I am really honored and delighted to be part of the Meditation Steps project that Dada Sadananda initiated, with his very popular Russian YouTube channel, that now has versions in English and many other languages.
Together with the help of a very dedicated team of volunteers, we have managed to launch a Romanian version of the Meditation Steps course – called “Meditatie pas cu pas” as well as a YouTube channel, where I publish a weekly video.
It is my deep wish to see the transformative power of developing a regular meditation practice reach as many people as possible in Romania in an easy, accessible way.
In the last century, there have been enormous strides in elevating the position of women in societies around the globe towards greater and greater equality and participation in society. With this, the narratives that shaped our understanding of traditional gender roles have also been undergoing metamorphosis. Stereotypical gender expectations that had given a certain stability to social roles are now often perceived as limiting and unattractive, especially to the younger generations who crave greater self-expression and freedom in shaping their identities. At the same time, the global crises facing humanity require a new paradigm of coordinated cooperation to replace relationships of domination and subjugation that have characterized our historical patterns of relating between human groups, genders, and nature. A new, fresh conceptualization of gender narratives and identities is needed in order to more deeply explore the potential that the Neohumanist concept of coordinated cooperation carries.
Three of the stories I wrote for our AMURT “Pathways to Education” project with Syrian refugee children in Lebanon were published in Susan Perrow’s latest collection of therapeutic stories “Stories to Light the Night”.
It is really such an important collection. Trauma, loss and grief are a part of being human, and as much as we want to protect children, many also endure these experiences. Whether the loss of a beloved pet, or grandparent, or the trauma of war or natural disaster, children need empathic support. The healing and transformational power of metaphor and story cannot be underestimated.
We are all living in an increasingly information saturated world, literally at our fingertips. With a touch of a screen, we can delve deeply into any area of interest, and find answers to even random curiosities. Part of the uniqueness and beauty of this historical moment is the horizontal, participative way these vast resources of information are being continuously constructed, mostly on a voluntary basis. Whether one is 16 or 66, an expert, a newbie, a professional, or an amateur, all can contribute to this relatively open space provided by the internet and social media.
In the past, medical, scientific, technological, and other types of specialized knowledge were mostly only available in curated spaces, such as journals that were regulated by certain kinds of professional standards. Journalists of mainstream broadcasting companies also had some ethical standards of fact-checking to adhere to, in order to be published in the mass media that reached most of us. Official narratives and propaganda were easier to distribute and control as there were fewer channels that enjoyed enough legitimacy or readership to seriously challenge them. Read more
In 2005, I was invited to India for a very special, sacred moment: my avadhutika diiksha. I had already been a brahmacarinii (the equivalent of a novitiate) for four years, posted in Italy, but now I would have the opportunity to learn a special, advanced form of tantra sadhana called kapalika sadhana, and take a deeper set of sannyasi (renunciate) vows. I was full of excitement, and arrived in India, eager to begin the lessons.
As the technological speed of modern society increases at exponential rates, so has the experience of early childhood been radically altered. Children are faced with increased levels of cognitive stimulation and complexity from their early years. The statistics of the incidence of childhood mental health disorders, such as ADHD, are rising. As the very landscape of childhood has shifted so dramatically since parents and teachers were themselves children and is increasingly characterized by continuous change rather than by stability, in what ways must educational approaches adapt to help children to successfully integrate these experiences and reach their full human potential? Is cognitive development in itself sufficient to guarantee happiness, or does conscious attention need to be given to the development of social, emotional and spiritual competencies? How to facilitate the development of an internal “compass” to prepare children to navigate the challenges of a technological, commercialized culture? Read more