A Quick Ode to My Ancestors

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."

- John Adams

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John Adams reminds me that I am blessed to be able to study psychology and spiritual philosophy at this point in my life thanks to the hard work of the ancestors who paved my way. The Syracuse manufacturers. The construction workers. The business men. The teachers. The mayors. The milk men. The ministers. The accountants. The soldiers. And the many, many farmers. Thank you for your hard work so that I may study with all my heart topics that I believe are part of the big next steps for mankind.

"The primal powers [of yin and yang] never come to a standstill; the cycle of becoming continues uninterruptedly. The reason is that between the two primal powers there arises again and again a state of tension, a potential that keeps the powers in motion and causes them to unite, whereby they are constantly regenerated…  The power of Tao to maintain the world by a constant renewal of a state of tension between the polar forces is designated as good (emphasis mine).”

Richard Wilhelm, The I Ching, or Book of Changes

NEW MISSION: Weekly-ish Debriefs

It’s already incredibly clear to me that my studies at CIIS are going to be an incredible, rocket-fuel boosted process of personal growth. My first few weeks have already put my in direct contract with a lot of my sticky, scary, or tense places. I’ve also been hit with a glittery semi-truck full of enthusiasm and curiosity at all of the delicious, new-world-opening material available to me. It’s overwhelming! 

So.

I’m going to see how doing a “weekly-ish debrief” feels. At least for now. I think it might be helpful to create little mini-moments of personal reflection to serve as informal, hand-made milestones for CIIS journey. In addition I plan to post juicy tidbits that come my way during my courses. Yey!

The first debrief will likely come soon.

CIIS Application Essay: Goal Statement

I’ve decided to post one of my application essays to CIIS. (I’m still on the fence about the other one…) These essays were incredibly easy for me to write—they just flowed right out of me and were many, many years in the making. Don’t get me wrong—the mad dash to write them and get them in on time was stressful, for sure, but it was natural. 

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Goal Statement. A one-page (typed, double-spaced) statement of your educational and professional objectives.

I’ve spent a decade working on the business side of three intertwined disciplines: food, wellness and sustainability. Over the years, I have become absolutely enamored by the overlap and layers that exist amidst these topics, and more so, the fact that they all share the same heart. The more I have looked for the why and the how of creating healing, systemic change, the closer I get to the heart of every human on earth and the importance of their relationship with themselves, their community and the earth. I know that the next step in my professional journey is to set business aside for a while (perhaps a long while) and study the “heart of the matter” more closely.

I would like to begin my education at CIIS looking at two sides of one coin. First, I am interested in examining the lived experience of the personal psycho-spiritual journey in modern times. Secondly, I am fascinated by the future of spirituality and religion in the Western world. How can our culture and communities more fully support people in their psycho-spiritual journeys? How do we share with each other these important ways of knowing? How do all these pieces combine into our collective human journey?

Also, I am thrilled to be applying to CIIS. After receiving engineering and business degrees from an Ivy League university, full of right answers and analytical production, I am looking for a different type of education. Experiential and open. Intuitive and evolving. Over the last few years, I’ve been marinating on the possibility of attending CIIS and have now finally arrived outside of your gates, heart-based compass in hand. I would be honored to enter.

The journey begins! I have officially been applied, interviewed, been accepted and begun a new adventure: an MA in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Hoorah! …and hold on!

The journey begins! I have officially been applied, interviewed, been accepted and begun a new adventure: an MA in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Hoorah! …and hold on!

Harrowing

by Parker J. Palmer

The plow has savaged this sweet field
Misshapen clods of earth kicked up
Rocks and twisted roots exposed to view
Last year’s growth demolished by the blade.

I have plowed my life this way
Turned over a whole history
Looking for the roots of what went wrong
Until my face is ravaged, furrowed, scarred.

Enough. The job is done.
Whatever’s been uprooted, let it be
Seedbed for the growing that’s to come.
I plowed to unearth last year’s reasons—

The farmer plows to plant a greening season.

Found in old college memorabilia…

Found in old college memorabilia…

As I wait to begin my masters program, which begins in a week an focuses on psychology and spirituality, I’m loving this quote I just found scribbled in my old college datebook: “Accept the challenge of real understanding.” // Oh how my understanding of understanding continues to evolve.

As I wait to begin my masters program, which begins in a week an focuses on psychology and spirituality, I’m loving this quote I just found scribbled in my old college datebook: “Accept the challenge of real understanding.” // Oh how my understanding of understanding continues to evolve.

not—banksy:

JBROCK in Italy

not—banksy:

JBROCK in Italy

"It isn’t the things that are happening to us that cause us to suffer, it’s what we say to ourselves about the things that are happening." -Pema 

So true!