Pepper Wolfe on Healing: Body, Mind and Spirit
Interconnectedness – By Pierre Zimmerman 6/1/22
From the Desk of Pierre Zimmerman: INTERCONNECTEDNESS
Interdependence is not the easiest idea to grasp, yet it allows us to develop a wider perspective and less attachment to destructive emotions. There is nothing wrong or unusual about anger, for instance, but it can become dangerous when we are consumed by it for hours, sometimes years. We always want to reduce it as best and quickly as we can. Interdependence is not just a concept. It can reduce suffering caused by destructive emotions, because it is an explanation of the law of nature — including ecology, for instance.
Our future depends on global well-being. Knowing this, we can reduce narrow-mindedness, which often breeds attachment and hatred. The whole world is heavily interconnected and interdependent today, partially through the digital world, enhancing accessibility. All things are dependent on one another, and with time, we can gradually kindle a fire that starts with a spark, which creates light, but can also turn into a wildfire!
Emptiness doesn’t mean nothingness. When we realize nothing is solid, edges soften because everything is intertwined and therefore there are fewer physical boundaries during times of spiritual lucidity. Reality is often a mere mental projection, whereas wisdom implies clear vision when we understand emptiness, which is to say that things are devoid of individual inherent existence. Nothing can exist independently on its own. Interdependence, rather than independence, defines our lives and everything around us. These linkages maybe difficult to see but they are real: people, animals, thoughts, emotions, and objects are empty. Anything and everything comes into existence because of a complex web of causes, conditions and relationships.
Any interest of yours or mine is inextricably connected and involves our well-being. Compassion becomes reinforced, because when something good happens to others, we will also benefit — if not immediately, then eventually. Anyone can achieve genuine happiness by focusing on the fundamental precepts of compassion and wisdom, which are often referred to as the two wings of a bird, allowing it to fly. A person with wisdom and no compassion is like a lonely hermit vegetating in the mountains or a cave, a compassionate person without wisdom is nothing more than a likable fool!
Embracing Our Identity and Uniqueness – with Lynne Davidson, LCSW
Join facilitator Lynne Davidson, LCSW for a ONE ROOF group whose TOPICS will include:
- Challenges of developing greater appreciation of our uniqueness and beauty
- Releasing the negative impacts of homophobia
- Redefining ourselves as deserving and affirming the ability to thrive
- Connecting with positive and supportive others
$25 per individual 1 ½ hour session
$150 for full 7-week commitment
Meetings take place: Monday Evenings 5:30 – 7:00pm,
June 6th – July 18th at ONE ROOF, 58 Henry St, Saratoga Springs
For more information or to register, please contact Lynne Davidson, LCSW
Developing Resilience – By Pierre Zimmerman 5/1/22
How Do I Develop Resilience?
by Pierre Zimmerman, MS
Resilience is the ability to face life’s challenges, small or seemingly overwhelming, surprising or habitual. With it we can experience what we might label victories, and when we lack resilience, we might end up having setbacks. Some people recover quickly from adversity; others become crippled by it.
The capacities to bounce back, integrate our experiences and then move on are innate and possible, yet difficult. To be resilient requires qualities like awareness, reflection, flexibility, stability, and adaptability. We can use the five universal elements to illustrate these important themes:
The earth element of stability and firmness
The water element of fluidity
The fire element of adjustable temperatures
The air element of mobility
The space element of boundlessness
Impermanence is real and not just a thought. Everything is changing in our internal and external life constantly. Once we come to terms with it, our responses to change give us numerous probabilities of what can occur and unlimited opportunities to respond. We need to face whatever creates suffering and discomfort; this is called coping. Thoughts and feelings cannot destroy us. We need to pause and stay calm, letting what needs to emerge surface, which in turn will bring clarity as to the beneficial choices we can make.
One Roof Welcomes Pepper Wolfe, LMSW
Pepper Wolfe has been a licensed social worker for 15 years. Additionally she has 1000+ hours of training in yoga therapeutics. Over the past 13 years that she has been in private practice, she has integrated working with the body into the traditional mental health model. Incorporating breath work, meditation and asana (yoga poses) into her work, clients gain considerable traction in areas where they have felt previously stuck. In other words, we work with the body to work with the mind, mood and behavior.
Pepper specializes in working with parents with a trauma history who want to end the cycle of generational violence. Parents often strive to be peaceful, gentle and conscious with their children, but find in the moment they are triggered, it is difficult to access information they carry intellectually. Find her contact info & learn more about Pepper and her unique practice and contact her directly to schedule and appointment.
3/27/22, Climate Change/Local Action with Brenda Ekwurzel
Climate Change/Local Action with Brenda Ekwurzel
Sunday, March 27 at 7:00 pm Via ZOOM
Local Groups Bring in Internationally Renowned Climate Scientist for the Worldwide Climate Teach-in
Email for Inquiries
On Sunday, March 27 at 7:00 pm via Zoom, Temple Sinai is bringing world-renowned climate scientist Brenda Ekwurzel to talk about the latest information on Climate Change and to help the community find ways to make local changes. The event is presented in partnership with Skidmore College, Sustainable Saratoga, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga Springs, and One Roof Saratoga and is part of the Worldwide Teach-in on Climate and Justice (more info below).
It is free and open to the public and will be available via Zoom. Registration is not required but there will be a waiting room. (Meeting ID: 957 3221 6053 and Passcode 715333).
More information on Brenda Ekwurzel and on the Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice
Brenda Ekwurzel is a senior climate scientist and the director of climate science for the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). In her role, she ensures that program analyses reflect robust and relevant climate science, and researches the influence of major carbon producers on rising global average temperatures and sea level. Dr. Ekwurzel is a co-author of the fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) Volume II. She presents frequently to a range of audiences on climate science, educating the public on practical, achievable solutions for climate change.
Prior to joining UCS, Dr. Ekwurzel was on the faculty of the University of Arizona in their department of hydrology and water resources, with a joint appointment in the geosciences department. She has studied climate variability in places as disparate as the Arctic—where her research brought her to the North Pole—and the desert Southwest. Earlier in her career, Dr. Ekwurzel was a hydrologist, working with communities to protect groundwater.
Dr. Ekwurzel earned a B.S. in geology from Smith College, and an M.S. in geoscience from Rutgers University. She holds a Ph.D. in isotope geochemistry from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and conducted post-doctoral research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in California.
A widely quoted expert on climate change, Dr. Ekwurzel co-authored the UCS guide Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living. In 2016, she was named a AAAS fellow, and cited for her “distinguished contributions to analysis and outreach aimed at strengthening support for sound U.S. climate policies, and making the science of climate change accessible to diverse audiences.” She has appeared on ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Good Morning America, NBC News, NPR, and The Colbert Report, and has been cited by Associated Press, New York Times, Reuters, USA Today and Washington Post.
The Worldwide Teach-in On Climate and Justice – The Week of March 30
Temple Sinai initiated the event and chose the date to coincide with the Worldwide Teach-in on Climate and Justice taking place the last week of March. As the negative impacts of the climate crisis accumulate, faith communities have a vital role to play in addressing climate change and creating just climate solutions and must act now to make a difference. The Teach-in aims to mobilize half a million educators, students and community members to participate in a historic global event.
As the negative impacts of the climate crisis accumulate, faith communities have a vital role to play in addressing climate change and creating just climate solutions. Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues must act now to make a difference. The Worldwide Teach-in on Climate and Justice aims to mobilize half a million educators, students and community members to participate in a historic global event on March 30, 2022.
“The climate crisis is about more than data and science. It is about perceptions, beliefs and values,” says Karenna Gore, executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics. “We are excited to help engage faith communities and institutions in the worldwide climate teach-in on March 30 because they have a vital role to play in facing up to the root causes of the climate crisis and creating positive change.”
The Center for Earth Ethics partnered with Bard College’s Graduate Programs in Sustainability to create a teach-in model for faith communities to assist churches, mosques, temples and synagogues around the world to participate in the global event on Wednesday, March 30.
“We are all experiencing the rising sense of climate despair,” says Dr. Eban Goodstein, director of Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability and founder of the Worldwide Teach-in on Climate and Justice. “By mobilizing half a million faith leaders, seminarians, educators, students and people of faith around the world, we aim to replace that despair with a powerful sense of agency about the work we can do together—this year, next year and over the next decades—to change the future.” Gore and Goodstein noted that the teach-in model for faith communities is designed to be adapted by each community and its members according to their unique circumstances.
Temple Sinai is a vibrant and welcoming Reform synagogue located in historic downtown Saratoga Springs. For more information on this program please visit Temple Sinai’s website or the events calendar at www.Skidmore.edu.
Young Women’s Group – Peer to Peer Support with Heather Lofink, LMHC
and engaging in these transitions can feel lonely and confusing – pandemic or not!
Join other young women in this time of transition and change
to connect, process, and support one another
while gaining skills to manage anxiety and practice self-care.
$25 per 1 ½ hour virtual session.
OR insurance co-pay / co-ins/ deductible if using insurance.
Must be located in New York State.
With a 6-week commitment
Wednesdays 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Facilitator: Heather Lofink, LMHC
All potential participants will be required to complete intake paperwork and a 15-minute ZOOM session with group facilitator prior to admission to the group.
ENGAGED ENVIRONMENTAL HEALING – By Pierre Zimmerman 4/1/22
From The Desk of Pierre Zimmerman: ENGAGED ENVIRONMENTAL HEALING
Solving environmental problems almost always requires some understanding of ecological principles, called “systems thinking,” knowing that all events and beings are interdependent and mutually co-create each other. The universe is a dynamic scale of activities, with every action affecting and generating others in turn. The work for us becoming ecological change agents entails: being with suffering, cultivating systems thinking, reducing harm, and generating peace as possible tasks.
We can observe cause and effect in any system such as: in your family, within your workplace, in your backyard. We develop systems-thinking through looking at patterns and deciphering feedback loops that reflect the dominant shaping forces. Too much heat and the dog seeks shade, too much cold and the cat finds a warm car hood to sleep on. We can see that systems are shaped by regulating patterns that maintain stability, and self-organizing patterns, which we learn from in order to evolve. These give the system the ability to adapt.
We take the path of not causing harm. This central principle informs all other ethical commitments that arise with a broadly felt connection to other beings. Reducing suffering might mean changing harvest methods, for example, or it could mean providing protection for species close to extinction. Many might choose other ethical practices, eating produce that is locally organically grown, choosing fair trade products, using wind and/or solar energy, which cause little harm to the environment.
Bringing about peace means that we use ways to find solutions between different parties and point of views. Bridge builders play an active role, engaging conflict, but not taking sides, and strengthening weak relationships in the human and ecological web. We can bring in a healer role to our neighborhood, helping conflicting parties understand each other’s positions and finding a better solution at hand. It requests from us compassionate acts toward all parties, bearing witness without accusations, having clear and stabilized intentions and reporting facts without condemnation. This can be done!
Hearing the crickets at night
I vow with all beings
to find my place in the harmony crickets enjoy with the stars.
HAPPINESS IS AN INSIDE JOB – By Pierre Zimmerman 3/1/22
From The Desk of Pierre Zimmerman: HAPPINESS IS AN INSIDE JOB
We often get disappointed when we don’t get what we want or lose something of value, because we carry within our minds certain “psychic irritants,” sources of suffering triggered by events or our thoughts. Then we try to stop the pain by changing the world around us. It is as if we would cover the whole earth with leather, so that we could walk more comfortably, instead of wearing sandals. We don’t want to let misery blindside us.
Happiness requires practicing mindfulness, a way of training oneself to become aware of things as they really are, a gradual, direct training in how to end dissatisfaction. We rarely want to think about things not going well: tragedy, grief, physical pain, melancholy, loneliness, resentment, the nagging feeling that there could be something better. We think that happiness depends on things unfolding a certain way, but there is something else: a happiness not dependent on conditions. We can find a way out of suffering by confronting the roots of resistance and craving with a strong determination to overcome harmful habits.
Happiness is beyond just the fleeting enjoyments of pleasurable experiences, which are fine, in moderation. Possessions, social approval, the love of friends and family, and a wealth of pleasurable experiences ought to make people happy. What we think should make people happy are in fact often the source of misery, because they never last, and the more we have, the greater the possibility for unhappiness, the lowest form of happiness, depending on conditions being right.
Higher sources of happiness come from generosity, letting go of psychic irritants such as hatred, attachment, jealousy, pride, and confusion, often labeled delusion. Nipping them in the bud allows the mind to become unobstructed, joyful, bright and clear. Our load in life becomes lighter when we disentangle ourselves from years of destructive self-defeating attitudes and behavior.