“I Tied My Children To My Body”: The Continuing Courage of Refugees in Greece

By |2017-09-15T16:45:47+00:00August 4th, 2017|

“I tied my six children to my body with a rope,” the 37-year-old Syrian mother tells me from her cubicle in Elpida, a refugee center for vulnerable families in Greece. “Either we were all going to make it together, or none at all.” Fatma Al-Hasan and her six children are among the 57,000 refugees currently [...]

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World:’ Teaching Yoga and Poetry in China

By |2017-09-25T20:57:54+00:00July 22nd, 2017|

On the heels of a disastrous election in the United States, I got the lucky chance to travel to China, made possible by a dynamic group of Chinese feminists, some of whom I first met when teaching poetry and justice workshop in Thailand a few years ago. In China, I taught “Working for Peace, Insisting [...]

Escalating Humanitarian Crisis on the Aegean Sea: A Yogi’s View

By |2017-09-15T16:46:48+00:00January 22nd, 2016|

"In my dreams I am walking again," the twenty-four-year-old Syrian tells me from his wheelchair that his friends have lifted him into after their overcrowded raft arrived on the shores of Lesvos, Greece yesterday. He was paralyzed by a sniper in Syria, now one of 11 million Syrians who have been displaced from their homes [...]

Refugee Relief: Firsthand Accounts of Shipwrecked Migrants in the Mediterranean

By |2017-09-15T16:50:06+00:00January 22nd, 2016|

Author’s note: I am in Lesvos, Greece to work on a project with Angela Farmer and then to take the two week workshop she offers with Victor Van Kooten. As soon as I arrived, I learned about the refugee crisis as rafts were arriving on the shore right in front of the place where [...]

The Lesvos Refugee Crisis: 5 Months in & Conditions are Worsening

By |2017-09-15T16:47:18+00:00January 22nd, 2016|

In April, my friends and I arrived on the island of Lesvos to soon realize we had landed smack in the middle of the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Rafts arrived daily from Syria and Afghanistan as well as Pakistan, Palestine, Iraq, and Iran. We quickly learned how to stockpile supplies in our [...]

“Love Calls Us to the Things of This World:” Update on the Refugee Crisis in Greece

By |2017-09-15T17:08:26+00:00January 22nd, 2016|

In an autobiographical essay on yoga and meditation, Silvia Boorstein looks back on her decades-long work as an activist and yoga practitioner, saying, “I am more zealous than ever about social activism. I see my activism as an aspect of spiritual practice, the natural result of being less frightened, as well as a sign of [...]

Stop Five: Two Week Yoga Retreat, Lesvos, Greece

By |2017-09-15T16:51:43+00:00July 2nd, 2014|

It’s the eleventh day of a thirteen-day yoga retreat on the island of Lesvos in Greece at Angela Farmer and Victor van Kooten’s yoga studio. I wake up wondering how we could already be at day eleven, the days and evenings running faster than sun-warmed honey. This is a trip of a lifetime for me, [...]

Stop Four: Yoga, Meditation, and Recovery Conference at Kripalu

By |2017-09-15T17:28:24+00:00June 10th, 2014|

Stop Four on this journey was the Yoga, Meditation and Recovery Conference at Kripalu in May, the fifth annual five-day event bringing together yoga and meditation to support recovery from addictions. Envisioned by nationally recognized yoga leaders Rolf Gates and Nikki Myers, this spring conference (and its sister conference in the fall at Esalen on [...]

Stop Three: Healing Hands Conference

By |2017-09-15T16:51:13+00:00June 5th, 2014|

Once in a while, an experience comes your direction that promises to stick with you, a lesson dressed in a purple coat. Since teaching at the Healing Hands Intensive in Boston in May, I have been wearing that coat, warmed by the process. This conference was envisioned by Brecken Chinn Swartz, a professor who many [...]

Stop Two: Ecology, Spirituality, and Sustainability Conference

By |2017-09-15T17:26:46+00:00June 3rd, 2014|

Stop two brought me to an extraordinary conference at Southern Connecticut State University, envisioned by Yi-Chun Tricia Lin, a Women’s Studies professor and the president of the National Women’s Studies Association who has been nurturing the leadership of feminist scholars of color for years. This meant that, unlike many academic conferences, this one was multiracial, [...]

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