Hearth and Soul


The new Hearth and Soul met Feb 21, for meditation, a sharing circle, and expressions of gratitude.

The goal is to create a place where people can express ourselves and support each other in these challenging times. The group will evolve along with the interests and energy of the participants.

The current plan is to meet once per month on the 3rd Monday, 7-9pm. Venues will vary, so please check your Transition Palo Alto email (sign up for the emailing list if you haven’t at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/transition-palo-alto). You can also join the new Hearth and Soul google group, which we’ll use to share ideas and resources (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/tpa_soul).


Phoenix garden – rising from the soil

— submitted by Kris Jensen

In 2006 two permaculture students created the outline of what would become the Phoenix Garden on a barren and degraded seven-acre site at San Mateo County’s Youth Services Center (YSC). Under the patient leadership of Toni DeMarco, one of those students and a therapist at the YSC, the Garden finally began to take shape last year when we planted 100 fruit trees that created the foundation of a food forest that will be there for generations to come. The overarching goal of the Phoenix Garden is to transform the site into a resilient and regenerative permaculture oasis serving youth and families participating in court-ordered probation department programs, the foster care system, and families in need of mental health services.

You can be a part of this incredible project by volunteering at one of our regular workdays. In partnership with San Mateo County, the Silicon Valley Permaculture Guild manages a volunteer workday every third Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM where we get our hands dirty building out this vision based in the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and sharing in our excess.

If this piques your interest and would like to join us, please contact Kris Jensen (krisxjensen@gmail.com) and look for announcements from Transition Palo Alto for an upcoming TPA workday. The garden is located at the San Mateo County Youth Services Center, 222 Paul Scannell Drive in San Mateo.

Feb Fourth Friday – Short Videos of Resistance and Hope

It’s all hands on deck to make our voices heard, to stay resilient and hopeful as these times call on all to resist the steamroller that’s attempting to turn the clock back on environmental protection, economic and social justice, and human rights.

With your help, we’ve gathered some short videos to make us laugh, think, and get inspired and energized.

Come to Fourth Friday to see some videos together – so much better than watching them alone!

We’ll explore about living in these ‘interesting’ times, and on what resistance and resilience mean to all of us.


Friday February 24, 7:30-9:30pm
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto,
505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto

New Climate Change Book Group

In collaboration with the Palo Alto City Library, Transition is co-sponsoring a new monthly book group about climate change. The group will start in February. Meetings will be held during the day time at the Mitchell Park Library. Group members will select the books to be read and discussed, and the Library will endeavor to provide multiple copies that can be shared. Topics will include: the science behind climate change, how to tak with people who deny it’s happening, what individuals can do about it, and effective government policies in the US and elsewhere. Some of the suggested books are personal, one is a graphic movel, some are more scientific in nature, some more political. We’ll pick what suits the group’s interests.

If you’re interested, please send a note to organizer Nancy Truher at nft@truher.net. Discussions will be led by Nancy Truher and Debbie Mytels. Time and date of the first session will be determined based on those who are interested. If you have a favorite book to share, please bring it to the first meeting, too!

January Fourth Friday – Best of Bioneers 2016

The annual Bioneers Conference features talks by leading innovators with breakthrough solutions to help restore people and our planet. At January Fourth Friday, we’ll show a few of the best talks from the 2016 conference. Get ready to be inspired and energized!


Friday January 27, 7:30-9:30pm
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto,
505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto

Calling for Inner Transition leaders

Are you interested in helping lead a new “Inner Transition” group? 

Inner transition is now more important than ever, as many of us try to come to terms with our concerns about the direction of our country and the world.  We hope the Inner Transition group will be a place where we can express ourselves and support each other.  We can try meeting once per month, and then let the group evolve along with the interests and energy of the participants.

We’re looking now for a committee of people who will help lead the group – to decide on content and take turns facilitating the monthly meetings.  Content could include heart and soul conversations on particular themes,  poetry reading, creative writing, sharing of books or articles, movement, meditation, or anything else that members of the group would like to do.

If you’re interested in helping lead the Inner Transition group, please contact barbaraweinstein2@gmail.comThere will be an initial meeting for potential leaders on the evening of January 23. We’ll send the meeting details when you RSVP.

Freedom Writers

As a response to our current political, economic, and moral crises, Romola Georgia will be hosting a writing group twice a month. The goal of this group is to produce a regular barrage of written pieces that will influence decision makers and business leaders, as well as folks in media, entertainment, religion, and other fields.

If you are concerned about threats to democracy, economic inequality, climate crisis, targeting of minorities, public education and many more vital issues;
if you would like to build your writing skills in an environment of connection and support;
if you can envision becoming fearless in supporting the earth, our children, and the communities we love; join in and take action.

Some possible ideas about how we’ll use the time:

  • Review and critique a piece that a participant brings to the group.
  • A participant presents a current issue as a topic.
  • 15 minute action items.
  • Best practices for getting Letters to the Editor published.
  • Building blogs, using social media, etc.
  • Your ideas, resources.
  • Can we replicate this idea in other neighborhoods, cities?

Meetings are the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 7:30pm in Palo Alto. To RSVP and for the meeting location, please contact Romola at rgeorgia@gmail.com.