A BLINDFOLD? — TRANSFORMATION

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— From the Best Of New York Spirit — I am often asked if one can participate in Dance of Liberation without wearing a blindfold.  The idea of purposely setting aside one’s ability to see physically can seem strange, even intimidating, for many people.  Yet my experience demonstrates over and over again what a gift it can become. Originating in my own shamanic apprenticeship, the use of a blindfold in all facets of my work is an invitation and tool to go on one’s personal Vision Quest through dance. The dance, in turn, serves as a safe and sacred…

MARK NEPO — In an Eagle’s Eye

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The vastness of this endless sky is reflected in the corner of an eagle’s eye. In just this way, the heart when lifted up, reflects the Universe. As the moon brings sun to those turned from the light, the opened heart brings love to those struggling through darkness. It is important to remember here that the moon is not the source of light but a reflection; and likewise, as magnificent as the heart is, it is not the source of love, but a conveyer of forces often out of view when we are struggling. I have come to realize that…

WHY I DON’T TAKE SUPPLEMENTS

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— From the Best of the New York Spirit Magazine — This is a hairy subject.  You will think I am probably way off left field.  But anyway, here we go.  First, let’s make sure I’m clear about what it is I’m talking about.  According to Wikipedia (yes, I do on occasion consult it for the conventional wisdom), dietary supplements are defined under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) as “a product that is intended to supplement the diet and contains any of the following dietary ingredients: •  a vitamin •  a mineral •  an herb or…

Organic isn’t Enough: The Future of Farming

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When you fly over the United States of America, you will see wide blue rivers and lush green expanses. You’ll see snow-capped mountains and white sand beaches. In a land so diverse in climate and rich in natural resources, you might think we’d be able to feed and clothe ourselves. However, when the plane hovers a little closer to Earth, you will see that the farmlands that stretch through the heart of the country stand bare and black for half the year. Instead of harnessing the abundance that the Earth offers, we have come to depend on farms…

Does Milk Really Do Your Body Good?

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Americans love milk. It does the body good, right? Milk, ice cream and yogurt are creamy, comforting and delicious.  But do they have all of the health benefits that we are led to believe? It’s confusing. With dairy being an entire section on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food pyramid and advertisements with athletes and actors drinking the white beverage, it’s no wonder we think milk is a necessary ingredient for optimal health. The truth is those ads are funded by the National Milk Processor Board, so it’s no wonder they tout the health benefits of milk. They site…

St. J’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) – The Nervine Wonder Weed

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One of my favorite nervines is St. J’s wort. (Some call it St John’s, some call it St Joan’s, I’ve settled on St J’s.) I turn to this bushy, yellow-and-red flowering herb for loosening up muscular tension in the neck and shoulders, and for soothing and repairing nerves, even more than for its most celebrated contemporary use as an herb for mild to moderate depression, though it’s definitely helpful for that, too. St. J’s invites you to join her on the sunny side of the street, psychologically speaking, and to join her physically in the sunny meadows where she likes to grow.…

5 Soul-Stirring Untranslatable Words

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 Words become beautiful by the way they sound and by the meaning attributed to it. When strung meticulously, words have a rhythm; they paint a picture; they express the inexplicable feelings in the strongest way possible. They become poetry, they become the emotion itself; they touch hearts, they come alive. Books are being translated over the centuries so that people all over the world get the opportunity to read the words of wisdom. Yet, every one of us would agree that there are words and phrases, metaphors and sayings which we understand because we are born in the land of…

Sweet Ideas for Summer Herbs: Using Herbs in Sweet Recipes

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It’s no secret that adding salt to sweets is a mouthwatering practice (almost literally), because of how salt deepens and complicates flavors, but what about herbs? Some herbs are natural partners for sweets: peppermint and spearmint lend themselves easily to cold-weather sweets or citrus drinks, rosemary blends seamlessly into brown sugar, and even basil gets along with lemons and limes. What if you could use any spring or summer herb in a pastry recipe and instead of people responding with “I’m never eating this again,” they gasped and asked “Where did you get this recipe?? Can I have it?!” The Age…

July’s Astrological Forecast — Full Moon in Capricorn

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July begins with Cancer season in full swing. We get more emotional, more sensitive. It’s an excellent time to take a cooking class or try a new recipe. We feel like staying home and being comfortable in our shell. Also, the added water in the sky makes up more intuitive.  On July 1st, Chiron goes retrograde at 28 Pisces. Chiron is our sacred wound, so look where Chiron falls in your chart to see an opportunity for healing.  Ruled by Neptune in Pisces, we can express our pain artistically to relieve any stress.  On July 4th, Venus enters Gemini. Venus…

CONVERSATIONS IN THE SPIRIT: Part 6, Perle (Epstein) Besserman

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From a collection of Lex Hixon’s WBAI “In the Spirit” Interviews Lex Hixon was an accomplished spiritual practitioner, scholar, author who explored the great religious traditions extensively. He published nine books and spent 17 years hosting the radio program “In the Spirit” on WBAI, where he interviewed the day’s leading spiritual lights. Thirty-three of those interviews, carefully edited, appear for the first time in print in Conversations in the Spirit. Interviewees include the spiritual giants Ram Dass, Alan Watts, Daniel Berrigan, Swami Muktananda, Kalu Rinpoche, Mother Teresa, and Stephen Gaskin. Interview with Perle (Epstein) Besserman February 4, 1979 A…

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