Marion Institute Blog
Darrell Blair is a Buddhist practitioner and a homeless activist. His aim is to cultivate the homeless potential within the homeless population. He can be contacted at bdarrell299 @ gmail.com.
Darrell speaks with Joanna about part of his lifetime journey, and his project of an ecovillage by and for homeless people.
Check out the June 2013 Update E-Newsletter from Taktse International School:
Here are some highlights:
- The first group of Taktse students to travel to America share some of their most memorable experiences.
- Taktse welcomes supporters from the Marion Institute.
- Links to videos about Taktse.
- Revered Buddhist lama Lhatsun Domang Terchen Rinpoche visits Taktse.
- Five students comment on their Taktse experiences.
- Seven Americans share their impressions of Taktse.
Also, a collage of photos can be found on the last page.
Susan Marie Scavo and William St. Cyr are founding members of North of Eden, Archetypal Dreamwork therapists and retreat leaders. They both teach at the Center for Archetypal Dreamwork.
Susan is director/senior editor of North of Eden Press, managing editor of the dreamwork journal deLuge, serves on the executive committee of North of Eden. Bill St. Cyr chairs the North of Eden executive committee.
Susan and Bill speak with Joanna about their initiation into Archetypal Dreamwork and how the work is done; aligning with the soul; life beyond trauma; owning the projections in a relationship; the evolving soul, among other topics.
The Marion Institute is proud to be a Lead Partner of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge!
Last week, nearly 1,000 Fairhaven residents received letters from Selectboard members alerting them that they are part of the only 15% of homes in Fairhaven that are solar compatible. On Wednesday, the “Fairhaven Solar Challenge” kicked-off at Town Hall to introduce the program to the town.
The SouthCoast Energy Challenge is a non-profit organization that seeks to help residents reduce their carbon footprint by encouraging energy-saving actions. The Fairhaven Solar Challenge will focus on encouraging residents to adopt solar photovoltaic (PV) technology and is part of an effort to reduce the energy consumption of the SouthCoast by 15% in 3 years. The introduction of the Fairhaven Solar Challenge marks a goal of moving 75 Fairhaven households to solar between June 1st and November 30th
“Over 15 years, using solar power for a 3-bedroom home will offset over 80,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide.
This is the same as if you walked 100,000 miles instead of drove,” cited Desa VanLaarhoven, Executive Director of the Marion Institute, speaking at the event.
The community can expect to see The Fairhaven Solar Challenge members knocking on doors, sending out mailings, and being seen at be public events in the community during the campaign. They will be there to educate the community about solar PV technology. Residents who received the letter are encouraged to attend two upcoming informational sessions
A Solar 101 workshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 1th from 1-3 p.m. in the Millicent Library, to introduce the installer and the program to the community and answer questions from residents of Fairhaven. A Solar 201 is scheduled for Wednesday, June 5th, 6-8 p.m. at the Fairhaven Senior Center.
Representatives from the state and local government were also on hand to recognize the program’s benefits. From the office of Governor Patrick, Mark Sylvia, Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources commented, “From a clean energy perspective, it is all about local engagement and local commitment. We are here to empower people to make the right decision for themselves. They are going to be given the choice and the tools. Then is it up to you.”
Rooftop Residential Solar Projects are becoming increasingly popular in Massachusetts and the Fairhaven Solar Challenge will provide people in Fairhaven with access to a team of experts that can explain the ins and outs of the various programs, from leasing options with no up-front cost to direct-buy options with maximum savings over the life of the project.
Baycoast Bank is in partnership with the Solar Challenge to help people gain access to financing once they have taken the Solar Challenge. Senior Vice President Dan Briand spoke at the event saying “We are excited that energy efficiency lending is a place where we can do ‘do well by doing good’. We’ve already done over 5 million dollars in loans to people in the SouthCoast to help them save energy. It becomes a revenue positive if people get a $70 loan payment, but save $75. It is truly a win-win.”
Next Step Living Inc, a MassSave home performance contractor that performs energy assessments, is the preferred installer for the Solar Challenge.
“Next Step Living is excited to build on the success of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge partnership that we have been implementing for 3 years, now,” said Travis Estes, Director of Outreach for Next Steps Living. “Not only is the program helping residents save money on their energy bills, they are also creating a new generation of green careers. It has allowed our company to grow phenomenally in the last 5 years. We now have over 550 full-time jobs. These jobs are absolutely credited to organizations like the Energy Challenge educating residents.”
Massachusetts has over 72,000 people working in the clean energy sector, an almost 12% increase over 2012.
This Fairhaven Solar Challenge is a limited time offer and to take advantage of the incentives, commitments must be made by November 30th, 2013. To sign up for a free solar site assessment for your Fairhaven home or for more information visit http://www.SouthCoastEnergyChallenge.org/Fairhaven or contact Karen Stewart at Karen.Challenge@gmail.com
Philip Shepherd has a passion for adventure and exploration that has guided him for most of his life. At 18 it took him from his native Canada to cycle alone around the world through Europe, the Middle East, Iran, India and Japan. But that trip, adventurous as it was, merely expressed a commitment to a more crucial adventure – coming to understand the subtle and often hidden aspects of our culture that affect us all, compromising our sense of self, our connection with the living world, our freedom of expression, and our creative engagement with the present.
As a young teenager, Philip could feel that influence pulling at him like an undertow to conform to given limits of thinking, understanding, values and body awareness, and felt he could resist its pull only if he understood it. That prompted him to study classical Noh Theater in Japan, design and build several houses, co-found an arts magazine, “Onion”, co-found an interdisciplinary theater company, teach workshops on embodied thinking and spontaneous creativity, write two internationally produced plays and a CBC documentary, and earn a reputation as a corporate coach. In 2001 Philip began to write “New Self, New World”, and over the next nine years worked on it continuously to pull all the strands of his understanding together, and challenge the 10,000-year-old story of our culture, which tells us what it means to be human.
Philip speaks with Joanna about the reconnection with the body’s energetic intelligence; world-centered self-knowledge; gut feeling, vulnerability; surfers of presence; partnering with the world; rooted in the mindful earth; the brain in the belly; immersed in the wild peace; the participatory dimension of consciousness.
I’ve often heard that it’s difficult to afford a healthier lifestyle. I won’t argue with you there. Real food is pricier than processed food made in a lab or a factory. And you will certainly see a jump in the grand total on your grocery receipts. But over time you’ll get the hang of it, and I promise it will become more manageable. There’s always a silver lining, my friends — and the price “jump” can be more of a baby bunny hop.
Today I’m sharing my top tips for saving money on nourishing, plant-based foods. But before I dive in, I hope to inspire you with this one statement:
Do your best to invest in yourself today; your future depends on it.
Even on a limited income, we can each make small upgrades that have a massive impact on our health. And get this, your body will be so grateful that it will reward you tenfold. It will literally move mountains when you give it the slightest improvement.
1. Budget and meal plan. First step, set a comfortable budget. Then, examine your fridge and pantry. I bet you’ve got a lot of goodies in there. Next, map out your menu. Don’t skip this step, hot shot. Kitchen champions succeed not because they are the best of chefs, but because they plan their arses off. With more experience, you’ll get the hang of it.
2. Buy bulk. While navigating the grocery store head straight to the bulk bins and stock up! As your bulk food staples grow, you’ll have shorter shopping lists and an arsenal of inspiration for your home-cooked meals. Added bonus: Display your beautiful beans, grains and spices in mason jars throughout your kitchen.
3. Shop local. Farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Farmers markets are a great place to buy organic foods on the cheap. In-season produce is almost always going to cost less, so try to be flexible and cook with the harvest. A CSA is another thrift-tastic way to eat with the seasons. If a CSA half-share seems like more veggies than you could eat or afford, see if a friend wants to go in on it with you. You can also freeze a portion of your haul for later or make a green juice! Here are some great websites for finding a market or CSA near you: Local Harvest, Eat Well Guide, Farmers Market, Farmer’s Market Online.
4. Learn the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. If you can’t afford a 100-percent organic lifestyle, don’t sweat it. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s lists to determine your priorities for organic purchases. They even created an iPhone app. Now that’s handy!
5. Stock up on the essentials during sales. I know it may seem like I’m giving you mixed messages, but if you arrive at the supermarket and there’s a big sale on organic bananas, snag those babies! They may not have been on your meal plan, but you can cut them up, freeze ‘em and pop them in your smoothies or soft serve ice cream later. The same goes for dry staples like grains and beans that aren’t going to go bad in your pantry.
6. Grow your greens. It’s exponentially more economical to grow your own food. Whether you live in a studio or a McMansion, there’s always room for a few pots of greens. A two-dollar packet of mixed lettuce seeds will support your salad habit for months.
7. Cut back on restaurants. Rather than escaping to the local Denny’s, make your kitchen the new hot spot. Fabu cookbooks, romantic dinners at home, potlucks, picnics and rowdy get-togethers all make dinner a family affair. I’m not saying that you should never step foot in a restaurant again; just try to limit your visits.
8. Make your food last and get creative with leftovers. When your produce looks like it’s about to go south, resuscitate it in a delicious stew. How about leftovers? Don’t toss them. With a little TLC, leftovers can be transformed into fresh new meals. Batch cooking is another way to save time and money. Double or triple your favorite recipe and freeze the leftovers for a quick and healthy meal when you’re in a pinch.
9. Buy used. Buying a new juicer or blender may not be in your budget, but what about a used one? Craigslist, eBay — even your friends and family — might have an affordable, gently used model. In the meantime, you can still juice with any old blender and strainer (cheesecloth or nut milk bags work great!).
10. Skip the bells and whistles. Identify where you can tighten your belt and invest in your company (you are the CEO of your health after all), not someone else’s. Don’t let transforming your plate be intimidating or cost prohibitive. As always, you don’t need to upgrade everything all at once. Make a plan and pace your bank account.
As you can see, there are tons of ways to make a plant-powered plate work for your wallet if you’re ready to use a little elbow grease. When my food expenses start creeping up, it’s usually because I’m being a bit of a slacker, not because of my veg-inspired diet. I’m not planning my meals. My apron is dusty. The takeout menus get more play than my ukulele. Make new habits by trying one of my tips per week. You can do this!
- 1 of 86