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Faith is comforting in all of its forms. It is human nature to assume that the religion or belief that one personally embraces is the most powerful truth that could exist and that God is truly only on that side. This is the basis for so much hate and pain throughout the world today. The world seems a smaller place today thanks to technology and the global economy and, as a result, any radical approach from any source that supports and seduces closed-minded positions is readily available. Refusal to accept that others have valid beliefs only strengthens the boundaries between us as human beings first and foremost. There is, however, a growing movement amongst both the religious and the spiritual (no religious affiliation) in understanding that the same threads run through every belief system. For example, take the edict of “The Golden Rule” and look at it across some religions: Christianity – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Buddhism – “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Islam – “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” Judaism – “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire law; all the rest is commentary.” Once we begin to accept that there are many ways to access our Godconnection, our spirit, it is an easier step to practice what is taught as the basis of all beliefs—God is love. Then, it is hard to hate and to exclude. After that, we can take the extra step needed in our era to understand that it isn’t a religion or belief that is tainted, it’s a twisted ego of someone out of touch with their spirit. Instead of boundaries and separation, that step promotes that we are truly all spiritually connected. That’s the purpose of this publication. To present in a non-threatening way alternative beliefs, practices, and modalities, and, hopefully, plant the seeds of community regardless of the spiritual path we walk. It’s been a four-year uphill battle for me to bring this publication dream into the reality of ink-on-paper. I talked about it and did little bits hereand-there for so long that friends and family undoubtedly got tired of hearing about it. Then, suddenly, the pieces started falling into place and the people I needed to help started showing up. Just as there’s no way for experienced parents to tell “first-timers” exactly what it going to take to birth and raise that child, there’s no way I can tell you what it has taken to birth and raise this publication. Thank you for reading. May you know Peace.
VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1
PUBLISHER & EDITOR
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Anne Schermerhorn CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
James A, Avery, MD Peggy Cross Carolyn Daly Jim Foster Tom Johnson Rev. Don Lansky Nicki Peasley Bobbie Ann Pimm Krista Rahm Rob Rahm Dylan Smith Ray Whitson
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Contents awareness exploring spirituality
Finding Peace in Our Own Hearts BY REV. DON LANSKY
New Age Christians
BY CAROLYN DALY
BY RAY WHITSON
One Woman’s Journey
Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E.
Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc.
The Second Reformation
Personal Chi and Feng Shui
BY PEGGY CROSS
BY JAMES A. AVERY, MD
Hospice of the 36
columns THIS LITTLE LIGHT 9 OF MINE Traveling spiritual pathways BY NICKI PEASLEY
DREAMING WITH BOBBIE ANN
BY BOBBIE ANN PIMM
regions CENTRAL VIRGINIA
WHOLE LIVING From the Ground Up
BY KRISTA AND ROB RAHM
BY RAY WHITSON
Holy Humanity We Are All Made of GOD Stuff
THE PIEDMONT Chrysalis Institute
PSYCHIC PROFILE Angela Ford
SOUTHWESTERN 44 VIRGINIA Local Roots
BY RAY WHITSON
TIDEWATER The Heritage Natural Market
BY TOM JOHNSON
Our promise to our community With a commitment to our diverse neighborhoods, we promise to provide our community with compassionate, comprehensive, and expert care to meet the unique physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of each dying patient and those who love them. If you or someone you love could benefit from hospice services, call us today at 1-800-975-5501 or visit www.hopva.org. Hospice of the Piedmont Sharing the Journey in Central and Northern Virginia since 1980 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Suite 300 | Charlottesville, VA 22911
Notes from a Dreamer…on Dreaming by Bobbie Ann Pimm Available in paperback at www.createspace.com/3418792 Use coupon code 9GQ3UHE4 at checkout for a 15% discount Also available in paperback and Kindle format on amazon.com (Note: discount code will not apply) You may also enjoy my artwork available on Etsy www.etsy.com/shop/ArtFromADreamer Use coupon code AWARE10 and receive a 10% discount with a minimum $100.00 purchase
Little Light of Mine TRAVELING SPIRITUAL PATHWAYS BY NICKI PEASLEY
“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” –RUMI
nd there are 1,000 different paths to Spirit. While my faith journey began as a mission to find THE right path for me, it has evolved from a desire for the answer to a deep and intimate relationship with the questions.
I am a seeker … I read. I think. I write. I discuss. I practice. With a beginner’s mind and a child’s heart, I have explored and found Spirit in Buddhist loving kindness meditation and Sanskrit chanting; in ancient Chinese qigong movements and Indian yoga poses; at pagan full moon circles and Universalist dances for peace; in the backyard magic of fairy houses and Muslim ecstatic whirling; in past life visions of my soul stories and the organic unfolding of my karmic lessons; in the vibration of my seven energy centers (chakras) and the vortex wheel of my heart that heals and awakens me from within. And I find Spirit in the old wooden church pew of my quaint neighborhood Episcopal Church. A church named after the doubting disciple, St. Thomas, holds uncertainty with reverence. The first sermon I ever heard in the little stone building began with the priest’s declaration, “I’m not sure about all this Jesus stuff.” I listened with joy and then passed the peace with the homeless man, the schizophrenic woman, the welldressed lawyer, the nursing mother, and the sullen teenager. Here I discovered a community that mirrored the pain and beauty of the human experience. This was a place I could call home.
My roots are in Christian soil. And just as I’ve found comfort in the rituals of the church, I have also felt suffocated by them. Even at St. Thomas, there have been times when the loving and accepting voice of my God was swallowed up by Biblical references to sin and fear, and a masculine and exclusive language that, to my ears, dominated the liturgy. The walls of the church felt limiting and my soul was screaming for expansion. With my priest’s blessing, I embarked on a mystic journey, free and determined to find a path that would ground me in my own Truth. I began seeking and finding Spirit everywhere, especially in the elements. The trees became my friends, rooting me in the earth and in the present. The wind whispered my name as prayer. Fire released my fears. Water baptized and renewed me with every drink and bath. It was my quest to be ONE with everything and everyone. Ubuntu, an ancient African philosophy—I am because we are— became my mantra. All of Life became sacrament, an endless prayer of contemplation, culminated in a weekly Sunday ceremony that my family coined as “home church.” Circling up around a candle was our ritual, exploring our relationships with ourselves, each other, and the world. Celebrating our gifts and learning from our challenges. Setting intentions to be better, to live wholeheartedly, to live LOVE. God was certainly present, shining through each of us, but we rarely spoke of God as a separate entity. Then I got sick. Plagued by depression and anxiety, I found myself back at St. Thomas, desperately in need of the power of God… outside of myself. While on my faith journey I had woven a seamless tapestry of both the masculine and feminine threads of divinity. Now, vulnerable and afraid, I longed to be held in the strong www.exploreawareness.com
embrace of my Father God. I needed Him in a small and defined space. The walls that once felt suffocating now held me in safety and comfort. I was welcomed home to a community that loved and accepted me, not for being or doing good, but for just being me. Nothing had changed in the language that challenged my ideals, but in this raw state, I was able to hear MY truth beneath “THE word.” As I healed, I learned to hold the Bible as an open book, inviting me to make my own meaning and connections, beyond human drama and ego. I continue to open to symbolic interpretations of the liturgy that carry me on Angel’s wings to the Holy Table of Communion (where ALL, regardless of religious background, are welcome at St. Thomas) and then to the back window of the sanctuary where the walls become an illusion and I pay homage to the trees that root me in Mother Earth and connect me to Heaven. So how do I reconcile my Christian path with all the other paths that also carry me to Spirit? Well, I don’t have to. My Mother-Father God, tenderly holds my ever-expanding soul story and celebrates my curiosity, my mystic seeking for more—or less, in the case of my current exploration of the Quaker tradition. Far from denying my Christian foundation, I am strengthening it with every new experience in which Love is made manifest. By recognizing my need for a spiritual landscape bigger than what the church can offer me, I’ve stopped asking, “What can the church do for me?” and started asking, “What can I do for the church?” While on most Sunday mornings, I now choose to honor my Creator in ways other than the 9:00 service, I continue to answer the call to serve St. Thomas ministries, which allows me to open and share my heart in community with others. And on the Sunday mornings that I am called to St. Thomas, sitting quietly in the last pew or dancing like I’m at a Dead Show at Bluegrass Mass, I am fully present and deeply grateful for the Love stories St. Thomas Church brings to life. Love stories that are mirrored in this community that I cherish. In my daily prayers, I envision all of my wisdom keepers as images of the ONE LOVE that answers to many names. In reverence, I give thanks for the unconditional love of Jesus of Nazareth, the peace of Buddha, the wisdom of Rumi and Thoreau, the strength of the Mother Earth, the lightness of the fairies, the fierceness of Martin Luther King, Jr., the softness of my Grandma, the compassion of Mother Teresa, the passion of Mary Magdalene, and the magic of Merlin. These are my teachers and we travel together on the imaginal plane like a pack of hippies, co-creating oneness, born of Love. 10 January 2016
It’s clear that my mind has been the driver on my journey to wholeness. It has been busy, busy, busy trying to make sense of it all—integrating philosophies, creating definitions, composing prayers—so that I could hold my spirituality in a light that I (and others) could understand. How human beings love the control that answers provide until they realize that the bliss is in the learning process and in the questions themselves. Reluctantly, my mind is slowly taking a backseat to my heart on this journey. Deep down, I know that the heart has the capacity to understand what the mind never will. I am in the lifelong process of surrendering to a Divine Intelligence that lives in the space beyond words, thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. This kind of surrender is not an act of submission to something outside of myself, but an act of union with the Mystery that lives within me. And the Mystery is not discovered on any one path of the rational mind, but in the joyful faith of the unknowing heart. Indeed, there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the Earth. I am honored to have this sacred space to share my heart’s path, my experiences with Spirit. It is my deep hope that through my monthly reflections, you may discover a spark that ignites your own Truth and inspires you to seek and love your questions. Peace be with you.
An educator by trade, Nicki Peasley is a student and storyteller of life and a teacher of love, both inside and outside of the classroom. She lives in Richmond with her husband, three children, and their chocolate lab, George Bailey.
Rachel offers energy healing sessions, classes on contemporary
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Finding inPEACE Our Own Hearts BY REV. DON LANSKY
he late-night flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to Salisbury, Rhodesia was uneventful, until we entered Rhodesian airspace. It was November 1978, the height of the Rhodesian civil war. One week before, a plane carrying only civilians had been shot down, and as the surviving passengers tried to escape the burning debris, they were systematically gunned down. The captain’s announcement over the loudspeaker broke an eerie silence. “Please lower your window shades as I turn off all of the interior and exterior lights of the aircraft,” he said. “Don’t be alarmed. It’s just a precaution.” I could feel the tops of trees hitting the underbelly of the plane as we began our long descent. A fellow passenger said we were flying in low to escape radar detection. Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe) had been embroiled in civil war since 1976. I was one of 56 people who had volunteered to travel there to test the power of meditation to affect social change, something that researchers had begun to call, “The Maharishi Effect.” (Studies on the “Maharishi Effect” have now been replicated.) Our plan was to meditate many hours every day for six weeks, or until funding for the project ran out. The expectation 12 January 2016
was that these efforts would help to decrease or end the violence and killing, and contribute to the restoration of peace to that war-ravaged country. At the time it seemed paradoxical to me that our thoughts, prayers and meditations could affect anything other than ourselves. When I first began meditating eight years earlier, I did it to change myself—not the world. I knew that I wanted to be a better person. I knew that I was seeking a more spiritual life. And I knew that I wanted to have a deeper understanding of and relationship with God. Now I was halfway around the world in Africa, hoping that a small group of people meditating together would actually bring about an end to a war. We followed our plan, spending most of our days in deep meditation, with breaks for light meals—going to bed early and beginning early the next morning with the same routine. We didn’t leave the hotel much except for short walks. At the end of six weeks, we compiled the statistics that we had been gathering from newspapers and public government reports during our stay. Our findings were that there had been a 27% decrease in war-related deaths during the six weeks of our “experiment.” When we left Rhodesia, violent deaths again escalated. As this was not a rigorous scientific study, the results were met
with skepticism by both the press and the government. However, several months after we left, a transitional coalition government was formed for the first time in Rhodesian history, and the fighting ended. In 1980, new elections were held and an independent Zimbabwe was born. Ironically, the great hero of that day, Robert Mugabe, has, over the past two-and-a-half decades, proven to be one of the worst despots not only on the African continent, but also in the world.
International Conflict Research (HIIK) at the Department of Political Science, University of Heidelberg, is a private organization that monitors national and international political conflicts. According to their research, in 2014 there were 424 political or religious conflicts around the world: 223 of these were classified as violent and of those, 46 were considered highly violent. Of the 46 highly violent conflicts, 25 were classified as “limited wars” and 21 as “full-scale wars.”
Did our small group contribute to Zimbabwe’s peaceful transition in 1980? I do believe that our consciousness and the consciousness of like-minded people around the world had something to do with it. I also believe that a change or upliftment in collective consciousness is the ultimate answer that can bring about lasting peace in the world.
“Years of misery follow a great victory,” said Lao Tzu, because every time there is a death related to war and/ or violence, a whole universe of friends, families and nations are affected and the cycle of anger, hatred, resentment, and desire for revenge is reignited.
Thousands of years ago, Lao Tzu, author of the “Tao Te Ching,” and “father” of Taoism, said, “Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. Thorns spring up when an army passes. Years of misery follow a great victory. Do only what needs to be done without using violence.”
The rise of ISIS is a perfect example of how the cycle of violence continues to fuel itself, provoking more violence. Plunging through the rhetoric of hate is proving to be a difficult task in the face of continuing senseless killings and crimes against innocent civilians. How can spiritual people make sense of this? How could an upsurge of consciousness on the planet curtail or even eliminate
Several years ago, an Associated Press article written by Matti Friedman told of three small Palestinian children who were killed by the Israeli military while playing next to a rocket launcher in Gaza. In response to this tragedy, the Palestinian press accused Israel of purposefully targeting children. The Israeli military, while expressing sorrow about the deaths, blamed the Palestinians for purposefully placing weapons next to heavily populated civilian areas and using children to retrieve rocket launchers. The cycle of reprisal and retribution would continue for both sides—and continues to this day. A decade and a half into the 21st century, violent conflicts continue to flourish around the world. The Heidelberg Institute for
Peace in our own hearts is our hope of creating peace everywhere. www.exploreawareness.com
the desire of bloodthirsty Jihadists to kill and destroy anything that is unlike themselves? Lao Tzu left us with a profound formula for peace when he said, â€œIf there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.â€? Peace in our own hearts is the great responsibility of spiritually mature people who want to see peace in our world. The mystics of all spiritual traditions have always known and described profound experiences of interconnectedness and oneness. Quantum physics is coming to the same understanding that everything in the universe is vibrating with energy in a â€œunified fieldâ€? of infinite potential. Why shouldnâ€™t we then entertain the idea that what we think, and how we are in our own consciousness, could affect change in a very real and lasting wayâ€”not just in our own lives, but in our world as well?
mind has the ability to transcend the boundaries and limitations of hatred, bigotry, and prejudice. The Sufi poet, Rumi, wrote, â€œBeyond the ideas of right and wrong there is a field. Iâ€™ll meet you there.â€? The field he speaks of is the universal field of energy that underlies and is the essence of all creation. Mystics and religious people call this, â€œGod.â€? A quantum physicist might call it, â€œthe Quantum Field.â€? The names are insignificant. Call it God, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Holy Spirit, Allah, Infinite Intelligence, Hashem, Mother Divine or Source Energy. Make up your own nameâ€”whatever God is for you. The important thing is that contact with this Source Energy and the vibrations in its field touch everything in the universe; therefore, this contact is one of the most positive and constructive things we can do if we desire peace in the world. Peace in our own hearts is our hope of creating peace everywhere. Rev. Don Lansky is co-minister of Unity of Charlottesville in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife Patricia Gulino Lansky. He studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and is a certified teacher of Transcendental Meditation, which he has been teaching since 1974.
Prayer and meditation are the powerful tools that saints and sages throughout the ages have used to achieve a deep and lasting inner peace. In stillness and silence, the
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14 January 2016
HEALING AND WELLNESS
ibetan Medicine is one of the oldest and most profound healing traditions and integrated medical systems on Earth. Called “Sowa Rigpa” in Tibetan, meaning the science and knowledge of healing, it has been practiced for more than four thousand years in Tibet, the Himalayan region, and beyond. It is a complex traditional medical system that employs a holistic and compassionate approach, utilizing the best distillation of ancient healing techniques from India, China, Persia, and the Greek and Roman medical theory and practices that form the basis of modern bio-medicine. With its focus on the knowledge of our human body’s three vital forces, lung, tripa, and bekan, its scientific principles apply that understanding to treat imbalances of both mind and body. This profound system of healing has much to offer our contemporary world; a world that is often described as suffering from stress related illnesses.
Arura Medicine of Tibet Wellness Center
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For questions or to volunteer to assist in our non-profit projects, please call: Gyaltsen Druknya, President: (434) 989-8230 ~ or ~ Bobbi Grant Llewellyn, LCSW, BCD, RN: (434) 960-8400
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BY BOBBIE ANN PIMM
elcome to the first installment of Dreaming with Bobbie Ann. My intention in writing this column is to encourage you to pay attention to your dreams by providing you with the information and resources you need to do so. So the first question you might ask is: “Why should I pay attention to my dreams?” As Dr. Robert Van de Castle said on his website (www. ourdreamingmind.com): “Your dreaming mind is probably your most neglected, yet powerful natural resource available to you. The incredible treasures that are yours to uncover through personal exploration are truly priceless in value, yet paradoxically, they are absolutely free! You don’t have to buy any expensive equipment or special clothing, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own bed. The entire physical effort that you’ll have to expend to encounter these instructional nocturnal odysseys involves simply putting your head on your pillow and closing your eyes.” What’s that you say? You don’t dream? Hogwash! Everyone dreams—every night. In fact, research has shown (with the rare exception of the mentally ill or neurologically impaired) that we average three to five REM (rapid eye movement) periods every night for an average of 100 minutes of dreamtime. Actually, in truth, our minds are never really sleeping and some form of “mentation” continues throughout the night. So when you say, “I don’t dream,” you really mean, “I don’t remember my dreams.” Just to be clear, when we say “dreams” we are referring to the mentations that are full of vivid imagery and emotions that occur during the REM stage of sleep. The next question you might ask is: “So how do I remember my dreams?” I suggest the following: Before you go to bed at night, take a pad and pencil and leave them at your bedside, or download an app to your smartphone 16 January 2016
to voice record the dream when you wake up. The last thought before you go to sleep should be, “I will remember my dreams.” Repeat it several times. In the morning when you first realize you’re awake, lie still with your eyes closed, and try to remember what was going through your mind before you were aware you were awake. Then ask yourself, “What happened before that … and before that … and before that...” At first, there may be just bits and pieces. When you are sure you have remembered everything, pick up your pad and pencil (or your smartphone) and record everything you remember. Start with just the key words. You will start remembering more and more details as you review your key words. Jot down everything you remember. Don’t censor, just write. It is critical to do this IMMEDIATELY upon wakening—don’t wait until after you go to the bathroom or put on the coffee. Jot down the images, the places, the people, and the way you feel both physically and emotionally. Then go back and fill in the details. If you have the basics, the details will come back to you, but you must put down the initial puzzle pieces before you can complete the puzzle. Do this earnestly every night and soon you should begin to remember your dreams. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen the first few nights. It may take some time. You’ve spent all your life ignoring your dreams, you must convince your unconscious that you want to listen and learn from them. “I remember my dream—now what?” To get the most from your dream, I suggest you start keeping a dream journal. As I say in my book, Notes from a Dreamer … on Dreaming, “It can be anything from a simple spiral bound notebook to an elaborate leather bound and monogrammed diary. That’s up to you and is one of the best parts of keeping a journal. You decide the
form—be as creative or as utilitarian as you like. Decorate it with your own personal touch. Add your favorite dream inspired poem to read before you go to bed. Draw a picture or paste a photo on the cover that speaks to you. There is no right or wrong dream journal. It is, however, a good idea to truly honor your dreams by creating a special place to record them. This sends an important signal to your unconscious that you respect and appreciate your dreams and the messages and lessons they bring. You should also keep it in a safe place, away from prying eyes that can easily misinterpret your dreams.” Another option for recording your dreams is an online dream journal like DreamsCloud. Here you can record all of your dreams and then you can decide to share them with the world, with just your friends or you can keep them private and totally secure from prying eyes. As mentioned before, if you have a smartphone, you can download an app that will allow you to record your dreams and upload them to your personal journal online. Apps are available for all platforms at www.dreamscloud.com. I am a firm believer that everyone can benefit from working with the images and metaphors of their dreams. As a long-time member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, I adhere to its Dreamwork Ethics Statement, which states, in part, “IASD supports an approach to dreamwork and dream sharing that respects the dreamer’s dignity and integrity, and which recognizes the dreamer as the decision-maker regarding the significance of the dream. Systems of dreamwork that assign authority or knowledge of the dream’s meanings to someone other than the dreamer can be misleading, incorrect, and harmful. Ethical dreamwork helps the dreamer work with his/her own dream images, feelings, and associations, and guides the dreamer to more fully experience, appreciate, and understand the dream. Every dream may have multiple meanings, and different techniques may be reasonably employed to touch these multiple layers of significance.”
Remembering Robert Van de Castle, Ph.D. (11/16/1927 – 1/29/2014) BY BOBBIE ANN PIMM
Until next time … dream on!
here have been many tributes and memorial articles written remembering and honoring Dr. Robert Van de Castle since his passing in January 2014. A lifetime that lasted eighty-six years is difficult to condense into a few brief paragraphs and, no matter how much I share with you, I could never capture all that he was to so many. Out of respect, I should refer to him here as Dr. Van de Castle, but I am more inclined to refer to him, lovingly, as Bob. If you had the honor and pleasure to have known him, you would call him Bob, too.
Bobbie Ann Pimm lives in Albemarle County. She is a dream educator and the author of Notes from a Dreamer… on Dreaming: A Personal Journey in Dream Interpretation, available at createspace.com (paperback) and Amazon. com (paperback and Kindle). She is also a consultant for dreamscloud.com and a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (www.asdreams.org).
Most will recognize him as the author of, Our Dreaming Mind, and co-author (with Calvin Hall) of The Content Analysis of Dreams. He was an Emeritus Professor at the UVA Health Sciences Center (retired 1993) where he was the Professor of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry (1986–1992), director of the Clinical Psychology Internship Project (1980–1992) and director of the Sleep and Dream Laboratory (1967–1985). In addition, he was a past president of the International Association for the
I hope you will join me in the future when I will share tips and techniques for working with your dreams. If you have a dream-related question you’d like me to answer or a short dream you’d like help interpreting, please send it to: email@example.com. I will endeavor to answer as many questions as possible in future columns and also share some dream interpretations.
Study of Dreams (IASD) and a former president of the Parapsychological Association. As a well-known and highly respected expert in the field of dreams, he wrote over 100 articles in numerous publications, appeared on a number of national television and radio shows, and gave talks and presentations all over the world. His book, Our Dreaming Mind, published in 1994, was his opus—his life work. It is considered by many in the field to be the go-to book on dreams. Scholarly, yet easy to read, its 577 pages encompasses a lifetime’s worth of knowledge on all aspects of dreams and the dreaming mind. Whether you are scientist, researcher or just an avid dreamer, this remains a must-read book. Over 20 years after its publication, it is still used as a textbook in a number of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. It is out of print, but used copies are available online by book resellers and it is also available as a download in pdf format on his website, www. ourdreamingmind.com. When he participated in ESP dream research with Dr. Montague Ullman and Dr. Stanley Krippner at the Maimonides Dream Research Laboratory in the 1970s, Bob was given the title, “The Prince of Percipients” for his outstanding abilities in dream telepathy. He was a firm believer that we all have the ability to connect with each other in our dreams. This belief was the reasoning
18 January 2016
behind the “Our” in the title of his book, Our Dreaming Mind, because he believed that we are all connected in one mind when we are dreaming. Bob was devoted to the IASD (www.asdreams.org) and its members since its inception in 1984, when he gave the Keynote Address at its first meeting. Its members were his family. He was always welcoming and encouraging to young researchers and lay dreamers alike. If you were fortunate enough to spend face-time, phone-time or email-time with him, he made you feel like you were the most important person to him at the moment. In fact, he continues his dreamwork even today. I have received numerous reports of him visiting and helping dreamers in distress from the other side since he passed. Bob and I met in October 2008 at the online PsiberDreaming Conference held by the IASD and had been living and working together in the Charlottesville area since November 2008. Together we co-authored a number of journal articles and presentations and developed and taught an online course, Becoming a Teacher of Dreamwork and Dream Interpretation, for Atlantic University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The course is still being offered every Fall semester and it is open to the general public. Visit www.atlanticuniv.edu for more information.
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WHOLE Living FROM THE GROUND UP BY KRISTA AND ROB RAHM
braham Lincoln once said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Think back to the beginning of the summer, which is when most people get a sense of renewed energy and motivation. It is the time when people reflect on the past year or years and vow to make changes or “resolutions” that will, in effect, make life better. So often people say things like, “If I could just lose 25 pounds, it would solve all my problems” … and the list of “ifs” goes on and on. Unfortunately, that is how the bulk of our society is programmed. We just need this one change as the magic fix or, worse yet, one material thing to make it all OK and we will be happier. In reality, though, it just doesn’t work out that way. Did you follow through on life changes? Are you happier and healthier? So, what is the prescription for a happy, healthy life? It is an age-old question and of course it varies from 20 January 2016
person to person. There are quite a few factors that influence how we feel. Individual genetic make-up, life experiences, current lifestyle, quality of the food nourishing our bodies, and individual thought patterns all affect our unique brain chemistry. Brain chemistry is the neurotransmitters’ messaging that takes place in the brain, which allows us to carry out daily functions. We need proper nourishment of the body, mind, and spirit for our brain chemistry to function in a balanced way. How do we achieve that? The answer to finding mind/body/spirit/earth balance is really very simple. Well, maybe not so simple in a society where many have given into mainstream thinking and have lost some basic connections. We’ve been manipulated with science and marketing by the large corporate food processors who have chemically altered our food and distorted our perceptions of good nutrition, taking the earth out of our consideration. However, there is a shift occurring where people are opening up and embracing a new wave of thinking. We need to follow a lifestyle that will allow us to obtain a healthy mind, body, and spirit through stewardship of our spiritual connection to the earth. We hear these key words—mind, body, spirit—more and more each year, but in reality how do we foster a healthy mind, body, spirit in our own lives? The difficult aspect lies in that we need to be fully aware that the three focuses of mind/body/spirit need to be nourished and honored together for complete success in finding joy in life. What it takes to have healthy mind/body/spirit is often referred to as Whole Living.
In regard to the mind, we must begin with the most important step of nourishing our bodies with whole foods and herbs that the earth offers. Whole foods are foods that are in their original state, direct from the earth with nothing added or taken away. A healthy whole food diet can be omnivorous, vegetarian, or vegan. Herbs can be our food as well as our medicine. Many herbs are nourishing to our bodies—nettle and oat straw, for instance, are only two in a long list of herbs that are packed full of vitamins and minerals and also offer additional medicinal benefits. These whole foods and herbs are in a natural form that our bodies easily recognize and contain all the nutrients our bodies need to properly assimilate and use them effectively. Keeping our bodies properly nourished is essential for proper cell growth and for balanced brain chemistry. In other words, if we are not eating whole nourishing foods and herbs, we will begin to see dis-ease (i.e., physical illness) and unbalanced neurotransmitters, which can cause a variety of psychological conditions that include sadness, mood swings, depression, inability to concentrate, and compulsive thoughts. For our bodies, along with proper nutrition, exercise and deep breathing are critical factors in totally balanced health. Regular physical movement leads to a multitude of health benefits and is vital to loosening muscles and joints. Deep breathing has been reported by many health studies to release toxins, release tension, bring mental clarity, relieve pain, massage organs, increase circulation, increase muscle mass, strengthen the immune system, improve blood quality, increase digestion and assimilation of vitamins and nutrients, strengthen the lungs, heart, and nervous system, boost energy, improve stamina, and improve cellular regeneration. Obviously, doing all that elevates our mood by increasing pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain. Isn’t it crazy that anyone would need the suggestion to breathe deeply or get some exercise? Shouldn’t this be a given, a force that resides naturally in all of us to get up and move and breathe? Unfortunately, the “pace of life” is a tragedy of our modern age. People are too busy trying to keep up with day-to-day tasks of making a living to pay for all the “ must have” modern conveniences, and along with the invention of computers, social media, and hundreds of cable TV stations, we are completely distracted from going out to exercise and breathing deeply. Nourishing the spirit is frequently overlooked in our fast-paced society. Often we feel guilty for slowing down and taking the time to engage or even allowing for the awareness needed to listen to our spirit. What nourishes one spirit most likely will not be what nourishes another. This nourishing is all about taking time for doing what feeds your soul! For some that is participating in a formal religion, taking time in meditation, whereas for others it
may be connecting with nature, like a long quiet walk, or expressing creativity through art. It can be about embracing a belief or passion. Nourishing the spirit is all about making time for yourself and what you need to be better centered so that you can have inner peace. There you have what is needed to start Whole Living, but how does one really begin on this journey towards health and happiness? It can seem overwhelming to someone who doesn’t feel well or whose mind is not functioning properly or who is interested but lacks the necessary information. Your body intuitively knows change is needed, but doesn’t know how to start. The start begins with whole food and herbs direct from the earth and some deep breathing exercises! As previously mentioned, we need proper nourishment from the earth for all our functioning, mind/body/spirit. You do not need to be fanatical and rearrange your whole life to get started. In the beginning, try each day to add some whole foods into your diet like fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and quality proteins (pasture-raised chicken, eggs, fish, yogurt). Be sure to drink plenty of water and maybe even add some herbal or green tea to your daily intake of liquids. You should feel a difference in your energy level within days. Do this for a week or so and then entertain the idea of giving up some of the foods you know are not good for you like sodas, excessive sweets, breads, or some processed foods. In the meantime, take time to nourish your soul. Only you will know what that requires, but be sure to do something that makes you feel happy and centered. Finally, make time to practice some deep breathing exercises everyday. Stretching in the morning as you wake and taking deep breaths would be a simple effective start on this journey to better your life and start Whole Living. Come on, everyone can carve out just five or ten minutes of their day to feel better. The story is yours to write. Isn’t it time to go out and start making small but important changes to begin your journey to health and happiness? Feed your mind by doing things that will support your mind/body/spirit health one step at a time. Follow us in future articles as we guide you through some steps to begin taking control of how you feel, think, and connect with others and the earth. You can also check out our website, forestgreenfarm.com, for a list of affordable trainings and seminars. Krista and Rob Rahm purchased a farm in Louisa, Virginia, in 1992. After many years of learning to live off of the land, learning and using herbal medicine as their primary health care, and making farming their full-time occupation, the Rahm’s began a new mission to empower others with the knowledge to achieve Whole Living and supply products and classes to support this purpose. www.exploreawareness.com
Writing ONE WOMAN’S JOURNEY
BY CAROLYN DALY
hen did a human first hear the whisper of Spirit and put it in writing? Was it before Jesus bent over and with his finger wrote in the sand? Was it before Moses received the Ten Commandments? Or was there an ancient Sumerian, using a sharpened stick on wet mud, who heard the voice of Spirit and allowed the stick to move without conscious intent? Of course, that cannot be known for sure, but we do know that automatic writing, spiritual dictation or any definition one may choose to use has been around since the beginning of the written word. The very first verse of John in the New Testament states: “In the beginning was the Word, the Word with God and the Word was God.” How significant is it that “Word” and “God” are defined as being one and the same? Should you desire to research the history of automatic writing online or in an encyclopedia, it would state that it started with parlor games at the turn of the century 22 January 2016
and was ridiculed by mainstream religion. Why? Is it not possible that this sort of communication was used in the writing of scripture and ancient texts? Most ancient writing had much in common with automatic writing: both contain no break between words, no punctuation, no capitalization of proper nouns, and both are open to interpretation. If prophets could “hear” and then speak for Spirit, why could others not write for Spirit? Granted, there have been many charlatans throughout history who have faked their skills and used misinformation to manipulate people. However, there are many more valid psychics, such as Edgar Cayce, the spiritual dictation that produced A Course in Miracles, and many lesser-known ordinary people who have received information from unseen energy who have helped and are continuing to help thousands of people. Throughout the history of mankind, people have accepted countless religions and spiritual practices, without question, merely because it was the religion into which they were born. When my writing was in
same Easter morning I was supposed to teach an eighth grade Sunday school class at the Methodist church our family had been attending for a few years. How could a Sunday school teacher in my frame of mind accompany her class to the traditional Easter Service in the sanctuary when I wasn’t sure I believed any of it? Of course I couldn’t! Using the excuse of a headache, I made hasty arrangements for my friend to lead my class and asked my husband to drop our children off at the church on his way to visit his friend, as was his habit on Sundays.
Throughout the history of mankind, people have accepted countless religions and spiritual practices, without question, merely because it was the religion into which they were born.
its infancy, it occurred to me that the Pope was born a Catholic, the local Rabbi was born into the Jewish faith; my own minister was born into a Methodist family, and all spent most of their lives studying only their own religious practice. Had no one ever considered that there just may be something else? That a comprehensive Truth may be somewhere out there and people had neither the curiosity nor the courage to seek it? Even as a child born into a Baptist family, I was told emphatically that hell would be my destination when I died unless I believed and accepted only the Baptist doctrine. I challenged it, telling my parents that God was mean because my Catholic playmates would not be allowed in heaven. My outspoken honesty got me into a lot of trouble with my parents, so I learned to keep my opinions to myself – that is until 1972. My own path to Truth began as a dark night of the soul just before daybreak on Easter Sunday in 1971, when my brain was being pummeled by doubts about everything I’d ever been taught to believe in my entire life. On that
Once alone in the house, I bolted into the bedroom, slammed the door, arched my back and cried out for Truth, and for the courage to accept that Truth even if it was something I didn’t want to hear. Remembering the warnings of my conservative religious upbringing made me wonder if I was going straight to hell for questioning my religion. I wasn’t sure, yet I could not stop. As months passed, I began to suppress my doubts and hid my questions in a secret place of my consciousness. However, I learned quickly that when you pray for Truth, God finds that hiding place. My prayer for Truth had not fallen on deaf ears and amazing things were about to happen that would completely change my belief system and take my life in a whole new direction. About a year later, three eighth-graders in my Sunday school class asked if they could speak to me alone after class. They had a question they didn’t want the rest of the class to hear, and it wasn’t even about sex! As it turns out the question was even more controversial for a Methodist Sunday school teacher to answer; they asked if they could still be a Christian if they believed in reincarnation. I was taken aback by the question and thought for a moment before I replied, “I don’t know, I believe it’s a part of many Eastern religions but I really know very little about it.” Then they asked if they could discuss reincarnation www.exploreawareness.com
the following Sunday during their free discussion time at the end of class. I replied, “Well, I promised there would be no limits to the subject matter and I will keep my promise, so if you want to discuss reincarnation then that’s what we’ll discuss.”
Sample of automatic writing. Note the change in handwriting.
Panic set in. I had only a week to learn about reincarnation and I didn’t know where to begin. However, my eighth-graders did. The next day three students appeared at my door carrying a stack of books for me to read and comprehend well enough to at least appear prepared to discuss the subject. I didn’t know where to begin so I chose the smallest book, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation by Dr. Ian Stevenson, a professor at the University of Virginia. What an eye-opener! I couldn’t wait to read the next book, A Search for Truth, by Ruth Montgomery and I couldn’t know then that her book would change my life forever. I hadn’t read more than about 50 pages when Ms. Montgomery mentioned something called automatic writing. What she described sounded ludicrous; how could a pen or pencil, held to a piece of paper, move by itself and write amazing things? “Bull,” I thought, “this is just a bunch of bull created to sell books.” However, I couldn’t really call her a fraud until I had proven her wrong. Ms. Montgomery’s instructions were to schedule a specific time and place, sit quietly, relax, and gently hold a pen or pencil to paper, every day for a week. I added one thing that Ms. Montgomery had not suggested: I prayed for Truth and put the whole procedure into the hands of Spirit as I whispered the words of an old Baptist hymn: “Have Thine Own Way, Lord, Have Thine Own Way, thou art the potter, I am the clay.” I was not surprised when, after three days of following her instructions, the pen did not move. Suddenly on the fourth day it happened! My pen actually zipped across the paper without conscious effort on my part. I was so startled I dropped my pen and sprang to 24 January 2016
my feet. When I finally caught my breath and tried to rationalize what had just happened, I concluded that I must have experienced some sort of muscle spasm because this just couldn’t be happening. After a time I worked up the courage to return to the kitchen table, and with trembling hands, I once more put my pen to the paper and once again it moved, making squiggly lines. When, at last, I accepted the fact that it was not my hand that moved the pen, I was so excited that I remained at the table for most of the day, watching meaningless lines and squiggles miraculously appear on the paper. Gradually, the meaningless scribble miraculously took the shape of large capital L’s. Then suddenly my first real words appeared: “Lovely here, Lovely here” and my pen wrote “Just made a note” just as if “they” were as surprised as I was that a breakthrough had occurred and communication with Spirit had begun. For the next few weeks, my feet did not hit the floor. I was delirious with a joy I couldn’t dare share with anyone. I was clearly obsessed, sneaking around the house, hiding in the bathroom, closing myself off in my daughter’s bedroom and hoping my family would not catch me in the act and, heaven forbid, ask me what I was doing. As my writing became more legible, a story began to unfold. My writing began to address me as “Ellen” and told me the story of my past life in England, where I had been married to a man named John who began to write me love letters. Now it was imperative that I hide my writing. What would I say to my husband if he found a love letter to me from someone named John? And what if I told him the truth – that the letter was from a long-dead husband from a previous life? The truth would have sounded like a wild fabrication to cover up a clandestine love affair. After a couple of weeks playing hide-and-seek, I worked up the courage to tell my husband the whole story, not
having a clue how he might react. As countless scenarios played games with my mind, I practiced my story and thought of answers to any question or objection he might hurl at me, but I never imagined this one. He listened intently, appeared to believe me and asked, “What’s for dinner?” Although I felt a sense of relief that I didn’t have to hide any longer, I also sensed that this was not a part of my life that I could share with him. Since my pen first moved without conscious effort over 40 years ago, my life has been transformed. Automatic writing has gifted me with many amazing experiences including fulfilled prophesies, inspirational spiritual messages, words of wisdom, poetry, the ghost of an angry young lady and the story of seven young men who perished at sea aboard a yacht called The Foam. Details of these adventures are revealed in my book, Opening to Fullness of Spirit.
Now when I work with individuals who wish to attempt automatic writing, I suggest that they meditate, surround themselves in White Light, pray, and detach themselves of expectations of outcome. Fear is a block that can invite trouble. This along with any emotional or mental imbalance can open you to potentially negative energies that do not recognize the God spirit within them. I do not advise an attempt at automatic writing for anyone not at peace within themselves. In the past, I have asked my Guides if there was anything they would like to add to my advice to others who might attempt automatic writing, and this was their reply: “Don’t forget to include the warning that if you have not made an effort to elevate your frequency, you could get tangled up with deceitful spirit energy. Remember the spirit world is composed of entities that have left their bodies,
Since my pen first moved without conscious effort over 40 years ago, my life has been transformed. Automatic writing has gifted me with many amazing experiences... I have often been asked to define “fullness of spirit,” but instead of my definition, let me allow my guides to tell you. Below are the automatic writing messages I received regarding fullness of spirit: “The definition of the Fullness of Spirit is infusing one’s soul and consciousness with God qualities; the most important and powerful is Love. Love gives of itself unconditionally, without judgment; God power gives of itself to empower others; Truth gives of itself to enlighten; Wisdom gives of itself to educate minds; Compassion gives of itself to serve those in need; Justice gives of itself to bring order to the world. So I tell you Carolyn, when you pray for anyone, pray only that they will find Fullness of Spirit that holds within the attributes of God.” “In the spirit of Gnostic the Word is Pleroma, meaning Fullness of Spirit, Pleroma was with God, Pleroma was God, containing within it all the attributes we seek within ourselves. This basic Truth was lost for centuries as God’s children fought each other for power, overlooking the obvious; power comes not from fighting, but from unconditional Love when Love is most challenged.” In the beginning I was attempting to expose Ruth Montgomery as a liar, but proved instead that automatic writing is a valid means of communicating with Spirit. I was naïve, however, and left myself wide open to unhealthy spirits with mischief on their minds. Not everything communicated by the spirits over the years has been truthful or validated, and only once have I received an ugly profane message, but I was not offended or afraid, only sympathetic.
but are anxious to communicate and their levels are the same as the people around you. Most are pretty good, some are angry, some are deceitful, they come in on the frequency you produce that most responds to their own. Meditate, pray and surround yourself with loving thoughts before you ever put the pen to paper. Do not try this if you are feeling depressed, are taking drugs or have alcohol in your system.” My search for Truth through automatic writing has been a lifetime commitment for me. Along the way I have read many books that have challenged my beliefs and intellect and have stimulated my curiosity; I have met kindred souls who have chosen a similar path and enriched my life. But the search is not over. In fact, sometimes I think I’ve only just begun and I can’t wait to see what Spirit has in store for me in whatever future lies ahead. Carolyn Daly spent a career restoring paintings and now devotes her time to a book study group, like-minded friends, and work as an associate editor of this publication. She has been involved in spiritual pursuits for over 40 years and lives in a stone house in Brightwood, Va. Mrs. Daly’s book, Opening to Fullness of Spirit, is currently under contract with Ozark Mountain Publishing.
n 1966, a now famous Time cover asked the question, “Is God Dead?” Today, the question may well be, “Is religion dying?” It may not be on life support, but, in the 21st century, it could be argued that it is indeed very ill.
A Pew Research Center poll in October 2012 revealed that 20% of Americans claimed no religious affiliation, up from 10% in a similar 2008 poll. More striking, that percentage rose to almost a third of people under the age of 30. With Christianity by far the dominant faith in America, those who identified themselves as Christians in 2009 stood at 76%, down from 86% in 1990. (These trends are not just isolated in our country; a 2012 WIN-Gallup
International poll of 57 countries showed average religiosity at 59%, down 9 points since 2005.) “It’s unsettling for a movement that’s lasted 2,000 years to now find out that, ‘Oh, some of the things we always assumed would connect with the community aren’t connecting with everyone in the way they used to,’” stated Warren Bird, Director of Research for the Leadership Network which follows church trends, in a December 29, 2012 article in The New York Times. The vast majority of Americans who represent the notable decline in being “religious,” nearly 80% of those in the 20% of no religious affiliation, say they still believe in God, or the concept of a higher power, and consider themselves “spiritual not religious.” As their initial
A 2013 Gallup survey showed that only 44% of Americans expressed a “great deal” of confidence in religious institutions … Gallup showed 68% did in the 1970s. 26 January 2016
introduction to a “spiritual” path was generally Christian, they are in many cases what has become known as “New Age Christians,” though “Awakening Christians” may be more apt, and they identify themselves by many different titles. They still believe in the basic tenets of Christianity—love, inclusion and forgiveness—but reject the constraining structure and claims of absolute truth found in the traditional Protestant and Catholic dogmas. These people are part of a worldwide trend, across religions, towards a more self-contained spirituality, a quest towards a fulfilling internal peace and more individual connection with God. It is about trusting a voice within, believing all are part of and not separate from God, and following a strong moral compass that resides in all of us. For the sake of this article, let’s define what is meant by “religion” and what is meant by “spiritual.” Webster’s Desk Dictionary defines religion as, “A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially belief in or the worship of God or gods,” and defines spiritual as, “of the spirit or soul.” Religion doesn’t exclude spiritual growth, but it only allows it through a very narrow and defined structure that creates a permanent wall between God and us. Spirituality infers that we are part of God, All That Is, and our efforts are to be focused on our thoughts and actions in a larger context, not on feeling righteous from attending a certain church on Sunday and accepting as an absolute truth the only belief you’ve been exposed to. It places less emphasis on our physical actions and more on our motivations and intentions.
Origins of Christianity Prior to the beginning of The Common Era, dated in the West as after the accepted birth date of Jesus of Nazareth, religions generally consisted of multiple gods, which, with simplicity, served to explain the nature of events to simple and mostly uneducated populations. What we know as Christianity sprang from the spiritual teachings of Jesus. Very little is known historically about the man himself, aside from what is contained in the Christian Bible. The firsthand accounts of his life come mostly from the recollections attributed to some of his disciples that make up the first four books of the New Testament and are believed to have been written at least a generation after he lived. Diana Butler Bass, a PhD in religious studies, writes in her book Christianity After Religion, that early believers in the teachings of Jesus “… understood it primarily as spiritual practices that offered a meaningful way of life in this world not as a set of doctrines, an esoteric belief, or the promise of heaven. By practicing Jesus’ teachings,
followers of the way discovered that their lives were made better on a practical spiritual path. Indeed, early Christianity was not called ‘Christianity’ at all. Rather, it was called ‘the Way.’” She goes on to write, “Members of the community were not held accountable for their opinions about God or Jesus; rather, the community measured faithfulness by how well its members practiced loving God and neighbor.” Again, these are the basic tenets of today’s Christianity.
Early Christianity was called “the Way.” For several hundred years after the death of Jesus, Christianity was made up of widely dispersed and unconnected Jewish sects that followed many different texts and beliefs. In the early 4th century, the Council of Nicaea was convened to organize a comprehensive text and doctrine; it selected and edited what became The Bible, rejecting over 45 texts that were then in use. Anything that evoked mysticism (defined as, “the belief in a direct, intimate union of the soul with God”) in any way was censored. It should also be noted that the huge and equal role of women in Jesus’s ministry was completely dismissed. Virtually every religion in history utilized similar extraordinary events in their legends and mythologies, to add some familiarity for the recruitment of converts. The more powerful and undeniable your god was, the better. Most all religions included some form of a virgin birth story (for example, Isis’s virgin birth of Horus in Egyptian religion) and inspiring miracles like a water to wine story (such as with Dionysus in ancient Greek worship, which sprang itself from the earlier Egyptian god, Osiris. It is also worth noting that Dionysus was crucified.) Christianity incorporated these stories and others to formulate the supremacy of itself and of Jesus. It was at the Nicaea assembly that Jesus was ordained as “The Son of God,” not created by but begotten by God, through the virgin birth. This assembly went on to anoint Jesus as “The Christ,” from the Greek word meaning “chosen one” or “anointed one.” This became “The Trinity,” connecting Father, Son and Holy Ghost as one, establishing worship of Jesus, not his teachings, as the focus of his followers. These assemblies and their edicts continued throughout the 4th century and helped cement the supremacy of what became the only way to practice Christianity, the Catholic Church.
The Reformation The Catholic Church developed as the supreme authority of religious practice in Western culture and dominated the www.exploreawareness.com
social structure. Worship was in the form of rituals, with little spoken word that could be understood by the uneducated general public. “Salvation” became the focus of Christianity and the only path to salvation was through the hierarchy of the Church and its rulings. Only the priests and the hierarchy had actual access to God. To do anything other than what came from them was to risk the wrath of God and eternal damnation. The use of fear to control people was overwhelming, and against the actual teachings of Jesus. In the 16th century, a series of religious movements known as The Reformation began that challenged and rejected the supreme authority of the Church. The followers of these movements became known as “Protestants.” Essentially, this movement established that everyone should be able to access The Word and churches should encourage understanding of religious practices. The Protestants formed the wide range of religious practices we know today. Still, the central authority of the Protestant denominations, as well as the Catholic Church, was unquestioned. It remained so for centuries.
The Second Reformation In the mid-1960s, Western culture began experiencing volcanic changes in most every facet of life: music, art, clothing, race relations, government, sexual attitudes, social perspectives, gender roles…you name it, it changed! The affluent middle class that emerged during the previous decade allowed a new sense that what had
was both more than just the mortal form and also more important than her or his contribution to a group or society itself, and could consciously improve the total human condition. The Age of Aquarius and its message of hope had truly dawned! An excellent explanation of humanity’s movement through the roughly 2,000 years each age of Aries (tribal power), Pisces (individual power), and now Aquarius (symbolic or holistic power) can be found in chapter 3 of Caroline Myss’s book Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can. It is beautifully written and draws together what is briefly touched on above.
An excellent explanation of humanity’s movement through the roughly 2,000 years each age of Aries (tribal power), Pisces (individual power), now Aquarius (symbolic or holistic power) can be found in chapter 3 of Caroline Myss’s book “Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can.” always been would not necessarily always be. Improved education promoted questioning and searching for answers in all aspects of life, and this accelerated with the birth of the global community and the technologies we experience today. Exposure to other cultures and beliefs allowed alternative approaches to the eternal questions of “Who am I?” and “What is the purpose of life?” and “What is my relationship to God?” Within the zeitgeist there evolved the feeling that the individual 28 January 2016
Initial Western mass exposure to Eastern thought and beliefs (springing from the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet and the mid-1960s cultural influence of The Beatles) marked the return of some Westerners to the original concepts of Jesus and to exploration of material rejected by the Council of Nicaea, such as reincarnation and the laws of karma. Practices such as yoga and meditation became mainstream. Many people began to study belief systems other than their own. Much of
Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin did not believe in organized religion, but had deep beliefs in God. this new exposure resonated as truth from deep within, but still wasn’t acknowledged in churches. This began to alter how many people viewed themselves and the very nature of their relationship to God and to each other. These people became part of a Second Reformation. The ranks of “spiritual not religious” grew. The fundamentals of love, inclusion, and forgiveness became the basis of their beliefs … these are seen as the essence of God. The focus shifts from blind worship to personal growth by applying the highest and best of what we know to be true. It is the “Christ Consciousness” that they aspire to with actions, not salvation that comes only through believing Jesus is God. A fundamental drive towards a spiritual experience can only come from within, not from something outside of oneself like religion. Jesus repeatedly spoke of finding truth “within.”
A New Path Spirituality, either as an individual practice or within religious participation, can be seen as accepting full responsibility for one’s own actions and thoughts, not just being at the mercy of “God’s will.” It is not something that you read or talk about, it is something that you must live, experience, and apply to all aspects of your life. Spirituality is the base of all religions and it is also what ties all religions together as the veil of perceived exclusivity is pulled back. Most religions and belief systems have the exact same threads running through them: God is Love, immortality of the soul, the golden rule, forgiveness, peace, responsibility for one’s actions, all the elements that humans hold as spiritual truths. (Appendix A of Brian Weiss’s Messages from the Masters lays out exactly how these threads exist.)
is an affirmation that very old belief systems can evolve with the needs of an evolving human race. Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin did not believe in organized religion, but had deep beliefs in God. They embraced that personal spiritual path and helped create a society that offers principles that are a shining light for all of humanity. Let’s use that as our frame of reference for greater acceptance that we are all in this together. Change always comes one mind at a time. Change only comes from learning and from broadening consciousness. Author’s note; Something that is very striking about this Second Reformation is that it is being led primarily by women. It coincides with the shift occurring, and gaining momentum, that is moving us away from the strictly patriarchal societies and institutions of the last several thousand years to the reappearance of a more matriarchal influence as evidenced by the growing roles of women in every facet of modern Western life. It is the full circle of women’s role in the foundation of Jesus’s teachings. It appears that it is the universal ability of women to access “feelings” that has given them the edge in exploring within, the spirit that resides within each of us. Men are now learning how to feel and access the truth within. It is not easy and men need to learn from women. Men have leadership roles in this movement, too, but it is a comforting balance of roles and status that permeates the “spiritual not religious” selfdesignation. It is a greater acknowledgement of the need for balance between female/male energies and perspectives. Most on a spiritual path do not recognize God as “He,” but that “God” contains the highest and best of the feminine and masculine energies. Thus, God is the balance we aspire to as individuals. Ray Whitson is a 20 year resident of the Charlottesville area and has been on an evolving spiritual journey during that time. He is a writer and is the publisher of this magazine.
It has been said many times in many ways, we are not human beings with a spirit; we are spiritual beings experiencing the human condition. Religions need only to align with that principle to more effectively assist with the individualized approach to spirituality and to help believers create greater connections to each other and to God. To that end, religions may accept and enhance the personal experience by tearing down the walls of “this is the absolute truth” and help join us all together in celebration of being part of God, not part of a tribe. This www.exploreawareness.com
Edgar Cayce 1943
dgar Cayce (18771945) has been called the “sleeping p r o p h e t ,” t h e “father of holistic m ed i ci ne,” and the most documented psychic of the 20th century. For more than forty years of his adult life, he gave psychic “readings” to thousands of seekers while in an unconscious state, diagnosing illnesses and revealing lives lived in the past and prophecies yet to come. Edgar Cayce had the incredible ability to put himself into a sleeplike state by lying down on a couch, closing his eyes, and folding his hands over his stomach. In this state, he was able to place his mind in contact with all time and space—the universal consciousness—and respond to questions. His responses came to be called “readings,” and their insights offer practical help and advice to individuals even today.
ago, A.R.E.’s mission is simply to help people change their lives for the better through the ideas and information found in the Edgar Cayce readings.
Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E.
Each year, the A.R.E. Headquarters in Virginia Beach attracts tens of thousands of individuals from around the world—vacationers, scholars, researchers, philosophers, health care professionals, and students of all kinds. For countless reasons, these individuals come to investigate the information that Cayce brought forth in his psychic “readings” and discover for themselves how that material is being used today in the fields of health, personal spirituality, intuition, education, and research, and to promote spiritual development at both individual and global levels.
The Visitor Center offers activities including a film, tour, and lecture (daily); E.S.P. test (SatWhile most known for his Sun); a guided meditation prophecies, the majority (Sunday); and Psychic of the readings deal with Fair (monthly). A.R.E. holistic health and the regularly host conferences treatment of illness. As and workshops with it was at the time Cayce world-renowned speakers. was giving readings, still The Glad Helpers healing today, individuals from Association for Research and prayer group meets all walks of life and weekly and visitors will Enlightenment, Inc. beliefs receive physical enjoy the stone labyrinth, relief from illnesses reflexology walk, through information given in the readings. Although meditation garden, and Bookstore & Gift Shop. The best known for this material, the sleeping Cayce did A.R.E. Library houses not only the transcripts of the not seem to be limited to concerns about the physical more than 14,000 Cayce readings that were preserved body. In fact, in their entirety, the readings discuss an during his lifetime, but also one of the largest, most astonishing 10,000 different topics, including holistic respected metaphysical libraries in the world. The A.R.E. health and wellness, philosophy and reincarnation, Health Center & Spa offers appointments daily for ancient mysteries, dreams and dream interpretation, ESP therapies to enhance your health—body, mind, and spirit and psychic phenomena, spiritual growth, meditation, including the signature Cayce/Reilly® massage. and prayer. The Education Center is home to Cayce/Reilly® School The Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. of Massage which offers professional training in holistic (A.R.E.®), is the nonprofit organization founded in 1931 massage therapy, advanced post-graduate bodywork by Edgar Cayce to research and explore the metaphysical courses, and hands-on Continuing Education weekend topics from his psychic readings. As it was over 80 years workshops and Atlantic University, an accredited online 30 January 2016
non-profit graduate level university which offers master’s degree programs in Transpersonal Studies and Leadership Studies, as well as online continuing education courses. The Edgar Cayce Foundation is the home of the historical archives of A.R.E. and of Edgar Cayce’s life. Its vault houses original copies of the readings, correspondence, papers, manuscripts, historical photos, and many unique artifacts of the Edgar Cayce legacy. Edgar Cayce moved his family to Virginia Beach in 1925 because the readings suggested it would be the best place to follow his dream and build a hospital to administer the treatments given in his readings, since those who were lucky enough to get a Cayce reading had trouble finding a doctor who would help them to follow the reading’s directions. The Hospital of Enlightenment, as it was called then, opened in 1928 and closed in 1931, when the stock market crashed and Cayce was forced to sell the building. In 1956, a group of A.R.E. members from Texas raised enough money to buy back the old hospital and a Visitor Center was built in 1975.
Hospital building 1929
The Edgar Cayce readings emphasize the spiritual nature of humankind and the connection to spirit. Although we possess physical bodies and mental attitudes, ultimately our deepest connection is to our spiritual source. A.R.E. is non-secular and embraces all religions of the world. Hospital building 2015 The ideas and ideals in the Cayce readings often express the best of most religions: the oneness disease. The mind, Cayce asserted, is a powerful tool in creating health and wellness. and unity of all people. In the 1920s and 1930s, long before traditional medicine began examining the impact the mind has on physical health, Edgar Cayce was laying the groundwork for one of the most fascinating truths presented in the twentieth century: What one thinks and feels emotionally will find expression in the physical body. Mental patterns can have a direct impact upon good physical health or A.R.E. Visitor Center
In 1979, the Journal of the American Medical Association said that “The roots of … holism … go back 100 years to the birth of Edgar Cayce.” Mr. Cayce saw total health as involving coordination among the physical, mental, and spiritual components of life. Any complete approach to health needed to consider an individual’s entire being rather than simply the illness. Because of this concept, it has been said that the beginnings of presentday holistic health started from the readings of Edgar Cayce. To learn more about Edgar Cayce, visit A.R.E. at 215 67th Street (at Atlantic Avenue),Virginia Beach, VA 23451; call 800-333- 4499 or 757428-3588; or visit EdgarCayce.org. Used with permission. Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. All rights reserved. www.exploreawareness.com
knowledge from many sources across time and religions along with a continuum for opening our minds and hearts to God.”
Holy Humanity We Are All Made of GOD Stuff
an we reconcile our faith in light of current understandings of science and the possibilities of studying other faiths and cultures today? Does faith allow for new insights? Is our faith an ongoing journey? Dare we love God and our neighbors while incorporating new understandings? Holy Humanity answers all these questions with an unequivocal “Yes!” “Here I think is the immense contribution of Holy Humanity— the integrity of the material order and its inherent spirituality. The relationship of and with God is deeply inscribed within this order, but we do not and cannot see it because we still see creation through the lens of violence and its many destructive forms. We can be grateful to Jim Foster for helping correct this brutal lens with all the skills of a master optician.” – Tony Bartlett, author of Virtually Christian: How Christ Changes Human Meaning and Makes Creation New Michele Foulk, spiritual companion and God-seeker, shared this assessment: “All too often, our perceptions of God are limited by the box we try to fit Him into. This book offers perspective and 32 January 2016
Author James L. Foster has indeed drawn on a wide range of sources from science, religion, and history to make the case that we all really are made of God stuff and bear all the innate characteristics of divinity. He has from science discerned these characteristics in our evolutionary history, in the miracles of our biology, and in the quantum reality of our material being. Theologically, he has explored the meaning of “soul” as “that-whichis-of-God in us,” and has argued that our most besetting problem is not sin but a failure of identity—as a species we have forgotten who we are! The author thus devotes a significant portion of Holy Humanity to describing the process of transformation through which ordinary people may become the extraordinary human beings God created in the first place, a process common to the mystical traditions of many of the world’s religions. It is a process of rediscovering our identity—who we really are and always have been. Probing the allied question, “Who or what is God?” the author proposes that we have typically resorted to anthropomorphic language to express our concept of a God who is just like us, only bigger. His answer to the question is counterintuitive, turning traditional answers on their head while incorporating many of the common superlative descriptions given by world religions. James L. Foster, has been a pastor, chaplain, advocate for the poor, peace activist, retreat director, spiritual mentor, and writer for more than 50 years. He has studied biblical theology and languages at Midwestern and Central Baptist seminaries, and received a Masters degree in Christology from Eastern Mennonite Seminary. He has worked for an Eastern Catholic Caribbean relief agency, which classified him as a “Mennonite, Methodist, Baptist.” His current spiritual home is the United Church of Christ. He now writes full time and is currently working on two books, Holonic Humanity: Visions of a Non-Dualistic World and Reflections on the Apostle Paul. He and his beloved wife of over half a century live in Knoxville, Tennessee. Holy Humanity is available on Amazon.com
s without, so within. What is our home trying to tell us that we don’t hear? Our homes are a mirror of our lives. We express ourselves in many ways in our homes (and to a lesser extent for many of us in corporate and individual offices) through our choice of furnishings in shape, style, period, color and texture, wall color, window treatments, accessories, artwork and clutter. The shape of our homes and offices, the adjacencies of different rooms, the use of rooms and placement of furniture all have an energetic effect on those living or working in the space. Pets, plants, family members who live with us, as well as visitors of any kind, all contribute their individual energy to our environments. The energy of those living in the space will, of course, be more long lasting than that of visitors. Feng Shui gives us a common vocabulary, a common denominator to use in viewing our world and in evaluating our life. That is the vocabulary of energy or “chi”. Each of us has our own personal energy. We recognize when we feel really “up” and when we feel “down.” This is a reflection of our personal chi in action. When we meet someone for the first time there can be an immediate connection upon finding someone with whom we feel quite comfortable. Sometimes there is an
BY PEGGY CROSS
electric-like shock upon meeting a very special person. Those are energetic connections we have all experienced and enjoyed and another example of our personal chi in action. There are homes, public buildings, offices, and hotels that are welcoming at first glance and that feel really good to us when we enter them. The use of the space is pleasing and functions well or perhaps the colors or the style appeals to us. There may be fountains and beautiful plants, which will enhance the appearance of any environment. Then, of course there are people and there are environments that have just the opposite effect—a person with whom we do not have a positive rapport or a place where we do not feel comfortable. There may be no discernible reason for our reaction and, in all of these instances, it is simply chi at work. Knowledge of Feng Shui principles enables us to analyze our personal spaces and determine why they www.exploreawareness.com
feel good or why they do not. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy, science, and art, the use of which is intended to create balance and harmony within our personal spaces and thus bring greater balance, harmony, joy, and peace into our lives. For anyone, creating a more harmonious balance within our home and workplace will increase our personal energy. That energetic increase results in our having an enhanced ability to experience increased joy, benefit, productiveness and harmony in our lives and therefore bring an increase to the lives of every individual with whom we come into contact. Attention is the partner of intention. There are many ways to initiate a Feng Shui approach to our home or office space. Bear in mind that this will not be an overnight accomplishment. It is an ongoing process during which our awareness grows, we pay more attention to our environment and we formulate new intentions. First, ask yourself which areas of your home feel and look really good to you. This is where you like to spend your time. Then, ask yourself what areas are not so pleasing to you. These will be spaces that you avoid and you may or may not know why. Some of the answers will be: • Colors that you like or dislike. This can be color on the walls or the furniture, artwork or accessories. Color is very important in Feng Shui analysis. • Patterns in fabrics or in wall coverings that resonate and lift your spirits or that conflict with your aesthetic sensibilities. • Size, shape and condition of furniture. Is it comfortable and in good repair or dilapidated? Is the scale appropriate to the size of the room? • The function and layout of the furniture. Does it work in the best way possible for you and other members of your family and guests? For example, are there chairs in the places it is best to sit and lights where you need to see? • An overabundance of one element in one room (or the entire space), such as all wood furniture on a wood floor in a room painted green. • Ceiling heights and space. Are there too many angles, either in the ceiling design or room designs? Is a room too open or too confining for you? We have different needs for different activities. • Adjacencies. Are rooms where they should to be to serve your needs? Are the bathrooms adequate—is the laundry room convenient? • Clutter. Physically this can be messy spaces, old outgrown clothes, things you “may need” someday, unwanted gifts or abandoned projects, and more. 34 January 2016
• An unappealing or beautiful view from your windows. These are all considerations that can contribute to the good chi or negative “sha” energy of your home/office and ways that you can begin to analyze your space. These are not all things that would necessarily be considered by a Feng Shui consultant—some are more from the interior design perspective—but awareness on all these levels will contribute to enhancing the pleasure you experience in your home and office, thereby increasing your personal chi, the energy you have for your life. The more time you spend in a particular environment, the greater the impact on your life in terms of emotions, attitudes and behavior. When there is, for example, a disagreeable paint color on your walls, an uncomfortable bathroom, an awkward arrangement of furniture, a lack of natural light, a broken window, a loose door handle, a dysfunctional kitchen, doorways that are too narrow then every time you encounter that “thing” you don’t like you will feel diminished energy because of the frustration factor. A friend of mine said, “I’ve gotten along without Feng Shui in my life so far” but he really hadn’t. Feng Shui is with us whether or not we are aware of its existence. It is a fact of life because it is simply the energy around us. Actually I anticipate that some day it will be as commonly acknowledged as gravity. The choice is ours. We can ignore our environments regardless of how well, or poorly, they serve us and continue our lives without creating change. Or, we can pay attention to our homes and offices and intentionally improve them. When we make changes to improve the feeling and function of the spaces in which we live and work our lives come into better balance, our emotions harmonize, our opportunities expand, and we enjoy an ever-increasing connection with the universal flow of energy, joy and abundance. Change and growth is up to us. It is a choice that we make within the parameters of our comfort (or discomfort) levels and our awareness of universal laws. As it is within, so it is without. William Morris, a philosopher/designer in the early 20th century, said “Have nothing in your home that you don’t know to be functional or believe to be beautiful.” A nationally certified interior designer, Peggy has been a Feng Shui teacher, lecturer, writer and consultant for 18-years. She works with her Feng Shui clients in their homes and businesses both on and off site. peggycross.com
Inspired Life Ceremonies
Your wedding ceremony reflects the foundation of your love and life together. Inspired Life Ceremonies offers various wedding options from simple and informal ceremonies to more elegant and formal ones and offers options that include interfaith, civil, spiritual, or religious ceremonies. We will work closely with you to help you realize your A perfect ceremony — one that is tailored to reflect the beauty of your love and commitment to each other. With over 20 years of experience, Inspired Life Ceremonies is here to guide and assist you in creating a beautiful ceremony and wonderful, lasting memories.
Call us today for a free consult. Rev. M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D. www.inspiredlifeceremonies.com 434-296-7100
Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that eat as one.
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Gertrude or Hamlet? Hospice of the Piedmont Will Honor Your Choice JAMES A. AVERY, MD CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HOSPICE OF THE PIEDMONT
n the second scene of Shakespeare’s great masterpiece, Gertrude tells her son, Hamlet, “Thou know’st ‘tis common; all that lives must die.” Her words are a meager and cold comfort to the young prince who is grieving the untimely death of his father and wants to do something. At some level Gertrude’s words are a comment about her choice and her view of reality; it’s a statement that says we need to accept the rottenness that is in Denmark. Death is a fact of life. Accept it. There’s nothing to be done. One of our core principles at Hospice of the Piedmont is “honoring choice”—that, assuming legality and reasonableness, we will strive with all our heart and soul to honor the choices of the patients and families we serve. Some of them will choose to accept things more easily—perhaps like Gertrude—while others will choose to act and to fight, like Hamlet.
36 January 2016
How we want to die: it’s a choice that all of us will eventually make one way or another when it comes to our final days, months, and years. And it’s a choice I imagine most of us feel conflicted about making. When we read the counsel of Dylan Thomas, we feel the stirring of the fight within us: Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at the close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. – From “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”
And yet, when we read the experienced and thoughtful words of Harvard physician Dr. Gawande, we eagerly embrace the wisdom, peace, and nobility of appropriate surrender and acceptance:
comforting to know that we will sit peacefully alongside you. Hospice of the Piedmont is here to counsel and help you make the best choice for yourself and your loved ones.
The simple view is that medicine exists to fight death and disease, and that is, of course, its most basic task. Death is the enemy. But the enemy has superior forces. Eventually it wins. And, in a war that you cannot win, you don’t want a general who fights to the point of total annihilation. You don’t want Custer. You want Robert E. Lee; someone who knew to fight for territory when he could and how to surrender when he couldn’t. Someone who understood that the damage is greatest if all you do is fight to the bitter end.
For hospice is not about dying, it’s about living out one’s remaining life to its fullest. How to do that best is a choice we will all have to make.
– From “Being Mortal” Rest assured, the entire Hospice of the Piedmont team—our physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, volunteers, and home health aides—is committed to sharing the journey with each of our patients and families. Our work and our vision is to ensure that no one will ever have to make these difficult choices alone or while in pain. For those who chose to rage against death, it should be comforting to know that we will rage with you. For those who chose to accept death with equanimity, it should be
Hospice of the Piedmont is the region’s oldest and largest nonprofit, community-based hospice organization. Since our founding in 1980, we have helped terminally ill patients and their families across central and northern Virginia travel the end-of-life journey with dignity and respect, surrounded by love and comfort. We provide care in a patient’s home, or in local assisted living facilities, continuous care retirement communities, and nursing homes. For qualified patients whose needs are too great to be met at home, we provide care at the Hospice House on Park Street, in downtown Charlottesville, and at the Center for Acute Hospice Care at UVA Transitional Care Hospital, Northridge Medical Park, in Ivy. Grief support services are available to anyone in the community who has experienced the loss of a loved one. To learn more about hospice care, and how Hospice of the Piedmont can help make you or your loved ones final journey more peaceful, fulfilling, and comfortable, please call us today toll-free at (800) 975-5501 or (434) 817-6900, or visit our website at www.hopva.org.
Inspiration and healing with stillness BY RAY WHITSON
WHAT THE STAFF HAD TOLD ME IN THE pre-float review was true … I wasn’t floating very long before I realized that there was little-to-no distinction between my body, the water, and the air in the tank. Periodically during the 90-minute float session I had to curl my fingers just to be sure they were still there! I comfortably floated in complete darkness and the only thing I heard was the internal sound of my breathing. With the complete stillness, my thoughts slowed and my brain became more of a consciousness and less of a computer analyzing input from my eyes, ears, nose, and skin. Tranquil … that’s the state I moved into. Everything in the Charlottesville AquaFloat 38 January 2016
facility from the reception area to the serene tank rooms is designed to help you get to that level, effortlessly. Floating in contained tanks has been around since the mid-1950s when neuroscientist Dr. John C. Lilly developed it for research in sensory deprivation. It became commercially popular during the 1970s as a way to reach an “altered state” without drugs, but declined in popularity until breakthroughs in relaxation research and sanitation methods caused a sudden spike in the practice about a decade ago. Reputable research has shown floating addresses mental and Owner Ted O’Neill
Charlottesville has a cutting edge facility, the AquaFloat Flotation Center at 925-A East Jefferson St. Owner Ted O’Neill is a licensed pharmacist who came to Charlottesville to escape the manic existence of Miami. He and his wife were drawn to the sense of community offered here. Attending a spirituality group session in 2012, he heard another member speak of a college experience with a sensory deprivation tank and it sparked his curiosity. Researching the concept further fueled his interest and he twice traveled to Chesapeake to experience the new-style tanks himself. After the second float, he was hooked.
filtered three complete cycles between each use, and runs continually after business hours. Each clean and inviting tank room has a shower, which you are required to use prior to entering the tank in order to wash off any oils and lotions on your skin. Every floater steps into pristine water. The water and air in the enclosed tank are “skin-receptor neutral,” which means you lose track of where your body ends and the mentioned elements begin. Gravity disappears. This sensation allows your body and mind’s innate healing powers to emerge. You’ll leave the tank, shower, dress, and then are welcomed to partake of the tea bar and lounge in the comfortable surroundings of the reception area. Believe me, you’ll want to sit and just “be” after the float.
He first considered a tank only for home use, then just a small one-tank business; these considerations then morphed into an “all in” enterprise to bring the concept to the area. Finding the perfect spot, he hired a designer to create a beautiful and roomy facility, which indicates the level of professionalism he brings to floating. The staff, the facility, and the experience itself are more than worth the reasonable rate of $60 per 90-minute session. AquaFloat offers four large state-of-the-art enclosed flotation tanks, with ambient lighting should you want it. The tank contains roughly a foot of water mixed with 850 pounds of Epsom salts. That level of salinity creates a situation in which you don’t just float, but seem to be supported by the water. There is no possibility of drowning and relaxation is almost instantaneous. The salt doesn’t dry your skin, but, instead, makes it almost buttery to the touch. Sanitation is a primary concern of the public, and O’Neill’s center makes it their number one priority. The water is filtered through ultraviolet light, an ozone generating system, and a conventional pool micron filter. These, coupled with salinity three times that of the Dead Sea, create an environment in which it is almost impossible for any pathogen to survive. The water is
One final comment on the enclosed tank: The tank is large and people with claustrophobia consistently report no problems with floating. You are in complete control of the entire experience and can always open the lid as much as makes you comfortable. In addition to the tanks, the AquaFloat flotation center also offers an infrared sauna and Tuina Medical Massage by appointment. Other exciting experiences are on the horizon. This center is not about the 1970s “altered states,” it is completely 21st century and is even referred by medical professionals to reduce stress/ anxiety and physical pain. Visit www.aquafloatcville. com for booking and information. To reach them by phone, call (434) 293-1143. www.exploreawareness.com
physiological problems such as stress, anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, and high blood pressure. With those conditions rampant in today’s fast-paced lifestyles, the revival couldn’t have come soon enough.
Sacred Circle Old Town Alexandria’s Jewel
T H E R E ’ S A V I B R A N T A T M O S P H E R E TO Old Town Alexandria with unique shops and restaurants lining its blocks, but the real jewel is a wonderful retail spirituality center, Sacred Circle. Owners Anysia Oswald and Tom Singer opened their store in August 2008 to an outpouring of gratitude by customers accustomed to the lack of such an operation in Alexandria. Anysia’s and Tom’s own decades-long personal spiritual quests provided the insights needed to build what is now an expansive offering of myriad products and services filling the needs of virtually all spiritual 40 January 2016
paths and beliefs. It is not just a store, it is a true service to the community. To get a good feel for the professionalism Anysia and Tom bring to this endeavor, visit www.sacredcirclebooks. com to find one of the most beautifully crafted websites you’ll come across. Note the upcoming events on the home page and under the “Events” tab. That alone shows the dedication they have to offering diverse programs and information for spiritual growth. The store is warm and inviting, with working fireplaces in the 200-year-
In addition, there is a rotating series of professional psychics and healer practitioners available both in the store and by phone. They are all personally screened by Anysia and Tom, as well as accredited by the Better Business Bureau. You can check the “Services” tab on the website to review the credentials of each. Most sessions are offered in 15-, 30-, 45-, or 60-minute increments.
old building adding to the charm of the interior. Wellstocked shelves hold items such as many varieties of crystals and stones, candles and incense for all needs, smudge, herbs, oils, statuary, ritual and altar items, magical supplies, divination materials, health and beauty items, apparel, jewelry, books, CD selections, and much more. Check out “Products” on the website for a more complete listing.
Sacred Circle is easy to get to by Metro or Beltway, and the dedication to its customers even extends to a diagram under the “Find Us” tab that shows where there is free parking for blocks around the store! (If you are not familiar with Old Town Alexandria, make sure you use the parking kiosks on and adjacent to King Street for metered parking.) This is as complete a spirituality center as you could need. Store hours are Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–7 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m.–5 p.m. If you happen to be there when Anysia and Tom are working, be sure to say, “hello.” These are some genuinely kind and caring people.
ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR SPIRITUAL FREEDOM? If you * Like Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle * Don’t like being told what and how to believe * Want to connect with like-minded people in an inclusive community that honors all spiritual traditions regardless of race, creed, religion or sexual orientation
Tom and Anysia at the Chalice Well.
Scheduling an appointment is recommended. To show you how concerned Anysia and Tom are about providing quality in all that they do, their website includes a piece about how to spot a psychic scam. That’s real commitment to the community!
Then Check Out A Positive Path to Spiritual Living www.unitycville.org (434) 978-1062 Sunday Celebration Services: 10:30 AM 2825 Hydraulic Circle Charlottesville, VA 22901
Upstairs there are rooms where classes, workshops, and consultations take place. Check the “Events” tab for current listings. There’s a lot going on each week. www.exploreawareness.com
Vibrant spiritual growth in Richmond IN THE HEART OF RICHMOND IS CARYTOWN, and in the heart of Carytown is Chrysalis institute, an organization that offers extensive programs and seminars devoted to an individual’s spiritual growth Founded in 1994 as Chrysalis Group by Nancy Millner, it became Chrysalis Institute in 2013. Chrysalis Group provided the Richmond community with opportunities for psychological and spiritual growth informed by, but not bound by, mainstream religion. Nancy Millner’s vision was “to provide hospitable time and space for seekers on diverse paths to explore how to live connected to their true selves, to each other, and to Spirit.” The mission of the nonprofit Chrysalis Institute is to transform individuals and their communities through spiritual growth inspired by insights and practices beyond the traditional boundaries of any one-faith tradition. This growth is achieved by exploring insights and practices from all of the world’s spiritual traditions, philosophies and contemporary science. Chrysalis Group brought na ti on a l l y r eco g ni zed spiritual leaders such as Parker Palmer, James Hollis, Elisabeth Schussler 42 January 2016
Fiorenza, Rick Hanson, and Katherine D. Meyers to Richmond. It facilitated workshops, retreats, and spiritual practice groups. Inspired by these offerings, a number of seekers pursued advanced degrees in areas such as mindfulness, Jungian psychology, mind-body awareness, and nature-based spirituality. These persons have been closely involved with Chrysalis over the years and are regular program facilitators and practice group leaders. Chrysalis now has its own learning center at 3527 Ellwood Ave., a monthly contemplative essay from local spiritual thought leaders, a women’s retreat, a nine-month Spiritual Paths program, and over 20 unique lectures and workshops throughout the year. It also offers weekly movement and meditation classes as well as monthly classes on journaling, singing, drumming, Reiki exchange, and more. New Executive Director Rachel Douglas has brought a fresh energy to the offerings and makes it a point to try to meet every person participating in the programs. Chrysalis Staff; left, Jennifer Clayton, Programs Coordinator, center, Rachel Douglas, Executive Director, right, Coco Provance, Operations Manager
Recognizing, first, the need to provide resources and encourage spiritual growth in new ways, Chrysalis Institute organized a volunteer faculty comprised of some of the early Chrysalis seekers who had pursued expertise in a variety of different spiritual paths. Collectively these seekers are a great source of wisdom and knowledge. The faculty has contributed countless volunteer hours in defining its role and developing a cornerstone Institute offering—a nine-month Spiritual Paths “Creating a Life of Meaning” curriculum that provides the tools and space for participants to explore their spirituality and to create, deepen, or expand their own unique and sustainable spiritual practices. In the faculty’s words, “Each of us has a unique spiritual identity that can be found through the exploration of age-old questions in shared community and deep introspection. Awakening to that identity brings meaning to our individual human experience and connects us to all of life.” Chrysalis promotes the belief that humans share a common spiritual bond that transcends particular beliefs. Just as there are different languages, there are different spiritual paths. We have more in common than the beliefs that often divide us. We need not live an alienated life! The second need is for spiritual growth and inquiry beyond the boundaries of traditional faith traditions. This need is posed specifically by individuals dubbed by the media as “Spiritual But Not Religious.” Pew research reports that 30 percent of Americans identify themselves this way and notes a marked decline in affiliation with traditional religions. Chrysalis prefers the term “Spiritually Independent” coined by Rabbi Rami Shapiro, a recent Chrysalis speaker.
Discoveries in physics and neuroscience increasingly confirm the existence of a non-material reality and validate the benefit of ancient spiritual practices, such as meditation, chanting, and the creative arts. A new worldview is arising that recognizes the sacred connections between all beings and the universe and calls us to explore age-old questions in new ways. The growing interest in finding spirituality in creative ways deserves a place for inspiration, education, and community. Residents of Richmond and beyond deserve an opportunity to create, deepen, or expand their unique sustainable spiritual practice. Chrysalis Institute uniquely promotes individual spiritual growth by offering many varying opportunities to the individual; one is invited to join a meditation practice, to learn to write a blessing, to meet a keynote speaker, to walk a labyrinth, to participate in a retreat, or to paint a canvas. The online Chrysalis Learning Space is a topically themed library of articles, links, and learning experiences on subjects such as mindfulness, Celtic spirituality, creative expression, mind/body/spirit connections, neurotheology, and Jungian psychology—truly leading edge resources. Chrysalis Institute is a leading catalyst for increasing spiritual vitality in the community. Chrysalis Institute seeks to continue and strengthen its transformative impact on the Richmond spiritual community by offering a dynamic and open forum for exploring personal and spiritual growth without reference to a particular religious belief system. People from all backgrounds are encouraged to explore spiritual practices and perspectives. They will find support within the Institute to develop personal and sustainable spiritual practices that feed their souls. By so doing, we will reduce alienation, strengthen community and, as the Dalai Lama put it, develop a global ethic that is beyond religion. The world will be a better place because of what we do. Contact Chrysalis Institute at (804) 359-0384 or through www.chrysalisinstute.org.
The Spiritually Independent seeker is someone who pursues spirituality in creative ways using insights from a variety of sources and may or may not identify with a traditional religion. Chrysalis offers the inspiration, education, and community needed for a new spiritual journey. Chrysalis encourages each person to develop their own spiritual practices informed by spiritual traditions, philosophies, and contemporary science. www.exploreawareness.com
Chrysalis addresses significant needs in contemporary culture. The first is the alienation individuals experience as a result of living in an age of rapid technological growth and information overload. Stress and anxiety grow as we are bombarded with information, choices, and accelerating change. We can access information and communicate with others at ever-increasing speeds but feel less personal connection.
A Farm-To-Table Restaurant BY RAY WHITSON
RESTAURANTS IN GENERAL NOURISH THE BODY, but there are a select few that also nourish the spirit. Local Roots, at 1314 Grandin Rd. in Roanoke, is one of those. Owner Diane Elliot has channeled her dedication to local, sustainable agriculture into a wonderful dining and learning experience. Not only is every item on Executive Chef Matthew Lintz’s menu inventive, interesting, and (judging from my party’s orders) delicious, but also you can be assured that it is all from local sources and is seasonal, just the way we were meant to eat. As it says on the website, www.localrootsrestaurant. com, “Sun-ripened tomatoes in the summer, hearty root vegetables in the 44 January 2016
winter – we serve what is fresh and natural at the peak of its flavor.” This means that the menu is constantly changing and each visit can bring exciting new offerings to choose from. Diane’s son Rives conceived the concept and opened Local Roots Café in December 2007. It took two years of detailed preparation to remodel the site, purchase the equipment, have furniture made locally, and build a network of local farmers. She purchased the restaurant from Rives on March 21, 2009 (intentionally on the Spring Equinox) and eventually moved it to a larger space in a charming area of the city known as Grandin Village. Of note, the location is directly across from the
Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op. She not only continued with the original concept, she has taken it to higher-andhigher levels. The attention to what’s natural and in rhythm with our bodies and the earth is even reflected in the décor. Everywhere are soft angles with curves and circles, there’s the use of local woods for the tables and even for the large bar, and you’ll enjoy a lot of natural lighting— renovations uncovered a beautiful skylight. The fabrics are of natural fibers.
more sustainable food systems. Local Roots offers educational events for high school and college students where they have a meal, the staff explains where all the food comes from, and the students learn the advantages in keeping money in the local area. It truly “plants the seeds” for our future leaders.
Sharing lunch with Diane was a real learning experience as this article was researched. She talked about the bigger picture in the national (worldwide) sustainable farming movement, and how she has seen people’s awareness grow along with their desire Diane describes Local Roots to support it. (Sustainability as a “S.O.L.E. restaurant” … can be described as meeting Sustainable, Organic, Local, the needs of today while Ethical. Though she would preserving natural resources modestly defer the credit, for tomorrow.) She told me of Diane is a true leader in the the nearby Spikenard Honey “locavore” movement. Her Bee Sanctuary that is teaching staff is well trained, friendly, people worldwide how to and knowledgeable, and return to raising bees more they have an orientation naturally, not forcing them before each service about the into boxes being fed sugar evening’s offerings. This helps water, but giving them manto further educate patrons made hives that mimic hive who are increasingly interested shapes in the wild. This allows in healthier eating and in the bees to make their combs supporting their area farmers. as they wish, creating beautiful Some “organic” restaurants curvilinear combs. She talked can’t tell you where their items about how learning to prepare come from, but on the back of organic food is more work than every menu in Local Roots is a microwaving frozen dinners, listing of the growers, farmers, but offers healthier lifestyles and purveyors that supply the Owner Diane Elliot and honors our connection food and beverages for this to this earth. The Local Roots website offers a list of enterprise. Diane’s integrity even extends to having done research with her chef to find a supplier that could offer businesses and organizations that can help explain how non-GMO corn oil. It’s twice as expensive as industrial to be more involved in sustainability. Click on the “Get agribusiness corn oil, but it helps support sustainable Involved” tab under “Our Roots” to review that. agriculture and is fueling the trend towards growth in the It was well worth the drive from Charlottesville to “The number of small farms by providing a living wage for ‘Noke”, as the locals call their beautiful city, to have lunch their products. (Keep in mind that large-scale industrial at Local Roots. As our conversation over lunch drew to agribusiness has deflated the true cost of food using a close, I made a comment to Diane that I’d bet a lot of chemicals and genetic modifications, but the explosion local farmers were grateful that she stuck out the hard in diabetes and autism are being linked to these methods. times in the years after taking over the restaurant, and Thus, we have paid out of a different pocket with the with complete sincerity and humility, she replied, “We’re healthcare costs associated with that kind of cheap food.) all in this together.” Amen, Diane, amen. Here’s an example of dedication to not just making a profit, but to helping community move back towards
Visit www.localrootsrestaurant.com or call (540) 2062610 for reservations or information. www.exploreawareness.com
Diane describes Local Roots as a “S.O.L.E. restaurant”... Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical.
The Heritage Natural Market Virginia Beach BY TOM JOHNSON FOUNDER
HAVING BEEN INSPIRED BY READING The Sleeping Prophet and other books about Edgar Cayce, I attended the first Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) Youth Conference in the fall of 1968. It was there that I became interested in Cayceâ€™s medical readings and wanted to know where to get the 46 January 2016
various remedies that were mentioned. I was surprised to learn that there was no central source of supply for these formulas. After trying unsuccessfully to persuade the owner of a local health food store to supply the items, I resolved to do it myself, at least on a part-time basis. I returned to
After doing a few months’ research in preparing the formulas, I realized that it was impractical to do this enterprise on a part-time basis in New Jersey and determined, not without a great deal of trepidation, to move to Virginia Beach and go “whole hog.” Soon after, on a weekend trip to the Beach, I leased a tiny 12-by-20-foot store that was available for only $65 per month. In February 1969, The Heritage Store opened its doors. It was a living room-sized store, located on Pacific Avenue near 17th Street. I occupied it for less than a year. At the time it was the smallest and least expensive store located in the entire resort area, so I was lucky to get it. Things were a little slow, to put it mildly, during my first few months. I knew nothing about retailing and opened so unnoticed that only one customer found his way in the door in the first week, spending a total of $1.19. Word slowly spread, however, and by the end of the first month our sales totaled $50. The second month they leapt to $80, an outstanding 60% increase! I did continue to do an enormous amount of research in the readings during these months, laying the groundwork for future product development. After realizing that I was just spinning my wheels and helping virtually no one at the retail location alone, I decided to venture into mail order. I did that in the fall of 1969 with the publication of a catalog that listed less than two-dozen Cayce items. Orders trickled in slowly from around the country, primarily due to the A.R.E.’s help in sending the catalog to those who wrote to them asking where to get Cayce’s remedies. In January of 1970, I was offered a store nearly four times as large as the current one, located at 204 22nd Street. I was still not profitable and was concerned about how I would pay the large rent of $125 a month. On top of that, how would I ever fill the cavernous space in that huge store? Of course, all things being relative, this same location would later be described in the New York A.R.E. News as “the world’s smallest store.” Needless to say, I moved and decided to add health foods—a logical extension of merchandise, which helped to fill the empty shelves. Within a few months, the store began to break even and I hired the first employee, Carol Barraff, who for many months processed and filled all mail orders in addition to her other duties. Not too many months afterward, Ann Schreiner, the owner of a health food store in Cleveland, Ohio, stopped in
and persuaded me to sell some of the Cayce products to her at a discount so she could have them available in Cleveland. This modest beginning launched the wholesale part of the business, which I tried to limit, as Cayce wisely suggested, to those who believe in the products themselves rather than the money that could be made from them. In 1971, I developed a mail-order catalog of non-Cayce items and books, a new direction for me. By 1973, the 22nd Street. store was getting pretty crowded and I began to look for larger quarters. The ideal place was a spot already occupied by a shoe store on Laskin Road. After looking for a year for a larger place, I gave up in frustration and said, “God, you do the looking!” Within a week the owner of the shoe store contacted me and said that 317 Laskin Road was available for a favorable rent. The move was completed in October 1974. In 1986, I again needed larger quarters so I began looking for a separate location to house the lab and shipping departments. Fortuitously, the building across the street became available and I moved. Once again, the floor space (17,000 square feet) seemed oceanic. I opened for business in November and held our official grand opening ceremony in December. In 1992, I added a deli/café in an old ice cream store, replacing junk food with healthy food! I moved the bookstore into an old pharmacy, and moved manufacturing and shipping to the back of the adjacent Rite Aid Store. The store now occupied 32,000 square feet, but it felt like I still needed more space. The location stayed at 314 Laskin Road for 24 years until the city of Virginia Beach made plans to remodel the area with a series of upscale retail shops and condominiums called the Laskin Road Gateway Project. I knew it was time to find yet another space. Times were changing and in 2010 the city of Virginia Beach began a series of road construction projects within the vicinity of the store. I had been under pressure to find a new place because the store’s block was to be demolished. The store, the Jewish Mother, Waffles & Things, and Atlantic Cleaners were all going to be at the mercy of the wrecking ball. With the city’s pending deadline for me to move, I made every effort to comfort our regular customers and employees who had a close connection with the old store. I had been frantically trying to find a place that would accommodate the retail space plus the lab, shipping equipment, and the mail-order department. I was planning on keeping the retail space close to the www.exploreawareness.com
New Jersey, where I was working as a computer systems engineer, and began to do some research.
oceanfront while having manufacturing and mail-order work at a remote location. Finding a place was getting more difficult and by the fall of 2010, Nutraceutical, a Utah-based company specializing in the manufacturing of nutritional supplements sold in health and natural food stores, stepped in and bought the mail-order and manufacturing part of Heritage as well as the name “The Heritage Store.” I finally found a place that was only about a half mile from the old spot that I had occupied for more than 20 years. I reopened the store in December 2010 with a new name: Heritage Natural Market. The name of the shopping center was changed from Linkhorn Shoppes to Heritage Natural Market at Linkhorn Shoppes. I refitted the entire single-floor space to accommodate all the departments that occupied two floors in the old building. With ingenuity and a perfectly designed floor plan, all the retail and administrative departments were able to squeeze under one roof. In February 2011, our cafe opened with all new kitchen equipment. Shortly after, the Heritage Holistic Center opened. Many long-term customers were very pleased at how quickly everything came together and how beautiful the new store was. This store has received many “Best Of Hampton Roads” accolades. No matter what trials and tribulations have come, this store, which started as a one-room shop, has
An Update … BY DYLAN PATRICK SMITH
always been the best place in Hampton Roads to find items to enrich the lives of each and every person that walks through the doors. One thing has never changed: the commitment to personal customer service and to providing the best products available. There’s one ideal that the staff keeps in mind and heart on a daily basis: Edgar Cayce Reading 254-47 “Do not lose sight of the fact that all shall be used for the benefit of individuals’ relationships to man and to the Creative Energy, and not for the purely commercial or monetary reasons.” In our 10,000-square-foot space, we offer a large selection of organic produce, wind chimes, incense, and metaphysical gifts. Our book area is located in a quiet nook against a back wall. The juice bar/café is located in the far corner of the store, making for a more intimate eating space, with little foot traffic coming through to disrupt a pleasant lunchtime meal. Our dedication to our customers keeps them coming back day after day, week after week. We support local artists by hanging their paintings on our walls. Most importantly, we still carry many wonderful Cayce products and have expanded our supplement aisle to meet demand as naturo-pathic medicine and holistic healing have become more in demand. loss. His wife, Honey Bee Johnson, assumed the role of ownership and has breathed new life into this wonderful establishment by helping to create a new customer base, and a new work force of dedicated team members who abide by our standards of open-mindedness and 100% customer satisfaction. We bring in new items every day. We will continue to be Hampton Roads’ largest and best independently owned health food store! Location: Heritage Natural Market 984 Laskin Road Virginia Beach, VA 23451 Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
New location of Heritage Natural Market
On April 6, 2015, owner and founder, Tom Johnson, succumbed to a battle with cancer. All of us that knew him, worked with him, or had any connection to him in the community, were very saddened by this 48 January 2016
Main store number: (757) 428-0500 Contact: Dylan Patrick Smith Online Social Media Coordinator (757) 502-4169 firstname.lastname@example.org
Psychic Profile Name: Angela Ford Location: Southern Maryland Contact Information: (410) 257-5727 Tue – Fri 10 a.m. – 8 p.m./ Sat 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Rate: $80 per one hour session (Call to arrange payment and schedule reading. Reading will normally occur within 3-4 days of initial call. Check or PayPal accepted.) Experience: Offering private intuitive readings for over 32-years. Angela has had her psychic abilities since early childhood, with a heightened ESP that allowed her to know things about people that she had no logical way to know. Her career has included high level psychic work with government intelligence, law enforcement, and research organizations. She teaches classes on remote viewing and aura self-identification. She holds a degree in political science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Review: If you have never had a psychic (intuitive) reading, then a call to Angela Ford is a good way to introduce yourself to information from The Other Side. If you have had prior readings, you’ll certainly recognize her special gift. The first thing you’ll note as you speak to Angela on the phone is the sense of talking
in a relaxed manner to an old friend who knows a lot about you. But don’t be misled, she is an experienced and professional intuitive. Angela excels at all levels of intuitive readings: predictive work, relationships, past life impacts, information from the departed, and situational explanations. A real strength is that she offers timing for predictive information. When you call, she’ll immediately use her knowledge of numerology to help you understand what’s going on in your current year, and then general situations to expect the next year. Then, she gets right to her impressions as they come to her. She starts with a “general reading” that gives a lot of accurate information about who you are, situations in your life, and possibilities that could arise. Next, she asks if you have any questions that you want clarity on, anything from relationship issues, to career, to finances, to life situations. She won’t ask for details or background first, she will have you simply ask your questions; she’ll only ask a question to better hone in on what information you seek. I found her to be right on target in these responses. She gets just as specific as you need her to be … just ask the questions. You may want to conduct your reading on speaker phone so you can tape it, or record it on your smart phone. The information is going to come fast and there will be a lot of it!! You may want to listen to the reading several times. This most likely will be a very eye-opening and rewarding experience.
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Our Premier Issue Featuring Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. | New Age Christians | Automatic Writing
Published on Feb 1, 2016
Our Premier Issue Featuring Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. | New Age Christians | Automatic Writing