Making Soul Contracts

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The following is excepted from the new novel Crescendo by Amy Weiss and is reprinted with permission of Hay House ©2017. Once upon a time— once outside a time— two silvery souls stand on the banks of a mystical lake, deciding who to be. The first one says, “How shall we love each other next? As brothers, lovers, neighbors? Let us be old friends or old flames. Or you could be a wolf, and I the moonlight who sends you into song.” “I’d like to be your husband once more,” the second says, for it is here where marriages are…

Consciousness, Energy, and the Body

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In this excerpt from Change Your Story of Your Health: Using Shamanic and Jungian Techniques for Healing, Carl Greer, PhD, PsyD, explains how feelings, conscious and unconscious thought, and energy can influence our physical health and that understanding their effects is vital in the process of rewriting our health story…. As you explore your health story, it will soon become clear that energy, feelings, and thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, are intertwined and can influence your physical health. For example, anxiety can cause heart arrhythmia and hyperventilation, while heart arrhythmia from atrial fibrillation can cause anxiety. Everything is interconnected within…

Enriched Landscapes

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The SPIRIT Interview with SUSANNAH C. DRAKE on CLEANING UP THE GOWANUS CANAL Facing the Canal at the end of 2nd street, the park was designed by DLANDstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture to clean up the Canal’s notoriously polluted waters. I spoke with Susannah C. Drake, DLANDstudio’s founding principal, who—as a registered architect, landscape architect, and an adjunct professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design—offers a unique perspective on the topic of green infrastructure and the design challenges that are unique to New York City. How does the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park™ work? When we came up…

A Yogic Guide to Spring Cleaning, Gift-Giving, and our Crisis of Clutter

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As we move into the warmer months of spring there are a few things we can be sure of: rain will fall, flowers will bloom, and we’ll be bombarded with advice for spring cleaning. The magazine covers we gaze at while waiting in line at the grocery store boast of expert ways to do a spring cleaning, and the internet is flooded with DIY videos and tips on the subject. What these sources typically fail to address, however, is the emotional impulse and mental state of us both as individuals and as a society that led to so much accumulation…

It’s Tax Season, Get a Good Night’s Sleep

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By the time you read this article, we will be well into Tax Season. Tax Season, that unacknowledged fifth season of the year that starts sometime after New Year’s Day and continues until the buds of spring are already on the trees. While most of the country is stumbling back to reality out of the haze of the holiday season, I, together with my fellow tax professionals, slip silently away to a parallel planet where the environment is cold, harsh and relentless. This is where we remain in perpetual motion for a period of three to four months, separated from…

Bringing the Harem Into My Home

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My first physical brush with belly dancing was in a yoga center in India. I was midway through a yoga teacher training program when an American belly dancing teacher joined our class. In response to my unbridled curiosity, she offered me a private lesson. Ironically, My first encounter with the sensual art of the Middle East took place only yards away from the Mecca of Hindusim, the holy city of Varanasi. Class began. As I was shown the moves, I was amazed to discover that the movement phrases felt like words of a language my body already knew! I was…

Building a Temple of the Heart: The Ten Components of Spiritual Partnership

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An Unlikely Pair of Spiritual Partners When we first met as residents in a Honolulu Zen center, we were each holding fast to some very fixed notions about who we were, and what we were searching for.  In addition to carrying a lot of emotional baggage from the past, our relationship was complicated by the fact that we were both married to other people.  While still in college, Perle had married a young medical student. They had thought of themselves, in the parlance of the sixties, as “spiritual seekers,” but were both really naively striving for personal advancement.  Getting “enlightened”…

There is Sacredness in Tears…

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The first thing we do when we embark our journey on this earthly realm is crying. If we don’t, the doctors make sure that we cry. That’s how the ‘breathe-in, breathe-out’ begins. As we ladder up in our formative years, many of us are told how big girls don’t cry and how boys shouldn’t cry or else they are tagged as little girls. Such damaging notions affects people throughout their life as it becomes a norm for them to hide their emotions or feel an embarrassment if tears come rolling down without their consent. When do we cry? When emotional…

Wu Wei’s Pot

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The King asked the Master Potter to shape a pot with a strong foundation and a thin lip from which to drink. Wu Wei had made many in his time. This was a simple request. He asked to watch the King and his chancellors to see how they used such pots. So Wu Wei attended a banquet where he saw the hard use and breakage of rough living. Then he went to work. He spun the clay on his ancient wheel. But this pot resisted being brought into the world. It would not center. Wu Wei had to hold the…

Journey to the Past

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Dear Young One, You are kind. You are smart. You are different. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. You are God’s child. You were made in his image. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. You might fail along the way but just remember failure leads to success. I know it hurts to fail and you just want to cry and scream but it is ok. Go ahead and cry because when that time comes, once you reach success you will look back at your failures and laugh. Just remember you are loved and you are not abandoned. You are…

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