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Spirituality

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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Get Your Zen on at Woodacre’s Spirit Rock Meditation Center

October 27, 2016 by  

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Welcome toSpirit Rock Meditation Center, commonly called Spirit Rock for short, which is a meditation center I visited recently that is only a hop, skip and a jump from San Francisco. A lovely drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and past southern Marin will bring you through the small but pretty towns of Fairfax and San Anselmo California, both of which have loads of quaint shops, cafes, restaurants and spiritual shops. A little further up nestled in the beautiful natural environment of Woodacre California lies Spirit Rock, which focuses on the teachings of the Buddha as presented in the vipassana, or Insight Meditation, tradition. Set among 411 acres of serene oak woodlands in the secluded hills of West Marin County, you’re surrounded by grassy hills and woods on all sides. In other words, it’s peaceful, serene and tranquil in every way and allows you to escape from urban energy for awhile. There’s a variety of reasons you might want to experience Spirit Rock, the largest one I’d argue being as a retreat for personal and spiritual development and let’s say more “awakening.” Because its focused on Insight Meditation teachings, a lot of their classes and…

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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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5 Great Fall Reads To Get You Into Balance

September 28, 2016 by  

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We used to do a lot more book reviews here than we have recently, largely because I haven’t had much time to read and it needs to be relevant to where WBTW is heading, which is all about having balance in our lives when we travel. Mindy/body/spirit balance is key to longevity and key to happy days on the road, particularly if you travel often. Here are five great finds, some newer than others, but life lessons are timeless. Let’s start with a new author I recently discovered in an OLD bookstore in New Hampshire on our trip back east this summer: Skye Alexander.

The Best Meditations on the Planet

By Dr. Martin Hart and Skye Alexander, think of this book as your own personal encyclopedia of specific meditations for physical, emotional, and spiritual health and healing. They offer 100 techniques to beat stress, improve health and create happiness in just minutes a day. A lot of people avoid meditation because they think there’s ‘something’ to learn, or they won’t “get it” fast enough, or they’re too busy or too frustrated when they start to meditate and start to get antsy real quickly. I’d fall into the latter category more than the others…

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Banaras: Older than History, Older than Tradition, Older than Legend…

March 22, 2016 by  

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If you haven’t heard of this ancient place, then you should. Banaras is the most visited pilgrimage destination in all of India. One of the seven Holy Cities, one of the twelve Jyotir Linga sites and also a Shakti Pitha site, it is the most favored place for Hindus to die and be cremated. Myths and hymns speak of the waters of the Ganges River as the fluid medium of Shiva’s divine essence and a bath in the river is believed to wash away all of one’s sins.

“Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older than even legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”- Mark Twain..

“Kashi” as locals calls it, is a city that should be savored slowly- almost like the ‘paan’ that comes associated with this name in its prefix. It is a city that you either like for its character or dislike for its dirt. So, while packing your suitcase, pack patience. Because, if you don’t wear that, it will be hard for you move along or experience it. Be it, for allowing the musky smell of camphor to entice you, the sounds of hyms and chants to invigorate…

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Wisdom 2.0: Practice Bringing Consciousness Into Everything You Do….

February 28, 2016 by  

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I’ve known about Wisdom 2.0 for awhile now but never managed to secure a ticket in time to attend, at least not formally so since I’ve been to a few sub-events and parties here and there. As I scanned the sessions, I realized I knew half a dozen speakers on the main stage, which would serve as a place for discussions over three days at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco. Facebook tells me that I share 30 mutual friends with its founder  Soren Gordhamer, although somehow given where I’ve been spending more of my time lately, I’m surprised it’s not more. I couldn’t align with his vision more. His vision is centered around how we use technology and making sure consciousness is at the core. Essentially Wisdom 2.0 addresses the great challenge of our age: to not only live connected to one another through technology, but to do so in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world. I’ve been starting to see more and more technologies crop up that aren’t necessarily healthy for us physically or emotionally. CES over the last…

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SAND 2015: Where Consciousness Gurus, Yogis & Scientists Converge

November 6, 2015 by  

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From experiential classes on sound, art, meditation, Qigong, yoga, mindfulness and tantra, to lectures that range from the convergence of Quantum Physics to consciousness and everything in between, the SAND Conference brings together the smartest and most creative minds for one long weekend, where it’s hard to not leave just a little bit transformed. By Transformative Travel at We Blog the World, we mean just that — unique experiences that will transform how you view the world, whether that be hanging out with polar bears in the Canadian Arctic, meeting ice glaciers on a luxury cruise ship in Chilean Patagonia, simple reflective moments on Curacao’s Caribbean beaches, or being present at a consciousness conference where you will inevitably meet some of the most interesting and caring people you’ve ever met.  (see my write-up from 2014)
Pre-conference workshops covered a myriad of things from the Salka Experience of Consciousness and Feeling the Universe to transforming your life through the Power of Sound. Sacred Science and the Mystery of Christ even ended up on the agenda, so whether you’re an atheist, agnostic, a believer in God or have no


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