Integrative Suggestions for COVID Prevention

Dear TNS Friends:

Thanks to so many of you for supporting The New School this giving season. We are so grateful. If you didn’t get around to making a contribution, no worries! Just make your contribution here. Start the new year supporting our unique approach to living and learning in this brave new world.

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Are you tired of COVID? Most of us are. The hopeful view is that omicron signals the movement from pandemic to endemic. The hope is that COVID will keep getting lighter and easier to live with. That’s the hope. But, not so fast. We are tracking COVID on a little website called covidstrategies.org. It is unique on the web. We post on all sides of the pandemic. Our advisors differ vigorously but kindly with each other. We leave it to you to make up your mind.

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The main question I have is why mainstream medicine refuses to take integrative approaches to COVID prevention and amelioration seriously. We know obesity is a major risk factor for serious COVID. We know that being elderly, having cancer or diabetes, or being immune deficient greatly increases risk. While many people get mild case with omicron, some get severe cases. Continue reading

Fall Letter: Stones and Souls

Dear Commonweal Friends:

I hope this letter finds you well. You will soon see the Commonweal Year End Report. This is my personal letter to you.

I’ve organized the letter around seven topics:

  • What Oren Slozberg has brought to Commonweal.
  • The 212th Cancer Help Program returns—outdoors.
  • Sanctuary, our on-line Cancer Help Program, born in the pandemic, here to stay.
  • Healing Circles Global growing rapidly around the world.
  • The re-launch of Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies as Cancer Choices.
  • The Change—Choosing resilience in the face of the polycrisis.
  • Picking a stone for our gravesite.

Continue reading

Ask for a Miracle

Dear New School Friends,

How do we live in this time? It is a question I ask myself again and again. For many, there is little choice. It is a time of such anguish for uncounted millions around the world.

But what of those of us who have a sufficiency? Food, a roof over our heads, a bed, a safe place. What of those of us whose primary suffering, other than the sorrows of our own personal lives, is grief at the fate of the earth?

How do we live?

There can be no single answer. Often our own private joys or sorrows are sufficient to displace our anguish over the Great Suffering. Continue reading

Sources of Hope in the Face of COVID and the Polycrisis

Dear New School Friends:

I hope this finds you well.
I’ve been thinking about sources of hope in the face of COVID and the polycrisis.

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COVID

COVID isn’t going away any time soon. In fact COVID will be with us for the foreseeable future.

I’ve started a little experimental website called CovidStrategies.org where we are tracking COVID in ways you won’t find elsewhere. First, we post and comment on key science and news developments. Second, we track repurposed drugs and integrative therapies for COVID prevention and treatment. Third, we situate COVID in the global polycrisis. Continue reading

Work on the Side of Angels

Dear New School Friends,

First of all, I want to thank all of you for staying with The New School through the past year of extraordinary turmoil. The pandemic, the politics, the disruption of our lives, and all the rest. I want you to know that The New School is alive, vibrant, and benefitting from the guidance of Kyra Epstein, my partner in all The New School’s work.

It’s been some time since I have written to you, although I have continued to record New School conversations (which you can find on our website). As some of you know, the past year has been an interesting one for me. I had a major surgery for an abdominal aortric aneurysm  at the end of July 2020. I went through seven months of steady recovery. Then I was told I could exercise. I did and immediately popped some hernias along the incision line. I was told I needed a second quite significant surgery to put mesh over the hernias. But a wise old vascular surgeon told me that, in his experience, people my age (77) who have a second significant surgery before the first is fully healed rarely regain their full energy. He said I would know when my first surgery was healed when the incision line turns white. I am still a good distance from white. Continue reading

Spring Letter from Michael Lerner

Dear Commonweal Friends:

I hope this finds each of you as well as you can be.

What a year this has been.

While the whole world wallowed in the anguish of the pandemic, the Forbes list of millionaires increased their net worth from $8 trillion to $13 trillion. There are now 2755 billionaires—up 493 from last year.

While the United States freed itself—and just barely—from the predations of an authentically pathological leader, more than 40% of the country remained in his thrall, following him blindly into a world of alternative facts and false narratives.

While the pandemic and its many sequelae occupied the headlines, the global polycrisis continues to unfold: two dozen global stressors—social, environmental, technological, and financial/economic—interacting with increasing unpredictability and force.

In the midst of it all, Commonweal continues to thrive. We are thriving because this is our time. The world wants and needs beacons of light like Commonweal. We’re here to serve. And we are stronger and more vital than ever before. Continue reading

The Rainbow Sign: Resistance, Resilience & Restoration in the Global Polycrisis

We founded Commonweal 44 years ago. Our vision was to support healing ourselves and healing the earth. We have worked toward that end ever since.

Healing differs from curing. A cure ends a disease. Healing is a movement toward wholeness. Healing can take place when we are recovering, or when we are living wounded, or even dying.

Our work with people with cancer now spans 34 years. It is all about healing while living wounded or dying. Now our healing circles work is moving around the world.

Our work on healing the earth began with regenerative agriculture in the Commonweal Garden. Continue reading

Inquiry into the Nature of Jewish Faith

Rabbi Irwin Keller, at his family grave in Germany

Dear New School Friends:

Many of you know that just over six months ago I had a life-saving surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. The six-month recovery was often arduous. The whole experience catapulted me into a new stage of life. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful for the new stage of life. I am grateful for it all.

I recently did a spiritual biography conversation with New School Host and Rabbi Irwin Keller, just after he was ordained as a full-fledged rabbi. I have always considered myself half Christian on my mother’s side and half Jewish on my father’s side. I sometimes describe myself as a Jewish Christian Buddhist Yogic Sufi with Taoist influences. The spiritual biography with Irwin helped me change something deep in my spiritual identity. I came to understand myself as fully Jewish and fully Christ centered. Both sides of my heritage are now complete rather than being half and half. Continue reading

Indra’s Web of Friends

Dear New School Friends:

I hope the new year finds you as well as you can be. As many of you know, I had a lifesaving five-hour surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm at University of California San Francisco Medical Center at the end of August.

The surgery and the recovery literally catapulted me into a new stage of life. I have worked with people with cancer and other life-threatening conditions for more than 35 years. It is quite another thing to experience a life-threatening condition and a major surgery oneself.

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I am beyond grateful for this new lease on life and for this new stage of life. I have turned over the active management of Commonweal to Oren Slozberg and our gifted leadership team. I meet with them weekly to provide my counsel. And I continue to focus on the projects I am most involved with—the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, our new online Cancer Help Program named Sanctuary, Healing Circles Global our recent website Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies, The Resilience Project and its philanthropic partner the Omega Resilience Funders Network, and, of course, The New School at Commonweal.

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If the last six months has catapulted me into a new stage of life, the past four years has certainly catapulted our country into a new stage in our evolution. So much has been written about this that I hesitate to add much of substance. But we know that we cannot go back. And we know that the path ahead is fraught with both dangers and opportunities. We have often taken democracy for granted over the course of my lifetime. We clearly do not have that luxury anymore. Continue reading

Fall Letter

November 2020

Dear Commonweal Friends:

I hope this personal letter finds you well. Writing weeks before you receive this letter is an almost impossible task. The Republic is at risk. Our world is changing in ways we can scarcely imagine. But Commonweal rises to meet the challenges. We have done that for 44 years, with courage, creativity, and compassion.

In this bi-annual letter, I will step back back and look at Commonweal as a whole. I will describe our most active programs in health and healing, education and the arts, and environment and justice.

Right at the start, I do want to ask you to continue to support our work. In this unprecedented time in which we are living, Commonweal matters more than ever. Continue reading