. He is the former chair of the Israel Association of Writers in English. Meta/ Phor(e) /Play is Michael’s blogZine. Michael on Social Media: Twitter| FaceBook Page | Instagram | Academia


ABOUT

Testimonials

Disclosure

Facebook

Twitter

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”



 The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton