Podcast: Solstice Edition

Explores the astronomical meaning and cultural connections of the winter solstice, including relationship between solstice and length of day, importance to agriculture, symbolic associations with death, divine rulers, and renewal. Discusses winter solstice connections at Cesar Chavez solar calendar, Stonehenge, … Continue reading

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Celebrations of Death & the Sun

It is that time of year: the dead are stirring. Rising up, making themselves seen, reaching through the veil that separates them from the living. While much of the outward emphasis of Hallowe’en is on costumes and candy, the roots of this celebration go much deeper and are connected to the movements of the Sun and Earth.

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Pipeline Parallels – Science & Religion

The Facebook post, “This is one of those events you probably don’t want to miss,” caught my attention. This notice on the East Bay Meditation Center’s Facebook page let people know that Larry Yang, Buddhist meditation teacher, would be speaking about the Development of Spiritual Leadership at the weekly People of Color (POC) meditation sitting group. What surprised me the most about Larry’s talk is how his perspective about increasing diversity in Buddhist leadership paralleled the challenges of increasing diversity in scientific fields such as physics.

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The Sky: Our Local Space Representative

“Whatever we do, wherever we go, whatever happens on this crowded surface of interactions constituting our world, there is also the sky. The sky is a familiar – we might even say ‘local’ – representative of space.”

I love this quote from Tarthang Tulku (a Tibetan Buddhist teacher) because it simultaneously puts things in perspective and makes me chuckle. The perspective comes from the reminder that there are things, such as the sky, that are much greater than my personal problems. The chuckle comes from a visual image that popped into my head the first time I read these words. For some reason, my brain zeroed in on the phrase “local representative” and I immediately got a picture of The Sky running for a seat on the U.S. Congress. Just imagine The Sky on the campaign trail…

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Music of the Spheres: Self-Portrait

I had the good fortune last week to spend my Saturday painting with a group of teenage girls and astronomers. After exploring a variety of different astronomical images, we sat down to canvases and acrylic paints to create self-portraits based … Continue reading

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Kepler: Mystic Astronomer

I had the good fortune of seeing “The Kepler Story” yesterday at the Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences. I was impressed with how the use of full-dome visuals complemented the live performance, and also how history of science was interwoven with scientific information via storytelling. But this show is notable not only for the venue and special effects, but also because it tackles the subject of integration of scientific knowledge and spiritual beliefs.

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