Quote of the Week 346 - Contrasting and Bridging the Scientific and the Indigenous
From as far back as I can remember, I had this notion of plants as companions and teachers, neighbors and friends. Then, when I went to college, a shift occurred for me. As an aspiring botany major, I was pressured to adopt the scientific worldview; to conceive of these living beings as mere objects; to ask not, “Who are you?” but, “How does it work?” This was a real challenge for me. But I was madly in love with plants, so I worked hard to accommodate myself to this new approach.
Later in my career, after I’d gotten my PHD and started teaching, I was invited to sit among indigenous knowledge holders who understood plants as beings with their own songs and sensibilities. In their presence, and in the presence of the plants themselves, I woke from the sleep I’d fallen into. I was reminded of what I’d always known in my core: that my primary relationship with plants was one of apprenticeship. I’m learning from plants, as opposed to only learning about them.
Let me add that my appreciation of plants has been greatly enriched by knowing the beauty of chlorophyll and photosynthesis, and hormones and cellular biology. Ideally the two ways of knowing can reinforce one another.
Both Western science and traditional ecological knowledge are methods of reading the land. That’s where they come together. But they’re reading the land in different ways. Scientists use the intellect and the senses, usually enhanced by technology. They set spirit and emotion off to the side, and bar them from participating. Often science dismisses indigenous knowledge as folklore – not objective or empirical, and thus not valid. But indigenous knowledge, too, is based on observation, on experiment. The difference is that it includes spiritual relationships and spiritual explanations. Traditional knowledge brings together the seen and the unseen, whereas Western science says that if we can’t measure something, it doesn’t exist.
Western science explicitly separates observer and observed. It’s rule number one: keep yourself out of the experiment. But to the indigenous way of thinking, the observer is always in relationship with the observed, and thus it’s important that she know herself: As I watch that bee and flower, as I study how water moves, as I observe the growth of the grass in this meadow, I understand that the kind of being I am colors how I see and feel and know. Furthermore, my presence might even be influencing how the world is working around me. It’s important to recognize the relationship that exists between the observer and the observed.
--Robin Wall Kimmerer, a native American with a PhD in botany, interviewed by Leath Tonino in The Sun magazine, April 2016
Meditation (Click your selection, scroll down to view it)
- Audio Link: A Foundation for a Fruitful Meditation Practice: Science of Breath/Pranayama/Relaxation - Theory and Practice
- Meditation Basics - Expanded Version
- Meditation Basics - Condensed Version
- Mantra Meditation Basics
- Jewish Yoga Meditation
- Hebrew Mantras
- Hebrew Mantras, Part Two
- Hebrew Mantras, Part Three
- Hebrew Mantras - Adonai Hineni
- Healing Meditation: Ruach El Shaddai/Breath of Balance
- Meditating, Eating and Sleeping
- Shortcuts to Spiritual Development?
- Audio Link: Guided Meditation - I Am and Empty Shell, Therefore I Am Full; A Meditation on Emptiness and Dark Luminescence Based on the Opening Lines of Genesis
- Guided Meditation: I Am an Empty Shell, Therefore I Am Full; A Meditation on Emptiness and Dark Luminescence Based on the Opening Lines of Genesis
- Guided Meditation: The Stage
CURRENT TEACHING SESSIONS
GUIDED MEDITATION SERIES
As a follow-up to the wonderful weekend with Rabbi Glick, I am presenting a series of three guided meditation sessions at my house. Following are descriptions for the three sessions and related details. Please feel free to share this information with anyone you know who may be interested. Although this is a series, and one would benefit the most by taking all three sessions, they are also stand-alone sessions, and no commitment for all three is required. Although previous meditation experience would be helpful, it is not a prerequisite.
Cost: $10.00 per session, or whatever can be comfortably afforded (nobody turned away for inability to pay). Minimum four registrations per session for the session to proceed. Email me to reserve and follow-up with payment via mail payable to Steve Gold, 3562 Castlehill Ct., Tucker, GA 30084 or via PayPal: Torah-Veda/Yoga and Judaism Center PayPal
Dates and Times: Sunday mornings, 11 AM to 12:30 PM; March 27, April 24, May 15, 2016
Location: The home of Steve Gold, 3562 Castlehill Court, Tucker, GA 30084
Sunday, March 27, 2016; 11 AM to 12:30 PM:SESSION #1: Guided Meditation – I am an Empty Shell, Therefore I am Full; A Meditation on Emptiness and Dark Luminescence Based on the Opening Lines of Genesis
The opening lines of Genesis are usually construed as a mystical/metaphorical description of the creation/manifestation of the totality of the macrocosm, of all of creation, that happened some time ago in the mythic past. However, they can also be regarded as describing processes of ongoing creation/manifestation occurring all of the time, and not only in the macrocosm, but also in the microcosm, within each of us. This presentation will analyze some of the clauses from these opening lines of Genesis as an introduction to a guided meditation experientially incorporating these spiritually powerful images into our inner being. Come experience the ongoing Genesis within and its relationship to “the thin voice of silence/stillness”.
Sunday, April 24, 2016; 11 AM to 12:30 PM:
SESSION #2: Guided Meditation – The Stage
As The Bard has insightfully observed, “All the World’s a Stage”. This presentation will set the stage for meditation that will lead you through a journey into the deep, non-dual reality suggested by this pithy saying.
Sunday, May 22, 2016; 11 AM to 12:30 PM:
SESSION #3: Guided Meditation – The Rod, The Staff, and The Star
“Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” What does that mean? This meditation will guide you through one interpretative experiential journey of this famous Bible quote, entwined with an inner vision of the six-pointed star, a major symbol of Judaism, but also the symbol of The Heart in traditional Indian metaphysics.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR. Steven J. Gold, BA Antioch College, Philosophy and Religion; JD Emory Law School, is the founder/director of Torah-Veda (formerly the Yoga and Judaism Center) in Atlanta, GA and the author of Yoga and Judaism (2007) Ivri: The Essence of Hebrew Spirituality (2010), Torah Portion Summaries; With Insights from the Perspective of a Jewish Yogi (2010), and Basic Spiritual Principles (2011). He has been an initiate, student, practitioner and teacher in a Himalayan meditation tradition for over 35 years and a student of Kabala and Jewish Spirituality for several years. He focuses on spiritual teachings and meditation practices that incorporate non-dual elements from Torah and Veda, two ancient spiritual traditions sharing common principles at their core.