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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thomas Moore talks about Artemis and privacy

Lyssa, second from left, spirit of fury with a dog's-head cap.

On 21 March 2011 Thomas Moore gave a public presentation, Artemis And Her Children: The Soul's Need For Privacy, with Re-Vision: Centre of Integrative Psychosynthesis for which he's a patron. Before his talk, Moore spoke with Sarah Van Gogh, a tutor with the Re-Vision counselling diploma course. The site offers a seven-page transcript of "Interview with Thomas Moore". In this interview Moore talks about privacy in general life and within the therapeutic relationship. To Van Gogh's question about Moore's own need for privacy, he responds:
"Well, I'm a very, very private person. There's nothing better for me than sitting at home, writing. As a matter of fact, I was just sitting by myself in the hotel room this morning, and I was thinking how much I miss writing. I've been away from home for over a week now. That's the most difficult thing about being away for me, because I enjoy writing so much. And the act of writing is very private, very personal; ultimately it does connect me to the world, but it's a very private process. I think the practice of therapy is also private, even though there are two people involved, it's still contemplative and private, I think the spirit of Artemis can be present in therapy."
Moore also talks about responses from medical audiences to his book Care of the Soul in Medicine:
"Everyone needs an opportunity to reflect on their own experience. If not, you are simply always doing, and there's no possibility for learning. I've been talking a great deal recently to people in the medical professions for my book (Care of the Soul in Medicine), and over the years I've been teaching psychiatrists, and all these people are those who really need the opportunity to reflect on what they are doing, and they have no opportunity, in their work, to do so. They're always being called on to do something. And when I suggest that this is what they need, their immediate reaction is – they can't, because they're too busy. So sometimes we can't even imagine reflection as being important enough to be put into a schedule."
Moore talks about the need for psychotherapists to speak publically in roles of leadership:
"But I think it's important to really take on some roles that come to us. Especially leadership roles. And I think therapists could be more up for that – more up for making connections to the wider world. Because they spend so much time learning a great deal about what goes on in life, in their training and in their work. And that's exactly the perspective that the world needs. But it's not happening enough. I think therapists could be a more productive force, and take more of a leadership role in the world. So, I feel the same about myself: if others are interested in having me around to do things with them, to teach or facilitate, I feel like it's my job to enter that role, and do it, without any false modesty; just really take it on!
He includes discussion of shadow aspects when listeners may be disappointed with his personal approach.

Moore refers to the above image in his interview. According to
Lyssa, Lytta to Athenians, was "the goddess or daimona (spirit) of rage, fury, raging madness, frenzy, and, in animals, of the madness of rabies." Greek vase-paintings show her in plays about Aktaeon, the hunter killed by his own hounds. "In this scene she appears as a woman dressed in a short skirt, and crowned with a dog's-head cap to represent the madness of rabies."

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Monday, July 25, 2011

We need to design hospitals as healing places

Today Hay House shares "When Hospitals Heal", an excerpt about entrances from Thomas Moore's latest book, Care of the Soul in Medicine:
"Religious specialists, like me, are particularly interested in what we call liminality — the experience of any kind of threshold. Most churches effectively lead you from the secular world outside to the spiritual realm inside through large, thick, ornate doors and a transitional vestibule or entry that allows you to take the initiatory step of encountering sacred space. A door is not just a physical barrier; it is also an instrument of psychological passage. A purely functional door will get you into the hospital physically, but it takes a special doorway to get your soul in.

Some medical buildings employ a large, expensive atrium for liminality, but a potent architectural detail — an impressive door, flowing water, a grotto, hushed lighting, or a massive stone — could also do the job. These are all traditional ritual objects that are effective for transitions."
Moore continues to discuss the role of signs as a substitute for guiding architecture. Care of the Soul in Medicine is available at a reduce price in paperback from the publisher.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Listen to Moore with Lauren Mackler, August 15

Thomas Moore joins Contact Talk Radio host, Lauren Mackler on Monday 15 August 2011 during her call-in program Life Keys. This episode with Moore, "Discovering What You Were Born to Do" is from noon to 1:00 p.m. EST.

Think about your call-in questions now and join the show by calling  877.230-3062 toll-free during the program. Enjoy reading Moore's book, A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You were Born to Do (2008) before this audio event.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Moore speaks at Theater in the Wood, Oct. 1

Evergreen Institute for Wellness sponsors a morning program with Thomas Moore, Saturday 1 October 2011 at Theatre in the Wood, Intervale, New Hampshire. Scroll to the bottom of the Events page for an announcement about Moore's talk A Healthy Body, Soul and Spirit: Caring for the Soul in Medicine and in our Ordinary Lives scheduled for 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For more information, email or call the Institute: 603.651.7475. According to the site, "Our mission at Evergreen is to create sustainable wellness by providing integrative healthcare and experiential education. By focusing on you, the individual, and your unique needs, in the context of community and relationship, we aim to facilitate personal healing."

Thomas Moore
A Healthy Body, Soul and Spirit:
Caring for the Soul in Medicine and in our Ordinary Lives

Date: Saturday 1 October 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Theater in the Wood
41 Observatory Way (across from Town Hall Rd.)
Intervale, New Hampshire
Host: Evergreen Institute for Wellness

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Join the February program at Sivananda Ashram

Sivananda Ashram, Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas promotes the February 1-4, 2012 program From Religion to Spirituality offered by Thomas Moore and Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa. This workshop is a Yoga Vacation Program – a separate page lists the rates for various types of accommodation.

According to the ashram site: "Five and a half acres of tropical paradise await you where you will find a heaven far from the hectic demands of everyday life. The Ashram is built around a semi-closed outdoor meditation temple. There are spacious exercise platforms facing the warm blue green water of the Caribbean. Swaying palms provide you with shade and shelter. You can stay in one of our cozy wooden cabins, or if you prefer, you may pitch a tent in the quiet coconut grove."

A description for this specific program includes, "Join us for four days of self-inquiry, lecture, discussion, and creative-arts exercises, which will allow you to find your own path and create a deeper, more engaged spiritual practice." Online registration is available.


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Any tradition may read Gospels as spiritual texts

In a May 2011 issue of The Magazine of Yoga, editor Susan Maier-Moul reviews Thomas Moore's Writing in the Sand: Jesus and and the Soul of the Gospels under the headline, "Book Review: Writing in the Sand ".

She suggests:
"In Writing in the Sand Thomas Moore develops a view of the Jesus gospels as spiritual texts rather than as Christian history or a biography of an historical Christ.

Using techniques of inquiry familiar to anyone who has read his Care of the Soul including respect for metaphor, skill in holding both rationality and literality in check, and a careful review of context, Moore brings a focus on the message of the Gospels through the culture and ideas that were in play at the time these texts were written."
Maier-Moul draws attention to Moore's focus on transformation, shamanism in the Gospels and his sensitivity to language in this book. She includes:
"We are accustomed to the misleading notions of our modern dualism, drawing wiggle-room distinctions between body and mind, or the world 'out there' and its meaning to us internally. Even when we are trying to work with new ideas, the available language is hard to use in a way that really expresses what we experience or suspect.

Moore brings his characteristically responsible use of language to bear on such issues, distinguishing meaning, for example, as something we create, not something that pre-exists our need for it. Spiritual texts don’t tell us what the world means, Writing in the Sand suggests; instead, they wake us up, forcing a change to accepted ideas in shocking ways. We see that our expectations and fear create meaning, that meaning emanates from us, rather than standing outside us."
For the same issue, Maier-Moul writes the editorial "Reading Jesus as a Yogi" in which she references Moore's translation of the Gospels. She shares about herself, "Yoga teaches me to notice and deal with my aversions. I have an aversion to Jesus-speak as wide as a semi using two lanes on I95. ... I’ve been wondering if it would be possible for me to read the ideas put forth by Jesus with my same open mindedness about how to apply them and my equally useful, same skepticism about their translations into contemporary English as I do yoga and Buddhism texts." She suggests such a possibility exists, based on Moore's translation.

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