Coming Back For Love In Five Favorite Romantic Films

August 29, 2015

Ken Chawkin:

Formerly posted as: Time for some humor and love — WELCOME BACK

Originally posted on The Uncarved Blog:

Saw this on a friend’s Twitter feed. Too funny to not share. Made my day!

WELCOME BACK

Words are not needed here; it says it all, but I couldn’t resist. Welcome back to the school of life. Seem familiar? Did we learn our lessons well? No? Having to repeat a class? Time for a fresher course, and then some! Maybe we’ll get it right this time around. You think? If not, there’s always the next class, the next life, with more lessons to be learned. :-)

COMING BACK FOR LOVE IN FIVE ROMANTIC FILMS

Made in Heaven posterWhen it comes to getting it right for love, I recommend my all-time favorite romantic movie: Made in Heaven(1987), about two souls, played by Timothy Hutton andKelly McGillis, who meet and fall in love in Heaven. Annie (McGillis) is sent to Earth and Mike (Hutton) makes a deal to…

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@AriBerman—Political Writer—Then and Now

August 18, 2015

Ken Chawkin:

Ari Berman

Ari Berman, courtesy of Ports Bishop (cropped)

I updated an earlier post with links to Ari Berman’s new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America; his NY Times Op-Ed piece; Democracy Now interview; Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross; and his invitation to participate at The White House panel commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act in the presence of President Barack Obama. I added those White House photos, as well as links to PDFs of Time Magazine’s The Nutshell; and articles in The Fairfield Ledger and Fairfield Weekly Reader. Originally posted http://wp.me/pD0BA-1sN

Originally posted on The Uncarved Blog:

Ari Berman: On Becoming a Political Writer

Going Off the Beaten Path for “Herding Donkeys”

by Cheryl Fusco Johnson

Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute.

Ari Berman, born in New York City, raised in Fairfield, Iowa, and a former high school journalism student of mine, recently penned Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010).  Released last month, his book has already garnered a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and laudatory comments from political writers Jonathan Alter, John Heilemann, Joe Conason, and Michael Tomasky. While visiting Fairfield recently to attend his ten-year high school reunion, Ari sat down with me for a chat.

When you attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, did you plan to become a political reporter?

When I went to journalism…

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ET Canada correspondent and Radio host Roz Weston says Transcendental Meditation made him a better broadcaster

August 17, 2015

ET Canada correspondent and Radio host Roz Weston shares how Transcendental Meditation helped him become a better professional broadcaster. Roz Weston first learned broadcasting while interning with the Howard Stern Show. “The lesson that I took away from that is that success at that level is about being professional.” Today he co-hosts his own morning show on Toronto’s KISS 92.5 FM and interviews many top celebrities for ET Canada.

Read this Special to The Globe and Mail: Radio host Roz Weston finds success in meditation and professionalism. I really enjoyed this article. It’s filled with sound professional advice and tips on how to be an authentic interviewer. And for someone who works 13-hour days, it also says a lot about the sustaining power of Transcendental Meditation! The article was published Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. I posted the introduction and the section on his TM practice. You can see an introductory clip of ET Canada Sr. Entertainment Reporter, Roz Weston on YouTube.

Roz Weston ET Canada

As a correspondent on ET Canada, Roz Weston has interviewed A-listers like George Clooney and It Girls like Amy Schumer. When he’s not working the red carpet, the former Howard Stern intern is the co-host of Kiss 92.5 radio morning show The Roz and Mocha Show. It’s a hectic schedule, which is why Weston takes twenty minutes out of every day to meditate. Here, he shares some of the secrets to his success, including why he would happily interview Alec Baldwin every day.

The secret to boundless energy in 20 minutes

A few years ago I was feeling very overwhelmed by the pace of my life and the responsibilities I had. I was looking for something and I didn’t know what. I heard about Transcendental Meditation [a form of “relaxed awareness” meditation founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the mid-1950s and practiced by notables such as Jerry Seinfeld and Oprah Winfrey] from a friend. I’m not a religious person at all, so it was nothing to do with that. It was first described to me as yoga for your mind. You shut everything down, you go deep and when you come out of it you have so much energy. It is a literal recharge. In the middle of the day when we all break for lunch, my colleagues all go to the cafeteria and I go to my dressing room and meditate for 20 minutes and then I’m good to go. A 13-hour workday with five hours’ sleep is not a problem. It’s not like the kind of meditation where you sit cross-legged and clear your head of all thoughts. Thoughts come into your head and they sit there and you let them go and you go deeper and deeper. I now have  the ability to deal with issues, thoughts, information so much more effectively than I did before. I no longer feel overwhelmed. I used to feel overwhelmed every second of the day.

Read the rest of this excellent article filled with some solid career advice: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/radio-host-roz-weston-finds-success-in-meditation-and-professionalism/article25970740/

The Back Story and More

Roz had a desire to learn about Transcendental Meditation and wasn’t sure how to do it properly. So, in September 2013, they welcomed the most calm relaxing guest in Roz & Mocha history! They interviewed actor, comedian, and Certified Toronto TM teacher Lucie Guest about Transcendental Meditation on KiSS 92.5.

As you just read, Roz did finally learn TM and benefited greatly from it. This June, he was invited to meet Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer, Mike Birbiglia, and Colin Quinn—members of the TrainWreck Comedy Tour who were performing at Massey Hall. They were donating VIP tickets to the David Lynch Foundation to help bring Transcendental Meditation to at-risk teens and abused women who suffer from trauma and toxic stress. Roz also met with DLF Executive Director Bob Roth.

Speaking of Alec Baldwin, you can listen to him on his WNYC talk show, Here’s The Thing, asking Jerry Seinfeld how he found out about and learned Transcendental Meditation.

And since Roz interned at The Howard Stern Show, you may also enjoy eavesdropping on Howard and Jerry sharing their own TM stories. They seemed to have learned around the same time on Long Island. Much to Jerry’s surprise, Howard shares with him how his mother’s life was turned around after learning TM, how she took him to the local Center to learn to meditate, and how Howard had actually interviewed Maharishi twice. Fabulous!

BLUE: a translucent painting by Bill Teeple at ICON Gallery on Fairfield’s 1st Fridays Art Walk

August 7, 2015

image

It’s Fairfield’s 1st Fridays Art Walk and tonight I’m at ICON Gallery talking with owner/curator Bill Teeple about the creative process, painting, poetry, and consciousness. I’m moved by one of his new images on the wall in the smaller gallery/studio upstairs. It’s deeply blue and draws me in like a magnet.

Bill tells me it’s made of multiple layers of acrylic paint, like a glaze. It’s translucent; it glows in your awareness. Tiny white specks look like stars in the night sky. Bill says it’s the paper, meant to be part of the painting.

Click on the blue image to enlarge it and you’ll see them. Enlarge it again and stare into the BLUE, and like the Hubble telescope, you’ll discover a world that previously was not visible.

The simplicity and minimalism of the piece inspires me to write a haiku. I do, and share it with Bill who says, “That’s it!”

BLUE: A Translucent Painting by Bill Teeple

Ten Layers of Blue
Look at it looking at you
Aglow between two

image

I can’t help myself when it comes to rearranging words in lines and their meanings. Here is a second version of the haiku.

BLUE: A Translucent Painting by Bill Teeple

Ten Layers of Blue
Looking at it look at you
A glow between two

Here’s a related poem about the mystery of the creative process: Sometimes Poetry Happens.

Sali’s Nature

August 7, 2015

While feeding Sali lunch yesterday I would joke and make her smile and laugh. It was sweet. No matter how lousy I was feeling before, she made me feel better. I told her she had a happy heart and a blissful soul, and thanked her for making me feel happier. That’s when I wrote the first two lines. I thought about it some more and the next day when I came in to feed her, the last two lines came out spontaneously. She is my muse. Even though Sali is severely compromised on so many levels, she still maintains her inner nature, an inspiration to us all!

Sally has a happy heart
And a deeply blissful soul
When she laughs it all comes out
Leaving me smiling and whole

© Ken Chawkin
August 7, 2015
Fairfield, Iowa

Also see Sally’s Smile (Haiku for Nurse Dan) and Tanka For Sali Upholding Her Wonderful Nature.

The Fairfield Weekly Reader posted 3 articles on the screening of Greg Reitman’s Rooted in Peace

August 5, 2015

ROOTED-V.10js_r3The Fairfield Weekly Reader published 3 articles about Greg Reitman’s film ROOTED in PEACE: an article I wrote about the film’s upcoming Iowa premiere, a second short announcement about the screening, and a follow-up report on the reaction to the film shown at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts, including 2 photos, and 4 quotes from prominent members of the Fairfield community.

Click on the numbers and dates to read PNGs of these front cover articles published on July 23, pages 1 and 2, July 30, and August 6, 2015.

Click here to see previously published news about the film, including radio and TV reports. I also wrote an article in the July issue of The Iowa Source: Getting Rooted in Peace, which you can read in an earlier post. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the trailer.

Heartland Connection’s Alex Wilson interviews Greg Reitman about his film “Rooted in Peace”

August 1, 2015

Filmmaker brings documentary back to the Heartland
by Alex Wilson
Posted: 07.31.2015 at 3:20 PM

FAIRFIELD, IOWA — An award-winning filmmaker is bringing his film back to where it began.

The first frames of Greg Reitman’s documentary, “Rooted in Peace” were shot right here in the Heartland.

The film got its start in Fairfield during a performance by the Beach Boys.

“It’s really nice sort of to bring this film to where we first started six years ago and then to return here and to show the film. I always like the idea of full circles, so it really empowers me as a film maker to see that,” said director, Greg Reitman.

Reitman describes the documentary as a personal journey.

“Journey of one man looking for essentially the meaning of peace and he’s on a road to achieving that success and part of that journey is a holistic journey looking at the areas of the mind, the heart and the body in terms of inner-wellness.”

The filmmaker says he was inspired to make this documentary from a personal experience he had while he lived in Israel.

“I’m haunted by this idea of a mother putting on a gas mask to a 5-year-old child and in my mind I kept asking the question,” how does a mother explain that to her child?” said Reitman.

And Reitman didn’t realize how much this experience affected him until he was studying abroad in Japan.

He was with some friends visiting the Hiroshima Memorial and was confused as to why all of his friends were crying, but he wasn’t.

“It was really just moving. I came back to college and two weeks later I woke up from a nightmare and I had sweat all across my face, I came up with this concept I was going to save the world.”

“Rooted in Peace” took six years to complete and that’s due to not only figuring out the making of the film, but Reitman had to figure out the meaning of peace.

“It was also very challenging because as we working with various writers, how they understood the meaning of peace and they really didn’t,” said director Greg Reitman.

Once Reitman found out the meaning of peace, he says it was like an epiphany.

“That’s really what peace is about. If your mind is healthy, your heart is healthy, if your body is healthy, if you feel good, your world is going to feel good.”

The filmmaker says after an audience sees the documentary, it’s going to move them.

“It could take a day, it might take a week or it might take a month, but this, the content, whatever it’s doing internally to us, it’s working and that was really what I wanted to do, I wanted to wake people up and get them in touch with themselves,” said director of “Rooted in Peace” Greg Reitman.

“Rooted in Peace” will be shown at the Sondheim Center on Sunday at 7 p.m.

See KTVO video on YouTube, film trailer, and other film news here.

Ledger’s Andy Hallman reports on Greg Reitman’s documentary playing in Fairfield, Iowa on Sunday

August 1, 2015

Documentary filmed partially in Fairfield to play Sunday

By ANDY HALLMAN Ledger news editor | Jul 31, 2015

t1200-Donovan, Greg Reitman, and students at tree planting ceremony

During his visit to Fairfield, film producer Greg Reitman planted a tree with MUM students outside the university’s library. Reitman is the man in the center with the necklace. The man to the right is the singer Donovan, whom Reitman interviewed for his film “Rooted in Peace,” which will be shown at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by: Nicole Hester-Williams/Ledger

A documentary that was filmed partially in Fairfield will make its Iowa debut at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Steven Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

The film, “Rooted in Peace,” is a product of Greg Reitman, founder of Blue Water Entertainment, Inc. In a press release, Reitman said the film challenges viewers to examine their values as Americans and human beings.

“Today we are at war within ourselves, with our environment, and with the world,” reads the press release. “Director and award-winning filmmaker Greg Reitman invites viewers on a film journey to take notice of the world we live in, proactively seek ways to find personal and ecological peace, and stop the cycle of violence.”

Reitman interviewed numerous celebrities for the film such as author Deepak Chopra, film director David Lynch, musicians Donovan, Mike Love and Pete Seeger, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and more.

He also interviewed Fred Travis, professor of Maharishi Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management.

The press release states that Reitman learned kernels of wisdom from all those he interviewed.

“Reitman’s journey is an example of transformation — how one person can learn to make the necessary changes to enjoy a better life — and in so doing inspire others to want to improve their own lives, and society as a whole,” reads the press release.

Reitman said he became interested in documentaries while studying abroad in Florence, Italy, where he took a class on Italian cinema. He would go on to produce the 2008 SUNDANCE Audience Award-winning feature documentary “FUEL.”

After that, he started thinking about doing a film about all the violence in the world. An experience at JFK Airport in New York City opened his eyes to a whole new world.

“I almost got arrested for not giving up a bottle of water,” he said. “I was seeing racial profiling going on. It made me start thinking about our rights, and about what fear can do. It mirrored a world that I had lived in at age 19, when I was living in Israel during the first Gulf War.”

Reitman got in touch with Ken Chawkin, who was then the public relations officer at MUM. Chawkin encouraged him to visit Fairfield, and mentioned that the Beach Boys were going to be in town for a concert. Reitman’s wife is from Iowa, so the two decided to attend the concert.

Reitman came back a second time with Donovan for the David Lynch Film Weekend. During his second trip to Fairfield, he interviewed Donovan, David Lynch and Bob Roth.

After the film, Reitman will hold a question-and-answer session with the audience.

One of the common questions Reitman has received in his other Q and As is, “Why did the film take so long to make?” The film took five years in all, which Reitman said is not too far out of the ordinary for documentaries.

“The reason it took me so long was that I had to find peace first,” he said. “When I talked to Ken, he said, ‘Greg, you’re not going to understand peace until you come to Fairfield.’”

Reitman said he greatly enjoyed his time in Fairfield. It reminded him of another small town he filmed in, Carbondale, Colorado, with a population of just over 6,000.

Part of the film is autobiographical, where Reitman shares his person story of living in Israel and visiting Hiroshima, Japan. That said, he feels it’s more an inspirational film than a dry, descriptive documentary.

“It’s one man’s quest to seek inner peace and coming upon the roadblocks that lead him to enlightenment,” he said. “It’s about him having to unlock each of those pearls of wisdom, to understand the concept of a healthy heart and a healthy body. Then you can understand what a healthy world looks like.”

This three-column cover story with large photo carries over to a page 7 three-column section with two photos, one of Greg Reitman with Donovan playing guitar, the other of Mike Love singing on stage from the Beach Boys concert. This article is republished here with permission from The Fairfield Ledger. Click FF Ledger Documentary 7-31-2015 to see a PDF of the whole 2-page article with photos.

See other news about the film here.

On every Guru Purnima Day, Maharishi always recalled the greatness of his teacher, Guru Dev

July 31, 2015

On every Guru Purnima Day, Maharishi always recalled the greatness of his teacher, Guru Dev. Read that beautiful, profound, inspiring description in Our Guiding Light, quoted in His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Thirty Years Around the World—Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment (Vol.1, 1986).

Guru-Purnima-2015-for-email

See this article on the TM Home website: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, meditation teacher. See posts on this blog about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Jai Guru Dev

See Frances Knight shows paintings of Vedic Masters and Vedic Dieties at ArtFiftyTwo in Fairfield Iowa.

Radio Iowa’s Matt Kelley interviews Greg Reitman about his documentary film ROOTED in PEACE

July 30, 2015

Documentary on the meaning of peace premieres in Iowa Sunday

Greg ReitmanA documentary that aims to define the meaning of “peace” will premiere in Iowa this weekend and the filmmaker will attend the debut. Six years in the making, Greg Reitman says “Rooted in Peace” is the story of his personal quest which took him around the planet, with a few stops in southeast Iowa.

“I go on a journey asking the question, ‘Why are we so violent?’ and why we don’t connect with ourselves and with nature,” Reitman says. “Along the way, I’m guided by some incredible people.” The list includes: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, spiritualist Deepak Chopra, film director David Lynch, media mogul Ted Turner, and music legends Donovan, Pete Seeger and Mike Love.

Reitman first met Love, one of the founders of the Beach Boys, at a 2009 concert in Fairfield. Reitman is a New York native who now lives in southern California and the process of making this film took him to several continents.

The documentary had its beginnings more than two decades ago when he visited Japan and saw the ruins of first city that was wiped out by an atomic bomb. “When I was in Hiroshima and I saw the devastation, I didn’t cry and learned a little about PTSD,” Reitman says. “I came up with this idea when I was 19 in college at UMass-Amherst that I was going to save the world by planting trees. I created this tree-planting initiative called The Giving Tree-Rooted in Peace.”

Now in his 40s, he shows himself in the documentary carrying a tiny potted tree through places like Times Square in New York City. “Essentially, I come back 20 years later with the bonsai tree as a symbol of hope, looking at the tree as a symbol for all of us and our connection with humanity and how we want to connect with nature,” he says. “That really becomes the unfolding story.”

The documentary “Rooted in Peace” will be shown Sunday at 7 P.M. at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfield. Reitman will do a question-and-answer session afterwards. His 2008 film, “Fuel,” won the Sundance Audience Choice Award.

Audio: Matt Kelley interview with Greg Reitman. 5:06.

Another radio interview coming up is with James Moore on KRUU LP 100.1 FM today at 7:30pm Thursday, to replay on 3:00pm Friday, and 11am Saturday. You can listen if you’re in the Fairfield, Iowa area or online streaming live. James said he may replay Dennis Raimondi’s interview with Prudence Farrow at 2pm before Friday’s 3:00pm interview with Greg. She discusses a book she wrote, Dear Prudence: The Story Behind The Song, which I am enjoying reading. More on that in a future post. Both interviews involve Maharishi and Transcendental Meditation, appropriate to air together tomorrow on Guru Purnima Day!

See ROOTED in PEACE to play Martha’s Vineyard and an Iowa premiere at Fairfield’s Sondheim Center.


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