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In this Issue


Art is not just creating beauty; it is anything workable and rich. And as far as art in everyday life and the awareness experience is concerned, transcending aggression is the root of all the artistic talent one can ever imagine.

Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
in Dharma Art


Social Justice Program Kick-off Event

All are invited to share, connect and learn about this new program!

Please RSVP to Rose via phone or email.

Where: Talking Drum Cafe
              413 Main St.
              Holyoke, MA 01040
When: February 10th, 2005 (snow date February 17, 2005)
             5:30pm - 8:30pm
             A light dinner will be served.

The Center seeks to support continued development of contemplative practice within the social justice movement to sustain organizers and activists. This kick-off event will publicly announce SJP and its programmatic focus at a gathering on Thursday, February 10th. The SJP hopes to draw interest and participation from activists, organizers, community leaders, and funders. A light dinner will be served.

What we do

SJP provides social justice activists, organizers, and organizations interested in exploring contemplative practices with instruction, resources, materials, information, and support. SJP offers individuals and organizations the nuts and bolts of “how to” cultivate imagination, a calmer disposition, intuition, creativity, values, ethics, compassion, and positive well-being.

Rationale for SJP

Social justice activists and organizers all around the country are recognizing that they are operating in organizing cultures that neither support nor respect the integration of the spiritual and political self. This culture has negatively impacted many individuals and organizations and it has limited the effectiveness of the overall movement. Furthermore, the cost to the social justice movement has been immeasurable, the manifestations of which are becoming increasingly visible: organizers are burning out at high rates and leaving the movement in search of healthier ways of living. We believe that contemplative pratices can help reshape social action, address the root causes of burnout, and contribute to the integration of the ethical and the political, the spiritual and the practical.

Come and Join us!  
For more information contact 
Rose Sackey-Milligan     
413-582-0071, ext 14
Making Art a Contemplative Practice

One of the most important benefits of making art is thatit helps us stay present and live in the moment. As an activist and organizer, I know you spend a lot of time planning and preparing for the next campaign, community meeting, or public hearing, and may find it difficult to live in the moment with full awareness. Being distracted by daily crises, one often forgets to live in the present, to make the most of each minute and to see each day as an opportunity that will not come again. Living the life of an activist or organizer means you're pressured to live either in the past or future.

After reading this article you may attach a different value to all the political art you’ve ever created. Did you know that artistic disciplines such as writing, poetry, singing, chanting, music, drawing, painting, and brushwork are highly valued for their reflective power? Art is imaginative, intuitive, mysterious, and magical. It is evocative and has a unique language that speaks to the collective soul. It is sacred, playful, and creates a unique message for the creator and the viewer. Making art awakens the sacred within. Next time you catch yourself doodling throughout a 3-hour meeting, use your creative instincts to be present!

If you want to explore how to be more intentional about making your creative process a contemplative practice and how to use it as a tool to help you live in the moment, take a look at

Intuitive Writing


Like art, intuitive writing can help you stay "in the now." Intuitive writing is also known as stream of consciousness, spontaneous, or free association writing. It’s a pathway to the intuitive wisdom of the mind, and can give you access to images and ideas that may not come to you from ordinary rational thinking. If you are looking for fresh insights and approaches to your work, then this might be the way to go. Give it a try!

Take a look at to learn how to write intuitively.


Recommended viewing

The Scent of Green Papaya
Director: Tran Ahn Hung
Columbia TriStar 03/94 VHS/DVD

Rated one of the best foreign films of 1994, this Vietnamese film gives us important insights into being alive and awake in the present moment, and savoring nature’s beauty.

The Castle
Director: Rob Stitch
Miramax 05/99 VHS/DVD

An exquisite Australian comedy about a working-class family living life in the moment.

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Upcoming Workshops, Trainings, and Retreats


Leading From Spirit
April 1 - 2, 2005
Women’s Theological Center
Boston, MA

A 1 and 1/4 day interactive training designed to support, inspire, and propel life-affirming transformation among individuals, organizations, and communities. It provides an overview of of WTC's "spiritual leadership," a model of leadership that brings together social activism and spiritual awareness.

For more information and registration, please visit or call (617) 585-5655.



RIPPLES training for Spiritual Activism
Presented by stone circles
March 11-13, 2005
location in Western Massachusetts TBA

This 3-day training event is rooted in an understanding that effective social change requires highly functional individuals and groups. What conditions lead to individual and group suffering? What leads to personal and collective liberation? This training is open to anyone seeking to better understand the dynamics and internal processes of these fundamental questions.

Margie Hattori

Being Change: the Way of the Activist
August 6-11, 2005
Vallecitos Mountain Refuge, Taos, NM

Spiritual Activism is not a philosophy — it is a Way of life. The fullest integration of an intellectual understanding of justice and an embodied realization of liberation requires committed time that we may not encounter in our daily lives. Periods of retreat dedicated to this integration are fundamental part of our development. This 5-day retreat will provide activists with a structure that supports their spiritual practice while developing their understanding of social change.

Margie Hattori


Submissions for the Next Issue

We would love to hear from you! Submit a letter, story idea, or tell us about events, conferences, retreats, books, or articles that may be of interest to others. Email your information to

We will gladly accept information on published nonfiction on healthy living, personal growth, and contemplative practices.

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

199 Main Street, Suite 3
Northampton, MA 01060 USA
phone: (413) 582-0071
fax: (413) 582-1330
general email:

Questions, concerns? This e-newsletter was made & sent by John Berry