This newsletter is emerging from a silent and
reflective space created by experiencing
Ancient Greece, though through the filter of
life in 2009.
I decided to do something a bit different
this month. Rather than writing articles
before I embarked on Jack O'Connor's "Ancient
Wanderers" trip, I decided to "sit in the
void," and see what emerged from my journey
through archeological sites...Almost like an
emotional archeologist, waiting to see what
rose to the surface in an emotional
What follows is what has emerged and found
its ways into words.
For those of you who have been waiting for
the next Healing the Traumatized Heart
workshop, I will be leading one on
Monday, August 24 from 6:45 - 9:45 pm in
There will also be a weekend Healing the
Traumatized Heart workshop on Sunday,
October 25 from 2 - 5 pm in Newton.
If you are interested in Apprenticing in
EKP, I am starting to take applications
for the next apprenticeship group beginning
in January 2010. For more
information, read the programs section in
this month's newsletter.
Articles in this issue include: "Passion
and Legacy: Passing It Forward"
reflecting on the power of mentorship and
inspiration as it is passed on from one
generation to another,
"Sacred Song on Sacred Grounds," and
"Honoring the Feral Cats and Dogs of
Greece," who are sadly both plentiful and too
often neglected and rejected.
Your comments and feedback are always welcome!
Passion and Legacy: Passing It Forward
While in Greece, we visited the Rion-Antirion
the world's second largest cable-stayed
links the Peloponnese with mainland Greece.
This bridge, the vision of Prime Minister
Charilaos Trikoupis, expressed in 1889, was
inaugurated the week before the 2004 Summer
Olympics in Athens. The Olympic Torch passed
over the Bridge on its way to Athens. Both
Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics torches
reside in the business office by the bridge.
To me, the Olympic torch is a symbol of a
continuing legacy. The torch allows the
Olympic flame to live on over time, being
passed from one person to another, in an
on-going relay of human endeavor. I came to
realize during our trip, that this image and
metaphor applied to our experience in a very
Our journey leader, Jack O'Connor, was
carrying a torch himself, and we were lucky
enough to be the recipients of its flame.
When Jack was 12 or 13, the age of his
students who were participating in this trip,
he had an inspirational teacher who sparked
his internal flame, igniting a passion for
history that has guided his path from that
Just as Jack took the torch and has kept the
flame alive over the course of his life, all
of us who had the privilege of participating
in the Ancient Wanderers trip, had an
opportunity to take in the richness of the
experience that Jack's knowledge and passion
illuminated for us.
Being guided to sacred sites by someone who
has fully embraced the emotional, historical
and spiritual significance of them is a
profound and enriching experience. The
significance of each place was brought to
life by Jack's rendering of what happened,
why it mattered, and what unfolded as a
result of the story that lived in the ground
above or beneath our feet.
Walking through places that held stories
dating back 3000 to 4000 years is truly
breath-taking, never mind the archeological
beauty and wonder of what was created long
before the technology of today's world was
One of the most poignant moments for me, was
when Jack took us to the site of the Battle of
Thermopylae, where the Spartans were defeated
in 480 B.C. Unlike some archeological sites,
which are rich in structures and relics, this
site is more barren, but nonetheless, very
historically significant. Jack walked us
through the land, letting us imagine what it
felt like to be there on the battleground,
using the mountains and the water and the
contours of the land, feeling the heat of the
Grecian sun, and imagining how things
actually played out many years ago.
We walked up a hill to the Stone Lion erected
to commemorate the last stand of King
Leonidas I of Sparta. Jack brought with him
a bottle of olive oil with herbs to leave at
the Stone Lion site, as a gesture of honor
and respect for Leonidas and the Battle of
Thermopylae. As he put down the olive oil,
he pulled out from his traveler's pouch a
piece of paper, on which he had written a
very moving poem, which spoke to his feelings
about this profound historical moment in time.
Jack's words touched my heart, but his own
emotional connection to the moment of
rendering the words at this sacred site
penetrated even more deeply. As tears
interrupted his reading, I was deeply moved
by the model he was providing for this group
of mostly young boys.
Here, a "gentle giant"
who was captain of his high school wrestling
team, and had played college rugby, was
sobbing with passion at the recognition of
the human and historical significance of
where we were and what it meant. His tears
came with both strength and grace. And
unlike in our typical American,
vulnerability-fearing posture, there were no
apologies for the great show of emotion, but
instead, a sense of recognition of how deep
the feelings went. Jack offered both passion
and humility, and I found this a profoundly
special gift for a group of 13 year old boys,
and the rest of us who were fortunate enough
to share this sacred space.
I have always felt that teachers have a very
powerful opportunity to plants seeds of
possibility in the hearts and minds of their
students. To experience and witness the
care, connection and love Jack brought to his
students, not only in the classroom, but also
extended into private life and real time, was
spectacular and deeply moving.
I am so grateful my son has had the
opportunity to know and study with a teacher
who embodies the very highest possibility of
what teaching can be about.
And I am very grateful that I too could be
there to witness and experience these special
moments myself, both as my son's mother, but
also as a human being.
I trust that, in time, the legacy will
continue to pass forward, and the flame in
Jack's torch will find its way to illuminate
the lives of others as these boys grow into
men and find their paths through life. And
perhaps, one day, someone from this group,
maybe even me, will bring friends or loved
ones to this very site, and share the story
of both what happenend in 480 B.C., and what
happened in July of 2009 as well.
©2009 Linda Marks
Please share your thoughts...
Sacred Song on Sacred Grounds
On Day 6 of our journey, we visited
Epidauraus, the world's oldest
stadium/theatre. The site dates back to 1200
- 1400 B.C. Our Greek tour guide,
Theodaurus, told us that the structure was
constructed using principles of sacred
geometry, ratios one finds in the
relationship between parts of the human body,
as well as in components of sacred architecture.
The structure was in remarkably good
condition, and we learned that during the
summer a concert series takes place at
Epidauraus. The acoustics there are
extraordinary. When you stand at the very
center, sound carries and fills the entire
stadium, from top to bottom. No electronic
amplification is needed. I could imagine an
actor standing at the very center rendering
his lines, and projecting the majesty of his
voice to a full-capacity audience.
Theodaurus asked for a volunteer to speak at
the center of the stadium, and my son
volunteered, having just completed two weeks
of camp at Improv Boston. He spoke his part,
and we had an illustration of the way the
However, a singer was needed, and in our
group, that was me. While I have sung in all
kinds of venues and contexts over the
years--from solo performance to singing in
jazz clubs with back-up musicians, choral
singing, and even being the lead singer on a
couple of occasions with a rock band, the
thought of singing at the sacred site was
daunting for me.
Though I know hundreds, if not thousands of
songs, nothing seemed appropriate for this
place and time. The tune of a French
madrigal I had sung in high school came to
mind, "Mon Couer," and I started singing what
remember, sort of quietly, just testing the
waters. Katrin, our tour director told me it
was beautiful, and to sing some more. I told
her I truly just didn't know what was right.
Theodaurus told me to sing "Amazing Grace,"
so I did. With my eyes closed, standing at
the very center of the stadium, I let my
body feel the vibration and the energy that
filled this sacred site when sound was
emitted. The intensity of the actual
kinesthetic sensation was very different than
anything else I had ever experienced.
Funny how though I
could feel the energy and the vibration that
emanated when singing at the center of the
stadium, I had no idea what it felt or
sounded like in the "stands" where people had
out and gathered. Singing in the stadium was
like throwing a pebble into the ocean, and
seeing it skim a bit and then disappear.
At the end of my song, an applause broke out
from all around the stadium. Many other
people were visiting the stadium in addition
to the group I was part of, and they were
watching and listening as I sang from the
Katrin, who had taken my photograph with my
mouth wide open in proper singing form, told
me, "They like it! Encore!" Had my repetoire
included opera, perhaps I would have
continued. But singing Bacharach/David,
Barbra Streisand or even the best of Broadway
felt out of place. So, quietly, I took a
humble bow namaste, and stepped out of the
It would be fun to return and sing again,
this time with some musicians behind me. And
I would love to hear a recording of the
sound, so I can experience the quality and
energy of my voice as the audience receives it.
Share your thoughts on this article...
Honoring the Feral Cats and Dogs of Greece
While many of us consider our four-legged
companions virtually members of our families,
and sometimes our closest and
companions, sadly, in other countries, cats
and dogs are not
always held in such a light.
Buddy Dog, a wonderful animal shelter in
Sudbury, is often full of Puerto Rican street
rescued and available for placement in loving
Four-legged animals are not seen as
companions or even respectable living beings
in many countries. At best, they are seen as
working creatures who have to earn their
keep. At worst, they are seen as pests or
unnecessary nuisances who human beings can
kick or abuse or treat poorly just because
they feel like it. And sadly, Greece is one
of the countries where this kind of attitude
While some people DO keep cats and dogs as
pets, plenty of people do not look at
four-leggeds with a companion mindset at all.
In most of the cities we visited
during our travels, feral cats and dogs
abundantly roamed the streets, and even the
dry, isolated bits of countryside we drove
While it is hard to be a street cat or dog in
Athens, at least there are central places
where people gather, so that water fountains,
restaurants where food scraps may be tossed
and even places of shelter from the burning
sun may be found. My heart grew heavy as we
were driving in the parched countryside where
few dwellings could be found over many miles
(or kilometers), and an emaciated dog was
walking on the side of the road.
had this poor doggie gone without food or
water? And could he or she even make it to a
place of shelter before
he or she collapsed from the intensity of the
sun? Would he or she be hit by a car as s/he
traveled down the road? Would s/he just die
from starvation and dehydration silently?
Time and time again, we passed mostly dogs,
wandering alone on the side of isolated
roads, far from food, water and shelter, and
at risk of dying from harsh conditions and
lack of care.
In Athens, I noticed feral dogs wearing
collars with tags attached. Katrin, our tour
director, informed me that when Greece was
hosting the 2004 Olympics, the legions of
feral animals were considered shameful, so
the government started a spay and neuter
program. The animals received a small bit of
care, before being released back to the
street, but no longer able to reproduce.
Most of the ferals were very loving and
friendly. However, we were warned not to
touch them, because they had not been given
their shots, like American cats and dogs.
On the island of Hydra, we were greeted by an
abundance of feral kitty cats. Red tabbies,
black and whites, tortoise shells cats, brown
tabbies, and more exotic Abyssinian looking
patterns graced the streets and the side
walks. Most were too thin and clearly
hungry, meowing as they passed us by.
One of the highlights of that day was sitting
at an outdoor cafe for lunch, and realizing
the kitty cats needed my lunch more than I did!
With great joy, I offered the top of my
moussaka to a nursing mommy cat and a
pregnant mommy to be. Both cats were
starving, and feasted at my offerings.
Realizing that the kids in our group left
much food behind, we started to gather
meatballs, feta cheese and other appropriate
offerings, and provided it to the legion of
cats. Boy cats, girl cats, young cats, old
cats, mommy cats and kittens all flocked to our
table and feasted on our leftovers. I felt
much more peace in my heart as we left the
cafe and got ready to board the ferry to
leave the island. At least we had done one
small good deed for the day, and a handful of
cats had full bellies for even a short while.
At Epidauraus, one of the archeological sites
we visited, Katrin and our local guide,
Theodaurus, had noticed that some feral
puppies had been born in January. Whenever
they visited this site, the visited the
puppies, and often brought along food for
them. Theodaurus had brought along some
cheese for the pupppies, so as my group
explored the site, I went along with Katrin
and Theodaurus in search of the puppies.
We searched and searched, but the puppies
were not where Theodaurus had seen them
several days prior. We did encounter a
kitty, who was hungry, and Theodaurus broke
off a piece of the cheese for the cat to
Finally, as our group was beginning to
surface and head for the bathrooms, we found
the puppies. They were gathered by a trash
can where someone had left a piece of meat.
Bees were swarming around the meat, and one
of the puppies was stung by the bees. I
gladly brought over some fresh cheese, so the
puppies had another alternative.
When I feed our dog (Alex's and mine),
Golden, if a few bits of food fall out of the
dog dish, I can point to them with my fingers
or even my feet, and Golden will eat them.
With the feral puppies, I would drop the
cheese, and they would only eat what they saw
at the moment of the drop. If a piece was a
few inches away, and I tried to guide them to
it, the way I might interact with Golden,
they became very scared. They weren't used
to this kind of guidance. So, I would have
to pick up the uneaten piece of cheese and
toss it again for the puppies to actually eat it!
Towards the end of the trip, when I was asked
what made the strongest impression on me, in
spite of the majesty and magic of all the
archeological sites, I realized what I would
take with me most deeply was the plight of
the legions of feral dogs and cats that roam
the streets and countryside of Greece.
I kept imagining that if one day I am able to
generate a large sum of money, I would want
to set up a non-profit organization that
would provide food, shelter and medical care
to the ferals of Greece.
I hope that, in time, more and more people
will come to value these creatures as
valuable beings. In the meantime, I am
grateful for people like Katrin and
Theodaurus, who love animals, and try to help
the ferals whenever they possibly can.
Share your thoughts....
Would you like to learn how to do EKP?
Applications are being accepted for the
2010 EKP Apprenticeship Program. The
apprenticeship group meets once a month for a
weekend training session. For more
information, contact LSMHEART@aol.com or call
Linda at (617)965-7846.
The Thursday night EKP Therapy Group has
openings for a couple new members. An interview
and one EKP session are required to apply.
Linda if you are interested at LSMHEART@aol.com
The next two Healing the
Traumatized Heart Workshops, are on
Monday evening, August 24 from 6:45 - 9:45
pm, and Sunday, October 25 from 2 - 5
pm, both in Newton.
Join us for an
experience of heartful
To enroll, send an e-mail to
LSMHEART@aol.com, and a check for $50 to
Linda Marks, 3 Central Avenue, Newton, MA
02460. Please include your name, phone
number, address and e-mail.
Come visit the EKP booth at the Spirit of
Change Expo in Sturbridge, MA on
Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, 27. We
will be running a Student Clinic, led
by 4th year apprentices on
Saturday. Linda be be giving a workshop
from 4:30 - 6 pm on Saturday, as well.
On Tuesday, September 29, I will be
presenting as part of Jan Wall's Holistic
Psychology class at Lesley University
onThe Power of the Heart in Body
And on Tuesday, October 6, Linda Marks and
Alan Krentzel will be leading a Stress
Management for Peak Performance event for the
Sloan School of Management Alumni Association
EKP opportunities in Newton include:
- Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
- On-going Thursday night EKP Body
Psychotherapy Group (which currently has room
couple new members)
- On-going Sunday EKP Monthly Process
Group (which also has room for a couple new
- Apprenticing in EKP
If you would like a Healing the
workshop near you, or have a group of people
who you would like to bring EKP to, please
To find out more....