Lunch Lessons, Changing the Way We Feed Our Children: Ann Cooper

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY, Ann Cooper has been a chef for more than 30 years including positions with Holland America Cruises, Radisson Hotels, Telluride Ski Resort as well as serving as Executive Chef at the renowned Putney Inn in Vermont. She has been featured in many prominent publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Chicago Tribune and has appeared on many media outlets. Ann has shared her knowledge and experience by speaking at the Smithsonian Institute and the National Restaurant Association among other institutions and conferences. She has been honored by SLOW Food USA, selected as a Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow, and awarded an honorary doctorate from SUNY Cobleskill for her work on sustainable agriculture. Ann is the author of four books. She is past president of The American Culinary Federation of Central Vermont, and past president and board member of Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs. She also served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board, a Congressional appointment, and was an Executive Committee member of Chefs Collaborative. In 2009, Ann founded Food Family Farming Foundation (F3) as a nonprofit focusing on solutions to the school food crisis. Chef Ann is happily working overtime as a Chef, Nutrition Services Director, Consultant, Author, Public Speaker, and Advocate because she sees a need for change and has the gifts to help.

What Spirituality and Weight Loss Have in Common

A Video by August Turak

Man vs. Earth

Written and Performed by Prince Ea

Time for Bliss?


Recently I saw Awake, a documentary about the life of Yogananda who is widely recognized as the Father of Yoga in the West. There’s a scene in the film in which Yogananda poses a question to the audience that impacted me deeply. Noticing how busy Americans were, Yogananda compassionately asked (and I’m paraphrasing here), “When do you have time for bliss?”

I could hear nothing else in the movie for the next few minutes as I pondered this question.  Weeks later, it is still on my mind.

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Letting Go with Trust


When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.
Lao Tzu

We know when we're grasping, gripping tightly, digging in our heels, or clutching something and won't let it go. Why are we holding on so vehemently, and to what? We’re in the midst of unprecedented transformation and miraculous new beginnings on our planet, but we still hold onto our old destructive habits because we’re afraid of what is not familiar. We might fear that we’ll have to give up some conveniences about how we live, even if it’s truly very uncomfortable or unsustainable.  

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It IS All About Me!


Recently a friend of mine sent me the words of wisdom below that made me laugh:

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser and realized the world would not change I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country: but it too seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years I settled on changing only my family and those closest to me, but alas they would have none of it. Now as I lay on my deathbed and I suddenly realize that if I had only changed myself first, then by example I could perhaps have changed my family, and from their inspiration and encouragement to me I would have been better able to help my country and from there I may even have been able to change the world. (said to be Taken from the tomb of a Bishop in Westminster Abbey 1100 A.D. I was unable to verify that).

The words made me laugh because I can remember having that young and free, and might I add naive, imagination.

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Principles for Personal and Planetary Transformation


What will it take to awaken and transform individuals and society at large during this time of uncertainty, potential peril, and rapid change?  Ordinary citizens and leaders in every field of endeavor are contemplating this question, sharing their insights, and playing their part in building a more peaceful, compassionate world.

As a student of conscious evolution and proponent of co-creative practices, I believe that the following are some of the principles that are foundational for building this new world and awakening humanity to its full potential:

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2016 is the Year of Transformation


Transformational New Year Agreements

These times call for Revolutionary Agreements!

Instead of the usual New Year’s Resolutions, consider adopting, adapting, or creating your own conscious agreements that foster greater inner peace. Share them with your family, friends and associates to expand the possibilities for peace in your communities and together co-create greater Peace on Earth in 2016.

Click here to download a free, original art poster of Agreements used by thousands around the globe. Share freely and widely!

Marian Head

Author, Revolutionary Agreements: Twelve Ways to Transform Stress and Struggle into Freedom and Joy

WOW Wonders on Wheels 2016

This is Revere Dance Studio's Wonders on Wheels Team and their Shadows, located in Cincinnati, OH. They range in age from 6-27. Choreographed by Tracey Burgoon. Dedicated to our dear, Katie Boyle, who loved Celine Dion. Dancers include: Jill, Vivian, Ally, Parker, Kayleigh and Addie. Shadows include: Maddie, Kayla, Emily, Ally, Sydney, Sydne, Madelyn, Kelcie, Nora, Alice, Meggie, Savanna, Camryn, Grace and Meggie.

Dumb and Dumber Questions by Ron Friedman


Enlightenment, whatever it is, must manifest its harvest on Earth, as it does in Heaven. The simple realizations of an expanded and altered consciousness cannot be focused on another dimension alone. After all, if the Source was so disinterested in this fourth dimensional plane, why did It bother to manifest it, create it, make it so painfully beautiful, elegant and integrated?

Evolution - the creative process itself – is an essential aspect of Source. It is not merely change, static transformation without direction. These are bold statements, no doubt, mystically substantiated, recently extracted as a truth by members of the evolutionary intelligentsia.

But if evolution is that intrinsic an aspect of creation, then even the most basic particles of creation-quarks, leptons, the Higgs boson, etc - all these should be evolving as well. The most fundamental units of creation should be evolving towards what and from where? Further, shouldn’t each dimension, however we name it, have its own evolutionary directive, angels into archangels, and so on?

Is Source Itself evolving?  Not in terms of Its Manifestation (the endless universes of Creation) but It Itself? Is that a good question? Can one separate Source from Its Creation? Can I separate the evolution of my liver from my evolution?

Gifted with curiosity, the ability to ask fundamental questions, some wisdom traditions instruct us to discover that Place where there are no questions.

Is that the be-all and the end-all? After all, the design of Man is not his own, curiosity is as much an aspect of Source as Love must be, and perhaps, just perhaps, it is that curiosity with its endless dissatisfaction that is the evolutionary driver itself.

Not to worry, I have many more dumb questions!

Learn more about Ron Friedman at Vistar Foundation

Family Resolutions: Building Blocks for Our Future


At the start of each year, many of us feel compelled to consider personal resolutions. What if this year we stay alert for an opportunity to involve other family members? Might signing a “pact” depicting a more ideal relationship with your children – or your partner, parents, or siblings – create a more fulfilling experience for everyone?

When our son, Michael, was nine years old, he started becoming ornery. It was not pleasant to be around him. To nip it in the bud, my husband, Glenn, and I encouraged Michael to practice being kinder and more respectful, and we promised to do the same.

Together we created our family’s To Love and Respect pact. As we were finalizing it, I said to Michael, “When people sign a contract with each other, it usually has an end date. How long should we make this contract?” He responded, “Fifteen years.” For a nine-year-old to propose such a long-term commitment surprised and delighted me. I marveled at how much our pact seemed to mean to him.


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Charter for Compassion

Charter for Compassion

We believe that a compassionate world is a peaceful world.

We believe that a compassionate world is possible when every man, woman and child treats others as they wish to be treated--with dignity, equity and respect.

We believe that all human beings are born with the capacity for compassion, and that it must be cultivated for human beings to survive and thrive. 

Join to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Embrace the compassion revolution.

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Can One Person Make A Difference?


In the outer world, it was another step forward in out-picturing of our social activism to humanity and the planet:  a “Climate Pilgrimage” organized by Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina.  This walk, with 200 others along Asheville’s French Broad River, supported the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris and all other conscious work, co-creating a better future of sustainability and justice.

It was also an opportunity for deepening into my questions: “What is going on here?” and "Does my hand-crafted sign and sunny Sunday afternoon stroll make a difference?"

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Align with What You Love

In America's Heartland, Building One Home For Three Faiths


A mosque, a church and a synagogue go up on the site of an old Jewish country club ...

It sounds like the setup to a joke — but it's not. It's actually happening in Omaha, Neb. The Tri-Faith Initiative may be the first place in history where these three monotheistic faiths have built together, on purpose, with the intention of working together.

The project has inspired some, and antagonized others.


Somewhere in America

Belissa Escobedo, Rhiannon McGavin, and Zariya Allen, members of the Get Lit organization perform "Somewhere in America".

An Interfaith Christmas Celebration on CBS

May Peace Prevail on Earth...

This year’s CBS Christmas Eve Special will present a groundbreaking interfaith program on the theme “MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH”, produced by the United Religions Initiative (URI), a global grassroots interfaith peacebuilding network, and broadcast on Thursday, December 24 (11:35 PM ET/PT, 10:35 PM CT) on CBS stations nationally.

The message of the celebration is that news stories of religiously-motivated violence and darkness are only one side of humanity. What rarely makes the news are the hundreds of thousands of people around the world, of all religions, who work together daily for peace. The actions of these people, of the friends and family of URI who engage in interfaith trust and cooperation to make the world a better place, are the "gift" we "unwrap" in this celebration.

The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2014


By Jeremy Adam Smith, Kira M. Newman, Bianca Lorenz, Lauren Klein, Jason Marsh, Jill Suttie | December 26, 2014 | 0 comments

The most surprising, provocative, and inspiring findings published this past year from:

It’s time once again for our favorite year-end ritual here at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center: Our annual list of the top scientific insights produced by the study of happiness, altruism, mindfulness, gratitude—what we call “the science of a meaningful life.”

We found that this year, the science of a meaningful life yielded many new insights about the relationship between our inner and outer lives. Cultivating mindfulness can make us more aware of knee-jerk prejudice against people who are different from us; believing that empathy is a skill helps overcome barriers to taking another person’s perspective; concern for others, even for animals, can move people to action for the greater good more quickly than focusing on ourselves.

But this year we also learned more about how to cultivate pro-social skills like gratitude—and we discovered how those skills can yield far-reaching benefits to our mental and physical well-being, and even to our pocketbooks.

With input from our staff, faculty, and some of the leading outside experts in our field, here are the 10 findings from 2014 that we anticipate will have an impact on both scientific research and on public debate for years to come.  LINK TO FULL ARTICLE

The Great Turning: Joanna Macy on Uncertainty

The Connected Universe Movie Trailer