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The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Spring 2006 Newsletter - Social Justice Edition

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Imagine all the people living a life in peace.

- John Lennon, Imagine

Our Community Meets Faith Adiele

On the snowy Saturday morning of February 25 th, The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society’s Social Justice Program was pleased to host a remarkable event with the luminous Faith Adiele. Attended by friends of the community and people who traveled far and wide, Faith gave us an honest peek into her distinct life and left us with inspiration for each of our own.

As author of Meeting Faith: the Forest Journals of a Buddhist Nun, she spoke of the difficulties becoming a young Buddhist nun and demonstrated the importance of developing any contemplative practice whether Buddhist or not.

Adiele also shared how the mindfulness she obtained and fears she overcame deep in the forest of Thailand have continued to give her strength and compassion, tools that helped her in previous positions as a community activist and diversity trainer.

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Voices of Faith and Inspiration

Dealing with suffering, at times, can be an overwhelming proposition. It is not uncommon to be overcome by the weight of injustice and deep feelings of despair. At times, despite our best efforts and isolated moments of success, at every turn we tire from our communities spinning in a sea of war, hate and oppression. We know giving up is hardly an option, so we continue, often in quiet reticence. What keeps us going and invigorates our resolve are often words of inspiration from a friend or relative. Sometimes we’re inspired by reading a favorite prayer or affirmation. Our energy can sometimes be quickly re-kindled by a poem or viewing poster art in a store front. Are you feeling like bailing your work for justice for the 100 th time today? Here are a few uplifting and comforting words1 to help you move through your day.

Who Would Have Hoped

Who would have hoped
Rage would turn to grief,
That grief would find comfort,
That healing balm could flow.

O faithless heart, remember this ―
All you dream can wither
Or bear fruit. Therefore, take courage
On those desperate nights.
Perhaps joy is on its way.

― Susan Landon


Storm settles into quiet,
Darkest dust leads to a dawn,
Bleak winter melts into springtime,
And tide turns ―
Hold On.

― Sharon Hundell


Imagine not that life is all doing.
Stillness, too, is life:
And in that stillness
The mind cluttered with busyness quiets,
The heart reaching to win rests,
And we hear the whispered truths of God.

― Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

June Cotner, Comfort Prayers: Prayers and Poems to Comfort, Encourage, and Inspire. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing , 2004.

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Recommended Reading

Faith Adiele
Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun.
New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2004.

Heidi B. Neumark
Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx
Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2003.

Jarvis J. Masters
Finding Freedom: Writings from Death Row
Junction City, CA: Padma Pubishing, 2003.

Eric Tang
Boat People. Colorlines: 9:1,
Spring 2006.
This article about the affect of Katrina on the Vietnamese community of the Gulf Coast can be read online at

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Recommended Listening

Jai Uttal
Shiva Station
Triloka Records, August 1997.
This is a mix of classical Indian melodies with elements of funk, trance, dub, all of which work together to create ecstatic feelings of enchantment and joy.

Under the Moroccan Sky:
Fes Festival of World Sacred Music
Sounds True Direct, May 2001
This recording offers a rich tapestry of sacred music from around the world.

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Recommended Viewing

I Heart Huckabees
David O. Russel
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 02/05 VHS/DVD
This is metaphysical comedy about the insanities that rock our world ― war, famine, melting icecaps, the desecration of wilderness areas for oil and continued malling of America.

Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony
Lee Hirsch 12/03 VHS/DVD
This film documentary tells the story of black South African freedom music and the role it played in the long battle against apartheid. Amandla!’s focus is on the struggle’s spiritual dimension, as articulated and embodied in song.

Vera Drake
Mike Leigh
Warner Home Video 03/05 DVD
Vera, a domestic who cleans the houses of well-to-do ladies, teaches us to be caring, kind, and compassionate as we live a life of self-less service.

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Upcoming Workshops, Trainings and Retreats

Social Justice Program
the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
Northampton , MA
Toward an Integral Approach to Liberation
Talk by Raul Quinones-Rosado
April 2

Raúl Quiñones-Rosado, author of Toward an Integral Approach to Liberation and Transformation will discuss how to approach one of the most critical challenges of our times: as the continued struggle against oppression or the on- going striving toward the creation of a new society? Drawing on liberation psychology, integral theory, and thirty years of community work, anti-oppression organizing and spiritual practice, this presentation introduces an integral framework for liberation and transformation that seeks to transcend dichotomous, fragmented and reactive approaches to personal, community, and societal change.

Topics include:

  • An Integral Model of Well-Being and Development

  • The Forces that Hinder: Oppression Within and Without

  • Consciousness-in-Action: Transcending Limiting Frames and Reactivity

  • Integral Liberation & Transformation Practice: On Meditation, Self-Observation, and Community Organizing

He is the director of c-Integral, works within various communities-of-struggle in Puerto Rico and the US to support the on-going development of people committed to personal change and social transformation. He is founder and former co-director of ilé: Institute for Latino Empowerment (1992-2005), and is soon to receive his doctoral degree in social psychology from the Union Institute & University. He is the author of Latino/Hispanic Liaisons and Visions for Human Behavior in the Social Environment , Toward an Integral Strategy for Change, and Transformation, and Hispanic or Latino? The Struggle for Identity in a Race-Based Society. He currently resides in Puerto Rico.

For information on Raúl's work, visit

RSVP by March 30th: 413/582-0071

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Transforming Organizing Culture
May 30 – June 2
October 12 - 15
Menla Mountain Retreat and Conference Center
This is an intergenerational gathering of northeast activists and organizers exploring the integration between spiritual practice and social action. See www. for details.

stone circles
Durham , NC
Being Change: The Way of the Activist
March 8-12, New Market, TN
June 13-18, Leyden, MA
August 6-11 Taos, NM
See for details

Tenth Annual Meditation Retreat for Activists of Color
Vallecitos Mountain Refuge
Taos , NM
June 17-23

See for details

The Shambala Institute for Authentic Leadership
Halifax , Nova Scotia
June 18 - 24
See for details

Environmental Leadership Program
Regional Networks Program
Greater Boston area
Training, peer network and project support opportunities to individuals engaged in environmental and social change work
Deadline: March 30th
See for more details

The Art of Change
This is a year-long training and mentoring program designed to support and develop those seeking to be more effective, spiritually-grounded change agents.

Submissions for the Next Issue

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.

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The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
199 Main Street, Suite 3
Northampton, MA 01060 USA
phone: (413) 582-0071
fax: (413) 582-1330

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

top image by Lisa Berry