Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Work that Reconnects


Joanna Macy is a Buddhist teacher, writer, activist, and scholar who has been developing teaching tools to help us respond to the perils and suffering of our world for three decades.  She is giving a one-day workshop on The Work That Reconnects on February 14th at Common Circle, Berkeley, from 10 to 6pm. This is a very special opportunity to spend time with one of the elders of our age, someone whose life has been dedicated to helping people feel connected to the world they live in, fully in touch with their own emotions, and warmly connected to one other.

A group of 15 of us, mostly from Transition Albany and Transition Richmond (the Richmond Rivets), had a touching day experiencing some of Joanna’s tools on January 24th, courtesy of Pam and Tatyana at Sarana Community Acupuncture Center, 968 San Pablo Avenue, Albany. Anne Symens-Bucher, an accomplished workshop leader in her own right and assistant to Joanna Macy for four years, introduced deep and inclusive exercises designed by Joanna to put us in touch with the power, liberation, and solidarity that come with owning our collective grief.

Joanna’s work has been embraced by the Transition community, which is well aware that, as we let in the information coming our way about climate change and the end of cheap oil, we can be sideswiped by fear, grief, anger, helplessness – the whole gamut of emotions. If we have no place to air these feelings we are likely to stuff them and gradually deaden our response instead of letting our creativity and resilience come up with solutions.

Joanna is leading a day-long workshop in Berkeley on February 14th, 2010 – sign up at The cost is $95 before Feb 10th, and $145 thereafter. I attended a weekend workshop on The Work that Reconnects in Bolinas with Joanna in December 2009. I was thoroughly impressed with the potency of the simple exercises we did. I’m usually rather skeptical of workshops but I “warmed up” in the room of mostly people I hadn’t met before very quickly.

Every Transition Town has a “heart and soul” element, and we are starting our own group for airing feelings and lending mutual support during challenging times, on Thursday, February 18th at 943 Madison Street, Albany. Come for a potluck at 6:30 pm if you would like, and please RSVP to or call 510-528-2261.

“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying the world – we’ve actually been on the way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other”. Joanna Macy

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Posted in Uncategorized on January 12, 2010

Making Money Work for Our Local Community

Buying local products at locally owned businesses keeps money circulating closer to where you spend it. This creates a ripple effect as those businesses and their employees in turn spend your money locally. Corporate chains send most of your money out of town.

If everyone in a community spends a greater percentage locally, the multiplier effect turns that into big bucks for the local economy. For example, increasing local spending from 50% to 80% more than doubles that local effect – from $200 to $500.

© 2009 Yes! Magazine

How Resilient is Our Local Economy?

What is our local wealth based on? Is it our own hard work and productivity? Or does our local economy depend on major corporations? How much of our wealth comes from and stays in the community? How much of it is outside financial capital, which eventually leaves our community? How can we build resilience? Learn about the underpinnings of our current economy by viewing the film The Money Fix free online

Find it in Albany!

The Albany Chamber of Commerce has launched a new campaign and user-friendly website to help you find what you’re looking for right here in Albany. has search and mapping functions, a color coded map of Albany businesses, and a directory by category.

Gift Certificates for a commercial district, like the Solano Avenue Gift Certificates, are a form of a local monetary system. When you use local dollars, you make a statement of support for our local economy. The local dollar is only accepted within a community, so it’s harder to spend that wealth out of the community. Show your commitment to our local businesses by using those $10 cards like $10 bills that can only be spent to support local businesses. Learn more about where you can get and spend the Solano Ave. Gift Certificates at

The scrip available at Albany schools is another form of alternative currency. Complex flow networks such as our economy work best when they imitate the “complex flow network” on which our life depends, the planetary ecology. Such networks are strongest when their constituent elements are diverse and interdependent. The more ways we have to exchange goods and services, the stronger we will be!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 1, 2010