Begin Within: Inner Healing, Social Transformation
This website focuses on the interplay of inner personal development and outer global transformation. The thinking, reflections, and resources are culled from the learnings of my life as a social activist, director of national youth leadership programs, teacher of elementary through college, practicing counselor and therapist, ordained Buddhist teacher, published author, diversity trainer, international consultant, parent of two children, and spouse for more than four decades.
When we survey the state of the world today, there is ample evidence that we are simultaneously teetering on the edge of collapse and poised for a great positive breakthrough. To carry us safely through these challenging times, it seems increasingly clear to me that there is a need to integrate social change, emotional healing, and spiritual practice. One without the other two is not sufficient. This point of view is woven throughout the website. If you are interested, you may like to read “A Personal Journey…” in the “Articles” section for an elaboration of how I came to this perspective.
The “Articles” section includes pieces I have written over the years on social change, leadership, diversity, emotional healing, Buddhism, personal reflections and experiences. There are also articles on working with young people that come primarily from my several decades of work with a program called YouthBuild. (Check the link on the right for information about this successful and transformative national program.) These may be useful for youth workers, teachers, and parents. Note: These are not scholarly articles. There are no footnotes. Although the ideas are informed by innumerable sources and experiences, they are only my personal views.
The “Quotes and Stories” section are short pieces I’ve collected over the years that have provided me with guidance, inspiration, and humor. Perhaps you will find value in some of them.
The “Good Ideas” section includes articles and thought pieces by others that I have found interesting and useful.
The “Images” section includes beautiful photos that people have sent me over time, plus a few amazing slide shows.
The “Links” tab on the right lists websites related to social change, emotional healing, and spiritual practice.
All the sections will expand over time, hopefully, with your collaboration. If you care to contact me, send me a article, quote, or image that fits the themes and spirit of this website, or request permission to use a piece I have written, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
May this website serve our common good.
yours, John Bell