Writing To Change The World

Writing Spirit called for me to pick it up like a child off the store’s bookshelves. It was an odd-looking book about writing. On the cover large palms came halfway out of the water, and in the table of contents, the chapter headings had words like power animals, shamanism, alchemy and baptism. None of it made sense to me, and the last thing I wanted was a book on writing. I had been writing for over twenty years, and the journey had proven so futile, I wanted to bury the pits of this desire into someone else’s backyard and start a new garden, one that resembled those in One Thousand and One Nights stories, where the hero ends up with breathtaking trees bearing pears, apples, figs, pomegranates, and apricots made of real gold, diamonds and rubies.

Yet the book stuck to my hands like glue. I bought it, even though I barely had any time to eat a meal sitting down let alone read a book. I was raising two young children and doing a lot of freelance work, as well as trying to write a book. The moment I read Writing Spirit, however, the fragrance of that Arabian treasure garden raced out of the pages, and I remembered all the reasons I’d become a writer in the first place – the calling, the sacredness of storytelling, the freedom this profession provides, in my case allowing me to raise my children without having to abandon my career.

Shortly afterwards, I enrolled in Lynn’s school, The Mystery School. The Mystery School is a spiritual school that has, for over 25 years, passed down Native American shamanic teachings of 44 women known as the Sisterhood of the Shields. These women are healers from various cultures such as Panama, Guatemala, Australia, Nepal, North American and the Yucatan. Their teachings have been passed from one generation to the next for over 5,000 years. They initiated Lynn as a member of The Sisterhood and appointed her as their public messenger. Lynn’s study began with Agnes Whistling Elk and Ruby Plenty Chiefs, Native American healers in northern Canada.

Lynn wrote about her own experience in Medicine Woman, and later, as she met with more of the women of the Sisterhood, wrote over a dozen more books. Her website describes her “as a major link between the ancient world of shamanism and modern societies’ thirst for profound personal healing and a deeper understanding of the pathway to enlightenment.”

I recently met Lynn in person and I discovered that the majority of her apprentices and graduates, who are from all over the world, were first introduced to the Sisterhood teachings by reading one of her books. Something in her books resonates within people the ancient healing and magic of long ago, thus bringing to life, through experiential learning, a connection to spirit and the earth.

“Leaving Microsoft to Change the World” by John Wood – Book Review

About John Wood

There are not many people who choose to walk away at the height of their corporate career to dedicate their life to a social cause. At age 35, John Wood did just that. He left his position as Microsoft’s Director of Business Development for the Greater China Region in order to found Room to Read. John strives to bring the lessons of the corporate world to the non-profit sector. Room to Read combines his passion with the discipline of a well-run global company.

About the book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World tells us the story on how John Wood came to his decision to leave Microsoft and the start of Room to Read. In 1998 John Wood was a rising executive at Microsoft. Then a trip to Nepal inspired him to set up schools and libraries in the developing world. Fuelled by the same drive that made him a top executive, Wood took his business experience into the charity sector and created Room to Read, a stunningly effective organization. The book chronicles John Wood’s incredible journey, his years at Microsoft, his life-changing decision to leave, and the adventure that followed. Wood shares the methods he uses to manage Room to Read. John Wood’s approach to non-profit management:

  •     Scalable, measured, sustainable results
  •     Low-overhead, allowing maximum investment in educational infrastructure
  •     Challenge grants fostering community ownership and sustainability
  •     Strong local staff and partnerships creating culturally relevant programs

About Room to Read Room to Read is an innovative non-profit leader dedicated to promoting and enabling global education. This is done by establishing libraries and schools, publishing and distributing local language children’s books, and providing long-term educational support for girls to pursue and complete their secondary education. Since its foundation in 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of over 3.1 million children in developing countries by:

  •     Constructing 765 schools
  •     Establishing over 7,040 libraries
  •     Publishing 327 new local language children’s titles representing over 2.8 million books
  •     Donating over 2.8 million English language children’s books
  •     Funding 6,817 long-term girls’ scholarships
  •     Establishing 179 computer and language labs

Change your life The book was a great read. It is a real novel. But furthermore it is a really inspirational story. A man that completely followed his heart is an example to us all. It is not a call up for everybody to devote your self to charity. But to take your life into your own hands and choose your path. I had the privilege to meet John Wood in person and attend a presentation of his. He truly is a very warm and inspiring person. Are you following your heart? Are you doing what you really want? Are you passionate about your job? Read the book as an inspiration to make a change.

Top 10 Best Universities in the World

The university rankings across the countries and the world are listed by considering many things. Of course, it is the powerful faculty, the intelligence of the students and the scholarly excellence that come first to estimate the rankings. Next the campus, the ambiance, the facilities that the universities offer the students and the involvement of the institutions in creating the new scientists, engineers, teachers and doctors of the future are judged to incorporate the names of the Universities among the toppers.

Though, it is a very complicated and challenging process to select the top 10 best universities in the world because how an American University can be the best among the universities in China and vice-versa! On the contrary, it is pretty tough to organize a tough fight among the Ivy League institutes with that of the century-old educational institutes of the European countries, especially UK -The Great Britain. Even the University of California is counted by many among the top 10, but it is not an Ivy League. Then how can anyone judge that the great state university is anyhow inferior to the Ivy Leagues?

Here is the list of the top 10 best universities in the World after counting and judging the numbers of the faculty members who are Nobel Laureates. Winners of Philosophical Society, Winners of the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, members of the National Academy of Science, MacArthur Fellows and the much prestigious Pulitzer Prize winners of the great universities.

Harvard University (1st in the United States)

Harvard University is a yardstick to measure the research standards of others. This is one of the premier houses of education that has been ever challenged. Located in the Cambridge, US the University was founded in 1636. The school developed its funds from $4.6 billion to $25.8 billion in the last 15 years under the leadership of Jack Mayer. Besides financial wealth, the true treasures of the Premier University are the 47 Nobel Laureates, 48 Pulitzer Prize winners, 32 Heads of State it has produced from its law, medical and business schools. The school boasts on its Widener Library – the world’s greatest academic library with over 6 million volumes of books of different disciplines.

Stanford University (2nd in the US)

Located in the heart of the Californian Silicon Valley, the Stanford University was founded in 1891. This is the world’s second best research and teaching university dedicated to offering the best quality education to obtain leadership through the seven schools- Humanities & Sciences, Business, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Education, and Earth Sciences.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (3rd in the US)

Since its foundation back in 1861, MIT gradually has become the world’s preeminent center of scientific searches and teaching. The School boasts on the legions of scientists and engineers it has produced. There are 80 Nobel Laureates, 43 McArthur Fellows, 28 winners of National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 56 National Medal of science winners.

University of California (4th in the United States)

Berkeley is one of the elite universities across the globe. More than 350 programs are offered to 36,000 students and the university is best known for the PhDs it produces annually. There are 77 Fulbright Scholars, 39- Members of the American Philosophical Society, 32 MacArthur Fellows, and 22 Nobel Laureates and among the Nobel laureates 8 of them are present faculty members.

University of Cambridge (UK)

Founded in 1209, Cambridge is one of the world’s oldest institutions. It has always been one of the greatest rivals of its contemporary Oxford. It is really hard for the US university toppers universities to give a tough fight from the overseas. There are over 18,000 students across 135 countries and there is a record of earning 80 Nobel Prizes by their faculty.

Princeton University (5th in the US)

This Ivy League institution founded more than 3 centuries back is a completely research-driven university that competes with the Yale, Harvard, Stanford and rest of the Ivy Leagues and the toppers in the country and in the world.

California Institute of Technology (6th in the US)

Situated at the Pasadena CA, United States, the Caltech is one of the top most universities in the world offering cutting-edge education on technology. The prestigious faculty includes 33 Nobel Laureates, 13 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners, 58 National Medal of Science winners, and around 111 National Academy of Science members.

Columbia University (7th in the United States)

This is a colonial and the 5th oldest school in the US. This premier university has an enriched historical background and for all these years. The internationally recognized university boasts on its $8.2 Billion endowments and the library of 13 million volumes of rarest and exclusive books.

University of Chicago (8th in the US)

Founded in 1890, the elite university is one of the youngest among the precursors with an 89 Nobel winners. The $7 billion endowments of the university are rapidly growing.

Oxford University (UK)

Having an Oxford university pass out in the family is a pride of several generations. The university was situated in the 13th century and gradually it became the model of present day education. The academic community includes 80 fellows of the Royal Society, 100 fellows of the British Academy and many more.