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SAND 2016: Non-Dualism at its Best & Why We Are Not Our Thoughts!

November 13, 2016 by  

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Because we are covering spirituality and minefulness on WBTW more frequently, it should be no surprise to start finding an increasing number of articles on mysticism, spirituality, Buddhism, the here and now, angels, yoga retreats, meditation, and even some of the more obscure religions. For those of you who read us regularly, you’ll note that I’ve been covering the annual SAND Conference which takes place in the Fall at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose California and before that, in Marin. What’s SAND you may be wondering if this is your first visit? Or if you’ve visited the site regularly but didn’t read last year’s article, or my piece on SAND 2014, from SAND 2012 beyond. Technically speaking, it stands for Science and Non-duality or Non-Dualism, which means “not two” or “one undivided without a second”. It is a term and concept used to define various strands of religious and spiritual thought and it is found in a variety of Asian religious traditions and modern western spirituality. Not to complicate things, but in each case, it may have different uses and meanings. Photo credit: Clare NonDuality Ireland MeetUp The…

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Wisdom 2.0, Where Consciousness & Wisdom Meets the Digital Age

November 9, 2016 by  

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Ever since the earliest of days of Wisdom 2.0, the San Francisco-based event that brings together the brightest of minds and thinkers in the world of consciousness and technology, I was drawn to it, and not just because I personally happen to know several of the speakers they bring in every year. When Silicon Valley was starting to be too driven by money and flipping companies (again), Wisdom 2.0 entered the scene at a time when we were being flooded by the same speaking heads who seemed to be center stage at all the same events. Photo credit: Wisdom 2.0 was a welcome and inspiring newbie to the scene and while start-up culture and technology is embraced, the core of Wisdom 2.0 is about being grounded, being guided by your heart and innate ‘knowing’, making balance an integral part of your life and following a life of conscious thinking, whether that be at home, while riding your bike, on a walk, having dinner with friends or yes, in the boardroom. The event brings together leaders in the intersection of wisdom in the digital age and while past speakers have included the founders of Facebook, Twitter, and…

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Lightroom Tutorial For Editing Your Wildlife Travel Photos

October 12, 2016 by  

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I’m no philosopher but I can deeply relate to Buber’s sentiment, they don’t call our eyes the windows to the soul for no reason. When editing in Lightroom, specifically wildlife photographs, I’m always immediately drawn to the eyes of which ever animal I’m looking at and my gut instinct is always to enhance them. Without doing another single thing to the photo this immediately gives it more of an impact. The example that I’ll be looking at is this image of the Tamboti female; the light was quite dim and there is a bit of grain so it is an image that will demonstrate quite nicely the impact of simply enhancing the eyes. blog-1-copy In order to bring out the best in an eye there are a couple of fairly easy steps that you can take. Firstly, I always lift the shadows off. The structure of an animal’s face can often create shadows that dull the colour and the shine, especially if it is not looking into direct light. The best way to lift shadows in a specific area, rather than doing it to the whole image, is to


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The SAND Conference Hits San Jose/Silicon This Month

October 11, 2016 by  

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The SAND Conference (aka Science and Non Duality for those new to the event or concept) is one of my favorite events of the year. The event weaves in dialogue around consciousness, mind/body balance and meditation with science, art and technology all in one place — you are bound to think about the world in a new way by the end of the weekend. From experiential classes on sound, art, meditation, Qigong, yoga, breathing, and tantra, to lectures on Quantum Physics and everything in between, SAND brings together an incredible group of smart and caring thinkers that will leave you more than just a little transformed. Held every year in San Jose California, be sure to read up my recap of SAND 2015, SAND 2014 and SAND 2012. Speakers range from Middle East-born Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas) who is an author and founder of the Diamond Approach, a spiritual teaching that utilizes a unique kind of inquiry into realization, where the practice is the expression of realization, world renowned guru Deepak Chopra who has published more than 70 books on consciousness and spirituality, Matthew Fox, an internationally…

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Behind the Scenes at the Moser Glassworks Factory in Bohemia

October 7, 2016 by  

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If you’ve traveled long enough or are an art or glass lover, you’re bound to know about the world famous Bohemian glass. Truth be told, I’ve always been more of a pottery and ceramic lover than glass, but when you’re in Bohemia, you can’t not marvel at the artistry, especially since it’s a cut above other glass works you’ll likely see on your journeys. It’s such a cut above the rest, that I even bought myself a little bowl before leaving the Czech Republic. Where to go and how to find the best? There are no shortage of glass shops throughout the city, a large volume of them being in old town Prague, but the prices there tend to be a little pricier than if you find an out of the way glass shop or travel to nearby Moser Glass Museum and Glassworks Factory. You can take day trips out to the museum however I’d suggest at least an overnight in the area since Moser is located in Karlovy Vary after all, the oldest and most traditional spa town in the Czech Republic. I can’t marvel enough about the picturesque town along a storybook-like river and you can stay…

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Move Over Paris, Prague’s Energy Had Me At Hello!

October 2, 2016 by  

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As I made my way down the Hradcanske nam, something about the walk seemed vaguely familiar, though I couldn’t put my finger on it. Of course I had likely gone this path before, but I doubted it was on my trip to Prague five years ago, so was it the one 25 years ago or in a previous life? The smell, the sights, even the stone walls I passed felt like they were part of me. Given that more than half of my heritage stems from Eastern France and Eastern Europe combined, it could be that my cells inherently remembered the soil I was walking on, as if my ancestors were in fact with me on that late night walk through the streets of Hradcany. By the time I did the same walk three times to get to and from my hotel, it was so familiar that I began to think of it as my daily commute, and only wished my time in the Czech Republic was two months, not two weeks. Of course, the city has changed over the years, dramatically so since my first trip before the wall came down when…

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Under the Water Magic in the Turks and Caicos

October 2, 2016 by  

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You’d imagine that snorkeling and diving would be incredible in the Turks and Caicos Islands, right? Well, yes and no, but mostly yes. From Grand Turk and Providenciales, you can find some incredible reef and marine life, as well as West Caicos for deeper water diving. South Caicos also has some notable diving and snorkeling spots but less so on North and Middle Caicos where I hung my hat for the duration of my stay in August. That said, if you do find yourself on either North or Middle Caicos, you do have a few options. Three Marys Cays on North Caicos are three limestone iron shore rocks found close off the north coast and it’s a great spot for picnics, swimming and lazy beach lounging. In other words, it’s absolutely stunning, whether you head to Sandy Point Beach or Hollywood Beach, or anywhere in between. Despite the fact that the waters were a little rough when we were there, we were surprisingly able to see some stingray, small colorful reef fish in a variety of vibrant colors, a black fin shark that some of us wanted to get closer to than I did, and lots of brain coral.

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Sterling Forever Statement Jewelry: Where Diversity Meets Fun!

August 31, 2016 by  

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I recently discovered a wonderful sterling silver jewelry line that offers a variety of fun and diverse pieces, from statement chokers and elegant necklaces to bracelets, earrings and rings. What’s unique about these guys is their diverse offerings – you’d be hard pressed not to find something you fall in love with from their line. I find that most jewelry lines stick to one style, whether that be quaint and elegant or bold and loud — Sterling Forever offers both. I don’t know about you but I don’t like being pigeonholed into one style or another and sometimes I’m in the mood for a more delicate look (when I’m traveling in New England for example) and sometimes I opt for a bolder look when I’m on America’s west coast or in southern Europe. Rarely do I love so many pieces from one line, so hats off to Sterling Forever’s designers and curators. I’m impressed! Let’s start with my favorite, their Turquoise-Studded Choker. I was surprised at the weight of this sure to turn heads statement piece; wearing it made me feel like I owned any joint I walked into. Why? The first time I wore it was at…

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