Friday, October 22, 2010

Brenda Shoshanna, Interview #108

Name: Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.d.

Where you live: Manhattan, NY

What you do as a vocation or avocation? I'm a psychologist and speaker. Founder of Compassionate Care During Illness and Loss (Psychological, Emotional and Spiritual Guidance). As an avocation- playwright.

Your two favorite books: The Stranger, by Camus. Teachings of Huang Po

Your two favorite songs: What I did for love...

Why you are interested in spirituality? I've been a Zen practitioner for over thirty years. It's my very life itself, and allows me to see no difference between spirituality and each moment or person I meet.

Your favorite quote: "There is no wisdom or holiness that is ever an excuse for the failure to love in ourselves or others."

Your favorite web sites:

Your hero? My brother, Daniel who live and loves unconditionally.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? To become a true woman of no rank, and to know that "wherever I go is my home, in the universe."

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" The zendo

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Enuma Okoro, Interview #107

 Name: Enuma Okoro

Where you live: Raleigh/Durham, NC

What you do as a vocation or avocation? I am a writer, retreat / workshop leader.

Your two favorite books: The Road to Daybreak by Henri Nouwen, and the other book is constantly changing depending on what I am reading at the time!

Your two favorite songs: "A Little Sugar in My Bowl" by Nina Simone and most anything by Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, or Ben Harper.

Why you are interested in spirituality?- Because it is the very fabric of which I am made. I believe we were all created in the image of God. So by nature are very beings hunger to embrace the spiritual life.

Your favorite quote: "I believe the world is beautiful and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone." (from a poem, "Like You" by Roque Dalton

Your favorite web sites: hmmm, I have to think about that one.

Your hero? -Anyone who does something for the greater good of others.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? -How to trust God more readily with the desires of my heart, while also learning that our desires might differ.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" - I always strive to make that place where ever I happen to find myself....

Websites about Enuma's work:

Recent NPR interview:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cathy Rosewell Jonas, Interview #106

Name: Cathy Rosewell Jonas

Where you live: Eugene, Oregon

What you do as a vocation or avocation? Besides my relatively new path as an author, I’ve been a counselor and social worker for the past twenty years. I likely get as much out of these interactions as those I serve, as I get to view life from a variety of perspectives and witness a colorful array of human emotions—tender, serious, sad, humorous, and inspirational. When clients connect to the strengths they already have, or are motivated to make positive changes I am reminded of why I do this work. I also offer some spiritual exploration/meditation groups, and especially enjoy helping serious seekers individually.

Your two favorite books: I will choose one that inspired me on my spiritual path, and one that simply touched my elephant-loving heart: Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now,” and Ralph Helfer’s “Modoc: The true story of the greatest elephant that ever lived.”

Your two favorite songs: Hard question. I listen to a lot of new age and chanting inspired by India’s classical music. But, if I had to choose two of my favorites, I’ll go with “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd, and “Drifting” and “Water Shows the Hidden Heart” by Enya.

Why you are interested in spirituality? Spirituality is an area that I both struggled with and eventually found peace of mind through its mysterious practices. It is my highest desire to be of service and help others find their way home to their own hearts, otherwise known as the Heart of Awareness. I love that spirituality is so diverse. One does not need to follow a certain path, or even call themselves “spiritual” in order to reap the benefits of living life with greater mindfulness and compassion. Because of my own struggles and eventual path to clarity I was inspired to write my book, “Bringing Home the Mountain-Finding the Teacher Within.” I share from the heart what helped me, and the specific teachings and insights that finally ended my intense journey of seeking. At the peak of my seeking one of my teachers told me, “Cathy, its just not that serious!” It’s true. I now try to help others lighten up on their path, as what we are looking for is ever present and is never separate from us. In fact, I’m now sure that God (Consciousness) has a sense of humor!

Your favorite quote: (Oh, I will need to choose two). “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller.


“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual being having a human experience.” ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Your favorite web sites:

Your hero? Mother Teresa, but there are so many others who likely will never be recognized. A hero to me is someone who follows their dreams with unwavering devotion, follows the mysterious calling of the heart, and/or soars to a higher purpose to be of service.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? 
Okay I’ve got to admit this one. A little more patience with the divine movement of the Universe. An energetic fire burns within me when a new life adventure is beginning. I used to get this feeling only once a year, but now it is happening more often. So far this fire has led me to write, publish my book, travel to India three times, and even a new job opportunity. I know we are all guided to the experiences we have and to the people we are to meet, but I must admit to some impatience creeping in now and again as I sit in the fire of unknowing waiting for the specific details to manifest.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?"
 I would change the question to “especially” connected as I always feel spiritually connected to life when I am in nature. My top two heart-opening places of all time are the sacred water fountains in Muktinath, Nepal, and the holy mountain Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai, India.

For more about Cathy: