After years of working 70 hours a week at jobs I detested, I felt like the proverbial "hole in the donut" - solid on the outside, but empty on the inside. Searching for meaning in my life, I abandoned my successful but unsatisfying career and set out on a six-month solo backpacking trip around the world to pursue my true passions of travel, writing, and photography. My blog features stories about the destinations I visit, people I meet, the crazy things...Read more here....
The first day of the Kalachakra for World peace event that began yesterday in Washington, DC fell on the 76th birthday of the Dalai Lama. After opening ceremonies, thousands of supporters streamed from the Verizon Center and paraded through the streets to the National Mall, where dances and celebrations were held to honor His Holiness. The Kalachakra, which the most important event of the year for Tibetans, is held in a different location around the world each year and this is the first time it has ever been held in Washington, DC. The event will last for eleven days, from July 6-16, and will feature teachings by the Dalai Lama, as well as a building of a magnificent sand mandala.
Taking a break from my physical journey today to work on the inner journey, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than to share this amazing video sent to me by my friend Karen. Peace and love to you all…
For the third straight morning, I roll out my Yoga mat on my living room floor and sit in half lotus pose. I straighten my back and rest my hands on my knees palms up, bringing the tips of my forefingers and thumbs together to create circles. Closing my eyes, I begin Ujjayi breathing, generating a sound reminiscent of the noise Darth Vader makes when he breathes. Ujjayi breathing allows me to feel my breath and I concentrate on following it in and out of my body. I draw air in through my nostrils and across the back of my throat, filling my stomach before I fill my lungs. I hesitate for just a second at the top of the breath, then exhale through my nose, emptying my lungs first and then my stomach. Pulling my belly button into my spine, I squeeze the last bit of air out of my stomach and then hesitate once more before drawing in another breath.
I envision heavy, negative energy leaving with each exhalation and bright, light energy entering my body with each inhalation. At some point I realize that my tongue is glued to the roof of my mouth. Gently I peel it away, allowing it to Continue reading →
Some years ago, Japanese scientist Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water revealed changes when specific thoughts were directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that had been exposed to loving words formed brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake crystals. Alternatively, water from polluted sources or that had been exposed to negative thoughts formed incomplete crystals with asymmetrical patterns and dull colors.
Using high speed photography, Emoto recorded the formation of frozen crystals from water that had been exposed to different words, thoughts and feelings. When he typed the words “love and gratitude” on a piece of paper and wrapped it around a bottle of water, the crystals that resulted were exquisite and perfectly formed. The same results were obtained when he wrapped the bottles with the words “thank you;” regardless of the language used, the phrase “thank you” always produced perfectly formed crystals. Alternatively, the words “I hate you” produced deformed, incomplete, unattractive crystals.
Since the earth and our bodies are predominantly made up of water, Emoto theorized that we could positively impact the earth and our personal health by changing our thoughts, words, and feelings. Further experiments proved that even polluted water could produce lovely crystals after being subjected to positive words and thoughts.
Perhaps Thanksgiving has put me in a contemplative mood this year, but lately I have been thinking a lot about words, feelings, thoughts, and actions. And of course, about gratitude. Four years ago, despite the fact that I had a successful career and a lovely house, I was seriously ill and severely unhappy with my life. In about five weeks I will celebrate my anniversary of “chucking it all.” On December 31, 2006, I Continue reading →
Recently, artist and University of San Francisco professor Richard Kamler organized the “Seeing Peace Billboard Project,” where ten artists from around the world were invited to imagine peace on a billboard-size scale. The result is ten very unique billboards placed around the city of San Francisco for all to see. It is Kamler’s profound hope and belief that, through the visual aid of the billboards, people will begin to imagine what peace looks like, and he is convinced that without this step, we will never get there. The following video features Kamler speaking about his project against a video backdrop of the various billboards:
After watching the video I was reminded of a book I read a few years ago by author Gregg Braden, titled “The Isaiah Effect, Decoding the Lost Science Of Prayer and Prophecy,” in which the author discusses the Great Isaiah Scroll, one of the 25,000 fragments of papyrus, parchment, and hammered copper known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Nearly one thousand years older Continue reading →
Back in the late-80′s, just as the cold war was coming to an end, my Rotary Club participated in a program called “Soviets Meet Middle America,” sponsored by the Center for US-USSR Initiatives and the Soviet Peace Committee. The mission of the program was to bring American and Soviet citizens together “around the kitchen table” to discover that they weren’t enemies. The belief was that if we got to know one another as real human beings, we would be less inclined to want to kill one another. Various members of our club welcomed eight Soviet citizens into their personal homes. They came from all walks of life: teachers, engineers, students, and even one man who I am still convinced was KGB. It was a remarkable two weeks of tours and getting to know one another that will forever remain etched in my memory. This event may well have planted the initial seed of my liberal, love-of-all-mankind mentality that to this day suffuses my psyche. Unfortunately, Soviets Meet Middle America lasted only two years.
Today, however, I learned about Pangea Day, an event that was held this past May 10th and is described on their website as follows: “In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it’s easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that to help people see themselves in others through the power of film.” The event featured 24 short films Continue reading →