- A conversation in the studio with This week our guests in the studio are Laura Morgan, MD, and Jim Sullivan. Laura Morgan is the author of Three Jewels, a natural history/field guide to three trail systems in west Sonoma County. Jim Sullivan teaches animal tracking, is a landscape painter, and is writing a book combining the newest information in the cognitive sciences with what he has learned from daily practice of our species' most ancient pursuit—animal tracking.
Laura Morgan describes her spiritual background this way: “My father's father was to be the next "Mirshimun", the spiritual and secular head of the Assyrians and their Orthodox Church at the time of the Armenian/Assyrian massacre in northern Iran in 1915.
“I was raised Episcopalian but had an enduring "born again" experience at age 16, the year I first laid eyes on the landscape of West Sonoma County. I came back to live here and attended Sonoma State, graduating with degrees in music and literature.
“During my last year of college, I met Eknath Easwaran at the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Tomales and subsequently lived in the community for 10 years. He asked me to become a physician, so I did, through the UCB/UCSF Joint Medical Program. He hoped to perform research studying the effects of meditation. When difficulties led to an exodus of many community members in the '80s, I continued my residency at Community Hospital of Sonoma County, in family practice.
“During the 30 years of medical practice that ensued, I stuck with passage meditation and trail-running as my anchors. I primarily worship nature. Austin Creek backcountry is my religion of choice. Jesus, the Buddha, Aunty Pema and Uncle Eckhardt also make daily appearances in my life.
Jim Sullivan is a 4th generation Sonoma county native who lives near Occidental, California. A long time environmental activist, he also wrote a popular column for the Bodega Bay Navigator for eight years. He is perhaps best known for having led the campaign to open California State beaches for night access, and for serving as the first president of both the Rural Alliance and of the Sonoma County Farmlands Group, and for his involvement in a number of contentious land use issues. He also served on the boards of over a dozen other non-profits, from the Sonoma Land Trust and C.O.A.A.ST, to Native Species Network.
A graduate of Notre Dame in biology, he also studied in Vienna, Austria, and did graduate work at several other universities and still takes--and teaches-- classes and workshops at Santa Rosa Junior College and elsewhere. He served 4 years in the infantry, including an extended tour in Korea with the United Nations occupation forces, where in 1962 he resigned his commission in protest over US policies in Asia. Upon return to the States, he lived in Santa Barbara, but by the mid-60s found himself in the Haight Ashbury where he became involved in the Civil Rights and Anti-war movements. During that time he also was instrumental in launching the Natural Foods movement, got married, moved to Marin county and raised 4 kids.
Returning to Sonoma County with the back to the land movement in 1976, he settled on Joy Ridge, near Bodega, where his ancestors settled in the early 1870s. After a career as a landscape designer/contractor, he retired in the early 90s and has been painting almost daily since.
In May, 2010, Jim was qualified by Mark Elbroch as one of about 600 internationally certified animal trackers. Currently he is teaching two monthly tracking/bird language classes a month, as well as frequent workshops and several lectures a year.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #199 - 10OCT15
The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
More information about Laura Morgan's work and interests can be found at: