Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexually as

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:24 am

About The Shambhala Trust
Accessed: 8/15/19



Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the Shambhala Trust is to provide funding that promotes the Shambhala Buddhist teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and his successors, and to develop, maintain, and expand facilities and other resources that will be used to proclaim these teachings. The Trust is a growing group of individuals working to support organizations and projects that further this mission. The Trust seeks to cultivate an understanding of generosity from the Shambhala Buddhist point of view through setting personal examples, presenting teachings, and promoting the creation of Enlightened Society altogether.

Who Is the Trust, and What Does It Do?

The Shambhala Trust is not the fund-raising arm of the global Shambhala community or a trust in the conventional legal sense; rather, we are an independent group of individuals from throughout the Shambhala community who, inspired by the power of generosity, give of our own resources to support worthwhile projects embodying the Shambhala vision. (See the lists of current and former core and associate members.)

We pool our resources, experience, and inspiration to provide financial and/or consultative support to projects worldwide that contribute to the creation of enlightened society and Shambhala vision.

We also encourage others in the community to give of their resources to support these worthy projects. The Trust has played an important role in providing funds across the globe for various projects including capital construction, visiting teachers, and translation.

We have chosen to use the word “trust” in our name to reflect our genuine commitment to taking responsibility for encouraging and supporting the work that many people are doing to further the vision of enlightened society. Shambhala and its members accomplish a remarkable amount with very limited material and human resources, and we are dedicated to helping that process.

The Trust generally does not have the capacity or inclination to fund projects fully. Instead, we prefer to provide seed money to help get projects started. We choose the projects to support through a process of consensus at meetings two or three times a year, each of which takes a full weekend.

Every request for funds from the Trust that is considered in these meetings has been the subject of a formal application and has been developed sufficiently to become a concrete and workable proposal.

Each proposal that the Trust considers is championed by a core member of the Trust, who generally works with the originators of the request to make the most effective case for that use of funds.

The proposals are reviewed in advance of the meetings and discussed at the meetings by core and associate members. After full and frank discussion of the proposals, we make collective decisions as to whether each proposal is an appropriate use of funds from Trust members at that time. (A proposal may be eminently worthwhile but poorly timed, and might be considered more favorably on another occasion.)

Members then decide how much they choose to commit to each specific project.

The Trust process has a delightful magic to it, a sense of involvement and openness that evokes a feeling of trust among the members. Because we share a heartfelt commitment to the vision of enlightened society, we are comfortable meeting together for a weekend and debating the merits of proposals in the context of that vision.

For any project that the Trust supports, even if the amount contributed is small, we always follow up with some level of oversight and assistance. That follow-up is essentially the same whether we have funded one percent or 100 percent of the project, because part of what we have to offer is our perspective and expertise in a variety of areas, both within the Shambhala community and in the world at large.

We trust that the funds we provide will be well-spent to achieve the aims that were articulated in the proposal, but we also try to ensure that they have been spent as intended, and that those expenditures are as effective as possible. Because of our skills and dedication to the vision of enlightened society, we are also called on at times to provide advice and leadership within the Shambhala community for purposes other than funding.


The Shambhala Trust grew out of an inspiration from the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, to look at the whole Shambhala mandala and support worthy efforts across a wide range of activities and locations.

The first Trust meeting occurred after the Joining Heaven and Earth ceremony in 1995, when the then-newly enthroned Shambhala lineage holder, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, convened a donor group of thirteen people at Shambhala Mountain Center.

At that first meeting, the first donation was to the European retreat center, Dechen Choling, which was just getting started and needed a boost.

At that time, it was also decided that, for the most part, the Trust would not fund operating budgets, only capital developments and special initiatives. In addition, Trust members felt that their financial contributions should be above and beyond their individual commitments to Shambhala and its various elements, including their local centers. Finally, members decided to make the Trust an autonomous organization closely related to, but not part of, the Shambhala organization.

Because the Trust’s mission is to support the mission and vision of Shambhala as presented by the Vidyadhara and Sakyong Mipham, members work very closely with the Sakyong, the President of Shambhala, and the entire Shambhala administrative mandala. However, as a donor group it is not an arm of the administration but a group of individuals who work with the practice of generosity to promote the creation of enlightened society.

The magic of this group arises from friendship and the inspiration generated through the Trust process of cultivating and supporting proposals. The group works cooperatively, and all major decisions are made by consensus. The ultimate intent of the Trust is to share this magic and magnetize generosity throughout the Shambhala community.

The Trust is recognized as a tax-exempt charitable organization in both the United States and Canada.

Member List
Current Core Members

Susan Dreier
Virginia Evans (Chair)
Deborah Garrett
Chelsea Hoagland
James Hoagland (Vice-Chair)
Gregory Lubkin
Angela Pressburger
Susan Ryan
John Sennhauser
Nealy Zimmermann (Treasurer)
Zeb Zuckerberg (Administrator)
(In perpetuity) Pamela Krasney
(In perpetuity) Arbie Thalacker

Current Associate, Supporting, and Contributing Members

Cynthia Bradshaw
Judith Broadus
Gabrielle Edison
Jeanine Greenleaf
Tom Gottlieb
Karen Iglehart
Ree Hall Katrak
Zenna Mohr
Bill McPheters
Jason Newman
Robert Reichner
Alan Schwartz
Jeff Waltcher
Cameron Wenaus

Retired Members

Richard Bascetta
Helena Bolduc
Marian Bond
Helen Bonzi
Martha Bonzi (Founder and member emeritus)
Connie Brock
Amy Feinstein
Gail Flynn
Holly Gayley
Maggie Russell Granelli
Jenna Harrison
Barbara Krumsiek
Bart Leonard
Charles Lief
Berkley McKeever
William McKeever
Judy Robison
Jim Rosen
Stefano Rugarli
Robert Schaffer
Heather Scott
Mark Seibold
Crane Stookey
James Tolley
Shanley Weber
Mary Whetsell
Jim Wilton
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:24 am

Come Together – Right Now! Over Me!
by Cara Thornley
November 2, 2016



This old Beatles lyric, accurately describes the compassionate view of the Northeast Kingdom VT Shambhala Community in coming together to care of their aging, sick and dying sangha members.

This “coming together” is recalled here, mostly from the perspective of Arthur Jennings, home health care and hospice nurse, long-time resident of West Barnet, VT, and sangha member, with additional information from Gerry Haase, Merle Thompson and myself.

(Arthur was one of two Shambhala nursing professionals (the other was Mary Beth Furr) who were working with Caledonia Home Health Care and Hospice at the same time Dr. Tim Thompson, an early sangha member, was involved in the development of the Hospice movement in the NE Kingdom.)

Ruthie Astor

Arthur recounted his first experience of being part of the Shambhala community coming together to support a dying member, Ruthie Astor, an individual who passed in 2001 at Ashoka Bhavan, Karmê Chöling’s staff and guest house in Barnet. She lived on the bottom floor in what is now called the Astor Suite which came into existence so Ruthie could have a private bathroom and a living area for her friends.

As the home health care and hospice nurse who served the town of Barnet, Arthur was assigned to be the home health nurse for Ruthie, who happened also to be his Meditation Instructor, and his friend – with whom he had done many meditation programs. “We were in Khenpo Tsultrim’s programs together,” he recalls. “Those programs were the highlight of my year, and I had shared that with her.”

Ruthie required daily dressings for her cancers, and as her cancer got worse she required Hospice services such as oxygen and subcutaneous pain relieving injections. Arthur went from being her home health nurse to being her hospice nurse.

“I was in the full part of my hospice career and it was great to share that,” said Arthur, “not only with Ruthie, but with the greater sangha who was there to help.

“Many friends came to see her and stayed in her suite. In the early stage of her illness, they would have parties there and play games and drink. Ruthie was usually too tired to do much, but still there was a party going on around her and she just loved it… She was a very Padma lady and flirty with young men.” Arthur smiled at the memory.

“As it became obvious that she was going to go soon, people came and did shamatha meditation,” he remembers. “There were nine cushions around her bed… and the machines – an oxygen concentrator… making pish sounds… a pump making psst sounds… in the midst of it, people silently meditating.

“Toward the end of her illness when Ruthie became bed bound,” Arthur says, “I literally went ‘on vacation to Ashoka Bhavan’, taking 2 weeks of my own time just to be with her. I moved into a second floor room so I could be 100% available to her. For 2 weeks I was on-call 24/7 which meant when she got uncomfortable, I was there — I could take care of it…

“I had moved in with a whole household of people actually. Everyone else who was living at Ashoka Bhavan and the host of others who were helping. People were bringing food and other necessities that helped maintain the care environment. It had evolved into community care … it wasn’t just me…

“Other people helped her with personal caretaking: e.g., taking her to the bathroom, dealing with bedpans, washing her and things like that… Towards the end it was a full time job caring for her in the various ways a dying person requires.

“Ruthie found a spiritual advisor in Lady Konchok, Sakyong Mipham’s mother, who was living at Karme Choling during this time and had become close to Ruthie. She instructed Ruthie and those of us taking care of her on what to do as death came close.

“She told us we were to whisper in her ear…and say, ‘Ruthie, the time has come, you are dying, remember your guru, Trungpa Rinpoche, and remember Vajrayogini.’ (Vajrayogini was Ruthie’s primary meditation deity.) ‘It is very important for you to remember Trungpa Rinpoche and Vajrayogini.’

“Then we were to let her alone and come back about 10/15 minutes later and say: ‘Ruthie you are dying, we love you. It will be OK. Remember Trungpa Rinpoche, remember Vajrayogini.’

“As she was dying her breath became slow and irregular…and when it became clear she wasn’t going to breathe again…I whispered in her ear ‘Ruthie you died – remember your guru’… I pretty much kept to the script…Otherwise we just stayed silent and were with her.

“Ted Soares was there and, I think, Dia Ballou was also there.

A bunch of people had gone to a party and that’s why there were only the 3 of us. When they came back they started singing Khenpo songs, but Lady Konchok instructed us to maintain a silent environment rather than singing, or weeping, or doing practices out loud.

“Lady Konchok didn’t let us move Ruthie’s body from the bedroom to the shrineroom for 3 days because Ruthie’s heart remained warm (indicating that her consciousness had not left her body) which was a sign of an accomplished practitioner.

“Then Ruthie’s body was placed in a casket in the Ashoka Bhavan shrineroom on the main floor. We were kind of new at the whole dry ice thing to keep the body cool, but we did it.”

Sue Ellen Walters

The next sangha person to die that Arthur recalls was Sue Ellen Walters. She also was his home health patient and a fellow Khenpo student with whom he had done work transcribing Khenpo’s talks.

The night she died they took her to the Pavilion (a large free-standing shrine room then newly constructed at Karme Choling). She was the first sangha person to have her funeral at the Pavilion. They needed someone to stay with her body, so Arthur spent the night there. It has now become a tradition to have someone spend the night with the body. Mostly it is the Kasung who stay overnight.

”It was powerful to be out there alone in the dark with a body and the mice in the corners,” recalls Arthur. “I had some level of fear of the dark, but not too bad…because of all those years of retreat.”

Phil Sentner

The next death Arthur was involved with was Phil Sentner’s who died of liver disease…. He also had been part of the Khenpo sangha, and part of the care team for Mrs. Lindberg under Ann Cason’s coordination.

“Phil was ill for a long time, and Merle Thompson, the dekyong at the St. Johnsbury Shambhala Center, became a great friend to Phil. She was there for him totally,” Arthur remembers. “I was his home health nurse.”

“Phil died on the street, in his boots, so to speak,” Arthur says. “He was walking and fell and died in the street. We sat with his body in the morgue at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital. We made it a point to go down and be there until he was moved to the Pavilion.”

“Susan Shaw who died in 2013 was a special case,” says Arthur. (Please see article about her on this site.) “I just loved her to pieces. She, too, was my Vajra sister and when I was nurse on duty, sometimes we would just lie on the bed and listen to music…I was so happy to be there. She was super organized and clear about everything – including the people she wanted around her.

“An administrative form used during Susan’s dying became a crucial scheduling tool for organizing care teams. Sara Demetry, also Arthur’s wife, and adept in using google docs, introduced an online scheduling format that enabled people to sign up for various functions, eliminating 90% of phone coordination, as well as allowing people to see, sign up for and download the schedule for fulfilling various needs which recur with each illness and death.”

Michael Taney

This online volunteer format, enabled many persons to participate in caring for Arthur’s good friend, Michael Taney during his sudden, short illness and death in the fall of 2016. He got an official diagnosis of cancer early in October and died November 14 early in the morning. This was a particularly poignant loss for for Arthur because they had a very close friendship dating from the early 90’s.

Sara called a care team organizational meeting which was held in the home of Michael and his partner, Pam Keats. Arthur and Sara, the Dekyong and Societal Health and Well Being persons from the St. Johnsbury Shambhala Center, myself, Gerry Haase, Bill Brauer, and other concerned sangha attended. On the medical front, recalls Arthur, “I didn’t do so much duty with Michael. The medical oversight was assumed by a local Hospice doctor, Mary Ready.

“I was there just to hang out with Michael mostly,” said Arthur. “We were fast friends. In the early stages of his illness I would take him out for rides – going to Lake Willoughby. As he became bed bound I would just sit in his room with him. The last night or two I slept over at his house, so his partner, Pam Keats, could get some sleep. Again, It had become a 24/7 home care situation.”

The 24/7 home care needed for Michael accentuated the necessity of providing support for his primary caretaker and partner, Pam Keats, whom Michael gratefully referred to as his “ace” angel.

Help was needed with housecleaning, and preparation of meals, with running errands, doing over night shifts, and with periodically relieving Pam for a few hours during the day from her one-on-one caretaking duties which included coordinating the changing medications for pain management with Dr. Ready, administering the medications to Michael, changing his fentanyl patches and monitoring of oxygen, his diet, his heart rate, his blood pressure, along with managing his diet, etc.

The need for a more detailed interface between Pam and the community quickly became evident, and at her request I began functioning as her secretary, meeting with her regularly, reviewing support needs and visit requests. Cynther Greene took over from Bill Brauer, who had been coordinating the food needs of the household with volunteer cooks from the community. Bill had become the spiritual guide for both Pam and Michael. By the end of the dying process Bill was there almost daily, quietly sitting or talking with Michael. “He was irreplaceable during our journey,” Pam wrote to me. “He helped Michael to practice with, and to come to terms with his own death, and he helped me work with the idea that Michael was dying…”

There were many persons who wanted to see Michael and not enough time for all of them to do so. However, every request was answered and conveyed Michael and Pam’s appreciation, whether or not the request could be accommodated. In addition to his son, Gabe, and first wife Susan Taney, with whom Michael shared a close friendship, Michael had 7 brothers and sisters, all but one of whom came to see him. So from time to time there was a need for family transportation as well as transportation to and from local medical appointments and ones in Boston and Hanover, NH.

Gerry Haase managed all transportation requests – doing many of them himself. His final duty was arranging transportation for Michael’s body from his and Pam’s home to the Pavilion at Karme Choling and then to the crematorium.

“The night Michael died,” Arthur remembers, “Sara was on overnight duty and she called me early in the morning saying things were changing. I advised her who else to call, went over and was there when he passed.”

Michael’s body, in full Kasung officer’s uniform, lay in the Pavilion where his funeral was held. In addition to his immediate family it was attended by a host of friends, and 5 of his brothers and sisters, and their families, some of whom spoke and sang. Acharya Michael Greenleaf led a Shing Kam Pure Realm of Shambhala service, and Arthur was the shrine attendant….

The pall bearers, his son, some of his brothers, and local kasung, helped transfer his body to the crematorium in St. Johnsbury where the next morning family and friends again joined together. This time to sing the Shambhala Anthem as the oven blazed.

Stephen Holder

“Stephen, another sangha person who had been suffering from a long term illness died in the early spring of 2016 at his friend’s Susan Taney’s home in St. Johnsbury. That was a good room for him to die in,” said Arthur, “since he built it.

“I did a lot of volunteer work with him, although I was not his hospice nurse. I would go over on Tuesdays, my day off, and sit with him. There were daily shifts which Sara scheduled to cover the time that Susie was at work…

“Toward the end in the evenings,” Arthur continued, “I slept on the couch in the room with him . On Stephen’s last night I went and got Susie up when I knew he was dying…

“After he died his home health aid came and washed him. And then I left and went to work that day…

Greg McNally, another long term sangha person, who has become keeper of the community caskets (he stores two Vermont Pine caskets between uses in his barn) brought the larger one and helped put Stephen’s body in it. (Dry Ice was no longer necessary since by the time Stephen passed, it had been replaced by a better product called Techni Ice which Gerry Haase bought on Amazon. It works, is not toxic, and is re-useable since it can be stored in the refrigerator.)

During the next three days, sangha members came and practiced around the body. Then Acharya Greenleaf, aided by shrine attendant Patricia Anderson, performed a sukhavati for Stephen in the beautiful sun room which Stephen had built and in which he died. The next day Greg transported his body to the crematorium in his pickup truck. As Stephen’s body was transferred into the oven, we sang the Shambhala Anthem just as we had done for Michael not too long before.

I asked Arthur at the end of our interview, why he thought there had been so much focus on death and dying in our aging community, rather than on activities like co-housing, for example. He talked about the small, but close knit sangha in the Northeast Kingdom, that found much of the support sought through co-housing in “coupling relationships” and with sangha friends.

“We are a relatively small group of long term students of Buddhism and Shambhala who have long relationships with the people around us. The only thing we all have in common is Shambhala Buddhism… It brought us together and here we are, he said.This is a long established sangha, with friendships and intimacy. So when a person becomes seriously ill, helping them happens spontaneously… How could I not have helped Michael? It’s basic friendship.”

He reflects, “I was reading last week that loneliness is a big heart risk factor…— as big as smoking… or lack of exercise. We are really lucky to have community… friends to talk with about things that matter… have dinner with, …play with. And these are the people we are going to help when they need it… Talk about enlightened society… We end up sharing life and death. It’s a good thing we have each other!”
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:40 am

Glimpses of Tail of the Tiger 1970
by Jonathan Eric
September 1, 2003









Jonathan first heard of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1970 when his mother, Nancy Eric, showed him a brochure she had picked up about Tail of the Tiger. Jonathan read the brochure, picked up a copy of Meditation in Action, and decided to visit Tail of the Tiger as soon as possible. When he got there, he requested an interview and was shown into a room with a young Asian gentleman who was smoking a cigarette. Jonathan assumed that this was the waiting room and that this gentleman was also waiting to see Chögyam Trungpa. After awhile, the man turned to Jonathan and said, “So why did you come here?”

“I’m here to meet the man who wrote this book,” said Jonathan holding up his copy of Meditation in Action.

The gentleman looked at Jonathan and said, very slowly, “My book? …”

Jonathan, who was a close and much loved student of Trungpa Rinpoche, died in October 2003. Here is an excerpt from a Chronicles interview from March 2002. For the complete interview and more about Jonathan’s life, visit A Tribute to Jonathan Eric.

JE: Okay. Tail of the Tiger, summer of 1970. One thing I remember is that once a week during times when there were no programs, Trungpa Rinpoche would lead a meditation practice in the evening for an hour. He would sometimes, I remember, give a brief dharma talk as well. I remember him leading us in a minute or two of chanting the Vajraguru mantra at the beginning of the sitting.


JE: Yes. So that’s one of the flavors. It was a very small shrine room, an upper room. We could squeeze in only about fifteen or twenty people at the most, I think. I don’t know specifically about the numbers, though.

WF: Was it a guided meditation?

JE: No, after the mantras it was silent for an hour. I think he had a little gong or something to signal the end.

One day when I was there, I was hanging out on the front porch and Lady Diana came out. She wasn’t known as Lady Diana in those days; she was a sixteen-year-old girl who happened to be married to the guru. She came out and said to me, “You’re taking me down to the mailbox.” I said, “I am?” And she said, “Well, if you don’t mind.” So we got into my bus and we drove down to the mailbox—maybe a quarter of a mile to the end of the dirt road. She got her mail and came back. That’s the whole story.

I think just about everybody at Tail of the Tiger in those days was very trippy. But there was one guy who even us trippy people considered trippy. He was a guy named Bob and he was on some sort of mucusless diet. So, naturally his name became Mucus Bob. So that’s all of that story.

There was a community meeting in the living room, which was where the talks had been for the first seminar, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. The second seminar, Four Dharmas of Gampopa, was held in a tent. But there was a community meeting and somebody proposed doing it in Native American style. There was a moderator, and everybody could have a say on the issue, whatever it was. There wasn’t any time limit to how long a person could speak or what they could say. The only restriction was they had to refrain from using the word “I” or “me.” If you referred to yourself, it had to be in the third person. There was no first person allowed.

WF: That’s interesting. Were these Rinpoche’s rules>

JE: They seemed to be agreed to by Rinpoche, proposed by some of the students, and sort of accepted by acclamation, more or less, “Let’s try it this way.” Trungpa Rinpoche asked me to be the moderator. There were a few people who had to be reminded not to use the first person. We got to Trungpa Rinpoche and he started saying some things, quite pointedly using the word “I” several times. I let him speak and come to his conclusion, and then I said, “The moderator does not wish to interrupt a person’s train of thought, but wishes to remind everybody that we are not to use the first person and that includes people from Tibet.” We went around some more and then concluded the meeting. After everybody had had their say, I thought that the meeting was over so I started making some comments using the first person myself and got called on it. But then after the meeting Trungpa Rinpoche complimented me by saying I was a good moderator—I think he used the word “great”—and we were just hanging out with him in the dining room, which was a slightly smaller room next to the living room. And I remember he was wearing my hippie hat. It was a black hat, sort of somewhat floppy, that I’d put a red bandana around, and he was wearing that hat and just goofing around. So that’s that story.

Another time at Tail of the Tiger that summer, Polly Monner (Polly Wellenbach now) and I took our guitars and drove in my bus a little ways down the road to the mailbox and turned off on an old track and drove up to a sort of flattish place, and were playing guitars. I think there were probably one or two other people with us. We both were into sort of bluesy type music. We were playing and it was evening, beginning to get a bit dark, as I recall, and at a certain point a car came down the driveway and Trungpa Rinpoche got out of the passenger side and he looked up to where my bus was and where we were sitting there with our guitars. His face brightened and he began limping up the path. But when he got up to where we were, he looked at each of our faces. From my point of view, I was kind of seeking some relief … from these teachings … somehow. And maybe Polly felt the same way, I don’t know. But he looked at each of our faces in turn for a moment, and his smiling countenance immediately went to neutral, and he turned around and walked down to his car.

So I just thought that was an informative story, that it was a learning experience for him as well, that he could no longer hang out with everybody or something like that. I don’t know precisely, but I always thought about it that way, that he was no longer exactly one of the gang. This was the summer of 1970. It was less than two years since he had received the Sadhana of Mahamudra. It was about a year since he had gotten married and somewhere in those two previous years he had decided to give up his robes. And so I think he was just in a learning curve for himself at that point.

JE: Another topic: Food at Tail of the Tiger. I remember lots of buckwheat and turnips, cooked turnips. I remember those, because I’d never eaten any buckwheat or any turnips before then, and I found both of them sort of difficult, shall we say. It was all vegetarian at that point. I assumed that was his students’ choice rather than his. And I remember that we always did an offering chant before meals. I don’t remember the precise chant but I recall that it was the Jigme Lingpa feast chant, which I think is rather famous and well known. I don’t know anymore about it than that. But somebody such as Tanya or Fran might remember precisely what it was.

Next topic: I was hanging out at Rinpoche’s house in Four Mile Canyon and I remember one day he came limping over to me and said, “Jonathan, I think you should be a monk.” I had thought about that myself during my long retreat the year before and I said, “But I’d never be able to keep the precepts.” And he said, “Maybe, later.” And I said, “Maybe later.” As an addendum to that, in 1999 I had a brief audience with Thrangu Rinpoche where I told him that story and I asked for his blessing so that I would be able to be a monk in my next life.

WF: Is that a question that has stayed with you through the years, whether or not to take vows?

JE: Yeah. Yeah, it has … very much so.

At another time in Boulder when I was Trungpa’s interview scheduler, there was an occasional wedding that he performed with me there. One day after a wedding – I don’t remember whose wedding it was – he looked at me and said, “You’re next.” And I said, “I wouldn’t mind getting married if I could find somebody who liked me that I liked.” And he said, “For how long? Ten minutes? Ten years?” I didn’t have an answer for that. [Chuckles.] So later I got married and we had two children, a boy and a girl, who are both in Boulder High right now.

One day after another thirty interviews, I asked him how he did so many interviews. He said, “No rest for the wicked.”

WF: As the person who was there during the interviews, you really had sort of a front row seat, seeing people coming in and out the door. Can you talk about that at all—

JE: Yeah. Yeah, I even wrote a song about it. It’s better with guitar, but I can’t play guitar anymore, so if you don’t mind I’ll sing it.

WF: Please.

JE: Trungpa Rinpoche had me sing this without accompaniment in a meeting that I was in with him. I said, “Do I have to—” He said, “Yes.” So I sang it. It’s called, “O Rinpoche.”

Listen to Jonathan sing “O Rinpoche”

O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, please tell me what to do
O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, do you think I should drink and screw
O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, please tell me what you say
O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, please show me the middle way

O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, I’m feeling so uptight
O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, I know you can set me right
O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, I want to take some vows
O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, just tell me the whys and hows

I’ve taken vows
with the rishis and roshis and the yogis and sat-guru
And the only thing I’m finding
Is my mind is not unwinding
And it ain’t no use

O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, it’s you that I adore
O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, please talk to me some more
O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, I’m never gonna quit
O Rinpoche, O Rinpoche, but I just don’t like to sit

JE: So, he enjoyed that.

WF: [Laughing] That’s great Jonathan.

JE: That was sort of near the end of my tenure as his interview scheduler.


To read the rest of this interview and a profile on Jonathan Eric, visit: Tribute to Jonathan Eric

© 2002 Jonathan Eric
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:40 pm

Jerry Granelli Biography
Accessed: 8/16/19




On December 30th of this year Jerry Granelli turns 70. 45 years ago he was peaking as a commercially successful Jazz drummer- playing with Vince Guaraldi. It was shortly after that success that Jerry took a hard turn left into the world of improvisation and musical exploration. He has never looked back.

Jazz Times magazine calls Granelli “one of those uncategorizable veteran percussionists who's done it all.” A Canadian citizen since 1999, Granelli burns with an intensity fuelled by a passion for “the pursuit of the spirit of spontaneity which drives the player.” A veteran of the San Francisco jazz scene, Granelli's recent flourish of recordings has documented remarkable collaborations between the generations.

Jerry Granelli's story is one that follows the evolution of the San Francisco Hard Bop jazz scene. Born in 1940 in San Francisco, the boy recognized his passion in 1948 when he spent a day with Gene Krupa. Hanging out during the 50s in San Francisco nightclubs like the Blackhawk, The Jazz Workshop and Jimbo’s Bop City, gave him a direct connection to what was happening in New York City. Soaking in the sounds of Miles, Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones and Monk, his passion grew, eventually leading him to Dave Brubeck drummer Joe Morello. After two years as Morello's star pupil, Granelli became a highly sought-after session player, eventually playing, recording and touring with the Vince Guaraldi Band. He provides the unmistakable steady swing beats for the classic Charlie Brown “Peanuts” theme song.

In the volatile West Coast scene of the 60s, Granelli moved on to the Denny Zeitlin Trio, a group that included bassist Charlie Haden. A hugely successful recording and touring band, they tied with Miles Davis for Group of the Year in Downbeat magazine's Critics and Readers Poll in 1965. Throughout the 60s he performed with many major players on the scene, including Jimmy Witherspoon, Mose Allison, Lou Rawls, John Handy, Sonny Stitt, Sly Stone, Ornette Coleman and Dewey Redman. He was right there too as jazz styles began to swing towards the beginnings of psychedelia. His free-form improvisational trio held down the opening slot for comedian Lenny Bruce for three months in 1963, and shared bills at The Matrix and The Fillmore with Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Grateful Dead. They also accompanied the Dead on their first European tour in 1971.

Granelli became a Buddhist in 1970, and from the mid-70s through the 90s he focused on teaching, bringing his insider knowledge to hundreds of students at the Naropa Institute in Boulder
, then Seattle's Cornish Institute, the Conservatory in Halifax, and the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin.

In the early 90s Jerry moved to Halifax and immediately became a keystone in the jazz community. Along with Halifax’s Jazz East organization he founded the Creative Music Workshop a two-week intensive music program that takes place every summer in conjunction with the Atlantic Jazz Festival. Despite all his accomplishments, until asked by Divorce Records, Granelli had yet to make a solo drum record. It seems fitting that after a life behind the kit, Jerry finally should go it alone. No one, including Jerry, knew what to expect, but the results are remarkable. All the tracks on 1313 except one were played with no overdubs, and most were done in a single take. For those of us involved with documenting the session, it was a magical night. 1313 is dark, masterful, and bravely unique --- an outstanding new exploration of percussion and sound by a man who has been challenging himself musically for 60+ years.

With the release of his solo record he is making plans to organize a far too infrequent solo tour. The performance encapsulates the new solo album as well as the history of Jerry Granelli’s chosen path - improvisation and experimentation. The evening will inspire and challenge.


“One reason why people like improvised music is that it’s a direct reflection of life, not something we thought up. It scares you…makes you think you’re going to die for a moment…do you have the courage to play? Can I move out of my desires and wants, and into compositional choices?” – Jerry Granelli

Born in 1940, and now in his late 70s, Drummer/Composer/Professor/Sound Painter Jerry Granelli has enjoyed an incomparable career in music from the inside out…way out! The winner of the last NEA Grant awarded ascended from playing with the great pianist Vince Guaraldi at the height of his popularity while simultaneously exploring Free Jazz on San Francisco’s thriving after hours sets in the early `60s to establishing academic arts curriculums to indoctrinate and perpetuate alternative musical forms such as Spontaneous Composition in the present. A pioneer of `60s psychedelic sounds, a sideman on a Top 5 pop hit and a session musician for Sly Stone, Granelli is a forward thinking master in the art of music. Since the late `80s, he has recorded over 20 albums as a leader and/or soloist…in jazz and the indefinable beyond.

Jerry Granelli was born December 30, 1940 in San Francisco, growing up in the city’s Italian-dominated outer Mission area. “My dad, Jack Granelli, was a great Italian wedding drummer,” he shares. “He loved the instrument as did my Uncle Pete. Dad liked swing, my uncle was more bebop. My first memory of music was finding a couple of screwdrivers then climbing up the drums to play them!” At 4, he memorized and could play Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five’s “Open the Door Richard.”

Though his parents first tried to start him on violin, Jerry was adamant in his love for the drums and swiftly became a bona fide prodigy. He studied under classical player Al Carr, sat in when his dad’s friends played Dixieland, and won every drum competition that came along. “I did that until I was about 10,” he says. “They kept bumping me up to compete against older kids. I was already converting snare drum rudiments and applying them to the drum set…but I had to sit at the edge of a chair to reach the foot pedals!”

San Francisco had a rich jazz scene in the `50s with a strong connection to what was happening in New York – The Tenderloin district, The Jazz Workshop, The Blackhawk and Black jazz clubs downtown in Fillmore like Jimbo’s Bop City. His dad would take him out once a week. When he was 8, Jerry spent a day learning under the feet of the legendary Gene Krupa. But it was Dave Brubeck Quartet mainstay Joe Morello that spent extensive time with him. “I would drive him to rehearsals and set up his drums,” Jerry says. “I was around the very first time they rehearsed Paul Desmond’s ‘Take Five’! For two years Morello taught me technical aspects of playing and never once tried to influence the way I played. I was listening to Jo Jones (for his hi hat technique), Roy Haynes and Philly Joe Jones who would all come to town in different groups playing at The Blackhawk. I’d see Danny Richmond at The Jazz Workshop with Mingus, Billy Hart with Jimmy Smith, and Elvin Jones – always very kind – with John Coltrane.”

“By 12, my uncle had taken me to hear Charlie Parker which blew my mind. I started sneaking out to the Koo Koo Club on Haight Street. I’d try to play and they’d throw me out. It was harsh but that was the rules – tough love. Then I heard Max Roach play a solo on ‘Parisian Thoroughfare’ that was melodic and harmonic, not just rhythmic. I realized how evolved the American drummer had become – my first glimmer of ‘a musician that plays the drums’.”

Jerry also learned much from the men on the local jazz scene. “I started off playing a lot of casuals, cabaret shows and in the symphony, but I knew that’s not what I was eventually going to do. I did that for experience and money because there wasn’t much jazz work and I wasn’t good enough yet. But I got to do jam sessions, rehearsal bands, big bands…strip joints and blues haunts…all while trying to get my be bop chops. At 17, I started getting a lot of $8 gigs at North Beach playing with local heroes. Tenor man Bobby Ferrera decided to come by every day at 4pm and teach me a Monk tune for an hour. There were no books. Anyone who was kind to me felt that I was sincere in my desire and took it upon themselves to teach me. They were anxious to keep the music alive.”

Granelli’s first big break came at age 21 when he went on the road with the Johnny Hamlin Quartet. “We did the Midwest and it was also my first trip to New York,” he says. “We made no money but I was playing jazz every night. When I got back to San Francisco, (drummer) Colin Bailey and (bassist) Monty Budwig had both left The Vince Guaraldi Trio to move to L.A. Vince’s big hit ‘Cast Your Fate to The Wind’ was out so he had a lot of bookings. Vince gave me a shot. In his inimitable way, Vince said, ‘We’re going to Sacramento for a week. We’ll see what happens.’ I knew I had to play better than ever and I did. Vince kept me.”

Jerry recorded with Vince on several of his collaborations with Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete and was present on many of the “Charlie Brown” television special scores including the inaugural now-classic A Charlie Brown Christmas – an internationally beloved jazz treasure for children of all ages which includes the bouncy theme “Linus and Lucy.” Sadly, carelessness on the part of Fantasy Records kept him from being properly credited on that album for decades. “That was the real beginning,” Jerry shrugs. “I was making good money as a working jazz musician. (Renowned music critic) Ralph J. Gleason would write about me so I went from a local guy to national recognition.”

“The gig with Vince was great but constricting,” Jerry continues, “There was another way I wanted to play. Dewey Redman was around. Pharoah Sanders had come up from Arkansas. I’d get off my gig with Vince at 2 then play the hard stuff for four hours over at Bop City. Then Jackson’s Nook would open at 6 A.M. I had the best of both worlds.” While playing with pianist Flip Nunez, Jerry met guitarist Fred Marshall who ushered him further onto alternative pathways. It was the seeds of the American avant-garde. New York had Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy and Albert Ayler. Jerry began to interface with a daring group of West Coast cats that included pianist Tom Harrell and Rafael Garrett on bass and whistles.

Jerry left the Guaraldi trio in `64 and switched to pianist Denny Zeitlen who’d moved to San Francisco from Chicago and was playing more open. Jerry recorded the Columbia Records studio LPs Carnival and Zeitgeist with The Denny Zeitlen Trio – a band that tied with the classic Miles Davis Quintet for Group of the Year honors in Downbeat Magazine’s Critics and Readers Polls of 1965. He also played on the trio’s Live at The Trident, a club in Sausalito that catered to a who’s who of visiting jazz stars. Jerry accompanied many of them including Carmen McRae, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lou Rawls and Mose Allison. “It had dawned on me during a solo I played with Denny that I wasn’t hearing the drums in a typical fashion. I got a tympani, 3 gongs, and racks of bells and tom toms.”

Another interesting mid-`60s sideline found Granelli doing studio work for then-up-and-coming record producer Sly Stone – pre-Family Stone – at *Tom Donohue’s* Autumn Records. “The Beatles bored me,” Jerry confesses, “but working with Sly I got to play some rhythm and blues, and work in the studio cutting singles on different artists…and beer commercials – separate ones for the Black, White and Hispanic radio stations.” Jerry played with folkies The Kingston Trio. He also cut a golden oldie for A&M Records’ pop vocal group We Five which featured his friend Fred’s then-wife Beverly Bivens as lead singer. The song, “You Were on My Mind,” was a dynamic pop radio smash that soared to #3 on the Billboard Top Singles chart in August of `65 on the wings of Granelli’s driving soft-to-loud/reflective-to-rousing pulse. “Frank Weber, who owned the Trident Club, brought me in on that,” Jerry shares. “That single sold 2 million, the album 1 million. I was making a living but those gigs were essentially paying the tab for me to play OUT on my time.”

After leaving Zeitlen’s trio, Jerry did a few gigs with jazz piano legend Bill Evans but declined joining the band. Instead, Jerry and Fred created a quartet called The Ensemble just as the psychedelic scene started popping up around `68 at Haight-Ashbury. Fred had invented an instrument called a Megatar – an 8-string guitar with a flexible neck but bigger. Jerry started experimenting with electronics to match. “The only place we could play was in the Haight at the Both/And club and the Sugar Hill opposite Redd Foxx. He called what we played ‘empty the room music!’ We couldn’t buy a jazz gig. (Rock impresario) Bill Graham had a club called The Matrix. We got on a bill between Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother &The Holding Company (Janis Joplin’s group) as Bill’s ‘pet band’.”

Jerry’s next band was even more innovative, an artist collective of three musicians and four light painters called Light Sound Dimension. “We were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as pioneers of the psychedelic scene,” Jerry states. “Frank Weber put Fred and I together with Bill Ham and Bob Fine – two light painters from the company Family Dog that did light shows for rock bands out at the Avalon Ballroom. They were improvisers who loved jazz. We played the San Francisco Museum of Art in front of screens inside rooms where every wall was painted black. Then we’d hang at The Fillmore with bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. I was no longer in the middle of the jazz stream. It was a wide open time…the free speech and civil rights movements were raging…the sexual revolution…anti war demonstrations. Our music was tied into all of that social consciousness. There was also a lot of LSD going around… I went to Europe for the first time in `71 with The Grateful Dead.”

“This is when I began to see myself less as a musician and more as an artist,” Jerry muses. “I figured everybody would be multi-disciplinary by then.”

In the midst of all this, Jerry discovered Buddhism which additionally began to shape his consciousness. “The first time I went to hear Chogyam Trungpa speak, it was like the first time I heard Charlie Parker. I recognized what he was saying as truth. It was like someone had read thoughts in my mind that I had never spoken aloud. I got involved with them and trying to figure out how to be a human being – living out in Berkeley raising vegetables. I hadn’t done anything my whole life but play music. I was trying to discover myself. Studying Buddhism I became aware of ‘lineage’” (the generational continuum of souls connected and moving forward).

After visiting for two summers in `74 and `75, Jerry moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1976 to study Tibetan Buddhism. He started the Creative Music Program at Naropa Institute with percussionist Colin Walcott (later of Oregon fame). “That was tied in with what Carl [Karl] Berger had been doing up in Woodstock. We brought out musicians like Don Cherry and Charlie Haden. We had dance and theatre departments. I got to work with poets Allen Ginsberg and Ann Waldman. For five weeks, people would come together, have concerts and teach. It was a real entrance into education based on this type of music – in how it could be taught. Naropa was about crossing boundaries and making the arts melting pot work together.”

Next in `81, he took his burgeoning teaching chops to Seattle. “A scene was developing at Cornish Institute of Arts where I found myself on a faculty with Jim Knapp (composer), Gary Peacock (bass/theory), Julian Priester (trombone), Carter Jefferson (sax) and Jay Clayton (singer).We had a free hand at a new way of teaching this music to an exciting and receptive collection of young people like Brad Shepik (guitar) and Briggan Krause (alto sax). We taught music in a way that involved the streets. It was about not trying to stylize students. It was a great time. We were teaching but all of us got to do a lot of playing together. Gary and I became a sought after bass and drums duo. We did a lot of traveling…and a lot of ECM recordings! I also played with Jane Ira Bloom.”

On the advice of his Buddhist teacher, Jerry left Reagan era America to live in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he got in touch with its strong folk and roots scene and Celtic music. It was while on a series of solo concert dates in Europe that Jerry encountered mallets master Dave Friedman in Berlin who had started a music program at Horchshule der Kunst. Jerry accepted a position there (now The Jazz Institute of Berlin) and was officially recognized as a professor – not through traditional academia but through a more organic amalgam of his experience and outlook on art. “The Germans looked at my resume, my career, my life’s journey and said, ‘You are a teacher.’ It was like a jazz musician hitting the Lotto. I had a steady job of high esteem, I enjoyed a great salary and I still get a pension. I played a lot but I really enjoyed teaching and designing curriculum.”

“The heart of that curriculum is every class is a playing class,” Granelli elucidates. “Even the theory class had a performance aspect. We had 60 to 80 students a year for a 4-year program. There were about 8 ensembles running – blues, bop, free, composers, etc. – so everyone got to be a part of some ensemble. It also involved intimate relationship with students based on giving information to help them find their own voice. The European approach to jazz really changed with the presence of American teachers. In the `80 and `90s, they got to hear The Art Ensemble of Chicago, John Zorn and Ornette Coleman. They understood and embraced the social aspect of the music which represents freedom. And when they graduated, they were ready to work not just as sidemen but to make their own music.”

Jerry was Director of Jazz and Popular Music Dept. at Canadian Conservatory.

He also co-founded the Atlantic Jazz Festival with Susan Hunter,
introducing an educational component to the jazz festival experience. And Granelli started the band camp Creative Music Workshop which happens two weeks every summer.

The fertile ground of teaching and a relationship with producer Lee Townsend gradually led Granelli to recording as a leader with an emboldened sense of imagination. He started a double-guitar band with some young German musicians and called it UFB (an acronym for UnFuckinBelievable). He cut a record titled A Song I Heard Buddy Sing based on Michael Ondaatje’s novel “Coming Through Slaughter” (The Life of Buddy Bolden) with Kenny Garrett on sax, Julian Priester on trombone, Anthony Cox on piano, and both Bill Frisell & Robben Ford on guitars. It won the German Critics Prize – high respect for Granelli as a leader – was also nominated for a Grammy Award and Canada’s Juno Award.

Since 1987, Jerry Granelli has recorded almost an album a year- profoundly inspired to do so via his respect for the great Max Roach. Among his first CDs were One Day at a Time and Koputi (both on the ITM label), News on the Street and Broken Circle (a Native American meditation). Recent highlights among these projects include albums with his band Badlands, a septet with guitars and saxes. Its 1998 album Enter, a Dragon (with accordion) included the ethereal pieces “Fainting Sheep” and “Bou Nora.” Another band, V16, is a double-guitar quartet that incorporates samplers. Its self-titled 2003 debut featured the pieces “O Bossa, Where Art Thou,” “Mutator” and “Black Confederacy.”

The following year’s Sandhills Reunion (2004) was an especially unique piece in collaboration with writer/spoken word artist Rinde Eckert whose scenarios, short stories and poetry were set to evocative ‘soundscapes’ on titles such as “Smart Women,” “20 Questions for an Outlaw,” “Your Voice,” “Never to See You.” “That project was assembled as a composite of Americana,” Jerry explains. “Sandhills is a sprawling area in Nebraska with clusters of small towns. We made an aural movie by trying to create a third thing out of words and music – like Mingus meshed jazz and dance with Black Saint & The Sinner Lady as a ballet.”

In 2010 Granelli recorded a solo/all-drums album in one day titled 1313 (after the address behind which his Sprung Studio resides). “Doing that record was not my idea,” Jerry confesses. “It was the idea of Dorsey over at Divorce Records, a label that specializes in what’s called noise records and trash music (neither of which apply to Granelli’s highly experimental yet musical offering of drums, cymbals, synth, octopad and electronics – all mic’d uniquely). 2011 found him engaged in the inevitable – The Jerry Granelli Trio record Let Go – not with piano but sax, bass and drums (with the voice of Mary Jane Lamond on “Solaria” and “Vulnerable”).

Granelli’s evolution from musician to artist has culminated with his adaptation of the descriptive Sound Painter which connects back to another creative outlet he has long enjoyed – painting. “I started painting in the late `60s,” he shares. “Once again, Fred Marshall was an artist. He’d make a charcoal drawing then ask, ‘Can you play that?’ So I started. I like to paint because it’s a slow process. I can tell when I’m about to write music because I start painting… Peter Voulkos was a great American potter who made bronze sculptures like the one in front of the Hall of Justice in San Francisco in the early `70s. I would play them. Later in the `90s, a blacksmith named John Little created sound sculptures – beautiful structures yet make with musical intent. I did a record playing them called Iron Sky (2001).”

In 2014 Jerry joined creative forces with Canadian composer Peter Togni. Peter composed a five movement concerto for improvised percussion and choir titled Warrior Songs (which includes Tibetan text, Spanish Catholic text and text from Malcolm X). Jeff Riley is also writing a piece for nonet – showcasing Granelli as the sole soloist. Warrior Songs premiered in Boulder, Colorado in 2014 and the Canadian premier took place in Toronto in 2015.

Warrior Songs is a five movement concerto for improvised percussion and choir. A 75 minute epic! The central theme running throughout the work is the idea of being a warrior for nonaggression and the simple bravery needed to look directly at one’s own mind and heart.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s poetry is the anchor and centre of the work. We are using three of his poems: To Gesar of Ling, A Child's Concept of Death and Battle Cry. We are also using a text from the Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross, a text from the Roman Catholic liturgy, Da Pacem, and a text by Malcolm X from a speech he gave in New York in March of 1964. This speech has the wonderful and important line “…my sincerity is my credentials”. In some way the whole work, though anchored in Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s poems and ideas, points to this incredible line by Malcolm X which is the basis for last movement of the concerto.

The texts are sometimes very direct and can be taken literally and at other times they meld into a sound wall and are more metaphorical, sometimes even colour for the sake of colour, since there will be some who perceive the work as just sound. This concerto is written in the spirit of the early Shambhala vision of different schools and schools of thought existing under one roof. Granelli and Togni are friends and have collaborated for many years; they play together in improvising ensembles in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Together, they have managed to build a piece that combines Jerry’s use of specific rhythmic patterns, patterns important to him on many levels, and Peter-Anthony’s imagination and skill as a choral composer and by consequence have united their spiritual practices; Granelli’s Tibetan Buddhist practice and Togni’s Catholic practice.

This concerto is an ecumenical journey
towards nonaggression but it is certainly not a quiet ride; it ranges from sublime static sections to thundering chords and wild bursts of sound! The percussion part is freely improvised and is also made up of set patterns, the coming together of freedom and form, intuition and improvisation. The texts and Togni’s mystical choral writing are the backdrop for Jerry Granelli’s legendary brilliance as a jazz drummer and improvising percussionist who will endeavour to bring the listener, in the words of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, to a state of “hereness”.

Warrior Songs was commissioned by Jerry Granelli.

2015 also saw the release of a new full length recording- What I Hear Now, which featured three saxophones, a trombone plus Bass and drums with guest Mike Murley on one of those saxophones, Dani Oore on another. The album was released on Canada’s ADDO records, it was critically acclaimed and went on to be nominated for a JUNO Award, as well as win an East Coast Music Award.

In 2016 Jerry was honoured with the prestigious Portia White Prize: The prize is named for Portia White, a Nova Scotia artist who rose through adversity to achieve international acclaim as a classical singer on the great stages of Europe and North America. Her achievements continue to instill a sense of pride in the African Nova Scotian communities and stand as a model to all Nova Scotians. The Portia White prize recognizes cultural and artistic excellence on the part of a Nova Scotian artist who has attained professional status, mastery and recognition in their discipline.

And then he went back to work. Traveling to Vancouver, BC in December of 2016 with the goal of recording a new album of material drawn from his past and present, but all deeply rooted in the blues. This new work was only going to be possible if old friends, guitarists Bill Frisell and Robben Ford could make time in their schedules. They did. So along with bassist J. Anthony Granelli and produced by the steady hands and ears of another old friend and collaborator, Lee Townsend, the new recording came together. It is called Dance Hall, was released in November of 2017. The recording is eight tracks long, half of them include a stunning horn section. This also marked a new home for Jerry Granelli’s music- Montreal’s Justin Time Records.

Granelli’s evolution from musician to artist perhaps could be seen as culminating with his adaptation of the descriptive Sound Painter which connects back to another creative outlet he has long enjoyed – painting.

I started painting in the late `60s,” he shares. “Once again, Fred Marshall was an artist. He’d make a charcoal drawing then ask, ‘Can you play that?’ So I started. I like to paint because it’s a slow process. I can tell when I’m about to write music because I start painting…

(Never one to slow down, his collection is growing) Jerry adds,

Peter Voulkos was a great American potter who made bronze sculptures like the one in front of the Hall of Justice in San Francisco in the early `70s. I would play them. Later in the `90s, a blacksmith named John Little created sound sculptures – beautiful structures yet make with musical intent. I did a record playing them called Iron Sky (2001).

I want to be an artist `til I drop and continue to be relevant,” Granelli concludes. “I remember seeing Max Roach in New York City just before he died in 2007. I walked into Carroll Music on 55th and could not believe my eyes. At 83, that man had rented a room and was in there…practicing.”

And now for my next number, I would like to play…a building.

– A. Scott Galloway
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:09 am

Dale Asrael
by Naropa University
Accessed: 8/19/19 | 303-546-3522

Associate Professor
Core Faculty
Master of Divinity - Core Faculty
BA in Religious Studies - Core Faculty
MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling - Core Faculty
MA in Religious Studies: Contemplative Religions - Core Faculty
MA in Religious Studies: Indo-Tibetan Buddhism - Core Faculty
MA, Contemplative Education, Naropa University
BS, Communications, Northwestern University

Dale has taught in the field of contemplative education for more than thirty-five years, with a career spanning early childhood education through high school and university. Her career at Naropa began in 1991, where she has focused on contemplative training for counselors, therapists, chaplains, and working teachers. Her chapter, “The Love of Wisdom Puts You on the Spot” appears in Meditation in the Classroom, soon to be published by SUNY Publications. Dale is an Acharya (Senior Teacher) in the lineage of Naropa’s founder, Ven. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche and is an Upadhyaya (Buddhist minister). In addition to her teaching at Naropa, she leads meditation retreats and dharma programs internationally, and trains meditation instructors. Dale has been appointed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as the Dean of Meditation Instructors for Shambhala International, responsible for the training, supervision, and support of all meditation instructors. Dale is a practitioner of the ancient contemplative body-mind practice Qigong and has been appointed to teach in the Xiantianwujimen and Xiquan lineages by Daoist lineage holder, Eva Wong.


Dale Asrael
Accessed: 8/19/19

Dale Asrael

Dale Asrael, growing up in a suburb of Washington, DC, studied music and dance and, even as a young child, ruthlessly searched for answers. Through her Jewish ancestry, she learned to celebrate the sacredness of life and, simultaneously be aware of the depth of human suffering. After completing university studies in film and Eastern religions, Dale moved to Canada in 1970, disheartened by the Vietnam War. Shortly after she took Refuge Vows at the Kagyü Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dale heard reports of a “revolutionary young lama” who was teaching about chaos and wisdom. She journeyed to Boulder to meet him, and during her first interview with the Vidyadhara in 1973, realized she was “being given answers to questions I hadn’t even begun to articulate.”

Dale attended the first session of Naropa Institute in 1974 and the first public dathün at Rocky Mountain Dharma Center that same summer. An early member of the Kootenay Dharma Study Group, she spent the next six years traveling from B.C. to Boulder attend programs with Rinpoche. During that time, she completed university studies in Education and became a music teacher in the British Columbia public schools.

Dale attended the 1978 Vajradhatu Seminary, a program remembered for Rinpoche’s regular gatherings for post-talk singing in the hotel lounge. In 1979, she moved to Boulder to study intensively with the Vidyadhara. She taught music at the Buddhist-inspired Vidya School for five years. At Rinpoche’s request, she moved to Rocky Mountain Dharma Center to serve as Head of Practice and Study at from 1985-1990. In that role, she had the inexpressible good fortune of working closely with the Vidyadhara during his last two Seminaries.

Upon returning to Boulder, CO. to live, Dale was able to return to Shambhala Mountain Center every summer to teach at the Seminaries. In this way, she began to work closely with Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche and to learn deeply from his stream of teachings. She continues to deepen her understanding through ongoing studies and yearly retreats.

Dale has taught as Core Faculty at Naropa University since 1992, in the M.A. Buddhist Studies, Contemplative Education, and Counseling programs, and is an Upadhyaya (Buddhist minister). She leads meditation retreats, dathuns, Sutrayana Seminaries, Ngondro Instructor trainings, and other programs internationally.

“I am continually humbled by studying and practicing the profound teachings of our lineages. The more I learn, the more I realize the incredible good fortune we share.”

Teaching Topics
Refuge Vows & Bodhisattva Vows
Teachers Academy
Shambhala Training Levels
Way of Shambhala classes
Ngondro Retreat
Other Teachings
Qigong Levels I-II, SMC, July 24-26
Qigong Level III, SMC, July 26-28
Qigong and Meditation with Eva Wong, SMC, Aug. 12-17

Acharya Dale Asrael's schedule:
2019-09-07, Boulder, Traditional Chinese Qigong: Levels 1 & 2
2019-10-05, Denver, Taoist Qigong Level 3
2020-01-03, Melbourne, Australian Summer 2020 Meditation Half-Dathun Retreat - Cultivating Sanity in Times of Uncertainty and Change.
2020-01-03, Melbourne, Australian Summer 2020 Meditation Retreat - Cultivating Sanity in Times of Uncertainty and Change, Weekthun A option
2020-01-11, Melbourne, Australian Summer 2020 Meditation Retreat - Cultivating Sanity in Times of Uncertainty and Change, Weekthun B option
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:28 am

Dorje Löppön Lodrö Dorje
Accessed: 8/19/19

The meditation instruction was delegated to one of Trungpa's disciples named Eric Holm, but who preferred to use his Dharma name of Lodro Dorje. Holm and I were at odds from the very first day of the module. On his first lecture, focusing on the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, Holm began badgering me about why Buddha's life and teaching should be revered as any more sacred and reliable than that of his teacher, Trungpa Rinpoche. Nothing satisfied Holm, and I knew that everything I said during the module was going to be held against the yardstick of Trungpa's teaching. The only satisfaction I got was by refusing to address Holm as Lodro Dorje, so whenever we met at Naropa events, on the street, or at parties, I would always say, "Hi, Eric," and smile as Holm would fume and slowly say, "My name is LODRO DORJE, L-O-D-R-O D-O-R-J-E." "Right, Eric Holm," I would say as I walked away convinced he was trapped in his own spiritual materialism. The students in the module weren't particularly bright, or highly motivated, and I quickly lost interest.

-- Topsy-Turvy Times with Trungpa, by Charles S. Prebish, from "Recalling Chogyam Trungpa, by Fabrice Midal"

Naropa Institute, one of the clearest statements of Trungpa’s vision of transmission, was modeled on the Buddhist University of Nalanda, where Nāropā had been an abbot. Though Buddhist inspired, Nalanda had a curriculum which covered secular subjects such as poetry, logic, arts, and sciences. At Naropa Institute it was hoped that the intellectual, critical mind of the West would meet the Eastern technique of contemplation and experiential wisdom.77 In his own education Trungpa had been guided by Jamgon Kongtrul through meditative techniques, combining logic and philosophy with personal experience and understanding through contemplation, always stressing the importance of the contemplative tradition.78 According to Trungpa, a contemplative tradition combining personal experience with understanding was the inspiration for Naropa Institute; he wanted to create a “living tradition” focused on contemplative education.79 However, it was Trungpa’s scholarship that was most difficult for his students to understand. They were, as Prebish describes them, “victims of a serious misunderstanding that result[ed] in transparent anti-intellectualism,” rather than the balance of study and practice Trungpa emphasized.80

The first summer session of Naropa Institute in 1974 brought figures like Ram Das, Allen Ginsberg, Herbert Guenther, Charles Prebish, Harvey Cox, and John Cage
, along with almost two thousand students. Academics like Prebish were intrigued by the process of working with Trungpa’s students. During the second summer session in 1975, Prebish taught a “module”—where students and instructors would study, practice, and live in “close proximity”—with two students of Trungpa’s, Reginald Ray and the Dorje Loppon Lodro Dorje (Eric Holm).81 The experience provided Prebish with valuable insight into the emerging Vajradhatu community. It would also be during these first summer sessions that a vision for an accredited university would take form.



77 Fields, How the Swans Came, 316.

78 Trungpa, “Jamgon Kongtrul,” talk 5, 4/12/1974, Karma Dzong, Boulder, Colorado.

79 Trungpa, “Jamgon Kongtrul,” talk 1, 29/11/1974, Karma Dzong, Boulder, Colorado.

80 Prebish, American Buddhism, 154.

81 Fields, How the Swans Came, 317, and Prebish, Luminous Passage, 94.

-- Fresh Bread from an Old Recipe: Chögyam Trungpa’s Transmission of Buddhism to North America, 1970–1977, by Ryan Jones, McGill University


The Dorje Loppön became a student of the Vidyadhara in 1971, and the following year was coordinator of the New York Dharmadhatu. Later that year he worked on construction of retreat huts at Rocky Mountain Dharma Center. He taught at the first three Vajradhatu Seminaries, and in 1974 led the first dathün at RMDC.

In 1976, then known as Eric Holm, he was appointed by the Vidyadhara as Loppön (or Dean) of Three Yana Studies (Practice and Study), responsible for the meditation and study programs at Vajradhatu centers, working with tantra students, training and supervising meditation instructors, and teacher training.

The Loppön was an early member of the Nalanda Translation Committee and worked on the Rain of Wisdom and the sadhanas of Vajrayogini and Chakrasamvara. In 1978, he was appointed head of the Office of Three Yana Studies and a member of the board of directors. He was a co-founding faculty member of the Ngeton School of Higher Learning, an institute for advanced Buddhist Study under the auspices of Vajradhatu. At Naropa Institute he was a regular participant in the Buddhist-Christian conferences and taught in the Vidyadhara’s summer course there in 1980. He also taught Shambhala Training, especially at the graduate and post-graduate level.

In 1985, the Vidyadhara appointed him Dorje Loppön, giving him further responsibility for advanced teaching, including giving transmissions for ngöndro practices. At that time the responsibilities of the Office of Three Yana Studies included the Ngeton School, and Gampo Abbey.

In 1986 and 1988 he assisted the Vidyadhara and the Vajra Regent in teaching the main class at the Vajradhatu Seminaries, and in 1990, due to the ill health of the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin, presided over that year’s program. He co-taught two Vajra Assemblies with the Vajra Regent in 1985 and 1987. Since 1991 the Dorje Loppön has been involved with the three-year retreat program at Gampo Abbey, participating on a part-time basis. He currently serves on the Practice and Study Committee.


Suffering, The Four Immeasurables and Selflessness
Date: Friday, May 30, 2008
Teacher : Acharya Lodro Dorje Holm
Price per person: $120.00
Patron Price: $60.00
Based on sutrayana teachings and influenced by Shambhala and vajrayana perspectives, these classes will be directly relevant to both sutrayana and vajrayana meditators. Each presentation will include view and specific meditation instructions. Open to all.


[Eric Holm, Senior Teacher] At one point I was concerned about whether you needed to be celibate on the spiritual path, because I had been reading all the Hindu yoga books that talked about how important celibacy was in meditation. And just as I was getting to that little question on my list, there was a knock on the door, and it was Diana. And he said, "Oh, come in, sweetie." And she was wearing a yellow bath towel that barely covered her, so I didn't know whether to look down or whether to look up. And then he kissed her and said, "Well, I'll come to bed soon, sweetie." Then she left, and I didn't actually ask that question.

-- Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche -- Screencap Gallery, produced and directed by Johanna Demetrakas

The Loppön recommends the following readings:

Longchenpa Great Chariot Autocommentary Chapter VII The Four Immeasurables



An effective approach to practice brings three things together: holding our seat in the moment; acknowledging our habitual patterns of ego-clinging; and drawing on the strength of unconditioned mind.

To overcome habitual patterns we need to gain direct recognition of how ego is triggered and perpetuates itself. In Buddhist terms, this is the direct recognition of the origin of suffering; in Shambhala terms this is practicing fear and fearlessness.

This direct recognition is grounded in our inherent unconditioned mind, the buddha-nature, and so letting go of ego-identifications is also a source of deeper strength.


The Four immeasurable Minds provide a foundation for bodhichitta, taking and sending, and tantric practice. We can approach the Four Immeasurables by developing them as qualities, as well as a way to remove our obstacles and blockages to experiencing the true nature of unconditioned mind.

We develop the Immeasurables as qualities by contemplating both the suffering and the accomplishments of ourselves and others. We remove obstacles to unconditioned mind by opening to pain, vulnerability, and uncertainty in ourselves and others.

In this way the Immeasurables arise not merely as the result of conceptual contemplation, but also as the manifestation of inseparable awareness and compassion.

(TALK 5)

Continuing with our theme of attending to three things together: holding our seat in presence to inner and outer experience; acknowledgement of our defenses, ego-reactions, and habitual patterning; and drawing on the strength of the unconditioned mind.

Taking and sending practice can involve all of these elements. We start by getting a foothold on liberating our own suffering; from there we extend further.

(TALK 6)

Who, where and what is our true self? Where is this "I" who proclaims "I am", "I need", "I must do", "I must defend"? Our physical body is impermanent and has no solid center. Our emotions fluctuate between joy and depression, love and anger, peace and turmoil. The conceptual stories we identify with alternate between success and failure, social and private personas, pride and fear. Consciousness–is it in thoughts or separate from them? Awareness–is it continuous or momentary? We will examine the Buddhist teachings on the five heaps (skandhas) .

Schedule and format

This course offers six recorded classes in total.
We recommend that wherever possible, participants gather together locally for the talks, practice together, dress up, and create a good container in which to receive these teachings.

Program Fees

The program fees listed below are suggested amounts. Please pay what you can—less, or more, than the suggested amount. Your contribution will support our ability to provide online teachings in the future.

REGISTRATION FEE: $120 for individual participation. $60 if part of a group.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS: A computer with a wired, high speed internet connection.

Please note: recordings are made over the internet. Their quality cannot be guaranteed.
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You Are Avalokiteshvara
by Eric Holm
Lion's Roar
January 1, 2002


Eric Holm on how visualization practice helps us overcome ego and pacify obstacles. Includes “A Visualization Practice: Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.”

The buddhadharma is renowned for its skillful methods of meditative training. In Vajrayana Buddhism, many of these methods are based on the visualization of archetypal wisdom forms, or deities.

Visualization practices come from a very profound point of view. For generations of practitioners over more than a thousand years, such practices have been pivotal in overcoming the basic problems of the ego’s self-centeredness, emotional fixations, and frozen perceptions.

For those not acquainted with these seemingly strange practices, they may raise a host of questions:

• Where do these deities come from?
• Are these actual beings or symbolic forms?
• How do these images express spiritual inspiration and spiritual training?
• If the highest realization in Buddhism is formless emptiness, what is the usefulness of these images?
• How do these practices differ from the worship of deities in theistic spiritual traditions?

Mind Works in Symbols

Actually, visualization is not foreign to us. Our mind works in images and symbols all the time. Many of our daydreams and memories, even our most fleeting thoughts, arise as images. Our inner aspirations and ideals, as well as our thoughts of authority figures, lovers and adversaries, all may come in images.

What Vajrayana does is to exploit the image-making activity of our mind that is already taking place and turn it into a skillful means.

However, there are some important differences between the ongoing visualization process of our habitual thoughts and the use of visualization in meditation. First of all, unless we have trained ourselves to work with our thoughts, our usual visualizations with their overlay of associations and transferences are largely involuntary. In fact, these images are the very medium of our emotional torment and confused projections.

Second, the emotional charge associated with these images is generally not free flowing. It tends to be fixated into one emotional pattern or another, such as desire, depression, jealousy or anxiety.

Finally, we are often not aware of these visualizations as being our own thoughts or mental productions. We may not recognize how our subconscious imagery mixes with our actual perceptions and colors how we see the world. So in many cases our mind’s image-making is a source of confusion and entanglement, rather than a source of opening.

What Vajrayana does is to exploit the image-making activity of our mind that is already taking place and turn it into a skillful means. We should be clear at the outset that the wisdom archetypes visualized in Vajrayana are definitely not separately existing external beings, in the way that theistic traditions often present deities. Rather, these are symbolic manifestations of buddhanature, the potential for awakening inherent in every living being.

Grasping and Fixating: The Creation of Self and Other

In the Buddhist view, the root of all negativity is our ignorance of the true nature of life, consciousness and the universe, and our attempt to grasp and solidify what is ever changing and ungraspable.

The original ground of being is vast openness and spontaneously present, radiant basic intelligence. This is reflected in the buddhanature within the mind-stream of every living being. Ignorance of this intrinsic radiance and fear of its limitless openness results in a process of shrinking down, obscuring and distorting the basic intelligence. What results is the frozen, dualistic mind-body-and-world we are so familiar with.

This process, called “ego clinging,” has two aspects. The first is the grasping and centralizing of experience around an instinctive “I, me, and mine.” The second is fixating on solidified meanings and frozen perceptions of the universe. Though described as two aspects, the creation of a self and its positioning in a frozen universe are two sides of one coin.

The buddhanature in us represents tremendous creative potential, yet our habitual being is blinded and distorted by the ego process of grasping and fixation. This results in the continual recreation of our confused being, burdened by fear, limitation, and conflicting emotions.

Buddhanature: The Ground, Path and Fruition

The term “buddhanature” refers to our own innate wisdom and compassion. Often our buddhanature emerges spontaneously in acts of kindness, courage and inquisitiveness, yet at other times it is obscured by our clinging to small identities, imagined securities, and emotional fixations. Buddhanature also manifests as a gnawing dissatisfaction, a search for deeper meaning in life. This is buddhanature manifesting as the ground, the innate potential in everyone, whether realized or not.

Increased openness to ourselves and to the world comes from letting go again and again of self-centered thoughts and habitual storylines.

We can also speak of buddhanature as the path. As a result of meditative training, a constructive approach to life, and good spiritual guidance, we begin to let go of obsessive thoughts and small identities. We experience increased openness to ourselves and to the world. This comes from letting go again and again of self-centered thoughts and habitual storylines. Instead, we settle into a genuine sense of being, our buddhanature, which is said to be composed of openness, compassion and insight. It is our true nature, so to speak.

Finally, there is buddhanature as the fruition, the state of being of those who are fully realized. This manifests as the three kayas, or bodies, of the awakened state. They are the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya.

The dharmakaya, or “body of the dharma-nature,” is the completely unbounded being of the awakened state. It is beyond form, beyond experience, beyond relative time and space. It is the creative potential within and behind everything.

The sambhogakaya, or “body of complete enjoyment,” refers to the unceasing, spontaneous emanation of compassion, which aims to liberate all beings who live in a contracted, fearful, dualistic consciousness.

Finally, through the nirmanakaya, or “body of emanation,” the dharmakaya and sambhoghakaya are actually embodied, for instance in the physical presence of an accomplished master or in the form of the wisdom archetypes.

Vajrayana Practice

In the Vajrayana view, our life stands on a twofold ground: the ground of our confused being and also what permeates it—this tender inquisitiveness of buddhanature, which is something very powerful. So in common with all Buddhist traditions, Vajrayana takes our confused being on the path as something to refine and purify. In addition Vajrayana takes our buddhanature on the path as something to bring out and acknowledge. The wisdom deities that are visualized manifest the illuminating force of the buddhanature that is present in us, and in this sense we bring the wisdom of fruition to the path.

When we refer to the wisdom deities as symbolic, we don’t mean they are mere symbols. They are dynamic images that reveal the wisdom, compassion and potency of the buddhanature that empowers them. They are symbols of a state of being that combines profound awareness of how things actually are with the active and transformative power of that awareness. As the Heart Sutra says, “Form is no other than emptiness, emptiness is no other than form.” The Cajrayana deities express this inseparability of emptiness and its dynamic activity.

But how is it that such images actually spark the insight of emptiness-form in our minds, rather than being just another mental projection or some neurotic fantasy? This is a crucial question that goes to the heart of what visualization practice is about.

The answer is twofold. First, the practices function this way because they are empowered by direct transmission from a teacher who represents a living lineage of realization. Second, their effectiveness depends on appropriate preparatory training of the student-practitioner.

Visualizations are sometimes given to beginning students as objects for mental stabilization, and this is entirely valid. Nevertheless, on the whole, the visualization of the wisdom deities is an advanced practice that needs to be understood in the context of Buddhist meditative training in general.

The Development of Mindfulness and Stability

To understand visualization practice, we have to understand something of the progressive stages of meditation. Only in this way can we understand the state of mind from which the wisdom archetype meditations arise. In the buddhadharma, the meditative journey begins with taming and pacifying the mind. The crucial element in this is mindfulness.

In Buddhism our initial task is to recognize our thoughts as simply thoughts, rather than as ultimate realities, and to make friends with the unruly cacophony of forces that is our inner world.

Even though the ordinary disciplines of life can bring us some mental focus, the inner landscape of our mind often goes unnoticed. By holding our attention to the breath or another simple object of focus, our mind becomes sharper and we become aware of a flood of mental activity. In mindfulness meditation, we acknowledge the thoughts, emotions, projections, hopes and fears that arise and dissolve in our mind, without judging any of them as good or bad.

Therefore, in Buddhism our initial task is to recognize our thoughts as simply thoughts, rather than as ultimate realities, and to make friends with the unruly cacophony of forces that is our inner world. We accept everything that arises, and let it go. Accommodating this inner chaos becomes a means of taming it. Holding to our object of focus and recognizing our repeated distraction serves to interrupt the obsessive train of thoughts and preoccupations, so that over time we develop some inner peace and stability.

The Development of Compassion

The buddhadharma, like most spiritual traditions, emphasizes the importance of compassion and empathy. There is the obvious suffering of people in extreme distress, such as refugees from a civil war, and of people suffering loss, grief, illness or poverty. However, a more subtle suffering and struggle pervades all of life, even among people in fortunate circumstances. Life brings continual challenges, anxieties and disappointments, and the suffering we experience in our own life can reduce our arrogance and increase our empathy. So compassion arises, first of all, from our own experience of suffering and our awareness of others’ predicaments.

Compassion arises in a second way from our gratitude and affection for those close to us-our parents, mentors, friends and children. Starting with this universal instinct of compassion, we can then undertake deliberate meditation on loving-kindness that removes possessive attitudes and expands our compassion more universally.

Third, compassion arises as an inherent quality of awareness. As such, it manifests warmth and communication toward all beings and all things, without history, without memory, without cause or reason. This boundless compassion is one aspect of the Vajrayana deities.

Connection with a Spiritual Master

Fundamentally, our spiritual development is our own responsibility. Nevertheless, a relationship with an authentic teacher who embodies a lineage of spiritual instruction brings immeasurable help. Such a teacher has gone through much training and is aware of the many sidetracks and blind alleys that spiritual practitioners may get themselves into, as well as the various ways they can resist the process of waking up.

A competent teacher will know how to instruct aspirants stage by stage, according to their capabilities. But the inspiration of such a teacher goes beyond guidance and instruction. An evolved teacher also manifests an enlightened state of being, and the atmosphere of wide-open mind, compassion, directness and wakefulness around such a teacher is very inspiring.

The teacher’s example is not mere charisma in the ordinary sense; it is authenticity of being. From the presence of such a person, one gains confidence that the awakened state is not just a myth from the past. It is real and can be realized by people of the present generation. This brings confidence, a deeper glimpse into the nature of one’s own mind, and a sense of admiration, respect and devotion.

It is by acknowledging the feast of our ego clinging that we learn to transform confusion into wisdom.

Devotion in the Vajrayana arises from trust in the dharma, gratitude for the benefit one has received, and longing to realize one’s true being, which is inseparable from the teacher’s realization. Sometimes devotion is misunderstood as placing oneself in a dependent position and regarding the teacher as an all-wise parental figure. No doubt the teacher’s wisdom and vision in spiritual matters is beyond our own. Nevertheless, taking such a dependent position is an obstacle that has no developmental value. Whether in the basic Buddhist approach of self-liberation, in the bodhisattva path of compassionate action, or in the Vajrayana discipline, what is called for is confidence in one’s inherent potential, trust in one’s own insight, and a brave, even heroic attitude.

At the same time, devotion to an authentic teacher allows students to open up to their most basic fears and neuroses and also to discover their most far-reaching potential. It is by acknowledging the feast of our ego clinging that we learn to transform confusion into wisdom. The ngöndro, or Vajrayana foundation practices, help to make this surrendering process deep-seated and real.

Change of Allegiance

The development of mindfulness, of compassion, and of a relationship to a genuine teacher brings about a certain change of allegiance in the practitioner. We begin to realize that our habitual aggressions, avoidances, indulgences, jealousies, slanders, arrogance and so forth are the source of only bewilderment and suffering. Gradually we lose faith in these habitual strategies. Both in our mind and behavior, we begin to shift our allegiance to a saner approach.

This change of allegiance is sharpened by several additional insights. First, we begin to realize that human life has a precious task-opening ourselves up to the spiritual foundations of existence. Our own existential restlessness, as well as our encounter with accomplished teachers, confirms this.

Second, we realize that our life is impermanent; its conditions are constantly changing. Life is unpredictable; however, it is certain that eventually we will have to leave this life and this body behind. At the time of death, our only resource will be the pattern of sanity and openness we have developed.

This realization of impermanence might bring with it a certain element of panic and groundlessness. We realize that although there are temporary securities, nothing in this life can provide the ultimate security we crave. All this brings a certain immediacy and urgency to our path.

Moreover, we can see that many people lead life in a way that is bound to be self-defeating in the long run. Not being in touch with our deeper nature, we suffer from spiritual emptiness, and no matter how many diversions we seek, that emptiness remains.

A Visualization Practice: Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion

When our mind bears the imprint of the above foundations, we are ready to be introduced to visualization practice. As a result our training, when we visualize the wisdom deity it has the following qualities:

First, the visualization has the imprint of our teacher’s mind and the way he or she has pointed out the nature of mind to us. Second, it is stamped with the immediacy of mindfulness. Third, it has the nature of compassion. Fourth, it represents a change of allegiance from our habitual, fixated mind.

In Vajrayana there are three classes of visualization: the gurus, the wisdom deities, and the protectors. Commonly, we visualize our own root teacher in the form of Vajradhara Buddha or Guru Rinpoche. This expresses the insight that even though we meet our teacher in human form, his or her realization is continuous with the realization of the lineage as a whole. Second, we visualize the wisdom archetypal deities. These deities are always understood as inseparable from one’s own teacher and lineage. Third, we visualize assisting and protective forces, the dharma protectors.

To explain some further aspects of visualization meditation, we can go through the basic stages of a short practice of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.

The Front Visualization

At the beginning of the practice, we visualize the wisdom archetypal form, in this case the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, in front of us and surrounded by the masters of the lineage. The front visualization represents the presence of higher wisdom and awareness that we, in our more undeveloped state, open to and aspire to emulate. It is good to cultivate the attitude that this visualization is not merely in our imagination, but that the wisdom mind and compassionate activity of the deity and our teacher are actually present. In this way our visualization can be empowered because it arises from our connection with our teacher.

At this stage, the visualization is an external object of refuge and devotion. Just as we take refuge in the Buddha as an example, the dharma as a path, and the sangha as companions, here we take refuge in the masters of the lineage and the sambhoghakaya deity forms as the embodiments of enlightenment. In their presence and with their support, we take refuge and also arouse a motivation of compassion.

Formless Meditation

Following this, the visualization is dissolved into oneself, and one rests in the open awareness of formless meditation. This dissolves any boundary between the visualized form and the meditator and opens us to the deeper awareness of unconditioned mind. Here, the afterglow of the visualization practice and the inner clarity it provoked is merged with the unstructured mind of complete openness.

This is the emptiness phase of the meditation session. Vajrayana practices always alternate between these two phases—between dynamic but transparent form, and empty awareness pervading whatever arises. This formless phase of meditation is also influenced by whatever direct instruction the student has received from her or his teacher concerning the intrinsic nature of awareness.

Following this state of unstructured awareness, the self-visualization is invoked.

The Self-Visualization

When we have completed the Vajrayana foundation practices, or ngöndro, which have made our being more open and workable, we may be empowered to visualize ourselves in the form of the deity. In this case it is that of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. The reason we do this is to acknowledge the buddhanature within ourselves by identifying with Avalokiteshvara’s nature of compassion and emptiness.

Each deity practice has its own special characteristics, which should be learned through the oral instruction of one’s teacher. However, several points are emphasized concerning all these practices: a vivid but empty form, recollection of the significance of the deity, and an uplifted mind full of confidence in one’s inherent potential.

During the form, or “generation” stage of the meditation, the deity’s symbolic form serves as the focus for mental stabilization. This form is like a rainbow or a body of light—empty and transparent. Thus it is the union of appearance and emptiness, rather than a solidified mental projection. There is a definite object to engage the mind, but it is held loosely and openly. At the same time, the image is evocative. In the case of Avalokiteshvara, he is handsome, white and very radiant, shining with lights of the five wisdoms, smiling and gazing compassionately, peaceful and contemplative.

While visualizing the form of the deity one also meditates on its significance. We understand that Avalokiteshvara’s body is empty and translucent because he is free of clinging to concepts, ordinary forms and solidified emotions. His faultless form symbolizes complete freedom from all the negativities that should be abandoned. His four arms symbolize the four immeasurable qualities of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. In his heart center is a seed-syllable that represents his wisdom mind, which is inseparable from the mind of the teacher. His ultimate nature is the union of compassion and emptiness.

Furthermore, one should have an uplifted mind and the conviction that the deity is a real representation of our nature. We are not imagining something that is not so; we are acknowledging the wisdom-compassion nature that is actually present within us, in order to manifest it further. Sometimes we might find this perspective encouraging, and at other times demanding.

Beyond this, special instructions concerning the meaning of the visualization are received orally from one’s teacher, especially concerning how to unify the visualization practice with the recognition of the mind’s essential nature.

Having manifested the deity, we call down additional blessings from the lineage and then begin the recitation of the appropriate mantra. While some mantras have conceptual content, this is not primary; on the whole, they are the manifestation of the deity in the form of speech and inner energy.

Following the visualization period of the session, the deity dissolves into one’s heart center and one again rests in formless meditation. This serves as an antidote against thinking of the deity, or of oneself, as a solid external entity or a focus of neurotic grasping.

Vajrayana Symbolism

The images of the Vajrayana deities arose within the experience of realized practitioners as wisdom display. Therefore, they are not like the projections of conventional mind. Traditionally, these images were often kept secret because they are symbols of inner transformation, transmitted to the meditator by the teacher. Of course, in Tibet they became quite well known because the culture was so thoroughly permeated by the Vajrayana tradition. Today in the West one can see these images on calendars or in art books, but needless to say, the inner experience of these images is quite different from what can be grasped by looking at a book. They were never intended as poster art.

While the peaceful deities might seem quite soothing and familiar, many of the semi-wrathful forms are somewhat paradoxical and shocking, from ego’s comfort-oriented point of view. They are splendid, magnificent, beautiful and awe-inspiring, but at the same time they might be cutting and menacing.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche emphasized that these archetypal forms are transcultural. They do not belong to any ethnic background; rather, they address raw and rugged energies of human existence, which are universal. Apart from elements of royal Aryan garb that some of the peaceful deities wear, they do not wear Chinese or Indian or Tibetan costumes. Instead, they wear elephant skin cloaks and tiger skin skirts. They wear ornaments of human bone, which remind us of death, impermanence and renunciation, and as adornment, they wear ashes from cremation grounds. They brandish various scepters, implements, and weapons. Their moods are peaceful and contemplative, friendly and magnetizing, outrageous and gallant, threatening and menacing.

Peaceful, Wrathful, and Semi-Wrathful Archetypes

Some deities, such as Avalokiteshvara, present a peaceful way of magnetizing us into openness. However, we are not so easy to tame by peaceful methods alone. We have lots of conflicting emotions and entrenched arrogant attitudes. Therefore the semi-wrathful and wrathful deities are made to order for people like us. They can communicate directly to the raw and rugged qualities of our conflicting emotions—they help to provoke, uproot and transmute them. This type of practice makes many demands on the practitioner. One has to have a very clear understanding of the intent of the practice, the confidence to jump into the purifying fire, and the willingness to ride one’s mind and emotions in all situations of life.

The semi-wrathful and wrathful deities are made to order for people like us.

The semi-wrathful or wrathful forms do not mean the deities are angry. Rather, they are dynamic: their energy can manifest in whatever way is necessary to tame and transmute. For instance, the semi-wrathful deities are often described as “enraged against the four maras,” which represent personal and societal ego-fixation. The four maras are the skandhamara, the deception of clinging to solidified personality; the kleshamara, the liability of getting lost in storms of conflicting emotions; the devaputramara, which entails the arrogance and complacency of god-like existence, exemplified by forgetting one’s bodhisattva motivation; and mrytumara, the obstacle of death and interruption. These are the obstacles the wisdom deities help us to overcome.

Lineage Gurus, Wisdom Deities and Dharma Protectors

When we visualize the masters of the lineage, our main emphasis is tuning into the support, blessing, and realization of the tradition as the basis for everything that follows. Then, the meditation on the wisdom archetypes is as briefly explained above. Finally, based on our relation with the master and the wisdom deity, we also invoke the assistance of the dharma protectors, who embody action principles of awareness. An example of such a protector is Vajrasadhu, whose image is on the cover of this issue.

The protectors’ role is to create reminders for the practitioners if they lose their discipline, and to help pacify or subdue obstacles and neurosis in the physical or psychic environment. Their form is often wrathful, as an expression that liberated awareness can reach without hesitation into the raw and rugged energies of existence to tame and transmute them. The result of the protectors’ activity is to restore situations to a workable and wholesome ground.


Vajrayana practice is based on recognizing that the confused ground of our being is also permeated by the presence of buddhanature. Therefore, under the guidance of an authentic teacher and lineage, we can practice by employing fruitional principles of awareness on our path. These principles are both without form and with form. This kind of practice is very helpful but it also demands real surrendering of one’s ego-agendas. It requires appropriate preparation and real commitment to fundamental sanity.


Dorje Loppön Eric Holm, a close student of the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, was appointed by him to oversee practice and study at Vajradhatu centers from 1976 until 1991. As Dorje Loppön he was responsible for the hinayana, mahayana, and especially vajrayana training of students. As well as teaching dharma and Shambhala Training programs, he currently works as a technical lead in a software company.
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Random House to Buy Schocken Books
by Edwin McDowell
New York Times
July 9, 1987



Random House agreed yesterday to purchase Schocken Books, the family-owned publishing house that was founded by refugees from Nazi Germany and that had Hannah Arendt as its first editor. When the agreement takes effect, Schocken -- which owns worldwide rights to the works of Franz Kafka -- will become an imprint of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House that was also founded in the 1940's by refugees from Nazi Germany.

''It's an extraordinary coincidence and an extraordinary marriage of the two lists,'' said Robert Bernstein, chief executive of Random House.

Pantheon publishes about 70 new titles a year, most of them nonfiction. Schocken's list has dwindled in recent years from more than 100 titles annually to about eight, but its backlist contains 500 titles. These include a large Judaica list, books by Primo Levi, Martin Buber, Elie Wiesel, Elias Canetti and S. Y. Anon, the last three of whom are Nobel Prize winners, as well as all 15 books written by Kafka. Andre Schiffrin, Pantheon's managing director, said he expected to commission new translations of Kafka.

Long undercapitalized, Schocken last month sold 600 letters Kafka wrote to his fiancee, Felice Bauer. It was widely assumed that the $605,000 in proceeds from the auction would be used to reinvigorate the faltering company.

''That was our hope,'' said David I. Rome, Schocken's president. ''But it's increasingly difficult for an independent operation our size to compete, so we decided to see who would be the best caretaker for our books.'' Several buyers expressed interest in Schocken, which reportedly asked $3.5 million, and it received at least one other firm offer -- from Lord Weidenfeld, who with Ann Getty owns Weidenfeld & Nicolson and Grove Press.

Mr. Rome, a grandson of the company's founder, added that Schocken was also a victim of the success of its two best sellers in the early 1980's, ''Masquerade'' by Kit Williams, an illustrated fantasy about a rabbit, and ''When Bad Things Happen to Good People'' by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner.

''A number of publishers told me a best seller is the worst thing that can happen to a small company,'' he said. ''That was borne out with those two books. We earned significant profits, but then we went out and made a lot of purchases that weren't as carefully thought out. We overexpanded, our inventory got out of hand, then we had to retrench.''

The company was started in Berlin in 1931, with the idea of publishing the best books by Jewish writers and poets. Two years later Salman Schocken migrated to Palestine and subsequently opened another publishing house, in Tel Aviv. His German company acquired world rights to Kafka in 1934, after the Nazis decreed that Jewish writers could only be published by Jewish publishing houses. In America, Schocken's first book was ''The Penal Colony,'' a collection of the only six stories Kafka allowed to be published during his lifetime.

A version of this article appears in print on July 8, 1987, Section C, Page 23 of the National edition with the headline: RANDOM HOUSE TO BUY SCHOCKEN BOOKS.
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Garrison Institute Biannual Report
by Marc Weiss / Executive Director
Garrison Institute


The Garrison Institute’s tagline “Timeless Wisdom, Timely Action,” evokes both dimensions of our work, from eternal truths to current events. It’s about inwardness – tuning in and discovering what is unchanging and most fundamentally human through contemplative practice. It’s equally about outwardness – reaching out, deeply engaging with the world here and now, and applying what is skillful and effective to meet the needs of our time.

2016 and 2017 were quite a time. They were years of historic change and disruption, stress, and distress. But as many wisdom traditions teach, that’s impermanence; it’s endemic, always with us one way or another. Recognizing and working with that basic truth is the gateway to relieving suffering.

So it proved for us. As you’ll read in this biannual report, 2016 and 2017 also brought historic opportunities to pursue our mission of building a more compassionate and resilient future for all.

Our work has never been more relevant or more in demand. It speaks to a widely felt need to meet rising fears and crises with wisdom and compassion, groundedness and connectedness.

Starting at the end of 2016, we saw attendance at Garrison Institute retreats and events swell significantly. As division and polarization deepened in our culture, we focused on building community, compassion, resilience, and renewal, both in our own region and across the country. We got strategic about extending our reach to match the growing need, finding new venues and partners beyond our walls, and leveraging national and even global impacts.

For example, as conflicts, climate change and natural disasters intensified around the world, we tripled the number of trainings offered by our Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR) Project, which helps humanitarian aid workers cope with the stress of serving those in need. As the refugee crisis engulfed the Middle East, we established CBR trainings in Amman, Jordan, enabling us to help aid workers deployed in Syria and throughout the region.

The following pages give a brief overview of what we did in this consequential time in history, how we did it, and how it helped further our mission. To say we’re proud of these achievements is true, but “grateful” would be nearer the mark. We’re thankful to be in a position to make a difference , and we appreciate how lucky we are to be part of a vital and growing community of like-minded people and organizations working with us towards a better future.

With gratitude,

Marc Weiss / Executive Director


Tuning In

Headquartered in a former monastery on the banks of the Hudson River, which we reimagined and reshaped as “a monastery for the 21st century” – diverse, inclusive, welcoming, and relevant – each year, the Garrison Institute offers refuge, reflection, and restoration for thousands of people from all walks of life.


All our activities share a common thread of doing “inner work” and tuning into inner experience in order to animate our “outer work” and conceive new possibilities for the world around us.

We bring together teachers, students, practitioners, and innovators in the fields of contemplative practices, science, the arts, technology, social justice and environmental advocacy. Through a rich array of contemplative-based retreats and gatherings, together we explore diverse wisdom traditions and contemporary ideas, seeking to deepen spiritual practices, cultivate inner resources, build compassion and resilience, reframe our relationship with the natural world and with technology, and prepare us to work effectively for a more just, loving, and sustainable world.

We offer specially designed trainings for people working in such fields as social work, education, humanitarian aid, and the non-profit sector.
We also host private meetings and retreats for businesses and institutions, working with them to design their retreat experience, and drawing on our network of renowned teachers, experts, innovators, and authors to speak and facilitate.

In 2016 and 2017, we offered a total of 240 diverse retreats, workshops, symposia, and gatherings at the Garrison Institute, in a wide variety of formats, exploring everything from affordable housing to Zen Buddhism. Nearly all entailed some component of contemplative or mindfulness practice.

Some addressed what we call “Transformational and Contemplative Ecology,” growing and convening our network of climate, sustainability, spiritual and community leaders to re-conceive our relationship with the natural world and help make environmental advocacy more effective. For example, in 2016 Joanna Macy led a retreat on “Rainer Maria Rilke and the Force of the Storm.” Macy’s “Work that Reconnects” trainings have empowered environmental activists and scientists worldwide, drawing on Buddhist teachings, systems theory and the deep ecological visions of poets like Rilke, whom Macy and Anita Barrows translated, and who foresaw the disruptions of our time over a century ago. You can watch Macy introducing the retreat here.

Joanna Macy on Rainer Maria Rilke, Garrison Institute

Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God; poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy; Riverhead Books (1996); ISBN 1-59448-156-3

One such rather influential interpretation [coming out of the modern gnostic foundation] could be found in the George circle. This so called 'cosmic circle' took shape in the Schwabing quarter of Munich at the end of the nineteenth century, around the figure and poetry of Stefan George. Among its core members were Karl Wolfskehl (1869-1948), Friedrich Gundolf (1880-1931), Hans Busse (1867-1914), Friedrich Huch (1873-1913), Franziska Reventlov (1871-1918), Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), Alfred Schulter and Ludwig Klages.

-- Modern Gnosis and Zionism: The Crisis of Culture, Life Philosophy and Jewish National Thought, by Yotam Hotam

Another woman who experienced Freda's ability to break down barriers to get what she wanted was Joanna Macy, renowned American environmentalist, teacher, and author. She was living in Delhi with her husband Francis Underhill Macy], who was working for the Peace Corps, when Freda came to visit.

"I remember I opened the door and she stood there in her maroon clothes, greeting me as if somehow I and not she were the guest. I loved the way that touch of the Raj blended so paradoxically and superbly with the monk's garb she wore. She had come because she wanted my husband to release a particular person in the Peace Corps to work for her in Dalhousie. 'I shall speak to my friend Mr. B in the Cabinet,' Mummy said with a smile. 'When do you think we can expect him?' It was the marriage of serenity and sheer nerve. She was English in the way only the English can be. She had implicit authority," Macy said.

Later, Macy went to Dalhousie to help settle Khamtrul Rinpoche, a high lama who had escaped from Tibet with a huge number of followers, including monks and a large community of accomplished artists and craftspeople. She took the opportunity to take teachings from Freda at a small class for Westerners she had organized in Dalhousie. Macy also undertook a silent retreat under Freda's direction, and today acknowledges Freda's influence on her spiritual life.

"What she had to say had a lucidity and simplicity about it. I can't accept any teachings if there is a false note -- if it is not coming from a person's wholeness and integrity, if what they are saying merely comes from what has been heard or read. With Freda I was able to drink it in. It was coming from beyond."

"I don't know how realized she was. I didn't go into those areas. She told me something about her mystical experience in Burma. She said she came out onto the street and saw everything in the world lit up as though from within. She did not go into a featureless expanse -- but the ordinary world was transformed for her.

"She also taught me from her actions. I never heard her say a mean thing about anyone. She was always thinking of others, writing to people all the time, trying to get others what they needed. And it was done with such affection. She constantly had a folder in her lap, and whenever she had a minute, she'd write a note to someone.

"Mummy was wonderful for me to a very high degree," Macy continued. "First of all, she was important because she was a woman. I am grateful to someone who understood the teachings and practice, and that it was a woman in a tradition that is quite male dominated. That was not by choice -- it was sheer good luck. I was not consciously being a feminist, but I knew and I trusted her. She had a love of the Dharma and used it in a bold, brave way. When I first approached her for teachings, she replied, 'Yes, of course, my dear, I will be delighted. That is just the thing.' I sensed she had just been waiting for me to ask.

"Although she had reverence for the tradition, she did not present me with any overlay of doctrine or view. Nor did she start me off as the lamas would have done, with the Vajrayana (the Buddhism exclusive to Tibet). Instead, she wanted me to recapitulate her own journey, starting with the Theravada buddhism she had learned in Rangoon. For me this was quite marvelous. It acquainted me with the early teachings of the Buddha and disciplined my mind in a way of following empirically my own experience in the immediate arising of mental and physical phenomena in my own body and mind. 'Bare attention -- just watch the thoughts. Know you are thinking, thinking. Get the "I" out of it," Mummy instructed. This allowed me later on in graduate school to approach the early teachings without any filter, with tremendous respect and curiosity for what the Buddha was saying. During my retreat I was in torment yet fascinated watching my own mind.

"She was trying to bring me right up to Tibetan practice. She kept talking about Trungpa, whom she loved very much. 'Wait till you meet him,' she said. When Trungpa came to the States, I thought, 'Now I'll graduate to a Tibetan practice,' but I stayed with the Vipassana I'd learned from Mummy.

"What Mummy did not do for me, however, was to model the social significance of the Buddha's teachings for our times, which is what I had become very focused on. 'Engaged Buddhism,' as it's called. To me Buddhism frees us to act for social and ecological survival, what needs to be done for a just and sustainable society. This wasn't of interest to Mummy."

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie



We also focused on “Transformational Leadership,” forming partnerships with businesses and institutions that seek to help their leaders build a more mindful, compassionate, mission-driven organizational culture amid intense volatility and change. To that end, we hosted successful corporate retreats for organizations ranging from Kickstarter to the Global Impact Investing Network. In 2017, we reached out to businesses and organizations and invited them to collaborate on transformational leadership work. As a result, we will be working with more businesses in 2018, exploring best practices for bringing mindfulness and compassion to the workplace and strategies for nurturing the growth of the transformational leadership movement.

Some of our events and workshops explored the arts as ways of deepening our sense of connectedness and shared humanity, analogous in that sense to spirituality and contemplative practice. In 2016, the Sufi musical group Riyaaz Qawwali gave a concert coupled with a talk by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan on music and sound as a devotional practice in the Sufi tradition. Eve Ensler’s play “Extraordinary Measures,” which deals with the dying process, was performed at the Institute as part of the 2016 Buddhist Contemplative Care Symposium. Meredith Monk led a 2017 workshop at the Institute on “Voice as Practice,” and gave a public concert and talk on art and spiritual practice.

Joanna Macy - Choosing Life | Bioneers
We open our heart-mind to behold and give shape to our world, to let our hearts be a mirror to the world....

Carl Jung believed that the core of each life is a question that that life, that person, must pursue, and is fortunate if he or she discovers it. Well, I know what the question was ... the question was how to be fully present to my world, present enough to enjoy it and be useful, while at the same time knowing that my species, we human species, are progressively destroying this world. Wow! That splits you right down the middle and puts you back together again, over and over again. It has asked me to keep my eyes and heart open to what I see happening, to unblock the feedback loops, and help others do it too, to speak the truth...

I wanted to dedicate the minutes of my talk with you to Edward Snowden, and to Chelsea Manning, and to countless others of our brothers and sisters who are helping us see what really is going on, breaking down the walls of secrecy! Because it is only when we are able to see our world and touch it that we can be part of its self-healing....

In 1953, he [Francis Underhill Macy] married Joanna Rogers, who embraced her husband's activism and remained his compatriot for life. He began working for the Russian-language station Radio Liberty, which was based in Munich, at the height of the Cold War. He worked for the U.S. Information Service, which sent American citizen diplomats around the world to talk to people about American values and democracy.

-- Francis Underhill Macy - improved Russia relations, by Peter Fimrite

Ramparts magazine and The New York Times published articles in 1967 exposing the radios' ties to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

-- Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty: The CIA Years and Beyond (review), by Malcolm Byrne

The prominence of the USIA is significant, since this is an agency with a long track record in political and psychological operations. It was created by the Eisenhower administration in 1953 as an agency within the NSC at the recommendation of a top-secret report issued by the President's Committee on International Information Activities. Its explicit purpose was to conduct propaganda, political and psychological operations abroad in conjunction with CIA activities.41 A National Security Action Memo in 1962 stipulated coordination among the USIA, the AID, the CIA, the Pentagon, and the State Department in waging political warfare operations, including civic action, economic and military aid programs.

-- Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, U.S. Intervention, and Hegemony, by William I. Robinson

To see my world as lover and self, to not be afraid of the suffering, and not being afraid, can get my heart-mind kind of bruised and banged up a little bit. That's what the time we're in seems to call for. And so the times of welcoming the world in a heart and mind have brought such adventures....

So this question opens me up, and opens us all up. And I turn to Rilke again, "I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world." ...

I've been circling around God, that primordial tower, I've been circling for thousands of years, and I still don't know. Am I a vulcan, a storm, or a great song? Same for you! That's the same for you! I've learned that in my deep ecology. Friends, as we tell the truth of what we feel and know is happening, as we let others speak through us, other life forms, the life in us is so big, it cannot be reduced to one social role, to one curriculum vitae. Our roots go back, back, back to the beginnings of life. You know that. To the first splitting and spinning of the stars. And all of that journey forward, our human journey, and those before us, have brought us to this point. And we can be so grateful, I am so grateful to be alive now. Because, for life to continue, well, that means -- and you know it in your heart, and that's why you're here at Bioneers, and that's why Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons are so faithful in bringing it -- that we have to make a giant step in our consciousness. We have to make real what we dream and know and intuit: That we are one planet people. And we can only be one planet people if we honor all our differences. That we belong to one living sacred body of earth. And when we get that, my brothers and sisters, when we really get that, we'll be able to achieve the ongoing singing of the song of life. Isn't that so?! ...

Rilke said toward the end of his life, in a sonnet to Orpheus ... "Quiet friend who has come so far, feel how your breathing makes more space around you." And then he says, "Let this darkness be a bell-tower, and you the bell, and as you ring, what batters you becomes your strength!" Ho, ho! Get that! Then you realize that you're made for change.

And I love it that systems thinking helps us see that, with positive feedback loops, where the change is so great that the old values, and the old norms, and the old self-images, the old worries and feuds, don't fit anymore. And that you have to die to the old forms, and resurrect in a larger self, wider rings....

The word is "positive disintegration." Because you are having to die to images and concepts of yourself that are simply too small. That there is something so big that wants to happen through us. And that we MUST allow it to happen through us if we want life to continue on this planet. Because the engines of destruction are strong!

Riyaaz Qawwali
"Religiously, we're Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs, agnostics, atheists."...And that's the ethos that informs their music. They weave songs and texts from Hinduism and Sikhism into the Muslim material. Sonny says that there is plenty of precedent within qawwali for mixing ideas from different faiths within one song. He points to one older verse as an example.

"'Mandir, masjid yeh maikhane, koi yeh maane koi wo maane,'" Sonny says. "Mandir, a [Hindu] temple. Masjid, a mosque. Maikhana, which is a bar! So it's an interesting piece of poetry, I think! It's saying, 'Some people believe in this [Hindu] deity of Ram, some people do their bowing of head in the masjid, and some people bow their heads to a maikhana! Some believe in this, some believe in that.' But then, if everyone is just believing in something, we're forgetting Your [God's] identity, because we're interested more in the differences."...

At its heart, qawwali is ecstatic music. It was born in the religious practices of Sufi Islam in South Asia. Sufis seek a mystical, personal connection with God. They often use joyous, ecstatic music as a conduit for that experience....

And they hope that that joy transcends religion.

-- Deep In The Heart Of Texas, Muslim Music Blossoms, by Anastasia Tsioulcas

A Lecture with Sufi Scholar and Teacher Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

[Hal Roth, Professor of religious studies and the Director of the Contemplative Studies Initiative at Brown University] My name is Hal Roth, and I direct the contemplative studies initiative and concentration. Some of you, of course, know about contemplative studies, but perhaps some of you do not. So I'd like to say a few words before introducing our speaker for this evening. In contemplative studies we look at human contemplative practices and experiences across cultures and across traditions. And we approach them from humanistic, scientific and artistic perspectives. We have developed a particularly unique form of pedagogy. We call it integrative contemplative pedagogy. And with that, we look at these contemplative practices in their contexts. We look at them from third person points of view that we find throughout the university, looking at history and philosophy and a variety of other factors. We also look at them from what we call critical first person perspectives. In critical first person perspectives we actually teach students direct experience of contemplative techniques in the classroom. We ask them to learn the contemplative practices, they read about what the cognitive frameworks, what the philosophical frameworks are for those practices, but we do not ask them to believe in the truth of those cognitive frameworks. That's something that students are encouraged to do on their own. To test out empirically in the lab of their bodies-minds....

[Professor __] Our esteemed guest's grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan, who was born in 1882, visited the U.S. from 1910-1912, and then again in the 1920s for a lecture tour which included a stop at Columbia University, and a musical performance there as well. So your being here tonight is part of a long tradition that is more than a century old. Hazrat Inayat Khan founded the Sufi order of the West in 1914, and this coincided with an important moment in American history that also included arrival on American shores of a number of Sufi movements ...

Our guest, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, who was born in 1971 took over leadership of the organization, in guiding sufi communities in north and south America, Europe, the Middle East, and even in the South Pacific in traditions that connect contemplative wisdom from various strains of mystical thinking, but also just contemplative traditions, and helping to link them with solutions to problems that contemporary society faces with emphasis on responding to urgent social challenges of the day.

The spirit of our guest's grandfather, who arrived in the U.S. at a time which, in his own words, "the time was not yet ripe" for the message that he brought is in many ways still with us today. Hazrat Inayat Khan remarked on the pace and busyness of life in America, was critical of the superficiality with which many approached spiritual teachings from abroad, and was sensitively attuned to the racism suffered particularly by African-Americans. And he wrote that he felt kinship as an Indian with brown skin who at times was also looked upon with contempt.

Sadly, we are now in at another important moment in the history of the relationship between the broad and vast tradition that is Islam and the United States. The social challenges of that era are in many ways still with us, and have even been exceeded. We are in a period of disenchantment with Islam, both from within the Islam community and without. The message of universal Sufism, based on the unity of all people and religions, and the spiritual guidance that is present in all people and places, still has apparently a lot of work to do and much to offer us. To enliven and reanimate the spirit of the vast tradition called Islam whose vibrance has recently been threatened by the politicized and violent manifestations of that tradition that receive so much attention these days, whether in the form of brutality of militants or in the dry and litigious exclusive and absolutist claims of Saudi Wahhabism.

Also in the first decades of the 21st century, the orientalist A.J. Wensinck opined that if not for the flourishing of Sufism, of what is sometimes called the mystical tradition of Islam, even though that is an oversimplification, the Muslim religion would have become a lifeless form." That was in a book that was published in 1932 called "The Muslim Creed." ... At a time in which religion is experiencing a revival, it is also undergoing tremendous change, and needs uniting impulses that can speak to global audiences and address the urgent social, political, and environmental challenges that today feel more pressing than ever....


[Pir Zia Inayat-Khan] And this has led me to re-read a book which belongs to the great literature of the middle ages, the literature of the grail legends, and particularly to reexamine a work of the grail genre which emerged just after the unsuccessful 4th Crusade, when Europe was in a state of deep despondency because of the failure of that Crusade, the failure of this effort to reclaim Jerusalem, which had captured the imagination of Christendom, and then which fell flat, leading to a sense of impotence and cultural hopelessness.

Well, then came Wolfram von Eschenbach’s great interpretation of the Parsifal [Parzival] legend. And as we know, there have been a number of versions of that legend. The earlier one of Chrétien de Troyes' most notably. But Wolfram’s version adds an extremely important element, which is the backstory.

Now Parsifal by then was very well known as the grail hero, the champion who at last attains the grail after years of searching. But what Wolfram shows us is that Parsifal had a brother, a half-brother. And he learned this from a bard named Kyot of Provence who himself is said to have learned it from a discarded Arabic manuscript in Toledo, which was the work of a certain Flegatonis, who was known to be an astrologer, a mystic apparently, quite possibly a Sufi.

So this hidden story of the grail reveals that the father of Parsifal [Gahmuret], before Parsifal was born, had gone to Baghdad, and there had served the Caliph of Baghdad. So this quintessential Christian knight had been in the service of a Muslim king, and on further adventures had gone on to Africa to the kingdom of Zazamank, and there had rescued the queen [Herzeloyde]. And upon rescuing her, the two fell in love and were married and had a child. But this Ajevan prince was one to roam. He was never happy to put down roots, so he left his new wife and child and went on his way, returned to Europe, and there married again. And his Christian wife also bore him a child. And subsequently he died in an attempt, actually, returning to Baghdad. To defend Baghdad he died there.

So he left two children. The child born to the Christian mother was Parsifal. But he had this prior son, of which Christendom was completely unaware until Wolfram brought forth this story. And this son was named Firifis. He was notable for his partly colored skin. He was half black and half white, in patches. And eventually, when he grew up, he went in search of his father. And in the course of some adventures, he came across Parsifal in a glade.

Now Parsifal had been seeking the grail for 4-1/2 years precisely, because he had once encountered the grail castle and had been shown the grail, and was dazzled. But he failed to answer the right question. So the grail withdrew, the castle disappeared, and he was left in a state of utter frustration and sought frantically to recover that ultimate experience. So it was in the midst of this ongoing quest that he came across a Saracen knight. Now that word “Saracen” was the word used in those times to refer to the Muslims, or Arabs. Although etymologically it really should be traced back to another root. In the mythology, the legends, it’s traced to the island Saras…. And that island was known as the island of the grail. It was the island to which Gallahad brought back the grail after he attained it.

So here was a Saracen knight confronting a Christian knight, and they fell at each other swinging and clanging their swords, and at last Parsifal’s sword broke in two. So he was rendered helpless. And Firifis had the upper hand. He could have dealt the final blow, but instead he practiced Futuwwa, or Sufi chivalry. He sheathed his sword. He didn’t take advantage of his advantage, and the two sat down to talk. They removed their helmets, and Parsifal asked, “Who are you?” He said, “I am Firifis, the Ajevan.” He said, “How could you be an Ajevan? I am Parsifal. I am the Ajevan.” And so they got to talking, and realized at last they had the same father. Just as soon as that realization came, Parsifal took Firifis to Arthur’s camp, and he was warmly welcomed there. He was made a knight of the round table. And then came Kundry with the message that they were called to the Grail Castle.

And so this quest, which Parsifal had pursued for so long now reached its conclusion. And why did it reach this conclusion? Because the two brothers were united.

Now, there is significance in this story. And it is significant that it came at the end of the 4th crusade. Why? Because here is shown the moral: that the grail which symbolizes attainment, the grail that symbolizes salvation, is found in the reconciliation of two lives of the Abrahamic prophetic family. That is to say, that salvation which was sought by a conquest of the holy lands, needs to be redirected toward a process of reconciliation and spiritual reunification. That is what this version which draws upon the backstory shows.

And so it’s a version that evokes a kind of chivalry which is common to all three of these civilizations. And it’s a chivalry that’s traced back to the Prophet Abraham. The Sufi text refers specifically to Abraham as the founder of chivalry.

So we have chivalry understood in Suffism as the myth of Parsifal. Parsifal, upon attaining the grail, becomes the new grail keeper and Firifis is married to the maiden who is the holder of the grail. So there is a triumphal conclusion. And that conclusion is a piece of evidence, which together with the evidence of Futuwwa in Sufism, points to an understanding that was held by some in the middle ages, and which has been elaborated, and explored in great detail, in the Sufi texts, that there exists a tradition of ethical excellence and spiritual kinship between the people of the Abrahamic family despite the political differences between the empires that determine the fate of these peoples.

Other Garrison Institute activities support what we call “Movements of the Spirit,” identifying diverse communities of spiritual practice, building an interdisciplinary community around them and designing spiritually grounded, civil dialogues among them that can cut across political divides. Spiritual frameworks shape our sense of perspective, morality, meaning, and purpose, and are a deep part of our common bond. We believe that reaffirming them is key to overcoming polarization and divisiveness we’re now experiencing, and reweaving our frayed social fabric.

Our work has touched a nerve. As we told The Wall Street Journal, the Institute experienced a significant uptick in attendance at the end of 2016 and into 2017. With retreats like Tara Brach and Jonathan Foust’s “Mindfulness and Compassion Practices that Release the Trance of Fear” or Jack Kornfield’s “Loving Awareness, Wisdom, and Compassion in Tough Times,” and our first evening salon in New York City’s Judson Memorial Church on “(Mis)Information Overload: Living in Truth in a Post-Truth Age,” we spoke to a growing need for reconnecting with ourselves and one another, cultivating compassion and resilience, and staying present in challenging times.

Our impact has grown along with the need. In 2016 and 2017, almost 12,000 people came to the Garrison Institute (a total of over 65,000 since we opened our doors in 2003).

We also reached thousands more by collaborating with various partners, and conducting offsite activities, trainings, and events, from New York City to Amman, Jordan.

“Being able to deepen my practice has revolutionized my relationship to myself and others. It’s transformed my life, and I’m extremely grateful. Garrison has helped me connect my inner journey with my work with nonprofits that are making a real difference in people’s lives.”

-- Retreat Participant



Reaching Out

For many thousands of people, the Garrison Institute has been a kind of sanctuary for inner exploration and renewal, but one founded with the intention of facilitating deep engagement with the world and addressing the most pressing challenges of our time. Those who come through our doors experience the transformative power of contemplation, then go back into the world better equipped to relieve suffering, foster compassion, and help build a better future. In 2016 and 2017, we intensified our focus on what happens beyond the walls of the Institute, and leveraged tangible regional, national, and global impacts.

We held some 40 events in New York City featuring compelling speakers and teachers such as “How Does Spiritual Practice Lead to Social Activism?” with Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Zen priest Norman Fischer at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, or “On Wisdom and Being” with Krista Tippett and Andrew Zolli at the 92nd Street Y, or “America’s Mindfulness Movement” with Daniel Goleman, Richard Davidson, and Jon Kabat- Zinn at the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

Our NYC events helped us reach new audiences and connect with new communities of practice. As part of our Movements of the Spirit work, we’re intentionally expanding our network of these communities across the US and internationally and finding new ways to engage with them. In 2017, we undertook the formation of a Garrison Institute Leadership Council composed of influencers in their 40s and younger who represent the current and next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders. They help us expand our outreach, and keep our content and programing cutting-edge.

Our Transformational Leadership work bore fruit regionally, nationally and beyond. For example, we partnered with the Good Work Institute (GWI), an independent non-profit launched by the online retailer Etsy, on its 2016 Hudson Valley (HV) Fellowship. GWI’s HV fellows are drawn from local businesses, community and nonprofit organizations, and government. They work to build “compassionate, regenerative, and equitable communities in the Hudson Valley and around the world.” When the Institute hosted a retreat for them, we found GWI’s mission was aligned with ours, and we decided to work more closely together. Members of our staff participated in the fellowship program, and Garrison Institute and GWI jointly organized an event on “Business as a Force for Good” with Daniel Goleman. We’re planning further joint events in the future.



In 2017, we formed a partnership with Mindful Leader, organizers of the annual Mindful Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, the world’s largest gathering dedicated to mindfulness and compassion in the workplace. The Summit is growing exponentially, attracting thousands of leaders from around the world, and our partnership with Mindful Leader has given our transformational leadership work a national and global platform.

In 2016 and 2017, we expanded our offerings and broadened the focus of our Care for the Caregivers activities. They provide unique contemplative-based trainings for people who care for others, whether in their families or communities, or in the helping professions – teaching, healthcare, end-of-life care, humanitarian aid, social justice and more.

Nearly half of teachers report feeling chronically stressed, and 30 – 40% leave the profession within their first five years. Our CARE for Teachers and Mindful Schools trainings give teachers self-care tools and contemplative skills to cope with stress, avoid burnout, and reanimate their teaching, so they and their students can flourish. Covered by NPR in 2016 and The New York Times in 2017, CARE for Teachers has attracted national recognition and growing demand. To help meet it, we’ve licensed the CARE for Teachers training, and it’s now part of the national organization CREATE for Education.

“The retreat was life-changing for me: profound, grounding and illuminating. My work is rewarding, but I can feel bleak at times. Truly nourishing self-care helps make my activism sustainable long-term.”

-- Retreat Participant




79% of humanitarian aid workers report having experienced mental health problems themselves. Deployed in some of the world’s most difficult environments, their work is stressful, dangerous, and puts them at risk for primary and secondary trauma, PTSD and burnout. The strain is growing along with climate change, protracted conflicts and the refugee crisis. Our Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR) Project helps aid workers counter the physical and psychological effects of chronic stress and exposure to trauma, so they can continue and thrive in their lifesaving work.

In 2016, we brought CBR to the Middle East for the first time, establishing operations in Amman, Jordan and holding the first CBR training there, which enabled us to have an impact on the Syrian refugee crisis. In 2017, we developed partnerships with more aid agencies, which sent their staffs to be trained, and we tripled the number of CBR trainees over 2016. 70% of them were women. In addition to Jordan and Syria, CBR trainees are now working in Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories and beyond. You can read about CBR’s outcomes in detail in the summer 2017 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review.

CBR techniques designed for humanitarian aid workers and human rights defenders can also be adapted for social workers and others who do vital but stressful work that exposes them to trauma. In 2017, we held our first CBR training for people working in the affordable housing sector in the U.S. We’re also planning CBR trainings for leaders of non-profits who work with and advocate for women.

Another way we extend the reach of our work beyond our walls is through thought leadership and communications. The Garrison Institute has built a wide, world-class network of teachers, writers, thinkers and innovators who are leaders and luminaries in their fields, and who help further our mission and carry our message. In addition to featuring them in our events, we’re publishing their ideas in a wealth of online blog posts and videos and our annual print anthology Lineages, enabling us to reach more communities and wider audiences. People in over 200 countries are now reading and sharing our content and visiting our website.


Giving Thanks

The Garrison Institute is a community of people working together towards positive social change. Our funders and supporters not only make our work possible, they are an integral part of it. They actively participate in our community, working with us in many different ways towards our shared goal of a more compassionate, resilient future. From Friends of the Garrison Institute and individual donors to major grant-making organizations and corporate sponsors, partnerships and in-kind support, we’re incredibly fortunate to be part of a vital, engaged, collaborative circle of people and organizations.

We’re deeply thankful for and mindful of their contributions and colleagueship, and so are the people who participate in our retreats and gatherings. To see them express it in their own heartfelt words and images, click here.

Scholarships Extend Our Reach

Generous support from our donors funds scholarships to make our retreats and workshops accessible to more people. We gave over $200,000 in scholarships, awarding 256 in 2016 and 283 in 2017.

New support in 2016 and 2017 funded scholarships for people in specific professional fields and for specific retreats. The Angell Foundation, which promotes “high-impact programs that help people empower themselves,” underwrote scholarships for educators, healthcare workers and frontline workers to attend Garrison Institute events. It also funded scholarships for specific Garrison Institute retreats in the humanities.

The Hemera Foundation’s Contemplative Fellowships for educators and health care professionals and its Tending Space Fellowship Program for artists funded scholarships for people in these fields to attend our retreats and workshops.







Lisette Cooper
Ruth Cummings
Susan Davis
Rachel Gutter, Board Co-Chair
Paul Hawken
Will Rogers
Diana Calthorpe Rose
Jonathan F. P. Rose, Board Co-Chair
Sharon Salzberg
Dan Siegel
Monica Winsor


Dan Goleman
Michael Lerner, MD
Peter Senge
Frederick B. (Bart) Harvey III
Betsy Taylor
Mary Evelyn Tucker


Marc Weiss, Executive Director
Jeanne Johnson, Deputy Managing Director, People and Operations
Jane Kolleeny, Retreats and Business Development Director
Amanda Sherlip, Director of Development

P.O. Box 532
14 Mary’s Way, Route 9D
Garrison, NY 10524
T: 845-424-4800

Our Funders

The Garrison Institute is profoundly grateful for the support of its many funders, whose vision and generosity make our scholarships, retreats, workshops, events, and operations possible.


OUR FOUNDERS: David & Lynn Angell

-- Who We Are, by Angell Foundation

He married Lynn Edwards on August 14, 1971. Soon after Angell entered the U.S. Army upon graduation and served at the Pentagon until 1972 ... Angell and his wife Lynn both died heading home from their vacation on Cape Cod aboard American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to hit the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks.[2]

-- David Angell, by Wikipedia

Using documentation from press reports, Woody Box and Nico Haupt have concluded that two distinct aircraft took off from Boston on the morning of September under the designation of American Flight 11. "Where did Flight 11 start?," writes Box. "There are two answers: Gate 26 and Gate 32. And both answers resist any attempt to refute them." American 11's departure was regularly scheduled for 7:45 AM from Terminal B, Gate 32 of Boston's Logan Airport. This was American 11's departure gate on 9/11, as shown in a transcript of radio communications between American 11 and the Logan tower published in the New York Times: "7:45:48 -- Ground Control 1: American eleven heavy Boston ground gate thirty two you're going to wait for a Saab to go by then push back" (New York Times, October 16, 2001) But many press reports indicate that passengers on American 11 embarked at Gate 26 (Washington Post, September 15, 2001, and other newspapers) Gate 26 is located in another wing of Terminal B, and is about 1000 feet away from Gate 32. Gate 26 is the majority view.

One paper, the Boston Globe, mentioned both gates on successive days. In an extra of the Boston Globe published on September 11, we find: "One airport employee, who asked not to be identified, said the American flight left on time from Gate 32 in Terminal B, and that nothing unusual was apparent." One day later, in the Boston Globe article entitled "Crashes in NYC had grim origins at Logan", we read: "The American flight left from Gate 26 in Terminal B, and the United flight from Gate 19 in Terminal C. One airport employee said nothing unusual was apparent when the American flight left." Was this the same employee as the day before? The Gate 26 flight pushed back later than its scheduled departure time of 7:45 AM.

Was one of these two flights a dummy flight, a decoy being used in one of the live fly hijacking exercises described above? Did its unannounced presence contribute even more to the confusion that reigned in US airspace on the morning of 9/11? Or was there some other, more devious purpose?

-- 9/11 Synthetic Terror Made in USA, by Webster Griffin Tarpley

Cotsen “had a lot of money and the will to do something beautiful with it,” said Judith Johnson, the founding and former executive director of the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching.

-- Lloyd Cotsen, the multimillionaire soap salesman who became an elite L.A. philanthropist, dies at 88, by Steve Marble, L.A. Times

The Nathan Cummings Foundation is a multigenerational family foundation, rooted in the Jewish tradition of social justice, working to create a more just, vibrant, sustainable, and democratic society. We partner with social movements, organizations and individuals who have creative and catalytic solutions to climate change and inequality.

Our Founder

Nathan Cummings was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, in 1896. He moved from impoverished beginnings to great success by hard work, entrepreneurial genius and a willingness to take risks. In 1939, he purchased the C.D. Kenny Company of Baltimore, a small wholesale distributor of canned foods, coffee, tea and spices. That was the beginning of the international company that was known as the Sara Lee Corporation. For three decades, he personally guided the growth of the company. He retired from active management in 1968 to pursue philanthropic interests.

-- Our Legacy, by the Nathan Cummings Foundation

Human Rights ... Environment... Arts and Culture... Animal Welfare ... Education... Science... Foreign and/or Defense Policy... Veterans... Underserved Youth...

-- Donner Foundation, by The William H. Donner Foundation, Inc.

In creating Union Steel Company, Donner received financial backing from Henry Clay Frick, Andrew W. Mellon, and Richard B. Mellon, in addition to Donner's own funds....

In 1932, Donner turned his attention to philanthropy, with a special interest in cancer research. ...

In 1993, the conservative American Donner heirs who control the foundation changed its primary focus to that of supporting conservative research.

From 1993 to 1999, under the leadership of executive directors Devon Gaffney Cross and then Patrick Luciani, the foundation provided the seed money to start several conservative Canadian think-tanks and publications, and became the "lifeblood of conservative research" in Canada.

In 1999, the American Donner heirs who control the foundation began donating more of its money to land and wildlife conservation, international development, medical research and the arts, reducing funding of conservative research (though it is still one of the most generous benefactors to the right in Canada

-- William Donner, by Wikipedia

Ettinger Foundation
Location: NEW YORK, NY
Tax ID: 06-6038938
Tax-Exempt Status: 501(c)(3)-PF
Budget (2015): Revenue: $3,581,950
Expenses: $765,435
Assets: $11,560,068
Formation: 1950
Founders: Richard Prentice Ettinger and Elsie P. Ettinger

The Ettinger Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) private, non-operating foundation founded in 1950. The foundation, founded by the late Prentice-Hall textbook publishing house co-founder Richard P. Ettinger, provides grants to environmentalist groups and other progressive nonprofits.

In 2015, the foundation reported $11,560,068 in total assets to the Internal Revenue Service.[1]


According to the Center for Organizational Research and Education, the Ettinger Foundation donated $32,900 in 2005 to the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmentalist “science advocacy” organization. In the same year, it gave $25,500 to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “one of the largest and most well-funded environmental activist organizations in the United States.”[2]

The Foundation’s smaller contributions include a $15,000 donation to radical environmental activist group Greenpeace and $8,000 to the Sierra Club,[3] a 125-year-old nonprofit organization known for lobbying against the use of coal and other forms of affordable energy.[4]

Associated Organizations

Richard P. Ettinger, co-founder of textbook publisher Prentice-Hall and his wife, Elsie P. Ettinger, also founded The Educational Foundation of America (EFA).[5] The same address in Westport, CT is listed for the EFA and the Ettinger Foundation.[6]

On its website, the EFA claims “promoting environmental preservation and conservation” is a focal point of its funding. Since it was established in 1959, the foundation has donated $295,000 to the Sierra Club and $1,920,000 to the Natural Resources Defense Council.[7]

References Accessed May 30, 2017. ... ION%20INC/.
“Ettinger Foundation.” Activist Facts. Accessed May 24, 2017. ... oundation/.
“Ettinger Foundation.” Activist Facts. Accessed May 24, 2017. ... oundation/.
Holden, Emily. E&E News. Wednesday, April 12, 2017. “ENERGY TRANSITIONS: Coal lobby says it is exploring building new U.S. plant.” Accessed May 30, 2017.
“Our History.” The Educational Foundation of America. April 15, 2013. Accessed May 31, 2017.
“Educational Foundation of America.” Activist Facts. Accessed May 24, 2017. ... ofAmerica/
“Educational Foundation of America.” Activist Facts. Accessed May 24, 2017. ... ofAmerica/

-- Ettinger Foundation, by Influence Watch




Our Funders


-- Castle Rock, the Garrison home of Douglas and Sarah Banker

DAVID & SUSAN ROCKEFELLER [David Rockefeller's son and wife]
MELISSA & ROBERT SOROS [Billionaire George Soros's son and wife]

Garrison Institute
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:08 pm

Part 1 of 3

Alfred North Whitehead
by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
First published Tue May 21, 1996; substantive revision Tue Sep 4, 2018

Theodor Herzl Rome was born in Worcester, MA, in 1914, and began painting there as a child. He studied philosophy and aesthetics under Alfred North Whitehead, David Prall, and Harry Wolfson at Harvard, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1937. In his early twenties he spent a year in the Middle East, studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and traveling through Persia sketching and making watercolors, as well as a summer sailing around the Mediterranean with a crew that included two classmates with Maine connect ...

-- Theodor Rome (1914-1965), by AskART


Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) was a British mathematician and philosopher best known for his work in mathematical logic and the philosophy of science. In collaboration with Bertrand Russell, he co-authored the landmark three-volume Principia Mathematica (1910, 1912, 1913). Later, he was instrumental in pioneering the approach to metaphysics now known as process philosophy.

Although there are important continuities throughout his career, Whitehead’s intellectual life is often divided into three main periods. The first corresponds roughly to his time at Cambridge from 1884 to 1910. It was during these years that he worked primarily on issues in mathematics and logic. It was also during this time that he collaborated with Russell. The second main period, from 1910 to 1924, corresponds roughly to his time at London. During these years Whitehead concentrated mainly on issues in physics, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of education. The third main period corresponds roughly to his time at Harvard from 1924 onward. It was during this time that he worked primarily on issues in metaphysics.

1. Life and Works

The son of an Anglican clergyman, Whitehead graduated from Cambridge in 1884 and was elected a Fellow of Trinity College that same year. His marriage to Evelyn Wade six years later was largely a happy one and together they had a daughter (Jessie) and two sons (North and Eric). After moving to London, Whitehead served as president of the Aristotelian Society from 1922 to 1923. After moving to Harvard, he was elected to the British Academy in 1931. His moves to both London and Harvard were prompted in part by institutional regulations requiring mandatory retirement, although his resignation from Cambridge was also done partly in protest over how the University had chosen to discipline Andrew Forsyth, a friend and colleague whose affair with a married woman had become something of a local scandal.

In addition to Russell, Whitehead influenced many other students who became equally or more famous than their teacher, examiner or supervisor himself. For example: mathematicians G. H. Hardy and J. E. Littlewood; mathematical physicists Edmund Whittaker, Arthur Eddington, and James Jeans; economist J. M. Keynes; and philosophers Susanne Langer, Nelson Goodman, and Willard van Orman Quine. Whitehead did not, however, inspire any school of thought during his lifetime, and most of his students distanced themselves from parts of his teachings that they considered anachronistic. For example: Whitehead’s conviction that pure mathematics and applied mathematics should not be separated, but cross-fertilize each other, was not shared by Hardy, but seen as a remnant of the fading mixed mathematics tradition; after the birth of the theories of relativity and quantum physics, Whitehead’s method of abstracting some of the basic concepts of mathematical physics from common experiences seemed antiquated compared to Eddington’s method of world building, which aimed at constructing an experiment matching world from mathematical building blocks; when, due to Whitehead’s judgment as one of the examiners, Keynes had to rewrite his fellowship dissertation, Keynes raged against Whitehead, claiming that Whitehead had not bothered to try to understand Keynes’ novel approach to probability; and Whitehead’s main philosophical doctrine—that the world is composed of deeply interdependent processes and events, rather than mostly independent material things or objects—turned out to be largely the opposite of Russell’s doctrine of logical atomism, and his metaphysics was dispelled by the logical positivists from their dream land of pure scientific philosophy.

A short chronology of the major events in Whitehead’s life is below.

1861 Born February 15 in Ramsgate, Isle of Thanet, Kent, England.
1880 Enters Trinity College, Cambridge, with a scholarship in mathematics.
1884 Elected to the Apostles, the elite discussion club founded by Tennyson in the 1820s; graduates with a B.A. in Mathematics; elected a Fellow in Mathematics at Trinity.
1890 Meets Russell; marries Evelyn Wade.
1903 Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society as a result of his work on universal algebra, symbolic logic, and the foundations of mathematics.
1910 Resigns from Cambridge and moves to London.
1911 Appointed Lecturer at University College London.
1912 Elected President of both the South-Eastern Mathematical Association and the London branch of the Mathematical Association for the year 1913.
1914 Appointed Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology.
1915 Elected President of the Mathematical Association for the two-year period 1915–1917.
1921 Meets Albert Einstein.
1922 Elected President of the Aristotelian Society for the one-year period 1922–1923.
1924 Appointed Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University.
1931 Elected a Fellow of the British Academy.
1937 Retires from Harvard.
1945 Awarded Order of Merit.
1947 Dies December 30 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
More detailed information about Whitehead’s life can be found in the comprehensive two-volume biography A.N. Whitehead: The Man and His Work (1985, 1990) by Victor Lowe and J.B. Schneewind. Paul Schilpp’s The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (1941) also includes a short autobiographical essay, in addition to providing a comprehensive critical overview of Whitehead’s thought and a detailed bibliography of his writings.

Other helpful introductions to Whitehead’s work include Victor Lowe’s Understanding Whitehead (1962), Stephen Franklin’s Speaking from the Depths (1990), Thomas Hosinski’s Stubborn Fact and Creative Advance (1993), Elizabeth Kraus’ The Metaphysics of Experience (1998), Robert Mesle’s Process-Relational Philosophy (2008), and John Cobb’s Whitehead Word Book (2015). Recommendable for the more advanced Whitehead student are Ivor Leclerc’s Whitehead’s Metaphysics (1958), Wolfe Mays’ The Philosophy of Whitehead (1959), Donald Sherburne’s A Whiteheadian Aesthetics (1961), Charles Hartshorne’s Whitehead’s Philosophy (1972), George Lucas’ The Rehabilitation of Whitehead (1989), David Griffin’s Whitehead’s Radically Different Postmodern Philosophy (2007), and Steven Shaviro’s Without Criteria (2009). For a chronology of Whitehead’s major publications, readers are encouraged to consult the Primary Literature section of the Bibliography below.

Attempts to sum up Whitehead’s life and influence are complicated by the fact that in accordance with his instructions, all his papers were destroyed following his death. As a result, there is no nachlass, except for papers retained by his colleagues and correspondents. Even so, it is instructive to recall the words of the late Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter:

From knowledge gained through the years of the personalities who in our day have affected American university life, I have for some time been convinced that no single figure has had such a pervasive influence as the late Professor Alfred North Whitehead. (New York Times, January 8, 1948)

Today Whitehead’s ideas continue to be felt and are revalued in varying degrees in all of the main areas in which he worked. A critical edition of his work is currently in the process of being prepared. A first volume, containing student notes of lectures given by Whitehead at Harvard in the academic year 1924–1925, has already been published by Edinburgh University Press in 2017, and more volumes are on their way.

2. Mathematics and Logic

Whitehead began his academic career at Trinity College, Cambridge where, starting in 1884, he taught for a quarter of a century. In 1890, Russell arrived as a student and during the 1890s the two men came into regular contact with one another. According to Russell,

Whitehead was extraordinarily perfect as a teacher. He took a personal interest in those with whom he had to deal and knew both their strong and their weak points. He would elicit from a pupil the best of which a pupil was capable. He was never repressive, or sarcastic, or superior, or any of the things that inferior teachers like to be. I think that in all the abler young men with whom he came in contact he inspired, as he did in me, a very real and lasting affection. (1956: 104)

By the early 1900s, both Whitehead and Russell had completed books on the foundations of mathematics. Whitehead’s 1898 A Treatise on Universal Algebra had resulted in his election to the Royal Society. Russell’s 1903 The Principles of Mathematics had expanded on several themes initially developed by Whitehead. Russell’s book also represented a decisive break from the neo-Kantian approach to mathematics Russell had developed six years earlier in his Essay on the Foundations of Geometry. Since the research for a proposed second volume of Russell’s Principles overlapped considerably with Whitehead’s own research for a planned second volume of his Universal Algebra, the two men began collaboration on what eventually would become Principia Mathematica (1910, 1912, 1913). According to Whitehead, they initially expected the research to take about a year to complete. In the end, they worked together on the project for a decade.

According to Whitehead—inspired by Hermann Grassmann—mathematics is the study of pattern:

mathematics is concerned with the investigation of patterns of connectedness, in abstraction from the particular relata and the particular modes of connection. (1933 [1967: 153])

In his Treatise on Universal Algebra, Whitehead took a generalized algebra—called ‘universal algebra’—to be the most appropriate tool for this study or investigation, but after meeting Giuseppe Peano during the section devoted to logic at the First International Congress of Philosophy in 1900, Whitehead and Russell became aware of the potential of symbolic logic to become the most appropriate tool to rigorously study mathematical patterns.

With the help of Whitehead, Russell extended Peano’s symbolic logic in order to be able to deal with all types of relations and, consequently, with all the patterns of relatedness that mathematicians study. In his Principles of Mathematics, Russell gave an account of the resulting new symbolic logic of classes and relations—called ‘mathematical logic’—as well as an outline of how to reconstruct all existing mathematics by means of this logic. After that, instead of only being a driving force behind the scenes, Whitehead became the public co-author of Russell of the actual and rigorous reconstruction of mathematics from logic. Russell often presented this reconstruction—giving rise to the publication of the three Principia Mathematica volumes—as the reduction of mathematics to logic, both qua definitions and qua proofs. And since the 1920s, following Rudolf Carnap, Whitehead and Russell’s project as well as similar reduction-to-logic projects, including the earlier project of Gottlob Frege, are classified under the header of ‘logicism’.

However, Sébastian Gandon has highlighted in his 2012 study Russell’s Unknown Logicism that Russell and Whitehead’s logicism project differed in at least one important respect from Frege’s logicism project. Frege adhered to a radical universalism, and wanted the mathematical content to be entirely determined from within the logical system. Russell and Whitehead, however, took into account the consensus, or took a stance in the ongoing discussions among mathematicians, with respect to the constitutive features of the already existing, ‘pre-logicized’ branches of mathematics, and then evaluated for each branch which of several possible types of relations were best suited to logically reconstruct it, while safeguarding its topic-specific features. Contrary to Frege, Whitehead and Russell tempered their urge for universalism to take into account the topic-specificity of the various mathematical branches, and as a working mathematician, Whitehead was well positioned to compare the pre-logicized mathematics with its reconstruction in the logical system.

For Russell, the logicism project originated from the dream of a rock-solid mathematics, no longer governed by Kantian intuition, but by logical rigor. Hence, the discovery of a devastating paradox—later called ‘Russell’s paradox’—at the heart of mathematical logic was a serious blow for Russell, and kicked off his search for a theory to prevent paradox. He actually came up with several theories, but retained the ramified theory of types in Principia Mathematica. Moreover, the ‘logicizing’ of arithmetic required extra-logical patchwork: the axioms of reducibility, infinity, and choice. None of this patchwork could ultimately satisfy Russell. His original dream evaporated and, looking back later in life, he wrote: “The splendid certainty which I had always hoped to find in mathematics was lost in a bewildering maze” (1959: 157).

Whitehead originally conceived of the logicism project as an improvement upon his algebraic project. Indeed, Whitehead’s transition from the solitary Universal Algebra project to the joint Principia Mathematica project was a transition from universal algebra to mathematical logic as the most appropriate symbolic language to embody mathematical patterns. It entailed a generalization from the embodiment of absolutely abstract patterns by means of algebraic forms of variables to their embodiment by means of propositional functions of real variables. Hardy was quite right in his review of the first volume of Principia Mathematica when he wrote: “mathematics, one may say, is the science of propositional functions” (quoted by Grattan-Guinness 1991: 173).

Whitehead saw mathematical logic as a tool to guide the mathematician’s essential activities of intuiting, articulating, and applying patterns, and he did not aim at replacing mathematical intuition (pattern recognition) with logical rigor. In the latter respect, Whitehead, from the start, was more like Henri Poincaré than Russell (cf. Desmet 2016a). Consequently, the discovery of paradox at the heart of mathematical logic was less of a blow to Whitehead than to Russell and, later in life, now and again, Whitehead simply reversed the Russellian order of generality and importance, writing that “symbolic logic” only represents “a minute fragment” of the possibilities of “the algebraic method” (1947 [1968: 129]).

For a more detailed account of the genesis of Principia Mathematica and Whitehead’s place in the philosophy of mathematics, cf. Smith 1953, Code 1985, Grattan-Guinness 2000 and 2002, Irvine 2009, Bostock 2010, Desmet 2010, N. Griffin et al. 2011, N. Griffin & Linsky 2013.

Following the completion of Principia, Whitehead and Russell began to go their separate ways (cf. Ramsden Eames 1989, Desmet & Weber 2010, Desmet & Rusu 2012). Perhaps inevitably, Russell’s anti-war activities and Whitehead’s loss of his youngest son during World War I led to something of a split between the two men. Nevertheless, the two remained on relatively good terms for the rest of their lives. To his credit, Russell comments in his Autobiography that when it came to their political differences, Whitehead

was more tolerant than I was, and it was much more my fault than his that these differences caused a diminution in the closeness of our friendship. (1956: 100)

3. Physics

Even with the publication of its three volumes, Principia Mathematica was incomplete. For example, the logical reconstruction of the various branches of geometry still needed to be completed and published. In fact, it was Whitehead’s task to do so by producing a fourth Principia Mathematica volume. However, this volume never saw the light of day. What Whitehead did publish were his repeated attempts to logically reconstruct the geometry of space and time, hence extending the logicism project from pure mathematics to applied mathematics or, put differently, from mathematics to physics—an extension which Russell greeted with enthusiasm and saw as an important step in the deployment of his new philosophical method of logical analysis.

At first, Whitehead focused on the geometry of space.

When Whitehead and Russell logicized the concept of number, their starting point was our intuition of equinumerous classes of individuals—for example, our recognition that the class of dwarfs in the fairy tale of Snow White (Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey) and the class of days in a week (from Monday to Sunday) have ‘something’ in common, namely, the something we call ‘seven.’ Then they logically defined (i) classes C and C′ to be equinumerous when there is a one-to-one relation that correlates each of the members of C with one member of C′, and (ii) the number of a class C as the class of all the classes that are equinumerous with C.

When Whitehead logicized the space of physics, his starting point was our intuition of spatial volumes and of how one volume may contain (or extend over) another, giving rise to the (mereo)logical relation of containment (or extension) in the class of volumes, and to the concept of converging series of volumes—think, for example, of a series of Russian dolls, one contained in the other, but idealized to ever smaller dolls. Whitehead made all this rigorous and then, crudely put, defined the points from which to further construct the geometry of space.

There is a striking resemblance between Whitehead’s construction of points and the construction of real numbers by Georg Cantor, who had been one of Whitehead and Russell’s main sources of inspiration next to Peano. Indeed, Whitehead defined points as equivalence classes of converging series of volumes, and Cantor defined real numbers as equivalence classes of converging series of rational numbers. Moreover, because Whitehead’s basic geometrical entities of geometry are not (as in Euclid) extensionless points but volumes, Whitehead can be seen as one of the fathers of point-free geometry; and because Whitehead’s basic geometrical relation is the mereological (or part-whole) relation of extension, he can also be seen as one of the founders of mereology (and even, when we take into account his later work on this topic in part IV of Process and Reality, of mereotopology).

“Last night”, Whitehead wrote to Russell on 3 September 1911,

the idea suddenly flashed on me that time could be treated in exactly the same way as I have now got space (which is a picture of beauty, by the bye). (Unpublished letter kept in The Bertrand Russell Archives at McMaster University)

Shortly after, Whitehead must have learned about Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity (STR) because in a letter to Wildon Carr on 10 July 1912, Russell suggested to the Honorary Secretary of the Aristotelian Society that Whitehead possibly might deliver a paper on the principle of relativity, and added: “I know he has been going into the subject”. Anyhow, in the early years of the second decade of the twentieth century, Whitehead’s interest shifted from the logical reconstruction of the Euclidean space of classical physics to the logical reconstruction of the Minkowskian space-time of the STR.

A first step to go from space to space-time was the replacement of (our intuition of) spatial volumes with (our intuition of) spatio-temporal regions (or events) as the basis of the construction (so that, for example, a point of space-time could be defined as an equivalence class of converging spatio-temporal regions). However, whereas Whitehead had constructed the Euclidean distance based on our intuition of cases of spatial congruence (for example, of two parallel straight line segments being equally long), he now struggled to construct the Minkowskian metric in terms of a concept of spatio-temporal congruence, based on a kind of merger of our intuition of cases of spatial congruence and our intuition of cases of temporal congruence (for example, of two candles taking equally long to burn out).

So, as a second step, Whitehead introduced a second relation in the class of spatio-temporal regions next to the relation of extension, namely, the relation of cogredience, based on our intuition of rest or motion. Whitehead’s use of this relation gave rise to a constant k, which allowed him to merge spatial and temporal congruence, and which appeared in his formula for the metric of space-time. When Whitehead equated k with c2 (the square of the speed of light) his metric became equal to the Minkowskian metric.

Whitehead’s most detailed account of this reconstruction of the Minkowskian space-time of the STR was given in his 1919 book, An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge, but he also offered a less technical account in his 1920 book, The Concept of Nature.

Whitehead first learned about Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (GTR) in 1916. He admired Einstein’s new mathematical theory of gravitation, but rejected Einstein’s explanation of gravitation for not being coherent with some of our basic intuitions. Einstein explained the gravitational motion of a free mass-particle in the neighborhood of a heavy mass as due to the curvature of space-time caused by this mass. According to Whitehead, the theoretical concept of a contingently curved space-time does not cohere with our measurement practices; they are based on the essential uniformity of the texture of our spatial and temporal intuition.

In general, Whitehead opposed the modern scientist’s attitude of dropping the requirement of coherence with our basic intuitions, and he revolted against the issuing bifurcation of nature into the world of science and that of intuition. In particular, as Einstein’s critic, he set out to give an alternative rendering of the GTR—an alternative that passed not only what Whitehead called “the narrow gauge”, which tests a theory’s empirical adequacy, but also what he called “the broad gauge”, which tests its coherence with our basic intuitions.

In 1920, first in a newspaper article (reprinted in Essays in Science and Philosophy), and then in a lecture (published as Chapter VIII of Concept of Nature), Whitehead made public an outline of his alternative to Einstein’s GTR. In 1921, Whitehead had the opportunity to discuss matters with Einstein himself. And finally, in 1922, Whitehead published a book with a more detailed account of his alternative theory of gravitation (ATG)—The Principle of Relativity.

According to Whitehead, the Maxwell-Lorentz theory of electrodynamics (unlike Einstein’s GTR) could be conceived as coherent with our basic intuitions—even in its four-dimensional format, namely, by elaborating Minkowski’s electromagnetic worldview. Hence, Whitehead developed his ATG in close analogy with the theory of electrodynamics. He replaced Einstein’s geometric explanation with an electrodynamics-like explanation. Whitehead explained the gravitational motion of a free mass-particle as due to a field action determined by retarded wave-potentials propagating in a uniform space-time from the source masses to the free mass-particle.

It is important to stress that Whitehead had no intention of improving the predictive content of Einstein’s GTR, only the explanatory content. However, Whitehead’s replacement of Einstein’s explanation with an alternative explanation entailed a replacement of Einstein’s formulae with alternative formulae; and these different formulae implied different predictions. So it would be incorrect to say that Whitehead’s ATG is empirically equivalent to Einstein’s GTR. What can be claimed, however, is that for a long time Whitehead’s theory was experimentally indistinguishable from Einstein’s theory.

In fact, like Einstein’s GTR, Whitehead’s ATG leads to Newton’s theory of gravitation as a first approximation. Also (as shown by Eddington in 1924 and J. L. Synge in 1952) Einstein’s and Whitehead’s theories of gravitation lead to an identical solution for the problem of determining the gravitational field of a single, static, and spherically symmetric body—the Schwarzschild solution. This implies, for example, that Einstein’s GTR and Whitehead’s ATG lead to the exact same predictions not only with respect to the precession of the perihelion of Mercury and the bending of starlight in the gravitational field of the sun (as already shown by Whitehead in 1922 and William Temple in 1924) but also with respect to the red-shift of the spectral lines of light emitted by atoms in the gravitational field of the sun (contrary to Whitehead’s own conclusion in 1922, which was based on a highly schematized and soon outdated model of the molecule). Moreover (as shown by R. J. Russell and Christoph Wassermann in 1986 and published in 2004) Einstein’s and Whitehead’s theories of gravitation also lead to an identical solution for the problem of determining the gravitational field of a single, rotating, and axially symmetric body—the Kerr solution.

Einstein’s and Whitehead’s predictions become different, however, when considering more than one body. Indeed, Einstein’s equation of gravitation is non-linear while Whitehead’s is linear; and this divergence qua mathematics implies a divergence qua predictions in the case of two or more bodies. For example (as shown by G. L. Clark in 1954) the two theories lead to different predictions with respect to the motion of double stars. The predictive divergence in the case of two bodies, however, is quite small, and until recently experimental techniques were not sufficiently refined to confirm either Einstein’s predictions or Whitehead’s, for example, with respect to double stars. In 2008, based on a precise timing of the pulsar B1913+16 in the Hulse-Taylor binary system, Einstein’s predictions with respect to the motion of double stars were confirmed, and Whitehead’s refuted (by Gary Gibbons and Clifford Will). The important fact from the viewpoint of the philosophy of science is not that, since the 1970s, now and again, a physicist rose to claim the experimental refutation of Whitehead’s ATG, but that for decades it was experimentally indistinguishable from Einstein’s GTR, hence refuting two modern dogmas. First, that theory choice is solely based on empirical facts. Clearly, next to facts, values—especially aesthetic values—are at play as well. Second, that the history of science is a succession of victories over the army of our misleading intuitions, each success of science must be interpreted as a defeat of intuition, and a truth cannot be scientific unless it hurts human intuition. Surely, we can be scientific without taming the authority of our intuition and without engaging in the disastrous race to disenchant nature and humankind.

For a more detailed account of Whitehead’s involvement with Einstein’s STR and GTR, cf. Palter 1960, Von Ranke 1997, Herstein 2006 and Desmet 2011, 2016b, and 2016c.

4. Philosophy of Science

Whitehead’s reconstruction of the space-time of the STR and his ATG make clear (i) that his main methodological requirement in the philosophy of science is that physical theories should cohere with our intuitions of the relatedness of nature (of the relations of extension, congruence, cogredience, causality, etc.), and (ii) that his paradigm of what a theory of physics should be like is the Maxwell-Lorentz theory of electrodynamics. And indeed, in his philosophy of science, Whitehead rejects David Hume’s “sensationalist empiricism” (1929c [1985: 57]) and Isaac Newton’s “scientific materialism” (1926a [1967: 17]). Instead Whitehead promotes (i) a radical empiricist methodology, which relies on our perception, not only of sense data (colors, sounds, smells, etc.) but also of a manifold of natural relations, and (ii) an electrodynamics-like worldview, in which the fundamental concepts are no longer simply located substances or bits of matter, but internally related processes and events.

“Modern physical science”, Whitehead wrote,

is the issue of a coordinated effort, sustained for more than three centuries, to understand those activities of Nature by reason of which the transitions of sense-perception occur. (1934 [2011: 65])

But according to Whitehead, Hume’s sensationalist empiricism has undermined the idea that our perception can reveal those activities, and Newton’s scientific materialism has failed to render his formulae of motion and gravitation intelligible.

Whitehead was dissatisfied with Hume’s reduction of perception to sense perception because, as Hume discovered, pure sense perception reveals a succession of spatial patterns of impressions of color, sound, smell, etc. (a procession of forms of sense data), but it does not reveal any causal relatedness to interpret it (any form of process to render it intelligible). In fact, all “relatedness of nature”, and not only its causal relatedness, was “demolished by Hume’s youthful skepticism” (1922 [2004: 13]) and conceived as the outcome of mere psychological association. Whitehead wrote:

Sense-perception, for all its practical importance, is very superficial in its disclosure of the nature of things. … My quarrel with [Hume] concerns [his] exclusive stress upon sense-perception for the provision of data respecting Nature. Sense-perception does not provide the data in terms of which we interpret it. (1934 [2011: 21])

Whitehead was also dissatisfied with Newton’s scientific materialism,

which presupposes the ultimate fact of an irreducible brute matter, or material, spread through space in a flux of configurations. In itself such a material is senseless, valueless, purposeless. It just does what it does do, following a fixed routine imposed by external relations which do not spring from the nature of its being. (1926a [1967: 17])

Whitehead rejected Newton’s conception of nature as the succession of instants of spatial distribution of bits of matter for two reasons. First: the concept of a “durationless” instant, “without reference to any other instant”, renders unintelligible the concepts of “velocity at an instant” and “momentum at an instant” as well as the equations of motion involving these concepts (1934 [2011: 47]). Second: the concept of self-sufficient and isolated bits of matter, having “the property of simple location in space and time” (1926a [1967: 49]), cannot “give the slightest warrant for the law of gravitation” that Newton postulated (1934 [2011: 34]). Whitehead wrote:

Newton’s methodology for physics was an overwhelming success. But the forces which he introduced left Nature still without meaning or value. In the essence of a material body—in its mass, motion, and shape—there was no reason for the law of gravitation. (1934 [2011: 23])

There is merely a formula for succession. But there is an absence of understandable causation for that formula for that succession. (1934 [2011: 53–54])

“Combining Newton and Hume”, Whitehead summarized,

we obtain a barren concept, namely, a field of perception devoid of any data for its own interpretation, and a system of interpretation devoid of any reason for the concurrence of its factors. (1934 [2011: 25])

“Two conclusions”, Whitehead wrote,

are now abundantly clear. One is that sense-perception omits any discrimination of the fundamental activities within Nature. … The second conclusion is the failure of science to endow its formulae for activity with any meaning. (1934 [2011: 65])

The views of Newton and Hume, Whitehead continued, are “gravely defective. They are right as far as they go. But they omit … our intuitive modes of understanding” (1934 [2011: 26]).

In Whitehead’s eyes, however, the development of Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism constituted an antidote to Newton’s scientific materialism, for it led him to conceive the whole universe as “a field of force—or, in other words, a field of incessant activity” (1934 [2011: 27]). The theory of electromagnetism served Whitehead to overcome Newton’s “fallacy of simple location” (1926a [1967: 49]), that is, the conception of nature as a universe of self-sufficient isolated bits of matter. Indeed, we cannot say of an electromagnetic event that it is

here in space, and here in time, or here in space-time, in a perfectly definite sense which does not require for its explanation any reference to other regions of space-time. (1926a [1967: 49])

The theory of electromagnetism “involves the entire abandonment of the notion that simple location is the primary way in which things are involved in space-time” because it reveals that, “in a certain sense, everything is everywhere at all times” (1926a [1967: 91]). “Long ago”, Whitehead wrote, Faraday already remarked “that in a sense an electric charge is everywhere”, and:

the modification of the electromagnetic field at every point of space at each instant owing to the past history of each electron is another way of stating the same fact. (1920 [1986: 148])

The lesson that Whitehead learned from the theory of electromagnetism is unambiguous:

The fundamental concepts are activity and process. … The notion of self-sufficient isolation is not exemplified in modern physics. There are no essentially self-contained activities within limited regions. … Nature is a theatre for the interrelations of activities. All things change, the activities and their interrelations. … In the place of the procession of [spatial] forms (of externally related bits of matter, modern physics) has substituted the notion of the forms of process. It has thus swept away space and matter, and has substituted the study of the internal relations within a complex state of activity. (1934 [2011: 35–36])

But overcoming Newton was insufficient for Whitehead because Hume “has even robbed us of reason for believing that the past gives any ground for expectation of the future” (1934 [2011: 65]). According to Whitehead,

science conceived as resting on mere sense-perception, with no other sources of observation, is bankrupt, so far as concerns its claims to self-sufficiency. (1934 [2011: 66])

In fact, science conceived as restricting itself to the sensationalist methodology can find neither efficient nor final causality. It “can find no creativity in Nature; it finds mere rules of succession” (1934 [2011: 66]). “The reason for this blindness”, according to Whitehead, “lies in the fact that such science only deals with half of the evidence provided by human experience” (1934 [2011: 66]).

Contrary to Hume, Whitehead held that it is untrue to state that our perception, in which sense perception is only one factor, discloses no causal relatedness. Inspired by the radical empiricism of William James and Henri Bergson, Whitehead gave a new analysis of perception. According to Whitehead, our perception is a symbolic interplay of two pure modes of perception, pure sense perception (which Whitehead ultimately called “perception in the mode of presentational immediacy”), and a more basic perception of causal relatedness (which he called “perception in the mode of causal efficacy”). According to Whitehead, taking into account the whole of our perception instead of only pure sense perception, that is, all perceptual data instead of only Hume’s sense data, implies also taking into account the other half of the evidence, namely, our intuitions of the relatedness of nature, of “the togetherness of things”. He added:

the togetherness of things involves some doctrine of mutual immanence. In some sense or other … each happening is a factor in the nature of every other happening. (1934 [2011: 87])

Hume demolished the relatedness of nature; Whitehead restored it, founded the “doctrine of causation … on the doctrine of immanence”, and wrote: “Each occasion presupposes the antecedent world as active in its own nature. … This is the doctrine of causation” (1934 [2011: 88–89]).
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