Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Spiritual Leaders Vote for Obama

A global consciousness shift is upon us, and we can make an active difference in what is taking place in our world. Many people believe that spirituality and politics don't mix. I would certainly say that getting caught up in the mass consciousness does not serve you or the world. However, for the first time in my lifetime, and possibly in our country's history, we are facing an opportunity for the critical mass of consciousness shift that has been building up to the tangible place it is today to influence our political arena.

Spiritual leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds have come together to throw their voice into the political conversation, reminding us of Mahatma Gandhi's words: "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." I for one am committed to bringing this consciousness shift to Washington, always remembering that Yes We Can.

The text of their message is below, but please also visit their website at


Deepak Chopra, Pema Chödrön, Jack Canfield, Jack Kornfield, Marianne Williamson, Gay & Katie Hendricks, Roshi Joan Halifax, Barbara De Angelis, Pir Elias Amidon, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Alex & Allyson Grey, Richard Moss, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Ed & Deb Shapiro, Eli Jaxson-Bear, Stephan Rechtschaffen, Oscar & Cindy Miro-Quesada, Corinne McLaughlin, Sister Jenna, Swami Beyondananda, Gordon Davidson, Lama Drolma Palden, Peter Fenner, Reb Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, Dean Ornish MD, Robert Thurman, Sharon Salzberg, Reggie Ray, Jai Uttal, Gangaji, Krishna Das, H.H. Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi, Joan Borysenko, Sylvia Boorstein, Lama Surya Das, Judith Ansara & Robert Gass, Jean Houston, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Julia Butterfly Hill . . . and more every day!

As spiritual leaders signing this letter we are stepping forward to say: “We can make a difference.” As our spiritual practice empties, opens and strengthens us, we are naturally moved to engage in the world with compassion, equanimity, and the dedication to live our values.

We know many of you are already both concerned and involved in this year’s Presidential election. Yet, in the past weeks, many of us have heard friends in the spiritual community expressing ambivalence about voting. When asked why they wouldn't vote we heard things like: “It doesn’t make any difference”; “I’m more interested in spiritual practice than politics”.

Humanity is at a crossroads. We can no-longer afford to sit on the sidelines. We are asking you to get engaged.

Learn more about Barack Obama's movement for change.

The 2000 presidential election was decided by just 500 votes and this November appears to be just as close. Every vote matters. Your vote and the votes in your community could make the difference.

Please make a heart-felt inquiry and look at the candidates. Ask yourself who best reflects the values you want to live by – those of spirituality in action.

  • Who do you believe will lead this country and the world in the direction you would like to see it move?
  • Which candidate will foster security through international cooperation rather than wars of aggression?
  • Which candidate will move policy most quickly toward a sustainable habitable planet for future generations?
  • Which candidate will most support our commitment to human rights and equal opportunity for all people?

...and then Vote. Let your voice be heard.

Together there is nothing we cannot do.


1. REGISTER TO VOTE & Detailed Voter Information


Visit our site for fliers, email resources (optimized for forwarding) and more information on how to get the message out.

Let’s bring the benefits of our practice into our lives. The world needs us.

Monday, October 6, 2008

People Look Around

When it rains, it pours. It isn't a belief I typical espouse, however it has manifested in my life over the past couple of weeks. It's all good stuff--a few examples: my mother is finally moving to the Bay Area after two years of planning, and we found her a lovely new home last week; I'm interviewing for a position that would get me out in the world, interacting with people in a way that utilizes my excellent project management skills in combination with my life's desire to help people live their lives as fully as possible; and I'm embarking on a journey into the world of the shaman, realizing a dream I've had since I first discovered the Navajo's Beauty Way when I was a teenager. It's keeping me busy, but I must say, Life Is Good.

While I was working today, I was listening to Catie Curtis's most recent two albums: Long Night Moon (2006) and Sweet Life (2008). I talked about one of her songs back in January when I had a similar experience of reconnecting with her music and falling in love all over again. This time, I was especially struck by two songs . . .

"People Look Around," from Long Night Moon, is a timely look at where the political discussion in America has gotten derailed to. Written post-Katrina, it is just as applicable today as the conversation is turning yet again from global considerations (i.e. economics and climate change) back to things that have no business being mixed up with politics (i.e. religion). Of course, if we really wanted to bring religion into the discussion, I'm with Catie: "Jesus said, 'Feed the hungry,' Jesus said, 'Help the poor,' / 'Take care of each other, love one another.'" Not bad advice.

The other song that jumped out at me today was "Are You Ready to Fly?" from Sweet Life. Yes, I do have an obsession with the idea of learning to fly, but what a wonderful look at the sweetness of childhood, and how change really is an opportunity to fly.

So I hope you enjoy a little Catie Curtis distraction here this afternoon. And if it turns out you like her even half as much as I do, she'll be at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley this Sunday and Monday. Wanna go?

Artist: Catie Curtis
More information:

Song: People Look Around
Album: Long Night Moon

The Mississippi River divides this land in two
Like the way tend to think of things, black and white, red and blue
If they can keep us fighting about marriage and god
They'll be no one left to notice if our leaders do their jobs

The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
Falling in the ocean

When the water is rising and there is no higher ground
You can wave your hands up on the roof but you might be left to drown
In the streets of New Orleans, a makeshift funeral pall
"Here Lies Vera, God Help Us All"

The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
Falling in the ocean

Jesus said "feed the hungry," Jesus said "help the poor"
"Take care of each other, love one another"
People look around, we let them down

The Mississippi River flooded New Orleans
And we stared in disbelief at our TV screens
If they can keep us fighting another endless war
How many tears before the truth cannot be ignored?

The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
Falling in Lake Ponchartrain
Falling in the ocean

Written by Catie Curtis and Mark Erelli

Song: Are You Ready to Fly?
Albums: Sweet Life

Teenagers jumping off a railroad bridge
They’ve known each other since they were kids
It’s the end of the summer, good friends ready to fly
They do the cannonball in to the creek
They do the cannonball one more week
At the end of the summer, good friends saying goodbye

They were riding double on bicycles
Buying bubble gum and vying for the sun
And the summer was so long,
‘Til the summer was so gone

Your sister went to college in the fall
She took her posters off the bedroom wall
And the family drove all night from the university
And in the morning looking down the hall
She left her trophies and a couple dolls
But your family would be alright ‘cause you had to be

You were riding double on bicycles
Buying bubble gum and vying for the sun
And the summer was so long,
‘Til the summer was so gone

On we go down crooked roads alone to who knows where
Burning in this moment like a sparkler in mid-air

When you are jumping off a railroad bridge
No one can tell you what living is
At the end of the summer are you ready to fly?

We were riding double on bicycles
Buying bubble gum and vying for the sun
And the summer was so long,
‘Til the summer was so gone

Photo: Tony Baker

Benjamin Franklin quote

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

~Benjamin Franklin