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Dec 20th
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Mind & Body

Wellness - Mind & Body

Who Needs Therapy? Dig a Labyrinth

Who Needs Therapy?  Dig a Labyrinth

The labyrinth, thousands of years old, is a one-pathway puzzle.  It has been used in the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe for ceremonial purposes, including spiritual and rites of passage rituals. It is a primal, pagan pattern and represents our journey to own center and back again into the world.

Right here in beautiful Santa Cruz at Seabright Beach on March 20, you will find Dean Pollard digging his quarterly labyrinth, celebrating the spring equinox. It takes him between 9 and 12 hours, with a little help.
PdeG: What is the meaning of a labyrinth?

PD: Birth, re-birth, transitions, healing, beauty, passage of time, spiritual growth, enlightenment, connection to source, rebirth, resurrection, emergence, evolution, progress, spiritual path, initiation.

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Wellness - Mind & Body

Labyrinth Man

Labyrinth ManDuring each solstice and equinox, at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River, the birthplace of surfing in this continental U.S., you will find Dean Pollard honoring the changes in the earth and sky, with his creation of labyrinths in the sand.  He starts from a center, plotting the design with his feet, performing his art with his body and shovel.  He aligns himself with a compass and rides his own fluidic wave in the tradition of the ancients, creating a spacial vortex between heaven and earth. This is performance art honoring seasons, transitions, and changes. Dean’s creative urge brings a level of consciousness and pattern for all of us to see.  Dean will be at Seabright Beach again March 20th for the Spring Equinox.  Check out his website: appliedeurythmy.com
Wellness - Mind & Body

Sat Nam

Sat NamThere is an email from Gurmukh Khalsa today.  This is not junk. I have received a personalized 40-day meditation!   I attended the San Francisco Yoga Journal Conference and took an intensive full day class with this beautiful yogi, dressed in white, from Los Angeles. I didn’t know much about her or about Kundalini Yoga, but had been curious for years.  Arriving early in San Francisco, I seized my spot in the yoga room.   She walked in with a sheepskin and a silk pillow. She had my attention. “Sat Nam,” were her first words.  The mantra (http://www.kundaliniyoga.org/mantra.html) means truth … say Sat Nam to anyone and it means I see the truth in you and you see the truth in me: truth is my identity … Divine truth. Kind of like “namaste,”
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Wellness - Mind & Body

Be Here Now

Be Here Now

As the 40th anniversary of the publication of BE HERE NOW is upon us, I decided to read the book, finally.  The changes that began in the coming-of-age 70s still affect the consciousness of our times.  Somehow, in 2011, the words of Ram Das are clearer, more profound and direct. (remdass.org)  The book itself is an early example of “interactive” media, as after the lengthy intro documenting Ram Das’ journey to a professorship at Harvard, the befriending of Timothy Leary, the excessive immersion in mushrooms and LSD, you then have to turn the book on it’s side to read the large typed message on the brown paper.  The different sized type and ink drawings seem to magnify the official communications of the book: “The next message you need is always right where you are.”

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Wellness - Mind & Body

APPLE CAFÉ

APPLE CAFÉ

No food or drinks served, but upbeat workers and customers, interesting conversation, meeting up, and learning something.  I swear that I don’t work for Apple, but I must say, I continue to be impressed at surprisingly polite and bright workers.  They seem to be from another planet, which is where Steve Jobs resides, along with those other brilliant inventor-types.  The marketing strategy is this: buy an Apple product, pay an extra $100.00 a year, get instruction at any time on your Mac, iPhone, iPod, and enjoy yourself at the same time.  Of course, there is a lot of “product” they could and probably do sell during your tutorial, but I have avoided buying anything yet.  My particular “genius” actually told me to go to Fry’s where I could save $30.00 on a 1 terabyte drive that I need for my 40,000 digital images. Imagine that!  Good Karma.

Wellness - Mind & Body

Go with the Flow

Go with the Flow

Feng shui style with Sweet Nectar Designs
As 2010 hastily rumbles to a close, I’ve recently found myself stewing in a pool of self-reflection. Musing over what? Oh, you know, just the little things: What will the new year hold? How do I want things to blossom in my life? How can I make things happen so that those pesky dreams might actually come true?

More than simply cleaning out the dust bunnies in my home, I feel ready to clean out the old energy; reach out and open the blinds in my life to let the light in, so to speak. And seeing as how I spend most of my hours in my bedroom, it sort of makes sense that any attempt to balance the flow of chi in my life should start there.

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Wellness - Mind & Body

What is Stealing?

What is Stealing?

Traveling to Manhattan last week, I took my familiar trek to Union Square where I met up with my Jivamukti teacher Dechen Thurman, son of the Tibetan Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman.  Sharon Gannon and David Life, artists who merged as activists and created the Jivamukti yoga schools along the way, founded Jivamukti in 1989.  Jivamukti means liberated living. A Jivamukti is one who is liberated and lives to benefit the lives of others … a tall order. The style is vinyassa flow and incorporates chanting, postures, and concepts of Indian philosophy.  Each month, Sharon and David emphasize a theme, and the theme this month is Asteya, or “non-stealing.”  The concept is this:  When one stops stealing from others, prosperity (material, mental, and spiritual) appears.  Stealing can be defined in its many forms: things, ideas, thunder, parking places.  Sharon Gannon takes the stealing concept even further to support her vegan philosophical theories … for example, confining an animal steals its life and by consuming meat, we steal the life and happiness of billions of animals.
Check out her concept:

Wellness - Mind & Body

Student of Light/Field Trip

Student of Light/Field Trip

Last night, clad in down I traveled with my Foothill Photography Class to Moffett Field in Mountain View for a night shoot.  Here we were, students of light, learning how to find it in the darkness that comes earlier each day at this time of year.  A technical aspect is this: put your camera’s shudder speed on “B,” press your finger on the button and count to 30. How my patience was tried, as I was used to the 1/100th of a second to gratification.  It takes time for the light to reach into the lens, a reminder of my stalled spiritual growth … a reminder to practice patience in the search for light, as the darkness deepens into winter.

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Wellness - Mind & Body

HUNTING and GATHERING, part I

HUNTING and GATHERING, part IThe vast scope of the Hollywood lit vegetables greeted me as I entered this blown out “Health Food Store.”  I remembered those dusty, dank dungeons in the 60’s posing with good intentions, and vastly more supplements than organic wilted lettuce and peppers. These little stores emerged in direct opposition to the supermarket culture with it’s bright branded labels.  Originally associated with hippies and health food “nuts,” the stores are mainstream.  Not that Whole Foods didn’t give the health craze a beautiful sheen, years ago.  It’s just that here, now, in Santa Cruz, our own Westside Health Food Store went “Gigante!”  The food to supplement proportion has switched but the concept is the same.  Healthy Food.  You can even get kombucha, that semi-illegal substance of the yoga crowd, on tap.  This is modern culture. Superb.

New Leaf West Side    1010 Fair Street
Wellness - Mind & Body

Tarot, my trusty arrow …..

Tarot, my trusty arrow …..There it is again, The Tower … the card I seem to draw repeatedly, especially in the last year or so.  The card that reminds me that change is happening all around.  The Tower card points to my awakening … required dismantling all which is artificial or conditioned.  Is this for real? Help!  This is heavy.
These Tarot readings are a frequent activity I turn to for a bit of guidance and validation, however flimsy this oracle may seem to some.  I depend on it.  These images are universal archetypes represented throughout religions and spiritual practices and I vacillate between buying the message full heartedly and discounting it completely. This depends on my mood.
Am I delusional as I choose a card and keep it as an arrow to my day?  Woody Allen says   “we need some delusions to keep us going” and that “the people who successfully delude themselves seem happier than the people who can’t.”
So, I’ll continue with my Tarot and whatever else keeps me in my flow or at least in my delusion.
 
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