Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
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Communicating with the self within; John Hoad, Leader Emeritus

September 23, 2007

T.S. Eliot has written: “Between the idea / And the reality… Between the conception / And the creation / Falls the Shadow” (“The Hollow Men”). John Hoad will explore with us how to deal with that shadow – the gap between intention and performance. It requires that we get in touch with ourselves. John’s wife, Karen, runs a hypnosis practice (she studied under Don Mottin of Saint Louis), and observing her remarkable results, John has been studying how we connect with our subconscious mind for better control of our lives.

Deeper connection: The ethical journey; Kate Lovelady, Leader

September 16, 2007

The theme for our 2007-08 season is communication: What kinds of communication qualify as “ethical” and how can we make deeper connections within ourselves, between each other and between the Ethical Society and the wider community? Come join us to hear about several exciting new programs this year that will help us make these deeper connections and get inspired and reinvigorated for your own ethical journey, whatever its focus may be—personal growth, political action, social service, meaningful work, lifelong education, strengthening relationships, friends and family ties.

The Ethical Movement seeks to prevent the ethical ideal from petrifying. No matter how sublime an ideal is for one time, it must be vivid in our own lives. The ethical ideal must ever be a growing ideal adapted to changes in society, changes in self, changes in the circumstances of life. – Felix Adler

Fall festival; Bob Pickard, Andie Jackson, and Tucker Overmann

September 9, 2007

At Platform, our Leader, Kate Lovelady and members Bob Pickard, Andie Jackson and Tucker Overmann will share with us a favorite piece of literature that has had a significant and lasting affect on their lives.

A design for living; Nora Beiswenger, PhD

August 26, 2007

Dr. Nora Beiswenger considers herself a continuing student in many ways and has discovered that uncertainty can often lead to unexpected delight, that spontaneity can create new opportunities, and that audacity does produce remarkable responses. Crucial influences in the formation of her approach to life have come from family, friends, laughter, music, literature, film, and art. She is ready to “kick it up a notch” and share some of what she has learned.

Nora is a native of Michigan who earned B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan before teaching English, American, and World Literature at Clarkson University in New York State and at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, retiring in 1994. Her specialization was 19th and 20th century women writers. She is a member of the Ethical Society.

Our Jewish roots: Ethical Culture and Reform Judaism; Kate Lovelady, Leader

August 19, 2007

The founder of Ethical Culture, Felix Adler, was brought up in a Reform Jewish household, the son and grandson of rabbis who were influential in Germany and America. Although Felix eventually chose a different religious path, his roots had a strong influence on his ethics, his beliefs, and the practical organization of the movement he founded. This platform address will explore some of the history of Reform Judaism in the mid-to-late 1800s and its impact on early Ethical Culture, using as a source the study by Benny Kraut, From Reform Judaism to Ethical Culture: The Religious Evolution of Felix Adler (pre-reading not required!).

Kate Lovelady has been the Leader of the Ethical Society of St. Louis since 2005. Previously, she was Leader Intern at the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture, the Ethical Society of Austin, and the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

Tune into TV ethics; Tom Rogers

August 12, 2007

Is there such a thing as ethics in television? KMOV Producer Tom Rogers will discuss the struggles of daily TV news coverage. Get an insider’s look at what goes on behind the scenes at a local television affiliate. Details at 11 a.m.

Tom Rogers is a promotion writer/producer at KMOV-TV, the CBS affiliate in St. Louis. His responsibilities include the production of the commercials that promote the anchors and reporters of NEWS 4. His career started at a small station in Charleston, South Carolina, and in the past 20 years has taken him around the country. He has received several Missouri Broadcasting Awards, Emmy Awards and, this summer, he won the top television promotions honor, the PROMAX Gold Medallion. Tom and his wife Kit are members of the Ethical Society.

St. Louis jazz: Race and other issues; Dennis Owsley, PhD

August 5, 2007

In face-to-face interviews about his book, City of Gabriels: The Jazz History of St. Louis 1895-1973, Dennis Owsley found that although issues in the book such as race, the musicians’ unions and other sensitive topics were discussed, they were not found in the final printed stories. This platform address will examine some of these topics.

The host of KWMU’s Jazz Unlimited show since 1988, Dennis Owsley is a retired research scientist, part-time teacher, author and photographer. A fan and student of jazz since age 15, he has become one of St. Louis’ foremost experts on local contributions to the art form. He and his wife Rosa are members of the Ethical Society.

Hinduism and modern life; Anita Mehra

July 22, 2007

How do the ancient ethical traditions of Hindu and Sikh fit into modern western life? How do practicing Hindus and Sikhs meld their prevalent beliefs into contemporary beliefs? Several core Hindu concepts will be discussed: Karma, the belief in cause and effect., i.e., what you radiate outwards comes back to you in some form; Detachment, living in the world yet in touch with an inner world; Enlightenment, acquiring knowledge of the Self; Mantras or word formulations that are believed to evoke inner wisdom, i.e., the power of using specific words and symbols to guide one’s thoughts and actions.

Anita Mehra is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice. She is a nationally board-certified hypnotherapist and has been studying guided imagery for 10 years under Dr. Robert Fiebiger, a clinical psychologist practicing in St. Louis for the last 30 years. Anita has lived in the United States most of her life. She learned yoga as a child from her grandparents and her mother. She was raised in the Hindu tradition that emphasizes there are basic truths in all religions and philosophies. She studied classical Indian dance for 13 years under famous teachers in the U.S. and India. She most recently studied meditation under the guidance of Prince Hirindra Singh of Patiala, who has given her insight into Eastern traditions such as those of Hindu and Sikh philosophies.

Mindfulness, ethics, and positive psychology; Ryan M. Niemiec, PsyD

July 15, 2007

This presentation will continue our series on the fascinating, blooming area of mindfulness meditation, this time from a modern social-science perspective. Mindfulness, which means becoming aware of our moment-to-moment experience without judgment, is both a technique and an approach to life. Dr. Niemiec will discuss how mindfulness can help individuals live in a healthy, ethical, and meaningful way. He will emphasize practical tools and resources that anyone can begin using immediately. The area of focus is the connection of mindfulness and the new positive psychology, a field that studies the science of human virtues (e.g. courage, humanity, justice) and strengths (e.g. curiosity, gratitude, fairness, social intelligence).

Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D. is a local psychologist who works in two settings: 1) St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, where he works with people with health problems, depression, chronic stress, chronic pain, and anxiety. He is on staff with the Program for Psychology and Religion, a program that treats priests and people in religious orders. 2) SLUCare’s Primary Care and Prevention Center, where he is a consultant to physicians in an “integrated care program,” helping to improve the overall health of the patients in the family practice. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He gives local, regional, and national lectures and workshops on a variety of topics, such as integrated care, mindfulness, and spirituality. He is co-author of the book, Movies and Mental Illness, and co-author of the forthcoming book Positive Psychology at the Movies.

Mindfulness: Ancient wisdom for modern times; Bridget Rolens

July 8, 2007

The Buddha explored deeply the human experience of suffering. His exploration revealed to him how we create suffering in our lives and how we can end that suffering. He invited others to explore for themselves this phenomenon of suffering and developed a method for that exploration called the Noble Eightfold Path. We will focus on two elements of this path – ethical living and the practice of mindfulness – and see how they work together to free our minds and hearts from old habits of reactivity that bring suffering to ourselves and others. Our time together will include experiencing mindfulness through a guided meditation.

Bridget Rolens, MA, OT, teaches meditation as a spiritual practice and as a tool for stress reduction. She is a co-leader for the St. Louis Insight Meditation Group and a program facilitator for the mind-body stress reduction program at Masterpeace Studios. She holds an MA in Theology and a BS in Occupational Therapy. Thirty years of experience in traditional healthcare and in a variety of spiritual practices rooted in the Christian, Buddhist and 12-Step Recovery traditions have given Bridget a strong understanding of the connection between body, mind and spirit in promoting health and well-being.

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