Description: This podcast takes a different focus as we deal with COVID – 19 that has hit our planet and our country these past few weeks. We deal with uncertainty, statistics, and isolation as we struggle to handle the implications for our society and the world. Brother Mark’s message is timely. Through the stories of St Francis of Assisi and St Clare, he engages us in a timeless message that our world is Holistic. We are a part of this world, one species interrelated to all species. I hope you hear St Francis’ message: go do what you came here to do. The time is now.
About My Guest: The Rev. Br. Mark Gregory D’Alessio is a Franciscan friar in the new religious society of the Companions of Francis and Clare. He’s also an interspiritual Christian priest, spiritual director, chaplain, retreat leader, author, and past President and Executive Director of the Psychotherapy & Spirituality Institute, which draws together the inspiration of the church with the wisdom of psychological care.
A graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, he is now a faculty member and community leader. He’s also a faculty member at All Faiths Seminary International for the training of interfaith ministers. A long-time seeker and practitioner of spiritual wisdom, he’s initiated into multiple spiritual lineages, both East (Buddhist) and West (Christian); does his best to affirm the Christian Wisdom tradition within a wider inter-spiritual framework; and, looks to God’s science and spiritual heroes (such as Thích Nhat Hanh and Francis and Clare of Assisi) as sources of inspiration and hope. He’s committed, as a Franciscan, to serving those who are sidelined and at risk.
Currently, Br. Mark lives on Long Island and serves as a crisis counselor and program coordinator at a shelter for men and women who are homeless and as a chaplain at a residential treatment center and school for children with learning and emotional disabilities. Moving to Long Island, he founded the Franciscan Circle, a progressive, interfaith gathering of clergy and lay people who seek to journey in mind and heart with the witness and wisdom of the Saints of Assisi, Francis, and Clare. The Circle is dedicated to developing leaders for thoughtful social action and spiritual care.
The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless awarded Br. Mark with their “Unsung Hero” Award last year.
Transcript: Brother Mark D’Alessio
As a child, I didn’t like crawly critters like worms. It took me a while to get comfortable picking one up. Whether in garden beds, composers, sighting a worm hopefully means the soil is being aerated, decomposition is going on and in general, there’s a sigh of “it’s a good thing.” Kids are fascinated too. Worms are easy to hold and handle and make for a successful hands-on show and tell. Gardeners like to look for worms too. It took me a while to get used to them. But as a gardener, I now know how invaluable they are to maintaining healthy soil.
Vermiculture is the official name for using red wiggler worms to decompose waste materials. Other types of worms help out too. What I found particularly helpful is that you can keep red wigglers in the house for table scraps. Their decomposed poop, known as worm castings, are especially good to add back into the soil.
“Because the earthworms grind and uniformly mix minerals in simple forms, plants need only minimal effort to obtain them. “ (Wikipedia)
Nightcrawlers and red wigglers are frequently mentioned in vermiculture. But, we now have an “invasive” species of worm. What’s the difference?
My podcast guest this week, Gail Reynolds, gave us an introduction to worms as composters and how we can use them in our homes to decompose vegetable matter. Pretty interesting right? She tells us how to have them in our home which works well in the winter. Worm castings can be made and added to our garden beds even in winter.
A nightcrawler/dew worm eats soil. A Red Wiggler, Eisenia fetida, eats decomposing matter like rotten fruit, vegetables, manure. They are reddish in color.
Jumping worms, however, Amynthas spp., are a different story. They devour forest floors rapidly and then flood the floor with nutrients. Our forests use matter that decomposes more slowly so we don’t know the long term implications yet. And the decomposing matter is larger, more grainy like coffee grounds which alters soil composition, especially for understory plants. The photo below, from Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources site, gives a good visual of the damage they can cause. these worms have a white ring around them and slither like snakes and can move quite quickly.
What can you do? Know your worms. If you should find any jumping worms inform your state’s agricultural department. Wisconsin has a ban on them. Sadly we are seeing them in our forests here in the NE. Spring is here. It will be good to get outdoors. As you garden be vigilant. Many invasive species are harming our landscapes.Together, one yard at a time, we can make a difference. Enjoy. Judith
Description: Composting is always a great topic for gardeners. Gail Reynolds, the coordinator for the University of Connecticut’s Composting Program, returns to share her tips and insights on what creates good composting practices. She discusses the difference between natural worms versus Asian worms and why they are good or bad for composting lawn and kitchen debris. Join us for an educational discussion on composting.
About My Guest: College and Master of Forest Science degree from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In addition, she holds five information security certifications. Gail is a long-time natural resource and Yale alumni volunteer, including Chair of the Haddam Conservation Commission, Officer of the Haddam Land Trust, member of the Lower Connecticut Land Trust Exchange, Haddam Plan of Conservation and Development committee member, Salmon River committee member, Connecticut Botanical Society board member, Executive Board member of the Yale Science and Engineering Association, Yale student mentor, and Yale alumni interviewer of prospective undergraduate students. She is currently the coordinator for UConn Master Composter Program
Transcript: Gail Reynolds
” If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Nikola Tesla
I taught holistic health studies at a state university for several years. I found it puzzling to realize how little most folks knew about complementary and alternative modalities (CAM). We had fun exploring the different types of healing modalities that were not routinely taught in medical schools though today that is changing.
I intended to inspire them to look beyond the western medical model, based on pharmaceuticals and surgery. And when we concluded I reminded them that color and sound vibration were the medicines of the future.
My podcast guest this week, Ed Cleveland, an advanced Gong practitioner, Holographic Sound Teacher with advanced training in 5 Elements Healing from a Bonpo perspective, is a remarkable sound healing practitioner. I scheduled a visit with Ed to experience first hand the range of instruments, singing bowls, gongs and more that he mentioned.
He reminded me of my holistic classes. Students could choose to research sound as a healing modality and they often did. I hoped their research opened doors within them that sound vibration, for example, was not new and held gifts for healing.
Pythagoras prescribed music as medicine and believed that musical intervals are clear experiences of sacred geometry. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a study that showed music/sound was effective for both patients and caregivers helping to soothe, relieve stress. Music and sound have an impact on addiction recovery, chronic pain and releasing stress and anxiety.
Sound healing includes many instruments – crystal bowls, singing bowls, gongs, drums, flutes and more. My experience with sound healing proved to be soothing, relaxing and the variety of sounds that can be created from a large gong is nothing short of amazing.
Look for a sound practitioner with a Bonpo background. Ed used sounds that correlated to the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. I felt the wings of a bird, heard the tides coming in and out, aware of the drumbeat of the earth. All in all, it was awesome.
Sound vibration healing is making its way into our awareness and our choices. The ancient ones knew this. Shamans from long times past to the present used drumbeats in specific patterns to enter more trance states. Each culture whether using drums and flutes, didgeridoos, harps or metal bowls, chanting grasped the value of sound healing. I hope you will consider visiting a sound healing practitioner in your area. I would love to hear how sound affects you and in what ways? Thanks. Your comments are always appreciated. Enjoy. Judith
Description: My guest this week, Ed Cleveland, is an expert in the use of gongs, Singing Bowls, and other instruments. He offers private and group sessions that include harmonic sounds with energy work. Join us for an engaging discussion through the science and art of sound as a healing modality.
About My Guest: Ed Cleveland is the founder and owner of The Ed Cleveland Reiki &Sound Therapy Training Center
located in Hartford, CT. He is an advanced Gong Practitioner, Neuroacoustic Sound Practitioner, Master Reiki Teacher & Holographic Sound Teacher, Medicinal Aromatherapist, as well as a national award-winning Martial Arts Teacher. Ed brings forth three decades of personal education and experience in his private practice and teachings.
Transcript: Ed Cleveland