Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dawn Baumann Brunke, Interview #93

Name: Dawn Baumann Brunke

Where you live: Wasilla, Alaska

What you do as a vocation or avocation?
Writer & editor. Animal communicator & dreamer.
I'm the author of three books: Animal Voices; Animal Voices, Animal Guides; and Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions. All three are about talking with animals. Really? Can we talk with animals? Yes, that's the hook, but deeper still the books are about connecting in a heartfelt way with nature and our planet, with others -- especially those who think differently than we do -- and, perhaps most challenging, with ourselves.
I'm also the editor of a health & wellness magazine here in Alaska. I love to help new writers find their voice.
And I dream. A lot. I'm fascinated by the stories that come to us in our dreams. A theme throughout my writing -- and my life -- is how we might make better use of all that untapped wisdom.

Your two favorite books:
Only two? The favorites I'm reading right now are The Holy Man/Woman trilogy by Susan Trott, The Secret Teachings of Plants by Stephen Harrod Buhner and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Your two favorite songs:
Today my two favorites are k. d. lang's version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' and 'Peace Train', both the original by Cat Stevens and his newer version as Yusuf Islam.

Why you are interested in spirituality?
I've always been curious why people believe what they believe, and how different cultures use myth/stories to speak about the divine. I think some of the juiciest questions of life arise out of this thing we call spirituality. For me, spirituality holds our greatest fears (death, the unknown) and our greatest longings (love, discovery of self, connection with god/all that is). It shows us where we are, within ourselves and within the world.

Your favorite quote:

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." --Rumi

Your favorite web sites:

ted great talks and "ideas worth spreading"

lumosity fun place to recharge the old brain batteries

betterworldbooks good for readers; good for the earth

amazon helpful place to check out book excerpts

netflix because I can easily watch a film a night

craigslist cool place to sell & buy locally

Your hero:

I think we're all heroes; I think we all have amazing abilities and unique qualities that we have to share with the world. It's inspiring that certain people are willing to take on these projections--the greatest, the fastest, the highest--and reflect that outward, encouraging us to find our own hero within. Right now my heroes are the polar bears. These highly adaptive, intelligent survivors who spend long, dark winters alone on the arctic ice are the ones who shine bright within my dreams.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?

Trust, trust, and more trust.

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

Near or on water. There is something about water that speaks to me deep inside.

To read more about my books and/or contact me:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sherre Zwelling Hirsch, Interview #92

Name: Sherre Zwelling Hirsch

Where you live: Los Angeles. CA

What you do as a vocation or avocation? Rabbi, writer, mom

Your two favorite books: The Places you will Go by Dr. Seuss: The Lonely Man of Faith, Soloveitchik

Your two favorite songs: I hope you Dance Leanne Womack; Lucky by Jason Mraz

Why you are interested in spirituality? Pursuing something greater than myself is in my blood. Coming from a long line of spiritual seekers and rabbis, I knew from an early age that I was asking questions of meaning and purpose long before most people.

Your favorite quote: Luck is the residue of design.

Your hero? My mom. She has lived her life with courage, bravery, humility, compassion and humor.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? To stay in the present even when it feels intolerable. All feelings pass. They are not facts.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually 'connected?' so many places. God is everywhere I let God in. Sometimes even the market."
You can see more of Rabbi Hirsch's work at

David Ensign, Interview #91

Name: David Ensign

Where you live: Arlington, VA

What you do as a vocation or avocation? Pastor, Clarendon Presbyterian Church; peacemaker with Christian Peace Witness; seeker of justice with People of Faith for Equality Virginia

Your two favorite books: Taylor Branch's trilogy, America in the King Years and David Duncan's The Brothers K

Your two favorite songs: Suite Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills and Nash and the entirety of Rutter's Requiem

Why you are interested in spirituality? I am always interested in what I cannot quite grasp that has, nonetheless, grasped me

Your favorite quote: 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.'

Your favorite web sites:, and because, as some president observed, I prefer to start the day with the sports page because it contains stories of human triumph rather than the front page which is filled with human failure; because it is such a useful site for preachers; for its progressive politics; facebook because it helps me stay connected with far-flung friends

Your hero? Martin Luther King, Jr.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? patience

A place in the world where you feel spiritually 'connected?' Camp Hanover outside of Richmond, VA

You can find me virtually at and