Contributors: March/April 2019 - Joan D. Chittister OSB, Cal Newport PhD, Julia Plevin, Marilyn Schlitz PhD, Mirabai Starr, Tracy Verdugo
Joan D. Chittister OSB is a Benedictine nun, theologian, best-selling author, and speaker who calls us to stand up as our very best selves. The cochair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, Chittister describes the problem of doing lasting good in the world as “The Paradox of Being Holy.” (42) She writes, “There are two ways to be holy, but you wouldn’t know it from the things we say about those who are.” And, being who she is, she encourages us to be both too.
Cal Newport PhD is a master of maintaining quality time in our digital world. His goal for online time? “A small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then you happily miss out on everything else.” In real life, he’s an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and runs the popular blog Study Hacks, which explores the impact of technology on our ability to perform productive work and lead satisfying lives. Read his “7 Tales of Digital Minimalism” on page 46.
Julia Plevin is an artist as well as a dedicated forest bather—the founder of the Forest Bathing Club in San Francisco. Forest bathing comes from the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, which means “luxuriating in the forest”—a practice about reconnecting with something much bigger than ourselves. But what’s really fascinating in “The Healing Magic of Forest Bathing” (40) are the forest’s microscopic phytoncides, negative ions, and soil microbes. Even one dose of these per month strengthens the immune system.
Marilyn Schlitz PhD has been at the forefront of consciousness research for three decades. She is the Dean of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University and serves as President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. She has written several books, including Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, and has been a columnist for S&H. So, it’s especially fascinating that she recently met a new kind of friend—an artificially intelligent android named Sophia. (24)
Mirabai Starr is a longtime spiritual teacher, mystic, and acclaimed author who is intent on “becoming as fully present as possible to the realities of the human experience.” As she writes in “Showing Up for What Is” (52), “no matter how pedestrian or tedious, how aggravating or shameful, the what is begins to reveal itself as imbued with holiness.” Learn from her account to make space in your own life for this kind of sacred seeing.
Tracy Verdugo is our featured artist (52–57). If she were given the opportunity to coin a term for an art movement based around what she teaches, she might call it “Curiosity and Wonderism” or maybe “Loosen-upism” or “Endless possibilitism.” When she is not hanging out with her family in their adobe home in a small village on the shores of Jervis Bay, Australia, or throwing paint around in her little purple studio in their backyard, she teaches her Paint Mojo workshops all over this amazing planet. tracyverdugo.com