How to Tell a Story


(photo courtesy of Joseph Linaschke at

Storytelling is a hot topic for business leaders. Recent TED talks plus a new article by Harvard Business School advocates the use of story for communicating a key message or mission. Of course, in wisdom traditions storytelling is much more than a means for a message. For traditional cultures, stories are multifaceted; they are worlds to be explored, mirrors for self-reflection, maps that can be useful for charting (or measuring) a life. In The Hearth, stories are often experienced as a kind of medicine used to heal loneliness, build community, reduce shame, and inspire generosity.

The Harvard Business School offers its own tips on How To Tell a Great Story. To see The Hearth’s personal storytelling tips go here.



Temporarily Insane a Night of Genorosity


Over 320 people showed up to Temple Emek Shalom last Thursday night for our summer Hearth event. Many walked, biked, and carpooled in order to reduce our carbon footprint.  There were homemade cookies, brownies, and congo bars made by eight different volunteers and wine, ice tea, and lemonade provided by the Ashland Co-op (our sponsor for the evening). Over $1500 was collected at the door for Community Works and their crisis helpline. Generous audience members also gave $400 directly in support of The Hearth.

The evening began with a “Ain’t We Crazy” by blues duo Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter. Then Mary Landberg took the stage and told a strange tale of trying to find a man dying of AIDs in a train car, surrounded by bikers. Mary was followed by Steve Scholl who found himself stuck in a demilitarized zone between Canada and the United States with a buick full of 800 books. Kevin Carr shared the Alice-and-Wonderland tale of  living in an abandoned office complex in Santa Monica with Deaf Pete, Dr. White, and the Blue Man. Tedi Tate finally found home after hopping a fence and riding a horse bare back between nude modeling gigs on the outskirts of Los Angeles.  Before our break Ava DeRosier and Kim Starkey performed a powerful vocal and piano duo that left the audience speechless. The second half of the show included Renee Miereanu finding freedom in a men’s maximum security prison, Fred Grewe discovering his frailty in a hospital morgue, and the dynamic Eduardo Placer closed the show with a raucous tale of seeking to live life as a musical. The highlight of the evening may have been when all 320 audience members joined Eduardo in singing “Tomorrow” from Annie

We are so lucky to be in such a gifted, honest, and generous community. Next Hearth event is in October. The theme is “Change” and proceeds will benefit Rogue Climate.

Fantastic Storytellers and Musicians Added to Summer Hearth Lineup



Oregon Shakespearean actor Eduardo Placer, horse trainer Tedi Tate, Providence Hospital chaplain Fred Grewe, and world renown fiddler Kevin Carr have all joined Mary Landberg and Renee Miereanu, as storytellers for “Temporary Insanity” this Thursday, June 19th from 7 to 9pm. Duane Whitcomb has pulled together an incredible group of musicians including blues duo Joseph Seamons and Benjamin Hunter from Seattle (fiddle and banjo) and sweetheart singer-songwriter Madeline Schmidt from Medford (who stole the show last summer) as well as others. The Hearth is still only $5 and all proceeds will be given to the crisis helpline at Community Works in Medford.

A big THANKS to the Ashland Coop for sponsoring our summer Hearth event.

Make sure you gather your friends and walk, bike, or carpool (lets reduce our carbon footprint and leave the parking to those who truly need it) this Thursday night for another beautiful gathering.

Storytellers Lined Up for Summer Hearth


Our summer Hearth event is June 19, from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, OR (1800 E. Main). Our theme is “Temporarily Insane.” Tellers include Steve Scholl, Neil Mangicaro, Renee Miereanu, Tedi Tate, Mary Landberg, Fred Grewe. Proceeds from this event will benefit the crisis hotline at  Community Works in Medford, Oregon.  Ashland Co-op is our sponsor for this summer storytelling event. Mark it on your calendar and see you there.

“Temporarily Insane” Theme for June 19th Hearth Event


Our next Hearth event will benefit Community Works in Medford, Oregon. The theme is “Temporarily Insane.” Ashland Co-op is a sponsor for our summer storytelling event will take place June 19th from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, Oregon. If you have a story to share contact Mark Yaconelli at