Welcome to the Center for Global Awareness (CGA) blog!
The Center for Global Awareness is an Albuquerque, New Mexico–based nonprofit that applies a holistic approach and global perspective to its educational resources and three programs.
The Center for Global Awareness encourages transformative and lifelong learning by providing books, resources, and services that enfold holistic thinking, diverse perspectives, cross-cultural views, and experiential wisdom into our expanding consciousness with the purpose of promoting personal and global well-being.
CGA’s Three Programs
- Global Awareness For Educators
Ground-breaking books and free on-line resources about world history and global issues from a unique holistic approach and lively global perspective for educators and students grade 9-university.
Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection is a study and conversation program for self-organizing groups of lifelong learners about seeing significant global issues from different perspectives.
Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network encourages lifelong and transformative learning—an engaged and reflective process—to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being.
CGA supports all three programs; however, going forward we will primarily focus on our newest program, TURN.
What is Transformative Understanding?
CGA defines transformative understanding as a process of expanding our consciousness to become more aware of our being in the world. This non-linear process may include recognizing and integrating into one’s awareness— holistic thinking, diverse worldviews, cross-cultural perspectives, experimental wisdom, spirituality, and a mythic journey—with the ultimate goal of promoting personal and global well-being. By fitting in these seven dimensions or “paths” of transformative understanding into our belief system, we have a greater capacity to achieve a deeper sense of the meaning of our life and engage in the world more thoughtfully.
Why Our TURN program.
We at CGA feel that the human species is at a critical juncture in our long human history. The present is plagued by contentious disagreements and rapid changes in our way of life; the path forward is unclear and uncertain. Our past way of thinking isn’t capable of helping us navigate these murky waters. What can possibly help us make sense of and thrive during these tumultuous and challenging times?
CGA offers the TURN program as a way to help concerned individuals sort out our bewildering situation. We believe that in order for a more enlightened spirit to become a reality, a shift in individual consciousness to one that enfolds different ways of thinking, acting, and being is necessary for real transformation to occur.
What is CGA’s TURN program?
CGA’s TURN program integrates seven paths that we feel are instrumental in the development of a collective consciousness that can help us navigate our current complex and interdependent world. The seven paths include thinking holistically, recognizing different worldviews, differentiating cross-cultural perspectives, cultivating experiential wisdom, integrating spirituality, embarking upon a mythic journey, and promoting personal and global well-being. Each path is briefly explained below.
Path #1. Thinking Holistically
Holistic thinking has been a founding principle of CGA since its inception in 2003. We define holistic thinking as when the cultural traits of a society—politics, economy, technology, culture, religion, values, and environment— interact with, reinforce, and support each other. Changes in a cultural trait create a ripple effect, in turn changing other cultural traits. Holistic thinking considers the long-term consequences of actions and events.
Path #2. Recognizing Diverse Worldviews
It is our contention that we need to look through multiple worldviews or lenses when examining our local, national, and global difficulties. A single lens, or just one worldview, only shines light on one part of the problem. In particular, we examine five worldviews and six moral foundations.
Path #3. Differentiating Cross Cultural Perspectives
A perspective is a point of view or outlook. CGA encourages all of us to stretch our views and intellectual skills beyond our own personal identity and culture to understand and appreciate people different from us, without, necessarily, changing our own worldview. We have developed a framework encouraging our understanding of cross-cultural similarities and differences, both within our own country and among other nations.
Path #4. Cultivating Experiential Wisdom
There are three kinds of wisdom or right understanding. 1) Wisdom gained from the words of others. 2) Intellectual wisdom: determining whether the received wisdom is rational and logical. 3) Experiential wisdom is manifested within ourselves and based on our own experiences. We advocate for more wisdom drawn from personal experiences, especially from elders. Developing wisdom takes awareness, practice, reflection, and understanding.
Path #5. Integrating Spirituality
Spirit is an animating or vital principle in humans and animals or, according to some, in inanimate objects as well. We will use the term spirituality to describe the subjective experience of a sacred dimension, either connected with or separate from organized religion. Spirituality is an alternative to materialism, which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including consciousness, emanates from it.
Path #6. Embarking Upon a Mythic Journey
Taking part in a real or imagined mythic journey is a personal quest to deepen our insights about our inward life and our greater purpose in the outer world. Going beyond our comfort zone to explore what is possible beyond its boundaries is a goal of the mythic journey. This journey may lead us to make peace with the world, appreciate the balance of all things, and bring back something to share with others at its completion.
#7. Promoting Global Well-being
A goal of CGA is to promote well-being as a new personal, national, and global narrative. Well-being is a good or satisfactory condition of existence. It is a state of being characterized by meeting basic human needs, health, contentment, creativity, and living in accord with nature. Psychological well-being consists of positive relationships with others, autonomy, personal growth, and leading a meaningful life. Well-being can take many guises for different people.
Integrating TURN into Your Life
The TURN program provides ways for individuals to integrate the 7 Paths into their lives in the following tangible ways:
- Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn postings
- Blogs on WordPress and guest blogs
- Articles in select magazines or on-line sites
- Workshops on deepening the Turn paths (coming fall 2018, check back on website)
- A Transformative Travel Program (coming fall 2018, check back on website)
About the TURN Blog
We strive to bring attention to and share with our blog readers the seven paths to personal and global well-being. We hope the blog posts will be a way to experience the seven paths. Our blogs will go into more depth about the seven paths, discuss how they can be integrated into our everyday lives, and how these paths can be shared with others. With our blogs, we aim to stimulate conversations, create a network of like-minded people, and inspire individuals to create positive change in their inner and outer worlds.
The primary author of the blog posts is Dr. Denise R. Ames. She is a long-time educator, president of CGA, and the author of seven books. She is eager to share with you the insights she has discovered in developing the Turn program. However, her views may not be shared with all people associated with CGA.
Please consider following our blog and sharing with us and others your thoughts and impressions. We hope that blog posts may contribute to reaching greater awareness and understanding, and the ultimate goal of personal and global well-being.
As an IRS approved 501(c)3, contributions to the Center for Global Awareness are tax-deductible. Our FEIN: 42-1770391
For more information contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org