Many forms of Grass

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Green Haiku

Attended Berkeley
education up in smoke
Few sat on the grass*

*ALL reference to personal experience is unequivocally denied except for the fact I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, 1967

Haiku-Heights Prompt - GRASS
Haiku-Heights
Prompt – GRASS

Rolling Stone cover: Why we must look – jus think’n

Berkeley-rally-v-cutsIn the 1960’s I took my first sociology & psychology classes at the University of California, Berkeley .  Neither were in the classroom, no papers, no exams.  Both took place watching the daily protests on the now famous (or infamous – depending on your point of view) steps of Sproul hall.    I didn’t march, I didn’t join movements (I was too busy working my way through college and trying not to slide down the wrong side of the grading curve. And I am, by nature, an observer rather than an instigator or follower). 

I watched, I listened.  

I heard the anger & outrage of the Vietnam protest leaders. After awhile it was hard to tell what they were outraged over.  Many, if not most, of the anti-war leaders were leading with the exact same outrage and ferver, what seemed to me, any cause that might come their way.

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“Tamest” picture I found of Carol Doda

I first concluded this when Carol Doda – the famous San Francisco topless stripper – was prohibited from speaking on campus.  She wasn’t a student and it seemed just great publicity for her and the protesters.

Now “Berkeley” had led the free speech movement and I believed rightly so.  But I saw the same people rallying behind Carol Doda with the same intensity of anger and outrage they had about the war.  I wondered what might be boiling under their psyches that fueled them.  I wondered about the crowds of students who hung on their every incendiary word and rallied behind them for multiple causes – my first lessons in sociology and psychology for which I had no time to research.

I don’t often talk about politics, at least not here.   The cover of Rolling Stone with the picture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has elicited anger and outrage that has me remember my experiences at Berkeley.  I now wonder what might be boiling under our collective national psyche that seems to erupt periodically like a volcano with clouds of ash obscuring our visibility.

After reading the article by David Weinberger I also wonder if he stood next to me on the Berkeley campus watching & listening.

Here’s the conclusion of the article Rolling Stone cover: Why we must look

By David Weinberger, Special to CNN

” . . . To counter our natural desire to think that those who attack us so vilely must be totally unlike us, we need not only the words denouncing them, but images that reminds us that they weren’t born as what they became. This juxtaposition makes the mystery manifest: Someone like us became someone who hates us.
We need to explore that mystery not so we can sympathize with a despicable accused murderer but so we understand better how he passed beyond sympathy. The cover of Rolling Stone — words and picture — puts that awful mystery right in front of us.
But we seem to prefer the security of outrage.”

I lead, have led, a secure and rather sheltered life.  Perhaps if my life were less secure, less sheltered, I too would be incensed and outraged.  I have no answer.

Here are the STORY HIGHLIGHTS.  If you are curious read the entire article by clicking the link.
  • David Weinberger says he’s not outraged about the Rolling Stone cover
  • He asks, why must we prove bombings upset us before we can discuss not minding cover?
  • Weinberger: Cover confronts the mystery of someone like us who came to hate us

“What you pay attention to GROWS” and not just for monkeys


Dr David Bresler

Dr Marty Rossman

I’ve had the incredible fortune of studying under David Bresler  Ph.D and Marty Rossman M.D.  Both are pioneers in the field of MindBody Medicine.   They founded The Academy for Guided Imagery, a teaching academy for health care professionals to provide treatment using individualized one-on-one imagery for health and wellness.

Not only did they train me to teach Interactive Guided Imagery(sm) they introduced me to a different way of thinking and experiencing my world.

Many of you already know that I keep ranting and raving about the power of our minds and not to dwell on the negative, not to focus on what we can’t do but on what we are capable of.  SO!  When I came across this article by Dr Rossman I HAD to share!!

Shifting Your Attention Can Change Your Brain

from The Worry Solution by Martin Rossman, M.D.

“Repetitively shifting your attention to positive outcomes may actually result in growth in areas of your brain that start to do this automatically. My colleague, neuroscientist Dr. David Bresler, always says that

“what you pay attention to grows” and research proves him correct.

Neuroscience journalist Sharon Begley wrote in a 2007 Wall Street Journal article, “Attention, … seems like one of those ephemeral things that comes and goes in the mind but has no real physical presence. Yet attention can alter the layout of the brain as powerfully as a sculptor’s knife can alter a slab of stone.

Not to be confused for either Dr Bresler or Dr Rossman

” She describes an experiment at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in which scientists “rigged up a device that tapped monkeys’ fingers 100 minutes a day every day. As this bizarre dance was playing on their fingers, the monkeys heard sounds through headphones. Some of the monkeys were taught: Ignore the sounds and pay attention to what you feel on your fingers…Other monkeys were taught: Pay attention to the sound.”

After six weeks, the scientists compared the monkeys’ brains and found that monkeys paying attention to the taps had expanded the somatosensory parts of their brains (where they would feel touch) but the monkeys paying attention to the sounds grew new connections in the parts of the brain that process sound instead.

UCSF researcher Michael Merzenich and a colleague wrote that through choosing where we place our attention, “‘We choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves.'”

I promise I won’t say “I told you so.”