Tune in Thursday, May 23rd at 8 a.m. (repeats the following Monday at 6 a.m.) as The Original Loretta Brown Show welcomes Dena Merriam to her program.
Dena is the Founder and Convener of the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW), bringing spiritual resources to address critical global challenges, such as conflict, social justice, and ecological scarring of the earth. Over the years she has worked to bring greater gender balance and balance between the Abrahamic and Dharma based religious traditions for a more inclusive interfaith movement.
For over 40 years, Dena has been a devotee of Paramahansa Yogananda, a practitioner of Kriya Yoga meditation, and a student of the great texts of the Vedic tradition. Ms. Merriam received her Master’s Degree from Columbia University in sacred literature, and she has since served on the boards of such prestigious organizations as the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions, the Interfaith Center of New York, the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, the Manitou Foundation, the All India Movement for Seva, and the Gross National Happiness Center in Bhutan. In 2014, she received the Niwano Peace Prize for her interfaith peace efforts.
Dena Merriam is the author of My Journey through Time. In her latest book, The Untold Story of Sita: An Empowering Tale for our Time, Dena takes a new look at the classic Ramayana by tearing away the patriarchal lens through which the story is traditionally viewed. In the traditional account Sita is a secondary figure and her true nature is hard to access. In this reading of the story, told by the people of Sita’s household, the role of the sacred feminine is predominant.
Sita is a beloved figure throughout Southeast Asia, but the message of her life extends beyond these audiences and bears universal import, particularly relevant for the modern age when a new understanding of feminine wisdom and leadership is needed, and when we are facing an unprecedented ecological crisis. Mata Sita and Sri Ram were instrumental in setting the foundation for a new civilization during a time of transition from one era, or yuga, to another. We stand at a similar time in history, where we are experiencing the passing of one era and intuitively feel the birthing of another, as yet unknown. One thing seems certain, however, that the new society we are striving for must be ecologically-based. There is great value in looking to lessons of the past in order to move forward.
During Sita’s time on earth, humanity was beginning to shift from a nature-based way of life toward greater material development. Many concepts were implanted in the collective mind at that time that guided the subsequent development of human civilization. We have now reached the pinnacle of this development and are reaping the results of our abuse of earth’s resources—its land, water, and air. To survive as a human community, we will need to incorporate into our lives a new-found appreciation, respect, and love for the natural world, a love that was exemplified in the life of Mata Sita.
During the life journey of Mata Sita and Sri Ram, each assumed roles that were different but equal in importance. Neither could achieve their life’s mission without the other. Their lives exemplify a balance of the masculine and feminine qualities and energies, despite how patriarchal forces have tried to shape the Ramayana narrative to suit later social norms. If we recapture something of life during the higher ages we can see the story with new eyes and perceive the inner dynamic that drove the outer narrative. Remembering the harmony that existed during the higher ages will help us recalibrate our society so that it honors the sacred feminine and the sacred masculine, both of which are needed to help restore balance to our society and to the earth.
Find out more about Dena Merriam.
Loretta Brown, owner of Reiki Oasis, has been practicing and teaching Reiki Energy Medicine, sound healing, intuitive Guidance, past life regression, meditation and psychic development since 1995. Born as a sensitive, Loretta always felt at home among the concepts of angels, spirits, fairies, energies, vibration, sound, music, devas, goddesses and God. However, it took years for her to understand not everyone had these gifts, and to figure out how to use them to help others navigate their lives in a more positive way. Now, she is dedicated to helping everyone discover their own gifts, resonate from the very center of their Being and live the joy-filled life they were meant to live.
Loretta has traveled the world extensively, teaching and performing internationally, has studied with great spiritual teachers, and has spent years chanting, searching for truths, visiting sacred sites and learning the great mysteries. Her joy is sharing as a Teacher, Channel and Healer so you can renew, refresh, and re-member who you really are and why you are on the planet at this time. Loretta also offers Crystal Bowl Healing Concerts, Loretta offers in person one-on-one sessions, as well as workshops, skype and phone sessions.
Find out more about Loretta Brown.