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Athena's Owl - shiny bit of MUSE blingActually… today it is a TWOFER – Two SHINY BITS in one post. (With a myriad of other wee shinys along for the ride). A free web series called The Compassionate Brain and a new book called Peace Anonymous – The 12 Steps to Peace.

For the past eight weeks, I have been enjoying a series of FREE online conversations thanks to the good folk over at Sounds True.

It’s called The Compassionate Brain and you can go and watch the videos here.
They are free to view, but you do need to register.

Sounds True will send you some emails – featuring their products, but you are under absolutely no obligation to buy anything.

Just for the record – they have some great stuff over there. I have some cassette tapes from the way-back that I bought from them. One favourite being A Conversation on The Writing Life featuring Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg. I am also eagerly awaiting some new material from them – this one in CD form with Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

But I digress…. Back to The Compassionate Brain...

The series explores different ways to use the power of neuroplasticity—how the mind can change the brain to transform the mind—to open the heart, build courage, find compassion, forgive oneself and others, and heal the world.

It was conceived and hosted by Dr. Rick Hanson – who wrote Buddha’s Brain and, who I first “met” as a speaker in the Awakening Joy course a few years ago.

The guests are fantastic!

Hanson chats with Richie Davidson, Dan Siegel, Tara Brach, Dacher Keltner, Kelly McGonigal, Kristin Neff, and Jean Houston.

Sounds True is keeping it available for at least six months.

Check it out if you are at all interested in… meditation, compassion, how the brain works, finding joy… It’s a good way to spend some time with a cup of tea and your self.

And while I’m talking of Shiny Bits – I’d like to also let you know about a book that I was recently sent a copy of to BLURB (a blurb in this case being those quotes of praise from other authors). It is, thank the good LAWD, a fantastic read and I had no compunction whatsoever in supporting it.

In fact, I like it so much, I wanted to help spread the word about it.

12 Steps to PEACE.jpgIt is called Peace Anonymous – The 12 Steps to Peace.
There is also a blog, if you’d like to check that out.

Here’s the long version of the blurb I sent back to the publisher:

This book is a gift.
It is, as all good books are, a map out of the darkness.
Johnny F lays his truth on the line with bravery, clarity and astounding grace.
He is also funny as hell.

I’ve never really been able to understand why we wage war. Oh, I know what “they say” — that it’s about Freedom, mostly. It’s to protect our way of life. To protect ourselves, we say. A War on Terror. But war is terror so… I don’t understand. I also read a lot and I know damned well the Economic “benefits” of war. I don’t like it, and I sure as hell don’t want these thing done “in my name.”

So, I do things. I march. I sign petitions. Sometime I write about it and read at events like “Writers for PEACE.” I try not to shut off the news—from Israel and Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. I seek out OTHER sources of news. I try to unravel the complications, knowing full-well that I’m missing vital facts and that, in truth, I am incredibly ignorant about the history behind these conflicts. I think about how right now, as I type this, someone’s world is changing forever. How RIGHT NOW—the wars go on.

I went into Peace Anonymous with open eyes and an open mind, looking for … solace, I suppose.

This book cracked my heart open and I thank you for that, Johhny F. As the man said, “That’s how the light gets in…” It is also how the light gets out.

You shine, Johnny F.

I hereby send up a big wave of gratitude to George (who I like to call Mr. G), for keeping you around.

– Pam Bustin (Author of Mostly Happy and Ground: Hanoi to Hiroshima in the Wake of 9/11)

It’s a good read.
And the convo series is a good listen/watch.

May you be warm and cozy.

Thanks for stopping by.

go easy -p

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