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H E A L T H Y

L I V I N G

H E A L T H Y

P L A N E T

feel good • live simply • laugh more

Eat, Bark Awakening and Be Merry to Spirit

Healthy Holiday Treats Prayer and Meditation Heal and Free Us for Our Pets

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Sky-High YOGA

Six Stretches for Your Next Plane Trip

December 2015 | Houston-Edition | NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com natural awakenings

December 2015

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contents

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5 5 newsbriefs 6 recipeofthemonth 7 businessspotlight 8 businessspotlight 8 healthbriefs 10 globalbriefs 13 ecotip 6 21 fitbody 23 inspiration 27 greenliving 29 healthykids 30 consciouseating 33 wisewords 35 naturalpet 37 farmers’markets 38 calendarofevents 39 ongoingcalendar 42 resourceguide

advertising & submissions

Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.

14 PROCESSING GRIEF DURING THE HOLIDAYS

by Maisha Tianuru and William Hancock

16 MOOLADHARA CHAKRA 19 CHANGE YOUR MIND,

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CHANGE YOUR LIFE by Gladys Wesley-Kennedy

21 AIRPLANE YOGA

Six Easy Stretches Ease the Journey by Cynthia Bowman

22 SHADING ON SOLAR PANELS by Shen Ge

23 RECIPE FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR Fail-Proof Ingredients for a Glorious 2016

24 AWAKENING TO SPIRIT Prayer and Meditation Heal and Free Us

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by Richard Davenport

HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 713-927-6540 or email Mike@NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com. Deadline for ads: the 10th of the month.

27 GREEN CONGREGATIONS Faith Groups Join in Preserving All Creation by Avery Mack

29 Natural Water

EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Email articles, news items and ideas to: Mike@NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com. Deadline for editorial: the 5th of the month..

for Your Home by Henry Pine

30 SWEETLY VEGAN

CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Email Calendar Events to: Mike@NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com. Deadline for calendar: the 5th of the month..

No-Bake Holiday Treats Worth Celebrating

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by Judith Fertig

REGIONAL MARKETS Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets call 239-449-8309. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit NaturalAwakeningsMag.com.

NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com

33 SHARON SALZBERG ON MINDFULNESS Simple Ways to Be in the Present Moment by April Thompson

35 EAT, BARK AND BE MERRY Healthy Holiday Treats for Our Pets by Sandra Murphy

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December 2015

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letterfrompublisher

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reetings, The wheel of the year has once again turned to what passes for winter here in Houston. As I write this letter a small cold front is moving through quickly dropping temperatures and bringing rain. We are looking forward to the family holiday gatherings and get togethers with our friends. There are special memories that we will enjoy remembering and new ones we will be making. There is something special about the hustle and bustle, sights, sounds and smells of the season. We have drastically pared down our gift giving. Just one special gift is enough and drawing names at big gatherings is more fun than the chore of picking out something for each person. We also look for ways to give that don’t involve buying and wrapping a gift. Whether it is a random act of kindness or something a little more organized, try it. Giving joy is one of the best ways to get joy in return.

contact us Natural Awakenings 448 West 19th Street #419 Houston, TX 77008 Phone: 713-927-6540 Fax: 713-880-9979 Natural Awakenings Team PUBLISHERS

Cindy and Mike Hart Cindy@NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com Mike@NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com

FREELANCE WRITERS Quincy Fisher • Barbara Silberg Shen Ge • Jo Neil Norcini • Suzanne Sears Gladys Wesley-Kennedy

MARKETING/SALES Cindy Hart Cindy@NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com Barbara Silberg Mark Berne

PRODUCTION

Paul Scott • Helene Leininger • Tammy Leal

WEBSITE Mike Hart

Advertising

Cindy Hart • Barbara Silberg • Mark Berne

General Information & Submissions

Mike Hart Mike@NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com Franchise Sales: Toll Free 888-434-9392

NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com While hustle and bustle togetherness is one of the themes of this season, solitary prayer and meditation is another. Find some time, even if it brief, to be quiet and to practice whatever meditative practice works for you. In this month’s Natural Awakenings there are articles and recipes and a calendar of events that can help you. We hope you enjoy them and share them with your friends and family.

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Bright blessings,

Mike & Cindy Hart Mike & Cindy Hart

Houston

© 2015 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

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Sign up to receive our free digital ezine! Email us at: Mike@NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com

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newsbriefs

A Holotropic Breathwork Experience With Stanislav Grof, M.D. and Tav Sparks

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ith Holotropic Breathwork each participant gains direct access to his or her own inner healing wisdom. In the HB session, this wisdom brings you a unique and ideal combination of experiences that can include aspects of your personal history, psychological death and rebirth, transpersonal interconnections, and the greater spiritual reality to which we all belong. Through simple breathing, along with a specially designed musical journey, and a safe and supportive setting with a trained staff of facilitators, you experience a true non-ordinary state of consciousness, allowing deep self-exploration, personal transformation, and healing. Mandala drawing and group processing of the experiences are additional important elements of the Holotropic process. This workshop begins Friday evening with a talk by Stan, “The Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness.� Those not registered for the full workshop may attend this 1 1/2 hour talk for $15. Following the talk, those taking the workshop will stay to begin preparation for the breathwork. Friday, January 22, 6:30 p.m., through Sunday, January 24, 12:30 p.m. Hyatt North Houston, Texas. For information or to register, call or email 415-383-8779 workshop@ holotropic.com. See ad on page 7.

natural awakenings

Launching 2016 with Clarity and Aliveness! This year live creatively with Clarity and Aliveness. Begin the year with a rich experience of freedom that will orient you to living life in pure potential and possibility. Join Cherie Ray for a series of three Life Coaching/Intuitive Painting workshops. Learn: How creating is natural, easy, and abundant. What separates you from aliveness and spontaneity. How to listen and trust your intuition. How to gain clarity, new insights, and solutions. You will leave with a clear feeling of your intentions for 2016. Friday evening, January 8th, 6-9pm. Saturday, January 9th, 10am-6pm. Sunday, January 10th, 10am-4pm. Learn more and Register at TrueYou Creativity.com. See ad on page 10.

December 2015

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recipeofthemonth

From Mind To Matter Seminar

Italian Lemon Chicken

How to use your mind to master your health and life

from Christmas in Italy by Lucia Bettler

unday December 13 from 1 to 5pm. Gladys WesleyKennedy, Founder and Qigong Master Healer of The WHAI & Meditative Fitness Programs, will conduct a “From MindToMatter™ Seminar.” During the seminar, Master Gladys will reveal how to be the intentional master of your mind, health, relationships, and life conditions. Master Gladys will also lead a captivating From MindToMatter presentation and discussion, a masterfullyguided meditation session, and an ancient Calm-Qigong form. Come and discover powerfully-effective mind management tools as well as Yoga and Qigong practices that will enable you to trade a life of confusion and suffering with a life of ever-increasing well-being and self-mastery. By all accounts…the From MindToMatter Seminar is a life-changing experience!

Here’s what you need for Italian Lemon Chicken:

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For more information contact The WHAI. 832-755-0270 or Tameka@Meditative-Fitness.com. Nurture Soul Therapeutics, 9834 Spring Cypress Road. Houston 77070. See The WHAI & Meditative Fitness seminar ad on page 17.

3 lbs chicken breast, boneless, skinless and halved salt and pepper to taste garlic powder 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs oregano and parsley 1 tbsp flour 2 eggs beaten, plus 2 tbsp water for egg wash olive oil 2 cup chicken stock ½ cup white wine 2 lemons, juiced 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese Pasta – Prepare ahead of time…. Combine bread crumbs, flour, parsley and oregano on a plate and mix thoroughly. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Dip in egg wash and coat both sides of chicken breasts with bread crumb mixture. Pour 2 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Fry the chicken breasts on each side until golden brown, being careful not to overcrowd the pan or to knock off the bread crumbs. Remove to a baking dish that has been sprayed with vegetable oil coating. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel. Add chicken stock, wine, and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Pour over chicken in the baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with pasta. See Lucia’s Garden ad on page 15.

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Houston

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businessspotlight

The Adventure of Self-Discovery

Holotropic Breathwork with Stan Grof & Tav Sparks Friday, January 22 - Sunday, Jan 24 Hyatt North Houston Friday evening open to non-workshop participants: “Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States”

Join us

Plant It Forward

Urban farms for Houston, small business for refugees

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s a city overflowing with land, sun and water, we deserve the infrastructure that allows us to grow and purchase healthy, fresh and local food. Plant It Forward Farms brings together the people and resources needed to make that vision a reality providing Houston with fresh, local produce by helping refugees grow their own urban farm businesses. They partner with social and religious groups to provide land and tools to refugees who settle in Houston with few other skills besides farming. Refugees receive training at a model farm, as well as additional business assistance to help sell their produce through farmers markets, farm stands, farm shares and restaurant sales. A portion of each success helps provide opportunities for future refugees, and our replicable model can easily be scaled to support hundreds of urban farms throughout the city and beyond. Through

Plant It Forward Farms, refugees can become active and contributing citizens that help Houston realize its potential as a leader in sustainable living. Houston is in the process of reinventing itself, perhaps more than in any other major city in America. That change will be advanced only if we create access to healthy food, if we make the best use of the land and assets we have available, and if our neediest are given opportunities to support themselves. By fostering the sustainable growth of both the city and its individuals, Plant It Forward Farms can help lead Houston to a healthier, more prosperous future. You can buy Plant It Forward produce at their Farm Stands, Farmers Markets around Houston and through their Farm Share program. Plant-It-Forward.org. See ad on page 2.

for this special weekend event. To reserve your seat visit holotropic.com or call 415-383-8779 “Stanislav Grof is one of the most important pioneers in the scientific understanding of consciousness. He and his wife, Christina, have contributed both to its intellectual and experiential understanding through their work with Holotropic Breathwork.” -Deepak Chopra

Happy Holidays Share what matters most with the people who matter most! 50% off my video class! Books & CDs make great gifts, too!

Visit: www.kimoneillpsychic.com call: 281-651-1599 or email

kimoneillpsychic@sbcglobal.net natural awakenings

December 2015

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businessspotlight healthbriefs

Meditation Linked to Telomere Integrity in Cancer Patients

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Accent Natural Water Systems

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ccent Natural Water Systems is a healthy water treatment company based in Spring, Texas. They are a branch of Accent Outdoors which has been in business in the Houston area for over 42 years. They have been a member of the Better Business Bureau since the 80’s with an A+ rating. They have been building and servicing spas, hot tubs, Endless Pools and treating water for a long time. Their home water treatment systems are among the most advanced on the market using several layers of treatment and filtration that are totally different from water softeners or do it yourself purification devices. You get healthy water from every faucet and shower with no salt and no chlorine. Accent Natural Water Systems, 23206 I-45 North, Spring 77373. 281-773-5441.Visit AccentH20.com. See ad, page 42.

aintaining telomere length has been directly linked to longer lifespan in a number of studies. A telomere is the structure at the end of a chromosome that protects it from deteriorating or fusing with other chromosomes. Its length is being used to measure the potential success of integrative therapy for recovering cancer patients; now University of Calgary research has found that mindfulness meditation helps. The researchers tested 88 breast cancer survivors with a previous diagnosis of stage-one to stage-three breast cancer. The patients’ telomere lengths were tested after either groupsupport therapy or mindfulness meditation training that included gentle hatha yoga exercises. Results showed that while the control group’s telomere lengths decreased over time, both the mindfulness group and the support therapy group were on average able to maintain their telomere length throughout the testing period.

Join Dawn Mountain’s Program Manager, Claire Villareal, Phd., For A Two-Workshop Series Designed To Ease You Through The Holidays And Into A Fresh And Focused 2016.

Tuesday, December 15

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Mindfulness for the Holidays - $15 During this season of cheer & stress, join us to connect with real joy through gratitude. Like a massage for your mind, we’ll practice meditations for deep de-stressing & cultivating an appreciation of the best aspects of our lives.

A Mindful New Beginning - $20 Ready for an energized & centered 2016? Join us to get intentional about your media consumption patterns. We’ll reflect on the ways media can nourish and/or deplete us, and set your intentions for the new year before the session closes.

Register at www.dawnmountain.org, or by phone at 713-630-0354 Natural Awakenings readers use coupon code NADEC for $5.00 off the cost of each workshop! 2010 Naomi Street, Suite A | Houston, Texas 77054 dawnmountain.org Dawn Mountain is conveniently located south of the Texas Medical Center at 2010 Naomi Street, Suite A - a block from the NRG Park stop on the Metrorail Red Line. 8

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People Double Up on Calories After the Holidays

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SPIRITUALITY IS BENEFICIAL FOR CANCER PATIENTS

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ccording to a new review of research published in the journal Cancer, a strong religious or spiritual belief system may improve a cancer patient’s prognosis physically, emotionally and mentally. Researchers from Florida’s H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and North Carolina’s Wake Forest School of Medicine reviewed clinical studies that included more than 44,000 cancer patients. The first review focused on physical symptoms and found that patients with stronger religious and spiritual beliefs reported fewer cancer symptoms and better physical health. They also showed enhanced capabilities in managing their daily lives. “ Th e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s w e r e particularly strong in patients that experienced greater emotional aspects of religion and spirituality, including a sense of meaning and purpose in life, as well as a connection to a source larger than oneself,” states Heather Jim, lead author of the first review. The second review focused on mental health and found reductions in anxiety, depression and distress among those with greater spirituality. Lead author Dr. John Salsman comments, “Also, greater levels of spiritual distress and a sense of disconnectedness from God or a religious community were associated with greater psychological distress or poorer emotional well-being.” In the third review, the researchers found that patients with a stronger spiritual well-being reported better social health, as well.

espite the popularity of New Year’s resolutions, scientists have found that post-holiday food shopping decisions don’t necessarily reflect intentions to eat healthier or lose weight. Scientists from Cornell University tracked resolutions and after-holiday food shopping habits of 207 families. They classified about 20,000 food products as either “healthy” or “less-healthy”. Calories and dollars spent were also tracked. Analysis of 37 weeks of activity that included the extended winter holiday period and into the new year found that additional food expenditures and calories began about a week prior to Thanksgiving and peaked during Christmas celebrations. Compared to the rest of the year, this increased shopping averaged just over $16 more a week, about $4 of which was spent on healthy foods. Food expenditures then continued to increase after the holidays to about $25 more a week compared to the average—showing a 24 percent increase. However, $13 of this was spent on healthier foods. Calorie levels also increased. “Total weekly per-serving calories increased by 440 during the holiday period relative to the baseline period, and nearly 91 percent of this increase was due to additional purchases of the more calorie-dense foods,” the researchers reported. “Even more intriguing is that contrary to well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions, additional weekly per-serving calories purchased increased to 890 in the post-holiday period relative to the baseline, more than doubling the 440 calorie increase evident in the holiday season,” the researchers observed. Of this, 63 percent of the additional calories were from high-calorie foods.

Asbestos Found in Crayons and Children’s Toys

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esearch from the Environmental Working Group’s Action Fund has determined that some popular children’s toys contain a chemical that previous research has linked to lung disease and lung cancers. The researchers tested 28 boxes of crayons and 21 crimethemed toys at the Scientific Analytical Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina. They found that four of the crayon brands and two of the crime-scene toys contained asbestos. All of the asbestos-containing toys were manufactured in China. The products included the Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle brands of crayons, the EduScience Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit and the Inside Intelligence Secret Spy Kit. The latter two brands contained asbestos within the fingerprint powders. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asbestos from all sources is responsible for up to 15,000 U.S. deaths each year. natural awakenings

December 2015

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globalbriefs Fungus Among Us

Mushrooms Offer Pesticide-Free Insect Control Paul Stamets, one of the world’s leading mycologists, invented a fungus (mushroom)-based pesticide in 2006. An industry executive states, “This patent represents the most disruptive technology we have ever witnessed.” This “smart” pesticide provides a safe and nearly permanent solution for controlling more than 200,000 species of insects. Entomopathogenic (insect-destroying) fungi are altered so they don’t produce spores. This actually attracts the insects, which then eat them and turn into fungi from the inside-out. The invention has the potential to revolutionize the way humans grow crops. Source: Earth. We Are One. View the patent at Tinyurl.com/FungusPesticidePatent.

Sentient Beings

New Zealand Enacts Bill Recognizing Animal Intelligence The New Zealand Animal Welfare Amendment Bill that passed into law this year states that animals, like humans, are sentient beings. Dr. Virginia Williams, chair of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee, says this acknowledges, “Animals can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress.” The bill thus bans the use of animals for testing cosmetics. Williams says the legal recognition of animal sentience provides a stronger underpinning of the requirements of the existing Animal Welfare Act. The bill also provides for penalties to enable low-to-medium-level offenders to be punished more effectively and gives animal welfare inspectors the power to issue compliance notices, among other measures. Find a link to the legislation at Tinyurl.com/NewZealandSentienceBill.

Uncommon Devotion Religion in America Shows Resilience On any given Sabbath, four of 10 Americans travel to a place of worship, a number that hasn’t fluctuated dramatically in the past half-century. Gallup polls report that more than 81 percent say they identify with a specific religion or denomination; 78 percent say it’s an important part of their lives; and 57 percent believe that religion is able to solve today’s problems. While recent attendance may be off, Americans are no less likely to attend services today than they were in the 1940s and early ’50s, just prior to the ultra-religious following decade. The reason, says Gallup’s Frank Newport, is that U.S. religious worship is cyclical. Today’s practicing religious communities “tend to consist of the seriously committed, not just those swept along by obligation,” reports Christian Smith, director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame and co-principal investigator of the National Study of Youth and Religion. Those that worship regularly are more likely to be older, female and Southern; they also are better educated and stronger financially than those that don’t, according to Newport. At the same time, Mitchell Marcus, a University of Pennsylvania professor, characterizes his Ph.D. students as religiously curious, often devout and eager to talk about their beliefs. Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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Houston

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DESIGNED TO INSPIRE food + recipes + conscious living + lifestyle tips column and photography by Sandra Yearms

Joy to the World...Happy New Year! 'Tis the season to celebrate and bring on the greens, and I’m not talking about those on your dinner plate. We’ve become such a ‘faux’ world we’re going to forget what fresh pine smells like because we are so indoctrinated by marketing geniuses peddling poisonous chemical smells out of aerosol cans. Get to the Trader’s! They always have a variety of fresh pine at a good price. Slide some branches into your tree, and all over the house. Heavenly!

Hear Ye!

Dutch Court Upholds Climate Action as a Human Right Perhaps establishing a new global precedent for a state’s obligation to its citizens in the face of a growing climate crisis, a Dutch court has ruled that the government has a legal duty to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020. The decision came in response to a 2013 lawsuit launched by the Amsterdambased environmental nonprofit Urgenda Foundation and 600 Dutch citizens that argued the government was violating international human rights law by failing to take sufficient measures to combat rising greenhouse gas emissions. A statement from the court reads, “The state must do more to avert the imminent danger caused by climate change, also in view of its duty to provide care to protect and improve the living environment.” In the United States, the youthled movement Our Children’s Trust (OurChildrensTrust.org) is suing state governments and what they dub “the ruling generation” as accountable for climate inaction. As 350.org co-founder and Communications Director Jamie Henn noted after the ruling, “If the Netherlands sets a precedent, it’s a whole new ball game.” Other countries are weighing the situation, as well. Source: BBC

Children December Issue Meditation & Prayer Meet my grandson Sam. He’s now 19 and a sophomore at UT Austin. As a youngster, he spent many weekends with me and, meditation was always one of our favorite times together. To signal the start, we’d light our special candle and he would strike the aluminum rod on our mini chime with the mallet...many, many, MANY times! We’d discuss whatever was on our minds, say special prayers for our family and friends, and then we would chant the Sanskrit mantra for protection ... Om Dum Durgayei Namaha... as he beat out his accompanying drum rhythm on the floor. (Loosely translated: beware to those who try to harm ANY I protect) Ahead of Our Time We laughed a lot, and I knew the purity of our prayers and intentions would not be judged by our posture and breathing. New Year’s Eve Celebrate It Your Way Growing up we celebrated ‘The Eve’ with a party at my aunt and uncle’s, and to this day, I still like celebrating at home. I spruce up, put on some glitzy earrings, cook my pork and sauerkraut for good luck, sip my favorite bubbly, listen to music, and call my family. Dust Off Your Favorite Traditions Pick your style. Ditch the plastics, bring out the cloth napkins…party!

Sandra Joblonicky Raw Culinary Arts Chef Comments and Requests SandraJ@ HealthyLivingWithStyle.com Website: www.Healthy LivingWithStyle.com

natural awakenings

Joblonicky

A Visual Feast with Finger Foods

+ lamb chops sliced from the rack come with a built-in bone handle + cheese board with grapes, nutty manchego, sharp yellow and chocolate stilton + crispy roasted garbanzo beans + a bowl of oil cured black olives + a bowl of raw nuts + tart cranberry relish to balance everything out

D Oo d

Lamb

Preheat oven to 400º + 1- 6-8 rib rack of lamb trimmed & frenched, at room temp + Combine: 1/2 C fresh bread crumbs, minced garlic, Tbsp minced fresh rosemary, 2 Tbsp olive oil to moisten + Score lamb fat with diamond cuts, season rack with Himalayan salt, gently rub in + In large oven proof skillet heat a pour of evoo; sear rack on all sides over high heat and set aside + Coat rack with bread crumb mixture and pat to form a crust. You can foil the bones but they are tastier charred + Place the roast, bone side down (fat up) on a rack positioned on top of the skillet, in center of oven. Add some water to skillet to catch drippings, drizzle over uncut roast Rare - Medium Rare 125º-130º, 20 to 25 minutes Medium Rare - Medium 135º-140º, 25 to 30 minutes + Let lamb rest; slice just before serving.

Roasted Garbanzo Snack

Open 3 cans chickpeas, drain and rinse beans thoroughly. Lay on towel, cover with another towel and roll the beans around to remove the thin skins. Place dry, clean beans in a bowl, drizzle (don’t drown them) with evoo to coat evenly. Roast in 400º preheated oven on a parchment lined cookie tray in a single layer, until they are browned and crunchy, about 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings...sweet or savory style. New Year’s Eve morning...it’s time to turn on the music and get cookin’! Don’t forget to bless all the bounty, it adds a lot of sweetness to the New Year’s celebration.

December 2015

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Turn Your Passion Into a Business

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ecotip Shipping News

Early Bird Gift Shipping Saves Stress, Money and Resources Last-minute online shopping can be costly in both dollars and pollution. Choosing next-day delivery puts purchased products on a plane that burns far more carbon-producing fossil fuel than ground transportation. But there’s a better way, and how we package gifts for shipping counts. Order and ship early. Building in more lead time affords less costly shipping options. Eco-wise, if the shipper has some freedom in scheduling deliveries, it can choose to hold up a delivery truck until it’s full, rather than sending one out half-empty. Also, if a package doesn’t have to reach its destination by a particular day or time, the company can choose the most efficient local delivery routing. A recent University of Washington study found that a community using grocery delivery services slashed carbon

emissions when compared to individuals driving to the supermarket. Plus, they achieved their biggest gains—80 to 90 percent lower emissions—when they could plan deliveries around customer locations, rather than precise delivery windows, thus minimizing driving distance and time on the road. Seek out available boxes. Many grocery and beverage stores don’t immediately break down incoming cardboard shipping boxes. Ask a store attendant if they have any available. Reusing saved paper bags from checkout (for those that don’t bring reusable bags) can serve to cushion gift-wrapped boxes. GreenAmerica.org suggests repurposing gently-used wrapping paper or old fabrics, newspapers, magazines or calendars for a creative look. Return any foam peanuts in received

packages to a pack -n-ship shop for reuse. Know the options. While U.S. Postal Service (usps.com) Priority Mail offers flat rates to any state regardless of weight (up to 70 pounds), package tracking and other year-round features, the cost of using other carriers varies by destination zip code, package size and weight. Verify price and timing options, making sure packages arrive in good time to be under the Christmas tree before December 25.

You are invited to attend the

PARTY OF THE YEAR! Saturday, December 5th

• Free Massages • Children’s Fun Activities & Games • Healthy Food & Drink • Drumming & Live Music • Free 3D Digital Foot Scans • Yoga & Sacred Breathing • Karate Demonstrations • Live Blood Analysis Demos • Vendor Booths •& More!

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Processing Grief During the Holidays by Maisha Tianuru and William Hancock

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xperiencing grief for the physical transition and initiation into Ancestorship of a loved one is an emotionally painful and challenging condition at any time of the year, as our minds struggle to make sense out of what may seem like the destruction of our eternal compass. Meanwhile life goes on as usual for the rest of the world, including holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s may be difficult to endure and enjoy. There are many ideas that aren’t helpful for grievers. Here’s six pieces of misinformation about dealing with loss: ▄ Don’t feel bad ▄ Replace the loss ▄ Grieve alone ▄ Just give it time ▄ Be strong for others ▄ Keep busy None of these concepts lead us to the actions of recognizing and completing the unfinished emotions that accrue in all relationships. HAVE A STRATEGY Give yourselves permission to handle this time of year in a way(s) that’s most soothing. Have a Plan A and Plan B in place. Plan A is where to

go for holiday dinner with family and friends. If that feels uncomfortable, have Plan B ready... take in a movie; look through a family photo album or visit a special place of remembrance. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or just going through the motions and feeling numb, consider taking a year off from celebrations. Your family and friends will understand. There’s no need to feel “guilty” about “spoiling” anyone else’s merriment. These times of crisis may often serve to emphasize the season’s true meaning. EXTERNALIZE YOUR FEELINGS If old traditions and rituals are too painful, consider co-creating new personal rites. ▄ Dedicate a prayer or special poem in honor of your loved one during the holiday dinner. ▄ Light a candle. ▄ Chat or co-create an online tribute to their memory. ▄ Share a favorite story. ▄ Ask others to relate a funny anecdote.

When The Inner Light Is On, EVERYTHING IS CLEAR True happiness & true freedom are already within us. However, our perceptions & holdings block us from living with it. Realize the source of these blocks to live truly happy… anywhere, anytime, always. Universal Door Meditation Center 281-565-9718 • UniversalDoor.org 2619 Charles Lane, Sugar Land, TX 77498 14

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Recall them in prayer and song at your place of worship. ▄ Plan a trip to another area, visit friends, take a cruise or simply stay home and quietly mark the day reading or meditating. If you find yourself doing something in preparation for the holidays that is truly hurtful, just STOP DOING IT! Ask a friend or relative to assist in shopping, baking, wrapping, putting up a tree or any number of activities that evoke overwhelming feelings of sadness. Don’t panic if your basic belief system(s) are tested during this time. For some, staying involved during the holidays is a symbol of continuing life. Let the holiday routine provide a framework for working through these occasions. Attempt experiencing the holidays in a new way since grief has a unique way allowing us to really evaluate what parts of the season we truly enjoy and others we don’t. There’s no right or wrong way to handle the holidays in grief. You’ll have to decide what’s RIGHT FOR YOU and JUST DO IT! You have every privilege to change your mind even more than once. Friends and family members may not have a clue how to help you through this time and neither may you. It’s very natural to feel like you may never enjoy the holidays again. It’s true they’ll never be the same as they were, however eventually most people will be able to find meaning during the holiday season as a new form of the holiday spirit grows inside them. TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF 101 Take care of yourself by drinking plenty of water and eating balanced meals. If you’re taking allopathic medicines or herbs, make sure they’re being taken in the correct amounts and at the appropriate times. Take deep breaths several times an hour. Exercise a little bit every day. Take a “Grief Break” and allow yourself to watch a funny movie, read an interesting book, attend a good play or orchestra concert, or just visit with dear friends and family.

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LAST CONCERT CAFE

DO be gentle with yourself and protect yourself. DON’T do more than you want to, or anything that doesn’t serve your soul.

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DO allow for feelings to express themselves. DON’T keep feelings bottled up by letting the tears flow. DO allow others to HELP! We all need assistance at times in our lives, so just ASK – it’s O.K. DON’T ask if you can HELP a friend in grief. Just HELP! DO pay attention to the children in grief. The holidays are clearly some of the toughest terrain we’ll navigate when our loved ones return to the spirit world. The ways we deal with them are as individual as we are. This time is a normal part of life’s journey, to be felt completely and fully. Holidays can be sad, however we may catch ourselves doing alright, and even experience laughter, so just ALLOW YOURSELF TO “BE”!

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December 2015

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Mooladhara chakra

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discovery is known aha means as Self-realization. This ‘with’, Ja means process of self-realization ‘born’. Sahaja is centuries old and was also means effortless or practiced by saints throughout spontaneous. Yoga literally means its history, for example Confucius, union or connection. This method of meditation is born with every human Moses, Sai Nath, Guru Nanak, etc. being and it connects us with the inner However this technique was passed by these primordial peace and silence that masters to just one exists deep within or two disciples and each of us. Sahaja this could never Yoga was founded b e c o m e p o p u l a r. by Her Holiness Shri Shri Mataji Nirmala Mataji Nirmala Devi Devi, developed this in 1970. It involves the method by which a awakening of a subtle normal householder spiritual energy known can experience this as the Kundalini which awakening sitting in lies dormant in the Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi his or her house. sacrum bone, rolled Shri Mataji was born in India, up in a spiral of three-and-a-half coils. The gentle awakening of this Kundalini and was brought up with a Christian energy and the inner journey of self- background. She started teaching the

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technique of Sahaja Yoga meditation to a couple of people in India in the early 1970’s. Then, slowly more and more people in India started to practice it. In the late 1970’s Shri Mataji moved to London, England. There she also started to teach Sahaja Yoga meditation to a small group of people. Now the meditation is practiced in over 50 countries, at no cost. Sahaja Yoga meditation is free, and no money is charged for the classes. Previously to get kundalini awakening, the person would have to dedicate a number of years of his life to get the experience. He would have to find a genuine guru who would then open one chakra at a time. Shri Mataji through the technique of Sahaja Yoga meditation was able to awaken the kundalini and the chakras in seconds. In the article on Sahaja Yoga, published in November 2015 issue of Natural Awakening, human subtle/ spiritual system was discussed. Human body is made up of 3 channels and 7 energy centers. The left channel controls our emotions, the right channel controls the actions and planning and the central channel gets us into balance and is responsible for our assent. The 7 energy centers, referred to as plexus in medical science, are responsible for controlling one or more organs and also the qualities associated with these organs. The 3 channels and 7 centers together control an individual’s emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual state. The 7 energy centers are 1) Mooladhara 2) Swadisthana 3) Nabhi (Manipura) 4) Heart (Anahata) 5) Vishuddhi 6) Agnya 7) Sahastrara. Each of these energy centers have a physical manifestation


in our human body e.g. Mooladhara corresponds with Pelvic plexus, S wa d i s t h a n a w i t h Aortic plexus, Nabhi with Naval/ Solar plexus, Heart with Cardiac plexus, Vishuddhi with Cervical plexus, Pelvic Agnya with Optic Plexus chiasma, Sahastrara with Limbic area of Gross brain. These 7 energy Expression centers are shown in Vertabral in the figure below. Coloumn Each of the energy centers can be treated as a storehouse of energy for the plexus which caters to the physical, mental and emotional demands of the sympathetic nervous system. Prior to the realization, each energy center has limited energy which is exhaustible. After kundalini awakening, energy is replenished at these energy centers and thereby healing and balancing them and making us more balanced and integrated.

While each and every plexus bears importance for our body, its role is equally important for meditation and our behavior. Mooladhara plays a major role in Kundalini awakening. Subsequent section in this article will provide more details about this energy center. Mooladhara chakra is the first energy center in our subtle system. This center is situated below the triangular sacrum bone where a creative, protective, nurturing energy called kundalini resides. MOOLA means the root, ADHARA means the support. Mooladhara is the support of the Kundalini. This center is placed outside the spine and at gross level corresponds to pelvic plexus as shown in figure above. This center controls the excretion and reproductive organs in human body. It has four sub-plexus and its element is earth.

natural awakenings

Position in Head

in Hands

in Feet

Each chakra in human body has different qualities and by healing and balancing these chakras, we awaken and enhance these qualities within us. The qualities represented by this chakra are purity, wisdom, innocence and valor. Each Chakra is represented on our hands, feet and our head. Following figures show these places for the Mooladhara chakra. Th e M o o l a d h a ra Chakra has an important role as support for both t h e s u b t l e b o dy s y s t e m and Kundalini and so it is closely related to balance and stability. The Mooladhara Chakra is placed below the triangular sacrum bone which houses the Kundalini. It is the foundation of t h e p s y ch e , wh e r e i t i s grounded and supports the other centers. Any strong disturbance to its sensitivity throws the individual off-

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Meditation & Prayer Across Houston

Thank You

to Our Great Distributors Find us at your local place of worship. If not on this list, contact us & ask to be included! Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism 2010 Naomi Street, Suite A Houston, TX 77064 DawnMountain.org

Chung Tai Zen Center of Houston 12129 Bellaire Blvd. Houston, TX 77072 CTHouston.org

India House

8888 West Bellfort Ave. Houston, TX 77031 indiahouseinc.org

Sanatan Shiva Shakti Mandir 6640 Harwin Drive Houston, TX 77036 shivshaktimandir.org

Unitarian Fellowship of Houston 1504 Wirt Road Houston, TX 77055 ufoh.org

Unity Church of Houston 2929 Unity Drive Houston, TX 77057 UnityHouston.org

Universal Door Meditation Center 2619 Charles Lane Sugar Land, TX 77498 UniversalDoor.org

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balance and causes mental disturbance. To awaken the qualities of Mooladhara Chakra, during meditation, following affirmation is used- “Mother, please make me, (or I am) the innocence�. The Mooladhara Chakra is the seat of our grounding force, our connection with Mother Earth. It is made of the Earth element and represents the beginning and primary principle of life. Firstly, gross matter was created using the four petalled Carbon atom as the first building block. Like Carbon, this chakra has four petals, a stable configuration. The Earth is our vehicle for life and is innocent in this role. She does not judge but simply supports. In the same way, the innocence of a child simply is, without being judgmental or concern and this quality is in sync with the innate pure wisdom of a child. When this chakra is awakened its magnetic force starts working. A person whose Mooladhara chakra is awakened has an inner sense of stability and direction. Qualities like innocence, wisdom, purity, eternal childhood are naturally inherent within each being, but we can through various practices damage this center. The triangular bone at the base of the spine in which Kundalini resides, the Sacrum (kumbha), was called sacred by the Greeks. Since the Mooladhara chakra is placed below the Kundalini and as she does not pass through this center, there can be no question of awakening her through sex as suggested in some practices. Sex has its place in human life as the most natural and sublime physical expression of love within the marriage. If this center is misused, through over indulgence, fantasizing or promiscuity on the left side, or suppression, dogmatism and puritanism on the right, it can impede, weaken or even damage the chakra. An awakened and lively Mooladhara chakra brings forth spontaneous wisdom, innocence, dedication, purity and joy. Such a personality is auspicious, and contributes good fortune to his/ her surroundings. The presiding deity or personification of the Mooladhara chakra is Shri Ganesha, the child with the head of an elephant. He has the body of a child, symbolizing innocence and the head of an elephant, symbolizing humility and wisdom. He is innocent and helps us to remove obstacles in our way. It is quite simple to balance this chakra. One should sit directly on the earth as often as possible. While enjoying a peaceful moment outdoors, you may clear your Mooladhara chakra by resting on the ground in a cross-legged fashion. One should place both hands on the ground beside hips, palms facing downwards. Another option is to soak feet in a bowl of warm salted water. These are some simple techniques that can help balance this chakra and establish its qualities within any individual. In order to get more information, it is advisable to attend Sahaja Yoga classes which are completely free. For more information or to attend local meditation classes go to our website. www.houston-meditation.org All classes are free and open to students and seekers at all levels. Another website which can be referred to for further information is www.freemeditation.com.

www.NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com


Change Your Mind, Change Your Life by Gladys Wesley-Kennedy

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ave you ever thought that regardless of whatever you do, you have certain problems that you cannot resolve or eliminate? Have you ever wished you could be like the character, Samantha Stevens of the TV sitcom, “Bewitched,” and upon encountering a problem, you could simply blink your eyes, twitch your nose, and ‘poof!’ the problem would be gone; and, in its place would be the ideal person, place or situation? Well, there is a similar ‘trick’ to resolving problems— as if, in the blink of an eye, and a twitch of the nose. The trick is…to change your life, change your mind. The reason why certain problems never go away is because the cause of those problems has not been identified or changed. The initiation of all problems is our own definition of something or someone being a “problem.” The cause of every life circumstance—good, bad, or indifferent—is how and what we think. Our life circumstances are what they are because of our thought patterns. Our existence, in its entirety, is the result or effect of how we use our mind. The conditions of our life directly reflect the habitual types of thoughts we generate. Since we are the sole creator of our thoughts, we are also the sole creator of our life conditions. Hence, if we have problems, then how we think is our only

real problem. “Habitual thought patterns,” refers to the unconscious act of, habitually and unconsciously, generating the same type of repetitive thoughts, (e.g., emotions, judgments, beliefs, desires, biases, etc.). Whenever we encounter particular objects, situations or people, subconsciously, our habitual thoughts automatically begin expressing in our mind. This habitual in-mind process is quite simple. First, upon experiencing certain memories, things, occurrences, or persons, a stream of habitual thoughts automatically arise. Our mind initiates a respective thought program consisting of conditioned beliefs, memories, judgments, and emotional reactions. Secondly, we reinforce those thought patterns by allowing them to run free, uncontrolled, and unsupervised in our Mind—playing out, repeatedly, like a skipping record. And, we ignorantly believe and blindly follow those habitual thoughts. Thoughts and mind activity are energy. As energy, when certain thoughts or mind frequencies are repeated, they condense; eventually, forming the manifestation of corresponding experiences in our reality. Once manifested, we encounter the resulting experiences or ‘phenomena,’ in our daily life. Accordingly, we encounter our own creation—a virtual reflection of natural awakenings

our mind activity. This is how we create our life conditions and our problems. However, this process does not end here. There is another step to the development of our problems and life conditions. In our daily reality, when we encounter the results of our thoughts (phenomena), we do not recognize our own creation. We do not realize that everything we experience is our own formation. We do not understand that, from within our mind, we habitually and repeatedly generate the thought patterns that form our reality. An example of this is when we meet a person we do not like. When we encounter that person, we tend to feel agitated and uncomfortable. We may even engage in arguments or tense interactions with them. Throughout and following this encounter, we think about all of our reasons and justifications for why we do not like that person. However, we neglect to ask ourselves why we encounter that person, and why that person is so bothersome to us. Instead, we just continue to blame that person for all of our ill feelings and contempt. Hence, we label that person “a problem.” The truth is, in our own Mind, by repeatedly producing judgments and negative thoughts about that person, we generated a powerful pattern, which condensed, formed, and manifested their troublesome presence, in our daily reality. The December 2015

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cause was our habitual judgments in mind. Our negative thought patterns manifested the problematic relationship with that person. Furthermore, we make matters worse when we see that person again because, in mind, we immediately continue the habitual pattern of negatively judging and blaming them. Consequently, we perpetuate the pattern and the relationship drama. By continuing to think and behave this way, we ensure that type of encounter will reoccur—and potentially intensify—in the future. Until we identify and arrest

our negative thought pattern, in our mind, the relationship problem will continue to haunt us. To resolve problems and change our life circumstances, we must change our mind habits. To solve our problems, we need to learn how to be the master of our mind. The first step is to begin to, consciously and intentionally, generate the types of thoughts that will manifest the life circumstances we want to experience. So, how can we manifest the life we want? First, become aware of our mind

activity. Next, find and begin to practice a method of recognizing and eliminating unconscious thought patterns. The most effective practice method is meditation. Meditation allows us to become calm and quiet enough to recognize our mind activity and thought patterns. Also, by sitting and meditating quietly for an extended period of time, we detach from our chaotic daily reality and become quiet within and without. Remember, we create our problems and life circumstances—one thought pattern at a time. No matter what we encounter, we are experiencing our own formed creation…the direct reflection of or our own mind activity. We create, and are tightly connected with, every aspect of our existence. To positively affect our life, learn and live by the most important principle, which is “mind-only.” Also, remember, everything we experience—without exception—corresponds to a thought pattern we formed in our mind. Only we can create our thought patterns. No one can make our mind function and no one can generate a thought for us. Our phenomena, our problems, and our successes, belong only to us. Now that we know this, when encountering situations we dislike, do not wrestle directly with them, and do not continue to believe that you are doomed to suffer with them any longer. Instead, identify the negative causative thoughts in mind and immediately adjust the way you are thinking and emoting. In life, there is only one true problem—we think problems into formation. Now that you know this, when something is not the way you want it to be, recognize how you are mis-thinking, and correct your thinking process accordingly. Endeavor to monitor and manage your thoughts, so you can intentionally manifest the life of your dreams. Begin today, change your mind to change your life. Gladys Wesley-Kennedy is the Founder & Master Instructor of The WHAI™ & Meditative Fitness Programs™. Master Gladys is a revered gifted healer and teacher of ancient esoteric philosophies and principles. To learn more, visit: www. thewhai.com. See The WHAI™ ad on page 17 and news brief on page 6.

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fitbody

Calf Stretch

Airplane Yoga Six Easy Stretches Ease the Journey

Upper Body Stretch

by Cynthia Bowman

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he majority of the symptoms we can experience during flying—stiffness, poor circulation and swollen feet—are due to lack of movement rather than the altitude or pressurized cabin air. Knowing this can make healthy flying easier. Drinking lots of water and moving about and stretching every two to three hours on long flights is key; trips to the bathroom naturally help fulfill this. We also can keep blood from collecting in our lower extremities by finding a way to elevate our legs and feet periodically. Wiggle all 10 toes, shift positions and go for these six discreet airplane yoga stretches. Etiquette tip: Do the first two stretches at the back of the plane with adequate space and a wall to lean on. Don’t do these in the aisle; hanging on to someone’s seat back rocks it and can be annoying. A quad stretch involves the shoulders, upper legs, calves and ankles, while elevating each foot and getting the blood moving. Hang on to a wall, grab an ankle and bring the heel as close to the butt as possible. Then rotate the ankle in a circular motion. Do this as long as it feels worth doing, and then switch arms and legs. A calf stretch is a simple way to target calf and hamstring muscles, as well as ankles. Stand facing a wall, placing both hands at shoulder Quad Stretch height on the wall for balance,

Neck Stretch

Twisting the Torso

Bending Forward

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elbows bent. Take one foot forward and rest it on its heel, with toes pointing up and resting on the wall. Lean forward to the point of feeling a good stretch in the calf. Stretch 30 seconds per foot, gradually going deeper into the pose after a few breaths. Etiquette tip: The next four stretches can be done in an airplane seat or in the back of the plane. The upper body stretch targets wrists, hands, arms, shoulders, back and the upper body in general. Sit upright with feet firmly planted on the floor. Lift arms up and interlace fingers before turning palms to face the ceiling. Relax the shoulders and neck. The arms shouldn’t be covering the ears and can be adjusted by moving them a few inches forward or back. Tall individuals may need to bend their elbows, which still allows for stretching of the upper body. Neck stretches release tension and stiffness by tilting the head from side-to-side. Don’t make circular motions, as they can cause neck and spine compression. If holding the head to assist a deeper stretch, be considerate of neighbors by pointing the raised elbow forward to cradle the neck instead of resting it on a seatmate. Twisting the torso benefits both the spine and back muscles. Yogis believe that twisting motions also massage internal organs. While twisting, hang on to the armrest with both hands and sit as upright as possible, with legs together and feet firmly planted. Don’t bounce into the pose or shift or lift buttocks off the seat, but make slow, fluid movements. Bending forward while seated gives the back, neck and legs a good, deep stretch. All of these movements work well while we’re in the air and are equally useful on road trips, in the office or whenever we need a break. Cynthia Bowman is a freelance writer in Los Angeles, CA, who specializes in travel, culture and lifestyle topics. Visit JoyJournist.com. December 2015

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and proportional to the percentage of area shaded. Soft Shading Shading obstructions can be from “soft” or “hard” sources. If a tree branch, roof vent, chimney or other item is shading from a distance, the shadow is diffuse or dispersed. These soft sources significantly reduce the amount of light reaching a solar panel’s cells. However, regardless of the irradiance (light) amount, as long as there is sufficient light (~50W/m2) the voltage remained the same. The voltage of a PV cell depends more on temperature and the electron band-gap in the materials than on the light itself.

Introduction Is your house suited for solar? Previously, we have talked about the effects of orientation of the roofs(east, west, south, or north) and the roof tilt on the amount of solar energy your home can generate but we have yet to touch on the important issue of shading on solar energy production. Unlike solar thermal panels used in hot water heating that can tolerate some shading, PV solar panels

are very sensitive to shading. Partial shading of even one cell on a 36-cell solar panel, will reduce its power output. Because solar cells are connected in series (electrical term for a line like knots on a string), the weakest cell will bring the others down to its reduced power level. Therefore, whether 1/2 of one cell is shaded, or 1/2 a row of cells is shaded, the power decrease will be the same

Hard Shading Hard sources are defined as those that stop light from reaching solar cells, such as a blanket, tree branch, bird dropping, etc. sitting directly on top of the glass. If even one full cell is hard shaded, the voltage of that module will drop to half of its unshaded value in order to protect itself. If enough cells are hard shaded, the module will not convert any energy and will, in fact, become a tiny drain of energy on the entire system. More technically, if there’s not a completely illuminated path between electrodes or the entire cell is shaded, then no current will flow through the cell, and its voltage will drop to zero. Most modern solar cells have silver wires imprinted across them to allow charge to be carried more easily across the silicon, similar to a highway which allows more rapid travel through a densely packed city. As long as these silvered cells have any light exposed to them, they

Unshaded Cell

Partially shaded Cell

Shaded Cell

100% Current and Voltage output

Output current directly proportional to illuminated area of cell. No voltage change% Current and Voltage output

No output possible

SHADING ON SOLAR PANELS by Shen Ge

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will generate power. One of the only companies that do not add silver to their cells is Sunpower, since their solar cells are made with a different process to collect more light. The trade-off is more wattage per module in exchange for letting even tiny amounts of shade devastate production. How We Design We want the most efficient design for you. None of our designs would ever have panels under shading for your home roof. This is why we use sophisticated satellite imagery to determine where not to put the panels. A site survey conducted either by you via our platform or via an in-person team also helps us greatly in the design. Follow Simplify Solar on Twitter at @ simplifysolar and Facebook at http:// www.facebook.com/simplifysolar for more up-to-date information on solar energy and our suite of products for you. Interested in more of Shen Ge’s posts on solar energy and other energy-related posts? Follow the author on Twitter @ shenge86.

inspiration RECIPE FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR Fail-Proof Ingredients for a Glorious 2016 Take 12 whole months. Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness, hate and jealousy.

Blend with one part prayer, one part meditation and one good deed.

Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

Season the whole with a dash of good spirits, a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play and a cupful of good humor.

Cut each month into 28, 30 or 31 different parts, but don’t make up the whole batch at once. Prepare one day at a time with these ingredients: Mix well into each day one part each of faith, patience, courage and work. Also add to each day one part of hope, faithfulness, generosity and kindness.

natural awakenings

Pour all of this into a vessel of love. Cook thoroughly over radiant joy, garnish with a smile and serve with quietness, unselfishness and cheerfulness. You’re bound to have a happy new year. ~ Author Unknown

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AWAKENING TO SPIRIT Prayer and Meditation Heal and Free Us by Richard Davenport

By its intimate connection with divine love, Spirit infuses human experience with qualities of amazing grace—unexpected clarity, vision, wisdom, peace, compassion, emotional release, inspirational epiphanies, deep understanding and comprehensive healing of mind, body and soul.

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hile society abounds with scientific research, products and practices that promise to enhance our mind or body and the mind-body connection, without Spirit in the mix, neither rises to its full potential. A heart open to a higher power exponentially multiplies the effects of this crucial connection. “Just as a candle spreads light in a darkened room, people who are living in-Spirit give off a higher energy that can bring light to our hearts and minds. In other words, we can be inspired just by being in their presence,” according to renowned bestselling author Wayne Dyer, Ph.D. Experiential, non-verbal and life-changing encounters with the unbounded power and presence of Spirit

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in prayer and meditation are difficult to analyze in the same way as mind-body science. However, Dyer points to the works and outcomes of Spirit as visible evidence of how it lifts us up. We see individuals with rapturous hearts sending out signals that they love the world and everyone in it. Those that live in Spirit tend to see the world as a friendly place, are at peace with themselves, appear to be open and accepting rather than judgmental and harsh, and often report being healed of all sorts of diseases, relationship challenges, career fluctuations and questions of purpose and direction. They attest to how Spirit shines a triumphant light in the midst of dark nights of the soul, redefining the essence of life itself and declaring us worthy in our innermost reaches.

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Personal Healing

When a 19-year-old woman entered basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas, and was undergoing initial medical and psychological screening, she was identified as having body and mind issues that would require her to be separated from the service. These problems included organ failures and spinal misalignment, as well as severe consequences of an emotionally abusive upbringing. It was determined that she could not handle the physical and mental demands of military life. Because the policy was to not treat such problems if identified upon entering the service, authorities allowed her to remain in training until her separation from the Air Force could be processed. The woman was impressed and also distressed by the finality of the verdict and assessment tools used by mind and body experts among the medical staff. In talking with a chaplain on the base, she came to understand that she could choose to appeal her case to another jurisdiction, a “higher” court of Spirit. Focusing on the voice of divine love, she grew to see Spirit as more than a higher power. She saw Spirit as a higher authority. She surrendered to divine love’s authority as ultimate law, supremely qualified to reorder her whole being. She trusted that aligning with spiritual power could change her view of her identity and the seemingly inescapable consequences of genetics, environment and human history denying her desire to serve her country in this way. Listening to a higher witness testifying on her behalf and identifying her authentic being as the magnificent expression of the magnificent Creator, she felt encouraged to the point that her mind and body stopped arresting her progress and became more effective servants, responding with greater freedom and joy. One limitation after another fell away, and the military and medical authorities seemed pleased with her progress as she neared completion of training. Finally, performing a mile-and-a-half run within a required time remained the only obstacle to graduation, and she was still 45 seconds too slow. This helpful passage from the


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Hebrew prophet Isaiah became central to her prayer and meditation as she approached her last running attempt: Young people will get tired; strapping young men will stumble and fall. But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength. They will soar on wings as eagles. They will run—never winded,never weary. They will walk—never tired, never faint. ~Isaiah 40: 30-31 (The Voice) She passed her final attempt with 18 seconds to spare, running on eagles’ wings. So, how can we all discern such a divine witness to our original authentic being amidst loud testimony of all the voices and labels shouting in our head and body, including those imposed by others?

Prayer and Meditation

There are two approaches to listening to the voice within, whether we name it God, higher power, Spirit, grace, Eternal One, or divine love or Love. Complementary, rather than mutually exclusive, both approaches require a capacity, gained through patient practice, of quieting the inner and outer chatter and learning to hear that which calls us to be more than what human experience suggests is possible. It’s who we are in the eyes of grace. Sanford C. Wilder, of Grafton, Illinois, author of Listening to Grace, offers personal growth and d e ve l o p m e n t p r o g ra m s t h r o u g h EducareUnlearning.com that encourage prayer and meditation that emphasize listening. He practices both approaches and makes distinctions between them. “When I pray, I am directing my thoughts toward God, listening and often affirming what I know to be divinely true. I am yearning to surrender my will and affections in conscious connection with the divine such that I or another receives a blessing,” shares Wilder. In such prayerful listening, he hopes to gain something, often a new insight and corresponding manifestation. “When I meditate, my intention is to sacrifice every thought, concept,

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To feel Spirit’s presence, we must surrender our own sense of how it will work, its timeline and the impact on our ego or status quo. As with anything worthwhile, conscientious practice is essential. image and feeling to God, the only consciousness. I trust that listening and observing with nonattachment helps me release conscious and unconscious conditioned thought patterns permeated by a human sense of self.” Through meditative listening, he hopes to release everything rather than receive anything, accepting that everyone is equipped and able to be open to, witness and experience nonstop blessings. Helen Mathis has been an educator in the Philippines and Swaziland as well as the U.S., including an instructor of religion at Principia College, near St. Louis; she is now part of a Centering Prayer Circle in Stockton, California. She explains that centering prayer may be seen as a hybrid that embraces both prayer and meditation, nourishing what’s beneath the preoccupied self to awaken a deeper and vastly more authentic self. Mathis appreciates what Cynthia Bourgeault explores in her book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, that, “This confusion between small self and the larger Self… [the] ‘True Self,’ ‘Essential Self’ or ‘Real I’—is the core illusion of the human condition, natural awakenings

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Through conscious listening we discover that our true nature—as witnessed by Spirit— though sometimes obscured from view, is never altered from its original beauty and wholeness. ~Helen Mathis and penetrating this illusion is what awakening is all about.” Like Bourgeault, Mathis believes that it’s not about the absence of thoughts so much as detaching from our thoughts, trusting that we can let go and be safe, consent to surrender human will and forgo personal agendas. Only then can spiritual sense come into play. “The goal is to awaken to, open to and get in touch with our innermost being and Spirit,” Mathis affirms. “Clearly, centering prayer assumes we each have a spiritual awareness of the divine within us that acts, as Bourgeault puts it, as ‘a kind of interior compass whose magnetic north is always fixed on God.’”

Core Shift

We often approach a Spirit dimension with the attitude of “what it can do for me.” The higher practice that mystics and other deep thinkers of various faith traditions ultimately arrive at instead centers on transforming our whole self to align with Spirit’s purpose for us, which changes everything. Reverend Dr. Michael Beckwith, founder of the New Thought Agape Spiritual Center, in Los Angeles, and a spiritual mentor to Oprah Winfrey, believes, “The relationship we have with the infinite is more about how we are to serve it than it is to serve us.” Beckwith describes three primary stages of realizing the power and purpose of divine Spirit expressed as our spirit. The first is that of a victim (feeling powerless, unable to effect change). The second is when an individual learns the existence of universal law that responds 26

Houston

to our thinking, emotions and attitude; we learn how to use it to stabilize life structures and demonstrate health and well-being. “Ultimately, in stage three, we become a vehicle of life in service to life. Instead of using the law, the law uses us. Life fulfills its own nature through us,” he says. “All of life is conspiring for our freedom, liberation, wholeness and health.” He urges us not to stop and stagnate at stage two, using divine laws only to manifest personal conveniences, stuff and even people for our use; this can hijack views of abundance into materialism and consumerism. He quips, “We are not here to go shopping.”

Dwelling in Spirit

Grace and Spirit work in us, through us and

between us, yet we can’t simply summon them up or outline their outcomes. To feel Spirit’s presence, we must surrender our own sense of how it will work, its timeline and the impact on our ego or status quo. As with anything worthwhile, conscientious practice is essential. Life, defined by Spirit, gives fresh strength and impetus to mind and body. All three are vital elements of the dance of life. Richard Davenport is a spiritual life educator (HigherGroundForLife.com) and the founding executive director of an inclusive nationwide Bible and spiritual life community (BibleAndSpiritualLife. org). Now based in St. Louis, MO, he is a retired Air Force chaplain, having served at Lackland and other U.S. Air Force bases on three continents.

FIVE WAYS TO PRAY FROM THE HEART by Richard Davenport

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rayer from a heart willing to surrender, change, learn, grow and bless others works to keep us centered on pure motives like wellness, wholeheartedness and compassion. Such prayer can help us progress spiritually. These five forms of prayer, found in the Bible, have a universal application to any spiritual practice. Although differing in their approach, all share the purpose of creating a fuller mindfulness of our true identity and relationship to the divine, while enhancing our capacity to bless all creation. If we are not feeling the desired breakthroughs using one form, perhaps the one most familiar or comfortable to us, we might do well to explore others. Praise – a posture of adoration, honoring and surrender to a power, vision, and authority greater than our own. Thanksgiving – or better yet, for its consistency and permeating of our whole self, thanks-living. The garden of our spirit is enriched by embracing a gratitude attitude in all we do. Petition – a relational posture that opens our heart as we learn to ask

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for help, to seek perspective beyond a limited self, beyond a smaller, egodriven orientation. Intercession – praying for others; blessing, honoring and cherishing them as God sees them. When we feel burdened and blocked by our own trials, expressing empathy and compassion for others can unlock our heart and mind. We can lovingly witness the true nature of those that are seemingly tangled in forces blocking or opposing their higher good. Affirmation – release and rest in divine authority, acknowledging the universe as literally one song reflecting the singular harmony that Spirit knows and is unfolding in every moment to meet our need in forms we can see and feel right now.


Green Congregations

photo courtesy of View Dynamic Glass

greenliving

Faith Groups Join in Preserving All Creation by Avery Mack

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he simple act of switching on a bulb can light a room; preaching that humans are caretakers of the Earth can enlighten a community. “How are we faithful to God’s creation?” asks Diana Butler Bass, Ph.D., author of Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution, in Alexandria, Virginia. “The connection between the natural world and the world we live in helps us understand the remarkable responsibility we have to the planet.”

The film Renewal documents this grassroots movement at RenewalProject.net. Along with an emotional bottom line, many people pose a greater question: What is the cost to our spiritual life if we act selfishly? “We need to know what is sacred and what matters for generations to come,” says Bass. “This is an exciting time for communities of faith to work together.” Churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith groups are sending a message to their congregations and communities: We need to care for what the Creator has given us.

Showing the Way

“We wanted to reduce reliance on foreign oil, support local businesses, buy American-made and be costeffective,” says Rabbi David Freelund, of the Cape Cod Synagogue, in Hyannis, Massachusetts. “Going solar made sense. We leased panels, joined a renewable energy credit program and now generate 90 percent of our energy.” The synagogue also upgrades equipment to more efficient levels when it’s time for replacement, composts waste, maintains a garden to supply a local food pantry, switched to LED lights, zoned their facility’s heating and cooling and follows a single-stream recycling program. “We seek to lead by example. Members ask, ‘What else can we do?’ As Jews, our mission is not fulfilled unless we lift up others toward the divine,” says Freelund. Windows often make up a large portion of a building of worship, but can be the least energy-efficient components. Members of Colorado’s Steamboat Christian Center, in Steamboat Springs, used to wear sunglasses or change seats during services to escape the sun’s glare and heat. After installing smart glass windows, everyone can now fully concentrate on the sermon. natural awakenings

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We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. ~Pope Francis “The glass tints like transition sunglasses, based on available light or preprogrammed preferences,” explains Brandon Tinianov, a senior director with View Dynamic Glass, the company that supplied the new windows. “It also reduces heating and cooling costs.”

Laying Down Burdens

“Clutter represents postponed decisions,” says Barbara Hemphill, author of Less Clutter, More Life, in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Lack of time, interest and energy keep us from passing along what we no longer want or need. For most of us, 80 percent of what we keep, we never use.” That includes paperwork, another specialty of her Productive Environment Institute. When the United Methodist North Carolina Conference Center’s new building was ready, there was plenty to sort through before moving. “We estimate seven tons of items were recycled. It became an example for individual churches,” says Hemphill. Her own church, Mount Zion Methodist, in nearby Garner, has cleared out two storage rooms. Items were reclaimed, auctioned or donated to a shelter. “We gained Sunday school rooms in return,” she says.

Practice Makes Perfect

Awareness of the environment and eco-friendly living is a concept religions agree on. At the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, in Sterling, Virginia, an education program encourages community members to recycle, plant trees and lower water and energy usage. Including their Sunday School, they reduced their overall carbon footprint by 13 percent and energy consumption by 21 percent. Interfaith Power & Light is active in most states and can help implement such user- and eco-friendly changes. Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, the director of outreach for the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, in Falls Church, Virginia, suggests thinking larger and encourages members to ask for changes in public policies by lobbying their representatives. In 2016, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago will promote a Green Ramadan. During Ramadan, members re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. Greener than most, The Garden Church, in San Pedro, California, has no building. “People tell me, ‘The outdoors is my church;’ I take them at their word,” says founding Pastor Anna Woofenden. “We have a central table surrounded by gardens. About 90 percent of what we grow is vegetables, the rest is flowers. This church is a living sanctuary, a place to belong, a place of community. God’s love is made visible as people are fed in body, mind and spirit.” “Eco-friendly teaching represents a new spiritual imagination of how to live well in the world,” observes Bass. “Faith makes a difference.” Connect with freelance writer via AveryMack@mindspring.com.

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NATURAL WATER for Your Home By Henry Pine Water is the universal solvent. This means water has the tendency to dissolve everything it touches. Chemicals and minerals become part of the water. Calcium, magnesium, iron, sulfur, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), bacteria, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides are all in the water’s mix. Unfortunately, Houston, along with most cities & towns in the US, injects chlorine or chloramines (chlorine and ammonia) into their citizens’ drinking water. This has shown to be the cheapest and easiest way to kill the bacteria in our drinking water. But are you comfortable drinking, showering or bathing in water that smells like chlorine and contains ammonia? One possible solution is to use a water softener. Water Softeners do not truly filter or sanitize your water. Most water softeners are not filters at all; they merely use ion exchange to take calcium, magnesium and other minerals out of the water, and replace them with salt. Chlorine, Chloramines, Pharmaceuticals and VOCs are left in your water. They do not make the water cleaner, more sanitized or safer. They just make the water more compatible with soap products, reduce spots and make

the water feel slick. Some systems have filtering media, but not nearly enough to keep up with the environment. The other solution might be to use an activated charcoal filter on the faucet or in a pitcher. This works, but only on the one faucet and only until the filter becomes clogged. You would be bathing, washing clothes and dishes in unfiltered water. You would be exposing your water heater and household appliances to the dissolved minerals which shorten their working lifetime. Unless you are willing to replace the filter often it isn’t an effective solution even for drinking water. Up until now the whole-house water purification systems have been ineffective, expensive, high maintenance. Let me describe a new type of wholehouse system that not only does the job but is affordable and reliable. First the water passes through a Magnetic Field Oxidation chamber. The water ions are magnetically charged as they pass through and they convert the calcite (sticky scaly) form of calcium into Aragonite, the less scaly form of calcium. This preps the water for the complete treatment process. Next, all of the water entering your natural awakenings

home is channeled it through a HyperOxidation chamber. This electronically controlled chamber is the heart and soul of the system. When the water is running, the control box energizes a set of specially formulated titanium and copper electrodes in the chamber. Our titanium electrodes oxidize the organic compounds in the water killing most bacteria and burning up organic impurities. This process helps purify the water. The electrodes add a small amount of copper ions to the water. Copper is lethal to bacteria, viruses, algae’s and parasites, but is not harmful to humans like chlorine and chloramines are. This process supplies continuous protection from bacteria and diseasecausing pathogens, while nourishing your body with small amounts of safe copper minerals, which our bodies use. After the chamber does its work, the water is passed through a large, specially formulated multi-media filter tank. This combination of Catalytic Activated Carbon, Oxidation Reduction Media, Sequestering Beads, QuadPolarizer and Anti-scale Resin, make up a proprietary filter bed. The filter media bed is supported by high grade silica underbedding for enhanced backwashing efficiency. This media tank removes a wide range of impurities from your water, yet leaves in all the healthy minerals. The filter bed removes 99.9% of all VOC, (volatile organic compounds). It removes Chlorine, Chloramines, Fluoride, Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Beryllium, Chromium, and over 50 others. This is the only system I am aware of that offers all three of the criteria needed for a complete water treatment system: removal of harmful chemicals dissolved in the water, killing of bacteria in the water and leaves in beneficial minerals. If you would like more information about this system to determine whether it is right for you, contact Accent Natural Water at the address below. Accent Natural Water, 23206 I-45 North, Spring, TX 77373, 281-773-5441. Visit online at AccentH20.com.

December 2015

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consciouseating

No-Bake Festive Vegan Desserts Teresa Cutter’s Healthy Christmas Puddings

Photo by Stephen Blancett

Yields: 6 to 8 small puddings

SWEETLY VEGAN No-Bake Holiday Treats Worth Celebrating by Judith Fertig

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isions of sugar plums” have been part of holiday mindsets since the advent of Clement Moore’s classic 19th-century poem commonly known as ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. We love to give and receive special treats and our tastes are evolving. Instead of yesteryear’s sugary bonbons loaded with calories that we’ve come to regret, today’s preferred confections focus more on naturally sweet dried fruits, bestquality chocolate, healthful coconut and crunchy nuts. Vegan, gluten-free delicacies from chefs and culinary experts the world over help us celebrate the season in a deliciously healthy way, including those we highlight this month.    “Christmas isn’t Christmas without a traditional pudding,” says Chef Teresa Cutter, author of Purely Delicious. Cutter is founder and director of The Healthy Chef company, in Sydney, Australia, which creates functional foods for taste and optimal health. Her no-bake desserts such as miniature Christmas puddings and carrot cake take only minutes to make.

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Emily Holmes, a Queensland, Australia, wellness coach who blogs at Conscious-Foodie.com, says her favorite is Holmes’ Chocolate Cherry Mini-Cupcakes. She serves them with a pot of peppermint tea. Houston-based Joshua Weissman is the author of The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook and blogs at SlimPalate. com. He shares his philosophy on holiday treats: “My first thought is that I don’t want to feel guilty after eating it. My second is that I still want it to taste and look good.” His Almond Butter Pumpkin Pie Truffles fit the festive bill. In New York City, noted vegan cookbook author and Pastry Chef Fran Costigan is an expert in all things chocolate, including her Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles. “When you make something really delicious with real ingredients, your mouth knows it, your brain knows it, your body knows it. You feel satisfied,” she says. Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFood AndLifestyle.blogspot.com from Overland Park, KS.

www.NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com

8 oz fresh pitted dates—approximately 10 to 15 dates, depending on their size Zest from 1 orange 9 oz dried apricots, chopped 1½ cups almond meal/ground almonds 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract 1 tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground nutmeg ¼ tsp ground ginger 1 to 2 Tbsp orange juice 3 oz white chocolate, melted, for decoration (optional) Combine dates, orange zest, apricots, vanilla, ground almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a food processor. Process until mixture is combined and looks like fine crumbs. Spoon the mixture into a large bowl. Add the orange juice, and then mix again. Pudding mix should come together when lightly hand-squeezed.


Divide into 6 small puddings. Line the base of 6 small decorative molds with plastic wrap and firmly press the puddings into them. Once firmly packed in the mold, invert the pudding and remove the plastic wrap. Melt white chocolate in a small bowl set over a simmering pot of water. Spoon a little white chocolate over the tops of the puddings if desired and garnish with goji berries, fresh cherries or another fanciful topper. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve puddings with chilled mango coconut custard. Mango Coconut Custard 1 mango, chopped ½ cup coconut milk Juice from ½ orange Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve chilled with the puddings.

Joshua Weissman’s Almond Butter Pumpkin Pie Truffles Yields: About 12 to 16 (1½-inch) truffles Warm winter spices mix with fragrant pumpkin and almond butter to make seasonal truffles hand dipped in fresh vanilla bean-infused white chocolate. Filling ¼ cup canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling) ¼ cup almond butter ¼ cup vegan cream cheese ¼ tsp cinnamon ¼-½ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp fresh grated ginger 1 Tbsp coconut flour 2 packets stevia (like Sweetleaf packets) Coating (vanilla bean white chocolate) 2 oz food grade (not for skin care) cacao butter broken up into small pieces for melting ¼-½ vanilla bean pod, cut in half lengthwise to scrape out the interior,

or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 20 drops stevia (like Sweetleaf Steviaclear drops)

Scrape out the vanilla bean pod, conserving vanilla beans for adding once the cacao butter is melted.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine everything for the filling, including pumpkin purée, almond butter, cream cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, coconut flour and stevia. Mix thoroughly until smoothly incorporated and no cream cheese chunks are left.

Place cacao butter in the top of a double boiler and melt and add stevia. Then add vanilla beans and mix well.

Chill by refrigerating the mixture for 10 to 20 minutes or freezing it for 2 to 5 minutes.

Turn the heat to low to keep warm and melted. Pull out the hardened filling shaped into balls and one at a time drop them into the white chocolate mixture and roll them around until they’re fully covered with mixture using fingers or a small spoon.

Roll chilled filling mixture into mediumto-small-sized balls a little less than an inch in diameter and place them on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Carefully spoon out each truffle using a spoon, gently tapping the spoon on the inside of the saucepan to slough off excess cacao butter that may pool on it. Take special care not to drop the truffle.

Place balls back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or the freezer for 5 minutes so the balls harden enough to allow dipping.

Gently place each treat back onto the tray. Repeat the whole process until all the coated balls are on the tray.

Heat a double boiler or small pot that fits into a medium pot of gently boiling water over medium-to-low heat.

Let them cool at room temperature and serve immediately or place them in the refrigerator to harden and serve later. Chilled, truffles will keep for 3 to 5 days.

Success is finding

satisfaction in giving a little more than you take. ~Christopher Reeve natural awakenings

December 2015

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wisewords

Sharon Salzberg on Mindfulness Simple Ways to Be in the Present Moment

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ew York City-born Sharon Salzberg experienced a childhood full of loss and upheaval, losing her parents and living in five different household configurations. In college, she discovered the power of meditation to transform suffering and cope with life’s never-ending changes. Born into a Jewish family, Salzberg first encountered Buddhism in 1969 in an Asian philosophy class, inspiring her to undertake an independent study program in India, where she was initiated into the practice via an intense 10-day retreat. “It was very difficult and painful. I sometimes doubted that I’d succeed, yet I never doubted that there was truth there,” she says. Upon her return home, Salzburg dedicated herself to the path of vipassana(insight) meditation, becoming a renowned teacher and co-founding the Insight Meditation Society, in Barre, Massachusetts. Today she teaches and speaks to diverse audiences worldwide about the power of mindfulness. Salzberg has authored nine books, including the New York Times bestseller Real Happiness, Real Happiness at Work and Lovingkindness.

How do you define mindfulness? Mindfulness is the quality of awareness. When we are mindful, our perception of the present moment isn’t so distorted by bias, adding our own storyline to reality and pushing away what’s happening.

Is it possible to be mindful without having an established meditation practice? Yes, theoretically, but I suspect it’s hard. I honor my own meditation practice for

making mindfulness highly accessible for me. It doesn’t take many hours of prep work and is open to everyone. It’s really a practice, like strength training—you have to exercise the mindfulness muscle to reap the benefits.

What’s the best way to arrange time for meditation, and what can motivate us to practice regularly? Having a sense of structure has helped me the most. I believe strongly in the value of a daily practice, however simple or short. We can ritualize certain practices to help remember to pause and be mindful. For example, every time the phone rings, let it ring three times and use that as a trigger to breathe. When you’ve finished writing an email, take a few conscious moments before sending it. There are lots of ways to cut through the momentum of the busyness and craziness of our lives to return to mindfulness. Make a commitment to practice for a certain period of daily time for a month or two, and then reassess. Look for changes during the active course of daily life and query: How am I speaking to myself or to others? Am I more present? Am I more at ease in letting go? It’s important to look for these subtle changes rather than to set unrealistic expectations for ourselves such as being mindful all day.

Do you have other enabling practices for people new to the state of living mindfully? Movement meditation is a good place to start; if you’re walking somewhere, try to be more present and feel your feet against the ground. Also, just focus on one thing at a time; instead of natural awakenings

photo by Fabio Fiippi

by April Thompson

multitasking, just drink the cup of tea. We can also use breath to focus concentration. The breath is a tremendous tool, it’s always with us. If you’re in a contentious meeting and tempers flare, you don’t have to pull out a meditation cushion and sit in a funny position; you can work with your breath right where you are.

How can meditation help to ease suffering? Sometimes, we think we can ease suffering by only having pleasant feelings and beautiful thoughts. Rather, we can ease suffering by changing the way we relate to our thoughts and feelings. If something unpleasant is happening, most of us flip into an internal monologue about how, “Bad things always happen to me,” or “This is my fault,” or “I shouldn’t feel this.” We compound our suffering by adding judgment and by pushing away discomfort. Instead, we can learn to observe our reactions and release them. We also tend not to feel pleasure fully or think that something else or more should be happening instead of simply enjoying the moment. We wait for some sense of intensity in order to feel alive, rather than experiencing the ordinary to the utmost. Meditation trains us to be present with pleasant, unpleasant and neutral experiences and stay connected, no matter what’s going on. Reach freelance writer April Thompson, of Washington, D.C., at AprilWrites.com. December 2015

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Eat, Bark and Be Merry Healthy Holiday Treats for Our Pets by Sandra Murphy

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s with families everywhere, special taste treats are on the menu for many dogs, cats and wild birds during the holiday season. Owners are cautioned not to share rich, unfamiliar foods from the table that can be detrimental to an animal’s health. Better fare are homemade treats of organic, safe and tasty ingredients—true gifts from the heart. Homemade assures the quality of ingredients, avoids unhealthy additives and allows the giver to adjust for individual taste or food sensitivities. Most healthy recipes can be made from readily available ingredients.

Wild Birds

Offer them a variety of seeds and fresh water. Always use unsalted, unseasoned seeds. Mix harder-to-crack striped sunflower seeds with the smaller black oil version to attract the largest number of birds. Organically grown peanuts in the shell, dried fruit, oranges, pomegranates or rehydrated raisins offer a burst of energy. Impale round fruits, halved, on a small dowel rod attached to the feeding table to hold them in place. Note that oats go to waste, shelled sunflower seeds spoil and cracked corn attracts raccoons. Pass on any kind of popcorn.

Don’t use low-fat peanut butter because birds need to pack in the calories in order to stay warm.

Cats

Organic catnip, fresh or dried and baked into a crunchy treat, will bring kitty running. In recipes, avoid canned tuna because of bisphenol A (BPA) concerns; also minimize the frequency and portion of tuna and salmon treats due to mercury accumulation in the fish. Unseasoned tuna or salmon packed in water in a pouch is a better choice. Many recipes labeled for dogs can be converted for cats by making them into smaller bites.

Dogs

“When possible, I put organic and local foods, non-GMO, hormoneand antibiotic-free, grass-fed and humanely raised properties at the top of my list. A healthier dog means fewer vet visits

DIY Suet

Mix one part organic peanut butter with five parts organic, non-GMO (genetically modified) corn meal. Smear into a pinecone to hang from a branch or directly on tree bark for woodpeckers and wrens to enjoy.

and more years together,” says Tonya Wilhelm, a dog trainer in Toledo, Ohio. “Buy in bulk from a co-op or farmer and maybe share with friends to get the best price.”

Dehydrated Foods

Dehydrating removes moisture from food while retaining nutrients, and comprises a distinct cooking method. Stephanie Raya, resident chef at Excalibur Dehydrator, in Sacramento, California, recommends, “For safe chicken and pork, pre-cook before dehydrating. Beef can be dehydrated from a raw state. My Boston terriers also love dehydrated, sweet potato chips.” A number of commercial dehydrated meat and fish jerkies have been recalled (search DogFoodAdvisor.com/?s=treats). Homemade treats offer superior control of ingredients. “When I make my pets’ treats, I know what’s in their food, including the herbs used for flavor,” says Raya. After she’s ensured that the food is thoroughly dried, she packs it in vacuum bags and stores them away from light. She notes that dehydrating takes longer than baking, but is cost-effective at 25 to 50 cents an hour. Veggie options include dehydrated zucchini chips, butternut squash chips, cherry tomato bites, matchstick carrots or peach or other fruit slices.

Make it Festive

A cat’s sense of smell is 10 to 15 times better than ours, but is still modest compared to dogs that out-sniff us by a factor of 30 to 60 times; that’s why putting wrapped treats under a holiday tree or in a stocking is a bad idea. Store them securely and then bring them out when it’s time to open gifts. Use blue tissue paper for easy-to-open Hanukkah gifts, red or green for Christmas (bows, yes; ribbons, no). For dogs that love puzzles, placing treats inside a wrapped box adds to the fun. Remember that rich or unfamiliar foods can make pets sick. Instead, gift them with their own healthy, safe treats from known ingredients so that everyone has a happy holiday. Connect with Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@mindspring.com.

natural awakenings

December 2015

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Special Holiday Pet Recipes

Cheesy Crunchies 2 cups whole wheat flour ¼ cup cornmeal ½ cup cheese (any grated cheese) 1 egg 1¾ cup filtered water ½ cup fine-grated Parmesan cheese Mix all ingredients except Parmesan. Knead dough until thoroughly mixed. Roll dough into shapes (like sticks or squares) or use cookie cutter. Roll shapes in the Parmesan. Dehydrate in a dehydrator at 155° F approximately 4 to 6 hours or until dry. For cats, make much smaller shapes. Recipe courtesy of Chef Stephanie Raya, Excalibur Dehydrator

Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Dog Biscuits Go Go Balls

Yields: 36 biscuits

Yields: 30 to 32 balls ½ cup water-packed tuna fish or salmon (from a BPA-free pouch) 4 oz light cream cheese 2 Tbsp dried catnip (or more to taste) Drain the fish. If using salmon, remove the skin and bones. Using a fork, flake the fish into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Form small, marble-sized balls by hand and store refrigerated in an airtight container. Recipe courtesy of Janet Cantrell, Fat Cat Spreads Out

Roxanne’s Beef Jerky Strips for Dogs

Combine ingredients in medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Spread on a nonstick 1 /8-inch-thick drying sheet. Dry at 155° F until thoroughly dry and then cut into strips. Recipe courtesy of Chef Stephanie Raya, Excalibur Dehydrator Houston

Boil or bake sweet potato. Allow to cool before removing the peel if baked. Heat oven to 350° F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Use a mixer to blend all ingredients together except the oatmeal. Once combined, fold in oats with a spoon. If dough is too wet, add more flour.

3 cups ground lean grass-fed beef 1 cup flour 2 tsp brewer’s yeast 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, drained

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1 sweet potato, boiled or baked ¼ cup peanut butter, low in fat, sugar and salt 1 egg 2 cups whole wheat flour 1 Tbsp coconut oil 1 tsp cinnamon, ground 1½ cups organic oldfashioned oats (aka rolled oats)

Roll out cookie dough to ¼-inch-thick sheet and cut with any shaped cookie cutter. Fill cookie sheets. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until biscuits are hard to the touch. Cool and place in an airtight container. Recipe courtesy of Livia J. Washburn, Trick or Deadly Treat

www.NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com


farmers’markets

Farmer’s Market on Grand Parkway. 8am-12n. Church of the Holy Apostles, 1225 W. Grand Parkway in Katy, 77494. farmersmarketongrandparkway.com Heights Epicurian Farmer’s Market. 8am-1:30pm. First Saturdays only. Grace United Methodist Church 1245 Heights Blvd. 77008. HeightsEpicurian.com Memorial Villages Farmers Market. 9am-1pm. First Congregational Church, 10840 Beinhorn Rd. 77024. facebook.com/mvfm

DAILY

Canino Produce and Farmer’s Market. 6am-8pm (except Christmas and Thanksgiving) Over 20,000 square feet of Texas produce. Canino Produce and Farmer’s Market 2520 Airline, 77009. 713.862.4027 caninoproduce.com Last Organic Outpost Harvest. 9am-4pm (except during extreme cold or rainy weather). Come and get your hands in the dirt. Help with the work of the garden and harvest your share for FREE. Last Organic Outpost 711 Emile Street, 77020. 832.422.8407 facebook.com/lastorganicoutpost.com Nu Waters Food Co-Op. 9am-5pm Tue-Sun. 2320 Elgin 77004. NuWatersCo-Op.com

TUEDAY

Spring Branch Farmer’s Market. 2-6pm. Unitarian Fellowship of Houston 1504 Wirt Road, 77055. facebook.com/springbranchfarmersmarkethouston Rice University Farmer’s Market. 3:30-6:30pm. Rice University, West Stadium Lot, 5600 Greenbriar 77005. farmersmarket.rice.edu/ Rawfully Organic Food Co-Op. 4-7pm Houston Arboretum 4501 Woodway 77024. You must order your shares by 9 pm Monday in order to pick up on Tuesday. Rawfullyorganic.com

WEDNESDAY

Central City Co-Op. 9am-6:30pm. Grace Lutheran Church 2515 Waugh Drive, 77006. centralcityco-op.com City Hall Farmer’s Market. 11am-1:30pm. City Hall 500 McKenny, 77002 (parking available at 400 Rusk) urbanharvest.org

THURSDAY

Westchase District Farmer’s Market. 3-7pm. 10503 Westheimer, 77042. (1 block west of Beltway 8) westchase district.com/market Kingwood Farmer’s Market. 3-7pm. Town Center Park, 8 N. Main in Kingwood 77339. facebook.com/ kingwoodfarmers market

SATURDAY

Eastside Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market. 8am-12n. Parking lot behind 3000 Richmond at Eastside, 77098. urbanharvest.org The Farm Stand at Petrol Station. 9am-1pm. Petrol Station, 985 Wakefield 77018. 713.957.2875 facebook.com/The-FarmStand-at-Petrol-Station The Woodlands Farmer’s Market at Grogan’s Mill. 8am-12n. 7 Switchbud Place in The Woodlands 77380. grogansmill village.com

Farmer’s Market at Imperial. 9am-1pm. 198 Kempner, Sugar Land, 77498. imperialsugarland.com/farmersmarket Tomball Farmer’s Market. 9am-1pm. Corner of Main (FM 2920) and Cherry in downtown Tomball 77377. tomballfarmersmarket.org Conroe Saturday AM Farmers Market. 9am-1pm. 135 N Main Conroe 77301 facebook.com/ConroeSamM/ Rawfully Organic Food Co-Op. 11am-2pm Vacant Lot 3400 Bissonett 77005. You must order your shares by 9 pm Friday in order to pick up on Saturday. Rawfullyorganic.com City Hall Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market. 11am-1:30 pm. City Hall 901 Bagby, 77002. urbanharvest.org. Farmers Market at Bridgeland. 12:30-3:30pm. 2nd Saturdays. 16902 Bridgeland Landing, Cypress 77433. farmersmarketatbridgeland.org/

SUNDAY

East End Street Market. 10am-2pm. 2800 Navigation Blvd 77003. Eastendhouston.com Magnolia Farmer’s & Artisan’s Market. 11am-3pm. 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays. Intersection of FM 1488 and FM 1774 in Magnolia, 77354. sweetmagnoliapickins.net

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December 2015

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calendarofevents NOTE: All Calendar events must be received via email by the 10th of the month prior to publication and adhere to our guidelines. Email Mike@NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com for guidelines and to submit entries. No phone calls or faxes, please.

FRIDAY DECEMBER 4

NE Houston Hulapoilooza Flow Jam & Drum Circle 7pm. Do you like drumming or perhaps you like the circus arts (hula hooping, poi balls, juggling, flags/ribbons, acrobatics/ acroyoga, slacklining, fire spinning/dancing)? Then come have some fun with us! NE Houston Hulapoilooza 28125 Glenwood Rd. New Caney 77357. For more information email: celticdragonfly83@gmail.com

SATURDAY DECEMBER 5

markyourcalendar Innate Chiropractic’s 20th Year Anniversary Party. 10am4pm. Innate Chiropractic Healing Arts Center & Dr. Jackie St. Cyr are celebrating 20 years serving the Houston Holistic Community. Free Massages. Children’s Fun Activities & Games. Healthy Food & Drink. Drumming & Live Music. Free 3D Digital Foot Scans. Yoga & Sacred Breathing. Karate Demonstrations. Live Blood Analysis Demos. Vendor Booths & More! Natural Awakenings-Houston will be there. Don’t miss the party of the year. Free. Innate Chiropractic 230 Westcott St. Suite 220 77007. In the Zeus Building. 713-521-2104 www.InnateChiropractic.com

EASE: Equine-Assisted Spiritual Experience. 3-5: pm By sharing space in nature and with the animals at Red Dun Ranch, take time to examine how you spiritually connect with yourself, others and the Universe. This 2-hour experiential retreat is open to 12 people, ages 18 and up. $72 per person. Red Dun Ranch, 14034 Hooper Rd., Houston, TX 77047 Beverly Walsh 713-540-1528 or register at www.bit.ly/beingherd HTX BikeFest. 10am-6pm. Hosted by Black Gold Cycling, this festival brings cyclists and bike enthusiasts from all over the city to celebrate their favorite mode of transportation: bikes! The event kicks-off with an all-day swap meet boasting more than 50 vendors focused on the bike friendly lifestyle. A huge obstacle race course and sprint contests presented by Texas Gold Sprint’em. Free. Market Square 301 Milam, 77002. 713-845-1000 marketsquarepark.com

THURSDAY DECEMBER 10

Marva’s Holistic Fair. 10am-5pm. Psychics, tarot readers, palmists, healers, vendors of all sorts. Admission Free. LaQuina Inn-Galleria on 610 West Loop North between San Felipe and Post Oak, 77027. 713-444-3581 psychicfairs.com. Holiday Concert: Repeat the Sounding Joy! 7pm. Don’t miss the 4th annual Unity Holiday Concert. Attend an evening of great music performed by Unity’s talented soloists and choirs. Sing along with traditional favorites and enjoy some new offerings for the holidays all in the spirit of Joy and Celebration! Stay after the concert for pictures with Santa plus warm cider and cookies in the Courtyard! $20, children under 12 free. Unity of Houston 2929 Unity Dr, 77057. 713-782-4050. unityhouston.org Kasmere Reunion Stage Band. 8pm Funk, blues and jazz band. $15. Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com

LiveStream Oneness Meditation. 11:30am-12:30pm. The Oneness Meditation is a powerful transmission of Divine Energy which helps one move into higher states of consciousness; allowing the individual to deepen their spiritual journey. The results are transformative, bringing lasting changes and shifts in consciousness. Each person will have their own unique experience during the meditation. Love Offering. Unity of Houston 2929 Unity Dr, 77057. 713-782-4050. unityhouston.org Lunch Coach is on Call! Noon-12:45pm Cherie Ray, MLA, 3 Principles Coach. This month, the focus of our conversation is: Holiday Cheer: Experiencing challenging family members in a new way. Free. Call-in instructions at trueyoucreativity.com Introduction to Intuitive Painting & Open Studio. 6:30-9pm. Experience 100% Creativity and Freedom! Evoke a deeper connection to your intuition through exploring creativity. Feed your muse, relax, reconnect and renew. Engaging in Creativity, Nature and Ritual are the strongest ways to get know all of yourself.. Intuitive Painting clears what’s blocking you from living a delicious life. True You Creativity Studio in The Heights. For more information and to register go to: trueyoucreativity.com

FRIDAY DECEMBER 11

SUNDAY DECEMBER 6

Friday Night Free Movie at Market Square. 7pm. Trading Places. Forget about trekking to the ‘burbs for your Alamo fix. Join us for a film under the stars as the Rolling Roadshow presents Trading Places. When a snobbish investor (Dan Aykroyd) and a wily street con artist (Eddie Murphy) find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires, it is up to them to uncover the underlying scheme and turn the tables. Free. Market Square 301 Milam, 77002. 713-845-1000 marketsquarepark.com

Centerpoint Body Mind and Spirit Expo. 1-5 pm. Psychics, Astrology, Tarot, Ear Candling, Massage, Fengshue, Ionic Foot Bath, Palmist, Pranic, Reiki & Matrix Healers, Jewelry, Foot Reflexology, Pet Massage, Pet Healing, FREE coffee, tea & pastries. Admission Free. Center Point (in the old Metaphysical Matrix building) 2727 Fondren Suite 5M, 77080. 713-932-7224 centerpointhouston.com

Spoonfed Tribe. 8pm. Rock, experimental, super sonic band. Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com

Bayou Bikers. 8am. Meet at Market Square Park for 25- to 40-mile bike rides exploring the bayous of Houston. Rides are open to all. Mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires are necessary. This is an informal group whose purpose is to show Houstonians and visitors the beauty of Houston’s waterways. Market Square 301 Milam, 77002. 713-845-1000 marketsquarepark.com

Edible Wild Plants 1pm Learn where to find, how to identify and proper preparation of the fruits, shoots, roots, and salad greens growing all around you. Whether you are learning to survive in the woods or just want to cut your food bills, this class is for you. $65. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center 4501 Woodway Dr. 77024. Houstonarboretum.org

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Houston

SUNDAY DECEMBER 13

Half-Day Zen Retreat. 9am-noon. Open to everyone; prior meditation experience recommended. There will be three sessions of sitting and walking meditation. Silence is observed. Free. Chung Tai Zen Center of Houston. 12129 Bellaire Blvd., 77072. 281-568-1568. cthouston.org Centerpoint Body Mind and Spirit Expo. 1-5 pm. Psychics, Astrology, Tarot, Ear Candling, Massage, Fengshue, Ionic Foot Bath, Palmist, Pranic, Reiki & Matrix Healers, Jewelry, Foot Reflexology, Pet Massage, Pet Healing, FREE coffee, tea & pastries. Admission Free. Center Point (in the old Metaphysical Matrix building) 2727 Fondren Suite 5M, 77080. 713-932-7224 centerpointhouston.com

www.NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com

Eat It Raw! 2pm. Join Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram of Rawfully Organic Co-op and learn how to make delicious meals for the entire family from raw and organic foods. Kristina will share her passion for this healthy lifestyle by teaching and demonstrating how to prepare seasonal dishes from a variety of raw and locally grown produce. Come prepared to sample the class projects! $35. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center 4501 Woodway Dr. 77024. Houstonarboretum.org

TUESDAY DECEMBER 15

markyourcalendar

Mindfulness for the Holidays 7- 9pm. During this season of mandatory cheer and sky-high stress levels, join us to connect with real joy through gratitude. Like a massage for your mind, we’ll practice meditations for deep de-stressing and then for cultivating an appreciation of the best aspects of our lives. $15. Dawn Mountain 2010 Naome Street, Suite A 77054. Dawn Mountain is conveniently located just south of the Texas Medical just a block from the NRG Park stop on the Metrorail Red Line. http://dawnmountain. org Natural Awakenings readers use coupon code NADEC for $5.00 off the cost of each workshop.

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16

Christmas in Italy. 6:30-10pm. In the very special class, Lucia will share with you the Christmas customs and legends of her heritage. The class will prepare and eat pumpkin mushroom soup, caponata on toasted crostini, Italian lemon chicken with white wine and parmesan cheese, and her mama’s traditional sesame queen’s biscotti, with coffee granta. Buon natale! $65 Lucia’s Garden. Call 713-523-6494 for information or to make a reservation.

THURSDAY DECEMBER 17

Awake Now Happening. 7 p.m. movement, music and meditation. Drum circle at 8:30. Create the climate in which we thrive. We thrive in joy. We thrive in peace. We thrive in the creative energy of the universe. Unity Pyramid, 2929 Unity 77057. $10 suggested gratitude gift. AwakeNow.org.

FRIDAY DECEMBER 18

NE Houston Hulapoilooza Flow Jam & Drum Circle 7pm. Do you like drumming or perhaps you like the circus arts (hula hooping, poi balls, juggling, flags/ribbons, acrobatics/ acroyoga, slacklining, fire spinning/dancing)? Then come have some fun with us! NE Houston Hulapoilooza 28125 Glenwood Rd. New Caney 77357. For more information email: celticdragonfly83@gmail.com Klockwork. 8pm Jazz band. Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com

SATURDAY DECEMBER 19

Monthly Bird Survey. 8am No expertise is required to participate, all you need is interest in learning about the birds residing at and migrating through the Arboretum. If you have binoculars of your own, please bring them. The Arboretum has some available for your use if you do not have your own. FREE Houston Arboretum and Nature Center 4501 Woodway Dr. 77024. Houstonarboretum.org Yule Ceremony, Child Blessing and Brunch. 10:30am. Celebrate the shortest day - longest night of the year (a bit early) and enjoy a potluck brunch with some friendly folks. NE Houston Broom & Brew 28125 Glenwood Rd. New Caney 77357. For more information email: celticdragonfly83@gmail.com Tree & Stars: Winter Celebration. 6:30pm Join us for our first-ever winter celebration! Together we will celebrate the winter night sky with delicious food and drink in the Arboretum’s forests enlivened with festive spirit. We will take a night hike through the winter woods to our meadow deck where we’ll view twinkling stars and the waxing moon through telescopes brought by the Houston Astronomical Society. $30 individual, $40 couple, $50 family of 4. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center 4501 Woodway Dr. 77024. Houstonarboretum.org


SUNDAY DECEMBER 20

markyourcalendar Zen Meditation Workshop. 10-11am Join us for this onehour meditation workshop. It is open to all beginners and is free of charge. No prior registration required. Learn the simple technique of meditation and boost your mental health. Guided by Ordained Zen Masters of Chung Tai Chan Monastery No fees. Donations are welcome. Chung Tai Zen Center of Houston. 12129 Bellaire Blvd. 77072. 281-568-1568 cthouston.org Centerpoint Body Mind and Spirit Expo. 1-5 pm. Psychics, Astrology, Tarot, Ear Candling, Massage, Fengshue, Ionic Foot Bath, Palmist, Pranic, Reiki & Matrix Healers, Jewelry, Foot Reflexology, Pet Massage, Pet Healing, FREE coffee, tea & pastries. Admission Free. Center Point (in the old Metaphysical Matrix building) 2727 Fondren Suite 5M, 77080. 713-932-7224 centerpointhouston.com

FRIDAY DECEMBER 25

Critical Mass-Houston. Assemble at 6:30 pm. Roll at 7:15pm. A casual bike ride starting from downtown Houston and going wherever. Cars rule the road every day, but one day a month we get together to celebrate our love for bicycles and have fun riding. Free. Market Square 301 Milam, 77002. criticalmasshouston.com

SUNDAY DECEMBER 27

Centerpoint Body Mind and Spirit Expo. 1-5 pm. Psychics, Astrology, Tarot, Ear Candling, Massage, Fengshue, Ionic Foot Bath, Palmist, Pranic, Reiki & Matrix Healers, Jewelry, Foot Reflexology, Pet Massage, Pet Healing, FREE coffee, tea & pastries. Admission Free. Center Point (in the old Metaphysical Matrix building) 2727 Fondren Suite 5M, 77080. 713-932-7224 centerpointhouston.com Visionary Vision Boards & Coaching. 1-4pm. Capture and crystalize your vision for the new year with Life and Creativity Coach Cherie Ray. True You Creativity Studio in The Heights. For more information and to register go to: trueyoucreativity.com

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 30

2015 Passion Flags. 10am-1:30pm. Spend time with Life and Creativity Coach Cherie Ray and other creative seekers working on you passion flags for the new year. True You Creativity Studio in The Heights. For more information and to register go to: trueyoucreativity.com

planahead SUNDAY JANUARY 3

markyourcalendar Centerpoint Body Mind and Spirit New Year’s Fair. 1-5 pm. Psychics, Astrology, Tarot, Ear Candling, Massage, Fengshue, Ionic Foot Bath, Palmist, Pranic, Reiki & Matrix Healers, Jewelry, Foot Reflexology, Pet Massage, Pet Healing, FREE coffee, tea & pastries. Admission Free. Center Point (in the old Metaphysical Matrix building) 2727 Fondren Suite 5M, 77080. 713-932-7224 centerpointhouston.com

TUESDAY JANUARY 5

A Mindful New Beginning! 7-9pm Ready for an energized and centered 2016? Join us to get intentional about your media consumption patterns. Together we’ll reflect on the ways media can nourish us and the ways they can be depleting. You’ll have an opportunity to set your intentions for the new year before the session closes. $20. Dawn Mountain 2010 Naome Street, Suite A 77054. Dawn Mountain is conveniently located just south of the Texas Medical just a block from the NRG Park stop on the Metrorail Red Line. http://dawnmountain. org Natural Awakenings readers use coupon code NADEC for $5.00 off the cost of each workshop!

SUNDAY JANUARY 10

Half-Day Zen Retreat. 9am-noon. Open to everyone; prior meditation experience recommended. There will be three sessions of sitting and walking meditation. Silence is observed. Free. Chung Tai Zen Center of Houston. 12129 Bellaire Blvd., 77072. 281-568-1568. cthouston.org

MONDAY JANUARY 11

Plant It Forward Farm Share Begins. Make sure your New Year’s resolution to eat healthy comes true and sign-up for a Plant It Forward Farm Share today! Next season begins Monday, January 11th. Each week you will receive 6-8 varieties of the freshest vegetables available in Houston- all organically grown! www.plant-it-forward.org

SUNDAY JANUARY 17

Blessing Ceremony. 10am-12n. Come and experience peace and blessing. Free. Chung Tai Zen Center of Houston. 12129 Bellaire Blvd., 77072. 281-568-1568. cthouston.org

FRIDAY JANUARY 22

Movie Yoga: Turning Your Life into an Epic Adventure workshop with Tav Sparks. 9 am to 4:30 pm. Experience and learn to use Movie Yoga, the revolutionary new practice that transforms how we experience movies and gives us a new, easy life-strategy for on-going change, inner exploration, and fulfillment. Cost $95 until December 10; $115 after. Hyatt North Houston 425 North Sam Houston Pkwy E. 77060 holotropic.com The Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness, with Stan Grof. 6:30-8pm. Lecture by Stan Grof on non-ordinary states of consciousness. This is an abbreviated version/introduction to the 3 day workshop listed below. ($15 at the door, no preregistration required) Hyatt North Houston 425 North Sam Houston Pkwy E. 77060 holotropic.com

markyourcalendar The Adventure of Self-Discovery Workshop - Holotropic Breathwork, with Stan Grof and Tav Sparks; 6:30 pm to Sunday January 24, 12:30 pm. With Holotropic Breathwork each participant gains direct access to his or her own inner healing wisdom. In the HB session, this wisdom brings you a unique and ideal combination of experiences that can include aspects of your personal history, psychological death and rebirth, transpersonal interconnections, and the greater spiritual reality to which we all belong. $325 until December 10, $375 after December 10. Hyatt North Houston 425 North Sam Houston Pkwy E. 77060. holotropic.com

SATURDAY JANUARY 23

Living Your Voice 101 by Tony Pryor. 10am-5pm. The workshop combines fundamental vocal technique with creative performance experiences that will help you build greater confidence. You will experience the joy of reclaiming your personal power by conquering your limitations. Here you will find a criticism-free place to nurture your hidden brilliance with techniques to help overcome any fear, self-criticism, timidity or stage fright. The Jung Center, 5200 Montrose Blvd. 77006. livingyourvoice.com 713-826-9814.

SUNDAY JANUARY 31

Zen Meditation Workshop. 10-11am Join us for this one-hour meditation workshop. It is open to all beginners and is free of charge. No prior registration required. Learn the simple technique of meditation and boost your mental health. Guided by Ordained Zen Masters of Chung Tai Chan Monastery No fees. Donations are welcome. Chung Tai Zen Center of Houston. 12129 Bellaire Blvd. 77072. 281-568-1568 cthouston.org

ongoingevents daily Houston Arboretum. 8am-6pm. Walk in nature. Learn about native plants and wildlife. Free. Houston Arboretum 4501 Woodway Dr., 77024. houstonarboretum.org Breakfast Prasadam, free vegetarian meal. 9:00am. (except Sunday) A free vegetarian meal for any and all. Free. ISKCON Temple 1320 West 34th Street, 77018. 713. 686.4482 iskonhouston.org Rothko Chapel. 10am-6pm (except during special events) The Rothko Chapel is an independent institution, a sacred place open to all people, every day. Free. Rothko Chapel 3900 Yupon, 77006. 713.524.9839 rothkochapel.org Lunch Prasadam, free vegetarian meal. 12:30pm. (except Sunday) A free vegetarian meal for any and all. Free. ISKCON Temple 1320 West 34th Street, 77018. 713. 686.4482 iskonhouston.org Waugh Bridge Bat Colony. Sunset. Every evening at sunset, more than 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from crevices found in the Waugh Drive Bridge. These creatures are non-migratory and call the bayou home year-round. Free. Waugh Street at Allen Parkway 77019. houstontx.gov/parks/bats.html

Regression Therapy with Eppie Munoz, Jr. 11am-5pm. Access your past life to heal current life issues. Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Center 7800 Amelia Road, 1B., 77055. Call 832.530.3360 to make an appointment. edgarcaycehouston. org/Eppie-Munoz,-Jr.html Yoga. 11am-12n. Strengthen, relax and recharge. Presented in partnership with Texas Military Veterans Network. Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney, 77010. discoverygreen.com Mindful Meditation. 12n-1pm. Life has a way of provoking us with traffic jams and never ending hassles. This free event explains how mindfulness helps us cope with stress by managing our own reactivity. Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney 77010. Discoverygreen.com. Open Mic with Jimmy Deen. 7:00-11:00pm. Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com Sahaja Yoga-Meditation. 6:30-7:30pm. Come around and try our free weekly yoga-meditation classes. Simply turn up, and make yourself comfortable. Each session includes the basics and a practical guided meditation, so that you can start meditating at home straight away. Free. Kendall Neighborhood Library. 609 Eldridge Parkway, 77079. 832-433-2415. info@Houston-Meditation.org Bum-ba Toning. 6:30-7:30pm. Tighten and tone your bum and body. Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney, 77010. discoverygreen.com

Dinner Prasadam, free vegetarian meal. 7:30pm. (except Sunday) A free vegetarian meal for any and all. Free. ISKCON Temple 1320 West 34th Street, 77018. 713. 686.4482 iskonhouston.org

Beginners Yoga 7-8:30 pm Discover your strengths and balances through a therapeutic approach to yoga alignment and mind/body integration. First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston 5200 Fannin 77004. stanpolins@hal-pc.org.

monday

Food Not Bombs. 8pm. Help provide free vegan meals for Houston’s homeless. Volunteer, donate or just come see what we do. Free. Downtown Library Countyard 521 Lamar, 77002. houstonfoodnotbombs.org

Tarot & Intuitive Counseling with Allison Miller. 10am-7pm. Compassionate support and guidance for healing the heart and soul. Lucia’s Garden 2360 W. Alabama 77098 Call 713-7214056 for an appointment.

tuesday

Light Language & Sound Healing with Robert Tang. 10am7pm. Experience the language of love and light. Lucia’s Garden 2360 W. Alabama 77098 Call 832-799-8545 for an appointment.

Light Language & Sound Healing with Robert Tang. 10am7pm. Experience the language of love and light. Lucia’s Garden 2360 W. Alabama 77098 Call 832-799-8545 for an appointment. www.robertctang.com

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Energy Balancing & Clearings with Celilia Wheelis. 10am7pm. Cecilia is a healing-energy worker and practitioner who assists individuals in order to heal and recover their vitality. Lucia’s Garden 2360 W. Alabama 77098 Call 832-799-8545 for an appointment. http://www.ceciliawheelis.com/

Core Focused Yoga. 6:30-7:30 pm. Yoga postures train the body for strength and flexibility. Dynamic flow sequences get the body warm and the heart pumping, while long-held poses strengthen and stretch the muscles. Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney 77010. Discoverygreen.com.

Yoga at India House. 11:00-12:00am. Enjoy relaxing cardio work out at India House. Free. India House, 8888 West Bellfort, 77031. Go to the website, print out the form and email it to the address given. http://www.indiahouseinc.org/ programs/yoga-classes

Yoga Skills for a Changing World with Brandy Deutsch. 6:30pm. $60 per month or $20 drop in. Spectrum Center 4100 Westheimer at Midlane, 77027. 233. 832.754.5022 holisticchanges.net

Meditation and Aura Cleansing. 11:30am-12:30pm. This meditation opens the heart and crown hakras, enabling you to draw large amounts of divine energy into the crown. Free. CenterPoint, 1-5 PM, 2727 Fondren Suite 5M 77080, 713932-7224 www.centerpointhouston.org Eden Energy with Stania. 1:30-3:30pm. The class will focus on working directly with the body’s energy systems to help create health and wellness. Benefits from this class include: Boosted energy level Enhanced metabolism Improved memory Reduced stress. $18. Green Planet Sanctuary 13424B Briar Forest, 77077. 713-253-4208, call to RSVP. greenplanetsanctuary.com Tools for Life–Learning to Use the Alexander Method. 6:307:30 pm. Chris Lidvall will be offering a group class in the Alexander Technique. $20/class, $72 for 4 classes. A Healing Collective, 4231 Bellaire Blvd, Suite T, Houston, Texas 77025 Chris Lidvall, 281-989-8574. Sahaja Yoga-Meditation. 6:30-7:30pm. Come around and try our free weekly yoga-meditation classes. Simply turn up, and make yourself comfortable. Each session includes the basics and a practical guided meditation, so that you can start meditating at home straight away. Free. South Community Center. 2235 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas 77380. 832-433-2415. info@Houston-Meditation.org.

Growing into your future with health, grace and beauty doesn’t have to take all your time. It rather requires a dedication to caring for yourself as if you were rare and precious, which you are, and regarding all life around you as equally so, which it is. ~Victoria Moran

Wellness Education. 7 – 7:30 p.m. Come, learn about the latest breakthrough in all-natural healthcare. This category-creating technology has been featured by the National Institute of Health and is redefining anti-aging. Free informational presentations held Tuesdays at the Trini Mendenhall Sosa Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston, TX 77055. RSVP to Angelle at (832) 472-1366. Charles Bryant Showcase. 7-11pm. Dinner music at Last Concert Café. Get your Vegan Tex-Mex On! Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com Intro to Meditation 101.7-8pm. Universal Door Meditation Center offers this beginner level class open to the public. Here we begin to discover the difference between False Mind and Awake Mind by applying basic Zen Meditation. Donations Welcome. Universal Door Meditation Center 2619 Charles Lane, Sugar Land, TX 77498. universaldoor.org 281-565-9718 Yoga at Resurrection MCC. 7:00-8:00 pm. Get in touch with your mind, body, and spirit through Yoga! Connect with others in this non-competitive activity suitable for everyone. All body types and skill levels are welcome. Please bring a mat and towel. Extra mats are available for those new to Yoga. Donations Accepted. Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church 2015 West 11th Street 77008. Yoga@ResurrectionMCC.org Capoeira Angola. 7:30-9:30pm. Capoeira Angola is a martial art incorporating dance, music and philosophy. It was developed by Africans in Brazil during colonial times. $15. The Flamenco Room 4212 Canal Street, 77003. lipanurban.org

wednesday Subtle Energy Therapies with Connie Silva. 10am-7pm. Healing touch and light therapy. Lucia’s Garden 2360 W. Alabama 77098 Call 832-613-1075 for an appointment. Circus Arts. 5:30-7:30pm. Discover a new art form consisting of ground arts and acrobatics from Houston based Cirque La Vie. Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney, 77010. discoverygreen.com Oneness Blessing. 5:30-6:45pm. Love Offering. Unity of Houston 2929 Unity Dr., 77057. 713.782.4050 unityhouston.org Urban Ride. 6:30pm. Friendly cycling group. All routes go through inner city – each day of the week we have a different route. Please obey the rules of the roads. Stop at all traffic lights and stop signs. Free. Urban Bicycle Gallery 4814 Nett St. 77007. judy@urbanbicyclegallery.com Zumba. 6:30-7:30pm. The exercise craze that has everyone moving to the beat! Free. Admission Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney, 77010. discoverygreen.com Sahaja Yoga-Meditation. 6:30-7:30pm. Come around and try our free weekly yoga-meditation classes. Simply turn up, and make yourself comfortable. Each session includes the basics and a practical guided meditation, so that you can start meditating at home straight away. Free. Kingwood Library. 4400 Bens View Lane, 77339. 832-433-2415. info@Houston-Meditation.org African Dance. 6:30-8:00pm. Lessons in African dance offered by Lipan Urban. $15. Tango Cielo 3710 Main Street, 77009. Lipanurban.org. Sahaja Yoga-Meditation. 6:30-8:00pm. Come around and try our free weekly yoga-meditation classes. Simply turn up, and make yourself comfortable. Each session includes the basics and a practical guided meditation, so that you can start meditating at home straight away. Free. University Branch Library, 14010 University Blvd. Sugar Land, TX 77479. 832-433-2415. info@Houston-Meditation.org

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Psychic Development with Grendl. 7-9pm. We all have psychic abilities. They just need to be developed. Check the website for cost and registration. CenterPoint 2727 Fondren Suite 5M 77080, 713-932-7224 www.centerpointhouston.org Diamond Way Meditation. 7-7:30 pm. Free. Diamond Way Buddhist Center. 2217 W 34th Street, Suite D. 281. 77018. 436.6081. diamondway.org/houston/ Hellina Bucket Band 7:30-10:00 Free dinner music. Free. Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com Beginning Zen Meditation. 7:30-9:30pm. Feeling stressed? Want something to help you feel better? Try meditation with us. Free. Chung Tai Zen Center of Houston. 12129 Bellaire Blvd., 77072. 281.568.1568. cthouston.org Spiritual Unfoldment Meditation Class- 7:30PM -9PM Join us for our meditation circle class. Any changes in time will be texted to you if you sign up. Love Offering, First Spiritualist Church of Houston, NSAC 2115 Turner Dr. Houston, Tx. 77093 713-695-2550 firstspiritualistchurchofhouston.org Liana Liles 713-240-0058 Blue Line Bike Ride. 7pm. Starts at the bike shop and heads east for a loop through the 5th ward and over the viaduct into downtown. Then it heads west on Washington to TC Jester and north up to 43rd St. Second half of the ride continues west on 43rd/Clay Rd to Blalock and south to Westview where it heads back east to the Heights. Free. Blue Line Bike Lab - 3302 White Oak Drive, 77007. 713.802.1707 Food Not Bombs. 8pm. Help provide free vegan meals for Houston’s homeless. Volunteer, donate or just come see what we do. Free. Downtown Library Countyard 521 Lamar, 77002. houstonfoodnotbombs.org Pot Roast. 10:30pm-12mn. Late night music outside under the stars. Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com Drum Circle at Midnight 12mn-2am $7.00 Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com

thursday Museum of Fine Arts-Houston. 10am-9pm. If you have not spent time enjoying the art exhibits at MFAH, what are your waiting for? Free. MFAH 1001 Bissonnet, 77005. 713.639.7300 mfah.org Yoga at India House. 11:00-12:00am. Enjoy relaxing cardio work out at India House. Free. India House, 8888 West Bellfort, 77031. Go to the website, print out the form and email it to the address given. http://www.indiahouseinc.org/ programs/yoga-classes Buffalo Soldiers Museum. 1-5pm. Buffalo Soldiers Museum is the only museum dedicated to preserving the legacy and honor of African American soldiers in the United States. Free. Buffalo Soldiers Museum 3816 Caroline Street, 77004. Buffalosoldiersmuseum.com 713.942.8920. Houston Museum of Natural Science. 2-5pm. Roam the Serengeti, walk with dinosaurs and discover the world’s mineral wonders. Free. HMNS 5555 Hermann Park Drive 77030. hmns.org Children’s Museum of Houston. 5-8pm. Enjoy all the interactive exhibits at the museum with your children. Free. Children’s Museum 1500 Binz., 77004. 713.522.1138 cmhouston.org Sahaja Yoga-Meditation. 6:00-7:00pm. Come around and try our free weekly yoga-meditation classes. Simply turn up, and make yourself comfortable. Each session includes the basics and a practical guided meditation, so that you can start meditating at home straight away. Free. Houston Public Library, Central Branch, 500 McKinney Street, 77002. 832-433-2415. info@Houston-Meditation.org Parkour. 6:30-8pm. Turning “working out” into “play,” Urban Movement teaches a realistic, scalable approach to natural movement like running, jumping, climbing, crawling, balancing, and vaulting. Ages 12-18 must have parental consent. Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney, 77010. discoverygreen.com or urban-movement.com Free EFT Tapping Thursdays with Helen Racz. 7-8:30pm. EFT is a healing modality based on the same principles as acupuncture but without the needles. Free. Spectrum Center 4100 Westheimer, Suite 233, 77027. 713.922.8895. efthouston.com


Meditation Class: Discovering the Awake Within 7-9pm Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien closely guides and interacts with students to connect with Awake Mind and to apply meditation. This class provides a stable foundation for those who are ready to move to the next level, go deeper in their meditation practice, and touch with the Awake within. Suggested donation $50/month. Suggested donation $50/month. Universal Door Meditation Center 2619 Charles Lane, Sugar Land, TX 77498 www.universaldoor.org 281-565-9718 Bohemeo’s Badass Bike Ride. 7pm. Every kind of bike is welcome but note the first and third Thursday of the month the ride is fast paced (16-18 mph) and contains about 20-25 miles with bridges. The other Thursdays it is a more social and slower ride, maintaining pace at 12-14 mph for about 12-15 miles. Free. Bohemeo’s 709 Telephone Road, 77023. 713.923.4277. Hightailers 10:30-2 am Longest running house band in existence. Gulf Coast Rhythm and Blues - $7.00 Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com

friday Recycling Fridays. 8:30am-12:30pm. Drive by and drop off sorted plastic, aluminum, paper, glass, and flattened cardboard boxes. Free. Emerson Church. 1900 Bering Dr., 77057 (between Westheimer and San Felipe) 713-782-8250. Emersonhouston.org Regression Therapy with Eppie Munoz, Jr. 11am-5pm. Access your past life to heal current life issues. A.R.E. Center 7800 Amelia Road, 1B, 77055. Call 832.530.3360 to make an appointment. edgarcaycehouston.org/Eppie-Munoz,-Jr.html Yappy Hour. 5:30-7:30pm. Enjoy a drink on our patio with your pup! It’s a dog friendly happy hour! Whole Foods 1407 South Voss Rd. 77057. wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/voss Houston International Folk Dancers. 7:30-10pm. Houston International Folk Dancers is a recreational folk dance group that celebrates ethnic dances from around the world: Eastern and Western Europe, Middle East and Mediterranean, and the Americas. You will delight in the diverse rhythms, melodies and unique dance styles of cultures from over 30 countries. Experienced folk dancers are always ready to help beginners. Singles welcome. Dress comfortably. Admission is $5. First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston 5200 Fannin 77004. Additional info at www.folkdancers.org. Spiritual Unfoldment Meditation Class- 8PM -10PM Join us for our meditation circle class. Any changes in time will be texted to you if you sign up. Love Offering. First Spiritualist Church of Houston, NSAC 2115 Turner Dr. Houston, Tx. 77093 713-695-2550 firstspiritualistchurchofhouston.org Ken Pitman 832-692-3666 Food Not Bombs. 8pm. Help provide free vegan meals for Houston’s homeless. Volunteer, donate or just come see what we do. Free. Downtown Library Count Yard, 521 Lamar, 77002. houstonfoodnotbombs.org Dinner Music with Jimmy Deen. 6-9pm. $7.00 Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563. lastconcert.com

Children’s Zen Meditation. 10am-12n. Open to children ages 4-12. Parents must be present and participate. Free. Chung Tai Zen Center of Houston. 12129 Bellaire Blvd., 77072. 281.568.1568. cthouston.org Kitchen Kraft with Grendl Tucker. 11am-12:30pm. We will be demonstrating how to create candles, herbal tinctures and teas, natural herbal medicinals, aromatherapy, rune making and many other hands-on body, mind and spirit projects. Check the website for cost and registration. CenterPoint, 1-5 PM, 2727 Fondren Suite 5M 77080, 713-932-7224 www.centerpointhouston.org Yoga at India House. 11:00-12:00am. Enjoy relaxing cardio work out at India House. Free. India House, 8888 West Bellfort, 77031. Go to the website, print out the form and email it to the address given. http://www.indiahouseinc.org/ programs/yoga-classes Beginning Meditation. 11:00-11:30am. Enjoy relaxing meditation class at India House. Free. India House, 8888 West Bellfort, 77031. Go to the website, print out the form and email it to the address given. http://www.indiahouseinc.org/ programs/yoga-classes Recycling Saturdays. 11am-2pm. Bring your glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum to a recycling station at Discovery Green. Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney, 77010. discoverygreen.com Community Open Forum. 1-4pm. All are invited to create and participate, ask questions, and share ideas. Topics are unlimited, and can include paranormal, psychic, metaphysical and spiritual subjects. Free. Center Point (in the old Metaphysical Matrix building) 2727 Fondren Suite 5M, 77080. 281-7303017 centerpointhouston.com Drumming Class: djembe. 1:30-2:30. Group djembe drumming class by Lipan Urban. $15. The Eye of Africa Gallery 709 11th Street, 77008. Lipanurban.org. Tai Chi Sun Dragons. 3-4:30pm. Tai Chi Chuan classes taught by Black Belt Certified Tai Chi instructor Mary Griffin (lineage of Grand Master Her Yue Wong) Saturday. $25 at the door. $80/ month prepaid. Center Point 2727 Fondren (corner of Westheimer and Fondren) 77063. 713-932-7224 www.centerpointhouston.org Falun Dafa. 4-6pm. Falun Gong also known as Falun Dafa is a traditional Chinese qigong practice. It uses gentle movements and meditation to cultivate the body, mind, and spirit. Falun Gong is a complete and powerful system, which consists of five simple exercises, which can be performed by anyone regardless of age, physical condition, or prior experience. If you plan to visit a practice location, please call the contact person beforehand. Outside of Chinese Consulate 3417 Montrose Blvd., 77006. Henry 956.844.2835. falun-houston.org Dinner Music with Jimmy Deen. 6-9pm. $7.00 Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563. lastconcert.com

sunday Movement Meditation for Healing Mind and Body -- 9:30 – 10:30am With an emphasis on bringing together mind, body, and movement to be in the present moment, Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien guides students to connect with Awake mind, which is profoundly healing, and also restores and refreshes every aspect of our being. Suggested donation $50/month. Universal Door Meditation Center 2619 Charles Lane, Sugar Land, TX 77498 www.universaldoor.org 281-565-9718 Oneness Blessing Meeting. 10-10:30pm. The Oneness Blessing is a direct transfer of intelligent sacred energy which causes the heart to open, quiets the chatter of the mind, opens the door to higher states of consciousness and initiates a process of Awakening into Oneness. Love Offering. Unity of Houston 2929 Unity Dr, 77057. 713-782-4050. unityhouston.org Healing Service, Lecture, and Messages from Spirit. 10:30 am First Spiritualist Church of Houston, NSAC. Music by Dwain Briggs. 713-695-2550 2115 Turner Dr. 77093. firstspiritualistchurchofhouston.org Acoustic Jams. 10:30am-12n. Easy listening music to brunch by. No cover charge. Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance St. 77002. 713-226-8563 www.lastconcert.com Dance Evolution-Central. 10:30-1 pm. Free-form barefoot movement community. Free. Planet Funk Academy- 5731 Logan Ln. 77008. ecstaticdanceevolution.com/ Discovery Hoop Dance. 10:30-11:30am. Have a blast burning calories! Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney, 77010. discoverygreen.com Dawn Mountain Sunday Meditation. 11am-12noon. Join us for guided meditation suitable for everyone. Led by senior members of the Dawn Mountain community. Free. Dawn Mountain 2010 Naome Street, Suite A 77054. http://dawnmountain.org Fall Youth and Teen Program at Universal Door Meditation Center. 11:00am – 12:30pm. For youth grades 1-12, starts Sept. 13. Through games and activities, they are introduced to basic meditation practice and life skills needed to understand more about themselves and how to be truly happy. Call for more details. Suggested donation $60/month. Universal Door Meditation Center 2619 Charles Lane, Sugar Land, TX 77498 www.universaldoor.org 281-565-9718 Diamond Way Meditation. 5-5:30 pm. Free. Diamond Way Buddhist Center. 2217 W 34th Street, Suite D., 77018. 281436-6081. diamondway.org/houston/ Food Not Bombs. 7pm. Help provide free vegan meals for Houston’s homeless. Volunteer, donate or just come see what we do. Free. Downtown Library Countyard 521 Lamar, 77002 houstonfoodnotbombs.org

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Yoga for the Body and Mind. 8-9:30 am. Yoga classes based on the teachings of Swami Ramdev ji including asanas, pranayama and meditation. Free. Arya Samaj Greater Houston Center 14375 Shiller Rd. 77082. 281-242-5000 aryasamajhouston.org. Blissful Warrior Yoga. 9-10am. Taught by Michelle and Anandaji, will unwind and rehabilitate you as well as challenge and strengthen you. You will discover the basics of vinyasa yoga, breath and fluidity, and the movement of energy, known in ancient cultures as prana, mana, or qi. Free. Discovery Green 1500 McKenney, 77010. discoverygreen.com Beginning Zen Meditation. 10am-12n. Feeling stressed? Want something to help you feel better? Try meditation with us. Free. Chung Tai Zen Center of Houston. 12129 Bellaire Blvd., 77072. 281.568.1568. cthouston.org

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December 2015

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communityresourceguide

HOLISTIC FAIR MARVA MASON’S HOLISTIC FAIR La Quinta Inn-Galleria 1625 West 610 Loop Houston, TX 77027 PsychicFairs.com

Connecting you to the leaders in natural healthcare and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide email cindy@naturalawakeningsmag.com to request our media kit.

Houston’s largest and longest continually running holistic fair is held on the first Saturday of each month from 10 am until 5 pm. Featuring readers, alternative health practitioners and vendors. Admission is free. Come and join the fun!

HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST/ MEDICAL INTUITIVE LAZELLE BRADLEY

Center Point 2727 Fondren, Ste 5M (Fondren & Westheimer) 77063 281-440-3136 LBNutritionist@comcast.net

Stay out of the doctor’s office! Superior live whole foods concentrated that you simply add to your smoothie. Quick and easy with no shopping or cooking. Also, products for detox and weight loss. Non-invasive gluten sensitivity test available. Antiaging skin care products that will reduce the look of your face by 10 years in a few months with daily use. Center Point 2727 Fondren, Suite 5M (Fondren & Westheimer) 77063. Sunday May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 32. From 1-5 pm. Call or email for an appointment.

AUNT ALBERTA’S REMEDY Homeopathic Pain Relief Cream 973-715-9097 www.healnbloom.com

Try Aunt Alberta’s Remedy to ease joint and muscular aches and pains from sciatica, gout, arthritis, neuralgia, fibromyalgia and more. Great buy a 4oz jar for $13. All natural ingredients! Refer a friend and get 10% off your purchase. Read what people are saying about Aunt Alberta’s Remedy at our website.

Looking for a nice peaceful place to just hang out. Well, you’ve found it. We feature ion foot detox, chair massage, an oxygen bar, herbal teas, essential oils and much more. Come by for the Lady’s Tea or the Gentlemen’s Mini-Golf and you won’t want to leave.

MEDITATION CLASSES CHUNG TAI ZEN CENTER OF HOUSTON

Chan/Zen Meditation Classes Guided by Ordained Zen Masters of Chung Tai Chan Monastery. No fees. Donations are welcome. No prior experience required for beginners. 12129 Bellaire Blvd., Houston 77072 281-568-1568 • zen@cthouston.org CTHouston.org

2010 Naomi Street, Suite A Houston, TX 77054 Dawnmountain.org

CHUCK MURPHY SPIRITUAL INTUITIVE

Let me help you discover your unique place in creation. In person readings at Marva’s Fair on the 1st Saturday of each month. Visit my website for information about phone and SKYPE readings. Mention this ad for a 10% discount.

Houston

“The Hippest Little Place in Humble” 404 Avenue E Humble, TX 77338 281-227-0435 HealWithNaturalHerbs.com

DAWN MOUNTAIN CENTER FOR TIBETAN BUDDHISM

INTUITIVE COUNSELOR

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HEAL WITH NATURAL HERBS

Beginning Meditation: (A) Wed., 7:30–9:30pm. (B) Sat., 10am– noon. Children Meditation: Sat. 10am–noon. - For children ages 4–12 and parents. Half-day Retreat: Sun., Dec. 13, 9amnoon. Sun., Jan. 10, 9am-noon. Meditation Workshop: Sun., Dec. 20, 10-11am. Sun., Jan. 31, 10-11am. Blessing Ceremony: Sun., Jan. 17, 10amnoon. Check the web site (event calendar) for the most current information. See ad on page 7.

HOMEOPATHIC

La Quinta-Galleria 1625 West 610 Loop Houston, TX 77027 ChuckMurphy.me

ION FOOT DETOX

Join us every Sunday morning from 11:00 to 12:00 for free, guided meditation suitable for everyone. Led by senior members of the dawn mountain Dawn Mountain sangha (community), this meditation offers a chance to take a mindful pause from your busy life, enjoy serenity and fellowship, and learn a bit more about Buddhist practice at Dawn Mountain. See ad on page 8.

www.NaturalAwakenings-Houston.com

UNIVERSAL DOOR MEDITATION CENTER 2619 Charles Lane Sugar Land, TX 77498 281-565-9718 UniversalDoor.org

Are you ready to Wake Up? Discover Awake mind through Zen meditation. Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien guides students to apply this life-changing tool in all situations. Find out how Awake mind can transform stress, struggles, health issues, and conflicts that you thought were unchangeable facts of life! Tue: Meditation 101. 7- 8pm* Thurs: Meditation Class: Discovering the Awake Within. 7- 9pm*. Sun: Movement Meditation for Healing Mind and Body. 9:30-10:30am* Sun: Fall Youth and Teen Program 11am-12:30n*. * = requires pre-registration/class fee. See our ad on page 15.

NATURAL WATER FILTRATION & TREATMENT ACCENT NATURAL WATER Whole House Water Treatment 23206 I-45 North Spring, TX 77373 281-773-5441 AccentH20.com

DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN YOUR WATER? Houston has the 6th worst water in the country. Our system takes out chlorine, pesticides and more. Plus, we treat and condition the water to make it healthier for your family. More than a water softener, table top unit or RO alone. Healthy water from every faucet or shower. Member BBB-A+ rating since the 80’s. Install now for the holidays and save up to $1000. Call Henry 281-773-5441

ORGANIC PRODUCE PLANT IT FORWARD

“a farm in every neighborhood” 832-983-0405 farmshareprogram@plant-it-forward.org www.plant-it-forward.org

Join the Farm Share Program Today! Enjoy your own weekly box of our local, organically grown produce by enrolling in our Farm Share Program. Get 6-8 different varieties, enough for a family of 3-5 each week. Purchase a 5-week mini-season for $132, a perfect gift for your health-conscious loved ones or purchase a 15-week season for $382. Purchase both for a total of 20-weeks and receive $25 off your order. Sign-up today for the Winter-Spring 2016 Season! See ad on page 2.


ORGANIC RESORT & SPA DEER LAKE LODGE AND SPA 10500 Deer Lake Lode Rd. Montgomery Tx 77316 936-647-1383 DeerLakeLodge.com

All natural, organic, resort and spa. Semi-fast juicing cleanse, raw food classes, yoga, life enhancement classes, and a variety of natural spa and salon services. See ad on page 2.

STICK WITH THE BEST

REIKI CLAUDIA AUTRY

Hypnosis-Reiki-Essential Oils 281-849-4610 Mydoterra.com/ClaudiaAutry

Upgrade your life with hypnosis: stop smoking, weight management, optimistic outlook, performance enhancement, super learning… Relax and rebalance with Reiki. Change your life with essential oils. Custom blends consultations available.

TAI CHI CHUAN TAI CHI SUN DRAGONS Mary Griffin, Instructor 713-205-6960

Tai Chi Chuan classes taught by Black Belt Certified Tai Chi instructor Mary Griffin (lineage of Grand Master Her Yue Wong) Saturdays 3-4:30pm at Center Point 2727 Fondren (corner of Westheimer and Fondren) Houston, TX 77063. Prepaid $80 per month or $25 at the door. NEW QIGONG CLASSES starting September 12. Call to reserve your space. 713-205-6960.

THERMOGRAPHY THERMAL IMAGING SERVICES Angel Marlow, CNHP, CAHC, CCT 3300 Chimney Rock, Ste. 208 713-621-4406 angel@thermalimagingtexas.com ThermalImaingTexas.com

No Compression, No Radiation, Painless. Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging or Thermography, creates images that illustrate heat patterns in the body. The thermal images are analyzed for abnormalities that may be signs of disease in the body. Thermography can be conducted onsite at your business through Thermal Imaging Services for Corporate Wellness. Locations in: Houston, Lake Charles, LA, Katy, Beaumont, The Woodlands, Tyler and Kingwood. Call for current schedule and to make an appointment. See ad page 20.

You can trust Natural Awakenings to get your message out to our readers. Advertise your products and services in our special

January Health & Wellness Issue

Our readers seek specialists offering: • Acupuncture • Alternative Healing • Aromatherapy • Ayurveda • Bodywork • Chelation Therapy • Chiropractic • Dental Care • Energy Healing • Fitness/Health Clubs • Herbalists • Homeopathy

• Hypnotherapy • Integrative Physicians • Iridology • Natural/Organic Foods • Physical Therapy • Psychological Counseling • Wellness Trainers & Coaches • Retreats/Workshops • Skin Care • Spas • Spiritual Practices • Yoga ... and this is just a partial list

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

713-927-6540 natural awakenings

December 2015

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Natural Awakenings Houston, December 2015.