It’s no secret to anyone who has followed my posts for awhile, that I have a soft spot for the Adirondacks
and that I spent my childhood hiking in her woods, climbing her peaks and swimming in her waters. For those who haven’t followed my travels and may not even know where the Adirondacks are, it refers to the Adirondack Mountains, a mountain range in upstate New York, roughly a 3-4 hour drive from New York City.
The Adirondacks are not that close to get to for urban travelers nor for those who only have a short window to see a few major highlights when they come to the states. If you have a car, it’s a fairly easy shot up the New York Thruway but if not, you’re stuck on a not so stellar Trailways bus
which I had the misfortune of taking this past summer.
That said, if you give the Adirondacks your time, you’ll experience a serene spirit and sense of peace you’ve never known before.
Does that serenity and peace come from the Mohawk Indians of yesteryear? The Hudson River with…
While I had been to Chartres France
before and of course visited its majestic cathedral, I didn’t remember how much of a spiritual presence it had, inside and out. Spending time in the Chartres Cathedral
was one of my favorite experiences on a recent fall “Spiritual France”
tour, which included homes of famous saints, cathedrals, churches and cemeteries throughout Normandy and Brittany. With her 4,000 sculpted statues, 5,000 figures and artisan craftmanship steeped in 12th and 13th century design, the Cathedral
pretty much has everyone at “hello.”
It’s no surprise that its listed and registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The cathedral touts a number of impressive facts, but the one that is bound to impress any American is that the first cathedral was built as far back as the 4th century, with the oldest relics dating back to the 9th century with the crypt of Saint-Lubin. Several buildings were then rebuilt on the same site.
After a fire in the 11th century, Bishop Fulbert had a new cathedral built. Today, all what remains of this cathedral is the crypt, the third largest in Europe after Saint Peter’s in Rome and Canterbury. In 1134, most of the…
One of my favorite afternoons in Tokyo
was spent at the Nezu-jinja Shrine
in the north, which is located off the beaten path on the Chiyoda line in a tiny little suburb called Nezu. It is said to have been established over 1,900 years ago by the legendary priest Yamato Takeru no Mikoto in Sendagi with Susanoo no Mikoto as the chief deity.
The shrine itself was completely empty when I arrived and by the time I left a few hours later, there was only one man walking his dog and a teenage student in her school uniform wandering about. The place was so serene, so tranquil that it would be easy to sit amidst its spiritual presence for hours if not days.
It has an incredibly rich and old past and boasts a number of fascinating factoids, largely related to the shrine’s age. In the Edo Period (1600-1867), the 5th shogun Tsunayoshi relocated it from Sendagi to Nezu to commemorate the adoption of Ienobu as his successor and the 6th shogun Ienobu chose it as the guardian deity. The Gongen-style architectures (typical of modern shrines) of Honden (main sanctuary), Haiden (worship hall),…
Science and Nonduality
(SAND) is a five-day immersive experience where leading scientists, spiritual teachers, philosophers, artists, and a thriving international community gather to explore a new paradigm in spirituality, one that is based on timeless wisdom traditions, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience.
Each year, they come together for an annual conference in the states (and one in Europe) and the result is an explosive, miraculous, healing and serene experience – yes, all at the same time. I attended this incredible event in 2012 in Northern California and this year, they are hosting it in San Jose at the Dolce Hayes Mansion on 200 Edenvale Avenue. Be sure to read my write up
from the 2012 event.
Science and Nonduality provides a forum where preeminent scientists, philosophers, teachers, artists and a large, international community gather to explore and advance the new paradigm emerging in spirituality, that is both grounded in cutting-edge science and consistent with the ancient wisdom of nonduality — the deep understanding of the interconnectedness of life.
Ultimately, SAND is a playground where these different disciplines explore and share insights or simply reflect on what is emerging in consciousness. Knowing defines…
“We call in the directions to invoke the energy (the spirit) of the elements to join us in the circle. It is a way to honor Mother nature and her powerful healing abilities.”
Tonight I’ve decided to do something totally out if the ordinary for myself. A Moon Healing Meditation Circle in New York City, hosted by Sarah Eve Cardell, the Culinary Shaman, promised spiritual healing and good vibes through the honoring of the elements, a journey to the heart and a lesson on how to use meditation and shamanism to help with solving everyday challenges and for harnessing power, love and strength. Oh yea, and raw vegan chocolate. Yum!
Sarah Eve Cardell, the Culinary Shaman. Photo courtesy of Sarah Eve Cardell.
The Culinary Shaman And The New Moon
Cardell, who feels she was “completely guided to be on this path,” has studied with a number of esteemed shamanistic practitioners, including Itzhak Beery, Ipupiara the late Makuniman of the Ure-wau-wau tribe, Tom Cowan, The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, crystal energy work and John of God in Brazil. Additionally, she holds yoga instructor certification from Sri Dharma Mittra.
I was smiling, a big grin that made my eyes crinkle into their normal etched laugh lines, then I opened my eyes. I was within inches of George and Charlie – nose to nose – grinning ear to ear. We looked each other in the eyes as we embraced each other smiling. My daily yoga class was complete, and it ended with a group embrace and a smile every day for 6 days. The type A, logical side of me was given permission to get all mushy and yogi like for one hour a day while we stayed at Soma Kerala Palace – and here’s the real surprise – I loved it.
Charlie and I came to Soma Kerala Palace to focus on writing – we had dubbed it our writing retreat. A chance to be stuck on a little island in Kerala where we didn’t have any of the noise and distractions of India or our normal lives. However when they asked me if I was interested in doing a morning yoga class, I decided it might be good for me as in true writing retreat style I would be…
I recently discovered the Lightning in a Bottle Festival
which was originally designed to be a heart and mind expanding oasis. Think creative, spiritual and joyous cradling among other like-minded people amidst uplifting and inspiring music.
While I haven’t been to one of their events yet, from what I gather from a friend who is a speaker and their website, it’s a smaller version of Burning Man, but in a much smaller environment but without the art, the man and the fire. The Lucent Temple, in the center of the festival this year, where people can go to stretch and open their body core with yoga and movement. There are a variety of workshops and traditional and indigenous skills in The Village as well.
You will be able to learn from pioneers and experts teaching a variety of valuable skills and lessons. They will have workshops to allow you to explore a subject you’ve always been interested in, or pick up skills in your established field.
Past workshops and panels at LIB have featured everything from Solar Cooking to Composting, from African dance to Qi Gong, from Sensual Chocolate to Social Networking and Cyber Consciousness,…
Delhi has no dearth of surprises for its admirers and its keeps on presenting with new ones every time. It has so much to offer with so much diversity that the “bucket list”
of its admirers continues to get stretched with each visit.
This time, I had a chance to visit the massive temple complex of the famous Shri Adhya Katyani Shakti Peeth Mandir.
Most of us would get puzzled by the name as it might be unheard but I am very confident that everyone must have heard of “Chattarpur Mandir” (also a metro station on the yellow line).
I have seen the temple complex countless times while going towards Gurgaon from metro and also bowed my head before the almighty from the metro itself (most of the Indians do the same while passing by any holy place).
Outer view of Katyani Temple
Goddess Katyani Temple
However, for a change this time, I moved out of the metro to visit this temple complex in reality and get acquainted with its history. I am well aware that everything pertaining to Chattarpur Mandur is readily available on the…
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