Didi Ananda Devapriya: Yoga and Meditation Teacher in Romania

Reimagining the Subtle Expression of Gender in the Neohumanist Journey Towards Human Wholeness


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.

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Neohumanist Awakened Conscience in Wild West Mediascape

Curated vs horizontal information spaces

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

Webinar: Educating Balance in an Accelerating World

A recording of my first webinar:

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

Mindfulness, children and nature

In our increasingly sophisticated and technologically driven world, many children are primarily exposed to discovering the world through the screen of a tablet, TV or computer.  They become habituated to these highly concentrated doses of information and their young minds readily adapt and crave greater and greater stimulation. It is then no wonder that it becomes difficult for them to sit quietly, to have long periods of concentrated attention.  We adults complain that ADHD has reached epidemic proportions, yet if we observe ourselves, many of us have become accustomed to being constantly available on our cell-phones, filling up the spaces of our lives while we wait in line, drive in the car, or go for a walk with checking email, messenger, Facebook, or making calls.  How much calm, quiet spaciousness do we grant our own minds? How much do we flit rapidly from task to task?

Mindful time in nature is both antidote and medicine for this condition. The natural world operates  in spontaneous harmony with its Divine source and thus exudes peace, beauty and truth from its very essence. Poets and artists throughout the ages find metaphor and inspiration in the natural world as it is a pure mirror of subtle, spiritual truth. Only human beings have the ability to choose consciously whether or not to act in harmony with their Divine nature or to ignore it. The rest of Nature is on auto-pilot.  As a zen teacher I heard speak once said, “Human beings are number one bad animal because human beings don’t know what human being’s job is.”

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Friendship – the Key to Overcoming Prejudices

Who me, a racist?

Virginia Blackburn was a powerful and beautiful black African American woman working as a social worker at a women’s centre in a poor inner-city neighbourhood in the Midwest.  She was a close  friend and  wise mentor for me in my early twenties. She invited me to different workshops on themes such as overcoming racism, classism, sexism and other types of isms.  I was shocked to discover how these barriers had limited my ability to feel close and connected to others. I considered myself a liberal, open minded person. I had grown up in a multi-ethnic highschool and most of my best friends were non-whites – Korean, Chinese, Indian. I had even gone to a formal dance with a black friend as my date, and had to cringingly endure the loud and embarrassing comments of my somewhat deaf French-Canadian grandfather like  “Oh he is good looking for a black guy!”  I was a good person and I was dedicated to principles of equality for all.  I certainly didn’t see myself as a racist and would never consciously participate in hurting anyone because of their identity.

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Juniper the Rabbit – a healing story for children’s home children

Ionut from Familia AMURTEL with “Juniper”

I wrote this children’s story for our smaller children from FAMILIA AMURTEL. Many of them have certain behaviors – such as hoarding food, that stem from their traumatic history of neglect during critical developmental stages in infancy. This story uses metaphor to communicate compassion and understanding, and at the same time show a healthy way through the distressful behavior:

Juniper was a white baby rabbit. She lived with 27 other baby rabbits inside of a small cage. It was very crowded and uncomfortable. When the farmer came with food, all of the rabbits scrambled on top of each other fighting for their share. Juniper was small and not very fast, and the others climbed over her and ate up most of the food before her. She was always still hungry when the food was finished, and cried for more, but nobody listened. They were too busy trying to get food for themselves too.

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