The Names

The Names
This email contains pictures, if you don’t see them, view it online
  from the director  

Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.  
A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,  
And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,  
I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,  
Then Baxter and Calabro,  
Davis and Eberling, names falling into place  
As droplets fell through the dark.  
Names printed on the ceiling of the night.  
Names slipping around a watery bend.  
Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.  
In the morning, I walked out barefoot  
Among thousands of flowers  
Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,  
And each had a name --  
Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal
Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.  
Names written in the air  
And stitched into the cloth of the day.  
A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.  
Monogram on a torn shirt,  
I see you spelled out on storefront windows  
And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.  
I say the syllables as I turn a corner --  
Kelly and Lee,  
Medina, Nardella, and O'Connor.  
When I peer into the woods,  
I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden  
As in a puzzle concocted for children.  
Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,  
Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,  
Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.  
Names written in the pale sky.  
Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.  
Names silent in stone  Or cried out behind a door.  
Names blown over the earth and out to sea.  
In the evening -- weakening light, the last swallows.
 A boy on a lake lifts his oars.  
A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,  
And the names are outlined on the rose clouds -  
Vanacore and Wallace,  
(let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)  
Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.  
Names etched on the head of a pin.  
One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.  
A blue name needled into the skin.  
Names of citizens, workers, mothers, and fathers,  
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.  
Alphabet of names in a green field.  
Names in the small tracks of birds.  
Names lifted from a hat  
Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.  
Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.  
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.
~Billy Collins

I don't know if this is true for you, but often in times of tragedy I find myself turning to the arts, staring at paintings or an insightful photograph, most often executed in black and white. For me, they are the most powerful. It appears that the media, at least in the U.S. are trying to mark the events of 9/11 that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 victims from dozens of countries, and more than 6,000 wounded, differently than they have in the past. Personal stories are being shared, youth who have inherited this day of remembrance are being asked to respond to its impact on their lives, some partners who lost a loved one are talking about the need for forgiveness.

With warm regards,





With ‚ÄúThe Gift of Forgiveness‚ÄĚ, we are welcoming back Deborah Briggs, instructor and author of one of the Charter‚Äôs most successful courses, Growing Whole, Not Old - Aging in the Pandemic Age (Formerly "Awakening the Sage Within"). In that course she introduced hundreds to the concept of Sage-ing¬ģ.

During this workshop, we will delve into ‚Äėforgiveness‚Äô: one of the core concepts of the Sage-ing¬ģ Movement. We will develop greater compassion for ourselves as we begin to free ourselves from the painful burdens we have carried.¬† This course provides us with the opportunity to live more fully once we learn that things we saw as negative can be transformed into the foundation for living more fully.

By exploring the concept of forgiveness, we can uncover pearls of wisdom and experience the healing power of reframing experiences. As we begin to repair painful relationships, we can develop a deeper and more universal self-love. This is pivotal to the work of wise aging and to developing compassion.

 Starts October 4th, Cost: $30

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picture thIS view of life and atlas hugged

The September Global Read is unusual, insofar as it brings together two books, This View of Life and Atlas Hugged, by the same author, David Sloan Wilson.

Wilson sometimes describes himself as a novelist trapped inside the body of a scientist. In This View of Life what emerges is an incredibly empowering argument: If we can become wise managers of evolutionary processes, we can solve the problems of our age at all scales‚ÄĒfrom the efficacy of our groups to our well-being as individuals to our stewardship of the planet Earth.

In Atlas Hugged, Wilson launches a devastating critique of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and its impact on the world. Just as Rand advanced her ideas through fiction in addition to nonfiction, including her iconic novel Atlas Shrugged, Wilson pursues his quarry into the fictional realm with the story of John Galt III, the grandson of the main protagonist of Rand’s novel, and his quest to defeat the Evil Empire constructed by his father, grandfather, and grandmother.

Donation or Free: September 15, 9 am PDT
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picture women & girls sector   series on safety

The Partnership for a Safe and Sacred NOW and the Charter Women and Girls Sector gathers to explore new narratives of Safety and Security. Please join us as we discuss how committing to safety - how designing ourselves and our communities with the intent TO prevent injury and damage - offers us more than a sense of false security.

Donation or Free: September 22, 9 am PDT
read more



pictureCalifornia Passes Historic Declaration Becoming First ‚ÄúCompassionate‚ÄĚ State in the Nation

The State of California has passed Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 18, titled ‚ÄúCompassionate California‚ÄĚ. Introduced by Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), the Resolution declares California to be the first Compassionate State in the United States of America. The Resolution unanimously passed both the State Senate (32-0) and Assembly (73-0) and will become effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State. Read more.

Congratulations to the public officials who unanimously passed the resolution and to the Charter for Compassion California team who worked so hard in helping. 
Visit the Compassionate California website to learn more about California's efforts.



Join the Australian National Compassion Council in learning about the remarkable acts of compassion across our continent on this inaugural National Day of Compassion.

This National Day of Compassion will include a live event at 7 am, Sept 21--see time below for U.S. and world clock), including with members from the global Charter - followed by live streaming of video conversations with the ACC ambassadors, and leaders from cities across Australia and from people applying compassion in the arts, healthcare, business, education, environment, peace, inter-spirituality, social justice and in research.

In our polarized world we urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous, and dynamic force. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity.

Sept 20, 2021    02:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Check the world clock for your time zone
Register for the live event



The Compassionate Community Initiative of York Region has been co-founded by a small group of local women committed to weaving compassion into the social fabric of their communities.

This is an invitation to every individual and sector of the community in York Region to come together, as we shift from COVID to Compassion.

This initial meeting is an inquiry and exploration, co-facilitated by the Executive Director of the 
Charter for Compassion.

September 23rd from 4-5:30pm PT. 
Register here.


from our partners

You are invited to the online conference Interfaith Call for Ecocide Law, where the Faith for Ecocide Law initiative will be launched.

Faith for Ecocide Law¬†is an international, inter-religious coalition for Ecocide as an international crime. It aims at gathering religious and spiritual leaders and voices to express support for a powerful, concrete step to protect Nature: Ecocide as a crime at the International criminal court. Ecocide means mass damage and destruction of ecosystems ‚Äď harm to nature, which is widespread, severe, or systematic. September 16 will be the launch of the initiative.

September 16, 9 am-12 pm CEST and/or 4-7 pm CEST 
Check time zones. 


Creating Your Personal Path & Meditation Practice

A Universal 7-Step Process
, the 7-steps of ISM are drawn from the world’s great spiritual and secular traditions. This universal meditative process is designed to help you create your personal spiritual path, to develop your meditative practice and to companion others on their journey. ISM empowers health, happiness, gratitude, transformation, love, mindfulness, wisdom and service. It celebrates diversity and inclusivity by fostering life's meaning and purpose through active engagement in the challenges of our lives.

The course includes 8 weekly 90-minute ZOOM sessions and an extensive course website.

 Starts October 6th, Cost: $8/month


A 10-Day Online Event with 45+ Experts to Explore How to Work With Individual, Ancestral, and Collective Trauma.

Join over 100,000+ souls for an all NEW online event with expert presentations, talks, poetry readings, movement sessions, guided meditations, and panel discussions where we will delve into the theme of Collective Healing in Action.

September 19th through 28th



Click SHOP TODAY to see all our WEAR COMPASSION, TALK COMPASSION merchandise. 


Consider a volunteer opportunity with the Charter for Compassion! We are looking to grow much of what we are already doing and exploring new opportunities that match our mission. Let's see if we're a good fit! Please take our survey.


Go to our TAKE ACTION page to find a variety of ways in which to interact with the Charter and some of our key strategic partners. The Charter for Compassion is essentially a movement with many different players; individuals, compassionate cities, partner organizations and coalitions of other organizations all coming together as one network. 

As a non-profit, the Charter relies on the generosity of its members and communities to continue to meet our mission of making compassion a clear, luminous, and dynamic force in our polarized world. Help us share our vision and work with your family, colleagues, neighbors, and organizations in which you are involved.  Host a Charter Salon with friends and family, at home, with your faith community, or colleagues from work. We have everything you need: invitations, links to films, brochures, PowerPoints if you prefer, and even talking points.Contact Us and we’ll get back to you, follow up with an e-mail, call or Zoom meeting. We rely on people who believe in our mission to help touch the lives of those in local communities and across the world.


The Charter for Compassion has a bold, audacious vision of co-creating a world that works for everyone. Please support the Charter with a monthly contribution that helps to build this global compassionate community - person by person, school by school, and city by city.Thank you!
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