Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey - Places to Go and Things to Do

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, and encouraging exploration of South Jersey.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

New Jersey Monthly January 2017 Review of Good Articles

You may not get to read as many magazines as I do because I LOVE them, and buy then half dozen at a time, so when I come across one that I think has articles worth sharing, I will bring them to your attention.

The first article in the above mentioned magazine that caught my attention was about the saved Martin Luther King residence in Camden, NJ.  I am always thrilled when a building that holds historic importance is saved and can be repurposed to share that history with the rest of us.  Martin Luther King lived at 753 Walnut Street in Camden for three years from 1948 to 1951 while he attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pa.  Patrick Duff, an independent historian discovered a legal complaint filed against a bar in Maple Shade, NJ in 1950.  He and three companions were unjustly thrown out of the bar during what I must presume was an act of discrimination.  Now, I grew up in Maple Shade, but we didn't arrive there until 1957, during the great exodus from South Philadelphia, created by the growing families of returned veterans of World War II, seeking larger homes and green yards, as well as better schools.  The independent historian, Patrick Duff launched a campaign to save the house from demolition with a plan to create a history museum and NAACP office.

The second article I found useful was in relation to a New Jersey farm and medical practice dedicated to the proposition that food is medicine and can either make you sick or healthy.  This is an idea to which I completely agree.  I have been predominately a vegetarian for most of my adult life.  The practice was set in motion for me by a book Diet for A Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe which I read sometime in the 1970's when my then-husband and I were engaged in a health reclaiming pursuit after he had suffered some severe problems inclouding an infection in the lining of his heart.  We took up hiking, biking, and vegetarianism.  At his Long Valley Farm, Dr. Ron Weiss grows organic foods in restored quality soil and treats sick people in a year-long program culminating in a 14 mile hike.  He cites many success stories in the article.

The third article was about mindfulness which is also a practice I try to keep to on a regular basis.  I find walking meditation helps me best and I often resort to the MANTRA:  BE HERE NOW, when I find myself sinking into despair over some news story, or circling around and around a whirlpool of worries about the future or our country or the planet.  Yesterday, a short burst of tears and sadness were instigated by an NPR interview with a chef who talked about her recipes using "baby octopus" and how much fun it was to catch them while they tried to escape.  She claimed, "That's why they exist, to be eaten by us.  That's their purpose"  Unfortunately, I had just read an article in a science magazine about how smart the octopus is, similar in intelligence to a dog, and how much more sensitive and intelligent its limbs are.  The idea of that chef chasing those poor terrified baby octopi around to kill them and eat them just made me sad.

But, back to the magazine.  Needless to say, I got home, turned off the car and the radio, and did a little mindfulness to recognize that it was thinking, it was beyond my control, and I could reduce my suffering immediately by simply Being Here Now in my own vegetarian home where my animals are all safe and loved and where we try in as many small ways as possible to be compassionate inhabitants of the planet Earth.  I don't believe any other creature exists to be used by me for any purpose.  Even my animal companions have their own lives and I consider them friends who share my shelter not "pets" who belong to me.  

The article on Mindfulness, page 29, is very good.  Many magazines and books have featured theories and cases to demonstrate how mindfulness can improve your health.  If you are wondering what that means, "Mindfulness" well in my personal understanding of it, it means being aware of your thoughts, your actions, and our existence in the present.  Too often we dwell on the past, which is gone, the future, which hasn't arrived, and we let the richess of our present moment get hijacked.  Mindfulness teaches you to recognize that your thoughts are only that - kind of like passing weather systems, and you can always turn them off and return to the present.  Of course, needless to say you are better off getting some books and audio tapes and reading articles to teach you the fulness of meditation practice.  My recommendation is anything by Pema Chodrin, who has been my teacher and mentor through many hard times.  She has more than a dozen well written, clear and enlightening book, and I also have half a dozen of her audio cd-s that I play when I need a refresher.  When Things Fall Apart, is a special favorite of mine.  But perhaps you want to start with the magazine article.  There is also a meditation group that used to meet at the Collingwood Senior Community Center, but I never attended that one.  And there is a Buddhist residence in Shamong Twp. that holds Sunday meditations that a friend of mine has attended but I haven't been there either.  Good Luck!

So that's it for today, 1/15/17, Sunday.  As always, I hope my small and humble efforts bring some enjoyment or usefulness to someone.  I have been told it is too complicated to leave comments for many readers so if you want you can contact me at wrightj45@yahoo.com.

Happy Trails!  (Today was gorgeous, Trixie and I walked around Knights Park in the sunshine and fresh weather enjoying the beautiful trees.)

No comments:

Post a Comment