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Omega Institute's Elizabeth Lesser on "Broken Open" and Personal Transformation, Part Two

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Final words? Here are a few:

It's hard to stay positive and hopeful these days. It seems that there's so much suffering--the oil spill, global warming, wars, genocides, illness, poverty. What's to be positive about? But I think it's important to stay hopeful. Not head-in-the-sand positive, but fully present and at the same time full of hope. Hope breeds happiness in everyone we touch. And happiness breeds kindness. So how do we do this? We've been terribly educated in this department.

You might be surprised to think of yourself as poorly educated. Relative to most humans throughout history, the people reading this interview probably represent a vastly more educated group than most folks. But here's the thing. Our education has been seriously lop-sided. It's taught us how to function on the surface of our days--how to read and calculate, how to succeed in a career, how to drive a car, how to figure out our taxes --all very good things to know for sure.


But certain things were left out, like how to relax into and enjoy the texture of life on earth as a human being; how to make wise life decisions; how to get along with each other; how to keep our hearts open especially when they hurt; how to love and forgive ourselves; how to live with purpose and meaning; how to let go--of our children, of people we love, of our own bodies as we age; how to see beyond this world into other realms of reality; how to ponder the great mysteries of existence and death with a fearless spirit.

I didn't learn that in school. Did you?Not having this education has not only diminished our personal lives. Every problem in the world can be traced back to two people ill-prepared to know how to live together, to know how to take care of each other, how to live lightly and consciously on this earth. So doing spiritual practice and healing psychologically is not only something healthy for ourselves. It is also significant for the people in our lives, and for our whole human and non-human family. Your own healing contributes to the whole.

That reminds me of the advice we get every time we board a plane: put your oxygen mask on yourself before you try to take care of others. Healing the world begins within ourselves. Your book, Broken Open , is a great way for us to explore that process. Thank you so much for talking with me, Elizabeth. It's been a pleasure.

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Joan has been the Election Integrity Editor for OpEdNews since December 2005. She writes on a large range of subjects and does many interviews and reviews.
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