LAURA SHANNON

FOLK DANCE - CIRCLE DANCE- SACRED DANCE - WOMEN'S RITUAL DANCE

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Tonight, Thursday, 2 July: Global Meditation & Prayer for Greece

 


Laura Shannon
Folk Dance – Sacred Dance – Circle Dance – Women's Ritual Dances
Tonight, Thursday, 2 July:
Global Meditation & Prayer for Greece

 

July 2, 2015

 

Dear Sacred Dance friends,

At 11 pm Greek time tonight,
(10pm CET, 9 pm GMT, 4pm EST, 1pm PST)
you are welcome to join a

Global Meditation & Prayer for Greece

Full information below.

I will be lighting a candle tonight and I hope to feel your presence then too. 

As you know, I believe in the power of prayer; when human efforts appear to have reached their limits, it is time to ask for help from the realm of spirit. I believe that your efforts will help now, when help is needed.
 
 Thank you for joining us. 

With love and blessings from the cradle of democracy,

Laura


This is how the organisers describe tonight's event:

"Greece is going through a deep economic crisis, fear and uncertainty, and Greeks need, more than anything else, our loving energy and healing prayers.

"A Global Synchronized Meditation & Prayer for Greece is organized by Link∞Media for Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 11pm Athens
(9pm CET – 4pm EST – 1pm PST), with the help and support of Unifyenallaktikidrasi.com and other international organizations.

"Visit FB event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/719350194860147/

"This is a moment of opportunity for all of humanity to connect for the greater well-being of all of Life on the Planet.

“Let’s generously open up our hearts and start feeling Unconditional Love, Joy, Abundance, Oneness. Let’s experience how Life would feel in Greece, Europe and the whole Planet… our Mother Earth, when it is filled with laughter, joy, security, health, food and housing for everyone… when we remember that co-operation, symbiosis, friendship, brotherhood, justice, abundance, love, peace, balance and harmony with our Selves, our Fellow Humans and all the Inhabitants of our beautiful Planet is our Natural State of Being.

"How would it feel if politicians in Greece, Europe and globally, were real friends, speaking and acting in Truth, real Leaders inspiring everybody to become a Leader!

"Let’s stay in that state as long as each one of us needs to feel and experience the elevated emotions of our consciousness.

"Then, let’s give our thanks to the Universe and our Higher Self – the One and the Same that unify us all – in gratitude of what we just lived energetically soon to become matter. And so be it!

"Whoever wants can close the meditation by synchronizing his/her heart with the Divine Plan of Human Awakening currently in progress…
Times are calling for unity and cooperation and All of us are needed.

"Let’s put our knowledge into action in order to feel our own Greatness and experience our maximum potential, as we link with each other to create a new story TOGETHER!!

Connect, Share, Support!"

 
 
 

The Greek Crisis: Laura's updated blog post on FAR

Dear dancing friends,
 
Things are happening very quickly here in Greece. 
 
In a recent post on my blog Greek Fire (updated today on FAR with links to breaking news) I predicted that the point of combustion in the negotiations would be over pensions. It's a simple clash of cultures. In Greek society, elders are respected and elder care is a sacred obligation.
 
Pensions in Greece have already been brutally slashed by 48% overall, and two-thirds of pensioners are below or at the poverty line;  if pensioners’ income is reduced further, people fear they will be unable to support their parents and grandparents. And such a sacred duty, for Greeks, is non-negotiable.

By insisting on further drastic pension cuts, therefore, the lenders have put Greece in an impossible position (knowingly and deliberately, according to Paul Krugman and other commentators - see links below). The only other option the European side will allow is for Greece to default on their loans and exit the euro – totally absurd, given that there are so many other possible sources apart from pensions for the money for the loan repayments, many of which were proposed by the Greek side but rejected by the troika.
 
You can read the updated version of my article 'The Greek Crisis: Grandparents on the Table?' today on FeminismAndReligion.com and you are welcome to leave your comments:
 
If you consider yourself to be a lover of Greece, Greek music and dance, or the democratic principles on which Europe was founded, I invite you to light a candle: for Greece, for democracy, and for a society of social justice and peace. When human efforts appear to have reached their limits, it is time to ask for help from the realm of spirit. I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe that your efforts will help now, when help is needed.

I invite you to also read these key articles and draw your own conclusions:

For Greece’s international creditors, regime change is the ultimate goal (Daily Telegraph)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/11706630/For-Greeces-international-creditors-regime-change-is-the-ultimate-goal.html

Europe’s Attack on Greek Democracy (Joseph Stiglitz)
http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/greece-referendum-troika-eurozone-by-joseph-e–stiglitz-2015-06

Grisis (Paul Krugman)
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/grisis/?_r=2

Where did the Greek bailout money go? (Guardian)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/29/where-did-the-greek-bailout-money-go

With love and blessings from the cradle of democracy,
 
Laura
 

The Greek Crisis: Grandparents on the Table?

Laura Shannon
Folk Dance – Sacred Dance – Circle Dance – Women's Ritual Dances

 

June 21, 2015

 

The Greek Crisis: Grandparents on the Table?

So, even the right-wing Daily Telegraph now excoriates the IMF, EMU and other lenders for its irrationally hostile and punitive approach to the current negotiations. In two recent articles, financial columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard articulates eloquently the problems which now threaten to derail Europe, the euro and by extension the world’s financial system. 

Bravo to him for speaking up in this tense moment when much of the mainstream press continues to circulate the unexamined propaganda picture of Greece as naughty teenager. The real problem, as Evans-Pritchard says, is that the IMF is 
‘colluding in an EMU-imposed austerity regime that breaches the Fund’s own rules and is in open contradiction with five years of analysis by its own excellent research department and chief economist, Olivier Blanchard.’

Greeks have tried the IMF’s austerity prescriptionthese past five years, swallowing every bitter pill in the troika’s prescription.  At their insistence Greece has implemented more fiscal consolidation, wage and pension cuts, and tax rate increases, and suffered greater unemployment and loss of GDP, than any other country in peacetime.

Even a child – perhaps especially a child, if we are talking about the hundreds of thousands of hungry Greek children – can see that this method is not working. As the Wall Street Journal has revealed, the IMF’s own members foresaw the utter unfeasibility of the original bailout program from its very beginning.

Evans-Pritchard also says, rightly, that Greek Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis’ latest proposal for an agreement is thoroughly sound, finding it ‘rational, reasonable, fair, and proportionate’. I invite you to judge for yourself. You can read Varoufakis’ proposal and the text of his contribution to the most recent Eurogroup meeting here.

The mainstream press repeat that the key sticking point is ‘pension reform’, which sounds innocent enough, and gives the impression that Greece is being unreasonably stubborn over an issue of no value. However, what does ‘pension reform’ mean? Pensions have already been cut by 48% overall. The base pension has been reduced to 350 euros, forcing pensioners into a struggle for survival. Already two-thirds of pensioners (and a third of all Greeks) are below or at the poverty line. As other family members have lost jobs, homes, businesses and prospects, often that grandparent’s pension is providing crucial support for several family members.

This picture of the grandparent helping support their children and grandchildren throughout their lives is quite alien to western and northen Europeans, and yet it is firmly at the heart of Greek society. Elders are almost universally cared for within the family; old-age homes are extremely few. Like the sacred hospitality offered to guests and strangers since ancient times, elder care is considered a sacred responsibility, and elders themselves are universally treated with great respect in Greek society. 

In general, members of families and networks of neighbours and friends can be counted on to help one another, even when everyone is struggling desparately; this is how Greeks have managed to survive the terrible effects of the man-made ‘crisis’ up til now. However, if pensioners’ income is reduced further, amid the disastrously rising prices and rates of unemployment, pensioner deaths, suicides, illness and infant mortality, people fear they will be unable to support their parents and grandparents as their duty demands. And such a sacred duty, for Greeks, is non-negotiable.

This respect for elders, therefore, is at the heart of the Greek resistance to further cuts to pensions. For the same reason, Greece does not wish to consider raising VAT on medicines and electricity bills, two further measures on which the lenders continue to insist, and which will of course hit these vulnerable elderly the hardest. Why this insistence by the lenders on such harsh measures which will have the worst impact on society’s weakest members? It would be far better to ask the wealthiest Greeks to contribute a little more in taxes, yet the lenders continue to resist this idea.

In my view, if the lenders force Greece to default on their loans and exit the euro, it will be because of this one point. Europe wants Greece to throw their old folks on the trash heap, but I do not believe that Greeks will ever do that. So, the grandparents are now precariously on the table, instead of safely at the table, where they belong, to be helped and fed and cared for throughout their lives.

Alexis Tsipras, the young leader of the Syriza government elected early this year on an anti-austerity platform, has said that if the new proposal is rejected, he will call a referendum (which undoubtedly should have been done before) and let the Greek people decide. This is how democracy works.  His goverment does not have a mandate to tighten the screws of austerity further on innocent Greeks. If the IMF and EMU act to prevent this referendum, as it did with George Papandreou (in what conservative Evans-Pritchard calls a coup by a monetary junta), it must take responsibility for turning the beautiful country which was once democracy’s cradle into its grave.

Laura Shannon

 

 

Summer Solstice: Light a Candle for Greece

Laura Shannon

Folk Dance – Sacred Dance – Circle Dance – Women's Ritual Dances

 

June 21, 2015

Dear dancing friends,

 

I bring you greetings from Greece, on this fine summer solstice day. As we can sense the sun hovering at its highest point before the balance tips towards the days of summer shortening towards autumn, we here also perceive, right now, a sense of hovering at an unknown point of change, waiting to learn the outcome of the current Eurogroup talks on the fate of Greece.

In my recent article, Greece: Grandparents on the Table? I share my perspective on a clash of cultures within the current negotiations, and enclose links to several articles which may interest you if you have been following the Greek situation. There is much more to what is happening than what the mainstream press tends to report, and it is always good for intelligent people to look a little bit behind the scenes and decide for themselves.

Finally, at this point on the very cusp of the summer solstice, I invite you to send your good thoughts, prayers and positive energy towards a peaceful and successful resolution of the current impasse between Greece and its creditors. When human efforts appear to have reached their limits, now is the time to ask for help from the angelic and other benevolent non-human realms. I do believe in the power of ritual and prayer, and so I believe that your efforts – perhaps simply to light a candle for peace – will be of great help now, when help is needed.

With love and blessings in the dance,

Laura

 

Spring Equinox: Balance and New Beginnings

March 20, 2015
 

Dear Dancing Sisters!                    


Today is the Spring Equinox, the New Moon and a partial Solar Eclipse. This rare configuration of events will not happen again for over two hundred years.

I invite you to welcome and celebrate the sacred themes of Balance and New Beginnings on this auspicious day, themes which traditional dances can always help us invoke and integrate.

As you are friends of Greek dance, now is a particularly good time to send positive thoughts to our beloved Greece, and I have two suggestions for practical ways we can do that.


Firstly, I invite you to show your support in the Greek humanitarian crisis by signing this Avaaz petition.
It asks for for medical care to be exempted from the drastic cuts to social services demanded of Greece by its creditors, including the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

Mass closures of hospitals and clinics and mass firings of doctors, nurses and essential medical staff have led to a sharp rise in infant mortality rates as well as many illnesses. Since medical care is tied to employment in Greece, the quarter of the adult population which has been thrown out of work now has no access to health care.


'Austerity' has become a matter of life and death here.  This petition is particularly important because it originated in Germany and acknowledges Germany's complicity in the Greek humanitarian crisis through the insistence on brutal austerity measures which have caused untold suffering to the innocent and the poor. 

Your solidarity now means so much. At a time when the banking industry shows not even the pretence of concern for the high human cost of the pursuit of profit – and make no mistake, the Greek 'debt problem' is generating enormous profits for foreign speculators – and governments almost universally support the banks over citizens, it is up to individuals to demonstrate our sense of shared humanity and common destiny.

In this way we can invite balance once again into politics and economics, and help nurture the new hope and new beginning which the new Greek government has dared to initiate.


Second, I invite you to 
celebrate life with Greek dance this year! There are many opportunities which I warmly recommend, including my own workshops of Women's Ritual Dances on Lesvos, June 10-17, 2015, at the Milelja Inselgarten Centre, and in Mani, August 30-September 6, 2015, at the Mani-Sonnenlink Bio-Hotel and Retreat Centre. Both these events are for women only. I also recommend seminars offered by my friends Babis Almpantis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Kyriakos Moïsidis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Best of all, you can also have an authentic and unique Greek dance experience this summer in the UK, as we have invited 
Dimitris Barbaroussis to be the guest teacher at the Findhorn Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song. See sidebar for more information about Dimitris and the Findhorn Festival, now entering its 29th year!

Along with Dimitris, teachers at this year's Festival include: Peter Vallance (Sacred Dance), Susanne Anders Bartholomäi (TanzMeditation), Barbara Swetina (Sacred Song), Bill Henderson (Scratch Orchestra), and other teachers and musicians. I will be sharing Armenian Lyrical Dances and other Armenian, Greek & Balkan ritual dances, with live music from Kostantis Kourmadias. For information on bursaries and special non-residential prices, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As you will know if you have danced with me, traditional

women’s ritual dances are among the oldest circle dances. Simple yet profound, they celebrate the sacredness of the natural world, and help us reconnect with ourselves, each other and the cycles of life.  Coming from cultures which have survived many times of transition, these dances open doors to ancient wisdom and joyfully guide us through our own life changes. Strengthening our own capacity for creative change gives us the courage to show solidarity with those friends who need our support at this time.

On the holy day of the Spring Equinox, I invite you to send your loving prayers for balance and new beginnings  to our brothers and sisters in Greece - and everywhere else in the world where suffering is being deliberately permitted, not to say provoked. We've seen that we can't count on European governments to do the right thing to relieve suffering when profits stand to be made. It is we ordinary people who must show that we care about community, hospitality, and mutual support – the highest traditional values, which have been Greek treasures since ancient times.

For more thoughts along these lines, check out my recent articles, 
All We Are Saying Is Give Greece a Chanceon the Feminism and Religion website, and Values of Community and Sustainability: Surviving Austerity in Greece on my blog Greek Fire.

For information about any of my workshops in Greece, Europe or the UK, please visit my website or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

I hope to see you in the circle!
With love and blessings in the dance,

 

Laura