The Lysistrata Project

"For every woman who can be named there are a hundred who speak.  For every hundred who speak there are a thousand who know.  For every thousand who know there are ten thousand who do not yet know, because their truth lies still deeper than all those who speak and know and can be named.  And every one us of is needed now."
        
                                                                                                                
--Sherry Ruth Anderson


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The Lysistrata Project is a portal of educational resources dedicated to the transformation of consciousness necessary to sustain Peace.

Begun in June 2002 in the wake of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the retaliatory bombing of Afghanistan, The Lysistrata Project rose initially as a call to women to stand against war.  In the widening spiral of escalation gripping our world, it was understood that each act of violence, blamed on the previous one, necessarily begets another. "An eye for an eye," said Gandhi, "leaves the whole world blind."

Over time it has deepened to cultivate greater internal peace, recognizing that a habitual stance of opposing, making "other", feeds the anger and separation within and between us and limits the field of what we can conceive as possible. "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it", said Einstein.  We must act.  In what manner, then, shall we act? As Thoreau pointed out, "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."

Our world is experiencing a significant shift in consciousness. In accelerating numbers we are dawning to the realization of our interdependence upon and inseparability from our beleaguered planet and the webs that sustain all life. There is no "other".   Women's voices have been and are central to this awakening

The Lysistrata Project holds that it is our moment-to-moment choosing of Peace --while with the same breath speaking out the truth of corruption and exploitation-- that is transforming our world. This surge for balance within us all, women and men, we recognice as the rising of the long-suppressed Sacred Feminine. We celebrate reverence for Peace, for our Earthly home and for all its beings whom we now hold sacred.

We bless all who contribute to these pages.

 

"The true Republic: men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less."
                                                                                                                              --Susan B. Anthony
 

 

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THE LYSISTRATA PROJECTS

By Bobby Heart, OasisTV

January 26, 2003


NEW YORK CITY and SAN FRANCISCO--January 26, 2003 (OTVNewswire)--Two distinct ventures, each inspired by the iconoclastic heroine of the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, are taking bold and unique initiatives to help galvanize the peace movement.

Aristophanes wrote Lysistrata in the third century BC. The play tells the story of Athenian women who, fed up with the Peloponnesian War, barricade themselves in the Acropolis and go on a sex strike to force their husbands to vote for peace with Sparta. The name of the play's heroine, Lysistrata, means "releaser of war."

Yes, the forces behind each Lysistrata Project are women, and though their respective projects were launched independently of one another, they are spiritually linked - and, in fact, digitally hyperlinked on their websites.

LysistrataProject.com

The Lysistrata Project (New York City) is coordinating the first worldwide theatrical event for peace. On March 3, 2003, actors and other theater professionals are donating their time and talent to mount live stage readings of Lysistrata. As of today, more than 150 readings in over 15 countries are planned, from Argentina to Singapore.


LysistrataProject.com

In the United States alone, just about every state is represented. Many will have readings in more than one city; and in several cities, actors plan to hold the event in more than one venue.

Two New York actresses, Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bower, hatched the idea for the Lysistrata Project earlier this month. Blume, who earlier had contemplated writing a screenplay adaptation of Lysistrata, was inspired to create the project at New York's Theaters Against War (THAW) in December 2002 as the Bush war machine against Iraq was accelerating.

Kathryn Blume is a long-time actor and environmentalist. In addition to appearances Off-Broadway, in regional theater productions and movies, she has worked for environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and Forest Watch. She's also taught yoga, acting, Shakespeare, and public speaking in schools and venues across the country. Blume toured Macedonia with a Balkan music group, works as a Life Coach, and is an ordained Minister with the Universal Life Church. She divides her time between New York City and Vermont, where she shares a home with her husband and their emotionally needy cat, Toast.

Sharron Bower attributes her steely resolve to coordinate the Lysistrata Project to her politically active mother, adventurous father, and the strong women she's often portrayed on stage who stood up against injustice. Since moving to New York almost four years ago from the American South, she's worked in television, independent film and theatre. She's also a volunteer camp counselor, and the Resident Casting Director at The Mint Theater in New York City. Before attending graduate school in Texas, Bower worked as an editor at an advertising firm, where she met her husband, graphic designer Mark Greene.

Less than a month after launching the website, their project has already snowballed into what promises to be an international cultural event for world peace. As Blume and Bower eloquently state, "By its very nature, live performance fosters not only open communication, but compassion: We see ourselves reflected in a play, and the emerging human truths remind us how like one another we all are."

New York's Lysistrata Project is a call to action, actively encouraging both professional and amateur actors - and the general public -- to join them on March 3, 2003 by producing or attending a reading of Lysistrata locally, in every part of the world. Contact Kathryn Blume for planning productions in New York City (Telephone: 802-233-5856) and Sharron Bower for planning productions elsewhere (Telephone: 917-655-0926).

LysistrataProject.org

Lysistrata Project (San Francisco) is 3,000 miles away from New York's Lysistrata Project but the two undertakings share the same ideals, if not the same modus operandi. This West Coast venture is an amazing Internet resource combining the collective energy of three powerful, contemporary social movements: Women, Spirituality and World Peace. It's the brainchild of Lisa Dollar, a writer, poet, spiritual activist and schoolteacher.


LysistrataProject.org

Simply put, Lisa looked at the state of the world following 9-11 and realized she had to do something. After a nine-month gestation period - many sacred creations seem to take 9 months, don't they? - she decided "to construct something, rather than act in opposition." That "something" would become LysistrataProject.org.

So in the summer of 2002, Dollar went to school, but this time as a student. She enrolled in a web design course at a local community college to learn the bits and bytes of the Internet. Last fall, she set up her website; and almost immediately it struck a chord that resonated in the hearts and minds of like-minded souls around the world.

Dollar's Lysistrata Project calls for an "heroic alliance" among the millions of men and women who are helping to create a world of "people over profit, a woman's full worth over controlled reproductive function, partnership over dominance." The immediate challenge, however, is to resist America's pending war in Iraq and current assault on our civil liberties.

Lisa Dollar was born in Nicaragua and moved to San Francisco at the age of five. She graduated JFK University and earned her Masters in Education from the University of San Francisco. In 1984, she spent two months traveling through Africa and came back "a changed person, after meeting the generous, giving people of Malawi, Botswana and Tanzania." In 1990, she went to the testing grounds at Semipalatinsk in the former Soviet Union as part of a 3-week international anti-nuclear protest.

In 1991, America's Gulf War "built up a lot of anger" in her, so in 1992, Dollar went to live in a small town in Costa Rica through World Teach. There she tutored English, studied Buddhism, Plato -- even the Bible, the latter "only out of curiosity," she's quick to add. "Like the Dalai Lama, my religion is kindness."

The Lysistrata Project (San Francisco) is today both a catalyst for action and a magnet for some of the most compelling original content on the web. Written by both men and women, the articles, action alerts and inspirations bridge interfaith spirituality with social and political activism.

"Lysistrata is an archetype, an emblem for women to stand up and be counted," Dollar said in explaining her website's namesake. It reflects "the huge swelling of women stepping out, speaking up and beginning to take action in one way or another. From that, women and men will be more in partnership."

You can contact Lisa Dollar at the Lysistrata Project (San Francisco) via Email.

And Finally, Kudos to the Playwright

Lest we forget, the writer who first put pen to papyrus to create the story of Lysistrata was Aristophanes who, along with Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, is considered one of the giants of Western theater. Born in the 440s BC, Aristophanes is the most famous writer of Greek comedies. He lived in Athens through the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) and died in the 380s BC. Of the 44 comedies he wrote, eleven survive, including Lysistrata, from which its protagonist speaks the following lines:

"We need only sit indoors with painted cheeks, and meet our mates lightly clad in transparent gowns of Amorgos silk, and perfectly depilated; they will get their tools up and be wild to lie with us. That will be the time to refuse, and they will hasten to make peace, I am convinced of that!"

And that, dear friends, is the Heart of the matter.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

Bobby Heart is a contributing writer and editor at Oasis TV. Title illustration is by Barbara Watermann Peters. The bust of Aristophanes is from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Photo collage created by Humberto Robles from various sources.

 

 

 

 

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"It isn't enough to talk about peace.  One must believe in it.  And it isn't enough to believe in it.  One must work at it."
                                                                                                                               --Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Who is Lysistrata?

In 413 B.C., Aristophanes, the most inventive comic dramatist of ancient Greece, mounted his latest in a series of plays exposing the folly of war. Its fiery heroine Lysistrata (meaning "releaser of war") called together not only the women of Athens but of Sparta, which Athens had long sought to conquer. What she proposed left the women initially aghast --that they should refuse to have sex with their husbands and lovers until the men made peace. In the play, the women are victorious. In reality, the Athenian city-state continued its warmongering until the unthinkable occurred. 404 B.C. saw the once mighty Athens --weakened from long-running war and internal strife-- defeated by zealous Spartan rebels.

 

 

 

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Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Women, War & Peace

  

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“I call myself a feminist. Isn’t that what you call someone who fights for women’s rights?”

                                      --HH Dalai Lama XIV

"A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life."
                                      --Virginia Woolf

"If we are going to bring about change, then men, for goodness' sake, stand up and stand for the right. And I say: Power to the women."

                                      --Desmond Tutu

 

  

 

 

"The motivation underlying our activism for social change must be transformed from anger and despair to compassion and love. It is not to deny the legitimacy of noble anger or outrage at injustice of any kind. Rather, we seek to work for love, rather than against evil. We need to adopt compassion and love as our foundational intention, and do whatever inner work is required to implement this intention. Even if our outward actions remain the same, there is a major difference in results if our underlying intention supports love rather than defeating evil."
                                                                                  --Will Keepin, Satyana Institute

  

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"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."
                                                                                                                               -- Audre Lorde

 

 

"I am not free while
any woman is unfree,
even when her shackles
are very different from
my own."
             --Audre Lorde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Meditation

This flame I light symbolizes the fire of love that burns eternally in the heart of all creation. One and the same is the flame I tend within myself and the All of whom I am. As this smoke rises upward, so also my dreams, prayers and aspirations ascend and disperse, coloring the universe.

As I fill my lungs, breathing deeply, I am filled with Spirit, from whose breath I was first given life. I am one with the Source of all being, the Life Force animating all of creation. Dissolved the veil of division that is my limited human perception, I radiate my True Essence. I am All and Everywhere.

I am one with the Earth, my terrestrial mother. Having seen your glistening fertile orb from the vantage point of the Moon, and experiencing your cosmic movement among the Sun, planets and stars, I'm filled with love and gratitude for your beauty, wisdom and stability. I cherish your grasses and trees, your canopy of blue sky, your clouds that bring nourishing rain, your oceans and mountains, rainforests and flowers. I abide in your fruitful abundance.

I am one with the animals, the four-footed ones and the winged ones, those who crawl on their bellies and those who inhabit the waters. I delight in your multitudes. All you creatures of every description, you are my brothers and sisters, my teachers, my allies, and the key that springs open my most tender heart.

I am one with all the tribes of humankind, those in the distant past, those living now, and those yet to be born. We are seekers of meaning and its creators. Endowed with the gift of self-reflection and the power of choice, we hold up for each other the mirror of the Integral Human, the Integral Society. In this eternal Now we stand ever on the brink of our own becoming.

I am one with the Beings of Light whose energies suffuse and surround us, loosening our ego-grasp, enlivening subtle senses to other realms. One with the numberless Bodhisattvas serving among us in humble and familiar forms. One with the essence of master teachers... Jesus, way-shower of the compassionate heart... Buddha, of the quiet mind... Lao-Tsu, of the ineffable way. One with the serene Presence who embodies and lights up my earthly self. I am and have my being in this Luminous Awakeness... this Resplendent Aliveness.

My heart swells with love and gratitude for living this union of spirit with matter. To this One-Consciousness I offer this day. Use me. In every moment incline my human mind to the higher choice. Help me to persevere upon the path that my deepest knowing would have me travel. Fill my heart with patience and compassion. Let me recognize sacredness in the face of everyone I encounter. Speak through me and let me say the words that would touch each human heart. Into every situation let me bring understanding, generosity and peace. Let me ever be mindful I am an instrument in the quickening of our global awakening.

For the benefit of all, I particularly remember __________.

I turn inward, to the flame that burns within...

 

--Lisa Alfaro Dollar     

 

 

 

 

 

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.  I'll meet you there."
                                                                                                                      
 -- Rumi, Muslim Sufi mystic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving for All This


How good it is to be here, in this moment, One,
this Numinous One,
this One Breath animating all of Creation,
infusing every ripple of space, every cell of every blade of grass.
this Overflowing Radiance of Be-ing that has no form... This, I Am.

My human heart swells with love and boundlessness and gratitude
at being & expressing this One.

I give thanks for my miraculous body,
home to galaxies of intelligent cells orchestrating,
balancing my every bodily process, just as I–
one cell in the greater body of Earth & the infinite body of the One–
am co-creating this dance of conscious evolution.

I give thanks for my wondrous heart,
touchstone of the Sacred,
receiver and transmitter of the most tender of feelings,
energetic vortex transmuting gratitude, passion, intention into form,
vessel of Incandescent Love.

I give thanks for the gift of my life,
this grand adventure in realizing the magnitude and the privilege
of living this union of spirit with matter,
this gift of relishing the feel of my roots
in the gritty-slippery clay of my beloved Earth
all the while that my soul, formless and free as the wind,
is moving in and through and as all that is, seen & unseen.

Every breath I take teems with this Mystery,
The One embodied in me... breathing me... shining through me...
savoring Life as me... ever expanding because of me.
Marveling through my eyes at the radiance of Itself in every being.

Holy and precious is Creation... holy and precious am I.

  --Lisa Alfaro Dollar            

 

 

 

 

"If ever the world sees a time when women shall come together purely   and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a power such as the   world has never known."
                                                                                                --Matthew Arnold, British Poet, 1822-1888

A parable for our times

A man approached the gate of an unfamiliar city. As he reached the gate a magician standing there said "Wait! You shouldn't go in there without a weapon! Demons lurk there!"

The man said "I need no weapon and have nothing to do with demons."

The magician drew a sword from the sheath he held; as he drew it a frightful demon appeared, but the magician was able to kill it with the sword.

"Now will you take a weapon?!?", he said, but the man still refused.

"Are you blind?", said the magician, "Do you see the sword I drew killed the demon?"

"Are you blind?" the man responded, "Do you not see that the sword you drew created the demon?"

And he walked on into the city, armed only with the clarity of his mind and being.

(Adapted from Leonard Jacobson)         

 

 

 

 

A Hopi Elder Speaks


"You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour,
now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.
And there are things to be considered ...
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader."
Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said,
"This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle
of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.
And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all,
ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for."

The Elders
Hopi Nation
Oraibi, Arizona

 

 

 

 

 

Site launched June 20, 2002

Site maintained by Lisa@LysistrataProject

 

 

 


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