Featured Articles from Issue 56

Featured Stories and Columns
The End of an Era in Ann Arbor's Organic Farming and Food Culture

The 2017 planting, growing, and harvesting season will be Annie Elder and Paul Bantle’s last at the Community Farm of Ann Arbor. The two have been the head farmers tending the land and the animals there for more than 25 years.

Coffee with  Zain Shamoon, Co-founder and Host of the “Narratives of Pain” Storytelling Showcase

I was sipping a nitrogen-infused cold brew at Mighty Good Coffee Co. when a purple-splashed flyer caught my eye, “NARRATIVES OF PAIN” boldly emblazoned across the top. At first I thought “Narratives of Pain” was an indie-satirical play on words, or perhaps an improv comedy showcase with a dark twist.

Yoga: Not for Women Only

I am settling into my breath. I am on my mat, in a yoga class, lying down before it begins. Eyes closed, I hear the door open and several pairs of feet pad their way into the warm room. When I finally sit up and glance around, I see I am surrounded by women — where are all the men?

Against Civic Apathy: Mary Morgan and the CivCity Initiative

Launched in November 2014, the nonpartisan CivCity Initiative works to promote year-round civic responsibility and involvement by encouraging and educating citizens to participate in all aspects of governance. 

Vic Strecher – A Public Health Scientist’s Inquiries into Purpose

Vic Strecher, a behavioral scientist, is an energetic, trim, and youthful sixty-two year old. He teaches at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and is Visiting Professor at the Peking University’s School of Public Health. He has given hundreds of talks the world over. (He jokes that his frequent flyer miles are sky-high.) His TED Talks and recorded lectures, replete with PowerPoint presentations featuring trademark symbols from his graphic novel, On Purpose, have given him a YouTube presence and a popular culture crossover audience.

Being in Place — A Panorama of Meditation in  Ann Arbor as told by Libby Robinson

We are a community of meditators. In the last Crazy Wisdom Community Journal there were listings for 25 different organizations offering meditation. Many more people practice as part of church, temple, or mosque prayer time. Some meditations are specific to cultural or religious traditions, while others do not require membership to participate. Mindfulness is now a trending topic, prompting articles, videos, social media threads, and books to be available.

The Arrival of Consciousness Science at the University of Michigan Medical School

The Center for Consciousness Science at the U-M Medical School was inaugurated in June 2014 by its Founder and Executive Director, Dr. George Mashour. That was around the same time that Dr. Tarik Bel-Bahar arrived in Ann Arbor. We were approached by Bel-Bahar in mid-2015, who suggested that CCS’s mission and activities might be ripe for a story in the CW Journal. We agreed. So what follows is an interview with Dr. Bel-Bahar, about the Center and its work. For long-time Crazy Wisdom Journal readers, this is a “must-read” about exciting work on the frontiers of consciousness research being done right here in Ann Arbor, right at the University, in the Medical School, no less.

Pink Castle Fabrics — A World of Creation and Joy

Last issue, Crazy Wisdom profiled Maker Works, a local business offering space, tools, and teaching about woodcraft, metalworking, and other hands on skills. This issue, we are profiling another business offering space, tools, and teaching, but in a very different medium. Pink Castle Fabrics has a small retail space on the West Side of Ann Arbor, and may seem modest to outsiders. But with a global reach through their online community, retreats, and Instagram feed, Pink Castle Fabrics invigorates and innovates in a uniquely modern format.

In the Heart of the Wood on a Rainy Night — Reflections on Black Pond Woods

An equinoctial night in 2016. It’s raining. The injured raptor birds, often used in educational programs, sleep in little wooden houses on the hillside. Community gardens and orchards await spring, leaves poised to unfurl and earth to be turned. It is the night of the salamander survey at Black Pond Woods.

In the Company of Cats — Ann Arbor’s First Cat Café Lets Visitors Enjoy Feline Companionship and Cat-centered Activities

The sun is just peeking over the horizon, burning off the last tendrils of early morning fog, as instructor Lisa Norgren begins teaching her yoga class. The studio is dim; a soothing fountain trickles gently in the back of the room. Students stand in front of their mats, talking softly. The room eventually becomes quiet. The cats awaken, stretch and start to roam.

More from Issue 56

Featured Stories and Columns
More Than Just an Exercise: Learning to Breathe with Yoga

By Tatiana Knight | Photos by Tobi Hollander

When yoga became famous in the 60’s in the U.S., it was an esoteric set of poses and breathing exercises to aid meditation. It was initially presented as a map to living our lives by following a kind of yogic 10 Commandments. Not very many people knew about yoga, and those who did were not “normal,” but considered hippies or society’s outliers. 

Art Therapy for Inspiration, Guidance, and Healing

By Sibel Ozer

A non-artist friend asked for help with a painting she had started a year ago. I suggested we do some foraging for inspiration, and we spent a day antiquing, visiting the art museum, stopping by an art store, and hunting for materials in her backyard. Next, we cleared her garden table for a day of painting, where I modeled free expression.

 

Fresh Air for a Fresh Start

By Melissa Sargent

We've packed up the holiday decorations, our house guests have all gone home, and we are ready to take on our new year’s resolutions. A little power cleaning and a few sprays of a fresh scent might seem like a great way to start anew. But before you pull out the disinfectant or plug in the pine mountain scent, think about what may be sealed up inside the house with you and your family.

 

Reconsidering the Impact of Grains and Carbs on our Diet

By Gary Merel

Since digestive systems, much like finger prints, are unique, the foods that work for you might not work for someone else. However, there are definitely foods and food groups we should only eat sparingly, or not at all. High on that list are refined carbohydrates and grains.

 

Namaste, Roshani!

By Roshani Adhikary 

Namaste, Roshani,

These winter blues get me every year! I don’t feel like leaving my house to go and practice at a studio, so I've been following a lot of yoga DVDs. Lately, I find that my knees are really starting to kill. I don’t have an instructor to turn to, so I’m wondering if maybe you can help.

Caring for Your Pet with In-Home Hospice

Death is not an easy topic. No one likes to talk about it, even when it's regarding pets. As a veterinarian, I believe the reason pet parents do not like to talk about death is fear of the unknown. Perhaps they had a bad experience in the past or heard terrible stories from friends, but whatever the case, they are left with a lot of tough questions.

Why I Teach Meditation

In the wonderful Dr. Seuss books that narrate the adventures of The Cat in the Hat, we are introduced to the Cat’s helpers named “Thing One” and “Thing Two.” When he wants to create maximum mischief, the Cat brings out these two little guys. And do they know how to party! Their antics can go on for numerous pages, involving all sorts of outrageous projects, which always lead nowhere.