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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Words may hurt more than sticks and stones

"Wars begin with words, so we should be careful how we speak, especially to nations where there is tension. Our words can heal the situation before the military takes up its weapons." ― Thomas Moore
Resurgence magazine shares Thomas Moore's interest in words through his article, "The Power of Language", in its January―February 2011 issue, no. 264. Moore writes:
"Years ago I was trained as a counsellor according to Carl Rogers’ method. He advised using simple words that let a person know he is heard and understood. On paper such words sound stiff: 'I really hear what you’re saying. You’re tired of speaking without being heard.' But if you mean what you say, your plain words can have immense power. The simple Rogerian method could help many a troubled relationship and many a spluttering politician.

As a therapist, I’m aware that 'talk therapy' has a poor reputation in places where a materialistic philosophy of drug treatments and behaviour management is strong. This turn away from the power of spoken interaction is part of the larger myth of our time: the enthronement of a materialistic and mechanistic world. But I still believe in the power of language, its capacity to hurt and to heal.

Our physical world is polluted with dangerous chemicals, but our language, too, suffers its own kind of pollution. This is an ecological problem that we can solve in our personal lives by learning about language and using it with care and imagination. The flow of our words could be as clear and fresh as the cascade of an unpolluted, free-flowing stream. We could then choose our words the way we plant a garden – thoughtfully and with an eye to beauty.
Moore shares, "My rule is: if the thought occurs to me to say something supportive, I say it. You can never speak too often in praise and appreciation."


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best spiritual books of 2010 include Moore work

Spirituality & Practice picks Thomas Moore’s book, Care of the Soul in Medicine as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2010. It is described under Health:

"Care of the Soul in Medicine: Healing Guidance for Parents, Families, and the People Who Care for Them by Thomas Moore (Hay House, hardcover) is a timely and creative work on enriching and deepening the healing arts and transforming the work of doctors, nurses, and patients through soul and spirituality."

In their review of Care of the Soul in Medicine, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat write,
"In his advice to doctors, Moore warns against the kind of arrogance that comes with seeing their work as an impersonal, science-dominated health care that will not expand to include alternative approaches: "Integrative medicine is a natural doorway for letting soul and spirit into the medical world. Massage, diet, hypnosis, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture presuppose a whole person. They ask that we consider pleasure, relaxation, and spiritual practice as implicated in illness and health."

Certainly, we can understand the frustration of doctors with medical education costs, insurance bureaucracy, and malpractice pressures which complicate and bring stress into their mission to be of service to others. Moore puts forward some pathways to the spiritual rejuvenation of doctors, nurses, and other health-care workers including friendship, nature, vacations, beauty, and self-analysis. He also would relish it if physicians could take more seriously the mysteries of life and death that challenge us all to see the limits of who we are and what we can do."
The site also offers an excerpt from Care of the Soul in Medicine about silence. The full list of 2010 winners shows fifty books with various subject headings.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Events in 2011 on Moore's

Thomas Moore updates his public appearances in 2011 on his Events page. Moore travels to the U.K. in March and returns to North America to offer a Kripalu session at the end of that month. He is in Connecticut in April and New Mexico in May. Barque provides links to Moore’s events in the sidebar as information about his sessions becomes available.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Moore talks about soul and spirit in Cheltenham

Thomas Moore offers Care of the Soul and Spirit at the Isbourne Holistic Centre on Tuesday 22 March 2011 starting at 7:00 p.m. This event is approximately two hours. According to the centre's site, "This seminar will show you how to craft a soulful life, grounding spiritual vision and practice in the deepest part of oneself." Cost is £12.00. An early bird rate is £9.00 when booked by 14th March 2011.

The Isbourne Holistic Centre is "a practical organisation devoted to the furthering of peaceful and harmonious co-existance and understanding across all cultures and belief systems through love and service."

The Isbourne Holistic Centre
off Oriel Road
4 Wolseley Terrace
GL50 1TH
Gloucestershire, England
A map is available.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Deepen your spiritual connections, March 2011

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health describes the weekend program From Religion to Spirituality offered by Thomas Moore and Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa, 25 – 27 March 2011 in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

According to the site, "This weekend, we will deepen our connection to spiritual life through yoga, meditation, and chant. We will ground our practice through self-inquiry, lecture, discussion, and creative-arts exercises where we’ll get to choose from music, art, writing, and movement. No previous yoga experience is required."

Tuition is $250. Separate pricing for rooms and meals is based on choice of accommodations.

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Medical-industrial complex needs soul care

Mark Moran writes about Thomas Moore’s recent book, Care of the Soul in Medicine (Hay House, 2010) in Psychiatric News, 3 December 2010, (Vol. 45 No. 23) under the headline, "Patients' Souls Called Medicine's Missing Link". Moran quotes Moore:
"I understand the field has become more biological," he said. "My sense is that people entering medicine today get this very intelligent, up-to-date training in biomedical science. And when I talk to psychiatrists about a spiritual approach to healing, it doesn't seem to them to have that intelligence behind it.

"But I would want psychiatrists to know there is a whole world of knowledge and wisdom outside the biological tradition that goes back several thousand years," Moore said. "They should give a philosophical and spiritual approach to the patients in their care another look, and they may find that it can be very substantive and would complement their biological work."
Moran includes: "His remedies for what ails modern medicine may seem to some either quixotic or "unscientific" (or even "antiscientific"), but his thoughts echo those of such respected thinkers as biomedical ethicist Daniel Callahan, Ph.D., who has written extensively of the need to return to "caring over curing."

Moore continues,
"You don't have to talk too long to patients and their families, as well as doctors and nurses, before they express a common feeling that contemporary medicine, for all its technological virtuosity, lacks something," he said. "Patients and families will talk about how the medical establishment is just so huge and they feel like a piece of machinery. When I tell them about how images and architecture can transform a healing environment — about how the way a hospital room looks and feels can be a part of healing — they are a little surprised, but they know what I am saying. So I seem to be giving people a language for talking about things they know intuitively."
After asking, "What does Moore, an admirer of Carl Jung (but he is not, he said, a Jungian), think of the widespread use of pharmacologic agents to treat psychiatric disorders?" Moran quotes Moore’s response:
"It's a complicated issue, and I have nothing against the use of pharmacologic treatments in conjunction with other approaches," he said. "But I think it goes hand in hand with the prevailing philosophy of our time that is based on treating people as mechanical systems. If you see the brain as a collection of neurochemicals, you are going to use chemicals to treat people.

"That's the underlying mythology of our time. It is useful as far as it goes, but I think it leaves much to be desired and ignores a vast trove of wisdom about the soul that predates the 20th century."

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Venusian power may tame the excesses of Mars

As mentioned yesterday at Barque: Thomas Moore’s Work under the headline, "Transform puritan veneer into erotic sheen", Thomas Moore posts "Not Enough Sex" with The Huffington Post. A reader asks Moore to recommend further readings for her research and writing interest "about how making peace and having a mature relationship with our sexuality will make us into better leaders..." Moore responds:
"...One approach is in my book Dark Eros, based on a positive, mythopoetic reading of the Marquis de Sade. I give a lecture on Venus and Mars, mythological figures, and refer to Botticelli's painting by that name that I think holds the secret, or one secret, to violence. Giving her realm more place and power helps tame the excesses of Mars (aggression, violence, etc). There is more in James Hillman's book A Terrible Love of War and a tiny bit in René Girard's Violence and the Sacred..."

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