Featured Articles from Issue 56
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
By Roshani Adhikary
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.
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.
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.