Dec. 10 Spiritual Travelers Circle

Dec. 10 Spiritual Travelers Circle:
Rev. Charles Gibbs

Spiritual travelers
from all backgrounds and traditions,
sharing experience — seeking wisdom.

Spirit and Action in the World Today

The Rev. Canon Charles Gibbs is an Episcopal priest, a visionary and a poet who has dedicated his life to serving the sacred in the world, especially through interreligious and intercultural engagement. His new volume of poetry – Light Reading: Selected Poems from a Pilgrim Journey – is available at

Charles recently became Senior Partner and Poet-in-Residence for the Catalyst for Peace Foundation, providing leadership and support for CFP’s organizational evolution. Building on its eight-year transformational partnership with Fambul Tok in Sierra Leone, CFP is exploring a new phase of regional and global engagement focused on community-based peacebuilding, healthy whole systems partnerships and leadership development.

From 1996 until his retirement in 2013, he served as the founding executive director of the United Religions Initiative ( As executive director, he worked with thousands of colleagues around the world to guide URI’s growth from a vision to becoming the world’s largest grassroots interfaith network.

We invited Charles to initiate a conversation about a recipe for spiritual well-being — and actions that can bring light, love and healing — in today’s troubled world.

Part 1 — Opening check-ins

Part 2 — Group interview: Rev. Charles Gibbs

Part 3 — Circle of reflection: Charles, Len Traubman, Bob Whitehair, Libby Traubman, Teri Whitehair, James Offuh, Wendy Berk, Rev. Susan Strouse, Aryae, Bonita Banducci, Rabbi Victor Gross

Part 4 — Further reflections by Charles, and closing check-ins

October 15 Interfaith Spiritual Travelers Circle

Oct. 15 Interfaith Spiritual Travelers Circle:
Anuj Kumar Pandey

Spiritual travelers
from all backgrounds and traditions,
sharing experience — seeking wisdom.

A Pilgrim’s Interfaith Journey

Anuj Kumar Pandey has been a monk, a protestant Christian brother, a martial artist, a musician, story teller, Silicon Valley tech worker, ServiceSpace volunteer working behind the scenes with the technology that carries voices of the community, devoted spiritual traveler on the Sufi path, and humble spiritual friend to many.

We’re inviting Anuj to share the story of his pilgrimage from his village town in India to the Awakin Circles in the Bay Area and anchor an inquiry in the circle for each of us to reflect on our own. Here’s some guidance he received and shared at the beginning of a recent journey to India with his wife Kara:

Beauty is everywhere – try to hold that in perspective whether traveling to a holy site or in a bustling metro train ride.

Do less, be more – the balance of doing what naturally flows within the cycle of a day out of the necessity to serve, connect and relate in small ways.

Surrender – this may be one of the most common ones that people traveling to India think about doing but has been one of the hardest ones for people like us. We are so used to the life in Silicon Valley that reflects to a certain degree order and an organized pattern (in comparison India is considered chaos)….

Clean your heart every day…as you will your body! 🙂 This one I guess sets the bar for me to practice kindness every wakeful moment to the extent I can…Not successful yet but learning to catch the arrival of negative thoughts a little quicker than I used to.
An additional reflection: Life turning its gaze inward.

Part 1 — Opening check-ins

Part 2 — Anuj Pandey: A Pilgrim’s Interfaith Journey

Part 3 — Group interview

Part 4 — Anuj: Traditional Indian song

Part 5 — Circle of reflection: Adam Coopersmith, Bradley Stoll, Thu NGuyen, Aryae, Rabbi Diane Elliot, Libby Traubman, Dinesh Chandra, Wendy Berk, Len Traubman, James Offuh, James Waite, Adam

Part 6 — Further questions and reflections

Part 7 — Closing check-ins

May 21 Interfaith Spiritual Travelers Circle

May 21 Interfaith Spiritual Travelers Circle:
Kaylynn Sullivan Two Trees

Spiritual travelers
from all backgrounds and traditions,
sharing experience — seeking wisdom.

Guidance from Ancestors
At a time when so much of civilization as we’ve known it seems on the brink of crisis and transformation, what can we learn from listening to the voices of our indigenous ancestors who lived close to the earth? How can we tune in to their wisdom for guidance through perilous times?

Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees has spent a life “at the crossroads where species, cultures, beliefs and the unknown collide and find both dissonance and resonance. I am most comfortable with those explorers and cartographers whose passion and life is the crossroads. There, at any given moment, what is magic and what is real shifts places depending on where I stand.”

Two Trees focuses her work, as an artist/catalyst, on re-orienting to indigenous mind and regenerating an essential relationship with Earth wisdom. She is past recipient of the Lila Wallace International Artist Award and her work has been exhibited and is in collections in the US, Europe and New Zealand. She continues to find passion, renewal and nourishment from all of the Earth’s expressions.

She is currently Artist in Residence at the University of Vermont, and a member of the Leadership Team in the Sustainability Masters Program as well as a current Whistenon Public Scholar at the Kettering Foundation.

Part 1 — Opening check-ins

Part 2 — Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees: Guidance from Ancestors

Part 3 — Seed Question

Part 4 — Circle of reflection: Debra Roberts, Libby Traubman, Jerry Green, Len Traubman, Jed Davis, Xiaojuan Shu, Wendy Berk, Aryae

Part 5 — Additional reflections: TwoTrees, Jeb, Debra, Wendy, Aryae

Part 6 — Closing check-ins

Interfaith Spiritual Travelers Jan. 8

Interfaith Spiritual Travelers — Jan. 8

Spiritual travelers
from all backgrounds and traditions,
sharing experience — seeking wisdom.

Debra Roberts: The Sacred Path of Bees

First Speaker:
When you first meet Debra Roberts there are two words you’re likely to hear right away: bees, and Appalachia. Debra is a natural beekeeper and international honeybee educator, speaker, mentor, advocate, artist, and writer. She stewards her bee sanctuary in the Appalachian Mountains, where she and her husband Joe live outside Asheville, North Carolina.

She travels around the world to speak and teach on subjects like:

  • Natural Compassionate Beekeeping
  • The Sacred Path of Bee: Beekeeping as a Sacred Practice
  • Love as the Ultimate Activism
  • Women and Beekeeping: Women’s Ways in the Apiary and How They are Changing Modern Apiculture

I am a honeybee educator, speaker, and advocate. I teach and travel around the world, and I am totally bee-sotted. I am not commercial and rarely harvest any honey. My bee sanctuary is right next to our house in the mountains of Western North Carolina. It is a place that is holy to me. I spend time there every day that I am in town. My path is to explore sacred relationship with the bees, to learn from them, and to inspire and support others in doing the same, and it is also to provide a safe place for bees to flourish in the world….

We depend on honeybees for over a third of the food we eat… It is my belief that many of the challenges in this world stem from our disconnect with nature — both within us and outside of us. When we steward bees in a bee-centric rather than business-centric way, there is an opportunity to learn about the interconnectedness we share with all life.

From an interview on With Five Questions.

Update: the original book title quoted in this article, The Song of Increase, Returning to Our Sacred Partnership with Honeybees, has been updated to Song of Increase: Listening to the Wisdom of Honeybees for Kinder Beekeeping and a Better World.

More at About Debra Roberts.

Part 1 — Opening check-ins

Part 2 — Debra Roberts: The Sacred Path of Bees

Part 3 — Seed Question

Part 4 — Circle of Reflection: Libby Traubman, Len Traubman, Polly Lazaron, Kamyar Houbakht, Seda Seyrek, Rabbi Diane Elliot, Wendy Berk, Rabbi Eli Cohen, Offuh James Offuh, Sonja Werner, Derya Albayrak, Akindele Bankole, Mary McHugh, Aryae

Part 5 — Debra: Further reflections

Part 6 — Closing check-ins

Interfaith Spiritual Travelers Circle — July 17, 2016

July 17 Interfaith Spiritual Travelers Circle

Spiritual travelers from all backgrounds and traditions,
sharing experience — seeking wisdom.

Rumi, Soul Centered Living, and the Wisdom of Not Knowing

First Speaker:
Kamyar Houbakht was born in Iran and grew up in Dubai, where he attended graduate school, received his business degree, and started a high tech company. He now now lives with his wife Seda in Turkey.

In 2008 Kamyar attended a seminar with business and organizational guru Peter Senge, which changed the direction of his life. In a private conversation between the two of them Senge asked Kamyar, “What do you truly want to do with your life?” As Kamyar reflected more and more deeply on this question, he was led to the decision to leave the business world in the autumn of 2008 in search of his soul.

Since then he has come across people who share the passion for exploring and creating new ways of living that serve the well-being of the planet in the long run. In community, they have been co-learning and co-creating learning journeys that re-align our living patterns with the deeper patterns of life; patterns of the soul. His journey has been highly inspired by his great grand mother’s way of living, Sufi wisdom (mostly Rumi’s poetry and Eshraq philosophy), Jungian psychology, Axladitsa Avatakia learning ecology, and many friends who dare facing the challenges of the collective journey of wholeness.

Simorgh Wisdom School

Simorgh is a collective journey of seeking wisdom. It is an exploration around the HOW of meeting our Inner / Collective wisdom, while responding to the challenges of our time at personal, community and global levels. In the Sufi literature, Simorgh represents the eternal source of healing, inspiration and wisdom. It also refers to a group of birds who travel through challenges of finding wisdom, letting go of limiting beliefs and assumptions that keep them away from acknowledging and expressing their inner Truth. As they surrender their attitude of knowing, embracing their collective capacity to sit with not-knowing, they begin to meet their Inner / Collective wisdom.

The journey is highly inspired by Rumi’s poetry, and the ancient silk thread that bridges east and west, beginning from Aegean, through Anatolia and Persia. It is also inspired by the root-wisdom of each traveller no matter where on earth they belong to.

Music for Farewell

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