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When you authentically connect with someone or deeply resonate with an idea, you touch in the center, like a bridge has newly formed. Sometimes these are external bridges—connections that others can see. At other times, they are internal rewiring, a revolution of thought. As a Kosmos Global Ambassador, in my own small way, I build bridges. Our current institutions are crumbling and we stand at the edge of radical change. Bridging our inner and outer worlds is critical to our survival and skillful transformation.
When I reflect on my time so far with Kosmos Journal, I can recall when new pathways of thought were forged and rewired. Memories that seemed disparate resurface as interconnected, although sometimes I have waited for the question ‘how?’ to be answered.
In early September 2005, I was supposed to be visiting a friend, but a twist of fate left me unexpectedly stuck at the Houston airport. After the levees had collapsed in New Orleans following Katrina, people fled into nearby Texas and all outbound flights were full. I was blessed with a safe home but couldn’t get there. For two days in a nondescript airport hotel, I absorbed lessons from grief- stricken strangers. Stranded but safe on my unplanned detour, there I was as a quiet observer, touching center. From my marrow, I felt things shifting and opening. I intuited that this started my training—although what I was training for, I did not know. My logic-loving brain had no words for what surrounded me.
Four years later on a Berkshire winter day, I came to meet Nancy Roof for the first time and knew that these two experiences were part of a closely linked sequence. Those post-Katrina intuitive flashes were my first lesson of finding stillness despite social chaos. With Nancy as my mentor now, I was to continue training on a new scale.
As a Kosmos Global Ambassador, I am honored to connect people, one by one, to a possible future that is radically different than the grim end-of-the-line trajectory that one would believe is inevitable from current politics and mainstream media. The Kosmos message gets embraced with such a resonance that it feels more like I’ve invited the person back home rather than introduced something new. We connect. With their sense of home as global, with reinvigorated optimism and a glimpse of a new future paradigm, they touch center.
Stephanie Shorter, a neuroscientist and yoga researcher, is an editor of Kosmos and a passionate advocate of the science commons. Her work can be found in the Fall|Winter 2010 and Fall|Winter 2011 issues of Kosmos Journal.
Stephanie Shorter PhD was trained as a sensory neuroscientist and cortical electrophysiologist, and has long been interested in perception, cognition and consciousness. She is a seeker who embraces yoga as her tool of individual transformation on her path towards being an agent of social transformation.
Fall | Winter 2016