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#2143 - Saturday, May 15, 2005 - Editor: Jerry Katz



This issue features a few news stories which, it could be said, bear on nondual perspective. Several such stories are posted every Sunday at Contributions are welcome. You'll find helpful search hints at Take a look at our archive of over a thousand news stories at (links to news stories are always being shut down and archived by newspapers, so expect some non-working links.)





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"The Real News"

Edited by Jerry Katz

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Stash of Pollock work found in New York
NEW YORK, New York

A trove of 32 previously unknown works by abstract art icon Jackson Pollock has been discovered by a family friend, who said on Friday he would like them to tour internationally and be studied by art historians.

Alex Matter, a filmmaker who knew Pollock from childhood, said the collection was among the possessions of his late parents, who were long associated with Pollock.

Matter said that about two years ago he stumbled upon the soot-covered artworks wrapped in brown paper since 1958. They had been first stored in a Manhattan boiler room and then, he said, for nearly three decades in a warehouse in East Hampton, Long Island, not far from where Pollock had his studio and was killed in car crash in 1956.

The works included 22 of the artist's drip paintings and two enamels on paper, he said.

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Blue posts BBC2’s new reality doc ‘The Monastery’

Full-service post-production facility blue has completed the postproduction for two promos for BBC2’s forthcoming reality TV show, 'The Monastery'.
Produced by Tiger Aspect and commissioned by the BBC's religion and ethics department, The Monastery is reality TV-style documentary aimed at understanding monastic life and the role of religion and belief. The show will see five young professionals taken out of their busy, modern, fast moving metropolitan environment and sent to live in a monastery.
The Monastery is also being billed as a personal spiritual journey and the two promos aim to convey the idea of a person making their own individual journey through life.
In the promo – a 30 second version and extended 40 second version – we see a lone man coming up an escalator in slow motion. In contrast, crowds of people are rushing at high speed in the opposite direction.
The footage was shot on 35mm film. In around six hours of online sessions, blue’s Tristan Wake enhanced the resulting sequences.
“The idea was to create a very monotone feel, primarily made up of shades of grey, rather than have something that was vibrant and colourful,” Wake explained.
blue’s Rich Martin carried out sound design for the promos where the idea was to convey the stresses of everyday life such as commuting on the tube.
“It was quite a stylised brief for the sound design; we wanted to represent the outside world through the sound track,” Martin said. “It was a really nice job and the voiceover was done by Terence Stamp, which is quite noteworthy.”
Telecine work for the promos was completed by blue’s George K using Spirit.
Jon Dennis, Director, BBC, said: "I'm delighted with the team from blue, as this was a really big job in respect to scale, effects and audio.
“Blue brought to the table an enthusiastic, dedicated and what was most important to me, very talented bunch of guys - and brought to life exactly what I wanted on the screen as a director."
The promos have aired on BBC2 since 1 May, in preparation for the programme’s air date of May 10.

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Kunitz works on poetry ahead of tribute

"You must find out as much as you can about whom you are, what you're doing and what it all means," Kunitz says during the interview. "To answer those questions, you've justified your being around."

NEW YORK - This summer marks the 100th birthday of Stanley Kunitz, former U.S. poet laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, teacher and translator. Celebrations are scheduled in New York and Provincetown, Mass., his longtime homes, with Galway Kinnell and Gerald Stern among the poets expected. But this is one centennial that will actually include the guest of honor.

A published poet for three-quarters of a century, Kunitz is slowed, but steady, noting proudly that "I still have a life" as he looks forward to completing new poems and to hearing what his peers say in tribute about him. -read more-

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Christian themes found in galaxy far, far away

When the new "Star Wars" film opens Thursday, there's a spiritual reason people will go.

They're intrigued by evil and the dark side, says Dick Staub, author of "Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters" ($16.95; Jossey-Bass).

"A lot of younger people especially have a strong understanding of the dark side," he says. "They find that when they try to pursue the right path they're irresistibly drawn to the dark side."
Staub explored why so many people connected with spiritual themes in "Star Wars" films. And he also wanted to connect the films to Christianity.

That's partly because "Star Wars" is usually associated with Eastern religion.

"The Force" is usually linked to ideas from the Chinese religion Taoism. In Taoism, the universe is constructed of energy which one must become in harmony with. Yoda and Obi-wan Kenobi are spiritual mentors who are often compared to Hindu gurus and Buddhist monks.

But Staub -- who has a popular spiritual blog Web site -- wanted to connect "Star Wars" to Christian themes.

"There's the perception sometimes in America that if you want to go on a spiritual journey you have to somehow go to the East, but anyone who knows Christianity knows that just isn't true," he says. "Christianity has always had a mystical tradition." -read more-

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Film on Dalai Lama ready for US premiere

Kolkata, May 8: 'Impermanence', the documentary on the Dalai Lama by eminent filmmaker Gautam Ghose, is ready for its US premiere this month.

Still enamoured about his experience with the extraordinary man "because he is so different from most of us", Ghose recalled how the Dalai Lama always talked about his aversion to human follies like jealousy, greed and violence that can only lead to misery and advocated compassion for every fellow human being.

"As he wrapped a chadar each on me and the Italian producer of the film Sergio Scapagnini after the docu-feature's special screening in New Delhi, I felt enthralled by his touch, it was a magical feel," Ghose said.

The US premiere will be the third premiere of the film on the Buddhist spiritual head, after the international premiere held in Venice last September and the Indian premiere in New Delhi last month where a host of dignitaries including the Dalai Lama himself was present, Ghose said.

In the US, which comprises a major chunk of the international film market, the film would be first shown in North America and then screened on TV channels, Ghose, who had accompanied the Dalai Lama to several places during the making of the film from 1998 to 2004, said. (Agencies)

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Spiritual Activism Conference: Tikkun, an international, interfaith community, is hosting a spiritual activism conference in California.

Spiritual Activism Conference
Berkeley, Calif.
July 20 – 23

Tikkun, an international, interfaith community, will host a spiritual activism conference, July 20 – 23 in Berkeley, Calif. to create a network of progressive, spiritual activists.

The conference will include workshops on: science, technology and spirituality; the economy; nonviolence and anti-war activism; reproductive rights; sexuality; the environment; globalization; law and social change; and building a spiritual politics within civil rights, feminist, gay rights, labor and green movements.

The organizers want to create a network of progressive activists that will compel institutions to maximize love, peace and other virtues as they maximize money and power. Speakers will include Rabbi Michael Lerner and theologian John Cobb.

Rabbi Michael Lerner, of the Tikkun community, identifies two main goals for the conference, “This is a powerful strategy to stop the mis-appropriation of God and religion to support wars, environmental irresponsibility, dismantling of programs for the poor in favor of a preferential option for the rich, and assaults on liberals and secular people.”

The second goal of this conference “will be a rethinking of the relationship between science and religion/spirituality in the context of liberal/progressive culture with its deep religio-phobia,” he said.

Sponsors for this event include The Peace and Conflict Studies Program of the University of California, Berkley, the University Religious Council, the Tikkun Community, the Pacific School of Religion, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Peace e Bene Catholic Fellowship and Dragonfly Media.

For more information and registration e-mail Joe Fischel, the assistant to Rabbi Lerner at [email protected] or visit
Jennifer Cousins is an editorial intern at Science and Theology News

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School Offers New Degree in Spirituality
By Jennifer Siegel
May 13, 2005

Rabbi Yakov Travis has a message for spiritual seekers: Come down from that mountaintop, move to Cleveland and go back to school.

Travis, a professor at Cleveland's Laura and Alvin Siegal College of Judaic Studies, has created America's first nondenominational master's degree program in spirituality.

"This is about [the students'] own spiritual journey," said Travis, who was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem. "How do you study the history of Judaism, particularly the more spiritual bent of Judaism, without opening yourself up and working with the practices and the modes of being that the texts talk about?"

The centerpiece of the accredited two-year program is an intensive seminar that meets three mornings per week, based on the model of the beit midrash, or study hall, found at traditional yeshivot. The students also take conventional academic courses, including classes in rabbinic theology and Jewish education, and complete apprenticeships at Jewish schools and organizations throughout the city. Participants and teachers join together once a month for Sabbath celebrations that often feature impromptu jam sessions with guitar-playing students.

Travis drew on the hybrid nature of his own educational pedigree in conceiving the program, which is officially titled "Ruach: The Jewish Spirituality Master's Degree." With a doctorate in Jewish thought from Brandeis University and a decade of study at various Orthodox yeshivot in Jerusalem, he has sought to combine the communal, personal feel of the traditional beit midrash with the nondenominational openness and rigor of academia. Until now, he said, this pairing has only existed at the more liberal rabbinical schools, which excluded Jews who were not seeking ordination.

Six of the program's first students are set to graduate in just a few weeks. Several are planning for careers in Jewish education or communal life, including Jeremy Goldberg, who said the program transformed him from someone with little knowledge of Judaism to someone planning to pursue a rabbinical degree.

"The spiritual searching I've been doing for the past 10 years through Eastern religions, and African religions, and different kinds of California religions," fell away and "all of a sudden the world of Judaism got opened up and it's a beautiful, amazing, deep, poetic tradition," Goldberg said. "It's exciting to want to share that with other people. What I love to do is help other people to have the tools to really enjoy their Judaism, to infuse it with their own creativity, their own voice."

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Movie captures spirituality of a diverse human family

May 13, 2005


I'm a skeptical journalist, but I was swept away by their film, which is a refreshing assembly of the wise and sometimes funny comments about faith that they gathered over several years.

What's the film's message? Well, it takes 79 minutes on screen to answer that. To get a sense of the innovative nature of the project, though, baby boomers might recall the first time they watched "Easy Rider."

Please, don't get me wrong. Their new movie, "ONE," has nothing to do with motorcycles or marijuana. But watching "ONE," I thought back to that na´ve, shoestring project that Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda cooked up in 1969 that proved to be a lightning rod for youthful aspirations.

Of course, Powers was only 12 that year and Carter was a toddler.

But the contemporary equivalent of heading out on the highway on a pair of choppers in the late 1960s is the 2-year road trip these guys made with a camera and a host of questions.

They turned out to be great documentarians. Whether interviewing a near-legendary spiritual sage like Keating, or a multiply pierced kid in dreadlocks on a street corner, Powers and Carter treat each person with respect.

That compassion for everyone they meet on the road, which grows on viewers until we begin to share their respect, is the film's greatest evidence that people are, indeed, part of a single, infinitely valuable human family. -read more-


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