Velcrow Ripper's Blog – March 2009 Archive (7)

A Respectful Rebel in an Orthodox Land

Meteora Monastery

Sitting in a cave in Meteora Greece, a few days after Fierce Light has screened at the Thessaloniki Film Festival. A soft rain has driven me off the purple, yellow white flower speckled mountain trail. Like Mount Athos, Meteora is a land of towering ancient greek orthodox monasteries. Unlike Athos, women are allowed here, and there is even a convent, named St. Stefanos.

Although I am not a Christian (I was raised a Baha'i, used to call myself a sufi buddhist… Continue

Added by Velcrow Ripper on March 27, 2009 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

A Pilgrims Progress


Thessaloniki, Greece

Today I introduced Fierce Light at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, here in Greece. I recounted my last visit to this lovely sea side city, back in 1999, when I was shooting Scared Sacred, the film about my journey to the ground zero’s of the world, searching for stories of transformation in the face of crisis. At the time I was facing my own crisis. First my girlfriend at the time decided to leave the project, and… Continue

Added by Velcrow Ripper on March 22, 2009 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Can Sufism Counter the Taleban?

Sufis by Velcrow Ripper

By Barbara Plett

BBC News, Lahore

It's one o'clock in the morning and the night is pounding with

hypnotic rhythms, the air thick with the smoke of incense.

I'm squeezed into a corner of the upper courtyard at the shrine of

Baba Shah Jamal in Lahore, famous for its Thursday night drumming


It's packed with young men, swaying to the… Continue

Added by Velcrow Ripper on March 16, 2009 at 3:00pm — 6 Comments

The Gift of Acknowledgement


One of the simplest, most powerful things we can do in our everyday human interactions, is to acknowledge another person. To see them, to give them the gift of empowerment. Costs you nothing, but can be absolutely transformative for that person. It's the stellar opposite of that old stand by - judgement, criticism, disapproval. A spiritual activist looks for ways to encourage, to cajole the best of another, to add fuel to their spark, to light their fire by truly seeing… Continue

Added by Velcrow Ripper on March 16, 2009 at 2:23am — No Comments

Compassion on Two Legs


Spring 2000, Pak Mun Dam, Thailand

I'm at a protest camp in Thailand, on the Mun River, trying to shut down the world banked funded Pak Mun Dam project, which has been devastating communities and eco systems. My Filipino friend Cray and I are having a beer with a couple of hard nosed activists from the anti-fascist squatter scenes of Berlin. Cray let it slip that he is an unapologetic Roman Catholic, like many Filipinos, and it turns out the squatter guy… Continue

Added by Velcrow Ripper on March 12, 2009 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Leave Me Alone (Don't Ever!)

I once had a friend who was in a relationship crisis, and he was completely distraught. His life had been dedicated to spiritual practice, and increasingly, to teaching meditation and spiritual thought. He said to me, with a look of confusion, "I can go into deep Samadhi (Samadhi is a high state of meditative awareness) in meditation, but I can't figure out relationships."

I've experienced the same struggle in my own life, and I have a feeling we're not alone. But increasingly, I am… Continue

Added by Velcrow Ripper on March 9, 2009 at 5:14am — 3 Comments


Here's a short film I did based around an interview with a Hiroshima Survivor. It was part of a series of short films that later became part of my featured documentary, Scared Sacred.

By the way folks, you can help spread these videos by rating them high and reposting your comments on you… Continue

Added by Velcrow Ripper on March 3, 2009 at 9:30pm — 30 Comments

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