I had no Passover seders to go to this year, so I did what I usually do in that situation: I took care of bringing a mini-seder essence of Passover to whoever I was with. Rituals are transformative, while ceremonies are confirmative (Heinz, 2004), although there is certainly room for overlap. In my workshops teaching ritual I often provide an opportunity for the participants to think of a difficulty in their daily lives that might be supported by a brief ritual. Ceremonies, on the other hand, are a formal acknowledgment of a transformation that has already occurred. I have already done all the work to achieve this PhD; the ceremony on Sunday will not change anything internally for me. These folks are the tip of the iceberg – I am so aware of how I am touched and influenced by everyone I come in contact with.
I knew I would participate in my PhD ceremony, though I actually graduated in November 2009.
Over the years, though, my interest in studying and the availability of coursework that interested me and teacher-mentors who could guide me on my path of learning came together in a satisfying way, leading to this doctorate. During a segment on the web chat show called Live Or Die, Joan asked Jason to choose who he would save and who he would let perish between Tara or Lindsay Lohan.Without hesistating, Jason threw shade at his 38-year-old former co-star and made his choice. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, according to Web publishing guidelines used by the Gloversville Enlarged School District.


We were with a small group of friends who have become extended family over the many years we have gathered with them (since 1987 for some, 1992 for the others in the group).
In my work I have tended to focus on rituals, planned sequences in sacred space that are designed to shift consciousness, both in the moment of the ritual, and in  lives beyond that moment.
Often this involves transitions that are a challenge, like coming home from work – what does it take to move gracefully out of work consciousness and into being home, either alone or with family? This brings an internal change into the community’s awareness and the shift is in the consciousness of the community, who can now see the individual in a different light, in a new role or status. The graduation ceremony focuses on the larger perspective of how I am seen by my friends and family and the community at large.
Every teacher who has ever recognized and supported my gifts and potential in a positive way is part of the path that brought me to this moment.
I continue to grow and learn and understand more deeply, and I thank all of you who are part of my life in any way, and those of you who I have yet to connect with.
I made charoset (symbolizing the mortar used for building the pyramids when the Jews were slaves in Egypt) and brought something to cover the symbols on the seder plate and matzo (the unleavened bread, symbolic of leaving Egypt before the bread could rise).
Sometimes this is the time of the day when people struggle with compulsive eating, which might be an unconscious way of nurturing their drained self at the end of a work day. The ceremony is an acknowledgment of the ripples that expand outward from the work I have done, and the ability I have to expand my work beyond myself and beyond the scale of my past endeavors. There was at least one person there who found my simple introduction to Passover educational, as she had not known any of this.


This is a perfect opportunity to invent a ritual that can consciously provide that inner self with some acknowledgment of what is felt in that moment, and a way to move into a different state of consciousness. In addition, the hundreds of students and clients I have worked with over the years have played a significant role in the evolution of my work and my thoughts about how we grow and transform and how we live to the fullest. Not that these folks hadn’t received my original excited announcement last November that I was now Dr.
My stomach became the most ripply, bulgy thing.'That year also saw the actress have her infamous wardrobe malfunction where she flashed her left breast while on the red carpet at Diddy's birthday party. And then in my teens I was absorbed by dance and theatre, leaving early to take classes, go to rehearsals, apprentice in teaching kids’ dance classes.
It was a good day, with a walk through the Berkeley Rose Garden and Cordonices Park before our meal, then a shared potluck after my Passover introduction, then improvisational sounding and singing after.
So I wasn’t expecting so much response from friends and families for what could be seen as just a formality.
Not the traditional Passover, but I felt satisfied to be with community and share meaningful time together. And I certainly wasn’t expecting myself to be so moved by their heartfelt good wishes.



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