Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Small VT School Uses Debriefs to Foster Classroom Wellbeing

10/08/2012

Article on Bullying and Communication

Thanks to Laura Jean Whitcomb, publisher of Kid Stuff for letting us reprint this article about a ground-breaking move by a small school in central Vermont,  The Willow School. One look at the their website almost has me rethinking our departure for New Zealand this fall, and instead,  having our young son attend the school!

Outward Bound mandatory for all young people?

Like legendary Headmaster Dave Fowler at  Proctor Academy in Andover, NH where he pioneered incorporating Outward Bound principles of experiential education and community building into the school’s fabric in 1971,  it sure looks like the founders of the Willow School are doing the same thing for younger students. The article below covers what will hopefully be incorporated in many schools across the U.S. and abroad.   In New Zealand as well, (where we’ve been living), bullying appears to be a problem.

Proctor’s experiential model

I’m reprinting this article in hopes that it will fall into the right hands of school teachers and administrators.  During my 15-plus teaching years at Outward Bound, the debrief and reflection were key to a successful outcome for the students, and helped insure some strong “takeaways” that they could use as life skills.  In fact, Outward Bound Professional Development courses also incorporate these basic techniques (more…)

A must see movie – Sharkwater

01/05/2011

Shark specialists estimate that 100 million sharks are killed for their fins, annually.

The truth will surface

The truth will surface

Sharks could be wiped out within just a few years due to human greed. If you haven’t yet, see the documentary film, Sharkwater – “The Truth Will Surface”.   It’s won tons of awards, and for a good reason. It’s an incredible story. Sharks are now endangered  and this film puts it out on the table. Maybe we’ll be endangered too, if we keep wiping out the top of the oceanic food chain.

For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth.

Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas.

Sharks aren't monsters

Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world’s shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives.

Through it all, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth’s history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed.

Stewart’s remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world’s sharks, into a fight for his life, and that of humankind.

http://www.sharkwater.com/

Bob Bloom Leads MSI’s Drumming Jamaica

19/12/2010

Mountain Spirit Institute teams up with Master Teaching Artist Bob Bloom
By Cindy Heath

Bob Bloom, of Storrs, CT will lead our Drumming Jamaica workshop February 7-11, 2011 at the Calabash House in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.

I first met Bob Bloom in the late 90’s, when I was searching for musicians to fill the program for a children’s entertainment series in Lebanon, NH.  Bob was on stage at a performing artists showcase, and I was immediately drawn to his energy and of course, his skillful drumming. I hired Bob on the spot, and he returned to our stage every summer thereafter, bringing drums for all to play.

Bob Bloom Leads Drumming Jamaica

Bob has been a busy guy, building a highly popular and successful interactive drumming and education program.  Here’s a snapshot of his accomplishments:

*Bob’s certification as a ‘Master Teaching Artist’ was awarded by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts in 1997.

*For over a decade, Bob served as a faculty assistant to Dr. Babatunde Olatunji for his “Language of the Drums” courses, and he performed as a member of Drums of Passion, Dr. Olatunji’s internationally acclaimed drumming and dance company.

*Bob served from 2007 to 2010 as chair of the Interactive Drumming Committee of The Percussive Arts Society, the largest percussion organization in the world.

I bought my first conga drum right around the time I met Bob, and started taking lessons at Dartmouth College – what a thrill!  There’s nothing like playing the rhythms with a group – I learned to play conga, bongo, clave and eventually steel drums – all without knowing how to read music. Turns out we feel rhythms at a cellular level, and drumming has all kinds of health benefits, including a positive effect on our immune system.

A highlight of my relationship with Bob was when he gave me one of his drums – a beautiful djembe. This is the one I’ll bring to Treasure Beach,

Calabash House, Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Jamaica for the Drumming Jamaica workshop Bob is teaching – perhaps I’ll learn some new rhythms, and come back from Jamaica a bit healthier and wiser.

As African music educator Olatunji said, “Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Everything and every human action revolves in rhythm.”

If you would like to join MSI in Jamaica, please check out the MSI website or call 603-763-2668

Individual action IS possible

22/06/2010

We are not powerless to what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf of Mexico

Dr Masaru Emoto is the scientist from Japan who is well known for his research and publications about the characteristics of water. Among other things, his research revealed that water physically responds to emotions.  Many people have the predominantly angry emotion when we consider what is happening in the Gulf. And while justified in that emotion, we may be of greater assistance to our planet and its life forms if we sincerely, powerfully and humbly pray the prayer that Dr. Emoto, himself, has proposed.

Let’s give energy of love and gratitude to all the living creatures in Mexico Gulf by praying like this. To whales, dolphins, pelicans, fishes, shellfishes, planktons, corals, algae and all creatures ion Gulf of Mexico

I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you.

Masaru Emoto
May, 9th 2010

We are not powerless. We are powerful.  Our united energy, speaking this prayer daily…multiple times daily… can literally shift the balance of destruction that is happening.

We don’t have to know how…we just have to recognize that the power of love is greater than any other power active in the Universe today.

To read the article published by Dr Emoto, go to

http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/dr.emotos_message_2.html

Snatam Kaur and Guru Ganesha Singh

21/06/2010

‘In Snatam’s voice there is purity, clarity and love' - Ram Dass

Mountain Spirit Institute is delighted to announce a benefit concert featuring Snatam Kaur with Guruganesha Singh. The Sacred Chant Concert will be at Lebanon Opera House, Lebanon NH on 1st September 2010. Tickets on sale now at
http://www.lebanonoperahouse.org/event.php?id=777

Snatam Kaur is one of the most popular New Age artists of our time, selling over 75,000 albums a year. An international favorite with fans across the globe, including North America, Europe, Asia, South America and the South Pacific, Snatam Kaur performs at over 100 venues each year, from the Bahamas to Singapore.

Snatam Kaur, whose father was a manager for the Grateful Dead, has an amazing ability to transform traditional chants into a contemporary sound that appeals to the modern ear yet awakens an ancient yearning in the soul. Ram Dass, celebrated author of Be Here Now, says that “in Snatam’s voice…there is purity, clarity, and love.”

Snatam’s CDs Prem, Shanti, LIVE In Concert and Liberation’s Door are setting the industry standard for excellence in New Age sacred music. Snatam Kaur embodies the Sikh message of strength through inner serenity. She brings music, yoga and meditation to the communities she visits, as well as to hospices, juvenile detention centers, and schools she visits along the way.

Why We Need Live Music #5

15/05/2010

Busking is the practice of performing in public places for tips. Busking performances can be just about anything that people find entertaining. We were recently held over in Paris due to the Icelandic ash cloud, and while there, encountered this classy group. It was nice to see these performers on a public square, a few blocks from the Louvre. They even had a cello case open for tips.

Black Diamond Equipment: Sold

11/05/2010

Utah’s Black Diamond Equipment sold for $90 million
By Mike Gorrell, Salt Lake Tribune, USA

Chouinard started BD

Peter Metcalf knew the business model he followed for two decades in building Black Diamond Equipment Ltd. from scratch into a $100 mil- lion-a-year company was insufficient to carry the Salt Lake County-based firm far into the future.

But now Metcalf believes he has found a partner with the financial resources to grow in a global economy. Clarus Corp., a publicly traded Connecticut company with no operations but lots of money to invest and $200 million worth of tax-loss credits, announced Monday that it is buying Black Diamond for $90 million.

A newly created company will continue to carry the Black Diamond name and retain Metcalf as its president and CEO. But it also will offer a broader line of respected outdoor products. As part of the deal, Clarus purchased Sacramento-based Gregory Mountain Products Inc. for $45 million and will.. Read the rest of this article

Time to Break the Oil Addiction

06/05/2010

Sign the Petition

Now is a Good  Time to Break the Oil Addiction
From Greenpeace
On March 31st, President Obama announced a plan to allow oil and gas exploration and drilling in 167 million acres of coastal waters that have been protected for decades. Obama’s plan would expose the waters off southern Atlantic states and the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil spills and other dangers, threatening many tourism and fishing-dependent communities. The news is even worse for Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, which are especially sensitive to oil drilling because they provide critical habitat for polar bears, whales, seals and other important Arctic species.

And of course, opening more areas to drilling only prolongs our dangerous addiction to oil, which is pushing us closer and closer to runaway climate change.

It’s time to quit oil, get clean, and make a permanent switch to renewable energy. Tell our President to just say no to offshore drilling.

Oil Spill Cleanup Timeline: 3 Months

03/05/2010

Current time-line to shut down Gulf of Mexico oil spill: three months.
Christian Science Monitor

Oil Slick in Gulf of Mexico

Federal officials gave a sobering appraisal of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Sunday, with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar saying ‘ultimate relief’ was 90 days away.

Officials speaking about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Sunday morning appeared to be steeling the Louisiana coast – and the nation – for consequences that could be “catastrophic.”  The officials, who run the agencies charged with mitigating the impact of the spill on America’s Gulf coast, used unusually stark words to describe the situation and the difficulties of the remedy. Read the rest of this story

MSI Updates Fair Trade Webpage

30/03/2010

Boots from Peru

Handmade Peruvian boots and textiles have been added to Mountain Spirit Institute’s Fair Trade Webpage.  In addition,  easy-to-use checkout and “Add to Cart” buttons have been added. This webpage and sales are a fundraiser for this non-profit organization.

Handmade Peruvian Textiles

MSI has lowered the prices of all smaller sized boots to $80.00, and custom-made boots will be the same price as generic except for the cost-share of shipping from Peru by DHL.

All of Mountain Spirit Institute’s  products are sold with the original producers in mind, and are purchased and sold with fair trade practices.