CATALYST Weekly Reader ~ Resources for Creative Living
Jan. 17- Jan. 22

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Dear friends & family,

I do not mean to be morbid, but here we are again. Last week, regarding the massacre of the editorial staff of the satire magazine Charley Hebdo in Paris, I wrote that they killed the court jesters.

A day later, in Salt Lake City, they killed the troubadour.

James Barker, a local musician who lived with a traumatic brain injury acquired while surfing in Panama, was approached as a vagrant and shot by a police officer a block away from the home he'd owned and lived in for the past decade.

Many who saw only the action-filled final moments from the bodycam film, as shown on several TV newscasts, thought the dude had it coming. Those who watched the full, unedited version saw a dozen ways this tragedy could have been averted.

A petition is circulating re. police training. Solutions are being discussed. There will be lobbying. What's needed from all of us right now is compassion. I offer this exercise (from the book  ReSurfacing: Techniques for Exploring Consciousness). Do it twice ~ once for each of the men involved.

1. With attention on the person, repeat to yourself: Just like me, this person is seeking some happiness for his life.

2. With attention on the person, repeat to yourself: Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his life.

3. With attention on the person, repeat to yourself: Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.

4. With attention on the person, repeat to yourself: Just like me, this person is seeking to fulfill his needs.

5. With attention on the person, repeat to yourself: Just like me, this person is learning about life.

To the extent that we can grow compassion in ourselves, compassion will grow in our community and the world. There's plenty of people to practice on. Time to get started.

Greta Belanger deJong
Editor and publisher, CATALYST


Event picks for
Jan. 17 - Jan. 22
Saturday, Jan. 17, 10a-2pRio Grande Depot 300 South Rio Grande Street. Free. 
It's cozy, lively and diverse. The outdoor portion has heaters but it's still brisk, so dress warmly. Farm-fresh produce, dairy, eggs, meat, specialty foods and fresh-baked goods. Inside, you'll find local crafts and more specialty foods.

Saturday, Jan. 17, 7:30p. 
Kingsbury Hall, 201 President's Circle. $5-$29.50.
Chicago's legendary sketch and improv comedy theater comes to Kingsbury with "The Second City Hits Home," a new show that finds laughs in all things local, from history, events, and hot-button issues to headlines from The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News and mixes these with a generous portion of classic Chicago-style improv created by some of Second City's most lauded alumni including Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, and more.
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 6-9p. Pierpont Place, 163 Pierpont Ave. $5-$10 requested donation.
Check out one of the hottest venues in the area Pierpont Place @ 163 Pierpont Ave.  and celebrate 8 years of the Salt Lake City Green Drinks chapter! Grab a drink from Sugar House Distillery & some light fare courtesy the downtown restaurant From Scratch.  
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 6:30-8p (doors 8p). Tibetan Buddhist Temple 740 S 300 W. $50 tuition fee.*Tuition may be reduced based on need. Please ask.
Eight-week introductory course providing a contemplative and experiential base focusing on the core teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.

Blog Updates 
Despite the possibility--no, make that probability--for strong emotions this week, the planets continue to offer the potential for inspiration and insight. They also align in an unusual configuration that provides the capacity for profound empathy, as it simultaneously opens wide the door for harsh criticism. This is what I find most interesting about astrology: All the symbols in this system play out along a spectrum from negative to positive, a spectrum that not only reflects the duality of life on Earth, but also a system that presents the wide range of free will choices, all the while defying the ossification of a one-view-and-one-view-only perspective...(read more).