Grow Your Own

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This morning, I opened my eyes to the sun filtering in through my windows and the scent of fresh basil floating towards my nostrils. I stretched my arms, pulled on my robe and hurried outside to my vegetable garden to pluck a few ripe tomatoes for my omelette. Then I woke up. While this lovely scenario may sound like the stuff that only dreams are made of for urban dwellers, more and more people are demonstrating that we can have it all: an apartment at the nexus of the universe and a vegetable garden growing healthy food and bright flowers.…

In the Spirit Q & A with Derek Calibre

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In The Spirit is an ongoing series profiling New York based practitioners. These interviews are conducted in an effort to introduce leaders of the health community to readers of the New York Spirit, while creating a dialogue about wellness in our ever bustling city. This month’s interviewee is Derek Calibre, a psychic who specializes in helping his clients with career, relationship, and general life advice. How long have you lived here? In 2007, at the age of 40, I moved to New York from Hawaii. When I mention this to folks, they often seem perplexed that I made that choice.…

Bringing the Harem Into My Home, part 2

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(In part 1 Jena tells of a build up of eight years of curiosity about Belly Dancing before diving into a Middle Eastern Music and Dance camp. She emerges inspired and with a CD in hand.) After a weekend immersed in belly dancing my body felt nothing other than delicious. There was a freedom in my hips and a languor in my movement that heightened my baseline joy as I walked through life. Determined to keep this feeling alive, I was armed with a feminine type of weapon: an instructional CD. With a gorgeous blond gracing the cover, the…

The Kindness of Strangers – A True Story

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“Hello, Hello!”  I yelled louder and louder hoping someone would respond.  My face was pressed tight against my tiny bathroom window.  I was straining to see 5 floors down to the street behind my building.  “Hello” I kept yelling -voice rising in desperation, hoping someone, anyone would answer.  My eyes scanned nearby windows for signs of life.  All I needed was one human to notice me and help would be on the way. But this wasn’t a main street; it was a quiet alley, exactly the kind you’d want your place to back onto, especially if you’d just moved to…

Prayerness: Living Life With Awareness

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As the energy of Summer builds, the days are longer and the invitations, activities, and projects on the rise. The great outdoors is calling for gardening, hiking, and camping. It’s all wonderful and sometimes exhausting! With all this outer activity our inner terrain may be neglected. When do we find the time for prayer? First of all ask yourself, what is prayer? I describe it as “communion” with all that is, ourselves, each other, the Earth, and Divine. It’s more about this awareness than actually doing something. I call it prayerness. There is deep reverence in living life with awareness.…

Dancing to Your Freedom

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Through the application of breathing techniques and blindfolds as well as the hypnotic sounds and percussive rhythms, dancers enter into a trancelike state where inhibitions are cast aside and the body allies with spirit to create a physical and emotional release as well as a spiritual awakening. Many of us hear the words “trance dance” and we immediately become a bit spooked by the image it conjures. But for one practitioner and instructor of trance dance, this ancient ritualized form of expression and self-exploration is anything but bizarre. Parashakti is a shamanic trance dance instructor and healer who leads dance…

Integrative Nutrition: Slower Food

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People dine in odd ways and places: standing up, driving, on the subway, discussing business deals, watching television, reading or working on the computer. Eating is no longer viewed as an activity in and of itself, worthy of exclusive quality time. What most people don’t realize is that while we eat food, we are also assimilating energetically whatever else is going on around us. When we eat, the body is in an open and receiving mode, and we take in more than just the vitamins and nutrients in our meal. We also absorb what is happening in the environment around…

thoughts on food & health: SENSIBLE SUNNING

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Summer is coming, and so is the annual ritual of spending time outdoors by the beach or the lake.  And of course most people follow the modern ritual of going into the sun covered by a plastic goo called . . . sunscreen!  How ever did we get to a notion that the sun, that life-giving element, is our constant enemy?  While it is true that even the best thing can at times be detrimental (think King Midas), the negative aspect of sunning has almost obliterated its positive side in the public mind today. Sunlight is required for the internal…

Deep Listening

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We dare to listen, so we might drop together into the truth that holds us all. If the purpose and gift of love is to awaken and reawaken what is dormant within us, then when awake it is our responsibility to stay awake and keep the gift alive. We do this by deep listening. Not toward a goal or even toward a noble ambition but as a way of life, staying devoted to listening with our heart—more than once, to everything. The faster we spin or are spun, the more we are thrown to the top where we grow mental…

The Year of Chopsticks

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Go to any Asian-cuisine restaurant and the setting will usually include a pair of chopsticks. Most people dining in America, however, will not even attempt to use such tools, opting instead for a fork. White Westerners seem to be notoriously bad at balancing their food between two thin sticks as I learned one day when I sat down at a restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown. I had joined my Chinese-American roommate Li Huan for lunch and was the only non-Asian in the restaurant. When the food was served at our table, the entire restaurant watched as I picked up my chopsticks;…

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