A Global Roots Fundraiser for the Amala Foundation: Think Globally and Act Locally in Austin

On Sunday June 24th, I attended an inspiring night of community, music and art.

Entrance to CTC Garden. Photo by Lucas

It was the 6th Annual Global Roots fundraiser held at CTC Garden in East Austin to benefit the Global Youth Peace Summit. The event was presented by the Amala Foundation along with CTC International, Urban Roots, The Austin Junior Chamber of Commerce, The Khabele School, and Generous Art.

Indu Agrawal and Tammy Howard with the Amala Foundation. Photo by Lucas

It was certainly a lively and engaging night of live global music. The line up included Bamako Airlines, Minor Mishap Marching Band, Hard Proof Afrobeat. The evening was kicked off with ZaBoomBa: An Interactive Drum Experience, lead by Kenya Masala. He had the crowd drumming in call-and-response style that brought us all into focus.
It was fantastic.

Kenya Masala of ZaBoomBa leading the interactive drum experience. Photo by Lucas

Click here to see ZaBoomBa: An Interactive Drum Experience, lead by Kenya Masala

Vanessa Stone, Founder of the Amala Foundation, (seated left). Ryan Jordan, Executive Director, (standing). Photo by Lucas

There was a silent auction and an art show presented by Generous Art which included work by Jennifer Chenoweth whom I recognized from the East Austin Studio Tours. Aside from being an accomplished artist, she cooks a great Posole, but that’s another blog. Speaking of food, delicious Indian cuisine was available on sight, à la Austin trailer style. I enjoyed a plate of spicy lamb stew and rice among good company.

Face painting with Randi Southard and Laven Blumoff. Photo by Lucas

This year’s Global Youth Peace Summit, August 12-19th will unite 70 youth from 25+ different countries for an 8-day youth summit devoted to cultural exchange, heart-centered dialogue, healing, and exploration of self and world.

Face painting was enjoyed by Talia Masala and friend. Photo by Lucas

As of post date, The Amala Foundation raised $4,000 which will enable them to purchase airline tickets so that two Kenyan youth will be able to attend this year’s Global Youth Peace Summit. While they have yet to raise enough money to cover their passport, visa and scholarship fees, we trust that this funding is on its way ($2500 additional).

Maya Adjani. Photo by Lucas

It was a delight to meet Maya Adjani, of Breathe, Eat, Dance, Evolve and to sample her home-made raw chocolates.

If you feel inspired to help support these youth as well as other under-served, local and international children in their efforts to make a difference in their communities and in their lives, you can make a tax-deductible donation by visit: www.amalafoundation.org/donate.

For more about the Amala Foundation and the Global Youth Peace Summit
visit: www.amalafoundation.org

Blog by Lucas

An Evening with Deepak Chopra: “The Future of Wellbeing” at the Long Center

It was one of the biggest draws I’ve seen at the Long Center. Deepak Chopra, M.D., Godfather of the mind, body, medicine movement and author of more than 60 books, begins the evening presentation with an overview on the state of our “well-being”.  A timely subject, considering the current state of our health care system. Dr. Chopra urges us to “shift our thinking”, to a new paradigm, that is, to take responsibility for our own health.

Flower Mandala courtesy of David J. Bookbinder

As a pioneer, he has carved the path for a generation of practitioners we have today, teachers, healers and medical doctors alike. I remember when his name was just getting out and his revolutionary concepts broke barriers in the medical field. Here we are today, decades later and Dr. Chopra’s insights continue to prove true. Being a yogini, I was thrilled to hear affirmations of my beliefs.

Dr. Chopra explains, if we look at our “physical body as a process” rather than solid matter, we will realize that we are in a constant state of transformation. Our body is continually re-generating. For example, our skeleton system regenerates every three months, our stomach every 6 weeks. Our thoughts, feelings, emotions effect our physiology, either positively or negatively.

From a scientific perspective, if we are constantly changing, then who are we? This is the question of all times. Scientists have no theory for this one, just yet. But new scientific studies are proving we are capable of changing our own genetic code. By intentionally changing our state of being, we can change our DNA. Powerful medicine indeed.

Having practiced yoga (pre-revolution), I know first hand, the transformative power of these yogic principles. We can use meditation to enter into a state of “divine consciousness” to tap our vast resources, “pure potential”, the “infinite mind”. When our mind, body, soul, spirit is connected, it brings us into a state of balance.These principles change our vibratory rate and effectively regulate our genes. Simply put, we can change what is happening in our bodies.  It’s exciting to hear Dr. Chopra corroborate that the scientific community is catching up.

Ultimately, Dr. Chopra concludes, the future of well-being is in our own consciousness, this is the evolution of healing. To experience our whole-ness and interconnected-ness, he guides us in a group meditation, asks us to focus on and repeat to ourselves, “I AM”.

To see more David J. Bookbinder works, go to: www.davidbookbinder.com

Blog by Lucas