Blue Deer Center News

Posted May 31, 2012

Many of you are aware of the new initiative (as of Fall 2011) to establish more localized management for the Blue Deer Center. We refer to this as “running the center from the center”. Our time horizon for this change was the remainder of this year and early 2013. We want to keep you apprised of the changes as they happen. To help facilitate the changes in our organization, earlier this year we named Mark Gionfriddo as the Interim Center Director for 2012. Meanwhile, the three Co-executive Directors, Keiko Cronin, Safia Johnson and Amanda Kerner continued in their long-term roles managing the organization. In order to begin to produce a more centralized executive function, Keiko became as we affectionately called her, the “Decider”.

More recently, we have continued toward the localized management model by naming Mark Gionfriddo to an additional role as the Interim Executive Director. In this capacity, he assumes the responsibilities of the three Co-Execs while, at the same time, they support him behind the scenes with their long experience and knowledge. We wish to congratulate Mark on his new role and to deeply thank Keiko, Safia and Amanda for their long years of service and ongoing support. It’s important also for you to note that Safia is now acting in a new capacity as Center Relationships Liaison, wherein she will be responsible for building new, stronger ties to the Hudson River Valley and NYC areas.

Also, we wish to inform you of another important promotion, which will further the goal of localized management of the center. We informed you earlier of the hiring of Jenn Schuman as our new Assistant Fundraising Director. Jenn has now become the Fundraising Director. Peter Brown, who has acted as Fundraising Director for just over four years continues with the organization in a new capacity of Home Project Coordinator. This crucial role will help shape our relationships with the ancestral tradition holders who will ultimately base their teachings from the center.

I know that some of these changes and titles may be confusing. Please bear with us as we re-invent and streamline our organization to be more responsive to your needs.

My best to each of you,

Dan Sprinkles

Board Member

Posted May 30, 2012

“Yes, the world shows up according to how we view it, but this does not mean we can get the world to produce what we want by changing our thoughts. Trying to get the world to produce what we want -- the very notion is itself a product of the dualistic view that sees the world as an other to be controlled or exploited. View is not the same as our thoughts; it is more like the seedbed of our thinking.

Education today claims to be about passing on information.. but in fact it is more about getting the young to take on the dualistic view. By force of law children are put into situations that reward competition and individual achievement. Demonstrations of cooperation and empathy are discouraged or even punished. Over and over, the young are drilled in these experiences. In time 'me against the world' seeps into their bones until it becomes 'truth.' This is how the world works for most people today, because most people see it that way: 'Life is about getting what you want, and you don't have to consider the cost to your enemy.' Almost nobody realizes that this seeming 'truth' is nothing more than the product of their view. In fact few people realize they have a view at all.

The Western view produces results that are useful in same ways. When I am driving a car, for example, the modern Western view of time and space serves me well. When I am doing healing work, though, the traditional Chinese view and the traditional Huichol view produce results unobtainable in more conventional ways. Plant Spirit Medicine healers and Huichol shamans routinely do things that are flat-out impossible by Western standards, but this does not bother us. The results speak for themselves. They are simply expressions of how the world works from our points of view."

Posted May 30, 2012

By Carla Leftwich

The sun sits at its zenith and commands the day showering the earth with light and love. The Earth and all of its inhabitants relax in this embrace.

The rush and push and struggle of birth in Spring have given way to the lazy river of comfort and joy that is Summer. Assured of the plentiful warmth and light necessary for life to flow, insects and birds, animals and humankind all buzz and croak and sing and play long and loudly. Bold, bright colors worn by humans and flowers and butterflies communicate the innate need and desire for relationship. As the sun kisses the clouds with golden light in the endless evening, the alluring scents of jasmine and honeysuckle fill the sultry air with messages of passion. Our deepest feelings of love and sharing can easily mature in this time of Summer fullness.

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