Back to school.

September 24, 2007

This morning I registered for what will be my third and last year of my Conflict Management studies at Bar Ilan University. I don’t have many courses left to take so I think I can expect to be done by the end of summer 2008.

Of course, that won’t be the end to my mediation studies here or in general. Oh, I think the fun is only just beginning…


Psychological West vs. Holistic East.

September 19, 2007

Tonight I went to an orientation for the Reidman International College of Complementary Medicine. The Reidman college is part of a greater network of alternative medicine schools across the world, and is by far the largest of its kind in Israel.

I got a note in the mail about the orientation and decided to check it out. Last year I attended a 3-day conference on alternative healing and I found it fascinating, especially in conjunction with my mediation studies.

It’s a subject I’ve always wanted to explore and I also figure, why shouldn’t it help with my mediation practice? Individuals need to mediate within themselves first, more often than not.

I like what I heard tonight, and I’m thinking I might sign up for the course this time next year when I’m finished with my current conflict management degree. I’d be doing a five-year holistic psychotherapy course which would explore the mind-body connection in regards to psychotherapy. It’s a mix of Western psychology and Eastern holistic medicine, which is exactly the kind of attitude I want to inject in my own offering.

This all falls under the topic I’ve always been curious about, energy healing. What are relationships without energy? Especially the relationship you have with yourself?

I don’t want to rush into that because I feel like I have a long way to go until I could master such a topic, but I am excited to begin exploring.

Religions for Peace.

September 18, 2007

religions for peaceWith all the religious holidays going on lately (Shana tova and Ramadan Kareem!), I suppose it is appropriate that I found this website the other day, belonging to Religions for Peace – USA. The mission of the organization goes like this:

Religions for Peace – USA gathers representatives of religious communities in the U.S.; promotes multi-religious cooperation for peace and justice; builds on the spiritual, human, and institutional resources of its communities; enhances mutual understanding; and acts for the common good.

They have a decent resources page, which includes a multi-faith calendar.

Even better, I noticed they have an internship program. I’m actually looking for an opportunity to do my required conflict management internship abroad, so I’ll give this one a shot.

On a more philosophical note: Personally, I enjoy participating in a good constructive dialogue, although I am skeptical of dialogue on a grand scale, since the people who participate are generally the people who are willing to participate. Nonetheless, it is important, especially for religious leaders.

I’m also always wary of cliche statements like:

We envision a world in which people of distinct religious communities live together in respect and mutual support, creating paths to peace and justice.

I mean, yeah, I’m all over that but it got harder since I’ve stepped into adulthood and have been introduced to global cynicism, hatred and ego.

But I am grateful that there are people out there who stick it out – the optimists, the dialogue participants, the community leaders and… we future-mediators.

(Jewish) New Years Resolutions

September 16, 2007

Rosh Hashana – the Jewish new year – just ended, and not without a bit of prayer and reflecting on my part. I’ve come up with several resolutions I’d like to work on this year; I always love a good self-improvement challenge.

The main resolutions for myself break down as the following:

1. Taking responsibility for my own

I’m the only one to blame for my feelings of blandness lately. I’ve let laziness, skepticism and un-inspiration take over. Who can inspire me better than myself? I’ve become too comfortable with the status-quo.

2. Stepping down as Judge

I’ve been caught up in a very negative pattern of judgment lately. I was never one for being overly judgmental, and I certainly don’t think myself almighty-enough to play the role. However, I’ve realized, like in resolution #1, I’ve become too comfortable with myself and where I am in life and have repeatedly forgotten to place myself before my peers in line for judgment.

Here’s to a new year (in the Jewish calendar, that is 5768) – a year of adventure, pro-action, inspiration, and even a new path or two.

The last peace.

September 11, 2007

The last peace I experienced in New York was actually after the Towers had already come down.  It was after I had sat and stared at the television screen for three hours.

It was later, in the afternoon, when I checked my phone messages that I felt the last peace slip from my fingers; enter my ears for the last time.

It came as a message left by my mother, on her way to work at 8:47 in the morning.

“Hey, on my way to work. Wanted to see how you’re doing. [Sirens go off in the background]. Four ambulances are going by on the expressway. Aright, call me back.”

It was already clear why four ambulances went by when I hung up the phone. I felt my eyes lower and I didn’t delete the message.

For about 5 seconds, I was listening to the last peace before New York erupted.

The dwelling vs. the command.

September 7, 2007

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the past. I have no idea why now, of all times; things are good, so it’s not nostalgic. It’s sort of a dwelling, like a cloudy mist that sometimes floats over my vision and takes me for short rides when I least expect or want it.

It’s very easy to dwell on the past. It’s too easy and it can be just as dangerous. I don’t think it automatically says that we are unhappy; it is just important that we are able to snap out of it on command. On our own command.

Too many people can’t do that – snap out of the dwelling on the past on their own command. It’s hard, yes, but only if you haven’t come to terms with the past or if you are comfortable wallowing in self-pity, superficial hate or exaggeration.

For me it’s the exaggeration and superficial hate that draws me in; it’s injustice left open like a blistering wound. But over years of experiencing the dwelling, the mist, I think I have a decent command nowadays. And I use it whenever I can.